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14 April 1945 Mission #280 Target: Bordeaux-Pt. De Lusac

The target assigned on this mission was one of the most unusual types ever given to the 14th Combat Wing. Enemy ‘pockets of resistance’ were still prevalent in various parts of France and on this date a gun emplacement on the Giraud Estuary, just north of Bordeaux, was slated for attack. The bombing formations were unusual, as well, with six ship squadrons flying in waves across the target. Also, since enemy fighter reaction was not anticipated this late in the war for a mission to be flown almost entirely over friendly territory, .50 caliber machine guns and ammunition were not loaded and most Waist Gunners did not fly with their crews. Bomb loading for this raid consisted of (102) 1000# and 2000# GP weapons for penetration of the concrete gun revetments. At 0200 hours, (36) aircrews were briefed and at 0444, a reduced force of (32) began take-offs. A tragic accident occurred on take-off to one of the 578th aircrews - the last 392nd crew to be killed-in-action in combat during World War II. The aircraft, #446 (R-Bar), piloted by Lieutenant Charles Warner crashed just after breaking ground in the pre-dawn take-off. He, and (6) others of his crew were killed in the crash but (1) Gunner survived, having been thrown clear of the burning bomber after impact on the northeast end of Runway 05. (S/Sgt Donald Kight died of his injuries on May 25, 1945.) The cause of the crash was attributed to the loss of two engines on the left side just as the ship was breaking ground on take-off. Tower observers saw the pilots vainly struggling to keep the crippled Liberator in the air and gain some altitude, but the left wing would not come up and the bomber crashed in an open field, bursting into flames immediately. This grim tragedy was a somber spectacle for the remaining (26) crews which took off over the crashed bomber’s site to continue the mission. The bombers found the target area to be clear and visual bombing was accomplished again with outstanding results. A total of (93) percent of bombs released impacted within 2000 foot of the aiming point, knocking out the gun batteries. Flak was nil as the crews returned to Wendling and landed safely around 1315 hours.

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CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACR

14 APRIL 1945:

2/Lt Warner, Charles W. (P) 578th KIA
2/Lt Smith, James E. (CP) 578th KIA
2/Lt Peppard, John M. (N) 578th KIA
S/Sgt Kight, Donald A. (NG) 578th KIA
S/Sgt Hathaway, Eugene 0. (R/O) 578th KIA
S/Sgt McGee, Oliver W. Jr (EnG) 578th KIA
S/Sgt Richmond, Thomas C. Jr (TG) 578th KIA
T/Sgt Allen, Phillip (S-27)* 578th KIA
   * German language radio monitor

The tragic event which took the lives of these men occurred immediately after a pre-dawn take-off on the mission to Bordeau-Point De Lusac area, France. The crew appeared to lose power on the two left wing engines, #1 and #2, according to ground observers just as the aircraft broke ground off the northeast end of Runway 05. With the heavy bomb load being carried and before the plane could be "cleaned up" with landing gear retracted, this grave in-flight emergency presented a definite less-than-marginally-safe situation for the Pilots to recover from in any case. The accident took place at 0445 hours as the Group bomber stream continued takeoffs over the burning pyre of this ship. The crew was flying in B-24H Model #42-50446, Call Letter "R-Bar", nicknamed "J.C. POOLHALL" at the time, which plane had completed a total of (92) combat missions up to this crash. Two (2) assigned aircrew members were not assigned to fly this particular mission with their parent crew, thus surviving this tragedy: S/Sgt E. J. Brooks and S/Sgt L. E. Neel, both Waist Gunners on the Warner aircrew. Four (4) of the deceased are buried in the U.S. Military Cemetery at CAMBRIDGE, England: Sgt Hathaway in Grave E-1-89, shown as having been awarded the Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart; Sgt McGee in Grave E-1 -82 shown as being awarded an Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters, however, no citation of the Purple Heart is noted; Sgt Richmond in Grave E-6-62 with awards of an Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart; and Sgt Kight in Grave E-5-117 with awards of an Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Cluster, but none for the Purple Heart.

Sgt Kight, the Nose Gunner, was thrown clear of the aircraft wreckage during the crash and survived this tragic event for over a month. On 29 May 1945, he succumbed to his injuries as the very last fatality recorded for the 392nd during WWII. Lt Warner’s crew also was the last aircrew to perish from a mishap during the war. (Note: Lt Warner’s subsequent interment record was requested and obtained from the U.S. Army Personnel & Logistics Department by the author in 1993. His remains were removed from his initial CAMBRIDGE Cemetery grave site (then, AA-3-19) at the request of next-of-kin and reburied in his home town of Walkerton, Indiana during April 1948. The current-day 392 BGMA News Editor-in-Chief, James Goar of Frankfort, Indiana, also visited the Warner grave site in Walkerton and managed to contact close relatives in this area during 1994). The Co-Pilot, Lt. James Smith was also buried initially at CAMBRIDGE, and his remains were eventually returned to the States. He was buried in the Long Island National Cemetery (Section J, Site 15206), Farmingdale, N.Y., on 13 January 1949. The home States known for those deceased were Sgt Hathaway from Ohio, Sgt McGee from Alabama, Sgt Richmond from Michigan, and Sgt Kight from Maryland. Lt. Smith’s home town was Hartford, Connecticut. All of the Warner aircrew men were very close friends of the Vickers’ crewmembers, the Pilots and other various crew members having flown and trained together during all of the year previous leading up to the very day of this tragedy- from Stateside B-24 transition training for the Pilots at Liberal, Kansas, through crew formation and subsequent training at the CCIS group, Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, and then going overseas to the same combat group, and being assigned to the very same Squadron. Their loss was very deeply felt, and their remembrance never forgotten.



The crash site of #42-50446, 2/Lt Warner's crew

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14 APRIL 1945

MISSION #280      Target: Bordeaux-Pt. De Lusac



14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 647

P Griffin, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Cameron, A.S. 2nd Lt.
N Byall, J.R. 2nd Lt.
B Kosek, S.C. Sgt.
R Kirkpatrick, J.T. Sgt.
E Richardson, S.D. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Dennis, R.W. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 571

P Smith, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Malmborg, F.L. 2nd Lt.
N Hazard, A.R. 2nd Lt.
B Linderman, W.T. S/Sgt.
R Kroll, M.E. S/Sgt.
E Lyon, H.H. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Farley, R.L. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 505

P Frazier, L.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Linder, E.P. F/O
N Robinson, R.L. 2nd Lt.
B Penders, D.P. Sgt.
R Latour, H.E. Sgt.
E McGrath, L.R. Pvt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Rohde, R.E. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 357

P MacFarlane, D.R. 1st Lt.
CP Sullivan, J.W. 2nd Lt.
N Petree, W.B. 2nd Lt.
B Thompson, R.C. Sgt.
R Danielchik, E.R. Sgt.
E Colasanti, B.R. Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Rumancik, J.P. Sgt.
RCM Harvie, W.M. T/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 527

P Gill, R.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Manning, D.S. 2nd Lt.
N Holbert, A.S. 2nd Lt.
B Patterson, J.N. Sgt.
R Tejcka, D.N. Sgt.
E Ray, J.J. Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Ehrlich, L.D. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 299

P Lienemann, A.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Knaver, J.G. F/O
N Hanna, L.B. 2nd Lt.
B Nichols, S.R. Sgt.
R Petrosky, J.M. Sgt.
E Wagner, C.R. Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Freeman, S.E. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 589

P Raczko, W. 2nd Lt.
CP McGill, C.L. 1st Lt.
N Cline, A.P. F/O
B Holland, J.R. S/Sgt.
R VanDeven, J.K. T/Sgt.
E Reynolds, J.R. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Adkins, J.E. S/Sgt.
S-27 Keehn, M.F. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 898

P Myers, C.E. 1st Lt.
CP Anderson, K.W. 2nd Lt.
N Warntz, W. 2nd Lt.
B Zgurich, E.E. 2nd Lt.
R Jaklinski, B. S/Sgt.
E Payton, J.B. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Kirk, G.A. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 118 (Y+)

P Dodson, G.H. 2nd Lt.
CP LeFevre, L.P. 2nd Lt.
N Fletcher, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Hochard, H.H. S/Sgt.
R Green, J.M. T/Sgt.
E Herrera, D.R. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Jenkins, C.E. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 906

P Mlinarcik, E. 2nd Lt.
CP Parker, R.W. 2nd Lt.
N Caris, R.L. 2nd Lt.
B Caltrider, G.E. Sgt.
R Livingston, F. Sgt.
E Butler, J.M. Sgt.
RW Williams, O.L. Pvt..
LW - -
TG Franks, A. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 507

P Cline, K.E. 1st Lt.
CP Garrett, A.W. 2nd Lt.
N Greenblatt, M.L. 2nd Lt.
B Lehr, E.L. Sgt.
R Leahy, W.E. S/Sgt.
E Thompson, R.H. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Larmee, W.H. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 753

P Jordan, T.J. 1st Lt.
CP Osojnicki, E.S. 2nd Lt.
N Sprosty, A.O. 1st Lt.
B Faust, L.E. 1st Lt.
R Brown, L.E. T/Sgt.
E Kinzler, S.J. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Kwiatowski, L.P. S/Sgt.
NN Washabau, C.B. 2nd Lt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 901

P Shaw, B.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Bachman, L.W. 2nd Lt.
N Anstey, M.P. F/O
B Jordan, V.A. 2nd Lt.
R Sturm, W.A. T/Sgt.
E Kedenburg, J.H. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Schunke, C.W. S/Sgt.
NN Barger, G.W. 1st Lt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 169

P Harding, W.A. 1st Lt.
CP Morrow, E.T. 2nd Lt.
N Parrish, J.D. 2nd Lt.
B Fisher, J.G. Sgt.
R Dollar, W.H. S/Sgt.
E Butler, C.E. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Neumann, H.J. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 477

P Weed, O.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Healy, B.P. 2nd Lt.
N Trask, W.V. 2nd Lt.
B Washabau, C.B. 2nd Lt.
R Yoak, E.B. Sgt.
E Gorman, E.J. Sgt.
RW - -
LW Erfurth, R.L. Sgt.
TG Kolodziejski, J.J. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 697

P Gates, H.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Day, J.G. 2nd Lt.
N Siwy, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Harrison, W.F. Sgt.
R Frigo, H.M. S/Sgt.
E Baker, R.E. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Ryan, W.M. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 151 (no mission credit)

P Jackson, C.J. 1st Lt.
CP Parrish, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Pillsbury, A.A. 2nd Lt.
B Wolfe, P.G. S/Sgt.
R Paren, J.H. T/Sgt.
E Jenkins, J.H. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Roe, W.L. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 493

P Vickers, R.E. 1st Lt.
CP Schwarzer, D.E. 2nd Lt.
N Roberts, K.E. 2nd Lt.
B Henthorn, W.N. S/Sgt.
R Costanzo, N.T. S/Sgt.
E Krutys, E.V. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Leinweber, R.L. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 205

P Sisson, T.M. 2nd Lt.
CP Cranson, W.N. 2nd Lt.
N Greening, D.J. 2nd Lt.
B White, E.D. S/Sgt.
R Strausbaugh, R.L. S/Sgt.
E Robinson, J.C. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Kruse, E.K. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 542

P Iverson, A.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Mitchell, J.D. 2nd lt.
N Slobotnick, M.H. 2nd Lt.
B Fialkewicz, W.S.R. Sgt.
R Donovon, G.E. Sgt.
E Winter, C.H. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG - -

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 240

P Howenstein, J.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Matelski, L.W. 2nd Lt.
N Peters, A.J. 2nd Lt.
B Smith, J.W. 2nd Lt.
R Thompson, J.E. Sgt.
E Courey, A.E. Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Christopher, D.B. Sgt.
NG Boeckermann, R.B. Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 313

P Cerrato, V.H. 1st Lt.
CP Addison, A.E. 2nd Lt.
N Ramos, R.W. Jr. 2nd Lt.
B Burrell, M.L. S/Sgt.
R Ewell, A.J. T/Sgt.
E Lee, R.M. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Warwick, F.W. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 250

P Joyce, J.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Bowman, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N McQuade, R.N. 2nd Lt.
B Andrews, Q.Q. S/Sgt.
R Brown, J.F. T/Sgt.
E Albino, A. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Richter, R.H. S/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 446 (see note below)

P Warner, C.W. 2nd Lt. (KIA)
CP Smith, J.E. 2nd Lt. (KIA)
N Peppard, J.M. 2nd Lt. (KIA)
B Kight, D.A. S/Sgt.
  (hospitalized)
R Hathaway, E.O. S/Sgt. (KIA)
E McGee, O.W. S/Sgt. (KIA)
RW - -
LW - -
TG Richmond, T.C. S/Sgt. (KIA)
S-27 Allen, P. T/Sgt. (KIA)

14 Apr 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 249

P Bilz, J.J. 1st Lt.
CP Slayter, D.W. 1st Lt.
N Barnes, J.M. 1st Lt.
B Overman, D.T. 1st Lt.
R Fahrenbruch, K.G. T/Sgt.
E Grout, A.G. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Ludwig, D.J. S/Sgt.
NG Beals, B.M. S/Sgt.
RCM Cauchon, L.V, T/Sgt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 788

McFadden, Maj.
P Barnes, W.B. 1st Lt.
CP Peters, M.J. 1st Lt.
N Dieruff, R.C. 1st Lt.
B Edmond, R.E. 1st Lt.
R Westerfield, M.M. T/Sgt.
E Wilson, W.W. T/Sgt.
RW McGuire, E.P. S/Sgt.
LW Braman, J.L. S/Sgt.
TG Harvell, J.E. S/Sgt.
NV Sprowls, R.W. 1st Lt.
PN Czyzewicz, C.H. 2nd Lt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 519

P Wood, D.R. Capt.
CP Schoellerman, M.L. 2nd Lt.
N Satterthwait, D.R. 2nd Lt.
B Segraves, W.D. 1st Lt.
R Fleischmann, R.F. T/Sgt.
E Morgan, K.W. T/Sgt.
RW McCormick, F.L.J. S/Sgt.
LW Stuck, W.F. S/Sgt.
TG Wright, A.P. S/Sgt.
NV  Tucker, W.L. 1st Lt.
PN Reynolds, D.W. 1st Lt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 577

P Beder, J. Capt.
CP Samsell, J.A. 1st Lt.
N Matishowski, J. 1st Lt.
B Murray, J.G. 1st Lt.
R Murgatroyd, R.S. T/Sgt.
E Morley, J.P. T/Sgt.
RW Shumaker, M.C. 1st Lt.
LW - -
TG Schodrof, R.H. S/Sgt.
NV Adelstein, R.L. 1st Lt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 886

P Miller, R.L. 1st Lt.
CP Creel, H.L. 2nd Lt.
N Cummings, F.L. 1st Lt.
B Hickok, H.E.  1st Lt.
R Tribbett, L.L. S/Sgt.
E Fritz, G.G. S/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Wolfe, P.J. S/Sgt.
PN Baker, R.W. 1st Lt.
NV Barry, W.T. 1st Lt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 684

P Linzmeier, R.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Fisher, R.M. 2nd Lt.
N Gallagher, W.W. 1st Lt.
B Schutze, G.C. 2nd Lt.
R Hughes, C.B. T/Sgt.
E Connor, E.J. T/Sgt.
RW - -
LW - -
TG Specht, C.O. Cpl.
PN Creme, A.R. 2nd Lt.
NV Tager, T.E. 1st Lt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 670

P Kerr, D.R. Capt.
CP Fabiani, H.L. 1st Lt.
N Boettcher, R.E. 1st Lt.
B Copple, R.N. 1st Lt.
R Abraham, L.J. T/Sgt.
E Chelenyak, J.A. T/Sgt.
RW Johnson, E.W. S/Sgt.
LW Richardson, W.C. S/Sgt
TG Harmon, G.E. S/Sgt.
PN Mintz, H.B. 2nd Lt.
NV Slagle, R.B. 2nd Lt.

14 Apr 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 308

P Steck, R.O. 1st Lt.
CP Quinn, E.J. 2nd Lt.
N Jost, E.G. 2nd Lt.
B Gross, E.B. 2nd Lt.
R Parker, R.M. T/Sgt.
E Lewis, M.M. T/Sgt.
RW Thompson, W.J. Sgt.
LW Jacobson, C.R. S/Sgt.
TG Peters, R.P. S/Sgt.
PN Johnson, F. 2nd Lt.
NV Milrod, M. 2nd Lt.





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