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S/SGT  Gordon F. KEON

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BTG
SERIAL #: 32472665 STATUS: POW
MACR: 02564 CR: 02564

Comments1: 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT (ROCHESTER, NY) CRASH LANDED

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
2ND LT JOHN W.BROWN                 P EVADEE    4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT see note below
2ND LT ALBERT F. FITZPATRICK       CP POW        4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
2ND LT THEODORE H. KLEINMAN   NAV EVADEE    4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
2ND LT LAWSON W. CLEMENTS     BOM POW        4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
 S/SGT CHARLES R. ARMBRUST         WG NOC
 S/SGT RICHARD F. BRADY             ROG NOC
 S/SGT LAWRENCE M. PRATT         TTE NOC
    SGT MILTON GRABEL                  TG KIA          25 MAY 44 BERLIN  (see Roeder crew below)
    SGT GORDON F. KEON             BTG POW       4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
    SGT OWEN D. STOCKTON        WG POW        6 MAR 44 BERLIN ( see Amiero crew below)

349th Sqdn. Crew joined the 100th Gp on 28 Nov 1943.. Sgt Gordon Keon was the only enlisted man of this crew
 to particiapte in the Frankfurt mission of 4 FEB 44.  Other aboard for this mission and their fate is a follows:

S/SGT GEORGE E. TOOMEY  ROG POW (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW) see below
S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA       TTE POW (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW) see below
S/SGT WILLIAM F. KEMP        WG KIA    (FIRST MISSION)
S/SGT HAROLD F. JANDERUP  WG POW  (FROM H.M. HENINGTON CREW) ( TAPS 25 SEP 69) 
S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI  TG POW 

T/Sgt R.F. Brady Diary:

Sun. Nov 21-43   Arrived in England- First camp was Stone- Remained their for one week. Visited town twice-Enjoyed my stay.

Sat. Nov. 27-43     Left for Diss my permanent base in England.  Arrived late at night-tired and hungry- Put in with a swell bunch of fellows,  100th Bomb Group- 349th Sq.   Attended classes for a few days-very steadily

Dec. 6-43- Mon.   Made my first flight in England- very interesting- to say the least.   Between school and flying we were kept quite busy for two weeks.

Dec. 22-43 Weds.  1st Mission
We made our first mission- Munster was the target.  Trip very uneventful to me as I knew nothing that was going on as my oxygen became disconnected and I passed out.  Larry (Pratt-TTE) came to my rescue and found me lying against the radio.  Chuck (Ambrust-WG) also had similar trouble but managed to get oxygen before any serious trouble.  I can thank God once again for saving my life.  We took off at 10:30 and landed at 4:35   Very tired and weak - mission a success
Brown - 088   10-500    2300
Lt Brown Crew - 230088-Squawkin Hawk - 10-500lb bombs - 2300 gal of gas

Dec. 24-43 Fri    2nd Mission    Secret Weapon on French Coast (ST.JOSEPH au BOIS)
We took off at 11:30 and landed at 4:18- Biggest armada of airplanes ever sent out-seeing it was amazing.  Saw bomb fall- hit target mission a success
Brown- 249    12 - 500   2100
Lt Brown Crew - 231249-Miss Carriage - 12-500lb bombs - 2100 gal of gas

Dec 25-43   Xmas day- was indeed happy reading his word and thinking of loved ones at home.   Merry Merry Xmas to all

Fri Dec. 31-43   3rd raid   Paris
I got my first real taste of flak and battle this day as the flak was intense.  I saw quite a bit of the city of Paris.   Beautiful Day.    Took off at
9:00 and landed at 2:40- Mission a success
Brown - 957   12-500    2100
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 12-500lb bombs - 2100 gal of gas

Jan 1-44 Sat   I read a bit and wrote a few letters- Happy again at knowing my sins forgiven

Jan 2-44   Visited Norwich for the first time with Lt. Brown- nice time

Jan 5-44   4th mission
We were in a formation of bombers that seemed to be lost- our lead bombardier found a surprise target and really knocked it out. Nuess   Flak was quite heavy  no fighters-  8:00 and landed at 1:00 -Mission a success
Brown - 957  10-500    2500
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 10-500lb bombs - 2500 gal of gas

Jan 7-44 - Fri   5th Raid
Lundysenshaven (Ludwigshaven) was the target - this was a full scale operation - the flak was heavy but no fighters- We took off at 8:10 and landed at 2:30   Mission a success
Brown - 249 10-500   2780
Lt Brown Crew - 231249-Miss Carriage - 10-500lb bombs - 2780 gal of gas

Jan 13,-44 Fri   We left for London on our first pass.  This was quite a thrill to me for I had always wanted to go there. Darkness was terrific. I visited all the famous historical sites - Westminster Abbey, London Tower and Bridge, changing of the Guards, Buckingham Palace, Rode underground, famous London cabbies, Charles Dickens bookshop.   Talked with people who were bombed in the blitz- Very eventful and very interesting

Jan 21-44    6th raid   St Ohmer (BOIS D'ESQUERDES )
This was a very nasty flak area and we were really hit.  We had several holes all around. It was on an installation yard.  We were not injured in any way but well shaken up. Took off at 11:50 and landed at 14:00
Brown  957  12-500   2100
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 12-500lb bombs - 2100 gal of gas

Jan 24th-44  7th raid - Frankfurt
This mission was recalled and we can be thankful to God it was for our wing was on fire -unknowingly to us - we would have never returned if we had gone all the way to the target.   Larry (Pratt-TTE) was ill and did not fly.  We missed him.  Mission time: 7:00- 12:30
Brown - 957  42 incendiaries   2500
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 2500 gal of gas

Sat - Jan 29-44    Briefed for a mission which we ran off the runway with a load of incendiaries onboard.   A ship had just blown up in front of us.  I can only thank God for saving our lives for it was surely a close call

Thurs Feb 3-44   8th mission   Wilhelmshaven was the target
They failed to call us till 20 min. before takeoff. Everything went wrong. Guns were all wrong, the chaff wouldn't go out , our hydraulic system went out and we had no brakes and had to land at Honington- We ate at the mess hall there.  Ted (Kleinman-NAV) doin a wonderful job in bringing us home Mission Time: 7:20-1:20
Brown  957  10-500   2500
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 10-500lb bombs - 2500 gal of gas

Fri Feb 4th-44   We were briefed for a raid on Frankfurt.  We had become ill from something we at the day before and we couldn't fly.  Bud and the rest took off and never returned.  It was a heartbreaker to us all and we feel very bad.   Larry (Pratt-TTE) is in bad shape- the rest not so bad.
Lt Brown Crew - 239799-Dobie - Shot Down

Ship suffered severe flak damage and had three engines out over the German-Belgian border. The crew with the exception of William Kemp, who was apparently badly wounded, bailed out safely. Gordon Keon had a flak wound in one arm.

A statement by Theodore Kleinman after his return say the bail-out occured about 10 miles SSE of Turnhout, Belgium and continues:  "After contacting an underground unit I was placed in a house in Turnhout. Several days later I was told something in French concerning the rest of the crew. With my meagre understaning of French, Kemp was unable to leave th ship due to severe wounds and he went down with the plane. A man was found by the Germans in the rear half of the ship with his head badly battered, but alive. I later recieved a report the man with the
battered head died."

German records in the MACR file confirm a badly wounded man found in the ship died in the hospital the following day.


Excerpts from a letter to Paul West 22 Feb 1994 from Sherman Gillespie, a cadet class mate of John W. Brown.
.. John Brown and I were in a group of twenty sent to Blythe, CA. Our orders read "Twin engine fighters" for assignment to light bombardment!!! We expected A-20s!!! We all ended up in B-17s for the duration....Brown and I were in "B" Flight Squadron 65 in flight training at Santa Ana, CA in 1942...He never told me much about his evasion, eventual capture and escape, this would make a real adventure yarn....only that the Germans kept him in solitary for a month trying to crack him -- wouldn't even give him salt to brush his teeth with...The Brown family may have pictures of him and a Belgian family taken before the Gestapo caught him...Sherm Gillespie 1994.

Mr Sherman Gillespie completed a tour as a pilot in the 413th Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group based at Snetterton Heath.  100th veterans will remember flying with the 96th by the "Square C" on the  tail of their planes. The 96th was in the 45th Combat Wing of the 3rd Air Division and made many of the missions with the 100th of the 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Air Division.


Subj: FW: John W. Brown  
Date: 4/8/2004 2:10:53 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: wcs31@swbell.net 
To: charlie.cole@charter.net 
CC: janr@cei.net, MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
Is there agreement that John's Taps data can now be finished and perhaps this information added to his crew page. I will attempt to contact Sherman Gillespie of the 96th with this information in case he does not already have it.  John was from all account and outstanding individual amount a group of outstanding individuals. If there is any way possible we should try and contact his family - it could lead to a gold mine of history. This man once escapted from the Gestapo!!
 
Paul
 
 -----Original Message-----
From: Kleinman Steve M LtCol JPRA/PRA-DI [mailto:Steve.Kleinman@fairchild.af.mil]
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 3:16 PM
To: Paul West
Subject: RE: John Brown


Mr. West,

I recently came across additional information regarding John "Bud" Brown in some notes found among my father's effects.  In a note written in 1988, my father wrote:

" Bud was recalled for the Korean conflict, checked out in the C-46, and crashed into Mt. Fujiyama, in Japan, while in heavy weather in 1950.  I was recalled [to active duty] in January 1951 and we were aware of his death some time prior to that."

He also wrote:

"For what it's worth, Bud played left halfback for Alonzo Stagg at the College (now University) of the Pacific and played in the 1939 Rose Bowl game."

Hope this is of some value.

Regards,

Steven M. Kleinman, Lt Col, USAF
Director of Intelligence
Personnel Recovery Academy, JPRA
DSN 657-9778/Comm (509) 247-9778


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul West [mailto:wcs31@swbell.net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 4:00 PM
To: Jbittle@Swfla. Rr. Com; Robert Wolff; Ralph Bradley; Grant Fuller;
Kleinman Steve Lt Col JPRA/PRA-DI
Cc: Joel Russell; Cindy Goodman; Ceh100bg@aol. Com; Betray1@Hotmail.
Com; Jan Riddling; Harry Nelson; Charles M. Cole; Mike Faley
Subject: John Brown


Colonel Kleinman, do you or your father have any information as to what
happened to John Brown after the war? The story of John's evading, capture,
escape, recapture and second escape is something the 100th desperately needs
for the History Section. If at all possible we desire to contact John Brown
via phone, e-mail, or a member of the historical staff would be happy to
visit him.

A cadet Class-mate of John's (Sherman Gillespie), who last saw him after the
war, at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco in December 1945 has been trying to
locate John Brown for over fifty years. Mr. Gillespie completed a tour with
the 96th BG,  in the 45th Combat Wing.

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Paul West
3rd WebMaster


CREW 

2ND LT COY I. MONTGOMERY       P KIA   6 MAR 44  BERLIN
2ND LT ROBERT F. CONNAWAY     CP POW 6 MAR 44  BERLIN
2ND LT FRANK C LAVER           NAV POW 6 MAR 44  BERLIN
2ND LT JAMES D. FULTON       BOM POW 6 MAR 44  BERLIN
T/SGT     GEORGE W. BURTON     TTE POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (SEE NOTE BELOW)
 S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA          TTE POW 4 FEB 44  FRANKFURT (with Lt John Brown Crew)
 S/SGT GEORGE D. TOOMEY, JR. ROG POW 4 FEB 44  FRANKFURT (with Lt John Brown Crew)
    SGT JOHN A. MILLER             WG CPT 17 JUL 44 MONTGOURNEY (NO-BALL)
    SGT EARL W. RITTER             TG POW 6 MAR 44  BERLIN
    SGT JUNIOR L. BUCHER         WG POW 6 MAR 44  BERLIN

349th Sqdn.  Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 6 Jan 44  (Crew #40)

For 6 Mar 44 mission see MACR #3014, Microfiche #1019.  They were flying A/C #42-30170 which had flown under three names: Torchy 2nd, HOT SPIT, and MISS CARRIAGE.

On 6 Mar 44, Lt Frank C. Laver was the Navigator and a POW; Sgt Wilbur Trembley, (from Lt Stout Crew) was the ROG and a POW; T/Sgt George W. Burton was the TTE and a POW; S/Sgt Anthony Ruda was the RWG and a POW, and S/Sgt Louis P. Savell was the BTG and a POW 

Eyewitness Account:  
"At 1215 hours just north of Hanover an A/c believed to be #170 was atttacked by enemy fighters & was shot down. four or five chutes were seen.  I.D. of this aircraft is not positive, it may have been #051."……..Lt. Chadwick

The Germans buried Lt Montgomery (Coy I.) on 10 Mar 1944, noting the cause of death as crash/ burns...

Roeder Crew (MIlton Grabel)
2ND LT ROBERT G. ROEDER               P KIA    24 MAY 44 BERLIN
F/O PAUL V. LAMMERS                     CP KIA    24 MAY 44 BERLIN
2ND LT CLAUDE E.  ROBINSON, JR     NAV KIA   24 MAY 44 BERLIN
2ND LT JAMES H. MADDOX             BOM NOC                                       MACR 5172, Mcrofiche 1855
S/SGT WADE D. EASON                  TTE KIA   24 MAY 44 BERLIN         A/C 42-102648
SGT FRANK GOLDSTEIN                  ROG KIA   24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT NATHAN E. McELROY               BTG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT WILLIAM A. POKLEMBA              LWG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT FRED E. CEBALO                     RWG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT ANTHONY P. LOMBARDI             TG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN

349TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 12 APR 1944

ON THE BERLIN MISSION OF 24 MAY 44, T/SGT MILTON GRABEL WAS FLYING AS TOGGALIER AND WAS KIA...pw
This crew,except for T/Sgt Grabel,joined the 100th Group on 12/4/44. At that time,
Lt James H..Maddox was the Bombardier. This was about the 10 mission for the crew.

Statement in MACR by Fred Cebalo -made in 1945 - follows:

"Circumstances of loss of aircraft: On a raid to Berlin we were hit by fighters,
ME 109s. They shot the left wing off. I was thrown back and trapped in the
waist,fracturing my right leg. As I was trying to get out,the ship broke at the
Ball Turret and tail section, I crawled to the door and jumped. I saw four other
chutes as I was going down. I was caught immediately by civilians with a couple of
soldiers upon landing.
I was taken first to a barn,and then by a civilian to a doctor's house.There I saw
the pilot and the tail gunner. We were joined about twenty minutes later by the left
waist gunner and the ball turret gunner. The pilot's right foot was shot off,and
they were amputating the shreds. He was also shot in the arm. We gave him our own
morphine,for the Germans had none. The tail gunner was limping,possibly from a
sprained ankle. Both the left waist gunner and I had broken legs. The ball turret
gunner complained of his back. They had the pilot in a separats room,and the rest
of us in the next room. The pilot who shot us down came in to question us,and
thought me rude when I refused to answer his questions. He visited the pilot and
left..About four hours later,the five of us surviving were taken into a truck along
with other airmen who had just been shot down,about a mile down the road toward camp.
An ambulance met us and took the pilot and another man off. I did not see him again.
My mother received a letter from the pilot's folks,with a clipping from his home
town paper saying that he had died of wounds.

Statement by Anthony P.Lombardi:

"We were going to Berlin. Made land fall between Kiel & Hamburg. McElroy (BT) was
ordered into turret. I saw something whlz by my tail -asked what it was. Soon McElroy
called on intercom to say the door fell off ball & he escaped falling out sans chute.
He was ordered to radio room to complete mission.. I called out fighters at six o'clock
as the navigstor called an attack at twelve o'clock. We were also attacked at nine
O'clock and the ship broke in half at the radio room. Tho radlo operator (Goldstein)
fell out without his chute. The ball turret gunner (McElroy) grabbed his chute and
managed to put it on and save himself. Both waist gunners (Cebalo & Poklemba) bailed
out and reached ground 0K.
The ship broke again at the tail wheel well. That left me and the tail floating thru
space.After riding the tail part way down,I bailed. When we got together later we came
to the conclusion on how the other boys made out. The Navigator(Robison),Toggalier
(Grabel) and Engineer(Eason) were killed by the fighters. The pilot(Roeder) and the
Co-pilot (Lammers) were blown out of the cockpit.The pilot had a seat type chute but
was shot up badly & later died. The co-pilot had no chute on.
The four survivors spent a year at Stalag Luft #4 and finally made it home again."


Amiero Crew (Owen D. STockton)
1st Lt Albert F.Amiero                P    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
  F/O Howard L.Kilmer           CP   KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN 
2nd Lt Albert P.Rule          NAV    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
 S/Sgt Thomas S.Elliott        BOM    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
 T/Sgt John J.Kovacs         ROG    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
 T/Sgt Russell G.Gilbert         TTE    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
 S/Sgt Virgil F.Summers        BTG    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN 
 S/Sgt Hobart H.Spires        WG    KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
S/Sgt Owen D.Stockton        WG   POW 6/3/44  BERLIN (ORIGNALLY WITH J.W.BROWN CREW) see below
S/Sgt Thomas D.Baer             TG   KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN


349th Sqdn.   See MACR #3019 (Micro fiche #1021).  Flying A/C #42 31731 on 6/3/44

This appears to be a "pick up" crew. Kilmer joined tne 100th on 26/2/44 as 
an indlvidual. Baer was from the original crew of V.Reed. Kovacs was a 
"spare" on original 100th Air echelon. Stockton was from the crew of 
J.W.Brown. Hobart Spires was from the original crew of Sam L. Barr.

A.P.Rule on original crew of Leon R.Morgan.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Frankfurt DATE: 1944-02-04  
AIRCRAFT: "Dobie" (42-39799) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 2773