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T/SGT  George R. BENNETT

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: ROG
SERIAL #: 34736975 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 11744 CR: 11744

Comments1: 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE (WALL OF THE MISSING AT CAMBRIDGE)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

MACR # 11744, Microfiche # 4313   A/C #42-37936   "THE ALL AMERICAN GIRL"

2ND LT JOHN J. DODRILL            P KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE
2ND LT DAVID S. WILLIAMS      CP KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE
F/O JOHN D. GROSS               NAV POW 10 APR 45 BURG-bei-MAGDEBURG, AF (with Lt Bazin Crew)
2ND LT MELVIN D. SNYDER     BOM NOC
CPL GEORGE R. BENNETT      ROG KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE
CPL HARRY E. MITCHELL        TTE KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE
CPL MYRON E. WARNER         BTG KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE
CPL GARLAND L. JOSEPH         WG KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE
CPL ROY E. TOLL                  TG KIA 10 JAN 45 COLOGNE

351ST SQDN..   CREW AS ABOVE JOINED THE 100TH ON 28 OCT 1944

ON 10 JAN 45, LT RANDOLPH W. BAYER, FROM THE CREW OF GERALD BROWN, WAS FLYING AS NAVIGATOR AND WAS KIA.  SGT DAVID W. PITMAN WAS FLYING AS NOSE GUNNER AND WAS KIA.
 
EYEWITNESS: "A/C #42-37936 was last seen at 1228 headed toward Belgium with bomb bay doors open. 
The doors had been open since the target.  All engines were operating and the aircraft did not appear to be having difficulties."

Story of the Century  Page 95 states: "..... All American Girl (named by Seymour Eichen, who flew it's first 35 missions) was flown on it's 99th , Jan 10, 1945, by John Dodrill of Puente, Cal.  One engine out, he was in control when he left the formation and flew down through the clouds, but no one knows the mysterious fate that overcame  the "All American Girl."  Afterwards a rumor spread she was on the a German Airfield."   (This was unfounded....pw)

All nine of her crew are memorialized on the WALL OF THE MISSING  at Cambridge.

The aircraft did in fact impact near Gladbach in Germany killing all on board.

LIST OF MISSIONS FOR LT JOHN J. DODRILL:
(all Dec 44/Jan 45 missions comes from Capt Bill Carleton's Mission Report book from which we have the date, aircraft, pilot, and any comments about the actual aircraft.  Capt Carleton went to each hardstand after every mission to take reports on returning aircrafts status and needed repairs…mpf 2004)

#    DATE           MISSION                       AIRCRAFT # AND NAME

1.   21/11/44    OSNABRUCK
2.   25/11/44    HAMM
3.   30/11/44    MERSEBURG
      02/12/44    BAD KREUZNACH               44-6295    EP-B     WHITE CARGO       (abort, #1 engine changed)  
4.   04/12/44    FRIEDBURG                       42-31708  EP-N/R  SKIPPER II
      11/12/44    GIESSEN                          44-6295    EP-B     WHITE CARGO        (abort, #4 engine changed)
5.   12/12/44    DARMSTADT                    42-107233 EP-N     HUMPTY DUMPTY
6.   24/12/44    KAISERLAUTERN               44-6295    EP-B     WHITE CARGO
7.   25/12/44    KAISERLAUTERN               42-31767  EP-E      OUR GAL SAL
8.   27/12/44    FULDA                             44-6295    EP-B     WHITE CARGO      
9.   28/12/44    KOBLENZ                         44-6295    EP-B     WHITE CARGO       ( super charger #1 and #4)
10. 30/12/44    KASSEL                            44-6295    EP-B     WHITE CARGO 
      02/01/45   BAD KREUZNACH               43-37521   EP-K     SKYWAY CHARIOT (runaway #4 prop)  ***
11.  07/01/45  COLOGNE                          43-38770  EP        NO NAME
12  10/01/45   COLOGNE                          42-37936  EP-M    THE ALL AMERICAN GIRL  (MIA)                       
*** Lt Dodrill had to make a landing at an emergency airfield in France.  After repairs, the crew returned to Thorpe Abbotts on Jan 5, 1945.                                    

Subj: Re: 351st squadron Request for Bombing Missions  
Date: 6/29/2004 10:20:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: warnersherry@comcast.net 
To: MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
Thank you for sending me the accident report: Looks the same as one on the website but was missing the last sentence about crash site at Gladbach. That at least helps to clear up a little of the mystery disappearance of "Our American Girl" and crew.
 
I did find a letter that showed a list of missions run but don't recall it listing more than about hmm 10 missions shown by date and city target. I have a letter from the Pilot John Dodrill's Mother, and from John Gross of the 100thbg, 351squadron(cant find reference to his rank, etc at the moment, who was reassigned and not on the "Our American Girl" that day, and from Lt. Melvin Snyder of the 100th BG, 351squadron that contain some references to the last flight of "Our American Girl."

In the letter from Leala Dodrill, mother of Pilot John Dodrill written Sept. 25 to my grandparents, parents of Sgt Myron E. Warner. This letter details what she was told about "Old American Girl's" missions and crew changes. Source of information in letter is via Lt. Melvin Snyder of the 100th BG, 351st Squadron to Mrs. Dodrill and Mrs. Dodrill lists the missions as:
 
Bombing Missions for "Our American Girl":
Quote "These are the first targets our crew was on Mel was with them, then he(Mel) was taken off but he (Mel) would try to find the other five (targets) and send later. I dont believe Tony was with the boys at Rheims was he?" 
 
?.  no date for possible target: Rheims???  (believe this could be Germersheim on Jan 6, 1945, do they say they went to that target?)
 
1.  Nov 21 - Osnabruck
2.  Nov 25 - Hamm
3.  Nov 30 - Merseburg
4.  Dec 4   - Friedburg
5.  Dec 5 -   Berlin
6.  Dec 24 - Kaiserlauten  
7.  Dec 25 - Kaiserlauten
8. "then they flew Dec 26-27 (no mission on Dec 26th but Dec 27th 100th BG hit Fulda)
9.  "then Jan 10th they didn't come back" quote Mel.
 
The rest of the letter mentions reports that "Our American Girl" (OAG) crashed in German intact and other rumors. A brief mention about ["Blacksheep" crash site in Poland April 18th "and its still there."] Also, brief mention about reports of Russians having POW's and about exchanges between Russians and Allies for American prisoners at points designated along the Russian lines.
 
There is another letter mentioning that That "Our American Girl" had had 4 engine changes. I may have a couple of photos and will look again later.
That is all I have for now. Hope it is helpful.
 
Sherry L. Warner - Sgt Myron E. Warner's niece
 
 
PS: you mentioned on the website message board:
"As for the plane and crew the aircraft did in fact impact near Gladbach in Germany killing all on board."
 
Question: I did not see any info in the accident report about whether the plane exploded upon crashing or if crew bodies were ever recovered, and if so would they have been buried somewhere around the accident site near Gladbach? Although I am sure it is rare I see info mentioned of other planes and crews burial sites in found Germany: How would one find that out?? Only info I have is that they are on the Cambridge Wall of Missing Memorial.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Cologne DATE: 1945-01-10  
AIRCRAFT: "All American Girl" (42-37936) CAUSE: Unknown  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Cambridge Military Cemetery  

PHOTOS:

George R. Bennett 351st ROG Tennessee KIA 10 Jan 45 Cologne John J. Dodrill Crew

 John J. Dodrill crew: Standing (Left to Right) Myron E. Warner, Roy E. Toll, George R. Bennett, Unknown, Garland L. Joseph and Unknown; Kneeling David S. Williams, John J. Dodrill, Melvin D. Snyder and Harry E. Mitchell. Detailed Information Photo taken by John Gross, Identification by Sherry Warner 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 322