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LT  Dale F. WATTERSON

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM

 Dale F. Watterson of the Arthur G. Larsen crew, KIA 31 March 1945. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of John E. Kaiser 

Dale Watterson, Bombardier
Photo courtesy of Chuck Emanuele

SERIAL #: O-268063 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 13714 CR: 13714

Comments1: 31 MAR 45 ZEITZ (CL. FLAK) Navigator with Larsen Crew

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Charles R.Sanford         P     FEH                        CREW FLYING AT END OF HOSTILITIES
2nd Lt Robert E.Morehead     CP    FEH
2nd Lt Arthur T.Blachly     NAV    FEH
2nd Lt Dale F.Watterson   BOM    KIA 31 MAR 45  ZIETZ  (WITH THE  A.G. LARSEN CREW)
T/Sgt Herman G.Larson     TTE    FEH TAPS: 9 JAN 1956
Cpl Santo Emmanuele       ROG    FEH
S/Sgt  Louis A.Lehrmann,Jr.  BTG   KIA 7 APR 45 BUCHEN (With W.S.Howard crew)
S/Sgt.James D.Barger            WG    FEH  SN# 33920989
 Cpl William F.McWey              TG    FEH 

349th Sqdn. Crew,as above,jolned the 100th Group on 24/12/44.
S/Sgt. Barger flew 23 missions,  Lt Watterson and S/Sgt Lehrmann were KIA as replacements on other crews. 
Lt Watterson was taken off this Crew and replaced by a TOG. Since he had secondary training in Navigation, he joined the crew of Lt Larsen and flew the following missions with that Crew.

Hi Janice; Here's what I currently have on 1st Lt. Arthur G. Larsen….(Combat missions)….Just an FYI on how the 100th BG flew Group formations….On missions listed, the 100th flew 3 Squadron formations, A,B,C, Squadrons, with a LEAD,LOW, and HIGH FLGT. In each…with the exception of 28 & 31 March which are 4 Squadron formations, A,B,C,D…(The Group went to a 4 squadron formation as early as  23 March,1945  from what I've seen,flying 3 Squadron formations as late as 19 March,1945   Jack O'Leary 

Subj: Re: 1st Lt. Arthur G Larsen Combat missions info  
Date: 8/16/2005 12:17:32 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: janicek6470@comcast.net 
To: xr_crew@yahoo.com, Mpfaley@aol.com, iacomus@comcast.net 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
Jack and Mike, I know you are both working on Master Lists of Missions and Crews so I'll just send this information on to you. Missions by date and according to MISSIONS # listed on 100th BG website. Completed Missions noted with small "c" notation by Dale on his log for Jan /Feb. and by flight time for March.
 
Individual Flight Record  (Form 5) 2nd Lt. Dale Franklin Watterson
8th AF  3rd AD  13thCombat  100th BG  349th Squadron
Flown as Navigator on Arthur G. Larsen Crew-  20 Missions completed.
 
1/14/45        #249  14 JANUARY,1945  DERBEN
1/20/45        #251  20 JANRUAR,1945  HEIBRON
1/21/45        #252  21 JANUARY,1945  MANNHEIM
2/3/45         #255
2/14/45       #258
2/15/45        #259 *
2/19/45        #261
2/20/45        #262
2/21/45        #263
2/25/45        #267
2/26/45        #268
3/10/45        #276  10 MARCH,1945  DORTMUND,RAIL YARDS  C SQUADRON,LEAD FLGT, LARSEN  470  T  13A   (HARDSTAND 13A, AIRCRAFT 
                             # 44-6470 XR-T )  
3/12/45        #278  12 MARCH,1945  SWINEMUNDE,DOCKS   B SQUADRON,HIGH FLGT,LARSEN  470  T  13A , 
3/14/45        #279  14 MARCH,1945  HANOVER,RAIL YARDS, A SQUADRON, HIGH FLGT , LARSEN  470  T  13A, 
3/15/45        #280  15  MARCH,1945  BERLIN,ORANIENBURG, RAIL YARDS,  C SQUADRON, HIGH FLGT, LARSEN  945  F  48  (HARDSTAND 48,  
                             AIRCRAFT 43-38945  LD-F)  
3/18/45        #282  18 MARCH,1945  BERLIN, RAIL YARDS,  B SQUADRON, LEAD FLGT,  LARSEN  470  T  13A,  
3/21/45        #284  21 MARCH,1945  RUHLAND & PLAUEN
3/28/45        #289  28 MARCH,1945   HANOVER,TANK PLANT,  A SQUADRON, LARSEN  514  J   22  ( HARDSTAND 22, AIRCRAFT 
                             43-38514  XR-J )  
3/30/45        #290   30 MARCH, 1945 HAMBURG
3/31/45        #291   31 MARCH,1945  ZEITZ/BAD BERKA  OIL REFINERIES  ,D SQUADRON, LARSEN  470  T  13A 
 
* Dale counts this as a "c" completed mission and includes it in his mission totals in letters to my mother.  The mission was #259, Bohlen, Cottbus, City St., but the hour on his Flight log only shows 3:25.
 Possibilities 1) #259 really was a short mission
                 2) The crew turned back after crossing enemy lines and thus was given mission credit.
                 3) A tired clerk made a typo filling in the chart for Capt. Delbert Thompson 
Sadly, I think this was the last mission for both Larsen and Barner.
Hope this helps your master plan….Janice    
 

CREW:
DATE: 31 March 1945          349th Sqdn.     A/C #44-6470

MISSION: Zeitz                    MACR#13714,Microfiche#5010


1st Lt Arthur G.Larsen            P    KIA
1st Lt Thomas E.O'Neil       CP    KIA     (from Lt Carroll Crew)
2nd Lt Dale F.Watterson     NAV     KIA     (from Lt Sanford Crew) see note below about going from BOM to NAV. 
T/Sgt Charles W,Dineen      TOG    KIA
T/Sgt Raymond R.Bazata    TTE    KIA     (from Lt Carroll Crew)
T/Sgt Joseph M.Popson      ROG   KIA     (from Lt Carroll Crew)
S/> Willard P.Bostrom      BTG   KIA
S/Sgt Marvin F.Barner          WG    KIA    (from Lt Wieland Crew)
S/5gt John E.Kaiser             TG    POW  (from Lt Carroll Crew)

349th Sqdn.  Crew,as above,was taken from microfilm of the original  MACR. However,Sgt Obuchowski (WG) was not aboard this A/C on 31/3/45. S/Sgt Marvin F.Barner was flying as WG and was KIA.

Of the above,O'Neill,Bazata,Popson and Kaiser were members of J.A.Carroll's crew which joined the 100th Group on 5/10/44. Barner was from the crew of R.E.Wieland.

Arthur Larsen,Willard Bostrom & John Obuchowski were members of the John H.Williams crew when it joined the 100th on 23 Aug.1944. Larsen & Bostrom left that crew when it became a Pathfinder crew.

The Command Pilot for this mission was the 100th's unflappable "Air Boss",  Lt. Colonel Harry F. Cruver, shortly thereafter to become the Group Commander. Of interest is that the Command Navigator was Major Harry Crosby, the Group Navigator. Both of these "Harry's" are larger than life figures in the history of the 100th. 

EYEWITNESS:  " A/C 44-6470 was hit by flak immediately after bombs away.#3
             engine was knocked loose and dropped off the wing.The A/C nosed
             up;then leveled off and started for the undercast in a steep glide.
             At the Rally point pilot made a 180 degree turn and headed back
             toward Russia. He was heard over VHF saying that #4 prop was running away
             and that he would attempt to reach the Russian lines. The A/C was
             under control and there was no fire. One chute was seen to leave
             the A/C. Allied fighters were escorting A/C."

          STATEMENT OF S/SGT. JOHN E. KAISER.JR. 18243028

The following information was received by Captain Charles W.Terry,Station 139
Prisoner of War Officer on interrogation of S/Sgt.Kaiser 24 April 1945.S/Sgt
Kaiser, since this date has returned to the Zone of Interior.

    "On 31 March 1945,A/C 44-6470 was hit by flak while over the target at
Zeitz, Germany and its #3 engine was knocked out of its mount. It nosed up out
of the formation,levelled off,then started down in a steep glide. Just before
reaching the undercast,the pilot was heard to say he would try to reach the
Russian lines and the A/C went into the undercast on an easterly heading."

    S/Sgt Kaiser was flying as tail gunner and states that his A/C was hit twice.
After the flrst hit it remained in level flight and the engineer called on inter-
phone to ask if he was allright.There were noises from the front that sounded
like pieces of the plane were ripping away. When it was hit again a few seconds later,
the A/C started down in a steep glide. He fastened on his chute and called over in
interphone but no one answered. He looked back into the waist but could see nothing
because of smoke. The A/C was vibrating badly so he decided to get out. His cloth-
ing hung on the handle of the escape hatch and he was trapped there for about 30
seconds. He tried to climb back  nto the A/C but was ueak from lack of oxygen
and could not,so he pulled his-self up as far as possible and let go. This freed
him from the plane so he opened his chute and looked down. He floated across the
German Air Field located at 5059 N 1231 E. As he floated over the woods just east
of this A/F,he noticed that there were hundreds of E/A dispersed there. He landed in
an open field just east of the woods and was momentarily unconscious. When he came
to,he saw several soldiers (Luftwaffe) approaching,so he stood up with hls hands
over his head.

    After being captured and brought to a Prisoner of War Camp at Weimer he was
interrogated by a German Officer. The interrogator asked him the names of the
members of his crew. He gave him their last names end was told that his crew had
crashed a few miles away and all had been killed. As proof he produced a basket
containing the dog tags, bill folds, watches, and other personal property of the men.
Sgt.Kaiser was allowed to look through this equipment and when he found the wedd-
ing ring of his Pilot,1st Lt Arthur G.Larson,Jr. he asked the Interrogator if he
would not allow him to take it to Lt.Larsen's wife. He replied ''sure" and gave it
to him.

Subj: Re: 1st Lt. Arthur G Larsen Combat missions info   
Date: 8/14/2005 11:36:47 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: janicek6470@comcast.net 
To: MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
"THEY TOOK HIM OFF THE SANFORD CREW (AND PUT A TOGGELIER ON THAT CREW) AND DALE WENT TO LARSENS CREW AS A NAVIGATOR INSTEAD OF A BOMBARDIER SINCE THE LARSEN CREW HAD A TOGGELIER TOO. OR WAS HE A NAVIGATOR ALL THE TIME ?.  I NEED TO CORRECT THIS DILEMMA BUT ALSO NEED A LIST TO HAVE THE CORRECT SEQUENCE OF EVENTS FOR DALES SERVICE.  THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED CASE, THAT IS WHY I ASK.  IF THAT IS THE CASE, THEN DALE WENT TO THE LARSEN CREW IN JAN PER THE PAPERWORK YOU HAVE FROM HIM AND NEVER FLEW A MISSION WITH THE SANFORD CREW….mpf"  
 
That's the way I understood it. Dale trained as bombardier( with supplemental training in navigation.) with Sanford's crew in the states and traveled with them by ship, arriving in England on Dec 20, 1944.  Until  that point they were a ten man crew but that late in the war the Army was reducing to 9 man crews.  Three officers plus 6 non coms. Since bombardiers had training as a navigator, Dale was moved to Larsen's pick up crew as navigator. (One of the non-com's on Sanford's crew moved forward as togglier.)  I have Dale's Flight Records and I talked with both Sanford and Sanford's navigator…Blachly.  In a few letters, Dale mentioned his growing confidence as navigator but he was sorry to leave Sanford's crew.  Larsen's crew changed a lot but Dale stayed as Navigator.  When I visited with Mr. Blachly he showed me sample navigator sheets and how they had to keep track of their flight paths. I don't know exactly WHEN the Army started reducing to nine man crews but it was in effect when Dale got there. I'll work on the sequence of events and try to get it to you soon.  
Good night, now…Janice 

Subj: Re Crash of # 44-6470  
Date: 7/4/2002 5:02:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: JaniceKay4 
To: MPFaley, GOODMANC@BU.EDU, janr@cei.net 
 


Holidays seem to give incentives to write, and this July 4th I have recently received letters which confirm the crash site. The researchers also express the real possibility that the crew were murdered by SS troops and we may never have formal documentation on what happened. In 1955, there were rosters for 131 American dead still believed to be interred in East Germany.

This note is for you three personally because you have all  done so much to help solve the mystery of my father's death.  Please do NOT publish the note in the Splasher Six.  Let's wait until after we have heard something definitive and official from the US Army Memorial Team.  I just want to keep you updated as the search continues.

July 4, 2002

RE: Crashsite of AC #44-6470

I have recently received letters from Europe which confirm the crashsite of AC #44-6470 near Oberlungwitz, Germany.
"I can now confirm definitely that the bomber that crashed at Oberlungwitz (for which Mr. Giegling and the Community of Ernstthal-Hohenstein have collected eye-witness accounts etc.)is the one piloted by Lt. Larsen because all other bomber losses on that day are now accounted for.  The burial of T/Sgt Dineen in Ernstthal can be considered as circumstantial evidence for this loss of the Larsen aircraft.  Wreckage of the B-17 near Oberlungwtz has been completely removed since." As for the crew, Mr. Hey believes the crewman could have been victims of a war crime. Earlier, I forwarded the reports that 4-7 parachutes were seen, followed by SS troops searching for the crew with dogs and warning the people of the area that they would be shot if they aided the airmen. Mr. Hey  gave me suggestions to follow documentation although in his records, there is NO entry for victims of the 31st of March, 1945 Ernstthal area.  Then, the War Crimes records do not always show the names of the victims.

My German correspondent, Mr. Horst Giegling, has been in touch with Mr. Hey and with the people of Chemnitz and also sent me an important update.  Mrs. Korbitz of Chemnitz had a childhood memory of a burial at an unmarked grave and has recently returned to the site. Mr. Giegling's  friend at the U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Activity-Europe called Horst and said that the office intends to visit the area in August and will contact Mrs. Korbitz.  After so many years, there is little hope of recovering the remains of Lt. Larsen's crew but steps are being taken to explore possiblities.

Although the crashed plane has been moved, Mr. Giegling has sent me photos of the field where the plane crashed.  He actually included a small piece of metal he found at the site, about the size of a dog tag (but definitely NOT a dog tag.)  Again, the consideration of the researchers involved have become an important part of the search for the air crew.

On days like today, we know the price that has been paid for our freedoms. Thank you all for your continuing support in the search for Lt. Larsen's crew.  
Sincerely, Janice



Subj: Update on Crash of AC#44-6470  
Date: 5/16/2003 3:23:35 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: janicekay@centurytel.net 
To: Mpfaley@aol.com, mark.baldwin@hq.21tsc.army.mil, SQUKNCHCKN@aol.com, iacomus@centurytel.net 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 

A recent offer of assistance was emailed to me by a friend of Ron Leigh.  I responded to her with the following letter of information update, and as you were mentioned, I wanted to cc.  As always, thank you for your continuing interest and help.  Janice

Hello Yvonne,

I want to thank you so much for the time and concern you expressed in your email of May 15. I’m not surprised, because as a friend of Ron Leigh, you have to be a devoted fan of the 100th BG. Ron is exceptional in his devotion to the history and continuation of the 100th BG legacy.

Because the information you were working with has been added to and clarified, I want to update all that has transpired, all the assistance received, the experiences shared, and a possible answer to the mystery of the flight. It was three years ago that our request for information was placed on the Heavy Bomber Bulletin Board. Generous and knowing people began looking through their records and sent research directives, copies of extant records, and personal contacts with the 100th Bomb Group.

Once the inquiry was posted in March 2000, I was given directions to websites and the information logs of the 100th Bomb Group. Cindy Goodman quickly put me in touch with Darrin Barner, the nephew of the waist gunner on the flight. The crew of AC #44-6470 was a pick-up crew organized with Lt. Arthur Larsen as pilot, and my father, Dale F. Watterson, was the navigator. Darrin and I made contact with the only survivor John Kaiser, and hours have been spent talking with this tailgunner. He clarified the official information and discussed with us the plausible flight path of Lt. Larsen’s plane after John had bailed out. Blacking out from lack of oxygen, John did not see what happened to his B17. I have also spoken with the witnesses quoted on the MACR and an engineer who witnessed the flak hit. The Internet has made most of this search possible.

In June, 2000, my husband Jim and I were able to attend the Reunion of the 100th BG at Thorpe Abbotts in Diss, England and were privileged to meet with Veterans and with English sponsors who are keeping vigil with the spirit of the Bloody Hundredth. For the following year, I collected the MACR 13714, and eventually, my father’s IDPF. Because there was little information on what happened to the plane after it left formation, I also requested, and received, the IDPF for the Pilot, Arthur G. Larsen, and for Charles W. Dineen, the Bombardier/ toggleer. Dineen was the only crewman recovered from the flight, although his IDPF had errors and there was no explanation of how or where his remains were originally recovered. T/SGT Charles W. Dineen is buried at Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France. The other crewmen have been listed as UNKNOWN, or MIA.

More details about the 100th missions continued to arrive. Unbelievably, Mike Faley posted a picture from the Thorpe Abbotts archives on the 100th BG website which showed Lt. Larsen’s plane in flak on March 31, 1945. Because this photo shows the missing 3rd engine, it must have been taken just moments after the engine was blown away (as described by Griswold Smith in Century Bombers p. 192) and in the few minutes before the plane left formation. 

I was also put in contact with a Dutch Research specialist who had been corresponding with German Historians in the area where T/Sgt Dineen’s body was reportedly found. All further searches in that area had been ended due to the political conditions following WWII. Now, contacts were renewed in the area around Chemnitz, the probable area of the crash.

In March, 2002, I visited the 390th Memorial Museum in Tucson AZ, meeting personally with Dewayne Bennett (Ben) who had introduced me, via email, to Mike Faley. After Ben and I talked in detail about what I had found to date, he returned to his letters and found correspondence from a German friend who wrote of finding remains of the aircraft #44-6470 in Oberlungwitz, a town near Chemnitz. This corresponds with all previous reports, but there was no report on the 7 missing crewmen. I wrote to both the Dutch researcher and the German friend of Ben’s for verification of information.

Letters came from Germany and Holland verifying the crashsite of AC #44-6470 near the city of Oberlungwitz. It is documented in the records of that town, and current interviews with witnesses.

"I can now confirm definitely that the bomber that crashed at Oberlungwitz (for which Mr. Giegling and the Community of Ernstthal-Hohenstein have collected eye-witness accounts etc.)is the one piloted by Lt. Larsen because all other bomber losses on that day are now accounted for. The burial of T/Sgt Dineen in Ernstthal can be considered as circumstantial evidence for this loss of the Larsen aircraft. Wreckage of the B-17 near Oberlungwtz has been completely removed since." J.A. Hey of the research team of the Liberation Museum at Groesbeck.

T/SGt Dineen was found with the crashsite, was put into a horse cart and transported to Ernstthal-Hohenstein. From there his IDPF details the identification of remains and transportation to his burial site at Lorraine American Cemetery. As for the rest of the crew,

Mr. Hey believes the crewman could have been victims of a war crime. There are reports that 4-7 parachutes were seen, followed by SS troops searching for the crew with dogs and warning the people of the area that they would be shot if they aided the airmen. Mr. Hey gave me suggestions to follow documentation although in his records, there is NO entry for victims of the 31st of March, 1945 Ernstthal area. Then, the War Crimes records do not always show the names of the victims.

My German correspondent, Mr. Horst Giegling, has been in touch with Mr. Hey and with the people of Chemnitz and also sent me an important update. Mrs. Korbitz of Chemnitz had a childhood memory of a burial at an unmarked and has recently returned to the site. 

Mr. Giegling’s friend at the U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Activity-Europe called Horst and said that the office intended to visit the area in August 2002 and would contact Mrs. Korbitz. After so many years, there is little hope of recovering the remains of Lt. Larsen’s crew but steps are being taken to explore possibilities. Although the crashed plane has been moved, Mr. Giegling has sent me photos of the field where the plane crashed. He actually included a small piece of metal he found at the site, about the size of a dog tag (but definitely NOT a dog tag.) 

 Unfortunately, as of May 8, 2003 no contact has been made with either Mr. Geigling or Mrs. Korbitz.  In January, 2003 I received an email from Mortuary Services saying the file was being considered by Mark Baldwin. I made a data disk of all I had collected and mailed it to Mr. Baldwin. Since that time, I’ve heard little from Mortuary Services so I am preparing other letters. A recent letter from Mr. Giegling repeats that Mrs. Korbitz wants to help clear up the missing status of my father and his crew.

I am particularly interested in any German records concerning the crew. When told his crew had been killed, the envelope with the pilot’s ring was at Altenburg-Nobitz. It was a Luftwaffe Intelligence Officer who got the envelope from a file cabinet in his office. The Intelligence Officer made a real effort to protect John Kaiser, and get him back to the Americans who were moving into that area during those last weeks of the war, and that is another compelling story. Do you think your friend, Arno, would be interested in the specifics?

The only other unexplored avenue I can think of is the report of "allied escorts". I have just recently found the list of fighter escorts from 31 Mar 1945 in the book THE MIGHTY EIGHTH WAR DIARY by Roger A. Freeman. I plan to contact them requesting any records they might have.

What has made the search for AC # 44-6470 most rewarding has been the interest, concern, assistance, and respect demonstrated by the people who have aided in this endeavor. Thank you so much for joining us. 

Sincerely, Janice Watterson Snyder

cc Ron Leigh, James Snyder, Dewayne Bennett , Mark Baldwin, Mike Faley


100th Bomb Group Reunion–Houston, 9 Oct 2003

Once again, Jim and I had the privilege of attending a Reunion for the 100th Bomb Group. This became a highly anticipated event because of contacts ahead of time. Phil Soto, a flight engineer and friend of the togglier on my father’s plane, called me to make sure we would attend. Then, I was able to coax John Kaiser, the tailgunner and sole survivor of my father’s plane to attend as well. He had plans to be in Houston in the fall and arranged his schedule to visit the Reunion. We knew Ron Leigh was flying in from England with Jim Gintner. And finally, Darrin Barner, the nephew of the waist gunner, promised to attend. We had been in touch with John and Darrin for the past three years, but this would be our first meeting in person. Add to this the special people we have come to know as part of the 100th BG being together, and our excitement was understandable.

I can’t really say that we visited Houston, because Jim and I took the shuttle directly to the Adam’s Mark Hotel, and stayed there for the Reunion. We didn’t take any of the tours offered because we wanted to spend our time with the people of the 100th BG. Jan Riddling and Cindy Goodman seemed to be everywhere touching bases, connecting people, and putting their energy into the activities with Jim Gintner recording along with them. We were also impressed with the continuing enthusiasm of Jan Zdairsky to personally meet with as many people as possible.

Thursday, John Kaiser came to the hotel and quickly joined the Gunner’s Roundtable. John is a very quiet and precise man with an excellent memory for details. From the Roundtable discussion throughout the reunion, he was always surrounded by people talking and asking him questions. He was particularly touched to meet with the other gunners and with Joe Bohrer who was the Navigator on John’s first crew. The casual evening dinner was enthusiastically used to make contacts, to introduce each other to families, and to renew the special bond that holds the 100th BG together. 

On Friday, John Kaiser spent a number of hours going over photos and stories of the 100th. One outstanding feature at this Reunion was the electronic site set up by the three webmasters. A continuous slide show flashed images from sixty years ago. Meanwhile, Harry Nelson, Charles Cole and Paul West organized their equipment so that they could immediately scan precious photos and documents brought to the Reunion. These historical documents were entered into the 100th BG archives while the participants could describe them and then immediately take the original documents home with them. Mike Faley was instrumental in this documentation and took personal histories as well. 

Saturday contained the Membership meeting, more reunions in the Activity Room and sales of books. Greg Hatzenbuhler accepted memorabilia donations and described the artifacts he had displayed. Darrin Barner joined us for personal discussions with John Kaiser and for the banquet dinner. The Banquet was filled with a positive energy as participants continued to renew old friendships. For me, this was a time to meet with other daughters who were searching for their fathers, Adrian Liest Caldwell and Sharon Lewis Cross. I was familiar with their searches from reading SPLASHER SIX but to meet personally added a whole measure of meaning. Both daughters praised their husbands who as advocates furthered their searches. Ken Breaux who also assisted them took an interest in our search for AC #44-6470.

Sunday, we were on the speedtrack known as "the Beltway" back to the airport. For all the words and tributes paid to the Veterans and their families, the personal contact of being with them, listening in on their discussions, and sharing just a bit of their lives is even more energizing. There exists a wordless bond between these men and women who shared a most electric experience over 60 years ago. When I was leaving another Veterans reunion, one gentleman looked at me and said, "You think you know what went on, what it was like…but you can never know." Thank you, 100th BG for giving me a glimpse of what I can never know…

 

SEARCH UPDATE: In November, the Mortuary Services from Germany are scheduling a visit to the Ebersdorf Church with ground penetrating radar. At that time they will decide if the site should be scheduled for a comprehensive search. The visit dates will be determined by their responsibilities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, Jim is searching for three remaining families of crewmen to submit their names to the Army for possible mtDNA sample donors. The search, and the people involved, remain an inspiration to us.



Subj: March 31, 2004  
Date: 3/31/2004 6:07:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: janicek6470@comcast.net 
To: JaniceK6470@comcast.net 

 March 31, 1945  The Last Flight of AC #44-6470
 
In Memory of the Crew 
1st Lt. Arthur G. Larsen             Pilot
1st Lt. Thomas E. O'Neil            Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. Dale F. Watterson          Navigator
T/Sgt Charles W. Dineen           Togglier
T/Sgt. Raymond R. Bazata         Top Turret Gunner/Flight Engineer
T/Sgt. Joseph M. Popson           Radio Operator/Gunner
S/Sgt Willard P. Bostrom            Ball Turret Gunner
S/Sgt Marvin F. Barner               Waist Gunner
 
And Honoring S/Sgt John E. Kaiser       Tail Gunner,  Survived
 
UPDATE This spring, it was confirmed by Major Beth Schwaigert that the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Commission has reopened the case and a search in being scheduled.  She wrote:  
Wanted to let you know that JPAC confirmed that your case is scheduled for this summer.  However, they feel that the site will require an anthropologist to be available to justify any disinterment and to determine if the remains are American.  JPAC is waiting to see what the requirements will be to send anthropologists to Iraq, if they have to send several they may not be able to send one to support this investigative team.  If an anthropologist is not available they will look at other courses of action to accomplish the mission.   
 
As we get closer to the summer we will continue to check with JPAC to determine the availability of anthropologist and the dates the investigative team will be in Germany.
 
MAJ Beth M. Schwaigert 
POW/MIA Team Chief 
Repatriation and Family Affairs Branch 
703-325-1795 (Comm) 221-1795 DSN 
 
Today, I received a message honoring this crew  and I want to share it with the friends, families, and researchers who have become companions in the search.
 
To the (59th) anniversary of the mysterious disappearance of Lt Dale F Watterson and his crew I think of them in honoured memory.
May the day come soon when your enthusiastic and lovely search will end in letting out the secret. God bless you and all who try to help you and the involved authorities!
Warmest regards
Arno Rose, former German fighter pilot WWII. 
 
Today is our Memorial Day...
Sincerely, Janice Watterson Snyder

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Zeitz DATE: 1945-03-31  
AIRCRAFT: (44-6470) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Henri-Chapelle Am Cemetery  

PHOTOS:

Dale F. Watterson   349th   NAV   Iowa   KIA   31 Mar 45   Zeitz   Arthur G. Larsen Crew

 Actual photo of aircraft # 44-6470 flown by the Arthur G. Larsen crew on 31 March 1945 after flak took off the # 3 engine. John E. Kaiser, Jr. was the only crewmember to bail out and survive. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of John E. Kaiser 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 5419