• 5 July 1944
  • -
  • Practice Mission/li>

A practice mission involving the 14th, 2nd, 20th, and 95th Combat Wings was scheduled for this day. According to the 2nd Air Division teletype, "New crews and element leaders needing formation practice will be used. Emphasis will be placed on formation flying and timing. A Group commander or air executive will monitor each formation." The "target" was the center of the airfield at Suttonbridge; "bombing" was to be done visually by squadrons at 14,500 feet and an "actual run will be simulated including open bomb doors." The 392nd provided 36 planes for this practice mission--9 planes from each squadron. During this practice mission, two 392nd planes collided, resulting in five deaths from 1/Lt Reese's crew and six deaths from 2/Lt Fidel's crew. The circumstances leading to the collision are unknown.

CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACR

1/LT  Reese, Robert L.        (P)   576th   KILD
2/LT  Iannotta, Joseph S.     (CP)  576th   KILD
F/O   Minzenberg, William O.  (N)   576th   KILD
S/S   Thornton, Marion (MNI)  (G)   576th   KILD
S/S   Butzmann, Ralph O.E.    (G)   576th   KILD

This aircrew was flying B-24H #41-28731, Call Letter "V", during a practice formation flight. The rear aircraft piloted by 2/Lt Fidel ran into the rear of the aircraft piloted by 2/Lt Reese.

Since this was just a local training mission to practice formation flying, S/Sgt Donald Schumaker recounted that he, the other three gunners (Sgt Wayne Blackham, Sgt Chester Ellis, and Sgt Henry DeKeyser) and bombardier 2/Lt John Walters did not have to fly. Instead they went to a movie at a local theater and on their return to base found out that their crew and airplane were involved in a mid-air collision. S/Sgt Schumaker did not witness the crash as it occurred before his return to base. However, base personnel must have thought he was aboard the plane as his locker had been cleaned out.

2/Lt Iannotta is interred at the Cambridge American Cemetery in England in Grave G-7-2 and was awarded an Air Medal. His home state was New York.

2/LT  Fidel, Paul N.        (P)     579th   KILD
2/LT  Fitzgerald, Mark E.   (CP)    579th   KILD
S/S   Rasmussen, Harold D.  (G)     579th   KILD
S/S   Causey, Warren W.     (G)     579th   KILD

Lt. Fidel's crew was flying B-24H #42-95092, Call Letter "Bar T." This plane had completed a total of four combat missions up to this accident. During this practice mission, Lt Fidel's plane ran into the rear of Lt Reese's plane. After the mid-air collision with the Reese aircraft, it crashed and burned near the village of Foxley, Norfolk. Two of the fatalities are buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery in England: 2/Lt Paul M. Fidel in Grave F-3-26 and Sgt. Warren W. Causey in Grave C-2-52. Lt. Fidel's awards were one Air Medal, but no Purple Heart citation is noted and Sgt. Causey's citation also is an Air Medal with no indication of a Purple Heart award. Lt. Fidel had a home State of record of California while Sgt. Causey's was Indiana.

These photos show the wreckage of 1/Lt Reese's plane, #41-28731 (on the left) and 2/Lt Fidel's plane, #42-95092 (on the right). Photos are from the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.
flagline

CREW LOADING LIST - PRACTICE MISSION

5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 387
P Caldwell, R.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Harer, R.J. 2nd Lt.
N Thornburgh, J.W. 2nd Lt.
B Miller, S. 2nd Lt.
E Munden, F.R. S/Sgt.
R Westerfield, M.M. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 031
P Demers, J.R. 1st Lt.
CP Sylvester, H. 2nd Lt.
N Neisloss, S.L. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Bell, E.M. T/Sgt.
R Galea, J.H.D. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 222
CA Acebedo, B.H. 1st Lt.
P Levell, O.F. 1st Lt.
CP Caruso, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N Scott, K.R. 2nd Lt.
B Teague, H.S. 2nd Lt.
E Villegas, V.R. T/Sgt.
R Keegan, G.M. T/Sgt.
RW Jackson, H.B. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 407
P Paroly, B. 1st Lt.
CP McDonald, W.L. 2nd Lt.
N Tooman, H.K. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Standley, G.A. T/Sgt.
R Conley, J.M. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 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. T/Sgt.
R Danner, E.W. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 772
P Benson, A.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Jewett, G.A. 1st Lt.
N Reichl, J.G. 2nd Lt.
B Singer, S. F/O
E Henning, W.C. S/Sgt.
R Wickens, R.S. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 617
P Martin, R.C. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Hilbert, H.S. 2nd Lt.
N Freeman, G.L. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Blees, K.H. T/Sgt.
R Thiel, J.G. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 106
P Evans, A.W. 1st Lt.
CP Fenton, J.S. 2nd Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Patterson, R.C. T/Sgt.
R Glowienke, G.A. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 731 (Crashed)
P Reese, R.L. 1st Lt.
CP Iannotta, J.S. 2nd Lt.
N Minzenberg, W.O. F/O
B - -
E Thornton, M. T/Sgt.
R Butzmann, R.O.E. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 151
P Anundson, P.F. 1st Lt.
CP Hadley, L.R. 2nd Lt.
N Fehrenbacher, D.E. 2nd Lt.
B Scott, W.J. 2nd Lt.
E Cooke, W.B. T/Sgt.
R Clendening, R.D. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 040
P Faulkner, J.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Lach, R.F. 2nd Lt.
N Cox, R.B. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Bodkins, F.C. T/Sgt.
R Rue, A.W. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 196
P Whitteaker, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Cook, L.B. 2nd Lt.
N Gillett, F.A. 2nd Lt.
B Allegretti, E.E. 2nd Lt.
E Holmes, G.T. S/Sgt.
R McGivney, P.J. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 079
P Bay, R.A. 1st Lt.
CP Fisher, K.M. 2nd Lt.
N Clancy, E.A. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Weibusch, W.A. T/Sgt.
R Armstrong, G.H. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 867
P Miller, W.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Cassity, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Mohr, J. F/O
B - -
E Prach, F.T. S/Sgt.
R Hapopian, H.A. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 323
P Pierce, W.R. F/O
CP Brizendine, T.O. 2nd Lt.
N Putziger, S. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Stand, A.J. S/Sgt.
R Rankin, R.P. S/Sgt.
RW Cooperman, G.F. Sgt.
LW Ferenc, F.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Carrabba, C. Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 961
CA Hunsaker, B.W. 1st Lt.
P Monroe, D.E. 1st Lt.
CP Neill, C.W. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Sackler, H.J. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, P.J. 2nd Lt.
E Holmes, E.T. T/Sgt.
R Lancy, N.J. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 058
P Petty, R.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Crowe, W.Q. 2nd Lt.
N Page, C.R. 2nd Lt.
B Wickett, C.J. 2nd Lt.
E Miller, P.W. S/Sgt.
R Gaertner, R.E. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 012
P Buecheler, J.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Wardell, J.R. 2nd Lt.
N Luttrell, W.T. F/O
B - -
E Potts, B.F. Jr. S/Sgt.
R Cooper, J.P. Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 548
CA Player, G.C. Maj.
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 Stafford, J.A. S/Sgt.
LW Seery, J.B. S/Sgt.
NT Italia, S. 1st Lt.
TG Powers, G. S/Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 446
P Shelley, J.H. 1st 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. S/Sgt.
LW Padgett, P.P. S/Sgt.
BT Stewart, S.R. Sgt.
TG Childers, J.E. S/Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 337
P Alexander, A.B. 1st Lt.
CP Broussard, P.C. 2nd Lt.
N Kirkwood, T.G. 2nd Lt.
B Bennett, J.E. 2nd Lt.
E Sutphin, R.C. S/Sgt.
R Gallo, F.E. S/Sgt.
RW Fraser, A.C. Sgt.
LW Knephoff, J.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Kisler, C.L. Sgt.
5 Jul 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 Fontenot, W.L. Sgt.
R Whittington, T. T/Sgt.
RW Barker, D.G. G. S/Sgt.
LW Willey, J.R. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Kosinski, F.H. S/Sgt.
5 Jul 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 - -
LW Humphreys, E.E. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 764
P Quinn, L.F. 1st Lt.
CP Ritter, W.R. 2nd Lt.
N Kostlan, A. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Wilson, H.W. S/Sgt.
R Morgan, L.E. Cpl.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 187
CA Sabourin, R.E. Capt.
P Barton, P.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Riddleberger, W.I. III 2nd Lt.
N Wimer, F.P. 2nd Lt.
B Smith, C.E. F/O
E Soda, M.J. S/Sgt.
R Wright, G. S/Sgt.
RW Johnson, P.D. S/Sgt.
LW Serrette, R.L. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Boyce, E.L. S/Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 241
CA Amble, E.F. 1st Lt.
P Green, C.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Jones, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Wells, M.C. 2nd Lt.
B Oppenheim, A.M. 2nd Lt.
E Berezovsky, A. S/Sgt.
R Doolittle, D.R. S/Sgt.
RW Lockhart, K.T. Cpl.
LW Ralston, G.J. Cpl.
BT Matracia, A.A. Cpl.
TG Gustavson, R.I. Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 852
P Kohl, W.F. 1st Lt.
CP Shultz, G.R. 2nd Lt.
N Kerley, A.D. 2nd Lt.
B Foote, B.F. Jr. 2nd Lt.
E Higdon, R.E. T/Sgt.
R Scales, R.R. T/Sgt.
RW Ehring, E.O. Sgt.
LW Agalsoff, D.N. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Peters, J.M. Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 028
CA Niederriter, R.A. 1st Lt.
P Pounds, R.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Fisher, F.A. 2nd Lt.
N Richards, T.I. 2nd Lt.
B Woodard, D.G. 2nd Lt.
E Schmid, F.F. S/Sgt.
R Kochenash, C. S/Sgt.
RW Phillips, W.H. Cpl.
LW De Witt, N.D. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Chick, A.P. Sgt.
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 308
P Reinbold, H.L. F/O
CP Roetzel, P.B. 1st Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Thomas, F.S. T/Sgt.
R Chojecki, J.M. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 092 (Crashed)
P Fidel, P.N. 2nd Lt.
CP Fitzgerald, M.E. 2nd Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Rasmussen, H.D. S/Sgt.
R Causey, W.W. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 789
CA Keilman, M.H. Maj.
P McMillan, H.L. 1st Lt.
CP Guckert, D.J. 2nd Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Hill, T.H. T/Sgt.
R Lindberg, W.G. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 990
P Leser, H.J. 1st Lt.
CP Smoley, E.J. 2nd Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Rodgers, B.A. S/Sgt.
R Licht, J. S/Sgt.
RW Kielblock, A.L. Sgt.
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 160
CA Spartage, G. Capt.
P Thomas, J.F. 1st Lt.
CP Whitford, D. 2nd Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Nicolson, A. T/Sgt.
R Haywood, H.F. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 103
P Colvin, J.A. 1st Lt.
CP Taylor, R.E. 1st Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Padden, T.F. T/Sgt.
R West, G.E. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -
5 Jul 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 229
P Ruvolis, L. 1st Lt.
CP Hunt, N.J. 1st Lt.
N - -
B - -
E Cowley, J.C. T/Sgt.
R Garvey, J.A. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
BT - -
TG - -