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S/SGT  Byron W. NELSON

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BTG
SERIAL #: STATUS: NOC
MACR:

Comments1: GOODING, ID

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
2nd Lt Billy B. Blackman         P  POW 31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt Robert E. Freshour    CP    KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG 
2nd Lt Michael V. Repole    NAV   CPT 15/4/45 ROYAN
2nd Lt Wiilliam M. Sterrett   NAV   POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG
Cpl Robert E. Fortney      ROG  KIA  31/12/44 HAMBURG
Cpl Joseph T. Pearl         TTE   KIA  31/12/44 HAMBURG
Cpl Byron W. Nelson         BTG  NOC
Cpl Basil Numack              TG   KIA  31/12/44 HAMBURG
Sgt Thomas C. Pace     WG   POW  31/12/44  HAMBURG
Cpl Andrew M. Herbert, JR     TOG  POW 31/12/44 HAMBURG

418th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined 100th Group on 5 OCT 1944 and were on their 14th mission..
A/C #43-38215 "Grumblin Gremlin" XR-P   MACR #11364, MICRO-FICHE #4182
On this final mission, S/Sgt Stanley P.Carson 
was aboard as a BTG AND WAS KIA ...S.O.C. lists him as an TTE. he was from the crew of 
J.V.DePlanque and was apparently replacing Byron W. Nelson. 
        See S.C.C. p.87 and Sqdn. Diary for Dec.1944.

ORIGINAL CREW AND POSTIONS THAT CAME OVERSEAS:

2nd Lt Billy B.Blackman    P  
2nd Lt Robert E.Freshour    CP      
2nd Lt Michael V.Repole    NAV  
2nd Lt Wiilliam M.Sterrett   BOM   
Cpl Robert E.Fortney      ROG  
Cpl Joseph T.Pearl                 TTE   
Cpl Byron W.Nelson              BTG  
Cpl Basil Numack                WG    
Sgt Thomas C.Pace                WG   
Cpl Andrew M. Herbert, JR         TG

Lt William Sterrett states: "We kept all of our original crew except Byron Nelson, BTG and Lt Mike Repole, Nav.   Nelson
was dropped because we were allowed only a nine man crew. Lt Repole was dropped because he became sick
and went to the hospital for six weeks with yellow jaundice.  We were given a ball turret gunner who only had 6 missions
to fly.  I was checked out as a Navigator and Andy (Herbert) was checked out as toggoler. When we had flown six missons
we were given a new BTG Sgt Carson, who had the same number of missions as we did".  It appears that Cpl Numack made the 
transition to TG from WG.

 MISSION LIST OF LT BILLY BLACKMAN (mpf 2001)

1. 05/11/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN
2. 06/11/44 NEUMUNSTER
3. 10/11/44 MAINZ
4. 16/11/44 AACHEN (LANGERWEKE?)
5. 29/11/44 HAMM
6. 30/11/44 MERSEBURG
7. 02/12/44 KOBLENZ
8. 04/12/44 FRIEDBURG
9. 05/12/44 BERLIN
10. 18/12/44 MAINZ
11. 27/12/44 FULDA
12. 28/12/44 KOBLENZ
13. 29/12/44 FRANKFURT
14. 31/12/33 HAMBURG (SHOT DOWN)

 
EYEWITNESS:  "A/C 215 sustained a direct flak hit on the #2 engine which began to smoke 
  and finally stopped. E/A began to attack #125 as it began to lag.  One engine
  burst into flames and a moment later the aircraft exploded. one (1) chute was seen"

From Lt. Blackman:  "As soon as we were hit the whole right wing caught fire.  I immediately
   rang the bail out bell and the toggalier and bombardier (could be referring to the            Navigatot (Lt . William M. STerrett)....pw) went out the front escape hatch.  The plane
   then blew up, throwing Tom Pace (Thomas C. Pace), the waist gunner and 
   myself clear.  The pieces of the aircraft hit about forty (40) miles toward the 
   sea from Hamburg.

Billy Blackman and his crew were hit by flak and lost #2 engine.  A little later #3 lost oil an had to be feathered
Then #4 started losing power. unable to maintain formation, 2 FW 190's came in from the tail position firing 20MM
the cockpit was detonated and the wing burst into flames.  At about 6000 meters the aircraft exploded.  4 managed to escape
or were blown out, 5 were KIA.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 Original crew of Billy B. Blackman and "GRUMBLIN GREMLIN" From left; Robert E. Fortney, William Sterrett, Robert E. L. Freshour, Thomas C. Pace, Michael V. Repole, Byron Nelson, Andrew M. Herbert, Billy B. Blackman, Joseph T. Pearl and Basil Numack. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 3835