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LT  Howard D. VENZIE

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM

Howard D. Venzie with "FLETCHER'S CASTORIA" at Thorpe Abbotts in late 1943 or early 1944.  (100th Photo Archives)

SERIAL #: O-676983 STATUS: POW
MACR: 02761 CR: 02761

Comments1: 21 FEB 44 ALHORN & VORDEN (CL)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

1st Lt Wiliam H. Fletcher P   POW    21/2/44   Burnswick
2nd Lt Richard M.Roper       CP   POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
2nd Lt George A.Browning NAV            POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
2nd Lt Howard D.Venzie BOM          POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 T/Sgt James H.Whitton  TTE  Injured in crash after about 7 missions 
 T/Sgt George A.Reid  ROG        POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt Pietro J.Giaquinto    BTG   POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt John J.Seman         RWG   POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt Alexander Sosik         LWG   POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt David V.Robb,Jr.     TG   POW       21/2/44   Brunswick

 MACR #276l Micro fiche #924    A/C #42 37796

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined 100th Group in early Oct.1943

On 21/2/44,T/Sgt Leo T.Callahan,from the "Original" crew of B.DeMarco,was aboard in place of 
Sgt.James Whitton and became a POW. See p.184 MIGHTY EIGHTH WAR DIARY for picture and story of 
21/2/44  Also letter from Fletcher's nephew,Joseph M.Lee (1983) --PRESENT ADDRES IS 3 SYCAMORE STATION,
DECATUR, GA 30030 PHONE (404) 373-1336..paul west (nov 1993)

On 4/12/43 Fletcher was flying with the crew of Martian Tashjian newly arrived) to check them 
out on local landmarks and procedure. Sgt.Whitton & Reid were also on the flight. There was a 
landing crash on the field and Fletcher,Whitton & Reid received injuries. However,it is 
believed that Whitton did not fly further combat duty.

The flight was in Fletcher's A/C 42 39791,Fletcher's Castoria,which was totally destroyed.

See: "THEY NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD" p.103/104


   MISSIONS FLOWN BY WILLIAM H. FLETCHER

WILHEMSHAVEN  03 NOV 43
GELSENKIRCHEN  05 NOV 43
DUREN    07 NOV 43
BREMEN   13 NOV 43
RJUKEN, NORWAY  16 NOV 43
PARIS, FRANCE  26 NOV 43
BREMEN   29 NOV 43
KIEL    13 DEC 43
BREMEN   20 DEC 43
MUNSTER   22 DEC 43
PARIS, FRANCE  31 DEC 43
KIEL    04 JAN 44
"CROSSBOW"   21 JAN 44  (NoBall - Bois D' Esquerdes)
FRANKFURT   24 JAN 44  (Recall)
FRANKFURT   29 JAN 44
BRUNSWICK   30 JAN 44
WILHENSHAVEN  02 FEB 44
"CROSSBOW"   13 FEB 44 (NoBall - Livossart : Bois Rempre)
ARNIMSWALDE  20 FEB 44
BRUNSWICK   21 FEB 44 (MIA )




OPERATIONAL NARRATIVE, FEB 21, 1944
TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY

 1. General Narrative - 100th "A" Group: 19 aircraft took off this base; the first at 0915 hours, the last at 0929      hours. The Group assembled over the base by 0950 hours in good formation.

   Fighter support - P-38s, P-47s, P-51s - was good. Flak light and inaccurate.

 2. Aircraft Not Attacking: 19 aircraft were airborne from this base; 16 aircraft were dispatched and attacked the target. Aircraft    #42-31256 turned back 18 miles south of Comer from 23,000 feet. #42-38011 turned back at 1223 from 23,000 feet. Aircraft    #42-37796 is missing in action. No further particulars are available at this time.

 1. General Narrative - 100th "B" Group: 21 aircraft took off from this base, the first at 0930 hours. By 0958 hours we had     assembled on good formation over the base. We flew low position in the 13th "B" Combat Wing. Our formation was good    throughout the mission.  Flak was meager and inaccurate. Fighter support was very good. Other than the fact that we    did not bomb the primary target, there was nothing unusual during our flight.

 2. Aircraft Not Attacking:  21 aircraft departed this base in formation. 19 aircraft were dispatched. #42-30088 turned back at    1330 hours from 21,000 feet, #42-3107 at 1300 hours from 21,500 feet. All aircraft of this Group formation returned to base.

ADDITIONAL NARRATIVE
 
 An initial rendezvous was made due to faulty equipment, namely failure of the fluxgate compass, in the lead ship of "A" Group. The 100th "A" Group left England 10 minutes late and picked up the 100th "B" Group approximately a the coast. The 13th "B" Combat Wing then joined a wing immediately ahead of it and proceeded along the briefed route, 12 minutes behind schedule. At 1344 hours the lead wing turned to the South leaving our course. As we could not proceed along to our target and we did no know their target we decided to bomb and airfield and withdraw with this wing. The airfield at 31.51N, 08 25E was bombed on APCE from an indicate altitude of 22,800 feet.

 An unidentified airdrome was bombed with good results. Photos show bombs hit in buildings along railroad that passes airdrome. Bomb burst indicate severe damage to both railroad and runways of the airdrome. Crew believe the airport to be located near Vechta.

 No fighters attacked either "A" or "B" Groups though some enemy aircraft were seen engaged by our escort. Flak encountered was light to medium and inaccurate at Osnalbruck, Enschedi and Rheine.

 At 1347 hours out aircraft #796 straggled from formation but followed us over target and continued behind our formation until 1430 hours when we were at 5230N and 0515E. It had one engine feathered and another smoking. There were lots of friendly fighters about when this aircraft disappeared in the undercast. Members of this crew were:  Lt's W H Fletcher, R M Roper, G A Browning, HD Venzie, T/Sgt's G A Reid, L T Callahan, S/Sgt's P J Giaquinto, J J Seman, A Sosik, D V Robb..



Name: Leo T. CALLAHAN
Sex: M
Birth: 1920
Death: 07 Dec 1990 in Rhode Island
Father: John J. CALLAHAN (born: Sep 23 1900)
Mother: Theresa SCALNON
Brother: Donald CALLAHAN (born 1931) and  John CALLAHAN Jr.

Name: Howard D. VENZIE
Sex: M
Birth: 30 Apr 1918 in Philadelphia, PA
Death: 6 Sep 1996 in Moorestown, Burlington County, NJ
Event: Social Security Number 164-18-5257
Note: Howard served with the 100th Bomb Group during World War II.
Father: -
Mother: Dellia CHALOU b: 2 Nov 1885 in Massachusetts
Marriage: Betty ?????
Children: yes [name(s) unknown]

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Alhorn & Vorden DATE: 1944-02-21  
AIRCRAFT: (42-37796) CAUSE: Mech Prob in 3 Engines  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Crew of "FLETCHER'S CASTORIA": Standing from left; David V. Robb, Jr - TG, Richard M. Roper - CP, James Herbert Whitton - TTE, William H. Fletcher the Pilot, and George A. Browning - NAV.. Kneeling from left; George A. Reid - ROG, John J. Seman - WG, Howard D. Venzie - BOM, Alexander (NMI) Sosik - WG and Pietro J. "Pete" Giaquinto - BTG.   (100th Photo Archives)

1982 Myrtle Beach 100th Reunion; From left: George Reid, George Browning, Bill Fletcher and Howard Venzie.  (100th Photo Archives)

1982 Myrtle Beach 100th Reunion; From left; Betty Venzie, Howard Venzie, George Reed and Bill Fletcher.  (100th Photo Archives)

June, 1994 "FLETCHER'S CASTORIA" reunion at Cleveland, Ohio; From left; William H. Fletcher, Jules Wesselink, Pete Van Loon, George Browning, John Seman and Howard Venzie.  (100th Photo Archives)

1985 Dayton, Ohio 100th reunion; From left; Howard Venzie, Bill Fletcher and John Seman.  (100th Photo Archives)

Myrtle Beach 1982 100th reunion; From left; Howard Venzie, George Browning, William H. Fletcher, Bud Buschmeier and John Gibbons who flew two combat tours with the 350th.   Joe Lee Collection

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 5315