• 12 April 1944
  • Mission #65
  • Target: Zwickau Recalled

Briefings for this date were held between 0430-0500 for (26) aircrews. At approximately 0600 hours, the mission was changed with Schweinfurt becoming an alternative target and lead crews returning from their aircraft to be rebriefed on this change. Lieutenants Amoss and Sands of the 576th and 579th Squadrons were assigned as lead Bombardiers. A total of (21) aircraft were launched on the raid beginning at 1010 hours. Weather over England assembly areas again hampered aircraft formation join-up causing a number of aircraft from being able to assemble and forcing early return to base. Those mission ships continuing on encountered heavy AA fire enroute northwest of Mons, Belgium and because of weather at altitude, these aborted the mission at 5029N-0610E behind the leading 20th Combat Wing. On return, a 579th aircraft, #789 with 2nd Lieutenant C. L. Bell’s crew was hit by flak with two of the crew gunners bailing out in the vicinity of Dunkirk Sergeants Fleege and Gellis while the ship and remaining crew returned safely to base. In all (10) aircraft received battle damage from flak with Group returning to land safely around 1215 hours. Mission credit was given.

MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

12 APRIL 1944 - TARGET: ZWICKAU (Recalled)
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #04379 AIRCRAFT: #42-109789 "MAIRZY DOATS" "G-Bar" 26th Mission
AIRCREW: BELL    *    SQUADRON: 579th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT Bell, Charles L.      Returned to Base
CP  2/LT Dorn, Walter A.       Returned to Base
N   2/LT Orenbach, David (NMI) Returned to Base
B   2/LT Bogie, Walter W.      Returned to 8ase
R/O S/S  Knight, Joseph S.     Returned to Base
EnG S/S  Gilmore, Elbert E.    Returned to Base
BT  SGT  Blanco, James W.      Returned to Base
WG  SGt  Gellis, Leon (NMI)    KIA
WG  SGT  Fleege, John F.       KIA
TG  SGT  Egan,  Arthur J.      Returned to Base

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: This aircraft and crew were hit by AA fire (flak) during their return over enemy held territory in Holland, east of and over Dunkirk. The two Waist Gunners bailed out presumably thinking the plane was going down. However, the aircraft and other crewmembers landed safely back at Wendling later. (Note: This plane later was transferred to the Second Air Division’s 445th Bomb Group and having flown then, (50) combat missions).

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: A later statement taken from the aircrew by the 392nd’s Assistant Adjutant, Capt. Franklin W. Dawson, on 29 April 1944 reported the events as follows: "Aircraft No. B-24J 42-109789 was hit by flak (70) miles east of Dunkirk at 1246 hours (hydraulic and interphone systems were knocked out). More flak was encountered over Dunkirk upon return and Sgts. Fleege and Gellis jumped. Crew members report both parachutes opening and believe that both landed safely on the beach at Dunkirk, though the possibility remains that they landed in the water just off shore". A German casualty report #KU2666 reported the finding of Sgt. Fleege’s body, washed ashore near Ostend on 14 April, and identified by dog tags. No report was given for the other member, Sgt. Gellis.

BURIAL RECORDS: The German Report noted above reflected the initial interment of Sgt. Fleege in the English Memorial Cemetery at Coxyde on 15 April 1944. No account for Sgt. Gellis is given. Both crewmen are accounted for on U.S. National overseas Military Cemetery listings at the ARDENNES Cemetery, however, only Sgt. Fleege has a burial plot given in Grave C-3-13 there. Sgt. Gellis is recorded on the WALL OF THE MISSING only, his body having never been found. Both men received the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: No information is available.

flagline

CREW LOADING LIST - MISSION #65

12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 511
P Kamenitsa, W.T. 2nd Lt.
CP Graham, G.E. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Caulfield, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Miller, G.A. 2nd Lt.
E Heater, E.J. S/Sgt.
R Trivison, J.R. S/Sgt.
RW Krejci, J.J. Sgt.
LW Guillot, O.R. Sgt.
BT Young, A.B. Sgt.
TG Morgan, L.C. Sgt.
12 Apr 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. T/Sgt.
R Jeffcoat, C.M. T/Sgt.
RW Williams, R.F. S/Sgt.
LW Prost, B.J. Sgt.
BT Lancaster, P.M. S/Sgt.
TG Roti, D.A. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 772
CA Everhart, W.C. Capt.
P Neff, C.L. 1st Lt.
CP Simpson, H.L. 1st Lt.
N Smith, C.W. 1st Lt.
B Jackson, C.J. 1st Lt.
B Hadeka, A.A. 1st Lt.
E Benham, C.E. T/Sgt.
R Diaz, C.A. T/Sgt.
RW Hale, J.L. S/Sgt.
LW Walter, C.D. S/Sgt.
BT Pennington, E.B. S/Sgt.
TG Ware, J.W. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 670
P Barnes, L.J. Capt.
CP Lowell, C.L. Capt.
N McShane, W.F. 1st Lt.
N Duncan, R.H. 1st Lt.
B Amoss, R.T. 1st Lt.
E Lewis, E.L. Jr. T/Sgt.
R Sibert, V.L. T/Sgt. (579th)
RW Malloy, P.D. S/Sgt.
LW Choromanski, J.E. S/Sgt.
BT Riley, A.J. S/Sgt.
TG Crowley, C.J. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 097
P Ofenstein, L.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Wall, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Purner, D.J. 2nd Lt.
B Buzzi, H.G. 2nd Lt.
E Krushas, V.P. S/Sgt.
R Kennett, R.L. S/Sgt.
RW Smith, A.M. S/Sgt.
LW Hatton, H.J. Sgt.
BT Schmelzle, O.G. Sgt.
TG Rowlett, R.W. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 027 (no mission credit)
P Johnston, H.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Merriam, H. 2nd Lt.
N Berman, M. 2nd Lt.
B Moos, A.J. 2nd Lt.
E Zonza, F.S. S/Sgt.
R Thompson, T.E. S/Sgt.
RW Mackin, L.B. Sgt.
LW Ferry, C.W. Sgt.
BT Planakis, B.J. Sgt.
TG Porter, J.M. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 062 (no mission credit)
P Filkel, O.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Hurd, J.S. 2nd Lt.
N Tyson, E.E. 2nd Lt.
B Tudor, J.R. 2nd Lt.
E Blevins, R.E. T/Sgt
R Smith, R.C. T/Sgt.
RW Kirkpatrick, H.K. S/Sgt.
LW Farmwalt, W.H. Pvt.
BT Jarrett, C.W. S/Sgt.
TG Hoover, A.L. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 560
P Tyler, A.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Ricci, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N Colbrook, W.L. 2nd Lt.
B Wytak, S.M. 2nd Lt.
E MacDonald, G.E. S/Sgt.
R Metz, W. S/Sgt.
RW Blaida, J.M. Sgt.
LW Brown, G.R. Sgt.
BT Podolski, P.D. Sgt.
TG Miller, C.X. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 129
P Acebedo, B.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Coe, V.E. 2nd Lt.
N Kramer, L.G. 2nd Lt.
B Robinson, W.F. 2nd Lt.
E Bullard, R.E. S/Sgt.
R Kauffman, T.H. S/Sgt.
RW Keller, C.T. Sgt.
LW Allred, E.L. Sgt.
BT Blaney, R.E. Pvt.
TG Abraham, R.A. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 704 (no mission credit)
P Bass, L.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Gahm, K.L. 2nd Lt.
N Steele, W.M. 2nd Lt.
B Stover, A.R. 2nd Lt.
E Knettel, G.A. S/Sgt.
R Thomas, J.W. S/Sgt.
RW Reeves, W.E. Sgt.
LW Brzostowski, J.J. Sgt.
BT Burnett, W.H. Sgt.
TG Norrell, R.E. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 759
P Scheltens, G.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Vaughan, H.C. 2nd Lt.
N Coward, D.M. 2nd Lt.
B Mayfield, W.A. 2nd Lt.
E Morr, R.J. T/Sgt.
R Borden, K.L. S/Sgt.
RW Mandelkow, E. S/Sgt.
LW Crotty, W.L. S/Sgt.
BT Thompson, I.F. S/Sgt.
TG Freeman, J.B. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 432
P Johnson, O.P. 2nd Lt.
CP Tedford, L.W. 2nd Lt.
N Roberts, M.E. 2nd Lt.
B Feagan, H.C. 1st Lt.
E Whitson, M.D. S/Sgt.
R Perlberg, A.C. S/Sgt.
RW Barnard, C.F. S/Sgt.
LW Joyce, R. S/Sgt.
BT Kaeble, R.R. S/Sgt.
TG Marchuk, J. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 546
P Ambrose, D.N. 1st Lt.
CP Dorrell, W. 1st Lt.
N Beatson, R.J. 1st Lt.
B Tierney, J.F. 2nd Lt.
E Cummings, D.L. T/Sgt.
R Sawyer, G.H. T/Sgt.
RW Davis, J.A. S/Sgt.
LW Oasheim, G.W. S/Sgt.
BT Hall, E.A. S/Sgt.
TG Dunham, H.D. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 764
P Rogers, G.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Weir, R.A. 2nd Lt
N Roper, J.A. 2nd Lt.
B Kane, F.J. 2nd Lt.
E McCalicher, R.L. S/Sgt.
R Lawson, E.J. S/Sgt.
RW Longo, R.J. Sgt.
LW Andrews, H.L. Sgt.
BT Danford, R.W. Sgt.
TG Gienko, E.J. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 517
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.
RW Gegere, G.P. Sgt.
LW Reade, G.J. S/Sgt.
BT Reid, H.A. S/Sgt.
TG Reed, B.P. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 896
P Cohen, S. 1st Lt.
CP Shoenhair, R.D. 1st Lt.
N Valker, G.E. 1st Lt.
B Hardy, E.C. Sgt.
E Hayes, F.W. T/Sgt.
R Buckley, G.J. T/Sgt.
RW Carr, H.L. S/Sgt.
LW Dellinger, T.C. S/Sgt.
BT Thrower, W.E. S/Sgt.
TG Dedmon, S.E. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 105
P Fletcher, R.E. 1st Lt.
CP McCarthy, C.G. 2nd Lt.
N Ortonberg, B. 2nd Lt.
NG Wilk, H. S/Sgt.
E Kelly, J.E. T/Sgt.
R Biska, S.L. Sgt.
RW Osborne, J.H. Sgt.
LW Wukotich, M.L. S/Sgt.
BT Mancuso, M.A. S/Sgt.
TG Rider, F.D. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C0?25
P Bridson, G.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Green, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N White, R. 2nd Lt.
B Willemin, W.W. 2nd Lt.
E Ashcraft, B. S/Sgt.
R Paolucci, U. S/Sgt.
RW Seery, J.B. Sgt.
LW Stafford, J.A. Sgt.
BT Powers, G. Sgt.
TG Tatelbaum, G. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 688
P Eisermann, G.O. 2nd Lt.
CP Fothergill, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, J.W. 2nd Lt.
B Yacavone, J.P. 2nd Lt.
E Downing, D.G. S/Sgt.
R Davis, R.D. S/Sgt.
RW Hall, N.L. Sgt.
LW McGlinn, M.J. Sgt.
BT Jenkins, R.N. Sgt.
TG Coleman, E.B. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 615
P Spartage, G. 1st Lt.
CP Kern, R.B. 1st Lt.
N Tauskey, W.A. 1st Lt.
B Campbell, R.A. 1st Lt.
B Sands, J.E. 2nd Lt.
E Burns, R.N. T/Sgt.
R Worthington, P.A. T/Sgt.
RW Helmke, E.F. S/Sgt.
TT Warren, O.J. S/Sgt.
BT Riedlinger, A.J. S/Sgt.
TG Ridgeway, J.W. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 552 (no mission credit)
P Lotterhos, R.H. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Zolomy, E.M. 2nd Lt.
N Healing, K.A. 2nd Lt.
B Ward, W.D. S/Sgt.
E Thompson, R.L. T/Sgt.
R Garay, M.W. T/Sgt.
RW Wright, J.R. S/Sgt.
LW Rebiejo, F. S/Sgt
BT Bunyea, E.W. S/Sgt.
TG Moody, C.B. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 544
P Hammond, G.L. 1st Lt.
CP Schumacher, R.L 2nd Lt.
N Sullivan, J.J. 1st Lt.
B Rodriguez, J.B. 2nd Lt.
E Pearson, W.M. T/Sgt.
R Sullivan, W. Jr. T/Sgt.
RW White, C.B. S/Sgt.
LW Hargrave, R.O. S/Sgt.
BT Goldberg, M.R. S/Sgt.
TG Gaudreau, H.P. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 510 (no mission credit)
P Ellinger, C.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Morton, N.H. 2nd Lt.
N Wieland, J.L. 2nd Lt.
B Hall, R.H. 2nd Lt.
E Coble, A.D. S/Sgt.
R Olson, R. S/Sgt.
RW Dilley, P.E. Sgt.
LW Phillips, H.E. Sgt.
BT Weeks, H.H. Sgt.
TG Hasenfratz, M.J. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 261
P Nugent, W.A. 1st 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.
RW Pawlyshyn, M.J. S/Sgt.
LW McGahey, G.L. S/Sgt.
BT Lander, W. S/Sgt.
TG Sowers, D.R. S/Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 789
P Bell, C.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Dorn, W.A. 2nd Lt.
N Orenbach, D. 2nd Lt.
B Bogie, W.W. F/O
E Gilmore, E.E. S/Sgt.
R Knight, J.S. S/Sgt.
RW Gellis, L. Sgt.
LW Fleege, J.F. Sgt.
BT Blanco, J.W. Sgt.
TG Egan, A.J. Sgt.
12 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 474
P Pardue, R.V. 2nd Lt.
CP Jernigen, W.R. 2nd Lt.
N Semler, R.E. 2nd Lt.
B Crowell, R.K. 2nd Lt.
E McCary, L.F. S/Sgt.
R Evans, W.E. S/Sgt.
RW Holley, C.B. Sgt.
LW Lanning, E.G. Sgt.
BT Koroluck, S. Sgt.
TG Thornburg, R.C. Sgt.