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LT  Richard B. ATCHISON

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P
SERIAL #: O-738063 STATUS: POW
MACR: 01031 CR: 01031

Comments1: 10 OCT 43 MUNSTER / MID-AIR WITH ME-109

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Richard B. Atchison,Jr.      P    POW    10/10/43   Munster    sn# O-738063
2nd Lt Willard Secor                  CP    POW    10/10/43   Munster    sn# O-802472
2nd Lt Kenneth Baron             NAV   POW    10/10/43   Munster    sn# O-675982
2nd Lt Sol Goldstein              BOM   POW     10/10/43   Munster    sn# O-676255 
 T/Sgt Russell W.Bennett         TTE   POW    10/10/43   Munster    sn# 33275678
 T/Sgt Elder E. Lisch              ROG   KIA       10/10/43   Munster    sn# 16094155
 S/Sgt George J. Brassell       BTG   KIA       22/12/43  Munster     sn# 33322241
 S/Sgt Elliot O.Preble             'WG   KIA       10/10/43  Munster     sn# 31164132
 S/Sgt Westley M.Field            WG   KIA      10/10/43   Munster    sn# 31204708
 S/Sgt Van T.Wright                  TG   POW    10/10/43   Munster     sn# 35370362

418th Sqdn. Crew,as above ,joined 100th Group on 25/8/43. 
On 10/10/43 a S/Sgt CLARENCE C. COOMBS  was BTG in place of Sgt Brassell and was KIA.

MACR #1031 A/C #42 30047 "SWEATER GIRL".  

Note George Brassell was KIA on the 100th's second Munster mission  with crew of T.F.Goupill 
when killed and is buried in Cambridge cemetary.

Statement by Kenneth Baron  "I was wounded during an attack by an enemy a/c before I bailed out, sustaining a penetrating wound Of the right thigh which broke the femur. Due to possible shock I have no clear recollection Or the mission nor of most events until I was picked up on the ground by the Germans I do know we flew along the Rhine river some distance from its mouth and that we dropped our bombs  I do not recall seeing the target, although we were in large formation when we were subjected to an intense and accurate flak attack and when we were attacked by large numbers Or enemy a/c/

When I bailed out, I was the first person to leave by the lower nose exit because I recall releasing the door by means Or the emergency release handle The bombardier was immediately behind me, preparing to bail out, but once I left the ship I did not see him again, nor did I see the ship after I left it It was flying straight and level at that time to the best Of my knowledge I executed a delayed jump in order to reach ground more quickly and I opened my chute at what I estimated to  be 5000 ft  During my descent I could recall seeing no aircraft of any sort "

Apparently for over a year there was much confusion as to the exact fate of this crew  A German Major had taken the dog tags from several crew members when they were captured and later reports from German sources claimed that Atchison, Secor and Bennett were KIA and buried near Munster (dog tags had been switched in some manner).

The crew this day was flying B-17F 42-30047 "Sweater Girl" LN-Q instead of their regular B-17F "Terry n'Ten" 42-30062, LD-O which was named by Lt Atchison for his wife. The crew was assigned Terry n'Ten on September 16,1943.   On October 10,1943 the target was MUNSTER, just after the bomb run, the 100th was hit by fighters,and intense flak with one ME 109 colliding with Lt William Beddow's aircraft "Sexy Susy, Mother of Ten" 42-30723 EP-D which had completed only 6 mission prior to October 10th.  The collision occurred on Lt.Beddows left wing with flames erupting throughout the plane.  The bailout order was given and 4 men got out, the plane exploded in mid air after going into a steep spiral killing Lt Beddow and 5 of his crew.  It has been speculated that "Sweater Girl" also was damaged by this midair collision but surviving crew members report that the aircraft was under heavy flak followed by fighter attacks and was severely damaged before the crew was ordered to bail out.  There is no mention from Crew reports that their plane sustained any damage from Lt Beddow's mid-air collision with the Me109.  According to eye witness accounts, Lt Atchison was hit in No 2 Engine, it must have been an oil line because oil was pouring out in a stream.  All the officers along with the TTG and TG were fortunate in escaping the severly damage B-17 but unfortunately, the rest of the crew perished when the plane crashed a few miles north of Munster at Ostberven near the Dormund-Ems canal. (mpf 6/2001)

MISSIONS OF LT RICHARD ATCHISON CREW (from Paul Andrews Appendix for "Luck of the Draw")MPF 2001

1. 15/09/43 PARIS          AC# 42-861  LADEN MAIDEN
2. 16/09/43 LAPALLICE  AC# 42-30062 TERRY N'TEN
3. 26/09/43 PARIS         AC# 42-30062 TERRY N'TEN
4. 27/09/43 EMDEN       AC# 42-30758 ROSIE'S RIVETERS
5.  2/10/43 EMDEN        AC# 42-30062 TERRY N'TEN
6.  4/10/43 HANAU        AC# 42-30062 TERRY N'TEN
7.  9/10/43 MARIENBURG  AC# 42-30062 TERRY N'TEN
8. 10/10/43 MUNSTER    AC# 42-30047 SWEATER GIRL

One last thing....... for now.I think Dick told me that his plane was painted "TnT" for Terry N Ten..... not sure I have that right though.
    
Subj: Re: Lt Atchison  
Date: 8/3/2002 8:38:54 AM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: lowtech@lowtech2k.com 
To: MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
I found out that Scott (Dick's son) has some photo's, none of the crew 
or plane that he knows of.  I did find a written interview that was done 
with Dick. In it he does call his plane "TNT".  One piece of info in it 
that I did not find anywhere else is about "Rosie's Riveters"

"We all got shot down that day, but one of us got home.  Tail end 
Charlie.  It was his third Mission.  About 20 minutes before we got to 
the target, he got damaged so he headed for the deck.  His name was 
Rosie Rosenthal.  I don't remember his real first name, we all called 
him Rosie." RBA

If Rosenthal was tail end Charlie, he would have been the photographer 
would he not?  As such, there would be no footage of this event.

I did find a picture of nose art from "Sweater Girl" in a book.

If Dick's plane was taken down by debris from a mid air collision, as 
others have said, it appears he was not aware of it.

I'll be in touch as I get the pieces put together.

Dave


 Van "Ike" Wright
Memories of a Tail Gunner 10 Oct. 1943
A/C 42-30047 Sweater Girl 350th LN-Q
100th Bombardment Group

BLACK WEEK  8 Oct-14 Oct 43.
8 Oct 43 Bremen 
9 Oct 43 Marienburg
10 Oct 43-Munster
14 Oct 43 Schweinfurt.

The 100th BG had participated in raids on 8 Oct at Bremen, 9 Oct at Marienburg, and had lost many aircraft and crews. Replacement aircraft had not been received to cover the losses at Bremen. The group could only put up 18 aircraft, so they added 2 aircraft from the 390th BG to make an even 20. Briefed for Munster at 0730 to expect heavy flak and about 400 enemy fighters -  heavy ground fog would delay takeoff until 11:30 hours. After takeoff, 6 of the aircraft aborted over the North Sea.  One was one of the 390th BGp. That left 13 aircraft of the Bloody 100th to carry out the mission to Munster. To find out details on these 13 aircraft go to:
http://www.100thbg.com/mainpages/history/history4bw_munster.htm 

This is the story of the tail gunner (S/Sgt Van "Ike" Wright) 
on Sweater Girl, one of the 12 aircraft lost that day from that Group.

Munster Raid- Target-Demoralization Raid at the mouth of the Ruhr ValleyHeavy Industrial Area

"We were Flying at 20-22,000 ft when fighters came in soon after we entered the area. Flak was very heavy just prior to the fighter’s arrival. We could see the planes of our group blowing up and going down.  I think our aircraft Sweater Girl was hit before we dropped our bombs. It was probably while we were on the bomb run to the target.  ME 109s, ME110s, and JU 88s accounted for many of our losses. They were firing rockets and we took a hit at my tail gunner’s position next to my left shoulder. Our intercom was dead, my guns were useless, and the control wires were hanging down.

I decided to crawl to waist, as I knew our plane was in deep trouble. The rocket damage hole was large enough I could have jumped through the hole. When I got to the waist I saw S/SGT W.M. Field and S/SGT. E. O. Preble. They were both on the floor. Field was bleeding and Preble's oxygen mask was off and he was bleeding from the mouth, but, he got to his feet. I crawled to the ball turret position and there was no movement from him. The plane started to bank and lurch, so I went to the side door, opened it, and motioned to Preble that we were going to jump. He motioned me to go ahead and shook his head yes that he was ready to go too. I must have been the last man to jump, for I saw no other chutes and the plane was spiraling down quickly.  I saw the plane crash and burn. I landed near trees and pulled my chute in and hid til dark.  I started walking north til morning and hid in a haystack early that morning. Two dogs spotted me and the farmers came running with their pitchforks---

( Note from HQK: Many of the aircrew were attacked by farmers and pitchforks were used to kill the aircrewman. We were advised to avoid civilians, Hitler youth and SS. Where possible evade otherwise turn in to the military.)--Then German soldiers appeared from Munster and handcuffed me. I then went to Frankfurt-on-the-Main and then to Stalag 17B for the duration."

"PS: I knew nothing about the rest of the crew until after we were liberated. 
I found out that Fields,Preble,Lisch, and Combs had been killed, and one of the officers had been wounded."

Subj: atchison crew page  
Date: 5/19/2003 7:26:55 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: MPFaley 
To: MPFaley 
 
MPFaley:  Hi frank 
FrDMurphy:  Mike! 
MPFaley:  Question for you. Was the Atchison Crew in the 418th BS 
FrDMurphy:  Yes. 
MPFaley:  REALLY 
FrDMurphy:  Yes. 
FrDMurphy:  It was a replacement crew. 
MPFaley:  Needed to know that, all our records have this crew as a 350th BS Crew but an account from a member of the Crew raised that Question 
FrDMurphy:  It was a 418th crew. 
MPFaley:  Probably because they were shot down in a 350th plane 
MPFaley:  Thanks, that helps a lot 
FrDMurphy:  That is correct.  We, the Cruikshank were shot down in a 350th airplane. 
MPFaley:  That is true.  Were all teh aircraft so shot up from Bremen and Marienburg that you had to use 350th AC 
MPFaley:  I would figure that Bill Clift caught hell from Butch to get his planes ready for the next missions.   
FrDMurphy:  We were scraping the bottom of the barrel on 10 October 1943.  We had been to Bremen on 8 October and lost 8 airplanes and to Marienburg on Saturday which was one of the longest missions of the war--200 miles east of Berlin--it took a terrific toll on our available aircraft.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Munster DATE: 1943-10-10  
AIRCRAFT: "Sweater Girl" (42-30047) CAUSE: EAC-FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 Richard B. Atchison crew. Top from left, Van T. Wright, Elliot O. Preble, George J. Brassell and Westley M. Field, Middle; Willard Secor and Elder E. Lisch, Bottom; Sol Goldstein, Richard B. Atchinson, Kenneth Baron and Russell W. Bennett. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Westley M. Field WG, on the Richard B. Atchison, Jr. crew. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Westley M. Field 

 Part of the Richard B. Atchison, Jr. crew. (left to right) Elder E. Lisch, Westley M. Field and George J. Brassell. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Westley M. Field 

 Lt. Col. Kidd (Group Opns. Officer). Look at that board and the names, you are looking September 3, 1943, from that list the following crews will be missing that day. Winkelman, Fineup, Floyd and not on the board yet is Richard C King. Henington will ditch in the Channel.  (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 140