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S/SGT  Fred HORCASITAS

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG

Fred Horcasitas   351st   WG   New Mexico   KIA   31 Dec 44   Hamburg   Carl J. Hedin Crew   (100th Photo Archives)

100 BG/351 BS
S SGT HORCASITAS, FRED
From Central, New Mexico.

MIA 31-12-1944 as Waist Gunner of B-17G / #42-31066 / EP-'H' / 'Dixie Baby - Fools Rush In' / MACR 11366.
Mission to Hamburg. Shot down by flak just before bombs away. Dropped on other a/c and both went down. Crashed 2 miles south of Boizenburg, Germany. 6 KIA/3 POW.

Also see https://www.fieldsofhonor-database.com/index.php/en/american-war-cemetery-margraten-h/46414-horcasitas-fred

S Sgt Horcasitas is commemorated on the Margraten Cemetery Walls of the Missing
Source of the portrait photograph: 
Pilot Class Book 43-F, Sequoia Field, Visalia, California.
Courtesy of my Fields of Honor Database colleague Ria who indexed this class book.

Source of the aircraft photograph: Amercan Air Museum in Britain/IWM

A new photograph for our project 'The Faces of Margraten'.

SERIAL #: 18035268 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 11366 CR: 11366

Comments1: 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (FLAK- COL WITH 43-38124)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

    Lt Carl J.Hedin                    P     NOC
    Lt John S.Norton             CP      CPT    2/10/44 KASSEL 
    Lt Merrill W.Toburen        NAV    CPT    21/1/45 MANNHIEM (BRIDGES)
    Lt Everett E.Linn             BOM   CPT    17/3/45 RUHLAND & PLAUEN
 S/Sgt George J.Robinson     ROG    KIA     31/12/44 HAMBURG SEE NOTE A HENDERSON CREW LIST BELOW
 S/Sgt James W.Shepard      TTE    KIA     31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Sgt Leo O.Murphy            BTG    POW   31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Sgt Fred Horcasitas           WG     KIA     31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Sgt Frank S.Sauls              TG     POW    31/12/44 HAMBURG

351st Sqdn.  Crew,as above, appears as Crew #50 on Combat Crew Roster of 18/9/44. On 5/8/44 Norton was CP on the 
crew of N.P.Scott and Toburen was NAV on crew of J.P.Ernst.

The five above enlisted men were with the crew of Floyd E.Henderson on 31/12/44. Henderson, himself,was CP on the 
crew of R.L.Stevenson when that crew joined the 100th Group on 14/7/44.  When this crew arrived at the 100th in late 
July 1944, the CP was 2nd Lt.Milton H. LaFranchi who CPT on 4/3/45. Also on the crew was Cpl. John R.Nickolls,a gunner.


CREW
On the  31 DEC 44 ( HAMBURG) mission,  FLOYD E. HENDERSON was the first pilot of this crew..Appears mainly that of Carl J. HEDIN...jb
    A/C #42-31066 "Fools Rush In"  MACR #11366, MICRO-FICHE #4183

2nd  LT FLOYD E. HENDERSON  P      KIA   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
2nd  Lt Richard W. King           CP      KIA   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
2nd  Lt George J. Smigo, Jr    NAV     POW 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt  Elmer L. Kovach       TOG/NG   KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt George J.Robinson        ROG     KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt James W.Shepard         TTE     KIA   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Leo O.Murphy              BTG     POW 31DEC /44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Fred Horcasitas             WG      KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Frank S.Sauls                TG     POW  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG


 EYEWITNESS:  "A/C 42-31066 recieved a direct hit by flak just before "Bombs Away" , and the bombs were salvoed. 
    The A/C fell off on the right wing and dropped onto A/C #43-38124 piloted by Lt Clifton M. Williams.
   . Both aircraft went down in flames  and one exploded" (See Williams crew below)

Lt Clifton M.Williams             P    KIA   31/12/44 HAMBURG
Lt Kenneth W.Newkirk         CP  KIA "
Lt Richard F.Williams           NAV  KIA " A/C #43 38124
Lt Lawrence W.Ward         BOM  POW  " MACR #11363,Fiche #4182
T/S/Sgt Charles J.McGinley  ROG  KIA " 
T/Sgt .Alvin H.Petteys        TTE  KIA "
S/Sgt Lee F.Carpenter        BTG  KIA "
S/Sgt  James H.Murphy       WG   POW  "  TAPS: 1973
  Cpl  Gordon R.Sinclair         TG   CPT  15 /3/45 ORANIENBURG /WITH THE S. JOHNSON CREW AS NAV (see note)

351st Sqdn. Sqdn Diary of Sept.1944 notes this crew as joining the 100th Group in Sept. A Cpl.Harvey J.Lehman was 
on the crew at that time but no further record of him has turned up.

On 31/12/44, S/Sgt Roland L.Douglas,from the crew of Gerald Brown,was flying in place of Gordon Sinclair and was 
made a POW.

Note
Gordon Sinclair was removed from Navigator's school one day short of graduation for some unknown infraction, proably the Training Command acted  a bit over zealous in view of the need for trained Navigators.  The 351st Sqdn. Commander (Harry Cruver, a man known to have had some disagreements with training command personnel during his cadet days) corrected this bit of over zealousness by immediately promoting Sinclair to M/Sgt and  making him the Navigator for the Sidney Johnson crew, where he completed a tour.  This from Charles M. Beck, of the Sidney Johnson crew..pw

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Hamburg DATE: 1944-12-31  
AIRCRAFT: "Fools Rush In" (42-31066) CAUSE: FLAK - Collided with 43-38124  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Netherlands Cemetery/Margraten  
ID: 2414