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LT  Thomas R. LESLIE

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: CP
SERIAL #: O-753799 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 03020 CR: 03020

Comments1: 6 MAR 44 BERLIN

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT LUCIUS G. LACY                P POW  28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA
2ND LT THOMAS R. LESLIE           CP KIA   6 MAR 44 BERLIN (WITH G.BRANNAN CREW)
2ND LT ALBERT FRANKLIN          NAV CPT  24 JUL 44 ST LO GROUND SUPPORT
2ND LT FRANK C. GREGORY        BOM CPT  13 JUL 44 MUNICH
    SGT CLARENCE H. WOOD, JR.   ROG POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA
    SGT CHESTER J. CARKNARD      TTE KIA   11 APR 44 ROSTOCK
    SGT RAYMOND J. MITCHELL      BTG POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA
    SGT WILLIAM L. RENEAU         WG CPT  5 JUN 44 FALAISE
    SGT HERMAN H. HILBURN        WG RFS   MEDICIAL REASONS AFTER SEVEN MISSIONS
    SGT JOSEPH A. HOWELL          TG NOC

351st Sqdn.. Crew, as above, joined the 100th on 1 Dec 1943. 

When Sgt Hilburn was RFS after 7 missions, S/Sgt Raymond Mitchell moved to LWG.  By March 1944 S/Sgt Joe Folsom had taken over the RWG position.  The BTG position was manned by several different crewman, S/Sgt L. Black, S/Sgt Chester Powell, S/Sgt J.M. Roberts, & S/Sgt C.L. Morrow from the 350th BS. T/Sgt Sidney A. Cary took over the TTE postion when T/Sgt Carknard was KIA on 11 Apr 44.  S/Sgt Joseph A Howell served as TG on this crew until 15 Mar 44 Brunswick Mission then is replaced by S/Sgt Michael Rotz from Capt T.E. Murphy Crew.

On Dec 29, 1943 Capt Jack Swartout took Lt Lacy on a "check flight" in Holy Terror II 42-21062 EP-D and immediately  upon landing on runway 22  the plane swerved to the left caused by the left brake dragging badly. The aircraft went off the runway and nosed over then dropped back driving the tail wheel into the fuselage.  We do not have a full list of missions this crew flew but here are some we are sure of…mpf.



DATE:         TARGET                   AIRCRAFT
03/03/44   BERLIN                      42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
04/03/44   BERLIN                      42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
06/03/44   BERLIN                      42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
15/03/44   BRUNSWICK               42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
16/03/44   AUGSBURG                42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
18/03/44   MUNICH                    42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY                
01/04/44   LUDWIGSHAVEN        42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
09/04/44   POSEN  (RECALL)       42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
10/04/44   RHEIMS                     42-31412 EP-G  MASON AND DIXON
11/04/44   ROSTOCK                  42-39867 EP-E  BOEING BELLE


The crew composition that flew the 28 May 44 Madgeburg mission was vastly different from the above roster; below is the crew as of 7 May 44 mission to Berlin thru the 28 May 44 mission to Madgeburg.  

CREW
1ST LT LUCIUS G. LACY               P POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA
2ND LT CLAUDE E. SCHINDLER      CP KIA   28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA FROM THE R.V.E. MONRAD CREW
2ND LT RAYMOND E. ROSSMAN  NAV POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA FROM THE C.W WOLDT CREW
2ND LT HERBERT GREENBURG    BOM POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA FROM THE R.H.HELMICK CREW
T/SGT CLARENCE H. WOOD       ROG POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA 
T/SGT SIDNEY A. CARY           TTE POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA FROM THE R.V.E. MONRAD CREW
S/SGT CHESTER L. POWELL     BTG KIA   28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA FROM THE M.T.RISH CREW
S/SGT JOE FOLSOM             RWG KIA   28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA
S/SGT RAYMOND J. MITCHELL   LWG POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA 
S/SGT MICHAEL ROTZ                TG POW 28 MAY 44 MAGDEBURG & GERA FROM THE T. MURPHY CREW (PICCADILLY  LILY)

EYEWITNESS: "A/C #389 was shot down over the target area at 1405 hours by
              E/A. #4 engine was seen smoking and cockpit was afire.Three
              chutes were seen "

According to Lt.Lacy's statements in MACR, . . . "the electrical system was out,
ship out of control,cables shot away,spun immediately. " . . . . " I fastened my
chute on in air. Seven crew members got out before wings came off."

From statements of Lt.Greenberg in MACR:

"The attack that knocked us out came from High at about 1:00 o'clock. All hits
seemed to concentrate on the starboard side. I would say Lt.Schindler was hit
and killed in the cockpit.He never made a move to get out despite the fact we
were burning fiercely. Our engineer maintains that the last he saw of Schindler
was while the cockpit was burning. Lt Schindler appeared to be slumped in his
seat.His left arm hanging straight down and making no move." Lt.Schindler
was operational from December 1943 til his death. He flew the "Roughest" ones
and was the coolest,calmest co-pilot that ever flew combat."

Sgt.Mitchell last saw Sgt.Folsom lying against the right bulkhead.His head and
face bloody and he made no attempt to leave the ship and was evidently dead.

Sgt.Powell is believed to have been killed in his turret by the fighter pass
that apparently killed Schindler and Folsom.

German report in MACR Ib to the effect that  at the crash site 3 dead were found.
Bodies burnt,names unidentifiable.

It appears that this crew had flown about 20/22 missions.

1st Lt Lucius Lacy ended up in Stalag Luft III until the end of the War.

DATE            TARGET                     AIRCRAFT

07/05/44       BERLIN                     42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
08/05/44       BERLIN                     42-31412  EP-G MASON AND DIXON
11/05/44       LIEGE                       42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY
12/05/44       BRUX,CZECH              42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY  
19/05/44       BERLIN                     42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY  
24/05/44       BERLIN                     42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY 
28/05/44       MAGDEBURG             42-31389  EP-J  LUCIOUS LUCY


CREW

AIRCRAFT 42-31735, LUCKY LEE, SHOT DOWN DURING FIGHTER ATTACK NEAR HASELUENNE AT APPROX 1200 HOURS.  A/C CRASHED NEAR BAKUM. TWO KIA, EIGHT BAILED OUT AND WERE TAKEN PRISONER.

             CREW OF 42-31735 "LUCKY LEE

Crew on March 6, 1944  BERLIN

2ND LT GEORGE W. BRANNAN       P POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
       LT THOMAS LESLIE                 CP KIA  6 MAR 44 BERLIN (from Lt L.G. Lacy Crew)  
2ND LT CLYDE F. DALE            NAV KIA    6 MAR 44 BERLIN (Buried in Oldenburg, Grave 276)
2ND LT LOUIS J. DENISCO        BOM POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
 T/SGT WILLIAM F. TEAFF        ROG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN ( Died on July 6th, 1944 from complications from diphtheria)
 T/SGT WALTER AUSTIN          TTE POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
    SGT ROBYN FULTON                  BTG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (from Lt C.W. Floyd Crew)
    SGT CHARLES R. ELLIOTT       WG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN  (Original BTG on Brannan Crew, flew as WG on this mission)
    SGT HOWARD T. LARIMORE    WG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
    SGT ROBERT L. GREENLEAF      TG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN   sn# 11043094   POW sn#2664

THE BRANNAN CREW: MARCH 6, 1944
THE GERMAN FIGHERS KNOCKED OUT ENGINES 3 & 4 OF A/C 42-31735 "LUCKY LEE".  LT BRANNAN WAS LEADING THE SECOND ELEMENT OF THE LEAD SQUADRON IN THE 100TH "B" GROUP.  THERE WAS A HUGE STREAM OF GASOLINE COMING OFF THE RIGHT WING AND LT BRANNAN ISSUED THE BAIL OUT SIGNAL FEARING AN EXPLOSION.  A FEW MOMENTS LATER, THE SHIP EXPLODED KILLING LT THOMAS LESLIE (CP) AND LT DALE (NAV).  "LUCKY LEE" CRASHED AT HAUSSTETTE NEAR BAKUM,  GERMANY.

351st Sqdn.  Crew, as above, joined the 100th Gp on 1 Dec 1943. 
On 6 Mar 44 Lt Thomas Leslie from the crew of L.G. Lacy replaced Lt Alley and was KIA (Buried in Oldenburg, Grave 277).  Sgt Robyn Fulton (on his 17th mission) of the C.W.Floyd crew flew as BTG. Sgt Elliott, the crews regular BTG,  flew as a WG.  Sgt Howard T. Larimore (on his 15th mission) flew as WG in place of Orville A. Knapp and became a POW.  According to Lt Brannan, the crew flew 13 missions. "Lt Alley had a nervous breakdown on the 5th mission and I never saw him again"  Brannan says he lost three planes during his time with the 100th BG.

See MACR #3020, Microfiche #1021

Some of missions Lt Brannon Crew flew:

Dec 30. 1943   Ludwigshaven- flying a/c 42-30796 SUNNY II, EP-J, The aircraft was badly damaged by fighters, Lt Brannan crash landed the plane 4 miles from Thorpe Abbotts at Starston near Harlseston, UK.  Sgt Knapp was seriously wounded in the crash and two others slightly hurt.  
Feb 5, 1944, target was VILLACOUBLAY, FRANCE,  Crew flew an as yet identified aircraft named "My Gal".
Feb 6, 1944, target was EVREUX, FRANCE, Crew flew "My Gal"
Mar 3, 1944, target was BERLIN, Recall due to bad weather, Crew was flying 42-31735, EP-B LUCKY LEE, which sustained some flak damage
Mar 4, 1944, target was BERLIN, Recal due to bad weather, Crew was fliying 42-31735, EP-B LUCKY LEE 
Mar 6, 1944, target was BERLIN, SHOT DOWN, Crew was flying 42-31735, EP-B, LUCKY LEE.  

LUCKY LEE- THIS PLANE IS DEPICTED IN KEITH FERRIS'S PAINTING "FORTRESS ENGAGED" SEEN ON THE COVER OF THE 
BOOK "TARGET BERLIN" BY JEFFREY L. ETHELL AND ALFRED PRICE.

Subj: 100thBG Feedback Form 
Date: 3/15/2003 6:52:19 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: JTerman@msn.com
To: mpfaley@aol.com
Sent from the Internet 

The following form contents were entered on 16th Mar 3
Date = 16 Mar 3 02:52:07
subject = 100thBG Feedback Form
messages = 961
TYPE = Ask a question
RESPONSIBLE = 100TH BG HISTORIAN
EMAIL = JTerman@msn.com
UNAME = James W. Terman
CONNECTION = I am a relative of a 100th veteran
COMMENTS = My uncle, Charles F. Elliott recently died of throat cancer after care at the VA Hospital, Indianapolis.  He was a sergeant  waist gunner on B-17s and was with the 100th BG at Thorpe Abbott, but we do not know with which squadron and in which aircraft on his last mission.  He flew 13 missions, the majority in "Lucky Lee". On about his 10th mission that aircraft was disabled, and he was moved to a Wing Commander's (an unknown colonel) plane on or about 30 Dec. '43. On return from this mission there was major damage, the plane crash landing in a field 5 miles from base. On 6 March '44 his last aircraft was on Mission 250 to Berlin.  Near Stetin, E. Prussia, the plane was hit midships by ground fire.  Three crew were killed immediately, the co-pilot died in the fall, the pilot and bombardier made it out of the plane, but a German fighter killed the latter in his chute. Uncle Charley snagged in the hatch, was pushed out by another grewman, bumped the horizontal stabilizer, but successfully opened his chute and made it 6000 ft. to the ground.  He was immediately found by Polish peasants but German soldiers commandeered him.   He spend the rest of the 16 months war, mostly in Stalag Luft III, until his camp was liberated by Russian troups.

Date = 19 Mar 3 04:22:19
subject = TAPS REPORT
messages = 965
EMAIL = JTerman@msn.com
UNAME = James W. Terman
DIED = Charles F. Elliott
DEATH_DATE = Sept. 24, 2002
UNIT = 351st
POSITION = Waist Gunner
RELATION = Niece or Nephew
COMMENTS = Sgt. Charles F. Elliott (middle initial listed as R. in error on record); was listed as BTG of "Lucky Lee" except for last flight as WG (right), mission 250, 6 March '44. Shot down, served 16 mo POW, Stalags Luft 3&4. Died age 81, Bloomington, Indiana

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-03-06  
AIRCRAFT: "Lucky Lee" (42-31735) CAUSE: EAC & Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: B ROW: 18  
GRAVE: 13 CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  

PHOTOS:

Thomas R. Leslie   351st   CP   Michigan   KIA   6 Mar 44   Berlin   Lucius G. Lacy Crew   (100th Photo Archives)

George W. Brannan Crew - 351st BS (left to right)
Kneeling: Thomas Leslie, Clyde F. Dale, George W. Brannan, Louis J. Denisco

Standing: Walter Austin, William F. Teaff, Charles F. Elliott, Howard T. Larimore, Robert L. Greenleaf
 (100th Photo Archives)
 
This aircraft is depicted in Keith Ferris's painting seen on the cover of "Target Berlin" by Jeffrey L. Ethell and Alfred Price.

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 3086