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LT  William F. EDMONDSON

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: NAV
SERIAL #: O-752629 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 07878 CR: 07878

Comments1: 5 AUG 44 MAGDEBURG (UNKNOWN/POSSIBLE FLAK & BOMB EXP)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

                    A/C 42-107137 XR-O flew 14 missions in this A/C   MACR #7502,Microfiche #2732
           
2nd Lt Charles S.Harding,Jr.     P   INTERNEE 13/7/44 Munich  sn# O-757191
2nd Lt Bennie D.Wilson         CP   INTERNEE 13/7/44
2nd Lt Thomas P.Hunt        NAV  INTERNEE 13/7/44                
2nd Lt William F.Edmondson BOM  KIA          5/8/44 Madgeburg  
S/Sgt John L. Craven           TOG INTERNEE  13/7/44 Replaced Lt Edmonsdson after mission 7
 S/Sgt Thomas D.Miles         ROG  INTERNEE 13/7/44
 S/Sgt Norbert A.Fike          TTE   INTERNEE 13/7/44
   Sgt Norman D.Fuller         BTG  INTERNEE 13/7/44
   Sgt Wesley H.Peck         RWG  INTERNEE 13/7/44
   Sgt Clare R.Harnden          TG   NOC
S/Sgt Robert J. Buchanan     TG   INTERNEE  13/7/44 (FROM THE JOHN HARRISON CREW)   
Sgt Lester J.Henderson       WG  INTERNEE 13/7/44

349th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 25/5/44. See John Miller letter 8/3/81. Also,MIGHTY 
EIGHTH WAR DIARY says crew down in Switzerland.  On 13/7/44, John L.Craven flew as nose gunner, Robert 
J.Buchanan flew as tail gunner. Craven had gone overseas with the I00th Group Ground echelon then 
volunteered for aerial gunnery.  Craven,Buchanan & Fuller returned to Thorpe Abbotts in Feb.1945. 
Crew was interned in Switzerland at Adelboden for 1month, then to Wengen for 6 1/2 months. 

Crew flew first 3 missions in A/C 42-31987 

Lt.Edmondson NAVIGATOR with the crew of A.J.Gallagher when killed.  Lt. Edmondson was Bombardier on the Harding Crew for 7 missions then he was transferred to Lt Gallaghers crew as a Navigator.  

  Missions of 2nd Lt. William F. Edmondson (mpf 2000)

1. 30/5/44  TROYES
2. 31/5/44  OSNABRUCK
3.   2/6/44  BOULOGNE
4.   4/6/44  BOULOGNE
5.   5/6/44  ABBEVILLE
6.   6/6/44` D-DAY, OUISTREHAM
7.   7/6/44  NANTES

***********************************************************************************************************
CREW

1ST LT ANTHONY J. GALLAGHER       P KIA    5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
2ND LT GORDON K. BOWEN            CP KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
2ND LT WILLIAM F. EDMONDSON  NAV KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
2ND LT GUSTAV A. VERDAL          BOM CPT  12 DEC 44 DARMSTADT
T/SGT ALBERT S. PRINCE              ROG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
T/SGT JOSEPH A. LUCAS             TTE KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
S/SGT WALTER WITTENDORF      BTG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
S/SGT JOHN A. ZAHER                 WG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
S/SGT JACK GOBIN                      WG CPT  16 NOV 44 AACHEN  
S/SGT HERMAN F. HERHAMER        TG KIA  5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC

349th Sqdn.. LT GALLAGHER Crew as  assigned in June 1944 except for Lt Edmondson.  It is known that Lt Edmondson was from the crew of C.S.Harding, Jr.  He was assigned to Gallagher permanently from Harding's crew because the original navigator, Lt. Lyle Langenburg, had been pulled from the crew when they arrived in England and was sent for pathfinder training. S/SGT J. GOBIN and S/SGT ZAHER were switching off missions flying as waist gunner as crews were reduced to 9 men.  S/Sgt Gobin was put in the spare gunners pool after the Gallagher Crew was shot down.  

Crew on 5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG     MACR #7878, Microfiche #2888    A/C #42 - 37572

1ST LT ANTHONY J. GALLAGHER        P KIA    5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
2ND LT GORDON K. BOWEN            CP KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
2ND LT WILLIAM F. EDMONDSON    NAV KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
    SGT RALPH O. INGALLS           TOG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
T/SGT ALBERT S. PRINCE            ROG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
T/SGT JOSEPH A. LUCAS             TTE KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
S/SGT WALTER WITTENDORF        BTG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
S/SGT JOHN A. ZAHER                 WG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC
S/SGT HERMAN F. HERHAMER           TG KIA   5 AUG 44  MAGDEBURG, TANK, AC

EYEWITNESS: "A/C #572 as seen to be hit by flak as bombs were released. The A/C disintegrated and no chutes were seen.

Later reports suggest it may have been bombs from another B-17 that destroyed A/C #42-37572; there is no  confirmation of this and the fate of the A/C will proably never be positively determined.


As far as the navigator Lt. Edmondson, I understand he was assigned to Gallagher permanently from Harding's crew because the original navigator, Lt. Lyle Langenburg, had been pulled from the crew when they arrived in England and was sent for pathfinder training. I believe Edmondson was originally a bombardier but hated it and wanted to be a navigator. (???)  
 
The toggalier Sgt. Ralph O. Ingalls, had been assigned to the crew because the regular bombardier, Lt. Gustav Verdal, had been wounded on the previous days mission to Hamburg and was in the hospital.  He finished his tour, returned to the states and lived in Idaho until his death a few years ago.  Waist gunner Jack Gobin was not flying that day because with the nine man policy John Zaher was flying.  Gobin finished his tour, returned to the states, lives in Florida and is a member of the foundation.
 
I researched the rumor that the plane had been hit by bombs from the plane above it but neither the waist gunner on "Billy Boy" (Chuck Winters who was looking directly at the plane when it blew up) nor the tail gunner on the lead plane of the element (and I don't have his name handy) believed Gallagher was hit by bombs.  Only the ball turret gunner of the plane above (and I don't have his name handy either…it's in my files) said the bombs may have hit it.  Every other source seemed to think a 1 in a million direct hit by flak in the bomb bay caused the plane to explode.  Naturally I prefer that explanation. 
 
Herhamer's body was found, Ingalls I understand lived a few hours and Edmondson supposedly lived for several days according to family.  Herhamer and Edmondson were returned to the states for reburial after the war and Ingalls is buried in France.
 
Ron Lucas
son of T/Sgt. Joseph A. Lucas
the_quiet_heroes@hotmail.com

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Magdeburg DATE: 1944-08-05  
AIRCRAFT: "Sassy Lassy" (43-37572) CAUSE: FLAK - Bomb Exploded  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 1456