• 26 November 1943
  • Mission #11
  • Target: Bremen

According to VIII Bomber Command's Narrative of Operations for this day, "Nine Combat Wings of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bombardment Divisions participated in a heavy daylight attack on the city of Bremen. Five Combat Wings of the 1st BD attacked first, closely followed by two Combat Wings from 3rd Division and two from 2nd Division, in that order. Pathfinder a/c were used to locate and mark the target which was largely obscured by cloud and a smoke screen. The majority of strike photographs were also obscured by cloud and smoke, but bombs could definitely be seen falling in the south and southeast sections of Bremen.... Enemy opposition varied from nil for some groups to strong for others. P-47s and P-38s afforded penetration, target and withdrawal support."

All planes were loaded with eight 500-pound General Purpose and 16 M-47 Incendiary bombs. Fuel load for H-model B-24s was 2,700 gallons.

Per the 14th Combat Wing teletype, the 392nd was to lead the Wing with 2 twelve-ship sections, the second section to be stepped up and to the right, at 23,000 feet. The 44th BG was directed to follow low and to the right with 2 twelve -ship sections at 22,500 feet. Crews "will be especially checked for complete winter flying equipment in addition to electric suits. Particular attention is invited to checking guns, racks, turrets, bomb bay doors, etc., to insure best possible operation at extreme low temperatures expected."

The 392nd BG dispatched 25 a/c, with take-offs generally between 0821 and 0840 hours. Two aborted: Egan due to two runaway propellers and Bingham due to a gas leak in #1 engine.

This map shows the 392nd's planned and actual routes flown on 26 Nov 1943.
Click on images to enlarge.

Lead bombardier 2/Lt Walter F. Joachim reported that "Many difficulties were found in the group due to too high an operating altitude." With temperatures recorded as low as minus 47 degrees Fahrenheit, there were many mechanical failures, including frozen turrets and bomb bay doors. He also reported 10/10 cloud coverage over the target. However, as his plane went on over target, crossing the Autobahn, he could look back at the city. He "assured" the 392nd's commanders "that our bombs hit the city and that our bombing was good."

About a dozen enemy aircraft were sighted but there were no real attacks against the 392nd. ME-109s were predominant with scattered FW-190s and ME-210s. Flak was generally moderate to strong intensity, fairly accurate, requiring violent evasive action.

Planes landed between 1412 and 1545 hours, with six having Category A damage. One plane, #42-7493 with pilot 2/Lt Henry P. Bolick, was missing, cause unknown.

MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: 01494 ARCRAFT: #42-7493 "GREGORY THE GREAT" "S" 7th Mission
AIRCREW: BOLICK    *    SQUADRON: 577th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P    l/LT Bolick, Henry P Jr       KIA
CP   2/LT Smith, Herber J.         KIA
N    2/LT Maupin, Jesse C.         KIA
B    2/LT Yarbrough, William L. Jr KIA
B/NG 2/LT Kelley, Joeseph J.       KIA
R/O  S/S  Campbell, George L.      KIA
EnG  T/S  Love, William E.         KIA
WG   S/S  Klinchok, John J.        KIA
WG   S/S  Krogh, Svend A.          KIA
BT   S/S  Harris, Dalton W.        KIA
TG   S/S  Craig, James D.          KIA

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: 1/Lt Breckenridge, pilot of a/c #479, stated that "Bolick left formation before they hit the enemy coast." Other pilots reported that "A/C #493 was last seen having difficulty staying in formation as the formation crossed the enemy coast going in." Navigator 2/Lt Robert J. Beatson shared a room at Wendling with Bolick crew navigator 2/Lt Jesse Maupin. After finishing his combat tour, Beatson wrote Maupin's sister that they were heading to Bremen and "went into the target way up over the North Sea and turned into the target near Wilhelmshaven... I was flying right behind Bolick's ship. I could see he was having trouble with his engines, as he kept dropping back and coming back up again to join the formation. We were having lots of trouble ourselves, as it was a bitterly cold day... I definitely saw [Bolick's] ship for the last time just as we approached the German coast and made landfall."

The German reports on this aircraft's loss were contained in Luftwaffe D (Luft) 2705/07 at NEUMUNSTER, dated 1 December 1943, which noted the downing of this crew and ship on 26 November at 1217 hours, 200 meters west of Friedrichskoog-Spitze.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The remains of 1/Lt Bolick and T/Sgt Campbell were never found. In its Narrative of Investigate, written on 4 February 1950, Team #2 of the American Graves Registration Command's Search and Recovery Section wrote, "The wreckage was located 2 to 3km offshore in a sandy area which is flooded with 2 to 2½m of water during high tide, and this is only when the wind is favorable, i.e., when it is blowing from the East." Under those conditions, even if the pair were underneath the wreckage, recovering their remains was unlikely.

Kelley was flying as an extra bombardier/gunner since the ship was Deputy Lead for the Group.

BURIAL RECORDS: Eight deceased crew members were initially buried on the afternoon of 1 December 1943 in the German cemetery at Kronprinzenkoog: Sgt. Krogh (Section H, Row 5, Grave 7); Sgt Klinchok (Section H, Row 5, Grave 8); Lt. Maupin (Section H, Row 5, Grave 9); Lt. Smith (Section H, Row 5, Grave 10), and Sgt. Love (Section H, Row 5, Grave 11). Two unidentified bodies were buried in Section H, Row 5, Grave 5 and an unidentified body, completely burned, was buried in Grave 6. Sgt. Craig's body washed ashore near Friedrichskoog on 15 Dec 1943; he was interred in the same cemetery, Section H, Row 5, Grave 4. Clifford Young Jr., a roommate of 2/Lt Smith's while they were in college, went to the crash site after the war. In a letter dated 28 Oct 1945, he wrote, "It appears that the plane crashed in the moors at the mouth of the Elbe. A German sergeant came and supervised the burial of the men and took all their identification with him. The people who live near the graves have nothing to identify the individual graves so they have erected a cross stating: "Hier ruben 19 unbekannte Englische Flieger" ["Here lie 19 unknown English flyers.]" Actually I think most of them are Americans... I saw [the graves] and they are well tended although not decorated at all. From what I could gather everybody in the plane was killed when it crashed. However, the people know very little for sure about it."

On 29 Oct 1945, he wrote that German records show six crewmen were identified and two men were unidentified, and "Three bodies apparently were never found. [Craig's body had not yet washed up.] All of them are buried in a little cemetery at Kronprinzenkoog which is at the mouth of the Elbe on the Holstein side about 3 miles in from the North Sea... But, about all they know is that the 19 men buried there came from planes either shot down near there or were bodies washed ashore from planes which crashed in the North Sea. Since the [German burial] cards stated that all these eight bodies from the one ship died on November 26th-the day of the raid-and were buried on December 1st, I think their plane must have crashed killing them all instantly. The people remembered one plane that crashed there. It was scattered over a wide area, parts burned, and the nose was in a drainage canal. In such a case it is easy to see how some of the bodies might not be found and some were not identified. The country is low flat meadows, with hundreds of drainage canals and ditches cutting the land into small plots."

Sgt Kermit Maupin, brother of 2/Lt Jesse Maupin, was in the Military Police. He visited the crash site and took these photos of the cemetery where the men were buried.
Click on images to enlarge.

A month or so later, in April 1946, 2/Lt Smith's brother Briant also visited the area. In a letter to his family, Briant wrote, "I drove out to the outer dyke facing the North Sea and [a local German lad] pointed out where [the Bolick crew's] bomber had come down. It was just an approximate location. Apparently it was right at the water's edge. The land makes a gradual slope down to the water and it looks very much as if the tide would come up to the dyke itself. The land leading out to the water is also ribbed, that is, plowed in long straight furrows toward the sea with an occasional deep canal. From what I could ascertain, the plane came down and plowed deep into the mud but did not break up and was hauled away in one piece... more or less. In spite of all my efforts, I was unable to find out as many details surrounding this crash as I did about [a B-24 crash on 4 Jan 1944]. It was further out toward the sea and came down in a spot where the dyke cut off the view of the inhabitants. It was also probably well guarded and no one was allowed to go near it. However, I spent a good part of the afternoon driving all around Kronprinzenkoog, Friedrichskoog, Wilhelmskoog etc. following leads of individuals who were supposed to know something about the plane... I'll be hanged if I could get anything definite except for the fact that the plane didn't break up too much and that it was an apparent attempt at a belly landing. As for those of the crew who are still unaccounted for I was unable to find one peep... There was nothing left in the way of plane parts or even evidence of the crash."

After the war, the following men were re-interred in the Ardennes American Cemetery: Yarbrough (Grave B-42-57); Klinchok (Grave D-14-47); Krogh (Grave B-18-20); and Harris (Grave C-8-35), all awarded one Air Medal and the Purple Heart. On the WALL OF THE MISSING at the NETHERLANDS American Cemetery are the names of Bolick and Campbell, both awarded an Air Medal and Purple Heart. 2/Lt Maupin is buried in the cemetery of Blue Springs Baptist Church in Cleveland, Tennessee; he was also awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. 2/Lt Smith is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah, Love is buried in Greendale Cemetery, Lawrenceburg, Indiana; Craig in Fairmount Cemetery, Jackson, Ohio; and 2/Lt Kelley is buried in Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: 392nd BG records reflect these names and address of the crew's next of kin: Bolick (Wife, Faris I., 15 Oak St., Union, South Carolina); Smith (Father, Willard R., 207 8th Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah); Maupin (Father, W.S., RFD #6, Cleveland, Tennessee); Yarbrough ((Wife, Bernice A., Box 145, Arcadia, Louisiana); Kelley (Mother, Mrs. A.M. Kelley, 2227 20th St. NW, Washington, DC); Campbell (Mother, Mrs. Margaret Campbell, 251 Marine Ave., Brooklyn, New York); Klinchok (Mother, Mrs. Mary Klinchok, Box 728, Lynch, Kentucky); Krogh (Mother, Mrs. Peter A. Krogh, 209 2nd St. SW, Hampton, Iowa); Love (Mother, Mrs. Hattie H. Love, 220 1st St., Lawrenceburg, Indiana); Craig (Mother, Mrs. Tressie M. Booth, 71 S. Chestnut St., Jackson, Ohio) and Harris (Wife, Mrs. Phyllis A. Harris, Seneca Turnpike, Clinton, New York).

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CREW LOADING LIST - MISSION #11

26 Nov 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 524
P Barnes, L.J. 1st Lt.
CP Shelton, W.L. 2nd Lt.
N Stankan, P.C. 2nd Lt.
B Machak, J.G. 2nd Lt.
R Jenkins, W.B. S/Sgt.
AR Malloy, P.D. S/Sgt.
E Lewis, E.L. Jr. S/Sgt.
AE Choromanski, J.E. S/Sgt.
G Crowley, C.J. S/Sgt.
AG Riley, A.J. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 537
P Clover, D.K. 2nd Lt.
CP Berger, R.M. 2nd Lt.
N McMillan, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B McDonald, B.R. 2nd Lt.
R Ross, E.S. T/Sgt.
AR Bell, R.W. S/Sgt.
E Losey, J.C. T/Sgt.
AE Hawkins, G.H. S/Sgt.
G Ross, J.M. S/Sgt.
AG Royal, C.K. Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 492
P Becker, J.R. 1st Lt.
CP Roddy, W.H. 2nd Lt.
N Feller, L. 2nd Lt.
B Miller, D.A. 2nd Lt.
R Vovos, A.D. T/Sgt.
AR Williams, A.L. Sgt.
E Patterson, H.C. Jr. T/Sgt.
AE Deal, F.F. Jr. S/Sgt.
G Schilter, N.T. S/Sgt.
AG Ross, H.J. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 487
P Rouse, M.S. 2nd Lt.
CP Schumacher, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Henderson, D.J. 2nd Lt.
B Henderson, A.D. 2nd Lt.
R Gorman, E.P. T/Sgt.
AR Walters, J.S. S/Sgt.
E Nilson, T.N. T/Sgt.
AE Beaulieu, J.F. S/Sgt.
G Mezo, C.L. S/Sgt.
AG Lancaster, P.M. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 506
P Johns, M.T. 2nd Lt.
CP Henderson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
N Silvasy, F.A. 2nd Lt.
B Sriver, E.R. 2nd Lt.
R Gressler, E.J. T/Sgt.
AR Kenyon, C.L. S/Sgt.
E Indahl, J.M. T/Sgt.
AEPrzeniczny, W. S/Sgt.
G Allen, I.M. S/Sgt.
AG Zerangue, F.A. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 500 (no sortie credit)
P Bingham, M.O. 2nd Lt.
CP Winkler, R.D. 2nd Lt.
N Schutz, G.T. 2nd Lt.
B Graham, J.F. 2nd Lt.
R Massimiani, O.A. Sgt.
AR Nemeth, J.L. Sgt.
E Harris, M.C. Sgt.
AE Glende, B.I. S/Sgt.
G Claffey, L.A. S/Sgt.
AG Harvison, W.P. Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 495
CA Schoolmaster, C.F. Capt.
P Graper, M.H. 1st Lt.
CP Williamson, D.R. 2nd Lt.
N Donaldson, C.D. 2nd Lt.
B Weiland, H.F. 1st Lt.
R Lorenzen, W.H. T/Sgt.
AR Kolczynski, W.J. S/Sgt.
E McKinley, W.C. T/Sgt.
AE White, F.A. S/Sgt.
G Buzick, J.M. S/Sgt.
AG Rapenport, R. 1st Lt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 482
P Lambert, R.P. 2nd Lt.
CP Haviland, A.F. 2nd Lt.
N Kapp, R.A. 2nd Lt.
B Godfrey, H.M. 2nd Lt.
R Brown, J.S. T/Sgt.
AR Day, W.N. S/Sgt.
E Reese, W.J. T/Sgt.
AE Tantum, W.R. S/Sgt.
G Taylor, G.E. Sgt.
AG Pfeifer, A. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 479
P Breckenridge, L.G. 1st Lt.
CP Holm, H.J. 2nd Lt.
N Develin, J.C. 2nd Lt.
B Dilly, V.S. 2nd Lt.
R Rosenfeld, C.B. S/Sgt.
AR Magee, J.H. Jr. S/Sgt.
E Goodman, L. T/Sgt.
AE Dinda, B.F. S/Sgt.
G Troxel, D.G. S/Sgt.
AG Osterheldt, J.J. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 496 (no sortie credit)
P Egan, R.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Basham, F.G. 2nd Lt.
N Harris, W.B. 2nd Lt.
B Salsberg, M. 2nd Lt.
R Pope, F.B. T/Sgt.
AR Stogner, O.T. S/Sgt.
E Hurley, W.F. T/Sgt.
AE Hurley, A. S/Sgt.
G Kennedy, B.S. S/Sgt.
AG Salisbury, J.F. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 493
P Bolick, H.P. Jr. 2nd Lt.
CP Smith, H.J. 2nd Lt.
N Maupin, J.C. 2nd Lt.
B Yarbrough, W.L. Jr. 2nd Lt.
R Campbell, G.L. S/Sgt.
AR Klinchok, J.J. S/Sgt.
E Love, W.E. T/Sgt.
AE Krogh, S.A. Sgt.
G Craig, J.D. S/Sgt.
AG Harris, D.W. S/Sgt.
B Kelley, J.J. 2nd Lt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 546
P Layton, S.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Lidgard, W.V. 2nd Lt.
N Beatson, R.J. 2nd Lt.
B Feagan, H.C. 2nd Lt.
R Gibbs, R.R. T/Sgt.
AR Daughtry, A.Z. S/Sgt.
E Johnson, J.C. T/Sgt.
AE Gottschalk, G.W. S/Sgt.
G Constabile, F.R. S/Sgt.
AG Boomhower, A. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 174
P McNichol, T.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Lamer, M. 2nd Lt.
N Naylor, M.W. 2nd Lt.
B Wargo, M.A. 2nd Lt.
R Lawrence, H.F. T/Sgt.
AR MacPherson, A.J. S/Sgt.
E Bellerive, H.O. T/Sgt.
AE Green, L.A. S/Sgt.
G Rathburn, E.K. S/Sgt.
AG Lloyd, W.A. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 480
P Stauder, J.B. 1st Lt.
CP Polking, W.A. Maj.
N Woody, H.E. 2nd Lt.
NT Simons, L. 2nd Lt.
B Westbrook, J.W. 1st Lt.
R Whitmore, B. Jr. T/Sgt.
AR Rider, F.D. S/Sgt.
E Kottke, A.H. T/Sgt.
AE Bauer, W.E. S/Sgt.
G Murphy, H.G. Jr. S/Sgt.
AG Harris, J.N. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 466
P Edwards, C.E. Capt.
CP Dent Col.
N Untiedt, L.F. 1st Lt.
B Joachim, W.F. 1st Lt.
R Braddock, W.A. T/Sgt.
AR Medel, M.N. Sgt.
E Mellow, N.J. T/Sgt.
AE LeBleu, L.W. S/Sgt.
G Taylor, G.H. 2nd Lt.
AG Hill, R.E. S/Sgt.
B Johnson, D.C. 2nd Lt.
26 Nov 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 472
P Carnine, G.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Spears, K.E. 2nd Lt.
N Mastron, V. 2nd Lt.
B Byers, W.F. 2nd Lt.
R Barbee, B.B. T/Sgt.
AR Norby, M.W. S/Sgt.
E Hopson, N.A. T/Sgt.
AE Ostroski, L.B. S/Sgt.
G Knies, G.R. S/Sgt.
AG Kwasnycia, N. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 485
P Sooy, B.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Mardis, R.K. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, O.R. 2nd Lt.
B Schwartz, E.S. 2nd Lt.
R Terrell, P.J. Sgt.
AR McBrayer, H.G. Jr. Sgt.
E Tibi, C.F. Sgt.
AE Serafine, J.M. S/Sgt.
G McArn, H.W. Sgt.
AG Dorgan, W.J. Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 489
P Fletcher, R.E. 1st Lt.
CP Graham, G.E. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Haenzi, W.R. 2nd Lt.
B Judd, G.W. 2nd Lt.
R Biska, S.L. T/Sgt.
AR Wagner, D.R. S/Sgt.
E Kelly, J.E. T/Sgt.
AE Osborne, J.H. S/Sgt.
G McNiel, J.M. S/Sgt.
AG Wukotich, M.L. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 624
P George, F.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Stephens, L.M. 2nd Lt.
N Sweeney, P.J. 2nd Lt.
B Kelly, F.B. 2nd Lt.
R Sweeney, L.F. T/Sgt.
AR Sheppard, W.B. S/Sgt.
E Parker, J.D. T/Sgt.
AE Ellingson, H.E. S/Sgt.
G Theodore, R.N. S/Sgt.
AG Goodall, W.J. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 510
P Baumgart, V.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Cordes, W.C. 2nd Lt.
N Crouch, M.C. 2nd Lt.
B Stupski, S.J. 2nd Lt.
R Kiss, J. S/Sgt.
AR Yost, J.W. S/Sgt.
E Smith, D.L. S/Sgt.
AE Andrews, W.E. T/Sgt.
G Fons, J.P. S/Sgt.
AG Money, J.A. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 599
P Dickson, J.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Holloman, C.C. 1st Lt.
N McDade, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B White, E.I. 2nd Lt.
R Jeroloman, H.A. T/Sgt.
AR Zimpelman, J.G. Sgt.
E Kjelshus, E.H. T/Sgt.
AE York, R.M. S/Sgt.
G O'Neill, F.L. Sgt.
AG Reilly, B.O. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 626
P Hull, R.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Durrance, E.E. 2nd Lt.
N Coleman, V.B. 2nd Lt.
B Lessey, J.E. 2nd Lt.
R Johnson, J.F. T/Sgt.
AR Griffin, E.F. S/Sgt.
E Hay, W.R. T/Sgt.
AE Surls, D.L. S/Sgt.
G Buchert, W.L. S/Sgt.
AG Vasquez, R. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 135
P Everhart, W.C. 1st Lt.
CP Sassaman, F.J. 2nd Lt.
N Leone, A.J. 1st Lt.
B Chatten, J.F. 2nd Lt.
R
AR Worthington, P.A. T/Sgt.
E Dill, W.F. Sgt.
AE Fowler, R.G. S/Sgt.
G Veit, F.L. S/Sgt.
AG Johnson, T.E. S/Sgt.
AE Burns, R.N. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 529
P Goff, J.F. 1st Lt.
CP Piper, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Keck, R.W. 2nd Lt.
B Cleaton, C.T. 2nd Lt.
R Wright, R.R. T/Sgt.
AR McGinley, M.C. S/Sgt.
E Lett, E.W. T/Sgt.
AE Erbe, H.S. S/Sgt.
G Bass, R.T. S/Sgt.
AG Jackson, H. S/Sgt.
26 Nov 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 556
P Higgins, J.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Wharton, P. 2nd Lt.
N Casey, H.W. 2nd Lt.
B Broyles, C. 2nd Lt.
R Dykes, J.R. T/Sgt.
AR Sumlin, T.E. Sgt.
E Boerschinger, M.F. T/Sgt.
AE Bookout, R.J. Sgt.
G York, D.L. Sgt.
AG Piper, C.A. Sgt.