457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 217
751st Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 751st Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:23

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 217
Date - March 24, 1945
Target - Hopsten
The Allied troops had crossed the Rhine and were now fighting on German soil. The 8th, in an all day attack, put up a maximum effort and the 457th put up two flights this day, 36 planes in the morning and another 12 in the afternoon. The Squadrons bombed in trail and on the bomb run the lead plane was was hit by flak and the squadron proceeded to the secondary target. The low squadron lead was also hit but the deputy took over and bombed on the airfield at Hopsten. Bomb results were good. Flak was extremely heavy and 23 planes suffered damage. Plane s/n 43-38854 was hit by flak, rolled over and broke in half.
Plane s/n 43-38854, named "Tennessee Toddy," and flown by Lt Sherill R. Williams, was hit by flak while on the bomb run to the airfield at Hopsten, Germany. An anti-aircraft shell exploded about 9 feet from the end of his wing and that portion of the wing broke off. The plane left the formation, dove, turned over on it's back, and spun down till the fuselage broke in half in the vicinity of the radio room. Six members of the crew were killed and three survived as POW's


The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 43-38854     
PilotLt Sherrill R. Williams   KIA  
CopilotLt Earl R. Downey, Jr.   KIA  
NavigatorF/O Benjamin J. Bushey   KIA  
ToggleerSgt Burnell L. Scheivert   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Ralph W. Smith   KIA  
Radio OperatorSgt Eugene P. Bussard   KIA  
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Harold R.l Rahbe   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Burnard A. Klimoski   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Anthony J. Demaro  KIA  

                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:23
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)