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SERIAL #: 32365530 STATUS: POW
MACR: 03232 CR: 03232

Comments1: 18 MAR 44 MUNICH (EAC - CL)




2ND LT ROBERT J. HORN            P POW 18 MAR 44 MUNICH  SN#0-690773

418th Sqdn..  Crew, joined 100th BG in Feb 1944 as above, taken from MACR #3232, which is in poor condition and diffucult to read.
This was the crew first mission.  

MACR #3232, Microfiche #1104

Much of the following information was conveyed by crewman of a/c 42-3508: Charles Conner-BOM. Russell Priester-BTG, Ken Mueller-ROG and Aubrey Slimm-WG, who attended the 100th BG Little Rock Reunion in 1993, and later updated by Lt Charles Conner in late 2004 as new information became available;

"In 1994 Lt Charles Conner was informed by a letter from 100th BG Historian Jim Brown that apparently CB Harper was Deputy leader and while the Group was still over the Channel outbound toward their target in Germany on 18 March 1944, He had to abort because of planetary gear failure on his #3 engine and its "cherry red" hub. It seems the Group had just completed its formation adjustment for the Deputy's departure as the formation flew over the Dieppe region when the Group Lead a/c took severe flak hits at 1210 hours so he also aborted and turned for home with wounded crew aboard. Speculation indicate the High and Low Squadron Leads may not have been aware that the Deputy Lead had just aborted the formation and assumed the Group Lead merely turned to avoid the heavy flak area and this led to the High and Low elements following the Group Leads turn."

"With the previous departure of the Deputy Lead plus the Group Leads abort, the entire 100th BG found itself in the unenviable position of heading back towards England before someone realized that the Wing was continuing eastward toward the target, while the entire 100th had departed the formation.  Perhaps that relatively quick sequence of events probably led to miss-communication and apparently delayed the decision by the new Group Lead to take command, who in turn, led the 100th in a complete 360 degree turn.  That was a costly move as two more 100th BG a/c had to abort due to serous flak damage from the heavy defensive concentration around the Dieppe region.  By the time this maneuver was completed the rest of the Wing was miles ahead of the 100th. During the groups second re-assembly before resuming flight towards the target, Lt Horn had to pull the throttles back on his a/c #508 to avoid becoming the "meat of a sandwich" as Lt Paul Martin's #830 descended over Lt Horn's #508 just as Lt Donald Stuke's a/c #913 climbed from below #508 and those two a/c pancaked directly in front of Lt Horn.  The debris from that collision resulted in noticeable damage to #508's fuselage and undetected damage to the engines so Lt Horn stayed with the Group formation which began a "sprint" to re-join the Wing."

"The primary target at Gablingern was under heavy clouds, so the Group continued eastward to the secondary target at Munich as Horn fought to keep his damaged aircraft in formation.  Lt Horn's plane took additional flak damage including destruction of the mechanism to feather the props while in route to the secondary target.  Horn was able to stay in formation in spite of the damage and bombed the Munich rail yards.  On the Homeward bound leg of the mission, Lt Horn's a/c took more flak damage, which further increased his planes drag and made it highly improbable that #508 could maintain sufficient airspeed to stay airborne.  The ever-decreasing effectiveness of the engines and the pilot’s inability to feather props on the damaged engines cause the aircraft to slowly lose altitude and lag behind the formation and made it obvious the homeward flight of “Bastard's Bungalow II” could not be sustained.   Flying isolated from the formation as the a/c lost altitude and speed, Lt Horn's crew soon found a P-47 flying escort off their left wing.  But minutes later, our "Little Friend's" fuel state forced him, reluctantly, to abandon the stricken B-17.  The P-47 signaled that he had to depart and he gave a friendly salute to Lt Horn.  Mindful of his circumstance, alone, over enemy territory with a stricken plane losing altitude, Lt Horn radioed his crew of his intentions and lowered his landing gear (this would keep enemy fighters from destroying the stricken plane in the air and force Lt Horn to land at the nearest enemy airfield…mpf)"

Letter to Jim Brown from Charles E. Conner in September 1988…."We crash-landed near Ulm, with Lt Horn making a super smooth dead-stick, wheels up landing in a snow covered field which we thought was a farmers backyard. As we climbed out of the airplane, we were "greeted" by the very irate farm workers armed with pitchforks and pistols. They held us captive for fifteen to twenty minutes until a half-dozen German military men took control and moved us to the town jail." Lt Horn's Crew members at the 100th's 1993 Reunion in Little Rock, AR related information previously unknown to 100th historians for nearly half a century. The crews’ comments continued:

"An Me-109 and a FW-190 joined our lonely B-17, one fighter off each wing.  Those pilots gave Horn a "Thumbs down" signal and pointed to a snow-covered field below to indicate where Horn should land.  With no alternative, Lt Horn complied and made a smooth wheels-up landing in the snow.  The two fighters circled above, then the FW-190 departed the area while the Me-109 lowered his wheels and landed near our a/c, but his landing gear bogged down in the 6" snow and his a/c flipped tail-over-nose.  Farm workers held us at bay with guns and pitchforks as we exited the a/c and prevented our dash into the nearby woods to hopefully evade capture as the Me-109 pilot jumped from this over turned a/c, seemingly uninjured, and ran towards us. Soon afterwards some armed Luftwaffe troops arrived on foot, and Horn and our crew were marched off as prisoners to a nearby building.  There we were loaded into a truck and driven to the Ulm city jail for a couple of days before being transported to Dulag Luft at Frankfurt em Main"

“In 1994 Lt Charles Conner returned to Europe and visited the crash site of #508 “Bastard's Bungalow II” in Ulm.  According to the MACR, the crew made and emergency landing at Dormstadt and was captured.   It seems there was an Airbase at Dormstadt during the war and it had been converted into an old folks home.   Upon explaining his mission to the Home's Administrator, she gave Lt Conner and his German friend (a retired NATO pilot from Germany) permission to walk the grounds.   We soon found ourselves at the edge of a grassy field with a wooded area some 100 yards of so off to one side, which matched our crews’ mental recollection of our crash site.  The retired NATO pilot said that most German wartime fighter bases had grass landing strips and said that because of the very hilly terrain surrounding this former base, that open field was the only flat place large enough to safely land an a/c the size of a B-17 without causing injury to its crew. He also said that the men who aimed their guns at us as we exited our plane were most likely from Germany's Home Guard in charge of farm laborers.   Lt Conner and the rest of Lt Horn's crew are now convinced that their crash landing was not in a farmer's backyard as they originally thought but at the edge of what was Dornstadt Air Field.”

Lt Horn ended up in Stalag Luft III, South Compound Sagan, Silesia, Germany after being interrogated at a Dulag Luft at Frankfurt em Main.

1994 Letter to Harry Crosby

15436 Marty Street
Overland Park, KS 66223-3030
                                          April 5, 1994
Dr. Harry H, Crosby, Editor
Smart's Hill Farm
Lovell, Maine 04051-3257

Dear Harry,
I've beerl captivated by your writings in "Splasher Six", and having met 
you once (July 1992) outside the All Saints Church at Thorpe Abbotts 
while waiting for the buses to arrive from Norfolk, I feel like I know 
you as an old friend and can address you by your first name,
I'm saddened by the news that you are retiring as editor--you have done 
such a superb job making it a truly quality publicationl! We all have 
come to expect and hope that you would continue your excellent editorship 
indefinitely, However, I'm aware of the ever-present pressure of 
publication deadlines, and I know you must be relieved that it will soon 
be ending, You richly deserve the freedom that you have denied yourself 
these many years.
I have thoroughly enjoyed your book which you autographed for me at Little 
Rock, Our crew was shot down in March '44 on our first outing, so we feel 
cheated at not having been at Thorpe Abbotts long enough to "dirty our 
laundry" or to get really acquainted with the base and its people, But 
your factual and friendly writing style with great detail have brought it 
all to life for me, Our Navigator also thinks your book is great, and he 
refers to passages from it frequently in his letters,
I have begun to take seriously your suggestion to write down the story 
of my war-time experiences to give to my children and grandchildren, But 
after 50 years, my "memory factory" has lost some of its recall power 
although I'm enjoying the challenge of trying to put it all together,
The facts surrounding one specific event continue to elude me:
what really happened in the cockpits of our Group Leader and Deputy Leader as the 
huge 3rd Division formation crossed the French coastline near Dieppe heading for 
Munich on our illfated flight on 18 March 1944, I have recently learned that 
 our Group Leader took a serious flak hit and had to abort, 
What remains a mystery to me is why the entire Group followed
him as he reversed course to head for home,)
I can only guess that the Deputy Leader apparently delayed (for whatever reason) his 
move to assume the lead position until after the entire Group had reversed course 
and was trailing ouraborting Leader toward home, The Deputy, realizing we should
have remained on course toward the target, then converted
the 180° turn-around into a full 360 over the heavy flak
area near Dieppe, In the process, the Group lost 2 or 3 add-
itional planes to flak and all similarity to a bombing
formation, We finally regained our original in-bound heading
and began to re-assemble into formation.
Minutes later, our top turret gunner hollered into his mike
"B-17 coming down over our top" followed immediately by our
ball turret gunner shouting "B-17 climbing right below us",
Realizing what was about to happen and being fully aware of
our close proximity to other 100th aircraft around us, our
pilot Bob Horn wisely throttled back ,our #42-3508 and thus
avoided becoming the "filling of the sandwich" formed by the
collision of the two converging aircraft, In those tight
quarters, our pilot had no choice but to fly right through
the collision debris, I believe there were only two survivors
from those two planes piloted by Martin and Stuke,
Three or four years ago, I wrote to Jim Brown asking him for
information about the in-bound portion of that flight, He
confirmed the confusion and the mid-air collision that followed
the Group Leader's abort, He also sent to me the Group's
formation sheet for that day and Sortie Information sheet as
well as other documention, but no opinion or speculation as to
why what happened,happened, (See attached,) This flight took
place some weeks (months) before you became Group Navigator, I
guess, Nevertheless, do you have any records or notes that
contain any information gleaned from that post-mission debrief-
ing that would add to my meager bits of information? I guess
I should also ask Paul West if he has any relavent information,
Your book seems to describe the period prior to mid March '44
as one durin which several leadership changes (Squadron as well
as Group COsW took place, I vaguely recall our brief "sojourK"
on the base with visions of unexpected informality and a "devil-
may-care"attitude of many of the senior personnel, I do not
recall Col, John Bennett's disciplinary efforts during our one
month at Thorpe Abbotts from mid Feb, '44 through mid March, I
think I would remember him if he was Group C0 when we were there,
Are my recollections different from yours for that one month period?

I hope you will excuse my rambling and taking up so much of your
time, When I began this letter, I did not intend to burden you
with my whole "There I Wuz" story, but once I started I couldn't
stop, I will greatly appreciate any information you can send to me, and
I will share it with my crewmates. Except for our tail gunner
(whose mail is returned to me marked "undeliverable"), we all
exchange Christmas greetings every year, Four of us were at
Little Rock, the first 100th reunion for any of us.
Thanks so much for all your years in the 100th, and HAPPY
RETIREMENT!!! Take Care.
 Charlie Conner

Subj: Horn Crew Page  
Date: 11/14/2004 6:40:49 PM Pacific Standard Time 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
Hi Mike,
I do not know the exact date our crew arrived at Thorpe Abbotts.  The best I can do is give you the following chain of events.
We left Gander Lake on 2 Feb. '44 for direct flight to Prestwick, arriving there the next day.  We were then directed to 388th BG, but when Horn checked in, he was given new orders for his crew to proceed pronto to Thorpe Abbotts.  So we must have arrived at T.A. on 3, maybe 4 Feb.  I do know we did not bed down between Gander and Thorpe Abbotts.
The 8-page MACR I received from Nat'l Archives in May '88 shows on page 4, paragr. 6 "1630 Air Field of Dornstadt, 6 kms west of Ulm,---ident. Marks: L D Cross P, Factory No. D - 23508 P".  Same page, Paragr. 7: "1500 Air Field Dornstadt, 6 kms west of Ulm."  On page 7 Report of Captured Aircraft  the following entries:   
     Place of Crash: Dornstadt near Ulm/Danube, Air Field
    a/c Type:  B  17 Fortress II
    Markings: L D Star P
    Admittance No.:  D 23508-P
Also, the narrative I submitted for inclusion to the web site contains an account of the trip my wife and I along with our daughter took to Buxheim, Germany just north of Memmingen to visit a retired German Col. NATO pilot who drove us to Dornstadt. The Col. Said that air field had been converted to an Altersheim (old folks home) a decade or so after the war.  When we walked around the grounds we came to an open field with a wooded area off to one side that matched my recollection of our landing site.  The Col., familiar with the topography of the surrounding area, said that field was the only flat place in that area large enough to "safely" land an a/c the size of a B17 without the potential for significant casualties to the crew.  So our crew is convinced that was our landing site.
I hope this clarifies the questions you have, but if not ;please let me know.  I realize that accuracy is very important to your work, and we all support your efforts to achieve that goal 100%
Chuck Conner

Regarding our first and only mission.  The a/c assigned to us #42-3508 had undergone repairs and I think engine replacement(s) following major damage incurred on its last mission, and Horn and crew flew made numerous flights around the area, returning each time with a list of problems (inadequate oil pressure among other things) Horn found with the a/c performance with requests to the Crew Chief to fix this and that .  I don't recall how long it took before Horn was finally satisfied but it must have been more than a few weeks before we returned from a local flight with a clean sheet for the Crew Chief, and within a day or so Ops gave our a/c #3508  and crew the go sign.  So yes, we did get shot down on our first mission.
Thanks for your efforts.
Chuck Conner



SUBMITTER: Brett Hilton


PURPOSE: Report a death (TAPS)

INTEREST: I am the veteran's relative


VETERAN: Victor T. Saabye

DATE OF DEATH: 03/21/2007 

FAMILY CONTACT: 236 E. Bay Blvd.

Port Hueneme CA. 93041


MESSAGE: Victor Saabye Story

I am writing to you, to honor a great man, my Grandfather Victor Saabye. A man who was drafted in to the Army Air Corp’s, at the tender young age of 20 years old.  After schooling at Will Roger’s Field near Oklahoma City Oklahoma, he was sent to England to join in the War effort.  After only a few short weeks of training on the B17 Bomber at Thorpe Abbots in Norfolk England, he and the crew where ready for their first live bombing run over Germany.  The original crew of the Bastard’s Bungalow, which was scheduled to fly her only a few days before, had to take another plane in her place, due to mechanical problems.  That crew was lost, when they collided in to a mountain, after receiving heavy battle damage during their mission.  

Even though the Bastards Bungalow was not at 100%, he and the crew set out on March 18, 1944. On route to their prospective targets, the group leader was struck by heavy enemy anti aircraft fire over Northern France , and had to pull out.   The Bastards Bungalow II sustained damage from a mid air collision of two 100th. Aircraft. One, the Berlin Playboy, and another B17 attempted to occupy the same spot in the formation, and collided over the French Coast of Dieppe. Both Planes were lost. Only one crew member was able to clear the Berlin Playboy, (Sgt. Robert Faulkner), and two soldiers were successful at bailing out of the other B17 involved in the collision.(co pilot Thomas Lemond, & engineer Donald Segrete.)  Two of those three men evaded capture by German forces, (Faulkner & Lemond) and one was taken as a Prisoner of War. (Donald Segrete). The other crew members never made it.  

An American P-47 offered protection for some time to the Bastards Bungalow, but the damaged B-17 was forced to descend lower and lower on its way to the target.  The P-47 eventually had to wave goodbye to the crew, when his fuel level was running low.  

After bombing the secondary target, the battle damaged B17 was soon joined by two German fighters.  An ME-190 on one wing, and a FW-190 on the other.  They soon gave the pilot, Lt. Horn, a thumbs Down signal, over a large snow covered field.  Horn managed to make a super smooth dead-stick wheels up landing in the snow covered back yard of a farmer, near Ulm.  The Crew, (The Hardway 10), were then “greeted” by a very upset farmer and his family, who held them captive, armed with pistols and pitchforks.  The two fighters circled, and the ME-190 lowered his wheels and landed next to the B17.  the German Fighter nosed over and crashed, but the Luftwaffe pilot was not injured.  The ME-109 circled overhead a few more minutes, and then departed.  Soon afterward, a group of German Soldiers arrived and Victor and the crew were taken prisoner, and escorted to the town jail.

Shortly there after on the fourth of April 1944, his wife at the time, (Doris Saabye) received a telegram stating that her husband was Missing In Action, since March 18th.  The three months of waiting and uncertainty, must have been a great pain to bear.  Only prayers of protection, and good news, could be offered until more was known.  On June 14, 1944, her prayers were answered when she received a telegram stating that her husband was alive, and a prisoner of War of the German Government.  

The 15 months Victor Saabye and his crew spent in several of the prisoner of war camps, of the German Government, were not easy.  Many hungry, and many frightening nights.  Never knowing if they may be killed the next day, or possibly set free.  Victor’s faith in his Lord and protector kept him strong, and kept him with a positive attitude toward the future.  Even being able to come in to contact with, and enjoy the fellowship of, other prisoners who had trained on the same base as him in Oklahoma.  

Only six days before the end of the War, the Stalag camp he was residing in at the time, was liberated in a fierce and bloody battle, by an advancing Russian Army.  For the next week or so, he hitchhiked his way to Berlin, returning officially to U.S. Allied Forces Military Control on May 28, 1945.

However!  The story doesn’t end there.  After some much needed R & R after the War, Victor was  recalled to active duty in 1951. In 1952, he was sent to Korea, to serve as a Technical Engineer, and was assigned to building roads, during the Korean Conflict.  Then in 1966, he was sent to Udorn Thailand, to build an air base, during the start of the Vietnam War.  In 1967, he returned to Korea, to assist in building an Air Base there as well.  In 1968, he traveled to serve in Istanbul Turkey. In 1969, he traveled to serve in Madrid Spain. He spent his last year of service before retiring from the Air Force, in England.  Shortly there after, Victor and Family moved to Port Hueneme, where her worked on the Port Hueneme Seabee Base, as a civilian plumber, retiring in 1985.

Please join me, in honoring a great man, my Grandfather, Victor T. Saabye.  A man who has served his country, and his family, for many years.  A man whom we can all learn very much from.  A man that we can draw a good conclusion from, as to what serving, and giving, will do for the quality of your life.  A man who faired better than most people ¼ to 1/3 his age, when he received a heart valve replacement in 2001 at the age of 82.  

Victor Saabye was diagnosed with cancer the first week of February 2007.  Victor left us this morning at 12:00 AM 3/21/2007.

I would like to take this moment to honor Victor Saabye.  My Grandfather, my friend.

Brett Hilton

Victor is survived by Wife Elizabeth “Betty” Saabye, Daughter Penelope Hilton Barnds, and Daughter Pamela Lynch.


POW/KIA notes: ME-109 & a FW-190 aircraft escorted them and soon gave Horn a "Thumbs Down" signal.  Horn made a smooth wheels up landing.


TARGET: Munich DATE: 1944-03-18  
AIRCRAFT: "Bastard's Bungalow II" (42-3508) CAUSE: Damage by debris from Collision  




 Robert J. Horn crew Back Row (l to r): Aubrey Slimm, Jr. (LWG), Russell A. Priester (BTG), Albert J. Shubak (TTG), Victor T. Saabye (RWG), Kenneth H. Mueller (ROG), ? Paul (Replaced by William T. Graser after picture was taken.) Front Row (l to r): Charles E. Conner (BOM), William A. Newell (NAV), Bart E. Mahoney (CP), Robert J. Horn (P) Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) Lt. Robert (Rosie) Rosenthal Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 



Crew 1

ID: 4803