24 March 1945 Mission #268/#269 Target: DZ-Wesel & Stormede


Target: DZ-Wesel

The mission on 24 March 1945 was in support of Allied troops engaged in Operation Varsity.  The 2nd Air Division's Field Order stated, "Varsity can be considered the most important combined operation since the invasion of France.   2AD's mission is the D-day supply of assault and airborne forces which will have landed on the German side of the Rhine shortly before our crews drop supplies to them.  The magnitude of an operation of this sort makes it essential that for its complete success each part of the job by each force participating must be carried out with exactitude.  2AD is committed to drop supplies in the places designated."

It was the largest single-day airborne operation in history.  Paratroop and ground troops from the US, Britain, and Canada were delivered behind enemy lines by nearly 1,600 aircraft and gliders.  Dropped with them were equipment and supplies such as artillery, weapons and vehicles.  Fifteen minutes later came 240 B-24s from the 2nd, 14th, and 20th Combat Wings to drop bundles with ammunition, ordnance, grenades, rations, blankets, medical supplies, etc.  Half the bundles were for American troops and half for British use with the drop zones about four miles apart.

Mission briefings were quite thorough, lasting nearly four hours at each of the nine Groups involved.  Squadrons were to be flown as loosely as possible without straggling, by both element and wing men.  Positions should be maintained fairly well abreast with maximum spread laterally.  The formation was to close up for dropping and spread out again on climb and withdrawal.  Planes were not to begin their climb until after crossing the Rhine; units withdrawing were to give way to units penetrating.  

Pilots were instructed to uncover at the turn after hitting the French coast; to hit the Initial Point (IP) at 500 feet, let down to the deck, and then pull up.  They were warned not to exceed 150 mph indicated air speed at time of dropping lest parachutes be destroyed and the supplies lost.   Bundles were to be released from a height of 300-500 feet.  Pilots could use 10-15 degree flaps as needed, but wheels were not to be lowered.  

On the Group's previous low-level supply mission (to Holland on 18 Sep 1944), Army Air Transportation Technicians were responsible for dropping the bundles.  This time, the 392nd's crews would throw out or release the bundles.  

Men from the 490th Quartermaster Depot Co. went to the 8th AF to demonstrate loading and dropping with five samples of each type of bundle.  Bomber crews were also given intensive courses in loading and ejecting bundles.  Loads would be dropped from the bomb bays, the ball turret well, and the emergency escape hatch near the tail.  

Bundles in the bomb bay had a static line attached to the bomb shackle so that a parachute would be deployed when the cylinder was released.  After the pods were dropped, a crewman would have to go into the bomb bay and pull the static lines back into the airplane so the bomb bay doors could be closed.  Due to limited space in the bomb bay, that person could not wear a parachute.  Bundles at the other two locations would have to be pushed out by gunners.  To land in the drop zones, all bundles had to leave the plane in less than 20 seconds.

It was stressed to all crews that the warning bell would be used to signal the release of bundles, not as a bail-out signal.  Gunners were warned repeatedly not to fire at ground positions, for fear of hitting Allied troops.

It was hoped that intense anti-flak operations preceding the drop would put most of the German flak guns out of action.  With an estimated 25,000 German troops on the ground, mission planners thought that the greatest danger to the bombers would come from small arms fire.  Pilots were told that the best defense against flak after the drop was to fly as close to the deck as possible and to re-cross our own lines as quickly as possible.  However, the turn back should not be made too sharply as an aircraft presents a larger target to the gunner when it is banking steeply.

The 44th BG would lead the 14th Combat Wing with three 9-aircraft squadrons carrying loads for US troops.  The 491st would fly in train with three 9-ship squadrons with supplies for British troops.  The 392nd split their force, flying one 7-plane squadron and one 6-plane squadron with both the 491st and 44th Groups.   

A few practice missions were flown in France and special intelligence briefings were held with sandbox mock-ups of the Rhine River and drop areas.

392nd BG take-offs began at 0930 on 24 March.  As they neared the landing zones, crews saw chaos on the ground.  Gliders and tow planes littered the terrain.  Buildings were on fire and troops were moving quickly on the ground.  Haze and smoke were everywhere.

In the air, the mission was uneventful for the 13 bombers with bundles for American troops.  For the other ships, it was far from easy.   

Peter Loncke's book, The Liberators Who Never Returned 24 March 1945, has this information from 2/Lt Carroll Russell, copilot on the Proctor crew in #476:

"Our B-24 had been altered by removing the floor panel where the belly gun turret would have been.  This left a gaping hole just back of the bomb bay section of the plane.  Around this hole were the crates of supplies.  George [Kouzes] and his partner (Jessie Gill from Texas) were to push them out over the target area.

When our group was assembled after take off, we made a low level flight over the North Sea to the drop zone.  I remember the scene clearly because we were so low.  It was much like a scene in the movies with much smoke and with the ground littered with parachutes and gliders askew.  Some gliders were upside down, others were missing wings.  With our load out, we turned back immediately, but one doesn't turn a B-24 around quickly.  The beachhead was small and we necessarily flew over German held territory as we turned.  At our low altitude we were an easy mark for German ground fire and we were hit immediately.  One engine quit and as soon as I could feather the propeller, we were hit again back in George's area of the plane.  I called back for a damage report but received no answer.  I feared everyone was dead.  I tried several times before Jessie answered and reported that they had been fighting fires-too busy to answer.  There were no injuries.  The fires were likely burning hydraulic fluids from lines pierced by the shots.  Meanwhile Proctor had asked the navigator (Stanley Plagenhoef) for a heading to the nearest airstrip.  Stan found one some twenty minutes away.  Just then a second engine died from fuel starvation due to the ruptured lines from the shots.  We could not gain altitude with one engine gone, and with two out we were not able to maintain what we had.  Proctor called for more power and I shoved the throttles through the safety wire into and past the red line.  It didn't help.  Obviously, we were not going to reach the airstrip, so we both began searching the ground for an opening-any clearing in the woods.  Mind you we were just a hundred meters or so above the trees.  I notified the crew to assume their crash positions.  None of them, other than the flight engineer on the deck with us, had any idea of our situation.  Our radio operator (Denver Kerfoot) was on his radio and had not heard my order to prepare for a crash.  He was also on the flight deck directly behind me, but he was totally unaware of the situation.  After I realized he was still on deck, I ordered him to his station.  By then it was too late, as I will explain later.  Proctor spotted a field just ahead and ordered the wheels down.  I questioned him believing a belly landing might be safer.  He repeated his order and down went the landing gear and then the flaps.  In this entire low-level ride, perhaps thirty minutes in all, I don't remember seeing a town or even a house.  But then we were pretty busy and not sight seeing.

As we came to a clearing I spotted a rock wall we had to clear before reaching the field.  I used that wall as my benchmark to pass over before I threw the crash bar (a switch to kill all circuits to lessen the chance of fire.)  Once over the wall we touched down with as nice a landing as Proctor ever made.  The ground was soft which slowed and shorted our roll.  I remember a brick house at the far end of the field, which was looming larger by the second.  Then the nose wheel broke back and we stopped abruptly, some good distance from the house…

On the ground we gathered away from the plane and ministered to Kerfoot who suffered a broken leg when he was thrown out through the cargo hole.  He didn't quite make it to his position in time."

George Kouzes recalled that they "did manage to get out, and two of our crew was hurt badly and as best as we could we got them out because we were sure the plane was going to explode or start on fire.  But we were saved of that possible problem.  Many people gathered by their homes and our plane.  One was within 75 to 100 yards of going into the houses if we hadn't come to a stop!  Then many gathered out around the plane.  Among them a 3 to 4 year old boy and his mother.  The boy was crying because our radio operator lay on the ground hurt badly and the boy's mother could not speak English, but managed to tell us the boy was crying for our crewmember that was hurt so bad."

Thankfully, Gas House Gus had gotten them as far as Allied-controlled Belgium.  


Gashouse Gus, #41-29476, after it crash-landed at Hechtel-Eksel, a village in northeast Belgium.

Bombers returning from the supply drop to Wesel recovered safely around 1500 hours while the second mission of the day was already in progress.  When interrogated, 392nd crews reported dropping their bundles at altitudes ranging from 100 to 500 feet.  2/Lt Mathew Ansbro in plane #477 was so low that he saw a couple of British soldiers escorting German prisoners back toward the Rhine.  

Nine 392nd planes were hit by small arms fire but only two additional men were injured.  Aboard 2/Lt Campbell McKellar's ship (#875), both radio operator Sgt Nicholas Bova and waist gunner Sgt Theodore Hodge had been wounded in the legs.



Upon returning from Wesel, #41-28875 overshot the runway due to brake failure. This ship had received small arms fire that wounded two crewmen, and the damage to the brakes may have occurred at that time. The aircraft was salvaged at Wendling.


During the Wesel re-supply mission, the 14th Combat Wing dropped 4,856 bundles of supplies weighing 598 tons.  100 percent of the American loads were dropped in the target area.  Intense flak near the British drop zone resulted in only 85 percent of those loads being on target.  A mission planner at Wendling later wrote, "To sum this up, it was an unusual mission for the 392nd but went off very successfully."

Click to enlarge
Click on map to resize.
The 392nd's chart track for the Wesel re-supply mission.  (NARA files)


Bundles of supplies for American troops are being loaded at Wendling.


Bundles fall toward awaiting troops.


Collapsed parachutes dot the ground as far as the eye can see.


This photo of the bundles being dropped was taken by cameras in the Cohn crew's plane, #792.


42-50650, with 2/Lt R.K. Crowell's crew aboard, during Operation Varsity.


This memorial plate at the town hall in Hamminkeln, Germany, honors the men from the 2nd Air Division who lost their lives during Operation Varsity.  Peter Loncke was the driving force behind this memorial, and he was present when it was dedicated on 19 September 2001.  (Photo from Peter Loncke)


Target: Stormede

An airfield for German night fighter aircraft,. a so-called ‘landing-ground’, was scheduled as the second strike on this day with (10) crews being committed. Briefings were held at 1130 hours with all beginning take-offs at 1350 hours. A total of (440) 100# bombs were released on the target with excellent results. A total of (86) percent of the weapons impacted within 2000 feet of the aiming point. No fighters were engaged and flak was meager. No ships were battle damaged unlike the earlier mission on this day when (9) bombers had been hit by small arms fire. The returning crews landed safely back at Wendling around 2000 hours.


Gen William E. Kepner, commander of the 2nd Air Division, sent this teletype to his units a week after this mission:

"I am highly gratified and pleased to transmit to you the following message from Lt Gen Brereton 1st Allied Airborne Army to Lt Gen Doolittle concerning the operations of 24 March in which 2d Air Division played so vital and successful a part:

"I should like to express my appreciation for the excellent support given by your Air Forces to the First Allied Airborne Army in its operation across the Rhine, 24 March 45. The attacks by your bombers of enemy airfields and their interdiction program and the fighter sweeps and the armed recces provided were largely responsible for the success of the operation.

Bomber resupply on D Day beautifully carried out. As in our operations in Holland, your Air Force has been of outstanding assistance. Many thanks to you and all those under your command."

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MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

24 MARCH 1945
TARGET: WESEL - DZ (SUPPLY DROP)

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #14177   AIRCRAFT: #42-50709 (NO NICKNAME) "E" 38th Mission

AIRCREW: HUMMEL     *     SQUADRON: 576th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Hummel, John R. Jr   RTD*
CP  2/LT Reynolds, James E.   RTD*
N   2/LT Knudson, Bernard L.  KIA
NG  SGT  Morse, Ellis H.      RTD
R/O CPL  Deaton, James A.     KIA
EnG SGT  Finney, Herbert H.   RTD*
WG  SGT  Milchak, Elmer A.    KIA
WG  PVT  Keagle, Paul E.      RTD*
TG  SGT  Powell, Hollis (NMI) RTD*

* captured momentarily; freed by U.S. troops.

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: According to an account by 2/Lt Reynolds in The Liberators Who Never Returned, "We took off in B-24 "E for Easy" and flew at an altitude of around 500 feet over England, across the Channel and over France, Belgium and Holland to our destination, Wesel Germany.  We were flying formation and our lead airplane was to drop down to around 250 feet when we entered the drop zone.  The supplies we were carrying were enclosed in pods and hung on racks in the bomb bay of the airplane just like bombs.  Each pod had a parachute attached to it and a static line was attached to the airplane that would pull the static lines attached to the bomb racks.  When the pods were dropped, the static line attached to the airplane would pull the parachute open and break the "free fall" of the pod.  After the pods were dropped someone from the crew would go into the bomb bay and pull the static lines attached to the bomb rack back into the airplane so the bomb bay doors could be closed.  Since there is little space walking the "catwalk" in the bomb bay, the person pulling the static lines back into the bomb bay could not wear a parachute…

As we approached the drop area, we found that there was considerable smoke or haze covering the area.  We began getting a little small arms fire during the supply drop run, for we could hear it hitting the plane.  Our radio operator, James Deaton, stood at the entrance of the bomb bay, waiting for the drop, so he could enter and pull the static lines.  We made our drop.  James entered the bomb bay and that is when we started receiving intense ground fire from, what we later learned to be, 20 mm and 30 mm shells.  Jack [Hummel] was flying the plane at the time, and I kept glancing at the instrument panel for any signs of engine trouble.  Shells kept hitting the aircraft, and suddenly I noticed fire coming from number 3 engine.  I hollered at Jack and told him engine number 3 was on fire and I was going to shut it down.  All of the switches were on my side of the cockpit.  I feathered the engine, cut off the gasoline supply to that engine, closed the cowling flaps and cut the electrical switches.  The fire continued to burn.  Jack hollered that number 2 engine had been hit and oil pressure was dropping.  At the time of our drop we had slowed our air speed and with 2 engines out at this speed we could not gain altitude.  Jack used what air speed we had to pull the airplane up to around 500 feet and hit the alarm bell button for everyone to "bail out".  He and I both knew there was no way we could get out before the plane crashed.  I remember saying a short prayer, "Lord, it is all up to you now."  Jack picked out the first field he could find, which also contained the remains of some gliders, so we could make a controlled crash.  The fire on number 3 engine continued to burn and just before we crashed Jack hollered for me to get on the rudders with him so I never saw the fire in number 3 engine go out….

I have no recollection of the crash after the airplane touched down, so I must have been knocked out for a few seconds.  The first thing I remember was Jack asking me if I was hurt.  I replied, "I didn't get a scratch" and he replied, "Oh, yes you did."  I then realized blood was running down in my face and the front of my flight suit was bloody.

The crash had torn a large hole in the plane on my side of the cockpit.  I crawled out through it and Jack followed.  We stood about 20 feet from the plane and examined each other's wounds.  Jack had a bad cut on the back of his head that was bleeding, and I had a cut on my forehead that was still bleeding.  As we stood there, we noticed the ground kicking up about us and heard gunfire, but we did not realize we were being shot at…

As we stood examining our wounds, we heard voices coming from behind and realized, for the first time, that the crew had not "bailed out".  We saw Hollis Powell, Paul Keagle and Herb Finney standing beside what remained of the plane.  We noticed Elmer Milchak was leaning out the waist window.  They had all been in the back of the plane.  Usually Herb Finney would have been on the flight deck with Jack and me since he is the flight engineer, but for some reason he was in the back, and fortunate for him, for it is doubtful he would have survived the crash, since the top turret fell just where he would have been standing.

We were getting rifle fire from soldiers that were shooting and walking toward us.  There was also a German "Tiger" tank about 50 yards from us.  The firing stopped after one of the crew opened a parachute and waved it at the Germans who were shooting at us.

We walked over to the crew and found out that Elmer Milchak had been killed as he was coming out the waist window of the plane.  He was the first one out after the crash.  Our concern then was about Barney Knudson and Ellis Morse, who were in the nose of the aircraft, for we knew there was no way they could have survived the crash.  Also, James Deaton who had been standing in the bomb bay getting the static lines in after the drop."

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT OF CREWMEN'S FATE.  Surviving crewmen agree that Elmer Milchak was killed by a German sniper as he was leaving the plane via the waist window.   Tail gunner Powell recalled that after the plane finally came to a stop, he "lay there for a second or two.  I saw Milchak look out the waist window and then pulled back and looked at me and asked, "Powell, are you alright?"  I said, "Yes."  I felt no pain or lack of movement.  He looked out the window again after he had turned to Finney and said, "Powell's okay."  Those were his last words as a sniper (about 150 yards away in a wood thicket) shot him through the head and he slumped over the window edge."  As reported by Mr. Loncke, copilot Reynolds remembered that "German soldiers arrived and Elmer's body was removed from the plane, for there was still danger the fire would catch up and the plane would burn, which it did after we got away.  The best we could determine, the 3 missing crewmen, James Deaton, Bernard Knudson and Ellis Morse were not in the plane.  Before the soldiers led us away, I said the 23rd Psalm over Elmer Milchak's body."  

They were taken to a farmhouse occupied by German soldiers, some of whom were shooting at B-24s as they flew overhead.  In just a short time, the airmen were rescued by US soldiers from the 513th Paratroop Division.  Powell said, "Afterwards we went outside and the airborne and glider troops were talking around, smoking and joking while a sniper was taking pot shots at us.  Me?  I'm under a German half-track or something, praying to be gotten out of this mess.  Flak, high altitude, fighters whatever, I'll take, but this is not my kind of activity yet these airborne seem like it's just a walk through the woods."

Powell thought that he had seen two parachutes moments before the crash, most likely Knudson and Morse bailing out of the nose position.  He estimated their altitude was only about 300 feet at the time.  Powell "later found out that Deaton had either fell or been hit by rifle fire as we were over enemy territory."  The day after the crash, at a U.S. aid station, Powell said they "were wondering what had happened to Deaton, Knudson, and Morse.  The latter two had jumped we knew but no one had seen Deaton jump.  Then all of a sudden coming across the field with one flight boot on and carrying the other here comes Morse and he was a sight for sore eyes.  He said Knudson had been killed on the ground."

In his report, now part of the MACR, nose gunner Sgt. Morse related: "....the ship in which I was flying was hit by flak. At that time, Lt. Hummel, the Pilot gave the signal to bail out. The Navigator, Lt. Knudson, then opened the nose turret doors and pointed to the escape hatch as a signal to bail out. As I came out of the turret, he put on his chute and left the ship. I saw his chute come out of the pack but did not see it open. I later asked American ground troops who had seen me bail out if they had seen any other chute come out of our ship, but, they could give no further information...."

Within a day or two, Powell said, they were flown back to Wendling where they were "debriefed and given a 10-day R and R in Southport England.  Then back to the base where we took a flight in the "Black Widow" under supervision to see if we still had the nerve to fly - we passed - and were back to flying missions."

It should be noted that Pfc Stuart S. Stryker, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his action this day.  His citation reads, in part, "His gallant and wholly voluntary action in the face of overwhelming firepower …so encouraged his comrades and diverted the enemy's attention that other elements of the company were able to surround the house, capturing more than 200 hostile soldiers and much equipment, besides freeing 3 members of an American bomber crew held prisoner there.  The intrepidity and unhesitating self-sacrifice of Pfc. Stryker were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service."

Sgt Milchak is buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, The Netherlands, in Grave E-3-1; he was awarded an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.  2/Lt Knudson and Cpl Deaton were later returned to their home towns for burial.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Knudson (Mother, Mrs Alfred J. Lateer, Wolbach Nebraska); Milchak (Mother, Mary H., 815 East 10th Avenue, Munhall, Pennsylvania and Deaton (Mother, Teatus S., Box 18, Argonne, Wisconsin).




CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACR

S/Sgt Hamment, Raymond E. LW 576th DOI

There was one final casualty this day, aboard aircraft #42-52770, Ruptured Duck.   This ship had received heavy ground fire and two of the crew were wounded.  Pilot 2/Lt Lester Frazier landed at a U.S. airfield at Sint-Truiden, Belgium, so his men could get medical attention.  He later said the bottom of the B-24 looked like a sieve from all the gunfire.

The injured airmen were treated at the 40th Field Hospital.  Radio operator S/Sgt Hervy V. Latour had been wounded in the arm and back while waist gunner S/Sgt Raymond Hamment's arm was badly shot up.  S/Sgt Hamment died of his injuries later that day at 298th General Hospital in Liege, Belgium.   He was buried on 27 March 1945 at the US Military Cemetery at Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium, but was returned to the US after the war for final interment in Flint, Michigan. He had been awarded the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

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CREW LOADING LIST FOR
24 MARCH 1945

MISSION #268      Target: Drop Zone - Wesel
MISSION #269      Target: Stormede (follows this mission below.)



24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 194

P Raczko, W. 2nd Lt.
CP McGill, C.L. 2nd Lt.
N Cline, A.P. F/O
B Holland, J.R. S/Sgt.
R VanDeven, J.K. T/Sgt.
E Reynolds, J.R. T/Sgt.
RW Parker, R.J. S/Sgt.
LW Kracker, E.A. S/Sgt.
TG Adkins, J.E. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 357

P DePalma, F.T. 1st Lt.
CP Austin, G.E. F/O
N Oppenheim, R. 2nd Lt.
B Margarones, J.J. 2nd Lt.
R Corbosiero, J.L. S/Sgt.
E Betterini, A. T/Sgt.
RW Bryan, C.F. S/Sgt.
LW Mowery, H.J. S/Sgt.
TG Ferdinando, A.P. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 476

P Proctor, H.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Russell, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Plagenhoef, S.C. 2nd Lt.
B Wade, T.E. S/Sgt.
R Kerfoot, D.A. S/Sgt.
E Seyfried, W.J. S/Sgt.
RW Gill, J.B. S/Sgt.
LW Kouzes, G. S/Sgt.
TG Dippel, W.L. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 916

P Smith, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Malmborg, F.L. 2nd Lt.
N Vealey, C.B. F/O
B Linderman, W.T. S/Sgt.
R Kroll, M.E. S/Sgt.
E Lyon, H.H. S/Sgt.
RW Devish, M.G. S/Sgt.
LW Werner, W.T. Sgt.
TG Farley, R.L. Pfc.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 650

P Crowell, R.K. 2nd Lt.
CP Berkley, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N Byrnes, W.B. 2nd Lt.
B Colquhoun, R.N. S/Sgt.
R Waggener, L.R. T/Sgt.
E Hough, J.F. M/Sgt.
RW Anastos, G. S/Sgt.
LW Tracy, R.D. S/Sgt.
TG Moffa, A.J. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 545

P Sommers, O.L. 1st Lt.
CP Perkins, G.A. 2nd Lt.
N Judd, G.C. 1st Lt.
B Williams, A.R. 1st Lt.
R Fender, J.F. T/Sgt.
E Drummond, W.D. T/Sgt.
RW O'Kane, R.P. S/Sgt.
LW McNeill, C.A. S/Sgt.
TG Luciano, S. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 709

P Hummel, J.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Reynolds, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Knudson, B.L. 2nd Lt.
B Morse, E.H. Sgt.
R Deaton, J.A. Cpl.
E Finney, H.H. Sgt.
RW Milchak, E.A. Sgt.
LW Keagle, P.E. Pvt.
TG Powell, H. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 770

P Frazier, L.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Linder, E.P. 2nd Lt.
N Robinson, R.L. 2nd Lt.
B Penders, D.P. S/Sgt.
R Latour, H.E. S/Sgt.
E McGrath, L.R. Sgt.
RW Leach, R.H. Sgt.
LW Hamment, R.E. S/Sgt.
TG Rohde, R.E. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 118

P Myers, C.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Anderson, K.W. 2nd Lt.
N Warntz, K. F/O
B Zgurich, E.E. 2nd Lt.
R Jaklinski, B. S/Sgt.
E Payton, J.B. S/Sgt.
RW Thornton, A.H. S/Sgt.
LW Gillette, R.E. Sgt.
TG Kirk, G.A. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 792

P Cohn, A.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Runyon, D.S. 2nd Lt.
N Cottone, P.P. 2nd Lt.
B Norton, W.R. S/Sgt.
R Kincaid, M.M. T/Sgt.
E Cross, G.H. T/Sgt.
RW Korpi, W.B. S/Sgt.
LW Nogales, D. S/Sgt.
TG Avery, W.R. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 507

P Enyart, D.W. 1st Lt.
CP Froehlich, S.S. 2nd Lt.
N Mertens, J.A. 1st Lt.
B Snyderman, J. 2nd Lt.
R Aycock, C.E. S/Sgt.
E Gersten, G. T/Sgt.
RW Arneson, J.A. S/Sgt.
LW Mohan, V.L. S/Sgt.
TG Barlow, S.N. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 079

P Gridley, J.N. 2nd Lt.
CP Hunt, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Self, W.H. 2nd Lt.
B Venier, A.C. F/O
R Braunhut, J.S. Sgt.
E Segal, D. Sgt.
RW McCormick, F.C. Sgt.
LW Wright, W.M. Sgt.
TG Hall, D.M. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 906

P Eyles, E.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Foley, R.T. F/O
N Augustensen, H.R. F/O
B Stutzman, R.J. Sgt.
R Barrett, W.R. Sgt.
E Mattera, A.P. Sgt.
RW Shrum, T.H. Sgt.
LW Carpenger, B.E. Sgt.
TG Wengress, C.P. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 875

P McKellar, C.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Owen, J.L. 2nd Lt.
N James, H.P. 2nd Lt.
B Yeary, B.J. Sgt.
R Bova, N.G. Sgt.   (wounded)
E Cole, E.W. Sgt.
RW Hodge, T.H. Sgt.   (wounded)
LW Higbee, W.J. Sgt.
TG Holler, J.G. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 697

P Grabarkiewicz, L. F/O
CP Phillips, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Hickson, R. 1st Lt.
B Axvig, W.E. S/Sgt.
R Quagliano, F.A. T/Sgt.
E Duggan, J.J. T/Sgt.
RW Baker, E.R. S/Sgt.
LW Trofnoff, F. S/Sgt.
TG Moskowicz, S. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 901

P Jackson, C.J. 1st Lt.
CP Parrish, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Pillsbury, A.A. 2nd Lt.
B Wolfe, P.G. S/Sgt.
R Paren, J.H. S/Sgt.
E Jenkins, J.H. Sgt.
RW Webb, J.H. S/Sgt.
LW Korb, L.J. S/Sgt.
TG Roe, W.L. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 511

P Henning, J.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Moser, F.E. 2nd Lt.
N Humiston, M.R. 2nd Lt.
B Regan, J.H. Sgt.
R Wilkins, R.A. Sgt.
E Regester, R.B. Sgt.
RW Stockard, J.C. Sgt.
LW McLaughlin, E.J. Sgt.
TG Davis, G.L. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 436

P Vaden, J.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Tichenor, N.K. 2nd Lt.
N Vrable, E.G. 2nd Lt.
B Smith, C.W. S/Sgt.
R Crockett, J.G. S/Sgt.
E Perry, C.E.O. S/Sgt.
RW Wojtowicz, C.T. S/Sgt.
LW Wheelwright, C.D. Sgt.
TG Beaton, S.O. S/Sgt.
DeVoe, H. Cpl. (photographer)

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 804

P Clarke, J.C. 1st Lt.
CP Mackey, O. 1st Lt.
N Eaton, C.B. 2nd Lt.
B Lowe, R.C. 2nd Lt.
R Brown, J.T. T/Sgt.
E Brunett, E.C. T/Sgt.
RW Heckman, J.K. S/Sgt.
LW Peer, G.R. S/Sgt.
TG Killea, K.B. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 477

P Ansbro, M.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Wernsman, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N Christman, H.E. F/O
B O'Farrell, R.H. S/Sgt.
R O'Brien, B.M. S/Sgt.
E Brierley, A.R. S/Sgt.
RW Nichols, P.F. Sgt.
LW Lowry, J.O. S/Sgt.
TG McLaughlin, M.M. T/Sgt.
Paddock, K.Q. Maj.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 495

P Joyce, J.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Bowman, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N McQuade, R.N. F/O
B Andrews, Q.Q. S/Sgt.
R Brown, F.J. T/Sgt.
E Albino, A. T/Sgt.
RW Gorham, R.L. S/Sgt.
LW Kurkomelis, G.C. S/Sgt.
TG Richter, R.H. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 772

P Warner, C.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Smith, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Peppard, J.M. F/O
B Kight, D.A. S/Sgt.
R Hathaway, E.O. S/Sgt.
E McGee, O.W. S/Sgt.
RW Brooks, E.J. S/Sgt.
LW Neel, L.E. S/Sgt.
TG Richmond, T.C. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 249

P Ebersole, H.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Culp, A.B. 2nd Lt.
N Sauter, J.C. 2nd Lt.
B Martin, M. 2nd Lt.
R Chew, W.B. S/Sgt.
E Gabris, J.M. S/Sgt.
RW McDonald, C.L. Pvt.
LW Greene, H.B. S/Sgt.
TG Lynch, H.F. Pvt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 493

P Rose, P.E. 1st Lt.
CP Pratt, D.M. 1st Lt.
N Rohde, C.R. 1st Lt.
B Harnden, R.G. 1st Lt.
R Croy, O.N. T/Sgt.
E Scott, W.A. T/Sgt.
RW Davidson, S.A. S/Sgt.
LW Manelick, N.L. S/Sgt.
TG Beane, H.A. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 568

CA Keilman, M.H. Maj.
P White, E.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Whalen, J.M. 1st Lt.
N Weissberger, M. 1st Lt.
B Shumaker, M.C. 2nd Lt.
R Tribbett, L.L. T/Sgt.
E Hayden, R. T/Sgt.
RW Oakes, E.L. S/Sgt.
LW Oatman, H.W. S/Sgt.
TG White, R.A. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 589

P Beder, J. 1st Lt.
CP Samsell, J.A. 1st Lt.
N Matishowski, J. 1st Lt.
B Murray, J.G. 1st Lt.
R Murgatroyd, R.S. T/Sgt.
E Morley, J.P. T/Sgt.
RW Carr, R.P. S/Sgt.
LW Roever, C.H. S/Sgt.
TG Schodrof, R.H. S/Sgt.



CREW LOADING LIST FOR
24 MARCH 1945

MISSION #269      Target: Stormede



24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 409

P Markuson, C.O. 1st Lt.
CP Hutchcroft, H.W. 2nd Lt.
N Maceyra, E. 2nd Lt.
B Hunter, E.R. S/Sgt.
R Burke, J.E. T/Sgt.
E Cain, P.L. T/Sgt.
RW Monaghan, T.D. S/Sgt.
LW Howard, J.B. S/Sgt.
TG Horn, J.E. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 340

P Griffin, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Cameron, A.S. 2nd Lt.
N Byall, J.R. 2nd Lt.
B Kosek, S.C. Sgt.
R Richardson, S.D. S/Sgt.
E Kirkpatrick, J.T. Sgt.
RW Jordan, F.C. Sgt.
LW Shealy, L.A. Sgt.
TG Dennis, R.W. Sgt.
RCM Watson, C.B. T/Sgt.
S-27 Allen, P. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 571

P Peterson, T.W. 1st Lt.
CP Yasi, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Damerst, W.A. 1st Lt.
B Lawson, R.F. 1st Lt.
R Green, C.H. T/Sgt.
E Bruney, G.L. T/Sgt.
RW Mitchell, D.F. Pfc.
LW Robertson, D.R. S/Sgt.
TG Hoffman, G.A. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 238

P Clower, W.J. 1st Lt.
CP Reel, H.D. 2nd Lt.
N Williams, R.B. 2nd Lt.
B Letourneau, D.R. S/Sgt.
R Stroh, J.E. T/Sgt.
E Tomaszewski, E.A. T/Sgt.
RW Schumacher, A.H. S/Sgt.
LW Galvin, G.M. S/Sgt.
TG Hendrickson, R.H. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 505

P Gates, H.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Day, J.G. 2nd Lt.
N Siwy, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Harrison, W.F. Sgt.
R Frigo, H.M. S/Sgt.
E Baker, R.E. S/Sgt.
RW Talcott, W.J. Sgt.
LW Lamkin, R.B. Sgt.
TG Ryan, W.M. Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 205

P Ardinger, J. 2nd Lt.
CP Grandmontagne, E.T. 2nd Lt.
N Wagner, H.W. 2nd Lt.
B Souther, P. Sgt.
R Huitt, G.E. T/Sgt.
E Wiedekehr, R.W. S/Sgt.
RW Jones, J.K. S/Sgt.
LW Gorback, B.S. S/Sgt.
TG White, A. S/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 446

P Vickers, R.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Schwarzer, D.E. 2nd Lt.
N Roberts, K.E. 2nd Lt.
B Henthorn, W.N. S/Sgt.
R Costanzo, N.T. S/Sgt.
E Krutys, E.V. T/Sgt.
RW Nock, W.H. S/Sgt.
LW Damuth, T.A. S/Sgt.
TG Leinweber, R.L. S/Sgt.
S-27 Krohn, O.G. T/Sgt.

24 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 313

P Adsit, B.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Weber, M. F/O
N Wedgeworth, Q.R. 2nd Lt.
B Timmons, K.L. S/Sgt.
R Close, H.R. S/Sgt.
E McDonald, R.O. S/Sgt.
RW Ritty, P.N. S/Sgt.
LW Anderson, W.G. S/Sgt.
TG Taylor, H.T. S/Sgt.
Estelle, W.E. 1st Lt.

24 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 577

CA Hunsaker, B.W. Capt.
P Propper, H.M. Capt.
CP Brier, A.L. 1st Lt.
N Barber, A.G. 1st Lt.
B Buente, V.C. 1st Lt.
R Dodd, W.C. T/Sgt.
E McPherson, C.C. T/Sgt.
RW Musante, A.R. S/Sgt.
LW Chapman, C.M. S/Sgt.
TG Wickham, R.H.  S/Sgt.
NV Kopecky, R.H. 1st Lt.
PN Garrett, H.L. 1st Lt.

24 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 670

P Wood, D.R. 1st Lt.
CP Peters, M.J. 2nd Lt.
N Satterthwait, D.R. F/O
B Segraves, W.D. 2nd Lt.
R Fleischmann, R.L. S/Sgt.
E Morgan, K.W. T/Sgt.
RW McCormick, F.L. S/Sgt.
LW Stuck, W.F. S/Sgt.
TG Wright, A.P. S/Sgt.
NV  Tucker, W.L. 2nd Lt.
PN Reynolds, D.W. 1st Lt.


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