B26.COM Guest Book Pages & Links

b26bann.jpg (8987 bytes)


Date:
12/29/2016
Time:
6:36 PM
 
Newton N. Gann from the 584th squadron passed away on December 21st, 2016. Previously he was one of the directors of the 394th Bomb Group Association. I found an old copy of the AIRSCOOP but the 394th Reunion organization seems to have disbanded. I wanted to post a notice of my Dad's passing to this website.

Thanks,
Ron Gann
Son

Date:
12/28/2016
Time:
12:21 AM
 
I do know some of my Grandfather's Story, but I was hoping to find out more. About him and his crews & the other pilots that he flew with in Europe during WWII. His name was Jac Robershotte and he flew 53 Missions in the war. I loved hearing him & the family talk about it when I was a kid. He loved to fly even after the war, unlike some of his buddies ... as I knew of them. Sorry for sending parts of the story, but I am hoping I can patch it all up & get you all the right stuff and maybe your site can help me as well? I am very interested in learning more from your website and from others from your website. I am a Proud granddaughter of a B-26 Maurder pilot. He flew over Europe.

Thanks so Much for running this website since 1998!

Leilani Robershotte

Date:
12/27/2016
Time:
10:41 PM
 
Hello,

Would you happen to have known Myron Oliver Mckim? He was a Gunner in the 386th. Middle kneeing.

Thank you for keeping this great Marauderman history resource and website up and running.

Penny Mckim

Martin B-26 Marauder Crew Help us ID the guys in the picture - thank you! (large image)
Help us ID the guys in the picture - thank you!

Date:
12/26/2016
Time:
11:11 AM
 
My name is Marilyn Metting and I am the niece of World War II 2nd LT FW Janssen, Co-Pilot. Paul W. Janssen (spelled with two "ss") B26 crashed in Labrador on November 30, 1942. My mother Bernice M. (Janssen maiden name) Ulrich was Paul's sister and grew up together in Minnesota. She has always shared wonderful memories of Paul with our family. Today is Memorial Day and Paul and his fellow comrades as well as all those who have fallen will always be remembered and honored, and also all those who have served with dedication and sacrifice in order to allow us the freedoms we enjoy today and hope for future generations. Thank you for your special website in keeping our loved ones in our hearts and minds.

Thanks to B26.com for remembering Marauder crews.

Marilyn Metting

(See The Saglek Story, Artic Tragedy in 1942)

Date:
12/19/2016
Time:
2:17 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Arthur Judd
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 432nd
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Looking for anything we can find about this great old guy. He said he was in the 12th air division and the squadron or the aircraft had the name 'Wolves' in it. There was mention of hitting the silk a number of times and always getting back to fly. He was a spry 92 yr old till the end. I had many a glass of wine with him. For the last 20 years he was a ski instructor in Santa Fe and in the summers led hikers up to 11,000 feet almost daily. He told me stories about the war his kids didn't know.

Thank you for keeping this site going.

Kurt Longeron

Date:
12/9/2016
Time:
10:11 AM
 
I found your website on Google. I was trying to do research on my dad. I have his discharge papers and I do remember him telling me that he was in Australia and New Guinea as a Mechanic working on the airplanes. Here is the information from his discharge papers.

Marauderman's Name: Manuel F Martin
Bomb Group: 22nd Bombardment Group
Bomb Squadron: 2nd Bombardment Squadron
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: He enlisted on Jan 29, 1942 in Bakersfield, CA in the Air Corps. He spent his whole military enlistment over in Australia and New Guinea.

Thanks for keeping b26.com running.

Karen Martin Davis

Date:
12/9/2016
Time:
3:48 AM
 
re Paul Wilgenkamp 8/12 post asking for info on SSGT Robert Curran: he is buried in a group with 2/Lt Reading (my father) and Sgts. Pierson and Moore at the National Cemetery in Keokuk, IA. The choice of a burial site "split the difference" among the four: Sgt, Moore was from Seattle and the others from the East.

John W. Reading

Date:
12/6/2016
Time:
1:07 PM
 
Dear B26.com,

First my complement to you with a great internet site that you have. It fantastic that after so many years I still can find information of the good work those man did during WW11.

My name is Jan Verdriet, retired Major at the Royal Netherlands Air Force and are living at Tilburg in Netherlands, momentarily I am investigating a World War II bombardment. This bombardment on the Dutch Town Goor took place on march 24 1945 and was carried out by the USAAF 397th Bombardment Group (Medium) as an secondary or other type of target under mission Nr 215.

24 (AM) | 215 | BECHOLT FLAK POS.| NAO

This bombardement by the 397TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (M) on the target Bechtholt Flak on march 24 1945 (AM) was not completed as 100% due to heavy FLAK and due bad visual sight. There was after the abandon attack a flog of planes B-26 who were picked up by a navigator and directed to the town of Goor (Netherlands) and dropped here the bombes.

Because I found information in the National Archives of the Netherlands (Den Haag) that Goor had a potential target in Goor i.e. a factory that makes airplanes parts for the German airplane Dornier 24. This was brought up by the Dutch resistance to the Dutch Intell Office in London who passed this information to the military attaché, American embassy Berkeley square Lt Col William Mc. K. Dunn G.S.C..

Now i am looking for the mission-, intel- and all other sort off reports according for this specific bombardment, on the town off Goor please can you help me to find these? And perhaps you could tell me what the abbreviation NAO means or stand for.

Hopefull waiting on your reaction.

Mr. J.H. Verdriet

Mr. Verdriet, here's some information for you Mission 215 3-24-1945. I asked around about NAO, but didn't get a positive answer, just a "maybe".

Here is what they thought:

NAO -- No Attack Occurred or No Attack Observed

I also looked into AMPI which was on the same report, as well as SMPI and DMPI.

AMPI -- Actual Mean Point of Impact or Aimed Mean Point of Impact
SMPI -- Secondary Mean Point of Impact
DMPI -- Desired Mean Point of Impact or Designated Mean Point of Impact

Don Hock, 397th Bomb Group Historian, son of Sterling Hoch

Date:
11/25/2016
Time:
9:15 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Robert L Lillard
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557
Years in service: not sure
Graduation Class: not sure
Class Location: not sure
Comments: Sorry to have so little information. What I have is what my father told me. His father is Robert Lillard. Some of the other men that were on the plane with him were William P. Venters, Martin T Penn, Serafin V Oliva, and Dan Manuel. I believe that he, my grandfather, was the radio operator. I'm just looking for information. Where he was stationed, missions he might of flown, maybe the name of the plane he was on, anything. I don't know if anyone can give me any of that, but I'm just putting it out there. My Dad is really into history, especially WWII (with his father being a part of it), and if I could give him information about his dad that he didn't already have, I know that would be really special for him.

Thank You,

Carrie Lillard Jandorf

To Carrie Lillard Jandorf,
 
Notes on S/Sgt Robert L Lillard:
The 387 th records are very poor and no crew manifests are preserved and, as such, only the first pilot name is known for any given mission. Therefore records of the individual missions flown by S/Sgt Robert L Lillard (later as T/Sgt, by 21 st July 1944) are not known. Missions identified as being flown by his first pilot, 1/Lt William Venters, are shown below and give an indication of the missions that he probably flew on, but we cannot be certain.


This list only shows 34 missions but a tour would normally have been 60 or 65 missions so there are a number of gaps, S/Sgt Lillard received the Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters so would have completed a minimum of 55 missions, as these were awarded for each 5 missions flown.

S/Sgt Willard received the Air Medal on 15 March 1944
Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal (not in records)
2nd OLC to Air Medal 23 May 1944
3rd OLC to Air Medal 4 June 1944
4th OLC to Air Medal 29 June 1944
5th OLC to Air Medal 10 July 1944
6th OLC to Air Medal 19 July 1944
7th OLC to Air Medal (not in records)
8th OLC to Air Medal 15 August 1944
9th OLC to Air Medal 26 August 1944
10th OLC to Air Medal 4 September 1944


One mission that I can confirm that he flew is that of D-Day 1944 when he was definitely part of Lt. Venters crew that attacked a road junction at Beau Guillot, as the full crew listings are available for this momentus mission.

As regards bases he flew from well the 387 Bomb Group was based at Chipping Ongar, in Essex, from its arrival in the UK until July 1944. T/Sgt Lillard is listed as being part of the air echelon that flew to Stoney Cross in Hampshire on July 21 1944, but was not on the roster of personnel that went to France on 27 August 1944 so may have completed his combat tour by this date.

As regards aircraft flown it appears that they did not have their own regular aircraft and flew in quite a number of different aircraft as and when required, as the following list for Lt Venters shows, although as previously noted there are many gaps.

Lt William Venters Mission Listing as first Pilot, with aircraft flown:
3 February 1944 La Longueville V-weapon site 41-31834 KS-S
4 March 1944 Malines V-weapon site 41-31783 KS-M ‘Kentucky Belle’
8 March 1944 Soesterburg Airfield (Abortive weather) 41-31799 KS-F ‘Kiziyo Pofoth’
23 March 1944 Creil Marshalling Yards 41-31672 KS-Q ‘ Worry Wart’
23 March 1944 Haine St Pierre Marshalling Yd 41-31672 KS-Q ‘Worry Wart’
26 March 1944 Ijmuiden E-Boat Pens 41-31690 KS-L ‘Lucky Lou’
10 April 1944 Le Havre Coastal Defences 41-31611 KS-T ‘Sweatin 2 nd ’
10 April 1944 Namur Marshalling Yards 41-31611 KS-T ‘Sweatin 2 nd ’
23 April 1944 Bennerville Coastal Defences 41-31783 KS-M ‘Kentucky Belle’
11 May 1944 Hardelot Coastal Defences 41-31691 KS-H ‘Capes Gremlin Chaser’
13 May 1944 Fort Mardick Coastal Defences 41-31691 KS-H ‘Capes Gremlin Chase’
22 May 1944 Barfleur Coastal Defences 41-31672 KS-Q ‘Worry Wart’
25 May 1944 Leige/Val Benoit Railroad Br 41-31871 KS-X ‘Dottie’
26 May 1944 Chartres Airfield 41-31663 KS-D ‘My Gal Friday’

28 May 1944 Liege Renery Railroad Bridge 41-31663 KS-D ‘My Gal Friday’
31 May 1944 Bennecourt Highway Bridge 41-31718 KS-O ‘El Capitan’
3 June 1944 Etaples Coastal Defences 42-107809 KS-N ‘Pagliacci II’
6 June 1944 D-Day – Beau Guillot Road Junc 42-107809 KS-N ‘Pagliacci II’
7 June 1944 Rennes Bridge 41-31799 KS-F ‘Kiziyo Pofoth’
8 June 1944 Pontaubault Railroad Junction 41-31871 KS-X ‘Dottie’
10t June 1944 St Lo Troop Concentration 41-31799 KS-F ‘Kiziyo Pofoth’
11 June 1944 Pontaubault Bridge 41-31720 KS-Z ‘Ole Smokey’
14 June 1944 Falaise Road Junction 41-31663 KS-D ‘My Gal Friday’
14 June 1944 Ambrieres Road Junction 42-96187 KS-M
20 June 1944 Lambus V-weapon site 41-31663 KS-D ‘’My Gal Friday’
21 June 1944 Bois d’Esquardes V-weapon 41-31663 KS-D ‘My Gal Friday’
22 June 1944 Foret de Conches Fuel Dump 41-31663 KS-D ‘My Gal Friday’
25 June 1944 Foret de Ecouvres Fuel Dump 41-31717 KS-L ‘Ollie L’
7 July 1944 Chartres Troop Concentration 41-31663 KS-D ‘My gal Friday’ – crash landed on advance airstrip in France after engine failure.
19 July 1944 Tours Railroad Bridge 42-96276 KS-N ‘Miss Behavin’
25 July 1944 St Lo Troop Concentration 41-31690 KS-L ‘Lucky Lou’
28 July 1944 Senoches Fuel Dump 41-31690 KS-L ‘Lucky Lou’
1 August 1944 Maintenon Railroad Bridge 41-35248 KS-S ‘Ruffles’
15 August 1944 Conches Highway Choke Point 41-31799 KS-F ‘Kiziyo Pofoth’



Alan Crouchman, 387th BG Historian

Date:
11/18/2016
Time:
3:11 PM
 
I am trying to get any info for a dear friend about her grandfather Lt. Alton S. Emerson "Dutch", any thing will help.

Thank you for the site, Bobby Duckworth

Date:
11/18/2016
Time:
9:10 AM
 
My Name is David Long and my Father's brother, my Uncle Roy Vernon Long, flew in a B26 in the ETO.

Name: Roy Vernon Long
BombGp: 397
Squadron: 559
Years: Unknown
Class: Unknown
Location: MS but not sure.
Comments: Uncle Roy was a top turret gunner and his B26 went down on 30 Nov 1944 killing all on board. From the story I remember my Father telling me that while over France during a raid, Uncle Roy's plane had mechanical problems and said they were turning back - I believe he was based in Scotland. When the rest of the Sq returned they had discovered that Roy's plane never made it back to base. Uncle Roy was initially listed as missing. When the allies took more ground they discovered the wreckage of Roy's aircraft and he was then declared as KIA. There was one crew member that did not fly that day and survived the war. Uncle Roy is buried in Epinal, France. I have a picture of Uncle Roy and his crew in front of his plane which I am attaching.

From Ancestry.com and fold3.com I was able to find out that he was with the 559th Bomber Sq, 397th Bomber Grp (Medium).

I would certainly like to try and find more information about my Uncle or his plane if possible.

Thank you,
David Long



On a mission to Zweibruchen 30 Nov 44 (flying B-26 "Old Crow"); crashed. The following crew members were reported killed: 2nd.Lt Norman J. Hollekim*; 2nd Lt. Robert E. Hill* ; 2nd Lt. Robert B. Morse*; Sgt. Roy V. Long*; S/Sgt. Ernest E. Shehan*; Sgt. Mark V. Carmichael

Mr. Roy V Long is buried in the Epinal American Cemetery, France; Plot B-30-37.

* Designates buried in Epinal American Cemetery, France.

Source: 559th Squadron History; B-26 Memorial Guide
 

David Long,
The mission was to attack railway yards at Zweibrucken on pathfinder equipment, however the PFF ship aborted so the leaders opted to attack Pirmasens on GEE equipment, however after several runs no attack was made. The 559th BS lost aircraft 41-31662 TQ-X "Old Crow" in strange circumstances. Whilst on the first run to attack Pirmasens the aircraft's left engine was seen to explode, with the cowling blown off, and the engine seen to be on fire. The aircraft left the formation and was last seen to descend into the cloud base some 2000ft below, the crew being posted as "missing in action." The aircraft was on its 115th mission.



Alan Crouchman, 387th BG Historian

Date:
11/9/2016
Time:
5:54 PM
 
Hello, I am trying to find out more information about the attached letter (SSgt. William L. White letter page 1, page 2) that I found among my grandfather’s war records. If anyone can be of any help I would appreciate it. Sincerely, Phillip S. Johnston
 
Phillip,
Doing a fast search It looks like the letter was written by S/Sgt. William L. White III from the 455th Squadron about his friend S/Sgt. Jerome L Brown also from the 455th Squadron.

John Moench remarks in his book, Marauder Men: An Account of the Martin B-26 Marauder, that S/Sgt. Brown was wounded on D-Day. It appears that he must have later died from those wounds.

I'm wrapping up one major project now. I'll get back to you in a few days with S/Sgt. Brown's mission plus any other info and/or photographs I can find.

Roy Bozych, 323rd Historian

Date:
11/8/2016
Time:
4:58 PM
 
Looking for information on Burgess, Leonard H. Last known address is Ventura, California.
 
41-31638 386BG 552BS PANSY YOKUM RG-N 31
14 Jan 44 flak damaged on bomb run, crashlanded on English coast.
Pilot: Lt. Leonard H. Burgess with crew

41-31619 386BG 555BS MAN O WAR YA-U 27
13 Dec 43 right engine shot out over target, landed at Stanstead badly damaged, salvaged by 2nd Tactical Air Depot 15 Mar 44
Pilot: Lt. Leonard H. Burgess

Trevor Allen, B26.com

Date:
11/8/2016
Time:
9:46 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st Lieut. Julian H. Burgess, Jr.
Bomb Group: 344 Bomb Gp (M)
Bomb Squadron: 497 Bomb Sq
Years in service: Enlistment 18 MARCH 1941 at Jamaica, NY), Date of Death 2 JULY 1944.
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments: Seeking information on 1st Lieut. Julian H. Burgess, Jr. U.S. Army Air Forces, 497th Bomber Squadron, 344th Bomber Group. His headstone inscription and interment record says: Death date 02 JULY 1944. Buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England (Cemetery 1615, Block K, Row 3, Grave 14). Awarded Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters (citation needed). Lieut. Burgess’s parents (now deceased) lived in my hometown, but left no record of their son’s service. How do I locate an incident report?

Paul Bell

Date:
11/8/2016
Time:
9:46 AM
 
Came across this last night after watching "Hacksaw Ridge" I knew my great grandfather fought in WWII, but he died in 1993 when I was just 10, and I had never spoken with my great grandmother about it. I am an aviation guy (pilot, into old planes, got to fly in a T-6 and a TBM Avenger two months ago)... To my surprise, I saw my Great Grandfather's name on the 16th Tow Squadron webpage: William G. Lutsch - Medina Ohio.

If you've found any information, let me know.

James E. Bailey Jr.

Date:
11/6/2016
Time:
8:33 AM
 
Hello:

Thank you for your wonderful website.

I'm researching my cousin David Hyre, who served on the Blind Date. He was shot down 12/23/1944 and spent the rest of the war as a POW. You can see photo I have of David and rest of Blind Date crew here. Will send you digital copy w/o box around David, if you're interested.

Was hoping you might have, and would share with me, the photo mentioned on http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2003.htm where the crew is identified below as:

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

Sincerely,
Kathy Knickmeyer

Date:
10/8/2016
Time:
9:04 AM
 
I teach History and Geography in the Primary school of Montlouis sur Loire, a city nearby East of Tours on Loire river. My colleagues, our pupils (13-14 years old) and I would to know what happened there on 31 July 1944 when 394 BG successfully destroyed the rail bridge! We are searching for information, photos, veterans or comrades in arms, members of their family, Historians, enthusiasts! We would like to exchange history .

We would like to write an article and to have an exhibition when our school will have its « open doors » in next June.

Best regards,
Philippe Canonne

Date:
10/7/2016
Time:
11:48 AM
 
Marauderman’s Name: John J. Kostel
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 586th
Years in service: 1943 – 1966
Comments: Thanks to all the WWII Maraudermen for their service and to the B26.com Website for keeping their history alive. My uncle, John Kostel, passed away in 1984 and about all I knew of his WWII Army Air Forces service was that he was an Engineer/Gunner. Then just recently, years after our Mother passed away, my brother came across thirteen letters that he had written to his sister during the war. What a marvelous discovery that was. We learned that he did his Basic Training at Sheppard Field, Texas (April 29, 1943 Dear Sis: The Sheppard Field Basic Training area is huge, with 88,000 men and 40 mess halls), then traveled to Flexible Gunnery School at Fort Myers, FL (Jan 10, 1944 Dear Sis: The troop train to Florida took forever. It lasted 172 hours and we were only off the train for 40 minutes in Dallas. There they marched us through the streets to cheering crowds. At the Fort Myers moving base area I shot skeet from the back of a truck and am getting pretty good at it.), then he went to the Lake Charles AAF Base for B-26 aircrew training (April 19, 1944 Dear Sis: I finish on October 22 and then I will be off to Savanna. I am working on qualifying as an engineer.) His next letters had him writing from France and Venlo, Holland (May 21, 1945 Dear Sis: I’ve had 21 total air missions and some were rough.) In addition, we had these two photographs of Uncle Johnnie.

I believe the photo of the B-26 would have been taken at Lake Charles AAF Base and on the back of the photo Uncle Johnnie had written the names of the aircrew starting with the pilot on the right. Our Uncle Johnnie is the 3rd from the left.

I did an internet search on the names of the other five aircrew shown in the photo. Amazingly, I found the co-pilot, LT Richard W. Felton on your website, his list of combat missions and the aircrew who flew with him. The names were of the same aircrew pictured in the Lake Charles AAF Base B-26 photo and “Kostel” was right there with the rest of them.

Now we know what our Uncle Johnnie did in the war. Our thanks go out to LT Richard W. Felton’s family for sending you the information and thank you again for posting it. Of course there are always more questions.

How did our Uncle Johnnie get to Europe? Southern Ferry Route as engineer in the aircrew? Northern Route? By ship?
Do any photos exist that could be shared showing him in Europe with his aircrew buddies?
After the war did everyone return by ship or did some fly their aircraft back to the U.S.?

Our Uncle Johnnie retired in 1966 and according to him the Air Force was the best job he ever had.

Thanks again,
Dennis Kaiser, proud nephew of Marauderman John J. Kostel

Date:
9/30/2016
Time:
7:58 PM
 
I would like to contact Lee Payne who posted the message further below on the B26.com site, 9/22/2016, 3:30PM.

Mr. Payne:

My father was also a member of the 387th Bomb Group, 557th Bomb Squadron, as the flight engineer/top turret gunner of the B-26 "Ole Smokey". As a result we have the "557th Bombardment Squadron (M) AAF" squadron history produced in 1945 for members of the original deployment. The book contains the photo that you describe in the second paragraph of your posting, containing your uncle and the flight crew of "Mitch's Bitch" prior to departure for England in 1943. His name is listed at the end of the book (page 153) with the enlisted members of the original deployment of the 557th BS, and the address "RFD 2, St. Mary's Pennsylvania". Your posting did not mention it so I wanted to bring the book to your attention as a source of potential information about your uncle's service in case you were unaware of it. Your uncle's American family might even have a copy.

I wanted also to let you know that a Google search of "John W Van Alstine" produces a link to the 1940 US census at http://www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/Pennsylvania/John-W-Van-Alstine_sk50y with a listing of Mr. Van Alstine's parents (Earl and Pearl) and John's siblings Earl (15), Charles (12), James (8), and Bessie (9), living in Benzinger, Pennsylvania. Wikipedia indicates that Benzinger was classified as a township but combined in 1992 with the borough of St. Mary's as the city of St. Mary's, Pennsylvania. Lastly, Roger Freeman's "B-26 Marauder at War" contains a picture of "Mitch's Bitch" and references to the aircraft in action, although your uncle's name does not appear in the index.
Thank you.

Scott Eaton

Date:
9/23/2016
Time:
5:54 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: Walter A Dill, Palouse WA
Bomb Group: 320th Bomb Group, 1st Tactical AF
Bomb Squadron: 443rd Bomb Squadron
Years in service: 4
Graduation Class: 44-12
Class Location: Childress AA Field
Dates of service in unit
Duty of person: Bombardier #1035
Dates of incident: 9/2/1944 to 3/8/1946
Battles and Campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Northern Apenines, Central Europe

Date:
9/22/2016
Time:
3:30 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: John W (AKA Jack or Van) Van Alstine
Birth Year: 1919
Birth Place: St Mary's, PA.
Civillian Occupation: Airplane Mechanic
Bomb Group: 387th / 1st Pathfinder
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Service No: XXXX1871
Rank: Master Sargeant
Military Role: Line Chief
Years in service: 1941-1945/6

I have been researching my family history (thank you Alan Crouchman and Marauder Archives) and seek to find out more about my uncle named above. He enlisted on 30th Dec 1941, the next record which I have for his service is with the 557th assigned to Selfridge Field, Michigan from May 26th to June 10th 1943 to pick up new aircraft to take overseas. His name appears on the movement list overseas dated June 9th 1943 and he arrived at Station 162 Chipping Ongar (AKA Willingale) on June 25th 1943.

I had understood that ground crew largely arrived in the UK via the transit ship the Queen Mary however he came over as a passenger on aircraft serial number 41-31715 "Mitch's Bitch" this aircraft adopted the squadron codes KS-P once the unit arrived in England. I can only assume that given this fact and also that he appears in a photograph with the crew prior to departure and that once in England his name appears on the aircraft below that of the pilot (this is highly unusual) that he had developed a mutual affinity with his comrades (see Photo) The crew of this aircraft at this time were as follows (left to right) 1/Lt Robert Mitchell, pilot; 2/Lt Billy R Laningham, co-pilot; 2/Lt Theodore J Faber, navigator/bombardier; S/Sgt William C Humphreys, engineer/gunner; S/Sgt James M Bacus, radio/gunner; S/Sgt Cecil P Daniels, gunner and Master/Sgt John W Van Alstine.

My uncles role within the 557th Squadron was that of a Line Chief. I believe that he was responsible for overseeing the maintenance on all of the squadrons 18 aircraft. Other Line Chiefs who arrived at roughly the same time were Master/Sgt James B Sutton and Master/Sgt George W Lucas. They would report to the squadron Engineering Officers who were 1/Lt Robert Doak and 2/Lt Joel W DeValle.

My uncle knowing that the BG would move to France and in all probability not return to England at wars end married my aunt Kathleen (Nancy) Cartwright by special licence in High Ongar on November 21 1944, this date however may have been after the initial move overseas, was he granted special leave to marry?

Unless Jack had leave toward the end of the European campaign (I believe some did) they would not see each other again until my aunt joined him in the US well after the war had ended They resided in St, Marys PA where they had a long had a long and happy life together with Jack passing in 2002 and Nancy passing in 2009.

I never met my uncle and only met my aunt once so would love to hear from anyone who is able to fill in any parts of Jack's story.

Many thanks for keeping this website up and running,

Lee Payne
England

Date:
9/14/2016
Time:
6:37 AM
 
I want to thank this site, Trevor Allen and most of all Capt. Max Patrisek for all the information that has been provided to me concerning my uncle Capt. Joseph Schoeps. I never knew much about him, I was named after him, I only knew that his B 26 was shot down and he was lost on Jan 1, 1945.Through this site I had the honor of meeting Max Patrisek, who was a great friend and occasional co pilot to my uncle. Max has provided me with many stories and also photographs of my uncle. This has been a tremendous blessing to me and I thank those above mentioned greatly. When I contacted this site with my request for information about my uncle, I never dreamed I would be so fortunate be provided all the information I received. The most wonderful thing that came from this is that I actually had the opportunity to meet Mr. Max Patrisek. I can never truly express my gratitude to this site and all those involved. May we NEVER forget all the fine men and women who gave so much so that we can live in the greatest country ever.

Sincerely,
Joseph Van Zandt

Date:
9/13/2016
Time:
3:11 PM
 
In WW2 over 600,000 GIs were lost and many more loved ones grieved. However we count these lost ones one by one- each one is tremendously personal. I want to enshrine here on the B26 site the name of three of my crew, my dear lost buddies - Capt. Joe Schoeps, Lt. Cam Tensi, Sgt. Gunnels "Smittey". Their loss is never "closed" to their loved ones nor with me.
 
Thanks for running this great website! Max Petrisek- 95th B. Sqd, 17 B. Group, Pilot Flight Leader, Class 43J, 63 missions, Overseas-Sardinia, Corsica. Dijon France.

Date:
9/9/2016
Time:
8:55 AM
 
I have ascertained from computer research that there were both black bomber and fighter groups in both the 9th AF and 12th AF. Wikipedia has info about the Tuskegee Airmen. It says the 477th BG trained in the B-25 Mitchell bombers, but never served in combat. The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later, 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy). The 332nd Fighter Group ... was the first black flying group, deploying to MTO in early 1944. Unfortunately, whoever supplied the information to Wikipedia did not give any info on units which served in the 9th AF. The daughter of a black man says her father served in England, and participated in the D-Day Invasion. Another place, it says that the Tuskegee training program produced 253 B-26 Marauder pilots. The subject of blacks flying medium bomber units in combat is now being put to rest. Yes, they trained in both the B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder, but the war ended just as they were ready to go into combat. The most famous black unit was the 332nd Fighter Group which served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. In fact, they flew escort for the 17th, 319th and 320th Bomb Groups. Thanks for keeping the B26 website up and running. Esther Queneau
 
Hello Esther Q,
I have never seen any orders anywhere that the USAAF was in the process of initiating an all black B-26 unit. In fact it would have been surplus to requirements particularly for the 1st TAF and 9th AAF units since already the requirement for B-26 crews was winding down as was the requirement for B-26 aircraft. The re equipment of the B-26 Groups with the Douglas A-26 had already commenced with the intention of equipping all the B-26 Groups eventually. The Allies were aware way back in November 1944 that they would win the war since German manufacturing capacity had been so badly damaged and the Russian army was advancing westwards.
Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
9/6/2016
Time:
5:36 PM
 
I was hoping to get some information on my uncle Curtis E. Wheat who served as a navigator on a B26 in the 453rd during WWII. In searching your site I found a lot of great information about him and was wondering if you have any suggestions on how I could go about finding more. I know it’s long shot but perhaps some of the veterans that served with him are still alive. He flew on the same crew with Samuel “Tex” Findley who wrote a very nice account of his time in the AAF, and mentioned my uncle several time. My uncle was KIA so his time in the service is really sketchy for us. After reading the information on your site I told my wife I probable know more about the way he died then my father did. At the time, my uncle’s family didn’t find out he was missing till months after he was shot down. There were very few details and most of those died with my father. Anyway, I would appreciate any help you could give me to fill in the blanks and thanks to your site I know more now than I ever would have without the important resource your site represents. I searched around for quite some time till I came across your site, with little to show for it. You perform a very real service to the veterans that served so long ago and their ancestors. Thank You for your important work, Curtis Wheat
 
41-31950, 323BG, 453BS "BATTLIN BITCH"; Code: VT-N; Missions flown: 53; MARC 4966
21 Dec 43 to 20 May 44 flak in left engine, last seen smoking but under control
Maj. William J.Heather; Capt Clark T Dean; 1.Lt's Curtis E Wheat, Jr; Arthur J Smyth; S/Sgt Raymond D Hanley; T/Sgt Richard G Keefer; 2.Lt Frank L Watkins.
(All presumed dead)

Trevor Allen

Date:
8/23/2016
Time:
3:21 AM
 
Burton M. Woskoff, Bombardier, 557th Bomb Squadron, 558th Bomb Group. These are the boys who made up our crew on the B-26. A swell gang too. Left to Right: Sgt. Harry D. Baraz, Gunner; Sgt. Ray Brodeur, Radio; Lt. Edward Armstrong, Co-Pilot Sgt. Russ Mork, Engineer; Lt. Miles Demster, Pilot. Again, many thanks. Fred Woskoff

Date:
8/17/2016
Time:
3:15 PM
 
In the 2008 Guest Book there is a query from Tina Colborne, dated 1/10/08, 12:10 p.m., concerning the downing of B-26C 42-107581, Jack Caldwell's plane. Trevor Allen stated that the plane went into the sea with no survivors. This is not correct. Page 15 of MACR 3745 is an Individual Casualty Questionnaire stating that S/Sgt Valentine G. Friz, the radio gunner, must have been blown out of the plane at the same time as the writer was. The MACR is marked EUS (Evacuated to the US.) beside the name of 1Lt John R. McGhee, Jr, the Formation Control Observer, and all other crewmembers are marked KIA (Killed In Action) or DED (Declared Dead). It must therefore be McGhee who filled out that questionnaire. Clearly, there was one survivor from the downing of this aircraft. I'm sorry to say that S/Sgt Peter Hess, Ms Colborne's relative, was not that man.

large image

Kind regards,
Richard Binder
Spouse of Barbara Hauck Binder, daughter of Valentine G. Frisz's sister Helen

Thanks for the heads up, we appreciate the help. How about adding a dedication page for Mr. Valentine G. Friz?

Date:
8/14/2016
Time:
8:49 PM
 
Originally with the 322nd Bomb Group 449th Bomb Squadron 41-18289 PN-R "Colonel Rebel" completed 13 combat missions before being transferred to the Air Depot.
Here it remained until 28th February 1944 whet it again was transferred to the 323rd Bomb Group 455th Bomb Squadron as YU-C " Colonel Rebel" to complete 49 combat
missions before being retired as War Weary 18th June 44
 
If anybody has any information on crew that flew "Colonel Rebel", please email me and we'll compare notes.
 
Trevor Allen
  large image

Date:
8/14/2016
Time:
8:49 PM
 
Greetings.

My father, James Callanan, 397th BG, 597th BS, was a Sergeant and a Radio Operator on a B-26 during World War II. He shared some memories, of course he said very little of the stressful situations. He died in 1988. I have tried to learn more about his time in World War II, but have had very limited success. I just found this website today. I do have some pictures from dad's time in the service. I would be happy to share them and am sure there is away to get them to you, without sending my only copy. I think Dad flew on a lead Bomber that was Piloted by a Colonel Jefferson. I do know that among his flights were multiple flights on D-Day. I would be grateful for any information

Thank you for keeping up such a great website for the Maraudermen.
Jim Callanan

Date:
8/12/2016
Time:
3:23 PM
 
I have had a sympathy letter for a Sgt. Robert J. Curran/Curren (ASM 12032429)for many years now that was simply found in a desk. According to the letter, he was killed in action on February 26, 1945. His commanding officer was Colonel Richard T. Coiner, Jr. The letter is addressed to his wife a Mrs. Jean C. Curran/Curren from Yonkers, NY. Perhaps you have some way of knowing of any contacts or where he is buried so that I might return this sad yet important memento to a living relative? I’ve searched several times over the years but have been stumped. Any assistance you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. B26.COM is a great website, thanks for keeping the story of Marauder men alive.

Sincerely,
Paul Wilgenkamp
 
42-96124; 397BG, 597BS; "HOLY MOSES"; Code: 9F-M; Missions Flown: 106
15 Dec 44 damaged at Peronne repaired, reflew; Pilot: Lt Robert H LeVan
26 Feb 45 crashed just after take off in poor visibility 3Km SW Wassigny, France, part of bomb load exploded, salvaged 27 Feb 45; MARC 15875
2.Lt's. John T. Potschmer; John W Reading; S/Sgt Robert J Curran; Sgt's William F Pierson; Edward L Moore; Francis W Brodley. (all killed)
 
Trevor Allen

Date:
8/5/2016
Time:
8:38 AM
 
I don't have a lot of information. My grandfather, Willie E. Hardy, was the pilot of a Martin B-26 Marauder in the 319th BG, 439th BS. He flew 56 combat missions. I believe he primarily flew over Italy. I recall many stories he used to tell about those days as a pilot, but sadly he died when I was young and some of the stories have holes in my memory. I would love to meet anyone who may have known him.

Sincerely,
Meghan Gray, Proud Granddaughter of Willie E. Hardy from Mississippi.

Date:
8/4/2016
Time:
7:27 AM
 
41-31741 PN-H "Winnie Dee" 12 August 1944 took a direct flak hit in the bomb bay over the target, burst into flames control lost and dived towards the ground with one parachute being seen. exploded in mid air broke into two pieces and crashed near Flers, France.

Crew was 1.Lt Francis L Hunt pilot; 1.Lt Lyle L Peters, co-pilot;1.Lt Morris Rafalow, bombardier/navigator; T/Sgt Raymond J Morin, radio/gunner; S/Sgt William F Stark, engineer/gunner; S/Sgt Norman E Theilan, armourer/gunner.

Theilan parachuted safely to become a prisoner of war but the rest of the crew perished.
 
large image
 
Trevor Allen, Historian, B26.com

Date:
8/3/2016
Time:
8:08 AM
 
Arnold A Storzbach was a tail gunner in the 323 bomb group...455 squadron. I would appreciate any info on him from his ETO in WW2. B26.com is a great site, thanks for running it. Ronald Storzbach

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Date:
7/29/2016
Time:
4:03 PM
 
On June 17th, 18th and 19th, 2017, Helene Kaffes president of the Association which is at the origin of the creation of the Memorial dedicated to the crew of Lt. Hartley fallen on June 14th, 1944 at Saint-Péravy la Colombe close to Orleans, will organize three days of commemorations.

There will be ceremonies on the place of the B-26 Marauder crash, a concert of music in the church of Saint-Péravy and the meals.

With this occasion we would be honoured to have to you with us. During these three days, you will be placed free among inhabitants of the village of Saint-Péravy, as we always do it for our ceremonies dedicated to the American airmen fallen in France in 1944.

I contact you now so that you reflect if that is possible for you to come to France on these dates.

I contact all the American families related to the 394th Bomb Group, of B-26 Marauder fallen at Saint-Péravy and Coinces.

Kind Regards,
Christian Dieppedalle

Date:
7/29/2016
Time:
8:59 AM
 
Hello, it's been a few years since I contacted you and checked the B26 site. I would like to get my father, DAWSON KERSHAW 391st Bomb Group, 574th Bomb Squadron, included but I don't have any of those old emails. Could you give me instructions again? Thanks very much. Betsy Kershaw Arnoldi

Hi Mrs. Arnoldi, we get asked "How do I add a dedication page to B26.COM" all the time. This is an of a dedication page: http://www.b26.com/marauderman/bob_brockett.htm

You can send pictures and text documents US Priority Mail with a piece of cardboard inside to me to scan and promptly return back to you.

FedEx Kinkos offers self and full service options, and they ship on site.

Find a Kodak Picture Maker in your area. Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, Walgreen's, CVS have the easy to use machines.

Thank you for posting to the website.

Date:
7/28/2016
Time:
6:29 PM
 
My dad, Stanley S Bolesta, went down over France on Nov 3 1943 in 322nd 449th in tail making 41-34763 PN J "Duchess of Barksdale".

I'm trying to find the names of the many planes he flew in before he became a POW. Do you have any idea for the names of the following Martin B-26 Marauders?

I'm doing my best guess names, codes and tail numbers from a worn out mission list page.

Aug 27, 1943 289R 41-18289 PN R "Colonel Rebel"
Sept 3, 1943 767W 41-34767 PN W "Mystic Crew of Gasparilla"
Sept 6, 1943 756T 41-31756 PN T "G.I.V."
Sept 7, 1943 981Z 41-34981 PN Z "Waste o' Time II"
Sept 16, 1943 816F 41-31816 PN F "Gayle"
Sept 27, 1943 0008P 41-18008
Oct 22 1943 272Q 41-18272 "Murder Inc."

Any insights to names?

I have all 15 of his flights-- his 5th mission was in "Flak Bait" Sept 5, 1943

Ron Bolesta
322nd 449th, 2nd Generation

Ron,
41-18008 PN-P was named " Vee Pack It"
41-34717 was named "Gasparilla" not "Mystic Crew of Gasparilla" a totally different B-26
41-18272 "Murder Inc." was coded PN-D
The rest on your list is correct.
cheers
Trevor Allen

Date:
6/15/2016
Time:
5:25 PM
 
Marauderman's Name: 1st LT. Edwin Jack Stratton
Bomb Group: 319
Bomb Squadron: 439th and 440th
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: 1942
Class Location: Uvalde Texas
Comments: Bombardier aboard the Airship “Mary”, 58 missions all in North Africa or Mediterranean – flying out of Morocco, Tunisia, Sardinia, Corsica, Leghorn Italy, From Zebulon. Kentucky Born January 25, 1920. Retired Major USAF.

Regards,
Samuel Stratton

Date:
6/13/2016
Time:
1:57 PM
 
Marauderman’s Name: 2LT. Doyle B. Proffitt
Bomb Group: 394
Bomb Squadron: 584
Years of Service: WWII
Comments: Researching your site recently I read a post dated 08/06/09 submitted by Mr. Sal Esposito reference his uncle SSGT Charles Boinski. SSGT. Boinski was a member of a B-26 crew which crash landed in Luxembourg on 02 March 1945, on returning from a bombing run into Germany.

Members of the crew were as follows:

2LT. Stanley Clark
2LT. Harry B. Huff
2LT. Doyle B. Proffitt KIA
SSGT. Charles Boinski
CPL. Salvadore J.Gomez
CPL. William J. Cawthorne

2LT. Proffitt was an older brother of my wife’s father Verland who also served in the Army in WWII. LT. Proffitt was KIA 26 days before my wife Verline was born on 28 March 1945 in Creston, Iowa. My wife was never made aware of the surroundings of her uncle’s death.

Verline’s father Verlund has been deceased for many years and thus our research and the posting of 08/06/09 has got us this far.

If possible we would like to hear from Mr. Esposito hoping that he or someone he has been in contact with might have a picture of the air crew or more information about their B-26. Some of the B-26s’ were manufactured at what is now Offutt AFB, Bellevue, NE.

We have pictures of the crash site where LT. Proffitt died and also of the grave at the Luxembourg American Cemetary near Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Any information is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Mr. Gail Schwab

U.S.Army 66-69
Vietnam 68-69
IARNG Retired 74-92
Iowa State Patrol Retired 69-01

 
Date:
6/13/2016
Time:
2:28 PM

Hi Gail,
I am Sal Esposito, nephew of S/Sgt Chuck Boinski. I have a picture (I believe) of the crew - see attached. Please feel free to contact me directly re anything about my Uncle or his heroics in WW II. I do not have a lot of information at my finger tips, but do have some info bequeath me by Uncle Chuck's son (now deceased). Honestly, this is the most info I've got so far, and I am thrilled to make your acquaintance. We have some things in common. I am a retired police officer in CA and also a Vietnam Vet United States Marines 1962/1967 Vietnam 1965/1966
Sal Esposito


Date:
6/5/2016
Time:
8:16 AM
 
Hello, I've been meaning to email you a scan of a photo my Dad took in Australia in 1942. I've done some research and and sure that this photo is of the crash site of Martin B-26 #40-1433, named “Kansas Comet II” by its crew. It occurred at Iron Range Airfield in North Queensland, Australia September 13, 1942 and the copilot, RAAF P/O Robertson was killed. The pilot, Walter Krell, was badly burned trying to rescue the copilot, but was able to return to duty. The plane blew a tire while landing, swerved off the runway into a large compressor truck, killing two men in the truck, also, I believe..



This picture was taken by PFC James C Wallace of the 565th Signal Air Warning Battalion and the handwriting on the back side is his. The man standing beside the engine is believed to be Sgt. John Lang, of the same outfit. It looks to me that the photo was taken after the wreckage had been pushed off to the side of the runway. I submitted the photo to Richard Dunn's Ozatwar website some years ago and it has appeared there also.

I've included a scan of the original photo, front and back (you can see the censor's stamp), and another one I cleaned up with Photoshop. Hopefully this will be of interest to some of the people that visit your website. Thanks, Jim

Date:
5/30/2016
Time:
1:31 PM
 
On this Memorial Day, I would like to dedicate a page to my dad, Edward H. Ott, 557th Bomb Squadron, 387th Bomb Group, who fought with the Army Air Corp in WWII, as part of the crew of B-26 “Tabasco”. Dad was the Tail Gunner. The plane photo shows air and ground crew. My dad is third from the right, front row, seated. The photos we have are generally dated 1944 and 1945.

Perhaps of special interest to others may be the signatures on the back of the photo of plane and crew (“dads crew” attached). The crew members each signed personally, and indicated where they came from. This includes my dad’s friend Torrey.

Also included is an American Red Cross Service Club post card of the time, where my dad is front and center for a serving of waffles. Not sure who he is with.

Perhaps you could let me know how I might post these with a more formal dedication, on your pages. I could better retouch the photos of you would like. Is there a way for me to more personally prepare a Dedication Page?

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Respectfully:
Robert Ott

Date:
5/30/2016
Time:
10:50 AM
 
I am the niece of World War II 2nd LT FW Janssen, Co-Pilot. Paul W. Janssen (spelled with two "ss") B26 crashed in Labrador on November 30, 1942. My mother Bernice M. (Janssen maiden name) Ulrich was Paul's sister and grew up together in Minnesota. She has always shared wonderful memories of Paul with our family. Today is Memorial Day and Paul and his fellow comrades as well as all those who have fallen will always be remembered and honored, and also all those who have served with dedication and sacrifice in order to allow us the freedoms we enjoy today and hope for future generations. Thank you for your special website in keeping our loved ones in our hearts and minds.

Marilyn Metting

Date:
5/30/2016
Time:
9:48 AM
 
On this Memorial Day, on behalf of my uncle 1st. Lt. William Haban who was KIA 26 November 1944, I want to remember and give thanks to all the brave Marauder men who sacrificed so much so that we could remain free. May those who are gone be blessed and at peace and may those who are still with us know that they are not forgotten. Thank you all. Bill Squicciarino

Date:
5/30/2016
Time:
7:06 AM
 
Roy Bozych's research helped me and I am passing it along to b26.com. My uncle Ernest Pierucci was a bombardier and I have his flight records.



"The mission your Uncle was flying on Sunday, Feb 25th was in the afternoon to the Horrem road junction just outside of Cologne, Germany. It consisted of 33 B-26 Martin Marauders plus 3 B-26’s window planes dropping chaff (aluminum strips to jam the German radar) and 1 Pathfinder (led the mission and marked the target). Leading the mission that day were Maj. Moench and Capt. McGowan. They departed from their base at Denain/Prouvy, France. Since the 323rd BG was a tactical versus a strategic bomb group this road junction was chosen to aid the advance of US troops into Germany. Roy Bozych, 323rd Historian"

Martin Pierucci

Date:
5/29/2016
Time:
5:25 PM
 
On this 2016 Memorial Day weekend I want to thank all of the Marauder Men who are able to continue to contribute information to this site. The memories of family members who have passed on either as a result of WWII or who have passed away in recent weeks, months, and years are very important to carry on to future generations. My dad was a Marauder Man – a pilot/co-pilot in the 391st BG – 575th BS – who passed away in 1972. He never said much about his experiences but I have been able to get a great deal of information through this website and by attending several reunions of the 391st BG. Those reunions started several years after my dad passed away. That group has had to discontinue their reunions but what I learned from them, especially at their standing down ceremony in Akron, OH, has helped me to better understand what and who the Marauder Men are and were more than seventy years ago. A fantastic group of individuals from the Greatest Generation.

Thank-you from Rich Erickson and the family of Clarence V. Erickson 391st BG - 575th BS

Date:
5/29/2016
Time:
3:10 PM
 
My uncle, Donald Sharpe, was a B-26 flight engineer with the 597th Squadron/397th Bomb Group. Would you know where I can find information regarding his military service? Thanks in advance!

1LT Andrew Burress
KC-135 Pilot
134th ARW/151st ARS

There are several mentions of Mr. Sharpe in the 397th reports. I've also briefly looked at a number of loading lists for the 597th. On quite a few of those, he flew on a crew piloted by an officer named Pinkerton. You might be able to correlate missions flown by Pinkerton (from the historical reports) with those flown by Mr. Sharpe.

Don Hoch
son of 1LT Sterling Hoch, pilot, 596th BS

Date:
5/29/2016
Time:
9:41 AM
 
Donald M Epstein
386th Bomb Group
555th Squadron
2 yrs.

I came across this photo of “Sparta” #131794 YA-D, the plane he was flying when shot down on their way back to base from a mission to Nogent Le Roi on July 12th 1944. This was taken by a French photographer at low tide some time after he and his crew were taken prisoner. I thought it would be an appropriate addition to this excellent web site and posting which you already have of my father.

[Large]

The Germans are going over the wreck, there was a live bomb jammed in the bomb bay which did not go off when they belly landed it in on the beach. The Germans must have diffused it. You can see the beach obstacles in the background. This was in the Pas de Calais area.

Thanks again for this great web site!
Jim Epstein

Date:
4/28/2016
Time:
7:51 AM
 
I am researching a musical comedy written in Stalag Luft 1 by Nelson Gidding, 17th BG, 432nd Squadron with music and lyrics by 2 other POWs who were with the 8th Air Force. Just hoping someone who was also a POW in Stalag luft 1 will remember Nelson Gidding or the show which was called "Hit The Bottle" and was produced in July 1944.
 
Ann Thurley Bliss (My husband who flew with the 306th BG wrote the music)
 
Good Morning: Yes, I remember "Hit the Bottle" at Stalag Luft 1 but my 96-year-old memory yields no details beyond the title.

Cordially, Odell Myers

Date:
4/18/2016
Time:
11:48 AM
 
Hello B26.com and other researchers,

I am writing to identify the unknown crew chief for "Lady Halitosis" 320th Bomb Group, 442nd Bomb Squadron. He is in the picture with the crew far right. This is my mom's brother Robert C Stripling. He was from Kennedy Alabama. He served in North Africa and came stateside with the crew of Lady Halitosis on a US bond drive. He was the oldest of nine children. Lost his mother at a very young age. He and my mom raised his brothers and sisters. After the war he went to work at Hayes Aircraft at the Birmingham Airport and became a supervisor and retired after several years. He was also called to preach and was the Pastor of Kane Creek Baptist Church in Warrior Alabama. His dad Charlie Stripling was the National Champion fiddler during the 20s and the Great Depression recording many 78 records. They are all on CDs now. Uncle Robert died in 2013 at the age of 94. My mom was Vaudean Stripling. Married David Wheeler. I served on the submarine USS George Washington SSBN 598 Blue crew in the 70s and early 80s.

Thank you
Timothy D. Wheeler
 
[large image]

Timothy, this B-26 was sent to the States for a Bond Drive with a specially selected aircrew who are shown in the photograph when they returned to the U.S.A. Bomb tally and enemy aircraft destroyed only a PR stunt.

Regards,
Trevor Allen, B26.com historian

Date:
4/16/2016
Time:
6:31 PM
 
Name: Robert Henry Foor
BombGp: 338
Squadron: 481
Years: 1943
Class: 1E-1
Location: Avon Park Bombing Range, FL
Comments: My Grandfather was a Tailgunner on a B-26B (41-17715). On March 2, 1943 while conducting a test run the plane caught fire about 100ft off the ground. Apparently, when the plane hit the ground the back broke off leaving my Grandpa the sole survivor. After years of telling this story feeling kind of foolish like I was making it up I decided to look for proof. I found it! I was able to get the crash report from www.aviationarchaeology.com which included a statement by my Grandfather. There were pictures as well, although they are very degraded (to be expected). My father was thrilled when I gave it to him. I am now hoping to find photos. I think I remember, from a very young age, a photo on my Grandfather’s fireplace that I assume was his crew, but no one seems to know where it went after my Grandparents passed. If anyone has any idea where I might find some I would appreciate any suggestions. I know this is a longshot, but I’ve got to try. I even tried looking for any information on the rest of the crew. I found a couple obituary photos of them, but that was it. I am also hoping to find the plane markings, I know some of them had their own art or nicknames. A friend of mine is building a model for me and we would like to get the markings and numbers as close as possible before I give it to my father. So again, any direction I can be pointed in would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Jenny Foor

Date:
4/1/2016
Time:
12:19 PM
 
I was one of the Typhoon pilots who escorted the Marauders on a number of occasions. We always knew them as A 26`s. When did the designation change to B 26?
Typhoons were only around in World War II In the Korean War I flew other types.

We always knew the Marauder as the A. 26. The Martin Marauder. We understand the A stood for attack bomber as distinct from the B in B-17 and B 24 and similar to the A 20 Douglas Havoc or Boston which it was said to replace. I escorted them all in 1943 and 1944.

We know that when the U.S. Air Force Took over from the US Army Air Force there was said to have been changes in the letter designations so that the attack bombers were changed from A to B. Is this when the Martin A 26`s became the B. 26`s ?
 
Peter D L Roper, Dr

Date:
4/1/2016
Time:
4:17 AM
 
Can anyone help me regarding any more information or pictures on the 387th crash at Margaretting on 27 April 1944 in which Patrick, Grunder and Shanks were killed whilst on a training flight from RAF Chipping Ongar when the engine/engines failed? I have found out that Patrick is buried in the American Cemetery Cambridge, UK and Grunder at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, USA but I can find nothing on Shanks.

Co-incidentally, Eastern Angles theatre group are performing their latest production based around the USAAF in East Anglia in WW2 on 12 April 2016 at Margaretting Village Hall which is barely 200 yards from where the plane came down, on what is now the A12 trunk road from London to Great Yarmouth.

Many thanks.
Robert Fletcher

Date:
3/31/2016
Time:
1:35 PM
 
b26.com. I am looking for the insignia of the 572nd , 573rd and 574th squadrons of the 391st bomb group. Any help would be appreciated, Louis P. Cross
 

Date:
3/31/2016
Time:
12:23 PM
 
B26.com,

I started my scale B26 project a year and a half ago and hopefully it will be flying before another year passes. It follows in the footsteps of by B17 build of sn 42-102532 which my Dad was shot down in in 1944 while coming back from Berlin (video). I have not decided exactly which B26 to detail. I am studying every picture I can find and am open to suggestions. One thing I hope to find is a close up of the nose art on whichever one I settle on. The 1/6 scale build is entirely from scratch from details I have found in several books. None of my relatives were connected to the B26 so I just want to end up with a good representation of this great plane that helped us win the war.

Keep ‘em Flying,

Mike

--

Michael Leggett

Date:
2/24/2016
Time:
10:32 AM
 
Regarding the 2003 post below:
 
Jim- My name is Sam Grow, I am the grandson of Joseph A. Grow. Sadly, Joe passed away on April 28th, 2015 at the age of 95 in his home. Over the last few weeks we have been cleaning out his house before it is sold and we’ve found numerous items from his days in the service. I began doing some research online and I came across this site and your post which referenced my grandfather. I found their flight crew photo and it appears each member signed their name on the original photo including your father. Amazingly, my grandfather also kept his log book with detailed notes of each mission. If you are interested in any of this info please let me know and I will copy and send as I sort though it all. Attached to this email is their flight crew photo with their plane in the background.

Sam Grow

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

Date:
2/19/2016
Time:
8:48 AM
 
Looking for additional information regarding the following information (source unknown):

Martin B-26 Marauders at Dutch Harbor
73rd & 77th B-26 Bomb Groups (M) assigned to 28th Composite Group, Eleventh Air Force
6 B-26s from 73rd and P-40s at Ft. Randall, Cold Bay, Alaska Peninsula, morning of 3 June
6 B-26s from 77th and P-40s at Ft. Glenn, Otter Point, Umnal Island, morning of 3 June
PBY-5s and PBY-5As were at Dutch Harbor (no airfield) or Cold Bay, assigned to 4th Patrol Wing Command, Patrol Squadrons (VP)
B-17 and one LB-30 in Kodiak or AK mainland

Date:
2/18/2016
Time:
11:37 AM
 
Howard W. Young and Crew, Engineer-Gunner, 442nd BG, 320th BG

Date:
2/17/2016
Time:
1:39 PM
 
William C. Hoeb
Staff Sergeant Army Air Force
394th Bomber Group
587th Bomber Squadron
42-96249 (looking for picture)
June 6th 1944 – 394th B.G. Mission #58 G/P Varreville
Died in Crash in Battle, Sussex, England
Enlisted to Air Corps on Dec 9th, 1942 in Fort Thomas, KY
Possibly trained in Miami

Family has not been able to find any photos of William, or the plane. So if anyone has any information to pass on. Thank you. - Benjamin Hoeb

Date:
2/16/2016
Time:
8:53 AM
 
42-43382
113BASTT Charleston, SC
130BASTT Norfolk, VA
16 Feb 45 crashed into Atlantic 45 miles NE of Norfolk, VA after mid air collision with a P-47 during an aerial gunnery mission. The P-47 collided with the B-26 while pulling up after a firing pass. Crew: Capt Wesley E Barbour; T/Sgt Carl H Bundy; Pvt's John T Termotto; Edward E Altimus
(P-47 pilot and four bomber crew killed.)

Date:
2/14/2016
Time:
3:15 PM
 
I am the grandson of Russell A. Bender (10/29/1924 - 1/26/2016). Staff Sergeant, 386th bomb group, 552nd squadron, tail gunner (B-26) Gunner (A-26). Pap left a few scrapbooks with quite a few pictures, and a few stories. Remarkable. God bless those who have served.

- J. Bender

Date:
2/6/2016
Time:
4:55 PM
 
95th Sqd. 17 BG,  B26 Flight Leader-  pilot, Class 43J. Having flown 63 combat missions and surviving to  reach 92 years makes me a believer in the value of this B26 site for Marauder folks and their loved ones. It is commendable that many are still trying to obtain information about their loved ones. I also have attempted to know more about my lost buddies. I visited their families  and their resting place. There is no doubt that our lost loved ones served valiantly, were dedicated to fulfill the mission to the best of their ability. There was never a Marauder person that  I met that didn't serve with valor and gave it their all. I wish we could have gotten all those answers that were lost as they were lost to us for an eternity. Bless each of you for being a part of the Marauder Family.  ex Captain- Max Petrisek

Date:
1/28/2016
Time:
9:36 AM
 
Marauderman's Name: Gordon E. Durland
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: 1942-45
Comments: My father, Gordon Durland, flew with Maj. Keller on Keller's Killers. I have seen photos of Col. Keller with other crew members on this website, but I haven't found any photos of him with my dad's crew. Here are some of mine. Pictured crew:

M/Sgt. Tyson
Lt. McIvor
Maj. C.R. Keller
Lt. Bernie Cohen
S/Sgt Gordon E. Durland
T/Sgt. McWhortor?

I would love to hear more about this crew and these members, their experiences and missions. I have reams of records that my dad kept from his military career, but there are only a few pages pertaining to these years.

Thanks,
Gloria Durland Slater

Date:
1/22/2016
Time:
10:37 AM
 
I am seeking more information about my dad’s cousin, James L. Schoonover, and #18291, such as the name of his plane, nose art, big tail #, number of sorties, any photographs, and any personal anecdotes from anyone who knew him. Here is what we know…

1941 USAAF SERIAL NUMBERS (41-13297 to 41-24339) Last revised December 14, 2015. 41-18291 (319th BG, 437th BS) damaged by AAA and shot down by Uffz. Friedrich Jacobs in Bf 109G-6 of JG 51/6. 20 mi SW of Sardinia, Italy Jun 18, 1943. Crew bailed out, but all 6 KIA. MACR 232.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1st Lt. James Lee Schoonover Pilot of B-26B-10-MA Marauder 319th Bomb Group 437th Bomb Squadron Tail #18291

From Missing Aircraft Report of Headquarters Army Air Forces Washington:

Point of Departure: Sedrata #2 A/D
Intended Destination: Olbia Harbor
18 June, 1943 at 1030 hours 20 miles SW of Sardinia
British Air Sea Rescue Service conducted search, negative report.

Official eyewitness account reported 19 June, 1943 by Lt. Colonel Joseph A. Cunningham:

“Airplane, number 41-18291, was damaged by flak over the target. Ship passed entire formation, going fast and climbing, continued to climb and stay in front of formation. Fighters attacked the rear. While ship was under control, four parachutes opened. Ship then went into a steep, controlled dive into the water and then made a sharp climbing turn to the right. The remaining two personnel bailed out at approximately 2000’.”
 
The crew:
Pilot - James L. Schoonover 1st. Lt.
Co-pilot - Othal L. Gahm F/O
Bombardier - Elwood J. Bush S/Sgt
Turret Gunner - John M. Whalen S/Sgt
Waist Gunner - Marion W. Shipley S/Sgt
Tail Gunner – Marion L. Nillhouse S/Sgt

Thank You!
Dennis E. Schoonover

Date:
1/21/2016
Time:
10:30 AM
 
Hello. My name is Shannon and my grandfather is Carl H. Moore. He was the navigator on Tom’s Tantalizer and wrote 'Flying the B-26 Marauder of Europe' that your site references a number of times. http://www.b26.com/marauderman/joseph_castoro.htm. He was in the in 344th Bombardment Group (M), 494th Bombardment Squadron (M). I am writing because Carl will be celebrating his 100th birthday this July and I am collecting cards and acknowledgments to present to him marking the occasion. I was hoping that there might be a way to share with other contributors to your site or guest book contributors the opportunity to share in the celebration and possibly write to him. Carl has outlived many of his contemporaries but still enjoys very much being connected to the world and especially receiving mail. Also it is worth noting that his book was re-published last year and the update includes copies of his flight logs (including over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day).
 
Thank you for all you do to maintain such a large volume of information.
 
Sincerely,
Shannon Martinez

Date:
1/20/2016
Time:
5:22 AM
 
Hello and Happy New Year!

I'm trying to find serials for all 30 SAAF Squadron Marauders. At first it seemed like an impossible task, but now it looks much better.

Here is what I found so far:
30 SAAF Sqn, 3 SAAF Wing, Desert Air Force, Italy 1944-45.

A HD447/A 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. HD447 SOC 28.3.46. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Zidani Most 3 & 4.1.45. Damaged, Castel Franco Veneto, and made forced landing at Cesenatico 27.1.45. Repaired.
B HD449/B 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. HD449 SOC 28.3.46. Flown by Maj. Said on 26.8.44.
C HD459/C 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. HD549 SOC 28.3.46. Mission to Forli 25.8.44.
D HD461/D 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. On a mission to Zidani Most (pilot Capt. Jones, 4.1.45) returned early with bombs. Mission to Celje 23.1.45. Collided with HD547/S on Pontebba raid 14.3.45 and crashed.
E HD464/E 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. Iesi. Mission to Celje 23.1.45. Damaged 27.1.45. Repaired. Hit the ground 8 miles SE of base 20.2.45. Pilot Lt. Lawless and crew killed.
F HD484/F 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. HD484 SOC 28.3.46. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Zidani Most 3.1.45, Celje 23.1.45. Damaged, Castel Franco Veneto, 27.1.45. RSE for repairs. Test flight 19.2.45.
G HD496/G 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944. Mk III (B-26F). Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Ditched, Senegallia, Italy, 26.12.44. Pilot Lt. Kippen.
G HD___/G 30 Sqn SAAF. 1945. Mk III (B-26G). The new 'G', and the second B-26G in 30 Sqn. Test flown by Maj. Jones, 4.2.45. SHORAN-equipped. Serial unknown.
H HD511/H 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. HD511 SOC 28.3.46. Mission to Pesaro 27.8.44. I HD599/I 30 Sqn SAAF. HD599 SOC 28.3.46. Pilot Lt Kippen, IX.44.
K HD___/K 30 Sqn SAAF. Pilot Capt Shepard, 1945. Serial unknown.
N HD___/N 30 Sqn SAAF. Pilot Lt Brown, 1945. Serial unknown.
O Unknown, if any.
P Unknown, if any.
Q HD___/Q 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944. MK.III (B-26F). Pilot Lt. Croote made forced landing at Loreto 21.11.44. Serial unknown.
Q HD___/Q 30 Sqn SAAF. 1945. Mk.III (B-26G). Delivered from Naples 13.3.45 by pilot Lt. Croote. SHORAN-equipped. Pilot Maj. Jones, IV.45. Serial unknown.
R HD596/R 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944. First 30 Sqn's Marauder loss, near Rimini 4.9.44. Pilot Lt. Gelb.
R HD___/R 30 Sqn SAAF. Italy 44-45. Mk III (B-26F). Pilot Lt Norton. Missions to Zidani Most 3 & 4.1.45. Serial unknown.
S HD509/S 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Hit by flak near Forli on 11.12.44. Pilot Lt. Scott and crew abandoned aircraft.
S HD547/S 30 Sqn SAAF. 1945. Test flown in 30 Sqn 15.1.45. Returned early on Castel Franco Veneto mission, 27.1.45. HD547/S (42-96474) collided with HD461/D on Pontebba raid and both crashed 14.3.45.
T HD507/T 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Damaged 4.3.45. To 3 Wing RSS. SOC 14.3.46.
U HD___/U 30 Sqn SAAF. Italija 44. Piloti Lt. Smith, Lt. Scott, IX.44. Serial unknown.
V HD540/V 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. Pescara VIII.44. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Iesi, X.44. Damaged 23.2.45. SOC 28.3.46.
W HD593/W 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Damaged 27.1.45. Test flown 19.2.45. Burned after accident at Aviano 18.5.45.
X HD569/X 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. Standard Mk.III (B-26F). Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Crashed on take-off, Iesi, 11.1.45. Pilot Lt. Truter and crew killed.
X HD___/X 30 Sqn SAAF. Second 'X', replacement for HD569/X. The first B-26G in 30 Sqn. Test flown in 30 Sqn on 31.1.45. Mission to Dobova 20.3.45. Serial unknown.
Z HD500/Z 30 Sqn SAAF. 1944-45. HD500 SOC 14.3.46. Mission to Forli 25.8.44. Celje 23.1.45. Damaged on a mission to Castel Franco Veneto 27.1.45.

Note: Dates are D.M.Y format.
 
Can anybody help to fill the gaps? I see that Mr. Croote was active on this site, maybe his logbook contains missing serials?  I am very sorry I might have missed talking with Mr. Croote, as he is mentioned several times even in this short list. I am researching all RAF/SAAF B-26 Marauder units, hoping to trace all RAF/SAAF Marauder histories, but starting with 30 SAAF Sqn. Maybe it will become materiel for an article or even a book.

Best regards,
Zoran Petek

Date:
1/12/2016
Time:
5:40 PM
 
James R. Logsdon 444th Bomber Squadron 320tth Bomb Group stationed in Sardinia and Corsica.

Jim Logsdon, son.

Date:
1/10/2016
Time:
10:21 AM
 
1944…At the age of 21, 1st Lt Arthur S Pakula "Packy" piloted a B-26 Marauder in the “White Tailed” 323 Bombardment Group, 456 BS in France. He compiled more than 50 missions and was awarded the Air Medal with nine Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters. Thanks for serving Dad.

I am looking for a picture of the plane my dad flew, "Georgia Miss" WT-W #42-107842.

Thank you, Jackie Fitzgerald
 

Date:
1/9/2016
Time:
3:57 PM
 
I thought you may enjoy seeing another photo of the "Texas Queen". On the ground is my father Jack D Ledbetter and on the aircraft is Chuck Cline. These two attended Waxahachie, Texas high school together. The photo was taken in France.

Rick Ledbetter

Date:
1/8/2016
Time:
1:08 PM
 
These photographs and note was sent to me by Mrs. Becky Atkinson, daughter of Lt Horace Hodge (pilot). On the back of one of these pictures was the name of Paul Scott Cedartown, Georgia. Mrs. Atkinson then wrote to our local museum asking if we would like to have copies which we did. I knew Paul's mother and younger sister. Paul's name was called out over our local radio station on D-Day... talk of our little town! Paul's daughter had a request for information about her father a few years ago on your web site, but she did not post and address so I do not know how to contact her. If possible please pass this information to her if you have an address.

Respectfully,
Millard Greer

"Yes, my dad was Horace E. Hodge. On the back of the photo with the airplane Crime Doctor, my dad listed Scott, Horace, Graham, Edelman, ---, Bennett, ---.

My dad was the second man from the left standing, next to Scott. On the photo with the airplane "Our Baby" he listed De Lisle, Horace, Karl, Rollo, Ted Edelman, and Paul Scott. My dad would be the second man from the left standing, and Paul Scott the last man on the right standing. The photo of six airman in front of an airplane has no inscription on the back, but Horace is the center figure and Robert Preston Maverney ("The Music Man") is next to Dad standing. Paul Scott is kneeling in the center (in front of my dad).

I am so happy that someone else is interested in this information. Would love to visit your museum some day.

Regards,
Becky (Hodge) Atkinson

41-31902 386BG 553BS "CRIME DOCTOR", Code AN-R, Missions Flow 32
5 Dec 43 to 28 Jul 44 crashlanded, demolished, salvaged by 10 Air Service Group 2 Aug 44
Pilot: Lt. Leonard A. Sentner

Trevor Allen

Date:
1/6/2016
Time:
12:02 PM
 
Hello Trevor Allen,
I'm trying to learn more about my grandfather's time as a pilot in WWII, Jack C Hornsby, Major. When he retired he was a Major and I know (through stories) that he flew bombers, fighters and trained others in the trainers. However, I've not been able to find any information or documentation that includes him. In fact, the only thing that somewhat references him indicates that he was KIA (?!) on b26.com. I've included that below. You seemed to know his plane in your response below and wanted to see if you had any additional information or had any ideas where I could dig up additional information. I've included a pic of him and the plane as well as links to crew pics and info. The crew pic was taken in Beaumont France, Oct 1944. His was probably around the same time in Beaumont.

Thank you for any insight that you can provide!

Shawn Hornsby

42-96296
386BG, 555BS
"LADY AUD MAR EID"
Code: YA-X
Missions Flown: 33
20 Jun 44 to 19 Nov 44 to service group

Transferred to 322BG, 451BS
28 Nov 44 to wars end
Code: SS-X
Missions Flown: 47

Date:
1/6/2016
Time:
8:24AM
 
Hello. I was on your website last night looking for information about my great uncle George Heiser. He was KIA on Aug 6, 1944. I found a guest book post about him that had a lot of information dated 02/18/2014. I would really like to know how I can reply back to the post and/or get a hold of the gentleman who wrote the post. His name is Robert O'Neill. Also there is a post included in that same post dated 02/11/2007 from a Mike Draper. He also seems to have a small amount of information regarding my Great Uncle. Is there any way to get a hold of these 2? Or could you possibly forward this email to them? Thank you for your time. Sara Schmitt

Date:
1/5/2016
Time:
2:03 PM
 
Good afternoon,

In looking through your site, I happened across what appears to be a new link to "The Last Known Roster of the 456th Bomb Squadron." A quick skim of the roster revealed that it appears to be missing quite a few names. For example, Lou Rehr, Frank Burgmeier and Walt Foster, all serving as officers in the 456th are missing from the list. If by "last known" you mean the roster at the time of deactivation, Lou should have been on the list as he closed out the war in that squadron. The title of the roster is somewhat ambiguous. The source of the roster has not been cited.

A cross reference against the 323rd Roster, which is an Appendix to a John Moench's book, would have picked up quite a few names for the 456th. The 456th also circulated a directory to its members periodically. I will print out the roster on your site, cross reference it against a directory from the 1980's and send it back to you with additions and deletions with the hope of increasing it's accuracy.

Thank you,
Jan Foster
 
Hello Ms. Foster, the document was donated to us by a descendant; thanks for your offer to update it.

Date:
1/1/2016
Time:
5:36 AM
 
In response to a post by JDS on 29OCT2015, I became online friends with Boyd Hall prior to his passing. See his dedication page. Boyd was friends with Mr. Martin and had photos of Dale Martin and Perry Steele. Maxwell AFB has detailed documents, including Mr. Moorhead’s thorough report describing the flight from take-off of 792 to the bail out as part of the crash investigation. Perry Steele’s statement about the malfunction of the fuel transfer pump and his unsuccessful attempts to transfer the hoses from the electric pump to the manual pump are included as well. Jerry Edge

Date:
1/1/2016
Time:
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 want.

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