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Search No.   1200 - B-17 #43-38818

From: Mark Frank []
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2004 9:45 PM
Subject: 43-38818 a B-17 assigned to the 524th Bomb Squadron 379th Bomb Group

What information can you supply regarding this crew? My uncle was Mark R Reynolds Jr., serial # 39713847. Also was the bomber called “the missing links”, this is the caption on a picture I have of the crew. Any and all information is appreciated. Looking for family members of the crew also.

Sgt Mark Reynolds, Tail Gunner, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew 18 missions with the 524th Bomb Squadron from 2/14/45 to 3/24/45. The following are the crew on their last mission to Hopsten, Germany on 3/24/45 in aircraft 43-38818 (WA-L). The aircraft was hit by flak, burst into flames and exploded. Not chutes were reported.

Howell Sylvester V. -2nd Lt, P, O-835204, West Orange, NJ, Ardennes A 31 12
Noble Kenneth R. -2nd Lt, CP, O-777780, Lakeside, OR, KIA
Weaver Melvin E. -2nd Lt, B, O-2069738, Vancouver, WA, KIA
Barnett Bert W.Jr. -SGT, NG, 12138585, Rochester, NY, Ardennes B 22 19
Villasenor Pablo -T/SGT, RO, 39577219, San Bernardino,CA, KIA
Fairbanks Thomas F. -S/SGT, TT, 37227150, Topeka, KS, Ardennes D 14 44
Kenan Milton S. -SGT, BT, 14109569, Clinton, NC, Ardennes D 38 19
Reynolds Mark R. -SGT, TG, 39713847, Shellsburg, IA, KIA

The above American European Cemeteries (Ardennes A 31 12 etc.) have the row, plot and grave locations.

We not show any family members currently listed on the 379th BG Association roster. Also our records do not indicate a name for aircraft 43-38818.

Our records indicate that Sgt Mark Reynolds flew the following 18 missions with the 524th Bomb Squadron: 278, 281, 282, 283, 285, 286, 289, 290, 291, 293, 294, 295, 296, 300, 301, 304, 305 & 309.

We would appreciate you sending us a copy (via email) of the crew picture giving us the names of the crewmembers if you have them. It would help us identify “The Missing Links”.

Responding4 6/04/04

Search No.  1199 - William T Ayres, POW

From: Evie Crocker []
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2004 11:04 PM
Subject: S/Sgt Wm Toye Ayres POW Record 526 squadron, 379 Bomb Group

Need to find any one who knew Wm T. {Bill} Ayers who was either a navigator or bombardier on a b-17 with the 526 squdron, 379 Bomb Group station in England in 1943/44. His plane went down in 1944 and was captured by Germans in France or Prussia. He was 5' 10'' tall, blue eyes, blond hair. Was born in Ms but may have claimed Texas as home. He escaped and recaptured , almost shot because Germans mistaken him as an AWOL German soldier. He was able to prove he was an American. French under ground either rescued him or he escaped again and French underground found him. This was about the end of the war. I need to find these records to correct his headstone in Roseburg Or. VA National Cemetery. His children must not know of his time in the Marine Corp in 1938 - 1942 or his POW time.
Thank you for any assistance you may give us.
Evelyn Crocker
1 st cousin

This is the only William T Ayres we have listed in the 379th Bombardment Group and is presumed to have entered the service at Jonesboro, AR. His serial number is 11998700 as shown below and should help you in obtaining his military records.

Sgt William T Ayres, waist Gunner, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew 1 mission with the 526th Bomb Squadron. The following are the crew on their 1st mission to Nazaire, France on 5/29/43 in aircraft 42-29878 (LF-G) “Lady Godvia”:

Peterson Theodore M. -Capt, P, O-730596, Salt Lake City, UT, Returned
Bourn Jack W. -2nd Lt, CP, O-73351, Piedmont, CA, POW Stalag 3 (033)
Moore Woodrow T. -2nd Lt, N, O-732754, Baltimore, MD, POW Stalag 3 (033)
Rosacker Warren J. -2nd Lt, B, O-732979, Topeka, KS, POW Stalag 3 (033)
Scott J. M. -T/SGT, RO, 37348081, Pueblo, CO, Returned
Spencer M. M. -S/SGT, TT, 35259289, Rockville, IN, POW
Blubaugh W. E. -S/SGT, BT, 37430282, Akron, OH, POW Stalag 17B (025)
Ayres W. T. -SGT, RW, 11998700, Jonesboro, AR, POW Stalag 4 (091)
Cribelar P. R. -S/SGT , LW, 35364774, Indianapolis, IN, POW Stalag 17B (025)
Brown C.A. -S/SGT, TG, 17020430, Leavenworth, KS, POW Stalag 3 (033)

We suggest that you try to get a copy his personnel file from the National Personnel Records Center, Military Records Branch, 9700 Page Ave., St. Louis Mo. 63132-5100. Many personnel files were destroyed in the St. Louis Record Center fire in 1973. The Center uses alternate sources to reconstruct basic service information of records that were lost in the fire. (See URL for form 180 below) They have reconstructed the records and may tell you they don’t have them, but they do have something be persistent. Please let us know of your progress.

Responding4 6/04/04

God Bless you , Mike; You made my day! This is my cousin, I had such little information to go on when I began this search about three years ago. Mostly hear say from the families' memory and postcards as mentioned before. I have pictures upon pictures of him in uniform, my favorite is him in flight gear preparing to step into a plane. I don't think it was a B-17, I think it was a plane at Pampa Tx. Air field which he took a hop back to his base. I will email you a .jpg and let you tell me what type of plane it was.

He was my eldest Crocker cousin and my hero. I never met him but one time when he visited us after returning from Germany, I think I was about 8 or 9 yrs old. He was loved by all.

Would you include him in your Taps, he died September 1977 in VA Hospital , Eugene, Or. is buried at Roseburg Or. VA National Cemetery. He retired in 1960 after 22 years of serving his country. His home was Venita, Or. , He left four children, a son, Wm. Warren Ayres, Air Force Veteran ; Janice Ayres Marshall; Cheri Ayres Spencer, and Vicki Ayres, Marine Veteran. and nine cousins who loved him dearly.
His Marine service time was left off his marker as well as POW time.
Plan to join the association soon.
Evelyn Crocker
WAC Veteran

Search No.  1198 - Robert L Davis

From:  Michael Davis []
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 9:08 AM
Subject: search for my father robert l. davis

I have recently learned that my dad was assigned to the 8th Air Force Squadron, stationed in England and was shot down on a bombing raid over Germany circa May 24th 1944. If there is a web site that lists MIA's or POW's during WWII, could you please supply it? If anyone has information on Robert L. Davis, from Sunnyside, Washington, please let me know. Thank you for a great web page!! Sincerely, Michael E. Davis

Sorry we are unable to find your father in our 379th BG records. If he was a POW you could check the NARA POW punch card database. These records were input from German POW camp records and Red Cross information. Like most military databases there are some errors (spelling, wrong Bombs Groups) but for the most part they are helpful.

You will need to refresh your screen because it will give you an error message when you access it. Scroll down until you see the input screen, type in his name or serial number and hit return. Having your fathers serial number will make identification easier in obtaining his service records.

Then check the box by the correct name and click on show record. The record shows S/Sgt Robert L Davis assigned to the 447 BG. (serial no 19145201) The record may show the last POW camp of internment. I will send you a separate copy which will include what the NARA records looks like rather then trying to post them on the website.

Responding4 6/2/04

Thank you so much for this information!!! It appears that my father was assigned to the 447th BG, and assigned to the 711 D W Leach crew. I am thinking about joining the 447th group and even considering attending their reunion in October in Kansas City. I will try to email members of the 447th to see if they know more about my father's service to the squadron. Thank you again for your effort!! I love your web page!! Sincerely, Michael Davis

Search No.  1197 - Paul G Cavaliere

From: Bob Cavaliere []
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2004 4:23 PM
Subject: Paul G. Cavaliere

My father, Paul G. Cavaliere, was a navigator in Squadron 525 of the 379th Bombardment Group who flew approximately 22 missions between January 1945 and March 1945. He passed away in 1984. I recently began to research his military records and I joined your association a few months ago. My mom found an old photograph on the back of which Dad had written all the dates and targets of his missions and I can see that they coincide with those listed on the Association's list of mission reports for sale.

Can you tell me in general what type of information is shown in those reports? Is there any way to find out the name or the serial number of the aircraft(s) he flew on? How would I go about searching for men who might have known him? Is there any other information I can give you which might be useful in responding to my questions? Thank you in advance for any information you might provide and thank you for the work you do. If he was still alive today, I would have invited my Dad to the dedication of the WWII Memorial which was just held this weekend in Washington, D.C., as I live in suburban Virginia and work in Washington.

Thank you again.
Bob Cavaliere

Flight Officer Paul G Cavaliere, Navigator, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew with the 525th Bomb Squadron from 1/23/45 to 4/17/45. The following are the crew on their 1st mission to Neuss, Germany on 1/23/45 in aircraft 43-38178 "Seattle Sue":

Wilson, Harold P 2nd Lt Pilot
Phillips Jr., James A 2nd Lt Co-Pilot
Cavaliere, Paul G F/O Navigator
Snyder Jr., James C Cpl Nose Gunner/Togglier
Robertson, Jack W Cpl Radio Operator/Gunner
Broyles, Robert R S/Sgt Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Barnest, Luttrel L Cpl Ball Turret Gunner
Dandrea, Henry T Cpl Waist Gunner
Tennell, Ralph S Cpl Tail Gunner

Jack W Robertson is shown on the current Association membership roster. It is possible that other Association members may have flown with your father as he did fly some missions with different crewmembers.

Our records indicate that F/O Cavaliere flew the following 21 missions with the 525th Bomb Squadron: 271, 272, 273, 277, 280, 281, 282, 284, 285, 286, 290, 292, 293, 294, 299, 301, 303, 305, 306, 325 & 327. It is possible that he flew more but our records only indicate the ones listed.

We would appreciate any crew pictures and/or stories to add to our Associations memorabilia. Welcome to the 379th BG Association, we hope to see you in Dayton!

Responding4 6/01/04

Search No.  1196 - Billie E Potter

From: Scott []
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 8:04 PM
Subject: dads plane and crew

My dad, Billie Eugene Potter was a tail gunner on the Round Twip Wabbit, 524th bomb squadron. I am his son Scott and we are attempting to find anyone who knew the plane or if any of his fellow crew members are still around.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

S/Sgt Billie E Potter, Tail Gunner, was in the 379TH Bombardment Group and flew 35 missions with the 524th Bomb Squadron From 8/18/44 to 1/03/45. The following are the crew on their 2nd mission to Merserburg, Germany on 8/24//44 in aircraft 43-38256 (WA-C) "Our Baby":

Carlson, Vernon P, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Boecking, Robert H, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Cohen, George J, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Michel, Roland, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Gross, Michael H, Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Manley, Harry J, Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Scrimali, Louis C, Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Hunter, Thomas M, Sgt, Waist Gunner
Potter, Billie E, Sgt, Tail Gunner

Robert H Boecking is on the current Association membership roster. This crew flew on various aircraft during their tour of duty. The aircraft flown the most was "Round Twip Wabbit" 43-38466 (WA-D) with 8 combat missions.

Our records indicate that S/Sgt Potter flew the following missions with the 524th Bomb Squadron: 191,192, 196, 197, 199 Abort, 200, 201, 203, 204, 207 Abort, 208, 211, 212, 213, 216, 219, 222, 223, 225, 226, 227, 229, 230 did not take off, 235, 236, 238, 241, 242, 244, 246, 248, 249, 251, 252, 253, 255, 259 & 260.

Responding4 3/31/04

Search No.  1195 - Wilton E Gease

From: Suzanne []
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2004 3:49 PM
Subject: Information concerning 2Lt Wilton E. Gease, Pilot of B-17 Old Fox

To Whom It May Concern:
My husband showed me your sight and I got all excited as I would like to know more about my Father’s war years. We know he was stationed at Kimbolton Air Field about 1944. We think his plane was called the Old Fox however he had mentioned changing the name to Terry and the Pirates. We think he flew 5 missions before going down in a collision with another plane in formation over Germany At this time he looked over at his co-pilot and he was dead. He gave the order to abandon ship. He made his way to the “hole” to jump and again told the men to jump. He had his parachute in his hand when he jumped and put it on going down. He landed in a tree in Germany. His face was completely burnt. Somehow he got out of the tree and walked to the nearest village. He was arrested and taken to a POW camp. He was also marched to another camp. Sorry to be so cryptic but this is how I remember his story. He also said he was liberated from the POW camp by Gen. Patton. My father was given the Purple Heart as well as some other metals that I can’t recall. My Father passed away December 18, 1993 in Santa Cruz Co. California. My father was born May 23, 1916 in Stockton, California. He was a wonderful man and I miss him everyday. I have sent my registration form and $30.00 today. I can hardly wait to hear from you.
Suzanne von Gease Noonkester

PS After the war my father became an editor of a small town news paper and added ‘von’ to the last name of Gease. He thought it looked more, shall we say lateedah. During his war years he went by Wilton E. Gease.

Lt Wilton E Gease, Pilot, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew 18 missions with the 525th Bomb Squadron from 4/19/44 to 5/24/44. The following are the crew on their last mission to Berlin, Germany 5/24/44 aircraft 42-37784 (FR-P) "THE OLD FOX"; mid-air collision (with 42-38082) after being attacked by fighters.

Gease Wilton E. -2nd Lt, P, O-691253, Los Gatos, CA, POW
Gastineau Lucien O. -2nd Lt, CP, O-818851, Charleston, WV, KIA
Lorentz Robert J. -F/O, N, T-123942, Sioux Falls, SD, KIA
O'Neal Richard -2nd Lt, B, O-757550, Greensboro, NC, KIA
Egan Roger W. -T/SGT, RO, 36644083, Park Ridge, IL, KIA
Fenity Edward L. -T/SGT, TT, 16051743, Galesburg, IL, KIA
Amalfitano John J Jr. -S/SGT, BT, 32798044, Brooklyn, NY, KIA
Chestnut Robert F. -S/SGT, WG, 19162066, Beverly Hills, CA, KIA
Fetterolf Carl S. -S/SGT, TG, 33521377, Hardyville, VA, KIA

Our records indicate that Lt. Gease flew the following missions with the 525th Bomb Squadron: 8, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 120, 122, 124.

Welcome to the 379th BG Association, we hope to see you in Dayton!

Responding4 5/30/04

Search No.  1194 - Joseph J Hilderbrand

Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 6:11 PM
Subject: info on mission 8/17/1943

I've been looking for info on Navigator 1st Lt Joseph J Hilderbrand who was killed on the bomb run made on August 17th 1943. His plane was called "Peter Wabbit" Ser # 42-29830.If you have any information on his flights, or crew, I'd like to hear about them

Thank you Ted Gambogi Jr

Lt. Joseph Hilderbrand, Navigator, flew 13 missions with the 379th Bombardment Group 525th Bomb Squadron from 5/29/43 to 8/17/43. The following are the crew and on their last mission to Schweinfurt, Germany on 8/17/43 in aircraft 42-29830 (FR-A) “Peter Wabbit”:

Wagner Erwalt D. -1st Lt, P, O-731702, Waterloo, IA, KIA
Barnard William C. -2nd Lt, CP, O-731790, Dixon, CA, KIA
Hilderbrand Joesph J. -2nd Lt, N, O-667404, Mantua Hgts., NJ, Lorraine J 25 24
Gibbs Kenneth F. -2nd Lt, B, O-733304, Lancaster, PA, Lorraine E 32 23
Radensky Benjamin (NMI) -T/SGT, RO, 19065065, Sacramento, CA, Lorraine J 33 24
Cushman Henry I. -T/SGT, TT, 11021229, Fall River, MA, KIA
Donahue Francis J. - S/SGT, BT, 11052780, North Graffton, MA, KIA
Andruss Eldred J. -S/SGT, RW, 18066103, Seymour, TX, Lorraine D 13 34
Charlson Marvin T. -S.SGT, LW, 37296175, Wapleton, ND, KIA
Yates Dean J. -S/SGT, TG, 39829397, Mona, UT, Lorraine B 25 10

Our records indicate that Lt. Hilderbrand flew the following missions with the 525th Bomb Squadron: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 20 & 21.

Responding4 5/24/04

Search No.  1193 - Matthew Karcich

From: Mark A Draper []
Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2004 11:32 PM
Subject: Grandfathers airplane

My grandpa was a navigator in the 379th. I have always been fascinated by his stories and am a pilot myself. He recently passed away, but in his old age was never able to remember the name of the airplane he was in. I would appreciate it if anyone might know. His name was Matthew Karcich and served may-june of 1944 I believe.


Lt Matthew Karcich, Navigator, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew missions with the 526th Bomb Squadron from 4/30/44 to 7/17/47. The following are the crew on their 2nd mission to Reims, France on 5/1/44 in aircraft 42-31043 (LF-L) “Elsie Mae”:

Osborne, Joseph (NMI), Lt, Pilot
Vogel, Carl G, Lt, Co-Pilot
Karcich Jr., Matthew F, Lt, Navigator
Archdeacon, John R, Lt, Bombardier
Fama, Elmo (NMI), Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Jeffcoat, Harry A, S/Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Dilworth, William L, Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Waite Jr., John (NMI), Sgt, Right Waist Gunner
Desouchet Jr., William O, Sgt, Left Waist Gunner
Nelson, William F, Sgt, Tail Gunner

We do not show any crewmembers on the current Association membership roster. Our records indicate that Lt. Karcich, flew the following missions with the 526th Bomb Squadron: 107, 109, 113, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 133, 134, 136, 137, 139, 141, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 161 Abort, 162, 166 &167.

Responding4 5/23/04

Search No.  1192 - Ira George Eppinger

From: Willette Family []
Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2004 12:29 PM
Subject: Ira George Eppinger

I would love a copy of my father’s missions, and the serial number of his aircraft. He served at Kimbolton Oct ’44-April ’45.
Thank you. Carol Eppinger-Willette

Lt Ira G Eppinger, Navigator, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew missions with the 524th Bomb Squadron from 11/01/444 to 3/07/45. The following are the crew on their 2nd mission to Sterkrade, Germany on 11/2/44 in aircraft 43-37851 (WA-O)"Goo Goo". Aircraft 43-37851 “Goo Goo” was flown on most of this crews missions.

Simpkins Jr., Howard W, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Gjelvik, Edgar C, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Eppinger, Ira G, F/O, Navigator
Parker, Raymond W, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Yeomans, Donald D, Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Abrashoff, Kero, Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Sterner, Guy S, Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Delong, Walter B, Sgt, Waist Gunner
Hill, Mack W, Sgt, Tail Gunner

We do not show any crewmembers on the current Association membership roster. Our records indicate that Lt. Eppinger flew the following missions with the 524th Bomb Squadron: 229, 230, 213 Abort, 232, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 244, 246, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 255, 256, 258, 260, 262, 265, 266, 268, 269, 271, 272, 274, 275, 276, 278 Abort, 280, 281, 284, 288, 289, 291, 292 & 295.

Responding4 5/23/04

Search No.  1191 - Calvin D Schapira

From: Rick Schapira [mailto:RICKS@DNFSB.GOV]
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2004 11:29 AM
Subject: Information on Calvin D. Schapira

I would appreciate any information on my father, Calvin D. Schapira, who was a pilot with the 379th from approximately October 1943 until May 1944.

Lt. Calvin D. Schapria, Co-Pilot, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew missions with the 526th Bomb Squadron from 11/16/43 to 3/03/44. The following are the crew on their 1st mission to Knaben, Norway on 11/16/43 in aircraft 42-39783 (LF-B)"Blues in the Nite":

Jaynes, Donald B, Lt, Pilot
Schapira, Calvin D, Lt, Co-Pilot
Simpson, Jack T, Lt, Navigator
Cole, Lloyd R, Lt, Bombardier
Dolph, Ralph (NMI), S/Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Bolen, Edward L, S/Sgt, Top Turret Gunner
Stockwell, James E, Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Crain, Reynold B, Sgt, Right Waist Gunner
Brewster, Charles H, Sgt, Left Waist Gunner
Callendar, Lynn C, Sgt, Tail Gunner

Donald B Jaynes is shown on the current Association membership roster. Our records indicate that Lt. Schapria flew the following missions with the 526th Bomb Squadron:
42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 53, 54, 55, 58, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76. It is possible that he flew more but our records only indicate the ones listed above.

Responding4 5/20/04

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