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Leon Cole Goodwin 1920-2006.  Beloved husband and father, Leon Cole Goodwin died on December 26, 2006. Mr. Goodwin was born on December 31, 1920 in Lagrange, GA. He leaves behind his wife, Edith Goodwin; and one son, Leon Goodwin, Jr.

Major Goodwin retired from the United States Air Force in 1962. He was also a past president of the Pensacola Bowling Association. A grave side service and burial was held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, January 4, 2007 at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola for Major Leon Goodwin. Memorials can be made to the Salvation Army.

Regards,
Stephen D. Curlee
Lieutenant Colonel
Army of the United States Retired

Many posters to the website would ask questions that only a pilot would know the answer to and Lee was often the first to reply. Lee Goodwin will be missed by all of us. -ms


Date:
12/30/2006
Time:
12:49 PM
 
Hello, I am an ex Spitfire pilot and have just come across Alex Annez message concerning his grandfather who flew in the SAAF 12th Squadron. I did my flying training in South Africa as did many Belgians among others hence their joining a SAAF squadron afterwards. We were very warmly welcomed and looked after by many South African families and for me this included the parents of Jean's wife Jeannie (I'll call her Jeannie to differentiate from her Husband Jean ), the Maxwells. I completed my training in Egypt, where I last saw Jeannie who had joined the Fanny to try and join Jean, which she did briefly later in Italy.

I returned to England in May 1944 to operate for D Day and lost sight of Jeannie; who of course is Alex's grandmother.
I have found a reference to Jean as being in 1961 the Managing Director of Sabena in the Congo, but then I lose trace.
I would very much like to have more news.

Jack Douay

Date:
12/26/2006
Time:
5:52 PM
 
I’m seeking any information and leads which will allow me to better understand and memorialize, for our family, the circumstances surrounding the death of my maternal Uncle “Gib” during a combat mission while flying in a B-26.

Marauderman's Name: 2nd Lt. Gilbert T. Bennett, bombardier/navigator B-26 Marauder.
Bomb Group: Unknown
Bomb Squadron: Unknown
Years in service: Shot down and killed February 13, 1945
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments:

Date of Birth: February 13, 1922 --- From Modesto, California
Shot down: February 13, 1945

Germany, believed to be on a bomb run over a German target on on his 23 birthday and on his 25th combat mission.

1) 2nd Lt. Bennett was said to be in the bombardier’s nose compartment and without a parachute when the B-26 was struck by AAA.
2) Not known to me if bombs were away.
3) All crew members were said to have bailed out or blown out of the aircraft and deployed their parachutes, except 2nd Lt. Bennett, as the aircraft “Mushed” downward with the mid-section on fire. Someone was said to have counted parachutes.
4) It was said that my uncle’s remains were located and identified at the crash scene by German nationals and given a proper burial.
5) After the war, his remains were removed from German soil to a National Cemetery in Holland.
6) Some time later (1948-50??) my maternal grandfather, Dwight N. Bennett, arrange to have, his son, Lt. Bennett, repatriated to back his hometown, Modesto, California, where he remains (see attached 2 photos taken 2006).

At a young age of 6 or 7 (1946-47), I do recall an officer, perhaps the pilot, and another crewmen, came to Modesto, California and provided a personal report to my grandparents (Bennett).

Best regards,
Jack Wood
 
 
Dear Mr. Wood,

Your uncle served with the 391st Bombardment Group 573rd Bombardment Squadron.

On 13th February 1945 42-95822 T6-O "Black Jack" received a direct flak hit in the right engine just after bombs away and subsequently crashed.

The crew on that mission were listed as follows:

1.Lt Michael Dobda; pilot
2.Lt Archie A Sink; copilot
2.Lt Gilbert T Bennett; bombardier/navigator
S/Sgt Jeston R Weeks; engineer/gunner
T/Sgt Emil A Uhlig; radio/gunner
S/Sgt Francis P Brown; armourer/gunner.

Regards
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
12/26/2006
Time:
8:52 PM
 
I am Roscoe Haller's nephew. I lived with him and his wife, Corrine at Andrews AFB in the early sixties. He was in charge of organizing the F-105 flyby at JFK's funeral. He died about ten years ago. I have a lot of his photos and other things from the war and occupation. I'm not a blood relative, but I'm proud to have known him. He was a man to look up to. Eric Senter

Date:
12/25/2006
Time:
12:49 PM
 
I am trying to find information on my father, who died back in '68. All I know is:

John Millington
BG: 394th
BS: 586th
electrical mechanic
ETO: 3/10/44 to 8/15/45

He was in Avon Park at some point. I saw the posting by Bob Forcella and wondered if he could help in any way.
 
Thanks.
Gary Millington

Date:
12/24/2006
Time:
6:27 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Lee R. Crisman
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: Not available (flew 78 missions)
Graduation Class: NA
Class Location: NA
Comments: I am writing on behalf of Mr. Crisman's wife Dorothy, sitting here next to me at the computer, with a big smile on her face. Lee flew 78 missions in WW II. He was co-pilot of the "Mad Russian" with Lieutenant Klimovitch. Dorothy is delighted to find the B26.COM website, and would like to find photos or any other information regarding her late husband from this period. She has some photos of her own and we will try to scan them and send them to you so you can post them on your site.

Thank you.
David Anderson

Date:
12/24/2006
Time:
4:20 PM
 
My father, Ralph Carbone, was the flight surgeon for the 34th BS, 17th BG, flying B-26s in North Africa and Italy in WWII. John Carbone, MD

Date:
12/23/2006
Time:
1:58 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Frank Davis
Bomb Group: 319th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 438th Bomb Squadron
Comments: This is my Grand Father who passed away in 05. In the last few years of his life he talked about his service time in the Army Air Corps with a great deal of pride. I am not sure the group or squadron he served with, but the name of his plane was "the Big Ass Bird".
 
"Big Ass Bird" was with the 438th Bomb Squadron 319th Bomb Group. -Trevor
Large image here...

Date:
12/22/2006
Time:
7:20 PM
 
My father, Lt. Calvin Collier, was in the 451st Bomb Squadron stationed at Beauvais/Tille (and later, somewhere in Germany, I think) from September, 1944. His airplane was “Dolly” or “M-Mike.” He flew 36 missions and was wounded several times. His co-pilot for many of his missions was Lt. Jim Crumbliss. The squadron has had an annual reunion over the years. If you would like to contact Maj. Calvin Collier, USAF, ret., feel free to contact me. -Jeb Collier

Date:
12/13/2006
Time:
12:49 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Lt. Col. John Payton Jr. , (Ret)
Years in service: 1941-1945, 1951-1965
Class Location: Texas?
Comments: My father completed pilot training through his solo but was washed out for leaving the base the night before graduation to chase skirts. He eventually became a navigator and flew the B26 in North Africa and Korea, where he was shot down on the final mission of that tour of duty on Memorial day. He served as a POW for 18 months and remained in the Air Force after repatriation. He always was and remains today my hero. Dad passed away in Florida on Memorial Day, 2006 and I miss him every day. If anybody out there knew my dad, I'd be pleased indeed to hear from you.

John Lee Payton

Date:
12/13/2006
Time:
11:26 AM
 
Thank You Trevor Allen for the valuable information that you provided to our family regarding my father's flight crew. I was able to contact by telephone his co-pilot, Dick Richards, who sent me several photos and many stories about my father, Joseph A. Skibinski. Dick said that most of dad's 65 combat missions were flown aboard Pistol Packin' Mama. I was also able to make phone contact with Virgil Jones, flight engineer, and I speak with him regularly. We found 150 incredible love letters that dad wrote to my mother that we published in a book called Softside that is available at Aardvark publishing or aardvarkpublishers.com The front cover photo depicts my dad in the turret, and the back cover shows him holding a puppy named buzzbomb in France in 1942. The letters tell an incredible story of love and patriotism. Thank you again for your help. Sincerely, Joe Skibinski

Date:
12/12/2006
Time:
10:10 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Harry J. Lester, 1Lt
Bomb Group: 386th BG
Bomb Squadron: 552nd BS
Years in service: Unknown
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments: I am doing research for my brother-in-law who is seeking information on the subject individual, his grandfather. All he knows is his grandfather's name, rank, and that he was a B-26 Marauder copilot who flew out of England. He also mentioned that Robert Preston, the actor, was also in his unit. Since Preston was an S-2 officer in the 386th BG, I am certain this is the correct group. I understand Preston was in the 555th BS of the group so that is possibly the squadron. Any information on Harry J. Lester would be greatly appreciated. I am seeking any and all information on him. Thanks in advance.

Gary D. Koch, Major, USAF (Retired)
474th FG (WWII) Association Historian
 
Major Gary D. Koch, USAF Ret.
I saw your request for information concerning 1st. Lt. Harry J. Lester. He was a Martin B-26 co-pilot in the 552nd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. He died December 1978. I do not know which crew he flew with.

I flew with the 552nd Bomb Squadron for 17 months, beginning in July 1943.

Chester P. Klier-- Historian, 386th B.G.
http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
12/12/2006
Time:
8:35 PM
 
My father, William Robert Kemp, was a B26 pilot with the 17th Bomber group. I am seeking any info and pictures for his grandchildren as Bill passed on St. Patty’s Day 2004. I am not finding much in the way of historical documentation and it is so important for his decedents to have. I do have his plane and his training dates.

Capt. William Robert Kemp, B26 41-74898
Pilots: Hi Applegate, Bill Kemp
95th Bomber Squad
17th Bomber Group
Graduated in July 1942
Last mission was over Italy in Sept. of 43. The Plane was lost with Pilot Hi Applegate but I am not sure when. Any stories and photos of the crew and pilots would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
David Kemp

David - 41-17898 (not 41-74898) "Barrelhouse Bessie" was shot down NW of Kasserine on March 1st 1943 with Lt Hiram Applegate and crew. More information to follow. -Trevor Allen, b26.com historian

Date:
12/6/2006
Time:
9:50 AM
 
Mr. Thomas W. Handlon was a Marauder Man and his widow is my neighbor and good friend. Mr. Handlon died a few years ago and is buried in his home town. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Handlon. Mrs. Handlon told me that her late husband was very close to the pilot of this plane. A Mr. Randy Ayres of our little town was a crew member of a B-26 in Reid River Australia. I have a picture of this plane and crew if interested.

Millard Greer
 

Date:
12/3/2006
Time:
6:26 PM
 
I'm trying to research my uncle's experiences in the 387th Bomber Group. Known facts: Marion Bacus, crew member Mitch's Bitch, received DFC. Can you offer any more information or suggestions? Thank you, Harlan Bacus
 
Mitch's Bitch was KS-P 41-31715 of 387th BG 557th BS. On May 26th 1944 damaged/lost due to enemy action. In the book "B-26 Marauder At War" by Roger A. Freeman (ISBN 1-85409-114-X there are several references to Mitch's Bitch in the text, including two photos. The photo on page 173 refers to a take-off accident, but no date reported. Also found on the web that March 2003 issue of the magazine FlyPast has an article about Mitch's Bitch in ETO: "Martin B-26 "Mitch’s Bitch" combat n ETO".

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/2/2006
Time:
11:21 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Sgt Peter Douglas Batty, ID XXXX747
Bomb Group: 3 Wing
Bomb Squadron: 24 Squadron South African Air Force
Years in service: August 1943 to May 1945
Comments: My father served as a Wireless Operator / Air gunner and flew 60 Sorties On Active Service. I have his Service Log Book detailing every flight.

On 10th September 1944 he flew in 'P' for Peter to bomb German Artillery positions south of Rimini entry reads: 'Bombed gun positions south of Rimini. Flak medium but fairly accurate. One hole in mid-upper gun turret. Found when we came off target that bomb doors hadn't opened. Landed with full bomb load, 10,250 lbs. No enemy aircraft sighted. 6th Op: Other members of formation's bombing fairly accurate.'

His last operational flight was April 25th 1945 Bombing Marshalling Yards at Giorgio. They were escorted by Mustang Fighters, of which air force I do not know?

Peter went on to become a Mechanical Engineer and School Teacher.

He married and had 3 Children.

He did not speak much about what he did and saw in the war, but I know it affected him and he was a very kind and gentle man.

He died December 1984.

Date:
12/2/2006
Time:
6:37 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Evan B. Cook, aka Herbie
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 494th

My family and I are seeking information regarding my Great Uncle who was an engineer-gunner in the 344th BG, 494 SQ. His name is Staff Sergeant Evan B. Cook (Herbie), from Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio. He flew in the medium bomber, "Coral Princess III", we believe her serial number to be 42-96214. Her Captain was W .S. Allyn. The rest of his crew as of Sept 11, 44 were:

Capt. W. S. Allyn - pilot
1st Lt. F.H. Fuba - copilot
2nd Lt. B.D. Reed - navigator
1st Lt. Chiozza - bomb
S/Sgt E.B. Cook - engineer/gunner
T/Sgt D.A. Johnson - radio/gunner
S/Sgt M. Kasprzyzkowski (aka Stinky) – armour / gunner

We also have found that on the 19th of Nov. 1944 while attacking railway bridges at Neuwied, the "Corral Princess III" was damaged by flax after bombing the target. Capt Allyn and Sgt Bozack were killed in this crash. The crew that day were:

Capt. W. S. Allyn - pilot
1st Lt. F.H. Fubal -copilot
1st Lt. Chiozza - bomb
S/Sgt T.H. Barrows - engineer/gunner
S/Sgt. E. K. Bozack -radio/gunner
S/Sgt M. Kasprzyzkowski - armour/gunner

We are really digging now...and putting our hearts into it...for we have lost our fallen hero & family loved one. My Great Uncle, Evan Cook passed on November 7, 2006.

We aren't certain who is going to receive this message...but if this information is of historical value to you or may be to others...please pass it on. Also if you or others would like to request further information or have information to share with us about Evan “Herbie” Cook who was in the 9th Air Force, 344th Bomber Group, 494th Squadron...please don't hesitate to email us

We have just come across some photo's of the "Coral Princess III" and her crew taken on 23 Sept 1944 – including nose art.

Fond Regards,
Ron Ihrig

Date:
11/29/2006
Time:
5:45 PM
 
Re.: Russell J. Calvert. What a thrill to find my friend in your web site. I met Russ in 1961 when as a 19 year old college student I went to work at Rushmore Mobil Homes in Rapid City, South Dakota. Russ did all the finish work on cabinets, and was final finish inspector on all homes leaving the plant. He had left the auto body business sometime before I arrived, but he did tell me that he much preferred working on cabinets.

Your account of what happened to Capt. Thorne's plane matches what Russ told me about it. He was pretty emotional in the telling of it, I felt really bad about asking him. He told me then that he wanted to return to Europe and visit the graves of his friends. Don't know if he made it or not.

I still lived in South Dakota when Russ died, and did attend his funeral. Russ was a good friend and mentor, I still think of him from time to time. I was reminded again last week when I stayed at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Tampa. They tell me it was turned into an Army Air Corps barracks for airmen training in the area. Russ mentioned the "one a day into Tampa Bay" several times, so am I correct in assuming he might have stayed at the Biltmore?

Anyway, it was great finding this site, and what a thrill to see his story! Thanks so much.

Garry Abrahamson

Date:
11/29/2006
Time:
2:40 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: James Weldon Mellody, Royse City, TX
Bomb Group: 397
Bomb Squadron: 597
Years in service: 10/42 - 1945
Graduation Class: Jan. 1944?
Class Location: Basic: Lackland Air Force Base, Waco, TX; Flight training: MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida 1943
Comments: Weldon was trained as a navigator and was the waist gunner on a B-26 bomber. He was shipped out of Camp Kilmer, NJ on Mar. 14, 1944 arriving in Glasgow, Scotland on his 22nd birthday (Apr. 4) and was then based at Rivenhall airfield in Essex County, England to fight in the ETO.

He flew 26 1/2 missions on Spare Parts (42-96121) with his crew: Pilot: Freal C. Knox, Scottsbluff, NB; co-pilot Ossian A. Seipel, Chicago Heights, IL; bomb/nav William E. Gifforn, Newark, NJ; Radio Op Norman C. Edwards, Baltimore, MD; tail gun William F. Koenig, Enumclaw, WA; Photog Jerome Orenstein, Chicago, IL. They were in the air twice on D-Day. On their 27th mission the night of June 24, 1944, they were shot down over Maisons La Fitte, France (NW Paris) along with fellow formation planes 42-96127 (pilot Neill) & 42-96120 (pilot Gatewood) after bombing a railroad bridge. Weldon’s plane was riddled with flak and both engines were shot out & losing power, the left one losing oil. Everyone in Weldon's plane parachuted out safely, unharmed. Weldon reported making the tail gunner (navigator?) return to his post to get the pen he’d loaned him before bailing out. He always carried a pen in his pocket, for good luck, after that. He also courteously let everyone else go first as he despised parachuting. His pilot finally ordered him to bail out. Those who landed on one side of the Seine River (Gifforn, Koenig) were helped by the French underground back to England; all the rest were captured by the SS.

Weldon eventually ended up in POW camp Stalag Luft IV near Groß-Tychow (now Poland) for the duration of the war. He was also on the forced march in the winter of 1945 - one on the harshest winters on record. Beginning Feb.6, 1945, 10,000 Air Corps prisoners of war left camp at 10:00 a.m. to march from the German and Russian battle zone. They marched at least 636 km (395.2 mi.) all in 51 days. (Some report 600 miles in 86 days). While marching they were liberated by American troops of the 104th Division on April 26, 1945. Weldon was one of the lucky ones who survived.

The army fattened him up for a month, then sent him home to visit before serving out his last 6 months state-side. There he met his wife-to-be, Wanda, over a piece of pie at the local lunch counter. They raised 4 girls and 1 boy in Royse City.

He died of heart problems in July 2004. He was a tough survivor until the end. The doctors couldn't get his heart rate down which affected his body the way running a marathon would. After 3 days, the doctor said in 20 years of practice he'd never seen anyone live with that condition that long. He lived 7 days total. He made his kids laugh by waking up and asking "Am I dead yet?". He is survived by all his children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who remember him very lovingly & respectfully. He's our hero!

Sincerely,
Debra B. Garries
coat-tail relative

Date:
11/29/2006
Time:
12:03 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Don Hines
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: 1944-45
Graduation Class: 44-B
Class Location: Turner Field, Albany, GA
Comments: Referencing a question I posted earlier about “Pappy” in the 557th BS, I have discovered that my Father’s “Pappy” was Spencer L. Andress. I just found several photos from that time, including this one of his crew, dated May 28th, 1944. The hand written information is very hard to read but says something about “Crew #4, LC AAF”

Date:
11/28/2006
Time:
6:11 PM
 
Richard E. Robinson, Pilot, 43-A Lubbock, 323 Bomb Group, 455 Bomb Squadron

Date:
11/27/2006
Time:
10:00 AM
 
Rollin D. Childress, Enlisted/Sergeant Pilot, Retired Colonel, 42-H Ellington, 387th Bomb Group, 558th Bomb Squadron

Date:
11/26/2006
Time:
2:37 PM
 
My name is Diana Musquiz-Ramos. I am the daughter of Manuel Musquiz, 456th bomb squadron, 323rd bomb group, from Brownsville, Texas. My dad served the 456th Bombardment Squadron in the 1940’s and I remember him telling of when he was in England, Germany and Italy. I do believe that he and my mom attended one of the reunions. If anyone out there knew my dad, I would like to hear what he was like back then. My dad died in October 2001, from Alzheimer’s. While surfing the web, I came across the B26.com web site and found a picture of him #19. My mom and I had never seen this picture of him. If anyone has photos we would enjoy seeing them. We would enjoy hearing stories about my dad. Thank you.

Date:
11/25/2006
Time:
6:56 PM
 
Greetings, I would like to have the words to this whole song...I think it had about ten verses? If you have a copy, please send a copy. -George Parker, 397 BG, 596 BS
_____________________________________
An Army Air Corps Song (1940-45 era or earlier)
 
The title might be: Come On and Join the Air Corps
Come On and Join the Air Corps, Its A Grand Branch so the Say; You never
do no work at all, just fly around all day.
While others take to their studies, and so grow old and blind, we take
to the air without a care and you will never mind.
You'll never mind, You'll never mind;
Come on and join the Air Corps, and you will never mind

Now yu're flyingover the ocean,
The engine starts to spit....
Oh! Whata dish for the crabs and the fish,
But you will never mind..
You'll never mind, you'll never mind,
Come on and join the Air Corps and
You will never mind!

(numerous stanzas follow, I can't remember-- if you have a copy send to me).

Date:
11/25/2006
Time:
5:11 PM
 
Billie B. Boyd, Jr. 386th Bomb Group 554th Bomb Squadron 1942-1944
 
I offer a salute to all fellow-B-26 fliers and support personnel. I enjoy reading the posts, and am intrigued RE "the youngest B-26 combat pilots"---which prompts me to ponder just how young "the youngest B-26 combat enlisted non-pilot crew member" might have been. While I certainly do not believe that I was, I'm nevertheless interested in knowing the ages of "the youngest"... I was born June 6, 1925 and flew my first combat mission on 30 July 1943, (age 18 years, 1 month, 24 days) with the 386th Bomb Group---on its first combat mission.. I was flight engineer-gunner--flying my 50th and final mission on 12 April 1944.
 
Thanks,
Billie Boyd
 
Billie - the youngest combat crewman we know of to date was Clifford R. Wherley a gunner with the 17th. Bomb Group, 34th Bomb Squadron, in the M.T.O. He was sixteen when his age was discovered and he was then sent home.
 
Trevor Allen
Historian b26.com

Date:
11/25/2006
Time:
1:24 PM
 
Regarding SSgt John Muters posting:
 
Back in 1995, I was in contact with Col Roland Scott and he mentioned the following in a rapport:
 
The day before the mission: 13 May 1943. Because of training in low level flying and violent evasive action the original "Gawja-Jerk" was deemed not to be fit format combat. The stretched control cables had to be re-rigged and Scott was given another a/c, 41-18099 ER-V, "Lorraine". It was to be "Gawja-Jerk II". So they spent all afternoon scrubbing the name "Lorraine" of its fuselage. But they never had the time to put the name on the a/c. Also quote: "Being superstitious as I am, I worried about changing the name of a plane as we had done" unquote.
 
Capt Jack Crain took it on the 2nd mission on 17 May 1943 and it was lost.
 
On the first Mission. Col R.M. Stillman flew in number two spot, to Scott. On the second Mission; Col Stillman flew lead in: 41-7982 DR-P. He was shot down near Rotterdam, and taken POW.
 
Notes on a Xerox copy of Lorraine in Marrakech, showing the following;
1/ Capt. Roland B. Scott: Pilot
2/ Capt. Othel Turner: Co-Pilot Squadron Commander
3/ Lt. Charles Lane: Bombardier/ Navigator, died in San Diego: 7 July 1995
4/ T/Sgt. William Taylor: Radio/Gunner
5/ S/Sgt John Muters: Eng/Top Turret Gunner
6/ S/Sgt Tony De Maria: Tail Gunner, died approx: 1991
 
...and in a the letter that came with the above: "We have been unable for many years of effort in locating TSgt Bill Taylor or SSgt John Muters, both of them the best of air crewman"
 
John Maljers
Australia

Date:
11/24/2006
Time:
6:16 PM
 
Richard E. Robinson, B26 Pilot
323BG – 455BS
Class- 43A
 
Here is another story about the “Youngest B26 Pilot”: Richard was born 28 Aug. 1923 and enlisted in the AAAF on 8 Dec. 1941 at the age of 18 as a Pvt.. He always thought he was the youngest pilot at the start of the war, it seems he could have been near the top of the list.
 
At the age of 19 Richard earned his Silver Wings on 14 Jan. 1943. As a Flight Officer he was rated multi-engine and did his B26 training in early 1943. I think he was assigned to 336BG 478BS at Avon Park, FL.
 
He flew the northern route and was stationed at Earl Colne, #358, Eng., 8th AF and later to the 9th. His first combat mission, one of 68, he flew was on 16 Aug 1943 at the age of 19. At the time he must have been in a very small group of 19 year old combat mission, B26 pilots.
 
As pilot of Liberty Lady, YU-V41-31781, B26B, Richard’s missions included Schipol and D-Day.
 
Liberty Lady’s crew: Robinson, pilot; R.L. Oakley, co-pilot; Lloyd E. Kisner, nav./bombardier; H.G. Graham, engineer; L. Arthur, radio operator; Martin P. Dishong, tail gunner.
 
It is amazing that so much was entrusted in these young lads, so much confidence, skill and responsibility for any age. I had a hard time with these qualities with my own children when they asked to borrow the family car at that age. My hat is off to them and my heart is with them, God Bless.
 
Richard “Robby” passed away July 30 2005, he was my wife’s Uncle.

Date:
11/23/2006
Time:
10:34 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: SSgt. John Muters
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 450
B-26 (Gawja-Jerk) 41-17929
Pilot-Capt. Roland B. Scott
My Father-In-Law, SSgt. John Muters was in the first raid on Ijmuiden in 1943 with Capt. Roland Scott, apparently neither was in the second raid. Could someone tell us why, and any info. about the Gawja-Jerk, and the Gawja-Jerk II.  Their crew picture is under Capt. Scott's name on your site, and others.
 
Thank you.
Dan Penrod

Date:
11/23/2006
Time:
5:08 AM
 
Name: Axel Paul
Bomb Group: 397th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 599th and 596th
Years in service: 12/23/1944
Location: Eifel area

Comments: The crash site of a Martin B-26 „Marauder“ of the 397th Bomb Group was located in October 2006 – The plane was posted missing since 23. December 1944!

Some weeks ago, a forest worker from Germany surprisingly found metal wreckage from a plane shot down in WWII and parts of clothing. He handled his findings over to the German “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Luftkriegsgeschichte Rhein / Mosel e.V.“, a group of air war historians working in that area documentation the air war 1939-45 since many years. It soon became clear that the parts belonged to a B-26 – one piece of clothing had still a part of a soldier’s personal number painted on it. This number confirms with the personal number of a crewmember of the B-26G-10-MA (Serial-No. 43-34430) from 599.Bomb Squadron / 397.Bomb Group, coded 6B-B. The 397.BG was stationed at A-72 Péronne (France) when on 23. December 1944 an attack against the Mosel bridges at Eller was launched. 34 “Marauders” took off with 1.000 lb. GP bombs to destroy the bridges. Reaching the area near Manderfeld close to the Belgian-German border, the ship of 1st Lt. William P. Cook and his crew (Ward C. Swalwell, Jr., Eric M. Honeyman, Arthur J. Le Favre, Maurice J. Fevold, Frank G. Lane, Jr.) ; got a flak hit and went down with its crew. The plane and its complete crew of six were posted missing from that day until 2006. It is planned to make a detailed research together with US officials to excavate the remains of the crew and the plane.

The “AG Luftkriegsgeschichte Rhein / Mosel e.V.” asks to the veterans and friends of the 397. BG: Has anybody connections to the relatives of the crewmembers of this B-26?

Also of interest: Has anybody connections to the relatives of the crew of B-26B-55-MA (Serial-No. 42-96144) from 596.BS / 397.BG (coded U2-C “Banknite Petty”). This “Marauder” under the command of 1st Lt. Charles W. Estes and his crew (William D. Collins, Craig L. Lewis, James P. Mecri, William E. Epps, Bruno T. Daszkiewicz, Abraham J. Korn) was also shot down in the same area the same day – the entire crew of seven was killed.

We informed and work together with JPAC and USAMAA-E at Landstuhl. We do this also in several other cases too. We work close together with these officials since several years.
We found there evidence to think that this could be the crash site of Cook. We stopped our activities there and talk with the owner to keep the site free of illegal treasure hunter. Don't be concerned in that thinks. We do this job here in Germany since 30 years. The reason for the posting was to find relatives, friends etc. to get in touch with them for more details and other information's.
 
Frank Güth

Date:
11/22/2006
Time:
11:02 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Eli S. Radanovich
Bomb Group: 322 Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 452 Bomb Squadron
Comments: My name is Christine Bonneur. Eli S. Radanovich was my great Uncle. He was on Elliott S Moorhead's crew, which I found on website. I would appreciate any stories or memories from anyone who knew him!
 
Thank you and God Bless,
Christine Bonneur

Date:
11/19/2006
Time:
10:12 PM
 
I would give all the credit possible to any "Marauder" person or their story. Without any interest in refuting a word I read several stories of "youngest B26 combat pilot" in the past and now another in the B26 com. The last story is in the 2006 guest book dated 10/10/2006, 6:29 PM, regarding Clifton Freeman born Feb. 26, 1924. The entry makes 2 references as: "youngest B26 Combat Pilot" / article in one of their newsletters. The next entry was: "youngest in their group." I was born June 30, 1924. I entered combat in B26s during the spring of 1944 and flew with the 95th Sqd., 17th Bomb Group (a different group from Freeman.) . I served as a Flight Commander, Capt. Max Petrisek serial # XXXX540. I have been mentioned several times in the B26 com and entered several stories with all the suggested personal information. Oddly there are also several written documents of my small town newspaper, Bentleyville, Pa, publishing the story of my being "one of the youngest B26 pilots." I commend the writers of the Freeman article and just say you have another "like" brother in arms. I have never experienced a fellow Marauder who wasn't straight, gave his best and deserved all the credit bestowed on them. My regards to those comrades and I'm grateful for the fond memories of them. I would be glad to expound further on my service. Sincerely, Max Petrisek

Date:
11/19/2006
Time:
10:11 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Dan Bove
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 34th
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: E-43J
Class Location: Lawrenceville, Illinois
Comments: Hello. My Name is Tim Blanco. I am a grandson of the late Dan Bove of the 34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group (1942-1945).
 
About 2 years ago, I asked my grandfather for his old photos. My idea was to preserve these photos by scanning them and storing them on a computer. Upon completion of scanning these photos, the plan was to then review each photo with my grandfather and to try to document the people in the photos as well as the places and dates they were taken. Unfortunately, this project was never finished.
 
The reason for this email is to try finish this project as well as share these photos with others that might be interested. Here is the web page where the photos can be viewed: http://photos.timblanco.com/family/familyarchive/1940s/. Please note that there are separate albums for each year as well as a generic album "1940s" for items that an exact year is unknown. Each item can be blown up/made bigger by clicking on it. You can also leave comments for specific photos by clicking the 'item actions' and the 'add comment' menu at the left of the page. Any info you could provide regarding specific pictures would be greatly appreciated!
 
Also, if you have any photos containing my grandfather during this era, please let me add them to my archive.
 
Finally, feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might have interest in these photos.
 
Kind regards,
Tim Blanco

Date:
11/19/2006
Time:
9:52 PM
 
Looking for Marauder veterans:
 
I'm not a Marauder veteran. I was in the Air Force not long after the last Marauder was retired. I'm an Air Force veteran (1957-60), a retired senior American diplomat (1964-89), and an author (1954- ) of books, magazine articles, and newspaper columns about the Air Force. The last of my seventy-some books "Air Combat," by Robert F. Dorr (New York: Penguin, 2006) is about fighter pilots but I am now doing research and interviews for a book about bomber pilots and (especially) crew members. I write a weekly opinion column and a weekly history article in Air Force Times newspaper. For the weekly history article, which is aimed at young readers, I am especially looking for enough information about toggliers to give readers a brief version of their story. So far, I have not found a togglier who would be available to interview with me on the phone.
 
I am also a collector of photos and documents and have my own small archive on the B-26. A few years ago, I participated in discussions about the Marauder archives question - some veterans will remember me from that time.
 
I would like to hear from anyone associated with the B-26 Marauder willing to be interviewed about his experiences. In the long term, I want to talk to anyone connected with the aircraft but my most urgent, short-term interest is in finding a toggliers to talk to.
 
Robert F. Dorr
 
Let me answer your question by recalling my first experiences. I graduated from Bombardier Training and received my Wings as a qualified Bombardier and Celestial Navigator. Classified as a Bombardier-Navigator having been checked out on the Norden Bomb Sight which I must assume the average Togglier probably never saw or operated. My first 15 Combat missions were flown with Bob Brockett he was referred to as a Wingman. Wingmen flew on the wing of Flight Leaders, Box or Group Leaders and their Deputy Leaders, whose aircraft were supplied with Bomb sights. Wingmen did not have sights so my first 15 missions I was a togglier as a lieutenant. Later When I Joined Clyde Harkins crew we initially flew in the Flight- Deputy position with a sight I would only use when the Flight Leader were to abort. Again I functioned as a togglier, salvoing my bombs when the leader dropped. Now all aircraft without Norden or other Sights required someone to Salvo the bombs on the assigned leader. I would say that Mr. Dorr is correct in his description. I only want to clarify that there are exceptions to toggliers always being enlisted men, etc. -Warren Butterfield

Date:
11/19/2006
Time:
2:47 PM
 
Marauder Men - beside a book on the B-26 Marauder I am also working on a book on the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Marauder's worst enemy during World War II; I know the walls of flak were a very bad thing too. This is also a project for the American publishing company Squadron/Signal.
 
Perhaps there are some photos available taken by former Marauder crews. A number of former B-26 crews had visited airfields were the Me 262 was based and any photo showing these aircraft would be great.
 
Perhaps you can distribute my message to archivists and enthusiasts interested in the B-26. I thank you in advance for your kind co-operation. I am very interested in first hand accounts between the Messerschmitt Me 262 and Martin B-26 Marauders.
 
Sincerely,
Hans-Heiri Stapfer

Date:
11/16/2006
Time:
2:57 PM
 
History of the 69th Bombardment Squadron (M)

The story of the 69th Bombardment Squadron (M) really begins with the acquisition of B-26 aircraft in November 1941, by the 38th Bomb. Group, of which this squadron was a part. The group, composed of the 69th, 70th, and 71st Squadrons, and the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron, had until that time only seven B-18’s and five PT-17’s. In January 1942, the group was ordered to leave Jackson, Mississippi, where it had been stationed for several months, and the personnel departed in sections on January 17th, 18th, and 19th respectively for San Francisco, California, and overseas duty. Read more...
 
Thank you  Merv Neis, for sending the History of the 69th Bombardment Squadron to b26.com. Now our challenge is to add a dedication page for everyone listed on that page.

Date:
11/13/2006
Time:
11:36 AM
 
My family and I are seeking any information regarding my uncle who was an engineer-gunner in the 344th BG, 494 SQ. His name was Evan B. Cook, from Ohio, and in 1944 at the time of his return from ETO, he was a staff sergeant. He flew in the medium bomber, "Coral Princess". He was a member of the Silver Streak Marauder group. He flew under the command of Colonel Reginald Vance and the captain of his ship was Allyn. We found the number K9-R listed but do not understand what this number means.
 
Can anyone out there help us in this quest to help keep his memory alive.
 
Thank You,
Irene Greer Ihrig
 
Hi Irene - K9*R would have been the radio call number (buzz number) for that ship It would have been painted in large letters right behind the wing with the US insignia between the number nine (9) and the letter R All the aircraft in the 494BS would have had the K9 followed by the individual assigned letter Other aircraft the bomb squadron for example "Willie the Wolf" K9*D, "Tom's Tantalizer K9*H serial number 42-107573. Would you happen to know the serial number of "Coral Princess? And or have a photo of "Coral Princess". -Don Enlow

Date:
11/12/2006
Time:
1:14 PM
 
I'm Raymond K. Rowland. I got my flying training in the Western Flying Training Command. I graduated with class 44E at Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. I joined the 323rd bomb group (B-26) 453 bomb squadron in Earles Cone England, in July 1944.
 
I and a number of comrades direct out of twin engine advanced, learned we were a problem for the squadron as none of us had ever even been in a B-26. We were made copilots and assigned to a crew and learned the B-26 in a hurry. A couple of orientation rides, then off on missions!
 
The group moved to a base in southern England in August near the Isle of Wight (our flying pattern took us over the White Cliffs of Dover).
 
I flew on 50 missions, mostly with first pilot Charles A. Haught. (A few years ago our radio man, Bertram Abrahams (Allen) and I both attended a squadron reunion in Colorado Springs. Bert and I together had made a number of "excursions" in the French countryside. He also went with me to visit my brother Fran up near Metz. Fran was an ambulance driver attached to Patton's 3rd army. All that is another story!
 
Bert had located Haught and told him I had wanted to correspond with him but he said to Bert "oh, you mean that kid" (was 20, Haught was 24 or 25) and I never realized how, on 40 or so missions we flew together, that he felt that way about me, he never contacted me.
 
The ship that we flew most of the time was "949", I think it was "Miss Twister". We also used "QQQQ" (pronounced fork you) some times.
 
I finally was given some first pilot time, after VE day, and got my first pilot rating.
 
I did not pursue a career in flying after the war. I attended the University of Denver to get a BS/BA degree. I worked 25 years for a wholesale paper merchant both in office jobs and in outside sales. I retired in 1990.
 
Happy Holidays

Date:
11/12/2006
Time:
11:51 AM
 
Steve; I may have the answer to your question (question for B26 pilots). I spent the early part of my Marauder training in the old "Straights" and "A"s. One of the problems was what I presumed to be a malfunction of the fuel mixture. Sometimes under maximum a (take-off) power, an over leaning of fuel mixture would cause the exhaust pipes to become so overheated they literally glowed a bright red. Continuing flight was very dangerous. The hot pipes also produced a horrible racket. However the tremendous low-pitch noise made by those great engines and the electrically controlled props prevented the pilot's hearing the trouble. I understand that at some bases having this problem a watchman was stationed at the end of the takeoff runway and upon hearing the faulty engine would wave a flag (or a light at night) to notify the pilot of the danger, at which he would immediately execute an emergency landing before before becoming a casualty. Possibly this happened to your father's friend on takeoff and he proceeded on, never knowing the trouble until too late. If such was the case, and he lost one engine at low altitude in an "A" at night, and was a low-time Marauder pilot, he very definitely was in serious trouble. The problem was soon corrected, and later models did not experience this.
 
I hope this will shed some light on your father's friend's unfortunate death.
 
Robert Mims
Pilot, 323rd BG, 455th BS

Date:
11/10/2006
Time:
11:34 PM
 
Recently I walked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea and afterwards visited Gona. At Poppondetta airfield I saw the remains of a B-26 called "Barfly". Can anyone provide information about this aircraft? I am a pilot myself and an Australian National Serviceman, and naturally interested in our 'local' WWII history. Thanks, Brian Humphries
 
Brian - This is most likely to be 40-1529 of the 2nd Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group. It was last seen leaving the formation on the way to Buna 17th December 1942. Pilot was 1.Lt Franklin J Anderson, copilot F/O W L Scanlon RAAF. There were no survivors.
Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
11/07/2006
Time:
10:06 AM
 
Lyle Wolff, Marauder Man, 323rd BG, 455th BS and his crew.
 

Date:
11/07/2006
Time:
8:50 AM
 
I would like to write to all of you personally, but then I'd be at this all day. My dad, your friend, brother-in-law, uncle, Harold Luntey, passed away October 29, 2006 at about 12:25am. He had been in the hospital a little over a month with complications from his lung cancer. I never once heard him complain about anything while he was in the hospital. He was very much at peace when he died and there was no struggle. As you all know, he was a very practical man and had everything laid out for me. He cherished his family and his friends and he will indeed be missed. There will be a service, but I'm not sure when yet. I'll let you all know. Thank-you for your many forwarded jokes, correspondence, and friendship you have shown our dad over the years. I will try and respond to any new emails I get. Love, Lisa and Erin
 
Mr. Harold G Luntey, Marauder Man, served with the 386th BG/553rd BS and 394th BG/587th BS.

Date:
11/07/2006
Time:
8:48 AM
 
“The Last of the Bombardiers”
 
On a lonely road through a cold black site,
A miserable beggar trudges through the night;
The people whisper over their beers,
"There goes the last of the BOMBARDIERS" Read more...

Date:
11/06/2006
Time:
10:04 PM
 
To B26.COM - A few years back I contacted you at the request of a Marauder Man, Dan Murphy, I was helping to locate the crash site of his B-26, Blackack, 44-67903, March 23, 1945. You provided me some great information that I was able to give him to help locate his plane.
 
In the summer of 2003 he returned to Europe and found the crash site. His search was covered by the Dutch newspaper "Tubantia." Attached is the translated article which Mr. Murphy received. I thought you might be interested.
 
Thank you for your help.
Ken Buatala

Date:
11/06/2006
Time:
12:39 PM
 
Please have Mitch Mesa contact me regarding his uncle Capt. Frederick Partridge. He flew the Jolly Roger over seas with my husband Charles W McKenna as copilot. Have many pictures he may be interested in seeing. Eleanor McKenna

Date:
11/03/2006
Time:
5:03 PM
 
I would like for you to forward my contact information to the gentleman who left this post in your guestbook. I believe my father, William D. Lewis, served with his uncle in WWII. My father kept a journal which I have put on the web, along with some photographs, some of which I believe include Mr. Mesa's uncle. For your information, the website address for my Dad's journal is: http://www.kathyamen.net/journal

Date:
11/02/2006
Time:
6:01 PM
 
What a terrific web site. Thank you for all of your efforts to maintain it. This is in response to an inquiry posted on 4-7-2006 by David Alton White. David, if you visit John Perry's page you can find a photo of the Invadin' Maiden with whom I believe is Pilot Lt. Potter and Co Pilot George Judd. Unfortunately your father, John William White is not pictured. My father, John B. Perry knew George Judd and they flew many missions together. My dad's ship was The Flyin' Dutchman and the missions he flew are listed. Good luck finding more information on your father. - Carl A. Perry

Date:
11/02/2006
Time:
6:23 PM
 
Hi! My Father was Don Hines. He passed away one year ago today. I’ve been working on a “history” of his experience as a Marauder Man. Luckily he left a diary that covers that time. He joined the 557th BS, 387th BG on August 11, 1944. He mentions a “Pappy” several times in the diary but there is no other name associated with the nickname. His “Pappy” made captain on May 16, 1945. Another diary entry is as follows:
 
“May 11, ’45 – A71 - Pap & I had to test hop “Pappy’s Playboys” with a new engine (R) and a bad engine (L) - Ticklish situation - Cut out once flying to Y44.”
 
I was wondering if the “Pappy” mentioned below was the man Dad knew. My “history” is almost complete and I will be sharing it with any who are interested.
 
Thanks!
Mike Hines

Date:
11/02/2006
Time:
9:05 PM
 
Hello, my name is Joel Mattingly. I'm looking for information on my uncle, Howard Ryan Mattingly. I'd love to find a picture of his plane or any info you can help me to gather. I know he was a radio man and flew 65 missions with, I think the 585th and the 339 group. I'll ask him for sure what group no. he was with. Thanks so much and anything you might be able to share would be great. Any thing you can share would be wonderful. Ultimately I'd like to wind up with a picture of his plane, the "Little King" or pictures of his crew.
 
Howard Ryan Mattingly
9th Air Force
585th bomb squadron
394 bomb group
He went to radio school in Madison WI
Gunnery school in Florida.
 
That's all I have. any more you can provide we'd be so grateful.
Thank you,
Joel Mattingly

Date:
11/01/2006
Time:
10:56 PM
 
Dear Mabelle,
 
My son James Norgaard found your letter on this website. It was great to relive memories so many years later. He felt you might like to hear a little more of the story.
 
I am the Mary Jo, Lt. Col. Jens A. Norgaard named his plane after. His parents were both Danish, not Norwegian. He was born in Danish owned St. Croix. I am 91 years old and still have a mind and memories of your Jim (that’s what we called him). Read more...

Date:
11/01/2006
Time:
10:57 AM
 
Looking for information on my dad, Joseph D. Jenkinson, who was with the 443rd. Any and all info would be great. I believe he was with the unit from 43-45. -Scott Jenkinson

Date:
11/01/2006
Time:
9:12 AM
 
My name is Jim Tuscano. Carl Tuscano was my father, a member of the 386th, 555th BS. He was classified as missing in action October 7, 1944. One B-26 shot down that day was Serial # 131970 Code YA-F, named Spam Burger. My dad passed away October 26, 1984. I'm trying to piece together anything I can find out about him, that mission and anything about his crew.
 
To: Mr. Chester Klier..."Thank you for your dedication and service"

Date:
11/01/2006
Time:
8:32 PM
 
I have a question for pilots of the B-26. A friend of my Dad’s was killed in a state side accident. He was flying a B-26A1 at night. He was flying at around 2000-2500 feet and was flying somewhat fast. Eyewitnesses said there appeared to be flares coming from the plane. However, we know that the plane did not have flares on board so we assume there was fire, perhaps in the engine. Or is there something else that could look like flares? It appeared to witnesses that the plane was running wide open when it hit the ground. Was he trying to extinguish the fire by accelerating or trying to gain altitude? Or is there some other reason? Why would he have been flying cross country at such a low altitude? Was this a normal training mission?
 
Thanks,
Steve

Date:
10/30/2006
Time:
7:28 PM
 
Did you do your Basic Training at Walnut Ridge Army Air Field, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas? Do you know of someone, living or deceased, who served at Walnut Ridge AAF? If so, Please contact: Harold Johnson, Walnut Ridge Army Flying School Museum, 70 South Beacon Road, Walnut Ridge, AR 72476. Phone: (800) 584-5575.

Date:
10/26/2006
Time:
6:34 PM
 
My Granddad Robert H. Livingston Was a B-26 Pilot in WWII, the name of his plane was the "Roc" That is pretty much all I know about him, and I am really hoping someone can tell me something about him and his time as a Pilot. Thank you very much.
 
Sincerely, his Grandson,
Robert H. Livingston

Date:
10/24/2006
Time:
4:29 PM
 
Reamer Sewell, Age 85, As a World War II bombardier, he recorded in a secret diary the months he spent in a German POW camp
 
Reamer E. "Buzz" Sewell, a retired airlines ticket agent and Air Force navigator and bombardier who kept a secret diary documenting his experiences as a World War II prisoner of war, died of heart failure Friday at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Baltimore. The longtime Severna Park resident was 85. Read more...

Date:
10/23/2006
Time:
10:14 PM
 
My uncle flew the B26 in the ETO. BG323 squadron 455. His name was Capt. Frederick Ray Partridge. Anyone out there that knew or the name of the plane he flew, I would love to here from you. He made it out of that war, but then he was shot down in august 1953 in the Korean War and his body was never recovered. I think he was flying a P51 in Korea. I don't really remember him. I was 3 years old at the time. I would just like to say a special thank you to all pilots and crews of the B26. A job well done, I might add. -Mitch Mesa

Date:
10/23/2006
Time:
7:12 PM
 
Hello - I am the historian for the 474th FG Association. The 474th was a 9th AF P-38 outfit in the ETO during WWII. I am doing research for a friend of mine trying to find out information about his late grandfather who was a B-26 Marauder crewman in the 9th AF. Below is all I have to go on for now:
 
Name: Harry J. Lester
Rank: 1Lt.
Position: Co-pilot
Unit Unknown, but flew with the 9th AF out of the UK.
 
I am continuing to search the web for info on Lt. Lester but would appreciate any possible leads you can provide.
 
Cheers,
Gary D. Koch, Major, USAF (Ret)

Date:
10/23/2006
Time:
6:58 PM
 
Hello - Looking for information about the Robert F COLEMAN crew. Shot down by German Fighters of II./JG 26 on February 21st 1945 at Vragender, in the East of Holland. B-26G 43-34562 394 BG -M- 585 BSQ. Five of crew were killed in fighter attack/crash (Blossman/Black/McFarland/Brennan/Coleman). Buried at Lichtenvoorde, reburied in Ardennes. Individual identification proved to be impossible, and all received a group burial in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.
 
3 crewmen baled out:
Edward H Adamowicz CP
Paul J Barnochia or Barnaskie # (name badly legible in MACR) Nav
Karl T Gilgen TTG
 
All information about this crew is welcome!
With kind regards,
Karl Lusink
Chairman of ARGA
Drempt, The Netherlands
www.arga-nl.nl

Date:
10/22/2006
Time:
10:51 AM
 
Hello, Mr. Richard Ainsworth! My name is Mike Cushing, and one of my great-uncles flew the B-26, and I think he was with the 387th. His name is Leonard Liekhus, he was a 2nd Loo, and he flew a plane named "Contrary Lady". I'm trying to get info on his A/C number and squadron letters, as I am a professional modeller building out a B-26 as a gift for him. Is there a roster of aircrews and aircraft they flew in? I appreciate any help you might be able to offer. Thank you in advance. Also, THANK YOU for your service to our country during the war.
 
Sincerely yours,
Michael D. Cushing, MD

Date:
10/17/2006
Time:
7:05 PM
 
Marauder Man: Bill Ryherd
BombGp: 397th
Squadron: 598th
Years in service: 42-46
Graduation Class: 42J
Class Location: Lubbock, TX
 
Bill was a B-26 pilot in the ETO and stationed at Rivenhall, England. The name of his plane was the Sharon Rozanne II. He had flown 35 missions and was due for some liberty in Scotland but he and his co-pilot chose to fly one more mission into France. He was shot down on August 4, 1944, while trying to bomb a bridge near Chartres, France. Bill parachuted out of the plane after his crew and landed in a field. He broke his ankle and was taken in by some farmers who eventually got him to a safe house in Paris. The man who led him to the safe house eventually turned him and the other pilots over to the Gestapo. Bill was taken by boxcar, along with 167 other men, to Buchenwald. He was there for three months and was then taken to Stalag Luft III, Stalag XIII, and finally to Stalag VIII. Bill is looking for anyone who might know what happened to his co-pilot Ira Vance. He never heard from him and has always wondered what happened to him. He would also welcome any correspondence from anyone who cares to share their experiences with him.
 
Thank you all.
Karen Bale

Date:
10/17/2006
Time:
11:05 AM
 
Re.: 344th bomb group D-day 1st. mission
 
Hi to you all on the B26.com ! My name is Jesper Nørregaard – I’m 41 years old and from Denmark I’ve made an interesting and jaw-dropping discovery when surfing my way onto the site of B26.com. I’m a far away relative to Major Jens Norgaard flying the Mary Jo Marauder 56th airborne on D-day. Mr. Jens Norgaard was the son of emigrated Nørregaard-family leaving Denmark to settle down on the Virgin Islands. He was the cousin of my Grandmother who grew up and lived in Denmark – and gave birth to my father. When the Virgin Islands were sold to USA by the Danish government in 1917, all inhabitants got the choice of being American citizens or remain Danish. The family decided for America and changed name from Nørregaard to the much easier Norgaard. Actually I have met Mr. Norgaard and his wife Mary Jo when they were visiting Denmark in 1989, as they wanted to meet their relatives in Europe before it would be too late. Several times I’ve been told from my relatives that Mr. Norgaard was flying the leading US bomber on D-day – but stories do tend to develop over the years, so I never really took notice – I always thought “yeah he was there all right but in the very first bomber – nope never”. With that wonderful internet, I one day tried to search for the words “Jens Norgaard D-day” , and suddenly this marauder-site b26.com came onto my screen with a picture of Mr. Norgaard and crew at his plane Mary Jo named after his wife. Below was displayed the Box-formation of 56 airborne on D-day with Jens Norgaard & Bob Witty as the very first plane. Let me tell you It gave me chills! After all, D-day was a brave and necessary task, which changed both Europe and the rest of the World in the right direction – giving that freedom me and my family enjoy today. And there it was – it was confirmed that my family and blood was in that very first plane. Therefore I would be very much interested in reading more stories and receive some more pictures (if possible) relating specifically to the Mary Jo with Major Norgaard and crew. If someone should have some footage or stories on their PC, I would be very very thankful if you could supply some of this by email. Over the years, I’ve grown an interest in the pedigree of my family and I would be very happy, if I could add a wonderful chapter, telling the story of Mr. Jens Norgaard on D-day – as detailed as possible. It’s a wonderful web-site by the way.
 
Thank you very much in advance for any kind help!
Best Wishes,
Jesper Nørregaard
Odense
Denmark
 
Here's link to the photo etc of Major Jens Norgaard and an article by Bob Witty [D-Day lead crew].
 
The book edited by Lambert D. Austin 344th Bomb Group (M) "Silver Streaks" History & Remembrances World War II have some pages about this D-Day mission + some aerial photos of the beaches in France on D-Day. These pages attached as PDF-file. It's large, but hopefully Jesper Nørregård in Denmark can receive it.
 
The plane that Captain Jens A. Norgaard flew from Savannah, Georgia to England via the Southern Route was 42-95922. The order for Shipment No. 5109-CZ was issued from HQ Third Airforce Staging Wing at C-6, Hunter Field, Georgia, on January 9th 1944 (info from book ed by Austin).
 
Crew on this flight:
P Captain Jens A. Norgaard
CP 1st Lt. Ralph E. Finch
N 2nd Lt. Louis (NMI) Offenberg
CC M/Sgt Erble F. Leamons
RG Sgt Leroy R. Weaver.

42-95922 was assigned to 495th BS (code Y5-?) and was shot down by FLAK near Malo-les-Bains in France (near Dunkirk) and crashed on May 11th 1944, MACR 4515. Pilot was 1st Lt. Ralph E. Finch.
 
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
10/13/2006
Time:
9:44 PM
 
Hello - Marauderman's Name: Paul H. Guertin.  I was looking for info on my family name.  I came across a Paul Guertin from the B26 group.  When I clicked on it, a picture of a plane with Idiot's Delight with the name Paul Guertin from 1944.  My dad was in the Army Air Force at that time.  I remember a picture of my dad standing by a plane and recalling the name to be "Idiot's Delight".  The picture looks like him.  I was wondering if anyone can tell me if they remember him and if they recall if he was from Holyoke, MA, as my dad was.  My dad was a tail gunner.  The rest of his service time, other than being a tailgunner and being in France is not well known to me.
 
Thank you very much for any info,
Donald P. Guertin
 
The post he refers to is at your site and refers to 322nd BG 451st BS, then the Marauder "Idiot's Delight" must be 41-34847 SS-K. There were at least five Marauders with that name in various Bomb Groups of 9th AF and 12th AF. -Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
10/12/2006
Time:
2:17 PM
 
Thanks - For all your help in winning the war in Europe, we could have not done it with out all your sacrifices. It was the combined forces of the men on the ground & the men in the air that stopped the axis of evil from trying too rule the world.
 
W.T Walker Jr.
644th Tank Destroyer Battalion
B Company

Date:
10/11/2006
Time:
7:35 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Hillis E. Quick
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: ?
Years in service: 1943-1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments:  I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about the numbers used for the bomb group, squadron, etc. All I know is that on the back of one of my father's pictures it says, "Led the 344th over (cannot read the city) Germany in this old wagon, for my 55th mission".
 
I do know he was a pilot of a B-26, and he received the DFC, two bronze clusters and the Purple Heart. His medals were stolen from his house several years ago, and my brother got them back for him. He died last year at the age of 86. He never talked much about the war, and only told us a few things.
 
I am very proud of my father, and also proud of all of the rest of you brave men who flew the B-26. If anyone remembers Hillis Quick, I'd be happy to know.
 
Sally Quick

Date:
10/11/2006
Time:
7:35 PM
 
I am trying to find any info I can about Robert C Hoff who was in class 43 F at Pampas Air Force Base I think he went to B26s from flight school.
 
Wally Hoffman

Date:
10/10/2006
Time:
6:29 PM
 
Hi - could provide flight log information for B-26 pilot Clifton Freeman, 322BG 451BS, KIA 2/29/44.
 
Do you have any information on the "youngest B-26 combat pilot?" There was an article in one of their newsletters of a pilot who was a month or two short of his 20th birthday. Clifton Freeman was born Feb 29, 1924. He enlisted March 1942 and was commissioned just short of his 19th birthday. He flew his plane to England in June, 1943. Assuming he was on duty in June, he would have been 19 years and 4 months old.
 
I have a local newspaper clipping from April 21, 1944. Clifton Freeman was seen in a newsreel shown at a local theater. His parents (my great aunt and uncle) through the help of the theater owner, was able to obtain a couple of photos from the newsreel. Also in the same news clip, a B-26 is shown belly landing at its base in England. The voice over said the pilot was the youngest in the group, a nineteen year old. I am making the assumption this was Clifton Freeman. Would your records validate that?
 
I have purchased a copy of the newsreel showing Clifton and the belly landing. It was purchased from the University of San Diego bookstore. I don't know if you are aware of their availability and thought I should mention it.
 
Thank you.
John Smithwick
 
large image...
 
John, thank you for helping us tell the story of Marauder Men. MS

Date:
10/10/2006
Time:
7:26 AM
 
Name: Edward B. Moser, 1LT
BombGp: 322
Squadron: 451
Years: ?-'44
Class:
Location: Biloxi, MS
 
My name is Robert Moser and I am the youngest son of Marauder Man 1 LT Edward B. Moser. I enjoy the stories and information shared on this web site.
 
My father was assigned to the 322/451 and was a the co-pilot on Major Simler's crew that was shot down on 8Jul44. He and Simler evaded escape, were assisted by the Underground and returned safely to the US. As with many WWII veterans, he simply returned to his previous job and put the war behind him. He married Betty Kane and raised 7 children on the North Side of Pittsburgh, Pa. We lost him in November 1979.
 
I enlisted in the USAF in 1974. My first assignment was to Columbus AFB, Ms. My parents drove to Florida in early 1975 and stopped to see me in Columbus. My father made a comment to my mother that he felt he would come across someone he knew from his time in the service. Interestingly, he made little or no mention of his time in the military, we just knew he was a pilot who was shot down and came home. As a child it seemed to me that every pilot was just shot down then went home!
 
I took my parents on a tour of the base. We stopped at the hangar where I worked, I showed them the T 38 and T 37, and visited various base facilities. When we were leaving I took my normal left turn onto Simler Boulevard. My father remembered "a Simler" so to continue the tour I stopped by the main entrance of the base where there was a monument to General George B. Simler, Commander, Air Training Command. After reading the monument he said he thought this was the Major who he was shot down with. I was shocked! We went to the base library, did some research and we confirmed it was the same man. That evening we all sat in my rented mobile home and my dad told us the whole story of his last mission. It was a great father-son moment.
 
I would like to know if there is any other information available about that aircraft; i.e. Serial Number. I recall Simler named his plane after his wife, she had an uncommon name, and I've failed to find any reference to her on the Internet. I am also hoping that you may be able to put me in contact with George B. Simler V who left a posting on 25Dec02. Also, any information about photos that may include my dad will be appreciated and surely bring a smile to my mother's face.
 
Bob Moser

Date:
10/10/2006
Time:
7:25 AM
 
I was in SAC, stationed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane WA. I was ECM and Radar recon on a B-36 from Oct '54 to Feb 57. During one period of time we had a 2nd Lt assigned to the crew also named Andy Anderson. Is he related to the Andy Anderson B-26 pilot? If so, is he still living? I wondered if he would remember any of the B-36 moments on the crew of Captain John Herberg.
 
Richard Lynch

Date:
10/9/2006
Time:
2:38 PM
 
Clifford A. Thompson, Pilot
397th BG, 599th BS
Plane: Lassie Come Home
 
Since my message of 8/13/06, I have been provided a copy of "Rivenhall, the History of an Essex Airfield" [Rivenhall], and I found the following about my brother: "The next day saw the first fatality for the 397th when the group were assigned a Noball target at Le Grismont in the Pas de Calais. Lt. Thompson's aircraft was hit by flak and 2nd Lt. Frank Evanick, the bombardier was killed when a fragment penetrated his compartment. With the co-pilot wounded and severe damage to the hydraulics and rudder and elevators, the plane returned to Rivenhall and landed safely. 'Tommy' Thompson had a bad spell in May when on four occasions his aircraft received widespread damage, but each time his skillful airmanship got the crew home. During the mission of May 24th against the well defended harbour at Dieppe his aircraft was hit in the main fuel tank and other parts, but he pressed on with the attack. His right tyre had also been punctured which caused some anxious moments when landing at Rivenhall. Thompson was in trouble again two days later on May 26th when attacking the Luftwaffe airfield at Chartres. One of his engines began running rough soon after turning away from the target and he had to feather the propeller. Three of the Mustang escort kept him company on the two hour flight back, on a single engine, and he landed safely at Rivenhall." For this mission he received the DFC.
 
Cliff made 40 missions in Lassie Come Home. On the plane's 41st mission, he was assigned to other duties, and another crew took the plane. Sadly, neither Lassie Come Home nor any of the crew came home that time. Cliff went on to fly twenty-two more missions, one of them being over UTAH Beach on D-Day. Following 62 missions, Major Thompson was re-assigned to the States to train B-26 pilots.

Date:
10/9/2006
Time:
1:49 PM
 
I want to thank all of the Marauder men and their wives who were so friendly and answered many of the questions that I had for them at the reunion Rendezvous of the 391st Bomb Group that was held in Scottsdale two weeks ago. My dad was a member of the 391st but he died in 1972 and my sisters and I never really had any history about our dad’s missions because he did not talk about that time period of his life. The stories and information about flights, planning, bomb runs, life in captivity, and what the Marauder Men did once they returned home were very interesting and informative. Please keep telling your stories to your children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. You have been referred to as the “Greatest Generation” and I truly believe that description applies to the group of individuals that my wife and I had the honor of meeting in Scottsdale.
 
Thank you,
Rich Erickson
Son of Clarence Erickson
391BG – 575 BS

Date:
10/9/2006
Time:
10:15 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: John R. Hartman
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 587th
Years in service: 1943-1946
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Home Town: Connelsville, PA
Comments: My wife's father, John Hartman, was a B-26 tail-gunner (we think) and was shot down a number of times, we think in Germany once. We're sure of the Bomb Group and Squadron. We know very little as he didn't talk about it much when he was alive. Any history, friends, stories or fellow crewmen would be greatly appreciated. We would just like to know more.
 
Thank you, in advance.
 
Alf H. Peterson

Date:
10/8/2006
Time:
10:39 AM
 
Name: Erdman Kiehm
BG 323
Sq. 453
Years 1938-1945
Class 42J
Class location Chandler, AZ
I flew 65 combat missions in the ETO, 3 battle stars, 13 Air Medals & a DFC. My Bomber was named Truman's Folly (note: crew chief Nels Cassano) because it flew back from a mission on one engine which Truman said it could not do.
 
Follow-up: Yes, I remember Sgt. Cassano, jogged my memory a little. Never did thank him enough for the great job he did taking care of Truman's Folly. Do you have his phone number? Would like very much to talk to him.

Date:
10/8/2006
Time:
10:29 AM
 
Mr. Crouchman, 387th BG historian - attached you will find that what happened to the 387th. On 25 February 1944 when 4 Marauders were shot down by FW 190’s of JG 26. This happened to take place just west to southwest of Walcheren Island.
 
I am researching the air and sea-war at and over the Dutch Islands. The chain of (former) islands in the southwest of Holland. My research is done on a day to day base and so I arrived at the point where I believe I could use some help from a dedicated 387 historian and hence my request.
 
What I need is a summary of how the 387th. Experienced this mission something like Mr. Chester Klier has done with his 386th diary of missions.
 
Would it be possible to provide such details as to make this history more complete than otherwise feasible?
 
I am always ready and willing to co-operate and provide assistance.
 
Looking forward to your reply, I remain
 
Wim de Meester,
The Netherlands

Date:
10/8/2006
Time:
10:20 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Frederick J. Foster
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 494th
Years in service: 1943- 1945 (?)
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: What a wonderful site. I am friends with Fred. He was a b-26 pilot with the 344/494. As I recall he said the name of his plane was "Flak Hak III". Any information about reunions, or people who want to contact Fred can email me. Thank you again for this truly inspirational site.
 
Mike Lode

Date:
10/2/2006
Time:
5:27 PM
 
Any information regarding the death, or mission, of 2nd Lt. Albert Paine KIA May 29,1944. Buried in the American Ardennes cemetery? My uncle was pilot of a B-26 I understand and his headstone indicates he belonged to the 576 Bomb squadron, 392 bomb group. No surviving family members exist to fill me in. -Humble appreciation, Larry Miller
 
Larry Miller - This will most certainly answer many of your questions.
 
Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen
 
Albert E. Paine
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # XXXX721
576th Bomber Squadron, 392nd Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered the Service from: Colorado
Died: 29-May-44
Buried at: Plot A Row 14 Grave 13
Ardennes American Cemetery
Neupre, Belgium
Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster

http://www.b24.net/missions/MM052944.htm 
http://www.abmc.gov/search/wwii.php  search for Paine Albert

Date:
10/2/2006
Time:
12:12 PM
 
USAAF Historian: My dad, Captain Harry T. O'Brien, was head controller for 312th Fighter Control squadron (Ninth Air Force) supporting Patton on his war across Europe. I know he controlled P-47s and 51s, but I don't know if he also had responsibilities relating to B-26s. I have heard that he occasionally helped B-26s that couldn't make it back to their bases find friendly landings. I hadn't started my quest with any knowledge of the role B-26s had in close ground support - but am learning as I go.  I'm curious if his work would have involved controlling / supporting B-26 crews when they were engaged in close air support for the ground troops. And if so - where could I find more information regarding what contributions my fathers group might have made.
 
Dad has been gone for over 40 years and I am assembling some information for his children & grandchildren that number about 30. Great to know there are still folks out there keeping the stories and the history alive. Any expanded information on my Dad's role for the B-26 pilots would be of great interest and appreciated.
 
Thanks in advance for any info.
Tom O'Brien

Date:
10/2/2006
Time:
11:49 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Col. Allen Wright Stephens
Bomb Group: 379th
Bomb Squadron:? (Would like to know)
Years in service: Career
Graduation Class: Army Aviation Cadet Program (?)
Class Location:
Comments: My uncle, ret. Col. Allen Wright Stephens, is going to have a 90th Birthday party on Oct. 28th, 2006. He was a Marauder pilot with the 379th bomb group who participated in the Utah Beach D-Day bombing on June 6th, 1944. If you enter his name on line, you will find information on him, principally his diary of his experiences, quoted by Stephen Ambrose. He was married to the late Arlene Stephens, also in service. I would like to invite all who might care to participate to send him greetings.
 
I would also like to know more about the 379th bomb group, such as which insignia would have been his and anything that would be of graphic interest since I am a scrap booker and would like to make him a memory book, hence the greetings and memorabilia.
 
I believe he is a member of the Marauder Association and perhaps an officer as well?
 
Thank you for any assistance you can provide me; I know it would also be appreciated by my uncle who remains proud of his marauder days.
 
Linda Stephens Collins

Date:
10/1/2006
Time:
1:50 PM
 
On or around 6 September 1944 a B-26B made a belly landing along the road between Poperinge and Proven in the SW corner of Belgium. A picture of the aircraft shows no readable serial number or squadron code. The area was liberated by that time and since crew seemed to be accounted for, no MACR was filed.  The mishap is not recorded as a "normal" accident either, according to the AAIR database. It therefore seems to have gotten into trouble during an operational mission.  Interestingly enough, the USAAF Chronology says that on 9 September 1944 B-26s flew a leaflet dropping mission to N. France and Belgium, but this sets the date a few days later then the presumed date of the forced landing.  Who can shed some light on the identity of the B-26 and/or crew involved?  Any help is greatly appreciated.
 
Regards,
Leendert
Brugge/Belgium

Date:
9/30/2006
Time:
12:10 PM
 
I am trying to get information on Maj. Paul J. Stach who perished on D-Day (6 June) 1944,while leading his formation of B-26 Marauders against a target at Caen France .I know he was from Rosenberg, Texas and belonged to the 9th Air Force 391st Bombardment Group stationed at Matching Green RAF air base England. Any information about Maj. Stach would be appreciated . -Allan Pantin
 
There was in fact a photo of Major Stach for sale online some time ago. Major Paul J. Stach was with 323rd BG 455th BS. Their base at D-day was Earls Colne north of London. The mission to Caen Road Junctions was 323rd BG mission #199, and the third on D-Day. 36 Marauders participated on this afternoon mission. Major Stach's Marauder was YU-W 41-31961, MACR 5527.
 
From the book "Marauder Men" by John O. Moench page 203: "With lowering clouds, the Marauder attack in the Caen area went in between 2000 and 3000 feet. Well-directed, intense 20 MM and 40 MM antiaircraft fire was encountered with the Group losing one aircraft, that of Maj. Paul J. Stach. Six parachutes were seen, suggesting that Maj. Stach stayed with his aircraft and tried to to belly it in. Rumor soon reached the Group that Maj. Stach survived the crash but was shot by the Germans when he refused to cooperate with them during interrogation."
 
The auction referred to the book "Time Over Targets. The Story of the 9th Bombardment Division."
 
This is in fact a small 34-page pamphlet issued by the "Stars and Stripes" during WWII, and passed by censor for mailing home. It's printed in Paris, and last date mentioned in text is February 22nd 1945.
 
"Maj. Paul J. Stach, Rosenberg, Texas, led his formation against a target at Caen D-Day. While approaching his bomb run at 2000 feet through intense light flak, his Marauder was hit by a series of bursts which knocked out his left engine. Nevertheless, he continued his bomb run. The left engine burst into flames. More flak started another fire in the bomb bays. Maj. Stach held his plane in formation until his bombs were away, enabling the remainder of his formation to bomb. He continued to hold his plane straight and level until his crew bailed out. He attempted to escape as the plane nosed downward, struck the earth and exploded. His parachute had not opened.
 
As there are two versions here, I will assume that the MACR can shed more light on this history.
 
Best regards
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
9/30/2006
Time:
12:08 PM
Hello - I am a navigator on a MC-130W in the USAF. After searching for lineage of the 73rd Bomb Squadron it brought me to your website. You and your team have done a wonderful job compiling stories and photos of the B-26 and her crews. As the squadron historian I was looking for any kind of 73rd history I can get my hands on. Any kind of information and pictures would be helpful. If you know of anyone who might have served in that squadron I would love to email or call them. Thanks for everything. And keep up the great work for the B-26 Marauders.

K.C.

K.C. - The 73rd Bomb Squadron became a component of the 28th. Bomb Group (provisional) at Elmendorf, Alaska. It operated against the Japanese in the Aleutians from 4th June 1942. More details to come...
 
Sincerely,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
9/30/2006
Time:
12:07 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Robert “Pappy“ Leggett
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 1943-45
Graduation Class: 44-C
Class Location: Laughlin Field, Del Rio, Texas
Comments: My father was in the first class at Del Rio for B-26 pilot training. He flew 41 B-26 missions in Europe and was given the nickname “Pappy” because he was so much older than most of the crews – 27 when he went into the service.
 
I just found your great sight last week. I’ve sent you a posting for the guest book for my father but also have some information for Michele Pusateri Nichols who was looking for information on her uncle Mathew “Buck” Pursateri in 1999/2004.
 
My father and Buck were in the first class at Del Rio for B-26 pilot training and tent mates in France. Bob flew 41 B-26 missions in Europe and was given the nickname “Pappy” because he was so much older than most of the crews – 27 when he went into the service.
 
My parents spent the first few days of their honeymoon in Oct., 1945 visiting the families of Buck and his crew. Buck’s was one of the 11 planes from the 387th shot down on December 23, 1944. Pappy and Buck had an understanding that if either of them didn’t make it back; the survivor would stop to see the families of the others crew as soon as possible after his return. He considered that his hardest mission and my mother said if she could make it through that, she could make it through anything with him. They’ve been happily married for 61 years. William Mullican was Daddy’s AG. His original crew were R. F. McVey, co-pilot; E. J. Krane, Bombardier; R. H. Morris, Eng. Gunner; T. F. Minges, O.G.; and W. M. Mullican, A. G. (1st 13 missions). Mullican needed the hours so flew that fateful day in Pusateri’s plane.
 
My mother kept all his letters from the time he entered the service until his discharge in 1945 and had them bound into a book, Dearest Sylvia which she gave him upon his return. I hadn’t gotten around to reading it until this year but it’s a good description of everyday life from boot camp thru the war. I’m working on an index of all the servicemen mentioned in it and hoping to get the book inputted into the computer this year so I can send copies to you and some of the other places with B-26 Archives. He also has a bound photo album of pictures from the war including a few service men from his squadron.
 
Bob is 90 and pretty frail but would like to talk to Michele.
 
Please let the historian – Trevor Allen know that the name of the AG that went down with Pusateri was Mullican, not Mulligan. I have a copy of his obituary. My father kept in touch with Sarah, his widow until she died a few years ago. Sarah and her son visited us when I was about 2 and I visited them in 1981.

Date:
9/30/2006
Time:
12:05 PM
 
Hi - My father was Joseph A. Meere and flew with the 310th BG, 428th BS on the B-25. He was a Navigator/WG. He was stationed in Corsica last half of 1944. I notice his name is on the 320th Roster. I believe he may have flown a mission or two with the 320th. He died in March 1994. Can anyone tell me if they knew him or know someone who might? Why would his name would be on the 320th Roster?
 
Thank You,
Jonathan J. Meere

Date:
9/30/2006
Time:
12:04 PM
 
Hi, I am Malcolm Hobbs, and my family has owned the airfield at Earls Colne, England since 1965, when my father Eric Hobbs bought the airfield to farm. Well, a lot of changes have happened to the airfield here since then, and although there is still some farming, most of the airfield is now a thriving active area, with a 27-hole golf and country club, (including a hotel, swimming pool, indoor tennis courts and a gym,) and also there is a large business park at the western end of the airfield which provides employment to over 1200 local people.
 
If you are interested to find out more for your members I would be more than happy to provide you with photo's of the airfield as it is now (I have attached a few for your interest ) and send them to you in a CD-Rom. Also, my mother has compiled a short history of the airfield since we took it over which I can send to you if you would like.
 
The main reason for me contacting you now is that we decided to commission a memorial to all those who served here during the second world war, and it has now been finished and put in place beside the first tee on our golf course here, so that when golfers come to play here, (some from all over Europe) they can pause to reflect on the history of the airbase. I thought that you would like to let your members know this at your reunion next month.
 
Also, we are preparing a much larger memorial to be displayed at the entrance to the airfield, and this will be ready in about 6 month's time, unfortunately I don't have an artists impression to show you, but will keep you updated if you wish.
 
You can find out a little more about us on our website www.ecbp.co.uk
 
Yours sincerely,
Malcolm Hobbs
 
View large images here...

Date:
9/30/2006
Time:
11:14 AM
 
One of the 323d/455th is looking for a crew member. Pilot Robert (Bob) Mims was shot down in 1944. He took the aircraft down and survived the crash-landing. He was able to exit the aircraft and ran for cover. He, and crew member, John Brush, were captured separately and spent about 15 months in a stalag in Russia near the Caspian Sea. Mims would like to contact John Brush, his best friend. Brush was originally from Washington state and was known to have lived in Florida. If anyone knows John Brush, or knows where he is, we would appreciate any information you can provide. I will see to it that Mims gets the information. There is nothing more I would love than to be able to give him this information at the 323d's annual reunion.
 
Marauder men: Thank you all for the courage and love for America you demonstrated when you were oh-so-young and defending our freedom. The 2nd generation Heritage Flight members will not forget you and we are now teaching the 3rd and 4th generations the history and importance of the Marauder in WWII.
 
I am the event planner for the 455th Bomb Squadron Association, 323d Bomb Group (M). The 2006 reunion was held in St. Louis, MO. Specs: Reunion dates - 23-27 September, 2006; Location: Sheraton-Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri. Special events include a private tour of the historic FOX Theatre and a special tour of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum. The staff of the Holocaust Museum are very excited about meeting these Marauder men because they are the first WWII group of veterans to visit the museum. The staff have planned many opportunities to honor these men and have arranged for the group (along with families and guests) to have a private meeting with a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp.
Anyone who wants more information about the reunion can contact me via the Guest Book. We would be happy to send you a 323d/455th newsletter containing specifics about the upcoming reunion. If you live near St. Louis and cannot attend the planned events, we invite you to join us in the hospitality suite for a glass of your favorite brew. Anheuser Busch is sending over a bunch of its best Bud and Michelob! Schlafly Brewery is doing the same. Snacks and beverages on us. The stories are on you.
 
Nina Brewer, daughter of T/SGT Frank, navigator/radio operator, 69 missions primarily out of Earls Colne, England, now 89 years old.

Date:
9/16/2006
Time:
10:36 PM
 
Re: Richard "Dick" Lane
 
He flew with 24th Squadron RAF but was attached to the SAAF based in southern Italy towards the end of WW2 and was radio operator/gunner.
 
My Father has recently passed away (at 82 yrs) and told very little of his war years. Now that we have lost him I am curious to hear from anyone who new him and of the years he kept so secret.
 
Peter Lane

Date:
9/11/2006
Time:
2:16 PM
 
Someone named (John) Jack Lane asked if anyone had information on some men he knew. One of which was Irving Pincus. He was my grandfather and I  was searching for more information from the war. John asked for more information but left no contact information.
 
Thanks,
-Josh Pincus

Date:
8/30/2006
Time:
1:50 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Frank C. Porter
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 559
Years in service: KIA December 23, 1944
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Looking for information.
 
Back in January I asked a question about my Uncle. This is Jim Stevens response: To Ken Porter: A-71 was the airfield the 387th bomb group was operating out of during Dec. 1944. The airfield was in Clastres, France, near St. Quentin. If Frank Johnson was lost in Dec. 44, there is a good chance he was shot down on Dec 23, 1944 on one of the Mayen RR Bridge missions (bombardier Warren Butterfield), which was a very tough mission for the group. The 559th lost six planes on that day. My father was a pilot in the 559th during that time, but he does not recall Frank Johnson. Jim Stevens, son of Joe Stevens, 387, 559 pilot.
 
To Jim Stevens, Joe Stevens and other members of the 559th. My apologies but I've believed, for the past 55 years, that my uncle had kept his biological father's name and did not take his adoptive father's last name (Porter). Hence, I've been looking for Frank Johnson. Sheesh. Let's try again.
 
I'm interested in any information regarding Frank C. Porter, a bombardier from Montana in one of the planes that went down on the 12/23/44 "Mayen RR Bridge" mission. I'm interested in the name of the plane, photos and I'd love to hear from anyone who knew him. I don't know much about what he was like as a young man and soldier.
 
Here's a list of the crew he was with on that last mission.
 
1.Lt Wayne W Church, killed; 2.Lt Harold D Wagoner, killed; Capt Jeff B Newman, killed; T/Sgt James A Logas, killed; S/Sgt Frank C Porter, killed; S/Sgt Paul D Dunkan, returned; S/Sgt Jimmy G Bort, returned; Cpl Aubrey Waldron, killed.
 
I'm also interested in more detail about what happened since it looks like two members of the crew, Dunkan and Bort, made it out alive.
 
I must say, I'm very impressed with the level of work and research that's been done on this web site and the care folks give to answering such questions. Ten years ago it never even occurred to me that I could find so much information.
 
Thanks again,
Ken Porter

Date:
8/29/2006
Time:
7:52 PM
 
Hi to all and thanks so very much for posting this information. I posted a similar request back in February but was hoping with the recent B26 Reunion in Dayton, that someone else might be checking.
 
Marauderman's Name: SSgt Robert E. Ryan (Deceased 9 August 1975)
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 598th
Years in service: 12/14/42 to 02/01/46
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: San Antonio, TX and Fort Meyers, FL.
Comments: I'm doing research on my father who served as an Armorer Gunner for the 397th Bomber Group, 598th Bomb Squadron between 6 Feb 1945 and 1 Feb 1946. If anyone remembers Sgt. Robert "Bob" Ryan and/or any information on his plane's name, please contact me. He is survived by his wife Pattie Lacy and 10 children (Kevin, Kathleen, Bridget, John, Sarah, Richard, Matthew, Anne (deceased), Michael, Meghan).
 
His crew was as follows:
 
1st Lt Kenneth H. McGill - Pilot
2nd Lt Morton S. Goldber - CoPilot
F/O William S. Clark - Bombardier
Sgt Winston R Glidden - Flight Engineer/Gunner
Sgt. John N. Masteller - Radioman/Gunner
Sgt. Robert E. Ryan - Armorer/Gunner
 
Thanks,
John Ryan
 
"Carpe Diem!" [aka. Conquer the Day!]

Date:
8/29/2006
Time:
7:43 PM
 
Hello - My father now 84 is Douglas Colin Jackson born 18/02/22 in Pietermaritzburg South Africa. He was a tail gunner in the 2ndWW in the B26's and in Squadron 21 of the SAAF.
 
Is there somewhere I can post some detailed information where I may be able to make contact with other fellow Squadron 21 soldiers. I know that he would be overwhelmed if I could make contact with anyone of them. He lost his farm in Zimbabwe two years ago and now resides and relies solely on me (his daughter).
 
I would like to bring a little light to his life! Any info would be greatly appreciated!
 
Regards,
Deb Coney

Date:
8/23/2006
Time:
6:30 PM
 
I wrote in 2003 regarding my grandfather, 1st Lt. Toivo W Piippo. I have a good knowledge of his history and was very close to him, I just wanted to know if there's anyone still out there that flew with him or have any knowledge of his days in WWII. He was in the 449th bombardment squadron, 332 bombardment group, and flew over Europe from, I believe, 1942-45. Let me know if you have any information. Thank you, Scott T Piippo

Date:
8/23/2006
Time:
8:30 PM
 
Name: Charles V. Hinton, pilot "Ollie-L"
BombGp: 387
Squadron: 557
 
I am the son of Charles Hinton, pilot of the "Ollie-L". I just came across the following posting from 2000 and wonder if Steve is still looking for information.
 
Chuck Hinton
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date:
11/12/00
Time:
9:42:27 AM
I am Sgt. George Brienza's grandson. He was the crew chief on the "Ollie-L". BombGp: 387th; Squadron: 557th; Years: 1942-1945; Location: European Theatre. I'm looking for information or persons of the 557th Sq. "Keller's Killers". Steve Wood

Date:
8/23/2006
Time:
8:30 PM
 
My grandfather, Donald L Hayes, flew a B26 during WWII and I need some help trying to find out what bomber group he is with if anyone could point me in the right direction to get started to find out this information. He has since past and while he was alive he did not like to talk about the war. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thank you,
Ken Farley
 
Mr. Hayes served with the 597th bomb squadron, 397th bomb group.

Date:
8/19/2006
Time:
2:16 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Lt. Austin Roberts
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 495th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Barksdale Field
Comments: Seeking information on my uncle Lt. Austin Roberts Co-pilot of "Ma's Blasted Event" based in England around April, May, 1944 as confirmed by "V-mail" dates. Anyone with any recollections please contact me.
 
Many thanks in advance,
Mike Roberts

Date:
8/18/2006
Time:
9:51 PM
 
Greetings: My name is Bernard Silva, I was the ambulance driver for the medics in the 599th Bomb Squadron. I joined the Group at the time of inception at MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida.
 
I spent all of my service ministering to crews of the 599th Bomb Squadron and worked with Captain Glenn Judson who passed away in 1983. I returned home in October of 1945 and have attended reunions in Virginia, Baltimore at the Marauder Conclave, and at San Antonio, Texas.
 
In 2002 I returned to Perrone, France for a memorial for a B-24 Bomb Group plane that went down near our base. I responded to the crash as a medic and recovered three bodies of soldiers returning from Germany from a clandestine mission.
 
I'd like to hear from former squadron members.

Date:
8/17/2006
Time:
10:32 PM
 
Name: Willard Christensen
Bomb GP 94th
Squadron 332nd
Year 1944
Comments: I am trying to find information on my Uncle Willard's plane. All I know is that around May 1944 they were on a mission over I think Berlin! My uncle's plane was hit by a bomb dropped by a plane above his plane. The plane he was on was the Ms. Donna Mae II. I think the pilot was Marion Reid. This was my grandfather's brother and he was telling me this story before he died 2 years ago and I thought I would look into it. My Pa didn’t talk about Willard much. He had 3 other brothers in the war my grandfather was Manley Christensen and brothers were Willard, Tony and Olie. Tony got drafted but his wife was expecting so Willard went in his place so it was always a touchy subject around them and they would not talk about it so now that there gone we are struggling to find out exactly there missions and where they were. Can you help me find information on the mission and what happened to the Ms. Donna Mae II?
 
Duffy Dunbar

Date:
8/13/2006
Time:
1:13 PM
 
Clifford A. Thompson, Pilot
Bomb Group: 397
Bomb Squadron: 599
Service School: AFS, Lake Charles, LA
Years in Service: '41 - '46
Plane: Lassie Come Home
 
My brother died in 1987. Recently, I discovered B26.com, and in an effort to honor him with a dedication page, I ordered his records from NARA. It was devastating to receive only his Separation Report with a statement from National Personnel that Cliff's records were destroyed in the 1973 St. Louis fire. However, the paper I did receive stated that he had been awarded the DFC and the Air Medal with nine OLC. I had not known that, nor did his daughters or nephews. We feel a great loss in not having his DFC Citation and in not knowing the reason for his receiving it.
 
I realize that there may be few living who would remember Cliff, but we would so grateful if anyone could tell us something of his combat record. I believe he was on the Eller RR Bridge bombing raid, but I have nothing to prove or disprove that.
 
Thanks for any reply - and God Bless B26.com for the wonderful service and comfort you give!
June Henson

Date:
8/13/2006
Time:
1:13 PM
 
My name is Tonello Odorico, living in Ala on Brenner Pass, Italy. On 11.05.1944 I saw the crash of the Marauder B26 of 320 BG 441 BS n°43 34396. Pilot Cole Truman. If the matter is interesting to you too, contact me please.
 
Many thanks
Tonello Odorico 38061 ALA (TN) Italy

Date:
8/11/2006
Time:
5:38 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Joseph B Doyle
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: June 1944
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: The information above is almost all I know of my grandfather, who I was named for. I know he served with a B-26 squadron based in England during June of 1944 as an intelligence officer. During the first week of June 1944 he flew between six and ten missions as a gunner. He would have been in his mid-forties at the time and had served in the Air Corps during WWI as well. He grew up in Boston , MA and was living in Maine at the time he joined up for WWII. He once told my father he was helping train pilots in Florida before being assigned as an intelligence officer. If anyone has any information about him I would be very grateful to learn more about him. My own father passed when I was a small child and had told my mother little of what he knew of his father. I request additional information. Thank you for your service and your help.
 
Joe Doyle
 
Mr. Joseph B Doyle served with the 497th Bomb Squadron, 344th Bomb Group (referred to WW2 344th Bomb Group Association)

Date:
8/6/2006
Time:
7:59 PM
 
Mr. Nels Cassano, 323 Bomb Group, 453 Bomb Squadron, was the Crew Chief for Truman's Folly for 2 1/2 years; Nels served 4 years in the USAAF in World War II. Truman's Folly flew 177 missions without a scratch - Nels only had to change 5 engines in 2 1/2 years - a good plane and great crew chief and pilots!  Nels would like to hear from Erdman D. Kiehm, a Korean/American pilot who flew 50 missions in the 453rd, many in Truman's Folly. Nels would also like to hear from Robert L Sprague, another pilot that flew missions in the 453rd and many in the Truman's Folly. Of particular interest is Mr. Donald A. Nelson, a bombardier, who flew in the right seat many times until it was time for him to crawl into the nose to release his bombs. Many pilots in the 453rd bomb squadron flew combat missions without co-pilots. Nels would like to hear from any crew member or their descendant, that flew in Truman's Folly.

Date:
8/6/2006
Time:
7:59 PM
 
"While on a mission to bomb the Rovereto railroad bridge, the B26 piloted by Capt Max Petrisek and crew was hit by a flak shell just behind the bomb bay. It did not explode on impact but exited above the rear gunners position and exploded there killing the tail gunner, Sgt Gunnels, and severely damaging the stabilizer controls. Capt Petrisek landed at a British airfield near Ancona. Sadly, this was Sgt. Gunnels last combat mission prior to returning to the USA." Trevor Allen, historian B26.com

Date:
8/5/2006
Time:
5:58 PM
 
Hi, my name is Carlos Rostand Medeiros. These photographs are of an old B-26, from actual location at the Natal Air Base (in World War II is Parnamirim Field), from Brazilian Air Force. Thank you!
 
View large images...
 
I am adding your excellent Douglas A-26 Invader images to b26.com, a site dedicated to Martin B-26 Marauder Men.

Date:
8/4/2006
Time:
12:35 PM
 
I am looking for any kind of information concerning with the liberation (27th April 1945 ) in Italy of my native village Cavarzere. From August 1944 to end April 1945 was more than 260 Allied Forces bombardments by 12th and 15th Air Force 319th 485th and other BG. I would like to gather aerial photos /videos/ B-25 and B-26 Marauder, Liberators aircrafts about the bombing of Cavarzere RR & Road Bridges over Adige River. Cavarzere (map) is located 40km from Venice between Rivers Po and Adige, in the Po Valley. Also personal records, diaries, memories, pictures of Vets and their families would be appreciated. I am having an exhibition for this day of Liberation and would like to remember the special contribution of Allied Forces, in collaboration with the City Council of Cavarzere.
 
I appreciated your time and attention to this request and thank you for your consideration.
 
Giancarlo Tagliati

Date:
8/3/2006
Time:
10:34 PM
 
We have been trying to find any member of the three planes on December 28, 1944 that came to the aid of our B24 that was shot up badly over the Brenner Pass.  The B26s came into our formation when the Messerschmitts appeared in Italy and saved the day for us.  We have looked for those Marauder Men a long time.  If anyone knows any of those crew members we would appreciate helping us.  We already lost three members of our crew over the target they jumped.  We had wounded aboard and a feathered engine and one with only some power.  We headed south as we had no navigator and threw out all the ammo to lighten the plane as we were losing altitude.  Any help would be appreciated as we tried for years to find them to thank them.  We know that maybe they were our flyers but they could have been Australians or South Africans as they flew these planes also.  Our plane was the lady in the dark and their navigator took us to P47 base but we all had to jump as the plane was too damaged to get the gear down the hydraulics was shot out and the manual did not work.
 
Any help at all will certainly be appreciated.

Bud Rosch, B24 Crew Member


Date:
8/3/2006
Time:
12:05 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Hugh Morton
Bomb Group: None- Technical Training Command
Bomb Squadron: NA
Years in service: '42-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Comments: I am writing this for my late father, Hugh Morton. He was an instructor for the Martin "250" top turret at the Army Air Corps training facility at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. He mentioned that later in the War he talked to a few of his former "top turret" pupils who had been in action when they passed back through the area. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who may have been through this training site, whether or not they remember my father, as I would like to learn more about it. I have not been able to find any information on this training site on the Internet. He told me that the fellow who trained him for the job had just returned from a training stint in Trinidad, and that another instructor was from northern Indiana, maybe Fort Wayne. They must have done some bombardier training there also, as he remembered armed guards for the Norden bombsights on the premises.
 
Thanks,
Hugh Morton Jr.

Date:
8/3/2006
Time:
9:03 AM
 
New logo on home page is 453rd Bomb Squadron (donor C.V. Sochocki); 454th Bomb Squadron (donor same); 455th Bomb Squadron (donor Paul E Mulrenin); 456th Bomb Squadron (donor Theodore V Harwood); 344th Bomb Group (donor Bob Witty); 494th Bomb Squadron (donor Jack White); 495th Bomb Squadron (donor Jack A. Terrill); (496th Bomb Squadron - no emblem); 497th Bomb Squadron (donor Jack Havener).  Many thanks to Mr. Jack White for allowing B26.COM to post his Martin B-26 Marauder patch collection.

Date:
8/3/2006
Time:
7:55 AM
 
My Great Uncle T/Sgt. Daniel E. Reust served with the 557th Bomb Group during WW2. Does anyone remember him? I would love to do a dedication page for my great uncle T/Sgt Daniel E. Reust. Would you be so kind as to tell me how to do that? When I looked you up and e-mailed you that one question I had known about uncle Daniel's service in the 557th BS for almost a whole day. I have known all of my life that he was in the Army AAF. during WW2. In the 90's I started to investigate the military history of my family. I started with my grandfathers...King Philip's War, Revolution, Civil war, WW1...when I ran out of grandpa's I went to work on uncles. Starting with the ones I knew the most about and working my way down to the ones I knew the least about and the last one to complete my family military history is uncle Daniel. In the time span of about a year I went from knowing only that he was in the AAF in WW2 to learning he was a B-24 waist gunner and assistant engineer from an old letter he wrote to his brother just after a B-24 he was in disintegrated in mid-air over South Carolina in 1943 on a training mission. Long story short...I found a copy of the accident report and it stated that AC belonged to the 737th BS 454th BG so I got a copy of that unit's war diary...no mention of uncle Daniel. I found the VA hospital where he died and even longer story short, got a copy of his discharge papers. When the papers arrived the first thing I noticed was the unit he was assigned to was the 557th BS. AH HA! 2 of his B-24 crew were killed in that training accident and the rest were reassigned as replacements to other units. Now I understand why nobody at the 454th could remember him in any other situation besides the accident. Just hours after I discovered this...well, here I am. I will be writing to the USAAF history unit very soon for a copy of the 557th's war diary. If I dig up anything I will forward everything to you because I am hell bent my family military history will not be lost in the mist of time.
 
Thank you,
Russell Ferguson

Date:
8/2/2006
Time:
4:08 PM
 
The Quiet Birdman by Vern Dallman

Oh, I am the
Quiet birdman
Who taught the world to fry.
One of the few
With sticks and glue
Who learned to tame the sky.
To pay our debt
To Lafayette
Above the cannon's roar,
I took the chance
To die in France
In the war to end all war  Read more...
 
Sent in by a Marauder Man

Date:
7/31/2006
Time:
7:29 PM
 
Seems Depression, wars were no sacrifice. I was embarrassed to read President Clinton and members of Congress have said the older generation must learn to sacrifice as other generations have done. As a Navy veteran and Purple Heart recipient, I knew eventually someone would ferret out our dirty little secret. Read more...

Sent in by a Marauder Man

Date:
7/30/2006
Time:
9:16 AM
 
I recently found your Marauder Men web site. My grandfather, John H. Nekervis T/Sgt, was a waist gunner on a Martin B-26 Marauder stationed in England during WWII and served with the 555th Bomb Squadron in the 386th Bomb Group.  He passed away several years ago, but I do remember loving to listen to all of his stories about what he did during the war when I was younger. One story was about him being shot down by German anti-aircraft, I think it based outside of Paris, when returning from a bombing run over Germany. It was June 12, 1944. I remember him telling me his plane and crew mates were badly shot up over occupied France. Most of his mates were so badly injured that they could not get themselves out of the plane on their own and would die for sure when the plane crashed. So as the plane was going down he was forced to push some his crew mates out and rigged their chutes to go off as they left the plane. I remember him telling me even though they would land in occupied France full of Germans it was their best chance of surviving the wounds. He could only hope they would be found by the Germans and given the medical care they needed. Once he got the last mate out he could jump out himself. On the ground, as he said, he played cat and mouse with the Germans - with the aid of a few days with French family. After a few days of this he eventually ended up being quartered by another French family some where out side of La Havre France where he stayed from June 16-August 28 1944. At that time he said to a Dutch Officer, "Here I am. I am an American". His story goes on to say he was able to visit his plane's crash site and the last resting places of all his crewmates and wrote the families and told them what he could.
 
What I would like to know is, does anyone have any more information about other missions my grandfather was on or just more information about his unit? If you would like I could show you what I have about my grandfather, I have one or two after action reports.
 
Look forward to hearing from you.
 
Steve
J. Stephen Nekervis Jr.

Date:
7/30/2006
Time:
8:52 AM
 
I've been doing some research on my great uncle, S/Sgt Alphonse A. Zabinski, who was killed in Europe in early 1945. I'm looking for AAF. veterans who served with him and photos of his plane and crewmates.
 
At the time of his death, S/Sgt Zabinski served with the 344th Bombardment Group (M), 497th Bombardment Squadron. The day he was killed (2/13/1945), he was flying onboard a B-26 B50 (nicknamed “Reassignment” and AAF. serial number 42-95862) in the radioman/gunner seat. His plane’s target was a bridge in Euskirchen, Germany.
 
An eyewitness description of the loss is as follows:
I saw 7IM (Lt. William’s Aircraft) hit by enemy flak on the bomb run about 20 seconds before bombs away. It exploded immediately in mid air and went down in a sheet of flame off my right wing and disappeared from sight at about 11,000 feet. Other crew members saw it hit the ground and no chutes were seen.
 
Lambert D. Austin
S/Sgt., 494th Bomb Sq.
Armorer Gunner.
 
The plane’s entire complement of six men were lost. In addition to my great-uncle, these men were:
 
1st. Lt. Ancil Ross Williams, Jr. - Pilot
2nd Lt. Maurice Fuimer Crowley - Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. J. P. Brown - Bombardier
S/Sgt. Albert John Ryder - Engineer /Gunner
Sgt. Coyaso Cruz - Tail /Gunner
 
Again, if there are veterans who served with my great uncle or his crewmates, I'd love to get in touch with them.
 
Nicholas Provenzo
USMC '88-'93
 
That was my 62nd mission on the 13th & flew my 65th on the 23rd. We were flying #3 in 2nd flight & this was #3 in lead flight from 497th. Direct hit which I seen very well from top turret which I got out of as his plane blew up as it passed overhead & was very hot. Lost 3 planes that day as well as MANY DAMAGED. Looks like a quote from me picked up from de-briefing. Lambert

Date:
7/28/2006
Time:
4:34 PM
 
Name: W/O Gordon L. Ready RCAF
Squadron: 14 Squadron RAF
Year: 1942-1943
Location: Stationed in Tunis.
Gordon L. Ready was upper turret gunner and radio operator on a Martin Marauder # K131 RAF lost over the Mediterranean Sea, December 15, 1943. Trained in Canada at Guelph and Gunnery at Jarvis Ontario Canada. He also flew in Boston's and Blenheim Bomber prier to the Marauder in fall of 1943. Information by his son. Wayne A. Ready

Date:
7/27/2006
Time:
6:50 AM
 
My grandfather is Gene L Nichols he served as an Flight Engineer he was 344/496th and 497 and there was another one. I believe that he was on the Bad Penny crew when it crashed - I will ask him. -Wendy Schlimmer

Date:
7/25/2006
Time:
6:43 PM
 
Hello, I recently interviewed William Mildren for the Veteran’s History Project. He was a B-26 pilot attached to the 322nd group, 449th squadron. He was shot down over France and sent to Stalag Luft 1. He does not have a computer but would like to get in touch with Him Harney or Jack Seale. He also talked about his roommates: Farrell and Moore, and his plane – Flak Bait. I’m wondering if anybody can provide any information that I can pass on for him?
 
Thank you very much.
Shauna MacDonald

Date:
7/19/2006
Time:
4:05 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: SSGT Oliver W Hartwell
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 573rd
Years in service: 1944-1945
Comments: I am trying to find anyone with the crew load lists for Dec. 23, 1944, The Arhweiler Mission. My dad was an enlisted bombardier with the 573rd. He flew with Lt Dunn until Dec. 02, 1944. Dunn was injured on the 2nd mission and my dad moved into another crew for the 23rd mission. This is a copy of the citation my dad received for the 23rd mission (as provided by Trevor Allen):
 
The commendation for the mission on the 23rd December was the Arhweiler mission when the group lost 16 planes.
 
“Oliver W. Hartwell, Jr, 12034497, Staff Sergeant, Air Corps, 391st Bombardment Group (M); for extraordinary achievement against the enemy on 23 December 1944. When fighter escort did not arrive at the prescribed rendezvous, the aircraft in which S. Sgt. Hartwell was serving as bomb togglier, continued on over an area of intense anti-aircraft fire enroute to the objective. Despite with accuracy of the enemy fire, S/Sgt. Hartwell remained in the exposed nose position to pinpoint the course, and although the object was not identified on the first bombing run because of snow covering the terrain, a second was executed. During the run, overwhelming number of enemy aircraft vigorously attacked the formation, and in spite of the violence of the attack, S/Sgt. Hartwell calmly released the bombs on the object with devastation. His courage, airmanship and devotion to duty in the face of great danger on this operation are in keeping with the high tradition of the service. Entered military service from New Jersey.” -Charlie Ford

Date:
7/18/2006
Time:
7:45 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Sgt. William F. Evans
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 95th
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location:?
Comments: I am searching for information about my grandfather. He was a radio operator/gunner. He was onboard a B-26 late 1944 that went down (where/when?). I do know that he survived (returned home from the war 9/30/1945), but I have no information about the rest of the crew. If anyone knows any names of the crew men, aircraft info, pics, or other stories I would greatly appreciate it.
 
Thank you,
David Turner
 
David Turner - Will try to give you some leads. In late 1944 the 95th BS lost 4 Marauders that were shot down over target.
 
43-34398 B/N 55 shot down by flak over target in Italy November 19 1944. Pilot Lt. Ollie B. Childs. MACR 11109
43-34264 B/N 50 flak damaged and abandoned on December 19th 1944. Pilot Lt. Cowen.
43-34238 B/N 73 ERMA shot down by Bf-109's over target, Germany, on December 23rd 1944. Only co-pilot survived. Pilot 2nd Lt. Lane E. Spence. MACR 11590
42-43308 B/N 68 NEW YORK CENTRAL II shot down by flak over Germany on January 1st 1945. Pilot Lt. Joseph T.Shoeps. MACR 11110.
 
Regarding Sgt Joe Armstrong, crewmember of ERMA; it's nose wheel leg was found in Germany some years ago, on the crash site. There is a memorial site in the small city now where ERMA crashed. His family made the poster and I had it on my website for a while, then a German WWII historian could help. I hope this can be helpful to your further research. Three planes are possible candidates, and there are two MACR available.
 
Best regards from Norway,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
7/18/2006
Time:
7:45 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Major Walter James Joos
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 596th
Years in service: 21 years (1940 – 1961)
 
Perhaps it is better to tell you what I know and then you may be able to help me find more reliable information. Walter James Joos was born November 26, 1915 in San Francisco, California. He died January 31, 1991 in Coulterville, Mariposa County, at/ near the home of his niece.
 
An unknown newspaper article about his death said the following:
 
Retired Air Force Major Walter J. Joos, 75, died Thursday at his home in Coulterville.
 
Major Joos was born in San Francisco. During his 21 years of service in the Air Force, he earned 29 medals and decorations, including six Bronze Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Silver Star, the American Defense Medal, the Korean Medal, and a Purple Heart; the latter for injuries received August 11, 1944 flying a mission over Germany. After the hit, he was honored as Hero of the Week by the city of San Francisco for helping safely bring down his plane, “The Mammy Yokum”, a B-26 Marauder. A bombardier and navigator with the with the 397th Bombardment Group, 596th Bombardment Squadron in World War II; 98th Bombardier Squadron, he served the Strategic Air Command from November 1940 through January 1961.
 
He was the US Air Force representative at the dedication of a chapel in England commemorating the Americans killed during the Battle of Britain.
 
Major Joos, a member of the American Legion in Marin, was a counselor for Boys State for 10 years. He is survived by a brother, Charles M Joos; a sister, Lorraine Pierce, and numerous nieces and nephews, including Evelyn Flores.
 
A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 1 pm, the Lake Don Pedro Baptist Church. Heuton memorial chapel is in charge of arrangements. Donations in Major Joos’ memory may be made to the American Heart Association.
 
My father also remembers he flew with the 5th Air Force in B-17’s.
 
If anyone knows anymore about my cousin and/or his missions etc., please let me know.
 
Karen Winkler Fragassi

Date:
7/13/2006
Time:
9:20 PM
 
My first pilot was Charles Dawson and then Andrew J. Lawrence III. The first plane was Truman's Folly which was later changed to Scars and Gripes. Co pilots were Edgar B. Lupfer and William Curnane. I remember Thomas Galvin too. Anybody remember them? -Russell J. Schuenke, Bombardier/Navigator, 323rd Bomb Group 453 Sq.

Date:
7/8/2006
Time:
1:07 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Glendell F. Stewart (Glen)
Bomb Group: 344th BG
Bomb Squadron: 495th BS
Years in service: 1942 - 1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Arrived in England prior to D Day. Began flying around D+2. My father was a radio operator / waist gunner. The two pilot/copilots were Norman W. Nelson and Owen A. Lansdowne. The navigator/bombardier was Michael V. Solas. The enlisted crew was John W. Dube (engineer/top turret), Glendell F. Stewart (radio operator/waist), and David M. Freedman (armorer/tail).
 
I have only recently began doing some digging into my dad's WWII activities. The only members of his crew that are left are Owen Lansdowne and himself. As I scan the different websites, the 344th does not have a lot of entries. Most notable are the websites by Frank Paul Carrozza' sons. He was also in the 495th BS. I'm looking for information and anything that will enhance my understanding of the B26 crews, but I do have a special interest in the 344th and particular focus on the 495th as that was who my dad flew with.
 
If anyone has anything they know or could share, I would really appreciate it. Perhaps you have already encountered pitfalls in your research and I could learn from your experience. Maybe as I get down the way, I'll be able to add to someone else's experience.
 
Thanks - David Stewart

Date:
7/4/2006
Time:
8:36 AM
 
I am R. Leo (Bob) Carden and was in the 17th BG 37th BS And flew missions from Dijon France. My crew:
 
James Rogers-pilot Indiana
Eugene Allen co pilot Massachusetts
John Rothamel navigator Iowa
Allen Berg engineer/gun Illinois
Bob Carden radioman/gun Oklahoma
Herbert Adank armorer/gun Wisconsin.
 
We flew a new B-26 G to England using the Southern route in 1944. We had an additional crew member on board experienced in over water navigation. I am searching for his name. Can you give me any help with this activity? I have attached a picture of the B-26 that we flew over. The name Couchez Avec and was assigned to the 323 BG 450BS and completed 36 missions with 9th Air Force. The nose art was not on the B-26 when we flew it over seas. Also a picture of my crew after a mission over Germany in 1945. I am 2nd from the right.
 
Thanks,
Bob Carden
 

Date:
7/2/2006
Time:
6:35 AM
 
An Excerpt from my Memoirs - WWII Mission to bomb a railroad bridge at Rovereto, Italy by Bill Churchman, 17th Bomb Group/95th Bomb Squadron, Retired United States Air Force
 
The briefing completed, all mission members stood and hurried outside to waiting airplanes. Soon, the roar of two thousand horse-power engines deafened the senses as 72 airplanes awoke and began moving along the taxiways. Each aircraft arrived at the end of the steel-plank runway in proper sequence to join the circling formation above the field. Read more...

Date:
7/1/2006
Time:
7:00 PM
 
... this month's logo on the home page features the 441st, 442nd, 443rd, 444th squadrons from the 320th bomb group and the 449th, 450th, 451st, 452nd squadrons from the 322nd bomb group... thanks again, Mr. White, for helping us tell the story of Marauder Men! ... see logo page.

Date:
7/01/2006
Time:
2:08 PM
 
Regarding Mr. Jack Laydon - he also posted 31 "nose art" pictures from the 391st Bomber Group. I would very much like to ask Mr. Laydon if he can confirm that the nose art picture of "Miss Behavin" he posted on the guest page is 42-95844; the same 575th Squadron B-26 that was piloted by 1st Lt. Bill Kloepfer and co-piloted by 2nd Lt. John V. Hultin on December 23rd, 1944 on the Ahrweiler mission. I would also like to converse directly with Mr. Laydon if he agrees. John Vernal Hultin was my uncle and I am researching Vernal's military service for his son. Any information is greatly appreciated.
 
Thank you very much,
Regards,
Gary Carpenter

Date:
7/01/2006
Time:
9:33 AM
 
Hi - I have just seen the Jeffrey Sauser post requesting details of the crew members in the photo.
 
Details are from Right to Left:
 
1/Lt Henry C Patrick III Pilot
2/Lt Lyndon E Stauffacher Co-pilot
2/Lt John J Sauser Bombardier
S/Sgt George W Van Doren Radio/Gunner
S/Sgt Clarence D Shanks Eng/Gunner
S/Sgt Robert D Roy Tail Gunner
 
Lt Patrick and Sgt Shanks, along with co-pilot 1/Lt Charles L Grunder were killed in a crash at Margaretting in England whilst on a test hop on April 27 1944 whilst flying 41-31907 TQ-H "Suzie."
 
Regarding Rollin Childress - his normal aircraft was "Lil Chum's Warhorse" I have some pieces of the Plexiglas from this aircraft that my dad liberated from it when it crash landed (Lt James was flying her) on June 12th 1944. The mission of June 8, 1944 was a high priority target to take out a fuel dump behind the German lines and the crews were asked to attack it at all costs and to go in low if necessary. The weather was bad and only three other aircraft managed to form up on Capt Childress aircraft, they crossed the channel with ever decreasing height due to cloud, they finally attacked the target at approximately 3000 feet with good results but at that height the flak was murderous. Capt Schober flying "Heavenly Body" (41-31664) took a direct hit and blew up, all the crew was lost, including Capt John D Root the groups weather officer who went along for the ride. The other three ships returning to base. For his tenacity and leadership Capt Childress was awarded the Silver Star.
 
Many thanks,
Alan F Crouchman

Date:
6/29/2006
Time:
7:20 PM
 
Raymond E. Burdge, 90, a bombardier during World War II and a longtime Associate Engineers employee, died at his home on Monday, June 26, 2006. He was born to Bertha and Lloyd R. Burdge in Kansas City, Kan., on March 6, 1916, and raised in Parsons, Kan. He graduated from Kansas State University with a milling degree and worked for General Mills in Great Falls. He married Laura Mildred “Suzy” Van Koten on Aug. 30, 1940.
 
He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as lead bombardier for the 394th Bomb Group, 585th Bomb Squadron, flying in the Martin Marauder B-26. He worked for Associated Engineers from 1953 until his retirement in 1982. He was a member of First Christian Church and the Water Skippers Pond Club.
 
Survivors include a son, Bill; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
 

Date:
6/29/2006
Time:
7:20 PM
 
Hello - I am a member of a US Air Force unit that is activating this year. Part of our lineage includes the 73rd Bombardment Squadron that was assigned to the 28th Bombardment Group during WWII. One of the two types of aircraft the unit flew during its contributions to the Aleutian Campaign was the B-26. I am interested in contacting any one associated with the unit or the 28th BG or has information on either's history in order to help the reactivating unit establish its historical lineage. Please forward information to b26.com. If you have any contacts from either the 28th or 73rd, I would appreciate those too. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Stephen Garstka


Date:
6/29/2006
Time:
3:51 PM
 
B26.com, I have been checking your site on a regular basis for about one year and have learned a great about the "Marauder Men". Thank-you for providing this source of information. This site has helped me connect with a number of men who were members of the 391st Bomb Group.
 
I will have the opportunity to meet members of the 391st BG who will be holding a gathering in Scottsdale, AZ in mid September this year. I am looking forward to meeting, talking to, and showing pictures and flight logs that belonged to my dad. He was a co-pilot/pilot of a B-26 and a member of the 391st BG and the 575th BS. The plane shown in most of his pictures is the Scrumptious. His name was Clarence V. Erickson from Lessor, Wisconsin. He died in 1972 - long before the members of the Greatest Generation started telling the stories of their lives and activities during WW II. I hope to fill in a great deal of information during my visit to Scottsdale. I just hope the individuals who are there won't mind answering the many questions that I have for them.
 
Those of you who were involved in any way with WW II please keep telling your stories and encourage others to start telling about their lives during the war years. Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are very interested in those personal history lessons.
 
Thank-you to the members of the Greatest Generation and I hope to meet many of you this fall.
 
Rich Erickson

Date:
6/27/2006
Time:
3:57 PM
 
Hello - I am the daughter of John C. Edwards, 320BG/444BS, who was a B-26 pilot and was shot down over Italy while serving in the North Africa theatre was captured while attempting to make it to the American lines by the Germans in 1944. And was a POW (Stalag Luft #?) until he was liberated at the end of the war.  Sadly my Dad passed away in 1996, but I remember him going to many annual reunions with his bomb squadron, I have forgotten many of the details etc. If anyone knew my wonderful father and can share some details - it would be wonderful!
 
Sincerely,
Lynn Levoy, daughter of John C. Edwards

Date:
6/26/2006
Time:
8:57 PM
 
I’m the son-in-law of Ronald Melbye who served with the 9th USAFF, 344 Bomb Group, 494 Bomb Squadron as a Bombardier/Navigator. His plane was a B-26 and the nose art was “Georgia’s On My Mind”. I don’t know much of his history, but he was in England, France, Belgium and Germany. I think he entered the service in 1942 and came home in 1945. We have a few pictures, but many have been lost in family moves over the years.
 
Ron is now 85 and in a nursing home. He, like my own dad, doesn’t say much about his war years. I would like to find out as much as is available about his unit and their experiences. I know that from the few pictures we have that the plan flew 146 missions (this number is indicated by bombs painted on the nose and a note on the back of the picture.
 
These were all great, honorable and heroic men. Any information that could be provided is appreciated.
 
Thank you,
Robert (Bob) Roerig
 
Mr. Tom Bond flew in Georgia’s On My Mind too.

Date:
6/25/2006
Time:
9:49 PM
 
Hi All - I am the daughter of Paul D. Starr, who was part of the 319th bomb group during WWII. A few years ago I was searching for sites after all the publicity of the new WWII memorial dedication in Washington, D.C. Imagine my surprise when I saw my father's plane, the "Little Sirocco" on the website of Mark Pope, and from there I found the 319thbombgroup.com website.
 
My father died of cancer in 1976 when he was 53.
 
Gail Starr
 

Date:
6/23/2006
Time:
5:11 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Francis Lee Hunt, Lt.
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 449th
Comments: Looking for information on Francis Lee Hunt, 1st Lt., and I believe he was “co-pilot.” His plane was hit by enemy fire and went down on or about August 12, 1944. The mission was to Flers and I believe he was killed in the inbound leg prior to getting to target area. Old war dept correspondence to the family upon confirming death about 1 year later states that the aircraft was lost at Saint Pierre du Regard, Cherbourg.
 
His son and grandson would like to find the location, if possible, where the aircraft went down (a farm in this area). The crew was initially buried by locals. They might like to visit the area. The crew was initially buried on site, then moved to American cemetery in France. Lt Hunt’s remains were later identified by the Army and he was brought back to the US for final burial.
 
Any suggestions on how to get additional information on this person, the aircraft, its loss and the specific location would be appreciated.
 
Randy Clark
 
Here's a 322BG aircraft lost on 08/13/1944 with MACR number and aircraft serial number: 8039 8/12/1944 or 08/13/1944 B-26 41-31741 PN*N 322BG 449BS. -Don Enlow

Date:
6/22/2006
Time:
5:21 PM
 
Looking for anyone who knew or flew with Lt. Charles "Chuck" N. Deardorff from the 322 bomb group 452 squadron. I'm a personal friend and Chuck died a few years ago. I still talk with his family. I’m looking for anyone who knew or flew with him. He was shot down on his 65th mission in March of ‘45 and was a POW until war ended---thanks, Ray Orwig
 
I am Leslie Goss and I am responding to Ray Orwig's request of June 22, 2006 for information regarding Charles Deardorff of the the 322nd BG and 452nd BS. I was in the 452nd and was flying March 24,1945, the day that Deardorff went down. The 452nd put up two 6 ship Flights. I was in one flight, Deardorff was in the other. My note on my Mission Sheet for that day says we lost Deardorff. Chutes were reported. Plane crashed. The day before, March 23rd, he and I flew in the same 452nd Flight.
 
After the war I do recall that Deardorff was reported OK. I don't remember if he visited the Squadron before he went home. Some POWs did. Can you put me in touch with Ray Orwig?
 
I appreciate very much what you are doing with B26.com. I read it almost daily. Keeps the Memory bank working.
 
-Thanks, Les Goss

Date:
6/22/2006
Time:
8:06 AM
 
Can anybody ID the crew of Hellcat? Who are the other men in the picture? large image...
 

Date:
6/21/2006
Time:
11:35 AM
 
I am an ex-Royal Australian Navy man from WWII, and am doing some research on "The Coral Sea Battle". I am aware that the first B26 mission during WWII was by USAAF 22nd Bomb Group flying out of Garbutt field Townsville Australia in April 1942 when they were shadowing a Japanese invasion force in The Bismarck Sea north and East of New Guinea. On this mission they refueled out and Back at Port Moresby.
 
I have found a report in a google search of  "The Official Chronology of the US Navy in WWII" by Robert J Cressman. Scroll down to 1942 scroll down to May 7th Thursday (Pacific) which says "Craces ships are bombed by USAAF B26s etc". Crace was the Admiral in charge of Australian Cruisers accompanied by USS Chicago and some US destroyers who were supposed to be guarding the Jomard Passage to prevent the Japanese invasion force from entering the Coral Sea.
 
It is my opinion that if Crace was in that position it would have been beyond the range of the B26s of the 22nd bomb group if they flew out from Garbutt field.
 
If you have a record of this event could you please advise me where the B26s were stationed and the course they flew, did they refuel again at Port Moresby on the way out and back. or was Crace with his cruisers nearer to the coast of Australia.
 
Thanks in anticipation,
Glen Hielscher

Date:
6/17/2006
Time:
10:24 AM
 
Greetings - I am trying to find out more about my late father's time in the SAAF during WW2. His name was Len Anderson (Lennox Sylvanus Anderson) and he was the navigator of a B26 Marauder called "B for Bliksem". I know that he was based near Alexandria for a while and later served in Sicily and Italy. Do you know whether there is a reliable source of information regarding the Marauder squadrons of the SAAF and who served in them? I think he was in 24 Squadron, but it may have been 21 Squadron. -Regards, Duncan Anderson

Date:
6/16/2006
Time:
7:41 PM
 
Hello - I am attempting to do some research on my maternal uncle, 1st. Lt. Lawrence Schirmer, who piloted a B-26 based out of England during the period (I believe) 1943 until mid 1944 when he returned to his base in Florida. During a training mission out of Florida, he and his crew were hit by lightning, killing all aboard. His home was in Sacramento, CA.
 
I did see his name come up on your website under the title of 17th. Bomb Group Slides, Dijon, France (12009) which is a 80-count carousel slide tray with slides. His is slide #38 that is titled "Schirmer in flight gear." Is this slide available for viewing?
 
Anyone out there who has any information they would be willing to share would be well appreciated.
 
Best regards,
Diane Peterson

Date:
6/16/2006
Time:
7:41 PM
 
My father, Colin O. Villines (now deceased) was with the 38th Bomb Group, 69th Bomb Squadron and his photo is included on your site. I would like to know if you would like to hear his story. Only once in his life did he ever tell me what happed on that day when B-26 dropped a torpedo at a Japanese aircraft carrier and "scored a hit", contrary to some information that has been published. Dad's story is a "hair raising" account of heavy AA fire into the cockpit, enemy Zero "strafing" by multiple aircraft, shot-out instruments, being lost at sea and crash landing back at Midway. The details of this story are amazing. It was/is amazing that anyone survived at all! If you would like me to submit the story please let me know, it is lengthy and will require quite a bit of work on my part to get it done. In the meantime, I'm trying to get in touch with my sister who has a lots of photos including a photo of the crash-landed B-26. I have the original Torpedo release switch from his B-26. Dad removed it from the aircraft just after the "landing". He removed it because his plane did in fact score a hit on his intended carrier.
 
Randy Villines

Date:
6/14/2006
Time:
8:56 PM
 
Hello, I am looking for information about my late father, James William Livingston, who flew with the allied airborne during W.W.II. I have his dog tag numbers and some of his uniform patches. I was told that he was awarded a "Purple Heart" How do I find any information that may be available? I would like to know which bomb group and squadron.
 
Thanks, Karen Livingston
Daughter of James William Livingston (dog tag XXXXXX8T43)

Date:
6/14/2006
Time:
8:56 PM
 
Hello - I'm looking for information on my father, Patrick John Lynam, Jr. (born June 5, 1918). He passed away in May of 2000. He was a B-26 pilot, but never spoke much about his career. I'm hoping that there may be some information about the missions he flew (European theatre; mostly Germany, I believe); earlier involvement in Mexico, and as a cadet trainer in Texas. - Mark Lynam

Date:
6/14/2006
Time:
8:56 PM
 
On 11/05/1944 a B26 of 320 BG 444 BS was shot down by Me 109 and crashed nearly Ala, a small city on the Brenner Pass (Italy). I saw the falling plane and was present at the capture of the Pilot James Logsdon. Is Mst. Logsdon still living please? Where?
 
Many thanks,
Doct. Odorico Tonello
 
Dear Mr. Tonello - I have been so excited and emotionally charged since receiving your letter regarding my father and his final mission. As I mentioned dad never spoke about his experiences after he was shot down. We sat at the kitchen table about one year ago and I asked him if he would share his experience with me, knowing he was aging and this incredible story might never be known if he chose not to. We sat for hours and he told me the entire story from when they took off from Corsica to when his plane was hit by flack then pursued by fighters and shot down. I can only imagine the horror this placed in his memory. As a young boy I can only imagine the impression this made in your life seeing such an horrible act. Thank you again so much for continuing to seek information regarding the events you witnessed that day so long ago. I truly believe this was an act of God closing this incredible chapter in my fathers life.
 
Thank you again so much.
God Bless you and your family,
 
Jim Logsdon

Date:
6/13/2006
Time:
7:09 PM
 
Marauderman Lt. Jack A. Haynes
391st BG
574th Sq.
Killed over Germany December 23, 1944, 39th Mission, first time left seat, new crew, all escaped safely as Haynes directed plane into forest I am looking for Richard Spangler with whom he bunked. His co-pilot was John Werner who has passed away. I have been in contact with his gunner, Wendell Fetters. His bombardier is William Greenough. Jack's daughter is married to a pilot and grandson as well. I have witnessed the crash site and original burial plot. His parents brought his body home. Contact me, his widow, Helen Russell, if you know of Richard Spangler's address. Don't know if his is dead or alive. Thanks.

Date:
6/13/2006
Time:
7:09 PM
 
Hi, these are some photo's I took on a camping holiday at Whitesands Beach St Davids S-Wales where USAAF marauder crashed on 4th June 1943 on Carn llidi Mountain, people on board were:
 
1st lieutenant Robert Lawrence
2nd lieutenant Hulbert Robertson
F.O. James Jackson
S.Sgt William Brown
 
May they all rest in peace.
 
Jeff Hocking
Rhondda S-Wales
 
large image [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

Date:
6/13/2006
Time:
7:09 PM
 
Dear Marauder Men,
On D Day 6th June 1944 Marauders took off from Essex. Two had an accident over East Sussex. One of the Marauders crashed in what is now my grounds. One man baled out a Lt Potts. Is there any more information please I can pass on?
 
Very best regards,
David Amos
Battle, East Sussex, England
 
On D-Day, June 6th 1944, 42-107592 K5-T "Stinky" of 394th BG 584th BS, pilot Lt. Thomas Potts iced up and crashed into 42-96249, 394th BG 587th BS, pilot 2nd Lt Thomas F. Jenkins. This happened over Battle. Lt. Thomas Potts bailed out and was the only survivor. 394th BG base on D-Day was Station 161 Boreham, an airfield transferred from 8th AF.
 
Crew of 42-107592:
Lt. Thomas Potts
1st Lt Christian Burger KIA
1st Lt LeRoy Dyer KIA
T/Sgt George Kyle KIA
S/Sgt James Long KIA
S/Sgt George Williams KIA
 
Crew of 42-96249:
2nd Lt Thomas F. Jenkins KIA
2nd Lt Walter Winter KIA
S/Sgt William Hoeb KIA
S/Sgt Ralph Parker KIA
Sgt George Rogers KIA
Sgt Edward Baily KIA
 
Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen
 
Hello David,
Here is a little bit of information about the accident that happened on June 6, 1944. They did take off from Essex, But I have no idea where they had the mid-air. I assume near by.
This accident involved two aircraft from the 394thBG. Here is the information I have which was taken from the book "Bridge Busters" The story of the 394BG. http://www.b26.com/marauderman/me/05.htm
 
Several of the men shared a barrack with my Dad; he was very upset over this accident, as the barrack mates also transferred over from the 322BG as my Dad had done.
 
Don Enlow

Date:
6/13/2006
Time:
7:09 PM
 
Hello,
I am trying to find out more information about my wife’s grandfather James Riggan. Any information you have would be appreciated. You have a vast amount of information on your site and I searched a lot of it for his name to no avail. The information I have follows, unfortunately the government is not much help as his records burned in ’73.
 
Marauderman's Name: James Riggan
Bomb Group: 386th BG (M)
Bomb Squadron: 554th BS
Years in service: 30 July 1942 – 14 July 1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: He was a gunner, I believe in 41-34971 RU-Q named SAD ASS. It was later re-named PAY OFF and was shot down 22 Aug 1943 during mission 8. James was not on it when it went down. The reason I believe he was part of the SAD ASS crew is the book “The Story Of The Crusaders” has a photo of him and the rest of the crew in front of SAD ASS. As I stated in the beginning I would appreciate any information you may have.
 
Daniel Rogers, 2Lt, ANG
 
James H. Riggan, S/Sgt., 554th Bombardment Squadron (M).  For extraordinary achievement while serving as an Armorer-Gunner on a B-26 airplane on twenty-five bombardment missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe.  S/Sgt. Riggan's coolness and courage aided materially to the successful culmination of these vitally important missions.  He succeeded by his skill in handling his guns in warding off many enemy attacks directed against the safety of American personnel and aircraft.  The services of S/Sgt Riggan reflect the high traditions of the Army Air Force.
 
 
Distinguished Flying Cross award letter provided by b26.com contributor John McCallum

Date:
6/13/2006
Time:
7:09 PM
 
The gentleman (Re: James Byron Ford)  looking for info on his father below can find at least one of his missions on Mission 388 on the formation diagrams page if he has not already seen it. Additionally, my father also flew in Capt. Byron's squadron from 3 Jan '45 until 28 Feb '45 as the 552nd was his first squadron upon arriving in the ETO. It would appear his dad was several years ahead of mine in the pipeline. My father, then 2nd Lt William Draganchuk, XXXXX438, flew three recorded combat missions in Feb with the 386th. One on 13 Feb lasting 3 hrs 25 mins, and two on 14 Feb 45, the first lasting 3 h 25 m and the second lasting 4 h 25 m according to his flight record certified by Major Bud Lambert, at that time the Ops O. For some reason, these missions are not recorded on the website, probably for lack of info. He is also listed as having flown his first B-26 flight in theater at night on Feb 3 on an 1 hr 15 min flight, then a 2 h 10 m flight on Feb 9, and two 2hr (plus) flights on 25 Feb, before transferring to the 319th BG for SHORAN qualification. If he would like, son Ford can contact me. My father finally suffered a stroke at age 83 in Jan of this year and is currently residing in a Veterans Home. He had been active at his business as a CPA until then.
 
W. George Dragan

Date:
6/10/2006
Time:
8:35 PM
 
Thanks to Marauder Man Jack D. White, we have a new feature on b26.com - the patches of bomb groups and squadrons that flew Martin B-26 Marauders. The new logo on the home page will change monthly... this month the 34th, 37th, 95th, 432nd squadrons from the 17th bomb group and the 437th, 438th, 439th, 440th squadrons from the 319th bomb group... thanks, Mr. White, for helping us tell the story of Marauder Men!

Date:
6/7/2006
Time:
7:45 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: First Lieutenant John J. Sauser
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 10/31/42 through 10/19/45
Graduation Class: Unknown (Advanced Bombardier Training)
Class Location: Roswell, NM
Comments: I have attached a photo of my father, John J. Sauser, Bombardier with the 387th BG, 559th squadron. John is the tall chap 4th from the left. I believe that the fellow at the far right is Lt. Henry C. Patrick III. The other 4 folks in the shot were, I believe, in John's crew, but as of yet I have not been able to identify them.
 
Thanks to Stanley "Mac" Hughes, who was able to verify that John was indeed in the 559th squadron.
 
Jeffrey P. Sauser
 

Date:
6/7/2006
Time:
7:45 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Hale B. Bennett
Bomb Group:386
Bomb Squadron: 553
Years in service:1942-?
Comments: Does anyone have information on Hale or remember him. He flew in "Crime Doctor" 131-902
 
Re: Hale B. Bennett. 1st Lieutenant Hale B. Bennett was a co-pilot in the 386th Bomb Group, 553rd Bomb Squadron. He was a crew member on "CRIME DOCTOR" 131902 AN-R--The ship made a crash landing on July 28, 1944, it was a total loss! The crash site was a French beach area known as Strip Number Nine, two miles to the northeast of La Moly. The pilot was Lt. Sentner, flying in number six position in the low flight, in the first box.
 
The Group had a particular tough mission that day. Another 553rd Squadron ship 131805 AN-D was rammed on the starboard side by a FW-190. The B-26 lost a wing and the enemy fighter disintegrated. All involved in the collision were killed. The B-26 pilot was Lt. Briggs.
 
A bomber crewman stated that the enemy plane rolled over on its back with a badly wounded or dead pilot slumped sideways in the cockpit. The unguided fighter plane pitched downward striking the bomber in the wing root area, then both aircraft fell in flames into the cloud cover some 4,000 feet below the formation. The collision was recorded with a 16mm gun camera by combat photographer Staff Sergeant William Scanlan. He was flying in a plane named, "ELMER" 131577 AN-Y number four in the low flight. Lieutenant Briggs had been flying in the number five position of the low flight.
 
The first box bomber formation was attacked by some fifteen to twenty enemy fighters on the bomber's return flight five miles east of Falaise, France. The target was a railroad bridge located at Ecouche, France. All planes carried four 1,000 pound bombs, and dropped on guidance of a Pathfinder aircraft. 386th Group losses for the day were two bombers destroyed, thirteen damaged by flak, and three damaged by enemy fighters. Our aerial gunners destroyed two fighter planes; four others probably destroyed, and two damaged. 386th personnel losses were six killed, and seven wounded! It was 386th Bomb Group Mission number 238: Friday, July 28, 1944.
 
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.
http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
6/7/2006
Time:
7:45 PM
 
Hello, I just read the obituary for Frank H. Merry in the Greenwich Time, and was looking for some information on him and came across you website. I am attaching his obituary for you, I have no relation to him but I’ve always been interested in history and appreciative of what the World War II generation did for our country. I’m always amazed at how modest this generation is, several times I’ve only found out after family friends or relatives have passed that they were in WWII, but never talked about there experiences.
 
Thanks for persevering this history with your website.
 
Marc
 
Thanks for helping us tell the story of Marauder Men.

Date:
6/7/2006
Time:
7:37 PM
 
This from an English lady totally unconnected with your site but please! As a Gene Stratton Porter enthusiast- is the aircraft "The Swamp Angel" named for Freckles' girl -to whom he gave the name, in the book?
 
Thank you.
Doris H. Howe.
 
Eldest brother in R.A.F.- 13 years older than I. I spent my infancy in the war years in Canterbury: not the quietist or safest place at the time!
 
Sally, Alas at this late date it is impossible to ascertain the reasons for naming the several B26's that carried the name "The Swamp Angel". There are so few survivors left and even if we hit the million to one chance of finding them. I doubt if they would even remember.
 
Cheers,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com
 
... but should *anybody* have an answer, please tell us.

Date:
6/4/2006
Time:
7:05 PM
 
Still looking for info on Lt. Willard J. Jacobson, 573rd Bomb Sqd. 391st Bomb Group. Thanks, Phil Stivers

Date:
6/4/2006
Time:
7:05 PM
 
Sky-high witness to D-Day
John Nicholson, then a staff sergeant, twice flew over the invasion site. Read more...

Date:
6/2/2006
Time:
6:35 PM
 
Marauder Man: Robert P. McCarthy
323rd Bomb Group
455th Bomb Squadron
Yrs. of Ops. 1944-45
Comments: My dad, Lt-Capt Robert McCarthy was one of the lead navigators for the 323rd BG, in the 455th squadron. One of the stories he always told was of a crew who had flown 25 missions and was sent home to drum up war bonds sales. They came back to the European theatre and took over lead (for PR purposes) on a mission that my dad was supposed to navigate. When they neared the target the plane was hit and the crew bailed, except for the pilot who flew the damaged plane far enough to be rescued by allied forces. My dad's plane took over the lead and they succeeded in knocking out the target. I've always wondered about that crew, if they survived, and any other perspectives from other fellows from the 455th. Any info would be greatly appreciated. -Thomas C. McCarthy

Date:
6/1/2006
Time:
8:44 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Ernest Septime PETROWSKY, SR.
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 552nd
Years in service: 16 Jan 42 - 19 Sept 45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
 
Mr. Klein, my sister, Vanya Malamstead, wrote you in 2005 concerning our grandfather. I happened to read your reply on the posts webpage and, although you were in the Engineering Section, had several questions.
 
1. Do you have any more information other than what you posted, i.e. pictures, anecdotes, little known facts, etc., of M/SGT Petrowsky?
2. What was his role in the 552d?
3. Do you know of any alumni of the Communications Section who might be able to provide more information?
 
Thank you in advance.
 
Respectfully,
Ernest "Eric" Septime Petrowsky III

Date:
6/1/2006
Time:
8:44 PM
 
Lt Francis M Kirby
394 BG, 585 BS
 
Researchers in History, we found the site of the crash of the B-26 piloted by Lt Kirby, near Crei, France (06/12/1944). We would like to contact his relatives, to exchange information. We have some items we would pleased to share and maybe send, like the story told by Mr. Roy Bozych in the mail of 5/29/06.

Date:
5/30/2006
Time:
8:03 PM
 
My Dad's name is Eugene A Maglietta. He was in the 9th air force 322 BG 449th squadron. He worked with the B26 "Sit N Git" & "Flak Bait" that I know of. He trained in MacDill Air Force base. He served 4 years and it was the end of the war when he came home. He is 85 now and he has been looking for a fellow Veteran, Mr. Lucian Lentz 322/449 & 319/440, who was in the same squadron. If anyone knows where he is or has any information he would greatly appreciate it. My Dad says they were the best days of his life. I am sure he would be happy to hear from anyone in that squadron. Thank you, Stephanie Maglietta

Date:
5/30/2006
Time:
8:03 PM
 
I tried already through many sources to find out at which date the Howard WILMETH crew - 387th BG/559th BS crash landed in Luxembourg. Also it is impossible for me to find out at which date this had happened. I already spoke to a crew member Mr. Sydney GRAHN but he also doesn't remember the exact date. He also mentioned second B-26 that landed at the same strip (A-97) Sandweiler here in Luxembourg but also unknown. Have you perhaps more Information about this event Sir. I thank you in advance for any possible help in this difficult case.
 
I am a member of the Memorial General Patton museum here in Luxembourg. I am responsible about the air war here during the wartime 1940 to 1945. As we located more than 350 crash sides here in Luxembourg, we also started to document these events in our archives. It is an important part of our history. Also we want to honor all those veterans that fought for our liberty we still have today. We are still thankful for that. As I told you I am searching for the date when the Howard Wilmeth crew landed here at A-97 Sandweiler /Luxembourg. Here are two pictures in this mail about the B-26 of 2nd Lt. Stanley CLARK that crashed just in front of this airfield on March 2nd 1945, killing the 2nd Lt. Doyle PROFFITT from the crew. The photos were taken by members of the 14th Liaison Squadron that was stationed at this time at the airfield. Mr. PROFFITT is buried here in Luxembourg on the American Cemetery. The crew was from the 394th BG/584th BS.
 
I will also send you some information about 1st Lt. Clark A. TVENER which is still MIA since 23rd December 1944. He was in the 391st BG/575th BS.
 
Best wishes from Luxembourg.
 
Yours sincerely,
John DERNEDEN
 

Date:
5/29/2006
Time:
6:34 PM
 
Downed WW II flier gets pieces of plane
Researchers located debris in France
 
Frank LaLone's ammunition box contains parts of a B-26 bomber he was flying in when it was shot down in 1944. Read more...
 
Thanks for posting the article. Just one thing, the reporter didn't make this very clear in his article but Frank was with the 322nd BG 450th BS. I explained that to him but he never put it in the article so I could see where it could get confusing.  I initially got involved because we had lost a plane in the same general area and I thought it was ours.
 
Roy Bozych
322nd Historian

Date:
5/29/2006
Time:
4:40 PM
 
Hi, my name is Nicholas Puntino and I have been trying to research my fathers service history in the 394thBG, 586SQ. His name was Vito Puntino and he passed away in 1970 when I was 11 years old. I never spoke with him about his time in the USAAF and I really would like to find out anything I can about his service history, I have Guy Zieglers book (Bridge Busters) which his name appears in and also some photos that were my fathers of B-26's and crewmen and also some copies of photos that appear in the book. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
 
Sincerely,
Nicholas Puntino

Date:
5/29/2006
Time:
4:40 PM
 
Dear B-26 Maraudermen,
 
As the son of a B-26 pilot who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country during WWII, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your courage, uncommon gallantry, and dedication to duty. I could never begin to imagine or understand what you felt as you went about the business of achieving victory over our enemies.
 
Thank you, each and every one for a "job well done".

Larry Stephens son of Lt. Royce Stephens; 319th BG; 439th BS KIA 10-dec-44


Date:
5/29/2006
Time:
4:40 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Capt. James Byron Ford
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 552nd
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: This is my dad. He has passed away and I am trying to find information regarding all the missions that he flew and was a part of. Thank you for your site. If you can help me find out more about his service I would appreciate any direction I can get.

Date:
5/29/2006
Time:
4:40 PM
 
Hello. I just came across your wonderful website. I am currently researching my Great-Uncle Townsend F. Smith Jr.  Mr. Townsend was a gunner with the 17th Bomb Group - 432nd Bomb Squad. His plane went down on February 29, 1944. He was not laid to rest until January 1949. I would love to know more about his last mission and the crew he was with. Unfortunately, it was so dramatic for his family, they never spoke much about it except that he had a pet monkey that flew his missions with him. I was believed that the monkey went down with him. . But I would love to honor this man and tell his story.
 
Lynette Munson
 
17th BG 432nd BS lost a ship on February 29th 1944 when it crashed on the take off and another plane was lost over the target (Viterbo Landing Ground).
B/N 77 "Hell's Kitchen" 42-95756 was shot down over target, Italy. MACR # 2831; pilot Lt. Richard T. Phelps. This Marauder was in service with 432nd BS from February 8th 1944. If this was her Great-Uncle's Marauder, the MACR contains wanted information.
B/N 90 41-18321 was shot up (not repairable) and landed with two dead engines on Corsica.
B/N 88 "Sweet Sue" (former "Sweet Sue's Duke Of Paduke") 41-18201 crashed on take off with 432nd Squadron Commander on board (added early photo, as it was renamed May 1943).
320th BG had the same target that day.
319th BG bombed SE side of Viterbo A/D same day, lost one Marauder
 
Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen, Norway

Date:
5/29/2006
Time:
4:40 PM
 
I want to tell you that from my first posting and through the help of Alf Agil Johannessen, Peter Wise and Elden Shook, I have been able to find my dad's pilot and he has called my mother. I also heard from a man who was in the same barracks with my dad in Cambrai, France. Is there anything that I should do as far as the guestbook is concerned? Please let me know.
 
Thank you,
Pat Joiner

Date:
5/28/2006
Time:
11:21 AM
 
From 559th history book: "On June 7th 1944, it was learned that the 17th German Panzer Division was moving north to the Invasion beachhead. The report called for a mission to deny this route to the Germans. Because of bad weather the formation attempting to bomb the rail junction at Rennes was not successful, but it did get good results on a railroad west of Vire and on a choke point of vehicles near St. Lo. The next morning a highly successful mission was flown against the railroad junction at Pontaubault. The best strike was made by Lieutenant Donald Tall, bombardier in Captain Robert H. Will's flight, whose bombs hit the target perfectly.
 
The afternoon mission proved to be one of the roughest and most remarkable ever flown by the Group. Captain Rollin D. Childress was to lead eighteen aircraft to a fuel dump in the Foret de Grimbosq, south of Caen. At the take-off at 1958 hours the ceiling was 900 feet. The formation assembled without difficulty, but on going up through the solid overcast it became widely dispersed. Eleven of the planes returned to the base, one crash-landed at Gravesend, and one, piloted by First Lieutenant Raymond V. Morin, crashed while attempting to land at Briston in ceiling zero weather. Captain Childress gathered three aircraft with his own and continued on, sometimes at deck level (tree top, 50-100 feet over land and sea) in quarter of a mile visibility. His bombardier, First Lieutenant Wilson J. Cushing, managed to find the target and after heated exchange between bombardier and pilot, Cushing told Childress "I see the target, raise it up, higher, higher" Childress replied, "OK, dang you, I'm going up") bombed it with great accuracy from 6,000 feet. As the formation of four turned off the target, extremely heavy and accurate flak shot down the fourth airplane piloted by Captain Charles D. Schober. The airplane exploded in mid-air and no parachutes were observed (after mission debrief, squadron of Spitfires found those 88s). Included in Captain Schober's crew was Captain John D. Root, Group Weather Officer. The remaining three aircraft, proceeding homeward, braved the horrible weather conditions over England and landed at the base at 2230 hours. Captain Childress was congratulated on his tenacity and perseverance by Colonel Willard Lewis, Commander of the 98th Combat Wing, and by Group Commander Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Seymour. Captain Childress was also awarded the Silver Star (written up for Medal of Honor but not submitted). The effectiveness of the bombing was attended to by a congratulatory telegram from the ground forces which stated that the important fuel dump, the immediate supply for an entire Panzer division, was destroyed."
 
Mr. Rollin Childress is very much alive and well. He was a Sergeant Pilot and retired as a full bird Colonel.

Date:
5/28/2006
Time:
10:06 AM
 
Hi, I came across this site while surfing the net, looking for info on the aircraft based near where I live in Essex, UK. The airfield is Andrewsfield, Great Sailing, Essex. It was a base for the 322nd BG. I would just like to know more about the ships & men who were based there, as I am interested about them and their part in the history of the area. Many thanks for all of the men of the USAAF who served in the ETO. -Kevin Leek

Date:
5/27/2006
Time:
8:56 PM
 
Chester Klier, thank you very much for researching Mission Number 177, coastal gun positions located at Maisy, France and posting the results of your research on the site for all to access. I truly appreciate you taking the time to assist me in this matter and I sincerely appreciate the sacrifices you and other veterans made during the war. Best regards this Memorial Day weekend to you and your family, David Lesjak

Date:
5/26/2006
Time:
8:46 PM
 
Marauder Man Robert Schacht:
I was viewing your Martin B-26 Marauder Men Information web site & saw photos of men who were in my Dads' outfit (451st Bomb Squadron, 322 Bomb Group). Growing up I was lucky enough to have met some of these wonderful men who served with my Dad. My Dad passed away in 1989 & he really didn't talk much about the War, but after I got back from Viet-Nam (SGT. US Army-1969-1971) we had a real good talk & I found out a lot of things that I did not know about my DAD. I never thought my Dad was afraid of anything, but he told me the "Buzz-Bombs" V-1 & V-2 rockets scared him to death. It's very unfortunate that NOW these brave men are getting the recognition that is long overdue them. I have attached my Dad's WW-II photo & I hope any former member who sees it will remember his great sense of humor & hopefully it'll bring a little smile to them. Thank You for your time & I really enjoyed seeing some of the photos of my Dad's friends on your site.
 
Sincerely,
Kerry J. Schacht

Date:
5/25/2006
Time:
11:07 PM
 
Ben Sofka reflects on 66-year military connection

Blackanthem Military News, HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass., May 06, 2006

Mr. Sofka volunteers his time distributing prescriptions at the Hanscom Pharmacy each Tuesday. Mr. Sofka will celebrate his 90th birthday May 10. Read more...

Date:
5/25/2006
Time:
11:05 PM
 
A world, a war away

Local relatives relieved WWII remains found

Jim Paschal was a bit suspicious when he got a phone call in 2002 from someone claiming to be with the U.S. government who said the remains of Paschal's brother, a missing World War II pilot, had been found.

After all, 21-year-old Capt. Thomas C. Paschal had died in 1944 when his heavy bomber plunged into the Pacific Ocean during bad weather following a bombing mission on the island of New Guinea. How could his body have been found when the bomber sank into the southwest Pacific? Read more...

Date:
5/25/2006
Time:
8:42 PM
 
My brother, Dennis Ray Moore, was in WWII, having served in OSS, Screaming Eagles and for short time 82nd Airborne. He was at Berchtesgaden immediately after Hitler capitulated. He was also missing for a few month, having been taken prisoner. If anyone is still alive who remembers him, please contact me. I was very young when he enlisted and want to know more about his service, but not having any luck. -Randy Moore
 
Randy - B26.com is a Marauder Man web site (heck, I wish I could add all the branches) but your request is going in because Mr. Clyde Harkins asked everybody he knew what he should name his plane and the best name came from the 101st men he knew - The Screaming Eagles - check this bad boy out! ( 1 ) ( 2 )

Date:
5/24/2006
Time:
10:33 PM
 
Francis Dickason
319th Bomb Group, 440th Bomb Squadron
 
Attached is a picture of my Dad and, I assume, the crew he was with, don't know where. I only have last names for the other crew - he wrote them on the back on the picture. I have his mission list. I am assuming the bombs painted on the fuselage represent a mission so this would have been around April-May 1944. - David Dickason
 
Back row left to right:
Kenneth A. Spare, Pilot; Boyden, Co-pilot; Everett C. Vaughan, Bombardier; Adeir

Front row left to right:
Charles Grzyb, Francis Dickason

Date:
5/22/2006
Time:
8:50 PM
 
Here is a new mission story, number 177. This is the story about the newly discovered gun site located at Maisy, France. Tomorrow is the 62nd anniversary of the 386th raid on the place.
 
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.

Date:
5/20/2006
Time:
9:34 AM
 
To Whom it may Concern:
I am Larry Powell. My mother was married to 1st Lt. William R. Stewart ID: XXXX245. This was prior to her marriage to my father. Lt. Stewart was lost on February 24, 1944 while he was assigned to the European area according to the letter signed by H.H. Arnold.
 
I am trying to track what unit Lt. Stewart was assigned to ascertain if they have a memorial exhibit. I have several documents and some photos that we would like to share with them. The only substantial information I have is a Emergency Addressee card that shows he was assigned to the 336 Bomb Group as a Second LT and was signed on 3/5/43.
 
I have a letter from a Chaplain William Faulds Dated June 7, 1945 the return address on the letter has been damaged and it is from __ __ 7th Bomb Group. This letter relates that Lt. Stewarts aircraft was returning from a mission when the formation was attacked by aircraft about 20 miles out in the North Sea. Lt. Stewarts aircraft fell out of formation and was last seen heading for the base at low altitude and was lost from sight into overcast.
 
I realize I maybe asking a lot but I would like to place these documents on display with the appropriate group.
 
Thank you,
Larry Powell
 
- Mr. William R. Stewart, Co-pilot, 387th BG, 558th BS; Mr. William Faulds, 387th BG Headquarters.
 
- Operation Order No 91 July 17, 1943 - The following named crew WP by air in the aircraft as indicated below, at the proper time from Presque Isle, Army Air Field, Presque Island, Maine via the best available air route to <blank> and report for duty: 387th Bomb Gp. 558th Bomb Sq. A.P.O No. 4604
 
Sixteen crews and planes were on the crew and plane transfer to England, north route. Mr. Stewart was co-pilot of crew 16.
 
B-26 ( Crew 16 ) 41-31655
Pilot 1st Lt. Robert W. Keller XXXX848
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. William R. Stewart XXXX245
Nav. & Bomb 1st Lt. Harry S. Dennis XXXX601
Engineer Gunner T/Sgt. Hancel M. Lyons XXXX134
Rad Oper Gunner T/Sgt. Benjamin R. Strong XXXX310
Gunner 1 st Lt. Harold G. Shields XXXX905
Passenger 2nd Lt. John D. Root XXXX946
 
- Three 558th Missions on Feb 24, 1944: Leeuwarden A/D; Ray-Sur-Authie (V-1); St. Josse Au Bois (V-1). No ships are listed as lost.
Two 558th Missions on Feb 25, 1944: Venlo A/D; Bois Rempre (V-1) Aborted.
3 ships lost in North Sea:
41-31648 KX-L "La Diabla"; Crew Chief: Debolt; Pilot: McGheen; Shot down into North Sea by fighters 25 Feb 1944
41-31661 KX-J "Jessie"; Crew Chief: Barth; Pilot: McKellar; Shot down into North Sea by fighters 25 Feb 1944
41-31671 KX-Z "Buddy's Rebel"; Crew Chief: Gilliland; Pilot: Falls; Shot down into North Sea by fighters 25 Feb 1944
 
- Mr. Stewart is listed as "buried" in Cambridge American Cemetery, his name probably appears on a memorial wall in the cemetery.
 
Cambridge American Cemetery:
Name: Stewart William R; Rank: 1st Lt; Serial No: XXXX245; 558 Bomb Sq 387 Bomb Gp/M/; Service State: California; Date of Death: 25 FEB 1944 Location: Missing; Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross / Air Medal / 5 Oak Leaf Clusters
 
- From 558th BS squadron history book: "Toward the end of February targets for the mediums were temporarily changed to German airdromes in order to divert the swarms of enemy fighters from the Eighth Air Force "Heavies", then in the process of destroying German airplane factories. Carrying one hundred pound demolition bombs, the formations destroyed enemy aircraft, hangers, and ammunition stores. The Nazi airfield at Venlo, Holland was attacked on February 25 in extremely bad weather. Major Richardson, commanding officer of the 558th, led the second box to the target, and Captain Corburn, his bombardier, scored a direct hit on the aiming point. Attacked by over twenty Me-109's after leaving the Dutch coast on their way home, four of our planes were shot down. The pilots of these aircraft were Major Richardson, Lieutenant J.H. Falls, Lieutenant R.H. Jansing, and Lieutenant J.H. Steinhback. Enemy fighter loses (confirmed) were two destroyed, one probable, and three damaged. Major Richardson was succeeded by Captain Robert H. Keller as commanding officer of the 558th. About this time another change in squadron commanders took place, with Captain Joe Whitfield replacing Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Keller as head man in the 557th."

Date:
5/17/2006
Time:
5:28 PM
 
Before going into the Army Air Force, I had seen a b-26 at the San Diego consolidated aircraft plant. From that date, I wanted to fly on b-26's. I enlisted as an aviation cadet and eventually graduated as a navigator in class 44-1. I was sent to troop carrier and eventually ferried a c-47 to England, arriving on May 29, 1944. The next day my co said I would not fly on d-day because I had not flown in England before at night time. I assured him that I could navigate in England at night time and begged to fly on d-day. That night he came by my barracks and said he had me set up to fly if this was d-day and I would fly with a Capt. X (too many years ago).
 
We dropped our paratroopers at 1:03 gdst and towed in a British Horsa glider that night to the Utah Beach arriving there about 22:00 gdst on June 6th. After that we did nothing except get paid, and I continually asked to be transferred to bombers. On or about July 10th, when i went into squadron operations after flying that morning, I was told to call the squadron adjutant. The adjutant asked me if I could be ready to go to the 9th bomber command in one hour. I informed him a firm affirmative voice that I would be ready, and I ran from the flight line to my quarters. When I arrived at 9th bomber command headquarters, I found out that I was assigned to the 394th bomb group, 586th bomb squadron, a b-26 unit.
 
Unfortunately, the 586th now had 7 navigators including me. Therefore, I did not get to fly much for the first 6 months. However, on my first mission, we had a single engine over the target, Rennes, France. We had to leave the formation and we made it to Cherbourg where the secretary of war had to wait to takeoff because we had priority. Starting in January 1945, I was made a lead navigator and thereafter flew 16 group lead, 16 deputy group leads, and 8 flight lead missions which when added to some other missions I flew gave me a total of 47 b-26, and 3 troop carrier missions. I received the Distinguished Flying Cross for directing our crippled bomber some 150 miles out of Germany to Eindhoven, Holland where we crashed landed. I was also awarded the air medal with ten (10) oak leave clusters. The b-26 we crashed landed at Einhoven had nearly 350 holes in it.
 
Of the seven navigators in my squadron, two were killed by antiaircraft, one seriously injured over Koblenz, one took a piece of flak in his heal, on bailed out after an engine was hit by flak and the other engine quit over friendly territory, one had his eye hit by a piece of Plexiglas, and I never has a hole from flak in the nose of the plane.
 
Of the lead missions I flew, fourteen (14) of them were with Donald l. Frisbie, the best b-26 pilot I ever flew with! At the time, I knew that Frisbie was from Rialto, California. Until about a year ago, sometime in 2004 or 2005, I learned we had both gone to the same junior college, San Bernardino valley union junior college in the city of the same name. Being in the 394th bomb group and the 586th bomb squadron was the highest point of my life. All of the men in the squadron did their best to honor their county, and to help win the war.
 
Robert G. Turney
 
P.S. in spite of the U.S. code, the Air Force put me out of the ready reserves in 1957. I should have tried to dodge combat or gotten seven (7) draft deferments.

Date:
5/15/2006
Time:
11:53 AM
 
Dear Martin B-26 Crew Members and Family Members:
 
As the son of Mr. Jack Hastings, who is a deceased Air Crew member of the 9th Air Force, 322nd Bombardment Group, 449th Bombardment Squadron, and who survived 70 missions so I could be here, I would like to personally say "Thank You" for all that you did during WWII. Your courage and dedication to completing a tough and sometimes very lonely task should hold all of you close to the "Hearts" of a younger generation like myself. Thank you each and everyone for a job well done~!
 
I lost my Father in March 2003 and I still miss him each day. It was wonderful to be raised by a Father who had the "Right Stuff" in every sense of the word.
 
To the people who maintain this wonderful Website "Thank You" too for giving Us all a place to visit and read about these once very "Daring" young men and their Flying Machines.
 
A Vietnam Veteran & Son Of A Martin B-26 Crew Member

Date:
5/15/2006
Time:
11:52 AM
 
That's my daddy in the middle! Bennie D. McSwain Jr. He's been with the Lord since 11/22/92.
 
It's so neat to do a search on the Internet with just his name and here he is, on Wilmoth Keller's page! What a blessing, and blessings to all who read this!
 
B26.COM really is a very special site for people to visit. My dad was Lt. Bennie D. McSwain Jr. at the time of the picture and he was pilot for the 344th Bomb Group, 496th Bomb Squadron - now I know to say that! :)
 
Jeanie McSwain (Kennan)

Date:
5/15/2006
Time:
11:50 AM
 
Hi - I was a schoolboy who was taken out from London for a brief holiday at Pledgdon Green, Essex, UK. This was near where Stansted airport UK now is. The place where we stayed was a friends chicken farm where there was plenty of fresh meat and eggs for a change. Marauders took off in strength late each afternoon and roared across the farm as they climbed for height. The chickens did not seem to mind as they had long been used to them. Many of the planes dropped cartridge cases as they checked their guns. These were collected for recycling, though some were turned into cigarette lighters.
 
Vin Callcut
oldcopper.org

Date:
5/5/2006
Time:
4:36 PM
 
My mother, Lois Dale, would like to hear from my father's pilot and co-pilot. My father's name was Kenneth Dale. He flew with the 586th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group. I believe his co-pilot was E.R. 'Pat' Jansak (?) and his pilot was Don Excel (?). There was a third man by the last name of Daumer (?). My dad flew in the Army Air Corp as a tail gunner from Feb.1, 1945 through March 2, 1945. At that time he was injured and returned home.
 
I would appreciate anyone with information on these two men or any other man who flew on 'Dinah Might'. I am not sure of the spellings, but the pronunciation is correct.
 
Thank you,
Pat Joiner
 
Hi Pat - you will find more information, and a picture of "Dina Might" See April 21,2006 post Ref Sgt. Samuel S. Tavoni Jr.

Date:
5/5/2006
Time:
9:34 AM
 
My wife's uncle Donald Simonson died May 1, 2006. Donald Simonson joined the U.S. Army Air Force in April 1943 and became an engineer - top and waist gunner stationed in the European theater. He completed 66 missions over Germany in a B-26 bomber. He returned to New York May 25, 1945. He was a tech. sergeant and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. His children do not have information on Bomb Group/Squadron.
 
Is there any site I can further explore to see if there is any information on Donald Simonson so I can pass on any relevant information to his children and other relatives?
 
Thanks,
Harry Skelly

Date:
5/4/2006
Time:
7:12 AM
 
I would appreciate it if you would add the following information to the earlier Marauder Men entry I submitted for Lt. Francis M. Kirby. Lt. Kirby’s plane, along with 5 of his crew, was lost on June 12, 1944 near Creil, France. This additional information is an eyewitness account by the pilot of the plane directly behind Lt. Kirby’s when it was shot down.
 
Thanks for hosting such a wonderful website! - Mollie Garcia
 
The following is from the official Report of Loss of Aircraft made by Major Clinton M. Lee, Lt. Kirby’s deputy flight lead, to the 394th Bomb Group’s Statistical Officer:
 
On the first mission 12 June 1944, Lt. Kirby was in the position of leader of #3 flight box two. Other aircraft and pilots in that flight were as follows: #2 101 Lt. Billington, #3 036 Lt. Warfield, #4 034 Maj. Lee, #5 292 Lt. Lowell, #6 031 Lt. McCallum.
 
Approaching the IP on course at about 0850, I saw some flak bursting slightly to the left of the lead flight first box. An evasive turn to the right was made followed by several slight evasive turns in either direction. Lt. Kirby swung the flight wide and a little to the right of the lead flight in the second box, thereby allowing the lead flight to get about 600 yards ahead of us. He did evasive action roughly similar to the evasive action taken by our box leader but always remained slightly to the right. At 08:55, Lt. Kirby rolled out of an evasive turn flew about 15 seconds in a straight line during which time I saw several bursts of flak on altitude but both right and left of course. My position at this time was about an airplane length behind and about fifty feet lower than Lt. Kirby’s airplane.
 
Suddenly Lt. Kirby’s airplane blew up in the middle with a large flash of red flame and, to the best of my knowledge, broke in two distinct parts. The section from the tip of the nose to leading edge of the wings seemed to disintegrate. The center section of the fuselage back to the turret came down in one piece with both bomb bay doors blown off and the section behind the turret came down in one piece with the stabilizers both missing. One bomb fell out of the ship with no shackle attached.
 
When the flash appeared, I immediately nosed my airplane down and so may have had a misconception of the exact state of damage to the flight leader’s airplane. The # 2 and #3 men in the flight both swung out when the hit occurred and I believe that my element nosed down with me when the hit occurred and I believe that my element nosed down with me. The lighter objects blew back in the slipstream over the heads of the second element and after about 100 ft. of altitude was lost. The heavier objects such as the bomb began to catch up with us in descent so I moved the element to the left and out from under the debris. The other flights had turned in over the IP by this time so I rocked my wings and 036 came into #4 position. The bombardier Capt. Tangen turned me on the bomb run. Ship 101 got slightly ahead of our flight so joined the first flight second box as #7 ship. The bomb run was made as briefed and the bombs are believed to have hit the exact aiming point.
 
After bomb release a right turn was made off the target and after several evasive turns we rejoined the formation and returned to base.
 
Clinton M. Lee
Major, Air Corps

Date:
5/2/2006
Time:
10:45 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: T/Sgt Jack E. Whitehead
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 552
Plane: "HAZARD" 134958 RG-F
Comments: Jack Whitehead was my great-uncle. I am doing some research in preparation for both an upcoming trip to France and a family reunion and want to thank the organizers, contributors and administrators of this website for their fine work. I visited this site in an attempt to find out more information about the B26 that my great uncle flew in, and was so surprised to actually see his name and learn what happened during the mission in which his plane was lost. Many thanks to Chester Klier and those like him who, by telling their stories are ensuring that these precious parts of our history are not lost. -Thanks, Keri Hunter

Date:
4/30/2006
Time:
1:47 PM
 
I wanted to know if anyone has info on my grandfather, Shirl G. Wilson, 320th bomb group. I think a pilot stationed in the Med. After the war he and my grandmother divorced so there was scant contact after that.
 
Thanks,
Andrew Reynolds

Date:
4/29/2006
Time:
11:47 AM
 
Here are two new missions--number 72 and 73. Lots of enemy fighter action!
 
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.

Date:
4/29/2006
Time:
10:42 AM
 
Name: John J. "Jack" Condron
Bomb Gp. 323
Squadron unknown
Years 1943 to 1945
Class unknown
Comments: My Dad died prematurely of cancer in 1991. My dad was a B-26 mechanic. He was stationed in Earls Colne Airfield, England and was a mechanic on the B-26 Martin Marauder. In case this may help anyone who may have remembered him he had red hair just like I do. He eventually followed the Normandy invasion. I believe Utah Beach. I believe he became a staff sergeant and flight chief. He was in the 8th Air Force. Could you please share any information that you may have about my dad's experience because he is no longer here (god rest his soul) and I want to know more and share it with my son, brother, and sister.
 
Thank you,
John G. Condron

Date:
4/27/2006
Time:
8:45 AM
 
My father, Maurice Thompson, was in the 344th Bomb Gp (M) Sta 169, is there anyone out there who knew him or flew with him. He is 84 years young and would love to hear from any of his group.
 
Thanks,
 
Cheryll Cooley

Date:
4/26/2006
Time:
10:42 AM
 
Further to Ed Garcia's posting re: medals etc belonging to Colonel Thomas B. Hall 045A, being found at a market. Col Hall was the wartime CO of the 394th BG (M). Col. Hall went missing on the 11 of February 1951, together with the following crew:
 
Capt John D. Frazer, AO XXX044
Capt David L. Nelson, AO XXX374
Staff Sergeant Paul L. Smiley AF XXX779
 
All are still recorded as missing?
 
Circumstances:
They were on board a A-26 which departed the Taege Air Base, Korea, at 0200 hrs., for an intruder mission over the Yalu area of North Korea. Details from J. Guy Zeigler's, Bridge Busters, the 394th Bomb Group History.
 
Regards John Maljers

Date:
4/26/2006
Time:
10:26 AM
 
Attached is another picture for Henry Hill. He is with his crew in front of his plane, the “Suzie B”.
 

Date:
4/25/2006
Time:
7:08 AM
 
I was wondering if you have any further information on Walter H. Hedstrom 2 Lt. He was killed on March 28,1945. He died flying over Belgium. Plane number three. This is his son and Grandson inquiring. Please send information back please and thanks for all you work. Timothy Hedstrom
 
Tim - 25th March 1945 Lt Walter H Hedstrom and crew when their B26 crashed after a mid air collision.344th. Bomb Group 496th. Bomb Squadron.
 
Trevor Allen

Date:
4/25/2006
Time:
7:01 AM
 
Girard Forcella
Bomb Gp. 394
Squadron 586
43-46
 
My father, Sgt. G. Forcella was with the 394BG-586BS. He is still here at 86. He never really talked about the war over the years. But thanks to help from the B26.COM gang I got him to open up and posted him on the site. As a result, he received a phone call from a close friend, in the 586 that he hasn't spoken to in over 50 years. He recently told me about a close friend, Sgt. Stone he says was shot down during a mission. He was emotional and feels partly the blame because he had Col. Hall help get his friend into gunnery school. I have tried to find information about him but have been unsuccessful. He is not listed in "Bridge Busters" nor any other roster I can find as MIA or KIA or as a crew member. I am not sure of his first name but know he was a sergeant that worked in the dining room (mess hall) in the 394 BG, 586 or 587 BS in the ETO at the time he transferred to gunnery school. Any information on the fate of Sgt. Stone would really be appreciated.
 
Bob Forcella

Date:
4/24/2006
Time:
10:37 PM
 
Would anyone out there remember a Louis V. Markiewicz / 391st. Bomb Group / AAF / WWII. -Robert. W. Markiewicz, nephew.

Date:
4/22/2006
Time:
9:44 AM
 
I'm editing the biography for T-Sgt. Kenneth J. Brown of the 323rd BG/456th BS, and I have a few questions. His granddaughter gave me everything he wrote nearly 15 years ago and it was all done on an old self-destructing typewriter as far as I can tell.
 
1. "He later claimed we were brushing the treetops before the Pilot poured on the coat to that great Pratt & Whitney engine."
-"poured on the coat"... is that a known phrase or was there a typo? And what does it mean?
 
2. "We heard that for some reason a very-pistol had ignited and started this terrible fire, resulting in the death of the pilot."
-Same problem with "very-pistol"
 
3. Incidentally, what's the best usage: B26 or B-26? He uses both interchangeably and so does the internet.
 
4. Is it Blockbuster, block-buster, or block buster?
 
5. While talking about the issued bicycles in England: "We were totally unaccustomed to the black-out and while we were in some of the local pubs, our bicycles were leaving that part of the country in one big hurry."
-black-out?
 
The black outs during WWII were when the lights were turned off or windows covered to prevent the light from being seen at night in England to prevent German bombers from seeing the cities below.
See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackout_(wartime) / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz - Regards, Andrew
 
6. Talking about how the British Intelligence sweet-talked German POWs. "All the military courtesy of the Privileged Called Military Establishment was extended to the German.
-Privileged Called Military Establishment ... was that really what this was called?
 
7. "a cumulus hue of black-assed flack" from a quote.
-what is black-assed flack?
 
8. Does anybody, anybody at all know if the Jefferson Barracks "tent city" with a quote from Walter Winchell?
-"America's biggest concentration camp" was really that bad and was there any repercussions?
 
Thank you for any help anyone can provide.
Jen Schoonover
 
Ken flew one combat mission with me, he was the bomb dropper. I spoke with him about a year ago. I will try to answer your questions.
When he mentioned "pour the coal"; what that means is increase the engine power right now!
"Very pistol" is one that fitted in a slot in the cockpit, so that a flare could be fired out of the aircraft.
B26 or B-26 can be used either way.
Blockbuster is ok; I think that he was referring to a bomb.
I don't know how Ken used issued with bikes; we all bought one or walked. He, I think, meant that they were swiped.
Black-out: That meant all lights out. One would not want the Germans to have an advantage number.
#6: I do not know.
#7: he meant a cloud of black flack, which was smoke from German anti-aircraft weapons - 88 millimeter shells that exploded at our altitude.
The last about "tent city", don't know.
 
Lee Goodwin
 
1. Pour on the coal, in other words to use full throttle.
2. Very pistol, a large bore handgun used for firing flares. Usually a 2 inch bore so quite big.
3. B-26
4. I would think any combination would apply
6. By making German POW's comfortable in their surroundings during interrogation, and by the simple courtesy shown towards such people, resulted in the POW's being more 'affable' and extending more information to British intelligence services than they would otherwise give.
7. Usually refers to the black smoke emitted by a bursting shell of large calibre anti aircraft guns.
 
Best Regards,
Denis Sharp

Date:
4/21/2006
Time:
10:18 AM
 
Marauderman’s Name: Sgt. Samuel S. Tavoni, Jr.
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 584th
Location: Cambrai, France (A-74)
Comments: I am looking for information regarding nose art and other paint details on Marauders of the above squadron and group for use in constructing a historically accurate 1/48th scale model. I am working on this project for the B-26 veteran listed above. Sam was a replacement crewman and flew on many different ships with different pilots and crewmembers rather than being assigned to one particular aircraft. He flew as a turret gunner on 30 missions from Cambrai, France, before being wounded by flak on March 20, 1945 and being returned to the ZI. He doesn’t remember what aircraft he was onboard on the mission on which he was wounded.
 
Sam has a B&W photo taken of himself standing in front of the nose art figure on one of the Marauders on which he flew. The name on the side is “Dinah Might” alongside a scantily clad female figure with a short polka-dot skirt and with each of her breasts covered by an “8-ball” from a billiard table (see attached photo copy).
 
This photo appears on page 63 of “Bridge Busters – The Story of the 394th Bomb Group”, by J. Guy Ziegler. None of the rest of the aircraft is visible in his photo so I don’t know what the individual aircraft letter or tail serial number was for this ship.
 
Any info on this aircraft would be greatly appreciated.
 
Model subtype of B-26: B, C, F or G etc.?
Tail serial number?
Individual aircraft code letter – K5*?
Overall olive drab and grey paint scheme (this appears to be the case in the attached photo although it is quite dark), “half-paint” or natural metal overall?
Full, partial or no D-Day Invasion stripes?
 
I have several ways that I can go with this project, but my main goal is to depict one of the Marauders that Sam actually flew into combat in. If the info on “Dinah Might” cannot be obtained, perhaps you could find out which aircraft Sam was aboard on the day he was wounded. Sam also recalls flying several combat missions with Capt. John O’Neil as his pilot. I believe Capt. O’Neil was a command pilot, so if O’Neil had an assigned aircraft perhaps I could model that one.
 
Thanks in advance for any help and info.
 
Sincerely,
Barry J. Bertrando
 
Barry - "Dina Might" was 42-97072 K5-C, camouflaged olive drab upper surfaces, neutral grey lower surfaces. Codes K5-C were neutral grey and serial number on fin and rudder Chrome yellow. Interpreting the colours of the "Dina Might" nose art is almost impossible to do so accurately. You will probably have to make calculated guesses.
 
Trevor Allen
Historian b26.com
 
Barry -  my Dad completed his 50th mission aboard 42-96072 on May 24, 1944. I have his picture included. The dress is not polka-dot but has all suits of playing cards in red, and black clubs, spade, etc.
 
I would love to see the picture you have, I might have to try using the drawing I made, and create my own decal.
 
Malcolm D. Enlow Jr., son of Malcolm Enlow
 
Added two photos of "Dinah Might" showing more details of nose art and nose section. Photo far right is taken by M/Sgt Bernard Leroy Oligschlaeger; Radio/Gunner with 394th BG 586th BS USAAF (photo by Peter Wise). Photo left shows S/Sgt Malcolm Enlow http://www.b26.com/marauderman/malcolm_enlow.htm after his 50th mission, aboard "Dinah Might" (photo by Don Enlow). This Marauder was also in service with 17th BG 37th BS since December 1944 until end of war.
 
Alf Egil Johannessen
Sandefjord, Norway
 
 
We need better pictures of the art. ms

Date:
4/21/2006
Time:
9:45 AM
 
I am looking to correspond with any B-26 crew who flew any missions against the Maisy gun battery located near Omaha Beach between May and June 1944. I have several questions that need answering and would appreciate any help. I am writing a cover story for a magazine (200k distribution) on the recent discovery of the Maisy gun battery off the coast of Normandy. It is my understanding that the 386th flew a mission against Maisy on May 22, 1944. I believe it was mission number 177. I was wondering if you might have anything in your archives related to this mission? I'd appreciate any help you can provide.
 
Thanks very much!
David Lesjak
 
April 20, 2006--David Lesjak:
If you wish to write stories about WW II for pay: I would suggest you do your own research, and not depend on group historians to do it for you. I hope you can do a better job writing that Maisy Gun Site story than you did with your e-mail questions. You had the wrong date of the mission, and the gun site facing the wrong way--it was on the Normandy Coast, not off the Normandy Coast. You said 200,000 copies--oh my!
 
Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Date:
4/19/2006
Time:
7:56 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Salvatore "Sal" Grillo
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 559
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: 42
Class Location: Lansing MI
Comments: I was an armor ordinance person trained in Michigan. I joined the 387th/559th at MacDill Field, FL. I served at all the stations listed for the 387th Bombardment group through Rosieres-en Santerre, France until the summer of '45 (uncertain of exact date) when I was transferred to the 391st Bomb group. I was 2 points short of being sent home. While waiting to be deployed to the Pacific Theater, the war ended, I was sent home and discharged from Fort Dix.

Date:
4/19/2006
Time:
7:19 AM
 
I was wondering if anyone could give me some information about a Lt. Willard J. Jacobson. He flew with the 573rd Bomb Sqd. of the 391st Bomb Group. I have a picture of him and the crew of a B-26 with numbering on the right side of the nose, L T4. I have no idea what this means but it looks like it may be a stateside photo taken while he was in training. Any info about this gentleman, planes he flew and his crew would be greatly appreciated.
 
Regards,
Phil Stivers
 

Date:
4/18/2006
Time:
8:00 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Frank Grover Brewer, Jr.
Bomb Group: 455th
Bomb Squadron: 323rd
Years in service: 1943-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I just read the account of Ray Williamson (1, 2). It was so compelling. When I read that he was killed, I had tears in my eyes.
 
My father, Frank Brewer, is still very much alive and well at age 88 and he was a radio operator/navigator on the Marauder. He flew mainly out of Earls Colne, England. He was also based in France at some point. His pilot's last name was Arthur J. Kacewicz (2nd Lt - Major) and the aircraft was named "Klank's Tank."
 
Dad tried to enlist in 1942 but was turned down because he had an occupation "important to the war effort." He was an electrical engineer Then one year later, to his surprise, he received his draft notice. After he took all the aptitude tests, the proctor told him, "Brewer, you scored off the charts in everything. You can have any school you want." Dad wanted the school that would get him to the ETO and into the air as fast possible. So he chose radio school and the rest, as they say, is history. When he got to MacDill Field, AFB, Florida, the other guys called him "Pappy" because he was so old. He was 25!
 
My dad started out with the initial quota of 25 missions. Then it was "upped" and "upped" again. He flew on 69 missions over Germany and German-occupied territory. Early in 1945, dad was told to report to the commander's office. The officer said to my dad, "I've just been reading your file. Is this right...69 missions?" Dad responded, "Yes, Sir." He was then asked, "Brewer, do you want to go home?" Dad said, "YES SIR!" The commander looked him in the eye and said, "Brewer, you're going home. Go pack your stuff. You're leaving tomorrow." Dad happily complied. When he returned stateside, the powers that be wanted him to travel around selling war bonds. But the war in the ETO was winding down so he got sent to St. Louis where he worked at the records center decoding documents. It was there that he met my mom. They married in 1945.
 
During the war, my dad had a brother, Bob, who was a paratrooper. Right before D-Day, they met up and had what would be their last brother-to-brother talk. Bob jumped on D-Day, was severely injured, captured by the Germans and sent to a POW camp in Russia. When the Germans got word that the Russian bombers were on their way, they abandoned camp, telling the POW's "You're on your own now. Every man for himself." Then they took off as fast as they could, leaving behind a large number of POWs, of whom many were wounded...my uncle the most severely. The guys were afraid to move him, thinking it would kill him. Reluctantly, they made the decision to leave him hoping that he would be found by the Allies and taken to hospital. He died in the camp.
 
In 1988, dad and another man started putting together information to start a reunion group for the 455th. Dad did considerable research and they were able to find many of the guys. They had their first reunion that year in Myrtle Beach, S.C. where many of them had met for the first time. Each year since then, with wives, children, and grandchildren, "in tow." they have come together again, friend to friend, brother to brother. Those of us in the 2nd generation have now started the "Heritage Flight." Our mission is simple" to help perpetuate the memory of the Marauder men and the B-26.
 
I have the honor this year of hosting the reunion in St. Louis, MO. We will meet from 23 -27 September, 2006. I have planned some unusual, very special events that will be remembered for years to come. My contact people here in St. Louis are thrilled to have this group visiting their venues and they, in turn, are putting together interesting things.
 
If any of you would like additional information about this reunion, please contact me. I will answer questions and send registration specs to anyone who thinks he or she might wish to attend.
 
Thank you for your fine site,
Nina Brewer

Date:
4/17/2006
Time:
10:56 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st Lt. John O'Shaughnessy
Bomb Group: 17th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 432nd
Years in service: 4
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My father, John O'Shaughnessy, was a pilot in WWII. He has in his possession an personal article belonging to another pilot, his name is either Alan Pang or Alan Pane. I need help in locating this man to return this personal item to him. My father thinks he may have been shot down and this item was given to my Dad and he would like to return it. The farthest I have been able to go with this quest is finding someone of the same name who became a doctor and was located in Hawaii for some time. If anyone can help me by putting me in touch with this man please answer this letter. I would also love to hear from anyone who served with my father and remembers him. His pilots leather jacket has the name "Slim" stamped on it.

K. Iacono


Date:
4/17/2006
Time:
6:07 AM
 
I have read that, in order to maintain radio silence, B-26 crews took off at the signal of a green flare, rather than via radio directions. Did the crews start their engines after the green flare or did they have their engines already started and then taxied when the green flare was sent up? Or was there some other technique?
 
Many thanks,
Ed Garcia
 
About your question; we used to "hack" our watches while in the briefing room. We started at a given time and taxied out, five minutes later. I might add, in a given order. The only use, that I remember, was a red flare, to delay mission by one hour. Other groups could have done it differently. -Lee Goodwin
 
Ed Garcia on April 17, 2006 you requested information regarding the use of color signal flares. This is how the 386th Bomb Group handled the flares. The main traffic control tower would send up a single yellow flare for a one hour delay of the mission. If the tower sent up a red flare, that would mean the mission was cancelled.
 
All mission take off's were controlled from a portable control tower which would be parked off a short distance from the active end of the runway on the left side, just clear of the perimeter track.
 
A pilot would taxi to the end of the active runway and hold until the portable tower would flash him a green light. A steady red light would mean, hold your position. The second pilot ready to take off would be held until the first plane was about half way down the runway, a twenty to thirty second delay between take off's until all planes were into the air. Upon return from a mission all traffic would be controlled from the main tower position.
 
A quick flashing red light would mean, clear the end of the active runway immediately.
 
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.
 
Thanks to Lee Goodwin and Chester Klier for the information on take-off procedures!
Ed Garcia

Date:
4/15/2006
Time:
10:02 AM
 
Subject: 451st
 
My father, A. C. (Bub) Mahan was a pilot in the 322nd, 451st squadron. I have the "451st Bomber Squadron" album with many pictures, names, POW stories, etc. I am willing to share for the b26.com for scanning or anyone else with interest. Also, would like to know if anyone has any information on my father, Al Prestridge, or Billy Morrill - the missions they flew.
 
Thanks,
Jim Mahan

Date:
4/10/2006
Time:
11:34 AM
 
Hello - You can not even begin to know what kind of emotions I felt when I found the recounting of D-Day by Bob Witty who was on the bomber crew (The Mary Jo) with my Uncle Perry Parish...particularly when he quoted my uncle as he dropped his bomb load. It was approximately a month later he was killed when he was hit in the head by a piece of shrapnel. My uncle Perry, Uncle Buddy and my dad were all born in the house they grew up in.
 
I grew up with stories of my uncle and had always wished I had known him. I have his Army Air Corp 8x10 picture on display in home. My father said he had a wonderful and keen sense of humor and most every one liked him. My only brother (retired from the Air Force in 96) has most of Perry's military papers and the like.
 
After my father went to be with the Lord in 1995, we (his five children) found the letter my Uncle Perry wrote to my father, (his youngest brother) who at the time was serving in Burma. This letter was written just before D-Day and was so touching. Of course it could not be sent until after the fact! Perry said that by the time daddy received the letter the world would know of the supreme sacrifice countless young men would be making for the cause of freedom and how very proud and humbled he was to be a part of this great cause. He told my father he had written to my grandparents and had assured them, he was at peace with the Lord, and for them to try not to worry about him.
 
We also found the telegram that informed my grandparents of Perry's death, as well as a letter my uncle's fiancé wrote to my grandmother after my uncle was killed. That letter makes me weep and weep for an uncle I never had the opportunity to know (she called him "Jim") and love and also for a woman whom I've never met, but who loved my uncle and was devastated over his loss. I can tell you my grandmother never "got over" Perry's death and when she would recount the morning the telegram arrived she would weep as if the pain were bran new...this was 25 years after the fact. But, I had the privilege of being at her bedside about an hour before the Lord called her home. My cousin and I had lifted her to rearrange her pillows and as we laid her back, her eyes opened wide and she stared intently at the wall directly behind me. I had the distinct feeling of a presence in the room with us. I asked her if she was seeing something. She nodded her head yes because she could not speak. I then asked her if she was seeing an angel and again she nodded, I asked her if Perry was with the angel and she smiled as she nodded...and hour later after my cousin and I left she went home with her son to Father's House and His Son.
 
My grandfather, father and mother are there now, as well as his only other brother (he served in the Pacific) and his wife. I am looking forward to a grand reunion!
 
I have the blessing of being in possession of many pictures of my uncle during his short but successful military career. I will scan some of them and email them to you. The picture I have is "an" original, as I'm sure everyone on the crew of the Mary Jo received the same snap shot. My father, John H. Parish Jr., stayed in the Army Air Corp and retired from the Air Force in 1964 as a Major...not bad for a "Buck Private!"
 
Thank you for such a wonderful website where we "boomers" can retell, with great pride, the personal stories of the "greatest generation!"
 
Sincerely,
Mabelle P. Kindle
 

Date:
4/10/2006
Time:
7:51 AM
 
Sgt. George Vogiatzis Marauder was 41-31636 RU-B "Honey Chile II". I have no info about number of missions flown. See photo (names of crew unknown).
 
Leonard Lang's Marauder (Co-Pilot) was 41-18052 DR-N http://www.publicenquiry.co.uk/planes/dr-n.html. See formation chart for the 2nd mission to Ijmuiden on May 17th 1943.
 
large image... large image...
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
Lt. Carson Wilks Carrington was pilot on 42-107679 K9-M of 344th BG 494th BS, which was shot down by flak over Holland September 23 1944 on a mission to Venlo Marshalling Yards. Venlo lies very close to the German border, and part of the German WWII Luftwaffe Base there was located in Germany, and part of it in Holland: http://www.atlantikwall.net/related_fliegerhorst_venlo.htm
 
The 344th BG lost three planes that day. Lt. Carrington's crew:
PILOT: Lt Carson Wilks Carrington
CO-PILOT: 2nd Lt. Frank Brackoneski
BOMBARDIER: 2nd Lt. S.F. Thistlewaite
ENGINEER-GUNNER: S/Sgt. Wayne L. Martin
RADIO-GUNNER: Sgt. G.H. Roesser
TAIL GUNNER: S/Sgt M.J. Flynn
 
394th BG was based there from May 2nd 1945, and 397th BG from April 25th 1945.
 
Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
4/09/2006
Time:
11:07 AM
 
Dear Sirs:
I am a funeral director at Aldine Funeral Chapel. I just finished meeting with a neighbor of Jim Kerr who was here completing the details of his funeral arrangements. She mentioned that he was a member of the B26 Group and asked would I add that to the basic obituary that we already had on our website. She didn't have any more information on your group, so I told her that I would look it up on line and add a link to your website.
 
After finding your website www.b26.com I did another search including Mr. Kerr's name in the search parameters and saw this posting:
 
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.
 
It didn't list a name or email address for this poster and since the date was almost three years ago, this poster may have already received the information he was seeking. But, just in case, I thought I would drop you a note so you could get him the additional information. Here is the link to the family's website that has much more detailed information about him. Perhaps there is information on the family's website that would be of assistance to this poster.
 
Also, for your records, 1st Lt. James William Kerr, age 83, US Army Air Corps #XXXX127, passed away on March 30th, 2006 in Houston, Texas (I have a copy of Mr. Kerr's discharge papers).
 
If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Christine Zavodney
 
Christine - You can find some air combat data about James Kerr by clicking on my web page as listed below. Then click on mission number 189 and mission 283.
 
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.
http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
4/09/2006
Time:
10:58 AM
 
Hi - my dad, Roman Kwiatkowski, was with the 17th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Squadron. Here is a link to some of the pictures he took. There are many so I will be adding more to the list. http://homepages.utoledo.edu/bkwiatk/
 
Bruce Kwiatkowski, Ph.D.

Date:
4/09/2006
Time:
10:05 AM
 
Regarding post on 2/27/2006 at 8:17 AM by Tom Keaveney.
 
On my discharge under highest grade held it states Tec Sgt. I presume that this means Technical Sergeant, three tent shaped stripes with two round stripes below. -Bob Carden
 
Note: The above patches fit the description, if anyone has a better representation of WW2 Technical Sergeant patch, please email it.

Date:
4/09/2006
Time:
9:56 AM
 
Name: Sgt Glenn Doyal
Bomb Gp: 391st
Squadron: 575th
Years: 1942-45
Class:?
Location: England-France, Amy Roy
 
My Father, Sgt. Glenn Doyal, died in July of 1990. He never told us, his family, much about his WW2 experiences, just bits and pieces here and there. Shortly before he died he wrote an amazing story about his war time experiences. I did not read the story until 2005. It was not printed until then. I am amazed and so proud of my father. I know that Dad could not tell his story so he wrote it for us. He was shot down Dec. 23rd 1944 over Bitburg, Germany. They had bombed a railroad viaduct at Ahrweiler Germany. He was a tail gunner in a B-26 Marauder His pilot was 2LT. Donald N. Sharp. The A/C number was 43-43440 op code 08-Q. Name of plane "Lady Halitosis"? According to his account of the air battle that ensued, after the bombing run, he shot down two Fighters and smoked a third. As his gun jammed fire started coming from the front of the plane. The Battle of the Bulge was going on below so he bailed out for the third time. He was captured by a Panzer unit. He had been hit by shrapnel and did not know until he was captured. The shrapnel hit him before the enemy fighter planes arrived. After reading my fathers account of the air battle and the official unit citation I believe Sgt. Glenn E. Doyal was one of the heroes of this air battle and he indeed was one of the men that fire his 50 caliber machine gun as they were going down. His gun jammed and then he realized that the plane was on fire and losing altitude. My son Sr. Airman Louis J. Doyal Jr. is now stationed at Spandalem A.F.B. in Bitburg, Germany. The next day Sgt Doyal meet up with Von Castleburg and Gilbert, crew members, They marched for 30 days with only one meal. Dad did not mention them again so maybe they were separated. He then was put in a railroad box car that went to Poland. They stopped at a concentration camp believed to be the infamous AUSCHWITZ. Half of the men on his boxcar was Jewish and their heads were shaved and they left the boxcar. We are not Jewish so Dad was left in the boxcar. They then turned west back into Germany and he was taken to a POW camp. Stalagluft 4 or 5. Dad said 5 the records say 4. He escaped as the Russians closed in on Germany and served with the Russian (Calvary) Army for about 3-4 months. The leader of his unit was a woman of Mongolian descent and when she spoke they all jumped. Her whole family had been killed by the German army. She killed all that got in her way. Sgt Doyal was given a horse and a gun and was expected to fight. And he did. As they approached Berlin dad said he believed that every woman in Berlin was raped as least once. This is a great site and has told me a lot about my fathers war experiences. I have found new heroes in the Marauder men. I have a thousand things I would like to ask my father.
 
Records of missions show pilot Lt. Donald Sharp as the pilot for mission #203 Dec.23rd 1944 plane 43-3440-08 My father Sgt Glenn Doyal was tail gunner on that mission. They were shot down over Bittburg Germany and I believe Sharp was killed on this mission. My father Glenn Doyal stated he died that day. Dad went to California after the war to tell family of the days events and Sharps death.
 
That afternoon a Sharp is listed as the pilot of the Dec. 23rd afternoon air raids #204 plane #57-008-L There might of been two different Sharps who were pilots.
 
Also did plane #43-3440-08 have a name? I have listed it earlier as "Lady Halitosis" but I don' think that is right. I have a picture of dad and crew in front of "Lady Halitosis".
 
Maybe some of you can help me.
 
Thanks,
Jerry Doyal
 
 
Jerry, 2.Lt Donald Sharp was indeed killed December 23rd 1944, the rest of his crew having bailed out before the plane crashed killing the pilot. 43-34440 was the B26 they were flying.
 
There is no Sharp listed on the afternoon mission to Nuremburg communication centre. 008 L was flown by Lt Bolton a 575th squadron pilot and crew flying a 572nd plane.
 
2.Lt A W Price 573rd squadron flew the afternoon mission in B26 810.
 
I trust this sorts out your question to your satisfaction. Incidentally is there any chance of seeing a scan of your father and crew with "Lady Halitosis"
 
Trevor Allen
Historian, B26.com

Date:
4/02/2006
Time:
2:18 PM
 
My father, Kenneth J. Marshall, is a Marauder Man who was a B-26 gunner. He is a wonderful humble man who never spoke much of World War II while my sister & I were growing up but now reveals most of his war information to our husbands and sons. I would like to gather information regarding which missions he flew , fellow crew members, etc. He was in the 320th bomb group & 442nd bomb squad and he states he flew over 60 missions. I remember being on this website before and I thought I could look up missions etc. but I can't seem to locate that link now. And I also remember reading that it was possible to commission a historian to obtain information. Any information or direction for assistance would be appreciated. -- Thanks, Alison (Marshall) Casagrande

Date:
4/07/2006
Time:
7:45 PM
 
David Alton White, son of John William White, Tail Gunner on the Invadin' Maiden. 394th. I am seeking information on this aircraft including the crews and the other B-26's to carry that name. I am also seeking the unit histories for the 394th and the missions they flew.
 
My father told me he spent 9 months in the hospital when one of the Invadin' Maidens crash landed in Belgium after a rather disastrous raid on Dunkirk. He has passed away now. Died on October 25th, 2003 in Harrisburg, Penna.
 
Through him I fell in love with the aircraft and now have a chance to seek more information about it and the Martin B-26.
 
Thank you for any help you can provide.
 
Thanks, Dave White

Date:
4/04/2006
Time:
8:10 AM
 
In answer to the question from George Parker, Australians did fly B-26s with the 22nd Bomb Group. An Australian, Lt Graham Robertson was flying co-pilot with the famous B26 Pilot of the 19th Bomb Squadron, Walt Krell, on 13 Sept 1942 when they cracked up on landing on returning from a mission over New Guinea. Lt Krell got free of the burning wreckage, went back and tried to free Lt Robertson, but was unable. Krell received severe burns on his legs trying to free his co-pilot. Robertson burned to death in the plane. One account from Harry Philo, of the 19th Bomb Squad (Dec 2004), claimed that Walt Krell handed Robertson his revolver and the Australian took his own life before burning to death. I believe this crash was either at Iron Range, Queensland Australia, or Port Moresby (7 mile). Lt. Robertson's diary (up until shortly before his death) transcript exists on the Web. Some years ago his son came to a 22nd Bomb Group reunion and brought the original diary with him.
 
Malcolm T. Matthews, son of Merrill Matthews

Date:
4/03/2006
Time:
7:09 AM
 
I am Paul R. Wallace and was a Flight Engineer on a B-17 WW2. I read Chester Klier's reply to the inquiry of Andrew Wallace, (no relation), Sept. 22nd 2005, concerning the unfortunate crash of the 554BS 386BGB B-26 on September 11th 1944, that killed the entire crew. I was a personal friend of the tail gunner, George Vogiatzis. We attended George Washington High school, San Francisco, Calif. George is buried at Maddenly Cemetery and I had visited his grave in April of 2003. If possible, I would like to know if you could supply the serial number of his plane and any name or squadron markings and how many missions they had flown?
 
I also have a friend, Leonard Lang, a B-26 pilot who flew with the 322 BG, and was shot down on the last low level mission by that group. I believe there were 11 planes in that raid and one had to abort. The remaining 10 were all shot down. Leonard was taken prisoner and still lives today. Great Board, Thank you, Paul

Date:
4/01/2006
Time:
5:04 PM
 
Carson Wilks Carrington - B-26 Bomber pilot shot down over Germany 23 September 1944 was my first cousin. I have a little bit of data and a few photos. I was born in 1937. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery. Well, he was buried with his crew in Germany and after the war they were dug up and returned to the states. They could not separate the bodies so all four were buried together. -Pat in Arkansas

Date:
3/31/2006
Time:
5:29 PM
 
I am looking for any information on my Uncle, Sergeant John B. Hunnicutt. He was my Mother's Twin Brother and was KIA on January 14, 1945. We believe he as a turret gunner and/or a navigator. He was wounded in November of 1944 and then returned to duty on January 14th, 1945 and was killed. How can I find out his squadron and any other info on him? Thanks, Catesby Jones

Date:
3/30/2006
Time:
8:37 PM
 
17th May 1943 Mission Ijmuiden: My uncle, Sgt. Jose M. Basaldu (tail gunner), was on Lt. Matthews crew and is listed as MIA. If anyone knew him, I'd like to hear from you.
 
Thanking you in advance,
Vi Brock

Date:
3/29/2006
Time:
7:51 AM
 
Attached is a photo of Chuck Tompkins (the tall one in front of the nose) I have some more information. He graduated tops in his class as a pilot and the quota of pilots was reached before getting to the T's and he was very unhappy about it but became the navigator. I do not know the unit he was in but the lieutenant next to him has a badge on his left shoulder that I can make out some markings on; perhaps it could be matched with a unit. I would like to know as much as possible about this plane and the campaign. I am building a scale Radio Control model of it and would like some more documentation. Thanks you so much. Chuck was my uncle (Mom's brother). -Fred Rutan
 

Date:
3/27/2006
Time:
8:47 PM
 
My grandpa, Louis Sermersheim, past away last week, and when going through his belonging I found photo's along with the names on back and other memorabilia from the war. I notice the some of the exact photos on your website. I was wondering if you were wanting some copies of this for your website. The plane the men are sitting on below had the name Eleanor on the side. On the back of this photo is the names of everybody, possibly the plane info (I would have to look). -Heather
 
 
Guest page, March 28, 2006: Heather you wrote for information concerning your Grandfather, Lewis Sermersheim. He was in the 552nd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group, his rank was that of Corporal. That is about all I have concerning him. You also sent two photos of a Martin B-26 bomber with the nickname of  “ELEANOR” and asked for data about that plane.
 
“ELEANOR” 334214 RU-L was assigned to Major Ervin Rodgers, he named the plane after his wife who was an Air WAC with the rank of Private. Major Rodgers was also the Assistant Operations Officer in the 386th Group. He had a pet dog by the name of, “Flak”. A parachute was made for the English Cocker who flew on 21 bombing missions with the Major. They were shot down on August 11, 1944 on Group mission number 252. The target was a railroad bridge located at Criel, France.
 
“ELEANOR” was struck by a burst of flak in the left engine; it had to be shut down prior to starting the bomb run to the target. Their bomb load was jettisoned into an empty field. Seconds later the right side of the ship was heavily damage by flak strikes, which severed an oil line on the only engine still running, but losing power. The pressure chamber for the hydraulic system had exploded, knocking out the entire system.
 
The crew began bailing out at 2500 feet. The Major finally got out at 800 feet of altitude. His seven-man crew all landed safely, two of the crew became POW’s and the other five were picked up and hidden by members of the French Underground for some 18 days, until the American Army overtook the area. Major Rodgers returned to the U.S.A with his dog “Flak.”
 
Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Looking for information or photos of John E. "Jack" Shane who was with the 553rd. Bomb Squadron, 386th. Bomb Group. I believe he was in armament. Any information will be appreciated. - Tom Shane

Greetings, I was a young boy during WW2 and lived in Chelmsford, Essex, UK. This was three or four miles from Boreham Airfield which I remember being constructed in the middle of farmland and apple orchards. We could hear the Tannoy when the wind was right and were very aware of the presence of US Air Force personnel in the vicinity - in the nicest ways you understand. A friend and myself used to bicycle to the perimeter of the airfield and I recall sitting in the grass at the north end of the main runway and watching B-26s taking off and passing right over our heads. Those were very poignant days in my life which I will always remember nostalgically. Couple those memories with tuning in to American Forces Network from occupied Germany after the war and you can imagine what an impression it all made on me. Thanks to the men and 'boys' of the USA I had the chance to grow up in free world and now have the privilege of living in Canada and visiting the States, more or less, whenever I wish.
 
Marauders, Flying Fortresses, Bostons, Mustangs, Lightings etc., etc., boy oh boy how I remember!
 
Sincerely,
Derek Hasler

Date:
3/26/2006
Time:
4:19 PM
 
To those wonderful men of WWII who are still blessed to be here, I am looking for any information I can find on my father, Sgt Anthony J. Massone from Queens, NY. My father served in the Army Air Corp and was killed in action over Italy in November, 1943, two months before I was born. He was stationed in Tunisia. That is all I know except he was a tail gunner. I have asked for information from the National Personnel Records Center and have been told all records were destroyed by fire. But they sent me a list of his medals. My father’s remains were returned to NY in about 1946-47.
 
Can anyone tell me anything about his history while in the military? I so long to know more about him and what he was like and did while serving his country. He and my mother were only a short time before he was shipped overseas. He took his training at Barksdale Air Force base in Shreveport, Louisiana.
 
Thank you for any information anyone can give me.
Phillis Massone Jones

Date:
3/25/2006
Time:
11:30 AM
 
I've been going through old papers of my dad's and found his application for discharge. He was with the 494th Bombardment Squadron (M) AAF 344th Bombardment group (M) AAF. The date and address is APO 140, U.S. Army / 24 Dec 1945. His name was Charles W. Sheeron Pvt., 394th Bomb Grp. He had sent letters to my mom from Kitzingen, Germany in Oct of 1945. I've found return addresses with the address 586th Bomb Sq., 394th Bomb Group, APO 140 P.M. New York, N.Y. He would never really talk about his time in the service. I have some old pictures from those times. I was wondering where I would find more information on the unit and if anyone would have remembered him.
 
Thank you for gathering these histories together.
John Sheeron

To Ken Porter: A-71 was the airfield the 387th bomb group was operating out of during Dec. 1944. The airfield was in Clastres, France, near St. Quentin. If Frank Johnson was lost in Dec. 44, there is a good chance he was shot down on Dec 23, 1944 on one of the Mayen RR Bridge missions (bombardier Warren Butterfield), which was a very tough mission for the group. The 559th lost six planes on that day. My father was a pilot in the 559th during that time, but he does not recall Frank Johnson.
 
Jim Stevens, son of Joe Stevens, 387, 559 pilot.

I am sending this e-mail to the historians. I recently came across an auction and was saddened to find that a complete set of Col. Thomas B. Hall’s (387BG /557BS), medals and personal belongings, including a Silver Star and Purple Heart, were being auctioned for a couple of thousand dollars. - Ed Garcia

I am looking for any information on a Major Bowen who was a member of an escape party that crossed the Pyrenees with 10 other airmen on 28 Oct 1943. Maj. Bowen was described as a B-26 pilot in one of the E&E reports. I am assuming that given the dates that he might have been a member of either the 322nd, 323rd, 386th or 387th Bomb Groups. The escape group originated in Paris and they took a train to Toulouse and then to the foothills of the Pyrenees. The crossing was near Andorra and then southeast to Barcelona. I am writing a history and any information would be appreciated.
 
Thanks!
Warren Carah

Marauder Man: Royce E. Stephens
Bomb Group: 319
Squadron: 439
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: 43-G
Class Location: Pampa Army Air Field; Pampa, Texas
Comments: My name is Larry M. Stephens and I am posting this in the name of my father; 1st Lt. Royce E. Stephens; who at the time of his being KIA on 10-Dec-44 was assigned to the 319 BG, 439 Bomb Squadron flying out of Corsica. Here is what I have been able to determine about his career:
 
Entered service as enlisted man and an aviation cadet on October 17th, 1942 at Lubbock, Texas and sent to San Antonio for active duty. May 1943 to July 29 1943 at Pampa Army air Field; graduating in Class 43-G and promoted to 2nd Lt. Sent to Dodge City, Kansas for B-26 training. Graduated Class 43-2-G on October 8th, 1943. Sent to 335 BG at Barksdale Field, La. replacement Depot. 23 Mar 44 - Assigned to Combat Crew #18 as pilot B-26 19 July 44 - Combat Crew #18 (B-26)
 
P-2D 1082 Royce E. Stephens XXXX607
CP-F/O 1082 John J. Trumble XXXX336
B-2D 1035 Douglas F Eggerth XXXX231
EG-Cpl 748 Sonny Timbers XXXX888
ROG-Cpl 751 Clarence R. Westland XXXX904
AG-Cpl 612 Hobart W. Thomas XXXX184
 
Sent to Hunter Field, Georgia 24 July 44 - Assigned to Project 90830R - FL-716-AT Assigned Air Plane No. 43-34382 (B26-G) FL-716-AT-2 and ass. to Bangor, Me. 25 July 44 - order amended and crew sent to Morrison Field, Fla. 28 Jul 44 - Order assigning aircraft 43-34382 from Morrison Field to an undisclosed destination overseas. B-26-G 43-34382 FL - AT2 APO-16353-AT-2
 
From this point details are sketchy and I have not been able to fill in the time from his overseas departure until the time of his death on 10-Dec-44 over Brenner Pass while bombing the Son Michele RR bridge. He was riding as co-pilot with 1st Lt. Herman in a Mitchell B-25; 43-36216 when the plane was attacked by ME 109's. I would like to find out about the missions he flew in the Marauder and then after they converted to the B25; the missions he flew in that aircraft.
 
Thanks for any help you can give.
Larry M. Stephens

To Matt Ramsdell who inquired about Roscoe Orr back in 2002, my brother-in-law, 2nd Lt Theodore F. Balk, Jr., was in the other plane that went down that day - July 23, 1943. He was co-pilot on 41-34800, B-26C of the 443rd Squadron, 320th Group, stationed at Massicault, Tunisia. At one time I had obtained the coordinates of the crash site in the Mediterranean, but have misplaced the folder temporarily. If you will check the website www.abmc.gov/cemeteries  you will find your relative's name, Roscoe D. Orr, as it is listed on the Wall of the Missing in the Sicily-Rome-America Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy. Just search under WWII for his name. There is a beautiful page with his information and color picture of the cemetery that can be printed. There is a detailed description of the cemetery, the memorial building, and their services. You can request a photograph and rubbing of the wall where the name is located, as well as having flowers placed there. There is a ceremony every Memorial Day. I would advise anyone with WWII relatives who were killed or MIA to check this website for information.
 
We are going to Rome in May and plan to visit the cemetery and see the wall. We are also going on a cruise that will take us very near the place of the crash. I think by that time I will have found the coordinates I was given by the WFI Research Group in 2001. Good luck to everyone searching for information. It is out there if you take time to look. -Jane Balk Ferko

Date:
3/19/2006
Time:
9:42 PM
 
My father Jack Ready was an aerial gunner/flight engineer with the 28th Composite unit in the Aleutians. His was the aircraft that destroyed a Japanese submarine with a torpedo in June 1943. The only B-26 'hit' with a torpedo. A second B-26 was on the raid but was shot down by the sub. The sub was blown in half and the US Navy sank a floating half, claiming the victory, starting a feud between the two branches.

Date:
3/19/2006
Time:
9:42 PM
 
Hello from France,
I would like to know what B26 Squadron flew on 20 June 1944 and bombed the village of Bure en Bray near Neufchatelin Normandy at 19h30. Thank you for your help, Alain Charpentier

Date:
3/18/2006
Time:
7:27 PM
 
Response to inquiries dated 9/22/05 regarding 2nd Lt. James C. Ambrose, killed 9/16/1944 in England. Member 554th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. Historian Chester P. Klier & Andrew Wallace posted inquiries. I am his sister, Phyllis Ambrose Sipes and I would be very interested in knowing more.

Date:
3/18/2006
Time:
9:06 AM
 
Hello - I'm searching for information related to the B26 serial no. 41-34947 called LADY LUCK that a 386BG 554BS crew flew on 10 Feb 44. I'd like to know more about the crew and the mission they flew on the day it crashed. Thank you, Jean Paul
 
Jean Paul--I saw your request for information concerning the 554th Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. The name of the plane was "LADY LUCK" 134947 RU-K, it was shot down by flak on February 10, 1944. The target was a V-1 Launching Site number A-27. That ship was flying in lead position in the high flight, first box of eighteen planes. It was 386th Group Mission number 96. The pilot was Lieutenant Robert B. Spencer, was listed as missing in action. Lieutenant Arch A. Dennen, Jr. was the bombardier--KIA. Flight Officer Dayton B. Mitstifer was the co-pilot--KIA. Tech Sergeant Richard R. Faith was the radio gunner--KIA. Staff Sergeant Gerard G. Bergeron was the flight engineer--KIA. The tail gunner was Staff Sergeant John L. Dorton--KIA. Lt. Robert B. Spencer survived the war--he was killed in a small plane crash while flying as a high line inspector pilot in 1968.
 
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th Bomb Group
Check out my web page listed below.
http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
3/18/2006
Time:
9:06 AM
 
The photo on the left is "Miss Behavin" and Nathan Geren is second from right. Can this be the 391st BG 575th BS Marauder with squadron code O8-D, and serial 42-95844? Does anyone recognize the Marauder and the crewmembers on the photo? The 387ths "Miss Behavin" survived the war and has different nose art http://www.b26.com/marauderman/jack_laydon.htm.  (Mr. Leslie "Jack" Laydon, bombardier, served with both the 397BG, 598BS and 391BG, 573BS.)
 
Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen
Sandefjord, Norway
 

Left: Col. Thomas F. Tucker

Date:
3/16/2006
Time:
6:06 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: George L. (Pat) Kelly
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 95th
Years in service: 1942-?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My father was a tail gunner in N Africa, left from Morrison field in Nov. 1942. the aircraft was serial #41-7546 a B-26b2. The crew was J. Abernathy, R. Keeley, A. Miller, M. Pantaleo, L. Brown, G. Kelly (my dad), and C. Lovelace (Passenger). From the info I have and the stories I was told he served on five aircraft. I have pics of him by "Bucket o Bolts", holding a belt of ammo, for he had been credited with a ME-109 kill. He was given (3) probable also. He has also mentioned that he served on " Bat Outta Hell" another B-26. Other crew members mentioned was John E. McClure (pilot), Charles Greening (Pilot), George Hammond (Navigator/Bomb), Lawrence Dyer (Engineer/Gunner), Richard Mooney (Radio/Gunner), and Robert Atkin (Arm-Gun). My Father is now deceased and I am compelled to understand his time in the service to the greatest degree possible, and compile info for the rest of my family also. His tag number is XXXXX494. Any help would be greatly appreciated and any and all info that my family has we can pass on to you if it is any help. Thank you for your consideration. David Kelly, son of an American Hero!
 
David - your father's original aircraft was 41-17546 (there is a typo error in original 17th BG orders). It flew no missions. According to info I have it never got off Natal (crackup -ditched). "Bucket O' Bolts II" was 41-17901, one of the original 95th BS Marauders. It flew 74 missions and was in service from 18 Nov 1942 until 25 Sept 1943, when it cracked up on takeoff. "Bat Outa Hell" wa 41-17878, one of the original 432nd BS Marauders. The second crew you mentions flew one of the 95th BS original Marauders, 41-17906, from USA to MTO.
 
Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
3/10/2006
Time:
2:02 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Leon F. Lafreniere
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 597th
Years in service: 1941-1945 (?)
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I’m Leon’s youngest son Loren. My dad is alive and well. He has an eldest daughter Leanne and a middle son Leon Jr. We know that my dad flew 54 missions, 3 of them on D-Day. In fact, he was part of the first wave. He spent most of his life in Westfield, MA. His memory is failing in some areas because of his 87 years on this earth. If anyone has more information concerning this squadron and/or his bomb group, we would greatly appreciate it. We’re trying to get him to gather his memoirs but he’s reluctant. We did find out that he was put in for the Distinguished Flying Cross but his commanding officer had a thing against him so it was never completed. We’re wondering if this can be researched and, if so, how. Thank you to all that flew for our freedom and still do.
 
To Loren LaFreniere: Your dad was radio/gunner on my dad's crew - Lt. W.W. "Andy" Anderson. I have some photo's scanned that you might like.--Wynn Anderson
 
The 397th BG flew two missions on D-Day. First mission (group mission # 40) was Coastal Defenses at Dunes de Varreville (Utah Beach).
 
53 Marauders in three boxes, lead by Lt. Cols. McLeod, Berkenkamp and Allen took off at 4:45 AM from Rivenhall, UK. Each Marauder carried sixteen 250 lbs bombs which were dropped over the target at 6:21 AM. The second mission on D-Day was carried out by 38 Marauders which bombed Coastal Defenses at Trouville. Lead pilots were Dempster and Weltzin.
 
The books "Rivenhall - The History of an Essex Airfield" by B.A. Stait (ISBN 0-9509438-0-0) and "Wings Of Courage" by Jack D. Stovall, Jr (ISBN 0-9615206-9-8) covers parts of 397th BG history.
 
Best regards, Alf
Sandefjord, NORWAY

Date:
3/10/2006
Time:
8:44 AM
 
Hello - my father was member of the 95th BS during 1942-1945. His name is Garnett Lawton from York S.C. I had the pleasure of going to a reunion with him in Albuquerque, NM back in 1990. I enjoyed meeting his old buddies from the war but have not kept up with his group since his death in 1991. I have several photos of him with some friends in front of a B-26 that would look great on a dedication page. If any member of the 95th BS or their descendant is interested in communicated, please contact me. Also if the 17th BG or 95th BS still have reunions, please put them in touch with me. Thanks, John

Date:
3/9/2006
Time:
6:21 AM
 
Hello - I just stumbled across your webpage and was amazed to read about my grandfathers beloved Marauders. Unfortunately he passed away back in 1989 and we never really had the chance to find out more. He was born in South Africa in 1915 and was a member of the South African Air Force (SAAF). We know that he was a member of 24 Squadron and he was a tail gunner. I vividly remember some of his stories and I'm saddened that I never recorded them. His name was Flight sergeant Felix Ambrose Kilmister. We have found a book on the SAAF (South African Air Force); it's called Pier noctem pier diem (from memory) and the translation meant 'They Fly by Night'. If any one knows any more info on 24 Squadron or my grandfather it would be greatly appreciated. -Paul Kilmister

Date:
3/8/2006
Time:
7:40 AM
 
As a B26 WW2 veteran I wish to again express my thanks to those that have made the B26 site a reality. Your willingness to devote effort to recognize the Marauder gang is a great service to the many that served without asking for anything but to win and go home. Thank you for myself and for the silent ones. Max

Date:
3/8/2006
Time:
7:40 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Charles K. Simmons
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 557
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My father was an Armorer on the crew of "Dottie." He always wanted to take me to England and the Continent to see the bases where he served with "Keller's Killers"/"Whit's Warriors". We never made it over, but maybe I'll make it some day for him. --- Tom Simmons

Date:
3/8/2006
Time:
7:22 AM
 
From: Ernie Young (Ni Yonovitz) I was a bombardier in the 432nd during your stay in Sardinia and Corsica. I had pictures of you and myself sunning ourselves on the beach in Sardinia. I believe I inherited your dog after you served your tour of duty. What was his name, Butch?
 
Cordially,
Ernie
 
Reply to:
Date:
1/12/2004
Time:
4:30 PM
 
Earl Willoughby BombGp: 17th Squadron: 432nd Years: 1941 to 1945 Class: 43B Location: Lubbock, TX Comments: Would like to hear from anyone who served with the above Grp/Squad when we were based in Djedida, North Africa, Villacidro, Sardenia or Corsica. Am trying to put together my memoirs (about time, right?) and any info or pix you would like to share would be appreciated

Date:
3/7/2006
Time:
9:51 PM
 
I am trying to find anyone who served with Herbert Ratcliffe of the 394th Bomb Group 585th Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ed Garcia

Date:
3/3/2006
Time:
1:45 PM
 
My name is Boyd Hall and I  was in the 449 Bomb Sqd till June of 43 and then was transferred to HDQTS where I was to fly with people like Col Glenn C. Nye as well as Lt Col Gove C. Celio, Lt Col C.C. Mcfarland, Major F.P. Taylor. After Ijmuiden May 17, 1943 we were still training at low level. One day I was flying with Lt Col. C.C. Mcfarland down on the deck and we went through a bunch of trees and I was wonderland if Trevor Allen has anything on this? We did tear lots of holes in the bomb bays as well as did get a lot of wood in the Engines, But we did get back to Andrews field with no problem, I do not know the plane Number, or Sqd number.
 
Boyd V. Hall

Date:
3/3/2006
Time:
1:45 PM
 
Hello, I realize this is a long shot, but this post was placed in 2001. We have been searching for a few months trying to find anything we could on my great uncle, Capt. Laurence R. Harper. This was the first time we found anything referring to his group and squadron. We actually have a book written by his father that references the plane going down. I also have a newspaper clipping referencing his going death. We would like to find out all we can. Thank you, Mary Griffin
 
Date:
2/12/2001
Time:
1:57 PM
 
T/Sgt James P. Kelley Jr BombGp: 394th Squadron: 584th Years: 41-44 Class: 42 Location: Barksdale, Boreham, Eng, Cambrai, France. Looking for any information concerning my father James Kelley. He was at Barksdale Field for late '42 to late 43'. Then on to Kellogge Field to be with the 394th BG - 584th BS. He was sent to England and then France. A book Bridge Busters gave us alot of information but we were wondering if any one remembers Capt. L.Harper, P.Stephens, J.Harrison, R. Pagano, S. Ottenheimer, W. Andrew, K.Wolf or J. Kelley - their plane was shot down 11/22/44 over Germany. (H.Mote suvived). They usually flew 'Wingless Victory' I have pictures and we are trying to name faces. Thanks to everyone.
 
Mary, on November 21st 1944 Capt Harper and his crew were flying in the lead position of the second box of the formation bombing Neuweid, Germany when their B26 received a direct hit from anti aircraft fire, burst into flames and crashed. No parachutes were observed by other crews, but Sgt Howard Mote was later reported as a POW, the rest of the crew were killed.
 
The crew that day were:
Capt Lawrence P Harper; 1.Lt William Andrews, 1.Lt Paul Stephens, 1.Lt James Harrison, 2.Lt Kenneth Wolf, T/Sgt James Kelly,Jr, S/Sgt Stuart Ottenheimer, Sgt Howard Mote and Sgt Ralph Pagano. All belonged to the 584th Bomb Squadron 394th.Bomb Group. The airplane that day was not "Wingless Victory".
 
The appended photograph shows the crew from left to right who flew "Wingless Victory" from the USA to England. Harper, Davis, Harrison, Kelly, Ottenheimer and Pagano
 
Regards
Trevor Allen historian b26.com
 
Wingless Victory crew
From: T/Sgt. James P. Kelley, Jr.

Date:
3/3/2006
Time:
12:32 PM
 
To Whom It May Concern,
 
Hello my name is Robert A Birmingham, I am the son of Retired Col M C Birmingham, my father served in the 320th and 444th as a Lt and pilot. He passed away a few years ago due to emphysema, he started smoking when he was in Sardinia, like most other pilots.
My father told me very few war stories, most were hard to imagine. He told me about flak so thick you thought it was night time. And flying his plain home with one engine and looking like Swiss cheese from all the holes. My mother talked of him getting kissed on both cheeks from the President of France. He also told of when he was shot down, and order his crew to bale out, he could not due to his co-pilot being wounded and unable to survive bailing out. He belly landed that plane on a beach in Italy with no landing gear, the wind blew all of his crew over enemy lines and they became POW's. My father and co-pilot survived.
 
I am looking for information, stories pictures etc...to piece together my fathers history in World War II. I plan on writing a screen play on my fathers love of flying, WWII service and his love of the Martin B-26 Marauder. Please send my any contact information, pictures or any other material you may have on my father.
 
I have attached a photo of my father. I am not sure when this photo was taken.
 
A Proud Son,
Robert A Birmingham

Date:
3/2/2006
Time:
6:19 PM
 
Marauderman: James Byron Ford - Pilot
386th Bombardment group, 555th Bombardment squadron
 
I am trying to get as much information on my grandfather as possible. I am also looking for any photos that might be out there. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to send my deepest, most heartfelt, appreciation to those of you who have served this great Country! Thank you in advance for any assistance. -Michael Ford
 
Hello Michael, I have some data concerning your grandfather James B. Ford. He was a pilot in the 555th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. If you click on my web page listed below, then click on Formation Diagrams you will see where your grandfather flew on missions number 204, 222, 283, 294, and 388. He flew an A-26 Invader type aircraft on mission 388. All others were with the Martin B-26.Your grandfather rose to the rank of Captain while with the Group. Our Group switched over to the Douglas A-26 in mid February 1945. Go to combat missions number 283 and 294 where I have written stories about those two missions.
 
At the present time I have well over 200 items on my web page, 83 are formation diagrams, also 16 pages of photos. Most of my stories also have photos at the end, if they apply to that particular mission. I flew 66 missions with the 386th Bomb Group. Well I guess that is all for this sortie--Tallyho.
 
Sincerely,
Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.
http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm
 
Chester, I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the information. I have been looking for detailed information for some time now. You have certainly provided me with great information, and your website is outstanding. Thank you for your service to this great country, and God Bless!
 
Respectfully,
Michael Ford

Date:
2/27/2006
Time:
8:17 AM
 
Sir, on your website Mr. Carden has what appears to be a patch that my father wore three stripes and a t. He referred to himself as a Tech Sgt 4 not to be confused with a technical Sgt. On his discharged it states tec4. I am trying to get VA to list his memorial marker as a Tech Sgt. would I be incorrect? Did some discharges have Tech Sgt on them? Any help or info on this subject would be appreciated. He was also a proud veteran in Belgium during the Bulge.
 
Thank you,
Tom Keaveney

Date:
2/24/2006
Time:
7:12 AM
 
I joined the 323rd in May 1944 and my records show that Flounder Gus crash-landed in England February 15 1944 (Lt. Lightfine and crew OK). I don't remember if he was still with the squadron while I was there or not. What I remember is the Great Dane named Trey. Trey was inherited by Sobsynzki who continued the tradition of taking him on missions, all of this occurring while I was in the squadron. Trey was a pet of all of us, but he identified with Sob. I remember that Sobsynski brought to a reunion a part of an aircraft's nose that he had smuggled home. I wonder if it was Flounder Gus and if Flounder Gus flew again after it crash-landed.
 
Trey made many missions. I have a photo of him with Sob which I can send you if you like. However, you must have received many comments from 323rd men and mine might be repetitive. I flew 64 missions in Lady Luck and continued flying until age 60 as an airline captain.
 
Those were the days, my friend!
Bill Eastwood

Date:
2/24/2006
Time:
7:12 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Sgt George Moon
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 452nd
 
I'm looking for information on Sgt George Moon, my uncle. He was on the Pickled-Dilly when it went down on July 8th. I have very little information at this point - so any info or pointers would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks,
Kathy Prince

Date:
2/18/2006
Time:
12:23 PM
 
I would like to know if anyone remembers Phillip Dross, a member of the 320th squadron. I am a family history buff and genealogist. Phillip Dross, Jr., was born in about 1917 in Meredian, Mississippi. He was a son of Phillip Dross born in Austin County, Texas, a grandson of Valeska Kleberg Dross, and a great grandson of immigrants, Luise von Roeder and Louis Kleberg. He is or was my third cousin. I can't help but think they are one and the same person. Dross is not a common name. I'd like to know as much about the younger Mr. Dross as one can remember, i.e., what he looked like, where he went to school, etc.
 
Thank you.
Flora von Roeder

Date:
2/18/2006
Time:
12:23 PM
 
If anyone out there can give me any info on my dad, Phil "Dude" Notaro, 387th bomb group, 559th bomb squadron. Thanks, Jim Notaro

Date:
2/16/2006
Time:
1:53 PM
 
Hi, I was recently introduced to Cyrus Eaton Jr., pilot, 386/553. He is a very remarkable man. He is 88 yrs. old and living in a retirement village. He has shared his memoirs with me which tell an amazing story of his life as a soldier and a business man. I am very glad to meet an American hero and icon.
 
Kurt Lauer
 
...and you might want to read more here: http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
2/15/2006
Time:
6:39 AM
 
I was a radio-gunner in the 432nd bomb squadron, 17th bomb group. I am wondering if anyone knows the whereabouts of my Co-Pilot Lt. Stanley Richardson, who was severely wounded in the right leg. His last known employment was a Bail Bondsman. -Harold Dorsen
 
L to R Lt. Richard Weissman, Pilot
Lt. Stanley Richardson, Co-Pilot
Lt. Chuck Blomquist,  Bombardier, Deceased
S/Sgt. John Coradetti, Engineer Tail Gunner, KIA
S/Sgt. Harold Dorsen, Radio Operator, Waist Gunner
T/Sgt Marion Payne, Top Turret Armorer Gunner
 
[Dedication Page]

Date:
2/14/2006
Time:
3:56 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: SSgt Robert E. Ryan (Deceased 9 August 1975)
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 598th
Years in service: 12/14/42 to 02/01/46
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: San Antonio, TX and Fort Meyers, FL.
Comments: Doing research on my father who served as an Armorer Gunner for the 397th Bomber Group, 598th Bomb Squadron between 6 Feb 1945 and 1 Feb 1946. If anyone remembers his name and/or any information on his plane's name and crew members, please contact me. He is survived by his wife Pattie Lacy and 10 children (Kevin, Kathleen, Bridget, John, Sarah, Richard, Matthew, Anne (deceased), Michael, Meghan).

Date:
2/12/2006
Time:
10:15 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: William (Bill) R. Sauter (Radioman/Waist gunner)
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 450
Years in service: 1942 - 1945
Graduation Class: ???
Class Location: MacDill Field, FL
Comments: I am trying to find out more information about my Uncle Bill Sauter. He passed away in July 1998. He attended most of the B-26 Reunions. His plane was the “Dragon Lady II”. There is a picture of him on the web site. I am trying to find out more information on who may have served with him and more about his plane and the men who flew with him. I wish I would have spent more time with him asking about his life on the B-26 before he passed away. I would certainly appreciate any information on his BG or about his plane and the crew/crews he served with.
 
Thanks,
Bob Edge

Date:
2/12/2006
Time:
10:15 AM
 
Hello, I am trying to find out information about a great uncle (Sergeant Jack D. Willoughby /ser # XXXXX918) All I know of him is that he was in the 320 Bomb Group and he died when his plane was shot down in the English channel. I would like to know the mission, planes name, dates etc. Any information would be appreciated.
 
Dale Everman

Date:
2/12/2006
Time:
10:15 AM
 
I am trying to find any info I can on Walter Mathis. I believe he served in the 386th Bomb Group, 555th Bomb Squadron. He may have also flown with the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. If anyone has any info such as planes he flew his serial number and anything else, I would appreciate it. He passed away in December and we are trying to piece together his wartime service.
 
Thanks,
Hugh Rote
 
Walter Mathis was a first Lieutenant, and a B-26 pilot. I checked through some 90 plus formation diagrams, and finally found his name listed on three of them. He probably flew several more; at present I have no record of such. His missions of record follow.
 
Group mission number 310 was flown on December 23, 1944. The target was a railroad viaduct located at Ahrweiler, Germany. The bomb load was 4 x 1,000 pound bombs. He flew in the lead flight, number six position of the second box of eighteen planes. The number of his plane was 334310 YA-Q. The nickname was, “THREE-TEN” - derived  from the last three digits of the tail number. Please note that was also the number of the Group mission! Eleven planes were battle damaged by flak. The Mathis plane was not among those damaged.
 
December 23, 1944, second mission of the day, Group mission number 311. The target was a defended village located at Nideggen, Germany. The bomb load was 16 x 250 pound bombs. His plane was 334310 YA-Q “THREE-TEN.” He flew in the high flight, number two position, second box. No battle damage was recorded.
 
December 25, 1944, Group mission number 313. The target was a railroad bridge located at Konz Karthaus, Germany. Walter Mathis flew a ship, which had the name, “DAISY MAE” number 334161 YA-T. He flew in the low flight, number five position, in the lead box of eighteen planes. No battle damage.
 
As the second box leader was taking off his plane crashed on the runway. The plane had an eight-man crew. Five were killed and three were injured. Wreckage was strewn all over the active runway, thus preventing the other planes in the second box, to take off. Their mission was cancelled. However the first box continued on and bombed their assigned target. Each bomber carried 2 x 2,000 pound bombs.
 
That’s about all for this sortie, tallyho!
 
Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Date:
2/12/2006
Time:
10:15 AM
 
My hobby for the last 7 years has been collecting and compiling World War II veteran histories. I have been very fortunate to have interviewed, either by snail mail, e-mail or in-person I currently have over 160+ World War II veterans, from all branches, in my private library. None of this information is given out or published for a monetary gain. I have always been interested in World War II for many years and it is just my way of keeping their memories and stories alive For every World War 2 veteran we loose a piece of history is gone. If you wish to share this information with me, I would greatly appreciate it. I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Sincerely,
Peter D. Minix
Former Sergeant
Weapons Platoon
USMC

Date:
2/10/2006
Time:
8:50 PM
 
Hello - my Grandfather was involved in building these planes. He worked for Glenn L Martin from 1936-1976. We have a model plane ash tray of the B26 that we are proud of. I live 15 minutes from Martin's airport. I remember him saying how fast this plane was and that he saw these planes fly out of Martin's factory everyday, pretty cool - wish I was there.
 
Phil Reynolds III
 
Me too!

Date:
2/10/2006
Time:
7:40 AM
 
Re: By Golly
 
Mr Jack Stovall Jr, has written a book "Wings of Courage" in Memory of the pilot, Captain John Quin West Jr. the author's cousin. It has various crew photos including Sgt Chester Natanek. The crash on 19 July 1944 of By Golly, was a lucky one because the crew survived! a/c 296138 U2-D. (written of) The August 1, 1944 crash of 334126 U2-H, was fatal for the Pilot: Capt Quin West, and his navigator: Lt. Douglas Cramer. The remainder of the crew: Lt: William Budge C/P , Lt Fred Daoust, Bombardier and Sergeant Lloyd Thomas Webb (Additional information from Katina Webb Wier 5/6/06: Shot down 08/01/1944. Held POW at Stalag Luft 4.), and Sergeants Harold Zola, Engineer, Chester Natanek, Radio/Gunner, Edward Picklesimer Gun, survived and became POW. Don't think the a/c was named, (maybe By Golly II??)
 
John Maljers

Date:
2/9/2006
Time:
10:48 PM
 
Lt John H. Work
22nd Bomb Group
1940-1941
Graduation Dec.20, 1940 Class 40H
Kelly Field, Texas
Assigned to the 39th pursuit squadron, 31st pursuit group Mich.
 
Hello, my mother's first husband Lt John H Work was first in the Army Air Corps detachment in Glendale California and then went on to Randolph Field in Texas to finish up his cadet school and get his wings. John's flight commander was Lt. Joseph F.B. Parker and he told my mother that he was very lucky to have him as a flight commander. My mother died 2 years ago, and I have found her wonderful book she made of all his army papers, B26 pictures, graduation class picture, and much more. I also have some metals and uniform buttons. They did live in a little cottage house in Virginia in 1941 at Langley Field before he was ordered to fly to Murco Dry Lake, California for bombing missions over the California Coast. This is when he and his crew had a bombing crash and all were killed. The record shows killed were: Lt John Work, Lt Theodore Richards, Frank Serao, J.T. Kennedy, J.J. Lucien, and Alfred Legenhausen. The date was December 18, 1941. I know it is a long time ago, but maybe someone out there has information related to these men. If anyone has any more information on this crash, or any of these men I would love to hear from you. Somewhere they said it was the first B26 war crash. I also have an old paper that said he had a brother named Leroy Work. My mother only talked about his aunt named Mrs. Castle. I know he was her very first love and I didn't ask her too many questions. They had only been married 5mos when he died. She also had to drive to Murco Dry Lake California from Langley Field because he flew there. I would love to here news from any one with more information.
 
Thanks in advance,
Angie Ryan

Date:
2/5/2006
Time:
9:14 AM
 
Sir. B26B 42-95953. Pilot Joseph S. Danner XXXX633. 344th Group, 496th Squadron. This aircraft crashed in England while on a training flight on the 30th August 1944. No bomb load but carrying guns and ammunition. Left engine caught fire on take off. Engineer unable to feather the propeller. Aircraft crashed into farm house, pilot and two crew died, engineer survived. Official report states "pilot error 50%, mechanical error 50%." I am trying to get this decision reversed. I'm not related to the pilot, but a survivor from the house. I'm in contact with the AHFSO Research Division and need to give them more information. My questions are; could the aircraft be flown with an unfeathered propeller? Could the air accident investigators determine from the wreckage, that the propeller could not be feathered, and whether attempts to extinguish the fire had been successful? A young experienced pilot, 54 hours on this type and 595 total flying hours accused of "pilot error". The surviving engineer spent six weeks in a coma recovering from his injuries, the official report was made in this time. Can you help me clear this chaps name? Kind regards Tony Roff.
 
Mr. Roff, we are not qualified to answer your questions. Please refer to Martin B26 Marauder Emergency Instructions for a partial set of procedures that Mr. Danner probably had about 10 seconds to perform. The complete document is here (1.35 MB .PDF); note page 13, Engine Failure At Take-Off.

Date:
1/30/2006
Time:
6:41 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Donald B. Wren, Colonel USAF (ret)
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 554
Years in service: 33
Graduation Class: 43B Roswell AFB, New Mexico
 
I was a B-26 pilot on mission #189 which was knocked down on a bomb run. The account of this mission is noted by Historian, Chester P. Klier. I lived in the French woods for eleven days until rescued by the sister of a French Underground partisan. Escapees were no longer being taken to Spain for return to England so I spent three months with the French Underground until the American lines came through. I returned to my squadron in Great Dunmor, Essex. During my stay with the underground, I was united with T/Sgt. Steve Tirpac but I have no information on the fate of the rest of the crew (with the exception of Lt. U.M Miller who was reported dead.

Date:
1/28/2006
Time:
9:24 AM
 
Hi, I am the granddaughter of Donald Glen Davis who flew in the 552nd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. His plane was identified as "RG." Each mission had 36 airplanes comprised of four squadrons. If anyone has any information, on mapping these missions, please let me know.
 
Sincerely,
Tracy Chitwood

Date:
1/27/2006
Time:
3:56 AM
 
I am looking for information on the "By-Golly", 397th BG 598th Bomb squadron crash in France in August 1944. Anyone that can help it would be appreciated. My grandfather-in-law was a gunner his name was Chester Natanak. I know after the crash he became a POW.

Date:
1/26/2006
Time:
9:46 PM
 
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squad: 451st
Class: 1941
Location: Chanute Field, IL.
Yrs. 1941-45
 
STILL looking for anyone who might have remembered, 1st Lt. Lester E. Barton. B-26 Marauder Pilot. Died, Mar. 18, 1945, in "Great Squadron Tragedy, " over Beauvais/Tille, France. He graduated in the 38th School Squadron, in Airplane Mechanics, at Air Corps Technical School, at Chanute Field, IL. in 1941. Please contact me if any friends or anyone can remember anything, about my late uncle. Thank you, Judy

Date:
1/24/2006
Time:
12:06 PM
 
Name: Harry H. Bacon
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 444th
Oct. 1941 to Sept. 1945
Crew Chief - Miss Arkansas #88
Mechanics School: Biloxi, MS
Theater of Operations: Africa, France, Sardinia & Corsica
 
I was assigned to the newly formed 444th squadron of the 320th Bomb Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida in June 1942. I was trained on the twin engine B-26 Marauder at MacDill and Lakeland, Florida Air Base until September 21, 1942.
 
On September 27, 1942 left New York on ocean liner Queen Mary with approximately 15,000 passengers, for Scotland and England. While on board, the Queen Mary cut an escorting English Cruiser, “Caracao” in half the day before we landed in Gourock, Scotland on October 3rd. Over 300 English sailors were killed. Front half of Curacao sank immediately then the other half on fire prior to sinking. The bow of the Queen Mary caved in to a point about 30’ above the water line. We then proceeded to port at a reduced speed of 5 knots compared to normal 30 knots. On November 13, 1942 left England for Oran, Algeria, North Africa having arrived a few days after invasion. From November 20, 1942 to November 16, 1943 I was in Algeria and Tunisia in Training and Combat Operations in the Mediterranean, Sicilian and Italian area. From November 16, 1943 to September 23, 1944 I was in Sardinia for Combat Operations in Mediterranean and Italian area, from September 23, 1944 to December 2, 1944 on Corsica operating over Italy and southern France and December 2, 1944 to May 5, 1944 at Dijon and Tavaux, France operating in France and Germany. June 1945 to August 1945 in Germany scouting for German Air force materials. August 1945 to September 25, 1945 proceeding homeward by way Paris, Antwerp and Newport News, Virginia. I was discharged September 25, 1945.
 
Added by b26.com:
2 October 1942
HMS Curacao sank off Donegal, with the loss of 338 lives, after a collision with the Cunard liner Queen Mary, which was carrying thousands of troops and zig-zagging to avoid U-boats. The Clyde-built liner sliced her escort Caracao in half and she sank within three minutes. Only 26 crew members survived. The liner had been instructed not to stop to pick up survivors because of the danger from U-boats.

Features - Notable Dates in History


Date:
1/23/2006
Time:
2:58 PM
 
My father was a B-26 pilot, I think he flew 72 missions. I have a copy of his flight log at home. His plane was named "Flounder Gus" and had a portrait of his dog, a Great Dane, on the nose section. If you are interested, I can forward additional info. His name was Richard H. Lightfine, Pilot, 323 bomb group, 454 bomb squadron.

Date:
1/22/2006
Time:
1:23 PM
 
I claim no fame to being a B-26 pilot or crewman. But I own a 2003, Mercury Marauder, which is the closest I'll ever come to flying a Marauder. As complicated as it may have been, the Marauder was the fastest, medium bomber of WWII. If I had life to live over again, I would either have been a P-38, or Marauder pilot. My heart goes out to the men who flew both machines in WWII. God bless America, and to the men and women who gave their lives to keep us from foreign domination. -JF

Date:
1/21/2006
Time:
2:45 AM
 
My father-in-law, Don G. Love, now deceased, flew with the 391st BG 572nd or 573rd in England. He flew the ‘Dream Queen’ as well as numerous others. I am gathering his memorabilia and should have more info later. I would like to attend a reunion with my son, brother-in-law & nephews if any are planned. Looking forward to hearing from his squadron mates. -Dan Melton

Date:
1/20/2006
Time:
6:23 PM
 
Hello - On 4-10-1944 crashed in Angeren Holland a B-26. One of the crew was Georg Boyer from Coalville Utah. Can you me tell the numbers of the plane, and the names of the crew? Nice site. Thank you.
Ton van Bon
Angeren Holland

Date:
1/19/2006
Time:
6:38 PM
 
I am trying to get information about my Dad's squadron or to find out if there is anyone who is still alive that flew with him. He flew a B-26 with the 323rd bomb group 455th bomb squadron from 1943 to 1946. His name was James S. Pollard from Stuttgart, Arkansas.

Date:
1/11/2006
Time:
4:19 PM
 
Name: Earl H. Madsen
Bomb Group: 386th Bombardment Group
Squadron: 555th Bombardment Squadron
Years: 44-45
Class: Feb. 8, 1944
Location: Brooks Field, TX
Comments: My father, Earl H. Madsen, served from October, 1944 until the end of the war with the "Crusaders." Their organizational patch was the devil hurling bombs. His plane's name was "Satan's Cousin." (A number of the guys had their planes designated with some relationship to "Satan.") My father received not only the air medal, but also the Soldier's Medal for rescuing a fellow crew member from their B-26 Marauder when it crashed at St. Trond, Belgium in Dec., 1944. I am attempting to collect any information, photographs, etc. from those airmen that either flew with him or knew him in those days. He recently passed away at 83, in February, 2004. He had retired a major in 1970 from the USAF at Pease, AFB in New Hampshire after having served 31 years in the USAAF and USAF.
 
Thanks in advance for any information!
Doug Madsen
 
Hugh - have you read Chester Klier's page?
> Chester P. Klier--Historian, 386th B.G.
> http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier.htm

Date:
1/11/2006
Time:
10:03 AM
 
My dad's brother and certainly his closest friend before entering the military was Frank Johnson. Growing up during the Great Depression, they moved a lot. My dad can count 27 different schools that they attended before entering high school in Great Falls, Montana. Since it was tough to make friends and put down roots in a community in such short stays, the boys were pretty close to each other. We don't really know anything about his friends and comrades during World War II. I'm looking for anyone who may have known Frank. He was a bombardier on a B-26 crew.
 
Marauderman's Name: Frank Johnson
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 3 or 4
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: His plane was lost over Bastogne; I believe in December of 1944. Here's a few other bits of info, I don't know what they mean.
 
Station A-71
R.M. Winn, Asst. Ops. Officer
SN. XXXX5019
 
Interment Hamm U. S. Military Cemetery; Plot E, Row 14, Grave 30
 
Ken Porter
Son of Gene R. Porter (formerly Johnson)
Nephew of Frank Johnson

Date:
1/10/2006
Time:
8:52 PM
 
I am writing on behalf of my father, Wayne L. Martin, who few with the 344th BG and the 494th squadron. He and all his crew where shot down on September 23, 1944 over Venlo Holland. I never knew my father because he was killed two weeks before I was born.
 
I was looking at the web site and saw the name of a man I know had flown at some point with my father because of information I have been given over the years. The man's name is Joe Knight. I clicked on his name and a group picture came up and it was the same picture I have with my father and Joe Knight in it. I was so surprised I just had to write to see if there was any hope that Mr. Knight or someone in his family would contact me. I have always hoped to find someone still living that knew my father. I'm giving you my e-mail address, hopefully someone will contact me.
 
Thank you so much,
Roger C. Martin, son of Wayne L. Martin

Date:
1/8/2006
Time:
6:17 PM
 
Utah Beach
The Amphibious Landing and Airborne Operations on D-Day
June 6, 1944
 
By Joseph Balkoski
 
A review by Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret) prepared for Marauder Men
 
The Marauder Men, especially those serving in the WW II European Theater of Operations, have long fretted over the media coverage that relegated the Martin B-26 Marauders to the subordinate level of “they also flew.” Few understood that the background issue was the USAF interest in separating from U.S. Army leadership and establishing air power as an independent military arm equal to ground and naval power. Key to accomplishing this was the emphasis on strategic bombing – which tended to subordinate the accomplishments of the medium and light bombers. Read more...

Date:
1/6/2006
Time:
5:09 PM
 
Hello - my Great uncle John Himelright was a Marauder Man and his name appears on your web site at:
 
Saturday, September 4, 1943 - 386th B.G. Mission No. 12.
Target: Marshalling yard at Lille, France.
 
…The right-hand engine trailed a gray-white smoke briefly, and then burst into flame. Tech Sergeant John Himelright in the waist informed the pilots via intercom…
 
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal which I have in my home. He has since died and I never learned why he received these awards and would love to hear from any of his crew mates.
 
Regards,
Mike

Date:
1/5/2006
Time:
7:55 AM
 
Hello - I am a Marauder Man, our six man crew flew our missions from Roye-Amy France, we were in 391st bomb group, 573rd bomb squadron! our crew Pilot, James E Gonyer; Copilot, L.V. Jones; Bomb/ Navigator, Homer Cash; Eng/ Gunner, Joe Nevolis; Tail gunner/ Radio Gunner, Charles Huff; Waist Gunner & yours truly Floyd Mauth, Armament Gunner, Top Turret. On my web page is my crew picture taken in Lake Charles, La. October 1944 by Mild & Bitter! I have nothing but praise for Pilot Gonyer & co-pilot Jones, they flew tow target at Tampa Bay before we were assigned to crew. On December 15, 1944 we shipped out of Camp Kilmner, NJ on the Queen Elizabeth and landed in Glasgow, Scotland three days later, then on to the coldest place I've ever been, Stone, England. From Stone to France and I think we flew 23 or 27 missions, I have no record. I correspond with my Pilot and his children. James Gonyer is 84 and still goes to work at his store most days. I am 80+ in good health and I spend most of my time trying to learn this computer aggravation. My children think it keeps me young - perhaps I'll learn to type! We had some close calls, but we all came through it without a scratch; blew a left tire on take-off, flew our mission and landed safely, ran off runway into the dirt - no damage to plane. Bombardier dropped two 2000# bombs through the bomb bay doors over Koblenz & Locker Lake in heavy flak, the bomb bay doors were swinging in the wind and creating so much drag that I had to catch them with the cable hook on bomb winch and get them closed so we could stay in formation - that was a little on the scary side! If any one knows the where of our other crew members are or can fill me in on missions flown, or any one I was associated with please get in touch with me. May God take a liken to you & let the sun shine on your Parade. Thanks & the best to all in 2006. Floyd Mauth

Date:
1/4/2006
Time:
7:49 AM
 
My father-in-law, Don G. Love, now deceased, flew B-26s’ in WW2. I have located some information on the internet thru the 391st web site. I am interested in any information you might have re: reunions of the bomb group or squadrons. Dan Melton

Date:
1/3/2006
Time:
8:18 AM
 
My brother, Loye A. Groves, was the crew chief on the B-26 Marauder plane named 'Joy Ann' which was piloted by First Lieutenant Jack D. Wetzel. My brother's assistants were named Sergeants John J. Sullivan from San Francisco and Merle R. Stump from Columbus, Ohio. 'Joy Ann' began combat operations in March, 1944. My brother served in South Africa, Sardinia, Corsica, France, Germany and South America. He left his home in Magnolia, Arkansas on November 11, 1941 and didn't come back again until he had been discharged which was October 18, 1945. I would love to hear from anyone serving with him during those years. He passed away at 56 years of age of lung cancer in 1976. Thank you so much. Pat Hime

Date:
1/2/2006
Time:
1:42 PM
 
Name: Clarence W Anderson (1919-1998)
Rank: SSgt
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 496th
Serial#: XXXX5356
Years in Service: 1943-1946
Graduation Class: Unknown
Comments: As a Vietnam veteran myself I have an appreciation for the effort and sacrifices make by members of the 344th. This 344th veteran is my father. The only 344th unit insignia I have found on line are drawings. Attached is a photo of the unit insignia from my father's uniform. Feel free to share this photo. - Bill Anderson


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