Codes
Previous

Original 100th - Page 1

by James R. Brown

01  |  02  |  03  |  04  |  05  |  06  |  07  |  08  |  09  |  10  |  11

Close
Next 

On 25 May 1943, Army Air Base Headquarters, Kearney, Nebraska issued Special Order #103 directing movement of the Flight Echelon of the 100th Bombardment Group (H) to Bangor, Maine and thence to England. After seven months of organization, combat training (to use the term somewhat loosely) and some just plain rusting away, we finally were going to war.

Also, but certainly unsuspected by any member of the Group, the 100th was now launched on its flight into history as the "Bloody Hundredth" one of the most famed Air Force units of World War II. The purpose of these few pages is not to expound on the great combat records established by the 100th. That has been adequately accomplished in other places. Rather, our intent is to demonstrate the price, in human terms, of these proud records.

Further, our consideration here is with only those air crew personnel who flew overseas with the Group  the "Original" 100th. In no way do we wish to suggest that somehow the "original" members of the 100th deserve to be set apart from those who followed. These later crews flew to the same targets, faced the same fears, bailed out in the same skies, and died the same deaths. They had the same share of heroes and the same share of goats.

It is known that at least 450 replacement crews served with the 100th during the 22 months of its operational status. But it is beyond the scope of this modest effort to trace the fate of these some fourthousand men.

The movement overseas was made by forty aircraft. Five planes were flown by the Group and Squadron commanders and carried an assortment of maintenance and other ground personnel plus a few unassigned combat crew members. The remaining thirty five planes were manned by their regular crews.

In early June the Group settled into its new home at Thorpe Abbots (Station #139) and on 25 June the 100th flew its first combat mission.. This resulted in the loss of three crews of the 349th squadron. By 14 October, exactly 109 days after this initiation into aerial warfare, 27 of these original 35 crews had been lost. No complete crew of ten finished a tour of twentyfive missions although parts of eight crews did so.

What follows is a brief summary of these crews and their fate. These men were my friends and comrades in arms. I will be forever proud to have known them and to have shared a great experience with them. It is to these men that this small booklet is respectfully dedicated.

Explanatory Notes

KIA Killed in action
KIC Killed in crash (not caused by enemy action).
SWA Severe wound in action (Wound sufficient to cause removal from flying status).
WIA Minor wound in action (Probably many such wounds were incurred but no complete records of such are extant).
IIC Injured in crash
POW Prisoner of War (Usually for the duration of the war although some with severe injuries were returned in exchanges).
EVADEES (EVA) Men who bailed out over enemy territory, or crashed landed, but evaded capture and returned to Allied control. Usually with help of the French undergound.
NTERNEES (INT) Men who crash landed in, or bailed out over, neutral countries usually Switzerland or Sweden.
M.A.C.R. Missing Air Crew Report. Such a report was made for every aircraft and crew missing in action. Copies of these reports are on file in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. These reports with accompanying papers and documents are of utmost value to the researcher or historian.
Crew Positions: It should be understood that considerable swapping of positions occurred among crew members. We have designated positions as they appear in S.O. #103. Thus, we may show someone as a Tailgunner although he may have traded positions with a Waistgunner, etc. during the operational tour.

SCORE CARD FOR THE ORIGINAL AIR ECHELON OF THE 100th:

Killed in action 77
Severely wounded 7
Killed in crash 7
Injured in crash 3
Prisoners of war 148
Internees 17
Evadees 17
Completed Tour 57
Transferred 4
Grounded 3
Appointed Aviation Cadet 2
No Record found 19
Total 361

For those interested in percentages, it may be noted that the first seven of the above categories total 276. Thus, 77% of the original 100th Bomb Group became casualties ofwar. All but a very few of these occurred in less than four months of combat time.

This may be one reason why someone once said, "If the guy tells you he flew with the 100th, be nice to him. He deserves it!"
 

HEADQUARTERS AIRCRAFT

Crew # A1 -- Aircraft #4258544
Col Howard M. Turner Pilot -- -- Transferred to Wing June 1943
1st Lt Roland T. Knight Pilot KIA 15 March 1944 Brunswick
1st Lt Qmar Gonzales Navigator POW 5 November 1943 Gelsenkirchen
1st Lt Harry H. Tomlin Bombardier -- -- --
Capt Robert D. McLain Group S4 -- -- --
M/Sgt John H. Poppe Flight Chief -- -- --
T/Sgt Charles F. Wright Radio -- -- --
S/Sgt Thomas A. Madel Radio -- -- --
2nd Lt Stanley J. Miller Bomb Sight Maint. -- -- --
M/Sgt Edwin S. Seidel Flight Chief -- -- --

Crew # A2 Aircraft #425861"Stud Duck"
Major William W. Veal Pilot -- -- Transferred to Wing Autumn 1943
Capt Albert C. Persons Pilot CPT -- --
M/Sgt Ralph Richards Line Chief -- -- --
M/Sgt Elwood E. Park Flight Chief -- -- --
T/Sgt Que E. Booth Armament -- -- --
T/Sgt Elmer Most Bomb Sight Maint. -- -- --
1st Lt Alfred A. Fahlstedt Bombardier CPT -- --
M/Sgt Marvin Williams Group S3 -- -- --
Cpl John J. Kovacs Radio KIA 6 March 1944 Berlin
-- -- ATC Navigator -- -- --

Crew # A3 -- Aircraft #4229738
Major Gale W. Cleven Pilot POW  8 October 1943 Bremen
Capt Richard A. Carey Pilot POW  25 July 1943 Warnemunde/Kiel
M/Sgt Louis A. Hays Parachute Rigger -- -- --
M/Sgt Harry H. McMillion Line Chief -- -- --
M/Sgt Albert S. Strain Flight Chief -- -- --
M/Sgt William M. Jackson Radio -- -- --
T/Sgt Lawrence Bowa Bomb Sight Maint. -- -- --
Major Laurence S. Jennings Group Surgeon -- -- --
2nd Lt Robert V. Kaiser CoPilot -- -- --

Next