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S/SGT  George N. OFIESH

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: ROG

 George N. Ofeish of the George W. Ford crew. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

SERIAL #: 13038110 STATUS: POW
MACR: 03024 CR: 03024

Comments1: 4 MAR 44 BERLIN W/ Lt SEATON CREW AS TOGG

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
2ND LT GEORGE W. FORD                 P POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN (with Lt Ear Williams Crew, see note below)
2ND LT AMERICUS V. COMBS             CP XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
2ND LT GLENN M. LASHBROOK        NAV XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
2ND LT NATHAN COOPER             BOM XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
S/SGT GEORGE N, OFEISH             ROG POW 4 MAR 44 BERLIN (with Lt Seaton Crew, see below)
S/SGT JOHN J. MURPHY                 TTE XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
   SGT KENNTH C. STROUGH          BTG XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
   SGT VIRGIL F. SUMMERS             WG KIA   6 MAR 44 BERLIN (with Lt A.F. AMIERO CREW)
   SGT JACK KOSSIN                    WG XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
   SGT JOHN P. WILLIAMS               TG XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43

349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, arrived 349th sqdn. 12 Sep 1943 according to Glenn Lashbrook. He also states that a day or two after arriving, Lt George Ford was demoted to a copilot and replaced as first pilot on the Crew by Lt Charles A. Brooks from the Crew of Lt Victor Reed (see below). Lt Ford was shot down with the Crew of Lt Earl Williams (see note below)  

CREW

DATE: 4 March 1944            350th Sqdn. A/C 42-38016
TARGET: Berlin                     MACR #3024 Micro-fiche # 1022

1st Lt Stanley M.Seaton            P   POW Taps 25 Aug 1988
2nd Lt William F.Clayton           CP  POW
2nd Lt Charles F.DeWolfe,Jr.   NAV POW Taps 07 Jun 1988
 T/Sgt George N.Ofiesh     TOG POW
 T/Sgt Joseph A.Judd        ROG POW
 T/Sgt Peter A.Hogan        TTE POW Taps 22 Oct 1987
 S/Sgt Robert H.Cook        BTG POW
 S/SgtArthurJ.Labreque    RWG POW Taps 12 Aug 1982
S/Sgt Loydell Malone          LWG POW
 S/Sgt Leming Hull              TG KIA

This plane apparently damaged by enemy a/c and crew,except possibly Sgt.Hull, bailed out over village of Kesseling (District of Ahrweiler) and became POWs.

From a German report the following is quoted: "On 4 Mar 1944 at 1500 hours,a four engine enemy aircraft crashed ,approximately 1 kl north of the village of Kesseling (District of Ahrweiler). The a/c exploded on the ground when it crashed. It burned completely and could not be salvaged. Type unknown. Leming Hu11,35671600 T 43 S Sgt DEAD. The rest of the crew bailed out and were captured. They were sent to Vulag (Luft) Oberursel on 5 Mar 1944. The identification of the deceased is attached herewith,the other one buried with the body. The deceased was interred on 6 Mar 44,in the Community Cemetary in Kesseling."

This was the 14/15 mission for this crew.

CREW:
1ST LT  VICTOR REED                           P:   TRANSFERRED FROM 100TH
F/O CHARLES A. BROOKS                    CP:  CPT,  16/12/43  BREMEN (became 1st pilot of Lt Ford Crew)
2ND LT  HOWARD D. BASSETT          NAV:  CPT, 14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN
2ND LT  JOSEPH P. ARMANINI          BOM:  CPT,  DATE & MISSION UNKNOWN
T/SGT   GLENN N. ALBRIGHT            TTE:  CPT,  14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN
S/SGT   RICHARD O. DETWEILER        WG:  CPT, 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART
T/SGT   JAMES S. DOUGHERTY         ROG:  CPT,  DATE & MISSION UNKNOWN
S/SGT   RICHARD M. PRICE                BTG:  NOC
S/SGT   THOMAS D. BAER                 WG:  KIA,  6 MAR 44 BERLIN WITH LTALBERT AMIERO CREW
S/SGT   CLIFFORD T. MINER               TG:  NOC

349th Sqdn.  This is an "Original" crew that flew over with the group.  Charlie Brooks became 1st pilot on the Lt George W. Ford Crew and 
completed the tour.

MISSIONS OF 1ST LT. CHARLES A. BROOKS WITH CREW #37 (Copilot Lt Combs)


 DATE  MISSION  A/C # & NAME

12. 23/09/43 VANNES  25861 LADEN MAIDEN
13. 26/09/43 PARIS   25861 LADEN MAIDEN
14. 27/09/43 EMDEN  25861 LADEN MAIDEN
15. 02/10/43 EMDEN  230088 SQUAWKIN HAWK
16. 04/10/43 SAARLUIS, HANAU 230088 SQUAWKIN HAWK
17. 20/10/43 DUREN
18. 03/11/43 WILHELMSHAVEN 
19. 05/11/43 GELSENKIRCHEN
20. 07/11/43 DUREN
21. 13/11/43 BREMEN
22. 16/11/43 RJUKAN, NORWAY 

WARTIME DIARY OF GLENN  M. LASHBROOK (NAV. ON LT FORD CREW)

June 19, 1943
 Graduated Mather Field, Calif. -- Class of 43-9 and given 10 day delay and 3 days travel time before reporting to first duty station.

July 2, 1943
 Reported to 330th Bombardment Group, Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas - - Group did not need any navigators.

July 4, 1943 
 Re-assigned and reported to 333rd Bomb Gp, Dalhart Air Force Base, Dalhart, Texas.

July 5, 1943
 Assigned to 466th Bomb Gp Squadron, Savoie Provisional Group as Navigator on Lt George Ford's crew, flying B-17s. Crew was then near end of second phase of it's training.


August 17, 1943
 Left Dalhart for Scott Field, Illinois after having 8 day leave, which was spent in Santa Ana, Calif. with Barbara. (Wife of Glenn Lashbrook)

August 22, 1943
 Left Scott Field for Dow Field, Bangor, Maine after completion of staging. Day before leaving, Mom, Dad, Irene, Richard, Isabel and Allan came down and we drove to St. Louis..Flying time to Dow Field: 6½ hours.

August 25, 1943
 Left Dow Field for Goose Bay, Laborador. Uneventful flight of 4½ hours. Pilot did let-down on Goose Bay radio because of heavy undercast and the country looked very green and beautiful when we broke through. Goose Bay is a combination American - Canadian field, many different uniforms were in evidence. The BOQ was very good.
August 26, 1943
 Left Goose Bay for Bluie West One on Greenland. Shot one sun line, the only celestial work on the whole trip, the rest DR from a flight plan with use of radio beams for course corrections. Arrived at Bluie West One, a small field at the end  of a fjord, and all the enlisted men crowded into the nose for a good look. We received orders to proceed to Meeks Field, Iceland. Arrived Meeks Field after 10 hours in the air and it was dark so the lights were a welcome sight.

August 27, 1943
 Flew from Meeks Field to Prestwick, Scotland by way of Stonoway, an uneventful 4 hour flight. Used Air Transport Command's book on the trip across and it provided great circle courses, distances, and variation so that it was only necessary to apply metro data to figure a flight plan.

August 28, 1943
 Reported to Combat Crew Replacement Center No. #11 Bovingdon, near London after an all night trip from Scotland on the train.

September 12, 1943
 Reported to the 100th Bombardment Group at Thorpe Abbotts near Diss. Norfolk. Assigned to the 349th Bombardment Squadron. Commanding Officer, Major Veal. Crew given a new first pilot, F/O Charles Brooks.

September 23, 1943
 Flew as spare on raid to Vannes, France. Couldn't find group and returned to base from Portland Bill. Given credit for a combat mission through a clerical error.

September 24, 1943
 On blind -- bombing practice mission over the North Sea. Were led too close to the Frisian Islands and ME-109s and FW-190s attacked the formation catching it completely off guard. 100th lost one ship (Gossage) and half the crew drowned when jumping into water. British E-Boat happened to be passing to raid the Dutch Coast and took five survivors with them.

September 26, 1943
 Mission to Paris. Unable to bomb due to heavy undercast and jettisoned bombs in English Channel. Saw first flak from Amiens and Abbeville.

September 27, 1943
 Mission to Emden. Flew on left wing of Col. Harding who was in a Pathfinder ship -- we were second ship over target. P-47 support very effective and saw no enemy fighters, although some ships in succeeding combat wings were lost. Bombing results were not too good, but mission was a great success for first long range support of fighters.

October 2, 1943
 Emden again. Not in such good position and encountered fighter opposition. Didn't get to bombing altitude until reaching I.P.

October 4, 1943
 Started to Frankfurt but never found it and bombed Saarlautern by mistake. Lead Navigator brought us back by way of Paris but weren't fired at. Reached England in a very lost condition.

October 9, 1943
 Mission to Marienberg in East Prussia. Flew with Magee Fuller as first pilot and were in the air 11 hours, but never over 13,000 feet. Focke-Wolf assembly plant almost completely destroyed - considered a most outstanding job of precision bombing. When the 100th reached the target huge columns of smoke were rising, but groups incendiaries missed target anyhow.

October 20, 1943
 Mission to Duren, Germany. Flew as high as 30,000 feet to rise above 10/10 cloud cumulo-Nimbus clouds above the Continent. Was very miserable from bends. Flak holes in ship.

November 3, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Wilhelmshaven. Good results.

November 5, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Gelsenkirchen in Ruhr Valley. Missed target completely. Encountered heavy flak and got small holes in wings.

November 7, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Duren

November 13, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Bremen. Equipment in lead ship went out and finally crossed unto Denmark near Island of Sylt. Turned back and encountered considerable fighter opposition. Jettisoned bombs in North Sea. Came back single ship with new crew on our right wing. Terrific headwinds so did considerable sweating before English Coast was sighted. Did a lousy job of navigating and was glad to get a QDM from the base.

November 16, 1943
 Raid on power station at Rjukan, Norway, a ten hour mission. Led second element in lead squadron. Capt Barr led group (The 100th was led by Owen "Cowboy" Roane on this mission)    Capt Payne "Bubbles" and Capt Peel were lead Navigator and Bombardier and both did excellent jobs and the mission was a success. Forced to climb to 18,000 feet just off English Coast to go above a front upon returning.

November 26, 1943
 Day after Thanksgiving. Moved from the 100th to the 482nd Bomb Gp at Alconbury, Huntingdonshire. Assigned to the 812th Squadron to learn "Mickey" system (H2X)  of Pathfinder navigation. Lt Flesh became first pilot of the old 100th crew.    

Note

CREW

2ND LT GEORGE W. FORD  P POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT JEAN B. PITNER  CP EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN (see lettter below)
2ND LT ARNO E. PILISCHKE  NAV EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT ARTHUR G. BODEI  BOM POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
T/SGT MAX S. NEWMAN  ROG KIA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
T/SGT ANDREW F. HATHAWAY TTE EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT GEORGE E. JONES  BTG KIA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT LEO J. BIANCHI  WG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT CARL G. GLASMEIER  WG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT DENTON L., KING  TG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN

349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, apparently joined the 100th Group in Nov 1943 as this is believed to be their first mission. Crews Original pilot was Lt Earl Williams.   MACR # 1394, Microfiche # 464, A/C # 42-31215

EYEWITNESS: A/C # 215 was hit in # 2 engine when two FW 190s attacked the low squadron at 1045 hrs. Fell out of formation and dived for cloud cover.  E/A followed but P-47s came to the rescue.  A/C was seen from time to time flying below the formation.  At 1048 hrs one chute was seen and at 1103 hrs nine more chutes were seen. At 1105 hrs it hit the ground and exploded, near 49 32N and 02 00E.  During the last few minutes of flight fire spread over the entire left wing.

That Pitner % Plischke were successful evadees is evidenced by signing a report to the Adjutent General's office dated 5 Feb 44.  This same report indicates Andrew Hathaway also returned to duty also evading. The record for Denton King is not clear; he may have been an evadee rather than a POW.

This is remains some difficulty in determining G.W Ford's role with this crew.  (Letter to Jim Brown from Jean Pitner regarding this matter follows..

                                            

Dear Jim: ( 26 November 1990)

Forty seven years ago today, I was shot down.  Twenty seven days before that I signed in at the 100th. First, let me answer your specific question regarding Earl Williams and George Ford.  Earl was first pilot on my crew. I met him, as well as my navigator and bombardiar, at Walla Walla, Washington.  Earl was an "old timer".  He had been an enlisted radio operator in Hawaii before the peacetime draft and during the attack of December 7, 1941.  When I met him he was a 1st Lt., married and no children.  The rest of us had just graduated from flying schools; in my case "travel time" from Blackland AAB, Waco, Texas, to Moses Lake, Washington, then on to Walla Walla.

Earl and I flew a couple of local flights after we arrived at the 100th.  He, as well as all of the crew (except me), flew combat missions shortly after we arrived at the 100th. each of them flew with different crews at different times as substitutes on various crews

Our crew was scheduled to fly together for the first time on 26 November 1943.  I was not included.  An experienced multi missioned pilot would "check out the crew and sign off Earl as combat ready.  I do not know what happened during the night to change the plans, but I was awakened early in the morning and told that I would fly and Earl would not.  Earl was as surprised as I.

I met George Ford at briefing.  He was a captain, said very little, mentioned that he had flown fourteen (I think) missions. He also told me that this was a good starting mission for me (my first) and that it would be a "piece of cake" and a "milk run". The last time I saw George was as we were bailing out. I never believed, nor was I told, that George was a "new crew member" who would continue to fly with us.  I thought he was sort of a "check ride" for a new crew.  So much for George now back to Earl. The last time I saw Earl was when he came to London to make a personal identification of me for Army Intelligence. I recall that Earl had changed.  I thought he was "flak happy", and for a little while I thought he either did not know me, or would not make the identification.  He did, but the intelligence officers weren't satisfied.  Intelligence demanded two other officers from the 100th to come and make the identification. To shorten this phase, Intelligence had to accept Earl's ID because there were no officers in the 100th who knew me!

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-03-04  
AIRCRAFT: "Seaton's Sad Sacks" (42-38016) CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 3918