Year 2008

Date:
12/31/08
Time:
1:44 PM

I’m looking for info on my Uncle, Wilhelm (Bill) S. Dahl, Navigator, Bombardier, 397th Bombardment Group, 596th Bomb Squadron. Flew 44′-45′ and was over D-Day I think. Thanks very much. -Rob Aldridge

I’ve attached a mission list for Wilhelm Dahl. He was assigned and joined the 397th/596th in January 1945. Promoted to 1st Lt. May 1945. He is listed for both those items in the 596th Monthly History reports which I sent previously. Don Hoch, son of Sterling Hoch

Date:
12/31/08
Time:
12:42 PM

Do you have any information about this airplane? This is my deceased father Roy LaShon Killebrew. He was a mechanic. His name is on the side of the plane under the cockpit window. My mother’s name, Hilda, was painted on the cowling of the left engine. I am still looking for that picture. When I find the rest of my pictures, I might get a serial number. Mike Killebrew

large image

Mike, sorry this is a Douglas A-20 Havoc not a Martin B-26 Marauder. Regards, Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Mike Killebrew! As your father’s a/c was a Douglas A-20 Havoc, you have to search some other avenues for information. First, did your father serve in Europe (ETO)? The A-20 was also used in the Pacific. If it was ETO, do you know names of bases? Three 9th AF bomb groups operated the A-20 in ETO; 409th BG, 410th BG and 416th BG. I have checked the 410th BG roster, and your father’s name is not found there. That leaves 409th BG and 416th BG for ETO. If you find photos showing rear fuselage with squadron code you are a bit closer. Squadron Codes of 409th BG: 640th BS (W5); 641st BS (7G); 642nd BS (D6); 643rd BS (5I). Bases Little Walden (England); Bretigny and Laon/Couvron (France). Squadron Codes of 416th BG: 668th BS (5H); 669th BS (2A); 670th BS (F6); 671st BS (5C). Bases Wethersfield (England); Melun/Villaroche, Laon/Athies, Cormeilles-en-Vexin (France). 416th BG moved to Laon/Athies in February 1945 as the 323rd BG (B-26 Marauder) left that base. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/29/08
Time:
10:18 PM

Hi, I have an obituary for a friend of my late father. Both were members of 323rd BG, 456th Squadron. My late father, William A. Phillips III is listed on your site, as I furnished pics, etc. Recent deceased is Francis O’Rourke, he was a 1st LT bombardier. He became a Catholic Franciscan priest and died in 2008 in Boston. Will furnish info if you need it. Thank you. Mark Phillips

Date:
12/28/08
Time:
9:25 PM

My Dad, 1st Lt. John Venglar, served with the 17th Bomb Group, 95th Squad, B-26 Bombardier, 42-44B-26 was the New York II from Brazoria, Texas. -Thanks, Teresa Venglar Orr

Date:
12/27/08
Time:
11:01 PM

Name: Richard Norvel Morrison Jr.
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 573rd
Years in service: 1942 – 1945
Comments: Working on my family tree and my grandfather was in the engineering division. I am looking for more info on the Squadron and their missions. If anyone has photos even better. Please contact me. -Christopher Morrison

Date:
12/26/08
Time:
3:18 PM

Hello, my father, Frank M. Hobbs, was the navigator on the b-26 ”Kriehny’s Kradle 2″ — pilot Bob Krein. I would appreciate any info about these guys. Frank was with the 397th bomb group, 598th bomb squadron. Thanks Frank Hobbs

Date:
12/26/08
Time:
9:02 AM

Elliott S. Moorhead III
Marauder Man
322 Bomb Group
452 Bomb Squadron

I am honored to be a personal family friend of the Moorheads, Roland his son is one of my closest friends. I would just like to say how very proud of his father he is and of his wonderful mother. Lt ES Moorhead would be so proud of all of them today. Looking at the pages on B26.com and seeing what a proud strong man his father was makes me proud to call them my friends. I never got to meet LT. Moorhead but have been so blessed to know his wonderful family who I am sure got that way b/c of wonderful parents. He and the other members of his the 452 Bomb Squadron will never be forgotten with wonderful places like this page to go and remember. God Bless. Dr Robert Bodine
Date:
12/23/08
Time:
9:39 PM

James Fisher, 391st Bombardment Group, 572 Bombardment Squadron

Date:
12/22/08
Time:
3:20 PM

Chester Klier, sorry to see that the war birds is gone but thank you for sponsoring the site. We had a great outfit and survived to return back home. Wishing you all the best, The 555 photo guy, Ed L.

Date:
12/22/08
Time:
3:11 PM

My grandfather was Lt Andrew Joseph Blount. He had 73 missions in the 394th gp / 585th sq. Most of these were lead bombardier / navigator in the B-26 that Col Thomas B Hall flew. He received the distinguished flying cross for D-day at the Cherbourg peninsula, and a letter for “the most accurate precision bombing in the European theater” for a bridge in Clois France. I was looking at the list of names on the B-26.com page and saw a Lt Julian Blount. Is there a way I can contact him or his family. Surely two Lts with the same last name in the same squadron would have run into each other. Thank you, Kirt Blount

Date:
12/22/08
Time:
2:23 PM

I found your website for the B-26 Marauder which flew with the 9th Air Force in the European Theatre during the Battle of the Bulge. Maybe you can help me find the information about, perhaps family members of, or a picture of one of its military members – Sergeant David Vreeland assigned to the 9th Air Force, 394th Bombardment Group, 586th Bomber Group Squadron.

There is a display in The Remember Museum in Thimister-Clermont, Belgium that shows pictures of fellow members of Sergeant Vreeland’s unit – David Vreeland picture is missing. Nothing would make Mathilde and Marcel Schmetz happier than to have David’s picture to add to their museum – a tribute to the American men and women that liberated their country more than sixty seven years ago. The other crew members listed are Lt. Guerino Del Gresco, Captain Charles Deritis, T/Sgt Albert Diluzio, Lt. Gordon Boyle, Sgt. William Muller, T/Sgt Wilbur Junkins, Captain Frank Forest, Lt. Clarence Howard. Flying in Martin B-26 Marauder, 43-34456, November 18, 1944.

Here are copies of the display in The Remember Museum of our friends M&M Mathilde and Marcel Schmetz in Belgium. It would be a blessing to them to be able to add a photo of SGT David Vreeland and complete the memorial to our brave warriors.

I would appreciate it if you would contact me with any leads that might help me locate David and his family.

May peace and joy be yours this Christmas.
Sergeant Major, U. S. Army, Retired
Tom Prost, Jr.

Date:
12/18/08
Time:
11:55 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Wilfred H. Boudreaux, Jr (Marshall, Texas)
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 596th
Years in service: May 1944 – August 1946
Graduation Class: 23 May 1944
Class Location: 29 Palms
Comments: My Dad flew with the 596th in France then Germany at the end of the war. He passed away in 1992 after a long career as an attorney in New Orleans. My Mother passed away this summer and I found a brief case full of my Dad’s service records, air metal, insignias, etc.

I was wondering if anyone remembered Will?

Thanks in advance!

Capt. Stephen Boudreaux
Marine Superintendent
Odfjell Ship Management AS

Stephen, I can provide you with the missions flown by your father [1], and the Squadron’s monthly historical reports for the period when your father flew [2]. They are attached. There is at least one reference in the monthly histories, but his name was misspelled in the original, so you have to read through to find it. My father, Sterling Hoch, was a pilot with the 596th, and flew his 65th mission on Feb. 10, 1945, and returned to the USA. So he was probably gone when this gentleman was assigned. Don Hoch

Date:
12/18/08
Time:
11:13 PM

Thank you for the info on my uncle Peter Hess who was with the 558th Bomber Squadron. I had thought he was shot down over Dunkirk France. If you have anymore info on the plane being shot down please let me know. I would like to put it in our family tree. Thank you, Jacqueline Hess

Date:
12/16/08
Time:
10:36 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Richard (Dick) Donnelly 2Lt
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 556
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My father Dick Donnelly was a bombardier navigator. Flew his first mission in Sept 45 and something over 25 altogether (Air Medal with Silver Cluster). Flew on “Dragonas” and “Boogy Buggy”. Shared a tent with Lts. Willis, Walker (KIA), McCune (MIA/KIA?) and Sgt. Kendrick (KIA). Have attached some photos, would be interested in hearing from anyone with information on this squadron.

Brian Donnelly

Date:
12/16/08
Time:
3:22 PM

Hello; especially to Jim Stevens and his father and B-26 pilot, Joe Stevens and Ralph Segura, Sr. I’m interested in any information regarding Frank C. Porter, Bomb Group: 387, Bomb Squadron: 559 a bombardier from Montana in one of the planes that went down on the 12/23/44 “Mayen RR Bridge” mission [1] [2]. I’m interested in the name of the plane, photos and I’d love to hear from anyone who knew him. -Ken Porter

Ken, attached page 2 of MACR 11403 shows some of the information you seek. 42-107577 was “Hot Garters #2”. S/Sgt. Frank C. Porter was navigator on this mission. Regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

…large image .pdf

Date:
12/15/08
Time:
8:05 PM

My father, Robert Zinkgraf, flew with the 322BG 451st SQ. How would I find out the names of the planes that he flew his 35 missions in. Thanks for your help. Robert Zinkgraf Jr.

Check out Lee Lipkis’ page

Date:
12/13/08
Time:
11:47 PM

I have found in an old photo album with some of my father’s WWII information. Marvin O. McCord, Jr. was a Bombardier in the 574th Bombardment Squadron in the 391st Bombardment Group. I don’t have much more information as he drown in an accident 1955, July 4th in Georgia. At that time I was 9 years old. I would like anyone who could to please give me some information on how I might go about getting his war record so I could pass that information down to his grandchildren. Verbal Family history has it that he flew 39 missions. I do have in one article that states he flew missions over Belgium, France, and Germany . In giving a brief report to some interested town folk upon his return from the war he was quoted as saying “planes took off in 20 second intervals and flew 54 plane formations”. I might add a picture of my father in front of a B26 with some nose-art of “Bugs Bunny”.

Highest Regards to those still with us and those past for their service.
Marvin O. McCord, III, Son of Marvin O. McCord, Jr.

Marvin, first you can find further details at NARA, but have to use Mc Cord Marvin as search phrase, not McCord. Then you will find details regarding the first Army Serial Number your father had. Second, you must visit the 391st Bomb Group web site and check link to crew lists, then 574th lists, then check individual bombardiers. Your father is listed there as Captain McCord, Jr, and his officer’s Army Serial is listed, too. Third, you must check link to Taxi Sheets. There you will find 4 missions where your father is listed as Bombardier. Read the Introduction to Taxi Sheets first. The planes are listed with last three digits of serial + squadron code letter. 865-D must be 44-67865 4L-D; 227-V must be 43-34227 4L-V; 454-H must be 43-34454 4L-H. I have not found serial for 975-H, but probably also a G-model, serial 44-67975. Spangler might be 1st Lt. Richard B. Spangler (574th) and Flannagan might be Captain Raymond D.J. Flanagan (574th). Third, for further help regarding where to find more information, he has to visit this website Army Air Forces of World War II and check Research Help on the menu. Regarding the “Bugs Bunny” nose art it would be of great interest if this photo was presented here. I have added one photo from 391st with “Bugs” on the nose, is it this a/c? Have also added photo from first base in England March 1944 (Matching). Second base was Roye/Amy in France from September 1944, third base Asch in Belgium from April 1945. After that Vitry-en-Artois and Laon in France. The 391st BG operated the Douglas A-26 Invader from April 1945. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/13/08
Time:
8:56 PM

My name is Agostino Alberti and I am a teacher and I am involved in highly detailed research about the air war over the Department of Cremona, in the Po River Valley, Italy during World War Two. The National Archive of Cremona coordinates the study.

The 42 BW, flying B26 Marauders, accomplished several missions over my area of interest, attacking targets like

CREMONA R Bridge over the Po River
CREMONA Ammo Dump
CREMA R Bridge over the Serio River
SONCINO R Bridge over the Oglio River
PIZZIGHETTONE R Bridge over the Adda River
CASALMAGGIORE R Bridge over the Po River
CANNETO R Bridge over the Oglio River
ROBECCO R Bridge over the Oglio River

The attacks started in July 1944 and ended in April 1945.

Thanks to intensive (and expensive) researches at the NARA and at the AFHRA, I could provide to you an almost complete list of the missions with data like dates, places, targets, Bomber Groups involved in each mission, number of aircraft involved, number of bombs dropped, results of the attacks.

I would be glad to send to you an envelope containing all these data and maps of my area of interest.

I am applying to you in the hope to contact former airmen who fought over the targets above mentioned, flying B 26s.

It would be very interesting to obtain first hand accounts about these missions. I wish to thank you for your cooperation.

I’m Looking forward for hearing from you.
Best regards,
Agostino Alberti

Date:
12/10/08
Time:
2:32 AM

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, editorship ‘Ampt Epe’Historische Vereniging Ampt Epe

Joanna, 1.Lt R D Kreihn; 2.Lt J B Moore; S/Sgt F M Hobbs; T/Sgt G B McCracken; Sgt W H Kane; Sgt J C Rider. 1.Lt F M Johnson; 2.Lt’s W H Boudreaux; H H Hiernevomus; Sgt J F Busch; S/Sgt’s W Buzer; H M Bonner 2.Lt A Highrebedian; R Miller; F/O H T Cronnie;1.Lt H J Cain; S/Sgt M Klein; Sgt W F Vance; S/Sgt H H Bullock 2.Lt’s C V Drake; D R Winn; F/O M Vaselich; Sgt’s R W Woller; Q D Avery; R A Christoferson; 1.Lt’s E C McSorley; M Swartz; Sgt’s J Tamberlini; A Melovich; J A Cessna; A J Frankowski The numbers and letters after the names are the last three numbers of the particular B-26 the crew was flying in and the letter identifies its identity in the squadron. For example Krein and crew were in B-26 42-95828 U2-F

Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
12/9/08
Time:
7:50 PM

John D. McClurkin. Can anyone help identify the 391st Bomb Group men in the photos of my father’s dedication page and share more information about them? The photos were taken at Matching Green sometime between January and September 1944. I don’t have names for the two ground crewmen. I believe Jack Dougherty is holding the shell in the second photo (in the background left to right are Orin Basco, Daniel Lichtenhan and Rader Hale). Dougherty was a bombardier/navigator with their crew, but I can’t find any info about him. I would love to fill in the gaps and connect with anyone who knew any of these men.

Thank you so much.

Dora McClurkin Muir

Date:
12/6/08
Time:
2:05 PM

Marauderman’s Name: William Z Stanley Jr.
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 450
Years in service: 2 yrs, 7 days, 35 days
Graduation Class: AAFFGS BAAF F/M Florida Aerial Gunnery (flex), (a word with a hole punch through it but it ends with TTS) Buckley Fld, Colo ACFT Armament,
Class Location:
Comments: Her was a Armorer-Gunner 612, I believe he was a tail gunner. He was also a pistol marksman. The campaigns listed include Normandy, Northern France, Air Offensive Europe and Germany Campaigns. There are several awards and citations but the last one reads, “Distinguished Unit Band GO 254 8th Air Force 23 Oct 44.” It appears his arrived in Europe (ETO) on 15 May 44. He was a blond haired, blue eyed man, approx 6’0 tall. One of the stories his sister tells is about how he formed a singing/musical group with some other men and they would go around singing and making music for others. He also had a scar right below his Adam’s apple where the story goes, his dog tag deflected a piece of flying debris while he was on a flight where the plane got hit.

If anyone has any information about flights he was on, if anyone flew with him or if they remember anything about this character, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks,
Bill and June Stanley

Date:
12/2/08
Time:
10:42 PM

Hello Chester Klier, sorry to see that the war birds are gone but thank you for sponsoring the b26 site. We had a great outfit and survived to return back home.

Wishing you all the best!
The 555 photo guy, Ed L.

Date:
12/1/08
Time:
3:06 PM

Hello. My name is Raphael (Ralph) F. Segura, Sr. I was on the ground crew of a B-26 Marauder in England, France, and Holland. I was in the 387th Group, 559th Squadron from July 1943 to the end of the “Big One”. Is there anyone out there from the old 387/559th Group/Squadron? I would like to hear from you 559ers!!! -Ray Segura, Raphael F. Segura, Sr., age 91 and still kicking strong !!

Date:
11/30/08
Time:
6:53 PM

Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 496th
Comments:

Hello!

We are currently researching the accident of B-26, 43-34424, Y5-W.
This B-26 crashed on Sept. 10th, 1945 while en route from Florence Italy to its new home Schleissheim killing all 10 men on board.

Davies Jerald M. Pilot (Grave: NL: Margraten)
Choate Fleurney L. Co-Pilot (Grave: F: Lorraine, St Avold)
Dose Edward Bombardier (Grave: USA: ?)
Fredericks Albert C. Navigator (Grave: F: Lorraine, St Avold)
Rogers Pugh G. Passenger (Grave: F: Lorraine, St Avold)
Luno Leroy L. Passenger (Grave: F: Lorraine, St Avold)
Larsen Gregor J. Passenger (Grave: USA: Camp Butler National Cemetery)
Ferry Bernard M. Passenger (Grave: USA: ?)
Warren Harley R. Passenger (Grave: USA: ?)
Schacht Joachim Pfc Passenger (Grave: USA: ?)

We are planning to set-up a new memorial for them and are searching for a picture of this B-26.

We are also searching the grave sites of four crewmembers who were returned to the USA for permanent interment at a national or private cemetery.

We would be very happy if we could receive pictures of the crewmembers or get in contact with their relatives.

Can anyone please help us?

Many thanks in advance and best Regards
G. Braun
Chairman
Bavarian Aviation Historians

Q. Trevor, could a 26 hold 10 crew on board?
A. Tis true my friend, they could fly combat fully fuelled bomb load and a crew of eight or nine, so ten on board a flight with no bomb load should have been a doddle (easy).

Date:
11/30/08
Time:
2:41 AM

Name: S/Sgt. Sam Welborn, Jr. (my father) & Lt. John Howell (pilot)
BombGp: 322nd
Squadron: 452nd
Years: 1943
Class: unknown
Location: unknown
Comments: I have spent the past year researching the military service of my father, Sam Welborn, Jr., in U.S. Army Air Corps. Unfortunately I lost him when I was only three years old and until this year I knew next to nothing about the man. I have come across several documents that outline the mission he participated in, of which I hope to learn more. Here is what I have learned so far:

I believe that he trained at MacDill Air Base in 1942 as part of the newly formed 322nd Bombardment Group. in March of 1943, he would have been transferred to Bury St. Edmunds in England as part of the 452nd Bomb Squadron.

On May 14, 1943, the 452nd Bomb Squad along with the 450th flew en route to Ijmuiden, Holland on a mission to bomb the power station there that supplied power to German U-Boat pens. The squad flew in at just above 50 ft. and came under fire from light flak guns and Jerry gunners. After the bombs were dropped however, the planes all made it back to the English Channel in under a minute.

S/Sgt. Sam Welborn, Jr. was an engineer/turret gunner on a B-26 Marauder (A/C# 988 FR-R) piloted by Lt. John Howell. While en route back to base, the plane became difficult to control due to a damaged aileron and severed hydraulic lines, also resulting in difficulty with the landing gear. The crew kept the plane aloft as they attempted to get the landing gear down; however, only the nose would extend. After orbiting the aerodrome for half an hour, the decision was made to abort the aircraft. As Lt. Howell kept the plane steady, all of the crew, including Sam, Jr. bailed out. The plane suddenly went into a spiral, crashed and burned beyond the aerodrome. It is assumed the bomber went out of control as Lt. Howell attempted to leave the cockpit. Sam, Jr. hit a tree after bailing, fracturing his right humerus, and possibly never regaining full use of his right arm. After his injuries had recovered, he served as Ground Sergeant until December 1943. Though he tried to march on in his new assignment, he was never happy on the ground. He was honorably discharged on March 4, 1944 at Schick General Hospital in Clinton, Iowa.

If anyone can further add to the information or correct any errors here, I would love to hear from you.

Also does anyone know of a surviving copy of a roster for the 452nd BS? Or photos?

The crew list I have for plane A/C #988 (Let. ER-R) is as follows:

1st. Lt. John J. Howell (pilot)
2nd Lt. Howard E. Short (co-pilot)
1st Lt. A.C. Swain (Nav Bomb)
S/Sgt. Sam Welborn, Jr. (Engine Gunner)
Sgt. O.T. Miller (Radio-Gunner)
S/Sgt. L. Lacher (Tail-Gunner)

Thanks, Gus

41-17988 DR-R named “Weary Willie”
Gus all the aircraft in the 452BG used radio call letters DR thus DR-R would be the correct lettering for the aircraft mentioned in your post.

Don Enlow (also a son of a 322BG member, Malcolm Enlow)

Date:
11/2/08
Time:
9:13 PM

I have a picture that I wish to add to the dedication page for 1LT Howard Hartley. A Frenchman working on a memorial to honor my uncle and his crew was kind enough to forward a picture of their B-26 taken on June 12, 1944, two days before they were shot down. Please add this picture to 1lT Hartley’s dedication page. Craig Chapman

Date:
11/23/08
Time:
6:49 PM

Thank you so much for the generous gift of your time putting this together. My Uncle, Mark Louis Nagel, Col, USAF Retired died this past week. About two weeks ago, when he was sick we discussed his time in World War Two and more specifically as the Pilot of the B26, La Golondrina.

I went home and found your site with numerous references to both him and his aircraft. Unfortunately I did not get back to him with this information before his passing.

Of interesting note, if you’ve ever been to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, a picture of him and his crew is a small part of a display opposite of the B26 Flak Bait. His wife (my Aunt) is a docent at the museum and many of the times in that case or from his personal collection.

There are multiple other pictures of his war days in a scrap book in my Aunt’s possession. I intend to scan those into digital format as time permits. I’ve attached two pictures I took with a digital camera – not sure how well they will present in your format.

Again, thank you so much for your web site.

James Callahan
CW4, US Army Retired

Date:
11/22/08
Time:
9:31 AM

Name: Fred Dees, Jr.
BombGp: 473 36th
Squadron: 478th transferred to 480th
Years: 1942

Location: Burgaw, Pender County, NC

I read a post in the 2005 section from Ann Hansen, the widow of Harold Wilbert Hansen, who had flown a B-26 in Europe that was named the “Freddie Dees”. I was interested because my uncle, Lt. Fred Dees, Jr., was killed in a training flight on November 16, 1942, flying from Page Field, Ft. Myers, Fl. There were several close friends that went on through the war, and I think one of them must have named the plane. One of Uncle Fred’s closest friends was Lt. Melvin Clanton, who kept in contact with Uncle Fred’s mother after the war, but I never heard anything about the naming of the plane, so I am only guessing as to how the plane was named. Uncle Fred had just been picked to be complete another flight crew just prior to the crash and was acting as a co-pilot that day. The pilot, Lt. Donald Vail and Uncle Fred’s bodies were recovered a couple of days later with their parachutes deployed, so they did leave the plane prior to the crash. The other four crew members were never found and they were, Louis P. Miles, Richard Treat, Milton H. Newton, and William G. Kittiko.

Their plane was recently found in the Gulf and the story was in the Ft. Myers newspaper this summer. Parts of the plane I believe will be recovered and placed in the Ft. Myers museum.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has any knowledge of my Uncle Fred and the B-26, the Freddie Dees. It would be a nice to know that Uncle Fred did see combat, albeit as a name on the side of a plane. And also that someone who knew him, thought enough of him, and honored him by taking him to the war he worked so hard to be a part of, and contribute to the victory.

Fred J. Dees

Date:
11/19/08
Time:
9:25 PM

David Castrellon, World War II Air Combat Diary, 9th Bombardment Division, 558th Bombardment Squadron, 387th Bombardment Group

Date:
11/19/08
Time:
9:07 PM

Richard “Dick” Gunn, Pilot, 558th Bomb Squadron, 387th Bomb Group

Date:
11/19/08
Time:
8:39 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James E Kilcoin, JR, aka JR
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 587th
Years in service: Feb 43 – Jul 45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Lake Charles
Comments: My father was an Aerial Engineer Gunner 748 with the 391st. Newspaper articles indicate he trained at Lake Charles as well as a location in Michigan before disembarking to Scotland in Jun of 1944. He spent time at Matching Green then Roye/Amy, France before being separated. He apparently served as an altar boy at the local church (Anglican or Catholic) in Matching Green. I have information that leads me to believe he flew on A/C 42-107808 (as well as others) that was eventually scraped due to non-battle damage. Can anyone explain ‘non-battle damage?’ Also, his medals show an Air Medal with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster. Can anyone tell me how many missions that equates? His Distinguished Unit Badge has nine oak leafs(?).

I proudly stand and salute all that have served! God bless.
Jeff

Date:
11/19/08
Time:
11:04 PM

On 5-27-2008 Ellen Hartman requested information on her father, Joe Weaver, of the 586th. Joe Weaver was on the plane RU-O serial #42-96184 that was shot down on August 6, 1944 over Trouville, France. My uncle, Captain Walter E. Payne, was the pilot of this aircraft. Thanks to your website and others, I have been able to accumulate over 200 pages of facts surrounding those events and others related to Capt. Payne’s war experiences. I would like to get in touch with her to pass along some information that she seeks. I even have a picture of the B-26 that her father was on the night of August 6, 1944. Any help in finding her would be much appreciated. Bill Reese

Date:
11/19/08
Time:
9:13 AM

Last year I located a copy of a book produced by the 557th Bombardment Squadron (M) sometime in 1945. My father, Don Hines, was a member of this squadron. Inside the book was a roster of the squadron. I have attached pictures of the outside and inside covers of the book as well as the 557th roster. I found several typos in the original roster and likely made a few of my own but here it is! If another format would work better for you please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Thanks! Mike Hines

Date:
11/16/08
Time:
8:56 PM

I was a radio operator-gunner, which meant when not at my radio desk, I was at the waist, manning both guns, one on the port side, the other on the starboard. Made for nice cross ventilation when I had the two ports open.

Except on the rare occasions when we were lead plane, I left my radio desk as we headed east from our base at Earl’s Colne, heading across the English Channel, to get to my waist guns.

Among the fine photos you have here, is one taken from the bomb bay looking towards the cockpit. You will notice the series of supports on both sides of the narrow beam, or walkway, thru which I had to squeeze to get from the radio desk to the waist guns.

Since I was wearing bulky clothes to guard against the bitter cold at around 12,000 feet in an unheated plane, plus my flak jacket, plus the body straps to hold my English-style snap-on parachute, u can appreciate why they wanted thin folks as flyers. I wasn’t fat, but rather large. And squeezing thru that set of upright beams, which supported in part the bomb supports on both sides, was very interesting.

My big concern–always, was getting hung up between those vertical beams. This made me a very cautious guy to make sure I was all tucked in properly strolling thru the bomb bay.

Also, it was my job, as I may have mentioned earlier, that if any armed bombs hung up, refused to drop on the target, as soon as we headed home over the channel, to get back out to the bomb bay. The bomb bay doors would be opened, and I would stand on the narrow walkway with my chute snapped on–just in case-and work to free the bombs and let them drop into the water. Also, u must remember the bombs had been armed by the small propellers at the head of each bomb, designed to arm them as they headed down. Actually, they became armed when the bomb bay doors opened up over the target and the 200-mph wind turned the small props, thus arming them. Most of the time, despite my efforts, we had to land with the armed bombs intact–and hope for a smooth landing. With our great pilot Luke Hargroves, we usually landed nicely, thank you.

I also got a kick out of the photo of my radio room, or, rather, my little corner with, yes, a desk, and equipment in front of me, and behind me. Plus the little window at my left. Opposite me was a similar office for a navigator, with the radio direction finder equipment…if needed. Since we usually flew in formation, we flew on the lead plane. Of course, if the plane was hit badly, and we had to drop out of formation, the bombardier was the guy with some knowledge of navigation to get us back, and I joined in with the radio equipment.

The only time we did fly independently, was in May of 1943 when we flew out plane, the Shirley Bee, from the states across the North Atlantic via Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and finally to England. Made for much faster more efficient plane delivery at a time when they were needed fast.

Another photo shows somebody on the ground looking up into the cockpit from an opening, or trapdoor, in the cockpit. This actually was how we all entered and left the plane, with our gear. One learned quickly how to stick your elbows into the opening, and actually lift yourself into the plane…with your elbows. We would first heave our equipment, chute etc into the plane via the opening.

Also, it was my job before nearing the channel, to turn off the IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) radio signal, located above the stairs which led from my office, into the cockpit. No need to alert the enemy we were coming, although of course, they could spot via radar even assembling over England preparing to hit them in Europe proper.

It was also my job to turn the IFF back on returning to England after a mission. Hey, we were returning to friends as friends. Very important to let them know.

Radio operators carried the codes of the day if they had to transmit using the Morse code. To prevent the Germans from using the codes against us, the code would change at special time periods. All this information was included in the thin, onion paper sheets, or flimsies, we received prior to a mission.

Certainly those photos brought back lots of memories to me, and again, thanks. I will also try to run down one of the 456th Squadron patches, which showed three dice, showing a 4, a 5 and a 6 on each dice, set against a four-leaf clover. Best wishes.

Phil Scheier

Date:
11/16/08
Time:
1:08 PM

Hi – bit of a long shot, I am trying to find details of a B 26 that crashed – not sure of reason – in 1944 in the Ardennes. I believe that the crew were all lost and were subject to recovery by a CIHLI team from Hawaii possibly in the late 1990s or early 2000. The only additional bit that may narrow it down is the recovery of the crew – or crew members a few years ago which I am presuming resulted in them being flown back to the US. I was in touch with a guy from Germany who assisted in the recovery and have since lost his details. – Thanks Neil

Date:
11/15/08
Time:
8:02 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Harry M. Graham
Bomb Group: 319
Bomb Squadron: 437
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: 42
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am the grandson of Lt. Harry Graham, B-26 pilot with the 319th BG, 437th BS. After much research I have come across a photo of my grandfather, his crew, and one of his planes (BN: 19 SN: 243 279 or 278). I’m looking for any information you can provide regarding his crew and this plane e.g. names, missions, what happened to plane etc.? I’ve been able to decipher he flew a plane named “Graham’s Crackers” via an old article but have been unable to confirm. I also understand he may have crash landed multiple plans and more than likely flew multiple Marauders. – Thank you! Mark Studdert

Date:
11/15/08
Time:
5:01 PM

Mason M Mandell, Sergeant, 451st Bomb Squadron, 322 Bomb Group

Date:
11/14/08
Time:
3:15 PM

Richard Waidelich, Pilot, 319th Bomb Group, 440th Bomb Squadron, seen recently getting into and out of his favorite plane at the Fantasy of Flight, Florida. My climbing up into the plane was like returning to the scene of the crime. It was just 64 years to the day that I last flew October 19, 1944 when we got shot up. And I got my second chance on 28 Oct 2008. Enclosed is a picture of our crew taken in Sardinia in 1944. Gilbert Falke our bombardier was shot down and spent six months as a POW. In June 2007 I located Falke. He is a retired doctor and is now 90 years old. I just had my 89th birthday on 15 Nov. I have no other information on the rest of the crew, but I would like to know more or hear from them or their families. Jerry Laugderbow did become a Major and probably went to the Pacific theater to fly A-26s with the 319th. I had a good time at out get together at Fantasy of Flight and met some fine people.

Date:
11/13/08
Time:
9:36 PM

Can you help me? My name is Brett Cowallis and I’m the 2nd cousin to SSgt. Lauren L. Cowallis. He was in 9th Bombardment Group in WW2 in 1944 and he was killed on Dec.6th 1944. His plane exploded before he could escape and it happened over Germany. Please help me and if you can find any thing on this please contact me. I was born in1967 and didn’t know him but I will not forget him. I seem to be the only one that wants to know about him. He’s my family, my life, so thanks again.

Brett, On December 6th 1944 B-26 41-31659 of the 558th Bomb Squadron,387th Bomb Group was hit by several rapid flak bursts, flames were seen to come from the bomb bay, followed by a mid air explosion. The B-26 broke into two pieces and crashed in flames. The crew consisted of 1.Lt’s Alexander Winsor, Jr; Erskine L Hulsey; S/Sgt’s Lauren L Cowallis; John Cragan; Sgt’s Lewis C Miller and John B Payne. S/Sgt Cragan and Sgt Miller became prisoners of war, the rest of the crew being killed in action. -Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
11/12/08
Time:
1:01 PM

Hi there, I am desperately searching for anyone with information about my grandfather who flew with the 556th BS 387th BG. I have a shoebox full of pictures of multiple planes from what I believe is a station in France . However I can’t find anyone that can tell his plane, crew etc. Unfortunately he passed away when I was young and none of his children ever got a history from him. I have pics of the QQQQ, Black Fury, Los Grande, Circle Jerk, Shootin’ In etc. I would love to share them and get get info for myself I just don’t know where to go. My Grandfather’s name was Walter Dick Woodcock and I have several photos of squadron commander Glenn Grau.

I appreciate any help and time you can give.
Travis Thompson

Date:
11/11/08
Time:
6:21 PM

Hi All, The Tarawa GPR Survey, ground-penetrating-radar survey, of Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, was completed last week. As you know, the Battle of Tarawa was a battle in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, largely fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It will take a month or so to get all the data in a report. I am happy to report that the graves of 130+ Marines and sailors left behind were found. We will be issuing a press release on 20 November, the 65th anniversary of the battle, describing what has taken place so far, the names and home towns of the bodies we found and our plans to get remains back to their families as quickly as possible. At the moment we are in talks with several Universities and museums to handle the excavations and identifications. More on this later. All four of the missing graves/cemeteries were located. Additionally several unnumbered graves were located using the original maps and burial reports found at Quantico earlier this year. There are other graves remaining to be surveyed but time and funding ran low. We’ll get to them on the return trip. Documentation that was obtained while on the island leads me to believe that in several cases bodies that were returned were misidentified. After 12 years of research on this subject nothing surprises me any more. Hope to keep you all informed as the project proceeds. – Ted Darcy

Date:
11/10/08
Time:
12:27 PM

I have just completed reading a number of articles from your web pages. I read with great surprise and article written by Roger Best The Martin B26 Marauder in South African Service. The third paragraph was of extreme interest as this was the aircraft that my uncle Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Pilot Officer (P.O.) Joseph “Alex” Goyer, Wireless Air Gunner (WAG), was aboard and lost his life on 3 February 1944. P.O. Goyer lies in the British Commonwealth and Empire, Suda Bay War Cemetery.

I would very much like to correspond with anyone regarding the 3 February 1944 flight and especially obtaining a copy of the photograph as described in the text of Mr. Roger Best’s article.

Can anyone help me with this request? I await a reply.

Best Regards,
Lynn Goyer

Date:
11/10/08
Time:
8:47 PM

Hi, I’m contacting you regarding adding a dedication page for our Dad, Richard (Dick) Gunn. My brother, Rick, and I contacted you several years ago and we want to sent pictures stories for a web page. I believe if memory serves me, my Dad and Bob Brockett, knew each other. I know for a fact my Dad flew multiple missions with Clyde Harkins and Richard Ainsworth and is mentioned with pictures on these two men’s pages. When my Dad passed away, I inherited his papers and pictures of that time in his life. If you will explain to me what format you would like the information in I’ll be happy to do it, but if you’re not going to use it tell me now before I go thru all of it. It’s a shame it took losing him to cancer to find out my Dad was a war hero as it wasn’t anything he ever spoke about. I think he would be tickled to be included on B26 website and I know it means very much to my brother. I hope to hear from you soon. – Debbie Gunn Givens

Date:
11/7/08
Time:
3:39 PM

My grandfather, Robert M. Jones, was a Radio/Gunner, flying most of his missions from 1943-1945 in the ETO, WWII. I am writing in the hopes of finding someone who knows anything about the crew that he flew with, many of his missions having been flown in the B-26 Flak Bait. He served with the 322nd bombardment group 449th bomb squadron (also 344/497) and flew Mr. Dean E Walton (344/497); Mr. Clyde L. Anderson (344/497 and 322/449); Elijah R. Bailey (344/497); William C. George (344/497 and 322/449). Mr. Wertman, no information. I am also trying to find information about a plane that he was flying in before he started flying his missions in Flak Bait. We believe that the plane’s number is 42-43286. This may be incorrect, we are not sure. My grandfather was in a plane that got shot down, and had to bail out. The pilot was badly wounded, hit in the legs, and my pap stayed after everyone else had already bailed out in the hopes of getting the pilot out of the plane with him. The pilot would not go, as he knew that it would have taken too long to move them and neither one of them would have made it. He told my grandfather to get out, that it was too late, and by the time my pap jumped his parachute almost didn’t open because he was too close to the ground – he had waited too long to jump. He hit the ground moving far too fast, landed on a tree stump only a mile from the enemy lines, and had badly broken up legs. When he came to, he had men standing all around him with guns pointed at him – luckily, he was on the right side of the line. He did not, however, save the pilot that he was trying to save, as the pilot would not leave the plane. The pilot and the plane crashed into a mountain or cliff very shortly after my pap jumped, and I don’t know how many others from that crew survived. I am looking for anyone who has any information on either of these cases, as we are trying to put together an accurate account of my pap’s history in the service. He was a very brave man, decorated with many medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and 2 Purple Hearts, and for this I am very proud. He has recently passed on, and will be greatly missed – he was a wonderful man! This is part of what I am hoping tho find through others. I know that pictures were taken of the crews and their planes and that there must be a picture somewhere of him, especially with Flak Bait and his crew. This was a very important plane, and I would love to have a picture of them with it if one does in fact exist, but I have as of yet to find it. The only picture that I have is a picture of my pap and my brother (pap 62 I believe and my brother 9 at the time, standing in front of the fuselage at the Smithsonian, when my grandparents took him to see it as a child.) My pap was always very proud of that plane! As for his two purple hearts, I have already told you the story of how he got the first one – unfortunately having knowing that his pilot was going to die as soon as he jumped from the plane. The second he got when he earned his DFC. He received a hand full of flak, and yet continued to use the radio, and continued to act as a gunner when necessary, refusing to tell anyone that his hand had been hit until the plane had landed. At that point, the glove that he was wearing had to be cut from his hand, as they didn’t whether all of hiss fingers were even still attached inside of the glove. Luckily they were! I am learning quite a bit about the man that my grandfather was, and about the bravery that he showed through such adversity. My gram tells me that there was never a time when he regretted his service in the planes in which he flew, and he always told me that the most beautiful country that he ever flew over was Ireland. I have also been reading and learning quite a bit about the B-26 in general.

Angie Yohey

Angie, Try 10th February 1945. B-26 42-107600 PH-H plane un-named. 1.Lt’s Thomas H Felker; R C Bryant; 2.Lt J C Spirakis; S/Sgts J S Rowell; C N Stearns; T/Sgt R M Jones. Hit by flak and crashed 1 mile NW of Monchau, pilot killed in crash, Stearns killed by flak in plane prior to crash. Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
11/6/08
Time:
11:56 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Louis W. Perry
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 552
Years in service: 3.5
Graduation Class: July 43, Nov 43
Class Location: Buckley Field CO, Laredo TX
Comments: My father was a armorer gunner (612) in the above group and squadron. He did not talk much about his service. My brothers and I would like to know what planes he flew on while in Europe. We have some pictures of him sitting on a bomb stack in front of Slightly Dangerous and one in front of what we think was a training plane named Miss Kitty. We would be grateful for any information.

Thanks,
Lee R. Perry

To better illustrate a 552nd BS Marauder and it’s crew is attached a photo scan showing 41-31616 RG-H “Mert and the Flying Circus”. Standing from left are 1/Lt. Roy Klein; Unknown; Unknown; Pilot and CO of 552nd BS, Major Leland Perry; Unknown. Kneeling, from left are Group Intelligence Officer Captain Thomas B. Haire; Unknown. The B-26 Marauder “Slightly Dangerous” RG-D seen on photo of T/Sgt. Louis W. Perry had serial 41-34941. Regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

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Date:
11/5/08
Time:
9:21 PM

Hi, my Dad- Lt. John Sloane, 335th BG, 475th BS, is now in a nursing home and he is doing okay but has no contact with anyone from the war anymore. He was a bomber pilot and saw his crew safely through 60 missions. I have all of the info. on my Dad’s war years and I know how lucky I am to still have him with me, if I could just find a few guys to “talk” via e-mail with him I think it would really help his rehab. I would love to share his info with you and I have tons of pictures. My Uncle was a bomber pilot also shot down and lost in the war. Hope to hear from you, Thank-you, Allison Sloane.

Date:
10/31/08
Time:
2:48 PM

I’m searching for crew members details of those who were in Lilly Commando which crashed in poor weather conditions in Ashingdon, Essex, England. Sadly the crew were all killed in the crash on 24th September 1944. The pilot was Jack T. Hanlon who had previously flew Rationed Passion. This may also help Greg Hansard who posted a message asking for details of the whereabouts of the plane and crew. His father, Elmer Hansard, had previously flown in Lilly Commando. 573rd BS391st BG. Have just been to the site where the plane crashed. It informed us that the plane was flown by 1st Lt. Richard E. Baehr and also listed the crew as Sgt. E.G. Demyanovich, Sgt. W.L. McCarty, Sgt. D.E. Crider III, 1st Lt. F.I. Yawitz. As there were several crashes around this area I confused it with the earlier enquiry, sorry. From the pilots name we have since learned that the plane was ‘Baby Doll III’ returning from France on the 24th September 1944. It crashed in an area known as Blackmore which is in Ashingdon, Essex. The plane was based at Matching Green (391st 573rd) serial number 4295823. The plaque marking the spot where the plane crashed is in the middle of a field and I doubt many people know of its existence, it has also not weathered well. Our local cub scout leader suggested it would be an idea for four cubs and scouts to investigate the history of the plane and crew and perhaps give them a better memorial at our local church. I am interested as one of those scouts is my son who also has great interest in anything connected with flying and planes from WW2. I have taken a few pictures of the plaque which was placed in 1988,but sadly the plaque has not weathered well. We would love to hear from anyone who has any knowledge of the plane and crew. Thanks, Rebecca Ricks (Beaver Scout Leader 1st Ashingdon-St. Andrews, Essex

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Date:
10/31/08
Time:
2:12 PM

Hi, Just a scan of a paper my Dad gave me for show and tell some 40 years ago. -Larry Blumer

Marauderman’s Name: William F. Blumer
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 355th
Years in service: 44 – 45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?

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Date:
10/30/08
Time:
11:43 PM

My father in law, Joe Kurill, flew 68 combat missions with the 387th BG, 557 squadron. I have his original military records with lots of great information. I also have lots of photographs that I would like to share. About two years ago I submitted some pictures to identify the crew, the person added it to the web page and said Joe Kurill’s crew, it was not Joes Crew. Is anyone living close to Utah so I can show the pictures and answer some questions I have? I’m working on a family project to answer lots of questions. Again, I would love to contribute copies of the photographs to the site, some really interesting pics. Thanks, Robert Bost

Date:
10/30/08
Time:
2:30 AM

Hello My name is Scott Taylor and my Dad was Captain Wayne Archer Taylor. He was a B26 pilot and flew 76 missions out of England in WWII. Did any of you guys know him? My Dad died in 1956 while flying a B26 over Scotland en route to France for the U.S. gvt. to sell the plane to them for their Viet Nam conflict. I was 2.5 years old. Him and a navigator both died when they hit a mountain in the fog near Sorn Scotland. The plane wreckage is still there and has become a place people hike to. I grew up w/ out him and it was hard. I am on a quest to find out as much as I can about him. I have a book called Flak Bait by Devon Francis all about Martin’s Marauder and my Dad’s writing is all through it in the margins. I believe he was in the 322nd division. Please, please if any of you knew my Dad please let me know. I used to work at an airport and there was a B26 on the tarmac being refurbished. Out in front of the Charles B. Schulz airport there was a statue of the Peanuts character Woodstock. He was dressed as a Captain and his name tag said (much to my astonishment) Cpt. Taylor. Imagine that! Twilight Zone stuff. I am desperate to find anyone he flew with or that knew him. Please help. Thank you Sincerely Scott Taylor

Scott, if you can tell us what Group your father flew B26’s with we may be able to supply you with some information. Additionally, if you have a photograph showing your father with a B26 we may be able to identify his unit this way. Regards, Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
10/28/08
Time:
7:29 PM

I’m a nephew of John Dolder and would like information on any event or reunion that the 9th Bomber Command, 596 bomb Squadron, 397 Bomb Group may have. Uncle John just turned 86 and was just talking about losing one of this buddies from this squadron. I would like to get him and myself in touch with the old group. Larry Berge

Date:
10/26/08
Time:
12:20 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Staff Sergeant William A. Kohler Jr.
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 554th
Years in service: 42-45?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location:?
Comments: My father is mentioned in Chester Klier’s mission log #41 from Nov.10th 1943. It said he was an engineer/gunner and that he was wounded in the neck by a piece of flak and that the plane crash landed upon return to England. The plane number was 41-31790 RU-T and the pilot was Lt. G.S. Jones. My question is does anyone know the name of the plane? My father passed on some time ago so any information would be most helpful. Thank you, Thomas Kohler

Date:
10/24/08
Time:
3:09 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 2 Lt. Earl Oakley Petersen
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 439th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Hello, I am looking for any information on my grandfather 2 LT Earl Oakley Petersen. ID # X-XXX410 who was a B-26 pilot and was killed in action on approx. Sept 23, 1944. He is buried in the Florence American Cemetery . My father is his only child and never knew his father as he was killed when my dad was just months old. My grandfather’s family never spoke of his military demise, and my grandmother wouldn’t either. I know he was trained in both California and Texas. We have been in the dark and searching for information. If you have any information I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much. I have one image that I will add which is the only image I have of my grandfather ~ he is the man on the front of the motorbike and the back of the picture says “ Rome ~ Aug 1944”.

Thanks so much for taking your time to read this!
Sincerely,
Angela Dose

Dear Angela, On 23rd September 1944 B-26 42-107555 received several flak hits in the bomb run, both engines began smoking and the plane went into a slow downward glide. Two parachutes were seen to leave the ship prior to the right engine bursting into flames. It then went into a slow spin during which two more parachutes were seen to leave the aircraft prior to it crashing a half mile west of Binasco, Italy. The crew were: 2nd.Lt’s Earl O Peterson; Harold F Sitterle; Howard F Braden; Sgt Lawrence F Burt; S/Sgt George A Creeth, Jr.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
10/22/08
Time:
1:15 AM

Hello. I am related to Black Jack Caldwell, a B26 pilot was was killed April of 1944. I am putting together a family genealogy, typed in “Jack E. Caldwell” and was directed to your site. It’s quite wonderful.

I found two entries in your 2005 Guest Book. One from Alf Egil Johannessen and the other from Carl Albuquerque. I would like to contact these gentlemen. Is that possible? And, if so, how can I do that?

In advance, thank you.
Cherlyn C. Caldwell

42-107581 of 387th BG 558h BS was shot down over Dunkirk on April 12th 1944, MACR 3745. Pilot was Colonel Jack E. Caldwell, Group Commander. This Marauder had a crew of 9 men on this mission for Dunkirk Coastal Defenses. Regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
10/22/08
Time:
1:15 AM

Hello! My name is Mike Cushing; I’ve written to you in the past. In fact, my email to you helped me contact a man who had information in regards to my great-uncle, John Liekhus. He was killed over Germany on Nov 2, 1944, over Merseburg. This email is in regards to my other great-uncle, Leonard Liekhus. He was in England at Chipping Ongar in March, 1944, and flew missions out of there. Bill Hornbarger’s name came up in one of his log book entries. I’m wondering if Bill or a family member who knows about events at Chipping Ongar could email me back if they have any info as regards Leonard and I’d like to get in touch w/ Alan Crouchman, the historian for the 387th BG. My great-uncle, Leonard Liekhus, flew w/ the 387th, in 557th SQ. A picture that I have shows Len in front of a plane named “Contrary Baby”, along w/ his crew. I have a copy of his log book for his tour. I think Maj Joe Whitfield was his squadron CO. Len’s first mission was on March 26, 1944 to Ijmuiden, Holland. It was apparently a rough mission. I build model aircraft and wish to make an accurate model of Len’s plane as a gift to him. Unfortunately, he now has to deal with Alzheimer’s. Any info you can offer would be appreciated! Sincerely, Mike Cushing

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Date:
10/20/08
Time:
5:54 PM

Hello, I am sending this in regards to all the men who had something to do with our country, during the years we were at war, in the Pacific Theatre or any other place that was a part of our countries defensive action however big or small it may have been, that led to the final victory of the freedom we share in this country today. So many of those men, so young, that never had the chance to live there lives as I have, I honor them all. they were the hero’s. I am only 62, and have seen many of our senior soldiers slowly disappear, from our lives, as they become part of a dying bread of hero’s that I alone can not find enough good things to say in a time when its almost to late to say anything. I have a friend that was talking about the time he flew on a B26, and of course, myself, being the war buff and love for all those war birds that were responsible for so many missions and of course bringing our brave boys back home safely, was all ears, as I am anytime I hear anyone willing to share there experiences during that period of time, that I so wish I could have been a part of. Anyway, it led me to my computer, to look up some of the history of the B 26, of which I knew very little about, and I came across some great people, who were a part of the experiences of manning those great bombers, that I surely enjoyed reading about, and I’m glad you were able to share some of those stories with us younger Veterans. I would never have known any of these things, had I not been talking to my good friend, and I thank him for that. I also thank all of you for your dramatic and personnel experiences. God bless all of you. Joe Applegate USMC (retired)

Date:
10/20/08
Time:
11:59 AM

I am the brother of WILLIAM RAUH of the MAD RUSSIAN. Colonel Stan Rauh, USMC{ret}

Date:
10/15/08
Time:
4:32 PM

In regards to “SHOOTIN’ IN'” at Wright Pat. My grandfather piloted that plane on a few occasions during the war as well. I plan on showing up to speak with Alex Roskowski [select here]. I will bring some memorabilia of my grandfather’s as well to share. This is exciting stuff for me! My grandfather, William “Wild Bill” Moriarity, will be happy to hear as well! Zack Bosslet

Date:
10/14/08
Time:
9:42 PM

In regards to the post below [select here], my wife is Melvin Shuler’s granddaughter. The family had had very limited information concerning his accident, other than the information found on this site. Thanks, Steve Rouse

Date:
10/12/08
Time:
1:04 AM

I am looking for any information about my uncle (my mother’s brother), Albert L. Caney, who flew a plane named ‘Privy Donna’. I only met him a few times. He was so proud of his plane, and his experiences in the war. I found your webpage by accident, and discovered a bit of information about him there. My mother was Charlotte Caney Schaer. -Joan Schaer Gebhardt

Captain Albert L. Caney of 386th BG 554th BS is shown on this photo with the original flight and ground crew of 41-31658 RU-A “Privy Donna”. Standing from left 1/Lt. Robert L. Stevenson (Co-Pilot); Captain Albert L. Caney (Pilot); Captain J.B. Watzlawick (Bombardier/Navigator). Second row, from left: T/Sgt. Joseph Hough (Radio); S/Sgt. Dennis E. Coffman (Engineer); S/Sgt. Clifford Bates (Gunner). Front row, from left: S/Sgt. Nathan Singer (Armorer); M/Sgt. Frederick E. Toomey (Line Chief); Sgt. Oakley F. Kidwell (Assistant Crew Chief). A later photo of “Privy Donna” is also attached, showing the name of Captain Emmett E. Curran (later Major) below Pilot seat window. Regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
10/9/08
Time:
3:15 AM

My identical twin uncles were in the same squadron an flew ol’ flak bait once or twice and said she performed well, however, there was one b26 in the squadron nobody liked because it just did not want to fly, and when they took off they would use every inch of runway and pray that the plane would lift off. It scared the hell out of them more than once. My uncles were 2nd Lt. Russell Lynn Clanin and Raymond Glenn Clanin. -Yours, Thomas E. Clanin

Date:
10/8/08
Time:
6:20 PM

As was requested by Bernard Porquet of CAEN Normandy France here is a photo with caption to add to photos for the Casimer S Apolinski page of photos. Please email me when there is some reply from him. He said, “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.”.

Sincerely,
John Apolinski

Date:
10/8/08
Time:
8:35 AM

Hello, my name is Keith Odom. I had the privilege on one or two times to play guitars with Mr. John Armstrong. I didn’t find out until some time later when we visited at the local bank that he was a WWII B26 pilot. Being a pilot myself I had a great time listening to him and some of his experiences. I think the web site is great for all of the pilots involved. Thanks to all of you for doing what you did for this country. I hope I have another opportunity to visit with Mr. John Armstrong again, or any of the other pilots here. My personal thanks to all of you again. -Keith

Date:
10/7/08
Time:
4:18 PM

My uncle, 1st. Lt. John A. Skiscim, was killed during a mission on February 23, 1945. As far as I know, he served in the 587th Bomb Squadron in the 394th Bomb Group. I am interested in hearing from anybody that served with my uncle, or in the squadron during this time. -Christopher

Christopher, according to 394th BG history book your uncle, 1/Lt. John A. Skiscim of 587th BS, was KIA on February 23rd 1945. He is listed as the only casualty for 394th BG on that date. The mission was for target Fortified Town Holzweiler in Germany. 35 a/c were dispatched, Group Leader was named Hale. Unfortunately no other information found in this book. 1/Lt. John A. Skiscim is buried at Epinal American Cemetery in France (B-5-68). Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
10/5/08
Time:
3:11 PM

Hi, My name is Albert “Al” Miner, 17th BG, 37th BS, I flew in the B-26 Marauder as an AAF Armorer over Europe in 1944. I’m 84 years now and this computer stuff is still Greek to me. Our pilots name was Lt. John R Auer, Frank Tolle, our radio man from New Orleans LA. Missions over North Apennines, North France. It’s coming back to me slowly , just wondering if anyone is still around from the old crew. Anyone with any information concerning this time of my life please contact me. I was able to have my son send this down to me, Thanks for all the memories evoked, my god, I feel so alive!

Mr. Albert Miner, I will suggest the book “Battle Over Bavaria” with subtitle “The B-26 Marauder versus the German Jets – April 1945” by Robert Forsyth with Jerry Scutts. This books gives a detailed overview in text and photos, including the missions during last part of April 1945. the 17th BG missions during April days in 1945 are. Your last mission was April 26th 1945, same day as Adolf Galland was shot down and 17th BG lost “Spot Cash”. 17th BG together with 323rd and 344th fought against German jets and Jagdverband 44 over Bavaria those days, and you were there. The attachment you posted on your page seems to be text from Adolf Galland’s hand. The connection I thought could revive your memory even more is in this book. Regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
10/4/08
Time:
7:31 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Mulford H. Smith, Jr. (Group Design Engineer)
Comments: My Father, Mr. Mulford H. Smith, Jr. joined the Glenn L Martin Aircraft Company in 1939 as an Engineer and left Martin in 1951 to work for the U.S. Navy Dept, later with the Naval Air Systems Command. My Father was brand new graduate of the Drexel Institute of Technology, Philadelphia, PA in 1939. In a very short period of time, perhaps one or two years there, my Dad was promoted to a Group Engineer with responsibilities for designing all Fluid Power systems, Landing Gear, Pneumatic Systems and Flight Controls for all Glenn L. Martin aircraft designed and built. As he has told me, I believe his first aircraft design was the A30 twin engine light bomber sold to England, and then he did extensive design work on the Martin B-26 Marauder. What a fine, fast Medium size Bomber. Earlier at the beginning of WWII, my Dad went to volunteer to be a young Naval Officer and the Navy told him that he would be much more effective in combating the enemy with his use of a slide rule at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company. He subsequently designed similar systems for the XB-48 and I believe the B-57. My Father died in 1991 at the age of 76. I am so very proud of my Dad’s abilities to take the technical skills that he learned at Drexel, together with his wonderfully broad ability to anticipate what systems were needed in all aircraft. Thank you for reading this. Hank Smith

Date:
10/2/08
Time:
6:33 PM

Are there any B-26’s still flying? I live in Ohio, between Akron and Cleveland, and saw a fairly large, 2 engine WWII bomber flying over today (10-2-08). It was definitely NOT a B-24 or B-25. From what I could see, I think it was a B-26, but I’m not sure. Any ideas? Thanks, Alan Travers

The Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace Martin B-26 Marauder and the Wright-Patterson AFB Martin B-26G Marauder are the sister ships. Air France owned two and gave one to Wright-Patterson AFB [select here]

Static Martin B-26 Display
Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace Martin B-26 Marauder

Static Martin B-26 Display
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio Martin B-26G Marauder

Static Martin B-26 Display
MAPS Air Museum Martin B-26 Marauder is being restored (open to public)

The only flying Martin B-26 Marauder

Date:
10/1/08
Time:
7:40 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Capt. Ray D. Williamson – Pilot
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: 1941-1943
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am the niece of Capt. Ray D. Williamson & I am looking for anyone who may have known him during his short military career. In England, he was first stationed at RAF Boxted AAFB June 1943- Sept. 1943. His last base was RAF Great Dunmow AAFB, England. He was shot down over St. Inglevert, France by anti-aircraft fire on Mission #38 – Nov. 5, 1943. He first flew “Two Way Ticket” & he last flew plane #131889 AN-D. I never had the opportunity of knowing him — he was killed just before my arrival in this world. But I am honored to have been named after him! If you may have known him, I would love to hear from you. Right now, I would really like to hear from someone who actually knew him & could tell me more about the man himself. I would actually be getting know him through them.

Also, do you know when & where the next B-26 reunion will be?

Cheryl Rae Williamson

Date:
10/1/08
Time:
7:17 PM

Hello: I am 68 years old, and I am looking for some information on my uncles who flew b 26 marauders based in France in 1943-44. Raymond Glenn Clanin and his Identical twin brother Russell Lynn Clanin are still living and in their eighties. They were both second Lts. And were co-pilots. One of the planes in their squadron that they flew is in the Smithsonian “Flak Bait”. If you have any information about their activities please contact me. Sincerely , Thomas E. Clanin

As you mention “Flak Bait” your uncles must have served with 322nd BG 449th BS. The 322nd Bomb Group moved from A-61 (Beauvais/Tille in France) to A-89 (Le Culot in Belgium) between March 30th and April 8th 1945. The 449th BS and 452nd BS moved between March 30th and April 1st and participated in the first mission from the new field on April 4th. Thirty-one aircraft plus two PFF (Pathfinders) were dispatched to bomb oil storage tanks at Ebrach (Germany). No flak were experienced, but one aircraft, 449th, was reported missing for reasons unknown. The aircraft, piloted by 1st. Lt. John B. Lynch was last seen losing altitude with the engine smoking at a position 10 miles ESE of Bamberg, Germany. The aircraft was under control, but there were ice conditions in the clouds. This Marauder was 43-34363 of 449th BS. 2nd. Lt. Raymond G. Clanin was flying in number six position in the flight and 1st. Lt. Lynch was flying in number four position. According to MACR 14262 2nd. Lt. Raymond G. Clanin was one of three eyewitnesses (attached here page 3 and 6 of MACR 14262). The MACR says that departure base was A-61 but the 322nd BG Group History says A-89. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

[large image] [large image]

Date:
10/1/08
Time:
4:51 PM

Hello, my name is Bruce Stanley. I had the privilege to meet a gentleman here in Grosse Ile Michigan by the name of Edward Vollenweider. My wife has known him and his wife for several years , but I only got to know them after I retired a year and a half ago. Mr. Vollenweider was a successful businessman here in Michigan. When I inquired as to some aircraft memorabilia at his house , I was fascinated to learn that he had flown B-26 Marauders in WW2. In fact , I believe he flew over 70 missions out of England as co-pilot and pilot. Ed passed away Sunday , Sep 28th, after battling a long illness. He was a true gentleman, and it was my pleasure to have gotten the chance to know him. I have been on this site before , reading about the B-26 and the men who flew in them , and just thought I’d post this in case some of you out there may have known or served with Mr. Vollenweider. I know him and his wife Susan have been to some of the reunions. Thanks You and God Bless, Bruce Stanley , Grosse Ile Michigan

Date:
9/25/08
Time:
7:53 PM

It is in regard to Thursday, April 12, 1945 – 386th Bomb Group Mission Number 395.

I mentioned in my note that there were indeed bombs dropped over Kaufbeuren, Germany, but I’m sure they fell about one mile outside the railroad station. I attended an outing with some U. S. Airmen and German citizens in the area mentioned (which, as I recall, maybe a bit southeast of the train station). I’m sure the area has been covered, by now, with houses and roads. It was really a post card looking town at that time. The air base mentioned in your article is the same air base that I was stationed at during the airlift years of 1948-50. Hitler may have stayed in our barrack since we were located on the line in the Fire and Crash Crew. Your bombs were not that far from the air base, also. I’m still wanting to go back just once to travel over the roads and see the sites before the old body starts to break down too much. I salute you and your crew for giving me a bit of my past that I had never knew before. God Bless

Homer Bruce – Service time was from graduation of High School in 1946 until 1950
Date:

9/25/08
Time:
2:42 PM

To the Marauder Men of the 344 B.G. I need your help in finding the name of the crew of 42-95913 shot down on May 28th, 1944 whilst on a mission to bomb the railway bridge at Maisons-Laffitte, western suburb of Paris . I only have the names of the three casualties – Peterson, Maddox and Davis. Hoping through your help to find the bomb squadron, the full name of the crew and if by any chance a picture of the crew and aircraft. I am working with the town to find out who those brave young men were who made the supreme sacrifice. Any piece of info would be very welcome.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

To the marauder men of the 344 B.G.

Good news, thanks to Trevor Allen who sent me the name of the crew I was able to pass on to the town the name of the three casualties and ask them to check their registrar’s office to see if the three fatalities are in their records – it would give many details and their serial numbers as well.

They told me they would include my letter in their municipal newsletter appealing to anyone who remembers the crash of the aircraft. They are going to send me details of the street where the crash occurred. What would be helpful now would be the serial number of the three survivors and their status: POWs or hopefully evaders and if there was an evader I could write to the National Archives for a copy of their E & E report. May 28th, 1944 was a big day for the 344 B.G. You lost 4 aircraft over that famous bridge at Maisons Laffitte and I think anything we can do to remember those brave crews deserves all our respect.

René Psarolis

Dear Rene, 42-95913 was crewed that day by 1.Lt Sidney W Peterson; 2.Lts Harry Harvey; Buck Wilson; T/Sgt Clyde S Maddox; S/Sgt’s Calvin E Davis; Earl R Trayer. This B26 was hit by flak on the bomb run.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com
Date:

9/25/08
Time:
11:36 AM

I am journalist in Schwäbisch Hall, a little town in the southwest of Germany. I am working on historical topics between 1933 and 1945. For example: I have published two books about the Schwäbisch Hall airfield during the war. Another example is the flight of the first Me 262 which the US Forces got.

In the vicinity of this airfield a B-26 Marauder of 455 Squadron 323 Bomb Group was shot down on 4 April 1945 by a Me 262. This aircraft started at Schwäbisch Hall airfield. At this place and nearby in the forest there has been for one year the final assembly of the first German jet Me 262. At the moment I am researching this topic.

This was the crew of the B-26: 1st Lt Robert M. Johnson, X-XXX695; Co-Pilot 2nd Lt George E. Stewart Jr., X-XXX604; Bombardier S/Sgt Morris Taub, XXXXX023; Radio Por./Gnr. T/Sgt Henry W. Bushyhead, XXXXX404; S/Sgt John G. Shea, XXXX452; and Gunner S/Sgt William U. Kennedy Jr., XXXXX580.

I am interested to get information about and the crew and the last flight of the mentioned B-26 on 4 April. And I want to ask you for your kindly assistance. I am interested in information about the name of the base of the aircraft, and I want to know: Which target did the crew have. Did they have any problems on this flight until Schwäbisch Hall? I know, after returning to the base specialists have taken the interviews. I am interested in the reports of the crews about the fight between the US and the German airplane. What did they say about this? And: Is it possible to get information about the crew (at which time were they coming to Europe, how many sorties did they have?)? And I would like to get a photo showing the crew.

I want to explain my project: In the eighties I have published a documentary regarding the Fliegerhorst Schwäbisch Hall, including the German units at the place, the activities of Dornier and Heinkel and at last Messerschmitt. Other topics have been the air raids of the 8th Air Force and the concentration camp Hessental. The prisoners of this camp had to repair what the bombers destroyed. After publishing this book the US Forces at Schwäbisch Hall Dolan Barracks asked me to publish a English version with the history until 1987. Dolan Barracks was the home of 11th Aviation Group (Cbt), then Brigade, at this time.

Now I am working intensively on a documentary concerning the Messerschmitt activities at the airfield and in the nearby forest, the three German AF units at the place, which had flown the Me 262 or the Arado 234, and the plans to establish a jet airfield after starting the Bundeswehr in the middle of the fifties.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Sylvester Koziol

Michael, the B26 was 42-107593 YU-M and the crew were killed after being shot down by a Me262.
Trevor Allen, Historian

This Marauder had serial 42-107593, and the target was Crailsheim Marshalling Yards. Home base for 323rd BG at this time was station A-83 Denain-Prouvy Airdrome at Valenciennes, France. Flying distance from base to target approximated 500 kilometers. Radio/Gunner T/Sgt. Henry W. Bushyhead was the son of a Cherokee Indian Chief, one of several Native Americans serving with the 323rd BG. The 323rd BG sent 30 Marauders + 2 Pathfinders. This target was attacked by 323rd BG, 386th BG, 409th and 416th BG on April 4th 1945. MACR # 13897. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
9/23/08
Time:
8:06 PM

Hi, my Dad’s name is Alex Roskowski and he flew on several missions on the “Shootin In” in WW2. If any one is interested he will be at Wright Patterson AFB on October 18, 2008. He will be at the plane at five o’clock before they close for the day. WE are going to take pictures and I hope we can get them on the web site. Hopefully we can get him to tell us a story or two. We are going to donate a enlarged picture of the “Shootin In” flying and dropping bombs. Alex Roskowski / S.Sgt / Turret Gunner / Flight Engineer

Date:
9/23/08
Time:
6:20 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Ned Gorin
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 552 European Theatre
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?

Comments: I came across this website and was so excited to find such a site. I’m trying to find information on my father-in law, Ned Gorin who was attached to the 552 Bomb Squadron, 386 Group. He has been deceased for over 40 years, however, my husband inherited his scrapbook of many fascinating photos. He was a navigator on I believe either True Love or Carefree Caroline. My husband was a young teen when his father died so I have very little information other than what he has told me. In the scrapbook, there is a photo of his plane after it was shot down on June 15th, 1944. My husband, Michael and I would love to hear from anyone who knew Ned or perhaps more information on the missions that he flew.

Attached is his patch….

Thank you, Veronica and Michael Gorin

“Carefree Carolyn” was 41-35247 RG-Z of 552nd BS. It was hit by flak over Cherbourg on her 100th mission June 15th 1944, and the hydraulic system was damaged. It belly-landed on Great Dunmow. The crew on this mission was: Pilot Captain Earl J. Slanker Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Don B. Wright Bombardier/Navigator Captain Arnold Humble Radio-Gunner S/Sgt Ned Gorin Engineer-Gunner T/Sgt Burton L. Vreeland (was injured in the escape from the a/c after crash landing). Gunner S/Sgt. James A. Rowe. This was mission #209 for 386th BG, the target was Bois de Buron Ammunition Dump in France. Attached scans from “The Story of The Crusaders” shows the belly landing and the crew. From Left Slanker, Wright, Humble, Gorin (on top), Rowe. “True Love” was 42-96321 RG-V of 552nd BS. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
9/16/08
Time:
11:24 AM

Edward H. Morrison 70th B/S 38th/42nd B/G “The Bravest Man I Never Knew” How does one Know a man he has never met? My journey began while searching through an old box of photos one rainy day and finding an old “V-mail’ from a long lost relative. This old black and gray Christmas wish from the Fiji islands started a fascination with a man I never meet and a distant part my my family I hardly knew. From an early age I’ve long been what you would call a WWII “fanatic”, particularly with the Army Air Corp, and through out my life have had the special privilege of being about to fly around the country in some pretty rare “iron” from P-51’s to B-24’s. And as cool as that seems, these men like Edward H. Morrison are what makes it special. I’m afraid that once their gone those experiences will somehow feel hollow. So on that rainy day a quest from the man behind a 60+ year old Christmas wish began. Edward H. Morrison was born and raised in the small town of Oakdale California, at a time when everyone knew everyone else and even up until the time he left for the service it was not uncommon for cowboys to ride into town on horseback. Edward H. Morrison joined the Army Air Corp December 30th 1940 at Moffett Field California. On January 1st 1941 he was sent to Ryan School of Aeronautics in Hemet California where he was a Flying Cadet in class 41-F. On April 28th 1941 he was appointed a Corporal in the Flying Cadets and sent to Advanced Flying School at Randolph and Kelly Fields in Texas where he completed training and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. From there Edward H. Morrison joined the 70th Bombardment Squadron 38th Bomb Group and introduced to a brand new B-26 he and his crew named “Irene” after his new wife. From there he and his crew came back to the west coast in preparation for going overseas. The crew of “Irene” consisted of Pilot Edward H. Morrison, Co-pilot James Rudolph, Navigator John K. Burs, and Radio operator/Engineer Thomas Moore. First Lieutenant Edward H. Morrison and the crew of “Irene” flew west and ended up in the Southwest Pacific on the island of Fiji. He was then sent to “Cactus”, Henderson field on Guadalcanal. During His time in the Southwest Pacific Edward H. Morrison and crew flew 25 missions totaling 150 combat hours and are credited with sinking two Japanese transport ships and shooting down three Japanese planes. On April 19 1943 while taking off from Fiji on his 26th mission one of the engines failed and “Irene” was unable to gain altitude and crashed through a grove of palm trees causing the gear to collapse, destroying the plane and injuring the entire crew. Edward H. Morrison suffered a sever compound fracture of the left ankle. His injury was so sever he had to be sent back to the States. He ended up in Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco California, almost in the same place where his service had begun. He was then sent to Hammond General Hospital in Modesto California where he was awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of an Air Medal after being recommended for one Air Medal and two Oak Leaf Clusters. After Three years in uniform he was discharged from the Air Forces as a Captain and at home. After the war Edward H. Morrison graduated from Stanford University in 1946 and Stanford University Business School in 1948 to become a successful businessman. Guided by my heritage … of love for bravery, and respect for strength … in search of a hero’s courage, I found my own. This is Dedicated to the Captain Edward H. Morrison and the “Bravest Men I never knew” and a rainy day and a box of old photographs. Photos for dedication to follow! Kenneth Terpstra

Date:
9/14/08
Time:
10:43 PM

My father, George H Gough, worked for the Glenn L Martin Co in Middle River Md during the war. He could not enlist but one of the thing she was most proud of was his part in building the B-26Marauder. I believe he worked in the Cockpit section although the workers called it the Pilot House. He was a true supporter of the Aircraft all his life. I later worked for the Martin Co as a test Engineer on the Titan Missiles and the Gemini Launch Vehicle. To this day we have the flying B-26 Ashtray that was available to the workers at that time. -George H Gough Jr.

Date:
9/13/08
Time:
10:34 PM

My father (deceased) Charles G. Walker was detached from the Sig. Cor. 1070th to Great Dunmow in the fall of ’43 from Mark’s Hall having arrived in England in May of ’43.(70 Sig. Cor 82nd group). He was trained in radio at C.E.R.I. outside of Washington DC. and radar at Camp Murphy, Florida At Sioux City Army Air Force Base he received his basic flight training. I don’t know if dad flew in either the Sexy Betsy or the Privy Donna however it was at Great Dunmow that he was trained in “GEE” equipment and had his first mission over France in Nov.’43. In his letters he talks of being at one time the crew chief and a navigator, In Feb. ’44 he was detached to the 50th Troop Carrier Wing as radar Pathfinding. The British trained him as a paratrooper and he jumped on D-day before the main force, and at Market Garden. he picture of the shot down German plane is in France and dad has his back to us.

What would the duties or job of the following: navigator, crew chief, radar Pathfinding , someone with “gee” equipment training, radar mechanic, and a detached person from the signal core. Thank you for any information.

Respectfully,
Deborah Walker Thompson

Date:
9/13/08
Time:
7:22 PM

Looking for Bob Young in regards to Howard W Young USMC. I recently purchased a home in Kentucky and found several scrapbooks in the Garage. Photos reference Howard W young and his daughter Tina. I am trying to get them back to family. Please email. -Patrick Johnson

Date:
9/8/08
Time:
10:18 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Frederic M. Morrison
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 497th
Years in service: 42- May 10, 1944
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Frederic (Fritz) M. Morrison is my mothers cousin. He was lost on May 10, 1944. Only three pages of his service record survived the 1973 fire at the Army Records Center. I have plenty of photos of his younger life and knew his mom when I was a little boy. The cousins of my generation would like to more about him. What was he like then? I’d like to make contact with anyone who knew and served with him and find out. Specifically, I like to contact Edward Borresen, if someone could put me in touch with him. This is the man I’m looking for. Frederic M. Morrison was the pilot on 7I-A, 295856, Fertile Mertile. Family lore was that no one survived. Obviously, not true.

Thank you,
Bruce M. Guertin

Date:
9/1/08
Time:
12:31 PM

Hi can any one tell me any more bout a Frank A Parravani Bomb GP 391? Thank you Dominic Parravani

Date:
8/29/08
Time:
6:14 PM

My Uncle, Lt. Vincent S. Garrambone, crashed landed in Holland during the war. His aircraft was shot down on the Ijmuiden mission of 11 B-26 Aircraft that left Bury St Edmunds on 17 August 1943 heading for the power plant at Haarlem, Holland. I have corresponded with several of the few survivors several years ago and would like to find them again. -Michael W. Garrambone,

Date:
8/29/08
Time:
2:22 PM

Hi, I’m trying to find information on Radio Gunner, Robert E. Hammond. The best I know is he was with the 391st Bomb Group, 574th Squadron; A/C #42-95835 “Powerful Katrinka”. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Deborah

Date:
8/26/08
Time:
7:36 PM

I was looking up any information on my PC that pertained to Kaufbeuren, Germany and Bad Woreshofen, Germany, and ran across an interesting articles, author Chester P. Klier, Historian, 386th Bomb Group, Dated 12-24-2003, about the possibility of bombs being dropped over the outskirts of Kaufbeuren. Having served in Kaufbeuren during the Berlin Airlift during l948-1950 I happened to be with one of the citizens of the city and following a special celebration just outside the city, he pointed out several craters caused by bombs that were dropped during the war. The location, as I recall, was about one to two miles outside the city and would be in line, somewhat in line with Edelweis Strasse past the new additions that have been added. I enjoyed reading your articles and enlightened to see the mention of Kaufbeuren. Sure brings back memories. Your men did a great job in serving your country. -Homer Bruce

Date:
8/24/08
Time:
8:07 PM

On 12/27/07 there was a post by Tonello Oorico Ala, about a B-26 crash that he witnessed. My father-in-law was the Bombardier on that aircraft, Lt John Pidcock. I would like to know if you have his email and or address. I would like to ask him some questions. Lt Pidcock passed away in 1990 and only one time spoke about it. Please feel free to pass my address and email on to Tonello, if you can. Thank you, Brett Lassen

Date:
8/24/08
Time:
11:47 AM

Hi, maybe somebody could help us ID the people, planes and places in the 20 original photos of men and aircraft of the 555th Bomb Squad during WW2 that I bought at the local flea market in Tulsa, OK. Aircraft I can identify (either from tail numbers or text on the back of the photo) are: Star Dust YAN 134937 and Incendiary Mary YAO 131768. Other photos show more aircraft but I cannot identify then. People named on the back of photos include (spelling may be wrong): Capt. Perk (Peek?), Lt. Perkins, McClure, Lt. Risner (Reiner?), and Lt. Cocklou (?). Dates on the censor stamps on the reverse of the photos are 28 Sept. 1943, 3 March 1944 and 16 March 16 1944. There are aircraft pictures from the cockpit, and from the ground. And about 1/2 the photos are of people on the ground. I do not know who took the pictures but I am guessing he was a crew member on Star Dust because that is the only aircraft identified by name on the reverse of the photo. There is an interesting picture of “McClure holding mouse in a cigarette pack” which is censor dated 3 March 1944. Does anyone remember that incident?

Paul Roales

Date:
8/24/08
Time:
9:17 AM

I found copies of The Local Flying Regulations for Dodge City – Army Air Forces Pilot School, dated May 15, 1944 and Oxnard Crosswinds, Class 42-G, Primary Flight Training; graduation class booklet. I thought the Dodge City AAF Flight Regs would actually go well with the “A day at Pilot Flight School – Dodge City”. Perhaps somebody will see a familiar face and add a dedication page to the site.

John McCallum, son of Robert McCallum

Date:
8/23/08
Time:
6:08 PM

My father flew B 26’s…Name was William Herman Rauh. His plane WAS the Mad Russian.

1.Lt W H Rauh served with the 553rd.Bomb Squadron 386th.Bomb Group.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
8/13/08
Time:
12:54 PM

We owe a tribute to all the men and anybody else who flew this great airplane. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here enjoying this great country. Remember them in your prayers for those who gave their lives. The Martin Marauder, a great World War 2 Airplane. Enough said, David Miller.

Date:
8/12/08
Time:
11:46 PM

I just found the picture of six men from the 553rd crew that included Julius M. Bargholz and Robert Brockhouse. W.H. Callon, kneeling far right, is my father-in-law. He died a few years back. I am very happy to see this picture. I am married to his 5th son, David Callon.

Date:
8/11/08
Time:
8:56 AM

My Uncle, Lt. C.D. Burger, was killed on D-Day, he was the co-pilot on the plane numbered 42-107592. I know he was assigned to Bomb Groups 394, 584, and 587. I was looking for any additional information anyone may have on him or other flight crews he flew with. The plane was called Stinky. I have the MARC report. Unfortunately I was never in the military but my father is a retired Navy man and my son is a Lt in the USAF stationed at Lockland and scheduled to deploy to Iraq in December or January.

C.D. Burger’s son Doug has posted the family history in the guest book 5-07-08. The chronicles of this aircraft are described in the guest book 12-28-07. I have heard that this accident is also told in two different books one is Bridge Busters and I can not recall the other one. I’m trying to gather family military history about my family’s service to manufacture a book detailing those services, this is a scrapbook not one for publication. It starts with my Grandfather in WWI, my dad, my father in law, C.D. and now my son. Anyway I was just looking to see if there was any additional information on my Uncle C.D. other aircrews he flew with or other flights he may have flown. From some of the information we have found seems C.D. was trying to catch a number of flights so he could come home for the birth of his son Doug. C.D. was killed in June and Doug was born in August. I have attached two Photo’s of him. One of him during what appears to be flight school and the other is with an unknown flight crew, the one noted me is him. I would like to identify the other gentlemen in the photograph and make the photo available to them or their family if they do not already have it. Any information that you can or anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.

One a side note my father was flew in the Navy in a Catalina and never spoke of the war or his service during that time, so now trying to find information is very difficult.

Thank you Jerry Carroll

Date:
8/9/08
Time:
6:43 PM

Hi my name is Angela Fiesbeck. Royce Stephens’ dedication page has a picture of a man standing under the Martin B-26 Marauder called “Mistle Toe” and the man in the picture is named “Unknown”, that’s my Dad, Sonny Timbers! He’s 85 now and going strong. Thanks for a great site on the 439th bomb squadron.

Date:
7/30/08
Time:
11:37 AM

I am looking for information about my father Lt. Harrison William Ambrose Jr. He trained in B26’s at MacDill Field in Florida. He saw WWII service in England. I have a photo of him in his plane showing its name “Circle Jerk” but it does not show any other plane markings. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Harrison W. Ambrose III

Date:
7/28/08
Time:
4:33 PM

I wanted to notify anyone who might of known Lt. Donald Wilson Round, that he went to be with the Lord on June 23, 2008. He will be greatly missed by his family.
Date:

7/28/08
Time:
9:54 AM

This is a reply to Mike Jackson, DDS. I was in the 554th Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group. I was the pilot of Thumbs Up in England from June 1943 to July 1944. Your father, Bud Jackson, flew one mission with me as bombardier, although I do not remember the exact one. I believe it was one of my last ones in June 1944. I retired from the Air Force as a Colonel in 1966 and worked for Boeing until 1983. My wife of 66 years and I still very much alive and well. -Arthur M. Lien

Date:
7/27/08
Time:
12:22 PM

I am the President of The History Museum of my hometown, Grenada, Mississippi. I was recently asked for information about a native of Grenada, Staff Sgt. Richard Duval Proudfit, who was KIA in a B-17 over Germany on 8 April 1945. A citizen of Holland who has adopted Sgt. Proudfit’s grave in Margraten, Holland, was asking for the information. In doing the local research for him I found a scrapbook put together by our local VFW and American Legion posts after WW 11 with pictures and a short bio on all Grenada men (and women) who served in WW 11. There was a section devoted to the men who died in the service and I did find a picture and some personal information about Sgt. Proudfit.

I became interested in the stories of these “Gold Star” men and tried to find out what I could about them and their service. A Google search on one of them, Sgt. William L. Weissker, led to your website and a guest book entry here. There is an entry in April of this year asking for information about an officer on a B-26 that was shot down. The entry told of the crash and hove survivors were shot down by the SS. Sgt. Weissker was one of the crew and his name is listed in the query and answer. I thought you might like to have the entry in the scrapbook about Sgt. William L. Weissker. It has his picture and some personal information. The book is in the Grenada library and is not copyrighted. The librarian says you may put it on your B26.com website if you wish to do so. I tried to find out if he has any family members still here but there is no one by that name in the city directory and none of our older citizens know of any remaining family. Perhaps some of the surviving B-26 veterans might remember him and like to see this picture.

Interestingly, your website has several pictures of a M/Sgt. Donald Proudfit. It is an unusual name and he might possibly be related to “my” S/Sgt. Proudfit. My man was an only child so he could not be a brother but there could be some other connection.

Sid Bondurant, MD

Date:
7/25/08
Time:
7:57 PM

Regarding the picture on Joe Ross’s dedication page, in the third picture down where you have names listed, you can change them as follows: From left to right: 1st. Lt. (later Captain) Bob Sands, (P), 1st. Lt. Lewis Schrecengost (CP), 1st. Lt. (later Captain) Joe Ross (BN), S/Sgt. George Waite (E/G), T/Sgt. Edward Pitts (R/G), S/Sgt. Frank Ostec (A/G). I am sure about all of these. There is a full page of “memories” by Joe Ross on page 99 of our Crusader book. I’m not sure, but I think that Bob Sands was killed after the war while flying with a commercial airline while on final approach to a landing at (then) Idlewild Airport on Long Island. Chester Klier would know about this. Harry Guinther

Date:
7/19/08
Time:
7:22 PM

Recently found my father in laws photos from his mothers scrap book circa 1942 -1945. Lt. Col Joseph H. “Jack” Ross USAF deceased May 24, 1993. Crusaders – 386th Bomb Group (M) B/N “Mr. Five by Five”.

Tom Frohne

Date:
7/15/08
Time:
12:17 AM

Name: 1LT Howard R. Hartley Bomb Group: 394th Squadron: 587th Years: 1944 Location: England Subject: “Ginny Lou” Let me throw another kink into the history of the “Ginny Lou”. I have a picture of my uncle, 1LT Howard Hartley, and his crew standing in front of the “Ginny Lou”. The stenciling of the name is exactly the same as the one on Hank Moen’s website. I assumed the Ginny Lou was his aircraft but the plane and crew were lost near Orleans, France on June 14, 1944. According to the 394th Bomb Group’s data the serial number was #42-96210, fuselage ID 5W-P, MACR 6194.

I would like to make a dedication to my uncle, Howard Hartley.

Here are a few images that could be used.

The first picture shows my uncle’s crew standing next to “Ginny Lou”. Top row left to right – James Picard, Gunner; Lyman Cameron, Gunner/Engineer; 1LT Howard Hartley, Pilot. Bottom row left to right – Kasper Skarsten, Bombardier; Elmer Neis, Radioman; LT Robert Graney, Co-Pilot

The second picture shows the same crew sitting on the wing of their B-26. Left to right – Hartley, Neis, Skarsten, Cameron, Picard and Graney.

The third image is a letter written by the mayor of Ste. Peravy la Colombe, the town where their B-26 was shot down, explaining the circumstances of the crash and the care of the deceased.

I spoke with my mother this evening and learned a few more things about my uncle, 1LT Howard Hartley. The “Ginny Lou” shown on Howard Moen’s website was Howard Hartley’s aircraft. The B-26 was named after his fiancé, Virginia Martin, the Ginny Lou.

1lT Hartley and his crew were killed June 14, 1944 near the village of Ste. Peravy la Colombe outside of Orleans. At the time Howard was flying his 60th mission with the 587th BS of the 394th Bomb Group.

It is possible that 1lT Hartley flew missions with a different bomb group because the 394th did not begin combat missions until March of 1944. I have no idea which squadron or group he may have flown with before the 394th. Perhaps tracking down the “Ginny Lou” might answer that question.

LT Robert Graney (co-pilot) and LT Kasper Skarsten (bombardier) did not transfer from the 455th BS to the 587th BS. Two new officers replaced them: 2LT William White (co-pilot) from Loup City NE and 2LT Charles F. Waddell (bombardier) from Long Island, NY.

1LT Hartley’s body come back to the US. He is buried at the Oakdale, CA cemetery next to his parents.

As for the real Ginny Lou, my uncle’s fiancé, she sent him a Dear John letter days before he was shot down. Howard was killed on his 60th and supposedly last mission.

Next June Ste. Peravy la Colombe plans to unveil a monument to the lost crew.

Craig Chapman, Raleigh, NC

Craig, here is some information I do not think you know. Howard Hartley and crew arrived in the UK in the Spring of 1943 where they were assigned to the 455th Bomb Squadron 323rd.Bomb Group. They commenced flying operations in July 1943 and continued until Spring 1944 when they were transferred to the 394th Bomb Group to give the crews of this unit, which had just arrived in the UK, a combat experienced crew to show them the ropes.

The photograph of “Ginny Lou” was taken when they were with the 455th.Bomb Squadron, 323rd.Bomb Group.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/14/08
Time:
8:48 PM

Technical Sergeant William B. Powers Jr. is “the third from the right” in this photograph. He and my mother, Kathleen L. Buddenhagen, were only married a few months when his plane, The King Bee, was shot down – August 31, 1943. He is buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot N Row 19 Grave 12. He was awarded the Purple Heart. He entered the service from the state of Massachusetts. He is remembered with appreciation and love from those of us who knew him. -Kathleen L. Martin

Date:
7/14/08
Time:
7:54 PM

Anyone who knew my Dad, Reuben “Bud” Jackson, Bombardier/Navigator 386th BG, 554th BS, “The Bad Penny”, please contact me. He died in 1958 in a plane crash while on a legal mission as a lawyer in the Air force. The crash was in Italy with 33 who perished. I never did talk with him about the War as I was only 5 years when he died. Bombardier/Navigator of the “4F” and “The Bad Penny” On the nose of the B-26 “4F” was inscribed ” Bud’s Bung Hole” 75 missions Story of crash of “The Bad Penny” was told by Lt Larry Rodgers in “The Demise of The Bad Penny”. Awarded the DFC. Some crew members Larry C Rodgers, Mike Kolar, Louis S Hileman, Jack F Watson.

41-31628 was RU-L of 386th BG 554th BS. It crash landed in France on June 22nd 1944, on an airstrip near Bayeux and near the beach. It was mission # 216 for 386th BG, fortunately more info about mission 216 is available on Chester Klier’s page here. There is an account of this mission in 386th BG history book. When puzzling together the info from the mission sheet and the history book, the names of five of six crewmembers appear:

Pilot 1st Lt. Jack F. Watson => wounded by flak
Co-Pilot Larry C. Rodgers, Jr. => flew the plane from right seat
Radio-Gunner S/Sgt. Louis S. Hileman => injured
Engineer-Gunner S/Sgt. Mike Kolar => wounded by flak
Bombardier Bud Jackson (assume this is 1st Lt Reuben B. Jackson)
Waist Gunner => RU-L was hit by flak near target, which was Caen Chateau HQS and they did not manage to jettison bombs before the emergency landing. He put the safety pins back in the bomb fuses before the landing, so they did not explode

– Mike Jackson DDS

Date:
7/14/08
Time:
12:41 PM

I found this website after reading an article about WWII MIA soldiers whose remains were recently found and buried. It stirred up curiosity again about my grandfather, John R. Berens, from Clarks Summit, PA. He went MIA and never got to meet my dad, his only child who was born shortly before he went down. My grandmother never recovered from it and always hoped he’d show up someday. Sadly, she died fairly young, I think from never letting go of the pain many endured because of the war. I think because it was such a painful loss, details were never really communicated and his siblings, who could have told me more, have all passed away. Now that I am older, I would love to know more. I’ve been amazed scrolling through this guestbook at the details you’ve been able to fill in for many people. I’d love ANY information you could give me. Thank you for honoring their service and remembering them. The price he paid had a profound impact on my family. The only information I found regarding him on this website was that he was a part of the Garbisch crew and 1st pathfinder squadron…what does that mean?

Thank you for your time,
Michelle Bost

Michelle, the 1st Pathfinder Squadron was a specially formed unit, equipped with radar, to lead other B-26’s to targets in bad weather when they would otherwise have been unable to bomb with any accuracy. On a typical mission one or two pathfinder B-26’s would lead between 18 or 36 bombers of a normal front line B-26 Group.

On the 16th December 1944 the German army broke through the Allied front lines in Belgium with the intention of reaching the port of Antwerp, to split the Allied armies and force them into peace terms. This attack by the German army was made in appalling weather conditions by intention to ensure that their ground forces were not attacked by what was by then overwhelming Allied air power. They put the Allied armies into retreat and many desperate battles were waged by surrounded Allied ground forces. This became to be known as the Battle of the Bulge.

Weather conditions did not ease for the planes to fly until 23rd December 1944, then in response to urgent appeals for help the medium and heavy bombers of the 9th and 8th US Air forces put up maximum efforts to stop the German advance. The Marauder units of the 9th Air Force put up their maximum efforts to bomb the tactical targets in Belgium and Germany.

Due to the weather conditions almost every B-26 Group did not rendezvous with their fighter escorts, and knowing the urgency of their mission agreed to press on to their intended targets without escort. This proved to be a fatal decision when most Groups were attacked by Luftwaffe fighters. While most Groups suffered casualties the two Groups that suffered most were the 391st and 397th Bomb Groups.

The B-26 pathfinder for the 397th.Bomb Group crewed by the Garbisch crew was attacked by enemy fighters before reaching the target and shot down. The crew that day were

1.Lt Walter P Garbisch; 2.Lt Herman L Wolfe; 1.Lt John R Berens; 2.Lt David D Lantz; S/Sgt’s Francis J Boyd; Joseph W Shearon and Roger J Roy.

Trevor Allen

Date:
7/11/08
Time:
6:02 PM

The 323rd Bomb Group is holding it’s annual reunion on Wednesday September 10th through Saturday September 13th at San Antonio, Texas. The deadline for registration is Wednesday August 20th. All Squadrons of the 323rd Bomb Group are welcome as well as any other Marauder men from other Groups and their families who wish to attend. More details and a registration from can be found at the 323rd BG website – 323bg.org

Roy Bozych, Historian, 454th Squadron & 323rd Bomb Group

Date:
7/11/08
Time:
4:44 AM

I am seeking any information I can find about a B-26 crew which was lost on 26 February 1945, in northern France. The crew was part of the 397th Bomb Group; 597th Squadron. The crew consisted of:

Pilot: 2nd Lt. John T. Potschner
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. John W. Reading
Sgt. Robert J. Curran
Sgt. William F. Pierson
Sgt. Francis W. Brodley
Sgt. Edward L. Moore

I am a history teacher in Ohio (37 years) and the nephew of Lt. Potschner. He is buried in the military cemetery in Epinal, France. My understanding is that the other crew members were all returned to the States. I also understand that the plane crashed as the flight was forming and never actually participated in the mission of that day.

As a historian and a family member (my mother, Jack’s sister is alive and well and visited the cemetery in 2006), I seek any information I can find regarding histories, or contact with any crew who knew any of Jack’s crew in France. Thanks for any consideration and to B-26 vets, thank you on behalf of myself and my family for your service.

Mark W. Ellwood

2nd Lt. John T. Potschner, Section A, Grave 15, Row 43
Sgt. Francis W. Brodley, Section A, Grave 5, Row 43

Date:
7/5/08
Time:
7:02 PM

Hello, I am doing research on a photo I have of a B-26 crew . There standing in front of a B-26. There are no aircraft ID numbers showing. The 5 man crew are wearing there flight clothing. Also the S/Sgt in the photo has a 9th AAF patch. On the back of the photo is written. “Hearst Mendenhall (center) and his crew. Mendenhall appears to be a Lieutenant. Also the aircraft shows over 50 missions from the bombs painted upon the fuselage. I cannot send you a photo at this time. Any information you may have would be appreciated. Here is the photo of Mendenhall. He is in the center of the photo standing.. I bought this at a antique shop. I would like to have any information you may have on him. I do historical displays and I plan on making an enlargement of this later. Please give me credit for the image. As- “Cullifer military photo collection.” I await your information. John Cullifer.

E. Hirst Mendenhall Crew [1] [2]; please help ID crew members.

Date:
7/5/08
Time:
6:41 PM

Hello everyone, I am researching my Uncle, F/Sgt D.W. Evans RAF (VR), AG, serial number, XXXX832. The ID of the Marauder III was HD 539 ‘T’ of 21 Sqn SAAF operating out of Jesi, Marche Italy DEC 1944, died 25/12/1944, bailed out during spin at 250m, bomb load released at 240 m, of the two who bailed on orders, neither were found. I am looking for any assistance to obtain any crew/sqn reports and photos on his service with 21 sqn.

Best Regards
David W. Evans .ex RAAC retired.

Date:
7/4/08
Time:
8:59 AM

Regarding 28 June post below: I would like to contact Mr. Leonard Hoots. I have some additional information that may be of interest/help. My uncle was on the same plane on the mission of 23 Dec. His name was Arthur E. Coyne. The B26 site was great at helping provide information. Since their initial response I have made a few other contacts, including Col. Allen Stephens prior to his death. He was in the same group and was on the mission of the 23rd. He shared information with me and I would be more than happy to send you copies. Thank you for your time, Tim Coleman

Date:
7/4/08
Time:
7:20 AM

All, I am sad to report that this morning I received word of the death of Joe Havrilla.

I first met Joe at the first 454th Squadron reunion that I attended in 1999 at Savannah , Georgia . Joe immediately made me feel right at home and treated me as an old family member of the 454th Association. As the long time Secretary of the 454th Association, Joe put his heart and soul into making our reunions and the 454th Association, one of the most successful of all of the B-26 reunion associations. In addition his newsletters always kept us up to date with the latest happenings of the 454th. He will be missed by all of us.

Joe passed on Sunday June 29th at 3:48 PM. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 3rd at 10 AM in Munhall , PA. Please join me in passing on to his family our prayers and condolences for the passing of truly a great “Marauder Man”!

“He has shaken the surly bonds of Earth and is now reaching for the Heavens”

I am also sad to report the passing of another member of the 454th family, Florence Hammerstone. Florence was the wife of 454th member J. Richard Hammerstone who died in 1993. I was informed by her son Kevin, yesterday that Florence passed away at her home in Alpha, NJ on Sunday, June 15th. Interment was at St. Mary’s Mausoleum in Alpha on Thursday, June 19th Kevin is a retired Sergeant from the Alpha Borough P.D.. He reported that several area Police Departments, escorted her funeral procession, and stopped in front her house, at which time, eight Police vehicles, hit lights, and sirens for her final salute. You can view a copy of Florence’s Obit at www.devlinfh.com. Please join me in passing on to Kevin and his family our prayers and condolences for the passing of his Mother.

Roy Bozych
Historian
323rd BG & 454th BS
http://www.323bg454bs.org

Date:
7/4/08
Time:
6:57 AM

I adopted the war grave of 2Lt James A. Norton who was killed near the Dutch Coast, Ijmuiden 17 May 1943, along with most of his B26 Marauder crew. Mr. Norton is buried at the American War grave Cemetery at Margraten in the Netherlands. His twin-brother, Edward, was his pilot and he is missing in action. Edward’s name is put on the Missing Wall at Margraten Cemetery in the Netherlands. I would like to have contact with anyone who knows more about these brave men. It would be great if anyone could send me pictures of the plane and crew.

I was born in 1933 and grown up in the little village Eerde. This village is beside of the road from Eindhoven to Arnhem well known in the history of Market Garden in Sept 1944. Eerde was the drop zone of the 501 reg. of the 101 Airborne Division on 17 Sept 1944. Our village was liberated by the paratroopers. Two days later there were very hard fighting in and around our village for several weeks. Then I was a boy of nearly 11 years old. I still remember the droppings and the fighting later. Now I am living in the city not far from Margraten. I was a railwayman (engine driver) for 38 years by the Dutch railway. Now I still give instructions on a steam railway as volunteer. The grave of James Norton I adopted in 2004, before that it was adopted by two older ladies in the city near Margraten, they died several years ago. I did some searching for relatives and the history behind the adopted grave. I got friendly help in searching of a Dutch lady and an American lady in America. Now I know that a sister-in-law of James Norton is the last relative in life of James Norton. I wrote a letter to her but till now I did not get an answer.

I put flowers on the grave several times in the year, always on Memorial Day and Christmas. In the attachment a two pictures of the grave which I took some weeks ago. In another mail I’ll send some more. I am sure there will be several mistakes in my English writing but I did my best!

But maybe it is important for relatives to know that there is somebody who is visiting the grave and put some flowers on some times in a year, always on Memorial Day and Christmas. Probably I am not able to find the right words to make that clear. English is not my daily language. People in the Netherlands still are thankful to the American soldiers who liberated our country in WW II. Of course by the years the remembrance will cool down but on several ways we try to inform the youth about the big sacrifices which were brought to end the Nazi regime. If you look at this link: http://www.airborne-eerde.nl/ you ‘ll see that even in a little village where I was born, the remembrance of Sept 1944 is still alive together with the children of Eerde every year. In the Netherlands on may 4 there is the National Remembrance Day where the Government and the our Queen remember all sacrifices of WW II at the Liberation Monument in Amsterdam.

Greetings from the Netherlands.
Your sincerely,
Henk Marinus

12.13 uur. Martin B-26B Marauder, serial number 41-18090, DR-L 450 en 452 Sqd. 322 nd BG.
Geraakt door Flak van Ijmuiden, neergestort in de Noordzee. Piloot en co-piloot waren tweelingbroers (Translation: Hit by Flak of Ijmuiden and crashed in the North Sea, pilot and co-pilot were twins).

Pilot: Norton, Edward R. 2e Lt. X-XXX299 SC. MIA. Wall of Missing in Margraten. Air Medal, Purple Heart.
Co-Pilot: Norton Jr., James A. 2e Lt. X-XXX300 SC. KIA. Geborgen op 26 juli 1943 bij Den Helder. Margraten P-16-5. Purple Heart.
N/B Zeidenfeld Alvin X. 1e Lt. X-XXX330 COLO. KIA. Geborgen op 7 juni 1943 bij Callantsoog. Margraten 0-22-17. Purple Heart.
E: MacDougall Ralph H. Sgt. XXXXX593 MASS. KIA. Geborgen op 11 augustus 1943 bij Sint Maartenszee en begraven op het kerkhof in Sint Maartensburg. Margraten P-22-3. Purple Heart.
RO: Kegg Harrison E. S/Sgt. XXXXX961 IND. MIA. Wall of Missing in Cambridge. Air Medal, Purple Heart.
TG: Longworth Bennett W. Sgt. XXXXX379. POW.

Dear Mr. Marinus,
We are as surprised as you to have stumbled on your request for information concerning the Twins. It was by accident really … my grandmother, Dot Norton, dropped by my mother’s house yesterday for a visit. My mother broke her wrist a few weeks ago, so we are all taking turns trying to keep her distracted from the anxiety created by having her arm “frozen” .. immobilized in a rather cumbersome cast. My grandmother happened to mention some advice that Dr. Norton, father of the twins, used to give concerning taking medicines and vitamins; apparently, he predicted “doom” for an overly-medicated society, and turns out he may have known much more than even he knew.

Anyway, I have an insatiable appetite for researching pretty much anything, so I began “googling” the Nortons … trying to determine if Dr. Norton had ever written a book of any kind, and well .. one of the results was the www.B26.com website. I followed it and scrolled down to find your guestbook entry. My mother and I were very excited to read that you had adopted 2Lt. James Norton’s burial marker.

We have not spoken to Grandmother yet about our discovery; however, we will have the opportunity to show it to her in the next few hours. As soon as we can, we will reply to you … from her. She will be delighted to share information about the twins. Still after so long, family members have always enjoyed hearing about them. Apparently, they were quite a dynamic pair from birth, and their loss was profoundly felt by the family as well as the community.

I am not sure whether or not any relatives have had the opportunity to visit the cemetery, but will find out and let you know. Thank you so much for the pictures; it is so nice to be able to see what it looks like and we appreciate your placing the flowers there more than you know. And, we are so grateful to be able to correspond with you.

Sincerely,
Cynthia

Date:
7/3/08
Time:
9:32 PM

To All Interested:

Pilot: Arnold J. Mandiberg, 1Lt.
ASN: X-XXX804
Type: B26C-10-MO
Serial No.: 41-34866
Name: Mandi’s Dandies VT-T
Down: February 4, 1944
MACR: 1829

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Submitted by:
J.L. Goodman

Date:
7/1/08
Time:
4:34 PM

I’ve recently discovered b26.com. My father, David L. Knight, was a B-26 pilot having flown 65 missions with the 456th Bomb Squadron. I would like to get him added to the website. Please advise. His first combat mission was on 5-26-44 as a co-pilot when he was a 1st Lt. His first combat mission as pilot was his mission #4 on 5-29-44 when their target was a bridge at Meulon. His 65th combat mission was 3-20-45 when he was a Captain and probably a flight commander. That target was marshalling yards 8 miles east of Dortman. Ironically, my Dad survived 65 combat missions, but died in 1970 in an automobile accident on a two lane rural road in Minnesota when he was out doing his job as an insurance salesman. I have my Dad’s log book and my brother has the old photos. I feel that between the two of us, we have some valuable information to add to the b26 website, but I don’t know how to go about it. I will appreciate any help you have to offer. Thank you. Richard Knight

Date:
7/1/08
Time:
6:41 AM

Elmer Hansard, 391st Bomb Group, 573rd Bomb Squadron. Here are some pictures from my grandfather’s scrapbook to use on his dedication page. These are pictures of his crew and plane, The Lilly Commando. I have included a transcribed account of his D-Day mission.

“Matching Green, England…1944…June 6th….9th AAF 391st Group 573 sq.

“Everyone up, Report to Operations at four thirty” shouted the CQ as he came charging down the center of the hut. “What’s the idea at this hour?” Several of the men asked. “You’ll find out over at Operations. Breakfast is being served now so let’s hustle.” Responded the CQ.” Read more…

I am in the process of going through his letters, pictures, and scrapbook. He has a lot of artwork on the b-26.

Thanks,
Greg Hansard

Date:
7/1/08
Time:
6:21 AM

Hi there, I have a query for Mr. Chester Klier, Historian of the 386 B.G. I have been looking at mission 183 (386 B.G. history) i.e. the raid on Maisons-Laffitte railroad bridge May 27, 44. I was surprised to find nothing on the loss of one of their aircraft “Swamp Angel” 26 Y5/U serial no. 4296100. The plane crashed on the border Herblay/Pierrelaye (still suburbs of Paris ). The pilot stayed aboard to make sure the crew bailed out. His name was Robert Kingsley, the other five members of the crew bailed out and became POWS. One of the gunners Poker was taken to the Beaujon Hospital ( Clichy ) but was liberated in August. Those are details from Mr. Claude Faix’s research on the bombings of the 27th, 28th May, 44 and the last one on June 24, 44. Could you please clarify if it happened on that day and is there a picture of the crew and plane?

Can’t thank you enough.

Regards
René

Added parts of page 2 and 3 of MACR 5123 + photo of nose art “Swamp Angel” 42-96100. The MACR confirms the date May 27th 1944. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
6/30/08
Time:
1:04 PM

Lt. Joseph Van Zandt Hellen Bomb Grp: 344 Squadron: 497 Years: 43-45 Class: 44C Location: Fort Stockton, Tex. Comments: Joe Hellen almost never discussed his 54 war missions – typical of his generation of heroes. He was called back to the A.F. in 1952 and retired as a Lt. Col. With Air Force moves, many items were lost; after his death, we found only two small yellowed snapshots: a distant parked B-26 ( no number distinguishable even after professional enlarging ) and a snapshot of nose art Kathy Jean II. After many hours on the internet, I have about four inches of printed pages relating to the 344 BG 497 BS. After exhausting the internet (good thing I like research), his progeny need more: crew names, plane numbers, mission destinations, Kathy Jean II, and anything else available. Thank heaven for historians. -Mary Hellen

Date:
6/26/08
Time:
9:22 PM

There are a series of B26 Marauder Crew communications dating around 2/13/2007 related to Capt. Donald M. Stangle. In a response to Donald Hoch, one of the crew members of Capt. Stangle’s plane. My uncle Sgt. James A Hoots. Thanks for all you do to answer our questions. This is greatly appreciated by family and friends.

Looking for information about a mission to bomb the Eller railroad bridge on 12/23/1944 during which one of the 11 planes lost included a B-26 of the 397 Bomb Group, 598 Bomb Squad of. Information I currently have available is;

23rd December 1944
Target Eller Railroad Bridge

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

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

Regards,
Leonard F. Hoots

Date:
6/25/08
Time:
5:13 AM

Good day. My father, Daantjie Petrus Taljaard, served as a co-pilot on the Marauder in 12 Squadron, South African Air Force (SAAF), in 1943. We do not know much, accept that he was very young (18 years old) and that he served in North Africa, and then in Malta. He died in 1997 at the age of 72 in Kempton Park , South Africa . Any information of him during that time will be much appreciated.

Regards,
Dirk Taljaard
Date:
6/23/08
Time:
7:29 PM

Name: William L. Harris 3rd
BombGp: 391st
Squadron: 572nd
Years: 42-46
Class: 44D
Pampa, Texas
Comments: I flew as 1st Pilot on 23 missions over Germany with the 391st and was transferred to the 394th BG 587th Sqd in April 1945 but flew no missions with the 394th. After Germany surrendered 394th moved to Bad Kissingen as an Army Of Occupation Group and I was transported back to the States and discharged in February 1946. I remained in the Active Reserves in various capacities retiring as a L/C with 30 Years service.

Date:
6/23/08
Time:
5:56 PM

I am trying to add this pic to the web site. I found this at estate sell. I would like to get it to a family member of the crewmen. Name on plane Lt. Witherbee. Name of plane: Valkyne. Co pilot was Lt. Graham. There is other writing and names on back of pic. Hard to read. Does say the B-26 was called “the flying prostitute, because it had no visible means of self support.”

-Thanks, Diane Staudt

large image
Help ID the crew.

1. Pilot: Lt. Witherbee
2. Co Pilot: Lt. Graham
3. Bombardier: S/Sgt McKenzie
4. Engineer/gunner: S/Sgt Rector
5. Turret gunner: Wilson
6. tail gunner: ?

Date:
6/23/08
Time:
5:34 PM

I have a series of photos from the awards ceremony and Mr. Osuchowski was standing next to Capt. Childress. Seeking info on Captain Zbigniew Osuchowski PAF who flew with the 387th BG and possibly with Capt Childress (his navigator or observer) (ED. One crew meber, Howard Weingrow, has said Mr. Osuchowski was not on their plane) in a attack upon a fuel dump in the Foret de Grimbosq, south of Caen June 7, 1944. Osuchowski, later KIA in a Lancaster, received the Air Medal from Gen. Brereton the same time Childress received the Silver Star.

Capt. Obs. Zbigniew Osuchowski P-0266 died Oct. 14, 1944 while a mission to Duisburg due Flak. The Lancaster Mk. I s/n NF959 BH-A exploded in the air in vicinity of Kirchellen/GER. The other crew members were St.sierz.pil. Stanislaw Sarachman, st.sierz. r/op Józef Perun, sierz. mech.pokl. Czeslaw Marona, ppor. bomb. Henryk Swiniarski, kpr. strz. Stanislaw Swiecicki-Stecki. The only one who survived was W/O plut. strz. Waclaw Brulinski (POW).

Capt Osuchowski was born Jan. 1, 1909 in Warszawa, Poland. While beginning of WWII he was commander of I Platoon in the Eskadra Cwiczebna Obserwatorów SPL (observator training unit) in Deblin, September 20th he was ordered to plk. Kuleszy-Hanki’s Grupa Operacyjna. On Sept 22nd he escaped with his platoon with RWD-8 and PWS-26 to Romania. From there he went to France and 1940 to Great Britain. After schooling to navigator in 5 AOS, in Sept 1942 he was sent to 18 OTU for fight-schooling. In Febr 1943 ordered to 301 BD and at its cancellation in Apr 1943 to 300 BD. At some point he served with the US 9th AF in France has an observer on B-26 Marauders. His awards were Virtuti Militari 5th class (8496), 2x Krzyz Walecznych, POOb and Air Medal (USA).

He is buried in Reichswlad Forest (GER) British War Cemetery, grave 14/20/F.

Thanks much…..Jack Cook

Date:
6/22/08
Time:
4:48 PM

French historians, we found some items belonging to a B 26 Marauder. Among them three machine guns , n°89573, 1080601 and 784893.The location of the site is not far from Beaumont sur Oise, where the 386 BG was, in the airbase n° A-60. Is it possible to know if a plane crashed from this airport, and if the serial number of the machine guns can match with an airplane of this base ?

Thank you in advance, Michel Huet

Date:
6/19/08
Time:
8:13 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. George B. Backes
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 449
Years in service: 1943-44 (?)
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am exploring the service history of my Grandfather, Lt. George B. Backes, and am trying to gather more information. I know he flew the “We Dood It” for much of his time in service based on some family photographs, and completed 68 combat missions based on his log book. I have also read with great pleasure the story of Malcolm Enlow on this website, who I have learned flew with my Grandfather.

Any information anyone could contribute to enhance my understanding of my Grandfathers’ service, the history of the aircraft he flew, and the stories of the men he flew with would be of great value to me.

Kind Regards,
Andrew McMahan

Date:
6/16/08
Time:
6:17 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Moses David Dial
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 472 nd
Years in service: 28
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Myrtle Beach, SC (?)
Comments: Dad went in as a flight officer / bombardier retired Lt. Col in late 60’s or early 70’s. I am putting together a memorial website, is it possible to link?

Thanks, Davyne Dial

Date:
6/12/08
Time:
8:40 PM

Raymond K Rowland, 323rd Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Squadron ,1943-1945, Class 44E, Ft Sumner, NM I have enjoyed reading the posts made over the past few years. In October 1999, Spencer Verney requested information as to where he could locate a B-26 in which he could arrange a ride for his Grandfather, Russell “Pappy” Thayer. The post caught my eye because Pappy Thayer was the B-26 pilot assigned to give me my very first ride in a B-26 after having just graduated in June from advance flying training! What a thrill that must have been for him as it certainly was for me! I Shortly after my being assigned to the 453rd and that introductory flight, Pappy, an “old timer” returned to the states. It was not that I scared him, he had put in his 65 missions.

Date:
6/11/08
Time:
4:29 PM

I am trying to find information regarding my uncle, Orvel W Sherrill, 397th Bomb Group, 596th Bomb Squadron. He was a gunner in a B26 and survived a roll. That is all the information I have at this time so anything additional that you may know would be very helpful and appreciated.

Angela Denny

My father, 1st Lt. Sterling P. Hoch, was a pilot in the 596th. Over the last several years, I have done quite a bit of research on his squadron and the 397th Bombardment Group. If you would be interested in any of the following, Monthly Historical Records — 596th BS; Monthly Historical Records — 397th BG; Missions flown by your uncle. In regard to the last item, I entered all crewmen for all 596th BS sorties into an spreadsheet, partly to assist another individual who is writing a book, but also for my own use. You can use this spreadsheet, along with the historical records, to see what missions and targets your uncle was involved in. If you have anything to share, I would be greatly appreciative. I am forwarding all the 397th and 596th monthly historical reports to you — as you can imagine they are quite voluminous. You can make the decision if you want to add them onto the web site. I originally was working with the microfilm copies to do research on my dad, but so many of them were almost unreadable that I decided to try to transcribe them into WORD. At times I was reading them with a magnifying glass, enlarging them on the PC monitor, etc. I feel they are fairly accurate. Sometimes, words were misspelled on the originals, so I generally left them misspelled on the transcriptions. As far as the loading lists that I’ve entered into EXCEL. I will provide individual data for anyone who would like it. Hopefully, sometime in the near future we can get all of it on the internet. Don Hoch
++++++++++
Here he is on a photo on the site click here

Date:
1/14/2002
Time:
8:49:17 PM

Gerald W. Vath BombGp: 397 Squadron: 596 Years: 1944-45 Class: 1944-9 Location: St. Angelo AAFB, TX. My son got me a computer and internet account for Christmas. Anyone wanting to contact me please do so. I flew with William Newdome, Leonard Young, George Roemlein, Charles Eldridge, and Orvel Sherrill. We were stationed in A-72, France and Venlo, Holland. Gerald W. Vath Lt. Col, Ret. Bomb/Nav

Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
6/10/08
Time:
11:58 AM

I am the 62 years old son of Archie T. Roberts, T/Sgt Enl. Bomb. (XXXXX858) who flew over 70 missions – Ninth 9th Bomb Div. 98th Wing, 387th Group, 557 Squadron, Station AAF A-71. Last night I found his flight record and am very excited to get any info on him, his plane, crew, flights, etc. Wonder if any of his crew is still alive. He died in 1980 at the age of 60 — which would make his peers about 88. Can anyone direct me to anyone who served with him or a site where I can get more info. Bless all of you, this has been the best Father’s day give I could of received. Tom Roberts
Date:
6/8/08
Time:
3:35 PM

After a three week intensive Military History tour of Normandy, I became interested in finding out more about my grand father, a New Yorker, who served in WW 1 and WW 2 in France. My mother remembers very little of his military history, but told me he was a S/Sgt, in Normandy, in Ordinance . I googled his name and came up with S/Sgt John F. Collins 344th Bomb Group Sta.169. 14/Sept/44 This was listed on one of your pages. Is it possible that this man is my grandfather and would anyone out there know?

I would appreciate any help I can get in this search.
Carole Osman

Date:
6/7/08
Time:
6:45 PM

(Speech given by John Moench to the Maitland Florida Kiwanis Club on November 11, 1981)

“Kiwanians, Veterans and Friends,

It is a distinct, personal honor to have been invited to speak to you on this important national day of remembrance and rededication.

Like many of you here, I am no longer 20 years old. As such, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to play games. And with each added year I am less inclined to walk around issues. Also, I must confess to you that I find it difficult to talk about the dead. So most of my comment today will be about the living — the living veterans and those who honor and should honor all veterans.

And I come before you at a point in history where I admit that I perceive but fail to understand a wall that is emerging between much of our citizenry and the military reality.” Read more…

Date:
6/6/08
Time:
9:27 AM

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

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

Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.COM

Date:
6/6/08
Time:
9:24 AM

I have written several times about my Father, Mr. Jack Hastings, 9th Air Force, 322nd Bombardment Group, 449th Bombardment Squadron, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner.

A sincere “Thank You” to all the B-26 personnel for their D-Day 6 June 1944 participation. Without them, the events of that historical day might have led to a different outcome. I wanted to let these brave souls know that I for one appreciate them each and everyday of the year and especially each year on D-Day. The history of that day forever changed the outcome of WWII.

Frederick Hastings, Son of Mr. Jack Hastings

Date:
6/6/08
Time:
7:06 AM

Marauder Men, thank you for your brave service to our country.

Joe Scherer

Date:
6/5/08
Time:
1:55 PM

I am writing to let you know some info about an inquiry made on the Site on Sept 13, 2007 from Mick Downs, an Australian, inquiring about his grandfather, Sgt Eddley “Bob” Daniels, RAAF. As it so happens, I was sent a packet of materials by a widow of a member of the 22nd BG yesterday and it included an 8 page typed transcript by Sgt Daniels of his day-by-day ordeal in the jungle. How can I contact Mick Downs to share this document with him? You guys at b26.com would probably want a copy as well.

M. T. Matthews

Date:
6/2/08
Time:
6:24 PM

Good Afternoon.

My uncle – David Morgan Lawton – was a co-pilot on a B-26. He was subsequently shot down in December of 44. In researching your site I came across photos of Herchel Palmer, Morgan’s command pilot. I may information to share with Mr. Palmer’s family in exchange for information on Lt. Palmer.

I am working on an article about my Uncle and have photos of the plane’s crew, including all of their names. Please respond.

Regards,
Christopher Lawton

Date:
6/1/08
Time:
11:27 AM

My father, William P Newdome, was the pilot of a B26, 397 Group, 596 squadron. I am eager to know if any of his men are still living. He passed away in 2000, and I will always be in awe of him and his crew. He will always be my favorite person. daughter, Beth

Date:
5/31/08
Time:
3:14 PM

Joe Lazar, 323rd Bomb group 456th bomb squadron, Squadron Navigator, Celebrating 65th Wedding Anniversary, 5 children, 12 Grandchildren, 25 great grand children

Outstanding!!!

Date:
5/28/08
Time:
8:12 AM

Marauderman’s Name: SSG Roy H. Meyer
Bomb Group: 391st Bomber Group
Bomb Squadron: 573rd Bomber Squadron
Years in service: KIA 25 Aug 1944
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Roy is from my hometown of Orlando, Oklahoma. He still has some family around that knew him although they are starting to age. I’m looking for any information on Roy, in particular, the mission where his plane was shot down.

Roy is buried at the Brittany American Cemetery in St. James, France. Here is a letter from Roy to my Grandfather.

Thanks in advance.
Nikki G. Leach

Mr. Meyer is buried at the Brittany American cemetery, Lot J, Row 13, Grave 6. He is there with his pilot, Capt David H Thorne, Lot K, Row 13, Grave 20; copilot 1.Lt Arthur L Thomas, Lot P, Row 2, Grave 16; and Mr. Melvin C Shuler, Sr. Radio gunner, listed on the Wall of the Missing (MIA). Trevor Allen has wrote about the accident here (see link) in reply to another inquiry.

See “S/Sgt Roy H Meyer”

Date:
5/27/08
Time:
1:11 PM

I am the daughter of Joseph “Joe” Donald Weaver, of Ackerman , MS . Dad was in the 386 Bomb Group, 554 Squadron. He served in the Air Corp from 42 to 45 and was a prisoner of war from Aug. 44 to May 45. I am trying to find out more information about his war time experiences, where he was shot down, who was in his squadron etc. I am a novice at tracking down this kind of information and welcome any help. Please contact me. Thank you. Ellen Hartman

Ellen Hartman! First of all go to NARA where you also find records of POW’s. Your father was shot down on August 6th 1944 as he is listed from 386th as Joseph D. Weaver: select here – As my records only lists pilots of a/c shot down, we need this to find the actual date. My records shows that his a/c most probably was 42-96184 RU-O of 554th BS. Pilot was Captain Walter E. Payne. 386th BG history says that targets for August 6th 1944 were: #244 Foret de Persegne Fuel Dump (France); #245 Foret d’Andaine Fuel Dump (France), which indicates an afternoon mission. Next we need information from the Missing Air Crew Report. This incident has MACR # 7875. The report says target was Foret d’Andaine for 42-96184. They departed from base Great Dunmow in UK. Your father was Radio Operator and Gunner. The Marauder was shot down by FLAK. It was seen to crash about 1 mile off coast of Trouville, France, after crew bailed out. Attached page 19 from MACR 7875. According to hand-drawn map in MACR 7875 the reference is Trouville-sur-Mer which means Trouville ‘by the sea’. This city is located just south of Le Havre. Crew of 42-96184:Pilot Captain Walter E. Payne Co-Pilot 1st Lt. Hubert M. Altvater Bombardier-Navigator 1st Lt. Edward W. Roggenkamp Radio Operator Mech Gunner T/Sgt Joseph D. Weaver Ap Armorer Gunner Sgt. Franklin E. Swanson Ap Armorer Gunner Cpl. William L. Salyer Captain Payne was flying Deputy Lead in the formation. The FLAK hit right engine, and the engine caught fire. Three crewmembers bailed out from the tail end of the ship (waist windows). After a while two chutes appeared from the front end of the ship (bomb bay). The eyewitness did not see a sixth chute as his windshield was smeared with hydraulic fluid. The time was around 8 PM and a/c altitude 10.500 feet. Tail Gunner, Sgt. Swanson, was hit by flak. He bailed out, but his parachute did not open properly. He was reported dead by German military sources. He is buried at Normandy American Cemetery, B-9-6 http://www.abmc.gov/search/wwii.php Search for unit, write 554 in window.

Best regards from Sandefjord, Norway, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
5/26/08
Time:
10:36 PM

A friend of mine found the following on your web site – just poking around on Memorial Day. It was a treat to read it on this important day of remembrance.

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.

John D. Crawford was my father. He was picked up after five days alone in a raft. He was awarded one on his Silver Stars for this mission.

He spoke about his war experiences very little, but this was a rare, although brief, story he could be coaxed in to telling. He always said they just ran out of gas.

Thanks.
Stephen Crawford

Date:
5/25/08
Time:
8:44 PM

I would like to get in touch with Skip Moore if possible. My sister has a letter he wrote to our grandfather on July 19, 1943 about our father, Frank Wakeley, who was his navigator in 1942 and 1943.

Ann Wakeley Wall

Date:
5/24/08
Time:
11:07 PM

My Uncle died in this crash, Harold S.Tiller, I am named after him. He fought hard according to my grandmother! He was a Second Lieutenant.

Date:
5/18/08
Time:
1:14 AM

Marauderman’s Name: H. “Mac” McNicol Jr.
Squadron: VJ-4 & VJ-16
Years in service: Almost 4 years
Graduation Class: 6/15/43
Class Location: Navy. Corpus Christi
Comments: When WWII was over I went straight to the airlines. Retired with over 25,000 flight hours, 10,000+ are on the DC-6 and DC-6B with the R-2800’s. Have only had to shut down one R-2800 engine during all that time as a pre-cautionary action. Have flown to 129 countries with 3 major int’l. airlines plus Air America in Southeast Asia. I still have my Martin “Marauder” Pilots Handbook. Great Aircraft. Currently residing in San Diego with my wife of 54 years. I’ve attached a recent photo. Age 87 and still patrolling with the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP)

One of my close Navy friends (retired Navy pilot) just sent me your e-mail regarding the B-26 (JM-1). Thanks for posting it. I graduated from Corpus Christi on June 15, 1943. Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and reported in at Norfolk, VA. A number of us from my class had the same orders and we were awaiting further orders to ship out. Unexpectedly, a Utility Squadron VJ-4 based at Norfolk urgently needed two pilots. Ensign Hank Mitchell and myself were selected and reported for immediate duty. We were checked out in several aircraft and put to work delivering aircraft and towing targets at Virginia Beach. Within a short time, they asked for volunteers for a new squadron that would be based in San Juan, PR and take care of training, etc. for all of the Caribbean and the East Coast of South America including the Panama Canal Zone. This new Squadron was called VJ-16 with Lt. Cmdr. Vinny Wright as Skipper. Spent most of my time in Trinidad with PBY-1,3,5 and 5A’s and Recife with the JM-1. Later Headquarters changed to Guantanamo. We also had two stateside detachments one at the Naval Air Station in New Orleans and another at the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. After several overseas detachments, one could get a short term assignment to one of the stateside detachments primarily involved with towing targets and also pulling low level surprise attacks with TBF’s & TBM’s on PT Boats that were undergoing training. At Guantanamo, I was the Navigation officer but I flew every type of mission from Towing Targets with TBF’s and TBM’s to VIP Transport on the JM-1. Guantanamo was primarily used as a “Shake-Down” area for new ships that would head for the Pacific Fleet. We flew everything from fighters to dive bombers and it was a round the clock operation. I enjoyed flying everything but the JM-1 was a Special Bird. We were lucky as our Navy JM-1’s had almost all the armor plating removed and an increase of about 8 ft on the wing span. The Army Air Corps flew the B-26’s with all the armor and the short wings which made it a touchy aircraft on one engine depending upon the weight, altitude and temperature. That’s why the Army crews called it “The Flying Prostitute”. No visible means of support. The Navy’s JM’s were a pleasure to fly. Those Hamilton Standard Electric Props were great and the aircraft was no problem on one engine. On our TBF’s and JM’s, we used 5000 ft of steel cable to tow targets and even at night with almost a mile of cable out, I still (periodically) noticed tracers in front of my aircraft. What made that JM wonderful was the R-2800 P&W engines.

Date:
5/14/08
Time:
5:50 PM

Last Friday, May 9th, our 88 year old friend, Alvin W. Penfield, 397th Bomb Group, 597th Bomb Squadron, originally from Lansdowne, PA, died. Alvin was an Army Air Corps Lt. Navigator/Radio Operator in the 15th Air Force flying in B-26 aircraft out of Bishops Stratford north of London. He stayed in the Air Force Reserve for some years after he returned to the US in 1946 and retired a Lt. Colonel. I have few other details of his service history other than to note that he flew the maximum number of missions required of B-26 aircrew during his time in England. If anyone who knew Alvin in the service or flew with him reads this message, we would be glad to hear from them. Thank you, William H. Bull

Date:
5/10/08
Time:
2:24 PM

Name: Sqn Ldr D. W. “Barney” Barnard
Air Force: SAAF (later RAF)
Squadron: SAAF 12 Squadron
Wings: SAAF no 1 Air School, 4 December 1943
Years in service: SAAF 1943 – 1946, RAF 1947 – 1968, resigning with the rank of Squadron Leader
Comments: My late father was wounded on 14 July 1944 in Italy and I am trying to obtain more information about the incident. I would be very grateful for any light you might be able to shed. I attach a photograph of the relevant log book entry, which reads as follows (notes in brackets are mine):

July 14 Marauder (no) Z, 1st Pilot Lt Parsons, 2nd Pilot self, crew Lt Lagrange (the navigator, I would assume), W.O. Rodgers, W.O. Lees, W.O. Zerff. (takeoff at 9.20 am – opp. page)

Raid 46 Rly Y.D.S Prato Italy Posn 2 (a – I think), Form 12, Escort 8 Spits, flak intense, very acc., broke away from box, self wounded. Gunners baled out. Surmise tail gunner wounded, back of a/c spattered with blood. Navigator slightly wounded in leg. Bombs dropped in sea. Returned to base singly. Successful landing.

Dad told me about being wounded (“shrapnel up the arse” was how he put it – it was a flesh wound high up on the rear of one thigh), and also that they had broken away and struggled to get back to base. The thing that seemed to interest him the most was the number of shrapnel holes in the aircraft – more than 400 if I remember correctly, and I believe it was a write-off.

Dad’s younger brother, my Uncle Philip, followed him into the RAF (as a fighter pilot), and after Dad’s funeral in 1994, Uncle Philip told me this version:

According to him, the aircraft was so badly damaged that they were all planning to bail out. The wounded tail gunner was unable to move, & Uncle Phil told me that Dad made his way to the rear of the aircraft, pulled the tail gunner forward to the bomb doors, which were open (I assume they had already ditched the bombs, not quite sure how this would have worked as I don’t know how the bomb bay was constructed), threw him out, and pulled his ripcord as he fell. The parachute opened, but they were flying over a German machine gun emplacement at the time, and the gunner shot the parachute out of the air.

Dad was an extremely entertaining story-teller but stuck to the facts, whereas Uncle Phil had a marked tendency to embroider, so I’m not sure what the truth of the matter is. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve started to take an interest in Dad’s log books, and I don’t recall him telling me about the wounded tail gunner, so going by the log book it would seem that there was more to the tale than he told me. (He was generally quite open about his experiences). He was also phobic about parachutes and apparently refused to wear one, preferring to take his chances with the aircraft.

If you have any information about this in your records (or about 14 July 1944 generally – I believe it was a day of very heavy losses for the SAAF), I would be most grateful.

Many thanks,
Caroline Barnard

Caroline, throwing a wounded crewman out of a B-26 was not so unusual. If the pilot decided that the wounded crew member would die before they could reach safety, then they would bail him out opening his parachute before he fell. The theory was that the wounded man would have a better chance of survival if he got to a medic in occupied territory. Several such did in fact survive and owed their lives to their quick thinking comrades. -Trevor Allen

Date:
5/7/08
Time:
9:23 PM

First Lieutenant Christian Douglas Burger “CD” was killed in action on D-Day, June 6, 1944, over England. His aircraft was involved in a mid-air collision with another B-26 Marauder Bomber. This story is about what happened to his wife and children after this tragic death. Read more…

Date:
5/5/08
Time:
9:14 PM

May 8 is VE Day. This day is a national holiday in France, and many French communities remember the war’s end 68 years ago with parades and ceremonies. This year the Franco-American Association of the L’aisne region will once more gather at a monument in Athies-Samoussy that is dedicated to the sacrifices of the airmen of the 323rd Bomb Group, which was stationed at the nearby Laon-Athies Airdrome from November 1944 to February 1945. Last year Lt. Col. Lou Rehr (323rd BG, 456th BS) and I were privileged to participate in the remembrance at this monument and an adjacent one honoring fallen French soldiers. This year, Daniel Buret, president of the association, asked Lou to send a message. Dan has translated the following and will read it at the ceremony. Carleton Rehr Greetings to our dear friends on this historic day. None of us who lived with the war will forget this day, May 8, 1945.

On this fateful day, 68 years ago, I was stationed at Denain-Prouvy Airdrome, Valenciennes , France . In February 1945, my bomb group, the 323rd, moved our operations from Samoussy to be closer to our bombing sites in Germany .

On April 25, we launched our last mission. Shortly after, the tyranny of fascism was ending with the execution of Mussolini and the suicide of Hitler. On May 7, I was informed of the surrender, and I celebrated privately with a few officers.

The following day, the rest of the world knew. Our men celebrated well into the night.

I preferred to spend that day quietly. I drove my jeep to the runway to spend time with the Marauders. I loved those battered heroes, those survivors of historic combat missions in Normandy , Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. Some had over 100 missions to their credit, and their scarred and dented skins looked it. Lined up and ready to taxi, they still looked fast and mean. But taxi and launch to where? The war was over, and we were all tired.

I have recalled my war experiences in my book, Marauder. And as you must know because I have returned so often, the memories of my time at Laon-Athies are the most meaningful. The missions, the cold, the last German offensive demanded much of our youthful spirit. For you, our dear French friends, the occupation demanded much sacrifice and courage. We treasure our friendship with the Franco-American Association. And we are eternally grateful for the beautiful monument dedicated to the sacrifices of our fallen airmen.

Although Carleton and I are not with you in body this May 8, we are with you in spirit. Here in Hawaii, we will display both the American and French flags in honor of this day.

A bientot. Until we meet again.

Lt. Col. Louis Rehr
Squadron Commander 456th Bomb Squadron
323rd Bomb Group

Date:
5/3/08
Time:
3:20 PM

French Class #4, Martin B-26 Marauder Combat Crews, January 4, 1945, Barksdale Field, Louisiana

Merci pour nous aider indiquent l’histoire les hommes du Marauder de FFAF. Peut-être plus les hommes du Marauder de FFAF suivront votre exemple.

Aidez-nous à nommer les hommes dans l’image. Merci.

Date:
5/2/08
Time:
10:00 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James Harwood Wagar
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 443rd
Years in service:?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location:?

Hello, I am looking for any information on my late grandfather Lt. Col. James H. Wagar (Ret.) This is what I know. His plane was “The Termite” and he was the bombardier. I have seen one really grainy picture of the aircraft but know very little of the history of the plane or the man in that era. Anything that anyone can tell me would be extremely appreciated. Anything anything anything. Their logo is the attachment.

Thank you,
Mark Borland

320th Bomb Group, 443rd Bomb Squadron patch (insignia)

Date:
5/2/08
Time:
8:52 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph Gisavage Born: Brooklyn, NY
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 496
Comments: Gunner/Engineer, KIA June 10, 1944

Hi, my Grandfather was Walter Gisavage of Brooklyn, NY. He was Joseph Gisavage’s brother. I just came across your web site and was deeply touched by the web page dedicated to his B26 and crew. My Grandfather was very close to his brother and never got over his death. I have Joseph’s Purple Heart and other medals hanging in my living room. I am happy to correspond with other descendants of his crew, Lt. Herman L. Burdette, Lt. Dale W. Edwards, Lt. Albert L. Collins, S/Sgt. Marshall H. Porter and S/Sgt. Sherrard Billings. Once again, thank you for remembering these brave men. Click here for additional information about SSGT Joseph Gisavage.

Best regards, Pete Doll

Date:
5/2/08
Time:
6:40 PM

Marauderman’s Name: George C Skinner, S/Sgt, armorer gunner/togglier
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 599th
Comments: I am looking for anyone that knew my Dad, S/SGT George C Skinner, armorer gunner and togglier, or any info about him or the Group he was in. I have photos that I need to dig out of storage and can forward once I have them scanned.

Thanks,
Michael Skinner

Date:
4/29/08
Time:
7:23 AM

I am looking for crew photo or partial photos of Paul H Jones crew of 1st Pathfinder squadron, shot down on March 2, 1945. Plane 42-95933.

Thanks,
Peter Kassak

Date:
4/28/08
Time:
12:45 AM

My grandfather 1st Lt. Leonard Aldridge Clifton was assigned to this unit as Military Police. He was a career soldier, first starting off with the First Cavalry. in 1919. On December 9, 1944, he was killed when a B-26 carrying a full load, crashed in flames after returning from an operational mission, My grandfather rushed to the scene of the accident and began pulling wounded men from the plane and taking them to safety. He persisted in his efforts to save the crew and try and extinguish the flames, knowing that the plane had a full load of bombs. He was killed when the plane exploded as well as about 24 others. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal and Purple Heart. He is buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, He was first interred in France then later brought home. He left behind a loving wife and two young sons who have always missed their father. I just wanted to tell his story. I have attached the last studio type picture we had of him. -Thank you, Kimberly Clifton Jones

Received May 10, 2008: My name is George Clifton. My father was 1st Lt. Leonard A. Clifton. He was attached to the 387th as an MP. I have pictures of him as he performed various duties at the base in France. He was killed Dec.9,1944 while trying to rescue crew members from a crashed B 26. I would like to correspond with any one that was there and witnessed the incident. My niece Kimberly Jones has already posted some information on this web site. I would like the following info. Where in France was this airfield? (Answer: Clastres, France; Base A-71 near St. Quentin) I know my father went into Paris and Cherbourg as he wrote to us about the trips, but I don’t know the location of the field. I have pictures of the cemetery where he was first buried. Was that anywhere near the airfield? I have so many questions and so far no answers. If there is anyone who knows more about the incident please contact me. Thank you.

Kimberly, definitely 387th Bomb Group. Lt James Altman and crew returned with 16 x 250lb bombs on board in poor visibility. Caught in prop wash crashed 60 yards short of runway. Fuel tanks detonated and 14 of 16 bombs exploded. Twenty officers and enlisted men were killed, the 559th Bomb Squadron lost its commanding officer Major Robert M Murphy. -Trevor Allen

Date:
4/23/08
Time:
6:42 PM

Greetings, I have a relative that has been contacted by the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command regarding Capt. Stephen Biezis from Chicago, that was shot down Dec. 22, 1944 over Germany.

He was a pilot from Chicago that was assigned to the 391st Bomber Group Medium of the 575th Bomber Squadron. Anyone that may have known him please contact me, I was contacted by his sister 4-21-08 as she was recently contacted by the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Group form the Dept. of the Army, we will both be sending DNA to them for possible identification as the crash site has been located and remains are attempting to identified.

If any crewmembers remember Capt Stephen Biezis, please contact me, his Father was a WWI veteran and I was an Army Combat Medic in Vietnam.

Thank you,
John “Doc” Hofer

Additional information from George James.
Here are the crew names, as I have them (they were in the 575th):

Pilot: GATLIN, JAMES F., JR., 2LT, XXXX331
Co-pilot: BIEZIS, STEPHEN V., 2LT, XXXX021
Bombardier: ADAIR, JOHN J., 2LT, XXXX676
Flight Engineer: SANCHEZ, JOE R., CPL, XXXX0993
Radioman-gunner: WEISSKER, WILLIAM L., SSGT, XXXX0304
Armorer-gunner: COWART, MILTON E., SGT, XXXX0494

They were shot down on Dec 23, 1944 on the Ahrweiler mission on which we lost 16 out of 30 airplanes. The comments that I have in the website (from Col. Walker’s histories, etc.) follow: “Lt Gatlin was shot down on 12/23/44 in #42-107671 per the softback history. He is listed on the Wall of the Missing in the Henri-Chapelle Cemetery. From the hardback history, one can infer that the other crew members were Lt Biezis (Wall, Henri-Chapelle Cemetery), SSgt Sanchez (Wall, Luxembourg Cemetery), SSgt Weissker and SSgt Cowart (both buried in the Lorraine Cemetery), and Lt. Adair. Lt. Adair was the only survivor of his crew; he reports in “Who Dat?” that the other members of the crew were killed on the ground by SS troops; “Return of the Marauder Men” gives their date of death as 12/24/44. Weissker and Cowart must have died in the shootdown, as their date of death is given as the 23rd.”

Casualties were listed on a Wall of the Missing, if their remains were not recovered. I do not know whether Lt Adair is still living. You can find out whether he is a member of the 391st BG Association by contacting Walt Slovensky.

I would appreciate hearing how this turns out.
George James

Date:
4/17/08
Time:
8:42 PM

I am interested in contacting anyone of my first crew. We had OTU at Barksdale. The first plane was named Truman’s Folly and later became Scars and Gripes (for obvious reasons.) The crew was Dawson P, Curnane CP. Schuenke Bomb/Nav, Wadell AMG. Devlin ROMG, Galway ARG. I am Lt/Col Russell Schuenke USAF (Ret). the Bom/Nav of that crew.

Mike, Nels Cassano is correct, Truman’s Folly was not renamed. “Scars N’ Gripes” was 41-35042 VT-P. First mission 3rd June 1944 and survived to VE Day. Trevor Allen

Date:
4/15/08
Time:
7:23 PM

I am looking for anyone that knew my father, Phil “Dude” Notaro, 387 Bomb Group, 559 Bomb Squadron. I have one name, Picarillo, and a few pictures. Please write back to me. Thank you! -Jim Notaro

Yes, Mr. Lawrence F. Picariello, wife Mary, status unknown. Do you have The History of the 559th Bomb Squadron? You can get a copy of it here:

Ask for Jerry:
Insty-Prints
509 Market Street
Shreveport, LA 71101
(318) 222-6111
http://www.insty1.com

Date:
4/8/08
Time:
10:53 PM

S/Sgt Lacey A. Schrader, Navigator/Bombardier
17th Bomb Gp. 432nd Bomb Sq.
B-26 #177914
Down in Med. Sea 11 March 1943, only plane lost by the 17th BG between
2/24/43 and 7/3/43

His family would like to hear from anyone who knew or has information about his before or during the No. African. Thank you, Lacey’s little brother. William J. Schrader

Here is the information I have available regarding this Marauder and S/Sgt. Schrader: 41-17914 “Defiant” of 17th BG 432nd BS was shot down in the Mediterranean Sea on March 11th 1943, by enemy fighters; Pilot Lt. Daniel C. Logan. The mission was a sea sweep led by Captain C. H. Diamond of 95th BS, he led “twelve B-26’s on one of those tricky sea sweeps today. Six planes went in at 5000 feet, and six went in on the deck. A convoy consisting of Seibel Ferries was sighted by both elements. Despite the presence of numerous Ju-88’s and Me-109’s, they dropped their bombs, but most of them fell short. Only one ferry was seen to be smoking. With so much enemy fighter interference, the best they could do was head for home. Lt. Logan, 432nd Bomb Squadron, and his crew were shot down. Six men were seen swimming in the blue Mediterranean, and seven life rafts were dropped to them.” 41-17914 was listed with 24 missions, MACR #8959. 41-17914 was one of the “original” 17th BG Marauders as listed on Operations Orders Number 35 of November 17, 1942. Pilot on flight from USA to MTO was Lt. Logan. S/Sgt Lacey A. Schrader was Navigator-Bombardier on the original crew of 41-17878, named “Bat Outa Hell”. The 17th BG was based at Telergma, Algeria during the first months of 1943.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
4/7/08
Time:
7:25 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Robert Figueroa
Bomb Group: 322nd [ search the site ]
Bomb Squadron: 449th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: 1st Lt. Robert Figueroa was a bombardier/navigator stationed in France and Belgium in 43-45. He flew a few of his 24 missions on “Flak Bait”. Just wondering if any of his crewmates are out there. -Michael Figueroa

Date:
4/5/08
Time:
1:50 PM

Who wrote this text? Recently sold online and donated anonymously to us, we’d like to know who wrote it.

“ME-109’s MISTAKE: ATTACKS MARAUDER

A few days ago the first Me-109 to attack a crack Marauder finished at the bottom of the Channel. The Streak piloted by Capt. Clay was toiling home on one engine when the German pursuit far below zoomed up to cut down the isolated cripple. As he reared up with spitting guns astern, the American ship, Staff Sergeant George R. Anderson, a Californian, turned on his twin “choppers” in the tail turret and blew the attacker in half.

Besides the career of the Colonel, the Streaks take most pride in their association with Gen. Doolittle’s famous Tokyo raid, Lt. Col. Bob Witty, 28, of Cleveland, Ohio, a former newspaperman and father of twin boys and second in command of the group, was among t o original volunteers for and planners of the Tokyo mission, but to his eternal regret was one of the historic group in a Minneapolis Hotel who offered to go but he was turned down…” Read more…

Date:
4/4/08
Time:
10:00 PM

Hi – I know Nick Palmer, B26 test pilot, he often flew with another pilot known as “JJ”. Anyone who knew Nick should say hi because he is on his last legs. -Thanks, John Apol

Date:
4/3/08
Time:
7:07 PM

Here are some crew photos from my dad’s album. Lt. Dwight Edwards Bombardier/Navigator on the Shirley Bee II 323 Bomb Group, 456 Bomb Squadron. -Glenn Edwards

Date:
4/1/08
Time:
8:39 PM

To All: it is my sad duty to inform all those of you in my father’s outlook address book that as of 20:34, March 27, 2008 hours Col Hugh H. Walker USAF Ret. passed away.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Hugh A. Walker

Date:
4/1/08
Time:
7:49 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Dan Fulton
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 575th
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: 44F
Class Location: Lubbock, TX
Comments: I was Copilot with J.N. Brooks, Pilot; Bill Maxon, Bombardier: Bob Beale, Flight Engineer; C Broussard, Radioman Gunner, Joe Burns, Tail Gunner. The crew was formed at Barksdale Field and we trained at Lake Charles, LA. We had the privilege of flying a brand new ship from Gunter Field, GA to Burtonwood, England via the southern route. We joined the 391st at Roie Amie in January, 1945 and flew 25 missions together. The B-26 was the finest of aircraft and I enjoyed every minute spent in the air.

Date:
3/31/08
Time:
3:26 PM

Hello All at B26, I was hoping to contact by email Mr. Croote or anyone associated with SAAF 12 Sqdn. My late father, 2nd Lt. Neville Pentz was the Navigator/Bomb Aimer crewing for pilot (not sure of correct rank) Lt. Dave Dent who was awarded the DFC. This, for returning their badly damaged Marauder “Nemesis” across the Adriatic in 1944, after a bombing run over Yugoslavia, for an emergency landing on a P51 Mustang SAAF airfield base at Bari, Italy. A young fighter pilot there, photographed my Dad’s craft up on blocks and chocks ready for repairs. About 18 months later, in the company of my future parents and future aunt who the pilot would later marry, unknowingly produced a snapshot of a “hacked up” B26 he had taken. Lt. Derrick Hattingh had taken a pic of his future brother-in-law plane. Will send a photo of this plane as soon as it is scanned.

All the best.
Sincerely,
Peter Pentz

Date:
3/29/08
Time:
12:51 AM

I have a picture of the banner the 555th BS hung on the Liberty Ship “Conrad Weisser” as it brought them into I think Newport News shortly after VE Day. I got it from a still living Army crew member who sailed numerous voyages on this Liberty Ship. Let me know if anyone wants me to send it and where. -Tom Sheehan

Date:
3/28/08
Time:
10:19 AM

2nd Lt John H. Work
Bomb Group 22nd M
Hq Sq
Years 1940 ( U.S. Army Air Corps.)
1941 B-26 Pilot
Graduation Class 40-H Glendale , California
Orders to Randolph Field , Texas

My mom’s first husband was killed on December 18, l941 after the war broke out and crashed in Muroc, CA . He was previously in Va. at Langley Field when he received orders to fly to Muroc in the California Desert to protect the California coast. I know his plane and all aboard were killed. The plane was #40-1494. Did any of these planes have nose art? (too early)? I saw a picture in my mom’s memory book of a cartoon with a girl on the plane named “Pursuit to Happiness” with the number “39” on the tale. Does this mean anything?

I also have sent letters and a picture of 2nd Lt John H. Work for a 22nd Bomb Group reunion for later this year.

Thanks in advance,
Angie Ryan

Date:
3/25/08
Time:
2:15 PM

Hi B26 Friends –

Please forgive my ignorance, but wondering if I’m on the right track, or if not – if someone could give me a shove in the right direction in finding more information on my uncle, death in on 4 July 1943 on a training mission outside of Poteet, TX, in an RB-26, in which he was a corporal, apparently serving as a flight engineer? I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t even know the relationship (if any) between an RB-26 and a B-26…<blush>. But here’s the information, FWIW:

Marauderman’s Name: David Anthony PULRANG
Bomb Group: (Pilot’s name Elvyn Lyle ROBERTS – Plane’s Serial Number: 40-1367
Bomb Squadron: 877 TEFTS
Years in service: 1
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: Home base Laughlin Field – Del Rio, TX
Comments: Crashed 10 miles N or W of Poteet, TX, during a training mission – structural failure. (TRAINING on 4th of July?? Perhaps air show for buddies?)

Any guidance greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,
Angela Major Pellerin

Date:
3/21/08
Time:
5:29 PM

I am attempting to establish reference to a bombing sortie in December 1944 (Battle of the Bulge) wherein my father in law Russell Anys, (455 Squadron, 323 Group) who was the Radio Gunner, on a crew Captained by Reid Pulver was successful in eliminating a Company of German SS troops numbering 1900 soldiers. His crew was subsequently advised that they would be awarded the DFC. The award was never forthcoming resulting from a mistake made by the reporting officer whom Russ says was a “washout” officer who had developed a severe drinking problem resultant from combat stress.

Russ is still living and has vivid memories of the mission which he remembers happening on December 26th or 27th. After the mission Capt. Pulver’s crew was called in and told they were to be awarded the DFC as a result of their actions. Knowing that the military records of the time have perished in the fire of 1973 and knowing that there probably is no record of the award anyway, can you help us in establishing this award for a most deserving hero of WW II.

Joe Lyons

Joe, your father-in-lay Russell Anys Didn’t fly any missions on 12/27/44. However he flew two missions on 12/26/44. The first was to Houffalize , Belgium in the morning and the second to Pronsfeld, Belgium in the afternoon. The mission you are interested in was the fist one in the morning which was against “German Strong Points” I will send you copies of all the mission records.

Regrettably I didn’t find any award or promotion papers concerning the DFC for your father-in-law. When the 323rd BG was moved from the 8th AF to the 9th AF these records stopped appearing in the 323rd BG files. My guess is that they are probably part of 9th AF records someplace. I still am looking for them.

In trying to get the DFC for you father-in-law, I would suggest starting with father-in-law’s local congressman. Good Luck

Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG & 454th BS

Date:
3/19/08
Time:
5:49 PM

Dear Guenter, I saw the request for information here on the B-26 SN 43-34424. My uncle, Leroy Luno, was on that plane. I’ve attached the crash report for you, its lists all the crew members and unfortunately, all were killed on impact. The crash happened September, 10th, 1945. Can you let me know what pieces you found? My mother was told there was a fire on impact and what little personal effects of my uncle that were returned to his family were burned and still smelled of smoke. I would appreciate any information you could give me. Since this was not a mission during the war, the crew was put together for the flight and probably no pictures exist. – James Stearns

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

James Stearns,
The database at Aviation Archaeology .com says this a/c 43-34424 was a 344th BG 495th BS Marauder. Pilot was Captain Jerald M. Davies of 344th BG 495th BS. He is buried at the Netherlands Cemetery in Margraten, Holland.

Other 344th BG 495th BS crew members found listed at ABMC with DOD 09.10.1945 are:

F/O Leroy L. Luno (Lorraine Cemetery, France)
1st Lt. Flourney L. Choate, Jr. (Lorraine Cemetery, France)
F/O Albert C. Frederick (Lorraine Cemetery, France)
M/Sgt. Pugh G. Rogers (Lorraine Cemetery, France). M/Sgt. Rogers was the original Crew Chief of 42-95924 (Frieburger crew) Y5-D “Rum Buggy”. This Marauder crashlanded at Great Dunmow on May 26th 1944.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
3/18/08
Time:
10:18 PM

I have a picture of my father standing by the ” Sexy Betsy ” on the back it says first mission to France -Nov. 28 ’43 Great Dunmow, “GEE” equipment . Dad wore the WW11 radio technician patch. He was trained in radar as well. He had the troop Carrier patch, airborne tab and First Allied Airborne Army. His records were part of the fire and I am trying to find his unit. Dad is dead and talk very little about the war . It has been suggested that in ’43 he was part of the 386th however in Feb. of “44 he assigned to the 50th TCC. On D-day he beamed backed the radar for the planes before the main force. A notation says the words radar Pathfinding. Any information will be most appreciated on Sgt. Charles G. Walker.

Respectfully yours,
Deborah Walker Thompson

“Sexy Betsy” was the name of a B-26 Marauder of 386th BG 555th BS, serial 41-35358, YA-V. According to one source it served with 386th BG from February 1944. I have checked 386th BG roster, but Sgt. Charles G. Walker is not listed there. Mission #46 Chivres A/D on November 29th 1943 from Great Dunmow, mission #45 on Nov 26th 1943. Is your photo of “Sexy Betsy” same aircraft as attachment here?

You mention 50th TCC, assume you mean 50th Troop Carrier Wing, IXth Troop Carrier Command (TCC). 50th TCW was part of Ist TCC (First Allied Airborne Army ?), which joined IXth TCC in UK in September/October 1943. Ist Troop Carrier Command was established on April 30th 1942, Brigadier General Frederick W. Evans was head of Ist TCC, HQ Stout Field, Indianapolis, May 1942.

Bases were located here:
Bergstrom Field, Austin, TX
Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base, Maxton, NC
Grenada Army Air Field, Grenada, MS
Sedalia Army Air Field, Knobnoster, MO
Pope Field, Fort Bragg, NC
Baer Field, Fort Wayne, IN
Lawson Field, Fort Benning, GA
Bowman Field, Louisville, KY
Alliance Army Air Base, Alliance, NE

50th TCW consisted of four Troop Carrier Groups, based at Bottesford, UK, from November 1943, and Exeter from April 1944 (squadron codes in parentheses, painted on nose of the C-47’s / C-53’s. Any C-47 photo you might have showing squadron code is important for your search.

439th TCG: 87th TCS (3X); 88th TCS (M2); 89th TCS (4U); 90th TCS (Q7)
440th TCG: 95th TCS (9X); 96th TCS (6Z); 97th TCS (W6); 98th TCS (8Y)
441st TCG: 99th TCS (3J); 100th TCS (8C); 301st TCS (Z4); 302nd TCS (2L)
442nd TCG:303rd TCS (J7); 304th TCS (V4); 305th TCS (4J); 306th TCS (7H)

But as you mention Radar pathfinding, your father might have been with IX Air Force Carrier Command Pathfinder School/Pathfinder Group (Provisional). For squarons based at Cottesmore, UK, from February 1944, when it was formed, and at North Witham from March 1944.
Sgt Walker is not listed among the 386th BG men which became part of 1st Pathfinder Squadron in February 1944 (see attachments).

On D-Day the Pathfinders went first from North Witham for Mission Albany (101st A/B) at 21:30 PM, for Mission Boston (82nd A/B) Pathfinders took off at 22.30 PM.

Best regards from Norway,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
3/18/08
Time:
1:26 PM

Good day, I have my late father’s flight logbook, William “Bob” John Crichton, a B26 pilot, and pictures that he took during the last year of the war, including those taken during missions. He was based in North Africa . Would anyone be interested copies of either?

Regards
Alan Crichton

Date:
3/17/08
Time:
5:27 PM

I am Joseph Elmer Hasty’s sister, he died of heart Attack in 1956, and I was with my brother and his wife and new born son in 1942 at Augusta, GA when he was transferred to MacDill Air Force in Tampa, Florida – we followed him.

Enclosed is a picture with him in it and I am seeking information on the plane’s name and the nose art on it. I have been told it was” The Mississippi Mud Cat ” and that it flew 24 missions over Germany and was shot down and the crew escaped and the Pilot was killed. The nose Art couldn’t be identified. My brother is 5th man on third row from bottom left.

Mildred Hasty Burks

Mississippi Mudcat was 41-31657 TQ-W of 387th BG 559th BS. Shot down by fighters on December 23rd 1944 on it’s 153rd combat mission:

MACR 11465. The formation was attacked by 15 to 25 Me-109’s and FW 190’s 10 miles East of Bastogne on that mission for Mayen R/R Bridge, at around 11 AM. The 387th BG gunners shot down two German fighters and two more were seen streaking away in flames. The aerial combat lasted for about twenty minutes, according to Joe Eaton, 559th BS:

Crew members:
Pilot 2nd Lt Vernon O. Staub
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Elgin Shirley Scobell
Bombardier 2nd Lt. William H. C. Doyle
Radio-Gunner S/Sgt. Leonard R. Werner
Engineer-Gunner S/Sgt Marvin Paul Geist
Tail Gunner Sgt. Richard Furneaux Wyman
Extra Tail Gunner Cpl. Otto P. Siciliano

Other names associated with “Mississippi Mudcat”:
Harris Allison Walker; Pilot
Don Whitsett; Co-Pilot, Walker Crew.

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
3/13/08
Time:
7:31 PM

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

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

Dear B26.COM GUESTBOOK, Re: Post above

This past week I happened to search the internet for my father’s name and was surprised to find a letter on B26.COM where his name was used in answer to a query for more “information and leads which will allow me to better understand and memorialize, for our family, the circumstances surrounding the death of my maternal Uncle “Gib” during a combat mission while flying in a B-26.” from Jack Wood dated 12/26/06.

Please forward this email to Jack Wood in answer to his query.

My father Emil Uhlig passed away in 1992 but we have kept in contact with Jeston Weeks. In fact just a few years ago, Mr. Weeks sent our family a lengthy letter detailing his and my father’s war experiences. There is a section of the document that talks about the mission of February 13, 1945, their parachuting from the plane, capture by the German’s and 14 months spent in a POW camp.

I spoke with Mr. Weeks this evening and he does not have access to a computer. He said that just a few years ago he met with Mike Dobda and Archie Sink, the pilot and copilot of the plane, and they compared their remembrances of that day and came to a consensus as to what happened.

Mr. Weeks said that if you were to supply a mailing address he would write you a letter detailing what happened on that day and specifically what happened to your uncle. If you do not feel comfortable supplying a mailing address, please forward me an email address and I will have Mr. Weeks send the letter to me to forward to you.

Sincerely,
Carol Uhlig

Note that Mr. Weeks also gave me permission to share the document he gave my family on his and my father’s war experiences with your B26 historian. I, also, have photos that I can forward for his collection. Please let me know how I may contact Trevor Allen.

Date:
3/13/08
Time:
5:26 AM

Sgt Robert Frank Birch
USAAF 8th Air Force
Tail Gunner in a B-26 Bomber. ”The Buzzin Half Dozen”
Served from 43-45
Flew 33 missions out of Belgium
Shot down once over Germany and escaped
Claim to fame was sneaking off with his pilot to the French Riviera where the MP’s took him back home!!!

I am trying to find if anyone has heard of the B-26 called the Buzzin Half Dozen. My Granddad recently passed away and that was his plane. Sgt Robert F. Birch of Ft Smith Arkansas .

Any help would be great.

Thanks,
Rob Birch

Date:
3/11/08
Time:
11:34 PM

Still trying to locate a diary entry, logbook, photograph or letters from Marauder Men containing information about the REAL “Ginny Lou” located on Hank Moen’s page. I’ve received some additional responses from my modeling website.

Paul Clouting wrote:
“41-31870 was coded YU-D of the 455th BS, and I have no nose name associated with this serial. I am more than happy to share the second Iceland picture, although I am not sure which one was the second picture. There were two pictures of Meeks Field, Iceland.

Regards
Paul”
Also Migon Mims, editor of the 323BG’s newspaper and the daughter of “Robert Mims” of the 455BS wrote:

“I found the Ginny Lou listed on our roster. It did not list an aircraft number, but I will look further when I have time. It did list a different crew as follows: Pilot-Lloyd McFadden; C0-Pilot- Herb H. Smith; Navigator/Bombardier- Uldereco Santoro; Engineer Turret Gunner- W.D. Minshew; Radio Operator/Waist Gunner- Joe F. Lyons; Tail Gunner- Harvey P. Souther

I have all of the men listed below in the picture listed as members of the 455th but with a different plane. Different crews flew different planes. The plane they are listed under has an aircraft number and it is 41-31870 (YU-D) but it does not list the name of the plane.. I am wondering if the crew I have listed under Ginny Lou could be the same plane as your crew below listed as 41-31870 (YU-D) on my roster. In other words the aircraft number listed for your crew could be for the same plane, Ginny Lou.

Hope this helps.
Mignon

PS At least this might give you a time frame to go by since the crew you listed is under this aircraft number you would be able to tell when they entered service. The pilot in the middle, front row looks familiar, but Dad did not recognize and of them.”
Finally, here’s what Roy Bozych the 323rd Bomb Group historian wrote:

“went through all of the mission records I could find the Whitman crew while they were at Beaulieu. There were seven of them, they are listed below:

41-34908 YU-A 7/24
548 YU-O 7/30
41-34942 YU-U 7/31 Jolly Roger
41-31772 YU-C 8/5 Hazel
42-107692 YU-F 8/9
41-34952 YU-Q 8/15 Anhuac Lion
41-31772 YU-C 8/5 Hazel

Four can be eliminated because they already have names. It is possible for a plane to be renamed or have two names but let’s assume for the moment that they didn’t do that. So that leaves us with three un-named planes:

41-34908 YU-A 7/24
548 YU-O 7/30
42-107692 YU-F 8/9

548 YU-O flown on 7/30/44 can also be dropped from the list. I have not yet been able to find any documentation to complete the serial number. Since this was one of the newer planes that were added to the Squadron either in 44 or 45 and the Meeks picture was from May of 43 it doesn’t fit the time frame.

If you look at the nose of “Ginny Lou” in the picture there is some identifying information. You will notice that there are two 50 caliber guns mounted in the nose. One in the standard center swivel position and one fixed near the base of the nose. It almost looks like an aircraft pilot tube. The extra fixed 50 caliber gun was only on the B-26C models starting with the B-26C-5 and ending in the middle of the B-26C-25 run.

41-34908 YU-A is a B-26C-15 and 42-107692 YU-F was a B-26C-45 model.

The serial number production run for the B-26C-45-MO was 42-107497 to 42-107830.

That would make 42-107692 the 195th B-26 out of a run of 333. Since the fixed 50 cal was eliminated during the middle of this run, probably by this time (#195) they had stopped installing them. Also the 42 in serial number 42-107692 indicates the year in which the US government signed the contracts to build that block of aircraft. Not necessarily the year the aircraft was made. So for the contact to be signed in 1942 and then have the aircraft completed, modified, tested, delivered and outfitted to fly overseas by May of 1943 is highly unlikely.

So that only leaves us with 41-34908 YU-A. There was kind of an informal tradition that you would have you usually have your picture taken as a crew in front of the aircraft on one of your early missions. Since this was their 1st mission flown out of Beaulieu, England it all seems to fit. Also mail back to the States at that time was taking two to three weeks. So even if the picture was taken at the end of July, by the time it got back home and someone put it in a scrapbook with a note it would have been August.

So based on all the above, I would say that 41-34908, YU-A Is “Ginny Lou” If anyone has any more compelling evidence, I’m open to suggestions.

Roy Bozych
Historian
323rd BG/454th BS”
So, it appears I have three possible choices so far for Ginny Lou:

1. 41-31870 coded YU-D
2. 41-34908 coded YU-A
3. 41-34952 coded YU-Q, also named Anahuac Lion (possibly on left side of aircraft). Roy has Moen and crew flying this while in England, when the picture was taken. Trevor also had this serial as Ginny in some of his documentation.

I’ve also been able to get additional pictures and logs from Gen Moen’s father, including photos of the taxi accident 41-31870 and Moen’s crew were involved in. As soon as I can, I will scan them as well as the original crew photo.

Take care,
Jay

Date:
3/11/08
Time:
11:34 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Charles D. Lynch
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 553
Years in service: 43-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: This is a request from his daughter, to ask for any/all info that anyone would have on the men in flight team. He was an engineer/gunner on “hard luck”, “mad Russian”, and other b-26’s. Any information/history/stories/contacts would be greatly appreciated. He is 91 years old and alive and well! -Thank you, Denise

Check out Chester Klier’s page

Date:
3/10/08
Time:
10:28 PM

I’m reporting that one of World War two’s finest B-26 pilots James E. Gonyer passed away on Feb. 28th at the age of 86! I will miss him! Marauder man Floyd Mauth

Date:
3/10/08
Time:
8:13 PM

I am writing in recognition of Staff Sergeant Gideon Long. He used to make the trip to California for every reunion , well , he is gone now but lives on in my memories , he was a hydraulics mechanic in the 323rd Bomb Group 455th bomb squadron , I remember making a model plane of the B-26 Bomber with his name below the cockpit , and seeing the look on his face when I gave it to him, it was priceless, so was he, and all of our heroes that gave and risk their lives for our freedom! -David

Date:
3/10/08
Time:
3:41 PM

In your guest book of 2003 there is a message from a Mr. Brian Pitre about his uncle Ray E. Pitre.

I’m a Portuguese researcher finishing a book about aircraft that landed or crashed in Portugal during that period. I have some interesting documents about this case that I can share with the family, if they are interested.

I’m also interested in having pictures or stories about this or any other case related with Portugal. There where a couple of B-26’s that landed or crashed in here.

I have some reports from the American Legation about the accident, with details about the accident and burials of the crew members. The case created one internal inquiry because the activity of the air attaché was questioned by the secretary of state in the US. I have no problem in sharing this info with the family and also with you. Although I would like to ask you to keep this papers for you only in the next months. My book is coming out near the end of the year and I have dedicated one entire chapter’s to this case.

I have also information about other b-26’s that landed or crashed in Portugal during this period. they are:

DATA LOCAL TIPO_AP NUMERO_AP INFO
21-02-1944 PORTELA AIRPORT- LISBON MARTIN B-26 MARAUDER 42-96104

2ND FERRYING GROUP FORCE
23-07-1943 QUARTEIRA – in the sea MARTIN B-26 MARAUDER, 41-35150

89th FERRYING GROUP FORCE
12-12-1944 PORTELA AIRPORT- LISBON MARTIN B-26 MARAUDER, 43-22284

Unknown bomb group/squadron
19-07-1943 PORTELA AIRPORT- LISBON MARTIN B-26 MARAUDER, 41-35037

Unknown bomb group/squadron
25-10-1944 VIEIRA DE LEIRIA – in the sea MARTIN B-26 MARAUDER, 41-32014

From the second plane – the one from Quarteira – I have the death certificates from 3 crew members and also a copy of one of the thank you notes published in on of the local papers after the big funerals that took place in the city of Faro. I can send copies to you if you want it and they can be forwarded in your website immediately if you want. I put the note because I’m interested specially in pictures of this crew members.

Any information about another case is also welcomed.

Best regards
Carlos Guerreiro

Date:
3/8/08
Time:
5:51 PM

My wife and I were looking through old photos today and found identifying info on her father: I went on-line and found your site so here goes and hope you can help us with further details on his life and service with the 323d Bomb Group:

Marauderman’s name: Francis S. Carney, – Army Serial #: XXXXX610
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 456th?
Years in Service: 10 June 1941 to 28 September 1945
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location : unknown
Comments: Also known as “Whitey” and as Patrick Francis Carney. MOS: Radio Mechanic, believe assigned to RAF. Honorable Discharge, with Battles and Campaigns listed as: Normandy , Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Air Offensive Europe, Central Europe, wounded in France 1944. Decorations and Citations: American Defense Service Ribbon, European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with 1 Silver Battle Star & 1 Bronze Battle Star, 3 Overseas Services Bars, 1 Service Stripe, & Good Conduct Medal.

Hope the attached photos can contribute some additional information and bring back some additional memories from his old service buddies. We would very much appreciate any further details you or your readers may be able to provide. He had three children, Kathleen, Patricia & James Carney.

Thanks for your time and help, and especially for the information you have provided already. Kathleen Carney Beltran & Steve Beltran

Date:
3/6/08
Time:
5:36 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Fred N. McConnell
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 555th
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: 44-C
Class Location: Blackland
Comments: My father’s information. Although he’s very much alive & kicking, he hasn’t touched a computer in his life (84 years). I know he did B-26 training at Del Rio and I believe left one on the runway there when a main wasn’t locked upon landing. Flew combat in both B-26 and the A-26. Would be interested in hearing from anyone that remembers him! -Mark McConnell

Date:
3/4/08
Time:
10:48 PM

I am Niles Bruno, the son of Capt. Nicholas J Bruno MD, who was the flight surgeon for the 449BS, 322BG for several years in England, France and Belgium. He returned to Chicago and set up his practice there and practiced general medicine until he died in 1982. I have been trying to contact any of the men he served and flew with in the ETO. His records were destroyed in the fire in St. Louis. I am going to England this coming September and would like to find and visit any of the airstrips he flew out of. Can you help?

Thank you,
Niles Bruno

Niles, when you visit England you need to visit Great Saling, Essex County. The 322nd Bomb Group flew from here during the period May 1943 to September 1944 before they moved to Europe. The airfield here was known as Andrews Field.

Trevor Allen, historian b26.com

Date:
3/4/08
Time:
5:15 PM

Hi, I am sure you know by now that there is a 1/72 die cast models now available of a B26 from 387th. Markings are FW-K. Tail number 295857. It is in Invasion stripes and olive drab. I was just wondering if you have any more info on the plane and crew. I live in the heart of Marauder country, Braintree Essex and am currently learning about the local airfields in WW2 and visiting those sites. Unfortunately I am only 32 so am starting from scratch. I am particularly interested in the B26 as it was so prolific around here, which is how I found B26.com, a super site might I say. Hope you can help.

Many thanks
Niall Thorogood
Braintree, UK

Date:
3/3/08
Time:
4:38 PM

Jesse Lafayette Mitchell
344th Bomb Group
495th Bomb Squadron
France–January 1945–March 1945
Belgium–April 1945–September 1945
Germany–September–September 1945

My brother, Jesse Lafayette Mitchell, was called to active duty with the Air Corps in February 1943. A native of Fairfield, Alabama, he was a student at Alabama Polytechnic Institute at the time. He first went to Miami Beach, then to Clarion State Teacher’s College in Pennsylvania, San Antonio, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Coffeyville, Kansas, Pampa, Texas, Del Rio, Texas, Shreveport, Louisiana, then to Savannah, Georgia. He and his crew flew the southern route to England in November 1944, then awaited assignment to a squadron at The 70th Replacement Depot, Stone, England until January 1945. He joined the 495th Bomb Squadron at the base (A-59) at Carmeilles-en-Vexin, Genicourt, France. His squadron moved to Florennes-Juzaine, Belgium at the end of March 1945. In September, the Squadron, as part of the Occupation forces, moved to Schleisshim, Germany. Jesse was discharged in December 1945. He flew thirty missions, the first on 2-9-45 against Viersen, Germany, the last on 4-20-45 against Sraubing Germany. His plane’s name was “My Gal Sal,” named after a high school sweetheart. In recent years, I have used materials from the Air Force Historical Research Center at Maxwell Field to write his story. Members of his crew were Lt. George T Rochford, Indiana, Co-Pilot; Sgt. Hector Marcil, Massachusetts, Engineer, Sgt. Charles Moritz, New York, Radioman and Sgt. George Rhodes, Pennsylvania, tail gunner. My brother, Rochford, Moritz and Rhodes are all dead and Hector Marcil is living. After the War, Jesse finished a degree in aeronautical engineering at Auburn and then spent thirty years with NACA and NASA. At the time of his retirement, he was Head of the Physics and Astronomy Division which was, among other things, responsible for the early planning for the Hubble Telescope. If anyone remembers Jesse, I would like to hear from them. He was a “great” brother. I have been unable to find any information about the sixth member of Jesse’s crew, Sgt. Philip W. Lidel. Before joining Jesse’s crew, Lidel had already completed more than thirty missions as a gunner-bombardier and flew about twenty missions with Jesse and his crew. If anyone remembers Lidel, I would appreciate them getting in touch with me. -Joseph Mitchell

Date:
3/3/08
Time:
3:58 PM

Trying to locate which squadron William Lawrence Lawson was a member of. He flew the B-26 stationed in North Africa and Sardinia. Flew 69 missions, received Air Medal with 8 bronze clusters, two silver clusters. His missions were flown in Africa, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. He returned to U.S. in 1944, assigned to Air Transport Command. Killed in auto accident April 1945. He has a plaque in his honor here at Baylor University and I am trying to put his story together. Is he listed on any rosters? -Frank J Jasek

Date:
3/1/08
Time:
9:17 PM

This is Donald L. Perkins who served with 391st. Bomb Group 572 or 573 Bomb Squadron. In ETO from November 1944 until December 1945. Graduated from Bombardier school at San Angelo, TX Class 44 E.

The pilot assigned to our crew was Lucas Shanks, Co-Pilot, Frank Costello. Gunners were Sgt. William E. Titus, Sgt Alex Webber, and Sgt. George Gordon.

We had 32 combat missions the last six of which were with the 17th. Bomb Group stationed in Dijon, France.

We were first assigned to the 391st. at Roye/Amy France, and the day we arrived there was a B-26 on it’s belly with a hole in the fuselage that you could almost have driven a jeep through. A flak shell had exploded in the top turret’s gunner’s lap. He was killed, of course, and every other member of the crew were wounded except the Bombardier. They flew it home anyway. I didn’t have a camera overseas, so many interesting pictures were missed. We were in the 391st. at Roye/Amy France until they went to the A-26’s then we went to the 17th. Bomb Group at Dijon France and flew our last combat missions from there. On one of our last missions, an airfield at Lichfield, Germany, April 26, 1945, we were hit with a single ME 262 that got two of our aircraft. We were in the process turning around as a large thunderhead was over the target. We dropped no bombs and heard later that the Germans had seven other M-262’s waiting for us on the other side of the thunderhead. An account of that from the German pilot’s point of view, can be found in a Time-Life Book named Fighter Jets, “The Epic of Flight”.

Since we were late in the war, we were assigned 028, an aircraft that was the dog of the fleet. It had been named Honey Bucket and had a chalked picture of a country out house on the nose. We later named it Eyeballs. Most of the time that was the aircraft we were assigned to. We finished our tour without a scratch except our pilot hurt his hand while gathering fire wood, and we missed several missions.

I am thrilled to find this web site and hope it will be the means of contacting some of my old friends. It makes me feel old to read where grandchildren of my generation are searching for information about things we have lived through. I have not recognized any of the names that are in the web site or any of the aircraft.

Contact me there and let’s share some war stories.
Don Perkins

Date:
3/1/08
Time:
8:32 PM

ANN’s Daily Aero-Linx (03.01.08)
The Aero-News Network Sat, 01 Mar 2008

Aero-Linx!
Scouring the information super airways can sometimes be a tough, if educational, task for the Aero-News staff… but it also allows us to check out some truly neat and exciting sites, so it’s not that bad a gig. On any given day, we may check dozens (and often hundreds) of different sources for story ideas, and facts confirmation. And, as is the nature of our business, much of this is done on the Internet.

The ANN gang decided we probably shouldn’t keep some of the neat sites, info resources, and organizations we’ve discovered to ourselves… so we decided to bring you Aero-Linx. These are the sites that WE check out — when we need added perspective, a new spin on a day’s topic… or just want to escape into cyber-aero-space for awhile.

Aero-Linx! B26.COM is dedicated to the Martin B-26 Marauder Men who fought in World War II. [ Click here ]

Date:
3/1/08
Time:
6:29 PM

Hello, for a publication about the history of the Dutch airfields during World war II we are looking for a cartoon mentioned in “Time over Targets”.

“Woensdrecht, Beauvais, St. Omer, Gilze-Rijen were some of the targets, all studded with heavy flak defenses. None had a reputation like Amsterdam-Schipol. None was more important to the Luftwaffe. There, flak was buttermilk thick, and airmen had a healthy respect for German gunners. In a flyer’s cartoon a gunner, being dragged to his plane, was shouting, “No—No—Not Schipol!” We are looking for a copy/scan of that cartoon mentioned above.

Would you be able to contact us with someone who has access to this cartoon?

Looking forward for your answer,

Jaap Woortman
Secr. Dutch Study Group Airwar 1939-1945.

Date:
3/1/08
Time:
10:12 AM

I recently ran across a post [click here] and it immediately caught my interest. I am the son of Art P. Duncan, Navigator/Bombardier, of the 323 BG, 455 BS. Joe Grillo and my Dad were very close friends during the War, and Joe is in fact the man I am named after, so of course I am very interested in any information you may have on him. Joe’s loss had a profound effect on my Dad, and he spoke of Joe often. -Joe Duncan

Joe, on December 26th, 1944 the 323rd BG was part of a “Maximum Effort” mission to keep the German troops from breaking through the Allied lines during the “ Battle of the Bulge”. The 323rd BG dispatch 55 B-26s that day and their target were German strong points concentrated at Houffalize , Belgium . Due to accurate flak over the target area, one aircraft was lost that day with all of its crew, 41-34955, YU-T (MACR 11488) “Mission Belle”. Unfortunately this is the B-26 that Lt. Grillo was in. Fourteen other 323rd BG Marauders were damaged by flak and one crash landed when the hydraulics were shot out and he couldn’t lower the landing gear. Bombing results were listed as good.

41-34955 “Mission Belle” was in Box III Flight 2. Due to problems identifying the target Box III had to make two passes over the target. The bombs had just been released and “Mission Belle” was just turning off of the target when it was hit in its left main fuel tank blowing off the top of the wing.

Regrettably, out of all of the 323rd BG MACRs, MACR 11488 is in the worst condition and for the most part unreadable. The original paper records weren’t copied to microfilm until the 80’s and by that time the paper had aged (turn brown) so badly it did not copy well. However I was able to reconstruct one of the pages of MACR 11488 which was a narrative of the event by Lt. James W. Rudig. I have attached it for you [ select here to read ].

Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG and 454th BS.

Date:
2/29/08
Time:
5:42 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Staff Sergeant Alvin Gray Beeker
Bomb Group: 344th Bombardment Group
Bomb Squadron: 495th Bombardment Squadron
Years in service: 1944
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown
Comments: My grandfather recently passed away. While my father and I were going through some papers he had in his home office I found a letter addressed to my late Great Uncle Clyde Beeker. The letter was from Major Harvey B. Piper, XO of the 495th Bombardment Squadron. The letter was a brief account of the crash of my cousin Gray Beeker’s B-26. The letter detailed that his B-26 took AAA fire over Brest, France on 09 August, 1944. Major Piper explained that eye witness accounts suggested that the port wing was blown away and the aircraft subsequently crashed. I have known for some time that my cousin Gray died in World War 2. I later found out that he was an Aircrewman. Major piper’s letter confirmed that Gray was the top turret gunner on a B-26. I myself was an Aircrewman on UH-60L Blackhawk and UH-1H Hueys for the Army. I have been trying recently to build a diorama of scale models depicting my family’s service to our Country. If anyone has any information of the 495th I would be very grateful. I also know that my cousin was on aircraft 42-107686. I also know he is buried somewhere in Kentucky with Lt Raymond H. Phillips, 344th BG, 495th BS. If anyone has any other info please let me know. -Thank You, M. Scott Havner

Scott – I am also a cousin…my grandmother was Gray Beekers’ first cousin, Cora Lee Beeker, who was born in Mill Bridge. I know that Gray Beeker is buried at Plot 1-0-41, Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky. I read somewhere that after the war, he and his crewmates were disinterred from their burial plot in France and moved to the Veterans’ cemetery in Louisville. I have quite a lot of Beeker genealogical information if it would be of any interest to you. Let me know, OK? Thanks and regards.

Hal Gray

Date:
2/27/08
Time:
6:38 PM

My Dad was 1Lt C.D. Burger and I did not know this about him [ read more ]. I was born on 26 Aug. 1944 and never got to see my dad. Thank you for the information.

Doug Burger

Date:
2/27/08
Time:
6:38 PM

My father, Roland ‘Roly’ Glass, ‘nick name Perspex’ was in the 24th Squadron of South Africa Air Force during WWII. He was a gunner in a Marauder, which in 1944 was called “Caroline Mary” stationed at Gambut in North Africa . The “Caroline Mary” crew at that time included Lieut. Tarpey, Larkan, Williams and Golding plus F./Sgt Smith.

The Marauders had replaced the squadrons Boston ’s on the 21st December 1943. He joined 14 Squadron, which became 24 on 15/7/1940 and demobed 31/1/1946.

There is an excellent book called ‘Per Noctem Per Diem’ The story of 24 Squadron, South African Air Force, by E.N. Tucker and P.M.J. McGregor published by the 24 Squadron Album Committee, printed (1962) by the Cape Times in South Africa. It includes WWII history, aircraft info, honour rolls, photos and poems and stories. So we can remember them who saved us all from tyranny. The accounts, pictures and photo’s in the book help me remember my dad as since 1972 he is no longer here to share his experiences and rich insight.

To quote from the book ‘We cannot close without paying tribute to those men from other countries who so loyally and spiritedly fought and in many cases died serving in the 24 Squadron – men from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Belgium …’

With Much appreciation to you for your web site

Rudyard Glass – New Zealand

Date:
2/26/08
Time:
12:39 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Richard A. Young
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in service: 23
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Tampa, FL
Comments: Hello Marauder Men. My name is John Young and my Stepfather, 1st Lt. Richard A. Young, who raised me was a B26 pilot stationed in Great Sailing England with the 451st BS, 322 BG. I have been able to acquire some information on him through the 451st BS history where he is mentioned as coming into the squadron with a Lt. Price and Lt. Col. Stillman on March 15, 1943. The history also indicated that he was placed on detached service with a Capt. Lamb and several other Lt.s to become part of the Pathfinders on Feb. 16, 1944. As you can see I have been able to acquire some detail on my Stepdad, but through all my research, I have been unable to obtain either his tail number or the name of the aircraft that he flew. I remember as a child looking through his scrap books at all of the pictures of friends and planes but since he and my Mom divorced many years ago I have lost contact with him and I’m sure that the pictures are long gone as well. I would really like to know the name of his plane if anyone remembers him and his aircraft. I also remember that he had a friend that was a navigator with the 386th BG and 553 BS by the name of Lt. Warren Hinchee. I have also been unable to get the name of his plane and very little other information on him as well and would be appreciative if anyone could provide me information on him. Thanks to all you Marauder Men for making the USA what it is today.

Check out Lee Lipkis’ page…

Date:
2/24/08
Time:
5:30 PM

Marauderman’s Name: S/Sgt Robert E. Hammerberg
Bomb Group: 322 Headquarters
Years in Service: 1942-1945 (1946?)

Dear Mr. Allen,
I have been reading some of the old guestbook logs on your website, as I have been trying to find out a little more about my fathers time in the AAF in WWII.

My father was one of the occasional photo/gunners that you noted in your response called “General Crew Stations/ Box Formation”. Besides photographing bombing runs on flights, he and other photo/gunners of the 322 took portraits of the commanding officers and medal award recipients, photographs of base life, USO shows, and visiting brass. My father also took photographs of the British countryside, as well as some in France, Belgium and Germany as the 322 stations were moved.

He tells the story, that when the photo/gunners would show up for the mission briefing the pilots would groan because they were typically sent on missions expected to be tough. I also remember him telling about the low level bombing mission where all ten planes were shot down and that they waited and waited at the runway, scanning the sky for returning planes, but the planes never returned.

We (my family) have many, many photographs including my father’s original portrait photographs of Maj. General Samuel E. Anderson (posed standing) commanding officer of the 9th AAF, Brig. General Francis M. Brady (commanding officer of the 3rd wing??, 8th AAF??), Col. Glenn Nye (the photo on your website), as well as numerous Distinguished Flying Cross portraits (pilots, navigators, and gunners). We were told by my father that these were publicity photos for the Stars & Stripes and local papers.

My father also shot the aerial portrait of Flak Bait flying on its 200 mission at the Air and Space Museum (he was the only photo/gunner on the mission). I believe we also have an aerial portrait of Mild & Bitter flying on its 100 mission. We also have several other photographs of Mild & Bitter parked with other planes. My father never said a word about how famous this plane was.

The “Wounded Marauder” photo on your website showing Larry Scates, Morton J. Levy and Frank Cookson sitting on/in a badly damaged tail of 42-107751, I believe, was shot by my father as I have a matching photograph with the 322 photo record inscription at the bottom. The are a few other photos on other websites that I believe my father shot as we have matching photos or photos bracketed on side or the other of the image.

The third photograph attached is of “Tondelayo” 41-17995 flying over the English Channel. I include this because there were several notes in your guestbook asking about this plane. I’m guessing based on your information that Tondelayo was flying in the lead box.

Thomas Hammerberg

Date:
2/21/08
Time:
8:45 AM

I talked by phone with Dan Murphy last night about Carl A. Royer’s crew. He couldn’t remember anything about the photo. The only two that he could tell anything about were himself and Charlie Mahan who was bombardier on his crew. He couldn’t recall when or where the photo was taken. So that was disappointing. Higgins, Osborne, Mahan, Mahaffey, Sanders and Royer definitely trained as a crew at Barksdale. We know that from the photo. It has been verified that Mahan and Royer definitely ended up with the 585th. Has Sanders definitely been placed with the 394th? Need first names and organizations for Higgins, Osborne and Mahaffey. I talked to Elden Shook by telephone tonight but didn’t come up with any answers.

When Doug Royer, Carl’s son, gets the 394th bomb groups microfilm from Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, hopefully that will help.

Best wishes,
Don Frisbie
Pilot, Marauder Man

Date:
2/21/08
Time:
8:20 AM

Robert J. Fitzgerald
Bomb Group: 387 bomb gp/m
Bomb Squadron: 557 bomb sq
Years in service: 1942 / 21-March-1945

I am looking for information / division photo’s of Robert J. Fitzgerald # XXXXX975. We have adopted his grave at the American Military Cemetery at Margraten Netherlands. Can you please help us ?

Additional info:
Robert J. Fitzgerald
Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces
557th Bomber Squadron, 387th Bomber Group, Medium
Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: 21-Mar-45
Awards: Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

Thank you,
Twan Scheijen

Date:
2/18/08
Time:
4:42 PM

Good Afternoon:

I just found your terrific website.

I would appreciate any information that can be supplied regarding my father 1LT Ronald F. Shepard. He piloted the “Billy Willy V”, serial number was 42-96160, U2-L, 598th BS, 397th BG. Shot down March 18th, 1945 on a raid on the RR yards at Worms, Germany. The crew was able to bail out minus my father, who apparently was found in the wreckage near Stadecken.

Crew members were:
F/O William R. Littenhale ( or Littenal ), Co-Pilot
S/Sgt Harold E. Wilson, bombardier
Sgt. Hoyt B. Willingham, Radio/Gunner
Sgt. James H. Tamplin, Engineer/Gunner
Sgt. Herbert Brodsky, Armourer/Gunner
T/Sgt J.C. McGuire, Observer

Thanks for any information.

Ron Shepard

Date:
2/18/08
Time:
3:13 PM

Hello: Does anybody know who is charge of things pertaining to the Squadron reunions of the 449th, 450th, 451st and 452nd Bomb Squadrons, 322nd Bomb Group, 9th Air Force? My father, Jack Hastings, who was a B-26 Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, 449th Bomb Squadron during WWII passed away in March of 2003. I am his only Son, who is a Vietnam war Veteran and served with the USAF from 68 til 73, then the Oklahoma Air National Guard 73 to 75.

I had gone to the only Reunion this group had in Oklahoma City, OK back in 2000 with my Father and enjoyed meeting everyone.

It has been almost 5 years since Dad passed and I have had my own personal Health problems arise due to exposure to Agent Orange while serving IN Country @ Tan Son Nhut Air Base during 1969 to 1970 with the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. I was the NCOIC for the Flight Safety and Ground Safety office while stationed there.

I sure would like to hear from some of the folks who served with my Father or their Kids or even Grand Kids, or Great Grand Kids of these Men. I have become Medically retired and have some extra time on my hands and would deeply appreciate Emails to read. Kind of bored with without much going on here.

Sincerely yours,
Mr. F.L. Hastings

Date:
2/17/08
Time:
10:41 AM

Hi, this is Emilie Wood Mims signing in. My mother, Patricia Patterson McKenzie, was the sister of Harry Howard Patterson (re: post 2/2/08). Thanks to all for establishing this site about my “Uncle Howard.” I found the stories very interesting and plan to pass them on to the local paper in his hometown.

Date:
2/10/08
Time:
10:10 PM

My name is Greg Hansard and I am trying to get in touch with Floyd Mauth. My Grandfather, Elmer R. Hansard, was a tail gunner in the “Lily Commando” (391st 573rd). His pilot was William Youse III. He may know some of your crew members.

Date:
2/6/08
Time:
1:44 PM

Can you please send my email address on to Don Frisbie. He says that he was with the 586th BS, 394th BG from fall of 1944 to war’s end. My grandfather, Carl A. Royer, was with the 585th BS, 394th BG during the same time.

I would like to share information with him if he is willing.

Thanks,
Doug Royer

Date:
2/2/08
Time:
10:22 AM

I am absolutely thrilled to find a relative of Lt. Harry Patterson alive and interested in exchanging information on the WW-II / B-26 experiences of our relatives. I believe the citation was signed by Justin Lewis and Alf Egil Johannessen. My dad, Thomas W. Kerley, was Harry Patterson’s copilot for much of the war. My dad spoke frequently about his WW-II flying experiences and I inherited many WW-II memories and artifacts from him. I have his complete uniform, medals, bomb log, photos, and, perhaps most valuable, an ornate wooden stick with over 50 initials carved in it from guys he served with in the 397th / 598th. I would be most willing to share all this with anyone interested. Many thanks to Marauder Men and their descendants for providing this extremely valuable venue for B-26 families to find each other. I look forward to hearing from Justin, Alf, and any other interested B-26 families.

Sincerely,
Mike Kerley

Justin Lewis, thank you for making a dedication page for your Grandfather, Harry Patterson, you made this connection possible. Perhaps others will follow your lead.

Date:
1/31/08
Time:
10:15 PM

Joe “Bud” Miller was born December 27, 1924, in Mankato, Minnesota, one of 11 children born to Michael and Catherine Miller. Joe entered military service on June 11, 1943, during WWII where he became an armored tail gunner on a B-26 Marauder. He was assigned to his crew in July 1944 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana.

Date:
1/30/08
Time:
7:59 AM

Marauderman’s Name: SGT. Melvin C Shuler, Sr.
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 573rd
Comments: My family and I have learned a great deal about my grandfather from your site. My father had never been informed about the mid-air collision or that my grandfather was the only one on his plane to perish in that accident. We would like to be able to contact Roger Rice, the son of E. Z. Rice [1] [2] [3] and anyone else who may have memories or information about that day or my grandfather. We are also looking for any pictures or documents concerning my grandfather or other crew members with whom he served. The collision occurred on August 25, 1944. The plane he was in was 42-95797 P2-P “TS Ticket”. Survivors of this collision were Frank P. Moscovic, co-pilot; Donald J. Peters, bombardier and Robert A. Hetrick, engineer/gunner.

Thanks and any help at all is appreciated,
Gina Rouse

Date:
1/26/08
Time:
10:29 PM

Marauder Man: 2nd Lt. Stanley S. Bolesta
Bomb group: 322nd
Bomb squad: 449th
Comments: My dad was a b-26 bombardier and was shot down 11/3/43 over France. He evaded the German’s for several months by being hidden by a French family (they owned a bakery) until a mole turned him into the Gestapo. He never found out what happened to the French family. He spent the rest of the war (feb 1943) in stalag luft 1 in barth Germany until liberated by the Russians in 1945.

He has a news clip that shows his plane 41-18272 pn—q (pn—v is in the background) on it way to attack the German airfield at omer-rouge, France august 9, 1943. The only b-26 shot down on 11/3/43 was 322nd bg 449th bs 41-34763 pn–j. The macr’s were 1#1046 & #1499 for the same plane. I have ordered copies of these to get more info.

Was it standard practice for airmen to be assigned to different planes in the squadron such that they may have been on more than one plane during their tour with a squadron? (ed. Yes) It may explain why he could have remembered more than one plane. (ed. Marauder Men flew in more than one plane during their tour of duty).

Curious,
Gary Bolesta

Gary, while a pilot was usually assigned an airplane, they in fact flew several different B26’s on missions due to serviceability and damage repair. In fact on some occasions if their own squadron didn’t have enough serviceable planes of their own, they would borrow one from another of the Group’s squadrons who perhaps were not flying that mission.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Hi Gary, it was a standard practice for the crews to be assigned different aircraft for missions. Sometimes there regular aircraft was down for servicing/repairs, and the other aircraft crew were not picked for a mission so their aircraft was made available for crews with downed aircraft for the mission .

For instance while my Dad was with the 449BG as an engineer his crew ‘s regular aircraft was 41-31757 PN-G “We Dood It” but he flew missions in 41-31756 PN-T “Gayle”,41-31711 PN-W “Mystic Crewe of Gasparilla” 41-31773 PN-O “Flak Bait” And what’s interesting is they would even borrow birds from the other squadrons of the 322BG. As he flew missions aboard 450BS’s 41-18276 ER-T “Picked Dilly”, and from the 452 BS 41-31919 DR-N “Peasapis”

So I hope that helps your mystery of the different aircraft.

Don Enlow Son of Malcolm D. Enlow

Date:
1/22/08
Time:
9:00 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 1st Lieutenant Thomas T. Johnson
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 437th
Comments: Lt. Johnson was my uncle, whose plane was shot up during a bombing mission to some island near Italy, and crashed in Tunisia. He had been able to keep the plane in the air long enough for his crewmates to be able to bail out safely, but by the time he jumped it was too low and his parachute didn’t open in time. I am looking for any surviving crewmates, their families, and/or anyone who knew him. He died on June 11, 1943.

Here are the names of his crewmen, from a newspaper clipping saved by my parents:

2nd Lt. Marvin M. Grieves, copilot, of NYC
2nd Lt. Louis Baldino, bombardier, Philadelphia
Staff Sgt Theodore R Taylor, Niagara Falls, NY
Staff Sgt. Thomas H Hall, Philadelphia
Staff Sgt. Joseph Merritt, Norfolk, VA

Thomas J. Brooks

1st Lt. Thomas T. Johnson’s Marauder was 41-34870. On June 11th 1943 the 319th BG flew two missions; # 38 to gun positions #9A and 10A at Pantelleria (Italy). On leaving first target, observers noticed a white cross on the airdrome–this island had surrendered, apparently while the raid was in progress.

Mission # 39 was originally planned for Pantelleria but changed ten minutes prior to takeoff, twenty-four planes hit Lampedusa (shipping & docks), most crews having no idea where they were going but dropping on the lead bombardier; ships and buildings in a harbor hit with 300-, 500- and 1000-lb. bombs: plane of 1st Lt. Thomas Johnson crashed near Le Kef (Tunisia), an engine shot out by flak and the other losing power. Johnson was killed when he bailed out at low altitude and his chute failed to open. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart, and is buried at North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. Lampedusa (Italy) is an island about 90 miles south/south-east of Pantelleria. Flight Commander on this mission was Major J. R. Holzapple, and Flight Leader was Captain H. B. Lawson.

Addendum: S/Sgt Thomas H. Hall from Philadelphia was later awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for his merits on two later missions (319th BG Combat Diary).

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/20/08
Time:
1:37 AM

Alfred J. Mattacotti
22nd Bomb Group
33rd Bombardment Squadron
1940-1945
In Australia and New Guinea up to the Leyte Gulf. I’d like to hear from anyone else who in the same.

Date:
1/17/08
Time:
5:15 PM

Hello, would you put me in contact with Kim Aarts [1] [2]. I want to contact her about her post. I am the cousin of Lyle A. Taggart, a fellow crew member of Edward Wallerstein. I have some information that I can send to Kim about the Feb. 23, 1945 plane crash in which they were killed. I have a copy of the missing air crew report and a photo of the plane.

Thank you,
Cindy Coffin

Date:
1/17/08
Time:
5:09 PM

Hi, I’m Marauder man Floyd Mauth and would like to hear from anyone that knew me during WW2! I was discharged in January 1946 on a temporary service record as mine was stolen in Paris, France when I was traveling to Le Harve to ship home, we shipped out on December 15th on the USS Walter E. Ranger, A liberty Ship and arrived in New York 21 days later, what a trip! I am in contact with my 86 year old pilot that stayed in the Air Force for I believe 14 more years! My crew was James E. Gonyer Pilot, L.V. Jones Co-pilot, Homer Cash Bomb-Navigator, Joe Nevolis Eng. Gunner, Charles Huff Radio Gunner & I Floyd Mauth armament Gunner! I also lost my address book & personal items when my service record was stolen so I haven’t any record of missions or transfers between Bomb groups, we flew our missions in the 391st bomb group, 573 or 572nd bomb Squadrons between Jan 1st & May 1945 & the mission that will always be in my Memory was over Koblenz & Loucker lake Germany when we lost so many from intense & accurate flack, we didn’t get hit but the bombbay doors got the two two thousand pound bombs salvoed on them & what a problem I had getting them closed to eliminate the drag so we could maintain formation & get the Hell out of there! I’ll be 83 22nd Feb. this year & don’t plan on leaving this earth anytime soon so if any one can tell me anything about where the rest of my crew are I will be most appreciative! Have a very happy & prosperous new year.

Date:
1/16/08
Time:
5:16 PM

The 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.

Merci pour nous aider indiquent l’histoire les hommes du Marauder de FFAF. Peut-être plus les hommes du Marauder de FFAF suivront votre exemple.

Date:
1/16/08
Time:
4:31 PM

I am writing on behalf of my Uncle Edwin Earl Odell [then Glorvigan]. He was a crew chief on a B-26 flying out of Bornmouth [sp?] England near Dover. He was shot down on his 47th mission over Koblenz & captured by the Luftwaffe.

The attached story was published in a VFW Newspaper and gives a few details.

To my knowledge [and his], he was in the:

9TH USAAF
IX Bomber Command
98th Bomb Wing
387th Bomb Group
557th or 558th Bomb Squadron.
When shot down:

The pilot was MacAllister
Co-pilot was Church
Plane name was Black Magic.

I need this information since his records were burned at the NPR in St. Louis in the 1960’s.

I will be aiding this 86-year-old to get a set of medals [ETO Victory, WW II Victory, Air Medals, Purple Hearts, POW Medal, and any other for which he may qualify].

Ed flew two missions D-Day over Normandy.

This and flying out of France afterward qualify him for a certificate from the French government as well.

If you have suggestions on how I can research and document his service, it would sure please one of our remaining ‘Greatest Generation’ members.

Thanks for any help and advice you can provide

Roger Boeker

Roger Boeker, Edwin E. Glorvigen, born 1921, Army Serial XXXXX491, from Wood County, Wisconsin, enlisted for Air Corps in Los Angeles, California, on December 23rd 1941. I suppose your uncle has Norwegian ancestry, as NARA did not respond to the surname Glorvigan.

When searching at NARA for Glorvigen, I found only two names, the other one Arnold also from Wood County (related?).

S/Sgt Edwin E. Glorvigen of 387th BG was shot down on February 24th 1945 and taken POW by the Germans. Target name also indicates that this must have been late in WWII.

“Black Magic” was the name of a 387th BG Marauder which went down on June 10th 1944. “Black Magic II” survived the war.

My records show one 387th BG Marauder shot down on February 24th 1945; 42-96092 TQ-C of 559th BS , Pilot Lt. John O. Merrill. The MACR # is 12607, which probably will have your uncle’s name listed.

387th BG history book says on page 66: “The Group bombed a secondary target near Mayen on February 24th. Lt. John Merrill and his crew went down to flak. The records indicate indicate that Lt. Merrill and all members of his crew except Lt. Wiersma returned later to the base.”

That must be wrong, as the NARA says that Lt. John O. Merrill also was taken POW on February 24th 1945. Koblenz is about 16 miles east of Mayen, which also corresponds well to your description. I think a vital clue here is the MACR and the records at the National Archives http://www.archives.gov.

The 387th BG was based at Clastres (A-71) in France when your uncle was shot down (this airfield is located 50 miles north-west of Reims).

The 387th BG base on D-Day was Station No. 162 Chipping Ongar in UK, this airfield was located just north-east of London. The group then moved to Station No 452 Stoney Cross in UK on July 21st 1944. Stoney Cross was located 10 miles west of Southampton and 17 miles north-east of Bournemouth. So I assume that your uncle’s memory of Bournemouth is from that base.

Best regards from Norway,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/12/08
Time:
6:03 PM

Regarding: Captain Reid Charles Pulver, WWII B-26 Pilot Army Air Corp 323rd Bomb Group 455th Squadron. Stationed in France and/or England in the early to mid 1940’s. Name on plane may have been “The Plastered Bastard”.

I am the daughter of Reid Pulver and I am looking for any information someone can provide about his service— am especially interested in finding the #’s on his plane and/or photos of the nose art, etc. We sometimes see film that we think may possibly be his plane or his squadron. We know the letters on the fuselage are “YU” but would like to narrow down the identification further. Other members of his crew include: Art Duncan, Hank Moen, Bill Turocy.

Reid’s other daughter had possession of his photo album but she is now deceased and I don’t have access to the photos at this point. Does someone perhaps have photos of his plane with identifying marks? Any photos of him or his crew would be wonderful if available. Reid and Art are deceased but I was hoping one of the other crew members may still be living and able to provide information, or stories of their missions.

Can anyone tell me the number of planes in a squadron?

Reid’s nephew, grandson and great-grandson are very eager to have any information.

Loretta Pulver

The names of the other crew members according to roster by John Moench are as follows:
1st Lt. Arthur P. Duncan, 1st Lt. Hanferd J. Moen, T/Sgt William Turocy. On a 323rd BG mission on September 10th 1944 to Foret du Hayes SP in France 2nd Lt. Hanferd J. Moen was WIA (Wounded In Action) according to Moench. On February 28th 1945 Major Rehr and 1st Lt. Pulver led an attack on the Uluyn Road Junction in Germany. The mission report should contain information about what Marauder was flown by 1st Lt. Pulver that day. I have a record of 455th BS Marauders, there were 14 Marauders originally in that Bomb Squadron. 2nd Lt. Hanferd J. Moen is there listed as Co-Pilot of 41-31870, this aircraft had a taxi accident at Lessay/A-20 on September 9th 1944, killing it’s pilot 2nd Lt. Whitman. Unfortunately the record does not list other of the above mentioned crew names than Hanferd J. Moen.

Best regards from Norway,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Loretta, I am the son of Hanferd “Hank” Moen. He is certainly alive and well! I will mail a copy of your email to him. I am sure he would be more than happy to talk with you. You can also reply to me. Best of luck in your search and hopefully my father will able to fill in some of the blanks.

Regards,
Hanferd J. Moen Jr., Maj Gen, USAFR

Date:
1/12/08
Time:
9:00 AM

I am trying to find information about my grandfather, Lloyd R. Bond. From what I have learned from my mother and uncle, Grandpa was a navigator in WWII. We have a picture of him and “Riley” and another man in front of the B 26 Couchez Avec which I have learned is part of the 323rd Bombardment Group – 455th Bombardment Squadron.

I would like to learn if he was navigator on Couchez Avec and if anyone knows who “Riley” or other man in the photo is. We have many pictures of the three of them from his time in France. She is in uniform but we are not sure if she was American or French.

Thanks!
Andi Williams

Andi, the 323rd BG records indicated that your grandfather was a T/Sgt with the 453rd Squadron. However, in doing a quick search I was unable to locate any further information about him. Do you know the approximate time he was with the Group or have any other information that might help in the search?

Roy Bozych
Historian
323rd BG/454th BS
http://www.323bg454bs.org

Date:
1/11/08
Time:
4:17 PM

In his post Jay C. Hitchcock asks for information on his father from others who knew him. My father, Anthony DeStaffan, was the gunner on Arlie Hitchcock’s crew (dedication page). If Mr. Hitchcock would reply with his contact info, I would be pleased to pass that on to my father.

Sincerely,
Peter A. DeStaffan

Date:
1/10/08
Time:
12:10 PM

Hello I am trying to find out more information about my uncle, Peter Hess, Jr., son of Peter and Lelia Hess of Telluride, Colorado. He was a staff sergeant and engineer-gunner on a b26 and was killed in action during a raid on Dunkirk, April 12, 1944. The newspaper clipping I have from my father states that Peter was in the Ninth Air Force in England and is listed as MIA April 12, 1944. My father, Fred Jay Hess, was a US Marine and saw action in the Pacific including Iwo Jima. I would appreciate any info as the picture of Peter shows a crew of 6 but is a front view and therefore the name and numbers of the plane are missing from the view. Your b26 site has let me locate my uncle Jack Hess and crew from a picture of him with the plane b-26 named Buddy’s Rebel which was lost over the North Sea on 25 Feb, 1944. Jack was a mechanic and is included in the picture in my father’s album. I have a young student in the high school that I work in who has been helping me locate information. We share the information we get with a grade 12 Social Studies class who are studying war and Canada’s part in it. My information is shared with each year’s classes in order to let these children know of the sacrifices made by those men and women who lost so much to enable us and future generations freedom.

Thank you
Tina Colborne

Tina, 12 April 1944 the 387th Bomb Group was over Dunkirk, France when the Group lead B26 42-107581 was hit by flak, broke into two pieces and crashed into the sea just off the harbour with no survivors.

The crew comprised:
Lt. Col Jack Caldwell (Group commander); 1.Lts Donald L Standard; Frederick J Busch; John R McGhee; S/Sgts Valentine G Fritsz; Irving L Dribble; Peter Hess, Jr. Also on board was Maj Daniel E Williams.

Apart from Lt Col Caldwell and Maj Williams the rest of the crew belonged to the 558th Bomb Squadron.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
1/7/08
Time:
8:22 AM

Reunion Update: There were 9 Bomb Groups represented: 17th, 22nd, 322nd, 323rd, 386th, 387th, 391st, 394th, and 397th. We had 186th people attending our banquet. This included wives, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation and friends that accompanied their 52 Marauder Men.

The reunion was held October 24-27th, 2007, in San Antonio, TX. It was sponsored by the squadrons of the 387th Bomb Group and the 397th Bomb Group Association. Joint reunions are the plan – all Marauder Group Associations together, as many find it more difficult to stage their own individual reunions. All Marauder Men, their families and friends are invited. Special arrangements are made to accommodate those squadrons and bomb groups that want to continue holding their own separate meetings.

The next joint reunion, the International Gathering of Marauder Eagles, will be held October 27-29, 2008, in Kissimmee, FL.

Thank you for your offer and support.
Bill Spurrier, Reunion Chairman, San Antonio 07

Date:
1/7/08
Time:
8:12 AM

I haven’t been in touch for a long time. I would like to contact Trevor Allen about getting information on missions I flew with the 394th. I joined the 394th at Cambrai in October 1944 and flew my first mission on 4 Nov and the last mission on 18 Apr 1945 and a total of 33 missions. If what I am requesting is too involved, I understand. Also I intend to reimburse you for your time and effort. My health isn’t all that great but am still kicking and ornery as ever.

Thanks for your prompt reply.
Regards, Don Frisbie

Don, thank you for the information, it makes researching much easier when there is a date to start from. You will not reimburse me financially, but if you have any photographs of your time with the Group, I would be pleased to see scanned copies. I will now get down to the research.

Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
1/7/08
Time:
1:18 AM

I am looking for any information about my father Sgt. Charles Walker (decreased). I have pictures of him standing by a B-26 “The Sexy Betsy”, Great Dunmow , England, first mission over France Nov. 28 ’43.

Dad was trained at the Signal Corps in DC. radar at Ft. Murphy, and B-17 basic flight qualification training at Sioux City Army Air base where he was shipped out to Mark’s Hall, Earl’s Cologne England in May -June of ’43.He was trained in “GEE” equipment at Great Dunmow in Nov. ’43. He had an airborne tab, signal corps pin, and 9th TCC patch among his things and a pin that looks like bomber. He was listed as a radar repairman and radar pathfinding with a unit citation, 3 combat stars and the bronze star for operations in northern France and Germany. He was moved around a lot and was to be part of the invasion force of Japan when they surrender.

We know he received paratroop training from the British and that he jumped twice. However, he doesn’t know his starting unit only the one for the invasion of Japan. Any information will be greatly appropriated.

Deborah Walker Thompson, daughter of Charles Walker

Hi Deborah, your father looks as though he did his GEE training at Great Dunmow which is confirmed by the photograph of him with the B26 “Sexy Betsy”. However, from the further information you provided he was not a member of the 386th Bomb Group.

It appears that he was trained as a parachutist, and in particular as a pathfinder who was parachuted in prior to the main parachute drop. His job was to guide the troop carrying C-47 airplanes to their drop zone by radar. This was an hazardous task where they could easily at any time been over run by the enemy. My guess he was a member of either the 82nd or 101st Airborne Divisions and was almost certainly in action on D-Day 6th June 1944 and again on 17th September 1944 when they attempted to take the bridges at Eindhoven and Nijmegen in Holland.

For further information you need to contact the reunion associations of both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
1/4/08
Time:
2:54 PM

B26 Guest Book,

I have sent a number of comments and questions to this great site over the last couple of years and I have received some very useful information in return. Last year I had the opportunity to meet a number of the members of the 391st BG, of which my dad was a member – he was in the 575th BS, at their gathering in Arizona. I hope to meet with a couple of the members of the 575th later this month or in early February down in the Chicago area.

I am in the process of putting together a model of the B-26 and would like some help on the painting of the nose art. I have a number of black/white pictures of my dad in front of his plane and there are also a few with the crew in front of their plane. The name of the plane is Scrumptious. I would like to find out what the colors were in the nose art of the gal that is painted on the plane. I appreciate any help that you Marauder Men can give me. I have checked the dedication pages and there is a page dedicated to Donald Proudfit and in one of the pictures he is shown posing as if he is holding the gal up. He was in the 575th BS but I have not found his name in any of the stuff that I have found in my dad’s locker.

I have said this before and will continue to request that those of you who were Marauder Men please keep telling your stories. My dad passed away in 1972 and he never spoke about his time in WWII. Those of us who are children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the members of the Greatest Generation are very interested in your stories and history. I am in awe of the generation of people, who like my dad, went from everyday life – he a carpenter – to learning to fly and maintain planes, fight an incredible war, and if luck was with them return home – he again to continue as a carpenter. All of this accomplished in three or four years.

Thank-you,

Rich Erickson
Son of Marauder Man – Clarence V. Erickson

Date:
1/3/08
Time:
6:53 PM

B26.com, you have my permission to add my memoir onto the web site. Any part or all of my memoir can be used at your discretion. My thought is that the Bill Churchman’s article of the “Mission to bomb a railroad bridge at Rovereto Italy is a MASTERPIECE. It is accurate, detailed, dramatic and yet a touching documentation of a tragic mission. Yes there were many combat episodes that were more dramatic than that mission but not many in a crippled solo B26 bomber that struggled to stay airborne for over an hour in enemy territory at a few thousand feet above numerous German AA positions that were firing at us. The German fighters certainly were in the area looking for our crippled B26. Guess it would be about a one in a hundred chance of our surviving if they found our plane as we had no escort nor much firepower. We had to jettison some guns and only had one possible operational gun position available out of the normal 5 positions. There was Bill Churchman, the Navigator Bombardier, who’s difficult task was to direct us to a landing field that may or may not yet be in ally control as outlined by intelligence on that pre mission briefing. “Direct us to safety” while Bill was occupied trying to help the dying tail gunner, Smitty. The real hero are those that give the ultimate sacrifice. Everyone did their best but “faith or luck” was on our side. Then when we landed and were told by the British field doctor that he couldn’t help our gunner, so the hopeless slow trip continued in an ambulance on cluttered roads crowded with refugees and all their animals. The long trip in our search for mercy and hopes of life for Smitty was faltering. I could never embellish any of the facts of that mission although I have recalled it hundreds of times. If this factual story could in some way be used to further honor Smitty I would want to do that for Smitty.

Max Petrisek

Date:
1/3/08
Time:
2:52 PM

I had just given my youngest son a Christmas present, a model of the B26 for him to put together. It is 48 scale and has several decal sets, but no the Mild and Bitter ones.

Researching on the internet I found another model maker and the had a smaller model, 72 scale, and they had the Mild and Bitter decals. I seem to like the larger scale model since it is easier to work with, but not happy that there is no 48 scale decal for this model. I contacted both model makers and they both say they have no 48 scale decals for the Mild and Bitter.

At first I thought the 72 decal was just an artist conception of the markings, but when I scanned it and enlarged it up I can read the names on the nose art of the men from this plane. My uncle, Marauder Man James Skinner, was one that flew with this plane as a R/O and his name and another Northampton Massachusetts man on it. I don’t know what photo and artwork was done and when to get the names for the decal, but probably before all were put on it for the tour in the states for war bonds.

Anyway it would be nice to have the correct decal to 48 scale on the model, even though it does not have his name on it. Does anybody know a source that makes or have made decals for B26 models that might have one for this plane in 48 scale?

Research also found the Flak Bait B26, which had a 200 + flight record, but in the ETO. The Mild and Bitter was blown up by mistake years ago.

Have a very Happy New Year,
Kind regards,
John H. Beach

Date:
1/1/08
Time:
12:46 PM

Hello, I seek information on the groups of bombardment BG whit a B26 on Rennes, Brittany, France on July 17, 1943.

Thank you in advance,
Andre FRANC

Andre, I think the year must be 1944 as the B-26 operations in ETO were hardly begun in July 1943, and the USAAF combat chronology does not mention that target for July 17th 1943. So if we go to July 17th 1944 the COMBAT CHRONOLOGY OF THE US ARMY AIR FORCES JULY 1944 tells us:

“MONDAY, 17 JULY 1944

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): With operations limited by weather
in France, 69 B-26s hit fuel dumps at Rennes while 37 A-20s strike fuel dumps
at Bruz and a marshalling yard at Dol-de-Bretagne; fighters escort
transports, fly area cover, attack fuel dumps and landing field at Angers,
dive-bomb defenses at Coutances in support of the US First Army, attack
Nevers marshalling yard, and hit troop concentrations in support of the First
Army assault in the Saint-Lo area.”

So returning back to which of the 9th AF B-26 Marauder Bomb Groups participated on that mission I have this information:

322nd BG: no mission (bad flying weather)
323rd BG: no mission (bad weather first half of July 1944)
344th BG: no mission
386th BG: Rennes Fuel Dump
387th BG: I have no info for this group, besides that they attacked one large fuel dump during the first 20 days of July 1944.
391st BG: I have no info for this group
394th BG: Rennes Fuel Dump. 38 Marauders dropped 48,65 tons with good results.
397th BG: no mission

394th BG history says: …”the group struck out again in the afternoon of the 17th at fuel stores at Rennes, France. Captain Piper of the 586th led the group as the Germans countered with some of their heaviest flak yet encountered. Although almost all the planes in the formation were damaged, only one man was wounded”.

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/1/08
Time:
8:58 AM

Happy New Year!