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LT  Donald J. ROTH

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: CP
SERIAL #: O-818756 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 05384 CR: 05384

Comments1: 5 JUN 44 BOULOGNE

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT FERDINAND J. HERRES             P CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
2ND LT DONALD J. ROTH                CP KIA 05 JUNE   44 BOULOGNE, FR (WITH LT MARK WILSON CREW)
2ND LT ALVIN F. RINGHOFER         NAV CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY sn# 0-708377
2ND LT BURROUGHS E. CONOVER    BOM CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
S/SGT ROBERT M. MULGREW           TTE CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
S/SGT JAMES A. MORROW            ROG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
SGT DUELL B. BARNES                  BTG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
SGT NESTER J. NESSER                 WG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
SGT WILBUR F. WILLIAMS              WG CPT 09 SEPT 44 DUSSELDORF (WITH LT GEORGE ALLEN CREW)
SGT ANDREW R. MAIN                    TG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY

349TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE JOINED THE 100TH ON 18 APR 1944.  AIRCRAFT #43-37823 "NOW AND THEN"
SGT WILLIAMS WAS TAKEN OF THE CREW WHEN IT WAS REDUCED FROM 10 TO 9 MEN.  DATE UNKNOWN.

ON THE 11 SEP 44 MISSION TO RUHLAND THIS CREW HAD A ENGINE FIRE ENROUTE TO THE TARGET AND WERE FORCED TO ABORT THE MISSION. UNABLE TO ESTINGUISH THE FIRE, THE CREW BAILED OUT OVER SOUTHERN ENGLAND.  ALL CREW MEMEBERS WERE SAFE AND THE A/C CRASHED ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPY....jb

Overseas trip (B-17): Kearny, Nebraska to Bangor Maine to Goose Bay, Labrador to Meeks Field, Iceland to Pretwick, Scotland.  Train from Prestwick, Scotland to Stone England to Diss, England.  Truck from Diss to Thorpe Abbotts, England April 18, 1944. Note: Meeks Field, Iceland. Built during WWII as U.S. Air Base at to town of Keflavik, SW Iceland (22 miles SW of Reykjavik, Iceland).  Turned over to Iceland October 1946 and renamed Keflavik Field now an international airport.

 Operational Missions of Lt Ferd Herres, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Squadron (mpf 2003)

1. 25/04/44 DIJON, AIRFIELD,  FR.
2. 26/04/44 BRUNSWICK, GER.
3.   28/04/44   CHERBOURG, FR (SOTTEVAST IN OUR RECORDS)
4. 29/04/44 BERLIN, GER.
5. 07/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
6. 08/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
7. 09/05/44 LAON/COUVRON, FR.
8. 11/05/44 LIEGE, BELG.
9. 13/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER. (FIRST GROUP LEAD)
10. 28/05/44 MEGDEBURG, GER, 
11. 31/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER.
12. 06/06/44 FALAISE, FR (D-DAY)
13. 12/06/44 LE ARLOT, BELGIUM
14. 18/06/44 BRUNSBUTTELKOG, GER.
15. 20/06/44 BERLIN-FALLERSLEBEN, GER.
16. 21/06/44 BERLIN-BASDORF, GER.
17. 22/06/44 PARIS, FR. 
18. 24/06/44 ROUEN, FR.
19. 25/06/44 NO-BALL, FR., (MAQUIS SUPPLY DROP)
20. 06/07/44 PAS DE CALAIS, FR.
21.   07/07/44   LEIPZIG-GOTTINGEN, GER.
22.   13/07/44   MUNICH, GER.      
23. 18/07/44 KIEL, GER.
24. 20/07/44 MERSEBURG, GER.
25. 21/07/44 REGENSBURG, GER.
26. 24/07/44 NORMANDY-ST LO, FR.
27. 25/07/44 NORMANDY-ST LO, FR.
28. 31/07/44 MUNICH, GER.
29. 04/08/44 HAMBURG, GER.
30. 11/08/44 PARIS-VILLACOUBLAY, FR.
31. 14/08/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, GER.
32. 27/08/44 BERLIN, GER.
33. 11/09/44 RUHLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC; ON FIRE-BAIL OUT OVER THE STRAITS OF DOVER; LANDED AT MANSTON BASE IN ENGLAND.


 Operational Missions of 2nd Lt Alvin Ringhofer (provided by Margaret A. Ringhofer, mpf 2002) 

1. 25/04/44 DIJON, FR.
2. 26/04/44 BRUNSWICK, GER.
3. 29/04/44 BERLIN, GER.
4. 07/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
5. 08/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
6. 09/05/44 COUVRON, FR.
7. 11/05/44 LIEGE, BELG.
8. 13/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER
9. 28/05/44 MEGDEBURG, GER, GERA, SECONDARY TARGET
10. 31/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER
11. 06/06/44 FALAISE, FR (D-DAY)
12. 12/06/44 ROSIERES, FR.
13. 14/06/44 LeCULOT, BELG.
14. 18/06/44 BRUNSBUTTELKOG, GER.
15. 19/06/44 ECLUSE, FR.
16. 20/06/44 FALLERSLEBEN, GER.
17. 21/06/44 RUHLAND, GER (START OF 1st RUSSIAN SHUTTLE MISSION)
18. 26/06/44 DROHOBYZ, POLAND
19. 03/07/44 ARAD, ROMANIA 
20. 05/07/44 BEZIERS, FR (RETURN FROM RUSSIAN SHUTTLE MISSION)
21. 07/07/44 MERSEBURG, GOTTINGEN, ST. GER.
22.` 18/07/44 KIEL, GER.
23. 19/07/44 SCHWEINFURT, GER.
24. 20/07/44 MERSEBURG, GER.
25. 21/07/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, GER.
26. 24/07/44 ST LO, FR.
27. 25/07/44 ST LO, FR.
28. 31/07/44 MUNICH, GER.
29. 04/08/44 HAMBURG, GER.
30. 11/08/44 VILLACOUBLAY, FR.
31. 14/08/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, GER.
32. 27/08/44 BERLIN, GER.
33. 11/09/44 RUHLAND

SHUTTLE (OPERATION FRANTIC) BOMBING MISSIONS JUNE 21, 1944 THRU JULY 5, 1944.
LANDINGS:
              MIRGOROD, RUSSIA
              KHARKOV, RUSSIA
              KIROVOGRAD, RUSSIA
              FOGGIA, ITALY

Operation narrative from Lt Ringhofer Sept 11, 1944, Ruhland:

On Sept. 11, 1944 we departed on our last required mission (#33) at 0754 for Ruhland, Germany leading the high squadron.  When we reached the other side of the Rhine River about 10 miles south of Koblenz, Germany our #3 engine ran away.  The pilot, Ferd Herres couldn't feather the propeller and as a result, it began to windmill.  We lost altitude to 18,000 feet therefore lost the formations we let down over the North Sea.  The remaining B-17's continued on towards the target.  My compass would not work so we used the pilots  mag compass for a heading home.  We dropped our bombs at 1106 to lighten the load.  We could not maintain an airspeed of 125 miles per hour for fear of overheating the engine and catching it on fire.  My altimeter and air speed meter were not operating.  We did well getting back to England, little flak and no enemy fighters.  We approached England above Dover at 1302.  Within a half a minute after turning to heading to Thorpe Abbotts (our home base) the engine caught fire.  The pilot gave orders to bail out at 1305 (16,000 feet) in the vacinity of Ramsgate Canterbury and Margate.  I followed the Bombardier out and hit my chest on the open bomb bay doors before I pulled my rip cord.  The pilot, co-pilot and engineer stayed with the plane and tried to put out the fire but to no avail so they jumped too.  There were few clouds but I did float downward through a cloud and couldn't see a thing, wondering if I might end up in the North Sea.  As I came near the ground, I just missed some high tension wires.  Three Sargeants saw me floating down and came in their jeep to see if I was ok. They took me to our their base (Mansdan airfield) where all the members of our crew finally met.  We called the 100th Bomb Group for a plane and more parachutes to take us back to Thorpe Abbotts.  I learned then that the pilot had set up the auto pilot and headed the aircraft out to the North Sea.

The injuries suffered by the crew were cartilage tears from the ribs (navigator), bruised groin (bombardier, who also hit the open bomb bay doors upon bailing out), foot bruises (tail gunner, radio operator), broken bone in foot upon hitting the ground (waist gunner).  All were x-rayed the next day).  When we talked to Intelligence at Thorpe Abbotts we were informed that all 11 of the formation who continued on toward the target were shot down.  Weren't we the lucky crew!!  These eleven plus the loss of our plane is the sum of 12 lost.  

************************************************************************************************************

CREW
                                           A/C # 42-31987  "SHILAYEE"
2ND LT MARK V. WILSON                  P    POW     5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
2ND LT CHARLES E. ADAMS              CP    CPT      WITH STANLEY CLARK CREW
2ND LT JOHN T. JOHNSTON             NAV   KIA       5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
2ND LT RALPH A. KROENKE             BOM   KIA       5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
S/SGT EUGENE V. SWEENEY           ROG   POW     5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
S/SGT JOHN W. McAULIFFE             TTE   POW     5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
   SGT DONALD M. ROHASEK           BTG   POW     5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
   SGT WILLIAM E. MORELAND        RWG  POW      5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
   SGT GEORGE B. DONAHUE          LWG  CPT       12 JUL 44  MUNICH    (WITH LT STREED CREW)
   SGT CECIL G. DAVIS                     TG   POW      5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE

349th Sqdn.  Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 21 Feb 1944.  
On 5 Jun 1944, Lt. Donald Roth, CP on the F.J. Herres crew, was flying in place of C.E.Adams and was KIA.  S/Sgt Glover Nall, from the J.A. Harrison crew, was flying in place of G.B.Donhoue and became a POW.  On 5 Jun 1944 the Wilson crew was flying a brand new silver B-17G 42-107095, XR-F since they were now a lead Crew.   shilaylee was Lt Wilsons aircraft prior to receiving this new plane.

See MACR #5384; Microfiche # 1957

For most of the crew this was their 25th to 28th mission. This according to "Completion of Sorties" record. 
Mark V. Wilson died 1 Apr 1982 at Ocala, Florida..

Cecil Davis writing in the Fall 1989 Splasher Six.

"Shilayee was no ordinary airplane, Early on our pilot, Mark Wilson, had the ground crew paint white side walls on the tires. Mark said he wanted the plane "to look sharp" and it did. Ernest Lovato painted the Irish name on the nose and the crew's flight jackets because Wilson counted six or seven Irishmen on his crew. Its number was 2317, it's call letter, 'A" for Able'. On the fuselage was 'XR' for the 349th Squadron.

It was in February, 1944, as a replacement crew in the 349th Squadron, that we first met Shilaylee. We flew our first mission in her on February 29th to Brunswick, but it was the missions to Berlin on March 3, 4, 6, and 8 that really broke us in. We got hit so often that the ground crew were grateful for our white side walls. If Mark dropped the wheels down early, it was a sign we were in trouble. The ground crew saw the white wheels and got ready in advance for a lot of work. Shilaylee was a great plane; it brought us back 20 times.

On May 24, we did not fly in Shilaylee because it had a mechanical failure. We flew to Berlin in 'Hard Luck' or 'old 413', the ground crew called it, and on that mission I earned my Purple Heart. After I got out of the hospital our crew was reassembled, and since we were near the end of our tour, we were given a new plane.

On June 5, when we were over Boulogne in our new plane, the aircraft on our right wing was hit by flak and drifted into us. In the crash we lost our co-pilot, navigator, and bombardier. Mark Wilson and I ended up as POWs in Moosburg Stalag 7 until Patton liberated us on April 29, 1945


CREW

F/O  CHARLES L. PETERSON         P     KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
2ND LT JAMES D. KEEFFE            CP    KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
2ND LT ELMER H. VISHION         NAV  KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
1ST LT JAMES F. JONES             BOM  KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
    SGT PAUL ZIMA                     ROG  KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
    SGT CARL J. PHILLIPS             TTG  KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
    SGT JAMES L. HELLER             BTG  KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
    SGT ANDREW L. ADDISION       WG  POW 05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
    SGT RICHARD J. SAWAYA         WG  KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE
    SGT CORWIN E. ALSPACH         TG   KIA   05 JUN 44 BOULOGNE

349th Sqdn.. Crew, as above, joined the 100th on 26 may 44

This was the second mission for the above crew;  EYEWITNESS REPORT: A/C #591 (Peterson) was flying right wing on A/C # 095 when 095 (Wilson) was hit by a ground rocket and collided with # 591.  The nose section of # 095 was sheared off, but it appeared to remain under control and peeled out of the formation. Five chutes were seen from # 095 as it "SSS" back toward the channel.  A/C #591 was last sighted about three miles south of Boulogne at 1015 hours.

A/C # 43-37591  MACR #5383, Microfiche # 1957

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-06-05  
AIRCRAFT: (42-107095) CAUSE: Ground Rocket - Collid  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  
ID: 4487