Year 2009

Date:
12/31/09
Time:
9:42 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 1st Lt. Thomas Boston Cox
Bomb Group 394th
Bomb Squad 586th
Navigator 1034
Active 1942 to 1945
From Fort Worth , Texas

My Dad died when I was 10, so I never got to hear much of his service. Decorations: Ribbon with 4 battle stars, Purple Heart, Silver Star, Air Medal, Two silver Oak Clusters to Air Medal, Campaign Medal, and Victory Medal. Would love to hear from someone that knew him. Thank you. TC

According to 394th BG history book (Ziegler), 1st Lt. Thomas Cox, 586th BS, was wounded in action on November 3rd 1944. It was mission #142 for the group, target was Railroad Bridge Bad Münster in Germany. It was a Pathfinder mission, 33 Marauders led by Colonel Hall dropped 56 tons bomb load. Results were unobserved. According to other information the flight time for this mission was about 3:10. The a/c of 586th BS had squadron code H9.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/31/09
Time:
8:22 AM

Marauderman’s Name: William D. Mullinix
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 558
Comments: 1 Lt. William D. Mullinix was my Uncle and was shot down over the North Sea Feb. 25, 1944. I would like any information about him and also I would like to get in contact with family members of the crew that was lost. The plane was named “Jessie.”

Thanks and God Bless!
John B. Mullinix

John, it looks like the 387 Bomb Group lost 4 aircraft that day over the North Sea. Here’s what I found if it will help you. This list includes the Missing Aircrew Report Numbers

4 aircraft lost from the 387Bomb Group on Feb. 25, 1944

44-02-25 B-26 41-31648 387 NORTH SEA MACR 2331
44-02-25 B-26 41-32013 387 NORTH SEA MACR 2332
44-02-25 B-26 41-31671 387 NORTH SEA MACR 2333
44-02-25 B-26 41-31660 387 NORTH SEA MACR 2334

Don Enlow

Date:
12/28/09
Time:
5:49 AM

Charles F. Anderson
394th Bomb Group
584th Bomb Squadron
3 years service
Radio Communications School – 1943 – Chanute Field , Illinois .

Sadly, I wanted to inform you that my father passed away this weekend. His service is Wednesday in Indianapolis with military honors. I will add to the site our pictures as we are proud of our father’s role in WW II. It’s sad to see another WW II veteran leave us, especially when it’s my dad.

Alan Anderson

Date:
12/27/09
Time:
8:47 AM

My name is Bob Gatrell, I am the son of Lt. Robert Gatrell sn XXXX6728. I believe he was in the 453rd BS and flew on the “Wolf Pack II” from mid 1943 till-? he flew around 75 missions and may have flown on other aircraft. He passed away in 1985 and I have been trying to find any info on his missions or any body who flew with him. I have a picture and a newspaper clipping he is second from the left.

I have not had much luck finding any info on wolf pack II either. Anything would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Bob Gatrell

Bob, your Father was indeed part of the 323rd BG 453rd Squadron. In going through the 323rd BG records the 1st mission I found your father flying was as a copilot on an afternoon mission on July 28, 1943 to Triqueville, France. He was flying 41-34704 radio call sign VT-F named “Diarrhea”. The mission was aborted because the Bomb Group was unable to meet up with its fighter escort.

41-34704 “Diarrhea” got its “Unusual” name while it was being flown over to England from the US in the spring of 1943. They took the Southern Route and while passing through one of the bases in South America the crew picked up a stomach bug that caused them great intestinal distress all the way to England. Hence the name planes name became “Diarrhea”

Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG
Date:
12/26/09
Time:
10:44 AM

Gents… I am John F Windsor, Major USAF, Retired.

Korea, Stateside 1954 to 1956
SAC 1956 to 1963 B-47s
AWS 1963 to 1969 WB-47s
TAC 1970 to 1971 14 SOW Air Commandos, Vietnam
SAC 1972 to 1976 B-52s

I had the honor to know and fly with Frank M. Remmele, L/C Retired, Pilot, 449th Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group many times while stationed with the 54th Weather Recon Squadron on Guam in 1963 and 1964. That would be with the Typhoon Chasers.

I got to know and admire this man. He was big and had a booming voice and he was kind and considerate. And I can tell you, he could fly one hellava fine airplane. At the time we were all ex SAC pilots flying the WB-47 for air weather service.

My reason for writing is some time ago I ran across a short article about Frank and how he brought home a heavily damaged B-26 (in the UK?) and saved the day, and as hard as I try, I can’t relocate this story

I wonder if you folks are aware of this tale. If at all possible I could use a direction to steer in order to get some more information on this feat of daring do for my personal records. I consider my friendship with this man to be vital to my personal story and history.

If you can help, I am indebted. JFW

Major Windsor, text from combat diary added. The B-26 Marauder PN-C had serial 41-31779 (see damaged rudder).

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Gentlemen:
I thank you for your prompt reply to my inquiry. That is the article that I recalled reading several years ago. As a bonus you included a picture of the rudder damage. I’m afraid that I don’t have the foto that Richard A Whittle is looking for. Is that Whittle related to Sir Frank Whittle of jet engine fame? I do include a foto taken in late 1963 at Anderson AFB, Guam. Where Frank Remmele, yours truly, and WO Ramagos were awarded the USAF Commendation Medal by Lt. Col. Eugene C. Wernette…. I don’t remember why…. Thanks again guys…. Memories!

Date:
12/26/09
Time:
8:04 AM

Hi Trevor, Don, Roy, Alf, Christian and Mike:

Since this goes into the 2009 B26 guest book of your very impressive B26 website, I am typing double-fast here on Christmas Day before the New Year arrives, to send you top Holiday Wishes, and the appreciation of all surviving Mauraudermen and friends.

Since you asked those signing in to fill out basic info, here goes:

Marauderman’s Name: Philip R. Scheier
Bomb Group: 323rd Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 456th Bomb Squadron
Years in service: Some 3 1/2 years
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Must tell you your professionally-maintained B26 website is a model setup. The roster of hyperlinked names opens up to a wealth of further detailed information. You guys are the greatest. Or have I told you that before?

Going thru the list of names, the various messages etc., is a rejuvenating experience.

With more and more of our buddies just fading away, my email, phone and mail links are being depleted. I remain in touch via phone with a long-time squadron mate, Ken Brown. He, like myself, was a radio op-gunner on our favorite plane, the B26. After my 50th mission out of England, in early May 1944, flying out of Earls Colne England, I, along with others with the same totals, were ordered/directed to get the heck home to the Zone of the Interior for a 30-day R&R. Just missed the actual invasion. By the time I returned, my base had been moved to the south of England in Beaulieu, with our next move to a base in Lessay, France. Brown, for some reason, did not return to England, but instead was sent to the Pacific, to China. He flew a heck of a long time over the hump in those C47 transports. And finally, he returned home.

Here, I live on the West Coast, a transplant from the Boston area, and retired after many years editing and writing for newspapers also in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. My big passions these days is mastering the latest computer operating systems, such as the new Windows 7, and polishing my skills dictating to my computer and seeing my words print out. Until a few years ago, I was a volunteer teacher at a SeniorNet Computer Learning Center, and also edited our monthly online newsletter.

Wondering if there are other 456th Bomb Squadron guys around online, offline, or whatever. Would be great to hear from them. For the record, up to some six or so years ago, perhaps longer, we did have a 456th Squadron Association meeting annually in various parts of the country. But–sadly–we have disbanded as member just faded away.

I am planning to continue my breathing exercises and survival skills to mark my 95th birthday this summer, thanks to daily brisk walking sessions, aided by my jet-propelled four-wheel walker.

Again, all the best to you!

PHIL SCHEIER.

Date:
12/23/09
Time:
5:41 AM

I am posting for my father, Loren Brown. He was a Master Sergeant and served as a mechanic and then as an inspector. He is in a nursing home and is frail at age 91. From his stories and what I have read, he must of been with the group for most of its history. I am sure that he would enjoy contact from anyone connected to the 391 Bomb Group. His wife (my mom) can get information to him and can be contacted. Her name is Esther.

Giles Brown

Giles Brown, your father Loren Brown is listed as belonging to 572nd Bomb Squadron maintenance personnel. Photo and name list are located at 391st BG website; go to Pictures-> People-> 572nd Ground Crew + 572nd Ground Crew Names. 391st BG was at Matching (England) from January 26th 1944 until September 1944.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannesse

Date:
12/19/09
Time:
6:49 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Capt. Michael F. Groom, Pilot
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: ?
Years in service: 1944-45 Med./ETO
Graduation Class: ?
Class: ?
Location: Texas (I think)
Comments: This was my father (now deceased), DFC, Bronze Star, AM 12 Oak leaf clusters (I think). If anyone remembers him or has any information please contact his son, Mike Groom. Thank you.

Captain Michael F. Groom was with 455th BS. Attached two photo scans of 41-34726 YU-C “Dragon Wagon”. The crew photo has text on it’s back saying “somewhere in England February 1944”. On a mission February 15th 1944, “Dragon Wagon”, flown by 1st Lt. Michael F. Groom, was damaged so badly that the aircrew bailed out near Gravesend.

From Left to right
Lt. R. E. Felt, Nebraska
Lt. Parker S Miller, Alabama
S/Sgt. Gordon R. Craig, Florida.
T/Sgt. John Piper, Mississippi
S/Sgt. Fred O Wootten, Ohio
T/Sgt. R. K. Ottutt, Indiana

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/16/09
Time:
7:40 PM

Walter Jennings Ives, a decorated Army Air Forces pilot who flew 34 missions over Germany aboard Martin B-26 Marauder bombers during World War II, died Dec. 3 of complications from a stroke at Lorien Mays Chapel nursing home. The longtime Riderwood resident was 93.

Mr. Ives was born in Baltimore and raised in a rowhouse in the 2800 block of N. Calvert St. He was a graduate of Polytechnic Institute, where he played lacrosse and football.

After studying mechanical engineering at Cornell University, Mr. Ives enlisted as a private in the Maryland National Guard 29th Infantry Division, 175th Regiment in 1935.

After being commissioned a lieutenant in 1940, Mr. Ives was assigned to the 175th Regiment, then commanded by his brother, Dudley Ives.

Mr. Ives decided to transfer out of the 29th Division in 1942 and enrolled at flight school at Randolph Field in Texas. He took additional aviation training at the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla., and final flight training at Kelly Field in Texas.

In 1943, Mr. Ives commanded the 556th Bombardment Squadron, 387th Bombardment Group, composed of B-26s, which he escorted from MacDill Field in Tampa, Fla., across the Atlantic to Chipping Ongar, England. [Read more]

Date:
12/13/09
Time:
6:13 AM

Hope someone can help…I read that page 99 in the “Crusader” book is a memoir about the 555 Bombardment squadron. My father, Lewis Schrecengost [see Joseph Ross], was the co-pilot on Mr. Five by Five and I would really like to read the page. If anyone who has the book and would be willing to share that part, I would really appreciate it. My dad died in 1958 and we are trying to put together information about his military service for our children and grandchildren. -Mary Martin

The Story of the Crusaders: The 386th Bomb Group (M) in World War II by Barnett B. Young ISBN: 0962161713

Mary, added here a scan of page 99. Also added a color version of the 2nd B&W crew photo of 41-31612 “Mr. Five by Five” YA-Z on Joseph Ross-page, which had completed over 75 missions by July 1944. Standing from left: Joe Ross (B/N), Lewis Schrecengost (CP), Bob Sands (P), George Waite (E), Frank Ostek (G). Kneeling from left: unknown, unknown, Edward Pitts (R).

…large image pdf | jpg

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/12/09
Time:
8:01 PM

My Grandfather, Walter Hedstrom, flew a B26 in WWII and is buried in France, I know little information of his death, and details of his crew, etc. I would like to learn more. Anyone with information if you would be so kind to reply I would appreciate it.

Thank you,
Greg Herr

Greg, your grandfather 2nd Lt. Walter H. Hedstrom is buried at Epinal Cemetery in France. Grave location is A-31-55 (Plot, Row, Grave). He was with 344th BG 496th BS. 344th BG was also named “Silver Streaks”. On March 28th 1945 two B-26 Marauders 42-95974 N3-S, Pilot 2nd. Lt. Walter H. Hedstrom and 42-95861, Pilot 2nd. Lt. Arthur M. Williamson, were involved in a mid-air collision over Cormeilles-en-Vexin (A-59) in France, the 344th BG base at that time. There are accident reports available for both aircraft, you will find the websites for getting these reports if you Google the aircraft serials. Unfortunately, the 344th BG history book does not mention these accidents, as far as I can see. The mission list in the book have no mission listed for March 28th 1945, but the text says mission #240 to Neuenhersee Oil Depot in Germany, the mission list have this for March 29th. A third 496th BS Marauder Man, 2nd. Lt. John R. Gersting is also buried at Epinal Cemetery, date of death March 28th 1945.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
12/12/09
Time:
7:12 AM

Like the rest of the Fort Dodge Senior High School Class of 1938, Darrell R. Lindsey became part of the generation that won World War II.

Lindsey gave his life to help defeat the Nazis by staying at the controls of a flaming bomber, giving the rest of the crew a chance to parachute to safety.

After his death, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for military bravery. He is the only person from Fort Dodge to receive that medal and the only Marauder Man to receive the MOH.

Now three local men are trying to ensure that current and future Fort Dodge Senior High School students learn of Lindsey’s sacrifice.

Bob Brown, Roger Natte and Dr. Terry Moehnke are raising money to pay for a bronze plaque they want to place in the high school at 819 N. 25th St., Fort Dodge, IA.

Moehnke said about $1,700 is needed. He said they hope to place the plaque in the school next spring. [Click here for more details]

Noon Sertoma Club
Attn: Darrell R. Lindsey Plaque Fund
25 S. 16th St.,
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

Date:
12/9/09
Time:
1:18 PM

My father, TSgt. Stanley Frank Thomas, who passed away several years ago, was a tail gunner and bombardier in a B26 Marauder with the 8th Air Force. He flew out of England and over Europe. I have the original copy of his Air Force commemorative book detailing in print and with photographs the history of his command from training in the States through service in Europe. I also have his Air medal, Flying Cross medal and campaign ribbons. He has several oakleaf clusters. He also kept a collection of bomb pins from his runs, each dated with a comment on the run, i.e. whether it was successful, how much flack encountered etc. I managed to find one pin that matched an aerial photo in the book of a bomb drop over Europe, with commentary on the drop. We used to have his leather flight jacket, which had strings of bombs and swastikas down one side of the shoulder of the jacket. I assume the bombs reflected direct hits and the swastikas downed German planes, while he was at the tail gun? Unfortunately, the jacket has gone missing. Would any of the artifacts be of interest for your archives? I was considering artfully arranging the materials in a framed box for hanging on a wall, and leaving it to his great grandchildren. I am also interested in finding out what he did to receive the medals, since he never discussed his war experience with us. Did the Air Force keep records related to the awarding of medals? If so, how can I contact such archives?

Robert Thomas
Date:
12/9/09
Time:
1:18 PM

Wow! I saw a picture of my uncle, John Robert Leach, the rest of the crew, and the Mary Jo in which he operated the radio and one of the gun positions. I feel very blessed again today. I would love to meet Mabelle P. Kindle to discuss the crew with her, and to gain a copy of the crew picture plus any other shots she may possess. I remember Uncle Bob once showing me an 8×10 profile of the Mary Jo; that would be a blessed picture to see today.

IX Bomber Command
99 Bomb Wing
344 Bombardment Group
495 Bombardment Squadron

Lead Plane D-Day Mission
6 June 1944

Mary Jo
B-26-B50-MA
42-95876

Salute to the crew: John Robert Leach, Jens A. Norgaard, Robert W. Witty, James P. Parish, Louis Offenberg, Kenneth L. Hobbs, Jules S. Theobald, Loris D. Gniffke, Ivan H. Peterman, and John C. Wilder, crew chief.

Thank you so much for this website.

Sincerely,
Karl Wayne Leach

Date:
12/3/09
Time:
1:12 PM

Back in the 1980s I worked with a fellow by the name of George H. Ogburn. He is mentioned in the book, “Flak Bait”, where he is identified as Lt. George Ogburn. “Flak Bait” is a book about the B-26 and the 9th-Air Force, which George kept in his office. (I did not see it referenced on your web site, but I might have missed it.) He relayed the following stories (in brief).

1. As a B-26 pilot, he and his crew were on their first overseas flight from the United States. On the hop to South America, the radio beacon for the air base was turned off, and they lost their way. They had to land on the beach and wrecked to the plane. After returning to the U.S., they picked up a new plane and resumed the journey.

2. Eventually getting overseas with the 9th Air Force, his plane was shot down by an ME-109 over North Africa on his fourth mission. The crew split into two parties on the ground. His party was captured by a German patrol, but they over powered the guards and escaped. The other party was never heard from again. This story was told in “Flak Bait”.

3. Since he had been a POW (briefly) and escaped, he earned a reassignment back in the U.S., where he became an instructor pilot in B-26s. When the based received B-25s for training, he asked his commander for a check-out ride to become qualified as a B-25 pilot and instructor. His commander told him to get the pilot’s manual and check himself out, which he did.

4. George later served in the Korean War, and retired from the USAF as a LCol or Col. I am not sure which, but he was referred to as “Col Ogburn” when I worked with him. I worked with him when he was a federal employee after he retired from the USAF.

He passed away in the late 1980s or early 1990s. At that time he had retired from the Federal Government for several years and I lost contact with him.

Later I became interested in the Cuban Bay of Pigs Invasion. I ran across reference to an instructor who trained A-26 pilots for the CIA as part of the invasion force. The A-26 instructor was referred to as “a mysterious instructor known only as George”. I wondered if he was “George”. Obviously, that’s a long shot. I later found out that the A-26 was used extensively by the CIA in the Congo and Indonesia.

The information I outlined above is sketchy, and might not be correct in some areas. The reason I am writing is that I was interested in finding out more about George Ogburn. I have been unable to find his obituary.

As a side note, my Father was with the 301st Bomb Group (H), 353 Bomb Squadron, during World War II. The 301st flew B-17s. My Father was in communications and cryptography in the HQ and did not fly as a crew member. As a result I have had a lifelong interest in World War II aircraft, especially B-17s and P-51s. I served two years in the U.S. Army as a draftee in the 1969 to 1970 time frame with a tour in Vietnam (1970).

I came across your website today for the first time, and looked for his name. If anyone can provide additional information on George Ogburn, I would appreciate it.

Thanks,
Bart W. Bartram

Bart, here are more details about your former colleague George Ogburn. The story you mention from the book “Flak Bait” by Devon Francis is on page 77. The book is available. George Ogburn served with 12th Air Force, 17th BG, 432nd BS, based at Telergma, Algeria. He enlisted in November 1941. Full name is George H. Ogburn, Jr. He was Pilot on 41-17642 on a mission to Oued El Akarit R/R Bridge 16 miles N/NW of Gabès, Tunisia, on January 15th 1943. They bombed from 7000 feet. Due to aircraft damage he had to make a forced landing in enemy territory. 2nd Lt. Ogburn was part of the original 17th BG echelon. His original Marauder, 41-17907, ditched en route North of Natal (see attached photo). 54 B-26 Marauders of 17th BG left Morrison Field, Florida, on the morning of 18th November 1942. You might know that the Douglas A-26 Invader was renamed to B-26 in the late 40-ties.

… large

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
11/25/09
Time:
9:44 AM

I found the tombstone of Mr. Lauren L Cowallis in a small graveyard in Orneville, Maine. I looked up some 558 Bomb Squadron web sites and found b26.com. I thought you would like to know the whereabouts of one of your comrades. I would also be very interested in knowing more about this young man.

Donald A. Cote
New Sweden, Maine

Ardennes American Cemetery
Miller, Lewis C., Plot D Row 6 Grave 4. Radioman, turret gunner, from Pennsylvania
Winsor, Alexander Jr., Plot B Row 30 Grave 17. Pilot, from Massachusetts, spoke fluent French

Lorraine American Cemetery
Nulsey, Erskine L., Plot K Row 27 Grave 4. Co-Pilot, from Oklahoma

Payne, John B., POW, Stalag Luft I (Barth) Alive and well. Flew first five missions in B-17s, 381st BG, 555th BS then transferred to B-26s and flew four missions. “I was real upset being transferred. I hadn’t done anything wrong. But everything worked fine. I’m still here. I’m the only one left from my original B-17 crew, they only had to fly 35 missions and I am the only one left from my B-26 crew, we would have had to fly 65 missions before we could go home. I was shot down, went to the hospital and then Stalag Luft. I got a letter from Lauren L Cowallis’s mother and I had to write her back to tell her that I did not know what happened to her son. At the time, we didn’t know what had happened to him. I was a tail-gunner when we got shot and we started to spin. I was in the tail. The plane eventually broke in half. I had to reach around me, grab the parachute and snap it on. It was the old English type. John Dragan was the waist gunner and he froze at the window on the side. He was in front of me so I had to push him out. Then I jump out and pulled the cord and it would not open. I had to pull the chute out by hand. I made it and so did Dragan. We kept in touch until he died in the late 1950s. I did not know Winsor, Nulsey or Miller were buried in Belgium and France.”

Dragan, John, POW, Waist gunner

Date:
11/22/09
Time:
8:35 PM

Hello,

I hope I am not upsetting anybody by my following enquiry.

I am trying to piece together and write about the history from its beginnings in the 14 Centaury until the present time, of my family home where I spent some of the War years. It is East Court Farm/ Manor in Gillingham Kent. Probably the most momentous time in its long history were the War years.

One of its saddest moments was the involvement with the tragedy that took place on 6th June 1944, over head – the mid air collision of 2 B26 Marauder Aircraft killing all the crews. Much wreckage fell into the orchard and garden of the Farm. Although I had moved away my uncle still lived there at that time and showed me some of the wreckage. I was only 8 years old but I have never forgotten.

I rather felt that I would rather like to add a little more information to my story of East Court if that would be possible. I would like to know where the Airmen were buried. I will, if possible, take photos to send on to relatives. I have one of the farm if anyone would like one.

Yours faithfully,
Ann Brooke

Ann, flying conditions on 6th June 1944 were extremely poor with low dense cloud when 4 B-26’s of the 394th Bomb Group were involved in two separate mid air collisions.

42-96050 587th Bomb Squadron collided with 42-96263 587th Bomb Squadron over Gillingham, Kent. 050 crashed into a house in Gillingham killing all of the crew.263 crashed into an orchard at East Court Farm, Gillingham killing the entire crew.

42-96050 crew:
1.Lt’s Witcher T Burger; Warren D Rodgers; S/Sgt’s Edward H Monaghan; George S Knight; Sgt Alfred M Zussa and Cpl Forrest W Paffenberg

42-96263 crew:
2.Lts Claude W Kline, Jr; Emil F Ostrowsky; S/Sgt’s Raymond F Sablatura; Joseph Amato; Sgt’s Boris R Selinsky; James F Bechtler.

In a separate collision 42-107592 of the 584th Bomb Squadron collided with 42-96249 587th Bomb Squadron over Battle, Sussex, both crashing in the same vicinity.

42-107592 crew:
1.Lt’s Tommie J Potts, Jr, Christian Burger;2.Lt Leroy A Dyer; S/Sgt’s James M Long; George K Kyle; George W Williams, only the pilot Potts survived.

42-96249 crew:
2.Lt’s Thomas S Jenkins; Walter S Winter; S/Sgt’s William C Hoeb; Ralph D Parker; Sgt’s George S Rogers; Edward F Bailey killing the entire crew.

Trevor Allen, Historian

Additional Info:
It appears the 5 other men in Kyle’s 584th crew were repatriated.

Kyle, George J.; T Sgt.; 584 BS, 394 BG; Cambridge American Cemetery

Bailey Edward F.; Sgt.; 587 BS, 394 BG; Missing In Action
Kline Claude W Jr.; 2 Lt.; 587 BS, 394 BG; Cambridge American Cemetery
Monaghan Edward H.; S Sgt.; 587 BS, 394 BG; Cambridge American Cemetery
Parker Ralph D Jr.; S Sgt.; 587 BS, 394 BG; Missing In Action
Rodgers Warren D.; 1 Lt.; 587 BS, 394 BG; Cambridge American Cemetery
Rogers George S.; Sgt; 587 BS, 394 BG; Missing In Action

Date:
11/20/09
Time:
6:15 AM

Hello,
My wife’s uncle, 1Lt Robert C. Botsford, was a b26 pilot in the 449th Bombardment Squadron, he died 4 July 1944. I am researching his service. I came across this memorial to the 322 Bomb group at Andrews Field, Essex and found a small boulder with the name “?? ny Caruso, Brooklyn, New York, April 24, 1943” chiseled on it. I wondered if Caruso was part of the 322 Bomb group’s aircrew or engineers?

Thank you for sacrifice for our country.
Jeff Sears

1st Lieutenant Robert C. Botsford is buried at Cambridge American Cemetery in England, Plot E Row O Grave 62 and that he was awarded an Air Medal.

[image] [pdf]

Date:
11/19/09
Time:
4:51 AM

Hi, my Dad, Theodore Francis Barnabus “TFB” Collins, who died this year on 6 June, just short of his 85th birthday, was injured by flak over Crete in a Marauder on 8 June 1944. His leg had multiple fractures and he limped for the rest of his life, but it led to him becoming a doctor. I have his Squadron book – I will scan some pictures, and part of his log.

He was a navigator in 24 Squadron SAAF in North Africa and Italy.

Nick Collins

Date:
11/18/09
Time:
2:58 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Noel Allister Wright, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Ret)
Bomb Group: 22nd
Bomb Squadron: 19th
Years in service: ‘1940-1947’, flying from Townsend to bomb Rabul and then through Luzon to Okinawa. Later short Korean War assignment with Weather balloon development in Dayton and Minneapolis and then further Reserve training in 50’s and 60’s in Dayton Ohio and Tallahassee, FL
Graduation Class: Navigator; 1941
Class Location: Tampa or Miami
Comments: My father was a Captain in WW2. He is 93 and has forgotten many details, but wants to track down the story of an award he received. This was mailed to him some 10 years ago and included many names. His understanding is that he was on a ‘deceptive bombing mission’ on 5 Aug 1945 while Hiroshima was getting their nuclear bombing. All was classified and they did not know of the other missions until much later. On that day they bombed an area away from Hiroshima to show ‘normal operations’ to the enemy and then returned to Okinawa to refuel. They were excluded from a specific prime ramp area. They later watched a B-29 come in. It was roped off by many MP’s. It may have been Enola Gay after it’s successful mission.

Can any one tell me about this ‘deceptive mission’ and any operation awards that may have followed later?

Dad later went on to duties on the Japanese mainland. He was Recovery Squadron commander in Dayton Ohio around 1962 and then moved to Tallahassee FL where he finished his USAF reserve assignment in a headquarters unit.

I have his early DD 214s but not his final DD 214 for the retirement period of mid 60’s and final retirement at 62 in 1977.

Gilbert Wright
USAPAT
Mission Planner

Date:
11/18/09
Time:
2:48 PM

Hello:

I am trying to obtain the aircraft numbers that, at the time, 1ST LT. Alfred Freiburger had been assigned to when he was serving with the 344th Bomb Gp. (M), Sta 169. I had met him when I worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (CA) (1986-2004).

At the time, he was a Reserve Deputy assigned to the AERO RESERVE (DEPUTY) UNIT (as I understood it, all members of that unit had to be licensed pilots and have their own private aircraft). I was also a Reserve Deputy (assigned to the ADMIN UNIT). All Reserve Deputies are volunteer and are required to donate at least 16 hrs a month to the Department beyond the mandatory meetings and training sessions.

I also held a paid position with the department as the Range Clerk, with the responsibilities of signing in the deputies qualifying with their weapons and inputting their quals into the range computer. When I knew Alfred, he had retired from the Air Force and at the time of his retirement, held the rank of LT. Colonel. Additionally, he had also had been a Test Pilot for the Douglas Aircraft Company (`1965) and when it merged with McDonnell to become McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, in testing the DC-9 and later the DC-10.

I retired from the Sheriff’s Department in the Fall of 2004 and was told that Alfred had passed away. In all my conversations with him, about his exploits he had in the Army Air Corp, the U.S. Air Force and as a Test Pilot, one point I forgot to ask him was the numbers of the various B-26’s he had flown.

I recently purchased a model of a B-26 and would like to put a number of that model, when I get it built to honor my friend Lt. Colonel Alfred Freiburger (Retired) and Reserve Deputy with the County of Orange CA.

Respectfully Yours
John W Goerger

Date:
11/18/09
Time:
9:00 AM

I am looking for pictures of my fathers plane it was called “Solly Mill”. His name is Leland E. Embrey but went by “Ed” I found reference to it the 2003 Guest book under Tom Bond. His daughter Margaret Dewitt said she has pictures of “Solly Mill”, how can I reach her to get copies of pictures?

Thank you ,
Kevin Embrey
Youngest son of ED EMBREY

Date:
11/17/09
Time:
5:08 PM

Hello,
My grandfather was James V Roy Jr. with the 394BG, 587BS. This is in reference to a post I saw from 4/4/2003. I know that was a while ago. It mentioned that Theodore E Kabula was lost in a plane possibly called “purgatory” that was not his regular plane. I know my grandfather was assigned to “Belle of Pergatoy” (misspelled on the plane) . The plane was lost with a substitute crew while he was on leave. This may be the same plane. I have some info from my grandfather that I will have to dig out. It may include plane numbers. My grandfather was later assigned as a pilot to “Redlight Rosie” . I will have to check for the numbers on that plane as well. I always wondered what happened to “Rosie” (as he called it).

I have information in the form of an unpublished book “Memories of a Wingman” that documents much of my grandfather’s war time experiences. I would like to share it with you, but I must check with the rest of the family to make sure there is no opposition. I don’t expect any. My grandfather has passed, but was big on preserving warplane history.

I hope this information helps somehow. Hopefully there will be more to come.

R. Benz

Date:
11/16/09
Time:
5:40 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Leroy “Bud” Hildebrand
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 453
Comments: Bud was my father. I did not know much about his wartime service when he was alive other than he was a pilot who flew B-26’s in the ETO. Recently I reviewed his wartime flight log and learned he flew with the 323 BG, 453 SQ. I logged on to B26.com to see if I could learn more about the 323/453 and read about the B-26 named Truman’s Folly. When scanning his wartime photos I noticed this photo of my father standing next to Truman’s Folly. Bud is the man in the middle. The photo suggests he flew the ‘Folly’ at least once. In his log book he notes aircraft flown by 3 digit numbers. Don’t know what these numbers are but believe these 3 digits may be the last 3 digits on the tail number. Another photo of the ‘Folly’ I saw shows it had tail number 41-31983. In his log he has one entry for aircraft numbered 983, on 11/10/44 to Aachen, with the remark “Iced up front.”

Another photo in his collection may be rare in that it shows what appears to be a Me-262 making an attack on a B-26 formation during a bomb run. The fighter is in the lower left. When you zoom in on the fighter it seems to show the end on profile of a Me-262 with nose pitched down slightly (judging from the location of the horizontal stabilizers in the profile). If it is a 262 I suspect this photo is rare as probably there were not too many photos of attacking 262’s taken from bombers.

I would be interested in any comments, remarks, and information on any of the above. I can send you larger images but do not know the names of anyone in the photos except for Bud. It would be nice if you made a dedication page. I’ll work on the photos and send them to you. Look and see what you might like to use on your site. I have many more that I have not scanned yet, with more people, views of camp life on the bases in the ETO, sight seeing trips, and, of course, more plane pix. I can also scan pages from his flight log book. It outlines his training flights and includes his combat sorties in the ETO. Some of his remarks are interesting. Let me know if you would like more. I have sent you some more photos from the collection Bud Hildebrand’s wartime photos. Many of the photos are oddly cropped, perhaps he had made some sort of collage of his photos at one time. Most are small prints and many not in very good condition. The photos in this set show people and camp life in, I believe, France during the winter of 44-45 – certainly an important time and place in the history of the 323 BG. Also guys sight seeing in Paris and relaxing on the beach. I hope you will find something of value in these photos.

Thanks.
Darcy Hildebrand

Date:
11/14/09
Time:
10:54 PM

Hello,
I am trying to track down my father’s bomber group. Unfortunately he passed away in 1973 when I was a child so I have limited information but I would like to identify if he was part of your bomber group which I think he was. I know he was part of the 9th Army Air Corp and flew as a bombardier in B-26s. Is there any way I can confirm if he was part of your group?

He graduated from bombardier school in 1943 and from what I could tell, he spent time in England, Belgium and Germany (after the war).

His name: John “Jack” O’Donnell
Rank: Lieutenant
Hometown: Philadelphia PA

Let me know if you would need additional information. I have his dog tags and can pull info from them if needed and I also have his yearbook from bombardier school.

Let me know if you could help me. I’d love to upload a bunch of photos I have that he took during his tour for your website.

Thank you,
Jack O’Donnell

Date:
11/14/09
Time:
6:56 PM

My father, John Liverseidge from Pittsfield, MA, served in the 30th Depot Repair Squadron from 9/16/42 through 12/16/45. He passed away in 1992, never speaking of his wartime experiences.

Whenever he tried to relate a war story he would break down, remembering the crew members coming back from Germany whom he had to pull from the planes; men with broken bones, missing limbs, or worse.

My sister and I are now trying to learn about my father’s service in WWII. We know he served in England, France and possibly Ireland. Our family wishes to trace the wartime journey of the 30th. Can anyone offer info?

Thank all for their sacrifice and service.

-John Liverseidge, Jr.

P.S. Yes, we’ve been through the routine with National Personnel Records Center…”fire. etc.”

Date:
11/13/09
Time:
9:51 AM

Serial number 131587 AN-W 553 386 as listed on Chester Klier’s page about planes of the 386th. My Dad, Cy Eaton (92 and still alive), was the original pilot. But he was shot down on July 30, 1943 on The Wolf. He was not flying with his crew. Do you know how to find out where the Bomb Boogie Crashed?

John Eaton

Date:
11/12/09
Time:
7:45 AM

Hi, I’m the current 386 AW historian here “somewhere in Southwest Asia” and have just gotten my own office. I want to decorate it with B-26 and A-26 pictures from the 386 BG in WWII – lot’s of interest in that here. If anyone wants to help, I need good quality pictures scanned and sent to me and I can get our photo people to blow the up. Any help would be appreciated…FYI, I’m a real historian, for former AF pilot and author of “Clashes: Air Combat Over North Vietnam 1965-1972” and “The 11 Days of Christmas: America’s Last Vietnam Battle.” Cheers, Marshall “Doc” Michel

Date:
11/11/09
Time:
9:34 AM

On this Veterans’ Day, I thank all of you for your service and sacrifice.

Wynn Anderson
Son of Andy Anderson

Date:
11/11/09
Time:
6:30 AM

This is to anyone who has requested their military files from NARA in St. Louis. DON’T GIVE UP. They send the “your records perished in the fire of 1973” (select here) to nearly every vet I have spoken to. I have helped several get copies of their files after repeated denials of their existence. I have found that: sending a letter is better than an email. You will need to file a formal request on specific forms depending on if you are the veteran or a family member. Fill out everything you possibly can. If there is a way of misspelling the name, make several separate requests on different spellings. i.e. Nielsen (correct spelling); as found in military documents: Nielson; Neilsen; Neilson; You see how it works. The military ID number is not a magic ticket to the records regardless of the spelling (or misspelling.) Go to the NARA Military records website and follow their directions to the letter. If you “think” your records may have perished in the fire, there is a small link that asks more question. Where were you inducted? What was your last assignment? When did enter and when did you detach from the military? I cannot emphasize this enough, DON’T TAKE ‘NO’ FOR AN ANSWER. They can reconstruct even those truly destroyed in the fire from other sources. Also, unless you specifically request that they preserve your file, it will disappear to the “fire, water and mold” damage it has already sustained. They are only preserving those that are requested. I sent for a file and got the: ‘… your veteran’s file was in the area that sustained the most damage in the fire of 1973. It was severely damaged and sustained fire, smoke, water and mold damage and will need to be stabilized and preserved to be copied.” Since I am not a direct relative (son, daughter, parent, un-remarried spouse, sister, brother) I was not entitled to a free copy. But “… for $50 we will see what is left and send you copies if possible. Or you can visit the archive in person and see the file for free.” Since I wasn’t sure if or when I could get to St. Louis, I took a chance and sent them $50. I expected to get three or four charred pages. I got very lucky. The person who picked up the request photocopied over 100 pages of a file they had told me barely existed. When I made arrangements to go there, I was told it had not yet been stabilized and it would take a number of weeks to do that. This puzzled me since they said it needed to be stabilized to be copied. When I got there to see it, they gave me ten pages of the file!! I asked where the rest of it was. “What do you mean, the rest of it?” I told them I had over 100 pages of it. They searched for two hours by computer ( they are bar coded) and never found it. I have since spoken with a supervisor who said he had someone in their retrieval department was searching and they would contact me. It has never been found. It is very likely that I now have the only copy of this veteran’s record. I have offered to photocopy it and send it back.

Things the research room told me:
1. don’t give up, it completely depends on who picks up your request
2. ask that they copy every page in the file
3. a letter is better than submitting the request on-line

Start here

Best regards,
Michiele Cavuoti

Date:
11/09/09
Time:
3:13 PM

My Uncle Lloyd Rinkel was a B-26 pilot in the 587th Squadron of the 394th Bomb Group. He was shot down by AAA fire on 4-22-44 NW of Abberville. I believe that all of his crew survived and that most were captured and remained as POW’s. My Uncle was able to evade and spent time with the French underground. Uncle Lloyd has passed now, but shortly before he died, he and I had a long talk about his experiences during WW2. My Father later told me that Uncle Lloyd had refused to talk to anyone else about those experiences.

If you have any information or photo’s of my Uncle, please respond and let me know.

Paul Rinkel

Date:
11/06/09
Time:
6:43 PM

It’s with great sadness that I inform those involved with the 323rd Bomb Group, 454th Bomb Squadron that another warrior has flown home. Lt. Col. Clarence Malcolm Nunneley, 90, passed away this morning, November, 06, 2009 at his home. Lt. Col. Nunneley remained active in the B-26 reunions and looked forward to attending the October gathering in Colorado Springs. I was fortunate enough to attend the Houston reunion with him and it was one of the most inspirational moments of my life. As posted by a previous guest, indeed, Nunneley and his crew limped a wounded B-26 across the English Channel clearing the cliffs of Dover by only a few hundred feet in what would be two B-26 crashes (the other crash occurred upon take off). Lt. Nunneley piloted to safety during his commission in the European theater. Although I have plenty of photographs, as well as copies of interviews with Lt. Col. Nunneley, I am always interested in more stories concerning his crew and missions. If you have questions, contact me.

Respectfully,
Mick Malaney, Grandson
Lt. Col. “Mal” Nunneley

Date:
10/31/09
Time:
9:12 AM

My father, George R. Vidusic, served in the 386th in the 552nd bomb group. He was in bomb disposal. Can anyone provide information on any of the people he served with? He told me he and the following men served together:

Lester McAlister, Charles Delaney U.F. Troxclair, G.C. Reynolds, Harold Bellar, Joe Bellucci, Ray Hatcher, Ben Guberman, Ray Holston, Albert Larson, Al Schaf, Robert Ramsey, Leander Adkins, Rene Chauvin, Lionardo Molina, Alphonso Stango, Conway Stone, Clarence Zinn, Wallace Mullins

My dad is alive and well and would like to contact anybody that he served with. He figured at 80+, he may be the only one left. Someone out there please prove him wrong.

My dad was in bomb disposal and has a few stories to tell. His job was to fuse and defuse bombs, booby-trap bombs and load the B-26’s. My favorite story is one day he and one of the guys were working on a bomb when a command car drove by and nobody saluted. The next day, an order went out that everyone must salute when the command vehicle came by. About a week later, the command vehicle came by and my dad was working on a 1000 lb. bomb on a crane along with one of the other guys. Just as the command vehicle came by, the other guy hit the release on the crane and the bomb (defused of course) bounced in front of the command car as my dad and his co-worker snapped to attention to salute. The command vehicle sped away in a panic. The next day, a new order came down that men in the bomb dump do not have to salute the command car.

An honor for a member of “The Greatest Generation”!

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at 3:00PM, George R. Vidusic, was among 4 others receiving the French Legion Medal of Honor at the John Dingell Veterans Administration Hospital. The ceremony was conducted by The Honorable Jean-Baptiste MAIN de BOISSIERE; Consul General of France in Chicago.

George R. Vidusic was born June 9, 1924 in Bad Axe, MI and served his country from March 1943 until November 1945. He was a member of the 9th Air Force, 386th Bomb Group “The Crusaders” 552nd Bomb Squadron.

Ralph Vidusic

Date:
10/28/09
Time:
7:33 AM

Hello, my Father, John L. Franzen was part of the support group for the 336th Bomb Group (Replacement Training Unit) – MacDill, Ft. Meyers, Avon Park, Lake Charles, LA – he was in the 480th. Dad was an artist and did nose art and jacket art. We don’t have many pictures planes with his work, but we have a few. We also have some pictures of planes that he may or may not have painted on. There are two great pictures of a whole slew of men in front of a plane too. I think these are B26s, he said he worked on them and was very proud of that. I would like to send these pictures to someone to include on your website, if you would like. I tried to get his war records from the National Archives, but his were lost in the fire they had. I have passes, pay cards, immunization records. His enlistment date was March 31, 1942. He was discharged sometime, late 1945. He was a mechanic stationed at Lake Charles most of the time, but I have passes for MacDill. He was a Corporal at the end, and was stationed in 1945 at Mather Field in Sacramento, and Fairfield – Suisun. He worked on transport planes then. He talked about being a part of Project Purple – which is what he said they called the evacuation of Okinawa.

He sent my mother beautifully illustrated love letters. I have attached an article from the local papers with a picture of an envelope of his and the caption: “Observing black-out rules to the letter, Pvt. John Franzen, 24, sends “black out letters” like the one shown above to Miss Lynn Beckman. He is an airplane mechanic stationed at Ft. Myers, Fla. “Please contact me.

Thank you.
Karen Monaghan (Franzen)

Date:
10/25/09
Time:
9:00 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Donald Lewis Spencer, Sr.
Bomb Group: 584th
Bomb Squadron: 394th
Years in service: 1943-45 (1952 res.)
Graduation Class: 43C-8/15-44
Class Location: Springfield, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; Ft. Myers, Florida
Comments: Hello, I came across Donald L. Spencer’s memoir “WW II – Missions, Letters, Notes and Remembrances” by complete chance when browsing the internet. His 296 page book is published on The Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project website (posted May 29, 2007), at this link http://tinyurl.com/donald-l-spencer-memoir

His memoirs are quite extensive, containing his training experiences, letters to and from family members throughout the period 1943-45, mission reports from The Stars and Stripes, as well as many interesting photographs and diagrams.

I tried Googling Mr. Spencer on the b26.com website, and was not able to find a reference to him. I therefore thought I would make you aware of the link to his memoirs, since they are extensive and very interesting.

I hope this is helpful and that you can put the link to good use on your wonderful website honoring B26 pilots and crews.

Best regards,
Tomas Vitek

Date:
10/23/09
Time:
4:56 PM

SunSetters38bg.com is operated by the 38th Bomb Group Association, whose members served in the unit’s World War II South Pacific Campaign. A critical component to victory in Japan, the 38th Bomb Group was an integral part of the Fifth Air Force through major campaigns in New Guinea, the Philippines, and to victory in Japan.

Thanks very much on behalf of the members of the 38th Bomb Group Association.

Tom Behrens

The two squadrons were the 69th Bomb Squadron and 70th Bomb Squadron, they were detached from the 38th Bomb group and sent to the South Pacific. They operated as independent units controlled by the 42nd Bomb Group. To be pedantic they never operated B-26’s with the 38th Bomb Group. When these squadrons converted to the B.25 they became a component of the 42nd.Bomb Group. An effort is being made to create and develop a new section for the 69th and 70th Bomb Squadrons. We are requesting help from anyone who was in the 69th or 70th Bomb Squadrons or their descendants. Pictures, material, mission diaries are a start. -Trevor Allen

“Queenie” from 70th Bomb Squadron
… [Large]

Date:
10/23/09
Time:
11:49 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Pilot D.L. Maker
Bomb Squadron: 24 Squadron South African Air Force (SAAF)
Years in service: 1943 to 1945
Comments I recently was given Pilot D.L. Maker’s log book relating his operations on Marauders with 24 Squadron S.A.A.F in Italy from April 1944 to 23 March 1945. In his first entry as 1st Pilot he records his crew as follows:

Co Pilot Lt van Heerden
Obs Lt Paradise
Wop W.O. Montague
T/g W.O. Hickson
Tail gunner Sgt. Gubbins R.A.F

On 2nd July 1944 he records “Raid on harbour & shipping Pesara, Italy – aircraft u/s due to flack and on fire – made belly landing Fermo LG — Navigator broke leg — self & tail gunner scratched & shaken — landed in hospital. A/c write off.”

If anybody knew Pilot D.L. Maker or any of his above crew I’m sure they would be interested .

Regards
Paul Krige

Cape Town
South Africa

Date:
10/22/09
Time:
9:17 PM

I am trying to find some information on my father Robert C. Zinkgraf. He flew with the 322nd B.G. 451st Sq. as a gunner-engineer. He flew from Dec. 1944 thru the end of the war which covered 35 missions. His crew was Lt. Robinson, pilot; Lt. Lichten, co-pilot; F/O Schlack, bombardier-navigator; Clp. Zinkgraf, engineer/gunner; Clp. Lund, radio/gunner; Clp. Huck, armor/gunner. I would like to know the names of the planes that he flew his missions on. I have tried all the archival sources and no seems to be able to help me. I see on your dedication pages the a man by the name of Malcolm D. Enlow has posted a list of all his missions along with the names of the planes that he flew them in. Do you know where he got this information from and can I get it for my fathers missions. I have a sheet that shows his missions and where they flew too but nothing about the individual planes that he flew them in.

Thanks for your help. Robert Zinkgraf Jr.

Date:
10/18/09
Time:
6:37 PM

Hello, my uncle Lt. Richard (Dick) E. Miller was the bombardier in the second plane in the Doolittle Raid. After he managed to get back to the US, he was assigned to the 319th Bomb Group, 438 squadron. He flew from Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana (which was also his home town) across the “Northern Route”, via Greenland, to Scotland and England. From there, he flew, as bombardier/navigator with Randy Holzapple to North Africa. He died from flak during a skip-bombing raid on Jan. 22, 1942.

I am currently working on a book about him and his best friend from the raid, Tom Griffin, who also served in the 319th in Africa and was eventually shot down, to spend the rest of the war, hosted by the Germans in Stalag Luft III.

I notice that, over the years, a number of people have written to you who served (or whose parents served) in North Africa in the 319th – such as Russell E. McClintock. I’d also like to be able to contact others, such as Joe Donato, who was in the 17th and overlapped Dick Miller’s time in North Africa. I’d very much appreciate it if you could put me in touch with them. I’d also very much like to correspond directly with you all, to ask you some questions. For instance, I just found out that Justice Brennan — before he was on the Supreme Court, of course– had served time in North Africa in the 319th intelligence division, and wonder if you know whether he wrote about his time in North Africa. I am in touch with Esther Oyster, who has been a great help.

Looking forward to your reply. And many thanks for all your great work on the site.

All best,
Suzanne Charle
New York, NY

Date:
10/10/09
Time:
6:29 AM

Julia Motley Magruder
Died on Sept 23, 2009, of the AF Falcon’s Landing Retirement Community in Sterling, Virginia. She was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on Oct 6, 1916. She graduated and was voted “most popular” from Miami H.S. class of 1933. Attended U of Alabama where she met Peyton Magruder. They married in Miami, FL in 1935. A couple years in Philly, then on to Baltimore, MD where Peyton worked for the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Co. He won the design for the B-26 Marauder medium-bomber and then managed the building of over 5,700 aircraft with the lowest combat loss rate in WW II. Julia supported him in those efforts and was also busy having three boys in four years, each of whom attended service academies. The family relocated to Coral Gables, FL, where she lived for 45 yrs, during which Julia was Executive Assistant to CEO George Wackenhut until her retirement, after which she moved to VA to live at Falcons Landing. She is survived by her sons Peyton Marshall, Jr. (retired Navy) and wife Lucy, residents of Tubac, AZ, Robert Bruce “Bob” (retired Army) and wife Angie, residents of Reston, VA, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Her youngest son, Douglas Graham, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, having lost his life in Vietnam in 1968. Julia will be buried with him. Those wishing to attend Julia’s grave-side burial on 22 Oct. please meet in the Arlington Cemetery Admin Bldg by 9:15 AM, service to begin at 10 AM, with reception following at the Women’s Nat’l Memorial.

Date:
10/9/09
Time:
11:19 PM

Recently, the JPAC had a team in Germany. JPAC team on mission to recover remains of U.S. servicemembers missing from WWII for a B-26 Marauder search.

Hopefully they find what they are looking for.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen
Norway

Date:
10/9/09
Time:
3:49 PM

My name is Bill Arnold Jr. I am a CFI at WPAFB Aero Club. Our chief pilot, William A Sloan Jr., passed away in July. I am looking on doing a story about him – my mentor and friend. He was in the 319th Bomb Group in 1943(?) flying the Martin B-26. I know he was on one of the Monte Cassino missions. Mr. Sloan was in the class of SQD G Flight A, Class 42 K, Randolph field in Dec of 1942. Any info would be helpful. Another Army Aviator. Thank you.

Date:
10/9/09
Time:
12:49 PM

Hi Guys,

The ceremony yesterday went very well. The National Cemetery staff was very helpful, and the VFW Honor Guard did an exemplary job. The French were represented by Nathalie Bonnard, a warm compassionate lady from the French Embassy in Los Angeles. She did the official hand over, and read special letters from Christian Dieppedalle and the Commander of the Bricy air base. The event was emotional and uplifting for everyone. I had to be the MC because the assistant cemetery director was sick with the flu. But I did the best I could. Some newspapers and a local NBC affiliate were there, too.

Here is a link to the television news story that was broadcast last night: TV News Story. The station did a fine job and the video plays well.

Needless to say, you guys helped make this all possible.

Thank you, my friends.
Paul E. Rose

Date:
10/4/09
Time:
8:10 AM

After 65 years, Web post brings a brother’s story home

HARVARD — “My role here was small yet definitely humbling,” said Keith Cheveralls of Harvard.

Yet Cheveralls’ promise to his uncle in England helped bring closure for the family of an American World War II pilot killed on D-Day. Ian Cheveralls enlisted his nephew to help find relatives of victims of a midair collision he witnessed on one of the most significant days in history — June 6, 1944.

D-DAY

It was the first mission of the day for the 394th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Force (AAF), stationed at the Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield at Boreham. Flying B-26 Marauder aircraft, the self-named “Bridge Busters” flew attacks on bridges in Nazi-occupied France and the Low Countries.

On D-Day, Allied forces stormed the Normandy beaches of occupied France to turn the tide against the Nazi stranglehold on Western Europe. On that day, the group’s task was to bomb gun positions at Varreville on France’s northwest coast.

Flying above Battle, England, a bomber piloted by Lt. Tommie Potts lost control and collided with another bomber. Potts ejected, but his five-man crew died aboard the plane in an effort to jettison its bombs.

No one survived the crash of the other plane, piloted by 2nd Lt. Thomas Jenkins. With no survivors to interview, no reasons were stated for the crash of Jenkins’ plane in the official AAF accident report.

Date:
10/1/09
Time:
8:36 PM

On 4-9-09, Robert asked about the insignias of the 322nd bomb group. The 322nd Bomb Group were drawn by the Walt Disney Studios. Several drawings were made and submitted to each Squadron. These are the ones that were selected. For additional information about insignia and artwork that the Walt Disney drew to help the war effort during WWII try finding a copy of “Disney Dons Dogtags – The Best of Disney Military Insignia from World War II” by Walton Rawls, The Abbeville Publishing Group ISBN 1-55859-401-9

Roy Bozych
323rd BG Historian

…large image

Date:
9/30/09
Time:
9:44 PM

Elden Shook from the 585th Squadron submitted this fine web site to review – great stuff! http://www.controltowers.co.uk/B/Boreham.htm

Date:
9/28/09
Time:
7:53 AM

I wonder if anyone worked with or knew Sgt William T Watford 453 Sqd, 323rd BG? He was my father and I have some letters written from England and also France, some photos and also his coffin flag. I would be interested in any information. – Elaine Tyler

Date:
9/26/09
Time:
10:29 PM

‘International love and honor’ bring fallen Dallas airman’s bracelet to brother’

By MICHAEL E. YOUNG / The Dallas Morning News
10:29 PM CDT on Saturday, September 26, 2009

The 50 years it spent in the ground show plainly enough in the scuffs and scratches on its silver surface.

But for Horace Bryce Rose, few things could be more precious than this old ID bracelet. It bears the name and service number of his older brother, Paul E. Rose, who left Dallas to join the Army Air Forces and wore the bracelet on his final mission on Oct. 8, 1944. [Read more]

Date:
9/26/09
Time:
8:32 AM

What a neat web site. My father William Burrell Wyatt from North Carolina flew in Jezabelle a b24 in the Pacific out of Australia. I am looking for any info or photos. I lost the original of the plane and crew in a fire. I loved my dad and am so proud of all of you who put your life on the line for me and our country. I heard a long time ago that he was with the Johnson crew, but I don’t know where to look. Thanks again and appreciate any info or suggestions. Sue Wyatt

Date:
9/24/09
Time:
7:54 PM

Dear Mr. Freeman,

I recently saw your posting in the www.b26.com guest book and hope that you have made contact with some of your buddies from the 323rd. I’d just like to make you aware that there is a 323 BG / 454 BS association reunion at Colorado Springs from October 7th to October 10th. Full details of this reunion are available on their website at http://www.323bg454bs.org/, as well as other information and photographs of past reunions. If you can’t get to the reunion, then I hope you will be able to get in touch with some of your friends and colleagues via this web site.

I live in Rayleigh, Essex, England and I’m fascinated by all things relating to the people, places, and aircraft of WW2. My special interest is the B26, the USAAF, and their bases in Essex. I visited Earls Colne earlier this year, and although much of the base been converted into an industrial estate, there is an impressive memorial to the 323rd and other groups who were stationed at Earls Colne. There’s also a flying club operating from a grass strip alongside the old east-west runway – the club house has many photographs on the walls of the men and machines of the 323rd. You can take look at a satellite picture of the base using Google maps if you wish.

If you have any wartime photographs that you can get “scanned” into a computer, or if you have any recollections or memoirs that you would like to share, then I’m sure the folks at www.b26.com would appreciate them. Some of my favorite memoirs, which I hope may be of interest, are:

The Flying Wedge by Ernie Pyle, a war correspondent who visited Earls Colne, Chester Klier’s page, who has a very detailed description of all the missions that he flew, Harvey Jacobs’ memoirs.

www.b26.com is a fantastic site containing lots of information. I’ve spent very many hours on this site, and there’s many other sites of interest on the web too !

There’s some great wartime movie footage of the B26 on a British web site (contact site for details), which I believe is of the 323rd. There’s more B26 related footage on this site, which you can search for. If you’d like to let me know of any particular aircraft that you remember, I’d be glad to try and find if there’s any pictures or information on the web.

Could you please tell me which aircraft you flew in and if there any people or aircraft you remember in particular ?

If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.

Yours Sincerely,

Steve Sharp

Date:
9/23/09
Time:
3:49 AM

My father in law, Lt. Col. Leroy C. Meyers,  flew his plane “Crime Doctor” he was a member of 386th bomber Group and belly landed his plane when the hydraulics were shot out. Lee passed away Dec 28, 1993. He was a American Hero.

Date:
9/22/09
Time:
2:34 PM

I am trying to get a burial slot in a National Cemetery for William H. Teel. It is believed that he was in the 344 Bomb Group and may have been a pilot. It is believed that his plane was shot down in the last few months of the war and that he was a prisoner.

Does anyone have any information on William “Bill” H. Teel, my wife’s cousin?

Thanks, John Lohman

Hi John: I had a William Teel on old roster & his address then was (removed). That’s all I have. Lambert Austin, 344th BG Association

Date:
9/22/09
Time:
2:34 PM

I am Wally Ellertson’s Grandson. I would like to help Ryan Cooper contact my grandpa (my grandpa does not have e-mail of his own).

– Derek Ellertson

Date:
9/20/09
Time:
1:17 PM

Here are 2 pictures from my father’s old records. I believe them to be B-26 aircraft. That’s all I know about the photographs. I believe there are more somewhere at my mother’s home. Any possible information would be appreciated.

Thank you
Woodrow Ebersold Jr.
Woodrow, from the photograph of “Daisy Mae” I would say your father served with the 555th Bomb Squadron 386th Bomb Group. If your father is in the picture, can you identify him for us.

Trevor Allen
historian b26.com
…large image

Date:
9/19/09
Time:
4:10 AM

Marauderman’s Name: William Addison Powers
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 42-45
Comments: Looking for someone who knew my father-in-law, Bill Powers, listed as a Radio Mechanic. We have a picture of him with other radio operators and crew, “Drewry”s Pirates”,

Listed with him are “Tripp, Lt. Drewry, Scotty, Wroten, Korol, Danny, Baxter, Issy, Birk, Koch, Mix, Hays, Smitty, Beard, Kuonen, Wheatley, Tabak & Crisinti. Bill was a 32 year old high school teacher when he entered the service. As with most veterans, he did not speak much of his experiences and sadly passed away in 1988. We would love to talk or email with anyone who may have known him.

Theresa Powers

Date:
9/9/09
Time:
6:02 PM

Dear B26.Com, I have a video showing a B-26 of the 453rd taking a direct hit and the call letters are VT-C. This aircraft has invasion stripes and I am wondering if the plane is ” Red Dog II ” B-26B-25-MA serial number 41-31818. The crew went missing on May 20th 1944. Did they apply stripes that early prior to the invasion? The other aircraft I know that had the call letters VT-C is B-26C-45-MO serial number 42-107688. There is no MACR for this ship. Thank you for your time

Sincerely,
John DeMaagd

John, the aircraft you are referring to is not 41-31818 VT-C “Red Dog II” MACR 4967, but 41-31896 VT-G “Louisiana Mud Hen” MACR 11659 shot down on December 23. 1944. The black and while invasion stripes were not applied to Allied aircraft until the day/night before D-Day. June 5th 1944.

Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG

Date:
9/9/09
Time:
12:08 AM

Re: The picture showing 3 men “Gerald G. or John G. or John W. Morley” The man on the left looks to be John William Morley from Idaho. He flew 26s. I think Eighth Air Force, flying out of England. He was shot down over Belgium. He and his crew got back to base safely. He got his missions in and elected to stay in Europe flying USO shows. I have a photo of him on VJ Day with Bob Hope and Jerry Cologna. John William Morley is alive and well (Sep. 2009) living in Colorado Springs. He stayed in the Reserve after the war and was reactivated in 1968 and served at the Air Force Academy as a liaison recruiting officer. He retired as a Colonel (reserve) Lt Colonel active. – Scott Morley (son)

Date:
9/8/09
Time:
6:05 PM

This is a response to a post by Bill Van Marter on 7/13/03. It is about his father, William Howard VanMarter, and he asks for any anecdotes about his father. My grandfather, 1st Lt Frank Karidis, was a bombardier who served with “Van”. He died last November, and while going through his old letters to my grandmother (deceased last March), I came across a story he told her about a practice bombing mission they took together in Africa:

“This afternoon I flew with Van again. We took a captain who was connected with the Intelligence Dept for a ride. After my last run Van peeled off as he did yesterday, & whoom we were diving over 300mph. I was in the nose, & really had to laugh as we “barreled” to the ground. I looked back at the “Cap”, & he managed a weak smile. I don’t think he enjoyed it even a little bit. This boy Van is quite a boy. Spectacular but very careful.”

I realize that the post is over six years old, but if you can connect me with Bill Van Marter, I would greatly appreciate it. My grandfather did not like to talk at all about his experiences during the War–in fact he never stayed in touch with anyone he served with afterward. I’m trying to get a clearer picture of his time in the service, so likewise if anyone has any information, I would love to hear it.

Here’s the information your site has requested:

Marauderman’s Name: 1st Lt. Frank W. Karidis
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 443rd
Years in service: 1941-1944?
Graduation Class: 42-10
Class Location: Albuquerque, NM

Thank you very much.

Andy Finley

Date:
9/7/09
Time:
10:50 PM

Greetings,

I write this four years after the death of my father William J. McConnell. He was an armorer (& Norden bombsight mechanic) for the B-26 and was stationed in England and finished the war a sergeant. I do not know how to contact the right people who would remember him or give me details of his service. In any event he spoke about a famous B-17 that made an emergency landing at his base, wherein he ended the war with an aluminum box he took from it as a souvenir. I believe he said it was named Patches, but I could be wrong. I still have his silk map and compass, and a letter opener he made from the bullet of a 50 cal. machine gun and prop blade from a B-26. Can anyone help me with identifying where my father served and if, indeed, the box I have must be from a B-17?

Thanks

Thomas C. McConnell

Thomas, there was a Sgt. William J. McConnell with 386th Bomb Group 554th Bomb Squadron. Their base in England at first was Boxted, then Station 164 Great Dunmow on September 24th 1943, then A-60 Beaumont-sur-Oise in France October 1944 and to A-92 St. Trond in Belgium in April 1945.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
9/7/09
Time:
6:52 AM

Hello, I am trying to trace my grandfather who was posted in the UK during World War 2 (1944) and came from Houston Texas, as far as I am aware his name was Robert Nelson Wyatt and was born approx 1919. Any info would be appreciated, Many thanks, Sarah

Sarah, you have to go US Archives site [here] and search for Robert N Wyatt.

There are three Robert N Wyatt listed at NARA, and only one from Houston, Texas. He also joined the Air Corps. Then there is a S/Sgt Robert N. Wyatt, Bombardier in the 344th BG Harrison crew [here].

I found a Sgt. Wyatt in the 344th BG history book (photo scan added), but only last name is listed. Can this be the Robert N. Wyatt you are looking for? The photo scan can help you trying to confirm this assumption.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

…large image

Date:
8/27/09
Time:
8:47 PM

In response to Ken Terpstra’s posting below — those are great films of B-26s! They look like my father’s still photos come to life. 🙂 But, of course, they are not of his bomb group. If you or others haven’t researched their origin yet, I think much of the filming was of the 323rd Bomb Group, 455th Bomb Squadron — per the two plane names I could spot: “Tail End Charlie” and “Utah Game Cock.”

Thanks again for your site. It’s super.

Dora McClurkin Muir

Date:
8/25/09
Time:
1:52 PM

I’ve been a collector of military artifacts since I was a kid and I’m a retired Sergeant-Major now. I recently ran across a V-mail with, “MISSING” written on it. It was to SGT Arthur J. Hilton Jr. serial # XXXX0362 who was already missing when the letter arrived 12-29-44. He was assigned to the 37th Bomb Sqdn., 17th Bomb Gp. (M). He was from Shelby co. TN and is listed as, FOD; Finding of Death. I see that they flew B-26s after 1942.

I would like to know anything about the circumstances of his loss, where they were going, did anyone see them hit, did any of the crew survive, where did it go missing?

Thank you,
Thom Cole

Thomas,
December 24th 1944 the 17th Bomb Group were assigned to bomb the railroad bridge at Singen, Germany. The crew of B26 42-96003 were part of this mission and consisted of 2.Lt’s Alvin W Chaudoir; Donald A Kraft; S/Sgt W J James(IO); Sgt’s William A Browne; Arthur J Hilton; Paul D Hayslip. At 1300hrs their B26 received a direct flak hit in the left engine. The force of the blast drove the plane straight up into the air, it then turned onto its back out of control and spun lazily down to crash 1/2 kilometer S of Zell- Harmersbach. There was one survivor who parachuted to safety, he was Sgt Paul D Hayslip. In a postwar interview he affirmed that Arthur J Hilton had been hit in the head by splinters and was lying on his side inside the airplane. None of the rest of the crew bailed out and crashed to their deaths with the B26.Arthur J Hilton Jr. was killed. Paul D Hayslip parachuted out and became a POW.

There are two lines of research, firstly log onto Footnote.com. When in the site you will have the choice of a time period, left click on WW II. several columns will then pop up, in column two you will see Missing Aircrew Reports, click on this. In the search column type in macr 42-96003 but ensure you leave one space between macr and 42-96003.You will then bring up the required missing aircrew report.

The second line of research may be more difficult, and you need to live in a reasonable distance of Washington, DC. If you can go to the National Archives you will be able to look through the paper records of the 17th Bomb Group. This will give you all of the information you may require.
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
8/25/09
Time:
12:14 PM

My contact is Gildas Saouzanet, living near Brest, Brittany, France. A google search made today provided a message of Robb Chapman, and another one from Charles K. Leja, who wanted to get in touch with me following my post some years ago. May you please forward this message to them, and many thanks for allowing people to « meet » like this, so long after.

I also find your thread a long time ago after you posted it. I will happily share what I have with you.

Best wishes
Gildas

Date:
8/25/09
Time:
10:47 AM

To whom it may concern,

Unfortunately at this time I’m unable to send anything in for your use, and instead am looking for some information on the 451st Bombardment Squadron (Medium), assigned to the 322d Bombardment Group.

Does anyone know if the squadron had a mascot or motto of any sort during their time in Florida or England? The reason I ask is the 451st should shortly be activating as a flying training squadron at Pensacola, Florida, where instructors will be training combat systems operators (aka, navigators). Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Todd W. Schroeder, YA-2, DAFC
47 FTW Historian

Date:
8/25/09
Time:
4:44 AM

I’m the webmaster of The Unofficial South African Air Force Website.

I’m in the process of compiling a book of stories written by those who served in or with the SAAF, describing their personal experiences. The contributions cover the history of the SAAF, from pre-WWII to current.

David Dent, ex-12 Squadron SAAF, has provided me with an account of how he won a DFC on 3 March 1945 as a result of his actions during a raid on Conegliano in Italy. David mentions that Neville Pentz was his Bomb aimer.

This, I believe, is the same mission as Peter Pentz mentions in his Guestbook entry in 2008.

I would like to contact Peter to see if he would like to contribute to my book as an addendum to David’s story and if you could provide me with the photograph he mentioned.

Many thanks.

Regards

Dean Wingrin
SAairforce.co.za

Date:
8/24/09
Time:
3:24 PM

I joined the 497th Sq. In July, 1944 directly after graduation from flying school at Douglas, AZ. I was assigned as co-pilot on Capt. Catlin’s crew and flew with him until he was returned to the states. I was a general “gofer” after that and remember serving as sqdn. training officer and assistant operations officer for a while. I probably had one of the longest tenure in the group as I was not sent home until the fall of “45 from our base at Schleissheim, Germany. 1st Lt. Robert G. Stonum

Date:
8/21/09
Time:
1:27 PM

My mother, Gilberte Caron, has known Joseph Castoro during the second world war and more precisely in 1945 in the province of “Oise” on the north east of Paris ( 30 miles). She is deaf-mute and is 85 years old. I would like to speak with Joseph Castoro. She loose sight of him after the world war. I was looking 3 years ago on the net for American soldiers who have lived near from Paris and I found the website B26.com. I printed several pictures of soldiers and I presented its pictures to Gilberte. She recognized him on the picture. It was a great moment to see my mother like she was 20 years old. She hasn’t heard from him and we would like to send it on a postal address or with an email a message to remember him this period of their life.

As you know the American soldiers saved us and we have an eternal recognition. Can you help us?

Thanks in advance to send me an answer.
Best regards.
Jean Claude Caron.

Date:
8/16/09
Time:
12:26 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt Albert R. Hogg (deceased)
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron: 69th
Years in service: 22 years
Graduation Class: 1942-E
Class Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Comments: Hi, my name is Albert R. Hogg Jr. I am writing this in honor of my father Albert R. Hogg (deceased) who served in WWII Pacific. He was with the 69th Bombardment Squadron Acting Adjutant of the Air Echelon on Guadalcanal from June 5, 1943 thru July 25, 1943. He was also Supply Officer with the 69th on New Caledonia. I would appreciate communicating with anyone who knew my father during WWII. I am interested in learning more about events from March 1943 thru January 1944 or after. Thank you to all who served. God Bless you.

…large image

Date:
8/18/09
Time:
9:14 AM

Name: Daniel E. Grether
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 95th
Years in Service: June 30, 1942 to June 1945
Graduating Class: Sept. 1942
Class Location: Tyndall Field, Florida

Comments: My name is Doug Grether. I am Daniel’s Son. He was a tail gunner on a B26 named “Ain’t She a Beaut”. The pilot of this aircraft was George McKay. My dad passed away in 1989. The last I heard of Mr. McKay, he was living somewhere near Tampa, Fla. He was still alive a few years ago. If anyone knows of the tail number, paint job, crew names, photos that they could share, I would be grateful. My dad didn’t talk much about his time in North Africa. I believe he may have shot down at least 1 enemy fighter. I know he flew on over 60 missions. He was stationed in Tunisia around May or June,1943 to June or July,1944. The only thing other than the name of the aircraft was a large number on the tail. Old 82 is what my dad said they called it. I am trying to get his DD214 so I can find out what ribbons or other awards he had. I have his Air Medal and Wings. Any others have been lost over the years. I know he had to have more than that. His records may have been destroyed in a fire at the records depot in Saint Louis. I am still waiting for a response back from my request.

Thank in advance for any help. -Douglas Grether

Hello Douglas, I looked through material I had on the 17thBG for a Battle Number 82. The battle numbers were painted in large numbers on the entire vertical tail, on both sides.
The 95thBS of the 17BG went from B/N50 to B/N 74, Then B/N 75 aircraft and up were assigned to the 432nd BS. The earliest B-26 B/N 82 was serial 41-18200 “THE WIDOW MAKER”. Then the next listed as B/N 82 was 42-107544 “GREMLIN HOTEL”. Another aircraft with an unknown serial listed as B/N 82 was “JUS-TINA”. I hope this helps although the Old “82”might be the last two numbers of an aircraft from the 95th’s serial number. -Don Enlow

To Mr. Grether: It seems to me that the name McKay can be seen on pilot’s side on the enlarged nose part of photo. I forgot that I did this enlargement, have only one scan of BN 82, but from 319th BG according to my inventory list, not 17th BG.

Best regards from Norway, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
8/15/09
Time:
5:31 PM

To Whom It May Concern,

My dad, Peter Joseph Brennan, was in WWII during 11/1942-12/29/1945 in the 9th Armd Bn 599Th bomb sq and the 397Th bomb group. I’m trying to find any one that might have known him. Maybe in his Sq or GP, or maybe some families love ones who were in the same unit have any pictures that my dad might be in. I have a memorial for my dad with his medals and flag, but I don’t have any pictures. My mom had two, but they were lost though the years. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Pat Wise

Date:
8/12/09
Time:
11:42 AM

Dr. George H. Lane March 6, 1922-August 6, 2009 GEORGE H. LANE, M.D., died on the 6th of August 2009 after a long illness. He was born on the 6th of March 1922, in Waco, Texas, the son of George and Ethel Lane. He was the great-grandson of two of Waco’s founders, George Barnard and Shapley Prince Ross. Dr. Lane was educated in the Waco public schools and graduated from Waco High School in 1939. He attended the Schreiner Institute as a pre-med student for his first two years of college and also obtained a private pilot’s license prior to his graduation in 1941. He enrolled at Baylor University, but WWII began in December of 1941 and he volunteered as an aviation cadet on his 20th birthday and graduated as an Army Air Force pilot in 1943. He trained to fly the B-26 Marauder bomber and went overseas to England at the completion of his training at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. He flew 65 missions as a pilot and flight commander; and he flew several of his missions as pilot of “Flak Bait,” the first bomber in any air force which flew 200 missions. This plane is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum. Dr. Lane completed his missions in March 1945 and was rotated home. He was discharged as soon as the point system was announced and went back to school at the University of Texas in June 1945. He held the rank of captain and was awarded the DFC, the Air Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters, the European Campaign Medal with six battle stars, the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation, and several other American and foreign decorations. As a Captain, he was credited with leading 41 flights in his 65 missions and was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 2002. Dr. Lane continued his pre-med studies at the University of Texas and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a member of the Silver Spurs. He then attended Baylor University College of Medicine and graduated in 1950. He was a member of the Phi Chi medical fraternity and was a charter member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society at Baylor. After an internship at the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to Houston and became the first orthopedic surgeon to be fully trained at Baylor in Houston. Dr. Lane entered private practice in Houston in 1955 and continued in his practice until 1998. He was certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and was a member of the AAOS, TOS, Houston Orthopedic Society, and the AAHKS. He was a former member of the Executive Committee of The Methodist Hospital. He was a quarterly chief of orthopedics at Ben Taub Hospital for years. Dr. Lane was Chief of the Polio and Spina Bifida Clinics at TIRR from 1958 to 1975. He performed thousands of reconstructive surgical procedures on victims of Polio and Spina Bifida. In 1962 he performed the first prosthetic total knee replacement in Houston, and in 1967 he performed Houston’s first total hip replacement. The remainder of his surgical career was devoted to the latter procedures. His faculty rank was Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Lane leaves his beloved wife of 57 years, Joan Bagby Lane, and four sons: George III and his companion Gretchen Simmen, Ross, Tom, John and John’s wife, Carran Lane; and he leaves his five grandchildren, all his pride and joy: Nancy Katherine Lane, John Bennett Lane, Jr., George Lane IV, Audrey Ann Lane, and Claire Bagby Lane. His sister, Mary Jane Varga, survives him and lives in Orrville, Ohio. Also surviving him is his devoted assistant of 30 years, Kathy Murphy, and his step-grandchildren Trevor, Hayden, and Fielding Castle. His last 16 months were made easier for him, thanks to the devoted and constant attention of his son Ross, who rarely left his bedside and was a constant companion to his father. George was a member of St. John the Divine and a former member of the Forest Club and of the Garwood Hunting Club. The memorial service will be conducted at half-past three o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, the 11th of August, at The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where the Rev. Canon Dr. Douglas W. Richnow, Senior Associate Rector, and the Rev. Jan Wiley Dantone, Assistant Rector, are to officiate. Immediately following the service, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent Sumners Hall. As a convenience for those desiring, valet parking attendants are to be positioned at the east porte-cochere of the sanctuary. At later time, the family will gather for a private inurnment at Glenwood Cemetery. In lieu of usual remembrances, contributions in memory of Dr. Lane may be directed to the charity of one’s choice.

Date:
8/11/09
Time:
11:32 PM

I do not normally post links but this is the greatest B-26 footage I have ever seen! It may contain Marauder men someone will recognize (contact site for details).

Thanks Ken Terpstra

Date:
8/11/09
Time:
9:17 AM

Please let me introduce myself. I’m Chief Editor of the Dutch Veterans magazine Checkpoint. The forthcoming September-issue of our magazine is dedicated to 65th Remembrance of Market Garden. For one of the articles I’m looking for a photograph of the late Captain Arie D Bestebreurtje. I saw some pictures on your site, so I was wondering if you could help me. Because it has to be printed, I need a picture with high resolution (minimal 300 dpi). Would it be possible to send me one of the photographs? Off course I will refer to your archive/site in our magazine.

Best regards,
Fred Lardenoye,
Chief Editor Checkpoint

ate:
8/6/09
Time:
10:25 AM

Hello,

I’m John Culclasure (Col, USAF, retired) teaching over here at Ft Belvoir in the Army’s CGSS program.

I’ve a student, Major Daniel Williamson, USA whose grandfather served in the USAAF (deceased … ’43 training crash of an RB-26).

If possible, we’re looking for data on this individual.

I’ve now found the accident report (got it from AFHSO); NOW, I’m looking for the Unit Patch of the Squadron, if there was a patch, as well as anything that can shed light on Dan’s grandpa vis-a-vis the 398th Bombardment Squadron (M).

Here’s all we have to go on at this time:

LT William M. Williamson (Bombardier)

Lt Williamson lost his life, along with the other members of his crew when RB-26A1 Marauder, tail # 41-17477, operating out of MacDill Airfield, crashed in a thunderstorm near Bradenton, Florida while conducting a training mission on May 31, 1943 … Place: Bradenton, Florida

The report lists the 21st Bomb Group and the 398th Bombardment Squadron (M) out of MacDill.

Can anyone provide any images, material, data, etc.? I cannot find much on the web.

THANKS!

John R. Culclasure, Colonel, USAF (ret)

We have the 21st Bomb Group’s patch, plus the 313th, 314th, 315th Bomb Squadron patches. Hopefully somebody will send us the 398ths.

Date:
8/6/09
Time:
9:02 AM

Marauderman’s Name: S/Sgt Charles Boinski
Bomb Group: 394
Bomb Squadron: 584
Years in service: WW II
Comments: My Uncle Charles S. Boinski was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions on 2 March 1945. The citation reads (in part):

“When his aircraft was struck and severely damaged by antiaircraft fire and enemy fighters, while attacking an enemy installation in Germany, Sgt Boinski demonstrated outstanding courage and skill when both engines of his aircraft were damaged and one came afire. The fuel lines in the bomb bay were severed and the fuel leaked so rapidly that it was doubtful whether friendly territory could be reached. Although the bomb bay doors could not be closed, Sgt Boinski entered the open bomb bay without a parachute and held the broken fuel lines together in weather, which nearly froze his hands. By his courage and unstinting devotion to duty he enables his aircraft to reach friendly territory where the crew parachuted to safety”

Researching your site I read a post Dated 05/30/2006 that talked about a crash that occurred in Luxemburg on 2 March 1945. It was posted by John DERNEDEN member of the Memorial General Patton museum in Luxembourg. The post reads in part:

“Here are two pictures in this mail about the B-26 of 2nd Lt. Stanley CLARK that crashed just in front of this airfield on March 2nd 1945, killing the 2nd Lt. Doyle PROFFITT from the crew.”

Both Proffitt and Clark were members of my Uncle’s crew. I believe that is the plane my Uncle Chuck was on as noted in the citation. Other members of the crew are listed as:

2nd Lt. Harry B. Huff
Cpl. Salvadore J. Gomez
Cpl. William J. Cawthorne

Needless to say I am very proud of my Uncle and all the brave men and women he served with. I would appreciate contact information for Mr. John Derneden, or hearing from anybody who may recognize or know of other crew members listed.

Any information is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Sal Esposito
Sgt. United States Marines 1963 – 1967
Veteran: Viet Nam

Date:
8/5/09
Time:
12:23 PM

My name is Barbara Vail daughter of Clyde T Duke. To make a long story short my sister wanted to add our father to the hall of honor for his purple heart, so I went looking on the internet and came across this website and pictures of my father. I was wondering how I could get copies of the pictures and more information on his service. He never really talked about it to my sister and me. He has been passed now 27 years.

Thanks,
Barbara Vail

Date:
8/4/09
Time:
8:52 AM

My uncle was Harold G. Brown, 322nd Bomb Group, 451st Bomb Squadron. Then transferred to 394th Bomb Group, 586th Bomb Squadron. He was a bombardier stationed in England. He passed away a number of years ago, but as far as I know the family knows little of his service. He was in England in 1944 and attached is a photo of the crew. Harold G. Brown is the third from left. What are the names of the other crew members?

I am somewhat of the family historian and would appreciate any additional information that might be offered.

Terry Brown

…large image

Date:
8/1/09
Time:
10:01 PM

I have just returned from a day at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, WI. and thought I better send a note to the B-26 site.

The three largest planes in the world were at the show and the AirBus 380 had to leave the grounds before the two huge military aircraft could land – impressive air craft. The big draw for me though is still the War Birds area where over sixty WWII planes are on display and are used in the daily fly-bys for the afternoon air shows. There was one A26 that was used in a bomb run as part of the air show.

There is another area on the grounds that has become quite popular and has attracted more participants each year. That area is where re-enactors have set up tents, mobile hospitals, and briefing quarters dealing with WWII. They have created a highly realistic setting representing camps of WWII and the participants are very knowledgeable about events and activities of the era and share that information with great enthusiasm. Many of the participants are children and grandchildren of WWII veterans.

I am the son of a Marauder Man – Clarence V. Erickson. He was a member of the 391 BG – 575 BS who passed away in 1972 and did not talk much about his life in WWII. I had the opportunity to take part in a 391 BG reunion in Arizona in 2006 and had the privilege to meet several members of that group.

My trip to the air show was just another reminder to me of the incredible accomplishments that the Marauder Men and the members of The Greatest Generation made more than sixty years ago.

Thank-you and keep telling your stories – Rich Erickson

Date:
7/31/09
Time:
7:46 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Malcolm G. Edwards, 1st Lt., Bombardier
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 495
Years in service: 1944
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: The Final Chapter of the Battle for Arnhem Bridge. Eyewitness account by Lt. Edwards, originally posted here.

On September 26, 1944, all of the First Parachute Brigade of the British First Airborne commanded by Col. John Frost were either killed or captured in the battle for Arnhem Bridge. Col. (now General) Frost was captured, wounded at the north end of the bridge with less than 100 of his men. This epic battle is described in Cornelius Ryan’s book A Bridge Too Far. It was decided that use of this bridge would be denied the Germans, and on October 6, thirty-six B-26s of the 344 Bomb Group attacked the bridge. The bridge over the lower Rhine River, almost 2000 feet long, consisted of a 500′ suspension span over the river, the remainder supported by concrete abutments was over a mud flat. The suspension span was the target. The bridge was not destroyed in this attack, and one ship was shot down. It happened that the ship lost was “Nick’s Chick”, the plane assigned to my crew. While planes were assigned to individual crews, they did not have exclusive use of it. On this mission, First Lt. Herbert Moore and his crew were flying “Nick’s Chick” but our regular radio operator, Sgt. Norman Truax went along to try out some new radio equipment. Three members of Lt. Moore’s crew were later reported to have been seen in a Belgian hospital.

When I reported to the 344th Bomb Group, 495 Squadron, on April 22, 1944, on a replacement crew, bombing was by boxes consisting of three flights– a total of 18 planes. Only the lead and deputy lead carried a bomb sight. When the lead ship dropped his bombs, each plane following dropped theirs. As the bombs were released at pre-set intervals, this created a bomb pattern a hundred feet or more long depending on the drop interval. The advantage was that a large pattern gave a better chance of hitting the target. However, if the lead bombardier was off, the efforts of 18 planes and crews were wasted. The decision was made to bomb by flights and the number of targets destroyed increased dramatically. In May, 1944, I was assigned to Capt. Nichols’ crew and, after considerable practice bombing, we were designated a lead crew.

On October 7, the group again attacked Arnhem Bridge. We led the second flight. At the briefing we were told that 67 guns defended this target. The first flight was led by 495 Squadron CO Col. Jens Norgaard arid Group Bombardier Major James Brady. they hit the north end and approaches to the bridge but did not knock it down. As can be seen in the strike photos, our first bomb hit short of the bridge, allowing the heaviest part of the pattern to develop on the suspension span. Each plane was carrying four 1000 lb. bombs which destroyed the target. I noted a 35 second bomb run in my diary.

A commendation from the Commander of the 344th Bomb Group, Lt. Col. Robert W. Witty, states:

“On 7 October 1944, Capt. David C. Nichols was flight leader of the second flight in an attack on the heavily defended railroad bridge at Arnhem, Holland.

Despite the intense accurate heavy flak that the enemy opposed this attack with, Capt. Nichols flew a perfect bomb run and kept his formation intact. 1st Lt. Robert Warda, navigator, contributed highly to the success of the attack by his expert navigation. Taking advantage of the perfect bomb run flown by Capt. Nichols, 1st Lt. Malcolm G. Edwards calmly performed his sighting operations and was not in the least disconcerted by the flak bursting all about the aircraft. He dropped his bombs with the greatest precision directly on the center of the bridge and demolished it.

The cool manner in which this bombing team performs its duty under the most adverse conditions is commendable and reflects the finest traditions of the Army Air Forces.”

On December 2, 1944, we bombed Endorff, Germany, a fortified town. Both Sgt. Dollahan and I were seriously wounded and the plane heavily damaged by flak on the bomb run. We managed to complete our bomb run and hit the target. Even though we lost an engine, Capt. Nichols nursed the plane to an emergency landing at a deserted German airfield near Rheims, France. The plane was so heavily damaged that it was never flown again.

Date:
7/30/09
Time:
11:19 AM

I’ve got a couple of pictures I’d like to forward (if still possible) to Tim Dunn who posted about his father Ed Dunn back in Dec. 2005. These pictures are from my grandfather, Frank S. Cooper’s album who appears to have flown in the same 391st Bomb Group and 573rd Bomb Squadron as Ed. Please let me know if you can get these to Tim or not. If unable to forward, I will try some other means to send the pictures to Ed’s family. My grandpa had written these notes on the back of the photos. Thanks!

Picture 1: Ed Dunn & Joe Baker
Picture 2: Ed Dunn Flandreau, SD
Picture 3: Ed Dunn with a string of 50’s (my grand father also had a picture of himself in the same pose)
Picture 4: Ed Dunn & Mert Rhoda on the JU-88
Picture 5: Ed Dunn & Mert Rhoda

Ryan Cooper

Here’s an example of someone making a dedication page for another Marauder Man. Thank you Ryan!

Date:
7/29/09
Time:
6:59 PM

My neighbor, L.C. Stewart USAAF Maj. Ret., deceased, was a copilot on Flak Bait for over forty missions. I shared many a beer with him while we talked about flying a B-26. – B.F. Worden

Date:
7/29/09
Time:
11:32 AM

Dear Veterans, I am looking for any information on Tech. Sgt. radio gunner Paul O. Johnson of the 453rd Bomb Squadron 323rd Bomb Group. His pilot was Lt. Jerome F. St. Peter and I believe they normally flew the B26C-10-MO “Wolf Pack II” serial # 41-34865 with the call letters VT-X. The crew went down on the Dieppe Port mission on May 20th 1944 in the Aircraft # 41-43818. I am currently building model my friend Paul, the nephew of Tech. Sgt. Johnson and writing a article on the crew for my modeling club. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR TIME.

Sincerely,
John R. DeMaagd

Date:
7/28/09
Time:
3:08 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Frank L. Szarfinski
Bomb Group: 387BG
Bomb Squadron: 557BS
Years in service: 1
Graduation Class: N/A
Class Location: MacDill Field , FL
Comments: Frank L. Szarfinski was a crewman on AC 41-17676, Piloted by Walter E Caples. He was killed during a training mission over Avon Park Bombing range, Fl in March 1943. I’m doing genealogy for his family and I’m trying to locate where he was buried. If any one has information about where men killed during training were buried I’d appreciate the help.

Heber W DeLand

Date:
7/27/09
Time:
7:13 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Ernest Rayford “Brad” Bradley
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 456
Years in service: still researching
Graduation Class: still researching
Class Location: still researching
Comments: Ernest Rayford “Brad” Bradley was my father. He is the man on the far left, marked “unknown” in the top photo on Dwight Edwards’ page.

I believe he was a Lt. at the time. He was career Air Force, retiring as a Lt. Col. in 1970 at MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL. He passed away in 1986, a highly decorated veteran of three wars – WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I still have his Navigator’s Kit in my possession. I am surmising that he was the added 6th member of the “Shirley Bee” crew, as he was not part of the original crew. I also have my mother’s scrapbook of the time that includes an original copy of the same photograph, as well as a newspaper clipping of a story from the Stars and Stripes that featured the photo. I also have secured his military record, and would like to create a dedicated page with photos and scanned copies of documents.

Thank you, Charles Ernest Bradley II

Contact made between Mr. Bradley and Phil Scheier!

Date:
7/27/09
Time:
1:32 PM

Mission Accomplished! A direct descendant of Paul E Rose was found!
To be continued…

Date:
7/25/09
Time:
3:49 PM

I strongly recommend that you consult with Mr. Don Hamilton, Executive Director of the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. I am confident that Mr. Hamilton could arrange for a plaque mounting of Sgt. Rose’s bracelet including the information concerning the crash and the finding of that bracelet by Mr. Noury in France. That plaque could be displayed at this wonderful flight museum in the city that Sgt. Rose called home. He would be among his own there.

Should a relative of Sgt. Rose finally be located, everyone concerned would know the exact location of the bracelet (unlike the situation if it is turned over to the US Embassy). The family could then be given the option of taking the plaque or leaving it in its place of honor at the museum. I have not discussed this with anyone at the museum but am sending a copy of this email to Mr. Hamilton. This is the very least we can do for a fallen air crew member whose memento has been recovered after all these years since World War II. Mr. Noury could feel relieved that the bracelet would be in good hands until and if any family member is located.

Sincerely,

Michael R. Morawey
Lieutenant-Commander, USN (RET)

Date:
7/25/09
Time:
1:44 PM

WWII Paul E. Rose bracelet leads to search for airman’s kin in Dallas

By MICHAEL E. YOUNG / The Dallas Morning News
10:19 PM CDT on Friday, July 24, 2009

The battered bit of metal poking from a French farmer’s field carried a name, a string of numbers and the ghostly outline of an aviator’s wings, but it had a story to tell, a story that stretches all the way to Dallas.

The field lay near an old airbase, used by the Germans in World War II until Americans captured it in the last months of 1944. The owner of the ID bracelet, Paul E. Rose, might have served there, the farmer decided. But the war had ended long ago, and finding Rose seemed almost impossible for a man with a farm to run. [Read more]

Date:
7/25/09
Time:
7:29 AM

Marauderman’s Name: PAUL E ROSE
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 584th
Comments: Article in 2009-07-25 Dallas Morning News about the Paul E Rose bracelet found in a field by a French farmer.

On the ABMC.gov site:

Paul E. Rose
Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # XXXX0652
584th Bomber Squadron, 394th Bomber Group, Medium
Entered the Service from: Texas
Died: 8-Oct-44
Buried at: Plot B Row 7 Grave 67
Epinal American Cemetery
Epinal, France
Awards: Purple Heart

Fred Preller

Killed 8th October 1944 in a mid air collision over base on a training mission. Crew: 2.Lt’s Frank W Roepke; Wesley V Smith, Jr.; Richard A Robb; Sgt’s Benjamin Oss; Paul E Rose; Harold D Lester.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/25/09
Time:
4:48 AM

Hello I am trying to contact Christian Dieppedalle from France who posted a message on 6/28/209 about the Paul E Rose bracelet. My mother in law is related to Paul E Rose through her grandfather. Her grandfather was Leo William Rose. His brother was Harry W Rose. Paul E Rose was Harry’s grandson. I don’t know if there are any other living family members from that branch of the family. Please forward my email address. Thank you! Arlene Mobley

Date:
7/18/09
Time:
9:55 PM

Hello, I have just read a request from Christian Dieppedalle of France. He is attempting to locate the family of Paul E. Rose who flew with the 548th. Bomber squadron, 394th. Bomber Group, Medium. On the WW2 memorial page/ Washington, his home state is listed as Texas. I am sure that the person who listed him was family or friend, so it may be possible to find out by contacting the memorial site, for further information. Mr. Dieppedalle is looking to return an item found with his name on it. I will try to see if I can get the information if it is not confidential, and will let you know how I do. Please post this so he will know I am trying to help.

Sgt. Rose is from Dallas Co. Texas and is listed as KIA on one of the gov. sites, however no one place his name on the WW2 memorial it was placed by ABMC cemeteries. I do not think they will give me any info. In the 1930 census Paul is listed with family members but how do I know if this is really his family as another Rose from the same co. was KIA. I contacted the governors office in Texas, and the Congressman from his district. They have no interest in helping. So I contacted the TV station and Dallas morning newspaper who were wary of my request but I gave them your site address so they will be contacting you to verify. They definitely are interested … probably the human interest aspect as their is less and less interest in general about WW2. I also mailed a request to the Dallas Public Library who told me they would have an obituary and any other item regarding his death. The TV station is KTVT, I spoke to a Mr. Pool and the paper is the Dallas Morning News. No need to reply except if you get something, please let me know. I will Get back to you when I receive a copy of the
obituary.

Here is a photo of the memorial of Sgt. Rose in Epinel Cemetery in France. I received this from Virginnie Benoit in France whose name I was given by ABMC.

Barbara Pallister

…large image

Date:
7/8/09
Time:
3:53 PM

We need help naming the guys in C Squadron Air Force Basic Flying School June 22 1942. Robert J. Peale’s nephew Douglas sent the picture for a dedication page.

Date:
7/7/09
Time:
7:59 PM

Hello, I found your site by googling Ernest Frey. A gal named Linda Robertson posted a request for info on him on 03 August 2003 at 5:29. I WISH I could give her the following info. IF you could somehow pass this on to her, she will find the info she is seeking.

HE wasn’t a B-26 Pilot. He was a B-25 Pilot, with the 12th Air Force, 57th Bombardment Wing, 321st Bombardment Group, 445th Bombardment Squadron, stationed in the MTO.

Frey, Ernest A., 2Lt., Pilot, Enlistment Service # :XXXX6178
Officer’s Service # : X-XXX404
MISSING IN ACTION on 08 October 1943~EVADED ENEMY CAPTURE And Returned to 445th Squadron on 13 February 1944 {MACR-1307}

The HISTORY of this group is a DAILY log of all 4 Squadrons of the 321st:
445th; 446th; 447th; 448th. And it is being written/compiled by John T. Fitzgerald, SMSgt USAF, Retired, with the assistance of many of the “BG’s” members and/or descendants. War Diaries, Mission Reports, Crew Lists, MACRs, Bombing Photos. It’s MASSIVE. http://57thbombwing.com/321stBombGroupHistory.php

John T. Fitzgerald’s Dad, Jack Fitzgerald, was originally a B-26 Pilot & (was) transferred to B-25’s. (321 BG; 446th Squadron).

PLEASE, if there is any way POSSIBLE, pass this on to Linda Robertson. Her Dad went on to become a Lt. Col. and serve thru the Korean War & into the VietNam era.

Date:
7/6/09
Time:
3:52 PM

My father, Frank Hubert Kouba, recently died. I would like to know more about his years of service in WW II. Frank Kouba, Dob—June 4, 1920. He was in the 323rd Bomb Group, 9th division of the Amy Air Force. Did anyone know my Dad to tell me more about his experiences? I have his uniform and some photos.

Thank you so much,
Kathleen Kouba

Date:
7/6/09
Time:
10:00 AM

My cousin, Jesse R. Maybin is listed as serving with the 397th Bomb Group, 598th Bomb Squadron as a co-pilot, was a B26 pilot during WWII. Bridge Busters and the patch they wore was a round black bomb that wore a top hat. I believe they operated in France, but I am not sure of that either. His name was Richard Maybin. If you can shed any light about him or tell me where I can find out anything I would greatly appreciate it. -Thanks, Richard

Date:
7/2/09
Time:
6:21 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Manfred “Manny” Blumenthal
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 453
Comments: My grand father Manny Blumenthal was in the Army Air Corp and flew 65 missions, anymore information would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Eric Blumenthal

Date:
7/2/09
Time:
9:28 PM

My father was David M. Jones and he was shot down over Bizerte in Dec of ’42. I think Odell Myers was his co-pilot on that day. If anyone knows his whereabouts would you pass on my e-mail to him . Thanks, Jim Jones

Your father is mentioned 3 times in Odell Myer’s book, “Thrice Caught – An American Army POW’s 900 Days Under Axis Guns” ISBN 0-7864-1225-9

Date:
7/1/09
Time:
2:00 PM

My father, Jan van Dokkum (deceased), was a bomb-aimer/observer/navigator in the 21st Squadron of the South African Air Force. I have his log-book which I read often, particularly when I miss him. He was Lt. J. van Dokkum (No. XXX824V) and his tour of duty in the 21st was from 19 May 1944 to 24 September 1944.

I read with interest Roger Best’s account of the conversion to Marauders and can confirm that the dates he gives for the 21st are spot on. My father’s log-book records his last op in a Baltimore was on 18 July 1944. The entry reads: “Bombed bridge NW of Senigalia. Two Bulls. 2 D/Hs on bridge. No opposition. Raid led by Capt Adam. Last raid on Balts. Stand down to convert on to B26s. Pilot and Gunners grounded O.T.E.”

The log book goes on to record that training on Marauders commenced on 28 July 1944 and a few pages later it contains a Certificate dated 12 August 1944, which reads as follows:

“Certified that I, J. van Dokkum, have been instructed in and fully understand the cockpit drill, and the operation of the fuel, oil, ignition and hydraulic systems of MARAUDER III type aircraft. I have also been instructed in and fully understand the emergency systems, action to be taken in the event of fire in the air and the method of abandoning the above aircraft.” The certificate is signed by my Dad and counter-signed by his Examining Instructor (the signature is difficult to make out but looks like Lt. N. Ricolay or perhaps R. Nicolay?).

Not much time was wasted (14 days training!) as the first op. in the new Marauder was on 15 August 1944 where the entry reads as follows: “Raid on Siding at Porto Maggiore. 4×1000. 2 bulls. No opposition. 8 Spits esc. Raid led by Lt/Col Jandrell.”

I would be very interested to get more historical information on the 21st Squadron, particularly during the time when my Dad was on active duty. How should I go about that?

By the way, after his tour my Dad was sent to 70 O.T.U. in Shandur where he was an Instructor (Bomber / Navigator) on the Marauder IIIF until he was demobbed at the end of the war.

Best wishes
Neil van Dokkum
County Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

Date:
6/29/09
Time:
3:55 PM

Dear Marauder B26 men, I am writing to find out information on a crash site at Avon Park Air Force Range. I’m looking at two possible crews:

Date: 05/31/43
Plane: B-26C
Serial # 41-34756
Crew:
FL O William R. Norman
SGT Leroy J. Bording
SGT Richard M. Condit
S SG Clarence B. Hughes
S SG John W. Collins
2 LT Milton O. Edwards

Date: 09/24/1943
Plane: B-26
Serial # 41-35237
Crew:
2 LT Leonard W. Shirey
2 LT Alfa Lomax
2 LT Arnold N. Dattner
S SG Glenn E. Harriman
SGT Howard G. Olsen
SGT Henry J. Berger

Anything that you could tell me about either one of these crashes would be greatly appreciated.

Kathy Couturier
Kathy, here’s what I found, not sure if it helps, but at least the second crash stated it was 4 miles Southeast of the Airfield Avon Park Bomb Range, FL.

KCR means killed in Crash, KCRT means killed in Crash on Take-off. The 5 stands for amount of damage to aircraft.

43-0531
B-26C
41-34756
478BS
336BG
Avon Park, FL

KCR
5
Norman, William R
USA
FL
Avon Park Bombing Range, FL
43-0924
B-26C
41-35237
480BS
336BG
Avon Park Bomb Range, FL

KCRT
5
Shirey, Leonard W
USA
FL
4 Mi SE Airfield, Avon Park Bomb Range, FL

Please let me know if this helps and also of any follow-up. Hopefully someone is planning on placing some kinda memorial or something for these lost airmen.
Don Enlow

Date:
6/28/09
Time:
12:20 PM

Hello, I am Christian Dieppedalle from France and I organized ceremonies in June 2009 in homage to the crew of the 1st Lt. Howard Hartley, fallen in Saint-Péravy la Colombe in France where in Memorial was built.

During the ceremonies, I met a Frenchman named Mr. André Noury who found in his field a medal having belonged to a crew member of 394th BG/584th BS, Paul E. Rose killed in an air collision on the air base of Bricy (near Orleans). Mr. Noury would like to send the medal to the Rose family in the USA and I seek how to reach this family.

[1] [2]

The Frenchman I’m helping found the bracelet in his field in 1993. Mr. Noury does not have Internet and he asked me to do this work for him, in the same way that I made research for the town hall of Saint-Péravy la Colombe and for the Chapman family in the USA for the B-26 fallen in Saint-Péravy on June 14, 1944. (see photographs)

I read a message of May 28, 2007 on your site from Mrs. Carolyn Ramsey of the family of the 2nd Lt. Charles “Chuck” A. Kemnitz which pilot and was killed to him also this 8 October 1944, but I do not know how to join this woman. Thank you with all those which will be able to help me to find this Rose family.

Here information concerning these two B-26 which ran up during the landing, on the air base of Bricy, the October 8, 1944:

B-26 F-1-MA no. 42-96271
2nd Lt. Roepke, pilot
2nd Lt Richard Robb, copilot
2nd Wesley Smith Jr., bombardier
Sgt. Benjamin Oss, engineer
Sgt. Paul E. Rose, radio (searching for his family)*
Sgt. Harold Lester, rear Gunner

B-26G-1-MA no. 43-34141
2nd Lt. Charles Kenmitz, pilot
2nd Lt. Harvey Blacher, copilot
2nd Lt. Alf Lundell, bombardier
S/Sgt. Charles Elyea, engineer
Sgt. Clement Eckes, radio
Sgt. Pink Fultz Jr., rear gunner

I ordered MACR report of this accident. There are 13 pages and 6 photographs. I also wrote to HQ AFHRA/RSA – 600 Chennault Circle – Maxwell AFB, Al – 36112-6424 to ask for the mission report of October 8, 1944. With these documents, I would know in detail the mission and the crash landings but to find the family of Paul E. Rose, that will be certainly more difficult. For the ceremonies 12th, 13th, and 14th June 2009 in France, I sought the families of the crew of the 1st Howard Hartley fallen in Saint-Péravy, but I found only the Hartley-Chapman family and the Neis family. The four other families are always unknown for me.

I thank you much for your assistance,
Christian Dieppedalle from France

Date:
6/27/09
Time:
1:46 PM

My dad was Harold McKinley. His nickname, at least here at home, was “Ace”. He was not a pilot; he was a sergeant. He didn’t tell us much about the war. He died in 1986. Dad flew in B-25s and B-26s during a period when they took a guy along to help repair the planes in-flight.

Dad served for 52 months. He was in New Guinea and Australia after Pearl Harbor. They sailed from San Francisco (search 22nd bg) but did not stop at Pearl because it was too badly damaged. He only told us about things like the mosquitoes in their pancakes and a really large snake that crawled through their tent one night and was killed on the runway the next day.

We have a bag of photos; some of them are recon photos, a lot of natives and some of the guys he served with. Dad said one of the guys in the photos walked too close to a fire with a jug of fuel and was burned to death when the fire caught the fumes.

I’d like to hear from anyone who knew or knew of Dad.

Thanks, Tom McKinley

Date:
6/27/09
Time:
12:15 PM

Hello, I would like to add my father, Hayward A. Hall, Pennsylvania, to your B26 page.

He was a member of the 394th B-26 bomber group, 585th squadron, and his flight log tells part of his story.

My father was on Darryl Lindsey’s wing on August 9, 1944. He was a member of the 394th Bomber Group – 585th Squadron. He often told us the story. Lindsey was the lead plane with 8-9 men in his crew. My father, Hayward Hall, was the co-pilot in the next plane on the left in formation. He was about 3’ from Lindsey’s wing when he saw smoke from his right engine. Dad often told us of Lindsey’s bravery and that he was given the Congressional Medal of Honor for getting everyone else out of his plane before him. Dad played bridge with Darryl.

My dad passed away in 2/13/00 and I was just going through all the memorabilia,

His birth and death dates are 1/6/21-2/13/00.

The pdf titled Hayward Hall & Fred Diffendale photos are as you scroll down:
1. Hayward Hall in an orange grove while training at Arcadia, Florida before assignment to Europe.
2. Fred Diffendale and Hayward Hall
3. Lt. Hayward Hall and Lt. William Billington
4. Hayward Hall in bomber jacket.
5. Hayward Hall on wedding day in Richmond, Virginia. Married Patricia Marie Gray, Pittsburgh, PA

Thanks for your site and everyone’s service.

Diane Hall Ammon

Date:
6/26/09
Time:
12:20 PM

Lt. Hershal E. Palmer, Pilot
Bomb Group 336th
Bomb Squadron 479th

I’m looking for any information on Lt. Palmer. I’m trying to put together a family history and I only know that he was shot down. Any info is appreciated.

Pat Gohmert

Date:
6/23/09
Time:
9:58 PM

Our father, William F. “Bill” Guyan, served with the 572nd Bombardment Squadron, 391st Group. He served in Air Offensive in Ardennes, Central Europe, Normandy, Rhineland and Northern France from January 1944 to October 1945. His hometown was Amsterdam, New York.

We lost our Dad unexpectedly on December 29, 2008. He was inurned at Arlington National Cemetery on June 5, 2009. We would love to hear from anyone who knew our Dad.

Will Guyan, Georganne Guyan Bender, and Betsy Guyan Donnelly

Date:
6/19/09
Time:
2:59 PM

Regarding post from Danielle Imo granddaughter Gordon Boyle. Date: 5/25/09 Time: 8:44 PM:

Here are some relevant information about this crew posted in 2008 at B26.com: http://www.b26.com/marauderman/david_vreeland.htm

As Danielle Imo apparently has few informational details about her grandfather’s last mission, I hereby notify about MACR 10465 for the Martin B-26 Marauder 43-34456 of 394th BG 586th BS, shot down Nov 18th 1944. I hope you can forward that to her.

From the 394th BG history book: “…November 18, when Captain Charles J. DeRitis, a flight leader since the group was activated, went down over Gey, southeast of Aachen, Germany, when he attempted to make a second run over a heavily defended target. Eight other men, including Lt. Colonel Clarence A. Howard, group operations officer, who was flying as co-pilot, also lost their lives on this mission”.

Further information about all the crew members will be found at http://www.wwiimemorial.com/ I have also added two photo scans from the 394th BG history book. The crew photo shows from left kneeling: Sgt. Reesman, T/Sgt. Junkins, Lt. Rushing, Captain DeRitis, 1st Lt. Del Pesco.

Standing from left: Sgt. Ranum, S/Sgt. Muller, Lt. Cox, 1st Lt. Boyle, T/Sgt. Diluzio, Cpl. Arwood. Names in bold are crew members KIA on November 18th mission.

The scan of 6th November 1944 shows Commanding General of 9th AF, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, decorating 1st Lt. Gordon Boyle with the D.F.C. at A-74 Cambrai/Niergnes in France.

The November 18th mission was #146 for 394th BG. 33 Marauders attacked the Strong Point at Gey dropping a bomb load of 41 Tons with excellent results. Gey is located in the Hürtgenwald area. The attached map scan does not show the location of Gey, so I have added an X:GEY between place names Lendersdorf and Maubach SE of Aachen; the map has belonged to a B-26 Marauder pilot.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
6/19/09
Time:
2:34 PM

Hello, my name is Joop Thuring and I am from the kingdom The Netherlands now a well accepted member within the EU. I have watched during my imprinting period the Air Armada involved in Operation Market Garden, September 1944. Now I am living in the town of HEESCH situated roughly 30 and 20 miles south of the towns of Arnhem and Nijmegen respectively. During the winter of 1944 -1945 the 2nd Tactical Airforce RAF had constructed an Advanced Landing Field, coded B.88 HEESCH. 126 (Spitfire) RCAF Wing was operating from the field covered partly by PSP. Pictures from this period are rare and most have their origin from Canadian sources, either private or from official sources.

Heesch was situated about fifteen miles south of the frontline at that time and one of the most forward situated allied strips. You may wonder that occasionally stranglers arrived including with USAAF backgrounds. On one b&w picture you may observe a Spitfire Mk IX, squadron code VZ – is for 412 RCAF Squadron – and in the background clearly a B-26 Marauder with a characteristic “white” horizontal stroke on the rudder. Recently I got hold of the book “B-26 Marauder, the workhorse of the Ninth Air Force” (written in Dutch). Apparently this white sign, in reality yellowish, is typical for 386 BG, I did understood.

B.88 Heesch was operational from December 6, 1944 till mid April 1945. I am guessing that this picture in view of the scenery had been made in the month of February or March 1945.

Do you have a clue of the backgrounds of this Marauder which was apparently in excellent condition as far as the exterior concerns. Your comments are highly appreciated.

Regards, Mr Joop Thuring

Date:
6/19/09
Time:
9:40 AM

Just wanted to share a link with you for Sgt. Joseph Newton Armstrong. There is another memorial page here.

DeCody Brad Marble, Joseph’s second cousin.

Date:
6/14/09
Time:
5:39 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Wilmer Keith Freeman
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 454
Years in service:1943 to 1946
Graduation Class: 44C
Class Location: Fredrick, Oklahoma
Comments: My name is Wilmer Keith Freeman. My daughter recently found this site and thought. I am 88-years-old and very much alive and well. I am curious to see if any people that I knew are listed on here. I flew 41 missions. I am happy to talk to anyone about my experiences.

Date:
6/9/09
Time:
10:34 AM

I was lucky enough to dive on the wreck of a B26 in Fiji recently.

I knew very little about the wreck, and locals didn’t seem to know much either, so my research has shown that it is this aircraft:

DATE: October 13, 1942
AIRCRAFT: B-26B 41-17590 & P-39D 41-7043
PILOT/CREW MEMBER: Richard T Otis & Earl W Kennitmer
LOCATION: 300 yards S of Etai Island, Fiji
REMARKS: 7 killed; no survivors.

I would love to know more about this airplane. I was wondering if you wanted to (a) make a note of its existence to this day and (b) might have any information about relatives of the crew?

It is a well known dive spot in Fiji, but the story behind the aircraft seems to have been unknown I have connected the wreck with the accident record.

It was from 38th BG, 70thBS.

You can see photos on Jon Hacking’s site. I would love to get photos of the plane pre crash or let pilots relatives know that a piece of there sons history still exists!

Regards,
Al Grant

Date:
6/8/09
Time:
4:05 PM

During WW2 my Grandfather, Bruce Newman, flew with the B26’s I have just recently found out this from my mother and his daughter but Grandfather was highly decorated from what I understand. He was rewarded the French Medal Croix de Guerre with palm. I would like to find out more info on my Grandfather for my mother and myself how do I go about this? Ant help would be appreciated. Thank you! Andrew Kline

Date:
6/8/09
Time:
7:48 AM

My father, Albert R. Cepull, took a lot of pictures of planes and mates while stationed in Bermuda (VJ-15 Utility Squadron) during WWII. He and his buddies took turns in the cockpit of a B26 called “Tornado from Hell”, see attached photo. Do you have any record or history on this plane? There is some speculation that the plane in the photo was painted to look like a bomber but we are not sure. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill Cepull

…large image

Date:
6/7/09
Time:
4:57 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James E. Day
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: ?
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am looking for any information on my uncle, James E. Day. He was a navigator/bombardier and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Sadly, he died in a drowning accident in 1956.

Date:
6/6/09
Time:
2:49 PM

Watson Lake, Yukon: a couple of men just pulled a b-26 from the lake. Very interesting find, the government is involved now and owners rights will probably be settled in court of law. The serial# is 11 digits different then the b-26 restored from the million dollar Valley. -Yours truly, Paul Amann Watson Lake, Yukon resident.

Looking for some information on a B26 Bomber see attachment. The story I was told when I was young, was the B26 landed for fuel at the airport in Watson Lake Yukon. It took off after fueling and had engine trouble and crashed across the lake.

Thank You,
Wally Wauhkonen

Date:
6/6/09
Time:
10:34 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Fred A. Morgan
Bomb Group: 394
Bomb Squadron: 587
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am Clifford E. Mann (one of 5 grandson’s of Fred Morgan). Granddaddy past away Dec 7, 2005 in Portsmouth, Va. He was a Gunner/Engineer. From the photo’s that I have, it shows his plane having Tail Number 118105 and the number 1995 on the nose. I’m assuming this ship was used in training? Another photo was taken at Chanute Field, Ill. and another one in Tampa Fl. Names of men that Fred has pictures of (that I could make out): Smith, Kurtz, Roth, Walker, Carrigan, Olsen, Svirsky, Detwieller, Murve, Dickman, and many others as well as “Pete the Mascot (dog)”. I would enjoy dialogue with anyone who knew my grandfather, Fred Morgan.

…large image

Date:
6/2/09
Time:
6:31 PM

Marauderman’s Name: William “Red” Farrell
Bomb Group: 453 rd
Bomb Squadron: 323rd
Years in service: 2 1943-1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Texas ?
Comments: I am looking for any information on my father or his squadron/group. The name of his B-26 was “Mighty Mike” and he flew out of England . He flew 50 missions. He told me he was shot down once over France and captured by the French Underground. He was the only survivor. I don’t know the name of the other ship he was assigned to. (Flak Bait ????) Any response would be much welcomed!! Dad passes away 11/11/89 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

William Farrell, Jr.

Thanks
Date:
6/1/09
Time:
9:15 PM

Hi I’m trying to find information on my great grandfather, William B. McDaniel, killed May 20/1944. I am 100% sure which group he was in I was just going on a couple of facts that I had found online. My family has always been told that his plane was shot down and I have found the following facts online so this may help you look him up.

MCDANIEL, WILLIAM B XXXX137 AAF 2 LT 05/20/1944

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks
Jaime Parker

Date:
5/30/09
Time:
3:13 PM

John Otto Dax Moench. I was named a pilot and commissioned Aug. 30, 1943 – and then assigned to the 336BG B26 RTU at Avon Park. With no B26 transition training, it seemed that I was destined to be a co-pilot, but that changed when instructor pilot Lt. Joseph A. Hauser concluded that I could handle the B26 and, almost instantly, I was made a first pilot and given an aircrew. Twenty-four months later, as WW II came to an end, I had flown a maximum of missions and not only was a Major but also the Assistant Group Operations Officer of the 323BG. I would like to think that this happened on my own, but it did not. The crew I was assigned and those for whom I worked are the ones to be thanked and I never forgot that. While I would like to thank all of them by name, that is precluded by space.

Nonetheless, I begin with noting that I was assigned a wonderful crew and, on joining the 323BG, rapidly tagged for left wing:
2Lt Carl H. Johnson (bombardier-navigator)
F/O Ferris J. Scoggin (co-pilot)
Sgt Charles W. Ewing, Sr. (radio)
Sgt Alexander D. Murphy (engineer)
Sgt Luther M. Perry (tail gunner)
and later Lt. Benedict F. Syslo (navigator)

Also joining the 454BS, 323BG, concurrently with the Moench crew and as soon tagged for right wing was the Eastwood crew. We became a team. The Eastwood crew consisted of:

2Lt William H. Eastwood (pilot)
2Lt E. Hirst Mendenhall (bombardier-navigator)
F/O Paul R. Currier (co-pilot)
S/Sgt H. R. Filipske (engineer)
Sgt C. N. Cawl (gunner)
and later 2Lt Edwin F. Laffey (bombardier-navigator)

And as to 323BG supporters, of special note were:
Col Wilson R. Wood (pilot, CO 323BG)
Lt Col George P. Gould (pilot, Squadron Operations Officer)
Lt Col Marion W. Morgan (pilot, CO 454BS)
Lt Col William R. Fitzgerald (administrative officer)
Lt Col Gerald “Jerry” Howard (pilot, Group Operations Officer)
Lt Col James E. Womeldorff (executive officer)
Maj Robert D. Dazell (executive officer)
Maj Vincent P “Doc” Hannley (navigator)
Maj William C. McLaughlin (bombardier-navigator)
Capt Charles B. “Doc” Sadler (Flight Surgeon)
1Lt Zdzislaw L. “Hank” Sobczynski

With only a month in combat, my crew had already flown 19 missions. Frankly, it looked like a return home would be only months away, but that was not to be the case as my selection to flight lead was made, and, advancing toward the time of the Battle of the Bulge, I was moved up to Group lead and made Assistant Group Operations Officer – and then the war would be over. In this short timeframe I had advanced for 2Lt to Major and, following, I would stay in the USAF to engage in the wars yet to come. Some three decades later I would retire as a Major General having served not only in senior USAF assignments but also in the U.S. EUCOM and CINCPAC commands and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

A good number of years after military retirement, on finding that the 454BS and 323BG did not have a published history, with the encouragement of Joseph R. Havrilla who was the long time leader of the 454BS Association, I undertook the writing and publication of Marauder Men, An Account of the Martin B-26 Marauder. One guideline to the writing of that history was to recognize as many of the associated Marauder Men as was possible – and, that being a limited number, an index of all the 323BG men was included (while a few persons were missed, the total amounted to some 5,000). No one succeeds on his own, and the record presented in b26.com proves the point.

I am now 88 and in poor health. Regardless, I continue to support the Marauder community as it supported me in the past. But the road has been difficult. In my association with the Marauder community, I have made and retained many friends; however, with regret, I developed some enemies. This is normal in any environment. I treasure the former and feel sorry for the latter.

Summarizing the ever-present situation, I will quote from my yet unpublished memoir: Their Wars, Your Wars & My Wars, In the Footsteps of a German-American Patriot. The quote relates to my return from Europe following the end of WW II and the flight back to the U.S.

I happened to sit next to a smartly dressed Air Force captain – the ring on a finger signified that he was a West Point graduate. This captain sized me up several times. My uniform was the same one that I had worn when I deployed to Europe, and it had been dragged through many primitive locales. It was now a bit shabby and smelled of the gasoline that had been used to clean it. My “sixty-mission” hat lacked a grommet and was impregnated with grease. And my well-worn shoes would no longer hold a decent shine. Reading the face of the captain, I saw nothing other than disgust.

In the ensuing conversation, the captain asked me where I had attended college. I told him that I had not been able to attend. In now deepening disgust, he looked at me for a minute and then commented, “How in hell did you ever get promoted to major?”

Taken back by the effrontery, I commented back, “And what in the hell kept you from getting promoted?”

My continued best wishes to all Marauder Men and Women. You form a great community, and, supported by Mike Smith of b26.com and other dedicated historians, may your lives and that of your family be one of comforting and pleasurable reflection.

Date:
5/29/09
Time:
10:07 AM

Hello, my name is David Luebbert. My uncle, Ed Luebbert, 387th BG, 556th BS, passed on about four years ago, but I remember that he was a crew member of a B-26 in Europe in WWII. He was a belly gunner (or it may be referred to by another term on the B-26) and engineer, working on the engines in flight.

I am an AF vet of the 70’s, and am now a retired Civil Service employee, now turning to aviation art as my career. I was wondering if anybody else knows what plane my uncle Ed flew on. If not, no problem, but I am looking for inspiration for a B-26 painting, and that might give me a start. I wish he were alive today, I’d ask him myself. Anyway, it’s great to see a whole web site devoted to the Marauder. It’s one digital model that doesn’t exist yet, though I can easily buy a real plastic one for reference.

Thanks,
Dave Luebbert

Date:
5/28/09
Time:
7:04 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Homer Ross McClure “Mac”
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 555th?
Years in service: unknown
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown
Comments:

Hello,

My name is Laura Morris. I am the granddaughter of Homer Ross “Mac” McClure of the 386th Bomb Group. He was the pilot aboard “Hells Bells” 131623 YA-T. I am the daughter of his daughter (one of twins born November 2nd, 1943, just three months before he died in his final flight in January of 1944). His son is still alive and living in Oklahoma/Alaska.

Mac’s wife, Bonnie, my grandmother, died in 1982. During my lifetime, I have heard many stories about my grandfather, including what we described as the “legend” of his death. Information was very limited at the time of his death, and although there were stories told, we have never been sure of how much was truth and how much was natural embellishment of the facts. The only concrete information we had was a heavily censured letter from Mac’s brother, Bill who was also stationed in Europe and the only one to ever see Mac’s grave site.

About a year ago, my sister, Michelle, found your Web site and forwarded to me a posting by an historical society in London, asking for information about my grandfather. I reached out via email to offer information and gain information about a memorial that was erected in memoriam of my grandfather and his crew. I have never received a response.

I would like to thank Chester Klier and all those responsible for managing this Web site (B26.com) for providing us with an intimidate understanding of my grandfather’s last mission that confirmed the stories my family has told for two generations. I would appreciate any other information that visitors of this site might have regarding his squadron, his services, his life during that period. We do have letters between my grandparents, and my grandfather’s journal, but there are many details that are unknown. I would welcome contact via email to this address from anyone who might be able to share more, or who would like information about Mac’s family and life outside of the military.

Thank you again for the dedication to gathering and providing this information. It means a great deal.

Sincerely,
Laura Morris

Date:
5/27/09
Time:
10:41 PM

319th Bomb Group, 440th Bomb Squadron. I have a silver certificate that my Dad, Francis Dickason, apparently had people sign during the War. Some may have been crew members but I think others were not although many of the signatures are hard to make out. Was this a ritual during the War? Does anybody have info on this custom?

David Dickason

A “short snorter” was a one dollar bill that had been signed and given to you by another person. If you did not have one, or if you failed to have it with you in the bar, you had to buy drinks for the house. You can see one here on Lee Goodwin’s page.

Date:
5/27/09
Time:
1:51 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Frank S. Cooper
Bomb Group: 391
Bomb Squadron: 573
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: 43G
Class Location: Del Rio
Comments: My name is Ryan Cooper, grandson to B26 Co-Pilot Frank S. Cooper. I have been researching my grandfather’s war experience and find this site to be extremely useful and has helped me get a better perspective of the achievements and heroism of all servicemen and especially the Maraudermen. As mentioned so many times, grandpa never talked much about his experiences and we wish we could have got him to open up and pass on some of those valuable bits of history. One of the few stories I know of is when an .88 blew up in front of them he instinctively ducked and when he looked back up there was a hole in the windshield and he felt something poking him in the back of the shoulder. He looked back to see a dent in the bulk head about where his head normally was positioned and reached around and pulled out a nice chunk of flak from behind him. My father still remembers playing with that piece of flak when he was young. I know he flew 65 missions out of Matching England and Roye France. He retired as Major in the Air Force Reserve in 1975 and passed away of conjunctive heart failure in 1996. I recently obtained all of his records, certificates and orders that my grandmother had in her possession including his WWII photo album in hopes to store the photos and his records on the computer. There are a number of fellow Maraudermen in these photos that I would love to pass copies of their pictures on to either them or relatives. These include Bill Kelly, John Colsch, John Kohler, Joe Cronin, Dick Snyder, Lee “Wimpy” Aubochon, Wally Ellertson, Harry Porter, Daniel Boone, Ed Dunn, Joe Baker, Lloyd Clapham, Parker Snow, ? Doebler, ? Beebe, Jack “Righteous” Jones, Geo Edwards, Robert Schmidt, William “Shorty” Edelston, Bill Connelly (Grandpa’s buddy), Geo Parker, Mert Rhoda, William L. Smith, and Wesley Carmicheal. I know the fait of several of these men but hope some of you may still be around and can tell us a story or two of our grandfather. We have a pic of his crew in front of the Pink’s Lady II with Harry Porter as pilot, Frank Cooper (cp), Wesley Carmicheal (bn), Richard Harris (rg), and two unknowns because we don’t have the original picture which I’m sure would have the complete crew info on the back. We also have a picture of him in front of “The Countess” which he said he flew once. There is a great picture of Dick Snyder and his crew in front of the “Baby Doll III”.

There are entries in the guest book that I would love to contact those in entries 3/1/2003 John Colsch’s niece Jan Huff, 1/20/2004 Parker Snow, 1/6/2003 Tom weeks-instructor, 1/5/06 Floyd Mauth, 3/13/01 Robert (Hap) Holliday, 8/26/00 Jack S. Jones relative. I know that is reaching back a bit but I’m hoping I can share some pictures and maybe receive more info and stories on my grandfather. This summer we are having a family reunion in conjunction with my grandmother’s 90th birthday and would love to have some more stories. I hope to be adding a dedication page to my grandfather soon.
Among the records I mentioned above I have only one sheet of recorded mission or sorties from number 30? to 63. I don’t know if it is possible to obtain the other records that would include his missions on D-Day and his last two missions but I was hoping to solicit Mr. Allen’s knowledge and database on this subject. I have seen some reference to a complete listing of all missions flown by the 391st BG and would love to either see that or find out how to get a listing of all the missions my grandfather flew including the destinations and results of those missions to create a map of some sort to display and for our records purposes. Maybe I just not looking in the right places. My grandfather also saved some neat articles from Yank magazine and other newspaper clippings that would be fun for these guys to read, although some are pretty brittle now to try and scan. Let me know if there is anything I can provide you with as I have already been in contact with George James and Dave Garnham and thank you for this great site!

My grandmother dug up the original photo of my grandfather’s crew, Frank S. Cooper, in front of the Pinks Lady II. As I suspected, he had written the name of all the crew members on the back so now I know who this crew was and perhaps Mr. Trevor Allen would know when this crew was together. They are listed from left to right as 1LT Harry D. Porter (P), 2LT Frank S. Cooper (CP), 1LT Wesley W. Carmichael (BN), SSGT Richard H. Harris (RG), SSGT Eugene D. Kessler (EG), and SSGT John J. Hogan (AG). According to other sources, all the members of this crew were shot down on a mission except my grandfather Frank was not with them for some reason during that mission. Is it possible to find out what the mission was, where they went down, and who survived? Thanks.

Ryan Cooper (grandson)

Date:
5/25/09
Time:
9:02 PM

Greetings, I found your site in 2006 and found a ref. to Sgt. Geo. F. Doran, gunner/radio op. His daughter had written in 2001 and asked if anyone out there knew her dad. I tried contacting her @ e mail add. she listed with no luck (5 yrs had elapsed). If by chance she or anyone else has questions about him in the 50’s, I worked for him as USAF radio man 56 to 58 @ Tachikawa Air Base in Japan.
I enjoy your site.

Sincerely
Harold Wright

Date:
5/25/09
Time:
8:44 PM

My grandfather was Gordon Boyle. He died when my mother was 6 months old. I was posting a blog post in memory of him for memorial day and I found your site. Thank you. This is what I know of my grandfather:

9th Air Force, 394th Bombardment Group, 586th Bomber Group Squadron.

He was a bombardier in a B-26 Marauder on a mission northwest of Aachen, Germany when his plane went down.

Thank you for your website,

Danielle Imo
Daughter of Susan W. Imo
Daughter of Marie Regner and Gordon Boyle.

Date:
5/23/09
Time:
6:57 PM

Stop for a moment today to pray for a soldier. Remember what they give up to fight for you and me. Honor their sacrifice. Never forget that we live in the land of the free because of the brave. BKA
Date:
5/21/09
Time:
6:19 AM

Hello, my dad, John C. Gregg, was a b-26 pilot and instructor. I’m trying to find any information to prove his veterans status in order to gain veterans aid for his nursing home expenses. He will be 91 the 27th of this month. The only information that I have is from recall of what he has told me in the past. He has no memory of dates etc. I think he may have been an instructor at Dodge City Air Field. May have attended training at MacDill Field. I know we were also stationed in San Antonio ?Kelly Field. He used to have an annual that listed him in the class of 44-D. Dad was from Pittsburgh and played football under Jock Sutherland at Pitt and was a member of the “Dream Team”. Graduated high school at Mt. Lebanon, Pa. and also attended Kiski prior to Pitt. If anybody has any knowledge of my father please contact me.

Date:
5/18/09
Time:
3:20 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Curtis G. Welborn “Piggy”
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: Pathfinder
Years in service: February 18, 1943-September 9, 1945 during war, after the war – Army Reserves until 1981.

Comments: My father was a radio operator and gunner on the last fateful run for ‘Sleepy Time Gal’ who was shot down on December 23, 1944 during the Ahrweiler mission. They also flew the ‘Weary Lera’ along with some other planes during the year he was there, but that day they got the ‘Sleepy Time Gal’ which was a good thing because the ‘Weary Lera’ didn’t make it back. My father kept a journal of the time he was in the Squadron which is very interesting. He had pictures of some of the men he flew with, such as Ray Field, Carl Ulery, Gene Checkmain, Bill Carls, Dale Bartels, Leonard Levin, Vaner A. Smith, Abraham Inkeles, and John Goolsbee, and in the journal he mentions William H. Geary, J. A. Mooney, and others. He had pictures of the ‘Weary Lera” and the ‘Sleepy Time Gal’ after she brought them home safely. In January of 1945, Peter Schenck wrote a story about her last run and it indicates that there were over 300 holes in her and the bomb doors wouldn’t close after releasing them. He died in August of 1981 in his hometown of Greenville, SC. If anyone remembers him, please contact me. Thanks, Amanda Welborn Dicken

Date:
5/15/09
Time:
10:25 PM

Hello, the family of George Parker invites you all to his birthday party on Saturday the 16th of May. This is his 86th birthday! George is having a big party – this is a great opportunity to come share your best wishes and say hello.

Thank you very much!
The Parker Family

Update: Mr. Parker died in his home in Columbia on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, from pancreatic cancer. He was 86. May 16, 1923 – May 27, 2009. Services will be held at 3:30 pm June 6 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, 2615 Shepard Blvd. His ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Date:
5/12/09
Time:
7:15 PM

The b26.com site left me speechless. This is a whole part of my father’s life that I just learned about in recent years.

More later.

Steve Kichen,
Son of Rubin Kichen, Armorer gunner, 397BG, 598BS

Date:
5/12/09
Time:
11:48 AM

Kenneth G. Servais BombGp: 323 Squadron: 456 Comments: Hello all you brave men out there. I am searching for photos of my father or any of his planes. He was a bombardier for the 456. His name was Kenneth G. Servais. Any mission information would be appreciated as he has passed. I know he attended many reunions in the 90s. Thank you in advance. Chris K. Servais

Date:
5/11/09
Time:
10:34 PM

It has been a number of years since I have posted here. It is good to see all the action.

My grandfather, Ernest Septime Petrowsky, was a member of the 552nd BS. He was from New Orleans, LA and was 6’2″. He was a radio operator for about a year and a half when he was promoted to Communications Chief. This was his last designation which he held for about a year and a half, as well. He was honorably discharged in Sept 45 at Camp Shelby, Miss. He was known by Ernest, Ernie, Trosky, Trowsky and Big Daddy.

Unfortunately, I do not have his DD214. However, I have 3 other military forms: Form 100 (Army Qualification & Separation Record), Honorable Service Discharge Certificate and Form 53-55 (Enlisted Record & Report of Separation). His battles and campaigns are listed as: Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe and WDGO 33 55. Does anyone know what the WDGO 33 55 means?

I don’t have any other information on particular missions or flights he participated in. Does anyone know how I might obtain more comprehensive records?

I am wondering if possibly he was strictly ground crew? As I read the posts, I see many references to flight crews but ground crews seem to be forgotten or omitted. I mean absolutely no disrespect with this observation. Just wondering if anyone has any ideas regarding this inquiry. And, if he was ground crew, if anyone knows of any sites out there devoted to support?

Again a great big thank you to all who gave some and some who gave all! I pray for those who still serve. My father and mother both served in the AF and Army, respectively. My husband was in Desert Shield and Desert Storm before his retirement in 2007. My brother is currently serving in Iraq. Thank you to all the veterans and their families who sacrifice so much to maintain the freedom and independence of this great nation. By providing the blanket of freedom I am able to tuck my children in with every night, they insure safety, honor, pride and legacy.

Very Respectfully,
Vanya (Petrowsky) Malmstead
1978-1994 Proud Army & AF brat
1994-2007 Proud AF spouse (AD)
2007-Pres Proud AF spouse (Ret)

Master Sergeant Ernest S. Petrowsky 386th Bomb Group 552nd Bomb Squadron. A total of 14 Master Sergeants are listed in 552nd BS roster. WDGO = War Department General Order. The book “The Story of the Crusaders” edited by Barnett B. “Skip” Young is the history of 386th BG in WWII. Information about missions etc should be available on microfilm from AFHRA at Maxwell AFB, as far as I know there are 5 microfilms covering 386th BG.

Regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
5/10/09
Time:
10:20 PM

This is all I know about my uncle. He died in 1959.

Leroy Pettibone
born 1921
enlisted in 1941 at age 21
S Sgt
455Bomb Gp AAF
WWII
AM & 2OLC

The last 4 lines are from his grave marker I would like to know where his missions were. I was told that he lost his legs from a plane fire in WWII

Thank you
Garnet Murphey

Date:
5/06/09
Time:
10:19 PM

My Dad, Capt/Major Sam Ackerman, was a navigator on 60 missions in the ETO in a B-26 during 1943 and 1944, including D-Day. He passed away in May of 1980 but talked very little of the activities in the war. He was assigned to the 386 Bomb Group of the 552 Squadron. I noticed a photo on the B26.com site of an aircraft with the name “Geronimo”. My dad has an extensive collection of photos which includes a photo of him and his crew (presumably) in front of the same aircraft with approximately 15 “bomb” missions painted on it, He also has photos with his crew of two other aircraft, “Winnie” and “the Deacon” . Do any fellow crew members or anyone else from those days have any information or memories of him from those years they could share with me. Thanks for any replies

Richard Ackerman

Date:
5/06/09
Time:
3:35 PM

I am Lt. Don Conley, pilot assigned to the 322nd Bomb Group, 451st Bomb Sqd. Captain Sterngold was flight commander. Col. Henry C. Newcomer was Squadron Commander and later became an Army General. I flew the number 2 position numerous times. I was never shot down, but many times had severe battle damage. Flew the 150th mission on Clark’s Little Pill. Never lost a crew member in flight. Lost original co-pilot Charles Harris on a mission with another ship. He was a Pawnee Indian and an exceptional pilot. I’ve tried to attend our squadron reunions but am not able to attend every one. I would love to hear from anybody in the squadron as I am putting together a book of stories about our exploits during WWII. I finished WWII with over 50 missions.

My original crew consisted of Charles Harris, co-pilot, John Sloan, bombardier, John Garcia, engineer gunner, Walter Olson, radio gunner and Carl Hendrickson, tail gunner.

I have contact with several former squadron members and am currently writing my memoirs about life after the war stateside. I was involved as VP of McDonald’s Corporation. I personally flew Ray Kroc many times building the fledgling company and went on to become the franchise director. I was also deeply involved in the marketing and promotion of the company.
I currently reside in the Palm Springs, CA area and am a member of The Palm Springs Air Museum. I have the deepest heart-felt regard for the US Air Force in WWII and would love hear from my brothers-in-arms. You can contact me.

All for now,
Don Conley

Date:
5/06/09
Time:
8:53 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd Lt. Donald Ezra Vail
Bomb Group: 336th
Bomb Squadron: 480th
Years in service: 2
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Turner Field, Albany
Comments: Although I was born more than five years after his death, my uncle Donald Vail was ever present at family gatherings. Donald and his brother were first good friends of my father, who married his friends’ sister.

I put together a webpage with info on my uncle Donald. I also have copies of the crash report.

Rodney Vail McCormick

Date:
5/06/09
Time:
1:02 AM

My Uncle, Robert J. Peale, his nickname name was “Buddy” which explains the name under the co-pilots window. The file name (excluding 0051) was the handwritten text on the back of the photo. Attached is a photo of the Texas Bomber & crew. Please be sure that both Brian Pitre and Carlos Guerreiro receive a copy of this photo. This is the only photo I have of this plane and this crew. I believe this plane is 41-32014, but I only know this from other messages in the guest book. -Douglas Peale

Date:
5/03/09
Time:
10:03 AM

Hello; My name is Joe Weiland, and I am writing on behalf of Jerry Tomasello, younger brother of Captain Peter Tomasello, who served in the 386th, as a Pilot on a B-26th. Peter was killed upon return from the war on his pre-wedding eve (his auto struck by another). As I sit here with Jerry, he is recollecting some of the stories about Peter and his role in the war. We have shared numerous photographs of Peter, as well as letters and other official military documents that Jerry has in his collection. He also has the medals from his brother.

He is telling me a story regarding his brother Peter III. He was the first pilot to make a “deadstick landing” of a B-26, with no causalities In addition to the aforementioned items, Jerry has a picture of the officers of the 386th Bombardment Group, 554th Bombardment Squadron, 9th Air ForceWW2. There are also pictures from the air of what appears to be strike photos, and a picture from the air of bombs being dropped from a B-26 flying close by, in formation, on a mission.

We also have a picture of the B-26 after the deadstick landing and a notation stamped by an Army Examiner. The not reads:…”B-26, Captain Tomasello-

After having one engine shot out over target, Flight 7, Bullay, Oise River Bridge, and other engine failing upon approach to field- one of 2 B-26’s of 9th Air Force to ever make crash landing with both engines out, without a casualty (confirmed by military enclosure). Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to Lt. Tomasello. Other members of the flight were 1st Lt. Raymond McMullens, 1st Lt. Maurice Mallinoff, 1st Lt. Henry Erb, and 2nd Lt. Donald J Amiot.

I thought that this material should be shared with other members and families who served with Peter. If you desire more info, and Jerry approves, I will continue correspondence. In the meantime, thank you for allowing this opportunity to share these memories and facts.

Jerry Tomasello.

JW

Date:
5/01/09
Time:
11:03 AM

I’m Albert Cremers from the Netherlands .

I adopted the grave of Kenner Everett L, 2lt, registration number X-XXX103, member of 322 bomb sq 91bomb gp/h/, died 17 august 1943. He is buried on the war cemetery in Margraten ( Holland ). I want tot get as much information as possible about Everett and his squadron. Who can help me?

With kind regard,
Albert Cremers

Albert, we are sorry but the crew member whose grave you adopted was from a B-17 Fortress. We only deal with Martin B-26 Marauder crews.

Best Wishes,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Mr. Cremers, thank you for honoring our troops. -Cheers, Mike

Date:
4/29/09
Time:
11:16 AM

I found ten missions noted for Lt. Palmer during May -June 1944, I’ll be happy to forward the info to Chris Lawton.

Thanks
John McCallum

Thank you for helping us John!

Date:
4/25/09
Time:
12:03 PM

For many years I am trying to find more information about an allied bomber that crash-landed in my hometown Tremelo (Belgium).

According to an old friend, who witnessed the crash-landing, this plane was a B-26 Marauder that crash-landed on 12.9.1944. One of the crewmembers died in the crash and two other were injured. Unfortunately, i can not find any information re identity of this bomber and the crew in the local archives. Maybe somebody can help me in this search.

Many thanks in advance,
Steven Volckaerts

Date:
4/12/09
Time:
8:47 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Richard A. Hilty
Bomb Group: 3rd Bomb Wing
Bomb Squadron: 8th
Years in service: 43-72 but Navigator / bombardier in B-26 8/10/1950 – 1/1951
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: Navigator / Bombardier in B-26 in Korea from 8/1950 to 1/1951. Flew 269 combat hours in 57 combat missions. Do you have info on the B-26’s in Korea? Do you any of the mission details? Richard Allen Hilty is my Grandfather and he is not in the shape to remember such details. I was wondering what the name of his plane was…do you know how to find that out? He remembers them having a name, but cannot remember his….any info at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Tim Bullion

Mr. Bullion, the Martin B-26 Marauder was not used in Korea but the Douglas A-26 Invader was. -Mike

Date:
4/10/09
Time:
1:49 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Donald “Danny” Snyder
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 587th
Years in service: unknown
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown
Comments: I am trying to find out information regarding the service of my mother’s cousin listed above. Danny was a pilot with the group and squadron listed above. I recently posted up some photos that Danny had given to my father which I posted up on another site. Please take a look at them and let me know if anyone has information regarding them. Thanks so much for any help that you can provide.

John Beckwith

Date:
4/09/09
Time:
8:19 PM

Capt. Darrell R. Lindsey, MIA
394th Bombardment Group, 585th Bomb Squadron
Medal of Honor
Martin B-26 Marauder Pilot

I was just this week reading different articles on Capt. Lindsey from several Google sites I found through searching the web.
When Lindsey Airbase in Germany was closed . The memorial honoring Capt Lindsey was sent back to the town he graduated high school in Iowa. Again thanks for honoring our great heroes — All our Marauder Men.

Don Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow

Date:
4/08/09
Time:
9:27 PM

Sgt. Joseph Pollock
391st BG
572nd BS

I saw the letter concerning Walter Bohl. My Dad was also on a ground crew. There is very little posted about these guys. He died in 1972. He spoke very little about his experiences. I am a Vietnam Vet. and unfortunately I didn’t say much either. I noticed that Walter was with the 391st and would love to contact him and his family. Maybe I could get some insight. Thanks for your website and your help. Jim

Date:
4/08/09
Time:
8:58 PM

First National Order of France Medal
CALLING ALL MARAUDER MEN WHO SERVED IN FRANCE

If you served in France in WWII, you are eligible for the highest decoration that France offers-The First National Order of France Medal. This award is NOT issued posthumously and now is the time to act to receive this earned decoration.

To apply for the medal the veteran must provide the following:

• a written request for the medal including name, current address and phone number.
• A brief but detailed and personal narrative related to your campaigns in France between June 4, 1944 and May 8, 1945. Include the dates and locations where he fought, his job/crew position and the bomb group and squadrons you belonged to.
• a copy of his enlisted record and Report of separation/Honorable discharge DD214 (front & back)

You may be able to locate some of the required documents on the website: www.archives.gov/veterans if you are missing any.

BE THOROUGH and be sure to include ALL the requested data listed above! send the documents and written request to the French Consulate in charge of the area you are living in : New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami, San Francisco or Washington. For example, The French Consulate in New York is only relevant for the veterans living in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. www.consulfrance-newyork.org

Date:
4/08/09
Time:
10:21 AM

Gentlemen, I am looking for a picture of the patches of the 322nd BG and 451st SQ to reproduce for father’s shadow box. If you are able to help, thank you in advance. I continue to enjoy this site. -Robert Moser

The patches are copyrighted by Walt Disney, and can be found, together with 322nd BG group insignia in this book by Robert A. Watkins: Battle Colors Vol. III. Insignia and Tactical Markings of the Ninth Air Force in World War Two (Schiffer, 2008).

Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
4/07/09
Time:
6:11 PM

To whom it may concern, good day, I am Col. J.C de Klerk presently serving in the South African Air Force at Air Force HQ in Pretoria. My late Uncle, Lt J.S. de Klerk, was posted for service on 24 January 1942 and was seconded to 223 Squadron, RAF and was killed in a flying accident in Italy on 25 April 1944 whilst flying a Marauder. He was buried in the Sangro River Cemetery in Italy.

I applied for his WWII medals which was issued to me in December 2008.

I am trying to build a bit of history and looking for information on him and the campaign in which he lost his life.

Any information and photos will be welcomed.

Your sincerely.
J.C. DE KLERK

Date:
4/05/09
Time:
2:02 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Paul H. Phillips
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service: 43-46(?), recalled for Korea (dates unknown)
Graduation Class: 43-G
Class Location: Laughlin Field. Del Rio TX
Aircraft: 41-31787 WT-K “City of Sherman”
Comments: After promoting war bonds in Sherman, Texas my father named the aircraft as he promised the people of Sherman if they bought enough was bonds for him to have an airplane, he would name it after them. He was a graduate of Sherman High School.

Aircraft art: In addition to “City of Sherman” written in bones, the aircraft had a Texas Flag on the left front with Texas Air Force written above it, the left side gun pods were inscribed “Me No Alamo”, the right side guns pods were inscribed “Me No Goliad”.

I know his CO was Col Wilson R (Woody) Wood and his Nav/Bombardier’s last name was Sloan (actually met him as his daughter & myself went to high school together in Bossier (Barksdale AFB). Sloan was a career office.

After finishing Combat training at Barksdale AFB, where he met my mother, He must have ferried the aircraft to England via the southern route as I remember him saying he had flown out of Africa. I remember him mentioning missions to Amsterdam Schiphol, 4 missions to Dieppe and at least 3 during the D-Day invasion. He was sent stateside before the Sqd. moved to France to train at Chennault AFB, Lake Charles, LA in B-29’s to drop the BIG one.

I would like to add that one of my father’s claims to fame was that while flying the “City of Sherman”, no crewmember was killed or wounded. He was very proud of that fact. That may also contribute to why the name wasn’t changed.

Additionally there are many photos & write-ups in the Stars & Stripes about him & the aircraft. Most of the lost photos in his scrapbook were taken from it.

Any information you can supply to me would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Paul H. Phillips, Jr.

P.S. I see Ben Vaughan has listed 1st Lt. William J. Miller as the pilot, he may have flown the aircraft after my father.

Date:
4/04/09
Time:
9:55 PM

I’m Anthony V. Caezza, SGT, and I haven’t posted here in a number of years. I am looking to contact some pilots or families of pilots that my dad flew with to see if there are photos of him out there or photos and names of planes he flew in. He was in the 323rd bomb group and the 456th bomb squadron. I have contacted pilot families of Ted Harwood and Lt. Oropallo. But I have names of our pilots he listed in his diary of missions I would like to contact or their family members. They are: Lt. Linger, Capt. Compton, Lt. Guldemond and Lt. R.A.Watson. I am not sure if dad has the spellings correct of the names but that’s how they read in the diary If anyone has info on these four pilots please contact me by posting info here. I don’t see and emails listed maybe we are not allowed to post emails so i won’t try to. Thanks, Joe Caezza

Date:
4/04/09
Time:
12:46 PM

Thank You for this Web Site! I enjoy it very much! -Jimmie Davis

You’re welcome!

Date:
4/03/09
Time:
8:46 PM

What great website! My name is Santo Endrizzi and I was with the 344th bomb group, 495th bomb squadron. I was stationed in Bishop Storferd, England and Pontois, France, also Floran, Belgium. My job was Assistant Crew Chief. I’d love to hear from others in my squadron! I would love to help any way I can. My grandson just found this sight for me. My daughter, Marion, has photos she can send to you. She will be home soon. I have many memories of the 495th bomb squadron I’d love to share.

I joined the Air Force in October 1942 and went to Symour Johnson Field, Goldsboro, NC I graduated from mechanic school and went to Fort Meyers gunnery school. I then went to Lakeland, FL and was assigned to B26s. From there I went to Hunter Field, GA, then to Camp Kilmer, NY. We took the Queen Elizabeth to Glasglow, Scotland. Then I traveled by train to Bishop Storford where he worked as an Airplane Engine Mechanic 747.
After six months I went to Pontois, France. From there I went to Floren, Belgium.

After D-Day we were shipped back to Pontois with a new plane, A26 ready to depart for the Pacific with the 671st group. The war ended and we were the first to be sent home from Marseille, France

I was discharged October 1945 as a Corporal with the 671st bombardment.

As far as time off, I went to London and Paris on my day off. In London I visited friends from the old country (Italy). I met people from the same area of northern Italy who adopted me. On Sundays I would go to their home where the mother would cook food just like my mother. I still keep in contact with the son who is my age and still lives in London.

In Paris I often visited my cousin who worked in the railroad battalion of the US Army. I visited many tourist sites taking the subway everywhere. Paris was only 15 miles from base. I can’t recall Europeans buying my drinks. In Belgium my bike broke and I asked for a mechanic and found one. He fixed it for me. I wanted to pay him and all he wanted was two cigarettes! After that every time I passed his shop I would stop by to say hello and he would give me tea and cake. People were very friendly especially when I spoke French to them.

Buzz bombs A1 and A2s, only in England, three at a time they would come over the field, very low. Fortunately they never stopped there. A friend who was living in London and working as an interpreter checking Italian prisoners’ mail, missed getting hit by numerous buzz bombs as he happened to be out.

I never went to watch games. In Paris when I visited I would stay at Army canteens.

That’s it for now – thanks for all you do for this site!

Santo

How can we get more ground crew, assistant crew chiefs and crew chiefs to add dedication pages to the site? Any suggestions? My uncle Bob told me he was “65 (missions) and out (sent home)” and that he owed his life to the guys who made the planes safe to fly. Ground crew were there for the duration of the war, no rotation. We need to tell their story too. Thanks, Santo, you are the best!

Date:
4/3/09
Time:
7:57 PM

Dad was a tail gunner on a B26 Marauder, 391st Bomb group out of Matching Green, England. I’ve just seen a photo from internet and I swear the man second from right is daddy! Wonder if anyone can identify who they are. It’s a photo of a group of men in front of a plane with sharp teeth painted on it, I believe the caption says “first pathfinder unit crew”, anyway, THAT IS MY DAD!! Thanks. Betsy

Date:
4/3/09
Time:
2:17 PM

I received two scans from a gentleman in Poperinge, Belgium with regards to a search I’m doing for the identity of a B-26 that reportedly made a belly landing in that area.

On one of the pictures with the many schoolgirls there appears to be part of the serial, which can be read as “1 3 5”. If so, then this would make it a B-26C. Beneath the numbers it looks as though a letter is written, the letter B?

There are some losses with B-26s in Belgium in that serial range, but the locations of these don’t quite match with Poperinge so far, a town close to the French border in the extreme SW of Belgium.

Back in 2007 I posted another picture of this B-26, but then still more in one piece and not quite dismantled as on these pictures. Unfortunately the serial on that earlier picture can’t be read with any conclusion either.

Please note that the area was liberated in early 1945, so no MACR was filed. It is said that the B-26 made a belly landing due to gas shortage.

If any of the above rings a bell with someone, then I’m most happy to hear so and so perhaps solve this little mystery.

Thanks and regards,

Leendert Holleman
Brugge, Belgium

…large

Naturally, my question is who are the girls? That was one heck of a field trip!

Date:
4/3/09
Time:
2:06 PM

Marauderman’s Name: David Morgan Lawton
Bomb Group: 336th
Bomb Squadron: 479th
Years in service: 2
Graduation Class: 42
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am looking for anyone who may have served with my Uncle, 2nd Lt. David Morgan Lawton, or may have information about his squadron, fellow crew members, where stationed, events/details surrounding his crash. He was shot down in early December 1944; his plane crashed in Belgium while trying to land. The pilot was Hershal E. Palmer, Lt., 585th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group.

I have attached a picture of my Uncle and his crew. David Morgan Lawton is second from the left (Hershal Palmer is first from the left).

Thank you very much,
Chris Lawton

…large

Date:
3/29/09
Time:
5:48 PM

Welcome Home, Gentlemen. Found this site while browsing. I have a “work-in-progress” – a semi-fictional novel of the A26 through all three wars (WWII, Korea , Vietnam ). I want to thank any and all of you whom have already assisted me in collecting research for the book. And, I’d like to invite anyone with experience or my shared passion for this aircraft to communicate with me. I understand the Douglas A26 and the Martin B26 are different. However, I really would appreciate any response.

I’m a Libya ’66-’67 and Nam ’68-’69 Air Force veteran (dog man). I’ve always had a passion for war birds. The book I mentioned (String of Pearls) is about the Douglas A26. I did get to volunteer some repair hours on David Talichet’s A26 at Chino back in the early ’90s. I wasn’t able to get back to Chino before it was “transferred” to Aero Trader, and then ultimately to a Dutch air museum. However, I actually did get to “sit” in David’s Martin after he required an emergency landing at March AFB! It was an incredible sight to see that Martin parked amongst C141s and KCs. I guess that was before the IRS may have forced it into tax debt liquidation. I don’t know where it is now, perhaps still in MARC’s east-coast inventory.

Thank you for your considerate response.

Jon Hemp

Date:
3/25/09
Time:
2:38 PM

I am trying to find any information on my father Louis A. Silver. I believe he was a bomber pilot with the 555th Bombardment Squadron in the 386th Bomb Group. Does anyone have any information?

Thank you,
Annette (Silver) Lennon

Date:
3/25/09
Time:
9:13 AM

My father was John C. Beals, 319th Bomb Group, 1942-1944, North Africa, Class 42-D, Lakeland, FL; pilot and civil engineer – who retired as a colonel after a long military career. Although he passed away over 10 years ago, his life lessons of integrity, patriotism, and loyalty continue to inspire and guide me. If by chance you knew my dad, I would greatly appreciate any memories you might be able to share with me.

Individually and collectively, I do believe you are “The Greatest Generation.” Thank you.

Toni Beals McDuffie

Date:
3/23/09
Time:
2:04 PM

Marauder Man: John Bieber
Bomb Gp 344
Squadron 497
Years 44 – 45
Columbus, Oh.

Thanks to your web site I can now put a name to “somewhere” in France that my husband was based and living in a tent that very cold winter. From his letters I am making a memory book for his grandchildren that never knew their grandfather. He never wanted to relive his experiences so I am happy I do have his letters that give a little incite to life in their tent quarters. However since they were censored not much detail is given. His B-26 was named : YOU’VE ‘AD IT. Doris

Date:
3/22/09
Time:
8:50 PM

Marauderman’s Name: T/Sgt Robert E Blair
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 587th
Pilot: Keith B Fisher
Years in service: 3
Crew Position: Radioman/Gunner
Comments: The last flight of Thumper III
On December 2nd, 1944, we were returning from a successful bombing mission on the fortified town of Saarlautern in Germany. Everything was going smoothly until we got back into France. While we were in Germany, the French weather had turned nasty. All of northern France was covered with a solid cloud cover that extended down almost to ground level. We contacted our base in Cambrai and they said the weather there was as thick as pea soup. No chance for landing there. We’d have to fend for ourselves. To make a long story short, we crash landed in a farmers beet field outside of Orleans and hitchhiked back to base in time to participate in the Battle of the Bulge a few weeks later.

In the attached photo: Keith B Fisher, pilot, is on the left and Paul Griffith, engineer, is on the right.

…large image

Mr. Blair, It seems Keith B Fisher had a habit of writing off “Thumper’s”. On 8th February 1945 when landing at B-85, the nose wheel collapsed on “Thumper II”.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
3/19/09
Time:
11:46 AM

Max Petrisek, 95th Squadron, served 3 yr & 3 mo., Pilot, Graduation Class 43J. This is in response to Betty Anderson Hawthorne, Dated 3/10/09. I appreciated the gunners as your Dad. A squadron has a lot of GIs so I never knew your Dad but likely saw him. It’s satisfying to see the offspring paying deserved homage to their Family members that served. My best wishes to you. Ret. Capt Max Petrisek

Date:
3/19/09
Time:
11:38 AM

My father, Jim Hoel, who is now 87, was a bombardier / navigator on one the B-26 Marauders shot down on May 17, 1943. He appears in your Marauder Men story section – here.

His plane ditched in the Maas River and he was to remain a POW for the remainder of the war at Stalug Luft III until the “Death March” in 1945. Because of an extraordinary event, the discovery of my father’s watch 60 years after it was lost at the bottom of the “Mass”, and the other interesting stories of life as a POW, I have created a blog, telling my father’s story. It is “War Watch” and can be found here. This is the site I am requesting that you link to yours.

I have done a lot of research on the entire story and taped my Father’s story as well and I have gathered all of his wartime correspondence and other documents; but I am continually looking for more information from those who are familiar with any of these events or were a part of them.

Thank you all for your services and sacrifices for our great country.

Sincerely,
Rick Hoel

Date:
3/18/09
Time:
11:55 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Allen McSherry
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service: Feb 3 1942 to July 3 1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location:?
Comments: My grandpa Allen McSherry is no longer with us and I never got to truly know what he did, who he was, and his accomplishments during the war. Below is all I know about him. Any other information would be greatly appreciated.

He served from Feb 3 1942 to July 3 1945
He was a T/SGT when he left he served as a Bombardier/Navigator on a Martin Marauder B-26 he wrote that he flew 75 mission and crashed once
He was in the 9th Air Force – 323rd Bombardment Group/456th Bombardment Squadron

Distinguish Flying Cross (got this in Jan 44 and had 25 missions so far)
Air Medal w/ 2 silver and 4 bronze oak leaf clusters (I found a note from War Department that said he had 12 Oak-leaf Clusters. )
Purple Heart
American Defense
European- African- Middle East Campaign
WWII Victory Medal
Air Offensive Europe (a bronze star with each)
” Normandy
” Northern France
” Rhineland
Good Conduct

Marc, the following information may be of help to you.
On 25th July 1944 B-26 41-34976 WT-T “Bonnie Lee” ran out of gas in the landing pattern crashing into a wood 6 miles WNW of Beaulieu airfield, Hampshire, England. The pilot was severely injured with the remainder of the crew receiving less serious injuries.
The crew that day was 1.Lt Robert R Moore; S/Sgt’s Allen O McSherry; Raymond L Jolly; T/Sgt Kenneth J Brown; Sgt Joseph DiCarlo.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
3/18/09
Time:
4:54 PM

Roye/Amy airfield, France: ex-German, then US 391st Bomb Group–need help finding it

I’m hoping for help locating the ex-German WWII airfield in Roye/Amy, France, about 42 kms SE of Amiens. It was later a US Army Air Corps field where my Dad’s 391st Bomb Group [9th Air Force] was based after deploying in 1944 from Matching, UK. My Dad, Walter Bohl, and I are coming to the UK this spring for the 65th anniversary in Devon of Exercise TIGER [28Apr1944], in which Dad’s brother was killed, and I hope to take Dad for a sidetrip to Roye to see his old base, if it’s still visible and not yet a fast food parking lot. Dad has told me he was billeted in “the Mayor’s house” in Roye, so it would be cool if I could also show him that structure, if it is still standing. Dad was B-26 ground crew/maintenance, not flight crew.

Does anyone have specific knowledge of Roye, the airfield, or any French WWII veterans’ groups in that vicinity who could point us to these sites or who might even be willing to show them to Dad. We’ll have only a day or so of our vacation for this side trip, so linking up with a knowledgeable local person might eliminate wasted time looking for these sites, especially since we don’t speak French. [I know a little from High School.] Histories of the 391st BG [and Dad himself] always refer to the airbase as “Roye/Amy,” but I think the town of “Amy” is even smaller. Dad says he walked to the base in the morning from the site where he was billeted, so the airfield must be very close to a fairly compact town.

I have searched Google for exact location info, but found nothing. Aerial photos on Google do not seem to show it either. The website for Roye lists a nearby WWI museum [marked “ferme,” or closed], but no mention on the website of WWII, nor of any WWII veterans club.

Maybe someone who reads this has visited Roye, and can provide exact directions to the former airfield, or tell me that it is no longer findable. Thanks for any help.

Anyone who knew Dad, please give a shout, too!

Date:
3/17/09
Time:
5:29 PM

Hello! My name is Peter Oakes. My Dad, George H Oakes, was a co-pilot on a Martin B-26 Marauder. I have all his records! Thanks for keeping the site up and running!

Date:
3/16/09
Time:
6:19 PM

Hi, I’m Brian Johnson, grandson of William H. Berry of the 556th Bomb Squadron. I thought the photo he gave me before he died on Mar. 9, 2002 would be a good addition to the site.

Date:
3/12/09
Time:
10:12 PM

Name: Staff Sergeant Donald L. Thomas
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
My son is trying to find information about his grandfather on his mother’s side of the family. Attached is his picture showing his rank and he was in the 9th Air Force. We believe he was in the 456th because of the attached photograph that he took while his formation was going through flak. The closest plane can be identified as the “City of Sherman” from the squadron WT marking and tail number 41-31787. Does anyone know the name of his plane or any other information? From his metals we know he was awarded the Air Meal several times. Would he have been awarded the Air Metal based on the number of missions and how many missions? Thanks, LTC John Monis (Ret)

Date:
3/10/09
Time:
10:51 AM

Dear Sir: I cannot thank you enough for your web site on the B26. My brother and sisters have enjoyed reading it repeatedly.

I would like to post the 3 photo’s enclosed of my Daddy, Diamond Hoover Anderson, 17th Bombardment Group, 95th Bomb Squadron, a tail gunner and Glen Hoatlin, and Earl Metzler.

I found Glen for Daddy a couple of years before Daddy died in 1998. I was never successful in finding Earl E. Metzler.

Daddy, his second wife, Pinkie, and my oldest sister, Dianna visited and meet this hero I have only known as “the man who saved Daddy’s life”. I think Daddy wanted to say thank you one last time or if he had the chance many years ago. With tears in my eyes and my heart pounding, I met this extraordinary man. My hero. It was a seen in my life I could never forget or could have never experienced with out Mr. Hoatelin.

The 1st photo is of Daddy and Glen on that day we all met. Daddy (L ) Glen (R). The 2nd photo is of Glen (L) and Daddy (R) in Florida in uniform. The 3rd photo – tent photo is Earl E. Metzler (L) Daddy (C) and Glen (R).

Daddy and my Mother, Ruth Woods, have six children. Dianna, Polly, Judy, Linda, Jerry and me, Betty. And sixteen grandchildren and fifteen great grand children, if I count correctly!

I remember Daddy telling me about a man that he called “tuff shit”. I asked how he got his name and he simply said, ”because he was tuff shit!” I think his initials were T.S. And we would just laugh and laugh!

When we were little, Daddy use to show us his scar on his back where the bullet hit him and he’d say, “that’s where the Indian shot me!” And we’d say “Ohhhhh, Daddy”. And in my adult years, we would come to know a very wise loving man. I miss him terribly. My Daddy, Diamond Hoover Anderson.

Well, Sir. Again thank you for your effort and love of the B26 men. God bless you and the B26 men and their families.

Love,
Betty Anderson-Hawthorne

Date:
3/9/09
Time:
7:02 PM

Second World War air gunner remembers lucky escape

DAYLIGHT bombing raids in support of the Desert Rats have been recalled by a former air gunner during a memory lane visit to a York airbase.

Ron Briscoe, 83, flew B-26 Marauders based in Egypt and later Italy. His squadron’s primary role was to fly bombing raids to assist the 8th Army and to support commandos who were clearing routes for 7th Armoured Division tanks during the mainland campaign.

Mr Briscoe told hosts at RAF Linton-on-Ouse about one mission which he was lucky to survive.

He said: “I saw the wing from another Marauder go whizzing past my turret. There were flames and bits of debris everywhere. Not surprisingly, it hit us and we lost an engine.

“The skipper ordered us to prepare to bale out so we all moved to our positions. After a while I noticed that the intercom was disconnected, so I plugged it back in and spoke to the pilot. ‘Oh’ he said. ‘You’re still there are you? Didn’t you hear the order to bale out?’ “I replied that we heard him tell us to prepare, but must have missed the next bit. ‘Right’, he said. ‘You’d better stay where you are and we’ll try to get back on one engine’.”

The crew returned safely to their base at Jesi near Ancona and were met by their commanding officer who immediately sent them on leave.

In total, Mr Briscoe flew 41 operational missions – enough to win him a Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM). But although a member of the RAF, his wartime service was spent with the South African Air Force and that meant he missed out on his DFM.

When the war ended, one of Mr Briscoe’s postings was to Staff Headquarters in Athens. He reported for duty and was told he would now be a driver for VIPs.

“Oh I said, that’ll be interesting. ‘Yes’ came the reply ‘you will meet some very interesting people.’ “I said ‘No, I didn’t mean that, it will be far more interesting for them… I can’t drive’.”

Date:
3/6/09
Time:
12:21 PM

A story about 2nd LT. James Richard Hoel written by Don Kochi. Ill-fated Mission to Ijmuiden was originally published in the Spring 2008 Issue of the Military Postal History Society Bulletin.

Date:
3/5/09
Time:
5:36 PM

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

Marauderman’s Name: Vincent J. Mosca
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 451
Years in service: ‘?? – ’45
Graduation Class: Glenn L Martin Service Training School 8/21/1942
I scanned in the actual certificate signed by Glenn L. Martin.
Class Location: TBD
Comments: This past weekend I scanned in some of the wife’s grandfather pictures from WWII and some other things. His name was Vincent J. Mosca. In a newspaper clipping, I found that the plane he flew in was the “Sarah E”. So I scanned in those pictures at very high resolution and found proof that was the plan he flew on. On the front landing gear door, I found the following:

Asst. Crew Chief – Cpl. V. J. Mosca
Grease Monkey Sgt. Chief McCarry

In googling I found a message in your guest book from 10/5/2004 8:34 AM. by John Smithwick. From there I found more information from 7/27/2003. I am interested in contacting John to know what information he has found on the “Sarah E” or if either of you have come across any additional information on my wife’s grandfather. If you have any additional information that would be appreciated. Incidentally I found and enjoyed Lee G Lipkis page. I am most interested in trying to find photos of “Sarah E.”

Thanks!
Vincent

Date:
3/5/09
Time:
12:00 PM

Hi, I work for a newspaper in Virginia near Washington, D.C. In a morning paper I noticed a letter to the editor that was compelling. A person from Wisconsin is looking for the family of Staff Sergeant Herbert M. King because he and others in his squadron will be honored in the Netherlands next year (May 2010). I saw that you have so much information on your site and thought perhaps you, or the historians you received information from, might have the resources and connections to help notify this man’s family about the honor. My father and brother were both in the military so I know if this were my family I would hope someone would do all they could to notify us.

Thank you and have a great weekend!
Leslie Perales
Observer Newspapers, Staff Writer

Chester Klier wrote about it here:

Date:
8/13/2004
Time:
8:51 PM

I saw the notice in B-26 Guest Book asking for data concerning a 323rd Bomb Group raid to Holland on December 13, 1943. The 322nd, 323rd, 386th, and 387th Bomb Groups all took part in that raid. They were the only B-26 Groups operational in England at that time. Each Group put up 36 aircraft. All groups bombed in continuous fashion. Just forty minutes later those same Group’s each put up 18 aircraft on the same target.

The target was the airdrome located at Amsterdam Schiphol, Holland (example) – not Amsterdam Beach as stated in your e-mail request. The 323rd Group had 31 out of 36 planes battle damaged, I have no record of any planes shot. On the second mission of the day the 323rd Group listed six men wounded, no planes of theirs shot down. My 386th Group had one plane shot down and 17 damaged on the second raid. I believe your date for a 323rd plane shot down on December 13th was in error. On November 3, 1943, they lost a plane to flak on the bomb run. My 386th Group was flying directly behind them on the bomb run. That joint mission was also flown to Amsterdam Schiphol, Holland. A story concerning all of the above missions can be found on my web page as listed below.

Both missions flown by the 323rd and other Groups on December 13, 1943 can be found on my web page by clicking on my combat missions number 054 and 055. The mission flown by the 323rd Group and others on November 3, 1943 can be found by clicking on combat mission number 037.

My information shows that Bombardier Lloyd E. Kisner flew with his pilot Richard E. Robinson in aircraft Number 781 YU-V in the 455th Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group.

You mentioned that you wish to contact Bud Hutton concerning a story he wrote in the “Stars And Stripes Newspaper about the Amsterdam Schiphol mission. I had no contact with him, but I can tell you that he and Andy Rooney (60 Minutes TV Program) just after the war ended co-authored a book called, “Air Gunner” Both Hutton and Rooney were staff writers for the “Stars And Stripes Newspaper during the war. Hutton flew four or five missions with the 323rd Bomb Group. Rooney flew three missions with the 386th Bomb Group, he and I shared one of those missions. I have been in contact with him in recent years.

Sincerely,
Chester P. Klier – Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Albert Hall contributed additional information about the Amsterdam Schiphol missions.

Date:
3/1/09
Time:
6:37 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James William Carver, aircraft 1876
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 555
Years in service: 43 to VE
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: This is my Uncles information that was given to me by his son. He was stationed at Great Dunmow and then in France. His name was TSGT James William Carver. Here is a photo of him (far right) in front of his plane – his stateside graduation picture. Anyway, I really value your work. Thanks, Mike Taweel

Date:
3/1/09
Time:
2:23 PM

Marauderman’s Name: William T Harrison
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 557
Years in service: 44-46
Graduation Class: 7/44
Class Location: Carlsbad NM
Comments: Just wondering if anyone knew my father or members of his crew. After this many years, I thought I would still give it a shot. I was doing research on his life as he passed away in 1962. He flew 7 combat missions as a bombardier and 12 combat missions as a navigator in the European Theater. I have attached 2 photos of his crew and plane. My father is standing in the back row, far right. Anyone who can provide any additional information, locations, missions, or names, it would be much appreciated. Pilot: D. Thomas Dayton, Cambridge, Ohio; Co Pilot Danny Donvan, Brooklyn, NY; B/N: Bill Harrison Bellerose, NY (Back row, far right); Engineer: Tony Corisdeo, Philadelphia, PA; Radioman: Lew Blatchford, Ohio; Armor: Russ Andrews, Connecticut

Thanks for a great website. Bill Harrison Jr.

Date:
2/26/09
Time:
11:04 AM

My father, Robert E Kamm, 397th Bomb Group, 598th Bomb Squadron, Engineer Gunner, was a waist gunner on a Martin B26 Marauder in World War II. I believe the name of the plane was “Old Ned”. I do have a few pictures of the crew and plane. -Teresa Kamm

Date:
2/24/09
Time:
5:54 PM

Marauderman’s Name: John Demarest, Jr.
Bomb Group: 386th Bomb Squadron: 553rd & 552nd
Years in service: Feb 42 enlisted
Graduation Class: SE 42-15 Monroe, Louisiana (graduated Nov 42)
Transferred to MacDill Field, Nov 42 Transferred to Lake Charles, LA, Feb 43Departed for England from Selfridge, Michigan, May 43Transferred to Photo Recon 4 July 44
Comments: My father, John Demarest, Jr., was a navigator in the 386th from the time the group landed in England until he was transferred to Photo Reconnaissance in July 1944. He was awarded a Silver Star on April 23, 1944 under HQ 9th Air Force General Orders Number 106. I do not have a copy of the Order and cannot find a copy. I contacted the National Personnel Records Center and they had the citation for his Air Medal, DFC and 3 Silver Clusters but they couldn’t find the citation for the Silver Star, although his DD214 clearly lists the medal. Does anyone have a copy of General Order No. 106 dated April 23, 1944? I have a copy of General Order No 105 dated April 20, 1944 which lists all the awards for the 344th, 386th, 386th and, 391st Medium Bombardment Groups and which is 78 pages long, so it lists lots of people. I would be happy to send a copy to anyone who would like to see it. Thanks for all your help. Michele Demarest

Date:
2/21/09
Time:
6:35 AM

Hello, I would like to contact a John Muter, who I believe was a Sergeant Engineer turret gunner on a b26 stationed at Andrews Field, in Essex England in 1944, with bomb group 323 454 squadron. My father used to drink with him at the “Flitch of Bacon” Lt Dunmow . If John if no longer with us, perhaps I may have his relatives details so as I could send them some photo’s. Thanks’ Mel

Date:
2/21/09
Time:
6:35 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd LT. Robert Eugene Curtis
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: Jan 20, 1937 – March 25, 1944 (MIA)
Graduation Class: May 8, 1943
Class Location: ?
Comments: Parachuted into English Channel with crew, only Pilot E.F. Betts and Co-Pilot L. Burnett, Jr. survived and rescued after 74 hrs in life raft.

My Uncle “Bob” was the Navigator Bombardier of B-26 Marauder. He had 7 missions, the last fatal. They had received intense flak and lost their tail/rudder section. I was interested in finding pictures of him or his crew. Does anyone remember that fateful flight. I did some research and found that Mr. Chester Klier flew in formation with “Uncle Bob” on March 7, 1944. It was Uncle Bob’s first mission and Mr. Klier’s last mission in March of 1944 over St. Omer, France. Can anyone suggest a site to find if my Uncle’s remains were ever found. I found his Purple Heart Medal and was wondering if there were any additional metals post awarded to him (Air Medal). I appreciate the time and detail this site is offering to family members after 60+ years. Thank you! Connie Rood

The Betts crew: 386ths Mission 140
2nd Lieutenant E.F. Betts, pilot : rescued
2nd Lieutenant L.R. Burnett, co-pilot : rescued
2nd Lieutenant R.E. Curtis, bombardier/navigator : MIA
Staff Sergeant W.A. Van Damme, radio gunner : MIA
Staff Sergeant J.P. Brusman, engineer Gunner : MIA
Sergeant C.D. Powers, Armorer gunner : MIA

Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group

Date:
2/13/09
Time:
10:59 AM

I am hoping that there is still someone out there who served with SAAF 25 Squadron in Italy 1944/5, as I am trying to put details together about my late father’s war experiences.

Marauderman’s Name: W/S Lieut. Walter Hooper
Bomb Squadron: SAAF 25 (Balkan Air Force)
Years in service: 4 (In Italy 1944-45)Comments: Was air gunner/wireless telegrapher. Arrived in Pomigliano d’Arco NA
Italy June 1944. Initially served on Venturas then Marauders.

Jane Mulder
Cape Town
South Africa

Date:
2/13/09
Time:
10:59 AM

I am a docent at the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport Virginia. I would like to make contact with a local marauder crew to extend an invitation to sit and talk to a small group of docents on a Wednesday afternoon about experiences with the Martin B-26 Marauder during WWII. Cheers, Al Villaret

Date:
2/12/09
Time:
7:20 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Don Perkins
Bomb Group: 17th.
Bomb Squadron:37th
Years in service: 43 to 45
Graduation Class: 44 E
Class Location :San Angelo, TX

I am so thankful to find your website and to have a chance to find mention of people I have known in the service. I have scanned a great number of the post in your Guest Book, looking for names and units that sound familiar to me. I must admit that my memory has slipped a few cogs over the years, but the many interesting letters that are there has brought back many memories.

I only regret not having the time to read all the interesting stories of heroic men and their Marauders.

The pilot on our crew was Lucas Shanks, Copilot, Frank Costello. The gunners were Sgt. William E. Titus, Engineer Gunner, Sgt. Alex Webber, Radio Man Gunner. Sgt. George Gordon, Armament and tail gunner.

I was especially interested in seeing the post about Lt. Ed Dunn sent in by his son in 2005. His airplane was on the ground when we first landed at our new station ant Roi Ami France, December 3, 1944. He had been in the squadron that we were assigned to, I believe. The yellow triangle can be seen on the tail of his plane in the picture of it on the ground.

Near the end of the war our group was assigned A 26 airplanes, and the surplus crew members sent to finish out the war at Dijon with the 5th. Air Force, 17th Group, 37th Squadron. Recently I learned that my brother in law served with that same squadron in Korea after the unit moved there. I am not sure of his rank at that time but he retired as Lt. Col. William C. Lane. He was Bombardier / Navigator on the Douglas B 26 in Korea.

In answer to Sgt Wayne E. Young post 1/22/2002

I have been reading the posts in the guest book for 2002. I believe that I was on the mission you inquired about. The 17th. Bomb Group was on a mission to destroy a fuel dump a little way NW of Munich. We had taken the same route to a target the day before and had no trouble. As we approached the target, there was a huge thunderhead in our way. As we were making a wide turn to head home, as the war was as good as over anyway. One Me 262 made one pass through our formation and knocked down two of our airplanes, numbers 25 and 37.   A detailed account of that attack from the German point of view can be found in a book named “Fighting Jets”. It is part of the “Epic of Flight Series” by Time Life Books by Bryce Walker. The one Me 262 was piloted by a General Adolph Galland, He was acting as a spotter for six more jets waiting for us on the other side of the thunderhead. When he saw that we were turn to go home, he made his pass. Our P 47 escort could not catch him, but they damaged his airplane, so that he crashed landed and ran for a bomb crater to escape the strafing by our P 47s   He was wounded and I don’t think he flew again.. This General Galland was a big shot in the German air force.

I hope that you can still be found after this long a time. I have tried to tell this story to several people, but is sure good to know that someone else is interested.   I hope to hear from you again soon.

Thanks again for the wonderful website.

Don Perkins

Date:
2/11/09
Time:
4:52 PM

Raymond K. Rowland, 323 Bomb Group, 453 Bomb Sqdn. ETO 1944 -1945. I was a tent mate of Lt. Harrison L. Holmes “Buck”, pilot and his copilot, Lt. Thomas O. Cuthbert. They were lost to enemy action. Some time ago in these posts someone ask if a photo of Buck was available. I just discovered that I do have a studio pose, taken in the ETO. I will be happy to send it to any family survivor. The purpose of my post was to alert anyone from Buck Holmes family that I have a studio photo of him taken somewhere in France during our tour there in WW!

Date:
2/11/09
Time:
11:57 AM

From: Jim Hall-Columbus Ga. Re: crash of a B-26 My name is Jim Hall and I’m Vice-President of the Pine Mountain Trail Association … a hiking club which built and maintains the Pine Mountain Trail in FDR State Park near Pine Mountain, Ga. There is site just .2 mile west of Dowdell Knob Scenic Area in FDR State Park right beside our trail where a B-26 went down in the fall of 1952 we are told. We cannot find anything in newspaper archives about it, yet a local former contributing writer told me she recalls writing about the crash. She was going to look through her notes, but never got back with me before she died several years ago. We are told the plane took off from Lawson Army Airfield at Ft. Benning Ga. with a pilot, copilot and one passenger (Navy guy we are told “hitching a ride.”). Pilot and copilot were killed in the crash (passenger survived!) Ft. Benning is at about 540′ and the plane took off from Benning with low ceiling we hear and then just didn’t try to get more than about 1,300′ up. Well the crash took place at an area of …you guessed it…1,300′. Several years ago the passenger came to the FDR State Park office wanting to know the location of the site. He was directed there by the then asst. park manager (who didn’t get the guys name, address etc.) We still are finding bits of metal and rivets today and you can still see the impressions where the two engines hit. ANY information you may have about this crash would be appreciated, as we’d like to put a marker with the names of the pilot and copilot etc. Regards, Jim Hall, Pine Mountain Trail Association

Hi Jim, I am afraid that if the crash was 1952 then the airplane would have been a Douglas B-26 Invader not a Martin B-26 Marauder. Sorry we cannot help you in your search. Regards Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
2/10/09
Time:
12:21 PM

I’m trying to find info about my father, Robert Mathew Baker. He was a tail gunner in Italy and North Africa, he also flew over Monte Cassino. It looks like his records were lost in the fire, and other family members will not release what little information he left after his death.

I remember a “year” book he had, I think it was for the “Thunderbirds” I know it had a thunderbird on the cover, can’t remember the wing or squadron number. I once saw his picture in the year book with his crew in front of his plane “SUSAN”

Any help would be appreciated.
Bill Baker

Bill, the book you are referring to is “The Thunderbird Goes To War”, A Diary of the 34th Bombardment Squadron in World War II, edited by O.K. Earl, published 1991. 34th BS was part of the 17th Bomb Group. The wing is 42nd Bomb Wing. Next reunion will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on September 24th-26th 2009. Sgt. Robert M. Baker is mentioned three times in the book. On November 1st 1944 he got his orders to return to the States together with several other men, on November 4th 1944 they left for the States in the morning. There is also a photo in the book showing “Baker” in front of a Marauder together with five men. One of those, Schaffenaker, is also among the men with whom Sgt. Baker returned with to the States. They were based at Villacidro, Sardinia at that time. You mention the Marauder named “Susan”, this 34th BS Marauder had B/N 18, serial 41-35184 (photo scan attached). This Marauder was in service from August 3rd 1943 until October 23rd, when it cracked up on landing. The Crew Chief was Percy F. Martin. “Susan” flew 124 missions. Sgt. Robert M. Baker flew 62 missions and received 17 Air Medals & Clusters. I suppose libraries have copies of this book, and I hope this information is helpful to your search. Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
2/9/09
Time:
10:31 AM

Hello: I found your wonderful Web site devoted to posting stories submitted by former pilots and crew members who had flown the B-26. I have found another one of your B-26 pilots, Mr. John F. Neyenhouse, age c. 90 years.

I had found his name written on a flyleaf of a book about the history of Randolph Field I had purchased for my dad (a WWII veteran), and at my dad’s request, I researched many sites on the Web and finally found the gentleman who had once owned the book.

I telephoned him yesterday. When he called me back, I was treated to a delightful interview with him. He said he flew about 77 missions in the B-26, and took part in the D-Day invasion.

His military records to this effect are cited as well in the National Archives and USAF air incident reports posted online.

I hope to encourage him to check out your Web site and consider posting his story there

Sincere regards,
Holle Humphries

Date:
2/5/09
Time:
8:58 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Willie F. Cone, bombardier
Bomb Group: 344th bomb group
Bomb Squadron: 494th squadron
Years in service: 1941-52
Graduation Class: Dec. 1943
Class Location: Kirtland Field, Albuquerque, NM
Comments: Hi, I’ve been trying to find out who was on my dad’s crew. I wish that he were here so I could ask him, but he passed away in 1984. I know that the pilot of the crew was Rinehart. My dad had a picture of himself with 3 other guys in Charleroi, Belgium, labeled Arneson, Christ and Collier. He also had a picture of a tall skinny guy in front of a B26 with “Tom’s Tantalizer #II” painted on the nose, in a similar but not identical style to “Tom’s Tantalizer” that is pictured on the front of Carl Moore’s book. The photos that I mention will appear soon on this site, so please stay tuned. Perhaps someone will recognize some of the personnel. Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Martha Cone

Date:
2/5/09
Time:
6:35 PM

I’m trying to locate anyone who might have known my uncle, Lt. John “Jack” Bourlier. He flew B-26 and A-26 bombers with the 555th BS, 386th BG. I believe he joined the squadron in England just after D-day. The family history says that he was once shot down over enemy lines in France and was successfully repatriated along with his crew. Any information would be a great help. A photo is attached. Bob Bourlier

Date:
1/31/09
Time:
3:35 PM

Attached and for free use are two pictures. The first shows B26 ‘Stinky’ of the 556th B/S, 387th B.G. As captioned, is Flight Chief M/Sgt Joseph Gibson and S/Sgt Franklyn Fetzer. With regard to S/Sgt Fetzer, you have a picture of a ‘Fitzer’ of the 558th. I wonder looking at him if not he is S/Sgt Fetzer of the 556th. M/Sgt Joseph Gibson was my late father. The ‘Airscene Aviation Museum’ situated at Blake Hall near the 387th B.G. Ongar (Willingale) airfield contains many relics related to the 387th B.G. Regards, Tony Sabey.

Date:
1/30/09
Time:
8:40 PM

Hello, My name is Bill Fisher. I am sending you some photos of my wife’s father (my father-in-law), Richard T. Lloyd, 397th Bomb Group, 597th Bomb Group, that I believe you may be interested in. Unfortunately, I have very little information to provide as Dick is no longer with us. He passed away in 2002. However, when he was alive, his military service was not something he talked about very much. I know he was very young. I believe he was based in England and flew night-time missions over Europe. He also told me, he flew his plane between England and Brazil. Anyhow, the only other information I have to provide is what is printed on the photo of his crew.

Left to Right – F/O (Richard T. “Dick”) Lloyd (Pilot), F/O Wilson (Co-Pilot), F/O Zagariello (Bomb-Nav), S/Sgt Jensen (Eng-Gunner), T/Sgt Chatham (Radio-Gunner), Sgt Rine (Arm-Gunner). (331AAF) (23Oct.44) (2035) Barksdale Field , LA.

Thanks and hope to hear back from you.

Bill Fisher

Date:
1/30/09
Time:
12:00 PM

I am writing regarding the following letter on the site dated 12/5/2002. I have recently been in touch with Bob Schlotterbeck (misspelled in reply) who was the Togglier on the flight. After Bob told me about his experience I googled some of the names and came across your site and the letter. Although it was written 7 years ago Bob is still interested in contacting Gildas Saouzanet and discussing the flight with him. Because of the duration of time since this communication I was not sure if you were able to still reach him.

Just as an aside, my dad T/Sgt. Charles Leja (322 BG, 452 BS) returned to the ETO from a 4-week furlough just after the August flight and replaced Chapman as radio operator on the crew.

Charles K. Leja

Date:
1/25/09
Time:
5:37 PM

Ivan J. Breaux, 386th Bomber Group, 553 Sqdn. first tail gunners of Giles crew, Miss Mary plane. I was grounded in some in September, 1943 and finished the war as a plane mechanic. Find group picture on my page (6 crews of gunners with two missing). Can any #11 would be remember if this is Henry Hoppe? Or any know if other names (I remember their faces, but forgot names. I would like to send the picture to Rita Leskoske, No 70 of your list that you helped them, who was fiancée of S/Sgt Henry Hoppe to see that #11, left first bottom line.

Date:
1/25/09
Time:
12:09 PM

My husband, T/Sgt Robert L. Hypes, was a tail gunner on a B-26, The 9th Army Air Corp. He was in 3 years and in the European Theater. He flew 65 Combat Missions, had some crashes one on the white cliffs of Dover. He was with the same crew through out, mostly. One was wounded and sent back, but his pilot was Clarence Malcolm Nunneley and he’s alive well today. He will be 86 this year in October. He is the only crew member living and I am the only widow living. We communicate and talk about ounce every month. Robert talked about the Tuskegee Airmen who saved him from being shot down when his gun froze. He spoke highly of them and I do also. His crew was more like a family than a crew and they helped each other. They lived in a tent in France and I have pictures, cant send them have no scanner. They were presented a French Medal by President De Gaul in person. Robert passed away over 5 years ago, I still miss him, we were married 59 years and 4 months. I still have wonderful memories. I am 82 years old, in fairly good health. I volunteer at a local hospital and enjoy helping the patients Doctors and nurses. It’s my pleasure to leave a little about my husband and his service to our Great Country. Sincerely, Marie E. Hypes

Date:
1/22/09
Time:
3:24 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Jay Martin Hatfield, Jr.
Bomb Group 323rd:
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service: ’42 to’45
Graduation Class: ’42
Class Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Comments: Jay was my older brother (12 when I was born), he has since died, and little is known of his Air Corp career. He piloted the “Bat otta Hell, II” in the White Tail Squadron, and I understand that the Group received the “Distinguished Unit Citation” for their heroic efforts over Germany. Jay crash-landed in Luxembourg in ’44, and some of his crew survived. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone, and does anyone have knowledge of Jay or his crew? I am trying to gather info about my brother for his sons and for my grandsons. All of Jay’s records were destroyed during a failed second marriage, so we have little to go by. Any light your readers could shed on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Don Hatfield

Don,
Your brother Jay actually joined the 455th Squadron during the “Battle of the Bulge” in December 1944. His serial number was X-XX3746. He received the Purple Heart for a mission that he flew on March 2, 1945

The first mission I could find for him was January 5, 1945 to the Ahrweiler RR Bridge where he flew as co-pilot for a 2nd Lt. H Vaughan in 41-34908 YU-A. It was not unusual for new pilots to fly their first few missions as a co-pilot until they became familiar with mission operations. I attached a 9th Air Force press release from that day’s mission.

The crew that normally flew with him was as follows:

Pilot 2nd Lt. Jay M. Hatfield
Copilot 2nd Lt. John J. Bursek
Bomb/Navigator T/Sgt. James C. Christy
Radio/Gunner Sgt. Peter J. Tiardovich
Flight Eng/Gunner Sgt. Howard L. Yeager
Tail Gunner Sgt. James S Wooten

A few of the B-26’s that he flew in were:
42-107661 YU-Z
42-96208 YU-V
41-34952 YU-Q Anhuac Lion
43-34118 YU-Y

Most of the aircraft did not have names except for the Anhuac Lion. I did not have enough time to research all of the records so I didn’t find a record of him flying the “Bat otta Hell II”. But since that B-26 did belong to the 455th Squadron it is possible he did fly it.

The mission that earned him the Purple Heart was the March 2nd 1945 mission to the Sinzig Rail Road Bridge . The B-26 they were flying that day was the same one he flew on his first mission, 41-34908 YU-A. Your brother was flying as the left wingman for the lead aircraft of that mission in Box I. A total of 36 B-26s, two Boxes of 18, from the 323rd BG were dispatched that day. It was a high priority, maximum effort target. Your brother Jay was flying at 12,000 feet and the FLAK was moderate to fairly accurate when he was hit on the bomb run. They reported seeing him leave the formation with hydraulic fluid pouring out of his bomb bay doors. He was able to make it back to a base at A97, Sanweiler, Luxemburg where he made a crash landing. The tail gunner Sgt Wooten was killed in the crash landing. Everyone else was wounded and taken to the 18th Evacuation Hospital .

Roy Bozych
Historian
323rd BG & 454th BS

Date:
1/22/09
Time:
10:30 AM

My father, Elmer C Freeman, was a B-26 pilot in WWII — he was shot down over France and spent time in Buchenwald Concentration Camp and then a Luftwaffe POW camp. Below is an article about him and a French underground family that hid him out after he was shot down. -Mike “Dreamin” Freeman, 36 EWS

Date:
1/21/09
Time:
2:54 PM

“Sweatin’ Five” 387th Bombardment Group, 556th Squadron, Sn: 41-31811, Squadron Code: FW-X, Pilot- 2 Lt. Edward Walker

On February 14, 1945, the “Sweatin’ Five,” piloted by 2Lt Edward Walker as hit by flak, The made it back to base, but it crashed on landing. The crew survived. Anyone of any information on the names of the crew that mission or further details of the accident? -Brian R. Donnelly

Date:
1/19/09
Time:
3:28 PM

Marauderman’s Name: S/Sgt Robert F McNeill
Bomb Group: 1010th AAF Base Unit
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 4
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Indiantown Gap, PA
Comments: Flew missions over Northern France; Normandy; Germany; Air Offensive Europe Campaigns. He also served in the PA National Guard for 3+ years. Military Occupation Listed as Airplane Mech Gunner 748. Honorable Discharge 27 May 1945.

My father, S/SGT Robert F. McNeill, flew on the B-26 with his friend Elmer Hansard. My father passes away recently, and I came across correspondence from Elmer to my father that I shared with his son, Michael on the phone today. I have viewed Elmer’s link from your site and was wondering if any of this group is still around to identify those in the pictures.

As I continue to go through my father’s things, if there is anything that I come across that would be of interest to the museum, can you tell me who I would notify?

Thank you,
Robert F. McNeill, Jr.

Date:
1/19/09
Time:
12:12 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Sgt. 2nd Lt. Robert Eugene Curtis
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron: Radio Operator Bombardier
Years in service: Joined 110th Obsn. Sq. Mo. N.G. Sqdn. Jan 20, 1937… missing March 25, 1944 in English Channel
Graduation Class: commissioned May 8, 1943
Class Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Comments: My great Uncle Bob’s plane was shot down on March 25, 1944. I found it very interesting to read the history of that fateful day for him and 5 other crew members. Only the pilot and co-pilot survived after many days floating and awaiting rescue. I have a box of his and found his dog tags, his Purple Heart, his letters to family and a diary. There are only a couple of entries as he began his entries in his little black book, titled, “My Part in the 2nd World War”. I find it haunting to think, if he, Uncle Bob knew this may be his last words to the world. I hope to preserve his memory and let the world know, Robert Eugene Curtis was a good man. The youngest of 3 boys, who grew up in St. Louis and enjoyed visits to the country farm during the summer. He was devoted to his Mother and was determined to buy her a new house with his earnings. He enjoyed letters from family and news of his brother, Frank, who was enlisted in the Merchant Marines. He had 3 young nieces (1 was my mother) and was always loving in his thoughts and prayers for them. His letters home mentioned how beautiful Ireland was. Here are some passages from “his book”. March 7, 1944., First mission in ETO. Target 3 mi S. Ayer (St. Omer) France Dragged thru clouds. No flak. March 8, Second mission. Bombed Airport deep in Holland. Good results. Some flak observed. March 13, Third mission. Bombed Target in Pas De Calais Area. Fair results observed. Some flak. March 15. Fourth mission. Target Marshalling Yards deep in France. Missed target completely 3 mi to right. Plenty of inaccurate flak. March 19, Fifth mission. No ball near Lt Pmer. Some bombed pu many & missed. Sunday hit. L. Wing hit by bullet casing. Intense accurate flak. His last words were dated March 23, 1944 after a mission. “Six & Seven. First Cril (unreadable). Marshalling Yards, France. Then RR yards Haine, St. Pierre, Belgium. Very good. Hit in face by glass on 1st due to falling casing. In summary, Uncle Bobby was a good man, dedicated to his country, his crew and his family. He always thought of others first and was looking forward to coming home. We still have no grave, but we do have his memory thru pictures and reminders of his life through his letters. We honor you Uncle Bob. I now know he was able to parachute out. He may have been the crew who was lost in the water and calling for help. He was not a good swimmer, and joined the Air Force to stay off the sea on a carrier. -Connie

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

Name: Dom Malchiodi
Bomb Grp: 344
Squadron: 495
Yrs: 1939 – 1945
Hi I have been doing some research on my Great Uncle Dom Malchiodi (from Connecticut). He died in WWII or I guess just after it ended in May 1945. He was flying a B-26 Marauder. It went down due to structural failure in flight. I have been told by my father that he actually was not flying that day with his normal crew but was helping another group out. My father also told me that from what he was told that the plane took a nose dive and that everyone died in the fire of the crash. I am being told that he could have possibly been with the 344th BG, 495 Squadron but again I am not positive. I have found out that his rank was Second Lieutenant and his service number was XXXX286.

I am getting a report from a website that lists the crash as follows:
DATE: May 31, 1945
AIRCRAFT: B-26C 43-34395
PILOT/CREW MEMBER: Dom Malchiodi
LOCATION: Oostburg, Netherlands
REMARKS: Structural Failure in flight My father gave me this photo of him with the other men and a plane behind them. My Great Uncle sent it to his sister my grandmother. This photo is believed to be with his regular group that he flew with and not the people who he was flying with the day he died. Do you have any suggestions for me as to finding anyone he served with? Right now this is all I know. Here is the photo. Thank-you, Chrissy

Hi Chrissy, 43-34395 crashed 31st May 1945 when its tail was shot off by its own guns, crashing near Oosterberg Holland. Lost on postwar training mission, non combat. The plane had only completed 9 combat missions when the turret gunner shot his own tail off. Crew that day was:-1.Lt’s Harrell L Foxx; Richard E Robinson; 2.Lt’s Dom P Malchiodi; John J Dimitre; T/Sgt John E Doyle; S/Sgt’s James J Dunn; Robert P Stout.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
1/16/09
Time:
2:29 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Samuel Belker, Bombardier
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 444thYears in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: On 8 Nov 1944, on a bombing mission (Battle 98) from Alto, Corsica to Carale Monferrato railroad bridge, Italy, my Uncle went down and was lost with his other crew members supposedly due to flak. The Cindy II was commanded by Capt David Hammon. Is there anyone left that remembers my Uncle?

Date:
1/16/09
Time:
11:42 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Thomas A. Best
Bomb Group: 323
Bomb Squadron: 454
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: 43?
Class Location: Myrtle Beach?
Comments: I am looking for information about my grandfather who was a B-26 pilot in the 323rd Bomber Group, 454th Bomber Squadron during WWII. I would like to find some pictures of him with his plane and crew or documents and information. He was active in Europe May 1944 thru Jan 1945. I believe he graduated pilot school in 1943? Can you help? He flew in:

St Lo (plane 256)
Cherbourg (plane 854)
St Vith (plane 322 and 348)
Brest (plane 256)
Chartes (plane 256)

The last name of his crew members on the majority of his missions were:
George K. Spradling, pilot
? Somers
Raymond H. Halstead
Caldwell D. House, radio-gunner
Alfred E. Carroll

Thanks,
Army SFC Robert Best

Date:
1/15/09
Time:
11:20 AM

I am doing research for a friend, Harry Johns, his brother, Charley M. Johns, died on July 28, 1944, at Lessard-et-leChene, France, with fellow crew members when their B26 Bomber crashed after a midair collision with a German fighter plane.

My question is how many missions would they be required to do in the 386 Bomb Group around July 1944. Answer: 65

Harry Johns went to France and found the crash site and talked with the farmer that saw the collision. He was able to recover some artifacts including the co-pilots dog tags – Leon C. Higginbitham. He will give them to Higginbitham’s family himself and tell them how he got them.

Marauderman’s Name: Charley M. Johns
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 553
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Engineer on 41-31805

Crew Members of B26 41-31805, BG 386 BS 553, Lost July 28 1944, MACR 7016
1st Lt Frederick o. Briggs (Pilot)
1st Lt Leon C. Higginbotham (Co-Pilot)
1St Lt Claude C. Cannaday (Bombardier)
T/Sgt Selwyn B. Danowitz (Radio)
S/Sgt Charley Manford Johns (Engineer)
S/Sgt Robert J. Birmingham (Gunner)

Contacts for Crew (the date on my page is 1937)
Mrs. Aline N Cannaday (wife)
Mr. D. E. Cannaday (father)
Mrs. Adeline P Briggs (wife)
Mrs. Hattie L. Higginbotham, (wife)
Mr. Jack S Danowitz, (brother)
Mr. Thomas Birmingham (father)
Mr. Ralph Johns (father)

Remains of Johns, Cannaday, Danowitz and Higginbotham (Misspelled one place on Cemetery web site) buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Section E Site 152

Remains of Briggs and Birmingham identified and returned to family.

I will send more information as time allows.
Thanks Tom

Help us find Mrs. Hattie L. Higginbotham or her descendants. Serial Number in image removed.

Date:
1/14/09
Time:
4:29 PM

I am Tom Silvey, the Nephew of Jens Norgaard, 344th BG, 495th BS. My Aunt Mary Jo Norgaard passed away on 1/10/2009. Jens Norgaard’s B-26 was named “Mary Jo”.

I ran across this site as I searched for the obituary. Please see below:

Mary Jo Norgaard, 94, of Chesterton, Indiana, died Saturday, January 10, 2009, at the home of her son, James Norgaard, after a long illness. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, January 17, 2009 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chesterton by the Rev. James Meade. Burial will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009 at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Iowa City, Iowa, with graveside services in the Chapel by Deacon Joe Behounek. Visitation will be held on Friday, January 16, 2009 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway, Chesterton, IN, with the rosary at 7:00 pm.

Mary Jo is survived by her children: Anders (Geraldine), James (Charla), Mary Norgaard, Ann Michaels (Fred), and K. Jenise Filiatrault (John); sisters, Edna Dick and Pat Lang (Don); 21 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jens; two sisters, Helen Griffin and Catherine Forenti; and brother, Thomas Silvy.

Mary Jo was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma on October 24, 1914, the daughter of Thomas Joseph Silvy and Mary Johana (Dierker) Silvy. The family lived in numerous towns in the states of Oklahoma, Colorado, Idaho and California where Mary Jo graduated from Stockton High School in 1933. She then graduated from cosmetology school and worked as a cosmetologist. Mary Jo Silvy and Air For Capt. Jens Norgaard were married in St. Mary’s Church, Iowa City, Iowa, on March 23, 1943. Mary Jo remained in Iowa City until 1945 while her husband fought in World War II.

After the war Mary Jo and Jens raised their five children while following Jens’ career at Standard Oil of Indiana refineries in Whiting, Indiana, Casper, Wyoming, Sugar Creek, Missouri, Texas City, Texas, Wood River, Illinois, and finally back to Whiting, Indiana. They retired to Florida in 1981 and lived in Mulberry and Haines City. After Jens’ death in 1989, Mary Jo continued to live in Haines City enjoying frequent visits from her family and friends until the three-hurricane season of 2004 when she moved to be with her daughter, Jenise. In 2008 she moved to be with her son, James. She was dearly loved and will be deeply missed by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Tom Silvey

Date:
1/12/09
Time:
10:27 PM

Hi, I have some very small photos of my father, bombardier Willie Cone, 344th bomb group, 494th squadron, and other B26 crew in France. I scanned them at 600 dpi, and they are still a little blurry, so I am attaching a couple of them as a sample before I compile the rest with text for a dedication page. Please advise me if I need to scan them at higher resolution.

Thanks,
Martha Cone

Date:
1/12/09
Time:
7:49 PM

I am finishing a model of the Douglas A-26B INVADER, ac serial 322369, ac code: RG A. This ac served with the 386 BG, 552 BS, 9th AF in the ETO. The ac was named “Stinky”. Can anyone furnish the name of the pilot and or crew members that used this ac in combat etc? Thank you in advance for any help you can come up with.

A.R.”Dick” Harris

Date:
1/11/09
Time:
7:40 PM

Frank “Hank” Sivie was my dad, he was a Sergeant who was in Guam and the Kiwi Islands in WWII as an airplane mechanic. He told me some stories about his time there, how he used to write to his sisters and girlfriend (later his wife, my mother) for “bobby pins” as they were using them to replace cotter pins which were hard to get for some reason. He told me many planes were fixed with bright ideas and prayers as parts and training were both in short supply. Living conditions, he said, were poor to poorer with most men’s shoes molding from the rain and food being in the same sorry state. But, he said, he loved his country and worked many hours repairing planes so that we could enjoy freedom in our country. Unfortunately, when he died in 1982, my mother destroyed all the pictures, letters, albums and memories he left including his drawings and pictures and letters regarding this time in service. Anyone know him or where he was? Thanks, I do appreciate it. Reta Berman

Date:
1/11/09
Time:
6:23 AM

Dear all, researching the local crash site of a wartime B17 F Flying Fortress of the 390th Bomb Group – 568 Bomb Squadron out of Framlingham 17. 10. 43. It transpires that the aircrafts Bombardier was one 2nd Lt. John R. Pardridge. All the crew of the B17 bailed out, and went on to complete their 25 missions – however 2nd Lt. John R. Pardridge was transferred to the 386th Bomb Group – 554th Bomb Squadron, the exact date I am unaware of. Your Squadron moved to France and was based at Beaumont-sur-Oise and I believe re equipped with the new A26 Invader. Apparently all I can find out to date is that Lt. J. R. Pardridge was KIA on the 31st March 1945 whilst on a mission to bomb EBRACH- Germany / Oil Storage depot. His Pilot was 1st Lt. Lincoln B. Stetson – and other members of the crew I am informed were 1st Lt. George M.H, Hurley and Tech/Sgt. C.H. Morgan. Does anyone have a photograph of 1st Lt. John R. Pardridge and the other members of his crew please?. If need be I am most willing to pay for any copy fees etc. I thank you for your time and patience as well as the sacrifices your members made for Great Britain in five years of total war. We shall remember them. Trevor A. Williams. Wickford, Essex, England.

Mr. Williams, the 386th BG 554th BS Douglas A-26 Invader in question was 43-22522 RU-P, MACR 13619. Crew members were: Pilot 1st Lt. Lincoln H. Stetson => Epinal American Cemetery, Tablets of the Missing Navigator 1st Lt. George M. H. Hurley Bombardier 1st Lt. John R. Pardridge => Lorraine American Cemetery, C-17-27Gunner T/Sgt. Charles H. Morgan Target is listed by 386th BG as Erbach CC (Communications Center). The MACR list target as Rothenburg, this place lies appx 50 miles E of Erbach. Base was Beaumont-sur-Oise in France (A-60). This link shows formation diagram for mission #388: Attached scan shows Navigator G.M. Hurley with his original crew at Lake Charles, August 1944. Regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

…large image

Date:
1/8/09
Time:
7:17 PM

Mark Studdert, I don’t know a lot about your grandpa, Lt. Harry M. Graham, but I do know in doing my own research on my uncle who also flew with the 319th that your grandpa was one of the original 319th Bombardment Group. If he flew B/N 19, as say he did, that was aircraft SN 42-43279 and it was called “The Old Warrior”. I couldn’t find a plane called “Graham’s Crackers” but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. The original 319th BG is listed on the here. Pilots, planes and crews stayed together at first but shortly after, to put out max. effort, they began to rotate. To put your grandpa with one plane and one crew will be difficult. There is a book named “the 319th in Action” that’s out of print, that describes the day to day missions from dairies. They are tough to find and you may need to go to the B26 Archives at the University of Akron to see a copy but they’re out there. Good Luck, Kent Prather

Date:
1/8/09
Time:
5:03 PM

Hi, my Dad, Arthur Edmund Thornton, was shot down over Normandy 7th August 1944 while flying as navigator with in a B26 of 585BSq 394BGp. I was born 24th December 1944. Last year Mum asked me if I would make up a model of a B26 for her, so I have bought an Airfix 1/72 scale kit and I would like to detail it with the colours and markings of Dad’s plane or at least one in the 585 Bomb Sq. Can you put me in touch with anyone left who might be able to give me info on this. I will send photographs that I have of Dad to you. I do have one of him and a crew in front of a B26 but at present can’t locate it – files are a bit of a mess since we moved into a new house January last year and got married in April – so combining 2 households into one has been a bit of a hard slog. Please feel free to give my contact details to any B26 surviving crew or their family. I did get one link which had a small picture and the 4T+Z aircraft designator but I am unsure of the fuselage colouring as it seems to be very different form those that I have seen for other groups all of which went well below the mid line of the body.

Hope you find the photographs interesting and will also post some images of other bits and pieces of Dad’s. I have visited both his final resting place in Louisville and where he was first buried in Normandy. I even talked to the son of the Lady at the Chateau where the plane came down who arranged for the remains to be buried at their chapel. -Regards, Arthur.

Arthur E. W. Thornton

Date:
1/7/09
Time:
6:33 PM

Hi, My maternal grandfather is Joseph Anthony “J.A.” Carraher in the picture under Miss Laid. I was wondering if anyone has any insight, or further information into the missions he may have flew in, or been in support of?

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph Anthony “J.A.” Carraher Bomb Group: 391st Bomb Squadron: 575th Years in service: ? Graduation Class: ? Class Location: ? Comments: Thank you very much for providing this wonderful window into history. Thanks, Joe Katz

…large image
…large image

Thirteen men of the 391st BG, 575th BS in front of “Miss Laid” probably in the ETO. In front: Ben L. Rosenberger Back Row: L to R: Zigmon J. Indyke, Ralph D. Smith, Phillip P. Holbrook, J. A. Carraher, Maurice N. Gillis, Leigh N. Shadel, Perry V. Nail, Llyn Spencer, Henry J.. Sommers. Rafael Carr, Virgil Archer, Verl D. Shelman

Date:
1/7/09
Time:
4:20 PM

My grandfather, Herbert W. Dent, from Alabama, flew B26s with the 391st BG, 573rd BS, in WW2. That is about all I know about him. The only remnants I have are his silk maps and his bomber jacket. Any info would be helpful.

Thanks,
Katherine Latimer Nieman

Date:
1/7/09
Time:
10:27 AM

I am writing a pamphlet about “The bombing of Baragazza”, a small village near the Futa Pass, between Florence and Bologna, which was bombed on September 11, 1944 by “36 medium bombers”. The target was the Headquarter of the 334th German Infantry Division, located in Baragazza, which that day was “visited” by Field Marshall Albert Kesserling. I simply need information regarding which detachment accomplished that mission. Thanks to the 57th BW Association, I know the “medium” were not from the 57th BW (B 25 Mitchell). -Thank you, Mauro Fogacci from Bologna, Italy

Date:
1/4/09
Time:
7:40 PM

I am gathering information about the following missions. Here follows the list of the mission accomplished by the 42nd BW over my area of interest – Marauders over Cremona. Unfortunately it is not complete as the source, the reel A 6309 from A.F.H.R.A. at Maxwell A.F.B., has several unreadable frames.

N° – DATE BOMB – GROUP – N° of Airplanes – TARGET – Results observed:
1) July 12 1944 – 319 BG – 24X B26 – Cremona rail /highway bridge over the Po River Bombs seen W of target
2) July 12 1944 319 BG 36X B26 Several d/h & numerous glancing hits on bridge; hits on N rail app. & at least 1 hit on road approach
3) July 13 1944 319 BG 22X B26 Majority of bombs in T/A, resulting in d/h and probable hits
4) July 13 1944 17 BG 23X B26 Cremona Highway bridge K 769178 Destroyed 30 pontoons leaving 650′ gap in the bridge; at least 18 hits completely destroyed bridge
5) July 13 1944 31 GBM (France) 18X B26 Cremona rail bridge K 853251 Bombs in target area scoring d/ h; other results obscured by smoke
6) July 16 1944 319 BG 8X B26 Cremona highway/railway bridge 2nd and 3rd span of bridge from N destroyed.
7) July 12 1944 320 BG 21X B26 Casalmaggiore rail/ highway bridge several d/h on the bridge
8) July 12 1944 320 BG 38X B26 Casalmaggiore rail bridge probable d/h on central and on E approach
9) September 2 1944 319 BG 18X B26 Pizzighettone rail bridge unreadable
10) September 5 1944 17 BG 18X B26 Soncino rail bridge possibly hits on W end of bridge; W approach cratered
11) September 18 1944 17 BG 12X B26 Pizzighettone rail bridge all bombs in target/ area
12) September 22 1944 34gbm (France) 12X B26 Canneto rail bridge 1st flight short, 2nd flight probably hit the bridge
13) October 1 1944 17BG 18X B26 Cremona rail bridge 1 probable hit on bridge, other possibly hits on structure & W approach
14) October 31 1944 17BG 18X B 26 Canneto rail bridge Mission aborted due to overcast
15)November 10 1944 319 BG 18X B26 Casalmaggiore rail bridge at least 2 spans of bridge on NE end destroyed; 3 a/c bombed a/a battery
16) November 13 1944 319BG 19X B26 Canneto rail bridge Mission aborted due to overcast
17) November 17 1944 319BG 6X B26 Canneto rail bridge Bridge not hit

Thank you,
Agostino Alberti
Cremona, Italy

Date:
1/4/09
Time:
6:14 PM

My mother’s uncle, SSgt Jack B. Hall, from New York, MIA, XXXX2393, Five Air Medals, Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart is listed on “Missing Wall” in Cambridge American Cemetery, England, was in the 397th bomber group, 598th bomb squadron. His plane went down on 6/17/44 and the only survivor was the pilot. I am looking for any information. -Thanks, Don

Date:
1/1/09
Time:
8:38 PM

My Dad, Peter Brennan, was in WW2 in the 599th squadron AAF. His military occupation was a rigger 189, in the battle/campaign Ardennes Central Europe Rhineland. I’m trying to find any pictures of him during this time in the Army. Growing up my mom had some of him, but were lost over the years. I was able to obtain my dads medals recently and made a memorial shadow box, but I need a photo of him for it. I would love to be able to find a group picture of the squadron and/or him. Any one with info, pictures, stories I would truly be grateful. His years of service were 11/1942-1/1946. Pat Wise

Date:
1/1/09
Time:
8:31 PM

Submitted by longtime b26.com contributor, John Moench. The Saglek Story, Artic Tragedy in 1942.

Date:
1/1/09
Time:
9:46 AM

Hello Alan Crouchman, my best wishes for a prosperous, happy and healthy New Year! I located in the Weekly Reports of Burial (WRBs) for the US Cemetery at Cambridge (Madingley), England, the name 1/Lt Wayne VAN SAUN X-XXX997 served in 387th BG (M) 558th BS at the time. In the Register for the National WWII Monument has been added that he was DNB (Death Non Battle), but his date of death is not recorded in it, nor in the WRBs. The burials in Cambridge during the war were effected strictly according to date of death. The U.S. casualties buried beside him in Plot E Row 2 were verified to have died around the 11th June 1944. I would appreciate to hear from you whether you have files from which can be distracted a) correct date of death b) circumstances of death. I found the site asking Google for the history of the 387th BG in WWII. Am actually finishing the manuscript for Volume III of ‘LOSSES of the 8th and 9th U.S. Air Forces in ETO during WWII’. It will be printed in Feb/Mar 2009 and covers April/May/June 1944. These losses for personnel and a/c are arranged chronologically. Within that framework the name of that Officer Van Saun should be included. Thank you in advance for your help. If I can be of service for info on 9th AF casualties in ETO during WWII, please call on me. Regards, John A Hey

Date:
1/1/09
Time:
12:01 AM

Happy New Year! The site is 10 years old! Let’s make a Big push this year to add dedication pages – come on, help us build the site!