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LT  Walter J. GRENIER

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

"The Man Who Came to Dinner" Lt Walter J. Grenier. 

SERIAL #: O-793319 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00687 CR: 00687

Comments1: 6 SEP 43 COLMAR, FR ( "The Man who came to Dinner")

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT WALTER J. GRENIER           P POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX  SN# 0-73319          
2ND LT MICHAEL D'AMATO        CP POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX  SN# 0-745636
2ND LT SAUL TRAUNER           NAV POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX SN# 0-671143
2ND LT DAVID H. PLANT         BOM POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX SN# 0676319
T/SGT CARL H. PHILLIPS         ROG POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX SN# 18160274
T/SGT HOWARD C. AUFSCHLAG TTE POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX SN# 33325502
S/SGT ANTHONY J. FUSCO      BTG POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX SN# 12138211
S/SGT FRANCIS X. DONNELLAN RWG POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX SN# 31157034
S/SGT WILLIAM I. CHANG        LWG KIA   6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX  SN# 39535646
   SGT ROBERT N. SCHRUM       TG POW 6 SEP 43  STUTTGART, CONCHES & EVREUX  SN# 17086798

350th Sqdn.. This crew joined the 100th on 25 Aug 1943..  
Lt Grenier is often referred to as "The Man who came to Dinner."  Legend has it that he arrived at 
Thorpe Abbotts and flew the above mission without having time to unpack.  This may not be 100 percent accurate, 
records indicate Lt Grenier and his crew were on the base about twelve days prior to the 6 Sep 43 mission.  
None the less in 100th lore he is and will remain "The Man who came to Dinner."

 MACR #687, Microfiche #227  A/C #42-30335 "SANS FINIS"

EYEWITNESS REPORT: "Saw A/C #335 at Colmar, France nose down through attacking fighers 
with No 1 and No 3 engines dead. Eight chutes seen."  Report from MACR and was made by Lt W.H. McDonald.  (this is Lt Woodward Crew, not Grenier….mpf 2009)

Aircraft actually crash landed at Mönchweiler, Germany.
 Dear Mike,
In searching for some more details about the Sans finis I run into an advertisement for the following book: Graf and Grislowski: A pair of Aces. 
This also covers the activities 1943 of JG 50. Further on I have found that JG 27 II only was stationed at the base in Eschborn for a very short time, 20th of August to 12th of September 1943. Group commander had been captain Werner Schroer.

Regards

Dieter 


The following documentation has beeen obtained from the Municipal Archiv of Mönchweiler, Baden-Württemberg, Germany File 67, Number AI 526

Mönchweiler 22nd of May 1946

Reference: Crash landing of an American airplane on 6th of September 1943

On 6th of September 1943 about 11 o'clock an American airplane touched down at the outskirts of the village in direction to Obereschach. It had been an airplane with four engines, which came along solo. Mister Haas, who had been Mayor at this time, had given me the information, that there had been one man injured during the crash landing. I immediatley hasten to the place where the airplane had touched down.

When I arrived, medical orderlies from the reserve military hospital at Königsfeld had already been there. The injured had been taken out of the airplane and had been addressed. The soldier had a stomach wound. He complained about heavy pain. I helped to put the injured on a strecher. Thereafter he had been transferred by motor ambulance to the military hospital for POW's at the Waldhotel in Villingen. The injured has been a big strong man with somehow chinese outlook.

Albert Marquardt.

Notes:  Albert Marquardt has been the head of the local German Red Cross Organisation
          Villingen: town 4,5 km to the south of Mönchweiler
          Königsfeld: village 4 km north of Mönchweiler
          Obereschach. Village 4 km east of Mönchweiler


Ernst Burgbacher police-officer  Mönchweiler 22nd of May 1946

I have been one of the first men who arrived at the place of landing of the American airplane. The plane had made a belly landing and the landing gear had been torn off. When I came to the airplane the crew had disembarked and the heavy wounded man had been laid on the ground. I have heard that the airceaft had come under attack by German fighters over Rottweil. The two left engines had been shot to pieces. The airplane came from direction southeast from the area of Schwenningen. The crew consisted of 10 men. An officer presumably a captain could talk in broken German. Names of the prisoners have not been made known here. The American soldiers have been moved by German soldiers presumably to Villingen, 1 ½ hours after the accident occurred. The prisoners have been delt with correctly in every respect. At that time people from the village made a lot of pictures. I can no longer remember the number of the aircraft and other details. The airplane has been later dismantled by members of the Freiburg air-base and should have been brought to Paris.

Ernst Burgbacher

Notes: Rottweil town 30 km east of Mönchweiler
          Schwenningen town 5 km southsoutheast of Mönchweiler
          Swiss border is only about 30 km to the south


Translation by J. D. Pechmann July 19th 2009  dieterpechmann@gmx.de


To whom it may concern,
Im inquiring about a certain Ball Turrett Gunner, S/Sgt Anthony J. Fusco. On your website it lists him as a member of the Sans Finis flight crew that was shot down on Sept. 6th of 1943. I am inquiring for any information you may have on him, or anyway to obtain information about his career both before and after his time with the 100th. 
Anthony J. Fusco was my uncle, my Grandmother's Brother. From what we know he was killed in Iran, and received the Purple Heart. I know he also served at Elmendorf AFB, in Anchorage, Alaska. Any information you may have on him, or any way of obtaining information would be greatly appreciated. Much of his life after he left to join the Air Force is unkown. And anything you could tell me would greatly help.
Please e-mail back as soon as possible.
 
Anthony Hazlett ahazlett57@yahoo.com

***************************************************************************************************************
My father, Walter Jean Grenier who was formerly Lt. Walter Jean Grenier of the 100th bomb group has recently celebrated his 94th birthday in Ellsworth, Maine! Is there some recognition that you could provide to him? He was shot down in his plane “San Finis” with  general in Germany in the early stage of the war and was imprisoned until the end of the war.

Sincerely,
Walter Jean Grenier II



Michael:

I am going over to see my father this afternoon and will bring this information along. Once again thank you for your help and this information. I will try to provide to you all information I have in order to help you with your book. My father just gave me his officers hat, that he had in prison. He wore it, when he was notified by the Germans, that of his crew members was dying. He was escorted through a German barracks and all of the German soldiers rose to salute him. He additionally just gave me a side arm from a German sergeant. The side arm is a revolver from the Spanish Civil War. The sergeant (I believe his name was Schultz), was required to throw it on a pile of arms when the prison camp was liberated, at which time my father this and then picked it up, because he had liked this man. 

Walter Grenier Jr.  walter_grenier_29@msn.com

Michael:

 

Thank you so much for your interest and your help. My father has been totally reluctant to discuss any aspect of this period of his life, including yesterday afternoon. The wounded person that was identified as oriental ,my father quickly mentioned, it thought it was a man named “Chung” who died and then described another crew member that had four bullet holes across his back from a strafing and he was unaware if the man survived. He indicated that he did not know anyone in this crew upon boarding the plane.  I will send on any information that I have to you regarding his service, pictures, letters etc. in order to help you with your book. There is a photo album that he does have and I will send the photos on to you as I get them.


Best to you and many thanks,

 

Walter

Michael:
My father died peaceably, on Sunday AM, February 12, 2012, at the age of 94. I will be able to provide to you information, pictures as well as historical information that I will have access to after this week. 

Walter Grenier
walter_grenier_29@msn.com


Walter J. Grenier Sr.  
ELLSWORTH - Walter J. Grenier Sr., 94, died Feb. 12, 2012 at his residence. He was born Oct. 31, 1917, in Bordeaux, France, son of Jean Paul and Henriette (Robert) Grenier. Walter was educated in France, Belgium and England. He attended Ravenscroft School, England and graduated from Belgium University before coming to the U.S. at age 17. He graduated from Army Air Force Training Center of Albany, Ga., in 1942. He was a first lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a B-17 pilot, 100th Bomb Group and was shot down over Germany, Sept. 7, 1943, captured and imprisoned near Stuttgart. He was a POW for two years and later received a special commendation from the war department for his continuous effort toward maintaining the morale and health of his fellow prisoners. He later attained the rank of captain in the Army Reserves. After returning from the war, Walter continued his education and received a Bachelor of Science in philosophy at Southern Illinois University; masters in psychology, industrial relations and social administration; and his doctorate in psychology from Loyola University of Chicago. In 1959, Walter was executive director of Lawrence Hall, a home for boys from 6 to 16; he was "father" to 83 boys. In 1962, he was appointed superintendent of Illinois Youth Commissioner's Reception and Diagnostic Center by Gov. Kerner. In 1964, Walter received commendation for important and valued public service as special examiner for the civil service commission of Cook County, Ill. and in 1968 he was appointed deputy director for Florida's training school in Tallahassee and was professor at Sangamon State University. In 1988, he was appointed executive director for Council on Aging, Flagler City, Fla. Walter moved to Maine in 2002 and especially enjoyed tennis, French cooking, reading, gardening, nature, biking and sailing. He is survived by his beloved wife, Donna Grenier of Ellsworth; son, Walter Grenier II and his wife, Mary, of Lamoine; grandchildren, Jean Christian Grenier and his wife, Lorena, Nicole Tussing and Andre Robert Grenier; and great-grandchildren, Charles, Breeze, Zachary, Gabriel and Alex Grenier. He was predeceased by three sisters, May, Mathe and Jeannine; son, Guy Charles; and his first wife, Lorraine (Spruth) Grenier. Friends are invited to visit with Walter's family 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. A memorial Mass will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 131 Main St., Ellsworth. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice. Condolences may be made to www.jordanfernald.com.

MEMO 2:

"Man who came to Dinner"  This Crew had been at Thorpe Abbotts only 12 days.

Source: Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945, Teil 10/I, Reichsverteidigung 1943, 1.1. - 31.12.1943, by Jochen Prien, Gerhard Stemmer, Peter Rodeike, Winfried Bock, ohne Jg.

Page 255 ff
Monday September 6th 1943

Yesterday hostile bomber units invaded the Southwest German area, favoured by bad visibility due to weather conditions. They had been dispersed by fighters and flak-artillery and therefore could not attack in a uniform manner. Several heavily damaged airplanes touched down in Switzerland. Bombing of the cities of Stuttgart and Straßburg caused losses in people and damages.

OKW-Report September 7th 1943

Between 6h50 and 14h the enemy attacked the area of Metz – Karlsruhe – Crailshaim – Ulm – Tuttlingen and Epinal with 200 to 300 [flying] fortress. The bulk of the airplanes flew off on contrary course, 10 airplanes flew off over Switzerland – Bale – and Western France.

Main target Stuttgart with dropping of numberous high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the center of the city. Considerable damage on buildings, smal losses of personal, smal losses in industry. Additional attack on Straßburg with dropping of 54 high-explosive and some incendiary bombs. Damages on housing reported.

Daily report general staff Luftwaffe, September 6th 1943

The enemy attacked with 200 – 300 [flying] fortress the area of Metz – Karlsruhe – Ulm – Epinal bewtween 6h50 and 14h. Main target of the attack has been Stuttgart. Straßburg also had been attacked. 16 of the attackers had been certainly 33 probably shot down by 440 employed own fighters.

Kriegstagebuch SKL Part A Book 49 Page 121

On September 6th 1943 heavy units of four-engined airplanes of the 8th USAAF should fly the first big attack at daytime on targets within the „Reich“ since the double attack on Regensburg and Schweinfurt shortly three weeks ago; alltogether 338 B-17 of the 1st an 3rd BD should bomb industrial sites in the area of Stuttgart, but a nearly totally covered sky over the target area prevented the execution of the attacks acccording to plan, so that finally most of the bombs fell scattered on „targets of opportunity“ in the area between Stuttgart and Straßburg. 

The attack met a comparably strong defense by fighters, in which parts of four fighter groups have taken part in the area of „Luftwaffenbefehlshaber Mitte“. They counted alltogether 440 sorties, additionally the four engined planes had been attacked by parts of fighter groups 2 and 26 over French territory during their approach and return.

II./JG 27, for which this has been the first sortie within the home defense, belonged to the groups summoned by the German side against this attack. About 10.00h, when the bombers had been reported to bee in the area of Metz, the group became the order for „Sitzbereitschaft“ sedentary readiness, at their base at Eschborn near Frankfurt and at 10.10h followed the alarm start of 20 machines. After assembly the group climbed to 8000 meters and had been led into the area of Stuttgart, where they had contact with a strong B-17 unit at 10.45h under decidedly modest conditions of weather and sight. II/JG 27 attacked the bombers in several waves and in doing so could shoot down six Boeing and shoot out further two. They lost one man KIA. The group adjutant had been shot down by the defense fire of the bombers at Reichenbach, and when bailing out from his spinning Messerschmidt hit the tail unit, presumably lost consciousness, therefore could not open his parachute and fell to death. After the airfight had ended most of the machines landed in Echterdingen near Stuttgart, from where they returned to Eschborn the same day.  

JG 3 has been in action with the group staff and I. and III. group this day. The sortie of I./JG 3 remained without result, obviously due to the bad weather the group had no contact with the enemy and had to discontinue the action without achieving its purpose. However they had some losses, when near Schandelo two Messerschmidt collided. One of them crashed and the other had a crash-landing, both pilots had been lucky and remained unhurted. A further machine had been damaged modestly during a crash landing near Swalmen because of motor problems, but also in this case there was only damage to property.

III./JG 3 in Bad Wörishofen also became order for sedentary readiness about 10.00h; of course half an hour passed before they made an alarm start with 25 machines at 10.30h. After assembly the group also climbed up to 8000 meters and entered the area of Stuttgart, where they had contact with the enemy in form of about 30 Boeing shortly befor 11.00h. III./JG 3 attacked the bombers in several waves and pursued the B-17 for more than half an hour. The last fights happened over the Vogesen. Alltogether two shootings down and eight shootings out had been reported by the group, whereas the group itself counted one total loss – a pilot of the 9th squadron had tried a crashlanding at the base in Eutingen, obviousely because of damages due to enemy fire. He could no longer steady his machine and had to bail out at 300 meters height close to the base. He hit the tail unit and after that fell to death, having no chance to open his parachute. Two further machines had been damaged during a belly landing, but the pilots remained unhurted. The group staff finally reported one shoot out, shortly after 11.00h against a returning formation over Straßburg. This has been counted as the first success of the staff squadron in the course of the home defense. 

From Wiesbaden-Erbenheim JG 50 started into the defense action, obviousely only about a dozen machines of the staff and the first squadron had been in the air. Shortly after 10.30h northeast of Stuttgart they met a formation of bombers and started an airfight. During the following 30 minutes, the Messerschmidts attacked the B-17 in several waves, whereby the airfight extended till over the Southern Black Forest. Four shootings down have been reported finally, whereas two Bf 109 G had been shot down by defense fire of the bombers. Both pilots remaind unhurted, nevertheless there was one total loss, when one machine of JG 50 trying a crash landing because of motor damage, crashed on the base in Erbenheim and the pilot had been killed. 

For II./JG 51 this had been the first action within the defense of the „Reich“ after returning from Italy beginning of August. They started at Neubiberg because of alarm at 10.55h, but had no contact with the enemy in the course of the action, so that the group landed aigain in Neubiberg without having achieved its purpose after more than one hour. 

Beside the front formations also action flights of the schooling units laying in the attack area had been activated, of these JG 106 and 3./ErgZGr.  reported each one B-17 shot down, whereas the III./NJG  101 even claimed three shootings down of bombers.

Finally I./JG 26 flew two sorties, the first one has been directed against the incomming formations and led to contact with the enemy still over French territory with a B-17 unit, from which one Boeing has been shot out, shortly before 11.00h. Two hours later parts of I./JG 26 again had an airfight , as they intercepted a returning bomber formation in the area of Laon and could shoot down two B-17. I./JG 26 had no losses this day.
From the German side 54 shootings down and out by fighters an seven by the Flak have been reported after this attacks. For the Americans this action on 6th of September represented again a severe reverse, because they counted the total loss of 54 – among them nine „Cat. E – and the damaging of 116 bombers, of which quite a number had not fallen victim to the German defense, but landed either in neutral Switzerland or had to go down in the Chanel because of lack of gas. On the other hand the gunners of the bomber units claimed 98 for sure and 20 probable shootings down as well as the damaging of further 50 German fighters. The actual German losses had been seven fighters as total losses und further seven, which had crashlanded due to different heavy damages. Two pilots have been killed and five have been wounded.

***************

Stan Bishop's loss listing states, '...after fighter attacks, aircraft crash landed in the area of Villingen, north-west of Donaueschingen in southern Germany with all crew on board, including S/Sgt Chang who had been killed earlier.  He was interred in the local cemetery at Villingen, Germany. 1 KIA 9 POW.'

And from LT Grenier's son...He also saw one of the plane’s nine other crew members, Staff Sgt. William Chang, had a stomach wound and was in no condition to jump. Grenier returned to the controls and managed to land the plane in a small German village.

****************

Further eyewitnessreports about the crash-landing of a B17 in Mönchweiler on September 6th 1943
Karl Cattarius, Hebelstr. 6, on 5th of August 2009
The airplane flew very low. Along the road from Mönchweiler to Königsfeld, there were poplar-
trees. The airplane hit one of these trees with the tip of one wing and lost part of this wing. The 
aiming mechanism for the bombing officer did no longer exist. At its place there was a big hole in 
the floor of the bomber. There were no bombs on board only plenty of ammunition for the 
machineguns.
For moving the wreck the Deutsche Wehrmacht placed big air cushions below the wings, inflated 
them and so lifted the airplane. Afterwards it had been dismantled and moved away.
Heinrich Müller, Obere Mühlenstraße 47, on 28th November 2009
The airplane came in very low, just over the tops of the trees. [The area between Mönchweiler und 
Peterzell ist thickly wooded.] Along the road from Mönchweiler to Peterzell there were single trees. 
The airplane hardly managed to fly between two of these trees over the road into the open field. 
When crashlanding in the open it hit a tree [at the road to Königsfeld] with one of its wings and a 
part of the wing broke off. 
The crew had very nice new leather jackets. Something like this people in Mönchweiler had never 
seen before. All the people from the village ran to the site of the crashlanding.

The mayor of the town of Villingen. 22nd. of May 1946

On 9th of September 1943 the POW hospital V-B1 reported, that the POW William Chang, farmer, born on 6th of August 1921, in Dinuba/California, has died on 9th of September 1943. The deceased had been brought as wounded soldier into the local POW-camp.2 He had been member of 
the crew of an American airplane that crashlanded on the precincts of Mönchweiler with a crew of 10 soldiers. According to my inquieries the other members of the crew had been taken as POWs. 
From the enclosed obituary notice one can learn what has caused his death. The exact personalties with place of residence etc. are also included there. The deceased has been buried in a coffin on the local cemetery in the presence of a priest. The death has not been certified in the book of the 
deceased of the town of Villingen, because this has been a death caused by war, which had to be 
reported by the military hospital to the information bureau of the Wehrmacht. Only this department 
had been authorized to issue the certification of the death. Untill today also from the subsequent 
department there has been no order to this administration to certify the death. 

The Mayor
Confirmation
Herewith there is confirmed, that the American airforce-soldier, William Chang, born on 6th of august 1920 in Dinuba in California (3109 1/2 Van Buren Pl Los Angeles Calif) according to 
information given by the former senior medical officer of the former reserve military hospital has died in the former military hospital for POWs V.-B in Villingen on 9th of September 1943. The 
burial has been made on the local cemetery on 11th of September 1943. The grave is situated in section V, third row, grave number 14. The excavation has been made today by the order of the 
American military authority.
Villingen 27th of May 1946

The Mayor 
The registrar of births, marriages and deaths

1 The hospital was located in Villingen in the former Waldhotel as part of POW camp V-B.

2 STALAG V.-B



KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Conches DATE: 1943-09-06  
AIRCRAFT: "Sans Finis" (42-30335) CAUSE: EAC-FLAK-Crash Landed  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Sans Finis Sept 6, 1943, Lt Walter J. Grenier Crew

Sans Finis Sept 6, 1943, Lt Walter J. Grenier Crew

Sans Finis Sept 6, 1943, Lt Walter J. Grenier Crew

Sans Finis Sept 6, 1943, Lt Walter J. Grenier Crew

Officers Hat and pistol from Lt Walter Grenier. 

Col Spivey letter to men from Stalag Luft III after the War 

Col Spivey letter to POW's from Stalag Luft III after Hostilities.  

letter of recommendation from Gen Vanaman who was in Stalag Luft III with Lt Grenier

Col Spivey letter of recommendation to Walter Grenier. 

Appointment of 2nd Lt 

Lt. Walter J. Grenier (Courtesy of Laura Shivers)

These are photos from Jill Chandler given to her by German ace, Franz Stigler. It is a photo of a B-17 "Sans Finis" he shot down Sept 6, 1943.

Lt Walter J Grenier was pilot of this plane. These are photos from Jill Chandler given to her by German ace, Franz Stigler. It is a photo of a B-17 "Sans Finis" he shot down Sept 6, 1943.

Sans Finis Sept 6, 1943

Sans Finis Sept 6, 1943, Lt Walter J. Grenier Crew

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 2025