392nd Bomb Group

Target: Kassel - 7 October 1944 - Mission #181

The ordnance plant again was targeted for the 392nd making it the fourth time in the last eleven missions that the group was assigned Kassel as a target.

General briefings were given for 37 crews at 0430 and 0530 hours with 36 being dispatched at 0800 hours. A force of 34 went over the target bombing with fair results, releasing (270) 500 and 1000# bombs. After target, the lead PFF crew in ship #42-51126, Captain R. B. Grettum's crew with Major George Player as CA, was hit by flak and feathered two engines. The ship was navigated individually through and around heavy enemy fortification and finally landed at Brussels after a fine display of airmanship. Engineer T/Sgt West was hospitalized in Brussels due to a flak injury to his shoulder; the rest of the crew was flown back to Wendling in an RAF C-87, a cargo version of the B-24. Pilot Captain Grettum and navigator Lieutenant Waldo received the DFC for their efforts.

Navigator 1/Lt J.B. Long later wrote about the incident, "I was awakened at 0330, engine start was at 0740 with take off at 0755. The primary target was a tank factory at Kassel. The inbound flight was as expected until just a few seconds before bombs away when Umbriago was struck by flak. The bombs were released and I learned later that results were good. Umbriago dropped out of formation with #1 and #3 engines windmilling. The lead was turned over to the deputy lead. Losing altitude about 500 feet per minute, we swung north of Munster and headed due west. With two "Little Friends" to accompany us, we were not attacked by enemy fighters. Passing over an unmarked flak area, we were hit again, resulting in the radio operator being wounded (broken arm). I assisted in lightening the load by throwing flak suits, radar equipment, guns and ammunition overboard. Pilot Grettum was able to maintain level flight at 10,000 feet. When north of Amheim and crossing the front lines, we were directed to turn south and landed at Brussels, which had been liberated. The engineer had to crank down the wheels. Without brakes or flaps the entire runway was used, with the plane finally stopping in a bomb crater past the end of the runway. We were whipped around breaking the landing gear and crushing the left wing. My notes say we landed at 1429. The radio operator was taken to a medical facility and the rest of the crew was driven into Brussels to eat. Then we returned to the airport where we boarded an ATC plane which returned us to Wendling. ...It took time to make the official determination that it was salvaged on 16 November 1944."

One crew and aircraft were lost on this raid. From the 578th, Lieutenant R. H. Johnson in #966 was hit by AA fire on the bomb run at 1224 hours with #3 engine catching fire and the ship falling from formation position. Shortly after, the bomber went into a steep glide and around 1000 feet the right wing was severed by an explosion with no chutes seen.

A crew member from Lieutenant Holmes' crew in #118 from the 577th was also wounded by flak. Seven bombers of the returning force which landed around 1425 hours sustained battle damage.


MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #09755 AIRCRAFT: #42-94966 "MADAME SHOO SHOO" "E-Bar" 55th Mission
P   2/LT  Johnson, Robert H.     POW
CP  2/LT  Cook, Joseph M.        POW
N   2/LT  Waters, Joseph F.      POW
B   F/O   Weiss, Jonas E.        KIA
R/O T/SGT Lauger, Lloyd          POW
EnG T/SGT Lang, Charles F.       POW
WG  S/SGT Castaneda, Jose A.     KIA
WG  S/SGT Stickley, Fred F.      POW
TG  S/SGT Van Alstine, Nathan G. KIA
VI  S/SGT Kielblock, Albert L.   KIA 
  Voice Interpreter (S-27 Operator)

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: An after-mission report by Captain Alexander, Pilot 578th, noted that Johnson’s plane was hit apparently by flak at the target with #3 engine catching fire and forcing the ship sharply out of the formation. Shortly after leaving the formation, the ship went into a steep dive on its left wing and the right wing was seen to be severed by an explosion at about 10,000 feet altitude. No chutes were reported seen. A German Report #KU3152, 7 October at 1724 hours added additional details of this crew’s downing. The plane crashed at a village pond of Ritbruch northwest of Roesebeck near Harburg with four (4) found dead in the crashed Liberator, and unidentified by the Germans at the time. The other six (6) men captured were identified positively at the time with three of the latter wounded:

Waters, right foot sprained; Lauger, bone fracture, left foot; and Stickley with a right foot bone fracture. The wounded were delivered to the General Hospital at Harburg (near Hannover), and the remaining prisoners were sent on to Dulag-Luft West (Oberursel).

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: Radio Operator Lauger, later rendered the following report on the crew’s mishap: that the plane left the bomber formation immediately over the target and that all members except the (4) who perished did bail out. The Navigator, Lt. Waters’ report amended that account slightly by stating that Lt. Weiss, the Bombardier, was prepared to bail out of the plane when the Navigator made his jump - and later he (Waters) was advised by the Germans that the Bombardier’s parachute had not opened (though the Germans reported four bodies in the ship). The surviving Waist Gunner, Sgt. Shickley, cast clearer light on the bail out when he stated in his later report that all men in the waist section had checked each other’s chutes, preparatory to jumping, when the right wing burned off (exploded) causing him to be ejected through the open waist window, and therafter he counted only (6) opened chutes in the air, crewmen later identified. (A review of all later crew member accounts indicates that the men in the waist were pinned in when the wing came off presumably and the Bombardier also was unable to bail out for the same reason).

BURIAL RECORDS: German Report #KU3152 above in a supplementary dated 8 October, Hqs Paderborn, stated that the (4) casualties were buried in the Village Cemetery, Roesebeck at 7:10 AM in the morning on 8 October 1944. Later records reflect the following burial information for interments at U.S. National Overseas Cemeteries: Castaneda (Grave L-14- 15) with Air Medal and (1) Oak Leaf Cluster; Kielblock (Grave D-11-6) with Air Medal and (2) Oak Leaf Clusters; and Van Alstine (Grave L-18-7), Air Medal with (1) Oak Leaf Cluster; all three men buried at MAAGRATEN, the Netherlands; all awarded the Purple Heart. No record exists in this MACR concerning the re-interment of Lt. Weiss from Germany.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Johnson (Father, John A., RFD #2, Wall Lake, Iowa); Cook (Father, Morris N., Suburban Hotel, Summit, New Jersey); Weiss (Father, Louis, 380 Elmora Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey); Lauger (Father Neil F., RFD #5, Mount Pleasant, Iowa); Lang (Wife Audrey, Densen Avenue, Garden City, Michigan); Castaneda (Mother, Christia A., Box 14, Clint, Texas); Stickley (Father, Norris L., Base Hill, Virginia) Kielblock (Mother Marie, 201 Frebis Avenue, Columbus, Ohio); Van Alstine (Father, William E., RFD #3, Fort Dodge, Iowa) and Waters (Father, Anthony J., 1518 North West Street, Carroll, Iowa).



7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 194
P Richeson, W.H. 1st Lt.
CP Wiley, D.A. 1st Lt.
N Oppenheim, J.C. S/Sgt.
B Manshack, B.R. S/Sgt.
E Urban, J.J. T/Sgt.
R Danner, E.W. S/Sgt.
RW Dosier, C.A. S/Sgt.
LW Montgomery, H. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Albert, W.W. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 432
P Hart, W. 1st 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. S/Sgt.
BT Myers, J.P. S/Sgt.
TG Clemmer, C.J. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 387
P Beder, J. 2nd Lt.
CP Samsell, J.A. 2nd Lt.
N Matishowski, J. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Morley, J.P. Sgt.
R Murgatroyd, R.S. Sgt.
RW Merchant, W.D. Sgt.
LW Roever, C.H. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Schodrof, R.H. Sgt.
NG Carr, R.P. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 916
P Williams, E.L. 1st Lt.
CP Harer, R.J. 2nd Lt.
N Leonard, A.C. 2nd Lt.
B Daniel, F.E. S/Sgt.
E Shaw, G.B. T/Sgt.
R Slechta, M.T. S/Sgt.
RW Huba, J.D. S/Sgt.
LW Wall, D.L. Sgt.
BT - -
TG King, W.C. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 357
P Larson, R.D. 1st Lt.
CP Hawn, I. F/O
N Biles, W.R. 2nd Lt.
B Hetzer, R.L. Pvt.
E Dearborn, H.W. T/Sgt.
R Peterson, J.V. S/Sgt.
RW Martin, P.R. S/Sgt.
LW Benadum, T.E. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Cuthbert, J.K. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 299
P Scharf, C.D. 1st Lt.
CA Call, F.B. 2nd Lt.
N McFerran, J.B. 2nd Lt.
B Murray, J.G. 2nd Lt.
E Thomas, J.B. 2nd Lt.
R Bonanno, J.C. T/Sgt.
RW Michalski, R. T/Sgt.
LW Lienemann, W.C. S/Sgt.
BT Rigas, C. S/Sgt.
TG Oatman, H.W. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 489
P Kilmer, W.A. 1st Lt.
CP McConnell, C.W. 2nd Lt.
N Isakson, E.J. 2nd Lt.
B Sexton, W.C. 2nd Lt.
E Cappello, E.J. S/Sgt.
R Chambers, R.L. S/Sgt.
RW Spears, D.D. S/Sgt.
LW Coffman, J.G. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Turner, E.C. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 031
P Benson, A.L. 1st Lt.
CP Singer, S. 2nd Lt.
N Reichl, J.G. 2nd Lt.
B Guhin, M.E. 2nd Lt.
E Henning, W.C. T/Sgt.
R Wickens, R.S. T/Sgt.
RW Hackney, S.H. S/Sgt.
LW Bowen, W.H. S/Sgt.
BT Sparks, R.L. 2nd Lt.
TG Chatterton, G.A. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 659
P Dugger, F.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Henrickson, J.L. 2nd Lt.
N Hampton, W.A. S/Sgt.
B McInvale, A.L. S/Sgt.
E Wilson, W.W. Cpl.
R Chenail, G.E. S/Sgt.
RW Blackham, W.R. S/Sgt.
LW DeKeyser, H.A. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Schumaker, D. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 642
P Brandt, R.M. 1st Lt.
CP Fabiani, H.L. 2nd Lt.
N Mintz, H.B. 2nd Lt.
B Copple, R.N. 2nd Lt.
E Chelenyak, J.A. Sgt.
R Abraham, L.J. Sgt.
RW Richardson, W.C. Sgt.
LW Johnson, E.W. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Harmon, G.E. Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 293 (no mission credit)
P Propper, H.M. 2nd Lt.
CP Brier, A.L. 2nd Lt.
N Barber, A.G. 2nd Lt.
B Garrett, H.L. 2nd Lt.
E McPherson, C.C. T/Sgt.
R Dodd, W.C. S/Sgt.
RW Postema, R.H. Sgt.
LW Chapman, C.M. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Wickham, R.H. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 012
P Barron, J.N. 1st Lt.
CP Kressig, E.L. 2nd Lt.
N Attinson, C. 2nd Lt.
B Feltman, D.S. 1st Lt.
E Slater, D.L. T/Sgt.
R Osborne, R.C. Cpl.
RW Salvato, T.W. S/Sgt.
LW Garner, H.S. T/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Demar, S. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 409 (no mission credit)
P Enyart, D.W. 1st Lt.
CP Froehlich, S.S. 2nd Lt.
N Mertens, J.A. 2nd Lt.
B Snyderman, J. 2nd Lt.
E Aycock, C.E. Sgt.
R Gersten, G. Sgt.
RW Mohan, V.L. Sgt.
LW Valenti, F.J. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Barlow, S.N. Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 118
P Holmes, H.T. 2nd Lt.
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 Loewy, S.B. S/Sgt.
LW Batchelor, L.I. S/Sgt.
BT Tungett, R.G. S/Sgt.
TG Marinelli, N.R. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 240
P Buaas, W.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Pedrotta, C.H. 2nd Lt.
N Fowler, R.T. 2nd Lt.
B Guest, T.C. 2nd Lt.
E Coleman, R.G. Sgt.
R Todrowski, H.R. Sgt.
RW Worcester, C.E. Sgt.
LW Sopha, B.E. Sgt.
BT Callejas, F.N. Sgt.
TG - -
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 040
P Weaver, L.F. 1st Lt.
CP Hamill, R.E. 2nd Lt.
N Brandi, J.G. 2nd Lt.
B Taylor, J.L. 2nd Lt.
E Kampfe, R.E. T/Sgt.
R Beckwith, R.B. T/Sgt.
RW Scheide, H.W. S/Sgt.
LW Holland, M.D. S/Sgt.
BT Estelle, W.E. 2nd Lt.
TG Meyer, T.H. Pvt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 961
P Pierce, W.R. 1st Lt.
CP Williamson, D.R. 1st Lt.
N Putziger, S. 1st Lt.
B Beezley, D.D. 1st Lt.
E Stand, A.J. T/Sgt.
R Rankin, R.P. T/Sgt.
RW Cooperman, G.F. S/Sgt.
LW Ferenc, F.J. S/Sgt.
BT Liske, J.R. 2nd Lt.
TG Carrabba, C. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 169
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. S/Sgt.
R Lane, A.E. S/Sgt.
RW Maloukis, S.J. S/Sgt.
LW Pace, J.W. Sgt.
BT - -
TG Ballas, P.T. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 813
P Daley, J.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Stebner, O.G. 2nd Lt.
N Thomas, C.P. 2nd Lt.
B Cunningham, V.J. 2nd Lt.
E Minster, G.E. T/Sgt.
R Firquain, O.S. T/Sgt.
RW Bevill, B.T. S/Sgt.
LW Cole, R.A. S/Sgt.
BT Gump, J.A. S/Sgt.
TG Berry, J.F. S/Sgt.
Steffen, N.W. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 235
P Bilz, J.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Slayter, D.W. 2nd Lt.
N Barnes, J.M. 2nd Lt.
B Overman, D.T. 2nd Lt.
E Grout, A.G. Cpl.
R Fahrenbruch, K.G. Cpl.
RW Poepping, R.F. Cpl.
LW Beals, B.M. Cpl.
BT - -
TG Ludwig, D.J. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 966
P Johnson, R.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Cook, J.M. 2nd Lt.
N Waters, J.F. 2nd Lt.
B Weiss, J.E. F/O
E Lang, C.F. T/Sgt.
R Lauger, L. T/Sgt.
RW Stickley, F.F. S/Sgt.
LW Castaneda, J.A. S/Sgt.
BT Kielblock, A.L. T/Sgt.
TG Van Alstine, N.G. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 145
P Alexander, A.B. Capt.
CP Broussard, P.C. 1st Lt.
N Untiedt, L.F. Capt.
B Bennett, J.E. 1st Lt.
Kirkwood, T.G. 1st Lt.
Adelstein, R.L. 1st Lt.
E Sutphin, R.C. T/Sgt.
R Gallo, F.E. T/Sgt.
RW Fraser, A.C. S/Sgt.
LW Teske, G.R. Sgt.
BT Kisler, C.L. S/Sgt.
TG - -
7 Oct 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.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 249
P Fox, J.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Sampley, T.A. 2nd Lt.
N Johnson, M.S. 2nd Lt.
B Robinson, D.T. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, B.F. Cpl.
R Tameling, H. Cpl.
RW Seever, B.H. S/Sgt.
LW Bunting, J. Cpl.
BT - -
TG Davis, C.L. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 126
CA Player, G.C. Jr. Maj.
P Grettum, R.B. Capt.
CP Bate, H.C. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, J.H. Capt.
N Waldo, L.C. 2nd Lt.
N Conrad, J.B. 1st Lt.
B Connery, M.J. 1st Lt.
E West, G.E. T/Sgt.
R - -
RW Putnam, N.I. S/Sgt.
LW Padden, T.F. S/Sgt.
BT Housteau, J.M. S/Sgt.
TG Long, J.F. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 477
P Crenshaw, T.G. 2nd Lt.
CP Jones, J.P. F/O
N Thomas, W.L. 2nd Lt.
B Koenig, W.S. F/O
E Rupp, P.R. Cpl.
R Church, C.R. Cpl.
RW Frederick, J.E. Cpl.
LW Walton, R.T. Cpl.
BT - -
TG Lawler, D.J. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 313
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 - -
TG Pataki, S.M. S/Sgt.
RCM Ivey, E.H. Jr. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 121
P Bell, W.M. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Pope, C.H. 2nd Lt.
N Cole, R.W. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Morse, J.H. T/Sgt.
R Gordon, C.J. T/Sgt.
RW Onstot, P.O. S/Sgt.
LW Case, R.F. S/Sgt.
BT Harvie, W.M. S/Sgt.
TG Divers, C.B. S/Sgt.
NG Bross, J.H. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 697
P Tuchel, R.H. 1st Lt.
CP Hay, G.R. 2nd Lt.
N Faust, L.E. 2nd Lt.
B O'Rourke, R.L. S/Sgt.
E Tvergyak, P.A. T/Sgt.
R Johnson, H.K. T/Sgt.
RW Warrick, H.E. S/Sgt.
LW - -
BT Vincent, J.W. S/Sgt.
TG Carter, D.J. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 650
P DePalma, F.T. 2nd Lt.
CP Austin, G.E. F/O
N Slagle, R.B. 2nd Lt.
B Margarones, J.J. F/O
E Betterini, A. Cpl.
R Corbosiero, J.L. Cpl.
RW Bryan, C.F. Cpl.
LW Mowery, H.J. Cpl.
BT - -
TG Ferdinando, A.P. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 608
P Neundorf, C.A. 1st Lt.
CP Washington, E.K. 2nd Lt.
N Abrams, E.J. 2nd Lt.
B Pipitone, S.R. 2nd Lt.
E Moore, P.L. T/Sgt.
R Toniatti, L.A. T/Sgt.
RW Blalock, E.L. S/Sgt.
LW Sullivan, J.K. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Xander, C.H. S/Sgt.
PN Hickok, H.E. 2nd Lt.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 528
P Markuson, C.O. F/O
CP Hutchcroft, H.W. F/O
N Gallagher, W.W. 2nd Lt.
B Maceyra, E. 2nd Lt.
E Cain, P.L. Cpl.
R Burke, J.E. Cpl.
RW Monaghan, T.D. Cpl.
LW Howard, J.B. Cpl.
BT - -
TG Horn, J.E. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 495
P Cieply, E.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Brooks, L.M. 2nd Lt.
N Griesar, O.J. 2nd Lt.
B Marcelli, A.F. 2nd Lt.
E Cannon, L.F. Cpl.
R Cade, G.W. Cpl.
RW Kinsinger, W.D. Cpl.
LW Montez, A.G. Cpl.
BT Huston, C.F. Cpl.
TG - -
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 195
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. T/Sgt.
LW Callahan, E.M. S/Sgt.
BT - -
TG Sandusky, D.L. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 448
P Porter, H.K. 2nd Lt.
CP Bolstridge, C. 2nd Lt.
N Behr, A.J. F/O
B Baker, R.W. F/O
E DeSario, J.L. T/Sgt.
R Nero, R.A. T/Sgt.
RW Placht, E.J. S/Sgt.
LW Amato, J.J. S/Sgt.
BT Crosby, P.E. 2nd Lt.
TG Zollinger, P.D. S/Sgt.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 647 (no mission credit)
P Jordan, T.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Osojnicki, E.S. 2nd Lt.
N Sprosty, A.O. 2nd Lt.
B - -
E Kinzler, S.J. Cpl.
R Brown, L.E. Cpl.
RW Davis, T.N. Cpl.
LW Meister, R.H. Cpl.
BT Long, B. Sgt.
TG Kwiatowski, L.P. Cpl.
7 Oct 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 272
P Cerrato, V.H. Jr. 1st Lt.
CP Addison, A.E. 2nd Lt.
N Bailey, D.C. 2nd Lt.
B Ramos, R.W. F/O
E Lee, R.M. Cpl.
R Ewell, A.J. Jr. Cpl.
RW Burrell, M.L. Cpl.
LW Lamson, P.M. Cpl.
BT Watson, C.B. S/Sgt.
TG Warwick, F.W. Cpl.