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LT  Robert A. WEGRZYNEK

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

Official USAAF photo of Lt Robert Wegrzynek. (Photo courtesy of Family)

Flying Cadet Robert Wegrzynek

Flight Cadet Robert A. Wegrzynek 

SERIAL #: STATUS: RFS
MACR:

Comments1: Wilmerding, PA

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT ROBERT A. WEGRZYNEK             P RFS ILLNESS
2ND LT CHARLES J. GUTEKUNST            CP NOC see note below
2ND LT EDMUND "NED" KAUFFMAN      NAV POW  28 JUL 44  MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY (WITH F.H.MASON CREW)
2ND LT JACK . EPPENDORF                 BOM KIA 11 SEP 44  RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
S/SGT GEORGE W. WRIGHT               TTE NOC
S/SGT JAY V. EMRICH                       ROG NOC TAPS: 1988
SGT DALE E. STRAUSBAUGH              BTG NOC
SGT EDWIN J. TYRRELL                      WG NOC
SGT LUTHER A. WISE, JR.                   WG NOC
SGT RINALDO J. BUSSINO                    TG CPT 24 JUL 44 ST LO GROUND SUPPORT

350TH SQDN….CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 09 MAR 1944..  Crew flew a/c" Daisy Mae"

"FLEW FIRST MISSION ON APRIL 11, 1944.  AFTER 10 MISSIONS, LT ROBERT WEGRZYNEK WAS GROUNDED BY A SERIOUS ILLNESS THAT REQUIRED A LONG PERIOD OF RECUPERATION IN A STATESIDE MILITARY HOSPITAL.  WHILE SERVING IN COMBAT, HIS B-17 CREW WAS UNITED IN THEIR BELIEF THAT BOB WAS AN OUTSTANDING LEADER AND EXCEPTIONAL PILOT"…..2ND LT CHARLES GUTEKUNST IN LETTER DATED DEC. 2000 mpf

LT DALE R. MCEWEN TOOK OVER THIS CREW AS FIRST PILOT.  LT KAUFFMAN WAS REPLCED ON THE CREW BY FLIGHT OFFICER ALEXANDER MARUCHESS BOTH MCEWEN AND MARUCHESS WERE FROM LT JAMES NOBLE CREW.

Note:
Michael:  Dale McEwen and I, both co-Pilots, lost our Pilots about the same time. I was in the 350th Sq.and Dale was in the 418th. They
transferred me to the 418th and as Dale had started his checkout as Pilot. I flew as Co-Pilot for him. He was about 6 missions ahead of me.
Jack Eppendorf our 350th Sq Bombardier and Ed Kauffman our Navigator, both on the original Wegrzynek crew, did not transfer to the 418th with me. Jack flew with another crew and was killed. Ed Kauffman went to 8th AF HQ, became a Radar Navigator. He returned and was shot down with Noble Crew on his first flight as a Mickey Navigator. He was a POW. 
 
Insofar as I recall, Dale and I were a "Put together on the spot" crew. Spare Navigators and Bombardiers, those that were available at the time were assigned to fly with us, Except for Lt Ivons and  Lt Maruchess who were originally in the 350th, Lt Ivons was hurt from flack on the mission when Col. Kelly went down (April 28, 1944 to Sottevast). Maruchess was hurt in a B-17 collision and I never saw either one again. I don't recall the names of any otherBombardiers or Navigators. I flew my last 6 missions with various, new crews. I just don't recall Lt.  Anderson and I'm positive Bussino, the Tail Gunner who flew all of his 29 missions with me would not recall him. I'm Sorry I can't be more helpful
 
Chuck Gutekunst
gutecj@comcast.net
948 W, Leatherleaf Dr.
Tucson,  AZ  85755

PROABLY MOST OF THIS CREW COMPLETED TOURS.

FLIGHT RECORD 
RINALDO J. BUSSINO 39550304
350TH SQDN.. 100TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)
THORPE ABBOTTS, ENGLAND (STA # 139)

DATE   TARGET        FLT, TIME

5 APR 1944  LOCAL AREA       2:40
9 APR 1944  AIR SEA  RESCUE      4:30
11 APR 1944  POSEN, AC & ROSTOCK, CITY    11:30
12 APR 1944  SCHKEUDITZ, AC FACTORY (RECALL)   3:30
18 APR 1944  GENSHAGEN (BERLIN) AC ENGINES   8:15
19 APR 1944  LIPPSTADT & WERL AF'S     6:45
20 APR 1944  MARQUENVILLE & FLOTTEMANVILLE-HAGUE 5:00
24 APR 1944  FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, AC FACTORY   9:15
28 APR 1944  SOTTEVAST (NOBALL)     5:30
29 APR 1944  BERLIN, CITY      9:30
1 MAY 1944  SAARGUEMINES, MY & WIZERNES (NOBALL  7:15
3 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA       4:30
4 MAY 1944  ABORT        2:00
7 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA       1:00
10 MAY 1944  FALLERSLEBEN, MOTOR TRANSP. (RECALL)  3:30
11 MAY 1944  LIEGE, MY       5:00
17 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA       1:30
19 MAY 1944  BERLIN, CITY (RECALL)     2:10
20 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA       2:30
22 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA       3:20
23 MAY 1944  TROYES, AF       8:00
24 MAY 1944  BERLIN, CITY (SPARE; NO HOLES TO FILL)   3:30
28 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA       2:30
31 MAY 1944  OSNABRUCK, MY      8:30
2 JUN 1944  BOULOGNE & PARIS, RAILWAY JUNCTION  4:10
3 JUN 1944  LOCAL AREA       3:00
5 JUN 1944  ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE     5:30
6 JUN 1944  OUISTREHAM, TOWN     6:30
6 JUN 1944  FALAISE, TOWN      7:30
7 JUN 1944  NANTES, BRIDGE      7:50
10 JUN 1944  MORLAIX, AF      5:30
15 JUN 1944  LOCAL AREA       1:30
20 JUN 1944  FALLERSLEBEN, MT FACTORY    7:00
Flack Leave
7 JUL 1944  MERSEBURG & BOHLEN, OIL REFS   3:20
8 JUL 1944  CLAMECY-JOIGNY, RAILWAY BRIDGE   5:30
10 JUL 1944  LOCAL AREA       5:20
11 JUL 1944  MUNICH, AERO ENGINES     10:20
12 JUL 1944  MUNICH, INDUSTRIAL AREA    9:20
13 JUL 1944  MUNICH, JET ENGINES     8:20
17 JUL 1944  AUXERRE, RAIL BRIDGE     7:45
18 JUL 1944  KIEL, HEMMINGSTADT, OIL (100TH "B")   7:10
19 JUL 1944  SCHWEINFURT & DUREN     7:00
20 JUL 1944  MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY    8:10
21 JUL 1944  REGENSBURG & LUDWIGSHAFEN   7:30
24 JUL 1944  ST. LO, GROUND SUPPORT    6:15
6 AUG 1944  LOCAL AREA       1:00
6 AUG 1944  LOCAL AREA       1:30
7 AUG 1944  LOCAL AREA       2:00


EMAIL = winmac@prodigy.net
UNAME = Tim Winners
CONNECTION = I am a relative of a 100th veteran
COMMENTS = I have loads of information and photos on the 100th from my father, Robert A. Wegrzynek, aka Bob Winners. We lost my dad May 22, 2000. Would you be interested in any information that we have on him and the group? Thanks so much for putting such a great site together! I called all 5 of my siblings and mom when I saw his picture show up with his co-pilot, Chuck Gutekunst. Thanks again!


FROM COL GUTEKUNST:

Ed passed away on 28 April about 2 weeks before reaching his 96th birthday. He lived with his wife in Sarasota FL.

He wanted to be called Ned bacause that is what his family called him. He arrived at Thorpe Abbotts with the 

Wegrzynek crew in March 1944 and flew 10 missions until the crew lost it's pilot. He was sent to 8th AF headquartes

for training as a Radar Navigator. On his return to the 100th and on his 1st mission as a Radar Navigator with

Noble as Pilot he was shot down on 28 July 1944,and became a POW until the spring of 1945 when all the American

and thousands of RAF airmen were forced evacuate the prison camp and  march to the southeast to avoid the 

Russian Army coming their way to exterminate the Germans.He was a member of the 8th Air Force Association and, as far

as I know, was never a member  of the 100th. for whatever reason



Note:  Ned joined the Wegrzynek crew when it was formed in Euphrata WA in September 1943.

          He was significantly older and wiser than the rest of the crew having been a graduate of

          Princeton University. The entire crew benefited from his expertise in all matters and his companionship

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 Robert A. Wegrzynek crew Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

A-2 jacket of the Robert A. Wegrzynek crew     (100th Photo Archives)

Officers of Lt Wegrzynek Crew and Rinaldo Bussino at his tail postion Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

Lt Wegrzynek Crew training Stateside  Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

Chuck Gutekunst and Robert Wegrzynek  Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

"Fletcher's Castoria"
Sir Charles Gutekunst
Robert A. Wegrzynek

Lt Robert Wegrzynek, Lt Charles Gutekunst, Sgt Luther Wise.  

 Robert A. Wegrzynek Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Obituary of Robert A. Wegrzynek later known as Robert Albert Winners. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

 Obituary of Robert A. Wegrzynek known some time after the war as Robert Albert Winners. Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

 2nd Lt. Robert A. Wegrzynek as an Aviation Cadet Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Newspaper article about becoming a pilot 

Article in newspaper

Advanced Flying School Diploma 

Air Medal Award

Lt Wegrzynek with future Wife

Robert Wegrzynek & Chuck Gutekuntz in front of Fletchers Castoriav

p-51D s/n 44-15045 ''Look Jessie!''  Maj John Hallmark 3651st FS

Teresa James/Martin & George Martin, Married During Wartime. 
She Taught him to fly and taught My father Robert Albert Wegrzynek 
Then Solo’d them as an Instructor. 
George made the ultimate sacrifice As a B17 pilot on a mission to France with the 96th Bomb Group. 

Missing in Action Pas de Calais 22/6/44 with George Martin, Co-pilot: Bill McDonald, Navigator: Ray Pickett, Bombardier: Mike Laytar, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Lee Gem, Radio Operator: Jim Wright, Ball turret gunner: Bob Edinger, Waist gunner: Carl Carlson, Waist gunner: Joe Puspoki (9 Killed in Action);Tail gunner: Joe Duch (Prisoner of War); flak, crashed junction of Rue Pajol and Rue Ricquet, Paris, Fr. Missing Air Crew Report 5916

“ On Wings to War “ is Teresa James Martin book
Available on Amazon.

Teresa James Martin  was a WAF & WASP , and before the war a Wing Walker and Barnstormer. She grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania near Latrobe. 

 Charles J. Gutekunst and Robert A. Wegrzynek Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 5442