Year 2013

Date:
12/17/2013
Time:
10:10 AM

My father recently came across your site and was floored to see his father, my grandfather, Jim Amick, in many photographs.

My grandfather passed away in 2010 at the age of 89 and was one of the most amazing and influential people in my world and in many.

I was 27 when he passed away and feel so blessed to even know him and have the opportunity to grow up with him around.

My PopPop was 6’4 and was a gentle giant and known to many as Big Jim. He spoke about the war everyone once in a while and some experiences as a B-26 pilot but the one thing he would always mention was that he lost his best friend and co-pilot and also one of his gunners in one of the missions. He always talked about their sacrifice for this country when negative things would happen in the government but would never talk about what he did for the country. He was so humble and amazing. He flew in 57 missions before being awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross.

When he returned home, he went to University and then started a business with his brother. My father and now brother both still work at the small family business that he started in 1958.

The reason for my letter is I wanted to know if I could purchase copies or jpeg, or pdf’s of the pictures with my grandfather online? I want to do something special for my dad for Christmas and I think this will be perfect. He was so touched when he saw these and I would love to frame them so they could go next to my grandfather’s flag and medals.

My family is very close and not a day goes by where we don’t think of my grandfather. If this is not an option, I completely understand, I just knew I had to reach out when we saw these pictures. My father just could not believe they existed and was so moved to see them. When you see something like this, it just amazes you at what else might be out there.

Thank you again for your consideration and for the amazing website. What a treasure it is.

Sincerely,
Ashley Amick

Ms. Amick, thanks for the letter. You’re welcome to use the pictures on the site.

Date:
12/15/2013
Time:
8:06 PM

I came upon the following post today. While it is 10 years old, I may have contact information that Dave Jones, regarding Wetzel Kimball, is interested in. My name is David Padgett. My grandfather was the brother of James Padgett. James’ youngest brother Joseph (Louie) is still alive and may be willing to talk on the phone. I have pictures of James in uniform and a picture of the crash site that I received from Uncle Louie. (These may have come from someone on this site as the information on the pictures is similar)
Dave Padgett

Date:
12/12/2013
Time:
10:25 AM

Marauderman’s Name: George F. Stout
Bomb Group: maybe 394th
Bomb Squadron: unk
Years in service: 1942-45
Graduation Class: Douglas Class of 1943-I
Class Location: Douglas, GA
Comments: My Dad flew B-26s over Europe from England for 66 missions. According to his flight school graduation book, he was shot down twice and returned to England via the French Resistance. His co-pilot was Eugene Wegman from Rochester, NY. All of his records were apparently destroyed in a fire. I would love any information regarding his service as he never discussed any of it with his family. Dad died in 1990.

Date:
12/8/2013
Time:
9:13 AM

I just re-read “Wings of Courage”. I noticed that my dad had made some notations in it. Nothing important just some disagreements on the flap angles and stuff. What I noticed was the mention in there of Col Wood’s aircraft being damaged and crash landing in England. It said Lt. Evans was killed and 3 other crew were wounded. Lt. Frank Evans was a close friend of my father, and his navigator when training in the States. My dad and his crew were assigned to Col. Wood, the 597th Squadron CO, when they arrived overseas. Lt. Joe Coleman was the bombardier. He, Frank and my dad were very close. My dad had been assigned a plane and another crew when Lt. Evans was killed.

What happened on May 13, 1944 mission? I would like to know who all were on the crew and who were the wounded crewmen. I have a pic of my dad later in the war with Col. Wood and crew where dad again flew co-pilot. Most of the original crew were in that pic, so I wondered about the wounds, etc.

Thanks,
Wynn Anderson, son of Andy Anderson

Date:
12/6/2013
Time:
6:38 PM

Hi, my father, Bruce G. McGregor, 320th BG/441st BS, was a B26 pilot during the 1943-1945 time frame.

Brian McGregor

Date:
12/3/2013
Time:
11:00 AM

I would just like to say my Dad, Thomas Burwell, was on the Pugnacious Peggy and was the Navigator Bombardier. He got off it the mission before it was shot down. I went on to do 20 years in the US Navy on Submarines.

Thank you,
Jim Burwell

Date:
12/1/2013
Time:
1:18 PM

My grandfather was in the 17th bomb group, 95th bomb squad and the B-26 was named “Bucket O Bolts”. His name was Robert T. Sparkman Sr. From Victoria, Tx. He passed away in 1989 and did not speak much of the war. We have seen many pictures of him during his time in the Air Core but that was after his death so there were many questions left unanswered. Would you are any of your historians know any info on his plane or crew?

Thank you,
Andrew Sparkman

Date:
11/27/2013
Time:
5:28 AM

Henry Farwell, who served with the 386th Bomb Group, 554th Bomb Squadron as a Radio Operator/Gunner whilst at Boxted and Great Dunmow airfields in England, passed away on September 3, 2013. He was a long-term supporter of the Boxted Airfield Historical Group and its efforts to establish a museum dedicated to all who served at the airfield. Despite his age, Henry attended as many of the various group events and meetings as possible, including fly-ins. We were privileged to have him open our museum to the public on May 29, 2011. As such, our group is especially saddened by his loss. -Steve Sharp

Date:
11/26/2013
Time:
4:01 PM

exCaptain Max Petrisek, pilot, class 43F, 17BG 95th BSqd., 1942-1945. My B26 bases were Barksdale Field, Constantine N Africa, Sardinia, Corsica, Dijon France. 63 missions most as Flight leader and one as Command Pilot. We flew over by the Southern route.  Sadly I lost my tail gunner, “Smitty” Gunnels, original 1st pilot Joseph Shoepps and bombardier, Camillo Tensi, because they shot down; attrition and time, I was transferred to first pilot. The most memorable missions were invasion of S France, Bombing N Italy bridge were a 88mm AA went through the rear and exited before exploding and crippling the plane and killing the tail gunner- Sgt. Gunnels. We made it to an emergency field S of Venice. Beyond combat missions there was a short wing B26 that I took to the red line of 350 MPH where it permanently lost normal air dynamics. Another not so normal flight was ferrying a new B26 across the North Sea in a storm with most of the flight instruments non functional. One flight was to bring war correspondence to our Sardinia home base that resulted in an unplanned night landing without any operating control tower. Some all fun flights included buzzing sail boats and mountain goats in the Sardinia area. Perhaps the dumbest act was to overload the plane with over a dozen cases of rum in Puerto Rico on our long trip overseas. The complete team support made it possible for many of us to survive. The pilot I trained with at Barksdale was Jack D. Amos. Thanks buddies!

Date:
11/26/2013
Time:
2:36 PM

My neighbor, Arthur S. Corry, passed away on 11/21/13. Mr. Corry was in the 17th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Squadron and flew 108 missions from 1943 to 1945. He was at one time or another a navigator, bombardier and tail gunner on the B26 Martin Marauder “Mississippi Mudcat”. -Kirk A Slossar

Date:
11/24/2013
Time:
1:19 PM

I have dug up lots of spent 4.2 casings and bullets up from Willingale airbase could you tell me if these are from any plane used there. The bullets have been fired so safe. I am trying to find out why 4.2 ammo is everywhere, got about 90 bullets all been fired, also got a lot of projectiles the end part of a bullet all been smashed and all in bad state. If the planes never used that caliber bullet why so many being found, also where do the end of the bullets come from, bullets from German planes found inside the bombers? – Brian

Date:
11/20/2013
Time:
2:53 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 2Lt James D. Jones
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 585th
Years in service: till 1944
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments:
I am trying to get in contact with Ms. Mollie Garcia and Mr. Scott M. Kirby that posted on this site previously regarding their relative/father Lt. Francis M. Kirby aircraft commander on B-26-B-55 Marauder 42-96117 shot down June 12, 1944. My wife’s Grandmother’s, Mary Louise Richie, first husband was 2Lt James D Jones, bombardier of the crew and Killed in Action on that day. They were married shortly before his leaving for the ETO and did not have any children. She later married Rush Lee Johnson, another member of the 585th.

We have seen the picture of Lt Kirby’s crew on this website and the book “Bridge Busters” but are still trying to confirm which individual is James Jones.

We are doing research on both men and would greatly appreciate any information that you may have.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help.

V/R
E.G. “Buck” Shuler III
Lt Col. SCANG

Date:
11/18/2013
Time:
3:15 PM

Name: Nicolas Bentas
BombGp: 320
Squadron: 441
Years: 44-45
Class: N/A
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Comments: Writing a book about my uncle Nicolas assigned to the 320 BG/441st Sqd. Need some information on the a list of surviving B-26s today, flying or static condition. I found some information that is not current, using this for the introduction of the book. I have his grave marker in Michigan and the memorial site in France with his crew. My brother, an artist by profession, did a portrait of him. The picture of him was from a family photo he sent home during his training in the US. Use as you will. Also providing a picture of me at the memorial site in France.

The crew:
Pilot Author Mac-Curdy
Co-Pilot Elmer Cudworth
Bombardier John Hill
Gunner Nicolas Bentas
Gunner Lloyd Rahl
Gunner Henry Tothamer

Thanks to all.
Nick Cressy

Date:
11/16/2013
Time:
5:20 PM

My wife and I recently pulled out and re-read the book Wings of Courage about Captain John Quinn West, the “By-Golly”, and its brave crew. That story is amazing. You will notice on photos of the By-Golly, under the window, the names of Ruby and Johnnie. Ruby was his wife, now deceased, and Johnnie was of course, Capt. West’s son. Johnnie also died in a plane crash when he was 28. My wife is Christy “West”, Johnnie’s daughter (who was 1 when he died) and Captain West’s grand-daughter. Christy and I live in the Asheville, NC area and would love to have more treasures about Captain West, Jiggs (the trusty pet) and the By-Golly. Our son is named “Quinn” after Cap. And, our big ole black and white bernese mountain dog is named Jiggs! – how perfect!

If anyone has anything about the By-Golly, Captain West or the crew that they would like to share with Captain West’s grand-daughter Christy

Thanks so much for this site and all the wonderful information about so many brave and loved men. -Greg Johnson

Dear Greg,
According to Missing Air Crew Report #9808, on August 1, 1944, Capt. John Q. West and his crew (397 Bomb Group, 598 Bomb Squadron) were on a mission to hit a railroad bridge at Angers, France. Their aircraft, 43-34126, was leading the third box when it was hit by enemy aircraft fire (20MM) in both elevators. Witnesses T/Sgt. George Kapitan and S/Sgt. Morton Mills saw fires burning on the right hand side of the bomb bay and right engine.

In his account of the events, the co-pilot says that he was hit by shell fragments in his right leg and knee, and that the aircraft was filled with fumes from the fire. The pilot was last seen at his position attempting to keep the aircraft under control so that the crew could bail out. The navigator passed out from inhaling the fumes, and it is assumed that the pilot was also overcome by fumes before he could bail out.

The crew were: Capt. John Q. West (Pilot), 1/Lt. William C. Budge (Co-Pilot), 2/Lt. Douglas H. Cramer (Navigator), 1/Lt. Fred J. Daoust (Bombardier), T/Sgt. Chester J. Natanek (Radio/Gunner), S/Sgt. Harold Zola (Engineer/Gunner), S/Sgt. Edward B. Picklesimer (Armorer/Gunner), Sgt. Jacob W. Brinn (Armorer/Gunner), S/Sgt. Lloyd T. Webb (GEE Operator).

West and Cramer were killed, the rest of the crew became prisoners of war. Daoust was treated in hospital for burns to his face, hands, and legs. Picklesimer broke his neck, and Budge was treated for wounds to his knee and leg.

Budge recommended that Capt. West should receive an award for his courageous and selfless actions that allowed the crew to survive that day.

A few weeks previously, on July 16, 1944, Capt. West flew 42-96138 (“By Golly”) for 150 miles on one engine and crash landed at a fighter strip at Azeville (A-7) in Normandy. All crew members survived, and West was awarded the DFC. There are photographs of Capt John Quinn West and crew standing alongside “By Golly” at http://www.fold3.com/image/231730383/ and of the crashed aircraft at http://www.fold3.com/image/231730384/

The aircraft was evidently named because Capt. West was a devoutly religious man, and “By Golly” was the strongest language that he would use.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
11/14/2013
Time:
9:10 AM

My name is Michael Kuzma. I am the proud grandson of Michael Kuzma who served during World War 2 as a tail-gunner of a B-26 Marauder. My interest has grown in my grandfathers involvement of World War 2 as I became more and more familiar with the events that went down during this time. Being 23 and attending college, I currently find myself doing a research paper on the B-26 Marauder and the impact my grandfather and his 397th bombing group/599th bombing squadron had on World War 2. I know very little about his involvement and am seeking any information about him, his crew and the plane he served this great country in. I am unsure of his plane name, and battles he might have been involved in. So any information would be greatly helpful. There have been some artifacts that are within our family that would help me answer these questions, but not nearly everything, I am unable to piece the details together. Though, I am lucky enough to have some pictures and a picture book, I am unable to obtain any information about his involvement with his bomb group and sqaudron. It would be greatly appreciated if you could assist me in any way so that I could learn more about the men who so bravely fought for our country-some making the ultimate sacrifice! I thank you for your time and hope you have a great day!

-Michael Kuzma

Date:
11/12/2013
Time:
10:50 AM

My Dad, Eugene A Maglietta, was in the 9th Air Force, 322 bomb group. He is 92 years young. He still remembers stories untold. Stories that are NOT in the history books I know and he wants to share. He was 85 last time we spoke about details and his memory is starting to fail. I have been hearing about ww11 for decades. However the untold stories are entertaining and quite interesting. He says he doesn’t remember me asking him about ww11. Thanks so much for running this website. Stephanie Maglietta, Daughter of Eugene A Maglietta

Date:
11/12/2013
Time:
6:30 PM

Hello, my Pop-Pop is Russell C. Johnson Jr. He is 91. He was a bomber pilot 451 squadron 9th division during World War II.
Marauderman’s Name: Russell Johnson
Bomb Group: 9th
Bomb Squadron: 451
Years in service:
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: Planes we have pictures of “I’ll be Seeing You soon”, “Piece Maker”, “Eleanor B.”

…large image

-Tracey Happold

Date:
11/12/2013
Time:
9:23 AM

Greetings,

Looking for information on B-26 S/N 42-96101 fuselage code 4T-N assigned to the 585 BS, 394 BG. According to the internet this was Captain Lyndsey’s aircraft. I would like to onow if there are any photos of this aircraft, specifically the nose art.

I am doing some research on Captain Lyndsey so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Lt Col Twedt

TRENTON N. TWEDT, Lt Col, IA ANG
Commander, 233d Intelligence Squadron

Date:
11/11/2013
Time:
3:02 PM

It has obviously been awhile since we have had the opportunity to check up on Grandpa Warn’s e-mail. I cannot tell you how much it means to him to have this type of interaction through people met from your site. Duryea would like to send his best and many thanks to everyone at B26.com for everything you all do on the website. He is still alive and kicking, feisty as ever! He will be celebrating his 93rd birthday in July. He would also like to tell Rich a couple of things. First, thank you for taking the time to make contact. Second, some information Rich may already know: his father was in the 575th Squad. and the name of his plane was “Scrumptious”, and he believes the plane number was most likely 95847. He does believe this was the information he shared with him in Scottsdale back in 2006. Keep em flying and again, thank you!

Sincerely,
J2 and Duryea Warn

Mr. Warn is awesome! Thank you!!

Date:
11/11/2013
Time:
2:02 PM

Hello,
My name is Tom Drodge and I am trying to do some research on the B26 Marauder “Times Awasting” that left Greenland in the fall of 1942 with seven officers on board. It crashed in Saglag, Labrador, Nl. with all on board surviving. I have read some articles about this plane but I was wondering if you know anything about any of the officers that were on board. I am planning on writing a book and is finding it very difficult in trying to gather information. If you could be of any help it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you and look forward to your reply.
Yours truly,
Tom Drodge

Date:
11/11/2013
Time:
11:51 AM

Dear b26.com editors and contributors,
Could you please help me to find, in the web, the pictures of B26 in action over the marshalling yard of Florence Campo di Marte on March 11 , 1944 ? It is a series of shots taken during the above mentioned action led, as far as I know, from 42nd BW, 319th and or 320th BG.

Thanking you in advance, Sandro Censi from Italy

Date:
11/6/2013
Time:
10:34 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Hiram “Hi” F. Appelget
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 95th
Years in service: 1941-43 (KIA 1 March 1943)
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments:

I’m Hi’s great nephew. His footlocker recently turned up in a shed in, I believe, Wyoming. Sgt. Gary Wayland at Warren AFB did yeoman’s work in tracking down Hi’s family and getting the the footlocker to his surviving relatives.

Some folks have in the past here asked about any information about the downing of his ship, the Barrel-House Bessie and Capt. William Kemp, Hi’s buddy. In true “two birds, one stone” fashion, I have a letter Bill sent to Hi’s wife Judy about the crash and one he sent to Hi’s parents.

Hi was listed as MIA after the crash on March 1, 1943. It wasn’t until October 12, 1943, that the War Department confirmed he had been killed in a telegram to Hi’s wife.

Sometime during that long wait, Bill wrote to Judy about the crash.

Undated letter from “Bill” to Judy

(Judy was Hi’s wife. She retyped many letters Hi had sent to her and sent the typed copies to Hi’s parents. This is one of the retyped letters. Bill is almost certainly Captain William R. Kemp)

COPY

Judy, I really don’t know what to tell you about Hit! The only thing that I can possibly do is to tell you how it happened and let you draw your own conclusions. I’m not trying to destroy your faith, but I feel that you should know the facts, and thereby know what to expect. If you will read back through Avaition [sic] you will find that a few people, but just a very few have lived through accidents just about as bad.

Well, here it is. We had a target that day that would require us to go in over the target, right on the ground. Everything went find [sic], we made our run on the target at a pretty good speed, being right on the ground, and saw no opposition till we were right over the target. Then all hell broke loose. They were throwing everything at us. Right in the midst of this, Hi’s airplane seemed-to pull up a bit and then just slowly began to roll over. It went all the way over and it seemed that he was just doing a slow roll, but just as he came out on the bottom of the roll, he hit the ground, and the airplane, which still had its bombs in it, just literally blew to pieces. That’s just the way it happened-there one minute, gong the next, and who am I to say if anyone lived through it? Clint Caywood and little Ivan Martin were in the airplane with Hi. The ship was old “Barrel-House Bessie.” We lost 3 other crews and 4 ships right there within about 5 seconds.

This may all sound very harsh, Judy, but I believe you will want to know just how and what happened, and it is surely your right to know! Nobody knows whether Hi and Caywood were hit, or whether their control cables were severed, but as far as I can figure it out, it must have been one of the two, because apparently, it was completely out of control.

That’s all anyone knows about it Judy, so I can hardly say more except that it all seems so utterly senseless and futile. I just _can’t_ understand why people must _fight_ wars.

If you wish to know anything else please feel free to write me as I know how you must feel – believe me.

As Ever,

Bill

BIll also wrote to Hi’s parents. In a sad twist of fate, his letter to them bears the same date as the War Department’s “sincerely regret” letter to them.

Letter from Capt. William R Kemp to Mr. & Mrs. T.C. Appelget (Hi’s parents, Thomas C Appelget and Helen (Gallup) Appelget)

Oct 16 1943

Hello Folks:

How is the hunting coming along? Sure wish I could be there to go with you. Instead of that, I again have to be the bearer of bad tidings. Did you ever find out anything from the Red Cross that was operating in the vicinity of Hi’s accident? If you didn’t, this will probably be news to you—bad as it is.

I visited the scene of the accident about a month ago. I didn’t write you then, because I thought I was on my way home, and could see you personally. I didn’t make it as you can see by the address.

Well, anyway, I found Hi’s airplane. It was pretty awful. The plane was all burned up, but the type was easily recognizable, and as it was the only one of that type lost in the area, I have no doubts that it was Hi’s. As I said, it was pretty awful. The ship hit the ground with such force, that pieces of it were scattered all over the area. But the worst of it was that we found bits of clothes, shoes, caps, earphones, etc., scattered around a radius of nearly 100 yds. It must have been a terrific explosion. We could find no definite means of identifying anything, except a piece of Caywards overalls with his initials on it. It proved _to me_ beyond doubt that no one got out. I wish to god I could send you _good_ news, but I know you want to know the truth. On top of everything else, we have had no news whatsoever about him being a P.O.W.

More later.

I remain, as ever,

Bill

Date:
11/6/2013
Time:
5:10 AM

On the 17th of May 1943 11 B26 Marauder bombers 322 BG / 450 & 452 SQ took off for a mission on the Harlem works (Holland). Only 5 off them bombed a target, not in Harlem but a gas holder in Amsterdam. Of the 11 planes, only 1 returned to England (because of engine troubles). The other planes crashed (because of anti-aircraft and German fighters).

Can anyone tell me what the bomb load of the 5 B26’s was that bombed the gasworks in Amsterdam? And maybe also what was the result of the bombardment?

Thank you for the help,
Niels van der Lee

Date:
11/4/2013
Time:
10:04 AM

My father, Lt. Ernest L. Pollard, Jr., was a B-26 bombardier in the 454 Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group in WW 2. He was from Richmond, Virginia. His plane went down over St. Omer, France, on November 23, 1943. He trained in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have every letter he wrote to my mother including letters from the Army regarding the notification of his missing in action.
I have included two photos – on of my father and mother, taken just before he left and a second one of a Christmas card that he sent to me, received after his death. I was six months old when he died and never met him.
I would so much like to learn more about him and hope that there may be someone who can share information with me.

Thank you,
Judith Pollard Harned

Date:
11/4/2013
Time:
5:25 AM

I would be interested in learning more personal/family information about Pvt. Edward N. Grove, wondering if I am somehow related to this “hero”.

I am an American citizen from Pennsylvania, although I have been living in the United Kingdom for a number of years. Last week my family and I took a trip to Normandy, staying right on Utah Beach and visiting Omaha Beach, completing our visit at the American Cemetery. I am not aware of any family involvement in the D-Day invasion, but in the visitor’s center at the cemetery I searched in the lists for my family name and discovered one entry for Edward N. Grove.

Thank you for any help or suggestions offered.

Yours Sincerely,
Timothy W. Grove

P.S. Coincidentally, the place where we were staying was near to the museum on Utah Beach and I took a couple of photos of the B-26 on display there.

Dear Timothy,
According to Missing Aircrew Report #6359, on 5 July 1944, B-26 serial number 42-107834 T6-F (no name) of the 573 Bomb Squadron was participating in an attack on the Senonches Fuel Dump by the 391 Bomb Group. It was hit by FLAK on the bomb run and a fire started which spread to the aircraft’s bomb bay. The co-pilot and bombardier suffered burns when the hydraulic tank exploded, but both managed to bail out. They were later treated in hospital for their injuries. In the rear of the aircraft, only the Radio Operator/Gunner managed to bail out before the aircraft exploded.

The crew were: 1/Lt. Louis E. Hartman (P) KIA, 2/Lt. Kenneth L. Arneson (CP) POW, 1/Lt. Donald E. Collins (BN) POW, S/Sgt. Adolph L. Pavinski (EG) KIA, T/Sgt. Donald R. Shearer (RG) POW, Pvt. Edward N. Grove (AG) KIA.

Witnesses were: S/Sgt. Arlo L. Carr (AG), S/Sgt. James H. Thurmon (EG), T/Sgt. Howard G. Baldwin (RG).

In his statement, Collins implied that both he and Arneson bailed out through the bomb bay. He also states that Hartman, the pilot, was unable to follow them due to fire. He was forced to bail out through the top hatch, but was knocked unconscious when hitting the tail stabiliser, and failed to open his parachute.

Pavinski and Grove were last seen near the waist window, but it is unknown why both failed to bail out. This crew’s regular Armorer Gunner, Sgt. William J. Bell, was KIA on 28 May 1944 and is buried at Cambridge, UK. The remaining crew members had flown 42 missions together, except for Grove – it was his first, and sadly his last, mission !

A photo of Hartman and of his crew can be found at http://www.391stbombgroup.com/391stbga_136.htm & http://www.391stbombgroup.com/391stbga_137.htm

Grove’s next of kin (his mother) is listed as residing in Philadelphia. You state that you are originally from Pennsylvania also, so there’s a chance that you may be related !

If you’re currently living in UK, you may be interested to hear that some of the buildings, roads, and parts of the runway and perimeter track of the 391BG’s airfield at Matching Green, Essex, have survived should you wish to see them. The men of the 391BG are also commemorated at the local church and airfield memorial. Photographs of the airfield and buildings can be found at http://www.wartime-airfields.com and http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?1647-Matching

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
11/2/2013
Time:
2:18 PM

Charles T. D’Atrio
Present age: 95 years
94th Bomb Group
344th Bomb Squadron
Years in Service: 1941-1945
Casey Jones School of Aeronautics, Newark, NJ
Graduated November 1941
Staff Sergeant

Comments: I first flew in a B17 until my crew was split up while overseas in England where I was put into a pool of gunners. I then flew in a B26 which disappointed me because of all of my B17 training. After awhile, I got used to the B26 which was a bit easier to deal with due to flying in a lower altitude. No heated suits or oxygen masks were necessary, as they were in the B17. The missions were also shorter ones. While flying over France in a B26, my plane collided with another B26 due to zero visibility, and I bailed out using my parachute. I still have that parachute that saved my life. My daughter made commemorative pillows for me and for my grandchildren using the silk from the parachute.
I have many photographs depicting my years in The United States of America Army Air Corp.

Date:
11/1/2013
Time:
2:46 AM

Dear Sir, my name is Lino, I’m currently working on a article concerning a German Do 217 aircraft, that was missing after a mission in the Cherbourg area in June 1944. Parts of this aircraft have been found and identified this year in France. On your great website, I found a picture on Col. Albert Hill’s page that I would like to use for my article in the historical background section: http://www.b26.com/marauderman/ah/ground_defenses_port_cherbourg_france.htm The picture is attached linked. I would like to ask you for the permission to use this picture, of course, the source will be mentioned. Do you have this picture also in a better resolution? Thanks a lot and best regards from Bavaria. -Lino

Date:
10/27/2013
Time:
10:47 AM

My father, Lt. Ernest L. Pollard, Jr., served as a bombardier in the 323 Bomb Group, 454 Bomb Squadron in World War II. He died November 23, 1943, on a mission over St. Omer, France. The pilot of his plane was Lt. David Webb. Other crew members were Sgt. Edward Palmer, Sgt. George Coursen, and Sgt. Allen Ferris. I am interested in learning more about him. I was 6 months old when he was killed and never had the opportunity to see him. I know he was a fine man, a loyal and dedicated American, a loving husband and son, and I am sure he would have been a wonderful father. Any information I can get would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Judy Harned

Date:
10/26/2013
Time:
7:23 AM

Name: Earl L Theis
BombGp: 391
Squadron: 573
Years: 44-45
Class: ?
Location: Topeka, Ks

I am the Grandson of Earl L Theis. He was a B26 tailgunner shot down in 45. Just recently found out that while he was assigned to the 391st 573rd Squadron due to a lack of tail gunners he was assigned to fly with the 387th BG 559th Squadron.

Found this on the site and would like to hear from anyone with to exchange information, I know have some pictures and documents that I will be adding to the site soon. Message that led me to post this as follows The plane mentioned below was 44-67894 , I now have a picture, albeit poor quality of the wreckage from the crash site.

Date: 10/14/2002
Time: 12:53:51 PM

Johnnie F. Jones BombGp: 391st Squadron: Years: 1942-1945 Location: Scott Field, IL. Radio/gunner on Little Pink Panties in ETO in Winter-Spring 1945. On 27th mission my plane was shot down over Germany. Escaped to Switzerland till end of War.

Originally I joined the 573rd Squadron of the 391st Bomb Grp., and started flying missions January 19,1945. “Little Pink Panties” was one of the planes our crew flew missions in. We also flew missions in “Little Gal”. On April 4,1945 my crew was broken up so the pilot could fly on A-26s and I was reassigned to the 387th Grp., 559th Squadron. On April 16th, our squadron was assembled to fly our second mission of the day. I do not remember what plane we were assigned to fly in. We were on a mission to Tuttlingen when the plane took a direct hit in the left engine and began losing altitude. The pilot ordered us all to commence the bail out procedure. I was the second man out of the plane, landing about 40 miles inside Germany. I spent four days and four nights walking through Germany, arriving at the Rhine River on April 20th at the town of Laufenberg. I attempted to swim the Rhine River, narrowly missing the dam’s intake, being pulled out of the river by Swiss soldiers. I was sent to an internment camp at Adelboden for the remainder of the war in the ETO. The tail gunner was taken prisoner by German soldiers. The Co-pilot, Bombardier and Engineer/gunner also made it into Switzerland. The pilot, named Reed, was killed; his chute being full of flak. I completed 26 missions.

Thank you!
David Ballard

Johnnie,
If you were on the crew of “Little Pink Panties” you would have been in the 573rd Bomb Squadron. That being so the only B26 to be lost over Germany, by that squadron, was February 13th 1945 when 1.Lt Michael Dobda and crew were lost.

My sincerest thanks for your story of the bailout on April 16 1945 the real story beats any official report… The B26 on the April 16 mission 1945 was 44-67894 TQ-M and the crew was as follows:

2.Lt Raymond Reid
2.Lt Kenneth J Stear
S/Sgt Richard J Bockhahn
Sgt Johnnie Jones
Sgt Robert L Mercado
S/Sgt Earl L Theis

Regards, Trevor J Allen

Date:
10/25/2013
Time:
3:30 AM

Dear B26

I have recently moved to Stebbing in Essex, UK where the 1st Pathfinder Squadron was based during the war, the various bits I have read online regarding the Squadron are a real insite to the time, extremely brave young men, as were all the airmen during WWII who fought against Germany and its allies.

I would like to put to bed a rumor which various people in the village seem to think happened just after the war, apparently there was a vast pit dug and equipment buried in it, some say it is under our house or field but the only people who would really know are the members of the Squadron who put it there, are you able to help me by contacting any surviving members of the Squadron who may have been involved?

Kind Regards, Brain Jones (name changed)

Date:
10/25/2013
Time:
3:04 AM

Hi All,

Greetings from the UK.

I have recently become a little bit obsessed with researching details about Great Dunmow Airfield, in Essex, England. I live very close to this airfield and when I was a lot younger remember cycling along the runway, there are still remnants of the runway left and you can still clearly see the outline of the Airfield and runways on Google earth. I find all this fascinating, and as I say extremely interested in the history of this important site.

I am a keen modeller and plan to build a Marauder, twinning this with photos and history of the time, which I have already researched.

My plans include building a particular Marauder that was known to fly missions from Great Dunmow so that in some small way I can remember the history of the airfield and the crews that flew from it before the planned proposal to build 700 houses on the site.

So – to my question, the Marauder I am keen to know the history of is 9th USAAF 386th Bomb group 553rd Bombardment squadron, B-26B-15-MA Marauder 41 31608 AN-Q, with nose art ‘Our Baby’, from your site I have found several references to this plane but have come to a dead end with regard to what actually happened to it, there are conflicting reports that it crash landed in Lympne, Kent on the 26th November 1943, but also a picture of the same plane on a visit to the 381st Bombgroup base at Ridgewell on the following day the 27th November, it’s there that I have ground to a halt. I would dearly like to complete the story of this plane and its crew and closing the loop with Great Dunmow, and would appreciate any additional details that your experts can supply me.

With thanks and kind regards, Dave Matthews

Date:
10/22/2013
Time:
3:49 PM

The information on “My Gal Sal” posted on Hector Marcel is wrong. I am the brother of the pilot, Jesse Lafayette Mitchell, the man in the center of the back row noted as being not identified. I will be glad to communicate with the person who posted it. – Joseph Mitchel

Date:
10/17/2013
Time:
10:18 PM

I am sending you this about my father, William J. Moriarity, a B-26 Marauder pilot. Although he was a true hero of WW II, he rarely spoke of it. In his later years he started going to squadron reunions and through contacts with Stephen Ambrose and others, some of his information was used in Ambrose’s book D-Day(p.244), as well as Voices of D-Day by Ronald Drez(pp53-54, 159-picture, 168-9), Voices of Valor by Ronald Drez (p94, 97-picture & voice on the disk 1 CD), and Tales of the Marauder’s by Jack Stovall, Jr. (pp 91-92).

My father kept hand written notes of each of his over 50 missions. A summary of those is attached. The crew: Pilot William J. Moriarity Co-Pilot Jesse N. Wilkes, Bombardier Clarence E. Burgland, Engineer Kenneth A. Schell, Radio Man Doyle K. Gantt, and Gunner Charles F. Salas.

Marauderman’s Name: William J. Moriarity
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 556th
Years in service: 2
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: “Wild Bill” piloted his crew on over 50 missions from May 27, 1944 to October 30, 1944. Sometimes twice a day. They bombed railroad bridges, ammo dumps and enemy troops. Same crew for all missions, returned safely even through 2 emergency landings. Bill received the Air Medal, 9 Oak Leaf Clusters and several other medals. On D-Day they flew cover for Utah Beach.

I have additional information if you are interested. Thanks, William F. Moriarity

Date:
10/13/2013
Time:
5:53 AM

Good morning. I was wondering if you could pass along an email to Mr. Frohne that was posted recently – the text of which is below.

My uncle, Frank Osetek, was a gunner on “Mr. Five-by-Five” and served I believe pretty much the entire duration of the war with Lt. Col. Ross. Thank you.

Mr. Frohne:

I just wanted to reach out to you with regards o the post your recent post regarding your father-in-law, Lt. Col. Ross. My uncle Frank Osetek served on “Mr. Five-by-Five” with your father in law, for from what I can ascertain was the duration of the war.

I do not have many articles from my uncle’s service – but I do have his discharge papers and all of his mission logs.

My Uncle Frank passed away in 1996. He, like I suspect many other men who served really didn’t talk a lot about his service, other than showing me all of the locations of the bases at which he was stationed throughout his service abroad. When asked, my father would tell me my uncle had some difficulties after he returned home, saying, “he saw a lot of his friends lose their lives, and that he was very fortunate to have been flying with the best pilot in the squadron (your father-in-law).”

Judging from the information I have been able to put together, it is remarkable that “Mr. Five-by-Five” came through without major incident, given the disposition of so many other places in the 386th BG. Remarkable.

Anyway, occasionally I visit the B26.Com site just to see what folks are posting. I just wanted to reach out and say thanks for the item you shared and if you have any other similar items (photos) in your family’s possession related to “Mr. Five-by-Five” that you might be able to copy and pass along, I would be interested.

Thanks and have a good day.

Sincerely,
Greg Osetek

Date:
10/5/2013
Time:
7:40 PM

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

Date:
10/8/2013
Time:
9:04 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph Faverman
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 555th
Years in service: enlisted March 24, 1942 in Lubbock, Texas – shot down October 7, 1944
Graduation Class: want to find information
Class Location: want to find information
Comments: Just learned about this bombardier who was a first cousin to my son-in-law’s mother. Researching family history for son-in-law’s birthday – as a surprise. Found someone online yesterday – ironically, 69 years to the day that the plane was shot down – who was also searching for information and he had the crash report. Joseph and the pilot and copilot were buried at the Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in Saint Louis, Missouri on January 26, 1950. Three other crew members were able to get out of the plane. The serial number on the plane was 131970 and it was called the Spam Burger. Joseph’s father died before he enlisted and his mother and brother died in 1949. His grandfather and his aunts have also died. There are only two other people directly related who are still alive – my son-in-law and his cousin. I am interested in a picture of Joseph and of the B-26 called the Spam Burger – and any other information or stories anyone might have. Ironically enough, my husband – who is now 94 years old – was a bombardier instructor at Big Spring AAF from May 1943 till August 1944. Joseph is not in any of the three books he has. When I know more, I want to write a dedication page for this first generation American who gave his life. -Bunny Bond

Date:
10/8/2013
Time:
6:00 PM

The photo caption says that pilot Jesse Mitchell is top row left and that the man in the center top row is unknown. My dad, Jesse Mitchell is the man top row center, not top left. Jessica

Date:
10/8/2013
Time:
6:00 PM

Regarding the post by William Moffatt – Date: 8/23/2013, Time: 11:12 PM

Dear William,

The name “Bar Fly” was given to a number of Marauders. As the photograph you mention does not appear on your post, it’s hard to identify which one. However, I’ve found that your father-in-law’s name, “Rosselli Ernest.J.”, is listed as a Corporal of the 554BS on page 69 of “The History of a Bombing Outfit, the 386th BOMB GROUP” http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier/pdf/386th_bomb_group.pdf . So it’s likely that aircraft serial number 131877 RU-V “Bar Fly” of the 554 Bomb Squadron, 386 Bomb Group, is the aircraft that he appears with in your photograph.

We are very fortunate to have the “DIARY OF THE 386TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP By Chester Klier” available on B26.COM. Although your father-in-law’s name does not appear in the diary, there are many accounts of the missions which “Bar Fly” took part in. If you type “bar fly site:www.b26.com” in Google you’ll find these, but I feel all of these fantastic documents are well worth reading.

Furthermore, there are a number of photographs of “Bar Fly” on the web:

http://www.b26.com/marauderman/alfred_j._byrnes.htm, http://www.fold3.com/image/32180041/, http://www.fold3.com/image/32180086/, http://www.fold3.com/image/38860728/,

Perhaps, your father-in-law appears in some of these ?

Curiously, the second photograph shows different artwork to the others and also a fixed 50 calibre gun can be seen protruding from the nose. Aircraft 131877 was a B-26B-30-MA model fitted with the fixed nose gun, so either these are different aircraft or perhaps the gun was subsequently removed (to reduce weight and provide more room for the bombardier) and the artwork repainted.

Regards,

Steve Sharp

###

Regarding the post by Michele – Date: 8/18/2013 Time: 9:56 PM

Dear Michele,

There is a post on the B26.COM guestbook for 2002 which mentions Mr. Steen (http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2002.htm Date: 11/4/2002 Time: 9:02:04 PM) by Brenda Hunter Pullin. Her father, Andy G. Hunter Bomb (322BG 451BS) was a the pilot of B-26 “Pickled-Dilly”, serial no. 118276. His co-pilot was Carl O. Steen of Duluth, MN.

There are photographs of “Picked-Dilly” on George Raymond Moon’s dedication page at http://www.b26.com/marauderman/george_raymond_moon.htm

Furthermore, there are two photographs at http://www.fold3.com/image/270821325/ and http://www.fold3.com/image/270985909/ . Lt. C.O. (“nickname illegible”) STEEN is just visible underneath the co-pilot’s window on the first photograph, and ANDY “Rebel” HUNTER underneath the pilot’s window on the second.

It would be fascinating to learn if Mr. Steen remembers any of the people named on any of these web pages and photographs !

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
10/5/2013
Time:
7:40 PM

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

Date:
10/3/2013
Time:
8:15 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Lavern Helpingstine
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 439th
Years in service: 1942
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown

In regards to http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2005.htm#Ron_Miller past and Laurie Witche. Ron Miller passed away some years ago. I am Robert Miller, his Grandson. I have continued what he left off and I am continuing to look for any info on Lavern Helpingstine, my Great Grandfather. I currently Live in Moore Oklahoma and Work on Tinker AFB so i have visited Lavern’s grave. I am Posting here once more to try to get into contact with anyone who has any info on Lavern. I will continue to monitor this page in hopes that someone may contact me.

Thanks,
Robert Miller

Date:
10/2/2013
Time:
9:43 PM

Hello, I’m researching a British Spitfire pilot that was shot down on the 27th of August 1943 escorting bombers that had been on a raid to Rouen. They were pounced by, I think FW190’s in the morning of the 27th. One pilot died and the other – the chap I’m writing about bailed out at 5000ft. The bomber and escorts had been travelling at 15,000ft. He was from the County of Kent Squadron.

The man is still alive and is 93 this year. He told me that he was escorting B26 Marauders. The Spitfire escort would have joined them somewhere near Le Havre.

f you have anyone that can shed some more light on the incident it would be most appreciated. Anything time and weather conditions, eye witness accounts even just an operations report will assist in my research.

Kind regards,
Ron Pemberton

Dear Ron,
I’m sorry if this is hard to follow, but I think I’ve managed to dig up something that may be of help…

On August 27, 1943, only four B-26 groups were operating from the UK i.e. the 322, 323, 386, and 387 bomb groups.

Rouen was hit by Marauders on August 25:

August 25th, 1943 (WEDNESDAY) [here]
The VIII Air Support Command flies Missions 34A and 34B against two targets in France.
(1) 21 B-26B Marauders bomb the power station at Rouen at 1832 hours and
(2) 31 B-26s attack Tricqueville Airfield at 1834 hours; they claim 1-8-5 Luftwaffe aircraft.

The Group (387th) then rested until August 25 when a mission was flown to Rouen, France. [here]

According to this information [here], only the 322 and 387 BG flew missions on August 25.

Therefore, we can deduce that Tricqueville must have been hit by the 322BG, and Rouen was hit by the 387BG on August 25, 1943.

Rouen was again scheduled for attack by Marauders on August 27:

Another site [here] has more information;
August 27, 1943:
Eighth AF – Over 180 HBs attack German rocket-launching site construction at Watten. This is the first of the Eighth’s missions against V-weapon sites (later designated NOBALL tgts). 36 B-26’s hit Poix A/F. Mission to bomb Rouen power station is aborted because of bad weather and extremely heavy enemy fighter opposition.

Another site [here] has more information; August 27th, 1943 (FRIDAY)
– The VIII Air Support Command flies Missions 36A and 36B against targets in FRANCE:
(1) 35 B-26Bs bomb Nord Airfield at Poix at 0826 hours.
(2) 21 B-26Bs are dispatched to the Rouen Power Station but the mission is aborted because of bad weather and extremely heavy enemy fighter opposition.

According to 8thafhs.com, only the 322 and 386 BG flew missions on this date. Although their database gives Poix-Nord as the target for both groups, Rouen is again listed as a target for a B-26 group.

Friday, August 27, 1943 – 386th Bomb Group Mission Number 9, mentions the 322BG that day “the Group (386th) is scheduled to bomb the airdrome at Poix Nord, France, the target is identified as Z364.” and “The 322nd Bomb Group will be hitting a target south of us about the same time as we go in.”

Furthermore, it states “The 322nd Group had a rough time operating just to the south of us today; one plane turned back early with mechanical failure, and another ship probably ditched before reaching the enemy coast. The formation made enemy landfall at 0818 hours, the remaining nineteen B-26’s were turned back at 0833 by their escort. They were immediately jumped by thirty enemy fighters, some of which pressed home attacks to within thirty yards of the formation. The fighters seemed to be using the cloud cover to their advantage with most of the attacks being made from 5 to 7 o’clock positions. At 0850 hours the Group reported a Spitfire smoking and losing altitude, but under control near St. Valery. The Marauders exited the enemy coast at 0855 hours somewhat beat up, but none the less in tact!”

According to http://www.8thafhs.com/db/index.php only the 322BG and 386BG flew missions on August 27.

Therefore, by elimination, we can deduce that the 322BG must have attacked Rouen on that date !

If the above information is correct and the Spitfire pilot Ron is referring to was escorting B-26s to Rouen on August 25, 1943, then it must have been the 387BG. If it was on August 27, it must have been the 322BG. Also, note the reference to a Spitfire being shot down in Chester’s account of August 27. He also lists the Spitfire squadrons providing escort to the 386th on this day, so perhaps this will tie up with your Spitfire pilot’s squadron !

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
10/2/2013
Time:
9:43 PM

I was the bombardier on B26’s in the spring of 1945. Howard Carter, pilot and James Carter, co-pilot. Information; there is a B26 in flying condition at the Fanasy of Flight Museum, near Polk City, FL. Many other interesting things there also. Oscar Schricker

Date:
9/27/2013
Time:
3:35 AM

May have please detailed information about a loss of b26 43–34396 over north Italy on November 5th 1944 about at 10,35 am. The loss was over north Lake Garda about 10.8 N and 9.8E. loss due to Me109. Thanks, Emilio Agnelli

Dear Emilio,
According to Missing Air Crew Report #9598, aircraft 43-34396 of the 320BG, 441BS was hit by enemy aircraft fire on November 5, 1944. It had taken off from Alto, Corsica on its way to bomb a rail target at Revereto, Italy, near Lake Garda.

Witnesses reported that it slid out of formation, the pilot evidently fighting for control. Three chutes emerged and one minute later the right wing came off, it then turned over on its back, and crashed into a mountain and exploded.

The crew were:
2/Lt. Truman C. Cole (Pilot)
2/Lt. Paul A. Louis (Co-pilot, )
2/Lt. John W. Pidcock (Bombardier)
T/Sgt. Samuel W. Brush, Jr. (Engineer Gunner)
S/Sgt. Wyatt B. Moore (Radio Gunner)
Cpl. Henry T. McMahon (Armorer Gunner)
S/Sgt. John A. Kramer (Photo Gunner)

Louis later stated that he was shot at during his descent by parachute, and that he was captured by the SS and told that four parachutes had been seen ! Pidcock was also captured and they both became prisoners of war. Cole evaded capture and fled towards Yugoslavia with three members of the British Army, but they were captured at Brazzacco on December 26, 1944. He too became a POW. All other crew members were killed.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
9/21/2013
Time:
4:52 PM

My father, Lt. Harry Deutman Jr., flew the Marauder over North Africa and Italy with the 320th Bomb Group, 442nd Bomb Squadron. He enlisted in 1941. He was 20 years-old when this story ran in the St. Louis paper. He helped rescue many of his fellow airmen when they ran into trouble or were attacked by enemy fighters. I’d love to hear from anyone who knew him. Debby Deutman Ross

First Lieutenant Harry Deutman Jr., Plane Rescuer
Ladue Missouri Bomber Pilot An Air Rescue Hero
Flyer Has Protected Damaged, Planes, Dropped Aid to Crews Shot Down.

A reputation as a one-man flying rescue squad for shell-ridden bomber planes and wavering fighter planes has been established by First Lt. Harry Deutman Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Deutmnn, an Army press dispatch repotted today, He is 20 years old.
On four occasions Lt. Deutman, pilot of a B-26 Marauder, has pulled out of formations to escort bombers damaged by fink or fighters with engine trouble, to drop life rafts and emergency equipment to occupants of planes that have been-shot down, or to add his plane’s fire power to that of a straggling comrade being overpowered by the enemy.
The Army dispatch from a North African base reported that Lt. Deutman, who has flown 50 successful missions, recently completed a job of bombing an important railroad bridge on the Rome-Florence line and then finished up by helping the crew of another plane that encountered trouble. [Source: Ladue newspaper, read more …]

Date:
9/16/2013
Time:
9:26 AM

OBITUARY
John Otto Moench
Major General, USAF Retired
Age 91

Major General John O. Moench, an American patriot, passed away after a brave fight against Inclusion Body Myositis on April 3, 2013 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where he lived after retiring from the United States Air Force and other endeavors in the civilian business world.

Born on August 4, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois to Laura May and Ferdinand Carl Moench, Sr., John was a product of the Great Depression. He was raised on the south side of Chicago and then on a rural Indiana farm. He graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1939.

As so many young men of the time, he was caught up in the throes of World War II, entered the Aviation Program from Indiana and was commissioned at Columbus, Mississippi in 1943. After serving briefly with the 479th Bombardment Squadron at Avon Park and MacDill Army Air Field, Florida and Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1944 he was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Group, 9th Air Force. There he served as Flight Commander and Assistant Group Operations Officer, flying out of England and France. He accumulated 62 combat missions in the B-26 Marauder. At the end of World War II, he elected to remain in the service. Following a brief period of occupation duty, he returned to the U.S. as Chief of Depot Operations at Air Materiel Command, Wright Field, Ohio to direct the return of war materiel from the European Theater.

Eventually he held post-war assignments in the field, in Air Force Headquarters, Air Force Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany and European Command in Frankfurt, Germany. While stationed in Germany, he met Mary Coppa, a civilian employee of the USAF. They were married on July 29, 1952, in Wiesbaden. They returned stateside with their newborn son Dale in 1953, where John attended the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He then spent one year as Commander of the 6175th ABG at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea and later as director of Plans and Programs, 314th Air Division, Osan Air Base. He went on toserve another two decades in Joint Commands both in the Pacific and with the Joint Staff in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was a graduate of the Air War College and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Maryland. During his career he served a total of four tours of duty in the Pentagon. His final assignment was as Director, Plans, Policy and Program Formulation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Completing over 30 years of service to his country, he entered the civilian business community as an executive with a Fortune 500 company in New York. Later he established his own wholesale and retail import company in Central Florida.

In the final decades of his life, General Moench was a prolific author and avid historian who produced numerous published works on military history, most notably on the history of the Martin B-26 Marauder and the pilots that flew her.

General Moench was a command pilot. He was a member of numerous military organizations and archives. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Unit Citation Emblem.

He is survived by his devoted wife of over 60 years, Mary Coppa Moench, formerly of Alexandria, Virginia; their daughter, Michele Moench Kirby and her husband Rex Broughton Kirby, Jr.; their son Jon Jeffery Moench. He is also survived by four grand children, Rachel Kirby, Christina Kirby, Rex Kirby III and Madeleine Moench. He was predeceased by his infant son, Dale Webster Moench who is buried with him at Arlington National Cemetery.

Funeral services for General Moench will be held September 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the Fort Myer Memorial Chapel. Interment, with full military honors, will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with a reception to follow at Fort Myer Officer’s Club.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, (supportwwp.org) 877-768-6807.

Date:
9/15/2013
Time:
4:53 PM

I am looking for any info on my grand father Adolph C. Jasek 557th Bombardment Squadron . It appears they have him listed as Adolf C. Jasek. I have this one picture of him and his crew in front of what I believe is their plane. Thank-you for any and all help. -Jacob Jasek

Date:
9/7/2013
Time:
8:36 AM

I’m not sure whether anyone is aware of the crash site of the ‘Lady Irene’ was identified a 10-15 years ago and one engine with props etc., were recovered, the other engine remains in the crash site with wreckage of the forward fuselage, obvious damaged beyond recognition in the crash. Basically the recovery was restricted to wreck above ground, the engine recovered was 8ft down in blue clay and well preserved, most of the propeller blades had broken free from the boss a couple of which were hardly bent at all. The aircraft was abandoned and crashed on return to base when battle damage became clear on preparing to land, Stoney Cross, on the 15th August 1944, the crew survived. The pilot was Lt Don W. Morris, of the 558th BS, 387th BG. If this is of interest feel free to contact me for more detail. Richard Reeves.

Date:
9/4/2013
Time:
7:26 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Roy Eugene Ferguson
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 43-62
Graduation Class: 43-B
Class Location: Victory Field, Vernon Texas
Comments: I am trying to find information about my uncle while he was a Marauderman in Europe. I only know that he flew 45 combat missions equal to 179 combat hours. I am trying to find out info about his Bomb group and Bomb squadron and any info about his aircraft. I have heard he was one of only two Maraudermen to safely return a heavily battle damaged B26 to her base and safely land her. My uncle was lost September 18, 1962 when his F101 B Voodoo interceptor went don 40 miles south of Montauk Point L. I. N. Y. He was, at that time, Commander of Suffolk County Air force Base.

Any information that can be provided would be most sincerely appreciated.
Charlie Stevens

Date:
8/31/2013
Time:
8:03 AM

Marauderman’s name: Guy Philip Hendricks
Bomb Group: 322nd
Squadron: Unsure
Years in service: 2? 1943-45
Comments: My grandfather was a ball-turret gunner in ETO on B26’s. He told me stories of occasionally getting to fly on Flak Bait as it was pretty famous and they let crews rotate through to kinda “get in on the action.” This is why I assume he was a part of the 322nd. I am just wondering if any of you have any information or photographs with him in them. He passed away back in March 2007.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Philip Hendricks

Date:
8/31/2013
Time:
8:03 AM

Hello,

My father, John P. Duffy (1909-1976), was a crew chief with a B-26 squadron of the 391st BG. I have a stars and stripes article which lists my father, along with four other crew chiefs, who were awarded the bronze star for maintaining their aircraft for 50 missions without mechanical failure during the period (March – Oct. 1944). The article is transcribed as follows:

“Five crew chiefs at the B26 base commanded by Col. Gerald E Williams, of Presque Isle, ME., have been awarded Bronze stars for maintaining their aircraft without mechanical failure from March – Oct 1944. They are: T/Sgt. Rodrick D. Seal, Huoma, LA; T/Sgt. Robert G. Unfried, Cleveland, OH; Sgt. John P Duffy, Wrenshall, MN; Sgt Jessie W. Green, Tulla, TN., Sgt. Winston S. ??, Fontaine, KS.” I have the medal in my possession.

I have attached two period photo’s for your archives. My mother’s name was Bertha Duffy (1917 – 2008). One of the photos shows the right engine of the aircraft reflecting “Bertha”, his lifetime love. He died in 1976 of severe COPD and was pretty sure he destroyed his lungs by cleaning the interior of aircraft fuel tanks without proper protection. He was discharged on 10/23/45. I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback on my fathers service and this information. Thanks. Dan Duffy

…large images

Date:
8/30/2013
Time:
11:54 AM

Name: William E. Davis
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron:495th
Years in service: December 12, 1941 until June 1945
Graduation Class: UNKNOWN
Class Location: UNKNOWN
Comments: My grandfather, William E. Davis, flew on a B-26 named, “Invictus”. I am sure he was on a couple other planes, but spoke mostly of “Invictus”. He passed away in 2009 keeping most of his war stories to himself. He did speak about bombing “buzz rockets” and bridges in Europe. He also told me of a time he was flying from a bombing mission he completed and could see German Fighters above him in the clouds going the other way as they passed by each other. Not a shot was fired.

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I am not sure of the date, but my grandfather told me of a time they crash landed their plane and had to jump off the wings as he caught fire during the landing. I always thought that was a cool story to hear.

The attached photo was taken around June 8, 1944 at the sub depot, located at Stanstad Airbase in England. At the time the picture was taken, the airplane had been terribly damaged such that it had to be towed in for the picture. When it was coming in to land on the last flight, the folks in the area thought it was going to a hit a quonset hut and catch fire. However, the pilot was able to get it there with no problem. After the picture, the plane was sent for repair and was transferred to another unit.

My grandfather said Captain Burris was one of the best pilots in the squadron. He was from Texas. He ended up with President Johnson as part of the Air Force Staff.

Their plane, “Invictus” was named my Captain Burris. He chose the name Invictus, which is Latin for Invincible. My grandfather had a leather flight jacket with his name located on the top left breast. The hand painted picture of the Invictus is on the back of the jacket. The artist’s name is, Hougland (Hogi). He wore his jacket on every mission that he flew. It has two pockets. In one pocket he carried sunglasses and in the other he carried a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a quarter and a dime. To check the clearances on the gun, he used the same quarter and dime to make adjustments throughout his tour.

The crew in the photo was in the 495th Squadron, 344th Bomb Group, 9th Aire Force based in England. My grandfather was an Engineer, but also worked the top turret of the plane when in action.

The crew in the photos is as follows:
Top from Left to Right: Genefke-Navigator, Capt. Burris-Pilot, Unknown-Bombadier
Front from Left to Right: Triplehorn-Radio, Smokey Hildebrand-Tail Gunner, and my Grandfather, William E. Davis- Flight Engineer.

I am not sure of the plane serial number or what other planes he was on, but would love to find out more if anyone else knows.

Thanks again for your website, I love it.

Respectfully,

Bret S. Cortright Jr.
Grandson

Date:
8/29/2013
Time:
11:03 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Harry Littleton
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 599th
Years in service: 42 – 45
Graduation Class: Airplane Engine Mechanic, 747
Class Location: Sheppard Field, TX
Comments: My dad, Harry Littleton, was the top gunner and crew chief on “Lily from Picadilly” (Martinez); 42-96283. Dad is still living although he is 91, and is still very reluctant to talk about his AAF days; but once in a while, I can get him to open up about his WWII experience. Dad like many of these brave young men was in every major European Air Battle of WWII (Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, Air Offensive Europe) and according to one of the other gentlemen that was in his squadron, Floyd West, Dad flew quite a few sorties or missions and became crew chief over three aircraft toward the end of the war. Unfortunately Floyd has passed on, but Dad has a couple of pages of names of the crewmen of different planes and until a few years ago kept up with them as much as he could. He can still go through the list and tell a little about each squadron member, if he was shot down, KIA, WIA, RTD, and maybe even survived the war. I recently spoke with Mom who has found boxes of many many pictures of the 397th Bomber Grp., 599th Bomber Sqdn.; of the planes and crews, some pretty shot up. Please get back in touch with me and I will get you in touch with her. Dad recently told me, that after VE Day even though he had an ASR of 83 on 2Sep45, he was being trained to go to the Pacific Theater for the invasion of Japan as a crewman on a B-29; another time my Dad and I were talking, he told me that they went thru hours of boredom interspersed with seconds of abject terror. Dad left the small town in Oklahoma where he grew up (Copan, OK – pop approx.. 800) and traveled to fight a war halfway around the world. He had never ventured more than 20-miles from home and in a few short months of training was thrown into the greatest conflict this world had ever seen. Dad’s health is fading fast now, and I am sadden to say that he will probably not be with us much longer, but these young men were and still are truly heroes in every sense of the word.

Regards,
Joe Littleton

Date:
8/29/2013
Time:
11:03 AM

My father in law passed away and I have been going thru his B-26 information as he was a Radioman/Gunner. Is there a way to check on what information you have on him as when I contacted the DOD and his files were in the fire they had. His name was Alois John Hudachko 37 459 232 xxx-xx-7941 Separation 28 Sep 1945

N: Alois J. Hudachko
B: 01 NOV 1918
P: Rock Springs Wyoming
M: Zelma Burlech / Hudachko
D: 22 Aug 2004 R S WYO
Enlisted 1 Nov 1942

Great web site! Thanks in advance for all you do to remember our Marauder Heroes!

Thank you! Rod

Date:
8/23/2013
Time:
11:12 PM

Hi, I came across your site while researching a family member whose military headstone application by his mother shows he was a 2nd LT. in the 432 Bomber Squadron 17th Bomber Group. His enlistment date was Nov 11, 1941 and his death date was January 7, 1943. His serial number was 0-791202 I assume he was killed in action but it doesn’t state that but I conclude that as there is no discharge date stated on the application. His name was John Warren Franklin Jr. born Oct 20, 1920 to John W. and Lucy Babin Franklin in Louisiana. He is buried at St. John cemetery in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

Any help you can give me in locating more details would be great. Thanks.

Steve Franklin

Date:
8/23/2013
Time:
11:12 PM

I read the story about the bomber “BarFly. I have pictures of Barfly which my father in-law is in. He was in The Army during World War two stationed in England. Is there any other information on the exploits of the Barfly. My father in-law (God rest his soul) was Ernest “Sonny” Rosselli from New York.

Thank you.
William Moffatt

Date:
8/19/2013
Time:
4:20 PM

Hi, I was hoping someone could help me out. I found this very cool well made wall mounted tiger head. On the back it says 37th bomb squadron 12th air force B 26 (M) .
Has anyone seen this or know where it came from?
Thank you, Eric

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Date:
8/18/2013
Time:
9:56 PM

Hi! I recently interviewed a WWII veteran who said he was a pilot of a B-26. He told me the name of his plane was the Picadilly. He also said he flew over 100 missions. He could not remember much anymore. He would begin to tell me about his flights starting with a flight from California to Hawaii. He mentioned flying from England to Spain and Africa, as well as conducting bombing missions in China and Germany. He also mentioned Alaska. I saw the picture of the Picadilly Willy. Could this be his plane? His name is Carl Steen. Any info would be appreciated!

Michele

Date:
8/18/2013
Time:
6:52 PM

Hello,
My grandmother’s nephew was William Flinn II, he flew the B26 Marauder “THE YANKEE GUERRILLA” 134946 YA-L” on the mission on October 5, 1944 that crashed in Rethondes, France that is noted on your website.

I have enclosed a picture of his grave, he is buried in Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pa.

I am writing a book about the Flinn family and would like to include the photos of the plane and photo of the nurses that is noted on your website. Please let me know if I have permission to use those photos in my book.

Please post the attached photo to your website.

Regards,
Jeffrey Lawrence

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Date:
8/16/2013
Time:
8:34 AM

Another great question from Max Petrisek about a Stars and Stripes article he sent in dated December 26, 1944.

On 12/26/1944 I was in Dijon France and probably sacking it out. I guess we (95th Sqd.) were part of the 17th Bomb Group at that time. I don’t know if the 17 BG was ever a part of the 12 TAC. The 95th was with the 12 AF for only a short time. The escort planes mentioned were the same as we had at that time. The target mentioned in the article was also the type we hit. Maybe some of the visitors to the site can contribute additional information about the missions mentioned in the news article? -Max

“Thunderbolts, Mediums of 12th Score New Kills
FIRST TAF HQ., Dec. 29 – Fighter bombers and mediums of the 12th TAG, dropping their bombs through holes in a heavy overcast today continued their assault on enemy communications ahead of the 7th Army. Thunderbolts of the 12th TAG concentrated on rail targets in the Karls-ruhe-Offenburg-Stuttgart area, while B-26 Marauders attacked targets near Annweiler, ten miles north of Wissembourg. The fighter-bombers slugged four rail yards during the day, reporting two locomotives damaged; 39 railroad cars destroyed and 134 damaged; 32 buildings destroyed and eight damaged, and one ammo dump destroyed. Hitting a German storage dump at Achern, 25 miles northeast of Strasbourg, the Thunderbolts scored 30 direct hits on a cluster of seven buildings and a nearby oil dump. Completing the first full week of good flying weather since its formation, 12th TAC flew 434 missions in which 52 locomotives were destroyed and 186 damaged; 875 railroad cars destroyed and another 1,788 damaged; 32 motor transports destroyed and 93 damaged and rail lines cut in 50 places. Though often outnumbered, its Thunderbolts, Spitfires and Beau-fighters shot down 34 enemy planes during the week, probably destroyed another five and damaged 21 more. The 12th TAC lost 12 planes to enemy action.”

Hello Max,
The three Marauder Groups in the North African Campaign came under the control of 42nd Bomb Wing. In October 1944 the 319th Bomb Group converted to B-25 Mitchells and moved to another wing. At the same time 1st Tactical Air Force was formed and the 17th and 320th Bomb Groups moved to this organisation. During late October early November 1944 the 1st Tactical Air Force Marauders moved to bases in France and flew missions directly against targets in Germany and France alongside 9th.Air Force B-26’s. Only four B26 Groups served with 8th Air Force 322nd, 323rd, 386rd and 387th. In October 1943 these Groups were transferred to the newly reformed 9th Air Force in England. In early 1944 four other Groups joined 9th.AAF 344th, 391st, 394th and 397th. Keep the questions coming Max! Cheers, Trevor Allen

Date:
8/11/2013
Time:
9:42 PM

Hi, my family and I have always kept a keen eye out for information regarding my grandfather, 1st Lt Paul Floyd Michael. Your site is one of the best for information I’ve found, not to mention one of the very few pictures I have ever seen of him. If you could provide me with any/all information or contacts so I can learn more about him, I would be greatly appreciative. The information below is what I know so far. Thanks!

Hope to hear from you soon!

-FACTS-
322nd BS / 451st BG

http://www.b26 .com/marauderman/albert_hands.htm

Plane: B-26G-15-MA (#44-67813 | SS-P)
That plane was shot down by flak over Stadtkyll, Germany on 1 January 1945 . Killing all crew (5) except my grandfather. Whom has been said to have landed on an AA gun, at which point he was taken prisoner until Mothers day 1945 (I think the camp was liberated by allied forces at that point).

I know that he piloted “Clark’s Little Pill” for some time but other than that I know nothing of the birds he flew.

Regards,
Justin Michael

Date:
8/5/2013
Time:
6:27 PM

My father, Murlin Humphrey, served in the 320th, 444th bombardment group but his name is not listed in your roster (Mr. Humphrey is listed now). He was stationed on Sardinia and flying as a tail gunner the day I was born, June 9, 1944. Would you please add his name to the group. -Beverly Humphrey Little

Beautiful story, thanks for posting to the guest book.
On 9 June 1944 aircraft B-26 42-96013 BN.#99 “Brinah”
Crew:- 2.Lt Nowak pilot;1.Lt Smith co-pilot; Sgt Betenjany toggler; S/Sgt Hendrick engineer/gunner; S/Sgt Ferguson radio gunner; S/Sgt Humphrey armourer gunner; S/Sgt Coney extra.

Cheers, Trevor Allen

Date:
8/4/2013
Time:
4:42 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Marion Kasprzykowski
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 1941 – ?
Comments: I’ve been looking into my family history quite a bit lately and have found that my Grand Uncle Marion Kasprzykowski was part of the 344 Bomb Group. Sadly I can not find any pictures of him, his group etc. anywhere, and being that there is not any other family left that I am currently aware of I’m on my own to discover any information that I can. I am writing this email in hopes to discover anything that I can. It would truly mean the world to me to find out more about him. I have found a pretty amazing story that was written by Lieutenant Joseph R. Chiozza, about his last mission in the B26 Marauder which mentions Marion a few times. Although it’s a lot of text I am attaching it below. I look forward to hopefully hearing back from you.

Regards, George Waitword

Date:
7/24/2013
Time:
11:42 PM

Sgt. James (Jim) L. Yep
552nd Bomb Sq.
386th Bomb Group (M)
He served from May 21-1942 until September 23, 1945
Service Schools Attended: Chanute Fld AM 1942 AAFTTCD G L Martin R 26 1942
Military occupation specialty and No: airplane and engine mechanic 747.

Hello, I am trying to find some information on my Grandpa, Sgt. James Yep, he was Chinese and from Chicago. I have written above much of the information I have on him. I am looking for information, stories, pictures, and if anyone served with him. My Dad says he remembers James telling him that there plane was named the “Silver Dragon”. I don’t have a serial Number for the plane, but there was a dragon painted along the front of the plane.

Does anyone have anything that might be able to help me in my search?

Thanks so much for your help!

Mary Yep

Date:
7/24/2013
Time:
10:25 AM

Name: William Ziminski
BombGp: ?
Squadron: ?
Years: 43-46
Class: Pilot
Location: Frederick Army Air Field, Oklahoma
Comments: He was commissioned 2nd Lt and received his pilots wings on or about December 1944. Researching my father’s military history, and I’m hoping anyone can help filling in all the blanks. He did not talk much about it except for his fondness for flying, specifically the B-26.

Regards,
William Ziminski

Date:
7/23/2013
Time:
4:49 PM

My Uncle was 2nd Lt. Richard H. Colvin, co-pilot on the “Carrie B”, 322 BG 451 BS, shot down on the night of 7-8 July ’44 during the raid on the Chateau de Ribeaucourt. I am trying to find a picture of the “Carrie B” and would appreciate any help or advice. Thank you! Chuck Wesley

Date:
7/23/2013
Time:
4:49 PM

I recently learned of a relative that was in the 559th Bomb Squadron. All I have to go on is an inscription on his grave marker. I was hoping someone could tell me what it says especially the part after World War II. Thank you for a hosting a great web site. -Ronnie T

William M Garrett
Birth: Dec 26, 1906 Temple, TX
Death: Mar 15, 1957
Inscription:
S Sgt 559 Bomb Sq A A F/World War II/D F C & O L C-A M & 11 O L C
Burial: Mission Burial Park South
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas

Date:
7/23/2013
Time:
4:49 PM

Hello, the photo at the following link was posted at an online aviation forum that I visit. I wondered if you folks had any information about the plane and crew. Evidently the plane was in Italy, but the numbers on the photo are cryptic.

Thank you. Best wishes,
Hanoch Ben Keshet

Date:
7/15/2013
Time:
11:41 AM

B26.com is a great site – I have over 300 photos of the 394th BG. Thank you for your keeping alive the history of the B-26 Groups. -cgregory

Date:
7/13/2013
Time:
12:23 PM

My dad, Frank Johnson, is turning 90 on July 30, 2013. He was part of the 323rd Bomb Group 454th Bomb Squadron and the pilot for his B-26 crew. Please see attached photo. Not sure how you provide postings / contributions. Please let me know as I would like him to be included in your website. He is a great guy and married to my mom, Dolores, for 62 years!

Judy Piszczek (Johnson)

Date:
7/13/2013
Time:
10:11 AM

Hello, on information collected I just found the site of a crash of B26, where one can still find the remains of the plane. From my research, it would be the B26 – 43-34146 – MACR 1080. All the crew died. I search all documents or information for the purpose of asking a commemorative plaque. Dated November 9, 1944 to crash 12:45. -Houllier Gilles

Date:
7/9/2013
Time:
12:06 PM

Hello, my grandfather is Capt. Edward B. Tipton, 386th Bomb Group, 553rd, 1942-45 (or close). My grandfather died in 1976, and never talked much about the war. My mother and her siblings don’t know much, nor do any surviving members of his time. Much of his WWII things were destroyed in a fire in the 1980s. What I’m trying to find out is where my grandfather was on D-Day, 1944. I’ve read all of the accounts of the missions so well detailed on this site, but June 6 does not mention him at all. Can you help?

Thanks,
Donna

Date:
7/9/2013
Time:
12:06 PM

Hello my grandfather is David Charles Edwards. I have an old picture of him when he was in WWII. I know that he was in the 555th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. Attached is a picture of him and his crew, I would appreciate any information anybody could give, such as names of his crew or the name of the plane. Thank you, Michael Edwards

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Date:
7/4/2013
Time:
11:27 AM

I was happy to find the picture of my Grandpap’s plane the “Mary Jo” on your website. I have the same picture of SSGT Kenneth L Hobbs in front of his bird on the day of the invasion. I never knew until he passed that he flew in B26’s and never knew he was part of the D-Day invasion air support. I am very proud to know that my Grandpap a very quiet and kind man flew in support of those brave men who charged the beaches below. I am interested in finding out more information for my brother and Dad so that we can know of his bravery and courage. My brother and I are Naval and Marine Corps veterans, and because of Kens service in the Air Corps I chose a service in Naval Aviation. Any information would be greatly appreciated. God Bless and Thank you.

AT3 Benjamin J Johnson USN

Date:
7/3/2013
Time:
9:35 PM

344th Bomb Group Dedication Ceremony at Stansted Airport England. The 70th Anniversary of the building and dedication of the runway at Stansted, England, will be held on 26 July 2013. Stansted was the first airfield used by the 344th Bomb Group in World War II. The runway was officially dedicated by Col. Volmar of the 850th Engineering Battalion on 15 February 1944. To commemorate the runway, the Stansted Airport Authority will hold a ceremony on 26 July 2013, which includes a plaque, a tree planting, and remembrance of the 95 members of the 344th Bomb Group killed in action (KIA) or missing in action (MIA) while station at Stansted. Marauder man Major Ed Horn (Ret.), President of the 344th Bomb Group Association and his son will be attending the ceremony representing the 344th. Descendents of the men listed below are welcome to attend the invitation only dedication ceremony.

Statements endorsed by
Bill Morton and Robert Harwell, 344th BG pilots
Past Presidents of a Marauder Man organization

Date:
7/2/2013
Time:
7:30 PM

Francis L Dickason
319th BG
440th

I have a “silver certificate” ($1 bill) my Dad brought home with him with various signatures on it. The only one I’m sure of is a “John Kelly” although others are probably readable by someone more adept at this than I. I know there was a ‘ritual’ around these bills – anyone have information on this?

David Dickason

Date:
7/2/2013
Time:
3:08 AM

Gidday,

I was interested to know when the scanning of the following book may be completed.

http://www.b26 .com/book/02/the-marauder-a-book-of-the-22nd-bomb-group.htm

I have a keen interest in the 22nd Bomb Group.

Regards Peter Dunn

Date:
6/30/2013
Time:
11:10 PM

Hello,
I am a Frenchman living in the United States, I have managed to track down one of the surviving airmen of a B26 that was shot down on or about Jul. 13, 1944 around Signes in the Provence Region of Southern France while on a bombing run just before operation Anvil.

I originally had his name as Ostermeller (spelling mistake) and another of his crew (who also survived) as a Lt. Burg – I was unable to find (I believe there must also be a spelling mistake).

In any case, I am sure Mr. Ostermueller is one of the two I was looking for (here is a link to his obituary – http://www.costello-runyon.com/obituary?id=778715 – and he was indeed in the 320th Bomb Group, 441st Squadron and was helped by the local resistance.

I have a picture of my uncle (a French Navy commando who had been parachuted) along with an American airman (either Ostermueller or Burg). I would love to provide the family of either with a copy of the picture and the information I have as to their escape and rescue. Any information you may have on their flight would be highly appreciated or any advice you could give me to pursue this endeavor.

Thank you in advance,

Philippe d’Ayral

Bonjour M d’Ayral,
13 August 1944 B-26 42-43297 BN.20 “Lady Eve III” was hit by flak at 07.08hours 2/3 miles E of Signes, France. The flak struck the B-26 in the right wing just out board of the engine and set the wing on fire. The plane dropped out of formation and three parachutes emerged from the waist window, the plane continued on course for 15/20 seconds when two more parachutes were seen to leave the plane, then the wing fell off, the B-26 went into a spin, crashed and exploded at 43 degrees 06 minutes N,05 degrees 55 minutes E. Parachutes landed in the water. the crew were 1.Lt James H J Hipple;2.Lt’s Rudolph Ostermueller; Vincent T Burg; Cpl Harold T Waldrop; T/Sgt Jesse W Largent; Sgt Robert L Allen. (Hiple was killed, Ostermueller, Burg, Waldrop and Allen evaded capture and returned to Allied lines, Largent became a POW.)

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
6/30/2013
Time:
11:10 PM

B26.com is a great web resource! My Father A.E. Coburn Jr., was the back row 5th from the right, he was a prop specialist on the B26, all the men signed the back of the photo use it if you can. Attached you will find a picture from the Aeroproducts Training School, August 1942. Thanks, Albert Coburn

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Date:
6/28/2013
Time:
2:59 PM

I just picked up a photograph from the 5 January 1944 of about 67 officers (16 of which are wearing pilots wings on their uniforms). The full inscriptions on the photo reads “HEADQUARTERS THIRD BOMBER COMMAND 5 JANUARY 1944”. I am currently trying to identify some of the soldiers in the picture but I am having a lot of trouble finding any information about the Third bomber command, if you could please contact me with any information on this photo. I will send a copy of the photo with my next email.

No photo received but try here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/III_Bomber_Command

Date:
6/23/2013
Time:
8:08 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Gray M. Jones
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 441
Years in service: 1944-?
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: If anyone has any information about my late husband and his service, I would appreciate hearing from you. I know he was a pilot, but I have lost contact with his remaining crew since his death in 2001.

I remember his stories about being in France, and being hungry. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if his stories were real, but I enjoyed them all the same. I regret now not recording them because no one could tell a story like Gray. I remember him telling me he and a buddy were chasing a chicken for their dinner but has to compete with a dog who also wanted that chicken. He never mention any of the bombing raids, just that they, the entire original crew, were blessed to come back home alive.

Thank you and God Bless America!
Sylvia Jones Spearman

Date:
6/19/2013
Time:
9:09 PM

I am responding to a guest book posting on 9/13/2012 by Michael Strube. He was looking for anyone who had information about his uncle Joseph Strube, a Radioman/Gunner on a B26 that was shot down on 2/19/45. S/SGT Strube was killed in a friendly fire strafing incident on March 1st, 1945 during a prisoner transfer from a Dulag processing center to Stalag Luft-3. My father was with him when he was killed. -Donald Maiorano

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Date:
6/18/2013
Time:
9:31 PM

Captain Arthur Wesley Martin of the 70TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON died 12 February 1944. Do you know where he died and under what circumstances? Arthur was the brother of my 1st cousin by marriage James Martin. I know where he is buried, but I don’t have where he died or how.

Thank you,
Patrick Wills
CWO3, U S Coast Guard (Retired)

Date:
6/11/2013
Time:
10:09 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Festus D. Hunter
Bomb Group: 320th
Bomb Squadron: 443rd
Comments: My Grandfather was Festus D. Hunter. He was an accomplished and competent B-26 pilot and one of my personal heroes. I am trying to find out more information and verify the names of the planes that he flew. Hopefully if anyone flew with him or remembers him, they could possibly help me out. I know that he flew the Boomerang, The Old Vet, and Tiger Lady. However, I found a mention of him in a book that talks about him flying Hot Garters, but the serial number that they have for Hot Garters is 41-31575 which is actually for Gotta Match. The excerpt from the book can be found her in Mark Styling’s “B-26 Marauder Units of the MTO”.

I would also like to find out the name of the plane he is flying in this radio wire photograph: http://previewitaly.com/italy-italy-photos-7/

Any help would be appreciated.

Eric Briggs

Date:
6/11/2013
Time:
8:38 AM

Dear Trevor,
Hi my name is Don Millard. On the advent of the anniversary of the D Day landings on the 6th of June 1944, my mind went back to what I remember of that day. While searching the web for info I stumbled across B26.com and read the 2009 guestbook account from Ann Brooke, East Court Farm Gillingham in Kent, where a B26 42-96263 crashed on D Day. So I thought you may be interested in that I am probably the only eyewitness to the last moments of 42-96050. On June 6th 1944 I was a 14 year old boy living in Lower Gillingham Kent, and like most 14 year old boys at that time I was an avid plane spotter with model planes hanging all over my bedroom, I could recognized most Allied and German aircraft even by the sound of their engines. I had been woken several times that night by aircraft flying over heading for France, but in the early morning I was woken by a strange loud engine noise, not a steady roar but it seemed to come and go. I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window just in time to see a B26 falling out of the sky not diving but literally falling cart wheeling wing over wing. It hit the ground in the next road to mine called Corporation Road, with a huge explosion and fire. It crashed on one side of the road demolishing three houses bounced across to the other side of the road demolishing several more houses. The poor guys in the plane did not stand a chance although mercifully it would have been over immediately. I do not know how many civilians lost their lives as in those days they did not divulge those things. We learned later that two B26 had collided over us the other crashing at East Court Farm about four miles away. My condolences to the families of the crews of 96050 and 96263 I often think of them.

The story is fully explained here.

Date:
6/10/2013
Time:
3:08 PM

Although last year’s reprint of The 319th in Action is now sold out, we are happy to announce that print-on-demand copies will soon be available at Amazon.

Esther McNaull Queneau

“Count this day as lost, whose low descending sun,
Sees from thy idle hands, no worthy labor done.”

McNaull Philosophy
(Written by Michael McNaull on rafter in attic of 1880 house.)

Esther McNaull Queneau (formerly Esther Oyster) and John Moench wrote the Bibliography of Research Sources for the Martin B-26 Marauder

Date:
6/9/2013
Time:
9:14 AM

Regarding the Boxted Airfield Historical Group 70th Anniversary. I just returned from the 70th anniversary commemorating the opening of the airfield. The group did an excellent job having an all day program featuring men who served there and family of men who served. They told the history of the field, the history of the B-26 with film footage and had a swing band playing music the 30’s and 40’s. The group has opened a museum dedicated to the field with pictures and stories of men who served.

My father Paul Suway served there as a tail gunner on Miss Fortune II with the 386 in squadron 553. If you ever get the chance to visit I truly recommend it. They also would love any stories or mementoes of men who served to help them tell the history of Boxted. They have a website http://www.boxted-airfield.com

David Suway

Date:
6/7/2013
Time:
6:08 PM

I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot this past week, Memorial Day, 69th anniversary of D-Day, Father’s Day and his birthday. He was Capt. Pete LaFramboise, pilot of “Sexation”, and even now it’s hard to believe all of the things he and his crew went through and did. But I’m proud of him and thanks to you for putting this information where his great-grandkids can read about it. -Mike Widner

Date:
6/6/2013
Time:
10:20 AM

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

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

Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.COM

Date:
6/2/2013
Time:
7:27 AM

On the 69th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy by the allied forces, we should remember those who participated and the sacrifices that they made. There were many Maraudermen who flew from fields in England in support of the assault on the beaches and cliffs, including my father-in-law, Lt. Bill Rose. This continues to be regarded as one of the most incredible accomplishments of war operation, and it was a critical event leading to the ultimate defeat of the German army. -Mac McConnell

Date:
5/31/2013
Time:
8:01 PM

Does anyone remember my father George H. Gibbens from the 37th Bombardment Squadron and 17th Bomb Group? I don’t have many facts, but I know he flew 87missions, as a pilot of, primarily, a B26 “Louisiana Lullaby”. My brother says he flew many different planes. He was with the 37th Bombardment Squadron and receiver a Distinguished Flying Cross, among other awards. He was based in Italy (heard stories) and flew over Africa. His crew once misinterpreted a Red Cross as a swastika and dropped a bomb on, thankfully missed, Gen. Mark Clark. There were many funny and poignant stories, most of which I have forgotten. He was from Louisiana and trained in many areas in the SE. I know that he was assigned, at one time, to walk through a ball bearing area of a plane manufacturing building in Florida. He and others, observed workers replacing used ball bearings in the wheels. They were German spies and up to that point they were causing crashes and and lost of life among trainees. I just tried but mostly failed, to find him listed anywhere. There was a document produced in 2001? that listed him as a commander in 42-43. I found Louisiana Lullaby but it was a plane flying in Japan. I have seen a photo of his plane and the name. He is not listed among DFC recipients, But we had the medal. I suppose this is chronologically, too late, but if any one could help. I would appreciate that. Thanks for keeping this great website and resource up and running, Leslie Gibbens

Hi Leslie, I picked up 1.Lt George H Gibbens on the July 7th 1943 mission, but this was a random find, he could have been on the squadron before this date. Like every other B-26 crew he may well have been assigned his own B-26, but flew any B-26 that was available on the day of any specific mission. As such, unless we have a photograph of him with his B-26 we cannot establish its complete identity.

His crew on July 7th was: 1.Lt G H Gibbens;2.Lt’s R L Towne; R B Miller; Sgt J R Keyes; S/Sgt’s J F Farry; N C Oper. and it appears from study of several missions that this was his regular crew.

Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
5/27/2013
Time:
7:25 PM

Hi, I’m writing about my beloved Uncle Gerry Allen who was a gunner on “GoaTee Hell”. I’m attaching a newspaper article. I don’t know when it was written. I have a number of photos of B26’s and men that were taken by Russell P. Hays. Gerry died on Dec. 5, 2009. I can scan my photos and send them if you wish.

Richard L. Allen

Date:
5/27/2013
Time:
4:36 PM

Can anyone tell me about the “Mission Bell”. Which beach did they bomb on D-Day? I know my father, John “Jack” Adams, and the rest of the crew picked up the new B-26 and made there to England via the Northern route.

323rd Bomb Group 455th Bomb Squadron “Mission Belle” 41-34995 YU-T. Plane flew 158 missions from 16 July 1943 until 26 December 1944 when it received a direct flak hit between the engine and fuselage over the target, no chutes were seen all crew listed as killed in action.
Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
5/27/2013
Time:
3:54 PM

Hello, I’m looking for information on my Grandfather, S/Sgt Norman J. Huschka. Serial Number XXXX3983, 41-31954 ER-Z 322nd Bomb Group 450th.Bomb Squadron. I read on your site when this particular B26 went down but I was wondering if you could help me find if this plane had been named at all. I cannot find anything on the internet about whether it did or not. Also I know that he was a POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross Tychow Formerly Heyd and I was hoping to find his POW number but I can’t seem to find anything on that either, and my Grandmother doesn’t know. If you could at least point me in the right direction I would be grateful. Any other information on him that you can find would be awesome as well, and if you need any information from me I would be glad to help as much as I can.

Thank you,
SPC Bonnie Huschka, US Army Retired

Bonnie, I am sorry to tell you that 41-31954 was never named.
Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
5/27/2013
Time:
12:53 PM

I recently saw a picture of my Dad, Newton N. Gann, with the numbers 394/584 behind it. He was standing with Michael Donahoe who is listed in the Marauderman list. I am not sure who sent him the picture and since he has dementia he can’t help with the information. I had previously been unaware of this website. I know he was a bombardier/navigator and flew a number of missions over Germany . He and John McCabe are the only members their crew left. I see John is also listed in the Marauderman list.

I actually have many pictures of his service in Germany .

Ron Gann

Date:
5/27/2013
Time:
12:39 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Herbert L. Little
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 454th
Years in service: ? – 1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: “Herbert L. Little could be classed as one of the “old guard” as he had enlisted in 1934, eventually serving in Battery B of the 16th Field Artillery Battalion at Ft. Myer, Virginia- the famous black horse unit. Trouble, however, dogged Herb and the Army eventually gave him a noxious discharge. The the Japanese attacked and he pulled every string he could find to get back into military service. Eventually cleared to join in the Nation’s defense, he would work his way into the 323rd Group. It was a big step, moving from horses to aircraft, but he would prove to everyone his true grit. Advancing to Engineer, he would fly 65 tough combat missions and take a piece of flak in the process. When the chips were down, Herb proved that he was indeed a Marauder Man.” — from The Marauder Men: An Account of the Martin B-26 Marauder by John O. Moench, Major General USAF (Ret.)”

Herb was my Dad. He passed away in Dec. 2003 at the age of 87. I send this to you today, Memorial Day, as I think of him and all of the others who sacrificed for our great company.

Sincerely,
Lora Little Blankenship

PS. Are you still doing the dedication pages? If so, I’d like to email a few pictures and start a page in Dad’s memory.

Date:
5/27/2013
Time:
10:39 PM

Hello, in searching for information about my father, Lt. Norman W. Royer, who flew a B26 in Europe in World War II I found your web site and the Tech Sergeant John W. Depue Diary. It details a particular raid. I think it’s incorrect in stating that Lt Desmukes was the pilot and my Dad, Lt Royer was the Co-pilot. My father was the pilot. Dad stayed in touch with his friend “Des” for many years and my late mother continued corresponding with Mrs. Desmukes for many years after both men passed away. My mother passed away in January of 2011.

Thanks for keeping the B26 alive.

Sherry Royer Affleck

Date:
5/26/2013
Time:
9:47 PM

I have just learned of this site after reading a 1941 Popular Mechanics article on the B26 called “From Barnstorming to Bombers. A Pioneer Plane Builder Sees His Prophecies Come True” by Roger Burlingame.

My brother, William T. Beaulieu “Bill”, was a tail gunner with the 319th Bomb Group, 438th Squadron with missions in Italy and France in 1943.

The crew on the “Lakanookie”:
PILOT – Lt. Paul Blanton
C0-PILOT – W. H. Johnson
NAVIGATOR – Lt. C. A. Kozelski
RADIO GUNNER – Tech Sgt. C. E. Loeber
TURRET GUNNER – Tech Sgt. W. Ziegler
TAIL GUNNER – Tech Sgt. Bill Beaulieu

I found this information in a Newspaper article that was published when Bill was home on leave after his 38th mission. Attached are pictures of the plane and its crew.

Wish Bill was alive to see this site.

Thanks, Joe Beaulieu

Date:
5/25/2013
Time:
4:32 PM

Like to confirm you do have a picture of my Dad Joe Magness here would like more info if you have any. I will have to see, I have very few pics of my dad however I do have a few things. Joseph Magness, Jr.

Date:
5/24/2013
Time:
10:40 PM

Bonsoir!

Je recherche tous documents sur les soldats et aviateurs qui avaient été inhumés dans le cimetière temporaire de Solers, Seine et Marne, FRANCE. I sent you the link to the club below!

I’m looking for information on the soldiers and airmen who were buried in the cemetery of temporary Sollers before being buried in Epinal in France!

Merci de m’aider !

Sincères salutations !

Mr Chatriot
Club Histoire de Solers

Date:
5/21/2013
Time:
10:03 PM

bonjour,
je me nomme HOULLIER Gilles. j’habite en France sur la commune de GONDRECOURT LE CHATEAU (Meuse) et je cherche tous renseignements concernant un crash d’avion durant le deuxième guerre mondiale. d’après les renseignments recueillis il s’agirait d’un B26 – 43-34146.PNG. date du crash 09/11/1944 en foret de GONDRECOURT LE CHATEAU. avion appartenant au squadron 322 basé à BEAUVAIS/TILLE.

noms des occupants :
capitaine HALL pilote (cimetière Amériain de ST AVOLD FRANCE).
Lt ROSENOW Georges de siu city.
Lt LEPSKY Bernard bombardier
sergent HELL SURRATT radio
sergent PERRY STEELE mécano
sergent Robert W Ryan (Indianapolis).

si il est possible d’obtenir tous renseignements concernant cet équipage, le vol, la mission, la confirmation du lieu du crash, des photos ou documents. si confirmation est faite, une stèle en hommage à ces soldats sera dressée sur le lieu des faits pour ne pas oublier ceux venus nous libérer. je reste à votre disposition, amicalement.

Date:
5/20/2013
Time:
1:45 PM

Art Williamson was killed in the crash at A-59 in France. He is buried in Epinal Cemetery in France. His aircraft # was 42-95861. A few months later, his daughter, Betty (name changed), was born in Indiana. She is my in-law and I’m trying to find more information and a photograph of the father she never knew. Is there anyone who remembers Art Williamson or maybe has an old photo of him?

Betty’s mother remarried when her daughter was two-to a wonderful man who took over the “Father” duties. He died this April. Betty’s mother wouldn’t talk about Art because it hurt her second husband’s feelings, so Betty knows nothing about her father. Please help if you can.

Art Williamson was the pilot of B-26 Marauder # 42-95861 that crashed in a mid-air collision on March 28, 1945 near Cormeilles-en-Vexin, France. His crew: 2nd Lt. Henry F. Smith, F.O. William A. Othberg, Cpl. Gelgo J. Lauteri, Cpl. Robert A. Greenwood, Cpl. Albert P. Elliot, Jr. All were killed. His Bomb group was the 344th and 496th. This information came from “The Life and Times of Woodrow W. “Buzz” Smith and was put on the net in 2010. He flew 2 or 3 missions with Art and I would like to find him (if he is yet living) for any personal information on Art for Betty. He was living at Ontario, CAL.

There are no photographs of him as far as I know. Betty’s son and my daughter are married. Betty does not know much about her father, other than his name and that he was killed a few months before her birth. She has not been to Epinal. I am pulling as much information together as I can as a Christmas gift to her from the father she never knew. It’s a surprise. Please don’t post anything on the site about Betty unless and until we have her permission.

Thanks, Jeanne B.

Date:
5/20/2013
Time:
2:52 PM

GROUP: 322nd BG
SQUADRONS: 450th & 452nd BS
DATE OF INCIDENT: 17 May 1943
TARGETS: IJmuiden and Haarlem

I would like to ask the following question concerning the ill-fated 322nd BG mission on 17 May 1943 – is there any documentary evidence that provides the height at which the surviving B-26s dropped their bombs (on what I believe was the Zuidergasfabriek, in Amstel)? My understanding is that delayed-action bombs were not used on this mission so the bomb release would have to have been done at a minimum safe altitude.

My interest in this particular mission is two-fold –

1. it bears general similarity with an RAF mission flown exactly two weeks previously to the day in which 10 out of 12 Ventura aircraft were lost attacking a power station on the outskirts of Amsterdam (in this case, one aircraft returned early while over the North Sea, another returned to base after being shot up by fighters just off the Dutch coast, and the other ten were all shot down by a combination of fighters and flak. The mission was flown at medium attitude with fighter escort, but an earlier mis-timed mission had been picked up by German radar and had alerted the defenses so that fighters were in position to intercept just before the Dutch coast was reached).

2. Anne Frank, in her diary entry of 18 May 1943, describes witnessing an air battle between German and Allied aircraft and also relates a second- or third-hand story about the milkman who encountered the crew of an Allied aircraft that had crash-landed. I believe that she witnessed the air battle between German fighters and the RAF Venturas on 3 May, while the milkman encountered one of the 322nd crews (probably that of Lt. Wurst) on 17 May.

I have read the account of the mission from your website, and have read the narrative from the book “B-26 at War” along with the MACRs and the 1987 paper by Maj James Openshaw. In digesting the information available so far there are several questions that remain unanswered, including the bombing height question that I posed.

Thanks in advance,
Rod Mackenzie

Date:
5/15/2013
Time:
3:59 AM

Hello,

I am looking for Information on a raid that took place on the 13 June 1944 carried out by the 397 BG on the Foret d’Andaine. Specifically I have a copy of the photographic report (Form No. 105a) from the Boyd collection and am interested in in the first box , and the 3rd group of six aircraft, of which there were two aircraft Se No s 122 and 152.

What I would like to do is identify the other 4 aircraft and all six aircrafts crew lists. It’s a long shot but if you can help it would be of great interest as I live close to the raid site in France.

Regards,
David Capps Tunwell

Date:
5/13/2013
Time:
6:18 AM

Hello,
We are a factual drama television production company based in London called Darlow Smithson. We are currently making a programme about German engineering feats of World War Two and one episode in particular looks at the Messerchmitt 262. The reason I am getting in touch with you is that we trying to find out more information about a particular raid on the 16th April 1945, where B26s of the 322 BG encountered the Me 262 jets of Adolf Galland’s JV44 squadron. We would love to know more about this raid;

1) In particular were there any accounts of this encounter by B26 crew?
2) What was the target?
3) How many B26s would have been involved in that particular mission?

Any help would be much appreciated, if any of the crew who faced that plane are still alive, we would love to talk to them about their experiences. I look forward to hearing from! In the meantime I will delve more into your website.

Regards,
Woody Ledeboer

Date:
5/10/2013
Time:
8:58 PM

Regarding Ignazio Fanni’s book, on my side, my Italian friend Ferdinando D’Amico (who has authored quite a few books about the late-war Italian fascist AF – ANR) told me about a mission — I forgot which day in late 44 — where B-26s were intercepted by Bf 109 Gs over the Po Valley. It happened that there were strictly NO US or Germans involved. The B-26s were flown by Frenchmen and the Messerschmidts by Italians ! But, on both sides, NO ONE hinted about that. Ferdinando discovered that point only in 1988 !

Specifically, the Italian AF v. French AF mentioned another encounter on 11 July 1944, a sortie over the Piancenza fuel depot performed by MATAF bombers (RAF+FR AF) intercepted by a dozen of Bf 109 Gs of the Aeronautica Nazionale Reppublicana’s 2° Gruppo Caccia. During this sortie the French Marauder gunners — GB 1/22 and GB 1/20 — replied with their 0.5in guns claiming one “Hun”. Italian ANR report shooting down 2 B-26s… but none were lost by the French that day, and the British report is incomplete. I would advise looking into 42nd BW mission reports for July 11th, 1944, to clear that out.

The B-26 v. Bf 109 G incident is related in this book : The Messerschmitt 109 in Italian Service, 1943-1945 by Ferdinando D’Amico Permalink: http://amzn.com/0914144308

Here is a Match, March 1965 issue from 4 decades ago. I had an original copy of that Paris-Match in France, but somehow it disappeared. Copies exist of this issue both at the Musée de l’Air (Le Bourget) and at the Fort de Vincennes (SHD).

A total of 4 FR Marauders were cut open by Flak this way, starting with “77” of GBM 2/52 over Toulon in Aug. 1944. All the crew survived on this one. Other FR B-26 ‘misreps’ are documented and I will follow up.

Jean-Michel Guhl

Date:
5/10/2013
Time:
6:45 PM

I’m trying to identify a particular B-26. The B-26 can be seen in this somewhat well-known photo taken on February 24th, 1944 over Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. The aircraft belongs to the 387th bomb group, but is there any way of finding out which aircraft it is?

…large images

I live in the area where that picture was taken and I build models of aircraft that are somehow connected to this area – either stationed, lost attacking things in the north of The Netherlands. I was hoping perhaps you knew more about that mission and the circumstances of that photo.

Thanks Alan Crouchman! That’s exactly what I needed to know. What a great effort. Made my day!

Kind regards,
Elger Abbink

Hi Elger,
Ah this is an easy one, the aircraft is 41-31694 [“694”] FW-F “Hangover Hut” flown by Lt Sanders and crew. Sadly the 387th records do not contain crew rosters which is thoroughly frustrating, however Lt Sanders was part of the original compliment coming overseas and we do have his “normal” crew listing but there is no guarantee they were all on board on this day.

…large images

As you see on the formation chart “694” was scheduled as the No4 ship in the lead flight but with “811” as a No Take Off then I assume that they all moved up making “694” the No3 ship. If this is the case the photo was taken from the lead ship 41-31705 TQ-K “King Size” which was being used by Major Glenn Grau (C.O. of the 556th) on this day.

Hope this is of use.

Regards,
Alan

Date:
5/6/2013
Time:
8:29 AM

My Dad was James S. Gleinser, I am trying to get in touch with Roy Lewis who posted about his dad, Roy Lewis.

James S. Gleinser, Pilot
Bomb Group 344th
Bomb Squadron 496th
Hometown, Goliad TX

Not sure on service dates, as he stayed in as a pilot instructor, and retired, I believe in 60’s and then spent about 3-6 more years in Civil Service at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX.

Carolyn Meegan

Date:
5/3/2013
Time:
4:48 AM

I’m doing research into a German air force unit called KG54. It used the airfield of Evreux during some stages of WWII.

Therefore I would like to ask you where you have found the aerial pictures of the Evreux airfield as shown here http://www.b26.com/marauderman/ah/everaux_fauville_airfield.htm and would it be possible to get better scans of these pictures?

Kind regards,
Rudi Stessens
Belgium.

Date:
5/2/2013
Time:
9:08 PM

Found your site thru searching for Nathan Geren. He was my uncle, brother to Thurman Matson of the 8th Army. Per his obit earned the DFC. Do you have any records of that?

Date:
5/1/2013
Time:
6:13 AM

Group: 386th Bombardment Group (M)
Squadron 553rd Bombardment Squadron
Mission #238 Ecouché railroad bridge – France
Date 28 July 1944
Combat photographer Staff Sergeant William Scanlan
Aboard aircraft #41-31577 (AN-Y “Elmer”)
Film 16mm
Subject Air battle and collision between bomber # 41-31805 (AN-D)
With a German fighter (Focke-Wulf)
No survivors in the American craft: 6 crew members
Pilot of #41-31805 1st Lt. Briggs, Frederick Olson O-813311

Message: Does anybody :
– Have information about this mission?
– Know where could be preserved:
– Strike photographs of this mission #238
– Film by Staff Sergeant Scanlan

In June 2011 a memorial was erected in the smalle village of Lessard-et-le-Chêne (appriximatly 12km SW of Lisieux-Normandie-France) to honor crew members of B-26 #41-31805/AN-D which crashed there on 28 July 1944. At the time I was a 8 years young boy and a witness of this tragic event. Since September 2011 I am in contact with the “young” brother of this B-26’s engineer (S/Sgt Charley Manford JOHNS) who is the initiator for this memorial. I try to collect documentation concerning the last mission ot these six airmen. Through your site I make a general request to anyone who could help in my researches. In particular I should be very interested to know where are preserved Mr. Scanlan Film- see enclosure (I have no contact with this gentleman), and also strike photographs and other information concerning this #238 mission (Ecouché railroad bridges). Until now I did not succeed to get information from French side (photographs, reports, etc). On site www.b26.com/guetbook… the following messages are dealing with the subject: 1/15/2009-11.20AM, 10/10/2010-12.09PM, 6/11/2011-5.42PM, 7/11/2011-12.41PM, 7/21/2011-8.59AM. Also you can find something in the web by typing: B26 Lessard-et-le-Chene.

Thanks for any information.

Regards,
J. Tariel.

Date:
4/30/2013
Time:
9:13 AM

I am Charles “Henry” Martin’s wife Crystal. He asked me to write to you ask you to call him. His number is ___. Thank you.

Date:
4/29/2013
Time:
9:23 AM

Hi! I am Charles A Martin Jr. My uncle’s name was Henry E. Martin. I have info to believe that my uncle was in the 344th bomb group, but I don’t know if he was in in the 495th, 6th, or 7th squadron. He was a gunnery instructor in England and the article stated he had 15 months of experience in the European theatre of operations. Are there any rosters that would show him? I cannot find anything. Any help would be deeply appreciated. thanks.

Date:
4/28/2013
Time:
2:46 PM

Hello! My name is Michael Cushing and I’m hoping to find out some info as regards my great uncle, Leonard Liekhus. I believe he flew with the 387th BG, I’m not sure which squadron. I have a photo of him with his crew in front of a plane named “Contrary Lady”. I’d sure appreciate hearing back from anyone with info regarding Len. He died last November from old age and complications of Alzheimer’s. He was a decent and good man, raised a family here in Anaheim, Calif.

Thank you in advance for any help rendered!
Sincerely,
Michael Cushing

Date:
4/25/2013
Time:
9:17 PM

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

I have been researching and working on a book on the French Marauders for many years and I am in the final stages of writing. I have visited this b26.com website on and off for 10 years. I am asking for first person stories or fun annotates told to children of US Maraudermen about their experiences with French Maraudermen. Pictures of US and French Maraudermen together would be very much appreciated with full credit given to donors. Especially for the 1943-1944 period when the French crews were being trained by AAF personnel at the Telergma Bombardment Training Centre (BTC) in Algeria.

The book will be available only by early 2014 as we are adding a full English section as well as some color profiles. The lay-out is being finalized. I’m presently reviewing all texts and recovering most of the original pictures which had been stored for 30 years in Paris while I was working overseas. Most of (if not all) the FAF Marauder witnesses I interviewed between 1975 and 1988 unfortunately passed away. I have more research to do, especially in the USA. The book is to be published in 2014.

The axis of my B-26 book is built on US-French aviator relation, from Algeria in 1943 to Germany in 1945.

For this reason it tries to include as much as possible historical stuff on the 42nd BW and its personnel and aircraft (17th, 319th and 320th BGs).

Here is short-list of the VIP pictures I would need at this stage (ideally in 10in width, JPEG 300 dpi) for the historical opening part.

— Brig. Gen. Gordon Saville, USAAF
— Brig. Gen. Robert M. Webster, USAAF
— Lt. Gen. Mark Wayne Clark, USA
— Maj. Gen. Ralph G. Royce, USAAF
— Maj. Charles G. Robinson, USAAF

I am also in need of some large size digital repros from the Jack D. Canary Special Collection Photo which are original Kodak Kodachrome I slides deposited at the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.

They have some color views of French Marauder in there (taken in 1945). [Read more]

Date:
4/25/2013
Time:
9:17 PM

Manuel Muniz, 319th Bomb Group. He was assigned as a gunner. He served from North Africa to Corsica then Europe. Have more pictures and other items from the time. Thank you for your consideration, with respect. Michael Muniz

…large images

Michael,
The two photographs are
41-34895 Twin Engine Queenie 440BS 319BG
41-43938 BN.35 The Big Ass Bird 438.BS 319BG

Trevor Allen

Date:
4/24/2013
Time:
7:15 PM

Hi, my Grandfather is Joe Herbert, 17th BG, 95th BS. I am writing you to see if you can help me out. I am trying to find out information about my grandfather who was a bombardier/navigator on a 26 during WWII. I was wondering if there would be a way to figure out actual serial number of all the aircraft he flew in – I know he flew in many planes. He is pictured with his original crew – Donald Leslie’s crew. I have his army serial number. Hopefully you could help. I thank you for your time. I hope you can help me out. -Michael Herbert

Date:
4/24/2013
Time:
9:45AM

Hello,
I’m the historian for the Dyersburg Army Air Field, TN. This was a B-17 training base, but did have a couple B-26’s here in 1943-44. They were: 41-35813 which was lost in a crash here on 4-30-44 and 42-43355. Later on in late 1944 and early 45 at least three others were here, all later natural metal models, serials unknown. At least two were named: “Silvery Sue Hot But True” and “Miss Virginity Never Forced Down”. If anyone has any info or photos of these Marauders or any fellows who flew and maintained them here at DAAF, TN. I would like to hear from them. I have the accident report on 813, all 6 on board bailed out safely. I have two ground shots of 355. Have no idea if those other two had nose art with the names or not. Here is scan of one of DAAF’s B-26’s, 42-43355

…large images

The crew of B-26 41-35813 that crashed near Trenton, TN. on 4-30-44 was:
2nd Lt. Paul G. Osborne-Pilot
2nd Lt. John R. Carney-Co-pilot
Sgt. Matthew Feinstein-Flight engineer
M/Sgt. Johnnie B. Connel
S/Sgt. George J. Bateman, Jr.
Cpl. Maurice L. Trout

None were injured and bailed out safely and if any are still living, I’d sure like to contact them.

Thanks,
Tim Bivens

Tim, the other three Dyersburg AT-23’s were 42-95629; 42-95631 and 42-95634. 42-95631 was named “Slick Chick”. -Cheers, Trevor Allen

Date:
4/20/2013
Time:
5:45 PM

Dear all,
I am looking for information about a B-26 Marauder from 17th Bomb group which made an emergency landing near the village of Vincelottes ( France ) on December 23, 1944 after a bombing mission at the Siegelsbach ammunition dump in Germany. I only know names of 3 crew members ( Paul COSTA, Frank CROOKS and Louis HARY ). On board the aircraft was also a combat photographer , whose name was W.H. VAN DUSEN. All the crew was safe, and stayed in the village of Vincelottes at Mr & Mrs Vaillant’s restaurant. It seems the aircraft was transferred 17 days later to Dijon Air Base by pilot named Philip ESCBACH. It will be great if someone can help me to find names of the other crew members, the aircraft serial , photos , etc…etc …and more about this event.

Regards from France
Jean-Luc

Date:
4/15/2013
Time:
8:48 AM

Marauderman’s Name: SSGT Albert “Bud” James Hands, Brooklyn, NY
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in service: 41-45
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Happy Birthday, Bud. Remembrance of you, Uncle Bud, comes in the form of this post today, what would have been your 95th Birthday. Although lost at 24+ yrs. Of age, you’re never to be forgotten. You paid the ultimate price for my freedom with your death over the overcast skies of Stadtkyll, Germany on New Year’s Day 1945 at 2:45 P local time, when a German 88 exploded eight feet outside your radio compartment, taking with it the entire crew except for the pilot in the resulting “turning in” and crash. An empty enlisted men’s tent at #27 “Duffy’s Tavern” at A-63 was vacated and filled with others.

With Love,
James Albert Hands

Date:
4/15/2013
Time:
5:47 AM

Some information concerning the posting of 3/23/2013 11:21 AM.

Dear Leo,
According to Missing Air Crew Report #443, your uncle Thomas G. Hammond (320BG 441BS), was co-pilot on B-26 Marauder 41-18001 on a mission to bomb a railroad yard at Villa Literno (near Naples), Italy on August 21, 1943. The crew were:1/Lt. Curtis S. Church (Pilot), 1/Lt. Thomas G Hammond Jr. (Co-Pilot), 1/Lt. Max Rickless (Bombardier/Navigator), S/Sgt. Robert L. Orr Jr. (Engineer/Gunner), S/Sgt. Fred O. Gearing (Radio Operator/Gunner). Sgt. Martin T. Carson (Aerial Gunner).

Fortunately, Lt. Church has a dedication page which contains his detailed account of the events of that day and of his time as a POW at http://www.b26.com/marauderman/curtis_church.htm . This is just one of many examples of where these dedication pages on B26.COM not only serve as tributes to the Marauder Men, they are also a valuable resource to relatives, friends, and the wider Marauder community.

I feel that this supports the comments from the B26 Team in a recent post asking for more people to create dedication pages.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
4/11/2013
Time:
8:55 PM

Hello:

I am seeking information about an ex-POW member of the 391st Bomb Group; SGT JAY N. MILLER.

I do know that he was liberated on 10 May 1945 and returned to the USA on board the SS SANTA MARGARITA. I am looking for details on the loss of his aircraft.

I found his name on a set of movement orders filed with the ships’ records as compiled by the Immigration Service. Apparently, INS met all incoming ships and checked crew and passenger lists. The records came from a website in partnership with the National Archives. A NARA archivist in the New York branch recommended that I use online resource. I am very interested in both his recollection of the trip home and the loss of his aircraft. I am especially anxious to hear about the trip home, but any details he is willing to share about the mission itself would add detail to the story. I would also like to obtain a crew photo if there is one.

The trip itself was from LaHavre, France to New York Harbor. He was one of 61 ex-POW’s on board the SANTA MARGARITA …and the ship was one of four that were the first to carry returning ex-POW’s home. They landed in New York Harbor on June 3rd, 1945. According to one account, many of the men on the SANTA MARGARITA were sent to an Army Hospital on Staten Island, though I do not have confirmation of that. The movement orders were dated 19 May 1945 and issued by Normandy Base Section.

I do not have additional information except for his ASN. The movement orders do show him as being from AZ, and he was liberated on 10 March 1945. No indication of what camp.

I am actually writing a history of the SS SANTA MARGARITA and would like the details to add to the story of this voyage. The SANTA MARGARITA was one for the first four ships to bring back recovered POW’s (RAMP) to the USA. The four ships landed in New York Harbor with much fanfare according to a New York Times story.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Theron P. Snell, Ph.D

Dear Theron,
According to MACR #12606, on February 24, 1945, the 391st Bomb Group were attacking a Flak Battery at Irlich, Germany. Aboard B-26 44-67820 4L-O were: 1/Lt. William M. Huskey (Pilot), 2/Lt. Richard N. Whippy (Co-Pilot), 2/Lt. Ted A. Reiser (Bombardier/Navigator), Sgt. Jay N. Miller (Radio Operator/Gunner), Sgt. Arthur M. Sunday (Engineer/Gunner), Sgt. Fred J. Siegfried (Armorer/Gunner). All crew were members of the 574st Bomb Squadron.

According to witnesses aboard other aircraft in the formation, Lt. Huskey’s aircraft sustained flak damage to one of his aircraft’s engines over the target. The aircraft began to lose altitude and dropped behind and below the formation. A fire was then seen coming from the bomb bay which also spread to both engines. Three parachutes were seen and the bombs were salvoed. About 3 or 4 minutes later, the aircraft was seen to go into a dive and exploded in mid-air.

It later became clear that only the three gunners in the aft section of the aircraft had bailed out and survived, all being captured after landing in Germany and all became POWs. Sgt. Miller later recalled that Siegfried, Sunday, and then he had bailed out of the aircraft which he later saw explode “with full load of bombs”, although he may not have seen them being salvoed as stated by 2 other witnesses.

Although the National Archive database of POW records [ http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=644&cat=WR26&bc=,sl ] has records for all three surviving crew members, the POW camp to which each survivor was interned is not specified.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
4/10/2013
Time:
9:38 PM

Am trying to get in contact with anyone who knew First Lieutenant Alfred Freiburger who flew B-26 missions before and on D-Day, June 6th 1944. He later was a test pilot for Douglass, flying the DC-9 and DC-10 at the time in the mid-1960s. After he retired, he became a Reserve Deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, CA and was with the AERO Reserve Unit. I was a civilian employee, signing in the deputies for their qualifications at the Sheriff’s pistol range, and also a Reserve Deputy Sheriff with the department.

Mr. Freiburger passed away in November 2004 and have been trying to contact anyone who knew of his experiences while a B-26 pilot. I have a model of the type of plane he flew and would like to know the squadron colors his plane would have been painted in. Eventually, I plan to assemble the model with his name on it.

Thank You.
Respectfully Yours,
John W Goerger

Dear John,
The aircraft that 1/Lt. Alfred Freiburger (344BG 495BS) is most associated with is 42-95924 Y5-D “Rum Buggy”. You state that you are planning to build a model of his aircraft, and you are lucky that there are a number of model aircraft kits available that feature decals for this aircraft.

There is a photograph of Lt. Freiburger and crew standing in front of “Rum Buggy” (his name is painted below the pilot’s window) at http://www.fold3.com/image/#39054480.

By the way, the movie “The Big Lift” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Lift)which was based on the events surrounding the Berlin Airlift, featured USAF pilots of the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, one of whom was 1/Lt. Alfred Freiburger !

I wonder if Alfred was the only Marauder Man to feature in a movie, although the Hollywood actor Captain Robert Preston became an S-2 Officer with the 386BG http://www.b26 .com/historian/chester_klier/395.htm .

Regards,
Steve Sharp
Date:
4/9/2013
Time:
6:39 PM

Marauder man’s Name: John P. Duffy
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 573rd ??
In service 42-45
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Comments: My dad passed away in 1976 and he did not talk at all about his war experience. I have a stars and stripes article dated June 1944, which identifies Lt Col Gerald Williams as his CO on a B26 base. He was a staff sergeant and earned the bronze star as a crew chief, with his “ship” finishing 50 missions without a mechanical failure. Williams was the CO of the 391st bombardment group. I’ve looked over the many known available websites for any additional information about him but have had little success. Can you give me some research suggestions.

Thank you very much. Dan Duffy

Date:
4/3/2013
Time:
8:45 AM

John Moench, August 4, 1921- April 3, 2013. He signed his name “John”. Our correspondence started in 1999, like any other site contact, with an email asking questions. Something wasn’t quite right because he seemed to know everything relating to the Martin B-26 but I went along with it. On one occasion, he asked “Who’s answering guest book posts, who’s helping you?” I replied that I answer everybody best as I can and other visitors also reply to questions posted in the guest book – people help people! He told me that was no way to run website as significant as b26.com. A lot of people are writing you! Wanting to put an end to a week’s worth of grilling, I told him that since he knew so much about the plane and crew, he should help! This time “John” replied back with a long email and signed it Major General John O. Moench, USAF (Ret). I re-read the email and name again and replied that he set me up! I hope he is laughing now as I tell this story for the first time. John worked tirelessly behind the scenes assisting posters to the guest book, even sending autographed copies of his book gratis. John was a proud champion of all things relating to Marauder men, the plane, aircrews and support personnel. I will miss his vigor, energy and conversation.

General Moench will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery sometime in the future and notice will be posted here. I would hope that all our Marauder friends and extended family would be there to honor a good man and his family.

Date:
3/30/2013
Time:
2:52 PM

My cousin, S/Sgt Everett Chrisco, was a Bombardier on a B-26, 323BG flying from Earls Colne, England. He went down in the Channel on April 11, 1944. If anyone remembers him, please reply. Thank you, Roy Reeves

Date:
3/23/2013
Time:
11:21 AM

I would love to receive information about my uncle (my mother’s brother), Thomas G. Hammond of Seattle, Washington, who died over 30 years ago. I know that he was pilot in command of a B-26 that was shot down over Italy, and received a silver star for that action; he was interned in a German camp until the end of the war.

I’m attaching the two pictures I have. In the 1940 one, taken before he entered the service, he was 21. The later picture must have been taken shortly after he returned to Seattle from imprisonment.

…large images

I tried to search AAF records, thinking that his silver star might help me to find him there, but I gather that a fire destroyed a huge number of records.

Leo Damrosch

Dear Leo,
According to Missing Air Crew Report #443, your uncle Thomas G. Hammond (320BG 441BS), was co-pilot on B-26 Marauder 41-18001 on a mission to bomb a railroad yard at Villa Literno (near Naples), Italy on August 21, 1943. The crew were:1/Lt. Curtis S. Church (Pilot), 1/Lt. Thomas G Hammond Jr. (Co-Pilot), 1/Lt. Max Rickless (Bombardier/Navigator), S/Sgt. Robert L. Orr Jr. (Engineer/Gunner), S/Sgt. Fred O. Gearing (Radio Operator/Gunner). Sgt. Martin T. Carson (Aerial Gunner).

Fortunately, Lt. Church has a dedication page which contains his detailed account of the events of that day and of his time as a POW at http://www.b26.com/marauderman/curtis_church.htm . This is just one of many examples of where these dedication pages on B26.COM not only serve as tributes to the Marauder Men, they are also a valuable resource to relatives, friends, and the wider Marauder community.

I feel that this supports the comments from the B26 Team in a recent post asking for more people to create dedication pages.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
3/18/2013
Time:
9:57 PM

Hello,
see Attachments of his docs. for reference. The fire in St. Louis records dept. destroyed and further docs of my father’s that were available.

I am the oldest son of Dalton C. Kruse SN#16 004 300, researching my father’s 9th AAF history.
I would really appreciate any help to track down his unit and specifics of his England/EUR tour. He never said much about any of his time spent across the Atlantic.
Having served in the USAF myself as a EC121D + (C47D / A1E-F-G-H’s (RVN 1969) + C141A Crew Chief I am very interested in his years as a Mech. + Crew Chf + Instructor. He flew on the B26 as a Crew Chf and also worked on the P47+P51 aircraft as well as an Instructor on Aircraft and Engines.

He was from Chicago, IL (Des Plaines, IL). He enlisted Mar. 24, 1941 in Chicago, IL and discharged Jun. 03, 1946 at Camp McCoy, WI. as MSgt., Mobile Repair Unit Chief.

He was initially at Chanute AFB, IL; Goldsboro, NC; MacDill AFB, FL.; England and then Signey, FR.(sp?), 7 days after D-Day. B-26 Crew Chf/Mech.( SSgt). During this duty he was aboard a B26 that was shot down and bailed out – broke his wrist (LH/RH ?) during jump and landing. On another mission his aircraft crash landed with a KIA tail gunner. On another occasion a German ME109 was shot down/crashed near the airfield recovered pilot remains and belongings. Instr. Aircraft + Engine Mech. (SSgt) Unit Chief-Mobile Repair Unit. (MSgt)

I was in contact with a gentleman who said he could research my father’s history, but I had a computer failure and lost all info ref. his contacts. I have been looking ever since (10+yrs). I know time is slipping away so I would appreciate any assistance anyone could provide.

Once again Thank you in advance for any leads, help or info you may provide.

Regards,
Capt. Dalton C. Kruse, Jr. (Ret.)
American Airlines
AF 1968-1972 (RVN)

Date:
3/16/2013
Time:
1:35 PM

Hello, I was a lad of about 14 years, living in Bishop’s Stortford. England. I was a London lad, living in the country for safety. Nearby there was a airdrome, 386 bomber group at great Dunmow with B26 planes. The men at the base both “crews” and ground staff were the most wonderful men, who despite the war risks to themselves gave to the children at Christmas “Candies”, Chocolate,. I have seen at “Pont de Hoc” Normandy their War effort and it was so accurate. Never being in a position to Thank Them and now by virtue of age they probably have “Taken off into the sunset ! ” However if any relatives ever read this, These men did so much to make our lives safer and were true gentlemen. -Pete Young

Date:
3/12/2013
Time:
6:41 PM

Here’s some information relating to Ellen Weaver Hartman’s guestbook post (2/22/2013 3:15 PM).

Dear Ellen,

Missing Air Crew Report #7875 provides details of how your father’s (Joseph D. Weaver) aircraft was shot down and how he subsequently became a POW.

On the evening of August 6, 1944, B-26 42-96184 was returning from a mission to bomb a fuel dump at the Foret de Andaine, France. When it passed over the coast of France near Touville, it was hit by flak and a fire developed in its right engine. Unable to extinguish it, the fire took hold and grew larger. The pilot gave the order to bail out and the 3 gunners in the rear of the aircraft exited from the waist hatch, followed by the pilots and bombardier from the bomb bay. Sgt. Leonard J. Zuckerman later reported that after the crew had bailed out, the right engine and wing broke away from the aircraft causing it to spiral into the English Channel causing a huge splash.

Before bailing out, top turret gunner Sgt. Swanson, had reported over the intercom that he had been hit by flak but said that he would not leave his guns. The other gunners later reported that they had seen blood on his clothing near his groin, but that he did not seem to be badly wounded. After bailing out, Sgt. Swanson’s parachute came out of the pack but failed to inflate, so perhaps a piece of flak had also cut through some of his parachute’s shroud lines. The other gunners saw him struggling with the parachute until he hit the ground below. Sgt. Swanson’s body was later found by Gerrman troops in a wood. All surviving crew members were captured and became prisoners of war.

The crew were: Captain Walter E. Payne, pilot; Lieutenant Hubert M. Altvater, co-pilot; Lieutenant Edward W. Roggenkamp, bombardier; Tech Sergeant Joseph D. Weaver, radio operator/gunner; Sergeant Franklin E. Swanson, flight engineer/gunner; Corporal William L. Salyer, armorer/tail gunner.

Further details of the events that day are also viewable at http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier/245.htm

According to NARA records here, Sergeant Weaver was interned at Stalag Luft 4. The conditions at this Stalag were not good, and on February 6, 1945, its already malnourished prisoners were forced by their captors to leave the camp on the so-called “Black March” (or “Death March”) in order to avoid the advancing Allied forces. With temperatures below freezing and a severe lack of food, the conditions during the march were dreadful and many men died as a result. There are some extraordinary accounts of life in Stalag Luft 4 and the “Black March” on the b24.net site.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
3/11/2013
Time:
8:06 PM

Information relating to Patricia S Triplett’s post (1/15/2013 2:31 PM).

Dear Patricia,

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #11664 relates to the loss of Sgt. Robert L. Vidler in B-26 42-95865 “Sky Hag” on December 23, 1944. This report contains a statement by Sgt. Weston A. Loegering (Armorer/Gunner) on board Lt. Chism’s aircraft flying the No.1 (lead) position in the low flight of the second box. He states that the formation was attacked by fighters whilst making its second bomb run on the target, a railroad bridge at Ahrweiler, Germany. Lt. Detjens’ plane (41-35010 “Snakes Revenge”) in the No.2 position was hit, and then began to lose altitude and dropped out of the flight. Lt. Donnelly in the No.3 position (42-95841 “Powerful Katrinka”) was then assumed to have been hit by flak and also left the flight. Shortly after Capt. Brown’s aircraft had moved up from the No.4 to the vacant No.2 position, he was attacked by fighters and the tail of his aircraft was shot off. Sgt. Loegering states that Capt. Brown’s aircraft was last seen about 500 feet below and was out of control, and that no parachutes were seen emerging from any of the 3 aircraft.

The only survivor of Capt. Brown’s aircraft was Cpl. Gene W. Brillhart (Armorer/Gunner) who, in his statement included in the MACR, stated that Sgt. Vidler, Sgt. Courtenay, and he left the aircraft in close order from the waist window approximately 3 minutes after being hit. He was then taken prisoner and became a POW. He did not know whether the Pilot, Co-Pilot, or Bombardier managed to bail out or not. The MACR states that Courtenay died of wounds and that Vidler was killed in action, although there is no supporting evidence within the report. There are no records of Vidler or Courtenay in the American Battle Monuments Commission records or the Records of World War II Prisoners of War in the National Archives. Sgt. Vidler is buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA. Sgt. Vidler had completed approximately 21 missions at the time of his death.

…large images

Apart from Brillhart, only the Engineer/Gunner and Radio Operator/Gunner of Lt. Detjens’ aircraft survived, and all became prisoners of war. All other crew members of the 3 aircraft mentioned above were killed. Of the 6 aircraft in Lt. Chism’s flight, 5 were shot down and only Lt. Chism’s aircraft returned to base.

The 391st Bomb Group flew without fighter escort whilst they attacked the Ahrweiler railroad bridge on the morning of December 23, 1944 during the “Battle of the Bulge”. They were led by pathfinder aircraft and, after being subjected to intense and accurate flak, were jumped by about seventy-five German fighters. This savage attack resulted in the loss of 16 of the 30 aircraft in the formation. However, the results of their bombing was judged to be between good and excellent, and the bridge was knocked out.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
3/11/2013
Time:
5:26 PM

Hat’s off to b26.com for a wonderful website, and the work contributors are doing with the B-26 community. I just wish I had more spare time to contribute more information.

One ongoing project I have been working on is stateside training, hence the data I sent over regarding the fatal USA accidents to assist with answering questions posted. One quest has been trying to fathom the markings of the training ships, and the so called “BUZZ” numbers applied to these aircraft. I pretty much understand the format of the system, but can find little information regarding the allocation of the large aircraft ID letters applied to these aircraft. The only tying up of these numbers that I have managed to find is through the accident reports and the crew training photographs, of which there are many around.

I have noticed a lot of these images the website, contributed by the vets and their families. I would love to get larger scans of some of these if possible, principally the ones where you can make a positive ID of the serial number from the tail, or the data stencil on the nose to tie up with a visible BUZZ or training code ID. Is this something you may be able to help with?

My main focus of research has been the operational use of the aircraft and units they served with. Of all the B-26’s manufactured, there are just 17 individual a/c for which I have little information on, and/or, the units which those aircraft served with. From the aircraft data cards, those aircraft were assigned to combat units in either the 9thAF (European theatre), and 12th AF (Italy and Mediterranean theatre), but I don’t know which Bomb Groups, or support units used them.

The 17 aircraft for which I have limited information on are just serial numbers, no photos. The only information I have on them are from the aircraft record cards. They do not appear on any bomb group records that I can find. These are as follows:

B-26C-30-MO, 41-35536, No information on this one yet
AT-23B-40-MO, 41-35852, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 20/3/46
AT-23B-40-MO, 41-35857, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 26/3/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107481, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 18/4/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107483, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 10/6/45
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107486, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 1/2/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107488, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 25/3/46
AT-23B-45-MO, 42-107492, Came to UK, assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 20/2/46
B-26G-10-MA, 43-34556, Went to the 12th AF in Italy. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 11/6/46
B-26G-10-MA, 43-34577, Went to the 12th AF in Italy. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 19/12/44
B-26G-15-MA, 44-67919, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 6/5/45
B-26G-20-MA, 44-68104, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 30/3/46
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68123, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 28/3/46
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68128, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 1/5/46
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68145, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 22/3/46
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68151, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 21/5/46
B-26G-25-MA, 44-68159, Assigned to 9th AF. Use after that unknown. Salvaged on 6/6/45

Best regards,
Paul C.

Date:
3/11/2013
Time:
2:39 PM

Hi, I live in Suffolk county in the United Kingdom. I Live about 12 miles from the first station occupied by the 322nd Bomb Group from Dec. 1942- June 1943. I have a photo of a group of 322nd officers one of which is Capt. Jack Crane, who was air executive, and was killed on the second Ijmuiden raid on May 17th 1943. I just wondered if anyone visiting this website may remember him?? or have photos or information about him.

Kindest regards, Pete Clark.

Date:
3/10/2013
Time:
5:49 PM

TO: Richard Mahone, LCDR, USN (Ret.)

My father was the chief line mechanic for the 19th. I’ve posted a page for him, Raymond Fuller, Capt. Finklestein may recognize someone in the pictures that are posted there. There are also some pictures of the unit patches for both the 22nd and 19th. I had other information about the 22nd, that I am happy to share with you – please consider adding a a dedication page to the b26.com. The host of the site might send you the book of the 22nd, mine is on hard copy. There is also a page for Merrill S. Matthews who was also in the 19th. I had contact for a while with his daughter. I believe he was in admin. Click here for more 22nd Bomb Group info on the b26 site.

Eric Fuller

Date:
3/9/2013
Time:
8:23 AM

I was interested in your website and the information contained. My Father, Jim Draper, is 90 years old this year and was a Pilot in the RAF 39th Squadron in the Italian campaign – ‘The Trente Nova’ as the locals called them. I attended the squadron reunion last year and realized that he is now the last combat pilot left from the squadron at that time.

Do you have any records of how many pilots are left alive with combat experience from the second world war?

I attach a couple of pictures from his log book at the time. I have more if you are interested.

Regards,
Jeremy Draper
Son of Jim Draper

Date:
3/5/2013
Time:
2:51 PM

I tried clicking on your MAPS Air Museum link and it didn’t work to good. Try this link http://mapsairmuseum.org/category/restorations/b-26/
-Bob Schwartz

Date:
3/5/2013
Time:
7:04 AM

Dear Friends of the 386BG,

I need details on the mission 261, the bombing of fuel dumps at Bois de Mont, August 26th 1944. The 386 had a big part in it. Was the whole group involved or was it just the squadron.

Any little piece of information would be gratefully appreciated.

Mr. René Psarolis

Rene,
You will need to go the website for the AFHRA, Air Force Historical Research Agency and request the mission records for the 386th BG of August 26, 1944 for the Bois de Mont mission http://www.afhra.af.mil/main/contactus.asp. The mission records will have all the pertinent details from the 386th BG USAAF archives for this mission. It will also show all the other bomb groups that participated in this mission. Provided there were others. Plus give a general overview of their part in the mission. However if you want more detailed information on each bomb group, then you will have to request the records for each bomb group on that day.
Roy Bozych – Historian 323rd BG

Date:
3/4/2013
Time:
8:20 PM

A special “Thanks” to everybody who has taken the time to create fabulous dedication pages on the site. I often feel that it’s a shame more people don’t create dedication pages for their relatives. Many times we are contacted with a query about someone’s relative, and although a dedication page has been promised, we hear nothing further! Dedication pages can be as short or as long as you wish, just send us scans of any photographs and/or text about your Marauder Man relative, regardless of whether they’re alive or deceased, and we are happy to create the page for you. -The B26 Team

Date:
3/4/2013
Time:
6:12 PM

I am the brother of a former member of the 34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group during the early World War II period. His name is CPL Edgar E. Trautmann. He told me he was an armorer for the 50 cal machine guns with which the planes were armed. He served with the unit in North Africa, Sardinia, and France. I believe he was a member of this particular organization because of the Thunderbird patch I recall seeing after his return from the war; I was six or seven years old at the time. He is now in his nineties, lives far from my home, and, while still living, his wife reports that he no longer has the energy, ability and/or inclination to take phone calls.

I became interested in investigating my brother’s past after attending the funeral of a friend’s father, SGT Harold James Dunlevy, an air crew radioman on a B-26 Mitchell bomber, and had a discussion with the deceased’s son. After comparing notes, it seemed SGT Dunlevy and CPL Trautmann had served in the same places at the same times. Also, my deceased father-in-law, CPT Thomas M. Perkins, USAAC seems also to have been in the same places and times (and so were thousands of others, I realize).

After conducting a search on the Internet and reviewing the history of the 34th, it seems consistent with the stories I heard from my brother.

I suppose my purpose in writing this is to simply inquire if any records or memories of any of these names might serve to shed any light on their personal histories and confirm any of the information I recall from family stories.

I am a retired Army Major who served two Viet Nam tours so I can imagine and embellish what conditions were really like for the WW II veterans, having seen the WW II history movies and documentaries. Also, it’s cathartic to recall the past glory of this great nation in light of the pathetic depths to which it has sunk since our last clear victory in a war. -Gene Trautmann

Date:
3/1/2013
Time:
7:04 AM

Dear Friends of the 386BG,

I need details on the mission 261, the bombing of fuel dumps at Bois de Mont, August 26th 1944. The 386 had a big part in it. Was the whole group involved or was it just the squadron.

I have a friend in L’Oise, France and he was 12 years old at the time (August 26th 1944) and saw the bombing at a distance and through the years tried to find out as much as possible about the raid. With some difficulty I was able to find the famous 386 BG was over Fournival Bois de Mont on that date, mission 261 but could not find any details on how many squadrons took part on the raid. Any further information would be appreciated and make an old man very grateful because as he remembers the raid was right on target with no civilian casualties.

Any little piece of information would be gratefully appreciated. Take care and keep up your marvelous work.

Mr. René Psarolis

Date:
2/26/2013
Time:
2:15 PM

Hello, I am trying to find some info on a member here and to see about a dedication page.. My great uncle was a pilot of a B26 during WW2 and I ended up with all his WW2 belongings. After reading many letters I noticed one name that popped up a couple times. It is Bill Churchman. My uncle is Capt. Wendell Hilsmier of the Army Air Corp. and he flew with the 17th bombardment group 95th squad believe. I would also like to know how to post a dedication page as I have a lot of neat pic’s and letters. One is of him getting the Distinguished Flying Cross for blowing up an ammunition dump. I believe my uncle led that mission. Well thanks for any help or advise.

V/R, Jeremy Jarrett

Contact made:
Update: I just spoke to Bill for about an hour and a half! Great to hear about their times over there.. He seems like a great man. It’s funny how some of these guys love to tell there story! I love hearing them. Most people only see what’s in the movies. Such a great generation! -Jeremy Jarrett

Date:
2/24/2013
Time:
3:49 PM

My uncle Tom Duffy was a bombardier on a B-26 during WW2. I have no idea what group he was with does anyone know him?

Thomas P. Duffy served with the 344th Bomb Group, 497th Bomb Squadron. He was transferred to the 21 Bomb Group later in the war.

Date:
2/22/2013
Time:
3:15 PM

I am trying to find information on my father Joe D Weaver from Ackerman, MS S# 14 150 971. He was with the 386 Bomber Group, 554 Bomb Squadron. He was a WWII POW. I’d love to confirm that this is where he was a POW and would like more information on his missions, when he was shot down etc. Thank you. Ellen Weaver Hartman

Date:
2/19/2013
Time:
9:18 PM

Hi! My father was a waist-gunner on a B-26 and just for the fun of it, I googled the name of my father’s plane “MA’s Blasted Event” and got 2 hits in your archives! They refer to the pilot Robert Scott FitzSimmonds and co-pilot Lt. Austin Roberts of my father’s plane! Is there any way I can contact the people that posted these messages?

Thank you! Liz Stryjewsk

Date:
2/17/2013
Time:
2:30 PM

I originally posted this on another website in the 1990s. Since then I’ve spoken to other B-26 Marauder pilots in the formation that day, to bomb the railroad bridge at Conflans France, at noon on May 29th 1944.

“Lt. Stuart H. Perrin’s B-26 Marauder Take Off Prayer 558th Bomb Squadron Squadron 387th Bomb Group–1943-44 (60 missions) (Tiger Tails, yellow & black diagonal stripes on rudder)

“Lord, My life is yours today.
You can do anything with me you want to.
If You’ve got a job for me to do in the United States
or anywhere in the world,
there is nothing here in combat that can keep me from it.
If You’ve got a new assignment for me with You in Headquarters,
this is a good day to begin it.”

The B-26 Marauder Pilot’s Prayer Background. Lt. Stuart Perrin prayed this prayer with Sgt. Oley Olsen, the radio operator who sat directly behind him in their various B-26 Marauders with names like “Gremlin” and “Pugnacious Peggy”.

They knew they shared a common faith, and worked out this prayer to be synchronized with the take off checklist. They began it together on the takeoff roll, and finished together when they got airborne, got the flaps and wheels up and locked.

“Lord, My life is yours today. You can do anything with me you want to. If You’ve got a job for me to do in the United States or anywhere in the world, there is nothing here in combat that can keep me from it. If You’ve got a new assignment for me with You in Headquarters, this is a good day to begin it.”

Oley died from a piece of flak that stopped his watch at noon and then slipped through a small gap in his flak vest, on their 50th mission together, May 1944 as they did the softening up bombing in preparation for D-Day. (The backpack chute caused the flak vest to fit differently, leaving a gap. The crews were being encouraged to wear the new chutes because it gave better results if they had to bail out. The Ninth Air Force B-26s typically bombed from about 10,000 feet to miss the worst of the flak, lower than the Eighth Air Force heavy bombers B-17, B-24 … being able to bail out quickly was important.)

What is transcribed above came from a phone call 6/4/94. I phoned Stuart H. Perrin on Saturday June 4, 1994 to chat. He had frequently used his flying experiences to illustrate his Sunday sermons, and as a teenager decades ago, I always listened intently. I mentioned remembering that he had a crewman that he prayed with on takeoff. I did not know any of the details. He shared the prayer and the story with me over the phone. As I listened, I understood that I had phoned him 50 years to the very week that he and Oley Olsen flew their last mission together. The precision of it all leaves me silent, awestruck and humbled. I could not have planned the timing of that call if I had wanted to. It moved me to grasp that these two men prayed the same prayer together, over and over for 50 missions. God had two completely different plans for each of their lives. He answered the prayer perfectly for each of them. Oley Olsen went Home to Headquarters on May 29, 1944. Perrin came home and became a pastor in a church in my hometown during my high school years. My life would not have been the same without him. He trusted his life to the Son of God, and lived a simple life in a small town. His words reached a boy who showed up mostly to hear the airplane stories. “God has no random events in His plan. Who are you trusting with your future?”

Date:
2/17/2013
Time:
9:40 AM

To Whom it May Concern,

I am the grandson of 1st Lt. Curtis S. Church, of the 320th BG, 441st BS, shot down on August 21st, 1943 over Italy, and taken prisoner. The aircraft he was flying on that mission was serial number 41-18001, which my research shows had no nose art.

As a child, I remember asking my grandfather if he had nose-art on his airplane, and he explained that he flew many different airplane, but he specifically remembers flying one particular plane several times that had a picture of Snuffy Smith riding a machine-gun. I’ve gone through all of the mission reports, and discovered he flew B-26 serial number 41-18034 on four separate occasions. The nose-art was supposedly “Shootin’ Arn”, which is the term Snuffy Smith used to describe his rifle… so I assume this must be the particular B-26 my grandfather remembered.

I have a box of belongings he gave to me, including his flight school graduation program, his military ID, his dog tags and pilot’s wings, and the italian army cup he acquired as a prisoner (and mentions in his account). I will look through it to see if there are any documents you might like a copy of.

Thanks again for all the effort you have put into this webpage… it’s been a tremendous help in my research, and has fed my “B-26 addiction” for years now.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any photos of the nose art on this B-26. Would you happen to know where I might be able to find it?

Sincerely,
John Jones

Date:
2/9/2013
Time:
8:49 AM

What does the term rad-gun stand for with respect to a B26 crew?

Thanks,
Jack Moore

Radio-Gunner

Date:
2/9/2013
Time:
8:37 AM

I noticed your website while trying to search information on a crash involving my great uncle, Sgt. John William Collins, who flew from Avon Park Field on May 31, 1943. I found a newspaper notice of his death which stated he was on a mid-sized bomber. I believe this may have been a B-26, which led me to your site.

I can only find small bits of info., but I know 5 men were lost in the crash of his medium bomber that day in a Florida lake. Can you point me in the right direction to learn more about this incident? I’d like to find the names of the crew, which unit they were in, the type of plane etc…

Thanks in advance for any help,
Jason Overby

Date:
2/5/2013
Time:
6:38 AM

I have been spending some time reading posts from the last two years on b26 site. I am not sure how I missed it several months ago but there was a post from Mr. Duryea Warn, on 12/19/2011, asking for information about contributing information about his military history. I believe that I had the honor to meet Mr. Warn at the Rendezvous reunion of the 391st BG in Scottsdale in 2006. I have his name listed with the many notes that I took when I was there. I don’t think Mr. Warn was at the standing down ceremony of the 391st in Ohio in May of 2011. My dad, Clarence V. Erickson – a Marauder Man, passed away in 1972 which was a few years before the 391st started holding reunions. I was fortunate enough to have found out about the events in early 2006 and was able to attend a couple of them including the final reunion and standing down ceremony in 2011. Thank-you Marauder Men for telling your stories and sharing what life was like for you as a member of the Greatest Generation. Thank-you Mr. Warn.

Thank-you,
Rich Erickson
Son of Clarence V. Erickson
391st BG – 575th BS

Date:
2/4/2013
Time:
10:23 PM

Hi, I’m writing about my beloved Uncle Gerry Allen who was a gunner on “Goatee Hell”. I’m attaching a newspaper article. I don’t know when it was written. I have a number of photos of B26’s and men that were taken by Russell P. Hays. Gerry died on Dec. 5, 2009. I can scan my photos and send them if you wish.

Richard L. Allen

…large images

Date:
2/2/2013
Time:
5:45 AM

As teenagers, my parents watched the crash of 3 B-26C Marauders near Bodegraven in The Netherlands, where they lived at that time, on May 17 1943, know as The IJmuiden Raid..
One of the planes made a belly landing at De Meije. This plane had the registration DR-W (41-17999) and belonged to the 452 Sq of the 322 Bombardment group. The crew consisted of L. David Wurst, 2Lt. Robert Starr, 2Lt. A. Speer, Cpl. George Heski, S/Sgt. Robert J Dempsey and Sgt. Reginald Foster. The complete crew survived and became POW’s. Mr. Helski was wounded and my father saw how they helped him out of the plane.

I’m writing an article about this plane for the magazine of the History Club of Bodegraven and would like to ask you if there are any pics of this plane. I now know that this plane had a nickname; Chickasaw Chief that was painted on the nose. I don’t know if there was any nose art, but I suspect so. Can you tell me if the plane had any nose art representing the “Chickasaw Chief”? I would like to include that info in my article. I would really appreciate any pictures of this plane.

Please contact me if you have any information.

Thank you kindly in advance for your help.
Jan Voorbij

I have had a look through my photographs, and can’t find one for “Chickasaw Chief”, 41-17999. The only shot I’ve seen of this aircraft is a poor shot of it in flight in Roger Freeman’s book “Marauder at War”.

With regard to expanding the B-26 team, I certainly don’t mind helping where I can. Whereas I can’t claim to have the knowledge or resources of Trevor, I do have quite a bit of B-26 material. You’ve certainly got a great thing going at B26.com.

Best regards
Paul Clouting

Here are two pictures of “Chickasaw Chief”, 41-17999 [1] [2] -Trevor Allen

Date:
2/1/2013
Time:
6:52 PM

Marauderman’s Name: LT COL Russell Schuenke
Bomb Group: 453rd
Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service: 31
Graduation Class: UNK
Class Location: UNK
Comments: This is LT COL Russell Schuenke’s Grandson Russell Smith. My Mother sent me his files and I am going through them now. Especially his Military Records. He spoke very highly of the Martin Marauder’s and the Men he flew with. Does anyone have any stories they would like to share? As I read through his files I will take note of the names on his OER’s and see if they are still around. He past last year and I Presided over his service at the VFW in Fort Eustis. Please feel free to contact me.

V/R
Russell Smith

Date:
2/1/2013
Time:
3:33 PM

Hello. I am contacting you this afternoon because we recently found a piece of family history that we would like to learn more about. It appears to be a wooden book with leather binding straps filled with original paintings of B26 Marauder nose art and other landscape paintings by, we assume, E C Thompson. We have learned, through basic internet research, that Trevor Allen is the leading B26 Marauder historian. We would like, very much, to discuss this book with him via email, telephone, or however is convenient for him. I have been unable to obtain any contact information for him, and I hope that you can help me with that. I have the impression, based on details of your website, that you have access to his information. We are anxious to learn as much about this book as possible. If Mr. Allen is unavailable, perhaps you can recommend someone else that may be able to educate us. Thank you , very much, in advance for your help. -Amy M.

Date:
1/28/2013
Time:
3:33 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Arthur P. Bant
Bomb Group:
Bomb Squadron: 12 Sqdn
Years in service: 1943/45
Comments: This was my grandfather whom died just before my birth 1973. He did 291.05 hours as a gunner in the SAAF but was actually in the RAF and was FSgt #900547. So dearly love to know what his aircraft was named and the names of his crew and their history as it has been a dead end mostly. This site is a truly special dedication to these great men and their wonderful flying machines. -Steve Dickson, Perth Australia

Date:
1/26/2013
Time:
8:00 AM

I am submitting this in memory of my father:

Name: Walter L Mosher Jr.
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 572nd
Years: Dec 1942 thru June 1945
Grade: T/Sgt.
Military Occupation: Radio Operator Mechanic Gunner 757
Missions: 65
Campaigns: Air Offensive Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland
School Attended: Sioux Falls South Dakota
Name of B-26: Calamity Lu’

Comment: I do have information on my father while in the military. He never spoke of it when my brothers and sisters were growing up. It was only after my father died and mother when we were finally were able to look at his military records he kept in a leather case. I was hoping to find out if anyone might still be alive that was a member of this group, squadron and plane.

Thanks, Walter Mosher III

Date:
1/25/2013
Time:
8:36 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Rufus Garland (R.G.) Starnes
Bomb Group: Unk
Bomb Squadron: Unk
Years in service: 1940-1946
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: R.G. was my father in law. He was a B26 flight instructor after many months of training in progressively more complex single and multi-engined trainers the USAAC used at the time in Texas, California, Florida, and perhaps elsewhere. He knew engines and planes and told me he eventually qualified in all USAAC heavies up to the B29 Superfortress.

RG did not fly often after the war, eventually raising two girls and a boy with his strikingly lovely wife Alicia. Meeting his eldest daughter was the luckiest day of my life.

Anybody out there remember a tall Texan with a gift for flying, poker, quail shooting, and blarney?

Michael Gorman

Date:
1/24/2013
Time:
1:06 PM

Hello, I am looking for information on a GALATI, JAMES V., S/Sgt, Engineer/Gunner who was on the plane “Draggin’ Lady”. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks you.

Sincerely,
George A. Thompson Jr.

42-96135 6B-Y Draggin’ Lady 397th.Bomb Group 599th.Bomb Squadron
17 June 1944 ran out of gas on its landing approach, crashlanded in gardens of houses at Coggeshall, Essex two miles from airfield
Capt John J Ambrister;2.Lt’s Vernon V Vessels; Robert C Hesser; C J Dizialo; J H Jones; T/Sgt Clinton B Mathews; S/Sgt’s James V Galati; J Benedick; F W Pinetz. All crew escaped safely.

43-34434 6B-C Draggin’ Lady No.3 397th Bomb Group 599th Bomb Squadron
23 December 1944 shot down by enemy fighters, crashed near Demerath, Germany
Capt Mont F Stephenson; 2.Lt John L Grapes; 1.Lt’s Robert J Kinney; Elmer R Borden; Laverne F Grundman; S/Sgt Lynn E Rose,Jr; T/Sgt William E Bower; S/Sgt’s Harry W Watson ; James V Galati. All crew killed in crash.

Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
1/24/2013
Time:
5:44 PM

Re : 391 Bomb. Group, 572 Bomb. Squad

Thanks for your group picture. My Dad was 7th from the left in the very back row. It is the first time I ever saw a WW II photo with him in it. It meant so much to me and our family. I will post more info. later.

Christina Stigliano

Date:
1/23/2013
Time:
7:16 AM

I worked for a newspaper editor in Nashville, NC named Tom Wilson. He was a B-26 pilot in the Pacific. Just wondering if there was a record of his service. He never really talked about his experience much. He only commented that the Army trained him and when the war was over, his flying was over. Interesting.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks!
Mike Mozingo

Do either of these names ring a bell?
Thomas F. Wilson, 320th Bomb Group
Thomas S. Wilson, 391st Bomb Group, 573 Bomb Squadron
Thomas W. Wilson, 335th Bomb Group

Date:
1/21/2013
Time:
7:21 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Captain Sidney Paul Finklestein, US Army Air Corps
Bomb Group: 22nd
Bomb Squadron: 19th
Years in service: 1941-1946(?)
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comment: Aircraft nickname = Hells Angels

I am am a friend of CPT Sid Finklestein the navigator of B26 #1428. Sid is alive and well and has told me some of his history with the 19th SQN and his aircraft and crew. I’d like to build him a shadow box and in it I’d like to include his medals and ribbons that he was awarded as well as any patches he would have worn. I have advised his daughter to write the VA to get his DD-214 (discharge papers) but I’d like to ask anyone who follows this guestbook if they could advise me on where to find images of or the actual patches of 22nd Bomb Group and the 19th Squadron and what awards, medals these men would have been awarded. Any information would be of great assistance. Thank you very much !

Sincerely,
Richard Mahone
LCDR, USN (Ret.)

Date:
1/15/2013
Time:
2:31 PM

I came across this site while researching a relative Sgt Robert L Vidler he died Dec 23rd 1944 and was buried some years later in California. It says on his grave:

Robert L Vidler
S Sergeant
391 AAF Bomb Group
World war 11
Feb 12th 1923
December 23 1944

I kept looking and found his number XXXX9473 and a reference to a mission which I cut a pasted below, its from 391st bomb crew lists 574th squadron which I found on google. It doesn’t say anything else so I am not sure what they mean from this or how he was killed in December and I wonder if anyone knew what happened on this day to Sergeant Vidler. Any help would be very much appreciated. His mother was Adelia May Triplett a relative of mine. Sincerely Patricia S Triplett, England

P BROWN, CLYDE G., CAPT, XXXX095
CP BISHOP, GEORGE M., 2LT, XXXX127
B ESTREM, PAUL J., 2LT, XXXX475
N
FE BENDICKSON, WARREN E., CPL, XXXX120
RG GAGNE, JOSEPH N., SGT, XXXX335
AG BRILLHART, GENE W., CPL, XXXX496

SOURCE: SO-121, Hqs, 391st Bomb Group 9/13/1944 Par. 10

Capt Brown was shot down on 12/23/44 in 42-95865 (Sky Hag). Lts Bishop and Estrem are buried in the Luxembourg Cemetery. Apparently, Sgt Rudyard L. Courtenay and Sgt Robert L. Vidler replaced Gagne and Bendickson on this mission (hardback history). According to the soft back history, a Lt Brown hit a power line on takeoff on 10/05/44. As the squadrons are the same, I assume that these are one individual.

Date:
1/14/2013
Time:
6:39 PM

Is this site about the B-26 Martin Marauder? Thank-you, John D. (Jack) Silverthorne

Yes

Date:
1/14/2013
Time:
3:04 PM

My Cousin SSg Donald C. Toy was a gunner on a B-26 41-18215 “Dirty Bird” with the 319 bomb group. His plane went down with tow others in November 1943, probably due to collisions caused by bad weather. I live in Akron, Ohio and I just came back from the 319 Archive at the University of Akron. They have a lot of good, original stuff. I am continuing to research my cousin’s loss. I would be willing to help anyone researching the 319. Let me know if I can help. -Thomas E Russell

Date:
1/13/2013
Time:
2:37 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Gustave W. Aspacher “Gus”
Bomb Group: 17th
Bomb Squadron: 37th
Years in service: Nov 1942-30 Nov 1945
Was a PFC clerk typist for unit. Any additional info/photo appreciated

-Tim Sutherland

Date:
1/13/2013
Time:
8:55 AM

My Dad, Dexter Goodwin, wrote about one of his WW II flying experiences. -Dexter Goodwin Jr.

Date:
1/11/2013
Time:
11:02 AM

Gentlemen…Thought you might like to know that a former B-26 pilot, 50 missions European Theatre, Lt Colonel Edward Tyre, has just been awarded the French Legion of Honor medal for gallantry while supporting the French liberation in WWII.

Respectfully,
CAPT Tim Tyre, USN(ret)

ate:
1/10/2013
Time:
8:53 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 1st Lieutenant Robert James Nachel
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 438th
Years in service: Feb 1944-Jan 1945

My father, 1st Lieutenant Robert James Nachel, was a bombardier pilot with the 319th BG (438 squadron) in Sardinia (B-26s), Corsica (B-25s), and Okinawa (A-26s). He flew 39 missions for 146:40 hours. I found this site because I am researching information on his war years to go along with the memoirs he wrote of his years in the service. I am using his stories and his war photos, along with internet information, to create a book for his descendants (8 children, 16 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and counting). If by any chance, any of you knew my father, please do contact me! (He died of cancer in 1991 at age 68.)

Of interest is that my father was checked out in the Douglas A-26 by Donald K. Slayton (“Deke”), who went on to become one of the original Seven Mercury astronauts.

Diane Nachel Moser

Date:
1/10/2013
Time:
12:22 PM

Regarding the posting by Harry Sontag’s grandson (12/31/2012 1:34 AM), I have some information concerning Mr. Sontag.

S/Sgt. Harry (NMI) Sontag made a statement which is contained in MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) #5135. This MACR concerns the loss of Lt. Dauteuil’s aircraft (B-26B-20-MA 41-31716) during the attack by the 391st Bomb Group’s attack on the Maisons-Lafitte bridge on May 27, 1944.

In his statement, Mr. Sontag states that he was a tail gunner in the aircraft in the No.4 position, low flight; and that he witnessed Lt. Dauteuil’s aircraft dropping out of formation with the right engine smoking and that he then saw 6 parachutes leaving the aircraft (NB all 6 crew members survived).

Furthermore, the 391st BG “Taxi Sheets” for May 27, 1944 (http://www.391stbombgroup.com/taxi1944a.htm) show Lt. Alexander’s aircraft (42-95807, 4L-J, nicknamed “The Swoose”) was flying in No.4 position in the low flight, first box. Lt. Dauteuil’s aircraft is shown in the No.5 position (off No.4’s right wing), so S/Sgt. Sontag would have had a very good view of the No.5 aircraft.

A Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster was awarded to Lt. Julian P. Alexander for outstanding achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot on an important enemy target on 27 May 1944. The aircraft was seriously damaged by anti-aircraft fire while on the bombing run, but Lt. Alexander held his plane in formation until the bombs were released on the objective. He piloted the crippled plane back to base and, despite extremely poor visibility, successfully landed the aircraft without injury to his crew or further damage to the plane.

Lt. Julian P. Alexander’s crew (according to http://www.391stbombgroup.com/572crew.htm) were:

1Lt. ALEXANDER, JULIAN P. (Pilot)
2Lt. DONNELLY, WILLIAM W., JR. (Co-Pilot)
Sgt. CULVER, JOHN H. (Engineer/Gunner)
S/Sgt CUELLAR, TED S. (Radio Operator/Gunner)

Perhaps, S/Sgt. Sontag regularly flew with this crew.

Although this web page shows Lt. Julian P. Alexander as being in the 572nd Bomb Squadron, he regularly appears in the taxi sheets with the 574th squadron aircraft flights (confusingly, there were 2 Lt. Alexanders in the 391st) and “The Swoose” was a 574th BS aircraft. Perhaps these records or wrong or maybe Lt. J.P. Alexander was re-assigned to the 574th BS at a later date

Steve Sharp

Date:
1/8/2013
Time:
8:53 PM

Michael Jones (2001 post), it has been a while so you may have found what you were looking for, but I am a niece of Wetzel thru his wife. I have a photo you may or may not have and have been able to find out a fair amount about him. When on leave he often went to England and met with my father Harris Owen, Jr. who was a medic with the 3rd AAF. Give me a shout and we’ll compare notes.
Deborah Owen

…large images

Lt. Ray and crew. L. to R. Lt. Ray, Lt. Savage, Lt. Moore, Sgt. Hanson, Sgt. Hibdon, Sgt. Kimball, and Sgt. Corwin
Marauderman’s Name: Wetzel Kimball
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th A flight
Years in service: 43-44
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: Wetzel was married to my aunt a year and a half when his plane crashed and he was killed. From Doddridge, W Va, he was on his 71st flight and his 2nd tour of duty when he stood in for another member who was sick. His plane crashed near Sains, France near the Belgium border. They had been on a bombing run into Germany, softening up the defenses just before the battle of the bulge. Wetzel died on November 25, 1944. There is a memorial to him and the crew (he was the tail gunner) in La Neuville-Housset, France, about 4km to the southeast from Sains.

Date:
1/3/2013
Time:
7:47 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Staff Sgt. Arthur F. LeMieux
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 455th
Years in service:1942-1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: My father-in-law was a Supply Tech. His records indicate he departed the U.S. for Europe on 4 Aug 1942 and returned to the U.S. on 11 Dec 1945. If anyone has any recollection of “Art”, I would appreciate any and all information. I have attached a photo. Unfortunately he passed away in 2010.

Thank you.
Nancy LeMieux

Date:
1/1/2013
Time:
4:04 PM

I have photos of John Geba in Africa and Sardinia and “Fly Baby” his B26. His son Paul posted in May 2001. My name is Bruce Bourgoin, I am the grandson of Aldo Gandolfini who was friends and crew mate with John. Please contact Paul for me.

Date:
1/1/2013
Time:
11:06 AM

Hello Dan W. Johnston! (December 2002 post)
I know it’s been over 10 years since your post on b26.com, however I hope this information finds it’s way to you.
Here is a picture of the Coral Princess and her crew and a close up picture of her crew. In the picture with the crew, we spotted the name Dan W. Johnson, your Dad.
Just to share, the H. B. Cook; engineer/gunner is my Great Uncle. He was known as Herbie during the war but, his true name is Evan B. Cook. He passed on November 7, 2006. Perhaps you’ve found more information or pictures in your searches over the years and would like to share.

Date:
1/1/2013
Time:
8:44 AM

John Beach, nephew of James Skinner, has donated and challenged us to identify all the names in the “Mild And Bitter” from the 452nd Bomb Sq, 322nd Bomb Gp. Anyone who adds a dedication page for one of the named men on the plane will receive a high-resolution image suitable for printing.

…large images

John, good idea for a project. “Mild And Bitter” was the first Marauder in the UK to complete 100 combat missions. It was returned to the States for a bond tour then put into the training programme at Lake Charles. They scraped the paint off and replaced the name in a fancy new style and you can see the bomb tally silhouettes.

Regarding the naming of planes, in general, which I am often asked about – invariably the B26 was regarded by aircrews to be the property of the crew chief, and they only loaned it for missions. They depended on him to keep the plane in good working order and they invariably deferred to his judgment. Frequently the B26 was named by the crew chief, not the pilot or aircrew. For example “Mild & Bitter” was named by its crew chief.

Secondly many B26’s were not named until they arrived in the combat zone, although I agree several were named either before departure from the USA or en route. In have many instances of B26s being named by the crew who ferried them to the combat zone, and on arrival with its combat unit the name was immediately changed.

Thirdly some B26s quickly got a reputation for being mechanical dogs, but if a crew chief said it was combat ready, then the crew took it. Don’t forget as a B26 completed more and more missions it became more and more weary, hence after a period of time it would be classed as war weary and hiked off to some unsuspecting unit. -Cheers, Trevor Allen

Date:
1/1/2013
Time:
7:04 AM

Starting the new year off positively, we have a quote sent in by Don Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow. Thanks Don!

“The Army Air Forces’ B-26, the deadly medium bomber built by Glenn L. Martin, is shown in flight in the exclusive photograph reproduced on the back cover of this issue of Wings. Designed as a land plane, the B-26 has made spectacular record as a torpedo-carrying plane in at least two over-the-water engagements.

Lt. General H. H. Arnold, in a telegram to Glenn L. Martin, told of the performance of the B-26 in the Pacific fighting. Said General Arnold: “High praise for the B-26’s that the men and women in your employ have sent to the Army Air Forces has come coincidentally from two far-flung battle fronts as Gen. Emmons in Hawaii and Gen. Buckner in Alaska report the magnificent part your bombers played in the recent successes off Midway and the Aleutian Islands. A flight of four of your airplanes attacked a cruiser or a battleship in the former engagement and scored one positive hit the other probably. In the Aleutians a group of B-26’s made three attacks on the main Japanese task force, sinking a cruiser and scoring two hits with torpedoes besides dropping a torpedo on the deck of a carrier.”

Source: Wings for Victory in the Battle of Production, August 1942

…large images

Date:
1/1/2013
Time:
12:01 AM

Happy New Year!

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