457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 136
750th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 750th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:19

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 136
Date - October 17, 1944
Target - Cologne
Not Available
Plane s/n 43-37606, named "Big Time Operator" (BTO), and piloted by Lt Norman M. Chapman, was hit by very accurate flak while on the bomb run. Two bursts hit under his wings. Two engines on the right wing and one on the left were knocked out. They swung away from the formation and turned toward Belgium hoping to land in occupied terrority. The pilot gave the crew permission to bail out but no one did. Electing to stay with the plane and hopefully landing somewhere in Belgium. The crew threw out everything they could to lighten the load as the plane glided through the clouds. When he finally had to crash land, he was short of Allied terrority and he and his crew were taken as POW's. Three of the crew died from flak injuries. (See Marshall Windham's account of this crash in "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 43-37606     
PilotLt Norman M. Chapman   POW
CopilotLt Raymond K. Mills, Jr.   KIA  
Navigator F/O Kenneth H. Johnson   KIA  
BombardierLt Oliver W. Wicks   KIA  
Aircraft EngineerSgt Marshall T. Windham   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Robert T. Brady   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt James R. Dixon   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Carl M. Weibel   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Joseph M. Budlich  POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:19
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)