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S/SGT  Roland M. GRUNSTEAD

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BTG

Newspaper article about Sgt Grunstead shooting down FW190. (Courtesy of Matt Mabe)

SERIAL #: 37573454 STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: HETTINGER, ND (MAY HAVE CPT IN JAN 1945) "ROLLIE"

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT JOHN H. McLAUGHLIN            P  CPT 21 JAN 45 MANNHEIM, RAIL BRIDGE (S.T.) 
2ND LT WINSTON HARGRAVE          CP  CPT 21 JAN 45 MANNHEIM, RAIL BRIDGE (S.T.) TAPS: 29 JAN 1983
2ND LT LOUIE W. McGIMSEY, JR.   NAV  KIA 30 NOV 44 MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY
2ND LT WALTER E. WARNER         BOM  CPT 21 JAN 45 MANNHEIM, RAIL BRIDGE (S.T.) TAPS: 29 JAN 1983
S/SGT CARADINO G. DiGREGORIO      TTE  CPT
S/SGT COLLIN A. LOCKFIELD, JR       ROG  CPT
SGT ROLAND M. GRUNSTEAD         BTG  CPT
SGT WILLIAM L. AYCOCK               WG  CPT TAPS: 10 MAR 1985
SGT MARK B. CARMICHAEL             WG  NOC TAPS: 29 NOV 1944 (IN SERVICE)
SGT MARVIN M. WISOTSKY            TG  CPT  (changed last name to Wain after War)


418TH SQDN.. CREW JOINED THE 100TH ON 02 AUG 1944.  CREW FLEW IN ANDY'S DANDY'S 
Sgt Carmichael was taken off the crew to reduce to 9 upon arrival at Thorpe Abbotts.  He was most likely placed in the spare gunners pool. 

LETTER FROM W.E. WARNER OF 20 DEC 1983 TO jb. INDICATES ALL CREW COMPLETED TOUR EXCEPT McGRIMSEY, WHO WAS KILLED BY FLAK AND  BURIED AT CAMBRIDGE, LATER MOVED TO ASHEVILLE, NC.

Some missions of Lt McLaughlin Crew:

1.   25/08/44    POLITZ                        A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
2.   26/08/44    BREST                         A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
3.   27/08/44    BERLIN (RECALL)           A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
      01/09/44    MAINZ (RECALL)           A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
4.   05/09/44    STUTTGART                A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
5.   08/09/44    MAINZ                         A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
6.   09/09/44    DUSSELDORF                A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
7.   10/09/44    NURNBURG                   A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
8.   11/09/44    RUHLAND                     A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
9.   25/09/44    LUDWIGSHAVEN           A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
10. 26/09/44    BREMEN                       A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
11. 28/09/44    MERSEBURG                  A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
12. 30/09/44    BIELEFELD                     A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
13. 02/10/44    KASSEL
14. 11/10/44    BREMEN
15. 10/11/44    WEISBADEN
16. 30/11/44    MERSEBURG
17. 31/12/44    HAMBURG
18. 06/01/45   GERMERSHEIM AF*         A/C 42-97071   "ANDY'S DANDY'S
19. 21/01/45   MANNHEIM

*ON JAN 6, 1945 LT MCLAUGHLIN WAS FORCED TO LAND AT AN EMERGENCY FIELD (A-92) NEAR BRUSSELS. FLAK OVER THE GERMAN AIRFIELD AT GERMERSHEIM HAD SLICED INTO NO. 4 ENGINE AND CAUSED A STEADY STREAM OF FUEL TO LEAK AWAY.

Combat Diary – Walter Warner
Navigator, John McLaughlin Crew
418th Squadron

The following excerpts are from Lt. Warner’s combat diary.  This crew joined the 100th on 02 AUG 44 and flew in Andy’s Dandy’s.

The Crew:
2nd Lt. John H. McLaughlin  Pilot
2nd Lt. Winston Hargrave  Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. Louie W. McGimsey, Jr.  NAV  (KIA)
2nd Lt. Walter E. Warner  BOM
S/Sgt Caradine G. DiGregorio TTE
S/Sgt Collin A. Lockfield, Jr.  ROG
Sgt. Roland M. Grunstead  BTG
Sgt. William L. Aycock  WG
Sgt. Mark B. Carmichael  WG
Sgt. Marvin M. Wisotsky  TG

11 September 44 – Ruhland
Ruhland – Synthetic Oil Factory
Lead Squadron, Lead Group. 10 x 500# G. P.
“Jumped by fighters about ten minutes before target.  About 80 fighters hit the low group at one time and knocked down all twelve planes.  They then jumped our group, but our gunners knocked down 15 fighters and P51’s came to our aid.  Flaming planes were going down everywhere. Five .50 cal. bullets hit ship on way out over channel, inches from pilot’s head.  Flying glass hit co-pilot. Coming in for landing, flap didn’t work so when we pealed off, plane went into spin.  Pulled out at 500 feet and finally landed with no flaps.  #4 Feathered and upwind.
Heavy FLAK over target. Inaccurate
Took off: 063 Landed 1600

2 October 44 – Kassel
Kassel – Tank Factory  10 x 500# G. P.
#2 Low Squadron, Lead Group
Bomb PFF.  Heavy FLAK .88 – 1.05, and Rockets.
Hole in plexiglass inches from my head.  Also, hole in rear of nose.
No Casualties. Saw one plane go down in flames.
Seven hour mission.

6 October 44 – Berlin
Berlin – One of most important aircraft engine factories in Germany.  5 x 1000# G. P.
#3 Lead Squadron, High Group, 27,000 feet.
Bombed visually. No clouds.  Temp -34 degrees.
Intense accurate FLAK and rockets.  Bandits in area but none attacked us.  Saw cloud of dense black smoke 6000’ high rise from target.  Saw dense smoke over Hamburg.  One plane in our group blew up. Hole downward through astro-dome. No injuries.
Took off: 0700
Landed:   1500

11 October 44 – Bremen
Bremen – Focke Wolf Factory
5 x 1000# G. P.  Lead second element, Lead Squadron, Lead Group.  25,000 feet.
Clear over target.  Bombed visually.  Bombs on target.  Carried Bomb Sight – ready to bomb if lead shot down.
Moderate FLAK, very inaccurate.  No e/a sighted.  No battle damage or casualties.
Took off:  0730
Landed:    1430

10 November 44 – Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden – Airfield.  38 x 100#  28,500 feet 
Temp: -42
Lead Low Squadron. Low Group
Ran into bad weather over England. Had trouble assembling Wing.  Made a run on PFF target at Wiesbaden.  “Mickey” equipment out.  Tried to join another group. Failed and had to bring bombs back.
*Dobrogowski and Lundquist down.  Deplanque’s Bombardier and Tail Gunner hit.
No E/A, casualties, or damage.  
Took off:  0800
Landed:    1500

*Dobrogowski returned within two days from Brussels. He and crew killed several days later (20 NOV 44) during take off.  Lundquist never heard from.

30 November 44 – Merseburg
Merseburg – Largest Oil Refinery in Germany.
20 x 250# G. P.  25,500 feet.
Lead Low Squadron, Low Group
3rd Division put up 14 Groups.  Bombed visually through smoke screen. Plane hit just before Bombs Away.  FLAK came through armor plate floor boards, Navigator’s helmet and head and then out top of plane.  Killed instantly. My helmet and mask were knocked off. Had FLAK hit my eye and right hand. Also piece through FLAK suit.  Managed to get bombs away and then passed out from lack of oxygen and concussion.  Engineer revived me after I was almost done for.  Radio man and waist gunner also hit.  Managed to get back, but low on oxygen.  Heaviest FLAK ever seen at any target. 30 Holes in Plane.  No E/A
Took off:  0830
Landed:    1630

31 December 44 – Hamburg
Hamburg – One of largest Synthetic Oil Plants in Germany.  20 x 250# G. P.   Lead Low Squadron, High Group
This was the roughest mission yet.  Flew over the North Sea.  Intense accurate tracking barrage over target.  The nose was riddled again.  Big hole in #4 and #2 engines.  Fighter escort missing.  Jumped by 30 to 40 FW 190’s.  Running battle for twenty minutes.  I got quite a few shots and probably scored some hits.  Machine gun holes in tail and near misses from 20 mm. shells.  Lost two wingmen.  Morin, LaTurno, Lou Cigerio, Mike, Appleton’s crew, Mayo, Cohen, Al (Two Pistol), Blackman’s crew (hit by four fighters).* All Down.  Lou  wished us Happy New Year as he was going down.  Two planes locked together and went down.**  Four chutes.  Crashed

100th Lost 13 Planes

*John Morin-P, Lou Ciriego-CP, Alfred Latourneau-Nav, and Mike (Emil M.) NAWOJ -Bom, all of the Morin crew (TG Dale S. Brown KIA).  William Mayo-P, Al (Albert) Eib-CP, Arthur Cohen-Nav, all of the Mayo crew (entire crew KIA).

** The famous “Piggy Back” story with pilots Glenn Rojohn flying The Little Skipper A/C 231897 and William McNab flying Nine Lives A/C 338457.

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

Walter Warner
1479 Eagle Court
Arnold, MD  21012
 
has moved to:
Walter Warner
7200 Third Avenue
Fairhaven, A-210
Sykesville, MD  21784
 
Please send the next issue of Splasher to his new address.
 
Thanks,
Debbie Walker  Debbie6829@comcast.net

MEMO 2:

Rollie GrunsteadNov 11, 2016  Rollie Grunstead,
 longtime resident of Billings, met Jesus on Nov. 10, 2016, after a courageous battle with cancer. All of his life, Rollie faced seemingly insurmountable odds with courage and honor. He looked forward to heaven with thoughts of the Apostle Paul in 2 Tim 4:7 — “I have fought the good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.”Rollie was born on July 25, 1924, the son of Edward E. and Susie Wyatt Grunstead. He grew up on a farm in Hettinger, N.D., one of seven children. Early on, Rollie learned to act honorably, work hard and serve God and others — first, as his dad’s right-hand man, and then as the second oldest in a family devastated by the early death of their father.The unexpected death of his father and the eventual loss of the farm gave Rollie a heart for children, especially those without a father or those in need. As a result, Rollie became a faithful, livelong supporter of The Boys and Girls Club.Upon graduation from high school, he was drafted into the US Army 418th Squad of the 8th Air Force and served in “The Bloody Hundredth” as a ball turret gunner in a B-17 Bomber out of England. When he arrived at the Registrars, they couldn’t believe this baby-faced 19-year-old claimed five dependents (mother and siblings). Despite of overwhelming odds, he survived 35 missions and came home safely. He was honorably discharged with several medals after serving with the crew of “Andy’s Dandy’s.”Upon arriving home from the war, he was offered and played football on a scholarship at Dickinson State Teacher’s College (DSU) and Macalester College in Minnesota. Rollie married Millie Solem in 1949, prior to graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in business/accounting demonstrating his fortitude early on. From this union, four children were born.Using his skills of hard work and integrity, and demonstrating his ability to be a team player, he worked his way up in the Continental Oil Company (Conoco). When they offered him a high position in the company, he opted to stay in Montana to raise his family. He grew to be an astute businessman who grew a small start into a large, successful business (GM Petroleum).Rollie remained an honorable, hardworking, compassionate, kind, generous man of integrity. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather who spent many hours attending the sporting events of his many children and grandchildren.Upon the death of his first wife, Millie, he courted Joy Kilby Rech, who was a family friend and business associate. They were married in 1993 in Killingworth, Conn. His family was then enriched with four additional children.Because he loved and desired to bless people as he had been blessed, he helped many people get a new start in life. Thus, he was involved in many organizations, including the following service clubs: Served as director of The Boys and Girls Club of Billings; served on the Board of the Rotary Club in which he was a lifetime member; served as a lifetime member of the Elk’s Lodge; was an IDEA sponsor for deaf children in the Philippines; was a member of the Western Petroleum Marketers Association; was a member of the Montana Petroleum Marketers Association; was on the advisory board for Conoco.Rollie was an avid golfer who was a charter member of the Laurel Golf Club, as well as a member of Hilands Golf Club. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling and all sports.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

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BURIAL INFORMATION

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ID: 2059