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LT  John F. LUNDQUIST

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P
SERIAL #: O-816515 STATUS: POW
MACR: CR: 99934

Comments1: 10 NOV 44 WEISBADEN (DAWSON, MINN)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
        A/C #42-106986  MACR #10356, MICRO - FICHE # 3816

1ST LT JOHN F. LUNDQUIST         P POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM,  TAPS: 27 JUN 1987
1ST LT WILLIS C. DICKERMAN     CP POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM
1ST LT JAMES V. GOSS          NAV KIA   10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM
1ST LT DONALD G. MESTON     BOM POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM
CPL JOHN S. WILLIAMSON, JR      ROG POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM
CPL IRVING WELLS                 TTE POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM   TAPS: 05 APR 1978
CPL JACK W. MOORE              BTG POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM    TAPS: 13 MAR 1979
CPL JAMES L. RAYNOR              WG POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM
CPL PAUL J. AMON                  NG NOC
CPL IVAN F. HUNTER               TG POW 10 NOV 44 WIESBADEN & INGELHEIM

418th Sqdn. This crew joined the 100th on 17 Jul 1944 and were on their 34th mission on 10 Nov 44.

EYEWITNESS:  "A/C #986 was damaged by flak over the target at 1239 hours. #1 and #3 engines were windmilling. 
At 1242 hours pilot called for fighter escort and asked for a heading to nearest friendly airfield.  Aircraft left the
formation at 1243 hours at 5009N and 0810E and headed back alone."

Several crew members reported Lt. James V. Goss was killed br a shard of flak which pentrated his steel helment. All crew members with the exception of Lt Goss successfully bailed out and were taken prisoner.

Mission No. 33
November 10, 1944
Copyright 2000 by Clark Dickerman

I have been asked to write an article about my experiences in World War II, as a member of the 100th Bomb Group. I have read several excellent articles by our members of their experiences including details of how missions were set up and run, so to avoid repeating this I will skip to the point where our plane was hit by several simultaneous bursts of flak.

The mission for the day was the marshaling RR yards at Wiesbaden, Germany. It was expected to be a relatively light mission and it seemed as so it really was going to be. However after turning on the IP and heading toward the target , our leader aborted and we were ordered to fill in the spot vacated by the alternate lead. No sooner had we moved into place when we were hit by several bursts of flack. Numbers 1, 3 and 4 engines were hit at one time and we were unable to feather any of the props. The vibration was severe and it was hard to read any of the instruments, we told the crew to throw out anything they could to lighten the plane, increased the manifold pressure on No. 2, and headed west towards occupied France. Our navigator, James Goss, was killed by the same bursts that knocked out the engines, so we didn’t know the shortest heading to take, but knew that France was west. Our altitude was about 30,000, so we headed west and were only loosing about 300 to 400 feet per minute and felt that we had a fighting chance of making France. We had flown about fifteen or twenty minutes when No. 2 caught fire and the order to bail out was given.

It was my first (and last) parachute jump, but after the chute opened it was rather nice and peaceful. The view was great with no scary feeling of height. As I floated down, I could see a small town at the base of a hill that was covered with woods. I landed in a clearing at the top of the hill and at the edge of the woods – gathering my chute up I hid it under some branches and leaves and headed into the woods. It wasn’t long before I could hear people yelling and shouting, so I picked out a good clump of bushes, away from a path, and got under them. We had been told that if possible don’t be taken by civilians or SS Troops, so I stayed in my bush until dark and headed out in a westerly direction. I continued for three days, first traveling by night and then by night and day with small rest breaks. The time of year was November, it was cold with occasional snow flurries, misty and not the kind of weather for an electric heated flying suit without electricity. During my third day, I was crossing an open field, when two German soldiers came around a bend in the road and saw me. They called me over and asked if I was an American. I thought it was pretty obvious from my flight suit, but said "Ja wohl". I told them I hadn’t eaten for three days and they each gave me a sandwich from their packs. They were like our GIs and not SS, in fact after supper, seeing my condition, one of them gave me his air mattress and he slept on the floor.

During the following days I was transferred from one outpost to another, ending up in a fairly large city in a civilian prison, in a cell all to myself for about a week. During that time I had made friends with a German civilian prisoner and we played chess to pass the time. Finally some Luftwaffe people picked me up and took me to the interrogation center. I was only there a few days as I was the last of our crew and they didn’t seem too interested except to ask "With such a fine German name, what are you fighting against the father land for?"

My next stop was at the Red Cross center where we were issued a complete set of GI clothing, including hat and overcoat. I would be remiss if at this point I did not give credit to the Red Cross. Not that the clothing we received wasn’t great, but the Red Cross food parcels that were furnished us to fill out the German rations kept us reasonably healthy. The German civilians were short of food and the Red Cross trucks from Switzerland were often waylaid yet they kept coming.

After the Red Cross center we were put on a troop train and sent to Stalag Luft III, at Sagan. This was an older original Luftwaffe camp for Airmen. It seems the Luftwaffe got the best of everything, and the camp showed it. There was a library with English books, a theatre for the prisoners to put on plays, athletic field and equipment. It was still a prison camp, and the one that the movie "The Great Escape" was based on. On arrival in the camp and after entrance to our section we were walked between rows of prisoners to see if any of them recognized us. Those not recognized were interviewed in an attempt to be sure we were really prisoners. The camp was divided into four separate compounds, which originally were separated by Nationality, but as the camp became filled this was not done and I ended in the British Compound. I believe there were about 10,000 prisoners in the camp. The camp was run by the "X" organization, which kept the secret radio, received and approved escape plans, and held meetings in each barracks to inform us of the latest news from BBC, and other items. Life at Sagan was not too bad, the main problem was food. The German rations were very meager, as I am sure so were the rations to the German populace. German rations consisted of thin soup, a few potatoes and an occasional rutabaga. If it were not for the Red Cross parcels to supplement the German food, we would all have been in bad shape. A parcel weighed 10 pounds and contained butter or oleo, coffee, canned meat, biscuits, jam, chocolate, powdered whole milk in each box. We were all given notebooks and pencils by the Red Cross, and we kept lists of recommended restaurants, recipes, anything to do with food. Food above all else was the main topic of conversation in the camp.

In early January, about midnight, we were told to break up camp. The Russians were on the move and the Germans were moving us west. The camp at Sagan was about ½ way between Berlin and Breslau. The barracks were divided in rooms of about 10 men to a room, and each room knocked down the beds, bed slats etc. and made crude sleds or toboggans on which to put bedding and to make a pass by the Red Cross warehouse to pick up extra Red Cross parcels. Ropes were made from sheets to pull the sled. Fortunately there was plenty of snow for the sleds. The march was a forced march with short breaks for two or three days until we were loaded in small freight cars and finally we ended up at Nurnberg.

The camp at Nurnberg was empty and anything but plush. The barracks contained bunk beds, three high – but the problem was that there were no bed slats. We used the sled ropes and tore up more sheets for rope and made slings to put our blankets on. The idea worked and held, but I was still glad I was not on the bottom bunk! Toilet facilities were bad, there were only two water spigots for the whole group, and the main food was a thin maggot infested soup. After a month or two at this resort, Gen. Patton’s Armored Divisions were making a push in our direction and we were on the march again.

The second march was much different from the first one. The weather was early Spring, there was no forced marching-everything was relaxed. Our guards were old Wehrmacht soldiers who realized the war was all but over, our commanding officers ordered us to stay together and not try to escape as we would only screw up the war effort. The pace was slow, sometimes we would spend a day or two at some place to allow troop movements to go by. Although we did not have food with us, we had all kinds of cigarettes from the Red Cross packages and we would trade for food with the civilians. Cooking was done singularly, or in groups of various sizes. My friend and I were a cooking team and I can remember one time when we were camped for several days near a town to allow a troop movement, that the food trading became more difficult as the natives were traded out. So my buddy and I took a hike away from camp, stopping at farmhouses to trade. As we were walking along the road, one of our German guards came by on a bike and he waved to us and we waved back! At one farm the farmer was fixing a bike and we helped him and then he took us in and gave us a nice meal. Overall it was a pleasant time. The weather was mild, we ate well (I even remember fresh eggs), but eventually it was over and we arrived at Mooseberg, several miles east of Munich.

Mooseberg was the final destination for many of the prison camps located throughout Germany. The first ones to arrive were housed in barracks, but they soon filled up, and by the time we arrived there was a large and growing tent city. Our crew was finally together with the exception of one of the gunners, but we had reports that he had made it OK and was probably in another camp. We were only there a few weeks when Patton’s 13th Armored arrived late in April and had a skirmish with some German SS troops. But the fighting was soon over, and from the camp we could look down on a small town and see the American Flag raised from the tallest building. It was the most spine tingling experience that I have had, and to this day, the sight of our flag being raised brings back this memory. General Patton himself came into camp with his troops. He was all spit and polish and gave a speech to all the prisoners.

We were flown out on C-47’s, put on ships at Camp Lucky Strike and entered New York harbor, past the statue of liberty with fire boats spraying water and whistles blowing. It was quite a homecoming!

MEMO 2:

Crew was on their 34th Mission.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Weisbaden DATE: 1944-11-10  
AIRCRAFT: "Sack Artist" (42-106986) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 3214