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Remembering World War II
Name: Ernest Henry Alden Jr. Rank: First Lieutenant Service Numbers: 20243853, O-707477 Service: 782nd Bombardment Squadron, 465th Bombardment Group, US Army Air Force Awards: Air Medal with Cluster, Purple Heart Date of Birth: November 11, 1920 Place of Birth: Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts Date of Enlistment: March 22, 1940, January 6, 1941 Place of Enlistment: Essex County, NJ, Orange, NJ Address at Enlistment: Essex County, New Jersey Age at Enlistment: 19 Height: 5 feet, 10 inches Occupation: Laboratory technician / assistant Marital Status: Single at enlistment Date of Death: March 22, 1945 Age: 24 Cemetery: Beverly National Cemetery, New Jersey Grave: Section N, Site 7 Ernest Henry Alden Jr. was the son of Ernest Henry Alden Sr. (1895–1973) and Mary Dixie Porter (1894–1961). His mother was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and his father was born in Central Falls, Providence County, Rhode Island. He had a sister Lucy Gwendolyn Alden (1923–2001), also born in Fall River, Mass. Ernest Jr.’s paternal grandmother was also born in Canada. By 1930, the family had settled in New Jersey. After enlisting, and most likely while stationed in Arizona with the United States Army Air Force, Ernest met and married Nora L. Stevens on March 6, 1943, in Maricopa County, Arizona. First Lieutenant Ernest Henry Alden Jr. was killed in action March 22, 1945, on a flight to the Heiligenstadt marshalling yards near Vienna, Austria. Ernest was a radar observer on a B-24 and served with the 782nd Bombardment Squadron, 465th Bombardment Group. On March 22, 1945, Ernest’s B24 Liberator bomber was shot down. The aircraft was B24L bomber serial number #44-49566, call letter Yellow "X" from the 782nd Squadron. This plane carried a 12-man crew. Ten were captured and held as prisoners of war until they were liberated by the Russians. Lt Osborn and Sgt. Galbraith were held in a Vienna Military hospital. Lt Alfred H. Maas and Ernest Alden were killed. The plane was hit by flak in the #3 engine and on fire but did not explode but went into a gentle diving turn to the right. The aircraft crashed south west of Vienna. In this picture from July 1944, Ernest is third from the left in the front row. Caption reads: Front Row, Left to Right: Charles Porter, pilot; Joe Ward, co-pilot; Ernest Alden Jr., navigator, and unknown experienced co- pilot from another crew. Back Row, Left to Right: Frank Najuch, flight engineer; Laver (unknown first name and position); Leo McLaughlin, gunner; James Carroll, radio operator; Paul Walsh, gunner, and Eugene Lester, gunner. This crew flew a radar-equipped plane to Italy in July of 1944. Carroll and Lester were killed on January 8, 1945, shortly after take-off, flying with another crew. Alden was temporarily transferred to the 465th Bomb Group for advanced PFF (radar) training and was killed while flying with that group on a mission to Vienna (Helingenstadt marshalling yards) on March 22, 1945 (photo courtesy of: Ernest’s widow Nora, resided in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona at the time of Ernest’s death. Ernest was initially interred in Belgium and the family chose to repatriate his remains. His body was returned from Neuville-en-Condroz, Liege, Belgium and reinterred February 5, 1951, at the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey.
Ernest Henry Alden Jr.
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