B26.COM Guest Book Pages & Links

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Date:
12/31/2003
Time:
7:52 PM
 
Roy R Bozych BombGp: 323rd Squadron: 454th Squadron Historian Comments: Connie Vignochi - Have a little bit of a surprise for you. Checked the records for the 323rd Bomb Group and it turns out your father Raymond Vignochi actually flew with the 454th Bomb Squadron not the 455th. "Stinkin Clinkin" was one of the original 14 planes that made up the 454th when it was formed at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana, April 11,1943. Serial # was 41-34713. Radio call sign/Code was RJ-D. 41-34713 was a B-26C-6-MO. Made in Omaha, Nebraska; it was one of only 60 B-26's that had single controls instead of the normal dual controls of most B-26 bombers. An unsuccessful experiment that the Army Air Corps and Martin tried. "Stinkin Clinkin" came to its end on 11/23/43 over St. Omer, France when a falling bomb from another B-26 hit it killing the pilot, Lt. David Webb, Lt. Ernest Pollard, Sgt. Edward Palmer, Sgt. George Coursen, & Sgt. Allen Ferris. My father was also a tail gunner in the 454th. Would love to discuss with you, your Dad's collection. Roy Bozych - Historian 323rd B.G./454th B.S.

Date:
12/31/2003
Time:
11:57 AM
 
Comments: Happy New Year to you all. Greetings from Little Hallingbury. Essex. England. A B26 crashed in a field of South House Farm. Little Hallingbury, during WW11. A few years back the pilot visited my friend David Robartes who farms South House Farm to visit the site. Little Hallingbury Village History Society - www.anvil.clara.net - would love to hear from ANYBODY connected with, or knows about this event. Best Wishes from Essex - England - John Meyer

Date:
12/31/2003
Time:
6:08 AM
 
Comments: Dear Chester, In reading your excellent records of the 386th you show the award of a DSC to 2L Wilma Caldwell flying 41- 34971. This award does not appear against his name in the ABMC records. Perhaps a word from you will put this right. Bob Markham

Date:
12/30/2003
Time:
1:26 PM
 
Ronald Macklin  BombGp: 17th Squadron: 34th Years: 4 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: The man that claimed that the 386th had more missions than other group may look at the 17th. We flew 606 missions. If 386th has more then he is correct. We flew first mission on Dec 30, 1942 and last on May 1, 1945.

Date:
12/30/2003
Time:
9:52 AM
 
Comments: I want to thank you for your photos and history on the B-26. I currently work at Florida Crushed Stone in Brooksville Florida. This company was built from the ground by F. Browne Gregg (whom you posted a photo of). He since sold the company and I never met him, but I give him great respect both for defending our great nation and for building a great company. Thank you, Edward Seifried

Date:
12/30/2003
Time:
8:14 AM
 
BombGp: 450 Squadron: 322 Comments: I have a photograph of Marauder 41-18122 'El Diablo', I believe the unit code reads 'W9-1' although the 9 may be an 8 (there is a heavy shadow from the tailplane obscuring part of the code). I know that this a/c served at Andrews Field with 450 BG when it was coded 'ER-U'. Does anyone have a history of this a/c who could tell me of its time after it left Andrews Field. Did it go to 3 CCRC at Toome, Northern Ireland before being shipped back to he States? Thank you. David Williams

Date:
12/28/2003
Time:
6:12 AM
 
Comments: Hi Chester, Thanks for your reply to my request ref. southern ferry route losses of 4th June 43. your story about the northern route via bluie-west one is an eye-opener, thanks for sharing it. keep up the good work. Steve Jones

Date:
12/27/2003
Time:
1:18 PM
 
Ian Hogg BombGp: RAF Squadron: 14 SQDN Years: 1944 Class: Location: Manitoba, Canada Comments: Trevor, Wondered if you had any information on my uncle's Squadron in North Africa. He was an RCAF pilot flying in RAF Squadron 14 in North Africa and patrolling the Mediterranean with old American B-26s. The pictures I included are from his check out by an RAF pilot in April 1944 at Grottaglie?

Date:
12/27/2003
Time:
4:24 AM
 
Raymond Vignochi BombGp: 323 Squadron: 455 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My father Raymond Vignochi was a tailgunner on Stinkin Clinkin. I have many photos including his diary. I found your site and seen a Paul Clouting was looking for info on this group and squadon. I can be reached. I have a lot to give.  Oh, by the way, the Stinking Clinkin had "The Red Wop" on it representing my father Sgt. Raymond Vignochi under the tailgunner position.  Connie Vignochi

Date:
12/26/2003
Time:
6:56 PM
 
Comments: Tony Vital, here is the info you were looking for on "Jill Flitter" The serial # was 41-34857. Radio call sign/Code is RJ-O. Type aircraft was a B-26C-10-MO It was made at Omaha, Nebraska and delivered to The Army Air Corps on March 28, 1943 at a cost of $181,098.00. It was one of the original planes that formed the 454th Squadron at Earls Colne, England the summer of 43'. It participated in the D-Day mission on June 6, 1944 and took part in the final mission of the 323rd Bomb Group, April 25, 1945, the Erding Airdrome, Germany. Bombing the airport & Me262's jet fighters based there, being one of only two planes that started and completed the war with the 454th Bomb Squadron. "Jill Flitter" survived the war having completed 195 missions. It was dropped from inventory as salvage on 6/18/45 and destroyed at Landsberg, Germany. An unfortunate end for a splendid aircraft. I'll try and find a current address for the crewmember you were looking for and get back to you. Roy Bozych - Historian 323rd B.G./454th B.S.

Martin B-26 Marauder - Jill Flitter


Date:
12/24/2003
Time:
11:55 PM
 
James B. Colvert  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554th  Years: 1942-45 Class: 44D Location: Altus, OK Comments: I was an A-26 pilot flying in Capt. Carl Oates's flight on the April 12, 1945 mission to the Kemptem Ordnance Depot. This is the mission described by Chester Klier, 386 BG historian. My gunner was the late James Callery. The mission was notably unsuccessful, as historian Klier notes, because of the extremely bad weather in the target area. I believe I was flying Capt. Oates's right wing, as I remember seeing his bomb bay doors open unexpectedly shortly before we salvoed the bombs over a wooded area, as ordered (by radio from Group Headquarters presumably).

James, you were flying in the high flight number three position in the the second box. Your flight had seven ships. Your plane number was 563 RU-A. You were flying off the left wing of Captain Dickson. His bombardier claimed to have bombed at Kaufbeuren, Germany. In reality the bombs landed in nearby Mimmingin, impacting across the road dangerously close to an allied officers P.O.W. camp. However no injuries were recorded. For bomber formation data go to my web page and click on formation diagrams, then click on number 8. You will see mission number 395, click on that.

Tallyho!

Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th Bomb Group Group

Date:
12/24/2003
Time:
10:52 PM
 
Tom Bond  BombGp: 344 Squadron: 494 Years: 43-44 Comments: Just sending a happy holidays to all the vets and their families, I am sure if my dad was still here he would love this site because I certainly do. Thank you all so much. My dad was Tom Bond - Bomb group 344th, plane Georgia On My Mind His web page has many pictures of different planes and people.  Again a very happy holiday and new year, Margaret DeWitt (Bond)

Date:
12/23/2003
Time:
5:54 PM
 
Andy Anderson Comments: On this date in 1944, 36 B-26s of the 397th BG took off enroute to attack the Eller RR bridge. Eleven of those did not return. At this time of giving thanks and remembering our blessings we should remember their dedication and sacrifice. Wynn Anderson

Date:
12/23/2003
Time:
5:35 PM
 
Domitillo Lucero  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 574 Years: 1943-44 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My dad was the engineer-gunner on a B-26, which was shot down on Dec. 23, 1944 on Mission # 203, Ahweiler, Germany railroad viaduct. I have learned that the pilot, P. Woods was able to get the aircraft back within friendly territory; the aircraft number I believe was "42-95818-4L-L". I have been puzzled by what had transpired upon crash-landing, where, and what hospital was he transported to from the aircraft. See he spent many, many months with medical care, and was still spitting shrapnel from his lips in the early sixties (my childhood memories). The other thing is, did the aircraft have a name, "Scolded Dog" or some other name similar to that. I have recently learned, that "JJ Hancock" has recently passed on, and this now leaves only two surviving crew from this craft. My father, and Fred Christensen. I sure would like to get as much information as I can, regarding his medical care upon crash-landing, and hopefully the aircraft's name. Thanks to all who have contributed to this web site, and to those responsible for keeping it alive. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Date:
12/23/2003
Time:
2:20 PM
 
David Westheimer  BombGp: 98th Squadron: 344th Years: 1941-1945 Class: 43-4 Location: Turner Field Comments: B24 navigator, POW with several B26 types.
 
"Sitting It Out" is an exceptional story.  If you respect the military and the people who volunteer to do the jobs  few people seem to want to do, read Sitting It Out.  If it wasn't for David Westheimer and those like him, the world as we know it today would not be the same. 

Date:
12/22/2003
Time:
10:36 PM
 
Lou Offenberg BombGp: 344th Squadron: 495th Years: 3 Class: 43-1 Comments: I was the lead navigator for the 344th BG on D-Day> Our B-26 the "Mary Jo" was the first 9th AF bomber to drop bombs @ 6:19am on Utah Beach on D-Day. B-26 #876.

See Bob Witty's page

Date:
12/22/2003
Time:
4:30 PM
 
BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: Great site... My Father flew 50+ missions Thanks, Chris Pritchard

Date:
12/22/2003
Time:
9:59 AM
 
Francis Short  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 450 Years: '44-'45 Comments: I was with the ground crew of the 322nd and stationed in England. It has always been interesting to read the entries on your site. They bring back many memories. I saw Ralph Woolf's recent posting and looked at their website as well. Wow!-what a great site. The stories are amazing and the photos are stunning. You should place a link to these guys' site. It has to be the finest B-26 unit site that I have seen. My congratulations to the 320th group members for a job well done.

Date:
12/21/2003
Time:
3:59 PM
 
Maurice Wade BombGp: 17 Squadron: 432 Years: 1942-1945 Class: ? Location: Barksdale   Comments: this message is in reference to T/Sgt. Leo Green. My father was in the 432, 17th. He was a Eng. gunner. North Africa, France Italy. He flew 74 missions- 64 combat with 301 combat hrs. His name was Jesse Wade. He was from Oklahoma. My dad passed away July of 2000. I have a picture of the crew he flew with. LT. Boley, LT. Barton, Lt. Pratt, SGT. Wallace, SGT. Crocker. As so many men, dad never talked about the war. So any information, would be most appreciated.

Date:
12/21/2003
Time:
1:01 PM
 
Comments: I'm researching a number of Marauder crew losses which occurred on 4 June 1943 as part of operation 'Ugly' - the ferry flights from US to UK via North Africa. Have contact with some of the families of the crews involved, but would like to find out more about the actual procedures for these flights and have some questions regarding mixed crews. Would welcome any feed back from Marauder crews who made these flights, or knew the crews listed below. Names of crews involve: Lt. Robert Lawrence (92 BG)? Lt. Hulbert Robertson (64 TCG)? 41-34765 crashed Wales FO James Jackson (335 BG) Sgt. William Brown Lt. John Reiss (All 449BS Lt. Eugene Carby 322BG) 41-18252 crashed Wales Lt. Earl Shoop 'Mi Laine' Sgt. Shoemaker Lt. Steele 41-34718 f/landed Ireland 41-34722 crashed Devon 41-34738 " Yorks. Steve Jones, South Wales

Marauder Ferry Flight Losses Comments: Hello Steve: Read your request with interest concerning the loss of crews ferrying B-26's to the UK. You mentioned flights via the North Africa route. My squadron lost one ship flying the route to Scotland. The name of the pilot was Lt. J.G. Newton, the name of his plane was, "STINGRAY". His crew was lost on Thursday, June 3, 1943. You can read the full account of this loss on my web page listed below, click on Bluie West One. They went down en route to Iceland. On another day my crew flew through a column of smoke from a B-26 that had crashed just ahead of us as we came in on final approach to Meeks Field in Iceland. We were told later that the plane was being flown by a ferry crew, not a regular B-26 flight crew.

Tallyho!

Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th Bomb Group Group

Date:
12/21/2003
Time:
12:52 PM
 
Comments: I looking for the names of the crew of a 555bs, 386th BG Marauder shot down on the 18/6/44 over Caen. The only survivors were Bob Perkins and Sam Cochran both 555BS, who were the other members of the crew who were KIA. Pete Oliver, B26 fan

Capt. Perkins, Lt. Cochran crew. Email: BombGp: 386th Squadron: 555th Comments: Hello Pete: The Perkins crew was shot down on July 18, 1944. It was the 69th mission for Captain Robert Perkins. His co-pilot was Lt. Samuel Cochran, on this particular mission Cochran was flying in the left seat. Perkins was serving as co-pilot. It was Group mission number 232. The target was in the Caen, France area. "MISS X" was the name of their plane, tail number 296324. The crew listing: Capt. Perkins pilot, Lt. Cochran co-pilot. T/Sgt. Adolpho Lopez radioman, S/Sgt. Leo Kirk tail gunner, S/sgt. Ted Coyle engineer, and S/Sgt. Edward Murray bombardier. All of the enlisted men were killed when their plane exploded in the air. If you would care to learn more about the 386th B.G. operations check out my web page listed below. At present there are 86 stories and 79 bomber formation diagrams, plus 10 pages of photos.

Tallyho!

Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th Bomb Group Group

Date:
12/21/2003
Time:
7:05 PM
 
Arthur Rabinowitz  BombGp: 397 Squadron: 597 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ETO Comments: My father, Lt. Arthur Rabinowitz, served as a bombardier/navigator and I am curious as to the where abouts of any individuals who may have served with and remember him. Barry M. Rabinowitz

Date:
12/20/2003
Time:
5:42 PM
 
John C. Dinou BombGp: 344 Squadron: 496 Years: '42 to '45 Class: 43K Location: Brooks Field Comments: The most exciting thing that happened to me is, I received the DFC on February, 2002. That's right, 2002. For action on Oct. 4, 1944. One week later, they sent me my discharge papers. I have been trying to collect 58 years of back pay.

Date:
12/20/2003
Time:
2:17 PM
 
Wessley Turner BombGp: 22 Squadron: 69th Years: 42-43 Comments: Aircraft mechanic and crew chief in Pacific Enjoyed the site.

Date:
12/19/2003
Time:
7:05 PM
 
Orrel R. Buckler BombGp: 397 Squadron: 597 Years: 1942-1946 Class: 42-J Location: Oxnard, California Comments: Dear Trevor, My Father-in-Law, Major Orrel R. Buckler (Now deceased) piloted, B-26F-1-MA "Innocence Abroad", serial number 42-96278. I recently have been looking at an old photo album which was given to my wife which includes lots of pictures, newspaper articles, cards etc. I know through my research that "Innocence Abroad" sustained heavy flak damage on August 11, 1944 and he along with his crew had to abandon the craft. Then Capt. Buckler received some injuries but I don't know any thing about the circumstances surrounding the event or the well being of his crew. If you have any information it would be greatly appreciated as Major Buckler never spoke a lot of his WW2 experience and nobody ever really brought it up including my self which I regret. Additionally, maybe you could point me in the right direction towards this research. Sincerely, Warren Emerson, Hollywood, Florida

Dear Warren - thank you for your enquiry concerned Orrel Buckler and the incident of August 11th 1944. I am intrigued how you identified 42-96278 coded 9F-X as "Innocence Abroad". You mentioned in your email many photographs your wife has, was a picture of this B26 amongst them?

The reason I ask is that "Innocents Abroad" (note the spelling) was 42-96194 coded 9F-S and continued to fly well into 1945. You are quite correct however that 42-96278 was the B26 that was flak damaged on August 11th and abandoned over airstrip B-10.

Regards,
Trevor

Date:
12/19/2003
Time:
1:42 PM
 
John E. Bernhard BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 43-45 Class: 1943 Location: Barksdale Comments: My father was a armorer-gunner.  The pilot he trained with was Lt. Cordes. My father was part of 16 sorties on June 2-25,1945 and one combat mission on June 5, 1944, two of the sorties was on June 6, 1944.  My father passed away when I was only a year old and I don't know much about him. I have all his flight logs and a picture of him and crew at Barksdale base dated March 44, if any one has any information about him or pictures of his crew, any planes or other information please contact me. Thanks, Gerald H. Bernhard

Date:
12/18/2003
Time:
11:10 PM
 
Irl J. Klinginsmith BombGp: 445th Squadron: 702 Years: '42-'45   Comments: I am trying to locate any information about a buddy of mine that I went to school with for 10 yrs. Know he went down with his plane, but don't know particulars. His name was Jay Lee Schoonover from Lucerne, MO and he was a B-26 pilot. Jay Lee was a B-26 pilot.  I just don't have any information on him at all except that.  He was seen going down in his plane into the water and didn't return. ( I was a gunner in a B-24 that got shot down.)  I was shot down over Belgium and was a POW for over a year. Any information would be appreciated.  Irl J. Klinginsmith

Date:
12/18/2003
Time:
8:10 PM
 
Comments: Mr. Allen-The 394 Bomb Group was stationed at Ardmore Army Air Field, Oklahoma, in 1943 for a short time while training combat crews. I am sure you are already aware of this. A webpage about Ardmore Army Air Field's contribution to the war effort can be viewed at http://www.brightok.net/~gsimmons. I appreciate all the time you have expended to record the history of the men who flew the B-26s. If you feel the Ardmore site is worthy of a link from your site to add a little more history, please feel free to do so.   Gary D. Simmons

Date:
12/18/2003
Time:
7:18 PM
 
Comments: Looking for info on The B-26 known as "Jill Flitter", of the 454th Bomb Sqdn, 323rd Bomb Grp. Particularly crew member with last name of Izdebski from New Bedford, Mass. I went into the A.F. with his younger brother Frank in 1952. He became a member of a B-29 flight crew as an aerial gunner.  Tony Vital

Date:
12/17/2003
Time:
9:04 PM
 
BombGp: 397 Squadron: 599 Years: 1944 Comments: William E. Bower crash with the B26 near the town Demerath/ Germany. Pilot was Mont Stephensen.  All nine crew members were killed.  On the crash place I established an intending cross. Kind regards from Germany, Hermann-Josef Stolz / Historian

Date:
12/17/2003
Time:
9:55 PM
 
The United States Army, Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii acknowledges the Staff of B26.COM with a Certificate of Appreciation "for your immeasurable support of the CILHI and its mission to return our Nation's fallen comrades home to their families with honor."
 
Thank you Trevor Allen, Chester Klier and John Moench, Martin B-26 Historians and Staff of B26.COM.

Date:
12/17/2003
Time:
4:20 PM
 
Paul Scott  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: 4 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My father was Paul Scott, bombardier on a B26 on D Day. Some might remember him as the tall blonde man who played the bass fiddle in the band. I know he was in Tampa at MacDill. I have a photo of him at the DOn Cesar Hotel in St Petersburg. He joined the Army in 41...was shipped to England...met my mother a married her in August, 1945, after DDay. He was from Cedartown, Georgia. I have records that say he dropped the first bomb on a Nazi tank on D Day. Does anyone remember my father? He passed away in 1979...and it missed so much. If only I had asked more of his past, he always had a good story to tell!! I would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have remembered him. Take care and God bless Linda Scott
 
Hello Linda: I remember seeing your dad playing bass fiddle at the Group dances, They were called, Jive Bombers. He flew on "D" Day, June 6, 1944. It was Group mission number 194. His pilot that day was Lt. Hodge with plane number 296116 AN-A. They flew in the low flight number 3 position in the first box of 17 planes. Each plane carried 16 x 250 pound demolition bombs. The target was a defended position at Utah Beach. The location was La Madeleine, France. Altitude was 4500 feet under an overcast sky, visibility 12 miles. It was bombs away at 0624 hours--just six minutes before the troops hit the beaches. Bombing reasults were rated as good. The bomb run heading was 150 degrees at 185 m.p.h. Your dad fired his machine gun at a German armored car just southwest of their target. His crew reported seeing a B-17 ditched in the English Channel with a rescue ship standing by. If you wish to learn more about the 386th Bomb Group, click on my web page as listed below. There are 87 stories, 79 bomber formation diagrams, and ten pages of photos. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm Tallyho, Chester P. Klier--Histoerian, 386th B.G.

Date:
12/17/2003
Time:
1:57 PM
 
Simon Enzor BombGp: 391st Squadron: 574th Years: 44-45 Class: ? Location: ? Send: send Date: 17 Dec 2003 Time: 13:57:14 Remote Name: 148.8.54.59 Comments: Have received WONDERFUL responses from people about my dad's plane "JINX". In an interview, Simon Enzor (called "Snake" by his buddies) says the nose art on one side of the plane was a picture of "a cat biting Hitler in the rear end" and on the other side was "a picture of a boot with a snake or a snake's remains wrapped around it". Does that trigger any memories for anyone our there? Still hoping to find a photo and serial number of JINX. You have all been so GREAT! Thanks for continuing to check your records and your photos for me. L.I. Kanthack, Eddie's daughter

Date:
12/17/2003
Time:
11:39 PM
 
Squadron: 54th Air Dis Sqd  Comments: Looking for info on a SSgt Thomas Hall assigned to the 54th at the end of the war. He was a POW and died in Germany just at the end of the war. Writing a book about all the men from my county in Nebraska who died in WWII. Any help would be appreciated. I'm retired from the USAF. SMSgt Larry Brooks

Date:
12/16/2003
Time:
6:26 AM
 
Comments: Hello and congrats on a great site! I found an error and something missing, however. First, the error: You said that in 1906 Traian Vuia's (incidentally the correct spelling of the man's first name is with an "i", not a "j") plane did not fly. However, according to the FAA it flew at a height of one meter for a distance of twelve meters, making it the first autonomous flight (not aided by tracks, inclines, or pulled by animals to help it take off). See the US government site: http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Explorers_Record_Setters_and_Daredevils/Bleriort_1909/EX1.htm for more information. And now for the missing part: Henri Coanda built and flew the first jet propelled airplane in 1910, some 30 years earlier than the date you mention as the first jet engine flight (see: http://www.sciencedaily.com/encyclopedia/Henri_Coanda). Keep up the good work and thanks for a great site! Regards, Marina

Date:
12/15/2003
Time:
2:12 PM
 
Comments: I am a friend and fellow bowler with Lee Goodwin. He flew in the 454th and 456th. He is a past President of the local Bowlers' Association. I am proud and honored to bowl with him and know him as a friend. Lee, if you read this, I read your piece so I am ready to be quizzed on it the next meeting you see me at. Your friend, Thomas McClammy, Pensacola, Florida

Date:
12/14/2003
Time:
10:27 PM
 
Orvill Moritz  BombGp: 320 Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: Hello, My father was a crew chief, I believe. I would like any information you may have. He passed away in 1995. Thank you and many blessings. Lisa Moritz

Date:
12/14/2003
Time:
1:39 PM
 
Frank A Parravani  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 575 Years: 44-45 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My Dad, Frank A Parravani, was a navigational bombardier. I can only remember one pilot he ever talked about and that was Jack Hoar. I would like to know more information on this Squadron, if anyone knew either of these two men please e-mail me. Susan Lowthian

Date:
12/12/2003
Time:
11:09 AM
 
Ed Mysicka  BombGp: 319 Squadron: 440 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: Nice site for the forgotten Martin B-26.  Mike Mysicka

Date:
12/10/2003
Time:
4:27 PM
 
James Riley Rector BombGp: 397th Squadron: 599th Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: I'm looking for anyone who knew Lt. James Riley Rector, a bombardier with the 599th Squadron, 397th Bomb Group. Lt. Rector was assigned initially to the Nathan Margolies B-24 combat crew at Gowen Field as its bombardier. Sometime after the crew transferred to Peterson Field in Nov. 1943, Lt. Rector appears to have been reassigned to B-26 training. The Margolies crew (whom I'm researching) never again had a permanent bombardier during the war. I just identified Rector's unit from his photo and name. I believe Rector was from Newport News, VA, and may have died in 1995. He (and his father) is registered at the National W.W.II Memorial. Additional info about Rector is being sought. Please contact me, Walt Webb

Date:
12/10/2003
Time:
4:27 PM
 
Edward Klacik BombGp: 391 Squadron: 572nd Years: 1944-1945 Class: 1944 Location: Lake Charles, LA Comments: I am the nephew of Sgt. Edward Klacik, killed February 24th, 1945. Mission number 237, target Irlich Germany rail bridge. Aircraft number 43-34337 P2-P, pilot Captain G.T. McPherson. Plane hit by flak over target. Information provided and a special thanks to Hugh Walker, Historian of the 391st Bomb Group. Mike Madron

Date:
12/10/2003
Time:
5:33 PM
 
Joe B. Dalton BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 452nd Years: 1943 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am a niece of 2Lt. Joe B. Dalton. He was Lt. Frederick Matthew's copilot on the mission to Ijmuiden on May 17, 1943. I have very little information on the mission and about my uncle and his fellow airmen. Any help would be sincerely appreciated. Jo Porter

Date:
12/8/2003
Time:
6:22 PM
 
Jack Hastings BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449th Years: ? Class: ?Location: ? Comments: Just wanted to let you folks at B26.COM know that my Father, Mr. Jack Hastings, who was with the 322nd Bombardment Group, 449th Bomb Squadron and flew 70 Missions in the E.T.O. as a Martin B-26 Marauder Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner, passed away this last 16th of March 2003. He went peacefully and fought a very gallant fight up to the clock striking 7:58 P.M. on that Sunday evening just like a true "Marauder Man" would always do, Fight, Fight, Fight till God calls you home. During W.W.II on the 16th of August 1944, my Father's Martin B-26 Marauder (he flew on bored this aircraft on both 6 June l944 and 8 June 1944 prior to this crash) crashed on landing at Ford Airfield. The aircraft struck not only an R.A.F. Spitfire but also a Fuel Storage Bower but also a Storage Building and "BURST in to Flames". Out of a crew of 6 men, 3 perished immediately, 3 survived. 1 survivor the Radio Operator died within 72 hours. My father saved the lives of him and the Command Pilot by pulling these two men from the aircraft after they were unable to free themselves. The Command Pilot and my Father recovered and although they could have come home they agreed to stay as long as they flew EVERY mission together until the END of the war. Captain Johnny Thomas, the Command Pilot was killed on a ROUTINE training flight aboard a B-47 Bomber at March A.F.B. in 1947. My Father kept a picture of Captain Thomas in his home on display and always told people about that "ALMOST" fatal day. He absolutely "LOVED" each and everyone connected to the Martin B-26 Marauder's. Many times during the almost 5 years that my wife and I took care of my Father he talked about those men on almost a daily basis and I being a former member of the U.S.A.F. and Oklahoma Air National Guard and Vietnam Veteran myself encouraged him to tell me "everything" he could remember. We would be somewhere having breakfast, lunch or dinner and people would see the baseball cap he always wore with the Martin B-26 Marauder and picture on it. Many times they would stop and visit and INQUIRE about his time in the military. He always took the time to talk with them. I would sit there in total amazement that after ALL those years he would re-live those days as if he were right there in the thick of things. In September 2000 on the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th I had the greatest time getting to meet the men from his 449th Bomb Squadron when they all came to Oklahoma City to hold their reunion here because my Father was unable to travel. It was the most wonderful time either HE had being able to introduce me to these men finally after all those years. I had a great time and will NEVER forget those 4 days my Father and I shared with those men. They are not only his family but now they are part of me too. God Bless ALL of them, their families and loved ones as we continue to lose THESE GREAT MEN who made History during WWII. God Rest Their Souls in Heaven, Amen~!!! Thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart for the outstanding SERVICE given to the United States Of America during WWII.
 
Frederick Lee Hastings, Son of Jack Hastings
Former USAF and Oklahoma Air National Guard, TSgt
Vietnam Veteran, 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
Tan Son Nhut A.B. South Vietnam, September l969 - September 1970, Wing
Flight and Ground Safety Office

Date:
12/7/2003
Time:
6:57 PM
 
1st Lt. James W. Lemmond  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 1941-1944 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My brother was the pilot of the B-26 "Carrie B." (?) on that fateful mission of July 8, 1944 when four planes were lost. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have known him or anyone on that mission who might have information as to what happened. Thanks for this great website. Vaughn R. Lemmond
 
Vaughn - the night mission of 7th/8th July 1944 to the German headquarters at Chateau de Ribeaucourt was a disaster for the 322nd Bomb Group. This was a pathfinder mission where specially equipped B26's marked the target with flares and the B26's of the 322nd were to drop individually onto the markers. Unfortunately, the Luftwaffe had many nightfighters in the air in the area the 322nd's planes where scheduled to fly and they had a free hunt on the B26's. In the dark it was impossible to identify Marauders individually as they were shot out of the sky and consequently the only report available for your brothers loss was that they were missing in action shot down by enemy nightfighters. The crew that night were 1.Lt James W Lemmond, 2.Lt Richard H Colvin; 2.Lt Raymond F Noeth; S/Sgt Harold R Vance; S/Sgt Robert H Blackstone and S/Sgt Julius L Toth. I hope this information is of use to you. In your email you say that he was flying the B26 "Carrie B", have you any reason for thinking this? Regards, Trevor J Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
12/7/2003
Time:
6:57 PM
 
William E Bower BombGp: 397 Squadron: 599 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?   Comments: Can you provide any sources of info on: 599th bomb squadron, 397th bomb group? My mother's brother William E Bower was killed 12/23/44. I understand that day was a particularly tough mission for the unit. thanks Larry Fuller
 
Larry - the team here at b26.com can provide any information you may require on the mission of 23rd December 1944 flown by the 397th.Bomb Group. This was a very tough mission flown without fighter escort to destroy a bridge the Germans were using to bring up supplies during the Battle of the Bulge. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
12/6/2003
Time:
6:06 PM
 
George Kelly  BombGp: 17 Squadron: ? Years: 42-45 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: My Dad is T/Sgt George Kelly. He was a tail gunner B-26, stationed with the 17th in North Africa. He is in a Veterans Home in Norfolk, NE at the present. Is there someone who keeps track of the Veterans of the 17th Bomb Group? Thanks Larry

Date:
12/5/2003
Time:
5:50 PM
 
Albert L Luddeke  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 572 Years: 44-45 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My husband is anxious to know about his crew members: Lt. John Reed (pilot), Lt. Howard Stephens (Co-Pilot), Richard Hill (Bombardier), Bernard Francisco (Flight Engineer), Bernard Bailey (A Gunner). Al was the Rear Gunner and radioman. He does not know his class or Graduation Location. When I print your Web site it shows the numbers 01 to 60. I can only retrieve 01 on my screen to look at photos and mission schedule sheets. N. Luddeke for Al Luddeke

Date:
12/5/2003
Time:
2:30 PM
 
Comments: G'Day Trevor, My name is Nick Thiele. I'm currently an engineer in the Royal Australian Air Force. My father is in the process of writing his memoirs and he is stuck for information on a particular memory from his childhood. As a kid, during WWII, he recalls a B-26 crashing near his home town of Gin Gin in the state of Queensland (Australia of course). He is basically seeking as much information as he can about the crew, what their fates were, the name and number of the B-26, what the B-26 was doing at the time it crashed etc. Unfortunately, he recalls that the pilot may have died in this crash (possibly a LT Willard). I'd greatly appreciate it if you could pass on any info you might have on this B-26 crash. I apologize that the details I have given you are a little sketchy. Cheers Nick Thiele, Squadron Leader RAAF

I saw your request for data concerning a B-26 crash in Australia during World War Two. You might check with John Maljers, he lives in your country and has a great deal of data on B-26 aircraft numbers and nicknames. Chester P. Klier, Historian, 386th Bomb Group. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Nick - thanks for the enquiry, but you have given us somewhat of a poser. Can you give us a map showing the location of Gin Gin. Having no estimated date leaves us a little in the dark, but all is not lost. We will give the data base a sweep to see what we come up with. Regards, Trevor

Date:
12/4/2003
Time:
10:24 PM
 
Attention 386th Group Members: George Arnoto now deceased, his family members are looking for information about his service time. I have a copy of his service discharge paper which shows he was in the 386th B.G. No mention as to which squadron he was in. He was a S/Sgt., maybe a radioman. I would like to know which plane his crew flew, names of crew, and squadron number. To date I have assisted 49 next of kin in these matters. Can you help me make it 50? I can be reached by a guest page posting. Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
12/4/2003
Time:
10:12 AM
 
BombGp: 32O Squadron: 444 Years: 1944 Comments: Please, could you help me to find the pictures published in the graduation book of the 32O th B G 444 BS 12th AIR FORCE airmen who crashed in PLOTTES (FRANCE BURGUNDY 71 SAONE ET LOIRE) on MONDAY 13TH NOVEMBER 1944 as I am preparing a bilingual commemorative booklet 1 - PILOT FIRST LIEUTENANT RICHARD W HISEY (VIRGINIA) 2 - CO PILOT LIEUTENANT THEODORE C VIEBROCK (NEW YORK) 3 - TECHNICAL SERGEANT MARCO R MONTARULI (NEW YORK) 4 - CAPTAIN JACK B FIELDS (MICHIGAN) 5 - CORPORAL CHARLES J PECK (NEW JERSEY) 6 - FIRST LIEUTENANT EARL G DAWKINS 7 - TECHNICAL SERGEANT JOSEPH A HECKO 8 - STAFF SERGEANT MARWIN MYERS 9 - CORPORAL FRANK YOHANNAN (PENNSYLVANIA)

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Sincerely yours, Sylvie Monin-Badey, Ph.D - LECTURER UNIVERSITY LYON 3 - JEAN MOULIN FRANCE)

Date:
12/1/2003
Time:
1:32 PM
 
Franklin E. Swanson BombGp: 386th Squadron: 554 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: While visiting Normandy Beach I took a picture while walking among the graves of a Sergeant Franklin E.Swanson from New York who was killed on August 6th.1944. In what I think is a coincident, I recently visited Boxted Airfield in England where my Father-in-law served during the same period of time. Is it possible to find anything more about Sgt. Swanson? He was with the 386th.Bomber Group Medium, 554th. Bomber Squadron, and I assume he was stationed at Boxted. Thank You for any help you may give me. Barbara Pallister
 
Barbara Pallister: Sergeant Swanson was shot down Aug. 6, 1944. I was a witness to that. Six men bailed out, five chutes deployed--the sixth was a streamer, did not open fully. That was Sergeant Swanson. He was listed as KIA. That was the first mission of my second tour of combat after a two months stay in the U.S.A. This was Group mission number 245. You can read about it on my web page as listed below. Just click on mission number 245. At the moment I have 86 items on there you can click on, plus 79 mission schedule sheets. Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
11/30/2003
Time:
7:12 AM
 
Earnest S. Ameen  BombGp: 319th Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am writing this letter on behalf of my mother. My father was a Staff Sgt. in the US Army Air Corps assigned to the 319th BG and served in North Africa. His name was: Earnest S. Ameen. He passed away in 1992 in Texas. He painted many aircraft's nose art and one in particular was "Little Sirocco". I am trying to obtain more information for my mother on any planes he may have painted, the crew members of his plane (don't have the name of his plane?) and where he was trained. I have gone through many nose art websites and other archives trying to obtain more information but to no avail. Can you give me any additional information on Little Sirocco or direct me to the area I can find his name along with other crew members? Thanks so much, Rusty Ameen

Date:
11/30/2003
Time:
6:06 AM
 
Alfred Marquardt  BombGp: 394 Squadron: 585 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My father, Alfred Marquardt, was in this Group and because of his stories about the time he was in the 394th I have become very interested and would like to know all about the part that you played in winning the war. I have the book Bridge Busters and LOVE it. I think it is one of the best books I have read. I wish they would make a movie about this group. I have given you my address so that I might be put on your mailing list for any information you have on the Group. I have been to Fantasy of Flight and saw the B-26 they have there.......It is beautiful!!!!!!!!! Robert E. Marquardt

Date:
11/29/2003
Time:
12:29 AM
 
George W. Gleason  BombGp: 320 Squadron: 444 Years: 1941-1945 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am helping to gather info about my father's service time. He was Sgt. George (Bill) Gleason, a bombardier in the 320th/444th. He had a buddy named Ralph Combs. He is in a photo with a crew with this notation: Lt. Hampton, pilot Lt. Armstrong, co-pilot Lt. Henricks, navigator Sgt. Krausse, radio man Sgt. Ellsworth, engineer gunner Pvt. (later a Sgt.) Gleason, tail gunner (later a bombardier).  Dad's mission list shows 65 missions in the EAME/ETO campaign. He started out at Camp Blanding in Starks, Florida; then went to Wichita Falls, Texas; then Savannah, Georgia; Keyfield at Meridian, Mississippi; then Barksdale Fielding Shreveport, Louisiana; then Lowery Field in Denver, Colorado, then back to Shreveport; then Newport News, Virginia and then sailed on the "Empress of Scotland" for Casablanca, Africa, then Sardinia and his missions began. I have photos and notes to share and hope someone will do the same for me. Donna Guidry

Date:
11/27/2003
Time:
5:43 PM
 
Harry Foster  BombGp: 17 Squadron: 432 Years: ? Class: Location:   Comments: I am looking for information about the planes my father (Harry C. Foster) flew as pilot and co-pilot in Italy out of Naples. He flew several planes, but his plane and crew flew into a mountain while he was on medical leave. The plane may have been called Sniffles or one of the others he flew. I found a picture of his plane the "Shady Lady" and have a great photo of the plane and crew I would like to upload. Can you please let me know how to get more information or point me in the right direction? I would also like information about skip bombing attack on Al-alamin. As this was part of the same bomb squadron in which my father flew. Regards,

Date:
11/27/2003
Time:
2:51 PM
 
Dale D. Davis  BombGp: 22nd Squadron: 2nd Years: 1942-1943 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: DALE D. DAVIS Pilot. Flew B-26's from 7/42 to 1/43, then B-25's from 1/43 to 12/43 from Reid River, Moresby, Dobodure and Nadzab (56 missions). Survived shallow water landing after being shot down on last mission 12/22/43. I'm his son, just checking if anyone remembers him. Thanks. Mike Davis

Date:
11/27/2003
Time:
10:16 AM
 
Comments:  I am not a Marauder Man myself but my Uncle James Warren "Buck" Lemmond was. Having searched your site, I find no mention of him or him plane there. I will attempt to give what information I have per your request. Name- James Warren Lemmond, 1st Lieutenant, 0-868XXX-451 BM SQDN 8th Air Corps. Father- Walter F Lemmond, Monroe, N.C. Mother- Lula Mae Lemmond, Monroe, N.C. Wife- Carrie Broom, Monroe, N.C.
 
My Uncle, James Warren Lemmond, was a B-26 pilot stationed near London during the years 1943-44. In the summer of 1940 he enlisted in the Home Guard at Monroe and was inducted into the National Guard September 16, 1940. His training was taken at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. While there, Sgt. Lemmond was transfered to the 8th Air Corps. He obtained his wings at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas. Early in 1943, he flew his B-26 plane to England with his crew and was based near London. His targets were railroad round houses and yards, trains and robot bomb platforms. He was promoted to Operational Officer and was up for the rank of captain when he was reported missing in action. On the night of July 8, 1944, he had volunteered to fly his B-26 Bomber on a night mission to bomb a rocket platform in France. He unloaded his bombs but his plane did not make it back to his base in England. Burial information dated April 28, 1947 from the War Department stated that he was killed in action July 8, 1944 and buried in Burdon, France. A letter dated May 11, 1947 stated that after being definitely identified by his dental chart, he was given his last resting place in a government cemetery in St. Laurent, France, Plot C, Row 22, Grave 8, Headstone Cross. I hope this will be helpful to your web site. If you have any other information about Lt. James Warren Lemmond, I would be very grateful to receive it. One other thing. His B-26 was named "The Carrie B" after his wife. I watch many segments on the History Channel about the air war in Europe. Any time B-26's are shown, I am always looking for the "Carrie B". So far I have not seen it. Thank You, Sam W Lemmond

Date:
11/26/2003
Time:
3:29 PM
 
John R Swann BombGp: 397 Squadron: 599 Years: 1943-1946  Comments: I am entering this information for my father who flew in B-26's in WWII. I have a number of photos of these aircraft and their flight crews. According to his discharge papers he served in "Rhineland Central Europe".

Date:
11/25/2003
Time:
10:47 PM
 
John Robert Holland  BombGp: 9TH Squadron: ? Years: 4 Class: 1941 Location: ? Comments: Hello, my name is Eric Jon Schneider and the reason I am writing is because I’m trying to find more information about my grandpa who flew in the b-26's during the war. I don't have much information except I know he was in the ninth bomb group. And my grandpa name is John Robert Holland, from Streator, IL, Blackstone County. Some people also referred to him as Jack Holland I also know that he made highest rank of staff sergeant. Any help would be greatly appreciated. See I’m also leaving for the air force in Jan. 5th and I would like to know more about my grandfather. Thank you so much. Eric Schneider

Date:
11/25/2003
Time:
6:50 PM
 
Comments: Does anyone have any information on the loss of "Barrelhouse Bessie", a 17th Group/95th Squadron B26 lost on 1 March 1943 at El Djem (La Hencha)? Thanks. Dave DeSantis

Date:
11/25/2003
Time:
11:54 PM
 
Lt. G H Croote  BombGp: 3 wing Squadron: 30 Years: 1944 -1945 Class: 1940 Location: Vereening  Comments: Now 86 years old fighting fit still riding a bicycle and driving. I attend monthly SAAF Association luncheons.

Date:
11/25/2003
Time:
6:54 AM
 
BombGp: 323 Squadron: 455 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I'm interested in D-Day activities of 323/455. Any details appreciated. Thanks, Bo Smilie

Date:
11/19/2003
Time:
6:59 AM
 
Frank A. Johnson  BombGp: 323 Squadron: 454th Years: 1943-1946 Class: 44D Location: Waco, Texas  Comments: I was 1rst Pilot on B-26, flew 26 Combat missions over Germany then War ended. Great airplane! Took Classification and Pre-flight at San Antonio, Texas, Primary At Cuero, Texas, Basic and Advance at Waco, Texas. Got crew at Barksdale Field, Shreveport, La, New airplane at Hunter Field, Savannah, Ga., Flew "Southern Route" to England.

Date:
11/18/2003
Time:
11:11 PM
 
Robert R. Nehmer  BombGp: 387 Squadron: 559 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am looking for anyone who may have know my grandfather. His name was Robert R. Nehmer and he was a radio gunner. I have a couple of old pictures of him with his crew standing in front of their B-26. He was fortunate enough to survive all his missions and lived to his 70's but I was to young to appreciate what he had done. If anyone knew his or if you may be in the picture with him I would be glad to send you a copy of the picture. Adam Reed

Date:
11/18/2003
Time:
8:39 AM
 
Ray Gutfinski  BombGp: 17th Squadron: 432nd Years: 1942-1944 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My father, Sgt. Ray Gutfinski, was a Radio Mechanic with the 432nd Bomb Squadron in North Africa during WWII.  Roy C. Gutfinski

Date:
11/17/2003
Time:
6:32 PM
 
Comments: Hi. I urgently need a photo of IDIOTS DELIGHT II - PN-C OF THE 449TH BS, 322ND BG. This is required for a book I am writing on the Sussex England airfield where Frank Remmele landed her on 27th August 1943 after being shot up by 2 FW 190s. Can anyone assist PLEASE?  Richard H Whittle

Date:
11/17/2003
Time:
5:55 AM
 
Comments: Looking for information on 'Kellys Crusaders' B-26 named Memphis Belle II....have a jacket at the Veterans Museum in Halls, TN....trying to find history.....any help would be great..... Ron Grasso

Date:
11/17/2003
Time:
6:32 PM
 
The crew of the "Blind Date," Marauder No. 43-34139, is shown after completion of their 60th mission. the pilot, 1st Lt. Robert E. McCarthy, is at left. The others are 2nd Lt. Charles F. Abel, co-pilot; 2nd Lt. Harold L. Ptaskiewicz, bombardier; T/Sgt. Clinton B. Mathews, radio operator-gunner; Sgt. Ellis J. Williamson, engineer-gunner; and S/Sgt. David R. Hyre, gunner. The plane was shot down 23 Dec 1944 in the Eller RR Bridge raid. Abel, Williamson and Hyer survived.

Date:
11/15/2003
Time:
2:53 PM
 
Comments: Thank you for explaining so well the air attack on the night of 22 December 1944 over the Mayen bridge. For so long I have wondered what had happened at that bridge. I am the daughter of Louis Ubassy. In January 1946 my father, a French Rail Road man, was sent with us, my mother and I, to work at Mayen rail-road station as part of the French occupation zone after WW2 . We lived in Mayen from January 1946 to Jan 1947. At that time I was 17 years old and I remember so well Mayen and saw the destruction. I had heard that a high place German general in Mayen had been the cause of the heavy bombing. Thanks again for the explanation. I now leave in US. Eliane M Ubassy

Date:
11/15/2003
Time:
11:34 AM
 
Samuel M. (Tex) Findley BombGp: 323 Squadron: 453 Years: 42-45  Comments: Dear Trevor, I am interested in obtaining a copy of my INDIVIDUAL FLIGHT RECORD. At a recent 453rd squadron reunion someone suggested that I contact you and that you may be able to help me. I was an engineer/tail gunner "Miss Chevious" piloted by Capt.Roscoe R. Haller and later "Sad Sack II" piloted by Capt. James Hunt. Any help will be appreciated. Sam Findley

Date:
11/15/2003
Time:
9:18 AM
 
Leonard J. Sitchenko  BombGp: 391 Squadron: ? Years: 42-45 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Hello, my name is Steve Sitchenko. My uncle was Leonard J.Sitchenko #XXXX6707. He was a Sgt., and he was gunner in top turret on the B-26. I am trying to find anyone who might have served with him, or who knew him during the war. He was with 391 bomb group, European theatre. He did survive the war, but we would like to find someone who might have known him to help us with our research into his wartime missions. We believe he flew 68 missions. Thank You Very Much!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!! P.S. The squadron may be 572, but NOT SURE. THANK YOU!!

Date:
11/13/2003
Time:
8:20 AM
 
Harry Guinther BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: 1942-1945   Comments: This is to inform everyone that the 386th history book "The Story of the Crusaders" is sold out. No more editions are planned. A few copies are available at the U. S. Air Force Museum gift shop in Dayton, Ohio. Please contact them directly. More than 7000 were sold.

Date:
11/12/2003
Time:
10:36 PM
 
Lester B. Chase BombGp: 387 Squadron: 556 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?   Comments: I am the grandson of Lester B. Chase. I believe he was a crew chief in the 556th in England during WWII. If you knew him or know anyone who might have please email me. I would like to find some of his comrades and possibly attend one of their reunions. Thank you, Steven Lehr

Date:
11/12/2003
Time:
10:43 PM
 
Sgt Albert L. Luddeke  BombGp: 391st Squadron: 572nd Years: 1944-1945 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: My name is Albert Luddeke. I was was a Sgt in 9th Air Force, 391st bombardment group, 572nd bombardment squadron during 1944 to 1945. I was a radio operator/waist gunner. I started in England moved to France then Holland. I would like to find out where my crew is today. It has been 58 years since we flew together. The following are my crew members: Pilot: Lt. John Reed Co-pilot: Lt. Howard Stephens Bombardier: Lt. Richard Hill Flight Engineer: Sgt. Bernard Francisco Tail Gunner: TSgt. Bernard Bailey If anyone knows the whereabouts of these men or if any of my crew members (or their families) are reading this, please get in touch with me. I would also like to know if there are any reunions for the 9th Air Force, 391st BG. Thank you for your help.

Date:
11/12/2003
Time:
5:25 AM
 
Comments: I was surprised and greatly pleased to find this site. My uncle was Everett Chrisco, of the 323rd BG. I never got to meet him, and thank you so much for a chance to see a picture, and to read about his last mission. Jeanne (Chrisco) Singleton

Date:
11/11/2003
Time:
8:52 AM
 
James Irving Harris BombGp: 387 Squadron: 556 Years: 42-45 Class: Location:  Comments: Jim was my husband's uncle. He died before I had the privilege of knowing him. However, I did find his some of his surviving unit members, and enjoyed a long correspondence with Bill Thompson, until his death. This site is wonderful, and if I can contribute in any way please let me know. Chris

Date:
11/11/2003
Time:
2:02 AM
 
Richard Loring Rust  BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?   Comments: I am looking for information on my Grandfather's plane and unit. Unfortunately, I never met him, and my father knew him very little. I have an image of him standing with his plane, the "Schiedam". I have been told that the plane's markings are similar to that of the 386th BG. Recently discovered relatives mentioned that they thought he was in France somewhere during WWII. Any information would be appreciated, I can send the image to anyone wanting to look at it... drop me an Email. Andrew Rust
 
Hello Andrew, Your grandfather was a Tech Sergeant in the 553rd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. His rank would indicate he could have been a B-26 crew chief or on flight status as a radioman on a flight crew. At the moment I can't tell you for sure. In the meantime check out my web page for lots of data on the 386th Bomb Group. Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
11/10/2003
Time:
2:43 PM
 
Wesley G. Ling Email: no email BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: I am the son of Wesley G. Ling of Burbank, CA.  I just found this web site. Wesley died in 1956 in an auto accident. He flew (pilot I believe) B-26's and was shot down over France. He was in prison camp for 9 months if I remember the stories right. I do have some photos and other info packed away somewhere. I I can locate it I will forward you any info. He was also a consultant (and had a bit part) on the movie Stalag 17. If you have any info, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Chris Ling
 
Hello Chris, My records show your father was a B-26 pilot in the 553rd B.S., 386th B.G. His crew as follows: Lt. W.G. Ling was pilot, Lt. Mc Shea C/P, Lt. Robinson B/N, S/Sgt J.M. Hartman E/G, Knick R/G, S/Sgt. J.F. Hijowski A/G. Your father flew on the following 386th Group missions: No's. 92, 109, I also flew on that one. No's 113, 140, 173, 176, 187, 194, 200. To learn more about these and the Group in general go to my web page and click on Mission schedule sheets. Then click on the mission number. It will tell you all the facts of each mission that your father flew, which plane he flew tail number, nickname, weather conditions, bombing results etc. Chester P. Klier -- Historian, 386th B.G. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
11/9/2003
Time:
1:13 PM
 
Ralph D. Wilson  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: Class: 42H Location: Elington Field  Comments: Flew 69 mission from England. Planes name was "STARDUST" Joined the Army Air Corps January 10 1941 as a private Retired June 30, 1962 as a Major. Graduated from flight training as a S/Sgt. pilot, first duty station was at Tampa FL. Flew 50 missions over Korea in a T6 as forward strike director.
 
Hello Ralph, I saw your notice. Do you recall Group mission 110 It was the third day in a row we went to Gilze Rijen, Holland? I flew on all of them. Feb 22, 44 you flew your Star Dust 134937 YA-N in number 3 position low flight first box. I was in Buzz-N-Bitch II, in number 2 position high flight, first box. That's the mission we lost Major Thornton and Lt. Porter. Their ships collided over the target and both went down. You can read my story on my web page, click on mission 110, also click on Mission schedule sheets. They will give you all the data on the formation, weather conditions, bombing results, etc. Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm
 
Sergeant pilots! Check them out! These guys are #1! Additional reading: Lee Arbon, "They Also Flew".  ISBN 1-56098-108-3

Date:
11/8/2003
Time:
12:34 AM
 
John G Fitzhugh  BombGp: 391st Squadron: 574th Years: 1941-1944 Class: ? Location: Godman Field  Comments: Dad was lead navigator in the box of 18 planes. He was 26 and his pilot was 19. They called Dad "Pappy"....26?.He was the old man! His Pilot was Stan Bird who Could not drive a car or ride a bicycle..they were both parked at the field(wrecked)! But Pappy said "Bird could fly that plane"! "Every time I would get in that plane for another mission, I was scared...then I would sit in the right seat so I could see. Bird would say "Morn'n Pappy!" " If Stan wasn't scared...neither was I." Pappy is my hero...always will be. Pappy and Bird are still living....87 and and 80. Pappy'son...B52 Viet Nam...Environmental Systems Repairman USAF, John G Fitzhugh, Jr.

Date:
11/8/2003
Time:
8:55 PM
 
Robert Kendall  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: Jan 42 - June 45 Class: 43F Location: Altus, Oklahoma  Comments: I was pilot of replacement crew from March through Sept of 44 my crew members Kalback, Steele, Palmachuck, Paup, Phillips.   All flew 65 missions. I attended the last group get together at Tampa. I would like to keep in touch in the future, could you suggest how I might do this?
 
Hello Robert, saw your notice. Do you recall Group mission 193, that was D-Day June 6,1944. You flew in Spam Burger 131970 YA-F number five in lead flight , first box. To find out more about the formations click on Mission schedule sheets on my web page. To read about Group missions just click on the mission numbers at the top of my web page. There are about 80 subjects on there now, I add more to it every week or so. Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G. Tallyho. http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
11/6/2003
Time:
12:47 PM
 
Philip Scheier  BombGp: 323rd Squadron: 456th Years: 1942-1945 Class: ? Location: ? Comments:  Trevor and Mike, your b26 website just keeps on improving, for which, the thanks and appreciation of those in the 323rd Group, 456th Squadron, of the Ninth Air Force, among the many others also in B26s.
Am most impressed, as I messaged you earlier this week, on how many people actually visit the site. First, my brother in Florida was called by a friend who said he was browsing the internet, and came across your B26 site. While he didn't personally know anyone who was associated with the B26, he checked out the photos, and came across the photograph I had sent in earlier in the year of the crew I flew with all during the war. The pix was taken in Myrtle Beach, S.C. And since my name was in the cut-line under the pix, he recognized it as the name of his friend, Henry Scheier, and checked it out, as I wrote u earlier. And so my brother, and now all our relatives are also checking it out.
But equally impressive, Mike, as I also wrote you, and want others to know of the far reach of your B26 site, I got a surprise message Wed. night (11-5-03) from the son of my late pilot, Luther (Luke) Hargroves'.  Here again, somebody in the family was trying to find someone, anyone, who might have known their dad. And lo and behold, Mike, they opened up the photo of our crew, and there was their beloved dad, Luke Hargroves, and his crew. The family contacted u Mike to get my email address, and bingo. Finally, we were in touch.
 
And I agree it is so helpful to get those photos, which u can post on your site. Also, as I wrote u earlier, Warren Hoerr of our squadron, and one of the founding members of our 456th Squadron Association, is planning on sending u the treasured photo album which was always on view at our annual reunions, of our squadron members. An interesting addition was when members were asked also to send in a Then and Now photo. The entire album was updated and upgraded a few years ago by Hermine Jacobs, wife of the then association president, Harvey Jacobs. As an aside, Jacobs was one of the youngest pilots in the entire bombing organization. He was only 20 when he piloted his bomber across the North Atlantic, and flew his first mission shortly after he turned 21. Again, keep up the great work, Mike, and we do appreciate the effort going into this tremendous project.  Philip Scheier

Date:
11/6/2003
Time:
10:23 AM
 
1Lt. Robert Botsford BombGp: 322 Squadron: Years: 1944 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: 1lt Robert Botsford is my father-in-law's brother. He was a B-26 pilot with the 322 BG and was stationed at Andrews Field in Essex, England. He died as a passenger in a crash of a B-26 tow plane on the Isle of Man on July 4, 1944. My father-in-law was very young when his brother went away to war. His family was very distraught when his brother died and did not tell my father-in-law very much because of his age. I would like to see if I could find someone that remembers him or some information about him that I could pass along to my father-in-law. He is very proud of his brother for his service and sacrifice. Thank you, Jeff and Elizabeth Botsford Sears

Date:
11/4/2003
Time:
9:18 PM
 
Luke Hargroves  BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Comments: I am the son of Luke Hargroves, Pilot of the Shirley Bee. I found a picture of my father in a picture posted by Phil Scheier, crew. Phil, Please contact us.  Brad Hargroves

Date:
11/2/2003
Time:
8:58 PM
 
Sgt. Donald Oliver Finnell  BombGp: 397th Squadron: 598th Years: ?-1945 Class: Location:  Comments: I am trying to research my father's records during WW II. He was Sgt. Donald Oliver Finnell R.A. XXXXX567. He signed up regular army, May 1941 and served until Oct. 1945. Then he signed up again May 1946 and was killed stateside when his B-29 went down killing all aboard Oct. 1st, 1946. I have fought for my Dad's records but received his medals, including the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, some personnel records, dates of service but as of yet the Army will not let me have his war records, or even why he received the Air Medals. I am told that the dates I have (which are incomplete) would have put him in England flying bombing missions over occupied France. Can you please help? In order to honor him in our family records we need to have information plus my husband (a Vietnam Era soldier) and our children want to get his records in the WW II Memorial as they should be. Thanks for your time, Dawn

Date:
11/1/2003
Time:
10:54 PM
 
Lt. Robert E. McCarthy BombGp: 397 Squadron: Years: Class: Location:   Comments: I am trying to learn details of the death of my father, Lt. Robert E. McCarthy, who died piloting a Marauder, "Blind Date," while returning from a raid Dec. 23, 1944, on the Eller RR Bridge. I would like to know the tail number of the plane, who was on board, and basically, what happened. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I don't have more information. I have a photo of the crew standing in front of the plane which I would be happy to share with anyone interested.  Bob McCarthy

Date:
11/1/2003
Time:
5:33 PM
 
Pres Funk  BombGp: 387 Squadron: 558 Years: 43-45 Class: 43-16 Location: Victorville  Comments: Looking for navigator Perry L. (Pete) Peterson whose last address location was Omaha, Nebraska.

Date:
10/29/2003
Time:
8:41 PM
 
Kenneth G. Servais BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Comments: Hello all you brave men out there. I am searching for photos of my father. He was a bombardier for the 456. His name was Kenneth G. Servais. Any leads would be appreciated as he has passed. I know he attended many reunions in the 90s. Thank you in advance. Chris K. Servais

Date:
10/29/2003
Time:
6:26 AM
 
Comments: My Grand Dad was a mechanic on the Geronimo. His name was Gail Ettinger and was a Tech. Sgt., he passed away before I got to know him. CDT/SSG Christopher Robert Holmes U.S. Army Hooaahh
 
Hello Christopher: Your grandfather was a crew chief on a B-26 named, "GERONIMO" 131630 RG-J. The pilot assigned to that plane was Captain Ralph Marble. He was a fine pilot, I flew two bombing missions with him after I retuned for a second tour. To learn more about the plane and pilot check out my web page enclosed. Tallyho! ChesterP. Klier, Historian 386th Bomb Group.  http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
10/28/2003
Time:
4:38 PM
 
Edward Munge BombGp: 322 Squadron: 450 Years: 1942 - 1945 Comments: My dad, Edward Munge, was a B26 pilot in the 322nd Bombardment Group, 450th Bombardment Squadron during WW2. he flew 65 missions out of a base located in Great Sailing, England. He never talked much about the war as I was growing up, but I know he flew a plan called "Invictus". I have also found a few pictures of a plane named "Mary". It is sitting on the ground as if the landing gear is gone. Dad passed away on October 19 of this year. I would be interested in hearing from others who may have know him or that were in the 322 BG, 450th BS. You guys were all heroes in my eyes. Thanks, Ric Munge

Date:
10/28/2003
Time:
12:45 PM
 
Lawrence Jack Hunter, Lt. Col. USAF Ret.  BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 450th Years: 1942-1945 Class: 43B Location: Ellington Field, TX Send: send Date: 28 Oct 2003 Time: 12:45:35  Comments: I accumulated more pilot time in this type aircraft than anyone, first as Instructor pilot and then combat pilot in Europe. Transferred to 410th Bomb Group, flying B-26s out in front of their 36 ship formations of A-20s. Then flew A-20s and A-26s. After the war was over I piloted an A-26 back to the USA and to Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia.

Date:
10/27/2003
Time:
1:57 AM
 
Eugene Wallace, Col USAF (ret)  Comments: Trevor, I had the pleasure of meeting one of your B-26 vets at the National D Day Museum in New Orleans, LA. His name is Eugene Wallace, Col USAF (ret) resides in Laguna Beach, CA. I must saying as a retired Marine and pilot myself, that Col Gene is a National treasure. He had an audience of his own in the museum, I happened to talk to him as he checked in at the front desk ( special recognition is given each WW II vet that comes through the doors. I am a Naval Aviator with combat experience so I naturally wanted to hear Col. Gene's story. Col Gene had flown several missions in the early part of the war but the one that caught my attention was his being shot down and escape and evading the Japanese for more than 10 months. As Col Gene puts it " he went native ". He was on a low level bombing mission when his Marauder was hit and one engine rendered inoperative. He and his crew attempted to get back to base single engine but were forced to ditch just off an island south of Rabaul. Gene said the airplane sunk and two crewman were killed from bombing.  Ron Cornetta

Date:
10/26/2003
Time:
8:27 AM
 
Frank M Milliman  BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Years: 42, 43, 44 Class: ? Location: ? Comments: My uncle Pvt. Frank Milliman enlisted July 1942 and was (per mailing address 10/5/42) stationed at McDill Field, Tampa Fl, and (per mailing address 09/07/42) Camp Croft SC-Co A 32 Inf. Trg. Bn. Brks 177. He was then (per mailing address 11/28/?? posted to 453 BS, 323 BG at Myrtle Beach, SC. He was a tail gunner in a B26 flying fortress and died in a jeep accident 9 October 1943 according to my mother in Noiremont France. Could this actually be 9 October 1944? Wasn't France Occupied by Germans in 1943? Is there a record of who he flew with, what plane etc. If yes where. Thank you, J. McDonald

Date:
10/25/2003
Time:
3:02 PM
 
Omer Middleton BombGp: 322nd Squadron: ? Years: 1942-45  Comments: My dad was with the ninth air force and with the 322nd bomber group. All I know is he said he was stationed at Braintree England, and in Germany. His name was Omer Middleton, nickname Buddy. If anyone remembers him I would love to hear from you. Omer Middleton, Jr.

Date:
10/24/2003
Time:
1:05 AM
 
Barry B. Townsend  BombGp: 394th Squadron: 587th Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I'm a grandson of the late Barry B. Townsend, Ops Officer in the 587th BS, 394th BG, and was researching a few facts about my grandfather's time in his squadron. Just wanted to mention my sincere thanks to those who have put forth the effort and hard work that has gone into creating and maintaining this great resource and website. The Marauder Men will be always remembered by new generations, including mine. Nathan Townsend

Date:
10/23/2003
Time:
8:54 PM
 
Comments: This message started with a story by my brother by my dad....my brother was right about a lot of other stories. He ended up in the South Pacific for about 20 months and did a lot of flying. But not in the B-26 which was his love. One story I remember is about the time he was heading out (under strict orders to the contrary) to acquire some booze some 800 miles away. He made the trip but upon his return (he was alone), he was not allowed to exit the plane unless he gave away a lot of his loot of booze. Eventually he allowed the crew to unbolt a window to allow his release but they took all but one case of whiskey. He told me he buried the case but after drinking the bottle he had he could not remember where he buried the rest. Oh well....  John Breidenthal

Date:
10/23/2003
Time:
7:03 AM
 
Comments: Sir, I am writting to you in request for information on the Martin B-26-E "Gypsy Rose". I am an active duty soldier and currently doing a research paper on weapons, tactics and air doctrines of the US Army Air Corps in the Second World War. One of my topics is " What if" and that deals with for example, the B26E strafer model had been accepted and the B-25G/H had not, what impact that might have had. The B-25 became the premier starfer and low level bomber in the Pacific theater. I have read paragraphs and web based documents and I have seen only one photo of the modification, forward fuselage (cockpit and dorsal turret moved forward) but nothing on the solid nose, two 37mm cannon and two .50 cal machine guns. Can you help me with this paper. Photos or plans, anything might help. Thank you. Respectfully, Thomas Blouch

Date:
10/21/2003
Time:
10:11 PM
 
Charles "Chris" Crecelius  BombGp: 394 Squadron: 587 Years: 44-45 Class: 1944 Location: Portland, Oregon  Comments: I am writing on behalf of my father, retired Lt. Col. Charles E. Crecelius, Born June 5, 1919, deceased March 20, 1997. He flew 41 bombing missions over Germany in the B-26 Martin Marauder. Sincerely, Jan Crecelius Weade

Date:
10/20/2003
Time:
9:10 AM
 
John Smart Carmichael  Lost WW2 flying hero buried with honour.  The memorial service and burial of World War Two Spitfire hero, Sergeant John Smart Carmichael, took place at 1100hrs on Friday 5th September, sixty years to the day that he was shot down in action over Flanders at the age of 21.
 
Mr. Carmicheal, RAF Fighter Pilot, was flying support for the 322, 323, 386, 387 Bombardment Groups - mission details.

Date:
10/17/2003
Time:
1:17 PM
 
Leroy C. Richter  BombGp: 17 Squadron: 34 Years: 1.5 Class: 1942 Location: University of Texas  Comments: fought in the African and European Theater 1943 - 44. Held the rank of Lt. Colonel and pilot with the responsibility of Group Operations Leader. Flew 76 missions.

Date:
10/17/2003
Time:
11:39 AM
 
George H Gibbens, Jr. BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location:   Comments: I'd sure like to see my late father-in-law's name in here: George H Gibbens, Jr. He was a B-26 pilot, flying 2 tours out of North Africa beginning in 1943, I believe. He was awarded the DFC twice, once posthumously. Betty Gibbens Waddoups

Date:
10/17/2003
Time:
11:39 AM
 
Comments: A small correction on this site: ..\page\391\historical.htm with the text: The scheduled assignment of the 391st Bomb Group to the European Theater of Operations was delayed indefinitely after the 322nd Bomb Group's disastrous strike on the German submarine pens at Ijmuiden. These pens were not for U-Boats, but for E-Boats and R-boats. U-Boats wouldn't fit in, the pens were also of a less robust construction; the roof and walls weren't that thick compared to U-Boat pens. Kind regards, Maurice Laarman

Date:
10/16/2003
Time:
2:26 PM
 
Lt.Walter L Pulvers  BombGp: 387 Squadron: 559 Years: 1940-1943 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: looking for anyone who knew my father during WW 2 in England. His plane was called "Front Burner".  Thank you

Date:
10/15/2003
Time:
6:02 AM
 
Comments: My father wanted me to inquire about any information on Lane E. Spence, Pilot, who was one of my father's best friends. I found some information regarding the crew he was on as 17thBG, 95BS, 12th AF, crash time 1500 hours. Thanks very much for your help. Tom Willingham
 
Tom, 2nd. Lt. Lane E Spence and crew were shot down by Me109's December 23rd 1944. Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
10/14/2003
Time:
4:29 PM
 
Marion Kasprzykowski  BombGp: 344 Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Hi - I am the son of Marion Kasprzykowski aka Stinky. Unfortunately my father passed away 7 yrs ago he lived till he was 79 yrs old. He raised 2 sons and 1 daughter.  My father talked about the war and the good friends he knew.   Any info or updates would be greatly appreciated. Nice seeing my father in the picture.  His wife rose is going to love this !!! Thank you so much !! It really means a lot to us !!! Charles Kasper -aka kasprzykowski

Date:
10/13/2003
Time:
7:11 PM
 
Albert E. Hill BombGp: 386 Squadron: 553   Comments:  Lead Bombardier, 45 Combat Missions.

Date:
10/12/2003
Time:
5:54 PM
 
Walter Greer  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 574 Years: 44-45 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: my uncle flew as tail gunner on a few differant plans. Does anyone know the tail number for baby bumps II, and also does anyone know the unit code numbers for Baby Bumps II, Little Pink Painties, Ruthless, The Three Bears.  Thanks I'm building models of these planes and can't find the unit code numbers. Ken

Response:

Little Pink Panties: 42-107841, T6-A, was a B-26C-45-MO, and assigned to the 573rd Squadron. She was a silver Marauder, and was damaged beyond repair on March 23, 1945 due to severe flak damage. Pilots assigned to her included Clyde "Hop" Cassiday, and Phil Shoemaker.

The Three Bears: 42-95810, P2-C, a B-26B-45-MA, was assigned to the 572nd Squadron.

Ruthless: 42-95811, P2-G, B-26B-45-MA, was one of the most famous B-26s of the ETO, and was known as the Queen of the B-26s. Assigned to the 572nd, she was named after the original pilot’s wife, and was with the first planes that flew over from the states via the Southern Route.

I don’t have data yet on Baby Bumps II, but that just means I have to keep looking harder. I hope this helps.

Dane M. Donato, 391st Bombardment Group Historian

Date:
10/11/2003
Time:
12:58 PM
 
Ralph C. Zuranski  BombGp: 391st Squadron: 574th Years: ETA 1945 Class: Sept 44 Location: Childress TX  Comments: I trained as a bombardier at Childress TX. Graduated September of 1944. Went through overseas training at Barksdale AFB. Arrived in England some time in November. Assigned to the 391st BG and arrived at Roye Ami mid January of 1945. Was assigned to the 574th BS and began flying mission late in the month.Participated in about 35 credited missions, which included lead missions. I was further assigned to the A26 and flew a few missions as a crew member in late March. However my assignment ended on the fifth of April as a result of an aircraft accident, during a instrument training accident. I believe that I was among the few who survived a crash landing while in the nose of the B26. The crew I flew with were Cliff Hocker, Roy S. Mckim, Carl Rader, Wade Price, Waide Miller. Of these Cliff and Wade Price are deceased. I have been in contact with Waide Miller and Carl, but have not located Roy McKim.

Response:

The A-26 came late into the picture for the 391st, as well as other groups. The last mission (mission 282) where the B-26 was used as the prime aircraft was the Jena marshalling yard, on 9 April, 1945. All flights scored superior ratings. The next day, the Group send twenty-four A-26 Invaders to hit a railway viaduct at Eger, Gemany. This was the deepest penetration into Germany in the Group’s history to that date.

Dane M. Donato, 391st Bombardment Group Historian

Date:
10/10/2003
Time:
8:31 PM
 
George Carroll BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: yes Class: ? Location:   ?  Comments: Great reading, Chester. I go back to the days that I forgot. You did a great detaild report. Keep it up and I hope that a lot of our members appreciate it as much as I do Best to you George Carroll

Date:
10/10 /2003
Time:
1:14 PM
 
BombGp: 322 Squadron: 450 Years: 12/23/1944 Comments: Hello 322nd Bomb Group, please allow to inform you about the excavation of a B-26 plane of the former 322nd BG. On 3.October 2003, the remains of B-26G-10-MA (Serial-No.43-34423) from 450.BS / 322.BG were recovered from a bomb-crater in a meadow near the belgian border at the village of Scheid, Germany. The plane (Pilot: Lieutenant Eckrich) was on its way to bomb the town of Euskirchen on 23.December 1944, when it was shot down by german fighters. The crew of six bailed out near the town of Bad Munstereifel. The "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Luftkriegsgeschichte" found the crash-site in 1993 (the digging itself was made by another searching-team). If you are interested, contact us for further information or pictures. Axel Paul, Frank Güth

Date:
10/10/2003
Time:
1:09 PM
 
Normal L. Harvey  BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: I was searching for information on my grandfather's brother,   when I ran across your site. Great resource! I'd known from an interview he did in 1994 that he'd been XO for the Pathfinders. He passed on several years ago, after a very full life, and generally wouldn't talk about his experiences during WWII. Thank you.   Bill Statz
 
Bill, Having written several letters to Norman Harvey asking for his help and without getting any reply I was just about to give up trying. Then in 1989 I was at the 322nd Bomb Group reunion on Statten Island when I was told that Norman had arrived there. For a day and a half I didn't see him close up, but on the night of the banquet we had just finished eating when I noticed someone walking towards our table from the corner of my eye. It was Norman and on reaching the table he just said "Trevor, let's talk". We retired to the bar and spent several hours just talking about his experiences. Unfortunately not of that conversation was taped, but the memory of that day still lasts. In the day and a half before I talked with Norman, I later found out that he studying me carefully and only when he was satisfied with my bone fide did he come to speak to me. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian, B26.com

Date:
10/9/2003
Time:
11:07 PM
 
George T. James, Jr., Col., USAF (Ret) BombGp: 391st Squadron: 572nd Years: 1944-45 Class: 44-D Location: Ellington Field  Comments: Visit www.391stbombgroup.com for text on what we did, training & deployment, crew lists, incidents, pictures, airplanes, taxi sheets, etc. I would be happy to receive copies of 391st Special Orders, pictures of 391st people and airplanes, airplane names, and especially information about our ground crews. Suitable material will be put on the website. I was a co-pilot and am listed in the 572nd with Jack Crumal's crew. I would be interested to know whether any of the other B-26 groups have similar websites.

Date:
10/9/2003
Time:
3:12 AM
 
Col. Elwyn Farney Quinn  BombGp: 386 Squadron: HQ 9BC Years: Class: 1940 Location: Glendale Ca  Comments: Looking for Information on Missions Dates & Targets Flown By Col. Elwyn Farney Quinn, X-XXX641, Executive Officer 386BG.   Erich Ferrell Figley

Date:
10/8/2003
Time:
11:55 PM
 
Peter A. Milhelish  BombGp: 17th Squadron: 34th Years: 1943 1944   Comments: Hey great informational website!!.... my father retired Lt.Colonel Peter A Mihelish was a pilot and flew 1 operational mission in WW2 in a Martin B-26 with the 17th bomb group 34th squadron in north africa in 1943 then was transferred to the 97th bomb group 340th squadron and then piloted B-17 flying fortresses from Foggia, Italy... Amendola Airfield and flew 50 missions ending his tour in the middle of march 1944.. thanks Tim Milhelish

Date:
10/8/2003
Time:
1:41 PM
 
Lt. James Houston Salmon BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I have just begun researching the life and military service of my late uncle, Lt. James Houston SALMON. He served as a pilot in WWII, but was killed 1 Nov 1948, while piloting a B26 for the Oklahoma Air National Guard, while returning from a search for a missing airplane. At this point in time, I know little about military aircraft, so I don't know if all B26s were Martin B26 Marauders, or if there were different types of B26s. The newspaper account I have of his death only says he was flying a B26. If you are interested in his record, I can provide you with more information -- although I am only now in the initial stages of procuring his records. If you would mind replying to my message, I would appreciate knowing if there was only one type of B26 or not. Thank you.  Deborah Salmon King

Q. A26 or B26?

Deborah - In World War II the Martin aircraft company built the B26 Marauder which served operationally from 1941 to 1945, when the then USAAF decided to scrap all of it's existing B26 Marauders. The Douglas aircraft company produced the A-26 Invader which went operational during 1944 and continued in service post war. It was after the war that the Air Force decided to change the designation of the A26 Invader to the B26 Invader and this decision has caused considerable confusion ever since. Your father would have been flying the Douglas B26 Invader at the time of his accident. Incidentally, do you know the squadron/group your father was flying with during World War II. Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
10/8/2003
Time:
7:48 AM

I am in the process of constructing a large-scale (1/12) replica of the B-26B Marauder. In researching the various aircraft that served in the ETO, I have decided to reproduction a specific B-26B-50 serving with the 344th BG, 497th BS, A/C #42-95864. This aircraft, named "Valkyrie", was flown by a Lt. Witherbee.  The only photo I have been able to find of this A/C was taken in late 1944-early 1945, at a base somewhere in Holland. I am trying to find out when this aircraft first entered service with the 344th. Primarily, my quest is to determine if this aircraft would ever have been given Invasion stripes as part of her markings.  It is unlikely that invasion stripes would have been applied in late 1944-early 1945. But since the aircraft's serial number indicates that it was produced in 1942, there is at least the chance that she would have entered service at a time when the invasion stripes were required. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Please send any info you have to the email address appearing at the bottom of this message. Thanks, Michael W. Sandell

Michael - This B26 was operational with the 344th.Bomb Group from March 1944 and certainly wore AEAF stripes on 6th June 1944. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
10/7/2003
Time:
5:29 AM
 
Comments: Hello Mr. Allen, My name is Patrick Downie and my wife's paternal Grandfather flew with the 323rd bomb group, 454th bomb squadron. His name was Robert M. Knoles and I believe he was a gunner. Mr. Knoles passed away February of this year and we are planning a small honorary service for him sometime around Christmas, at a nearby aviation museum in Asheboro NC. We have some of his military service paper work, including his discharge papers, dog tags, and service annuals (which I would be glad to copy/scan and send to you), but I was also trying to track down any other information or stories. If you know others that may have flown with Mr. Knoles (they probably would have called him Bob) I would greatly appreciate any contact names. His service papers indicate that he flew with the 323 from mid 1941 to the end of 1945. Thank you for you time. Best Regard, Patrick Downie

Date:
10/5/2003
Time:
10:04 PM

Frank Remmele  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449 Years: 1943-44 Class: 42K Location: Ellinger  Comments: Heard by the grapevine that you can do individual missions????

Frank - nice to hear from you.  I would be pleased to research your missions.   Regards, Trevor Allen, Historian B26.COM

Date:
10/5/2003
Time:
4: 01 PM
 
BombGp: 391st Squadron: 572nd Years: 1944  Comments: Hello all. I am an amateur researcher living in Jersey in the British Channel Islands and wonder if anyone can help ! I am trying to locate any surviving airmen who were involved in an accident which occurred on the 25th August 1944.Two B-26s collided during an operation to France. Sadly, all onboard 42-95802 Skeeter were killed. Four crew survived from 42-95797 after the a/c was shot down by flak and ditched near to the island of Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. They were picked up by a US warship later. Are any of the following crew members still out there ? Frank P Moscovic, Donald J Peters, Robert J Hetrick or Thomas W Hume. Any details of the incident would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.  Steve Bree

Dear Mr. Bree:

I think I can help you in some detail regarding the 25 August 1944 mission. On route back to Matching after hitting storage yards and troops at Brest, Lt. Thorn, flying T6-P Skeeter, left the slot position, possibly because they were running low on fuel, but we will never be certain. As per procedures, Lt. EZ Rice moved into the then empty slot position, and shortly after that, Thorn collided with Rice in P2-P, TS Ticket.

Thorn’s ship lost its horizontal stabilizer and spun off out of formation. Thorn’s navigator, Lt. Russell J. Calvert, did survive after bailing out at 500 feet. The rest of the crew (Thorn, Thomas, Parks, Annette, Evans, Noreland, and Meyer), were killed when Skeeter crashed into the sea between Sark Rock and La Moisie. According to one source, two of the crewmen did survive for short time.

Calvert was pulled from the water by fishermen aboard the Alcyon, as was Rice’s tail gunner, Sgt. Thomas W. Hume, who had bailed out of TS Ticket after the initial collision.

Another fishing vessel, the Thérèse, rushed to the scene, and helped to pull two of the men, still alive but badly injured, from the hull before she sunk. These two men later died at a French clinic. They also pull the bodies of Thorn and Thomas, but can’t remove the other bodies before the plane sinks. Two more crew men are pulled out a month later, and William Parks, who had been killed in the nose, drifts free of the wreck and washes to shore on September 27 near L’Etacq, on Jersey. He is buried by German forces, and is only exhumed and returned to the US after the end of the war.

Due to the collision, Rice had lost his port engine. He immediately radioed for the heading of a landing strip in Cherbourg. They were losing altitude steadily, and came out of the undercast at about 3,000 feet between the islands of Guernsey and Jersey. German AA batteries opened fire immediately, killing Sgt. Shuler. The right engine is also knocked out. Rice manages to dead stick the plane in the water, a nearly impossible feat of flying, and the four surviving men, Rice, Moscovic, Peters, and Hetrick, scramble out and into their life raft.

The destroyer escort USS Borum, having witnessed the plane going down, steamed to effectuate a rescue. A German battery on Jersey fired a 3-gun salvo from 12,000 yards, but missed. Rice and the other three are then evacuated to Cherbourg aboard PT boats, and are returned to duty a few days later. Hume and Calvert make their way back to the 391st with the help the Underground.

Interestingly, in 1962, a fishing boat snagged one of the engines from Rice’s plane. It was on display at a museum in Guernsey for a time. Divers have also possibly removed the other engine, and they also brought up some of the machine guns.

Calvert has passed away, as has Rice’s bombardier, Donald J. Peters, who was killed in a tragic accident shortly after returning to the states. On March 25, 1998, a memorial plaque was dedicated to the memory of Capt. David Thorn and his crew. It reads:

A la mémorie de l’équipage du bombardier américain B 26 tombé à l’embouchure du Trieux le 25 aout 1944 au retour d’une mission sur Brest.

E.J. Annette C.E. Norland
R.J. Calvert W.H. Parks
O.L. Evans A.L. Thomas
R.H. Meyer D.H. Thorn

Recueillis blessés ou morts par des pecheurs de Loguivy. Age has not wearied them.

Dane M. Donato, 391st Bombardment Group Historian

Date:
10/4/2003
Time:
10:39 PM
 
Wayman Batey BombGp: Squadron: 432nd Years: 42-45  Comments: My father, Wayman Batey, had 73 missions as a tail gunner,navigator, bombadier, and co-pilot after volunteering at 19 while in his first year in college. He was in Africa, Italy, Germany, England, Tripoli. He died in 67, but I was wondering if there was anyone still alive that knew him? I don't have a scanner hooked up yet but I can find some old pictures of his buddies in front of a plane. deAnna Batey

Date:
10/4/2003
Time:
4:18 PM
 
Comments: I am the son of George Edward (Ed) Constable.  Thank you so much for this site.  Steve Constable

Date:
10/4/2003
Time:
9:12 AM
 
Dawson U. Kershaw  BombGp: 391 Squadron: Years: 41-43?   Comments: My dad was a tailgunner on the Sleepy Time Gal, his pilot was Aldous, he was stationed at Matching Green. He told us many stories, but not enough. I wish he was here so I could pick his memory and write everything down.  Betsy Kershaw Arnoldi

Response:

Dear Ms. Arnoldi: Sleepy Time Gal, 42-95838 4L-B, a B-26B-50-MA, was assigned to the 574th Squadron. The plane was shot down on December 23, 1944, during the disasterous Ahrweiler mission.

I’d like to work with you to help you gain more knowledge about your father and his life in the 391st. It takes time and effort, but it is always well worth it.

Dane M. Donato, 391st Bombardment Group Historian

Date:
10/2/2003
Time:
6:15 PM
 
Major Robert M. Radlein, USAF (Ret)  BombGp: 323rd Squadron: 454th Years: yes  Comments: Marauder man forever! Our crew's plane: "The Ugly Duckling" 42-96-256, B-26F, RJ-J.  For further story of this plane, see "Battle Over Mavaria" by Robert Forsyth. Classic Publications.

Date:
9/30/2003
Time:
6:15 PM
 
Benjamin Winget Lowell  BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location:   Comments: My uncle, Benjamin Winget Lowell, was a pilot of a B-26 and was shot down over France on August 7, 1944. I was glad to hear of the book "Bridge Busters" and saw that you had his name listed on your web page. If any of you in the bomb group knew my uncle, or have any stories about him, I would love to hear from you. I was named after him and feel a special connection for the Marauder Men. Thanks!

Date:
9/29/2003
Time:
2:17 PM
 
B-26B-50-MA, #42-95864 was used by the 344th BG, 497th BS. I am trying to determine when she entered service with the unit. Would you have any info on this? My goal is to determine whether or not the A/C was ever given invasion stripes. Thank you. Michael Wm. Sandell

Date:
9/26/2003
Time:
5:44 PM
 
BombGp: 481st Comments: Good evening. My request may be a bit unusual, but in early October, I'm going to be singing the annual memorial service for the 481st Bombadier group which is to be held here in St. Louis, MO at Second Presbyterian Church. Because I am a USAF veteran, the minister of music at that church knew I'd be particularly interested in singing for this event. My husband Dave and I both have a keen interest in aviation and aviation history. We were both members of the US Air Force Band in Washington, DC where we met. We'd like to know more about the history of the 481st... can you fill us in with some details? We'd like to know what missions they may have flown? Where were they stationed? Unit citations? Would love to simply know more abut the unit. Thanks so much for whatever information you can provide. It will be a privilege to sing for this event. Best. Kathy Lawton Brown (and David M. Brown)
 
481st BOMBARDMENT LINEAGE. Constituted 481st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 9 July 7 1942. Activated on 15 Jul 1942. Disbanded on 1 May 1944 ASSIGNMENTS. 336th Bombardment Group, 15 Jul 1942-1 May 1944. STATIONS. MacDill Field, Fla, 15 Jul 1942; Ft Myers, Fla, 10 Aug 1942; Avon Park, Fla, 10 Dec 1942; MacDill Field, Fla, 13 Oct 1943; Lake Charles AAFld, La, 8 Nov 1943-1 May 1944 AIRCRAFT. B-26, 1942-1944. OPERATIONS. Replacement training, Sep 1942-Apr 1944 SERVICE STREAMERS. American Theater. CAMPAIGNS. None. DECORATIONS. None. EMBLEM. None.

Date:
9/26/2003
Time:
4:55 PM
 
Dan Hallowell  BombGp: Squadron: 444th Years: 1942-1945 Class: 42-F Location: Luke Field  Comments: Dan Hallowell, my father, was a pilot with the 444th bomb squadron. He was from Farmer City, Illinois. He flew B-26s over North Africa. (I believe he flew some missions over France, Italy and Sicily.). He was a captain in 1943. He was promoted later, and after flying 40 missions he returned to the states taught other pilots until the war ended. After the war he flew for Braniff Airways until his death in the Electra crash of 1959. I would love to hear from anyone who knew him in WWII. I would also like to know if anyone knows how I can obtain any government records about his activities in the war. Kathy Allen

Date:
9/25/2003
Time:
11:16 PM
 
Cpl George Gillies  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 452 Years: 42/43 ? Class: ? Location: Pembina, ND USA  Comments: Hi, my name is Michael Greene. I am inquiring about my uncle, Cpl George Gillies, he was killed in action the night of Dec 31 1943 at an airfield in England, it may have been Andrews Field? I will relate the story as I have heard it all my life. It was typical bad whether for Dec that day he was working as ground crew, a plane I presume a b-26 was in distress and trying to find the field. My Uncle George knew the pilot and crew. He went out to the runway to light smudge pots ?, or flares ? . He was in a jeep on or near the runway, when the stricken aircraft landed on top of the jeep, killing him instantly. So the story goes, and sixty years of heartache, for his family. Any information on this incident would be much appreciated. Thanks so much, Mike
 
Dear Mr Green,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding your uncle, Cpl George Gillies, who was KIA in World War II. We regret the delay in responding, but can inform you that your inquiry has now made its way through our backlog and has been assigned to a research archivist. You should have the results of our research efforts in a few days.

We appreciate your patience.

Regards,

R.M. Johnson, PhD
Chief, Archives Branch
Air Force Historical Research Agency

Date:
9/25/2003
Time:
10:22 PM
 
Thanks! Trevor for the information on Wesley Myers. You gave me enough clues to find that it is known as The Great Squadron Tragedy and that there is another Burbank boy who was killed also Roy L. Rice, Jr.. Do not know if they were on same plane or not. I am also looking for information on a Lt. Donald A. Landis who was killed March 3, 1944 in a plane accident at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. When he entered the service he took a specialized course in piloting the Martin B26 Marauder at Laughlin Army Air Field, Del Rio, Texas. He is buried in Forestlawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Any more information on him would be most appreciated. Linda C. Mustion

Date:
9/25/2003
Time:
5:37 PM
 
George L. Pratt  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 574 Years: 1943-45 Class: 44F Location: Columbus, MS  Comments: Our plane didn't have a name - we just flew whatever plane was available. Stationed near Roye Ame, France. Norbert Hoerst was a tail gunner - he contacted me a couple of years ago. I would like to add that our group had the pygmy with the darts.

The pigmy with the darts? Please tell us more.

Mr. Pratt’s comments bring to mind something important to understand about operational life in the group. A crew was not necessarily assigned to one plane, but flew a number of ships, depending on availability, requirements of a mission, and so on. To complicate matters, individual crewmembers flew with other crews, or were asked to come on missions to round out a short crew. When I became involved with studying the history of the 391st, I, like many people, has assumed that a crew was attached to one plane, and only flew that plane for their entire combat tour.

And of course, not all planes had names, as well, or they had informal names that were never painted on the nose. Some nicknames, in fact, wouldn’t be repeated in polite company!

Dane M. Donato, 391st Bombardment Group Historian

Date:
9/25/2003
Time:
10:20 AM
 
Bill Hornbarger BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 1943-1945 Class: MacDill Location: Florida  Comments: Bill Hornbarger was my father, he passed away in 1995. I forwarded some of his pictures to Mike and he posted them on this great web site. Dave Hornbarger

Date:
9/24/2003
Time:
8:30 AM
 
Comments:  With regard to surviving members of the original 319th Bomb Group (July 1942), there are others besides David M. Jones and Windell O Myers, both of whom I know. Off the top of my head I can name Ashley E. Woolridge, Charles R. Meyers Jr., Robert Paulsen, Ray Schmidt, Jack Cattell. Given time, I could come up with a lot more. I no longer have reference material here, as I placed my B-26 papers in the (Marauder) archives at The University Akron (Ohio) before moving to California. The 319th Bomb Group quit having its own reunions five yers ago, and has been meeting since with its "sister" unit, the 17th Bomb Group. The last I knew, Jim Doherty was in charge of maintaining the 319th's roster, and he could probably give you more information.   Esther M. Queneau

Date:
9/23/2003
Time:
5:17 PM
 
Albert J. DiLuzio  BombGp: 394 Squadron: 586 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments:  I am looking for information pertaining to the B-26 known as Mi Lei Fo flying 146 missions and shot down on 18 November 1944 over or near Gey Germany. My uncle and name sake was wireless operator and waist gunner on the plane and I am attempting to find as much information as possible about the crew, the plane and it's missions. Photos, letters, flight diaries, etc. would be appreciated. Any and all information is being sought. Albert J. DiLuzio II 

Date:
9/22/2003
Time:
1:38 PM
 
Comments:  I am trying to find out about any information about a B26 which crashed in Bricket Wood, near St. Albans, close to the HANDLEY PAGE factory at Radlett, apparently as a result of a mid air collision, during WW2. The actual location is near to a 15th century barn/mill called Moor Mill.  My father and his school mates apparently took some of the bullets from the crash site and the local policeman went to the school to confiscate them! Regards, Paul Field, St. Albans, HERTS, UK.

Date:
9/21/2003
Time:
1:04 AM
 
1st. Lt. Lester E. Barton BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 1941-45 Class: 42 Location: Chanute AFB. IL.  Comments: Looking for O'Buddies of my late uncle, 1st. Lt. Lester E. Barton. He was a B-26 Marauder Pilot, flew many missions. He was in the " Great Squadron Tragedy, " Mar. 18, 1945. He flew a B-26 unnamed plane, 43-34155 SS-J, was killed in this accident over " Beauvais/Tille, France." Lt. Alex Cordes, is the only man whom lived, I heard he has passed on. He served under Capt. Glenn Nye, " Nye's Annihilator's, " I heard! Many men were killed in this terrible accident! This was with the 451st. BS. 322nd. BG. He grew up in the state of Indiana, in a small town! Hoping to find someone in his military life that remembers something about him! He had a brother, Sgt. Chester Barton, who was in 379th BS. 310th Bg. who was a " Gunner, " on a B-25C plane, 42-64597 killed on July 20, 1943, over Monte Carvino Airdome, Italy. Hoping to find their friends, or someone that can remember something nice to tell our family. Thank you, Judy

Date:
9/20/2003
Time:
9:12 PM
 
Richard F. Smith BombGp: 391 Squadron: 572 Years: 44-45  Comments: I post this message for 1st Lt Cloyed Singhass a member of the B26 "The Three Bears." I direct it to the second posting of the year and to Al Garcia who is looking for some answers about the same plane "The Three Bears" Lt Singhass was in France late 44 to 45. We will help if possiable. Is it possiable to communicate? Richard F Smith

The Three Bears was assigned to the 572nd Squadron of the 391st. She was a B-26B-45-MA model, serial number 42-95810 P-2. She carried an overall olive drab paint scheme, and as is fitting for one of the earlier model B-26 Marauders, she at one point carried D-Day invasion stripes. The Three Bears' nose art consisted of the ship's name in fancy script at a slight angle.

2nd Lt. Cloyd H. Singhass was assigned as Bombardier / Navigator to 2nd Lt. William R. White's crew, which consisted of the following men:

Pilot: 2nd Lt. William R. White
Copilot: 2nd Lt. Thelberth H. Thomas
Bombardier / Navigator: 2nd Lt. Cloyd H. Singhass
Radio / Gunner: Samuel T. Tate (rank unknown at this time)
Engineer / Gunner: Corporal Virgil W. Ritchie
Armorer / Gunner: Corporal Kenneth L. Taplin

Documentation shows that White flew The Three Bears from Oct. 1944 through March 1945. The Group moved from Station 166, Matching Green, Essex, UK, in late September of 1944, and continued operations beginning in early October from their new home at Roye / Amy, France. Most likely, Singhass and his crew flew very few missions if any from Matching. I will continue to research this in greater depth soon and posting the information here.

Dane Donato, 391st Historian, B26.COM

Date:
9/20/2003
Time:
5:52 PM
 
Richard W. Kelly BombGp: 17th Squadron: Years: 1942-45 Class: Location: Walnut Ridge Flying School  Comments: Interested in any information regarding the 17th Bomber group you can provide. My father never told stories from the war so I have little to go on. I do know he flew in Paris and Africa. I'm not even sure of the years he served in the Army Air Corps; he could have enlisted in 1941. Thank you, Denise Caffey

Date:
9/19/2003
Time:
11:42 PM
Willard Wales 1923-2003 - There will be no formal funeral service, graveside service only, at the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery, on Monday, Sept. 22, 03 at 11:00 AM.
 
Vacaville Elmira Cemetery
PO Box 698  (click for map)
Vacaville, CA 95696
(707) 448-7206

Date:
9/19/2003
Time:
3:37 PM
 
Nick Vatistas BombGp: 17 Squadron: 34 Years: 1942 - 1945   Comments: My Dad, Nick AKA "Greek", was a tail gunner with the 34th out of N. Africa. Maybe some of you remember him from the war or reunions. Just wanted to say thanks to all of you for making such a valiant contribution to the freedom of my family, and for watching my Dad's backside. Well actually, I guess he literally watched yours, being a tail gunner, but you know what I mean. :)  He died in February 1997, and I miss him very much. Pete

Date:
9/19/2003
Time:
12:21 PM

Boreham Airfield - Home to the 394th BG, the "Bridge Buster's" from February to July 1944
Earl Colne Airfield - Home to the 323rd Bomb group from June to July 1944
Rivenhall Airfield - Home to the 397th BG, the "Bridge Buster’s" from April to August 1944

by Paul Clouting

Date:
9/19/2003
Time:
10:44 AM

In an antique shop a few years ago, I picked up a full page, Army Air Force recruitment ad featuring a B26 called the EXTERMINATOR. It was in Colliers magazine, March 18, 1944.   According to the text, this B26 had flown 40 missions--Bizerte, Tunis, Sousse, Pantelleria, Naples, Rome, Salerno--and not a man in her crew was scratched.  This definitely is a B26B of the same vintage that we flew--no external gun pods, only one gun in the nose and twin 50s in the tail turret. It's a very nice watercolor illustration--looking up at the plane, bombs exploding on a target in the lower background. The upper turret is not visible.  Is there a list of B26 names that would reveal whether or not this is plane from the 319th Group?  Del

Del - "The Exterminator" was a B26C serial 41-34891 and served with the 437th Bomb Squadron,319th Bomb Group. When the 319th converted to B25's it was transferred to the 320th.Bomb Group.441st Bomb Squadron and renamed "Missouri Milue".   Regards, Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
9/18/2003
Time:
7:47 AM
 
Howard Kithcart  BombGp: 320th Squadron: 441 &442 Years: 1943 to 1945 Class: 43-K Location: Nashville, Tenn  Comments: Howard flew B-26's until FEB 6 1945, plane crashed in Dijon France. I have the tail number, but not with me now. Si Ober was his roommate at the time of the crash.  Ray Kithcart, brother of Howard Kithcart
 
Ray - the B26 was 43-34258 BN.#26 442nd.BS. 1.Lt William A McComber and crew crash-landed, three killed. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian b26.com

Date:
9/17/2003
Time:
7:17 PM
 
David Westheimer BombGp: 98th Squadron: 344th Years: 1941-1945 Class: 42-4 Location: Turner field, Ga.  Comments: I was a B-24 navigator and barracks-mate of Del Myers in Italy's PG 21 in 1943.

Date:
9/17/2003
Time:
5:40 PM
 
SGT Robert Edward Seiley, USAAF BombGp: 320th Squadron: 443rd Years: 1945 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: My father was a B-26 radioman/gunner in the ETO in 1945 with the 320th BG. He had a qualification of "MKM P" which I am guessing was a firearm (pistol) qualification. Does anyone know? I am researching my father's WW II AAF experiences as a radioman/gunner on a B-26 with the 320th BG, 443rd BS at Dijon and Dole in 1945, and also the 397th BG, 598th BS in 1945. From '42 to '44, Dad trained at Scott Field, Ill., Seymour-Johnson Field, N.C., Yale University, New Haven CT., Yuma Army Air Field, Yuma, AZ., Lake Charles Army Air Base, LA., and Hunter Field, Savanah, GA. before going over seas in Jan '45. I have a web site now that reflects what I know to date, including those he served with.  I would appreciate any comments or information you might have. Aircraft photos include 320th BG B-26s "Gotta Match", "Pennsylvania Special", "Flying Finn", and the crash of 397th BG B-26 "Kwitcher Bitchen'" Thanks!  Joe Seiley

Date:
9/16/2003
Time:
2:55 PM
 
In response to Phil Listemann's question regarding B-26 aircraft of the 25th BG(R) in WW2. The fourth Marauder was a B-26G-5-MA, serial 43-34226, named "Liberty Run" coded T, also of the 654th BS. This aircraft did not fly any sorties, but was retained by the group for training and non-combat duties until March 1945. Regards Paul Clouting

Date:
9/15/2003
Time:
2:55 PM

T-Sgt. Gaston Gerard Poulin was born in St. Joseph de Beauce, Quebec Province, Canada, and his family moved to Skowhegan, Maine when he was very young. He joined the USAAF in October 1941 and trained at Lowry Field as an Armorer. Then at MacDill Field in the summer of 1942, he volunteered to become a gunner and trained at Tyndall Field, Florida.

Dave - there were two Miss Sarfartus Rickenchicker's, the original being a B26C-6-MO, the pilot being 1.Lt Satterwhite, and this was the B26 your father flew in from July 1943. This B26 was retired as War Weary on 24th October 1943 being sent to a training unit. The second Miss Sarfartus etc came onto the squadron 5th November 1943 the pilot again being Capt Satterwhite, however Satterwhite was promoted to Major and became CO of another squadron. On his transfer this Miss Sarfartus was assigned to another pilot and crew. It was then that the Satterwhite crew were reassigned and your father began to fly in Toid Boid. Regards, Trevor

Date:
9/11/2003
Time:
5:19 PM
 
American Warriors - I believe my treatment of the June 6, 1942 raid on Lae, New Guinea, involving B26s, B25s, B17s and P400s is the most thorough available, having built on Henry Sakaida's work.

Sincerely,
Duane Hove

Date:
9/11/2003
Time:
11:30 AM
 
Robert T. Douglass  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 553 Years: 1943-1944 Class: 43-10 Location: Hondo TX AFB  Comments: I flew 66 mission over Europe, and flew D-Day. Wounded June 11, 1944 and crashed July 31st 1944 (B-26). Any information on location of this aircraft crash would be appreciated. Lt. Col. Robert T. Douglass

Date:
9/8/2003
Time:
5:27 PM
 
Philip S. Walter  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 573 Years: 44-45 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Hi, My name is Philip S. Walter, Jr. I was born March 11, 1945 while my dad was flying B-26's from France. My dad is still alive and lives in Manheim, PA. His bombardier, Tom Muddiman lives in the Providence, Rhode Island area. If you were to contact my Dad, he might be able to provide you with more information:

P Walter, Philip S., 2Lt
Cp Stone, Jack C., 2Lt
B Muddiman, Thomas E., 2Lt
N Fezayonc, Carl M., Cpl
RG Zipperstain, Irving J., Sgt
AG Theis, Earl L., Cpl

Hope this is helpful. Phil Walter, Jr.

Date:
9/7/2003
Time:
8:23 PM
 
Donald Oliver Finnell  BombGp: 397th Squadron: 598th Years: ?-1945 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: My father was Sgt. Donald Oliver Finnell. By the few records the V.A. will give up I have this information. Please! Anyone who can help me do e-mail to his family. I am in a battle with the V.A. for his WW II records and have been for a very long time. Only his APO address gave me this. He was a Corporal in 1945, his time of serve was up a little later then he signed up again and was killed right Oct. 1st 1946 on a B-29 before my birth. Anyone who knew him, served with him or has any information will be in my prayers forever. He needs to be included in the WW II Memorial. Thanks, Dawn Finnell Sherman

Date:
9/7/2003
Time:
5:58 PM
 
Robert Gerald Cheek BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location:   Comments: My uncle, Robert Gerald Cheek, from Fairplay, MO was a B26 pilot in WWII. He flew 7 missions over Germany and died in Dijon, France. Did any of you know him and what can you tell me about him? Pat Cheek

Date:
9/7/2003
Time:
12:52 PM
 
Ted Aichele  BombGp: 322  Past away 9/2/03

Date:
9/6/2003
Time:
10:32 PM
 
Oran Begwin  BombGp: 323 Squadron: 453 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am writing on behalf of Mr. Begwin, a B-26 pilot. He is 83 years old and does not have a computer, and I believe him to be partially incapacitated and does not write for himself. I met him only today at a local fly-in breakfast and he was quite interested that I was researching a family member who had served with a B-26 crew. He flew the southern route to Mereketch in April 1943, and I presume at some point on to England with the 9th AF. Would the 323 have flown any missions in North Africa during the April-August 1943 time period? Can you provide his crew list? I'm sure he would like to hear from anyone who might remember him. I have his surface mail address and would provide it to anyone interested in corresponding with him. I also have an unrelated question: While talking with a former B-26 navigator, he mentioned that he had certified records of bombing missions. Can you explain what this document would contain and would copies be available from somewhere? Thank You John Thompson

Date:
9/6/2003
Time:
5:48 AM
 
S/Sgt Jay Troup  BombGp: 391st Squadron: 574th Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: This is my father S/Sgt. Jay Troup and I am trying to find someone who may have been in prisoner of war camp with him in Germany. He was shot down on Dec 23,1944 in the Arhweiler Mission. The men mentioned in a article by Bob Myron are Messel, Peters, and Weibking, these men all bailed out with him when their plane was shot down. The pilots of that plane perished by trying to crash land the plane. Col. Donald Brandon and Lt. Clarence Michelson. My father was wounded after bailing out and since he was a prisoner of war for 17 weeks there is no record of his injuries, therefore he never received his much deserved Purple Heart. If there is anyone out there who knows anything or may have been present in the same war camp, please contact me at the above email address. My siblings and I would greatly appreciate any help we can get. My father sadly passed away in 1979. Like other prisoners, he rarely said anything to us about the war and the time he spent as a prisoner. Thank You, Janice (Troup) Smith

Janice - Crew of Troup's B26 23rd December 1944:

Lt Clarence E Mickelson - killed in crash-landing
Col. Brandon - killed in crash-landing
2. Lt Ward C Smidl - parachuted
2. Lt Kenneth L Messel - parachuted
2. Lt John R Peters - parachuted
S/Sgt Jay S Troup - parachuted
S/Sgt Eugene E Wiebking - parachuted
S/Sgt Robert D Buckley - killed by 20mm shell

Regards,
Trevor

Date:
9/5/2003
Time:
2:12 AM

My father, Jim Hoel, was B26 bombardier on the ill fated 17th May 1943. Ijmuiden Mission (322 BG /450 & 452 SQ). He is also an ex POW. Recently, he received a watch that he lost when his B26 was shot down over Holland. There have been numerous articles written concerning the seemingly miraculous recovery of this watch. I am enclosing a front page story from the Chicago tribune dated 8/30/03. My father has mentioned that he would like to travel to England to personally thank the two men who made the return of this watch possible. He has not been back to Europe since his liberation from a German POW camp in 1945. I am encouraging him to also travel to the site where his plane was shot down as well as to the site of the former Stalag Lufte 3 prison camp in Sagan, Poland.

I am attempting to raise funds to cover his travel expenses. I will accompany him on this journey. If you are aware of individuals or organizations that would "pitch in" to assist him in this healing journey please let me know.

Best regards,
Gil Hoel

Date:
9/5/2003
Time:
2:12 AM
 
Wesley M. Myers BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?   Comments: Wesley M. Myers, Second Lieutenant, AAF, 451st Bomber Sq, 322nd Bomber Group-Medium. He entered the service from California and was killed March 18, 1945 according to American Battle Monuments. He is buried in the Epinal American Cemetery in France. I am trying to find out anything about him and his crew and the events surrounding his death. His name is listed on our local war Memorial here in Burbank, California. Linda C. Mustion
 
Linda, 2. Lt Wesley M Myers was one of several crewmen killed when three B26's collided, whilst forming up over its base. He belonged to the 451st Bomb Squadron. Trevor J Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
9/4/2003
Time:
8:22 PM
 
Joe Clair  BombGp: 17th Squadron: 95th Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Anybody still around from the 17th BG, 95th BS ? My dad, T/SGT Joe Clair was the Crew Chief on "Tondelayo". He was with the outfit from No. Africa all the way to the end of the war. Is there anybody who might remember him and the airplane?

Date:
9/4/2003
Time:
8:03 AM
 
Comments: Hello, The B-26 has been used by 25th BG(R) during Summer 44 in France for night photographs tasks. It seems that 4 B-26G have been put into service with 654th BS. I could identify three of them (193/W, 195/X and 205), but I would appreciate to have the fourth one if exists. I'd like to have more details of their use. Where I could find such information's?. Thanks for helping, Phil Listemann

Date:
9/2/2003
Time:
6:33 PM
 
Santa Ana Preflight - Greetings Mike; The picture is great and impressive in size - two hundred cadets from Santa Ana Preflight ready to ship out as potential pilots to their Primary flight school locations across the States.  Brockett and Butterfield went to Wickenburg Arizona.   Thanks for what you are doing, Warren Butterfield

Date:
9/1/2003
Time:
9:28 AM
 
Wetzel Kimball BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 1944  Comments: We would like Don Hines to know that our uncle, Wetzel Kimball was a tailgunner on "Five by Fives". He was killed on a volunteer mission to Kaiserslautern on Nov 25 1944. At that time the 557th was based in Clastres France. No information on what targets Five by Fives had, though. Dave and Mike Jones (nephews of Wetzel Kimball)

Date:
8/31/2003
Time:
5:48 PM
 
Jonathan Rakolta Falcone, 3/75, Ranger Rgt

Date:
8/28/2003
Time:
1:41 PM
 
Capt. Elmer Magneson BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 42-44   Comments: My name is Bob Mogel, and I have been researching on behalf of Capt. Magneson's daughter Wendy Magneson Johannes. She has provided me with basic info on her late father, and is interested in finding out anything available on him during the war years. Apparently he was assigned to 9th Bomber Command, 98th Bomb Wing, 387th BG, 557th Bomb Squadron, from 42-44, and may have been pilot in command of B26 "Ollie L". Wendy also said that he completed 66 missions. I've done a fair amount of unit research and think that I have it pretty well covered, but I'm coming up empty with regard to Capt. Magneson himself. I'll appreciate any further information you may be able to uncover.   Thank you, Bob

Date:
8/27/2003
Time:
5:12 PM
 
Windell Odell Myers BombGp: 319th Squadron: 438th Years: 1942--1945 Class: 42G Location: Stockton, CA Comments: Joined the 319th Group at Barksdale Field, LA in August1942. Overseas to Europe in September 1942 and into North Africa at the invasion. Operated out of Oran, Algiers (Maison Blanc). Missions few: Sfax, Gabes, Tunis and shot down at Bizerte on 4 Dec. 1942 flying with then Maj. David M. Jones (438th CO) and 319th Group CO Colonel Sam W. Agee. All survived crash.

Date:
8/24/2003
Time:
12:02 PM
 
Bob Witty BombGp: 344 Commanding Officer, 11-7-44 to 8-17-45: Trevor: Once or twice a week I check b26.com out and I am constantly amazed at the info you are able to dredge up for people. You are doing a great job; one that is needed and I salute you for it! Bob Witty

Date:
8/23/2003
Time:
11:16 AM
 
John E. Dunn, Jr. BombGp: 323 Squadron: 453 Years: Class: Location:  Comments: My father-in-law was with Bomb Gp 323, Squadron 453. I would like as much information that you have on him and the people he was with. I have a couple of old photos that my husband and I got after his parents pasted away. In the photos there is Lt. Jesse R. Swan, Lt. John W. Vaughan, Lt. David J. Beamer, Sgt. Auldin D. Sudbury and S/Sgt. Billie T. Harris. Do you know where they or their children are today?  Donna Dunn

Date:
8/22/2003
Time:
8:29 AM
 
William Stanley II BombGp: 450 Squadron: 322 Years: 11/42-12/44 Class:   Comments: My father passed on in 1984, and I am interested in trying to locate some of his crew members. His Air Force serial number is 17 160 288, or 17 160 283. The last 2 digits are difficult to decipher. I have a copy of his honorable discharge, and I would like to know the significance of his awards listed on his honorable discharge in section 33 for decorations and citations. 4 Bronze for campaigns ( Normandy, Northern France, Air Offensive Europe, and Germany) per ltrs ( this part has a hole punched in it.)Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters GO BC 1944-45, Distinguished Unit Badge GO 254 8th Air Force 23Oct 44. He mentioned that he flew for "Niles Annilators." Please request any publications you feel might be an accurate description of what he went through. I have letters he wrote to my grandparents, and it was apparent he had taken some kind of drug following debriefing, as his writing became sloppy at the close. I have his bomber cap, and a swastika he brought back. I'm not sure where he got it, or what to do with it. Your time is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, William Z. Stanley, III

Date:
8/20/2003
Time:
8:29 AM
 
Milton Saltzman BombGp: 386 Squadron: 553 Years: Class: Location:   Comments: I was wondering if anyone knew of flew with my dad. Dad passed away in 1977 and never really talked about the war. I know that at one point he was Capt. Milton Saltzman and he was the squadron navigator for approximately 67 missions over Europe. I remember seeing a picture of him in front of a B-26 "Rat Poison". He received the Distinguished Flying Cross. My son 17 yr. old never got to meet his grandfather and has asked me questions I can't answer. Thank you for any information. Sincerely, Jim Saltzman

Date:
8/20/2003
Time:
8:29 AM
 
George H Lane  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449 Years: 42-45 Class: 43D Location: Pampa,TX  Comments: I was a pilot, flying as co-pilot for Frank Remmele from 3-6-44, my first mission until he finished his tour. I also flew in the left seat when he was not on the schedule, On Dday I flew cp for him on the first mission, as a wingman on the 2nd mission, and led a flight for the first time that afternoon. I never flew as a wingman again but continued flying as his cp until he finished. I flew all of the night missions as his cp and was in the right seat when we crashed the well known "Truman Committee" at Friston. I led flights mostly but also Boxes, I finished my tour about 3/10/45 and was lucky enough to fly home from Prestwick, Scotland on a C54. After a month`s leave I reported to Santa Ana, Ca. for reassignment, just as the point system for discharge was announced. I accepted discharge and was back in college two weeks later. I became an orthopedic surgeon and was in practice 50 years until retirement. I spent time with John Charnley, inventor of the Artificial Hip Replacement, after the war and introduced total hip replacement to the southern US in 1967. I did joint replacement for the next 35 years.

Date:
8/17/2003
Time:
12:09 PM
 
Hi Chester... Interesting! Wish I could have been a member of the "B26ers". I also acquired my interest in aviation when I was a youngster. In 1940 I lived not too far from an auxillary training field for the U.S. Army Air Corps. The aircraft were AT-6s (SNJ Navy) from Craig (Army Air Corps) Field in Selma Alabama. I would go sit under the wings with the pilots when they would take breaks from touch ang go practice. I was about eleven years old then. Needless to say that got my interest up in aviation. Also my years in the navy were on aircraft carriers Your friend, Glynn Newsom

Date:
8/16/2003
Time:
6:52 AM
 
Don Hines BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 44 Class: ? Location: ?   Comments: My father, Don Hines, was in the 557th BS, 387th BG. He was a copilot on the B-26 "Five by Fives", KS*R, 41-31707.  He flew 30 missions between the summer of '44 and the end of the war. I have his mission dates but no info on targets. Mike Hines

Date:
8/14/2003
Time:
6:52 AM
 
John Long BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class:  Comments: Greetings: My father, John Long was a mechanic for the plane "Sniffles". Just curious if any of you, who I consider hero's new him. Bless you all and have a wonderful day,  Chuck Long

Date:
8/13/2003
Time:
6:31 PM
 
Robert L Davis  BombGp: 387th Squadron: 556th Years: 44-45   Comments: Robert L Davis is my dad. He attended Flight School at San Antonio (August 43), Primary at Corsicana (Nov 43), Basic at Enid Okla (Feb 44), Adv Altus Okla (Apr44). He served in the European Theater: Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. He flew right seat most of the time. His command pilot was named Johnson. He passed away many years ago but has left me many photos he took in Europe and a complete diary of each bomb run. I am trying to find out about his plane and crew.  Glen Davis

Date:
8/13/2003
Time:
12:31 PM
 
Melvin R. Cole BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 - Comments: My father, CMSGT Melvin R. Cole, passed away in April 1992. I am in the process of having a memorial plaque created to be placed at Mount Soledad Memorial in San Diego, California. I have all my fathers DD214 from the time he re-enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 until his retirement at March AFB, California in February 1971. I am trying to get information about his tour of duty in WWII. I know he was in the 456th Bomb Sq. and flew in a Martin B-26 Marauder as a gunner. He was part of a crew that included Chas. Hodshon, Harold Cruit, Gilbert Mael and Geo Cottone. He received a DFC and I am trying to get more details about that. I noticed a posting from Philip R. Scheier on this site dated 8/8/03 and am hoping he may be able to assist me with info. Thanks. Becky (Cole) Macumber

Hi Becky:
Thanks to our mutual friend, Mike Smith who created the very impressive B26 web site, you are in touch with at least one of the young guys who flew on the Martin Marauder B26 medium bomber as member of the 456th Bomb Squadron, of the 323rd Bomb Group, of the Ninth Air Force. I was a radio operator-gunner.

Sorry to hear your dad passed away last year.

If you could get someone you know there to scan a photo of Mel, preferably around the 1940s, and send it via email, I in turn, I could send it around to our slowly-shrinking nationwide link of online 456th members to refresh their memories. Which is why an email pix would be so helpful. or, if you wish, you could mail me a photo since I do have a scanner, and could take it from there.

I have already written another squadron mate who kept large written accounts of just about everything of our time together, with the new info on Mel. Of course, a pix would help to better focus and sharpen our memories.

The fact that your dad's name and crew are listed in that transit register at Savannah, means he was with us at Myrtle Beach, S.C., where we trained for a long time before leaving in May, 1943 for our flight via the North Atlantic, to Earls Colne in England. This is a small town not far from Colchester, a larger city, some 40 or so miles northeast of London, best as I can figure out.

Did your dad ever attend any of the annual reunions of our 456th Squadron Association? Because of advancing age, most of the members can no longer attend these affairs held in various parts of the country. And sadly, the last reunion took place in 2002 in Pensacola, FL, when only about 10 members were able to make it (see below).

I was very touched to learn you plan a special memorial for Mel at the cemetery, linked to his Air Force service in WW2, plus his following service when he re-enlisted.

We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Mike Smith and his B26 web site, which has become the great gathering place for so many B26 veterans, whether they flew or kept them flying.

Great hearing from you, and looking forward to getting Mel's pix so I can circulate it online for any more possible info. All the best.  Phil Scheier

456th Squadron Association, 2002 in Pensacola, FL

Date:
8/12/2003
Time:
12:15 PM

Martin B-26 Marauder Operations on 6th June 1944, D-Day

Unit | Target | Take Off Time | Bomb Release Time

1st Pathfinder Sqdn | Ouistreham 69 | 0345 hrs | 0520 hrs
322nd.Bomb Group | Ouistreham 69 | 0345 hrs | 0520 hrs
1st Pathfinder Sqdn | Bennerville | 0345 hrs | 0526 hrs
391st Bomb Group | Bennerville PFF B26 | 0345 hrs | 0517 hrs *
* did not drop its bombs
1st Pathfinder Sqdn | Ouistreham 74 | 0400 hrs | 0555 hrs
322nd Bomb Group | Ouistreham 74 | 0400 hrs | 0555 hrs
344th Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 20 | 0405 hrs | 0605 hrs
344th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 22 | 0355 hrs | 0608 hrs
344th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 19 | 0410 hrs | 0609 hrs
387th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 36 | 0442 hrs | 0614 hrs
387th Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 23 | 0442 hrs | 0614 hrs
387th Bomb Group | Les Dunes de Varreville 104 | 0449 hrs | 0614 hrs
394th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 19 | 0427 hrs | 0616 hrs
323rd Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 20 | 0400 hrs | 0616.5 hrs
323rd Bomb Group | La Madeleine 36 | 0425 hrs | 0617 hrs
323rd Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 101 | 0435 hrs | 0617.5 hrs
394th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 22 | 0427 hrs | 0617.5 hrs
394th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 101 | 0427 hrs | 0618 hrs
397th Bomb Group | Les Dunes de Varreville 104 | 0407 hrs | 0619 hrs
397th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 36 | 0407 hrs | 0620 hrs
397th Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 23 | 0407 hrs | 0622 hrs
386th Bomb Group | Les Dunes de Varreville 104 | 0439 hrs | 0623 hrs
386th Bomb Group | La Madeleine | 0441 hrs | 0624 hrs
386th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 101 | 0445 hrs | 0624 hrs
391st Bomb Group | Maisy 7 | 0445 hrs | 0625 hrs
391st Bomb Group | St Pierre du Mont | 0430 hrs | 0626 hrs
322nd Bomb Group | Montfarville 308 | 0500 hrs | 0627 hrs

Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.COM

Date:
8/12/2003
Time:
4:30 AM
 
Donald M Wolberg BombGp: Squadron: Years: 1944-45 Class: Location: Comments:  My Stepfather, Donald M Wolberg, served as a bombardier / navigator in the European theatre. He was shot down in April of '45, wounded and exchanged for prisoners. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank You, P.Siegel

Date:
8/12/2003
Time:
2:46 AM
 
Andrew F. Byrd, Jr. BombGp: 322 Squadron:  449 Years: Class: Location:   Comments: If anyone remembers my father, 1t. Lt. Andrew F. Byrd, Jr. deceased July 2000, we would love to hear from you. He flew the (Winnie Dee) B26 in the 449th Bomb Group, 322 Squadron as pilot. Thanks, Diane Byrd Stiles

Date:
8/10/2003
Time:
2:48 PM
 
Emory D. Barton BombGp: 336th Squadron: 478th Years: Class: Location:   Comments: Sgt. Emory D. Barton my uncle, was killed Oct. 29,1942 in a night training mission. The plane went straight in with no survivors near Vernon Fl. He was from Waxahachie, TX. a flight engineer. The other men lost were, 2nd. Lt. Thomas H. Dunbury, Mass.; 2nd. Lt. David Furman, New York City; Sgt.Lloyd Wyatt, Berlin MD; Sgt.Douglas G. Johns, Horseheads,NY; Sgt.Vernal M. Skarison, Mayville, ND and Sgt. Charles Schwamberg, Rice Landing, PA.  I have the original newspaper clipping stating no bodies were recovered. To my father's knowledge, no grave site exists. Any information of this loss would be appreciated, not only for my family but for the others. Steve Barton

Date:
8/9/2003
Time:
6:15 PM
 
Paul C. Ellzey BombGp: 319th Squadron: 439th Years: 1942-44,45? Class: ? Location: ? Send: Comments: My father was in the 319th group, 439th squadron. He was a Bombardier/Navigator. His commanders were Lt. Col. Gordan H. Austin and Lt. Col. Joseph R. Holzapple. His pilot was a Lt. Col. Bill Moranville. Service# was XXXX323. He was stationed in North Africa, Sardinia, Tunisia. They, his crew bombed Italy during WW11. He trained in Pampa, TX ? My father was hit by anti aircraft flak in one mission. It went through the nose of the plane where he was manning the nose machine gun, knocking him down. It had gone through his Mae west vest, jacket, and uniform. But did not break the skin. He had that piece of metal for years. It was 3 to 4 inches in length and 1/2 an inch wide. Made of what appeared to be nickel? Michael Ellzey

Date:
8/8/2003
Time:
8:52 PM
 
Philip R. Scheier  BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Years: 1942-1945 Class: Location:  Comments: Aug. 8, 2003: Amazing what a Google search will bring up. I found my name on a May 1943 Hunter Field manifest, with that of my crew and the other crews of my 456th Squadron, as we headed up the coast on our way to our English base at Earl's Colne, north of London. The only initial route listed was for our jumping-off spot at Presq.
 
David Gleason sent a copy of his overseas orders to add to the Web site.

Date:
8/8/2003
Time:
5:31 AM
 
Comments: I'm contacting you from Flashback Television, a London based documentary production company. We have been commissioned by The History Channel to produce a two hour special for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Landings with a working title of D-Day From The Air. Flashback Television have acquired exclusive archive material of the Allied invasion which have never been broadcast before. This material consists of thousands of aerial photographs taken by British and American reconnaissance aircraft during their 25 sorties along the Normandy beaches on 6th June 1944. Using these images, it is our intention to provide a unique view of D-Day taken from above the clouds. To compliment this remarkable archive, we are interested in interviewing approximately 20 American D-Day veterans who could vividly share their personal accounts with us of what is known as The Longest Day. We are very keen to speak to veterans who flew B-26's over Normandy in particular memebers of the 397th Bomb Group. We are planning to be in Ohio at the end of September to film D-Day Conneaut. It is a three day event where approximately 200 re-enactors recreate the D-Day landings. It is our desire to interview some veterans prior to this event, so I would be very interested to establish if there are any reunions taking place soon. I would be very grateful for any assistance that you may be able to provide.
Thanking you in advance,

Una Shinners
Production Co-coordinator/Researcher

Date:
8/7/2003
Time:
4:03 PM
 
Staff Sgt. Chuck Elyea BombGp: 394 Squadron: 584 Years: 1944 Class: Location:  Comments: My uncle was Staff Sgt. Chuck Elyea radio operator/gunner in the 584 squadron of the 394th bomb group. He trained Elgin, IL., plus FL and LA.  He died on Mission 138 while returning from a raid on a railroad bridge at Ahrweiler Germany.   Oct. 8 1944 Orleans/Bricy France. (air collision over the airfield, all members of both crews died).  I am seeking any info or pictures. Bob Paine

Date:
8/7/2003
Time:
2:19 PM
 
Dear Sir, I contact you, as I discovered here in Luxembourg, the crash side of Clarks Little Pill. On the 25th Dec.1944 Lt Maurice NEHER piloted this plane and was shot down near the village of PRATZ here in Luxembourg. All the crew bailed out exept of Sgt ENSMINGER whose chute didn´t open. He was found on the 7th January in the snow near the village of GROSBOUS at about 3 miles away from the crash side. My question to you Sir is if you have an crew picture of Lt NEHER.  It is for honoring the crew in the village for local historians. As we found many parts of the plane we want to complete the history with pictures in our museum.  I already thank you for any help you can provide in this case. Yours sincerely, John Derneden
 
Mr. John Derneden, my father, Sgt. Robert Conlen, was a member of the Clarks Little Pill crew. Ronald Conlen

Date:
8/6/2003
Time:
9:34 AM
 
John J. Velthouse BombGp: 391st Squadron: 573rd Years: Class: Location:   Comments: My museum recently acquired some artifacts pertaining to John J. Velthouse of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Velthouse was a staff sergeant and gunner aboard a B-26, serving with the 9th Air Force in Europe. He was wounded during a mission on 16 January 1945 and died three days later. I would like to find out more information about him: squadron and group, particulars of the mission, and (of course) stories from any serviceman who knew him. Family members could not provide much detail, except that a newspaper clipping stated that he had left for overseas on 1 May 1944. He had been awarded a DFC and an Air Medal, which they donated to our museum. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Robert C. Myers, Curator Berrien County Historical Assn. Berrien Springs, Michigan

Marauder Men, what bombardment group and squadron was Mr. Velthouse in?

John J. Velthouse is 573BS, 391BG. John Moench
Wed, 13 Aug 2003 18:39:42 -0400

Thank you, John!

Date:
8/6/2003
Time:
9:56 AM
 
Valento Rivoli BombGp: 391 Squadron: 575 Years: 1942-1945 Class: Location: Comments: I am writing for my wife's uncle, Val Rivoli. He was shot down over Germany on Feb 24, 1945. He was flying in the lead plane with Capt Hanish. He was the only parachute that got out. I would like "taxi sheets" for that mission, or any other info that might be available. He was a POW till liberated. Thank you for your history seeking, Donald Davis Plano, TX

Date:
8/4/2003
Time:
2:18 AM
 
Michael M. Mikita BombGp: 386 bg Squadron: 554 Years: Class: Location: Randolph Field Texas  Comments: To Whom This May Concern; I would like to have any information you may have on 1st. Lieut., Michael M. Mikita M.C. Flight Surgeon, 9th AF, 386BG, 554BS, 2 years service ETO, 20 missions. Medals, Bronze Star, Air Medal 3 OLC. Qualified as Aviation Medical Examiner, No. 1254, December 17,1942, Randolph Field, Texas. Thank you Erich Ferrell Figley

Date:
8/3/2003
Time:
7:40 PM
 
William P. Morton BombGp: 344 Squadron: 494 Years: 3-1/2 Class: 44D Location: Altus, OK  Comments: After reading the last issue of The Thunder, I am deeply concerned about several things: 1. If the present "OLD" bunch of MHS directors want to shut down the MHS and give all its assets to Pima next year in 2004, why do they still ask for "Life Members?" What will happen to any possible benefits of a "Life" member if there is no MHS after 2004? What do you in the Marauder community think about this? 2. Did you notice that the Board of MHS unanimously agreed to give all Y O U R video tapes to Richard Ellinger who, apparently, plans NOT to put them in YOUR archive, but either keep them himself or give them to the Library of Congress or some governmental agency. Did you notice that the present Board of Directors have FAILED to fill FOUR vacancies on the Board as required by the by-laws of MHS? They feel that only "OLD" people can serve on the Board. That is why they kicked Jack Havener out as Chair of the Nominating Committee and replaced him by the same Richard Ellinger mentioned above. He then stacked the election of Directors with two men of his group and other "OLD" men of his choosing, NOT NOMINATED BY YOU THE MARAUDER COMMUNITY. Have you read on this web site that a son of a B-26er tried to take his father's B-26 memorabilia to Pima for the MHS archive and was told by the personnel at Pima that he must have an appointment to talk to any one about B-26's or give archival material to the MHS Archive. Did you notice that Harold Luntey, former Secretary of MHS, Robert Harwell, former president of MHS and Jack Havener, former vice president and PR Chair all resigned in disgust after the stacked election? You, the Marauder Men and Women must instruct your association executives to not send any more archival materials to Pima or send any more money to MHS until The Board FORCES Richard Ellinger to return the video tapes to the interviewees as he promised to do in 1992- eleven years ago and to put copies of them in the two Marauder archives at Akron and Pima - not keep them for his personal gain or give them to some Federal Agency. The Thunder is now being used for editorializing, as I see it. Stand up like good B-26ers and take back YOUR MHS before it is too late! Bill Morton Past Director and President of MHS

Date:
8/3/2003
Time:
5:29 PM
 
Ernest Frey BombGp: Squadron: Years: 1942-45 Class: Location:   Comments: My late father, Ernest Frey, was an Army Air Force pilot during World War II, and I believe he flew B-26s. He was a lieutenant at time. He flew about 30 missions. His plane was hit and crash-landed in water while flying over Greece. My dad was trapped in the cockpit and was rescued by his navigator, who later received the silver star for saving Dad's life. I think all the crew survived, but my father was missing in action for about 9 months. During that time he was hidden by the underground, who eventually got him back into Allied territory. The story of his crash-landing was written up by one of his crew members into an article, "Milk Run," which ran in Argosy magazine sometime in the early 1960s, but I don't have a copy.  Linda Robertson
Linda - The fact that your father crashlanded in the sea off Greece, I doubt that he was flying a B26 since they did not operate in that area.  Do you have any idea of the Squadron or Group your father flew with. If he had any old order filed away these will give you a clue. Regards Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
8/2/2003
Time:
8:12 PM
 
Leonard M. Anderson BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location: Comments: My father, Leonard M. Anderson, of Deerfield, WI, passed away in March of this year after a short illness. He was a tail gunner on a B-26 and was based in England and France in the later years of the war, late 1944 and early 1945. I do not, unfortunately, know his squadron. His business partner and first cousin, Jerome Mickelson, was also a tail-gunner on a B-26. He was shot down over North Africa, captured, processed through Tunis, Tunisia and spent the rest of the war in Stalag 17. Yes, there really was a Stalag 17. Neither of them talked about their experiences at all, especially Jerome, who died about 15 years ago.  Steve Anderson
 
Steve, I suggest you approach the AFHRA for the information you possess. They have the records on file for all aircraft accidents during World War II. From what you have told us you have all the information they would require to find this specific accident, ie date, place and crew names. For a nominal sum they will provide you with a copy of this report. AFHRS, 600 Chennault Circle, Bldg 1405, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424.  Regards, Trevor Allen, Historian, b26.com

Date:
7/30/2003
Time:
10:15 AM

I was 12 years old, in June 1944 when my small village, 5 miles from Omaha Beach and 7 from Gold Beach was liberated by the British on one side, the Americans on the other. A few weeks after D Day the American Engineers undertook the building of an important Advanced Landing Ground (code A 13) with two long runways, long enough indeed to enable emergency landings even for heavy bombers. On A 13 were based, first, in July, the Thunderbolts of the 373rd F.G. and of the 406th F.G. then, between the 25th of August and the 18th of September, the B 26's of the 394th B.G. You might be interested by the fate of three B-26's, destroyed in my village. The first had an accident in the beginning of the afternoon, at the end of the west-east runway. I stood, at about half a mile, watching the planes taking off; suddenly, one of them crashed on the runway, probably after an engine failure. I remember a cloud of dust, then a little smoke.  Useless to say that I did not wait to watch the explosion. We were told that the crew was safe but, on the ground, an American serviceman had been killed. I did not see the second accident. At the time of our evening meal I was surprised by the ringing of the bells of British fire-fighters driving rapidly through the village and discovered a big black cloud at about five hundred yards from my house. A plane, presumably a B 26 of the 394th B.G., returning from mission and flying too low had crashed on big trees. The crew was killed. When the 394th B.G. left A 13 at the end of the battle of Normandy, they left a B 26 too badly damaged to be repaired, (a fuselage and parts of wings); for the children of the villages all around, it became a wonderful toy!  Bernard Porquet.

Bernard - The 394th Bomb Group only lost two B26's during the period 25th August to 18th September 1944,although other B26's landed at A-13 at other periods outside that noted by you. The air echelon did not leave A-13 until 24th September 1944.  On 21st September 1944 Lt Davis and crew of the 584th. Bomb Squadron in B26 42-96267 hit prop wash on take off, stalled and crashed onto the runway. All but one of the crew escaped prior to the bombs exploding, the latter being killed. A nearby B26 42-96056 of the 586th Bomb Squadron was so severely damaged by the explosion of 42-96267 that it was declared salvage.  Bernard why don't you tell B26.com more about yourself and A-13 while it was being used by the various units. Give us an impression what it was like for a youngster at that time. I am sure our readers would be pleased to read of your adventures.   Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
7/28/2003
Time:
8:09 PM
 
Lt. Andrew F. Byrd, Jr.  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449 Years: 43   Comments: My father was Lt. Andrew F. Byrd, Jr, pilot on B26 and I know he spent most of his time in England flying 55 missions when you only had to do 25 (I think). He was from Camden Arkansas and lived the rest of his life after the war in Stamford Texas. He died in July 2003 of old age - my nephew has more military facts on him but he was a wonderful man. Anyone that knew him, please let us know by email.
Thank you, Diane Byrd Stiles
 
Diane - Thank you for your e-mail regarding your father and the 449th Bomb Squadron. When B26's began to operate from England in July 1943 the standard operational tour was 25 missions, however because of the low rate of  combat casualties in the B26 and the need to keep combat experienced crews in the ETO the number of missions was increased gradually to 65.
 
Trevor Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
7/28/2003
Time:
1:03 PM
 
1st LT Floyd Farr BombGp: 387 Squadron: 556 Bomb Years: 42-44 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am looking for info on my 1st cousin, 1st LT Floyd Farr who was with the above squadron. According to the War Department Floyd's B-26 crashed near Clastres, France on the evening of 18 November 1944 and he died the next morning. According to some info these dates may not be accurate. Floyd's plane tail number was 41-31867 FW-Y and named "Queen of the Gremlins". I would sincerely appreciate anything anyone can tell me about Floyd and his squadron.  Walter Godwin
 
Walter - The information you have on 1st.Lt Floyd Farr is correct, the only thing I can add that the B26 crashed just after take off on a night training mission. Trevor J Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/28/2003
Time:
11:35 AM
 
Claude T. (Buddy) Cook BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 452nd Years: 1943   Comments: T/Sgt Claude T. (Buddy) Cook from Louisiana, 8th AF Engineer Gunner, November 23, 1943 crash site Blendecques, France, South of St. Omer. Crew buried in Souvenir Cemetery, Longuenesse, France. MACR is #1187 How do I get copy of this report and learn any other details avail. Especially picture of plane which was a Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder, Ser #41-31817. Based in Andrews Field/Great Saling Essex U.S. Station 485 England. Want to reach fiancée, Edna Cook, Ipswich, Suffolk if possible. Thanks for your response. Dorothy Gallman
Dorothy - You can get a copy of the MACR # 1187 from AFHRS at 600 Chennault Circle Bldg 1405, Maxwell A.F.B,Al. 36112-6424 for a nominal fee. In all the years I have been researching the Martin B26 I have never come across a photograph of 41-31817 however, this does not mean that a photograph does not exist.
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/27/2003
Time:
9:38 PM
 
Lt. Clifton R. Freeman BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451  Comments: Hello! I'm writing about my mother's cousin, Lt. Clifton R. Freeman. According to your web site, his plane was shot down February 29, 1944. I have some questions I was wondering if you could help me with. For the 29th, you show him as being a member of Lt. Hoy Bonnett's crew. I was under the impression Cliff was a pilot, not a co-pilot. I also have a letter from a member of his group written to Cliff's mother stating that he saw Cliff's plane descending under control, and that he thought there was a good chance Cliff survived because he was such a good pilot. I have the form to send for a combat report. Is there a chance this would provide better details? Second, Cliff's plane was named "Sarah E" after his cousin, my mother's sister. On your web site you show the "Sarah E" completing its 100th mission on June 25th of that year. Is it possible Cliff was killed when flying as a co-pilot on another plane and upon his death, "his" plane, the "Sarah E" was given to another pilot? Any insight you can provide would be helpful and appreciated. Thank you. John Smithwick Orlando, Florida
 
John, Although many crews were assigned a specific B26 it was normal practice for crews to fly any B26 that was serviceable at the time of a mission.  Hence on the 29th February 1944 "Sarah E " was probably unavailable for that mission.   As a result Lt Clifton R Freeman and crew were flying in B26 41-34856 SS-L "Denallis Cheekako" when they were shot down.  "Sarah" having survived that mission would subsequently have been flown by various crews.  It may be of interest to know that "Sarah E" completed 140 combat missions before running out of fuel and crashing into a cow pasture in France November 1944 Regards Trevor Allen

Date:
7/26/2003
Time:
9:24 AM
 
Joseph E. Knight BombGp: 344 Squadron: 494 Years: 1943-44   Comments: Top turret gunner b-26 ... 494th Bomb Sq...station 169 Bishop Stortford Eng...68 combat missions..Dec43-Aug44 344th Bomb Gp led Allied Air Day AM...flew this mission in low element.....Carrington crew....Carrington and make-up crew went down over Holland next mission after I was grounded for return to ZI. Stayed in AF for 20+ yrs and retired as Capt 1963....

Date:
7/25/2003
Time:
9:18 PM
 
Thomas G Harmes BombGp: 17 Squadron: 34 Years: 1944  Comments: Armour gunner - tail - Thunderbirds; Sardinia June 1944, 35 missions, wounded 12/24/44. Hospitalized Dijon, France and Marsails. Pilot: Walter D Laskey (Texas) Ship: Stud Duck Sardinia, Corsica, Dijon

Date:
7/25/2003
Time:
4:37 PM
 
Parker Smilie BombGp: 323 Squadron: 455  Comments: My mother's 1st husband, Luther Christman, was killed in B-26 crash while testing or being checked out as instructor-not sure-in Texas. Ironically, my dad, Parker Smilie, her 2nd husband was bombardier on "Dragon Wagon" B-26 before being transferred to HQ. 'Wagon later crashed. I would appreciate any details or history of his old plane. Bob Felt was pilot, later POW after crash. Thanks, Bo Smilie
Bo - Dragon Wagon was so severely damaged by flak on February 15th 1944 that the crew bailed out over Gravesend, England and the Daragon Wagon crashed. The pilot that day was Lt Michael F Groom
Regards Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/22/2003
Time:
4:37 PM
 
Walter T Paskiewicz BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: 4 yrs   Comments: I was ground personnel and joined the squadron at Mc Dill and was with them until they went to France where I was sent back to the UK. Do not remember dates but am sure of the places we were stationed at. Mc Dill field in Fla then participated in maneuvers at lake Charles La. then it was to the U.K, Stopped at the following places Greenock Scotland, south to Norwich [overnight] then to Gloucester [Essex] then we went to Great Britain

Date:
7/20/2003
Time:
12:54 PM
 
Pat Robinson BombGp: C.A.F. Squadron: B-26 Comments: My name is Pat Robinson, I was a member of the C.A.F.'s B-26 sqn. until it's disbanment following the loss of our B-26. I am currently a active member of the Washington Area Marauder Men (WAMM) and am working on a project that I hope you may be able to help with. SUBJECT: Captured B-26. We are trying to find out if there remains a copy of the German evaluation of this aircraft, or possibly more 26's. The aircraft in question is B-26B-1-MA of the 319th BS, 437th BG. Supposedly flown by a 2nd Lt. Clarence E. Wall, though this name does not appear in the Nevin Price data base. This aircraft, as Im sure you are familure with, was "lured" to Holland by the German's in 1942. We are interested in the German oppinion of the B-26. Could one of these "test" pilot's still be alive? Would record's of these test's and ferther use of the aircraft and possibly it's demise exist? Any help or opinion on this matter would sure be appreciated. Best regard's, Pat Robinson Frederick
 
Pat - Clarence C Wall and crew flying B26 41-17790 enroute from Iceland to Prestwick, Scotland.  The crew became disorientated in cloud and were running short of fuel. Thinking they were over Scotland, the pilot descended, broke through the cloud, saw a seemingly safe beach and bellylanded on it. Unfortunately the beach was not in Scotland, but on th island of Nord Beveland, Holland. The B26 was repaired and flown by the Luftwaffe, but who test flew it and its final fate are unknown to me. Regards Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/18/2003
Time:
2:47 PM
 
Fred F. Cook Jr.  BombGp: 391 Squadron: 572 Years: 4/44-10/45 Class: 44-6 Location: Big Spring, TX  Comments: My dad was a bombardier and flew with Joe Grow, Richard Ebersbach and Nathan Ellington. I have corresponded with both Ebersbach and Ellington and they have sent me information, facts and stories I would never have known about my dad's time in the service. Thank you. Jim Cook

Date:
7/18/2003
Time:
5:40 PM
 
Orvuille Vaughan Mcdaniel  BombGp: 394 Squadron: 586 Years: 1943-'45 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: My husband flew 44 missions over northern Eusope as a tail gunner on a B26, name , " Miss Manookie "with these men. Tom Howard -- Pilot from Dallas, Tx. Hollice Hughes --- Co-Pilot from Arkansas Ed Oberkrom ---- Engineer from St. Louis, Mo. Charles Rogers --- Radio Opt. from Jackson, Mississippi O. V. McDaniel --- Tail gunner, Mart, Tx. I am aware several of these men have passed away, including my husband, but I have always wondered if any are still living and what happened to their wives. My husband was the oldest member of the crew at age 29 or 30 years, and the pilot was only 21 years of age. Would appreciate any information you could supply. Sincerely, Mary McDaniel

Date:
7/17/2003
Time:
10:37 PM
 
Harry Kelly Jr  BombGp: 394th Squadron: 585th Years: 1943 to 1946 Class: 44D Location: Altus, Oklahoma Comments: European Theater of operations. Dates of service in the unit Feb 1945 to December 1945. P 1082 Harry Kelly Jr 2nd Lt. CP 1051 Lee R. Green 2nd Lt. B 1035 Murry R Berstein Flt. O EG 748 Bernard T. Haus Cpl. ROG 757 Lory F. Ice Jr. Cpl. AG 612 John V. Dalbalcon Cpl. I was stationed in Cambrai, France, Venlo, Holland and then to Kitzingen, Germany.

Date:
7/16/2003
Time:
3:58 PM
 
Robert Zinkgraf  BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 44-45   Comments: My father Robert C. Zinkgraf flew with the 451st 322nd BG. He was an Eng/Gunner that flew 35 missions. I have pictures of him standing in front of and sitting in different planes. My question is, does anyone know the names of the planes he flew in and are any of his crew still around? If anyone remembers him I would be interested in hearing from you. He attended several reunions but I don't remember what years he went. Dad passed away Feb, 1995. Thanks for any and all help. Bob.

Date:
7/14/2003
Time:
5:40 PM
 
Roy Dale Voorhees BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: '41-'71 Class: 42-I Location: Wms Field, Ariz.  Comments: Upon completion of pilot training in Sep '42 went to Barksdale and became an instructor in B26. After 6 months I volunteered for combat and joined the 386th enroute to England at BW1 in about April '43. Crew members were Cliff Street [N], George Starry [CP], Curtis Cox [E], John Nekervis [R], Ernie Neubert[G]. Completed our missions in June '44. Worst raid was Amsterdam Schipol on Dec. 13,1943. Assigned Barksdale and became instructor pilot Oct.42. April 43 volunteered to form crew [Cliff Street N, Geo. Starry CP, Cox E,  Nekervis R,  Neubert TG] and go O/S (overseas). Joined the 555th at BW1 as its 1st replacement crew and flew all our missions with it until June43. Crew went its ways. I went to 9th Air Defense Command [France] for rest of war. Stayed in for 30 years and retired in Sep 71 as Colonel. Came home to IA. and joined faculty at IA. State Univ. for another 20 years. Retired there after 20 years as Professor Emeritus in 1991. Still think daily of B-26s and war years and missions.   Hello to all the B26 personnel.

Date:
7/13/2003
Time:
4:02 PM
 
William Howard Van Marter  BombGp: 320 Squadron: 443rd Years: Dec'42 to Sep '43 Class: 42F (?) Location: Basic at Augusta, Ga, Advanced at Valdosta, Ga.   My dad, William Howard VanMarter, (AKA Van or Howie) is still living in St. Augustine, Fla, age 85. He was a B-26 pilot from upstate New York with the 320th BG and 443rd BS, in the North Africa theatre from Dec 42 thru Aug or Sept 43. He doesn't talk much about the war. I think he donated his leather flight jacket with that African caricature symbol to the museum at Pima, AZ. not too long ago. I believe he flew 30 or 40 something, and flew Lady Halitosis back to the States (with John McVay as copilot??) for a war bond drive. He flew one or two very dangerous missions against ship targets with only the pilot on board, and (obviously) survived. He had a co-pilot shot dead next to him, lost a waist gunner at one point, and crash landed three times, one of which gave him a permanently bad knee. He doesn't remember the names of the plane(s) he actually flew. One name he remembers is Fred Joseph Scott, a group commander he knew well. Dad served 23 yrs in the USAF including a long stint at the Pentagon, retired as Lt.Col at Vandenberg AFB, then enjoyed another 28 or 29 years working as a civilian for Fairchild Hiller and Florida East Coast Railway in St. Augustine, Fla before retiring at the age of 73. I believe he went to a reunion in Orlando, Fla about ten years ago (mid-90's) with my mom Phyllis(since passed away), and he told me later that he told my mom when they walked into the room, "Hey, who are all these old guys", or something like that. Anybody out there remember 'Van' or 'Howie' VanMarter and have any history or anecdotes to share??? I (his son and a military brat who has read quite a bit about WWII Air Force history) would love to read them. Thank you very much in advance. If you would like to contact Dad directly, I will be happy to give you the particulars. Bill VanMarter (son)

Date:
7/12/2003
Time:
4:06 PM
 
Harold Parks  BombGp: 22nd Squadron: 2nd Years: 1940-1945 Class: ? Location: Langely Field  Comments: Can anyone tell me if they flew with my father, Harold Parks, in the Pacific? Adrienne Parks

Date:
7/11/2003
Time:
6:14 PM

Hi Mike; I have to many things to send, to try and send them all on the computer so I will try to put every thing in this letter. I graduated from Ellington A. F. B. in pilot class 44-G August 1944 our entire class was sent to B-24 training but at 138 lbs. I was told I was too light to fly a B-24. So I was sent back to my advance base and then transferred to Barksdale for co-pilot on B-26, that was one great airplane. I was assigned to Alf Shatto's crew.

Alf Shatto - Pilot - Deceased 1988
Willard O Wales - Copilot
Jack C Shoffstall - Bombardier - Deceased 1978
Louis N Smith - Engineer - Gunner
Joy Wilhelms - Radio Op. Gunner - KIA
Armin J Frank - Armor Gunner - KIA

We were assigned to the 17 Bomb Group 432 Squadron. I flew my first mission on the 3rd of march 1945 and my last mission on the 25th of April 1945, I arrived in the squadron on March 2nd 1945. We didn't have a plane we came over on the Queen Mary so we flew which ever plane was assigned of the planes that were already in the squadron. At the end of the war the group was broke up all of the flight crews was transferred to the 344 bomb group 497 squadron. I had been checked out as first pilot and promoted to 2nd LT. From there we were transferred to Germany as part of the occupational air force. I have emphysema from smoking for a lot of years, I am on oxygen 24 hrs a day 7 days a week I am on the hospice system now. I don't expect to be around to much longer, I hope the things I am sending helps.

I would like to get any information I can on crew #20 Francis A Schnepper and James R Nimon we were good friends I was in the hospital when they shipped out so I have no idea where they went or what happened to them.

Regards, Willard O. Wales

Date:
7/11/2003
Time:
12:17 PM
 
Everardo R. Gomez  BombGp: 387th Squadron: 558th Years: 5/1944 to 7/1/45 Class: April 1944 Location: Barksdale Field, LA  Comments: Please send me any personal information, photos, or other pertinent material on my father, TSgt Everardo R. Gomez aka: "Chico." I am an historian with the National Park Service in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I am trying to reconstruct my father's war experiences. I am especially interested in his group/squadron's movements from Barksdale Field, LA, various locations in England, various locations in France, and his unit's brief location in Beek, Netherlands (May 1945). Also any information on his crew: pilot: Lt. (Tom?) Newell from Texas. When the 387th arrived in England? Where from? Thanks Art Gomez

Date:
7/11/2003
Time:
11:17 AM
 
Edward J. Doran  BombGp: 319 Squadron: 437 Years: 1942-1945   Comments: My father, Edward J. Doran, was an engineer/gunner; on his 24th mission was shot down over Anzio in February 1944...captured after hitting the ground. Major John A. Orb wrote a letter to my aunt living on the family farm back home in Castleton, Vermont describing the heavy flac and the parachutes opening up but floating over enemy-held territory. Dad's pilot was a Lt. Owen. Dad would later be held in two pow camps. Joseph M. Doran
 
Joseph -- Lt Clyde W Owen and crew were shot down, over Anzio, on February 20th 1944,one other B26 being damaged and crashlanding 10 miles west of Naples. Regards Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
7/10/2003
Time:
10:51 PM
 
Lt. Lester E. Barton  BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 451st Years: 1941-1945 Class: 38th Location: Chanute Field, IL. Comments: Dear Maraudermen, Hi! Looking for O'friends or men that flew with my uncle. He had made many missions and was killed in "The Great Squadron Tragedy" over Beauvais Tille/France, Mar. 18, 1945. He was a B-26 Marauder Pilot, his plane was I heard unnamed, 43-34155 code SSJ. He had a nickname, of "Les" and a saying, I was told, " One More Card To Punch." He was a Indiana, farmboy and grew up in a smalltown! He had a brother a Sgt. Chester Barton, with the 379th Bomb Sqd. 310th Bomb Grp. trained out of Columbia, S.C. who was a Gunner on a plane B-25C,42-64597 plane whom died, July 20, 1943 over Monte Corvino Airdome, in Italy! Looking to find old friends or anyone who my uncle, or remember them both! Please email me, Thank you, Judy
 
Judy, The 451st squadron mid air collision was indeed a tragedy and happening over its base it was seen by all on the ground. There was only one survivor, Lt Alex Cordes, the pilot of one of the three B26's involved. Regards Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
7/10/2003
Time:
12:41 PM

Tech/Sgt Edward F Klemz

1st mission
2nd May 1944 - Target: Busigny, Marshalling Yards 123
2.Lt Reid, pilot; Seipal, copilot; Beck, B/N; Turner, E/G; Klemz, R/G; Koanig, A/G

B/N Bombardier/navigator
E/G Engineer/Gunner
R/G Radio/gunner
A/G Armourer/gunner

4th May 44 - Etaples, Gun Emplacements 127
Reid;  Seipal; Beck;  Howle;  Klemz;  Koanig

9th May 44 - Le Grismont, Noball 111
Winningham, P; Macri, CP; Kanka, N; Savow, N; Cleaves, E/G; Madej, R/G; Rosenthal, B; Klamz, R/G; Hoover, A/G

This was lead ship crew with two navigators and two radio/gunners

15th May 44 - Denain/Prouvy A/D 191
Lockard, P; Hewlins, CP; Sims, N; Haviland, B; Fortner, E/G; Crawford, R/G; Klemz, R/G; Threlkeld, A/G

Flight lead crew

29th May 44 - Beauvior Noball 125
Gleis;  Spalding;  Hamer;  Klemz;  Hoover;  Seifert

1 June 1944 - Le Havre coastal defence battery 168
Glais Spalding Hamer Reaver Klemz Seifert

Trevor Allen
Historian B26.com

Date:
7/9/2003
Time:
1:17 PM
 
Lt. Donald M. Epstein BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: 1944-45 Class: 43J Location: Lake Charles, LA  Comments: I had a query last week about my father, Lt. Donald M. Epstein, a pilot who was shot down on 7-12-44. After I read the auto reply sent by the site I went home and looked through some old files of my fathers and found; Some photos, POW documentation from Stalag Luft 1, various orders, crew rosters and destinations for his graduating class. Also there was an article done by the Boston globe of his crew reunion about a year before his death. Please let me know if any of these things would be of use to you, I would be glad to get them to you. Thanks for a wonderful web site.  Jim Epstein

Date:
7/8/2003
Time:
5:47 PM
 
Comments: My question is: Is there a record of US Army Air Corp bases in the USA during WW2? I am try to research a training accident in Gray County, Kansas. The type of aircraft involved is the question. Dodge City Army Air Base housed the B-26 , but it seems a dispute over the type of aircraft involved. The accident occurred during WW2 in an area near the Dodge City Air Base. Please respond if you please. Thank you, Tom Martin, Maj.US Army Ret. P.S. I was just a lad of 12 -13 yrs old at this time.

Date:
7/8/2003
Time:
5:40 PM
 
James A. Keating BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449 Years: 1945  Comments: I often recall the time I spent flying tailgun in the B-26, and wonder what happened to my fellow crew members. I would love to hear from any of them. John Alderson - Pilot, Cliff Stanton - co-pilot, Terry Lee - Bombardier, Bill Bradley - Engineer, and Bill Markley - Radio. I recently visited the plane in which I flew my first five missions, Flak-Bait, at the Aerospace Museum in Washington D.C., and it really brought back memories.

Date:
7/8/2003
Time:
11:09 AM
 
Comments:  Thank you for your self-sacrifice and for helping us during the second war. Véronique et Michel

Date:
7/8/2003
Time:
7:55 AM
 
Capt. John P. Lipscomb  BombGp: 323 Squadron: 453 Years: 1942-43   Comments: I am trying to find information on Capt. John P. Lipscomb. He flew a B-26 out of Earls Clone and died after being hit in his bomb bay over France on July 31, 1943. Several crew members were able to escape before the plane crashed, but not John. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his conduct that day. I have visted his grave in Normandy and idolized him while I was growing up. I am looking for his plane's name as well as any personal rememberances people may have about him. Thank you for this great site and thank you to all of the men who gave so much for the rest of us.  Dan MacLemore

Date:
7/6/2003
Time:
1:47 PM
 
George Konick Jr Email: ? BombGp: 397 Squadron: HQ Years: 1943 - 1945 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Hi to all my buddies - godspeed on your journeys. Drop me a line if you have a minute!

Date:
7/5/2003
Time:
10:13 PM
 
Charles Coldiron BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Dear Sirs, Looking for any information on my great uncle Charles Coldiron. He was with the 456th Sq. / 323 Group. My name is Jon Conrad. In "Marauder Men" he is listed as a Cpl-Sgt. I recall him mentioning that he was a gunner. I appreciate any help and information. Great site and thanks to all the veterans.....

Date:
7/5/2003
Time:
9:28 PM
 
John Leach BombGp: 344 Squadron: 495 Years: 1942-1945 Class: ? Location: Flordia  Comments: I am looking for any war information on John R. Leach 37396XXX, E-6 radio operator/waist gunner on the plane called Mary Jo. The plane was named after the skippers mother. I don't know the serial number of the plane. There was a mission some time after D-day, I have no dates as to when, but was told the plane was shot down over Tours, France. I know this is not much help, but that is all I know. Thanks John Leach

Date:
7/5/2003
Time:
7:54 AM
 
Gordon Bownlee BombGp: 397th Squadron: 596th Years: 1944-45 Class: 43H Location: Frederick, OK  Comments: Volunteered, as did so many others, in January, 1942 but wasn't called for training until early 1943. After graduation, I was sent to Dodge City, Kansas for transition traaining and then to Lake Charles, La. for crew training. Arrived in England after training in Ireland, several weeks before D-day. Participated in D-day bombings. Completed 71 missions before coming home. Stayed in AF in various positions until 1960 when I retired and was hired by General Dynamics who were then building the F-111. Became Chief of Maintenance Engineering and then Manager of Combat Crew Training. Directed training programs for initial maintenance training for initial maintenance personal for all countries buying the F-16. Retired in 1985.

Date:
7/4/2003
Time:
3:03 PM
 
Willaim S. Green BombGp: 387th Squadron: 558 Years: 1943-1944.   Comments: I am writing to you to inquire about information on my fathers plane. He can't me the tail number, but Chipping Ongar is the location he was at during WWII. He was the assistant crew chief of the ground crew for his plane. His plane was flown by a Lieutenant Skeen. The name on the plane was "Lieutenant Skeen and his Flying Machine". It and the crew flew 21 missions before it received any flak (Fall of 1943). Sometime around my father got sick in the later part of November 1943 and was sent back to the hospital in London and then on back to the states in January 1944 and was subsequently discharge and has not heard anything from his old plane nor crew since. He can remember a fellow by the name of Hendrickson and another from Alabama by the name of Shelley. If you can be of some help both he and I would appreciate it very much. L. C. Green Jr.

Date:
7/3/2003
Time:
1:22 PM
 
Donald M. Epstein  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555  Comments: Mr. Klier, my father was 2nd Lt. Donald M. Epstein of the 555th squadron, 386th bomb group. Would you have a copy of the mission sheet for July 12th, 1944. That was the day he was shot down. Or any other mission sheets with him listed on them. I've found him on mission #222 and wondered if there were any others. This is a wonderful web site. Thanks, James D. Epstein

Date:
7/3/2003
Time:
10:49 PM
 
Gearld L Miller BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: 1940's Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am looking the sguadron who my brother Gearld L Miller was with in the Pacific, he was a tail gunner , in the Navy, I have a picture of him with him on top of his plane a B26, with the number U3 on the front of the Plane. Thank You Barbara Miller Porter

Date:
6/30/2003
Time:
3:43 PM
 
Lt. William C. Brown BombGp: 319 Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am looking for any information on Lt. William C. Brown's crew of the 319th BG MTO. His planes serial number is 41-34936. They were shot down 30 miles off the coast of Salerno Italy on August 22, 1943. I am looking for any photos of his crew, especially S/Sgt Alfred Conz.  Mark Poole

Date:
6/30/2003
Time:
3:43 PM
 
Emmett M. Bridwell BombGp: 386 Squadron: 553 Years: 1942 - 46 Class: 44-C Location: Lubbock , Tex.  Comments: Pilot & Co-pilot with 386th from August 44 to March 45 Transferred to 327th ATG to fly combat/cargo march 1st when the 386th converted to A-26 and moved to ST - TROND . Flew various aircraft , TOUCH OF TEXAS II , BOMB BOOGIE. but mostly HARD LUCK . Flying with the 327th Air Transport Group was far more adventurous and interesting , such as flying gasoline into Patton and some undercover missions.

Date:
6/30/2003
Time:
4:56 PM
 
Robert W. Garwick  BombGp: 391st Squadron: ? Years: ?  Comments: My father flew 68 missions over Europe from Matching Green, England. He was there from before D-day until right before the Battle of the Bulge. Guy W. Garwick

Date:
6/30/2003
Time:
10:59 AM
 
Wade C. Smartt BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?   Comments: My dad was a gunner on B-26s during the Italian campaign. I only have this piece of information. His name was Wade C. Smartt. Was anyone with him? Sincerely, Jerry Smartt

Date:
6/29/2003
Time:
11:34 AM
 
Leonard Sherman Squadron: Engineering & Modification Years: 3   Comments: Hi Chester, I thought that you might be interested in my brief experience with B-26s, In 1944-45 I was stationed at Langford Lodge in N, Ireland I was an engineer in a engineering and modification squadron. Sometime during 1944 we go a request from Ninth Air Force to provide a means for capturing the spent rounds from the tail gunner position of B-26s and I was assigned to design a bathtub under the aft fuselage to do this. Apparently the emptiy casings were causing considerable damage to the airplanes flying below and aft of the firing gunner. The common practice was for our group to do the engineering and send on the drawings and tooling to Warrington near Manchester for installation. As so happens often in the army there was never any feedback as to how successful this project was. I have often wondered if the scheme had ever been used. I worked on modifications for many airplanes during that period but that was the only one on B-26s. After the war, I was assigned to the Air Research and Development Center in London for about six months where we were responsible for evaluating captured German documents and equipment and sending it on to Wright-Patterson. After the war I returned to college getting a Masters Degree in Aero Engineering and then worked for Boeing for 30 years. I too am a model airplane enthusiast and still fly free flight. Len Sherman

Date:
6/27/2003
Time:
5:59 AM
 
I REALLY LOVE THIS SITE.  Thank you

Date:
6/26/2003
Time:
4:21 PM
 
James Logsdon BombGp: 320 Squadron: 444 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: I am curious about my Uncle James Logsdon whom was a B-26 pilot stationed in Sardinia and Corsica. He was in the 12th AF #320th BG 444th BS. He was shot down Nov 5th 1944 over Italy on a bomb run to Germany and taken prisoner. He was taken to Sagon Germany where he was held until the Americans overran Germany in June. Can you send me on a search to find out about the mission. Your help is greatly appreciated thank you very much Carol Long

Carol,
The following may be of interest to you. On the second mission of November 5th, 1944 B26's of the 320th Bomb Group attacked the Roverto railroad fill in the Brenner Pass, Italy. Twelve/fifteen enemy fighters attacked the formation shooting down two B26's and seriously damaging a third. 42-107532 BN #86 flown by 1st Lt James A Logsdon and crew was hit and three chutes were seen as the B26 went down.

If you write to AFHRA, 600 Chennault Circle, Bldg 1405, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424 and request missing aircrew report # 9595 they will supply a copy for a nominal fee. This report will tell you in detail about the incident.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
Historian B26.com

Date:
6/26/2003
Time:
5:54 PM
 
Col. Donald L. Gilbert  BombGp: 17 Squadron: Years: '39 to "44 Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: My cousin Col. Donald L. Gilbert was a commander of the 17th, and was shot down over Germany in '44 flying a "desk". I think that he felt he was invincible. I have gone to some research at a school that has a library on b-26. Where else to go. The last time i saw him was on leave at Christmas of 43 and saw lots of brown sepia aerial photos of bomb runs, bridges and factories exploding. Quite a memory for an 8 year old. Thanks for your help. Richard Gilbert.

Richard,
On July 20th 1944 the 17th Bomb Group attacked Ostiglia bridge, Italy. The trip was 915 miles long and, due to lack of fuel, the ships were expected to land on Corsica to refuel and return to their base the next day. All ships returned except the lead B26 which was reported crashed near the Adriatic coast. The lead crew, flying in B26 42-96021 #22 had gone onto single engine after leaving the target and had crashed into a ridge line while losing altitude. The crew consisted of 1st.Lt J M Baker, pilot; Capt H L Carlson, copilot; Capt T B Elliott, bombardier; 1st.Lt J B Lynd, navigator; Col Donald E Gilbert, Group Commander flying as formation commander; S/Sgt W B O'Donovan, S/Sgt W Russell; and S/Sgt R D Wilcox. S/Sgt W B O'Donovan and S/Sgt W Russell survived the crash and were taken prisoner, while the rest of the crew were killed.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
Historian B26.com

Incidentally, what happened to Patty Gilbert, Don's widow?

Date:
6/25/2003
Time:
9:48 PM
 
Chester P.Klier, 386th Bomp Group.   Thank you so much for the information about my uncle being in the 386th Bomb Group. In reading Gen. Howard's forward to your history writing, I understand that you have written five volumes. Is there a possibility that there is additional information about my uncle and his group? And, is there an index; and are these volumes available to us for purchase. I truly appreciate all of the work that you have done. I ran in to this web site by accident. I was cruising the web for the surname Stuckey and found Lt. Bill Stuckey which led me to the B26.COM site. Thanks for everything. Kenn Stuckey

Date:
6/25/2003
Time:
9:57 PM
 
John Weldon Fox  BombGp: 323rd Squadron: 455th Years: 1942-1944 Class: 43-J Location: Yuma Arizona Comments: Weldon was my Dad's uncle, he was shot down over Belgium Dec 26,1944. I'm looking for anyone that flew with him, I don't have a lot of info on him, I'm trying to find the missions he flew and what happened on the mission he was shot down on. My dad doesn't have a lot of info on him. Thanks Ryan Fox

Ryan,
On 26th December 1944 1.Lt John W Fox and crew flying in B26 41-34955 YU-T were hit by flak between the engine and fuselage over the target. The B26 went down and crashed killing the crew.

If you write to AFHRA, 600m Chennault Circle, Bldg 1405, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424 requesting missing aircrew report # 11488, they will supply a copy at a nominal fee.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
Historian B26.com

Date:
6/23/2003
Time:
9:43 PM
 
Matthew Thomas Stuckey  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 555 Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: Thanks for putting this site on the web. My affiliation with the B-26 was by way of my Uncle Matthew Thomas Stuckey, S/Sgt., Tail gunner on the B-26 WWII. He flew 51 complete missions over Germany, from England. He and I were close over the years of his life. I will dig in to my files and see if I can find more info on his B-26 experiences. We did talk about them many times. I do have a V-Mail Christmas card that he sent to my parents in December 1943. Kenneth E. Stuckey (Kenn)
 
Kenneth E. Stuckey: Your uncle was a member of the 386th Bomb Group, in the 555th Bomb Squadron.
Chester P. Klier Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Date:
6/23/2003
Time:
8:33 PM
 
Maj. Lee R. Ware  BombGp: 22 Squadron: 19 Years: 1942   Comments:  My dad and his crew flew the very first Marauder combat mission.   They attacked Rabaul and SUNK the biggest ship in the harbor. It was April6,1942. Pilot: Robert R. Hatch Dad has passed. Friends of dad and Dixie please E-mail me. Ron Ware

Date:
6/23/2003
Time:
3:24 PM
 
Robert C. Hoff  BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: Class: 43 F Location: Kelly Field  Comments: I am trying to locate a Robert C. Hoff who graduated from Pampa Army Flying School in class 43 F. He entered the cadet program at Kelly field in September 1942 from North Branch, MI. took Primary at Sweetwater, TX and Basic at Enid OK and from there was sent to Pampa Army Flying School. Wally Hoffman

Date:
6/20/2003
Time:
5:50 PM
 
Paul Victor Suway BombGp: 386 Squadron: .  It was really something to see my father Paul Victor Suway mentioned in the Sunday September 19th 1943 mission summary.   David Suway

Date:
6/18/2003
Time:
6:57 PM
 
T/Sgt Claude T. Cook BombGp: 322 Squadron: 452 Years: 1943 Class: Location: Send: send Date: 18 Jun 2003 Time: 18:57:20 Remote Name: 216.77.202.204 Comments: MACR #1187. Martin B-26B-25-MA. AAF plane serial number - 41-31817, coded DR. Shot down over St Omer-Longuenesse airfield, France, Nov. 23, 1943. I am trying to locate a photo of this aircraft. My uncle - T/Sgt Claude T. Cook (flight engineer/gunner) was aboard. There were no survivors. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.  Carolyn Maulding

Date:
6/17/2003
Time:
1:24:16 AM
 
Albert Sax BombGp: 386 Squadron: Years: 1943 -1945  Comments: I was in the 9th Air Force Headquarters Engineering Section billeted in a hotel on the East Cliff in Bournemouth, England for 11 months. Then to a B-26 (386 BG) air base in Beaumont-sur-Oise, France followed by moving to Saint Truiden, Belgium until the end of the European war. I was in a support group. I would appreciate any info on the 9th AF Hqtrs relative to B-26 bases in England.

Date:
6/16/2003
Time:
12:04:05 PM
 
Rufus N. Wilson  BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?  Comments: I am the cousin of Rufus N. Wilson who was a B-26 Pilot during the war. He was shot down in France from what I understand and later died in German Captivity. Is there anyone who has any information on him. I can probably find information on his unit, but will have to dig through a lot of family memorabilia. Thanks, Bill Wilson

Date:
6/11/2003
Time:
12:25:35 PM
 
Earl N. Hidalgo BombGp: 323 Squadron: 453  Comments: I have recently acquired photos of my dads years in the Air Force during W.W.II.  I have Scanned most of them and have them on disk. There were quit a few of them but mostly of his buddies and him. The only Aircraft that I can make out is the nose art of a plane named Flak Bait. If any of you out there reading this are interested please feel free to email me. My fathers mane was Earl N. Hidalgo and was a crew chief I think. Now I wish I would have listened to the stories more closely. Craig A. Hidalgo

Date:
6/10/2003
Time:
07:13:41 AM
 
Herbert C. Ritter  BombGp: 386 Squadron: 552 Years: Class: 43-G  Comments: Greetings I have a story that leads to a question. This is my attempt to recount a story that I was told by my father almost 50 years ago when I was about 8; so while it accurately reflects what I remember, it may not be totally accurate on what was actually said. Dad's B-26 was diverted from its intended landing site in England to an alternate site, because of weather. The alternate site was a "Spitfire field" with a runway appropriate for Spitfires, but not B-26's, since it was short. Dad was concerned about being able to take off the next morning, so he instructed the ground crew to put the minimum fuel in the plane necessary for the hop to the originally intended field, to keep the plane's weight to a minimum. The next morning he went out to get ready for the take-off, checked the fuel, and (you guessed it) it was totally full. They decided to attempt the take-off anyway. The plan was to get to the very end of the runway, put on the brakes, run the engine RPM's up to the max, pop the brakes and get a jump start. As the engines revved, the control tower began frantic signalling to cut the engines. (There was no radio contact). Dad tried to figure out what the heck was going on, and another crew member said that the prop wash was seriously affecting the Spitfires parked right of the runway, behind Dad's plane. I have this mental image of the planes flipping over backward, but he may not have actually said that. In any event, he popped the brakes and took off "like a bat out of hell", got the landing gear up right away and just cleared the trees at the end of the runway. I loved the story. Here's the question. Could the Spitfire field have been at "Henstridge", north of Dorchester, and the intended field have been at ST. Mawgan, Cornwall? I propose this as a hypothesis, since in reviewing his flight log I see that when he flew to the UK via the South Atlantic route, it shows a leg "Marrakech, F.M. to Henstridge, UK, at 8hrs, 30 mins", then the next day "Henstridge to St. Maugan (sic), at 2 hrs, 15 mins" My understanding is that St. Mawgans was a B-17 field, and the most likely point of entry from Morocco via the South Atlantic route. Anyone with any thoughts on this? Curtis Arnold Ritter

Date:
6/08/2003
Time:
12:38:06 PM
 
Bob Magruder Class: 1964 Location: West Point, NY Comments: Great site and great tribute to those associated with the B-26. My dad, Peyton Magruder, the builder of the B-26, would be very proud of what Michael Smith has created as a tribute to the B-26 and its crews that made the plane so effective and so safe. Congratulations to all associated with the B-26.

Date:
6/08/2003
Time:
09:32:29 AM
 
Captain Howard Swenson BombGp: 397 Comments: My father Captain Howard Swenson was a pilot in the 397th. He passed away Sept 17, 2001. He would have enjoyed this site. If there are any who remember him please e-mail me. I wish my father had been able to view the sites that are now available. His last 2 years he was in great pain and the sites would have helped take his mind off of the pain. Thanks again. Best regards, Bryan R. Swenson

Date:
6/06/2003
Time:
5:53:53 AM
 
Ralph M. Wefel -- S/SGT Radio Op - aerial gunner BombGp: 323rd Squadron: 455th BS Years: 1943 - 1946 Class: 1944 Location: Radio School, Sioux Falls, S.D.  Comments: Hello, WWII USAAF Martin B-26 MARAUDER Vets ! I have MUCH ENJOYED this "B26.com" Website ! Very well done ! CONGRATULATIONS ! I flew as a S/SGT Radio Op/aerial gunner for 26 missions over Germany -- all from USAAF French bases. For a look into my own WWII USAAF experiences and that of other MARAUDER Vets, please access our "WEFEL" Website at it's Internet URL Address of: http://www.mind.net/rmwefel/index.html ENJOY ! Let me know what you think of it. OK ? Thank you.

Date:
6/04/2003
Time:
4:58:38 PM
 
Edward Nielsen BombGp: 387 Squadron: 558 Years: 1.5 Class: ?? Location: ?? Comments: Hello!!! My Grandfather is a WWII vet and he died when I was 5 and according to my mom he never talked about the war much. I am trying to research his involvement and get pictures of him etc. I was wondering if you could help. The information I have is as follows: Name: Edward Nielsen 9th Bomber Command 98th Bombardment Wing (Medium) 387th Bomber Group 558th Bomb Squadron Station No. 162 in Chipping Ongar, Essex He was a Bombardier on the Martin B-26 Marauder "Tiger Tails" I talked to my Uncle and he has given me the following information off of his discharge papers: His full name was Edward Nielsen (he was NMI - No Middle Initial) He was from Brooklyn, NY Serial #3232XXXX Sergeant Inducted 4/29/42 at Fort Jay New York Discharged 12/28/43 Date of Birth 8/5/06 Date of Death 11/5/73 Battlefield Commissions: Corporal 12/1/42 Sergeant 1/1/43 Physical Condition When Discharged - POOR Unknown Codes Given on Discharge Papers: CDD SECII AR 615-360S 3RD IND HQ AAFEFTC M/F A/A. DTD Character Excellent I hope this other information helps From other research, I happen to know there was a plane in that outfit named "Lorelei". My mom was born a few years latter and she was named Lorelei!!!!!! So I think that might have been that plane. My uncle has an old medal a "Ruptured Duck". But not the Ruptured Duck for a honorable discharge. Through conversations people has mentioned he was involved with was was nicknamed "Suicide Squads". (Could this have something to do with 30 seconds over Tokyo?????) He also received a purple heart which was stolen via an apartment robbery and the military has no record of him getting it!!!!! I know I am rambling, however, He is deceased and so is my mom so I get bits and pieces here and there and it is frustrating. I am so interested in knowing my family history and it seems that I can't find out a lot of information. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME. I would like to find information as well as get pictures of him. I am damn proud of his service in our military and want to document for my daughters the sacrifice that him and his co-veterans made for this country. Michael Gilberg

Date:
6/04/2003
Time:
1:33:02 PM
 
This message is for Bill Royal - Bill - James Kopp here- William's son - I just saw the board - my father was very fond of you and spent hours telling me about both you and him - and the motorcycle made it all through Europe... James Michael Kopp

Date:
6/04/2003
Time:
5:53:53 AM
 
Hi My dad's name was George Gillmore, from South Africa, and he was a tail gunner in the Marauders. He never discussed the war much but did mention Italy and having learned to speak a bit of German. Is it possible to provide me with more info regarding the squadron he was in , his crew members, missions he flew in etc. I find the history on WW11 very interesting and love aviation Thanks Eddie Gillmore

Date:
6/02/2003
Time:
5:53:53 AM
 
Stanley P. Wasilewski BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: 1942-45 Class: ? Location: ? My dad Stanley P. Wasilewski served in a B-26 as a bombardier during the European campaign and I am researching the dates bomb grp etc. I had hoped to complete the connection with the help of my mom but she has been sick since Oct and we put her to rest today. I am very interested in their stories since I have had contact with out of town family and now know there are many letters from the theater and pictures. Since my dad never discussed the war and my mom has now passed {my dad passed 6 years ago} there will not be many firsthand interviews. Keep up the good work I feel they were heroes beyond anybody's imagination and I think they should get some recognition. I have to fill in the blanks so I'll be in touch. David Wasilewski

Date:
6/02/2003
Time:
1:19:38 AM
 
BombGp: 344 Squadron: 496 Comments: Hi all, Next Thursday, the 5th of June 2003 a memorial plate will be unveil in the little village of Magneville in the cherbourg Peninsula, Normandy to honour the memory of the crew of b-26 42-107574: 2nd Lt Herman L Burdette pilot, 2nd Lt Dale W Edwards copilot, 2nd Lt Albert L Collins navigator, S/Sgt Marshall H Porter radio operator, S/Sgt Joseph G Gisavage engineer and S/Sgt Sherrard II Billings tail gunner. All of them were killed at Magneville on the 10 June 1944 in the tragedy of their crash. May we never forget their sacrifice. Mickaël Simon from France

Date:
6/01/2003
Time:
5:38:18 PM
 
Charles M. Herbst Comments: I am the son of Lt. Charles M. Herbst, bombardier on a B-26 during WWII. I would like to make contact with anyone who may have known my Dad before, during or after the war. Thanks, Ray Herbst

Date:
6/01/2003
Time:
5:32:26 PM
 
Leonard Wisotsky BombGp: 397 Squadron: 599 Years: European Theater. My uncle, Sgt. Leonard Wisotsky was an engineer/top turret gunner on a B-26-B named C.O.D. His pilot throughout the war was Kevin C. Dempster who made the air force his career. They flew 65 missions over France and Germany and came back without a scratch. I'm trying to find out the history of that plane, tail number,when it was built, and what finally happened to it. Also, might there be a picture of it somewhere in archives? I have my uncle's original flight log showing the dates of every minute he was in the air from training flights to combat missions. Don't know if you would be interested in getting a copy of this, but if you are, I would be happy to scan each page into the computer and e-mail it to you. Hope to hear from you. Mike Sheldon

Date:
6/01/2003
Time:
10:05:36 AM
 
Dear Trevor, What a wonderful thing you are doing and it makes my heart happy to know of the respect that you held for our American service men during the war. I am interested in getting a message to Steve Lisle who posted a letter on 6-27-2002. He was asking about the plane and crew of the "Heavenly Body". The navigator, 1st Lt. Clyde Thomas Dailey was my mother's only brother - one son out of five children. He was born and raised in Brinkley, Arkansas. Thus the name "Arkansas Traveler" of the B-26 that he went down (according to your history) is a surprise. I had always thought he was on the "Heavenly Body". Even though I was very young I remember my mother receiving the message that Clyde's plane had been shot down. The word was that it was hit and last seen circling over the North Sea. I understand that the entire crew was listed as missing in action, so of course our hope was eternal. Now the next story I will relate is all conjecture, but also interesting. It was related to me in this way. "Early one morning while having breakfast my Grandmother was interrupted by a local business man who was holding the morning paper. My uncle had worked for him before he entered the military. On the front page was a photo subtitled, "American Airmen boarding a prison train somewhere in Germany". He was excited because a side profile of one of the officers looked so much like my uncle. We all agreed that it was him. My Grandmother was in contact with some of the families who were with Clyde and she said that Major Richardson's wife positively identified him in the picture, as he was looking directly at the camera. This was near the end of the war and we later heard that the German's had killed many officers and their bodies were found in a mass grave. It was soon after this that we were notified that Clyde was then declared to be "killed in action". He has a headstone in the cemetery in Brinkley and it was there that my Grandmother received his medals. Many years later my aunt was visiting in London and she went to place - perhaps a cathedral, and there was a book that had the names of all the Americans that gave their lives in defense of Britain. She said that the book was opened to the page where my uncle's name was listed. That is all the information I have about this and my aunt has passed on. Also I would like to add that my grandmother gave me a pair of my uncles "bars". They were a treasured possession for many years until my home was burglarized and they were among the things that were taken. But, the memories can never be taken away, as you can see from this letter. It is a loss that is still felt deeply among our family. I learned of this site from my brother Sgt. Maj. Arthur Horton Jr. He was with the B-29s in Saipan during WW 2. After he left the "Army Air Force" he re-enlisted in the regular army where he served in Korea and Viet Nam. He is now retired and living in Des Arc, Arkansas. Thanks for the memories, June D. Tackett

Date:
5/30/2003
Time:
2:50:49 PM
 
Winnifred DEAN Porter BombGp: 336 Squadron: 478 Years: 42-45 Comments: I was assigned to Mac Dill 21ST GP 313TH Sq Dec 42-Nov 43 Lake Charles 336 Gp 478 Sq Dec 43-Oct 45. Wonder if anyone reading this was there during this time. I was a flight engineer at Mac Dill and a crew chief at Lake Charles. Wonder if anyone knows of M/Sgt Billy Tilton, T/Sgt Maurice Trites, Sgt. Clinton Boothe. Saved quite a bit of memorabilia and pictures.

Date:
5/29/2003
Time:
9:17:21 AM
 
Webster Brown Comments: My father-in-law, Webster Brown, was a B-26 pilot in WWII. He also ferried B-26s from the Baltimore Plant to other locations after he returned from the European Theater. Craig Lawrence

Date:
5/30/2003
Time:
8:40:50 AM
 
Sterling P. Hoch BombGp: 397 Squadron: 596 Years: 1944-1945 Class: 43-F Location: Goodfellow (?) Comments: Looking for info on 1st Lt. Sterling P. Hoch (missions, crew, etc.). He was a pilot for approx. 65 missions ( I have some brief commentary he wrote before passing away in 1999 on 50 of those missions). Would also appreciate info on decorations he was awarded/entitled to. His uniform has been donated to a local WW-II airplane "museum", and would hope that all decorations are up to date. Believe his plane was 42-96288/X2-Q. See page 68 of "B-26 Marauder Units of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces" by Jerry Scutts. Thanks.

Date:
5/29/2003
Time:
9:17:21 AM
 
Excerpts from: "A Test of Faith and Courage: Patton’s Raiders in WWII."
By: Oscar B. Ladner www.atestoffaithandcourage.com
 
…This convoy of trucks loaded with we infantrymen that had been with the tanks back there, (these trucks were loaded with Patton’s Raiders that were riding on and protecting the Pershings tanks) were moving fast on a narrow road in a valley as we travel in a southerly direction away from Struth. (We had been taken out of Struth to keep us from being killed in the cross fire from a battle between the troops of the 65th Division and a battalion of German combat engineers) Soon we saw some of our bombers overhead. They were B-26 twin-engine bombers that had their bomb bay doors open. They came in from the front of our column of trucks at no more than 2,000 or 3,000 feet altitude...

Date:
5/28/2003
Time:
6:12:45 PM
 
Louis J Cubba BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: 42-44  The 386th (554th) was my uncles bomb group. He was KIA on 9-23-44 in a plane named "Litlo Jo" tail number 131622 RU-D piloted by Lt. James Kerr. I wonder if you know anything else about him or his crew. Anything at all would be greatly appreciated. Incidentally -- I was born exactly nine months after his death and was named after him. Thank you and God bless you.

Date:
5/28/2003
Time:
4:04:30M
 
Bill Hornbarger BombGp: 387th Squadron: 557th. My father, Lt. Bill Hornbarger who passed away in 1994 was the 557th squadron navigator on Col. Kellers B-26, Kellers Killer. I have a lot of good pics both ground and air. Also I have the 557th album that you have probably seen, there are pics of Danita and Danita 2 in it. Dave Hornbarger

Date:
5/27/2003
Time:
8:00:17 PM
 
Whitey Sterngold BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 1942-1945. Hi--this is an update. I had posted a letter and picture of my dad, Myron "Whitey" Sterngold and his dog in the 2002 guestbook in December and heard from two guys that flew with him, Tom Scivally and Irvin Sanow. Both of these men are in full retention of their memories and it was great to talk with them both about my dad and the adventures of the 451st. I was able to get my dad's war record from the army and he flew some astounding number of missions. Anyway, I want to salute these two precious old guys and thank them publicly for contacting me and keeping these memories alive, as well as Mike and Trevor and the people who made the effort to put this website together. Dad continued flying until he died, we always had a little airplane and I grew up doing loop de loops with him in the airplane. To this day I have not had a moment of fear in an airplane because my dad was such a great flyer (tho mom would disagree!). My dad loved computers and tho he died in 1986, he was already so excited about their possibilities. The thought of him having his picture online and hearing from his old war buddies would have thrilled him. My mom is still alive and OK. hope you all are doing well out there Susan Sterngold daughter of Whitey Sterngold who lived a great life and died on May 30, 1986-the REAL Memorial Day!

Date:
5/27/2003
Time:
6:41:34 PM
 
T/Sgt. Leo Green BombGp: 17 Squadron: 432 Years: 42-45 Class: 43 Location: Lake Charles Army Air Force Base. Thanks great show. Flew 65 missions as tail gunner on b26c. Anzio to Stutgart, Germany. Met my future wife in Lake Charles. Carried her picture on all missions, still do; would like to hear from squadron members. Thanks again.

Date:
5/27/2003
Time:
2:27:24 PM
 
Edward W. Davis BombGp: 322 Squadron: 452 Years: ETO 43-44 Class: ? Location: Shreveport LA.  Edward W. Davis was my father. He was a B26 pilot who flew 76 missions between May 15, 1943 through November 1944. Flew Southern Route to England. Arrived after the "Bad" B26 raid where the entire bunch got shot down. First mission was as co-pilot on raid against German held airfield at Beauvatille (sp). Two planes that he mentioned were "Barbara" and "Mary." His best friend was Roy Edge who died attempting to land his damaged plane away from a populated area of London in September 1944. My father was tall. Had black wavy hair. Brown eyes. Was quite. Read a lot. Was from Arkansas. Made the move from England to France. There flew some night "pathfinder" missions. Talked little of the war. However told funny story about the officer's club at new field, in France. Ceiling of building seemed very low. Reason: The floor was built up from years and years of deposits of dried animal manure. Also told a story about some officers who bought a turkey from a Frenchman who also roasted it for them. Couldn't pull the meat from the bird because it was so tough. Dad went on to a career in the Air Force where he flew a variety of planes. Fighters in Korea, then B47's and finished his career with the Atlas and Titan Missile programs. After he retired Dad never sat again behind the controls of an aircraft. His favorite plane? The Martin Marauder B26 of course. Retired from AF in 1965 as Lt Col. Became Director of the Arkansas Public Service Commission then was the chief lobbyist for the Arkansas Telecommunications Association. Died December 24th 1991. Philip Davis

Memorial Day speech at Arlington

President Bush Honors the Brave and Fallen Defenders of Freedom
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia

11:33 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much for the warm welcome. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your leadership. Secretary Principi, members of the United States Congress, General Myers, members of the Joint Chiefs, General Jackson and Colonel Ray and Colonel Steedley, veterans, honored guests and my fellow Americans, we come to this Memorial Day with deep awareness of recent loss and recent courage.

Beyond the Tomb of the Unknowns, in Section 60 of Arlington Cemetery, we have laid to rest Americans who fell in the battle of Iraq. One of the funerals was for Marine Second Lieutenant Frederick Pokorney Junior, of Jacksonville, North Carolina. His wife, Carolyn, received a folded flag. His two year old daughter, Taylor, knelt beside her mother at the casket to say a final goodbye.

An uncle later said of this fine lieutenant, "He was proud of what he was doing and proud of his family, a hard working guy -- the best guy you can ever know. I hope the American people don't forget." This nation does not forget.

Last month, in Section 60, First Lieutenant Rob Jenkins was buried, along with five other members of a bomber crew. They were lost when their plane was shot down over North Africa in 1942. Rob Jenkins had joined the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor, and he was 20 years old on his final mission.

Six decades later, his plane was found and the remains of the crew were carefully identified, returned home and buried with military honors. Rob's sister, Helen, said, "We were very proud that the government would care that much. After all, it was such a long time ago." This nation does not forget. (See below)

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030526-1.html

Date:
5/25/2003
Time:
1:07:07 PM
 
Clyde Dailey Gp: 387th Squadron: 558th Years: 1943-45.  I'm trying to find out anyone that knew my Uncle 1st Lt. Clyde Dailey. He was MIA early part of 1945. His Mother and Sister has passed, I have no other information. I served on Saipan 1944-45 with 73rd Bomb Wing B-29's. Thank you very much. Arthur S. Horton

Date:
5/25/2003
Time:
11:46:51 AM
 
Nathan M. Ellington.  I'm the son of Nathan M. Ellington who flew with the 391st... which just held its reunion here in San Antonio, Texas... Would be glad to forward any information to my Dad... Robert Ellington

Date:
5/23/2003
Time:
8:53:12 AM

2nd Lt. Paul E. Gowey - Attached are two scanned images. The image named "photo front" shows the front of the photo with my uncle (on the left) with what I assume is the flight crew that was on the B-26 that went missing in the Gulf. The image named "photo back" shows the back of the photo with each crew member's name, rank and position onboard the aircraft. Unfortunately, we don't yet have any unit designators for the aircraft or crew. Can you add these images to the web site? Thanks for your assistance, and we really appreciate the fine work you're doing with the web site. Joel G. Dietrich

The Gowey crew request. The photograph was taken at 332 Base Air Unit, Lake Charles, LA on 13th July 1944. The B26 was 41-31759. I have no record either of the loss of this a/c or of the Gowey crew. However, if you write to Maxwell and can give a positive date for the loss they may be able to get an accident report. Regards, Trevor.

2nd Lt. Paul E. Gowey
Pilot

2nd Lt. Anthony J. Gerlach
Co-Pilot

2nd Lt. Alfred J. Flower
Bombardier


Cpl. Alfred E. Kraus
Engineer/Gunner


Cpl. Clement P. Libby
Radio/Gunner


Sgt. Paul D. Gautheir
Armour/Gunner


Date:
5/17/2003
Time:
9:44:27 PM
 
Richard F. Tyson BombGp: 323rd Squadron: 456th Years: 1944-1945 Comments: I was flight engineer, turret gunner on the crew of Capt. Robert S. Flittie, copilot Arthur Pakula, Bombardier Navigator Donald Parker, Radioman gunner, Jack Lay and Armorer tail gunner Warren "Lucky" Delaney Flaherty. I served in the training squadron at Lake Charles, LA and Barksdale Field, Shreveport, LA, and at that time Lt. Joseph Grillo was bombardier navigator. We flew the Northern Route in a new B-26 from Savannah, GA to Rngland, and an ATS navigator replaced Lt. Grillo. He joined the 323rd separately, and was killed in action. If anyone knows the circumstances of his death, I would appreciated learning of them. When Lt. Pakula got his own plane and crew, Lt. Charles Rothschild replaced him. Lt. Parker was killed in action, and was replaced by Lt. Frank O'Rourke (now Fr. Colin, OFM) I have not head from him lately, and hope he is OK, and would love to hear from Lt. Rothschild. As far as I know, we three may be the only survivors of the crew.

Date:
5/17/2003
Time:
8:13:29 AM
 
Spencer L. Andress BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location: Comments: My father Spencer L. Andress was a B-26 pilot in WWII. That's all I really know. I think he flew missions mostly over France. Would like to find out as much information as possible. Did anyone out there serve with him or know him during the war. How many missions ? Who was on his crew? Any information is helpful & I thank you for your time. Sorry don't know the information for the fill-in boxes above. Jay L. Andress

Date:
5/14/2003
Time:
6:28:13 AM

Aloha-
First, I would like to apologize for taking so long in writing back to you. Our work/travel schedules here at the lab are quite chaotic at times, but that is no excuse for being remiss in thanking those who have helped so much! As you may or may not remember, the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii (USA-CILHI) was contacted by the U.S. Embassy, Tunis, Tunisia in November 2000 with information that a possible American aircraft had been discovered in Lac Sud (South Lake), Tunis during dredging operations associated with a large-scale engineering project in the lake.

Human remains were also recovered from the wreckage. The Tunisian Navy was summoned shortly after the discovery and recovered several aircraft items which led them to believe that the aircraft was most likely American and of WWII vintage. Myself and two military personnel from USA-CILHI were sent to investigate the aircraft in question and determine if her crew were American in origin. Our research section began researching all Missing Aircrew Reports (MACRs) for this region. Since we do not actively investigate and recover WWII-era crash sites, the needed documentation was not on hand at our laboratory and had to be collected and compiled from various sources.

Upon arrival in country, we commenced investigating the wreckage with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy, Tunisian Navy and the commercial dredging company on Lac Sud. The wreckage was extremely concentrated. Depth ranged from approximately 75 cm to a dredged depth of 2.5m. It was clear from a review of the recovered wreckage that the plane had been built in America - e.g. pump stamped with "Thompson Product Cleveland, OH", Goodyear tires, etc. The plane could not be identified from the recovered wreckage, so we began work to bring up more of the wreckage in an attempt to identify the plane. The lake sediment consisted of a high concentration of clay which served to hold pockets of oil and fuel from the aircraft even after all these years. In this environment (anaerobic), decomposition in retarded which provides for excellent reservation. We recovered the emergency instructions manual for a B-26, a Thompson submachine gun manual, a navigation logbook, maps of "Alger" and "Mascara", and other aircraft/crew related evidence. At this time, I found your website while searching the Internet from my hotel room in Tunis. What a wonderful resource! Your site and personal attention to tracking down possible leads on this case were invaluable in the field. A month after arriving to investigate the aircraft wreckage, we were able to make a solid recommendation that the aircraft was probably American in origin and should be fully excavated in part due to your assistance. A full team returned in January 2001. Personal effect evidence recovered during the excavation identified the plane as a B-26 lost on 15 December 1942 from the 319th Bomb Group/437th Bomb Squadron (MACR 16380) with a crew of six. The crew was subsequently identified at our laboratory through anthropological, odontological and mtDNA analyses and returned to their families.

Again, thank you so much for helping us be successful in this endeavor! If I can be of any assistance to you in the future, do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards and keep up the great work!
Gwen

Forensic Anthropologist/Evidence Curator
USA-CILHI

 

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A casket containing the remains of the crew of a WWII B-26 Marauder medium bomber that was lost over Tunisia on December 15, 1942, arrives for a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, April 24, 2003. Remains of the crash were discovered in November 2000, and positive identifications were made in the subsequent years. Buried today were Col. Charles Phillips, Maj. Ellis Arnold, 1st Lt. Robert Jenkins, SSGT John Brdeja, Sgt. Maurice Cohen and Sgt. Joseph Johnson. Being wheeled toward the site is Beatrice Cohen, sister of crew member Maurice Cohen. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarqu

Folded flags are given to family representatives of the crew of a B-26 Marauder medium bomber which was lost in Tunisia on December 15, 1942, during a group burial for the crew members at Arlington National Cemetery, April 24, 2003. Remains of the crash were discovered in November 2000, and positive identifications were made in the subsequent years. Buried today were Col. Charles Phillips, Maj. Ellis Arnold, 1st Lt. Robert Jenkins, SSGT John Brdeja, Sgt. Maurice Cohen and Sgt. Joseph Johnson. From left are Beatrice Cohen (sister of Cohen), Helen Jackson (sister of Jenkins), Lady A. Pate (Arnold family representative), Neals Neilson (uncle to Johnson) and Estelle Savage (aunt to Johnson). REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Folded flags to be presented to family representatives of the crew of a B-26 Marauder medium bomber which was lost in Tunisia on December 15, 1942 are held by honor guard soldiers during a group burial for crew members at Arlington National Cemetery, April 24, 2003. Remains of the crash were discovered in November 2000, and positive identifcations were made in the subsequent years. Buried today were Col. Charles Phillips, Maj. Ellis Arnold, 1st Lt. Robert Jenkins, SSGT John Brdeja, Sgt. Maurice Cohen and Sgt. Joseph Johnson. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Date:
5/12/2003
Time:
3:50:57 PM
 
Hi- there is still a whole lot of people over here in the south east of the UK who remember the bomber crews and hearing them on their way to Europe each day. We still realize the debt we owe to them all, god bless, Pete

Date:
5/13/2003
Time:
2:34:31 PM
 
Harold Michelson BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: 1941-1945 Class: 44A Location: San Angelo, TX Send: send Date: 5/13/2003 Time:  Remote Name: 64.173.252.34 Comments: Pilot-McMullen... Co-Pilot-Patterson... Bombardier-Navigator-Michelson... Tail Gunner-Snyder...Waist-Rothbard...Top Turret-Sauer...Split up when A-26s arrived...I had 40 missions at war's end...Worked in the film industry for 50 years...

Date:
5/13/2003
Time:
12:51:35 AM
 
John Foldy BombGp: 397 Squadron: 598 Years: 1944-45  Comments: I'm writing on behalf of my dad, John Foldy. He was a sergeant in the 397 BG, 598 BS, 9th Air Force. He is looking for more information on a mission he flew in on April 12, 1945, to the Kempten ordnance depot in Germany. Almost 300 planes took off, and as far as he knows, only his group of six or so planes made it to the target and did the bomb run. He was in the lead plane, piloted by Captain Howard Swenson. Any info will be appreciated! Leslie Foldy -- for John Foldy

Date:
5/12/2003
Time:
2:07:11 PM
 
Warren Fred Eck Comments: Dear Chester, My Dad, Warren Fred Eck flew B26's in world war II and I would be interested in any info you might have on him, his plane and his missions. I remember him telling me that the plane he flew in was called "Sexy Betsy". I was able to locate a picture of it and the complete numbers are B26C-25-MO 41 35358 the tail number shown is 135 358. Dad was a radio operator and waist gunner and I believe a Sgt. . Dad passed away in 1991 and my Mom can't find Dad's old records and war mementos. We are trying to research as much as we can so we can pass Dad's story on to our kids. Thank you in advance for your help. Sincerely, Warren Eck

Date:
5/12/2003
Time:
11:15:29 AM
 
Neill C. Miles BombGp: 323 Squadron: 454 Years: 43-44 Comments: have some pictures from 454th. My father Lt. Neill C. Miles was a bombadier with this group. Dave

Date:
5/11/2003
Time:
8:34:32 PM
 
Keith C. Reed BombGp: 397 Squadron: 597 Comments: I am looking for information about my first cousin once removed, 2LT Keith C. Reed, a B-26 pilot KIA on March 13, 1945, while flying 44-67984. He is buried in the American Military Cemetary at Luxembourg City and apparently received an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. According to my mother (Keith's first cousin), all of the rest of the crew bailed out and Keith was the only one killed in the mission. Any info you can provide regarding the final mission, how many missions Keith completed, why he received the Air Medal, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. John G. Gott

Date:
5/10/2003
Time:
1:58:17 PM
 
Comments: Dear Mr. Klier, I am a 53-year old Belgian teacher. The large part of my leisure time goes to research about the history of military aviation during WWI and II in Belgium. Now and then I also undertake research about crashed aircraft either for the Belgian Aviation History Association or for anyone else who asks for serious and respectful research. On Sept. 15 last year we were able to recover Sgt John Carmichael and his Spitfire near the Belgian town of Diksmuide. Sgt Carmichael (RAF 129 Sqn Fighter Command) went missing on Sept. 5, 1943 while escorting 322nd & 323rd BGPs (8th USAAF) to Ghent (Belgium). µ At the same time 386th BGP was heading for COURTRAI (Belgium) Mission No. 13] but due to bad weather the mission was aborted before reaching the target. Sgt Carmichael will be buried with military honor and in the presence of his family at the end of June or beginning of July. In the weekend of the funeral we plan to organize an exhibition on the events of Sept. 5, 1943. As we would also like to take up 386 BGP in this exhibition I would be grateful if you could help us in this. As you personally took part in the mission to COURTRAI (which will be mentioned in the exhibition) and since you are the historian of 386th BGP, your response would be most welcome. I thought it were best I first wait for your reply. It would be nice if we could make the 386th BGP known to the British and Belgian people attending the ceremony and/or visiting the exhibition. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Dirk Decuypere Kleine Wervikstraat 27 B-8940 Geluwe Belgium

Date:
5/9/2003
Time:
7:56:27 PM
 
Herbert C.Ritter BombGp: 386 Squadron: 552   Comments: My brother Herbert C. Ritter was a pilot flew the B-26 in Europe in WWII. Interested to hear from anyone that flew with him. I served in the 95th infantry division in France and Germany as a combat infantryman. Bob Ritter

Date:
5/8/2003
Time:
4:49:23 PM
 
Tommie Jack Potts BombGp: 584 Squadron: Years: '42-'44 Location: MacDill  Comments: my father, Lt Tommie Jack Potts (now deceased), of Alabama, was a B-26 pilot in England flying with the 584. He was awarded the DFC. Any info on him would be greatly appreciated. Charlie Potts

Date:
5/7/2003
Time:
12:16:49 AM
 
Alfred Freiburger BombGp: 344 Squadron: 495 Years: 1941-1965 Class: 42-K Location: Lubbock, Texas

Date:
5/6/2003
Time:
3:52:17 PM
 
Neil Derbyshire Sr. BombGp: 2nd Squadron: tow target Years: Korean  Comments: searching for some old mates that were in the sqd at New Castle County Airport Wilmington Delaware 1950 1953.
 
Probably A-26, not B-26, but that's ok... we'll try.

Date:
5/1/2003
Time:
11:27:56 AM
 
William L. "Bill" Kincheloe Years: 1944-1945 Class: Location: Truax Field   Comments: As an enlisted instructor in radio mechanics, my job was making sure that new mechanics would be capable of maintaining the communications equipment of the B-26. My tasks ended in April 1945 (about) when it appeared that the need for more radio mechanics evaporated. I had one flight in a B-26 courtesy of a major who attended one of my classes for "orientation." I still remember fondly one TSgt Paul (NMI) Scott who, as a multi-mission aircrew veteran from the ETO, was the leader of the "Progress Check" instructors at Truax. His tales of D-Day were enthralling. But I have lost contact with him.

Date:
5/1/2003
Time:
3:02:20 AM
 
Jack C. Darby BombGp: 386 Squadron: Years: 1942-1945  Comments: Howdy! I am looking for men who may have served with or ideally crewed with my grandfather, Tech. Sgt Jack Carter Darby on the ship "Hard Luck" B=26 41-31610 AN-P. I was shocked to come across Mr. Klier's wonderful retelling of the Sunday September 5, 1943 invasion of the Marshalling Yard located at Courtrai, Belguim that mentions my grandfather and would love to speak with people who may have served with him. My father tells me he was an amazing man and it is unfortunate that I never got a chance to meet him as I turned out to be quite an incurable WWII aviation fanatic. I have access to many of his records through my dad and a great crew photograph depicting the "HARD LUCK" nose art with the men's nicknames but no full names. They are listed as "Eddie" (Staff Sgt. E.T. Kozlowski), "Nate-bombardier", "Doc-Pilot", "Gus-top turret" (Staff Sgt. E.G. Godziewski), "Runt-Copilot", and my grandfather "Junior-waist guns/radio operator" TSGT. Jack Carter Darby. I would really love t! o see any additional photos of B-26 AN-P "Hard Luck," as well. I also discovered that the father of a poster on this message board was the pilot of Hard Luck when it suffered a landing accident, Mr. Robert Brockhouse, and I would really like to get in tough with him or his father! I am extremely humbled to be named after this great man and appreciate everything the B-26 crews did for the war effort. Thank you for any information, please feel free to contact me any time!

Date:
4/29/2003
Time:
4:48:58 PM
 
Leo Walker BombGp: Squadron: Comments: To Whom It May Concern, T/Sgt Leo Walker, Flight Engineer, of the famous Zero 4, B-26, passed away at the age of 86 at 12:25 ET, on April 26, 2003 in his home state of Massachusetts. This is submitted by his nephew, a retired USAF MSgt. Ken Sweetser

Date:
4/27/2003
Time:
11:29:50 AM
 
Herbert C. Ritter BombGp: 386 Squadron: 552 Years: 43-45 Class: 43G Location: Maxwell Field Comments: Absolutely fantastic site! I got such a rush to see my father's name, Herbert C. Ritter, in the name index, and a picture of his plane, "True Love". (B-26 F-1-MA; 296-321; RG-V) I have a couple of pictures of "True Love", but had never seen this one. If whoever provided it would send me an e-mail, I'd love to get a copy (or of any others), (and would obviously be pleased to pay any costs associated). I note that the bomb in the picture on site appears to have words written, but stricken out. Anyone know what they were? "True Love" was my parents "song". The face on the nose art was that of my mother. Regards Curtis A. Ritter

Date:
4/26/2003
Time:
8:25:43 PM
 
Charles Wyman BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 1944-45 Comments: Am posting this for my Uncle, Charles Wyman. He was a tailgunner on the Truman Kiwi. Served also in the First Pathfinder, 9th Army Air Force. Sure he would like to hear from anyone who remembers him. Thanks.

Date:
4/23/2003
Time:
5:17:41 PM
 
James V. Trochesset  BombGp: 336th Squadron: 478th Years: 1942 Aircraft #41-17626, right engine (recently repaired) failure on takeoff, all six died, Instructor AC was Arthur Schmidt. Date: 5 Sep 42; Place: Page Field, Ft Myers, Florida. An uncle whom I had never met died in the above training accident at Page Field, Ft. Myers, FL, on Sept. 5, 1942. I recently got an official Army accident report (photocopy) from Maxwell AFB, but I would like to know more about Florida training for B-26 crews: (1)Was Page Field a satellite of Macdill Field where guys were sent on temporary duty? (2)Was it a base where gunnery training took place? (3)What were the duties of the crew chief? Was he a regular flying crewmember? My uncle, SSGT James V. Trochesset had written that he was a crew chief. (4)According to the report I received, the doomed flight was a test hop as well as transition training. Does that mean that the repaired engine had to be tested in flight during pilot training? (5)Did B-26 takeoff procedure change, as recommended in the report, to hold minimum of 160 mph for initial climbout? (6)Do you have any photos of 17626, or any of the aircraft in that squadron? (7)Finally, how many hours did Lt. Schmidt have in the Marauder? It was not known as of the report. Thanks for your work on this fascinating subject. David Ebeling

David - Ft Myers, like many other B26 bases in the South East was host to several units over a period of times.  At the time of the accident the 336th Bomb Group was in residence.   S/Sgt Trochesset was a ground crew chief in charge of the repair and maintenance of this B26.  The crew chief was not an aircrew member and normally did not fly.  However, it was normal, after an engine change, for an experienced pilot, accompanied by the crew chief to fly the B26 to ensure that repairs had been done correctly and everything was ok.  Obviously, due to the urgent need for trained aircrews the 336th was not only testing 626 this day, but was also using the flight as a transition for another crew in training.  Gunnery training could well have been conducted at Page Field, Ft Myers. Take off procedures normally called for a minimum airspeed on take off and climb out.  I am sorry, but I do not have any photographs of 626. Photographs of B26's used in the Stateside training programmes are notoriously difficult to come by. For some reason there seemed to be a reluctance, by crews in training, to photograph B26's. The only way to find out the hours Lt. Schmidt had on B26's are from his flight records and these no longer exist.

Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
4/23/2003
Time:
2:59:36 PM
 
Frank Tinelli BombGp: 17th Squadron: 37th  Comments: Hello, I am trying to locate information about my dad's AAC service, he never spoke much in detail about his experiences. His name was Frank Tinelli and he was a T/SGT - Crew Chief. He passed in 1996, mom moved and cannot locate Dad's scrapbook, memorabila and photos. I remember him telling me he was with the 8th, 12th 15, and 17th airforce (bomb group?) He was stationed in England, France, Italy and North Africa. Saw a photo of a plane named "Jeanie" Prior to overseas duty he mentioned being stationed at Sheppard's Field, Texas and Biloxi, Mississippi. He mentioned a couple of friends one named Jack Gordon who I believe now lives in MS and another fellow whose last name was Bosewell but he was killed in '44 or '45. Any information or scanned pictures of my dad or crew-mates would be greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you, his daughter, Joanne

Date:
4/23/2003
Time:
12:47:46 PM
 
Comments: for an historical search, I'm interested to correspond with B.26'crews that were in Italy from December 1943 to June 1944. Particulary, I'm interested to know members of these following BGroups: 319th,320th,17th BG, 42n Wing, that were in Decimomannu airfield and Villacidro airfield (Sardinia). Thanks Claudio Biscarini

Date:
4/22/2003
Time:
1:10:11 PM
 
I'm a French aviation historian. I'm actually working on the case of the downing of the DARNALL crew, near Aire sur la Lys, in northern France, on 30 April 1944. I've purchased the MACR. I'm looking for a picture of the crew that I could use for a non-profit making article in St Omer newspaper. Thanks in advance Joss Leclercq

Date:
4/22/2003
Time:
1:41:35 AM
 
Robert Huffman BombGp: 319th Squadron: 439th Years: 1944-45 I am the son of Robert Huffman, Flight Engineer, 12th AF, 319th Group, 439th Sq. He is alive and well in OKC. I am the sponsor/pilot of A-26B (41-39230). From Maxwell AFB I learned the acft was assigned to the 386th on 9-24-44. They did not have the exact sq #. I am planning on repainting the acft to authentic 386th markings this winter. For the interim it is being flown in an all black scheme. We have recently replaced one engine and the acft is emerging from extensive maintenance. We will begin airshows in May. I am in need of any info on the wartime assignments of the acft. I am also trying to order a copy of The Crusaders. Please forward any info you have on the acft and crewmembers. If I cannot determine its 386th history I may consider a 319th paint scheme in honor of my father, but my first desire is to restore it to 386th markings. I would also be interested in future 386th reunion locations to possibly display the repainted acft. If you are interested I will also email current pics of the acft. My restoration shop has also restored an Me-109 that we are currently conducting taxi tests. We intend to display both acft at airshows. Thank You......David Huffman

Date:
4/20/2003
Time:
9:18:31 PM
 
Joseph Girz BombGp: 17 Squadron: 95 Years: 1943-1945 Class: Location: Barksdale, LA. My grandfather was actually a radio/waistgunner in the 17th BG, 95 Squadron...served in North Africa, Operation Dragoon, Dijion France, Brenner Pass, Kauserslatern, and Heidelberg and more. His name is Sgt. Joseph Girz from Ohio. He was featured in a Stars and Stripes article where he got stuck in the upper hatch when his aircraft crashed on take off. The article says Girz likes Army Chow to much...or something. It is a good story and I am sure he will be happy to share stories if you would like. Thanks to our vets for everything! Mark Kiedrowski

Date:
4/21/2003
Time:
8:44:31 PM
 
T/Sgt Leo Green BombGp: 17 Squadron: 432 Years: 42/45 Class: 43 Location: LC Army Air Base. I am trying to locate the crew I trained with in LC we flew to Sardinia with I was transferd to 432 sqdn. Rest of crew went to 37 sqdn; names Lt. W.F. Hoyer; Lt J.T. Trapp; Lt J.E. Bacon; Sgt. Robert Robinson & Robert Dunn.  Plane did not have name as I remeber would like to know what their war record was. Help if you can. Leo

Date:
4/21/2003
Time:
12:01:25 PM
 
James P. Negri  Hello, all, I am looking for information about my great uncle, James P. Negri, who was a tail gunner on "Bank Night Betty", B-26B-55-MA, serial 42-96144, tail number 296144. He was in the 397th bomb group, 596th squadron, and was killed in action on Dec. 23, 1944, over the German-Belgian border. The pilot's name was Charles W. Estes, Co-Pilot William D. Collins, Bombardier Craig E. Lewis. I don't know the names of the rest of the crew. I have e-mailed the Air Force Historical Research Agency for a Missing Air Crew Report and photos, but after several weeks I have not heard back from them, so I thought I would try this forum. I would like to know the details of his last mission (a strike on the Eller railroad bridge), such as whether his plane was brought down by flak or enemy fighters, and the exact crash location. I would be thrilled to find an aerial photo of the Eller railroad bridge. Any photos of "Bank Night Betty" or other aircraft of the 397th, especially the 596th squadron, would be much appreciated. I already have a group photo of "Betty's" crew. Other info I am looking for: I would like to confirm whether "Night" was spelled as such on the aircraft, or spelled "Nite". I have heard both. The group photo I have of the aircraft and crew shows 70 mission markings, (Date of photo unknown) and the aircraft serial number indicates that it was built in 1942, so my great-uncle's crew must not have been the aircraft's first. I would value any info about "Betty's" first crew. Sincerely, Ryan Smith

Date:
4/21/2003
Time:
9:18:31 PM
 
To Alan Crouchman 387th BG Historian.
 
Dear Sir, In exploring b26.com I noticed that you were historian for the 387th BG and I am wondering if you would like to help me. I am looking for further information concerning an accident that cost the life of a 558th BS/387th BG aircrew. on the 5th of September 1944, B-26 41-31661 crashed near A-15 Maupertus on the Cherbourg peninsula in Normandy. the six crewmembers were 2nd Lt Elvin J Galmish, 2nd Lt Edward H Gleason, S/Sgt Louis Pion, Sgt George L Metzger, S/Sgt James Tripp and Sgt Edwaed F Tracz. Sgt Tracz was badly wounded and the other crewmembers were killed according to the accident report. I'd be more than grateful if you would like to inform me about this particular crew and if you have knowledge of the nickname of the B-26 in which they were killed and/or pictures of them. I can send you a copy of the accident report if you wish to. Sincerely yours, Mickaël from France

Date:
4/20/2003
Time:
9:18:31 PM
 
Bouse, Robert F. BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 449th Years: 1945 Class: 44H Location: Lubbock Army Air Base. Thanks for maintaining such a great and most complete Web Site. It is most interesting. As of this date, all of our original crew is still living. David Dangler, Pilot; Bob Bouse, Co-Pilot; Ralph Briden, Bombardier; Phil Enyeart, Crew Chief; Ken Bellm, Radio Gunner, Robert Schierbrock, Arm/Gunner. We ferried an airplane across the Southern Route, reaching England in January 1945. We didn't get assigned to the 322n BG until March. We flew 13-15 combat missions out of Beavais, France and Louvain, Belgium. Because of lack of points I stayed in the Army of Occupation in Germany until June of 1946. I was trained in the Douglas A-26 Bomber in preparation to flying low level missions in support of the planned invasion of Japan. Then, they dropped the "Bomb". That shortened the war for all of us. Bob Bouse

Date:
4/18/2003
Time:
1:59:07 PM
 
Maurice L Cohen BombGp: 319 Squadron: 437 Years: 1942 Comments: Trevor: way back on 6/13/01 you wrote to me after I had inquired about my uncle who was a tail gunner on a B26, which was shot down in the bay of Tunis on Dec 15,1942. At that time we had been contacted by the Army that the Plane and crew were found, awaiting DNA results.   Well DNA results have confirmed it is our Uncle.  The name of the plane was "HORSEFEATHERS" S/N#41-17759; Crew: Col. Phillips, Capt. Arnold, Lt. Robert Jenkins, Sgt. Cohen, Sgt. Johnson, Sgt. Bredja.  The reason I am emailing you this time is to inform you of a group funeral at Arlington National Cemetery next week for the Crew of the B26 I mentioned above.  All six crew members were identified.  There is a visitation Scheduled for Wednesday April 23 from 7pm to 9pm @ Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA., and the group funeral is on Thursday morning April 24th at 11am at the Old Post Chapel, Ft Meyer, VA.  From there, internment & graveside services will be at Arlington Nat'l Cemetery.  If anyone is in the area, feel free to attend this incredible service!! Gary Cohen

(Original post from Gwen Guinan is below.  Trevor Allen and John Moench were able to assist, ID'd plane, bomb group and squadron.  So b26.com played a small part in this happy story.)

Date:
12/08/2000
Time:
6:43:35 PM
"My name is Gwen Guinan and I am an Anthropologist with the United States Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI). You may know of the mission of the CILHI - we are responsible for the recovery and identification of all those missing from prior conflicts involving the United States. Currently, I am in Tunis, Tunisia investigating the possible crash site of what appears to be a B-26 in the South Lake of Tunis. Wreckage from the plane was discovered during dredging operations about a month ago and we were called in after some of the recovered wreckage appeared to be American. At this time, we know that it is a B-26. The wreckage is underwater, but it has been preserved due to the fuel and clay soil to some extent. I have recovered paperwork that states this is a "B-26, B-26A, B-26B" - it appears to be a partial flight manual. We also have recovered a air almanac for 1943 January - April. The air almanac was printed in London which gave us pause as we know that we did supply planes to the British during the war. The aggregate information points to it being an American plane though (US Army Air Force items, etc.). We are researching as to what bomber groups were in the area during this time and what planes were lost, but the records are lacking sometimes for WWII era losses. Any help you might be able to provide would be much appreciated. At this time, we are still on site and planning to put Navy divers in the water to detect the possible presence of UXO which is of course a concern. The visibility in the water is only about 2 inches so we need sonar and metal detectors. You can respond to me at this address http://www.cilhi.army.mil . Thank you for any assistance in advance! Aloha, Gwen Guinan Forensic Anthropologist USA-CILHI

Gwen Guinan <http://www.cilhi.army.mil>

Date:
4/17/2003
Time:
5:34:31 PM
Lt Robert B Morson, 387th BG 556th BS, details sought on Lt Morson reported killed in an accident on 4th August 1944 at Stoney Cross, England. Information also required regarding B26 A/C 41-31654 Lady Irene which crashed at Stoney Cross due to battle damage. Peter Oliver

Date:
4/17/2003
Time:
12:28:05 AM
 
Thank you for all your sacrifices

Date:
4/16/2003
Time:
10:38:26 PM
 
Tibbs Golladay BombGp: 386th Squadron: 552nd Comments: Chester--I received your "A VIEW FROM MY BUNKER" and the attached mission schedule sheet. I failed to locate your phone number so I can't thank you personally; however, I wish you to know that the communication has been received with the highest regard for talent and dedication. I plan to leave early tomorrow to visit my son and his family. I have never discussed my combat experiences with him or his children--this will provide an opportunity for a beginning.--Thanks! I don't recall details of mission 395 except when the box broke up, Pete Henzie gave me a heading for home and by then we were on the deck. We continued on the deck when suddenly we appeared at landing pattern altitude just off the edge of an airfield which I believe was Stugardt. I saw no hostile action and we were out of sight in a couple of minutes enroute to St Trond.

Date:
4/13/2003
Time:
9:38:10 PM
 
Henry Robert Watson BombGp: 452 Squadron: 322 Years: 1942-1945 Comments: I just found your web site and found it so great that I have spent a whole weekend in it. I think that what you are doing is great. None of these men and women can ever be forgotten for one minute. I am new at this and I am trying to help my father by my mothers second marriage find some of the men he knew that he served with. He is one great person and he is not well. I did not know that he has tried but as he does not have a computer he has not had any luck. He is not able to remember a lot but he told me the bomb group and bomb squadron and I know he was a tailgunner on a B-26, he says they called them, "the Flying Coffin". He is so proud of that plane! I am hoping I will be able to get him to remember more but is there any information you can help me with in the mean time. I know it would mean so much to him and in that way so much to me. Please keep up the great work. Thank you Peter Wolstencroft

Date:
4/12/2003
Time:
2:43:18 PM
 
I enter your website about three times a week and see something new every time. There are not many guys left. Good work. Jr. says Hi! Jack Bogle

Date:
4/10/2003
Time:
4:27:18 PM
 
William Floyd Ray BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 44 45 Class: 43 K Location: Dodge City KS graduated Waco TX Comments: this is first time have been lucky enough to find this location. Did see my name at least 3 times in form of search. I would be happy to contact these guys. Well persons who knew my crew. I m only one left, reason gone to where GREAT FLYERS GO Would appreciate getting information how may contact these people.

Date:
4/10/2003
Time:
2:28:29 PM
 
W. Odell Myers BombGp: 319 Squadron: 438 Years: 1942 Class: 42G Location: Stockton, CA Comments: I am interested in contacting any members of the 319th Bomb Group who went into action in North Africa immediately following the invasion in late 1942. I was copilot of then Maj. David M. Jones, the 438th Squadron Commander and one of the Doolittle Raiders. We were shot down over Bizerte harbor on 4 Dec 42, and captured. I was imprisoned first in Italy, then Germany until the end of the war May 45. My memoir, THRICE CAUGHT, was published in 2002. (For details, see www.mcfarlandpub.com.) Am also interested in any information on 1st Lt. Burl Leon Lukenbill--also a B26 pilot and my best friend. Leon was killed in France either in late 1944 or early 1945 while I was in prison at Stalag Luft 1. I do not know his group or squadron number. You have a great site. Just wish there was more information on the 319th Group during the African campaign. Del Myers
 
Del - 1st Lt Burl L Lukenbill was killed September 28th, 1944 when his B26 crashed and burned at strip A-40, Chartres, France.  323rd Bomb Group 454th Bomb Squadron. Trevor Allen, historian, B26.com

Date:
4/10/2003
Time:
2:21:42 PM
 
Mark Irwin Wireless Op/Air gunner BombGp: MAAF Squadron: 14th Years: 2 Comments: Anybody had difficulty getting access to Air Casualty Files. Whilst researching into my Uncle Sgt. Mark Irwin's crash on take off at Alghero airfield Sardinia on 13th Sept 1944 I have discovered a great deal of information on this but not been allowed anything from these files? Many thanks, Joan

Date:
4/9/2003
Time:
3:14:14 PM
 
Comments: Dear Sir: first of all I want to thank all the pilots and crew members who help us liberate from the nazi's and those guys who gave there lives fore the freedom that we enjoy fore the moment, they have a special place in our heart of my family and remember them as hero's every year maybe you ask why! well my father and Uncle where Belgian underground fighters and brought downed airman to the border of France, they where several times arrested by the bloody gestapo's. If you want to reed there story go to my website that I have made to together with my American friend Carl a vet from the Korean war. http://www.belgium.under.ground.freeservers.com second: I walk many years around with the question, "how can I pay back those brave men fore what they did"and still I can not find the answer and can only say to them all THANKS THANKS THANKS from a son of a underground fighter May God Bless You All. Albert Demuyer

Date:
4/8/2003
Time:
11:24:44 PM
 
John Brice Reed BombGp: 391st Squadron: 572nd Comments: I am looking for any information you may be able to find regarding my grandfather John Brice Reed. He was the pilot of a B-26 in France I believe his B-26 was called Bum Steer and I think the serial numbers were 42-95815 & 41-34972. Any information, pictures, or stories you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time sir. James Brice Reed

Date:
4/8/2003
Time:
11:14:49 PM
 
Richard E. Ivory BombGp: 391 Comments: My father Richard E. Ivory was a Captain in the 391st Bomb Gp during WWII - I am just trying to find out if there is anyone that remembers him and any information available. Kelly (Ivory) Mohney

Date:
4/8/2003
Time:
10:55:54 PM
 
George Arnoto BombGp: 386th Squadron: ? Years: 8-17-42 to 5-21-45 Comments: My deceased Father-n-Law, George Arnoto, was a Gunner in the 386th Bomb Group and I am attempting to compile as much information about his military service. I have his Honorable Discharge and it lists the following: Army Serial #35 392 172; Grade S/Sgt; Air Corps; Component AUS; Organization 386 Bomb Group (M); Date of Separation 21 May 45; Separation Ctr: Camp Atterbury, IN; Military History: Date of Induction 17 Aug 42; Military Occupational Specialty; Radio Operator-Mechanic-Gunner; Battles & Campaigns: Normandy; Northern France Germany; Decorations: EAME Theater Ribbon w/4 Bronze Stars; Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon w Bronze Stars; Air Medal w/4 Oak Leaf Clusters. We would cherish any information you may have about his military service. We do have a photo of him and 5 other crew members in front of a B-26; We also have a silk map of France, Germany, Switzerland and suspect that possibly the crew carried these in the event that they were shot down behind enemy lines? I w! ill be glad to send you a copy of the photo. Thank you in advance for your help and your dedication to to creating this web site. Respectfully, Derek Hiscox

Date:
4/8/2003
Time:
4:34:56 PM
 
Robert L. Crane BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ? Comments: Hello, I did not fly B-26's, but my grandfather did. My grandfather was Robert L. Crane. He past away in 1990, in Michigan. The name of the B-26 he flew in was called the "Buzz N Bitch". His duty was: Bombardier/Navigator. I'm his grandson, Matt Crane. I'm only 18 years old, and I hope to pursue a career in aviation. I'm sorry I can't remember his Bomb Group, etc. But I do know that he is in the book about B-26's called "The Crusaders". I'm just looking to get some history from his times in war, and see if anyone knew him, or remembers him. If anyone out there knew him, could you please contact me and let me know, I'd appreciate it a lot. Matt Crane

Date:
4/6/2003
Time:
2:23:17 PM
 
Wade Herring Years: 43-45 Class: 44-e Location: Lubbock Comments: I was originally in 44-c I had primary at Uvalde- Then 6 weeks of basic at Waco Air Force Base- The second half of basic we went to Temple, Texas to fly AT-17s and then sent to Del Rio to fly B-26's in advanced--I had a health problem, and did not finish with that class-- I went to Lubbock with 44-e, graduated, and went back to Del Rio- I went to Barksdale, picked up a crew, went to Lake Charles to await overseas--Went in to A26s and never went overseas-

Date:
4/6/2003
Time:
2:03:54 PM
 
Francis Frost BombGp: 386 Comments: My uncle, Francis Frost, was a bombardier with the 386th during W.W.II, and recently died. I have been trying to get as much information as possible about the specific plane or planes he flew in, such as names, insignia, numbers, markings, etc. My father would like to make a model that would accurately reflect my uncle's "home" bomber. Can anyone help me with this information?

Date:
4/6/2003
Time:
5:15:44 AM

Edward Nielsen BombGp: 387 Squadron: 558TH Years: 42 TO 43 Class: 1942 Location: unknown Comments: Hi my name is Edward Nielsen Jr. I need your help in finding out about my father. Sgt. Edward Nielsen he was with the 387 558th he past away in 1973 I would like to know about him and the out fit d/o/b 8/5/06 and Wood like to know of the reunion so I can go for him I have been looking Four a long time four his out fit 558th bombardment 1942 to 1945.

P.S. You guys saved the world and you are my heroes.

Date:
4/5/2003
Time:
5:02:38 PM
 
Comments: If you have any information pertaining to the history of the 394th B-26 Crew Training School at Ardmore Army Air Field/Base, OK, July-August 1943, please contact me. A webpage about Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base http://www.brightok.net/~gsimmons has only limited information about the 394th's stay here. If you or relatives were here before transferring to Kellogg Field and can furnish info or pictures (digital or to be copied and returned) it will be appreciated. Help us record that time at Ardmore for history's sake. Gary D. Simmons

Date:
4/4/2003
Time:
6:37:53 PM
 
Theodore Kubala BombGp: 394 Squadron: 587 Comments: Outstanding web site! - which I am late in discovering. Could you please direct me to where I could find information and/or pictures involving my father, his crew, or the aircraft? 1Lt Theodore Kubala 0-803XXX pilot, 9th AF, 394BG, 587 BS. A/C 42-96086 believed to be named "Purgatory". Pilot, copilot, bombardier KIA over France April 21, 1944, on 14th mission. Three crew members able to parachute taken prisoner. Thank you very much!   Ted Kubala

Ted, your father was not flying his own B26 the day he was shot down. The B26 he flew from the USA to England was 42-96079. 42-96086 was hit by flak in the right engine, caught fire, went into a spin and the wings came off before crashing. Crew that day were:

1.Lt Theodore E Kubala - KIA
2.Lt William G Jones - KIA
F/O John A Debell - KIA
S/Sgt George J Mahin - POW
S/Sgt Sylvester W Schreiber - POW
Sgt James D Pascoe - POW

You mention that you believe that the B26 was named "Purgatory", my question is his original 079 or the one he was lost in 086? Regards, Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
4/4/2003
Time:
2:21:01 PM
 
John C. Melsheimer BombGp: 17th Squadron: 37th Years: 1942-43 Class: 42? Location: Kelly Field, TX? Nav. School Comments: I am trying to track down more info about the missions that my grandfather (0-425XXXX) flew before he was KIA. He flew B26 in N. Africa late '42/early '43. His first combat mission was 12/31/42 and his last was 2/24/43. He flew 9 missions in Jan (2, 4, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20, 27, 31) and 6 in Feb (1, 3, 7, 8,15, 24). I have his flight record that was sent to my grandmother a year after he was officially reported KIA. From letters that my grandmother has, I believe we lost three planes on that raid (2/24/43). The pilots' names were Les Rowher, Henry Schmelig, and Harry Martin (pilot of g-pa plane). One letter said the target was El Aouina Airdrome but am not sure this is the correct spelling. I am looking for anyone who may still be alive that knew my grandfater. Two names mentioned in the letters are Vic Goodman and George Jackson (0-72XXXX). Is there a way to discover the where abouts or happenings of these men after the war? I apologize for the length and realize I am lucky to ! have the info that I do, but it never hurt to ask around for more. Like other out there I'm sure, he passed before my mother was even born that July '43. Thanks, Kyle Gordon

Date:
4/3/2003
Time:
9:02:32 PM
 
Earl Schultz BombGp: 386 Squadron: 553 Years: 1943-1944 Class: Location: Childress Texas.

Date:
4/3/2003
Time:
4:33:33 PM
 
Robert F. Dorr (Bob) Comments: Friends --- I'm a longtime supporter of the B-26 Marauder community and have sung your praises often in articles, columns, and books. I'm now looking for help with the "little friends" who were also part of the effort on the Continent and wonder if any of you B-26 veterans, family members, or supporters, might know someone who can help: THUNDERBOLT ON THE CONTINENT. I would like to hear from anyone who can provide information, share reminiscences, or lend photos of P-47 Thunderbolt operations on the European continent in 1944 and 1945. I'm the author of a history article aimed at young readers that appears weekly in Air Force Times newspaper. I want to devote one of these history articles to Thunderbolt operations after D-Day, during the Battle of the Bulge, and leading toward V. E. Day, I would like to hear from anyone who'd like to help. My goal is to eventually expand this into a longer history, working with another author. Bob Dorr

Date:
4/3/2003
Time:
2:05:52 PM
 
Mark Irwin BombGp: MAAF Squadron: 14th Years: 1944 Class: Location: Comments: On behalf of my Uncle Sgt Mark Irwin killed in action at Alghero air field Sardinia 13t Sept 1944. Wireless Op/Air Gunner. I have three brevets and would like it if anyone could verify if they were actualy his or bought at a later date. I have a photo I can send e:mail thanks Joan Southworth

Date:
4/2/2003
Time:
11:19:42 PM
 
My cousin R.A.A.F. Flt. Sgt Freddy Parker died from burns received in the crash landing of 14 Sqn. R.A.F. Marauder Fk152 at Bou Bicha tunisia on July10 1943. Four of his colleagues died also. Two R.A.F.  Pilots aboard survived & probably returned to England. Their names are Flt. Sgt. J.T. Collyer and Flt. Sgt F.H. Mason. Can you suggest a way to find out what happened to them & if they are still living. Alan Parker.
 
Alan, write to J W A Lowder, Joe is the Honorary secretary and treasurer of 14 Squadron reunion association. Regards Trevor

Date:
4/2/2003
Time:
7:51:15 PM
 
Tibbs Golladay BombGp: 386th Squadron: 522nd Years: 44/45 Class: 43-J Location: Yuma , Arizona Comments: Pilot B-26, 50 missions Pilot A-26, 12 missions Chester, I have greatly appreciated your historical accounts the 386th Group Missions. This is my first opportunity to ask if any historical documents as these are available commercially? If I can provide you information that may be of value to you, please let me know. Tibbs Golladay
 
B-26:(50 missions) Golladay-Pilot Goodman-Copilot Weatherhold-B/N Polly-Engineer Turner-Radio Underwood-Tail gunner A-26:(12 missions) Golladay-Pilot Henzie-B/N (if he didn't get 12 shacks, he came mighty close!) Polly-Engineer/gunner

Date:
4/1/2003
Time:
10:28:41 PM
 
Ralph M. Kellogg BombGp: Squadron: Years: 1943 Class: Location: Comments: I am looking for information regarding my grandfather who flew "B-26 type" aircraft. His name was Lt. Col. Ralph M. Kellogg from Plattsburg, NY. On March 24, 1943 he was involved in a bombing run over Le Amala. He was also involved in the development of "skip" bombing tactics that led to General Hap Arnold taking the idea further to fighter bombers. If you have any information about him, I would greatly appreciate it. He died in North Africa when my mother was 2 and our family has very little information about his military career. Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless our troops.
 
Ralph, The only B26 unit operating in the Mediterranean on 24th March 1943 was the 17th Bomb Group. They bombed La Smala but reported no losses. Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
4/1/2003
Time:
5:46:31 PM
 
Ray E. Pitre BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location: Comments: I recently obtained a MACR (#1107) for my uncle 2nd Lieut. Ray E. Pitre who was killed when his B-26 was shot down on Oct. 25, 1943. The MACR indicates that this was ferrying mission from St. Mawgan to Casablanca. Family legend has it that he was killed on a loan night mission when his plane, flying low, happened to fly directly over a German U-Boat. His plane was supposedly carrying a civilian. The MACR, which I would be happy to send an electronic copy of, makes no mention of a missing civilian. Is it possible to locate more information on the type of mission this was? Thanks for any help. Brian Pitre

Brian, Now this is what makes life interesting, I knew 41-32014 was lost over the Atlantic, but had no details at all of reason or crew. The possibility that it was shot down by a refuelling U-boat is intriguing. They frequently refuelled off the Portuguese coast, being neutral waters, and if the crew of the B25 saw them and attacked it could be a good surmise. Some of those U-boats had lethal anti-aircraft defences. Trevor

This is further to my post of April 1st. The names of crew on board B-26 #41-32014 were: 2nd Lt. Everett R. McCulloch Flight Officer Robert J. Peale Second Lt. Ray Pitre First Lt. Benard Siegel Staff Sgt. James W. Wheeler Staff Sgt. William M. Crawford, Jr. Staff Sgt. J.L. Craves A further question remains regarding my uncle, Ray Pitre and his crew. As I mentioned previously, my uncle and his crew were on a ferrying mission from St. Mawgan to Casablanca. The last known base whereabouts of the crew was Presque Isle, Maine. My assumption, based on the crew's assignment to Bomb Group 335 (a training group), and the fact that the crew was on a ferrying mission from Presque Isle, that the crew never made it to Casablanca and never flew a bombing mission. Any thoughts regarding this would be appreciated. Additionally, it looks as though Staff Sgt. Crawford was a late addition to the flight crew as he was not listed on the original flight details, but penciled in later. For any relatives of the crew, you should be aware that Municipal Counsel of the town in Portugal drafted a letter to the American Embassy recounting to circumstances of the crash. Benefactors in the small Portuguese community provided a "large religious funeral." Thereafter, the air attache came to the Portuguese village and found that "Every week for three years she (Ms. Coutinho) had placed flowers on the graves and had sent someone to tend the graves. On All Souls Day this woman had gone to the cemetery and placed flowers on the graves and also adequate lanterns which were lit during the entire night.... On the last day the aviators (the air attache) were here Ms. Carolina came with flowers and had tears in her eyes."

Reply: 335th Bomb Group 476th Bomb Squadron was the last unit this crew was assigned to in the USA. On receiving overseas movement orders they would be in transit and not belonging to any specific unit. Presque Isle was the last continental USA staging post for the Northern route crossing of the Atlantic. They would have arrived in Scotland and then processed through England to St Mawgan en route receiving orders to fly to Casablanca. On arrival at Casablanca the aircraft would have been handed over to the depot and the crew then assigned to a combat unit. That they were shot down off the Portuguese coast in transit indicates they did not reach Casablanca. Trevor

Date:
3/31/2003
Time:
11:17:30 AM
 
Karl F W Linger BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: 1942-1945 Class: Location: Comments: My father, Karl F W Linger, served the USAF from 1942-1945 with with 386 Bomb Group/554 Squadron. My dad has asked me to find where his comrades killed at war are buried. He is not sure whether the men were brought home or buried in England. He would also be interested in from his comrades.  My father was a ground crew mechanic who took care of the BARFLY. I have a picture I carry in my wallet of three men standing next to their aircraft.

Date:
3/30/2003
Time:
5:23:32 PM
 
Alfred A Thiede BombGp: 387 Squadron: 559 Years: 1942-1945 Comments: My dad was Alfred August Thiede. He served in this group as a refueling unit operator-#932. We have photos of him setting in a cockpit of a downed German fighter plane. Dad passed away December 30, 1983. At that time I was home making funeral arrangement, when we received a call that I believe was for a reunion of Dad's old unit. My mother at the time was very rude to whom ever called. I would like to know more about Dad's service. If there is anyone left who knew him, please contact me. Ken Thiede

Date:
3/30/2003
Time:
10:47:37 AM
 
Dayton Mitstifer BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: 1941-1944 Comments:   I am interested in finding out if there are any photographs of Dayton Mitstifer, his crew, his plane "Lady Luck" 134947 RU-K. I would also be interested to know if the pilots were assigned a specific plane that they flew all of the time or did they get rotated through several aircraft depending on availability? Mark A. Buttorff

Date:
3/28/2003
Time:
8:48:15 AM
 
Bill Felker. Comments: Hi! My Uncle Bill flew a B-26 in WWII. He flew many flights, was held to help train new pilots, then required to fly on D Day. His name was Bill Felker. He originally was from Louisiana, but I believe he trained in Texas. I have always been facinated with his war stories. He is still alive and living in Florida. Just thought I'd let you know, Susan Dodge

Date:
3/27/2003
Time:
12:12:01 PM
 
Clyde Decker BombGp: 319, Squadron: 438 Location: Harlingen, TX Comments: Clyde was a tail gunner and flew in 64 missions. Awarded the purple  heart. Pilot's name was Frank Messinger (now deceased), ___ Essink, co-pilot, ? navigator/bombardier, Earl Shipley, Engineer/Gunner, Jim Daniels, top turret gunner. Flew missions over Italy.

Date:
3/27/2003
Time:
8:35:23 AM
I am trying to obtain any information on S/Sgt James F. Bundy, 330 Army AF Bomb Sq, stationed in England/Italy shot down in a B-26 over Lorant, France 13 June1944. I think he was a crew member with the 17th Bomb Sq. I am trying to find anyone that knew him or any information on his crew/crash, etc.
 
Also information on Cpl Roger H. Bundy. He was an instrument repairman on B-26 aircraft. He was with the 17th Bomb Group - 34th, 37th, 95th, 437 or 432nd Squadrons. They were brothers from Nebraska, USA. Any information would be appreciated. Joe B. & Doris I. (Bundy) Dye

Date:
3/24/2003
Time:
8:09:57 PM
 
Conwell F. Dirickson, Jr. BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 3yrs 11 mos Class: 43A Location: Columbus OH Comments: Now living in Charlottesville, VA I was at Rattlesden then on to Andrews Field Great Sling Essex England. Left there in August 44 after 75 missions. The aircraft I flew was "Impatient Virgin" with over 100 missions. My rank was 1st LT and was pilot. My nickname was "Dee". Hope to hear from someone if they are interested.

Date:
3/24/2003
Time:
12:02:49 AM
 
BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Comments: Looking for aircraft #42-96254 nickname. It was downed over France on August 6, 1944 on a bombing/photo recon mission with only one survivor. Any info would be helpful. I have the MACR. Larry Gilsdorf
 
Larry, As far as I know it was not named Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
3/22/2003
Time:
6:11:43 PM
 
Max Petrisek BombGp: 17th Squadron: 95 Years: 3.3 Class: 43F Location: Blytheville, Ark. Comments: As a member of above group, I have posted info months ago. I have been following the B26.com for about 2 years. I know the number of B26 squadron was numerous. However I am amazed how few room the above (The Kicking Mule) squadron ever post. Could some of U from this group or ones knowing someone from the group PLEASE post. I would also be glad to provide a response. The time for sharing this info is rapidly passing? Thanks.
 
Max, The response you have is about on a par with what we get here on B26.com. It seems we have many silent visitors. Regards Trevor Allen

Date:
3/22/2003
Time:
11:54:36 AM
 
Peter Matey BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location:  Hello, My Uncle, Peter Matey, was a Bombardier on Little Sirocco, (01) Based in North African Desert for 14 months (June 8,1942-December 25,1943) with 40 missions. His crew was: Pilot: James C. Stephens; Co-piolot: John Week; Eng/Gunner: T.P.Cooke; Turret Gunner: D.L.Burford; Tail Gunner: F. Obzina. They were forced to make a crash landing on Corsica. I'm looking for added info. Pete Matey died of heart problems 2002. He has a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters Bob Mattern

Date:
3/22/2003
Time:
7:04:44 AM

Recently someone has questioned a statement on our public website that we flew Martin B-26 Marauders when we were the 437th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) during WWII and then again in France when we were redesignated to the 168th Bombardment Squadron (Light), assigned to the Illinois Air National Guard, and moved to O'Hare in 1946. He insists that the unit flew the Douglas B(A)-26 Invaders, and he is basing this evidently on the fact that the 437th was assigned to the 319th Bomb Group during WWII and until 1945, and that the 319th Bomb Group switched to A-26s before 1945.

As far as I know, the information we have was given to us by the Air Force Historical Research Agency when we were activated as the 168th Air Refueling Squadron in 1986, as it was the official history of our unit. I don't think they make mistakes. So, while I will be asking them for another copy, I am also asking you, as a Marauder buff, to please check all of your sources and resources and see if you can tell me if the 437th retained Marauders when they were assigned to the Guard. Backup documentation is always good!

What few people realize is that just because a squadron is assigned to a group does not mean that what happens to the group also happens to the squadron. Also, as you probably know, when the Marauders were decommissioned, they were given to the Guard. The Guard has a LONG history of getting AF "hand-me-downs" - in fact, as a refueling unit, we had the only 4 D model tankers in the entire AF inventory for many years. I would be very surprised to learn that, in fact, the 168th BS (L) flew the new Douglas Invaders. Thank you.

The 319th Bomb Group flew Martin B26 Marauders until 30th October 1944, then it transitioned to the North American B25 Mitchell. The Group continued to fly missions with the B25 until December 1944. The Group returned to the ZI in January 1945 and in February 1945 was redesignated 319th Bombardment Group (Light) and transitioned to the Douglas A-26 Invader. The Group moved to Okinawa between April and July 1945 when it commenced flying missions to Japan and China. Returned to US November/December 1945 and inactivated 18th December 1945. All the above relates directly to the 437th Bomb Squadron.
 
Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
3/21/2003
Time:
9:01:35 PM
 
BombGp: 394 Squadron: 585.  I research information on the B-26 #42-96224 of, 394th BG, 585th BS, fallen the in the night of 7 to 8 August 1944. Thank you, Daniel Dahiot
 
On the morning of 7th August 1944 the 394th Bomb Group was tasked with bombing the bridge at Nogent-sur-Seine, France. As the formation crossed over the French coast it encountered heavy accurate flak causing the loss of three B26's from the 585th Bomb Squadron. 42-96224 flown by 2.Lt Benjamin W Lowell and crew immediately burst into flames and crashed in the vicinity of Lisieux. The crew were; Benjamin Lowell; 2.Lt Harlow Truman; S/Sgt John Cavallaro; Sgt Harold Sweet; S/Sgt Ernest Bishop and Cpl Albert Hajciar. All were listed as missing in action except S/Sgt Bishop who became a prisoner of war.
 
Trevor Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
3/21/2003
Time:
8:22:47 PM
 
Wetzel Kimball BombGp: 387 Squadron: 557 Years: 42-44 Comments: Uncle, Wetzel Kimball, killed Nov.24, 1944 returning to Clastres, France after bomb run to Kaiserslatern and Biche, Germany. Seeking info on others in the crew. Have located families of Raul Pompa and Preston Prejean. Need to find families of William Ray, Dennis Jones, James Padgett, and James DuBois. Plane #334-151. Local French people have not forgotten their sacrifice: a monument at the crash site in La Neuville Housset was erected in 1947, and refurbished and rededicated in November 2001. Dave Jones (nephew of Kimball) has twice visited site, and found fragments of the plane. Some of these he sent to the Pompas and Prejeans. Anyone with any more information on this crash, or members of the crew (perhaps stationed at Clastres at the same time) please contact Dave Jones.

Date:
3/20/2003
Time:
8:39:44 PM
 
William E. Vincent BombGp: 394 Squadron: 587 Years: 3 Class: 8-43 (43H) Location: Eagle Pass, TX. William E. Vincent CPT flew 65 missions over Germany, France & Belgium. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross & the Air Medal with 13 Oak Leafs Clusters. Later, became an A-26 instructor in Lake Charles, LA. Army Air Corp, ninth army. I'm searching for his crew or anyone who knew him. Dad passed away trying to locate any of his crew or crews relatives. William E. Vincent III

Date:
3/20/2003
Time:
12:37:24 PM
 
Delbert Pitts 6th Air Drome Years: 1941-1945 My father, Delbert Pitts, was in the 6th Air Drome Squadron of the 8th and 9th AAF. According to the 8th AF museum in GA. the 6th Air Drome was some how connected with the 387 Bomb Group. My father doesn't remember being at an airfield just in tents. Would like to correspond with anyone interested in or with knowledge of the 6th Air Drome unit and/or how it was connected with the 387th. Thanks Phil Pitts

Date:
3/20/2003
Time:
4:45:46 PM
 
My father, Leonard M. Anderson, Deerfield, Wisconsin passed away last weekend. He was a tail-gunner on a B-26 and flew missions over Germany from bases in France and England in 1944. Unfortunately, I don't know his squadron or bomb group number. He didn't talk much about the war. He was another of the millions of ordinary men put into extraordinary situations by the demands of the war. Now he is one of a generation of men and women who are passing away at the rate of a thousand a day. I am profoundly grateful for the sacrifices he and all of those of that generation made for the life we enjoy today. If anyone reads this and remembers him, I just wanted to let you know a crewmate is gone. His son, Steve Anderson

Date:
3/20/2003
Time:
7:18:36 AM
 
Domitillo Lucero BombGp: 391 Squadron: 574 Years: 43-45. My dad, Domitillo Lucero, was a tail gunner who was wounded on dec 23, 1944 at ahweiler. I'm trying to find out his plane's box position that morning. I believe there were two boxes and his plane had a bombardier that day. Any help would be appreciate. Stevan Lucero
 
Stevan, You are correct to the identity of the B26. It was flying in position Box I, Flight 3 position 6 The crew were: 2.Lt P L Woods pilot; 1.Lt R S Spangler copilot; 2.Lt J J McNamara bombardier; Cpl J J Hancock radio/gunner; Cpl D Lucero engineer/gunner; Cpl F J Christensen armourer/gunner. How about having a page dedicated to your father on B26.com. A photograph of him in uniform and perhaps some of B26's Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
3/19/2003
Time:
10:33:24 PM
 
Luther J Hargroves BombGp: 323 323 Squadron: 456 Years: 43-44 ? Mr Hargroves was my father-in-law. Any info available about his tenure would be appreciated...especially, funny stories. His plane was the Shirley Bee and he was the the pilot. Thanks much! Sally Hargroves

Date:
3/18/2003
Time:
4:45:46 PM

I was a crew member of Howard Wilmeth during WW2. The plane his daughter described was at Lake Charles where the crew was formed. We later went to France to an airfield near St. Quentan where we began to fly our missions. Howard was a wonderful guy and a superior pilot. I was the tail gunner on the crew. Of the crew, there are still three of us still alive.

I went to armament school at Buckley Field, Colorado in late 43 and thence to gunnery school at Ft Myers, Fl in early 44. after that a long stint in a replacement depot at Barksdale until about Aug 44. We went to Lake Charles next Howard Wilmeth had been an instructor pilot there and was a 1st Lt. The co-pilot was John Porter, bombardier was Robert Wilson . Bernard Schwarz, engineer/gunner; Fred Hunt, radio/gunner; and me in the tail. We left there and eventually got to Europe and the 559th BS of the 387th BG. at about Christmas 44. I completed 30 missions when the war ended. The worst mission was my 13th when we were flying too high and then had to hit a secondary target at Niederhausen. We were attacked by some ME 109s and a FW190 . The 190 came in and hit the #6 plane in our flight damaging it severely. Meanwhile we were in #4 position and very low on fuel. The enemy departed but Howard warned the crew to prepare to bail out. Fortunately he soon came back with word that we could land at an emergency field in Luxembourg . The other plane also made it back to the same strip, but had to be junked. I'll send you several photos . I plan on going to the 387th reunion to be held in Tucson. It will be my first.
 
Sidney C. Grahn
559th BS, 387th BG

Date:
3/18/2003
Time:
3:33:58 PM
 
BombGp: 17th BG? Squadron: ? 24th May 1943 Martin B-26C-15-MO Marauder AAF s/n 41-34916, probably of 17th BG, on ferry flight to UK, landed between Barga and Auamara in Sp. Morocco. Interned. Crew: Lt Clay J. Douglas O-499408,Lt Ernest Budes O-666137, Lt Paul Hydes O-194819,Sgt Malcolm E. McLean 14025654,Sgt Karl E. Thomas 1308329? They were released ind. date. Herschel D. Davis, 17th BG veteran, said "some planes ran out of fuel, and others landed and were interned in Spain and Portugal." Could you please shed any light? Juan Carlos Salgado

Date:
3/17/2003
Time:
9:35:32 PM
 
Clyde D. Willis BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 452 nd Years: 42 to 45 Read your message and I will have to say I remember it well I was the Radio/Gunner on the lead ship. Col. Stillman told me later that I just fell to the floor between the Radio operator station and the Navagator's Station. While we were on the flight coming in I was at that time between the Pilot and Copilot. I noticed that one of the fifty Cal. guns on the side of the ship was not working so I turned around to eject the dead shell that had it jammed. That is all I remember. That was when Lt. Stillman told me much later I just slumped down. One can read more about it on my web site http://www.clydedwillis.tripod.com

Date:
3/15/2003
Time:
7:55:07 PM
 
Albert Sax BombGp: 386 Squadron: Years: 1943-1945. At 18 years old, during 1943-45 I was in the 9th Air Force Headquarters Engineering Section billeted in a Westcliff hotel in Bournemouth England for 11 months. Later, I was on the air base at Beaumont-sur-Oise, France (support group to 386th - B-26 & A-20) & then to the air base at St.Trond (Truiden), Belgium. I would appreciate any information about the 9th AF Hdqrs in Bournemouth. Gen. Breneton was the 9th commander at the time. Al Sax

Date:
3/15/2003
Time:
6:08:42 PM
 
Albert M. Ward BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Hoping to find someone who was stationed with my husband Albert M. Ward at Battle Creek, Mich. Fall 1943 until the outfit went to England in the spring of 1944. He was a pilot. Fay M. Ward

Date:
3/14/2003
Time:
8:14:32 PM
 
Alvin Gray (Grady) Beeker  BombGp: 344 Squadron: 495 Years: 1942-44. I am looking for information on S/Sgt. Alvin Gray (Grady) Beeker, Top Turret Gunner, 495th Bomb Squadron, 344th Bomb Group. His plane was shot down August 9, 1944 following a raid on Brest, France. Plane and bodies were recovered six years later and the crew is buried in a common grave at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, KY. Any information, or advice or how to get information, on plane, crew, squadron, mission, anyone who knew him would be appreciated. He was my great uncle and I don't have much information. Ben Beeker

Ref Alvin G. Beeker 03/14/2003, 344BG 495BS,

Dear Ben, I don't know if you have this information or not, but here is information I found about S/Sgt. Alvin Gray Beeker: He is buried at Zackary Taylor National cemetery in a group grave plot I-0-41 Also in that same plot is Lt. Raymond H. Phillips Pilot. Their aircraft should be 42-107686, Hit by flak and exploded. I hope we can find out more information on the plane and other crew members. Maybe if we can find out more about plot (the letter I) then a letter O, or zero, then the numbers 41 I O 41 We will find out the other crew members names. Sincerely, Don Enlow

Date:
3/14/2003
Time:
2:41:32 PM
French_Coastline.jpg (21699 bytes)
Normandy Beach on the French Coast.

Date:
3/14/2003
Time:
9:01:58 AM
 
Marvin Kuieck BombGp: 323 Squadron: 455 Years: 43-45 Class: ? Location: Texas. My Father-in-law, Marvin Kuieck, flew as engineer in the B-26 "Misbehavin: with the 323 bomb group. His pilot was Jack Lagee. Other crew members were James Campbell, George Shaw, Fred Brock, and James Sutherland. Marv has recently started to talk more about his WWII experiences. He has recently had a mild stroke and I would like to be able to contact some of his old crewmates. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks, Philip Betz

Date:
3/12/2003
Time:
11:14:34 AM
 
Hello Jack Hastings, While I was searching for info on a 322BG/451BS aircraft, I found your posting of 31 October, 2002 on the b26.com message board. First of all, let me quite belatedly wish you a Happy 82nd birthday, and while we're at it, already a Very Healthy 83rd one !!! Your message compelled me to WRITE YOU although I'm not even American. I was born in 1938 and it's thanks to people like you and many, many others that I live in a free country. You and they deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. I salute you, Sir, and ask you to give my best regards and thanks to any of your old buddies of the 322nd that you happen to meet. All the best to you and your family, Sincerely, Edouard Renière, BRUSSELS, Belgium

Date:
3/11/2003
Time:
7:12:23 PM
 
Irvin Sanow BombGp: 322 Squadron: 451 Years: 1942-1945. My friend, Irvin Sanow, originally from Rochester, NY is now retired in Baltimore, Md. He was in the 322 Bomb Grp,  451st Squadron and flew many missions from April 1943 until May 1944 with the Bluebeard crew from the Essex, England area. He was the navigator!! Anybody have a remembrance of Mr. Sanow that I could collect?? It would be most appreciated!! Mike McLane

Date:
3/10/2003
Time:
12:01:20 AM
 
Alfred Freiburger Bomb Gp: 344 Squadron: 495 Years: 1941-1965 Class: 42-K Location: Lubbock, TX. Checked out in the b-26 at MacDill field Feb 1943...completed combat training at drain field, Lakeland, Fla. Nov 1943..picked up new b-26 at hunter field, GA Dec 1943...flew southern route (via ascension island) to England Feb 1944...flew my first combat mission on 6 mar and flew my 65th mission 6 Sep 1944...flew two missions on d-day..nose art was "rum buggy".

Date:
3/9/2003
Time:
11:25:09 AM
 
Harold V. Aiken BombGp: 344 Squadron: 495 Years: 43-45 Class: 43J. Assigned as co-pilot. Later was made pilot. Joined the squadron in May 1944. Finished my tour of duty March 1945. Was in England on the way home when Germany gave up. Made emergency landing in Normandy 3 weeks after the invasion. No loss of lives but the plane was left in the bushes. Plane's name "Sexy Sal" Squadron,s CO (When I left) was L.D. Clay Jr. He was made Group CO later. I vised him in Washington. He was a General then. I am still working as a civil engineer. Designed and constructed two airfields. Worked on reparing and upgrading many airfields in eastern U.S. from Conn. to Miss. Like to hear from any B-26 crew member

Date:
3/9/2003
Time:
12:05:18 AM
 
Charles H. Wolf BombGp: 319th Squadron: 439th Years: 1/42-12/45 Class: 44B Location: Blackland AAF. Flew B-26G from Hunter Field v southern route to Naples. Joined 319th in Sardinia then moved to Corsica. Transitioned to B-25 in October 45 and returned to US with group. Transitioned to A-26 at Columbia then flew with group from Hunter v Mather AFB, Bellows Field, HI, Christmas Island, Canton Island, Tarawa, Eniwetok, Guam to Okinawa where we finished the war flying against the Japanese. Released from service in Dec. 45, back to school. Recalled to active duty during Korea with 182nd Ftr Sqdn, 136th Ftr Gp based first at Itazuke then K-2 then transfered to K-13 to 35th Ftr Sqdn 8th Fighter Gp. Retired from AF in 1959

Date:
3/8/2003
Time:
6:31:23 PM
 
Joe Kaspar BombGp: 17th Squadron: 34th Years: 1941-1945. I am Joe Kaspar flew with Marty Sidener and Bob Connelley on most of our 48 missions over Italy and Germany. Thank you Joe

Date:
3/8/2003
Time:
2:09:11 AM
 
Harold P. Dorsen BombGp: 17th Squadron: 432nd Years: 44-45. To Wallace D. Townsend, Your Father was Toggalier and a Photographer. I was a Radio-Gunner in the 17th Bomb Grp. 432nd Sqdn. I flew with your Dad. When he wasn't dropping bombs, he was taking pictures. I remember him very well. I'll never forget the mission we flew over Siegelsbach, Germany we hit an ammo dump, a magnesium storage facility and oil storage tanks. Your Dad took a lot of pictures that day. He was a quiet man, but a nice man. Remember him in your prayers. Harold Dorsen
Date:
8/16/2002
Time:
7:09:54 PM
 
Delmar Drice Townsend. I am trying to find out information concering my fathers service while flying in WWII ETO. I dont have much information but remember him bring home a lot of stuff he had a Geman flag and a lot of pictures but this was all destroyed when our house burn down when I was about 10 years old. I dont know what group he flown in but he was a Bombardier.  His name is Delmar Drice Townsend.  If you could help me I would greatly appreciate it. Wallace D. Townsend

Date:
3/7/2002
Time:
7:09:54 PM
 
I am looking for information about my father, Robert L. Goldstone. Military Serial #XX XX2 019. He was in the 323 Bomb Grp, 453 Bomb Sqdn (according to his separation papers). He served from 3/42-12/45. His highest rank was Sgt.. H is nickname was "Goldie" during the service. After the war, he corresponded some with a gentleman named Cheatwood from his outfit, and a gentleman named Crain. Any information you may have about what he did during his time with the AAF is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Heather Goldstone Carter

Date:
3/7/2002
Time:
3:02:03 PM
 
I am looking for information on a 344th BG, 496th Squad. crewman killed June 10, 1944 buried at Colleville sur Mer cemetery, in France. His name was Joseph Gisavage, S/Sgt. and the plane was shot down over Valonges. Would like to contact a crewmember or friend. A plaque and ceremony will be held for this crew at the memorial at Magneville, France in June and any of your Bomb Group members in Normandy for the D-Day ceremonies might like to attend this. Thank you, Ben.

Date:
3/7/2003
Time:
2:42:02 PM
 
James R. Everett BombGp: 391 Squadron: 573 Years: 43-45. My dads name is James Everett; he was an engineer gunner with the 391 BG -573 BS dont have much info about him except he was shot down by flak on his first mission over France, he was taken prisoner by young German boys and spent ten months to a year in a pow Camp. Any info about his plane, crew, dates, base, pow camp would be great thank you very much. James R Everett Jr.

Date:
3/6/2003
Time:
11:03:12 AM
 
George R. Richie BombGp: 17th Squadron: 432nd Years: 1943-1945

Date:
3/4/2003
Time:
6:31:38 PM
 
Robert J. Destiche BombGp: 387 Squadron: 559 Class: 44C Location: Altus, OK. I'm trying to write up a story for Bob Kasdorf for the 559th Newsletter. Unfortunately, Bob has neither date of the mission or tail # of aircraft. In the 559th History I find that TQ-L, Do It II crashed on a fighter strip 26Nov43. but that seems to early for Kasdorf as he was a replacement crew. Later entries show TQ-A seemed to disappear from their records. Can You help? Does your record show any record of Kasdorf as pilot on a plane that had an emergency landing at a fighter base In or near Luxembourg? Aircraft was salvaged. Thanks. Bob Destiche
 
Bob, Try 30 October 1944. Lt Andrew Tarapchack and crew had both generators fail shortly after IP. Landed at short Royal Air Force fighter strip, ran off end of runway, cracked up, salvaged. 41-31868 TQ-L "Do It Too" Regards Trevor Allen

Date:
3/3/2003
Time:
10:24:38 PM
 
WILLIAM DAVID HENRY

William David Henry, 81, of Springfield, died Saturday, March 1, 2003 in his home in the company of his family.

Born in Jacksonville, Illinois on February 7, 1922,   Mr. Henry was the son of Jesse Lee and Mary Cecelia Lonergan Henry.  He married Ferol Vaughn November 22, 1950 at Our Saviour's Church Rectory in Jacksonville.

Mr. Henry was a graduate of Routt High School, where he was a member of the 1937 State Basketball Championship team, and attended Illinois College on an athletic scholarship.   He was a WW II U.S. Army-Air Force Veteran, earning the European Theater Ribbon with one Silver and one Bronze Battle Star, two Overseas Service Bars, an Air Medal, and a Distinguished Unit Badge.  Attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant, he flew 31 missions as a radar navigator in the 397th Bomb Group "Bridge Busters" of the 598th B-26 Martin Marauder Squadron. 

He began his professional career in the insurance field in 1948 and later started W.D. Henry & Associates, an insurance agency, specializing in pension and retirement/estate planning.  Professional affiliations included a charter membership in the Sangamon Valley Estate Planning Council, and the Life Underwriters' Training Council.  Mr. Henry was an avid golfer and thoroughly enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the game and keen instructing skills.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Charles E. and Dr. Robert Henry and sister Margaret Vickery. Survivors include wife Ferol, of Springfield; three sons: Vaughn (wife, JoAnne) of Springfield; Brent (wife, Susan) of Miami, FL; Kelly (wife, Shelly) of Rio Vista, TX; two daughters:  Lisa Henry Wilkerson of Portland, OR; Julie Henry of Arlington, VA; one brother:  J. Edwin (wife, Betty) of Portland, OR. In addition, there are several nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren through marriage, including a baby girl born just hours prior to Mr. Henry's passing.

Friends may call at Kirlin-Egan and Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield, IL, 62703, from 4-7 pm on Wednesday, March 5. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Thursday, March 6 at Our Saviour's Catholic Church in Jacksonville with Reverends Richard Chiola and Ken Venvertloh as celebrants.  Following the Memorial Mass, a private burial will take place in Calvary Cemetery in Jacksonville. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. John's Hospital Hospice Program, 800 E. Carpenter St., Springfield, IL, 62769; and Routt Catholic High School, 500 E. College Ave., Jacksonville, IL  62650

Date:
3/3/2003
Time:
1:55:38 PM
 
Clair F. Van Camp BombGp: ? Squadron: ? My Uncle was killed in a B26 in July of 1943. His name was Clair F. Van Camp and he was a radio man. He was from Fisher, Minnesota and I have very little information. I do have pictures of him in his uniform and that's about it. I think I remember my Dad saying that he was in the Ferrying Command. Being interested in history and family history, I've been wanting to learn more and will search for more info. Lou Ann Van Camp Young

Date:
3/2/2003
Time:
1:55:38 PM
 
Benjamin Vaughan BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456.   I was looking for info on the particulars of the planes my grandfather worked on, especially good photos of the nose art for shirts I wanted to make of the "Buckeye Battle Cry". Imagine my surprise when I found your website and my grandfather's name - Benjamin Vaughan - listed among your contributors. I was even more surprised to find a picture of him that I had never seen before. Unfortunately, Benjamin passed away June of last year and he is very much missed. He is survived by his wife Ruth, four daughters and many grandchildren. I would like to thank you for compiling this website. Gregory Patrick Colvin P.S. If you have any additional info you could send on the "Buckeye Battle Cry", such as number of sorties flown and the planes ID numbers, it would be much appreciated.
 
Gregory, "Buckeye Battle Cry" was 41-31820 WT-O flew 53 missions before it was severely flak damaged June 23rd 1944. It was salvaged as being beyond economical repair Trevor Allen, historian, B26.com
 
Thank you Greg! B26.COM is your web site too... I'm happy you like it. ms

Date:
3/2/2003
Time:
11:15:42 AM
 
Lawrence Jack Hunter, Lt. Col. USAF Retired BombGp: 322nd Squadron: 450th Years: 1/16/42-9/14/45 Class: 43B Location: Ellington Field, Texas. I also served with the 410th Bomb Group 645th Bomb Squadron, flying coal black B-26s in front of 36 ship formations of A-20s at night over enemy territory. The Germans flew their top brass into our base near Rheims, France to sign the peace treaty at a school house in Rheims. I accumulated more pilot time in the B-26 Martin Marauder than anyone, serving as an Instructor pilot for 17 months before going into combat in Europe October, 1944.

Date:
3/1/2003
Time:
10:40:03 PM
 
Hardie Raymond Tatum. BombGp: Squadron: Years: 1943. Looking for info on Hardie Raymond Tatum. The plane he was flighing in was called Big Boy. Anything you can tell us about it would be fine! He was the pilot. James Russell

James, On 25th April 1943 the B26 flown by Lt Hardie R Tatum and crew, 320th Bomb Group 442nd Bomb Squadron, banked out of formation. Its load of fragmentation bombs was salvoed, but these exploded below the fuselage of the airplane which then dived into the sea.

Regards
Trevor J Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
3/1/2003
Time:
10:36:33 PM
 
Lt. John W. Colsch BombGp: Squadron: 9th 574th. My uncle was Lt. John W. Colsch. He was the pilot of a B 26, San Antonio Rose in the 574th (list in some places as 573rd). His tail # was 42-95800. I am going to England this summer and would appreciate anything you can tell me about his service in England. I would be glad to share any information I have about him. He was undoubtedly the smallest B26 pilot during the war. Nic name "Smiley". Jan Huff
 
Jan, On August 13th 1944 the B26 flown by 1st. Lt John W Colsch was hit by a bomb dropped by a B26 in a higher formation. The B26 then swerved into and collided with the ship flying on his wing. It then fellout of the formation and crashed. Crew that day were: 1.Lt John W Colsch; 2.Lt William J Kelley; 1.Lt John F Kohler; T/Sgt Warren D Raymond; Sgt Henry A Miller; Sgt Verlin H Brandenburg.
 
Regards,
Trevor J Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
2/28/2003
Time:
2:43:47 PM
 
Harold Michelson BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: 4 Class: 44A Location: San Angelo, TX

Date:
2/27/2003
Time:
5:26:13 PM
 
T/Sgt. Edward Kresan BombGp: 319 Squadron: 439 Years: 4.  It has been noted many times that the Martin B-26 was an 'unsafe' a/c. After all's said and done its safety factor was proven to be the best of all a/c. An interesting story is of the 6-plane take-offs. While stationed in Sardinia, the 319th and 320th BG operated from the same field. The field which was at Decimomano, Sardinia, was formerly used by the German AF. Originally, it was a one-strip airfield. After the 42nd BW moved in, take-off of an 18 a/c mission, took some time while forming up etc. This cut down on the range/load of the planes. A short time after taking over this field, our Group Cdr called in the aviation engineers and had them widen the field (there was plenty of room! ) That started the 2-ship at a time take-off, saving time and gas. The 320 BG took this a bit farther. They had the field widened even more. This continued to expand until the Group Cdr (Col Randy Holzapple) had the field widened to accept six a/c able to take off at one time. ! Six B-26 at a time taking off! It worked great. 'To my knowledge there was never a multiple take-off accident. The time saved extended our range/payload to almost unbelievable figures. I have a picture of a take-off of 6 B-26s at one time. I wonder if any other plane had this experience??? Especially an 'unsafe' B-26???

Re: Guest Bk 2003. Maj Chas. Wolf. He states that the 319 BG did participate in the ETO (which IS France) and records do show this group did indeed participate with a maximum effort.. Although we were based in Sardinia, the 319th flew many missions on D-day of the invasion of Southern France. That we were based outside of France proper, the fact still remains that we did take part in that invasion. Just how the lines of demarcation are determined are a bit obscure. But the 319th did take part of that effort.

Edward, you are absolutely correct that the 319th BG did participate in the Invasion of Southern France along with the 17th and 320th Bomb Groups. Whether they served in the MTO or the ETO can become a point of discussion without end something like the argument as to which B26 Group was the first to bomb on 6th June D-Day. The fact is that the European Theatre of Operations and The Mediterranean Theatre of Operations was decided by USAAF commanders and Southern French targets were considered to be within the MTO. At no time is anyone attempting to take anything from the efforts of the 319th Bomb Group which was the first USAAF B26 group to commence operations in North Africa in 1942. Many of the subsequent tactics used by the B26 Groups originated with the 319th. Remember too that Donald Gilbert became Group commander of the 17th BG and Ashley Woolridge eventually became the Group Commander of the 320th BG, both ex 319th BG men.

Date:
2/27/2003
Time:
10:59:01 PM
 
Message to Dean Sharpe: could you ask your dad, John Sharpe 322/449, if he knows the fellow in the picture? Please reply, we need your email address.
 

Date:
2/25/2003
Time:
8:21:01 PM
 
S/Sgt. Malcolm D. Enlow BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449 Years: ? I have my Dad's overseas orders. Here is what I found. These orders were for him to leave Barkdale and to fly To Bury St. Edmund. You will also see that the original crew for Flak Bait were on these orders to. Also were 6 other crews I think the aircraft Dad's crew were in was 41-34762 This should be a "C" model called "Lights Out" I think once they arrived overseas this aircraft was taken away and they were then flying a B2 model. I am assuming it was "We-Dood-It" Do You know the radio call letters for We-Dood-It"? I think it could have been PN-F Hmm Loks like I can't attach a file here I am sending the file to Mike I am assuming he will forward to you also > Malcolm D. Enlow Jr.
 
Malcolm, 41-34762 was definitely "Lights Out" that was flown to the UK. There it was handed over to the 451st Bomb Squadron who promptly renamed it "Sarah E". This B26 completed 140 combat missions before being bellylanded and salvaged. "We Dood It" was coded PN-G. Regards, Trevor

Date:
2/24/2003
Time:
9:35:17 PM
 
Arthur E.Coyne BombGp: 598th Squadron: 397th Years: 1944 Class: Location: Send: Comments: I am interested in finding any information about 1st Lt.Arthur E.Coyne. He was killed in action 23 Dec1944 during the Eller raid. He was nav/bomb on B-26. One was named "Patti Kaye". On the Eller raid it is my understanding he was on another aircraft as a tail gunner.As many men of the time he had completed his required missions and continued to volunteer. P I am not positive on the name of the second aircraft. I would like to know if there is a way to determine what aircraft he was actually on that day. Also if there is any way to get more details of what happened that day. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you, Timothy J. Coleman

23rd December 1944
Target Eller Railroad Bridge

B26 43-34221 U2 - ?
Only mission flown by this un-named B26 which had only just been transferred into the squadron. Hit by fighters, peeled out of formation, last seen on its back, hit by two fighters, split into two and smoking when last observed.

Crew:
Capt Donald M Stangle pilot
2.Lt G H Wenborg copilot
1.Lt A E Coyne bombardier
2.Lt N S Scherer navigator
T/Sgt H Perkins radio/gunner
Sgt J Hejnar engineer/gunner
Sgt J A Hoots armourer/gunner
Sgt R B Williams Gee operator

Regards
Trevor Allen

Date:
2/24/2003
Time:
6:55:14 PM

I have a question concerning the Natal - Ascension - Dakar part of the flight. Ascension is definitely a dog-leg, was Natal - Dakar too much of a non-stop flight? What military services were available at Ascension during the war? What were the routes taken to Pacific and ETO? Only recently I have found an original B-26 Navigator who gave me the following route he traveled during April-May 1943. Depart Barksdale Field, Savannah Ga.(Hunter Field), Puerto Rico, Georgetown, British Guyana, Belem, South America, Natal, Brazil, Ascension Islands, Dakar, Africa (Roberts Field), Marrakech, Africa, Rabat, North Africa (Saley Field) Thanks John Thompson

John, There were two Atlantic routes, the southern route you have itemized and the northern route from Presque Isle, Maine, to Goose Bay, Labrador, then to Bluie West One on the south coast of Greenland, then Meeks Field, Iceland ending at Prestwick, Scotland. When the 22nd Bomb Group deployed to the Southwest Pacific, its B26's were crated and loaded onboard ships at San Francisco and delivered to Hickam Field, Hawaii. Here they were re-assembled, air tested and then island hopped to Australia.

The 69th and 70th Bomb Squadrons flew from Hamilton Field, California to Hickham Field, Hawaii non stop flying at a speed of 170 mph the flight took 13 hours.

Yes, Dakar was too far away from Natal, Brazil making Ascention island a necessary stop over for all planes flying the South Atlantic route. All services at Ascention were provided by the USAAF.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
2/23/2003
Time:
9:50:46 PM
 
John James Bickley BombGp: 336 Squadron: 478. Taking a long shot on some people who may have known my uncle, 1st Lt. John James Bickley. I have a copy of my uncle's power of attorney that was signed 27 March 1943 in Avon Park, FL. Three people are listed as witnesses: 2nd Lt Jack L. Russell O-XXX214 2nd Lt Herbert H. Hill O-XXX811 2nd Lt Frank Teltschick O-XXX901 I am assuming that these people were also B-26 pilots in training at the same time as my uncle. Does anyone know what may have become of these officers? My uncle transferred to B-17's in the fall of 1943 and was shot down and KIA over Cognac, France on 31 December 1943. Thanks Glenn Bickley

Date:
2/23/2003
Time:
12:56:12 PM
 
Dear Sir I am loking for information of B 26 N# 42-107792 from 17 BG shot down the 02/22/45 at Gestheim (F). Many Thanks, Patrick BAUMANN
 
Patrick, 42-107792 17th Bomb Group 432nd Bomb Squadron. 22 Feb 45 flak in left engine, crashed near Gestheim. Lt Jack E McKenzie, Maj Ralph Hines, Jr; Lt Charles A Muse; Lt Arthur H Mellberg; S/Sgt Clarence E Loop; S/Sgt Lawrence Netti; S/Sgt John J Corradetti. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
2/22/2003
Time:
6:11:59 PM
 
Ronald F. Shepard BombGp: 397 Squadron: 598 Years: 1944-1945. Looking for information on Uncle 1st Lt Ronald F. Shepard 0-XXX165 Killed 18 March 1945 on bomb run with B26 Serial #42-96160 "Billy Willy". Destination Worms, Germany. Flak hit aircraft witnessed by two other pilots. MACR statements by two of the crew states "Shep ordered crew to bail out" which they did safely. MACR reports ship was smoking but pilot was in control and was 4 minutes from IP, suspect Shep trailed squadron and made bomb run. Was found in crashed plane location not known. Buried at Lorraine American Cemetery, France. Crew Pilot Ronald F. Shepard 1st Lt - CoPilot William Littlehill (Littlehale)-Toggler SSgt Harold E. Wilson-Radio Hoyt B. Willingham- Engineer Sgt James H. Tamplin - Armament Sgt Herbert Brodsky, Observer J.C. McGuire (IO) T/4. Would like any info on Shep. Thanks for your help. Paul Murphy

Date:
2/22/2003
Time:
5:51:03 PM
 
Thomas Quinn BombGp: 17 Squadron: 37. Greetings, I am looking for possible info. on Thomas Quinn, my only existing info. is that he flew in the 17th bomb group, 37th squadron. I would greatly appreciate being in contact with anyone who knew him or of him so that I can relay stories to my nephew who has become increasingly curious about his grandfathers involvement in WW11. Any response will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Susan Quinn (daughter)
 
Susan, Unfortunately, without crew lists it is almost impossible to identify individuals who served with the 37th Bomb Squadron,17th Bomb Group. Perhaps some of our 17th Bomb Group friends may be able to help. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
2/20/2003
Time:
7:47:22 PM
 
I'm the brother of Clyde Harkins. He has been my hero since my earliest memories. Born in 1941, I have few vivid memories of Clyde during the WW II era. I do remember he and Amy coming to see us upon his return from Europe in 1944 or 1945. I hid under the bed when I saw him coming to the front door. I guess I came out because a lot has happened since then. I think all who have known Clyde feel a special connection with him. I do. Always will. Thanks to all of you guys from the B-26 Groups for helping to keep us a free country and a solid earth citizen nation. Most respectfully Richard C Harkins Scottsdale Arizona 2-20-03

Date:
2/20/2003
Time:
7:42:09 PM
 
I am the Wing Historian for the 115 Fighter Wing at Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin. I'm asking for names of those who attended gunnery/radio school at Truax Field during WWII. Please reply if you have. Thanks, MSgt David P. Anderson
David,
I am aware that there were a few B26's stationed at Truax and I have them operated by 3508 BAS. Could you confirm this or was there another designation for the gunnery/radio school.
 
Regards,
Trevor Allen,
historian B26.com

Date:
2/20/2003
Time:
11:03:53 AM

I am looking for some info some general, some specific. How many were in the crew? Could a Flight Officer be the pilot? What jobs were flight officers assigned? Do you have any info on a Flight Officer Dayton Mitstifer of the 554th Bomber Squadron, 386th Bomber Group? He was KIA in France on Feb.10, 1944. I would love to know where he went down, who was in his crew, if his ship had a name and a number, model. Thanks, Mike Munford

Michael Munford:

Your request for information about Flight Officer Dayton Mitstifer and the day he was shot down.

The date of the mission was February 10, 1944. F/O Mitstifer was serving as a co-pilot flying with Lieutenant Robert Spencer. They were flying lead plane in the high flight in the first box of eighteen planes. The nickname of the plane was, "LADY LUCK" tail number was 134947 RU-K, 554th Bomb Squadron (RU) (K) was call sign for that plane. It was a B-26C-15 type. The normal crew on a Martin B-26 was six airmen. Some Flight Officers were pilots, others were co-pilots - I knew several of them.

The plane was shot down in the vicinity of the Crecy Forest in France. The plane was struck in the right engine by flak, it burst into flames and the right wing was blown off as a result. One open parachute was observed prior to the plane falling into heavy cloud cover below the formation.

The crew was as follows:
1st.Lt. Robert B. Spencer was the pilot, POW
1st.Lt. Arch A. Dennen, Jr. bombardier, KIA
F/O Dayton B. Mitstifer Co-pilot, KIA
T/Sgt. Richard R. Faith Radio/gunner, KIA
S/Sgt. Gerard G. Bergeron Engineer/gunner, KIA
S/Sgt. John L. Dorton Tail gunner, KIA

The 386th Bomb Group sent out three boxes of bombers to hit V-1 Rocket Sites. The first box was assigned to target LS A-71. Second box was assigned to target LS A-85 and the third box was assigned to target LS A-79. After reaching the I.P. (Initial Point). The Group found the area all covered over with clouds - they went on to bomb an alternate target near the French Coast, which had been assigned at briefing. I flew on that mission in the lead flight number two position of the third box.

Note: Robert Spencer was killed in an airplane crash while he was flying as a highline inspector pilot in 1968.
 
Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Date:
2/20/2003
Time:
7:39:42 AM

After graduating from the AAF Nav School at Hondo, TX, my cousin Lt. Edwin E. Scranton was assigned to MacDill's OTU, 398th Sq., 21st Bomb Gp., about July 28, 1943. From a family letter, it sounded as if he trained as a B-26 navigator at MacDill for about 6 or 7 weeks. He said he had finished his course when he and 5 other Hondo navigators were ordered to report to Peterson Field, CO, to become part of a B-24 photo mapping outfit late Sept. 1943. This may be a fine point, but I'd like to confirm whether Lt. Scranton originally was to become part of a B-26 combat crew, or whether his MacDill course was a familiarization course in medium twin-engine bombers before joining a heavy unit. I'm actually looking for MacDill documentation that might clarify this, including a trainee list with Scranton's name on it and a copy of his transfer orders from MacDill to Peterson. Any help you might provide would be much appreciated. I've been pursuing this for quite a while without success.  In my never-ending pursuit of data about Scranton's training, you should know that I also contacted archives - none were able to come up with answers to the above inquiry. I hope you have some luck. Let me know if you need anything further from me. Thanks! Walter N. Webb

Walter,

The 21st Bomb Group was virtually the parent unit of all Martin B26 Marauder bomb Groups. It was at MacDill that individuals were brought together to form the various B26 bomb groups. In the very early days bringing together Air Corps veterans and later newly trained people.

Your cousin would have been at MacDill to become part of a newly formed B26 Group, and at the time you mention this would probably have been the 397th Bomb Group. He would not be there for any other purpose.

Frequently, as a B26 bomb group was processing several personnel would be transferred to other, non B26 units, if that unit had a very urgent need for a particular function. In this case it appears that the B24 mapping unit had an urgent need for navigators, thus the transfer of Lt Edwin E Scranton and some of his colleagues.

The only way to get information on the 21st Bomb Group is to purchase the microfilm reels relating to its history of AFHRA at 600 Chenault Circle, Bldg 1405, Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6424, for a nominal fee. I must advise you that even if you get the relevant reels they may not give you the information you are seeking. I have not seen them myself so I cannot be sure of their content.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
2/19/2003
Time:
9:45:13 AM
 
John Magella, S/Sgt, Crew Chief, 17th BG, 37th BS
My father, John Magella, was a Crew Chief in the 37th Bomb Squadron and one of his planes was (46) 42-96298. My Dad passed away in 1984, and we never really talked about his time in service. I'm hoping that someone who knew my Dad will respond with information about him, and the planes that he was a Crew Chief for. I also have other photos that I will share. Dad was in the MTO Dec. 42- Nov. 44 and the ETO Nov. 44- Sept. 45. Thanks for any information about my Dad, and God bless all the men who served during WW2. Jay Magella

Jay, Although I did not know your father, or have contact with him, I did know of him from other 37th BS crew chiefs I have contacted over the years. Your father was crew chief on two B26's both BN #46. The first 43-34392 he received in September 1944 and this flew combat until February 22nd 1945. On this date it suffered an engine failure on take off, crashed and was demolished. Luckily Lt Ray L Constant and crew escaped with only superficial injuries.

In late January 1945 your father received his next BN #46 42-96298 and this flew combat right up to the end of the war in Europe. You will notice that some of your photographs show what appears to be a dark, broad, horizontal band around the fin and rudder and stripes under the wings. There were markings carried by its previous unit the 386th Bomb Group. The tail stripe was yellow and the under wing stripes alternating black and white 42-96298 had previously been used by the 386th Bomb Group, IX AAF and had been transferred by that unit when it converted to Douglas A-26 Invaders.  Several of the 386th Bomb group's B26's found their way to the 17th and 320th Bomb Groups.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian B26.com

Date:
2/18/2003
Time:
9:01:13 AM
 
My grandfather, Norm Linder, was a pilot of a B26.  If anyone knows him or the name of his plane please e-mail me. Thank you, Adam Katzman

Date:
2/17/2003
Time:
5:55:59 PM
 
Omer Lee Middleton BombGp: 322nd.  my dad flew on the b-26. all i know is he said he was stationed in England at a place called Braintree. he never talked much about the war to me. then he went to Germany. if anyone reads this and remembers my dad please get in touch with me. thanks Omer Lee Middleton jr.

Date:
2/17/2003
Time:
10:08:00 AM
 
I'm French man, 59 years old, and when I was (more) young, I was student at Vilgenis Air France school in years 1960-1963 and we learned aircraft maintenance practice on two B26 Marauder. One of them is now at Le Bourget Air Museum and you can see how it was restored. Best regards, Dominique Ottello

"I enclose two photos of the B-26 at Air France School in 1960 and 1962.
I am in the foreground working at the workbench."


3.jpg (11588 bytes)

"June 1963 on the end of the three years of aircraft maintenance training at Air France school."


Bonjour M. Ottello, Thank you for the great pictures! The sister ship to the B-26 you mentioned in at Wright-Pattersen Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. It's been repainted to a 387th BG, 556th SQ plane. I enclose last years 387th reunion photo with the plane. Best to you, Mike


Date:
2/15/2003
Time:
9:27:42 AM
 
Edward F. McKnight BombGp: 323 Squadron: 455 Years: 43-45. My father was Edward F. McKnight a tech sergant on the B-26. I have recently met a son of a former B-26 and he informed me of the web site activity regarding this plane and there crews etc. As listed above My dad's discharge papers indicated that he served with the 9th USAAF 455 Bomb squadron and the 323 Bomb group. I remember stories he told of being stationed in England and Belgium. Do you have any information regarding the location of the bases for these groups. I frequently travel to Europe on business and would like to investigate the areas he was stationed at. Any help or references where I can look up this information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help. Greg McKnight

Date:
2/14/2003
Time:
9:35:17 PM
 
Paul Rieth BombGp: 397. Hello im looking for any info on Paul Rieth he was a crew chief and spent time in England and France. I ve found some old pictures but cant make out any number on the planes, but on has D-Day stripes. thanks Jonathan Rieth

Date:
2/14/2003
Time:
2:31:38 PM
 
My father, Tommy Bryan, 394th BG, from Brooklet, GA west of Savannah, GA, was a B-26 tailgunner. I am trying to find his surviving crew members of his B-2. Randy Bryan

Date:
2/12/2003
Time:
12:12:38 PM
 
I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if a B-26G-15-MA Marauder with the serial/call number 44-67813/SS-P, shot down on 1 Jan 45, had a sobriquet? This particular ship was on it's second mission (as I understand it) for the 322BG/451BS when it went down over Stadtkyll, Germany at about 2:30 local time. This mission involved both the 449th and 451st BS's. If there's anyone associated with this mission who has a personal mission-log entry, or a first-hand memory to share, I'd appreciate it. I'm a family member of a combat crewman who perished in this action. I would also like to know what the first mission and crew was for this particular ship for the 451st. Thanks in advance to any effort made. Jay Hands
 
Jay, Your reference to a family member will be, I believe, Sgt A J Hands the radio/gunner. You are correct this was 813's second mission, but to my knowledge it had no name or artwork applied. Regards Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
2/12/2003
Time:
7:20:14 AM
 
"If it were not for the heroic efforts of America's military, France, Germany and Belgium today would be Soviet socialist republics ... The failure of these three states to honor their commitments is beneath contempt." Democrat, Rep. Tom Lantos of California

Date:
2/11/2003
Time:
10:57:14 AM
 
Charles J. Cilfone BombGp: 386 Squadron: Years: 8/43-9/44 Class: 43 Location: Midland, TX. My father was a navigator/bombardier with the 386. He flew 72 missions and turned 83 this past Jan. 6. I am interviewing him for the Library of Congress, Veteran's History Project and plan to do a research paper on his experiences with the 386 for a Senior Seminar college class this semester. I have read most of your accounts of the missions during the time he was in Colchester. He of course, doesn't remember specific dates but does remember bombing some of the locations you refer to. Does anyone remember flying with him? Does anyone have diaries or personal accounts of what the day to day routine was like, outside of the missions? Please e-mail me with any information. Thanks. Catherine McCarthy
 
2nd Lt. Charles J. Cilfone, 0673095, navigator/bombardier, his crew number FJ-808 CJ-25, 7/23/1943, from MacDill to England was Lt. Robert Mee-P, F/O William Morgart-CP, Sgt. Venoy Huskey-RG, Sgt. Donald Hamm-EG, Sgt. Albert Dumas-G. aircraft number 41-31952. I got this information from William Morgart’s son. He also sent a photo of the crew. It is attached. You may have it already. From left to right standing-Cilfone, Mee, Morgart, bottom, Dumas, Huskey, Hamm.

Date:
2/11/2003
Time:
9:54:19 AM
 
Dwight L Morrison BombGp: 322 Squadron: 449. My Father Dwight L. Morrison (DL) flew with the 322nd 449 but transferred to the 1st pathfinders. I don't know much about the pathfinders or what group he was with when he went to them he also was with the 391st, When he was with the 322 his AC was the Tobacco Road. Thanks Dwight Morrison JR.

Date:
2/10/2003
Time:
2:26:43 PM
My squadron, 494th of 344th group flew on April 24, 1945 on a mission to Schrobenhausen. We were attacked by 4 ME 262's. Two came in from six o'clock, the others from two o'clock. My engineer gunner thought one coming in from six o'clock was , at a distance, a straggling B-26. The ME 262 came in just beyond the range of 50 caliber guns, flew past and down in to clouds. My gunners were so excited, I had to shut them up on the intercom. The engineer gunner, T Sgt Johnny Quong, said it went by like a "Bat out of hell". Even though I was flying as tight as I could in formation, I saw them go by and described it the same way.  The ones from the front started to attack the PFF planes, broke off. The Pathfinder plans came back and joined us in formation for protection. I thought I was flying K 9 L that day, but the loading list says I was flying K9C and a Lt. De Coursey was flying K9L. De Coursey was listed on loading list flying: No. 351(G) 2-3-2. I was listed as flying 927(G) 2-3-6. Will appreciate, if you have information if you could advise which was which. On April 26th we went back to Schrobenhausen, but Patton had over run the primary and secondary targets, so we had to bring four-1000# bombs back to Florennes Belgium- (A-78). Wishing you the best!- Take care. Bill Morton
 
Bill, on April 24th 1945 you were scheduled to fly 927 K9-C and DeCourcey 351 K9-D. This is also confirmed by your mission report forms. Regards, Trevor

Date:
2/9/2003
Time:
5:28:14 PM
 
Rubin Kichen BombGp: 397 Squadron: 598 Years: 1944-1945. I was a tail gunner on B26 and was shot down on my 23rd mission on February 16, 1945 and captured by Germans and ended up in Stalag VIIA. The name of the ship was 4F. hree crew members perished, and a field major flying as an observer also perished. His name was Major Meldrum. I am looking for a picture taken of 4F going down.
 
Rubin, Thank you for your email of Feb 9th, but I reckon you threw us an outswinger. The 397th Bomb Group did not lose any B26's on February 16th 1945, but a B26 named "4F" was certainly lost on that date. This B26 was operated by the 554th. Bomb Squadron 386th Bomb Group. The crew was: 1.Lt Benjamin pilot; 2.Lt McGrady copilot; 2.Lt Tiller bomb/nav; Maj Meldrum observer; Sgt Zitnyar radio/gunner; Sgt Woody engineer/gunner and Sgt Kichen tail gunner. Regards Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
2/9/2003
Time:
11:06:12 AM
 
Louis Barich Jr. BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554. My father, Louis Barich Jr., was the turret gunner on BarFly RU-V. He was awarded the DFC for service in Europe. I don't have any documented stories but I do have some pictures of the plane. Is there an online library where I can contribute scans of the pictures? I believe he was also assigned to the Question Mark, but I believe that plane crashed on take off or landing early in his tour. I do know that my father was not on board during the crash and I don't know the fate of the crew of Question Mark. I am pretty sure all of BarFly's crew survived the war.  Michael Barich

Date:
2/7/2003
Time:
12:03:11 PM
 
Maj Charles Wolf USAF (Ret) BombGp: 319th Squadron: 439th Years: 1942-45 Class: 44B Location: Blackland AAF, TX. A correction please. The 319th very definately did serve in the ETO flying the B-26 from North Africa to Corsica via Sardinia before transitioning to the B-25 which they flew for only October, November and December before being transferred back to the US and training in the A-26 which they flew to Okinawa becoming the only Air Force unit to serve in Europe and the Pacific in combat. Many of us served both in Europe and the Pacific with them
Major Wolf, Yes indeed the 319th did fly B25 Mitchells after giving up their B26's October 31st 1944. However they continued to fly missions from their base at Serragia, Corsica commencing on November 4th when they sent out four missions simultaneously against four bridges in the Po river valley. On the next day 319th BG transferred from 42nd Bomb Wing to 57th Bomb Wing when it was decided the group would remain in the Mediterranean Theatre of operations. The European Theatre of Operations covered Northern Europe including France, but excluding Italy and the Balkans. All B25 missions between 4th November 1944 and 31st December 1944 were flown against Italian targets. Regards Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
2/6/2003
Time:
5:41:35 PM
 
Irving Kramer BombGp: 96th BG 8th AF Squadron: 339th Years: 3. I was a radio operator-gunner (on B-17s). Flew 31 missions with D-Day my sixth. A great pleasure to see your site . Keep 'em flying. Lets hope all of us still kicking will get a chance to see the WW2 Veteran's Memorial!! GOD BLESS AMERICA

Date:
2/5/2003
Time:
10:56:11 AM
 
S/Sgt. Donald W. Short, Gunner BombGp: 394 Squadron: 585 Years: 1941-1944. Donald was in European theatre in 1944, based at Chelmsford from March to July, then moved to Olmsley. Original crew piloted by Capt John A. Dolan. (See picture & crew on Donald's page) Fatal crash on Aug. 7, 1944 at Lisieux, France. Crash crew piloted by Major Clinton M. Lee. Question: what was number and/or name of the two aircraft he served with. Have missing air crew report, would like any additional details you can add. Only original crew non-coms on fatal flight, three officers still might be living. Thanks, Al Short

Date:
2/4/2003
Time:
4:47:02 PM
 
Tom Bond BombGp: 344th Squadron: 494 Years: 43-45. my dad was with the 344th on Georgia on my mind with Capt. James Deford, Irving Sugarman, John Samara, Al Freiburger. when he died we found numerous info from ww11-I have pictures of the planes on d-day, plus pictures of the solly mill, sleepy time gal,----pill, and a few more I cant really see name-also a picture of morlocks madhouse dine, dance fite and ritz. as my dad saved everything which we never knew he had I have 2 original copies of the daily news dated may 8,1945. he went on 72 missions and was stationed in STANSTED, ENGLAND, the plane was p k9. to my sisters and brothers this is priceless info, I know he had some contact with some of the guys and he did make the reunion in Colorado years ago-I actually just ordered some books that I found on his lists. thanks for this website and if I ever get my scanner working I could scan some pictures thanks again Margaret Dewitt (oldest daughter of Tom Bond)

Date:
2/3/2003
Time:
5:28:00 PM
 
A tip of the hat to all you guys. I served in the army some 15 years after you did your thing in the ETO. Purpose of this commo: my cousin served with the 451st. He checked out last year... and I'd like to know if any of you remember him, his captain, plane and when he was with the 451. Name's Millard Foster. Ring any bells? Don Kaiser

Date:
2/3/2003
Time:
4:02:16 PM
 
I am the great niece of 1st Lt. Ernest L. Anderson and I just want to thank you for posting the information and picture that included him! As you probably already know he was KIA in April of 1945 over the Adriatic Sea. I was blessed to have his belongings passed to me. Any information that anyone might have about him i.e. stories, pictures etc. please contact me. I am in the process of putting everything together in book form to pass to future generations of our family so that they will always remember. Dawn Habhab

Date:
2/3/2003
Time:
3:02:48 PM
 
Thank you for the site. Michael L. Stevenson

Date:
2/3/2003
Time:
9:44:02 AM
 
Glynn T. Gilbert BombGp: 391? Squadron: 201? Years: 1943-45 Glynn T. Gilbert was my uncle. I have telegrams from the Government stating lost in action Dec 23, 1944 on bomb mission over Ahrweiler, Germany. Later a telegram stating he was safe as prisoner of war in Germany. He was an engineer gunner. Other information on these letters and telegrams are as follows: Gilbert, Glynn T. (XXXXX3335) Also AAF 201-(11486). Attn: AFPPA-8. The bomber group did a turnaround over Germany that day and sustained heavy losses. I would like any information on Glynn's group or pictures that I could get of his group. Glynn has been deceased for many years. He did make it home after the war and died in the 1970's. E-mail any information to Bill Easterling at the above address. Thank you in advance for any help.

Date:
2/2/2003
Time:
3:34:15 PM
 
Frank C. McBride BombGp: 387 Squadron: 558 Years: June 1943 through October 1945.  I was a bombsight tech, and very proud that I could help you guys who flew the missions. We had a great group.

Date:
2/2/2003
Time:
1:43:00 PM
 
Harold Dorsen BombGp: 17th Squadron: 432nd Years: 44-45. Leo Green, I was a radio gunner. Maybe you recall someone who played the harmonica. I attended the 2001 re-union in Myrtle beach S.C. If you were there, I was the one running around with an electric scooter. After the re-union, I fell in a hotel room and broke my shoulder. I flew many of my missions in the Wolves. My crew were, Pilot LT. Dick Wiseman, CO-Pilot LT. Stanley Richardson, Bombardier LT. Chuck Blomquist (deceased), Engineer/tail gunner Sgt. John Corradetti, KIA. Turret gunner Sgt. Marion "Bud" Payne. Harold Dorsen

Date:
2/1/2003
Time:
8:34:59 PM
 
Harold P . Dorsen BombGp: 17th Squadron: 432nd Years: 44-45.   Looking for any one who served in the infirmary tent at Dijon, France. 1944-45 under Doc Hartwell. I am wondering if any one knows of any medical records and where they can be found. Thank you, Harold Dorsen

Date:
2/1/2003
Time:
5:12:28 PM
 
Bill Borresen BombGp: 344 Squadron: 497 Years: 44 to end Class: Location: MacDill.   My father was co-pilot on 7I-A, 295856, flew 22 missions, shot down over Brussels May 10 1944. Major error by sqdrn nav put them in harms way. Three survivors and three dead. One plane returned to Manston. Spent rest of war in Stalag Luft III. Liberated at Mooseburg. Looking for any pictures, plane was named Fertile Mertile.

Date:
2/1/2003
Time:
4:13:32 PM
 
Martin R. Sidener BombGp: 17th Squadron: 34th Years: 1944-1945 Class: 44A Location: Pampa, Texas. Please contact if I can help. Marty

Date:
2/1/2003
Time:
11:31:19 AM
 
Roland Boyd Bonner BombGp: 391st Squadron: 574th Years: 1/45 Class: Sep 44 Location: Midland, Tx. Send: send Date:  Time:  Comments: My father was a Bombardier assigned to the 574th arrival ETO about January 1945. I have been unable to obtain any information on his crews, missions etc. In fact I have been unable to locate his name. His assignment dates are from copies of his military records which I have. His name: BONNER, Roland Boyd SN XXXX3334 His Occ. Code: 1035 Bombardier. Any information would be appreciated. Patrick Bonner
Patrick, I can understand why you have had so much difficulty in finding any information on your father. I have found only two missions flown in March 1945. 28 March 1945 Target Neuenheerse oil storage depot Crew 2.Lt Porter pilot, 2.Lt Wharton copilot; 2.Lt Bonner, bomb/nav; Pvt Henst radio/gunner; Sgt Ellman engineer/gunner and Sgt Panosian armourer/gunner 30th March 1945 Target Bad Oyenhausen tank assembly plant Crew Porter; Wharton; Bonner; Vargo; Felbriar and Panosian The records of the 574th Bomb Squadron for this period are virtually unreadable. Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
2/1/2003
Time:
9:03:25 AM
 
Robert Louis Shields BombGp: 387 Squadron: 556 Years: 41 - 45. My father Robert Louis Shields, was in the 9th air force. He was in the 387th bomb group in England. I don't know the name of the plane or much else about his time their. I was hoping you could help. Thank You Sandy Parks

Date:
2/1/2003
Time:
9:00:00 AM
 
Our prayers for STS-107 crew & family.
 
http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/crew/index.html

Date:
1/31/2003
Time:
1:34:49 PM
 
Captain Herbert Christian Ritter BombGp: 386 Squadron: 522. Captain Herbert Christian Ritter was my paternal grandfather. I was very excited to see a photo of his Martin B-26 Marauder "True Love", 296 321 RG-V on your site. I am not aware that anyone in our family has seen this photo. Is it possible to have a high resolution photo e-mailed to me? I would be glad to pay any cost involved. Also, he flew another plane, the "Miz Blue". I assume that this was a plane he flew for more of his 69 missions as his flight jacket bears the name of this plane. Do you have any information on or photos of the Miz Blue? Lastly, this may be a well known connection, but I stumbled upon it on my own. I received a picture of a B-26 obviously belly landed in a ditch. The picture came from a ground crew member, James Gow, who was stationed in England during the war. The plane is named "Hells Angel". Unfortunately Mr, Gow was unable to communicate much about the plane. There are obvious similarities between the 386th "Death Head" insignia and the "colors" associated with the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang. I also know that the founding members of the gang were ex-pilots. Are you aware of any connection between the 386th and the Hell's Angels? I find it an interesting to imagine my very upstanding, proper Grandpa rubbing elbows with such hellions. I will try to get a copy of the photo to you if you would like. Brian Duval

Date:
1/30/2003
Time:
6:34:31 PM
 
Charles M. Simpson BombGp: 391st Squadron: 574th Years: 3 Class: 1940 Location: McKinney, Texas.  This is an email for my father, Charles M. Simpson who was in the army with the 574th bomb squadron. Battles and campaigns: Air offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, GO 33 WD 45. If you know him or have any pictures of his squadron or any information about him please email me. The events that took place are hard for him to describe to his family. We do know that he was an mechanic on the B-26, thank you.

Date:
1/29/2003
Time:
7:52:16 PM
 
John Rakolta. I am the younger brother of a B26 Bombardier-Navigator you show in one of the photos. John is a retired CEO of a construction firm out of Detroit, Michigan. He was shot down over Germany about 3-4 months before the WWII ended and was POW up at Staalag #1 near Belsin, Germany. A brother between John and myself was drafted into the Army for the Korean War and was tragically killed in a car wreck in Lake Charles, La about 1952. I was just a kid during WWII but I remember as plain as day when the telegram caame on a Sunday AM that he was missing in action. I was lucky to miss Korea but then I got to go to Viet Nam in 69-70 to the 95th. Evac. Hospital in Danang. Our family loves this Country and I know John and myself would die for it if the call came again. God Bless You All, George Rakolta, MD.

Date:
1/29/2003
Time:
1:20:36 PM
 
Just a long-time friend wanting to tell you that your site really is coming along great! I like that plate design. Jack R. Simpson

Date:
1/29/2003
Time:
1:03:47 PM
 
Jack Yates BombGp: 319th Squadron: 437th Years: Aug 43-Jun 44.   I'm trying to find out as much as I can about my Dad, Jack M Yates, Army SN XXXX092. He was in the Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno and Southern France campaigns. He was a Pilot. Also Flight Control Officer, Squadron Cmr, Operations Officer and Supervisor of Flying Training, although those assignments might have been at Barksdale Flied, LA. I believe he was stationed at Tunisia and Sardinia. He was shot down over Italy, captured held prisoner for 26 days and escaped. He was awarded the DFC for a mission over Florence, Italy. Any and all information about him, his missions locations etc would be appreciated. Jim Yates

Date:
1/29/2003
Time:
11:40:39 AM
 
Morris Richier BombGp: 555 Squadron: Years: 1941-45.  My Dad, Morris, passed away on 12/28/82 of cancer. Unfortunately, my Dad would not share anything about his service days during WWII. My 3 brothers and I have tons of black & white photos of various missions, crews, locations, etc but no explanation of any of them. Would be willing to share the photos (if I could get them back) if only someone would let us know what part our Dad participated in with the 555th. Please contact me via email or telephone at 303-617-7528. I am the oldest son, Michael (55), and currently live in Denver, CO. My brothers and I were born and raised in my Dad's home town of New Orleans. Thanks in advance. Michael Morris Richier

Date:
1/28/2003
Time:
5:49:03 PM
 
You have a done superb job in bringing the incredible history of the B-26 and the men that flew them. I have an operational Norden Bombsight and most manuals. I have met Colonel Tibbets. Two of my older comrades were Wing Commanders flying B-26's and B-29s. Keep up the good work. Minot Dole

Date:
1/28/2003
Time:
10:48:20 AM
 
S/Sgt. Carl V. Arnold BombGp: 394 Squadron: 584 Years: 41-45 Class: 42 Location: Scott Field, Illinois. Greetings My name is Casey Hale and I have been researching my grandfather's involvement in World War 2. He was S/Sgt. Carl V. Arnold, a radio operator/gunner on B-26 Marauders, in Venlo, Holland with the 9th Air Force, 394th bomb group, 584th squadron. He was from Hastings, Nebraska. I have come across his scrap book and found pictures of various -26s. I also have one of his mission records. It appears that he was on one plane more than once, "Happy Pappy," #43-34143 a B-26G1. There are 2 pictures of it. He also has pictures of "Special Delivery", "Sack Queen III", "The Passionate Witch", "Slow Starter", "Round Too!", "Fragile Lass", and "the Draggin Lady". I am not sure if he was on these other planes, and was wondering if you can help me determine if he was or not. I have been able to get about 14 different -26's serial numbers, but I can't match up the numbers with any names! If you can help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks for your site! Casey

Date:
1/25/2003
Time:
4:27:56 PM
 
Marven A. Fritza BombGp: Squadron: 122nd Observation Sqdn Years: 1943. I am looking for any information on the 122nd Observation Sqdn that served in North Africa during WW-2. My brother served in this sqdn, he died in Oran, Algeria on Jan 18,1943. He was a tail gunner on a B-26 and died in a plane crash there on that date. I would appreciate any help that I can get doing research on him His Name was: Marven A. Fritza Rank: Sgt. Service # 1701XXXX Date sent Overseas; Sept. 1, 1942 Date of death; Jan. 18, 1943 Place of Death; Oran, Algeria in North Africa Larry Fritza
Larry, The 122nd Observation squadron was a component of the 68th Observation Group. They commenced combat operations from Casablanca shortly after 18 October 1942 in the North African combat theatre. The Group operated P-38, P-39, P-40 and P-51 fighters A-20, A-36 and B-17 bombers. Operating from bases in North Africa until November 1943, the Group, or elements of the Group, engaged in patrolling the Mediterranean, strafing trucks, tanks, gun positions, and supply dumps to support ground troops in Tunisia. At no time did the Group operate B-26's. Regards Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
1/22/2003
Time:
7:27:00 PM
 
Albert Rein BombGp: 322 Squadron: 452. Looking for anyone who may know my Grandfather Albert Rein. He was in the 322BG, 452Sq. His plane was Jezabelle. His crew had a mascot that could jump out of the plane. A dog named Salvo. Please email me. I will pass your name to him. Sincerely, Albert Rein Jr.

Date:
1/20/2003
Time:
12:56:31 AM
 
I worked at the 374th Sub Depot at the Dodge City Army Air Field in 1943 and 44. I was 16/17 years old and got out of study hall at school 30 minutes early so I could go to work at the field on the 2nd shift. I worked in Aero Repair and had an army drivers license that let me drive a tug, a Cletrack, and a 2 1/2 ton truck. The Sub Depot took care of all transient aircraft so I was able to "Ride the Brakes" of many different types of army aircraft that came into the field as they were being towed into the hanger. This was very exciting for a 16 year old. I continued to work at the field till I graduated from high school and joined the navy when I was 17. Donald Grunke

Date:
1/19/2003
Time:
2:49:47 PM
 
Michael Ondra BombGp: 344 Squadron: 494 Years: 1941 to 1945 Class: Location: Biloxi, Mississippi. I am the wife of Mike Ondra, the crew chief who painted Tom's Tantalizer on the nose of the Marauder in the picture. I was pleasantly surprised when as I searched for my web site, I discovered the web site about the Marauder as well as a newspaper article at the top of the page about a book I had written. What a find! Mike was the Crew Chief for Tom's Tantalizer! He's now Ninety, Still in good health, except for a pacer, walks one to 2 miles a day, sleeps a lot and looks at TV. Would like to hear from other Crew Members.

Date:
1/18/2003
Time:
5:41:11 PM
 
Trevor: I was a M/Sgt in the 95th Infantry Division during the war near Saarlautern and our unit was perhaps no more than 20 miles from Bitburg on that terrible day of the Arhweiler Mission. Ironically 2nd Lt. Donald Sharp, pilot of a B-26G Marauder 43-34440 08Q died in the plane after he had ordered his crew out. I have read the excellent article by Bob Mynn, but in the preparation of a book for our Foundation ( at web site www.victoryineurope.com ) I want to include a page on Donald. I went to high school with him, knew his family, and cannot find any photos of him other than high school photos. I would be most appreciative of knowing if anyone might have a photo of he or if any of his crew are alive, and a few details such as the name of the ship. I plan a trip from San Diego, California for more photos of the region this summer, so any help I can get perhaps for contacts at Bitburg would be most helpful. Thanks for a super site.
 
2.Lt Donald Sharp was with the 391st Bomb Group, 575th Bomb Squadron.

Date:
1/16/2003
Time:
6:20:31 PM
 
Chester Davis Lindsey BombGp: Squadron: Years: Class: Location: Dear Mr. Macklin, I recently saw you on the History Channel's documentary about the B26 Marauder. My father served aboard the B26, and I would love to find out anything I can about his unit... I think it was the 582nd. His name was Chester Davis Lindsey of Bishop, TX. I know he was inducted in San Antonio, and was stationed in Ohio, Greenwood, MS, and at Del Rio, TX. He refused to speak about his experiences until a few years before his death in 2000. I took him to visit the Confederate Air Force here in Texas, and they had a B26 plane "almost identical" to the one Dad was assigned to except his was changed to "3 props instead of 4". He was like a kid that day showing us all about "his plane". On a trip thru Albuquerque once he opened up and spoke of how they used to fly "round robins" and land there. On the day he died we had to take a 30 mile ambulance ride to the hospital, and one of the last things he ever said to me was that the whole trip he felt like he was back flying! in a B26 because it was so bumpy, he couldn't see anything, and he was riding facing backwards! He always said his job was as a flight "navigator/mechanic" and that he sat behind the pilots and facing the rear of the plane, if that makes any sense to you. I remember him saying that in Ohio there were times when there would be crashes all over the runways, and that men died because the crews had trouble getting out of the planes... I think it had something to do with not having a hatch on top. He said he swore to himself that if he survived the war he would never again set foot in an airplane...and he never did. I know that he was with a group training in Del Rio on some new piece of equipment or something in 1945 in preparation for being sent overseas when the war ended. I'm sorry if this info seems confusing, but all I have to go on are bits and pieces. Anything you could tell me or direct me to would be so greatly appreciated. He wore his B26 Martin cap and belt buckle! until the day he died, and was proud of having served.
Sincerely, Nancy Lindsey Kieschnick

Date:
1/14/2003
Time:
10:40:23 AM
 
Donald R. Freed BombGp: 386 Squadron: 554 Years: 1944-5 Class: 44-6 Location: Childress, TX

Date:
1/14/2003
Time:
9:13:42 AM
 
John Gorden Allen BombGp: Squadron: Years: 1942-1945 Location: MacDill AFB Send: send Date: 1/14/2003 Time:  Comments: I'm looking for any info on my Godfather John Gorden Allen from Baltimore Md. He enlisted 3/10/42, took pilot training at MacDill Field, and flew B26s with the 9th AF. I believe he went to England in 1943.He died in the mid 90s in Jacksonville Fla. I would appreciate any info on him. Thanks, Tom Gately

Date:
1/14/2003
Time:
12:02:19 AM
 
John Stevens BombGp: 17 Squadron: 34 Years: 42-45 Class: ? Location: Arizona (I think). I'm one of John Stevens daughters - saw this website in "The Sortie" newsletter. He's not able to communicate (a stroke a few years ago), but would love to hear that I found someone who knew him! Andrea Ryon

Date:
1/13/2003
Time:
11:33:56 PM
 
Earl Stratton BombGp: 320 Squadron: Years: Class: Location: Send: send Date: 1/13/2003 Time:  Comments: My uncle was the pilot of a b-26 named O'Riley's daughter during WWII. I have a book on b-26's with a picture of the plane. O'Riley's Daughter completed 165 missions by the end of the war. She was in the 319th then transferred to the 320th she completed 56 missions with the 320th bomber group the book claims it was also in the 437th. I think my uncle flew all 56 missions with the 320th. He is still living and resides in Free Union Virginia. He retired as a Major with a medical condition suffered while in the military. His name is Earl Stratton. Herb Stratton

Date:
1/11/2003
Time:
5:17:19 PM
 
Dear Sir: first off all, I want to thanks all the brave man off the American Air Force, from the heavy-middle and fighter pilots and crewmembers off those birds who risk there lives in WWII fore our freedom. My father was an underground fighter in the city of Antwerp Belgium, and help pilots and crewman to the border off France http://www.belgium.under.ground.freeservers.com My kind regards, Albert Demuyer

Date:
1/11/2003
Time:
11:38:17 AM
My grandfather, Herrick B. "Pappy" Ledbetter, was a B-26 Pilot in WWII. He passed away when I was five years old, and I am searching for anyone that knew him or flew with him. He was in the 387th bomb group of the 9th AF, and, I'm pretty sure the 556th squadron, based on tail/fuselage markings in an old photo I had. Please feel free to contact me with any info you might have. George D. Greenway, LCDR, United States Navy

Date:
1/11/2003
Time:
6:56:47 AM
 
It so happened that I bumped into your site. I enjoyed reading what I saw. My compliments for the picture of the graduation class! The enlarged pictures of every single man are rather good. The B-26 is in my country (Netherlands) not very well known. But being a builder of scale models, it is one of my favorites. In WW II I was too young and I obviously lived in the wrong country after all. I saw many German soldiers, but also many American bombers on their way to German targets (and back). If you take a few moments to look at my site www.warprops.com you will discover a model of the B-26. Do you think that the number on the model refers to a actually existing aircraft? I would really like to know. Best regards, Dick Herstel
 
Dick, Nice site, yes the B26 represents "Dee Feater" of the 596th Bomb Squadron 397th Bomb Group flown by Major Robert K McCleod the squadron commander.
Regards,
Trevor Allen
Historian, B26.com

 
Date:
1/10/2003
Time:
5:03:42 PM
 
BombGp: 386th Squadron: 554th Years: 1944 Class: Location: A-87 Comments: On Sep.23 1944, 2 B-26B of the 386BG/554BS returning of mission 283 were lost on A-87 Charleroi-Gosselies:41-31658 "Privy Donna" and 41-31622 "Litljo". I m looking for information about the crew of the "Privy Donna" (belly landed). It seems a third B-26B (same unit?) was lost the same evening on A-87. Thanks for your help and your information. Bernard Cuchet

Date:
1/10/2003
Time:
1:39:48 PM
 
Captain Leo Opalka BombGp: Squadron: Comments: Hi, Just looking to see if anyone remembers my Dad, Captain Leo Opalka, pilot of THE VULGAR VULTURE. Hopeful,   Jim Opalka

Date:
1/9/2003
Time:
7:23:44 PM
 
BombGp: 344th Squadron: 497th Comments: I am just writing to thank Trevor for putting me in touch with Jack Havener, the co-pilot of the Terre Haute Tornado, 71*h, 42-95906, the Plane named after my hometown which I stumbled across in a book about "Fighters of World War II" this past summer. I have read his book & Ground crew chief T/Sgt. Frierson's about the Tornado ("the widowmaker featuring the terre haute tornado") and have corresponded with him. He was quite interested as to how I got his name. He wasn't so surprised when I told him it was you. He had nothing but praise for Frierson & all those who kept planes in the air, or let the aircrews borrow them as he put it. Finding out about the Tornado & the b-26s has added a whole new dimension to the war for me & given me added pride in my hometown & it's people like Capt. Robert Wilson of Terre Haute, Indiana, the Tornado's Pilot. I have but one question. What happened to all the planes that went down in Tampa Bay? Were they recovered and if so what became of them ? Thank you, Steve Bailey
 
Steve, Thank you for your kind comments. As to the B26's in Tampa Bay, guess they are still there anybody want to fish one out? Trevor

Date:
1/9/2003
Time:
6:45:57 PM
 
BombGp: 391 Squadron: 574 Years: 1944. Do you happen to know the name of my Dad's aircraft, he does not remember, however, "Scolded Dog" comes to his mind. the aircraft went down on a mission to Ahrweiler the morning of Dec. 23, 1944, the pilot was P.L. Woods ? Thanks for checking, Gerald Lucero

Date:
1/9/2003
Time:
12:47:05 AM
 
My grandfather, William Raymond Netecke, served in the Army Air Corps during WWII. My lack of knowledge about his service is due to the fact that his only brother, a member of a bomber crew, was shot down over Germany, never to be seen or heard from again. My grandmother said he absolutely refused to speak about the war even more than 50 years afterwards because of this. He passed away while I was at Recruit Training in July 1999. While doing research, I came upon your website and noticed the name and rank SSgt T. Netecke in reference to a B-26 lost over Germany in 1944. Any information that you could provide about this individual would be invaluable. Here is a link to the information I am referring to is located here. Semper Fidelis, Corporal Michael R. Netecke, USMC

Date:
1/7/2003
Time:
11:01:46 PM
 
1st Lt Ted Harwood BombGp: 456 Squadron: 323 Years: 1944-45 Class: 43. Dear B26 folks, I am seeking information or contact with any of the Marauder Men below or their relatives. My father was in the 323rd BG, 456th BS.
 
1st Crew: Harwood (CP); 2nd/1st Lt. John W. Kuczwara (Nav); 2nd/1st Lt. William B. Gerrant Jr. (P); 2nd Lt/1st Lt. Jack A. Reynolds (TG); Cpl./S/Sgt. John H. Knight (E); Cpl/Sgt Velton J. O’Neal Jr. (RG).
 
2nd Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P); 2nd/1st Lt. Thomas O. Harves (CP); 2nd/1st Lt. Duran (John or Manual J ?); Alan Hammel (Aaron); S/Sgt. Richard P. Baily (?); T/Sgt. John H Stewart ( TG ).
 
3rd Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P); 2nd/1st Lt. Eugene T. Muszynski (CP); 2nd/1st Lt. Anthony V. Caezza (NB); S/Sgt. James N. Night (?); T/Sgt. George W. Boyd (RG); S/Sgt. Raymond Deboer (TG).
 
Thanks, Ray Harwood

Date:
1/7/2003
Time:
3:28:51 PM
 
Leo J. Sugerman BombGp: 320 Squadron: 442 Years: '42-'45 Class: 43-20 Location: Tyndall Field- Flex Gun School. My dad, Leo J. Sugerman was assigned to the 1st TAC AF, 320th group, 442nd squadron, 14th Company(?) and served from Sept.'43 to Oct. '45. He graduated from Tyndall Field: Flexible Gunnery Class of 43-20 sections 17/18. He was a S/Sgt on a B26 and predominately flew out of France. The Crew was: AP No. 43-34464: P - 2nd Lt. Albin O. Pearson CP - 2nd Lt. Joe A. Villelli B - F/o Milton J. Beckman EG - S/Sgt. Leo J. Sugerman ROG- Cpl. Warren S. Vine After he passed away, I uncovered a large manilla folder with a portion of his records from his years of service, starting in 1942 until 1945, spanning 2 years and 11 months. I believe that even the folder itself is the original US Army and it has: (1) his references for application, acceptance and eventual rejection from pilot training due to a knee injury he received there, with copy of medical rejection, (2) His records from gunnery school, scores, certificate and graduation book, (3) almost all of his flight records from training thru combat on the "Individual Flight Record" log that lists each day of flight by hours on a monthly sheet, (4) Write-ups with brief mission descriptions, and accompanying orders for medals (5) Requisition forms for personal equipment/gear received from and returned to the quartermaster, (6) Hospital stay record for injuries sustained during a crash landing after a mission, (7) Leave of absence orders for R/R, (8) other orders for staging prior to combat, (9) Selective Service registration card, NCO's Club card, and misc. papers. *** Obviously, What makes this folder so valuable is that it contains orders for hundreds of other men who were on the same orders page, so that it can provide a history for others who need it. In addition, I have: Pic's of his group on a run, right after dropping the load (one is an original pic that I've seen on another website), Pic's from his crash landing (with flak holes visible in the plane) in which the plane is nose down in a river in France (The crash date was: 4/6/45 and the tail numbers are #334-284 with a large #32 below). Furthermore, I have Most of his medals, including what I think is a "Croix de Guerre"; Stripes; Knife; and Bible, a "Get That Fighter" training book and his class 43-20 Graduation book with signed autograph's in the back! I plan to get all of this info on to a disk and eventually make it available to this site. To the Historians: What can you tell me about this crash? Thank you, Doug Sugerman

Mr Sugerman, Your email mentioned the crash of B26 BN#32 and asked for further details.

Related by Al Pearson "We were sent to Rest Camp May 27th 1945.Orders No.128 dated 28 May 1945 came in reassigning us to the good old USA. We found out and returned to the squadron June 4th to learn that we had been rescheduled to leave in another two days. Since we would probably not have an opportunity to fly for some time to come, we were told to get our flight time in that day. Lt Bernard Kent had been assigned as copilot on aircraft #32 for the same purpose. I was assigned as copilot, Lt Milt Beckman and Sgt Leo Sugerman were crew. We took off and flew to Toulon. I left my copilot seat and went back with Beckman while the others received some stick time. After a while I was called forward by Kent and informed that we were lost and running low on fuel. We were forced to locate an airport, which we later learned was Vichy, France. This field had an extremely short 2700' runway, but we had no alternative. Kent dragged the field, we made a couple of practice passes at it, and finally settled in. We were unable to stop and ran over an embankment into a river. Result was # 32 nose down with its tail dejectedly sticking out of the water. As a result of this accident, I spent the next month or so in hospitals in Dijon and Nancy, finally getting back to the US. July 24th."

Regards,
Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.com

Date:
1/6/2003
Time:
8:57:59 PM
 
Tom Weeks. I am writing on behalf of my friend Tom Weeks. He was an Instructor Pilot on the B-26 at Del Rio, Texas from 1943 through 1944. He would like to hear from any of the other IPs and crew he served with at Del Rio, and would be especially delighted to hear from any of the pilots he trained. Thanks a lot for the website! Ray Nelson

Date:
1/6/2003
Time:
8:31:23 PM
 
S/Sgt. Melvin W. Craig. The subject of my research is S/Sgt. Melvin W. Craig, XXXXX322. Graduated from B-26 school at Barksdale (G612-335BG, 476th Bomb Sqdn., 5/5/1943) He was the Flight Engineer with Lt. Penrod's crew. Deployed to North Africa. On 19 July 1943, He flew one mission to targets around Rome, flight time: 5 hours (according to his personal log book). He was then transferred to the 301st Bomb Group, 419th Bomb Sqdn, (B-17s) until he was KIA 11 January 1944. I have no crew list, a/c serial number or unit assigned to for this one mission. Can anyone help. Sorry, it's not much to go on except the date and target. I have a copy of diary recording missions flown from July 43 thru Jan 1944. Melvin was lost in action near Athens, Greece around 12 Jan 1944. I have no further information or circumstances of death. His remains were removed from temporary military internment and returned to parents home for permanent burial (Dunlap Cemetery, Rose Hill, Ks.} The airman's older sister [age 90] would like to gather as much information concerning his military service as possible to pass along the family history. Any information about Melvin, his final mission, or the 335th Bomb Group would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, John Thompson

Date:
1/6/2003
Time:
5:14:59 PM
 
Herman Rechter BombGp: Squadron: My dad, Herman Rechter, was a bombardier on B-26s. However, he never talked much about his war days. At one point, he had spent a short time as a fill-in on "Jake's Jerks". I'd like to find more information, if anyone has any. Thanks for your assistance. Steve Rechter
Steve, your father served with the 456th. Bomb Squadron, 323rd. Bomb Group.
Regards, Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
1/2/2003
Time:
4:51:17 PM
 
Robert T. Juhlin BombGp: Squadron: Hello.... I need your help. My father passed away in 1968. My understanding is that he was a armorer for a B-26. He was stationed on Guam during the war. My father's name was Robert T. Juhlin. If anyone has any information regarding him, his air unit or a direction to go in seeking this information, please email me. I was 11 years old when he passed on and would like to pass on what information I can get to my son. Thanks in advance. Terry Juhlin
Terry, As far as I know there were no AAF B26's on Guam, but there were Navy B26's there. If you could find any more details it would help, but at the moment we have almost nothing to research.
Regards, Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
1/2/2003
Time:
4:51:17 PM
 
Lt. Truman C. Cole BombGp: 320 Squadron: 441 ? Years: 1944-1945 Class: 1943 Location: Columbus, Miss. 43H. Shot down Nov 4, 1944 over Brenner Pass. Picked up by Germans Christmas Day. POW Stalag Luft 1.

Truman,
On the second mission of the day to bomb the Rovereto railroad fill the formation was attacked by 12 to 15 enemy fighters.# 01 piloted by 2nd Lt Truman C Cole was shot up just prior to reaching the target. The B26 shed a wing, crashed and exploded. Three chutes were seen. Is this description correct, who were the survivors, do you have a listing of your crew that day. If shot down in November why did it take until Christmas Day to be picked up by the Germans.

Any information you would care to give us would be another page recorded for history.
Regards,
Trevor

Date:
1/2/2003
Time:
3:58:50 PM
 
Al Garcia  BombGp: 391 Squadron: ? Years: ? Class: ? Location: ?. HI, I am looking for information regarding my Dads B-26 days. His name was Al Garcia and was in the 391 bomb group. His was assigned to "The Three Bears". I believe the aircraft # was 295810 with a yellow triangle on the tail. Our family has many photos of planes and people as he was an avid photographer. Gary Garcia

Date:
1/1/2003
Time:
9:55:35 PM
Thomas Craddock Howard BombGp: ? Squadron: ? Years: 2.5 Class: 45 Location: Texas A&M. Need some help tracking down information. My father was Thomas Craddock Howard of Dallas, Texas. He was the pilot of a B-26, MISS MANOOKIE, same exact plane as featured in Bridge Busters, I believe at the chapter page for Chapter 8 (If this is the one with Miss Manookie Flying) Tail number is the same as his plane. Would like to know names of his other crew members, etc. Thanks, Todd C. Howard

Todd,
Your father served with the 585th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group. Both "The Jay-Walkin Molecule" and "Miss Manookie" were B26's operated by the squadron.

Your father's crew on February 24th 1945 was:

Howard - pilot
Hughes - copilot
Burdge - bomb/nav
Atkins - engineer/gunner
Rogers - radio/gunner
McDaniel - armourer/gunner

Regards,
Trevor Allen
Historian
B26.COM


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