• 13 December 1943
  • Mission #15
  • Target: Kiel

Kiel, located in the northern reaches of Germany across from Denmark, was a vital port and terminus for the Kiel Canal on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. The 578th Squadron was assigned lead for this mission and twenty-five (25) were committed. Twenty-four (24) B-24s bombed the target area on PFF releases due to poor target weather with (160) 1000# GP bombs being released with good bombing results achieved. Enemy reaction was intense as expected and briefed. From 10-15 single and twin-engine fighters were encountered as well as heavy flak air defenses. The Group suffered one B-24 loss and (10) aircrew members MIA, cause not precisely known but AA suspected, and had (2) other ships damaged by flak. The mission terminated with 7:30 hours flight duration.

MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

13 DECEMBER 1943 - TARGET: KIEL
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #01732 AIRCRAFT; #42-7626 "LIBERTY BELLE" "Bar-B" 9th Mission
AIRCREW: ROGILLIO    *    SQUADRON: 579th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   l/LT Rogillio, Douglas S. Jr POW
CP  2/LT Worker, Lewis R.        POW
N   2/LT Kelly, William E.       POW
B   2/LT Hughes, Richard J.      POW
R/O T/S  Malak, Aloysius J.      POW
EnG T/S  Mazzei, Anthony P.      POW
WG  S/S  Bryan, Walter F.        KIA
WG  S/S  Takacs, Alexander (NMI) POW
BG  S/S  Yorra, Marshall S.      KIA
TG  S/S  Reljac, Joseph G.       KIA 

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: While no eye-witness account exists in the MACR as given by returning Group aircrews, it was known that this crew had to ditch their plane after bombing the target with the formation. The Pilot’s detailed account below relates the circumstances.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The Pilot, Lt. Rogillio, made a detailed report of the loss upon being returned to U.S. control after POW status. A summary of his account was as follows. The crew had experienced engine trouble all the way in formation to the target. Just after ‘bombs away’ at the target, he had to feather #3 engine, and after five minutes #4 engine had to be shut down due to loss of oil pressure. At this time the crew was under heavy attack by enemy Ju-88 fighters firing 20mm cannon and rockets at their plane which was taking a great deal of damage. The ship was put into a dive and sharp turns in attempts to avoid the attacking fighters, all to little avail. The Pilot chose to go back into the waist to check on reportedly injured gunners. He and the Ball Turret gunner treated these other (3) gunners as best possible before the Pilot had to return to the flight deck and take over control of the plane again. At this time, altitude was around 12,000 feet, an altitude which could be maintained fairly well on the two remaining engines operating on the left wing due to the unneeded items that had been thrown overboard. At around 8,000, the Pilot encountered an overcast and went on instruments, and all crew members had been alerted for ditching and taking positions. When the plane broke out under the ragged overcast over the North Sea, only about 100 feet altitude remained above the water, just barely time enough for the aircraft to be turned into the wind for ditching. The ditching went well enough initially but when the nose turret buried into the water the entire ship rose about 45 degrees, tail up, into the air and stopped immediately. Just prior to ditching, Sgt. Bryan, one of the waist gunners elected to return to the waist area where he had been told earlier by some non-crew member, sub-patrol person that a better chance of survival would exist. (Sgt. Bryan was one of the members killed). The very sudden, complete stop when the nose turret dug in caused the Pilot to be hurled out through the windshield. All other crewmen except the three wounded men, who were searched for before the ship sank, managed to get out into the water and the ship’s life rafts. All survivors were in shock, but a search as best possible was made for their missing members before and later after the aircraft disappeared in the water. The survivors paddled their rafts toward England, according to the report, and spent the night on one of the Fnijian Islands, Ameland, before being apprehended as POWs. A German report on the MACR noted the capture and hospitalization of (2) crewmen on 15 December, two days after the loss, Sgt. Malak and Lt. Hughes, and their admission to a Luftwaffe Hospital at Leeokordke in a report #KU507, dated 17 December 1943.

BURIAL REPORTS: There are no German reports on recovery of the crewmen reported as killed, nor their interments. The U.S. National Cemetery lists reflect the following: At CAMBRIDGE, England, the WALL OF THE MISSING has the names of Sgts.. Bryan and Reljac. On the WALL at the NETHERLANDS (Margraten) Netherlands is the name of Sgt. Yorra. The three men are recorded as receiving the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: From the German hospitalization report noted above this data was recovered from the (2) men taken as POWs: Malak (Mother, Francis Malak, 1209 Underwood Avenue, Toledo, Ohio); and Hughes (Father, Eugene Hughes, of 7802 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York). The home States of the missing men are given on the U.S. Cemetery lists as follows: Bryan (Connecticut); Yorra (New York); and Reljac (Pennsylvania).

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CREW LOADING LIST - MISSION #15

13 Dec 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 487
P Johns, M.T. 2nd Lt.
CP Henderson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
N Silvasy, F.A. 2nd Lt.
B Sriver, E.R. 2nd Lt.
E Indahl, J.M. T/Sgt.
R Gressler, J.J. T/Sgt.
AE Przeniczny, W. S/Sgt.
AR Kenyon, C.L. S/Sgt.
AG Zerangue, F.A. S/Sgt.
G Sanchez, I.V. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 555 (abort, no sortie credit)
P LoPresto, H.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Collins, J.M. 2nd Lt.
N Siggs, P.S. 2nd Lt.
B Thompson 2nd Lt.
E Hawkins, G.H. T/Sgt.
R Ross, E.S. T/Sgt.
AE Westall, F.M. S/Sgt.
AR Gilliam, E.L. S/Sgt.
AG Halsne, M.D. S/Sgt.
G Sambanis, G. Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 511
P Connery, W.R. 1st Lt.
CP Hebron, W. 2nd Lt.
N Porter, C.V. 2nd Lt.
B Breck, J.H. Jr. 2nd Lt.
E Decker, C.D. Sgt.
R Shilling, R.E. T/Sgt.
AE Leibow, G. Sgt.
AR Allen, I.M. S/Sgt.
AG Wilson, L. Sgt.
G Smith, J.W. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 537
P Clover, D.K. 1st Lt.
CP Berger, R.M. 2nd Lt.
N McMillan, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B McDonald, P.R. 2nd Lt.
E Losey, J.C. T/Sgt.
R Galler, I. T/Sgt.
AE Crawford, E.G. S/Sgt.
AR Bell, R.W. S/Sgt.
AG Royal, C.K. S/Sgt.
G Ross, J.M. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 492
P Rouse, M.S. 2nd Lt.
CP Schumacher, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Henderson, D.J. 2nd Lt.
B Henderson, A.D. 2nd Lt.
E Nilson, T.N. T/Sgt.
R Gorman, E.P. T/Sgt.
AE Beaulieu, J.F. S/Sgt.
AR Walters, J.S. S/Sgt.
AG Crowley, C.J. S/Sgt.
G Jackson, B.F. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 576th Sqdn.
A/C 520
P Ford, J.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Bunting, D.W. 2nd Lt.
N Duncan, R.H. 2nd Lt.
B Machak, J.G. 2nd Lt.
E Lewis, G.F. S/Sgt.
R Kramer, A.W. S/Sgt.
AE Roberson, L.P. S/Sgt.
AR Saucedo, J.A. S/Sgt.
AG Overholt, H.R. S/Sgt.
G Longchamps, A.L. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 495
P Gonseth, F. 1st Lt.
CP Slipp, F.E. 2nd Lt.
N Delach, J.J. 1st Lt.
B Colburn, R.F. 1st Lt.
E Jennings, H.C. T/Sgt.
R Gibbs, R.R. T/Sgt.
AE Driver, D.M. S/Sgt.
AR Feller, N.L. S/Sgt.
AG Whalen, J.S. S/Sgt.
G Constabile, F.R. S/Sgt.
-- Gottschalk G.W. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 489 (abort, no sortie credit)
P Copp, R.D. 1st Lt.
CP Meyers, J.W. 1st Lt.
N Gries, R.F. 2nd Lt.
B Rapenport, R. 1st Lt.
E Hodge, G.L. T/Sgt.
R Martin, L.S. Sgt.
AE Nowicki, M.M. Sgt.
AR Hohman, H. S/Sgt.
AG Noone, T.E. Jr. S/Sgt.
G Daughtry, A.Z. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 496
P Peterson, L.G. 1st Lt.
CP Lidgard, W.V. 2nd Lt.
N Long, A.L. 2nd Lt.
B Salsberg, M. 2nd 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 Stevens, R.K. S/Sgt.
G Apgar, D.R. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 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.
E Trumpy, E. T/Sgt.
R O'Kon, M.A. T/Sgt.
AE Green, L.A. S/Sgt.
AR MacPherson, A.J. S/Sgt.
AG Lloyd, W.A. S/Sgt.
G Rathburn, E.K. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 482
P Haviland, A.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Heinemann, D.L. 1st Lt.
N Kapp, R.A. 2nd Lt.
B Godfrey, H.M.. 2nd Lt.
E Reese, W.J. T/Sgt.
R Brown, J.S. T/Sgt.
AE Tantum, R.V. S/Sgt.
AR Day, W.N. S/Sgt.
AG Pfeifer, A. S/Sgt.
G Zubay, S.M. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 637
P Egan, R.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Basham, F.G. 2nd Lt.
N Harris, W.B. 2nd Lt.
B Poppel, I.B. 2nd Lt.
E Johnson, J.C. T/Sgt.
R Pope, F.B. T/Sgt.
AE Hurley, A. S/Sgt.
AR Stogner, O.T. S/Sgt.
AG Salisbury, J.F. S/Sgt.
G Kennedy, B.S. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 577th Sqdn.
A/C 479
P Tiefenthal, D.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Holm, H.J. 2nd Lt.
N Chichetto, A.F. 2nd Lt.
B Gordon, A.M. 2nd Lt.
E Wright, A. S/Sgt.
R Dicroce, J.A. S/Sgt.
AE Hull, W.W. Sgt.
AR Castiglione
AG Sopchak, J. Sgt.
G Schulz, W.G. Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 436
P Edwards, C.E. Capt.
CP Polking, W.A. Maj.
N Untiedt, L.F. Capt.
B Joachim, W.F. 2nd Lt.
E Mellow, N.J. T/Sgt.
R Braddock, W.A. T/Sgt.
AE LeBleu, L.W. S/Sgt.
AR Medel, M.N. Cpl.
AG Hill, R.E. S/Sgt.
G Phelps, G.A. Sgt.
Obs. Hunter, R.M. 2nd Lt.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 546
P Fletcher, R.E. 1st Lt.
CP Graham, G.E. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Woody, H.E. 2nd Lt.
B Judd, G.W. 2nd Lt.
E Kelly, J.E. T/Sgt.
R Biska, S.L. Pvt.
AE Osborne, J.H. Pvt.
AR Mancuso, M.A. S/Sgt.
AG Wukotich, M.L. S/Sgt.
G Rider, F.D. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 518
P Carnine, G.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Feld, B.H. 2nd Lt.
N Mastron, V. 2nd Lt.
B Brockway, O.E. 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.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 480
P Reade, J.J. 1st Lt.
CP Smith, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Planche, M.M. 1st Lt.
B Ziccarelli, J.A. 1st Lt.
E Edwards, C.E. T/Sgt.
R Whitmore, B. T/Sgt.
AE Sikoff, H. S/Sgt.
AR Bauer, W.E. S/Sgt.
AG Wagner, D.R. S/Sgt.
G Nixon, A.D. Sgt.
Schwabel, C.A. T/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 485
P McKee, T.R. 1st Lt.
CP Walker, T.G. 2nd Lt.
N Dunphy, R.J. 2nd Lt.
B Simons, L. 2nd Lt.
E Serafine, J.M. S/Sgt.
R Morrison, T.C. T/Sgt.
AE Nuzum, M.E. Sgt.
AR Murphy, H.C. Jr. S/Sgt.
AG Painter, R.E. S/Sgt.
G Malavasic, A.F. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 478
P George, F.A. 1st Lt.
CP Stephens, L.M. 2nd Lt.
N Sweeney, P.J. 2nd Lt.
B Kelly, F.B. 2nd Lt.
E Parker, J.D. T/Sgt.
R Sweeney, L.F. T/Sgt.
AE Ellingson, H.E. S/Sgt.
AR Sheppard, W.B. S/Sgt.
AG Goodall, W.J. S/Sgt.
G Theodore, R.N. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 578th Sqdn.
A/C 598
P Cohen, S. 2nd Lt.
CP Shoenhair, R.D. 2nd Lt.
N Mardirosian, A. 2nd Lt.
B Valker, G.E. 2nd Lt.
E McBrayer, H.G. Jr. Sgt.
R Buckley, G.J. S/Sgt.
AE Carr, H.L. Sgt.
AR Dellinger, T.C. Sgt.
AG Satterly, E.F. Jr. Sgt.
G McGee, R.C. Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 626 (down)
P Rogillio, D.S. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Worker, L.R. 2nd Lt.
N Kelly, W.E. 2nd Lt.
B Hughes, R.J. 2nd Lt.
E Mazzei, A.P. T/Sgt.
R Malak, A.J. T/Sgt.
AE Bryan, W.F. S/Sgt.
AR Yorra, M.S. S/Sgt.
AG Takacs, A. S/Sgt.
G Reljac, J.G. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 589
P Spartage, G. 2nd Lt.
CP Kern, R.B. 2nd Lt.
N Tauskey, W.A. 2nd Lt.
B Campbell, R.A. 2nd Lt.
E Burns, R.N. S/Sgt.
R Worthington, P.A. S/Sgt.
AE Warren, O.J. Sgt.
AR Helmke, E.F. Sgt.
AG Ridgeway, W.J. Jr. Sgt.
G Riedlinger, A.J. Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 135
P Everhart, W.C. 1st Lt.
CP Sassaman, F.J. 2nd Lt.
N Kornman, H.C. 2nd Lt.
B Chatten, J.F. 2nd Lt.
E Northcutt, C.C. T/Sgt.
R Beard, J.W. T/Sgt.
AE Cobb, C.E. Jr. S/Sgt.
AR Veit, F.L. S/Sgt.
AG Johnson, T.E. S/Sgt.
G Fowler, R.G. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 484
P Baumgart, V.A. 1st Lt.
CP Cordes, W.C. 2nd Lt.
N Crouch, M.C. 2nd Lt.
B Stupski, S.J. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, D.L. S/Sgt.
R Kiss, J. T/Sgt.
AE Davis, H. T/Sgt.
AR Yost, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Money, J.A. S/Sgt.
G Fons, J.P. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 133
P Peyton, J.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Rueffer, A.P. 2nd Lt.
N Richards, D.U. 2nd Lt.
B DeMontier, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, O.L. S/Sgt.
R Connor, D. Jr. S/Sgt.
AE LaVick, K.C. S/Sgt.
AR Pyecroft, E.J. S/Sgt.
AG Luchak, A. Sgt.
G Pippitt, D.D. Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 127 (abort, no sortie credit)
P Detrick, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Schneider, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Lowder, L.L. 2nd Lt.
B Hall, H.P. 1st Lt.
E Owen, E.D. T/Sgt.
R Castle, O.D. S/Sgt.
AE Ross, J.R. S/Sgt.
AR Andrews, W.T. S/Sgt.
AG Dill, W.F. S/Sgt.
G Bacon, G.W. S/Sgt.
13 Dec 1943 579th Sqdn.
A/C 472
P Stukus, J. 1st Lt.
CP Moffat, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Healing, K.A. 2nd Lt.
B Gentry, L.E. 2nd Lt.
E Mattson, W.R. T/Sgt.
R Dykes, J.R. T/Sgt.
AE Paolantonio, A.L. S/Sgt.
AR Rosati, L.P. S/Sgt.
AG McCreary, J.E. S/Sgt.
G McGinley, W.C. S/Sgt.