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Joseph Michael Griego
BIRTH	8 Sep 1920
Colorado, USA
DEATH	5 Nov 2014 (aged 94)
Santa Fe National Cemetery
Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA  Show Map
PLOT	21 1413

SERIAL #: 17086679 STATUS: POW
MACR: 13144 CR: 13144

Comments1: 18 MAR 45 BERLIN (EAC)



                                       TARGET WAS BERLIN..

2nd Lt Edward P.Gwin                     P      KIA    18/3/45    BERLIN
2nd Lt Donald H.Reichel                  CP      POW    18/3/45    BERLIN
2nd Lt Robert B.Landino                 NAV    POW    18/3/45    BERLIN
2nd Lt Stewart P.Laidlaw                BOM     Group Bombardier after 10 Missions 
   Cpl William C.Danielson,Jr.             ROG     KIA      18/3/45   BERLIN
   Cpl Herbert Hamann                     TTE    POW    18/3/45   BERLIN
   Cpl Joseph M.Griego                      TG     POW    18/3/45   BERLIN
   Cpl Earl S.Hamilton                       BTG    Grounded with bad back. (Replaced on Crew by Sgt Charles Koons, see memo below) 
   Cpl Charles T.Maedel                    WG     XFR      Taken off Crew to reduce to Nine men and transferred to 15th Air Force.
   Cpl  Norman D. Heilbuth               WG    POW      18/3/45   BERLIN

351st Sqdn. Crew,as above,Joined 100th Group on 5/10/44.  Crew Flew A/C "All American Girl" 237936 EP-M until it went down in Jan 45.  Assigned new plane 338861 "Sweet Nancy II" 

Letter from Joe Griego in 1983 states that Lt.Laidlaw was made Group Bombardier after about 10 missions with crew. ". On 18/3/45 Sgt Raymond Y.Uhler (flying in place of Hamilton) and Sgt John W. Disher-Spot Jammer were both KIA.  Sgt.David Ackerman was aboard as NG/TOG and became a POW.   R.K.Uhler was from the crew of J.L.Wofford.   John Disher was from the crew of H.S.Bucklew.

Letter from Lt Donald Reichel states that Cpl Earl Hamilton was replaced (due to bad back) on the crew by Sgt Charles Koons from the crew of Lt Oren Hopkins, after about 10 missions.  He finished his missions on 15/3/45: See Hopkins Crew below
MACR #13144   A//C#43 38861 was attacked by an ME 262 at 1114 hours, 5247;N  & 1145E. Our  A/C had two 
engines on fire and dived away from the formation.. A/C then nosed up with tail falling off and fell down spinling. 
One chute was seen."

Joe Griego was in the severed section of the tail and  had a difficult tlme getting out so that he could open his chute. See S.O.C. p.86/87 &103/105

The following are excerpts from statements of Lt. Robert B. Landino taken from MACR No# 13144

As to Lt. Gwin,  ". . . From enlisted men who were working near where we were shot down; they claim one man bailed out below the clouds, then they heard shooting, his chute collasped and he fell to the ground presumably dead."

As to Sgt Disher,  " . . . S/Sgt Heilbuth saw him just before he bailed out.  He was crawling out of the radio room with blood all over himself, but he (Heilbuth) did not have time to help him as the aircraft was below the clouds which were not more than 500 feet, so he had to jump. Disher probably never go to the door to jump as the plane must have hit only a few seconds later."

As to Sgt. Uhler, ". . . I believe he was trapped in the ball turret by emeny shell fire.  His body was seen on the ground along side of the plane.

As to T/Sgt Danielson,   ". . .He must have been killed by the fire from the two ME - 262s that shot us down. They sprayed the back part of our plane as it was shot in half just in front of the tail wheel.

Charles Maedel was shipped out to Thorpe Abbotts, England as a Waist Gunner on a B-17 Bomber, a member of the 
100th bomb group "The Bloody Hundredth", 351st squadron. Then to Sterparone, Italy with the 483rd 
bomb group, 816th squadron, just 200 miles south of where Enzo Ferrari was building his first race cars. 
Companies like Packard, Lycoming, and Wright were building engines for warplanes based on the same 
supercharger technology being used in auto racing, and Ted’s knowledge proved useful. He could tell the 
pilot and navigator about their altitude, cloud density, and other information just from the sound of the 
engines, and helped the mechanics get the most out of them so they’d have ‘just a little bit more’ when 
the going got tough. Their squadron was known for having had many missions where planes made it back 
full of thousands of bullet holes, and still flying. After over 40 missions Ted returned home at the end of 
the war with several medals and citations, and having been wounded in action more than once, the 
Purple Heart. 

Here's a death notice for Mr.Charles Theodore "Ted" Maedel Jr.
Born 19 Oct,1925 in Denver, Colorado
Died of natural causes 18 July, 2009 in Park City,Utah.

Mission Log Edward P. Gwin Crew                                                                                         Aircraft # and Name
Date  Mission#  Target     Comments
10/30/44 1  Merseburg    Bombed alternate
11/02/44 2  Merseburg    Very heavily defended
11/09/44 3  Saarbrucken
11/29/44 4  Hamm
12/02/44 5  Coblenz                                                                                                                #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
12/04/44 6  Freilburg                                                                                                               #530 "Quittin' Time"
12/05/44 7  Berlin     Flak filled skies & fighers                                                                        #523  "Glory Bound"
12/24/44 8  Kaiserlauten - Bibkus Aerodrome                                                                 #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
12/25/44 9  Kaiserlauten                                                                                                   #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
12/27/44 10  Fulda                                                                                                                  #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
12/28/44 11  Coblenz Sgt David Ackerman becomes NG/Toggelier &Cpl Charles Koons becomes BTG   #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
12/30/44 12  Kassel                                                                                                          #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
12/31/44 13  Hamburg    Reichel wounded, Gp lost 12                                                    #936 "All American Girl" EP-M
01/07/45 14  Cologne                                                                                                              #521 "Skyway Chariot"
01/21/45 15  Mannheim                                                                                                           #632  EP-H
02/03/45 16  Berlin                                                                                                                  #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
02/06/45 17  Chemnitz                                                                                                             #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
02/22/45 18  Dresden (100th BG Mission list shows this as Kitzengen)                                  #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
02/23/45 19  Treuchtlingen                                                                                                      #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
02/25/45 20  Munich                                                                                                                #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
02/26/45 21  Berlin     Heavy flak as usual                                                                               #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
02/28/45 22  Kassel                                                                                                                 #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/02/45 23  Ruhland                                                                                                              #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/07/45 24  Siegen                                                                                                                #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/08/45 25  Frankfurt                                                                                                             #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/10/45 26  Dortmund                                                                                                           #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/11/45 27  Hamburg    Nothing like the last time..                                                               #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/12/45 28  Swinemunde                                                                                                       #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/15/45 29  Oranienburg   Charles Koons completes tour                                                     #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/17/45 30  Ulm                                                                                                                      #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 
03/18/45 31  Berlin        Final Mission - they shot our tail off!!!                                                #861 "Sweet Nancy II" 

2nd Lt Edward P.Gwin                        P      KIA      18/3/45v BERLIN
2nd Lt Donald H.Reichel                    CP      POW    18/3/45   BERLIN
2nd Lt Robert B.Landino                   NAV    POW    18/3/45   BERLIN
   Sgt.David Ackerman                  NG/TOG   POW    18/3/45  BERLIN
   Sgt John W. Disher           Spot Jammer    KIA      18/3/45  BERLIN (from the crew of H.S.Bucklew)
   Cpl William C.Danielson,Jr.               ROG    KIA      18/3/45  BERLIN
   Cpl Herbert Hamann                      TTE    POW    18/3/45  BERLIN
   Cpl Joseph M.Griego                       TG     POW    18/3/45   BERLIN
   Sgt Raymond Y.Uhler                     BTG    KIA      18/3/45   BERLIN  (from J Wofford Crew)
S/Sgt Norman D. Heilbuth                  WG    POW    18/3/45   BERLIN

S/Sgt J.M. Griego:
This was our 32 mission and we only needed three more to complete our tour and come home.

"On this particular mission, we had two extra airmen on board, one was a radar jammer (Sgt Disher) and the other was a photographer. It was rather routine until we reached the I.P.(the initial point) where the bombardier takes over control and we fly at the same speed and altitude to the target. I was looking over my shoulder toward the 3o'clock position, into the con trails formed by the other bombers ahead when I saw two Me 262 jets, with guns blazing heading our way. I called out "fighters 3 o'clock" and began to fire my guns when I was tossed around in the tail I didn't know what had happened but I knew there was an explosion behind me. After the tad settled down, I moved my legs to see if they were still there, and since there was no pain, I looked to see what damage had. Been done to the plane. I was shocked to see nothing but blue sky. The rest of the plane was gone! I was floating to the ground in the tail section. I grabbed for my parachute (a chest pack) which I kept under my .50 caliber machine guns, which was behind the armor chest plate that I had to wrap my arms around when firing my guns. Then I had to free myself from my flack protector before I could snap my chute auto my harness. Then I was able to turn and try to clear the tail. I had an escape hatch near me but I was sliding down toward the Whole in the tail so I hooked my boots into the edge of the tail and pulled myself out. After clearing the tail I pulled the rip cord on my chute and waited for it to open but it didn't. Then I ripped open the flap and started pulling the chute out lice a folded sheet. After an eternity, the chute blossomed open and I drifted toward the ground.

We had been hit at 27000 ft. but I was only able to pick out a landing site before I landed. We had been issued .45 pistols, as the Home Guard, Hitler Youth were stringing up the airmen when they landed. I was able to see a patch of forest in the midst of three villages and I headed for it and was able to land in it so I would avoid the civilians. Unfortunately for me, my chute draped over the top of the trees so I was left dangling between the trees, thirty feet off the ground with no possibility or reaching any tree which would enable me to get down. I lad a pocket knife with me and I thought if I cut one of the leg straps I might be able to swing over and catch a tree. I tried this and was able to catch a tree but couldn't get my hand around it and slipped off and I was left dangling from my leg strap and was in this position when  sego a group of German soldiers appeared below me and told me to come down before they realized my predicament and sent one of their soldiers climbing up a tree to reach out and pull me to a tree which I was able to reach and slide down. Once on the ground, I was stripped and checked out. My pistol and escape pack were taken and my boot inserts were taken. Then I was allowed to redress and was marched off toward a small village. Along the way I met up with another crew member who was surprised to see me. The both of us were taken to a one room house where we met the other members of the crew who had been captured. We were happy to be reunited but there were four missing. Outside, we could hear the villagers shouting "Amercanish schwindbounds, kill them" and more.

Soon, a covered truck pulled up and we were loaded onto it. We had been shot down around noon and it was starting to get dark when the truck pulled away. Along the way the truck stopped and the driver got out and put some wood into a boiler along side the truck. This was a wood burner!! The Germans were combating the oil shortage we had been causing with our bombing.After some time the truck stopped and a German came to the truck and asked if we could identify the dog tags of four Americans. We realized that these names were four of our crewmen.

Later we pulled up into an airfield and were unloaded. Once in, we were each taken to separate cells. We had not eaten since breakfast and we were given a piece of black bread with some margarine and hogshead cheese. 'The next day, an officer who identified himself as a Red Cross representative began to interrogate me. We had been forewarned that these interrogators were German Intellegence Officers and were to be only be given name, rank & serial number, which is what they got. After three days of solitary I, and three other captive airmen from other crews who had been shot down, were escorted by three German soldiers and taken to a train station where we found out that we were to be taken to a prison camp. While waiting to be transferred to a narrow gage train, the air raid sounded and the German guards rushed us down to an air raid shelter full of Germans. I didn't dare look around but just stared on the floor. Had this city been bombed I doubt if I would be here today.

We reached a town where we disembarked and were marched to a village where our guards met with the Burgermeister who would find a house that would take us in for the night. We were taken to the attic, which usually had straw that was used for the animals which were in a barn next to the house, so we were able to bed down on it. This was the same procedure followed for the next three days. On the fourth day we found the prison camp but the commander would not take us because we were airmen and were to be taken to a Stalag Luft I. Our guards were finally able to talk him into take us in and they were able to return to their airfield.

We were taken into the prison compound and were greeted by the pow"s who quizzed us about the progress of the war and how we happened to be captured. We assured them that the war would be ending soon as we had already crossed the Rhine and were pushing deeper into Germany.

I was placed in a room with thirty other GI's. It was rather crowded, with three tiers of bunks lined with straw mats for beds. I asked where I was to sleep and they said, "anywhere I could find room." I found a place and, as it was already dark and I was tired. I found a place and went to sleep. I awoke in the middle of the night itching all over. The next morning I looked at my legs and arms and they were covered with bites. I asked what they were and were told they were flea bites. I said, "Boy, I am not sleeping there"


2nd Lt   Oren E. Hopkins           P POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
2nd Lt   Foy E. Read               CP POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
2nd Lt   Forrest Gordon        NAV POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
2nd Lt   Eugene E. Lockhart  BOM KIA   3 FEB 45  BERLIN        (with the Ernst PFF crew)
    Cpl   Henry B. Marlette      TTE POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
    Sgt   Kenneth E. Yeater   ROG POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
    Cpl   Arthur B. Crush, Jr.    BTG POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
    Cpl   Harold Farlow             WG POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE
    Cpl  Charles W. Koons, Jr.   WG CPT 15 MAR 45  ORANIENBURG ( with Lt Gwin Crew)
    Cpl  Eugene E. Jamison       TG POW 5 NOV 44 THIONVILLE

351st Sqdn.   Crew , as above,  joined the 100th Group on 4/8/44.  Charles W. Koons, Jr. was removed at the crew reduction to nine men. He replaced  Cpl Earl Hamilton (due to bad back) on the Gwin Crew after about 10 missions.  He finished his missions on 15/3/45:


Joseph M. Griego 351st Squadron November 5, 2014
Joe arrived at 100th BG on Oct. 5, 1044 as Tail Gunner on the Edward Gwin crew.  On March 18, 1945, Joe’s 32nd mission, the B-17 Sweet Nancy II was attacked by an ME-262 jet fighter, causing the plane’s tail section to break off from fuselage. In Joe’s own words: “…I looked to see what damage had been done to the plane. I was shocked to see nothing but blue sky – the rest of the plane was gone! I was floating to the ground in the tail section…” Against great odds, Joe managed to attach his parachute, escape the tail, and land in a grove of trees where German soldiers soon found him. Joe spent the remaining chaotic weeks of war as a POW, later chronicling his WWII experiences in a short memoir, The Tail End. 


Theodor Weissenberger was the German Pilot that shot Down "Sweet Nancy II"
mit freundlichen Grüßen  Patrick

Joseph Michael Griego
BIRTH	8 Sep 1920
Colorado, USA
DEATH	5 Nov 2014 (aged 94)
Santa Fe National Cemetery
Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA  Show Map
PLOT	21 1413

Joseph "Joe" Michael Griego, age 94, entered into eternal life on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. 
Joseph was born in Primero, Colorado on September 8, 1920, to Miguel and Eloisa Griego who preceded him in death, along with his brothers, Eddie and Elmer and sisters, Kathryn, Delia, Jessie, Julia, Ida and Barbara. 
Joseph is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Patricia McInerney. 
Joe grew up in Denver, Colorado where he lived at the Mullen Home for Boys. Prior to entering the service he played football at Regis College in Denver. Joe served in World War II with the 100th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force as a tail gunner on a B-17. On March 18, 1945, Joe’s B-17 was shot down by a ME 262 Jet Interceptor. Although the entire tail section was shot off, Joe was able to parachute into Germany and survived the prison camp, returning home to the United States. In his later years, Joe wrote a book about his wartime experiences entitled, The Tail End. After the war, Joe ultimately ended up in Albuquerque, NM. 
Joe completed his education at the University of New Mexico, where he earned a Master’s degree. After graduation, he entered the education field with the Albuquerque School District, where he remained for his entire career. 
Final viewing for Joe Griego will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 12500 Carmel Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM. A Recitation of the Rosary and viewing will begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Fr. Michael Shea, with Military Honors to be presented by the 47th Regiment Honor Guard. A reception will follow. Joe was a lifetime member of the Catholic War Veterans and a Charter Member, 4th Degree Knight of Prince of Peace Catholic Church. Internment at Santa Fe National Cemetery will be at a later date. 
Recognition and a heartfelt thanks to all who enriched Joe and his wife’s final years in Albuquerque, including family, friends, former colleagues and their devoted caregivers.


TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1945-03-18  
AIRCRAFT: "Sweet Nancy II" (43 38861) CAUSE: ME262  


ID: 2028