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Search No. 1340 - Losses in Belgium

From: René Romainville,
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 9:52 AM
Subject: Request for information

Dear Sir,

Retired NCO from the belgian Air force I have undertaken to look after RAF bomber aircraft who were shot down in the area where I live in Belgium. During those research I came across some photos where B17 aircraft are pictured. On some of them the "K" letter coul be observed. The first B17 had a double triangle , inside the first one the letter code K, in the second triangle on the top N°3 at the bottom of the second triangle the N° 337755 and underneath the letter "Z". It seems that the B17 made an emergency landing on the 10 September 1944.

Do you have any information about the crew and the operation that they were flying , Any photo of the crew ?

The second B17 I can only see the letter code K, but it must happened after liberation 7 september 1944 because people can be seen around. I do also have a photo representing 2 airman one being a lieutenant and a belgian gendarme , I suspect that they are maybe member of the crew of the second B17.

Is ther an existing listing of B17 lost by you Group in Belgium between september - november 1944, does it say the area of "landing"

Thank you in advance for your help, if needed I can send the photos by internet.

Best regards from Belgium
Rene Romainville

Rene -
Association records for a/c 43-37755 show this aircraft was dispatched on Mission 204 to the synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, Germany on 13 September 1944. The crew survived the crash landing, and made their way back to US Military control, with the help of local Belgian authorities, over the following days Crew of this aircraft for that mission was as follows:

Layton, Robert F, Cpt, Pilot
Greiner, Harold D, Lt, Co-Pilot
Ehlers, Wayne F, Lt, Nav
Chong, Anthony S, Lt, Nav
Carruth, Thomas A, Lt, Bomb
Morgan, Jack H, TSgt, Radio Op
Kozuszko, John (NMI), TSgt, Top Turret
Shaeffer, Lloyd E, SSgt, Ball Turret
Mccarthy, Raymond J, SSgt, Waist
Hagen, Robert G, Lt, Tail/Formation Control

Sorry, we do not have photos of this crew. We would be interested in photos of the aircraft after the crash landing, for our archives, if possible. This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. Please see also previous Belgian inqury about this aircraft in Looking 4 inquiry Number 1320, which can be viwed by following the Looking 4 tab on our website.

Regarding the second aircraft, a/c 42-102675 crash landed in Belgium on 11 September 1944. Seven crew members were taken POW, two returned to US control. Crew was as follows:

Smithdeal, William F, 1st Lt, Pilot, POW
Bengis, Henry T, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, POW
Huhta, Donald S, 2nd Lt, Nav, POW
Vevier, Charles, 2nd Lt, Bomb, POW
Schroeder, Grayson L, TSgt, Radio Op, POW
Sindelar, Orville W, TSgt, Top Turret, POW
Shranko, Peter, Sgt, Ball Turret, POW
Bissing, Jacob, SSgt, Waist, Returned
Koehl, George R, Sgt, Tail, Returned

Note that there was also a previous Belgian Looking 4 inquiry on this aircraft, see Looking 4 Number 1262. Again, any photos that we could add to our archives for future inquiries would be very much appreciated.

Responding 4 8/3/2006

Search No.   1339 - Cyrus M Wallace

From: Mecham, Del W.,
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 1:58 PM
Subject: S/Sgt. Cyrus M. Wallace - B-17F s/n 42-5820

I'm helping a friend locate any information about his great-uncle, Staff Sergeant Cyrus M. Wallace, the ball-turret gunner on B-17F, s/n 42-5820, in the 526th Bomb. Squadron. His plane went down on 8-12-43. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Del Mecham

Del -
Association records for Cyrus M Wallace show that he flew 4 missions as gunner with the 526th Bomb Squadron from July 24 to August 12, 1943. Records indicate missions number 13, 14, 16, and 18. Sgt. Wallace may have flown additional missions, but these are the ones we have in our records.

On August 12, 1943, on Mission 18 to the synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, a/c 42-5820 went Missing in Action. Crew of this aircraft for that mission was as follows:

Freund, Kurt W, 2nd Lt, Pilot, POW
Emens, Dale T, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, POW
Macrae, Donald P, 2nd Lt, Nav, POW
Bozarth, Glen H, 2nd Lt, Bomb, POW
Schaedler, Francis J, TSgt, Radio Op, KIA
Ragland, James L, TSgt, Top Turret, POW
Wallace, Cyrus M, SSgt, Ball Turret, KIA
Jamison, Allan G, SSgt, Right Waist, POW
Angarano, Daniel J, SSgt, Left Waist, POW
Roberts, Charles E, SSgt, Tail, POW

Dale Emens is on our current Association roster. This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information.

Responding 4 7/18/2006

Search No.  1338 - T/SGT Weldon C Everett

Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:53 AM

i dont know much about my dads service i have 1 picture of his showing a fuel truck/AND B 17 G CHIN GUNS HOPEFULLY SOMEONE WILL REMEMBER SGT EVERETT ON THE REAR BUMPER OF THE TRUCK ARE THE #s 8/ 379 2 ANY INFORMATION WOULD BE APPRICATED THANK YOU


Weldon -
Sorry, the Association has no records for T/SGT Weldon C Everett. Typically, our records for ground personnel are extremely limited.

This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. As part of our continuing effort to better account for all men assigned to the 379th, we would be interested in obtaining a copy of the photograph you have of your Dad during his time with the 379th.

Responding 4 7/18/2006

Search No. 1337 - Lt. Harold Bailey--379th BG Navigator

From: Warren B. Carah []
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 8:50 PM
Subject: Lt. Harold Bailey--379th BG Navigator

Lt. Harold Bailey was a navigator in the crew of 1st Lt. Sam P. Satariano who flew "Piccadilly Willie" and "Lakanukie" in the summer of 1943. On the August 16 mission to LeBourget Field, near Paris, "Lakanukie" was severely damaged by flak over the target. The plane was severely tossed by the anti-aircraft fire and Lt. Bailey evidently thought the plane was going down. He bailed out before the order was given and was last seen sailing by the tail gunner's position to a landing in Paris. Lt. Satariano managed to get the battered plane under control and eventually they flew back to England, albeit minus Lt. Bailey.

What happened to Lt. Bailey next is probably not well known, but in the course of researching an evasion of members of my father's crew (Lt. John M. Carah, 381st BG, 42-29928, Shot down 4 July 1943), I learned his fate.

After reaching the ground, Lt. Bailey had the good fortune of being found by the Resistance instead of the Gestapo and he lived in relative plenty in Paris, the guest of a bistro owner with a soft heart for Americans. After about 20 days, Lt. Bailey was joined by another downed airman, Lt. Keith Murray, a bombardier with the 95th Bomb Group who had been shot down on the Stuttgart raid of 6 Sep 1943. Murray was seriously injured when bailing out near Paris and by sheer luck had managed to be picked up by the French Underground before he could be captured. The plentiful food and good accommodations the bistro owner provided helped his recovery and by late October, 1943 Bailey and Murray were ready to move on to the Pyrenees Mountains and escape to Spain.

On 21 October 1943 a group of seven American airmen and six French naval and army officers assembled at a train station in Paris to begin their odyssey to Spain and freedom. The Americans, besides Lts. Baily and Murray, included: Major William Boren, a B-26 driver with the 387th BG; 1st Lt. Olof Ballinger, pilot with the 381st BG; 2nd Lt. Charles Hoover, another pilot with the 381st BG; T/Sgt. William Plasket, a radio operator with the 306th BG; and S/Sgt. Francis Owens, a gunner with the 381st BG.

By the 24th of October the group was staged at Suc, Ariege to make a 30 hour marathon assault on the Pyrenees with a route which crossed from France into Andorra before reaching Spain. From the beginning everything went wrong. Ballinger developed severe muscle cramps and had to be left behind. German sentries seemed to be everywhere and the pace was agonizingly slow. A fierce storm arose near the summit and temperatures went below zero. French paper shoes disintegrated in the three feet of snow and the summer clothing the men wore offered little protection. But the worst adversary was the lack of good nutrition and exercise most of the men had to endure in the months before the escape attempt. After 24 hours of almost continuous climbing, bodies began to fail and Lt. Bailey collapsed.

Lt. Bailey was carried and dragged for some eight hours by Sgts. Plasket and Owens before they too could endure no more. All three men were totally beaten and could not be coaxed to get up and move on down the mountains to Andorra even though they were only yards away from the pass that would take them to freedom.

The remainder of the group had no choice but to leave the stricken men in the snow and continue down the mountain. On or about the 25th of October, 1943 death came to Lt. Bailey, T/Sgt. Plasket and S/Sgt. Owens at Port de Rat on the French-Andorra border.

The following Spring of 1944, Andorran civil police patrols found the remains of the three men and they were buried as unknowns in the Arinsal, Andorra village cemetery. There they remained until September 1950 when a U.S. Army Quartermaster unit exhumed the graves and sent the remains to the Army Mortuary Identification Unit in Belgium. In June, 1951, the remains were positively identified. S/Sgt. Owens was buried at the Ardennes American Military Cemetery at the request of his family. I do not know the final disposition of Lt. Bailey or T/Sgt. Plasket.

It is difficult to comprehend dealing with such adversity, but over six decades ago many thousands of young men and women freely and resolutely faced a future that often included such dismal prospects and death in a cold and lonely place. In researching this event I was almost at the point of cheering them up the mountain and hoping they all would succeed. That was not to be, but they all did the best they could and gave everything they had for their country. You can ask no more of any man.

I would particularly like to know where Lt. Bailey was from and where he was trained.

Warren B. Carah

We would appreciate having the complete record of the event to add to our Associations history. Are you related to Lt. Bailey?

526th Sq. Lebourget, France (Aircraft Components) August 16, 1943 Mission # 20 Aircraft 42-5827 (LF-Y) "Lakanuki", Sam Satariano's Crew. Navigator Bailed Out Of Ship Before Target.


Bailey Harold B 2nd Lt N O-79327 Lancaster, SC KIA Lancaster

Lt. Harold Bailey is shown on the state honor roll records in Lancaster County, South Carolina.

Lt. Bailey, navigator was not part of the original crews that formed up at Wendover, UT, so we don’t know where his training took place. Lt. Bailey replaced Lt. William J. Koves’ place on Sam Satariano’s crew. Lt. Koves flew on the 1st mission to St. Nazaire France May 29, 1943 with Capt Hall’s crew. Lt Koves became a POW after his plane was shot down.

Responding4 07/07/06

Thanks for the address--I will put the materials in the mail shortly. I am no relation to Bailey. My interest stems from research I am doing on behalf of four families that had members participating in the evasion attempt in which Lt. Bailey died. There are still some unanswered questions concerning the events which led to the death of Lt. Bailey and two others, one of whom was a member of my father's B-17 crew. My focus has been on the others plus the French guides, but since I had also learned of Lt. Bailey's fate, I thought the 379th BG Association would like to see what I have uncovered.


I would like to use the story of Lt Harold Bailey in our newsletter "Contrails”. It is amazing after 60 plus years we are still finding out about crewmembers.

Thanks again, we really appreciate you sharing a piece of the big puzzle still left for us to put together.

Search No. 1336 - Arthur R. McKinley

From:  "michelle" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 8:52 PM
Subject: Looking For......

I am trying to find information about the plane my uncle was on. Perhaps the name of the plane, it's serial number, crew members, and the fate of my uncle. I know that he was killed not in battle but I can find nothing more. His name is Arthur R. McKinley, his serial number was 15104156, I believe he was a turret gunner, he was with the 526th bomber squadron, 379th bomber group, heavy, he was stationed in Kimbolton I believe. Any information that you can dig up on him and what happened to him would be absolutely wonderful. Thank you in advance.

Michelle -
Association records for Arthur R. McKinley show him a crewman aboard a/c 42-3132 assigned to the 526th Bomb Squadron. This aircraft disappeared over the Atlantic enroute from Gander Bay, Newfoundland to Prestwick, Scotland on April 24, 1943, during the 379th's deployment overseas following stateside training. Crew was as follows:

Elstead, Lawrence M., Capt, Pilot
Plyley, Frederick K., 1st Lt, CP
Ciccarello, Arthur F., 2nd Lt, N
Courtright, James W., 2nd Lt, B
O'Moore, Thomas J., S/SGT, TG
McKinley, Arthur R., SGT, BT
Lindblom, Lowell A., SGT, RO
Mahoney, Arthur E., SGT, WG
Garretson, Alfred F., SGT, WG
Brown, George I., PVT, TT

This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. Records show these crewmen are memorialized at the American Battle Monuments East Coast Memorial in Battery Park, New York City.

Responding 4 6/20/2006

Search No.  1335 - 28 + 29 Jan 1945 - 379th BG losses

From:  leendert holleman,
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 5:12 AM
Subject: 28 + 29 Jan 1945/379th BG losses

B-17 "44-6172" of 379th BG is reported to have been salvaged in March 1945 due to damages or crash sustained "on the Continent" on 28 January 1945. Is there any record where on the Continent this might have been?

The Mighty Eighth War Diary also says that on 29 January 1945 a 379th BG B-17 made a crash landing on the Continent due to battle damages.
Again: where would this crash landing have taken place?

Underlying question is a still unsolved crash (total wreckage) of a USAAF bomber at Brielen near Ypres, Belgium on 28 or 29 January 1945. No MACR because all crew were safe and A/C had landed in Allied territory.

Thanks for any info. Much appreciated to help solve this local mystery.

Leendert Holleman

Leendert –
Regarding your question of 379th Bomb Group losses on 28 and 29 January 1945, we can provide the following information from our Association historians:

On the 29th January 1945 the only Eighth Air Force B-17 to put down on the Continent this date was an aircraft from Kimbolton but it landed with its crew at Liege, Belgium. This aircraft was 44-6172 (LF-C) "Ensign Mary II" flown by Lt. Edgar F. Aarstad and it landed at Liege at 1410 hours after suffering flak damage during the mission. However, for obvious reasons, "Ensign Mary II" is not the B-17 in the photo - even though 44-6172 was subsequently salvaged in Belgium.

I believe the date 28th January 1945 on some of the photos refers to the crash date . On this day the Eighth had five B-17s landing or crashing in friendly territory on the Continent which were subsequently scrapped by the 5th Strategic Air Depot (Air Force Service Command). These planes were:

42-31536 92BG(JW-O) "Irene" Lane crew, no details available
42-97141 92BG(NV-A) "Mary Jane II" - Culver crew-no location details, crew flying again 6 Feb
43-37784 92BG(PY-O) "Big Chief" - Devers crew-no location details crew, flying again 6 Feb
43-39055 95BG(OE-R) Mercer crew, crash landed Pournoi, France 1KIA 8RMC after parachuting
44-6589 96BG(BX-P) Dasso crew, crashed nr front lines Belgium 8KIA 1RMC

I speculate the subject aircraft in the photo belonged to the 92BG , based on the information given by Mr Holleman that all crew parachuted OK. Interestingly all the photos show dark coloured wreckage which of course could be due to fire but also it could be Olive Drab paint. If it is the latter, then the only B-17 with an OD paint job was 42-31536, the rest were silver (Natural Metal Finish).

This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. In case you are interested in contacting them further this research, the 92nd Bomb Group Association can be reached at

Responding 4 6/18/2006

Search No.  1334 - George E. Sandner

From: "David Edkins" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, June 03, 2006 10:49 AM
Subject: T/Sgt George e. Sandner

I am in search of information about T/Sgt George E. Sandner, member of the 525th BS, who was KIA on 10/14/1943. Most likely on the Schwienfurt mission of that date. There may be a family connection to my wife who has the same family name.

David -
Association records for George E. Sandner show that he flew 7 missions as gunner with the 525th Bomb Squadron from September 9 to October 14, 1943. Records indicate missions number 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, and 38. Sgt. Sandner may have flown additional missions, but these are the ones we have in our records.

On October 14, 1943, Sgt Sandner was aboard aircraft 42-29653 on the mission to the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. Crew of this aircraft for that mission was as follows:

Jones, Richard W. 2nd Lt. Pilot, POW
Lair, Thomas H, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, POW
Anderson, Robert P, 2nd Lt, Nav, POW
Fischer, Perry A, 2nd Lt, Bomb, POW
Sandner, George E, SSgt, Radio Op, KIA
Jacobson, Clarence A, TSgt, Top Turret, KIA
Wills, Robert E, TSgt, Ball Turret, POW
Hoffman, Walter H, SSgt, Right Waist, KIA
Roberts, Albert A, Sgt, Left Waist, POW
Hansen, Gerald T, TSgt, Tail, KIA

Sorry, none of the listed crew are on our current Association roster. This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. Sorry, we do not have any personal information on George Sandner.

Responding 4 6/18/2006

Search No.  1333 - Egbert H. Pidgeon

From: Henry Benoit,
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2006 4:53 PM
Subject: Egbert H. Pidgeon

My Uncle Egbert H. Pidgeon died on February 28, 2004. Could you add his name to your 'Taps' roster? He served as waist gunner with the 379th Bomb Group until injured on Mission #40 after which he spent 22 months in hospitals. He was quiet about his Army Air Force service and we have very little history on his service experiences.

I wonder if you could supply information beyond that in Mission Report #40. How many missions did he report for? We think his aircraft was named "Quit Your Bitchin" - could that be the actual name? What were the locations of his English air stations? Do you have photos of a mission plane he flew with? Do you have photos of him with a crew? Are any of his Mission #40 crew mates on the Association roster?

We will appreciate any information you are able to share with us.

Henry Benoit.

Henry -
Our condolences on your Uncle's passing. We have added his name to our Taps roster. Association records for Egbert H. Pidgeon show that he flew 3 missions as gunner with the 527th Bomb Squadron from October 20 to November 5, 1943. Records indicate missions number 39, 40, and 41. Sgt. Pidgeon may have flown additional missions, but these are the ones we have in our records.

All of Sgt Pidgeon's 379th missions were flown out of Station 117, Kimbolton, England. We have no record of Sgt. Pidgeon flying any of his missions on an aircraft named "Quit Your Bitchin". - in any event, there is no record of an aircraft by that name serving with the 379th Bomb Group. Association records indicate that Sgt Pidgeon flew his first mission in aircraft 42-3524, "Vonnie Gal" (photo will be sent in separate e-mail). Crew of this aircraft for that mission was as follows:

Brown, Robert D, Capt, Pilot
Baer, David E, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Litz, Harry T, 2nd Lt, Nav
Flexer, Winebert D, 2nd Lt, Bomb
Hennessey, Joseph T, TSgt, Radio Op
Colburn, Finis W, TSgt, Top Turret
Brady, Glen (NMI), SSgt, Ball Turret
Pidgeon, Egbert H, SSgt, Right Waist
Mantor, Ralph A, SSgt, Left Waist
Campbell, Charles B, SSgt, Tail

Sorry, none of the listed crew are on our current Association roster. We do not know of any photo of your Uncle's crew. This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information.

Responding 4 6/18/2006

Search No.  1332 - Thomas P Guilfoyle

From: Dale T. Guilfoyle,
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2006 8:32 AM
Subject: Information on Thomas P. Guilfoyle

Dear Sir,

I am looking for any information on my father Thomas P. Guilfoyle who was in the 379th during WWII. I would like to confirm which Squadron he was in, any missions he flew and the names of any planes he flew in during this period. He was a Sergeant and I think he was in the 525th, but I am not sure.

Any help you can provide will be most appreciated.

Col Dale T. Guilfoyle
U.S. Army (Ret.)

Dale -
Association records for Thomas P Guilfoyle show that he flew 30 missions as gunner with the 524th Bomb Squadron from April 13, 1944 to September 1, 1944. Records indicate missions number 96, 97, 100, 101, 102, 104, 106, 108, 112, 114, 120, 143, 144, 147, 148, 167, 170, 171, 173, 174, 176, 178, 179, 184, 185, 186, 188, 189, 194, and 195. Sgt. Guilfoyle may have flown additional missions, but these are the ones we have in our records.

Sgt. Guilfoyle flew missions on a number of aircraft, including 42-32093, "Big Barn Smell" (42-31720, "Blue Blazing Blizzard", 42-107213, "Rubble Rouser", 43-37570, "Miss Liberty", 42-97967, "Hun Runner", 42-31663, "Tag-A-Long", and 42-38057, "Flak Rabbit". Sgt Guilfoyle's first mission, to Schweinfurt on April 13, 1944, was flown in 42-32093, "Big Barn Smell". Crew of this aircraft for that mission was as follows:

Ross, Ralph R, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Drake, Francis W, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Black, Ernest W, 2nd Lt, Nav
Procario, Rinaldo N, 2nd Lt, Bomb
Anthony, Wayne B, SSgt, Radio Op
Worbois, Robert J, SSgt, Top Turret
Clinton, John W, SSgt, Ball Turret
Guilfoyle, Thomas P, Sgt, Right Waist
Duffy, Thomas J, Sgt, Left Waist
Prehn, Eugene D, Sgt, Tail

Robert Worbois is on our current Association roster. This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. Photos of Big Barn Smell, Rubble Rouser, and Miss Liberty will be sent in separate e-mail. Sorry, we are not aware of photos of the other aircraft. Also, we have partial identification of the crewmen pictured with Big Barn Smell, and they are the crew your Father flew his early missions with. If he is in this photo, we would be grateful if you could identify him for us.

Responding 4 5/26/2006

Search No.  1331 - William (Billy) Donovan

From: John McGorray,
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 7:44 PM
Subject: William (Billy) Donovan

Looking for information on my Uncle Crew and aircraft.
My uncle was a radio oper/gunner Front row 3rd from the left.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
John McGorray

John -
Association records for William Donovan show that he flew 23 missions as radio operator/gunner with the 526th Bomb Squadron from November 16, 1943 to March 2, 1944. Records indicate missions number 42, 43, 45, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, 64, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and 75. Sgt. Donovan may have flown additional missions, but these are the ones we have in our records.

Our records indicate Sgt. Donovan flew most of his missions on the aircraft you mention in your inquiry, 42-39800, "Patches". Your Uncle's "regular" crew flew their first combat mission on 42-3524, "Vonnie Gal" (photo will be sent in separate e-mail) and the second mission (and most of the rest) on "Patches". Crew was as follows:

Roderick, Donald A, Lt, Pilot
Clarke, Clarence A, Lt, Co-Pilot
Schultz Jr., Harvey A, Lt, Nav
Davies, William F, Lt, Bomb
Donovan, William R, SSgt, Radio Op
Hoffman, Delbert N, SSgt, Top Turret
Pierce, John C, Sgt, Ball Turret
Rothrock, Albert R, SSgt, Right Waist
Allan, Lloyd E, Sgt, Left Waist
Dunn, Victor L, Sgt, Tail

This response will be posted in the "Looking 4" section of our website, in case any members have any additional information. Sorry, we are not aware of a photo of "Patches".

Responding 4 5/26/2006

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