Database Search

You are in the database section of the website.

Select a record category from RECORDS above. When you have selected a category, you will see search options for that category above the record list. 

Most fields require at least three characters. When you submit your query, the search engine will return all records that contain your search term.

Note that when searching for an aircraft serial number, you must enter the full serial number without the leading "4" and without a dash in the Aircraft SN search field. For example, you would enter 42-37772 as 237772.

The Personnel name field searches both last and first names, so if you enter the search term, "Russ", the search engine will return both Russell Abel and James Russell.

You narrow the search by entering more characters into the search field. For example, "Russ" returns many hits. "Russell" returns fewer hits. The same principle applies to all queries.

The POW and KIA categories are list only and are not searchable.

T/SGT  Marshall R. BANTA

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: ROG
SERIAL #: 35671019 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 02020 CR: 02020

Comments1: 30 DEC 43 LUDWIGSHAVEN (FLAK - EAC)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT MARVIN L. LEININGER  P KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
2ND LT ALBERT W. WITMYER  CP KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
2ND LT LEONARD D. McCHESNEY NAV EVA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
2ND LT CHARLES W. COMPTON, JR. BOM EVA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
    SGT MARSHALL BANTA  ROG KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
    SGT MEYER M. WEINTRAUB TTE KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
    SGT NICHOLAS J. MATULIK BTG KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
    SGT EUGENE F. LATIMER  WG KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
    SGT JAMES W. PARHAM  WG KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN
    SGT CHARLES J. McGROGAN TG KIA 30 DEC 1943 LUDWIGSHAFEN

349th Sqdn.. Crew flew A/C 42-5861 XR-J Laden Maiden (Named by Squadron CO William Veal and later
flown by Cowboy Owen Roane)  When the crew joined the 100th Gp on 1 Dec 1943, Sgt Philp Wagner was a WG instead of James W. Parham. 
According to a family member of Sgt Weintraub, this was the crews first Mission. 

EYEWITNESS: (S/Sgt John J. Strang): One B-17 from the high squadron fell behind and three (3) FW-190S followed the B-17 
which went down in flames. 

LUDWIGSHAVEN MISSION, DECEMBER 30, 1943
 Lt Leininger in A/C #861 was hit by flak at 12:35 hours and dropped out of formation.  At various times on the route from the target both #3 and #4 engines were feathered and started again.  At one time the aircraft was able to regain its position in the formation, but in some reshuffling of the formation, it dropped behind jast as some enemy fighters attacked at 13:42 hours.  It was hit by three enemy aircraft from 9 O'Clock low.  It appeared that at least one of the three fighters fired a rocket into the ship at close range.  The entire left wing caught fire and part of the tail section broke off.  Diving towards the undercast it was followed by several enemy fighters.  It appeared under control when last seen.  From 1-4 chutes were reported before the plane disappeared into the undercast near 4905 N -0438 E.  (from Bill Thompson's MACR Reports) mpf 2001

Report in MACR indicates McChesney and Compton were successful evadees and arrived back in the United Kingdom 17 Apr 1944.

The eight dead, except for Sgts Parham and Matulik, now rest in the Epinal American Cemetary; this from Charles Compton in 1988. (pw)

Subj: Re: 100thBG Feedback Form  
Date: 7/23/2002 10:04:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: mizccd407@yahoo.com  (Carolyn Compton Delmar)
To: MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 

 The info about the Ludwigshafen mission being their first is incorrect where Dad is concerned...it was his third mission. 
Unfortunately, both Dad (Charles Compton) and McChesney are gone...Dad in 1990 and McChesney a couple of years later...so I don't know the answer to any of those questions except that one of Dad's missions was to Bremen.

MEMO 2:

According to his NARA enlistment record, Marshall Banta was born in Kentucky in 1918. No early life, census data, or parentage records have been located. Banta was drafted, and inducted into military service on November 9, 1942 at Cincinnati, Ohio. His enlistment file contains the notation that he had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed as a general industry clerk. He was assigned to the Army Air Forces, and trained as a radio operator and aerial gunner.

He was then sent to crew training. This crew deployed to England, arriving at Thorpe-Abbots on December 1, 1943. Records show they flew 1 mission, but a family member of one of the crew disputes this, saying three is the correct number. On December 30, 1943, the crew was picked to bomb the oil facilities and the manufacturing plants at Ludwigshaven, Germany.

Over the target, the aircraft was hit by flak, rendering two engines inoperative. They stopped, the pilot feathered the propellers. The engines started again. Trying to get power from the engines, the pilot allowed the aircraft to drift out of formation. It was then attacked by a number of enemy aircraft. Entering an undercast, it was seemingly under control, but a wing was burning and cannon holes were visible in the tail structure. It crashed near Lirly, France, not far from Rheims. Two crewmen parachuted out, made safe landings, and evaded to England. The other eight were killed. After the war, the remains were recovered, identified, and moved to other cemeteries. Today, Sgt Banta rests in the Epinal American Cemetery in France in Plot A, Row 21, Grave 42.

Sgt Marshall Banta was acting as radio operator and dorsal gunner on B-17F # 42-5861, named "Laden Maiden," assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron. (This aircraft was previously named "Stud Duck" by Lt "Cowboy" Roane, pilot who ferried the aircraft to England.

Missing Air Crew Report 2020 was issued for the loss of crew and aircraft. Crew rosters show the crew as:

2 Lt Marvin L. Leininger  p
2 Lt Albert W. Witmyer  c-p
2 Lt Leonard D. McChesney  nav
2 Lt Charles W. Compton  bomb
Sgt  Myer M. Weintraub  eng/tt gun
Sgt  Marshall Banta  r/o
Sgt  Nicholas J. Mautlik  btg
Sgt  Eugene F. Latimer  Rwg
Sgt  James W. Parham  Lwg
Sgt  Charles W. McGrogan  tail gun


Lts McChesney and Compton were the only survivors.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Ludwigshaven DATE: 1943-12-30  
AIRCRAFT: "Laden Maiden" (42-5861) CAUSE: EAC & FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: A ROW: 21  
GRAVE: 42 CEMETERY: Epinal Am Cemetery  
ID: 207