Marauderman's Name: 1st Lieutenant Robert James Nachel
- 10:10 AM
- My father recently came across your site and was floored to see his
father, my grandfather, Jim Amick, in many photographs.
My grandfather passed away in 2010 at the age of 89 and was one of the most
amazing and influential people in my world and in many.
I was 27 when he passed away and feel so blessed to even know him and have the
opportunity to grow up with him around.
My PopPop was 6’4 and was a gentle giant and known to many as Big Jim. He
spoke about the war everyone once in a while and some experiences as a B-26
pilot but the one thing he would always mention was that he lost his best
friend and co-pilot and also one of his gunners in one of the missions. He
always talked about their sacrifice for this country when negative things
would happen in the government but would never talk about what he did for the
country. He was so humble and amazing. He flew in 57 missions before being
awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross.
When he returned home, he went to University and then started a business with
his brother. My father and now brother both still work at the small family
business that he started in 1958.
The reason for my letter is I wanted to know if I could purchase copies or
jpeg, or pdf’s of the pictures with my grandfather online? I want to do
something special for my dad for Christmas and I think this will be perfect.
He was so touched when he saw these and I would love to frame them so they
could go next to my grandfather’s flag and medals.
My family is very close and not a day goes by where we don’t think of my
grandfather. If this is not an option, I completely understand, I just knew I
had to reach out when we saw these pictures. My father just could not believe
they existed and was so moved to see them. When you see something like this,
it just amazes you at what else might be out there.
Thank you again for your consideration and for the amazing website. What a
treasure it is.
- Ms. Amick, thanks for the letter. You're welcome to use the pictures on
- 8:06 PM
- I came upon the following post
today. While it is 10 years old, I may have contact information that Dave
Jones, regarding Wetzel Kimball, is interested in. My name is
David Padgett. My grandfather was the brother of James Padgett. James'
youngest brother Joseph (Louie) is still alive and may be willing to talk on
the phone. I have pictures of James in uniform and a picture of the crash site
that I received from Uncle Louie. (These may have come from someone on this
site as the information on the pictures is similar)
- 10:25 AM
- Marauderman's Name: George F. Stout
Bomb Group: maybe 394th
Bomb Squadron: unk
Years in service: 1942-45
Graduation Class: Douglas Class of 1943-I
Class Location: Douglas, GA
Comments: My Dad flew B-26s over Europe from England for 66 missions.
According to his flight school graduation book, he was shot down twice and
returned to England via the French Resistance. His co-pilot was Eugene Wegman
from Rochester, NY. All of his records were apparently destroyed in a fire. I
would love any information regarding his service as he never discussed any of
it with his family. Dad died in 1990.
- 9:13 AM
- I just re-read “Wings of Courage”. I noticed that my dad had made some
notations in it. Nothing important just some disagreements on the flap angles
and stuff. What I noticed was the mention in there of Col Wood’s aircraft
being damaged and crash landing in England. It said Lt. Evans was killed and 3
other crew were wounded. Lt. Frank Evans was a close friend of my father, and
his navigator when training in the States. My dad and his crew were assigned
to Col. Wood, the 597th Squadron CO, when they arrived overseas. Lt. Joe
Coleman was the bombardier. He, Frank and my dad were very close. My dad had
been assigned a plane and another crew when Lt. Evans was killed.
What happened on May 13, 1944 mission? I would like to know who all were on
the crew and who were the wounded crewmen. I have a pic of my dad later in the
war with Col. Wood and crew where dad again flew co-pilot. Most of the
original crew were in that pic, so I wondered about the wounds, etc.
Wynn Anderson, son of Andy Anderson
- 6:38 PM
- Hi, my father, Bruce G. McGregor, 320th BG/441st BS, was a B26
pilot during the 1943-1945 time frame.
- 11:00 AM
- I would just like to say my Dad, Thomas Burwell, was on the
Pugnacious Peggy and was the Navigator Bombardier. He got off it the mission
before it was shot down. I went on to do 20 years in the US Navy on
- 1:18 PM
- My grandfather was in the 17th bomb group, 95th bomb squad and the B-26
was named "Bucket O Bolts". His name was Robert T. Sparkman Sr. From
Victoria, Tx. He passed away in 1989 and did not speak much of the war. We
have seen many pictures of him during his time in the Air Core but that was
after his death so there were many questions left unanswered. Would you are
any of your historians know any info on his plane or crew?
- 5:28 AM
Henry Farwell, who served with the 386th Bomb Group, 554th Bomb Squadron
as a Radio Operator/Gunner whilst at Boxted and Great Dunmow airfields in
England, passed away on September 3, 2013. He was a long-term supporter of the
Boxted Airfield Historical Group and its efforts to establish a museum
dedicated to all who served at the airfield. Despite his age, Henry attended
as many of the various group events and meetings as possible, including
fly-ins. We were privileged to have him open our museum to the public on May
29, 2011. As such, our group is especially saddened by his loss. -Steve Sharp
- 4:01 PM
|exCaptain Max Petrisek, pilot, class 43F, 17BG 95th BSqd.,
1942-1945. My B26 bases were Barksdale Field, Constantine N Africa, Sardinia,
Corsica, Dijon France. 63 missions most as Flight leader and one as Command
Pilot. We flew over by the Southern route. Sadly I lost my tail gunner, "Smitty"
Gunnels, original 1st pilot Joseph Shoepps and bombardier,
Camillo Tensi, because they shot down; attrition and time, I was
transferred to first pilot. The most memorable missions were invasion of S
France, Bombing N Italy bridge were a 88mm AA went through the rear and exited
before exploding and crippling the plane and killing the tail gunner- Sgt.
Gunnels. We made it to an emergency field S of Venice. Beyond combat missions
there was a short wing B26 that I took to the red line of 350 MPH where it
permanently lost normal air dynamics. Another not so normal flight was
ferrying a new B26 across the North Sea in a storm with most of the flight
instruments non functional. One flight was to bring war correspondence to our
Sardinia home base that resulted in an unplanned night landing without any
operating control tower. Some all fun flights included buzzing sail boats and
mountain goats in the Sardinia area. Perhaps the dumbest act was to
overload the plane with over a dozen cases of rum in Puerto Rico on our
long trip overseas. The complete team support made it possible for many of us
to survive. The pilot I trained with at Barksdale was Jack D. Amos.
- 2:36 PM
- My neighbor, Arthur S. Corry, passed away on 11/21/13. Mr. Corry
was in the 17th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Squadron and flew 108 missions from 1943
to 1945. He was at one time or another a navigator, bombardier and tail gunner
on the B26 Martin Marauder "Mississippi Mudcat". -Kirk A Slossar
- 1:19 PM
- I have dug up lots of spent 4.2 casings and bullets up from Willingale
airbase could you tell me if these are from any plane used there. The bullets
have been fired so safe. I am trying to find out why 4.2 ammo is everywhere,
got about 90 bullets all been fired, also got a lot of projectiles the end
part of a bullet all been smashed and all in bad state. If the planes never
used that caliber bullet why so many being found, also where do the end of the
bullets come from, bullets from German planes found inside the bombers? - Brian
- 2:53 PM
- Marauderman's Name: 2Lt James D. Jones
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 585th
Years in service: till 1944
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
I am trying to get in contact with Ms. Mollie Garcia and Mr. Scott M. Kirby
that posted on this site previously regarding their relative/father Lt.
Francis M. Kirby aircraft commander on B-26-B-55 Marauder 42-96117 shot down
June 12, 1944. My wife’s Grandmother’s, Mary Louise Richie, first husband was
2Lt James D Jones, bombardier of the crew and Killed in Action on that day.
They were married shortly before his leaving for the ETO and did not have any
children. She later married Rush Lee Johnson, another member of the 585th.
We have seen the picture of Lt Kirby’s crew on this website and the book
“Bridge Busters” but are still trying to confirm which individual is James
We are doing research on both men and would greatly appreciate any information
that you may have.
I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help.
E.G. “Buck” Shuler III
Lt Col. SCANG
- 3:15 PM
- Name: Nicolas Bentas
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Comments: Writing a book about my uncle Nicolas assigned to the 320 BG/441st
Sqd. Need some information on the a list of surviving B-26s today, flying or
static condition. I found some information that is not current, using this for
the introduction of the book. I have his grave marker in Michigan and the
memorial site in France with his crew. My brother, an artist by profession,
did a portrait of him. The picture of him was from a family photo he sent home
during his training in the US. Use as you will. Also providing a picture of me
at the memorial site in France.
Pilot Author Mac-Curdy
Co-Pilot Elmer Cudworth
Bombardier John Hill
Gunner Nicolas Bentas
Gunner Lloyd Rahl
Gunner Henry Tothamer
Thanks to all.
- 5:20 PM
- My wife and I recently pulled out and re-read the book Wings of Courage
about Captain John Quinn West, the "By-Golly", and its brave
crew. That story is amazing. You will notice on photos of the By-Golly, under
the window, the names of Ruby and Johnnie. Ruby was his wife, now deceased,
and Johnnie was of course, Capt. West's son. Johnnie also died in a plane
crash when he was 28. My wife is Christy "West", Johnnie's daughter (who was 1
when he died) and Captain West's grand-daughter. Christy and I live in the
Asheville, NC area and would love to have more treasures about Captain West,
Jiggs (the trusty pet) and the By-Golly. Our son is named "Quinn" after Cap.
And, our big ole black and white bernese mountain dog is named Jiggs! - how
If anyone has anything about the By-Golly, Captain West or the crew that they
would like to share with Captain West's grand-daughter Christy
Thanks so much for this site and all the wonderful information about so many
brave and loved men. -Greg Johnson
- According to Missing Air Crew Report #9808, on August 1, 1944, Capt.
John Q. West and his crew (397 Bomb Group, 598 Bomb Squadron) were on a
mission to hit a railroad bridge at Angers, France. Their aircraft, 43-34126,
was leading the third box when it was hit by enemy aircraft fire (20MM) in
both elevators. Witnesses T/Sgt. George Kapitan and S/Sgt. Morton Mills saw
fires burning on the right hand side of the bomb bay and right engine.
In his account of the events, the co-pilot says that he was hit by shell
fragments in his right leg and knee, and that the aircraft was filled with
fumes from the fire. The pilot was last seen at his position attempting to
keep the aircraft under control so that the crew could bail out. The navigator
passed out from inhaling the fumes, and it is assumed that the pilot was also
overcome by fumes before he could bail out.
The crew were: Capt. John Q. West (Pilot), 1/Lt. William C. Budge (Co-Pilot),
2/Lt. Douglas H. Cramer (Navigator), 1/Lt. Fred J. Daoust (Bombardier), T/Sgt.
Chester J. Natanek (Radio/Gunner), S/Sgt. Harold Zola (Engineer/Gunner),
S/Sgt. Edward B. Picklesimer (Armorer/Gunner), Sgt. Jacob W. Brinn (Armorer/Gunner),
S/Sgt. Lloyd T. Webb (GEE Operator).
West and Cramer were killed, the rest of the crew became prisoners of war.
Daoust was treated in hospital for burns to his face, hands, and legs.
Picklesimer broke his neck, and Budge was treated for wounds to his knee and
Budge recommended that Capt. West should receive an award for his courageous
and selfless actions that allowed the crew to survive that day.
A few weeks previously, on July 16, 1944, Capt. West flew 42-96138 ("By
Golly") for 150 miles on one engine and crash landed at a fighter strip at
Azeville (A-7) in Normandy. All crew members survived, and West was awarded
the DFC. There are photographs of Capt John Quinn West and crew standing
alongside "By Golly" at
http://www.fold3.com/image/231730383/ and of the crashed aircraft at
The aircraft was evidently named because Capt. West was a devoutly religious
man, and "By Golly" was the strongest language that he would use.
- 9:10 AM
- My name is Michael Kuzma. I am the proud grandson of Michael Kuzma
who served during World War 2 as a tail-gunner of a B-26 Marauder. My interest
has grown in my grandfathers involvement of World War 2 as I became more and
more familiar with the events that went down during this time. Being 23 and
attending college, I currently find myself doing a research paper on the B-26
Marauder and the impact my grandfather and his 397th bombing group/599th
bombing squadron had on World War 2. I know very little about his involvement
and am seeking any information about him, his crew and the plane he served
this great country in. I am unsure of his plane name, and battles he might
have been involved in. So any information would be greatly helpful. There have
been some artifacts that are within our family that would help me answer these
questions, but not nearly everything, I am unable to piece the details
together. Though, I am lucky enough to have some pictures and a picture book,
I am unable to obtain any information about his involvement with his bomb
group and sqaudron. It would be greatly appreciated if you could assist me in
any way so that I could learn more about the men who so bravely fought for our
country-some making the ultimate sacrifice! I thank you for your time and hope
you have a great day!
- 10:50 AM
- My Dad, Eugene A Maglietta, was in the 9th Air Force, 322 bomb
group. He is 92 years young. He still remembers stories untold. Stories that
are NOT in the history books I know and he wants to share. He was 85 last time
we spoke about details and his memory is starting to fail. I have been hearing
about ww11 for decades. However the untold stories are entertaining and quite
interesting. He says he doesn't remember me asking him about ww11. Thanks so
much for running this website. Stephanie Maglietta, Daughter of Eugene A
- 6:30 PM
- Hello, my Pop-Pop is Russell C. Johnson Jr. He is 91. He was a
bomber pilot 451 squadron 9th division during World War II.
Marauderman's Name: Russell Johnson
Bomb Group: 9th
Bomb Squadron: 451
Years in service:
Comments: Planes we have pictures of "I'll be Seeing You soon", "Piece
Maker", "Eleanor B."
- -Tracey Happold
- 9:23 AM
Looking for information on B-26 S/N 42-96101 fuselage code 4T-N assigned to
the 585 BS, 394 BG. According to the internet this was Captain Lyndsey's
aircraft. I would like to onow if there are any photos of this aircraft,
specifically the nose art.
I am doing some research on Captain Lyndsey so any help would be greatly
Lt Col Twedt
TRENTON N. TWEDT, Lt Col, IA ANG
Commander, 233d Intelligence Squadron
- 3:02 PM
- It has obviously been awhile since we have had the opportunity to check up
on Grandpa Warn's e-mail. I cannot tell you how much it means to him to
have this type of interaction through people met from your site. Duryea
would like to send his best and many thanks to everyone at B26.com for
everything you all do on the website. He is still alive and kicking, feisty as
ever! He will be celebrating his 93rd birthday in July. He would also like to
tell Rich a couple of things. First, thank you for taking the time to make
contact. Second, some information Rich may already know: his father was in the
575th Squad. and the name of his plane was "Scrumptious", and he
believes the plane number was most likely 95847. He does believe this was the
information he shared with him in Scottsdale back in 2006. Keep em flying and
again, thank you!
J2 and Duryea Warn
Mr. Warn is awesome! Thank you!!
- 2:02 PM
My name is Tom Drodge and I am trying to do some research on the B26 Marauder
"Times Awasting" that left Greenland in the fall of 1942 with seven officers
on board. It crashed in Saglag, Labrador, Nl. with all on board surviving. I
have read some articles about this plane but I was wondering if you know
anything about any of the officers that were on board. I am planning on
writing a book and is finding it very difficult in trying to gather
information. If you could be of any help it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you and look forward to your reply.
- 11:51 AM
- Dear b26.com editors and contributors,
Could you please help me to find, in the web, the pictures of B26 in action
over the marshalling yard of Florence Campo di Marte on March 11 , 1944 ? It
is a series of shots taken during the above mentioned action led, as far as I
know, from 42nd BW, 319th and or 320th BG.
Thanking you in advance, Sandro Censi from Italy
- 10:34 AM
- Marauderman's Name: Lt. Hiram "Hi" F. Appelget
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 95th
Years in service: 1941-43 (KIA 1 March 1943)
I'm Hi's great nephew. His footlocker recently turned up in a shed in, I
believe, Wyoming. Sgt. Gary Wayland at Warren AFB did yeoman's work in
tracking down Hi's family and getting the the footlocker to his surviving
Some folks have in the past here asked about any information about the downing
of his ship, the Barrel-House Bessie and Capt. William Kemp, Hi's buddy. In
true "two birds, one stone" fashion, I have a letter Bill sent to Hi's wife
Judy about the crash and one he sent to Hi's parents.
Hi was listed as MIA after the crash on March 1, 1943. It wasn't until October
12, 1943, that the War Department confirmed he had been killed in a telegram
to Hi's wife.
Sometime during that long wait, Bill wrote to Judy about the crash.
Undated letter from “Bill” to Judy
(Judy was Hi’s wife. She retyped many letters Hi had sent to her and sent the
typed copies to Hi’s parents. This is one of the retyped letters. Bill is
almost certainly Captain William R. Kemp)
Judy, I really don't know what to tell you about Hit! The only thing that I
can possibly do is to tell you how it happened and let you draw your own
conclusions. I'm not trying to destroy your faith, but I feel that you should
know the facts, and thereby know what to expect. If you will read back through
Avaition [sic] you will find that a few people, but just a very few have lived
through accidents just about as bad.
Well, here it is. We had a target that day that would require us to go in over
the target, right on the ground. Everything went find [sic], we made our run
on the target at a pretty good speed, being right on the ground, and saw no
opposition till we were right over the target. Then all hell broke loose. They
were throwing everything at us. Right in the midst of this, Hi's airplane
seemed-to pull up a bit and then just slowly began to roll over. It went all
the way over and it seemed that he was just doing a slow roll, but just as he
came out on the bottom of the roll, he hit the ground, and the airplane, which
still had its bombs in it, just literally blew to pieces. That's just the way
it happened-there one minute, gong the next, and who am I to say if anyone
lived through it? Clint Caywood and little Ivan Martin were in the airplane
with Hi. The ship was old "Barrel-House Bessie." We lost 3 other crews and 4
ships right there within about 5 seconds.
This may all sound very harsh, Judy, but I believe you will want to know just
how and what happened, and it is surely your right to know! Nobody knows
whether Hi and Caywood were hit, or whether their control cables were severed,
but as far as I can figure it out, it must have been one of the two, because
apparently, it was completely out of control.
That's all anyone knows about it Judy, so I can hardly say more except that it
all seems so utterly senseless and futile. I just _can’t_ understand why
people must _fight_ wars.
If you wish to know anything else please feel free to write me as I know how
you must feel - believe me.
BIll also wrote to Hi's parents. In a sad twist of fate, his letter to them
bears the same date as the War Department's "sincerely regret" letter to them.
Letter from Capt. William R Kemp to Mr. & Mrs. T.C. Appelget (Hi’s parents,
Thomas C Appelget and Helen (Gallup) Appelget)
Oct 16 1943
How is the hunting coming along? Sure wish I could be there to go with you.
Instead of that, I again have to be the bearer of bad tidings. Did you ever
find out anything from the Red Cross that was operating in the vicinity of
Hi’s accident? If you didn’t, this will probably be news to you—bad as it is.
I visited the scene of the accident about a month ago. I didn’t write you
then, because I thought I was on my way home, and could see you personally. I
didn’t make it as you can see by the address.
Well, anyway, I found Hi’s airplane. It was pretty awful. The plane was all
burned up, but the type was easily recognizable, and as it was the only one of
that type lost in the area, I have no doubts that it was Hi’s. As I said, it
was pretty awful. The ship hit the ground with such force, that pieces of it
were scattered all over the area. But the worst of it was that we found bits
of clothes, shoes, caps, earphones, etc., scattered around a radius of nearly
100 yds. It must have been a terrific explosion. We could find no definite
means of identifying anything, except a piece of Caywards overalls with his
initials on it. It proved _to me_ beyond doubt that no one got out. I wish to
god I could send you _good_ news, but I know you want to know the truth. On
top of everything else, we have had no news whatsoever about him being a P.O.W.
I remain, as ever,
- 5:10 AM
- On the 17th of May 1943 11 B26 Marauder bombers 322 BG / 450 & 452 SQ took
off for a mission on the Harlem works (Holland). Only 5 off them bombed a
target, not in Harlem but a gas holder in Amsterdam. Of the 11 planes, only 1
returned to England (because of engine troubles). The other planes crashed
(because of anti-aircraft and German fighters).
Can anyone tell me what the bomb load of the 5 B26’s was that bombed the
gasworks in Amsterdam? And maybe also what was the result of the bombardment?
Thank you for the help,
Niels van der Lee
- 10:04 AM
- My father, Lt. Ernest L. Pollard, Jr., was a B-26 bombardier in the
454 Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group in WW 2. He was from Richmond, Virginia.
His plane went down over St. Omer, France, on November 23, 1943. He trained in
Albuquerque, New Mexico and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have every letter
he wrote to my mother including letters from the Army regarding the
notification of his missing in action.
I have included two photos - on of my father and mother, taken just before he
left and a second one of a Christmas card that he sent to me, received after
his death. I was six months old when he died and never met him.
I would so much like to learn more about him and hope that there may be
someone who can share information with me.
Judith Pollard Harned
- 5:25 AM
- I would be interested in learning more personal/family information about
Pvt. Edward N. Grove, wondering if I am somehow related to this "hero".
I am an American citizen from Pennsylvania, although I have been living in the
United Kingdom for a number of years. Last week my family and I took a trip to
Normandy, staying right on Utah Beach and visiting Omaha Beach, completing our
visit at the American Cemetery. I am not aware of any family involvement in
the D-Day invasion, but in the visitor's center at the cemetery I searched in
the lists for my family name and discovered one entry for Edward N. Grove.
Thank you for any help or suggestions offered.
Timothy W. Grove
P.S. Coincidentally, the place where we were staying was near to the museum on
Utah Beach and I took a couple of photos of the B-26 on display there.
According to Missing Aircrew Report #6359, on 5 July 1944, B-26 serial number
42-107834 T6-F (no name) of the 573 Bomb Squadron was participating in an
attack on the Senonches Fuel Dump by the 391 Bomb Group. It was hit by FLAK on
the bomb run and a fire started which spread to the aircraft's bomb bay. The
co-pilot and bombardier suffered burns when the hydraulic tank exploded, but
both managed to bail out. They were later treated in hospital for their
injuries. In the rear of the aircraft, only the Radio Operator/Gunner managed
to bail out before the aircraft exploded.
The crew were: 1/Lt. Louis E. Hartman (P) KIA, 2/Lt. Kenneth L. Arneson (CP)
POW, 1/Lt. Donald E. Collins (BN) POW, S/Sgt. Adolph L. Pavinski (EG) KIA,
T/Sgt. Donald R. Shearer (RG) POW, Pvt. Edward N. Grove (AG) KIA.
Witnesses were: S/Sgt. Arlo L. Carr (AG), S/Sgt. James H. Thurmon (EG), T/Sgt.
Howard G. Baldwin (RG).
In his statement, Collins implied that both he and Arneson bailed out through
the bomb bay. He also states that Hartman, the pilot, was unable to follow
them due to fire. He was forced to bail out through the top hatch, but was
knocked unconscious when hitting the tail stabiliser, and failed to open his
Pavinski and Grove were last seen near the waist window, but it is unknown why
both failed to bail out. This crew's regular Armorer Gunner, Sgt. William J.
Bell, was KIA on 28 May 1944 and is buried at Cambridge, UK. The remaining
crew members had flown 42 missions together, except for Grove - it was his
first, and sadly his last, mission !
A photo of Hartman and of his crew can be found at
Grove's next of kin (his mother) is listed as residing in Philadelphia. You
state that you are originally from Pennsylvania also, so there's a chance that
you may be related !
If you're currently living in UK, you may be interested to hear that some of
the buildings, roads, and parts of the runway and perimeter track of the
391BG's airfield at Matching Green, Essex, have survived should you wish to
see them. The men of the 391BG are also commemorated at the local church and
airfield memorial. Photographs of the airfield and buildings can be found at
- 2:18 PM
- Charles T. D'Atrio
Present age: 95 years
94th Bomb Group
344th Bomb Squadron
Years in Service: 1941-1945
Casey Jones School of Aeronautics, Newark, NJ
Graduated November 1941
Comments: I first flew in a B17 until my crew was split up while overseas in
England where I was put into a pool of gunners. I then flew in a B26 which
disappointed me because of all of my B17 training. After awhile, I got used to
the B26 which was a bit easier to deal with due to flying in a lower altitude.
No heated suits or oxygen masks were necessary, as they were in the B17. The
missions were also shorter ones. While flying over France in a B26, my plane
collided with another B26 due to zero visibility, and I bailed out using my
parachute. I still have that parachute that saved my life. My daughter made
commemorative pillows for me and for my grandchildren using the silk from the
I have many photographs depicting my years in The United States of America
Army Air Corp.
- 2:46 AM
- Dear Sir, my name is Lino, I'm currently working on a article concerning a
German Do 217 aircraft, that was missing after a mission in the Cherbourg area
in June 1944. Parts of this aircraft have been found and identified this year
in France. On your great website, I found a picture on Col. Albert Hill's page
that I would like to use for my article in the historical background section:
The picture is attached linked. I would like to ask you for the permission to
use this picture, of course, the source will be mentioned. Do you have this
picture also in a better resolution? Thanks a lot and best regards from
- 10:47 AM
- My father, Lt. Ernest L. Pollard, Jr., served as a bombardier in
the 323 Bomb Group, 454 Bomb Squadron in World War II. He died November 23,
1943, on a mission over St. Omer, France. The pilot of his plane was Lt.
David Webb. Other crew members were Sgt. Edward Palmer, Sgt. George
Coursen, and Sgt. Allen Ferris. I am interested in learning more about
him. I was 6 months old when he was killed and never had the opportunity to
see him. I know he was a fine man, a loyal and dedicated American, a loving
husband and son, and I am sure he would have been a wonderful father. Any
information I can get would be appreciated.
- 7:23 AM
- Name: Earl L Theis
Location: Topeka, Ks
I am the Grandson of Earl L Theis. He was a B26 tailgunner shot down in 45.
Just recently found out that while he was assigned to the 391st 573rd Squadron
due to a lack of tail gunners he was assigned to fly with the 387th BG 559th
Found this on the site and would like to hear from anyone with to exchange
information, I know have some pictures and documents that I will be adding to
the site soon. Message that led me to post this as follows The plane mentioned
below was 44-67894 , I now have a picture, albeit poor quality of the wreckage
from the crash site.
Time: 12:53:51 PM
Johnnie F. Jones BombGp: 391st Squadron: Years: 1942-1945 Location: Scott
Field, IL. Radio/gunner on Little Pink Panties in ETO in Winter-Spring 1945.
On 27th mission my plane was shot down over Germany. Escaped to Switzerland
till end of War.
Originally I joined the 573rd Squadron of the 391st Bomb Grp., and started
flying missions January 19,1945. "Little Pink Panties" was one of the planes
our crew flew missions in. We also flew missions in "Little Gal". On April
4,1945 my crew was broken up so the pilot could fly on A-26s and I was
reassigned to the 387th Grp., 559th Squadron. On April 16th, our squadron was
assembled to fly our second mission of the day. I do not remember what plane
we were assigned to fly in. We were on a mission to Tuttlingen when the plane
took a direct hit in the left engine and began losing altitude. The pilot
ordered us all to commence the bail out procedure. I was the second man out of
the plane, landing about 40 miles inside Germany. I spent four days and four
nights walking through Germany, arriving at the Rhine River on April 20th at
the town of Laufenberg. I attempted to swim the Rhine River, narrowly missing
the dam's intake, being pulled out of the river by Swiss soldiers. I was sent
to an internment camp at Adelboden for the remainder of the war in the ETO.
The tail gunner was taken prisoner by German soldiers. The Co-pilot,
Bombardier and Engineer/gunner also made it into Switzerland. The pilot, named
Reed, was killed; his chute being full of flak. I completed 26 missions.
- David Ballard
If you were on the crew of "Little Pink Panties" you would have been in the
573rd Bomb Squadron. That being so the only B26 to be lost over Germany, by
that squadron, was February 13th 1945 when 1.Lt Michael Dobda and crew were
My sincerest thanks for your story of the bailout on April 16 1945 the real
story beats any official report... The B26 on the April 16 mission 1945 was
44-67894 TQ-M and the crew was as follows:
2.Lt Raymond Reid
2.Lt Kenneth J Stear
S/Sgt Richard J Bockhahn
Sgt Johnnie Jones
Sgt Robert L Mercado
S/Sgt Earl L Theis
Regards, Trevor J Allen
- 3:30 AM
- Dear B26
I have recently moved to Stebbing in Essex, UK where the 1st Pathfinder
Squadron was based during the war, the various bits I have read online
regarding the Squadron are a real insite to the time, extremely brave young
men, as were all the airmen during WWII who fought against Germany and its
I would like to put to bed a rumor which various people in the village seem to
think happened just after the war, apparently there was a vast pit dug and
equipment buried in it, some say it is under our house or field but the only
people who would really know are the members of the Squadron who put it there,
are you able to help me by contacting any surviving members of the Squadron
who may have been involved?
Kind Regards, Brain Jones (name changed)
- 3:04 AM
- Hi All,
Greetings from the UK.
I have recently become a little bit obsessed with researching details about
Great Dunmow Airfield, in Essex, England. I live very close to this airfield
and when I was a lot younger remember cycling along the runway, there are
still remnants of the runway left and you can still clearly see the outline of
the Airfield and runways on Google earth. I find all this fascinating, and as
I say extremely interested in the history of this important site.
I am a keen modeller and plan to build a Marauder, twinning this with photos
and history of the time, which I have already researched.
My plans include building a particular Marauder that was known to fly missions
from Great Dunmow so that in some small way I can remember the history of the
airfield and the crews that flew from it before the planned proposal to build
700 houses on the site.
So – to my question, the Marauder I am keen to know the history of is 9th
USAAF 386th Bomb group 553rd Bombardment squadron, B-26B-15-MA Marauder 41
31608 AN-Q, with nose art ‘Our Baby’, from your site I have found several
references to this plane but have come to a dead end with regard to what
actually happened to it, there are conflicting reports that it crash landed in
Lympne, Kent on the 26th November 1943, but also a picture of the same plane
on a visit to the 381st Bombgroup base at Ridgewell on the following day the
27th November, it’s there that I have ground to a halt. I would dearly like to
complete the story of this plane and its crew and closing the loop with Great
Dunmow, and would appreciate any additional details that your experts can
With thanks and kind regards,
- 3:49 PM
- The information on "My Gal Sal" posted on Hector Marcel is wrong. I
am the brother of the pilot, Jesse Lafayette Mitchell, the man in the
center of the back row noted as being not identified. I will be glad to
communicate with the person who posted it. - Joseph Mitchel
- 10:18 PM
- I am sending you this about my father, William J. Moriarity, a B-26
Marauder pilot. Although he was a true hero of WW II, he rarely spoke of it.
In his later years he started going to squadron reunions and through contacts
with Stephen Ambrose and others, some of his information was used in Ambrose's
book D-Day(p.244), as well as Voices of D-Day by Ronald Drez(pp53-54,
159-picture, 168-9), Voices of Valor by Ronald Drez (p94, 97-picture & voice
on the disk 1 CD), and Tales of the Marauder's by Jack Stovall, Jr. (pp
My father kept hand written notes of each of his over 50 missions. A summary
of those is attached. The crew: Pilot William J. Moriarity Co-Pilot Jesse N.
Wilkes, Bombardier Clarence E. Burgland, Engineer Kenneth A. Schell, Radio Man
Doyle K. Gantt, and Gunner Charles F. Salas.
Marauderman's Name: William J. Moriarity
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: 2
Comments: "Wild Bill" piloted his crew on over 50 missions from May 27, 1944
to October 30, 1944. Sometimes twice a day. They bombed railroad bridges, ammo
dumps and enemy troops. Same crew for all missions, returned safely even
through 2 emergency landings. Bill received the Air Medal, 9 Oak Leaf Clusters
and several other medals. On D-Day they flew cover for Utah Beach.
I have additional information if you are interested. Thanks, William F.
- 5:53 AM
- Good morning. I was wondering if you could pass along an email to Mr.
Frohne that was posted recently - the text of which is below.
My uncle, Frank Osetek, was a gunner on "Mr. Five-by-Five" and
served I believe pretty much the entire duration of the war with Lt. Col.
Ross. Thank you.
I just wanted to reach out to you with regards o the post your recent post
regarding your father-in-law, Lt. Col. Ross. My uncle Frank Osetek served on
"Mr. Five-by-Five" with your father in law, for from what I can ascertain was
the duration of the war.
I do not have many articles from my uncle's service - but I do have his
discharge papers and all of his mission logs.
My Uncle Frank passed away in 1996. He, like I suspect many other men who
served really didn't talk a lot about his service, other than showing me all
of the locations of the bases at which he was stationed throughout his service
abroad. When asked, my father would tell me my uncle had some difficulties
after he returned home, saying, "he saw a lot of his friends lose their lives,
and that he was very fortunate to have been flying with the best pilot in the
squadron (your father-in-law)."
Judging from the information I have been able to put together, it is
remarkable that "Mr. Five-by-Five" came through without major incident, given
the disposition of so many other places in the 386th BG. Remarkable.
Anyway, occasionally I visit the B26.Com site just to see what folks are
posting. I just wanted to reach out and say thanks for the item you shared and
if you have any other similar items (photos) in your family's possession
related to "Mr. Five-by-Five" that you might be able to copy and pass along, I
would be interested.
Thanks and have a good day.
Recently found my father in laws photos from his mothers scrap book circa 1942
-1945. Lt. Col Joseph H. “Jack” Ross USAF deceased May 24, 1993. Crusaders –
386th Bomb Group (M) B/N “Mr.Five by Five”. [Read more about Mr. Ross here].
- 9:04 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Joseph Faverman
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 555th
Years in service: enlisted March 24, 1942 in Lubbock, Texas - shot down
October 7, 1944
Graduation Class: want to find information
Class Location: want to find information
Comments: Just learned about this bombardier who was a first cousin to my
son-in-law's mother. Researching family history for son-in-law's birthday - as
a surprise. Found someone online yesterday - ironically, 69 years to the day
that the plane was shot down - who was also searching for information and he
had the crash report. Joseph and the pilot and copilot were buried at the
Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in Saint Louis, Missouri on January 26, 1950.
Three other crew members were able to get out of the plane. The serial number
on the plane was 131970 and it was called the Spam Burger. Joseph's father
died before he enlisted and his mother and brother died in 1949. His
grandfather and his aunts have also died. There are only two other people
directly related who are still alive - my son-in-law and his cousin. I am
interested in a picture of Joseph and of the B-26 called the Spam Burger - and
any other information or stories anyone might have. Ironically enough, my
husband - who is now 94 years old - was a bombardier instructor at Big Spring
AAF from May 1943 till August 1944. Joseph is not in any of the three books he
has. When I know more, I want to write a dedication page for this first
generation American who gave his life. -Bunny
- 6:00 PM
- The photo caption says that pilot Jesse Mitchell is top row left and that
the man in the center top row is unknown. My dad, Jesse Mitchell is the man
top row center, not top left. Jessica
- 6:00 PM
- Regarding the post by William Moffatt - Date: 8/23/2013, Time: 11:12 PM
The name "Bar Fly" was given to a number of Marauders. As the photograph you
mention does not appear on your post, it's hard to identify which one.
However, I've found that your father-in-law's name, "Rosselli Ernest.J.", is
listed as a Corporal of the 554BS on page 69 of "The History of a Bombing
Outfit, the 386th BOMB GROUP"
http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier/pdf/386th_bomb_group.pdf . So
it's likely that aircraft serial number 131877 RU-V "Bar Fly" of the 554 Bomb
Squadron, 386 Bomb Group, is the aircraft that he appears with in your
We are very fortunate to have the "DIARY OF THE 386TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP By
Chester Klier" available on B26.COM. Although your father-in-law's name does
not appear in the diary, there are many accounts of the missions which "Bar
Fly" took part in. If you type "bar fly site:www.b26.com" in Google you'll
find these, but I feel all of these fantastic documents are well worth
Furthermore, there are a number of photographs of "Bar Fly" on the web:
Perhaps, your father-in-law appears in some of these ?
Curiously, the second photograph shows different artwork to the others and
also a fixed 50 calibre gun can be seen protruding from the nose. Aircraft
131877 was a B-26B-30-MA model fitted with the fixed nose gun, so either these
are different aircraft or perhaps the gun was subsequently removed (to reduce
weight and provide more room for the bombardier) and the artwork repainted.
Regarding the post by Michele - Date: 8/18/2013 Time: 9:56 PM
There is a post on the B26.COM guestbook for 2002 which mentions Mr. Steen
(http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2002.htm Date: 11/4/2002 Time: 9:02:04 PM) by
Brenda Hunter Pullin. Her father, Andy G. Hunter Bomb (322BG 451BS) was a the
pilot of B-26 "Pickled-Dilly", serial no. 118276. His co-pilot was Carl O.
Steen of Duluth, MN.
There are photographs of "Picked-Dilly" on George Raymond Moon's dedication
Furthermore, there are two photographs at
http://www.fold3.com/image/270985909/ . Lt. C.O. ("nickname illegible")
STEEN is just visible underneath the co-pilot's window on the first
photograph, and ANDY "Rebel" HUNTER underneath the pilot's window on the
It would be fascinating to learn if Mr. Steen remembers any of the people
named on any of these web pages and photographs !
- 7:40 PM
- Recently found my father in laws photos from his mothers scrap book circa
1942 -1945. Lt. Col Joseph H. “Jack” Ross USAF deceased May 24, 1993.
Crusaders – 386th Bomb Group (M) B/N “Mr.Five by Five”. [Read
more about Mr. Ross here]. -Tom Frohne
- 8:15 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Lavern Helpingstine
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 439th
Years in service: 1942
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
In regards to
http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2005.htm#Ron_Miller past and Laurie Witche.
Ron Miller passed away some years ago. I am Robert Miller, his Grandson. I
have continued what he left off and I am continuing to look for any info on
Lavern Helpingstine, my Great Grandfather. I currently Live in Moore Oklahoma
and Work on Tinker AFB so i have visited Lavern's grave. I am Posting here
once more to try to get into contact with anyone who has any info on Lavern. I
will continue to monitor this page in hopes that someone may contact me.
- 9:43 PM
- Hello, I’m researching a British Spitfire pilot that was shot down on the
27th of August 1943 escorting bombers that had been on a raid to Rouen. They
were pounced by, I think FW190’s in the morning of the 27th. One pilot died
and the other – the chap I’m writing about bailed out at 5000ft. The bomber
and escorts had been travelling at 15,000ft. He was from the County of Kent
The man is still alive and is 93 this year. He told me that he was escorting
B26 Marauders. The Spitfire escort would have joined them somewhere near Le
f you have anyone that can shed some more light on the incident it would be
most appreciated. Anything time and weather conditions, eye witness accounts
even just an operations report will assist in my research.
I'm sorry if this is hard to follow, but I think I've managed to dig up
something that may be of help...
On August 27, 1943, only four B-26 groups were operating from the UK i.e. the
322, 323, 386, and 387 bomb groups.
Rouen was hit by Marauders on August 25:
August 25th, 1943 (WEDNESDAY) [here]
The VIII Air Support Command flies Missions 34A and 34B against two targets in
(1) 21 B-26B Marauders bomb the power station at Rouen at 1832 hours and
(2) 31 B-26s attack Tricqueville Airfield at 1834 hours; they claim 1-8-5
The Group (387th) then rested until August 25 when a mission was flown to
Rouen, France. [here]
According to this information [here],
only the 322 and 387 BG flew missions on August 25.
Therefore, we can deduce that Tricqueville must have been hit by the 322BG,
and Rouen was hit by the 387BG on August 25, 1943.
Rouen was again scheduled for attack by Marauders on August 27:
Another site [here]
has more information;
August 27, 1943:
Eighth AF - Over 180 HBs attack German rocket-launching site construction at
Watten. This is the first of the Eighth's missions against V-weapon sites
(later designated NOBALL tgts). 36 B-26's hit Poix A/F. Mission to bomb Rouen
power station is aborted because of bad weather and extremely heavy enemy
Another site [here]
has more information; August 27th, 1943 (FRIDAY)
- The VIII Air Support Command flies Missions 36A and 36B against targets in
(1) 35 B-26Bs bomb Nord Airfield at Poix at 0826 hours.
(2) 21 B-26Bs are dispatched to the Rouen Power Station but the mission is
aborted because of bad weather and extremely heavy enemy fighter opposition.
8thafhs.com, only the 322 and 386 BG flew missions on this date. Although
their database gives Poix-Nord as the target for both groups, Rouen is again
listed as a target for a B-26 group.
Friday, August 27, 1943 -
386th Bomb Group Mission Number 9, mentions the 322BG that day "the Group
(386th) is scheduled to bomb the airdrome at Poix Nord, France, the target is
identified as Z364." and "The 322nd Bomb Group will be hitting a target south
of us about the same time as we go in."
Furthermore, it states "The 322nd Group had a rough time operating just to the
south of us today; one plane turned back early with mechanical failure, and
another ship probably ditched before reaching the enemy coast. The formation
made enemy landfall at 0818 hours, the remaining nineteen B-26’s were turned
back at 0833 by their escort. They were immediately jumped by thirty enemy
fighters, some of which pressed home attacks to within thirty yards of the
formation. The fighters seemed to be using the cloud cover to their advantage
with most of the attacks being made from 5 to 7 o’clock positions. At 0850
hours the Group reported a Spitfire smoking and losing altitude, but under
control near St. Valery. The Marauders exited the enemy coast at 0855 hours
somewhat beat up, but none the less in tact!"
http://www.8thafhs.com/db/index.php only the 322BG and 386BG flew missions
on August 27.
Therefore, by elimination, we can deduce that the 322BG must have attacked
Rouen on that date !
If the above information is correct and the Spitfire pilot Ron is referring to
was escorting B-26s to Rouen on August 25, 1943, then it must have been the
387BG. If it was on August 27, it must have been the 322BG. Also, note the
reference to a Spitfire being shot down in Chester's account of August 27. He
also lists the Spitfire squadrons providing escort to the 386th on this day,
so perhaps this will tie up with your Spitfire pilot's squadron !
- 9:43 PM
|I was the bombardier on B26's in the
spring of 1945. Howard Carter, pilot and James Carter, co-pilot.
Information; there is a B26 in flying condition at the Fanasy of Flight
Museum, near Polk City, FL. Many other interesting things there also.
- 3:35 AM
- May have please detailed information about a loss of b26 43–34396 over
north Italy on November 5th 1944 about at 10,35 am. The loss was over north
Lake Garda about 10.8 N and 9.8E. loss due to Me109. Thanks, Emilio Agnelli
According to Missing Air Crew Report #9598, aircraft 43-34396 of the 320BG,
441BS was hit by enemy aircraft fire on November 5, 1944. It had taken off
from Alto, Corsica on its way to bomb a rail target at Revereto, Italy, near
Witnesses reported that it slid out of formation, the pilot evidently fighting
for control. Three chutes emerged and one minute later the right wing came
off, it then turned over on its back, and crashed into a mountain and
The crew were:
2/Lt. Truman C. Cole (Pilot)
2/Lt. Paul A. Louis (Co-pilot, )
2/Lt. John W. Pidcock (Bombardier)
T/Sgt. Samuel W. Brush, Jr. (Engineer Gunner)
S/Sgt. Wyatt B. Moore (Radio Gunner)
Cpl. Henry T. McMahon (Armorer Gunner)
S/Sgt. John A. Kramer (Photo Gunner)
Louis later stated that he was shot at during his descent by parachute, and
that he was captured by the SS and told that four parachutes had been seen !
Pidcock was also captured and they both became prisoners of war. Cole evaded
capture and fled towards Yugoslavia with three members of the British Army,
but they were captured at Brazzacco on December 26, 1944. He too became a POW.
All other crew members were killed.
- 4:52 PM
- My father, Lt. Harry Deutman
Jr., flew the Marauder over North Africa and Italy with the 320th Bomb
Group, 442nd Bomb Squadron. He enlisted in 1941. He was 20 years-old when this
story ran in the St. Louis paper. He helped rescue many of his fellow airmen
when they ran into trouble or were attacked by enemy fighters. I'd love to
hear from anyone who knew him. Debby Deutman Ross
- First Lieutenant Harry Deutman Jr., Plane Rescuer
Ladue Missouri Bomber Pilot An Air Rescue Hero
Flyer Has Protected Damaged, Planes, Dropped Aid to Crews Shot Down.
A reputation as a one-man flying rescue squad for shell-ridden bomber planes
and wavering fighter planes has been established by First Lt. Harry Deutman
Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Deutmnn, an Army press dispatch repotted today,
He is 20 years old.
On four occasions Lt. Deutman, pilot of a B-26 Marauder, has pulled out of
formations to escort bombers damaged by fink or fighters with engine trouble,
to drop life rafts and emergency equipment to occupants of planes that have
been-shot down, or to add his plane's fire power to that of a straggling
comrade being overpowered by the enemy.
The Army dispatch from a North African base reported that Lt. Deutman, who has
flown 50 successful missions, recently completed a job of bombing an important
railroad bridge on the Rome-Florence line and then finished up by helping the
crew of another plane that encountered trouble. [Source: Ladue newspaper,
read more ...]
- 9:26 AM
John Otto Moench
Major General, USAF Retired
Major General John O. Moench, an American patriot, passed away after a brave
fight against Inclusion Body Myositis on April 3, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens,
Florida, where he lived after retiring from the United States Air Force and
other endeavors in the civilian business world.
Born on August 4, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois to Laura May and Ferdinand Carl
Moench, Sr., John was a product of the Great Depression. He was raised on the
south side of Chicago and then on a rural Indiana farm. He graduated from
Valparaiso High School in 1939.
As so many young men of the time, he was caught up in the throes of World War
II, entered the Aviation Program from Indiana and was commissioned at
Columbus, Mississippi in 1943. After serving briefly with the 479th
Bombardment Squadron at Avon Park and MacDill Army Air Field, Florida and Lake
Charles, Louisiana, in 1944 he was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Group, 9th Air
Force. There he served as Flight Commander and Assistant Group Operations
Officer, flying out of England and France. He accumulated 62 combat missions
in the B-26 Marauder. At the end of World War II, he elected to remain in the
service. Following a brief period of occupation duty, he returned to the U.S.
as Chief of Depot Operations at Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio to
direct the return of war materiel from the European Theater.
Eventually he held post-war assignments in the field, in Air Force
Headquarters, Air Force Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany and European Command in
Frankfurt, Germany. While stationed in Germany, he met Mary Coppa, a civilian
employee of the USAF. They were married on July 29, 1952, in Wiesbaden. They
returned stateside with their newborn son Dale in 1953, where John attended
the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He then spent one
year as Commander of the 6175th ABG at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea and later
as director of Plans and Programs, 314th Air Division, Osan Air Base. He went
on toserve another two decades in Joint Commands both in the Pacific and with
the Joint Staff in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was a graduate
of the Air War College and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the
University of Maryland. During his career he served a total of four tours of
duty in the Pentagon. His final assignment was as Director, Plans, Policy and
Program Formulation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Completing over 30 years of service to his country, he entered the civilian
business community as an executive with a Fortune 500 company in New York.
Later he established his own wholesale and retail import company in Central
In the final decades of his life, General Moench was a prolific author and
avid historian who produced numerous published works on military history, most
notably on the history of the Martin B-26 Marauder and the pilots that flew
General Moench was a command pilot. He was a member of numerous military
organizations and archives. His military decorations include the Distinguished
Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 11
Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation
Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Distinguished
Service Unit Citation Emblem.
He is survived by his devoted wife of over 60 years, Mary Coppa Moench,
formerly of Alexandria, Virginia; their daughter, Michele Moench Kirby and her
husband Rex Broughton Kirby, Jr.; their son Jon Jeffery Moench. He is also
survived by four grand children, Rachel Kirby, Christina Kirby, Rex Kirby III
and Madeleine Moench. He was predeceased by his infant son, Dale Webster
Moench who is buried with him at Arlington National Cemetery.
Funeral services for General Moench will be held September 20, 2013 at 11:00
AM at the Fort Myer Memorial Chapel. Interment, with full military honors,
will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with a reception to follow at Fort
Myer Officer’s Club.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded
Warrior Project, (supportwwp.org) 877-768-6807.
- 4:53 PM
- I am looking for any info on my grand father Adolph C. Jasek 557th
Bombardment Squadron . It appears they have him listed as Adolf C. Jasek. I
have this one picture of him and his crew in front of what I believe is their
plane. Thank-you for any and all help. -Jacob Jasek
- 8:36 AM
- I’m not sure whether anyone is aware of the crash site of the ‘Lady Irene’
was identified a 10-15 years ago and one engine with props etc., were
recovered, the other engine remains in the crash site with wreckage of the
forward fuselage, obvious damaged beyond recognition in the crash. Basically
the recovery was restricted to wreck above ground, the engine recovered was
8ft down in blue clay and well preserved, most of the propeller blades had
broken free from the boss a couple of which were hardly bent at all. The
aircraft was abandoned and crashed on return to base when battle damage became
clear on preparing to land, Stoney Cross, on the 15th August 1944, the crew
survived. The pilot was Lt Don W. Morris, of the 558th BS, 387th BG. If this
is of interest feel free to contact me for more detail. Richard Reeves.
- 7:26 AM
- Marauderman's Name: Roy Eugene Ferguson
Years in service: 43-62
Graduation Class: 43-B
Class Location: Victory Field, Vernon Texas
Comments: I am trying to find information about my uncle while he was a
Marauderman in Europe. I only know that he flew 45 combat missions equal to
179 combat hours. I am trying to find out info about his Bomb group and Bomb
squadron and any info about his aircraft. I have heard he was one of only two
Maraudermen to safely return a heavily battle damaged B26 to her base and
safely land her. My uncle was lost September 18, 1962 when his F101 B Voodoo
interceptor went don 40 miles south of Montauk Point L. I. N. Y. He was, at
that time, Commander of Suffolk County Air force Base.
Any information that can be provided would be most sincerely appreciated.
- 8:03 AM
- Marauderman's name: Guy Philip Hendricks
Bomb Group: 322nd
Years in service: 2? 1943-45
Comments: My grandfather was a ball-turret gunner in ETO on B26's. He told me
stories of occasionally getting to fly on Flak Bait as it was pretty famous
and they let crews rotate through to kinda "get in on the action." This is why
I assume he was a part of the 322nd. I am just wondering if any of you have
any information or photographs with him in them. He passed away back in March
Jonathan Philip Hendricks
- 8:03 AM
My father, John P. Duffy (1909-1976), was a crew chief with a B-26
squadron of the 391st BG. I have a stars and stripes article which lists my
father, along with four other crew chiefs, who were awarded the bronze star
for maintaining their aircraft for 50 missions without mechanical failure
during the period (March - Oct. 1944). The article is transcribed as follows:
"Five crew chiefs at the B26 base commanded by Col. Gerald E Williams, of
Presque Isle, ME., have been awarded Bronze stars for maintaining their
aircraft without mechanical failure from March - Oct 1944. They are: T/Sgt.
Rodrick D. Seal, Huoma, LA; T/Sgt. Robert G. Unfried, Cleveland, OH; Sgt. John
P Duffy, Wrenshall, MN; Sgt Jessie W. Green, Tulla, TN., Sgt. Winston S. ??,
Fontaine, KS." I have the medal in my possession.
I have attached two period photo's for your archives. My mother's name was
Bertha Duffy (1917 - 2008). One of the photos shows the right engine of the
aircraft reflecting "Bertha", his lifetime love. He died in 1976 of severe
COPD and was pretty sure he destroyed his lungs by cleaning the interior of
aircraft fuel tanks without proper protection. He was discharged on 10/23/45.
I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback on my fathers service and this
information. Thanks. Dan Duffy
- 11:54 AM
- Name: William E. Davis
Bomb Group: 344th
Years in service: December 12, 1941 until June 1945
Graduation Class: UNKNOWN
Class Location: UNKNOWN
Comments: My grandfather, William E. Davis, flew on a B-26 named, "Invictus".
I am sure he was on a couple other planes, but spoke mostly of "Invictus". He
passed away in 2009 keeping most of his war stories to himself. He did speak
about bombing "buzz rockets" and bridges in Europe. He also told me of a time
he was flying from a bombing mission he completed and could see German
Fighters above him in the clouds going the other way as they passed by each
other. Not a shot was fired.
I am not sure of the date, but my grandfather told me of a time they crash
landed their plane and had to jump off the wings as he caught fire during the
landing. I always thought that was a cool story to hear.
The attached photo was taken around June 8, 1944 at the sub depot, located at
Stanstad Airbase in England. At the time the picture was taken, the airplane
had been terribly damaged such that it had to be towed in for the picture.
When it was coming in to land on the last flight, the folks in the area
thought it was going to a hit a quonset hut and catch fire. However, the pilot
was able to get it there with no problem. After the picture, the plane was
sent for repair and was transferred to another unit.
My grandfather said Captain Burris was one of the best pilots in the squadron.
He was from Texas. He ended up with President Johnson as part of the Air Force
Their plane, "Invictus" was named my Captain Burris. He chose the name
Invictus, which is Latin for Invincible. My grandfather had a leather flight
jacket with his name located on the top left breast. The hand painted picture
of the Invictus is on the back of the jacket. The artist's name is, Hougland (Hogi).
He wore his jacket on every mission that he flew. It has two pockets. In one
pocket he carried sunglasses and in the other he carried a screwdriver, a pair
of pliers, a quarter and a dime. To check the clearances on the gun, he used
the same quarter and dime to make adjustments throughout his tour.
The crew in the photo was in the 495th Squadron, 344th Bomb Group, 9th Aire
Force based in England. My grandfather was an Engineer, but also worked the
top turret of the plane when in action.
The crew in the photos is as follows:
Top from Left to Right: Genefke-Navigator, Capt. Burris-Pilot, Unknown-Bombadier
Front from Left to Right: Triplehorn-Radio, Smokey Hildebrand-Tail Gunner, and
my Grandfather, William E. Davis- Flight Engineer.
I am not sure of the plane serial number or what other planes he was on, but
would love to find out more if anyone else knows.
Thanks again for your website, I love it.
Bret S. Cortright Jr.
- 11:03 AM
- Marauderman's Name: Harry Littleton
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 599th
Years in service: 42 - 45
Graduation Class: Airplane Engine Mechanic, 747
Class Location: Sheppard Field, TX
Comments: My dad, Harry Littleton, was the top gunner and crew chief on "Lily
from Picadilly" (Martinez); 42-96283. Dad is still living although he is 91,
and is still very reluctant to talk about his AAF days; but once in a while, I
can get him to open up about his WWII experience. Dad like many of these brave
young men was in every major European Air Battle of WWII (Normandy, Northern
France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, Air Offensive Europe) and
according to one of the other gentlemen that was in his squadron, Floyd West,
Dad flew quite a few sorties or missions and became crew chief over three
aircraft toward the end of the war. Unfortunately Floyd has passed on, but Dad
has a couple of pages of names of the crewmen of different planes and until a
few years ago kept up with them as much as he could. He can still go through
the list and tell a little about each squadron member, if he was shot down,
KIA, WIA, RTD, and maybe even survived the war. I recently spoke with Mom who
has found boxes of many many pictures of the 397th Bomber Grp., 599th Bomber
Sqdn.; of the planes and crews, some pretty shot up. Please get back in touch
with me and I will get you in touch with her. Dad recently told me, that after
VE Day even though he had an ASR of 83 on 2Sep45, he was being trained to go
to the Pacific Theater for the invasion of Japan as a crewman on a B-29;
another time my Dad and I were talking, he told me that they went thru hours
of boredom interspersed with seconds of abject terror. Dad left the small town
in Oklahoma where he grew up (Copan, OK – pop approx.. 800) and traveled to
fight a war halfway around the world. He had never ventured more than 20-miles
from home and in a few short months of training was thrown into the greatest
conflict this world had ever seen. Dad’s health is fading fast now, and I am
sadden to say that he will probably not be with us much longer, but these
young men were and still are truly heroes in every sense of the word.
- 11:03 AM
- My father in law passed away and I have been going thru his B-26
information as he was a Radioman/Gunner. Is there a way to check on what
information you have on him as when I contacted the DOD and his files were in
the fire they had. His name was Alois John Hudachko 37 459 232 xxx-xx-7941
Separation 28 Sep 1945
N: Alois J. Hudachko
B: 01 NOV 1918
P: Rock Springs Wyoming
M: Zelma Burlech / Hudachko
D: 22 Aug 2004 R S WYO
Enlisted 1 Nov 1942
Great web site! Thanks in advance for all you do to remember our Marauder
Thank you! Rod
- 11:12 PM
- Hi, I came across your site while researching a family member whose
military headstone application by his mother shows he was a 2nd LT. in the 432
Bomber Squadron 17th Bomber Group. His enlistment date was Nov 11, 1941 and
his death date was January 7, 1943. His serial number was 0-791202 I assume he
was killed in action but it doesn't state that but I conclude that as there is
no discharge date stated on the application. His name was John Warren
Franklin Jr. born Oct 20, 1920 to John W. and Lucy Babin Franklin in
Louisiana. He is buried at St. John cemetery in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
Any help you can give me in locating more details would be great. Thanks.
- 11:12 PM
- I read the story about the bomber “BarFly. I have pictures of Barfly which
my father in-law is in. He was in The Army during World War two stationed in
England. Is there any other information on the exploits of the Barfly. My
father in-law (God rest his soul) was Ernest “Sonny” Rosselli from New
- 4:20 PM
- Hi, I was hoping someone could help me out. I found this very cool well
made wall mounted tiger head. On the back it says 37th bomb squadron 12th air
force B 26 (M) .
Has anyone seen this or know where it came from?
Thank you, Eric
- 9:56 PM
- Hi! I recently interviewed a WWII veteran who said he was a pilot of a
B-26. He told me the name of his plane was the Picadilly. He also said he flew
over 100 missions. He could not remember much anymore. He would begin to tell
me about his flights starting with a flight from California to Hawaii. He
mentioned flying from England to Spain and Africa, as well as conducting
bombing missions in China and Germany. He also mentioned Alaska. I saw the
picture of the Picadilly Willy. Could this be his plane? His name is Carl
Steen. Any info would be appreciated!
- 6:52 PM
My grandmother's nephew was William Flinn II, he flew the B26 Marauder
"THE YANKEE GUERRILLA" 134946 YA-L" on the mission on October 5, 1944 that
crashed in Rethondes, France that is noted on your website.
I have enclosed a picture of his grave, he is buried in Homewood Cemetery in
I am writing a book about the Flinn family and would like to include the
photos of the plane and photo of the nurses that is noted on your website.
Please let me know if I have permission to use those photos in my book.
Please post the attached photo to your website.
- 8:34 AM
- Another great question from Max Petrisek about a
Stars and Stripes article he sent in dated December 26, 1944.
- On 12/26/1944 I was in Dijon France and probably sacking it out. I guess
we (95th Sqd.) were part of the 17th Bomb Group at that time. I don't know if
the 17 BG was ever a part of the 12 TAC. The 95th was with the 12 AF for only
a short time. The escort planes mentioned were the same as we had at that
time. The target mentioned in the article was also the type we hit. Maybe some
of the visitors to the site can contribute additional information about the
missions mentioned in the news article? -Max
- "Thunderbolts, Mediums of 12th Score New Kills
FIRST TAF HQ., Dec. 29 - Fighter bombers and mediums of the 12th TAG, dropping
their bombs through holes in a heavy overcast today continued their assault on
enemy communications ahead of the 7th Army. Thunderbolts of the 12th TAG
concentrated on rail targets in the Karls-ruhe-Offenburg-Stuttgart area, while
B-26 Marauders attacked targets near Annweiler, ten miles north of Wissembourg.
The fighter-bombers slugged four rail yards during the day, reporting two
locomotives damaged; 39 railroad cars destroyed and 134 damaged; 32 buildings
destroyed and eight damaged, and one ammo dump destroyed. Hitting a German
storage dump at Achern, 25 miles northeast of Strasbourg, the Thunderbolts
scored 30 direct hits on a cluster of seven buildings and a nearby oil dump.
Completing the first full week of good flying weather since its formation,
12th TAC flew 434 missions in which 52 locomotives were destroyed and 186
damaged; 875 railroad cars destroyed and another 1,788 damaged; 32 motor
transports destroyed and 93 damaged and rail lines cut in 50 places. Though
often outnumbered, its Thunderbolts, Spitfires and Beau-fighters shot down 34
enemy planes during the week, probably destroyed another five and damaged 21
more. The 12th TAC lost 12 planes to enemy action."
- Hello Max,
- The three Marauder Groups in the North African Campaign came under the
control of 42nd Bomb Wing. In October 1944 the 319th Bomb Group converted to
B-25 Mitchells and moved to another wing. At the same time 1st Tactical Air
Force was formed and the 17th and 320th Bomb Groups moved to this organisation.
During late October early November 1944 the 1st Tactical Air Force Marauders
moved to bases in France and flew missions directly against targets in Germany
and France alongside 9th.Air Force B-26's. Only four B26 Groups served with
8th Air Force 322nd, 323rd, 386rd and 387th. In October 1943 these Groups were
transferred to the newly reformed 9th Air Force in England. In early 1944 four
other Groups joined 9th.AAF 344th, 391st, 394th and 397th. Keep the questions
coming Max! Cheers, Trevor Allen
- 9:42 PM
- Hi, my family and I have always kept a keen eye out for information
regarding my grandfather, 1st Lt Paul Floyd Michael. Your site is one
of the best for information I've found, not to mention one of the very few
pictures I have ever seen of him. If you could provide me with any/all
information or contacts so I can learn more about him, I would be greatly
appreciative. The information below is what I know so far. Thanks!
Hope to hear from you soon!
322nd BS / 451st BG
Plane: B-26G-15-MA (#44-67813 | SS-P)
That plane was shot down by flak over Stadtkyll, Germany on 1 January 1945 .
Killing all crew (5) except my grandfather. Whom has been said to have landed
on an AA gun, at which point he was taken prisoner until Mothers day 1945 (I
think the camp was liberated by allied forces at that point).
I know that he piloted "Clark's Little Pill" for some time but other than that
I know nothing of the birds he flew.
- 6:27 PM
- My father, Murlin Humphrey, served in the 320th, 444th bombardment
group but his name is not listed in your roster (Mr.
Humphrey is listed now). He was stationed on Sardinia and flying as a
tail gunner the day I was born, June 9, 1944. Would you please add his name to
the group. -Beverly Humphrey Little
Beautiful story, thanks for posting to the guest book.
- On 9 June 1944 aircraft B-26 42-96013 BN.#99 "Brinah"
Crew:- 2.Lt Nowak pilot;1.Lt Smith co-pilot; Sgt Betenjany toggler; S/Sgt
Hendrick engineer/gunner; S/Sgt Ferguson radio gunner; S/Sgt Humphrey armourer
gunner; S/Sgt Coney extra.
Cheers, Trevor Allen
- 4:42 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Marion Kasprzykowski
Bomb Group: 344
Years in service: 1941 - ?
Comments: I've been looking into my family history quite a bit lately and have
found that my Grand Uncle Marion Kasprzykowski was part of the 344 Bomb Group.
Sadly I can not find any pictures of him, his group etc. anywhere, and being
that there is not any other family left that I am currently aware of I'm on my
own to discover any information that I can. I am writing this email in hopes
to discover anything that I can. It would truly mean the world to me to find
out more about him. I have found a pretty amazing story that was written by
Lieutenant Joseph R. Chiozza,
about his last mission in the B26 Marauder which mentions Marion a few times.
Although it's a lot of text I am attaching it below. I look forward to
hopefully hearing back from you.
Regards, George Waitword
- 11:42 PM
- Sgt. James (Jim) L. Yep
552nd Bomb Sq.
386th Bomb Group (M)
He served from May 21-1942 until September 23, 1945
Service Schools Attended: Chanute Fld AM 1942 AAFTTCD G L Martin R 26 1942
Military occupation specialty and No: airplane and engine mechanic 747.
Hello, I am trying to find some information on my Grandpa, Sgt. James Yep, he
was Chinese and from Chicago. I have written above much of the information I
have on him. I am looking for information, stories, pictures, and if anyone
served with him. My Dad says he remembers James telling him that there plane
was named the “Silver Dragon”. I don’t have a serial Number for the
plane, but there was a dragon painted along the front of the plane.
Does anyone have anything that might be able to help me in my search?
Thanks so much for your help!
- 10:25 AM
- Name: William Ziminski
Location: Frederick Army Air Field, Oklahoma
Comments: He was commissioned 2nd Lt and received his pilots wings on or about
December 1944. Researching my father’s military history, and I’m hoping anyone
can help filling in all the blanks. He did not talk much about it except for
his fondness for flying, specifically the B-26.
- 4:49 PM
- My Uncle was 2nd Lt. Richard H. Colvin, co-pilot on the "Carrie
B", 322 BG 451 BS, shot down on the night of 7-8 July '44 during the raid
on the Chateau de Ribeaucourt. I am trying to find a picture of the "Carrie
B" and would appreciate any help or advice. Thank you! Chuck Wesley
- 4:49 PM
- I recently learned of a relative that was in the 559th Bomb Squadron. All
I have to go on is an inscription on his grave marker. I was hoping someone
could tell me what it says especially the part after World War II. Thank you
for a hosting a great web site.
- William M Garrett
Birth: Dec 26, 1906 Temple, TX
Death: Mar 15, 1957
S Sgt 559 Bomb Sq A A F/World War II/D F C & O L C-A M & 11 O L C
Burial: Mission Burial Park South
- 4:49 PM
- Hello, the photo at the
following link was posted at an online aviation forum that I visit. I
wondered if you folks had any information about the plane and crew. Evidently
the plane was in Italy, but the numbers on the photo are cryptic.
Thank you. Best wishes,
- 11:41 AM
- B26.com is a great site – I have over 300 photos of the 394th BG. Thank
you for your keeping alive the history of the B-26 Groups.
- 12:23 PM
|My dad, Frank Johnson, is turning 90 on July 30, 2013. He was part of the 323rd Bomb Group 454th Bomb Squadron and the pilot for his B-26 crew.
Please see attached photo. Not sure how you provide postings / contributions. Please let me know as I would like him to be included in your website. He is a
great guy and married to my mom, Dolores, for 62 years!
Judy Piszczek (Johnson)
- 10:11 AM
- Hello, on information collected I just found the site of a crash of B26,
where one can still find the remains of the plane. From my research, it would
be the B26 - 43-34146 - MACR 1080. All the crew died. I search all documents
or information for the purpose of asking a commemorative plaque. Dated
November 9, 1944 to crash 12:45. -Houllier Gilles
- 12:06 PM
- Hello, my grandfather is Capt. Edward B.
Tipton, 386th Bomb Group, 553rd, 1942-45 (or close). My grandfather died in
1976, and never talked much about the war. My mother and her siblings don't
know much, nor do any surviving members of his time. Much of his WWII things
were destroyed in a fire in the 1980s. What I'm trying to find out is where my
grandfather was on D-Day, 1944. I've read all of the accounts of the missions
so well detailed on this site, but June 6 does not mention him at all. Can you
- 12:06 PM
- Hello my grandfather is David Charles Edwards. I have an old picture of
him when he was in WWII. I know that he was in the 555th Bomb Squadron, 386th
Bomb Group. Attached is a picture of him and his crew, I would appreciate any
information anybody could give, such as names of his crew or the name of the
plane. Thank you, Michael Edwards
- 11:27 AM
- I was happy to find the picture of my Grandpap's plane the "Mary Jo" on your
website. I have the same picture of SSGT Kenneth L Hobbs in front of his bird
on the day of the invasion. I never knew until he passed that he flew in B26's
and never knew he was part of the D-Day invasion air support. I am very proud
to know that my Grandpap a very quiet and kind man flew in support of those
brave men who charged the beaches below. I am interested in finding out more
information for my brother and Dad so that we can know of his bravery and
courage. My brother and I are Naval and Marine Corps veterans, and because of
Kens service in the Air Corps I chose a service in Naval Aviation. Any
information would be greatly appreciated. God Bless and Thank you.
AT3 Benjamin J Johnson USN
- 9:35 PM
- 344th Bomb
Group Dedication Ceremony at Stansted Airport England. The 70th Anniversary of the building and dedication of the runway at
Stansted, England, will be held on 26 July 2013. Stansted was the first airfield used by the 344th Bomb Group in
World War II. The runway was officially dedicated by Col. Volmar of the
850th Engineering Battalion on 15 February 1944. To commemorate the runway,
the Stansted Airport Authority will hold a ceremony on 26 July 2013,
which includes a plaque, a tree planting, and remembrance of the 95
members of the 344th Bomb Group killed in action (KIA) or missing in
action (MIA) while
station at Stansted. Marauder man Major Ed Horn (Ret.), President of the
344th Bomb Group Association and his son will be attending the ceremony
representing the 344th.
Descendents of the men listed below are welcome to attend the invitation only
Statements endorsed by
Bill Morton and Robert Harwell, 344th BG pilots
Past Presidents of a Marauder Man organization
- 7:30 PM
- Francis L Dickason
I have a "silver certificate" ($1 bill) my Dad brought home with him with
various signatures on it. The only one I'm sure of is a "John Kelly" although
others are probably readable by someone more adept at this than I. I know
there was a 'ritual' around these bills - anyone have information on this?
- 3:08 AM
I was interested to know when the scanning of the following book may be
I have a keen interest in the 22nd Bomb Group.
Regards Peter Dunn
- 11:10 PM
I am a Frenchman living in the United States, I have managed to track down one
of the surviving airmen of a B26 that was shot down on or about Jul. 13, 1944
around Signes in the Provence Region of Southern France while on a bombing run
just before operation Anvil.
I originally had his name as Ostermeller (spelling mistake) and another of his
crew (who also survived) as a Lt. Burg - I was unable to find (I believe there
must also be a spelling mistake).
In any case, I am sure Mr. Ostermueller is one of the two I was looking for
(here is a link to his obituary -
http://www.costello-runyon.com/obituary?id=778715 - and he was indeed in
the 320th Bomb Group, 441st Squadron and was helped by the local resistance.
I have a picture of my uncle (a French Navy commando who had been parachuted)
along with an American airman (either Ostermueller or Burg). I would love to
provide the family of either with a copy of the picture and the information I
have as to their escape and rescue. Any information you may have on their
flight would be highly appreciated or any advice you could give me to pursue
Thank you in advance,
Bonjour M d'Ayral,
13 August 1944 B-26 42-43297 BN.20 "Lady Eve III" was hit by flak at
07.08hours 2/3 miles E of Signes, France. The flak struck the B-26 in the
right wing just out board of the engine and set the wing on fire. The plane
dropped out of formation and three parachutes emerged from the waist window,
the plane continued on course for 15/20 seconds when two more parachutes were
seen to leave the plane, then the wing fell off, the B-26 went into a spin,
crashed and exploded at 43 degrees 06 minutes N,05 degrees 55 minutes E.
Parachutes landed in the water. the crew were 1.Lt James H J Hipple;2.Lt's
Rudolph Ostermueller; Vincent T Burg; Cpl Harold T Waldrop; T/Sgt Jesse W
Largent; Sgt Robert L Allen. (Hiple was killed, Ostermueller, Burg, Waldrop
and Allen evaded capture and returned to Allied lines, Largent became a POW.)
Trevor Allen historian b26.com
- 11:10 PM
- B26.com is a great web resource! My Father A.E. Coburn Jr., was the
back row 5th from the right, he was a prop specialist on the B26, all the men
signed the back of the photo use it if you can. Attached you will find a
picture from the Aeroproducts Training School, August 1942. Thanks, Albert
- 2:59 PM
- I just picked up a photograph from the 5 January 1944 of about 67 officers
(16 of which are wearing pilots wings on their uniforms). The full
inscriptions on the photo reads "HEADQUARTERS THIRD BOMBER COMMAND 5 JANUARY
1944". I am currently trying to identify
some of the soldiers in the picture but I am having a lot of trouble finding
any information about the Third bomber command, if you could please contact me
with any information on this photo. I will send a copy of the photo with my
No photo received but try here
- 8:08 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Gray M. Jones
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 441
Years in service: 1944-?
Comments: If anyone has any information about my late husband and his service,
I would appreciate hearing from you. I know he was a pilot, but I have lost
contact with his remaining crew since his death in 2001.
I remember his stories about being in France, and being hungry. Sometimes I
wasn’t sure if his stories were real, but I enjoyed them all the same. I
regret now not recording them because no one could tell a story like Gray. I
remember him telling me he and a buddy were chasing a chicken for their dinner
but has to compete with a dog who also wanted that chicken. He never mention
any of the bombing raids, just that they, the entire original crew, were
blessed to come back home alive.
Thank you and God Bless America!
Sylvia Jones Spearman
- 9:09 PM
- I am responding to a guest book posting on 9/13/2012 by Michael Strube. He
was looking for anyone who had information about his uncle Joseph Strube, a
Radioman/Gunner on a B26 that was shot down on 2/19/45. S/SGT Strube was
killed in a friendly fire strafing incident on March 1st, 1945 during a
prisoner transfer from a Dulag processing center to Stalag Luft-3. My father
was with him when he was killed. -Donald Maiorano
- 9:31 PM
- Captain Arthur Wesley Martin of the
70TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON died 12
February 1944. Do you know where he died and under what circumstances? Arthur
was the brother of my 1st cousin by marriage James Martin. I know where he is
buried, but I don't have where he died or how.
CWO3, U S Coast Guard (Retired)
- 10:09 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Festus D. Hunter
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 443rd
Comments: My Grandfather was Festus D. Hunter. He was an accomplished
and competent B-26 pilot and one of my personal heroes. I am trying to find
out more information and verify the names of the planes that he flew.
Hopefully if anyone flew with him or remembers him, they could possibly help
me out. I know that he flew the Boomerang, The Old Vet, and Tiger Lady.
However, I found a mention of him in a book that talks about him flying Hot
Garters, but the serial number that they have for Hot Garters is 41-31575
which is actually for Gotta Match. The excerpt from the book can be found her
Mark Styling's "B-26 Marauder Units of the MTO".
I would also like to find out the name of the plane he is flying in this radio
Any help would be appreciated.
- 8:38 AM
- Dear Trevor,
- Hi my name is Don Millard. On the advent of the anniversary of the D Day
landings on the 6th of June 1944, my mind went back to what I remember of that
day. While searching the web for info I stumbled across B26.com and read the
2009 guestbook account from Ann
Brooke, East Court Farm Gillingham in Kent, where a B26 42-96263 crashed
on D Day. So I thought you may be interested in that I am probably the only
eyewitness to the last moments of 42-96050. On June 6th 1944 I was a 14 year
old boy living in Lower Gillingham Kent, and like most 14 year old boys at
that time I was an avid plane spotter with model planes hanging all over my
bedroom, I could recognized most Allied and German aircraft even by the sound
of their engines. I had been woken several times that night by aircraft flying
over heading for France, but in the early morning I was woken by a strange
loud engine noise, not a steady roar but it seemed to come and go. I jumped
out of bed and looked out of the window just in time to see a B26 falling out
of the sky not diving but literally falling cart wheeling wing over wing. It
hit the ground in the next road to mine called Corporation Road, with a huge
explosion and fire. It crashed on one side of the road demolishing three
houses bounced across to the other side of the road demolishing several more
houses. The poor guys in the plane did not stand a chance although mercifully
it would have been over immediately. I do not know how many civilians lost
their lives as in those days they did not divulge those things. We learned
later that two B26 had collided over us the other crashing at East Court Farm
about four miles away. My condolences to the families of the crews of 96050
and 96263 I often think of them.
- The story is fully explained
- 3:08 PM
- Although last year’s reprint of The 319th in Action is now sold out, we
are happy to announce that print-on-demand copies will soon be available at
Esther McNaull Queneau
"Count this day as lost, whose low descending sun,
Sees from thy idle hands, no worthy labor done."
(Written by Michael McNaull on rafter in attic of 1880 house.)
Esther McNaull Queneau (formerly Esther Oyster) and John Moench wrote the
Bibliography of Research
Sources for the Martin B-26 Marauder
- 9:14 AM
- Regarding the Boxted Airfield Historical Group 70th Anniversary. I just
returned from the 70th anniversary commemorating the opening of the airfield.
The group did an excellent job having an all day program featuring men who
served there and family of men who served. They told the history of the field,
the history of the B-26 with film footage and had a swing band playing music
the 30's and 40's. The group has opened a museum dedicated to the field with
pictures and stories of men who served.
My father Paul Suway served there as a tail gunner on Miss Fortune II with the
386 in squadron 553. If you ever get the chance to visit I truly recommend it.
They also would love any stories or mementoes of men who served to help them
tell the history of Boxted. They have a website
- 6:08 PM
- I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot this past week, Memorial Day, 69th
anniversary of D-Day, Father’s Day and his birthday. He was Capt. Pete
LaFramboise, pilot of "Sexation", and even now it’s hard to believe all of
the things he and his crew went through and did. But I’m proud of him and
thanks to you for putting this information where his great-grandkids can read
about it. -Mike Widner
- 10:20 AM
- Martin B-26 Marauder Operations
on 6th June 1944, D-Day
- Unit | Target | Take Off Time | Bomb Release Time
- 1st Pathfinder Sqdn | Ouistreham 69 | 0345 hrs | 0520 hrs
322nd.Bomb Group | Ouistreham 69 | 0345 hrs | 0520 hrs
1st Pathfinder Sqdn | Bennerville | 0345 hrs | 0526 hrs
391st Bomb Group | Bennerville PFF B26 | 0345 hrs | 0517 hrs *
* did not drop its bombs
1st Pathfinder Sqdn | Ouistreham 74 | 0400 hrs | 0555 hrs
322nd Bomb Group | Ouistreham 74 | 0400 hrs | 0555 hrs
344th Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 20 | 0405 hrs | 0605 hrs
344th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 22 | 0355 hrs | 0608 hrs
344th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 19 | 0410 hrs | 0609 hrs
387th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 36 | 0442 hrs | 0614 hrs
387th Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 23 | 0442 hrs | 0614 hrs
387th Bomb Group | Les Dunes de Varreville 104 | 0449 hrs | 0614 hrs
394th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 19 | 0427 hrs | 0616 hrs
323rd Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 20 | 0400 hrs | 0616.5 hrs
323rd Bomb Group | La Madeleine 36 | 0425 hrs | 0617 hrs
323rd Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 101 | 0435 hrs | 0617.5 hrs
394th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 22 | 0427 hrs | 0617.5 hrs
394th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 101 | 0427 hrs | 0618 hrs
397th Bomb Group | Les Dunes de Varreville 104 | 0407 hrs | 0619 hrs
397th Bomb Group | La Madeleine 36 | 0407 hrs | 0620 hrs
397th Bomb Group | Beau Guillot 23 | 0407 hrs | 0622 hrs
386th Bomb Group | Les Dunes de Varreville 104 | 0439 hrs | 0623 hrs
386th Bomb Group | La Madeleine | 0441 hrs | 0624 hrs
386th Bomb Group | St Martin de Varreville 101 | 0445 hrs | 0624 hrs
391st Bomb Group | Maisy 7 | 0445 hrs | 0625 hrs
391st Bomb Group | St Pierre du Mont | 0430 hrs | 0626 hrs
322nd Bomb Group | Montfarville 308 | 0500 hrs | 0627 hrs
- Trevor Allen, Historian
- 7:27 AM
- On the 69th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy by the allied
forces, we should remember those who participated and the sacrifices that they
made. There were many Maraudermen who flew from fields in England in support
of the assault on the beaches and cliffs, including my father-in-law,
Lt. Bill Rose. This continues to be
regarded as one of the most incredible accomplishments of war operation, and
it was a critical event leading to the ultimate defeat of the German army.
- 8:01 PM
- Does anyone remember my father George H. Gibbens from the 37th Bombardment
Squadron and 17th Bomb Group? I don't have many facts,
but I know he flew 87missions, as a pilot of, primarily, a B26 "Louisiana
Lullaby". My brother says he flew many different planes. He was with the 37th
Bombardment Squadron and receiver a Distinguished Flying Cross, among other
awards. He was based in Italy (heard stories) and flew over Africa. His crew
once misinterpreted a Red Cross as a swastika and dropped a bomb on,
thankfully missed, Gen. Mark Clark. There were many funny and poignant
stories, most of which I have forgotten. He was from Louisiana and trained in
many areas in the SE. I know that he was assigned, at one time, to walk
through a ball bearing area of a plane manufacturing building in Florida. He
and others, observed workers replacing used ball bearings in the wheels. They
were German spies and up to that point they were causing crashes and and lost
of life among trainees. I just tried but mostly failed, to find him listed
anywhere. There was a document produced in 2001? that listed him as a
commander in 42-43. I found Louisiana Lullaby but it was a plane flying in
Japan. I have seen a photo of his plane and the name. He is not listed among
DFC recipients, But we had the medal. I suppose this is chronologically, too
late, but if any one could help. I would appreciate that. Thanks for keeping
this great website and resource up and running, Leslie Gibbens
- Hi Leslie, I picked up 1.Lt George H Gibbens on the July 7th 1943
mission, but this was a random find, he could have been on the squadron before
this date. Like every other B-26 crew he may well have been assigned his own
B-26, but flew any B-26 that was available on the day of any specific mission.
As such, unless we have a photograph of him with his B-26 we cannot
establish its complete identity.
His crew on July 7th was: 1.Lt G H Gibbens;2.Lt's R L Towne; R B Miller; Sgt J
R Keyes; S/Sgt's J F Farry; N C Oper. and it appears from study of several
missions that this was his regular crew.
- 7:25 PM
- Hi, I'm writing about my beloved
Uncle Gerry Allen who was a
gunner on "GoaTee Hell". I'm attaching a newspaper article. I don't
know when it was written. I have a number of photos of B26's and men that were
taken by Russell P. Hays. Gerry died on Dec. 5, 2009. I can scan my photos and
send them if you wish.
Richard L. Allen
- 4:36 PM
- Can anyone tell me about the "Mission Bell". Which beach did they
bomb on D-Day? I know my father, John "Jack" Adams, and the rest of the
crew picked up the new B-26 and made there to England via the Northern route.
323rd Bomb Group 455th Bomb Squadron "Mission Belle" 41-34995 YU-T. Plane
flew 158 missions from 16 July 1943 until 26 December 1944 when it received a
direct flak hit between the engine and fuselage over the target, no chutes
were seen all crew listed as killed in action.
- 3:54 PM
- Hello, I'm looking for information on my Grandfather, S/Sgt Norman J.
Huschka. Serial Number XXXX3983, 41-31954 ER-Z 322nd Bomb Group 450th.Bomb
Squadron. I read on your site when this particular B26 went down but I was
wondering if you could help me find if this plane had been named at all. I
cannot find anything on the internet about whether it did or not. Also I know
that he was a POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross Tychow Formerly Heyd and I was hoping
to find his POW number but I can't seem to find anything on that either, and
my Grandmother doesn't know. If you could at least point me in the right
direction I would be grateful. Any other information on him that you can find
would be awesome as well, and if you need any information from me I would be
glad to help as much as I can.
SPC Bonnie Huschka, US Army Retired
Bonnie, I am sorry to tell you that 41-31954 was never named.
- 12:53 PM
- I recently saw a picture of my Dad, Newton N. Gann, with the
numbers 394/584 behind it. He was standing with Michael Donahoe who is listed
in the Marauderman list. I am not sure who sent him the picture and since he
has dementia he can’t help with the information. I had previously been unaware
of this website. I know he was a bombardier/navigator and flew a number of
missions over Germany . He and John McCabe are the only members their crew
left. I see John is also listed in the Marauderman list.
I actually have many pictures of his service in Germany .
- 12:39 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Herbert L. Little
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 454th
Years in service: ? - 1945
Comments: "Herbert L. Little could be classed as one of the "old guard" as
he had enlisted in 1934, eventually serving in Battery B of the 16th Field
Artillery Battalion at Ft. Myer, Virginia- the famous black horse unit.
Trouble, however, dogged Herb and the Army eventually gave him a noxious
discharge. The the Japanese attacked and he pulled every string he could find
to get back into military service. Eventually cleared to join in the Nation's
defense, he would work his way into the 323rd Group. It was a big step, moving
from horses to aircraft, but he would prove to everyone his true grit.
Advancing to Engineer, he would fly 65 tough combat missions and take a piece
of flak in the process. When the chips were down, Herb proved that he was
indeed a Marauder Man." -- from The Marauder Men: An Account of the Martin
B-26 Marauder by John
O. Moench, Major General USAF (Ret.)"
Herb was my Dad. He passed away in Dec. 2003 at the age of 87. I send this to
you today, Memorial Day, as I think of him and all of the others who
sacrificed for our great company.
Lora Little Blankenship
PS. Are you still doing the dedication pages? If so, I'd like to email a few
pictures and start a page in Dad's memory.
- 10:39 PM
- Hello, in searching for information about my father, Lt. Norman W.
Royer, who flew a B26 in Europe in World War II I found your web site and
Tech Sergeant John W. Depue Diary. It details a particular raid. I think
it's incorrect in stating that Lt Desmukes was the pilot and my Dad, Lt Royer
was the Co-pilot. My father was the pilot. Dad stayed in touch with his friend
"Des" for many years and my late mother continued corresponding with Mrs.
Desmukes for many years after both men passed away. My mother passed away in
January of 2011.
Thanks for keeping the B26 alive.
Sherry Royer Affleck
- 9:47 PM
- I have just learned of this site after reading a 1941 Popular Mechanics
article on the B26 called "From
Barnstorming to Bombers. A Pioneer Plane Builder Sees His Prophecies Come True"
by Roger Burlingame.
William T. Beaulieu "Bill", was a tail gunner with the 319th Bomb Group, 438th Squadron
with missions in Italy and France in 1943.
The crew on the "Lakanookie":
PILOT - Lt. Paul Blanton
C0-PILOT - W. H. Johnson
NAVIGATOR - Lt. C. A. Kozelski
RADIO GUNNER - Tech Sgt. C. E. Loeber
TURRET GUNNER - Tech Sgt. W. Ziegler
TAIL GUNNER - Tech Sgt. Bill Beaulieu
I found this information in a Newspaper article that was published when Bill
was home on leave after his 38th mission. Attached are pictures of the plane
and its crew.
Wish Bill was alive to see this site.
Thanks, Joe Beaulieu
- 4:32 PM
- Like to confirm you do have a picture of my Dad Joe Magness
here would like more info if you have any. I will have to see, I have very
few pics of my dad however I do have a few things. Joseph Magness, Jr.
- 10:40 PM
Je recherche tous documents sur les soldats et aviateurs qui avaient été
inhumés dans le cimetière temporaire de Solers, Seine et Marne, FRANCE. I sent
you the link to the club below!
I'm looking for information on the soldiers and airmen who were buried in the
cemetery of temporary Sollers before being buried in Epinal in France!
Merci de m'aider !
Sincères salutations !
Histoire de Solers
- 10:03 PM
je me nomme HOULLIER Gilles. j'habite en France sur la commune de GONDRECOURT
LE CHATEAU (Meuse) et je cherche tous renseignements concernant un crash
d'avion durant le deuxième guerre mondiale. d'après les renseignments
recueillis il s'agirait d'un B26 - 43-34146.PNG. date du crash 09/11/1944 en
foret de GONDRECOURT LE CHATEAU. avion appartenant au squadron 322 basé à
noms des occupants :
capitaine HALL pilote (cimetière Amériain de ST AVOLD FRANCE).
Lt ROSENOW Georges de siu city.
Lt LEPSKY Bernard bombardier
sergent HELL SURRATT radio
sergent PERRY STEELE mécano
sergent Robert W Ryan (Indianapolis).
si il est possible d'obtenir tous renseignements concernant cet équipage, le
vol, la mission, la confirmation du lieu du crash, des photos ou documents. si
confirmation est faite, une stèle en hommage à ces soldats sera dressée sur le
lieu des faits pour ne pas oublier ceux venus nous libérer. je reste à votre
- 1:45 PM
- Art Williamson was killed in the crash at A-59 in France. He is buried in Epinal Cemetery in France. His aircraft # was 42-95861. A few months later,
his daughter, Betty (name changed), was born in Indiana. She is my in-law and
I'm trying to find more information and a photograph of the father she never
knew. Is there anyone who remembers Art Williamson or maybe has an old photo
Betty's mother remarried when her daughter was two-to a wonderful man who took
over the "Father" duties. He died this April. Betty's mother wouldn't talk
about Art because it hurt her second husband's feelings, so Betty knows
nothing about her father. Please help if you can.
- Art Williamson was the pilot of B-26 Marauder # 42-95861 that crashed in a
mid-air collision on March 28, 1945 near Cormeilles-en-Vexin, France. His
crew: 2nd Lt. Henry F. Smith, F.O. William A. Othberg, Cpl. Gelgo J. Lauteri,
Cpl. Robert A. Greenwood, Cpl. Albert P. Elliot, Jr. All were killed. His Bomb
group was the 344th and 496th. This information came from "The Life and Times
of Woodrow W. "Buzz" Smith and was put on the net in 2010. He flew 2 or 3
missions with Art and I would like to find him (if he is yet living) for any
personal information on Art for Betty. He was living at Ontario, CAL.
There are no photographs of him as far as I know. Betty's son and my daughter
are married. Betty does not know much about her father, other than his name
and that he was killed a few months before her birth. She has not been to
Epinal. I am pulling as much information together as I can as a Christmas gift
to her from the father she never knew. It's a surprise. Please don't post
anything on the site about Betty unless and until we have her permission.
- Thanks, Jeanne B.
- 2:52 PM
- GROUP: 322nd BG
SQUADRONS: 450th & 452nd BS
DATE OF INCIDENT: 17 May 1943
TARGETS: IJmuiden and Haarlem
I would like to ask the following question concerning the ill-fated 322nd BG
mission on 17 May 1943 – is there any documentary evidence that provides the
height at which the surviving B-26s dropped their bombs (on what I believe was
the Zuidergasfabriek, in Amstel)? My understanding is that delayed-action
bombs were not used on this mission so the bomb release would have to have
been done at a minimum safe altitude.
My interest in this particular mission is two-fold –
1. it bears general similarity with an RAF mission flown exactly two weeks
previously to the day in which 10 out of 12 Ventura aircraft were lost
attacking a power station on the outskirts of Amsterdam (in this case, one
aircraft returned early while over the North Sea, another returned to base
after being shot up by fighters just off the Dutch coast, and the other ten
were all shot down by a combination of fighters and flak. The mission was
flown at medium attitude with fighter escort, but an earlier mis-timed mission
had been picked up by German radar and had alerted the defenses so that
fighters were in position to intercept just before the Dutch coast was
2. Anne Frank, in her diary entry of 18 May 1943, describes witnessing an air
battle between German and Allied aircraft and also relates a second- or
third-hand story about the milkman who encountered the crew of an Allied
aircraft that had crash-landed. I believe that she witnessed the air battle
between German fighters and the RAF Venturas on 3 May, while the milkman
encountered one of the 322nd crews (probably that of Lt. Wurst) on 17 May.
I have read the account of the mission from your website, and have read the
narrative from the book “B-26 at War” along with the MACRs and the 1987 paper
by Maj James Openshaw. In digesting the information available so far there are
several questions that remain unanswered, including the bombing height
question that I posed.
Thanks in advance,
- 3:59 AM
I am looking for Information on a raid that took place on the 13 June 1944
carried out by the 397 BG on the Foret d’Andaine. Specifically I have a copy
of the photographic report (Form No. 105a) from the Boyd collection and am
interested in in the first box , and the 3rd group of six aircraft, of which
there were two aircraft Se No s 122 and 152.
What I would like to do is identify the other 4 aircraft and all six aircrafts
crew lists. It’s a long shot but if you can help it would be of great interest
as I live close to the raid site in France.
David Capps Tunwell
- 6:18 AM
We are a factual drama television production company based in London called
Darlow Smithson. We are currently making a programme about German engineering
feats of World War Two and one episode in particular looks at the Messerchmitt
262. The reason I am getting in touch with you is that we trying to find out
more information about a particular raid on the 16th April 1945, where B26s of
the 322 BG encountered the Me 262 jets of Adolf Galland’s JV44 squadron. We
would love to know more about this raid;
1) In particular were there any accounts of this encounter by B26 crew?
2) What was the target?
3) How many B26s would have been involved in that particular mission?
Any help would be much appreciated, if any of the crew who faced that plane
are still alive, we would love to talk to them about their experiences. I look
forward to hearing from! In the meantime I will delve more into your website.
- 8:58 PM
Fanni's book, on my side, my Italian friend Ferdinando D'Amico (who has
authored quite a few books about the late-war Italian fascist AF - ANR) told
me about a mission — I forgot which day in late 44 — where B-26s were
intercepted by Bf 109 Gs over the Po Valley. It happened that there were
strictly NO US or Germans involved. The B-26s were flown by Frenchmen and the
Messerschmidts by Italians ! But, on both sides, NO ONE hinted about that.
Ferdinando discovered that point only in 1988 !
Specifically, the Italian AF v. French AF mentioned another encounter on 11
July 1944, a sortie over the Piancenza fuel depot performed by MATAF bombers (RAF+FR
AF) intercepted by a dozen of Bf 109 Gs of the Aeronautica Nazionale
Reppublicana's 2° Gruppo Caccia. During this sortie the French Marauder
gunners — GB 1/22 and GB 1/20 — replied with their 0.5in guns claiming one
"Hun”. Italian ANR report shooting down 2 B-26s… but none were lost by the
French that day, and the British report is incomplete. I would advise looking
into 42nd BW mission reports for July 11th, 1944, to clear that out.
The B-26 v. Bf 109 G incident is related in this book : The Messerschmitt 109
in Italian Service, 1943-1945 by Ferdinando D'Amico Permalink:
Here is a
Match, March 1965 issue from 4 decades ago. I had an original copy of that
Paris-Match in France, but somehow it disappeared. Copies exist of this issue
both at the Musée de l'Air (Le Bourget) and at the Fort de Vincennes (SHD).
A total of 4 FR Marauders were cut open by Flak this way, starting with "77”
of GBM 2/52 over Toulon in Aug. 1944. All the crew survived on this one. Other
FR B-26 'misreps' are documented and I will follow up.
- 6:45 PM
- I'm trying to identify a particular B-26. The B-26 can be seen in this
somewhat well-known photo taken on February 24th, 1944 over Leeuwarden, the
Netherlands. The aircraft belongs to the 387th bomb group, but is there any
way of finding out which aircraft it is?
I live in the area where that picture was taken and I build models of aircraft
that are somehow connected to this area - either stationed, lost attacking
things in the north of The Netherlands. I was hoping perhaps you knew more
about that mission and the circumstances of that photo.
Thanks Alan Crouchman! That's exactly what I needed to know. What a great
effort. Made my day!
- Hi Elger,
Ah this is an easy one, the aircraft is 41-31694 ["694"] FW-F "Hangover Hut"
flown by Lt Sanders and crew. Sadly the 387th records do not contain crew
rosters which is thoroughly frustrating, however Lt Sanders was part of the
original compliment coming overseas and we do have his "normal" crew listing
but there is no guarantee they were all on board on this day.
As you see on the formation chart "694" was scheduled as the No4 ship in the
lead flight but with "811" as a No Take Off then I assume that they all moved
up making "694" the No3 ship. If this is the case the photo was taken from the
lead ship 41-31705 TQ-K "King Size" which was being used by Major Glenn Grau
(C.O. of the 556th) on this day.
Hope this is of use.
- 8:29 AM
- My Dad was James S. Gleinser, I am trying to get in touch with Roy
Lewis who posted about his dad, Roy Lewis.
James S. Gleinser, Pilot
Bomb Group 344th
Bomb Squadron 496th
Hometown, Goliad TX
Not sure on service dates, as he stayed in as a pilot instructor, and retired,
I believe in 60’s and then spent about 3-6 more years in Civil Service at
Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX.
- 4:48 AM
- I’m doing research into a German air force unit called KG54. It used the
airfield of Evreux during some stages of WWII.
Therefore I would like to ask you where you have found the aerial pictures of
the Evreux airfield as shown here
http://www.b26.com/marauderman/ah/everaux_fauville_airfield.htm and would
it be possible to get better scans of these pictures?
- 9:08 PM
- Found your site thru searching for Nathan Geren. He was my uncle, brother
to Thurman Matson of the 8th Army. Per his obit earned the DFC. Do you have
any records of that?
- 6:13 AM
- Group: 386th Bombardment Group (M)
Squadron 553rd Bombardment Squadron
Mission #238 Ecouché railroad bridge – France
Date 28 July 1944
Combat photographer Staff Sergeant William Scanlan
Aboard aircraft #41-31577 (AN-Y “Elmer”)
Subject Air battle and collision between bomber # 41-31805 (AN-D)
With a German fighter (Focke-Wulf)
No survivors in the American craft: 6 crew members
Pilot of #41-31805 1st Lt. Briggs, Frederick Olson O-813311
Message: Does anybody :
- Have information about this mission?
- Know where could be preserved:
- Strike photographs of this mission #238
- Film by Staff Sergeant Scanlan
In June 2011 a memorial was erected in the smalle village of
Lessard-et-le-Chêne (appriximatly 12km SW of Lisieux-Normandie-France) to
honor crew members of B-26 #41-31805/AN-D which crashed there on 28 July 1944.
At the time I was a 8 years young boy and a witness of this tragic event.
Since September 2011 I am in contact with the "young" brother of this B-26's
engineer (S/Sgt Charley Manford JOHNS) who is the initiator for this memorial.
I try to collect documentation concerning the last mission ot these six
airmen. Through your site I make a general request to anyone who could help in
my researches. In particular I should be very interested to know where are
preserved Mr. Scanlan Film- see enclosure (I have no contact with this
gentleman), and also strike photographs and other information concerning this
#238 mission (Ecouché railroad bridges). Until now I did not succeed to get
information from French side (photographs, reports, etc). On site www.b26.com/guetbook...
the following messages are dealing with the subject: 1/15/2009-11.20AM,
10/10/2010-12.09PM, 6/11/2011-5.42PM, 7/11/2011-12.41PM, 7/21/2011-8.59AM.
Also you can find something in the web by typing: B26 Lessard-et-le-Chene.
Thanks for any information.
- 9:13 AM
- I am Charles "Henry" Martin's wife Crystal. He asked me to write to
you ask you to call him. His number is ___. Thank you.
- 9:23 AM
- Hi! I am Charles A Martin Jr. My uncle's name was Henry E. Martin.
I have info to believe that my uncle was in the 344th bomb group, but I don't
know if he was in in the 495th, 6th, or 7th squadron. He was a gunnery
instructor in England and the article stated he had 15 months of experience in
the European theatre of operations. Are there any rosters that would show him?
I cannot find anything. Any help would be deeply appreciated. thanks.
- 2:46 PM
- Hello! My name is Michael Cushing and I'm hoping to find out some info as
regards my great uncle, Leonard Liekhus. I believe he flew with the
387th BG, I'm not sure which squadron. I have a photo of him with his crew in
front of a plane named "Contrary Lady". I'd sure appreciate hearing back from
anyone with info regarding Len. He died last November from old age and
complications of Alzheimer's. He was a decent and good man, raised a family
here in Anaheim, Calif.
Thank you in advance for any help rendered!
- 9:17 PM
- Merci pour nous aider indiquent l'histoire les hommes du Marauder de FFAF.
Peut-être plus les hommes du Marauder de FFAF suivront votre exemple.
- I have been researching and working on a book on the French Marauders for
many years and I am in the final stages of writing. I have visited this
b26.com website on and off for 10 years. I am asking for first person stories
or fun annotates told to children of US Maraudermen about their experiences
with French Maraudermen. Pictures of US and French Maraudermen together would
be very much appreciated with full credit given to donors. Especially for the
1943-1944 period when the French crews were being trained by AAF personnel at
the Telergma Bombardment Training Centre (BTC) in Algeria.
The book will be available only by early 2014 as we are adding a full English
section as well as some color profiles. The lay-out is being finalized. I'm
presently reviewing all texts and recovering most of the original pictures
which had been stored for 30 years in Paris while I was working overseas. Most
of (if not all) the FAF Marauder witnesses I interviewed between 1975 and 1988
unfortunately passed away. I have more research to do, especially in the USA.
The book is to be published in 2014.
The axis of my B-26 book is built on US-French aviator relation, from Algeria
in 1943 to Germany in 1945.
For this reason it tries to include as much as possible historical stuff on
the 42nd BW and its personnel and aircraft (17th, 319th and 320th BGs).
Here is short-list of the VIP pictures I would need at this stage (ideally in
10in width, JPEG 300 dpi) for the historical opening part.
— Brig. Gen. Gordon Saville, USAAF
— Brig. Gen. Robert M. Webster, USAAF
— Lt. Gen. Mark Wayne Clark, USA
— Maj. Gen. Ralph G. Royce, USAAF
— Maj. Charles G. Robinson, USAAF
I am also in need of some large size digital repros from the Jack D. Canary
Special Collection Photo which are original Kodak Kodachrome I slides
deposited at the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
They have some color views of French Marauder in there (taken in 1945). [Read more]
- 9:17 PM
- Manuel Muniz, 319th Bomb Group. He was assigned as a gunner. He served
from North Africa to Corsica then Europe. Have more pictures and other items
from the time. Thank you for your consideration, with respect. Michael Muniz
The two photographs are
41-34895 Twin Engine Queenie 440BS 319BG
41-43938 BN.35 The Big Ass Bird 438.BS 319BG
- 7:15 PM
- Hi, my Grandfather is Joe Herbert, 17th BG, 95th BS. I am writing you to
see if you can help me out. I am trying to find out information about my
grandfather who was a bombardier/navigator on a 26 during WWII. I was
wondering if there would be a way to figure out actual serial number of all
the aircraft he flew in - I know he flew in many planes. He is pictured with
his original crew -
Donald Leslie's crew. I have his army serial number. Hopefully you could
help. I thank you for your time. I hope you can help me out. -Michael Herbert
I’m the historian for the Dyersburg Army Air Field, TN. This was a B-17
training base, but did have a couple B-26’s here in 1943-44. They were:
41-35813 which was lost in a crash here on 4-30-44 and 42-43355. Later on in
late 1944 and early 45 at least three others were here, all later natural
metal models, serials unknown. At least two were named: “Silvery Sue Hot But
True” and “Miss Virginity Never Forced Down”. If anyone has any info or photos
of these Marauders or any fellows who flew and maintained them here at DAAF,
TN. I would like to hear from them. I have the accident report on 813, all 6
on board bailed out safely. I have two ground shots of 355. Have no idea if
those other two had nose art with the names or not. Here is scan of one of
DAAF’s B-26’s, 42-43355
The crew of B-26 41-35813 that crashed near Trenton, TN. on 4-30-44 was:
2nd Lt. Paul G. Osborne-Pilot
2nd Lt. John R. Carney-Co-pilot
Sgt. Matthew Feinstein-Flight engineer
M/Sgt. Johnnie B. Connel
S/Sgt. George J. Bateman, Jr.
Cpl. Maurice L. Trout
None were injured and bailed out safely and if any are still living, I’d sure
like to contact them.
Tim, the other three Dyersburg AT-23's were 42-95629; 42-95631 and
42-95634. 42-95631 was named "Slick Chick". -Cheers, Trevor Allen
- 5:45 PM
I am looking for information about a B-26 Marauder from 17th Bomb group which
made an emergency landing near the village of Vincelottes ( France ) on
December 23, 1944 after a bombing mission at the Siegelsbach ammunition dump
in Germany. I only know names of 3 crew members ( Paul COSTA, Frank CROOKS and
Louis HARY ). On board the aircraft was also a combat photographer , whose
name was W.H. VAN DUSEN. All the crew was safe, and stayed in the village of
Vincelottes at Mr & Mrs Vaillant's restaurant. It seems the aircraft was
transferred 17 days later to Dijon Air Base by pilot named Philip ESCBACH. It
will be great if someone can help me to find names of the other crew members,
the aircraft serial , photos , etc...etc ...and more about this event.
Regards from France
- 8:48 AM
- Marauderman's Name: SSGT Albert “Bud” James Hands, Brooklyn, NY
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in service: 41-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Happy Birthday, Bud. Remembrance of you, Uncle Bud, comes in the
form of this post today, what would have been your 95th Birthday. Although
lost at 24+ yrs. Of age, you’re never to be forgotten. You paid the ultimate
price for my freedom with your death over the overcast skies of Stadtkyll,
Germany on New Year’s Day 1945 at 2:45 P local time, when a German 88 exploded
eight feet outside your radio compartment, taking with it the entire crew
except for the pilot in the resulting “turning in” and crash. An empty
enlisted men’s tent at #27 “Duffy’s Tavern” at A-63 was vacated and filled
James Albert Hands
- 5:47 AM
- Some information concerning the posting of 3/23/2013 11:21 AM.
- According to Missing Air Crew Report #443, your uncle Thomas G. Hammond (320BG
441BS), was co-pilot on B-26 Marauder 41-18001 on a mission to bomb a railroad
yard at Villa Literno (near Naples), Italy on August 21, 1943. The crew
were:1/Lt. Curtis S. Church (Pilot), 1/Lt. Thomas G Hammond Jr. (Co-Pilot),
1/Lt. Max Rickless (Bombardier/Navigator), S/Sgt. Robert L. Orr Jr.
(Engineer/Gunner), S/Sgt. Fred O. Gearing (Radio Operator/Gunner). Sgt. Martin
T. Carson (Aerial Gunner).
Fortunately, Lt. Church has a dedication page which contains his detailed
account of the events of that day and of his time as a POW at
http://www.b26.com/marauderman/curtis_church.htm . This is just one of
many examples of where these dedication pages on B26.COM not only serve as
tributes to the Marauder Men, they are also a valuable resource to relatives,
friends, and the wider Marauder community.
I feel that this supports the comments from the B26 Team in a recent post
asking for more people to create dedication pages.
- 8:55 PM
I am seeking information about an ex-POW member of the 391st Bomb Group; SGT
JAY N. MILLER.
I do know that he was liberated on 10 May 1945 and returned to the USA on
board the SS SANTA MARGARITA. I am looking for details on the loss of his
I found his name on a set of movement orders filed with the ships’ records as
compiled by the Immigration Service. Apparently, INS met all incoming ships
and checked crew and passenger lists. The records came from a website in
partnership with the National Archives. A NARA archivist in the New York
branch recommended that I use online resource. I am very interested in both
his recollection of the trip home and the loss of his aircraft. I am
especially anxious to hear about the trip home, but any details he is willing
to share about the mission itself would add detail to the story. I would also
like to obtain a crew photo if there is one.
The trip itself was from LaHavre, France to New York Harbor. He was one of 61
ex-POW’s on board the SANTA MARGARITA …and the ship was one of four that were
the first to carry returning ex-POW’s home. They landed in New York Harbor on
June 3rd, 1945. According to one account, many of the men on the SANTA
MARGARITA were sent to an Army Hospital on Staten Island, though I do not have
confirmation of that. The movement orders were dated 19 May 1945 and issued by
Normandy Base Section.
I do not have additional information except for his ASN. The movement orders
do show him as being from AZ, and he was liberated on 10 March 1945. No
indication of what camp.
I am actually writing a history of the SS SANTA MARGARITA and would like the
details to add to the story of this voyage. The SANTA MARGARITA was one for
the first four ships to bring back recovered POW’s (RAMP) to the USA. The four
ships landed in New York Harbor with much fanfare according to a New York
Any help would be much appreciated.
Theron P. Snell, Ph.D
According to MACR #12606, on February 24, 1945, the 391st Bomb Group were
attacking a Flak Battery at Irlich, Germany. Aboard B-26 44-67820 4L-O were:
1/Lt. William M. Huskey (Pilot), 2/Lt. Richard N. Whippy (Co-Pilot), 2/Lt. Ted
A. Reiser (Bombardier/Navigator), Sgt. Jay N. Miller (Radio Operator/Gunner),
Sgt. Arthur M. Sunday (Engineer/Gunner), Sgt. Fred J. Siegfried (Armorer/Gunner).
All crew were members of the 574st Bomb Squadron.
According to witnesses aboard other aircraft in the formation, Lt. Huskey's
aircraft sustained flak damage to one of his aircraft's engines over the
target. The aircraft began to lose altitude and dropped behind and below the
formation. A fire was then seen coming from the bomb bay which also spread to
both engines. Three parachutes were seen and the bombs were salvoed. About 3
or 4 minutes later, the aircraft was seen to go into a dive and exploded in
It later became clear that only the three gunners in the aft section of the
aircraft had bailed out and survived, all being captured after landing in
Germany and all became POWs. Sgt. Miller later recalled that Siegfried,
Sunday, and then he had bailed out of the aircraft which he later saw explode
"with full load of bombs", although he may not have seen them being salvoed as
stated by 2 other witnesses.
Although the National Archive database of POW records [
has records for all three surviving crew members, the POW camp to which each
survivor was interned is not specified.
- 9:38 PM
- Am trying to get in contact with anyone who knew First Lieutenant
Alfred Freiburger who flew B-26 missions before and on D-Day, June 6th
1944. He later was a test pilot for Douglass, flying the DC-9 and DC-10 at the
time in the mid-1960s. After he retired, he became a Reserve Deputy with the
Orange County Sheriff’s Department, CA and was with the AERO Reserve Unit. I
was a civilian employee, signing in the deputies for their qualifications at
the Sheriff’s pistol range, and also a Reserve Deputy Sheriff with the
Mr. Freiburger passed away in November 2004 and have been trying to contact
anyone who knew of his experiences while a B-26 pilot. I have a model of the
type of plane he flew and would like to know the squadron colors his plane
would have been painted in. Eventually, I plan to assemble the model with his
name on it.
John W Goerger
The aircraft that 1/Lt. Alfred Freiburger (344BG 495BS) is most associated
with is 42-95924 Y5-D "Rum Buggy". You state that you are planning to build a
model of his aircraft, and you are lucky that there are a number of model
aircraft kits available that feature decals for this aircraft.
There is a photograph of Lt. Freiburger and crew standing in front of "Rum
Buggy" (his name is painted below the pilot's window) at
By the way, the movie "The Big Lift" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Lift)which
was based on the events surrounding the Berlin Airlift, featured USAF pilots
of the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, one of whom was 1/Lt. Alfred Freiburger !
I wonder if Alfred was the only Marauder Man to feature in a movie, although
the Hollywood actor Captain Robert Preston became an S-2 Officer with the
- 6:39 PM
- Marauder man's Name: John P. Duffy
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 573rd ??
In service 42-45
Class Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Comments: My dad passed away in 1976 and he did not talk at all about his war
experience. I have a stars and stripes article dated June 1944, which
identifies Lt Col Gerald Williams as his CO on a B26 base. He was a staff
sergeant and earned the bronze star as a crew chief, with his “ship” finishing
50 missions without a mechanical failure. Williams was the CO of the 391st
bombardment group. I’ve looked over the many known available websites for any
additional information about him but have had little success. Can you give me
some research suggestions.
Thank you very much. Dan Duffy
- 8:45 AM
|John Moench, August 4, 1921- April 3, 2013. He signed his name "John".
Our correspondence started in 1999, like any other site contact, with an
email asking questions. Something wasn't quite right because he seemed to
know everything relating to the Martin B-26 but I went along with it. On
one occasion, he asked "Who's answering guest book posts, who's helping
you?" I replied that I answer everybody best as I can and other visitors
also reply to questions posted in the guest book - people help people! He
told me that was no way to run website as significant as b26.com. A lot of
people are writing you! Wanting to put an end to a week's worth of
grilling, I told him that since he knew so much about the plane and crew,
he should help! This time "John" replied back with a long email and signed
it Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret). I re-read the email and name
again and replied that he set me up! I hope he is laughing now as I tell
this story for the first time. John worked tirelessly behind the scenes
assisting posters to the guest book, even sending autographed copies of
his book gratis. John was a proud champion of all things relating to
Marauder men, the plane, aircrews and support personnel. I will miss his vigor, energy and conversation.
General Moench will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery sometime in
the future and notice will be posted here. I would hope that all our
Marauder friends and extended family would be there to honor a good man
and his family.
- 2:52 PM
- My cousin, S/Sgt Everett Chrisco, was a Bombardier on a B-26, 323BG
flying from Earls Colne, England. He went down in the Channel on April 11,
1944. If anyone remembers him, please reply. Thank you, Roy Reeves
- 11:21 AM
- I would love to receive information about my uncle (my mother’s brother),
Thomas G. Hammond of Seattle, Washington, who died over 30 years ago. I know
that he was pilot in command of a B-26 that was shot down over Italy, and
received a silver star for that action; he was interned in a German camp until
the end of the war.
I’m attaching the two pictures I have. In the 1940 one, taken before he
entered the service, he was 21. The later picture must have been taken shortly
after he returned to Seattle from imprisonment.
I tried to search AAF records, thinking that his silver star might help me to
find him there, but I gather that a fire destroyed a huge number of records.
According to Missing Air Crew Report #443, your uncle Thomas G. Hammond (320BG
441BS), was co-pilot on B-26 Marauder 41-18001 on a mission to bomb a railroad
yard at Villa Literno (near Naples), Italy on August 21, 1943. The crew
were:1/Lt. Curtis S. Church (Pilot), 1/Lt. Thomas G Hammond Jr. (Co-Pilot),
1/Lt. Max Rickless (Bombardier/Navigator), S/Sgt. Robert L. Orr Jr.
(Engineer/Gunner), S/Sgt. Fred O. Gearing (Radio Operator/Gunner). Sgt. Martin
T. Carson (Aerial Gunner).
Fortunately, Lt. Church has a dedication page which contains his detailed
account of the events of that day and of his time as a POW at
http://www.b26.com/marauderman/curtis_church.htm . This is just one
of many examples of where these dedication pages on B26.COM not only serve as
tributes to the Marauder Men, they are also a valuable resource to relatives,
friends, and the wider Marauder community.
I feel that this supports the comments from the B26 Team in a recent post
asking for more people to create dedication pages.
- 9:57 PM
see Attachments of his docs. for reference. The fire in St. Louis records
dept. destroyed and further docs of my father's that were available.
I am the oldest son of Dalton C. Kruse SN#16 004 300, researching my father's
9th AAF history.
I would really appreciate any help to track down his unit and specifics of his
England/EUR tour. He never said much about any of his time spent across the
Having served in the USAF myself as a EC121D + (C47D / A1E-F-G-H's (RVN 1969)
+ C141A Crew Chief I am very interested in his years as a Mech. + Crew Chf +
Instructor. He flew on the B26 as a Crew Chf and also worked on the P47+P51
aircraft as well as an Instructor on Aircraft and Engines.
He was from Chicago, IL (Des Plaines, IL). He enlisted Mar. 24, 1941 in
Chicago, IL and discharged Jun. 03, 1946 at Camp McCoy, WI. as MSgt., Mobile
Repair Unit Chief.
He was initially at Chanute AFB, IL; Goldsboro, NC; MacDill AFB, FL.; England
and then Signey, FR.(sp?), 7 days after D-Day. B-26 Crew Chf/Mech.( SSgt).
During this duty he was aboard a B26 that was shot down and bailed out - broke
his wrist (LH/RH ?) during jump and landing. On another mission his aircraft
crash landed with a KIA tail gunner. On another occasion a German ME109 was
shot down/crashed near the airfield recovered pilot remains and belongings.
Instr. Aircraft + Engine Mech. (SSgt) Unit Chief-Mobile Repair Unit. (MSgt)
I was in contact with a gentleman who said he could research my father's
history, but I had a computer failure and lost all info ref. his contacts. I
have been looking ever since (10+yrs). I know time is slipping away so I would
appreciate any assistance anyone could provide.
Once again Thank you in advance for any leads, help or info you may provide.
Capt. Dalton C. Kruse, Jr. (Ret.)
AF 1968-1972 (RVN)
- 1:35 PM
- Hello, I was a lad of about 14 years, living in Bishop's Stortford.
England. I was a London lad, living in the country for safety. Nearby there
was a airdrome, 386 bomber group at great Dunmow with B26 planes. The men at
the base both "crews" and ground staff were the most wonderful men, who
despite the war risks to themselves gave to the children at Christmas
"Candies", Chocolate,. I have seen at "Pont de Hoc" Normandy their War effort
and it was so accurate. Never being in a position to Thank Them and now by
virtue of age they probably have "Taken off into the sunset ! " However if any
relatives ever read this, These men did so much to make our lives safer and
were true gentlemen. -Pete Young
- 6:41 PM
- Here's some information relating to Ellen
Weaver Hartman's guestbook post (2/22/2013 3:15 PM).
- Dear Ellen,
Missing Air Crew Report #7875 provides details of how your father's (Joseph D.
Weaver) aircraft was shot down and how he subsequently became a POW.
On the evening of August 6, 1944, B-26 42-96184 was returning from a mission
to bomb a fuel dump at the Foret de Andaine, France. When it passed over the
coast of France near Touville, it was hit by flak and a fire developed in its
right engine. Unable to extinguish it, the fire took hold and grew larger. The
pilot gave the order to bail out and the 3 gunners in the rear of the aircraft
exited from the waist hatch, followed by the pilots and bombardier from the
bomb bay. Sgt. Leonard J. Zuckerman later reported that after the crew had
bailed out, the right engine and wing broke away from the aircraft causing it
to spiral into the English Channel causing a huge splash.
Before bailing out, top turret gunner Sgt. Swanson, had reported over the
intercom that he had been hit by flak but said that he would not leave his
guns. The other gunners later reported that they had seen blood on his
clothing near his groin, but that he did not seem to be badly wounded. After
bailing out, Sgt. Swanson's parachute came out of the pack but failed to
inflate, so perhaps a piece of flak had also cut through some of his
parachute's shroud lines. The other gunners saw him struggling with the
parachute until he hit the ground below. Sgt. Swanson's body was later found
by Gerrman troops in a wood. All surviving crew members were captured and
became prisoners of war.
The crew were: Captain Walter E. Payne, pilot; Lieutenant Hubert M. Altvater,
co-pilot; Lieutenant Edward W. Roggenkamp, bombardier; Tech Sergeant Joseph D.
Weaver, radio operator/gunner; Sergeant Franklin E. Swanson, flight
engineer/gunner; Corporal William L. Salyer, armorer/tail gunner.
Further details of the events that day are also viewable at
According to NARA records
here, Sergeant Weaver was interned at
Luft 4. The conditions at this Stalag were not good, and on February 6,
1945, its already malnourished prisoners were forced by their captors to leave
the camp on the so-called "Black March" (or "Death March") in order to avoid
the advancing Allied forces. With temperatures below freezing and a severe
lack of food, the conditions during the march were dreadful and many men died
as a result. There are some extraordinary accounts of life in Stalag Luft 4
and the "Black March" on the
- 8:06 PM
- Information relating to Patricia S
Triplett's post (1/15/2013 2:31 PM).
- Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #11664 relates to the loss of Sgt. Robert
L. Vidler in B-26 42-95865 "Sky Hag" on December 23, 1944. This report
contains a statement by Sgt. Weston A. Loegering (Armorer/Gunner) on board Lt.
Chism's aircraft flying the No.1 (lead) position in the low flight of the
second box. He states that the formation was attacked by fighters whilst
making its second bomb run on the target, a railroad bridge at Ahrweiler,
Germany. Lt. Detjens' plane (41-35010 "Snakes Revenge") in the No.2 position
was hit, and then began to lose altitude and dropped out of the flight. Lt.
Donnelly in the No.3 position (42-95841 "Powerful Katrinka") was then assumed
to have been hit by flak and also left the flight. Shortly after Capt. Brown's
aircraft had moved up from the No.4 to the vacant No.2 position, he was
attacked by fighters and the tail of his aircraft was shot off. Sgt. Loegering
states that Capt. Brown's aircraft was last seen about 500 feet below and was
out of control, and that no parachutes were seen emerging from any of the 3
The only survivor of Capt. Brown's aircraft was Cpl. Gene W. Brillhart
(Armorer/Gunner) who, in his statement included in the MACR, stated that Sgt.
Vidler, Sgt. Courtenay, and he left the aircraft in close order from the waist
window approximately 3 minutes after being hit. He was then taken prisoner and
became a POW. He did not know whether the Pilot, Co-Pilot, or Bombardier
managed to bail out or not. The MACR states that Courtenay died of wounds and
that Vidler was killed in action, although there is no supporting evidence
within the report. There are no records of Vidler or Courtenay in the American
Battle Monuments Commission records or the Records of World War II Prisoners
of War in the National Archives. Sgt. Vidler is buried at the Golden Gate
National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA. Sgt. Vidler had completed approximately 21
missions at the time of his death.
Apart from Brillhart, only the Engineer/Gunner and Radio Operator/Gunner of
Lt. Detjens' aircraft survived, and all became prisoners of war. All other
crew members of the 3 aircraft mentioned above were killed. Of the 6 aircraft
in Lt. Chism's flight, 5 were shot down and only Lt. Chism's aircraft returned
The 391st Bomb Group flew without fighter escort whilst they attacked the
Ahrweiler railroad bridge on the morning of December 23, 1944 during the
"Battle of the Bulge". They were led by pathfinder aircraft and, after being
subjected to intense and accurate flak, were jumped by about seventy-five
German fighters. This savage attack resulted in the loss of 16 of the 30
aircraft in the formation. However, the results of their bombing was judged to
be between good and excellent, and the bridge was knocked out.
- 5:26 PM
- Hat's off to b26.com for a wonderful website, and the work contributors
are doing with the B-26 community. I just wish I had more spare time to
contribute more information.
One ongoing project I have been working on is stateside training, hence the
data I sent over regarding the fatal USA accidents to assist with answering
questions posted. One quest has been trying to fathom the markings of the
training ships, and the so called "BUZZ" numbers applied to these aircraft. I
pretty much understand the format of the system, but can find little
information regarding the allocation of the large aircraft ID letters applied
to these aircraft. The only tying up of these numbers that I have managed to
find is through the accident reports and the crew training photographs, of
which there are many around.
I have noticed a lot of these images the website, contributed by the vets and
their families. I would love to get larger scans of some of these if possible,
principally the ones where you can make a positive ID of the serial number
from the tail, or the data stencil on the nose to tie up with a visible BUZZ
or training code ID. Is this something you may be able to help with?
My main focus of research has been the operational use of the aircraft and
units they served with. Of all the B-26's manufactured, there are just 17
individual a/c for which I have little information on, and/or, the units which
those aircraft served with. From the aircraft data cards, those aircraft were
assigned to combat units in either the 9thAF (European theatre), and 12th AF
(Italy and Mediterranean theatre), but I don't know which Bomb Groups, or
support units used them.
The 17 aircraft for which I have limited information on are just serial
numbers, no photos. The only information I have on them are from the aircraft
record cards. They do not appear on any bomb group records that I can find.
These are as follows:
B-26C-30-MO, 41-35536, No information on this one yet
AT-23B-40-MO, 41-35852, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 20/3/46
AT-23B-40-MO, 41-35857, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 26/3/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107481, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 18/4/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107483, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 10/6/45
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107486, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 1/2/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107488, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 25/3/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107492, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that
unknown. Salvaged on 20/2/46
B-26G-10-MA, 43-34556, Went to the 12th AF in Italy. Use after that unknown.
Salvaged on 11/6/46
B-26G-10-MA, 43-34577, Went to the 12th AF in Italy. Use after that unknown.
Salvaged on 19/12/44
B-26G-15-MA, 44-67919, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
B-26G-20-MA, 44-68104, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68123, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68128, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68145, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68151, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68159, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on
- Best regards,
- 2:39 PM
- Hi, I live in Suffolk county in the United Kingdom. I Live about 12 miles
from the first station occupied by the 322nd Bomb Group from Dec. 1942- June
1943. I have a photo of a group of 322nd officers one of which is Capt. Jack
Crane, who was air executive, and was killed on the second Ijmuiden raid on
May 17th 1943. I just wondered if anyone visiting this website may remember
him?? or have photos or information about him.
Kindest regards, Pete Clark.
- 5:49 PM
- TO: Richard Mahone, LCDR, USN (Ret.)
My father was the chief line mechanic for the 19th. I've posted a page for
him, Raymond Fuller, Capt. Finklestein
may recognize someone in the pictures that are posted there. There are also
some pictures of the unit patches for both the 22nd and 19th. I had other
information about the 22nd, that I am happy to share with you - please
consider adding a a dedication page to the b26.com. The host of the site might
send you the book of the 22nd, mine is on hard copy. There is also a page for
Merrill S. Matthews who was
also in the 19th. I had contact for a while with his daughter. I believe he
was in admin.
Click here for more 22nd Bomb Group info on the b26 site.
- 8:23 AM
- I was interested in your website and the information contained. My Father,
is 90 years old this year and was a Pilot in the RAF 39th Squadron in the
Italian campaign – ‘The Trente Nova’ as the locals called them. I attended the
squadron reunion last year and realized that he is now the last combat pilot
left from the squadron at that time.
Do you have any records of how many pilots are left alive with combat
experience from the second world war?
I attach a couple of pictures from his log book at the time. I have more if
you are interested.
Son of Jim Draper
- 2:51 PM
- I tried clicking on your MAPS Air Museum link and it didn't work to good.
Try this link
- 7:04 AM
- Dear Friends of the 386BG,
I need details on the mission 261, the bombing of fuel dumps at Bois de Mont,
August 26th 1944. The 386 had a big part in it. Was the whole group involved
or was it just the squadron.
Any little piece of information would be gratefully appreciated.
Mr. René Psarolis
You will need to go the website for the AFHRA, Air Force Historical Research
Agency and request the mission records for the 386th BG of August 26, 1944 for
the Bois de Mont mission
http://www.afhra.af.mil/main/contactus.asp. The mission records will have
all the pertinent details from the 386th BG USAAF archives for this mission.
It will also show all the other bomb groups that participated in this mission.
Provided there were others. Plus give a general overview of their part in the
mission. However if you want more detailed information on each bomb group,
then you will have to request the records for each bomb group on that day.
Roy Bozych – Historian 323rd BG
- 8:20 PM
|A special "Thanks" to everybody who has taken the time to create
fabulous dedication pages on the site. I often feel that it's a shame more
people don't create dedication pages for their relatives. Many times we
are contacted with a query about someone's relative, and although a
dedication page has been promised, we hear nothing further! Dedication
pages can be as short or as long as you wish, just send us scans of any
photographs and/or text about your Marauder Man relative, regardless of
whether they're alive or deceased, and we are happy to create the page for
you. -The B26 Team
- 6:12 PM
- I am the brother of a former member of the 34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb
Group during the early World War II period. His name is CPL Edgar E.
Trautmann. He told me he was an armorer for the 50 cal machine guns with
which the planes were armed. He served with the unit in North Africa,
Sardinia, and France. I believe he was a member of this particular
organization because of the Thunderbird patch I recall seeing after his return
from the war; I was six or seven years old at the time. He is now in his
nineties, lives far from my home, and, while still living, his wife reports
that he no longer has the energy, ability and/or inclination to take phone
I became interested in investigating my brother's past after attending the
funeral of a friend's father, SGT Harold James Dunlevy, an air crew radioman
on a B-26 Mitchell bomber, and had a discussion with the deceased's son. After
comparing notes, it seemed SGT Dunlevy and CPL Trautmann had served in the
same places at the same times. Also, my deceased father-in-law, CPT Thomas M.
Perkins, USAAC seems also to have been in the same places and times (and so
were thousands of others, I realize).
After conducting a search on the Internet and reviewing the history of the
34th, it seems consistent with the stories I heard from my brother.
I suppose my purpose in writing this is to simply inquire if any records or
memories of any of these names might serve to shed any light on their personal
histories and confirm any of the information I recall from family stories.
I am a retired Army Major who served two Viet Nam tours so I can imagine and
embellish what conditions were really like for the WW II veterans, having seen
the WW II history movies and documentaries. Also, it's cathartic to recall the
past glory of this great nation in light of the pathetic depths to which it
has sunk since our last clear victory in a war. -Gene Trautmann
- 7:04 AM
- Dear Friends of the 386BG,
I need details on the mission 261, the bombing of fuel dumps at Bois de Mont,
August 26th 1944. The 386 had a big part in it. Was the whole group involved
or was it just the squadron.
I have a friend in L’Oise, France and he was 12 years old at the time (August
26th 1944) and saw the bombing at a distance and through the years tried to
find out as much as possible about the raid. With some difficulty I was able
to find the famous 386 BG was over Fournival Bois de Mont on that date,
mission 261 but could not find any details on how many squadrons took part on
the raid. Any further information would be appreciated and make an old man
very grateful because as he remembers the raid was right on target with no
Any little piece of information would be gratefully appreciated. Take care and
keep up your marvelous work.
Mr. René Psarolis
- 2:15 PM
- Hello, I am trying to find some info on a member here and to see about a
dedication page.. My great uncle was a pilot of a B26 during WW2 and I ended
up with all his WW2 belongings. After reading many letters I noticed one name
that popped up a couple times. It is Bill Churchman. My uncle is Capt. Wendell Hilsmier of the Army Air Corp. and he flew with the 17th bombardment group
95th squad believe. I would also like to know how to post a dedication page as
I have a lot of neat pic's and letters. One is of him getting the
Distinguished Flying Cross for blowing up an ammunition dump. I believe my
uncle led that mission. Well thanks for any help or advise.
- V/R, Jeremy Jarrett
- Contact made:
- Update: I just spoke to Bill for about an hour and a half! Great to
hear about their times over there.. He seems like a great man. It's funny how
some of these guys love to tell there story! I love hearing them. Most people
only see what's in the movies. Such a great generation! -Jeremy Jarrett
- 3:49 PM
- My uncle Tom Duffy was a bombardier on a B-26 during WW2. I have no
idea what group he was with does anyone know him?
Thomas P. Duffy served with the 344th Bomb Group, 497th Bomb Squadron. He
was transferred to the 21 Bomb Group later in the war.
- 3:15 PM
- I am trying to find information on my father
Joe D Weaver from Ackerman, MS S# 14 150 971. He was with the 386 Bomber
Group, 554 Bomb Squadron. He was a WWII POW. I’d love to confirm that this is
where he was a POW and would like more information on his missions, when he
was shot down etc. Thank you. Ellen Weaver Hartman
- 9:18 PM
- Hi! My father was a waist-gunner on a B-26 and just for the fun of it, I
googled the name of my father's plane "MA's Blasted Event" and got 2
hits in your archives! They refer to the pilot Robert Scott FitzSimmonds and
co-pilot Lt. Austin Roberts of my father's plane! Is there any way I can
contact the people that posted these messages?
Thank you! Liz Stryjewsk
- 2:30 PM
- I originally posted this on another website in the 1990s. Since then I've
spoken to other B-26 Marauder pilots in the formation that day, to bomb the
railroad bridge at Conflans France, at noon on May 29th 1944.
"Lt. Stuart H. Perrin's B-26 Marauder Take Off Prayer 558th Bomb Squadron
Squadron 387th Bomb Group--1943-44 (60 missions) (Tiger Tails, yellow & black
diagonal stripes on rudder)
"Lord, My life is yours today.
You can do anything with me you want to.
If You've got a job for me to do in the United States
or anywhere in the world,
there is nothing here in combat that can keep me from it.
If You've got a new assignment for me with You in Headquarters,
this is a good day to begin it."
The B-26 Marauder Pilot's Prayer Background. Lt. Stuart Perrin prayed this
prayer with Sgt. Oley Olsen, the radio operator who sat directly behind him in
their various B-26 Marauders with names like "Gremlin" and "Pugnacious Peggy".
They knew they shared a common faith, and worked out this prayer to be
synchronized with the take off checklist. They began it together on the
takeoff roll, and finished together when they got airborne, got the flaps and
wheels up and locked.
"Lord, My life is yours today. You can do anything with me you want to. If
You've got a job for me to do in the United States or anywhere in the world,
there is nothing here in combat that can keep me from it. If You've got a new
assignment for me with You in Headquarters, this is a good day to begin it."
Oley died from a piece of flak that stopped his watch at noon and then slipped
through a small gap in his flak vest, on their 50th mission together, May 1944
as they did the softening up bombing in preparation for D-Day. (The backpack
chute caused the flak vest to fit differently, leaving a gap. The crews were
being encouraged to wear the new chutes because it gave better results if they
had to bail out. The Ninth Air Force B-26s typically bombed from about 10,000
feet to miss the worst of the flak, lower than the Eighth Air Force heavy
bombers B-17, B-24 ... being able to bail out quickly was important.)
What is transcribed above came from a phone call 6/4/94. I phoned Stuart H.
Perrin on Saturday June 4, 1994 to chat. He had frequently used his flying
experiences to illustrate his Sunday sermons, and as a teenager decades ago, I
always listened intently. I mentioned remembering that he had a crewman that
he prayed with on takeoff. I did not know any of the details. He shared the
prayer and the story with me over the phone. As I listened, I understood that
I had phoned him 50 years to the very week that he and Oley Olsen flew their
last mission together. The precision of it all leaves me silent, awestruck and
humbled. I could not have planned the timing of that call if I had wanted to.
It moved me to grasp that these two men prayed the same prayer together, over
and over for 50 missions. God had two completely different plans for each of
their lives. He answered the prayer perfectly for each of them. Oley Olsen
went Home to Headquarters on May 29, 1944. Perrin came home and became a
pastor in a church in my hometown during my high school years. My life would
not have been the same without him. He trusted his life to the Son of God, and
lived a simple life in a small town. His words reached a boy who showed up
mostly to hear the airplane stories. "God has no random events in His plan.
Who are you trusting with your future?"
- 9:40 AM
- To Whom it May Concern,
I am the grandson of 1st Lt. Curtis S. Church, of the 320th BG, 441st BS, shot
down on August 21st, 1943 over Italy, and taken prisoner. The aircraft he was
flying on that mission was serial number 41-18001, which my research shows had
no nose art.
As a child, I remember asking my grandfather if he had nose-art on his
airplane, and he explained that he flew many different airplane, but he
specifically remembers flying one particular plane several times that had a
picture of Snuffy Smith riding a machine-gun. I've gone through all of the
mission reports, and discovered he flew B-26 serial number 41-18034 on four
separate occasions. The nose-art was supposedly "Shootin' Arn", which is the
term Snuffy Smith used to describe his rifle... so I assume this must be the
particular B-26 my grandfather remembered.
I have a box of belongings he gave to me, including his flight school
graduation program, his military ID, his dog tags and pilot's wings, and the
italian army cup he acquired as a prisoner (and mentions in his account). I
will look through it to see if there are any documents you might like a copy
Thanks again for all the effort you have put into this webpage... it's been a
tremendous help in my research, and has fed my "B-26 addiction" for years now.
Unfortunately, I can't find any photos of the nose art on this B-26. Would you
happen to know where I might be able to find it?
- 8:49 AM
- What does the term rad-gun stand for with respect to a B26 crew?
- 8:37 AM
- I noticed your website while trying to search information on a crash
involving my great uncle, Sgt. John William Collins, who flew from Avon
Park Field on May 31, 1943. I found a newspaper notice of his death which
stated he was on a mid-sized bomber. I believe this may have been a B-26,
which led me to your site.
I can only find small bits of info., but I know 5 men were lost in the crash
of his medium bomber that day in a Florida lake. Can you point me in the right
direction to learn more about this incident? I'd like to find the names of the
crew, which unit they were in, the type of plane etc...
Thanks in advance for any help,
- 6:38 AM
- I have been spending some time reading posts from the last two years on
b26 site. I am not sure how I missed it several months ago but there was a
post from Mr. Duryea Warn, on 12/19/2011, asking for information about
contributing information about his military history. I believe that I had the
honor to meet Mr. Warn at the Rendezvous reunion of the 391st BG in Scottsdale
in 2006. I have his name listed with the many notes that I took when I was
there. I don't think Mr. Warn was at the standing down ceremony of the 391st
in Ohio in May of 2011. My dad, Clarence V. Erickson - a Marauder Man, passed
away in 1972 which was a few years before the 391st started holding reunions.
I was fortunate enough to have found out about the events in early 2006 and
was able to attend a couple of them including the final reunion and standing
down ceremony in 2011. Thank-you Marauder Men for telling your stories and
sharing what life was like for you as a member of the Greatest Generation.
Thank-you Mr. Warn.
Son of Clarence V. Erickson
391st BG - 575th BS
- 10:23 PM
- Hi, I'm writing about my beloved Uncle Gerry Allen who was a gunner on
"Goatee Hell". I'm attaching a newspaper article. I don't know when it was
written. I have a number of photos of B26's and men that were taken by Russell
P. Hays. Gerry died on Dec. 5, 2009. I can scan my photos and send them if you
Richard L. Allen
- 5:45 AM
- As teenagers, my parents watched the crash of 3 B-26C Marauders near
Bodegraven in The Netherlands, where they lived at that time, on May 17 1943,
know as The IJmuiden Raid..
One of the planes made a belly landing at De Meije. This plane had the
registration DR-W (41-17999) and belonged to the 452 Sq of the 322 Bombardment
group. The crew consisted of L. David Wurst, 2Lt. Robert Starr, 2Lt. A. Speer,
Cpl. George Heski, S/Sgt. Robert J Dempsey and Sgt. Reginald Foster. The
complete crew survived and became POW's. Mr. Helski was wounded and my father
saw how they helped him out of the plane.
I'm writing an article about this plane for the magazine of the History Club
of Bodegraven and would like to ask you if there are any pics of this plane. I
now know that this plane had a nickname; Chickasaw Chief that was painted on
the nose. I don't know if there was any nose art, but I suspect so. Can you
tell me if the plane had any nose art representing the "Chickasaw Chief"?
I would like to include that info in my article. I would really appreciate any
pictures of this plane.
Please contact me if you have any information.
Thank you kindly in advance for your help.
I have had a look through my photographs, and can’t find one for “Chickasaw
Chief”, 41-17999. The only shot I’ve seen of this aircraft is a poor shot of
it in flight in Roger Freeman’s book “Marauder at War”.
With regard to expanding the B-26 team, I certainly don’t mind helping where I
can. Whereas I can’t claim to have the knowledge or resources of Trevor, I do
have quite a bit of B-26 material. You’ve certainly got a great thing going at
Here are two pictures of “Chickasaw Chief”, 41-17999 
- 6:52 PM
- Marauderman's Name: LT COL Russell Schuenke
Bomb Group: 453rd
Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service: 31
Graduation Class: UNK
Class Location: UNK
Comments: This is LT COL Russell Schuenke's Grandson Russell Smith. My Mother
sent me his files and I am going through them now. Especially his Military
Records. He spoke very highly of the Martin Marauder's and the Men he flew
with. Does anyone have any stories they would like to share? As I read through
his files I will take note of the names on his OER's and see if they are still
around. He past last year and I Presided over his service at the VFW in Fort
Eustis. Please feel free to contact me.
- 3:33 PM
- Hello. I am contacting you this afternoon because we recently found a
piece of family history that we would like to learn more about. It appears to
be a wooden book with leather binding straps filled with original paintings of
B26 Marauder nose art and other landscape paintings by, we assume, E C
Thompson. We have learned, through basic internet research, that Trevor Allen
is the leading B26 Marauder historian. We would like, very much, to discuss
this book with him via email, telephone, or however is convenient for him. I
have been unable to obtain any contact information for him, and I hope that
you can help me with that. I have the impression, based on details of your
website, that you have access to his information. We are anxious to learn as
much about this book as possible. If Mr. Allen is unavailable, perhaps you can
recommend someone else that may be able to educate us. Thank you , very much,
in advance for your help. -Amy M.
- 3:33 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Arthur P. Bant
Bomb Squadron: 12 Sqdn
Years in service: 1943/45
Comments: This was my grandfather whom died just before my birth 1973. He did
291.05 hours as a gunner in the SAAF but was actually in the RAF and was FSgt
#900547. So dearly love to know what his aircraft was named and the names of
his crew and their history as it has been a dead end mostly. This site is a
truly special dedication to these great men and their wonderful flying
machines. -Steve Dickson, Perth Australia
- 8:00 AM
- I am submitting this in memory of my father:
Name: Walter L Mosher Jr.
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 572nd
Years: Dec 1942 thru June 1945
Military Occupation: Radio Operator Mechanic Gunner 757
Campaigns: Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland
School Attended: Sioux Falls South Dakota
Name of B-26: Calamity Lu’
Comment: I do have information on my father while in the military. He never
spoke of it when my brothers and sisters were growing up. It was only after my
father died and mother when we were finally were able to look at his military
records he kept in a leather case. I was hoping to find out if anyone might
still be alive that was a member of this group, squadron and plane.
Walter Mosher III
- 8:36 AM
- Marauderman's Name: Rufus Garland (R.G.) Starnes
Bomb Group: Unk
Bomb Squadron: Unk
Years in service: 1940-1946
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: R.G. was my father in law. He was a B26 flight instructor after many
months of training in progressively more complex single and multi-engined
trainers the USAAC used at the time in Texas, California, Florida, and perhaps
elsewhere. He knew engines and planes and told me he eventually qualified in
all USAAC heavies up to the B29 Superfortress.
RG did not fly often after the war, eventually raising two girls and a boy
with his strikingly lovely wife Alicia. Meeting his eldest daughter was the
luckiest day of my life.
Anybody out there remember a tall Texan with a gift for flying, poker, quail
shooting, and blarney?
- 1:06 PM
- Hello, I am looking for information on a GALATI, JAMES V., S/Sgt,
Engineer/Gunner who was on the plane "Draggin' Lady". Any information you
could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks you.
George A. Thompson Jr.
- 42-96135 6B-Y Draggin' Lady 397th.Bomb Group 599th.Bomb Squadron
17 June 1944 ran out of gas on its landing approach, crashlanded in gardens of
houses at Coggeshall, Essex two miles from airfield
Capt John J Ambrister;2.Lt's Vernon V Vessels; Robert C Hesser; C J Dizialo; J
H Jones; T/Sgt Clinton B Mathews; S/Sgt's James V Galati; J Benedick; F W
Pinetz. All crew escaped safely.
43-34434 6B-C Draggin' Lady No.3 397th Bomb Group 599th Bomb Squadron
23 December 1944 shot down by enemy fighters, crashed near Demerath, Germany
Capt Mont F Stephenson; 2.Lt John L Grapes; 1.Lt's Robert J Kinney; Elmer R
Borden; Laverne F Grundman; S/Sgt Lynn E Rose,Jr; T/Sgt William E Bower;
S/Sgt's Harry W Watson ; James V Galati. All crew killed in crash.
Trevor Allen historian b26.com
- 5:44 PM
- Re : 391 Bomb. Group, 572 Bomb. Squad
Thanks for your group picture. My Dad was 7th from the left in the very back
row. It is the first time I ever saw a WW II photo with him in it. It meant so
much to me and our family. I will post more info. later.
- 7:16 AM
- I worked for a newspaper editor in Nashville, NC named Tom Wilson. He was
a B-26 pilot in the Pacific. Just wondering if there was a record of his
service. He never really talked about his experience much. He only commented
that the Army trained him and when the war was over, his flying was over.
Any help will be appreciated.
Do either of these names ring a bell?
Thomas F. Wilson, 320th Bomb Group
Thomas S. Wilson, 391st Bomb Group, 573 Bomb Squadron
Thomas W. Wilson, 335th Bomb Group
- 7:21 AM
- Marauderman's Name: Captain Sidney Paul Finklestein, US Army Air
Bomb Group: 22nd
Bomb Squadron: 19th
Years in service: 1941-1946(?)
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comment: Aircraft nickname = Hells Angels
- I am am a friend of CPT Sid Finklestein the navigator of B26 #1428. Sid is
alive and well and has told me some of his history with the 19th SQN and his
aircraft and crew. I'd like to build him a shadow box and in it I'd like to
include his medals and ribbons that he was awarded as well as any patches he
would have worn. I have advised his daughter to write the VA to get his DD-214
(discharge papers) but I'd like to ask anyone who follows this guestbook if
they could advise me on where to find images of or the actual patches of 22nd
Bomb Group and the 19th Squadron and what awards, medals these men would have
been awarded. Any information would be of great assistance. Thank you very
LCDR, USN (Ret.)
- 2:31 PM
- I came across this site while researching a relative Sgt Robert L
Vidler he died Dec 23rd 1944 and was buried some years later in
California. It says on his grave:
Robert L Vidler
391 AAF Bomb Group
World war 11
Feb 12th 1923
December 23 1944
I kept looking and found his number XXXX9473 and a reference to a mission
which I cut a pasted below, its from 391st bomb crew lists 574th squadron
which I found on google. It doesn't say anything else so I am not sure what
they mean from this or how he was killed in December and I wonder if anyone
knew what happened on this day to Sergeant Vidler. Any help would be very much
appreciated. His mother was Adelia May Triplett a relative of mine. Sincerely
Patricia S Triplett, England
P BROWN, CLYDE G., CAPT, XXXX095
CP BISHOP, GEORGE M., 2LT, XXXX127
B ESTREM, PAUL J., 2LT, XXXX475
FE BENDICKSON, WARREN E., CPL, XXXX120
RG GAGNE, JOSEPH N., SGT, XXXX335
AG BRILLHART, GENE W., CPL, XXXX496
SOURCE: SO-121, Hqs, 391st Bomb Group 9/13/1944 Par. 10
Capt Brown was shot down on 12/23/44 in 42-95865 (Sky Hag). Lts Bishop and
Estrem are buried in the Luxembourg Cemetery. Apparently, Sgt Rudyard L.
Courtenay and Sgt Robert L. Vidler replaced Gagne and Bendickson on this
mission (hardback history). According to the soft back history, a Lt Brown hit
a power line on takeoff on 10/05/44. As the squadrons are the same, I assume
that these are one individual.
- 6:39 PM
- Is this site about the B-26 Martin Marauder? Thank-you, John D. (Jack)
- 3:04 PM
- My Cousin SSg Donald C. Toy was a gunner on a B-26 41-18215 "Dirty
Bird" with the 319 bomb group. His plane went down with tow others in November
1943, probably due to collisions caused by bad weather. I live in Akron, Ohio
and I just came back from the 319 Archive at the University of Akron. They
have a lot of good, original stuff. I am continuing to research my cousin's
loss. I would be willing to help anyone researching the 319. Let me know if I
can help. -Thomas E Russell
- 2:37 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Gustave W. Aspacher "Gus"
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 37th
Years in service: Nov 1942-30 Nov 1945
Was a PFC clerk typist for unit. Any additional info/photo appreciated
- 8:55 AM
- My Dad, Dexter Goodwin, wrote about one of his WW II flying experiences.
-Dexter Goodwin Jr.
- 11:02 AM
- Gentlemen…Thought you might like to know that a former B-26 pilot, 50
missions European Theatre, Lt Colonel Edward Tyre, has just been
awarded the French Legion of Honor medal for gallantry while supporting the
French liberation in WWII.
CAPT Tim Tyre, USN(ret)
- 8:53 PM
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 438th
Years in service: Feb 1944-Jan 1945
My father, 1st Lieutenant Robert James Nachel, was a bombardier pilot with the
319th BG (438 squadron) in Sardinia (B-26s), Corsica (B-25s), and Okinawa
(A-26s). He flew 39 missions for 146:40 hours. I found this site because I am
researching information on his war years to go along with the memoirs he wrote
of his years in the service. I am using his stories and his war photos, along
with internet information, to create a book for his descendants (8 children,
16 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and counting). If by any chance, any
of you knew my father, please do contact me! (He died of cancer in 1991 at age
Of interest is that my father was checked out in the Douglas A-26 by Donald K.
Slayton ("Deke"), who went on to become one of the original Seven Mercury
Diane Nachel Moser
Regarding the posting by Harry Sontag's grandson (12/31/2012 1:34 AM), I
have some information concerning Mr. Sontag.
S/Sgt. Harry (NMI) Sontag made a statement which is contained in MACR
(Missing Air Crew Report) #5135. This MACR concerns the loss of Lt. Dauteuil's
aircraft (B-26B-20-MA 41-31716) during the attack by the 391st Bomb Group's
attack on the Maisons-Lafitte bridge on May 27, 1944.
In his statement, Mr. Sontag states that he was a tail gunner in the aircraft
in the No.4 position, low flight; and that he witnessed Lt. Dauteuil's
aircraft dropping out of formation with the right engine smoking and that he
then saw 6 parachutes leaving the aircraft (NB all 6 crew members survived).
Furthermore, the 391st BG "Taxi Sheets" for May 27, 1944
(http://www.391stbombgroup.com/taxi1944a.htm) show Lt. Alexander's aircraft
(42-95807, 4L-J, nicknamed “The Swoose”) was flying in No.4 position in the
low flight, first box. Lt. Dauteuil's aircraft is shown in the No.5 position
(off No.4's right wing), so S/Sgt. Sontag would have had a very good view of
the No.5 aircraft.
A Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster was awarded to Lt. Julian P. Alexander for
outstanding achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot on an
important enemy target on 27 May 1944. The aircraft was seriously damaged by
anti-aircraft fire while on the bombing run, but Lt. Alexander held his plane
in formation until the bombs were released on the objective. He piloted the
crippled plane back to base and, despite extremely poor visibility,
successfully landed the aircraft without injury to his crew or further damage
to the plane.
Lt. Julian P. Alexander's crew (according to
1Lt. ALEXANDER, JULIAN P. (Pilot)
2Lt. DONNELLY, WILLIAM W., JR. (Co-Pilot)
Sgt. CULVER, JOHN H. (Engineer/Gunner)
S/Sgt CUELLAR, TED S. (Radio Operator/Gunner)
Perhaps, S/Sgt. Sontag regularly flew with this crew.
Although this web page shows Lt. Julian P. Alexander as being in the 572nd
Bomb Squadron, he regularly appears in the taxi sheets with the 574th squadron
aircraft flights (confusingly, there were 2 Lt. Alexanders in the 391st) and
"The Swoose" was a 574th BS aircraft. Perhaps these records or wrong or maybe
Lt. J.P. Alexander was re-assigned to the 574th BS at a later date
Michael Jones (2001 post), it has
been a while so you may have found what you were looking for, but I am a niece
of Wetzel thru his wife. I have a photo you may or may not have and have been
able to find out a fair amount about him. When on leave he often went to
England and met with my father Harris Owen, Jr. who was a medic with the 3rd
AAF. Give me a shout and we'll compare notes.
Lt. Ray and crew. L. to R. Lt. Ray, Lt. Savage, Lt. Moore, Sgt. Hanson, Sgt. Hibdon,
Sgt. Kimball, and Sgt. Corwin
- Marauderman's Name: Wetzel Kimball
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th A flight
Years in service: 43-44
Comments: Wetzel was married to my aunt a year and a half when his plane
crashed and he was killed. From Doddridge, W Va, he was on his 71st flight and
his 2nd tour of duty when he stood in for another member who was sick. His
plane crashed near Sains, France near the Belgium border. They had been on a
bombing run into Germany, softening up the defenses just before the battle of
the bulge. Wetzel died on November 25, 1944. There is a memorial to him and
the crew (he was the tail gunner) in La Neuville-Housset, France, about 4km to
the southeast from Sains.
- 7:47 PM
- Marauderman's Name: Staff Sgt.
Arthur F. LeMieux
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 455th
Years in service:1942-1945
Comments: My father-in-law was a Supply Tech. His records indicate he departed
the U.S. for Europe on 4 Aug 1942 and returned to the U.S. on 11 Dec 1945. If
anyone has any recollection of “Art”, I would appreciate any and all
information. I have attached a photo. Unfortunately he passed away in 2010.
- 4:04 PM
- I have photos of John Geba in Africa and
Sardinia and "Fly Baby" his B26. His son Paul posted in May 2001. My name is
Bruce Bourgoin, I am the grandson of Aldo Gandolfini who was friends and crew
mate with John. Please contact Paul for me.
- 11:06 AM
- Hello Dan W. Johnston! (December
I know it's been over 10 years since your post on b26.com, however I hope this
information finds it's way to you.
Here is a picture of the Coral Princess and her crew and a close up picture of
her crew. In the picture with the crew, we spotted the name Dan W. Johnson,
Just to share, the H. B. Cook; engineer/gunner is my Great Uncle. He was known
as Herbie during the war but, his true name is Evan B. Cook. He passed on
November 7, 2006. Perhaps you've found more information or pictures in your
searches over the years and would like to share.
- 8:44 AM
- John Beach, nephew of James
Skinner, has donated and challenged us to identify all the names in the
And Bitter" from the 452nd Bomb Sq, 322nd Bomb Gp.
Anyone who adds a dedication page for one of the named men on the plane will
receive a high-resolution image suitable for printing.
- John, good idea for a project. "Mild And Bitter" was the first Marauder in
the UK to complete 100 combat missions. It was returned to the States for a
bond tour then put into the training programme at Lake Charles. They scraped
the paint off and replaced the name in a fancy new style and you can see the
bomb tally silhouettes.
Regarding the naming of planes, in general, which I am often asked about -
invariably the B26 was regarded by aircrews to be the property of the crew
chief, and they only loaned it for missions. They depended on him to keep the
plane in good working order and they invariably deferred to his judgment.
Frequently the B26 was named by the crew chief, not the pilot or aircrew. For
example "Mild & Bitter" was named by its crew chief.
Secondly many B26's were not named until they arrived in the combat zone,
although I agree several were named either before departure from the USA or en
route. In have many instances of B26s being named by the crew who ferried them
to the combat zone, and on arrival with its combat unit the name was
Thirdly some B26s quickly got a reputation for being mechanical dogs, but if a
crew chief said it was combat ready, then the crew took it. Don't forget as a
B26 completed more and more missions it became more and more weary, hence
after a period of time it would be classed as war weary and hiked off to some
unsuspecting unit. -Cheers, Trevor Allen
- 7:04 AM
- Starting the new year off positively, we have a quote sent in by Don
Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow.
- "The Army Air Forces' B-26, the deadly medium bomber built by Glenn L.
Martin, is shown in flight in the exclusive photograph reproduced on the back
cover of this issue of Wings. Designed as a land plane, the B-26 has made
spectacular record as a torpedo-carrying plane in at least two over-the-water
Lt. General H. H. Arnold, in a telegram to Glenn L. Martin, told of the
performance of the B-26 in the Pacific fighting. Said General Arnold: "High
praise for the B-26's that the men and women in your employ have sent to the
Army Air Forces has come coincidentally from two far-flung battle fronts as
Gen. Emmons in Hawaii and Gen. Buckner in Alaska report the magnificent part
your bombers played in the recent successes off Midway and the Aleutian
Islands. A flight of four of your airplanes attacked a cruiser or a battleship
in the former engagement and scored one positive hit the other probably. In
the Aleutians a group of B-26's made three attacks on the main Japanese task
force, sinking a cruiser and scoring two hits with torpedoes besides dropping
a torpedo on the deck of a carrier."
- Source: Wings for Victory in the Battle of Production, August 1942
- 12:01 AM
- Happy New Year!
Marauder Men, family and friends are invited to add content to the web
site. Tell a story. Include as much information as you can.