392nd Bomb Group

Target: Leipheim - 24 April 1944 - Mission #71

Briefing for (28) crews was conducted between 0430-0500 hours with (26) aircraft beginning take-off at 0900. Lieutenants Colburn and Zacarelli of the 577th and 578th Squadrons were assigned lead Bombardier tasks. The 392nd was scheduled to follow the 96th Combat Wing B-24s this day as its sister 14th Combat Wing group the 44th was completely grounded due to an outbreak of ptomaine poisoning. While no enemy aircraft were encountered, the AA fire experienced was light but accurate. Bombing was conducted visually with excellent results being achieved. A total of (1352) 100# bombs impacted the Primary airfield target causing hangars and surrounding building on the aiming point to be obliterated. Flak accounted for the damage of (4) ships and the loss of (2) other aircrews. In the 578th Squadron, 2nd Lieutenant T. W. Griffin’s crew in airplane #688 had two engines out and at 1330 hours, position 4827N-0710E, the ship was seen to leave formation under control but losing altitude. It was observed last, headed in the direction of Switzerland, being escorted by P-51 and P-47 aircraft. From the 579th, aircraft #105 with 2nd Lieutenant C. F. Ellinger’s crew took a direct flak hit at 1558 hours, position 5050N-0320E, enroute home. The aircraft broke apart, smoking, with one chute being seen before the ship crashed. Mission ships recovered at base beginning around 1730 hours.


MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #04292 AIRCRAFT: #44-40105 (NO NICKNAME) "B-Bar" 1st Mission
P   2/LT Ellinger, Carl F.    KIA
CP  2/LT Morton, Neil H.      KIA
N   2/LT Wieland, Joe L.      KIA
B   2/LT Hall, Ross H.        KIA
R/O S/S  Olson, Ralph (NMI)   KIA
EnG S/S  Coble, Aubrey D.     KIA
BG  SGT  Weeks, Harvey H. Jr  KIA
WG  SGT  Phillips, Harry E.   KIA
WG  S/S  Helmke, Elton F.     KIA
TG  SGT  Hasenfratz, Merle J. POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Eye-witness reports from returning crewmen of other planes (Lts. Ambrose, Kamenitsa, and Weinheimer) stated that the Ellinger ship received a direct hit from AA guns at position 50-50 N; 03-20E at 1558 hours on route back from the target and this flak had struck the aircraft just behind the wing section with the plane starting down and disintegrating before striking the ground and, no chutes were seen. The reported downing would place this aircraft roughly over Belgium territory. No other accounts of any type were available.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: Sgt Hasenfratz later recalled that after flak hit his aircraft, the front section exploded into flames and the tail section spun out of control toward the ground. He and two other crewmembers were in the tail section as it plunged 18,000 feet to the ground. Hasenfratz was the sole survivor.

After the war, the Army conducted extensive investigations in the area where this plane crashed. Local residents told them that the B-24 crashed in flames near the communities of Arbres, Maffles, and Meslin-Eveque, Belgium, at about 1600 hours after the anti-aircraft battery at Chievres had fired at it. There was one survivor, who came down in the community of Meslin l'Eveque and was taken prisoner. The bomber burned for almost 24 hours. On the afternoon of 25 April, Germans arrived at the crash site and recovered a total of five bodies. One of them, presumably a gunner, was found near the farm "Tilly" with his machine-gun turret wrapped around him. These five men were buried in the Chievres Communal Cemetery. The remains of another man were found the next day by a farmer, placed in a wooden box, and buried in his garden. Over the next several days, residents found identification tags for Harvey H. Weeks Jr., Aubrey D. Coble, and Carl F. Ellinger, and other personal items in the wreckage. These were all turned over to Allied authorities after the war.

BURIAL RECORDS: The only burial accounts that exist are those listings for the recovery and interments of Sgts. Helmke and Weeks, as follows: In the U.S. National overseas Military Cemetery of the ARDENNES: Helmke (Grave C-1;9-8) and Weeks (Grave A-38-51). 2/Lt Ellinger, 2/Lt Morton, 2/Lt Hall, and S/Sgt Coble are interred at Ft McPherson National Cemetery, Section F Site 1226B.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information given is as follows: Ellinger (Wife, Mrs Carl, Louisville, Kentucky; Morton (Wife, Margaret M., Hattiesburg, Mississippi); Wieland (Father, Albert W., Newton, Kansas); Hall (Wife, Debores B., Miston, Tennessee); Olson (Mother, Signa, Faith, South Dakota); Phillips (Mother, Golda, Jacksonville, Arkansas); Coble (Mother, Mrs. Woodie F., Richland, Oregon); (Father, Fred J., Glatonia, Nebraska); Weeks (Father, Harvey H., Cleveland, Ohio); and Hasenfratz (Mother, Tressia, Perry, Oklahoma). On Medal awards, Sgt. Helmke is listed as having the DFC and the Air Medal with (3) Oak Leaf Clusters, however no Purple Heart citation is recorded; and Sgt. Weeks, was cited with an Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #04362 AIRCRAFT: #41-28688 (NO NICKNAME) "Q-Bar" 18th Mission
P   2/LT Griffin, Travis W.   POW
CP  2/LT Coyle, Quentin M.    POW
N   2/LT Griel,John B.        POW
B   2/LT Parr, Clarence A. Jr POW
R/O S/S  Mikalian, Charles W. POW
EnG S/S  Bryant, Harold A.    KIA
BT  SGT  Gallup, Eugene M.    KIA
WG  SGT  Hankins, James P. Jr POW
WG  SGT  Kelly, John L.       POW
TG  SGT  Peters, James F.     POW

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Returning crew members (Lts. Sabourin, Filkel, and Weinheimer) gave the following eye-witness account of this aircrew loss: At approximately 1330 hours, the Griffin plane left the formation before reaching the target with (2) engines out, reported to be due to mechanical failure. The plane was under control but losing altitude gradually and was headed in the general direction of Switzerland escorted by (3) P-47’s. German Report #KU1603, 25 April 1944, Airbase Command A7NII, Freiburg, reported the crash of this Liberator at 1347 hours, (12) kilometers southwest of Freudenstadt near Schappach, Schwarzwald (Black Forest) with (8) crew members being captured in same vicinity and (2) others found dead.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: Later after repatriation from POW status, Sgt. Kelly was interrogated by the Intelligence Section at Selfridge Field, Michigan (a l/Lt. Roeder) and the crewmember gave this account of their mission mishap: That due to mechanical failures of three engines, #2, #1 and #3 in that order, their plane was unable to hold bomber formation position or altitude which resulted in all members abandoning ship over Freiburg, Germany. All crewmen successfully bailed out including the two deceased members. Sgt. Bryant’s chute was observed as open, but Sgt Gallup was not seen after he left the aircraft. This report was the only one available from any crewmember made after war’s end. The German on-scene report noted that the captured members were sent on to Dulag-Luft, Oberursel on 26 April 1944 for interrogation processing. (Note: No indication further was given on the possibility of the engine failures being caused possibly by enemy actions, or perhaps, contributing fuel management problems).

BURIAL RECORDS: The German Report above mentioned the burials of Sgts. Bryant and Gallup in the community cemetery of Hornberg-Schwarzwald on 26 April 1944 at 1700 hours. Only Sgt. Gallup is listed in any overseas U.S. National Military Cemeteries that of LORRAINE, Grave K-i 8-29, for re-burial subsequently. He is listed as having a Purple Heart citation. S/Sgt Bryant is buried in Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery, Section R Site 65.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Information given is: Griffin (Wife, Maxine., Los Angeles, California); Coyle (Father, George K., Valley, Nebraska); Griel (Father, Frank C., Clearfield, Pennsylvania); Parr (Grandmother, Marie J. Mundy, San Francisco, California); Mikalian (Father, Abraham, Waukegan, Illinois); Kelly (Mother, Rowe, Michigan); Bryant (Wife, Norma Lee., Snyder, Texas); Peters (Mother, Opal M., Champaign, Illinois); Hankins (Mother, Laura, Halifax, Virginia); and Gallup (Wife, Margaret S., Logan, Iowa).



24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 772
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. T/Sgt.
R Smith, R.C. T/Sgt.
RW Farnwalt, W.H. Pvt.
LW Kirkpatrick, H.K. S/Sgt.
BT Jarrett, C.W. S/Sgt.
TG Hoover, A.L. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 433
P Kamenitsa, W.T. 2nd Lt.
CP Graham, G.E. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Caulfield, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Miller, G.A. 2nd Lt.
E Heater, E.J. S/Sgt.
R Trivison, J.R. S/Sgt.
RW Krejci, J.J. Sgt.
LW Guillot, O.R. Sgt.
BT Young, A.B. Sgt.
TG Morgan, L.C. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 062
P Johnston, H.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Merriam, H. 2nd Lt.
N Berman, M. 2nd Lt.
B Moos, A.J. 2nd Lt.
E Zonza, F.S. S/Sgt.
R Thompson, T.E. S/Sgt.
RW Mackin, L.B. Sgt.
LW Ferry, C.W. Sgt.
BT Planakis, B.J. Sgt.
TG Porter, J.M. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 560
P Prell, D.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Weiss, D.B. 2nd Lt.
N Bassett, E.F. 2nd Lt.
B Stetson, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Backus, D.G. T/Sgt.
R Byler, H.J. T/Sgt.
RW Edwards, D.S. S/Sgt.
LW Simila, W. S/Sgt.
BT Pearson, B.T. S/Sgt.
TG Dreher, J.F. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 129
P Bratton, K.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Hurd, W.F. 2nd Lt.
N Colbrook, W.L. 2nd Lt.
B Wytak, S.M. 2nd Lt.
E Simmons, W.W. S/Sgt.
R Lennert, B.J. S/Sgt.
RW Gereben, A. Sgt.
LW Friemuth, H.E. Sgt.
BT Simpson, C.S. Sgt.
TG Hamilton, W.S. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 716 (no mission credit)
P Tyler, A.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Ricci, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N Anderson, C.R. 2nd Lt.
B Podolski, P.D. S/Sgt.
E MacDonald, G.E. T/Sgt.
R Metz, W. T/Sgt.
RW Blaida, J.M. S/Sgt.
LW Brown, G.R. S/Sgt.
BT Troutman, E.A. S/Sgt.
TG Wimberly, W.G. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 131
P Jones, G.E. 1st Lt.
CP Sandoz, R.R. 2nd Lt.
N Morris, J.C. 2nd Lt.
B Thomas, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Bodoh, A.E. T/Sgt.
R McAdams, R.E. T/Sgt.
RW Marvin, H.E. S/Sgt.
LW Lane, T. S/Sgt.
BT Surber, W.C. S/Sgt.
TG Rossi, V.H. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 432
P Johnson, O.P. 2nd Lt.
CP Tedford, L.W. 2nd Lt.
N Bober, L. 2nd Lt.
B Feagan, H.C. 1st Lt.
E Whitson, M.D. T/Sgt.
R Perlberg, A.C. T/Sgt.
RW Barnard, C.F. S/Sgt.
LW Joyce, R. S/Sgt.
BT Kaeble, R.R. S/Sgt.
TG Marchuk, J. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 642
P Gonseth, F. Capt.
CP Schoolmaster, C.F. Maj.
N Coward, D.M. 2nd Lt.
N Delach, J.J. 1st Lt.
B Colburn, R.F. 1st Lt.
E Jennings, H.C. T/Sgt.
R Kirkpatrick, H.L. T/Sgt.
RW Driver, D.M. S/Sgt.
LW Whalen, J.S. S/Sgt.
BT Feller, N.L. S/Sgt.
TG Dedmon, S.E. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 058
P Scheltens, G.A. 1st Lt.
CP Vaughan, H.C. 2nd Lt.
NG Birnbaum, S.I. 2nd Lt.
B Morris, M.O. Sgt.
E Morr, R.J. T/Sgt.
R Borden, K.L. T/Sgt.
RW Whitt, C.G. Sgt.
LW Crotty, W.L. S/Sgt.
BT Thompson, I.F. S/Sgt.
TG Freeman, J.B. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 546
P Ambrose, D.N. 1st Lt.
CP Dorrell, W. 2nd Lt.
N Roberts, H.E. 2nd Lt.
B Rapenport, R.E. 1st Lt.
B Tierney, J.F. 2nd Lt.
E Cummings, D.L. T/Sgt.
R Sawyer, G.H. T/Sgt.
RW Davis, J.A. S/Sgt.
LW Oasheim, G.W. S/Sgt.
BT Hall, E.A. S/Sgt.
TG Dunham, H.D. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 415
P Brauer, G.M. 1st Lt.
CP Clifford, J.F. 1st Lt.
N McGough, J.G. 1st Lt.
B Eldridge, H.N. 2nd Lt.
E LaRue, E.W. T/Sgt.
R Abraham, H.F. T/Sgt.
RW Whited, J.A. S/Sgt.
LW Keller, L.D. S/Sgt.
BT Branciforte, N. S/Sgt.
TG Rachell, W.W. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 495
P Hunsaker, B.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Lach, R.F. 2nd Lt.
N Roy, D.G. 2nd Lt.
B Connery, M.J. 2nd Lt.
E Bodkins, F.C. S/Sgt.
R Rue, A.W. S/Sgt.
RW Ligon, A.C. Sgt.
LW Prodana, D. Pvt.
BT Friedel, C.F. Sgt.
TG Leech, R.M. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 100 (no mission credit)
P Monroe, D.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Neill, C.W. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Ryan, P.J. 2nd Lt.
B Benenson, M. 2nd Lt.
E Holmes, E.T. S/Sgt.
R Lancy, N.J. S/Sgt.
RW Hall, G.E. Sgt.
LW Lucas, L.M. Sgt.
BT Wambach, J. Sgt.
TG Desonne, M. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 105
P Fletcher, R.E. 1st Lt.
CP McCarthy, C.G. 2nd Lt.
N Keck, R.W. 1st Lt.
B Wilk, H. S/Sgt.
E Kelly, J.E. T/Sgt.
R Kent, P.V. T/Sgt.
RW Osborne, J.H. Sgt.
LW Wukotich, M.L. S/Sgt.
BT Mancuso, M.A. S/Sgt.
TG Rider, F.D. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 688
P Griffin, T.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Coyle, Q.M. 2nd Lt.
N Griel, J.B. 2nd Lt.
B Parr, C.A. Jr. 2nd Lt.
E Bryant, H.A. S/Sgt.
R Mikalian, C.W. S/Sgt.
RW Hankins, J.P. Jr. Sgt.
LW Kelly, J.L. Sgt.
BT Gallup, E.M. Sgt.
TG Peters, J.F. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 609
P Weinheimer, J. 2nd Lt.
CP Marshall, G.C. 2nd Lt.
N Gurwit, M.L. 2nd Lt.
B Ross, J.A. 2nd Lt.
E Aughinbaugh, C.L. S/Sgt.
R Johnson, J.H. S/Sgt.
RW Rich, N.P. Sgt.
LW Munford, B. Sgt.
BT Fink, B. Sgt.
TG Duffy, R.R. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 478
P Reade, J.J. Capt.
CP Smith, R.L. 1st Lt.
N Planche, M.M. 1st Lt.
B Ziccarelli, J.A. 1st Lt.
E Edwards, C.E. T/Sgt.
R Whitmore, B. T/Sgt.
RW Sikoff, H. S/Sgt.
LW Bauer, W.E. S/Sgt.
BT Wagner, D.R. S/Sgt.
TG Turner, L.F. S/Sgt.
NG Schwabel, C.A. T/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 764
P Rogers, G.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Weir, R.A. 2nd Lt
N Roper, J.A. 2nd Lt.
B Kane, F.J. 2nd Lt.
E McCalicher, R.L. S/Sgt.
R Lawson, E.J. S/Sgt.
RW Longo, R.J. Sgt.
LW Andrews, H.L. Sgt.
BT Danford, R.W. Sgt.
TG Gienko, E.J. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 187
P Young, M.N. 1st Lt.
CP Goodwin, J.J. 2nd Lt.
N Dunphy, R.J. 1st Lt.
B Cunningham, R.B. 2nd Lt.
E Triplett, W.F. T/Sgt.
R Garcia, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Porter, C.C. S/Sgt.
LW Teater, R.S. S/Sgt.
BT Ross, J.D. Sgt.
TG Rickey, J.J. S/Sgt.
Hardy, E.C. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 028
P Sabourin, R.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Amble, E.F. 2nd Lt.
N Lipschitz, J. F/O
NG Singleton, W.T. 2nd Lt.
E Hollien, F.J. S/Sgt.
R Spagnola, J.T. Pfc
RW Mateski, W.J. S/Sgt.
LW Robbins, K.H. S/Sgt.
BT Mahon, E.M. S/Sgt.
TG Moran, E.J. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 472
P Pardue, R.V. 2nd Lt.
CP Jernigen, W.R. 2nd Lt.
N Semler, R.E. 2nd Lt.
B Crowell, R.K. 2nd Lt.
E McCary, L.F. S/Sgt.
R Evans, W.E. S/Sgt.
RW Koroluck, S. Sgt.
LW Lanning, E.G. Sgt.
BT Holley, C.B. Sgt.
TG Thornburg, R.C. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 544
P Gann, D.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Dick, W.C. 2nd Lt.
N Spensley, R.E. 2nd Lt.
B Cunniff, V.L. 2nd Lt.
R Carroll, J.T. S/Sgt.
NT Puchir, J. Sgt.
RW Anderson, A.R. Sgt.
LW Shrader, C. S/Sgt.
BT Reynolds, R.L. Sgt.
TG Sinclair, R.E. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 789
P Darnell, J.F. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Slagle, E.E. 2nd Lt.
N Stasney, A.J. 2nd Lt.
B Lory, R.C. 2nd Lt.
E Whitaker, J.W. T/Sgt.
R Mandel, R.F. T/Sgt.
RW Rego, M.A. S/Sgt.
LW Sundo, J.R. S/Sgt.
BT Courtney, E.J. S/Sgt.
TG Ward, L.E. Sgt
24 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 105
P Ellinger, C.F. 2nd Lt.
CP Morton, N.H. 2nd Lt.
N Wieland, J.L. 2nd Lt.
B Hall, R.H. 2nd Lt.
E Coble, A.D. S/Sgt.
R Olson, R. S/Sgt.
RW Phillips, H.E. Sgt.
LW Helmke, E.F. S/Sgt.
BT Weeks, H.H. Sgt.
TG Hasenfratz, M.J. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 510
P Wyatt, B.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Tufts, A.M. 2nd Lt.
N Franke, D.N. 2nd Lt.
B Gichan, W.W. 2nd Lt.
E Goetz, J.R. S/Sgt.
R Monroe, R.W. S/Sgt.
RW Sorrells, J.F. Sgt.
LW Thompson, R.E. Sgt.
BT Harbaugh, D.E. S/Sgt.
TG Archambeau, A.P. Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 261
P Brunn, W.S. 2nd Lt.
CP Reinbold, H.L. F/O
N Griffith, R.C. 2nd Lt.
B Coyle, J.D. 2nd Lt.
E Harris, W.T. S/Sgt.
R Adams, R.V. T/Sgt.
RW Burns, R.N. T/Sgt.
LW Womer, W.S. S/Sgt.
BT Goric, R.D. S/Sgt.
TG Fund, E.J. S/Sgt.
24 Apr 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 448
P Hunt, N.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Roetzel, P.B. 2nd Lt.
N Shelton, O.W. 2nd Lt.
B Sullivan, F.J. 2nd Lt.
E McKinzie, W.L. S/Sgt.
R Wilkinson, H.C. S/Sgt.
RW Osment, M. Sgt.
LW Bennett, G.H. S/Sgt.
BT Jackson, L.A. Sgt.
TG McEwan, D.L. Sgt.