Emil Gerlt Jr. was the engineer on the James McConnaughey crew.
According to the MACR#7634 report, this was the crew when the aircraft was shot down on August 17, 1944, 4 months after the photo was taken.
Pilot James R. McConnaughey, 2nd Lt.
Co Pilot Nathan Dopp, 2nd, Lt.
Navigator Russel H. Deppe, 2nd Lt.
Bombardier George A Savage, Jr. 2nd Lt.
Eng. Gnr- Emil Gerlt Jr., S/Sgt.
Opr. Gnr- Elmer J. Shriver, S/Sgt.
Arm. Gnr- Thomas F. Harkin, Sgt.
Arm. Gnr- Fred E. Leggett, Sgt.
Arm. Gnr- Kenneth F. Kaffenberger, Sgt.
Arm. Gnr- Paul E. Nesbitt, Sgt.
Aircraft number 42-78206, DESERT FURY was on a high altitude mission from San Pancrazio, Italy and their target was the Astra Romana oil refinery at Ploesti, Romania. The pilot was hit by flak, and an engine caught fire. The aircraft crashed near Makhalata, Bulgaria. S/Sgt. Emil Gerlt Jr. received a Silver Star for getting a wounded crewman out of the plane as it went down.