Joseph F. Tierney


Joe Tierney III

Joseph F. Tierney 1919- 2003

Hello, I am Joe Tierney III, and this is a web site devoted to my grandfather, Joseph F. Tierney.  I always wondered what he did in the war.  I knew he was in the United States Army Air Force, but I never knew what was between the lines.  This project has opened a a whole new view for my grandfather.  Sadly I never had the chance to speak to my grandfather about his war experience because of his tragic death on June 9, 2003.  But he had many records and books of his flights.  My father, Joseph F. Tierney Jr. helped me along with way. He knows a great deal about what he did during the war.  So we sat down and conducted an interview.  I never though it would be so intriguing but every little fact had me more and more interested in the life of my grandfather.

During World War II Joseph F. Tierney was put into the United States Army Air Force after serving in the National Guard and the Coast Artillery.  He got out of the National Guard when the war came and went to the Coast Artillery. At the Coast Artillery, at Fort Heath in Massachusetts, he was in charge of 40 inch guns out in the harbor.  Every Friday on Fort Heath, they would practice firing the monstrous guns.  It made such a loud noise that the compressions would shatter windows on houses and even damage houses. He rose the ranks becoming first sergeant, appointed on September 1, 1942, then second grade.  He became Sergeant Battery "A" of the 241st Coast Artillery.

Another Friday at Fort Heath

Aiming the Guns At Fort Heath


Perpairing to Fire

Soldiers on Fort Heath

After his service in the Coast Artillery, he joined the Army Air Corps.  He would be trained in Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. After training, he went to Texas to begin to become what they call a heavy bombardier.  A heavy was just a big bomber plane.  When all training was complete, he was ready for active combat and was shipped to England in October 1943.  

It was the 8th Air Forces 392nd B-24 Bombardment Group that flew out of Wendling's air field, England. Joseph was part of the group.  In the 392nd, he flew on Alfred II, a B-24 liberator.  He was the bombardier.  He was responsible for all guns on board and making sure all .50 caliber machine guns were in proper order,  also making sure all bombs were prepped for take off, and then he had to find the target and destroy it, once in the air.

Here is a picture I drew of Joseph's B-24's plane's name, Alfred

Joseph F. Tierney flew 28 missions out of Wendling, all over Nazi Germany from December 1943 to March 1944.  He went on missions over the skies of Ludwigshafen, Kiel, Frankfurt, Gotha, Bernberg, Berlin, and had an accident in Switzerland. Just a little fact, on Tierney's 23rd mission, the B-24 liberators were supposed to be bombing a chemical factory in Ludwigshafen, Germany. They completely missed their designated target by about 120 miles southeast.  They had accidentally bombed a remote part of the Swiss city Schaffhausen.  A total of 1184   #100 bombs were dropped in the zone.  This wasn't the 392nd fault, they were in fact following another bomb group that led them off target.  The bombardment group they followed got the heat.

Bombs away!! over the skies of Nazi Germany
Nearing the end of Joseph's Army Air Force bombing campaign of Nazi Germany, he was awarded numerous medals. He was awarded, The Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and the Distinguished Unit Badge for the mission at Gotha on February 24, 1944 in which many of his comrades fell in the line of duty.  As you will see in the picture below, it reads:

"To whom it may concern:
                This is to certify the 1st Lieutenant Joseph F. Tierney, 0679181 has successfully completed a tour of combat duty against Nazi Germany with this Liberator group.   For this distinguished service and outstanding performance of duty  he has been awarded the decorations inscribed in the certificate."

                Lorin L. Johnson
                Colonel, Air Corps

Joseph Tierney being awarded a distinguished flying cross after the flight over Gotha (left)

Joseph Tierney as you know was a member of the 392nd Bombardment Group over Germany in the 8th Army Air Force.  He kept in touch with his crew on Alfred II.  His name is on the Collins fFundation, on the only flying  B-24 as a distinguished flying member. The foundation tours the  United States and I myself have been on the plane.  Joseph Tierney also toured England and revisited Wendling in the 1980's.  He also revisited Fort Heath where some pictures were taken.


Joseph back at Fort Heath in the 1980's

The Alfred II crew. Joeseph is in the back row middle left.

Left left to right; Joseph F. Tierney, Joseph F. Tierney III, Joseph F. Tierney Jr.

Page made by Joe Tierney III


Offical Website of the 392nd Bomb Group
"nose art", Offical Website of the 392nd Bomb Group  ,  3/4/04

Tierney Jr., Tierney
Interview conducted in Feburary 2004