CHAPTER 4

1 APRIL 1944 TO 30 APRIL 1944

Daylight-saving time (double summer time) went into effect on 2 April. However, the weather did not seem to take heed The bad weather of the last days of March continued through the first week of April. Things were soon to change, because on 9 April, Easter Sunday, the Group would fly one of the longest missions attempted by the Eighth Air Force.

MISSION NO. 23

GYDNIA, POLAND

9 APRIL, 1944

A large scale attack was launched against the FW-190 eastern complex of aircraft factories in north central Germany and Poland. Twelve Combat Wings were airborne for the deepest penetration to date.

The 457th's target was an aircraft factory, situated at Rahmel, seven miles from the center of Gydnia, that produced FW-190s. The 457th comprised the 94th A Combat Wing, and led the Wing. U. Col. Henry B. Wilson was Air Commander with pilot Lt. J. L. Smith. In addition, the 457th supplied two squadrons for the high box. Major Fred A. Spencer as the high box leader, with Lt. Jerome E. (Jerry) Godfrey as pilot. The flight route took the Group in a northeasterly direction over the North Sea, across Denmark and the Baltic Sea, and to the target area. Bad weather, which had hampered the Group in England and over the North Sea, caused seven planes to become lost and abort the mission. In addition, four more were lost from the high box and two, having failed to assemble with the Group, aborted when the Group they joined abandoned the mission.

The weather had cleared by the time the formations reached the IP.

A good formation produced a good bomb run, and bombing results were good, in spite of enemy fighter attacks along the run. Flak was moderate over the target.

Immediately after leaving the target, the formation was attacked by waves of FW-190s and Me-109s, coming in from the nose and from the tail. Aircraft piloted by Lt. Amos W. Shepard and Lt. Robert K. Walker took direct hits, with both being shot down. One member of Lt. Shepard's crew and three of Lt. Walker's crew, including Lt. Walker, failed to survive. The aircraft piloted by Lt. Stuart James took a direct hit, claiming the life of one crew member.

The attacks continued over the Baltic Sea, where Lt. David P. Parks was shot down and seven crew members lost their lives. The attacks continued over Denmark. Lt. Donald G. Karr crashed his badly damaged aircraft at Woodbndge, an English base near the coast.

Gunners from the 457th received credit for three enemy aircraft destroyed, one probably destroyed and one damaged. The mission required eleven hours. The bombing results drew a commendation from the Division Headquarters.

(Compiler Note: For an account of LT. Donald Karr' mission, for which he was awarded the Silver Star, see Chapter 19.)

CREW LOADING LIST

April 9th, 1944

Mission No 23   Target: Gydnia, Poland

If you desire to see the original scanned loading lists, click on the respective blue squadron header below.
(If a very small image appears, click on the small image to enlarge.)

  748th Squadron 749th Squadron 750th Squadron 751th Squadron
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  A/C # 591 A/C # 086 A/C # 620 A/C # 587
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Adrian W. Seabock
Lloyd. E. Icenogle
Warren B. Speidel
William. G. Smith Jr.
Louis M. Castelucci
Frank. T. Ingersoll
Leslie B. Reid, Jr
William B. Woodell
Prosser Jeffreys
Francis E. Cornue
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Benny M. Flowers
Harry E. Cameron
Marsh Hovey
Frank H. Pearman
William L. Finley
Andrew H. Bouchard
William Zamecnik
Ben H. Collingsworth
Reginald W. Buxton
Victor U. Meador
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William F. Rogers
Stanley J. Wolczanski
Wilbert J. Collard
Dino H. Tonelli
Joshua D. Lane
Orion H. Shumway
Edward F. Rugg
Sol Pollack
David H. Quick
Ray Jones
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Richard H. Luebke
Robert A. Patty
Sidney H Johnson
Jack B. Eldridge
John L. Zoutte
James J. Kilroy
Earl W. Johnston
Max E. Johnston
Joseph S. Reid
William F. White

  A/C # 470 A/C # 629 A/C # 084 A/C # 026
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Bernard V. Conner
Owen B. Coffman
Clement H. Marsden
Zaven R. Astor
Frank T. Aylstock
James A. McCamey
Edward J. Brazinski
Hal H. Willitt
Carl W. Lewis
Leo L. Lange
Lt
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Sgt
Sgt
Sgt
Sgt
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David P. Parks
Floyd E. Grove
William E. Ellerbusch
Edward J. Quinn
Don J. Kesselmayer
Cosmo J. Fazzio
Ruben H. Halverson
Charles M. Kerr
Anthony M. Pasce
George H. Grebe
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Edwin S. Jones
Clyde S. Jolley
Claude H. Sullivan
Howard A. Handran
Harry C. Lake
James A. Martin
Patsy Varrassi
Alfred Beacon
Ernest W. Kerr, Jr.
Kenneth E. Davidson
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 John W. Fay
James E. Carels
Lionel J. Cusson
Joe C. Wilmeth
Edward T. Sawyer
William A. Spoerner
George H. Staudt
Richard M. Bassett
Frederick G. Wagner
Hugh C. Arant

  A/C # 558 A/C # 633 A/C # 075 A/C # 630
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Kenneth W. Burkhart
Noble L. Webster
William B. Wescott
Julius Venerofsky
John J. Serosky
Samuel B. Goff
Carl Tulowitski
Sidney N. Erickson
Howard W. Barrier
T. J. Shields
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Richard J. Dudek
Russell M. Dobyns
John F. Moore
James H. Coonrod
John J. Connell
John Kessock
Alfred A. Sabory
Henri A. Boulay
Harold D. McFarland
Robert E. Bergeron
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Robert M. Krumm
Edward R. Stevens
Roland O. Byers
Charles S. Gelber
Lawrence J. Walsh
Raymond J. Kristoff
Billy E. Hightower
S. Marx
John D. Barrett
Anthony Tozzi
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Richard T. Bennett
Charles E. Robb
Charles R. Hunicutt
Houston L. Levers
Cral D. Seibrands
Eugene M. Beamer
George Ribiero
Louis F. Beske
Donald J. Lighthizer
Charles L. Campbell

  A/C # 236 A/C # 571 A/C # 070 A/C # 131
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Edward J. Reppa
Aaron J. Ayres
Curtis J. Overdahl
George H. Stateman
Ivan W. Browning
Stephen F. Billisits
Kenneth L. Holder
Charles W. Mehring
Irving Feldman
John Harmke
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Jesse L. Smith
Henry B. Wilson
Donald E. Muston
Norman A. Kriehn
Lloyd T. Belanger
Randall N. White
Clarence R. Ray
Steve Vargo
Raymond L. Osborn
Ethan A. Schaeffer
Ennis E. Brown
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Edward  B. Dozier
Charles E. Newmeyer
Alexis P. Umoff
Charles W. Hilton
Dwite M. Anderson
Crad W. McCollum
William C. Young
Fredrick L. Exley
Gerald E. Poston
Frank L. Ridenhour
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Stuart B. James
Martin W. Biehn
Charles C. Canon
Alden N. rittman
Ora W. Murch
Patrick C. Toomey
Angelo J. Ruscito
Eugene C. Goslee
Carl N. Davis
Dale L. Vance

  A/C # 087 A/C # 164 A/C # 551 A/C # 998
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Kenneth R. Johnston
Kenneth W. Brucker
Herbert N. Webb
Harry B. Vaal
John R. Billington
Daniel A. Malcolm
Francis E. Friedel
Edwin D. Waggoner
Paul O. Conner
Gilbert Slocum
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Donald G. Karr
John E. Haight
Richard M. Condon
Joel H. Apel
Kenneth M. Krise
Philip Finkelstein
Morris J. Woodell
Eugene H. Paprota
Paul M. Rogers
Charles L. Edwards
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Americo Procopio
Robert Driscoll
Bernard B. Weinberg
Edward P. Palika
John T. Clements
E. L. Angell
Rusell R. Babel
Thaddeus F. Dubej
James R. Norman
Walter W. Megin
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Vinton H. Mays
Jack Gumm
Clifton Chandler
Daniel G. McLaughlin
Albert A. Rothauer
Stanley H. Krohm
Jack F. Berry
Jack D. Bush
Cecil D. Burroughs
James B. Ambrose

  A/C # 062 A/C # 051 A/C # 923 A/C # 465
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Leonard P. Soenke
George C. Hozier
Robert E. Jackson
James E. Fast
Patrick W. Henry
Walter A. Ginter
Joseph J. Lukasik
Owen L. McDonough
Earle Veeder
Howard B. Collins
Prentis A. Cooper
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William L. Gibbons
Raymond A. Syptak
Robert D. Newcomb
William J. Brandt
Patrick A. Walls
Paul A. Birchen
Jasper L. Smith
Paul O'Neal
Paul Holder
John R. Graham
George J. Bennett
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Alfred W. Fischer
Harry Huskey
John N. McDonnell
Ralph D. Stutzman
Robert M. Jensen
Andrew E. Jasso
James E. Pickle
Leo McHatton
Thomas N. Norton
James H. Long

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Robert K. Walker
J. B. Latham
Frank S. Jackson
Marlin A. Greenwalt
Lionel W. Havlas
Kneeland I. Parshley
David M. Gerber
Lelane E. Mills
Bruce L. Kustaborder
Frank L. Croft

  A/C # 552 A/C # 067 A/C # 073 A/C # 123
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Thomas E. Lee
John M. Bristow
John C. Sherwin
Regis J. Creehan
Clayton L. Betterton
Jasper Stewart
John R, Barber
John A. Robinson
Irvin V.Gerlich
Ralph H.Zagorski
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Rudolph M. Stohl
David W. Schellenger
John O. Millham
James E. Thomas
Robert C. Kreite
William F. Bemus
Walter F. Wagoner
Sheldon J. Moore
Erwin A. Welling
Charles L. Stewart
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Robert D. Lane
Howard E. James
Robert C. Dvorak
William L. smith
Winfred C. Kincaid
Gervin R. McBride
James C. Budd
Edward A. Bleck
Stewart C. Moody
James H. Bryant
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Kenneth L. Andersen
Kaspar O. Lamvik
Thomas F. Monaghan
Robert J. Larson
Laurel J. Phillips
Carl F. Graves
Raymond J. Daly
Dean K. Adams
Donald Douthwright
John W. Brown

  A/C # 098 A/C # 537 A/C # A/C # 001
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Harris S. Mathis
Norris H. Gerber
Frederick W. Asbell
John A. Richardson
Rex B. Crawford
Donald E. Cook
Mark A. Osborne, Jr.
Robert C. Makin
Ralph H. Garrison
Nicholas Pesko
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Amos W. Shepard
Ralph O. Hammerstrom
Kennety Galyean
Herbert W. Spaulding
Joseph E. Fasone
Arnold E. Kauffman
Jon Roberts
Amos T. Bunch
Harold E. Smith
William E. Good
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Jerome E. Godfrey
John E. Grimes
Charles R. Graf
David S. Wright
Alfred E. Calhoon
Leroy E. Heibert
Donald W. Blackwell
James E. Doerr
Fred A. Spencer
George T. Gulywasz

  A/C # A/C # A/C # A/C # 137
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Walter S. Milne
Robert E. Ensminger
John D. English
Edward C. Cannon
Jerome A. Folgeman
Lyle W. Johnson
Ralph L. Haldiman
Alton A. Schaffner
Helner Beck
George H. Davis


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Scanned copies of the original loading lists, sorted by mission number and date, can be viewed Here
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