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CAPT  William D. DeSANDERS

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

John H. Luckadoo, 350th Operations Officer, and William DeSanders at the completion of both their tours. The date is 14 Feb 1944.   (John H. Luckadoo Collection)

John Luckadoo talking about William DeSanders and the statue of him.  Here's the best photo I could find online, and it is located at the New Mexico Military Institute. DeSanders is listed as a noted graduate of the class of 1940....matt Mabe

SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 13 FEB 44 NOBALL #120 LIVOSSART - BOIS REMPRE

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

William D. DeSanders commanded three crews during his combat tour -- they are listed below in what 
is believed to be the correct order.. Paul west

DeSanders original crew.
Crew #17 Aircraft #42 5867 "Alice From Dallas"            
M.A.C.R. #117  Crew was flying  A/C #42-5862  "DURATION + 6" on July 25, 1943

1st Lt William D. Desanders        P    COMPLETED TOUR 13 FEB 1944 
2nd Lt William J. Styles            CP POW   25 July 1943  Warnemunde. Kiel
2nd Lt Calvin H. Defevre          NAV KIA   25 July 1943  Warnemunde, Kiel
2nd Lt William E. Griffith         BOM KIA   25 July 1943  Warnemunde, Kiel
T/Sgt Lester I. Berg                  TTE KIA   25 July 1943  Warnemunde, Kiel
S/Sgt   Charles J. Mayville        WG KIA   25 July 1943   WarnemNnde, Kiel
T/Sgt   George L. Rudden        ROG    COMPLETED TOUR      (With Crew #10)
S/Sgt   Norman C. Eddy          BTG KIA    25 July 1943   Warnemunde, Kiel
S/Sgt   Maynard T. Parsons      WG  POW   25 July 1943   Warnemunde, Kiel
S/Sgt    Robert D. Lepper          TG  POW   25 July 1943   Warnemunde, Kiel



On July 25, 1943, Bill Desanders was either ill or on leave and Captain Richard Carey, Operations Officer of the 350th, flew in his stead and became a POW.  Another replacement on the crew this day was T/Sgt. Steven S. Kopczewski, the regular radio operator on Crew #11.  He was killed in action.
Unable to bomb Warnemunde, the primary target, the Group flew to Keil where intense flak was met.  Plane was so damaged by flak that Captain Carey decided to ditch in the sea.  All the crew except for pilot and co\pilot were in radio room when ship hit the water.Apparently, Parsons and Lepper, both of whom were wounded, got out of the overhead hatch but the others in the radio room were trapped and went down with the ship which rapidly sank.  A subsequent report by William Styles said that, "Griffith was struggling to get out of hatch as the plane was sinking, that is the last I saw of him."

During a search for survivors, Danish fishermen found the body of Sgt. Kopczewski but, after making certain of death, left it in the water.
Carey, Styles, Lepper and Parsons were picked up by a Danish fishing boat and the latter two were taken to a hospital in Schleswig
It was mission #8 for this crew who were flying in "Duration Plus Six" and not their regular plane, "Alice From Dallas".

Lt DeSander, then a Capt., completed his tour with the 13 Feb 1944 Livossart mission.  The 350th Operations Officer,  Capt John H. Luckadoo flew with DeSanders as Command Pilot ,  this mission  also completed Luckadoo's tour. Jim Brown and Richard Le Strange's book,  Century Bombers contains an excellent account of this final mission for DeSanders and Luckadoo, a photograph of the two pilots congratulating each other is featured. Luckadoo is, in so far as I know, the only 100th veteran to be the Operations Officer of two Squadron in one tour -- the 350th & 351st…pw

DeSanders Crew # 2 Lt DeSanders took over Capt Mark Carnell's crew after Mark broke his arm.  

1st LT.  WILLIAM D. DeSANDERS           P  CPT       13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART (NO BALL)
2ND LT  EDWARD K. MOFFLY                CP: CPT
1ST LT  ANTHONY P. GOSPODAR        NAV: CPT   11 DEC 43 EMDEN
1ST LT  JAMES P. FITTON                  BOM: CPT
T/SGT   VERN M. BEST                       TTE: CPT
S/SGT   WILLIAM J. WILLIAMS             WG: POW  8 OCT 43 BREMEN (CREW #15 LT BERNIE DeMARCO)
SGT     EDMUND A. OLIVER                ROG: POW   10 JUL 43 PARIS (CREW #12 LT CHARLES DUNCAN)
S/SGT   STEVE BOSSER                     BTG: CPT
S/SGT   PAUL A. VRABEC, JR              WG: CPT   24 DEC 43 ST JOSEPH(NOBALL)
S/SGT   FLOYD P. BULLARD                  TG: CPT       24 DEC 43 ST JOSEPH(NOBALL)

NOTE: PAUL VRABEC NOT ONLY COMPLETED 25, BUT VOLUNTEERED AND FLEW FIVE ADDITIONAL MISSIONS.

On 10 July 1943, radio operator Ed Oliver flew with Crew #12 which was lost that day and Oliver became a POW.  He was soon replaced on the crew by George Rudden from Crew #17 which went down over Kiel on 25 July.  On 8 October 1943, William Williams flew with Crew #15 and went down over Bremen.


DeSanders Crew #3

This is a crew was made up of Command personnel and could not be considered a regular crew. 
The Co-pilot is listed asMaj. Bucky Elton, who was the 350th Squadron Commander and undoubtedly flew as Command Pilot (Actually the formation commander - could be Group or Wing. Elton would not have flown unless his Squadron, the 350th, was leading at least the 100th and possibly the 13 Combat Wing and in some cases the 3rd Air Division.  

Capt.Robert K. (Bob) Peel was the Squadron or Group Bombardier at the time 
Capt Joseph" Bubbles" Payne is the 100th legendary Group Navigator, said by Navigators Harry Crosby and Jim Brown to have been the 100ths best, who was lost at Sottevast 28 Apr 1944. The Enlisted men are all of high seniority with many combat missions?(.paul west 01 Jan 97)
T/Sgt Albert L.DeGregorio    TTE   KIC  29 Jan 44 Frankfurt (TKOF ACCIDENT) He was flying with the Lloyd C. Marks Crew and was killed when they crashed on takeoff from Thorpe Abbotts.
Airman Smith, believed to be a Waist Gunner cannot be positively identified from the DeSanders records.
S/SGT James E. Callahan                 ROG    NOC
S/SGT ALBERT M. FREITAS               BTG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST
S/SGT CHARLES C. SPRAGUE              WG:    CPT
S/.SGT DELBERT  E. BARNHART           TG  KIA 28 APR 44  SOTTEVAST
Airman Brown, may have been a ROG, who was killed at Sottevast, but cannot be positively identified from the DeSanders records.


Mission Log of William D. DeSanders with comments by DeSanders shown in brackets.
1.  6/25/43  Bremen, Ger. (Lost 3)
2.  6/28/43  St. Nazaire, Fr. (Flak rough - all OK - Good bombing)
3.  6/29/43  Le Mans, Fr.
4.  7/10/43  Le Bourget @ Paris. Fr, (Lost Duncan) This is Charles L. Duncans crew?pw
5.  7/24/43  Trondheim, Nor. (Beautiful bombing)
6.  9/3/43     Renualt Works @ Paris, Fr. (Lost 5 - Horrible mid-air collision)
7.  9/6/43     Conches, Fr.(Prim. Tgt Stuttgart - overcast-Lost 4)
8.  9/7/43     Watten, Fr.
9.  9/9/43     Beauvais-Tille, Fr. (Good bombing)
10.  9/15/43  Renault Works @ Paris, Fr. (I almost went down)
11.  9/23/43  Vannes (Good bombing)
12.  9/26/43  Paris, Fr.
13.  9/27/43  Emden, Ger.
14.  10/4/43  Hanau, Ger (Lost Helstrom) This is the Harold B. Helstrom Crew?pw
15.  10/9/43  Marienburg, Ger. (Perfect bombing)
16.  11/5/43  Gelsenkirchen, Ger. (Ruhr flak bad - Lost 1) 
17.  11/7/44  Duren, Ger.
18.  11/26/43  Paris, Fr. (Lost 1,Cowboy finishes) 
19.  12/11/43  Emden, Ger. (Lost 1)
20.  12/24/43  St. Josse au Bois, Fr. (Perfect bombing - 350th led)
21.  1/5/44    Nuess (Ruhr Valley), Ger. (Rough flak)
22.  1/14/44  No Ball, FR. (Sqdn mission - excellent bombing)
23.  1/21/44  St. Omer, Fr. (Ship badly damaged, I was slightly wounded)
24.  1/29/43  Frankfurt, Ger. (Led Group as Command Pilot - Good mission)
25.  2/13/44  Crossbow XL-120, Fr. (Led 350th on Sqdn mission - perfect bombing.)

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Lt William DeSanders Crew (courtesy of Rudden Family)

Part of DeSanders Crew at Wendover

(Note:  this log is not edited in any way and reflects the observations and feeling of Capt. Bill DeSanders.  You would find it matter of fact, critical and scary all at the same time.  An early glimpse into the original crews of the 350th BS.  Part I deals with arriving in England and first missions.  Great story for mission on June, 28, 1943.   Want to thank Linda Styles Berkery for sharing this.  Capt. William DeSanders mission diary.  

(Note:  this log is not edited in any way and reflects the observations and feeling of Capt. Bill DeSanders.  You would find it matter of fact, critical and scary all at the same time.  An early glimpse into the original crews of the 350th BS.  in this part, Capt DeSanders original crew is shot down.    Want to thank Linda Styles Berkery for sharing this.  Capt. William DeSanders mission diary.

L-R: Maynard Parsons, Charles Mayville, George Rudden and Carrol Haarup (ROG-Helstrom Crew);  (original photos courtesy of Mr. Parsons' daughter Judy Moore).

Believe this is Charles Mayville, George Rudden and Carol Haarup . Photo from collection of Maynard Parsons courtesy of Mr. Parsons' daughter, Judy Moore).

Photo of Practice flight in States.  From S/Sgt Maynard Parsons (Original photos courtesy of Mr. Parsons' daughter, Judy Moore).

Letter from Mrs DeSanders to Jane Styles after both husbands had passed away.  Photo courtesy of Linda Styles Berkery

(Note:  this log is not edited in any way and reflects the observations and feeling of Capt. Bill DeSanders.  You would find it matter of fact, critical and scary all at the same time.  An early glimpse into the original crews of the 350th BS.  This is when Capt DeSanders  is flying missions with his 2nd Crew (Capt. Mark Carnell's Crew).    Want to thank Linda Styles Berkery for sharing this.  Capt. William DeSanders mission diary.

(Note:  this log is not edited in any way and reflects the observations and feeling of Capt. Bill DeSanders.  You would find it matter of fact, critical and scary all at the same time.  An early glimpse into the original crews of the 350th BS.  These are missions with second Crew (Carnell) and a pickup lead crew for final two missions.   Want to thank Linda Styles Berkery for sharing this.  Capt. William DeSanders mission diary.

Card from the bar at Thorpe Abbotts noting the completion of 25 missions (from the collection of John Luckadoo). 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 1264