24 February 1944 Mission #41 Target: Gotha

This mission was to go down in the annals of bombardment aerial warfare history as one of the most vital strikes ever made in World War II against Germany. The 392nd was to play the most important role in leading (6) of the 2nd Bomb Division B-24 Groups to the correct target when the leading Combat Wing of (3) Liberator Groups made a critical navigational error and turned to an incorrect attack heading thus, turning a near-disastrous mission for the Division into one of the most successful ever executed. The 392nd losses would be extremely heavy this day from some of the most fierce and relentless enemy fighter attacks ever encountered for such a long period of time over 21/2 hours into and from the target area. The following pages of summaries and diagrams taken from the Group’s tactical mission records relates in small measure the history of that raid the ‘Battle of Gotha’.

General briefing for the (36) aircrews committed to this mission was concluded around 0530 hours. The 579th Squadron was assigned lead of the (3) 392nd Sections with Lieutenant Colonel Johnson flying as Command Pilot in the lead aircraft #42-27599 with 1st Lieutenant McGregor’s crew and 1st Lieutenant Good as lead Bombardier. In the second Section, the lead aircraft was from the 576th Squadron with Lt Feran’s crew in #492 with Lt Reade’s crew in aircraft #478 from the 578th leading the third Section. Aircraft from the High block, second Section, led by Lt Ferran, would take the heaviest losses this day from fighter attacks. The lead Bombardiers in the second and third Sections were Lts Ziccarelli in #492 and Joachim in #478. The lead aircraft with Lt McGregor’s crew in "MAC’s SACK" took off at 0850. The unit’s history records that (32) Liberators were disptached on the mission of the (36) aircrews briefed. A total of (31) would reach the target area. A total of (384) 500# GP bombs were loaded on those aircraft launched. Upon reaching the Dutch coast and for approximately the next 1 1/2 hours to the target until one hour after bombs away, an estimated total of 100-150 single and twin-engine enemy fighters would prosecute their attacks against the Group and other 2nd Bomb Division B-24s. This relentless running air battle in which the Group’s gunners would claim (21) enemy kills or probable kills saw the German Air Force commit many types of fighters and employ numerous air-to-air tactics by cannon, rocket fire and even cable type bombing of the close-knit bomber formations. Of the approximate (150) fighters attacking, aircraft types included the single-engine FW-190 and ME-109 and twin-engine rocket carrying JU-88, ME-lb and ME-210. Though friendly P-47 Thunderbolt fighters afforded the striking bomber force excellent support, a covering P-38 Lightening group did not come down to assist when summoned. A B-17 Flying Fortress force flying the same course from enemy coast in drew off some of the attacking fighter waves as these bombers diverted over Germany to strike their assigned target of Schweinfurt. As the 392nd made its fateful and correct turn to a true heading of 085 degrees to start the bomb run, after the 389th, 445th and 453rd Bomb Groups up ahead in the 2nd Combat Wing had turned in error, the first (2) of the Group’s (7) aircraft and aircrews were lost in the ensuing run to bomb release at 1321 hours. At 1318 2nd Lieutenant J. V. Johnston and his crew, 577th Squadron, flying in the Low Block in aircraft #658 in "0" for Oscar was believed hit by enemy aircraft fire, seen to blow up and crash on the bomb run with two chutes observed all members MIA. At approximately the same time 2nd Lieutenant T. J. Cox, flying element lead in the High Block in a 576th aircraft #102 "H" for Hotel was seen being attacked by (5) FW-190’s and with #3 engine on fire the bomber peeled off to the right, exploded and crashed before bombs away. In airplane #496, 2nd Lieutenant J. V. Barnett’s crew of the 577th was last seen under fighter attack, exploding and crashing in the target area after release with (3) chutes observed from his aircraft. Another aircraft from the 576th Squadron, #527 with 2nd Lieutenant J. B. Patterson’s crew flying "U" for Uniform, also was seen to explode and crash in the target area after bombs away and coming under enemy fighter attacks. It was believed (3) chutes were seen from this ship as it went down. After bomb release, the Group continued being pressed heavily by enemy aircraft as it withdrew, and (3) more Liberators and their aircrews were to be lost all MIA. From the 576th, 1st Lieutenant M. T. Johns, flying the slot position in the High Block with his crew on their 23rd mission, flying aircraft #511 "L" for Lima, was seen with #3 engine afire and under attack by fighters, losing altitude. This crew is believed to have regained control of the airplane and headed toward Switzerland. In airplane #192 "X" for Xray, 2nd Lieutenant Robert K. White’s crew from the 577th, was last seen (17) minutes after bomb release at 1338 at position 5037°N-0840°E under fighter attack with the ship going down and (3) chutes confirmed. Also from the 577th, aircraft #344 "W" for Whiskey with 2nd Lieutenant M. E. Schlossberg’s crew was also last seen being attacked by fighters, breaking up, and (3) to (5) chutes seen from this ship. And the toll to the 392nd’s aircrews would not be finished. In aircraft #131 "K" for King, 1st Lieutenant E. T. Wittel from the 578th Squadron would land in southern England with his crew which included two dead from 20MM shells, Technical Sergeant J. (NMI) Polonchan and Staff Sergeant Donald D. Miller. All totaled, the 392nd’s aircrew casualties would be (73) persons: (2) killed in action, (1) wounded and (70) others whose fate was not precisely known and listed as missing-in-action. The losses on this mission would rank third only to those suffered at Friedrichshafen on 18 March 1944 and Berlin on 29 April 1944 which had (154) and (77) aircrew casualties respectively with (15) and (8) Liberators being lost during each. The bombing results of Gotha would earn the 392nd the Distinguished Unit Citation as it led the remaining 2nd Bomb Division B-24s to the target. In the 14th Combat Wing, the Group led the 44th (nicknamed ‘The Flying Eightballs’) Bomb Group over, and B-24s of the 20th Combat Wing composed of the 93rd (‘The Traveling Circus’), the 446th and 448th Bomb Groups. The 392nd’s bombing impacted (317) 500# GP weapons on target with (64) percent within a 1000 ft. radius of briefed aiming point and (97) percent within 2000 ft. completely destroying the main aircraft production works. Post target recon showed (24) buildings of the primary Gothear Waggonfabrik plant completely destroyed; (11) almost destroyed; (14) plant buildings badly damaged and (10) others significantly damaged. This facility, which contributed to almost one-third of Germany’s twin-engine aircraft production, was never to recover fully from this bombing effort. The 577th Squadron suffered the heaviest aircrew losses with (4) crews MIA and the 576th losing (3). The 578th and 579th crews were to fare much better with both losing no personnel except for the two members KIA from the 578th. The High Block Section of (11) aircraft would be the heaviest hit by fighters losing (6) of the bombers in that formation with the other being lost in the Low Block formation in the so-called ‘Purple-Heart’ corner position. In the following summaries and diagrams, some further details on the Gotha mission are noted from actual records. Click here to read Col. Keilman, first hand account of this mission.

The next day, Gen. Hodges, commander of the 2nd Air Division, sent this teletype to all units involved: "I am confident that you destroyed Gotha yesterday. PRU [Photo Reconnaissance Unit] reported at a late hour last night they had been unable to obtain photographs of the damage because the target was completely covered with flames and smoke. However, a close study and analysis of strike photographs taken by all the groups makes me feel confident that we can look forward to the PRU report with great optimism. Our losses are great blow to us, but it is my hope that a substantial number of them are now prisoners of war. Our only comfort is derived from the fact that their contribution to the war has been a decisive one, and by hastening final victory will save the lives of untold numbers of their comrades in the air and on the ground. Hodges."

For its superb performance on this mission, the 392nd earned a Presidential Distinguished United Citation. It read: "392nd Bombardment Group (H), 2nd Air Division is cited for outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy on 24 February 1944. The Group dispatched thirty two (32) B-24 type aircraft, the maximum number available, to bomb the most valuable single target in the enemy twin engine fighter complex, the aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha, Germany. Of these, one was forced to turn back shortly after take-off. Flying as the lead Group on the Second Combat Wing in the Division formation, they were attacked by the enemy upon entering the Dutch Coast. In the bitter aerial battle that ensued, the Group was viciously attacked for over two and a half hours by approximately one hundred and fifty (150) enemy fighters, consisting of FW190s, Me.110s, Me.210s and Ju.88s, who raked them with cannon and rocket fire and even attempted air to air and cable bombing in a vain effort to disrupt the formation. As the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) neared the Initial Point (IP), the units of the Combat Wing were observed to be proceeding on divergent courses. The Group was faced with the decision to follow the lead units of the Air Division to a questionable target and maintain the integrity of the Division formation or to pursue a separate course that might later to prove to be erroneous and which could expose the Group formation to even greater enemy attacks. The Group chose the latter, and maintaining perfect formation, valiantly fought its way through the flak defenses to bomb the target with pin-point accuracy, virtually destroying it. Although seven of their aircraft were lost to the relentless enemy in the battle into and from the target, and an additional thirteen aircraft suffered battle damage, they accounted for the confirmed destruction of sixteen enemy fighters, the probable destruction of one and the damage of five additional fighters. The destruction of this high priority target was a serious blow to the German Air Force and was a contributing factor to its impotency during the invasion of Continental Europe. The aggressive courage, determination to do their task at all cost, and combat efficiency of the air crews together with the professional skill and devotion to duty of the ground personnel of the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) have reflected great credit on themselves and on the armed forces of the United States.

      By Command of Major General Kepner:
      Francis H. Griswold
      Brigadier General, U.S.A.
      Chief of Staff




Additional/Recent Information

The following was taken from the 392nd archives at Maxwell AFB on January 18, 2000

NARRATIVE OF OPERATION

In the Fall of 1943, the parent works of the Gothoar Waggonfabrik at Gotha, Thuringia, was the largest German producer of twin-engine fighters arid accounted for 30% of the total twin-engine fighter production. In addition to final assembly, it assumed an even more important role in the production of all the major components such as wings, fuselages, tall units and control surfaces for its own assembly, and supplied many of these Items to the Miag plant at Brunswick and the Messerschmidt plant at Augsburg, for the assembly there of ME 110's and ME 410's. This plant therefore was the most valuable single target in the twin-engine fighter complex.

In the strategy of the plan "Arguement", the Liberator Second Bombardment Division was assigned the task of destroying this important factory at Gotha. Many weeks passed awaiting a break in the weather that would enable the Eighth Air Force to visually bomb the high priority targets in Central Germany. On the afternoon of the 23rd of February, the next days target reached the Division. It was the long awaited Gotha. The all Important weather "high" that brought visual bombing conditions with it had moved into Central Germany and now the Division had the opportunity to strike the German Air Force a smashing blow at the heart of its twin-engine fighter production.

The mission as set up for the 24th of February called for an assignment of three B-24 Combat Wings on Gotha, five B-l7 Combat Wings on Schweinfurt and five B-l7 Combat Wings on Kreising, Tutow and Posen.

The plan of the Second Division called for the assembly plant to be attacked by three Groups of the 2nd Combat Wing, leading the Division and two Groups of the 14th Combat Wing, the 392nd and 44th Bomb Groups. The GAF Station and factory airfield were to be attacked by three Groups of the 20th Combat Wing. The route in called for 2d Division's B-24's to effect a penetration on the same course as the B-17's of the 1st Division, but at a lower altitude. Fighter support was to be shared with the lst Division, with fighters flying above the B-17's.

The 392nd 130mb Group with three twelve-ship sections, followed by the 44th Bomb Group with three twelve-ship sections flying high right, was leading the 14th Combat Wing, the second Wing In the attacking force.

The enemy initiated his attacks against this formation when it reached the Dutch Coast and a savage battle continued for the next two hours and a half. The 2nd and 14th Combat wings bore the brunt of these attacks aided only by sporadic fighter support, as the B-17's flying above the B-24's shielded this formation from the umbrella fighter cover.

As the winds on the Continent proved to be weaker than forecasted, the formation gained approximately two minutes for each 100 miles flown, and consequently arrived at the places of rendezvous well ahead of the fighters and thus did not receive adequate support.

The course of the two Divisions forked as they neared Gotha, the Forts going to Schweinfurt and the Libs continuing on to Gotha. After this split, approximately 100 to 150 enemy FW 190's, ME 109's and rocket carrying ME 110's, ME 210's and JU 88's viciously attacked the B-24 formation which was uncovered for bombing. These attacks were made from all positions with the enemy fighters relentlessly pressing home their attacks. Stragglers that fell out of formation were immediately shot down.

As the 392d Bombardment Group neared the Initial Point, the units of the 2d Combat Wing, the lead Combat Wing, were observed to be proceeding on divergent courses. The Command Pilot of the 392d Bombardment Group was forced to make an immediate decision, either to follow the leader of the Air Division to a questionable target and maintain the integrity of the Division formation, or to lead the 392d Bombardment Group and the 14th Bombardment Wing on a separate course that might later prove to be erroneous, and which would certainly expose his isolated formation to even greater enemy attacks. He chose the latter alternative and the Wing, maintaining perfect formation, fought its way through the flak defenses and into the target area. The 392d Bombardment Group bombed the target with pin-point accuracy, and virtually destroyed it.

A savage running attack was maintained by the enemy for over an hour after the target had been bombed, during which the formation was attacked by wave after wave of enemy fighters which raked it with machine gun, cannon and rocket fire. The desperate enemy oven tried air-to-air and cable bombing In a vain effort to break up the formation. In this bitter fighting and in battling their way back to the coast, the 392d Bombardment Group lost seven planes to the enemy and thirteen additional planes suffered battle damage. Their gunners claimed 23 enemy fighters destroyed, 4 probably destroyed and 2 damaged for which they received confirmed claims of 16, 1, and 5.

Four aircraft returned early, leaving a total of 32 dispatched. Of these, 29 attacked the primary target, dropping 87.25 tons of bombs, over one third of the total tonnage dropped on this target of highest priority, the Gothear Waggonfabrik.

Subsequent photographic coverage indicated that bomb damage had been extremely severe, with 24 buildings destroyed, 11 almost destroyed, 14 severely damaged, and 10 damaged. Reconstruction during a 16 week period following this devastating attack was very meager, attesting to the thoroughness and accuracy with which the Gotha Mission of the 24th of February had been accomplished.


PRESIDENTIAL CITATION

The 392d Bombardment Group (H) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy on 24 February 1944.

The Group dispatched 32 B-24 type aircraft, the maximum number available, to bomb the most valuable single target in the enemy twin engine fighter complex, the aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha, Germany. Of these, one was forced to turn back shortly after take off. Flying as the lead group of the second Combat Wing in the Division formation, they were attacked by the enemy upon entering the Dutch Coast. In the bitter aerial battle that ensued, the Group was viciously attacked for over two and a half hours by approximately 150 enemy fighters, consisting of FW 190's, ME 110's, ME 210's and JU 88's, who raked them with cannon and rocket fire and even attempted air to air and cable bombing in a vain effort to disrupt the formation.

As the 392d Bombardment Group neared the Initial Point, the units of the lead Combat Wing were observed to be proceeding on divergent courses. The Group was faced with the decision to follow the lead units of the Air Division to a questionable target and maintain the integrity of the Division formation or to pursue a separate course that might later prove to be erroneous and which would expose the Group formation to even greater enemy attacks. The Group chose the latter, and maintaining perfect formation, valiantly fought its way through the flak defenses to bomb the target with pin-point accuracy, virtually destroying it.

Although seven of their aircraft were lost to the relentless enemy in the battle into and from the target, and an additional thirteen aircraft suffered battle damage, they accounted for the confirmed deatruction of sixteen enemy fighters, the probable destruction of one and the damage of five additional fighters.

The destruction of this high priority target was a serious blow to the GAF and was a contributing factor to its impotency in the invasion of Continental Europe.

The aggressive courage, determination to do their task at all costs, and combat efficiency of the air crews together with the professional skill and devotion to duty of the ground personnel of the 392d Bombardment Group (H) have reflected great credit on themselves and on the armed forces of the United States.

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MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

24 FEBRUARY 1944
TARGET: GOTHA

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02945   AIRCRAFT: #41-29192 "The Sky Shark" "X" 4th Mission

AIRCREW: WHITE     *    SQUADRON: 577th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT White, Robert K.     POW
CP  2/LT Cheairs, William T.  POW
N   2/LT Bennett, Fred W.     POW
B   2/LT Fross, Horton L.     POW
R/O T/S  Wenzlaff, Richard W. KIA
Eng S/S  Martin, Lewis J. Jr  POW
BG  S/S  Baldwin, Charles L.  POW
WG  S/S  Jackson, Carlos H.   POW
WG  S/S  Kost, Peter (NMI)    POW
TG  S/S  Burns, Lloyd J.      POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: The entire Group, and Second Air Division bomber stream, underwent fierce and aggressive enemy fighter attacks enroute to and over the target and briefly outbound after the highly successful bombing attack against the German Messerschmidt aircraft plant at Gotha. As the 392nd was the leading Group from the Initial Point (IP) onto the bomb run of all the Division’s B-24 Groups, after having identified correctly this proper turn-in point in the face of a navigation error made by preceding Liberator units leading the bomber stream which were then steering off-course, the 392nd up front was taking the full brunt of these fighter attacks. Shortly after the bomb run, the White aircraft, as an element leader in the High Block, was heavily damaged and set afire necessitating this aircrew to abandon this severely crippled ship. The time by eye witness accounts was 1338 hours, (17) minutes after ‘bombs away’ on target. This plane’s position then was noted to be at 50-37N, 09-40E. One aircrew reported seeing (3) parachutes from the White ship, however, ten crew members did bail out successfully from this aircraft as later verified, all but one of whom were taken as POWs.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The Radio Operator, Sgt. Wenzlaff, was the only member who perished in this crew emergency. Later accounts by the Co-Pilot on release from POW status, stated that Sgt. Wenzlaff was last seen under the main flight deck trying to operate the bomb bay manual hydraulic release handle. He was reported to have his clothing on fire but was alive at this time. It was further noted in this account that the Radio Operator had given a hand salute, but could then not be reached due to the severe fire raging below the flight deck. Later, this same report by the Co-Pilot stated that through a German report while he was prisoner in Stalag Luft 1 it was learned that the deceased crewmember had been buried near a small village near Gotha. Other observations made in this same account also covered the fact that the Co-Pilot had gone down onto the bomb bay catwalk in an attempt to fight the flames, but had to return to advise the Pilot that such was impossible, following which the bailout order was given. The Co-Pilot was wounded and suffered from temporary blindness from the fire effects following his bail out though he did observe (9) parachutes still in the air as the ship crashed into the small town of Westersheofen. This account by the Co-Pilot’s in having seen the Radio Operator during the crew emergency was later acknowledged to be the only one from any crewmember who remembered seeing this crew man during and after the event. (Author’s note: The correct spelling of this German village where the aircraft crashed is not clearly discernible in the Co-Pilot’s account. Also, the crew member who perished in this emergency must have somehow managed a bail out of the stricken ship since the above report appears to account for a total of (10) parachutes being in the air at the time of the plane’s crash (including the Co-Pilot’s?). The German reports attached with the MACR, #KU974, dated 24 February 1944, accounts for the (9) men taken POW, and also the name of the tenth man, Sgt. Wenzlaff, who was probably found dead in his parachute).

BURIAL RECORDS: There are no German, or later, any record on any U.S. National Cemetery burial or missing listing on Sgt. Wenzlaff in this MACR. The Co-Pilot’s account, however, mentions that this crewmember reportedly was buried in a small village cemetery near Gotha. That is all that is known from official records. This mission was the crew’s tenth.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information available is as follows: White (Father,James M., Midland, Texas); Cheairs (Father, William, Sr., Memphis, Tennessee); Bennett (Wife, Agnes, Indianapolis, Indiana); Fross (Wife, Ona H., Sommerville,Missouri); Wenzlaff (Mother, Minnie, Appleton, Wisconsin); Jackson (Mother, Mrs. Willie S., Commares, Georgia); Martin (Mother, Betty of Chattanooga, Tennessee); Kost (Sister, Marie Erickson, Belleview, Pennsylvania); Baldwin (Wife, Rosemary C., Hamilton, Ohio); and Burns (Mother, Mrs Lora Burns, Carton, North Carolina).

(PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: In 1993. a German researcher in Hamburg, Germany by the name of Christian Loop, address Waldorferstrasse 47, W-2000 Hamburg 70, wrote in a letter of 3 March 1993 to Clifford Peterson, 392nd Bomb Group, that he was compiling a documentary concerning the series of American and British air raids on Germany which had taken place during the large scale, massive attacks of "BIG WEEK", the Eighth AF’s concerted air offensive against Third Reich aircraft and armaments industries. He was interested particularly in two specific attacks by the 392nd which had taken place on the 20th and 24th February 1944 against the targets of Halberstedt and Gotha, respectively. This researcher went on to note further that a "little city of Helmstedt was attacked by mistake" instead of Halberstadt, and an enclosed German account of that event in a newspaper article, also forwarded, described the devastation of this town in the five minute bombing which took place from 1:27-1:32PM resulting in (129) deaths and 500-600 buildings destroyed or damaged. On the Gotha attack coming four days later on 24 February, Herr Loop also gave information by 392nd crashed aircraft tail number as to the crash sites of the (7) ships that went down on this latter raid. The plane of Lt. White and crew was found at the village of Woltershauseun near Alfeld. It was noted further that he was able to find some eyewitnesses of these events still living in the area then nearly forty nine years later around 1993).

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MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02946   AIRCRAFT: #42-7496 "THE JINX" "U" 16th Mission

AIRCREW: BARNETT     *    SQUADRON: 577th

CREW POSITION AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Barnett, Joseph V.      KIA
CP  2/LT Doyle, Charles C. Jr    KIA
N   2/LT Kaplan, Jacob (NMI)     POW
B   2/LT Argast, Ray, F.         POW
R/O S/S  Vesey, Edward J.        POW
EnG T/S  Payton, Josephine B.    KIA
BG  S/S  Lankford, Woodrow D.    POW
WG  SGT  Bucholz, Roy D.         POW
WG  SGT  Archibald, David (NMI)  POW
TG  SGT  DeLaughter, William G.  POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: As in the case of Lt. White’s aircraft of the same flight element, this plane and aircrew came under identical and massive enemy fighter attacks immediately after the bombing run on the Gotha target. However, there were no returning aircrew eye-witness accounts specifically dealing with the downing of this aircrew. What is known is that (7) of the ten crewmembers were taken as Prisoners, and (3) perished in this emergency. A local German report, #KU 992 describing the taking of the seven men as POWs was dated the same day, 24 February. This report also cites the recovery of the (3) dead crewmen, two of which were positively identified by their tags, Lt. Doyle and Sgt. Payton and the third body listed as "unknown" at the time, which later proved to be that of Lt. Barnett. The bodies were found near the town of Oberurfhausen-Hunberg, District of Hersfeld. The deceased crewmembers were found the day after, 25 February 1944. On the situation about the crew’s emergency which was filed later after the war by one of the repatriated crewmembers, name unknown in the MACR records, it was stated that the plane was on fire under the flight deck and part of one of the rudders had been shot off which caused the ship to be somewhat out of control when he bailed out.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The one crewmember report, origin unknown from the MACR record and summarized above, is the only account of this emergency. This latter report mentioned that the author had received information that the bodies of (Sgt.) Josephine B. Payton and (Lt.) Charles C. Doyle were found in a German Cemetery at Seisdorf, but the Aunt of (Pilot) Joseph Barnett had reported the latter’s body had not been found as yet. (Author’s note: The date of this crewmember’s report taken after his repatriation from POW status is not known).

BURIAL RECORDS: The German Report, #KU992’s continuation, stated that the bodies of Lt. Doyle and Sgt. Payton were buried on 28th February 1944 at the Communal Cemetery in Seisdorf in a common grave. The body of the third airman was recorded to be charred beyond recognition and no identification tag could be found. This body was also interred in the Seisdorf cemetery plot. In the U.S. National Cemetery records of overseas locations, the following information in this MACR is found: Lt. Barnett was interred in the U.S. Netherlands (MARGRATEN) Cemetery, Grave M-21-15. Sgt. Payton is buried in MARGRATEN also, Grave E-17-5. Both men are noted to have received the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. On Lt. Doyle, there is no U.S. National Cemetery overseas burial record in any cemetery listed. The latter may have been recovered from the initial interment at Seisdorf, Germany and brought home to the States at request of family, however the MACR does not contain such information.

NEXT OF KIN IN WWII: There is no existing information in this crew’s MACR regarding such data. The U.S. National Cemetery records do reflect that Lt. Barnett’s home-of-record was Oklahoma; and Sgt. Payton’s as Kentucky.

(PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: See White Crew footnote above. The site of the Barnett aircraft, identified by serial number, was found near the town of Oberurfhausen-Hunberg).

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MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02947   AIRCRAFT: #42-7511 (NO NICKNAME) "L" 32nd Mission

AIRCREW: JOHNS     *    SQUADRON: 576TH

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   l/LT Johns, Mervyn T.          POW
CP  2/LT Henderson, Milton A.      POW
N   2/LT Silvasy, Frank A.         POW
B   2/LT Sriver, Eugene R.         POW
R/O T/S  Gressler, Edward J.       POW
EnG T/S  Indahl, Jack W.           KIA
BG  S/S  Kenyon, Charles L.        POW
WG  S/S  Zerangue, Felix A.        KIA
WG  S/S  Przeniczny, William (NMI) POW
TG  S/S  Sanchez, Ismael V.        POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: The eye-witness account from returning aircrews stated seeing at least four 392nd ships in distress due to continuing fighter attacks going into the target, in the target area, and during withdrawal from the Gotha raid. The one ship which undoubtedly was the Johns aircrew was last seen in the target area with #2 and #3 engines on fire, the plane losing altitude and out of control, and three (3) parachutes being seen. A German report, #KU631A of 24 February notes that (8) men of this crew were taken as Prisoners soon after they reached the ground: Johns, Silvasy, Sanchez, Przeniczny, Sriver, Gressler, Kenyon, and Henderson.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: It was reliably reported by Lt. Henderson after his release from POW status that it was known, positively, that all (10) crewmembers had successfully bailed out of their stricken ship. His report noted that they were shot up near the target by fighters with #3 engine on fire as well as the fuel tanks. He bailed out through the rear camera hatch in the waist, and there was no other crew person in the ship at this time except the Pilot. He further stated that hearsay information came to him by the Pilot later which noted that no members were found in their ship when it crashed. It was also stated that to the knowledge of Lt. Henderson, the Co-Pilot, no crewmember was injured at time of their bail out. Another revealing sidelight concerning the fate of one of the two crewmen was a German report #47/89 out of an Air Ministry in Munster and dated 8 August 1944 which reflected the death and burial of one of the Waist Gunners, Sgt. Zerangue. This report listed the date of this crewmember’s death as, 30/31 March 1944, over (30) days after the crew was shot down. No other facts were stated in this German Report. Based on this information, it can be concluded that this man had successfully evaded capture until the above date, however, his exact cause of death is not known. The German report merely states cause of death as: "shot down, type of aircraft not established". It continued to say that he was found at a location named Wahrda, County of Hersfeld.

BURIAL RECORDS: The above German report on Sgt. Zerangue stated his burial site as the Community cemetery at Wahrda, County of Hersfeld in a marked mass grave on 3 April 1944. The U.S. National overseas Cemetery listings has Sgt. Zerangue interred at the LORRAINE Cemetery, St. Avoid, France in Grave K-32-20. He was awarded the Air Medal with (3) Oak Leaf Clusters. No other notations are stated. On the other deceased crewmember, Sgt. Indahl, no record exists in this MACR concerning an initial German burial or a later U.S. Cemetery interment.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information available is as follows: Johns (Aunt, Mrs Bettie I. Perkins, Schoolfield, Virginia); Henderson (Mother, Hattie I., Eshalem, Oregon); Silvasy (Sister, Mrs Arthur F. Taylor, Andover, Ohio); Sriver (Sister, Mrs John J. Morrith, Chicago, Illinois); Indahl (Mrs Josephine Larson Indahl, Spokane, Washington); Gressler (Wife, Irene N., Grand Rapids, Michigan); Kenyon (Father, Clarence L., Kendall, Wisconsin); Przeniczny (Mother, Mrs Nellie R Ralgalzy, Trenton, New Jersey); Sanchez (Father, Dennis W., Tularosa, New Mexico); and Zerangue (Wife, Ruth W., New Orleans, Louisiana). Records indicate this crew had flown (10) combat missions.

(PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: In reference to the German researcher’s letter above on the White crew, it was noted that the Johns aircraft, and listing the correct tail number, had crashed at Raum Hersfeld Ultergraben).

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MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02948   AIRCRAFT: #42-7527 "BLACK WIDOW" "F" 12th Mission

AIRCREW: PATTERSON     *    SQUADRON: 576th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Patterson, Joseph B.  POW
CP  l/LT Shelton, William L.   KIA
N   2/LT Henderson, Dewain J.  KIA
B   l/LT Feldman, Alfred (NMI) KIA
R/O T/S  Connelly, Martin T.   KIA
EnG T/S  Peterson, George H.   KIA
BG  S/S  Jackson, Benjamin F.  POW
WG  S/S  Nelson, Arch W.       POW
WG  S/S  McNamara, Paul E.     POW
TG  S/S  Luciano, Robert E.    POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: The scanty report regarding the fate of this aircrew and plane was made later after the war by the Pilot, Lt. Patterson. He noted very briefly that their plane had left the formation shortly after the Initial Point (IP), starting the bomb run. There were no eye-witness accounts by returning crews to give any further information about this missing crew’s plight. It is surmised that this plane had also undergone fierce enemy fighter attacks leading up to the bomb run.

According to German Report KU #1008, aircraft 42-7527 crashed at Schnepfental-Roedichen, 12 km southwest of Gotha.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The after-liberation report given by the Pilot was general in nature and did not cover the knowledge of loss on any crewmembers in his completing a Casualty Questionnaire for higher authorities. He noted that he knew (4) members had bailed out without problems, but that he had received this information later after his liberation. He further stated that his aircraft crashed about (25) miles west of Gotha. (Note: The bomb run was begun from an IP slightly southwest of the Gotha target). There were no German ground reports about this aircrew or any individual members in this MACR.

BURIAL RECORDS: 1/Lt Shelten and T/Sgt Peterson were initially buried in Cemetery V, Plot III T, Field 11b, Graves 44 and 46 in Gotha, Germany. The two men are now interred at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery, Section F Site 1226A.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: MACR records indicate the following: Patterson (Friend, Miss Dorothy J. Robbins, Price, Idaho); Shelton (Wife, Martha F., St. Louis, Missouri); Henderson (Mother, Norma 0. Farley, Kansas City, Missouri); Feldman (Mother, Mrs Lillian, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Peterson (Uncle, Emil Anderson, Boquian, Washington); Connelly (Brother, Patrick F., New York, New York); Jackson (Father, James A., Roper, North Carolina); Luciano (Father, Thomas, Bridgeport, Connecticut); Nelson (Mother, Lucy, Thomaston, Georgia); and McNamara (Mother, Anamae, Stratford, Connecticut).

(PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: Reference the German researcher’s correspondence earlier on the White crew, the tail number of Patterson’s ship was identified as this plane having crashed at Friedrichsrode - Kornberg).

*************

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02949    AIRCRAFT: #42-7658 "POCO LOCO" "0" 14th Mission

AIRCREW: JOHNSTON     *    SQUADRON: 577th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Johnston, John V.       KIA
CP  2/LT Kelleher, Daniel P.     KIA
N   2/LT Leidl, Barvin E.        POW
B   2/LT Cihon, John A.          POW
R/O S/S  Hight, John P           KIA
EnG T/S  Rodowicz, Norman W.     POW
BG  S/S  Kelly, Tracy M.         POW
WG  S/S  Haussmann, Frederick A. POW
WG  S/S  Walla, Mitchell A.      KIA
TG  S/S  Brown, Jan (NMI)        POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Eye-witness accounts from returning crews stated that this ship was believed to be the plane which blew up in flames and crashed just before reaching the target area at 1318 hours. One such report reported (2) parachutes being seen while another stated that no chutes were observed. Heavy attacks by enemy fighters were being engaged by the Group formation all during this approach to target. The German ground report rendered by Report # LPEN 381 on 11 March 1944 at 2130 hours stated that this plane and (3) dead crewmen were found at a crash site at Waltershausen/Tuner at 1320 hours, 24 February 1944. The crash site was near the Thuringian forest

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: From surviving crewmember accounts, the bomb bay doors were opened just after the IP for the bomb run. At this time, flak was such that the Pilot employed some evasive action to avoid being hit by heavy barrages. The ship was damaged by this fire and caused the plane to fall slightly behind the formation as a tail-end straggler according to this report and, just as suddenly, the crew was jumped by enemy fighters which finished the severe damage to their plane. This account continued to say that the ship was on fire in the bomb bays which was attributed to a short in electrical circuitry (ostensibly from enemy firing hitting the front portion of the fuselage at the 2 o’clock position) and this electrical wiring emergency ran from the radio compartment back to the ‘Putt-Putt’ emergency generator, which shorted and created a fire. The Pilot’s last interphone message then was: "Close the bomb bay doors; close the bomb bay doors" according to this member’s (the Tail Gunner) statement. He further noted that the Flight Engineer later had told him that the Pilot, Co-Pilot and Radio Operator were all in their positions - dead, when the ship was abandoned. He stated also that though one of the Waist Gunners (Walla) had successfully bailed out through the aft camera hatch, that he felt this man’s parachute failed to open as he was never seen or heard of again. It was later seen that the Engineer had suffered burns about the face, and the tail gunner had experienced some back injuries when these men met at prisoner interrogation at Dulag-Luft. This mission was this crew’s third.

BURIAL RECORDS: A German Report, cited above, noted that (3) dead were found in the plane’s wreckage, but these men could not be identified. They were later interred on 4 March 1944 in the town cemetery at Waltershausen in graves numbered 301, 302, and 303 within Area IV of this location. Who exactly these crewmen were is not determinable from the MACR records. However, the U.S. National overseas Cemetery listings reflect that Lt. Johnston is buried in the ARDENNES Cemetery Grave C-11-12 and Lt. Kelleher was also interred in the ARDENNES site, Grave C-20-20. Sgt. Walla, the Waist Gunner was buried at the U.S. Netherlands (MARGRATEN) plot in Grave F-17-4. There is no record of any type regarding the final burial place of the Radio Operator, Sgt. Hight. Purple Heart awards were made to these members.

NEXT OF KIN IN WWII: The MACR record reflects the following: Johnston (Mother, Belle C., of Quincy, Illinois); Kelleher (Father, Daniel, Crockett, California); Cihon (Mother, Tillie, Cleveland, Ohio); Leidl (Mother, Mirra, Boerne, Texas); Rodowicz (Wife, Eleanor L., Shenandoah, Pennsylvania); Haussmann (Mother, Mrs. Frederick, Union City, New Jersey); Kelly (Father, Avery, Kellyville, Oklahoma); Hight (Brother, Edwin A. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); and Walla (Sister, Mrs. Rose Dubiel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: The German letter cited earlier for this mission does identify this plane’s crash site in the Waltershausen vicinity - which was verified by the tail number found).

*************

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02950   AIRCRAFT: #42-100102 "TEXAS REFUGEES" "H" 10th Mission

AIRCREW: COX     *    SQUADRON: 576th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Cox, Thomas J.       POW
CP  2/LT Halsworth, Robert J. POW
N   1/LT Stankan, Paul C.     KIA
B   2/LT Haglund, Guy L.      KIA
R/O T/S  Mitchell, Robert J.  POW
EnG T/S  Martin, Marvin C.    POW
BG  S/S  Sicard, Norman L     POW
WG  S/S  Pryce, Richard J.    POW
WG  S/S  Meshon, Martin (NMI) KIA
TG  S/S  Helbing, Richard H.  KIA

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Returning aircrews of the Group gave an eyewitness account as follows: "Aircraft seen to explode just before bombs away; altitude of 20,500 feet, heading (60) degrees; ship was attacked by (5) FWI1 90s; number (3) engine was on fire and the plane peeled off to the right; no chutes seen".

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The Radio Operator Mitchell had a brief account of this crew’s emergency and loss. Summarized, the plane was under attack by (5) enemy FW190 fighters. two engines were knocked out. and the ship caught on fire. He stated further in this later ‘Casualty Questionnaire’ given after release from POW status that he knew that five men, though in good physical condition, did not leave their normal crew positions to bail out and went down with the aircraft (presumably due to the ship’s explosion). These crew members were: Navigator Stankan; Bombardier Haglund; Waist Gunner Meshon; Tail Gunner Helbing and the other Waist Gunner Pryce. Note: On Gunner Pryce, the MACR notes that he survived, and was taken as a POW.

BURIAL RECORDS: One German Report, Airfield Command Nordhausen #KU987, dated 14 March 1944, cited the recovery of one of the dead crewmembers, found in the aircraft wreckage, that of Lt. Haglund. He was found on the outskirts of Ruhla, about (50) meters southwest of Thiel/Schucharlt. The report noted further that the deceased member could not be recovered until 14 March because of the salvage work on the plane. Lt. Haglund was buried in the cemetery St. Trinitas in Ruhla/Thueringen, Section H, Row 6 and Grave 4 at 1500 hours, 15 March 1944. The U.S. National overseas Cemetery listing has Lt. Haglund now interred in the NETHERLANDS (Margraten) LOCATION, Grave D-2-22. Sgt. Helbing also was recovered from Germany and is interred at MARGRATEN, Grave D-14-10. Both men received the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Purple Heart. There are no records existing in this MACR in regard to the recovery or burials of Lt. Stankan or Sgt. Meshon.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Recorded MACR data is: Cox (Wife, Thelma, Elisabeth, New Jersey); Halsworth (Mother, Cheresa Marie Halsworth, Indianapolis, Indiana); Stankan (Brother, John Jr., Jerome, Pennsylvania); Haglund (Wife, Lois G., Minneapolis, Minnesota); Mitchell (Mother, May R, Sayville, New York); Pryce (Brother, Al, Broken Box, Nebraska); Martin (Mother, Stella, Pocahontas, Arkansas); Meshon (Mother, Rebecca, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Sicard (Father, Alfred, Barton, Vermont); Helbing (Mother, Marie R., Toledo, Ohio).

(PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: The German researcher’s letter noted above stated that the tail number of the crashed aircraft of the Cox Crew was found at the site in the close vicinity of Ruhla-Dornsenberg).

****************

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: # 02951    AIRCRAFT: #42-100344 (NO NICKNAME) "W+" 2nd Mission

AIRCREW: SCHLOSSBERG     *    SQUADRON: 577th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Schlossberg, Marwin E. POW
CP  2/LT Blake, Belden G.       POW
N   2/LT Bender, John W.      POW
B   2/LT Ranta, Eino J.       POW
R/O T/S  Williams, Robert V.  POW
EnG T/S  Cooke, Albert R.       POW
BG  SGT  Bailey, Ralph V.       POW
WG  S/S  Overton, David J.      POW
WG  S/S  Allen, James E.        POW
TG  S/S  Sexton, Philip S.      POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Eye-witness accounts of returning crews gave a report of one Group aircraft going down at 1354 hours, after target, at coordinates 50-35N; 35-OOE. The ship climbed up into a stall and began burning, as the tail fell off white under attack by (4) enemy aircraft. No parachutes were reported seen. This summary appeared to be that on the plight of the Schlossberg Crew’s aircraft. No other such accounts were given.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: No information regarding exists in this MACR record. According to this record, all crewmembers were taken as POWs. No German records are present as well on the ultimate status of this crew.

BURIAL RECORDS: None. All airmen survived.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information recorded is as follows: Schlossberg (Mother, Jennie L., Detroit, Michigan); Blake (Mother, Eleanor, Charleston, West Virginia); Bender (Mother, Jennie A., St. Joseph, Michigan); Ranta (Mother, Ella, Morrisville, New Hampshire); Cooke (Mother, Roxie B., Pikesville, North Carolina); Williams (Mother, Ann, Media, Pennsylvania); Sexton (Mother, Dora, Seattle, Washington); Allen (Mother, Elsie, Chicago, Illinois); Overton (Mother, Mrs. David Overton, North Providence, Rhode Island); and Bailey (Mother, Roxana I., Poco, West Virginia).

(PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH NOTE: There is no data available on this aircraft’s crash site, as given in the German letter cited above. (Note: This ‘no data’ summary is undoubtedly due to this aircrew’s after-target emergency which took place many miles west of Gotha on the outbound leg homeward and some (33) minutes after "bombs away").




CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACR

T/SGT Polovich, John (WG) 576th KIA
S/SGT Miller, Donald D. (G) 576th KIA

These men were in 1/Lt Wittel’s crew from the 576th. According to the diary kept by radio operator T/Sgt Cletus M. Jeffcoat, it was their eighth mission. He wrote, “Went to Gotha, Germany. A day of all raids. Under attack about 3 hours. Shot out #2 engine with flak, Miller and Polovich were killed in waist. 20 mm exploded in top between them, is the best we could figure it out. Both were hit badly, they never knew what happened. Miller died just before we landed. John died in hospital. We had an awful gas leak in the bomb bays. Candy [engineer T/Sgt Cannada] took his handkerchief and chewing gum and stopped the leak as much as possible, then transferred the fuel out to another tank. Due to the clear weather, not a cloud in sight, we were forced to stick with the formation with 3 engines. That 3 engine plane stuck out like a sore thumb. I took over the top turret while Candy saw to the boys and plane. Our Pilot thought about going to Switzerland but no plane that left the formation that day lasted over 10 minutes. So we came home. The boys were running around in a daze from lack of oxygen. But thank God we made home. There was more with us than just luck. We crash landed, because our hydraulics was shot out. We were lucky again.”

The Wittel crew was aboard B-24H #41-29131, nicknamed "Flying Patch," which in November 1944 would be transferred to the 446th Bomb Group having flown 87 total missions with the 392nd. The bodies of both men were ultimately returned to the United States for burial.

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CREW LOADING LIST FOR
24 FEBRUARY 1944

MISSION #41      Target: Gotha



24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 131

P Wittel, E.F. 1st Lt.
CP Marsters, W.R. 2nd Lt.
N Karl, J.F. 2nd Lt.
B Zuk, J.C. 2nd Lt.
E Cannada, V.P. S/Sgt.
R Jeffcoat, C.M. T/Sgt.
AE Polovich, J. S/Sgt.
AR Erwin, B.E. S/Sgt.
AG Miller, D.D. S/Sgt.
G Roti, D.A. Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 492

CA Stauder, J.B. Capt.
P Feran, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Hayes, F.N. 2nd Lt.
N Koch, C.H. Capt.
N Cummings, F.J. 2nd Lt.
B Jackson, G.J. 1st Lt.
E Houser, B.M. T/Sgt.
R Dmoch, T.S. S/Sgt.
AE Wolfer, A.J. S/Sgt.
AR Hampton, W.H. S/Sgt.
AG Prazak, S.J. S/Sgt.
G Boord, W.M. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 560

P Ellison, B.M. 2nd Lt.
CP Jewett, G.A. 2nd Lt.
N Bassett, E.F. 2nd Lt.
B Hurdle, Q.C. 2nd Lt.
E Samples, H.F. T/Sgt.
R Jean, R.P. T/Sgt.
AE Tupper, J.A. S/Sgt.
AR Patenaude, E.J. S/Sgt.
AG Picking, H.E. S/Sgt.
G Anderson, C.S. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 511 (MIA)

P Johns, M.T. 1st Lt.
CP Henderson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
N Silvasy, F.A. 2nd Lt.
B Sriver, E.R. 2nd Lt.
E Indahl, Jack M. T/Sgt.
R Gressler, E.J. T/Sgt.
AE Przeniczny, W. S/Sgt.
AR Kenyon, C.L. S/Sgt.
AG Zerangue, F.A. S/Sgt.
G Sanchez, I.V. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 692

P Hebron, W.T. 1st Lt.
CP McGowen, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N McDonald, L.F. 2nd Lt.
B Kalionzes, H.A. 1st Lt.
E Decker, C.D. T/Sgt.
R Martin, E.M. T/Sgt.
AE Halsne, M.O. S/Sgt.
AR Longchamps, A. S/Sgt.
AG Youst, K.E. S/Sgt.
G DeVoe, C.N. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 129

P Neff, C.L. 1st Lt.
CP Simpson, H.L. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, C.W. 2nd Lt.
B Hadeka, A.A. 2nd Lt.
E Benham, C.E. T/Sgt.
R Hale, J.L. S/Sgt.
AE Pennington, E.B. S/Sgt.
AR Diaz, C.A. T/Sgt.
AG  Walter, C.D. S/Sgt.
G Ware, J.W. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 527 (MIA)

P Patterson, J.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Shelton, W.L. 1st Lt.
N Henderson, D.J. 2nd Lt.
B Feldman, A. 1st Lt.
E Peterson, G.H. T/Sgt.
R Connolly, M.T. T/Sgt.
AE Jackson, B.F. S/Sgt.
AR Nelson, A.W. S/Sgt.
AG McNamara, P.E. S/Sgt.
G Luciano, R.E. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 102 (MIA)

P Cox, T.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Halsworth, R.J. 2nd Lt.
N Stankan, P.C. 1st Lt.
B Haglund, G.L. 2nd Lt.
E Martin, M.C. T/Sgt.
R Mitchell, R.J. T/Sgt.
AE Meshon, M. S/Sgt.
AR Pryce, R.J. S/Sgt.
AG Helbing, R.H. Sgt.
G Sicard, N.L. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 976

P Mathias, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Jones, L.C. 2nd Lt.
N Mateyka, M.R. 2nd Lt.
B Henderson, A.D. 2nd Lt.
E Chambless, S.L. T/Sgt.
R Slyhoff, K.G. T/Sgt.
AE Blackwell, R.B. S/Sgt.
AR Smock, J.M. S/Sgt.
AG Weverka, J.E. S/Sgt.
G Malloy, P.D. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 599

P Miller, H.W. 1st Lt.
CP Hurd, E.A. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Murray, F.P. 2nd Lt.
B Bjork, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Megenhardt, J.F. T/Sgt.
R Mallamaci, J.T. T/Sgt.
AE McCombs, A.D. S/Sgt.
AR Lorine, J.R. S/Sgt.
AG Wheeler, M. S/Sgt.
G Rausch, T.A. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 174

P McNichol, T.F. 1st Lt.
CP Lamer, M. 1st Lt.
N Donaldson, C.D. 1st Lt.
B Wargo, M.A. 1st Lt.
E Trumpy, E. T/Sgt.
R O'Kon, M.A. T/Sgt.
AE Green, L.A. S/Sgt.
AR Rosenfeld, C.B. T/Sgt.
AG Rathburn, E.K. S/Sgt.
G Osterheldt, J.J. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 658 (MIA)

P Johnston, J.V. 2nd Lt.
CP Kelleher, D.P. 2nd Lt.
N Leidl, B.E. 2nd Lt.
B Cihon, J.B. 2nd Lt.
E Rodowicz, N. T/Sgt.
R Hight, J.P.  S/Sgt.
AE Haussmann, F.A. Sgt.
AR Kelley, T.M. S/Sgt.
AG Walla, M.A. S/Sgt.
G Brown, J. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 346

P Haffermehl, G.T. 2nd Lt.
CP MacMullen, D.H. 2nd Lt.
N Parks, K.C. 2nd Lt.
B Poppel, S.B. 2nd Lt.
E Parker, E.S. T/Sgt.
R Beausoleil, L.J. T/Sgt.
AE Mitchell, J.W. S/Sgt.
AR Wagner, F.J. S/Sgt.
AG Harwick, M. S/Sgt.
G Landry, L. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 505

P Brauer, G.M. 1st Lt.
CP Clifford, J.F. 2nd Lt.
B/N McGough, J.G. 2nd Lt.
G Rachell, W.W. S/Sgt.
E LaRue, E.W. T/Sgt.
R Abraham, H.F. T/Sgt.
AE Branciforte, N. S/Sgt.
AR Keller, L.D. S/Sgt.
AG Whited, J.A. S/Sgt.
G Freeman, J. Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 496 (MIA)

P Barnett, J.V. 2nd Lt.
CP Doyle, C.C. 2nd Lt.
N Kaplan, J. 2nd Lt.
B Argast, R.F.2nd Lt.
E Payton, J.B. S/Sgt.
R Vesey, E.J. S/Sgt.
AE Archibald, D. Sgt.
AR Lankford, W.D. Sgt.
AG Bucholz, R.D. Sgt.
G DeLaughter, W.G. Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 495

P Peterson, L.G. 1st Lt.
CP Lidgard, W.V. 2nd Lt.
N Long, A.L. 2nd Lt.
B Fain, J.M. 2nd Lt.
E Lawrence, H.F. T/Sgt.
R Bellerive, R.O. T/Sgt.
AE Opsahl, R.C. S/Sgt.
AR Smith, A.C. S/Sgt.
AG Thompson, I.F. S/Sgt.
G Stevens, R.K. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 192 (MIA)

P White, R.K. 2nd Lt.
CP Cheairs, W.T. 2nd Lt.
N Bennett, Fred W. 2nd Lt.
B Fross, H.L. 2nd Lt.
E Martin, L.J. Jr.  S/Sgt.
R Wenzlaff, R.W. T/Sgt.
AE Jackson, C.H. S/Sgt.
AR Burns, L.J. S/Sgt.
AG Baldwin, C.L. S/Sgt.
G Kost, P. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 546

P Ambrose, D.N. 2nd Lt.
CP Dorrell, W. 2nd Lt.
N Lindberg, V.A. 2nd Lt.
B Tierney, J.F. 2nd Lt.
E Cummings, D.L. T/Sgt.
R Sawyer, G.H. T/Sgt.
AE Davis, J.A. S/Sgt.
AR Hall, E.A. S/Sgt.
AG Oasheim, G.W. S/Sgt.
G Dunham, H.D. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 344 (MIA)

P Schlossberg, M.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Blake, B.G. 2nd Lt.
N Bender, J.M. 2nd Lt.
B Ranta, E.J. 2nd Lt.
E Cooke, A.R. T/Sgt.
R Williams, R.V. T/Sgt.
AE Allen, J.E. S/Sgt.
AR Overton, D.J. S/Sgt.
AG Bailey, R.V. S/Sgt.
G Sexton, P.S. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 945 (aborted,
no mission credit)

P Sooy, B.L. 1st Lt.
CP Mardis, K.A. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, O.R. 2nd Lt.
B Schwartz, E.S. 2nd Lt.
E Tibi, C.F. S/Sgt.
R Terrell, P.J. T/Sgt.
AE Serafine, J.M. S/Sgt.
AR McBrayer, H.G. Jr. S/Sgt.
AG McArn, H.W. S/Sgt.
G Dorgan, W.J. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 981

P Peterson, C.L. 1st Lt.
CP Vrieling, R.I. F/O
N Haenzi, W.R. 1st Lt.
B Brown, E.J. 2nd Lt.
E Hinshaw, H.M. T/Sgt.
R Rosko, E.M. T/Sgt.
AE Harrell, O.L. S/Sgt.
AR Hancock, L.G. T/Sgt.
AG Masters, E.E. S/Sgt.
G Rider, F.D. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 694

P George, F.A. 1st Lt.
CP Stephens, L.M. 2nd Lt.
N Sweeney, P.J. 2nd Lt.
B Kelly, F.B. 2nd Lt.
E Parker, J.D. T/Sgt.
R Sweeney, L.F. T/Sgt.
AE Ellingson, H.E. S/Sgt.
AR Sheppard, W.B. S/Sgt.
AG Goodall, W.J. S/Sgt.
G Theodore, R.N. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 489

P Muldoon, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Otis, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Walsh, F.T. 2nd Lt.
B Savage, C.C. 2nd Lt.
E Byrd, J.M. S/Sgt.
R DeHoff, L.V. T/Sgt.
AE Carpenter, J.A. Sgt.
AR Bluejacket, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Bednarcik, S.A. S/Sgt.
G Svoboda, J.J. Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 100 (aborted,
no mission credit)

P Goodwin, R.K. 2nd Lt.
CP Grisell, R. 2nd Lt.
N Wettig, C.O. 2nd Lt.
B Gerrish, R.J. 2nd Lt.
E Chacon, M.J. S/Sgt.
R Roberts, E.M. S/Sgt.
AE Maxwell, R.J. Sgt.
AR Krueger, R.C. Sgt.
AG Parsley, H.D. Sgt.
G - -

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 478

P Reade, J.J. 1st Lt.
CP Smith, R.L. 1st Lt.
N Planche, M.M. 1st Lt.
B Ziccarelli, J.A. 1st Lt.
E Edwards, C.E.  T/Sgt.
R Clark, F.C. T/Sgt.
AE Sikoff, H. S/Sgt.
AR Bauer, W.E. S/Sgt.
AG Wagner, D.R. S/Sgt.
G Turner, L.F. S/Sgt.
NG Schwabel, C.A. T/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 518

P Carnine, G.D. 1st Lt.
CP Spears, K.E. 1st Lt.
N Mastron, V. 2nd Lt.
B Byers, W.F.  2nd Lt.
E Hopson, N.A. T/Sgt.
R Barbee, B.B. T/Sgt.
AE Ostroski, L.B. S/Sgt.
AR Norby, M.W. S/Sgt.
AG Knies, G.R. S/Sgt.
G Kwasnycia, N. S/Sgt.
B Ward, M.E. 2nd Lt.

24 Feb 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 465

P Smith, R.E. 1st Lt.
CP Schilling, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Metz, L. 2nd Lt.
B Hopple, H.G. 2nd Lt.
E Wooton, W.J. S/Sgt.
R Whitmore, B. S/Sgt.
AE Godfrey, L.S. S/Sgt.
AR Heaslet, W.W. S/Sgt.
AG Bertsch, P.J. S/Sgt.
G Norton, W.J. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 497

P Nugent, W.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Burciaga, L.R. 2nd Lt.
N Davis, W.X. 2nd Lt.
B Krause, W.N. 2nd Lt.
E O'Brien, J.J. T/Sgt.
R Demming, F.H. T/Sgt.
AE McGahey, G.L. S/Sgt.
AR Lander, W. S/Sgt.
AG Pawlyshyn, M.J. S/Sgt.
G Sowers, D.R. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 599

CA Johnson, L.L. Lt. Col.
P McGregor, J.A. 1st Lt.
CP Taylor, R.E. 2nd Lt.
N Swangren, R. 1st Lt
B Kennedy, T. 1st Lt.
B Good, R.E. 1st Lt.
E Galloway, W.E. T/Sgt.
R West, G.E. T/Sgt.
AE Padden, T.F. S/Sgt.
AR Long, B. S/Sgt.
AG Putnam, N.I. S/Sgt.
G Housteau, J.M. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 989

P Darnell, J.F. Jr. 2nd Lt.
CP Slagle, E.E. 2nd Lt.
N Stasney, A.J. 2nd Lt.
B Lory, R.C. 2nd Lt.
E Whitaker, J.W. S/Sgt.
R Mandel, R. S/Sgt.
AE Sundo, J.R. S/Sgt.
AR Ward, L.E. Sgt.
AG Rego, M.A. S/Sgt.
G Courtney, E.J. Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 117 (aborted,
no mission credit)

P Lotterhos, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Zolomy, E.M. 2nd Lt.
N Healing, K.A. 2nd Lt.
B Sands, J.E. 2nd Lt.
E Thompson, R.L. T/Sgt.
R Garay, M.W. T/Sgt.
AE Rebiejo, F. S/Sgt.
AR Bunyea, E.W. S/Sgt.
AG Ward, W.D. S/Sgt.
G Moody, C.B. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 469 (aborted,
no mission credit)

P Dickson, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Anderson, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N McDade, J.J. 1st Lt.
B Rodriguez, J.B. 2nd Lt.
E York, R.M. T/Sgt.
R Zimpleman, J.G. S/Sgt.
AE Draper, J.W. S/Sgt.
AR Coveney, C.M. S/Sgt.
AG Reilly, B.A. S/Sgt.
G O'Neill, F.L. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 127

P Shea, P.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Hay, S.N. 2nd Lt.
N Lowder, L.L. 2nd Lt.
B Heilman, J.A. 2nd Lt.
E Darling, L. T/Sgt.
R Mahoney, J.E. T/Sgt.
AE Hixon, R.D. T/Sgt.
AR Dudley, W.R. S/Sgt.
AG Luchak, A.  S/Sgt.
G Adams, B. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 473

CA Keilman, M.H. Maj.
P Baumgart, V.A. 1st Lt.
CP Cordes, W.C. 1st Lt.
N Slowik, J.E. Capt.
B White, E.I. 1st Lt.
B Stupski, S.J. 1st Lt.
E Smith, D.L. T/Sgt.
R Kiss, J. T/Sgt.
AE Davis, H. T/Sgt.
AR Yost, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Money, J.A. S/Sgt.
G Fons, J.P. S/Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 261

P Books, D.O. 1st Lt.
CP Gray, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Kornman, H.C. 1st Lt.
B Thomas, J.S. 2nd Lt.
E Womer, W.S. S/Sgt.
R Slack, G.E. S/Sgt.
AE Morris, E.N. Sgt.
AR Porter, C.T. Sgt.
AG Strickler, C.C. Sgt.
G Hampton, R.G. Sgt.

24 Feb 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 990

P Spartage, G. 1st Lt.
CP Kern, R.B. 2nd Lt.
N Tauskey, W.A. 2nd Lt.
B Campbell, R.A. 2nd Lt.
E Erickson, C.W. S/Sgt.
R Worthington, P.A. T/Sgt.
AE Warren, O.J. S/Sgt.
AR Helmke, E.F. S/Sgt.
AG Ridgeway, J.W. Jr. Sgt.
G Riedlinger, A.J. Sgt.




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