Year 2015

Date:
12/25/2015
Time:
7:50 PM

Merry Christmas to all the Marauder men and their descendants and friends … These photos are from the 320BG 442BS.
Don Enlow, son of Malcolm Enlow

Date:
12/25/2015
Time:
6:07 PM

I saw the recent post about tow target B-26s; I am curious about them as well. Attached is a photo of my father 1st Lt. John McClurkin (on the right) and an unidentified co-pilot and/or navigator at Bluethenthal Field in Wilmington, North Carolina. This is the only photo of Dad from that army field. Also attached are scans of two of his letters which mention this re-assignment; in a third letter he mentions they are part of the 1st Air Force. It was his last post before the war ended. Just prior to this he was graduated from Officers Communications School at Chanute Field; had a short stint as B-25 instructor in Oklahoma; and from January to September 1944 was piloting B-26s with the 391st/574th at Matching Green.

FYI: My father’s cursive is interesting and a bit hard to read in these war letters; he doesn’t always cross his T’s! He did later in life. I wonder what a handwriting analysis would reveal. 😉

Cheers and Merry Christmas,
Dora McClurkin Muir

Date:
12/25/2015
Time:
10:57 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Chesley F. Hazelwood
Bomb Group: 394
Bomb Squadron: 584

Comments: I am looking for a picture of the plane that my dad Chesley F. Hazelwood flew in as the tail gunner. The name of the plane was “Lucky Star” or “Lucky Star II”. The number was 43-34203, a B-26G. I think he was stationed in France. The pilot was Lt. Schmidt.

Thanks,
Richard Hazelwood

Richard,

43-34203 “LUCKY STAR”
394BG, 584BS
“LUCKY STAR”, Code H9-H, Missions flown 15
11 Aug 44 to 1 Dec 44 recoded as
“LUCKY STAR”, H9-O, Missions flown 22
1 Dec 44 to 28 Feb 45 recoded
“LUCKY STAR”, H9-D, Missions flown 8
28 Feb 45 to 2 May 45 taxi accident at Y-55 Venlo Holland
Pilot: Karl F. Schmidt

42-96081 “LUCKY STAR”
394BG, 584BS
“LUCKY STAR”, Code K5-D, Missions flown 70
26 Aug 44 hydraulics shot our, ran off end of runway on landing, hit stump, washed out, salvaged by 2 Tactical Air Depot, Stansted 27 Aug 44
Lt. Richard M. Brown

Trevor Allen historian B26.com

Date:
12/25/2015
Time:
3:48 AM

Hello I have found photo of the B26 Marauder at Donald Epstein, because her sons contact me through a military forum. This photo come at: Protin Family. The last photo come the IWM and this is really plane of D. Epstein.

Guillaume Rault

Date:
12/24/2015
Time:
6:18 AM

I would like to send information to Ms. Rachel Hart (her message is below) about her great-uncle’s B-26 “Krejean”.

Your great-uncle, Lincoln Ernest Behling, was the pilot on the B26 “Krejan: SN 41-17550 that was shot down over Rekata Bay on January 7, 1943 with the loss of the entire crew. My uncle, Sgt. Daniel Mulcahy, was the engineer on the aircraft when it went down. I was born after the war and was named after him.

There is a picture of Krejan’s crew, presumably with your great-uncle, on a personal page on the b26.com site devoted to Raffaele Pietroluongo. There is also an account of the loss of the aircraft and its eventual recovery in the 69th Bombardment Squadron’s war log.

On the Pietroluongo page there is an individual picture of my uncle, and, I believe, one of my father (and possibly my grandmother?) titled “This is Jack and myself”. I had never seen a picture of my uncle before discovering the Raffaele Pietroluongo page last summer.

I hope this bit of information helps you with your quest into our mutual loss. If by any chance you find some additional information regarding my uncle, I would appreciate knowing about it.

Best holiday wishes,

Daniel Michael Mulcahy

Date:
12/23/2015
Time:
9:35 AM

Marauderman’s Name: William Schroedl
Bomb Group: Unknown, probably the 386th
Bomb Squadron: 552nd
Years in service: 42-45
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments: I’m looking for information about my grandfather, William Schroedl. He never talked about his service and, sadly, passed away several months ago. When sorting through his things, we found his papers- he was a bombardier and had been with the 552nd since its inception.

What little he had spoken about was that he had been in Belgium. We also know that he was injured in training exercises when a bomb was dropped on his foot- perhaps that might remind someone of that incident?

Thanks, Julie Krizan

Date:
12/17/2015
Time:
10:08 AM

I was very pleasantly surprised to find your page for the 16th Tow Target Squadron. I’m the younger son of then-Cpl. Charles Colburn, leftmost in the 3rd row of the photo.

For at least part of the time, they were based in Hawaii. Dad told us how he once descended into the crater of then-dormant Kilauea.

Alas, strictly speaking, it doesn’t belong on B26.com. Their planes were not B-26s but B-25s, as he always told us and as the photo shows. Notice the three-bladed props and the twin tails (clearest on the plane in the background facing us at left; they are less obvious on the foreground plane because of the foliage, but they’re there). Your call; it would be a pity for the unit to drop off the web altogether, but I don’t see a site for the B-25 comparable to yours.

A note about them is here on p. 6 (numbered 56).

Hoping that this is at least interesting, and wishing you a merry Christmas,

Jerome Colburn

Mr. Colburn, many tow target squadrons flew Martin B-26 Marauder AT23’s and TB26’s. They were stripped down and equipped specifically for towing targets.

There is very little historical information about the tow target squadrons so there is a real need to fill the gaps in the historical record. Many B-26 historians have asked for any information about the tow squadrons to find out more about who the crew were, their path to the squadron and what they flew. Our site is looking for the one guy or gal who has the one picture who has the one story to help us connect the dots.

The tow target squadrons are very important to the Marauder pilot and crew story and definitely has a place on the site. Many people have commented positively about that page, we just need more help. I appreciate your comments very much … and when I get that one Martin B-26 Marauder AT23 or TB26 picture or that one story, I’ll add it to the page which hopefully leads to gathering more information, like you said, so all those that served are not forgotten.

Here is a sample of Martin B-26s used in Tow Squadron. If anybody has pictures or stories about the men and women who flew and supported these planes, please send them to us, thank you!

41-17648 1.TTSq, 8 Jul 43 Romulus, MI
41-32003 8.TTSq, McChord, WA
41-32008 13.TTSq, 1 Jul 43 Bradley Field, CT
1.TTSq 5 Feb 44 Bradley Field, CT
41-34680 “GYPSY ROSE” 13.TTSq Bradley Field, CT
41-34710 323BG, 456BS; 31 Mar 43 Baer Field, IN to 15 Apr 43 take off accident, repaired (Pilot Lt John B Stirling)
13.TTSq, Bradley Field, CT
1.TTSq, Romulus, MI
41-34740 13.TTSq, Bradley Field, CT
41-34783 13.TTSq, Bradley Field, CT
41-35063 2.TTSQ, Baltimore, MD
41-35079 ATC, 13 Jun 43 MacDill, FL
397BG, 599BS MacDill to 17 Sep 43 ground collision when parked by taxiing B-26 41-35103 of 21stBG 398th.BS at MacDill, repaired
Transferred to 23.TTSQ 8 Oct 44 to Howard Field Panama
41-35089 23.TTSq, Howard Field, Panama
41-35092 23.TTSq, Howard Field, Panama
41-35110 23.TTSq, Howard Field, Panama
41-35127 17.TTSq, Oahu, Hawaii
41-35158 23.TTSq, Howard Field, Panama
41-35171 23.TTSq, Howard Field, Panama
42-43341 13.TTSq, Dover Field, DE
42-43343 13.TTSq, Bradley Field, CT
42-43346 13.TTSq, Bradley Field, CT
42-43360 21.TTSq, Felts Field, WA
42-43369 8.TTSq, McChord, WA
42-43370 13.TTSq, Dover Field, DE
42-43371 13.TTSq, Dover Field, DE to 28 May 45 hit by P47 while parked
42-43372 “CHEROKEE” from photograph no location, or unit details either. 8.TTSq Yakima, WA; 8.TTSq McChord, WA; 8.TTSq Paine, WA; 8.TTSq McChord, WA

Cheers, Mike

Date:
12/14/2015
Time:
5:28 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Sidney Edward Sprinkle JR
Years in service:1943-1945
Graduation Class: May 1943
Class Location: Lowery Field, CO
Comments: I know that I have left many unknowns here and that is why I have come to your page. What I know is that my grandfather was an enlisted air crewmember on the B-26 marauder. His job was photography and phototopography. I also know that at some point he was set to deploy to Europe but fell ill and was delayed, the plane he was supposed to have been on went down and killed everyone on board. I do not know if it was stateside or in theater. I am trying to piece together what little remnants I have left from his career and would greatly appreciate any assistance. I am really hoping to find the unit and time spent in country. I also know that he was selected for and started training in the aviation cadet program of the Army air forces as a pilot. Thank you for any assistance.

Adam Sprinkle

Date:
12/14/2015
Time:
1:32 PM

This is all that have found out about my grandfathers service, he name is Richard H. Farnsworth and he was a pilot in the 495th bomb squadron, 344th bomb group. I have attached a picture and some more information the researcher found out about him and his plane. Thought one of the historians would like to look at it, and maybe they have more information about him

Thanks Zach Farnsworth

The following information is from Kevin Klesta:

“Here’s what I’ve been able to find:
In 1942, your grandfather trained with the 319th Bomb Group (probably at Barksdale Air Force Base). On August 23, 1942, the B-26 Marauder (A/C: 41-7480) your grandfather was piloting crashed in a ground collision five miles south of Bogolusa, Louisiana. It is unclear what caused the crash. He was flying a B-26A Marauder which was one of the first B-26 models, notoriously unreliable at that time. They were nicknamed “The Widowmaker” because of the high mortality rate and there was a popular saying at the time, “One a day in Tampa Bay,” highlighting the frequency at which these planes crashed. Five members of the flight crew died in the crash and your grandfather was the sole survivor

I haven’t been able to pinpoint when he was transferred from the 319th to the 344th, though I suspect it was shortly after the crash because there’s no other mention of him in the 319th records.

I found a photograph of Wheels, Inc. The ground crew who worked on the plane are posing in front of it. The note attached to the photograph reads:

“’The Wheel’ – Y5-G – #44-68098 – This was an extra plane that they sent us in France and we had no one to crew it. That made me [Jack Terrill] Crew Chief; Jimmie D. Weir, our Line Chief, and Jake G. Hohweiler, one of our Flight Chiefs, were the two mechanics; John R. Hildreth was Communications Chief; and Vinzenzo DeCrosta, Henry W. Rainwater & Frank J. Richter were the Armament boys. One Captain and six Master Sgts. That is the way it got its name of ‘The Wheel.’” *

*Obviously the name of the plane in the photograph is Wheels, Inc. Not sure if it was later changed when your grandfather flew it or if Terrill just misremembered the name.

I’ve also attached a pdf with documents mentioning your grandfather. Not sure if I sent this to you last time or not. We are missing some microfilm that might have mentioned your grandfather. I’ve been in contact with a researcher who may be able to supply us with copies, but it may be a few months before that happens. If we do receive the missing microfilm, I’ll make sure to look through it for mentions of your grandfather and contact you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.”

***
Zach,
41-7480 38BG 2 Apr 42 Jackson, Miss
335BG 30 Jun 42 Barksdale, La
335BG 9 Aug 42 Baton Rouge, La
319BG, 440BS 23 Aug 42 on hooded instrument navigation flight from Harding Field, seen gradually losing height until it crashed into the ground in a wooded area 5 miles south of Bogalusa, La. Investigation found all crew were wearing parachutes, ignition switches found in off position.

Crew: 2.Lt’s. Richard Farnsworth; William L Kelly; Bernard H Green; Pvt’s William R McGehee; Charles T Kneipp; Edgar Stratton; Sgt J C Goodwin
(Farnsworth, Kelly thrown clear both seriously injured, Kelly dying later in day. Rest of crew were killed in the crash)

Trevor Allen

Date:
12/14/2015
Time:
11:18 AM

Great book store, lots of Martin B-26 Marauder related material.

East Anglia Books has one of the largest stocks of USAAF Unit Histories. plus a wide range of second-hand titles, many now out-of-print and difficult to obtain.

East Anglia Books was formed by Cliff Bishop and has now been trading for over 30 years. As a boy Cliff enjoyed watching the 8th Air Force operations around his home in Suffolk and from this, stemmed a lifelong interest in aviation history.

During those years in WWII, he was surrounded by airfields occupied by the 8th Air Force and used to spend his days watching formations of B-17’s and B-24’s heading off to war, some sadly, never to return. Later while serving in the RAF, he worked on the Washington, the RAF’s name for the B-29 Superfortress. Following his RAF service he went on to train as a Design Engineer and spent many years in the Civil Aviation industry working on many different types of aircraft.

Date:
12/11/2015
Time:
8:37 AM

Update about the Poperinge mystery B-26 – I received info that AT-23B with serial 41-35837, my “prime suspect” to be the Poperinge airplane, made a crash landing on 9 Nov 1944. The aircraft was salvaged on 11 Nov 1944. A document of the 8th Gunnery & Tow Target Flight confirms # 837 was assigned to this small unit. In another report the 8th GTTF says that one of their two “B-26s” had had a mishap in Belgium. If I put all these little pieces together, then (for me) it’s 99% sure that #837 is the Poperinge aircraft.

It would be great if crew names will eventually emerge, and hope one or two are still among us. For that matter, some reports are signed with 1st Lt. Roy D. Voorhees and I found that he has died in 2009.

Best regards,
Leendert

Date:
12/10/2015
Time:
11:22 AM

Hello,

I wanted to update the site on where I am on my mission to get my deceased father, Dexter B. Goodwin, the Distinguished Flying Cross medal I believe he deserved. I filled out all the necessary forms and mailed them in with a video interview taken of my Dad around 1995 where he recounted some of the hair raising experience he encountered as a co-pilot and pilot during WW II. The US Air Force Review Board came back and rejected my request saying that they had no record of my Dad being in the plane that made an emergency landing with a crippled plane on the cliffs of Normandy just a few days after D-Day. They did however indicate if it can be proven such an act took place, all members of the crew should have received a DFC for surviving such an occurrence. They also went to tell me that all three of the pilots my Dad flew with received the DFC and that my Dad flew 3-4 missions beyond the required 65 to come home. If the DFC is based on acts of courage and heroism as I am told by the Review Board – not number of missions, one would think that getting into a plane 3 to 4 more time to go into combat when you could instead be flying home, is a very courageous and heroic act. Lastly they say they couldn’t find records of 4 of my Dad’s missions. My belief is that one of the missions they can’t find the logs is the one where he had the emergency landing on Normandy. Since my Dad was the co-pilot at the that time, the record of that flight would have to be found under the pilots name. The pilot my Dad flew with on that mission was Captain Ed M. Jannsen. Would your archive resources be able to pull up Captain Jannsen’s missions? Proving that Captain Ed Jannsen had a forced landing on Normandy, 3-5 days after D Day appear to be my only way of getting my Dad the service medal I believe he deserved.

The letter I received from the Dept. of the Air Force states “ Revised Policy for Award of the DFC, 14 August 1943…under the policy stated above, no award of the DFC will be made on the basis of hours or missions”.

That policy change in August or 1943 explains why some pilots received the DFC for number of missions, if they received their DFC before the policy change, and someone like my father who flew on 68 missions during 1944 did not.

The crew my Dad would have flown with shortly after D Day when the plane had to make an emergency landing, would have been: Pilot – Capt. Ed M. Jannsen; Co-Pilot – my Dad, 2 LT Dexter B. Goodwin; Bombardier/Navigator; 1st LT A.N. Bacon; Radio/Gunner; T/Sgt H.M Krol; Engineer/Gunner – S/Sgt R.L. Fritz; Armorer Gunner – S/Sgt R.A. Vincent.

Thank you very much for all you are doing to help preserve the memory and legacy of these great heroes.

Dexter Goodwin Jr

Date:
12/8/2015
Time:
12:23 PM

Hello, this may or may not help you, but Sat. at the flea market in Tulsa, OK I bought 4 enlisted man’s passes (from different bases) belonging to Lloyd W Sedlacek. While researching him I came across your web page at http://www.b26.com/page/16th_tow_target_squadron.htm which pictures him. Since he is listed as a Pvt. on this pass and a Pfc on your picture, I assume he transferred from the 22nd to the 16th after this pass was issued.

The date on the AAF Dalhart, TX pass is 12-30-43 and it lists Pvt. Sedlacek as in the 22nd Tow Target Squadron. The pass has his picture and thumb print.

Paul

Date:
11/27/2015
Time:
7:33 AM

Hello,
I am looking for any picture and/or information of/about my uncle Mr. Edward Dagostino. He just recently passed away at the age of 91. He flew 47 mission I believe, some with the 319th and some with the 320th. I believe he flew on O’Riley’s Daughter out of Sardinia . Any information would be helpful. He never spoke of his missions. Through my research I know he flew a mission on 19 Dec 1944 and again on 1 Jan 1945 on O’Riley’s Daughter, I believe the Pilot was Capt. West? Thank you.

Michael Dagostino

Date:
11/26/2015
Time:
8:18 AM

Marauderman’s Name: 1st. Lt. Lawrence M. Hohlaus
Bomb Group: 322nd Squadron
Bomb Squadron: 1st Pathfinder, Provisional
Years in service: ’43, ’44, ’45
Graduation Class: 44B
Class Location: Stuttgart, Arkansas
Comments: I am the son of First Lt. Lawrence M. Hohlaus, who flew as co-pilot in B-26 Marauders in the 1st Pathfinder Squadron, Provisional. From his logbook he started his tour flying a new B-26 from Bangor, Maine to Goose Bay, Labrador, then Greenland, Iceland and on to Scotland. After combat school in Northern Ireland, he flew his first combat mission in “Sackfinder” #910 from Great Saling on September 12, 1944. On September 23, 1944, he ferried 10 ground crew and 2 pilots from Great Saling to Beauvais, France, then reposted himself there on September 29 in “Sackfinder”. He listed crew members as Gaudette, Mayes, Brown, Bryson, Perry, Hammett, Robertson, Wilgus, Shirey, Bartels, McAlpin, and Mathis, although I can’t find any record of first names in his files.

He flew a mission against troop concentrations on Dec. 18, 1944 and wrote he could see artillery flashes from the opening days of the Battle of the Bulge below. When I asked him once if he flew during the Battle of the Bulge, he said he was dropping practice bombs, but I don’t know where. Indeed, after December 18, he did not log a combat mission again for almost 6 weeks until January 29th, 1945. That is somewhat of a mystery to me now. Could that period have been retraining on new pathfinding equipment?

Then in February 1945 he flew missions from St. Quintin where I have pictures of him at a great billet in a French chateau! His last mission was to lead a box A-26’s of the 409th in a 5 hour mission against an “experimental ammo station” at Staub (Stob), Cz., on May 1, 1945, which was also his first mission from Venlo, Holland.

All in all he flew 41 combat missions with 155 combat hours, which averages 3.78 hours per mission. Typical load out was four 500 lb. bombs, dropped against lots of railroad bridges, marshalling yards, ordinance depots, strong points, fuel depots. Besides B-26 units he led A-20 and A-26 groups. P-38’s and P-47’s where the most typical escorts, although P-51’s made an appearance in one log entry. Curiously, on Nov. 29, 1944, he logged in that P-61’s flew fighter cover! I wonder if there is any other record of that!

In regard’s his aircraft, he flew most often in #910 “Sackfinder” (which I believe is in the picture with him below, second from left, which I make out to be B-26G-15-MA serial number #44-67910 from scrutinizing the scanned serial numbers on the plane). I really would like to model this plane accurately, and if you could find out and let me know what fuselage code it had, I would be most appreciative.

In between flying “Sackfinder”, he also flew 18 total aircraft which he just marked with the last 3 digits of the serials, including “Smokey” #722 in the picture below (41-31722), “Danita” #706 (41-31706), “Lesslie” #203 (_ _-_ _203), “Hillman’s Hellcat” #933 (42-95933), “Sleepy Time Gal” #583 (42-107583), “El Burro” #936 (_ _-_ _936), Lilly from Picadilly” #176 (_ _-_ _176), and “Yeah It is” #859 (_ _-_ _859). If you have record of what the missing serial numbers of these are, or have pictures of them, that would be great to share.

Here are a few other questions I have in reading his logbook:
1. Here is a little mystery. He flew his first, most often, and last missions in “Sackfinder” #910. Although at the last period when he flew her he just logged in #910 with no name (maybe looking forward to going home?). However, I saw on another B-26 website that #44-67910 was listed as “hit by flak and burst into flames on January 25,1945”. Could this be the same plane? Did it make it home to be refurbished and reflown? He did not list flying #910 again until March 18, 1945.
2. There is an acronym used on lots of his mission summaries such as “COPE” or “1/2 COPE”, “COPED” or “NO COPE”. Any idea what this means?
3. On the March 21, 1945 mission, he tested the “584 technique”. Any idea what that is?

Thank you B26.com for maintaining this site to honor the men who served their country flying the B-26 Marauder. I have learned a lot reading the posts and links, and I hope sharing the information here helps others in their research.

Randy Hohlaus

(PS: I have higher res picture files of those if needed)

Date:
11/25/2015
Time:
8:46 PM

I searched google for my father’s name and this page came up! Marauder Crews that flew on 23 Dec 1944

My father, Curtis G. Welborn, was on the ‘Sleepy Time Gal’. I have pictures of the plane as well as a story about the flight that someone wrote then. He also kept a log of all of his flights and that one was one for the books.

What was so bad is that my father and most of his gang usually flew the Weary Lera and look what happened to her. It was a godsend that they went in the Sleepy Time Gal that night. They made it back alive albeit with many holes in her. But it was a very sad night. My father’s log book doesn’t say how bad it was to whole fleet but the story someone wrote about them gives more info. I have transcribed most of his log book and it starts when he left to go overseas and stops when he took his last flight. It is interesting the places they bombed and the dates might be something to have to line up things for others.

I will send the word doc when I finish it.I have emailed before but this time I did a google search and found the page with the flights of 12-23-1944.

Amanda W Dicken

Date:
11/23/2015
Time:
3:53 PM

My uncle didn’t talk much about his time in the 442nd Squadron, 320th Bomb Group. Just before he died he sent me a letter with a little on his time in Alto and Dijon. I am attaching the only photo I have of him from this period, actually taken at Lake Charles before they went over. He ended up going by ship arriving in Corsica in October of 1944.

The photo shows (L to R):
Martin R. Sidener (from Winfield, Kansas), pilot
Robert Connelly (from Ft. Wayne Indiana), co-pilot
Jerrie C. Wells (from Centerville Texas), bombardier
Joseph J. Kaspar, he has a question mark by this one, flight engineer
Carl S. Schreiner, Jr., another question mark, radio operator/gunner
William L. Spencer (Midwest), tail gunner

My cousin has a copy of this photo where he wrote the names on the pant leg of each person, so I should be able to confirm the two with question marks.

From the mission files I see he flew at least one mission with Spencer in the rear guns. He settled in with Giles as his crew pilot.

Jerrie passed away Jan. 28, 2011 in Bryan, Texas.

Thanks for all the time and effort you put into the site, it’s great.

Kind regards,
Jerry

Date:
11/23/2015
Time:
12:21 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Donald M. Epstein
Bomb Group: 386
Bomb Squadron: 555

I am writing to see if anyone might have a photograph of a particular plane #131794 YA-D “Sparta”. My dad and his crew were shot down while flying this particular aircraft on 12 July 1944. All survived and became POW’s. There is a fantastic dedication on this web site regarding their service and reunion years ago. Looking through my dad’s things from that time we could find no photos of this particular aircraft. It occurred to me that someone here might have one they could share.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you might offer,

James D Epstein

James,
41-31794
322BG, 449BS 16 Sep 43 to 4 Nov 43 damaged, to service squadron Code PN-D Missions 8
386BG, 555BS “SPARTA” Code YA-D Missions 58
23 Mar 44 to 12 Jul 44 ran out of fuel, crashed on the beach 3km S of Bardelot, France (MARC 7045)
2.Lts. Donald M. Epstein; Herbert M Zweig; Horace D Dow; T/Sgt Bernard J Adamski; S/Sgts Wayne R Austin; John J Farrell. (all pow’s)
Trevor Allen

Date:
11/19/2015
Time:
1:14 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Lincoln Ernest Behling
Bomb Group: 38th
Bomb Squadron: 69th
Years in service: I don’t know (shot down Jan. 7, 1943)
Graduation Class: I don’t know
Class Location: I don’t know
Comments: Looking for any and all information about my great-uncle and stories about the 69th, which would indirectly relate to his experience. He was promoted to Captain while training at Patterson Field, OH, prior to leaving for the Pacific. I have questions about his death. For instance, he’s listed as KIA and an eyewitness report says his plane exploded in the air but I have his May West vest and all of the crews’ papers were found on shore. So I don’t see how it’s possible. I want to know how he really died. Did they make it out of the plane alive? Was he captured? A raft and vests were recovered after the crash in, I believe, September of the year he was shot down: 1943. Any help on any front would be great. Thank you.

Culture is something that unites people.

Rachel Hart

Rachel,
I have appended the MIA report, and you will note that the B-26 went down in flames and crashed onto the island of Papatura Fa. It was here that the entire crew were killed and where Lincoln’s Mae West and all the crews papers were found. It is certain that the airplane did not explode in mid air.
Regards
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
11/19/2015
Time:
8:19 AM

Hello: my name is Bob Lindberg and I am trying to find any information on my grandfather’s nephew who flew the B26 for about 30 missions.

His name was Jesse Lafayette Mitchell of Birmingham AL b 9 Oct 1921 and died Sept 22,1998. At present I do not know much about what bombardment group of theaters of conflict. After the war he did go on to become Director of OSSA for NASA involved in ECHO, HUBBLE, X-Ray and Lunar probe projects. Any pictures, stories or information sent would be appreciated. Thank you, Bob Lindberg

Date:
11/14/2015
Time:
7:40 AM

My father’s B-26 crew. In the far reaching attempt that some of their relatives may belong to this group. Shot down twice in occupied Italy. First time, crash landed and another plane landed and picked them up. The second time, on Sept. 30, 1943, they had to bail out. Friendly Italians managed to get the whole crew back to allied lines 10-14 days later. My dad, George (Swifty) Doran, waist gunner/radioman, Lt. Basil Barnstad, pilot, Lt. R E Thomas, co-pilot, Lt. H C Henley, navigator/bombardier, Sgt. Pete Klinke, engr/turret gunner, Sgt. Bill Quimby, tail gunner. Plane was called Charlotte the Harlot. 319th Bombardier Group, 438th Bombardier Squadron. In this picture, my dad is second from left. I did a search for ‘Doran’ on your site and saw someone by the name of Harold Wright posted in 2009 asking about my dad. Would you by chance have an email add’y for him? He was stationed with dad in Japan in the mid ‘50’s. -Jim Doran

Jim,
The first crash landing was on November 11 1942 when 41-17754 named “Susfu, Snafu’s Brother” was hit by flak. The pilot crash landed 12 miles West of Gabes the crew being picked up and returned in a Douglas A-20 Havoc.

The crew were 2.Lts’s David L Floeter pilot; Alan L Houser, Jr co-pilot; Vernon C Scoggin bombardier/navigator; S/Sgt’s George F Doran radio/gunner; R V Davilla engineer/gunner and H Fleischman armourer/gunner.

Harold Wright’s email bounced, I’ll keep you posted when he follows up.

Cheers
Trevor J Allen
historian b26.com

Date:
11/7/2015
Time:
9:32 PM

HAPPY VETERANS’ DAY to all of you.

Anyone know Robert A. Mohan, a member of the 573rd Bomb Squadron, 391st Bomb Group?
He flew 72 combat missions from Apr 1944 through Sep 1944.

He passed away in Dec 1996 in Huntsville, AL.

He was my wife’s uncle.

Thank you.

Jack and Laura Priest

Date:
11/4/2015
Time:
6:45 AM

Good day,
I am writing to let you know that, once again I will be laying a wreath on Remembrance Sunday for the American airman that died in the collision over East Sussex on 6th June 1944. I will of course, forward a photograph of the laying of the wreath to all of you. Once again, I am happy to hear of any memories or thoughts you would like mentioned in my book along with a permanent home for the plaque. I look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts and pictures.

The wreath will be laid at St. Mary the Virgin, Battle, East Sussex. There were 4 B24 Marauders involved in the crash. 2 crashed locally and the other 2 crashed at Gillingham, Kent, approximately 50 miles from here. Eric Kirkpatrick has much of the story and my involved in June 1944. Below are the names of the crew members involved in the collision over Battle,

CREW OF 42-107592. SITE OF CRASH- WHATLINGTON ROAD, BATTLE.
1st Lt Christian Burger
1st Lt Leroy Dyer
T/Sgt George Kyle
S/St James Long
S/St Ralph Parker
Lt Thomas Potts (survivor)

CREW OF 42-96249 SITE OF CRASH- ASHBURNHAM, BATTLE
2nd Lt Thomas F. Jenkins
2nd Lt Walter Winter
S/Sgt William Hoeb
S/Sgt George Williams
Sgt George Rogers
St Edward Bailey

Regards Ian Cheveralls

42-107592 394BG 585BS 20 Apr 44 only
584BS STINKY
12 May 44 to 6 Jun 44 collided in mid air with 42-96249,crashed near Battle, Sussex, exploded.
1.Lts.Tommie J Potts, Jr.; Leroy A Dyer; Christian D Burger; S/Sgts James M Long; George J Kyle; George W Williams. (Only Potts survived)

Trevor Allen

Date:
11/3/2015
Time:
11:35 AM

In response to a message I saw online:

Date:
5/28/2010
Time:
6:44 AM

I am the grandson of Samuel Jepsen, a tail gunner and radio operator in the 387th 558 Bomber group, and I am looking for more information about him and the planes he flew. I know he was shot down 3/21/1945 and crashed near Laag Keppel, in plane 44-68103 MACR 13229. I do not know the name of the plane, but the pilot was Lt George B Fallon, and I believe the other crew included Stankiewicz, Blaumer and Skinner. I know my grandfather was captured, as was I believe Fallon, but one member of the crew reportedly escaped with the Dutch underground. The plane was reported as being found by a Dutch researcher in 1978. Any further information about him would be greatly appreciated. He died in 1994 and did not like to speak about his WWII experiences.

Thanks,
Marsh Cuttino (email bounced)

My father SGT John Stankiewicz was the crewman rescued by the Dutch Underground. He was shot down on 21 March 1945 and reunited with the Canadians who entered Doetinchem, Holland, on 1 April 1945. I believe my father was shot down by 88’s and the rest of the crew was captured. The pilot of the B-26 was LT George Fallon. My father was moved to several safe houses and a houseboat before being returned to the Canadians who liberated the town on 1 April 1945. By father passed away in 1983.

The initial report was wrong, my father was rescued by the Dutch Underground, while the rest of the crew was captured. He was returned to the Canadians on 1 April 1945 when they liberated the town of Doetinchem, Holland.

Rm,
Jack Stankiewicz

Plane: 44-68103
BG/BS: 387BG, 558BS
Details: 4 Mar 45 to 21 Mar 45 flak in left engine, at 1000hrs at approximately R-501951, last seen on one engine, under control.
Code: KX-T
Missions: 13
MARC: 11260
Crew: 1.Lt George B Fallon; 2.Lt George V Skinner; T/Sgt Joseph M Blaumer; Sgts Joseph Amos; Samuel B Jepson; John Stankjewicz. (all pow’s)

Amendment to Sgt John Stankiewicz, he evaded capture and was picked up and hidden by the Dutch underground who handed him over to the Canadian army when they relieved Doetinchen.
The reference R-501951 is a map grid reference used by the USAAF.

Trevor Allen

Date:
10/31/2015
Time:
3:05 PM

Nathan Ackerman – just celebrated 100 years young! Looking for anyone from the 344th Bomb Group! Thanks, Robert Ackerman, son.

Date:
10/30/2015
Time:
7:30 PM

Marauderman’s Name: James E. Siegling
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service: July 1944 – May 1945
Bomb Group: 397th
Bomb Squadron: ?
Years in service: May 1945 – June 1945
Bomb Group: 387th
Bomb Squadron: 557th
Years in service: June 1945 – September 1945

I’m trying to find out what Bomb Group and Bomb Squadron that the B26 “Santa Barbara Miss” is from. I have included a photo with the names of the crew. Apparently my grandfather was a co-pilot.

43-34375
323BG, 456BS “SANTA BARBARA MISS”, 30 Nov 44 to wars end
344BG, 496BS “SANTA BARBARA MISS”, Postwar transferred to French
GT.2/62 to 3 Feb 48 accident at Beni Mered

Trevor Allen

Date:
10/29/2015
Time:
5:15 PM

My great uncle was Sgt. Dale W. Martin. He was a radio operator on a B-26. He was in the 452nd bomb squadron 322nd bomb group. I have a newspaper article that describes him bailing out over London because their aircraft was damaged during an air raid on Cecembre Island. The pilot tried to land at Heston airdrome but crashed in a garden and was killed. The pilot’s name was withheld from the article. The second lieutenant on the aircraft was Elliott S. Moorhead and he also bailed out and landed on a roof. I have found a lot of info on Second Lieutenant Moorhead in this website. I have a few photos on my uncle in front of different aircraft named “Cherie” “The old vet” and “Peasapis”. Could anyone tell me which aircraft he was crewmen of and which one he bailed out of? Also, does anyone know the pilot’s name that was killed? More info on my uncle would be great too. Thanks, JDS

41-34792, 17 May 43 flown to UK by 1.Lt Robert J McCallum
322BG, 452BS “PAPER DOLL”
26 Aug 44 to 31 Aug 44 left engine cut out over English Channel, crew bailed out when other engine failed on landing approach to Hendon. Pilot elected to crashland to avoid a built up area, crashed into a park, pilot killed Salvaged by 361 Air Service Sqdn 1 Sep 44
2.Lt. Roy B. Edge; 2.Lt E S Moorhead; S/Sgt Perry M Steele; Sgts D W Martin; T J Amoury. (Edge killed in crashlanding, rest of crew safe)

Trevor Allen

Date:
10/26/2015
Time:
4:36 PM

Hi
My name is Tom Drodge and I am currently doing a story on one of the b26s that crashed here in Newfoundland, Canada

I have read Mr. Jack Havener’s list of “Historical Marauder Firsts” and I was wondering would I be able to obtain his permission to use his list.

I thank you and look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,
Tom Drodge

Yes, thank you for asking. Mr. Havener donated material to the site for all.

Date:
10/26/2015
Time:
3:21 PM

On behalf of a friend, Merle McKenzie, I am endeavoring to trace the records of the above named member of 323 Bomb Group in the UK in WWII.

Merle was an air gunner on B-26 Marauders in his early twenties and came from Colorado. While his squadron was based at Earls Colne, Essex, UK he became friendly with the 17-year old daughter of the village baker. When his unit moved to Hampshire, they lost touch.

This lady is approaching her 90th birthday and still wonders what became of him, whether he survived the war etc. Any information or ideas as to where this can be found would be very welcome.

Alan Baker

T/Sgt. Myrl W McKenzie was a Tail Gunner with the Steenson Crew from the 454th Squadron. He completed 57 combat missions including the infamous December 13, 1943 mission to the Amsterdam Schipol Airdrome when they had an engine shot out by FLAK. This mission was covered by Stars and Stripes. He returned to the US at the end of June 1944. Unfortunately Myrl is no longer with us, he passed in 1969. Stars & Stripes January 13, 1944 article; Picture of Myrl W McKenzie with crew.

Roy Bozych – Historian 323rd BG

Date:
10/12/2015
Time:
11:22 AM

Hello,
I am Alexandre and I am writing of France.
I am the godfather of the grave of a B26 pilot, which is in the American cemetery of Saint Laurent in Normandy.
I take contact with you as I do research on the B26 that was missing in action in Normandy (France), June 13, 1944 after returning from a mission to bombardment the forest of Andaine.
I am looking to precisely locate the place of the crash for the future to install a plaque with the names of the crew and I also looking for pictures of the aircraft and crew.
Any such information will be transmitted to the niece of the driver, for I am in contact with it.
I join all the information about the aircraft and the crew :

322nd bomb Group (L) / 452nd Bomb squadron.
AAF Station 485
B-26 Marauder – type B-40-MA – S/n 42-43286 or 42-13286.
Crew position Name Ranks Serial number
Pilot Holmes, Larry L. 1st LT 0-671022
CP Shoop, James R. 2nd LT 0-815568
Bombardier Corones, James C. 2nd LT 0-807168
Radio-Operator Fischer, Irving. (NMI) S/SGT 12126948
Engineer-Gunner Dawson, George D. S/SGT 36449598
Tail-Gunner Pustelnik Jeorge R. SGT 35121684

I thank you for all the help you can give me.
I remain at your disposal for any complementary information
Best regards
Alex

Date:
9/26/2015
Time:
8:38 AM

My name is John Arthur, 54 years old, and my father Ernest Arthur flew as crew in the Marauders. I have searched all over the place for years but can not find his name listed. He passed away in 1995 but I remember some stories he told me as a kid. They called it the widow maker at first. He spoke about being stationed near the Suez? He was shot down over I think Yugoslavia and partisans got him home to the UK. His name was mentioned in a book written way back in the mid seventies but I can not find it. He was a navigator and therefore had the rank of sergeant or SM second class I think. My brother had his log book and cloth badge but these seem to have gone missing.

John,
Given the bare basic details of your father it is difficult to pin point his Squadron, but since you mentioned he was once stationed near Suez and that he was shot down over Yugoslavia, then he must have served with one of the South African Air Force squadrons operating with the Balkan Air Force. This still leaves us guessing as to his squadron, it being one of either 12 Sqdn SAAF; 21.Sqdn SAAF; 24.Sqdn SAAF; 25.Sqdn SAAF or 30.Sqdn SAAF.
Do you have any names for the rest of his crew.
Regards, Trevor

Date:
9/23/2015
Time:
7:33 PM

AVON PARK — It was a direct and dignified ceremony marking a significant achievement for the Avon Park Air Force Range and those responsible for maintaining its prominence into the future.

Inside Building 77 at the Avon Park Air Force Range Tuesday, the 598th Range Squadron Activation Ceremony was held, marking the squadron’s detachment from Moody Air Force Base just northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, and into a full-fledged squadron of its own. The 598th Squadron was inactivated Jan. 6, 1946, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

AVON PARK — It was a direct and dignified ceremony marking a significant achievement for the Avon Park Air Force Range and those responsible for maintaining its prominence into the future.

Inside Building 77 at the Avon Park Air Force Range Tuesday, the 598th Range Squadron Activation Ceremony was held, marking the squadron’s detachment from Moody Air Force Base just northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, and into a full-fledged squadron of its own. The 598th Squadron was inactivated Jan. 6, 1946, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

AVON PARK — It was a direct and dignified ceremony marking a significant achievement for the Avon Park Air Force Range and those responsible for maintaining its prominence into the future.

Inside Building 77 at the Avon Park Air Force Range Tuesday, the 598th Range Squadron Activation Ceremony was held, marking the squadron’s detachment from Moody Air Force Base just northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, and into a full-fledged squadron of its own. The 598th Squadron was inactivated Jan. 6, 1946, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

AVON PARK — It was a direct and dignified ceremony marking a significant achievement for the Avon Park Air Force Range and those responsible for maintaining its prominence into the future.

Inside Building 77 at the Avon Park Air Force Range Tuesday, the 598th Range Squadron Activation Ceremony was held, marking the squadron’s detachment from Moody Air Force Base just northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, and into a full-fledged squadron of its own. The 598th Squadron was inactivated Jan. 6, 1946, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

The guests of honor included retired Air Force Col. John Ogilvie, 91, who trained at Avon Park in 1943 during WWII and served in Korea and Vietnam, and the family of Staff Sgt. Sam Ragland Jr., a B-26 Marauder bombardier with the 598th who flew 65 missions in Europe, two on D-Day in 1944.

The guests of honor included retired Air Force Col. John Ogilvie, 91, who trained at Avon Park in 1943 during WWII and served in Korea and Vietnam, and the family of Staff Sgt. Sam Ragland Jr., a B-26 Marauder bombardier with the 598th who flew 65 missions in Europe, two on D-Day in 1944.

9/19/2015
Time:
5:12 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Frank Arthur Willms aka Art or Dutch
Bomb Group: 344th
Bomb Squadron: 494th
Years in service: 1942-1945
Graduation Class:
Class Location: Brooksfield, TX
Comments: Hello everyone. All of my Dad’s military records were lost in the fire in St. Louis in 1971. I just recently ran across the details of his squadron and bomb group, so am starting the hunt for more information as I would like to have a clearer picture of his service. A plane name that has been associated with him was the “Chicago Cyclone.” After 66 European missions, he became an instructor at Dodge City Air Base in Dodge City, KS in late 1944. That is where he met my Mother and our family story began! Thank you for any information. Nan Willms Miller

Dear Nan,
You may wish to read Carl H. Moore’s book “Flying the B-26 Marauder Over Europe: Memoir of a World War II Navigator” (ISBN: 9780786473571), as your father was co-pilot in Moore’s crew.

Moore’s crew: Lt. Thomas F. Johnson (P), Lt. Frank Willms (CP), 2/Lt. George W. Eldridge (B), Lt. Carl H. Moore (N), T/Sgt. Dorr E. Tippens (RG), S/Sgt. Joe Castoro (TG), S/Sgt. Charles Calkins (EG).

They flew the South Atlantic ferry route in January 1944 with other crews from the 344 Bomb Group. Eldridge, Tippens, Castoro, and Calkins made the Atlantic crossing by ship. Sgt. L.O. Thompson (RG) and M/Sgt. W.A. “Willie” Wren (Crew Chief) accompanied Moore on the flight across the Atlantic. Thompson was later killed in a mid-air collision at Stansted.

Moore’s records show that your father flew with him and the others of the original crew as co-pilot on 3 missions during March 1944, and also on D-Day (6 June 1944). However, it’s not clear if and when your father gained his own crew.

The accident reports show that your father made a crash landing at RAF Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland on 23 July 1944. He was flying aircraft 41-35755 K9-U, which may have been “his” aircraft. The irony is that it’s likely that he was in transit for “R & R” (a Rest and Relaxation break) at Aberdeen !

If you undertake any research yourself, please bear in mind that your father’s name is sometimes spelt incorrectly as “Williams” in various records.

If you have any photographs or records pertaining to your father e.g. flight log, I’m sure that they would make a splendid memorial page on B26.COM.

Regards,
Steve Sharp

Date:
9/16/2015
Time:
6:21 PM

Mastering Martin’s Marauder
Remembering the B–26 of World War II
August 10, 2015
By Tom Jones
Photography by Chris Rose

At age 91, Max “Pete” Patrisek is still high on the Martin B–26 Marauder. In November 1944, he was at the controls over Italy when his twin-engine bomber was hit just after bomb release. A German 88-mm flak round ripped upward through the aft fuselage and exploded, the blast killing his tail gunner and mangling the airplane’s rudder and elevators.

Patrisek worked the trim tabs and jockeyed throttles to level the stricken airplane and turn toward safety. Some 90 nerve-racking minutes later, he and his crew managed to make an RAF runway on Italy’s east coast. The Marauder “brought us back all shot up, with half the controls out. It was as rugged and reliable as the B–17,” Patrisek said.

Patrisek is right. In the European and Mediterranean theaters during World War II, Marauders posted 129,943 operational sorties and dropped 169,382 tons of bombs while losing less than half of one percent of the attacking force—a loss rate unmatched by any Allied aircraft. Behind the B–26’s record were well-trained, experienced crews, well-versed in both the virtues and faults of Martin’s fast, powerful machine. [read more]

Date:
9/3/2015
Time:
6:16 PM

This is about a story I wrote seven years ago that came back this week to give me goose bumps.

In 2008, I was reporting about a group of local divers who’d discovered the wreck of a B-26 Marauder in 70 feet of water, 30 miles southwest of the Sanibel Lighthouse. The divers found the twin-engine bomber’s serial number, through which they obtained the U.S. Army Air Forces’ aircraft accident report and pieced together the Marauder’s history:

At 6:10 p.m., Nov. 16, 1942, the aircraft took off on a training mission from the Fort Myers Army Air Base, now known as Page Field.

Fifty minutes later, the airbase got a radio call from the plane that the crew was bailing out. Then silence. Two days later, search teams found the bodies of pilot Lt. Donald Vail and and co-pilot Lt. Fred Dees (the report states that Dees’ watch was stopped at 1905, or 7:05 p.m.). The bodies of the other four crew members were never found. (read more)

Date:
8/30/2015
Time:
2:13 PM

Hi. My wife’s grandfather was a b26 pilot. Russell Johnson. He was in the 9th. 322nd. 451st. You have a series of scans from Lee Lipkus. The photos are of the 322nd 451st. Is there a way to get better resolution photos? Russian is pushing 93 now and I would like to show him that someone else still remembers the veterans. Thanks, Andrew

Date:
8/26/2015
Time:
9:56 AM

Hello, it has been a long time since I contacted the site but I have come into possession of a couple more pictures to add to my cousin’s page, Rufus N. Wilson. Also, have his plane number was 42-107613-YU-S.

His crew. Rufus is second from left on front row. Guy on the right of him is Chuck Walter. Guy in the back row behind Rufus is Jack Weinstein, the Co-Pilot. I can’t identify the others other than I know the crew roster. James Rudig, bombardier, Martin Ferrell – radio, Frank Miller – Engineer. In this picture, the guy on the extreme right was not a regular part of the crew – when they were shot down.

William Wilson

William,
42-107613, 323BG, 455BS, “FIRFLI”, Code YU-K, Missions flown 17; 12 Sep 44 to 25 Dec 44 recoded “FIRFLI”, Coded YU-S, Missions flown 10, MARC 12374; 14 Jan 45 to 14 Feb 45 flak in right engine, caught fire, last seen flying low under control; 1.Lt Rufus N. Wilson; 2.Lt James W Rudig; 1.Lt John K Weinstein; Sgt Louis C Houser; S/Sgt’s Frank Miller; Charles H Walter, Jr. (Wilson, KIA; rest of crew, POW)
Trevor Allen, B26 Historian
***
Attached is the Barksdale Wilson Crew picture for the 8/26/15 posting. Trevor Allen already gave you the info.

Lt. Wilson survived the crash landing on 2/14/45 but died on 2/17/45 in a German hospital at Krefeld, Germany from his injuries. See MACR 12374.

One other item, you’ll note that Trevor states that the right engine of “Firfli” was on fire. The picture Rufus N. Wilson’s page shows an aircraft with the left engine on fire. The picture was actually a 454th Squadron B-26, “Howard Hurricane II” serial number 41-31859 coded RJ-L. It was also shot down on February 14th, 1945, MACR 12373. A better copy is in the US National Archives.

Roy Bozych, 323rd Historian

Date:
8/25/2015
Time:
2:39 PM

Howdy, I noticed that the very first guest book entry of ’99 was a fellow that was an aerial tail gunner for the 558 bomb squad, Joseph J. Mastrianni. I looked him up, and this is what I found:

MASTRIANNI Joseph J. Mastrianni, age 83, of Reddington Shores, Fla., beloved husband of Mae (Kentos) Mastrianni, died Friday, January 31, 2003, in his home. He was born in Bridgeport on March 26, 1919, a son of Joseph and Catherine (DeAngelo) Mastrone and was a resident for most of his life. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and served in World War II from 1943 to 1946 as an aerial tail gunner and mechanic with the 387th Bomb Group and the 556th, 558th and 559th Bomb Squad, flying B-26 bombers. He also served in the Marauder “Tiger Stripe” Group. After his military service, he worked for the Bullard Machine Co. of Fairfield for 40 years as a lathe operator. He was a lifelong member of the Fayerweather Yacht Club in Fairfield. In 1992, Joseph relocated to Reddington Shores and was a parishioner of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church. Survivors, in addition to his wife, include a daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Jim Del Vecchio of Georgia; a brother, Lou Mastrianni of Stratford; and several nieces and nephews, Lou Jr., Chris and Laura Mastrianni, Francine Holinko, Donald and Andrew Mastrone, Arthur Mastrianni, Jane Stafko Dubois, Beverly Zebrowski and Judy Stiliha. E. James Reese –

I love your site- Keep ’em Flying
Shayne

Date:
8/19/2015
Time:
7:27 PM

“While home on military leave during World War II, Neshoba County pilot, Captain Otha Delman Dickinson, informed the Exchange Club of Philadelphia of his experiences and his assessment of the conditions on the Italian island of Sardinia. Captain Dickinson’s B-26 Marauder Bombardment Squadron, 320th Bombardment Group, used a recently captured Sardinian airfield to fly their missions against communication lines, railroads, infantry concentrations, and other vital targets on the German defenses in Central and Northern Italy.” Read more …

Date:
8/14/2015
Time:
7:41 AM

In Loving Memory of Thomas Warren Deering

Thomas Warren Deering
December 30, 1920 – August 12, 2015
Lt Colonel USAF Retired

December 30, 1920, Thomas was born in West Frankfort, Illinois to Thomas E. Deering and Magdalene Helfrich Deering.

The family moved to Indianapolis in his youth. He graduated from Shortridge High School. He married his high school sweetheart Joan F Downs on July 18th 1941 to whom he was married for 62 years until her death Feb. 13, 2004.

After the start of WW II, he joined the Army Air Corp as an aviation cadet in March of 1942 and successfully graduated as a pilot and 2nd Lt.

From Feb. 1943 to Nov. 1944 he served in England as part of the Air Offensive Europe flying B 26 missions over Northern France and Normandy both before and after D-Day as part of the 387th Bomb Group.

Subsequent to his war duty he returned to Indianapolis and attended Butler University graduating with honors in 1949. From 1949 to June 1953 he worked in the private sector as an accountant all the while serving int he Air Force Reserve. when the Korean War started he was called back to active duty and flew 50 missions in the B 26 from Jan. 1953 to Aug. 1953. He decided to stay in the Air Force on active duty until retirement on Nov. 1st, 1969. Thomas served in various capacities including piloting Air Med Evac and para troop missions. He finished his career as squadron commander for air traffic control at numerous bases in the US and Europe.

He had a great love of flying and was dedicated to doing things the right and honorable way. The other great love in his life after wife Joan was the game of golf which he vigorously pursued in retirement.

He was preceded in death by his parents as well as his step mother Elizabeth Deering, and sister Shirley Moore.

He is survived by daughter Rita M. (Ron) Webber and sons Jerry L. (Karen) Deering, Thomas W. (Linda) Deering, Steven (Clarrissa) Deering and sister Betty Jane and seven grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Funeral Information
Funeral Services for Thomas Warren Deering
A public visitation for Mr. Deering will be held on Saturday, August 15th from 11-12 pm at Crown Hill Funeral Home., service will begin at 12 noon. He will be laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery with Air Force Honors.

Date:
8/7/2015
Time:
5:10 PM

Missing World War II airman to be buried in Arlington Stars and Stripes, August 7, 2015
Families of fallen WWII airmen meet for the first time Herald Standard, August 7, 2015

Date:
8/7/2015
Time:
1:50 PM

Harry Lee Gray, 78 missions (first 38 as a tailgunner, last 40 as togglier), 322BG, 449BS, tells us his friend, Francis L. Hunt, will be honored with his crew in France on 9/11/2015 with memorial dedication ceremony … more to follow.

41-31741, 322BG, 449BS, WINNIE DEE, Code PN-H, Missions flown 96, 17 Jul 43 to 4 Jun 44; WINNIE DEE, recoded PN-N, Missions flown 16; 17 Jun 44 to 12 Aug 44 flak in bombay, over target, ignited, exploded, crashed in two pieces. Crew 1.Lt’s. Francis L. Hunt; Lyle L Peters; Morris Rafalow; T/Sgt Raymond J Morin; S/Sgt’s William F Stark; Norman E Thielan. (Thielan POW, rest of crew KIA). MARC 8039

Date:
8/6/2015
Time:
5:10 PM

“Workers celebrate as the last of 1,585 B-26C Marauder aircraft built at the Martin Bomber Plant rolls out April 4, 1944. Two days later, the plant near Bellevue started making B-29 bombers instead, and production demands were higher than ever. The plant made both of the B-29s that dropped atomic bombs on Japan.” Martin Bomber Plant near Bellevue helped end World War II and now faces its own demise, Omaha World-Herald
Date:
8/5/2015
Time:
3:52 PM

I am currently researching B-26 serial number 44-67929 of the 391st Bomb Group 574th Bomb Squadron that was lost on 3 April 1945 with the entire crew being KIA. We have the MACR.

The crew members were:

Clark G. Johnson
Robert H. Masco
Norman W. Schneiderman
Arthur M. Lunsford
William J. McMahon
Felix O. Riddell

In your archives do you have any photos of this B-26 and any of her crew members?

Thank you,
Charles Runion

Date:
7/30/2015
Time:
12:45 PM

I’m looking for information on my dad’s service in the 386th BG, 554 BS. He was Sgt. Robert L. Day and will be 91 this year. He is in a nursing home now and hasn’t talked much about his crew, plane (B-26), or missions. Any information would be greatly appreciated, as I want to pass it along to his grandsons.

Terry Day

Hi Terry,

42-96226 394BG 586BS PRETTY POLLY H9-S 2
10 May 44 to 12 May 44 transferred to
584BS PRETTY POLLY H9-S 97
22 May 44 to 14 Feb 45 flak in engine and bombay, second run on target, held position in formation for 30/45 seconds, left formation under control, one engine on fire peeled off to left lost from view, crashed 12345
1.Lt.William G Runge; 2.Lt Robert E Day; Sgt Carl W Coon; S/Sgts Noble T Reynolds; Raymond M Boals; Sgt Edsel F Huffman. (Runge, Day, Boals – pow’s; Coon, Reynolds, Huffman – kia)

42-96267 394BG 584BS 13 May 44 to 21 Sep 44 hit propwash on take off, crashlanded, all but one escaped. Rest escaped before a/c exploded, salvaged 21 Sep 44 U 37
1.Lt. Howard I. Davis; 2.Lt Robert E Day; Cpl James R Hopping; S/Sgt Harold L Noelting; PfC Raymond Boals; S/Sgt Macklynn D Worsham. (Noelting killed rest of crew suffered injuries)

Trevor Allen

Date:
7/23/2015
Time:
6:32 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Parry Lloyd Thomas, Lt. Col. US Army Air Corp/USAF
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 440th
Years in service: 25.5
Graduation Class: Flight School July 3, 1942 Enlistment Nov 1941.
Comments: I found a post from 2011 on a picture of “Twin Engine Queenie” by Trevor Allen your historian for B-26. He had contacted the relative of the pilot shown in another picture of the Twin Engine Queenie. My father indicated to me that he had flown the plane into the Carolinas and across the southern route from Brazil to North Africa. When they were in the Carolinas Zack Mosley sketched the logo for them and I think may have actually painted it himself but I don’t have proof of that.

Dad flew 40 missions in the Queenie before returning stateside. He rejoined the group when they took A-26s to Okinawa and flew 8 more missions. He stayed in the service until 1967 when he retired to Ft. Lauderdale. He passed away in 2013 and is now in Arlington cemetery.

Trevor Allen indicated that he had met Woodbridge the pilot in the photo of the plane. I have attached pictures of the plane with my father standing in front of the Twin Engine Queenie and my father in uniform. I assume that Woodbridge either flew later flights after my father returned stateside or concurrent flights which I didn’t think happened. Dad reported to me that he never lost a plane or a man and only two were injured. A tai; gunner hit in the rear by flak and a navigator hit by Plexiglas fragments after being hit by flak. The navigator flew the next mission. The tail gunner returned stateside.

Parry Matt Thomas

Date:
7/21/2015
Time:
1:03 PM

I am not a crew member, my connection is The Glenn L Martin Co., the builder of the B-26. I was a Tech Rep and helped keep them flying, from 1941 till the war ended in Europe. Started in Wright/Pat with Test program, the 22nd Bomb Group and the 38th Bomb. Trained pilots and maintenance men on the operation and maintenance of all the systems. Did the same at Barksdale with Col. Lewis and followed him to 9th Bomber Command in Europe and then the 98th Wing to France. Landed on Omaha Beach with my English car. Stayed with them till the war ended and returned to the states. Where I was drafted into the Army Air Corp.

Brief story about my connection.

Mel Taylor

Date:
7/20/2015
Time:
6:09 PM

Warren Laird, 88, retired Marine, called today to say that his wife’s older brother will be buried, along with his crew, at Arlington National Cemetery on August 8, 2015 at 10:45 AM.

The story started “six years ago, a hiker named Helmut Deitrichs found a small fragment of Honeyman’s flying jacket in the Belgian mountains. He called his friend Danny Keay, a U.S. Army intelligence professional who searches for plane crash sites as a hobby.”(5).

Trevor Allen explains the Marauder missions on December 23, 1944 and the story is not a good one.

599th Bomb Squadron, 397th Bomb group.
1Lt William P. Cook – pilot – Alameda, CA
F/O Arthur J. LeFavre – Co-pilot – Red Bank, NJ
S/Sgt Ward C. Swalwel, Jr – radio-gunner – Chicago, IL
S/Sgt Franck G. Lane, Jr – Engineer-gunner – Cleveland, OH
S/Sgt Maurice J. Fevold – Armament-gunner – Chicago, IL
Sgt Eric M. Honeyman – Toggler – Alameda, CA

1. http://www.miaproject.net/mia-search-recoveries/hunconscious/
2. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-monday-edition-1.3122968/american-airman-shot-down-during-wwii-buried-in-b-c-1.3123269
3. http://www.citynews.ca/2015/06/19/remains-of-u-s-soldier-lost-in-wwii-battle-in-belgium-to-be-buried-in-b-c/
4. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/military-funeral-planned-in-british-columbia-for-u-s-airman-killed-during-second-world-war-bombing-run
5. http://www.lfpress.com/2015/06/19/remains-of-us-soldier-lost-in-wwii-battle-in-belgium-to-be-buried-in-bc

Date:
7/14/2015
Time:
9:39 AM

Regarding Roger Roland’s newly added dedication page, “COKIE FLO” 387th.BG, 41-31655 KX-R originally named “BROWNIE”, then renamed “COKIE FLO” 387th.BG and then on 7th Oct 44 severely damaged and salvaged.

If anybody has any pictures of “COKIE FLO” or “BROWNIE”, please email or send copies, we’ll scan and return – it would be helpful to my research. As usual, any material from any Marauder bomb groups and squadrons are very much appreciated.

All questions posted to the guest book are researched and answered, if possible.

Regards,
Trevor Allen, B26 Historian

Date:
7/8/2015
Time:
10:34 AM

My Great Uncle Stephen Koleszarik, I did understand what you had to say anything! I already have Documents, etc which are good news. But one thing that I’m still so hungry for, is a picture of my uncle’s Crew with Plane. (Nose Art). So Wonder if you have any idea or happen to know about links that have over thousands of pictures with b-26? I believe that I might typed the information if you like to try again or not. Thank you. I’m sorry to bother you again for this, but really appreciate if you can help me find a picture! That’s all I wanted. Have a good day! 🙂 LeAnna Marie Koleszarik

Here’s Stephen A. Koleszarik
391st Bomb Group
574th Bomb Squdron
Plane Serial number : B26 Marauder *BL-M* 42-95851

Date:
7/6/2015
Time:
11:46 AM

I am looking for information or photos of S/Sgt. Donald L. Schoffstall. He and the entire crew were killed in Essex, England when their plane crashed. I believe that he served with the served with the 554th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group. He was buried in Harrisburg, PA in December of 1948 and I am wondering where the temporary burial would have been located. Any help is greatly appreciated. -Erica Reighard

41-31658 386BG 554BS PRIVY DONNA RU-A MISSION FLOWN 137
16 Sep 44 nosed in short of runway on landing, crashed, salvaged 67 Tac Recon Group 30 Oct 44
Maj. Edward E. Turner, Jr; 2.Lts Arvil R Woosley; James C Ambrose; S/Sgt D.L Schoffstall; Sgt George Vogiatzis; Pvt John J Rudy. (All killed)

Regards,
Trevor Allen, B26 Historian

Date:
7/5/2015
Time:
1:31 PM

Don’t know which group/squadron etc. only know Sgt. Benny Greenspan # 11047228 served and flew on B-26s He was Station in Accra 1942 any help will be appreciated. A Major Brush and possibly a fellow named Claus Flinckman may have served with Dad. After Africa Dad was at Kessler Field in Biloxi , Miss and then at Langley Field in Virginia Squadron C7 3539 B.U. These are Photos from 1942 Accra British West Africa Sgt. Benny Greenspan # 11047228 and his buddies also a photo of a Major Brush. Does anyone know what group/squad. might have been there in early 1942? -Henry Greenspan

Date:
7/4/2015
Time:
11:49 AM

To all of the Marauder Men, including those who have passed way, our family thanks you for ensuring the freedoms that we enjoy today because of your sacrifices seventy plus years ago. This 4th of July, 2015 we will be remembering everyone who has contributed to the Independence of these United States. Thank-you from the family of Marauder man – Clarence V. Erickson, 391st BG – 575th BS.
Date:
6/26/2015
Time:
5:33 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Joseph Mason
Bomb Group: 386th
Bomb Squadron: 552nd
Years in service: Aug 19, 1942- Sept 9, 1945
Graduation Class:?
Class Location: Initial HQ Army Air Forces Training Center Chicago Illinois & – Gunnery Student at HQ ARMY Air Forces Gunnery School, Tyndall Field, Florida
Comments: T/Sgt (Temp) Radio Operator and Mechanic Gunners on a B-26 airplane. 1st mission – 3 Nov 43 Last mission: 76th Mission – 17 July 44

Joseph is my uncle, I’d like to learn more about his service.

Thank you, Bill Wood

Date:
6/26/2015
Time:
9:57 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Roger Carl Roland
Bomb Group: possibly 557th Bomb Sq. 387th B-group
Bomb Squadron: 95th Bombardment Squadron (accdg to Discharge papers)
Years in service: 1941 – 1945. Served in Europe from 1944-45
Graduation Class: @ 1942 ?
Class Location: Glendale Aero Tech School in CA

I am trying to determine for certain what unit my dad was in. According to his discharge papers, the 95th bombardment squadron. He served in several European locations, including campaigns in Northern France and Rhineland. On the back of a photo he wrote, “Just completed engine change on B- 26 for 557th Bomb Sq. 387th B-group St. Quentin, France. 1945.” Another photo also said 387th. A patch on his uniform is for the 9th Army Air Corps. These are my main clues as to his unit. No matter Where I look, I can’t find the names of him or ANY of his buddies. Do they not list sheet metal workers / mechanics on rosters? They were near the front lines and kept the bombers up and flying. They were certainly important, too.

Can anyone help me determine or know HOW to determine his unit? It’s confusing to have it somewhat narrowed down but never see his name anywhere. BTW, his records were among those burn in the National Archives fire, so all that remain are these discharge papers he kept.

Hopefully!~
Annabeth Roland Spivey

Date:
6/22/2015
Time:
2:12 PM

My cousin Dave Gorski wrote a story about our Uncle Gilbert J. Gorski and his part in the B26 “Wizard of Koz”. Shot down over France in 1944.

Mark Helfrich

Date:
6/22/2015
Time:
6:02 AM

Hi my name is Kellie Lamond, just wondering if anyone can tell me the history/meaning behind the name “Feudin’ Wagin”. I grew up in a town in Australia called Wagin, the name coming from an aboriginal word meaning emu’s watering place. Is it a coincidence?
Thanks

Kellie,
I am afraid the name is just coincidence “Feudin’ Wagin” was an Americanization of “Feuding Wagon” the name being carried by B-26 Marauder 42-107669 coded Y5-U of the 495th Bomb Squadron 344th Bomb Group but was badly damaged on 24th July 1944 and sent to the Service Group for repair. It was returned to the 344th. Bomb Group on 11th March 1945 this time assigned to the 494th. Bomb Squadron coded K9-K.

Regards,
Trevor Allen, B26 Historian

Date:
6/18/2015
Time:
9:21 AM

Found this picture of my Dad, Anthony G. Tronu, 323rd Bombardment Group, APO 140, US Army, in front of B26; he was a waist gunner. Flew 62 missions. The picture I sent of the Flying Trapeze with my Dad in front of it, is very small & I cannot get his face any clearer. However, the one below of my Dad should help. Dad, who will be 92 next month, received a Purple Heart and many bronze oak leaf clusters. Very proud of this wonderful man! We live in Pensacola, FL, where he was born and raised. Thank you for your interest. I am going to show him your website today. He is in the hospital and this may cheer him up. -Cyndi Wells

Date:
6/17/2015
Time:
1:06 AM

Marauderman’s Name: T/SGT Joe H. Urbanovsky
Bomb Group: 449th
Bomb Squadron: 322nd
Years in service: 1942 – 1955
Class Location: Lake Charles, La.
Comments: It is with heavy heart that I report the passing of Joe Urbanovsky, Retired Lt. Col. U.S.A.F. Joe served as a radio operator/ gunner with the 322nd. His log book records 64 missions including 2 on D-Day. He served as a T/SGT during the war and later was commissioned . He retired as a Lt. Col. He told me that he enjoyed his enlisted time far more than being an officer. I think it was the fear and excitement of combat! He is survived by his wife Cassie and a son and daughter. He was 92 at his passing and was buried with full military honors at the City Cemetery in Wharton, Texas. His full obituary may be seen at the Wharton Funeral home page on line. Joe was a school teacher, band leader and school administrator. He had a quick wit and loved a good joke! His eye would sparkle when asked about the B-26. He loved the camaraderie and was a great patriot! -Lynn

Lynn,
I had the pleasure, many years ago, of supplying Joe with his complete mission listing. I am so proud that you now still have that copy and that it has given you some idea of the courage Joe had to complete 64 combat missions at great peril to him and his crew.
Regards
Trevor Allen historian b26.com

Date:
6/15/2015
Time:
2:31 PM

Marauderman’s Name: William C. Hoeb
Bomb Group: 394th
Bomb Squadron: 587th

Good afternoon,
I am the 1st Cousin 2X removed of William C. Hoeb. Before I started getting into Genealogy research, I always wondered if I was related to William, as I would always find the articles on the accident over Battle, Sussex, England. I have done more research now and found that he was my Grandfather’s cousin, and that his father’s name was Richard Phillip Hoeb and mother’s name is Helena Hoeb. I am looking for more information and pictures of and about him and his time in WWII.

Also, I would like to get in touch with Keith Cheveralls. I am going to be in England, just outside of Sussex in September and would like to visit Battle to see the memorial and crash site. Also, I know that Tommie Potts’ (pilot that survived the crash) son lives in Mobile, so if you have any contact information for him, it would be appreciated. Thanks for your help with this.

Best regards,
Benjamin Hoeb

Date:
6/14/2015
Time:
8:52 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Richard W. Kelly
Bomb Group: 17th (Medium)
Bomb Squadron: 432
Years in service: 1942 -1945
Graduation class: unknown
Class location: unknown
Comments: I am trying to find information about my father’s time in the service. Sadly, he passed 18 years ago and like many other veterans never spoke too much about his experiences. I have lots of pictures, but no notations as to people’s names or the cities where taken. He was a B-26 bombardier pilot. His military records show completion of preflight training at Maxwell Field, Alabama 1943. Basic (aviation) training in completed at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas 1943. His bombardier training was completed at Deming Field, New Mexico. He was a 1st Lt upon discharge, and was in France, Rhineland, Rome-Arno and Africa among others. Any information would be helpful. Thank you! Burt & Denise Caffey

Date:
6/11/2015
Time:
7:08 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Bernard Brightman
Bomb Group: 391
Bomb Squadron: 574th
Years in service: WWII
Graduation Class: ?
Class Location: ?
Comments: I’m the great nephew of Bernard Brightman (from New York, New York) and I wondering if anyone has photo’s of him during the war and maybe with the B-26’s he flew in. It would be good news to find the names of the pilot and crew he flew with. Anything would be great! There’s a possibility that he served with the 17th bomb group, 37th bomb squadron and was later transferred to the 391st bomb group, 574th bomb squadron.

Thanks,
Dan Milner

Date:
6/10/2015
Time:
2:50 PM

My father, Jack Smith, was a mechanic/navigator on B-26 marauders flying from North Island San Diego, CA. He spoke once about JigDogs and I have taken him to visit the air museum in Tucson to see some of the old planes. I am just trying to find out more information for him. Thanks. Dr. Andrew L. Smith

Date:
6/8/2015
Time:
9:46 PM

There is a post in the 2007 guest book (below) that is looking for info on B-26 41-31946 which was damaged in the Aug 9, 44 Brest Harbor raid. His grandfather R,G. Chapman (radio-gunner) and my father-in-law L.C. Henderson (tail gunner) were the two that bailed out. I would very much appreciate it if you still have any contact info and could connect us so we can share info and pictures. I’m at

Date:
6/7/2015
Time:
8:02 AM

I am doing some research for a Friend his uncle was a B-26 pilot Daniel Lapetina S#12142762 enlisted on 09/15/42 served in the pacific would you have any info on him? That is all the info I have to work with. My father was a B-17 pilot based in Chevelston England Base call sign John Burn Zero Five Zero

Respectfully,

J.Reynolds

Date:
6/5/2015
Time:
9:22 PM

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

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

***

Squadron Codes

B-26 squadrons operating with 9th Bomber Command in Europe were issued a two letter/digit identity code which was painted on the sides of the fuselage usually forward of the star and bar insignia. These were: 449th PN; 450th ER; 451st SS; 452nd DR; 453rd VT; 454th RJ; 455th YU; 456th WT; 494th K9; 495th Y5; 496th N3; 497th 7I; 552nd RG; 553rd AN; 554th RU; 555th YA; 556th FW; 557th KS; 558th KX; 559th TQ; 572nd P2; 573rd T6; 574th 4L; 575th O8; 584th K5; 585th 4T; 586th H9; 587th 5W; 596th X2; 597th 9F; 598th U2; 599th 6B; and 1st PF IH

All of the above squadrons religiously applied these codes to their B-26s with the exception of the four squadrons of the 394th. Bomb Group. On first arriving in the UK these squadrons applied the issued codes to their initial issue of Marauders, but as replacement B-26s arrived the application of codes became unpredictable to say the least. Photographic evidence shows B-26s of one squadron carrying another squadron’s codes even though the particular B-26 never served with the squadron whose codes it carried. This was not a one off incident and in the 394th this was a widespread practice. To date no person from the 394th has given a logical explanation for this practice, but somewhere out there someone MUST KNOW. Still with the 394th Bomb Group, its B-26s carried some very good nose artwork, so good in fact that another practice was adopted by the squadron crew chiefs. If a B-26 was wrecked, or a pilot was assigned a new B-26 it became common practice to remove the armour panels from the nose of one B-26 and put it onto the newly assigned B-26. This because most of the Group’s artwork was on the armour plating. Of interest was Col. Hall’s assigned B-26 which was named “Lucky Star” with the name and insignia on the armour plate. Prior to August 11th, 1944 Col. Hall was assigned a new B-26 and on August 26th, 1944 the original “Lucky Star” was landed without hydraulics, hit a tree stump and was washed out. Of interest is the name and insignia had already been removed from this ship! One last point on 9th BC codes is the 1st Pathfinder Squadron was issued the code IH, but not until September 1944 was this code applied to its B-26s. Up to that date Pathfinder planes had been operating in their donor squadron codes. To further confuse the issue in some instances no codes whatsoever were painted on its planes.

Trevor Allen, Historian
B26.COM

Date:
6/5/2015
Time:
3:09 PM

Hello B26ers. I just discovered this site. My father was a B26 pilot. His name was Walter Y. Israel and he was in the 386th Bomb Group and served from November 3, 1943 to May 31, 1945. On his Certificate of Service, under “Battles and Campaigns”, it lists: Air Offensive- Europe GO 75 WD 43, Northern France GO 80 WD 44, Normandy GO 80 WD 44, and Germany GO 80 WD 44. His bombardier was Roger D. Magnuson. If anyone has any information on any of his crew or just any information in general, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you, Gretchen Becker

Date:
6/5/2015
Time:
7:56 AM

Hello, I am writing for Francis Brescia who is the sister of Pfc. Raffaele Pietroluongo who was shot down on January 7, 1943 over Rekata Bay. He was a member of the 69th Bombardment Squadron. Fran was reading material from your site at the following address: www.b26.com/page/historyofthe69thbombardmentsquadron.htm

She noticed that her brother’s name was actually spelled incorrectly in the piece as Robert Pietroloungo. Is it possible to have the spelling corrected in the piece to Raffaele Pietroluongo?

Thank you for time in reading this request. I will pass your response along to Fran.

Cheryl Wagner

Date:
5/30/2015
Time:
8:06 PM

My name is Alan England and I’m trying to find the nose art, pictures of crew or anything related to “Dream Girl”, a Marauder stationed at Roberts Field in Liberia during 1944. On 7Nov1944, she took off on a ferrying run to Dakar, Senegal with another B-26. Neither plane was heard from again. The co-pilot of “Dream Girl” was Lt Clint Castleberry, a former Georgia Tech half back. As a big Tech fan, I try to find as much information as I can about past players. As a freshman in 1942, Castleberry finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting, something unheard of then. Any pictures, memories, anything you’d like to share would be greatly appreciated. There isn’t enough praise to give to not only the Army Air Corps, but all veterans of WWII. You stopped madmen from changing the very way of life for all, even those of us living today. Thank you. Regards, Alan England

From the Edge of The World (Dacula, GA)

Date:
5/26/2015
Time:
9:16 AM

Marauderman’s Name: William R. Turk
Bomb Group: 387
Bomb Squadron: 559
Years in service: Unknown
Graduation Class: Unknown
Class Location: Unknown
Comments: I am the younger son of W. R. Turk. He never spoke about his experiences in the war, at least not to me. I have been researching based only on the attached photograph. From this I have discovered that his aircraft identifier was TQ F serial number 4131668 but little else. If anyone has any information or photographs of him or his aircraft I would be grateful for a copy.

Thanks,
James Turk

41-31668 387BG 559BS “TERRIBLE TURK”
11 Feb 44 transferred to 1.PFF “TERRIBLE TURK”
13 Mar 44 88mm shell passed through fuselage and exploded above aircraft. Pilot Lt. Turk
1.PFF “TERRIBLE TURK”
27 Sep 44 to 31 Mar 45

Trevor Allen, b26.com historian

Date:
5/26/2015
Time:
5:13 AM

Searching for David Padgett who posted 12/15/2013 about his Uncle James. David Jones nephew of Wetzel Kimball 387th BG 557th BS

Date:
5/25/2015
Time:
9:36 AM

On May 13, 1944, 1st Lt. Frank Evans, Squadron Navigator for the 597th Bomb Squadron, 397th Bomb Group, was killed in action on a mission over France.
May God have mercy on his soul.

We remember the sacrifice of ALL who died for us.

Wynn Anderson, son of Andy Anderson

Date:
5/24/2015
Time:
7:04 PM

Highway named for local veteran, Albert Hill
By Jonita Mullins

A stretch of U.S. 69 through Muskogee carries the honor of being named for a local military hero. Colonel Albert Eldon Hill served in the U.S. Air Force for 41 years, spending nearly half his life dedicated to the defense of his country.

Hill was born in Lockney, Texas, in 1921 to Thomas Barlow and Elizabeth Pearl Hill. He graduated with honors from Lockney High School and Texas Tech University before entering the Air Force in August of 1940. He worked as a weather forecaster before the war broke out, then was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned the duty of bombardier-navigator.

Hill saw plenty of action in the skies over Europe during World War II. He was lead bombardier in a B-26 bomber for 44 missions. Overall, he participated in 79 bombing missions. On one of his bombing runs, radio reporter Edward R. Murrow, accompanied the crew and commented on their courage and competence.

Hill was lead bombardier on June 6, 1944 – D-Day – working in an 18-plane mission to bomb enemy positions behind Utah Beach just before the assault on Normandy. By age 22 he had already attained the rank of major just after the Normandy invasion.

Hill married his sweetheart Benny Gene Long in October 1944, and they enjoyed a marriage that lasted nearly 70 years. They had two children and settled in Muskogee following the war.

Hill received several decorations while in the service including the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters, the European Campaign Medal and three Battle Stars, the American Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. He retired from the Air Force Reserves after a long and illustrious career in 1981.

In his retirement, Hill worked on a detailed account of his war service. His family used his war dairy and reminisces to produce a historical documentary on the B-26 Marauder and its crews’ service during World War II in the European theater. The video won a “Silver Telly” Award in 2002, honoring creativity in non-network film and video documentaries.

In 2007, the Oklahoma State Senate honored Hill by naming the stretch of U.S. 69 from Okmulgee Avenue to Shawnee Bypass for him. The Senate resolution was authored by Earl Garrison to recognize the “outstanding war record and distinguished military career” of the long-time Muskogee resident.

Hill died in 2014 and was buried at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery with full military honors. [read article here]

Date:
5/20/2015
Time:
1:28 AM

I discovered your wonderful site today. I was so touched to see a photo of my late father, Lt. Newton H. Kershaw, B-26 Bombardier-Navigator at http://www.b26.com/page/456/17.htm I thought I would contribute some of the images that my late dad had kept from the war.

Robert G Kershaw

Date:
5/15/2015
Time:
10:44 AM

My Dad, Clifford Lang Brokaw, was a pilot in the 386th Bomb Group, 555th Bomb Squadron – he was a pilot and flew the “Loretta Young.” He died in 1983- too soon! I never knew much about war background but found a book about the Marauders and just looking around to see what I can see. His DD214 lists a bunch of awards, including the DFC. Just wanting to know more…

Kathryn Boyer

Date:
5/13/2015
Time:
6:36 PM

Pilots name Julius A. Hansen 1st Lt.
557th bombardment squadron
Plane “Ole Smokey” 67 missions
Described is the attached Citation for his DFC

Thanks,
Doug Hansen

41-31720 387BG, 557BS, “OLE SMOKEY”, served to Wars end.
Trevor Allen, b26.com historian

Date:
5/6/2015
Time:
1:26 PM

I am hoping someone may be able to help. I am researching the following crash and was hoping you may have some photos of the following persons that all lost their lives in this crash. I am trying to possibly locate photos of any of these guys? I see they are on the B26.com site in the The Marauder, a book of the 22nd Bomb Group as in being dedicated but can’t find any photos? Any help and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Michael Musumeci
Australia

B-24 LIBERATOR
United States Army Air Force
22nd Bombardment Group
33rd Bombardment Squadron
Serial No: 42-100292
Date of Crash: 28th February 1944
Location of crash: ocean south of Innisfail

Crew
2nd Lt George E. Nellis Serial No 0-798018 Pilot
2nd Lt Merle B. Taylor Serial No T-121931 Co-pilot
2nd Lt Solmu T. Robertson Serial No 0-673900 Navigator
2nd Lt Hugh C Dougherty Serial No 0-139128 Bombardier
T/Sgt Joseph F. Di Vita Serial No 69798589 Engineer
S/Sgt Paul B. Crawford Serial No 15027363 Engineer
S/Sgt Donald R. Petrie Serial No 12172317 Radio Operator

Passengers
S/Sgt Andrew J. Troyanowski Serial No 16151147
Sgt Robert H. Stovell Serial No 18157607
Sgt Harold L. McPheeters Serial No 17030707
1st Lt Marshall R. Pierce Serial No 0-888508
Sgt Paul L. Smith Serial No 35354071
S/Sgt George B. Schaub Serial No 14079663
Sgt Hal C. Walton Serial No 38116870
Sgt Patsy R. Franciola Serial No 32172488

Date:
5/2/2015
Time:
8:35 AM

In the past I found your website that gave is information about Jack E. Vandergrift, one of the many young people that gave their live in WW II and gave me the change the live in freedom.

Jack is buried in the Margraten Cemetery in The Netherlands and we, kind of, adopted grave. On special occasions we bring him flowers and, although this might sound stupid, enjoy the peacefulness of this place.

Today, May 2, was a little ceremony to reveal pictures of the man and women that lie here. Thanks to your website b26.com we were able to gave Jack a face as too. Please find herewith some pictures that I made.

Please feel free to use these pictures. Maybe it can give comfort to all the families who lost love ones during that (and other) wars that we are still grateful too their ultimate sacrifice.

With kind regards,
Marcel Bartels
Stein, the Netherlands

41-17686 322BG 452BS 24 Jun 42 MacDill, Fla to 16 Sep 42 both engines failed, forcelanded, wrecked at MacDill
Jack E Vandergrift

41-17991 322BG, 452BS
17 May 43 collided in mid air with 41-18080 and crashed in flames, Holland DR-S
1.Lt Richard O Wolfe; 2.Lt’s Jack E Vandergrift; John H Burns; Sgt/’s John L Nash; Kleber L Jones; Chester J Walas. (Wolfe, Vandergrift, Burns, Nash All KIA; Jones, POW, committed suicide in captivity; Walas POW).
MARC 18080

Trevor Allen, historian, b26.com

Date:
4/30/2015
Time:
9:24 AM

On this day April 30, 1944
41-31827 386BG, 553BS “T.S.TICKET”
30 Apr 44 flak on bomb run ignited bombay with flames coming from bombay and astrodome above navigators compartment, slipped out of formation to left and down, wheels lowered, dived, crashed.
1.Lt’s. William M. Darnall; Grant M Bird; Charley D Swindle; T/Sgt Henry Repeta; S/Sgt Allen La Favor; Sgt Raymond Pollard. Repeta jumped first, LaFavor next, Pollard next, then two men out of nose. Darnell last out. Repeta killed, rest of crew POW’s)

41-31646 386BG, 554BS “LETHAL LADY” flew by Capt. Gordon A. Purdy; flak damaged, crash-landed at Stanstead, Mountfitchet, England.

Trevor Allen, historian , b26.com
***
386th Historian Chester Klier mentions Capt. Purdy here 386ths Mission #8, 386ths Mission #14, 386ths Mission #18]

Date:
4/30/2015
Time:
8:36 AM

Marauderman’s Name: Lt Earl Morris Schmidt
Bomb Group: 322 BG
Bomb Squadron: 451st
Comments: Looking for info on Lt Schmidt. He flew B-26 bomber out of England during WWII. Trying to help his nephew out with his uncle’s WWII record. Lt Schmidt continued in the Air Force after WWII, fighting in Korean and retiring later as a Lt Col. He died in 1994. Would like to know his base, aircraft flown and missions is possible. Thanks. Gerry L Humphrey.

Date:
4/27/2015
Time:
6:42 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Gilbert “Jim” Dace Jr.
Bomb Group: 319th
Bomb Squadron: 438th
Years in service: 4
Comments: Hi, My name is Gayle Dace. My father was Gilbert “Jim” Dace who was a gunner on “Ticket Home”. I have heard some stories from my male cousin that Dad never told us, not sure how true they are. Dad passed in 1996 from those cigarettes he always had to have with him in the plane. I am sure they were a great comfort under that kind of stress. I will find out more information. I have it, just not handy right now. But, I do have some pictures you might be interested in. Dad and his fellow crew standing in front of “Ticket Home”. I’d love to scan these and get them into some kind of archive before they are lost forever. I can get more info about group and squadron. He claimed he was shot down 3 times. Once as the only survivor. It was in a swamp area. I believe in Tunisia. He took off across the swampy area to get help, tripped and broke his leg. He apparently was upset that he would now not get some kind of medal. Anyhow, I know the war affected him deeply, and I know he shot several planes down. He never got over that. He was just a farm boy from Illinois. Served in Libya, Tunisia, Sicily. After returning home, he was an instructor. If you are interested in the pictures, I’d be happy to scan them and send them your way.

Sincerely,
Gayle Dace

Date:
4/25/2015
Time:
8:28 PM

Marauderman’s Name: S/SG B F Carlson
Bomb Group: 322 BG
Bomb Squadron: 449 BS
Years in service: ’43-‘45
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: Looking for information on my great uncle, B F Carlson. He was radio operator/gunner on 41-18299 which was shot down 8/27/43 on mission to Rouen. He’s listed as POW at Sagan-Silesia then moved to Nuremberg Langwasser 49-11 but also on the roll for Stalag 17B barrack 17A. Looks like he was liberated 5/24/45.

I’ve read CP 2Lt. Lowell’s report but looking for any other info or where to look. As a kid, I remember seeing photos in his home but was too young to understand. Thanks. Sam Kramer

41-18299 322BG 449BS
August 25, 1943 ditched 12 miles off enemy coast
1.Lt.Lucien Lentz; 2.Lt Wrex D Riley; Lt.F.D Lowell; S/Sgts Edwin D Cooper; B F Carlson; Willard F Tinsley
Trevor Allen, Historian

Date:
4/24/2015
Time:
2:19 PM

I just learned that Albert M. Wray age 96 died April 20, 2015 four days ago no less. I learned about his death after I learned his phone was disconnected. Why I did not call him earlier is a puzzle. He is not entered in the B26 site. He was the Bombardier in the 456th Sq. 323 Bomb Group. 1944-45. He received a DFC for his mission with me on the Remagen Bridge. He was with me in Austria doing disarmament of the Luftwaffe. That is about all I can report.

Joe Lazar, 93
BD: July 2015

Date:
4/19/2015
Time:
8:51 AM

Editors on the wiki B-26 page have asked questions about Martin B-26 Marauder use in WW2; good questions, books can be written with the answers thoroughly explained:

Q. What was the use of the B-26 by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)?
A. The B-26 Marauder was not used by the RAAF, however RAAF crew members flew with the RAF and South African Air Forces (SAAF) operating in the Mediterranean and Yugoslavia.

Q. Was the B-26 Marauder used by the Turkish Air Force?
A. The short answer is no (more to follow – stay turned).

Trevor Allen, Historian, b26.com

Date:
4/17/2015
Time:
12:57 PM

Hey All of you 319th B G Fans,

Thought I’d drop you a line to let you know there is a very excellent book review of my new book, “Tales of the 319th”, on page 62 in the current May issue of Aviation History magazine. I know most of you have already bought the book, but the review is worth reading. Go by Barnes & Noble (or other magazine source) and check it out.

Those who haven’t bought the book yet, it’s available through Amazon [here] in hardback and paperback. I specifically specified a hardback version for people familiar with the 319th. The quality of the paper is better and it shelves easier as a reference book on your bookcase. I noticed Amazon has discounted the hardback a couple of dollars, which should offset some of the shipping costs. So, if the review motivates you to buy a copy, you can save some of the shipping costs.

This year is the 71st anniversary of the Invasion of Southern France, The Other D-Day. It was a huge operation, almost as large as the Normandy D-Day – involved were 1,000 Allied ships of which 450 were warships including 9 aircraft carriers and 5 battleships, supported by 5,000 Allied aircraft and 204 C-47 aircraft pulling 2 gliders each of airborne Troops. Ten Army divisions under General Patch were put ashore. One of the 20 stories in my book gives the background and my eye witness account of the event. This story alone is worth catching up on what we of the 319th did that day. I doubt if you will hear anything in the news about it this August.

Best regards,
Joe Connaughton
Former Bomb/Nav 438th Sq. 319th B.G,

Date:
4/5/2015
Time:
6:31 PM

Marauderman’s Name: 2nd Lt. Thomas F. Jenkins
Bomb Group: 394
KIA — June 6, 1944, Battle Sussex, England

Where to begin this story…?
I grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, with John Thomas Jenkins, son of the airman named above. My mother was a close friend with Mary Helen, the widow of Lt. Jenkins. I maintained contact, although I have not lived in Jackson since 1960.

After John T.’s death in 2006, I phoned Mary Helen and found that her niece, Mrs. Patsy Cole, was maintaining a close contact. In a conversation months later, I mentioned the WWII Institute at Florida State; Mary Helen told me that she did not choose to make any designation for memorabilia.

After Mary Helen’s death [at age 90, but without a warning illness] I told Mrs. Cole of the WWII Institute and sent info to her, at her request. Then Mrs. Cole and her husband died within a year.

Recently I went through an exhibit by the Institute title “Art of WWII”, showing an extensive collection of posters, trench art, and many items that illustrated the art that was involved with the war. I was profoundly moved to discover that the Institute had used a display of Lt. Jenkins purple heart, along with the telegram that told of his death and various other personal effects, to attempt to connect the visitors to the work and sacrifice of the people who had paid the price of freedom in the war effort.

I would like to connect with Eric Kirkpatrick or other persons related to Lt. Jenkins. I am indebted to them for their memorial stories; I learned of some details I’d not known. I would like to share some of my recollections from the 50’s with them.

Jeanette Sickel

Date:
3/9/2009
Time:
7:13 AM

I am looking for Keith S. Cheveralls, nephew of Ian C Heveralls who witnessed a B-26 Marauder crash on D-day. My grandmothers uncle was pilot Thomas F. Jenkins (incorrectly listed as Walter F. on the 12/28/07 posting) If anyone can put me in touch with him that would be great. I have information and would like information from his uncle Ian. I just found out about the plaque in Battle, Sussex. Until 1994 grandma did not know exactly what happened to Thomas. Now, 15 more years later, we find out about the plaque. It would mean the world to her to have more information. -Eric Kirkpatrick

Date:
2/29/2008
Time:
11:48 AM

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

Date:
12/28/2007
Time:
6:02 PM

Marauder Name: AF No 42-107592 and AF42-96249. Station 161.
Bomb Group: IX BC Ninth AF
Bomb Squadron: 394th Squadron

Dear sirs,

Background information:
The above two listed aircraft where involved in a tragic mid air collision over Battle, on the south cost of England, while on a mission to bomb gun emplacements in Varreville, France, on D-Day June 6 1944. The crew of 42-96249 all died when the plane crashed at Ashburnham Place. The crew of 42-107592 remained on board to jettison bombs before crashing at Whatlington Level. Only the pilot survived.

My late fathers brother, Mr Ian Cheveralls (now 80 years old) was a messenger boy with the Civil Defence. On the day of the crash he was on duty at warden post at Whatlington Level and witnessed the crash.

That day has stayed with my uncle all these years. After years of research and reviews of War Department documents, including official Reports Of Aircraft Accident, Station 161, he succeeded in identifying all of the crew members of 107592 and 96249. On October 29th, 2007 he arranged with the Royal British Legion, Battle to memorialize the bravery of these airmen by holding a Service of Dedication at British Legion Memorial Hall. The Rev John Eamondson (Dean of Battle) presided and Standard Bearers of the British Legion and the Royal Air Force were in attendance. A Memorial Plaque, bearing the names of all crew members, was blessed and now hangs proudly on the wall of Battle’s Royal British Legion Hall.

Sir, the reason I write this brief account is that Ian would very much like to give this information to any surviving family members of the crews who sacrificed their lives in 1944. If you can assist in any way, perhaps by using your B26 family of contacts, we would be delighted and honoured to forward more detailed information about the dedication ceremony, pictures of the Memorial Plaque, maps and other information. I list the crew members of each aircraft below.

My uncle still lives in England while I emigrated to America in 1983. We are in frequent contact with each other and I offered to see what, if anything, I could do from this side of the Atlantic to help him bring this truly noble effort of his to close.

Please do not hesitate to contact me personally at any time either via email, regular mail or by phone

With my thanks in advance for any information or help

Yours sincerely,
Keith S Cheveralls

Crew of 42-107592
1st Lt Christian Burger
1st Lt Le Roy Dyer
T Sgt George Kyle
S/Sgt James Long
S/Sgt George Williams
Lt Thomas Potts (sole survivor)

Crew of 42-96249
2nd Lt Thomas F Jenkins
2nd Lt Walter Winter
S/Sgt William Hoeb
S/sgt Ralph Parker
Sgt George Rogers
Sgt Edward Baily.

This exchange is an example of how the site works for people who add material.

Date:
4/3/2015
Time:
3:05 PM

William B. Lloyd, Navigator
22nd Bomb Group, 5th Air Force

I got an exciting update today in my quest to get more information on my Dad’s service history.

His plane was called ”Strike.” I know this is true because he later named our family speedboat Strike ll in honor of his B-26 Marauder.

The pilot of his plane was Col. John A. Augustine, III who died in St. Petersburg, FL on July 25, 2012 at the age of 93. The following is from his Obituary: “The 22nd Bomb Group departed Langley Air Base, VA for California after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. After arriving in Hawaii, and their aircraft reassembled, the 22nd Bomb Group flew, island hopping, all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Australia. During the 1 ½ years, (he) and his crew of B-26 “Strike” flew over 25 combat missions against the Japanese in Rabul and New Guinea. The 22nd Bomb Group also participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea.”

I plan to continue my research and get more information for the guestbook. If you could please post the above it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jon Lloyd

Date:
3/29/2015
Time:
5:03 PM

Hello,

I am doing a bio on my father-in-law, William L. Marble, who flew Marauders in the 320th Bomb Group. He was the Ops Officer for the 441st BS, 320th Group Asst Ops Officer, then Commander of the 443rd BS, then as a Major, Group Ops Officer, Acting 320th Group Commander for 6 weeks, then Deputy Commander when Col Fletcher returned to duty after being out of action due to a head wound from shrapnel. I would just like to have you add his name to the roster of the 320th on your terrific site and to indicate he was acting Group Commander from Jan 17th, 1944 to March 2nd, 1944. Here is the only pic I have from his combat tour. I believe this has to be at Decimo, Sardinia during late 1943 or early 1944. He is standing in front of “his” ship with TSgt Merit Christopher, that ship’s crew chief. The “ship” was named “Most Likely”.

Thanks in advance!

Dave Buermeyer, Col USAF, ret.

Date:
3/27/2015
Time:
3:27 PM

Hi, I am Joe Lazar. 456th 323 Bomb Squadron 38 missions. Squadron Navigator. Promoted to Captain … withdrawn on April 15 45. I recognize a few guys here http://www.b26.com/page/456th_bomb_squadron.htm – Frank Morris is pix no 52 and 18. I wonder why on my very first mission I was sent out as the 3 ship lead dropping “window” over the Aachen Mission. Heavy heavy flak. Probably worst of all my missions. I recall this mission wondering why I was sent out as such. Just think that 54 ships were following my lead ship. I kept asking my tail gunner to check on whether or not the other ships were following. I wonder if anyone can remember why I was sent out as the lead dropping window on my very first mission. Ye Gads I think about that often. If I got lost would the rest follow? Does anyone recall in my Squadron why I was sent out to lead all those ships? I wish I had the records to the 323rd missions. I am 92 going on 93 in July 2015.

Date:
3/25/2015
Time:
8:25 AM

40-1438 22nd Bombardment Group (BG), 19th Bombardment Squadron (BS)
25 Sep 41 to Feb 42 transferred to 33rd BS
25 Mar 42 lost in storm between Canton and Fiji
1.Lts Stewart Krauss; 2.Lt’s Louis J Faller; Daniel J Burns; Cpl Manuel Koff; T/Sgt Louis Schmidt; Cpl Eugene S Bell; Pvt George M Riehl; Maj Heyward J Hindman. (All recorded as dead)

Date:
3/7/2015
Time:
2:00 PM

Mystery of the Martin B-26 Marauder at Poperinge, Belgium September 1944

In a book about the war years in the wider Poperinge area I found a picture of a belly landed B-26. Caption said the plane had landed on 6 September 1944 due to fuel shortage along the Provenweg, just outside Poperinge.

Because the book itself offered no further info and the picture was the only indication that a crash had happened, I started a web search to see if any recorded losses matched the one at Poperinge. This proved unsuccessful. There was no MACR because the area had just been liberated by Polish troops and on the other hand, no (online) accident report pointed to an accident of that type then and there.

Unfortunately the serial on the picture could not be read due to the size in the book, so I first wrote to the author if he had a better copy. He never replied. Then I wrote to the publisher, who was so kind to send me their scan. This one could be enlarged, but still no readable serial could be seen.

Who are these girls? What school did they come from? Do any of them have a memory about this plane?

Regards,
Leendert Holleman

Date:
3/2/2015
Time:
2:07 PM

The National Air and Space Museum is embarking on the preservation of one of its signature artifacts, the Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder “Flak-Bait”. The Project Team is reaching out to individuals and groups that may have personal stories, photographs, records, and artifacts that would further document this iconic artifact and the men and women who built, flew, and maintained it during World War II. For those willing and able to help, the Museum has created a Flak-Bait website that includes a “Share Your Story” page or you can contact the curator, Jeremy Kinney, directly for more information.

Sherman Best, co-pilot, aboard “Flak Bait” in December 2014.

Pat Robinson
Museum Specialist, Preservation and Restoration Unit.
National Air and Space Museum/ Smithsonian Institution Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway/MRC 326 Chantilly VA, 20151
Date:
2/28/2015
Time:
4:59 PM

Here are some crew chiefs from Barksdale AFB, no names; photo taken Winter-Spring 1943. Maybe someone will recognize a face or two.

Don Enlow

Date:
2/27/2015
Time:
4:47 PM

A correction to the following (by Paul Priday); and, with all due respect:

“In the meantime, the second box was engaged in a running gun battle with the ME 109’s until one minute prior to opening their bomb bay doors. The two surviving Marauders from the low flight had tacked on to the lead flight. The Box Leader, realizing he was approaching the target on a heading different than that which had been briefed, made a 360° turn and lined up properly for the bomb run. The high flight followed him and the two flights made long steady runs and dropped with excellent results.”

That box leader was my brother Clyde Harkins. He discussed this event on many occasions … Per Clyde, he made a second run because clouds kept his bombardier navigator, Warren Butterfield, from having access to his sight lines, not because he had selected an incorrect heading on the target.

Clyde told me his orders were … “if you can’t see it on the approach, go home”.

When he announced they were going around, he received less that a thundering round of applause from his crew .. but they were all very proud of the result.

Best to all who were there .. I was 4 at the time and home in the good ole USA sound asleep.

Richard C. Harkins

Date:
2/26/2015
Time:
9:23 AM

My Dad, Clifford Lang Brokaw, was in the 386th Bomb Group, 555th Bomb Squadron – he was a pilot and flew the “Loretta Young.” He died in 1983- too soon! I never knew much about war background but found a book about the Marauders and just looking around to see what I can see. His DD214 lists a bunch of awards, including the DFC.

Just wanting to know more…

Kathryn Boyer

Date:
2/24/2015
Time:
5:03 AM

My Grandfather, Louis Brundage, a WW2 Vet died in 1974. When he died I was given a photo of his brother, Bill. The photo showed Bill Brundage standing outside his B-26 with his crew. I have had this photo on my wall in the family room for the last 35 years. The only information I was ever told was that Bill Brundage died in the war. I recently tried finding out the history of Bill Brundage and ran across this same photo on Mr. Robert Nachel’s page. Any information you could give me on my great uncle would be much appreciated. I have attached the crew photo I have.

Sincerely,
Brian Schlosser

42-96220, 386BG 555BS, “MAN O WAR IV” YA-Q, Missions flown 21, MARC 9272

31 May 44 to 7 Oct 44 flak in left engine, pulled out of formation to left, feathered prop, did not level off, on fire and did not seem to be under control, continued to veer left in a wide arc while steadily losing altitude four chutes opened almost together then a fifth just below them, left wing burned off at about 4000ft, dived into ground, exploded between Kleve and Moyland, Germany.

1.Lt.James T. Marrin, Jr; 2.Lts Herman J Roth, Jr; William A Brundage; Sgt Carl J Tuscano; S/Sgt Dale C Richey: Sgt Paul F Sommerville. (Marrin, Roth, Brundage killed; rest of crew pow’s)

Mr. Marrin, Roth, and Brundage are buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Section 78, Site 1024-26

Mr. Tuscano has no contact information but as of February 2000 both Mr. Richey and Mr. Sommerville were involved with the 386th’s bomb group reunion association.

Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
2/22/2015
Time:
10:14 AM

Name: Harlan Jarvis
BombGp: 386th
Squadron: 553rd
Years: 43-45
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Comments: Harlan Jarvis flew 73 combat missions as a flight engineer/gunner on “The Mad Russian.” In January 2015, he shared his experiences with us at the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative – a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the stories of veterans.

Of particular interest to us is a 12/24/2006 guestbook post on this site by Dorothy Crisman, wife of the late Lee R. Crisman, co-pilot of “The Mad Russian”. As Harlan tells it, he once fell out of the ship in mid-flight (with no parachute!) and was hanging from a bomb-bay strut until the co-pilot (perhaps Mr. Crisman) heard his screams and summoned help, saving Harlan’s life.

If anyone has contact information for Mrs. Crisman, we would like to contact her about this story.

Sincerely, Kevin Farkas
Director, Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh

Date:
2/20/2015
Time:
7:14 AM

2.Lt’s. Adsell V Fischer (Helen Marie Fischer, Wife); Robert A. Wingblade (Alfred G. Wingblade, Father); F/O Don C Paule (Lorrains C. Paule, Wife); Sgt’s Willie O Keith Jr. (Olustee Pearl Gibbons, Mother); Donald I. Meehan (Lillian R. Meehan, Wife) (All Crew KNB, Killed Non-Combat)

20 Feb 44, lost at sea between Ascension and Roberts Field, Liberia en route in transit to UK. Missing Aircrew Report MARC 3006

MARC 3006, flying in plane 42-96130 from the 397BG, 598BS

Date:
2/18/2015
Time:
12:48 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Ralph J Doty
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 454th

My name is Thomas Doty and I am the son of a Marauderman. My father Ralph passed away almost 13 years ago at the age of 83. Before he passed away he wrote letters to all us children, 3 sons and a daughter, with a special handwritten copy of his mission and travel diary from WW-II. He had just received a short handwritten letter in the mail (1993) from a gentlemen in Louisiana who asked him if he was the pilot who flew in Europe with the 454th Squadron of the 323rd Bomber Group. There was a phone number in the letter which he “immediately” called.

As you will see in the attached letter to me from Dad he found out that day that he had missed 18 previous reunions and that they had been trying to find him and others for a “damn long time”. The next reunion was in September and I know he made it and probably quite a few after that. He spoke of the great joy he had in meeting with his “tent companions” and All the others that brought back so much nostalgia of his WW-II experiences.

I happened upon the “History of the 323rd Bombardment Group in World War II” on the website the other day and it got me interested in how my Father’s diary of events might match with the events noted on the site. Sure enough! It is an interesting personal reflection by a pilot on the events chronicled on the site.

I will have to dig up some of the pictures that I have of my father during those times and see if I can get them off to Trevor Allen. I still remember when I was very young sneaking up into the storage space at our house and methodically going thru the “old leather suitcase” that had my Dads uniform, his original mission log, medals and other military paraphernalia in it. That was and still is a very special place.

Regards,
Thomas L. Doty

Date:
2/17/2015
Time:
8:27 AM

I have a question? My Dad was 2nd Lt James Richard “Dick” Jernigan. He is deceased. I just found out through a friend he was a co-pilot on the B-26 named Billie Willie V. The picture of him with the plane is dated August 1944. The plane has 48 bombs painted on its left side. My Dad’s crew Pilot William H. North, Co-pilot J R Dick Jernigan, Bombardier H J Plunkett, Radio R R Holt, Engineer J Downs, Gunner G W Watermolen.

I found out it was shot down by flack near Stadecken Germany. The planes tail number was 42961601. It was lost March 1945. Thank goodness my dad was not on board. I was wondering if the crew escaped or were lost and who they were at that time. I have a list of names when my dad was a member of that crew.

Thank you for your time on this.

Richard D. Jernigan

Richard,
Careful about reading the MARC’s. There is more information about survivors.
42-96160, 397BG 598BS, BILLIE WILLIE V, U2-L, Mission Count 135, MARC 13140
18 Mar 45 flak began to emit white smoke when last seen, crashed near Stadecken, Germany
1.Lt.Ronald F.Shepard; F/O William R Littlehale; S/Sgt Herbert E Wilson; Sgt’s Hoyt B Willingham; James H Tamplin; Herbert Brodsky; S/Sgt J C McGuire

Trevor Allen

Date:
2/16/2015
Time:
10:38 AM

Regarding Gerald L. Allen’s page:

I recognized the location of the photograph taken at a beach. It’s taken at Southend-on-Sea, Essex which was (and still is) a popular seaside resort. The building on the corner of the road junction (centre) is a pub named “The Cornucopia” which still exists. Although it’s fuzzy, the tower of the Kursaal amusement park is visible in the top-right corner of the photograph.

A contemporary view of the location in the photograph can be seen on Google Maps (https://goo.gl/maps/nCSGR).

Cheers,

Steve Sharp

Date:
2/9/2015
Time:
8:20 PM

Hello,
A few years ago, March 26, 2006 (to be exact) I provided information for a dedication page for my father. His name was 1st. Lt. Royce E. Stephens a B26 pilot in the 319th bomb group, 439th bomb squadron. Lt. Stephens and the pilot he was flying with 1st Lt. Herbert Herman on 10 Dec 1944 were killed when their plane was downed on a mission to bomb the San Michelle railroad yards.

In February of 2014, I received a letter from two Italian men who were researching a plane crash that their grandparents told them had occurred over the skies of Storo, Italy during the war. They had done a lot of research and were asking me if my father was Lt. Royce E Stephens and if I could provide them with pictures and data about him. They also informed me that they were organizing an event to recognize the 70th anniversary Of the crash, and wondered if I could come to their village for the dedication of a monument to dad and Lt. Herman.

I, along with my wife, daughter and son in law traveled to Italy in August of 2014, to the town of Storo, Italy. We were there as guests of the town for three wonderful and moving days. The two men who put together the dedication, Francesco Bologni and Massimo Parolari gave a detailed account of the bombing mission and events leading to the crash of the B25j up in the mountains above Storo in a place known as Nar. I was met by several men of Storo who were young boys when the crash occurred. They each told me what they found upon reaching the crash site and as they took their leave they would present me with a piece of the plane. On our last day in Storo, a Sunday, we attended a mass, and it was there that they unveiled the dedication to the two pilots who were killed in the crash, a stone marker bearing pictures of the two men and the dates of the crash. It was here that I was presented with the compass from the plane. The other notable occurrence was my visit to the Florence American Military Cemetery where I finally had the honor to visit and pay my respects to a man who I never knew, but has always been in my heart and mind throughout my life.

On the day of the dedication I was approached by an elderly gentleman. He was dressed in his WWII uniform. We visited for a bit and he went to get a seat. I saw him during the ceremony and he was in tears as they told about my father. There were several people there crying. It was very emotional for me. After, another older man approached me at the stone bearing the picture of Dad and Lt. Herman. He pointed at Dad and asked “your papa?”. I answered yes. He then took me by the hand and led me about 75 yards and said to me “I found your papa here”. I asked if he remembered anything special about the moment and he replied that Dad was on his side as if sleeping peacefully. Just an example of how reverently those people treated us. They told me many times that they were suffering at the hands of the Germans and barely subsisted. The B25 provided them with a little food, they salvaged all of the plane to make clothing, pots, pans, and it was a help to the whole community. I shall never forget those wonderful people and will think fondly of them. I hope I can return someday, but being 71 now,  who knows.

When Dad first went to Europe he was assigned a B26 that he and the crew flew over. He flew that plane until the 319th bomb group were assigned new b25’s to fly in October of 1944. Dad did not like the B25 as well as the 26. He was shot down flying the B25 a short time later.

Larry M. Stephens

Date:
2/2/2015
Time:
8:51 PM

Just wondering if anyone remembers Harold Noelting. Killed in action Sept 21st 1944. I think the serial # of his aircraft was 42-9629….584th Bomb Squadron 394th Bomb Group. K5-u? Don’t know what this means….Also a page listed 1st LT Howard Davis as the pilot. My cousin was a SSGT. He is buried in Normandy France at the American cemetery. I don’t know any more information than this. Any pointers to receive any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

42-96267, 394BG, 584BS
13 May 44 to 21 Sep 44 hit propwash on take off, crash landed, all but one escaped. Rest escaped before a/c exploded, salvaged 21 Sep 44.
1.Lt. Howard I. Davis; 2.Lt Robert E Day; Cpl James R Hopping; S/Sgt Harold L Noelting; PfC Raymond Boals; S/Sgt Macklynn D Worsham. (Noelting killed rest of crew suffered injuries)

Howard I. Davis, survived war, wife Lorriane, no contact info
Robert E Day, no info
James R Hopping, survived war, contact info
Raymond Boals, deceased
Macklynn D Worsham, no info

Trevor Allen

Thank you so much Trevor for the information you provided me with. I have never seen a picture of Harold Noelting or knew much about him before my mom and I went through our family tree and I asked who he was. My mom told me he was her Godfather and after his death he was barely discussed. My mom told me her aunt, Harold’s mother was devastated at his death and soon committed suicide shortly thereafter. It was such a sad story. I have been an aviation buff ever since I can remember and was fascinated at the fact that a relative of mine was actually in the USAAF during the second world war. When I began poking around and clicking the mouse I was finally brought to the webpage of the American cemetery in Normandy and there was a photo of his gravesite and white cross. Knowing that no one has ever visited it from my family really moved me and my mother and I will be making plans to go to France. I work for the Air Lines and my mother and I fly for free. I was very moved last night when I read the details of his death and how it happened. I still am. I am going to do more research and see if somehow I can find a photo of him for my mom. She laughed when I said “Why weren’t there any pictures at your baptism?” She kindly explained that no one could afford one in her family in 1935…”you know the Great Depression?”…LOL…I saw a print of a B26 with his squadron markings 394BG…584BS on another website where I got LT Howard Davis’s name as the pilot of his aircraft. That was all I could gather until I emailed your website. Are there any other means to gathering anymore information about Harold? Group reunions, other websites, etc. Thank You again for the info you provided me. I wonder if any of his crew survived the rest of the war? I should would love a group picture like the ones you see with them in front of their aircraft. I look forward to talking to you again…God Bless…Christopher Ohlrich

Date:
1/31/2015
Time:
6:15 PM

Gerald L. Allen’s page is an interesting set of photographs.

I found Sgt. Gerald L Allen in the roster of 323rd BG personnel, and gather from the text that he served as an engineer gunner with the 453rd BS.

The aircraft photographs however, appear to show mostly 322nd BG aircraft. The other identifiable names from the photo images do not show up in the 323rd BG roster either. Namely, J P Sullivan, F A Findley, and Abe Cohen. I have a hunch that the guys in the photographs are 322nd BG, but I would need to do some more research to confirm this, as I don’t have a roster of 322nd BG personnel, only what I can glean from the 322nd BG records. Maybe Gerald Allen was transferred?

Here is what I can add to the photo captions, mostly the aircraft:

“Mild And Bitter”, serial 41-31819, coded DR-X, 322nd BG / 452nd BS. This was the first Marauder in the ETO to complete 100 missions. It reached this landmark on the 8th May 44 mission to bomb Evreux-Fauville airfield, France. The aircraft was returned to the USA in June 44 to participate in a war bond tour, and I would think that the aircraft was just about to depart when the photograph was taken.

42-43285 was named “Sit’N’Git”, coded PN-K, 322nd BG / 449th BS. This aircraft survived the war having flown 156 combat missions.
“Flak Bait”, serial 41-31773, coded PN-O, 322nd BG / 449th BS. Completed 202 combat missions and survived the war.
44-67879 was named “Lil’ Murf”, coded PN-Q, 322nd BG / 449th BS.
43-34611, named “Green Ghost”, coded PN-F, 322nd BG / 449th BS. In the background of this photo can be seen the tail of 41-18272, PN-D, named “Murder Inc”, 322nd BG / 449th BS.
42-107664, coded PN-A, named “Je Reviens”, 322nd BG / 449th BS.
Aircraft named “A Broad For Duty” is 42-107557, BN# 32, of the 17th BG / 37th BS.
The unidentified B-26 with sharks mouth nose art and the image of a girl kneeling on a bomb is a 320th BG / 444th BS aircraft.
44-68095, coded PN-C, 322nd BG / 449th BS.
The photo of 43-34453 with collapsed undercarriage is named “Cherie”, coded DR-S, 22nd BG / 452nd BS. The nose wheel collapsed on landing at A-61 Beauvais-Tille Airfield, France on 14th Feb 45. The aircraft was flown by Lt. Col. Dewin D Bentley, the group executive officer.
The aircraft in flight over Le Bourget airfield, Paris is 44-68122, named “Johnny’s Jokers”, coded PN-W, 322nd BG / 449th BS.

Regarding the photo of an airman with a horse. the caption points out a sign in the top left of the photo inscribed “Manns”. During this period “Manns” was a London based brewery.

The photo of an airman in Braintree Park. This park is known as “Braintree & Bocking Public Gardens” and is still open today.

I hope this helps in some way. I am sure with a bit more effort and possible assistant from other visitors to the site, we could identify some of the men in the other shots.

Best regards,

Paul Clouting

Date:
1/28/2015
Time:
9:03 AM

With regard to the guest book posting by Dr. Jeff Coulon: 12/26/2014 10:36 AM

Dear Jeff,

I can only find one B-26 that was lost in French coastal waters of the North Sea near Dunkirk. According to the MACR, on May 11, 1944, aircraft serial number 42-95922 (Y5-N) of the 344BG/495BS was hit by FLAK in the vicinity of the target (Malo Les Baines coastal defenses). The aircraft began to lose altitude and the pilot gave the order to bail out shortly after crossing the coast. The 3 gunners in the rear of the aircraft left the aircraft and landed in the sea near the shore, where they were quickly picked up by an enemy boat. In the front of the aircraft, the crew had difficulty in opening the bomb bay doors, so they lowered the nose wheel and exited via the nose wheel hatch. The aircraft was estimated to have hit the water 4-5 miles from the coast, which matches the position of the aircraft wreckage given in your post.

After landing in the sea, the pilot managed to deploy a one-man life raft. The bombardier/navigator clung to this raft for 3 to 5 hours, but he eventually lost consciousness and died due to hypothermia. These two men were eventually picked up by an enemy boat. The co-pilot’s body was washed ashore nearly a week later. It is assumed that either his parachute failed to open or that he also died from hypothermia. All survivors became prisoners of war.

The crew were:
1/Lt. Ralph E. Finch (Pilot)
2/Lt. Leonard C. Lobb (Co-Pilot)
1/Lt. Richard C. Andrews (Bombardier/Navigator)
S/Sgt. Delbert E. Wagner (Radio Operator/Gunner)
S/Sgt. Stanley M. Szarek (Engineer/Gunner)
S/Sgt. Martin H. Lorda (Armorer/Gunner)

The records relating to radio equipment installed in aircraft are extremely unlikely to have survived. Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR) usually list the individual serial numbers of the aircraft, its engines, and its armament (50 caliber machine guns). This data could be used to identify the aircraft in question. However, these details are not present in this particular MACR (#4515). The aircraft serial number would be painted across the aircraft’s vertical stabilizer and rudder, and also on the left-hand side of its fuselage in front of the cockpit. If these have survived, then they will positively identify the aircraft.

In the UK, military aircraft wrecks are covered by the “Protection of Military Remains Act 1986” as they may be considered as “war graves”. The danger posed by live ammunition (where the explosive charge may have become unstable) will also need to be considered when exploring a wreck. The US “Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command” (often referred to as “JPAC”) may be able to assist in identifying this wreck and the recovery of any human remains that it may contain.

Regards,

Steve Sharp

Date:
1/18/2015
Time:
12:01 PM

Wim,
I saw the below information while I was on the Internet and felt compelled to reply. My father, Sgt John Stankiewicz was shot down in WW2 while on a mission near Doetinchem. I believe the target was Appeldorne, Holland. The pilot of the B-26 was LT George B. Fallon of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Telegram sent to the families indicating the crew was MIA had the following verbiage:

“Dear Mrs Fallon,
I am writing you with reference to your son, First Lieutenant George B. Fallon, who was reported by The Adjutant General as missing in action over Holland since 21 March 1945.
Additional information has been received indicating that Lieutenant Fallon was the pilot on a B-26 (Marauder) bomber which participated in a bombardment mission on 21 March 1945. The report reveals that during this mission about 10:10 am, over Appeldorne, Holland, our planes were subjected to enemy antiaircraft fire and your son’s bomber sustained damage. Subsequently his craft dropped out of formation and it was last seen under control but losing altitude. Inasmuch as the crew members of accompanying planes were unable to obtain any other details relative to the loss of LT Fallon’s craft, the foregoing constitutes all the information presently available.

Believing you may wish to communicate with the families of the others who were in the plane with your son, I am enclosing a list of those men and the names and addresses of their next to kin.

Please be assured that a continuing search by land, sea, and air is being made to discover the whereabouts of our missing personnel. A our armies advance over enemy occupied territory, special troops are assigned to this task, and agencies of our government and allies frequently send in details which aid us in brining additional information to you.

Very Sincerely,
N.W. Reed
MAJOR, Air Corps
Assistant Chief, Notification Branch
Personal Affairs Divisionn
Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Personnel

My father said he was given aid by the Dutch Resistance who moved him from safe house to safe house until the town was liberated by the Canadians on 1 April 1945. The Canadians then returned him back to the United States Air Corps. The rest of the crew was captured and according to the Dutch Resistance said some were wounded.

In 1991, while assigned to the US Army in Germany, I met with Gerhard Velhorst (Williamstrasse 10, 7001 HL, Doetinchem, Holland). Gerhard contact our family a couple years prior and stated he was a 15 yr that was working with the Dutch Resistance and helped my father. He took me to the crash site of the B-26, where my father landed in the parachute, and several safe-house and a house boat in Doentichem that housed my father and several others. Gerhard was born in 1930 I believe, so I do not know if he is still living. He had two sons, Eric and Frank.

I do have some information and several Telegrams from the War Department. I believe my father was with the 385th or 387th under the 9th Group, but I’m not certain. It was my understanding that Gerhard wrote a book on the history of this specific time?

I don’t think my Dad ever attended any reunions or kept in touch with any of the members, He passed away in 1983. The pilot of the pane was LT George B. Fallon. I do believe I have a document somewhere that shows the other members of the crew. I will hunt it up. The 387th bomb group sounds right! My father was shot down on his 19th mission. I saw this in an archive that appears to be his plane that crashed in Laag Keppel (see below). 21-3-1945; time: 10.02; crashed: Laag Keppel, Holland, B-26G, 44-68103, 387 BG/558 BS, 1/Lt. G.B. Fallon.

I also saw this entry for 21 March 1945. The gunner who avoid capture was my father SGT John Stankiewicz. March 21st an attack on Coesfeld railroad junction was made. It was an important link on the rail line east of the Ruhr and was made in the face of moderate accurate flak. Lieutenant George B. Fallon’s aircraft’s right engine was damaged by flak and he feathered it. It was only 20 minutes flying time to friendly lines. He never made it. He and his crew were reported as missing. Both engines had suffered flak damage and eventually all of the crew bailed out. One gunner evaded with the Dutch underground, the rest were POWs. Flak damage was heavy, but results of all six flights were excellent. A good day was completed when a formation, led by Captain Robert W. Fairburn and Lieutenant Dewey E. Albright, scored an excellent on the communication center of Stadtlohn.

The other information I got from the various Telegrams sent to his mother when he was shot down and missing from 21 March-1 April 1945.

Respectfully
John J. Stankiewicz

In response to your email that you wrote:
On 19, 21 and 23 of march 1945 our town Doetinchem (the Netherlands) was bombed by allied forces. Next month it will 60 ago. We’re making a television documentary about these days and the liberation. I discovered that in 1978 an aircraft (B-26G) was found in Laag Keppel. It belonged to the 387th BG. This airplane crashed on march 21. 1945. Can you tell me if this aircraft was part of the formation that bombed Doetinchem and if so, are there any pilot around who can tell us more about this event. Main question is: did the bomb Doetinchem by accident or was for strategic causes? Where did the planes take off and who was there commander? Doetinchem was bombed three times: 19, 21 and 23 of march 1945.

Hopefully you can help us find some answers to our questions.

Yours,
Wim Maatman
Stadstv Doetinchem

Date:
1/17/2015
Time:
9:34 PM

Would you like pictures of my cousin, Richard Earl Allen’s efforts to bring music to the group? He sent to New York for instruments and music and received lots of help. ~Doris Greaves

Date:
1/16/2015
Time:
9:24 AM

Hello,

I will introduce myself. My name is Mary Joyce and I live in the village of Fillievres in the Pas de Calais region of Northern France. My French friend, Stephane Oniszczyk, is writing a history of the village and in particular during the Second World War. We have discovered that two members of the USAF were sheltered by Monsieur Merchez having escaped from their aircraft which had crashed. I’m sure you appreciate that it was extremely hazardous for the French to hide Allied personnel and most certainly at risk to their lives. Fillievres was entirely occupied by the Germans at the time.

I am attaching information which we have on Melvin L Bachman (Bachmann) and are hoping you will be able to offer some advice ion how we can find out if he is still alive and if not how we would be able to contact any living relatives.

Many thanks for any help you may be able to give us.

with best wishes
Mary Joyce

Details:
History of B26 « Marauder » 42-95829:

Melvin L. BACHMAN was a Staff/Sergeant in US Air Force.
His identification number was identification XXXX8330, at 9th US Air Force, Squadron 573, 391st Bomb Group.
He was Mechanical Engineer and also Gunner.
He came from Illinois.

They flew on 08 May 1944 from Matching Green Airport Military base in Essex England. Returning from their target (mission : unknown), at 19h00 with 6 crew members, on board a B-26 Marauder which name was « Countess » they were under gun fire from the Germans in the area of “Canche Valley” – Pas de Calais – France.

They were shot directly on left engine. The pilot, Captain ADAMS was obliged to landing immediately (MACR = 4482). They crash landed the B26 at 2 Km North-West of the small village of Sibiville – 12 Km South-West from town of Saint-Pol Sur Ternoise in the region of Pas de Calais.

All were captured immediately by the Germans on impact except Melvin BACHMAN who escaped. For the five other airmen it was unfortunately different:

They were prisoners and transported to STALAG Camp’s in Germany and Poland:

Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia for Captain ADAMS F.B (Pilot) – of Corpus Christi – Texas
7A Moosburg Bavaria for Second Lieutenant MEEK W.H (Co-Pilot) – of Mississippi
7A Moosburg Bavaria for First Lieutenant WILLIAMS B.F (Bombardier) – of Jacksonville – Florida
Luft 4 Gross-Tychow for Staff/Sergeant SCHOERLIN G.L (Top Gunner) – of Long-Island – New York
Luft 4 Gross-Tychow for Staff/Sergeant THOMAS A.T (Radio Operator and Gunner) – of Oklahoma
Melvin Bachman (Bachmann) was rescued by French patriots of Evaders Link « Bordeaux-Loupiac » and was hidden five months in a small village: Fillièvres in North of France.

He was sheltered with another 8th USAF airman of 712th Squadron / 448th BG, S/Sergeant Jack L.COOPER of Ohio.

They were sheltered by Monsieur Raymond MERCHEZ and his family. They were eventually rescued by Polish Troops (after D-Day Operations) during the period of the liberation of France (03 September 1944).

We are trying to find some information about Mr. MELVIN BACHMAN (or BACHMANN ?) for a memorial at the village.

We hope that Mr. BACHMAN and all the crewmen are still alive and well.

By Mary JOYCE and Stephane ONISZCZYK

Date:
1/12/2015
Time:
10:35 PM

My father, Richard B. Smith, was a B26 crew member and was shot down over Nantes, France and was taken in by the French Underground. I am trying to find information relative to which plane he got shot down in and who were his crew mates. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I have the original Western Union telegram to my Grandmother stating he was MIA.

Raymond M. Smith

Hello Raymond,
On July 8th 1944 B-26 42-95821 coded O8-O “Miss Take” of the 575th Bomb Squadron 391st Bomb Group was hit by flak over the target Nantes.

Both engines were damaged giving only 35% power, speed was down to 140.mph and the right engine was feathered. At 21.00 hrs and at a height of approx. 6,000 feet the crew bailed out 17 kilometres NW of Chateaubriant, France. All the crew bailed out safely and all but one avoided capture returning some weeks later.

The crew were:
Lt. Col George O Stalnaker pilot; 2.Lt Eugene R Squier co-pilot; Capt Edgar G Williams navigator;1.Lt Jim B Clark navigator;1.Lt Francis J Murphy bombardier; T/Sgt Richard B Smith radio/gunner; S/Sgt Stanley W Miller engineer/gunner; S/Sgt Lloyd V Alexander armourer/gunner. Alexander became a prisoner of war the rest of the crew evading.

This was a lead aircraft hence the number of crew men on board. Some years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Lt. Col Stalnaker and his story of his adventures with the French underground is another story.

Regards,
Trevor Allen
historian b26.com

Follow-up:
Oh my God! I never knew if the rest of the crew made it. Dad said one guy was a big Texan.  I believe my dad had flown all but one mission in order to go home and he flew with this crew as a replacement radio operator .  I believe this was his 50th mission and he got shot down.  He said he landed in a field and laid in a ditch until he decided to enter a nearby forest and that is where the French picked him up.  I know that among his belongings he had an identification card showing him as being a tailor.  He also had a photo of himself with his French rescuers. He was wearing a beret.  I have got to track down those photos.  I have never known about such fine details as altitude and airspeed.  I cannot thank you enough. Each time dad would start to tell us his story he would just cry and not finish. He was a good and humble man. Thanks! I will share this information with my brothers. I am going to see how many photos, letters, and telegrams I can gather.  I will forward copies of anything I find.  I will travel to France this summer but want to see if I can locate the letters which my dad had from the people who housed him and apparently his crew.  My goal is to visit that farm.  I am not sure if I have the story straight but my oldest brother says dad told him he had one more mission (50th?) to fly and he could go home. Another ship needed a radio operator and dad took it and subsequently got shot down. My brother is not sure of this and, if it is so, it is an ironic story.  I would like to find out which ship was his regular one if my brother’s recollection is true. Thanks Trevor!

Date:
1/12/2015
Time:
5:42 PM

My father, Dexter Goodwin, 391st BG, 575th BS, flew a mission three days after D-Day that caused him to make an emergency landing on the cliffs of Normandy, possibly making him the first American pilot to land on German occupied French soil during WWII.

Thank you,
Dexter Goodwin Jr

Date:
1/7/2015
Time:
8:33 PM

Hello,
My dad (age 78) is writing a book about the bombing of the little village of Oene, Netherlands at the 22 march of 1945. He was a eye witness as a young boy. I am looking for some pictures of the planes or crew that flew that mission. In the attachment you can find the plane numbers and names of the crew. I hope you can help me soon, because the book is nearly finished.

Kind regards,
Gert Nooteboom

Hello Gert,
Running through your email, I enclose what information and photographs I have.
43-34450 9F-A 597th.BS Not named I have no photograph
43-34335 X2-B 596th.BS Dee Feater II I have no photograph
42-95828 U2-A 596th.BS Kriehny’s Kradle Photo appended
42-96114 9F-D 597th.BS Dinah Photo appended
42-96285 X2-C 596th.BS Not named I have no photograph
Regards,
Trevor Allen

Date:
1/7/2015
Time:
2:03 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Oliver K Stone
Bomb Group: ?
Bomb Squadron: 553rd
Years in service: 3
Graduation Class: 1942
Class Location: Buckley Field, CO
Comments: nickname was “Stoney”, he was a Turret Gunsight mechanic 678
Campaigns: Air Offensive Europe – Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes

Hi there – I recently came across some documents of my grandfather, whom I never got to meet and don’t know much of his history. He was a member of the 553rd Bombardment Squadron (which I just learned when looking at these documents). He died when I was very little so I never got to hear any stories about the war. I was wondering if there way to see if there were any surviving members of the 553rd that might have known him and could help he learn ANYTHING about the man and what he might have experienced in the war. Any information or links to sites where I might be able to track down members of the 553rd would be a huge help! Thank you so much. Below is my grandfather’s information. If anyone out there has any leads, please contact me! Thanks! Steve Stone

Date:
1/5/2015
Time:
8:46 PM

Was there a b 26 called “Hell Cat II” 135159? Best, Braxton Bradford

Braxton,
41-35159 BN.35 Hellcat II 37th Bomb Squadron 17th Bomb Group blew a tyre on take off, crashed, badly damaged and salvaged.
Trevor Allen,
Historian b26.com

Date:
1/5/2015
Time:
7:18 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Douglas Hartranft, Died 8/6/1944
Bomb Group: 451St
Bomb Squadron: 322
Comments: Name of plane “Impatient Virgin”.

Any information that you might have on my Grandfather would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Patricia E. Hartranft

Patricia,
Do you have any details of the events of 6th August 1944, if not I can supply those details for you.
Regards
Trevor Allen
Historian b26.com

Date:
1/5/2015
Time:
3:14 PM

I was hoping somebody that reads this could help me. My grandfather’s name is Malcolm Lovic Chronister. I am looking for some information about my grandfather and all I know is he was a WW2 pilot that flew B-26s over Germany. I have asked my father what information he has – that’s what he told me he knows. I know my father would like more information about it because the small information he did have when he was a child was burned up in a house fire. If anyone has any information at all please let me know thank you. Ryan Chronister

Date:
1/1/2015
Time:
5:28 PM

Marauderman’s Name: Clare C. Leonard
Bomb Group: 323rd
Bomb Squadron: 456th
Years in service: 12 Feb 1942 – last known mission was 7 Oct 1944
Graduation Class:
Class Location:
Comments: I am looking for any information about Clare Leonard’s service in the Army Air Force. He flew 80 missions and we have journal entries from him on most of them. Here is one such entry from 20 May 1944

Mission #63. 20 May 1944
Dieppe, France. Same target as yesterday. We made the same bomb run as the previous day. Flak was intense and very accurate. The most accurate flak that I have seen. Our group lost three planes near the target, six planes made single engine landings in England, and 25 men were killed, wounded or missing. Johnnie McClelland, our tail gunner was killed by flak. We landed at Manston airfield on the English coast. Mac died during the night after five transfusions. Maj Morgan of 454 squadron made a single engine landing at Manston after we landed. One of his engines caught fire over the target and two men bailed out. The fire went out shortly afterwards. Lt. Rush Warf’s bombardier was killed and Lt Smythe of Capt Harris’ crew went down with Capt Heather. Fred Binder, engineer on Warf’s crew was hit in both legs but will be ok. Dave Fifer and I saw him in the Braintree hospital on 21 May. Fred Wolfe is now on Dorsey’s crew and our new bombardier is Lt Foster. Sgt Pitullo is our tail gunner. We wiped out the target.

I believe he was a radio/gunner. He mentions 2 planes by name “Buffalo Gal” and “City of Sherman”.

Thank you for any information you may have.
Renae Little

Date:
1/1/2015
Time:
2:12 PM

Hell-o Guestbook –

My Uncle SSGT Albert J. Hands was KIA on 1/1/45 over Stadtkyll, Germany when at 2:45P local time, his ship was hit by a 88mm “Flak” burst and subsequently crashed – with results as shown below:

Last mission: cross-roads at Stadtkyll, Germany on 1 Jan. 45
– Ship: B-26G-15-MA Marauder Serial #44-67813/SS-P

Crewmen on Stadtkyll mission:
Pilot – 1st Lt. Paul F. Michael (POW)
Co-pilot – 2nd Lt. Robert L. Weir (KIA)
Bombardier – 2nd Lt. Vance I. McCormick (KIA)
Flight engineer/turret-gunner – SSgt. A.W. Harriman (KIA)
Radio/waist-gunner – SSgt. Albert J. Hands (KIA)
Armorer/tail-gunner – SSgt. James C. Rattan (KIA)

I would love to post a remembrance today, on New Year’s Day 2015, expressing my continued gratitude of his sacrifice, but I find the 2015 Guestbook posting site not yet up. When might this be operational again? This is certainly no complaint, simply an inquiry!

Thank You in advance for your consideration.

James A. Hands
Date:
1/1/2015

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.