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MACR: 08821 CR: 08821

Comments1: 11 SEPT 44 RUHLAND (with Lt Hollady Crew)




DATE: 7 Oct.1944              350th Sqdn.          A/C #43-38531 "Sad Flak"

MISSION: Bohlen,Germany                           MACR #9562,Micro-fiche#3512

1st Lt Albert W.Grigg                P      POW          07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
2nd Lt Harry L.Moulder,Jr.        CP    POW          07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
2nd Lt Roy M. Lynch              NAV     KIA           11 SEPT 44 RUHLAND  (with Lt H.E. Holladay Crew) see below
F/O Fred W.Dace                   NAV   POW          07 OCT 44 BOHLEN   (From crew of F.O.Parrish:  see below)
2nd Lt Ralph E.Westerburg    BOM    POW          07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
T/Sgt Victor V.Lockard          ROG    POW          07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
T/Sgt J.V.McDonald,Jr.           TTE   POW          07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
 S/Sgt Lawrence M.Rogers      BTG     POW/WIA   07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
 S/Sgt Shirley J.Broussard        WG   KIA             07 OCT 44 BOHLEN
 Cpl     Farinella                      WG     NOC (most likely taken off crew to reduce to 9 men)
 S/Sgt Raymond H.Gunn          TG     KIA              07 OCT 44 BOHLEN

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above, taken from Micro film of Combat Crew Rosters of 25/8/44 and 1/9/44. When this crew arrived at the 100th  late July 1944,the Navigator was 2nd Lt. Roy M.Lynch. He was KIA 11/9/44 with crew of H.E.Holladay.

MACR shows F/0 Fred W.Dace as Navigator in place of  Lt Lee Raden (from Lt Hansen Crew).  Dace, from the crew of F.O.Parrish, became a POW.

EYEWITNESS:  "The pilot of A/C#531 called his group leader ovsr VHF about 70 miles east of the 
Netherlands border and said he had insufficient gasoline to reach England. He asked for a bearing
to the nearest friendly A/F. He said he had about 40 gallons in each tank.He was instructed to try and
reach Eindhoven.He complained of no other difficulties with his A/C and when last seen was in 
normal flight.The group commander believes his fuel should havepermitted him to reach Eindhoven easily."

Apparently there was not enough gas to  reach a friendly A/F  for Lt.Grigg
made the following report after the War:  (See MACR)

"We attempted a belly landing in the only suitable field in sight and met
very heavy ground fire on the approach.From what I have been told by F/O Dace
this was when Sgt.Broussard was killed by a direct hit. I attempted to pull
away from the ground fire on 3 engines but they followed us. I managed to
get back to approx. 1200 feet and ordered the crew to jump,there wasn't fuel
to go further. F/O Dace said that the radio man wasn't sure of what he had heard
and handed the ear-phones to him (Dace) but that another shell went off and no
one in the radio room knew of anything that happened after that until they came
to on the ground.

After calling the radio room,I tried to get the C-1 working but the best I
could do was a mushy glide.I don't know how long I tried but my #2 & #3 engines
finally quit and I jumped. I would judge the altitude was 500 feet or lower at
that time as I opened my chute as soon as I Was out and it swung me into the
ground before I could stop swinging. From what I heard from my crew later no one
had seen Sgt.Gunn at the plane on the ground or elsewhere so we assumed he had
gotten away and I had no idea he was dead until I arrived home and received a
letter from his mother.No one else was hurt permanently although all were
iniured except Lt.Moulder & Sgt.McDonald excepting of course the two known dead.
This is all I know of what happened that day."

                                                   Albert W.Grigg.

Crew was on approx. its 16/19 mission. Incomplete list of missions below

Date       Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target
8/11/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 97924 VILLACOUBLAY
8/14/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 97924 LUDWIGHSAVEN (OIL)
8/25/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 97924 POLITZ (OIL)
8/26/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 37880 BREST
9/1/1944   GRIGG A.W. LT P 6089 MAINZ (RECALL)
9/8/1944   GRIGG A.W. LT P 6089 MAINZ
9/9/1944   GRIGG A.W. LT P 6089 DUSSELDORF
9/10/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 6089 NURNBURG
9/18/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 6089 WARSAW
9/25/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 37994 LUDWIGSHAVEN
9/26/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 37994 BREMEN
9/27/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 8284 MAINZ
9/30/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 38531 BIELEFELD
10/7/1944 GRIGG A.W. LT P 38531   BOHLEN (FLAK, SHOT DOWN)

Larry Rogers was killed in July 1984 in a Glider accident. He had pursued the sport,as a hobby,since WW II days.

In a message dated 12/12/2006 12:15:36 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:


SUBMITTER: Dennis Ray Wells


PURPOSE: Contact historian

I have an account of the last mission for Sad Flak Oct 7 1944.  Written by the Ball turret gunner Lawrence Rogers while in Luft I North compund III block 8 room 10.  It is very detailed, but a bit grissly.  It is an excellent acounting of the final mission to Brux.  Do you want a copy?

Chuck also told me about how his father (Lawrence Rogers) was mistaken for a German for 5-10 days when he was in a hospital after the crash.  Due to this fact he got excellent attention and he thinks it probably saved his leg, and maybe his life.  During that time the nurses knew he wasn't German so they snuck a few letters out for him to his wife in the states (I think girlfriend at the time).  Of course they knew full well they would be shot if they were caught, but they did it anyway.  He also told me about how this was not the first time he was in a crash.  The first time he was acting as a target in their plane for newbie fighter pilots when one of them went through their wing and cut it off.  Larry was lucky enough to be pinned up against a door when the plane went into a spin.  He was able to get it open and be thrown out by centrifugal force.  He was the only one to survive.  He was lucky because if he hadn't been the ball turret gunner he would have not been where he was.  He was just taking over the ball turret position from a guy who went through all the training, but decided he didn't want that position when they started doing missions.  
Chuck said his father had died in the third airplane crash of his life in the glider.  If I remember correctly his wing was cut off again by a beginner?  I think he tempted fate too much, but I bet that would have been the way he wanted to go out.

                                           Missing In Action – Germany - Oct 7 – 1944

   On October 7th, 1944 we were awakened about 3 O’clock with the sad news of briefing; at 4:30 breakfast; at 3:45.  Still half asleep, crew 30 climbed into a G.I. truck and rode about a half mile to the mess hall for a breakfast of powdered eggs, pancakes, dehydrated milk, coffee etc.  Nobody was feeling up to par because the day before we had gone to Berlin, which was plenty rough.  Chow finished, we rode to Gunners briefing room and drew our parachutes and A-3 Bags full of flying equipment.  Into the briefing room we went and were checked off the list by the MP at the door.  The big map was covered and everyone lit up a cigarette.

   Everyone present, the door was locked and the officer drew the curtain and announced the target for the day, “Brux”, near Leipzig.  We mentally groaned for it was a 9 hour haul with plenty of flak and fighter possibilities.  6 hours on oxygen and expected temperature of 40 below.  I don’t remember much of the briefing except target time was about 3:00 and plenty of flak was expected.  The MP1 was an Oil refinery and 1P was a Rock quarry.  

   With the usual “Good Luck” from the briefing officers we loaded our stuff on a truck and rode out to the hard stand where ship no. 531 called “SAD FLAK” by us was parked.  She only had about 6 missions on her and we had put them on ourselves.  Pulling our junk off the truck and putting it in the waist, we didn’t have much to say because always before a mission we were too busy with our thoughts and guns.  I went out to the tent by the hard stand and started cleaning my guns which were to be my most treasured possessions during the next few hours.  Cleaning consisted of oiling and the wiping every atom of oil, moisture, dirt etc. off of every part of the gun and assembly of the parts.  While we did this while the ground crew was checking the ship and running up the engines.

   Guns cleaned they were carried out to the ship and installed in their respective positions.  My position was Ball Turret and I took pride in my ability to hold it down.  When you are in the turret you are completely enclosed in a sphere approximately 3 feet in diameter which hangs just aft of the wings trailing edge.  Your body is below the body of the plane and it is the most cramped position there is. Two twin 50 caliber Browning machine guns, a computing Sperry sight, 1150 rounds of ammo, complete oxygen equipment, Electrical and hydraulic driving systems and other items are crowded in with you.  

   After my guns were installed and worked by hand to my satisfaction, I climbed into the waist and started putting on my flying clothes.  First a suit of summer underwear, then a winter suit, two pairs of heavy sox, then an electrically heated suit and a pair of flying coveralls.  Heated shoes and fur lined boots. Silk scarf, heavy wool scarf, silk gloves, heated gloves, oxygen mask, parachute harness, Mae west, throat mike, headset. In my pockets we carried a money pouch with 2000 francs and maps, compass etc and an escape kit of food etc in case of a bailout.  I also had a few pictures, billfold, 2 cigarettes, 1 lighter, 2 candy bars, 1 pack of gum, and a few odds and ends.

   After climbing into all this it was a torture to even move.  With everyone aboard the engines were started and run up and checked.  Ships were moving by on the perimeter track and we fell in our place and taxied to the end of the runway.  With a bomb load of 12 – 500 Lb. GPs and a maximum gas load we roared down the strip and into the air.  Everyone’s heart was in our throat because one falter of an engine and we were goners.  Every 30 seconds a B-17 took off.  As soon as the wheels were up I cranked my ball turret down and folded myself inside and plugged in the interphone, Oxygen, and heated suit connection.  Checking power, oxygen, interphone etc. I found them all in order.  I turned on the power and spun the turret around to 12 O’clock and picked up the other ships and spotted the flares shot by the lead ship.  We soon fell in formation with the others and circled Buncher 28 until the groups were all formed.  I must have dozed off for the next I knew the bombardier called me for an Oxygen check.  I put on my Oxygen mask and called out OK.  By this time we were on course and over the Channel.  Picking out a clear spot of water I test fired my guns which were OK.  We were flying second element lead so I started sweeping the sky from 9 to 3 O’clock.  Soon we picked up our fighter escort of P-51 and P-47’s.  The next few hours were routine formation flying and fighter watch.  Things pepped up, as we knew we were nearing the target.  There was a slight under-cast and someone saw a few jerry fighters.  Flak was sighted but none was close enough to worry us.  The engines were smoking badly so I called the co-pilot and he checked them and said they were OK.  We started on the bomb run and clouds of flak came up until the sky was black all over.  It still wasn’t too close although it was getting there.  A huge smoke screen covered the ground and the lead ship couldn’t pick up the target so we made a 360 and started another run.  This time the flak was right in there but it seemed a miracle that no one got it.  Plenty of ship must have been damaged but I never found out. This run was a dud also so we started another.  It was different this time though as 2 ships just blew up bombs and all. I got a queer sick feeling watching those streams of smoke plunge down to earth 5 miles below. No chutes came out either which made it bad.  

   Suddenly as if by magic our ship woke up with a bang.  Harry says over the intercom that we had only 60 gallons left in no. 4 and less in the others. I mentally figured “60 gallons per engine and 600 miles to go. Impossible!”  I have never had such a feeling as came over me then.  A quick discussion was held and all tanks were checked and the navigator started figuring ETA’s to Allied territory.  Al called the lead ship and received orders to pull out of formation and throw it out meaning toss everything overboard.  The formation made the third run without us.  We dumped our bombs in a field and I looked back at the other ships now several miles away just in time to see two contrails come from way up high and arrow through the formation.  Jet propelled jobs. Two more 17’s went down in flames and I got sick again.  The jets didn’t come back like the cowards they are.  

   I climbed out of the turret and started tossing flak suits, guns, ammo and anything not absolutely necessary overboard.  Kicked off the waist door and for an hour I was so busy I don’t remember much of what happened.  We must have rejoined the group for I remember seeing other ships outside.

   Bruce and Ray seemed too scared to move.  They just stood around with their chutes on.  I went out back and tossed Rays guns and ammo etc out of the tail and came back to the waist and plugged in the intercom to find out what was happening.  We had left the formation and headed for Brussels on a course given to us by the lead ship.  No.4 engine was feathered and its gas was transferred to the others.  We were letting down too.  The Oxygen system was empty.  So far we had suffered no battle damage.  There just wasn’t any gas. Where it went I would probably never know.  

   Fred the Navigator was hopelessly lost.  This was only his second mission and he had flown the first one the day before so he was really in a muddle.  Wes the Bombardier was about halfway flak happy so he wasn’t much use.  To top it all off we only had navigation maps covering the route in and out and none of the territory we were now over.  All we could do was keep on our present heading and pray we could make the front lines before having to bail out.  An under-cast didn’t help things out at all.  We had our chutes on and stood by ready to go if Al said to.  No. 4 started wind milling and we dropped through the clouds.  Ice started forming on the wings.  All the gauges said 0 no gas.  We were virtually in a glide with the engines idling.  Somehow we got below the clouds and I spotted an airfield off at 3 O’clock and called it out to Al.  Our ETA was up so Fred said that must be the one we’re to land on.  So we made a turn and Al said to go into the radio room and prepare for a crash landing.  The last words I heard him say was “If there are Jerry’s there don’t tell them sons of ---- nothing”.  I went forward and we arranged all our flight equipment against the bulkhead to act as cushions.  Fred and Wes came back and we closed the door and Gunn leaned his back against it.  I lay down under the command set next to the side of the ship.  Bruce was almost on top of me.  For about 5 minutes we waited for the big bump.  All at once all hell broke loose.  Someone was shooting at us on the ground.  I looked out the window and the air was filled with a web of tracer and puffs of small flak.  We were being riddled with holes.  I could hear them going off all through the ship like firecrackers.  We were about 50 feet up and I could see several 20mm emplacements really throwing up a screen of steel.  The engines opened up and we made a turn and limped back upstairs a little and the noise eased off a little.  A good glance at the field told me we couldn’t land there anyway.   It was a maze of bomb craters.  I later learned we were almost on the ground before they started shooting so they had us cold.  But somehow we made it and Al decided to try an open field nearby.  This was filled with Glider poles, which are like telephone poles setup every few feet to stop invasion Gliders from landing.  We were still very low and the engines were cutting out N0.2 was windmilling already. No more gas. 

   A piece of Flak had come up trough the upper hatch and shattered Bruce’s earphone and cut his face.  A big hole 3 feet across was in the wing alongside the window.  Several more were further out.  All at once things started popping again.  I could hear the popping of the guns on the ground and the blam-blam as the 20mm’s went off in the ship.  They got louder and one came straight up through the floor and hit Bruce in the head and exploded.  I was blinded and stunned by the blast.  For some time I don’t remember much of what happened after that.  Smoke was all over.  I became conscious a few seconds before we hit.  Bruce was a horrible sight.  His head was in shreds.  Blood was all over everything and I probably would have had it too only I had my turret Flak helmet on, and it was riddled.  I was so scared I must have been out of my head.  All of this had happened in about 5 minutes.  

   I remember looking out the window again and seeing trees go by and a Silo and a Barn.  Then it seemed as if a million tons of weight was pushing me forward into the bulkhead and I couldn’t breath.  I saw stars and blackness.  Vaguely I remember the awful pressure was suddenly released and I was turning over and over, bouncing along the ground I guess.  The noise was so terrific I cannot describe it.  The next thing I remember must have been some time later.  I was almost smothered to death and couldn’t see except for a blur. Everything was so still and quiet it scared me. Somehow I sat up and my mouth, nose, eyes and ears were so packed with dirt and blood it took a while before I could see or take a breath.  My right arm wouldn’t work much and my right leg was numb. My Mae West had inflated and it was under my chute harness and almost crushed my ribs (it had broken 4 of them).  I unlocked my harness and got out of it and looked around.  I was lying on some grass about 50 feet from the wreckage of what had been our ship.  It now looked like a big ball of crumpled dural, props and wings.  The engines were strung out for about 600 yards along with parts and equipment.  

   Bruce was about 10 feet away and it made me violently ill to see him.  No one else was in sight and not a sound to be heard!  I tried to move but my body seemed to be somewhere else or at least that’s the only way I can explain the feeling I had.  I looked at my hands and they were there and so was the rest of me except I couldn’t see my right foot.  It just wasn’t there.  Boy if I was scared before I was really scared now.  I turned over and saw my foot, which was folded up on the outside of my leg so that the toe touched the knee.  I had my GI shoes on which I had changed before we started down.  I grabbed my foot and yanked it back in place and passed out again for a few seconds.  I found I could use my arms again and feeling came back all over and pain.  I yelled for someone and only heard someone groan so I knew someone else was alive.  I took off my shoe and harness and my leg was swelling badly. A cut on my head was bleeding a lot so I couldn’t see much.  I was so glad I was alive nothing mattered.  About an hour passed before someone came.  A kid of about 11 with wooden shoes came running up and I learned I was in Holland about 3 miles from the front lines.  Shells were whistling over-head.  Soon about 50 more civilians arrived and pulled Wes, Vic and Fred out of the wreckage.  They were alive and in sort of bad shape.  They dressed our wounds.  The Jerry’s arrived about 15 minutes later with all sorts of guns.  I thought they were going to shoot us.  The civilians cleared out and the soldiers loaded the 4 of us on a truck and hauled us into the town of Breda.  4 months later I learned to Al, Harry and Mac.  Bruce and Gunn were killed.  Gunn was killed in the crash /Harry, Al, and Mac bailed out!

S/Sgt Lawrence Rogers
Ball Turret gunner for crew 30
Aircraft # 531, Buncher 28
Mission to Brux

Here is a list from Rogers book of the crew on SAD FLAK on this fateful day.

Albert W. Grigg
Victor V. Lockard
JV Mc Donald
Harry L. Moulder
Ralph E. Westerburg
Fred Dacy
Shirley Broussard (KIA)
Ray H. Gunn (KIA)
Lawrence Rogers

Here is a list of servicemen from Stalag Luft I, North compound III, Block 8, room 10.

“Limpy”   Lawrence M. Rogers
“Hat”        George L. Petty
“Bill”        Wm H. Wiest
“Caud”     Robert E. Otis
“Curley”  Eugene N. Schwerdtfeger
“Mike”     Edward D. Meckly
“Spad”      Jack D. Spadofino
“Hank”     Henry X. Metz
“Owl”       Francis J. Miller
“Mac”       David E. Mcneely
“Wally”     Walter V. Youngas
“Nick”       Russell Nicolaison
“Tex”        Cecil C. Mcgraw
“Bill”        William G. Sebert
“Ollie”       Roy P. Yetter
“Bug”        Robert R. Owen
“Mousie”   Fred C. Warfle
“Cowboy” Robert L. Mouring
“Matt”       Matthew G. Streit
“Bob”        Robert A. Woehlke
“Trib”        John F. Tribby



2ND LT JOHN J. LEDLEY, JR .  CP NOC      TAPS: 19 FEB 1972
F/O FRED W. DACE              NAV POW 07 OCT 44  BOHLEN & HAMLIN
S/SGT CARL W. TOOLE        TTE NOC      TAPS  23 MAY 1987


SUBMITTER: Steven M. Snyder
PURPOSE: Report a death (TAPS)
INTEREST: I am a friend of the veteran's family
VETERAN: Harry L. Moulder, Jr.
DATE OF DEATH: 11/01/1992
FAMILY CONTACT: via email address above (I am his son-in-law).  Even 14 years after his passing, his children miss him tremendously.  I hope to learn more about his military experience to share with them as he never spoke about it.



2nd Lt Hugh E.Holladay             P POW/WIA 11/9/44  RUHLAND
2nd Lt Howard E.Potts          CP POW      11/9/44    RUHLAND
1st Lt 'William W.Pinson      NAV CPT        6/2/45      CHEMNITZ
2nd Lt Joseph E.Michaud     BOM POW/WIA 11/9/44    RUHLAND       A/C#42 102695
  Cpl Herlan R.Tarter            ROG KIA        11/9/44    RUHLAND       MACR882l~Microfiche#3238
  Cpl Nick C.Morrale              TTE POW/WIA 11/9/44   RUHLAND 
  Cpl Delbert M.Gadberry         BTG KIA        11/9/44   RUHLAND
  Cpl Nick R.DeSanto             WG KIA        11/9/44   RUHLAND
  Cpl Joseph D.DiCosimo        WG NOC  
  Cpl Robert F.Duncan            TG KIA        11/9/44   RUHLAND

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 4/8/44.

DiCosimo was probably removed from the crew to reduce it to nine men about the time it Joined the Group. On 
11/9/44, a 2nd Lt Roy M.Lynch,Jr. was aboard as NAV in place of Pinson and was KIA. This was the first mission for 
Lynch and the fourth for the rest of the crew

The following report in the MACR is of considerable interest:

"All the information given on these questionnaires is to the best of my knowledge. While I was in the hospital at Hohenstein,Ger., My pilot and engineer were with me, and we had a chance to pool our information to come to the following story on what happened. We were attacked by approximately 60 FW 190s from 6 o'clock high into the sun. Except for the tail gunner calling me on the intercom and telling me about the dog fighting going on behind us, no one knew about the attack until they hit us.

The first attack was made by one fighter on our plane, and he got direct hits in our tail, No.1 engine, batteries, Bomb bays, and probably the radio room. Fire broke out in and around No.1 engine, and in the bomb bays. Our oxygen, radio, inter phone, and electrical system were all shot out on this first attack. The tail gunner was undoubtedly instantly killed when the tail was struck. Our plane started to slowly get out of control and left the formation in a left turn. At this time, several more FWs pounced on us and got many more hits in our plane. One 20mm hit #3 engine just as I was having the navigator pass the emergency oxygen bottles, or as I was trying to let him know that we were out of oxygen. This shell seemed to have blown up in our face, and the whole side of the plane was blown away. Shrapnel struck Lynch in the face and stomach, and myself in the right side between pieces of my flak suit. This was a terrific blow and it knocked us out. I don't know how long I was dazed, but the next thing I remember is that the plane was going down in a spin, about 350 MPH.

The co-pilot, pilot, and engineer bailed out at the time of the second attack, but the co-pilot didn't make it right then because of the great amount of fumes and smoke. No one knows what was going on in the rear of the plane during this time because the bomb-bay was on fire and no one could go through and we didn't know what was going on since the bail-out bell was out of order. The pilot and engineer managed to get out before the plane went into the spin.

Just as I came to, I realized I had to get out, but the centrifugal force was so great that I couldn't move from my position in the nose. I reached over to put on my chute just the same and at this instant the plane blew up. The co-pilot went out through a hole in the side of the ship, and I went out through the wind screen by the force of the explosion.
The plane broke just behind the radio room at the nose in front of the cockpit, at the tail, and both wings were ripped off. It is assumed the tail gunner was killed instantly by a direct hit, and so was the navigator. The waist gunner went down in his section trying to help the ball turret man get out of the turret, and the radio operator went down in his section, either unconscious, or disabled in some way if not dead at the time.

All this action took place at 24,000 feet over an elapsed time of not more than one minute and a half, if not less. This is the nearest we can get to a calculation of what took place. What pertains to the men in the cockpit and nose we know is fact, but what happened to the rear of the bomb bay was beyond our knowledge or control due to the conditions. I'm sure things must have been serious back there since they could see the fire in the engines, the bomb bay, and what happened in our tail. Also, the number of planes that went down around us was sufficient warning to let them know what was happening to us. If there was any possible way they would have gotten out."

Joseph E.Michaud


Killed during fighter attack


TARGET: Ruhland DATE: 1944-09-11  
AIRCRAFT: (42-102695) CAUSE: EAC & Explosion  


ID: 3228