• 12 September 1944
  • Mission #167
  • Target: Hannover-Misburg

An oil storage depot near Hannover was assigned for attack and at 0315-0415 hours (30) crews were briefed. Take-offs began at 0730 with (28) launching. An effective smoke screen over the target prevented bomb run synchronization visually. As a result, (11) aircraft bombed by PFF means with others choosing Targets of Opportunity. Nine bombed Northeim; (5) hit Lehrte and (3) did not release. A total of (296) 500# GPs were released with most results unobserved. No fighter opposition was encountered in force but Lieutenant R. B. Larson’s crew in #480, falling behind because of flak damage, when attacked by (2) FW-190s shot down one and damaged the other. Flak caused considerable bomber damage and resulted in the loss of one. From the 577th, Lieutenant J. E. Buecheler’s crew in #758 was last seen at 1123 hours over Hannover hit by flak in #2 and #3 engines and going down under control. The ship was observed flying at low altitude with no chutes seen. In all (9) aircraft came home with damage when the mission ships landed around 1400 hours.

MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

12 SEPTEMBER 1944 - TARGET: MISBERG
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #08852 AIRCRAFT: #42-50758 "YMCA FLYING SERVICE II" "W-Plus" 37th Mission
AIRCREW: BUECHELER    *    SQUADRON: 577th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT  Buecheler, John F.      POW
CP  2/LT  Wardell, John R.        POW
N   2/LT  Luttrell, William T.    POW
B   2/LT  Fiebig, Paul E.         POW
EnG S/SGT Potts, Benjamin F. Jr.  POW
R/O T/SGT Cooper, Joe P.          KIA
WG  S/SGT Richards, Robert H. Jr. POW
WG  S/SGT Jurgens, Henry          POW
TG  S/SGT Longacre, Harold N.     POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: A returning eye-witness account (Lt. Cheek, Pilot, 578th) gave this report:..."at 1123 hours, aircraft was hit by flak while in the target area with #2 and #4 engines out; went down under control and last seen flying at low altitude; no chutes seen". German Report #KU2966 given later in a supplementary stated this plane was downed at 1145 hours at a crash location of (500) meters south of Niederkaufungen near Kassel. A positive identification of the aircraft, 100% damaged, was given and cause of loss was AA fire, Sgt. Cooper, the Radio Operator, was found dead at the crash site and the remaining crewmen were captured in the area described as west of Hannover-Minden. The other (8) members were also positively identified. A report of burial of Sgt. Cooper was also made.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: Pilot Buecheler, after repatriation from POW status rendered this 'Casualty Questionnaire' report: the ship had left formation over the target at Hanover, altitude 23,000 feet, around 1150 hours, due to heavy flak damage. Bail out of the crew was urgent; the two waist gunners and tail gunner went out through the (aft) camera hatch; Bombardier and Navigator bailed out through the nose wheel door; and Engineer, Co-Pilot, Radio Operator and Pilot went out through the bomb bays, all got out safely. Two other surviving crew member reports were recorded, specifically having to do with the loss of Sgt. Cooper, one particularly distressing in speculation. The first of these stated that (Sgt. Cooper). ."after command to bail out, he was on the catwalk between bomb bays with Engineer and Co-Pilot, and the next time I looked, they were all gone;...there was plenty of flak which could have hit him after he jumped and also he could have been shot after he bailed out...(and) shortly after I was caught, the Germans asked for a list of the crew members. ..said they had found two bodies in the plane wreckage.. ..l refused to give them this information (and) they didn't show me any bodies. Later they asked for the same list, saying they had shot a dark complexioned boy who was running through the woods...this could have been Joe Cooper, but again, they might have been lying". The second survivor stated later on having heard "hearsay"..."yes, I can understand German and a few German people of the Volksturm German People Army told me they just shot one of my crew members with black hair. This happened when I was captured the same day, September 12th....they shot all around the woods trying to scare us out and in all probability they shot Joe." This mission was the crew's 20th according to the Pilot's account.

BURIAL RECORDS: German Report #KU2966 reported the burial of Sgt. Cooper in the village plot at Heiligenrode on 13 September. U.S. National (overseas) Cemetery records indicate that Sgt. Cooper was re-interred at the ARDENNES cemetery (Grave A-40-55). His citations are noted to be the Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters, but no record about the Purple Heart.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Addresses only of ‘homes of record’ are included in his crew file: Buecheler (313 Woodruff Aye, Syracuse, New York); Wardell (1209 E. 6th Sreet, Topeka, Kansas); Luttrell (309 Highland Aye, Chester, Pennsylvania); Fiebig 70 W. Cotton Street, Fondulac, Wisconsin); Potts (2211 Osage Aye, Louisville, Kentucky); Cooper (ZwoIIe, Louisiana); Richards (212 Ferney Avenue, Hanover, Pennsylvania); Jurgens (72-27 66th Drive, Middle Village, New York); Longacre (RFD #2, White City, Kansas).

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CREW LOADING LIST - MISSION #167

12 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 480
P Larson, R.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Hawn, I. F/O
N Biles, W.R. 2nd Lt.
B Sullivan, P.A. 2nd Lt.
E Dearborn, H.W. T/Sgt.
R Peterson, J.V. T/Sgt.
RW Martin, P.R. S/Sgt.
LW Cuthbert, J.K. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Hetzer, R.L. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 650
P Martin, R.C. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Hilbert, H.S. 2nd Lt.
N Freeman, G.L. 2nd Lt.
NG Cannon, M.H. S/Sgt.
E Blees, K.H. T/Sgt.
R Thiel, J.G. T/Sgt.
RW Minton, D.C. S/Sgt.
LW Sherman, I.G. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Roberts, M.E. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 387
P Holliday, B.L. 1st Lt.
CP Call, F.B. 2nd Lt.
N McCutcheon, J. 2nd Lt.
B Serna, M.M. 2nd Lt.
E Sevier, R.M. T/Sgt.
R Rambo, K.B. T/Sgt.
RW Johnson, L.A. S/Sgt.
LW White, P.W. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Negus, J.V. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 194
P Richeson, W.H. 1st Lt.
CP Wiley, D.A. 2nd Lt.
N Frey, J.J. 1st Lt.
B Claytor, D.D. 1st Lt.
E Urban, J.J. T/Sgt.
R Danner, E.W. S/Sgt.
RW Dosier, C.A. S/Sgt.
LW Montgomery, H. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Albert, W.W. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 299
P Barnes, W.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Arnold, J.W. 2nd Lt.
N Dieruff, R.C. 2nd Lt.
NG McGuire, E.P. Cpl.
E Wilson, W.W. Cpl.
R Benson, L.R. Cpl.
RW Braman, J.L. Sgt.
LW Coffman, J.G. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Harvell, J.E. Cpl.
12 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 432 (no mission credit)
P Dugger, F.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Henrickson, J.L. 2nd Lt.
N Edmond, R.E. 2nd Lt.
B McInvale, A.L. Sgt.
E Jones, J.R. T/Sgt.
R Chenail, G.E. S/Sgt.
RW Blackham, W.R. S/Sgt.
LW DeKeyser, H.A. S/Sgt.
BT Cauchon, L.V. Sgt.
TG Schumaker, D. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 040
P McGrath, T.F. 1st Lt.
CP Cooke, B.J. F/O
N Schug, E.W. 2nd Lt.
B Shoemaker, D.R. S/Sgt.
E McFadden, R.J. T/Sgt.
R Stewart, G.S. T/Sgt.
RW Vines, V.L. S/Sgt.
LW Walsh, H.R. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Schroeder, R.C. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 223
P Weaver, L.F. 1st Lt.
CP Hamill, R.E. 2nd Lt.
N Brandi, J.G. 2nd Lt.
B Taylor, J.L. 2nd Lt.
E Kampfe, R.E. T/Sgt.
R Beckwith, R.B. T/Sgt.
RW Broffman, K.W. S/Sgt.
LW Holland, M.D. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Meyer, T.H. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 126
P Kuster, K.D. 1st Lt.
CP Williamson, D.R. 1st Lt.
N Delach, J.J. Capt.
B Kelly, C.F. 1st Lt.
E Phillabaum, R.J. T/Sgt.
R Syverson, C.D. T/Sgt.
RW Collins, W.P. S/Sgt.
LW Dickman, H. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Denton, W. S/Sgt.
MN Kennedy, J.L. 2nd Lt.
PN Beneson, M. 1st Lt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 164 (no mission credit)
P Popek, E. 2nd Lt.
CP Henry, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Frederickson, L.T. 2nd Lt.
B Gump, J.A. 2nd Lt.
E Bombardier, W.J. Sgt.
R Yuhas, G. S/Sgt.
RW Thompson, J.R. S/Sgt.
LW Trofnoff, F. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Swee, F.A. Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 169
P Whitteaker, W.E. 1st Lt.
CP Cassity, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Kaswan, J. F/O
B Allegretti, E.E. 2nd Lt.
E Holmes, G.T. T/Sgt.
R McGivney, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Rinderer, R. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Surbaugh, E.R. S/Sgt.
TG Fantin, P.F. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 430
P Pierson, L.R. 1st Lt.
CP Hart, H.E. 1st Lt.
N Sackler, H.J. 1st Lt.
NG DelSol, E.J. S/Sgt.
E Hartline, J.B. T/Sgt.
R Guion, W.A. S/Sgt.
RW Gover, G.W. S/Sgt.
LW Cyran, T.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Vandeventer, L.V. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 961 (no mission credit)
P Walker, D.L. 1st Lt.
CP Nunziato, D.J. 2nd Lt.
N Bedore, C.P. 2nd Lt.
B Buente, V.O. 2nd Lt.
E Gusciora, A.A. Sgt.
R Young, J.W. Sgt.
RW Bradford, T.M. Sgt.
LW Maloukis, S.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Ballas, P.T. Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 758
P Buecheler, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Wardell, J.R. 2nd Lt.
N Luttrell, W.T. F/O
B Fiebig, P.E. 2nd Lt.
E Potts, B.F. Jr. S/Sgt.
R Cooper, J.P. T/Sgt.
RW Richards, R.H. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Jurgens, H.F. S/Sgt.
TG Longacre, H.N. Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 415
P Holmes, H.T. F/O
CP Barber, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N Peterson, H.L. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Fetsch, J.E. T/Sgt.
R O'Laughlin, F.J. T/Sgt.
RW Loewy, S.B. S/Sgt.
LW Batchelor, L.I. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Marinelli, N.R. S/Sgt.
NG Tungett, R.G. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 337
P Twining, E.S. 2nd Lt.
CP Duff, A.L. 2nd Lt.
N Bertoli, L.J. 2nd Lt.
B Clark, H.J. 2nd Lt.
E Hostetter, F.E. T/Sgt.
R Hinckley, B.J. T/Sgt.
RW Gusciora, B.S. S/Sgt.
LW Grimm, R.H. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Largen, J.E. S/Sgt.
NG Maguire, F.H. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 478
P Kohl, W.F. 1st Lt.
CP Shultz, G.R. 1st Lt.
N Foote, B.F. Jr. 1st Lt.
B Kerley, A.D. 1st Lt.
E Higdon, R.E. T/Sgt.
R Scales, R.R. T/Sgt.
RW Ehring, E.O. S/Sgt.
LW Agalsoff, D.N. S/Sgt.
BT- -
TG Peters, J.M. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 293
P Cheek, C.W. 1st Lt.
CP Broussard, P.C. 1st Lt.
N Beddingfield, L.L. 1st Lt.
B Westbrook, J.W. Capt.
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.
NG Lipman, B.D. 2nd Lt.
12 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 966
P Johnson, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Cook, J.M. 2nd Lt.
N Waters, J.F. 2nd Lt.
B Weiss, J.E. F/O
E Lang, C.F. T/Sgt.
R Lauger, L. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW Stickley, F.F. Sgt.
BT Castaneda, J.A. Sgt.
TG Van Alstine, N.G. Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 477
P Eggleston, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Wilson, T. 2nd Lt.
N Zamor, R.J. 2nd Lt.
B Wilfahrt, D.W. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, J.W. T/Sgt.
R Nika, L.E. S/Sgt.
RW Mitchell, R.L. S/Sgt.
LW Murray, J.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Mortimer, D.E. Sgt.
Ely, L.E. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 187 (no mission credit)
P Walker, J.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Ellis, A. 2nd Lt.
N Bauer, H.H. 2nd Lt.
B Donohue, J.J. 2nd Lt.
E Thomas, C.B. T/Sgt.
R Jewell, R.B. T/Sgt.
RW Collins, S.J. S/Sgt.
LW Faucette, E.W. S/Sgt.
BT Pataki, S.M. S/Sgt.
TG - -
12 Sep 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. T/Sgt.
R Smith, P.E. Cpl.
RW Hollenbeck, C.E. S/Sgt.
LW Stewart, S.R. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Childers, J.E. Pvt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 647
P Bell, J.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Guegold, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Forbes, D.R. 2nd Lt.
B Pyecroft, E.J. Pvt.
E Radzikowski, L.S. T/Sgt.
R Southwell, E.E. S/Sgt.
RW Noltkamper, A.A. T/Sgt.
LW Zwolinski, V.W. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Geron, H.E. Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 495
P Joynt, A.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Taylor, E.J. 2nd Lt.
N Phipps, H.H. 2nd Lt.
NG Daywalt, J.E. Sgt.
E Smith, R.A. T/Sgt.
R Apple, O.L. S/Sgt.
RW Hester, C.L. S/Sgt.
LW Floyd, L.G. S/Sgt.
BT Steffen, N.W. S/Sgt.
TG Vavra, C.E. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 279
P Sewell, W.P. 2nd Lt.
CP Weise, E.H. 2nd Lt.
N Richards, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Bremer, A.F. 2nd Lt.
E Barnes, G.M. T/Sgt.
R Fulton, L.R. T/Sgt.
RW Coogan, A.J. S/Sgt.
LW Leigh, R.H. S/Sgt.
BT Williams, O.L. Sgt.
TG Negri, J.D. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 608
P Leser, H.J. 1st Lt.
CP Smoley, E.J. 1st Lt.
N Sellers, F.R. 1st Lt.
B Fleck, E.R. 1st Lt.
E Rodgers, B.A. S/Sgt.
R Licht, J. T/Sgt.
RW Weckel, W.R. S/Sgt.
LW Fowler, D.E. S/Sgt.
BT Wilson, H.W. 2nd Lt.
TG Damiano, A. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 623
P Tuchel, R.H. 1st Lt.
CP Hay, G.R. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, F.D. 2nd Lt.
B O'Rourke, R.L. S/Sgt.
E Tvergyak, P.A. T/Sgt.
R Johnson, H.K. T/Sgt.
RW Warrick, H.E. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Vincent, J.W. S/Sgt.
TG Carter, D.J. S/Sgt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 195
P Benson, R.J. 1st Lt.
CP Buccigrossi, S.A. 2nd Lt.
N Keane, J.J.F. 2nd Lt.
B Davenport, J.R. 2nd Lt.
E Solberg, F.O. T/Sgt.
R Davey, J.F. S/Sgt.
RW Middleton, W.H. S/Sgt.
LW Radkiewicz, N.I. S/Sgt.
BT- -
TG Legaard, C. S/Sgt.
OBS Forsberg, B.F. 2nd Lt.
12 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 150
CA Sather, H. Maj.
P Abell, G.W. 1st Lt.
CP Eldridge, M.C. 1st Lt.
N Roberts, M.C. 2nd Lt.
B Lawrence, J.S. 1st Lt.
E Tryboski, L.E. T/Sgt.
R Nemeth, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Horton, H.E. S/Sgt.
LW Hawes, J.C. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Moore, J.R. S/Sgt.
NV Morris, J.E. 1st Lt.
NG Ferry, J.R. 1st Lt.