Select Page


RG1392.AM:  Merle E. Bouges

Reminiscences:  Undated

Portland, Maine and Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska:  B-29 Gunner during World War II

Size:  Two items


Merle E. Bouges, a Portland, Maine native, was drafted into the United States Army at age nineteen on September 15, 1943, and was selected for flight training in the Air Corps. Thus began a forty year Air Force career.

After basic training, aviation cadet training, special training on B-29 bombers, and aerial gunner school, Bouges flew eighteen combat missions over Japan during the spring and summer of 1945 as a Central Fire Control Gunner. After the war, he and his wife settled in Lincoln, Nebraska where he was a member of the Nebraska Air National Guard until 1964. After ten years on Standby Reserve and another ten years on Retired Reserve, Bouges retired from the Air Force in 1984.


This collection consists of two reminiscences of Merle E. Bouges. This material relates to the World War II gunner career of Bouges. During the war, Bouges served as a gunner for eighteen combat missions over Japan. His training and the missions are described in one of the reminiscences entitled, “You Want Be A Pilot?” A second reminiscence entitled, “A.W.O.L. from Lincoln Army Air Base,” recounts Bouges’ experiences during assignment in Lincoln, Nebraska from January 15 to February 21, 1945. During that time, Bouges considered going A.W.O.L. to visit his fiancee. His future wife, Pauline, dissuaded him of this plan.

Accession Number:  1990.0764



  1. “You Want Be A Pilot?”

  2. “A.W.O.L. from Lincoln Army Air Base”


Subject headings:

Lancaster County (Nebraska) — History

Lincoln (Nebraska) — History


United States — Air Force

United States — Armed Forces — Aerial gunners

World War, 1939-1945 — Personal narratives


AIP/ksa                       12-1990

Revised TMM        01-25-2007