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Glenn Smiley, ROG on Thomas I. Anderson Crew


Comments1: 10/1/45 COLOGNE




1st Lt Thomas I.Anderson        P     CPT     10/1/45    COLOGNE
2nd Lt William M.Fratus           CP     CPT    10/1/45    COLOGNE
2nd Lt Gerald J.Klecker          NAV   CPT     10/1/45    COLOGNE
1st Lt Frederick H.Schmidt    BOM    CPT     10/1/45   COLOGNE
T/Sgt Glenn A.Smiley            ROG    CPT     10/1/45   COLOGNE
T/Sgt Michael Garemko         TTE     CPT     10/1/45   COLOGNE  
S/Sgt Angelo J.Cioffi            WG      CPT     10/1/45    COLOGNE
S/Sgt Lewis E.Herron             TG     CPT    10/1/45    COLOGNE   sn# 35708020
   Sgt Anthony P.DeMarco     BTG     RFS
   Sgt Charles R.Cramer          WG    XFR  To 9th Air Foce when reduced to 9 man crew. Flew in B-26

350th Sqdn.Crew,as above,joined 100th Group on 2/8/44. Crew roster of 
30/9/44 shows this crew as #43 but Demarco was replaced at BTG by either 
T/Sgt W.G.Jarrell sn# 14049842 & S/Sgt C.L.Doyle.  

Crew flew "HEAVEN SENT"

Michael Garemko entered the Royal Canadian Air Force in early 1941 and was sent by train to Toronto for basic training at Mannign Depot.  He was going through advanced training in Winnipeg,  Manitoba in early 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  He never completed pilot training in RCAF but transferred to USAAF and went to Officer Cadet Pilot Training.  He washed out as a pilot and without a college degree, he could not qualify for Bombardier or Navigational training.  His love of the air kept him in the Air Corp and he went to Gunnery training/Engineering School.  He became a TTE and flew on "Heaven Sent" and completed 34 Missions.  Garemko was also responsible for painting the aircraft nose art and A-2 jackets.

The only story that he (S/Sgt Garemko, TTE) frequentl recalled was when they were on the shuttle they were near Warsaw and an FW190 came in so close that he flew between the Heaven Sent and their wingman and by the time my dad got around on him the adjacent B-17 was more likely to be the recipient of the damage than the FW so held his fire. This got him a pretty stiff chewing out from Tom Andersen the pilot and it seemed to always bother him. I think my dad felt that it was a judgement call and he had made the right call but that he wasn't vindicated by the pilot. They landed in Poltava and my Dad could speak a little russian and he was able to cajole a bottle of Vodka from the locals for the crew. Not sure what he gave up in return???I am hoping to start a deeper dialog with the remaining crew to get more information before it is all gone. Thank you for your interest and any help you give me in verifying the DFC (or putting the issue to bed once and for all) will be deeply appreciated.
Thanks again
Michael Garemko, Jr.

Letter from Lewis Herron to Paul West; 31 Oct 1993

 Lewis E. Herron
Route 3 Box 101 A
Leicester, NC 28748
     (704) 683-16S5

  October 31, 1993

My name is Lewis E. Herron and I was the tail gunner on the crew of
'Heaven Sent" of the 350th Bomb Squadron, of the 100th Bomb Group,
8th Air Force.  I am going to try and give a brief history of our
tour of duty, as I remember it after 50 years.  I am also enclosing
some pictures.

Our crew members were: Thomas Anderson, Pilot; Bill Fratus, Co-
Pilot; Fred Schmidt, Bombardier and Gerald Klecker was Navigator.
Mike Garemko was our Engineer and Glenn Smiley was Radio Operator.
Our Gunners were Angelo Cioffi, Waist Gunner and I (Lew Herron) was
tail Gunner.  Gerald Easy was the Ball Turret Gunner.

We flew our first combat mission on August 24, 1944 to Rhuland,
Germany.  In early September we flew missions on the 8th, 9th and
10th.  We were in luck and did not fly on September 11th because
our Bombardier was ill.  September 11th was the day that the 350th
Squadron was wiped out and the 100th lost 13 air planes.  It was a
lonely feeling being the only crew in the quarters that night, as
the other four crews who lived there were shot down that day.  At
2 o'clock the next morning the orderly opened our door and when I
asked him who he was look for he said, "The Anderson Crew".  We
flew that day and the three missions after that, which included the
shuttle to Russia and Italy.

On  September  17,  1944,  our  Squadron  Commander,  Major  Robert
Rosenthal  pinned the Air Medal  on the members  of  our crew.
(picture enclosed).  This was the day before we flew the first leg
of the shuttle mission to drop supplies to the Polish underground
in Warsaw, Poland.  As I remember, in addition to our regular crew
we carried a Ground Mechanic, who was flying his first mission.  We
went in over Warsaw at 10,000 feet and received extremely heavy
anti-aircraft fire.  As we were leaving the drop area, the German
Fighters came at us but the U. S. P-51 Fighters prevented them from
getting close enough to do any damage.  After leaving Warsaw we
flew on to Mirogrod, Russia.  The flying time was 11 hours and 20

After we landed in Russia our Flight Engineer, Michael Garemko, who
could speak some Russian, started talking to one of the local
soldiers (Picture enclosed, Mike is in the center and Bill Fratus,
Co-Pilot is in the foreground).  We had a pleasant surprise that
night when we entered the Chow Hall.  There sat the Flight Surgeon
with our 2 ounces of bourbon, just like it was at Thorpe Abbots
after a regular mission.   The Commanding Officer had been very
thoughtful to bring him and several cases of bourbon along on the
trip .

page 2

Our next leg of the shuttle was to Budapest, Hungary where we
bombed a railroad bridge over the Danube river.  From there we flew
to Italy where we landed at an American Air Base near Foggia.  The
enlisted men along with our Co-Pilot, Bill Fratus took a sight
seeing trip to Foggia the next day.

The flight back to England was rather uneventful.  The only thing
I remember was flying over Rome and seeing the Colosseum.

Our crew flew three missions to Merseberg, Germany, which was the
most heavily defended target in Europe.  Intelligence reported that
there were 1,000 88mm guns around the synthetic oil plant, which
was our target.  On November 2, 1944 the Third Division lost 40
planes over Merseburg and when we went back on Novemher 30, 1944,
the division lost 56 planes.  As I recall this was all due to anti-
aircraft fire and not from enemy fighters.

Our crew also flew on Christmas Eve 1944, which was the first day
the weather broke during the Battle of the of the Bulge.  Reports
said that this was the largest raid on Germany with  2,000 bombers
in the air.  Our group led the Third Division and I remember that
afternoon on our return to England,  there were still  groups
crossing the English Channel on their way to Germany.  We did not
fly the mission to Hamburg on December 30, when the Hundredth lost
10 aircraft.

Our last mission was January 10, 1945, and we were the first crew
in the 350th Squadron to complete a tour of missions between August
1944 and January 1945.  The Enlisted Men's Mess Hall had a special
table called the "Lucky Bastards' Table", complete with a checkered
table cloth, China and silverware.  That is where the Mess Sergeant
served our specially prepared meal for our entire crew the next

This  completes this  report of my remembrances  of Lt.  Thomas
Anderson's Crew.

Lewis E. Herron

Missions of S/Sgt Lewis E. Herron (mpf 2002)

#      DATE                 MISSION                                         TIME

      10/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               5:10
      11/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               3:30
      11/08/44          2ND PRACTICE MISSION THAT DAY        3:15
      12/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               5:05
      16/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               4:55
      17/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               3:20
      17/08/44          2ND PRACTICE MISSION THAT DAY        4:30
      19/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               3:10
      23/08/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               2:25
1.   24/08/44          RUHLAND                                             8:20
2.   25/08/44          POLITZ                                                9:10
3.   30/08/44          BREMEN                                               7:05
      31/08/44          PRACTICE                                            3:50
4.     1/09/44          MAINZ                                                 7:10
5.     3/09/44          BREST                                                 7:35
6.     8/09/44          MAINZ                                                 7:15
7.     9/09/44          DUSSELDORF                                        6:25
8.   10/09/44          NURNBURG                                           8:00
9.   12/09/44          MAGDEBURG                                         7:50
10. 13/09/44          SINDELFINGEN                                      7:10
      15/09/44         "OPERATION FRANTIC" RECALL                6:10
11. 18/09/44          WARSAW (2ND RUSSION SHUTTLE)       11:10
12. 19/09/44          SZOLNOK                                              7:50
     22/09/44           RETURN FROM ITALY                             9:05
13.  28/09/44         MERSEBURG                                          8:15
14. 30/09/44          BIELEFELD                                            6:25
15.  2/10/44           KASSEL                                                7:20
16.  3/10/44           NURNBURG                                           8:20
17.  5/10/44           HANDORF (RECALL)                               5:55
18.  6/10/44           BERLIN                                                7:50
19.  7/10/44           BOHLEN                                               8:50
20.  9/10/44           WEISBADEN & MAINZ                            6:40
     10/10/44           PRACTICE MISSION                               3:15
     11/10/44           PRACTICE MISSION                               1:00
     21/10/44           PRACTICE MISSION                               3:45
     22/10/44           PRACTICE MISSION OR ABORT               2:40
     28/10/44           PRACTICE MISSION                               4:10
     29/10/44           PRACTICE MISSION                               3:35
21.  2/11/44           MERSEBURG                                         8:00
22.  6/11/44           NEUMUNSTER                                      7:15
23.  9/11/44           SAARBRUCKEN                                     7:30
     20/11/44           PRACTICE MISSION                              4:50
24. 29/11/44          HAMM                                                 6:30
25. 30/11/44          MERSEBURG                                         8:30
       8/12/44          PRACTICE MISSION                               2:30
       9/12/44          PRACTICE TAKEOFF AND LANDINGS          :40
26. 11/12/44         GIESSEN                                               7:30
      13/12/44         OSNABRUCK (RECALL, BAD WEATHER)     5:50
      14/12/44         PRACTICE MISSION                                1:40
27.  24/12/44        KAISERLAUTERN                                    8:00
28.  27/12/44        FULDA                                                  7:50
29.  29/12/44        FRANKFURT                                           7:50
30.  30/12/44        KASSEL                                                 7:30
31.   5/01/45         FRANKFURT                                         10:15
32.   7/01/45         COLOGNE                                              8:00
33. 10/01/45         COLOGNE                                              7:00

Pic1: William. G.(Easy) Jarrell S/Sgt AF 14049842 (Heaven Sent) Ball Turret Gunner.
Pic2: Back Row Right as you're Looking W.G. Jarrell, Kneeling: L to R: Mike Garemko(Eng), T.I. Anderson(Pilot Cmdr),Fred Schmidt(Bomb), Unknown, Gerald Klecker(Nav). Dad couldn’t remember who was who, but one waist gunner was named Angelo Cioffi, Glenn Smiley was the Radio Operator. He flew 14 missions on Heaven Sent. 13 before the aircraft had a name. He was assigned to the crew because the Ball Turret Gunner that came over with the Crew, after talking with the others, decided he didn't want the job.
Pic3: The Ground Crew. Dad couldn't remember their names.
Pic4: L to R: 1st Lt T.I. Anderson, 2nd Lt William Fratus, and 2nd Lt Fred Schmidt
Pic5: L to R: 1st Lt. T.I. Anderson, 1st Lt Fred Schmidt, and 2nd Lt William Fratus

Dad was a spare gunner before being assigned to Lt T.I. Anderson's Crew.  He Bailed out of Lil' Casino when it ditched after being shot down over Holland. Only mission he flew on it as a waist gunner. My dad's first 5 missions were on Roger's Raider, then that crew went home. All were as a waist gunner.

He Flew to the following targets: Germany: Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Magdeburg, Merseburg, Munich, Munster, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, and Wilhelmshaven. France: Brest, Normandy, St. Nazaire, and Near St. Lo. Norway: Trondheim. Russian Shuttle Mission:  Poltava(sp), after dropping arms in Poland.
Bombers he was a spare Gunner on: 418th: Royal Flush (2:waist), Messie Bessie (1;Waist): 350th: Rogers Raiders (5; Waist), Lil' Casino (2;Waist), Big Casino (2; Ball Turret), Fireball Empress (2; Ball Turret), Fireball Express (2; Tail, Waist), and Heaven Sent (14; Ball Turret), Fletcher’s Castoria (1;waist)  He thinks this is right, the only two he was sure of was Rogers Raiders and Heaven Sent. He said the numbers should be right for the others but wasn't sure.

Bill Jarrell Jr. 

UNAME = Michael A. Garemko, Jr.
CONNECTION = I am a relative of a 100th veteran
COMMENTS = Remarks made by 
Michael A. Garemko, Jr.

At the funeral of his father,

June 26, 2002

The poet said, “No man should die unwept, unhonored, and unsung”.

If you met my father on the street, there was a better than 50/50 chance that within 10 minutes you would know that he had flown 34 combat missions in a B-17G with the Bloody Hundredth Bomb Group.  I don’t think he ever missed a chance to tell people about this.  I have often wondered why this was so and after much reflection I believe that I now have a pretty good understanding.  Like so many men of his generation, the experiences he endured between 1940 and 1945 shaped everything that was to come after for him.

My uncle Bud, who also passed away earlier this year, was a great pal of my Dad’s before the war.  They were both interested in flying and they both set out to obtain their pilot’s licenses in the late 1930’s.  I can only go by the stories, but it sounded like they were both quite dashing and daring.  I hear tales of flying under the Portland Bridge and the Charter Oak Bridge in Hartford.  

Dad was quick to laugh in those days and with great reflexes and outstanding athleticism, he was well equipped to become a pilot.  But a little guy with a funny moustache in Europe had other plans.  It was obvious to my father that war was surely coming and he didn’t want to spend it as a “ground-pounder”.  The Royal Canadian Air Force had a severe need to increase its pilot corps to prepare for war and, best of all they were willing to give guys without college degrees a chance to become pilots.  That was all my dad needed to hear, and he enlisted early in 1941 and was sent by train to Toronto to basic training at Manning Depot.  He was going through advanced training in Winnipeg Manitoba when in December 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and just as it did last year in 9/11, this country underwent a sea change.  The game had been changed, and my father knew he would want to serve with his country and the US forces.  The Canadians discharged him from the King’s service and he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and he was accepted as an Officer Cadet in Pilot Training.  

I never really knew why, but he washed out of Pilot Training, still his love of flying kept him in the Air Corps.  Without a college degree, he wasn’t eligible for Navigator or Bombardier training, and so he was sent to Gunnery School and Aircraft Engine School where he gained the skills to become the top turret gunner and Flight Engineer on a B-17.

By the time my dad was in combat it wasn’t uncommon to mount raids with over 1000 bombers in the sky.  That is 10,000 men!  There were times when the crews at the end of the bomber stream would meet the lead crews coming home over the channel.  I have listened to the engine roar of a single Fortress at airshows and I just cannot imagine the deafening roar when America’s youth set out to do battle in 1944.  It is little wonder that my father like so many of the other aviators of the era, were without their hearing in the end years of their lives.

They flew at altitudes as high as 32,000 ft (the cruising altitudes of today’s commercial aircraft) but with no cabin pressurization, wearing oxygen masks that must have froze to their faces. With open bomb bays they were all exposed to the 60 to 100 degree below zero temperatures with only their finicky electrically heated flying suits and lot’s of wool and leather to keep them from freezing at their positions. Guns would freeze and ungloved hands attempting to clear a jam would almost instantly be frostbitten.  Taking on a good hearty breakfast in the predawn hours of a flying day could come back to haunt you when you felt the need to relieve yourself in the cold of high altitude flying and with the fighters coming at you.  More than a few crewmembers must have had the very unglamorous experience of flying with loaded pants.

Still they flew on, 10 men in an aluminum can with little to keep them from the flak and the fighters but that thin aluminum skin of the plane, their courage, their combined resourcefulness, and ultimately their indomitable will to win and go home to their futures.

And so, my father got up 34 times in the cold hours before dawn went to the briefings on flak and fighters, dressed, ate, I am sure he prayed, and then pulled himself up through the hatch and into the area right behind the pilot and co-pilot.  Watching the engine gauges he would help the pilots go through the preflight checklist as they started the mighty engines.  He would double check the bomb racks, verify the control linkages were operating properly.  He would help the pilot steer the ungainly bird around the taxiways of Thorpe Abbots and into the takeoff line.  Later climbing into the top turret, undoubtedly the best seat in the house, (with the possible exception of the Bombardier in the front nose cone) he would cock and test fire his twin 50 cal. Browning machine guns.  Then the waiting began, when would the fighters come for him, when would the flak rip into his flesh, would he even hear the explosion when the plane went down?  Would the US fighters scare the Hun off today?  Ever alert scanning the sky to see them when they were the size of pinheads, watching until they grew big enough to take a few bursts at them and then, after a violent instant, they would be gone.

Over the target, if for some reason the bombs got hooked up in the racks, it was he who would step out over oblivion on a six-inch metal plank with the doors open and nothing between him and Freistung Germany to free the recalcitrant cargo to wreck havoc below.
For 34 times he marshaled the courage, and for 34 times he was able to nurse the engines of the Heaven Sent back to the safety of Thorpe Abbots and to do his duty.

WWII Mission Log of T/Sgt Glenn Smiley
Radio Operator and Gunner on the “Heaven Sent”
Member of 1st Lt. Thomas I. Anderson’s crew
350th Sqdn. of the 100th BG

The crew flew several training missions in Great Britain prior to commencing combat operations. Tech. Sergeant Smiley completed his tour by successfully flying the combat missions he recorded in a notebook (handwritten as they were flown in 1944-45 and) transcribed below:

1. Aug. 24-44 Ruhland near Czechoslovakia, 10-500’s- Synthetic gas works-visual bombing-good hit.  8hrs 25minutesflight out over North Sea past the flak corridor 20 miles west of Berlin.  5 ½ on oxygen.  Flak low but plenty of it and holes in the ship.

2. Aug. 25-44 Politz, 10-500’s 9 hrs. 10 minutes flying time, 3 ½ [hrs.] on oxygen.  Flak accurate and plenty of it, I saw 4-17s go down also saw trail of 2 areal [sic] bombs come over leading edge of wing and leveled off and went over towards trailing edge.  Crossed North Sea at 2000 feet and meet [sic] another formation as we were rising through overcast.  They came in [on] our left, scattered formation, no casualties.  Met a flak ship just before we crossed Denmark were 20 miles from Sweden went around East of Stetten to target.  Synthetic gas works- hit it good.  12 holes in ship 1past navigator’s neck 1 piece hit navigator in chest flak suit.  

3. Aug. 30- 44 Breman  6hrs and 30 minutes – 38-100 pounders.  Chemical Bombs.  Bombed by instruments 10/10 coverage.  Flak terrific but not accurate.  To left and right of us.  Quite a few aerial bombs and hits, mission was pulled in a hurry.  Crossed the North Sea and down across West Frissean Islands.  Considered milk run by us- all missions this far were strategic missions; slowly getting flak happy; no battle damage.

4. Sept. 1st [44] on Rhine river 18 miles east of Frankfurt - Storage Dump.  Communications and guns (located) there.  Near east Kassell across from Mainz.  [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Mainz] Aborted because No. 3 engine shot oil out of top about 30 to 40 miles from target.  Came back alone.  I contacted base station from France and got two places to drop our bombs but we didn’t have enough gas to go (to) either place so we carted them back to base and landed with full bomb load on 3 engines.  Lucky that there was 10/10 coverage because no fighters spotted us.  [We] Were afraid we were going to have to have to ditch in channel for a while, so I got on MF/DF Section too (sic.) had four 1000 pounders and 4 incendiary clusters for a load.  I had to change no. 4 supercharger amplifier out over channel over open camera hatch- was cool there.  Time up about 7 ½ hours on oxygen about ½ to 3 hours.  [The] rest of the planes were recalled.  No bombs [were] dropped on target.

5. Sept. 3- 44 Brest peninsula after a German garrison where 25,000 Jerries are making out with stiff resistance.  Not much flak and only about 3 rockets thrown up at us.  They have the Jersey and Guernsey Islands heavily fortified against air attack so we avoided those [sic].  About 6/10 coverage and we came in the first time at 12,500 feet so we passed over and made a 2nd pass at 8,400 ft ideal for a snafaker play.  The concussion from those big bombs jostled the following planes about a bit, our bomb load was V2-500’s.  Coming back some do do’s passed over Jersey Island and got their formation shot up a bit but no losses.  Some tail gunner in the lead ship shot into an engine on one of his wing ships so it burst into flame and part of the crew bailed out.  We were ditching ship so resent in their position to MF/DF section and 3 guys out of the crew were picked up in about 1 hour 35 minutes.  Pilot and Co-Pilot went down and the engineer bailed out and hit the left landing gear, which came down because of the fire, his chute never opened.  We considered this a milk run.  Pass. 6 & 7.  8hrs up none on oxygen. 

6. Sept. 8- [44] Back to Castell [sic, probably Kassel] storage dump and we really socked it [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Mainz Ordnance Depot].  We had 10 stacks of incendiary clusters-chemical bombs.  We lead (our Bomb Group) the Division and the flak was fair but not bad.  We expected about 100 guns but they must have moved them or else they hit the boys behind us harder.  No rockets but got a flak hole in the waist where the waist gunner should have been but he was chucking chaff out, also a piece in the nose and one in the tail but nobody was hurt.  (We) Got one close burst and I thought there’d be a large hole under me but luck’s with us.  The lead bombardier must have been hit or something was wrong because we didn’t drop our bomb right away so our bombardier took over and spotted the nearest target-a town on the Rhine near the target, Mansa or Castell.  7hrs up and about 5hours on oxygen not too bad worse one’s (are) coming.

7. Sept. 9- [44] Big day 1st time 8th Air force hit Ruhr Valley [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Dusseldorf & Reizholz, Cities], dreaded spot because its so its so [sic.] heavily fortified with flak guns.  Rumored that it’s 47 miles of flak.  Saw several ships go down.  Ball gunner saw a ME-210 shoot a P-51 down and in turn the 51’s wingman nailed the 210.  Had 10 500’s Gen. Purpose Bombs.  But brought them home.  About 7 hr. up and 4 ½ hrs on oxygen.  I saw a Fortress go down spinning.  Hit Dusseldorf a small arms and machine gun factory.  Avoided most of the flak except over the target, although we got shot at several times.  This Rhur is full of towns and every town has factories and where there are flak guns there are factories.  Supposedly 120 to 150 guns over the target.

8. Sept. 10- [44] (Sunday) 10-500 pounders everybody has them and we went after a tank factory supposedly 120 to 150 guns over the target but with the railroad guns there were more.  Saw rockets and plenty white flak (155mms!) and boy was it rough.  We saw 3 forts from the group ahead explode over the target and one go down and explode when it hit the ground.  Visual bombing and we hit several bad flak spots going in and out.  The last spot was really accurate.  Got two engines on the lead ship and our C.O., Major Rosenthal was in it.  I guess he landed in Belgium behind our lines-I hope-nobody knows.  We got hit and the supercharger on No. 3 engine went out.   Another ship from our group got an engine knocked out.  Were [sic] weren’t expecting this flak so none of us had our flak suits on.  A piece of flak came in the radio room and was reflected off by a hard piece of metal- split in small pieces and one lg. one went through the open radio room door and hit the control cables but didn’t have enough speed to cut them.  The 2nd piece went through the radio room door and rich. above the liaison transmitters external tuning unit through the bulkhead and bounced off the waist wall.  This piece was supposedly intended for me according to the way it came through the skin but, thank God, it was reflected off by that hard piece of metal or I wouldn’t be here to tell about it.  Also got several holes in the horizontal stabilizer. Target was Nurnburg-had to go across the Ruhr again rough spot and am I tired, up about 8hrs. and on oxygen about 5hrs ½.

9. Sept. 12-[44] Magedeburg-[note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Magdeburg/Fulda] Heavy flak over target and also at one or two other spots up 7hrs. and 50 mins., 5hrs. on oxygen.  After an oil (synthetic) plant with 10 500 GPs.  Fighters were waiting for us as we came off the bomb run but we were all set when our 51’s escort came up and caught them just before they came.  We could see the dog fighting and the Jerries go down.  Very close yesterday they caught and knocked down 13 ships from this base.  Four from in our barracks (20 guys) all fellows we knew real well.  They flew low group and today we flew low group again.  Got in burst of flak between the lower ball and waist as we were on bomb run.  It put several holes in the ship close to the ball tur. Op.  Also where the waist gunner’s head should have been as he was chucking chaff.  Got another hole in the nose.  Short of crews in our squadron because out of 16 we lost 9 so I imagine we’ll be flying a lot.  The boys wouldn’t have gotten hit so bad yesterday but out of 3 groups they were the only one to go through, the other two aborted and the fighters stayed with them leaving the 100th alone and as low group.  Three forts from group ahead exploded over [the] bomb run and one went down and exploded as it hit the ground.  One of our crews went down but supposedly landed in Bruxelles.

10. Sept. 13- [44] Another rough day as far as sleep goes.  We sucked on benzadrine sulfate to keep awake.  Went to Stuttgart, [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Sindelfingen, motor works] just outside of town and their antiaircraft defenses and that’s a bad spot for flak.  Hit a Diamler Motor works and the boys ahead of us really socked the target with G.P.’s.  We had 500 lb. Incendiary clusters (10).  About 7 ½ hrs. in the air and 4 ½ on oxygen.  No fighters today but rockets.  Nobody was hit-considered a milk run.  Went across the Straights [sic, Straits] of Dover-and across straight to the target.

11. Sept. 18-[44] went to Russia on a schedule run. [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as “Warsaw, Supplies 2nd Russian Shuttle.”  History notes that 1,220 Americans participated on this mission 107: B-17s and 150: P-51s.  These were the only Americans forces to see combat action in Polish territory during WWII. ]  Had 10 containers of supplies for Poles at Warsaw.  Been ready for days and the day before yesterday we were well out over the North Sea but were recalled.  Distance is about 1,800 statute miles or 1600 nautical miles.  [It] took 10 hrs. & 45 min about 5 hrs on oxygen.  Hit western part of city in the western half of city.  Alt. of 15,000 and 14,000 ft [we] were hit by fighters and heavy flak also accurate.  Landed near Kiev at Miragrod [sic].  Stayed overnight and the Russians loaded 500 pound G.P.s in our planes.  We talked with them but it was a rough deal.  I pulled guard duty in the ship that night I [sic] and the Ball Turret Gunner.  The sleeping quarters are quite a distance from the field so we were taken on trucks.  Had Russian G.I. women working in our mess hall and had black bread no-vodka.  Saw a small German Tank outside of our quarters abandoned.  Just a small one.  People are all very primitive.

12. Sept. 19-[44] Head for Sterperone near Foggia in in [sic] Italy.  Bomb Budapest in Hungary [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Szolnok, (Hungary from Russia)].  Flak but not to[sic] heavy-no fighters.  Up 7 hrs. and ½ about 1 hr. on oxygen.  Bombed about 16,000 ft, we were in high group.  Landed at a 17 base in Italy, 15th AAF.  And is this dusty country!  Living in tents.  Spend two days here and we went to Foggia which is about 20 miles away to drink, [there] were 6 of us from our crew [ed. Note: pictures confirm that Smiley ROG, Fratus CP, Garemko TTE, Herron TG, Cioffi WG and Jerrell BTG went on this excursion] and we cleaned up 9 bottles.  I and waist gunner arrived late so we didn’t get as much.  (We took them home).  [The] People [there] were bombed by our B-25s when they were with the Germans and as a result they don’t fancy airmen too much.  They’re agreeable though.  Chow isn’t so bad, had Italians serve it to us.  These little kids bother the Lire out of Yanks.

13. Sept. 22-[44]  Leave Italy, no bombs but we get credit for a sorty [sic, sortie] take off  at  9:31 no time on oxygen and across Italy to Corsica, past Rome and then cut up into France near Caen [sic, Cannes] a little west of Nice and straight up past Paris to England. No time on oxygen, no fighters, and no flak.  We needed a rest for a change.  Landed at 6:40 so we got about 9 ½ hrs. in today.

14. Sept. 28, 1944  Mersburg  10-500lb’s G.P. Bombs.  After a synthetic gas works.  8 hrs and 15 minutes flight.  On oxygen for about 5 hours. .Heavy flak 200 guns.  Several holes in ship many very close bursts near ship.  Could hear them.  Got holes in wing, gas tank horizontal stabilizers also one in radio room-up through floor about a foot from where I was throwing chaff , but chaff on floor stopped it.  Nobody hurt.  One oxygen system shot out in upper turret so Pilot [Anderson], Bombardier [Schmidt], and upper turret [Garemko] were on emergency system.  Fighters were reported in area.  Jet-propelled jobs were in [the] vicinity.  Big guns were all on us, very accurate really socked the target.  Buzz bombs are giving us the works here during the last few days really got close; I experienced these [before] when I first got over here at Bovington. [Note: In 2004 Smiley recalled that this target was very heavily defended and he thought the 8th lost 60 bombers on this mission.  The second time this crew visited this target on 11/30/44 Smiley recalled that the 3d Division lost 56 AC.  The third time he went to Mersburg Smiley thought the 8th may have lost 20+ but he wasn’t sure]

15. Sept. 30, 1944 30 Miles S.W. Of Arnhem Ordinance Factory [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Bielefield, Ordinance Dump] 10-500’s 6 ½ hours, 4 hours on oxygen, no flak, several rockets some other fellows saw fighters but none of us did.  Not very rough.  Though Fiesta Party today so all paddle feet got beer and were well on their way before we got down.

16. Oct. 2, 1944 [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Kassel, Aero Engine PFF] 10-500’s, 7 hrs. some minutes, ½ hr on oxygen.  After a tiger tank works at target early heavily defended by flak.  We picked up several holes lots of close bursts thought our number was up.  Went to Kassell [sic] hit the target OK.  Some 17’s went down.  Fighters were reported but we didn’t see any…luckily.

17. Oct. 3, [44] [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Ludwigburg, Illesheim, Nurnburg PFF]  10-500’s Incendiary clusters.-Three targets an airfield, or Frankfurt, or another small spot.  Finally picked a target of opportunity at Heilsbonn.  AC manufacturing works wandered all over Germany and everybody shot at us.  Picked up 18 holes and had a flat [and] almost groundlooped but went off runway and wheels stuck deep in the mud.  Almost were in midair collision by upper element- missed us in inches-saw them coming but was [sic. we were] petrified and couldn’t move.  Sure thought I wouldn’t see this mission out, never saw so much flak.  I guess we found all of it in east Germany.

18. Oct. 5, [44] [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Handorf, AF] 6-1,000 pounders, brought them back.  Went after an airfield about 5 miles from Munster and that’s a fairly bad spot for flak but some dumb Navig. In lead ship missed target so we came back didn’t see too much flak.  Really was a screwed up deal.  Up about 7 hours and about 4 ½ hours on oxygen.

19. Oct. 6, [44] Berlin [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Berlin (Spandau), AC Parts]  5-1,000 pounds after an aircraft engine factory in suburbs in Berlin.  And we crossed the city proper and got the hell shot out of us again.  Two new crews out of our squadron here on field, one blew up on bomb run and a gunner got shot on the other ship-both on 1st missions.  Got flak on way in and out also over the target.  No fighters hit us on run.  8hrs mission 5hrs on oxygen.  Got holes in ship almost lost tail gunner [Lewis Herron] (Note: Smiley recalled in 2004: “Radio men used electrically heated muffs, and silk gloves. The British made these muffs, and there was some discrepancy with our 24-volt system. Mine had a hot exposed wire, and was smoldering.  I gave it to the waist gunner (Ciofi) who winked at me and threw it near the tailwheel, and the tail gunner smelled the smoke. He called on the intercom, stating he smelled smoke, and put on his parachute. We finally told him before he bailed out, which might have been a little hard to explain). 

20. Oct. 7, 1944 Boh & Ham [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Bohlen & Hamlin] After synthetic oil works 10-500 pounders.  8hr. 20 mins.  6 ½ hrs on oxygen.  Briefed 40 guns at tar. Seemed like 400! Sure was there [sic] also fighters and rockets.  We weren’t hit by fighters and not many holes from flak but [we] were hit alright, had to drop our bombs [on our own] because we didn’t drop them on main target –don’t know why?  So we were running low on gas tried to hit small town but without a bombsight we didn’t hit it.  Navig. Had a field in Belgium picked out but we made it.  Close, left formation out in North Sea so we got back O.K..  Several other ships were in same boat.  Twice this week we were all set to fly, once to Coblenz [sic, Koblenz] on Oct. 4, and Oct. 8, - today was supposed to be Mersburg but both days the missions were scratched because of ground fog which didn’t clear up until too late.

21. Oct. 9, 1944 Mainz [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Weisbaden & Mainz PFF] 5-1000 pounders, 6 ½ hrs, 4 ½ on oxygen were supposed to hit Weisenbrok for an Ordinance Depot but hit 2ndary targets PFF Very little flak and not accurate, fighters were reported but we weren’t hit. Left today at 11:20.

22. Nov. 2, 1944 [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Merseburg, oil refinery] After Flak Leave and pass-checked out as element lead [we] were Dep. Lead in Wing.  High- 27,000 ft. quite a bit of flak got shot at 3 dif. places, worst over target.  Mersberg 280 guns (double Barreled) got a few flak holes.  Fighters were in area but we didn’t get hit.  One of our planes got the tail shot out with a direct hit and blew the head off the tail gunner. 

23. Nov. 6, 1944 (8 hrs up, 5 hrs on oxygen low back over the North Sea airfield at Neumunster [sic]) All in quotations for Neumunster [ed. Note: the latter was written in the wrong place and it was a note of  T/Sgt. Smiley to get the data associated with the proper mission.  He meant parenthesis not quotations.  Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Neumuster, AC Repairs, MY] 20- 250 pounders fairly light flak not too accurate flew low group element lead.  6th wing over target; Bandits reported in area- [we] weren’t hit.  Didn’t see any ships go down, few good accurate bursts in formation one shot R.C. ant. off also marker beacon ant.- one hole in fuselage near tail gear.  Nov.4, raid on Ludwigshaven another crew flew our ship and really got the hell shot out of them-I wonder why operations didn’t make us fly that day-they usually do

24. Nov. 9, 1944 Saarbrucken [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Metz, Saarbrucken MY (S.T.)] was our 2ndary [sic] target because we were supposed to bomb Metz in advance for Gen. Patton’s ground troops but it was too cloudy to bomb it so we hit 2ndary target.  180 guns in tar. Area flak.  Pretty accurate but not too bad had 8-1,000 pounders- 6 in bomb bays and one under each wing.  Had to be armed before takeoff- I didn’t like that- up at 2:30 this morning.  We’re orig. after a fort at Metz.  3 hours on oxygen this makes 24 credited missions towards finishing.

25. Nov. 20, 1944 Bonn airfield 12 mi. east of Bonn had a little trouble on takeoff so we got another ship ground spare old “F” we headed out to meet formation and navig. Made a mistake so we pushed over to France and had to circle about an hour before we met formation 200-250 Lbers [Liberators] but [we] were recalled just before IP.  Were to get airfield that harbored planes that strafe our ground troops.  Too much cloud coverage and we were too close to the frontlines to bomb PFF.  Clouds 18,000 ft thick and 10/10 coverage.  One PFF Crew flew weather ship today and cracked up ½ mile off runway, all 6 men on skeleton crew were killed we saw the ship shortly after and it was a smoldering mass of aluminum- poor devils.  First hearing about some of guys lost on Sept. 11, several are PW’s. [POWs]  up only 4 ½ hours because of late takeoff.  About 4 hrs on oxygen.  Rough on us because NCO Club party last night and [we] were out of flying condition.

26. Nov. 29, 1944 Hamm After a marshalling Yard which they missed Sunday by PFF bombing.  Really hit it.  Had 10-500s and two incendiary clusters about 5 ½ hours on oxygen and 8 hours in the air.  Not very rough light and inaccurate flak at two places.  1over the tar., and one on the way but no serious damage.  Take off was delayed an hour.  Got up around 4 this morning.  Expected a lot of fighters but we weren’t hit.

27. Nov. 30, 1944 Meresburg again!  And as usual there was a terrific amount of flak and accurate.  Bombed visual after same oil target and they expected the Luftwaffe up in strength so we had 11 grps of fighters.  Some guys reported fighters.  Up about 8 ½ hrs, 5 ½ on oxygen and had 20 250lb bombs.  6 ships went down over target.  Ship below us blew up over tar., two ships from Grp landed in Belgium Anderson was name of pilot who been up so we expected to find our clothes gone when we returned because our pilot’s name is Anderson also.  Got fewest no. of holes we ever got over Meresburg, our hydraulics were shot out in No. 3 Engine so no brakes and the instruments on No. 3 Eng. went out.  Felt concussion when plane blew up below us.  Six ships went down (probably more) only 2 parachutes were seen to blossom.

28. Dec. 11, 1944 [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Giessen, Koblenz] 8hr mission, about 6 hrs on oxygen, 2 bomb runs so we chucked out about 9 boxes of chaff for about an hour of bomb runs.  Went to 2nd target at Coblentz [sic, Koblenz] Giesen [sic, Geissen] was 1st target.  Had 10 500s after marshalling yards at both targets.  Bombed PFF but I think that we scored some hits.  Fairly good bunch of flak at some spots between targets and a few accurate bursts right after we dropped our bombs.  No holes.  Found that the Jerries got about 1,250 fighters that is [sic] single-engined jobs that they can throw up.  Their fighter output is steadily increasing because the factories are being put underground. One of four crews went down in Belgium and they spent the night in Brussels- good time a lot like us.

29. Dec. 24, 1944 [note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Biblis, Babenhausen, Kaiserlautern] 38 100 pounders for airfields at Biblis.  About 30 miles SE of Frankfurt.  Visual Bombing. Nailed target.  Little flak over target but got quit [sic] a bit on way in.  Picked up several holes in tail, nose, and hydraulic line out up in no 3 Eng. Right next to co pilot.  Visual all the way – Beautiful tour of Germany.  Went over Brussels over front lines.  This succumbed the German Spearhead along in Belgium because they had pierced in 40 miles.  Our planes were fogged in here in England so they used fighters to strafe ground troops.  That’s why we went out 2,000 strong in bombers, largest air armada ever in the air.  Everybody hit targets square German fighters after us but nobody hit out of our grp.  3 planes down over flak area.  That’s all that we saw, probably more though.  This stopped the German Drive so watch us make some gains if we get good weather for a few days.  This is our 27[th] Mission.  7 hrs long about 4hrs on oxygen. (Note: Smiley added this recollection in 2004, “Went to 7 different air fields before we found something left to bomb. Came home Christmas Eve. Our plane had lights on in landing pattern. There was a fire in our bomb dump -- a plane crashed into it on takeoff. This was the Battle of the Bulge, and the end of the German control). 

30. Dec. 27, 1944 Fulda Railroad Town.  Visual- really nailed it About 8 hrs. long and about 4 hrs. on oxygen.12-500 pounders and no flak over target.  We missed flak coming over front lines so it was pretty easy.  Terrific fog at takeoff and icy runways- take off was delayed an hour.  Went over one marshalling yard on way to target and they evidently thought we were after it because those trains really made tracks smoke came clear up to 25,000 feet- cold as the devil up there, 47 below centigrade.

31. Dec. 29, 1944 Frankfurt  Visual 16-300 pounders, marshalling yards visual and we really hit target 7hours and about 3 ½ hours on oxygen, little flak right after bombs away but only 3 holes in ship-2in camera well inside radio room nobody hurt.

32. Dec. 30, 1944  Kassell [sic]  About 8 ½ hours and about 4 of that on oxygen.  Got a bloody nose in oxygen mask on bomb run, oxygen mask full of clotted blood started 2 times.  Fair amount of flak.  But only 1 hole, PFF bombing. This is 30th Mission.  Dec 31st lost 12 crews in our grp., 4 from our squdrn, boys got creamed from fighters, we didn’t fly.

33. Jan. 3, 1945 Frankfurt -[note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Fulda, MY]  10-500’s max gas load 2 m-17 incendiary clusters estimated 10 hour mission all over France and Germany.  We ran out of gas so we had to land in France near Leon at a B-26 & P51 base.  Came back after dark had to really work that radio ragged.  Identify at coast.  Call Division and later we got lost over England so got a series of bearings –ADMs hit the base right on the nose got in about 7:45PM raided mess hall.  About 6 hours on oxygen and 10:15 hrs in air.  Snow in France, poor base.  Like US Northwest Country had flak, not too rough, got a few holes in the tail.  Exceptional release of bombs when bomb bay doors opened.  Bombed IP.  Sure was a long tiresome day 3:15 in the morning until 10 at night.  Rough war 31st mission.  [Note: Smiley elaborated in 2004, “ADMs - British Radios system. Clusters of 3, spread over the island.  I called their frequency and each station homed on my frequency and got a magnetic bearing, and they would plot these. Where they crossed was where we were. Then they gave me a heading to fly to reach the base. They would give me a new heading each time I gave them a signal. As soon as the heading changed 180 degrees we knew we just crossed the base. This system was originally established for navigational aids for their {the English} ships.] 

34. Jan. 7, 1945 -[note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Cologne, Auto Bridge, Limburg (T.O)].  8 hr mission 6-1,000 pounders were after autobahn bridge across the Rhine river at Cologne but 10/10 coverage all the way over so we picked a target of opportunity on PFF temp was 50 below zero. Cold.  Target Lindburg [sic] hit the city about 4 ½ hrs on oxygen.

Jan. 10, 1945-[note: Official 100th BG mission list records this mission as Cologne, Railway bridge, Duisburg] Not too long only 6 ½ hours.  Went after autobahn bridge at Cologne again but was covered pretty heavy so we couldn’t see target so they took us over Dusseldorf where we got shot up again.  Finally bombed Duisburg brought high sqd. back navig. and tail gunner got hit in flak suits- not hurt.  Quite a few holes pretty accurate stuff.  52 below zero. Last Mission!  And 6:1000 pounders about 4 hours on oxygen.







Glenn A. Smiley (from the collection of Lewis Herron)

Glenn Smiley at the waist gun (from the collection of Lewis Herron)

(L-R) Glenn Smiley, Anthony Demarco, Angelo Cioffi, and Michael Garemko (from the collection of Lewis Herron)

Standing: Lewis Herron - TG, Angelo Cioffi - WG, Glenn Smiley - ROG, Michael Garemko - TTE
Kneeling: Gerald Klecker - NAV, Fred Schmidt - BOM, William Fratus - CP and Thomas I. Anderson - P
(Dale Lane Collection)

Standing: Lew Herron (TG), Glen Smiley (ROG), Gerald Klecker (NAV), and William Jarrell (BTG)
Kneeling: Mike Garemko (TTE), Tom Anderson (P), Bill Fratus (CP), Angelo Cioffi (WG) Fred Schmidt (BOM)

350th Thomas I. Anderson Crew: Standing from left; Lewis Herron - TG, Angelo Cioffi - WG, Glenn Smiley - ROG, Michael Garemko - TTE; Kneeling from left; Gerald Klecker - NAV, Fred Schmidt - BOM, William Fratus - CP and Thomas I. Anderson - P       (Dale Lane Collection) 

Left to Right: Angelo Cioffi, Lewis Herron, Anthony Demarco, and Glenn Smiley (from the collection of Lewis Herron)

Michael Garemko, Lewis Herron, Glenn Smiley, and Angelo Cioffi in Kearney, Nebraska (from the collection of Lewis Herron)

The Thomas I. Anderson Crew - (bottom row): Michael Garemko, William Fratus, Fred Schmidt, Thomas Anderson (top row): Anthony Demarko, Charles Cramer, Lewis Herron, Angelo Cioffi, Glenn Smiley, Gerald Klecker (from the collection of Lewis Herron)

The Anderson Crew in Foggia, Italy (from the collection of Lewis Herron)



Crew 1

ID: 4812