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S/SGT  Eugene M. FELLMETH

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: TG

Newspaper article about Family receiving Air Medal from their Son S/Sgt Gene Fellmeth and his POW notice. (Courtesy of Matt Mabe)

SERIAL #: 35236132 STATUS: POW
MACR: 11356 CR: 11356

Comments1: 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (EAC)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
                    A/C #42-107233 "Humpty Dumpty"  MACR #11356, MICRO-FICHE #4178

2ND LT WALLACE G. WILSON             P POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
2ND LT CLARENCE R. VAN CLEAVE     CP POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG  TAPS: 1965
2ND LT KENNETH F. KANE              NAV POW  31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
2ND LT SIDNEY L. BREWIN, JR.       BOM NOC
CPL PERRY S. GAYE                     ROG POW  31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
CPL DOUGLAS H. NASH                TTE POW  31 DEC 44 HAMBURG  TAPS: 1963
CPL AUSTIN h. GIBBON                BTG POW  31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
CPL GEORGE P. MONTE                 WG POW  31 DEC 44 HAMBURG  TAPS: 1982
CPL EUGENE M. FELLMETH              TG POW  31 DEC 44 HAMBURG

351ST SQDN..  CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 28 OCT 1944. ON THE HAMBURG MISSION OF 31 DEC 44, LT BREWIN WAS REPLACED BY HERMAN F. ECKMEYER, A TOGGALIER (FROM LT GAY CREW), WHO BECAME A POW.

Lived in "Stye 9" Hut with Lt Streich and Lt Floyd Henderson Crew

Some Missions for Wallace Wilson Crew:

DATE              TARGET                                            AIRCRAFT# & NAME                             FUEL              COMMENT
02/12/1944     KOBLENZ                                          #43-37815 You Can't Lose                    2600 GAL
04/12/1944     GIESSEN, FRIEDBURG (S.T.)                #42-107233 "Humpty Dumpty"              2600 GAL        BOMBS DID NOT RELEASE
05/12/1944     BERLIN                                             #42-107233 "Humpty Dumpty"              2780 GAL        DAMAGE TO RIGHT WING
                                                                                                                             BOMBS WOULD NOT RELEASE, DOORS JAMMED 
11/12/1944    GIESSEN, KOBLENZ                               #42-31066  Fools Rush In                   2600 GAL
24/12/1944    BIBLIS, BABENHAUSEN, KAISERLAUTERN #42-107233 "Humpty Dumpty"            2600 GAL        #3 FEATHERED, OIL LEAK
25/12/1944    KAISERLAUTERN                                   #43-38124 Kramp's Tramps                 2600 GAL         
27/12/1944    FULDA                                                 #43-38523 Glory Bound                      2700 GAL        #3 PROP R/W, EXHAUST STACK
                                                                                                                                                            ON #3 BROKE
28/12/1944   KOBLENZ,LUXEMBOURG, LUNEBACH       #43-38124 Kramp's Tramps                   2400 GAL
30/12/1944   KASSEL                                             #42-107233 "Humpty Dumpty"               2600 GAL                                                      
31/12/1944   HAMBURG                                          #42-107233 "Humpty Dumpty"               2600 GAL         MIA


Letter to Grant Fuller, Executive Vice-President 100th Bomb Group Association, dated June 26, 1991

…We were in the 351st Squadron (by the way, our plane was aptly named Humpty Dumpty) and we went down on December 31, 1944 over Hamburg. To refresh your memory, that was the last big loss for the 100th as we lost, I believe, 14 planes that day. It was also the mission in which the famous crash landing occurred of the two B17's which were stuck together.

On that mission we were without our regular Bombardier, Lee Brewin who had been picked for Lead Crew Training. He was replaced by a Sergeant named Echmeyer, whose first name I unfortunately do not remember. In any event, that particular day we were bombing Hamburg and we did not have any problems at all until we got in the bomb run and we took a direct hit. The direct hit knocked out electricity and our power and it also knocked out number #1 and 4 which started wind-milling and, because we didn't have power, we were unable to feather them, so we really had a problem in that respect. The Pilot, Wally Wilson of Joplin, Missouri had a load of flak in his left calf and it was obvious right from the beginning that we were not going to fly very much longer so we immediately dropped down to 10,000 feet so that I could put a bandage on Wally's leg and everybody bailed out except Wally and I and our Co-pilot, Roy VanCleave from Memphis, Tennessee. We picked up some ME's and they made two passes at us but on each occasion, Roy VanCleave was able to dump the nose just at the right moment and avoid getting hit by them. It was obvious that the plane wasn't a good place to stay for very long, so I put a chute on Wally and pushed him out and then I went out and then Van trimmed up the plane and went out.

By the way, both Wally and Van are now dead. Wally died about 12 years ago and I understand that he died of bone cancer in his left leg, which is, of course, was the leg that was injured in that particular incident. VanCleave died very young, I think around 42, he had a blood clot and after a minor operation he died. 

Anyway, we all bailed out and we all got picked up immediately; they had the old folks watching from the towers. I was locked up in a fire station until I was turned over to the Military later in the day. That night we all were put together at some kind of a Military Facility that was partly hospital, and partly detention center. At that point in time they bandaged up Wally's leg which had been bleeding all day long. Echmyer, our Bombardier, also got injured bailing out, because we had to bail out of the front escape hatch with the bomb run doors open. He had a limp and I assume he might still have it. Everybody else got out and they were; reading from top to bottom.

Doug Nash was our Engineer from Seattle, Washington, Doug died 10 or 12 years ago. Our Radio Operator was Perry Gaye; Perry now lives in Tampa and we have seen him on a few occasions. Our Gunner was George Monte from Omaha and later Albuquerque, I understand George has since died. Our Ball Turret Operator was Austin Gibbon from Oakland and as far as I know Austin is still o.k. Our Tail Gunner was Gene Fellmeth from Masillon, Ohio and I understand that Gene is now a Judge in Masillon. As I said, we all got picked up except, for some reason or other, Perry Gaye got away for a week or so and managed to get frost bite as a result of it because this was December in Germany. By the way, I would like to make a note about Dick Rolle who was in our group who was shot down that day in another plane. Dick bailed out on fire and when he showed up that night at the detention facility, he was blind because the fire came up from below. We really had a hard time getting him to believe that we were who we were because he felt that we might have been German Spies planted to convince him that we were Americans and that he would spill something, of course none of us knew anything anyway. In any event, as I understand it, Dick's sight was restored and I think he's o.k. now.

We then went to a interrogation center in a town called Oberosel, outside of Frankfurt. After the interrogation we went to an "in transit" camp near Wetzlar and from there we went to a permanent camp in Barth which was Stalag Luft I up on the Baltic Sea. This is probably around the 8th or 10th of January by the time we got there and we stayed there until the war was over and we were liberated by the Russians on May 8th, 9th, or 10th, somewhere along there, whenever the war ended.

In respect to our treatment by the Germans, we were never abused or mistreated, we simply were under fed as the whole German nation was under-fed at that time. We were going along on 600 calories a day until about late in April, whenever Holy Week was, because that happens to be the week that the Red Cross parcels started to come in and we all had some food for a change; we also had diarrhea for a change….

Kenneth F. Lane - Navigator..

************************************************************************************************************

CANAL FULTON -- Eugene M. Fellmeth, 88, passed away Monday, March 18, 2013.

Born December 14, 1924 in Massillon, he had been a Canal Fulton resident his entire life where he was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ and a graduate of Canal Fulton High School. Eugene served in the United States Air Force as a tail gunner on a B-17 based in England during World War II. He was shot down on the 13th mission over Hamburg, Germany on December 31, 1944. He became a Prisoner of War and was liberated by General George S. Patton and the 14th Armored Division on April 29, 1945. He was awarded an Air Medal, POW Medal, Purple Heart, Unit Presidential Citation and Good Conduct Medal for his time served in the military.

Upon being discharged from the Air Force, Eugene graduated from Wittenberg University in 1948. He was selected as an All-Ohio Basketball player in 1947 and 1948, All-Ohio Conference 1946-1948 and inducted into the Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Honor in 1988. Eugene played professional baseball with the Portsmouth Athletics, a farm club of the then Philadelphia Athletics from 1949-1950.

After baseball, Gene graduated from Cleveland Marshall Law School (now Cleveland State University) in 1951. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1951 and was a practicing lawyer from 1951-1983. During his time practicing law he was a Prosecutor for Massillon Municipal Court in 1953, Law Director for the Village of Canal Fulton in 1954 and then again from 1960-1974, Mayor for the Village of Canal Fulton from 1955-1959 and 1975-1983, Law Director for the Village of Navarre in 1965 and Recorder of Stark County from 1980-1983. Gene was later elected Judge of Massillon Municipal Court where he served from 1983 until his retirement in 1996. After retirement he served as an Active Retired Visiting Judge.

Gene was a member of the Stark County, Ohio and American Bar Associations, the American Judicature Society, American Judges Association and Municipal Judges Associations of Ohio. He served on the Executive Committee of the first Regional Planning Commission of Stark County, Board of Directors for the Massillon YMCA and Salvation Army. Gene was an Attorney, Vice President and on the Board of Directors for Brewster Bldg. and Loan Co. as well as serving on the Board of Directors and Attorney for First Savings and Loan Co. of Massillon.

His activities continued on to civic organizations. He was a Master Mason Clinton Lodge #47, member of the Commandery #004 Knights Templar in Massillon, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Canton, Royal Arch Mason Hiram Chapter in Massillon, Royal and Select Mason Canton Council #35, Tadmor Temple AAONMS of Akron, Massillon Tadmor Shrine Club, Nazir Grotto in Canton and Boys and Girls Club of Massillon. 

Gene was a life member of the BPOE Elks #441 and PER, the American Legion #221, DAV Chapter 38, The Forty and Eight #10 and American Vets #6, all of Massillon. He was also a life member of the VFW Post 9795 in Canal Fulton, the Eighth Air Force, 100 Bomb Group, Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Ex Prisoner of War and the Association of Professional Ball Players of Americas.

Preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Rowena and brother, William Jr., he is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Ruth (Sheriff); daughter, Sharon Fellmeth Sample of Moss Beach, Calif.; son, Scott Fellmeth of Canal Fulton; and grandchildren, Lauren and Scott Fellmeth.

Funeral service will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013, 11 a.m. at the Swigart-Easterling Funeral Home, 624 E. Cherry St. (Rt. 93), Canal Fulton, Rev. Glen Shedlock officiating. Interment at Canal Fulton Cemetery. Calling hours Friday 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 and one hour prior to service time on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to the Stark County Humane Society, 5100 Peach St. NE, Louisville, OH 44641 or Trinity United Church of Christ, 8101 Manchester Ave. NW, Canal Fulton, OH 44614.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Hamburg DATE: 1944-12-31  
AIRCRAFT: "Humpty Dumpty" (42-107233) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 1592