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28 January 1945 Mission #231 Target: Dortmund

Another lengthy stand-down period had been caused by poor weather, both locally and over the target areas. Thus, a number of welcomed "Alamogordos" were heard by the crews and ground maintenance/ordnance personnel.

A near tragic accident occurred at the station on the 23rd but, fortunately, no personnel were injured. A B-17, #42-107213 from the 379th BG, was returning early from a mission to Neuss, Germany, with #1 engine feathered. Pilot 2/Lt Carl C. Hathaway had been advised to divert to Wendling due to zero-zero weather conditions at Kimbolton. As Hathaway broke out of the haze, he realized that he was to the right of the runway and too low to make any course correction. He then decided to go around again and make a better approach. As he neared the end of the runway, #2 engine blew a cylinder. With #1 and #2 engines now out and full power on #3 and #4, the B-17 went into a 45-degree bank. Miraculously, the ship stayed in the air long enough to miss the water tower and the barracks, finally making a pancake landing in the middle of an open area. Then, the bomber started sliding on the snow and ice. It eventually came to rest on top of a Mobile Training Unit truck after tearing out the east end of the old S-2 Briefing Room. The #4 engine then caught fire, but it was quickly extinguished. Most fortunately, neither aircrew nor 392nd personnel were injured but the B-17 and truck were considerably the worse off as a result of this unscheduled landing.

In the first two photos, note the feathered prop on B-17 #42-107213 and the military vehicle that ended up under the #2 engine. The third photo was taken the next day after salvage operations had begun. You may click on photo to enlarge.

On the 28th, weather finally permitted a mission, on the date of the Eighth Air Force's third anniversary. This raid was against the coke oven facilities three and one-half miles northeast of Dortmund. The 2nd Air Division's Intelligence Annex No. 1 for the mission reported that "The MPI [Mean Point of Impact, i.e., target] is the coking plant which is very active in producing benzol for motor fuel. Its listed priority (21) does not indicate its actual priority at this time as many higher on the list have been knocked out, or are only partially active... Benzol is of very high value as a motor fuel on account of its high octane rating. Being heavier than gasoline it leads to starting difficulties if used in undiluted form; it is therefore normally used for blending with gasoline, its high octane rating being a valuable characteristic. Crude benzol requires refining before it can be used efficiently as a motor fuel and this is carried on at the coke ovens. As long as gasoline production from crude and synthetic sources remains at a low ebb, the importance of benzol needs no emphasis. Since benzol is a by-product of the manufacture of coke, damage to a target which prevents the manufacture of coke will effectively prevent the manufacture of benzol.

The marshaling yards at Munster were assigned as the secondary target.

General briefings were held at 0445 and 0600 hours. At 0800 hours, Group bombers were taking off when a heavy snow squall suddenly hit suddenly. As a result, eight Liberators did not take off. Four B-24s later aborted due to mechanical problems. The remaining 17 went over the target, with 2/Lts Fox, Garcia, Wood and Case bombing with the 491st BG. The crews released a total of (228) 500# GPs on target with 93 percent impacting within a 2000 foot radius of the aiming point.

Fighters were not encountered but barrage-type AA fire was intense and accurate over the target. At 1203 hours, just after bombs away, Lieutenant Dodd's crew in #164 (P for Peter) was hit by AA fire in the wing and swerved into #868 (X for X-ray) flown by Lieutenant Schuster's crew. The latter bomber lost a wing in this collision and both ships went down in a dive, exploding as they plummeted downward. Only four chutes were seen from the two planes.

All remaining ships landed safely at Wendling by 1452 hours, with seven bombers suffering battle damage and three crewmembers wounded.


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MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION

28 JANUARY 1945
TARGET: DORTMUND

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #11995  AIRCRAFT: #42-95164 "LADY EVE" "P-Plus" 26th Mission

AIRCREW: DODD     *     SQUADRON: 577th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P   2/LT  Dodd, James R.         KIA
CP  2/LT  Sholander, Carl T.     KIA 
N   2/LT  Fleming, Kenneth V.    KIA
NG  SGT   Page, Robert E.        KIA
R/O SGT   Epstein, Morris (NMI)  KIA
EnG SGT   Hartong, Robert R.     KIA
WG  CPL   Olivas, Maclovio       POW
WG  SGT   Muka, John J.          POW
TG  SGT   Hulbert, Leonard D.    KIA
R/O S/SGT Bartnowski, Matthew A. KIA*
* Radar Observer

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Lt. Pope, Pilot 577th, gave an after-mission account that this aircraft had rolled over into another plane in formation, the ship of Lt. Schusterís, # 42-50868. The direct cause of this tragedy was never stated in any MACR reporting. German Report #KU3666 reported the crash of this ship near the town of Gerbeck around 1230 hours. Eight (8) members were found dead near the scene, and (2) crew men had successfully bailed out and were taken prisoner. Sgt. Muka, one of two including Sgt. Olivas, was wounded and taken to a German hospital. It was note that Sgt. Olivas was transferred to the interrogation center at Dulag-Luft West upon capture. All deceased members were positively identified in this report.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: No such record exists in this aircrew MACR file.

In an article in the February 1992 issue of the 392nd BGMA News, John Muka provided these details: "When the plane went out of control, I remember getting the rear hatch open and then I was blown clear and was free-falling. I pulled the ripcord and the chute opened. The air was very cold and my gauntlets were blown off, and my hands were frostbitten. I landed in deep snow, but was unable to move because of my broken legs. Soon I was surrounded by German civilians, and they dragged me into a nearby town on a pair of skis. I was transported to a hospital, where a German doctor operated on my legs and I woke up in traction. I found out later the hospital was in the Ludensheid area. While in hospital, I sweated out Allied air raids. Although I could hear bombs exploding and machine-gun fire from strafing fighters, the hospital was never hit. On April 14, 1945, I could hear shelling and small arms fire and on the next day an American medic from the 8th Division walked into my room."

In the same article, Mac Olivas said this was his third mission. He was unconscious for about 48 hours after the crash, and then was transported to a prison camp and liberated by American forces on April 29, 1945.

BURIAL RECORDS: Another German Report, Hqs Air Base Command Werl in loss report #19, dated 6 February 1945, indicated that the deceased crewmen were buried in a common grave in the village cemetery at Garbeck on 2 February. U.S. National Overseas Cemetery reports later reflect the re-interment of the following members in the ARDENNES Cemetery, near Liege, Belgium: Fleming (Grave C-2-8); and Hulbert (Grave A-28-11). Both members were awarded the Purple Heart, posthumously. No other re-burial information exists on the remaining members in this file.

NEXT OF KIN IN WWII: Dodd (Wife, Zeta K., 2232 NW 16th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma); Sholander (Mother, Maria J.. 219 Locust Street, Turlock, California): Fleming (Father, Virgil L., Route Number One, Sharpsburg, Kentucky); Page (Father Ray, l19 Sears Point Road, Vallejo, California); Epstein (Wife, Sylvia W., 926 47ft Street, Brooklyn, New York); Hartong (Father, William A., 108 North Osage Street Girard, Kansas); Muka (Mother, Anna, 3402 N. Gullom Avenue, Chicago, Illinois); Olivas (Father, Fidencio, Box 92, Cuba, New Mexico); Bartnowski (Wife, Annette M., 123 Brove Street, Clifton, New Jersey); and Hulbert (Father, Nathan I., 1014 Herrick Avenue, Racine, Wisconsin).

*************

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #11996    AIRCRAFT: #42-50868 (NO NICKNAME) "X-PIus" 6th Mission

AIRCREW: SCHUSTER     *     SQUADRON: 577th

CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:

P     2/LT  Schuster, William H.     KIA
CP    2/LT  Dougherty, Thomas V. Jr  KIA
N     F/O   Harron, Robert J.        KIA
NG    PVT   Maccarrone, Angelo A.     KIA
R/O   Sgt   Kohn, Frank A.           KIA
EnG   Sgt   Pellecchia, Raymond W.   KIA
WG    S/Sgt Marinelli, Nicholas R.   KIA
WG    Sgt   Englebrecht, Louis C.    KIA
S-27 *S/Sgt Bleickhardt, Frank G.    KIA
TG    Sgt   Sablitz, Paul  (NMI)     KIA
*German radio voice interpreter.

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: 577th Sqdn pilot 2/Lt Leon S. Pope gave an after-mission report that the Dodd plane swerved into the Schuster aircraft, severing the latter's wing. Both ships went down with only four chutes seen. German Report #KU 3667 reported that Schuster's ship crashed at 1230 hours near the village of Garbeck near Belve/Westfalen at 1230 hours.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: None as all members perished.

BURIAL RECORDS: A supplementary German Report from Hqs Air Base Werl, #AV 2086/45, dated 6 February 1945, reported that the crewmen were buried in a common grave in the village cemetery at Garbeck on 2 February. Only 2/Lt Schuster, Sgt Englebrecht, S/Sgt Bleickhardt, Sgt Sablitz, and S/Sgt Marinelli were positively identified by the Germans at burial time, the remaining deceased having excessive burn wounds which precluded their identification.

U.S. National Overseas Cemetery records indicate the following interments in the ARDENNES Cemetery near Liege, Belgium: Schuster (Grave A- 22-7), awarded an Air Medal and the Purple Heart; Marinelli (Grave D-39-2), awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart; Sablitz (Grave C-7-56), awarded an Air Medal and Purple Heart; Kohn (Grave D-14-2), awarded an Air Medal and Purple Heart; Pellecchia (Grave C-13-57), awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart. Sgt. Englebrecht is interred at Baltimore National Cemetery, Section E, Site 4337, and S/Sgt. Bleickhardt is interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 12, Site 6088. Sgt Maccarrone is buried in St. Michael's Cemetery, Forest Hills, MA, in Section 91, Grave 110-111. Burial locations for the remaining crew members are not known.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWll: Schuster (Mother, Susan Thomas, 2040 Lathers Avenue, Garden City, Michigan); Dougherty (Father, Thomas V. Sr, 420 West Oak Street, Hazleton, Pennsylvania); Harron (Mother, Kathleen E., Burlington, Massachusetts); Maccarrone (Mother, Massima, 17 Motte Street, Boston, Massachusetts); Kohn (Wife, Dorothea M., Monclova, Ohio); Pellecchia (Father, Carmine, 32-16 107th Street, Corona, New York); Englebrecht (Father, Addison L., 1515 Homestead Street, Baltimore, Maryland); Marinelli (Mother, Agnes T., 5517 Angora Terrace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); Bleickhardt (Daughter, Miss Florence M., 47 Grant Street, Rutland, Vermont); and Sablitz (Mother, Katherine, RFD #1, Colchester, Connecticut).


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CREW LOADING LIST FOR
28 JANUARY 1945

MISSION #231      Target: Dortmund



28 Jan 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 409

P Raczko, W. 2nd Lt.
CP McGill, C.L. 2nd Lt.
N Cline, A.P. F/O
B Feldman, P. 2nd Lt.
E Reynolds, J.R. Sgt.
R VanDeven, J.K. Sgt.
RW Holland, J.R. S/Sgt.
LW Parker, R.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Adkins, J.E. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 302

P Dugger, F.R. 1st Lt.
CP Henrickson, J.L. 2nd Lt.
N Leonard, A.C. 1st Lt.
B McInvale, A.L. S/Sgt.
E Jones, J.R. T/Sgt.
R Chenail, G.E. T/Sgt.
RW Daniels, J. S/Sgt.
LW Cochran, G.D. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Gordon, G.P. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 464

P Harcus, R.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Thompson, J.R. 2nd Lt.
N Adler, M.N. 2nd Lt.
B Brennan, R.W. S/Sgt.
E Thomas, E. S/Sgt.
R Shanley, J.V. S/Sgt.
RW Lynch, R.C. S/Sgt.
LW Marshall, L.C. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Rosenberg, J.E. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 708

P Yasi, R.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Blanton, G.L. 2nd Lt.
N Hamilton, P.L. 2nd Lt.
B Johnson, F. 2nd Lt.
E Taylor, B.D. T/Sgt.
R Nalette, T.A. S/Sgt.
RW Pasco, W.J. S/Sgt.
LW Hensler, L.P. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Tingle, J.B. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 340 (no mission credit)

P Bell, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Guegold, R.L. 1st Lt.
N Forbes, D.R. 1st Lt.
B Wilson, H.W. 1st Lt.
E Radzikowski, L.S. T/Sgt.
R Cheshire, W.T. T/Sgt.
RW Noltkamper, A.A. T/Sgt.
LW Zwolinski, V.W. S/Sgt.
BT Robinson, L.D. Sgt.
TG Geron, H.E. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 272

P DePalma, F.T. 2nd Lt.
CP Austin, G.E. 2nd Lt.
N Oppenheim, R. F/O
B Margarones, J.J. 2nd Lt.
E Betterini, A. T/Sgt.
R Corbosiero, J.L. S/Sgt.
RW Mowery, H.J. S/Sgt.
LW Bryan, C.F. S/Sgt.
BT Hill, T.J. S/Sgt.
TG Ferdinando, A.P. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 868

P Schuster, W.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Dougherty, T.V. 2nd Lt.
N Harron, R.J. F/O
B
E Pellecchia, R.W. Sgt.
R Kohn, F.A. Sgt.
RW Englebrecht, L.C. Sgt.
LW Marinelli, N.R. Sgt.
BT Maccarrone, A.A. Sgt.
TG Sablitz, P. Sgt.
S-27 Bleickhardt, F.G. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 118

P Pope, L.S. 2nd Lt.
CP Snowhill, T.B. 2nd Lt.
N Rodstein, B. 2nd Lt.
B Lane, T.C. S/Sgt.
E Turrisi, J.R. Sgt.
R Reed, D.F. S/Sgt.
RW Fuller, M.A. S/Sgt.
LW Dardano, F.A. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Keach, G.T. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 916

P Dodson, G.H. 2nd Lt.
CP LeFevre, L.P. 2nd Lt.
N Fletcher, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Hochard, H.H. Sgt.
E Herrera, D.R. Sgt.
R Green, J.M. Sgt.
RW Allendorf, V.G. Sgt.
LW Peterson, F.H. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Jenkins, C.E. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 792

P Teipel, H.N. 2nd Lt.
CP Karas, M. 2nd Lt.
N Polansky, M.L. 2nd Lt.
B Flory, D.L. 2nd Lt.
B Moss, J.R. 2nd Lt.
E Rabine, V.A. T/Sgt.
R Goodson, E. T/Sgt.
RW Conrad, D.E. S/Sgt.
LW Hodoian, J.C. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG McConnell, H.M. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 164

P Dodd, J.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Sholander, C.T. 2nd Lt.
N Fleming, K.V. 2nd Lt.
B Bartnowski, M.A. S/Sgt.
E Hartong, R.R. Sgt.
R Epstein, M. Sgt.
RW Muka, J.J. Sgt.
LW Olivas, M. Sgt.
BT Page, R.E. Sgt.
TG Hulbert, L.D. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 118 (no mission credit)

P Wade, B.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Zeigler, R.H. 2nd Lt.
N Sanders, L.L. Jr. 2nd Lt.
B Somerhalder, W.R. F/O
E Pergande, B.E. Sgt.
R Luniewicz, T.E. Sgt.
RW Jamar, J.L. Sgt.
LW Kudej, R.W. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Townsend, E.S. Sgt.
RCM Hightower, W.H. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 241 (no mission credit)

P Walker, J.R. 1st Lt.
CP Casstevens, R.C. 2nd Lt.
N Donohue, J.J. 1st Lt.
NG Pataki, S.M. S/Sgt.
E Thomas, C.B. T/Sgt.
R Jewell, R.B. T/Sgt.
RW Faucette, E.W. S/Sgt.
LW Collins, S.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Duerr, E.E. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 511

P Case, W.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Griffin, R.E. 2nd Lt.
N Gullick, C.H. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Slama, A.R. T/Sgt.
R Black, C.B. S/Sgt.
RW Chanson, M.C. S/Sgt.
LW Johnson, R.L. S/Sgt.
BT McCoy, F.W. S/Sgt.
TG Lutes, M.A. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 205

P Fox, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Sampley, T.A. 2nd Lt.
N Johnson, M.S. 2nd Lt.
B Robinson, D.T. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, B.F. T/Sgt.
R Tameling, H. T/Sgt.
RW Seever, B.H. S/Sgt.
LW Knephoff, J.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Davis, C.L. S/Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 636

P Garcia, A.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Pollack, M. 2nd Lt.
N Hoffman, W.A. F/O
NG Westlund, J.K. S/Sgt.
E Landes, I.B. S/Sgt.
R Nelson, D.A. S/Sgt.
RW Pennington, M.E. S/Sgt.
LW Merda, A.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Rauscher, J.G. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 772 (no mission credit)

P Warner, C.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Smith, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Peppard, J.M. F/O
B Kight, D.A. Sgt.
E McGee, O.W. Sgt.
R Hathaway, E.O. Sgt.
RW Brooks, E.J. Sgt.
LW Neel, L.E. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Richmond, T.C. Jr. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 838

P Adsit, B.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Weber, M. F/O
N Wedgeworth, Q.R. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E LaChance, D.E. T/Sgt.
R Close, H.R. S/Sgt.
RW Steurer, G.R. Sgt.
LW Shea, H.A. Sgt.
BT Timmons, K.L. Sgt.
TG Taylor, H.T. Sgt.

28 Jan 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 459

P Wood, D.R. 1st Lt.
CP McCormick, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Satterthwait, D.R. F/O
B Segraves, W.D. 2nd Lt.
E Morgan, K.W. S/Sgt.
R Fleischmann, R.F. S/Sgt.
RW Stuck, W.F. S/Sgt.
LW McCormick, F.L.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Wright, A.P. S/Sgt.
NT Shumaker, M.C. 2nd Lt.
NV Tucker, W.L. 2nd Lt.

28 Jan 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 103

P Twining, E.S. Capt.
CP Perry, R. Jr. 1st Lt.
N Bertoli, L.J. 1st Lt.
B Clark, H.J. 1st Lt.
E Hostetter, F.E. T/Sgt.
R Bonanno, J.C. T/Sgt.
RW Grimm, R.H. S/Sgt.
LW Maguire, F.H. S/Sgt.
BT Largen, J.E. S/Sgt.
TG - -
NT Lips, T.J. 2nd Lt.
NV Edmundson, R.H. 1st Lt.

28 Jan 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 145

P White, E.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Whalen, J.M. 1st Lt.
N Weissberger, M.L. 1st Lt.
B Morton, E.R. Capt. (578)
E Hayden, R. T/Sgt.
R Baker, M. T/Sgt.
RW Egler, M.G. S/Sgt.
LW Sabolish, G. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG White, R.A. S/Sgt.
PN Alexander, R.W. 1st Lt.
  (wounded)
NV Barry, W.T. 1st Lt.

Capt. Pennypacker, J.E. was CA aboard the 44th Bomb Group's GH ship (#356).

Jones, G.B. 2/Lt, copilot, flew with the 44th Bomb Group




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