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SGT  James M. SIDES

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG

 James M. Sides - 351st - WG - POW September 3, 1943. Richard C. King Crew Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

SERIAL #: 14085229 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00684 CR: 00684

Comments1: 3 SEP 43 BEAUMONT Le ROGER (FLAK - EXP- COL WITH 42-30089)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

                              CR# #26
CREW

Mission: Paris      M.A.C.R. #684
Date: 3 Sept.1943      Aircraft #42-30089 "SUNNY"
Time: 0920
A/C last seen: Over Beaumont AF


CREW ABOARD: Richard C.King  1st Lt  P KIA
 George D.Brykalski F/O  CP KIA
 Ernest Anderson 2nd Lt  N  POW
 Edward H.Hovde 2nd Lt  B  POW
 Robert L.McKnight T/Sgt   R  KIA (Crew #27)
 Trafford L.Curry T/Sgt  E  EVADEE
 Rudolph H.Harms S/Sgt  BT KIA
 Heber Hogge,Jr. S/Sgt RWG POW
 James M.Sides Sgt LWG  POW 
 Donald E.Wise S/Sgt  TG KIA

Barney Sutton, regular waist gunner on this crew, had flown six or seven missions when he received an appointment as an Aviation cadet. He returned to the U.S. and was replaced on the Crew by James Sides. Sutton became a navigator and, in the fall of 1944, returned to England for duty with the 398th Bomb Group. In a letter to this writer in 1979 Sutton had this to say, "The Esprit de Corp of the 398th was nothing to match the 100TH. However, at that time the 100TH had been shot down twice, and I feel sure the 398TH{ had suffered also." At the time of the September 3,1943 mission, Derrell Piel was on sick leave and was replaced by Robert McKnight, the regular radio operator of crew #27. On 8 Oct. 1943, flying with crew #22, Piel was KIA. It is rather ironic to note that McKnight's regular crew successfully completed their tour of 25 missions

Statement of Trafford Curry taken at Thorpe Abbotts in January 1944:

"I was in the top turret at the time we were hit amidships by flak from the Paris area. Our A/C left the formation in a steep dive and when it leveled off several thousand feet below I came out of my turret to see what was taking place. I quickly observed that the A/C was burning both in the bomb bay and the navigator's compartment. The A/C was very badly damaged and the fires were too far advanced to be extinguished. I put on my chute and when given the bail out order I tried to go out the navigator's hatch, but changed my mind when I saw the fire and smoke in that part of the A/C. I then went to the bomb bay and jumped through the flames that practically covered that area of the A/C. Just before I jumped I looked back and saw Lt.King and his co-pilot adjusting their chutes. After my chute opened I saw several other chutes come from my A/C, but never knew who they were. The A/C disappeared still in level flight and I learned later that it crashed in a field several miles away, still in level flight, but exploded soon after. I was not able to obtain any information about any of my crew members."

Plane was on bomb run when hit by flak and apparently lurched up and its right wing struck the tail section of A/C # 42-30059 flown by crew #23. Eyewitness accounts have some conflict but some said that bombs from #059 fell onto #089.

Heber Hogge is authority for information that Edward Hovde was wounded in left leg and had it amputated at hip. See M.A.C.R. #685 and #686 for more data on this crew.

*Note, the following came from Jim Sides personal Log recorded during World War 2.  Some of the dates were changed from the original log to correspond with the correct mission Jim is describing. Mike Faley April 1, 2000

Missions flown by S/Sgt James Sides Jr. as given on April 1, 2000
Crew 26, 351st Sqdrn,  AC #42-3234 'Little Mike"
Left Waist Gunner and Assistant Radio Operator

1.  July 24, 1943-Trondheim, Norway, Target-Submarine Pens.  Longest air raid made by  8th Air Force
bombers to date.  Twelve Hours and fifeen minutes.  Intercepted by 6 German ME 109's and Heavy Flak.
Received hit by 88mm shell in vertical stabilizer.  Bombing altitude 19,000 feet.

2.  July 25, 1943-Rostock, Germany.  Target was covered by smoke,  Bombed Submarine Pens at Kiel, Germany,
Heavy Flak, intercepted by 8 German fighters. Mission time: eight Hours.

3.  July 26, 1943-Hanover, Germany, Target was FW 190 Assembly Plant.  Attacked by German Fighters and five 
of 100th Bombers were destroyed.  bombing altitude 18,000 feet. (** Side note here, according to 100th records,
No aircraft were lost that day-Mike Faley)

4.  July 30, 1943-Kassel Germany, Target was F.W. 190 Assembly Plant.  Crossed over Belgium, met great deal of 
Flak.  Intercepted by 25 German fighter planes which followed us to the target.  Fighter attack lasted for one hour and 
fifteen minutes.  Bombed Target from 24,000 feet. Flak heavy over target.  Before leaving Germany we were met by 25 
American P-47 that flew above us.  Attacked by 3 FW 190 German Fighter Planes.  One fighter was destroyed by 
myself and ball turret gunner.  Sides was given the credit of destroying one enemy aircraft.  We were on oxygen for four 
hours and fifteen minutes.  Mission lasted 8 hours.

5.  August 12, 1943-Bonn, Germany-Primary Target was Gasoline and Oil Storage Tanks.  Secondary target was City 
of Bonn.  Heavy Flak.  Bombing altitude ws 26,000 feet.  8th lost 25 bombers this raid.

6.  August 14, 1943-Southern France-Duck Diversion Mission (*note: Duck was a symbol for decoy-MF)-Altitude
20,000 feet.  Escorted by American P-47's.  Purpose was to flush up enemy aircraft to intercept and destroy.

7.  August 15, 1943-Lille France, Target was Airport.  Secondary target at Merville, France.  Bombing altitude was
20,000 feet.  Met very heavy flak at Merville. Was intercepted by 20 German fighters.  Mission was successful.

8.  August 19, 1943-Holland-First and secondary targets were overcast.  Failed to drop bombs.  Returned to base.
Mission unsuccessful.

9. August 24, 1943-France, Air Fields in France near Paris.  Bombing altitude 24,000 feet.  Very Heavy flak and 
enemy fighters.  Our radio operator , Darrell Piel was wounded by Flak.  Was Attended by Sides.

10. September 3, 1943- Paris, France-Target was Renault Works in Paris, Secondary target was Air Field at 
Evruex, France.

Note: LITTLE MIKE, crew 26 was flying in borrowed aircraft from another crew.  LITTLE MIKE had been damaged so 
badly on a previous mission that is was unable to fly.  Bombing altitude was 23, 000 feet.  On target run we had a direct hit by 
88mm in our number 2 engine which caught fire.  We were knocked out of formation.  Our plane was still under control.  King 
attempted to get back into formation.  We were then either hit or we hit another plane.  See Crew 23 statements.  We then received direct hits by anti-aircraft fire in our bomb bay section and in the radio compartment, each hit causing fire.  All communications were knocked out in our plane.  Our ball turret gunner came out of the turret and started to put on his chute, saw the fire in the radio hatch and grabbed a fire ext. and started fighting the fire in the radio room.  Hogge and I were firing at enemy fighters coming in on us.  At this time smoke was so thick that we could hardly see anything, I knew it was time to get out of the aircraft, I disconnected my oxygen and motioned for Hogge to bail out.  Hogge and I both were wearing backtype parachutes.  At that time
I apparently blacked out from the lack of oxygen.  I heard a very loud explosion.   When I came to, I realized that I was falling, I was then able to grab my ripcord and pulled.  I then determined that I was about 5000 feet above the ground.  That I had fallen about 15,000 feet while I was unconscious.  There was a German fighter circling around me all the way to the ground.  Probably 
radioing my position to my captors.  I was captured immediately then transported to Bastille Prison where I was kept during the night.  Both of my ears had been ruptured along with some flak wounds in my back.  The next day I was transported to Frankfurt, then to Dulag Luft Prison.  Two weeks later I was transported to Munich to Stalag 7A.  Thirty days later I was transported by cattle car to Stalag 17B at Krems Austria.  Was interned there until March 26, 1945.  On that Day 4200 American POW's were forced to march across Austria in the foothills of the Carpathain mountains to Insbrook Austria.  Appox. 280 miles.  On May 3. 1945 we were liberated by Pattons 13th Armored Division.  Then transported to Camp Luckie Strike in France.
Met Edward Hovde and Ernest Anderson at the 100th Reunion in Tampa Florida in 1990.  We did not know about Curry until later years .Hogge said that he bailed out and did not know about Curry before the airplane blew up.  Therefore, it appears that I was the only survivor that survived the explosion.  Also, I am the only remaining survivor of my crew.  God has really blessed me.
                                                              JIM SIDES-APRIL 1, 2000


"I was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group , early July 1943. I enlisted in the Army Air Corp. November 1942. Received my wings in Las Vegas as an Armament Gunner in early June 1943 and was shipped overseas mid June 1943, I went over on the Queen Mary.  Spent two weeks at advanced gunnery school in England. Was then shipped to the 100th. as a replacement gunner. The 100th was my first assignment, as a gunner. prior to my replacement to Barney Sutten. I had not seen any combat at all. 
Since I was assigned to the 100th. early July 1943 I had no knowledge of the missions flown by the crew of Little Mike., except
they had flown five or six missions. and had flown with no casulties at that time. Mike I have not been able to find any photos of our plane "Little Mike" I had read some time in later years that the "little Mike" has gone down on another mission. I do not have any facts of this. You will recall in one of my previous Emails to you that the day that we went down, we were flying a borrowed aircraft, due to the fact our aircraft been damaged in a previous mission."               Jim Sides  4/4/2000

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Beaumont Le Roger DATE: 1943-09-03  
AIRCRAFT: "Sunny" (42-30089) CAUSE: FLAK- Collision - Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 James M. Sides photographed as a POW. Richard C. King Crew. Copy of a Luftwaffe Archives photograph. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 4759