Year 2011

Date:
12/31/2011
Time:
6:45 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Captain Joseph Winfield Scott
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 497th (?)
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: Columbus, GA (?)
Comments: My grandfather Joseph W. Scott just passed away and I wanted to contact your site. I believe the information above is correct. He joined as a cadet in 1942, got his wings in 1943 and went over to Europe and flew his first mission in March of 1944. I am not really looking for any information specifically but I do have some pictures, patches and other things he had including a piece of shrapnel dug out of his plane. He flew 65 missions in Europe and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters. I have always been very proud of my grandfather’s service and would love to contribute to your site. I would love to learn more about his service. His ashes will be laid to rest in Arlington this April. I have attached a picture of him in the cockpit of the “Lethal Lady”. We are still going through the pictures to see what there is but I figure I would start with this. Please email me back and maybe we can trade information.

…large image

Thank you,
Geoff Scott

Date:
12/31/2011
Time:
6:28 PM

Trevor: I researched my father’s missions through a company called Aviation Archives back in 2000. He was listed on 81 loading lists. He was credited with 65 missions. I noted only 3 aborts: one due to a frozen nose wheel, one due to a B-26 that blew out a tire blocking the runway and one where a B-26 on run-up blew a box of some sort into one of his b-26’s propellers. That still leaves 78 missions. I noticed that on many missions the group did not bomb due to cloud cover over the target. My question is this: Did they not get credit for a ‘mission flown’ if they did not bomb?

Wynn Anderson
Son of Winfred W. Anderson, pilot, 397th Bomb Group

Wynn,
The normal requirement to complete a mission was to cross the bomb line. Whether the target was or was not bombed was immaterial.
Regards
Trevor

Date:
12/31/2011
Time:
6:15 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Dale Bartels
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 454th, then 1st Pathfinder Squadron

Comments: I work with the grandson of Lt Bartels. I became cemented to his grandfather’s story in 2010, and began searching for any information about Lt. Bartels and his WWII experiences. The only mention of Lt. Bartels was from entries on this site posted by Mr. Grey Welborn and Amanda Welborn Dickens. So, the following is a response to both the Welborns, as well as a story of Lt. Bartels actions as pilot of the B-26 “Sleepy Time Gal”.

Lt. Bartels served in Europe from December, 1943 to early March, 1945. He skillfully brought 4 damaged planes down. He was drawn cadre from the 323rd BG into the 1st Pathfinder Squadron in early 1944. Lt. Bartels’ diary entry on 23DEC44, and a newspaper interview later in his life, states that he was a Pathfinder on that date, leading the 322nd BG to the Euskirchen RR Bridge as pilot of the “Sleepy Time Gal”. He and his crew were shot down by German fighters. Co-leading the 322nd that day was the “Weary Lera” (42-95878). It was also shot down, but the crew perished.

Lt. Bartels’ diary entry on 23DEC44: “Sat. Mission with 322. We were shot up. All of my gunners were wounded. Over 300 holes in aircraft. Right throttle shot off wide open. Air speed out, [Electric] trim out. [Hydraulics] shot out. Hole 5’ long x 2 ½’ wide in left wing. No breaks so went off runway on landing. Crashed in field. Landed at 323rd. We are all lucky to be alive. We all thank God.”

He returned to the 1st Pathfinder’s base with Lt. Hughes (Paul J.?). Two gunners remained hospitalized.

In my search for facts I discovered that there were TWO “Sleepy Time Gal”s in the B-26 ranks. One (42-95838) in the 344th BG had great nose art, and the name Lt. CG (Charles G.) Aldous under the pilot’s window. Coincidentally, that “Sleepy Time Gal” was also shot down on 23DEC44 with loss of that crew. However, a photo from the Bartels family of Lt. Bartels’ downed “Sleepy Time Gal” is clearly marked 42-107583. There is no nose art visible on the co-pilot’s side of the plane, nor is there a squadron code on the fuselage. One can vaguely see a portion of a 3 or 8, and possibly an adjacent “N”. One record reveals that 42-107583 at one time was coded N3-C.

Other damaged B-26’s that Lt. Bartels crash-landed:

42-95867 “Sharkmouth” 1H-A1. His diary on 05JAN45 stated: “867 will fly no more. 15 flak holes.”

43-34455 Crashed on take off after losing an engine at Peronne, FR, based on his 29JAN45 diary entry.

His last mission (50th): crash-landed an unknown B-26 on 16FEB45 near Eindhoven, Netherlands. His diary entry: “Badly shot up”. He and his crew belly-landed after flak severed a fuel line. “Gas was running out profusely”. The hydraulics were also damaged. They landed at a British base. His crew was listed as missing in action, but they made it back to the 1st Pathfinders’ base on 19FEB45. If someone knows about this incident or has a MACR, I would like the identity of the a/c if possible.

My hope is that Lt. Bartels and his crew will be honored and remembered. Perhaps a missing piece of the 23DEC44 Pathfinder historical puzzle will be restored as well. I was given permission to read Lt. Bartels war diary. He spoke fondly of his wife, Ida, who lives in South Dakota at age 90. He mentioned the names of several pilots with whom he hunted, fished, and flew. It’s been my privilege to interact with the Bartels family who would appreciate hearing from anyone having further knowledge or photos of the “Sleepy Time Gal”.

Wishing the Bartels, the Welborns, and the B-26 family a happy and healthy new year!

Ed Stegeman

Date:
12/21/2011
Time:
5:13 PM

I visited your website in the past looking for info about the 387th/557th because of a tail gunner by the name of Otto Kirchner, of Avon Lake, Ohio. Otto was, as he said, a replacement crew member and used to tell us about how he ‘d start whistling as they got deeper in enemy territory and how it’d drive his fellow crew members crazy. He’d tell you about the spiral painted spinners on the Me-109s as they’d pass thru the bomber formations and wouldn’t hesitate to remind us in the younger generation how fortunate we are to have our freedom. Otto was a customer on my dad’s paper route after the war and they became lifelong friends and of course he made an impression on me also . I built him a model of a B-26 in his honor and it was because of this website I found out so much more, so in closing Thanks to all the vets and to this website! -Thanks, Lisa and Bill

Date:
12/19/2011
Time:
3:30 PM

Responding to Ed Martin’s November 1 post about Mathew S. Pietrowicz’s crew – the name you are missing in your picture is 2nd Lt. Calvin L Jansen. He was the copilot. Below is additional information for you. It shows the first mission the crew flew and the last. The ranks listed were the highest rank they achieved with the 323rd BG.

They were assigned to the 455th Squadron in December, 1944. The first combat mission they flew that I could find for them was towards the end of the “Battle of the Bulge”. They were assigned to the 455th Sq until the war ended because they also flew the very last 323rd BG mission to the Erding Airfield. Looks like they had a brand new B-26 for that mission. Probably still had that brand new B-26 factory smell in it like a new car (ha-ha)!

In May of 1945 all of the flying personnel of the 455th Squadron with a few exceptions were transferred to the 344th BG. All of Pietrowicz’s crew were transferred except Austin who stayed behind to help with the disarmament of Germany.

Regards,
Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG

2nd Lt. Calvin L. Jansen
Serial # XXXX1769
Position Copilot
323rd BG 455 BS

Primary Crew Members
Pilot – 1st Lt Mieczwslaw (Mathew) S. Pietrowicz
Copilot – 2nd Lt. Calvin L. Jansen
Bombardier – 1st Lt. William Y. Austin
Flight Engineer – S/Sgt. John S. Michalowski
Radioman – S/Sgt. Thomas G. Kennon
Tail Gunner – S/Sgt. Edward S. Tyszkiewicz

Aircraft & Missions
January 14, 1945
Aircraft 41-34942 YU-U “Jolly Roger”
Target – Steinbruck Road Bridge
See microfilm reel B0270 Frame 00605

April 25, 1945
Aircraft 44-68154 YU-S no assigned name
Target – Erding Airfield, Germany
See microfilm reel B0273 Frame 00467

Date:
12/19/2011
Time:
9:04 AM

My name is Duryea Warn and I am a veteran of the 391st BG 572nd SQDN. My grandson and I were looking at your website and are curious to know how to contribute my military history.

Thank you,
Staff Sergeant Duryea Warn

Date:
12/16/2011
Time:
9:43 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Josiah “Dick” R. Hackney III
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 1942 – 1945?
Graduation Class: Class 44-9 DR
Class Location: San Angelo, Texas
Comments: He was my grandfather. I don’t know much about his time in service, but I have some photos and things from it including his Air Medal and a book of cartoons he drew of his war experiences. I am a complete novice when it comes to the military, but I know he was a bombardier-navigator over Germany in the First Tactical Air Force in support of the 7th Army. I also know that he was shot in the leg during one mission and received a Purple Heart. Most of my information about him came from a newspaper article about his brother and his return to their hometown. Any help figuring out anything else would be much appreciated.

I have attached the article I mentioned, as well as his picture from San Angelo AAF Bombardier School, and 3 of his cartoons.

Thanks,
Sarah Burns

Sarah,
Lt Josiah R Hackney III served with the 443rd Bomb Squadron, 320th Bomb Group. Your Grandfather flew his last combat mission on May 1st 1945 which was also the Groups last combat mission during World War II. The target was the German fortifications on the Isle d’Oleron, France, and the crew that day were:
Lt. Cook pilot
Lt Callahan copilot
Lt Hackney bombardier
S/Sgt Brooks engineer/gunner
S/Sgt John Citti radio/gunner
S/Sgt Casey armourer/gunner

Regards
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
12/12/2011
Time:
1:33 AM

Who could tell me watt the Glide Ratio of a Marauder is?

Regards,
Jan Jolie

Jan, the Marauder ran like a Model T Ford and glided like a brick. Glide ratio would depend on if one or both engines were feathered or not; one or both engines stalled; one or both wings damaged; any part of the surface of the plane (skin) was pealed back or torn off. It would be impossible to determine the glide ratio. Max Petrisek and John Moench

Date:
12/10/2011
Time:
9:19 PM

To the family of Lt. Col. Roy B. Pratt, Sr. My father, Kenny Class, served under Col. Pratt and spoke of him a lot. Kenny lost his legs in a B26 crash when returning to base in England after a Bob Hope inspired bombing mission. Kenny passed away about ten years ago at the age of 77. The patch he wore was the hand with the thumb up. Kenny attended the squadron reunions until his death. This is my first visit to B26.com. I am Kenny’s middle son Dana. I offer my condolences to Pratt from your loss. -Dana Class

Date:
12/10/2011
Time:
6:29 PM

My great grandfather, Corporal Edward Cullen, was a togglier on flight 44-67878 which crashed near A72 Péronne, France. He was part of the 589th BS 397 BG at the time of his death, January 10, 1945. He enlisted in February 1942. He died on his third mission with the 598th. I have no information on the missing three years of his service. I would like to know more about my family and the service my great grandfather performed. If anyone has any records, pictures or information please contact me.

The crew of 44-67878 on 01/10/1945
Ralph N Florey Jr., Pilot
Joseph E Hickey Jr., Co-pilot
Edward Cullen, Togglier, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Section E, Row 1, Grave 26
Richard E Erickstrup, Radio/gunner
Robert J Farrell, Engineer/gunner
William J Burns, Armor/gunner, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Section E, Row 3, Grave 76

Thank you,
Benjamin Cullen

Date:
12/10/2011
Time:
1:07 PM

On 12/9/1944 the 397th BG dispatched 38 aircraft do bomb Loshein (defended village). 33 aircraft dropped 503 #250 GP bombs, 4 #400 GP on primary. 3 window aircraft and 1 spare. One aircraft failed to bomb, when both toggle and salvo switches failed to function. The grouped bombed through heavy cloud cover on PFF. All aircraft returned to base with little battle damage.

On 12/11/1944 the 397th Bomb Group had to recall its aircraft after only 6 took off due one aircraft blowing a tire and blocking the runway, preventing the remainder of the group from taking off.

On 12/12/1944 the group dispatched 38 B-26s to Gemund (defended town) with 500#GP bombs. 252 #500 bombs were dropped with no visible results due to overcast. All aircraft returned to base.

On 12/13/1944 the group dispatched 39 B-26s again to Gemund where they dropped 252 #250GP and 4#500GP on the primary. All aircraft returned to base.

(from U.S. Air Force Historical files –microfilm).

Wynn Anderson, son of Andy Anderson

Date:
12/10/2011
Time:
8:42 AM

To my knowledge, my article is the only published source of information about the first fatal B-26 crash and I am still not aware of any USAAC report about it which explains the loss of this plane and Col. Perrin. I believe that some recognition for the author and AAHS is in order.

“Whatever nosewheel was attached. it didn’t line up with the runway when it touched down. It made contact at a 45-degree angle, snapping the leg. A similar flaw in the alignment mechanism may have brought the downfall of 1372 and 1361 earlier. Number 1375 went in for repair and Lt. Allen returned to Langley Field, missing the next accident at the factory.

Can June 21 the first deaths occurred in a B-26. An aircrew of two fell during an acceptance flight. Their plane had been flown a couple of hours the previous day and again briefly just before its last flight. About two minutes into takeoff, 40-1386 crashed into woods near the factory. Not only was there very little wreckage suitable for study, but the Air Corps’ report is missing. (Indeed, there may not have been one if the plane was not yet Army property.) The news media reported a backfire followed by smoke.’ This suggests an engine problem. However, hearsay spread among the 22nd BG that the plane rolled over and crashed due to a flap malfunction. Such divergence of stories emphasizes one of the basic problems in accident investigation: lack of firsthand knowledge. Most likely, the cause will never be known. Martin lost copilot A.J. Bowman and the Army lost Lt. Col. Elmer D. Perrin. He had flown all the B-26s accepted to date and was probably the Army’s most experienced B-26 pilot at that point.

Ten days later accelerated service testing resumed. Although stunned by the death of their acceptance pilot at the factory, the Air Corps resumed Accelerated Service Testing of the B-26 at the end of June 1941. At least the landing problems seemed to be under control.

None of the B-26s delivered so far had its dorsal turret; the Martin/GE unit wasn’t available yet. To compensate for its weight, Martin had been arranging over 600 pounds of spares and accessories, including engine and canopy covers, chocks, wing stands, nosewheel jacks, engine and prop slings, and a wide variety of spare parts, in the rear fuselages of the two-dozen or so planes delivered. Without considering the effect on the balance of their new planes, 22nd BG118th RS personnel had removed them, putting them into squadron inventories.” [read more]

-Sincerely, Tom Hall

Date:
12/8/2011
Time:
9:24 PM

I’m not part of the era of history, however I would have been proud to be a part of history. However, my father was, whom has passed away. I have been doing research on the 22nd Bombardment Group, which consisted of the following squadrons: 2nd Bomb Sqd, 19th Bomb Sqd., 33rd Bomb Sqd. and the 408th Bomb Sqd. I need two answers, first, It seems they flew many aircraft. They were initially at Woodstock, Australia and flew both the North American B-25 Mitchell’s (Medium Bomber) and Martin B-26 Marauder’s (Medium bomber). This was until the Consolidated B-24J Liberator (Heavy Bomber) became available.. Additionally, did the 22nd Bombardment Group ever fly the Douglas A-20?

Secondly can you tell all the airfields they were assigned?

William J. Elenitsky

Date:
12/7/2011
Time:
11:34 AM

In the purpose of writing a biography, I am looking for information about the crash of a B26 Marauder near Rochefort (Belgium) in early December 1944 (I am not sure about the exact date). My investigations lead me to the names of six crew members but without their first name :
Harris
Gibson
Foreman
Richardson
Reed
Soracca (?)
Some of them would have been buried in the Henri Chapelle cemetery in Belgium. By checking the American Battle Monuments Commission website, I’ve found two names that match those above : George P. Harris (Service # O-715965 ) and Roy J. Gibson (Service # O-715189). Both of them were from the 449th bomber squadron, 322 bomber group (medium) and both of them died the 12th December 1944.

If you can give me some information about their mission, confirm the date and the location of the crash and the name of the other crew members, this would be fantastic.

Thanks,
Christophe Buchet

Date:
12/6/2011
Time:
8:10 PM

To members of the 9th Air Force, 453rd Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group, and their descendants:

NOTIFICATION OF PASSING OF LT. COL. ROY B. PRATT, SR., 9TH AIR FORCE, 453rd BOMB SQUADRON, 323rd BOMB GROUP

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Lt. Col. Roy B. Pratt, Sr., at the age of 91 in Conneaut, Ohio on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011. Surviving are his wife Bertha Pratt, three of his four children, 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

Roy enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a young, 20-year old Flying Cadet in November 1940 and separated from the service in April 1946. He completed basic and advanced flight training in Texas at Randolph Field and Brooks Field respectively. During the war, as part of the 9th Air Force in the European Theater, he piloted the B-26 Marauder, (his plane was named Miss Fortune). He flew 52 missions over enemy territory as a Group and Wing Leader, becoming proficient in leading formations as large as 108 ships. He was Squadron Commander of the Medium Bomb Squadron during part of his overseas posting at Earls Colne air base in England, between April 1943 and August 1944.

His official records show that he held the following positions: Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Group Air Executive, Director of Operations and Training, Deputy Base Commander and Base Commander.

Among the medals listed on his Certificate of Service is the Distinguished Flying Cross. We hope that he was as proud of that medal and his courageous service as his family was and is of him. He rarely spoke of his military service unless asked, but his memory for names, faces, dates and events remained crystal clear until his death. He especially loved attending Squadron reunions over the years. His fondness and respect for the men with whom he flew was enormous … Kenny Class, Cas Sochocki, Dick (Itty Bitty) Baker, Jack Kelsey, Bill Timmons, to name just a few. We believe the admiration was mutual. Son Roy Jr. and his wife Dixie attended the 1995 Squadron Reunion in Norfolk, VA. which, we believe, was the last reunion Roy Sr. attended.

During the war, two sons were born to Roy, Roy B. Pratt, Jr. born in 1943 and Walter John Pratt, born in 1945. Both served their country, Roy in the U.S. Army with postings in South Korea and Germany in the 1960s; Walter (now deceased) was career Navy and retired as a Commander from the Naval Surface Force in 1988. After the war, two daughters arrived, Robin Lindsey in 1946 and Rebecca Susan in 1949. He was equally proud of them for their character and accomplishments. What gave him special joy over the years was the fact that his children actually LIKE each other! and look forward to spending time together as adults.

Upon separation from the service in 1946, Roy returned home to Conneaut, Ohio to help raise his growing family. He owned and ran a successful dry cleaning business. He was a member of the Air Force Reserves for a number of years during which he transitioned from propellers to jets, learning to fly the T33. He was an active member and past Commander of the American Legion Cowle Post #151 and continued to fly recreational aircraft for many years. Eight members of Cowle Post #151 comprised the Honor Guard at Roy’s funeral on November 28, 2011 as he was laid to rest. It was a profoundly moving and well-deserved tribute.

We regret that this communication does not capture the full measure of the man we knew as father, husband, grandfather and great-grandfather and his long life lived after completing official service to his country. His life, as he lived it, was a credit to his family, his community and his country. He will be sorely missed.

We ask you to share our news and our memories with those whom you believe knew Lt. Col. Roy B. Pratt, Sr. as well as with those who are interested in members of “the Greatest Generation.” We are happy to communicate with those who care to contact the family.

Date:
12/6/2011
Time:
11:16 AM

Auzzie M “Kid” Warlick
b: Dec 14, 1919 d: Nov 25, 2011
397th Bomb Gp, 599th Bomb Sq

Date:
11/25/2011
Time:
3:58 PM

On October 27, 2011, President Sarkozy saw fit to decree that my father, Donald Clark, “Chevalier of the Legion of Honor” [application form here]. An award ceremony for him and 11 other WWII veterans is scheduled for December 8, 2011 at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL. Coincidentally, he actually trained briefly at MacDill Air Field in 1943! Fourteen of our family members will be in attendance! I hope to send you photos for the website after the event.

Everyone here is very excited for my dad to receive this honor. I cannot thank you enough for brining it to my attention so that he could be recognized in this way. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Don Clark, Jr.

Date:
11/25/2011
Time:
3:58 PM

My name is Steve Bachman. My great uncle was Herman Brueggman who was the bombardier in the Heaven’s Above! when she was shot down. He was KIA. I am trying to find out any information I can about him, the other crew members, etc. I went to Casimer Apolinski’s section and there is another picture of the Heaven’s Above! I think my uncle is the upper center.

Any help or correspondence would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve

Date:
11/25/2011
Time:
1:01 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph E. Feller
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 442nd
Years in service:?
Graduation Class:?
Class Location: BG, Oh
Comments:
My Grandfather, Joesph E. Feller recently passed away. My brother and I are trying to find out more about the history of him/his unit. From the picture we’ve got of him with his unit, the names on it are 1. William B. Pierce 2. George Q Cornett? 3. S. Prather? 4. Joe Feller 5. L.J. Fredipte? 6. George Mcclellan.

The main thing were wanting to know is the name of their plane, and flight patch which I believe we’ve narrowed down to the Donald Duck holding the bomb…We might be incorrect here though so were hoping someone can help.

My grandfather loved his plane…He always had his B-26 hat on. I miss him so much, He was a great person, had many people who loved him, and I know he loved us. He rarely talked about the war, so I’m wanting to try to gather some more info…I appreciate any help.

Keith Duquette
Date:
11/24/2011
Time:
11:55 PM

Wishing all the members of the 386th Bomb Grp – The Crusaders – a Happy Thanksgiving. I realize most have passed on, however I will always remember you. God Bless You all. From a kid of 7yrs in 43. now heading for 76. Patrick Simmonds. Associate member.

Date:
11/24/2011
Time:
8:23 AM

I really enjoy looking through your site. I would like to add a bit of info to it. My father was 2LT Jack B. Kunberger (XXXX736) He was a pilot flying out of Matching Green with the 391st BG 572 squadron. In March of 1945 he went to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. After WWII he was in the 122 TFG @ Baer Field. Fort Wayne, IN, flying a C-47 and then a C-54

While with the 572nd his crew was as follows P 2LT Jack B. Kunberger, CP 2LT Richard L. Erickson, B 2LT Alan F. Dubin, N unknown, FE SSGT. Emile Veillon, RG Cpl. James J. Mallen, AG Sgt. Virgil A. Stewart

Date:
11/23/2011
Time:
11:42 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James William Jones
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service:
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: J.W. Jones was my father in law, I am trying to confirm a few things about his aircraft, which he said was named “Flying Trapeze.” One site gives his serial number and markings as: Flying Trapeze, B-26C-20-MO, VT-S, 41-35023, but another site gives VT-S as belonging to another aircraft named “Miss Safartus Rickenschicker 2nd”, serial number 41-31959. I’d like to build a flyable RC model of his aircraft, so I need to verify his plane and markings if possible.

Bill (as we called him) also told me his first plane is at the bottom of the English Channel, so there may be 2 aircraft that he flew in. And he has a DFC for kicking out a stuck bomb on one mission, which his daughters did not know. (We have his medals and wings in our possession.)

We have a copy of a photo of he and his crew standing in front of a B26, but the markings indicate this is not his aircraft. His crew is named on a separate hand written note taped to the back of the photo.

Written on the back of photo: Lt. Russel Thayer, Pilot; Lt. J. W. Jones, Co-Pilot; Lt. John McClean, Bombardier; S/Sgt Anthony Tronn, Eng. Gunner; T/Sgt Rodney Elam, Radio-Gunner; S/Sgt Rocky Ianni, Armorer Gunner

They are standing in front of aircraft L J4 (painted on nose) The tail has the top painted white or yellow, it’s a B/W photo so it is hard to say which, and the Prop bosses are also painted white or yellow. (Why would an aircraft at this time have its markings on the front instead of the back of the aircraft?)

The title on the bottom of the photo is: LCAAF28MAR.44-447-I

I’d be glad to scan this copy of a photo and email it to you, we are trying to locate the original, we think it is still in the family’s possession, but has been misplaced for now. Any info you can verify or add would be greatly appreciated.

Also if possible I’d like to get a copy of your digitized database.

I am also the “family genealogist” and I often provide info to others doing research, so I know what a great service you are providing and how demanding it can be. If I can assist you in any way, please let me know.

Thanks, Robert D. Mumford, son in law of the late Lt. J.W. Jones.

Robert,
41-35032 VT-S Flying Trapeze is correct. When you see several B-26’s with the same code ie., VT-S this is because combat planes turned over very quickly due to combat damage, missing in action or through accidents. The B-26 coded LJ4 was not a combat aircraft, but a training plane based at Lake Charles AAB, LA. It was here that many B-26 crews received their final training before going overseas.
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
11/13/2011
Time:
8:41 AM

I just read that Peter Crouchman passed away and wanted to share with you, a recent visit with him at Willingale, during one of his tours for 387th bomb group descendants. Peter struck me as a warm, generous, and affable person. I understand that he had gathered a copious amount of information about the 387th over the years, and it fascinating to hear him talk about his experiences of the 387th when he was a young man. I count myself fortunate to have met him and to have had the opportunity to accompany him during the McMillin’s visit to Willingale. I am sure that he will be sorely missed by his family, the veterans and their families of the 387th Bomb Group, and by the Marauder Men community. -Steve Sharp

***

It was a bright and pleasant day when I met Peter Crouchman at the village of Willingale, Essex, on Saturday, September 17, 2011. While we waited for the McMillin’s to arrive, Peter showed me the information that he had obtained for them. Patrick and Freda arrived shortly after and, after viewing the dedication to the 387th Bombardment Group on the war memorial in the churchyard, we went into St. Andrews and All Saints Church (which is one of two churches in Willingale that are less than 100 yards apart !). Peter told us that this church dates from Norman times (11th century), and was the church that the American servicemen used for religious services whilst they were at Willingale.

Peter showed the McMillin’s the various pieces of information that he had gathered about Freda’s uncle, S/Sgt. Howard S. Head of the 558th Bombardment Squadron, and of the mission to Venlo on February 25, 1944. Howard usually flew in 41-31665 “Wham Bam!” with Lt. Wiese, but he flew with Lt. Steinbach in 41-31648 “La Diabla” on this occasion. It was on this mission that he and 25 other airmen were sadly lost when their 4 Marauders were shot down by enemy fighters over the North Sea. We then viewed the collection of airfield exhibits in the church, which include photographs of the some of the 387th group’s airmen and aircraft. Patrick showed us some photographs of Howard’s regular aircraft “Wham Bam!” and its crew, and also read from a few of the letters that Howard’s mother received from the mothers of the other airmen lost on the Venlo mission who had been officially declared as “Missing In Action”. Patrick told us that Howard’s mother died a few years after Howard was shot down, and that the family believe that she died from the grief of Howard’s loss.

After leaving the church, Peter pointed out “The Bell” public house opposite the church, which is no longer a “pub” but is now a private house. On the way to the airfield, Peter showed us where he lived until after the war. This was a house by the side of the other pub in Willingale village, “The Malsters”, which also is now a private house. This was known by the local people as “The Top House”, as it stood at the “top” of the main road in Willingale (The Street). Peter told us that he was 16 years old in 1943 when word went around the village that aircraft would soon be arriving at the newly built airfield. He clearly remembers the sound of the Marauders of the 387th BG approaching for the first time, and then watching the aircraft circle and land.

We drove along twisting and bumpy country roads and tracks until we came to where the 558th BS aircraft hard-standings were located. This would have been the last place that Howard’s aircraft would have stood. Patrick told us that Howard lived amongst farmland in Missouri, and so he probably would have felt quite at home at Willingale. He also told us that in one of his letters, Howard had written that he had seen pheasants one morning just before take-off and had seriously thought about shooting them with one of the 50 calibre machine guns and eating them fried!

We then travelled a short distance along the remains of the airfield perimeter track to where the southern end of the main runway would have been. Peter told me that he and his friends used to stand here when the Marauders were taking off. This was a big thrill as the aircraft would be laden with fuel and bombs, and so they would be flying very low. They would stand there as long as possible, until the military police would come and “tell them to leave”. Next we saw the hard-standing where Peter’s “adopted” aircraft (“Danita” of the 559th BS) would have stood. This hard-standing still survives, and Peter told us many stories as the visit progressed relating to his experiences of the 387th. We then visited the “White Horse” pub (which is now a private house), which Howard had written about in his letters home.

Next, was the Administration site where the Operations Block (a large bomb-proof, air-conditioned building) and Bomb Sight store still stand. The steel shell of the Mission Briefing hut has disappeared over the years, but we found its concrete base and also the raised concrete podium that stood at one end of the hut. It was humbling to stand on the podium and imagine the many airmen sitting in front of the podium that would have gathered there before each mission, some never to return.

Peter then took us to one of the accommodation sites that has some Nissen huts still standing. Some of these are in a dilapidated state, but others have been re-clad and are now used as workshops. Further down the road, we saw a group of larger huts, which are shown on the airfield plans as the Officer’s Dining Room. Peter remembers seeing movies in these huts and also some of his friends sneaking into the mess for a free meal !

A brief visit was made to the Willingale sewage treatment works, which was built for the airfield and now serves the village. Finally, we visited a remaining section of the perimeter track at the northern end of the main runway. Here, by chance, we met a couple with their young son. They told us that their grandfather was Charles F. Stockard, who was a top-turret gunner in the 556th BS. The husband had been recently stationed at the USAF base at Mildenhall, and had come to see what remained of his grandfather’s airfield. Peter told them that the hard-standings where their grandfather’s aircraft would have been parked would have been close to where we were standing, and pointed to where they would have been.

We returned to the church at Willingale where we all said our our farewells. Patrick and Freda said that they had wanted to see where Howard had spent his last days for some time. The McMillin’s and I thanked Peter for taking us on a fascinating tour of the airfield, and for all the information that he had provided about their uncle.

Date:
11/11/2011
Time:
9:12 AM

To the men and women of WWII on this Veterans Day 11.11.11 – Thank You.

Todd Howard
Son of Thomas Craddock Howard
585 Bomb Squadron, 394 Bomb Group

Date:
11/11/2011
Time:
8:01 AM

Marauder Men,

On this Veteran’s Day 2011 I want to thank-you for all of the contributions that you made to the United States many years ago. I am thankful that you have shared your life stories on this website and at the many reunions that your groups have throughout the country. Please continue to share those events with all of us who want to learn more about the sacrifices and victories that you made a lifetime ago. My father passed away in 1972 which was many years before the members of the Greatest Generation, you folks, started telling your stories. I don’t have much history of his service to our country but I have been able to piece together some information with the help of members of the 391st BG.

Thank-you very much for your service to our country,

Rich Erickson
Son of Marauder Man Clarence Erickson 391st BG, 575 BS, 9/16/1918 – 8/14/1972

Date:
11/10/2011
Time:
8:24 AM

It is with deep regret that I have to report that my father, Peter Crouchman, passed away suddenly on Monday November 7th. Active till the very end he collapsed and died whilst the local Library in Chelmsford.

Words simply cannot express my feelings right now, he was such a big part in my life, he will certainly be sorely missed. He had extremely fond memories of all our work with the history of the 387th, and in showing veterans and their families around the old airfield at Willingale, and his several trips to the United States, culminating in our visit just over 10 years ago at the San Diego reunion.

Alan Crouchman

Dear Alan,
I was so sorry to hear of Peter’s death, my sincerest sympathies go with you in this hour of bereavement. Whilst Peter and I had little contact over the past few years I still remember him fondly from his early days researching the 387th Bomb Group, which you both did over the passing years. He will always be remembered by the 387th veterans in particular, and by me too.

Sincerest condolences,
Trevor

Date:
11/9/2011
Time:
5:54 AM

I recently found out my great uncle, CPL Albert E. Owen, was in one of the 4 B-26 Marauders that took off from Midway. Unfortunately he was in one of the two that were shot down. Collins speaks about my uncle’s B-26 going down at about 2:30.

69th Bombardment Squadron
38th Bombardment group

I am seeking any information I can find on him as this is new information to me.

Date:
11/1/2011
Time:
9:24 PM

Can anyone shed info on this crew?

…large image

Mathew S. Pietrowicz (Pierce), Pilot – 323 BG, 455 BS
2nd Lt. Calvin L Jansen, Co-pilot – 323 BG, 344 BG
Lt. W.Y. Austin, Bombardier – 323 BG, 344 BG
John S. Michalowski, Tail Gunner – 323 BG, 344 BG
Thomas G. Kennon, Radio/Gunner – 323 BG, 344 BG
Edward S. Tyszkiewicz, Armorer/Gunner – 323 BG, 344 BG

Thank You,
Ed Martin

Date:
11/1/2011
Time:
3:45 PM

I wanted to let you know that Lou’s spirit now soars on the trade winds of heaven. He died at home at sunset after a long illness.

Frank Burgmeier, his lead navigator, sent these additional words when he saw the Lou’s obituary.

“I loved the picture! Just as I remember him with that easy grin which always belied his fierce dedication and the heavy responsibility he carried.”

You know these guys were so young — Lou older than most at 25. When you see that smile, it is easy to forget the “heavy responsibility” these pilots carried, not only for their crews and the crews that followed in formation, but for getting the bombing right to protect those men on the ground. Lou never forgot that the ground troops endured constant danger not only from the enemy but from the weather. His dedication as a pilot was in large part fueled by his his compassion for those men.

Carleton Rehr
Wife of Lou Rehr

Date:
10/27/2011
Time:
6:43 AM

Having just returned from visit to Normandy and Belgium, where your members are well-remembered at various museums and memorial sites, I wish I had more to offer this page than a heart-felt salute to your unit. I was looking in particular for traces of the 410 Bomb Group (A20 Havoc), knowing a member my Dad’s age that I still see fairly often and who attends their annual reunion. Managed to pass by the Coulommiers Aerodrome (410 BG – 9/44 thru 2/45 – now in general aviation use – L’aérodrome. Le terrain d’aviation de Coulommiers (LFPK)), which I suspect a number of you flew over from both directions. No one can pass through that theatre without profound respect and well wishes for all of you.

Daniel P Redmond
COL (R) USA

Date:
10/26/2011
Time:
5:20 PM

My research indicates that my Father, Fred P. Levy, was a staff sergeant assigned to intelligence, MOS 501, with the 596th Bomb Squadron of the 397th Bomb Group. Dad passed away in 2007. I am looking for any information or information from his time with the 596th. The information that I have obtained so far indicates that he transferred in during November of 1943. Any information would be appreciated. I understand that once a mission was assigned, his task was to plan a route to avoid AA gun locations obtained from recon photos. The attached photos are of my Dad, Fred Levy, with our Uncles in France at the end of the war. Dad was the only one in the 9th. His one brother, Chuck, was an infantry captain. At the end of the war, he sought out his two brothers, also in France and the three of them celebrated the wars end together on a weekend pass to Paris. These are the only digitally preserved photos we have of Fred in uniform. In the first photo, Fred is on the right. I will look for more photos and names. I do not believe that he made any group or squadron reunions.

Robert A. Levy

Date:
10/25/2011
Time:
10:38 AM

Hello, I have this picture of a heavily damaged B-26 from the 9th Air Force. I think it may be 6B*H from the 599th Bomb Squadron, 397 Bomb Group. I’m not sure if it’s serial #43-34405 or #4468138. Can you help me identify the B-26?

…large image

Thank you in advance,
Marc

Marc,
This B-26 was 43-34165 T6-H 391st Bomb Group, 573rd Bomb Squadron.

2nd December 1944 crashlanded at base after being hit by a 88mm shell which exploded under the mid upper turret and nearly cutting the B-26 in half.

The crew that day were:- 1.Lt Edward B Dunn; 2.Lt Edwin H Armstrong; S/Sgt Oliver W Hartwell; T/Sgt James B Sims; S/Sgt Jesee M Ellerbee; S/Sgt John J Wagner. Dunn and Sims were wounded; Ellerbee was killed.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
10/23/2011
Time:
6:49 PM

My name is John Huff. My Great Uncle was John (Smiley) Colsch, 391st bomb group, 573rd bomb squadron. I’m doing research for a biography of Uncle Johnny for my family and anyone else that would be interested. We’ve all heard stories of Uncle Johnny while growing up. He’s our family hero and his amazing story and the crew who flew with him needs to be told and preserved for every. Many of my family members have different information of him and his missions. My Grandmother, Ellen is his younger sister. She and his sister Mary are still with us, 91 and 93 years old. My Grandmother has letters from Johnny to his mom and her. I’m sure Mary does also. My Grandma and Johnny were very close and to this day she has a difficult time talking about it especially to her daughters, but to her Grandson she is much more open about Johnny. I’ve got some information and photo’s of him from other family members and I’m receiving more. I also have the photo’s and official report of the incident that brought his plane and the other one down.

I also have letters and memorabilia from his girlfriend who is still alive. My mother visited her in Arizona a couple years ago. She had his flight school wings and gave them to my mom saying Johnny would want his family to have them. She knew of his death but didn’t know his family details or how to contact them. My mom was the first one to get in contact with her. She shared stories and photo’s of Johnny that are a great addition for my quest.

Basically there are allot bits and pieces of stories, photo’s and facts that everyone has and I’m just trying to pull everything together to share. If you have any contacts with family members of his crew or the second planes crew or anyone else that knew these men. I’d like to get into contact with them to share information. I do know that one of his crew member was still alive a couple years ago and I was hoping to find out more of him and any stories of his crew. I was told that he was ill for the final mission and a young airman took his place, his first and final mission. Understandably, he took it very hard and was never the same and had difficulty dealing with it his whole life. But if there is anyway that someone close to him could get his memories of these men it could be shared with the families of these brave souls that never got to know them and their memories and stories can live on forever. I realize these men were very close especially after so many missions and only he could shine some light on the camaraderie these men had.

I was born 21 years after his death and have always felt empty for not having known him. His older brother Peter was a great and interesting man, loved by many and I enjoyed every minute I got to spend with him. He had many stories of Johnny while growing up. Which is interesting in itself. Five siblings their parents and a farm hand living in a one room cabin on the banks of the Mississippi near New Albin, Iowa. The cabin is still there and is on the historical registry. My Great Grandpa Colsch cleared and farmed the river bottoms. Not an easy task or an easy life but they all were happy and lived life to the fullest. From what his siblings have told me Johnny was even more of a character than Peter. It is as if there is this hole in the whole family. I’m hoping that this biography will fill that void and maybe bring us closer to the memory of Uncle Johnny. Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
John Huff

Date:
10/19/2011
Time:
2:20 PM

A friend and I are leading a D-Day Tour of Lycoming College (Williamsport, PA) Alumni next June. We believe that Flight Officer Dayton B. Mitstifer, 554th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group, may be a graduate of Lycoming College or it’s predecessor The Williamsport Academy. He was shot down on 10 Feb 1944 while flying as the co-pilot of “Lady Luck” in the 386th Bomb Group. He is buried in the Normandy Cemetery and we would like to recognize his service. My wife were in Normandy last month on a recon trip and we saw the B-26 on Utah Beach. Impressive.

Mr. Mitstifer is buried in Normandy American Cemetery, Section D, Row 5, Grave 39.

Does anyone have any more information about him?

Mike Ellicott

Date:
10/17/2011
Time:
2:04 PM

My uncle’s name is Daren Holt Hurst, of Oklahoma. From what Nevin Price and I have been able to scrape up, he shipped out with the original group as a ground crewman, and then in August of ’44 he was assigned to flight status. Nevin’s records do not show him being assigned to a particular aircraft or crew. On March 11 of ’45, his plane was the lead – on a mission to a bridge near Darmstadt, I think – and as such there was a crew of 8. The few guys that I’ve talked to from the 397th recall little, only saying that at about 4500′ the plane suddenly broke formation and crashed. This July, my wife and I drove from her home to the crash site, near Busigny, France. There we met the last surviving witness to the crash, Mssr Degond. He invited us in for a drink as he recounted the events on the morning of March 11, 1945. It was sunny, the first sunny day after a long spell of cold, grey rain. He was walking with a friend when he heard the group approaching. They looked up as they usually did, and after noting the eastward direction of the flight they continued on with their business. There was a loud sound, like metal grinding itself up, and when Mssr Degond took another look at the bombers he saw one of them tumbling out of the sky. He watched the plane fall, correct the tumbling, and start to pull out of its dive when landed flat in a nearby field. There was no fire or explosion. He and his friend ran towards the airplane, which was about a kilometer from them, and when they got to about 150 meters the plane exploded, knocking both of them down. As they recovered, Mssr Degond looked down and saw a human jaw at his feet. Nobody in the plane survived. Eventually, most of the villagers arrived to take a look, and, after finding body parts throughout the field, one of the villagers spotted an unexploded 1000 lb. bomb in another field across the street. They kept their distance, and after a few hours some Americans in a jeep arrived, looked over the wreckage, and then left. After several days, an American truck arrived to collect what it could of remains and wreckage. They did not stay long. Some days after that, an American crew came and removed the bomb. Eventually, most of the bits of aluminum were collected by young villagers and sold for scrap, but one of the engines is still buried in the field. Mssr Degond took me to the field, and today there is still a shallow depression where the plane went down. “I understand your sentimentality,” said Mssr Degond. “We have had a lot of Americans in our village; British and Germans, too. A lot of planes came down in our vicinity.” Several pursuit aircraft crashed in the area, and a B-17 went in just half a kilometer from the center of the village. Mssr Degond was soon joined by an old friend of his, Mssr Deprez, and the two of them showed their own sentimentality over several minutes of recalling their days in the resistance, blowing up railroads, cutting communication lines, watching the Germans execute their friends, capturing and German soldiers falling back under the American advance. It was an interesting afternoon.

The airmen killed are:

* Lt. F. Irving Clark – Pilot
* Lt. John F. Bundy – Co-pilot
* Lt. Robert L. Booth – Navigator, buried Epinal American Cemetery, Section B, Row 31, Grave 31
* Lt. Richard E. Mygrant – Bombardier
* T/Sgt. Colin R. Wise – Engineer-Gunner, buried Epinal American Cemetery, Section A, Row 8, Grave 65
* S/Sgt. Daren H. Hurst – Radio-Gunner, buried Epinal American Cemetery, Section B, Row 38, Grave 31
* Sgt. Raleigh B. Batten – Armorer-Gunner
* Sgt. John F. Russell – I do not have a record of what he did.

Attached please find a photo of Daren, a photo of the plane he crashed in, and the KIA mission report.

I regret that have not been able to meet any servicemen who remember my uncle. I attended one of his group’s conventions, to no avail. Well, it was a long time ago after all.

Many thanks,
Derek

Date:
10/8/2011
Time:
11:19 PM

Thanks to a posting the “how to apply” for the French Legion of Honor details on the site. Lt. Col. Louis Rehr (323rd BG 456th BS) has been appointed a “Chevalier” of the Legion of Honor.

We are deeply grateful to the French government for this honor. As the French ambassador’s letter notes, this award “is a sign of France’s infinite gratitude and appreciation for your personal and precious contribution to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation of our country during World War II.”

This generation of heroes who participated in the liberation of France will not be with us much longer. We urge other Marauder Men and their families to fill out the application and send it to the appropriate regional Consul General for France.

Lou and Carleton Rehr

Date:
10/8/2011
Time:
12:22 PM

My name is Thomas McCord, I am 56 years old, and by profession a geologist, I work for the State Building Office of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany and live in the Hunsrueck-Hills, an area between Bingen, Koblenz and Saarbruecken.

I came into contact with Chester Klier and the B26 website through the following succession of events:

In 1990, while I was working near the village of Kempfeld in a logging operation, I came across a large number of smaller sized aluminum and Plexiglas debris, rubber tire fragments with waffle-iron tread, rubber hoses (stenciled 1944) scattered around the forest. I also located a depression or crater and after digging there unearthed a number of bullets and further pieces of Plexiglas and parts of panels, with wires attached. I also found a small oval plaque reading “Glen L. Martin Aircraft Company, Baltimore, Maryland, Left Venturi Panel”. [Read Compilation of “Son of Satan” B-26 Crash Site Discovery and Excavation]

Date:
10/8/2011
Time:
11:38 AM

Captain Max Petrisek, 17BG, 95 B Sqd, pilot & flight commander, Class 43J, Mediterranean theater 1944 & 45. Article in the 2011 guest book dated 4/23/2011 8:07 PM called “About the B-26 Marauder Men” posted by John Moench was about an uninformed persons stating pilots were afraid of the B26 and walked away from their duty. Admittedly a disclaimer was issued as part of that posting. I flew the B26 for years, been in contact with 100s of other pilots and from a half dozen of Squadrons. Such crap, fear of flying the B-26 and pilots walking away, was never stated nor is it possible to jerk-off like that even if one had the urge. It isn’t a subject worthy of print by anyone.

Date:
10/8/2011
Time:
7:23 AM

My name is James L Smith. I only flew the Marauder in training at Del Rio, TX in March, 1945, on a proficiency basis because I had over 2000 hrs of Multi-Engine time, so I only got about 70 hrs First pilot time. I thought it was one of the best flying aircraft I ever flew. Unfortunately it was declared obsolete about that time, and I went on to B-24, B-29 etc. I had one little incident, an engine failure on take off. I was teamed with another First Lt named Arville J Williams from Knoxville, TN. Wille was an excellent pilot who had just under 2000 hrs, so he had to take the whole course. We just flew the plane around to the nearest runway and landed. On the way around to the landing, the Sgt. Flight Engineer kept asking Willie “Sir, why don’t you trade seats with him”. I really thought the B-26 was a great airplane. -Jim Smith

Date:
10/7/2011
Time:
11:28 AM

B26C-30 CO 41-35443 Ronald A Bowersock 1st Lt.

Ronald was my Dad’s first cousin. My middle name is Ronald after Lt. Bowersock. A while back I was given Ronald’s silver wings and a few other personal items, so I’ve become quite interested in what happened to him.

I obtained the official accident report. Ronald was training and crashed on landing at Laughlin Field in Del Rio Texas. 2nd Lt Gordon H Wicks and Sgt Wayne E Chinn died along with Ronald November 3, 1944. It was determined to be a malfunction of one flap which caused the plane to roll as it approached to land.

In some documents Edward B Moser is listed as pilot of this particular B26 (41-35443). I would sure like to have any information about my Cousin or the aircraft, especially any pictures of it before the accident. I thought perhaps Edward B Moser was assigned to this plane at an earlier date. I believe he lived until 1979 or so. His son Bob Moser has posted on the site here previously.

Sincerely,
Gordon Opp

Date:
10/3/2011
Time:
8:28 AM

A description of my trip to Battle England and my visit to 1st Lt Christian D. Burger’s crash site. Please post on your site.

Thank you,
Al “Doug” Burger

Date:
10/2/2011
Time:
2:14 PM

Name: S/Sgt Rogers L. Dennis
323rd Bomb Group
454th Bomb Squadron
I was a radio operator and waist gunner on B26’s.
Joined the crew for training in September 1944 at Lake Charles, La.
Pilot William F. Zoller, Co Pilot John F. Bober, Bombardier Marcello Soto, Flight Engineer Pablo Castillo Radio Operator Rogers Dennis, Armor: Edward L. Baldwin.
We finished crew training in late October 1944. Our crew was selected to ferry a new B26 to England. The Bombardier and Armor went to Europe separately by ocean ship. We departed West Palm Beach, Florida on Nov. 20, 1944 with a special navigator Anthony Sarcone. We emergency landed at Windsor Field in the Bahamas due to an engine failure. Left the Bahamas the same day with stops in Puerto Rico, French Guiana, Belem, Natal, Brazil, Ascension Island, West Liberia Africa, Dakar, Marrakech and southern England. Arrived in England Dec. 20, 1944. Left England Jan. 19 1945 bound for airfield at Leon, France. Regained the Bombardier and Armor and crew flew first mission Feb 2 to a rail yard 15 miles NE of Cologne. Flew 18 missions as a crew. Pilot Lt. Zoller went to hospital. Crew broke up. Flew 3 missions with 3 different crews. Rejoined Flight Engineer Castillo and Armor Baldwin on new crew with pilot James O’Neill and copilot Robert Reynolds. We flew 7 missions through April 25, 1945. VE day May 27, 1945. Returned to US Nov. 20, 1945. With the GI Bill I received a degree in Electrical Engineering and shortly thereafter started a Communications Engineering business. Business grew to 35 employees. Sold the business in 1986 and have been retired since then.

Wow! Thank you! ms
Date:
9/26/2011
Time:
1:20 PM

I am trying to find out information on my father-in-law Richard McLachlan. I have a picture of him and his crew in front of a B-26 with the number 1886 in black on the side of the nose. His obituary stated he flew over 60 Mediterranean and Balkan combat missions. In his hand writing on the back was the following:

Lt. Richard McLachlan, Pilot
Lt M. K. Gibson, California, Co-pilot
Lt D. E. Headrick (?) Ohio, Bombardier
Sgt J. C. Cinhetti (?) Arizona, Engineer
Sgt I.(?) H. Abraham, Chicago, Radioman
Sgt J. A. Silverman, California, Gunner

…large image

Any information on units, planes, for my father-in-law or any of the above crew is appreciated.

Thanks,
DJ Barney

Date:
9/24/2011
Time:
4:51 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Michael Skibo
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 554th (I think)
Years in service: 44-45
Graduation Class: 13 June 44 563-8
Class Location: Lake Charles AAF
Comments: Mike Skibo was my father. He passed on D-Day in 2010. Growing up he told me some great stories of his missions and time in B26’s and later in B25’s. Dad was a radioman and waist gunner. I remember him telling me he was relieved when sent to radio school as he was only five foot two and in fear he would end up a ball turret gunner.

One story he told was of a friend, another radioman I think, passing in a crash where an exchange pilot (fighter guy) was flying the aircraft and really had no time in 26’s. I used to remember the name but don’t anymore.

I had a chance to visit what’s left of Great Dunmow back in 2004 and brought dad a piece of the runway home. The manor house that is still there has quite an archive of pictures (though many from the spitfire squadron that occupied it following the B26’s) and the owner invited me in to search as much as I like.

I have many pictures of dad, his crew, his graduation crew picture from LCAAF and a few of “BarFly” that I would like to share. I believe Lt. Lee was the pilot on that one.

I’m looking for any information on Dad’s missions or anyone that flew with him. Also if anyone knows when he was transferred to the B25 and what squadron he went to. I know he was at Great Dunmow and later Beaumont sur Oise, but left for Italy and B25’s about the time the A26’s showed up.

John Skibo

Date:
9/24/2011
Time:
3:12 PM

I am investigating my wife’s family history. Her uncle, Walter Viret, was an Air Mechanic with 21 Squadron SAAF and was killed, supposedly in a ground bomb accident, on 9 September 1944. Can anyone throw any light on what actually happened, please?

Best wishes,
Len Stanway

Date:
9/24/2011
Time:
1:43 PM

Hello. I am enjoying reading Major General Moench’s “Marauder Men”. My father is James W. Chapman. He was a 1st lieutenant bombardier/navigator on a B-26 Marauder in WW2. I don’t know his bomb group or squadron (he died in 2009), but I DO know he won the purple heart and silver star in 1944. It would be nice to identify the areas of the book that have some association with my dad’s time there. He was also stationed somewhere in France. Do you have any idea how I can find out any of this information? -James Chapman, Jr.

James,
I check our records and unfortunately I did not find your fathers name listed.

If you have a copy of your father’s discharge papers take a look on the back and there you will find form 53-55. This government document will contain additional information on his WWII military history as well as showing the last unit he was assigned. If you can’t find a copy of his Form 53-55 you can request a copy from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis , Missouri . Information on how to do that can be found on the following website: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Regards,
Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG

Date:
9/24/2011
Time:
8:49 AM

I am trying to find out information on my father-in-law Richard McLachlan. I have a picture of him and his crew in front of a B-26 with the number 1886 in black on the side of the nose. His obituary stated he flew over 60 Mediterranean and Balkan combat missions. In his hand writing on the back was the following:

Lt. Richard McLachlan pilot
Lt. M. K. Gibson, California co-pilot
Lt. D. E. Headrick (?) Ohio bombardier
Sgt. J. C. Cinhetti (?) Arizona Engineer
Sgt. I.(?) H. Abraham, Chicago Radioman
Sgt. J. A. Silverman, California Gunner

Any information on units, planes, for my father-in-law or any of the above crew is appreciated.

Thanks, DJ Darney

Date:
9/16/2011
Time:
8:39 PM

Hello: I acquired the complete and original service records for Sgt Paul Michael Olson who was in the 598th Bomb Sq , 397th Bomb GP (M) A.A.F. These records include, draft card, pay records, telegrams to home, dog tag, locker stencil, photo id’s, etc. in all its VERY complete. I purchased these from a small antique store and feel compelled to find a living family member to give these to. Mr. Olson was from Huntington Park, CA. I can find no other records to he or his family. If anyone can help, it would be very much appreciated as I have no idea as to where to start. Thank You, L. Reves
Date:
9/15/2011
Time:
7:07 AM

My grandfather, Lt. Charles Carroll Garrett, 584th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group, was a bombardier navigator on a B-26 called “Heavens Above”. He is in the third photo titled “B-26 regular crew of Heavens Above” from the top under the Casey Apolinski section. I was wondering if there was any way I could get a copy of this photo from the owner. I would be more than willing to pay for the cost of the copy and mailing. Thank you for your time and assistance.

Carl Garrett

Date:
9/15/2011
Time:
7:07 AM

In appreciation for my uncle, Ashley Woolridge, and all that the generation and group that he was a part of accomplished. Uncle Ash took time to teach many lessons to those of us in the next generation.

Catharine Woolridge McKenna

Catherine,
I knew your uncle personally having spent time with him back in 1981 at his Office and staying at his ranch over night. He was a fellow of great proportions not only in stature, but of his generosity and welcoming nature. I remember vividly arriving at our meeting place, a restaurant just out of Clearfield. The restaurant was closed, but on his knocking the door it was opened and we had the best of meals. Later in the day we returned to his office, outside the county fair was in full swing and so was a accompanying thunderstorm. In side the office we spent a very profitable few hours talking over things B-26 and drinking cold beer.

The other thing that springs to mind was his huge barn not only filled with all types of vehicles etc, but his library of books, isolated by a wall from the rest of the barn. All these memories I will never forget.

Here’s a great picture I have of him and his plane “Twin Engine Queenie”.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
9/13/2011
Time:
11:18 PM

I’m trying to find any info and pictures of my Uncle.

2nd Lt. William R. Nielsen, 587th bomb squadron, 394th bomb group

Thank you,
Lisa Bovilsky

Date:
9/8/2011
Time:
2:09 PM

I’ve been searching for information on my grandfather, William M. Rogers. And perhaps I can provide a little as well. He flew as a navigator-bombardier with the 391st bomb group, 575th squadron in 1944-45. Specifically, I would like to know the name or serial number of his original plane. He was originally a member of Cecil Coult’s crew. He became lead navigator around Christmas 1944, and after that flew with a number of other pilots. I do know that he flew in the lead plane with pilot Robert Lakin on 2/2/45. In his sparse journal, he wrote:

“Flew a strafing mission with Lakin, his 92nd. Vurgy hit the bridge at 8000’ then we went down at 400 mph.”

“Vurgy” was John Vurgapoulos, a fellow bombardier who was shot down with Burton Hanish’s crew on 2/24/45. Late in his life Grandad suggested he was supposed to fly with that crew, but swapped assignments with Vurgapoulos so he could play cornet in a concert by the 9th Air Force band.

I also know he flew with pilot James Willis on 3/9/45, when Willis was forced to make a belly landing in Rationed Passion after taking flak damage. And in one of the few photos he kept, he’s shown with the crew of Lt. John Hoar, who was a replacement pilot. In at least one instance in the records he’s incorrectly assigned the middle initial “K”.

Rogers passed away in March 2010 at age 87. He took most of his memories with him, but he did talk a little about the stories above. He also recalled flying over Berlin to take photographs after the city fell to the Allies and being harassed by a Russian fighter.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

-Alan Rogers

Date:
9/4/2011
Time:
2:09 PM

Hi, my name is Dennis Beecher, my father was Lynn Keith Beecher. Recently I decided to hand down a few mementoes to my youngest son, about his grandfather. I realized , that my Dad never spoke much about his tour during WWII, and so other than the few things to hand down, I did not have much ‘history’ to pass along.

Marauderman’s Name: Lynn Keith Beecher
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 553
Years in service: Unk, 43-45 ??
Graduation Class: Unk
Class Location: Unk
Comments: I do know my Dad flew 50 missions on the ‘Rat Poison’, Tail Number 131606. Like I said, Dad never spoke about WWII very much, I only remember him saying one time, that he few his 50, never had to fire once at the enemy, and that after his last mission, the next crew that took ‘Rat Poison’ up was shot down (or crashed). I was pretty young, so not sure that I am remembering the story correctly. But I would love to learn more about the 553, and the Missions of plane 131606. If anyone out there can help, I would appreciate it.

Serving in the military has been a family trait, from cousins (Army), Uncle (Marines), brother-in-laws, (Army and Air Force), myself (Navy), and now my youngest son (Career Army). I plan to give my son, his grandfathers flight jacket (embroidered with the ‘Rat Poison’, fifty bombs for the missions), medals and other awards that are arranged in a flag display box. I would love to give him some history also.

Thank you.
Denny K. Beecher

Date:
8/30/2011
Time:
1:49 PM

William B. Powers, the Radio Operator/Gunner on the “King Bee”, was my brother-in-law. He had only been married to my sister, Kathleen Buddenhagen, for a short time before he was shipped to England. I was a small boy and after his death my sister came to live with us in Newark, Ohio. I still remember when she received his Purple Heart in the mail…where it is now, who knows? My brother Cletus Buddenhagen, was a Lieutenant in the Signal Corp and landed at Normandy, as a Platoon Leader and went on the Battle of the Bulge. He lost 50 of the 100 men in his Platoon. Though I was too small to appreciate these two men, as I grew older I realized what they and thousands of other did for our freedom. May they all rest in peace.

Additional guest book entries relating to “King Bee”

Date:
8/29/2011
Time:
8:16 PM

My uncle Dan D. Beebe was a B-26 pilot in WWII. He attended AAF DEL Rio, TEXAS SCHOOL in late’43 and ’44. He departed to the UK on May 4, 1944 to join up with the 644th Bomb Squadron of 410th Bomb Group. According to the Military Record and Report of Separation Certificate of Service that I have secured he did Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. A friend of mine who makes radio controlled airplanes is making a B-26. It will have a 12 foot wing span. If any body has knowledge of my uncle or photos of his bomb squadron and or bomb group showing how his plane might have been marked or painted we would be grateful. We wish to make this model as close to the real thing as possible.

The Beebe crew:
1.Lt Dan D Beebe, pilot; 2.Lt George Reid, co-pilot; 1.Lt John H Bonus, bombardier; 2.Lt Hector A Tourangeau, navigator; S/Sgt Walter J Dzik, engineer gunner; S/Sgt Edward R Baack, radio gunner; S/Sgt Samuel T Chipman armourer gunner.

Thanks,
Bob Beebe

Bob,
Your uncle was originally assigned to the 456th Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group, however on 23rd November 1944 he and his crew were transferred to the 644th Bomb Squadron, 410th Bomb Group by special order 58 along with a B-26 aircraft. With the 410th Bomb Group the B-26’s were to illuminate targets by night for the A-20’s of the Group to bomb. After a few missions night missions no more were flown, and the B-26’s were used on daylight missions mainly in the flak suppression role. In total your uncle and his crew flew 8 combat missions with the 410th.Bomb Group. The crew on transfer were: 1.Lt Dan D Beebe, pilot; 2.Lt George Reid, co-pilot; 1.Lt John H Bonus, bombardier; 2.Lt Hector A Tourangeau, navigator; S/Sgt Walter J Dzik, engineer gunner; S/Sgt Edward R Baack, radio gunner; S/Sgt Samuel T Chipman armourer gunner.

If you chose to build a model of the B-26 your uncle flew in, you are going to have a difficult task. Firstly he flew a B-26G model which had many modification from the B-26’s modelled by most model companies. Yes, I know you are speaking of a self build, but you must get the plans for a B-26G,no other model will be authentic. Secondly when with the 456th Bomb Squadron B-26G 43-34133 was coded WT-C. On transfer to the 644th Squadron 410th Bomb Group undersurfaces were painted black for night operations and the codes 5D-T were painted in yellow. Exhausts were fitted with shrouds to suppress flames from the exhausts and all guns were fitted with flash suppressors. On the 12 April 1945 43-34133 was transferred back to the 456th Bomb Squadron 323rd Bomb Group and again recoded as WT-C operations until 8th May 1944 which was VE-Day (Victory in Europe Day).

I am sorry but I have no photographs at Del Rio or of 43-34133,photographs of the 410th Bomb Group B-26’s are rare. If anyone reading this has pictures to share with me I would appreciate it.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Bob,
Your Uncle 1st Lt. Dan Beebe arrived at the 323rd Bomb Group 453rd Bomb Squadron on June 18, 1944. The first combat mission he flew was as a co-pilot to take out a V-1 site on June 21, 1944. It was not unusual for new pilots to fly their first few combat missions as co-pilots for orientation and combat training.

Attached as a word document, is a list of five missions that your uncle flew with the 323rd BG during WWII. Obviously, he flew more, but with over 30,000 pages of 323rd Bomb Group WWII records to search through, the effort is very time consuming. These are the missions I found in the time I had to do your search. This list also shows his original crewmembers.

You had also asked about addresses for your uncle’s crew members. I checked all the addresses I had on file for the 453rd and unfortunately none of their names appeared on the list.

A few years ago I worked on a project that digitized all of the 323rd BG’s WWII mission records and put them all on a computer disk. I have attached information on how to obtain a copy of the records disk and what is on it, if anyone in the family is interested in doing additional research on his missions flown.

If you have a copy of your uncle’s discharge papers take a look on the back and there you will find form 53-55. This government document contains additional information on 1st LT Beebe’s WWII military history. If you can’t find a copy of his Form 53-55 you can request a copy from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis , Missouri . Information on how to do that can be found on the following website: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

If you want to know more about the 323rd BG and the 453rd Squadron, I would suggest you try and get a copy of a book called “Marauder Men an Account of the Martin B-26 Marauder” by Major General John O Moench USAF (ret.). It is an excellent history of the 323rd BG and its four Squadrons. Plus it is loaded with pictures. The ISBN number is 1-877597-06-6 however the book is currently out of print. You may also be able to find a copy for sale on e-Bay or one of the Internet book stories like Alibris but you will usually pay more.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Regards,
Roy R. Bozych
323rd BG Historian

1st Lt. Dan D. Beebe
Serial # X-XXX401
Position – Pilot
323rd BG 453rd BS

Primary Crew Members
Pilot 1st Lt. Dan D. Bebee
Copilot 2nd Lt. George Reid
Bombardier/Navigator Varied
Flight Engineer S/Sgt. Walter F. Dzik
Radioman S/Sgt. E R. Baack
Tail Gunner S/Sgt. S T. Chipman

Aircraft & Missions
June 21, 1944
Aircraft 42-107622 VT-W No assigned name
Target – Beauvoir NB-V1 Site TOT 7:59 PM Results-Unobserved
See microfilm reel B0267A Frame 00315
Notes: First combat mission was flown as a copilot for orientation

June 29, 1944
Aircraft 41-31891 VT-B Miss Fortune III
Target – Audeville Gun Battery TOT 1:40 PM Results-Poor
See microfilm reel B0268 Frame 00389

August 2, 1944
Aircraft 42-107588 VT-R No assigned name
Target – Le Lude Depot TOT 4:00 PM Results-Good
See microfilm reel B0268 Frame 01696

August 10, 1944
Aircraft 41-35249 VT-J Dinah Might / Evasive Action
Target – Caudebec en Caux Depot TOT 0:25 AM Results-Good
See microfilm reel B0268A Frame 00217
Notes: This was one of only a handful of night missions that the 323rd BG ever flew.

November 9, 1944
Aircraft 41-31809 VT-H Heaven Can Wait / Miss Satan
Target – Dieuze Troop Concentration TOT 9:04 AM Results-Good to Exellent
See microfilm reel B0269 Frame 00533

Date:
8/23/2011
Time:
9:57 AM

I have two requests:

1. I am trying to gather more information about the personnel and the activities of the 25th Mobile Reclamation & Repair Squadron, particularly its association (I believe) with the 387th Bombardment Group (M). My father, Marvin Cooper, was in the 25th MR&R, and I know he was stationed at A-71 (Clastres) from approximately December 1944 through April 1945. He also received a ribbon for the Northern France campaign, so he must have been in France by July or August of 1944. As far as I can tell, the 25th MR&R was attached to the 387th from its time in England through the end of the war. Unfortunately, my father died in 1980 before I could ask him about his war-time service. Other members of 25th MR&R who may have known my father include Glen Waldron, Henry Fox, Don Pepperman and Nick Mazza.

2. My father was later transferred to locations near Venlo, Holland, Liege, Belgium, and Erlangen, Germany. Following a brief transfer to the 38th MR&R, he was assigned to the Ninth AirDrome Squadron in September 1945. He then attended classes at Shrivenham American University from October 1943 through December 1945. I would be interested in corresponding with anyone who also attended SAU or anyone who has further information about that very successful education program. I have located a copy of the Army’s history of SAU, printed in January 1946, but I am especially interested in personal accounts about the program.

David Cooper

David, as you know, mobile repair units were as titled mobile going out to crash sites to repair aircraft. Each B-26 Group had a mobile repair unit loosely attached and they would repair and of the Groups aircraft that either crashlanded or landed elsewhere with mechanical problems. They would also repair other aircraft on occasions. They were fully self contained with everything they needed to operate in the field, this included heavy lifting equipment.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
8/23/2011
Time:
9:26 AM

Marauderman’s Name: S/SGT Harold Phillips
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Years in service: 43-46 (I believe)
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Barksdale, presumably
Comments: I have recently taken possession of my grandfather’s war diaries and records etc. He served as a tail-gunner, flying his first mission on Nov. 3, 1943. He was wounded in the left forearm on his 7th mission on Dec. 13, 1943. Preliminary review of his notes indicate that he flew on several ships including “Mississippi Mudcat”, “Duck Butt” and “Old Crow”.

I will piecing his story together over the next few months and I would be interested to hear from anyone who knew him. I have pictures and documents forthcoming to share with your site.

Regards,
Brian Belcher II

Date:
8/22/2011
Time:
2:23 PM

Hi, I was wondering if you could help?

I recently purchased Major General John O. Moench’s book “Marauder Men”. In the book he mentions that he spent sometime training at the 3rd Combat Crew Replacement Centre Toome, Northern Ireland in 1944.

As I am presently researching the history of Toome airfield I was wondering if it was possible to contact John Moench to ask him some questions about his time at Toome.

My interest in Toome Airfield and it’s role as a Combat Crew Replacement Centre comes from research that I carried out on a B26 Marauder that crashed in the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland in April 1944. The crew were attached to Toome at the time of the accident.

I put together a website dedicated to the crew with profiles on each member and details of the events surrounding the crash (I don’t know if you remember helping me a couple of years ago with the link to the website which is presently on B26.com.)

The research is two fold, first of all I am hoping to expand on the information on the website about training at Toome, secondly I hoping to write an article about the crew, their training at Toome and the crash with the intention of presenting the article to the editors of Flypast magazine to see if they would be interested in publishing it. I haven’t published anything before so I am trying to get as much information together before I proceed.

Best regards
Chris Riddels
Northern Ireland

Date:
8/18/2011
Time:
10:21 PM

Good day, Marauder Men.

My father is Jim “Boss” Farrell, Pilot of “Flak Bait”, a member of the 322nd/449th. I found this site while taking a trip down memory lane and Googling my fathers best friend, Myron “Whitey” Sterngold. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Susan Sterngold has posted about her Dad.

Whitey Sterngold was one of my favorite people. Kind, generous and funny….he was a “man’s man”, a hero to me, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. Some of my favorite memories are the times when my father and Whitey would get together and just talk about life. Even as a very young boy I could sense the love, respect and friendship these two Vets had for each other. I don’t think my father was ever more sad than he was the day Whitey died. -Thomas Farrell

Date:
8/16/2011
Time:
8:04 PM

Just met with Bob Paukert the Navigator for “Wuneach”. Recounted the story of the crash landing and other missions, great guy!

Cheers,
David Bustamante

Date:
8/12/2011
Time:
12:53 PM

Name: John William “Buddy” Eubank, Jr.
Age: 90
Division: 9 th Air Corps
Group: 394 th
Bomb Wing: 98 th
Squadron: 585 th
Duties: Radar Tech
Trained: Traux, MacDill, Ardmore, Kellogg, Camp Miles Standish
Sailed to Europe: Geo. W. Goethals on 2.27.1944
Arrived : 3.8.1944 Firth of Clyde, Scotland
Embarked: 3.9.1944: Greenock

Date:
8/11/2011
Time:
2:13 PM

Hello, I was hoping to post the following question on the B26.com Guest Book.

I am presently researching the 3rd Combat Crew Replacement Centre which was stationed at Toome, Northern Ireland between August 1943 and November 1944. This centre prepared B26 crews for combat in the European Theatre.

Can anyone confirm if B26 41-18054, “Jezabell” was ever attached to the 3rd CCRC at Toome? Possibly around the time of April 1944.

Also the Units fuselage code was either WS or W9, can anyone confirm which is the correct code?

Any help, information or photographs would be greatly appreciated.

Chris Riddels

Date:
8/3/2011
Time:
10:20 AM

Dear Friends: I wrote the attached column in 2004 after visiting the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and the Parish Church of Little Easton, England. My wife and I were there visiting family.

Best wishes in your efforts to keep the B-26 memories alive.
Wayne Warner

Date:
7/27/2011
Time:
1:20 AM

I am trying to identify the following B-26 planes, that went down on July 8, 1944 on a mission to bomb Chateau de Ribeacourt. Any info on whether they went down due to enemy fighters or anti-aircraft would be appreciated.

Crew or other info also appreciated.

42-107627 Macr 6622
42-107870. Macr 6620
42-107816 Macr 6624
42-95970 macr 6625
42-107695 macr 6621
41-31814 macr 6626. “Bag of Bolts” ER-F
42-107591 macr 6627
42-118276 macr 6623 “Pickled Dilly” (enemy fighter)

Thanks,
Kathy Prince

Kathy,
41-31814 macr 6626. “Bag of Bolts” ER-F 322ndBG 450BS ER-F
42-107591 macr 6627 possibly B-26C 391BG 575thBS
42-118276 macr 6623 “Pickled Dilly” (enemy fighter) should be 41-18276 322BG 451BS SS-C
Don Enlow

Date:
7/26/2011
Time:
11:30 PM

Can you help I have a photo of a B-26 Marauder serial No 134880 FW- I The photo was taken at Steeple Morden, England 1943-44. Did this aircraft have a name ? and was it based at Rivenhall, Essex England. This information will be used in a forthcoming book about Steeple Morden airfield.

Best Regards
Ken Wells.( England)

Ken,
You have a strange bird here because there is no record of usage for the 387th Bomb Group 556th Bomb Squadron whose markings it carries. In fact there is not much of a history of 41-34880. Could you by any chance send me a copy of this photograph?

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/26/2011
Time:
10:15 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James Rudolph Elliott
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 495
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Researching a local Gold Star Hero who was killed (9-8-44) along with crew over France…would love to share information on service of his unit or anyone who may remember him.

“The pilot of B-26 (tail number 42-107686) was 1st Lt. Raymond Henry Phillips; co-pilot was 2nd Lt. James Rudolph Elliott; bombardier was Sgt. William Clarence Lasting; radio operator and gunner was T/Sgt. Jessie James Moulder; engineer and gunner was S/Sgt. Harold James Whisenant; and the tail gunner was S/Sgt. Beeker Alvin Grady. The crew is interred together in SECTION I SITE 41. ZACHARY TAYLOR NATIONAL CEMETERY in Louisville, Kentucky.”

V/R

Bill Schneider

Date:
7/26/2011
Time:
8:30 AM

Dear B26 Members,

Who could help me in bringing me in contact with the historian Chester P. Klier? The reason for this question is I need permission to used his writhing and source about 386 Bomb Group mission number 110, February 22, 1944. for my book in where I tells the history of 13 Aircraft crashes during W.W.2 in my municipality Oosterhout, nearby Gilze –Rijen Airbase! Chapter 8, is about the crash of the B.26 ‘ Crescendo ‘ 131644 YA-C. and the ‘Lady from Hades’ 131685 YA-l. But its not only for the permission I also need the two photo’s which he has used of the Crescendo and Major Thornton and his crew. Most imported for me is I need any help I could find in finding relatives of Major Charles V. Thornton, because he will get his own monument at the crash place!

Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 555
Pilot Thornton Charles V. Major XXX9507 – KIA
Co-pilot Anderson Eugene F. 1ste Lt. XXX8411 -RTD
Bomb-Nav. Lehman Theordore. Capt. XXX6050 – RTD
Nav. Bomb.Taylor Charles R. 1ste Lt. XXX4074 – POW
Radio-Gun.Harris William R. T/Sgt. XXX5503 – RTD
Engi.Gun. Bell Norman L. S/Sgt. XXX1442 – RTD
Tail –Gun.Melanco Samual J. S/Sgt. XXX9401 -RTD
Gunner Stensrud Jasper O. Sgt. XXX3010 – POW

On February 22, 1944 during an attack on the Airbase of Gilze-Rijen two Martin B-26 Marauder collided. The Marauder 41-31685 “LADY FROM HADES”, right propeller disintegrated the rudder of the “CRESCENDO”

41-311644,and leaving only the vertical fin intact. That was for the both of the plane the end, “LADY FROM HADES” crashed 5 miles West of Moerdijk and the “CRESCENDO” crashed 10 miles Nord of Gilze-Rijen in Den Hout in de Municipality Oosterhout. Major Charles Thornton, is fond dead next to his plane. (see Mission number 110 by Historian Chester P. Klier)

In preparation to write a book of all the aircraft crashes (13)in Oosterhout. And in close corporation with the historical group of Oosterhout, who are make it possible to give every crash place a monument In memory to honor all those the airman who fought for our freedom!

I hope to find with this message some relatives, our someone who could help me

Please help me, what would you do if you find out that one of your relatives is honored on a monument!

I securely hope the you will help me !

Best regards,
Jan Jolie

Date:
7/22/2011
Time:
11:23 PM

Hello,
I have been trying to find information for my father in-law. His dad, Duane Leslie Rogers, was a tail gunner in WWII. Duane died when my father in-law was very young, and he doesn’t know much about his fathers time in the air force. All he knows is:
Duane Leslie Rogers
He was a tail gunner in a b 26 bomber
He was stationed out of Lake Charles La
Born Sept. 26 1923
Died April 2 1966
I have tried to search for information, but have come up empty handed without his group number. If you could please direct me on where to start, that would be wonderful. I would really like to help my father in-law with his search, he is just so limited on his fathers life, since he was only 17 when he past away.

Thank you for your time.
Amanda Rogers

Date:
7/21/2011
Time:
7:24 PM

My wife’s grandfather is Robert L. Sprague. We have found out that he flew with the 323bg 454bs. We haven’t found out what years or what plane he may have flown. There was reference to him flying in the 453bs in the Truman’s Foley. He had a very long career in the military. He received the Army, Navy, and air force wings and was a pilot in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam he retired as a Lt. Col. He later worked for the titan missile project. We are going through photos and trying to piece together his career. Grandma is well and shares many wonderful stories of him but isn’t much help on his career. So any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

I am the grandson-in law to Lt. Col Robert L. Sprague. Unfortunately he passed away in the 1970’s due to a routine surgery. His grandchildren are now wanting to learn more about his career in the military. His wife is still alive and has many wonderful stories about him but she isn’t sure what groups he flew with. We know he was in WWII, Korea, And Vietnam. He earned Army, Air force, and Navy wings. We know that he flew rescue but are not sure of much more than that. We would love any stories or any more information about his time in the military. I saw that Mr. Nels Cassano may be looking for him and we would love to contact him.

Thank You,
Dan Oremus

Date:
7/21/2011
Time:
10:34 AM

Marauderman’s Name: James Ovens
Bomb Group: 344th bomb group
Bomb Squadron: 494 bombardment sq
Years in service: 1942 to 1945
Graduation Class: unknown
Class Location: unknown
Comments: unknown

I just found out that he was flying on the “willie the wolf” plane, but the day he was going on a flight he got sick and was replaced by another person and that was the day the plane never returned.

We then was on the “Boomerang” plane. We was with a Lt. Geske (?), pilot; Lt. Harmon (?), co-pilot; Sgt. Temple (?), bombardier, just to list a couple members of the crew. I am trying to get a copy of the picture my mother has of these guys in front of the plane.

I hope with this new information someone can help me out?

Thank You,
Scott Eaton

Date:
7/21/2011
Time:
8:59 AM

Here is a link to a article in our local newspaper about the memorial dedication to B26 41-31805. And it formatted into Word.

You can put it in the guest book or under Sgt Charley Johns profile, wherever you see fit.

B26.com has been an invaluable resource in our research and understanding of the B26 crews lives and operations.

Regards,
Tom Foster

Date:
7/20/2011
Time:
8:05 AM

First of all, thank you for such an awesome site! I spent hours going through and looking at all the photographs, and they were just amazing, even though they made me weep seeing all the KIA young men who sacrificed their lives for us.

Now, I have a request for help to solve a mystery. Please edit this lengthy message if you need to do so.

RE:
George W. Gleason
442nd & later 444th Bomb Squadron of the 320th Bomb Group
January 1944 – February 1945

When my dad, George W. Gleason, flew his 6th mission on February 13, 1944, he was a tail gunner for the 442nd Bomb Squadron of the 320th Bomb Group. There is an error on the mission report for that day — plane #28 is showing up for two different crews, going out at the same time. I am desperately trying to find out if anyone on dad’s crew knows what plane dad was actually in. I am doing a book for dad to surprise him on his 87 birthday, and I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me figure out what plane his crew was REALLY in when they bombed the Bucine Viaduct that day.

This mystery is complicated by the fact that dad’s plane #28 does not have the landing time listed…however, his mission list gave him credit for 5:45 minutes flying time for that mission…which would have made that plane one of the 6 that returned late (from 1415to 1711, dad’s being 1429). At first, I was disturbed because the mission report said 28 planes (not to be confused with plane number 28) took off, and if I counted dad’s duplicated #28 plane, it would have made 29 planes that took off, but then I noticed one of the planes I counted did not have a “take off” or “landed” time…it just said Corsica.

In dad’s book (written just for our family, not for publication publicly), I have a photo of the planes he flew in each mission. I am deeply disappointed that due to a field error, I cannot identify the plane for February 13, 1944, so that I can have a plane photo for that mission. I found a photo identifying plane #28 as being flown by Pilot Conrad on that date; however, if they used the 02/13/1944 Mission Report to identify the plane Conrad was flying as being #28, then it is not certain that they were actually in plane #28 either since the Mission Report shows a duplicate entry for another crew.

My dad’s field mission sheet says he was in plane 28, but, another source having a photo of plane #29 that says a different crew from his on that mission, I cannot be certain what is correct. Since they left out at the same time, obviously both crews cannot have both flown on plane #29. If anyone is still alive (or their relatives) and has their mission sheet, I would deeply appreciate it if they would email me so I could arrange to get a scanned copy e-mailed or mailed to me (whatever was convenient). I would deeply appreciate help. There could be misspellings of names…the mission reports were not always clear.

February 13, 1944
442nd Squadron
320th Bomb Group
Target: Bucine, Italy

CONRAD, Pilot
DICKERSON, Co-Pilot
FREESTONE, Bomb.
KING, Engineer
ORGERON, Radio
FURNER, Gunner

HAMPTON, Pilot
GARSOWSKI, Co-Pilot
GOLDIN, Bomb.
YULE, Engineer
MOORE, Radio
GLEASON, Gunner (my dad)

Please contact me and help me honor my dad’s service by having the correct information on that mission.

Thank you,

Donna (Gleason) Guidry
Daughter of WW2 Vet, George W. Gleason

Dear Donna, the B-26 flown that day by George W Gleason was BN.44.
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/19/2011
Time:
3:21 PM

I work for the state of Florida as an adult protective investigator. Recently I had an investigation in which my victims first husband was killed in WW II, it was related he was a B-26 pilot, I later learned he was lost when he was enroute to Africa after leaving Brazil. I have no other info other than his last name – Blessing. I am wondering if you might be able to provide additional information.

Thanks very much.
Steve Shaw

Steve,
On Dec18 1942 B-26 41-17791 of the 444th Bomb Squadron 320th Bomb Group was posted as missing on the southern route between Ascension Island and Accra.
The crew listed as lost at sea were:

1.Lt William R Telesmanic; 2.Lt Clayton R Blessing; S/Sgt Bruister; S/Sgt H LeNoir; T/Sgt Joseph P Hunter and Pvt Duer R Heyman

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/19/2011
Time:
1:35 PM

I was reading the post about the man whose uncle, Carl Eckhardt, got the DFC for freeing a stuck bomb in the bomb bay.

Joe Coleman, who was my dad’s bombardier when they were crewed with Col. Frank Wood, did the same thing and got nothing. Also, as an aside that particular bomb was salvoed off the coast of France. The explosion detonated 13 underwater mines. The location: Normandy. As a result the 9th AF’s first bombers in on D-Day bombed the water leading into the landing zone on Utah beach.

Life is peculiar like that at times.

Joe Coleman was also the bombardier for Col. Wood on the 13th of May, 1944. Frank Evans, who was the navigator, was up in the nose behind Lt. Coleman as they made the bomb run. He wanted to see what it looked like. Flak struck the nose of the aircraft and decapitated Lt. Evans. His body fell on Lt. Coleman. Joe told me in a phone conversation about this. I asked him what he did. He said” I had to keep on the bomb sight, I was the lead bombardier.” The plane was damaged badly and crash-landed in England. Lt. Evans body was ejected and the plane passed over it. There is a picture of that plane on the ground with my father squatted down on top of the nose smoking a cigarette in the 397th Bomb Group album. He, Frank Evans and Joe Coleman all trained together in the states.

Wynn Anderson
Son of Andy Anderson

Date:
7/18/2011
Time:
6:37 AM

My uncle, Carl Eckhardt, was a bombardier navigator on a Martin Marauder. He was awarded the DFC for freeing an stuck bomb from the bomb bay. He was a 2nd lieutenant who served with the 322nd bomb group, 450th bomb squadron. I don’t have any more info than that!

I’d be happy to try to fill out some detail as best I can about Carl and his wife, Gardi (short for Hildegarde).

Carl flew many missions (I recall over 30) and then was assigned to Patton’s ground troops as an interpreter. He could speak fluid German. He met Hildegarde at Merseburg, Germany while he was stationed there. Hildegard was widowed as her husband was killed while in the German army. Carl returned to the United States and got special Congressional approval to bring Hildegard to the United States where they were married in 1947 (I can confirm the date, I believe); I attended that wedding as a young lad. They did not have any children by their marriage and lived out their years together. Carl was quite involved in the inactive reserves for many years and attended reunions with members of his crew. I believe one person was Mitch Mitchiikoff (sp) who lived in California. My uncle took me on a trip to the western U.S. and he met with Mitch on that trip. Carl worked as a tailor in a Men’s clothing store for many years. Both Carl and Gardi are now deceased and I can find the obits if necessary.

Carl would get upset when Gardi would tease him that he would bomb during the night and Carl would reiterate that their missions were tin he daytime. I’ve heard that the RAF bombed at night.

I want to thank you for finding the information that you supplied above. Its always a shame to find out info after people are gone.

I was prompted to inquire about Carl because I attended the AirExpo in Eden Prairie, MN this past weekend and I had a chance to hear stories from WWII vets about some Minnesotans who flew in WWII. Most of the speakers were members of B-17 crews. There was a restored B17 and B25 at this air show. As I understand it, there are very few if any B-26 Marauders around. One person thought that there might be a B-26 in Texas but wasn’t sure. I was very confused about the B-25 and B26 aircraft. I saw a photo of my uncle standing in front of an airplane that had twin tails sections and yet I knew that he flew Martin Marauders. Thus the confusion over the B25/B26 difference.

I’ve heard that the B-26 was initially difficult to fly and nicknames such as the ‘Flying Coffin’ were attached to the B26.

Again thank you for the information and let me know how I can proceed on a dedication page.

Gary Eckhardt

Date:
7/17/2011
Time:
9:03 PM

Please forward my email to Jim Youngers who posted on the site on July 11, 2011. My last post was on May, 30, 2011 – Memorial Day.

I just want to let Jim know that a trip to the Archives and the MAPS Museum will be a great experience for him. Bring your items along because they have some very helpful people there and they can make copies of the paper work and you will be able to retain the originals. Vic Fleischer was a very knowledgeable guide when I took my tour. Be sure to take your son with you.

Thanks B26.com for continuing this very informative website.

Rich Erickson
Son of Marauder Man – Clarence V. Erickson

Date:
7/14/2011
Time:
10:31 AM

My grandfather, Mario J. Kudla, was a member of the crew of the “Merry Jerry”. He never spoke much of his military experience with my father or my uncle, but from what I have been told he was a tail gunner. I was just trying to find out some more information about his plane, crew, and missions. If there is any pictures of the plane or if anyone had any ideas where I would be able to find out more information I would be truly appreciative. This year my wife gave birth to my first son and I would like to be able to pass on to him and my father and uncle any information about the wonderful service my grandfather did for us. I noticed that back in 2007 Mr. Ed FitzSimmonds wrote to you about his father Robert Scott FitzSimmonds, 344th Bomb Group, 495th Bomb Squadron, who apparently was the co-pilot of the “Merry Jerry”. If he gave you any information about the “Merry Jerry” I would be forever grateful to hear it. Thank you very much for taking time to help me with my search.

Sincerely,
Brian Kudla

Date:
7/11/2011
Time:
7:44 PM

Remember the Marauder Men
Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret)
B-26 Marauder pilot and historian, 2011

They were true heroes – the male pilots and aircrews, some of them still in their teens, who mastered the much-maligned Martin B-26 Marauder, took it into war, and made it one of the best of the best. These men were not just Americans, they also wore the uniforms of England, France and South Africa. From the Battle of Midway, across the Pacific, in the jungles of New Guinea, in the cold of Alaska and the Aleutians, over ocean and sea the U.S Marauder Men first fought against Japan – for the British and some others the conflict with Germany and Italy was already on-going. In the heat and sand of Africa, across the Mediterranean, and in the Balkans, the Marauder Men went on to support the invasion of Italy and then France from the north and the south, continuing to take on the forces of Germany until the war in Europe was no more. Their aircraft worn out, these men then picked up other aircraft and assignments for the final battle against Japan. [ Read more ]

Date:
7/11/2011
Time:
1:50 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 2/Lt. William H. Cardwell of Riverton, Utah
Bomb Group: Probably not assigned
Bomb Squadron: Probably not assigned
Years in service: 1-2
Graduation Class: 1945?
Class Location: Barksdale, LA?
Comments: My uncle, 2/Lt. William H. Cardwell, was co-pilot on the fateful plane, 44-68072, that crashed on the summit of Y-Garn, 1 February 1945. For several years, I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about him, the crew he flew with and the plane itself. I’ve found several articles (e.g., Kenneth W. Carty Mountain Marauder by David Earl and another article that describes the crash, shows pictures of the plaque placed at the crash site and one of engines, now on display at the Burtonwood Heritage Foundation.

Here are my questions.

Are there any photographs of the plane?

Were plane and crew assigned to a Bomber Group and Squadron at the time of the crash or would that have happened only after they safely arrived at Burtonwood?

In all of my research, I find that the Marauder appears to be the ugly step sister to the other planes that helped win WW II. I’ve learned enough to find out that on D-Day, the heavies, like the B-17 and B-24 were practically useless because of the cloud cover, and so it was left to the mediums, the B-25s, B-26s and the A-26s to do the real work. Yet, the B-26 seems to get little, if any credit–you have to really dig to find anything in the historical or even the popular war books about the impact of the B-26 on winning the war. I know the B-26’s early history and the fact that Jimmy Doolittle was a great help in saving the plane from being terminated. But, in the end, the facts speak loud and clear. This plane, in the hands of a well trained crew, performed magnificently and was more likely to get its crew home than any other during the war.

Now for a general question. Why doesn’t this plane and it crews get the credit they’re due?

The B-17 seems to get way more than its rightful share. That’s not to dismiss or degrade in any way its role (I liked Memphis Bell as much as the next guy). But the B-26 was a technological masterpiece for its day and what it accomplished in sortie rates was not approached by any other bomber in the ETO.

Thanks for all you do. Any additional info on my uncle, the crew he flew with and the plane itself would be most appreciated.

v/r,
Mr. Gaylen Kenneth Cardwell

Gaylen,
Thank you for the detailed information you sent to b26.com,you have obviously done quite a depth of research. Perhaps the enclosed missing aircrew report may be of help to you.

The crew would not have been assigned to a Group or Squadron until they had been processed through an aircrew reception centre.

Considering that the B-26 achieved such marvelous results in its bombing missions it is surprising that it had so little publicity. It was unfortunate that the press cottoned onto the heavy bomber and fighter groups of the 8th.AAF,whilst the 9th AAF, controller of the B-26 Groups were sadly almost entirely ignored by the press. You can gather the emphasis when you read a report in the press stating “The Heavy bombers of the 8th.AAF bombed industrial, oil and transportation targets in Germany today. Also out were medium bombers.”

Whilst the heavies attacked strategic targets, the mediums,B-26’s and A-20’s were attacking tactical targets.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/11/2011
Time:
12:41 PM

Here are two pictures of the B26 Memorial on June 25th 2011.

First one is (L-R) The Mayor of Lessard-et-le-Chene, Harry Johns (little brother of Sgt Charley Johns), Bob Birmingham (nephew of and named after Sgt Robert Birmingham), Steve Dana (nephew of Selwyn Danowitz).

Also here is one of the pictures of the B26 in the Utah Beach Museum.

Regards,
Tom Foster

Date:
7/11/2011
Time:
8:21 AM

My father, Howard R. Youngers was a ground crewman, specifically a fuel transport driver and fueler for the 397th BG, 599th BS in WWII. He passed away in 1969. Recently, in moving my mother out of her home due to Alzheimer’s Disease, I have come into possession of all of his things from the war, including his uniform, some campaign ribbons, misc. memorabilia, & his entire military history records including his draft card and discharge papers (all originals) , some books, etc.. My sister, the family historian, has a number of wartime photos which she is scanning and sending to me.

I came across your website just doing a little research on my Dad’s wartime service. I was totally stunned to discover the Marauder archives are located in Akron. My son and I will be in Akron the week after next as he is racing in the All American Soap Box Derby Championship. We plan on visiting Marauder archives if we can while we are there. Is there a good or bad time to visit? We have a few items we’d like the archivist to look at and perhaps help us identify as well as just to look over your faculty and items we have. I have a few stories from him I’d also like to share and verify-although he never talked much about the war-he got really choked up describing the day and night of 12/23/44 when I believe they lost a lot of planes and people. We were also pleased to discover that a B-26 exists at the Maps Museum in N. Canton-our hotel is within a few miles of there. Marauder archives are located in Akron is adding a whole new perspective to our trip there.

Jim Youngers & Jarritt Youngers (Howard’s Grandson)

Date:
7/10/2011
Time:
7:29 PM

I’ve had the attached B-26 nose art image for a while but can’t identify the unit. Would you be interested in publishing it on your site and see if anyone can help please? I’m sure it was taken in the Pacific (no location stated) and thought probably SWPA but it’s not listed as a 22nd BG aircraft in any reference I’ve seen so maybe it was with the 70th BS? Wording on the artwork is “WHEN THE LIGHTS Come On AGAIN”.

I do have another shot of this aircraft ,from another source, which I’ve attached two 600 dpi images of, the first ‘as is’, the second with altered brightness and contrast. There is part of a serial number visible on this shot but cut off by the wing that’s in the way unfortunately. I do note also that the fuselage national markings are of the post July 1943 style, but there are no surprises there. Neither photo has any other info or leads or even censor stamps to work on, but I say that the aircraft is definitely in the Pacific, possibly SWPA, and the more I think about it I wonder whether it’s a veteran of the early days put out to pasture as a VIP transport. There were a number of SWPA VIP B-25s so why not a B-26 too?

First Reply:
David,
I have looked at the photograph you sent and it appears this was one of the B-26’s operated by the 19th bomb squadron 22nd bomb group. These B26’s were stripped of paint and operated under the banner of “The Silver Fleet”. I can narrow the identity of this B26 down to possibly two aircraft 40-1488 or 40-1499, but with only a partial serial number showing I cannot be more definite.

Regards
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

I’m not convinced it’s a “Silver Fleet” aircraft. If it was I reckon it would have one or more of the following features; a bomb log, the “Silver Fleet” logo on the rudder and/or a black fin leading edge. In addition, if it was a 19th BS aircraft I’m fairly confident it would have rated a mention in Revenge of the Red Raiders history of the 22nd BG, but it doesn’t. To help try and nail this B-26’s identity, though, I’ve scanned the tail section of the second photo again, but this time at 1200 dpi (the last one was at 600 dpi), and played around with the brightness and contrast again, the results being attached. The last digit of the serial may be an 8 or 9 as you thought, but more definite I think is that the second to last digit would seem to be a 6. So if, as seems likely, “When the Lights Go On” etc is in that 40-1361 to 40-1561 serial block, possibilities look like being 40-1368/9 or 40-1468/9. Three of these aircraft served with the 22nd BG, but 1468 and 9 were lost in 1942, and 1368 was named “Sad Sack” whilst with the 33rd BS and became “Easy Pickin” with the 33rd, making that, I think, an unlikely candidate.

By my process of elimination, though, perhaps “When the Lights Go On” etc was 40-1369?

Regards,
Dave Vincent

Second Reply:
David, ok let us take it a little deeper:

40-1368 19BS “Easy Pickin” 8 Sep 43 crashed on take off at Dobadura, salvaged
40-1369 73BS fitted with fighter nose Feb 43 returned to USA.18 May 43 to 17 Jul 43 to 21BG.17 Jul 43 to 19 Sep 43 TEFTS Dodge City to class 26.
40-1388 19BS “Pistol Packin Mama” Jan 44 to Brisbane for salvage
40-1389 33BS 25 Mar 42 skidded on wet grass landing at Archer Field, ran into house, salvaged
40-1468 33BS 4 Jul 43 collided with Zero over Lae, crashed into sea.
40-1469 2BS 1 Apr 42 lost in storm over Palmira Islans, only one survivor
40-1488 19BS “Hoosiere Miss” to Jan 44 scrapped at Brisbane.
40-1489 2BS 15 May 42 crashed on take off, salvaged

Looking at all your photographs it looks as if this B-26 was parked on a concrete standing. In addition the star and bar on the fuselage looks as if it is partway painted, no red/blue outline to insignia at time of photograph. So having really narrowed it down to 40-1369; 40-1388; 40-1488, I have the feeling that we may be looking at 40-1369 when it was back in the USA training system. This could correspond to your last two digits of the serial number being 69.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
7/8/2011
Time:
1:54 PM

Good day !

My father Lt. Paul W. “Chris” Christensen was a Radio /Bombardier on “Satan’s Lady” who Logged 52 Missions over GERMANY ! Due to a fire in California I lost all of my Fathers Memory’s, he passed in 1985 and I am an only child ! I recall a name Paul Hirsch who was his Pilot ! If anyone has any information on “Satan’s Lady” or his Crew I would greatly appreciate.

Thank you,
JP Christensen

Date:
7/7/2011
Time:
1:13 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Ira Lewis Dudley Jr.
Bomb Group: BG 322
Bomb Squadron: BS 451st
Years in service: 18 Total beginning in Camp Hullen, TX – 1941
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: Enlistment to overseas service from 1941-1945 (Beauvais, Fr). As far as I know, mostly ground crew. Injured in France and returned to U.S. in Apr 1945. Have attached a number of photos which might be of interest to their family members.

Yours truly,
W.A. Dudley

Date:
7/5/2011
Time:
11:05 AM

Name: Albert Coble Bennett
BombGp: 17
Squadron: 37
Years: 1942-1945
From: North Carolina

Comments: My father was in the 17th bomb group, 37th squad between 1942-1945. His name was Albert Coble Bennett and he was from North Carolina. I’m looking for anyone that may have known or flown with him. My understanding is he was a tail gunner.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Gray Bennett

Date:
7/4/2011
Time:
8:04 AM

To all those who have who have passed on, and to those who are still with us from the 386th Bomb Group [M] known to all who served or are Association members as the Crusaders – enjoy your July 4th Independence Day. You mean so much to us that watched you fly out of Station 164 – Boxted Airfield. God Bless You all. Love. Patrick Simmonds. I was a seven year old kid when first we met back in 1943.

Date:
7/3/2011
Time:
10:35 AM

My father is Donald C. Clark, 1st Lieutenant, SN XXXX659, US AAF, from 27 May 1942 to 17 July 1945. He was a B-26 pilot with the 9th Air Force, 397th Bombardment Group, 596th Bombardment Squadron. He received the following citations for his combat duty:

* Distinguished Flying Cross
* Air Medal with 2 Silver Oak Leaf Clusters and 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
* Presidential Unit Citation
* European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal
* WWII Victory Medal

Attached are 2 photos of him early in his service, copies of 3 documents evidencing his service, and a brief (8 pages) history of his relocations related to me in 2009 (there are a few historical embellishments I added with information gleaned from the internet). He is alive and well at 90 years old, living with is wife of 56 years. Though somewhat hearing impaired, all his mental and physical faculties are intact. It is my hope that his name and personal history can be added to your website and preserved with the other information you have compiled.

Thank you,
Donald C. Clark, Jr

Date:
6/28/2011
Time:
5:45 AM

Hello,

This Albert Hill page is about my Grandfather, Capt. Bert Dugger. I know this is an unusual request but could you put me in tough with anyone that might have known him. He died before I was born. I am his grandson. I am 44 years old. I served in the Air force and my dad is a retired Air Force test pilot. I know very little about him, yet some how feel very connected to him. My enlistment picture is in color and his is in black and white other than that we look identical.

His death was very traumatic for my mother so she never really talked about him growing up as kids. She has some of his records and photos which she is sending me. I would love to send them to you to post.

Anyways thank you in advance. Whatever you can do will be greatly appreciated.

Chad M. McHugh

Date:
6/27/2011
Time:
10:45 PM

My father, Corporal Horace Johnson (deceased) served with the 95th Bombardment Squadron, 17th Bombardment Group. I recently reviewed his discharge and noted the 4 campaigns from North Africa, Rome, Rhineland etc. I have some pictures he preserved though he never talked about his experiences. I would like to have any info or stories you may have about him to share.

Horace Johnson Jr.

Date:
6/21/2011
Time:
9:11 PM

Name: Charlie P. Sanza
Bomb Group: 322
Squadron: 450
Years 42 to 46
Sergeant, bombardier
Location Minersville and Forestville, PA

Comments: Does anyone out there remember my dad? He passed away in 2007 and I have been going thru some old pictures and found some of him and the crew of the INVICTUS. I would like to share these pictures. My dad was a middleweight boxer so maybe you remember him from that.

Date:
6/17/2011
Time:
9:45 AM

Marauderman’s Name: T/Sgt. John L. Misarko
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 475th
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: 1943
Class Location: Barksdale
Comments: Bombardier Navigator -Shot down over France April 21, 1944, All 6 crew were seen bailing out bomb bay door.
Interned at Stalag 17B, Barrack 29B for the remainder of war.

Received Distinguished Flying Cross but do not know when or why it was awarded. Have not been able to find fellow crew members or their plane in any records.

Susan Hoekstra

Date:
6/16/2011
Time:
2:51 PM

Here is an entry for a newly found B26er who does not have a computer. He maybe available by telephone via Joe Lazar. Attached is a newspaper article dated June 9, 2011 about him. That is how I came to know about him. I had a long chat with him today on the telephone for this info.

Name : John Sturges a/k/a John Papastergiou (probably his military name). Age 91 @June 2011
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 449th
Years in Service: June 1941-Sept 1944
Missions. 65
Position; Bombardier
Bombardier School: Williams Air field, Tempi, Arizona.
Stationed in Great Saling , England.
John Sturges by telephone advised Joe Lazar (present submitter of this info) that the 323rd Bomb Group (Joe Lazar’s group) arrived at his site in short handed form (date not known).
Joe Lazar did not join the 323rd until August-Sept. 1944). John’s Bomb Group helped to supplement the people to the 323rd. He was requested to transfer to the 323rd but denied the opportunity. His Bomb group was in the invasion on June 6 1944 (?) , he flying two missions that day.

Lou Rehr: Do you have any knowledge of the relationship between the 322 and the 323?
Frank Morris: Ditto??

Submitted with John Sturges’ pre-approval by Joe Lazar. (323rd bomb Sq.. 456 Bomb Sq. Squadron Navigator when war ended..)

Date:
6/13/2011
Time:
9:47 PM

My father, Rader O. Hale, flew with Pilot Richard Horridge, copilot John McClurkin, Orin Basco, Royce Hay and Daniel Lichtenhan. He’s listed in many of pictures shown with John McClurkin in Matching Greens, Essex, England.

I would like to know how to get him listed with his fellow airmen on the B26 Historical site. He passed away on April 16th, 1993. I wish he could of seen the tributes and memorials listed on the internet. He would of loved it! Dad never really talked much about the war. But he did mention the “DRAGON WAGON”! He thought so much of Richard Horridge that my oldest brother is named after him. I found the pictures of our father and downloaded them. I’m giving them to my family in honor of Father’s Day.

We miss you, Dad! We honor all of those who have served and are still serving our country.

Many thanks,
Kimberley Hale Olson

Date:
6/11/2011
Time:
5:42 PM

On June 25th 2011, The ANSA (Association Normande du Souvenir Ae’rien 1939-1945 Orne-Maine (www.ansa39-45.fr , ansa.ornemaine.free.fr)) along with The Lacey-Davis Foundation (www.lacey-davisfoundation.org) will conduct a Monument Dedication in Lessard et le Chene, France for the Crew of the B26 Marauder 41-31805 lost on July 28th 1944 . Several family members of the crew will attend.

Pilot: 1st Lt. Fredrick Olson Briggs
Co-Pilot: 1st Lt. Claude C. Cannaday
Bomardier: 1st Lt. Leon C. Higgonbothan
Radio/Gunner: T/S Selwin B. Danowitz
Engineer/Gunner: S/S Charley Manford Johns
Tail Gunner: S/S Robert J. Birmingham

Date:
6/11/2011
Time:
2:26 AM

My dad’s name is Louis Salvati.
He served as a radio operator and gunner in the 320th Bomb Group/443rd Squadron in 44 and 45.
He passed away last August at the age of 88. I am his only child, Lisa and I can’t tell you how much I miss him.
He was a wonderful father and the love he gave my mom and me is beyond description, beyond words.
He was my best friend, my wonderful, loving Dad. I am so proud of him, as when I went to arrange to have the Honor Guard at his funeral, I was shocked when I looked at his discharge papers. A purple heart, which I knew about, 4 bronze stars. I gasped when I saw this. I had no idea. Also, the air medal and the Croix de Guerre with Palm.

I attended many 443rd Squadron reunions with him. He was thrilled to see how the grandson of one of the men put everything on the internet. We looked up his missions together since he wasn’t familiar with the internet. He saw his name, typewritten there, and he was very emotional. These were the original flight schedules gathered from the National Archives. What a wonderful treasure for me to have access to.

The stories he told me towards the end were moving, heart wrenching. Some close calls, but it wasn’t his time. He came out of the war at the ripe age of 21, and didn’t meet my mom until age 36! They were meant to be together. We happily celebrated their 50th anniversary a few months before his death.

If anyone has any memories to share, or if anyone has a relative who may have flown with my dad, please email me.

His main pilot was Jim Ayrey, who is deceased.

Lisa Salvati

Date:
6/8/2011
Time:
8:30 AM

A movie that features a Martin B-26 Marauder – The Runway

“A little like the crashlanded Martin B26 Marauder at the centre of his film, when it came to The Runway, young Irish filmmaker Ian Power spent two years waiting for permission to take off…” [select here]

Date:
6/8/2011
Time:
6:40 AM

Last week John O. Merrill, a B26 pilot shot down over Germany, was honored at the German Consulate in San Francisco. Here’s the link to information about this event.
German Missions in the United States – WW II Veteran Honored.

It’s rather ironic that a WWII bomber pilot would be honored by the German Consul General but it was an exceptionally nice event and very tastefully done. Wish everyone could have been there. The Germans in attendance expressed their thanks for all the American help in liberating them from an awful German regime. Never thought I’d hear that.

Here’s how the event unfolded: John Merrill and I are members of the San Francisco Yacht Club. The Commodore of our club is Bob Heller. Bob is a German who, as a child lived in a cave near the German town (Andernach) where Merrill was captured after bailing out of his B26. Heller knows the story of John’s military career. Two years ago Heller went back to Germany to see family and friends and visited the village Andernach. He took many pictures and after his return he presented Merrill with an album of photos of the town, the abandoned railroad, the former site of the bridge that was John’s target on his fateful day, etc, etc. The German board member knows the German Consul General in San Francisco and during a meeting, they reviewed the pictures and John’s story was discussed. The Consul General’s office emailed the village officials and asked about that day in 1945. They researched their records and found the accounts of the bomber crash and pilot and crew being captured. They emailed the information back to the Consul’s office in San Francisco. The Consul’s office prepared a plaque for John containing the words of that response. The Vin d’ Honneur was planned as the venue for presentation of the plaque. It was attended by about 25 of John’s close friends. -John Kern

Date:
6/6/2011
Time:
5:30 PM

Sixty seven years ago today, my father-in-law, Lt. Bill Rose, was the bombardier/navigator in a B26 based in England, with the mission to support the Normandy Invasion. Attached is a picture of this Marauderman along with two photos he took from his “precarious perch” in the nose of the plane, showing the amphibious lst’s as they beached with the infantry. We know he flew in at least two aircraft—-Margie and Lady Belle. I have some additional photos and other written material that I will be posting on this site and also with the University of Akron Marauderman archives. As with many combat veterans, these days were among his most cherished memories and proudest moments. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to men like these.

Date:
6/6/2011
Time:
7:28 AM

D-Day veterans recall World War Two turning point [select here]

Date:
6/6/2011
Time:
6:26 AM

Utah Beach, The Amphibious Landing and Airborne Operations on D-Day, June 6, 1944, By Joseph Balkoski

A review by Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret) prepared for Marauder Men

The Marauder Men, especially those serving in the WW II European Theater of Operations, have long fretted over the media coverage that relegated the Martin B-26 Marauders to the subordinate level of “they also flew.” Few understood that the background issue was the USAF interest in separating from U.S. Army leadership and establishing air power as an independent military arm equal to ground and naval power. Key to accomplishing this was the emphasis on strategic bombing – which tended to subordinate the accomplishments of the medium and light bombers. [read more]

Date:
6/6/2011
Time:
6:17 AM

The 6th of June. What a monumental undertaking. The 397th Bomb Group flew two missions that day. The first against the beach defenses at Utah beach, les dunes de Varreville. The 2nd at Le Havre against a coastal defense gun emplacement.

God bless their souls.
Wynn Anderson

Date:
6/5/2011
Time:
9:45 PM

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

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

Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.COM

Date:
6/5/2011
Time:
5:38 PM

Lt. Clay S. Abraham was my Great Uncle He was shot down over Ahrweiler, Germany on December 23, 1944.

Tim Clay Robinson posted 4 fantastic pictures of Clay in cockpit, with wife Gloria, with brothers (my other uncles) and with extended family on porch (including my Great Grand Parents Helen and Keith).

I would love any other information or photos anybody might have to share

P Abraham, Clayton S. 2 Lt.
CP Bovie, Verne H. 2 Lt.
B Bikochik, John P. 2 Lt.
FE Christiansen, Erik. S/Sgt.
RG Lemon, Floyd R. T/Sgt.
AG Murphy, Melvin E. S/Sgt.

Source: SO-121 HQS, 391st Bomb Group 9/13/1944 Par. 9
The flight over to Europe was in 43-34428. Lt Abraham and Sgt Lemon were killed on 12/23/44 in 42-107747.

Thank you,
Matt Rinehart

Date:
6/1/2011
Time:
6:30 PM

I’d like to hear from my fellow 323rd bomb group, 456th squadron members – actually I’d like to see all all Marauder Men post a message to the guest book !

Here is an entry in the B26 site for the year 2010 – it’s had to find [click here]. I note that the 323rd joins with the 344th for annual reunions. I’d like to hear from members of that group. Wow. the old guys still continue meeting at reunions ☺ !!!

How are things with the Marauder Men ? I am slowing down quite too fast …

Very interesting entries as I screened through the entries for 2011 and 2010. It has been a long time since I have been at this B26.com site. Noticed the large entry about Louis Rehr and also an entry by someone from the 454 squadron about a mission attached by the Messerschmitt rocket ships. Called “Me 262” as I recall them. I could have well been the Lead Group navigator on that mission to Crailsheim Germany. I was on about 5 missions with Lou Rehr.

Joe Lazar

Date:
5/31/2011
Time:
6:29 PM

I memory of my uncle S/Sgt. George K. Dusang I would to have the attached file posted; my formal name is Lionel GEORGE Dusang, & my father Lionel Robert Dusang served also in the Navy during WWII.

Text caption:
S/Sgt. George K Dusang was killed on 26th May 1944 in aircraft 41-32017 RJ-A “Black Magic II” of the 454th BS. The aircraft was hit by flak on the mission to the Seraing Railroad bridge, Belgium , which killed S/Sgt. Dusang. The pilot, Capt. Robert L Kelly managed to fly the crippled aircraft back for a crash landing at RAF Manston, Kent.

This pic file with George Dusang found on your b-26 webpage under Everett Chrisco is attached; unfortunately, the 8×10 photo of Uncle George in his uniform I had hanging in my room as a child was lost during the floods of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I circled George’s face; amazingly, he is the spitting image of MY father (Lionel’s obit pic attached) & was easy to pick him out in the crew photo (even though caption identified him too).

The additional caption under this WWII photo has the members of this plane’s crew:

Back Row: S/ Sgt. John Naul, Engineer/Tail Gunner- Philadelphia , PA. S/Sgt. George K.Dusang, TopTurret Gunner – New Orleans , LA.

Front Row: S/ Sgt. Everett Chrisco, Bombardier/Nose Gunner – Sage, AR. T/Sgt. Roscoe L. Harkey Jr., Radio Oper./Waist Gunner – Little Rock , AR, 1st. Lt. Martin P.O’Toole, Pilot – St. Petersburg , Fl.

Thank you…sincerely,
Lonnie Dusang

Date:
5/31/2011
Time:
5:50 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Albert Travis “A.T.” Thompson
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am hoping to catch the attention of a fellow squadron member, or a crew member’s family, who may know more details of crash, or anyone who knew Albert Thompson. My Great Uncle was a S/SGT – ROG (Tail Gunner) on a B-26 Marauder, aircraft # 41-31908. He and his crew were all KIA on 9 Sept 1943 during a bombing mission on the Boulogne coast of France. This mission was part of Operation Starkey, a D-Day preparation sortie, as I understand it. I am looking for any information regarding him, his crew, photos of the crew and aircraft, eye-witness accounts of him being shot down, etc. Any thing will be appreciated. -Thanks, Douglas Thompson

Date:
5/31/2011
Time:
6:03 AM

I read the article by Maury Gallagher on the May 18th, 2011 posting and would like to send him a few pictures of John W. Colsch as well as John Kohler and Bill Kelly who were killed on the same mission. These pictures are from my grandfather’s album and they may be of some interest to Maury or perhaps family members he corresponded with for his article. Interestingly, my grandfather, Frank, was probably one of those “Iowa Boys” that Col. Williams was referring to as well, having been raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I also have a letter from John Kohler’s mother, Mrs. O.W.[?] Herrmann, in response to a letter & photos my grandfather sent to her after John’s crash.

Images left to right, “Sailor Colsch” John Colsch, John Colsch from New Albin, Iowa, John Kohler and Flak (dog) also Lee “Wimpy” Aubochon in background, Bill Kelly and Flak, Bill Kelly and unknown, Bill Kelly from White Bear Lake, Minn.

Maybe this is all too late to be of help to Maury but if nothing else he can perhaps forward these on to John Colsch’s nephew. Feel free to forward him my email if he has any further questions.

Sincerely,
Ryan Cooper
Grandson of Frank S. Cooper of the 391st BG and 573rd BS

Date:
5/30/2011
Time:
10:38 AM

As the son of a WWII flight surgeon (CBI theater), I have always held the pilots and crews of WWII as the heroes of my life. So when I found the gravestone of Staff Sgt Lauren Cowallis I wanted people to know about the stone and him. The stone is in a remote rural small cemetery in the middle of the state of Maine.

Staff Sgt Cowallis was a crew member on a medium bomber B-26 Marauder assigned to the 9th Air Force, IX Bomber Command, 98th Bombardment Wing, 387th Bomb Group, 558th Bomb Squadron stationed in Clastres, France in 1944. His plane, Old Ironsides, piloted by Lt Alexander Winsor, was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire over Duren, Germany on Dec 6, 1944 while on bombing mission into Germany.

It would give me a sense of satisfaction if it turned out that someone knew him or of him. I have not been able to locate any family members or anyone who knew him or his family.

Here are link to cemetery on Route 11, south, 2.3 miles from 16/11, on Lyford Road [here].

Thank you.

Bob Spear

Date:
5/30/2011
Time:
9:28 AM

Memorial Day 2011

Greetings, all.

On May 28th, 1944, at 7 pm, on a beautiful, warm, spring evening in German occupied France, my Father, 2nd Lt. Edward W. Horn, bailed out of a burning “Smilin’ Joy” 4295920 7I-L over Abbeville. It was his second mission of the day, and his 23rd. The 19 year old co-pilot and his crew were hit by flak in the right engine over the target, the marshalling yard in Amiens, France. With a P-47 escort, and the plane under control, they headed for the channel. They were not able to maintain altitude nor to smother the engine fire. The bombardier, 2nd Lt. Joseph Johnson and gunner, Tech/Sgt George Coon, bailed out and were picked up by the French underground. After 3 months of evasion, they returned to England. 2nd Lt. Horn and Staff/Sgt Samuel McDowell Coon, were captured and became POWs.

The pilot, 1st Lt. James Reynold, a West Point Grad, was shot and killed while parachuting. Cpl Leonard Norris Pew, the tail-gunner, is still listed as MIA.

Footnote: Edward Horn’s plane, that they flew over to England from West Palm Beach, was the only 344th plane shot down over Utah Beach on D-Day. “The Bad Penny” 4295902 7I-G

Date:
5/30/2011
Time:
7:03 AM

My father, Clarence V. Erickson (1918-1972), was a member of the 391st BG and the 575th BS.

I want to thank the men and women of the Greatest Generation on this Memorial Day – 2011.

My wife and I had the opportunity to be in Akron, Ohio two weeks ago when the members of the 391st Bomb Group held their final Rendezvous Reunion. Visiting the Marauder Archives at the University of Akron was an excellent experience. The most interesting part of the weekend for me was when we toured the MAPS Museum in Akron and we were able to walk through the fuselage of a B-26 that is being restored. The men were all telling stories about their duties and jobs when flying the B-26. I could see in their eyes and tell form the increase in their voice that they were remembering their roles from sixty-five plus years ago as if it happened yesterday. At the banquet on Saturday evening they met for one last time to tell their stories and retire their American Flag and the Flag of the 391st BG.

Thank-you Marauder Men,
Rich Erickson – Son of Marauder Man Clarence V. Erickson

Date:
5/30/2011
Time:
12:01 AM

Memorial Day 2011

Date:
5/29/2011
Time:
3:45 PM

Opened in time for US Memorial Day and UK Remembrance Day, a new airfield museum has opened in Essex ! The Boxted Airfield Historical Group has constructed the museum (using Nissen huts) on the old airfield site. The grand opening ceremony was this morning, and is the culmination of many years of hard work by many of the members. The museum was officially opened by Henry Farwell [here], who was a Radio Operator/Gunner in the 554th BS, 386th BG. He is 92 and lives in London !

The museum has obtained “on loan” the only substantial piece of a B-26 in the UK ! It’s a section of the fuselage from the waist gun windows to the tail, but sadly it’s all we have. More information on this and the museum at the Boxted Airfield Historical Group’s old site, soon to be new site.

Cheers,
Steve Sharp
Member, Boxted Airfield Historical Group

Date:
5/29/2011
Time:
6:27 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Sgt. Troy C. Lisenby
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 587th
Years in service: 2
Comments: He didn’t get to cross the “Big Pond” in February 1944 with the rest of his buddies. The Master had other plans for him and his crewmates on 8 January 1944. This is in memory of the uncle we never knew. -Andrew Lisenby

Date:
5/25/2011
Time:
10:15 PM

Maraudermen. Please fill out the form and send it to the appropriate address below.

Please fill out this form – application for French Legion of Honor – fill it out, send it in.
Follow the process to be awarded French Legion of Honor (no worries, it’s fast!)

There are 10 regional consulates:

1. Consulate General of France in Boston representing the far North-Eastern states
> 31 Saint James Avenue, Park Square Building, Suite 750, Boston, MA 02116, Tel: (617) 832 4400
2. Consulate General of France in New York for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
> 934 Fifth Avenue, (between 74th and 75th Streets), New York, NY 10021, Tel: (212) 606-3600
3. Consulate General of France in Washington for DC and surrounding states
> 4101 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20007, Tel: (202) 944-6000
4. Consulate General of France in Atlanta for the South-Eastern states
> 3475 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, Tel: (404) 495-1660
5. Consulate General of France in Miami for Florida
> 1395 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131, Tel: (305) 403-4150
6. Consulate General of France in New Orleans for Louisiana
> 1340 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70112, Tel: (504) 569-2870
7. General Consulate of France in Houston for Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas
> 777 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, Tel: (713) 985-3260
8. Consulate General of France in Chicago covering the largest number of states, representing the North and West
> 205 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601, Tel: (312) 327-5200
9. Consulate General of France in San Francisco for the South-West, including the northern halves of California and Nevada
> 540 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108, Tel: (415) 397-4330
10. Consulate General of France in Los Angeles Covering the remaining south-western states and the remainder of California and Nevada
> 10390 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025-6915, Tel: (310) 235-3200

Note: Only awarded to WW2 Veterans who served in France during Liberation and must be living.

Date:
5/25/2011
Time:
9:17 AM

My dad, Louis Earl Giedinghagen Sr., was a radioman in WW2 and flew in B26. He was in the 397 bomb group and 597th squadron. He married my Mother in November 1941. He got in trouble because my Mom came to see him before he left. His orders were to be not told to family. She really loved him and today still misses him since he died in 2005. They had six children (some were still born etc.), five boys and one girl, I was the youngest boy. My father’s burial ceremony at the cemetery was the most moving event I can remember. The men folded the flag and presented it to my mother “from a grateful nation” one of the crew said. I am glad he lived through the war because I was born in 1957. I want to thank all our veterans.

Sincerely,
Dave Giedinghagen

Me too!

Date:
5/22/2011
Time:
8:33 AM

Reply to post: Date: 5/13/2011, Time: 12:02 AM

Hi, my name is Jim and while visiting a nursing home in my home town I had the opportunity to talk a gentleman there. In the course of our conversation he told he that he flew a B-26 during WWII. His name is Robert Ely Donnell and is 92 years old. He was with the 596th and retired with the rank of Colonel. He mentioned knowing a George “Spanky” Roberts and when I looked it up I found that he flew with the Tuskegee Airmen. He seems to remember quite a bit about his time in the service but has trouble recalling names but is still pretty sharp. -Jim

From the 596th BS loading lists, Mr. Donnell was assigned to fly 38 missions, starting on 2 August 1944 and ending with 20 April 1945, as co-pilot. On 3 August 1944, he flew as co-pilot on a mission to attack a railroad bridge at Courtelain, France with my father, Sterling P. Hoch, as pilot. On 30 November 1944, he was co-pilot on mission #136 where his B-26 crashed, as described in the following excerpt from the 596th BS historical reports: “Mission No. 136. 30-11-44. Target — Stockheim Def. Town. Results PFF. Capts. Boyar, Jordan, Rhodes, Evans, Lts. Yeardley, Brownlee, Brendle, Cannop, Clopton and crews flew on this mission. Lt. Clopton crash landed at Beauraing, Belgium (PO170). Engine failure due to some object from plane ahead hitting cockpit, propeller and was driven into left engine. Losing altitude the pilot ordered crew to jump. All jumped except Lt. Clopton, who rode plane down successfully after salvoing bombs. T/Sgt John Meshechek Serial No. xxxxx856, was killed in jump when chute opened too late to break fall completely. All others safe. T/Sgt Meshechek was the first man killed in action since 596th Sqdn. commenced operation.” -Don Hoch, son of Sterling Hoch

Reply to post: Date: 5/14/2011, Time: 3:04 PM

I am looking for more information about my uncle who died in a B26 over Germany on 23 Dec1944.

Phillip A. Vogel, 1LT
397th BG
596th BS
1942-1944 service times

He was a bombardier/navigator. At some point he was attached to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. I have a copy of an accident report on 1Dec1944 w/ LT Francis Brown flying 42-95939(?). He was in 42-96223 with CPT Enoch Longworth when he was shot down headed for the Ahrweiler R/R Bridge. I have the accident reports for both of those incidents. Was my uncle ever listed as a pilot with the 397th? When was he assigned to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron? How can I get the crew lists for him? He arrived in England 1June1944, just before D-Day. -Susan

According to data obtained from 596th BS loading lists, Lt. Vogel was assigned to fly on 14 missions with the squadron commencing on 2 June 1944 and ending with 6 July 1944. He was listed as Bombardier / Navigator on all of these missions. Initially he flew with a number of different crews, however he flew 8 of the missions with the Robert Barcroft crew. The members were: Robert Barcroft – pilot, Edwin Zachary – co-pilot, Phillip Vogel – bombardier, Carl Reib – engineer/gunner, John O’Connor – radio/gunner, and Charles Stiles – armorer/gunner. For all of his missions with the 596th BS, his rank was 2nd Lt. According to the 596th BS monthly historical reports, he (along with a number of other men) was promoted to 1st Lt. on 17 July 1944 per “par 19, SO 199, Hq 9 AF”. -Don Hoch, son of Sterling Hoch

Date:
5/20/2011
Time:
1:16 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Norris K. Calkins
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 450th
Plane: 41-18086 DRAGGIN’LADY ER-U
Years in service: 1942/1943
Graduation Class: 1942 or 43
Class Location: New Mexico
Comments 2LT Norris K. Calkins BOM Serial # 0-731020 KIA 17 May 1943 was my older brother. On your site you requested further info about him. I would be happy to supply more info if I know what you need to know. The one surviving crew member, Anthony A. Alaimo, I remember visiting my parents in the 40’s. I am the last surviving sibling but Kenneth was always kept a vivid part of our lives. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Sincerely: Norma J. Smith (nee: Calkins)

Date:
5/20/2011
Time:
7:13 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Charles Cashin
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 597th
Comments: I actually know very little about my grandfather Charles’ service, except for a copy of a letter he sent my grandmother describing bailing out over the English Channel after a dynamotor fire. He passed away when I was very young. He was the bombardier/navigator on the “Innocents Abroad” (Cashin Carry was also stenciled on the side of the plane, his name and the name of one of the other crew members, I believe). According to family lore, all the members of his crew survived the bail-out, but we’ve never confirmed this.

There’s a photo of him, the ship, and the rest of its crew in a book by the name of ‘The Best of Loveland’, which my parents have. I believe the photo is captioned with all their names, but I don’t have it handy.

I was searching tonight for any information on him or his ship, and came across your site. I saw the mention of his ship’s name in the 2003 guest book, and the person who responded posted more specific information, including serial number, and given the serial number, with a little research, it looks like the pilot was either Milton E. Wells or Garnett N. Radebaugh but not much else seems to turn up. Anyway, thought I’d leave a note in your guest book myself.

Follow-up:
Found my copy of the letter from my grandfather to my grandmother, and it seems my recall of it wasn’t quite right. Also, he apparently wasn’t the navigator, at least not on this mission, as he describes bailing out and landing near an aid station *with* the navigator. Here’s the complete uncorrected text, recounting a bomb run taking place a little over two months after D-Day, if I’m interpreting it correctly. The only paragraph break was at the end.

It was the eleventh of August and we were briefed for a pathfinder mission to knock out a temporary rail road bridge over the Siene River at Oissel. It was to close to Rouen. We knew there were plenty of flak gunners on the ground that would be waiting for us. We prayed for a solid undercaste but when we reached the I.P. we could see that the cloud coverage would only be about two-tenths. It was over a ten minute bomb-run, straight and level. The flak started and it was intense accurate. The gunners had the correct altitude and we caught hell. The right engine stopped but the pilot held the plane in formation and we dropped our bombs on the pathfinder. I immediately crawled out of the nose. The pilot said that we might make England but we’d have to bail out because there was no right rudder. He also had me go to the aft compartment and check to see that the gunners had their chutes on and every thing was ready. We did not lose much altitude on single engine but we dropped behind the formation. The pilot and co-pilot were taking turns on the feathering switch to keep the prop from running away since the governor on the good engine was knocked out. We made enemy land fall out and headed across the channel. Then the other engine cut out and the tail gunner baled out about two miles out in the channel. The engine cut back in at six thousand feet and it was doubtful that we would be able to get across the channel so we flew down the coast to the Allied Beach-head. The radio man was busy sending S.O.S. and radioed Air Sea Rescue give the approximate position of the tail gunner in the channel. A fire started in the dynamotor on the forward bulkhead of the bomb-bay. The smoke was choking the two gunners in the aft compartment. I emptied the fire extinguisher on the dynamotor and the fire went out. I called the gunners and they said that they were O.K. now that the fire was out. I was not sure so I asked the engineer if there were any gas lines near the dynamotor. He said no and not to worry about the hydraulic fluid that was spraying around the bomb-bay. We flew inland over Ouisterham, where the lines began and after a minute the pilot opened the bomb-bay and we bailed out. Four of us landed close to an aid station, that was the navigator, engineer-gunner and armorer-gunner and I. We met the radio man at the nearest air strip and then the pilot called saying that he and the co-pilot were about four miles away and to wait for him. Which we did.

As a result of this mission, two men are going home, one man M.I.A. and three Purple Hearts.

I also found two other things you might be interested in; first, an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 24, 1991 (just before the beginning of their online archives, unfortunately), page 4-G, titled “Life in a B-26: the stubby little bomber that could”. The paper interviewed several Maraudermen for its article and included a photo of pilot George Davis holding a photo of the crew of the “Lonesome Liza”.

Geoff

Title: The best of Loveland: overseas dispatches, columns, editorials
Author Roelif Loveland
Editor Philip W. Porter
Publisher Distributed by H. Allen, 1979
Length 276 pages
Subjects France
War correspondents
World War, 1939-1945

Geoff, on August 11th 1944 B-26 42-96278 9F-X was hit by flak on the bomb run, the pilot advised the crew to bail out and he crashlanded at airfield B.10.
The crew that day were:

Capt Orrel R Buckler; 1.Lt Glenn I Eggleston; 2.Lt’s Charles W Cashin; John G Cotter, S/Sgt’s Eugene Zelinski; William J Rohweder; Clarence H Clark; George N Hohn. All crew survived.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
5/19/2011
Time:
9:05 PM

Marauderman’s Name: George Raymond Moon
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Commendations:
· Purple Heart
· Distinguished Flying Cross
· Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters
· Good Conduct Medal
· American Defense Service Medal
· American Campaign Medal with one Bronze star for participation in the Antisubmarine campaign
· European African Middle Eastern Campaign with 2 Bronze stars for participation in the Air Offensive Europe and Normandy Campaigns
· WWII Victory Medal
· Distinguished Unit Citation

On July 8th 1944 T/Sgt. George Raymond Moon was on board 42-107680 (Pickled-Dilly) as Radio Operator. MACR # 6623. This Marauder was a B-26C-45-MO model.

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

George originally started in the 34th BS, 17 BG. Looking for any info on when he (or the group) was transferred into the 322/451st. Also, somewhere along the way, he went from the 8th Air Force to the 9th. ??

His records burned in a fire at the National Archives, so we are trying to recreate from scratch. Here are a couple of photos that we have. A couple of the Pickled Dilly (which has been hard to find info on actually) and of George, and his cross at Normandy.

This is a fabulous site – thanks for the great work!

Many thanks for any information or pointers.

Best regards,
Kathy Prince
(Niece)

Date:
5/18/2011
Time:
1:53 PM

John “Jack” K. Havener passed away on May 16, 2011. Funeral to be held in Memphis TN. Memphis Funeral Home, 5599 Poplar Ave. Ph: 901-761-8000. -Craig Havener

Jack Havener was a noted author and authority on the B26 and had the largest collection of magazine articles about the B-26 and the 344th BG along with colored photographs of the 344ths WW2 experiences. -Ed Horn

Date:
5/18/2011
Time:
1:52 PM

John W. Colsch. The pilot, a young First Lieutenant, certainly experienced some varied emotions as he lifted his B-26 Marauder (named “Purring Panther”) from the soil of England for his sixty-fifth combat mission. All but one of the crewmembers on board that day had flown with him across the seas to England six and a half months earlier. Together they had successfully completed 64 missions, and on this day, they would complete their required missions and then return home to their families and friends in the States. In the words of a crewmember on another bomber, the flak over the target that day was “terrific.” But all was going well… and then the wing was blown off… [read more]

Date:
5/18/2011
Time:
12:43 PM

Greetings,
I am on the search for a film of my Grandfather, Lloyd “Lew” Lubensky, landing his B-26 without landing gear in 1944. I have not really been sure where to look and I don’t know if and where these archives would be. No one in my family has been able to locate the film yet but it was supposedly aired in movies theaters in the US before the feature film during 1944.

There is a single reference to my grandfather and this event in your archives: http://www.b26.com/marauderman/edward_stiffler.htm (talks about it two thirds the way down the page)

Here is the information I have been able to compile:
Name: Lloyd “Lew” C. Lubensky
Duty: Pilot
Date the event happened: Feb. 29, 1944
Location: Great Saline, England
Airplane: Patches, B-26
Division: 9th Air Force Division
322nd Bomb Group
452nd Squadron
It was filmed by Pathe News. It was supposedly titled: “ETO’s youngest pilot”. It was shown in the US at the movie theater in 1944. Aired on News Reel

Please feel free to contact me, I would be indebted to someone if they provided information helping me track down an archive of this film.

Thanks,
Kyle Cope

Date:
5/17/2011
Time:
8:28 PM

On May 13, 1944, 1st Lt. Frank Evans, Navigator, 397th Bomb Group, 597th Bomb Squadron, was killed in action. He was in the nose of the aircraft behind the bombardier, Lt. Joe Coleman, when flak hit the aircraft and decapitated Lt. Evans. Please remember him and all those other brave men who gave their lives on this Memorial Day.

Wynn Anderson son of Andy Anderson

Date:
5/15/2011
Time:
10:00 PM

Is there anyone out there that can tell me some info regarding Felice A. Notaro, 387th Bomb group. Thanks for your help. Jim Notaro
Date:
5/14/2011
Time:
3:04 PM

I am looking for more information about my uncle who died in a B26 over Germany on 23Dec1944.

Phillip A. Vogel, 1LT
397th BG
596th BS
1942-1944 service times

He was a bombardier/navigator. At some point he was attached to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron. I have a copy of an accident report on 1Dec1944 w/ LT Francis Brown flying 42-95939(?). He was in 42-96223 with CPT Enoch Longworth when he was shot down headed for the Ahrweiler R/R Bridge. I have the accident reports for both of those incidents. Was my uncle ever listed as a pilot with the 397th? When was he assigned to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron? How can I get the crew lists for him? He arrived in England 1June1944, just before D-Day. -Susan

Date:
5/14/2011
Time:
10:09 AM

Please send my contact info to John Marcil who posted to the guest book earlier this month.  I am Jesse l Mitchell’s brother and have info about John’s father. -Joseph Mitchell

Date:
5/13/2011
Time:
12:02 AM

Hi, my name is Jim and while visiting a nursing home in my home town I had the opportunity to talk a gentleman there. In the course of our conversation he told he that he flew a B-26 during WWII. His name is Robert Ely Donnell and is 92 years old. He was with the 596th and retired with the rank of Colonel. He mentioned knowing a George “Spanky” Roberts and when I looked it up I found that he flew with the Tuskegee Airmen. He seems to remember quite a bit about his time in the service but has trouble recalling names but is still pretty sharp. -Jim

Date:
5/11/2011
Time:
8:56 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Raymond Lee Rogers
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 554th
Years in service: 1940-45, European Theater
Hello b26.com, my father was an armorer for the B-26 and in June of 1945 was sent to a German underground factory in the Russian Zone of Occupation to dismantle artillery on Luftwaffe aircraft. Dad never talked of his World War II experiences until the last years of his life and by then could no longer remember where in Germany he was situated. To the end of his life he remarked on the awe he and his crew experienced at seeing the enormity and technological wonders of this complex. This is not to diminish the sacrifices made by slave laborers in the construction of such sites, a fact unknown to Dad and his team at the time. From what Dad could remember of their arrival, the compound had some revetments with airplanes in them, and everything was covered in a green carpeting for camouflage. There was no tunnel visible which perplexed the men. Dad was taken inside a lone shack and a switch was thrown. Out of the ground rose a grass-covered lift wide enough to carry a vehicle down below. Within the chambers were found sleeping quarters, kitchens, workshops, offices and a large ventilation system. From a list of wanted items given him, Dad packed and shipped materiel out by train destined for seaport and then on to the US—he remembered a narrow gauge rail line adjoining the site. The men pulled out many items and artillery above and below ground, and those designated to be destroyed were heaped in a large pile and burned. There was an urgency to the job as it had to be accomplished before July when the area was to be turned over to the Soviets. Dad had wanted so much to recall where in Germany this took place so I wrote the National Archives for his records but he passed away before I received an answer. NARA wrote back that his records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, and we have only Dad’s discharge papers which do not give his last assignment. I learned of your wonderful website and am writing in hopes that our family may learn more information on Dad’s whereabouts or possibly what crew or unit may have been assigned to him that summer after VE Day.

Many thanks for your dedication to keeping alive the memories and experiences of those whose lives were touched by WWII and the B-26.

Sincerely, Jennifer Ogar

Date:
5/11/2011
Time:
12:10 PM

Hello! My name is Maury Gallagher. I am a retired Navy Commander, who for the past 12 years has been documenting the service of veterans from my county in Iowa. It is amazing the amount of history experienced by and made by veterans from this small, sparsely populated rural county. I have written the stories of over 150 veterans so far, including WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada (We lost a young soldier there), Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Cold War Veterans. Each year, prior to Memorial Day, I try to do a story about Veterans Killed in Action for the local newspapers, to remind people what Memorial Day is really all about.

This year I am writing the story of John W. Colsch, B-29 pilot in the 573rd Bomb Squadron. He was killed August 13, 1944 when his plane was struck by a bomb dropped from another bomber above him. It was his 65th, and as I understand it, was to be his final mission.

I have some info on LT Colsch from his nephew, who went on to become an Air Force Pilot also. However he did not have a lot of Information.

As I was researching, I came across some info on your website from Mr. Elmer Hansard, who was apparently on the same mission. That mission was apparently his 69th and final mission also. His info included a photo of a handwritten note about the accident and a drawing that he made of the accident.

Would it be possible to get in touch with MR. Hansard? I would like to ask his permission to use his note and drawing with LT Colsch’s story. I would also like to know if he could give me any additional info on LT Colsch, and possibly confirm for me that the mission was to Lisieux, and Lt Colsch was flying the aircraft named “Purring Panther,” number 42-95800 which is listed elsewhere as a 574th Bomb Squadron aircraft. I would also like to find a photo of a B-26 that I could use with the story.
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You! Maury Gallagher

Date:
5/8/2011
Time:
7:57 PM

Originally I had posted the email dated 12/11/2010:

But have since found out Vincent Miela’s serial number #XXX-XX-214. And that he may have been attached to the 9th Air Force Division. 323 Bombardment Group. 454 Bombardment Squadron. There is some confusion as to what group or squadron he was attached.

Photo of Vincent, third from the left, seated with legs crossed in the front row.

…large image

Any help or direction on where I might find more information as to his service?

Thanks, Susan T

Susan, S/Sgt Vincent Miela was a Flight Engineer and gunner with the 323rd Bomb Group, 454th Squadron. Listed below were his fellow crewmembers.

Pilot 1st Lt. Charles D. Poole
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Jefferson D. Riddle
Navigator/Bombardier FO Harold P. Reeves
Radioman/Gunner Sgt. Raymond D. Samples
Tail Gunner Sgt. Paul J. Waskow

Roy Bozych
Historian 323rd BG

Date:
5/8/2011
Time:
2:50 PM

Dear B26.com,

Following previous emails, information requested on the site voor the 386 BG and the tragic event of the B-26 ‘Hells Fury’ flown by pilot Ray Sanford, we are happy the inform you that a monument is revealed (initiative taken by the Crash Airwar- and Resistancemuseum ’40-’45) www.crash40-45.nl. Hereby a first picture of the monument which was revealed yesterday May 4th, to remember the tragic event on December 13th, 1943. The crash of the B26 Hells Fury and the killing of six crewmember. IMG 4877 2 1

All members of the B26 are remembered and honored with this monument. The monument speak for itself.

…large image

Consul General Mrs. Julie E. Ruterbories, US Embassy
Mr. Peter de Raaf, chairman of the Crash Airwar- and Resistancemuseum ’40-’45 placing a flower wreath on behalf of our foundation.
Mr. Pieter Litjens, Major of the County of Aalsmeer.

…large image

Left to right
Consul General Mrs. Julie E. Ruterbories, US Embassy
Mr. Peter de Raaf, chairman of the Crash Airwar- and Resistancemuseum ’40-’45
Mr. Pieter Litjens, Major of the County of Aalsmeer.
Mr. Gert Jan van der Hoeven, Alderman of County of Aalsmeer

With kind regards,
Jan Springintveld, Secretary
Crash Airwar- and Resistancemuseum ’40-’45

Date:
5/3/2011
Time:
7:31 PM

My father, Edward Ott, was a tailgunner on “Tabasco”. Your webpages were very exciting for me. I have a photo of the plane, including field crew, and the opposite side of the photo has many original signatures of the men in the photo.

I’ll follow up with a scan.

Regards,
Robert Ott

Hi Robert, it may be of interest to you that on 19th March 1945 “Tabasco” was shot down by flak on its 166th mission.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
5/1/2011
Time:
12:45 PM

I have just been over at Rougham airfield watching a model aircraft flying display. Rougham is at Bury St Edmunds and was opened to the USAAF in September 1942, 70 years ago next year (2012). I believe that B26s were the first aircraft deployed at Bury St Edmunds in 1942, the USAAF 47th Bomb Group. They were followed by 322nd Bomb Group at the end of the year.
I live 5 miles from Rougham and wonder whether anyone is coming over to visit in 2012. I would be happy to act as a host. -John Moore

John, you are correct with the 47th Bomb Group being the first USAAF unit to use Rougham, however they were a A-20 Havoc unit not B-26 Marauder.They moved out to North Africa and remained in that theatre of war until the German surrender. The 322nd Bomb GRoup followed and when they moved to Andrewsfield (Great Saling) they were followed by the 94th.Bomb Groups B-17’s and they remained there until 12th December 1945. I have no information if any of the 322nd veterans will be visiting the UK this year, but with so few members left I doubt if any will visit in bulk will be made. -Trevor Allen

Date:
5/1/2011
Time:
6:45 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph J. Gondert
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: Unk.
Class Location: Unk.
Comments: Native of Racine Wisconsin and Corporal in the 557th. I am interested in any information about what his role in the 557th was. -Thanks, Colin Wilson

Date:
4/30/2011
Time:
6:52 AM

Do you have any information on S/Sgt Guy A Youngblood from the 554th BS, 386th BG? I believe he was killed November 10, 1944. I was trying to track down some original members of the 99th Bomb Group and there was a S/Sgt Guy A Youngblood that completed a 50-mission tour as a gunner in the group. If you have any further information on S/Sgt Youngblood I would appreciate anything you can share. Mr. John B. Payne, listed on your site, is another example of a B-17 crewmember being transferred to B-26s.

The B-17 groups in the 12th and then 15th AF required 50-mission tours to start with. In 1944 they started giving double credit for some targets so the number of sorties dropped to less than 50, but they still had to do at least 35 missions. I knew there were several men who completed their full 50 missions as gunners when the 99th was still part of the 12th AF in Africa that re-upped and started second tours as gunners in other groups. S/Sgt Youngblood is the only one I have stumbled across who went to a different kind of plane for his second tour except for a pilot that I just found went to a B-29 group (the 500th) in the Pacific. That pilot was also KIA when his plane was rammed by a Jap fighter.

If you happen to have any details on how S/Sgt Youngblood was killed I would appreciate knowing. I am not sure it was on a mission or something else.

Sincerely,
Marty Upchurch
99th BGHS

Marty, on August 18th 1944 B-26 41-31832 RU-U “The Bad Penny the 2nd” of the 554th Bomb Squadron 386th Bomb Group hit a tree while force landing near to its base. The crew were: 1.Lt’s Carol V Larson; Donald D Tanck; S/Sgt’s Harry J Bevan; Samuel H Schmerler; Leonard Zuckerman, Pfc Guy A Youngblood. Larson and Tanck were killed; Youngblood injured and the rest of the crew suffered minor injuries. Regards, Trevor Allen

Thanks Trevor. Do you have any information about what happened on November 10, 1944? I beleive that is the day he was killed, but I don’t know if it was on a mission or some kind of accident. It is also interesting that he went from S/Sgt in the 99th BG down to Pfc at the time of this accident, but is listed again as a S/Sgt when he was killed. -Marty Upchurch

Marty, after the crashlanding on 18th August 1944 Guy Youngblood only flew one more combat mission on 29th September 1944. There is no mention of the his death in the squadron diary and this suggests that he was no longer with the 554th.Bomb Squadron at the time of his death on 10th November 1944. -TA

Date:
4/27/2011
Time:
2:25 PM

I am looking for relatives of Paul R. Ostrom of Superior, Wisconsin who died during WWII. I have documents from WWII that I would like to get to a member of his family. I have been unable to find him to return the documents if you could help I would appreciate it. My father who was a good friend of Paul’s in Superior kept a diary of his war experience which we found after his death in 1996. It contains pictures of Paul Ostrom and other pilots, letters from Paul during the war and entries in his diary that he learned that Paul was shot down over Europe. My father was in the Philippines at the time. I would appreciate any help you could give in locating Paul’s relatives. -Thanks, Jim H.

Friday, April 29, 2011 7:13 PM
Wow! Thanks! I’ll contact Jim. -John D. Ostrom (signed guest book in 2007 and created a dedication page for Paul R. Ostrom; another connection made; dedication pages work )

Date:
4/24/2011
Time:
8:23 PM

Cpl George Everett Osgood was a gunner, 344th BG, 495th BS, here’s a picture of his training crew coming out of Barksdale Field Louisiana on his way to France. He’s last on the right in the 1st photo. the back describes others in his training crew. The 3rd picture is one that he took. I’d love to know anything about his service and ultimately a picture of his plane. Can anyone help? thanks, J. Gale Osgood

Date:
4/23/2011
Time:
8:07 PM

About the B-26 Marauder Men

Twenty thousand Marauder Men, pilots of the Martin B-26 Marauder with survivors now in the twilight of life, A time when old soldiers are normally honored, The surviving B-26 Marauder Men of World War II Did awaken to discover that a group of uninformed civilians, Along with a U.S. Congress and president who endorsed The view of the uninformed, Had, by public law, asserted that these very special pilots, Pilots who flew the B-26 Marauder from The beginning of World War II to its end, Had been credited with being afraid to fly their assigned aircraft And had walked away — literally deserting their duty.

Due to the manner in which the uninformed stated their claims, The humiliating and onerous charge applied equally To the U.S. Air Corps, to the USN and USMC, and to allies of the United States.

We all know of the ballad line: Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

The Marauder Men may now be fading away, But those living will not, at this late hour, or ever in remaining lifetime, Tolerate their fellow Marauder Men and themselves Being trampled on by the uninformed.

Regardless of the bullets that were fired. The men who died, or the injuries suffered, Those men who flew the B-26 Marauder did not falter in war, And, at the end of life, they will not now falter In protecting the reputation of those who served So faithfully and gallantly.

So help us God and may God bless the Marauder Men! Read Women Air Force Service Pilots, WASP, The Gender War Story

/s/ Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret)
On behalf of all B-26 Marauder Men

Date:
4/23/2011
Time:
12:50 PM

Hi, my father was an Engineer on a B-26, but I don’t know much about what he did or where he served. How can I found out more information on his service and plane? Staff Sergeant Hector George Marcil – Engineer, the Pilot was Lieutenant Jesse Lafayette Mitchell [guest book entry]. I do not have plane numbers, but the nose art said “My Gal Sal” after the Pilot’s girlfriend.

Thanks,
John Marcil

Date:
4/21/2011
Time:
6:12 PM

Irresponsibility. I recently had cause to scan Internet to refresh my mind on some B-26 Marauder details. Frankly, I was astounded at all the B-26 Marauder postings that now flood Internet. But, what really concerned me was the apparent fact that the more that is written the more are the historical errors that are set before the uninformed. To illustrate the problem, I was triggered by a communication that set forth the B-26 Marauder bomb load capacity as 2,000 pounds. Reading that, I began to question my memory and/or sanity. I then scanned some of what various “expert” writers had posted as B-26 Marauder bomb load capacity. An illustrated range of the stated B-26 Marauder bomb load capacity (each statement standing alone or sometimes associated with a B-26 model or condition parameter no casual reader would understand) was, in pounds, 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 4,800, 5,800. In the face of such diversity, one has to wonder how any neophyte reader can emerge with a clear historical understanding — especially when most readers only consult one source. Reading on, one writer set forth Canadian use of the B-26 Marauder in conjunction with use of the B-26 Marauder by the U.S., England, South Africa and France in combat — neglecting to say that the Canadian use was post war with a conversion to fight fires via water drop. Of course, if one was to consider executive conversions of the B-26 Marauder, use in Mexico and other locations would surface. Those who write for others to read, should first understand that clarity in writing is necessary to achieve understanding and, if clarity is not present, the writing serves no useful purpose.

Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret), B-26 Marauder historian

John, as you know, but for those who don’t, the rated bomb load of the B-26 was 4,000 lbs but this varied with the range required by the mission. Usually if fuel load went up, bomb load went down. Conversely, when the target was close the bomb load would be maximum. The heaviest load was usually 2 x 2,000 lb bombs. -Cheers, Trevor

From Jack Havener’s book “The Martin B-26 Marauder,” page 148, reading:
“Depending on the target, bomb loads were either two 2000-pounders, four 1000-pounders, eight 500-pounders, or 16 250-pounders. When special 200-pound fragmentation bombs were carried, 26 were hung on the bomb racks, which brought the maximum load up to 5200 pounds.”

Date:
4/19/2011
Time:
1:09 PM

I am the Chaplain of the Dean Mendenhall American Legion Post 13 in Provo, Utah. I am doing some research on Dean to put a face on the name of the Post. Dean, a second lieutenant, was in the 73rd Bombardment Squadron and participated in the bombing run on the Japanese destroyers Oboro and Hatsuharu October 16, 1942. He was a crew member aboard the aircraft piloted by Lt. Pebworth which was shot down. I would like to receive any recollection of Lt. Mendenhall from any surviving member of this squadron.

My sincerest appreciation for any information I might receive.

Roger Lehr

Roger, on 16 Oct 42 40-1387 73rd.Bomb Squadron was shot down while attacking a Japanese destroyer off Kiska, Aleutian chain. 2.Lt’s Jack Pebworth; Dean W Mendehall; Sgt’s Maurice A Hancock; Dick Tyron.

Cheers,
Trevor Allen, b26.com historian

Date:
4/19/2011
Time:
11:27 AM

Greetings: I’m looking for Dr. H.B. Holloway or any relative. I have an artifact from the war that might be of interest to them and would be thrilled to be able to return it. Here are some photos of the bronze letter opener stamped with: Dr. H.B. Holloway and 394th Bomb Group.

…large image

I’m just trying to find a home for it.

Thanks,
Paul

Date:
4/18/2011
Time:
12:56 PM

I am Tim Clay Robinson, named after Lt. Clay S. Abraham, who was shot down over Ahrweiler, Germany on December 23, 1944. Pictures are of Clay in cockpit, with wife Gloria, with brothers (he’s on left) and with extended family on porch and Clay after training. I have a few of him climbing Mt Hood in Oregon. The crew list shows only two killed. It was my understanding that Clay kept the aircraft aloft allowing some of the crew members to bail out. I’d be looking for those folks who survived to hear their stories, maybe handed down to family by now. He was a Lieutenant serving with the 391 Bomb Group, 573 Bomb Squadron. He is listed as KIA on 23 Dec 1944 and is buried at Lorraine American Cemetery, section B, row 20, grave 25. He is listed as being awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and a Purple Heart medal.

My research shows:
P Abraham, Clayton S. 2 Lt.
CP Bovie, Verne H. 2 Lt.
B Bikochik, John P. 2 Lt.
FE Christiansen, Erik. S/Sgt.
RG Lemon, Floyd R. T/Sgt.
AG Murphy, Melvin E. S/Sgt.

Source: SO-121 HQS, 391st Bomb Group 9/13/1944 Par. 9
The flight over was in 43-34428 Lt Abraham and Sgt Lemon were killed on 12/23/44 in 42-107747. They are buried in the Lorraine Cemetery. One can infer from the hardback history that the above crew flew the mission except that a SSgt Woodrow Wilson appears to have taken Mikochik’s place. Remainder of mission crew not identified.

Can you tell me anything about the events I have not listed here.

Thanks,
Tim Robinson

Date:
4/17/2011
Time:
8:53 AM

How many Martin B-26 Marauder man memorials are there in Arlington Cemetery, near Washington DC? One. Dedicated to the 319th Bomb Group who flew all three types of medium bombers in WW2, the B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, and A-26 Invader. Taking nothing away from the valiant service of the 319th, there should be a memorial plaque in Arlington representative of all Marauder man bomb groups and squadrons.

Inscription on memorial reads: 319th Bombardment Group. 1942-1945. North West Africa, Mediterranean, Pacific. B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, A-26 Invader. Two Presidential Unit Citations. Croix de Guerre Avec Palm. To Our Departed Comrades Who Died That Others Might Live In Peace (emphasis added).

…large image …large image

GPS Map | Walking directions from Metro | Map (pdf)

Date:
4/16/2011
Time:
12:05 PM

TO ALL:

Unfortunately, my father in law, Lieutenant Andrew ‘Ange’ McGirr, Army Air Corps, passed a few years back, and I have few details of his WWII service in the Pacific as a B-26 navigator/bombardier immediately at hand…other than the fact that I know one of his areas of operation was around Port Morseby (if I recall correctly) and he flew 71 missions, 68 as lead aircraft.

Should anyone recall LT McGirr, or have any recommendations as to how I could track down any additional information reference him within this group, I (and his six children) would appreciate hearing back from you.

And to all of you who served…and especially flew with my father in law…thank you for your service and sacrifice. You established a standard by which all of us who followed attempted to emulate.

RLTW!

> John Lock
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired)
Date:
4/12/2011
Time:
2:01 PM

The attachment photo is of a print belonging to my deceased uncle, Roy Nelson Kelley, who was a cadet in WWII but ended flight school when the war ended.

Can you give me any info about the aircraft shown?

The print is of a painting is signed “H.H. Booth RCAF ’42”.

…large image

Mark Witt
Lt. Col USAF (Ret)

Date:
4/10/2011
Time:
7:24 PM

Name: Jesus Nicolas Garcia
Bomb Group: 42nd Bombardment group
Bomb Squadron: 70th Bombardment squadron
Years in service: Oct. 22, 1942-Sept.30, 1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: I am looking for information about the crew my grandfather flew with. I have a picture of him with a plane named “Dark Eyes”. He was stationed in New Caledonia during the war. If anyone has any information I would greatly appreciate it. -Monica Cortez

Date:
4/8/2011
Time:
8:27 AM

Marauderman’s: Name: Kenneth V. DeVerna
Bomb Group: 23rd 320 Acad Sqdn
Bomb Squadron: 443
Years in service: 27 Aug 1941 – 13 July 1945
Graduation Class: 34th School Squad Camp Grant IL
Class Location: Scott Field
Comments: Enlistment 27 Aug 1941 and was stationed at Camp Grant, IL Organization – 34th School Squadron, Scott Field, IL. Service Schools attended: Radio School & Gunnery School. Attended NCO School in Sioux Falls, SD beginning 30 Aug 1943 & ending 4 Sept 1943 Rank – S/SGT Duty – Instructor Small Arms Organization – 23rd Academic Squad. While in Sioux Falls, he was an instructor (classified as a Radio Mechanic) & taught a Circuit Analysis class #2 B-2. Before going into the service, he was an amateur radio enthusiast and was experienced in how they worked. Sometime after Sept 1943, he resigned from the Army to join the Army Air Corp, was stationed at Lake Charles, LA where he married in the chapel before being shipped to Ft. Myers FL for training on the B-26 Bombers. His position in the plane was in the bubble underneath. His unit left 3 Jul 1944 for North Africa & arrived 11 Jul 1944. Battles & Campaigns: Rome-Arno, Rhineland, Southern France. Decorations & Citations: Good Conduct Medal, Air Medal w/ 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, American Defense Service Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal w/ 3 Bronze Service Stars. The Air Medal Citation states: For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as radio gunner of a B-26 type aircraft during an attack upon a road and railroad bridge at Torre Beretti, Italy on 27 July 1944. Staff Sergeant DeVerna’s proficiency in combat reflects great credit upon himself and the Military Service of the United States. It is signed by John K. Cannon, Major General, USA Commanding, dated 4 Oct 1944. His squadron received the Croix de Guerre avec Palme from General de Gaulle for the support of the Allied offensive in Italy which began on 11 May 1944.

He was a good man, good father, and a good friend to all who knew him.

Regards,
Linda DeVerna-Mauk

Date:
4/7/2011
Time:
9:31 PM

Hello, I am looking for information about this crew on this photo. On the back of it is annotated 391st Bomb Group. Crew # 9; End of Training, Just Before England. With the help of a magnifying glass, you can see the name on the mae-west of the person at the center (the smallest, and perhaps the pilot). This name is Lt. KINZER. It is also possible to distinguish the name of the one next to him (4th from left). This name is SIEGEL. Could someone help me to learn more about this crew, and also what happened to them.

…large image

Any help would be really appreciated.

Regards from France
Jean-luc Gruson

Date:
4/7/2011
Time:
9:10 PM

Hello,

My name is Théodore Aguirre-Lagandré. I conducted a search online of the name “Rudolph Aguirre United Kingdom” and discovered an article titled Mountain Marauder by David Earl. Cpl. Rudolph Aguirre was my uncle, the brother of my father Theodore. This was a wonder discovery and I had heard that someone from the UK was a caretaker of my late uncle’s grave.

Thank you so much for sharing this small bit of history related to my family.

Sincerely,
Tedd

Date:
4/7/2011
Time:
8:50 PM

I perused your site for the 397th’s Maison-Lafitte missions story. It was also very interesting to learn the story of Major Moses J Gatewood. Thank you for having gone to all the trouble of creating your site.

Sincerely, Stan
R Stan McLeod
(son of R M and Dee McLeod, he CO of 596thBS of the 397thBG and pilot of Marauder “Dee-Feater” 296142)

Date:
4/7/2011
Time:
8:24 PM

Today we just learned that Louis Salvati signed this guest book in December 2001. He was attempting to locate my Brother, Tauno O. Brooks. Louis indicated : Bomb Gp Squadron: 443
Does anyone know either Louis or remember Tauno? I found three Louis Salvati have Passed since Dec. 2001. They were from NY, CA, & FL; I have no idea where this one lived. I hope so much to be able to locate him & discuss my Brother. I have a wonderful picture of him with his crew standing in front of the bomber. I’ll have my son, named Tauno…in memory of my Brother, scan and email picture later. Tauno and entire crew were shot down in Korea early on (2nd mission). After flying an extreme number of missions during WWII (& receiving many medals) Tauno was drafted into Korean Conflict. He did not want to go…had just put himself thru college and gotten a good job, finally. He went and on the 2nd mission, Aug. 1952, the plane was shot down, slid along striking some kind of dike and exploded in flames. It was many years before he was legally declared dead but observers had written the family eliminating all false hope that he had survived. If anybody knows Louis Salvati or Tauno O. Brooks, please contact. Many thanks, Raynold Brooks

Date:
4/5/2011
Time:
9:06 PM

Greetings, and thank you for maintaining this web presence. Like many who experienced the horrors of WWII, my father did not talk about his days flying the B-26, although we did from time to time hear him mention his comrades with fondness. Your site allows me to learn more about his unit and their sacrifices.

I am the oldest son of Burl Thompson, radio-gunner of the Tabasco shown on the site. Dad is fourth from left. His log of missions is also shown on the site.

Franklin Burl Thompson

Date:
3/31/2011
Time:
6:37 PM

I’m trying to see if anyone has any information about a 1st Lt. George Harris, service number XXXX965, who was in the 449th Bomb Squadron/322nd Bomb Group M. I think he was from Illinois, maybe from the Chicago area. He died on December 10, 1944. Did anyone know Lt. Harris, or know someone who knew him?

Regards,
Kevin Morrow

Date:
3/30/2011
Time:
1:11 PM

Hi, I’m a retired police officer and aviation artist. My old police LT’s deceased father flew as a crew chief (Maintenance Tech) on B-26’s serving with the 14 Tow Target Squadron in the Pacific. I goggled the 14th and every B-26 Tow Squadron except the 14th popped up. I would like to create a picture of his B-26 for him and have very little information to go on, as the Lt’s dad didn’t talk much. His DD214 records were destroyed in a fire. He was Corporal Thomas J. Wilson (XXXX3473) and his a/c was with the 14th Tow Target Squadron in the Pacific 1943-45. He graduated from a course in maintenance of radio controlled a/c, August 16, 1943 at Liberty Field, Georgia. My Lt. John Wilson said his dad told him about being at Luzon, New Guinea and his pilots named was Mulinex and the a/c name was “Beatty”. Not knowing airplanes, John didn’t know what a/c his dad flew on, but when he told me his dad’s crew had trained at MacDill in 1943 and talked about “one a day in Tampa Bay”, I knew he was talking about a B-26. I apologize for the lack of info, but if anyone can help me with the a/c number or any other info I’d really appreciate your help. I usually build a model first and work from that to create my images. My favorite subject is to recreate an actual a/c in different wars to honor those who flew for our country. Thanks for any help or direction you can supply.

Sincerely,
David Tipps

Date:
3/29/2011
Time:
7:27 AM

Marauderman’s Name: James Rudolph Elliott
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 495
Years in service: 4 years – KIA 9-8-44
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: I am doing some research on local men & women who served in WW II, especially those who were killed. Lt. James Rudolph (a.k.a. Rudy & Bum) Elliott graduated in 1940 from Simon Kenton High School. I found some internet clues on his last mission: (1) 42-107686 (344th BG) shot down by AAA over France 9/8/44. MACR 7848 and (2) On the edge of the port of Brest, B-26-C45, Coded Y5-H, # 42-107636, 344th BG / 495th BS. Would love to get additional information on his unit to share with family here in northern KY.

Bill Schneider
(USAF retired)

Date:
3/20/2011
Time:
2:40 PM

Greetings to All Maraudermen and B26.com, I am interested in contacting George Croote (SAAF). Can you be of assistance? May he be well. Thank you in anticipation of your reply from any quarter (preferably not at 6 o’clock low!)

Sincerely,
Peter Pentz.
12TH Sqdn. SAAF Archivist/Collector

Date:
3/16/2011
Time:
2:44 PM

Hello,

My name is Hans van der Lugt from the Netherlands. I’m looking for information about a possible relative of mine. His name is Cornelius van der Lugt. He died on 10 Febr 1945 flying a B 26 in Germany. His name is Cornelius van der Lugt. I enclose a full copy of all we know of him.

…large image

He was with the 495 BS and 344 BG. We think his plane was flown by Humphrey Mallory. MACR Search Result For MACR: 12196

MACR
Country
Date
Aircraft Type
AAF S/N
Group
Sqdn
Pilot
12196
GER
450210
B-26C
42-107607
344BG
495BS
Mallory, Humphrey M

Name: Vanderlugt
Surname: Cornelius
Date of birth: 1925
Place of birth: Kent County, Michigan
Died: 10 February 1945
Buried at: Plot D Row 6 Grave 14, Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Ser. Number: XXXX0204
Unit: 495th Bombardment Squadron, 344th Bomber Group (medium – B26 Marauders), US Army Air Forces
Date of enlistment; 1942
Source of Army personnel: civil life
Place of enlistment: Kalamazoo Michigan
Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

Date:
3/22/2011
Time:
1:23 PM

My grandfather, William N. Even, 17th Bomb Group [partial mission list], 95th Bomb Squadron, passed away last week. He was 89, and was a bombardier for the B-26. He had apparently flown in an amazing 62 missions. I was wondering if you would know of any resources I could use to research his service during the war, as it is an overwhelming honor to be his grandson. I’d love to know more about it. Any assistance would be much appreciated!

Daniel Twentyfive

Date:
3/18/2011
Time:
12:17 PM

I googled the B26 site for the 573rd squadron and read a request from Jack Wood dated December 26, 2006. He was asking for information about his Uncle “Gib”, Gilbert T. Bennett. I interviewed the pilot of the fateful mission on February 13, 1945 mission, Archie A. Sink, 391st BG, 573rd BS. -Chuck Hodge

Date:
3/17/2011
Time:
12:03 PM

Hello b26.com – I want to give you an update on the Utah Beach Museum – we found the funding ($8M) and construction is moving along very well. Reopening planned for June 6th, and Utah Beach is the official D-Day site this year as well. Visitors can certainly go to Utah Beach, the Federal Monument, Navy Monument, the crypt to the losses in Exercise Tiger, all is there.

The new “air” sequence is shaping up – centered around the 9th AF and the role the Martin B-26s played on D-Day. Excellent displays, plus a recreated Briefing Room (featuring Col Joe W Kelly and the 386th BG on June 6th 1944), then opening out to the hangar space with a B-26, to be painted like one from the 553rd Sqd. We have managed to secure a long term loan from the French Air and Space Museum for their B-26. You can see the le Bourget b-26 being transported to the workshop here, soon to be transferred to le Musée d’Utah Beach. In additional to that, we have some rudimentary flight simulators (hoping for more money for various high tech immersive experiences later). All is looking good!

We are short a few aviator artifacts. We did line up a Norden bomb sight, but the USAF National Museum where I thought I could get all we wanted, based on top AF support, couldn’t come through, as they can only loan to a national museum.

So if anybody wants to donate stuff like uniform jackets, that would be great.

The Utah Beach Museum is currently closed for complete renovation. They’re shooting for end of April for partial reopening. When people want to donate something, if it’s an appropriate gift, they accept it with deep thanks and they take care of it. And they save a special spot in their hearts for the family “An affair of the heart” is the English translation for the phrase they use about vets and their families. Please understand that contacting the museum [here] is handled like triage – top priority is going to accepting material donations for the new display.

In fact, the Museum is immersed in getting ready to reopen, so to make sure you get a timely response, if you have something you are interested in donating along the lines of the list below, go ahead and “CC” the b26.com site and I will reply. Also, if you want to make a donation to a 501(c) (3) you can contact the great folks at American War Memorials Overseas, a non-profit outfit that is dedicated to conserving all the non-US government war memorials around the world outside the US — they can also help you get your donation to the Utah Beach folks.

Everyone is welcome to the June 6, 2011 grand opening – it will be great fun!

Pete Herrly

PS Here is the list I sent to the USAF:

— Items of flight suits and equipment of B-26 crew members (or items which could have been worn by such crewmen), to include helmet and flak vest;
— Idem for fighters who were involved in the Normandy Campaign, priority to P-47s;
— A USAAF officer’s hat;
— Flight maps of southern England (the 386th was based at Great Dunmow, near Stansted) and France, especially Normandy;
— A USAAF officer’s Class A uniform;
— Parachutes for flight crews;
— A flight suit for USAAF fighter pilots (for preference, P-47, but any would do);
— A USAAF leather flying jacket;
— A USAAF flag, or one belonging to a 9thAF unit.

Date:
3/16/2011
Time:
1:52 PM

Harry Caldouhos, a WWII Marauder Man is awarded the French Legion of Honor.

Date:
3/14/2011
Time:
7:36 AM

Today we just learned that Louis Salvati signed this guest book several in 2001. He was attempting to locate my Brother, Tauno O. Brooks. Louis indicated : Bomb Gp Squadron:443
Does anyone know either Louis or anyone remember Tauno? If so, please contact me. Many thanks, Raynold Brooks

Date:
3/13/2011
Time:
12:09 PM

My grandfather, Thomas B. Yester, was a tail gunner and few 64 missions with the 456th Bombardment Squadron (“Flying Wedge”) and also the 1st Pathfinder Group. He loves talking about his experiences. Someday soon I will be recording an interview with him and would like to add it to the site. Also, I have all of his photo albums (well over 100 photos). Many of the photos have the names of the men being depicted and I will add a dedication page. Thanks for keeping all of these memories alive.

Dan Garitta

Hi Dan,
Thank you for the very interesting photos and adding a dedication page to the site, they are great and any more you care to send we would be delighted to see. They bring more people to the site and thus enable us to put more interesting information on the site.

For your interest when the 456th Bomb Squadron flew from the USA to the UK the plane they flew was 41-34781 named “Five Aces”. However when landing at Greenland Chester Harris overshot the runway and the ship was totaled. While in Greenland they picked up 41-31722 which was promptly names “Five Aces II” and flown to England. The crew were 1.Lt Chester L Harris;1.Lt George S Weaver, Jr; 2.Lt Arthur J Smythe; S/Sgt William P Clingman; T/Sgt Henry E Bull and the crew chief T/Sgt Donald D Crosthwait.

In March 1944 Capt Chester L Harris; 2.Lt’s Harold W Hancock; Arthur J Smythe; S/Sgt William P Clingman; T/Sgt Henry E Bull and S/Sgt Thomas B Yester were transferred to the 1st Pathfinder Squadron along with B-26 41-31722 “Five Aces II”. Incidentaly,41-31722 was renamed “Smokey” in December 1944 and lasted to the end of the war in Europe.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
3/13/2011
Time:
10:10 AM

I am looking for information about my father’s, now deceased, flight group roster.

B-26 Pilot Burke Hudelson DOB 5/26/22
Flew 66 missions over Sardinia, Corsica and Italy returning to Greenwood Mississippi Army Airfield in 1945 age 23
Received 9 Air Medals, 2 Purple Hearts, 3 Presidential Unit Citations and a Croix de Guerre for his part in the breakthrough into Rome

Where do I start to look for information.

Sincerely, Christopher Hudelson Green

Date:
3/7/2011
Time:
11:16 AM

Hello, I live in France, just north of the town of Le Portel, France which has been heavily bombed during “Operation Starkey” the 09/09/1943. This particular day, B26 41-18058 – 450BS – 322BG has been hit by flak and ditched some miles off the French coast. At least one man, T/Sgt. James L Guiliano was KIA, his body was washed ashore some days later, south of Le Portel and is buried in Normandy American Cemetery, Plot J, Row 27, Grave 32. I would like know the fate of the other crews, as there seems to be no MACR for this loss. Perhaps somebody has a picture of 41-18058 “Hell Wagon” and its crew.

Thanks for answer,
JP Duriez

The full crew on this date was:
1.Lt Jerome B Reynolds; F/O Leslie W Colby; 2.Lt Ralph W Handsel; T/Sgt James L Guiliano; S/Sgt’s Quentin E Lacker; Phillip L Brinson and 2.Lt Robert H Edwards. They were hit by flak over the target and turned for home, but over the Channel the B-26 went out of control, and disintegrated prior to crashing into the Dover Straits. All of the crew were listed as missing in action. Note that 41-18058 was not named; “Hell Wagon” was B-26 41-18038.

Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

S/Sgt Philip L Brinson (Ardennes American Cemetery, Wall of the Missing)
Flt O Leslie W Colby (Ardennes American Cemetery, Wall of the Missing)

Date:
3/7/2011
Time:
8:00 AM

We, the contributors, editors and Martin B-26 historians and enthusiasts who built and maintain this memorial web site, ask for more material. We don’t want to keep your original family treasures, just copies and scans for dedication pages. Help us help all. Our mission is to project Marauderman history on the Web. We cannot do it alone. Select a link below and add content related to your choice. Add pictures, documents, all relevant and authoritative content is needed. Particular attention to the following Maraudermen is kindly requested and appreciated: Royal Air Force – 14 SQ RAF, 39 SQ RAF; South African Air Force 12, 21, 24, 25 & 30 Squadrons SAAF; Free French Air Force – GB1/19; GB1/22; GB.1/32; GB.2/20; GB.2/52 and GB.2/63 Free French Air Force. Any information about WASP of WWII, Women Airforce Service Pilots and Civilian Pilots (Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP)) who flew the plane is helpful. Any support crew material is extremely important. Anything related to the Martin B-26 manufacturing and distribution through Lend-Lease program to Russia and China is important. Pictures and text descriptions of Marauder Memorials around the world would be helpful in developing WW2 tourist guide material. Pictures, documents and text descriptions about various activities and events at the Marauder air bases would be a great addition to the site. The guys went to pubs, restaurants, villages, cities and towns around the world – they did other things besides flying in planes. The list goes on, share your ideas and suggestions with us.

RAF 14 Squadron, RAF 39 Squadron, South African Air Force, Free French Air Force, 17 Bomb Group, 22 Bomb Group, 319 Bomb Group, 320 Bomb Group, 322 Bomb Group, 323 Bomb Group, 344 Bomb Group, 386 Bomb Group, 387 Bomb Group, 391 Bomb Group, 394 Bomb Group, 397 Bomb Group, 69 Bomb Squadron, 70 Bomb Squadron, Marauder Navy Units, Marauder Memorials, Marauder Unit Airfields

Date:
3/6/2011
Time:
10:10 PM

Name: William H. Lehfeldt
Bomb Gp: 391
Squadron: 574
Years: 44-45(?)
Class: ?
Location: Europe
Comments: My grandfather (just turned 89) was a B-26 pilot. We just got him an iPad and so he’s discovering the internet. His story:

P LEHFELDT, WILLIAM H., 2LT, XXXX686
CP MULLONEY, DALTON H., JR., 2LT, XXXX795
B THUTT, JOHN O., 2LT, XXXX238
FE SHIRKEY, JOHN L., CPL, XXXX772
RG SANSAVERA, LOHN S., CPL, XXXX700
AG HENRIOTT, RAY V., CPL, XXXX361

SOURCE: SO-3 Hqs, 391st Bomb Group 1/9/1945 Par. 1

On 04/03/45, flying 44-67877, Lt Lehfeldt’s right engine was knocked out by flak over Entebuch. He crash landed in an orchard east of Honnef, totaling the aircraft.

He’s since been a successful rancher.
Thanks, Scott B.

Scott, on 3rd April 1945 the crew were 1.Lt William H Lehfeldt; 2.Lt’s Dalton H Mulloney; John O Thutt; Sgt’s G Rutzel; John L Shirkey and Pvt A.A. Salinski

Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
2/27/2011
Time:
7:20 PM

Dear friends and acquaintances,

At the beginning of November last year, Alf was diagnosed with cancer.

After the last treatment on the 9th of February, he became very ill, and at the hospital he was diagnosed with additional infection. After several days with bravely fighting the infection, it became too much for his body to handle, and he suffered from blood poisoning. His heart stopped on Thursday February 24th 11.55 am, with his wife, daughter and son by his side. It was a calm and peaceful passing and he felt no pain in the end. He’s deeply missed, we could not ask for a better father or husband. Rest in peace dad.

We, who are left behind miss him deeply and understand that he had a large network of friends that also need to hear the news. He greatly appreciated all of you and often told us of all the lovely people he was in touch with. We thank you all on his and our behalf , for your friendship with Alf. In the time after it’s all the experiences, stories and the good memories with us and you, that keep him alive within us.

It would mean a lot to us in the family if anybody would like to share with us how you got to know Alf, and perhaps other things you find natural to share with us. Dad possesses an incredible amount of information, books, pictures, things and similar about WW2, planes, B26 Marauder, etc. that we wish to distribute to the right people who can make use of it, like dad would have wanted.

Funeral: Alf Egil Johannessen, b.06.18 1952 / d.02.24.2011, ceremony at Ekeberg kapell in Sandefjord friday 4. March 2011, at 1 p.m. MET standard time.

Sincerely Nina, Catharina and Andreas

The news of Alf’s death has come as a dreadful shock, I suspect because non of his B-26 friends was aware of the serious illness he suffered. We shall miss a great friend who was always ready to help others. Here at b26.com he was always the first to reply to many of the enquiries we received from those seeking information of their loved ones, he gave them much comfort with his detailed replies. It will be very difficult to realize he is no longer here to give his help that was always given so freely.

Personally, to me Alf will be an irreplaceable cog in the B-26 circle and a close friend. My deepest sympathy goes to you and your family and I am sure many of us will be with you in spirit on the 4th March. Please give a prayer on our behalf.

Yours,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Mr. Johannessen helped hundreds of Marauder men and their descendants. He posted to the guest book but usually answered directly through email. He offered pictures, hardcopy and scans, he demonstrated to people how to find information using various Internet databases like archive.gov. He knew b26.com better than me! He will be missed by all. ms

Date:
2/25/2011
Time:
7:29 AM

I am from Holland and have an interest in WW 2 history, especially in the servicemen who died for our freedom.

I am seeking for a picture from Edward V. Wesolowski, who is buried in Netherlands American Cemetery, Location: Margraten, Netherlands

…large image

Edward V. Wesolowski, SSGT
42-96164 Martin B-26B-55-MA
558 Bomber Sq/387 Bomber Group
KIA 14-2-1945

Who can help me please?

Thanks,
Antoine Nouens

Date:
2/15/2011
Time:
12:56 PM

Sir, with reference to Patrick F. McMillin’s request below, I have lived all my life near to Andrewsfield, Gt Saling another ww2 base during ww2, not far from Willingale, 10 miles or so, if i can assist this man, than I will gladly do so free of charge, well perhaps a pie and a pint! Please give him my e-mail address, if he has a better offer than that’s great.

My father was S/Sgt John Muters, flew with Roland Scott on “Gawja Jerk”, 322bs 450bs unfortunately I never new him, but if thro this mail anybody can add to his limited records i have, i would be grateful.

Mel Ribbans

Date:
2/13/2011
Time:
4:07 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Carl F Stapler, flew in “Suzie” / “Bunny”
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 559th
Comments: I am looking for any information about my grandfather Carl F Stapler. I don’t know much. I know his plains pilot was Henry Hill. My grandfather died in Florida in 1981 a few years before I was born in 1984. If anyone has a story or even pictures please e-mail me. Thank you and god bless.

Date:
2/9/2011
Time:
8:15 PM

Regarding: Posts by James Brice Reed 4/8/2003 and Kurt E Reed 2/29/2004

My father Bernard W Bailey, Sr., was the tail-gunner on B-26 42-95815 “Bum Steer” with the 572 BS 391 BG in France in Nov-Dec 44 he often spoke of Lt. Reed being his pilot , John Brice Reed.

Bernard W Bailey, Jr.

Date:
2/8/2011
Time:
8:13 PM

We lost Howard S. Head, SSgt. 387th BG, 558th BS, in February of 1944 while performing a mission in a B26. I am traveling to the Willinghale, Essex, airfield in September, and would like to know if anyone is there that I can hire to show me the location of this air station. I am sure it’s all gone now, but it would be an honor to go.

Howard’s story is consistent with so many other of the men who lost their life. What I do have is access to so many, many letters that the mothers shared between themselves when a crew was lost. The USAAF notified all the members of the lost men’s families to keep in touch in case any of them surfaced as a prisoner. The letters I read are heart breaking, as the mothers struggled to find their lost sons, and held onto hope that they would return. Most of his family, including his sister and brother, never gave up hope he would return. Then, in 1984, the 40th anniversary, a gentlemen drove to a small town in Missouri, found Howard’s brother (my wife’s dad), and sat on his porch and told of losing Howard. The man was Howard’s co-pilot, who did not fly that day. Howard’s regular plane was “Wham Bam”, but he flew on “La Diabla”, 41-31648 KX-L La Diabla, and they were shot down. Many planes and men were lost on that day.

Finally, his mother (my wife’s grandmother), died young a few years later. My wife’s father, aunt and uncle all stated that Bessie died from the grief of losing her youngest son. These were poor Missouri farmers, who sacrificed the ultimate in the war effort.

I would appreciate any information that would help on our upcoming trip.

Patrick F. McMillin

Date:
2/8/2011
Time:
2:20 PM

Hi, I am looking for information on Warren S. Miller, a pilot of a B26 in 1944-45. Any contact info would be appreciated. Thank you.

Date:
2/6/2011
Time:
5:27 PM

Harry Williams passed away on December 31, 2010; he was 86 years old. He lived in Chipley, Florida and is pictured on the far left in the photo on Mr. Harold Tharp’s page. He was a POW with his crew from April 23, 1944 until his 3rd wedding anniversary on April 29, 1945. There was a wonderful memorial service complete with honor guard from Eglin Air Force Base.

Here are four photos. One is “Frenchy Gal”, this is the B-26 that he and his crew were shot down in. They were shot down on April 23, 1944 near St. Omer, France. He was liberated as a POW on his wedding anniversary, April 29, 1945. His wife Anna (of 67 years) survives today. Also attached is a photo of him and a photo of the entire crew in front of another B-26 that they flew. Finally, a map of the bombing route that was part of a missing crew report.

Thank you and may God Bless these men.

John Williams

Date:
2/1/2011
Time:
7:26 PM

I myself was not a B-26 Pilot, but my older brother Leonard H. Whittington was. I spoke to him via telephone the 29th of May 1942. He was to fly the next day to Hawaii. The next word I had of him was June 12, 1942, when my CO came to the flight line at 29 Palms, Calif. to inform me he was missing, having been shot down at the Battle of Midway flying as co-pilot on B-26 with 2nd. Lt. William S. Watson. Would like to hear from anyone that might have known my brother in that the 69th Bomb Sqdn. They were in route to New Caledonia.

I went on to become a Combat Glider Pilot, and spent 27 months in the ETO. But that is another story.

Thanks and God Bless, Former Capt. Ray T. Whittington

Date:
2/1/2011
Time:
12:44 PM

Hi, my father, Robert G. Shambaugh was in WWII and was a pilot of a B26 “Bubs.” I have a yearbook where he attended flight school at Victory Field in Vernon, TX, The class is listed as 44J AAFFTD. I know he was based in Denver and Oklahoma and that he was a flight instructor. He told us that he taught some French pilots how to fly at night, but don’t know where he was based when he did that. Is it also true that these B26’s were called “the widow makers” due to the high speed when landing? My father passed away June 18, 2007. He was very proud of his service in the Air Force and I know he and my mother, Patricia, kept in touch with many of their military families for many, many years. Please let me know if you would have any further information on my father or any websites that I might be able to find some information. The men of WWII are/were very honorable men who fought for our freedoms that we enjoy today.

God Bless them all!
Susan Stewart

Date:
1/30/2011
Time:
12:01 PM

In response to your Martin B-26 inquiry, I would suggest the following:

My book, American Combat Planes of the 20th Century, (Bacon 2004), has a detailed production and combat history on pages 254-5 and 262-7. The B-26 was both a very effective bomber and a dangerous plane to fly. In the hands of experienced and well-directed aircrew, it was one of the war’s best medium bombers. The most recent detailed study is Hans-Heinri Stapfer’s B-26 Marauder in Action, #210, (Squadron-Signal 2008), Texas, 60 pp.

The B-26 experience and reputation was established months before the Truman Committee’s investigation. Political tactics usually react to numerous pressures. I don’t recognize the September 1942 quotation that you cite.

Soviet delegation had rejected the B-26 in October 1941 as too difficult and dangerous for their average airmen. Their poor VVS safety record seems to confirm that. That August 1943 Basra report resulted from a deliberate British deception of an ignorant KGB informant about incoming South African units. [See Sep. 1943 – 4406/173, Delivery of the “Marauder” the Martin B-26, to the Soviet Union, page 20]

Britain was allocated 500 Marauders as Lend-Lease in July 1941. These were to be delivered in 1942 with the designation B-26B-1. After Pearl Harbor, the AAF took over all B-26 production and the B26B-1 specification was replaced by other designations. Marauders were supplied only gradually, until the German threat to the Suez Canal caused a rush of planes to the Near East. The most detailed source in American RAF planes is K.J. Meekcoms The British Air Commission and Lend-Lease, Air-Britain 2000, 270 pp. Page 87 shows 70 B-26A, and 100 B-26C by 1943. Page 87-88 shows 200 B-26F, 75 B-26G-10 and 75 B-26G-21 by 1945. Serial numbers and squadron delivery dates are given.  Doesn’t explain the crates in Basra.

Glenn L. Martin was a great aviation pioneer, but had serious personal and financial issues. He was quick to sell the Model 139 bomber and Model 156 flying boat to Russia at a large profit.

I hope this will be helpful, Ray Wagner

Date:
1/28/2011
Time:
11:09 AM

Finding this History of the early 70th bombardment squadron history is wonderful. My name is George A. Jones, WW II veteran of 55 combat missions on B-25 Mitchell Bomber as radio-gunner 13th AAF 42nd Bomb Group 70th BS So. West Pacific Area. As you can see my service was 1944/45 in the 70th BS when we had B-25s – Sansapor to Morotai to Palawan with 5 missions on detached service out of Leyte. I met Harold Larson at several of our 42nd Bomb Group reunions. He was going to send me the next history of the 70th later years but died before. Do you know if he ever published his second book? We no longer have 42nd Bomb Group reunions as our membership declined so much. I am in touch with several of our remaining members and would love to contact others.

Date:
1/28/2011
Time:
2:09 AM

I have been looking at your website for several years and would like to add a dedication page. I have my uncle’s original diary, mission reports, and photos with the 394th bg/584th bs. I have attempted to assemble a book paralleling my Uncle James’ diary with the 394th bg. It kind of “snow balled” on me when I started checking out the guestbook on your website and found out more detailed info on the b26 and the 394th bg. I will gladly mail you a copy of my “stuff”, and let you decide what could be used, if that’s ok . Thanks, Jim Diffee

Date:
1/25/2011
Time:
7:19 PM

Name: Tony Radice
Bomb Gp: 394
Squadron: 585
Years: 42-46
Class: Staff Sergeant
Location: he was from East Chicago, Indiana
Comments: Question 1: I would like any information about my Uncle Tony Radice. Question 2: When they went out on missions how often did the crew change? Question 3: Please if anyone can add to it or let me know if I have something that needs to be corrected.

For his training he was sent to various locations and also listed is some of the replacement centers:
Sioux Falls, South Dakota-656 Technical School Sq for Mechanic and Radio Operations he
studied the functions of radio and codes for 18 months, Graduated on February 27, 1943.
Tucson, Arizona at the Davis Monthan Field-61st Bomb Sq arrived April 16, 1943 and Graduated the 39th Bombardment Group Gunnery School for a course in Ground Gunnery & Armament on May 28, 1943. Left Tucson June 9, 1943 Casper, Wyoming-464th Bomb Sq Arrived in Wyoming on June 12, 1943
England-In a letter written by him it shows that on 3-8-1944 shows him at the 12th Replacement Control Depot. In another letter written by him it shows that on 6-28-1944 he was with the 527th Bomb Sq. and the 379th Bomb Sq.
His military occupational specialties were Radio Operator, Mechanic and Gunner.

He was in the Campaigns and have medals for:
1. American Theatre, 2. Northern France Campaign, 3. Europe Theatre

On August 2, 1944 during the European Theater Campaign his plane I believe it to be “The Centenarian” was hit by flak on its fourth mission to bomb a rail bridge at Nantes, France. They bailed out of the plane on the pilot’s orders. The pilot managed to fly the aircraft back as far as the Cherbourg Peninsula for a crash landing at an airstrip near Cherbourg. The plane was a B-26, the planes serial number was 42-96105, the BS/Code was 585BS 4T.

The crew was:
Pilot 1st Lt. Jack M McGregor from Illinois severely injured and later died that day on August 2, 1944 he is buried at the Saint Laurent Cemetery in Saint Laurent, France.
2nd Lt. Edward G Coughlin was injured.
2nd Lt. William Perry, Jr., from Mercedes, Texas was injured and hospitalized for seven months and was returned to flying status on a waiver.
Tony Radice was listed as MIA for a short time and found hung in a tree.
SSgt. Beck I believe his first name was Edgar B. from Pennsylvania escape without injury.
SSgt. Salvatore F. Alessi from Buffalo, New York escape without injury.

He was awarded with Honors:
Purple Heart, EAME, Good Conduct Medal, WW II Victory Medal, American Theater Medal, and a European Theater of Operations Medal with Two Battle Stars.

Hospitals after accident:
1. 298th General Hospital in France—Date of Admission August 2, 1944 and Date of Release Sept 2, 1944.
2. General Hospital in England—Date of Admission Sept 2, 1944 and Date of Release Oct 17, 1944.
3. US Air Transport Mitchell Field in New York—October 19 & 20, 1944
4. Reg Hosp, in New York—Date of Admission Oct 20, 1944 and Date of Release Oct 21, 1944
5. Hospital Transfer from AAFCC & Reg Sta Hospital, Mitchel Fld, New York on Oct 21, 1944
6. Mayo General Hospital in Galesburg, Illinois—Date of Admission Oct 21, 1944
7. Vaughan General Hospital Ward 24 in Hines, Illinois—Date of Admission 1946
8. Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Illinois—Date of Admission Until Death March 3, 1973

His injuries were:
Broken Neck, Spine Injury, Paralyzed Fingers

Thank you,
Nancy J. Lara

Date:
1/25/2011
Time:
5:21 PM

Re 2/8/2001, 8:23:5 AM, Howard Troup’s Guestbook entry.

The “LCAAF” stands for “Lake Charles Army Air Force (Base)”. Men who were trained for the various positions on a B-26 were ordered to Lake Charles. It was there that they were assigned to a crew. This was the first time that they met the guys with whom they would go into combat. “JUN 44” is when your father was there at Lake Charles. Can’t help you with “551-4”. From Lake Charles, the crews went to Hunter Field, Savannah, GA, to puck up their B-26. From Savannah, They flew to Bangor ME, and then overseas to UK. If their B-26 went down over the North Atlantic, no one was going to them up.

My father, Raul Pompa 387BG 557BS, flew on a B-26, and I have same picture with my father and his crew posed in front of a B-26, with the caption “LCAAF JUN44”. -Raul Pompa

Date:
1/25/2011
Time:
6:15 AM

Hello,
My father was Gerald L. Garrett, a 1st Lt. Officer with the 557th Squadron, 387th Bomb Group. He flew 56 sorties from July 14th 1944 until April 19th 1945. Is anybody alive who would have known him? He died in 1961 when I was just 9 years old. I would love to hear from anybody that knew him.

Thanks,
Randy Garrett

Date:
1/24/2011
Time:
8:32 PM

Richard J. Snyder, 391st Bomb Group, 573rd Bomb Squadron, was a dear friend of mine who passed away in Nov. ’99. He loved to share about his experiences in “The Flying Prostitute” – which he said got its nickname because it had no visible means of support. “Tricky Dick” lied about his age when he was only 17 so that he could get into the Army Air Corps. and “go fight against the evil Nazis.” He ended up flying in over 70 raids over Europe. He is now buried in Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside California – thanks for being my mentor & friend. RIP. -Patrick Singer

Date:
1/24/2011
Time:
3:24 PM

I am very disturbed about a trend I spotted on eBay. In the last several weeks I have noticed personal effects from our Maraudermen showing up on eBay for sale. Some of the sellers say they are finding the material in dumpsters, others say it was purchased through estate sales. I am so saddened that medals such as a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), and personal letters home to family are being sold on eBay. Today I found letters from an airman written to his family back home, his military records and files and the telegram sent to his family notifying them of his death. This information has likely been kept all these years by someone very dear to him, someone who loved and missed him very much. Selling this material on eBay is the worst thing. Perhaps the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 should be amended to mandate all military medals not maintained in family be return to the government.

I believe records, medals, and other personal material kept all these years by a WWII Marauder Man or his family should be honored instead of ending up on eBay for sale to a collector to hoard or display at collectors conventions like American Society of Military Insignia Collectors (ASMIC) or Orders Medals Society of America (OMSA).

I have visited this b26.com for years and have seen all those who honor our Marauder Men. Is there anyway you could encourage family members and others not to discard or sell such artifacts either through estate sales or Internet sites such as eBay?

Maybe people could mail the material to b26.com or directly to University of Akron, Marauder Archive. Akron Marauder Archive will store the material and information will be used by researchers to help tell an accurate history of what our beloved Maraudermen did to help us maintain our freedom.

The selling of dead veteran’s personal material like death notices or medals is a breach of moral standards and should not be allowed by eBay. The veterans’ effects are extensions of our American “family” and not trivial items to be sold on eBay for $20.

I appreciate preservation instincts vs. the reality of the marketplace and peoples’ priorities. I ask the children and grandchildren to reconsider discarding or selling artifacts on the Internet. Email b26.com so they can help arrange a donation to Akron. If you intend to sell an item I’m asking you consider donating it. Other folks that are going to toss these items need to know that they have another choice. I appeal to your patriotism so that our heroes and your loved ones will not be forgotten. -Don Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow

Date:
1/22/2011
Time:
10:24 PM

Does any B-26 Marauder reader have a good fix on the length of the tow target sleeve tow cable and the minimum distance the reel operator, usually the flight engineer, ran out the cable before firing was authorized by the pilot — or the length of a deployed “pick up cable” picked up and pulled on takeoff — to be dropped on return to the field? Having flown some tow target, this B-26 Marauder historian finds it difficult trying to believe various memory data that now surface. The problem is that memory is not a good judge and flooding history with wrong or misleading data serves no one. This question was spiked by a WASP Internet posting that stated a tow target distance behind the B-26 of only 40-50 feet. That is the approximate length of the B-26 fuselage (58 feet, 3 inches) and, frankly, I don’t believe the cited 40-50 foot separation. Correcting errors in the historical record is an important task of all historians. Your help on this question would be appreciated. Maj. Gen. John Moench (Ret), author of RESTORING HISTORY: The WASP and the B-26 Marauder Men

Date:
1/20/2011
Time:
10:22 AM

I am searching for information about a B26 hit by flak and blown up on 29.09.1944 in Broichweiden-Linden near Aachen. Do you have information about this case?

Thanks in advance,
Dr. Bruno Weyers

Dear Dr. Weyers,
No B-26 Marauders were lost on this date.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Dr. Weyers, I cannot find any information about a B-26 shot down in this area on the actual date. However, 2 Douglas A-20 “Havoc” from 416th BG were shot down in that area that day, both in Jülich-area which lies 16 kilometers NE of Broichweiden-Linden. The aircraft I refer to were 43-10165 (MACR 9275) and 43-9925 (MACR 9276). Regarding MACR 9275 the KU-report says that the POW bailed out of a Marauder and was captured near Jülich. Have seen from time to time that there can be misidentification of a/c type in the KU-reports. Do you have more information regarding the Marauder you refer too?

Best regards, Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/19/2011
Time:
2:20 PM

My name is John Talbott and I am a researcher at the Gold Star Military Museum in Iowa, USA. I saw your site on the internet while looking up places to help identify a picture that we have of a B26. The picture is enclosed as this is the only clue I have as to what unit this aircraft belonged to. Maybe you can help. The tail number might put it in the 387th Bomb Grp. I could not find it listed on any squadron rosters.

On the nose you can faintly se the words BURNT (over) CORK.

The picture is 24 inches by 20 inches and appears to be made by an air force photographer as they would have the equipment needed to make the enlargement.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time!
John Talbott

John, 41-31693 was dispatched to Hawaii 30th October 1943 and was damaged while parked at Oahu on 31st July 1944.The only Marauder unit in Hawaii at that time was the 17th Tow Target Squadron and this bird may have been attached, but there is no definite information on that.

Trevor Allen, historian b26.com

Date:
1/16/2011
Time:
10:06 AM

Roland C. Anderson
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service: 1942-1745

Comments: Mr. Trevor Allen, and/or the good folks of B26.com. I submitted a dedication page for my Grandfather Roland C. Anderson a couple of years ago. I have found some additional photos that I’d like to submit to B26.com in hopes of aiding in your research and to preserve the sacrifices made by the Marauder Men. One is a picture taken at Barksdale, LA of my Grandfather’s crew in training. Another of the men he went through Radio school with. (unfortunately no names are listed on it). The final one is taken of Roland and on the back it is written “The Swede” (Note the snow in background). Trevor, I hope these photos are useful to you, and if you could give me any additional information regarding my Grandfather’s service I would be most grateful.

Many Thanks,
Tony Anderson

Date:
1/15/2011
Time:
9:42 PM

Marauderman Raymond C. English
387th Group
556th Bomber Squadron
KIA March 18, 1945

Dennis English

Date:
1/14/2011
Time:
7:20 AM

I am researching the history of two Marauderman that are listed on the War Memorial monument in Issaquah Washington. Issaquah was a much smaller place in WW II, but still had twelve men and one woman named on the monument as killed in World War Two. In my research I found a fourteenth name, but that is another story.

Interestingly, of the thirteen, seven and possibly eight (I have one name I do not have a confirmed history for yet), were members of the AAF or WASPs. This is not particularly surprising given the extreme danger the Marauderman faced on their low level missions and the high casualty rate the USAAF in WW II in general, but sobering to think about none the less.

The two Marauderman I am researching are John Raymond Smart and S/Sgt Robert W Philp. In 2005, you and Alan wrote a very informative guestbook entry regarding the service of Lt Smart, and I wanted to ask if since it was posted, if any more information has come to light. I am sending a separate email regarding S/Sgt Philp. S/Sgt Philp was a crew mate of Eckard Munsch on “Front burner 2” when it went down on December 23, 1944. I am interested in obtaining copies of the letters and information surrounding the crash mentioned in the 8/15/2004 guestbook entry cited below. I would also like to obtain a higher resolution scan of the “Front burner 2” crew photo that is pictured on Eckard Munsch’s page, so I can hopefully extract a close up of S/Sgt Philp. Any other information regarding S/Sgt Philp’s service history would be greatly appreciated as well.

I remembered another Marauderman that I had done some research on. His name was Lt Charles A Jackson, and he was the Bombardier on “Hells Fury” and is pictured second from the left below. Sadly, none of the others in this photo are identified.

You have a wonderful history on your site of the December 13, 1943 mission that the 386th went on where “Hells Fury” went down, and I thought that this would be a good addition to it. I will look in my files, as I think I may have more to add.

The Hells Fury painting is from a scare book of paintings by Colonel Ross Greening called “Not As Briefed”, that was published in a small printing right after the war. Col. Greening was shot down in a B-26, and more information about Mr. Greening is found here and here. The scan however, is from the original edition…I have seen both editions, and the original is much sharper. I am not sure of the copyright issues in putting this on your site. I will say, I am sure that Col. Greening, had he been alive, would have given an enthusiastic thumbs up.

I appreciate your many years of hard work, and the excellent information your site has already provided me with for my research. Thank you!

Best Regards,
C.A. Christensen

Date:
1/11/2011
Time:
9:21 PM

My uncle, Lloyd Arthur, was radio operator, waist gunner on B-26 Marauder “Liberty Lady” during WW2 May God bless all the gallant pilots and crew who served there country during these hard times.

Richard Arthur

Date:
1/11/2011
Time:
3:42 PM

Here is something you might find interesting. It’s a photo that my aunt recently forwarded to me. It was taken on July 8, 1944, 25 miles west of Paris. You can see 6 German soldiers with a US POW they just arrested. A US bomber was shot down by the Nazis and one of the serviceman jumped off the aircraft and landed with his parachute not far from where my grand parents were living. You can see a civilian facing the soldiers and making a military salute to cheer up the American and tease the Germans. It’s my grand-father…I would like to find out the name of this POW and maybe get in touch with him or his family and forward them this photo. -Philippe Mourand

…large images

Hi Philippe ,
Thanks for sending the new picture of the photograph. As you say, this new picture shows a person standing with a bicycle on the left of the picture. Unfortunately, the shadow of that person is partially obscured by the boy standing in front and to the left of the camera. However, the shadow does not extend to the right of the boy, so I would estimate that height/shadow ratio of the person with the bicycle is between 0.4375 to 0.35. These ratios give the angle of the sun (altitude) as between 23.62 to 19.29 degrees.

Using Sun Position Calculator – PVCDROM for these altitudes on June 24th at location 48.97272 degrees North (48d 58m 21s), Longitude 1.84593 East (1d 50m 45s) gives a time between 17:31 GMT (azimuth 279 degrees) to 17:59 GMT (azimuth 284 degrees). This is still in accord with the bearing (azimuth) of 285 degrees for the sun that was previously estimated from the other shadows. I would therefore say that the best estimate for the time that the photograph was taken was around 18:00 GMT or 20:00 local time (GMT+2).

Also, during WW2 summer months, the UK was on “double summer time” or GMT plus 2 hours. So France and the UK would have had the same local time.

According to the book “Rivenhall – The History of an Essex Airfield – B.A. Stait – 1984” ISBN 0-9509438-0-0, there were 6 aircraft lost by the 397th Bomb Group on 24th June 1944:

42-96120 9F-R “Mama Liz”
42-96121 9F-?
42-96127 9F-?
42-96133 ??-?
42-96161 U2-M “Patty Kay”
42-96177 6B-?

The book (which I believe was compiled using information from members of the 397th BG) says that 2 of these managed to land in friendly territory, but were not able to be repaired.

There are four MACR for B-26 aircraft for 24th June 1944

A/C Serial # Date MACR Group Squadron A/C Type
42-96120 6/24/1944 6197 397 B-26
42-96121 6/24/1944 6199 397 B-26
42-96127 6/24/1944 6200 397 B-26
42-96177 6/24/1944 6218 397 B-26

On this page (for aircraft 42-96120 9F-R “Mama Liz or Holy Moses”) shows that 1 crewman escaped and 5 crewmen were taken prisoner. It also states that the aircraft crashed at Flexanville (16 miles south-west of Maisons-Laffitte, 6 miles south of south-west of Elisabethville). It is said on Moses Gatewood’s page that Captain Moses Gatewood was the pilot of the “Mama Liz” that day and states that “HE WAS SHOT DOWN ON JUNE 24, 1944 OVER WEST SUBURBS OF PARIS”. However, Capt. Gatewood’s statement in the pages that follow gives me the impression that they baled out some time after their bombs were dropped, and that his aircraft was severely damaged near the target (which is in the western suburbs of Paris). The book “Rivenhall – The History of an Essex Airfield” states that “Capt. Moses Gatewood managed to keep the aircraft (possibly “Mama Liz”) under control until all the crew were able to bale out near Rouen. Capt. Gatewood managed to evade capture and returned to England on 20th August 1944.” So, which location for the baling out is correct – Rouen or Flexanville ? Perhaps one of these 5 crewmen from Gatewood’s crew could be the airman in your photograph unless they baled out near Rouen, which is approximately 70 miles north west of Elisabethville. The page on B26.COM has a photograph of Capt. Gatewood and his crew, but it’s not possible to identify if one of these is the aircrewman in your photograph.

On this page (for aircraft 42-96121 9F-?) shows that 2 crewmen escaped and 5 crewmen were taken prisoner. It also states that the 2 crewmen who escaped were taken to Arnouville/Goussonville (these are 4 miles south-west of Elisabethville). If the airmen taken prisoner baled out at the same time as those that escaped, it suggests to me that they could have landed close to Elisabethville and thus are the strongest candidates for the airman in your photograph.

On this page (for aircraft 42-96127) shows that all 6 crewmen died.

On this page (for aircraft 42-96177) shows that 2 crewmen escaped and 4 crewmen were taken prisoner, although one of the captured crewmen later escaped. It also states that the crash site as Pont-L’Eveque (not far from Rouen !). The pilot evaded capture (he was probably one of the last to bale out or he crash landed). So, it’s possible that one of the 4 crewmen taken prisoner baled out near Elisabethville, but unlikely as the escapees were found near Pont-L’Eveque. Is it possible that there’s been some kind of mix-up of the crash sites for 42-96120 and 42-96177 (see above) ?

So, if your photograph was taken on the 24th June 1944, then I believe that the strongest candidates for the airman in the photograph are those from 42-96121. However, this is only logic applied to the information available and some guesswork based on probability. I expect that only the surviving records in France will be able to prove the identity of the unknown airman in the photograph.

Also see Maisons-Laffitte railroad bridge bombardements 1944 By Claude Faix

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
1/11/2011
Time:
6:35 AM

Hi, could you help me? I’m looking for a photo of the nose art for “Sky Chief” from the 386th BG 555th BS. Any help would be great.

Thanks, Steve

Date:
1/10/2011
Time:
5:52 PM

Lenice Lee Marshall
386th Bomb Group
555th Bomb Squadron
Bombardier, European theatre, flew over 70 missions, Distinguished Flying Cross (we can’t locate his medals)
Approximate time of service 1942-1944

I am trying to put together information on my father’s service. He passed away in March 1953. I am interested in where he as based in England and how he might have spent his time there. Also if there are other squadron members still living he might have known.

Thank you so much, the website is great. I just hope I have my basic facts straight.

Nancy Marshall

Nancy, 1st Lt. Lenice L. Marshall of 555th BS enlisted the Air Corps on September 27th 1941 (NARA record). 386th Bomb Group came to England to Boxted (Essex) Summer 1943, first mission on July 30th, then on September 24th 1943 to Great Dunmow (Essex), and moved to Beaumont-sur-Oise in France on October 2nd 1944, then to St. Trond in Belgium on April 9th 1945. 386th BG history book “The Story of the Crusaders” edited by Barnett B. “Skip” Young is available.

Bst regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/10/2011
Time:
10:52 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Dearing Frank Stone aka “Rocky”
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 552nd
Years in service: 1942 – 43
Graduation Class: 1942 or early 1943
Class Location: Shaw Field
Comments: While going thru my grandmother’s home and my dad’s WWII footlocker I have learned all about my uncle Frank. Rocky as he was known trained in Alabama at Moody Field and then at Shaw Air Field in Sumter SC. My father never spoke of him much. I guess I was too young and by the time I grew old enough to have any interest, too much time had passed since he was killed. My grandmother had kept copies of every letter that Frank ever wrote and a lot of letters that were written and returned unread. I even found the last letter Uncle Frank wrote 2 days before he was killed…and letters from the commanding Major of his squadron detailing how, when and where he was shot down. I found out how much one can put into a letter. My grandmother, 2 aunts, my dad and Frank wrote to each other on almost a daily basis. I read in one letter that Frank was surprised to get a phone call from mom and dad while he was in training at Maxwell Field in Alabama . Only the very well “to do” had phones, so mail was the daily “phone call” home.

So I read each letter several times…carefully. I wanted to know more and to learn about the uncle I never knew…boy did I learn a lot! I also learned a lot about my 2 aunts as well as my dad and grandparents! It has been a labor of love and curiosity to say the least. It seems like he was a swell guy and well loved by all that knew him.

Uncle Frank was shot down while returning from a bombing mission over France on 9/27/1943. He was flying co-pilot with 1st Lt. Fred Cox. His plane was seen to be hit by flak under one engine. The engine fell off and the plane was see to go down on fire and out of control, no parachutes were seen and all hands were killed in action.

For the record, members of the crew that day were [see Chester Klier’s Misson 29]:

Pilot: 1st Lieutenant W.F. Cox
Co Pilot: 2nd Lieutenants F. Stone
Tail Gunner: W.R. Newell
H.J. Corbin
Tech Sergeant G.H. Dunn
Staff Sergeants A.J. Vermette

All were KIA.

I read somewhere that one of these men was not a regular crewman but was on board because the regular crewman was sick that day.

I appreciate you posting these comments. I welcome any information, comments, pictures or questions from members of this website.

God Bless America !
Barry Stone

Date:
1/9/2011
Time:
8:31 PM

To Sgt. Christian Dejohn who asked if $450 was a fair price for a 455th Bomb Squadron patch: I bought a 455th patch a couple years ago for around $50. So, I think $450 is excessive.
Tom McCarthy, son of Robert P. McCarthy, navigator, 455th B.S., 323rd B.G.

Date:
1/9/2011
Time:
7:08 AM

My family friend, then lieutenant Angelo R. Aquaro, flew combat missions in the B-26 Marauder with the 455th BS, 323rd BG, then 344th BG, Ninth Air Force, Would love to connect with anyone with info on this unit. One story that my “Uncle Angelo” told me with particular enthusiasm was about being attacked by the then- revolutionary Me 262 Komet German jet fighter.

“Uncle Angelo” had been warned by AAF Intel about the new Nazi “wonder weapons” but he figured this was “Buck Rogers” stuff that the average Marauder Man wouldn’t see… he was proven very wrong in March/April 1845, when the 455th was attacked on the way back from a “milk run” by some German Me-262 “Komet” jet fighters.

Lt. Aqauro and his crew, ironically enough, were accompanied on this mission by an AAF photographer with a movie camera, who flew along for the ride and declared, “I hope we get attacked so I can get some good footage!” This camera man got more than he bargained for because 455th BS Marauders were dropping like flies when they were attacked by Me-262s.

Lt. Aquaro’s ship was attacked badly and had the hydraulics shot out, but he was able to help crash-land her around Valenciennes, France.

I have been offered an (allegedly) original 455th BS fabric squadron patch, as worn on the A-2 and B-10 flight jackets, for $450. Would love to hear from those in the know if this is a fair price.

Always interested in connecting with any descendents of the “Marauder Men” of the 455th BS, 323rd BG.

Best,
SGT Christian DeJohn

Christian,
The following may help. B-26G 44-68099 coded YU-A 455th Bomb Squadron 323rd.Bomb Group.
Crew: Pilot Capt W H Thomas, copilot 2.Lt A R Aquaro; Bomb/Nav 1.Lt R A Muench; Radio/gunner T/Sgt B V Bodard; engineer/gunner T/Sgt E Gregorchick; tail/gunner Sgt A G Hebert.

4th April 1945, altitude 11,500′. time 11.40 to 11.45 am.
On Me262’s second pass the tail gunner saw the enemy aircraft at1000yards coming in at 6 o’clock level. The E/A began firing continuously from 600yards,and the tail gunner fired two bursts at the E/A at the same range of 600yards the E/A then disappearing above the B-26.The Marauder suffered category A damage from 30mm cannon shells, but landed safely back at base, was repaired and flew its next mission on the 9th April 1945.

Only one Marauder was shot down that day by Me262’s a 455th ship piloted by 2.Lt R M Johnson.

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Image “Flying Without Wings”

Date:
1/6/2011
Time:
5:17 PM

Just a note:

Leslie A Tenold, 451st Bomb Squadron, 322 Bomb Group, passed away in Atlanta on Monday Jan.3.

Les was a great friend and mentor to me. We had a lot of talks about his B-26 time. He will be missed.

Another great aviator getting new wings…

Jim Helbert

Date:
1/6/2011
Time:
9:20 AM

My father, Leslie A. Tenold, passed away at St. Joseph’s hospital in Atlanta Georgia on January 3, 2011. Dad flew the B-26 while attached to the 451st Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group. An obituary will appear in the Saturday edition, January 8th, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Michael B. Tenold

Date:
1/5/2011
Time:
9:58 AM

My father-in-law, Jack Crossman Emhoff, was the mechanic/turret gunner on the B26 “Ole Smokey”. He flew in the 387th Bomb Group, 557th Squadron. Do you know where we can find an original photo of the his plane and nose art. When they photographed his squad it was in front of a different plane. I can get together his crew members names and a picture of them in front of the other plane. My son did a presentation at school and put on his grandfather’s uniform and told his story in first person. We interviewed him and my mother-in-law for a couple of hours and had put this in outline form. Then the family wanted a copy, but the outline wouldn’t have meant much so we did put it in story form. This past May, for Memorial Day, our church honored him and other WWII vets (there were no other ones present) with a brief of the story and pictures from the family. We had his uniform displayed and my other son read the story – it was really wonderful. I will try to get the info ready for you. Thanks, Cindy

It certainly has started as a 387th forum in 2011, in respect of the request for photo’s of “Ole Smokey” please find the attachments.

Regards,
Alan Crouchman

Date:
1/4/2011
Time:
4:10 PM

I have in my possession an identity tag from a crew man aboard a Marauder aircraft that crashed on take off on 9th September 1943, near Chipping Ongar in Essex. My information is very sketchy, all I have is 387th group, Willingale / Norton Mandeville and that there was just one survivor. The tag was found by a metal detectorist who would very much like to return it to his family. I have attached a photograph of the tag, and I hope you can read the name and address on it. Any other information will be greatly appreciated and the story will be printed in the Treasure Hunting metal detecting magazine. Hoping you can help with this one.

Yours sincerely,
Stan Merralls

This request is quite puzzling, and needs further research from your side. The aircraft in question most certainly was 41-31697 “Duck Butt” TQ-R of 387th BG 559th BS which crashed on take off at Chipping Ongar on September 9th 1943. Pilot was 1st Lt. Elwood R. McClendon. He is buried at Cambridge American Cemetery in England. S/Sgt. Medardo T. Lopez is also buried at Cambridge. Other crewmembers killed with “Mac” McClendon were Lt. Chalker, Lt. Rives, Sgt. Bennet and Sgt. Lopez.

Charles Spurgeon on dog tag is Charles H. Spurgeon Jr. from Knox County in Tennessee. He enlisted as a Private on February 3rd 1942 at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia. He was born in 1919. The accident report for 41-31697 09.09.43 is available, and ought to be checked, as Spurgeon is not mentioned in the crew list from 559th BS history book.

From 559th BS history: “Lt. Elwood R. McClendon’s crew was the first replacement crew with 559th BS and arrived first week of September 1943. Crew were alerted for an early morning mission for the ninth. The weather was miserable on the night of September 8. 54 aircraft from 387th BG participated in a big mission to attack coastal defences in France. On the hard-stands, at daybreak, we could make out movement at the next hard-stand. We could hear voices, but we could not see the men there. But the aircraft slowly made their way through the fog to the takeoff runway. Nearly half of the 54 aircraft had become airborne when one crashed on takeoff into the trees at the end of the runway. There was a solid overcast hovering over “Chipping Ongar” at an altitude of about 400 feet, but the weather cleared over the Channel. In the debriefing room our first question was, “Who went in?” The answer was “Mac” McClendon. Only “Mac’s” tailgunner, Sgt. A. B. Caywood, survived.”

A further search for Sgt. A.B. Caywood indicates that this might have been Acle Bronston Caywood who died on August 7th 1944. There is one person listed at NARA with as Acle B. Caywood and a MACR from 391st BG 574th BS tells that Armourer-Gunner Acle B. Caywood died on August 7th 1944 when his Marauder was shot down over France. His status is FOD (Finding Of Death). The information indicates that he might have been transferred to 391st BG. He was buried at Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky on December 15th 1949.

Good luck with the further research!

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

***
An interesting one, the tag looks genuine in general appearance but we canot trace a crew man lost around Chipping Ongar with this name.

The crash he is talking about on 9th September 1943 was 41-31697 TQ-R “Duck Butt” but he was not part of the crew. The only other major crash around the airfield was 41-31684 FW:A “Double Trouble” on 8th March 1944.

The only other possibility is that it was a dog tag accidentally lost, maybe during the recovery of one of these crashes or at some other time, what may help in some small way is a precise location in regard to the airfield where it was actually recovered from. Otherwise a mystery.

Regards

Alan

Date:
1/3/2011
Time:
3:05 PM

Just doing some internet surfing and found this site. I am curious about my uncle, now deceased, Maj General Joseph Cunningham and his role during WW II and flying the B-26. I thought he was a POW at some point but he never discussed it.

If you have any information, I would be most interested.

Sincerely,
John Cunningham

John, I have not found any records at NARA about your uncle being a POW. Further The 17th BG 34th BS history says: “The last of the old 34th Attack Squadron veterans, Capt. Joseph A. Cunningham, assumed command from Maj. Rutherford in June 1942. Shortly thereafter, on 22 June the 17th Group was ordered to Barksdale Field.”

From 319th BG history book: Commanding Officers
Major Joseph A. Cunningham (Acting), 5. December 1942 to 11. January 1943. (G.O.4, Hq. 319th Bomb Gp., 5 Dec. 1942).
June 29, 1942 Capt. CUNNINGHAM appointed Group Operations Officer.
October 15 1942 Major Cunningham arrived by plane. (met 319th BG Ground echelon in England).
November 24 1942 Major Joseph A. Cunningham came to Tafarouri, flew in in a B-26.
December 5 1942 Major Cunningham assumes command.
May 15 1943 Lt. Col. ARING and Lt. Col. CUNNINGHAM inspected clothes, rifles and tents. Dirty rifles were the chief defect.
July 4 1943 We learned today that Col. CUNNINGHAM and Doc BOCK crashed, forced landing in mountains. Doc got two broken legs. This accident happened July 3 1943 in Tunisia.

There also are two eyewitness notices in MACR #232 and #232 available from mission#42 when thirty-one B-26s bombed harbor and town of Olbia, Sardinia.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/2/2011
Time:
8:37 PM

Can anyone tell me what happened to B-26B-15 of the 558th Bomb Squadron “Wuneach” 41-31666 with pilot Capt George M. Snyder, co-pilot Thornton Stark, Nav Robert S. Paukert, Eng/Gunner William Megonegal, Radio Howard S. Kovalchik, gunner Lawance F. Stern and Pilot Officer Wuneach a silver/blue white whiskered cat from Michigan.

The crew of 41-31666 was Pilot George M. Snyder, Co-Pilot Thornton W. Stark, Nav/Bomb Robert S. Pawkert, Eng/Gunner William Megonegal, Radio operator Howard S. Kovalchik and Gunner Lawrence F. Stern, Mascot Pilot Officer Wuneach. Based out of Chipping Ongar the plane made 17 missions and according to the newspaper interview with Sgt Kovalchik P.O. Wuneach went on several of them.

The newspaper article is from the Scottish Daily Express on November 29, 1943.

…large image

“Presenting Pilot Officer Wuneach. The Cat Who Flew The Atlantic. Here is the Pilot Officer Wuneach, silver-blue with white whiskers, who flies as mascot in a bomber from a U.S. Marauder station in Britain. Twice the bombers has gone without Wuneach – and both times “things happened.” Once the plane was rather badly shot up. The other time it caught fire and the tail-gunner nearly fell out. When the crew left American to fly the Atlantic they had to sign for all supplies drawn from the stores, even to their brand new bomber. Signing “one of each” for everything issued the aircraft captain decided to name the bomber Wuneach. As they were about to leave an airfield in Michigan the crew kidnapped a kitten that was prowling round, gave it the same name. The Cat Who Flew The Atlantic has since been on many raids over German airfields and other targets. Said Seargeant Ed Kovalchik, radio gunner, yesterday: “Wuneach rides anywhere in the plane-sometimes on the instrument panel in the cockpit, sometimes under a rug in the tail.”

I have read that the plane crash landed on 27 Sep 1943 and I can’t find out what happened to the crew and if P.O. Wuneach was on board that day. If anyone can tell me any information on this plane and crew I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank You and God Bless to all of you that fought for our freedom. -Chris & Christeen

In response to the post placed by Chris and Christeen regarding 41-31666 “Wuneach” I can confirm the following:

“Wuneach” suffered flak damage to its hydraulic system, on a mission to an enemy airfield Beauvais/Tille, and was unable to get the gear down. The pilot Lt George Snyder made a text book belly landing at Chipping Ongar without any injuries to the crew. I cannot confirm if the the cat P O Wuneach was on board or not, I suspect not but that is speculation. I attach some photo’s of Wuneach after the crash and the crew with one of the gunners holding the cat.

Regards,
Alan Crouchman

Chris & Christeen, I have checked my own records and available databases for details about 41-31665 “Wuneach Airplane”. Unfortunately I have not found any documentation about the cat P/O Wuneach being part of this mission. However, other details have appeared. A serial numbered MACR was not issued, but a partly complete MACR exists as S/Sgt. Megonegal was MIA due to battle casualty.

According to one source 41-31666 (387th BG, 558th BS, “Wuneach Airplane”) was damaged by Oblt Wolgang Neu in Fw 190A-6 of JG 26/4 near Conches-en-Ouche, France and crashlanded in UK Sep 27, 1943.

Regarding the Crew Members:
Engineer-Gunner S/Sgt. William S. Megonegal bailed out over France after the plane was hit by enemy fighters. He was taken POW and later liberated. He was in Camp 033 (Stalag Luft 3). Some records says no NMI, NARA POW record says S as Middle Initial.
Tail-Gunner Laverne F. Stein eye witnessed the bail-out (see attachment).
Co-Pilot Thorton W. Stark (Thornton) is listed as MIA February 25th 1944, as his plane was shot down by enemy fighters off Dutch Coast
(41-31648 “La Diabla” KX-L MACR #2331). ABMC writes Thornton; but WWII Registry by note from relative says Thorton.

If there are any surviving crew members among us, they should know about the cat.

Best regards,
Alf Egil Johannessen

Date:
1/1/2011
Time:
12:11 AM

Happy New Year!