• 3 March 1944
  • Mission #45
  • Target: Oranienburg

Eighth Air Force targets for this date concentrated in and around the Berlin area. The 1st Air Division was scheduled to hit a ball bearing factory at Erkner and the 3rd Air Division was to attack the Bosch Electrical Engineering equipment factory in Berlin. The 392nd's target was the Heinkel aircraft factory and airdrome in Oranienburg on the northern outskirts of Berlin.

Briefing for 28 aircrews was held at 0400 with take-offs beginning around 0810 hours. Each aircraft carried ten 500-pound General Purpose M-64 bombs and 2,700 gallons of fuel. The 392nd led the 14th Combat Wing and the 2nd Air Division with Maj Lawrence G. Gilbert and 1/Lt Roy Swangren in the lead PFF ship and Maj Myron Keilman and 2/Lt William Haenzi in the deputy lead PFF ship. The 579th was assigned lead with Capt Joseph B. Whittaker as lead Bombardier. General Peck of the 96th Combat Wing rode in 2/Lt Shea's ship in the 579th.

The PFF equipment in the lead ship was operating very poorly during assembly and eventually ceased to operate altogether. As a result, the lead PFF ship aborted after turning the lead over to the deputy PFF ship about 65 miles off the English Coast at 18,500 ft.

Assembly and formation flying was complicated by heavily layered clouds and extreme cold (some crews reporting temperatures as low as -55° C) causing windows to frost over. Many guns and turrets froze and failed to operate and, in general, it was difficult to maintain formation integrity. Aircraft were constantly aborting across the North Sea and after crossing the enemy coast. At 1110, the 392nd sighted Helgoland to the right; a turn at 1114 took the Group into a cloud bank. Despite climbing from 22,500 feet to 24,000 feet, the dense clouds persisted and the formation broke up. The decision to abandon operations was made at 1131. Most bombs were jettisoned in the North Sea or the Wash.

No enemy aircraft were seen but moderate flak was met over Helgoland. The 578th Squadron lost one aircraft, exact cause unknown, #491 with 1st Lieutenant Smith's crew all MIA. One ship received minor battle damage.

MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

3 MARCH 1944 - TARGET: ORANIENBURG
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02800 AIRCRAFT: #42-7491 "PREGNANT PEG" "Q-Bar" 4th Mission
AIRCREW: SMITH    *    SQUADRON: 578th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   1/LT Smith, Richard E.    KIA
CP  2/LT Schilling, John E.   KIA
N   2/LT Metz, Louis (NMI)    KIA
B   2/LT Hopple, Harry G.     KIA
R/O T/S  Clark, Frank C.      KIA
EnG T/S  Wooton, Warren J.    KIA
BG  S/S  Sheppard, William B. KIA
WG  S/S  Norton, Walter J. Jr KIA
WG  S/S  Heaslet, Worth W.    KIA
TG  S/S  Bertsch, Paul J.     KIA

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: This aircraft was last seen at take-off. Whether the crew continued on this mission is not known; however, the MACR record reflects the premise that this aircraft went down or ditched in the North Sea with no survivors.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: None are present in the MACR record.

BURIAL RECORDS: The names of all members of this crew are on the WALL OF THE MISSING at Cambridge American Cemetery. All are listed as having been awarded the Air Medal, as follows: Smith, Schilling, Metz, Hopple, Heaslet, Bertsch and Wooton with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Clark, Norton, and Sheppard with three Oak Leaf Clusters. All were also noted to have been awarded the Purple Heart.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information recorded is as follows: Smith (Father, George J., Salt Lake City, Utah); Schilling (Mother, Ilena D., Los Angeles, California); Metz (Father, Henry, New York, New York); Hopple (Father, John B., Williamstown, Pennsylvania); Clark (Mother, May J., Wyandotte, Michigan); Heaslet (Mother, Bessie O., Leach, Oklahoma); Wooton (Mother, Mary K., Haddon Heights, New Jersey); Norton (Father, Walter Jr. Sr., Lewistown, Montana); Sheppard (Wife, Virginia C., Richmond, Virginia); and Bertsch (Mother, Margaret, Anna, Ohio).

flagline

CREW LOADING LIST - MISSION #45

3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 411
(aborted no mission credit)
P Mathias, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Jones, L.C. 2nd Lt.
N Mateyka, M.R. 2nd Lt.
NG Erwin, B.F. S/Sgt.
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 Pennington, E.B. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 371
(aborted no mission credit)
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 Williams, R.F. S/Sgt.
AR Ware, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Hale, J.L. S/Sgt.
G Roti, D.A. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 651
P Ford, J.H. 1st Lt.
CP Bunting, D.W. 2nd Lt.
N Duncan, R.H. 2nd Lt.
B Thompson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
E Lewis, G.F. T/Sgt.
R Kramer, A.W. T/Sgt.
AE Roberson, L.P. S/Sgt.
AR Saucedo, J.A. S/Sgt.
AG Overholt, H.R. S/Sgt.
G Harvison, W.P. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 492
P Clover, D.K. 1st Lt.
CP Berger, R.M. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, C.W. 2nd Lt.
N McMillan, W.J. 1st Lt.
B McDonald, P.R. 2nd Lt.
E Losey, J.C. T/Sgt.
R Galler, I. T/Sgt.
AE Walters, C.D. S/Sgt.
AR Bell, R.W. S/Sgt.
AG Royal, C.K. S/Sgt.
G Ross, J.M. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 598
P Miller, H.W. 1st Lt.
CP Hurd, E.A. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Murray, F.P. 2nd Lt.
B Greene, D.R. 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.
3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 976
(aborted no mission credit)
P Filkel, O.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Hurd, J.S. 2nd Lt.
N Tyson, E.E. 2nd Lt.
B Henderson, A.D. 2nd Lt.
E Blevins, R.E. S/Sgt.
R Smith, R.C. S/Sgt.
AE Jarrett, C.W. Sgt.
AR Hoover, A.L. Sgt.
AG Farmwalt, W.H. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 835
(aborted no mission credit)
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 --
AG--
G Anderson, C.S. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 497
(aborted no mission credit)
P Peterson, L.G. 1st Lt.
CP Lidgard,W.V. 1st Lt.
N Long, A.L. 2nd Lt.
B Grey, W.L. 1st 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 Feller,?.R. S/Sgt.
G Stevens, R.K. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 826
(aborted no mission credit)
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. S/Sgt.
AE Mitchell, J.W. Sgt.
AR Wagner, F.J. S/Sgt.
AG Harwick, M. Sgt.
G Landry, L. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 824
(aborted no mission credit)
P Anderson, E.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Maben, J.F. 2nd Lt.
N Cashen, E.J. 2nd Lt.
B Lawrence, J.S. 2nd Lt.
E Farren, E.L. S/Sgt.
R Masteka, G.F. S/Sgt.
AE Cagle, W.C. S/Sgt.
AR Manville, F.E. Sgt.
AG Hardic, A.M. Sgt.
G Bixby, G.C. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 505
P Scheltens, G.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Vaughan, H.C. 2nd Lt.
N Coward, D.M. 2nd Lt.
B Fain, J.M. 2nd Lt.
E Morr, R.J. T/Sgt.
R ? S/Sgt.
AE ? Sgt.
AR Crotty, W.L. Pfc.
AG Thompson, I.F. S/Sgt.
G Freeman, J.B. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 489
(aborted no mission credit)
P Hunter, C.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Huston, P.N. 2nd Lt.
N Gilman, J.P. 2nd Lt.
B McBrayer, J.N. 2nd Lt.
E Macklin, C.D. S/Sgt.
R Sichau, W.R. S/Sgt.
AE Grimes, J.T. S/Sgt.
AR Morrow, W.L. S/Sgt.
AG Nelson, V.A. S/Sgt.
G Mills, E.J. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 945
P Sooy, B.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Mardis, K.A. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, O.R. 2nd Lt.
B Schwartz, E.S. 2nd Lt.
E Serafine, J.M. S/Sgt.
R Terrell, P.J. S/Sgt.
AE LeBleu, L.W. S/Sgt.
AR McBrayer, H.G. Jr. Sgt.
AG McArn, H.W. Sgt.
G Turner, L.F. S/ Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 624
(aborted no mission credit)
P Morefield, H.F. 1st Lt.
CP Grisell, R. 2nd Lt.
N Kaufman, K.S. 2nd Lt.
B Kuttner, F.F. 2nd Lt.
E Betterley, E.C. S/Sgt.
R Gerrard, R.W. T/Sgt.
AE Breithaupt, H.A. Sgt.
AR Coday, D.S. Sgt.
AG Blekkenk, J.H. Sgt.
G Adago, D.R. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 100
P Schildknecht, H.E. 1st Lt.
CP Long, J.D. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Hersh, A. 2nd Lt.
B Wasowicz, M.V. 2nd Lt.
E Sadler, R.S. T/Sgt.
R Begley, J.F. T/Sgt.
AE Reid, H.A. S/Sgt.
AR Reed, B.P. S/Sgt.
AG Reade, G.J. S/Sgt.
G Gegere, G.P. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 465
(aborted no mission credit)
P Johnson, R.L. 1st Lt.
CP Buchanan, R.P. 2nd Lt.
N Johnson, D.C. 1st Lt.
B Hunter, R.M. 1st Lt.
E Stancik, M. T/Sgt.
R Wohlstrom, T.C. Jr. T/Sgt.
AE Reynolds, H.D. S/Sgt.
AR Milliken, E.W. S/Sgt.
AG Sikoff, H. S/Sgt.
G Nixon, A.D. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 187
P Goodwin, R.K. 2nd Lt.
CP McGee, R.C. 2nd Lt.
N Wettig, C.O. 2nd Lt.
B Savage, C.C. 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 Halstead, H.C. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 518
P Carnine, G.D. 1st Lt.
CP Spears, K.E. 2nd 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.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 491
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 Clark, F.C. T/ Sgt.
AE Sheppard, W.B. S/ Sgt.
AR Heaslet, W.W. S/Sgt.
AG Bertsch, P.J. Sgt.
G Norton, W.J. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 981
P Cohen, S. 1st Lt.
CP Shoenhair, R.D. 2nd Lt.
N Mardirosian, A. 2nd Lt.
B Valker, G.E. 2nd Lt.
E Hayes, F.W. S/Sgt.
R Buckley, G.J. S/Sgt.
AE Carr, H.L. Sgt.
AR Dellinger, T.C. Sgt.
AG Thrower, W.E. Sgt.
G McGee, R.C. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 510
P Sherwood, W.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Anderson, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N Sheridan, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Bowen, H.A. 2nd Lt.
E Todd, R.E. S/Sgt.
R Mohr, D.C. S/Sgt.
AE Coveney, C.M. Sgt.
AR Grybos, T.J. Sgt.
AG Phillips, E.L. Sgt.
G Carroll, J.B. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 473
CA Peck, C.A. Brig. Gen.
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 Willig, N.J. Sgt.
G Adams, B. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 308
P Darnell, J.F. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Slagle, E.E. 2nd Lt.
N Stasney, A.J. 2nd Lt.
B Richardson F.E. 2nd Lt.
E Whitaker, J.W. S/Sgt.
R Mandel, R.F. T/Sgt.
AE Sundo, J.R. S/Sgt.
AR Rego, M.A. S/Sgt.
AG Courtney, E.J. Sgt.
G Ward, L.E. Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 990
P Spartage, G. 1st Lt.
CP Kern, R.B. 2nd Lt.
N Tauskey, W.A. 1st Lt.
B Campbell, R.A. 1st Lt.
E Warren, O.J. S/Sgt.
R Worthington, P.A. T/Sgt.
AE Helmke, E.F. S/Sgt.
AR Rinke, A.P. S/Sgt.
AG Ridgeway, J.W. S/Sgt.
G Riedlinger, A.J. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 160
P Hammond, G.L. 1st Lt.
CP Hatter, W.H. 2nd Lt.
N Sullivan, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Rodriguez, J.B. 2nd Lt.
E Pearson, W.M. T/Sgt.
R Sullivan, W. T/Sgt.
AE Hargrave, R.O. S/Sgt.
AR White, C.B. S/Sgt.
AG Goldberg, M.R. S/Sgt.
G Gaudreau, H.P. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 117
P Nugent, W.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Burciaga, L.R. 2nd Lt.
N Davis, W.X. 2nd Lt.
NG 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
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 469
(aborted no mission credit)
P Dickson, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Sassaman, F.J. 2nd Lt.
N McDade, J.J. 1st Lt.
B White, E.I. 1st Lt.
E York, R. T/Sgt.
R Zimpelman, J.G. T/Sgt.
AE Luchak, A. S/Sgt.
AR Erickson, C.W. S/Sgt.
AG Reilly, B.A. S/Sgt.
G O'Neill, F.L. Sgt
3 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 127
P Detrick, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Schneider, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Connolly, J.D. 1st Lt.
NG Beseda, J.F. S/Sgt.
E Owen, E.D. T/Sgt.
R Sibert, V.L. T/Sgt.
AE Ross, J.R. S/Sgt.
AR Andrews, W.E. T/Sgt.
AG Dill, W.F. S/Sgt.
G Bacon, G.W. S/Sgt.

Lead PFF ship (#177 from 93rd BG): Gilbert, L.G. Maj. and Swangren, R. 1st Lt.

(aborted, no mission credit) Deputy Lead PFF ship (#676):

Keilman, M.H. Maj. and Haenzi, W.R. 2nd Lt.