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S/SGT  Robert D. TURCOTTE

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BTG
SERIAL #: 11085297 STATUS: WIA
MACR:

Comments1: 30 NOV 43 SOLINGEN

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt.Gerald R. Putnam   POW  3/3/44 (with crew of R.H. Lohof while serving as the Command Pilot on the 03 March 44 Berlin Mission) Taps: 18 JUNE 1994  -- Highly respected and universally admired 100th Pilot who became the Operations Officer of the 349th Squadron. 

2nd Lt Gerald R. Putnam             P      POW  3/3/44  BERLIN     sn# 0-792348
2nd Lt William A.Donelan, Jr       CP     CPT                               sn# 0-684298
2nd Lt.Donald M.Gilsinger        NAV     CPT                               sn# 0-682319
2nd Lt Paul A.Levy                 BOM     CPT  13/4/44 AUGSBURG sn# 0-676306
T/Sgt Nicholas F.O'Connor       TTE     CPT                               sn# 32551147
T/Sgt John E. Callahan, Jr       ROG     CPT                                sn#31164984  Taps  2 November 1970
S/Sgt George E.Gunther        RWG     CPT                                sn#36361894
S/Sgt Sidney P. Atherton         TG     CPT                                 sn# 6910597  Taps 28 March 1985
S/Sgt Richard A.Corcoran       LWG     CPT                                 sn# 11038415  Taps 22 June 1974
S/Sgt Robert D.Turcotte        BTG     WIA  30/11/43 SOLINGEN  sn# 11085297

The crew as above arrived at Thorpe Abbott in Oct 1943 and were assigned to the 349th Sqdn. See correspondence from
O'Connor's son-in-law,Col.Terry Carlson (Jan.l990)

It appears from records that this crew was assigned to two previous Bomb Groups prior to being assigned to the 100th BG.  Records dated 23 Sep. 1943 that this crew was assigned to the 96th BG at Snetterton Heath.  On 26 Septmeber 1943 we have the Putnam Crew being transferred to the 100th BG (but I believe they were sent to the 94th BG at Bury St. Edmunds due to next order).  On 13 October 1943 Lt Putnam's Crew was transferred from the 94th BG to the 100th BG. This would be a permenant change of Station.

After about 20 missions,Putnam made Operations Officer of the 349th.

Name of their aircraft was "Murderer's Row"  (named by Putnam for the batting order of the New York Yankee's). This ship flown by R.D.Vollmer when lost on 3/3/44  (Berlin)

JANUARY 25, 1944.  LT GERALD PUTNAM WAS PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN-PULLED FROM PILOTING MISSIONS TO TRAIN FOR  SQUADRON AND GROUP LEAD POSTIONS.  EIGHT MEMBERS OF CAPTAIN PUTNAMS ORIGINAL "MURDERER'S ROW" CREW COMPLETED THEIR 25 MISSIONS WITH OTHER CREWS AND WENT HOME.  ROBERT TRUCOTTE, SEVERELY INJURED ON THE 8TH MISSION, REMAINED HOSPITALIZED FOR MONTHS AND EVENTUALLY RETURNED HOME WITHOUT FURTHER MISSIONS.  SIDNEY ATHERTON WENT AWOL IN THE EARLY DAYS AT THORPE ABBOTTS.

Missions of Capt. Gerald R. Putnam (supplied by Nancy Putnam) mpf 2001


1. 03/11/43 WILHEMSHAVEN SUB SHIPYARDS: ON PATHFINDER-POS, #2, SECOND ELEMENT HIGH SQUADRON.  LIGHT FLAK, NO FIGHTER
                      OPPOSTION-MILK RUN
2. 05/11/43 GELSENKIRCHEN OIL REFINERIES. PATHFINDER-OVERCAST-POS #3, LEAD ELEMENT, LOW SQUADRON-HEAVY FLAK, LIGHT
                     FIGHTER OPPOSITON-#3 FUEL LINES HIT BY FLAK & ENGINE FEATHERED. RETURNED WITH GROUP TO DUTCH
                     COAST & THEN ALONE-TOUGH
3. 13/11/43 BREMEN  RR MARSHALLING YARD.  PATHFINDER WENT OUT, DON'T KNOW WHERE WENT, THINK KIEL-MODERAT FLAK
                      40-50 FIGHTERS-NO ATTACKS- B-24'S TAKE BEATING- "FUBAR"
4. 16/11/43 RJUKAN, NORWAY HYDROELECTIC PLANT (PART OF GERMANY'S HEAVY WATER PRODUCTION EFFORT TO DEVELOP ATOMIC
                      WEAPONS).  SINGLE GROUP-VISUAL BOMBING, TARGET DEMOLISHED BY 100TH 1st-NO FLAK OR FIGHTERS MILK RUN
5. 19/11/43 ZUTPHEN  TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY DUE TO WEATHER OBSCURING PRIMARY TARGET, GELSENKIRCHEN.  PATHFINDER
                      ABORTED AT IP, #2 & #4 OIL LINE BUCKS-MODERATE TO HEAVY FLAK-HEAVY ICING IN CLOUDS PREVENT 
                      FIGHTER INTERCEPTION- FUBAR
6. 26/11/43 PARIS   BALL BEARING FACTORY.  VISUAL-CLOUD COVER OVER TARGET-NO BOMBS DROPPED-SEVERAL FIGHTER 
                      ATTACKS- LT G. FORD KNOCKED DOWN-SKIRTED FLAK AREAS. (GEORGE FORD AND FOUR OF HIS CREW
                      BECAME POW's, THREE BECAME EVADEES AND TWO WERE KIA.)
7. 29/11/43 BREMEN  INDUSTRIAL WORKS. PFF-NO FIND TARGET AGAIN-BOMBS DROPPED SOMEWHERE-NO FLAK FIVE FIGHTERS-NO 
                      DAMAGE. "FUBAR"
8. 30/11/43 SOLINGEN  INDUSTRIAL WORKS.  PFF-FOR ONCE IT WORKED-100TH HAD TROUBLE RENDEZVOUSING.  FLEW IN LOW
                     SQUADRON OF 95TH BG, HIT BY FLAK OVER TARGET.  TURCOTTE (BTG) HIT AND STILL IN VERY BAD SHAPE
                    #3 OUT BUT CAN'T FEATHER, #1  TURBOS & #4 PROP RUN AWAY-HEAD BACK ALONE AS USUAL-HIT
                    EVERY LITTLE FLAK AREA ON WAY OUT-FINALLY MAKE IT AFTER MUCH SWEATING-DAWSON (TG) CLAIMS ME109-TOUGH

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 5254