Year 2007

Date:
12/30/07
Time:
4:57 PM

Just found this website so thought I’d ask if anyone is still around that knew my uncle, George Raymond Moon, who was part of the 451st BS 322nd BG and stationed in Great Saling, Andrews Airbase, during his last months in the ETO. He was shot down July 8, 1944 over Chateau de Ribecourt while on a night mission. He was a radio operator and tail gunner. I believe he was a technical sergeant. When I looked at Lee Lipkis’ pictures in his album I couldn’t help but wonder if my uncle’s picture was in there. Wish I could get a closer look. My uncle’s picture is in the squadron book, where he is being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. My uncle was from Tacoma, WA.

I have to take this time to say how humbled I am to know that so many great men and women served proudly, some giving their lives, so that I can enjoy the incredible freedom that I know. Thank you is not enough, but it’s what I feel – deep gratitude, heartfelt appreciation for those who stood and against evil and fought for what was right. Today, men and women are still serving and giving their lives, and it will still amount to freedom for many.

If anyone has any information concerning my uncle George, I’d appreciate it. I would really like to know which B-26 he was on. Also, his records at the national archive burned in a serious fire they had there many years ago, so his military records are not available any longer.

Carolyn Hawkey

Hi Carolyn,
B26 42-107680 SS-S 451st Bomb Squadron,322nd Bomb Group was shot down by fighters on the night of 7/8th July 1944 on a mission to bomb Chateau Ribeacourt, France.

The crew that night consisted of 1.Lt Claude B Jones; 1.Lt Robert E Silberman; 2.Lt Wilfred L Allen; T/Sgt George R Moon; S/Sgt Raymond W Close and S/Sgt Jack W Tolbert.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Carolyn,
On July 8th 1944 T/Sgt. George Raymond Moon was on board 42-107680 as Radio Operator. MACR # 6623. This Marauder was a B-26C-45-MO model. The crew:

Pilot: 1st Lt. Claude B. Jones KIA Normandy Cemetery D-3-34
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Wilfred L. Allen
Navigator-Bombardier: 1st Lt. Robert E. Silberman
Engineer-Gunner: S/Sgt. Raymond M. Close KIA Normandy Cemetery B-6-23
Radio Operator: T/Sgt. George R. Moon KIA Normandy Cemetery D-1-34
Tail Gunner: S/Sgt. Jack W. Tolbert

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/28/07
Time:
9:02 PM

Marauder Name: AF No 42-107592 and AF42-96249. Station 161.
Bomb Group: 394th Bomb Group, IX BC Ninth AF
Bomb Squadron: 584th & 587th Squadrons

Dear B26.com,

Background information:
The above two listed aircraft where involved in a tragic mid air collision over Battle, on the south cost of England, while on a mission to bomb gun emplacements in Varreville, France, on D-Day June 6 1944. The crew of 42-96249 all died when the plane crashed at Ashburnham Place. The crew of 42-107592 remained on board to jettison bombs before crashing at Whatlington Level. Only the pilot survived.

My late fathers brother, Mr. Ian Cheveralls (now 80 years old) was a messenger boy with the Civil Defense. On the day of the crash he was on duty at warden post at Whatlington Level and witnessed the crash.

That day has stayed with my uncle all these years. After years of research and reviews of War Department documents, including official Reports Of Aircraft Accident, Station 161, he succeeded in identifying all of the crew members of 107592 and 96249. On October 29th, 2007 he arranged with the Royal British Legion, Battle to memorialize the bravery of these airmen by holding a Service of Dedication at British Legion Memorial Hall. The Rev John Eamondson (Dean of Battle) presided and Standard Bearers of the British Legion and the Royal Air Force were in attendance. A Memorial Plaque, bearing the names of all crew members, was blessed and now hangs proudly on the wall of Battle’s Royal British Legion Hall.

Sir, the reason I write this brief account is that Ian would very much like to give this information to any surviving family members of the crews who sacrificed their lives in 1944. If you can assist in any way, perhaps by using your B26 family of contacts, we would be delighted and honoured to forward more detailed information about the dedication ceremony, pictures of the Memorial Plaque, maps and other information. I list the crew members of each aircraft below.

My uncle still lives in England while I emigrated to America in 1983. We are in frequent contact with each other and I offered to see what, if anything, I could do from this side of the Atlantic to help him bring this truly noble effort of his to close.

Please do not hesitate to contact me personally at any time either via email, regular mail or by phone

With my thanks in advance for any information or help

Yours sincerely,
Keith S Cheveralls

Crew of 42-107592
1.Lt Tommie J Potts, Pilot
1.Lt Christian D Burger, Jr, Copilot
1.Lt Leroy A Dyer, Bomb/Nav
S/Sgt George J Kyle, Radio/gunner
S/Sgt James M Long, Engineer/gunner
S/Sgt George W Williams, Armourer/gunner

Crew of 42-96249
2.Lt Walter F Jenkins, Pilot
2.Lt Walter S Winter, Copilot
S/Sgt William C Hoeb, Toggler
Sgt George S Rogers, Radio/gunner
S/Sgt Ralph D Parker, Jr., Engineer/gunner
Sgt Edward F Bailey, Armourer/gunner

Keith here are a couple of photos of T/Sgt George Kyle, and S/Sgt James Long. Both were friends of my Fathers, and shared the same barracks with him. They were the closest friends he lost while overseas.
Don Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow

Date:
12/27/07
Time:
10:22 PM

The 11/05/1944 a B26 Marauder was shot down at Ala (in North Italy on the Brenner Pass): I saw that tragedy.
Which plane? What else can you tell me about this please?

Thank you very much,
Tonello Odorico Ala (on Brenner Pass-Italy)

Dear Odorico,
B26 43-34396 BN.01 of the 441st Bomb Squadron,320th Bomb Group was shot down by fighters 5th November 1944.

The crew were:
2.Lts Truman C Cole; Paul A Lewis; John W Pidock; T/Sgt Samuel N Bush; S/Sgts Wyatt B Moore; John A Kramer and Cpl Henry T McMahan.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
12/25/07
Time:
11:06 PM

Marauder man’s Name: Robin Keith Francis (XXXX29)
Bomb Group: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Bomb Squadron: 14 Squadron
Years in service: unknown
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown

Comments: Pilot Officer Robin Keith Francis was my Uncle, my mother’s only brother. I have 3 medals and his DFC, awarded posthumously. He flew his B-26G Martin Marauder MK 1-A, USAFF #41-7415 / RAF #FK363, with his crew out
of the Bone Aerodrome, Algeria, and went missing from a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean, off Corsica, and believed killed in action June 27, 1943.

I am trying to find a picture of him, any details concerning his actions leading to the DFC, where his body may rest (at the bottom of the Mediterranean off Corsica?), anyone still alive that may have known him, and anything about his parents from his war records, which I have yet to find.

Ian Scarr

Ian,
14 Squadron records are by no means the best and there are many gaps in their records.
As you probably know, for some reason you still cannot get missing aircrew reports from the Ministry of Defense, and this makes identification of missing crews literally impossible.

Looking through my records I have found the following meager scraps of information for you.

1st mentioned 2nd December 1942 when Sgt R K Francis and crew carried out a reconnaissance mission
14 Dec 42 W/O R K Francis & crew, Sea search
26 Jan 43 W/O R K Francis & crew, Special signal recce
22 Mar 43 W/O R K Francis & crew, Anti-submarine patrol
30 Mar 43 W/O R K Francis & crew, Recce
27 Jun 43 P/O R K Francis & crew, Recce from which the crew failed to return

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
12/23/07
Time:
6:37 PM

B26.COM – Happy Holiday to you & yours. I wanted to pass on to you that my bombardier, Bill Churchman, was able to make a gratifying start to a contact with a WW2 combat buddy, Jack Smolenski, through the B26 Guest Book. After a few years effort the contact process was possible by Jack’s daughter seeing a Churchman message in the B26 site. I’m sure this is the results you and Trevor Allen always hope for. My thanks to you both. There seems to be more Marauder folks and now their descendants that are anxious to recreate the gaps in history that were idle for many decades. The last few vets of WW2 are now handing that baton to the diminishing WW2 vets. You both deserve more credit for keeping this spirit alive than possibly will ever be bestowed on you. What you fully know inside yourselves should be a great source of satisfaction for a job well done. Also my personal thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself through the B26 site. It has been a source that gave me much reason to accept that my small part of WW2 combat was as a job done to the best of my ability. A feeling that 12 million other Americans done what had to be done and did it with distinction. I recognize that so many of us thought we were just lucky to make it. In reality we owe that good fortune to our supportive combat buddies and all those that supported our mission. Now you guys still support us vets. When you know in your heart and mind that we did the job well, a gratifying closure is as close to the ultimate possible for human beings. Grateful as always. Max Petrisek, 17th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Squadron.

Date:
12/23/07
Time:
5:30 AM

On this date, December 23rd, in 1944, 36 Marauders of the 397th Bomb Group attacked the Eller railroad bridge. Three waves of enemy fighters attacked the formation. The bridge was destroyed. Eleven of those B-26s and their crews did not return from the mission. A Distinguished Unit Citation seems small reward for the loss of so many. May God cradle them in His bosom and may He bless this nation for whom they died.

Wynn Anderson, son of Andy Anderson

Date:
12/21/07
Time:
6:23 AM

My name is Carl Carrozza and am the webmaster of www.geocities.com/b26carrozza

I was looking at an old 2002 post on your guest book. I’m interested in the post by Bill Royal. If you can provide me with his e-mail…and if he still with us, I have a question about the Shopworn Angel’s nose art that perhaps he can answer.

Thanks
Carl Carrozza

Date:
12/20/07
Time:
3:29 PM

Hi, my grandfather is Lt. Colonel Edwin Zachary, still living and going strong at 89 and he turns 90 early next year. I am trying to find things out about his B26-B days. I know very little so far about his squadron but this is what he has told me: He says he was part of the 1st Pathfinders Squadron, 9th Air force and was in France. He flew 4 missions on D-Day in the B26-B and his squadron’s favorite plane was the Dee Feater. I would like to have a model built and wanted to know if there is one already out there that can be assembled . Also, any other information about his squadron would be great so I can ask him smart questions to preserve the history for my family. -Sharon Siler
Regarding model of Dee-Feater 42-96142 X2-A (397th BG 596th BS) there is an old Airfix kit which also have the decals for Dee Feater. The kit has two options, Mild and Bitter + Dee-Feater. Available at least on eBay, search for: Airfix 1/72 Martin B-26 Marauder – Old – Series 4. Dee-Feater was Robert McLeod’s plane, seen on both B/W scans.

397th BG flew two missions on D-Day; #40 for Dunes de Varreville (Utah Beach) Coastal Defenses and #41 for Trouville Coastal Defenses. At that time they were based at Rivenhall, England. After that a short period at Hurn, England in August 1944, they moved first to Gorges, then Dreux and after that, Peronne in France. They came to Venlo, Holland in April 1945 and returned to Peronne ultimo May 1945.

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/19/07
Time:
9:57 PM

My Dad, Sgt. Joseph Pollock, was with the 391st Bombardment Group, 572nd Bombardment Squadron during WWII. Some of the countries he was in are Italy, France, Belgium, England, Egypt, and Ireland. He said very little about his experiences. He died on Dec. 8,1972 at the very early age of 54. He did say he was part of a ground crew. I have a picture of him standing by the nose of what I think is an A-26. He is holding his hand up to the backside of a girl painted in a dark circle. Her left leg extends down out of the circle, while she rests back on her right arm. The name is faded but it looks like Sweet Girl or Sweet-er Girl. The fuselage of the A-26 next to this reads 3 or 8 with a star M. I have a book 9th Air force by Roger Freeman showing an A-26 of the 572nd with markings C with a star P2. I am a Vietnam veteran and find the lack of knowledge of my Dad’s military background disconcerting. This has prompted me to share my feelings with my kids and Grand-kids. God bless all of you of the “The Greatest Generation”. From this Vet to Marauder Men my heartfelt THANKS! I hope to hear from someone. -Jim Pollock

Date:
12/17/07
Time:
8:35 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph Dana
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 450
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location:?
Comments: In response to the family of 1st Lt. Lyle G. Mc Glocklin, Pilot. Written by Toni MacDonald, Ron MacDonald and Kevin Mc Glocklin ( click here )

You posted a comment on July 23rd, 2005 about your uncle Lt. Mc Glocklin and his mission on May 9th. My grandfather was the tail gunner on that flight on May 9th. He is still alive. My sister and I have both attempted to research much of our grandfather’s experiences, including that particular day. The plane was shot down, I am not sure what happened to all of the crew. My grandfather was captured and was a POW for 362 days. I would love to share with you what I know about that day. I do know that my grandfather was not flying with his normal crew on May 9th. But I do believe the name of the plane may have been the Humpback. I have had discussions with my grandfather about your uncle. I would love to share with you what I can. -Marti Lucas

Date:
12/17/07
Time:
10:03 AM

My father, Lt. Cy Eaton from Northfield, Ohio, joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1940. After extensive training in Pine Bluff, AR, Mac Dill Field, FL, Lake Charles, LA, and San Angelo, Ellington Field and Midland, TX, he picked up his B-26, dubbed the “Bomb Boogie”, and flew it and his crew to Boxted, England with the 386th bomber Group.

He married my mother, Mary “Stevie” Stephens, on July 11, 1942 during a short leave. One year later, he was ready for action in Europe. His first mission on the “Bomb Boogie” was Diversion Mission #3 on July 28 and his first combat run was scheduled for July 31 with Col. Maitland flying the “Texas Tarantula” in the lead. That did not happen.

Instead, on the morning of July 30, Cy boarded the “Wolf” as an observer pilot in order to be in on Group Mission #1 to bomb an enemy fighter base located about forty miles inland at Woensdrecht, Holland. Returning from the raid, the Wolf took heavy flak and dropped out of formation.

That’s when 15 Focke-Wulf 190’s and Messerschmitt 109’s attacked. Tail Gunner J.F. Cuthbertson opened fire with his twin fifties on the enemy fighters and was credited with at least one kill. But the right engine of the B-26 burst into flame as the enemy planes broke away to attack the main formation.

Pilot Lt. Zimmerman put the landing gear down hoping it would help stabilize his plane that was rapidly showing signs of kicking over into a spin. No luck. Seconds later the ship lurched over into a slow spin. The flaming sixteen-ton bomber and its gallant crew plunged into the Zuider Zee creating a tall geyser of water at 0706 hours. No debris of any kind was observed floating on the surface off the coastline of Holland – all of the Zimmerman crew presumed dead: First Lieutenant G.F. Zimmerman. Second Lieutenants R.S. Molnar, S.D. McCollum, and C.S. Eaton, Jr. Staff Sergeants Y.P. Young, Jr., P.V. Bragg, and J.F. Cuthbertson.

Shortly thereafter, Eaton’s family was notified that he had been killed in action and it was widely reported in the press. His young wife, however, never believed he was dead. “I would feel it,” she said.

Three months later, in October, Stevie received a letter from him from Stalag Luft 3. It seems that Cy Eaton had been able to dive through the open bomb bay doors at the last minute. Badly wounded, he had been pulled out of the water by Pieter Vermaat, a Dutch fisherman. Cy was the only survivor.

And that was just the beginning of Cy Eaton’s WWII adventure. You can learn more at http://www.bombboogie.blogspot.com

Date:
12/17/07
Time:
9:52 AM

Contact request: Pat Norton, 19th Sqd, 22nd Bomb Group.

I would like to contact the above Pat Norton, since my father also served in the 19th Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group.

I’d like to know if he knew him.

Thanks,
M.T. Matthews
Son of Merrill Matthews

Date:
12/17/07
Time:
9:24 AM

Hello all,

I have just found your web page and was blown away. The photos of the loss of “King Bee” struck my heart. The little guy to the far right, Sgt. Harry Seth, is my grandfather!

From what I understand Harry (pop pop) was the only survivor. He would rarely discuss it with the family. He had spent some time in a Nazi prisoner of war camp. After the War, Harry made his home in Butler PA. Harry went on to have 6 children and a great host of grand children and great grand children. He was my hero! A quiet man Harry Seth loved his life, his family and his country.

Harry Seth passed away in 1996.

Thank you for honoring his memory,
Nathan Seth Covert

Date:
12/16/07
Time:
4:25 AM

The Lt Col David Dewhurst and his B26 crew project is going great. Thanks to b26.com, one of my historians did get up to see Chester Klier and found the visit very worthwhile. Thanks!

Plus, David Dewhurst son’s have actually accompanied my other historians to see their dad’s bombardier, Albert Hill, and the tail gunner, “Pee Wee” McFarland.

There are three other members of the crew that may be still alive:

Justin M. “Pete” Bingham, the navigator, and a later navigator, B.A. Carrell, and the radioman, Loren J. Graves.

Could we try to look for news of these guys on b26.com?

All my very best,
Peter Herrly

Date:
12/15/07
Time:
8:15 PM

Hello, my father, still living, was a B-26 pilot 397 bomb group 596 squadron. I wonder if Mr Hoch (or anyone) knew him or have photos or info. His name is Lawrence Yeardley. He lives and still runs his own business at 88 in Charleston WV. I am especially interested in the nose art of his plane, and the squadron insignia.

Thanks,
Frances Yeardley

Date:
12/14/07
Time:
10:49 PM

Can you please tell me the Squadron that bombed and destroyed a German Tiger Tank at Vimoutiers on June 14th 1944.The tank is on a plinth in the village. It was a Typhoon pilot who led the attack. I forgot also say the village was bombed soon after by B26’s. I’m founder of the Typhoon and Tempest Association. Ken Rimell

Date:
12/13/07
Time:
3:30 PM

I ran across an inquiry ( click here ) re subject while scanning the letters requesting “connections”. I’d like to tell the inquirer that I attended Anthony Van Antwerp’s wedding, probably l944-45 in Detroit (?) .

Maurice V. Duvic
Our Country Is At War. Think and Act Accordingly

Date:
12/11/07
Time:
7:25 PM

My father in law, Thomas I. Ramsey, 386th BG, 554th BS, flew the B-26 during WWII, including D-Day. My question to you, is there any B-26’s still flying today? If so can you let me know? -Michael Rostocil

Fantasy of Flight , located in Florida, has a fully operational Martin B-26 Marauder – it’s the only B-26 that flies. Near Akron Ohio, at the MAPS Air Museum , there is a Martin B-26 Marauder being rebuilt. The USAF Air Museum, Dayton, Ohio has the sister ship of the French Marauder located at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, north of Paris.

Date:
12/10/07
Time:
3:37 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Cornelius S Keefe
Bomb Group: 14th (RAF)
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service:
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: In the 2003 guest book, Joan Irwin (4/10/2003, 2:21pm) wrote about her Uncle, “Mark Irwin Wireless Op/Air gunner BombGp: MAAF Squadron: 14th Years: 2 Comments: Anybody had difficulty getting access to Air Casualty Files. Whilst researching into my Uncle Sgt. Mark Irwin’s crash on take off at Alghero airfield Sardinia on 13th Sept 1944 I have discovered a great deal of information on this but not been allowed anything from these files? Many thanks, Joan”. I have just started to research my Great Uncle’s death and he was aboard that same flight – I understand he was the navigator but know nothing more than this. Is it possible for you contact Joan and give her my e-mail address? Many thanks,

Patrick Keefe

Date:
12/9/07
Time:
9:09 PM

Hello
My Granddad was a pilot in the 397th bomb group 599th bomb SQD I have a few pics of him .We were very close, I am trying to build a model of one of the ships in one of his pics I cant tell from the black and white photos if the plane is aluminum unfinished or tan? it has sharks teeth painted on it like a P-40 the top surface of the plane appears to be dark he is in shirt sleeves might have been taken in North Africa some of the V-MAIL I have also list the 320th bomb group 444th sqd. His name was Lt. Leo E Savage went by Gene short for Eugene If any one could help me with some info please contact me. Joe Solomon

Date:
12/8/07
Time:
4:44 PM

Hello, my mother, age 80, has been thinking about an old boyfriend of hers who was killed in action in 1944 at age 20. (His birthday is next week, December 13 … she still remembers after all this time.)

She remembers his letters and pictures, though she can no longer find them; she may have lost them in one of many moves over the years. She remembers him saying that if he knew then what he knew now, he wouldn’t have rushed to enlist.

The information I’ve found is as follows:

Richard F. Aylward Jr., from East Boston Massachusetts
Staff Sergeant
585th Bomber Squadron, 394th Bomber Group, Medium
Listed as Killed in Action 2 December 1944
Buried in Epinal American Cemetery in France

I don’t know if anyone on your guest list would have any additional information of any kind for her, but if so, a posting would be appreciated.

Best regards,
Susan Major

Susan, Mr. Aylward was killed when their B26, returning from a mission, crashed near Guise France in poor weather conditions and lack of gas.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
12/5/07
Time:
9:04 PM

The new logo on the homepage are insignias from the Royal Air Force Squadron 14, Royal Air Force Squadron 39 donated by Peter Thatcher, painted by Geoffrey Clive Thatcher; Gascogne 1/19, Maroc 1/22, Bourgogne 1/32, Bretagne 2/20, Franche-Comte 2/52, Senegal 2/63, from the 11 Brigade de Bombardement donated by Anciens des B-26 Marauder Francais; French Barksdale patch donated by Frances Buford Pullen (WASP); French Tactical Air Force donated by Stu Rowan, donated to b26.com by Marauder Man Jack D. White, 344 BG/497 BS. The squadrons flew Martin B-26 Marauders in WW2.

Date:
12/2/07
Time:
7:36 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Sgt. Carl A. Royer (tail gunner)
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 585th
Years in service: 1944 – 1945
Graduation Class: Aug. 1944
Class Location: (331 AAF G1753) Barksdale Field , LA

Crew:
Pilot – Lt. Higgins
CoPilot – Lt. Osborne
Bombardier – Lt. Mahan
Eng-Gunner – Cpl. Mahaffey
Radio-Gunner – Cpl. Sanders
Arm-Gunner – Sgt. Royer

Comments: This is a wonderful site. My hats off to the “Greatest Generation” I am looking for information on my grandfather. I have a picture of 4T-C in his scrapbook that he says was his plane. Did he fly that actual plane or was that just a plane in his squadron? I am very interested in learning about the missions he flew. Is there a document titled “Official History of the 394th Bombardment Group 585th Bombardment Squadron”?

Doug Royer

Date:
11/30/07
Time:
9:05 PM

My dad, 1Lt. Kenneth P. Juhl recently passed away on November 20th, 2007. I know he would like to be remembered on your site. Here is a copy of his obituary. Maybe you can use part of it on your site. This man was a patriot and a wonderful, positive example to all he came in contact with. Please, feel free to contact me at any time. Mt dad was a member of the Thunderbird Squadron during WWII and was always proud to share his stories with anyone who cared to listen (which was really everyone!).

Thank you and best of luck. God Bless America!

Eric D. Faber, MSgt, USAF (Retired)

Date:
11/30/07
Time:
8:38 AM

Hi, I’d like to make a dedication page to my Dad:

Major Eugene John McCarthy
Born: June 24, 1918
Died: August 07, 1972
Was assigned to the 17th Bomb Group 37th Bomb Squadron as a Pilot from January 1945 to October 1945. He was stationed in Dijon, France and Linz, Austria. With this group he flew 35 combat missions and 135 combat hours in the B26. I would love to hear from anyone who may remember him.

Sincerely,
Barbara Tripp

Date:
11/29/07
Time:
5:52 PM

The write up regarding T.A. Morgan, member of Mo Johnson’s crew that was crashed into by shot up Zero, pilot possibly dead, on July 4th, 1942. The write up regarding T.A. Morgan as we called him is accurate certainly in the important parts. I was with T.A. starting a Jefferson Barracks until July 4th which was our second mission that day. Unfortunately I believe I did disable the Zero that crashed into his plane. His family might be interested to know that on the night before he came over to my plane asking me to take a letter and mail it to his family when I got to the states. There was a rumor going around that either my crew or at least myself was going home because I had made a modification to the airplane that was very important and all future 26s were build incorporating that modification. Talking about not surviving was considered back luck, so none of us wanted to be involved. As a favor to T.A I took his letter. Upon returning from our first mission, our only scheduled for the 4th, I returned the letter to him assuring him he had as good a chance to go home as any one else. Later we were told to go on the fatal flight. Rest assured there was nothing he, the pilot or any one else could have done to avoid the crash. That was just a part of what we were doing. I do not know the contents of the letter but obviously he wanted to say something to his family that was very personal and he was not comfortable having someone outside the family censoring it. I have told this story many times. Sorry that the story was not told to his Mother before she died.

On another subject, I would like to contact Quinton L Thomas, 19th Sqd, 22nd Bomb Group.

Pat Norton, 19th Sqd, 22nd Bomb Group.
A proud member of the crew headed by Walt Krell plane #1433 also known as the Kansas Comet #2

Date:
11/25/07
Time:
11:13 PM

Hello – Looking for information about the Robert F COLEMAN crew. Shot down by German Fighters of II./JG 26 on February 21st 1945 at Vragender, in the East of Holland. B-26G 43-34562 394 BG -M- 585 BSQ. Five of crew were killed in fighter attack/crash (Blossman/Black/McFarland/Brennan/Coleman). Buried at Lichtenvoorde, reburied in Ardennes. Individual identification proved to be impossible and all received a group burial in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Three crewmen baled out:
Edward H Adamowicz CP
Paul J Barnochia or Barnaskie # (name badly legible in MACR) Nav
Karl T Gilgen TTG

All information about this crew is welcome!
With kind regards,

Karl Lusink
Chairman of ARGA
Drempt, The Netherlands

Date:
11/25/07
Time:
4:36 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Ernest William (Bill) Goodwin
Bomb Group: 322nd BG
Bomb Squadron: I am trying to figure this out
Years in service: 42-46
Graduation Class: 42
Class Location: Corsicana Field, TX?
Comments: 4 years ago lost my Dad’s Pilot Logs and a complete set of orders as well as many photos when my home burned down. He was a B-26 pilot, flew 73 missions out of Great Saling, broke his ankle (on the ground), recuperated, then was reassigned to fly some General around in a C-46 until the end of the war. Actually spent a few months on a P-38 base somewhere near France when the General was called back stateside. Great story – the maintenance crew on the P-38 base actually built a P-38 out of spare parts, put two new engines on it and proudly presented it to their commander who had a fit and told them to get rid of it lest they all be thrown in the brig. The men asked my father if he wanted it and he spent a few days trying to figure out how to increase fuel capacity so that he could get it back to the states. Many years later I used to take him to the P-38 fly-in at Santa Maria CA and remind him that he had, then and still, cousins all over England where he could have stored it and returned later to get it.

Anyway, I am trying to compile as much information as possible regarding his Squadron, the men, crewmembers, anything and everything, and would appreciate any help that you can give. Thanks so much.

Marc Goodwin

Date:
11/21/07
Time:
1:52 AM

I’m trying to find information on my Grandfather, Peter John Charles “Dennis” Shepherd, He was a tail gunner on an South African Air force B-26 and served in Africa and Italy during the war and he told me that he was stationed in Jesi Italy . I have no Idea what unit he was in and I am trying to locate some info about his experience during the war. So If you have some info for me please send me a e-mail.

Thanks.
Manny Shepherd Jr.

Date:
11/18/07
Time:
7:14 PM

Back in 2000 I posted a request for information about Herbert Ratcliffe and crew aboard the “Jay Walkin Molecule”. Since that time I have acquired his original records, and have always been in possession of his jacket, insignia, medals logbook etc. I will be glad to share any info with anyone, and I have spoken to his gunner who lives in PA. Any additional info anyone has would be much appreciated.

Doing a search of my dad recently brought up the picture on this website, specifically the page for Thomas Howard. He is mentioned to be the top left pilot in the picture however I would respectfully disagree, as my family has always been in possession of this picture and can clearly identify the top left pilot as you look at the picture as my father Herbert C. Ratcliffe. Anyone with other information please feel free to contact me as it would be great to identify all those on the crew.

We are all proud of these men, as we should be

Sincerely,
Ryan Ratcliffe

Date:
11/18/07
Time:
3:17 PM

Jack Smolenski is my father. He is alive and well. He is interested in communicating with Bill Churchman (2002 guest book post).

Date:
11/16/07
Time:
5:28 PM

Marauderman’s Name: S/Sgt Earl S. Sayer
Bomb Group: 17th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 432nd Bomb Squadron
Years in service: 1941-1942
Graduation Class:
Class Location:

I am looking for information regarding SSgt Earl Sayer. He was a rear gunner on B-26’s. He was reported to be MIA over Tunisia around 12-31-1942. My Great Aunt was going to marry him, but he never came home. He had a friend named T/Sgt Chester L. Gray that wrote a letter to my Great Aunt about him being missing in action. It was told to me that he was probably shot down. I sent for MACR #1512 as that is the earliest B-26 MACR with the 17th however, he was listed in the crew. If anyone has any information, it would be much appreciated.

SSgt Ashley J. Strabala
USAF

SSgt Strabala, MACR’s were not started until later in 1943.

31 December 1942.

Whilst attacking Gabes B26 41-17905 was damaged by flak on the bomb run. After dropping its bombs the formation was attacked by enemy fighters when the already damaged 905 was again hit and exploded in mid air.

The crew were:

1.Lt Phillip W Bailey; 2.Lt Bernard A Gillespie; S/Sgts Joseph D Cooper; Thomas N Harris; Henry J Krupa and Earle S Sayer. 2.Lt Gillespie returned, but the rest of the crew were killed in action.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
11/16/07
Time:
12:07 PM

My uncle, Samuel Betz, served in World War II in the 387th Bomb Squadron. Do you have any information on him? Please let me know what you have, his record in St. Louis was destroyed and all I got was his unit nothing more. Let me know what you have.

Thanks,
Jeff Betz

Date:
11/15/07
Time:
11:15 AM

My father was a former B-26 pilot. His name is Marion Wallace “Wally” Morgan, 323rd BG, 454th BS . His rank was Lieutenant Colonel. He recently passed away and at the gravesite ceremony , my mother was presented an American flag. The soldier who presented the flag made a statement which began ” On behalf of the President…..”. My mother was unable to hear the whole statement and I am trying to get the words that were said to her that day. Can someone provide them for me or point me in the right direction to obtain the words?

Respectfully,
Joseph H. Morgan

“On behalf of the President of the United States, a grateful nation, and a proud Air Force (or other service), this flag is presented as a token of our appreciation for the honorable and faithful service rendered by your loved one to his / her country and Air Force (or other service)”.

Arlington: Full Honor Graveside Funerals – Air Force

Date:
11/15/07
Time:
9:00 AM

Name: SGT Cleveland Gilbert Mayfield
ASN: XXXXX349
Group: 344th Gp. M.
Squadron: 496th
Died: 15 June, 1944

Cleveland Mayfield was my father’s brother and is buried in the American Cemetery at Cambridge, England (the above info, except the ASN, is on his grave marker). He had a Class B pass and a Vital Area pass from MacDill Field in Florida so we believe he trained there. Our best information is that he was a tail gunner. Other than those points we don’t know but assume that he went with the unit to Stansted, England, when it transferred there in February, 1944, and that he was in crews that flew the missions flown by the 496th from the date it went operational, 6 March, 1944, until his death on the 15th June, 1944. Question: Can I track down exactly which missions he was on (dates, objectives, composition of mission, etc.)? I really want to share this information with my father, also a WWII vet and my grandson while we are all still together.

Thank you for being there,

Claude B. Mayfield, Jr.

Date:
11/14/07
Time:
4:27 PM

Marauderman’s Name: George A. Hofmann
Bomb Group: 397
Bomb Squadron: 596
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: Don’t Know Yet
Class Location: Still looking
Comments: My father was bombardier/navigator on B-26 #1252. He was shot down over France on May 8, 1944 after leaving England on a mission at 10:15AM ( he might have been filling in for a bombardier on another crew – I seem to remember him mentioning that). He bailed out, was saved by an Irvin Chute, captured by the Germans and interred in the Stalag Luft 3 prison camp until liberation. His POW number was 4698. Remarkably, I was born May 31, 1946, roughly nine months after he came home as an ex-POW! He was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries.

My father passed away in 1996. I am going through many of his wartime personal effects that were missing for tem years. I’m sure I’ll find more info but this is it for now as I “connect the dots” of a box full of photos, clippings, telegrams and many letters from my father from Stalag Luft 3.

Al Hofmann
A Proud Son of an ex-POW and Marauder Man

Al, 42-96123 X2-B was hit by flak prior to reaching the target. It was last seen going down with two engines smoking, but apparently under control near Aboucourt, France.

The crew that day was 2.Lts Elmer E Freeman; Harry E Walter; George A Hofmann; Sgt Oscar E Young; S/Sgt Harry J Hoderliuk and Sgt Marion Rose.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Mr. Hofmann:
My father, Sterling P. Hoch, was a pilot in the 596th. He knew your father well (my father passed away in 1999). My parents had dinner with your parents in Brooklyn before the 397th sailed over on the liner Saturnia. My parents had gotten married on March 5, 1944, while the air echelon was flying over to England. Normally, my father would have flown one of the planes. My father returned to Hunter Field, GA, and then took the train with the remainder of the 397th Group up to Camp Kilmer, NJ. He would meet my mother when he could, and one evening they went to your parent’s flat (I believe they said that your parents were staying with your father’s parents) for dinner. I also believe my mother (Evelyn) would spend time with your mother while my father was in camp. I believe the ship departed for England on March 23, 1944.

I have a lot of info on the 397th, and the 596th. Let me know if you are interested in anything. I don’t believe I have any pictures of your father, but I will check.

Don Hoch

Date:
11/13/07
Time:
5:02 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Burl W. Thompson
Bomb Group: 387th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 556th Bomb Squadron
Years in service: April 1942 – May 1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: MacDill Field, Florida
Comments: Air Medal w/ numerous clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart. Flew 68 combat missions, mostly from Chipping Ongar, England. Flew with Captain Mansel Campbell in the plane, “Tabasco”. Each letter in the word, “Tabasco”, stood for the name of a member of the crew. I have his mission journal, which I hope to email to you ASAP.

Ken Thompson (Son)

Date:
11/13/07
Time:
4:12 PM

Marauderman’s Name: George Donald Schurr
Bomb Group: 17th Bombardment Group
Bomb Squadron: 95th Bombardment Squadron
Years in service: December 1942 – October 1945

I am researching information on my father, George D. Schurr who served initially with the 694th Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Battalian and was then transferred to the Army Air Force where he was a gunner on a B-26. I have some original documents that include his discharge that lists battles/campaigns and decorations/citations and also 2 documents of Bronze Stars for Rome-Arno and South France, along with the original French Croix de Guerre with Palm for operations in Italy.

I have submitted to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and I am afraid that his information was destroyed in the fire.

Any information on where my father was, who he served with, what B-26 he was a crew member on would be so appreciated. He, as with so many of our relatives, never really talked about his experiences in the war. He was extremely proud of the B-26 and what was accomplished. My dad passed away 10 years ago and I am trying to re-create some of his history for my brothers, my son and nephews. I would be happy to share copies of the documents I have if it would help someone.

Carolyn Morgan

Date:
11/11/07
Time:
4:39 PM

My brother, Wiley Monson, served in the 554th Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group out of England during World War II. I think he communicated with you before his death in 1997. Did he send you a copy of the diary he kept while he was there? I have some photos, interesting news clippings and other interesting items that should go where they can be protected. Please give me some information as to how I should address this problem. I can copy all of them and send them via email to you for a dedication page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mike Monson

Date:
11/10/07
Time:
10:10 AM

My father-in-law, Bill “WB” Wyatt, flew with the 387th bomb group in 1944/45. Bill passed away in 1997.

We would dearly love to contact members of his crew and squadron if possible before its too late. My wife has managed to track down one of the guys from Bill’s crew. I’d love to speak with these guys and interview/record their experiences before its too late.

We have a wonderful picture of Bill and his crew (taken at Barksdale in 1944) as well as a original print of the Unit Citation issued for the Dec 23 attack on the Railroad Bridge at Mayen. We’d be happy to create a dedication page.

Thanks,
Paul Blumhardt

Date:
11/9/07
Time:
5:07 PM

I am looking for any information on the 496th Bomb Sq. of the 344th Bomb Group (M). My uncle, S/Sgt John E. Harris, was a Top turret gunner/armorer from Mar-Oct 1944. Anyone with information about him or pictures, or anyone who personally knew him please contact. He has passed away and anyone with memories of him or pictures of him or his crew/ Aircraft would be greatly appreciated.

Daniel Harris

Date:
11/8/07
Time:
6:41 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Robert Chapman
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 452nd
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location:
Aircraft: 41-31946

Hey there folks, I’m hunting for some information about my grandfather, he was a radio/gunner on a B-26 with the 452nd of 322nd sqdn. I found a much earlier posting (2002) from someone named Gildas saying that he had a few pictures of my grandfather, and he was inquiring about a mission they flew over Brest in August of ’44 that resulted in my grandfather and another bailing out while their aircraft made it back safely. Gildas, if you’re still around I would love to have a copy of those pictures, I also have a letter written to my grandmother from one of the farm girls that found my grandfather, I could certainly share that with you if you’d like. If anybody knows anything else about him, please drop me a note. I would be really interested to know. Thanks a bunch.

Robb Chapman

Date:
11/8/07
Time:
5:46 PM

Hi, my dad, Arlie C “Bud” Hitchcock, flew B-26s in France in 1945. He was in the 9th Air Force, 391st Bomb Group, 574th Squadron. The plane’s name was “Little Jim.” He was from Michigan. Bud passed away a few years ago.

Below was the crew he served with:

Pilot: Earl N. Dingman, 2LT, XXXX456
Co-pilot: Arlie Hitchcock, Jr., 2LT, XXXX332
Bombardier: Maurice C. Suierville, F/O, X-XXX510
Engineer/Gunner: Edgar H. Hering, CPL, XXXXX209
Radio/Gunner: Charles M. Grimes, CPL, XXXXX951
Gunner: Anthony J Destaffan, CPL, XXXXX290

Does anyone recall flying/serving with him? If so, my kids and I would love to hear stories about him, his crewmates, his squadron and the missions he flew.

Cheers!
Jay C. Hitchcock

Date:
11/8/07
Time:
7:21 AM

Sgt. James S. (Andy) Divine, XXXXX211. I served with the 322nd bomb group as a radio/gunner in France & Belgium in 1945. I don’t remember the exact date, but I was a member of the crew that supposedly flew Flak Bait on its 200th mission. I don’t have any pictures for a dedication page and I don’t remember the crews as I flew with several different ones. I was deployed with a crew from Barksdale Field to the 386th at Beaumont, France and shortly after we arrived they were partially changed to the A-26 and my crew was split up and I was transferred to the 322nd.

Jim Divine Dph

Date:
11/2/07
Time:
4:17 PM

I’m writing on behalf of my uncle S/Sgt. Jimmie W. Sanders. My uncle was a part of 455 Bomb Squadron, 323 Bomb Group, A.P.O. 140 and his commanding officer of the squadron was Major Harold Kohnert. My uncle was a turret gunner on a plane that was shot down over Luxemburg on March 16, 1945, his crew was 1st. Lt. Warren H. Vaughan, pilot, who was not able to bail out, Co-pilot 2nd Lt. William L. Watkins, bombardiers Hugh F. Ford, engineer/tailgunner S/Sgt. James C. Terrill, and radio operator/waist gunner S/Sgt. Thaddeus K. Szarek. My uncle was able to find out about the pilot, however he was never able to find out if the co-pilot Lt. Watkins survived. Please help if you have and information on Lt. William L. Watkins.

I was late in finding this web site or I would have taken my uncle to St. Louis for the reunion last Sept., I hope that you will have another in the up coming years.

Thanks,
Cam Horton

Date:
11/1/07
Time:
10:06 AM

Good Morning to all of you Heroes from the Greatest Generation!

A friend and fellow Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and I are assisting Joseph G. Fox, a former member of the 906th Air Engineers, who was stationed near London, England near the end of 1943, in preparation for D-Day. He was wounded by bomb shrapnel, witnessed by a LT. Charles Heinz, his OIC. He was treated for the hand wound, but no supporting documentation was submitted by the OIC for SGT Fox’s award of the Purple Heart. We are looking for LT Charles Heinz for his confirmation of the incident concerning SGT Fox/ any other witnesses who may have knowledge of the incident, and/or anyone who knew SGT Fox during the prep for D-Day. We are hoping to get enough documentation in order to submit SGT Fox’s application for award of the Purple Heart.

Any and all assistance is appreciated. In advance, thank you for your assistance.
Walter T. Shevchik, SFC E7, USA, Ret, a 30 year Army Retiree, and VietNam Veteran.

In January 2000, Mr. Chester H. Hanson wrote to us; today his email bounced. B26.com is for everyone who flew and supported the Martin B-26 Marauder. The 906th Air Engineers Squadron, 486 Air Service Group dedication pages are welcomed here.

Date:
1/27/00
Time:
2:59:49 PM
Comments
I notice that most of the people on this site are the air crews. As a member of the 906th Air Engineers Squadron, 486 Air Service Group in England And Europe we serviced the planes these brave men flew. When the planes came from the US they were equipped with Armour plate for the instruments, we removed this plate and made seats for the pilots and crew from it, this made more sense.

Chester H. Hanson

Date:
10/30/07
Time:
9:03 AM

My dad’s name was Vincent J. Mosca. He was a member of the 451st bomb squadron, 322nd bomb group. My mom and I are trying to learn more about his time in the service. We believe he was based at Andrews Field in England in 1944 or thereabouts. He was wounded by friendly fire on what was his last mission, and was sent home in November of 1944. His hometown was Milton, New York…any more info would be of great interest to us.

Lee Lipkis’ dedication page tells the story of the 451st. bomb squadron.

Date:
10/30/07
Time:
8:51 AM

Hello, I search some information (Crew, Mission, Crash Point, etc) for the B.26 41-31954 (322BG) shot down and fall in France the 8 May 1944. I make some research for identify the “Crash Point ” for the planes American downfall in France between 1942-45. I have today about 2500 planes Americans shot down in France and me research was at present to be the 8 May 1944. I have 71 years old and in France the Memory of this event must be kept.

Thank you for help,
Jean Paul Favrais (FR.)

Jean-Paul,
41-31954 ER-Z 322nd Bomb Group 450th.Bomb Squadron crashed near Isigny-sur-Mer on 9th May 1944. Crew were 1.Lts Lyle G McGlocklin (buried Normandy American Cemetery); Walter F Cook; 2.Lt Thomas M Straka; S/Sgts Norman J Huschka; Joseph R Dana and T/Sgt Robert Tomlinson.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
10/29/07
Time:
1:32 PM

I was a pilot and also operations officer in the 587th Squadron and later the 394th Group Operations officer. Flew 49 missions from England the continent during WW II. Remained in the US Air Force. Served in SAC in B-29s at MacDill AFB, SAC HQ and HQ USAF. Retired voluntarily as a Colonel, in 1960. -Gene Sidwell

Gene,
You were an original pilot with the 587th Bomb Squadron and as Capt L G Sidwell you flew B26 42-96069 from the USA to the UK. Was this plane ever named by you, and if so what? It was lost on 31st May 1944 when it crashed on take off with 2.Lt John C Connelly at the controls.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
10/26/07
Time:
8:36 AM

Dear B26.com:

I am seeking anecdotal information about the 391st Bomb Group, 574th Bomb Squadron from Jan to Sep ’44 (BEFORE Ahrweiler) — information related to my father’s service during that time, especially details about missions, crews, and ground crews… What has happened to everyone? I have letters Dad wrote home from Nov ’42 to Sep ’45 and some photos; he mentions several fellow Matching Green-based pilots, crew and planes.

Marauderman’s Name: John Donnely “Mac” McClurkin
Bomb Group: 391 Bomb Squadron: 574
Years in service: 1942-1945. Left MacDill AFB for Europe Jan 1944, arriving in England from S. America-N. Africa route Feb 1944. Flew over in: 42-95798 “Dragon Wagon” (No. 1) as Co-Pilot with Richard M. Horridge
Graduation Class: 43-I, Sep 1943; Lubbock, Texas
Other crew members he flew with: Orin S. Basco (FE), Rader O. Hale (RG); Royce Hay (N/B); Daniel R. Lichtenhan (A/G); Jack Dougherty (B)

Other 391st BG members mentioned in letters and some photos: Charles B. Smutsky (B); Arlie G. Watkinson (P); Frederick E. Bush (P); Bernard C. Kinnan (B); Eugene T. Gillam (CP); William N. Hollis (CP); Carl W. Kinzer (N); Delbert C. Kromm (FE); John R. Talton (P); Lt. Kinzer; _____ Goodwin; Ed Smaltz; Capt. Melvin (medico); and Lt. Olshak (“The Mad Russian”) Re-assignment: Sep ’44 to Oklahoma as B-25 pilot instructor; Officer’s Communications School, Chanute Field, Illinois; and then B-26 tow target pilot, Wilmington, North Carolina.

I am willing to share photocopies of letters or photos if anyone is interested.

Thank you.
Dora McClurkin Muir

Mrs. Muir, if the planes could fly, they flew! Nels Cassano, Crew Chief, “Truman’s Folly”

Mrs. Muir,
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 immediately changed.

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.

B26’s, in fact most other Allied aircraft ,when battle damaged were graded as to the severity of the damage. A rated slight damage, AC, heavier damage, both usually repairable on the squadron. B was rated more severe damage usually repaired at an Air Repair Depot. Lastly Cat E was salvage.

Crew chiefs had no part in this battle damage rating, all they did was repair them if the could,. and if not send them away for repair. If rated cat E they were just hauled off the the airfield scrap dump.

If they could fly, they flew. If not they were stripped down, put onto road transporters and driven to the repair depot. The main one for Marauders in England was Stansted. However several other Repair Depots could and did repair B26’s. On moving to Europe the same practice applied.

If a B26 landed away from base then the B26’s were either repaired or stripped down by Emergency repair squadrons, who operated as mobile units in the countryside.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
10/25/07
Time:
7:53 AM

Bonjour from France to Marauder Men of the 394th B.G. and their families.

I send you a photo of the monument we have in Normandy to commemorate your passage on A 13 (Tour en Bessin) in September 1944 with flowers for V.E. 2006.

Perhaps you met there a 12-year old boy who spent in 1944 very surprising summer holidays. I have not forgotten the crash of Lt Davis ship ( 586th Sq ) on September the 21st… I ran so rapidly that I was very far when the plane exploded. I have nor forgotten the fuselage of a Marauder you left us, a wonderful toy… I have not forgotten what you gave me, cigarettes and chewing gum… I remember precisely the 2 ground servicemen who offered me a treasure, a pair of shoes: one of them was probably a Cajun who spoke a very surprising French…

I hope the map may help you to remember where your plane was parked or where your tent was pitched when you were on A 13.

In July 1944 we had before your arrival on A 13 two fighter groups with Thunderbolts: 373 rd and 406th F.G.

The small hamlet of Sainte Anne (See the map) was liberated on the night of the 8-9 June 1944 by the 3rd battalion 26 I.R. (1st U.S. Division), they lost about 40 servicemen, KIA, MIA and wounded.

Tour en Bessin was liberated by the 2nd Battalion of the 26 I.R. I lived in a small village, Vaucelles ( See the map ). We were liberated by the British (50th Division). 2 civilians were killed. You have probably not forgotten that the “border” between the British 2nd Army and the 1rst U.S. Army was at the Eastern limit of you base. Perhaps those based near the village of Tour en Bessin remember that the spire of the church looked like a needle with a hole made by a shell just in the middle.

In Normandy, you know, we have not forgotten. And, hiking around the country we often find hedges repaired with the PSP and SMT your engineers had put in place to build runways and taxiways.

Reply to: Casey S.Apolinski
394th B.G.
584th B.S.
September 1944

To John Apolinski

I was very happy to see the pictures on your mail (10/1/07). I was 12 in September 1944 and I spent wonderful summer holidays with the U.S. servicemen of the 406 th F.G, of the 373rd F.G. and of the 394th B.G. At this period of the war your father was based in Normandy on ALG 13 which had been built in July by US Engineers in the village of Tour en Bessin, 4 miles from the town of Bayeux. My village, Vaucelles, was half-way between the US base and Bayeux. Bayeux is the only Norman town which was not destroyed during the battle and regarded by the US military as a kind of paradise. The problem for the US servicemen was that Bayeux was in the British zone and the main road was heavily patrolled by the military police of both nations.

Two pictures are for me very interesting: when they arrived at the end of August the officers of the 394th B.G. were probably, at first, as shown, living in their individual tents generally pitched under an apple-tree not only to protect them from the sun but from the showers of splinters of anti-aircraft shells: we can see a German bicycle. When they left at the end of September, I think officers and men disposed of big square tents with a heating system in the middle. On another picture we can clearly see a camouflage net: collective tents were pitched around the hedges under big trees and, vehicles, guns, ammunitions, were protected by nets preventing the German reconnaissance planes from seeing them.

On the 21st of September as I watched planes of the 584th BS taking off, one of them (Lt Davis) crashed at half a mile from me and another ship belonging to586th B.S. was so badly damaged that the fuselage was left when the B.G. left ALG 13 and became for us a wonderful toy… B26.com historian Trevor Allen gave me the very precise information on Lt Davis crash.

If, among your photos you had some with a building, a house, a church, I might perhaps help you to find the exact place where they were taken.

Bernard Porquet CAEN Normandy France.

Date:
10/23/07
Time:
11:17 AM

I was a S/Sgt. Flight Engineer-Gunner…48 missions in the waist, one in the tail, and my last one in the turret…50 missions…in the 554th Squadron/386th Bomb Group, flying my first combat mission on the Group’s first mission, 30 July 1943…My aircraft was The Bad Penny and The Bad Penny 2nd.

When I had 49 missions in–on 26 March 1944, I was advised that I was selected among 10 gunners from the 4 oldest B-26 Groups in England, to be sent back to the States to attend Gunnery Instructors School, and that I was thru flying combat missions–awaiting orders down from 9th AF HQ….as a fluke, I wound up on a what was originally scheduled “local” flight, to get my flying time in for April, before leaving. That “local” with a crew other than my regular crew was during the night, changed to a combat mission, and I had no choice but to go on it…since the Sq CO was in London on pass. I went, we got the shit shot out of us…I picked up a small piece of flak in the upper lip, hydraulic system shot out, had to crank the flaps down, no brakes, had to pull the air bottle and the locked wheels blew the tires…My orders were waiting me when we got back, and I left the next morning, came back on the Dutch liner Nieuw Amsterdam.

I was not yet 19 when I returned to the States.. I wound up at Lake Charles Army Air Base, LA, where I met my future wife, an AirWac working in Base HQ.. We were married on 9 July 1947… Celebrated our 60th last July.

We were discharged in July 1945…I re-enlisted in August 1946…Flew on the Berlin Airlift as flight engineer…Received a direct commission as 2/Lt via Board Action….from enlisted to officer duty on 15 August 1950…aircraft maintenance officer…Was made a regular officer in 1957, and spent the last three years as an Atlas-F missile maintenance officer….retiring voluntarily in the grade of regular major, on 1 March 1965..at age 39… I spent seven years as Plant Manager of a 535-bed hospital in Knoxville.. and six years as the Grainger County Juvenile Court and Probation Officer….calling it Quits in 1982…. We live 25 miles ENE Knoxville at Rutledge. TN…

I’m mentioned in a couple of 386th missions, Chester Klier’s Mission #8 and Mission #25.

Take Care,

Billie B. Boyd Jr.

Date:
10/22/07
Time:
12:31 AM

Nathan Weber is looking for anyone who had personal knowledge of the B-26 accident at MacDill Field, Tampa Florida on Sept 8, 1942.

Those that died:
Cpt. James Ellison Glattly (my cousin)
2nd Lt. Charles W. Armstrong
2nd Lt Jack W. Weston
Private Ervin Leshner the only survivor from the crash.

I have the accident report and eyewitness statements. I would like to hear what people have to say. All these years and its been a complete mystery. Its enough to make one sick.

They were in the 314th Bomb SQ. 21st Bomb Gp
Date:
10/21/07
Time:
9:46 AM

An Excellent play about General Billy Mitchell called “Prophecy and Honor, The Sensational Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell” by Joe Moore. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of the DVD go to Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor – a great cause, a great play!

Date:
10/18/07
Time:
7:47 PM

Hello,

I am trying to find information on a 1932 West Point Graduate that my mother (now deceased) was engaged to until the mid 1930’s. I know only his name and what my mother told me about him. His name was Robert Stillman and he retired as General Robert Stillman. She had his obituary sent to her cousin before her death. Her cousin was Stillman’s West Point roommate. She heard news of “Bob” Stillman for years from her cousin and his wife (Colonel Bill and Eulalie Proctor). They retired to the Seattle area. He was stationed at Fort Lewis (5th Infantry Div).

My mother told me he was in the Army Air Corps until the inception of the USAF in 1947, then converted. She said he was an early Commandant of the USAF Academy in Boulder, CO. I’m not sure when he passed away, but I know he retired to Texas with his wife. The obituary said he had Alzheimer’s, but listed his cause of death as natural.

I contacted your website because it was reported that he crash landed a B-26 upside-down at an Army Air Field. He and the co-pilot survived almost unscathed. If I remember correctly, it happened in Europe (Britain?) as the story went.

My mother told me the reason that they broke off the engagement was that he wanted to make a career of the military and she wanted to stay put in one place. No hard feelings she said, just different outlooks on life and careers. My Mom was very independent and graduated college in 1934, the only female in her class. She told me that during their several year long engagement, that he even had his own biplane. She said he would “buzz” her home in Glens Falls, NY before he landed when he and Cousin Bill came to visit from West Point. Bill was from Glens Falls, NY too.

He must have been quite a guy if these stories about him are not just urban legend. The few times I spoke with Cousin Bill, he assured me Bob Stillman was quite the motivated man. I would be interested in finding out more of his history if that’s possible.

Respectfully,
Mark Hendrickson

Trevor Allen wrote about the Ijmuiden mission that Mr. Robert M Stillman flew on in 1943.

Date:
10/18/07
Time:
7:07 AM

I am the oldest daughter of Lt. Stanley Guistwite that was shot down in a B26 Marauder over Germany.

Stanley is still living and is now 89 years old. His wife passed away 10 years ago. He has 4 girls and one son along with 10 Grandchildren.

I would love to hear from anyone that knew my Dad during that time or anyone that would like to get in contact with him.

Thanks so much.

We need to honor these men and women that were so brave and put their lives on the line to save our county. I am very proud of not only my Dad but each and every one of you.

Joan Becker

Joan, see if your father remembers this:

Date 18th November 1944

41-31576 AN-Z 553rd.Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group shot down by flak.

Crew: Capt Robert T Harris; 1st Lt’s Jack Eskenazi; Stanley U Guistwite; 2.Lt Donald E Bell; T/Sgt John W Depue; S/Sgts Reuben E Samall; Spencer A Volpp

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
10/17/07
Time:
9:53 AM

Marauderman’s Name: John C. Hicks
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service: 1942 – 1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I was given some flight gear that once belonged to Sgt. Hicks during the war. I believe his gear deserves to be preserved for history. I’m interested in associating some of his military experiences to the gear. Unfortunately Mr. Hicks is no longer living so I cannot directly obtain the information. I am looking for information such as Mr. Hick’s position in the aircraft, his Pilot’s name, the name of his aircraft, his mission records, any photos that may be available and any other related information. Thank You, John Bartlett

Date:
10/16/07
Time:
9:18 PM

Trevor, first of all, Marauder Men, I wish to thank ALL of you for your unselfish service, for without your sacrifices, life would be a LOT different for us.

I attended the funeral of a famed aviator today – Tex Hill of Fighting Tigers AVG fame. I came home and began to ponder about ALL the magnificent and heroic deeds that SO MANY people performed during World War II. Many gave the ultimate price.

My father, Meddie Charles Sullivan, “MC”, 320th BG, 444th BS, flew the B-26 in a group called the Whitetail Marauders. Later he flew rotary wing (helicopters) in Korea and was killed in 1957 at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina while flying an OH-13 (also known as a Bell-47 helicopter.). If anybody happens to find any info on my father and/or some people who may still be living that knew him…that would be fantastic. It is with great gratitude that I thank YOU for this wonderful site. thanks Trevor, Chuck Sullivan

Date:
10/12/07
Time:
2:14 PM

Looking for information about my Uncle, Russell Glasser, a B-26 pilot in the ETO. I found a photo of him as co-pilot on John Sharp’s crew in training, ca. June,1942, 70th Sqdn., 38th Bomb Group. John F Sharp was with the 69th and 70th Bomb Squadrons and was a Squadron C.O.

I know Russell Glasser flew a tour of duty in the Marauder, returning stateside to train in the P-61 Black Widow. He flew a tour in them as well.

Any records the family once had were lost. Russell passed away in the early 70’s. He was my childhood hero.

Thanks.
Ralph Glasser MD
Trojan Horsemen flight team

Date:
10/9/07
Time:
5:20 PM

Hi, I’m looking for information on the JM-1s assigned to the various dets along the east coast of Florida. I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, and would like to build a scale model of a JM-1 based there, assuming there may have been a detachment there. If not, if anyone knows the locations of the JM-1 towing detachments out of the squadron at Opa Locka in Miami, I would very much appreciate it. I know they were based at Opa Locka, Ft. Lauderdale, NAS Banana River, and NAS Jacksonville. Any based in Melbourne, Vero Beach, New Smyrna, Deland, or Daytona?

Any information appreciated!

Cheers,
Butch Heilig

Date:
10/9/07
Time:
1:35 PM

I have been collecting and documenting the history of our World War II Veterans since 1998. I currently have over 200 veterans from all branches and ranks, in my “private library”. I have always been interested in World War II and what better way to learn this is to talk to the men and women who lived it. It is my way of keeping their memories and stories alive.

For every World War II Veteran we loose, a piece of history is gone forever. I believe that it should be told to someone who is willing to take the time to document their story.

For the men and women, who served during World War II, they all have a great story to tell, whether they were in combat or sitting behind a desk. They answered the call to duty in a time when more the half the world was at war.

When it is my time to pass on, all this information will be placed in the General Patton Museum in Chiriaco Summit , CA so that future generations will know what these men and women went through. One day, all of our Veterans from World War II, will have passed on and so will their stories.

Peter Minix
Former Marine Sgt.
Indio, CA

Date:
10/8/07
Time:
10:47 AM

I don’t see any info about B-26 pilot retired Col Allen W Stephens on your web site. My Uncle (now 91 and recovering from an illness in the hospital) flew 65 missions in WWII in a B26 Marauder. He is quoted in Stephens Ambrose’s book D-Day and other Ambrose books as he flew early on D Day morning over Utah Beach Pointe de hoc (two low level bombing missions that day). He has some newspaper articles written about him from interviews and he has a diary he wrote in the war converted now to audio tape and CD. He loves Ike and served under him and after the war served at The Pentagon doing military budgets with Carter Burgess and IKE. He also has a rich career in other areas including more after war military assignments. I have info on that also.

I would appreciate you placing a photo of him and article on your web site under your pilot area for B26/D-Day WWII.

Date:
10/7/07
Time:
6:13 PM

Sgt./Radioman Henry William Samspon
17th BG/34th BS
Radioman Sgt. Sampson was on the Reddy Teddy as a radioman/gunner. He was injured over Italy Jan 21 1944, I believe on a bomb run over the South Railroad bridge. Sgt. Sampson often went by the name Bill Sampson. He received a severe head injury on the bomb run that day, possibly Flak related? It resulted in his medical discharge from his position in Sardinia. If anyone from the 34th or 17th BS is still alive, I would love to chat with you. Henry Sampson was killed with his wife in a car accident in his native state of Minnesota some 14 yrs ago. I’m putting together a surprise Christmas present for his only son. Bill never talked much about his experiences in the war, so I’m looking for others to help paint the picture for his boy.

Thanks for your help
God Bless
Keith C. Garrick

Date:
10/7/07
Time:
3:45 PM

My Dad, Robert Scott FitzSimmonds, passed away on Dec. 21st, 2001 at the age of 80. I have always had great interest in my Dad’s experiences in the War.

Robert Scott FitzSimmonds / Pilot B-26 Martin Marauder
9th Air Force
344 Bomb Group
495 Bomb Squadron

He was a co-Pilot on the “Merry Jerry”.
He then got his own plane and named it for his Mom. “Ma’s Blasted Event”. This plane was shot up so bad they had to crash land with no landing gear and the plane split in two.
The final plane he was assigned to had a rough start and they had to abort the first couple of missions, because there was something wrong with the plane. They named this one “The Reluctant Virgin”.

My Dad flew 65 combat missions and a lot more sorties, he was stationed and flew out of England and was involved in the assault on Normandy on D-Day. The only thing he ever said about that day was that they came in low and hit Utah Beach so hard that the casualties on the ground were practically non existent. He said that they lost more men in the training missions. This was not the case at Omaha Beach where the losses are well documented and the heavies flew above the cloud cover and dropped their bombs inland. I am exactly sure of the dates and other info. you are asking for, but I can get it and will send later.

This is all I have right now as I wasn’t really prepared to run into this website. I have pictures and more info and will send later.

Thank you,
Ed FitzSimmonds

Date:
10/5/07
Time:
1:46 PM

I am looking for information regarding my grandfather, Richard B. Emery, who was a co-pilot with the 386th bomb group, 555th bomb squadron. He flew under Captain Holland and there was Robert L Perkins crew, I believe. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Melinda J. Emery

Date:
10/5/07
Time:
9:40 AM

Marauder Man Neil Leon Nelson, b. 08/14/1916, d. 01/31/1969, Washington State, 1st Lt Army AF WWII. He was a B-26 Marauder pilot in World War II and flew 53 missions. His plane was called the “Grim Reaper”. B-26-15-MA The Grim Reaper/Underground Farmer 387th 558th KX-K

Darrin Nelson

Date:
10/3/07
Time:
6:52 PM

I am trying to find out any information about my father Eddie Bashoff, also called ‘Slick”. I would appreciate any help that you can offer. I know he was in the 320th bomb group, 444th bomb squadron but that’s all I know.

Saul Bashoff

Date:
10/3/07
Time:
4:23 PM

Looking for any fellow B-26 Marauder Men from:

9th Air Force
397th Bomb Group
596th Bomb Squadron
St. Quentin, France
1943, 1944, 1945

Anyone out there? My father, Richard Born, would love to connect.

Thanks,
Lori

Date:
10/2/07
Time:
11:03 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph (Joe) Miller
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 574th

Comments: My uncle Joe was shot down on a bombing mission (target Ahrweiler) on Dec 23, 1944, just three days shy of his 20th b-day. The name of his plane was Snake’s Revenge. I believe he was the tail gunner. Other crew members were Dale C Detjens (MIA); Frederick T Kaye, “Phillip” and Joseph M Blair, both buried at Luxembourg American Cemetery; Edward L Potocnik, and Joseph Kowalski. Only two of the crew members survived the crash.

Joe’s dad (my grandfather) immigrated from Germany in 1901 and coincidentally, Joe’s plane was shot down close to the family home near Trier/Temmels. Our German relatives claim Joe was still alive when the plane went down and was taken to a hospital where he died – I have no idea how they would know this. Yet all reports the family in the US rec’d stated Joe died in the crash.

We are looking for any information about Joe, the crash, etc. or war photos of Joe.

Linda Smock

Date:
10/1/07
Time:
5:15 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Casimer (Casey) S. Apolinski
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 584th
Years in service: 20
Graduation Class: 1943
Class Location: Kirtland Army Air Field, Albuquerque, NM
Comments:

I’m looking for information about my father, Casimer (Casey) S. Apolinski. He was a career navigator having finished his career at Walker AFB, Roswell NM in 1962 as a Lt. Colonel, B-52 navigator. He few missions over Northern France from early 1944 to mid-June ’45 in the 394th BG 484th squadron (?) on the plane Heavens Above. I have a number of photos from his collection at Bayeaux, France. His notations on the back show him with these crewmen:

Sep 1944 Bayeaux, France
1st Lt. Steven Stephens KIA
1st Lt. James C. Harrison KIA
2nd Lt. Don C. Hurley 65 missions
2nd Lt. Casimer S. Apolinski
1 Sep 1944
1st Lt. Steven Stephens Nav.
2nd Lt. Don C. Hurley Co Pilot
2nd Lt. Casimer S. Apolinski Bomb. Nav
1st Lt. Peter A. Gregerio Nav.
1st Lt. Edward L Kinsella Pilot
1 Sep 1944
1st Lt. James C. Harrison

I would appreciate any information available on this period in his career. Now at 85 having suffered several strokes he is unable to say much of anything.

John Apolinski

Date:
9/28/07
Time:
6:17 PM

I am searching for information about my uncle James Elisha Hendrix, 397th Bomb Group, 598th Bomb Squadron, who was a tail gunner in a B-26 out of England. -Thanks in advance, Steven Hendrix

Date:
9/25/07
Time:
12:14 PM

My father served in WW2 and I am wondering if anyone knew him when they were serving. I have found many letters concerning some of the places he was in. My fathers name is Jack Mundy, he was from Fremont Nebraska. It seems from some of his letters the return address in 394th flight squadron. I now he was served in Europe and was stationed in Missouri, and Haywood Ca. He has passed away and once again the story goes that you could not get him to talk about the War. My mother thought he was in the Battle of the Bulge? I am just curious, and wonder if anyone has information. -Thank you, Margaret Hagemanl

Date:
9/19/07
Time:
8:12 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Erwin Powell (my Dad)
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 572
Comments: Cheers. Nick Powell, Capt USAF (ret)

Date:
9/22/07
Time:
3:16 PM

In regard to B 26 Martin Marauder, the Bar Fly [BarFly]. I have several photos of the flight crew while stationed at Great Dunmow Air Base in Essex. Among the crew is my father, Carl S. Ruth, Jr. My mom & dad traveled to Great Dunmow about 15 yrs ago & were greeted warmly by the local people who actually approached them & asked if were “a yank here in the war?” Mom & Dad were treated like heroes (they were) & directed to the chapel dedicated to US service men who saved England. Are you interested in these photos?

Thanks for a wonderful site,
Sharon Ruth

Date:
9/21/07
Time:
9:30 PM

My father, Bob Schaffer, Brooklyn, New York, served on a plane called “Repulsive Rabbit” as a radio man & tail gunner. He was shot down over northern Italy and became a POW (perhaps on a different plane?). He actually landed in the Po River. I am certain that he served in Africa and participated on raids on Sardinia and Southern France.

Thank you.

Bob Schaffer

Date:
9/20/07
Time:
1:29 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Staff Sergeant Earl Milo Nelson
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 496
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ETO
Comments: Hello: My father, Earl Milo Nelson, was a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps 9th Air Force 344 BG 496 BS. He flew 58 missions as a flight maintenance/engineer gunner. I would very much like to receive any info about him, his crew, etc. I believe the name of their plane was “Fartin & Startin” (how awful!) One of his crew mates might have been nicknamed “Scottie” and another’s last name may have been Genovese. Any info is appreciated. Thank you, G. Nelson

Date:
9/19/07
Time:
8:12 AM

My dad, Robert H. McMillan Jr., flew the Marauder during WWII with the 319th Bomb Group, 439th Bomb Squadron. When I was growing up, he taught me a song about the aircraft, but I’ve forgotten many of the words (and possibly some of the verses!). I’ve tried to recreate the parts I remember…if anyone knows the missing segments, please help fill the gaps!

Thanks,
Liz

Date:
9/13/07
Time:
5:06 PM

gday, how’s it going. My name is Mick Downs. I’m an Australian soldier currently serving in the middle east. I’m trying to find out info on my grandfather, SGT Eddley ‘Bob’ DANIELS, who was a pilot in the RAAF WW2. His war records are vague, I’m trying to find more out about his crash in a B 26 sometime around JUNE -AUGUST 1942. His records say he left Woodstock (outside Townsville AUSTRALIA) crashed 30 miles south of Buna. They mention a RAAF pool and the 19 bomb squadron and that’s it. I have a newspaper clipping from when they returned to the allied lines some time later. His name was SGT Eddley ‘Bob’ DANIELS -RAAF. He passed away in the 1950s. I have a photo of him standing in front of b26 #14-1488 and apart from a few stories about walking through the jungle told to me by my mother. That’s all the info I have. I’ve done some research on b26, red raiders, etc sites but nothing really matches up. I think because he was in a ‘pool’ his name was not on any roll or flight manifest? Do you know any RAAF B26 men still with us who might be able to help? Thanks for your time, Mick

Michael, I can understand your problems in tracing the events around your grandfather’s service with the 19th.Bomb Squadron, 22nd.Bomb Group. The Group records are very sketchy indeed with the identities of RAAF personnel serving with them. However, it seems you are in luck because your grandfather was the copilot on Lt Hatch’s crew. On 7th August 1942 B26 40-1496 “Dixie” overflew Port Moresby and continued on over the Owen Stanley mountains towards the north coast of New Guinea. The cloud below had diminished and Lt Hatch spotted an old river bottom overgrown with Kunai grass. Running out of fuel, he decided his best bet was to attempt a bellylanding in the grass. The crew disarmed a 1,000lb bomb and jettisoned it before Hatch slid “Dixie” through the grass in a perfect landing. They camped the night on a piece of dry ground under a tent constructed from their parachutes. The crew of Lt Hatch’s plane included E. Daniels RAAF copilot; Don Maye bombardier; Sgt J Shemberger radio/operator; Sgt L Robinson gunner. They then proceeded to walk out of the Jungle knowing that they were some 200 miles from Port Moresby. Twenty eight days after their bellylanding they were picked up by a RAAF Hudson.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Additional information regarding 22nd BG here.

Date:
9/10/07
Time:
11:31 AM

regarding the recent photos of the 17th and 394th BGs — the picture attributed to the 394th from the bomb bay looking downward with 2 bombs — that picture is in the book “The 397th Bomb Group (M) Bridge Busters”, edited by Henry Beck. It supposedly shows Mission No. 29: Le Manoir RR Bridge, attacked May 27th, 1944, ….

Don’t know which group was borrowing from whom on this picture?

Don Hoch
Son of Sterling Hoch 397th BG / 596 BS

Date:
9/9/07
Time:
6:12 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Sgt Thomas A. Morgan
Bomb Group: 22nd Bombardment Group
Bomb Squadron: 33rd Bomber Group, Medium
Years in service: approx. 1940 – 1942
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown
Comments: Hello, my name is Rebecca Morgan Cheney, and I am writing in reference to my uncle, Thomas A. Morgan, from Rison, AR. He was a radio operator on B-26 #40-1468 on 4 July 1942 on a bombing mission on targets at Lae, New Guinea when it was involved in a mid-air collision with a Zero and crashed. To my knowledge, none of the 7-man crew survived or were ever found. We have searched for more information about the circumstances for many years to no avail. I was completely flabbergasted to find an account of the crash. I have learned so much from your site about my uncle’s part in the war and have seen several names which I recognize from reading his letters to my grandmother, letters from his friends, and from a diary he left. Of course, this just brings up a million more questions!

My Uncle Tommy was just 25 years old when he was lost, the baby of a family of three sons who were all in the service during WWII. My grandmother was widowed when she was 25 in 1920, leaving her with the boys to raise on her own. She was an industrious lady, holding many jobs and starting businesses, taking in boarders … and eventually going to school to qualify to work at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, making munitions for the war effort. She carpooled from her small town with others who worked there throughout the rest of the war. She never gave up hope that Tommy might someday return. Our local genealogical society is doing a book on WWII vets from the county, and that is what prompted me to do more research at this time.

As I said, I have his diary and several letters that my grandmother received from his friends and the officers including one from 1st Lt. Walter Gaylor and a couple from Hubert Newell, who apparently was a close friend. I was amazed to learn that Mr. Gaylor co-wrote the book about the Red Raiders, and would love to find a way to contact him, if possible, to see if he remembers my uncle. I also have the names of the other 6 crew members on the plane from the official notification letter my grandmother received: 1st Lt. Milton O. Johnson (Bradshaw, NE), 2nd Lt. John F. Daley, Jr. (North Quincy, MA), 2nd Lt. Philip L. Jander (Houston, TX), 2nd Lt. Lawrence Werner (Coronado, CA), Sgt. William G. Smith (Marceline, MO), and Corp. Vernon D. Huddleston (Dare, VA).

If anyone out there can help me learn more or know any of these gentlemen or their families, I would so love to hear from you. I would also like to know when my uncle enlisted and where he possibly had basic training. I believe the other name for his plane was “Sad Sack”, but have been unable to find a photo of this nose art anywhere. I wrote to the gentlemen who runs the site I mentioned, but am unsure if he received my note. I would appreciate any info you professional historians might give me and any contact info you might give me for Mr. Gaylor as well.

Regards,
Rebecca Morgan Cheney

Date:
9/7/07
Time:
8:03 AM

Hello, my name is Craig Latimore. I have a friend who drives a garbage truck for the city. As his crew was tossing the junk into the truck this photo album fell out. I would like you to put these photos on your site and maybe some one would enjoy looking at these ships and crews and might even be able to help find a fellow crew member. The pictures are of the 17th bomb group and 394th bomb group in action.

I just wanted to say thanks so much for taking time to get these photos out to the guys. I hope that the photos with the 26s on the ground get a hit. I really would like the aircrew to see them again. You know as well as I this is an area long gone. These photos found there way to my home for a reason and I want to do everything in our power to get all the people involved the long deserved recognition they sure deserve.

Sincerely,
Craig Latimore

Dear Craig, the photographs were quite a chance find, and thank you for passing them our way. Identities are from top to bottom.

“Renaissance” 37th BS, 17th BG.
“Jersey Bouncer” 37th.BS, 17th.BG
“A Shade Raunchy” 37th.BS, 17th.BG
General James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle, “Silver Star” presentation 17th.BG. Man on his left is Col. Donald Gilbert, Group CO.
YA-V 386th.BG
Formations 1 & 2 37th.BS, 17th.BG
U.S.O show somewhere in N Africa
Next unknown
B26 on bomb run 386th.BG
B17, KX-D 8th.AAF
2 Bombs falling on bridge 394th.BG
Nose shot 394th.BG
4T-C bombing 394th.BG, 585th.BS
H9-E 43-34552 394th.BG, 586th.BS
Group sitting down are all medics, unit unknown
B17 tail shot off 94th.BG 8th AAF
B26 on fire 322nd.BG
Havoc A-20 on fire midships 416th.BG

Trevor J Allen historian b26.com

Date:
9/3/07
Time:
5:04 PM

Mr. Trevor Allen,
I made a posting on 10/10/06 about my father 1LT Edward B. Moser and asked about information about the mission he flew with George Simler; they were shot down, evaded capture and were eventually returned to England with the help of the French Underground. I was reading the postings of 2007 and I see you may have answered my questions in another posting dated 07/13/07. Was he flying AC# 42-107670SS-T with Simler when they were shot down? And do you have a listing of the crew?

Thank you in advance, I continue to enjoy this website.

Robert Moser

Robert,
Thank you for your recent enquiry, thanks to you I have discovered an error in my reply of 07/13/07. Simler’s B26 that night was not 42-107670, but 42-107816 SS-T. The crew was:

Maj George B Simler; 2.Lt Edward B Moser; Capts Harold J Mecke and Charles T Blight; T/Sgt George R Hill; S/Sgts Robert J Tippett; and James W Winstead.

Trevor J Allen historian b26.com

Date:
9/1/07
Time:
10:54 AM

Marauderman’s Name: S/Sgt John Henry Ford
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 584th
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: 1943
Class Location: Louisiana (?)
Comments Hello, John Henry Ford was my grandfather. He was a radio gunner in the 584th Squadron, 394th Bombing Group. I’ve been trying to think of what to even say here, and I kept coming up with nothing. Only because I knew him all of my life, we were very close. He would tell me all of his war stories, but only the stories from outside of the war like pranks they pulled on each other and stuff like that. I was trying to think of something I wanted to know about the war & what my grandfather’s part with it was; but I already know. I have a crate full of documents from ww2 . I also had a grandfather who liked to take pictures, of which he took many while overseas. I want to share the information that I have with anyone who needs the information. I almost feel a little guilty, because I’ve sold a lot of his military stuff. But that didn’t last because it was only paper or metal, and I had the man in my life for so long that I don’t need papers to remind me of who he was. After reading a lot of the pages and comments on this site, I now understand that there are a whole bunch of people who do need that paper. People who never knew their fathers & grandfathers. The only thing I really would like to know, is John was as crazy as everyone & himself told me he was. By looking through the photos I’d say yes he was, but I wonder if there is anyone out there who knew him? I don’t know which B26 he usually flew in either. He ran 65 missions from June of 1944 to December of 44. I know the first Armorer and engineer he flew with were S/Sgt. John J Harkins & Sgt. Charles A. Murray. Are either of those guys still around? or anyone who knew John H. Ford? I know that a portion of John’s info will be coming to this wonderful tribute to B26er’s from someone else, but I just wanted to let you and anyone else know that I do have info about the Army Air Corps and I’d be happy to share that info. Thank you for creating this site, it truly honors those who fought so we could live as we do now.

Respectfully,
Diana Lordan

Date:
8/31/07
Time:
8:04 AM

Name: Fletcher M. Glenn
Bomb Group: 22nd Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 33rd Bomb Sq
Years in Service: 1939-1946
Graduation Class: 40-E
Location: Kelly Field, Texas
Comments: My husband Fletcher Glenn who is now 88 years old was stationed at Langley Field, Virginia, on December 7, 1941. He had spent the preceding months at Wright Field, Ohio, training Russian pilots to fly the B-26. (Few people remember that we gave the Russians B-26s on the Lend-Lease program.) While he was at Wright Field we met on a blind date and soon made plans to be married at Christmas time. That didn’t happen. On the 8th of December he received orders to proceed to California. After flying beach patrols for about a month the B-26s were ordered to be crated up and the men and bombers shipped to Honolulu. His aircraft, B-26 SN 40-1441 was one of the group of airplanes in McArthur’s Air Force that flew from Honolulu to Brisbane using Captain Cook’s old maps for navigation, island hopping all the way, refueling at Palmyra Island, Canton Island, Fiji and New Caledonia arriving at Brisbane, Australia April 2, 1942 just shy of his 23rd birthday by four days. Not everybody was so lucky, not everyone made it all the way. He made bombing runs from Australia to Port Moresby to refuel and then on to bomb Rabaul in New Britain. After fighting the war for just 21 days (three missions) he was caught on the ground in Port Moresby while changing the very necessary generator by Japanese bombers and got a piece of shrapnel that ground its way into his thigh. That resulted in a year in and out of hospitals and being shipped back home. We finally got married in August of 1943 and he spent the rest of the war as a test pilot at Wright Field where he helped with the original tests of the newfangled helicopters among other things. Sixty four years later we are still married.

Date:
8/31/07
Time:
8:04 AM

Name Hal G Berry
Bomb Group 17th
Bomb Squadron 95th
Years in Service ?
Graduation Class ?
Class Location ?
Comments: My Uncle Hal was a career pilot. His Squadron emblem in the war was a circular patch with a bucking horse in the middle. He finished his career as a Lt. Colonel, B-52 Commander.

Bruce Berry

Donated by Herschel D Davis & Jack D White

Date:
8/28/07
Time:
9:24 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 1st. Lt. Robert P. Coseo
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: Pampa Army Flying School Class 43-B
Class Location: Pampa, TX
Comments: My uncle Bob passed away early in his life at 54 years in 1976. It’s seems ironic after he had flown over 100+ missions over Europe and was awarded the DFC. Looking for anyone that can shed some light on his squadron and fellow comrades. I believe his B-26 nose art was either the “Reluctant Virgin” or the “Impatient Virgin”. He and my father were great friends together growing up and heroes to our families.

Very Best Regards,

Jerry Coseo
Oak Ridge, NC

Date:
8/28/07
Time:
9:24 PM

My father, Norman F. Schloesser, Pilot, 394th BG, 584th BS, was one of the two last to fly her please let his memory live. I severed in the U.S. Army and my Daughter is serving as well in Iraq in his memory – Jessica L. Schloesser (101st Airborne) 2nd Tour of Iraq!

Paul V. Schloesser

Date:
8/28/07
Time:
9:24 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Charles Clifford Phillips
Bomb Group: 22nd
Bomb Squadron: 2nd
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My father was a gunner who flew on the B-26. He served from 1941-1943 assigned to the 5th USAAF 22nd Bomb Group, 2nd Squadron as a gunner. Dad’s group deployed Dec 8, 1941 from Langley Field in Hampton, Virginia. Most of his service was on the B-26 but he did say he flew on the 17’s and 24’s as well. If there is anyone with more information to share please contact me.

William Phillips
“Son of a Red Raider”

Date:
8/25/07
Time:
8:23 PM

Marauderman Name: Myron M Schwab “Fritz”
Bomb Groups: 319th and 89th
Bomb Squadron: 440th
Years in service: Not sure, maybe 43-45
Grad Class: Unknown
Class Location: Possibly Harding Field, Baton Rouge LA, Baer Field, Ft. Wayne, IN
Does anyone remember my friend Fritz who was a bombardier/Navigator in B-26’s? My only knowledge is that he was in a crash at Goose Bay, Labrador. Flew 40 missions in the Med Sea Area including Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, and Southern France. He returned stateside in 1944 to retrain in A-20 and A-26 Model aircraft. Flew 27 missions with 89th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force in the Pacific. Names of some of the aircraft he flew in were: Mitt Liebst (With Love), Dirty Bird, and Repulsive Rabbit. If anyone remembers my friend Fritz Schwab, I would like to hear from you. Fritz is still with us! Thank you. Don Weisgerber

Date:
8/25/07
Time:
8:23 PM

Hello, I’ve attached the information I have for my Dad, Rolla Durham, who died of Leukemia in 1992. I’m in the process of trying to find information from his military records but still working on that. Is the attachment something that will help you to determine who my Dad saved or any other info? Thanks… Donna Durham

“Saves Life of American Gunner.
Corporal Rolla Durham, 21-year-old soldier from Glen Carbon IL, used his day off at a Ninth Air Force Marauder base in the European Theatre of Operations to help save the life of an American tail gunner. Durham, out of camp on pass when a medium Marauder bomber developed engine trouble and crashed in a wheat field, rushed to the field and saw four men escape from the burning plane. When he heard muffled cries coming from the rear of the plane, he and a farmer, living in the area, kicked in the waist panel of the burning ship and ignored flames and exploding 50 caliber shells while they pulled the injured gunner, pined down by wreckage, to safety. Durham, who is a military policemen with Col. Tom Seymour’s Tiger Stripe Group, has been commended for his bravery.”

Date:
8/25/07
Time:
8:23 PM

Hello, my name is Donna Angell Nichols and my great uncle, Lt. Harlow Marcus Truman is mentioned on this site. He was killed in a mission over France on August 7, 1944 and he is buried on Lot B, row 19, Grave 13 in ? Laurent France (US Military cemetery- St Andre, France. (The photo copy that I have was cut off and I can’t tell what is before Laurent.)

My grandfather, Donald Arthur Truman; Uncle Harlow’s oldest brother died in 1985 and his remaining brother, Paul Truman died last month.

Thank you for putting this site together. Gramp spoke often of his lost brother and I have always wanted to know more about him.

If anyone would like any additional information please contact me.

Kindest regards,
Donna Angell Nichols

Mr. Harlow Truman is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and the gravesite location you have is correct.

Date:
8/20/07
Time:
4:06 PM

I respectfully would like to make the following correction/addition to James Sweeney’s dedication page.

Marauderman’s Name: Edward Jackson
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 451
Years in service: 4
Graduation Class: N/A
Class Location: MacDill Field, Chicago, IL, (Army Air Forces Technical School), Kelly Field, Comments: The photograph shown on Lt. James Sweeney’s page is incorrect as to identifying the following crew members:

Second from right is Edward Jackson (Radio Operator) not Guy Perciballi
Second from left standing next to Lt. Sweeney is Lt. George J. Smith (Co-Pilot) (KIA 8/6/44 also)
Third from left is the navigator/bombardier but is not Heisler
This picture is Lt. Sweeney’s first crew. The ship’s name was Smitty’s Folly. My uncle was Edward Jackson (MIA and Evadee, returned on 9/6/44)

If you could relay this to Mr. Johnson with my deepest respect and admiration. My uncle spoke highly of him.

-Gerry Zatorski

Date:
8/14/07
Time:
5:15 PM

Hi, My name is Adrian Beazer, my father Wendell Beazer, was in the 559th bomb squadron, 387th bomb group as a photographer. He passed away in 1967. We have recently been gathering and restoring some of his photos and have put these on cd. We have photos taken while he served in the war of planes on the ground and in the air on missions and D-Day. If there is a way you can use these we would be happy to send you a copy to use on a dedication page for Wendell on the site. We gave a copy to the Ex Confederate Air force in Arizona and have been trying to find some more info when I found this site. Hope to hear from you soon.

Adrian, thank you for helping us tell the Marauder Man story. ms

Date:
8/14/07
Time:
8:47 AM

My Uncle was Francis “Hank” Rassiga. Small town kid from Canaan, CT. Lived to fly, died doing it in 1949 in a racing plane after 68 missions over France (’43-’45) in 322 BG, 452 BS. Planes flown include: Mild and Bitter, AWOL Kid, Constant Caroline, Rusty Pelican and others. Would love to hear about the history of that group or anyone with any info about him. Bless you for this Marauder Man web site. There are so many who served I cannot fathom the sacrifice. Thank you all!

Regards,
Jon McGraw

From Robert S. Tate’s page: “2nd Lt. Francis J. Rassiga but in the move his right foot caught the rudder pedal, throwing the ship out of control. The pilot Robert S. Tate, of Nashville, TN fought with the controls and finally prevented the “AWOL Kid” from being AWOL’ d. Lt. Rassiga moved the wounded bombardier into the radio compartment and elevated the left leg above the rest of his body in order to stop the rapid flow of blood from the leg. He then injected a shot of morphine.”

Date:
8/13/07
Time:
8:07 AM

Marauderman’s Name: First Lieutenant Wilson J. Cushing
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 558th
Years in service: 1942 – 1944
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments: I happen to run across an article about Captain Rollin D. Childress who led eighteen aircraft to a fuel dump in the Foret de Grimbosq on June 7, 1944. In the article, it summarizes this bombing run with his bombardier, First Lieutenant Wilson J. Cushing, my father. I have been searching for years to find information on my father’s crew, airplane, history of his missions. My father has spoken little about the actual events of the war, but has on occasion referenced a B26 named “The Grim Reaper” [T. Wakeman]. Also, I have a Christmas card he sent his parents in 1943 with that aircraft lithographed on the front of the card. My father is now 86 and I would really like to get information on the crew members and copies of any surviving photographs of his plane with crew.

Any information would be great.

Kevin W. Cushing

Contact was not made between Wilson Cushing and Rollin Childress, but contact was made with Howard Weingrow, another crew member on the June 7, 1944 mission.

Date:
8/12/07
Time:
4:58 PM

Regarding Gilbert Wright’s post and was interested in any details he had regarding this crash. My mother’s first husband was Squadron Leader “Bob” Gurney who was killed along with Chris Herron when the plane made a forced landing. Information on Bob’s aviation career can be found at http://www.geocities.com/crbobgurney/

many thanks,

Peter Holm
Sydney

Date:
8/12/07
Time:
4:41 PM

Hi, I’m researching my late uncle (married my mother’s sister in England). He was Raymond (Ray) Lamberg AO 1 167 947 & AF 6 915 023. Began life as Master Sergeant, and ended as Captain Flew B-26’s with 1st Pathfinder Sqn. att. to 99 Combat Wing. Based at Andrews Field (Great Saling) Essex, England in ETO from 16 Dec 1943 to 18 Nov 1945. Recalled to service during Korean War Total service 13 years, 8 months 12 days. I have a several photos showing embarkation ship to Europe, views of aircraft – none in detail, and one showing ‘nose art’ with the name “Smokey”, and some crew. I have some copy service papers, but would like more details to complete my research if anyone can help please? -Michael Green

Date:
8/12/07
Time:
4:41 PM

I am trying to find some information on my Uncle, S/Sgt Gaylord M. Yoder. He was with the 386th Bomb Group, 554th Bomb Sqd at Great Dunmow, Essex England, and then to Beaumont Sur-Oise, France. His crew was Lt. Henry K. Erb, pilot, Lt. Hugh Hitchcock, co-pilot, Lt Avril R. Woosley, Bombardier, Cpl Howard A Tenney Jr, radio operator, Cpl Henry A. Smith, Engineer, Cpl. Gaylord M. Yoder Armorer. Gaylord Yoder and the crew went to England about 17 Aug 1944. Their class picture shows 331 AAF, 30 May 44, 1575, Barksdale Field, La. Does anyone know where the air force keeps the old flight logs of pilots? I would like to get some more information on missions flown etc. Thank you very much.

Dean Ab-Hugh
CWO-USN Ret
Vietnam

Date:
8/12/07
Time:
4:41 PM

I am not a former B26 pilot; however, I am proud and honored to say that my father is. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to create this web site and to honor those who flew the mediums and served our nation in its time of need.

Ralph D. Wilson II

Date:
8/12/07
Time:
4:41 PM

I’m seeking information and/or photos of B-26s flown by a family friend, Jack King, of Greensboro, NC who was a pilot in the 387th BG. Any data you can provide would be most appreciated! Unfortunately, I don’t know which squadron Jack was assigned to and he’s in failing health now. I do know he was with the group for quite some time, as he told me that he had flown missions from England and several bases on the Continent, was hit in the leg by shrapnel during one flight, and mentioned that he and his crew forged passes for themselves to take leave in Paris while waiting to rotate home after VE-Day. Using the resources available on your website, I tried to pick out likely aircraft by name … the obvious ones, King Bee and King Size, were ruled out pretty quickly. A third candidate is The Flying Ginny TQ-J, s/n 131723 of the 559th BS; Jack’s wife was named Virginia and it was a very long-lived airframe with 184 missions to its credit. I will attempt to contact Jack and determine his squadron assignment but I’m not sure if I’ll be successful. I will let you know if I get any additional information from Jack. In the meantime, I would be most grateful for any information you might be able to glean from your archives regarding Jack and his aircraft. Thank you again for your time.

V/R,
CDR Bill Suggs, USN

Date:
7/31/07
Time:
10:46 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd Lt. Robert W. Welch
Bomb Group: 387th, 9th Army “Hydrostrike”
Bomb Squadron: 558th
Years in service: enlisted in Oct 1942 became active in Jan. 1943-Nov. 4th,1945 Sailed home to US on the AP74 U.S.S. LeJeune out of La Havre, France to NJ Inactive on Dec. 17th, 1945
Graduation Class: June 27th, 1944
Class Location: Moody Field, Valdosa, Ga
Comments: I am looking for pictures and names of some of my Grandfathers friends in some of the pictures I have. I know that his Crew for awhile was Pilot Lt. Stoner, Co-Pilot Lt Welch, F/O Dennard (Bomb Navigation), Pvt. Cartier (Engineer/engine gunner), Cpl Wilson (Radio Gunner/operator) and Cpl Paylor (Armor Gunner). I know that Lt. Stoner was killed in action and he was the closest to my grandfather who died in battle.

My grandfather flew 33 missions out of France. He received an expert shooters medal for a 45 cal automatic pistol in Oct. ’43, a good conduct medal June 8, 1944 and on March 19,1945. He received an air medal with a 5 oak leaf cluster. I am not sure what that means but I know it is of some importance.

Thank you,
Proud Grand-daughter of a WWII Vet
Marissa Welch

The Air Medal was awarded for completing five missions. It was also awarded for shooting down a single enemy plane. A bronze oak leaf cluster was awarded for each additional Air Medal. A silver oak leaf cluster was awarded in place of five bronze oak leaf clusters.

Chester Klier

Date:
7/30/07
Time:
8:55 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Harold E. Schweighart (“Willy”)
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: 1943-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: San Antonio, Texas
Comments: My dad was a TSgt. Who flew missions in the European theater, during 1944 and 1945. He grew up in Pesotum, Illinois. He received a DFC for his part in the bombing of the Kronprinz Wilhelm Railroad Bridge on February 14,1945. He was the “Gee operator”/navigator on this and other missions. If anyone has information on his bomb group , please contact me

Thanks for your help,

Bonita Schweighart

Date:
7/30/07
Time:
8:55 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Francis J. McShea (“Mac”)
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: July 1942 — 1947
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Barksdale, LA.?
Comments: I’m looking for information about my father, 1st Lt. Francis J. McShea. He was a B-26 co-pilot in 386th/553rd. If anyone knew him, I would love to hear from you or from the relatives of his crew. His fellow crewmembers (at least on his last flight) were Capt. Wesley G. Ling; 1st Lt. Alfred M. Robinson, Jr.; T/Sgt. Frank G. Coon; S/Sgt. Jessie M. Hartman; and S/Sgt. Donald James Weber.

My father flew missions over Northern France from late 1943 to mid-June ’44, including a D-Day mission He was shot down on June 11, 1944. He parachuted to safety — whew! I think his plane was serial #42-96116 (plane name, if any, unknown).

His sister received a letter from AAFHQ (Washington) stating in part, “during this [June11] mission, after bombing the target and heading back to their base, our planes encountered enemy antiaircraft fire. Your brother’s bomber sustained damage and left the formation at about 9:35 a.m., in the vicinity of Les Mureau, France. Six parachutes were seen to leave the damaged Marauder before it disappeared from sight into the clouds. These facts constitute all the information presently available…”

He told me once that he parachuted into a field, landing in North of Paris (this would be near Les Mureau). He hid in the woods overnight, but ran into the entire German Army the next morning; he ran but was chased and caught by soldiers using dogs. He spent the remaining months of the war in German POW camps. I think he was first in Stalag III, and later transferred to and released from Stalag VII.

I hope to learn much more about him and what he experienced. It is amazing to me that he was only twenty years old when he was shot down and captured. He was quiet about his war years but was a great father and a great guy. He passed away in October 1978, and I will miss him always.

I often think about him and his crew. I count myself one among many, many, many who are, and always will be, grateful for all you guys who flew and fought and made the world a better place. I wonder, for example, how many soldiers (and their children, grandchildren, etc) owe you their lives just for the Utah Beach missions on D-Day?

Your website is fantastic! Chester and Trevor — THANK YOU so much for all the work you have done and continue to do. Among any information you can provide, I would love to see a flight diagram from the mission on June 11, ’44, if possible.

Mike McShea

Date:
7/30/07
Time:
8:40 AM

I’m trying to get information about a lost family member, James Willard Chapman, originally from Delbarton, WV. After the war he may have served briefly in Ft. Worth, TX. We understand he was an enlisted gunner on medium bomber but believe he got a ‘battlefield commission’ and may have become a bombardier on B-26’s out of England prepping for Normandy. Would you have any information or suggestions on how to research this further without Service Number or SSN? I would appreciate hearing from anyone with information to exchange

Thanks very much!

John Hale

Date:
7/24/07
Time:
3:21 PM

Hello, I am looking for the complete tail number of a B-26 in with fuselage code O8-D in 391st / 575th. The number ends in 895. My father, Rudolph G. Christiansen, co-pilot flew it Sept 44 through VE Day with pilot Edward H. Bolton, then later Edward J. Ouellette. His log reflects one or two missions in several other aircraft, but 8 missions in xx895. I cannot find a name for it. There may have been another O8-D a/c 42-95844 Miss Behavin’. Any ideas?

Also: was there more than one Idiot’s Delight B-26?

Best regards,

Eric Christiansen

Eric, the serial was 44-67895 O8-D, no name as far as I know. Yes, there was an Idiot’s Delight in the 391st Bomb Group, one in the 17th Bomb Group, one in 320th Bomb Group, and one in 322nd Bomb Group.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/22/07
Time:
10:52 AM

My name is John Zitnyar and browsing the Web, I’ve read a couple of accounts of a plane shot down on Feb 16, 1945 and I have been trying for some time to find a place to send a message relating to this incident. I was on that plane and got out safely. I am listed KIA in a memorial in Cambridge, England.

According to one account, the plane we were on was named 4F. This I don’t remember, although we had a plane in our squadron named 4F. Our mission that day was vehicle repair depot just across the Rhine. We never got there. Bomb line flak got us. It was about the last burst in the sky. We were hit somewhere just behind the pilot. The intercom was shot out and there wasn’t means of communication. We were hit before that jolted the plane more than that day but a lot smoke was coming out of the plane. I got the attention of the tail gunner, Rubin Kitchen and he came forward to my waist position. I pulled the latch to the seat of the top turret and our engineer gunner, James Woody, came down. It was apparent that we had to bail out.

I got the gun out of one of the waist window and secured it, and we proceeded to go out the waist window. I chose the wrong side of the plane to bail out and the three of us got our eyebrows singed. The pilot kept the ship in pretty good control. I was last out and the ship was beginning to go into a spiral making it difficult to get out.

The four officers in front went down with the ship. I don’t know what their conditions were. I saw the plane hit the ground as I was floating down and I can’t see how any of them could have survived. Lt. Tiller’s mother got in touch with me after the war, and I told her what had happened. Major Meldren’s brother visited me for some news of his brother and was very disappointed that I didn’t know too much about his brother except that he went down with plane.

The crew was a mixed crew. The officers and the enlisted men were from different crews. I don’t know the reason for that. One of the officer, Major Meldren, was an observer. I believe he was from the artillery. We were from the 554th Bomb Sq, 386th Bomb Grp.

I hope this message gets around a bit to clear up some of reports that I have read.

John Zitnyar Jr.

John, you were indeed in B26 41-31771 RU-R “4F” when you were shot down by flak. The crew that day were: 1.Lt Joseph S Benjamin; 2.Lt Henry F McGrady; 2.Lt Harold S Tiller; S/Sgt Rubin Kitchen; S/Sgt James H Woody, Jr; S/Sgt John M Zitnyar and Maj Meldren.

Thank you for your description of the incident, it must be a strange felling to know your name is on the wall of memory while you are still alive.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/22/07
Time:
8:04 AM

Here’s something for your archives. There’s only two of us left, Joe Preece and myself, Gene DeLorenzo, but this is how we looked just before leaving for the ETO in March 1944. Overseas, we were in the 17th Bomb Group, 432nd Bomb Squadron. As a radio operator I flew with other pilots, but most of my 66 missions were with Preece at the controls. Joe is 90 years old, and last I heard, in pretty good shape. I’m 84 and often wonder how that happened!

L-R: Lt. Joe Preece, pilot; Lt. Synder, co-pilot; Lt. Dingmore, Bombardier/Navigator; Sgt. D’Angelo, Engineer/Gunner; Sgt. Gene DeLorenzo, Radio/Gunner; Sgt. Rivers, Armorer/Gunner

Date:
7/17/07
Time:
4:06 PM

Hello, I am trying to get information on my great uncle William Patrick Kippen. He was in the 30th Squadron for the SAAF, a pilot for the B26 bombers. The initial place of origin was in North Africa but they moved to Italy . On the 24th December 1944, his plane was seen heading towards the sea towards Senigallia, with smoke pouring from the starboard engine. Pat Kippen was trying to make it to the sea to jettison the bombs on board. Unfortunately the plane crashed landed on the beach and all six on board were killed. He is buried in the Ascona War Cemetery.

Any information regarding the squadron, colours and marking on the plane, details of what actually happened that day and comments on Pat Kippen would be hugely appreciated. The family has received conflicting reports of what happened at the end, and input of those actually there would be great.

Kind regards,
Cheyne Smyly

30th Squadron Patch. Information from the SAAF Museum
Painting by Jack White ©

Date:
7/16/07
Time:
9:25 PM

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Rollin D. Childress, 87, died Monday, July 16, 2007, at his residence, following a lengthy illness. He was born Sept. 25, 1920, in Etowah, Tenn. He honorably served our country in the Air Force. He was a bomber pilot during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict. The book, “Time Over Targets: The Story of the 9th Bombardment Division,” reveals just one heroic episode about “The Colonel,” as he was called by his family. He is survived by his children and their spouses, grandchildren, a great granddaughter and a great grandson.

WE REMEMBER: From the book, “Time Over Targets: The Story of the 9th Bombardment Division:” “Capt. Rollin D. Childress, won the Silver Star on June 8, 1944. Piloting a Marauder, he assembled his three other planes in the midst of ominous clouds and gathering darkness. All groups had been ordered back, but Capt. Childress did not hear the recall and continued toward the Foret de Grimboscq, south of Caen. It was urgent that an ammunition and fuel dump be destroyed. Without fighter protection, flying at 2,000 feet through murderous flak, Capt. Childress led his formation to bomb the target. Then, in ceiling zero weather, he led his planes back to their bases, despite one crippled plane. As a result of the attack, ground forces made advances that otherwise might have been difficult and costly.”

SERVICES: After cremation, interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Date:
7/14/07
Time:
10:06 AM

Hello: I am looking for ANY information about my grandfather, Capt. Edward B. Tipton, who flew in the 386th with the 553rd bomb squad. His plane was called “Touch of Texas” and I know he was based in England. Here’s what I know: My grandfather was Captain Edward B. Tipton, serial # X-XXXX147. He was entered for active duty on May 14, 1942, into the 386th Bomb Group. He served with the 552nd and/or the 553rd (this info is unclear). He piloted a plane called the “Touch O’ Texas.” That’s where my information ceases.

Albert Hill, often featured on your website. At the bottom of his dedication page is a picture of Mr. Hill and three other men. One of those men is my grandfather, Edward B. Tipton!

He never spoke much about the war and suffered from depression after returning from Europe. He died in 1976 and several years later a fire in my grandmother’s home destroyed his military awards and information I could use along with them.

Any information would be much appreciated so that I can add it to my family memory book. Also, as a descendent of a WWII veteran, I cannot thank you enough for this site. It provides a picture for us that our fathers and grandfathers, for the most part, were unwilling or unable to share.

Thank you,
Donna Hutcheson

Hello Donna, I was also in the 386th Bomb Group, 552nd Bomb Squadron. I flew 66 missions with the Group. I am the historian for the 386th B.G., and have a web page listed herein.

Your grandfather flew on two of the same missions that I was on. They were Group Missions number 110 and 142. It is a long one; a Hollywood movie director told a long time ago that story should be made into a movie. The story also involved President Reagan and a Belgian woman, who was an underground worker, she helped downed fliers. Her name was Anne Brusselmans.

Other Group missions that he flew on were – 81 and 185. He flew on many more missions but this should keep you busy reading for a while. You can find out where he flew in the formation by going to web page and click on FORMATION DIAGRAMS. Click on the mission number you wish to see, his name will show you where he flew in the formation. That’s all for this sortie, tallyho.

Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group
Date:
7/14/07
Time:
9:56 AM

B-26B “41-31915” was salvaged due to non battle damages on 25 Sept 1944. It belonged to 322nd BG, 449th BS, and was named “Sin Twister”, coded PN-J. I’m looking for all available info about this B-26, especially a more precise cause of loss and when and where the preceding accident happened that led to its having to be salvaged.

Thanks for your help,
Leendert
Brugge/Belgium

11th September 1944 crash landed attempting to make a single engine landing at base with the nose wheel not extended.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/13/07
Time:
5:20 PM

I’m looking for the person that wrote this guest book entry back in March of 2001, Dave Feld. My father, Everette E. Swinford, was a member of that crew he is searching for. I have old photos that have been scanned into my computer of some of the members of that crew, including Marvin Kellman, the vet he wrote the posting for.

Thanks so much.
Alta Swinford

Date:
3/16/01
Time:
6:14:24 PM

Marvin Kellman, B-26 tail gunner, 394 BG, 586 BS, is trying to find any of his crew. Please e-mail and I can supply addition info. Crew members: Pilot, Davis; Co-Pilot, Harris; Bombardier, Carlisle; Radio, E. Swinford; Engineer, Copeland; Armorer/tail gunner Kellman. Served in Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe. Went to war in 1942 out in 1945. One (1) silver cluster and 2 bronze oak leaf clusters. If any of his crew is still around I’m sure he would love to see them.
Thank you again for any help. Dave Feld

Mr. Feld, please update your email address.

Date:
7/13/07
Time:
3:47 PM

My wife’s half brother was T. Sgt. George Hill, XXXXX901, 451 Bomb Squadron, 322 Bomb Group, reported KIA 8 Jul 1944, Chateau de Ribeaucourt, France. I have done some research, inc. b26.com, and discovered his pilot was Squadron Commander Maj. George Simler, and the target(?) appeared to be the Chateau.
Several questions, if you can help me:
1) What was the name of his plane?
2) Was the target in fact Chateau de Ribeaucourt, and if so why?
3) How many missions did Sgt. Hill fly? He had Air Medal and 11 Oak Leaf Clusters. (60ish?)
4) What was his role on board? (Pre-war civilian job suggests radio operator.)
5) Was the plane rank heavy? Why? (1 Maj., 1 Capt., 2 Lts., 3 Sgts.) Was it because Simler was squadron commander? Does this indicate the crew was “Lead” crew in the squadron?
6) If the Chateau was, in fact, the target, where was the plane shot down.
7) Any comments re: the four officers surviving and the three sergeants dying?
8) How was George’s death confirmed? His brother insists he received a V-Mail from George, after the war, saying he was alive (obviously) and happy. (He can’t produce the letter.) If this is not the way to pursue these questions, please help me learn the correct way.

Thanks for ANY help you can give me.
James N. Wareham

James,
The mission flown by the 322nd bomb group on 7/8th July 1944 was a night mission led by pathfinder B26’s from the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. The target was the headquarters of a V-1 missile unit based in the Chateau de Ribeaucourt.

As it was a night mission the B26’s did not fly in formation, but as individual planes. The B26’s were attacked by German radar equipped night fighters from the area of Oisemoint,18 miles in from the French coast continuously until the planes were 10 miles out to sea on the return journey. Additionally heavy accurate flak was encountered between Oisemont, the target and on return to Crecy forest. Major Simler’s B26b could have been shot down anywhere between these areas. Due to the darkness returning crews reported several planes crashing, but could not identify them in the darkness.

The B26 flown by Maj Simler was 42-107670 SS-T no name. T/Sgt George Hill was the radio/gunner on the crew. Yes this was a lead aircraft carrying both a navigator and bombardier, a crew of seven not being an unusual practice. Without detailed research I cannot tell you how many missions T/Sgt Hill flew. I can make no comment on why the officers on the crew survived and the enlisted men were killed. T/Sgt Hill’s death would have been first reported as missing in action, later amended to killed in action by official communication.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/10/07
Time:
1:47 PM

Dear Sir,
I got a great surprise to discover this B26 dedicated web site. It’s very an odd coincidence because I wrote and published one book in 1980 on the “CATHEDRAL CHURCH” located close to the bridge which received the bombing from Albert Hill -USAAF Lead Bombardier 386th BG 553rd BS, Mantes-Gassicourt Highway Bridge Seine River, France, 30 May 1944

The French local archives had only one photo of this event – I reproduced it in my book associated with all destructions around. This book is registered at the French National Library.

Can you please make contact with Albert Hill just to say him this part of the story and give him a picture of this bridge today – you can see closely the cathedral on one side of the Seine river. This bridge has been called at this time by mistake Gassicourt bridge but at Gassicourt, which is a quarter of the MANTES LA JOLIE CITY we never had a bridge!

Anyway this is not a problem – today it is the “PONT DE MANTES”

Best regards,
ROBERT BAILLY

Mr. Hill’s reply: “I was doing my job to liberate the countries from Nazis and I hope the locals understand.”
Date:

7/10/07
Time:
8:19 AM

Hi, My name is Gary Thac. A few years ago I was staying at a hotel in Kerrville, Texas. As I was leaving the parking lot, on the ground of the parking lot was a 3 page correspondence from a ‘Robert’ to a ‘Schley’. It is a 2 page hand written letter…photo-copied. The date on the letter is 06-13-46.

Also attached is a copy of ‘Recommendation for Award of Silver Star’ for Major Moses J. Gatewood, Jr. This letter is dated 26 February 1946. It is from the Headquarters Army Air Base in Westover Field, Mass.

I can return it to Mr. Gatewood or his descendants.

Sincerely,
Gary Thac

Date:
7/9/07
Time:
2:23 PM

I found a Jack Morris listed as a pilot who flew B-26s on your website. I’m hoping it is the same Jack Morris I am looking for. His log book shows about 20 hrs. flying time obtained around 1928. His time was on primarily on Jennys in the Cooperstown, Fly Creek, Lancaster area of Penn. I believe he was around 27 at the time. That would make him in his early 40s if he flew B-26s in WWII. Do you know the approximate age of your Jack Morris?

Date:
7/5/07
Time:
10:06 PM

My dad, William S. (Billy) Andrews, was a 344th BG pilot from early to late 1944 at Stansted, UK and then in France (Cormeilles-en-Vixen, France?). He was President of the 344th BG Assn for awhile (a couple years ago). He never talked about his experience there much, but what he went thru shaped not only his life, but that of his family. Dad went thru the crucible of fire for 65 missions, and when he came out the other end, he was a changed man. He separated the important from the irrelevant, and decided to raise his family the right way….he worked his butt off, gave us the the tools we needed to flourish, and lived his life based on one principle …”honesty”…. that didn’t always endear him to the folks around him, but Dad’s honesty and integrity were never questioned in our small town.

I honor him and miss him…but I know he did his best for both his country and his family.

Dad died in August of 2006, and we miss him terribly…what stays with us is his undying belief in our country, and his belief that we will never give in…never surrender….thanks to all of you who served with him for your sacrifice, for you are the role models we need now…God Bless You….

Joe Andrews
Lt Col, USAF, (Ret)

Date:
7/5/07
Time:
9:57 PM

I first met up with the 386th Group in Dec. 1943 the 554th put on a Christmas Party for Orphaned & or children whose fathers were abroad, our Dad was away for 5yrs. the party was held in a large hanger at Stansted Air Base, I never forgot that very special day. I was always mindful of the sacrifice these men made, at 8yrs old my brother and I watched as an Aircraft which had just taken off went down in flames right out in front of our house, we lived between Little Eastern & Great Dunmow. We could hear the aircraft running up prior to take off at all times being just 2mls across fields from our house. In 1999 I met up with the group in Dallas Texas, one of the men who helped put us on the truck, was also at the the Reunion, he being Billy B Boyd needless to say he was surprised, and at 6′ 2″ (188cm) I had grown from the 7yr old quite a bit, we did a lot of catching up and to this day keep in touch. I visited him in 2001 in Rutledge Tennessee, he is someone who will not put up with B/S I love both he and his wonderful wife. To them, and all the men and women of the group I wish you all a safe and peaceful July 4th. God Bless America. The group has a photo of the truck that we kids were picked up in on page 45 my sister is about to be lifted down from the back, she died Jan of this year, she is buried in the Little Eastern church along with most of our family , I was christened in that church on October 29th 1936, today there are 2 large windows dedicated to this bomb group, you all will long be remembered by all who new you the Memorial Chapel was dedicated in 1990 and is what all who see it look in awe. God Bless You All, Love Patrick Simmonds, the 386thKid. 386th Bomb Group Association Member

Date:
7/5/07
Time:
9:32 PM

Hello, I wish to make contact with Chester Paul Klier, historian of the 386th Bomb Group. My specific purpose is that I am working on a biography of Lt Col David H. Dewhurst, of the 553rd Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group for his sons.  I am looking for information about members of the 386th BG who might have known Col Dewhurst. Any help in getting in touch with Mr. Klier will be greatly appreciated. -Thank you, J. A. Mowbray, Ph.D.

Date:
7/5/07
Time:
9:32 PM

I am Ignazio Fanni from Villacidro, Sardinia, Italy. During WWII in Villacidro there was a military airport (Landing Ground) and 17th BG was here from November 1943 to September 1944. I have written a book, 17th Bomb Group in Villacidro, Sardinia, Italy, 1943-1944, about this airport and 17ths stay in my town: the book has more than 300 pages and more than 400 photos. If someone from the 17th Bomb Group would like to have a complimentary copy I shall send one to you – you only have to pay for the cost of shipping.

Ignazi Fanni

Date:
7/5/07
Time:
9:32 PM

Dear Sir, I am helping a certain Italian butcher of 24 squadron b26 bombers whom flew 62 missions documented. I spend a lot of time listening to his stories and looking at pics and I feel small compared to what the men of World War Two went through. His planes name was “Honky Tonky” and flew bombing raids out of Algiers to Czech Republic and from Italy. Should you wish for more stories from this spiritedly gentleman I will share with you.

Cheers, Wilf

Date:
7/5/07
Time:
9:32 PM

I am looking for any information on Sgt. George Vogiatizis, ASN XX XXX 584, San Francisco, Calif. USA. He was flying with the 386th BG 554th BS, as a tail gunner, out of Great Dunmow. He was killed on September 16, 1944 in a crash at Great Dunmow and is buried in the American Cemetery at Maddenly.

I would appreciate any information on the members of the crew, how many missions they had flown, serial number and name of the plane, any picture of that plane, and the cause of the crash. What exactly happened?

I am a WW 2 vet and former B-17 flight engineer (never saw combat), and George was a school friend of mine. George’s younger brother, Chris, has never been informed of what caused the death of George except he was killed in a crash.

Any information from any body who possibly knew George, or his crew, would be appreciated.

Paul R. Wallace
Date:

7/4/2007
Time:
2:37 PM

Hello, I am not a pilot, but I drive a 2003 Mercury Marauder. Your site is fascinating! I have been in the U.S. Navy for 19+ years, and I salute all you “Marauder Men” and thank you for your service to this great Nation of ours.

Casey B. Tarnowski

Date:
6/24/2007
Time:
5:59 PM

Just a note to say the lost crews are not forgotten. I am a British civilian and under the USAF ‘ Fallen Heroes’ programme I visit the grave of the above person. Rudolph died on Feb 1st 1945 in a B26G number 44-68072 which crashed in Wales en-route to Burtonwood from America. The rest of the crew, who too all died, were returned to America. However, Rudolph lies in the American cemetery at Madingly near Cambridge, a truly beautiful place.

regards
Phill Goldsmith

Date:
6/24/2007
Time:
4:34 PM

Hi, I just completed a 1/48th-scale model of the B-26, using the decals for the plane “Idiot’s Delight.” The plane evidently was well known not only because it was long-lived but also because it was remarkably scruffy; by the time a photo of the plane was taken, a lot of the paint had flaked off. I tried to do research on the internet on the plane, but wasn’t able to find out much, aside from stuff I already knew, such as which unit the plane was assigned to, the fact that it flew its 100th mission in July 1944, and the names of some of its pilots. I was intrigued by the plane’s name, “Idiot’s Delight,” but don’t know why or how it got that name, although there was a popular movie by that name starring Clark Gable and Norma Shearer. – Terry Bishop

Paul Guertin was on the Idiot’s Delight crew.

Date:
6/19/2007
Time:
6:46 PM

I received some additional info from the local historical society about the B-26 in Poperinge. It is rather established now that the B-26 came down after the town was liberated (after 6 Sept 44), but no exact date could be traced. No German records (running up to 31 Aug 44), nor a local newspaper mentioned a B-26 crash in a Sept/Oct 44 timeframe. Comparing this with the wintry scene (no vegetation, lady in winter coat) on the picture, the winter of 44/45 comes to mind. According to witnesses the society could speak with, the B-26 came from the east, skirted the church tower in town by just 50 meters, and eventually landed along Provenstraat (Proven Street) just west of Poperinge. A sketch with the exact location was provided to me. It is said there was no crew on board! The B-26 was there for about three weeks, was unguarded, while local youth “looted” the Plexiglas first of all. Some sort of salvage team must have come round, because on the picture no guns and so on can be seen anymore. Or was it a TB-26?

No accident in that area is listed in the database of Aviation Archaeology and if indeed the crash was after the liberation, then a MACR was not necessary either. So a “Landed on the Continent” case comes up, the hardest nuts to crack, because one is almost obliged to read all Group or Squadron narratives to get a good picture of those landings and/or crashes. I don’t know if 9th AF salvage lists exist and if so, this of course would be a helpful resource.

There seem to be six other pictures of the B-26 in the Poperinge archives, but all of the cockpit section with onlookers and none with the all important tail with the serial number on it. Nevertheless I asked the society if they can send me some copies, just in case a detail was overlooked.

Best regards,

Leendert Holleman
Brugge/Belgium

select here for large image

Date:
6/15/2007
Time:
11:05 AM

I am trying to gather some information on B-26 nose art. I have a photo of a B-26 with the usual painted bombs on the side signifying bombing missions. Also included are small ducks painted under the bombs. Can anyone tell me what the ducks signify?

Craig M. Kirwin, SMSgt, USAF

Craig, that is Tommy Wakeman’s crew (Thomas H. Wakeman Jr.); an interesting photograph, when flown overseas the name “The Grim Reaper” was painted in front of the deaths head. Some time later, but at least 25 missions the name was removed as you see in the new photograph. This B26 was later renamed “The Underground Farmer”. Cheers, Trevor

Craig, the duck signifies a decoy mission. Chester Klier explains what a Diversionary Mission (decoy mission) is all about.

Date:
6/13/2007
Time:
10:26 AM

Can anyone tell me the group and squadron for the seven below listed individuals lost on 23 December 1944 in the Luxembourg area? Information came from the WW II Casualty Database at the WFI Research Group while I was working on Group Burials at Hamm temporary cemetery and again at Zackary Taylor National Cemetery where the crew was finally interned.

WW II Dead/Missing Name Rank Serial
Berens, John R, 1Lt, XXXXX734
Boyd, Francis J, SSgt, XXXX359
Garbisch, Walter P, 1Lt, XXXX310
Lantz, David B, 2Lt, XXXX287
Roy, Roger J, SSgt, XXXXX495
Shearon, Joseph M, SSgt, XXXXX879
Wolfe, Herman L, 2Lt, XXXX787

Thank you,
Ted Darcy

Ted, the Garbisch crew was with the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. The 1st Pathfinder Squadron was an independent unit belonging to no parent Group. Formed in February 1944 from a cadre drawn from 322nd, 323rd, 344th, 386th and 387th Bomb Groups.

Trevor Allen
Historian b26.com

Date:
6/10/2007
Time:
2:46 PM

Hi, my name is Richard Young and I live in the United Kingdom and I’ve got an interest in the B26 and airfields of the 9th USAAF. I live 15 miles north east of London in Harlow and near to me are Willingale, Matching, Stansted, Gt Dunmow and Andrews Field. Have been walking around the old airfields just to see what is still left and have taken a few pictures of buildings etc what I’ve found. What I would like to know are there any vets still around who would mind getting contact or I could get in contact with them just to ask them what it was like being over here. -Thanks, Richard Young

Date:
6/9/2007
Time:
7:36 AM

My father, Lt. Robert B. Beckhoff, was in the 553rd squadron, 386th bomb group. We have some info on a mission he flew as a co-pilot of “Sexation” on a mission with Pilot Irving T. LaFramboise and his crew, but do not know the date. He left for foreign service on May 15, 1943 and returned to the states on September 1, 1944. We do know he was a test pilot after the war in Spokane, Washington (my birthplace) with Spokane Air Technical Service Command. We would also like to know if anyone knows of any other involvement. Our grandchildren are interested and would also appreciate any replies.

Thanks to all who served-we appreciate you!

Barb Beckhoff Williams

Date:
6/8/2007
Time:
7:17 AM

My uncle, Frank Hall, was a member of the 387th Bomb Group, 558th Squadron. He was killed in action on June 8, 1944. Does anyone remember him or know the details on how he died and what airplane he was on? I think he was a flight engineer or gunner and I think he was a Staff Sergeant. – Robert Hall

Robert, 8th June 1944 while flying 41-31640 KX-K “The Underground Farmer” 1.Lt Raymond G Morin; 2.Lts William C Timerding; Ralph W Pitts; T/Sgt Vernon R Simmons; S/Sgt Frank Hall were killed and S/Sgt Charles J Haseman was seriously injured when they flew into a hill near Friston, England.

Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
6/6/2007
Time:
8:46 AM

To Trevor Allen, I ran my name on Google and found this site. I am named after my grandfather, Irving Sugerman. He lived in Jersey City or Bayonne, N.J. Would you have any way to confirm if this was indeed my grandfather and if so, is there any additional information that someone could share with me.

The info that I got off the B26.com website indicates the following listing:

S/Sgt Irving Sugerman. He is listed as being in the 344 Bomb Gp. Sta. 169. Indeed, my grandfather was from New Jersey. I am left wondering, is this the same guy? In our baseball terms, I not sure that this is a strikeout yet, perhaps a foul tip.

I appreciate your checking into this. You are to be commended for your incredible research. Thank you.

Respectfully,

Irv Sugerman

Irving, your grandfather flew a D-Day mission (6th June 1944 invasion of Europe) in B26 K9-P, the crew that day were 1.Lt James P DeFord pilot; 2 Lt A Smith copilot; 2.Lt G A Brightman III, bomb/nav; S/Sgt Irving Sugerman engineer/gunner; T/Sgt John H Samara radio/gunner and S/Sgt Thomas C Bond armourer/gunner.

Trevor Allen

Wow. That is really great stuff. I have forwarded to my dad, who I’m sure is appreciative of the information. How cool. Thanks, Irv

Date:
6/6/2007
Time:
7:29 AM

Good morning gentlemen,

I had a good friend, Robert L Gridley, who served with the 386 BG 555 Bomb Squadron from October 1944 till the end of the war. He stayed in Post War Europe through 1946.

He was a B-26 Co-Pilot & Pilot. Also qualified in 16 other acft according to his records, including B-25, P-47, P-51. We were very close. I served in the AF myself from 1971-77 with a tour at northern air base in Thailand, in support of Cambodia, working F-4 Phantom’s.

His info is attached here with a photo. If anyone knows him please contact me. Bob left me all his military records including all training and bombing missions in Europe. Unfortunately my dear friend passed away about two years ago with complications due to diabetes. He was 81 years old.

God Bless you all. You are the reason we live free today!

Sincerely,

Rodney Bell Sgt. USAF 1971-75
Baton Rouge, LA, Veteran of Southeast Asia
F-4D Crew Chief
Udorn RTAFB, Thailand 1973-74

Date:
6/5/2007
Time:
8:43 AM

Robert “Bob” Brockett
January 13, 1921 – June 01, 2007

Robert “Bob” J. Brockett, 86, of St. Joseph, passed away Friday evening, June 1, 2007, at the Willows in St. Joseph. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, June 5, at Kerley-Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, Michigan, with Rev. Dr. John Munson officiating. The service will conclude with military rites. Visitation with the family will begin Tuesday at 1:00 until the time of service at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to either the Berrien County Cancer Service or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Bob was born on January 13, 1921, in Milwaukee, WI. He was one of three children born to Leroy & Blanche Brockett. On January 24, 1942, he married Betty Campbell. Together they had two children, Karen & Christopher. He proudly served his country during WWII as First Lieutenant of a B26 Marauder in France. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Metal. In his pastime, Bob enjoyed playing golf, tennis, and skiing. He was a member of the Fairplain Presbyterian Church. He was a volunteer at Lakeland Hospital and was active in the Misfits Society. Above all, Bob thoroughly enjoyed time spent with family and friends. Bob is survived by his children, Karen (Lance) Wycoff and Christopher Brockett; grandchildren, Jeff (Sandy) Mara, Jason (Jodi) Mara, and Katie (Joel) Taylor; and by his eight great-grandchildren, Luke, Jenna, Isaac, Griffin, Jack, and Matthew Mora & Hannah and Abby Taylor. In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; and by one brother and sister.

It was Bob’s idea to create b26.com. I didn’t know anything about a Martin B-26 Marauder or Marauder Men. Bob told me to go to the library and read and then we’d talk. Back in 1997, I went to the web and found nothing, so I went to the library, then Bob and I talked about his experiences. I told him I could not find anything about the plane or crews of a B26 Marauder on the Internet. Bob asked “What IS the Internet?!”. I told him and he handed me a bunch of pictures and told me to make a web site! ms

Date:
5/28/2007
Time:
9:28 PM

This message is to all the men & women who served at the Great Dunmow [ Little Eastern ] B26 [ m ] base 1943-1944. I live the war years every day because of what we saw and the long six years before it finally ended. Our father left us for five years. We three children attended a party given by men of the 386th BG 554th BS turned the world off for what became the best time of our young lives. In 1999 I met up again with the group in Dallas – it was an awesome event! Today once again I send the thanks for myself and for my sister also our brother. God Bless you all, and have a well earned Memorial Day. Forever in your Debt, Patrick Simmonds

Chester Klier mentions that party here.

Date:
5/28/2007
Time:
7:51 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd Lt. Charles “Chuck” A. Kemnitz
Bomb Group: 394
Bomb Squadron: 584th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Bakersfield, CA ?
Comments: My uncle was killed on Oct. 8, 1944 in a air collision. My Grandmother and Mother (both now deceased) were devastated and could not talk about it without crying, so I never learned the details of his death. I have just been able to find out his squadron, and Group. I have also learned that he is buried in Epinal American Cemetery. He was a great guy. He was an artist and made drawings of Air Force life. He made drawings for his graduation book and perhaps for a newsletter. Does anyone know anything about him. Was he a navigator? or what? He earned the Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters. Am unsure of what that means. What were the details of the collision?

Thank you for your help. I think he needs to be remembered by our family, and so the facts need to be known by us.

Carolyn Ramsey

Carolyn, the Air Medal was awarded for five combat missions. A bronze oak leaf cluster was awarded after five additional missions were completed. A silver oak leaf cluster would be awarded after five bronze oak leaf clusters were awarded. The Air Medal was also awarded for shooting down a single enemy plane. For those who already received the Air Medal, a bronze oak leaf cluster would be awarded for shooting down an enemy plane.

Chester Klier

Carolyn, according to J Guy Ziegler’s book “Bridge Busters”, The Story of the 394BG, this is what happened on Oct. 8th 1944: The group has some very tough luck upon returning from a mission to a railroad bridge at Ahrweiler, Germany. The 584thBS it’s highest loss (for the month I assume) when two planes piloted by 2/Lt. Frank Roepke, and 2/Lt Charles Kenmitz, collided in mid-air over the air field after completing the mission. All crew members were killed. The accident occurred during peel off to land (break up of the formation to allow proper spacing during the landing). Lt Roepke was flying in the number three position, and Lt. Kenmitz was in the number four, when the two planes came together and spun into the ground. On Lt Roepke’s crew, the following men besides the pilot were killed 2/Lts Richard Robb and Wesley Smith Jr. and Sgts. Benjamin Oss, Paul Rose, and Harold Lester. On the other crew were 2/Lts Charles Kenmitz, Harvey Blacher and Alf Lundell, S/Sgt. Charles Elyea, and Sgts. Clement Eckes and Pink Fultz Jr.

I have not been able to come up with the aircraft names and serials from this accident, I am still searching for those serials. The air field where this occurred was Orleans-Bricy France. It looks like your Uncle was a pilot not a navigator according to the above information.

Don Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow

Date:
5/28/2007
Time:
5:57 PM

Hello, sorry that my English is a little bit rusty, but the last time I wrote English was in 1991. I am looking for any information about the forces which fought over “Geldern” Niederhein (lower Rhine) in Germany. Until now I found only a little details/information. Since October 1944 until the end of the war the following units were there and I’d like more information:

– 9. US-Bombardment Division
– 344 + 391 Bombardment Groups
– II British Tactical Air Force.

I hope you can help me with my search!

Thank you, yours,
B. Holz

Date:
5/28/2007
Time:
8:22 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Sgt. James S. Gilroy
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 495
Years in service: 1943 / 1945
Comments: I am looking for information on James Gilroy. He was an engineer/gunner on a B-26. He was KIA on February 24 1945 during an assault on a German communication centre at Viersen, Germany. He is buried at the American Cemetery at Margraten, Holland.

The crew he flew with that day was:

– Pilot 1st Lt. H. M. Mallory
– Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Thomas L. Van Over (Ardennes American Cemetery)
– Bombardier S/Sgt Charles F. Brooker (Ardennes American Cemetery)
– Engineer Gunner Sgt. James S. Gilroy (Netherlands American Cemetery)
– Radio Gunner Sgt. W. F. Ramsey
– Tail Gunner Sgt. H. Duncan

He was stationed at Stansted, England and at Cormeillesen Vexin, France.

regards,

R. Wetzels

Date:
5/27/2007
Time:
3:37 PM

My brother, Roger Zissu, and I are trying to get information on our second cousin Lt. Morton A. Dubelier who was in the 451st Bomb Squadron 322nd Bombardment Group. On May 25, 1943 his plane crashed Col. Fair was piloting it. Only one member died and Morty was spared. He came home as a captain in 1945 and stayed in his room for over a month with a case of Black and White scotch. He brought me a patch and a silk flag which contained in many languages “I am an American” and any help you can afford me would be appreciated. This was sewn into his bomber jacket in case he was shot down. I would like to know any details of his service including any medals awarded. I believe he died in Florida and was survived by his widow Jane. Respectfully submitted, Michael J. Zissu

The crash you refer to took place on May 24th 1944 Lt. Col Fair and crew were on night training exercise and crashed on return.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
5/25/2007
Time:
1:16 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Jack Eskenazi
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: 1942-1945
My father was in the November 18th, 1944 mission to St. Wendel. Mission #294 was not a good one for the 386th! There were three aircraft shot down over the target, and several more with very heavy damage. Dad was on “Dinah Might” (piloted by Capt. Harris), which was shot down that day. All of the crew got out, and were taken POW.

“Dinah Might” was aircraft AN-Z #41-31576, and I would very much like to get a photo of the plane. I have seen that plane in a photo of it over the English Channel. The photo contains only that plane. I have not seen any photos of the ‘nose art’, at least none that I can definitely say is that aircraft. There were several WWII named “Dinah Might” or “Dinah Mite”, etc.

If you can link any photos, or if you have a photo, please let me know. I would appreciate your help.

Thanks!
Marc Eskenazi

Date:
5/25/2007
Time:
9:37 AM

What a great site you have created. My father, Fred Dopheide, flew on 32 missions over Germany during his Army Air Force service in Europe. He is still living, however has recently suffered a fall at his home and has endured a hospital stay, nursing home stint and finally relocation to a seniors home. He can vividly recall his war days, though he didn’t speak much of them after the fact. He went on to a law school degree and a career in law. I am his only son Kennett, born 1960, and have one sister, Diana, born 1967. We very much love and respect our Dad, and appreciate his service to our country and the many other men who gave and sacrificed for our freedom flying the B26. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. Freedom is with much cost and the dedication of your site to their memory is truly a lasting memorial. I would be honored if you were to include my father on the site (I see the D’s could use some men). I have included some documents to verify his service and organization (344th Bomb Group, 494th Bomb Sqd.) and his military occupation of Bombardier. Also included are photographs of my father, his crew, and some of the aircraft in his photo album (Note: Tom’s Tantilizer II). If I can be of any further assistance to you and your quest for information, please don’t hesitate to contact me. He has a large album, string bound, with many photographs of other planes, of in-air action and scenes from the ground in France and Germany. Thank-you.

Sincerely,
Kennett B. Dopheide

Date:
5/23/2007
Time:
8:23 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd Lt. Joseph A. Peachman (1st Lieutenant as of January 1945)
Command Group: 9th Bomber Group
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 2
Graduation Class: Bombardier Class 43-7, May 8th 1943
Class Location: Roswell Army Air Field, Roswell, NM

Hi! My father served in WWII as a Bombardier/Navigator on a B-26 Marauder. Sadly, my father was one of those souls who was deeply and badly affected by (and during) his service in Europe. He would rarely discuss it when I was growing up; on the rare occasions when he did it was so painful and upsetting to us to see him become so bitter and upset that the topic was avoided if at all possible. In fact, I never wanted to know anything more about WWII because of this. -Lisa Peachman-Law Read more…

Date:
5/21/2007
Time:
6:35 PM

Dear Friends – with his customary impeccable timing Bob Combs passed away on May 19th 2007, his 92nd birthday. He valued his friendship and kinship with each and every one of you. In accordance with his wishes, there will be no services of remembrance, except the ones you may choose to hold in your hearts.

Attached is Bob’s final Sunny Side:

The time has come to say farewell – while it’s still possible!

It’s been such fun these past 13 or 14 years, since Lon got me started on this every-Friday essay, or column, or whatever-you may call it, in an attempt to balance out the Letters page – that is, to point out all the wonderful, beautiful, happy-making things around us. “On the Sunny Side of the Street!”

Stevenson wrote: “The world is full of such a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings!” Well, as Kipling wrote, “The captains and the kings depart,” but we are still here – until our time runs out. There will always be spring flowers out by Shell Creek, and the beautiful, winding, climbing, roads of our county, and Black Mountain out past Pozo, lifting its lordly beauty, with its calm and its silence.

There will always be an annual crop of children, full of curiosity and joy – sharing all their exciting discoveries with us, as we once shared with our grandparents. What delights they are, and we must strive to see that the world they grow up will be even better that the one our parents built for us.

In due season will come the breezes and the winds; the black clouds or the fleecy clouds of purest white. The trees and bushes will bud and leaf out and blossom, and flowers will pop out of the ground, seemingly overnight. The birds will come back and my favorite mockingbird, Moxie, will sing his heart out under the moons of spring and there’ll be Moxie XVIII before we can blink!

In its season will come the rain, but nothing, in our part of the world, will rule us as will the sun – and its “Cooker Days.” And so the grapes ripen, “to make glad the hearts of man..” And this old earth turns and turns, and our solar system does, too, and our galaxy goes spinning through space – a tiny dot in the vastness of the unknown.

So, let’s do the best we can, while we can, and smile oftener than we groan, and chuckle more than we sigh, and look on the sunny side…and so, goodbye.
Date:
5/11/2007
Time:
8:47 PM

Hi B26.com, I’m hoping to find as much information as possible of my father, Marauder Man, Staff Sgt. Victor Mitel. He flew with the 387 bombardment group, 558 bombardment squadron. He served in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes’s, and central Europe. He was a radioman-gunner on B-26 Marauders. I have pictures of him and some of his crew standing by the KING BEE #41-31846 and the La DIABLA #41-31648. I display these pictures with great pride and would appreciate any info on him the crew and the history of the planes involved. -Thanks, David Mitel

Date:
5/10/2007
Time:
7:30 AM

I am researching airfields in my area of Augsburg Germany. I am searching for 323rd BG members who were in Gablingen, Haunstetten and Landsberg in 1945. It would be nice if someone who had photos of the related to events in and near the airfields would share them with me. All individual stories, documents and photos are welcomed too.

Mike
Augsburg/Germany

Date:
5/9/2007
Time:
2:08 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Elwood B. Fitzgerald Navigator/Bombardier
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 596th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Arizona
Comments: Hi my name is Brian Fitzgerald and I am the grandson of Elwood. He passed away in 1998 before I left for flight school in the military. My family had sold everything that he had with the military before I could even get a chance to collect things to pass on to the next generation. I have been searching for information with his group or any type of sorties that he had performed. I remember him telling me stories about flying out of England and possibly flying over France and other places. I was too young to understand then and wish my family did not value money more than the history of our true war hero’s. I do have one photo of him and a crew in training in Arizona and that is all I have to go by. I also know that he flew in a plane called the MAMMY YOKUM (Spelling may not be correct.) If you could point me in a direction of obtaining any information of his military career or information to help me in my quest to find as much as possible so that I can pass it on to the next generations to come. I am also interested if there are any groups that have meetings or air shows that they travel to with the B-26 Marauder. I thank you for your time and help with any information that you can give me. Sincerely, Brian B. Fitzgerald

Date:
5/7/2007
Time:
8:59 PM

My great-uncle, William (Bill) L. Nix, served with the 585th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomber Group and as killed in action on August 9, 1944. I am researching his time in the service for my family and would appreciate it if anyone out there could provide us with more information. Thanks in advance for any help given. – Patrick Hogan

Brittany American Cemetery
Nix, William L, S/Sgt, XXXXX253, 585 BOMB SQ, 394 BOMB GP/M/, IL, 09 AUG 44, I-12-16 AM/ 3 OLC

Patrick- Mr. Nix’s crew was: 2.Lt Charles Kee, 2.Lt Frank Ramsey, 2.Lt Sam Singer, S/Sgt Van B Hemeter, S/Sgt Milton P Stoll, S/Sgt William L Nix. Hit by flak crashed and exploded near Fresnay, France. – Trevor
MACR #
Date
A/C Type
Serial #
Group
Squadron
7847
8/9/1944
B-26
42-96101
394
585

Date:
5/7/2007
Time:
4:03 PM

I’m searching for information about the B26 serial 41-34856 322BG ( Missions, Crew, Crash Point, etc.) shot down the 29 February 1944. Thank you for your help. – Jean Paul Favrais

Normandy American Cemetery
Bennett, Noy C Jr, 1LT, X-XXX504, 451 BOMB SQ, 322 BOMB GP/M/, MN, 29 FEB 44, B-12-28, DFC AM/ 6 OLC/ PH
Smith, John L, 1LT, X-XXX349, 451 BOMB SQ, 322 BOMB GP/M/, CT, 29 FEB 44, MISSING, AM/ PH
MARC #
Date
A/C Type
Serial #
Group
Squadron
2455
2/29/1944
B-26
41-34856
322
451

Date:
5/7/2007
Time:
4:03 PM

Jack Harmon was my step-father who passed away in 1988. Now that my mother has also passed away, we have come across a collection of artifacts from Jack’s days in the 391st BG. There are only a few photos, one of him in service cap. If anyone recalls him or would like some more information, please reply. He has a B-26 model airplane but I’m not sure if he put a name on it which may help pinpoint what plane he was on.

Pilot: Cambier, Orville J., 2LT, XXXX312
Co-Pilot: Hedstrom, Raymond E., 2LT, XXXX079
Bomb/Nav: Andercheck, Edward F., 2LT, XXX617
Engineer/Gunner: Davis, Jo-Al Dean, CPL, XXXXX274
Radio/Gunner: Harmon, John E., CPL, XXXXX810
Gunner: Deaton, Lester L., CPL, XXXXX218

Roy Richardson

Date:
5/2/2007
Time:
8:35 PM

I was reading the 2-13-07 post by Suzanne inquiring about her grandfather Donald M. Stangle whose B26 was shot down on 12-23-44. Several B26 Marauders were shot down. My uncle Lt. Paul Ostrom and his B26 were shot down that day and I was wondering if they were part of that same formation that Stangle’s plane was in. Donald Hoch’s recollections of that day were compiled by your historian Trevor Allen and I would appreciate if I could find any information on Paul Ostrom. He and the crew were killed but one parachuted and lived. It took years for them to find the remains of the crew but they were recovered and are buried today in a single grave in St. Louis. My Uncle was 1st Lt. Paul R. Ostrom and was killed on 12/23/44 in the Battle of the Bulge. His remains and the remains of four others with him were buried in a single grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo. on 9/30/49 plot #790507.

Thanks,

John D. Ostrom

John, your uncle’s crew that day were; Capt Wilbur C Cox; 2.Lt Daniel P Winegar; 1.Lt Paul R Ostrom; T/Sgt Ira L Mooney; T/Sgt Salvatore A Visi and S/Sgt Charles J Bohm.
They were with the 9th AAF is the 1st Pathfinder Squadron (Provisional) leading the 322nd Bomb Group and were shot down by fighters. -Trevor J Allen historian b26.com

Date:
5/1/2007
Time:
7:48 AM

Name: William D Mullinix
ID: XXXX343
BombGp: 387
Squadron: 558
Years: 43-44

I am looking for information about my great uncle Dyke. He may be a crewman on one of 3 planes lost on Feb 25 1944.

Thank you,

Logan Mullinix

*William D Mullinix, 1 Lt., X-XXX343, 558 BOMB SQ 387 BOMB GP/M/; TN; 25 FEB 44; MISSING; DFC, AM, 4 OLC, PH – Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial site in England

Serial # 41-31648, KX-L, “La Diabla”, Crew Chief Debolt, Pilot McGheen, Shot Down into North Sea by Fighters, 25 Feb 1944, First Mission (Plane) 15 Aug 1943, Missions Flown 27

*Serial # 41-31660, KX-F, “Jessie”, Crew Chief Barth, Pilot 1Lt Douglas H. McKeller, Shot Down into North Sea by Fighters, 25 Feb 1944, First Mission (Plane) 31 July 1943, Missions Flown 102

Serial # 41-31671, KX-Z, “Buddy’s Rebel”, Crew Chief S/Sgt Walter M Gilliland, Pilot F/O John H Falls, Shot Down into North Sea by Fighters, 25 Feb 1944, First Mission (Plane) 31 July 1943, Missions Flown 50

Date:
4/28/2007
Time:
4:29 PM

My name is Jesse Mather and I was fortunate enough to know Nelson R Gidding, 17 BG/ 432 BS, who during WWII was shot down while on a bombing run over Italy in his A-26. The crew survived and hid in a cave until a fascist gave their pos to the authorities. They spent the rest of the war in a concentration camp and Nelson secretly kept notes during his imprisonment which after the war would become a book titled: “End over End.” The book is rare but with the aid of the internet it can be found. Nelson was a real man in every sense of the word and a terrific writer who made his living writing movie scripts and teach writing here in L.A. after the war. Beer always tasted better in his company & man do we miss him.

Date:
4/27/2007
Time:
7:15 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Stanley J Kucinski
Bomb Group: 22nd Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 2nd Bomb Squadron
Years in service: 1936 – 1944
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?

I don’t know much about this but maybe will get a response? Looking for experiences of my Grandfather who was sent home near the end of the war with no memory of his experience. I don’t know his group or Squadron other than B-26 bomber. Theatre of operations is Brisbane. Dates of service 1936 – 1944. Duty was Radio operator. Crew photo attached. Information below. Radio operator Stanley J Kucinski is in lower right hand side. Do you have any further information on this squadron? Can we ID the crew?

The photograph you sent was rather small and indistinct, but from the squadron badge the men are wearing they were from the 2nd Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group.

The 22nd Bomb Group B26’s were shipped from San Francisco by ship to Hawaii. They were unloaded and taken to Hickam Field by truck where they were re-assembled. It would be a month before the first planes left for the long flight to Australia. Fifty-seven crews had a plane for the flight to Australia and planes were issued as they came off the re-assembly line. This meant that few crews received the aircraft they started from the States with. The 19th Squadron’s first flight was finally ready on the 15th March 1942. No crew was supposed to make the trip alone. Squadrons departed Hickam in the following sequence: 19th, 33rd, 2nd, HQ and the 18th (later redesignated as the 408th.Bomb Squadron). The air route flown ran from Hickam to Palmyra Island, Canton Island, Nandi on the Island of Fiji, then Tontouta, New Caledonia before terminating in Brisbane, Australia.

The second flight of 6 planes of the 2nd.Bomb Squadron set off from Hickam on 1st April 1942. The respective pilots were 1.Lt Richard R Royal, Jr; 2.Lts Arthur B Wentzel and Charles I Hitchcock; 1.Lt George E Sutton and 2.Lts Carl R Lancaster and Horace Palmer, Jr. The flight approached Palmyra in worsening weather conditions with a tropical storm closing the visibility over the airfield. The Flight began to circle awaiting the weather to clear. During this time one plane disappeared, this plane piloted by Lt Palmer was never heard from again. Four ships landed safely, but the plane flown by Lt Lancaster contacted the tower when he failed to get a positive bearing. He seemed unable to get a bearing on the strip and asked for a lost plane procedure. Finally at about 1640 Hawaiian time he reported that he was making a water landing. This was the last transmission heard from him and the only crewman found was the navigator 2.Lt John D Crawford.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
4/27/2007
Time:
6:54 AM

Hi, I’m Glenn Makley. I was a Marine. 1968-72. Can’t get any info on my Dad, Wilson Frederick Makley. He served with an airlift group. 64th Troop Carrier. Part of the 12th. He had an Air Medal and two Bronze Star clusters (ten awards). I tried NMPRC in Kansas City. They told me that they were unable to identify him. Even though I gave such details as service number, specific units, AO’s, etc. He was stationed at Blida, Algeria. He flew operations for Sicily, Italy, Sardinia, Corsica, and Southern France. He was shot down twice. He wasn’t a pilot. He was a Chief Flight Engineer. He could make wire splices on live wires, at varying voltages, in the dark, in flight. If some one could point me in the right direction, within the 12th Air Force environs, I would appreciate it. Thanks for what you guys did way back when.

Date:
4/23/2007
Time:
5:45 PM

I googled the Bombardier poem, and I found this site… which may have interest in this image. -Reagan “Skippy” Holmes

Date:
4/20/2007
Time:
6:34 AM

I know my grandfather was in the 453rd bomb squadron, 323rd bomb group. I was hoping I could find out some information on him. I did know him and was very close to him, but was too young to ask him important questions. I was wondering if you could post something for me or do something to help me get a little more information on him. I’m hoping someone that goes to this site might know him.

Thank you lots for your help.

Josh Wheat
Grandson of Francis B Wheat, Sr.

Here’s a scan from John Moench’s book about 323rd BG. This will give Josh Wheat some wanted information about his grandfather T/Sgt Francis B. Wheat, Sr. His Marauder was 41-31825 VT-H Miss Chevious, pilot Captain Roscoe R. Haller, a/c flak damaged on Mission # 97 NB Le Grismont on February 5th 1944 and abandoned over the North Sea.

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
4/19/2007
Time:
6:49 PM

My father’s name is John C. Furnas … he was a B-26 Marauder pilot of the ‘Old Goat’, 585th Squadron/ 394th BG, many pictures in the Bridge Busters book by J. Guy Ziegler. As with many pilots, much of the data was burned in St. Louis. Here’s the ‘Real’ story, my dad was a group leader, he has kept in touch with two members of the Old Goat crew. One other passed away a number of years ago and he lost touch with his co-pilot in the early 50’s. Blessings from above, we recently ‘found’ his co-pilot Lester Jones. So there are 4 surviving members of this crew who flew 62 ETO missions. The two places I remember are Creve Coeur (Cambrais) ? ] and Venlo, Netherlands. As with many of these heroic men, they don’t see themselves or their stories as extremely important to preserve. I’m working on it … if you have any suggestions, I would be most appreciative. And there are some great stories …

Thank you for any thoughts/assistance you can offer.

Barbara

Date:
4/19/2007
Time:
8:22 AM

Hi, my dad, Peter (C.R.) Frearson, was a Flying Officer, Captain on Lancaster heavy bombers with 463 squadron RAAF. He was an Australian Lancaster pilot in WW2 in England, based at Waddington.

I fly now (Boeing 777) because of the love of flying he gave me. I grew up…in a home where at least to me…flying was everything and hence knew of “The Widowmaker” B26 as something to be viewed with awe. I have only recently taken the time to learn more about your great ship and all it did.

And tho my dad is long gone now, I know that he would stand near by me in looking at all you guys did and say “well done”.

John Frearson

Date:
4/19/2007
Time:
7:02 AM

My father S/SGT. Paul Gearhart flew with the 86th Combat Mapping Squadron on Oahu TH (Territory of Hawaii) from 1941-October 1942. I found one of his documents that states that he was a gunner on a B-26. Does anybody have any information on this squadron ? Is it possible that this document could have been mis-typed ? I believe that this unit had medium and heavy bombers assigned to it. Any ideas ? The document I have is from a hospital stay at Ft. Logan in Colorado in 1944. The 86th CMS was the 86th Observation squadron before 12/7/41. In 1943 or 44 it became the 43rd Reconnaissance squadron. Its the only squadron that was permanently stationed at Bellows Field. The squadron plotted the way thru the Marshal Islands, Okinawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, and finally Tokyo. It’s possible that the 86th/43rd’s documents have yet to be released to the public. There was also the 41st BG on Oahu in 1943 that flew B-25s, I haven’t found much on them as well.

Paul Gearhart Jr.

Date:
4/18/2007
Time:
9:18 AM

Searching for information of my brother’s crew. Capt. Peter Tomasello, Kissimmee, Florida, 386 Bomb Group 554th Bomb Squadron. Code RUF, 9th USAAF, A-26 Invader Type A-260

Jerome Tomasello

Date:
4/13/2007
Time:
11:26 PM

Trevor, Chester, and all:

Back in 2004, you helped me identify the squadron that my dad, Marauderman 1st Lt. Robert G. Neville, 386th BG, 552nd BS, flew with during his 68 missions out of Great Dunmow and Beaumont-Sur-Oise. You also put me on to a great book, “The Story Of The Crusaders” by Skip Young.

During the first few months of his tour, my dad was a co-pilot before he moved up to the pilot’s seat, and during that time, his pilot was John M. “Jack” Cutler, a West Point graduate. I recently came across this web page (below), which is a memorial tribute to Colonel Cutler, who, as you will read, went on to quite a distinguished career, both in the military and the diplomatic corps. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. I thought that you or some of your web site visitors might find it of interest.

Keep up the excellent work. One of these days, I am going to come over to London and take you out for a pint.

Kindest regards,
Robert P. Neville

Date:
4/11/2007
Time:
5:38 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 1LT Maxwell Stadler
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 456
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I found on your website a dedication page for 1LT Chalender L. Lesher who was the 2nd pilot on a Marauder that went down at Bovenkerk, Holland 3 November 1943. Maxwell Stadler was the Bombardier on that plane with Lesher. All eight members of the crew were killed.

The Vincent Picard Post 234 of the American Legion in Northborough, Massachusetts is planning to memorialize Lt Stadler and other Northborough veterans who were KIA in WWII in the near future. We are hoping to gather as much information as we can on him for the ceremony. There is much information on Lt Lesher on your website which will also apply to Lt Stadler but if you know of any other available information we will be pleased to receive it.

You are doing a great service to the men who gave their lives for this great country. It is a great website. I can remember the Marauders and our other planes passing over us on their bombing runs into Germany during WWII. We were always happy to see them. I was with the 82nd Airborne Division during WWII.

Irv Shanley
LTC, US Army, retired

Date:
4/11/2007
Time:
7:24 AM

I would like to find out about my dad Earl John Garvin. Born in Ogden, Kansas he joined the Army Air Corp in 1942. He flew out of England and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. I would like to find his records, any information about him and any others that flew with him. Thank you. David Garvin.

David, your father flew overseas with the original cadre of the 454th.Bomb Squadron, 323rd.Bomb Group as a 1st Lt. His B26 was 41-34717 RJ-H named “Lady Luck” The original crew consisted of your father pilot; 2.Lt Andreas C Stolen, Bomb/Nav; S/Sgt Hubert A Weston, Engineer/Gunner; and S/Sgt William A Meister Radio/Gunner.

The mission where your father was mentioned in John Moench’s book took place on September 22nd 1943 to Evreux/Fauville airfield, France.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

[full page]

Date:
4/10/2007
Time:
10:37 AM

Name: Lt/Col Frank Brown Retired USAF
BombGp: 397
Squadron: 596-Pathfinder
Years: 1941-1970
Class: 42G

Location: Victorville, California
Comments: 25 Missions with 397th.
30 Missions with Pathfinder
Instructor Pilot 1942-1944 Barksdale
Awarded DFC 10- Air Medals

Date:
4/10/2007
Time:
6:57 AM

I have run into a brick wall trying to find info on a bombardment wing that my late father served with in WW II. According to “V-Mails” that I have from my father’s family it was the 42nd Bomb Wing. I have been told by other historians this unit did not exist. I also have two photos of planes with the nose art of “Lady Luck” and “Mistletoe”. My fathers name was Charles B. Koval and he was a PFC assigned to the headquarters squadron. I believe this unit was involved in the Italian and southern France areas of the ETO. If you or anyone have any info about this unit I would really like to hear from you.

Thank you very much.
Phil Koval

Phil, your father served with the 319th Bomb Group, which was a component of the 42nd Bomb Wing, Mediterranean Theatre.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
4/7/2007
Time:
11:29 PM

My grandpa is Warren H. Butterfield and just so that he knows…..”You make me proud to be a Butterfield!” Love you, Kimberly Butterfield

Date:
4/4/2007
Time:
6:28 PM

I found this web site looking for information about my dad. I became quite excited when I found a copy of a picture on your site. If someone could mail me back with any information it would be greatly appreciated.

Captain Richard Reynolds Oliver
456 Bomb Squadron
Ordnance Officer

If you click on the 456 squadron and go to page [34], he is far left bottom row. Also page [45] lower right corner. I found a bronze star in his things. Did the unit get this?

Pete Oliver

Date:
3/28/2007
Time:
8:11 AM

I am hoping that someone can give me more info about my brother, Charles B. Clark. Here is what I now have. I am not positive that every detail is 100% accurate.

He was a Bombardier/Navigator on a B-24 Liberator. He was in the 13th Air Force, known as Bomber Barons. He was in the 370th Bomber Squadron and the 307th Bomber Group Heavy.

His plane went down on October 3rd, 1944 over Borneo 6 planes supposedly went down that day SN of plane Unit date MACR#

40565 307th BG Oct 3, 1944 SW Pacific MACR10485
40568 307th BG Oct 3, 1944 SW Pacific MACR10489
40599 307th BG Oct 3, 1944 SW Pacific MACR12179
40614 307th BG Oct 3, 1944 SW Pacific MACR10488
40933 307th BG Oct 3, 1944 SW Pacific MACR10487
40955 307th BG Oct 3, 1944 SW Pacific MACR14084

I know that this is not the same units that you normally work with, but maybe someone with your group could tell me how to go further with the MACR’s above to find out which one my brother was on and then how to be able to get a copy of the correct report.

I was a Marine in WW11 and was in on the invasion of Iwo Jima , our other brother Harvey was in your group & was killed over Germany 12/15/1944 & a friend helped me to get that MACR

Thank you for any help that you might be able to pass on back to me.

Francis E. (Frank) Clark USMC XXX274

Date:
3/25/2007
Time:
1:51 PM

Michael J. Donahoe, 9th Air Force, 394th bomb group, 584th bomb squadron. Radio Gunner – flew 15 combat missions in European theatre. I would like to hear from any members from my combat crew, Lt. Bigelow, Pilot; F/O Burghardt, Co-Pilot; Lt. Locke, Bombardier-Navigator; Cpl. Jardine, Engineer-Gunner. I have been in contact with Cecil Taylor.

Date:
3/24/2007
Time:
7:27 PM

I would like to know any information about my father, Robert “Bob” E. Wanner, 323rd BG 455th BS and 344th BG, a Marauder pilot. Anything at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much,
Robb Wanner

Date:
3/24/2007
Time:
7:20 PM

Hello, my dad, Lt Robert L Davis, was a B26 co-pilot with the 387th Group and 556 Squadron, and flew mission in Europe in the period from December 1944 through to the end of the war in late April 45. My dad has many photos from his time in Europe including many mission photos taken from the right seat. I also have a mission log which I have attached here. Sadly my dad dies in his mid-forties, and perhaps I was too young at that time to have listened carefully to his stories. I would love to hear from anyone that flew with my dad, especially his crew. If there are any photos of the crew or his plane I would like to get a copy if possible. To the rest of the Marauder Men – stay healthy.

Regards

Glen Davis

Date:
3/24/2007
Time:
7:14 PM

Hello! On Sept. 10th, 1945, RB-26 43-34424 crashed into a mountainside at Trauchgau, Germany. This B-26 was en route from Florennes to Schleissheim. Some weeks ago serval parts from this B-26 were found und recovered by a local citizen. On March 4th, 2007, she forwarded the parts to the Bavarian-Aviation-Historians at Schleissheim Airfield.

The parts will be cleaned and conserving during the next weeks. Finally they will be exposed together with some accompanying documents at the local Aviation Museum at Schleissheim Airfield.

For preparing the documentation we would we very happy for any additional information, especially pictures of the crew members and the plane.

Best Regards,

Guenter Braun
Chairman
Bavarian-Aviation-Historians

Date:
3/24/2007
Time:
5:23 PM

386th BG – 552nd BS – B26B “41-31842”

On December 12, 1944 B-26B “41-31842” of 386th BG, 552nd BS is reported to have made a crash landing in France when it ran out of fuel.

Who has more info about this accident, especially a more precise location? I’m trying to solve a similar crash (gas shortage) in the French-Belgian border area in 1944 and am interested to see if “41-31842” fits the picture.
Any info welcome, thanks.

Also, Lt. Thomas E. Mattax of 322nd BG, 451st Bs landed his B-26B on November 9, 1944 on a narrow paved road in France when he ran out of gas in a storm and could not find an airfield to land on, after returning from a mission. This would have been to Metz in NE France, according to the 322nd BG mission list. Who has more details about where in France Lt. Mattax put the plane down? Which B-26 was involved?

Lt. Albert E. Prestridge of 322nd BG, 451st BS came down with his B-26 “43-34457” at St. Sylvestre Cassel, France on December 11, 1944. This village is just south of Poperinge, Belgium. Who can provide more details about this accident?

On July 8, 1944 several B-26s of 397th BG had to make emergency landings in France due to fuel shortage. Weather was bad and some couldn’t make it home after a mission to Saumer (Saumur?). Who happens to have more information about the events of this day?

All info about above is welcome, because it may help solve a crash landing of a still unknown B-26B on the French-Belgian border in 1944.

Leendert Holleman
Brugge/Belgium

Dear Leendert, Mattax was flying 43-34135 when he ran out of fuel and landed on the road between Tille Chatole and Luxembourg.

Trevor Allen,
historian b26.com

Date:
3/19/2007
Time:
7:25 PM

I was browsing the web recently for information on my Grandfather’s military unit during WWII. Arthur Carroll Wright was a bombardier in the 386th Bombardment Group, 552nd Squadron and was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. Unfortunately, my Grandfather passed away a few years ago.

I happened upon the B26.com site and noticed a picture. To my surprise and elation I, along with confirmation from my Grandmother, identified my Grandfather as the gentleman furthest to the left sitting in a chair. I can’t tell you how great it was to see him! If you could please update your web site to include his name I would greatly appreciate it.

Additionally, if you have any information on my Grandfather (records, memories, anecdotes, etc.) you could pass along I would greatly appreciate that as well. I recently started doing some research on his service during WWII and barely know where to begin. Fortunately for me the B26.com site has been a great launching point.

Kindest regards,

Jason Wright

Date:
3/16/2007
Time:
6:56 AM

Marauderman: Robert E. Coyle
Bomb Group: 386th
B26: Miss Carriage
Comments: Looking for any information on the plane named above and on my father who was a tail gunner. He passed away in 2000 and never really spoke much about the war. Thanks. Robert Coyle

Hello Robert, regarding information about your dad’s plane named, “MISS CARRIAGE.” My crew flew in that plane on two occasions when our plane, “BUZZ-N-BITCH II was down for battle damage repair. The first time we flew it–she scarred the hell out of us. It dropped its entire bomb load where we were parked. You can read about that on my web page under the heading of combat mission number 026. The following is a listing of some missions your dad flew with, “MISS CARRIAGE.” 386th Bomb Group Diversion Mission number 4. 386th Group combat missions, 004, 006, 010, 012, 013, 015, 019, 023, 025, 027, and 032. I think that is about the time your dad’s crew was transferred to the First Pathfinder Squadron. Your dad was involved in a shoot out with German fighters on mission number 013. I also flew on that mission. All of this data can be found on my web page as listed below.

The first page of my web page shows a list of contents. For instance, if you click on Formation Diagrams you will see where in the formation a plane flew on each mission. Just click on the particular mission number you are interested in. The same goes for Photo Pages, there are 16 pages of photos. In most cases I include photos at the end of the mission stories, if they are appropriate to that story.

If you send me your mailing address I will send you a copy of a letter your dad wrote to me January 4, 1981 along with an article concerning our Group mission number 113.

The story was in the Stars And Stripes newspaper.

Well that is about all for this sortie, Tallyho.

Chester P. Klier, Historian–386th Bomb Group

Date:
3/14/2007
Time:
7:36 PM

My father, Frank Lee Wood, Jr., flew B26s during WW2. His plane was the Helen Highwater. He received the DFC for leading the sortie over the Mortain Forest in June/July 1944. He also led his wing during sorties over France on DDay.

Carroll Wood Forth

Date:
3/8/2007
Time:
10:12 PM

This entry is being entered on behalf of my husband, Gervaise (Jerry) Jarmer
9th Air Force
394 Bomb Group
587 Bomb Squadron
He was a B-26 tail gunner, based in Chelmsford, England and flew 37 1/2 missions, including D-Day, before being shot down on June 13, 1944 over France. I believe he and 2 others survived. He and Elmer Felhauer and Adam Tothe were captured and transported by boxcar to Stalag Luft in East Prussia. He was a POW for 11 months and 3 days. He was one of the bridge busters and flew in “Hannibal Hoops”. He joined in 1942, I believe, with 3 of his brothers.

Date:
3/8/2007
Time:
8:12 AM

Dear Reader,

My mother, Mia Rikers and she lived in Holland in a place named Hulsberg, dated Clifford T Reavis between September 1944 and 1945. Her last letter from him was from June 1945. On the envelope he wrote:

Sgt Clifford Reavis XXXXX931
558 Bomb Squadron
387 Bomb Group
APO 140 U.S. Army

Does anybody recognize the name or know Mr. Reavis? Is there an American Army organization where I can find out what happened to him?

Thanks in advance and kind regards,

Henk Zieverink

Date:
3/5/2007
Time:
9:05 AM

I am a former Navy pilot, retired Delta captain, and author of four books. My present project is on the AAFs of Florida during WWII that will include a detail history of MacDill. I would like to interview a former B-26 pilot, preferably one who went through MacDill. Failing that, I would like a recommendation of a book that goes into the specific troubles of the B-26.

Thanks,
Mel Shettle

Date:
3/5/2007
Time:
7:17 AM

1st Lt. John Nemeth in 9th Air Force in WW II

By D-Day, June 6, 1944, former 1st Lt. John Nemeth had flown 40 combat missions over Nazi-occupied Europe in a Martin B-26 “Marauder” bomber named Johnny Come Lately. He would fly 27 more in this twin-engine attack bomber dubbed “The Widowmaker” by some because of its propensity to crash during takeoffs and landings.

Date:
3/4/2007
Time:
11:32 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Ivan J. Breaux
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: 4 years
Graduation Class: 1942; Tail gunner
Class Location: Panama City, Florida
Comments: I went to overseas June 3, 1943 arrived Scotland, England, France & Belgium. I returned America in July 1945, and found the Papers when the Atom Bomb hit Japan. We were to be home 30 days and began to training to go to Japan; After 30 days back at Post, we were discharged. Here are a few pictures for your web site: S/Sgt Eddie Kozlowski, two 553rd BS 386th BG guys with their dog, sorry, I forgot their names.

Dear Ivan – can you confirm your original crew please;

Melvin C Giles, pilot; W E Baldwin; R M Ludwig; Kenneth Kuznetzof; R H Hickok; and you.

Regards
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
2/27/2007
Time:
7:03 AM

Dear Mr. Trevor Allen: I am approaching my 92nd birthday, and since all my time in service was with the 322 Bomb Group from its first day until the war’s end – ground duty (since my flight instructor told me I tried to fly a plane the way I drove a Ford Tin Lizzy.)

1. I note that the children of George Simler got through to you. I would dearly love to get in touch with them, because I have some memories of their Dad – esp. when he was evading.

2. Of course, anything I might e-mail them would also be sent to you.

This is brief because my limited acquaintance with the computer renders brevity not only the soul of wit but also the best way to “compute.”

The work – and devotion – you have given the B-26 is quite staggering. You deserve a medal (we usually called them gongs).

yours, Bob Combs

Date:
2/25/2007
Time:
9:41 PM

I would very much like to have a dedication page for my father, Jesse Lee ‘Tex’ Eubank, a B-26 pilot during WW2. I am attaching a zip file with 10 web-ready photos and a text file. Please let me know if you receive the two files and if there is anything else that I would need to do.

Thank you so much,
Larry Eubank

Excellent. Thank you!

Date:
2/22/2007
Time:
9:05 PM

Does anyone remember my father William (Bill) Laberee (1912-2005), Master Sgt, flight crew chief, with the 397th Bomb Group, 598th Bomb Squadron? Would love to hear memories. Jane Laberee

Date:
2/21/2007
Time:
7:03 PM

My father in law was T Sgt. William V. McGraw, 9th Air Force, 386th Bombardment Group and 552nd Bombardment Squadron. I would like to find as much information possible on his military career for my husband, his son – William V. McGraw.

Thank you.
Donna McGraw

Hi Donna – you can start right here: 386th Bomb Group info in B26.com

Date:
2/21/2007
Time:
7:53 AM

I would like to add my uncles name to your guest book. His name was Paul Morton. He flew in B-26s during the war in England. He passed away last year. I don’t have any details about his service, he never liked to talk about it. Maybe one of his crewmates remembers him. Thank you very much, and god bless all the men and women who served…….Terry Morton

Hi Terry – thanks for writing. Are we talking about Paul H. Morton from …? If so then he was with the 323rd Bomb Group, 454 Bomb Squadron. The 322nd, 323rd, 386th and 387th were the first Marauder bomb groups in England and they saw some very tough fighting. Check this out: 323rd Bomb Group info in B26.com

Yes that’s my uncle. Thank you for the info. I never had a chance to talk to him about his service. It’s something I’ll always regret. Once again thank you for the info…..Terry Morton

Date:
2/19/2007
Time:
6:53 PM

Virginia Ivanicki’s “Alley Marauder”

“When I paint the buildings and the planes together – though this was my first so the idea was just being formulated – they are all meant to be on different ‘planes’ of reality – which is more evident in the later paintings where you can see the ground far below. Collision is never possible as they already exist in a kind of afterlife as separate entities; the buildings and the planes both being destroyed on Earth but still existing somewhere in our memories. Because of the extremity of the emotion (courage, fear, etc) created at the time – like that extreme moment, whether on the ground at point of impact with bombings, or for the crews at the time before the airplanes themselves went down, is so strong, I believe they just can’t cease to exist, but that in some way they continue to fly up there somewhere, forever connected to the buildings that were part of the arena of the war. They will go on in our memories forever, as they will in history – even after those of us involved have gone on. I guess they are paintings that say ‘we will not forget you – we see you when we look up’.”

Date:
2/16/2007
Time:
9:08 AM

Lt. Herchel Palmer, 585th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group

According to the Official History of the 394th Bombardment Group 585th Bombardment Squadron (a portion of which I quote below), 1st Lt. Herchel E. Palmer was killed near Guise, France on December 2, 1944. According to pages 83- 84 of the book Bridge Busters by Guy Ziegler, Lt. Palmer’s plane crashed due to bad weather following a mission to Saarlautern, Germany.

Based on my own research, I know that Lt. Palmer flew often in formations alongside 1st Lt. Francis M. Kirby. I have copies of some official documents that I obtained from the Air Force Historical Research Agency, if you have an interest. I have attached a formation diagram from December 6, 1944. You will notice that Lt. Palmer flew directly behind Lt. Kirby that day.

Ed Garcia

…large image here .pdf document

Date:
2/16/2007
Time:
9:25 PM

Jordan Galloway is only 14, but that hasn’t kept him from fulfilling a dream — working on World War II planes. He is one of many volunteers helping rebuild a B-26 Marauder at the MAPS Air Museum.

He is the youngest volunteer there, but that doesn’t matter to the Jackson Middle School eighth-grader.

“When I was little, I went up there (museum), and I really liked it a lot,” said the son of Beth and William Galloway. “It fascinated me, and I got really involved in it.” …read more.

Date:
2/16/2007
Time:
2:45 AM

I wonder if you can put a date on the accident shown in the attached photo of a ground collision between a Marauder and a USAAF 15th AF, 376th BG, 513th BS, B-24 # 55. The accident might have happened at San Pancrazio, Italy, on 2 Nov 44.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Sincerely,
Tom Brittan,

…large image here…

Tom, the incident occurred on 18th October 1944 and the B26 was HD520 S of 21 Squadron South African Air Force.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
2/15/2007
Time:
8:04 PM

Hello, my uncle, William Anthony Shaughnessy, San Francisco CA, served in the 386th Group, 554th Squadron beginning in 1943. He served in 63 missions, including flights over Germany. His pilot, whose name I don’t have, served an extraordinary 95 missions. They flew B-26s. We believe his plane was called Boomerang. My uncle was a bombardier-navigator. Could you please send me information on my uncle. We are curious about his missions, where he was stationed in England, and any information you have on him and his experiences. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal with two clusters. He passed away in 1999.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Ross

Date:
2/15/2007
Time:
8:04 PM

I am the son of S/SGT James M. Marcus of the 553rd Squadron, 386 Bomb Group – The Crusaders. I have two photos I would like to share with B26.com. One is of my father with an unknown officer/pilot who I would like to try and identify. The other is a group photo with several men wearing various AAF patches. It may have been taken at AAF Depot #2 near TT Kirkham. It was definitely taken in England. It might be Easton Lodge near Great Dunmow. I would love to identify what/where it is from.

The photo with two men is of my father, S/SGT James Mitchell Marcus with an unknown Officer. S/SGT Marcus served with the 553rd Bomb Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group.

The second photo also includes my father with a group of enlisted and one Officer. This may be a maintenance section from his base near Great Dunmow. That may be Easton Lodge in the background. The 2d photo could also be a one week turret class conducted at Air Depot #2 at T.T. Kirkham.

Sincerely,
Tim Marcus
MSG, USAR, Retired

Date:
2/13/2007
Time:
4:54 PM

Donald M Stangle, 397th Bomb Group, 598th Bomb Squadron, died 12/23/44, he was my grandfather. I only recently heard of him as it was too painful for my grandmother to discuss him. My mother is his only daughter. He named his aircraft after her and my grandmother, the “Patti Kaye”. Whatever information might be available out there on him would be most appreciated as I am trying to help her find out what she can about him. My new husband and I just made a journey to see where is lies today in LUX. What a moving a wonderful experience it was. Thank you in advance for any information.

Suzanne

Following is an excerpt from the 397th Bomb. Group (M) monthly report for Dec. 1944. Captain Stangle was a pilot of one of the planes shot down on12/23/1944. The 397th BG records indicate that he was in the 598th Bomb Sq.

1. For the month of December, the 397th Bombardment Group remained at A-72, Mons En Chaussee, France. The usual operational activity for the month was limited considerably by weather, with the Germans taking advantage of this change in climate to launch a strong counter-offensive in the 12th Army Group Sector. The attack began the 16th of December, under the protective cover of low fog and conditions unsuitable for our air forces to oppose the drive. However, on the 23rd of December, medium bombardment aircraft were out in strength, striking important communication zones directly behind the German onslaught. On this day, the mission to the ELLER RR Bridge in Germany (PDF document), the group suffered its first major losses by enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft. After the turn off from target, on course to home base, approximately 25 single engine fighters attacked our formation. The group’s records show a loss of eight B-26’s to enemy aircraft encounters and two B-26’s to heavy flak. Our gunners hit back for a total tally of four enemy aircraft destroyed, three enemy aircraft probably destroyed, and eight enemy aircraft damaged. This total does not include enemy aircraft presumably destroyed or damaged by the ten missing bombers.

25 December marked the occasion of Christmas, the group’s “first” overseas. Two missions were completed against the break-through area, and the returning afternoon mission was diverted to other fields, because of weather conditions over the base. Most of the personnel celebrated the event with turkey dinners except those combat crew members who had the misfortune to spend the evening away from their base. Candle-light services were held for all denominations by Chaplain’s Comfort and Chatham, and the aspect for Christmas at home in ’45 was predominate in everyone’s mind.

26 December 1944, at 2250 hours, an enemy intruder aircraft attacked this field, but inflicted no damage to personnel, aircraft, or ground installations. 27 December, the group flew and bombed the KALL Railhead, and this marked the last mission for the month of December and the year of 1944. Four days later the entire base celebrated the New Year – a year that will bring inevitable defeat to the enemy.

Donald Hoch

Don, On Dec 23rd 1944 your grandfather was flying B-26 43-34221, during the battle with German fighters this airplane was seen to roll over onto its back, break into two parts and to crash near Auderath, Germany. No parachutes were observed by observers of the incident. The crew that day was as follows;

Capt Donald M Stangle; 2.Lts Gordon H Wenborg and Norman S Scherer; 1.Lt A E Coyne; T/Sgt Harold W Perkins; Sgts J Hejner, Sgt. James A Hoots and Robert D Williams.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
2/13/2007
Time:
2:16 PM

Marauder’s Name: John Demarest, Jr. (aka “Bugs”)
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadrons: 553rd & 552nd
Years in Service with the 386th BG: Feb 1943 to 4 July 1944
My father remained in the Air Force and retired as a Lt. Col from Pease AFB in NH on 01 May 1967

I am the second daughter of John Demarest, Jr., who was a navigator in the 386th in ETO and I have a number of questions about his service with the group that I can’t ask him since he passed away in 1998. He flew 65 missions with the 386th, his first being the first combat mission of the group when he was the navigator on “Two Way Ticket” with Lt. Ray Williamson (search b26.com )as pilot, which crashed on take off with the only injury being Lt. Williamson’s broken finger. His last combat mission with the group was on June 29, 1944. From talking with my mother, and remembering the stories my father told, he flew regularly with Lt. (Capt) Williamson and Capt Gus Hoffman (search b26.com) until they both were lost. My father was on leave when both Williamson and Hoffman were lost to crashes, Williamson on 5 Nov 1943 and Hoffman on 29 May 1944. One of my questions is: who did he fly with while Williamson was recuperating from his broken finger? When did he start flying with Hoffman? Was my father flying in “Our Baby” when it crash landed at Lymene on 26 Nov 1943? Who did he fly with after Hoffman was lost on 29 May 1944? Do you have a list of all of his missions? Do you know which planes he was in when they crashed? (I believe he was in 5 crashes during the war, 4 with the 386th BG and one in Aug 1944 when he was with the 10th Photo Reconnaissance Group (155th Night Recon)).

From talking to my mother, I know my father was awarded the Silver Star (on 23 Apr 1944) for taking over the piloting of a B-26 after the pilot and co-pilot were seriously wounded (one of the two died in flight) and brought the plane back to England where it crash landed just after crossing the channel. Do you know what date this was, who the crew were and the name/number of the plane. I believe one of the crew parachuted out before my father got the plane back to England because my father gave the fellow his parachute since the fellow’s parachute had been shot full of holes.

At some point my father was transferred from the 553rd to the 552nd probably because many of the men in the 553rd had become reluctant to fly with him. I think they thought he was jinxed (I believe he experienced 4 crashes while with the 386th in addition to the losses of Williamson and Hoffman when he wasn’t on flight duty). I also believe by the end of his time with the group he was flying as lead navigator with the most senior (in rank) pilots for the same reason. Do you know who he flew with on D-Day? Do you know when he was transferred from the 553rd to the 552nd squadrons?

Does anyone remember the name and location of the castle where the men were sent for R & R? I have a picture of my father in the garden with some of his buddies next to a bench, the same bench I have seen in another photo on your site which indicated that this was the castle where the men went for Flak R & R.

Thank you so much for all of your efforts in memorializing the record of these courageous men!

Michele Demarest

Date:
2/11/2007
Time:
7:50 PM

My Aunt was the English girlfriend of T/Sgt George Heiser (of 451st Bombardment Squadron) who was killed in action on August 6 1944. She heard that George was “missing in action” and your website has, at last, answered some questions. I note with great interest that S/Sgt Melvin E Pillow was part of the same crew but survived the crash in France. If Melvin is still in contact with you we would be delighted to make contact – he was, by all accounts, credited with some astonishing actions after the crash. -Mike Draper

Date:
2/10/2007
Time:
9:41 PM

I am looking for information on 2nd Lieutenant Jack C. Shewell who flew with the 495th. Bomb Squadron, 344th Bomb Group, Medium, stationed at Stansted, England. His plane was reported shot down on a bombing run May 28, 1944 to bomb the Maisons Laffitte Railroad Bridge.

Any information would be appreciated (I’m trying to help his brother who is now in his 70’s, learn more about his brother. His body was never found).

Thanks,
B. Lucas

42-107691, code Y5- was hit by flak in left wing on bomb run, France. MACR # 5141.
Target was a railway bridge near Paris (group mission # 61). This bridge on the river Seine near Paris was also bombed on May 27th 1944 (group mission # 59).

Crew:
PILOT: 2nd Lt. Jack C. Shewell => Normandy Cemetery, Wall of the Missing
CO-PILOT: 2nd Lt. W.D. Bradford
BOMBARDIER: 2nd Lt. J. Johnston => Epinal Cemetery
ENGINEER-GUNNER: Sgt. M.W. Cave => Lorraine Cemetery, Wall of the Missing
RADIO-GUNNER: S/Sgt. T.E.Joyner
TAIL GUNNER: Sgt. J. Forsythe

From 344th BG history edited by Austin: “Practically all bridges on the Seine River had been bombed by the Marauder groups except one among the few at the outskirts of Paris, which necessary had to be destroyed to completely paralyze their communication systems. With this in mind, we were assigned to the task May 27, 36 planes dispatched but only 29 bombing. A solid wall of flak was reported near the city, the enemy evidently thinking our attack was to be made within the city limits. Some flak was fired into the formation and 16 planes received battle damage. Our results were good to excellent.”

Further…”Repairs to the Paris bridge began immediately and we were again assigned to undo their work on May 28. Thirty-six planes were dispatched and 19 bombed again with good to excellent scoring. Our return to Paris this time found the flak defenses in readiness. They were extremely heavily organized and accurate in their sighting. Five planes were shot down either at the target ore were abandoned after leaving the area due to the damage sustained. Along with these planes, 31 crew members were recorded as missing in action against the enemy. In addition to the planes lost, twenty ships received battle damage with one of these planes requiring service unit repairs. Other planes that did not bomb were blown off their bomb runs by the concussion of flak bursts blasts.”

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
2/9/2007
Time:
9:00 PM

Hello – I’m looking for any information on a 1st Lt Glenn Robert Young (X-XXX034) (known as Bob), he was a Marauder pilot & was injured on the 23rd December 1944 – I think it was on a mission to bomb marshalling yards?

A short time after this he was posted to Northern Ireland at Langford Lodge, he was killed in a non battle accident on 19th June 1945 at which time he was a test pilot at Langford Lodge, I’ve been trying to backtrack his war record, he was ex RCAF enlisting in 1941 and then transferred to the USAAF, he had just over 700 Hours Flying time logged up, 600 of them being active ETO hours, Original rating was on the 25th Sept 1942 RCAF, Present rating was on 14th July 1943 with the USAAF I assume. his previous station he was assigned to prior to Langford Lodge was Z026. I live quite close to where this accident happened & became interested in learning a bit more about the pilot Lt Young after excavating his aircraft a few years ago, the story nearly made it on to a TV program here in the UK called “Time Team” who where looking to fully excavate the site and tell the story behind the crew, sadly it fell through in the later stages.

Would appreciate any information on his marauder days.

Thanks,
Will Lindsay
Northern Ireland Aviation Archaeology
(site: 404)

Date:
2/9/2007
Time:
8:54 PM

My father, Stanley Roshiem, is a WWII vet on a B-26 Marauder, possibly a crew chief. Due to his age and failing health, he is unable to tell me much about his time in the war. I am looking for any info about him. All I know is that he was stationed in England, from about 1943 to the end of the war. I do not know what rank he was at the time. He retired from the Air Force in 1964 as a TSgt. He just celebrated his 93rd birthday, so he would have been about 29 or 30 years old during the war.

Thank you,
Billie Roshiem Lacy

Hello Billie Roshiem Lacy, below list of 9th Air Force B-26 Marauder Groups in England 1943 – 1944, squadron number and code on rear fuselage might also help recognition. Any photo with visible NOSE ART /NAME, or visible SERIAL NUMBER on tail fin or SQUADRON CODE on rear fuselage will be helpful here. Maybe you can use this information to help her father’s memory?

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen
——————————————————————————–
322nd Bomb Group
449h Bomb Squadron – PN on rear fuselage
450th Bomb Squadron – ER on rear fuselage
451st Bomb Squadron – SS on rear fuselage
452nd Bomb Squadron – DR on rear fuselage

ANDREWS FIELD MAY-JUNE 1943
——————————————————————————–
323rd Bomb Group (Stanley Roshiem not listed in roster)
HORHAM 1943
EARLS COLNE 1943
BEAULIEAU 1944
——————————————————————————–
344th Bomb Group
494th Bomb Squadron – K9 on rear fuselage
495th Bomb Squadron – Y5 on rear fuselage
496th Bomb Squadron – N3 on rear fuselage
497th Bomb Squadron – 7I on rear fuselage

STANSTED FEBRUARY 1944
——————————————————————————–
386th Bomb Group (Stanley Roshiem not listed in roster)

GREAT DUNMOW SEPTEMBER 1943
——————————————————————————–
387th Bomb Group
556th Bomb Squadron – FW on rear fuselage
557th Bomb Squadron – KS on rear fuselage
558th Bomb Squadron – KX on rear fuselage
559th Bomb Squadron – TQ on rear fuselage

CHIPPING ONGAR JULY 1943
STONEY CROSS JULY 1944
——————————————————————————–
391st Bomb Group
572nd Bomb Squadron – P2 on rear fuselage
573rd Bomb Squadron – T6 on rear fuselage
574th Bomb Squadron – 4L on rear fuselage
575th Bomb Squadron – O8 on rear fuselage

MATCHING JANUARY 1944
——————————————————————————–
394th Bomb Group
584th Bomb Squadron – K5 on rear fuselage
585th Bomb Squadron – 4T on rear fuselage
586th Bomb Squadron – H9 on rear fuselage
587th Bomb Squadron – 5W on rear fuselage

BOREHAM MARCH 1944
HOLMSLEY SOUTH JULY 1944
——————————————————————————–
397th Bomb Group
596th Bomb Squadron – X2 on rear fuselage
597th Bomb Squadron – 9F on rear fuselage
598th Bomb Squadron – U2 on rear fuselage
599th Bomb Squadron – 6B on rear fuselage

GOSFIELD APRIL 1944
RIVENHALL APRIL 1944
HURN AUGUST 1944

Date:
2/8/2007
Time:
5:28 PM

To: Larry R. Clere M Sgt. regarding posted article in B26 ’07 guest book dated 1/21. I was a pilot flying B26s in European theater from spring of 44 to May of ’45. I flew the plane shown #72 Dream Girl in combat while in the 95th Squadron, 17th Group. My bases were Sardinia, Corsica and Dijon, France. I likely have one or more pictures of #72 in my hundreds of overseas photos. If you are interested in any follow up communications, I would be pleased to respond. Best wishes to you and all remaining Marauder guys. Sincerely, Max Petrisek Retired Capt. X-XXX540

Dear Max,
I have that image as my desk top. I put it there the first time I saw it. It is a Privilege and Honor to know a Pilot of the Marauder. I and my family thank you for your service and for your contribution to our research of Homer Harold Hash. Would you by chance have any idea of the squadron/s Homer might have served. He was ferrying a craft from Morrison Field in Palm Beach, Florida to Mallard Field in French West Africa. This is an area that is escaping us. We would like to procure a patch of his squadron if possible. I would love any photo of “Dream Girl.” Again thank you. Larry Clere, Msgt. USAF, Ret.

Date:
2/6/2007
Time:
6:41 PM

My Grandfather, Herman Mitchell Jr., served with the 456th bomb Sq 323 Bomb Gp; years of service:7 Oct 1942- 30 Nov 1945. I would like to know if anyone has any information on him or the unit that he was with. I would like to talk to some of the men that served with him so that I may learn their stories. I would greatly appreciate any information that you have. I have his ASN it is XX XXX 626. I do not know what else you need. If you send me a way to contact you I will do so. I also have pictures of him and some other servicemen and some of the planes.

Thank you SO much about any information that you could provide.
Christopher Mitchell

Search b26.com for 456th bomb squadron

Date:
2/6/2007
Time:
6:41 PM

I am trying to do some research for the widow of TSgt Richard Earl Vaughan. He was a radio man, waist gunner and she thinks sometimes tail gunner on the B-26. He was with the 397th Bomb Group, 599th Bomb Squadron from 1944-1946. I do know he was over sea’s and completed his 50 missions so he could be home for his birthday 05/16/46 by flying with other squadrons. Both he and his wife Jeanne attended some of the reunions. Jeanne believes his aircraft was called the “AMEN” I have not been able to find anything out on it. At one point and time I do know that he was involved in a crash landing and was burned in the eyes while getting out. Any one out there who can help?

Respectfully,
David N. Rhoutsong

Date:
2/6/2007
Time:
7:22 AM

Hello to All,

My name is Leland Atkinson and I am the Superintendent of the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery. I recently had the visit of Ms. Suzanne Smith, the grand daughter of CPT. Donald G. Stangle, 598 BOMB SQ 397 BOMB GP. Unfortunately, I did not get her mailing address when she left the cemetery and I have since found a lot of information that I would like to pass on to a member of her family. I believe her mother, the daughter of CPT Stangle is still living. CPT Stangle and his crew were shot down on the Eller bridge mission on 23 Dec 45. If any of you could help me get in touch with a member of CPT Stangle’s family, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your assistance.
Leland B. Atkinson

Date:
2/5/2007
Time:
11:26 AM

My father, LTC Noel Wright of Schenectady NY, was a Squadron Navigator whose unit flew B-26s out of Townsend Australia with the 19 Bomb Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group. They frequently bombed Rabal. His plane was hit by flak one day and low leveled a ways until finally crash landing in Kirawina. The American and visiting Australian pilots were killed. The remaining crew walked out and were recovered by a ‘flying boat’. I have the details and unit names at home if anyone has an interest.

Dad went on to a business career with Marquart (Ram Jet missiles) and then his own manufactures Rep Business, flying a Cessna 182 and providing aviation products to Air Force clients in the SE during the 60’s. He later built his own ultra light for a photo business and is now retired with living with my mother.

Gilbert Wright
Recently retired Army UH-60 Pilot.

Gilbert,
The incident you refer to occurred on 20th May 1942. The B26 was 40-1426 and was hit in the right engine by flak. The pilot 2.Lt Christian Herron nursed it back until they reached Kirawina where he attempted to forceland. He landed in marshy ground and the plane overturned killing the pilot and Sq/Ldr Gurney Royal Australian Air Force. The rest of the crew were rescued.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
1/31/2007
Time:
7:02 AM

My father was Sgt Cletus Selissen. He was the radio man gunner, aboard a B-26 Marauder, one of the bombers in the first wave to the Normandy Coast on D-Day. The plane was named “Nancy Lou’ after his daughter, me. He was stationed with the Ninth Air Force Tiger Stripe squadron, under command of British Air Chief Marshal Leigh-Mallory.

I just wanted to know if the plane was still around.

Sincerely,
Nancy Lou VandenPlas (Selissen)

“You can’t love anyone until you understand that you can’t love everyone.”

Date:
1/28/2007
Time:
8:42 PM

I am the oldest child of Willys L. Amsberry, a pilot in the 344th bomb group, 494th bomb squadron. His plane was the AK-Sar-Ben Knight. Sadly he passed away in 1972 and the only info my family has about his wartime service is from his letters to my mom, Peggy whom he married after he returned from England in 1944. Any info about him from anyone who knew him or served with him would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Beth Amsberry Hammond

Date:
1/27/2007
Time:
8:02 PM

My father was Charles M. Cavill, 22nd Bomb Group, 19th Bomb Squadron and he died 1989. We have a book called the Marauder, he was in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations. East Indies, Papuan, and New Guinea Campaigns. He received the American Defense Service Ribbon, good Conduct Ribbon, and a Purple Heart for a wound in his left foot by enemy bombing of Port Moresby. There are not any names on the photo, except at the bottom that says LT. Wenk and crew. I appreciate your help.

Date:
1/27/2007
Time:
5:46 PM

I am looking for information concerning my father, Lt. Col. John L. Egan. He flew the B-26 in WWII. He was in the 322nd Bomb Group, 450th Bomb Squadron. He flew and ended up in charge at the Kempton Raid. He was involved with the B-26’s quite heavily. He also was in Korea in the 95th Bomb Squadron. He flew the B-24, I believe, and flew night missions.

I would like any information about his time in these experiences. His missions, name of planes he flew, stories. Anything would be very much appreciated.

He passed away on Dec. 5, 2002. Thank you very much.

Elayne E. Day

Date:
1/25/2007
Time:
6:58 AM

I am doing a book of the letters of World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle. As background research I’m collecting as much information as I can about him. I notice on the web page that Phil Scheier talks about connecting with him in England before D-Day. I’d like to get in touch with Phil Scheier and would appreciate your passing along my request to him.

Thanks so much.

Prof. Owen V. Johnson, School of Journalism;
& Adj. Prof., Dept. of History
Ernie Pyle Hall
Indiana University

Dear Prof. Johnson:
Just received from b26.com, our own unofficial central meeting site for all things relating to the B26 Martin Marauder operations in WWII, the query on my European meeting with Ernie Pyle in May, 1943.

I think your project on Ernie Pyle, and your affiliation with his home university in Indiana, is a tremendous move.

Even as I write this email, I am looking at a photo of Ernie Pyle on my office wall, taken at my base at Earl’s Colne in England, some three or four weeks prior to D-Day, in early May, 1943. Ernie is in the center of the photo. I am on the left talking with him, and another combat crew members, the late John F. Siebert of Charlestown, MA, is on the right. Read more…

Date:
1/23/2007
Time:
1:17 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Harry Howard Patterson, Jr.
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 598th
Years in service: 1942-1946
My Grandfather was the pilot of B-26 “Old Gruesome” and “Princess III”. For Christmas my mother gave me two of his medals, the “Distinguished Flying Cross” and an “Air Medal”. I also have many pictures of B-26 planes and war pics in general. One of my favorites is a picture of “Old Gruesome” in flight with many original signatures of men my grandfather served with. I never knew my grandfather he passed before I was born. I am looking for any information I can gather about him. Here is a post I found (Mike Kerley – update email address -ms) and would like any information on how I may get contact information. I was so excited to find this site and posting. If anyone has any info to share it would be greatly appreciated. I am in the process of scanning some of my pictures and will send once scanned.

Thanks,
Justin Lewis

42-96088 U2-P “Old Gruesome” is listed in the book “Rivenhall The history of an Essex Airfield” by B.A. Stait with Patterson as pilot.

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

ate:
1/21/2007
Time:
3:37 PM

Bonjour, mon père a servi comme mécanicien sur Marauder Je recherche des plans me permettant de construire une maquette de cet avion Pourriez m’aider Merci de votre réponse. André CAPDEVIELLE

Translated: Hello, my father was a mechanic on a Marauder. I seek plans allowing me to build a model of this plane. Could you help me? Thank you for your answer. André CAPDEVIELLE

Sample plans sent by John P. Maljers martin.b26.marauder.plans.diagrams.pdf
Additional plans and diagrams available upon request.

Date:
1/20/2007
Time:
10:21 AM

Hi guy’s, I am not a flyer, but did spend 20 years in the Air Force. My wife’s Uncle, Homer Harold Hash did fly the Marauder and we have been trying to get information on him. He was killed in Dakar, Senegal French W. Africa on November 9, 1944. His military records were lost in the big fire in St. Louis. Our daughter is wearing an old flight jacket and is also looking for a good picture of a Marauder to have painted on the back in honor of her great-uncle. Any help with these two queries would be very much appreciated. Thanks for your service to our country. Thanks, Larry R. Clere MSgt USAF Retired

Regarding photo of his aircraft I think it’s a possible solution to get a B-26G-MA as close to his serial. Attached photo of Dream Girl from 17th BG 95th BS, serial 44-67869. The olive drab on back and tail is better illustrated on 44-68168 (attachment) and here (Jay-Walkin Molecule).

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/19/2007
Time:
7:51 AM

I am the son of Lt. James S Pollard of Stuttgart, Arkansas and dad was a pilot of a b26 in Europe in 1944. If anyone has any info on my dad’s plane and members of his flight crew, please contact me. Thanks, Steele Pollard

Steele, your father served with the 455th.Bomb Squadron 323rd.Bomb Group. I have found James S Pollard in 1945 his crew in March of that year was:
1.Lt H R Huey pilot; 2.Lt J S Pollard copilot; 2.Lt L R Hays bombardier; T/Sgt M C Brashear radio/gunner; S/Sgt J M Turner engineer/gunner; S/Sgt W L Gear armourer/gunner.

As to which B26 the crew flew, normally a crew might be assigned a specific B26, but on combat missions would fly several different B26’s this being determined by serviceability.

Trevor Allen
Historian, b26.com

Date:
1/18/2007
Time:
2:28 PM

Roland C. Anderson
323rd BG
453rd BS
ETO 1942-1945

Attached is a photo of my Grandfather and his crew that I’d like you to add to your site.

Radio Operator-gunner Sgt Roland C. Anderson (SD)
Tail gunner Sgt. Jonathan D. Berkley, Jr. (Texas);
Pilot Capt. Chester (Spike) W. Gist (KS);
Co-Pilot 2 Lt. Jerome S. Yosick (OH);
Bombardier 1st Lt. Joseph C. Cooper (AR);
Engineer-gunner Sgt. William P. Farrell (Conn.)

One of the ships this crew flew was “Truman’s Folly” 41-31983 VT-D

Comments: I’d like to talk to anyone who may remember Roland Anderson from South Dakota, I think he was a Navigator or Radioman in the 323rd of the 9th AAF. One of the ships he told me he flew in was called “Truman’s Folly”. Any information regarding which Squadron this Aircraft was assigned or anything about my Grandfather would be helpful.

He told me they flew out of Atlanta Ga. to Ireland for combat training and then to England (Earls Colne). Their first mission was over France on D-Day. He completed 49 missions over France, Germany, Holland, & Belgium. One of the planes he flew in was “Truman’s Folly” 41-31983 VT-D and probably flew many others as they were assigned according to serviceability of the aircraft at the time of the mission. I and Roland would love to hear from any of these Marauder men or any one who may know them or anything about the planes and missions they were involved with.

Thanks.
Tony C. Anderson

Nels Cassano, 453 Bomb Squadron, 323 Bomb Group, was the “Truman’s Folly” crew chief. Mr. Cassano traveled with the plane from the States to Europe and stayed with it for the duration of the war. Every “Truman’s Folly” crew member I’ve talked with remembers Nels and to this day they all appreciate him very much. -ms

Date:
1/17/2007
Time:
10:24 AM

I am trying to find the bomb sq. and the date that Joseph R. Grillo, of the 323 BG, was lost near St. Vith or St. Vitz, Belgium – possibly late 1943?

Many thanks,
Bill Fraser

Bill, On December 24th 1944 B26 41-34955 YU-T received a direct flak hit between the engine and fuselage over the target, subsequently crashing killing all on board.

The crew that day were:
1.Lts John K Fox pilot; James L Pearson copilot; 2.Lt Joseph R Grillo bomb/nav; Sgt Ralph L Hackworth; S/Sgts Arthur H Vance; Russell F Liebensperger (Russell F Liebensperger is buried in Luxembourg American Cemetery, grave location D-1-22. He is listed as being in the 455th Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group)

Trevor Allen
Historian, b26.com

Trevor, thanks for the fast reply. Would you know the squadron, and airbase they flew from and if 955 YU-T had a name or nose art? Thanks again, Bill Fraser

Bill, 41-34955 YU-T “Mission Belle” name and nose art. Missing 26 Dec 1944.
Flew from
Earls Colne, England from 14 Jun 1943
Beaulieu, England from 21 Jul 1944
A-20 Lessay, France from 26 Aug 1944
A-40 Chartres, France from 21 Sep 1944
A-69 Laon/Athies, France from 13 Oct 1944

Trevor

Date:
1/11/2007
Time:
5:50 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Maj. Mansel Ross Campbell (“Manny”)
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: 3 years, 4 months, 17 days
Graduation Class:
Class Location: MacDill FL
Comments: My grandfather, Mansel Campbell, was the pilot of TABASCO, whose name derived from the six crew members’ last names: (Burl “Tommy” Thompson, BJ Anderson, E.V. Burd, Hurley “Al” Altizer, James Spurlock, M.R. “Manny” Campbell, and “Others” to come). I’ve been in touch with Ken Thompson, Burl’s son, and he has supplied his father’s secret log of notes about bombing missions the crew flew in the European theater.

Mansel flew 75 missions, and really wanted to be transferred to the Pacific front after serving in England, Holland and France, but he was assigned as the CO right near the end of the war in Europe and stayed on to close the base. He died a few months after the war ended in a plane crash in New York, while flying without instruments in fog. My dad was five or so at the time.

I’m working on a book about my grandparents’ lives, which includes information about Mansel’s service, but is mostly about their relationship and family dynamics, etc. Any anecdotes about my grandfather and his crew members is greatly appreciated, as very little of Mansel’s own writing about the war survived–sadly, he burned the letters my grandmother had saved from his time overseas as soon as he arrived home. Not sure why. Does anyone know of other vets doing this when they got home?

I know he told my grandmother of a “Doc” Watters who was killed in the incident when a bomber landed with bombs still aboard, and caught fire, then the bombs exploded when the rescue crews were pulling people out of the wreck. I am not certain that was really “Doc’s” last name. If anyone can confirm this, I would appreciate it. My grandmother said Doc was a roommate with Mansel and knew him very well. She tells a tale, told to her by Mansel, about Doc operating on himself?

Also, in his personal effects that came from his desk is a “Secret” 556th Bomb Squad UNIT HISTORY which has some text about missions as well as photos of bomb sites. I do not have the original, my brother does, but I have bad photo copies of certain pages. I will try to type up what I can and post.

Thanks for this great site! I am eager someday to explore the Akron archives someday, as well.

Also, I am involved in the Veteran’s History Project, recording the words and images of vets who are still alive so their experiences can be archived in the National Library of Congress. See http://www.loc.gov/vets/ for more information. I encourage everyone who knows a Marauder Man or other veteran to borrow the recording equipment from your local chapter, and sit down and interview them. If that is not convenient, I would be honored to interview and record the voice over the phone of any veteran who would like to participate, especially Marauder Men!

Great service needs to be recognized.

Thanks again. Lisa (Campbell Powers) Scerbak


“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing”.
— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Mr. Shane K. Bernard, PhD, Historian & Curator, McIlhenny Company Archives, sent a huge gift basket to the 556th BS Reunion in 2002 and I delivered it – that was great fun! -ms

Date:
1/10/2007
Time:
5:16 PM

I wonder whether you could help me on this.

On March 22, 1945 the 397 bombing squadron – coming from France, but unable to drop their bombs in Germany because of much smoke resulting from earlier bombings – headed for the Netherlands. Five B-26’s then bombed the little village of Oene, leaving 15 Dutch people (and German soldiers, their number unknown) dead on the spot.
I’m currently writing an article on this for our historic association, and have been provided with the following names of pilots:
Kreihn, 828/F
Johnson, 335/B
Highrebedian, 450/A
Drake, 114/D
McSorley, 285/C

Could you enlighten me further on their names (forenames e.g.) and on the numbers/letters behind their names? What do they stand for?

Thank you for your reply,
Joanna Tijman-Logtenberg

Date:
1/10/2007
Time:
3:49 PM

This is actually a question: I was wondering if you knew of any complete b-26s? My grandpa flew Super Baby in the 394th… There is a photo under the B26.com page listed as Clint Palmer of the b-26 Super Baby. I would like to find out some info on this photo. That is the plane that my grandfather flew, and Super Baby refers to my mom, who was born while my grandfather was on duty. I would like to try and get a copy of this photo… Thanks Kevin

The only flying Martin B-26 Marauder: Fantasy of Flight
Static display: Flak-Bait at Smithsonian
Static display: Wright-Patterson AFB National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Static display: Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Paris France) Martin B-26 Marauder
Static display of rebuild in progress: MAPS Air Museum Martin B-26 Marauder

Date:
1/10/2007
Time:
3:01 PM

Marauder Man: Charles Poundstone
386 Bomb Group
552 Squadron
Service 1942-1945, England
Plane Buzzin Bitch II
Comments: I am trying to get information about by father, Charles Poundstone, WWII service. He was in the Army Air Force, stationed in England. He passed away in 1963 when I was 13 years old so there is little information in our family about his service. His headstone has 92 Ordnance Company on it. I recently with through some pictures that he had. I believe he was a mechanic on the “Buzzin Bitch II” plane. It fact I think I have the same crew picture that is listed on Chester Klier’s website. I have many picture of airplanes including “Geronimo”, “Bull Moose”, “Horizontal Helen” and “Miss Angel”. There are many pictures of servicemen stationed with my father and I thought someone might like to have copies of these pictures. The picture of the “Buzzin Bitch II” has the name of A. Popovici on it which I assume is the pilot. Any information that someone might be able to share with me would be greatly appreciated. Elizabeth Poundstone Lee

Charles Poundstone was the crew chief on my airplane!

Chester Klier

Date:
1/10/2007
Time:
11:45 AM

Marauder Men – Thanks guys for your service to the country. J

Date:
1/9/2007
Time:
8:26 PM

Marauderman’s Name: SSgt. William J, Taylor
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 450

I am trying to contact Robert Taylor (email bounced; need updated email – ms), son of William, about a fellow aircrew man, SSgt. John Muters, of the Gawja-Jerk. He left a post on another B26 site in 2000.

Thank you,
Dan Penrod

Date:
1/9/2007
Time:
4:53 PM

My nieces’ grandfather Weldon Mellody was also on Spare Parts (42-96121) when it was shot down. Freal Knox had to order him off the plane when it was shot down. They were both captured by the SS. Weldon ended up in Stalag Luft IV. Was Knox sent there or somewhere else since he was an officer?

Is there anything I can tell them? They were based out of Rivenhall in Essex County, England when they were on that mission. -Debra Garries

Date:
1/9/2007
Time:
7:38 AM

My wife’s uncle SSgt Oliver Roy Lane, ASN XXXXX430, 344 Bomb Group, 497 Bomb SQD, from Portland, Oregon went overseas in Jan 22 1944 with 9th AF Medium Bomb Group, as a Radio Gunner he rotated home Sept 1944 (seems a short tour) we know nothing about his service except he received 12 Oak leaf clusters (what medal they were attached to not known) and two battle stars. Ollie passed away from kidney failure. Does any one remember him or have info on what plane he was in etc. We would like to pass it on to his nieces, as he son was adopted out and no one remembers why or what ever.

I know it is hard to remember men, I was in Korea with the USMC and have had no luck finding old acquaintances for my platoon.

Hope some one has something.

Regards
Bill Parker

Bill, Oliver flew his first combat mission on March 6th 1944 with his regular crew as follows.

Pilot Robertson
Copilot Lane.J
B/N Theibault
E/G Holder
R/G Lane O R
A/G Lane D S

There was a lot of men with Lane last names on this crew. The appended photograph may be of interest.

Regards
Trevor Allen

Date:
1/9/2007
Time:
6:35 AM

Hi, I’m wondering if someone can help me. I’m trying to find any information I can on Leonard Eugene Holmes.

My beloved father-in-law, Jerry D. Holmes, currently age 70ish, has always told us a little story about his oldest brother, Leonard, who was an Army pilot, Martin B-26. “Leonard would buzz the house when he’d come home on leave, which I thought was super.” he said.

They lived in “the country” in Texas…..I have to find out the city, can’t remember. Recently, my son presented a school project on Memorial Day, and we began to research information on Leonard. The family doesn’t have much info, I have photos of him in his dress uniform, flight gear, his purple heart, and a letter from the War Department on his appointment as a flight officer.

He was appointed on Dec. 20, 1942. His serial number is listed – Holmes, Leonard E. (FO).

My father-in-law was 9 years old when Leonard’s plane went missing in 1944, somewhere near Italy, maybe over the Mediterranean Sea.

An enclosure: WD AGO Form No. 0337-T, is listed at the bottom of his appointment letter.

We would love to find out any more information that we can, such as who were the other crewmen. Plus would love to have any more documentation about Leonard.

So far I have found no mention online of Leonard anywhere.

I will scan and email photo’s for a dedication page.

Thanks!
Jeanne Holmes

Dear Jeanne,
Your father-in law’s brother was almost certainly with one of three Bomb Groups, the 17th, 319th or 320th. Looking through my records very quickly I cannot find a loss for Leonard Holmes during the period you suggest. However, all is not lost by any means for there are several avenues we can pursue.

Firstly, Leonard may have been flying as a co-pilot on the mission when he was lost, therefore I would have to search for complete crew lists. If I have to cover three Bomb Groups this will take a very long time. If I can initially narrow it to one specific Bomb Group, then this will make my task so much quicker. To try to establish a specific Group it would help me greatly if you could send any photographs you have to hand. Frequently I can identify specific units if there are any B26’s in the photos.

Mr. Holmes was a Sergeant pilot, aka, Enlisted pilot. He graduated in the same class as Rollin Childress and he is listed in Lee Arbon’s “They Also Flew”, a fabulous book detailing the history of Enlisted Pilots.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
1/5/2007
Time:
12:35 PM

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

I appreciated your time and attention to this request and thank you for your consideration.

Giancarlo Tagliati

Date:
1/4/2007
Time:
3:49 PM

LANDAU, France
November 9, 1944

I was first pilot on my 28th mission and the target was a military school at Landau. This was a maximum effort so 54 planes were flying on this mission instead of the normal 36 planes. The mission was almost cancelled because of bad weather but it was decided that we should go. We picked up our fighter escort but it wasn’t long that we lost them because of the heavy cloud cover and they aborted and returned to their base. We got near the target but we couldn’t drop our bombs because of the heavy cloud cover. There was no way of knowing where the target was. Read more…

Date:
1/3/2007
Time:
5:06 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Robert “Pappy” Leggett
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 1943-45
Graduation Class: 44-C
Class Location: Laughlin Field, Del Rio, Texas

My father, Robert Gordon Leggett, 90, of Albuquerque, N.M., died October 28, 2006, at home from complications after a fall.

Bob graduated from Ann Arbor High School in February 1935 and began his career in banking in 1936 as a messenger. During World War II, he piloted B-26 Marauder bombers and flew 41 missions in Europe. He resumed his banking career in January 1946, receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Detroit in June 1948 and graduating from the University of Wisconsin School of Banking in 1956. In 1949, he moved his family to Royal Oak, MI where he lived until retiring in 1980 as president of the Wayne Oakland Bank.

Bob developed a lifelong love of golf when caddying as a boy and played on the University of Detroit golf team. He even managed a few rounds during WWII when in England. Up until three years ago, he could be seen walking Albuquerque’s public golf courses three days a week with his golf cart following him. He had a lifetime total of six holes-in-one.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Sylvia and his daughter, Leslie Lee (David) Gilmer of Albuquerque.

Date:
1/2/2007
Time:
5:58 PM

Maraudermen’s names: Unknown
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th (uncertain)
Last Mission: April 16, 1945, from Clastres (St. Quentin), France, to Kempten Bavaria
Serial number: 44-67894 (most certain)
Comment: Plane crashed in Switzerland, crew members survived, except for the pilot. I am researching about the last mission of the B 26 that crashed in a forest near a small Swiss town close to the German border. We are planning a small publication in our historical yearbook. Mr. Helmut Wachter of Bad Säckingen (Black Forest), is a German eyewitness of the incident on 16 April 1945.

I am now trying to find more information especially about the crew. Mr. Wachter researched the Military Archives in Bern (Switzerland), but did not find any names. The circumstances though can be reconstruct by the protocols of Swiss armymen. The two Maraudermen who saved their lives on Swiss territory said: The mission on April 16, 1945, was to destroy the railway station of Kempten, Bavaria. Technical problems with one engine forced them to an emergency dropping of their bomb load south of Ulm and to return to the base in St. Quentin, France.

Somewhere in the northern part of the Black Forest thy got into severe flak fires. The starboard engine got a direct hit, and broke off entirely. Due to the explosion, the propeller hit the starboard side of the ship. The co-pilot was smashed back by the shock and was unconscious for a moment. All navigation and other instruments were destroyed. The crew was ok. The rope to the rudder also broke. Without compass nor other navigation instruments, even without a map, the crew tried to keep west, while the aircraft constantly lost height. An emergency landing in the mountainous Black Forest seemed too great of a risk. Coming barely over a hillside, the suddenly saw the Rhine river. Assuming that crossing it they would be on French territory, the pilot gave the alarm bell sign to jump off the B 26. Two men jumped too soon, so they landed on German territory. The rest of the crew (the document doesn’t say the number) jumped off one by one. The pilot jumped last, but his parachute didn’t open. The B26 crashed in a woody hillside a mile or two from the German border (near Zuzgen, Zeiningen, and Mumpf). The pilot was found dead.

Helmut Wachter said, the B26, obviously severely damaged, crossed Säckingen (Germany) about 200 meters above ground. Swiss flaks shot at it after it had crossed the border, but missed the target (on purpose!?).

My questions: can anyone of the B 26 historians find out the names of the crew, and possibly more details about the B26 lost. My information found on the Lost Crew Database in Texas shows that three B26’s were missed on April 16th. Only the one with serial number 44-67894, it belonged to BG 387, was stationed in Clastres (St. Quentin), France. I appreciate every contact. Thanks to all of you who are doing such a good job on the B 26 homepage. It helps me a lot to understand what these heroic guys have done in WW II!

Werner Fasolin

Mr Werner,
The incident you refer to was as follows:
16th April 1945 B-26 44-67894 TQ-M ,crewed by 2.Lt Raymond Reid and crew, was last seen to jettison its bombs at 18.20 hours near Dongues-Chingen at map reference W590280. It was heading south with its right engine smoking and subsequently crashed in the vicinity of Zugzen. You already have the details of the events as they occurred in sequence.

I will search for the names of the rest of the crew and let you have them as soon as is possible

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Update: Jan 10, 2007
Herewith the names of the crew of 44-67894
2.Lt Raymond Reid pilot killed
2.Lt Kenneth J Stear copilot killed
S.Sgt Richard J Bockhahn missing
Sgt Johnie Jones returned
Sgt Richard J Mercado returned
S/Sgt Earl L Theis returned

Date:
1/2/2007
Time:
2:46 PM

I am involved in the research of the approximate 1500 American internees held in Switzerland during WWII.

A Captain, USA contacted me regarding his late grandfather bring denied posthumous award POW medal. He currently is home from Iraq recuperating from injuries by his helicopter crashing due to mechanical problems.

I notice there were members of the 387th BG, 559th BS involved over Switzerland on April 16, 1945. Aircraft serial number 44-67894 was lost, killing three crew members, including Pilot Lt. Raymond Reid.

Interested in the cause of crash, and what recognition issued to the three casualties, i.e. Posthumous award Purple Heart Medal. Also, if any crew members of the organization were also interned in Switzerland leading to the POW Medal.

Appreciate any assistance.

Regards,
Robert E. Johnson

Reviewing messages in the guest book, I noticed:

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

Since 1996, POWs held prior to 1962 wounded while being taken captive or while in captivity are authorized to be awarded the Purple Heart Medal. The definition of a wound in guidelines during the war include frostbite.

All former POWs that contacted frostbite are eligible. Obviously, many experienced frostbite during the “Death March” towards the West early 1945.

Alive former POWs , and those that have passed are receiving the Purple Heart Medal for their wounds as requests are processed. Last September, the widow of a Major was presented the Purple Heart, and POW Medals. Questions?

Date:
1/2/2007
Time:
1:42 PM

Here are pictures of my dad, Jean Annez de Taboada, to use on his dedication page. They represent the crew of my dad in front of their b26 and a picture of my dad’s plane in action.

If you need additional information I would be glad to assist you.

Thanks in advance + Best Regards

Thierry Annez de Taboada

Message for Jack Douay

My son, Alex, and I (son of Jean) were very excited to receive your message last week. We gave it to my dad who unfortunately doesn’t remember your name yet and would therefore like you to, if possible, give more details as to when and where you met him? I will also be very glad to answer any questions you may have.

Happy New Year and we look forward to hearing back from you.

Thierry and Alex Annez de Taboada

Date:
1/2/2007
Time:
12:41 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Comelous G. Cruse “Buck”
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: 1944 – 1945
Graduation Class: 1944
Class Location: Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, LA
Comments: My grandfather recently gave me some photos of his time during the service. The pictures that I’m posting today are:

43-34119 FW-T “Off Limits”
The Big Gremlin
Something that looks like a dragon (I can’t tell)
Two wings that clipped in mid-air over Beek, Holland. I think my grandfather said he was in the one pointing down.

I have a few more that I will post later.
Sheryl

Date:
1/1/2007
Time:
6:07 PM

My father, W.W. Anderson, was a pilot in the 397th BG, 597th squadron. He stated that he flew 65 missions. I researched the groups mission reports and find him on the loading lists for 84 missions. Two of these were aborted due to mechanical failure and three were listed as recalled. That still leaves 79 missions. Did the crews not get credit for a mission if they couldn’t bomb due to weather? Anyone out there who can enlighten me?

thanx,

Wynn Anderson

Date:
1/1/2007
Time:
1:08 AM

Regarding Lee R. Crisman, I found the DFC orders for Lieutenant Klimovitch. but nothing for Lt. Crisman, any chance of finding out what dates he was in the 553rd?

Thanks
John McCallum, son of Robert John McCallum