An Airman's Story: Staff Sergeant Francis Pershing McNamara

Staff Sergeant Francis Pershing McNamara was born on February 19, 1943, in Pollagh, Ireland.

He immigrated to the U.S. at one month old aboard the USS Baltic and grew up in Parma, Ohio.

Staff Sergeant Francis McNamara enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Services on March 19, 1942, in response to World War II and was trained as an ariel gunner. He was assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group and deployed to the Pacific theater.

On May 27, 1943, during a rescue mission, the plane he was on, the Green Hornet, crashed into the Pacific. Staff Sergeant Francis McNamara, First Lieutenant Russell Allen Phillips, and First Lieutenant Louis Zamperini were the only survivors and were adrift in the ocean.

After 33 days, on June 30, 1943, Staff Sergeant Francis Pershing McNamara succumbed to starvation and exposure and was buried at sea. He is memorialized in the Court of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.


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