Home Page - Membership - Reunions - Shop - Contact us
|29 January 1944||Mission #28||Target: Frankfurt|
Having been airborne on the 24th for this target only to have the mission cancelled during assembly, the 392nd once again was assigned to bomb this target complex. The 576th was to lead the Group and all of the Second Bomb Division. Briefings were held between 0330-0400 and at 0800 hours, (30) aircrews began take-offs. An unfortunate mishap occurred during form up, which began the aircrews’ mission badly, when Lieutenant W. F. Usry’s aircraft, #005 of the 577th, had a mid-air collision with one of the PFF ships, #669, pilot 1st Lieutenant J. N. Taylor of the 432nd Bomb Squadron and one of the former original crews of the 392nd. All of Lt Usry’s crew were killed. In Lt Taylor’s ship, Major Clyde T. Gray, Commander of the 576th Squadron was killed as well as all but (3) of Lt Taylor’s crew. A total of (288) 500# GP bombs were released on the target using PFF lead ship bombing. Results were unobserved due to weather. Heavy enemy opposition was encountered in the form of 55-60 fighters and moderate to heavy, accurate flak. Ten (10) B-24s were battle damaged, (5) due to fighter attacks where the gunners had (4) claims, and (5) caused by flak. The unit’s casualties were high, losing (2) aircraft total, the one other coming from the 579th Squadron, Lt Stukus’s crew, in aircraft #484 which was lost enroute with all members MIA. In addition to those members killed or missing, a number were wounded on this mission. Aircraft began recovering around 1400 hours.
MISSING AIR CREW REPORT SECTION
29 JANUARY 1944
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #02548 AIRCRAFT: #42-7484 "SALLY ANN" "L-Bar" 19th Mission
AIRCREW: STUKUS * SQUADRON: 579th
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:P l/LT Stukus, John POW
CP 2/LT Moffat, J POW
N 2/LT Lindlow, Ronald R. KIA
B 2/LT Gentry, Lester E. KIA
R/O T/S Dykes, James R. EVD/POW
EnG T/S Mattson, William R. EVD
BG S/S Rosati, Louis P EVD
WG S/S Paolantonio, Anthony L EVD
WG S/S McCrary, Joe E. EVD
TG S/S McGinley, William C. EVD
OBS l/LT Crouch, Marshall C. Jr POW
MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: A number of eye-witness accounts described certain B-24s in distress along the route homeward after target. The one account positioning a Liberator at 50-54N, 03-56E with #2 and #4 propellers feathered, straggling from the returning formation at 12,000 feet but under control, proved to be the Stukus aircraft. The Group had sustained aggressive enemy fighter attacks along the target route and this ship went down near Waterloo, Belgium.
INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: There were subsequent individual crewmember survivor reports given by (5) of the aircrew involving some that evaded capture and were taken into care by Belgium underground factions; and later from Pilot Stukus after his POW repatriation. The Tail Gunner, Sgt. McGinley, interrogated on 19 April 1945, gave this account to U.S. Intelligence Security authorities to the effect: That the crew bailed out at 3,000 feet and he was fourth to do so; that himself, Lt. Crouch, and Sgts. Dykes, Rosati, and Paolantonio were later in contact with each other on the ground; and further he noted that he had seen two men captured by the Germans and presumed they were officers of the crew as all Enlisted men of this aircrew were later returned to Allied control from escape and evasion status and no other aircrews had bailed out in his general area. He noted that he could not identify any of the prisoners taken. Sgt. Paolantonio, interrogated in a USAAF convalescent hospital in Pawling, New York, on 10 April 1945 stated in substance: that their plane had been set afire by enemy fighter attack and shortly thereafter the Pilot had given the 'abandon aircraft' order; that he had bailed out along with the Navigator, Lt. Lindlow, but he saw no one else bail out; and further, that immediately after he left the ship, it exploded which led him to believe that Lt. Lindlow was killed at this time. The latter conclusion was substantiated by Sgt. McGinley, acknowledging it as second party hearsay information that: Belgian peasants had told him (2) of their crew were killed before they could egress the ship before it exploded and that later Lt. Crouch had stated that Lts. Lindlow and Gentry were preparing to bail out when he left their plane, but the aircraft blew up before these two men got out. Sgt. Dykes, initially taken in by Belgium underground factions (but from later reports was later captured and taken POW) - stated in his interrogation after repatriation from POW status: that himself, Sgts. McGinley, Rosati, Palantonio and Lt. Crouch were taken in by underground personnel the next day after their parachute jumps; that he had seen three other parachutes as he was floating down; but that he did not know of any final status of Lts. Lindlow and Gentry since he later knew that all the remaining crewmembers were now back in the USA. Sgt. Mattson, interrogated after Escape and Evasion status and returning to Allied control, reported on 13 May 1944 that their plane had been hit by enemy fighters some (25) miles south of Brussels, Belgium and close to Waterloo; that the ship had the right wing shot up with fuel pouring out and the bomb bay on fire; and that he had abandoned ship around 2500 feet. He further noted that the Co-Pilot had been wounded and still later that a Belgian underground helper had said that the Pilot and Co-Pilot were taken as Prisoners-of-War by German forces. Still later after the war at Selman Field, Monroe, Alabama, Sgt. McCrary gave this further account in substance: That on the homeward route westbound from the target their plane had undergone enemy fighter attacks around 1230-1300 hours which disabled the ship causing it to go into a nearly vertical dive. He stated further that just before he bailed out, he had heard the Navigator, Lt. Ludlow, on plane interphone and still later on the ground when he was reunited with others of his crew that Lt. Crouch then stated that in his (Crouch's) asking Lt. Lindlow to bail out that the latter said that he was going to help the Bombardier, Lt. Gentry, out of the nose turret first. Comments by the other surviving crewmen who had rallied together as evades also agreed that Lt. Lindlow was not disabled at that time. McCrary continued his interrogation by noting that he had seen (3) other parachutes as he was descending; that he had bailed out at about 4,000 feet and took a 'delayed parachute opening' jump because of the enemy planes nearby; and that when his 'chute opened around 1500-2000 feet above the ground the ship was still in rather level flight but then suddenly went into a vertical dive just as he reached the ground; and it was his conclusion that Lts. Lindlow and Gentry had perished. A casualty questionnaire complete by Pilot Stukus after the war noted that their aircraft left the Group formation just before the target IP (Initial Point) at an altitude of 20,000 feet, but that he had ordered abandonment of the ship around Waterloo, Belgium. He noted further that he was the fourth man to exit the plane through the bomb bay after the Flight Engineer, Radio Operator, and Co-Pilot in that relative order; and had no knowledge of the bombardier and navigator nose compartment crew member situations since the plane intercom had been rendered inoperative. His report also remarked that he and the Co-Pilot were POWs in Stalag Luft 1, and the Co-Pilot had a slightly wounded leg calf. An on-scene German report #PV 570/44 from Air Field Headquarters (A) 203/Xl, Brussels, rendered a casualty report on finding (1) badly burned body from a downing of a B-24 Liberator (2) kilometers south of Waterloo, Belgium and (15) kilometers south of Brussels at 1215 hours, 29 January 1944 - and that this casualty, unidentified, was buried on 1 February 1944 in the English Cemetery of Honour (Honor) Brussels in Grave # 20, Section 10 and Row 20.
BURIAL RECORDS: Except for the German report of burial, there are no other and later U.S. interment record in the MACR. Lt. Gentry, the Bombardier, is listed on the WALL OF THE MISSING in the U.S. National Cemetery at CAMBRIDGE, England. He was noted to have been awarded the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. There is no burial information existing at all for Lt. Lindlow, the Navigator. (Note: Given the almost exact location of this crew’s plane crash at Waterloo, Belgium, in the German reporting, and finding (1) perished crew member there who was given initial burial, the arguable conclusion is that this man was either Lt. Lindlow or Lt. Gentry but, it is wondered, which one?). If this member was Lt. Lindlow and later he was re-interred somewhere in the States, this question could be resolved for the final record).
NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: This information was as follows: Stukus (Wife, Catherine, Chicago, Illinois); Moffat (Wife, Carol, Colusa, California); Lindlow (Father, Ronald H. of Oakland, California); Gentry (Wife, Vivian M of Pawnee, Oklahoma); Dykes (Father, Joseph B, Clayton, Alabama); Mattson (Mother, Margaret Mattson, Rockport, Massachusetts); Paolantonio (Mother, Lucy Paolantonio, North Terrytown, New York); Rosati (Mother, Clementine S. Rosati of Hibbing, Minnesota); McCray (Father, Maxwell B, Columbus, Mississippi); McGinley (Father, Connel of Mablevale, Arkansas); and Crouch (Wife, Loretta Y., Seattle, Washington).
CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACRMAJ Gray, Clyde T. (Msn Command Pilot) 576th KIA
1/LT Usry, William F. (P) 577th KIA
2/LT Turner, Dwight L. (CP) 577th KIA
2/LT Synder, Robert D. (N) 577th KIA
2/LT Floyd, Carl E. (B) 577th KIA
T/S Goodman, Lawrence (EnG) 577th KIA
T/S Howard, Robert E. (R) 577th KIA
S/S Matta, Irving D. (WG) 577th KIA
S/S Horowitz, George (G) 577th KIA
S/S Dunlap, Virgil N. (G) 577th KIA
S/S Troxel, Davis G. Jr. (G) 577th KIA
Maj. Clyde T. Gray, 576th Sqdn, was mission command pilot in the lead Pathfinder aircraft from the 482nd Bomb Group. Everyone in that crew but Denby had previously been assigned to the 392nd Bomb Group, 577th Sqdn, and had flown several missions with the 392nd. During form-up, 1Lt Usry's plane and the PFF plane collided at 14,000 feet approximately one mile south of Station 124 (Tibenham). Everyone in 1/Lt Usry's plane was killed; Maj. Gray and seven others in the PFF plane were killed. That crew was:Maj. Clyde T. Gray, mission command pilot from the 576th Sqdn (KIA)
1/Lt James N. Taylor, pilot
2/Lt Robert R. Stout, copilot
2/Lt William J. Pautz, navigator (KIA)
2/Lt Edward M. Lange, bombardier (KIA)
T/Sgt Winfred K. Albee, engineer (KIA)
T/Sgt Benjamin J. Zdnarvich, radio operator
S/Sgt Aubrey V. Keller, gunner (KIA)
S/Sgt Marion L. Blaney, gunner (KIA)
Denby, gunner (KIA)
S/Sgt Donald W. Gray, tail gunner (KIA)
The wreckage of both planes fell near the English villages of Gissing and Tivetshall, Norfolk. The 482nd aircraft was a B-24H model, #42-7669 while the Usry crew was aboard B-24J, #42-100005, nicknamed "OLD MAN BOSTON MARCLAR," Call Letter "P" on its second combat mission. On U.S. overseas burials, 2/Lt Turner and Sgt Goodman are interred at CAMBRIDGE in Graves C-1-70 and E-5-76, respectively. Turner's home of record was given as Washington, DC, and Goodman's as Mississippi. Both are noted to have been awarded one Air Medal and the Purple Heart. S/Sgt Matta is interred at Woodlawn National Cemetery in Section F, Site 4193.
MISSION #28 Target: Frankfurt
29 Jan 1944 576th Sqdn.|
P Barnes, L.J. 1st Lt.
P Rouse, M.S. 2nd Lt.
P Clover, D.K. 1st Lt.
P Ford, J.H. 1st Lt.
P Hestad, E.A. 2nd Lt.
P Wittel, E.F. 2nd Lt.
P Miller, H.W. 1st Lt.
P Mathias, W.E. 2nd Lt.
29 Jan 1944 577th Sqdn.|
P Peterson, L.G. 1st Lt.
P Ambrose, D.N. 2nd Lt.
P Tiefenthal, D.E. 1st Lt.
P Usry, W.F. 1st Lt.
P White, R.K. 2nd Lt.
P Brauer, G.M. 1st Lt.
29 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.|
A/C 480 (no mission credit)
P Lishka, A. Jr. 1st Lt.
P Carnine, G.D. 1st Lt.
P Sooy, B.L. 2nd Lt.
P Young, M.N. 2nd Lt.
P Raschke, W.C. 2nd Lt.
P Smith, R.E. 2nd Lt.
P Peterson, C.L. 1st Lt.
29 Jan 1944 579th Sqdn.|
P McGregor, J.A. 1st Lt.
P Kubale, E.W. 2nd Lt.
P Peyton, J.B. 1st Lt.
P Sharpe, W.G. 2nd Lt.
P Stukus, J. 1st Lt.
P Stewart, J.M. 2nd Lt.
P Lotterhos, R.H. Jr. 2nd Lt.