392nd Bomb Group

Target: Mainz - 9 September 1944 - Mission #164

The marshaling yards at this Rhine River port city near Wiesbaden were the target this day. Briefings for (36) crews were conducted at 0330 and 0500 hours with the 579th assigned lead and Lieutenant Connery, Bombardier for a PFF attack. Group ships began take-off at 0700 hours with (35) going over the primary and bombing visually despite 7/l0ths low cloud cover which hindered synchronization. As a result, the (392) 500# bombs which were dropped fell wide of the aiming point. There were no fighters encountered but flak once again was intense and accurate causing damage and losses. From the 578th, Lieutenant L. M. Stephens’ crew in #548 was hit by flak after bombs away at 1040 hours. The ship burst into flames, fell off on a wing diving to about 9000 feet, where the tail section broke off and the ship went down out of control. It was seen to explode and crash with no chutes, however, (2) crew members were thrown clear and may have delayed their chute openings. Lieutenant Whiteaker’s crew of the 577th had a gunner wounded over the left eye as the mission aircraft came home, (29) of them battle damaged. The mission ships began landing around 1340 hours.


MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #08603 AIRCRAFT: #42-52548 "JAW-JA BOY" "S-Bar" 45th Mission
P   1/LT  Stephens, Louis M.       POW
CP  2/LT  Riddleberger, William I. POW
N   2/LT  Wimer, French R          KIA
B   F/O   Smith, Clifford E.       KIA
NG  S/SGT Bettis, Roy W.           KIA
R/O T/SGT Wright, Garland (NMI)    KIA
EnG T/SGT Soda, Manuel J.          KIA
WG  S/SGT Johnson, Paul D.         KIA
WG  S/SGT Boyce, Elzie L.          KIA
TG  SGT   Serrette, Robert L.      KIA
OBs S/SGT Schaefer, Creighton E.   KIA

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: Two returning crew Pilots of the 578th (Lt. Kohl and Lt. Twining) gave the following accounts on loss of this aircrew and plane: A/C #548 hit by flak at bombs away (1048 hours), burst into flames and fell off on one wing. A/C fell about 4,000 feet to about 19,000 feet then tail fell off, then it went down out of control and was seen to crash and explode. No chutes seen, but two men were seen thrown clear of the ship and may have made a delayed jump. German Report #KU2862 reported the location of the aircraft crash site and the finding of (9) dead crew members at 1.5 kilometers north of the village of Diedenbergen at 1045 hours 9 September, all positively identified, and the taking of (2) prisoners (Lts. Stephen and Riddleberger) near the same location. The plane was identified as being from the 392nd Group, 578th Squadron. (Note: Apparently the Germans had their 4th Anti-Aircraft Search Light Unit 299 also hit in this attack inasmuch as the above report footnoted this AA unit as being a ‘target’).

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: Lt. Stephens, the Pilot, gave a later ‘Casualty Questionnaire’ report upon his liberation from POW status, which covered the crew emergency to the best of his knowledge: that the Bombarder Smith had just advised him of ‘bombs away’ when their aircraft was hit by flak and set afire immediately; that the Navigator, Lt. Wimer, as his last conversation with the Pilot, had said it was okay to rally with the Group immediately after bombs away, but flames came into the Pilot’s compartment at that moment and probably trapped both of those members in the nose section. The Pilot’s report covered all other crew men who to his knowledge, were unable to bail out due to the ship being on fire an trapped in their positions. He later knew that the Co-Pilot Riddleberger had bailed out safely as they both were in a Frankfurt hospital for two weeks following. He noted finally that a German Intelligence Officer had told him that all other members were found dead at the plane’s crash site. Most all of the crew members had flown 20-21 combat missions at the time, beginning on 7 July to Bernberg, according to th Pilot’s report.

BURIAL RECORDS: A German supplementary report to #KU2862 above stated all deceased crew members were buried in the village cemetery at Diedenbargen on September. U.S. National (overseas) Cemetery records reflect that (4) of these members were re-buried in the LORRAINE Cemetery at St. AvoId, France: Wimer (Grave J-49-18); Johnson (Grave A- 18-57); Bettis (Grave A-32-6); and Boyce (Grave A-20-56). Wimer, Johnson and Boyce are recorded as having the Purple Heart award and the Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters, and Bettis has a Purple Heart award notation.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: This information in the MACR is not legible due to the very poor quality of the initial written report placed on the micro-fiche. However, what appears to be identifiable as to Home States of these crewmen follows: Stephens (Ohio); Riddleberger (Virginia); Wimer (West Virginia); Johnson (South Carolina); Bettis (Iowa); Boyce (Texas); Soda (Illinois); Schaeffer (Ohio); Smith (Virginia); Wright (Virginia); Serrette (Montana).



9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 031
P Hofmann, H.W. 1st Lt.
CP Gorton, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Randall, J.A. 2nd Lt.
B Conner, J.K. 1st Lt.
E Boney, R.E. T/Sgt.
R McNutt, W.H. S/Sgt.
RW Sanders, O.B. S/Sgt.
LW Dopson, V.H. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Goo, R.F. S/Sgt.
PB Wise, D.C. 2nd Lt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 650
P Scharf, C.D. 2nd Lt.
CP Call, F.B. 2nd Lt.
N Garland, S.M. 2nd Lt.
B Thomas, J.B. 2nd Lt.
E Michalski, R. T/Sgt.
R Bonanno, J.C. T/Sgt.
RW Rigas, C. S/Sgt.
LW Oakes, E.L. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Oatman, H.W. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 194
P Hart, W. 2nd Lt.
CP Crawford, D.A. 2nd Lt.
N Berger, G. 2nd Lt.
B Griesbaum, L.A. S/Sgt.
E Shields, V.E. S/Sgt.
R Young, W.S. S/Sgt.
RW Stern, J. S/Sgt.
LW Genna, N.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Clemmer, C.J. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 131
P Meehan, J.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Carey, H.V. 2nd Lt.
N McAfee, S.P. F/O
B Herzig, H. 2nd Lt.
E Cohen, N.J. T/Sgt.
R Candido, C.D. T/Sgt.
RW Logan, M.H. S/Sgt.
LW Conner, P.P. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Lange, D.H. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 511 (no mission credit)
P Williams, E.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Jones, T.A. 2nd Lt.
N McFerran, J.B. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Shaw, G.B. S/Sgt.
R Slechta, M.T. S/Sgt.
RW Wall, D.L. S/Sgt.
LW Huba, J.D. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG King, W.C. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 639
P Sommers, O.L. 2nd Lt.
CP McLaughry, J.A. III 2nd Lt.
N Streicher, H.P. Jr. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Drummond, W.D. S/Sgt.
R Fender, J.F. S/Sgt.
RW Borraccini, P.J. Sgt.
LW Simpson, C.S. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Luciano, S. Sgt.
NG O'Kane, R.P. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 511
CA Pennypacker, J.E. Capt.
P Acebedo, B.H. Capt.
CP Coe, V.E. 1st Lt.
N Frey, J.J. 1st Lt.
B Robinson, W.F. 1st Lt.
E Urban, J.J. T/Sgt.
R Keegan, G.M. S/Sgt.
RW Powell, L.R. S/Sgt.
LW Allred, E.L. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Abraham, R.A. Sgt.
NG Costa, J.A. 1st Lt.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 299
P Barnes, W.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Arnold, J.W. 2nd Lt.
N Dieruff, R.C. 2nd Lt.
B McGuire, E.P. Cpl.
E Wilson, W.W. Cpl.
R Benson, L.R. Cpl.
RW Braman, J.L. Cpl.
LW Allen, W.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Harvell, J.E. Cpl.
9 Sep 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 659
P Novik, A.J. 1st Lt.
CP Graves, J.H. 2nd Lt.
N Fife, R.M. 2nd Lt.
B Glass, R.D. Sgt.
E DiMarco, F.J. Sgt.
R Hildebrand, R.O. S/Sgt.
RW Graves, R.H. Cpl.
LW Watkins, M.F. Cpl.
BT - -
TG Buckley, C.A. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 164
P Petty, R.A. 1st Lt.
CP Crowe, W.Q. 2nd Lt.
N Page, C.R. 2nd Lt.
B Wickett, C.J. 2nd Lt.
E McGrew, C.C. T/Sgt.
R Stewart, G.S. T/Sgt.
RW Dondero, E.G. S/Sgt.
LW Holder, O.E. Sgt.
BT - -
TG McCormick, W.L. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 642
P Solomon, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Kressig, E.L. 2nd Lt.
N Gridley, C.V. Jr. 2nd Lt.
B Mace, J.E. 2nd Lt.
E Moeller, H.E. S/Sgt.
R Herzlich, L. S/Sgt.
RW Farquharson, G. Sgt.
LW Psyk, E.L. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Capik, J.H. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 758
P Popek, E. 2nd Lt.
CP Henry, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Frederickson, L.T. 2nd Lt.
B Gump, J.A. 2nd Lt.
E Trofnoff, F. S/Sgt.
R Yuhas, G. S/Sgt.
RW Thompson, J.R. S/Sgt.
LW Irvine, Z.C. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Swee, F.A. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 079
P Nehring, E.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Trigilio, G.J. F/O
N Farrar, R.B. 2nd Lt.
B Scott, W.J. 1st Lt.
E McJunkin, F.R. T/Sgt.
R Dobson, H.J. T/Sgt.
RW Thomas, W.J. S/Sgt.
LW Koegen, F.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Kent, C.L. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 040
P Comeau, E.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Davis, W.R. 2nd Lt.
N Neuman, W.E. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Scalet, J. T/Sgt.
R Haney, P.W. S/Sgt.
RW Jasinski, R. Sgt.
LW Kearns, H.H. Sgt.
BT Pendergraft, J.C. Sgt.
TG Krause, H.L. Sgt.
-- Myers, J.B. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 169
P Whitteaker, W.E. 1st Lt.
CP Cook, L.B. 1st Lt.
N Kaswan, J. F/O
B Allegretti, E.E. 2nd Lt.
E Holmes, G.T. T/Sgt.
R McGivney, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Rinderer, R. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Surbaugh, E.R. S/Sgt.
TG Emery, R.G. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 415
P Holmes, H.T. F/O
CP Barber, J.B. 2nd Lt.
N Peterson, H.L. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Fetsch, J.E. T/Sgt.
R O'Laughlin, F.J. T/Sgt.
RW Batchelor, L.I. S/Sgt.
LW Loewy, S.B. S/Sgt.
BT Tungett, R.G. Sgt.
TG Marinelli, N.R. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 151
P Buecheler, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Wardell, J.R. 2nd Lt.
N Luttrell, W.T. F/O
B - -
E Potts, B.F. S/Sgt.
R Cooper, J.P. T/Sgt.
RW Richards, R.H. Sgt.
LW Kimball, B.A. S/Sgt.
BT Jurgens, H.F. S/Sgt.
TG Longacre, H.N. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 012
P Walker, D.L. 1st Lt.
CP Nunziato, D.J. 2nd Lt.
N Bedore, C.P. 2nd Lt.
B Buente, V.O. 2nd Lt.
E Gusciora, A.A. Sgt.
R Young, J.W. Sgt.
RW Bradford, T.M. Sgt.
LW Maloukis, S.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Ballas, P.T. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 477
P Eggleston, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Wilson, T. 2nd Lt.
N Zamor, R.J. 2nd Lt.
B Wilfahrt, D.W. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, J.W. T/Sgt.
R Nika, L.E. T/Sgt.
RW Mitchell, R.L. S/Sgt.
LW Murray, J.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Mortimer, D.E. Sgt.
Hightower, W.H. Cpl.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 250
P Twining, E.S. 2nd Lt.
CP Duff, A.L. 2nd Lt.
N Bertoli, L.J. 2nd Lt.
B Clark, H.J. 2nd Lt.
E Hostetter, F.E. T/Sgt.
R Hinckley, B.J. T/Sgt.
RW Gusciora, B.S. S/Sgt.
LW Maguire, F.H. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Largen, J.E. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 852
P Kohl, W.F. 1st Lt.
CP Shultz, G.R. 1st Lt.
NT Intardonato, S.J. Sgt.
B Kerley, A.D. 1st Lt.
E Higdon, R.E. T/Sgt.
R Scales, R.R. T/Sgt.
RW Agalsoff, D.N. S/Sgt.
LW Ehring, E.O. S/Sgt.
BT- -
TG Peters, J.M. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 358
P Miller, D.E. 1st Lt.
CP Heller, P. 2nd Lt.
N Moos, J.C. 2nd Lt.
B Inamorato, J.T. 2nd Lt.
E Myers, L.P. S/Sgt.
R Luczak, H.J. S/Sgt.
RW Agoglia, E.J. S/Sgt.
LW Faulstich, A.F. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Shea, H.A. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 186
P Clifford, H.M. 1st Lt.
CP Benz, R.F. 2nd Lt.
N Baldwin, W.L. 2nd Lt.
B Melton, J.A. F/O
E Nilsen, A.V. S/Sgt.
R Patterson, M.J. T/Sgt.
RW Plude, R.W. S/Sgt.
LW Kuykendall, L.E. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Rogers, C.J. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 337
P Tays, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Ferguson, T.B. F/O
N Holzinger, J.J. 2nd Lt.
B Sorensen, A.C. 2nd Lt.
E King, C.C. Sgt.
R Berger, J.T. Sgt.
RW Turner, M.E. Sgt.
LW Coury, G.A. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Fetterhoff, E.E. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 293
P Henderson, P.B. 1st Lt.
CP Stull, R.B. 1st Lt.
N Allen, H.W. 1st Lt.
B Williamson, R.D. 1st Lt.
E Thompson, A.W. T/Sgt.
R Burns, P.J. T/Sgt.
RW Smith, G.R. S/Sgt.
LW Ivey, E.H. Jr. S/Sgt.
BT Peters, J.L. F/O
TG Howell, J.L. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 121
P Walker, J.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Ellis, A. 2nd Lt.
N Bauer, H.H. 2nd Lt.
B Donohue, J.J. 2nd Lt.
E Thomas, C.B. T/Sgt.
R Jewell, R.B. T/Sgt.
RW Collins, S.J. S/Sgt.
LW Faucette, E.W. S/Sgt.
BT Pataki, S.M. S/Sgt.
TG Cuchen, L.B. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 548
P Stephens, L.M. 1st Lt.
CP Riddleberger, W.I. III 2nd Lt.
N Wimer, F.P. 2nd Lt.
B Smith, C.E. F/O
E Soda, M.J. T/Sgt.
R Wright, G. S/Sgt.
RW Johnson, P.D. S/Sgt.
LW Serrette, R.L. S/Sgt.
BT Bettis, R.W. Sgt.
TG Boyce, E.L. S/Sgt.
Schaefer, C.E. T/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 647
P Koza, F. 2nd Lt.
CP Wilcoxson, R.H. 2nd Lt.
N Stillwagon, V.H. 2nd Lt.
B Solomon, A.A. 2nd Lt.
E Roberts, M.J. T/Sgt.
R Rubin, G. T/Sgt.
RW Purcell, L.J. S/Sgt.
LW Johnson, J.T. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Dunn, T.C. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 623
P Bell, J.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Guegold, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N Forbes, D.R. 2nd Lt.
B Wilson, H.W. 2nd Lt.
E Radzikowski, L.S. T/Sgt.
R Southwell, E.E. S/Sgt.
RW Noltkamper, A.A. T/Sgt.
LW Zwolinski, V.W. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Geron, H.E. Sgt.
S-27 Korn, R.N. T/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 195
P Joynt, A.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Taylor, E.J. 2nd Lt.
N Phipps, H.H. 2nd Lt.
B Forsberg, B.F. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, R.A. T/Sgt.
R Apple, O.L. S/Sgt.
RW Hester, C.L. S/Sgt.
LW Floyd, L.G. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Vavra, C.E. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 279
P Sewell, W.P. 2nd Lt.
CP Weise, E.H. 2nd Lt.
N Richards, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Bremer, A.F. 2nd Lt.
E Barnes, G.M. T/Sgt.
R Fulton, L.R. T/Sgt.
RW Leigh, R.H. S/Sgt.
LW Coogan, A.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Negri, J.D. S/Sgt.
RCM Williams, O.L. Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 593
P Haines, F.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Porter, L.M. 2nd Lt.
N Berg, B.D. 2nd Lt.
B Jacobson, C. 2nd Lt.
E Higgs, O.C. T/Sgt.
R Cozza, D. T/Sgt.
RW Farris, A.J. S/Sgt.
LW Lentz, B.J. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Liston, L.M. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 150
Holloman, C.C. Maj.
P Gonseth, F. Capt.
CP Bate, H.C. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, J.H. Capt.
B Connery, M.J. 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 Waldo, L.C. 2nd Lt.
NV Conrad, J.B. 1st Lt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 238
P Kwash, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Gulacsik, A. 2nd Lt.
N Coy, E.T. 2nd Lt.
B Lassins, E.G. 2nd Lt.
E Yarber, H.W. T/Sgt.
R McKim, L.D. T/Sgt.
RW Denter, W.S. S/Sgt.
LW Callahan, E.M. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Sandusky, D.L. S/Sgt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 670
McGregor, J.A. Maj.
P Dawson, H.B. 1st Lt.
CP Fastabend, J.B. F/O
N Cummings, F.L. 2nd Lt.
B Paul, R.M. 2nd Lt.
E Carter, W.R. T/Sgt.
R Wilkinson, E.J. T/Sgt.
RW Hanson, T.R. S/Sgt.
LW Lee, S.A. S/Sgt.
BT Niman, H. 2nd Lt.
TG Ross, R.D. S/Sgt.
NV Barry, W.T. 2nd Lt.
9 Sep 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 697
P Tuchel, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Hay, G.R. 2nd Lt.
N Smith, F.D. 2nd Lt.
B O'Rourke, R.L. S/Sgt.
E Tvergyak, P.A. T/Sgt.
R Johnson, H.K. S/Sgt.
RW Warrick, H.E. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Vincent, J.W. S/Sgt.
TG Carter, D.J. S/Sgt.