Biography of Tzolag A. Aaronian

S/Sgt, 565th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, KIA, WWII, USAAF

    My dear 1st Cousin, S/Sgt Tzolag A. Aaronian, served with 389th BG, 565th BS during World War II.  He was killed in action. It's still painful after 51 years to talk about him without shedding a few tears.

    We did not know the circumstances of his loss until recently. Not knowing the circumstances of how, where, and why a loved one died can be very painful, especially if they have been MIA. I was very fortunate to find out just a few years ago that my 1st Cousin, S/Sgt Tzolag A. Aaronian, 389th BG, 565th BS was killed when he bailed over Sevelen, Germany on 19 Feb 1945. His B-24 was the only heavy bomber, B-17 or B-24, lost by the 8th AF on the Operation mission of 19 Feb 1945.

     I found out through the Missing Air Crew Report when it became available to the public in 1986 that his B-24 lost all instruments and #1 engine at 22000 feet just South of Gronningen, Holland while on the way to bomb a Tiger Tank repair facility at Jungenthal (near Kirchen). The prop on #1 engine would not feather. They started to lose altitude very rapidly because of the unfeathered prop and decided to try to reach Allied lines at around miles to the South near Krefeld. When they thought that they were over Allied lines, they were down to around 2500 feet altitude and the pilot gave the bailout order. They were actually over the German front lines and 8 of the crew were captured. Cousin Tzolag was MIA. There was a casualty statement in the MACR by the Flight Engineer, Bruno Salazar who stated that he bailed right before Aaronian and saw him bail out the right front bombay. He watched him fall through space and never saw his chute open finally losing sight of him in the ground mist.

   His parachute failed to open. I was ably to locae an eyewitness to his death, a German woman who was 13 in 1945. My cousin struck the ground a few hundred meters in front of her parents farmhouse while she watched in horror.

   I found out through the Dept of the Army Personnel that his remains were recovered at Sevelen, Germany in Sept 1947. I didn't find out until 1981 that he was buried in the Ardennes Cemetery. His brother found out in 1947 that Tzolag's remains had been found but kept it secret from his parents and my family because he felt it would have been too traumatic for all of is. I think he did the right thing.

----- George Kasparian




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