392nd Bomb Group

Target: Genshagen - 6 March 1944 - Mission #47

The briefed target was the Daimler-Benz Motor Works just a few miles on the outskirts of Berlin. Because of poor target area weather, the mission was to be a confused one. Briefing for (25) aircrews was completed by 0530 with take-offs beginning around 0800 hours. The 576th Squadron was assigned lead with Lt Jackson as lead Bombardier. Of the (21) over the target area, none bombed the primary because of weather. Bombing was done on PFF for the main force which released 10 miles west of the Primary on a Target of Opportunity. Some aircraft dropped on a bridge across a lake southwest of Potsdam and one other aircraft, flying with the 447th Bomb Group, did release on the briefed target. A total of (252) 500# GP bombs were released with results rated poor for the mission. Some 10-15 FW-190 and ME-109 enemy aircraft were encountered with group gunners making (2) claims. AA fire was intense but inaccurate, however, (4) B-24s were battle damaged by flak. Two (2) aircraft and aircrews were lost on this raid. From the 579th, 1st Lieutenant P. F. Shea’s crew who had flown the famous Gotha raid crashed on take-off killing all aboard in aircraft #473 ‘J-Bar’, a 578th Squadron aircraft. 1st Lieutenant E. A. Hestad’s crew from the 576th Squadron, flying airplane #598 ‘E’ for Easy another Gotha mission ship was missing-in-action just before the Initial Point. The aircraft was last seen 20-30 minutes before the IP with #3 engine feathered and jettisoning bombs, falling back out of formation. At 1415, the ship was forced to leave the Group formation and was last seen at 5235°N-0730°E, under control and heading 270°. No chutes were seen coming from the aircraft.


P   1/LT Hestad, Erling A.       POW
CP  F/O  Madden,Tim E            POW
N   2/LT Carley, Raymond J.      POW
B   2/LT Butts, Melford H.       POW
R/O T/S  Folda, George (NMI)     POW
EnG S/S  Finley, George E.       POW
BG  S/S  Twitchell, Frederick 0. POW
WG  S/S  Slagle, Charles I.      POW
WG  S/S  Wilson, Leo (NMI)       POW 
TG  S/S  Troup, David G.         POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Returning crews gave an eye-witness account concerning the loss of this aircrew, as follows: "Lt. Hestad feathered his #3 engine (20) or (30) minutes before reaching the IP He regained formation after jettisoning his bombs. The aircraft peeled off from our formation at approximately 1415 hours at (position) 52-40N, 09-45E and began dropping back although still under control. He had lost oil from #3 engine and gas was streaming from both wings. Last seen at 1448 hours at (position) 52-35N. 07-30E, under control, heading 270 degrees. No chutes observed from this aircraft at any time". A German Report #KU1093, dated 8 March 1944 at 0015 hours recorded the downing of this crew’s aircraft at 1430 hours, 6 March, about (18) miles southeast of Amersfoort - by tail number; 576th Squadron; 392nd Group; and base of Wendling. This report also listed the names of the (10) crewmembers taken in this vicinity after their bail out as prisoners.

In an interview for the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1990, Mr. Slagle said, "Just before we got to Berlin, we got hit with flak. Since we were leading the group that day, we had to give up our position because we couldn't keep up with the group. We dropped back and dropped down and picked the secondary target and bombed it and then turned around and headed back for England. We got hit by fighters twice on the way back. The last one hit us somewhere around the German Holland border. We had already lost one engine and we lost two more when he hit us and you can't fly on one engine, so we crash landed north of Rhenen on the Rhine in the Netherlands."


BURIAL RECORDS: No casualties are recorded for this crew and all were taken POW.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: A thread of information about the home of record and next-of-kin was contained in the German Report cited above. A slip of paper found on one of the Gunners, Sgt. Twitchell, listed a relative as a Marion Twitchell of Gorham, New Hampshire and another acquaintance as Mrs. Joseph 0. Lantigue of Chartage, New York. No other data is available in this MACR except that belonging to Sgt Finley. also found on a slip of paper noted in the German Report, which recorded a "W.H. Finley, Flying ‘U’, New Mexico".

#42-7598 after she crashed on 6 March 1944
Click on image to enlarge.


1/LT Shea, Paul F. (P) 579th KIA
2/LT Hay, Sherman N. (CP) 579th KIA
2/LT Lowder, Leonard L. (N) 579th KIA
2/LT Heilman, James A. (B) 579th KIA
T/S Darling, Lockwood (NMI) (R/O) 579th KIA
T/S Mahoney, John E. (EnG) 579th KIA
S/S Moore, Harland R. (G) 579th KIA
S/S Dudley, William R. (G) 579th KIA
S/S Wisley, Robert L. (G) 579th KIA
S/S Adams, Billy (NMI) (G) 579th KIA

This aircrew flying in the rear element "slot" formation position crashed after take-off at 0900 hours at Great Dunham, Norfolk, on this combat mission to Genshagen on the outskirts of Berlin. Visibility at the time was approximately 100 yards due to a fog, a layer of which lay to a depth of approximately 50 feet. The crew of a ship flying in the area saw the accident, and the pilot stated that the ship was above the fog layer and appeared to lose altitude and crashed. Upon investigation, the aircraft was found to have struck a tree, crashed, and exploded approximately 2000 yards from the end and approximately 1000 yards to the left of the end of the runway. All (10) crew members perished in this accident. Ihe aircraft was completely burned up with the entire bomb load exploding.

Five (5) of these crewmen are buried in the U.S. National (overseas) Cemetery of CAMBRIDGE: Lt. Hay (Grave E-0-76), awarded an Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart, home State of California; Lt. Lowder (Grave E-O24), awarded an Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters, but no Purple Heart citation is indicated, home state of West Virginia; Sgt. Mahoney (Grave C-3-5), awarded and Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart, home State of New Jersey; Sgt. Moore (Grave B-3-l0), awarded the Purple Heart only, home state Idaho; and Sgt Wisley (Grave B-4-l0), awarded the Purple Heart, home state of Indiana. This crew was flying a B-24H Model #42-7473, nicknamed "CAROL ANN", Call Letter "J-Bar" which ship had flown a total of (16) combat missions up to this mishap.

The crash site of #42-7473, 1/Lt Shea's crew
Click on image to enlarge.
The crash site of #42-7473, 1/Lt Shea's crew )
Click on image to enlarge.
Bombs aboard #473 explode.
Click on image to enlarge.


6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 411
Barnes, L.J. Capt.
P Clover, D.K. 1st Lt.
CP Berger, R.M. 2nd Lt.
N Duncan, R.H. 2nd Lt.
B Jackson, G.J. 1st Lt.
B McDonald, P.R. 2nd Lt.
E Losey, J.C. T/Sgt.
R Bell, R.W. S/Sgt.
AE Galler, I. T/Sgt.
AR - -
AG Royal, C.K. S/Sgt.
G Ross, J.M. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 311
(no mission credit)
P Feran, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Hayes, F.N. 2nd Lt.
N Cummings, F.J. 2nd Lt.
B Wishbow, G.B. 2nd Lt.
E Houser, B.M. T/Sgt.
R Dmoch, T.S. T/Sgt.
AE Wolfer, A.J. S/Sgt.
AR Hampton, W.R. S/Sgt.
AG Prazak, S.J. S/Sgt.
G Boord, W.M. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 835
P Filkel, O.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Hurd, J.S. 2nd Lt.
N Tyson, E.E. 2nd Lt.
B Tudor, J.R. 2nd Lt.
E Blevins, R.E. S/Sgt.
R Smith, R.C. S/Sgt.
AE Jarrett, C.W. Sgt.
AR Hoover, A.L. Sgt.
AG Kirkpatrick, H.K. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 598 (MIA)
P Hestad, E.A. 1st Lt.
CP Madden, T.E. F/O
N Carley, R.J. 2nd Lt.
B Butts, M.H. 2nd Lt.
E Finley, G.E. S/Sgt.
R Folda, G. T/Sgt.
AE Slagle, C.I. S/Sgt.
AR Twitchell, F.O. S/Sgt.
AG Troup, D.G. S/Sgt.
G Wilson, L. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 692
P Ellison, B.M. 2nd Lt.
CP Miller, B.D. 1st Lt.
N Williamson, C.R 2nd Lt.
B Hurdle, Q.C. 2nd Lt.
E Samples, H.F. T/Sgt.
R Jean, R.P. T/Sgt.
AE Tupper, J.A. S/Sgt.
AR Patenaude, E.J. S/Sgt.
AG Picking, H.E. S/Sgt.
G Anderson, C.S. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 131
P Mathias, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Jones, L.C. 2nd Lt.
N Mateyka, M.R. 2nd Lt.
NG Bennett, L.G. S/Sgt.
E Chambless, S.L. T/Sgt.
R Slyhoff, K.G. T/Sgt.
AE Blackwell, R.B. S/Sgt.
AR Smock, J.M. S/Sgt.
AG Weverka, J.E. S/Sgt.
G Burke, W.N. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 651
P Ford, J.H. 1st Lt.
CP Bunting, D.W. 2nd Lt.
N Plunkett, F.A. 2nd Lt.
B Thompson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
E Lewis, G.F. T/Sgt.
R Kramer, A.W. T/Sgt.
AE Roberson, L.P. S/Sgt.
AR Saucedo, J.A. S/Sgt.
AG Harvison, W.P. S/Sgt.
G Roti, D.A. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 432
P Egan, R.L. 1st Lt.
CP Basham, F.G. 1st Lt.
N Harris, W.B. 1st Lt.
B Gray, W.L. 2nd Lt.
E Hurley, W.F. 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.
6 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 824
(no mission credit)
P Anderson, E.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Maben, J.F. 2nd Lt.
N Cashen, E.J. 2nd Lt.
B Linzey, J.D. 2nd Lt.
E Parker, E.S. S/Sgt.
R Masteka, G.F. S/Sgt.
AE Cagle, W.C. S/Sgt.
AR Mitchell, J.W. Sgt.
AG Hardic, A.M. Sgt.
G Landry, L.M. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 505
P Scheltens, G.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Vaughan, H.C. 2nd Lt.
N Coward, D.M. 2nd Lt.
B Warren, J.D. S/Sgt.
E Morr, R.J. T/Sgt.
R Borden, K.L. S/Sgt.
AE Mandelkow, E. S/Sgt.
AR Crotty, W.L. Sgt.
AG Thompson, I.F. S/Sgt.
G Apgar, D.R. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 546
P Ambrose, D.N. 1st Lt.
CP Dorrell, W. 2nd Lt.
N Lindberg, V.A. 2nd Lt.
B Tierney, J.F. 2nd Lt.
E Cummings, D.L. T/Sgt.
R Sawyer, G.H. S/Sgt.
AE Davis, J.A. S/Sgt.
AR Hall, E.A. S/Sgt.
AG Oasheim, G.W. S/Sgt.
G Dunham, H.D. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 127
P Tiefenthal, D.E. 1st Lt.
CP Clifford, R.R. 2nd Lt.
N Chichetto, A.F. 2nd Lt.
B Gordon, A.M. 2nd Lt.
E Wright, A. T/Sgt.
R DiCroce, J.A. T/Sgt.
AE Hull, W.W. S/Sgt.
AR Sopchak, J. S/Sgt.
AG Schulz, W.G. S/Sgt.
G Stevens, R.K. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 826
P Abell, G.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Eldridge, M.C. 2nd Lt.
N Boettcher, R.E. 2nd Lt.
B Lawrence, J.S. 2nd Lt.
E Tryboski, L.E. T/Sgt.
R Nemeth, P.J. S/Sgt.
AE Horton, H.E. S/Sgt.
AR Manville, F.E. S/Sgt.
AG Moore, J.R. S/Sgt.
G Roper, D.W. S/Sgt
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 489
(no mission credit)
P Goodwin, R.K. 2nd Lt.
CP McGee, R.C. 2nd Lt.
N Haenzi, W.R. 1st Lt.
NG Nixon, A.D. S/Sgt.
E Chacon, M.J. S/Sgt.
R Roberts, E.M. S/Sgt.
AE Maxwell, R.J. S/Sgt.
AR Krueger, R.C. S/Sgt.
AG Parsley, H.D. S/Sgt.
G Thrower, W.E. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 465
P Raschke, W.C. 1st Lt.
CP Holm, H.J. 2nd Lt.
N Petrozzella, B.C. 2nd Lt.
B Ward, M.E. 2nd Lt.
E Wagonseller, R.V. T/Sgt.
R Krek, B.R. T/Sgt.
AE Davis, R.W. S/Sgt.
AR Gyure, F. S/Sgt.
AG Doub, H.G. S/Sgt.
G Rankin, J.H. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 187
P Young, M.N. 1st Lt.
CP Goodwin, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Dunphy, R.J. 2nd Lt.
B Cunningham, R.B. 2nd Lt.
E Triplett, W.F. T/Sgt.
R Whitmore, B. T/Sgt.
AE Teater, R.S. S/Sgt.
AR Porter, C.C. S/Sgt.
AG Rickey, J.J. S/Sgt.
G Ross, J.D. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 624
P Morefield, H.F. 1st Lt.
CP Grisell, R. 2nd Lt.
N Kaufman, K.S. 2nd Lt.
B Kuttner, F.F. 2nd Lt.
E Betterley, E.C. S/Sgt.
R Gerrard, R.W. T/Sgt.
AE Breithaupt, H.A. Sgt.
AR Jones, N.J. S/Sgt.
AG Blekkenk, J.H. S/Sgt.
G Adago, D.R. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 981
P Schildknecht, H.E. 1st Lt.
CP Long, J.D. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Hersh, A. 2nd Lt.
B Wasowicz, M.V. 2nd Lt.
E Sadler, R.S. T/Sgt.
R Begley, J.F. T/Sgt.
AE Reid, H.A. S/Sgt.
AR Reade, G.J. S/Sgt.
AG Reed, B.P. S/Sgt.
G Edwards, C.E. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 945
P Sooy, B.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Mardis, K.A. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, O.R. 2nd Lt.
B Schwartz, E.S. 2nd Lt.
E Serafine, J.M. S/Sgt.
R Terrell, P.J. S/Sgt.
AE White, T. Sgt.
AR McBrayer, H.G. S/Sgt.
AG McArn, H.W. Sgt.
G Rider, F.D. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 261
P Muldoon, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Otis, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Walsh, F.T. 2nd Lt.
NG Wilk, H. S/Sgt.
E Byrd, J.M. S/Sgt.
R DeHoff, L.V. T/Sgt.
AE Carpenter, J.A. S/Sgt.
AR Bluejacket, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Bednarcik, S.A. S/Sgt.
G Svoboda, J.J. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 599
P Spartage, G. 1st Lt.
CP Kern, R.B. 2nd Lt.
N Tauskey, W.A. 1st Lt.
B Campbell, R.A. 1st Lt.
E Warren, O.J. S/Sgt.
R Worthington, P.A. T/Sgt.
AE Helmke, E.F. S/Sgt.
AR Draper, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Ridgeway, J.W. S/Sgt.
G Riedlinger, A.J. S/Sgt.
NG Jones, D.C. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 473
(KIA on takeoff)
P Shea, P.F. 1st Lt.
CP Hay, S.N. 2nd Lt.
N Lowder, L.L. 2nd Lt.
B Heilman, J.A. 2nd Lt.
E Darling, L. T/Sgt.
R Mahoney, J.E. T/Sgt.
AE Moore, H.R. S/Sgt.
AR Dudley, W.R. S/Sgt.
AG Wisley, R.L. S/Sgt.
G Adams, B. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 117
P Sharpe, W.G. 1st Lt.
CP Bandura, N.A. 2nd Lt.
N McGuire, W.C. 2nd Lt.
B Richardson, F.E. 2nd Lt.
E Huffman, R.R. T/Sgt.
R Wallace, F.C. S/Sgt.
AE Anderson, C.A. S/Sgt.
AR McGowan, W.J. S/Sgt.
AG Cugini, M.W. S/Sgt.
G Maylander, N. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 160
P Darnell, J.F. 1st Lt.
CP Slagle, E.E. 2nd Lt.
N Stasney, A.J. 2nd Lt.
B Lory, R.C. 2nd Lt.
E Whitaker, J.W. S/Sgt.
R Mandel, R.F. T/Sgt.
AE Sundo, J.R. S/Sgt.
AR Ward, L.E. Sgt.
AG Rego, M.A. S/Sgt.
G Courtney, E.J. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 814
P Hammond, G.L. 1st Lt.
CP Hatter, W.H. 2nd Lt.
N Sullivan, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Rodriguez, J.B. 2nd Lt.
E Pearson, W.M. T/Sgt.
R Sullivan, W. T/Sgt.
AE Hargrave, R.O. S/Sgt.
AR Willig, N.K. Sgt.
AG Goldberg, M.R. S/Sgt.
G Gaudreau, H.P. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 308
(no mission credit)
P Sherwood, W.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Anderson, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N Sheridan, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Bowen, H.A. 2nd Lt.
E Todd, R.E. S/Sgt.
R Mohr, D.C. S/Sgt.
AE Coveney, C.M. Sgt.
AR Grybos, T.J. Sgt.
AG Phillips, E.L. Sgt.
G Carroll, J.B. Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 510
P Baumgart, V.A. 1st Lt.
CP Cordes, W.C. 1st Lt.
N Slowik, J.E. Capt.
B Kennedy, T. 1st Lt.
B Stupski, S.J. 1st Lt.
E Davis, H. T/Sgt.
R Kiss, J. T/Sgt.
AE Luchak, A. S/Sgt.
AR Yost, J.W. S/Sgt.
AG Money, J.A. S/Sgt.
G Fons, J.P. S/Sgt.
6 Mar 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 990
P Books, D.O. 1st Lt.
CP Gray, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Kornman, H.C. 2nd Lt.
G Beseda, J.F. S/Sgt.
E Morris, E.N.Sgt.
R Slack, G.E. S/Sgt.
AE Womer, W.S. S/Sgt.
AR Porter, C.T. Sgt.
AG Strickler, C.C. Sgt.
G Hampton, R.G. Sgt.