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Remembering World War II
Aaron S. Cummings
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Name: Aaron S. Cummings Rank: First Lieutenant Service Number: 12134808, O-750122 Service: 491st Bomb Squadron, 341st Bomb Group (Medium), 14th Air Force, USAAF Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: May 31, 1916 Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York, New York Date of Enlistment: August 19, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Newark, New Jersey Address at Enlistment: Passaic, Passaic County, New Jersey Age at Enlistment: 26 Height: 5 feet, 7 inches Complexion: Ruddy Hair Color: Black Eye Color: Brown Occupation: Unknown Marital Status: Married Religion: Jewish Next of Kin: Marjorie B. Cummings (Wife) Date of Death: September 5, 1944 Age: 28 Cemetery: Congregation Sons of Israel (Hebrew) Cemetery, Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia Aaron S. Cohen Cummings was the son of William Cohen (1887-1936) and Sarah Diamond Cohen. Aaron’s Hebrew name was Zalman Aharon ben Zev HaCohen. His father was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Aaron registered for the US Draft on October 16, 1940, in Richmond, Virginia, where he was living at the time, and working at the CD Kenny Company. He listed his cousin Nathan Cummings with CD Kenny Co. in Baltimore, Maryland as his contact. Aaron married Marjorie B. Cummings (At the time of Aaron’s death, she was living at 425 Park Ave in Patterson, NJ). Enlisting in August of 1942, Aaron was assigned to the 491st Bomb Squadron, of the 341st Medium Bomb Group. After moving to Chakulia Air Base, the 491st began combat operations with its first mission January 10, 1943. For the remainder of the year the squadron was primarily tasked with interdicting Japanese lines of communication in Burma. The Squadron was reassigned along with HQ 341st and 22nd Bombardment Squadron (M) to 14th Air Force in China, January 1944. Again, the primary tasking was interdiction of Japanese lines of communication in China and eastern French Indochina (now Vietnam). In addition to strikes against airfields, bivouac and storage areas, and bridges, they performed target of opportunity sweeps along roads, rivers and over the Gulf of Ton kin and the South China Sea. Aaron was serving as Bombardier on B-25 (Serial #49-3948) on September 5, 1944, during a night raid to bomb targets in Canton/Hong Kong area. Three B-25s from the 491st Bomb Squadron took part. One B-25 bombed Kowloon targets, including Kai Tak airfield, and a second B-25 bombed the town of Samshui in Canton area, but Aaron’s aircraft crashed and burned five minutes after takeoff for unknown reasons. The entire crew was lost including Pilot Lieutenant Hunt, 2nd Lieutenant John W. Lesher, Jr., 2nd Lt. Lawrence E. Anderson, 1st Lt. Robert W. Julian, 1st Lt. Aaron S. Cummings, Sgt. Frank L. Berger, Sgt. Edward F. Certly, and Sgt. Herbert D. Curriden. Aaron’s family chose to repatriate his remains and he is interred at the Hebrew Cemetery in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He is also remembered on the Monument to the Aviation Martyrs in the War of Resistance Against Japan, in China. The Cemetery inscription translated: Here Is Buried AARON S. CUMMINGS Canada 1st Lieutenant 491 AAF Bomb Sq World War II May 31, 1915 September 5, 1944 Reb. Zalman Aharon bar Zev HaCohen Passed away 17 Elul 5704 May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life. Cohen