392nd Bomb Group

Target: Magdeburg - 29 June 1944 - Mission #124

An armament factory in the north suburbs of the city was the target for this first Group mission to Magdeburg on the Elbe River just southwest of Berlin approximately 80 miles. Between 0210 and 0310 hours (33) crews were briefed and take-offs commenced at 0526 in poor weather conditions. Weather enroute and over the target was unfavorable for visual bombing as well, such that bombing of the (30) ships which released (828) 100# and 500# GPs was poorly executed. There were no strikes on the aiming point though all bombs did fall in the target area doing damage to railroad tracks and spurs. While no fighters were encountered, AA fire over the target was particularly accurate and intensive. Flak damaged two aircraft to such an extent that both crash landed back in England on return with wounded aboard. From the 579th, Lieutenant N. J. Hunt’s crew in #035 crash landed back at Wendling with wounded aboard. In ship #037, Lieutenant R. L. Miller’s crew from the 579th also had to crash land at Horsham St. Faith, home of the 458th Bomb Group; their engineer had been badly wounded by flak and died shortly before the plane landed.

#42-95035, Call Me Later, after she crashed at Wendling with wounded aboard
Click to enlarge


T/SGT Freeman, Chauncey W. (EnG) 579th KIA

T/Sgt Freeman was the engineer on 1/Lt R.L. Miller’s aircrew flying B24H #42-95037, nicknamed “Sally”, Call Letter Bar-M. According to bombardier 2/Lt R.W. Baker, they had smooth sailing going over because of heavy cloud cover. Above the clouds, they weren't shot at until near the target. Bad weather prevented them from seeing the factory, so they just "let 'em go" and turned to high-tail it home. (He found out later that they missed the factory but “bombed hell out of their railroads.”) Exploding flak was all around and it shook their plane so badly that it was a “miracle” the plane didn't come apart. Then, a shell exploded right in front and to the left of the plane, wounding Miller and very seriously wounding Freeman.

The plane wasn't damaged too badly and they limped back across the Channel toward Wendling. They didn't have anything to dull Freeman’s pain, so 2/Lt Baker gave him a pencil to bite on. He chewed through several before he died. Baker said it was very hard to watch his friend eat pencils to kill the pain, knowing he was not going to make it, but praying he would. Some time before they crash landed, Chauncey Freeman passed away.

They were low on fuel and didn't think they could make it back to Wendling. Therefore, Miller tried to land at the 458th BG base at Horsham St Faiths, about 15 miles from Wendling. Unfortunately, he was told to circle because the 458th was trying to land its own planes. He ended up crash landing in a potato field about 400 yards from a farm house. Miller did an excellent job of the crash landing with small damage to the plane and no further injuries to the crew.

The locals came out to help them. Baker remembers that “the farmer who owned the field came out and was raising hell with them for tearing up his field and ruining his crop. When a couple of British MPs got to the site, they took the farmer aside and reminded him that if it weren't for the Yanks, he'd be serving those potatoes to Germans!”

“Sally” was dismantled and taken away in pieces over a period of several days. It was transported by road to the SAD base at Watton in Norfolk and re-assembled when the repairs were completed. Put back into active combat duty, it finished the war. It was then sent back to the US and broken up for scrap.

When 2/Lt Baker returned home to Baytown, Texas, after the war, his father met him at the station. Before they went anywhere else, 2/Lt Baker said he had to go to Freeport, Texas, to visit Chauncey Freeman's parents and tell them what had happened to their son. Baker told his father that his son came home alive but theirs did not and that he owed it to the Freeman family to see them even before he went home to his own family.

In the December 1982 issue of the Second Air Division JOURNAL, Ross DeFrates provided this information about his crewmate, T/Sgt Chauncey Freeman: "A short time before our fourth mission, we were watching our Group return from a rough mission and one of our planes, riddled with flak, came to a stop near us. We watched as the medics removed two casualties. One was the Engineer who had been killed when a piece of flak came through the bottom of the plane and hit him in the head. Chauncey Freeman made the remark, "I hope that doesn't happen to me."

Then came our fourth mission and our fortunes changed. The target was Magdeburg with no fighter support provided in our vicinity. We had seen flak, but nothing like that day. The Germans were really on target; they laid it right in our lap. Their fighters hit the first Group and made a pass or two at us before leaving and the flak barrage was resumed. Finally, we reached the target and I toggled our bombs on the target which was supposed to be a ball bearing plant. We lost one engine over the target. Later, the Pilot called me to assist on the flight deck. When I left the turret, and as I came near the bomb bay, I saw what I thought was water pouring from a hole. It dawned on me that we don't carry water - that is 100 octane gasoline. When I reached to pull myself onto the flight deck, I saw I was covered with blood and thought I had been hit, but I had no pain. Then, I saw Chauncey Freeman on the flight deck with most of his head missing and almost collapsed, not only from shock, but I had forgotten to plug in my portable oxygen mask. How cruel and ironic that Chauncey should die like that.

We lost a lot of fuel, began losing altitude, and lagging behind the formation. Luckily, no enemy fighters were around to finish us off. We made it back over Holland and considered ourselves lucky, when one lousy flak station began tracking us like a wounded duck because of our low altitude. One burst knocked out the windshield, hitting the Pilot in the left hand and severing several fingers; broken glass hit our Co-Pilot in the face, temporarily blinding him. A later burst caught us in another engine causing it to quit half way across the channel. Our Pilot nursed the plane as long as possible, but later there was nothing to do but crash land it in a field not far from Wendling. The plane was "Sally" and she was completely ruined by the time we stopped sliding on the freshly plowed field."

T/Sgt Freeman is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery on State Highway 64 just west of Tyler, Texas. The aircraft was on its 16th mission this day.

#42-95037, Sally, after pilot 1/Lt R.L. Miller crashed-landed at Horsham St. Faith.


29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
P Demers, J.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Sylvester, H. 2nd Lt.
N Neisloss, S.L. 2nd Lt.
B Adamson, J.C. 2nd Lt.
E Bell, E.M. S/Sgt.
R Galea, J.H.D. S/Sgt.
RW Allen, W.J. S/Sgt.
LW Baer, D.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Arnold, E.L. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 194
P Richeson, W.H. 1st Lt.
CP Wiley, D.A. 2nd Lt.
N Frey, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Claytor, D.D. 2nd Lt.
E Urban, J.J. S/Sgt.
R Danner, E.W. S/Sgt.
RW Dosier, C.A. Sgt.
LW Montgomery, H. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Albert, W.W. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 907
P Robertson, S.J. 1st Lt.
CP Willis, V.C. 2nd Lt.
N Gates, J.S. 2nd Lt.
B Drake, C.W. 2nd Lt.
E Landry, G.E. S/Sgt.
R Michel, G.W. S/Sgt.
RW Kintana, F.T. Sgt.
LW Moore, J.T.P. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Burdette, J.L. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 106
P Evans, A.W. 1st Lt.
CP Fenton, J.S. 2nd Lt.
N Shoenberger, R.W. 2nd Lt.
B Conner, J.K. 2nd Lt.
E Patterson, R.C. T/Sgt.
R Glowienke, G.A. S/Sgt.
RW Naber, H.W. S/Sgt.
LW Buonocore, F.L. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Powell, L.R. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 387
P Peifer, K.W. 1st Lt.
CP Nielsen, P.H. 2nd Lt.
N Coe, J.D. 2nd Lt.
B Ott, C.A. 2nd Lt.
E Thornborrow, R.R. S/Sgt.
R Fitzmorris, T.L. S/Sgt.
RW Nichols, L.E. Sgt.
LW Parrish, J.I. Sgt.
BT Sherman, I.G. Sgt.
TG Calvitt, J.L. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 131 (no mission credit)
P Holliday, B.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Daniel, P.U. 2nd Lt.
N McCutcheon, J. 2nd Lt.
B Serna, M.M. 2nd Lt.
E Sevier, R.M. S/Sgt.
R Rambo, K.B. S/Sgt.
RW Johnson, L.A. Sgt.
LW Wattles, L.O. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Negus, J.V. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 617
P Martin, R.C. Jr. 2nd Lt.
CP Hilbert, H.S. 2nd Lt.
N Freeman, G.L. 2nd Lt.
B Wear, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Blees, K.H. S/Sgt.
R Thiel, J.G. S/Sgt.
RW Cannon, M.H. S/Sgt.
LW Minton, D.C. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Roberts, M.E. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 070
P Paroly, B. 2nd Lt.
CP McDonald, W.L. 2nd Lt.
N Tooman, H.K. 2nd Lt.
B Supp, J.W. 2nd Lt.
E Standley, G.A. T/Sgt.
R Conley, J.M. T/Sgt.
RW Prost, B.J. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Clarke, A.B. S/Sgt.
TG Tart, E.E. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 415
P Pierson, L.R. 1st Lt.
CP Hart, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Schug, E.W. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Hartline, J.B. S/Sgt.
R Dawson, J.C. S/Sgt.
RW Gover, G.W. Sgt.
LW Cyran, T.J. S/Sgt..
NG DelSol, E.J. Sgt.
TG Vandeventer, L.V. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 012
P Kuster, K.D. 1st Lt.
CP Sage, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Wright, H.R. 2nd Lt.
B Kelly, C.F. 2nd Lt.
E Phillabaum, R.J. S/Sgt.
R Syverson, C.D. S/Sgt.
RW Dickman, H. S/Sgt.
LW Kimball, B.A. Sgt.
BT Collins, W.P. S/Sgt.
TG Denton, W. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 096 (no mission credit)
P Monroe, D.E. 1st Lt.
CP Neill, C.W. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Cox, R.B. 2nd Lt.
NG Lucas, L.M. S/Sgt.
E Holmes, E.T. T/Sgt.
R Lancy, N.J. T/Sgt.
RW Hall, G.E. S/Sgt.
LW Wambach, J. S/Sgt
BT - -
TG Desonne, M. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 432
P Johnson, O.P. 1st Lt.
CP Tedford, L.W. 2nd Lt.
N Bober, L. 2nd Lt.
B Gump, J.A. 2nd Lt.
E Whitson, M.D. T/Sgt.
R Nemeth, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Hawes, J.C. S/Sgt.
LW Kaeble, R.R. S/Sgt.
R Salus, R.W. S/Sgt.
TG Horton, H.E. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 079
P Ellis, J.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Bate, H.C. 2nd Lt.
N Roy, D.G. 2nd Lt.
NG Hultengren, C.W. Sgt.
E Jankowski, S.F. S/Sgt.
R Holling, J.H. S/Sgt.
RW Minick, F. Sgt.
LW Matthews. A.D. S/Sgt.
BT McGinley, W.C. Sgt.
TG Shaeffer, J.O. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 164
P Barron, J.N. 2nd Lt.
CP Stalsby, S.C. F/O
N Attinson, C. 2nd Lt.
B Feltman, D.S. 2nd Lt.
E Slater, D.L. S/Sgt.
R Osborne, R.C. S/Sgt.
RW Salvato, T.W. Sgt.
LW Demar, S. Sgt.
NG Garner, H.S. T/Sgt.
TG Cooper, J.T. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 323
P Pierce, W.R. F/O
CP Brizendine, T.O. 2nd Lt.
N Putziger, S. 2nd Lt.
B Liske, J.R. F/O
E Stand, A.J. S/Sgt.
R Rankin, R.P. S/Sgt.
RW Apter, A. Sgt.
LW Ferenc, F.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Carrabba, C. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 040 (no mission credit)
P McGrath, T.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Faulkner, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, P.J. 2nd Lt.
B Brennan, A.F. 2nd Lt.
E McFadden, R.J. S/Sgt.
R Stewart, G.S. S/Sgt.
RW Vines, V.L. S/Sgt.
LW Walsh, H.R. S/Sgt.
BT Shoemaker, D.R. S/Sgt.
TG Schroeder, R.C. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 446
P Shelley, J.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Scarpino, P. 2nd Lt.
N Maroun, N.P. 2nd Lt.
B Chinchilla, F.P. 2nd Lt.
E Kane, F.M. S/Sgt.
R Smith, P.E. S/Sgt.
RW Hollenbeck, C.E. Sgt.
LW Padgett, P.P. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Childers, J.E. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 295
P Smith, W.C. 1st Lt.
CP Wilson, E.R. 2nd Lt.
N McMahon, E.J. F/O
B Jackson, C.R. 2nd Lt.
E Seaton, K.L. T/Sgt.
R Kostrewski, G.T. T/Sgt.
RW Humphreys, E.E. S/Sgt.
LW McRight, W.O. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG VanVliet, P. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 896
P Stroble, W.A. 1st Lt.
CP Slafka, C.M. 2nd Lt.
N Silverman, H.I. 1st Lt.
B Haukom, C.B. S/Sgt.
E Vassey, E.E. T/Sgt.
R Bull, F.L. T/Sgt.
RW Spika, C.J. S/Sgt.
LW Vickery, P.C. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Vetrano, A. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 478
P Bridson, G.L. 1st Lt.
CP Green, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N White, R.L. 1st Lt.
B Willemin, W.W. 2nd Lt.
E Ashcraft, B. S/Sgt.
R Paolucci, U. S/Sgt.
RW Seery, J.B. S/Sgt.
LW Stafford, J.A. S/Sgt.
NT Italia, S. 1st Lt.
TG Powers, G. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 033
P Hamblen, C.W. 1st Lt.
CP McCarter, H.L. 2nd Lt.
N Hurst, F.B. Jr. 2nd Lt.
B Joyce, G.P. 2nd Lt.
E Sears, A.R. T/Sgt.
R Burnell, W.E. T/Sgt.
RW Butler, G.R. S/Sgt.
LW Harris, H.E. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Lindsay, V.R. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 241
P Cheek, C.W. 1st Lt.
CP Szenegato, J. 2nd Lt.
N Beddingfield, L.L. 2nd Lt.
B Morse, A. 2nd Lt.
E Curry, E.D. T/Sgt.
R Schroeck, L.A. T/Sgt.
RW Corcoran, R.G. S/Sgt.
LW Layman, H.A. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Miller, J.E. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 852 (no mission credit)
P Kohl, W.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Shultz, G.R. 2nd Lt.
N Foote, B.F. Jr. 2nd Lt.
B Kerley, A.D. 2nd Lt.
E Higdon, R.E. S/Sgt.
R Scales, R.R. S/Sgt.
RW Ehring, E.O. Sgt.
LW Agalsoff, D.N. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Peters, J.M. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 293
P Fogarty, D.M. 1st Lt.
CP Walker, R.S. 1st Lt.
N Ferry, J.R. 2nd Lt.
B Gajewski, R.B. F/O
E Fitzgerald, M.B. S/Sgt.
R Whittington, T. S/Sgt.
RW Legendre, V.J. S/Sgt.
LW Barker, D.G. G. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Miller, M. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 041
P Henderson, P.B. 1st Lt.
CP Stull, R.B. 2nd Lt.
N Williamson, R.D. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Thompson, A.W. S/Sgt.
R Burns, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Smith, G.R. S/Sgt.
LW Vantine, J.E. S/Sgt.
NG Ivey, E.H. Jr. Sgt.
TG Howell, J.L. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 037
P Miller, R.L. 1st Lt.
(wounded by flak)
CP Connor, J.A. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Hession, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Baker, R.W. 2nd Lt.
E Freeman, C.W. T/Sgt.
(killed in action by flak)
R Carlstrand, R.E. T/Sgt.
RW McEwan, D.L. S/Sgt.
LW Fritz, G.G. S/Sgt.
NT DeFrates, R.R. S/Sgt.
TG Wolfe, P.J. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 160
P White, H.A. 1st Lt.
CP Prouse, H.W. 1st Lt.
N Forde, W.I. 2nd Lt.
B Green, H.J. 2nd Lt.
E Thom, F.S. T/Sgt.
R Reynolds, J.J. T/Sgt.
RW Dunbar, R.J. S/Sgt.
LW Dinsmore, W.F. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Whitlock, G.E. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 990
P Leser, H.J. 1st Lt.
CP Smoley, E.J. 2nd Lt.
N Sellers, F.R. 2nd Lt.
B Fleck, E.R. 2nd Lt.
E Rodgers, B.A. S/Sgt.
R Licht, J. S/Sgt.
RW Weckel, W.R. Sgt.
LW Fowler, D.E. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Damiano, A. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 877
P Cornell, J.T. 1st Lt.
CP Berger, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Ingels, G.A. 2nd Lt.
NG Daywalt, J.E. S/Sgt.
E Hebert, I.L. T/Sgt.
R Kuchta, J. T/Sgt.
RW Stahl, W.H. S/Sgt.
TT Rawson, B.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Siegel, G.W. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 103
P Thomas, J.F. 1st Lt.
CP Whitford, D. 2nd Lt.
N McFarlin, J.F. F/O
B Eller, M. S/Sgt.
E Nicolson, A. T/Sgt.
R Haywood, H.F. S/Sgt.
RW Powers, R.J. S/Sgt.
LW McEvoy, P.S. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG O'Neill, W.P. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 035
P Hunt, N.J. 1st Lt.
CA Roetzel, P.B. 1st Lt.
N Shelton, O.W. 1st Lt.
(wounded by flak)
B Sullivan, F.J. 2nd Lt.
(wounded by flak)
E McKinzie, W.L. T/Sgt.
R Wilkinson, H.C. T/Sgt.
RW Osment, M. S/Sgt.
LW Bennett, G.H. S/Sgt.
NG Gichan, W.W. 2nd Lt.
(wounded by flak)
TG Jackson, L.A. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 308
P Menard, J.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Holmes, J.G. 2nd Lt.
N Krause, T.J. 2nd Lt.
B Hartwick, E.J. 2nd Lt.
E Walsh, D.A. S/Sgt.
R Blackford, L.N. S/Sgt.
RW Holton, Q.F. Sgt.
LW Redman, G.A. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Tubbs, H.L. Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 544
P Leghorn, A.F. 1st Lt.
CP Floyd, R.B. 2nd Lt.
N Seymer, R.F. 2nd Lt.
B Rothman, M. 2nd Lt.
E Powell, W.A. S/Sgt.
R Pattison, W.G. S/Sgt.
RW Huskey, C.O. S/Sgt.
LW Squires, R. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Lanier, J.E. S/Sgt.
29 Jun 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 789
P McMillan, H.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Guckert, D.J. 2nd Lt.
N Jennings, C.H. 2nd Lt.
B Gallagher, J.R. 2nd Lt.
E Hill, T.H. T/Sgt.
R Lindberg, W.G. S/Sgt.
RW Dodge, F.V. S/Sgt.
LW Hardy, R.W. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Wiersma, S.A. S/Sgt.
Maj. Francine was aboard the PFF ship.