Monthly Archives: August 2014

Mission#87 March 3, 1944 – Target: Berlin.

Date: Mar 3, 44

Dispatched: 45 Aborts:7

Mission: Penetration Support to 1st ATF, 300 B-17s (1st Div)

Field Order: 259 Target: Berlin (aborted)

Time Up/Down: 09:40 hrs     12:45 hrs Leader: Lt Col. Rimerman

Claims Air: 00-00-00 Claims Ground: 00-00-00 Lost/Damaged: 00-00

Group saw bombers to north when passing West Frisian Islands. R/V north of Helgoland 10:50 hrs. Bomber formation good at 26,000ft. Left bombers 11:15 hrs, vicinity NW of Elmshorn when lead formations [of] bombers made a 180 degree turn, and Goldsmith 1-2 had informed Group leader they were returning. L/F out over West Frisian Islands 11:55 hrs, 20,000ft. Moderate to meagre inaccurate flak all along northern route. No e/a seen. Large white explosion 24,000ft approx. Vicinity Borkum Islands when Group coming out. Seven freighters seen mouth of Elbe River. 8 freighters slightly out to sea at mouth of Ems River. Small but well developed A/D on Helgoland. Radio reception excellent to Norderney Islands. Lt Col. Rimerman, Capt. Charles L. Stafford and Capt John B. Rose of Group HQ participated.

350th: Major Pidduck. T/U 09:40 hrs. T/D 12:50 hrs. Total flight time 03:10 hrs. L/F in on course 10:20 hrs, 22,000ft. R/V with bombers 1st Div over course 10:50 hrs, 29,000ft. Formation good, many stragglers. P-47s. No combat. Left bombers 11:11 hrs, 29,000ft. Left coast Terschelling 12:00 hrs, 24,000ft. R/T normal. Overcast heavy cumulus, 4/10 increasing to solid overcast at R/V.

Major Stanley R. Pidduck (Sqdn Ldr)
Capt John B. Rose
1st Lt William F. Tanner
1st Lt Chauncey Rowan
Capt Robert E. Fortier (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Charles O. Durant
1st Lt John Sullivan
1st Lt Carl W. Mueller
1st Lt John L. Devane (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Arthur C. Bergeron
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt Robert S. Hart
1st Lt William J. Price (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Richard L. Bedford
1st Lt Melvin P. Dawson
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
1st Lt John H. Winder

351st: Major Christian. T/U 09:39 hrs. T/D 12:48 hrs. Total flight time 03:09 hrs. Route: In north of Terschelling Island, over Itzehoe, out north of Terschelling Island. Penetration support [L/F in] North of Terschelling Island at 10:30 hrs at 27,000ft. Unit unknown south of Helgoland at 10:50 hrs at 27,000ft. [Bombers] fairly good formation. One group of P-47s [seen]. [Left bombers] North of Itzehoe at 11:15 hrs at 27,000ft. [L/F out] North of Terschelling Island at 12:24 hrs at 14,000ft. Seven freighters seen at mouth of Elbe River, also 8 more freighters seen at mouth of Ems River, slightly out at sea.

Major Shannon Christian (Sqdn Ldr) YJ-H
2nd Lt Irving Toppel YJ-I
1st Lt Francis N. King YJ-P
2nd Lt Frank J. Mincik YJ-M
2nd Lt Richard D. Stanley (Flt Ldr) YJ-R 42-75507
2nd Lt John G. Treitz YJ-J
2nd Lt Harry D. Milligan YJ-Y
Capt Vic L. Byers (Flt Ldr) YJ-L
2nd Lt William J. Weaver YJ-N
2nd Lt George F. Perpente YJ-G
2nd Lt Jack Terzian YJ-W
F/O Cletus Peterson (Flt Ldr) YJ-P
2nd Lt Herbert K. Field YJ-F
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards YJ-T
Capt Charles L. Stafford YJ-A 42-75850
2nd Lt Robert C. Strobell (Relay) YJ-U
1st Lt William R. Burkett (Not dis) YJ-B 42-75457
1st Lt Frank N. Emory (Not dis) YJ-E 42-75815

352nd: Lt Col Rimerman. T/U 09:33 hrs. T/D 12:50 hrs. Total flight time 03:17 hrs. Penetration support to 1st ATF, 1st Div. R/V with 1st Div of bombers at about 10:50 hrs in vicinity of Helgoland at 26,000ft. Bomber formation was good with few abortions. 1st 2 CWs aborted so we turned and came with them. Observed other P-47s. Left bombers at about 11:15 hrs somewhere along the Frisian Islands about Ameland. Moderate, heavy flak from Cuxhaven inaccurate. Meager flak from all along Frisian Islands. 80-100 bursts of heavy flak from Helgoland, accurate for altitude but behind. It was directed toward a Fort flying at about 22,000ft. [Weather] Clear at base, increasing to 9 to 10/10 covered at R/V point. Top of Hi-cirrus around 27,000ft. 1 B-17 believed to be E[nemy] flown seen flying opposite course of B-17s then turned and headed on course with them. This B-17 had standard American markings with a white square with a “C”. Its waist doors were seen open. Small but well-developed A/D seen on Helgoland.

Lt Col Ben Rimerman (Grp & Sqdn Ldr) SX-U
2nd Lt Maurice Morrison SX-A
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame SX-M
2nd Lt Glenn G. Callans SX-V
Capt Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr) SX-H
2nd Lt Donald J. Corrigan SX-Q
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-G
2nd Lt Hildreth R. Owens SX-F
Capt Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr) SX-S
2nd Lt Harry H. Dustin SX-W
1st Lt William F. Streit SX-Y 42-22465
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger SX-O
Major William B. Bailey SX-B
1st Lt Gordon L. Willits SX-R

Group Aborts/ERTNs:

42-8390 DNTO wing tanks SX-I
42-74647 ABT BT wouldn’t draw LH-U
42-8373 ABT radio out LH-Y
42-76321 ABT oil leak LH-S
42-74618 ERTN escort LH-?
42-75507 ABT oil leak YJ-R Lt. Stanley flying.
42-75850 ABT left wing tank YJ-A Capt. Stafford flying.
42-22465 ABT oil leak SX-Y Lt. Streit flying.
42-75457 ERTN rough engine YJ-B Lt. Burkett flying
42-75815 ERTN broken glass elbow YJ-E Lt. Emory flying.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Last Hurrah for the 353rd Fighter Group

Important Announcement

Colchester

In 2015 it will be 70 years since the end of World War II and exactly 20 years since the memorial at Raydon was dedicated to the memory of the of the 353rd Fighter Group and to their comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. In the years since the war the village of Raydon has often welcomed returning veterans. Wartime events, both good and bad were remembered and  firm, lasting friendships were made. Our last official visit from the 353rd was in 1999 and now, sadly but inevitably, most of the veterans have left us. Their memory is still fondly held and we therefore warmly invite families of veterans to join with us in a very special event to give the men of the 353rd a “Last Hurrah” in 2015.

Programme

Friday Aug 21

AM Reception in Colchester Town Hall

PM Free time in the historic town of Colchester

PM Welcome dinner with speaker Dr. Graham Cross “The History of the 353rd FG in WWII”

Saturday Aug 22

AM Service to Rededicate the Raydon Memorial

PM “Air Gathering” at Raydon Airfield with historic aircraft, vehicles and displays

Sunday Aug 23

AM/PM Visit to Raydon Church (TBC) and guests of Raydon Village

PM Optional visit to Metfield Airfield (the home of the 353rd until April 1944)

Monday Aug 24

AM Visit to the Cambridge American Military Cemetery at Madingley

PM Optional visit to either Imperial War Museum Duxford or Cambridge

PM Farewell Dinner at Colchester for families and local people.

The tour party will be based in a hotel in central Colchester – further details will be supplied to those interested in attending. You are, of course, free to attend as much or as little as you chose and make your own plans at any time.

Reunion coordinator for the weekend will be Graham Cross who acted in that capacity for the Group in their 1990, 92, 95 and 99 UK Reunions. Many highly experienced people are involved here in the UK  to make the weekend a success.

Some families of veterans have already expressed an interest in attending so can I ask now that anyone that wants to come please let me know via my email slybird353 with @hotmail.co.uk added to it

Can I also stress that at this stage this is a private event for the families of veterans and that the reunion tour is organised for them to join with local people to remember their loved ones service. Further details of any public events during the weekend will be released at a later date.

This really is the “Last Hurrah” for the 353rd Fighter Group – living memory of those wartime years is rapidly passing from the scene. This is a chance to say a final thank you to all those who served and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Raydon next August.

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Update on the third “Lonesome Polecat”

Summer is proving a busy time for me, but I will continue the blog as and when I get time. The forthcoming schedule is a post on Joe Knoble of the 352nd with a history of SX-D and N. Then I’m putting together a post on another 352nd pilot, Don Corrigan, with a history of SX-P. Along the way I’ll also keep posting the mission summaries so hopefully plenty to take a look at coming soon. Keep an eye out also for an exciting announcement on a UK reunion for the families of 353rd veterans in 2015.

Mark Richie, Vice President of the 4th FG Association, kindly got in touch with a wonderful colour picture of George Ahles’ third “Lonesome Polecat” (a/c YJ-A 42-8619). It seems that the 4th FG used the aircraft as a OTU/Hack aircraft at some point. I post the photo here with thanks to Mark for sharing the image and for filling in another piece of the aircraft’s service record.

 

Lt. George N. Ahles' third "Lonesome Polecat" (YJ-A a/c 42-8619) as QP-O "Man Made Monster" with the 4th Fighter Group. This fine colour photo comes from a sequence recording the return of 4th FG aircraft from Operation Frantic (mission to Russia) July 5, 1944 so it looks as if the aircraft was with them from at least this date. We have a record indicating "Man Made Monster" was a 351st FS name, but have no indication of who was responsible for it. Records indicate the aircraft kept the name when it later flew with the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron (credit/copyright CWO E.B. Richie, 4th Fighter Group with thanks to Mark Richie, Vice President, Association 4th FG WWII)

Lt. George N. Ahles’ third “Lonesome Polecat” (YJ-A a/c 42-8619) as QP-O “Man Made Monster” with the 4th Fighter Group. We have a record indicating “Man Made Monster” was a 351st FS name, but have no indication of who was responsible for it. Records also indicate the aircraft kept the name when it later flew with the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron (credit/copyright CWO E.B. Richie, 4th Fighter Group with thanks to Mark Richie, Vice President, Association 4th FG WWII)

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Mission#86 March 2, 1944 – Target: Frankfurt.

Date: Mar 2, 44

Dispatched: 42           Abort: 2

Mission: Withdrawal Support to 1st ATF, 360 B-17s (1st Div)

Field Order: 257 Target: Frankfurt

Time Up/Down: 11:43 hrs     14:56 hrs Leader: Lt Col. Duncan

Claims Air: 00-00-00 Claims Ground: 00-00-00     Lost/Damaged: 00-00

L/F in Flushing 12:22 hrs, 22,500ft. R/V three CW’s of bombers NW of Koblenz, 12:53 hrs. Bombers unmolested and in good formation – 18/22,000 ft. Left bombers 13:30 hrs, 10 miles south of Liege. Out Cape Griz Nez, Gravelines and Knocke 14:30 hrs, 16/20,000ft. Three chutes seen from the bombers approx R/V point. Bomber continued on under control and watched until we left bombers. No e/a, no flak. Fighter bomber and fighter/fighter intercom very good. Lt Col. Duncan and Capt. Charles J. Hoey of Group HQ participated.

350th: Major Pidduck. T/U 11:42 hrs. T/D 15:00 hrs. Total flight time 03:18 hrs. L/F in on course at 12:20 hrs, 25,000ft. R/V with 1st Div at 12:50 hrs, 28,000ft. Good formation. Left bombers Leige at 13:30 hrs, 25,000ft. Left coast Gravelines 14:30 hrs, 18,000ft. Solid over R/V decreasing to nil at cont coast.

Major Stanley R. Pidduck (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt Robert N. Ireland
1st Lt Chauncey Rowan
Capt Robert E. Fortier (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Abel H. Garey
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Arthur C. Bergeron
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt John H. Winder
1st Lt William J. Price (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Richard L. Bedford
2nd Lt Kenneth Chetwood

351st: Lt Col Duncan. T/U 11:35 hrs. T/D 15:10 hrs. Total flight time 03:35 hrs. Route: In at Flushing, over Charleroi, out at Mardyck. Flushing at 12:21 hrs, 24,000ft. [R/V] place unknown because of overcast at 12:51 hrs at 21,000ft. Good, close formation. Four boxes of about 60 bombers in each box. [Left bombers] approximately Charleroi-Gosselies area 13:30 hrs. [L/F out] Mardyck at 14:28 hrs, 19,000 ft. Remarks: Bombers late. After R/V with bombers proceeded inland along bombers route for four or five minutes. Made a 180 degree turn, caught up with bombers and escorted them to limit of endurance.

Lt Col. Glenn E. Duncan (Gp & Sqdn Ldr) YJ-H
1st Lt George N. Ahles YJ-A 42-75850
2nd Lt Harry D. Milligan YJ-Y
1st Lt Frank N. Emory (Flt Ldr) YJ-E
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards YJ-T 42-75842
2nd Lt Herbert K. Field YJ-F
F/O Cletus Peterson YJ-P
Capt Frederick H. Lefebre (Flt Ldr) YJ-L
2nd Lt George F. Perpente YJ-G
1st Lt Francis N. King YJ-M
2nd Lt Irving Toppel YJ-I
Capt Vic L. Byers (Flt Ldr) YJ-N
2nd Lt William J. Weaver YJ-R
2nd Lt John G. Treitz YJ-J
2nd Lt Frank J. Mincik (Relay) YJ-P
2nd Lt Jack Terzian* YJ-W 42-75670
1st Lt William R. Burkett* YJ-B

*[Not counted as dispatched for mission due to mechanical trouble].

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 11:42 hrs. T/D 14:52 hrs. Total flight time 03:10 hrs. L/F made at Zeebruge at 12:22 hrs at 22,000ft. R/V with 3 CW’s of 1st Div of B-17s at 12:54 hrs at 20,000 ft, area unknown due to cloud coverage 10/10. Bomber formation was good, could only find 3 CW’s of 1st Div. P-38’s and P-47’s seen. Left bombers believed to be in the vicinity of Namur 13:25 hrs, 20,000ft. Left enemy coast at Knocke 14:18hrs at 15,000ft. Flak nil. Results of bombing nil. R/T good. Large ships observed in the harbor S of Flushing believed to be an M/V. 2/10 cloud over channel building up to 10/10 overcast on the Continent. Solid overcast over R/V area. Four (4) white parachutes observed just as R/V was made. Might have come from a B-17 which seemed to be in trouble, but chutes were not seen coming from it. A straggling B-17 investigated in the vicinity of Namur but didn’t seem to be in any apparent trouble.

Major William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr) SX-B
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong SX-F
1st Lt Edward M. Fogarty SX-O
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer SX-Q
Capt Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr) SX-H
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-S
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame SX-M
2nd Lt Maurice Morrison SX-R
Capt Charles J. Hoey (Flt Ldr) SX-A
2nd Lt Donald J. Corrigan SX-G
1st Lt Gordon L. Willits SX-U
2nd Lt Glenn G. Callans SX-V
1st Lt William F. Streit SX-W
1st Lt William J. Jordan SX-Z

Group Abort/ERTN:

42-75842 ABT belly tank YJ-T Lt. Edwards flying.
42-75850 ABT illness (ear trouble) YJ-A Lt. Ahles flying.
42-75670 ERTN belly tank YJ-W Lt. Terzian flying.
42-8661 ERTN tach out LH-? Unknown
42-8480 ERTN turbo out LH-Z Unknown

 

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