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Lt. Richard F. Williams

MACR: 11363 CR: 11363

Comments1: 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG




Lt Clifton M.Williams                P   KIA   31/12/44 HAMBURG
Lt Kenneth W.Newkirk           CP  KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG
Lt Richard F.Williams              NAV  KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG           A/C #43 38124
Lt Lawrence W.Ward          BOM  POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG        MACR #11363,Fiche #4182
T/S/Sgt Charles J.McGinley     ROG    KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG
T/Sgt .Alvin H.Petteys         TTE  KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG
S/Sgt Lee F.Carpenter         BTG  KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG
S/Sgt  James H.Murphy         WG   POW 31/12/44 HAMBURG TAPS: 1973
  Cpl  Gordon R.Sinclair         TG  CPT  15 /3/45 ORANIENBURG /WITH THE S. JOHNSON CREW AS NAV (see note)

351st Sqdn. Sqdn Diary of Sept.1944 notes this crew as joining the 100th Group in Sept. A Cpl.Harvey J.Lehman was 
on the crew at that time but no further record of him has turned up.

On 31/12/44, S/Sgt Roland L.Douglas,from the crew of Gerald Brown,was flying in place of Gordon Sinclair and was 
made a POW.

Gordon Sinclair was removed from Navigator's school one day short of graduation for some unknown infraction, proably the Training Command acted  a bit over zealous in view of the need for trained Navigators.  The 351st Sqdn. Commander (Harry Cruver, a man known to have had some disagreement with training command personnel during his cadet days) corrected this bit of over zealousness by immediately promoting Sinclair to M/Sgt and  making him the Navigator for the Sidney Johnson crew, where he completed a tour.  This from Charles M. Beck, of the Sidney Johnson


1.   30/09/44   BIELEFELD
2.   02/10/44   KASSEL
3.   05/10/44   HANDORF
4.   06/10/44   BERLIN
5.   07/10/44   BOHLEN
6.   09/10/44   MANINZ
7.   13/10/44   BREMEN
8.   17/10/44   COLOGNE
9.   18/10/44   KASSEL
10. 22/10/44   MUNSTER
11. 26/10/44   HANOVER
12. 02/11/44   MERSEBURG
13. 09/11/44   SAAR BRUCKEN
15. 21/11/44   OSNABRUCK  
16. 26/11/44   HAMM
17. 02/12/44   KOBLENZ
18. 04/12/44   FRIEDBURG 
19. 05/12/44   BERLIN
20. 11/12/44   KOBLENZ
21. 12/12/44   DARMSTADT
22. 27/12/44   FULDA
23. 28/12/44   KOBLENZ
24. 30/12/44   KASSEL
25. 31/12/44   HAMBURG-MISSING IN ACTION    

EYEWITNESS:  "A/C #43-38124 was broken in two by coilision with A/C #42-31066 which fell on it after A/C 42-31066 uas hit by flak. Both A/C
                       went down in flames.One chute was seen."

A/C 42-31066 was flown by the crew of Floyd E. Henderson. see below for Henderson crew roster..

The following is Lt Lawrence Ward's recollection of what occurred (written probably in late 1945):

"While we were on the bomb run the tail gunner called out an enemy jet high at six o'clock.In answer 
I checked the crew for oxygen and gave orders to all the gunners to be especially alert for enemy fighters.
All action began just as the squadron dropped their bombs.I only had time to say "Bombs Away" when
two terri fic explosions took place;one under the nose in the chin turret,the other some where around 
the center of the ship. The one under the nose was flak,and pieces of metal seemed to fill the air as they
tore thru the plexiglass and aluminum. It was at this moment that I received a hit over the left eye that stunned me. 
From then on,nothing is clear in my mind as to what happened.

We imnediately went into a spin and I remember trying to climb to the escape hatch but I didn't have strength
to overcome the other forces.The plane straightened into a dive and as I disentangled myself from all the 
debris I pulled the red cord on my flak suit,and started again for the hatch. In that one quick moment I
glimpsed the navigator lying on the catwalk on his elbows looking in my direction. This covered a fraction
of a second and then the nose seemed to disintegrate and I passed out.

When I came to I was in the open air and just automatically pulled the ripcordof my parachute. But nothing 
happened except the red handle came out - I threw it away and opened the chute by pulling the flaps 
open.I never remember the jolt of the chute opening - the next thing I knew was that I was dangling by one strap
It was a habit of mine to hook one side of the harness to the chute on the bomb run and it never occurred 
to me to fasten tne other side before opening it. By this time,the bleeding of my wound had stopped - evidently
because the blood over my face had frozen. However,hanging by one strap prevented me from having any control
over myself and I whirled around and around like a top,making me very sick at my stomach.

I made hasty plans as to evading,but when I landed it was within a fenced-in estate on the edge of Hamburg.
I was immediately surrounded by soldiers and civilians  They took me to the Luftwaffe base where three 
others from our squadron were being searched and held. One was my waist gunner and he is the one who 
told me the story of our plane.The other explosion I heard was another plane colliding with us,
slicing our plane in half at the ball turret.

When I was a prisioner,the wound over my eye thawed out and began to bleed again  I tried to get it 
bandaged but to no avail,so I bandaged it with a handkerchief, and it was over a month before it finally healed."

2nd  Lt   Richard W. King          CP        KIA 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
2nd   Lt   George J. Smigo, Jr   NAV    POW 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt  Elmer L. Kovach        TOGG      KIA 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt George J.Robinson         ROG      KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
 S/Sgt James W.Shepard         TTE      KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Leo O.Murphy               BTG     POW   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Fred Horcasitas              WG      KIA   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Frank S.Sauls                  TG     POW  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG



TARGET: Hamburg DATE: 1944-12-31  
AIRCRAFT: (43-38124) CAUSE: FLAK - Collision in formation  


PLOT: E ROW: 19  
GRAVE: 2 CEMETERY: Netherlands Cemetery/Margraten  
ID: 5570