Year 2014

Date:
12/29/2014
Time:
6:41 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Jack Huber
Bomb Group: 344
Bomb Squadron: 497
Years in service: 1941 -1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: I’m hoping to find some information on my grandfather Jack Huber. I believe he was a Marauderman. His scrap book only has photos of aircraft from the 497th and I know for sure he was in a B26. We have one photo of him standing next to “Johnny come lately” with its nose wheel broken laying in the dirt. He told us he had bailed out three separate times. Unfortunately he passed quite some time ago and he didn’t give us much to go on. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Fred Reams

Date:
12/27/2014
Time:
5:07 PM

Hello,
Would you happen to have any info on Sgt. Davis B. Leonard, mainly which Sq/Gp he served in and possibly when he served in them?

Thanks,
Robert McClelland

Mr. Leonard served with the 323rd Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Squadron

Date:
12/26/2014
Time:
10:36 AM

Dear All,

With your help, we may be able to solve a mystery. (Yes we can! ) This summer, a diver colleague, dived a wreck of an airplane in the north sea, 5 miles out the coast of Dunkirk, France. He saw 2 engines, a front wheel, auto seeling fuel tanks, 12.7 ammo ( dated 1944 ) but also a rusted box on which he found a small brass plate. Internet search confirmed it’s a AN/APQ-9 radar jam set ( carpet III ) installed in B 24 and B 26 since mid-1944. There seems to be several B 26 crashed in the vicinity of Dunkirk. We can made a positive identification if we can match the serial Nr with an airplane? Can someone help? It would be great for the family to know at last the resting place of their loved ones.

Dr Jeff COULON
Lt Col Med Res
Belgium

Date:
12/24/2014
Time:
6:02 PM

To whom it may concern,

Back in 2006 I researched my Grandfather, Lawrence C Brashear, in reference to his being on a B26G when a mid-air collision occurred in Epinoy, France, 18 December 1944. My Father, Gary, was only 6 months old to the date of my Grandfather’s passing.

I have been able to obtain the accident report along with copies of crash photos to help me understand this history in my family lineage.
listed on the report of accident is as follows:

B26G, 43-34212, station A-74, 9th BD Ninth AF, 394th, 586th.

I am looking for the information on the plane itself. Its name and tail wing symbol.

if there is any help you can offer I would be much obliged.

My Grandfather is buried in Henri-Chapelle and to this date there are no surviving family members who have visited his resting place. It is with great hope that I will be able to take my son, and my Father here, at some point. Just this past year I was able to have my Grandfathers burial flag re-committed to my father with the most proper honors by having the Illinois National Guard provide a ceremonial folding and presentation to my Dad.

Again Thank you for any assistance.

Respectfully Yours,
Andrew C Brashear

Date:
12/23/2014
Time:
5:08 PM

I’m looking to find contact information for Leonard F. Hoots and Timothy J. Coleman. Leonard made a post in 2008 for information on James A Hoots. Timothy made a post in 2003 for information on Arthur E.Coyne.

I would like to contact them to share what I know about these two veterans’ last mission. Also the relevant missing aircraft crew report suggests the plane’s name was Little Jam.

Thank you. Arthur Hebert.

Date:
12/23/2014
Time:
6:53 AM

Hi B26 Historians,

How are you all? I hope you are having a great Xmas. I am seeking some help in the following aircraft crash attached to the 22nd. I’m hoping you may be able to help. Would you have any photos of the following crew at all? Any information would be very appreciative.

It would be great if any descendants of these men contact me because I am working on a memorial for the crew. I have previous experience with memorial creation, this memorial is for the Marauder crew.

Kind regards and many thanks in advance,

Michael Musumeci
Mareeba Queensland 4880
AUSTRALIA

5th Air Force
B-26 Marauder
Serial No 40-1419
22nd Bombardment Group
2nd Bombardment Squadron
Date of Crash 21st April 1942
Location of Crash – Ocean near Palm Island, Queensland

Crew
1st Lt. Arthur E. Wentzel, Serial No XXX8874, Pilot
2nd Lt. William A. Lazenby, Serial No XXX0607, Co-pilot
2nd Lt. Carl L. Hansing, Serial No XXX4901, Navigator
Pfc. Raymond E. Hoag, Serial No XXXX5280, Bombardier
Pfc. Hyman W. Ostroff, Serial No XXX4587, Radio operator
Pfc. Norman B. Musgrave, Serial No XXXX0026, Engineer
Pfc. Dallas W. Keefe, Serial No XXXX9421, Gunner

Date:
12/21/2014
Time:
7:38 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Doyle C. Johnson
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Comments: I would like to pass along to any who might recall Doyle Johnson, who was my grandfather, passed away a couple of months ago at the age of 93. He primarily flew on “Rat Poison” and was the last of his crew. While he will be missed here on Earth, somewhere he has reunited with his buddies from the war and they can pick up where they left off. -Wes Johnson

Date:
12/20/2014
Time:
7:40 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd Lt. James R. Hoel
Bomb Group: 452nd
Bomb Squadron: 322nd
Years in service: 5
Graduation Class: 1942
Class Location: Albuquerque, NM
Comments: My father, whose story has been told previously on this site, passed away on July 20, 2014. The ill fated May 17, 1943 mission of 11 B26 Marauders is documented on the site as well as the 2003 Chicago Tribune article that told of the return of the watch he lost when his plane was shot down. He was honored in September, 2014 by the city and mayor of Chicago for his service in WW2 with the following proclamation [Page 1, Page 2]. The noble men of his generation are soon to all be gone. May they all rest in peace. -Gil Hoel

Ms. Hoel, there are a lot of Maraudermen around! They’re just a little slower moving around these days 🙂

Date:
12/19/2014
Time:
5:52 PM

French Citizens Remember an Ardmore Crew

Summer 1944
I am a young boy of 8. Since 6th of June (D-Day) my parents with my brother and myself have fled their home in Lisieux (Normandie – 50km east of Caen) and found shelter in the near-by country. Almost every day the sky is ploughed by American, British and German aircrafts at various altitudes, once so low that we wave each other with an R.A.F. pilot. Aerial battles are frequent.

7th August 1944
That day we witness the conflagration and fall of three aircrafts by a volley fire from a German flak. A few parachutes are seen. Many years later I shall learn the planes were Marauder B-26 from 394th Bombardment Group – 585th Bombardment Squadron. One of them (# 41-96113 / 4T-J, ” Ain’ t Easy”, pilot: Major Clinton M. Lee) crashed near the château of the small village La Boissière (5km west of Lisieux). All crew (8 men) perished. (read more)

Date:
12/14/2014
Time:
6:06 PM

I am writing in regards to a warrior I never met; Sgt. Clarence Arthur Luck, 397th Bomb Group, 597 Bomb Squadron, but I married his granddaughter.

He was a radio/gunner on a B26 Marauder and his plane went down east of Dulmen, Germany on 22 February 1945 @ 1525 hours. I have located some documents and found he was at a German POW Camp, but have went silent in further research.

Clarence was never known to speak of his WWII experiences, nor does anyone know of his awards or military history. He died in 1976 at his business and is remembered as always being in great spirits and having a love for life and family.

If you can assist with his story in anyway, I would love to share it with his family.

Sincerely,
John M. Smith
GWOT, OIF Veteran, US Army

Date:
12/14/2014
Time:
6:06 AM

My Father was a Marauder Pilot and the following is some information as to his service. He retired as a reservist in 1961 as a Major in the US Air force.

Name: Robert F. Harper, Jr.
Service Number: XXXX9049
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 438th
Years: 43-46
Comments: My Father was a 1st LT. on numerous Marauder Missions from 9-11-1944 until 8-12-1945. The first Missions are shown on a certified document dated August 28, 1945. The document shows that is flew 28 Missions from 9-11-1944 thru 12-31 1944 and bombed areas in Italy. Two missions were flown and targets were bombed in China on 7-17-1945 and 7-21-1945. Eight missions were flown and targets were bombed in Japan from July 29-1945 to August 12-1945. He received numerous medals and accommodations for his service to our Country. I have many of the medals and numerous pictures of his life and time in both theatres of the war. I could compile all the records I have and forward them on to the Museum if it has an interest. It would be a great way to honor my Father’s memory and service in the war effort.

All the Best,
Robert Harper

Date:
12/13/2014
Time:
6:08 PM

I am researching my Father’s history in WW II. He was LWG on a B-17 with the 385th BG, shot down on 12 June 44. He was picked up by the FFI and sheltered for 6 weeks before being passed to the Comet Line in Paris where he was betrayed by “Captain Jacques” (Desoubrie). Anyway, most of his time with the FFI was spent in Hacqueville in the care of Max Raulin, who was in charge of the Normandy area FFI cells. Over that period he was one of two airmen in Mr. Raulin’s home, the other being Paul J Wilson of the 391st, shot down on 27 May 1944. So I was surprised to find this listing on the 391st website:

43
P SHOFNER, JAMES F., 1LT, XXX2682
CP RUGG, EARL J., 2LT, XXX7291
B SIVAK, STEVEN J., LT, XXX9130
N FLAKE, THOMAS J., JR., 1LT, XXX1808
FE MILLER, LESLIE R., SSGT, XXXX0010
RG HOLDRIDGE, FRANCIS J., SSGT, XXXX7062
AG WILSON, PAUL J., SGT, XXXX3843

SOURCE: SO-345 Godman Field, KY 12/24/1943 Par. 1
Lt Shofner was a flight leader. On 05/27/44 flak knocked out the right engine (42-95827); control maintained. The hardback history lists the mission crew as 2Lt Bernard (NMI) Davidson, CP; 1Lt Stephen J. Sivak, N; and Sgt Paul J. Wilson, AG (of Bush’s crew and also listed there) in addition to Shofner, Miller and Holdridge. I infer that Flake was not on this mission with this crew. The softback history states that there were four survivors; Dave Garnham advises that Davidson and Wilson were killed. At some point, Flake was assigned to Aldous’s crew. Lt Rugg was killed on 7 Aug 44 and is buried in the Normandy Cemetery. In SO-127, Hqs 391st BG, 9/1/43, Miller’s serial number is given as 35180010. Shofner flew over in 42-95800. Both Flake and Holdridge are shown also with Aldous. Sgt Paul J Wilson was definitely not KIA, as this indicates. In fact, he and my father were both betrayed at the same time by the same traitor, and both of them would later wind up in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. I thought this information might be of interest. And if anyone knows which 391st squadron their B-26 was assigned to, I’d be interested in learning of it.

With best wishes for the holidays, I remain,
Sincerely,
Frederic Martini, son of SSgt Frederic C Martini

Date:
12/10/2014
Time:
4:30 PM

My Uncle Stanley George Rotkewicz was a B-26 bomber pilot in WWII and was at 485 England station. He was in the 322 Group and 450 Squadron. His three planes were “Lorraine”, “Lorraine II” and “Reluctant Dragon”.

Please advise how I can find out more about my Uncle. He was in England most of 1944 and flew 67 combat missions.

Many thanks,
Ed Rock

Date:
12/9/2014
Time:
7:47 AM

I have an interview CD that my father, Kenneth E. Bell, B26 Radio/gunner, died a few years back that I want to send to you that has some of his stories in it about 20 minutes long. I also have some more info that I will try to find and send to you, if you want it. I also have his uniform that I don’t know what to do with and it needs to be somewhere. Local Museum is full of uniforms. (WarHawk Air Museum, Nampa Idaho). If you have an interest in this info please let me know. Thanks Mark Bell

Date:
12/8/2014
Time:
9:12 AM

Hi, I came across the photo in my mother’s things. Taken 7/21/44. On the back it states the following: “This is 1st Lt. Richard F. Hazelton in front of “ARLEEN” a Marauder bomber in which he flew several times as co-pilot. Dick is now 23. He is 6 ft 1 3/4. tall. Orley (his father).” Lt. Hazelton is my mother’s first cousin. He served with the 17th Bomb Group, 432nd Bomb Squadron. I found where he stayed in the Navy and retired. I thought someone who flew on the plane during its 65 missions or someone who knew Richard might like to see the photo. Thank you all for your service. -Steven Burgess

…large image

Date:
12/6/2014
Time:
1:26 PM

Lt. Col. Robert Malmsten “Bob” Blair; 320th BG; 441st BS; 1942-1944; Italy, Sardinia, Algiers
Birth date 04-27-1920 died 01-04-2014 – age 93. Air Force Reserve Retired Bob had 5 children when we married in 1990. Some of his crew I met at reunions were Frank Dickinson, Willie Lankford, Largent, Walker, Fields, Elton Hunsberger. Bob talked each Christmas about a special Christmas Eve Service (Catholic) in 1943 on the Isle of Capri. Do you know anyone who was with him at the service? It really made an impression on his life. -Blair

Date:
12/2/2014
Time:
7:43 PM

Name: Charles R. “Randy” Wolfe
Bomb Group: 387th
Squadron: 557th
Years: 1943-1946
Class: 44-D
Location: Ellington Field, TX, Dodge City, Kansas

My dad passed away July 4, 2014 at the age of 93. I have discovered that he kept every piece of documentation, yearbooks, pictures, and wrote his mother almost daily during his time of service. Have been matching pictures with his accounting of his time in the AAF described to his mother in these letters. Didn’t get on a shipping list until Nov 44 and flew with his crew by way of Brazil and Africa to get to England by first of Dec 1944. He flew 12 missions from A-71 in March and April 1945 and after VE Day got into the TAC to fly C-47s. If any one has a relative who may have served with “Randy” Wolfe (they may have called him Charlie), would love to hear from you.

Jane

Date:
12/2/2014
Time:
8:28 AM

Hello!
I’ve enjoyed your site for a long time, but recently found a posting from Don Frisbie about his time in Avon Park Bombing Range. I am the Cultural Resources Manager at APAFR and would love to talk to Don. Do you know how to contact him? Can you forward my information to him?

We are getting ready for our 75th Anniversary and I’m writing a book about the men and women that built this base and trained here. I would love to hear more about his time here.

Thank you,
Kathy

Kathy Couturier
Cultural Resources Manager, Archaeologist
Avon Park Air Force Range

Date:
12/2/2014
Time:
7:46 AM

Marauder Man Frank Rice post in 2005 mentions Observer Harry F Wells. My father was in the Army Air Force in WWII and was hospitalized for pneumonia when “his” crew went on a mission without him and all died. I don’t know if this was the same crew. He’s in V.A. facility at age 93 but most of his abilities are gone, since he’s gone totally deaf, starting with being in those bombers without hearing protection. My Mom knows some of the stories, though, such as Tuskegee Airmen protecting some crews in Northern Italy.

Sherry A Wells

Date:
11/30/2014
Time:
2:02 PM

Hello,
I’m currently researching two B-26 pilots, Charles Hardy (of the 496th BS, 344th BG, and later of the 386th BG) and Richard Maffry (of the 344th BG). Any information on these late gentlemen and their records during WWII would be most appreciated.

Sincerely,
Jim Noles

Date:
11/28/2014
Time:
2:06 PM

Dear B26,
I am doing research of the men who died during WWII from La Salle. Two have connections with B-26 planes:

1. Thomas Baraldi LT(jg) USNR service # 264040 – from Philadelphia flew a JM-1 (aircraft ID # 66673) crashed Aug 15, 1944 near Banika Island, Pacific.

2. Thomas Costello 2nd Lt. AAF service # 0-567759- from Gloucester, NJ. Flew in 386th Bomber group -553 Bomber Squadron died June 7, 1943 in England in non combat event (still not sure of reason for his death) buried in American Cemetery -Cambridge UK

Any additional information you have related to these two men or their squadrons will be greatly appreciated. I will be glad to share their complete stories for your records.

Thank you,
Dr. Robert Palma
La Salle University- Philadelphia

Date:
11/17/2014
Time:
9:23 PM

Hi,
My father, Billie B. Boyd, Jr., served as a waist gunner/flight engineer on the B-26. He enjoyed reading and posting on this site. In his honor, I am writing to find out how I can support this site. Do you have a membership fee? How can I reach posters/bloggers on this site to ask questions regarding their posts?

Thank you for providing this invaluable resource to the families and friends of The Marauder Men.

Sincerely,
Scott McClure

I recommend supporting the local Milo Maine Legion Post 41 Veteran’s Grave Maintenance Fund or another local post of your choice.

Date:
11/17/2014
Time:
7:55 AM

Hello,
I was wondering if your records contain anything on pilot Lee Richter in the 34 Bomber Squadron of the 17th bombardment group (later the 12th?). He flew B-25’s initially but I believe they transitioned to B-26’s by Operation Torch in North Africa.

Lee, originally from Houston, TX was my great uncle. He flew 76 bombing missions in Africa and Sicily. (Many are surprised by the large number of missions, but it sounds typical of the man.) I am told he was a squadron leader as the war progressed.

Much Appreciated!
– Ray Lankford

Date:
11/15/2014
Time:
2:19 AM

Dear B26, perhaps do you remember our previous e-mails date 2006-2007. I’m a Belgian who take care of George Wolff’s grave buried in the American cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. George was a radio operator of a B26 Marauder who crashed down in France on December 2 1944. We have shared some information at the beginning of my searches to find Georges Wolff’s family as well as the other crew member’s relatives. During 7 years (from 2005 to 2012) I reached my goal – a book. From 2012 till now, at the request of their relatives, I’ve written a tribute to my crew (160 pages… in English language ). It will be for me a real honor to offer and to send you an exemplar of this book.

In attached file you’ll see the cover page, drawn by Philippe JARBINET (author of AIRBORN 44)

Regards,
Benoît

Date:
11/14/2014
Time:
4:43 PM

Hello, I’m researching to look for my late Great Uncle Stephen Koleszarik. He was on 391st Bomb Group, and 574th Bomb Squadron. His crew number was 42-95851. I’m trying to look who are still alive in that group to have a few pictures of my late Great Uncle! His Crew and He was KIA on August 7, 1944 in France! The last survivor had been passed away so many years ago! I’m trying to see if anyone might remember my Great Uncle! That’s all I want to find to give my Family a relief to have that picture of his crew with nickname “Vivacious Veronica” plane! Thank you so much!

LeAnna Marie Koleszarik

Date:
11/14/2014
Time:
2:00 PM

My father, Raymond Louis Purfeerst, was a pilot in the 387th bomb group, 559th bomb squadron. He died on March 22, 1999. He rarely spoke about his experience in the war. I have always had a great desire to learn more about that time in his life especially after visiting the Churchill museum in London a few years ago. I know he met my mother in Louisiana while ‘stationed’ there before he left for Europe. She was from Lake Charles. I believe they met at restaurant/bar named something like the —– Masterson Club. If anyone knew him then or flew with him I would be ever grateful for any information .

Thank you,
Beth Paul-Petersen

Date:
11/14/2014
Time:
11:13 AM

Your Loy Julius story is so well written. My only critique is that as written the impression given is that the Meritorious Service Medal and Legion of Honor were WWII awards. The Meritorious Service Medal was created about 1970 and the Legion of Merit is awarded to retiring Colonels and Generals. Those awards were obviously earned by Colonel Julius not Captain Julius. Did Colonel Julius write this himself? If not, can you tell me who the author is and how I can contact them?

Thanks,
George R Fessler
Lt Colonel USAF, Ret

Thank you! The article was written by the one and only Ms. Julius, Loy Julius’ daughter!

Date:
11/13/2014
Time:
8:05 PM

Howdy from Texas!

My uncle Clifton R. Freeman was a member of the 322 Bomb Group, 451 Bomb Squadron and is listed on B26.com. For Veterans Day this year I composed a video in his honour and in doing the research I found b26.com and several other interesting items about WWII and the Army Air Force. I noticed the 35 pages of Lee G Lipkis photographs on B26.com and feel pretty strongly that my uncle is probably pictured among those airmen. I would greatly appreciate a closer look at that photo album to see if any contain my uncle Roz. My 81 year old mother (Clifton’s little sister), is in declining health has precious few memories of her brother. I can almost guarantee she has never seen those photographs but would be thrilled to do so.

Apparently the B26 2nd LT Freeman flew was the one that carried the photographer. I have found the movie “The True Glory” that has two short clips of my uncle Rozelle in it.. First at the 12:28 mark and then again at the 43:02 mark in the film. This is the only image we have of our uncle while he was in England and was filmed shortly before he was shot down on February 29, 1944.

Link to True Glory http://youtu.be/sJIU61o-Ojg

Link to my tribute video http://youtu.be/RaDVnLGasqg

Please feel free to use either video as you see fit.

William B. Tedrick
USAF 81-87

Date:
11/13/2014
Time:
5:01 AM

Hi,
Just a small correction on your page about the the air base at Rivenhall near Braintree in Essex. The Polish who occupied the base after 1946 weren’t Polish POW’s. They were part of the ‘Anders army ‘ see link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders’_Army. They couldn’t return to Poland because they represented pre-war, non-communist Poland. Many that did return to Poland were labelled as traitors by Stalin’s supporters and executed for being part of the Western allied army. Most prominently they served in the Italian campaign alongside U.S. general Mark Clark’s forces there.

Thanks,
Chris Dobrowolski

Date:
11/11/2014
Time:
6:32 PM

Thank you for including this article about my father’s brush with death in 1943. Please note that the headline is incorrect. It should not be “Arcadian” but Arcatan. Also John Guiher’s name is spelled “Gunner”. Perhaps both are the result of spell check. http://www.b26.com/page/adrift_at_sea.htm

Katherine Stokes Morehouse

Date:
11/11/2014
Time:
12:47 PM

Hello-
My Mom and I were recently going through my grandfather, Edward Mansfield’s WWII photo albums and through some research discovered your site. I actually found your site by performing a google image search on one of the photos that we found in the album which led me to the same photo on Arlie Hitchcock’s page http://www.b26.com/marauderman/arlie_hitchcock.htm We’re still just going through the stuff now as he never spoke of the war once he returned home. But I’m attaching his flight log. He was a bombardier. Was wondering if this might jog any memory banks or if you’d like to include him on your site as we move forward with more photos. Thanks, Paul Chesne

…large image

Date:
11/11/2014
Time:
11:59 AM

I am the Grandson of Houston Hayse Holland. My Grandfather was a Instructor in Dodge City Kansas during the war. He flew the B 26. I am looking for any pictures someone might have. He passed in 2000 but he has and always will be my hero and best friend. Thank you and God bless everyone of you. Best wishes. Chris R Holland.

Date:
11/10/2014
Time:
2:49 PM

My Uncle, John Blangio, was on the Marauder with James Pascoe that was shot down. Trying to find the book that James wrote. -Rich Colucci

Date:
10/31/2014
Time:
6:19 AM

Don Chaney – Over and Out

My dad, Clyde Donald Chaney died at the age of 92 on October 1, 2014 at his home in Chester, West Virginia. He served as a pilot in the 494th Squadron of the 344th BG. His first mission was D-Day +1 and he went on to fly 65 missions. He was 23 years old when he came home to marry his childhood sweetheart, Mary. Together they raised 7 children who gave him 24 grandchildren, who in turn gave him 36 great grandchildren…so far. He and Mom celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in heaven on October 27.

Dad loved his flying buddies and always looked forward to seeing them at reunions. He enjoyed their poker games and their camaraderie during that long, cold and dangerous winter of 1944-45. He maintained lifelong friendships with many of the guys, most of whom are gone now. In 1995 after a visit to old Station A-59, he started the ball rolling to have a monument placed at what is now the Cormeilles-en-Vexin Aerodrome, near Pointoise, France. A wonderful ceremony was held at the airfield in April 1997 to honor all of the brave young men who risked and lost their lives in the cause of freedom. Many members of his bomb group and their families attended the moving event along with mayors of surrounding villages and their citizens who promised never to forget the men who spent time in their neighborhoods so long ago. Dignitaries from the French military as well as free French aviators and their families were also present.

Dad’s time at Station A-59 was not without mishap. On February 6, 1945, his bomb group had finished a mission attacking the Rheinbach ammo dump. Dad was co-pilot. Returning home, their plane was diverted to Station A-73 Roye/Amy Airfield due to bad weather conditions. They were eventually ordered to return to home base. The weather was so bad at A-59 that the plane was again diverted to another airfield, Station A-60 Beaumont-sur Oise. According to the accident report, one of the pilots reported that visibility at the field was zero straight ahead. The field could only be seen by looking out the side window while banking to the left. Radio reception at that time was reportedly very poor and unbeknownst to either crew, both B26s were circling the field in the same pattern attempting to land. Both planes suddenly loomed out of the clouds. Both pilots attempted to avoid a collision but the wing of one plane hit the tail of the other plane, severely crippling both aircraft. Dad’s pilot managed to get their plane up to about 1500 feet and all crew bailed out safely. Dad said that right after the mid air collision, the crew came toward the cockpit. Dad said that he put the wheels down, opened the hatch and they bailed out through the nose wheel-well. The other pilot got up to around 3500 feet and the entire crew parachuted to safety. The incident was chalked up to bad weather conditions. Both planes were totally destroyed. About ten years ago, at a reunion of the bomb group, Dad and I met the 18 year old waist gunner from the other plane. He was from Ohio and went home to have a large family like Dad’s. On page 345 of Lambert D. Austin’s book, there is a picture of Sergeant Patterson, one of the other crew members from the other plane. He’s standing there with his open parachute, on February 7, 1945 the day after the collision.

According to the report, the crew lists for the two planes were:

494th of 344th

Pilot Edward M Cain, 1st Lt. (Dad called him “Sugar” Cain)
Co pilot Clyde Donald “Don” Chaney, 1st Lt. (My Dad)
Bombardier Allen W Arneson, 1st LT
Engineer-Gunner Carroll Sowers, S/Sgt
Radio-Gunner Calvin A Van Zile, T/Sgt
Armourer-Gunner Clarence Robertson, S/Sgt

494th of 344th

Pilot. Conrad C Oberg, 1st Lt.
Co pilot Robert D Conrad, 2nd Lt
Engineer-Gunner Charles T D’Atrio, S/Sgt
Engineer-Gunner Walter E Thomas, S/Sgt
Radio-Gunner William R Skinner, Jr., S/Sgt
Armourer-Gunner Turner B Patterson, S/Sgt

Awarded to flyers who had to parachute out to save their lives. Dad wore his proudly and gratefully.

In October 1995, we were in England and paid a visit to Station 169 STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET , now the site of a busy international airport. We were given a tour around the field in a jeep and saw remnants of some old Quonset huts and bits of old runway. The manager of the airport showed us through the facility and led us to a glass case in the main hall. The case was full of World War II memorabilia commemorating the anniversary of D-Day. Suddenly, my Dad leaned over the case and exclaimed “there’s my name!” He was pointing at an old journal. A closer look revealed the journal to be the log of the airbase’s commander. The journal was opened to June 6, 1944 and the commander’s entry reported the welcome arrival of a replacement crew who had arrived from Ireland. Among the men listed was the name of Clyde Donald Chaney! What a serendipitous moment.

Dad would tell you that he led a wonderful life and that he considered himself to be a very blessed and lucky man. I can’t disagree.

Donna Chaney Bell

Don Chaney, 2014 9/12/1922-10/1/2014 RIP
Clyde Donald Chaney, March 1945
Pilots Don Chaney and Don Korkowski, Le Bourget Airfield, Paris April 1997
B-26 being restored by free French airmen
Memorial Ceremony at Cormeilles-en-Vexin, April 1997
Presented in ceremony at Station A-59, April 1997

Date:
10/25/2014
Time:
8:28 AM

Hello,
I’m after a bit of help!

I’m trying to trace an individual called Loy L Julius. I know he was in the air force, stationed in the UK (where I am) during WW2. He married my aunt, Louisa E D Stedeford. I also know from my great grandfather’s will they were located at the USAF Academy in Colorado in 1955.

I’ve found on the Loy L. Julius page, a man who shares the same name, who also spent time at the USAF Academy, however the article mentions his wife called Anne.

I may be wrong, but I’d guess Loy is not a common first name and given the similarities from what I do know, I am hopeful that this Anne may in fact be Louisa.

I was hoping someone might be able to help ascertain if this might be the same individual, and even better, put me in touch with him. If not, and help in pointing me in the right direction of tracing the correct one.

Many thanks for all your help.
James Chick

Date:
10/24/2014
Time:
10:55 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Clyde Donald Chaney
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 494th
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class:
Class Location:

Comments: I am sad to report the death of my father, 1st Lieutenant Clyde Donald Chaney of Chester, West Virginia. He was 92 years old. He completed 65 daylight missions including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.

Interesting though, while looking at the dedication pages, I found an unknown picture of my father on Willie Cone’s memorial page.

James C. Chaney

Date:
10/24/2014
Time:
3:55 AM

My Dad is living in the small village of Oene in Holland. He is writing a book about the bombing of the village. At that time he was a boy, 9 years old. At the 22th of March 1945 the village is bombed by 5 B26’s from the 598 sqn. 14 civilians lost their lives. For the book; my Dad is searching for pictures photographs of planes from that squadron. I know the code was U2. Is there someone who can help me on that? Is there also a list from the crew of that squadron?

Kind regards,
Gert Nooteboom

Date:
10/21/2014
Time:
3:36 AM

Dear B26.com,
I’m an Italian aeronautical engineer fond of aviation history. As I already anticipated you some time ago (probably you remember my request), I found (ten years ago…) on Jim Sterling’s dedication page and collection a few very interesting images taken by USAAF 17th BG crews during their missions over Erba fuel dump, Italy (Sept 30 and Oct 1, 1944). Now, I wrote an article reconstructing these missions based on original USAAF reports obtained from the AFHRA for the local museum’s scientific publication (circulation 500 copies). I would like to use a few (half a dozen) of your collection’s images regarding B-26s to illustrate it, but first I duly have to ask for your permit/authorization and if you require a fee for their use. This small publication of ours is not for sale and will be printed to remember the citizens lost during these bombings on the 70th anniversary. Of course, I’ll give you full photo credits and – if you like – a copy of the article (with English summary).

Thanking you in advance for your kind attention, courtesy and help, I hope to hear from you soon,
Best Regards.

Ing. Raffaele Serio
Obsolescence Manager Trainer Aircraft
Parts & Equipment Screening

Date:
10/15/2014
Time:
8:52 PM

Hello,

I’m writhing about Marauder Man, Joseph J Gondert, 387th Bombardment Group, 557th Bombardment Squadron (M) Roster

I just discovered 2 days ago that my husband’s great uncle was a B-26 Marauder thanks to a post on your website (my husband didn’t know either). We are VERY excited to find this out and I was wondering if you could assist me with a couple of things. I think I saw that your uncle was with the 558th or 559th Bomb Squad so maybe you can help me out!

1. While Googling his uncle’s name, I discovered that a man (named Cedric from France) on one or your 2012 guestbook posts was looking for info on a uniform he had in his position that belonged to my husband’s uncle!!! I am wondering if there’s some way you can help me connect with this individual even though you do not give out email addresses.

2. I have done a lot of reading (on your great website and others) in the past 2 days but I have limited knowledge at this point on where to find records and am hoping you can point me in the right direction. I have found his name, rank, serial# info on the National Archives website, his Bomb Squadron and group on your website, history of the B-26, on other website, etc. and I am waiting for someone from the Marauder Archives in Akron where you visited to get back to me regarding doing some research for me.

I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to find the following:

a. Info on the plane he was with (I’m assuming that if he was assigned to a specific Bomb Squad he flew on a plane…but I’m not sure)
b. Info on his crew
c. Photos
d. Missions

If you could please point me in the right direction to find this info I would really appreciate it! I haven’t had a chance to read your entire website yet so maybe I’ll come across some of this on there as well.

Thank you very much!! I’m so excited to hear from you I hope you don’t make me wait too long J

Lisa

Date:
10/15/2014
Time:
7:49 PM

Marauderman’s Name: John H. Marron
Bomb Group: 397
Bomb Squadron: 598
Rank: Tech Sergeant
Tailgunner

At the end of 2012 my mom passed away and while cleaning out her effects we came to find more details about our dad’s experiences in the war. Dad talked about it but I think it was especially painful because his brother died at the Battle of the Bulge and dad himself died in 1981. Knowing the bomb group and squadron, brought me to the dedication page of Lt. Harry Howard Patterson. Dad served under Lt. Patterson and to find his picture with the crew (knelling in the middle) was a great joy and a treasure. Thank you Patterson family and B26.com. When you think of the magnitude of what these real heroes did, it can’t be denied that this was the greatest generation.

R. Marron

Date:
10/11/2014
Time:
1:46 PM

Do you have any records of a Richard “Dick” Maybin all I know he was in WW2 and was a B26 crew member. Thanks, Norma Martin

Date:
10/8/2014
Time:
5:52 PM

My father, Theodore Sevigny, SSGT, was a member of the 450th Bomb Sqd. He was a radio repair technician and served in the squadron from. 1942-1945. He was very proud of his squadron and his service and spoke proudly of his time with the squadron and group. After the war he and his wife, Edith (Graham), settled in Pontiac, Michigan. He worked at GM Truck & Coach and later at Kastle Steel Corp where he worked as a steel and aluminum salesman servicing the auto industry around Detroit. He had two sons, Theodore Jr. And Robert. His wife of 65 years passed away in 2004 at the age of 87. My father passed away at the age of 96 in 2008. They are buried together for eternity in the family plot in The Plains, Virginia. -Ted Sevigny

Date:
10/8/2014
Time:
3:47 PM

Hello,
I would like to get in touch with Pam Odell, who posted on 8-10-2014. My uncle, Bill Thornblom, was in the same B-26 bomber that crashed on takeoff. Trevor, it is Thornblom not Thornton. And he died on his severe burns a few days after the crash. Only one of the crew actually survived.

I have records and photos I would like to share with her.

Thank you,
Carolyn Thornblom Hierholzer

Thank you for correcting the spelling of your Dad’s name, we’re reading from micro that is often not clear.

Date:
10/7/2014
Time:
9:10 AM

During an interview with Robert Ferrara, I showed him the following photograph found on the internet found on Paul M. Brady’s page. Ferrara (the tail gunner) is the person on the right and had never seen the photograph. He was credited with shooting down an ME 262 German jet around April 10, 1945 in the area of Parsberg, GE.

Can you help me locate the owner of the photograph and who supplied it to b26.com?

I have the information of all the military personnel in the photo if you need it.

Thank you,

Michael Parker
WW-II Oral Historian
Samuel Proctor Program
University of Florida

Date:
10/6/2014
Time:
9:18 AM

Good morning,

I am 2d Lt Tan from the 558th Flying Training Squadron here at Randolph AFB. My colleague and I were tasked to create a showcase for our squadron’s history starting way back from when it was the 558th Bombardment Squadron. Basically we are looking for photos/ artifacts/ awards specifically related to the 558th that we can put on display in a wooden/glass case located in the lobby of our squadron building. We, in behalf of the squadron, would greatly appreciate anything that you can provide.

Also, do you have any contacts of family or people who know family that we can call? I was going to offer family members the opportunity to display their family artifacts in our case recognizing their family member by name. This of course is mainly geared toward the bombardment/fighter squadrons. We appreciate your time.

V/R,

ROBBIE H. TAN, 2d Lt, USAF
URT Student
558 Flying Training Squadron

Date:
10/6/2014
Time:
7:28 AM

Thank you to all who liberated Schleissheim subcamp in 1945. My Ukrainian grandparents Peter and Anna Butenko, Uncle, Nicholas Butenko (age 12) and mother, Mary Butenko (age 9) were all liberated thanks to the brave Americans. My grandparents and mother have passed on and I regret that I never had the chance to ask them who liberated them so that I could send their heroes or their families a personal thank you. My mother chose to remember her liberation and that an American soldier gave her a Hershey bar, rather than the horrors and hunger she experience.

Thank you, brave American soldiers for all you did.
Dianne Resciniti

Date:
10/4/2014
Time:
2:50 PM

While searching for information regarding my mother’s first cousin, Lt. Philip Jander, I came across this woman’s name on your site. Lt. Jander was my mother’s first cousin. He was onboard the bomber in which Rebecca’s Uncle was also killed along with the rest of the crew. This was on July 4, 1942, Lae Airdrome. Please, she has asked if anyone knows of these men to please let her know. I would love to have her make contact with me. Thank you.

Sincerely,
ML Moran

Date:
10/2/2014
Time:
2:24 PM

This is my father’s headstone, his name is Leonard M. Anderson. I thought you might like to see what he had engraved on it. He was a tail gunner on a B-26 and apparently the experience was memorable enough that he wanted an image of the plane put on his tombstone. He visited his squadron buddies off and on to the end of his life at 82. His squadron flew out of England and France.

As a footnote, his first cousin and business partner for 46 years, Jerome Mickelson, was also a tail gunner on a Marauder. He had the misfortune to be shot down over North Africa and spent about 3 years as a resident of Stalag 17. Yes, there actually was a Stalag 17, the basis of the Broadway play and movie. Neither he nor my father talked much about their experiences in the war but that seems to have been pretty common among veteran fliers.

Thank you for maintaining this page and keeping the memory of these men and their aircraft alive. Steve Anderson

…large image

Date:
9/25/2014
Time:
2:09 PM

The below photograph was handed to me by my next door neighbor, Joseph A. Merritt, Jr.. He was part of the 319th Bomb Group and his note also says Sardinia North Africa 1st Combat. There is another notation of Avon Park Bomb Range Station in Avon Park FL.

Mr. Merritt will be 94 this year. He handed me this photo to see if I could find anyone in it. He was apparently shot down more than once per his stories to us. Joe is in the front row, second from left. He speaks about a friend named Thomas Hall who was noted to be Radio Op, Gunner? Maybe? Hard to make out the writing on some of this.

What a great photo this is. I can’t identify any numbers on the plane just the notations showing the number of missions and several Swastikas above them. If anyone recognizes this photo or anyone in this photo my contact information is below. Thank you so much! – Gail Long

…large image

Date:
9/19/2014
Time:
11:09 PM

Ref, the article on the alleged collision between a Mosquito and a Lancaster written by Chester Klier, Mission 164

This was in fact an air collision between the Mosquito (DZ548, from 105 Sqdn) and a B17G 42-97480 AW:B from the 96th Bombardment Group, 337th Bombardment Squadron, Snetterton Heath, Norfolk, both RAF airmen being killed. The B.17 landed safely but was lost shortly afterwards.

The Lancaster (DS827) certainly crashed in proximity to Great Dunmow, but the cause is not known. The crew were on a training exercise and were all killed, including a USAAF officer who was a passenger in the Lancaster.

I noticed this loss as the date is exactly 10 years before my own birthday, and one of the RAF airmen is buried close to where I live.

Regards,
Rob Davis
Telford, Shropshire UK

Date:
9/9/2014
Time:
10:34 AM

Suzette Ermler, I would like to report that Jerry McKinney, 344th BG/494th BS, is alive and well! If you could pass this information on to Suzette and let her know I would gladly help her get in contact with him. Thanks for all of your efforts and work on keeping this site a truly living and breathing piece of history. There should be many more sites like this keeping these very important and incredible stories and individuals alive for future generations to discover these inspirational stories of true bravery and valor.

Sincerely,
Jon W. Russell

Date:
9/7/2014
Time:
11:24 PM

Hi, Frank W. Joslin from the 450th bomb squadron, 322nd bomb group, ex-B-26 gunner aged 94, is in a hospice and his relatives are trying to find pictures of his old B-26 to cheer him up. His plane was called “Things to Come”.

Best wishes,
Spike

Date:
9/3/2014
Time:
7:33 PM

We maintained B-26 aircraft for the French Air Force in Tourane (Da Nang) for about 3 months. It was a fantastic aircraft!

Sr. Airman Paul Cote
Station-French Indo China
1954
Main Base-Clark Field, Philippines
Air Craft Sheetmetal mechanic

Paul,
The B-26’s you maintained were Douglas B-26 Invaders not the Martin B-26 Marauder which were long gone from USAF service by 1954. I agree the B-26 Invader
was a fine aircraft serving to well into the Vietnam War.
Regards,
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
9/3/2014
Time:
1:35 PM

Dear Rebekah Farabaugh,

Regarding your request for information about your uncle John “Robbie” Robinson.

We are fortunate to have a number of contributions from the public that have allowed me to identify your uncle, who was assigned to the 387 Bomb Group, 559 Bomb Squadron. Sharon Leezer (guestbook entry Date:8/15/2004 Time:4:16 PM) has provided an identical crew photo with regard to Eckard Munsch, who was one of your uncle’s crew mates. Michele Pusateri Nichols has also posted to the guestbook.

Trevor Allen has already provided details of the loss of your uncle’s aircraft 42-95869 “Front Burner II” on December 23, 1944 (select here).

Additionally, 2/Lt. Warren B. Wade (flying #3 position, Low flight, 2nd Box) stated in the MACR that his flight was attacked for the second time by 4 ME109s. The flight leader, Lt. Pile (#1 position), and Lt. Pusateri, flying #2 position (alongside Wade), were shot down. Lt. Pusateri’s aircraft (which your uncle was aboard) went down in flames with both engines on fire (sadly, there were no survivors). Lt. Pile’s aircraft was hit in the tail control surfaces and rear part of the ship, and then was seen to glide his ship off to the left apparently under control. 2 other aircraft from the same flight of 6 aircraft (#4 and #5) were reported as lost or missing.

Your uncle is listed as the Bombardier on the crew list, although he was likely to have been acting as a “togglier”. Furthermore, 2/Lt. Harold Ovis (the Bombardier/Navigator of your uncle’s crew) was aboard Pile’s aircraft acting as GEE Operator. He was able to bail out before his aircraft crashed and became a POW.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Note: for guidance on searching B26.COM for names, places, or aircraft see http://www.b26.com/page/how-to-search.htm

Date:
9/2/2014
Time:
10:55 AM

1st Lt Arthur Pakula, completed 63 missions between Aug. 1944 and April 1945 with the Allied campaign against the German Air Force. My Dad was a pilot serving in the 323 BG/456BS stationed in France in 1944-45. I am looking for photos of several 323 BG/456GS reunions he attended in Las Vegas and New Orleans. Does anyone know of a site or person I can contact concerning past reunions. Thank you, Jackie Fitzgerald

Date:
8/30/2014
Time:
7:47 AM

My father was part of the 69th BS ground echelons. He was a cook who enlisted in the Army Air Corps I May of 1940 and was stationed at Selfridge Field, Mt. Clemens, MI until being put of a troop train to Brooklyn, NY. From here he was aboard the USAT Argentina on his way to Australia. Any information on where or when movements were made by this group would be appreciated.
Thanks
Al Burton

Date:
8/28/2014
Time:
5:20 PM

I just stumbled across your site and see my great-uncle (my father’s brother) Paul G. Ostrom pictured. So interesting! -Paula Ostrom

Date:
8/26/2014
Time:
3:56 PM

I am new to this site, my grandfather, Alfonso “Al” Roy Garcia, was a mechanic with the 391st bomb group, 575th bomb squadron. He was assigned to a plane called “The Three Bears”. My grandfather took hundreds of pictures of the planes , the nose art and the crews. He took many pictures of a captured German airfield and a Junkers ju88. I was wandering if anyone new where that field was and I would like to know what sight would be best to download all the pictures that my grandmother left to me. -Ken Garcia

Date:
8/24/2014
Time:
2:32 PM

My grandfather was in the same BG & BS as William J. Miller. I would be very interested in find out from Carney Miller how I could get copies of the videos she has. My grandfather flew on some of the B26’s that are listed & I would like to see some of the people in the videos to, maybe my grandfather might be one of them.

My grandfathers information.

Marauderman’s Name: James Ellis Siegling
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th

Thank you for your help,
Todd Gianotti

Date:
8/23/2014
Time:
2:10 PM

Howdy B-26 folks. I am doing research about someone from Westmoreland, Virginia, the home of a Marauder pilot who died in a NBD (non-battle death). His death date is listed as August 17, 1943. He was assigned to the 437th Bombardment Squadron/319th Bombardment Group. His name was Edgar Leighton Hale and he was a First Lieutenant with Serial Number: X-XXX213. I do not find a MACR for that date of one close to it. I am wondering if there is anyone that might know more about this death. Since it is a NBD there will probably not be a MACR. Was the unit deployed at that time or were they still in training? If in training, did the death occur in the USA or overseas? I understand that this is a long-shot, but as a member of the local veteran’s organization, it is of interest to know the answers to these questions.
Thanks & √ Six!
Jim Bradley
WW #520

Date:
8/21/2014
Time:
12:35 PM

Marauder man: S/Sgt. James (Jim) J. Grubb
Brooklyn, New York
Bomb Group : Started 409 BG . Transferred to 391 BG 18 May 1944
Bomb Squadron: Started 643 BS. Transferred to 574BS 18 May 1944
Time of Service: 1942-1945. ETO-25 Jan 1944-31 July 1945
Training: Camp Upton NY 14Nov1942
Graduation: unknown.
Comments: My name is John P. Grubb the above was my Dad who passed away 10 Oct 1974.
He refused to speak of the War only to say he was a “Waist Gunner” on a B 26 Martin Marauder and he hated the song “White Christmas” because he was sick in the infirmary when his plane went down with all hands year unknown. Needless to say that is not a whole lot of info. With my limited access to military data I found per his Honorable Discharge paper says he was with the 409 BG and 643 BS when he shipped to Europe 17 Jan 1944 ???
Per internet info the 9Air Group pulled the 643rd on 18 May 1944 and transferred them to 391 BG 574 BS. Not clear if they brought their A-20’s with them or they were assigned B-26’s. Per Dad’s limited input my guess is they got B-26’s. (I understand the Douglas A-26 was designated B-26 sometime in 1945+ ?, however he was pretty clear on the “Martin Marauder” part of his B-26.)
Dad’s citations indicate Distinguished Unit Badge GO 11 Hq9 AF 45 (391BG) and Good Conduct GO 6 Hq 391. Bomb Gp. 44. He separated 10 Oct 1945 @ Seymor Johnson Field N. C. and went on to become a NYC policeman until retirement in 1971. My siblings and I would appreciate any info and pics regarding “the crash- White Christmas- thing” and any plane(s) he was assigned to as well as crew members he flew with.

As my son is an officer in the USMC today, I have the greatest respect for the job you Ladies & Gentlemen did for our Country then and for the folks who continue your great traditions today.

Thanking you in advance,
John P. Grubb

John, the 574th Bomb Squadron lost 14 aircraft on 23 December 1944, the squadron was almost wiped out. -Trevor Allen

Date:
8/21/2014
Time:
6:55 AM

I am a columnist and writer for Ocala’s Good Life magazine in Ocala, Florida. I am researching the late uncle of a local man for a feature story slated for the November issue to coincide with Veteran’s Day. The scant family history that I have is that he was an aircraft mechanic who worked on the Martin B-26 Marauder, also known as “Flak Bait” during WWII.

I have attached several photos of PFC George Edward SanGregorio. As you will see, he is posed in front of the famous plane. There is even a photo of some bullet holes. What you can’t see in the B&W photos is his red hair, that obviously earned him the nickname “Red.” I’d like to make a connection between SanGregorio and “Flak Bait” however small it may be, and build a story about the plane and it’s missions around that. But I need more information or confirmation that he actually worked on the aircraft. Actually, any scrap of information about SanGregorio will help me write the story.

Thank you,
Mary Ellen Barchi
Ocala’s Good Life

Dear Mary Helen,
Yes, Edward SanGregorio was a mechanic working on “Flak Bait”. If you look carefully at the attached photograph you will see the latter part of his name on the nose wheel door.

His name is second one up from the bottom, but enough of the name is showing proving he was truly involved.
Trevor Allen

Date:
8/20/2014
Time:
7:08 PM

Dear Maraudermen:
I’m Tom Jones, former USAF pilot and author. I’m writing an article on the B-26 Marauder “Flak Bait” for Air & Space Smithsonian magazine. Would like to talk to a couple of surviving B-26 vets (pilots or other crewmen) who might still be able to relate their personal experience with the B-26. I’d be grateful also for your recommendation of your favorite first-person written account of flying the Marauder.

With best wishes,
Tom Jones

Interviewed to date: Sherman Best, co-pilot, “Flak Bait” (age 92); Max Petrisek, pilot (age 93); John Willmott, pilot (age 99)

Date:
8/19/2014
Time:
5:52 AM

Bonjour,
Information sur un pilote du 322th Marauder à BEAUVAIS TILLE en 1944. (vu sur internet). Je recherche des photos en lien avec cette unité à l’aéroport ou je travailles. Cordiales salutations et merci pour votre site.

Jean-Louis Fournier
SAGEB – Aéroport de Paris-Beauvais-Tillé

Lt. Lyle Arthur Taggart
Birth: Aug. 5, 1921
Blue Earth County
Minnesota, USA
Death: Feb. 23, 1945, Germany

Born as Lyle Arthur Honetschlager, he was the son of Arthur J. Honetschlager and Grace Muriel Adams. After his parents divorced in 1927, Lyle and his mother moved to Sacramento, California. By 1930, his mother had married Charles L. Taggart, and Lyle’s last name was changed to Taggart. After graduating from high school, Lyle attended college for one year, and then enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on Feb. 19, 1943. After being trained to pilot medium bombers, Lyle was attached to the 450th Bomber Squadron, 322nd Bomber Group.

On February 23, 1945, 2nd Lt. Lyle Taggart was co-pilot of the B26 Martin Marauder “War Eagle” on a bombing mission to Zulpich, Germany. The plane left the airfield at Beauvais Tille, France with five other crewmen aboard: 1st Lt. Jack G. Cox, pilot; 2nd Lt. Edward “Murphy” Wallerstein, bombardier; SSgt. John R. Mackett, engineer-gunner, TSgt. Marion T. Evans, radio operator-gunner, and SSgt. Joseph M. Mischik, tail gunner. As the plane approached Zulpich at approximately 4:18 p.m., the cockpit was directly hit by anti-aircraft fire. Witnesses saw the plane crash and explode one mile east of the target and did not see any parachutes. The entire crew perished. 2nd Lt. Lyle Taggart is buried at the U. S. Margraten Cemetery in the Netherlands, along with fellow crew members SSgt. Mischik and 2nd Lt. Wallerstein. The graves of all three men were adopted and are cared for by local Dutch citizens. -Biography by Cindy K. Coffin

Burial: Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial Margraten Eijsden-Margraten Municipality Limburg, Netherlands
Plot: Plot L, Row 7, Grave 8

Date:
8/18/2014
Time:
8:25 PM

My Dad, 1st Lt Shirl G. Wilson, was next to 2/Lt. Truman C. Cole when they were hit. I have had the honor to have talked to Charlie Kamanski who was also shot down on this mission. So maybe I could pass along this and other info to the cousin of Wyatt Moore.

Yours, Allen Wilson

Allen,
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:
8/15/2014
Time:
12:41 PM

My Dad, Daniel Patrick Herget, 344th Bomb Group, 497th Bomb Squadron, was the turret gunner on John Nemeth’s crew and flew missions on “Johnny Come Lately”. I’ll have to look for some old pictures. Interesting history. -Tom Herget

Date:
8/15/2014
Time:
10:18 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Thelbert “Dick” H. Thomas
Bomb Group: 391st
Bomb Squadron: 572nd
Years in service: 1943-45
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments:

I have been doing research on my Dad’s military history for several months now. Back in June, my husband and I visited Matching Green and, with Steve Sharp’s help, we identified many of the facilities that are still standing. We also saw the lovely memorial that the village has erected to the 391st BG:

Recently I obtained my Dad’s flight records and other documents showing his progression from his original enlistment on October 16, 1941 in the Army Signal Corps and his transfer to Aviation Cadet training in April, 1943 until his discharge in October, 1945. I have quite a few of his Special Orders documents including SO 17 which details his original crew members assigned on March 17, 1944 at Barksdale Field, LA. The crew consisted of:

2nd Lt. William R. White
2nd Lt. Thelbert H. Thomas
2nd Lt. Cloyd H. Singhass
Cpl Virgil W. Ritchie
Sgt Samuel T. Tate
Cpl Kenneth L. Taplin

Based on SO 209 dated July 17, 1944, this same crew was designated Crew #10 and was ordered to report to Combat Crew Center Third Air Force Staging Wing for assignment to Project and Class. Then based on SO 215 dated August 2, 1944, this crew was ordered to Dow Field in Bangor, MA and was assigned to plane 43-34417. Based on Operations Order #4 dated August 4, 1944, this crew was ordered to deliver the above plane via the North Atlantic Route to the 9th Air Force in the British Isles.

With SO 229 dated August 16, 1944, the crew was attached to 3d Replacement and Training Sq, Bombardment, AAF Sta 236. With SO 245 dated September 11, 1944, they were assigned to the 391st BG Sta 166. SO 121 dated September 13, 1944, they were assigned to the 572nd BS.

My Dad was reassigned to the 323rd BG on April 15, 1945 and to the 454th BS on April 27, 1945 and then to the 457th BS on June 8, 1945. On July 10, 1945, he was assigned to the WP Casual Pool, 70th Reinforcement Depot Sta 385 in preparation for return to the ZI. He was ultimately discharged at the Santa Ana Army Base on October 20, 1945.

As I mentioned, I have his flight records, but I don’t know his plane number(s). My brothers have related the story about him flying “The Three Bears”. My Dad told them that the original pilot, Richard Baehr, named the plane as a play on his name as his wife had just had their first baby. I’d appreciate any information you may have about the planes my Dad flew during this period.

My Dad passed away on June 19, 1985. Based on my research, I believe that Cloyd Singhass (Ohio) passed on 4/6/10. I don’t have confirmation, but I believe that Kenneth Taplin (CA) just passed away this last March. I do not have any information about William White, Samuel Tate or Virgil Ritchie. Do you have any information on them? I’d like to offer them (or their families) copies of the documents that relate to them.

Attached is a picture of my Dad and the rest of the crew:

The writing on the bottom is very difficult to read, but I believe it says:

“L to R Lt. White (pilot), Lt. Thomas (co-pilot) Lt. Singhass (Bomb/Nav) Cpl. Ritchie (Engr/Gunner) Sgt Tate (? / Gunner) Cpl Taplin (? / Gunner)”. I can’t make out the first part of the bottom line, but I believe the last part says “(23 June 44) Barksdale Field, LA”

Thanks for all your efforts to keep these heroes alive in spirit and in our minds!
Judi

…large image

Date:
8/15/2014
Time:
9:42 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Richard L. Brunsman (Pilot)
Bomb Group: 322nd
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Years in Service: March 27, 1942 to May 3rd, 1947
Time in ETO: Nov. 4th, 1943 to Oct. 26th, 1944
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: MacDill Airfield and Drane Field in Florida
Comments: 1st Lt. Brunsman was a pilot and he was my father. He passed in 2003. He rarely ever talked about the war. I was recently given several photos and documents along with very limited information on him. (Copies of Photos and Docs I have attached) I am proud he was part of the “Greatest Generation” and was a B26 Marauderman pilot. If anyone knows anything about him I would be eternally grateful for any information or copies of photos you might have. Any details about missions he flew or what happened. Anything.

Here’s what I know so far. In two of the photos the B26 nose art seems to say “Sherriff” and makes reference to “Rapides Parish Louisiana”. He served in the 451st-322nd in the ETO Nov. 4th, 1943 to Oct. 26th, 1944. I do remember him mentioning a Capt. Downs. I do not have any aircraft tail numbers. I do not know what other airplanes he may have flown on. (I would love to know what other airplanes he may have served on) Airfields I think were Andrews Field (Great Saling), England and Beauvais/Tille Airfield, France.

I am told someone compiled and published a detailed squadron book about the 451st. Some of the scans that were sent to me were reportedly from that book. Apparently the letter that went out with the book is dated in 1999 and was from a Henry C Newcomer with no return address. However the body of the letter said to send check made out to Col. James Crumbliss USAF, Secretary Treasurer of the club that apparently put the book together.

Unfortunately that’s about all I know so far. Most of it comes from my Father’s Military Record and Report of Separation (copy enclosed). Some I have been able to confirm from limited research and the scans from the abovementioned book. In the one crew photo he is the tallest, 2nd from left. In the other crew photo he is in the back, 3rd from left. In the uniformed captioned crew photo he is 1st on the left.

Rick Brunsman

Date:
8/10/2014
Time:
11:36 AM

I’d like information on John Declan Foley (Technical Sgt.). Enlisted in Feb. 1941. Studied navigation for two years at Hondo, Tx. Studied Radio in Sioux Falls, S.D. Sent to Europe in June 1944. Died in a Bomber crash with five others on April,19,1945. Plane crashed on takeoff at A-72 Peronne, France. Others that died on crash were: E.J. Frank-Russell Jenks-Elmer Funke-Casimir Szij – Stephen Kmetz. I’m planning a trip to France and would like all the info anyone would have on where they were buried until they were returned home in 1948. Are there monuments or gravestone? What cemetery? And if anyone remembers him. He was in the 397th Bomb Group. 597 bomb sqdn in France. Thank you so much. Pam Odell

Pam,
The B-26 involved was 43-34450 9F-A 597th Bomb Squadron. Elmer J Frank; Russell D Jenks; Elmer Funke; Casimir Szaj; Stephen Kmetz: John D Foley killed. Billy J Thornblom & George Shulman seriously injured.

Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
8/8/2014
Time:
6:07 PM

Belated reply to Ed Tune. Capt Max Petrisek, pilot, class 43J, I knew Don or Dan Wilson of the 95th during 1944-45. I will offer details as requested. Sincerely Max Petrisek.
In reply to posting 6/10/2014 9PM, I have further detail of posting here by Bill Churchman of Rovereto RR Bridge target. Address any response to Capt Max Petrisek of 95th Sqd, 17th BG during 1944-45.
WR Kemp and family. I’m ex Capt. Max Petrisek, a pilot of B 26s during 1943 and 1945 in the 95Sqd, 17th BG. Class 43J. If you have any interest about our combat activities of that time I would be glad to reply.

Date:
8/8/2014
Time:
1:52 PM

Hi,
I wonder if you could pass my contact details onto Arthur E. W. Thornton as, oddly, my Grandfather, Grandmother and Mother often spoke of his father even in the 1960s and 70s. His father Arthur E. seemed to have left a lasting impression on them all as a good man with a good heart. My mother, now 77, remembers him, even now, for his generosity although she’d have only been eight when he was killed.

If find some of the story somewhat interesting (frustrating?) , and hence my own quest, as the local airbases to where they all lived and where I grew up was Membury (Station 466?) in Berkshire, England. There appears to be little trace of any existence of B-26 aircraft in the area and yet my Grandfather talked to me quite a lot about them. It’s nowhere near Boreham / Chelmsford where his aircraft was supposedly based.

Regards

Angus Johnson
(Scotland, United Kingdom)

Date:
8/7/2014
Time:
1:31 PM

I found this post:

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

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

Sorry for my bad English and congratulations for your web site. My question is how I can contact this man, Patrick Hogan? I want to contact Patrick Hogan because I make searches about all crashes of allied planes in my department (The Sarthe). And his Grand Uncle was KIA on 9 August 1944 (70 years on Saturday, August 9th) in his B-26 “The Flying Dutcman II”.
I will be happy to share with him the information I have on this event.

Thank you for your help.
Jacky EMERY

Date:
8/7/2014
Time:
8:55 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 1st LT. Marvin Keller
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 586th
Years in service: January 1943 thru July 1945
Graduation Class:  43i
Class Location: MacDill Airfield
Comments: I have a question for anyone. My Father-in-law was a B26 Pilot flying 65 missions over Europe. The name of his plane was “Gray Speckled Bird” I don’t know the tail number and Marvin can’t remember. My questions are does anyone know if their is anyone of the crew left alive who would like to get in contact with Marvin also does anyone know what the tail number was and does anyone what finally happened to the plane? Does anyone either have information on the B26 bombers (names / tail numbers) assigned to Boreham Airfield, Chelmsfield England from 1943 thru 1945 or know where I could search for that info.

After further talking with Marvin he said the he remembered some of his crew members. ie;

Chief Pilot: Milton C. Cross (from Texas)
Bombardier: Harry Douglas Kutz
Tail Gunner: Michael Pemberton (From California)
Radioman/Waist Gunner: Raymond E. Smith
Engineer/Turret Gunner: Charles J. Lucian

…large image

Thank You,
Charles Morgan

Charles, 43-34191 4T-W “Great Speckeled Boid” 586th Bomb Squadron, 394th Bomb Group. Trevor Allen

Date:
8/4/2014
Time:
3:25 PM

Bonjour, je cherche tous renseignements concernant un B26 n°- 43 34146 du 322. MACR 1080
Merci, Gilles Houllier

Date:
7/26/2014
Time:
2:50 AM

Sir,

For my private D.Day research, I’m looking for information on the pre D.Day bombing, of the 9 US Air Force Bomber groups 322, 386, 387, 391 and 394 BG missions to Mechelen on 4th March 1944 and 19 April 1944.

As I live in Mechelen (Malines is the translation in French from this city in the Flemish part of Belgium), I want to know which aircraft was involved, flight formations of each bombers group with the planes, also reports.

Hoping that you can help me in the research on my hometown war past.

Many thanks beforehand,

Regards,

Jean-Pierre Vanhoof

Date:
7/25/2014
Time:
1:43 AM

I would like to add a little contribution to the life of Sgt. Wetzel C Kimball.
In October 1944, i.e. four or five weeks before his death (November 24 1944), I was 15 years old and on Thursday afternoon I use to practice my English with the American soldiers in the town of Orléans. I was a kind of tourist guide. I met Wetzel C. Kimball during two Thursday and I had a very good contact with him. He gave me his address and disappeared from Orléans.
In May 1945 when the war with Germany ended, I wrote him and his wife informed me that he was killed in eastern France in a plane crash; we kept in contact at least until 1958 when I had a chance to visit her.
His wife put me in contact in 1945 with a passionate man Mr. D.D. Cocker who at this time was collecting stamps. When I saw him in 1958, his passion was Casey Jones Museum in Jackson. Mr. Cocker was a retired security agent for Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co.
Recently I found on internet many information on Wetzel and the high price paid during World war II by this American family. Of course I knew what France owes to your country.
I have some letters from this period. The stamps on Mr. Cocker letter (November 1945) are all concerning World war II. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, United Nations, Iwo Jima, American troops on the Champs-Élysées Paris.
If somebody wants to contact me I will be extremely pleased.
Gérard Dailly (85 years old)

…large image

Date:
7/24/2014
Time:
5:12 PM

Hello, my father, Ralph G. Porter, was a B-26 pilot in the 344th Bomb Group, 496th Bomb Squadron during the latter stages of World War II and was stationed in (I believe) England. I’ve attached a picture taken of his crew at Barksdale, LA. I’d be interested to know if anyone on your site would have any information on his airplane or his crew. He also flew the Douglas A-26 Invader, but I believe that was in Germany after hostilities had ceased.

Sincerely,
Rob Porter

Date:
7/23/2014
Time:
9:13 AM

Hello and thank you for your great service to our country. I am the son-in-law of Rollin D. Childress. I and his family greatly appreciate the write up of his mission/missions. Both Rollin and his wife, Joeanne, are now buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section D, Grave 6285. I noticed in the description a note that there were pieces of his plane “Chumy” (Rollin’s nickname), The Warhorse, (“Lil Chum’s Warhorse”) recovered and brought back. If possible it would be a wonderful to be able to have a piece of his plane for his family to cherish. Can you help me with this request? Thanks much, Paul G. Wolfe

Paul,
I am in possession of some small pieces of the plexi-glass from tis aircraft, it overran the runway on June 12th 1944 after the hydraulics were shot out, pilot on this day was Lt James, the Bombardier had received a small flak wound to the hand.

After the aircraft was stripped of its armament it was left to await collection to be scrapped and because it sat in a field outside the airfield boundary and became a play thing for the local children, my father being one of them. He liberated some of the plexi-glass from the rear turret and this was used to fashion rings and other ornaments at the time and after the war he used to build wooden models of aircraft and the plexi-glass was utilised for the cockpit sections. Gradually the amount he had diminished and once I was old enough to realise the historic (well to me anyway) nature of this I stopped him using anymore of it so it could remain as an artefact.

I attach a photograph of a piece of this which I took this morning, it measures just over 6 inches in length and, if you would like, can forward this to you as a momento of your fathers aircraft. If you would like it please send me your address and I will post it on.

I also attach a couple of more photos showing the cracked up plane, the crew and of Capt Childress attaching a piece of gum to the first bomb in the bombbay, apparently something he used to do for luck.

I trust that this is of interest and look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Alan Crouchman

Date:
7/18/2014
Time:
12:23 PM

I would like to add my Dad, Loy L. Julius, to this website. His story will soon be published by the Veterans Heritage Foundation. A copy is attached. -Jane Julius

Date:
7/10/2014
Time:
1:24 PM

My Dad, Sgt. William “Willie” Hartfelder, served with the 573rd in England and France 1943-45. He was a ground crew instrument man. I am presently visiting in England and France and would appreciate if anyone might know of him and where (bases) he served in England and France. His good buddy in the outfit was Fred “Smitty” Schmidt from Brooklyn NY.

My Dad died at the age of 90 in Myrtle Beach, SC, where he and his wife, my Mom, Margaret “Mickie” had such memorable times at that airbase before he shipped over.

Will Hartfelder, Jr.

Date:
7/15/2014
Time:
10:36 AM

“Flak Bait” the bomber the fuselage identification codes “PN-O.” Bomb Group:322nd Bombardment Group nicknamed the ‘Annihilators’ Bomb Squadron: 449th Bombardment Squadron about ready to be moved from NASM Downtown to the Udvar-Hazy, Engen Restoration shop in Chantilly, VA

Date:
7/2/2014
Time:
9:40 AM

I had posted to your guestbook back in 2009. I was receiving help from a historian, Mr. Alf Egil Johannessen from Norway, but sadly he passed away a few years ago.

I am trying to find photos and information of a B-26 that was with the 319th BG/440th Bomb Squadron. The s/n was 41-18266, tail number 82. The nose art name was “Ain’t She a Beaut”.

The reason I am interested is my father, Daniel Grether, was a Radio Operator/Gunner on that aircraft. He passed away in December of ’89. The pilot, George McKay, also passed away a few years ago. Not sure if anyone else is still alive. I know the nose gunner died in another B-26 that was shot down.

Any information, photos about the aircraft and crew, especially my dad, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Doug Grether

Date:
6/27/2014
Time:
5:37 PM

Hello!

First, thanks for building this awesome web page!

I’m trying to help a friend whose father was LTC Alvord Rutherford. He was the Commander, 319 BG from June to November 1942. While deploying from Attlebridge AAF on 12 Nov 42 to North Africa in support of Operation Torch, aircraft (41-17777 “Boogie Woogie”) was shot down vic. Le Pieux, Lower Normandy, France with the loss of all hands. On the same day, a second B-26 (The Hobo) was lost in Lower Normandy north of Les Pieux also with the loss of all hands. My friend is LTC Rutherford’s daughter who was born about three months after his loss.

Regrettably, LTC Rutherford’s military records were most likely destroyed in the fire that occurred at the records center in St. Louis, MO, many years ago. I have resourced almost all of the internet available information on this event and have reconstructed the event, as much as possible, and would like to fill in a few missing pieces. Hopefully, someone will be able to respond with some information…

Are there any records for the 319th for the period June to November ’42 and where might they be? Orders, manning tables, etc.. Does anyone have any anecdotal information, personal histories, stories, about the training and organizational work pre-deployment (Sept 42) to England? Does anyone have photographs from the June – Nov time period? Particularly any photos of LTC Rutherford. Photos of Boogie Woogie and it’s crew are also of interest. Does anyone have recollections of LTC Rutherford’s activities as Commander up until the time of his passing?

Thanks in advance for any assistance….

FYI: If you Google, 41-17777, you will get a list of ‘hits.’ One hit may be of interest. It is a French site that has locations, information and photos of memorials to fallen Allied airmen. There is a plaque on the memorial in Les Pieux dedicated to B-26 41-17777. If you Google Earth Les Pieux and locate the cathedral, the memorial is near the street and close to a sporting goods store called, Le Peche. Go to ‘street view’ and look at the memorial. Also this site has a listing of those who were lost on Boogie Woogie and Hobo.

This site is also a useful resource as it has many other B-26 memorials listed.

Thanks again,
Jim Myers

Date:
6/27/2014
Time:
11:51 PM

I discovered your website while doing some research on my own on the B-26. My Father, Burt Woskoff, was a Bombardier with the 557th/387 BG. He was most proud of his service, and was for a number of years the President of the 557th’s reunion organization.

I have a copy of the 557ths “yearbook” which was put together I believe in the late 1940s. This contains many fascinating pictures, including many of the crews, lists of targets, photos of targets, and others.

If you are interested, I would be happy to make the book available for copying photos and text.

Fred Woskoff

Date:
6/27/2014
Time:
11:26 AM

I was so excited to find this picture on the internet. My mother, Mary Giles Haynes, is the “Miss Mary” the plane is named after. Melvin Giles is my mother’s “Uncle Mel”, brother to my grandfather Richard Milton Giles. -Jennifer Chickonoski

Date:
6/26/2014
Time:
6:43 PM

Mr. Black, my dad, Pete Cavezza, was the tail gunner with the picture you have of “Je Reviens” taken under the Eiffel Tower 1944 or 45. I would dearly love a copy of the picture you mention. My dad passed away in 2008 and it would be nice to have this photo and also nice to know if any of these great crew members are still alive. Thank you very much. Pete Cavezza Jr.

Date:
6/26/2014
Time:
6:42 PM

Hi. My Dad, Rubin Kichen, BombGp: 397 Squadron: 598, flew on a B26 and was shot down on a volunteer mission in plane 4F, February 16, 1945. He ended up in Stalag VIIA, and was liberated by General Patton’s army. You already have some text and images from John Zitnyar, who was with my father on that mission. BTW, the correct spelling of our last name is “Kichen.” John Zitnyar shows it as “Kitchen” in the first caption on his page. I believe that all the images that I am sending you are images that John Zitnyar send me. I went through my Dad’s memoir, which he wrote a few years before he passed away in 2010, and pulled together a few pages of excerpts from his story.

Steve Kichen

Date:
6/18/2014
Time:
1:54 PM

Hi. I found your website while I was trying to find information about this picture of an uncle I never got to meet. I have had this picture, I am ashamed to say for 20 plus years, and I just now paid attention to the date. It was taken on July 6, 1944. My uncle is John “Robbie” Robinson, was the armourer shown on the far right in the photo. This looks to me as a b-26. My brother was named after him and has his purple heart, he also served in the military.

…large image

I was wondering from this picture, would you be able to give me any information or direct me to a website that I can look up archives and learn a little bit more about my uncle, his crew in this picture.

Most Kindest Regard,
Rebekah Farabaugh

Date:
6/12/2014
Time:
3:46 PM

Bruce William Godfrey
441 Squadron
320 Bomber Group

Bruce, my father, died in 1961. He was a Master Sgt. He served in Italy and North Africa. He talked very little to the family of his war experiences. He was a bombardier and sometime later a cook. I don’t understand this disparity. He took a picture of a plane in mid-air in flames. This picture was published in our local newspaper. I have heard that there is a copy of this picture in an Air Corps/Air Force museum. He also took pictures of a liberated concentration camp. I have no idea which camp. Could anyone else tell me more about my dad’s war experiences? Thanks, Kathryn Godfrey McGinley

Date:
6/12/2014
Time:
7:34 AM

I am a writer and doing a story about a particular pilot who flew missions on “Flak Bait” I’m assuming between 1941 and 1944. He is deceased and his family has photos of him in front of the plane with close ups of the bullet holes. His name is George SanGregorio. I know this isn’t much, but any information I can get will help me in further research.

Thank you,
Mary Ellen Barchi

Date:
6/11/2014
Time:
10:06 AM

Hi, my Dad, Thelbert H. “Dick” Thomas, was a B26 co-pilot on “The Three Bears” based in England. Here are his personal stats:

serial #XXX4061
9th Air Force
391 Bomb Group
572 Squadron
Home Station 893

I’m traveling to London next week and was wondering if you could tell me exactly where he was stationed. I’m sure there’s nothing left to see, but I’d like to at least go to the general area.

I appreciate any info. you can provide.

Thanks, Judi Butler

Date:
6/10/2014
Time:
9:00 PM

Does anyone know where the training took place? Do any pictures exist of the aircraft that was shot down? Any comments or information to add to my memorial would be appreciated. Attached is an aircrew picture. Appears to be a training picture.

The enlisted soldier second from the right of the picture is Wyatt B. Moore, a first cousin of my father.

If this is the crew he served with in Italy, the following applies:

Truman C. Cole Pilot 2nd Lt
Paul A. Lewis Co-Pilot 2nd Lt
John B. Pidcock Bombardier 2nd Lt
Samuel W. Brush T/Sgt Engineer/Gunner
Wyatt B. Moore S/Sgt Radio/Gunner
Henry T. McMahan Corporal Aerial Gunner
John A. Kramer S/Sgt Photographer/Gunner

The aircraft was shot down November 5, 1944.
441st Bomb Squadron, 320th Bomb Group
Aircraft Tail Number 334396
Battle Number 01
Mission Rovareto RR Fill

Some members of the crew survived, Wyatt Moore did not.

Date:
6/10/2014
Time:
9:00 PM

My Dad was SSgt. Ben Brotman, radio repairman/waist gunner, 344th BG 497th squadron.

Steve Brotman

Date:
6/10/2014
Time:
10:37 AM

Hi. My father, George Vernon Skinner. He was a pilot the flew “Barrelass” in World War 2 in 1944 and 1945. He was shot down over the border of Holland and Germany. As a result he was a POW in Germany for a few months and then freed. He passed away 1992. Did anyone know him? I would love to speak to anyone associated with him during that time. I have flight logs, pictures, the letter when he was missing, metals etc. Thank you, Duane Skinner

Date:
6/9/2014
Time:
7:31 PM

Hello, I have a photo of a B26 “Je Reviens” taken under the Eiffel Tower 1944 or 45. The pilots name is Capt. Jack Lane, Engineer is T/Sgt Woody Woodward, Bombardier is Lt. Nels Nelson.

Would you be interested in a copy of this?

Regards,
Russell Black

Date:
6/9/2014
Time:
12:16 PM

Greetings, I corresponded with you several years ago and want to share some developments regarding a crew of Marauder men. I have pages of text to add to the site about the events surrounding our research project. I can say this, we would have failed in this quest but for the your site and the work and contributions by many good people.

Thanks, Randy Clark

This is in regard to:

Marauderman’s Name: 1LT Frances Lee Hunt
Bomb Group: 322
Bomb Squadron: 449
Years in service: through 8-12-44
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
MACR# 8039
Comments: Aircraft name: WinnieDee or probably more accurately it was the second (maybe even third) WinnieDee

Aircraft ser# 41-31741
Crew: Pilot: 1LT Francis L. Hunt
Co-pilot: 1Lt Lyle L. Peters
Bomb/Nav: 1LT Morris Rafalow
Radio/Gun.: T/Sgt Raymond J. Morin
Eng./Gunner: S/Sgt William J. Stark
Gunner: S/Sgt Norman E. Thielan

Date:
6/9/2014
Time:
11:03 AM

Hello,

My father, Robert Warda, was a B-26 navigator with the 344th. He shared many stories and photos with me, and I have written about him many times, including when he was navigator on the plane “Nick’s Chick.” Here is a link to a story that includes my Dad – select here. I would definitely like to make contact with your organization, and connect with other children of those who served on B-26s.

Here is one of the stories I wrote about my Dad. It was about one of the most powerful stories he shared with me. You can also find this story by putting in “Robert Warda B-26” in Google and it will pull up the story which appears in my book, “Where Are We Going So Fast?” –

Take care,
Jim

Date:
6/9/2014
Time:
7:06 AM

Hello, I am trying to find out more information about the unit my father flew in. His name is Robert L. Burns. Attached is a newspaper clip and is basically all I have. My father passed on in 1995. Any help or links would be appreciated.

The news clipping reads:

“Lieutenant Burns Flying With B-26 Group
Special to the Daily Herald: At a Twelfth AAF Mediterranean B-26 Marauder Base. First Lt. Robert L. Burns from Everett, Washington, a pilot with the AAF’s oldest B-26 medium bomber group, has been awarded the Air Medal and two clusters for “meritorious achievement in aerial flight.” He has been overseas eight months and has 60 missions over Axis territory. He has also been awarded the European Theater ribbon. His was the first B-26 group in Major General John K. Cannon’s Twelfth AAF to complete 325 missions over enemy territory in the Mediterranean theater of operations, and was recently cited by Brigadier General Robert M. Webster.”

Respectfully,
Ken Burns

Date:
6/7/2014
Time:
5:02 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James Ellis Siegling
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service: July 1, 1944 – Oct. 10, 1945
Graduation Class: May 23, 1944
Class Location: Frederick AAF, Okla.
Comments: I’m trying to find out how to get some information on my grandfather Lt. Colonel (rank when he retired from the service in 1970) James E. Siegling. He was a co-pilot for the 323rd BG in the 456th BS until he was transferred to the 397th BG in May of 1945 and then to the 387th in June of 1945. I know that while he was with the 323rd BG in the 456th BS he flew some missions with Louis S. Rehr from a few conversations with his wife, reading his book and from photos I have of my grandfather with Louis Rehr. He flew with Rehr as co-pilot on “HELL’S BELLE – B-26C-15-MO 41-34963-WT-R and “OLE 33/THE GAL” – B-26C-20-MO 41-35033 – WT-A. I’m trying to find out how I can get a list of the B26’s he flew missions on (Hopefully with the names of the crew members), and a list of the battle & campaign missions he went on. Any information or help as to where I might find it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Todd Gianotti

Todd,
Attached are a few missions your grandfather, 1st Lt. James Siegling flew while he was with the 323rd BG, 456th BS. The crew members I listed were his original crew. However I show that he flew with several crews including Maj. Rehr. I also included a picture of 41-35033 “Ole 33 Gal” for you. If you wish to do additional research contact me.

Roy Bozych
323rd BG Historian

…large image

1st Lt. James E. Siegling
Serial # X-XXXX623
Co-Pilot
323rd BG 456th BS

Primary Crew Members
Pilot 2nd Lt. George W. Hill Jr.
Copilot 1st Lt. James E. Siegling
Bombardier/Navigator 2nd Lt. M. P. Morrison
Flight Engineer S/Sgt. Emanuel Hauser
Radioman T/Sgt. Carl J. Hofer
Tail Gunner S/Sgt. Mariano Herrera

Aircraft & Missions
August 16, 1944
Aircraft 41-35033 WT-A Ole 33 Gal
Target – Neuvy-Sur-Loire Bridge TOT 6:10 AM Results-Nil
See microfilm reel B0268A Frame 00572 Recall due to bad WX
1st Combat Mission

September 12, 1944
Aircraft 41-35033 WT-A Ole 33 Gal
Target – Echternacht Fortifications TOT 7:30 AM Results-Good
See microfilm reel B0269 Frame 00104

December 27, 1944
Aircraft 43-34408 WT-D I’ll Be Seeing you
Target – Nonnweler RR Bridge TOT 10:00 AM Results-Excellent\Fair
See microfilm reel B0270 Frame 00011
Battle of the Bulge – Maj. Louis E. Rehr pilot

February 14, 1945
Aircraft 42-34218 WT-D Little Mike
Target – Xanten Troop Concentration TOT 2:00 PM Results-Excellent
See microfilm reel B0270A Frame 00323

April 20, 1945
Aircraft 43-34133 WT-C John Bull
Target – Memmingen M/Y TOT 8:45 AM Results- Good/Excellent
See microfilm reel B0273 Frame 00248
Note: Last mission flown

Note: Rank shown is the highest rank achieved while serving with the 323rd BG

Date:
6/7/2014
Time:
10:10 AM

Hi, I live in Stansted Essex near to the airport which was built by the USA. I recently found a communication from an American to my mother dating back to WW2. He wrote a poem to her which is very good. I am trying to communicate with his family who may like the document. I assumed he was stationed at Stansted flying B26s.

Name: Peter T Byrd
Rank: Sargent
91st Air Depot Group
APO 149
US Arny

Best wishes, Robert Johnstone-Ayliffe

Date:
6/7/2014
Time:
9:29 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Thomas A. Best
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 454th
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: around June 1943?
Class Location: ?
Comments: Hello, Thomas Best is my husband’s Grandfather and we just received some flight records and Award paperwork. If anyone has pictures or information about the planes he was flying, it would greatly be appreciated if shared. Flew as pilot/ co-pilot from May 7th 1944 through January 13th 1945 in Europe; Crew listed: Spradling and Phelan (Co Pilot); Miles and Somers (Nav/Bomb); Halstead (E/G); House (R/G); Carroll (T/G). Planes listed as : B-26C; B-26B; B-26F

Best Regards,
Franziska Best

Date:
6/6/2014
Time:
8:22 AM

B26.com Team:

I’m submitting the following entry in honor of my Grandfather, 2nd Lt. William A. Hahn, a pilot in the 599th squadron, 397th Bomb Group. He gave this account of his first mission, noon on D-Day.

“My first mission came around noon on D-Day. Coastal defense guns located between Utah and Omaha beaches. It was an amazing sight. Hundreds of ships — support and assault, destroyers all firing at special targets — smoke over the landing area, foam streaks where LC’s (landing craft) were heading ashore, occasional large explosions ashore — we knew men were battling there and it was a really sobering experience.” 2nd Lt. William A. Hahn 599th Squadron, 397th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force. Thanks for your D-Day service, Grampy.

Best,
Eric Hahn

Date:
6/5/2014
Time:
2:16 PM

I came across an interesting find. I purchased a “yearbook” from the 307th Army Air Forces Flying Training Detachment, Hicks Field, Ft. Worth, Tx. In the album, I found information that the book belonged to James H Stratton, a cadet at the training academy #44D, in 1944.

I found a website that indicated James “Jim” Stratton had been assigned to the 17th Bomber Group, 95th Squad of Martin Marauders, B26. The 319th and the 17th were both members of the Twelfth Air Force, based in North Africa. It includes an email from Mr. Stratton’s wife regarding his service with the United States, very impressive.

I hope I can make this very personal album find its way back to James H. Stratton’s family?

Gary Carter

Date:
6/5/2014
Time:
9:34 AM

Hello, can you help me find some information on Cecil H. Luthe, flew with the 451st Bombardment Squadron? I would really appreciate it!

Thanks, Walter Jones

Date:
6/3/2014
Time:
5:46 AM

42-96113 – Major Clinton LEE, 394th Bomb group – 585th Bomb Squadron

Who could be able to give the names of persons on this photograph? Text on image is; Major Clinton Lee and his crew, Major Lee led his first attack from Boreham May 12, 1944: later killed in action, 1944, with his crew.

…large image

394th Bombardment Group – 585th Bombardment Squadron

70 years after the events, with a tiny bit of luck, would it be possible to come into contact with the following persons:

1- McCANN, Joseph E 1st Lt XXX1145
BLOUNT, Andrew J 1st Lt XXX3025
GIBBS, Robert P 1st Lt XXX0588
who were witnesses on 7th August 1944 (Mission: Nogent-sur-Seine railroad bridge) of destruction by flak in the vicinity of Lisieux (Normandie) of the following B-26’s:
42-96113 Pilot: Major LEE, Clinton
42-96221 Pilot: 1st Lt LOWELL, Benjamin
42-96224 Pilot: 1st Lt IHLE, Donald

who were crew members and escaped from aircraft 42-96221:
IHLE, Donald 1st Lt XXX1096
COLLEN, Leonard 1st Lt XXX4358
SHAEFER, Walter T/Sgt XXX8415
KLINZING, Eugene S/Sgt XXX0091

who was a crew member and escaped from aircraft 42-96224
BISHOP, Ernest S/Sgt XXX5016

Thanks very much for any contact,
Jean Tariel

Jean,
42-96113 394BG, 585BS; 23 May 44 to 7 Aug 44 2 direct flak hits, first between fuselage and right engine, the second in the aft bombay, peeled off to right, engine blown off wing, right wing broke away, plane in flames, over on to back dived straight down, crashed near to Lisieux, France, possibly four chutes seen

Maj Clinton M Lee; 2.Lt Richard H Parsons; Capt Bjarne C Tangen; 2.Lt Arthur E Thornton; S/Sgt Albert H Kahler; T/Sgt Frank J Drapola; S/Sgt Donald W Short; Sgt John Waite, Jr. All Crew KIA; Code 4T-J; Missions 60; MARC 7652

Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.com

Date:
5/31/2014
Time:
4:45 PM

I am inquiring if there is any way to post video on your site. I’ve been researching my father’s military record, see below.

Marauderman’s Name: William J. Miller
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service:
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Fla (?)
Comments: I have film that he took while stationed in France (I believe). There are quite a few people in the various clips and of course I have no idea who they are. He also captured short clips of a number of the planes stationed there, including: Little Mike, Hades Lady, Gremlin II, Wear Willie Jr, Miss Fortune III, Hottest Tail In The ETO, City of Sherman, Lou’s’ana Mud Hen, and Hell’s Belle. Perhaps others would be able to put names to the faces.

Thank you,
Carney Miller

Date:
5/30/2014
Time:
4:51 PM

Howdy!
My Father-In-Law was a crew chief on the B-26 “Rationed Passion” and I have several very good photos of the plane and crew. I will gladly donate them to a good cause, and that they will be used to some extent. My dad in law was T/SGT Joe E. Young. He died of cancer many years ago in San Angelo, Texas. As fine a man as I have ever known. He was awarded the Bronze Star for a raid on a bridge in France. I have a few pictures from that raid. Also the crew and “nose art”. Have a picture of the artist doing the final touches on the woman involved. Let me know, please.

Al Blomberg
I was a Crash Rescue Fireman during the Viet Nam war.

Date:
5/29/2014
Time:
4:26 PM

Ref: Rick Erickson, Your message of 5/26/2014, caught my eye. I was a bombardier with the 575th, 391 BG.. I knew your Dad, we were bunkmates for a period of time. We did fly a few missions together. My war stories tend to run on the funny things that happened. Did your Dad ever tell you about the time 3 co-pilots and I ( the squadron yardbird bombardier) were moved out of our barracks to the little hut just inside the front gate. It was formally the prophylactic station when the RAF had the base.This hut was small , but it had a bathroom . With a lot of paper caulking and tent halves we made it quite comfortable. We lived there very well for several months The CO came over every evenin for his daily duty. He finally realized how well we were living so he moved us out and turned the hut into a VIP room. I am 92 now and do not hear from any of the Grp. members . I enjoyed you fathers company and you are justified in your pride in him. Best regards Dick Brooks

Date:
5/26/2014
Time:
7:46 PM

Some time ago I came across my dad’s leave pass and some orders from the 925th Signal Co Detachment “A’ Dep Avn and also shows 454th Bomb Sq. Dad trained at Camp Murphy, Fla, and always said he had a radar truck, Can anyone elaborate on this. BTW was He T/Sgt Robert E Farley. Also came across a copy of the hand receipt he signed for a 3/4 ton “Truck Light Warning van” and a 2 1/2 ton 6×6 “K-53” I guess I’m wondering what the significance of the 925th was to the 454th and possibly functions. The passes were for Paris, December 9 1944, Brussels June and August of 45. One set of pass orders id for 26 August 45, and is headed Detachment A
925th Signal Company, depot (AVN)
45th Air Depot Group.
Several items are signed
Ernest C. McCarley, 1st Lt Sig C
Dad passed April, 1987, after the war he did 20 years in the 91st Inf USAR ending up a Master Sergeant.

Date:
5/26/2014
Time:
4:18 PM

1st Lt. Joseph Boyce Leeper. We are trying to determine where we can find info on this pilot, who was my wife’s uncle and her mother’s brother. He was a member of 386th bomb group, 554th squadron.

Thank you
Stu Gordon

Date:
5/26/2014
Time:
6:15 AM

On this Memorial Day 2014, I want to thank all of the men and women who have served in the various branches of military of the United States. I think of friends who died in Viet Nam, of former students and a godson who have served in the Gulf Wars and I also think of the men who were the Marauder Men of WWII.

My father was one of you, Clarence V. Erickson – 391BG/575BS. He passed away in 1972 long before the men and women of the Greatest Generation started telling their stories. I had the privilege to attend a couple of the 391st BG Rendezvous and in particular their standing down ceremony in Ohio several years ago. An impressive ceremony and an impressive group of individuals.

Thank you, Rich Erickson, son of Clarence V. Erickson

Date:
5/26/2014
Time:
12:06 AM

Marauderman’s Name: T/Sgt George “Swifty” F. Doran
Bomb Group: 319
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: WWII & retired from Air Force in 1961
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: My Dad, George F. Doran, better known to his friends as “Swifty” wrote to his mother & my mom the story of his plane being shot down and parachuting over Italy on September 30, 1943. He was listed as missing in action for a while, but had been rescued by some Italians. His crew was Lt. Basil Burnstad (pilot), Lt. R.E. Thomas (T/Sgt. Pete Klinke (engineer & turret gunner, co-pilot), Lt. H.C. Henley (bombardier & navigator), S/Sgt. Bill Quimby (tail gunner), and my dad T/Sgt George F. Doran (radio operator & waist gunner). B-26 plane’s name “Charlotte, the Harlot”. Please let me know if you would like a copy of his story. -Yvette Mouser

Date:
5/21/2014
Time:
11:27 AM

Marauder Man: Gerald Albert Drean
Born in Lockport, NY
Pilot trained in Texas, and later was flight instructor there
Told his 5 kids he arrived late to the European front. I have one page of a journal, seems like he was on a troop transport. Sorry don’t have any dates yet.
Hi! My father, who is 90 now, and in ill health, was a B26 pilot in WW II over Germany and maybe France. He trained in McAllen, Tx. And also remembers being a trainer himself. I remember as a child he told us he crashed a plane during the war. I thought I heard during the Battle of the Bulge, but I was wrong. Later, we spoke again of the crash, and he said he had volunteered to fly a captured German plane, maybe a Stukka? AFTER the war, it stalled and he survived with a broken back. Was in a VA hospital for quite a while, we have several “crafts” he did while there my mother’s Lucite jewelry case, a crystal radio that he built in a wooden cabinet.
I was hoping to use the Army Air Corps insignia on a Memorial brick being set for my Dad in the Memorial park in the town my parents have lived in since late 1940’s. I’m just not sure which insignia applies. Would it be the one with the star, or the one with the wings or the one with the star & wings? I think the brick can have a small insignia to memorialize my Dad. They already have his Army Air corps picture posted along with other service people. What information can you give me about my Dad plane’s name, Group name, squadron name, etc. Which insignia should I use? Do you have any other information about his service or the plane’s exploits?

Thank you for all your help
Judy Drean Larner

Hi Judy,
Your father served with the 455th.Bomb Squadron, 323rd.Bomb Group, no further information at this time.
Regards, Trevor

Date:
5/19/2014
Time:
5:48 PM

In anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, I have attached photos of an allied forces landing site taken by Lt Bill Rose, B-26 Bombardier/Navigator with the 573rd Bomb Squadron, 391st Bomb Group based in England. He does have a dedication page on the B26.com website, with several other photos there as well. But I thought these would be good as a guestbook posting at this time. -Mac McConnell

…large image

Date:
5/18/2014
Time:
4:47 PM

There will be a Stalag Luft III POW reunion next August (2014) in Colorado Springs, CO. We are seeking POWs and family members and friends. All are welcome. Contact Marilyn Walton or Mike Eberhardt

Date:
5/17/2014
Time:
9:45 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt. Robert Lee “Bud” Auer
Bomb Group: Navy Squadron VJ-2
Bomb Squadron:
Years in service: 1942-44
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: My father, Bud, died December 29, 1944 on a target towing mission off of Pityilu Island in the Admiralties. One crew member survived: AOM2c W.R. Howard. My father was the pilot. He developed engine problems 50 miles out and put the plane down 7 miles from the island. The plane broke apart on impact and one crewman survived. Here’s a picture of the crew. My Dad is the jaunty one with cap and holstered pistol. Any info would be appreciated. I have other pictures from Pityilu as well. -Mike Auer

Hi Mike,
This would be JM-1, Navy Bu number 66617, named “Mission Dragon”.

This aircraft took off with another JM-1 for a tow target mission on 29th December 1944 over the Admirialty Islands . It suffered an engine failure in-flight, and was unable to maintain altitude returning to base at Pityilu. The aircraft was forced to make a landing at sea, 7 miles off Pityilu Island . The pilot, Lt. Robert Lee Auer and three of the crew were killed. The only survivor was AOM2c. Wallace Richard Howard, who was rescued by one of the squadrons Grumman J2F-6’s which landed at the crash scene nine minutes after the aircraft ditched. Despite a three hour search by a destroyer, and three crash boats, none of the other crew members were found, and were presumed dead.

…large image

The crew is listed as:
Lt. Robert Lee Auer – pilot (killed)
Ensign. Samuel Marsh, Jr. – co-pilot (killed)
Arm.1c. Aubrey James Borek – radio operator (killed)
AMM1c. Howard Theodore Held – crew position unknown (killed)
AOM2c. Wallace Richard Howard – crew position unknown (survived & rescued)

Best regards,
Paul Clouting

Date:
5/16/2014
Time:
2:09 AM

Mes grands parents et mes parents habitaient à Maisons Laffitte (5 rue Johnson) près du pont de chemin de fer Lors du bombardement du 28 mai 1944, mes grands parents sont morts sous les bombes, tout a été detruit Mes parents et mon frère ont eu la vie sauve grace à une invitation d’amis près du Mesnil le roi J’ai quelques photos du desastre Tout le quartier fut bombardé! Mes grands parents sont enterrés au cimetière de Maisons: mr et me Tournier Désiré et j’espère etre à Maisons Lafitte le 28 mai pour me recueuillir sur les lieux et au cimetière J’ai fait mes etudes au college du Prieuré,je ne savais pas qu’il fut endommagé ! Merci, Françoise Girard

Translation: My grandparents and my parents lived in Maisons Laffitte (5 Johnson Street) near the railway bridge During the bombardment of 28 May 1944, my grandparents died under the bombs, everything has been destroyed My parents and my brother’s life was saved thanks to an invitation from friends near Mesnil King I have some pictures of the disaster The whole neighborhood was bombed! My grandparents are buried in the cemetery houses: mr me Tournier and Desire and I hope to be in Maisons Lafitte May 28 recueuillir for me at the scene and in the cemetery I did my studies in college Priory, I did not know that was damaged!

Tournier Désiré Joseph
Tournier Nelly (nee Marchand)
They lived 5 Johnson Street, the property is now 21, is the street Descend to Camp Internationnal!

Thank you, Françoise Girard

Date:
5/8/2014
Time:
7:51 AM

Hi –
I’m a newspaper journalist based in High Point, N.C. I’m working on a story [read here] for Memorial Day about the military service and death of Lt. Raymond Reid from Thomasville, N.C. – he was a B26 pilot who died during a mission on April 16, 1945. Any details you can provide about the mission, how he died, fellow crew members (especially if any are still living), etc., would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Tomlin

Date:
5/2/2014
Time:
3:31 PM

I found your site shortly after my father, Harold L. Simmons passed away in 2003. I was so proud of his service and often wondered how he would have enjoyed visiting your dedication site online, he did not have access to a computer….or so I thought. I was checking out the Marauder guest book today and stumbled across a post from my father dated 2001. He was inquiring about bombing mission sites from his tour. I do not know how he got the information to you, but as resourceful as he was, especially about WWII, I am not too shocked. I also want to thank you for keeping the guest book up to date. I was contacted a year or so ago by the son of the widow of Lewis Powers, pilot of my Dad’s crew. He was killed in a car accident shortly following his discharge, leaving a young bride. She later re- married and had children with her second husband. It was one of these children who tracked me down, after many years of changed email addresses I am sure it was an effort. However, his Mother was recently placed in a nursing home and while going through her possessions found information regarding Lewis Powers’ crew. According to her son, Mr. Powers was the love of her life. Thankfully, I had photos of some of the men relaxing by a pool with a very young pilot named Lewis Powers front and center. I believe they were in Belgium, but not sure. I was able to send copies of these photos to this lovely lady, who was nurturing fond memories of her true love. You just never know how someone’s life will be touched and again, thank you for providing the amazing site.

Sincerely,
Tiea Simmons

Date:
4/28/2014
Time:
3:36 PM

Good afternoon,
My grand father, Blake K Plamer, was a pilot in WW2 he flew the B-26. I have some old photos of him and a little information from here and there. From what I have gathered my Grand Father flew with the 437th 319BG #41-34868. My grand father passed in 2007 he always told me he would share his stories about the war with me. We never had the chance and he never talked about it. My grand mother says my Grand father flew a plane called the “Princess Pauline” Everything I have found says Pop flew the “Zero 4”. I have his old flight jacket I would also consider donating it? Any information at all about my Grand Father would be greatly appreciated, or just point me in the right direction. He always had a boat named the Marauder and he kept a sea plane into the 80’s. Please respond back with anything..

Thank your time,

Sincerely
Blake Palmer

Blake,
Your grandfather flew with a B-26 Group where few records remain, whereas most units have combat histories in the USAF archives the 319th is only one of two B-26 Groups that do not have their records there. It is almost impossible to give you a detailed run down of your grandfather’s records. However, I can tell you that 41-34868 was named “Zero 4”
Regards, Trevor

Date:
4/22/2014
Time:
3:38 AM

Hi!
Trying to locate details about a “film” purported to be available through the 391st BG that depicts footage of a former rest home or “Flak Shack” for USAAF Officers called Coombe House near Shaftesbury, Dorset. Coombe House is now a Private Catholic Girls School called St. Mary’s and had contact with their archivist who is keen to obtain said film footage.

Can anyone put me in touch with someone who could assist with this enquiry?

I also have an interest as a historian/researcher of the 467th BG unit whose officers also spent time here for “R&R” in a respite from flying combat missions.

Any help much appreciated.

Regards,
Andy Wilkinson
Devon, England

Date:
4/19/2014
Time:
9:48 PM

Dear Christopher,

Regarding your email to B-26 Guestbook on March 24 concerning B-26 “Ruthless”; I was the tail gunner when your grandfather was the bombardier. I have pictures and information that you will be interested in. If you would like to contact me directly please do so at:

Joe Singleton

Date:
4/15/2014
Time:
2:49 PM

To Whom it May Concern:

My name is Sanford Thomas and my dad, now deceased, was James Talbert Thomas (Tol). He flew in the 17th Bomb GRP-37, Djion, France. My notes from his file indicate he flew all missions (28) out of Dijion; his tour was 50. I would like to know if anyone knew him or could otherwise tell me much about that experience. I am taking my family through Dijion this coming summer as I realize there isn’t an air base but there was only a tent city constructed. There is a picture of a home that was the headquarter and if anyone can tell me where to locate that structure or any structure remaining I would be thankful.

Best,
Sanford Thomas

Date:
4/11/2014
Time:
7:45 AM

Hello,
I have adopted the grave of 1LT Joseph A. Jones (X-XX1700).

Joseph A. Jones was a pilot in the 322nd Bomber Group, Medium, 450th Bomber Squadron. His Airplane was shot down on 17-05-1943 and fell into the North Sea, off the coast of IJmuiden, Holland. He is now buried on American War Cemetery Margraten, Holland. On some websites Joseph A Jones is also named Joseph H Jones.

Serial number: 41-18086
MACR: 15129
Type: Martin B-26 Marauder
Name: Draggin’ Lady ER-U
Destination: IJmuiden, Holland
Mission: Low Level

Now I am looking for any more information about: Joseph A. Jones (X-XX1700), 41-18086 – Draggin’ Lady ER-U, 332nd Bomber Group, Medium, 450th Bomber Squadron. The mission to IJmuiden, Holland on May 5, 1943. Any other information about the other planes in the same mission and their crew.

I didn’t found any pictures so far. Pictures would be great! But any other information is also great!

Thanks in advanced!
Marco Dircks

Date:
4/8/2014
Time:
1:28 PM

Hello:
I was informed that a B-26 Marauder crashed at the Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio back in the 1950’s or 1960’s and, since there was no way to move it, it was pushed to the southwestern side of the airport where it remained for several years.

I contacted the folks at the Akron-Canton Airport, but they said no one there knows about it and that no one old enough to know about it works there. I also contacted the MAPS Museum but they have not responded.

Thank you for your time and efforts,
Tim Ball

Tim,
I doubt it was a B-26 Marauder which crashed at Akron. In the period 1945/46, by then most B-26’s had grazed the salvage yards. You may find that the crashed plane was a Douglas B-26 Invader, which taken the B-26 identity from the Martin B-26 Marauder.
Regards,
Trevor

Date:
4/5/2014
Time:
12:52 PM

Hello B26.com Historians,

I don’t know if you keep track of past squadron members but thought Trevor Allen and Chester Klier would like to know that one of your finest passed away in March at the age of 94. I am forwarding his obituary to you to post on your site or do whatever you deem appropriate for your members and guests. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Cheers! Rich Himmel

HALE BOURROUGHS BENNETT
March 17, 1920 – March 9, 2014

Hale was born in Seattle, Washington, on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1920, the second son of Burt and Hazel. Burt was an instructor in economics at the University of Washington and Hazel was a school teacher. Soon the family moved to a 360-acre dry wheat farm outside Goldendale, Washington. He was in his second year at the University of Washington when he joined the U.S. Army Air Corp. During World War II, he flew B-26 Marauders on 68 combat missions over France, Germany, and the Low Countries. Hale’s unit, the 553rd Squadron of the 386th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force, was so highly respected that on D-Day they were chosen to fly the final bombing runs over the Germans on Utah Beach as our troops were landing on the beach below. In 2011, Hale received “rock-star” treatment at the D-Day dedication of a new museum wing at Utah Beach devoted to the brave contributions of the B-26 crews. Hale married the former Marge Perkins in 1951, and they made their home in Seattle, where Hale worked for Boeing. During the Korean Conflict Hale was recalled to the now-U.S. Air Force to train bomber pilots. After returning safely from his second war, Hale stopped flying at Margie’s request.

Date:
3/30/2014
Time:
9:26 AM

I never got a chance to meet Jack Bogle but I would have liked to talk with him. Here are a few paragraphs from my B-26 Marauder in US Navy & Marine Corps Service research project. The US Navy & Marine Corps Marauder man information must be more accurately told. I am asking anyone with additional US Navy & Marine Corps Marauderman information to please contact me. Thank you, Paul Clouting

Deliveries to the US Navy
From September to December 1943, a total of 225 x B-26 Marauders were scheduled for delivery to the US Navy for use as high speed target towing and utility aircraft. These consisted of 200 x AT-23B-MO models, and an additional 25 x converted from the B-26C-45-MO production run from the line at the Glenn L Martin Omaha plant. In essence these aircraft were stock trainer versions of the B-26, similar to those delivered to the USAAF, and lacking any combat equipment or armored plating. In Navy use these aircraft were designated JM-1’s. One of the B-26C-45-MO aircraft (42-107636) allocated for the Navy was diverted to fulfill an order for the Free French, and one of the AT-23B-MO aircraft (41-35622) crashed before delivery…(read more)

Date:
3/24/2014
Time:
8:19 PM

I was wondering if you have any information about the crew or images available of the B-26 Marauder named the “Ruthless”. My grandfather was the bombardier. From your site, this is the only information I’ve found, but I’m not sure if there were more than one B-26 named the Ruthless? Ruthless: 42-95811, P2-G, B-26B-45-MA.

Thank you very much for your time and effort on this. I look forward to your response.

Respectfully,
Christopher Johnson.

Date:
3/23/2014
Time:
7:08 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Bruno Kozlowski
Bomb Group: 28th, 11th AF
Bomb Squadron: 15 Tow Target Sq
Comments: I recently found your site. Great job! My father was a flight engineer on a Martin AT-23B/TB-26C Marauder on Attu Island in the Aleutians. I grew up hearing stories about their adventures there. He passed away in 1984 and I recently put some of his photos on a website here.

Could/should I send you photos of the Martin AT-23B/TB-26C Marauder from my site?

Thanks,
Andy Kozlowski

Date:
3/21/2014
Time:
7:40 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Melvin Dale Williamson
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 439th
Years in service: ??-44
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments:  I am looking for any and all information you may have about my grandfather, Lt. Melvin Dale Williamson, who was the pilot of the “Mistletoe” (B-26B-10-MA 41-8303 Tail #60) in the Mediterranean theater. If you have any pictures of the plane or the crew those would be most appreciated. Any information you may have about missions flown, the whereabouts of the plane itself (i.e., was it placed in a museum somewhere?), or any other information about my grandfather would also be appreciated. Thanks for your help, Doug Behn

Date:
3/19/2014
Time:
10:10 AM

Hello, would anybody have any information about the B-26 called “Super Sixth”? Greasing’ the wheels a little with this picture, I’m trying to paint a noseart panel for this aircraft and need some info for the data plate , serial # etc., was it painted or left unpainted this is all I can find! -Thank you, Jon Stevens

…large image

Jon, I hope this helps, Serial number 44-67909 coded KX-H. Name Super 6th in black outline, 6th Armoured Division Badge like this image. Trevor Allen

Date:
3/19/2014
Time:
8:06 AM

I’m sad to hear of Chester Klier’s passing. Mr. Klier made an immense contribution by documenting the history of the 386th Bomb Group, which has also become a truly significant part of the history of all Marauder Men. I remember reading all of his material on B26.COM and, although it took me nearly 6 months to complete, every piece was fascinating and a joy to read. How lucky we are to have his collection of priceless information available for future generations. My sincere condolences to his family.

Sincerely,
Steve Sharp

Date:
3/17/2014
Time:
1:44 PM

D-Day: Normandy 1944 : a giant-screen, 3D film shows how during 100 days the battle of Normandy changed the world. This film honors the millions of men and women, soldiers and civilians, who gave their lives for Freedom. Being released on large-format screens worldwide in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, this 40-minute documentary will inspire audiences for years to come and serve as a timeless educational resource for viewers of all ages.

Cheers,
Samantha

Date:
3/17/2014
Time:
11:17 AM

Regarding Becci Hughes’ post about her Dad, Lawrence Gillen, I’ve attached a list of missions and other crew members that Mr. Gillen was scheduled for, using the crew loading lists of the squadron. My standard caveat applies — the originals were not always entirely legible, I may have not transcribed the data 100% accurately, but the data is as good a job as I can do.
Also, I noticed that Mr. Gillen was scheduled to fly with my father on several missions. If he has any recollection, pictures, stories, etc. of my father, I would greatly appreciate if he could share them with me.

Don Hoch, son of Sterling Hoch

Date:
3/15/2014
Time:
5:18 PM

Hi. My grandfather was Lt. Philip G Blair, Pilot/Copilot 558th Bomb Group, 387th Bomb group from the summer of 1943 to summer of 1944. He flew 72 missions, the majority of which were flown as Copilot on Lt. William Wiese’s crew in Wham Bam! (KX-N s/n 131665).

I’m trying to get a hold of Alan Crouchman. My grandfather met his father Peter when he was a young boy and attended church with his family several times while stationed at Chipping Ongar/Chelmsford. He and Weise met with Peter again 40+ years later and toured the airbase with him.

I will be in London May 12th-16th and would love to meet with Alan and tour the air base. By reading the forums I also saw that the family of my grandpas original tailgunner T/Sgt Howard Head (KIA 2/25/44) visited the airbase with Alan last year. If I could get their contact information I could send them some pictures of Howard and the crew that they have probably never seen before as well as a book about the crew. Also if there are any other crew members families out there it would be neat to hear from them.

Thanks
-Brendan Blair

Date:
3/14/2014
Time:
8:16 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Bennett, Hale B. Captain
Bomb Group: 386th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 553rd Squadron
Comments: It is my sad duty to report the passing of Captain Hale B. Bennett of Silver Springs, NV. Capt. Bennett passed away on 9 March 2014.

Capt Bennett flew 68 combat missions over France, Germany, and the Low Countries during WWII. During the Korean Conflict, Captain Bennett During the Korean Conflict Hale was recalled to the now-U.S. Air Force to train bomber pilots.

Captain Bennett attended at the D-Day dedication of a new museum wing at Utah Beach devoted to the brave contributions of the B-26 crews.

Hale is survived by his wife, daughter and one grandchild. Hale died just days before his 94th birthday at home at the Silver Springs Airport surrounded by aircraft, family and friends.

There will be a Memorial Gathering at the Silver Springs (NV) Airport April 26, 2014.

I have attached an additional photo of Hale Bennett, standing on far right, and the rest of the Crime Doctor crew after surviving a crash landing in Great Dunmow, England.

Terry Callison
CPT, MI, USAR, Ret

Date:
3/12/2014
Time:
3:13 PM

To David Moore, President of 397th Association, please add me to the mailing list for the 397TH and information on the reunion. Also, do you have a history for the 597TH? (597th bomb squadron history here) Saw the HQ history before and the squadron history was interesting. Nephew of Stephen Kmetz, 597TH squadron / 397TH Bomb Group, KIA 4/19/45.

Steve Bonk

Date:
3/11/2014
Time:
9:33 AM

A long-time fan of this airplane, I have never seen an explanation for the circular patch on the top of the fuselage near the leading edge of the wing. Can anyone tell me what this was all about? It almost looks like a major structure was removed and the hole simply covered up. Does anyone know? Thank you. Michael West, Bethesda, MD

The “hatch” is called a retractable navigators turret and is also known as the “astrodome”. Research and pictures provided by Roy Bozych and Peter Smith.

Date:
3/9/2014
Time:
6:50 AM

We are sad to hear of the passing of Chester Klier. Chester had the foresight to ask his comrades to record their memories for posterity. As a result we are delighted to be the custodians of the original diary compiled by Chester. This document is now available for all to enjoy and will forever keep alive the achievements of the 386th B.G. (med). Our museum at Boxted is dedicated to all these brave men. Chester we salute you.

Richard Turner
Chairman
Boxted Airfield Museum

Date:
3/6/2014
Time:
9:20 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Jules A. Levy
Bomb Group: 387th Bomb Group
Bomb Squadron: 559th Bomb Squadron

Hello, just curious if you have any specific information about Lt. Levy, or any pertinent 1st person accounts, etc. I was also curious if there is a way to get a copy of the group reunion video that is on Youtube. I look forward to hearing from you….

Best regards,
Mike W.

Date:
3/3/2014
Time:
7:05 PM

Sadly, I regret to inform you of the passing of my father, Chester P Klier, “Klier the Flier” at approximately 8:00 am on February 27, 2014. My dad had medical complications that developed about 5 weeks ago when he was admitted to the hospital, exacerbated with other medical problems that he suffered from the past two years. His health continued to decline until he was put in hospice a week ago.

He was 91 in December of 2013. He will join my mother (who passed away 3 years ago) at Jefferson Barracks Memorial cemetery (in the St Louis area) sometime at the end of next week. He will have the military ceremony befitting his veteran and prior military status.

There will be a viewing at the Hutchens Mortuary, 675 Graham Road, Florrisant, MO. 63031 (phone# 314 831-3100), followed by a Catholic church service and burial at the cemetery towards the end of next week. I know he valued all his Marauderman friendships over the years, and he always told me stories regarding his many friendships and how much it meant to him. I’m afraid he’s flown his last mission, but I know his accomplishments and his memory will live on in all of our hearts and minds. I appreciate all of what you have done with him and for him over the past years and you all will be remembered by our family.

He is survived by me and my brother Ron, 3 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. He lived a full and complete life and we were honored to be his sons.

Thank you and God bless,
Dennis T Klier

Dennis, I am so sorry to hear about Chester’s passing, yes we were friends and I have been in contact with him for many years. To me he was the consummate historian, and was always willing to help others. His passing has left a gaping hole in B-26 history and research, what he knows about the 386th Bomb Group will never be surpassed by another person. Like many good historians, much of the information he possessed was in his head, and with his death that knowledge is lost forever. Personally, I will miss him greatly, not only as a historian, but as a friend, colleague and a true gentleman.
Regards, Trevor

Dennis, I may have created the site in 1998 but Chester made the site what it is today. His pages have been visited by thousands of people and besides the guest book, his pages are the most visited on the site! Many people have written in especially thanking him for his work. Your Dad not only helped people in the 386th but he replied to anyone to whom he could contribute some information. I have hundreds of emails from him and spent many hours talking with him. His work will stay with us for a long time. Sincerely, Mike

Date:
2/28/2014
Time:
2:45 PM

My Grandfather’s name was Carlos Henry Adams, born Jun 26, 1919. He was a airplane mechanic. I believe he served time in Hawaii & had left shortly before Pearl Harbor was attacked. Thank you so much for any help you can give. I used a magnifying glass to read what’s on the airplane photo’s. I’m sending you a picture in hopes you can provide some additional information regarding this aircraft. My grandfather was an aircraft pilot during WWII & I have tons of plane photo’s. My grandmother had a brother & Uncle serving & have lots of photo’s that were sent to her as well. I’m putting together a scrapbook for her. She will be turning 90 years old on March 3rd. Thank you for any asst. I can get and especially the link to Chester Klier’s page.

I have a photo of “Perkatory” # 131627. Written on back of photo is what appears to be: J.j. 88 ??mmed Per? On the Ground at Colchester, England. Sample T. Smith’s Ship. ? = unsure of the letter.

God Bless, Rhonda H.

Rhonda,
Your grandfather served with the 555th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group initially based at Great Dunmow, Essex County, England. After June 6th 1944 D-Day, the 386th moved to the European Continent and occupied several bases there until the war ended in May 1945. During its entire period in combat the 386th served as a tactical unit bombing targets in the occupied countries. Initially against German airfields, transportation and bridges and V-I flying bomb launching sites and later targets in support of the armies advance through Europe. “Perkatory” was destroyed on the ground when a Ju88 crashed into it.
Regards, Trevor Allen

Date:
2/27/2014
Time:
2:15 PM

My father, Dominic DiBlasio, was a radio gunner aboard a B-26 which eventually was shot down and he became a POW toward the end of WWII. I would like to send you info and pictures I have from him although it is limited. He has since passed and my mother has limited memories of his prior war experience.

Dennis DiBlasio

Date:
2/27/2014
Time:
1:37 PM

Just thought I would let you know that my father, James C Houston, 19th BS, 22nd BG in Australia and New Guinea, passed away on October 15, 2011. He was a Marauder man to the end.

Jim Houston Jr.

Date:
2/18/2014
Time:
1:07 PM

Hello and thank you for putting this site together. It’s a real achievement. I’m trying to find out if Melvin E. Pillow (451st, 322nd) is still alive and if you’re in contact with him. George E. Heiser (also of the 452nd, 322nd) was my grandfather’s cousin and your website has helped to clarify what happened all those years ago. We all grew up visiting his grave marker at our family plot in Willard, OH but my family never got the full story it seems. I also find it incredible that George Heiser’s love interest in England only learned of his fate a few years ago. I’ll be in Normandy to visit George’s real grave site the first week of June and will travel down to Foret d’Andaine to try to locate the air strip where George’s plan crashed. I realize that’s not an easy thing to do but if you know of anyone who might have information on how I might find where the airstrip was located, it would be greatly appreciated.

Below is that post about George’s English girlfriend. So amazing.

Regards and thank you, Robert O’Neill

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

My Aunt was the English girlfriend of T/Sgt George Heiser of 451st Bombardment Squadron (see Lee Lipkis’ page) who was killed in action on August 6 1944. She heard that George was “missing in action” and your website has, at last, answered some questions. I note with great interest that S/Sgt Melvin E Pillow was part of the same crew but survived the crash in France. If Melvin is still in contact with you we would be delighted to make contact – he was, by all accounts, credited with some astonishing actions after the crash. -Mike Draper

Dear Robert,
MACR 11982 gives the location of where “Impatient Virgin II” 41-34951 crashed on August 6,1944 as 1/2 mile South of Meuvaines, France. If accurate, this location is near 3 temporary airfields known as “Advanced Landing Grounds” which were constructed after D-Day to support the Allied Forces push into occupied territory. If, as stated, the aircraft was attempting to land at a “Normandy landing strip”, it could have been at (or near) one of these: select here
NB I’ve added these locations to a map which you can view at http://goo.gl/maps/nXfOi .

According to the MACR, Sergeants: Lux, Perciballi, and Pillow survived the crash. Lux, and Perciballi returned to duty on Oct. 7 and Aug. 28, 1944 respectively. Pillow was evacuated to the United States on Jan. 18, 1945. So it would seem that Perciballi did not die on the way to hospital as has been stated. However, it’s possible that injuries that they sustained in the crash would have delayed their return to duty.

Sadly, S/Sgt. Melvin E. Pillow passed away 5 years ago select here

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
2/18/2014
Time:
10:35 AM

I just wanted to reply about the plane called “The Three Bears”. My Grandfather, Alfonzo Roy Garcia, was a mechanic assigned to “The Three Bears”. I have hundreds of pictures that my grandfather had taken of “The Three Bears”, “Scrumptious” and many other planes and there crews, I will be sharing these very soon. -Ken Garcia

Ken,
Your Grandfather was in the 575th.BS 391st.BG and the “The Three Bears” was a 391st plane.
Trevor Allen

Date:
2/18/2014
Time:
8:17 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lawrence C Gillen
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: 596th
Years in service: 28
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I am writing for my father, Lawrence C. Gillen, who was a B-26 Bombardier, “Bridge Busters”, during WWII. The name of his plane was the “Taconite Express”, I am attaching a photo. I believe his last mission was 1945. He is 91 years old, but is almost blind. He could answer all and any questions about this through me because his hearing is also not good. Please any info or questions would be good for his soul. I will send more detailed info. Thank you, Becci Hughes

Date:
2/15/2014
Time:
7:53 PM

I have a friend, Maurice Benjamin Geary, who flew 42 missions in the Free French Group Maroc 1-22. Aircraft Logo: Donald Duck. He flew a B-26 Marauder. I am looking for any information or pictures for him. Can you direct me to any helpful websites? -Jim Wilson

Date:
2/14/2014
Time:
7:52 AM

8th AF Historians:
Sorry about this once-only group email. Didn’t know of an easier way to do it.

I am trying to find the Bomb Group that William Spencer Oakerson flew with. He was a flight engineer on a B-17 and that is all we know. His son is medical condition due to an accident and we are trying to piece together information on his father.

Please check your rosters and see if he is one of yours.
If you can help, please reply. Thanks to everyone for the help.

Gary Moncur

Date:
2/12/2014
Time:
3:41 PM

I am doing research for our local historical society in regards to local veterans that were killed in WWII. One of these is Cpl. Clinton Benson who died due to non battle related injuries sustained on 8 Jun 1943. I found an account of an auto accident on this date that killed an enlisted man and a Major Mellen. I am working with the Perry Historical Society (Perry, GA). I did not find this individual on the website and do not have any information other than he died on 8 Jun 1943 due to non battle injuries. He was a member of the 552 BS 386 BG which was a B-26 unit. Can anyone provide any details of this accident. Cpl Benson, service number XXXX8523, is listed on the National Archives and Records Administration list of US Army/USAAF casualty list. Cause was DNB (Due to Non Battle). He is buried at Salem Baptist Church, Cochran, GA which is a small town nearby. Date listed is 8 June 1943; also listed as 386 BG 552 BS. Everything else is circumstantial. The only link between the car accident that killed an unnamed enlisted driver and a Major Mellen is the date. All circumstantial but interesting.

The purpose of the research is to develop the story of each individual from our county that was killed serving during WWII. These will all be available at the Perry Historical Society. Thank you for your help. -Jeff Brett

Date:
2/11/2014
Time:
3:28 PM

Pfc. James “Ken” Moore
AAF 1942-1945, 397 BG 599th August 1944-Nov 1944
Trained as radio mechanic gunner on B25’s but transferred to 397th to work on the AZON project. Trained at Scott Field, IL, Tyndall Field FL, Columbia SC and Emerson Radio NYC, NY? Completed the war as radio ground crew. I’m trying to hook up with an old friend Marvin Lebowitcz, Baltimore MD.

I am currently serving as the President of the 397th BG Association. This fall we are having our annual meeting in Akron, Ohio. I am in the process of gathering material to reproduce and distribute to members, families and friends of our group. Mainly am seeking personal stories on members of the 397th. I see that your material is copyrighted. What is the process in being able to use some of this material for our members? David R. Moore, son of Ken Moore

Reply: The information on the site is available to whomever wants to use it, just credit the site, thanks 🙂
http://www.b26 .com/page/596th_bomb_squadron_history.htm
http://www.b26 .com/page/397th_bombardment_group_history.htm

Date:
2/4/2014
Time:
4:37 PM

My father, Lt. W.W. Anderson, of the 597th B. Sq., 397th B. Gp., flew his 65th and final mission on Feb. 5, 1945. He flew a “window” mission on this last one. I just happened to look at some of my dad’s memorabilia from the war and there was his bracelet from when he soloed. He soloed with 11 hours on, guess what? February 5, 1943. Exactly two years to the day before he flew his last mission. -Wynn Anderson

Date:
2/3/2014
Time:
10:00 AM

Unknown Martin B-26A, February 3, 1942, Trinity Centre, California. Flying in poor weather at a time unknown B-26A crashed into Trinity Alps northwest of Trinity Centre, California, killing all 6 crew. No other information available about this incident at this time. Please contact us with the names of the crew members.

Date:
2/2/2014
Time:
9:05 AM

Hello, I am looking for info on my Dad’s best friend, a Marauder man, Richard N. Breesman, 575BS, 391BG. All I can find is an accident report:

450405
A-26B
Action: CRL
Country: FRA
Location: Juvincourt

I remember back in the 60’s as a teenager there was a tape, I think it was, about Neal Breesman’s heroism in returning a badly damaged plane back to somewhere and landing safely.

Would love to get any info about him. His plane, I believe, had “Vera” painted on it, his wife and my second mother. Thanks.

Bob H.

Date:
1/31/2014
Time:
6:36 PM

Hello All,

I am hoping that the fantastic community here can help me. My grandfather, Benjamin Costello, Jr., was an original crew member (Crew #7) and served as the Radio Operator/Gunner on B-26 41-31694 “Hangover Hut” assigned to the 556th BS/387th BG. The squadron identification for the aircraft was FW-F. While I have managed to locate a couple of photos of the aircraft, I would really like to locate a crew photo-providing one exists. If anyone has one, knows anyone who might have one, or could give advice on where and how to proceed in my search I would be most appreciative. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away when I was a small child before I had the chance to talk to him about his service, and anything he might have had was destroyed in a flood a few years after. It has been something of a quest of mine to piece his story back together, and with the help of this site I have been able to start the process.

…large image

Thanks in advance for all your help!

Sincerely,
Benjamin Costello IV

Benjamin, in response to your request for photo’s of “Hangover Hut’s” original crew please see the attached. The first shows the original crew at Willingale, England while the second photo shows her attacking Leeuwarden Airfield on Feb 24th 1944, as part of the “Big Week” missions. Last image shows missions sheet, your Grandfather was flying in the “Deputy Lead” position.

…large images

Regards,
Alan Crouchman

Update: Words cannot express the gratitude I have for helping me track down these photographs and documents. When I saw the post, I couldn’t believe it. I have been wanting to find the crew picture since I became aware that such photos existed when I was a child, but I never thought I would find it, figuring it had been lost to history. You have both fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine, which when I saw it, literally brought tears to my eyes (just ask my wife!).

This find has renewed my energy in researching my grandfather’s service in the Air Corps. According to his service record, he was awarded the Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters. From what research I have been able to do, it seems that this medal was awarded for successfully completing five missions. Is this correct? If so, that would indicate he flew a total of 60 missions. Since the aircraft is recorded to have flown 152 missions, is there a way to determine the specific ones he participated in? Where would I begin my search for this information? Any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again to you both for all of your help, and if there is anything I can do to help the site, please let me know.

All The Best,
Ben

Date:
1/26/2014
Time:
2:34 PM

TRUMAN COMMITTEE
Senate Office Building
Washington, D. C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 29, 1943

Senator Harry S. Truman (D. Mo.), Chairman of the Special Committee Investigating the National Defense Program stated today:

“General Henry H. Arnold, Commander of the Army Air Forces, today made a private report to the Committee on the result of an extensive study of aviation accidents. Many figures in the report cannot be made public but General Arnold authorized the following summary of some of the more important points which he made … [read more]

Date:
1/25/2014
Time:
12:01 AM

“Bar Fly” is salvaged 69 years ago on 25 January 1945. Pilot: Lt. Harry F. Mickey, 397BG, 599BS, Plane 42-96171, “BAR FLY”, Code: 6B-W, 82 Missions. On 22 Jan 45 ran out of gas, crashlanded near Juvincourt, France. Salvaged on 25 Jan 45.

“Bar Fly” 41-31877 RU-V 386th.BG 554th.BS. On 1 Jan 45 crashed on take off at Beaumont-sur-Oise and salvaged 175 missions. Pilot 2.Lt Donald C Altenburger

Date:
1/25/2014
Time:
12:01 AM

Seventy years ago today, 41-35472 61TEFTS 2 Sep 43 Dodge City, KS to 25 Jan 44 22.46hrs made normal take off from Sioux City AAB, Iowa, began climbing as it flew away from the field. Several minutes later descended to the ground, fuselage and propellers touched, then bounced back into the air for approx 500′ then crashed back onto the ground smashing itself to pieces and burning before coming to a halt 2 miles SW Sioux City, IA.

Crew: Capt Carl W Fliermans;2.Lt’s William J Coffey; George G Alford; Pfc’s Lawrence J Beister; Frank Pappas. (all killed in crash)

Date:
1/24/2014
Time:
7:34 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Raul Pompa, Sr.
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: 1941-45
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: Re 12/15/2013, 10:25 AM, posting by Dave Padgett. 2nd LT James Padgett was the navigator-bombardier of a crew that consisted of 2nd LT William Floyd Ray (pilot), 2nd LT Dennis Jones (co-pilot), CPL Preston Prejean (radio operator-gunner), S/SGT Raul Pompa (engineer-turret gunner), and CPL Wesley Anderson (tail-gunner). Padgett, Prejean, 2nd LT James Dubois (deputy lead navigator/bombardier) and S/SGT Wetzel Kimball (tail-gunner) were killed (KCR) when their B-26 (43-34151) crashed on 25 NOV 1944 (returning from a mission over Kaiserslautern). Ray, Jones, and Pompa survived the crash (Ray and Jones were lightly injured and Pompa was badly injured). Padgett was buried at the Epinal American Cemetery, France. Prejean, Dubois, and Kimball were returned to the United States. Kimball was substituting for Anderson, who was either sick or on assignment. B-26 (43-34151) was the deputy lead plane on the Kaiserslautern bombing mission, which is why Dubois was assigned to the crew.

Postwar, Jones, Pompa, and Anderson had families, and are deceased. Ray, also had a family, and died in July, 2010, in Austin, at the age of 89. Ray spoke highly of his crew, and loved flying the B-26 Marauder. He said when he first saw the B-26, he knew that was the plane for him. Ray said the crew were close, and had good times together.

For the 1943 fiscal year, Martin was contracted to build 100 B-26G-1-MA’s Marauders (43-34115 to 43-34214). Production began in March, 1944, in Baltimore. 43-34151 was part of this allocation.

43-34151 was initially assigned to the 558th Bomb Squadron (KX) of the 387th Bomb Group. At some point, it was reassigned to the 557th Bomb Squadron (KS) of the same bomb group. Its last mission was the bombing raid of Kaiserslautern (objective of the raid was to “soften” the German defenses as Patton’s 3rd Army was rushing to capture Kaiserslautern).

Upon returning to their air base, A-71 (Clastres), the plane crashed near Housett – La Neuville. The unsung heroes are Father Joseph Houyoux, who organized the rescue of the crewmen, the Depercenaire family, who took the injured crewmen and the bodies of the fallen airmen into their home, and the villagers of Housett-Neuville, who assisted in the rescue and recovery effort.

Ray was from Texas; Jones, New Jersey; Padgett, Indiana; Prejean, Louisiana; Pompa, Texas; Anderson, Minnesota; Kimball, Tennessee; and Dubois, Wisconsin. Rest in Peace, Marauders.

Raul Pompa

Date:
1/23/2014
Time:
6:33 PM

Hello,
My father’s name was Paul Earl Swope Sr, originally from Camden, N.J. I would like to know more about my father’s service during WWII. He was attached to the 441st and 442nd Bombardment Squadrons, 320 Bombardment Group. He served in the Army Air Corp from Sept. 1942 – Oct. 1945. He performed as an aerial engineer/gunner. I would like to know as much about his service as possible. Within a packet of information I sent away for from the DOD, I noted the following: Central Europe, North Appenines, Rhineland, Rome Arno and Southern France.

Thank you in advance for any help in knowing how he and all the other brave military protected our freedom.

Sincerely,
Ken Swope

Date:
1/19/2014
Time:
5:11 PM

Marauderman’s Name: William Harris
Bomb Group: 397
Bomb Squadron: 599th
Years in Service: 42 – 45
Comments: Hello to Joe Littleton, thank you so much for posting about your dad. I would like to contact you or have him contact me. Our fathers flew in the same plane. The B26 website is amazing. My father was with Littleton’s father on the “Lily from Picadilly”. I have very few photos of my dad in the war and he was always very reluctant to talk about the war. He left just after he and my mother were married and she always said he came back a different man. But, he did tell me he was the bombardier on “Lily from Picadilly” and stationed in England and France. He also said there was a tight camaraderie among the men on his plane. He just passed away at the age of 94, back in Sept. 2008. If you have any photos of the guys from the Lily, I would love to see them. In any event, I would like to correspond.

Linda Harris Sittig

Date:
1/16/2014
Time:
3:06 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Richard “Dick” Cheeseman
Bomb Group: ?

Bomb Squadron: 453rd
Years in service: ?
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I was talking with my grandfather about two weeks ago about his time while he was in the Air Force. He flew on the “Circle Jerk” and the “Mud Hen”. I’ve got a picture that I’ve added onto this email of the crew outside of the plane when it was the Circle Jerk. He was based out of Earls Colne for a while before they moved into France. He flew some 60 odd missions (he thinks it was around 62) on occupied France and on Germany when they moved into France proper. He said that his pilot was George Glazier, he liked to talk about the B26 that he was on and did get the chance to fly it a few times and said it was the most responsive thing “you just touch it a little and it would go whoop in that direction”. He has the stencils for when they changed it to the “Louisiana Mud Hen” and created the artwork for it when he put it on the plane. He had to stay two combat missions after the rest of his crew went back state side to make up for being sick and flying home. He said that he saw a film of when he got back where he saw the plane flying in formation and it had gone down after getting a direct hit on the wing from artillery, he still thinks about that all the time.

Thomas Cheeseman

Follow-up: He’s the guy in the front row, left hand side with his hat at an angle. I’ll ask him about the group and squad etc over the weekend and find out the rest of the answers.

Dear Thomas,
Can you Identify who in the photograph is your grandfather. He served with the 323rd.Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Squadron.
On 23rd December 1944 at 10.30 hours B-26 41-31896 VT-G “Louisiana Mud Hen” received a direct flak burst in the left engine over the target. The engine was completely blown off and the plane burst into flames, rolled over into a spin, and crashed.

The crew was:- 1.Lt James C Bostick pilot; 2.Lt James P Hodges, copilot; 1.Lt Howard Detel, bomb/nav; S/Sgt Albia Wiles, engineer/gunner; S/Sgt Robert Hohimer, radio/gunner and S/Sgt A C Carrell armourer/gunner. (All the crew were killed in the crash)

Regards,
Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
1/14/2014
Time:
7:03 AM

On this day, 69 years ago, Captain Robert H. Adams plane 42-107588 from the 323BG, 453BS was hit by flak in target area, went down in a slow spiral, crashed. Crew: Capt’s Robert H. Adams; George P Burnett, Jr; 1.Lt Jerome S Yosick; Capt Warren W Anderson; T/Sgt’s Virgil Smith; Jack W Pippin; S/Sgt Louis R PreJean.
Burnett and Pippin, evaded; Yosick, MIA; Anderson injured POW; PreJean and Smith killed trying to cross to Allied lines, Adams landed in Allied lines.

Descendants and friends are encouraged to add a memorial page.

Date:
1/12/2014
Time:
7:20 AM

Touching base, I’m all fine and dandy! And this 98-year-old still moving around, driving, walking. The only problem: Right now, damnit, I couldn’t climb into a B26 via usual cockpit slide door opening in the floor–as we used to do. Long gone are those days.

Very nostalgic for me to go thru the excellent collection of B26 guys listed on the site. Doubt very many too active…or even still with us.

An Air Force salute to B26.com for the tremendous job you’ve been doing all these years. Very rare to see a site with all those names, stories, affiliations etc, along with so many personal messages.

Remember from the early 1940s: “Keep’em flying!”

PHIL SCHEIER

Date:
1/5/2014
Time:
9:30 AM

On this day, 71 years ago, an instructor pilot lost control while demonstrating stall conditions at too low altitude. Went into a left hand spin crashing into 5′ of water in swampy terrain at NW edge of Cross Lake 6 miles NWQ of Barksdale Field. All killed. Crew: 1.Lt Doyce D Harden, F/O Malcolm J Tahl, F/O James E O’Connor, 2.Lt John P Petraitis, S/Sgt John C Aitchison

Date: January 5, 1943
Time: 09.30hrs
Location: Cross Lake, Louisiana
Plane No. 41-17645
Model Type: Martin B-26B

Descendants and friends are encouraged to add a memorial page.

ate:
1/1/2014
Time:
12:01 AM

Happy New Year!

Marauder Men, family and friends are invited to add content to the web site. Tell a story. Include as much information as you want.