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LT  Maurice H. CAIN

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM
SERIAL #: O-681869 STATUS: POW
MACR: 04234 CR: 04234

Comments1: 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

DATE: 4 March 1944             350th Sqdn. A/C 42-38016  "SEATON'S SAD SACK"
TARGET: Berlin                     MACR #3024 Micro-fiche # 1022

1st Lt Stanley M.Seaton               P   POW   sn# O-746437                   Taps 25 Aug 1988
2nd Lt William F.Clayton              CP    POW  sn# O-750774
2nd Lt Charles F.DeWolfe,Jr.      NAV   POW  sn# O-807903                   Taps 07 Jun 1988
2nd Lt Maurice H. Cain              BOM   POW  sn# O-681869  28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL WITH LT LAKIN AND COL KELLY)
 T/Sgt George N.Ofiesh            TOG   POW  (ROG on Original Lt Ford Crew)  
 T/Sgt Joseph A.Judd               ROG   POW  sn#32440417
 T/Sgt Peter A.Hogan               TTE   POW  sn#32451103                   Taps 22 Oct 1987
 S/Sgt Robert H.Cook               BTG   POW  sn#13074805
 S/SgtArthurJ.Labrecque          RWG    POW  sn#31150856                   Taps 12 Aug 1982
S/Sgt Loydell Malone                LWG    POW  sn#15354046
 S/Sgt Leming Hull                      TG   KIA     sn#35671600

Crew was assigned to 100th Bomb Group on December 1, 1943.  Original Bombardier on the crew was Lt Maurice H. Cain sn# 0-681869 and was replaced on the Berlin mission by TOG  T/Sgt George Ofiesh.  Ofiesh was the orginal ROG on Lt Ford Crew)
This plane apparently damaged by enemy a/c and crew,except possibly Sgt.Hull, bailed out over village of Kesseling (District of Ahrweiler) and became POWs.

From a German report the following is quoted: "On 4 Mar 1944 at 1500 hours,a four engine enemy aircraft crashed ,approximately 1 kl north of the village of Kesseling (District of Ahrweiler). The a/c exploded on the ground when it crashed. It burned completely and could not be salvaged. Type unknown. Leming Hu11,35671600 T 43 S Sgt DEAD. The rest of the crew bailed out and were captured. They were sent to Stulag (Luft) Oberursel on 5 Mar 1944.

The identification of the deceased is attached herewith,the other one buried with the body. The deceased was interred on 6 Mar 44,in the Community Cemetary in Kesseling."

This was the 14/15 mission for this crew according to James Brown, originial 100th Historian - Jim came to question this mission total and stated near the end of his life a possibility it is too high.. Pw

Missions we Know about for Lt Stanley Seaton Crew:

January 15, 1944  Crew assigned to fly with the 390th Bomb Group but mission was scrubbed due to weather.  Plane assigned 230788 LN-R "Mismalovin"
February 4, 1944 FRANKFURT, flew a/c 239792 LN-X Half & Half
February 5, 1944 ROMILLY sur SEINE & VILLACOUBLAY flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack
February 9, 1944 HALBERSTADT (RECALL)  flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack
February 15, 1944 PRACTICE MISSION  flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack
February 21, 1944 BRUNSWICK, ALHORN, & VORDEN AF flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack 
February 22, 1944 SCHWEINFURT (BAD WEATHER, RECALL)  flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack 
March 3,1944  BERLIN (RECALL)      flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack 
March 4, 1944 BERLIN (shot down)  flew aircraft 238016 LN-B Seaton's Sad Sack  


Dear Mr. faley
My uncle was Bob Cook(Seaton's sad sack that went down in 3-4-44) Is there any photos of bob on written memories of  any of the other pilots. I remember some of the stories of bobbies about sad sack going down and being taken prisoner. I am trying to get together some of my families history. My father was a F-84 pilot lilled in Korea and his brother was lost as a air commando in a C-47 gunship.I have a picture of Bobby taken at Kearney Nebraska and I have had success with the commandos finding pictures. I wrote Ron Leigh the artist because I saw his painting and he suggested I write you for some direction.
I do have a color 4x6 slide of a squadron of b-17s in the clouds that I would like to send to your group. I don't know what squadron or  group it is
Thanks for your time
John Cook
1203 Hambrooks Blvd
Cambridge
MD  21613 
410-228-1967

*************************************************************************************************************

CREW(28 Apr 44)

COL  ROBERT H. KELLY                     COM KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
CAPT WILLIAM G. LAKIN                        P KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
LT HERBERT ALF                               CP POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL) flew as formation officer in tail 
CAPT  JOSEPH  H. "BUBBLES" PAYNE      NAV KIA    28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
LT MAURICE H. CAIN                         BOM POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
T/SGT LEO  R. CANNON                     ROG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL
T/SGT JAMES C. BROWN                    TTE KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
S/SGT ALBERTM. FREITAS                  BTG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
S/SGT JOHN N. SPIKER                       WG KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
S/SGT JOSEPH  A. RICHARD                WG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL
S/.SGT DELBERT E. BARNHART               TG KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL) flew in radio room, manned 50 cal. 

350th BS

COL KELLY COMMANDED THE 100TH FOR ONE WEEK AND TWO DAYS.  HE WAS LOST ON HIS FIRST MISSION TO SOTTEVAST. AT TAKE-OFF TIME THE NEW COMMANDER ELECTED TO BUMP THE 100TH'S BEST FLIGHT LEADER (CAPT JACK SWARTOUT) AND LEAD HIMSELF. THE RESULTS WERE A DISASTER, TWO SHIPS WERE LOST WHEN THE COL ELECTED TO MAKE A SECOND RUN OVER THE TARGET AT THE SAME ALTITUDE AND ON THE SAME HEADING. AMOUNG THE KIA'S WAS THE 100TH BELOVED LEAD NAVIGATOR JOSEPH "BUBBLES" PAYNE; SAID BY JIM BROWN AND HARRY CROSBY TO HAVE BEEN THE BEST.

This was what can best be called a "pick-up" crew of veteran airmen, with the exception of Col. Kelly fresh from the States
and had became the 100th's Commanding Officer only nine days prior to the mission. Joe "Bubbles" Payne was 
a member of the original air echelon of the Group as were T/Sgt James C. Brown and S/Sgt Albert M. Freitas.
With the exception of Magee Fuller, they were the last of the "Original 100th" to become casualties. T/Sgt Leo R. Cannon joined the Group in August 1943, his orginal crew (F.H. Meadows) was shot down at Bremen 08 Oct 1943. Capt William G. Lakin had been with the Group prior to October 1943.  Lt Maurice H. Cain was from Lt Stanley Seaton Crew.  

The following from MACRs:  "....On 02 May 1944, at 0730 hours an American Airman was captured by two German soldiers on the street of Rochville, Sottevast, France. The Germans record the following data: Name: Cain, Maurice # 0-681859. According to his statement he rescued himself from the burning aircraft on 28 April 1944. Sent to Airbase Command, Paris, France..Date 3 May 1944 @ 1320 hours."  The Originating German Officer is not identified..pw



EMAIL = cannon@rabun.net
UNAME = Michael A. Cannon
CONNECTION = I am a relative of a 100th veteran
TAPS_PERSON = Leo R. Cannon
TAPS_DATE = October 24, 1997
TAPS_UNIT = 350th
TAPS_POSITION = Radio Operator
TAPS_RELATION = Child
QUESTION = Question: 
FEEDBACK = Feedback:Leo R. Cannon joined his second crew after his 1st was shot down. He was in the hospital with the flue when his 1st crew was shot down. 
 
 
Mr. Faley
Yes, I do have a copy of my Dad's first crew. He was assigned to this crew when they were first organized in the states. I know that he told me that his second crew was a pick up crew, but I do not know if he had flown with them since his first crew was shot down. His first crew was shot down on their 8th mission. My Dad was shot down on his 14th mission. Therefore he flew 7 mission after his first crew was shot down.  I will send individual pictures of the first crew later. A fact that you may not know. Delbert Barnhart was not the Tail Gunner on the last crew. He was an extra crew member. He was in the Radio Room with my Dad using the gun in that compartment. When the plane was first hit, they both were not hit. They were attempting to get out when the plane was hit a second time. At this time my father was hit. He fell on the floor & Barnhart fell on top of him. When he awoke some time later Barnhart was gone and so was the rest of the plane about six feet from his head. He some how got out of the plane, pulled his rip cord,  made one oscillation & hit the ground. And was later captured by two German officers. Thanks Mike Cannon


CREW

2ND LT JOHN P. GIBBONS                      P CPT     FLEW TWO TOURS - CPT SECOND TOUR 07 APR 1945 BUCHEN
2ND LT ROBERT DYKEMAN                 CP KIA     29 JUL 44  MERSEBURG  (Hanged by Civilians)
2ND LT EVERETT M. JOHNSON           NAV CPT    21 JUL 44  REGENSBURG
2ND LT MAURICE H. CAIN                   BOM POW  28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (WITH CAPT LAKIN AND COL KELLY) 
2ND LT STERLING B. BLAKEMAN          BOM NOC
SGT EDWARD WALKER, JR                  ROG KIA    19 MAR 44   MARQUIS/ MIMOYQUE (NO BALL)
S/SGT IRA L. ARNOLD                         TTE KIA    29 JUL 44  MERSEBURG (hanged by Civilians)
SGT BERNARD L. SPRAGG                    BTG POW  29 JUL 44  MERSEBURG
SGT MYRON J. ETTUS                        RWG CPT
SGT FRANK W. BUSCHMEIER               LWG POW  29 JUL 44  MERSEBURG
SGT ARCHIE W. BUNTING                     TG RFS    REMOVED FROM FLYING STATUS

350TH SQDN... CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 24 FEB 1944.
DYKEMAN, ARNOLD, BUSCHMEIRER, AND SPRAGG WERE WITH THE CREW OF W.T. FITZROY ON 29 JUL 44 MERSEBURG MISSION.

ON MARCH 19, 1944 DURING A NOBALL MISSION, AN 88MM MADE A DIRECT HIT AND TORE THE ENTIRE FLOOR AND RIGHT SIDE OF THE RADIO  ROOM AWAY. ED WALKER WAS BLOWN OUT BY THE EXPLOSION.  S/SGT CARMINE ROBERTO REPLACED ED WALKER ON THIS CREW AND WAS KIA WITH THE W.T. FITZROY CREW ON 29 JUL 44.   W.T. FITZROY STATED HE SAW 12 AMERICANS HANGED AND SHOT BY THE GERMANS ON 29 JUL 44; AMONG THEM WERE DYKEMAN, ARNOLD, AND  FLOYD DOUGLAS.

Stories related by Lt John P. Gibbons to mpf (2002)

"While in the States on the way to his next phase of flight training , John Gibbons was reading Lt Col Lay's article "I Saw Regensburg Destroyed" (about the 100th BG and Maj. Gale Cleven's ordeal on August 17, 1943). His recollections  were " I am not this type of guy".  Three months later, he was assigned to the 100thBG, 350th BS (Clevens old Bomb Squadron) and his first mission was too REGENSBURG on 
25 Feb 44"!

"We flew the first three missions to BERLIN.  On the first,  March 4, 1944, we flew as a composite with the 95th BG.  We received the recall but the Group leader in the 95th heard it differently. Being a young Second Lt, I was not going to break radio silence to tell him differently.  We also flew the March 6th and March 8th missions to Berlin.  I think I ended up going to Berlin a total of 7 times."  Once while returning from BERLIN on the deck (with my windshield was shot out), we were escorted by a P-51 named "OLD CROW" (flown  by Maj Bud Anderson of 357th Fighter Group).  We would meet again on a train while I was on leave in the States in between my first and second tour.     

"The aircraft we flew on my 5th mission was MISS IRISH, named by our Crew Chief Chandler.  The date was March 19, 1944, and we were to hit a NO BALL in France.  My plane was hit  by an  88mm shell, blowing a huge hole in the radio compartment and killing my ROG, Sgt Walker.  So much for Milk Runs!"  MISS IRISH was salvaged.  I flew MISS IRISH II, once again named by Chandler. on my 6th mission then requested that I would like to name my next aircraft which I did.  It was called "LITTLE MIKE".  

"We flew our first 5 missions as "Tail End Charlie" as was the custom for all new crews.  Once on a practice mission, I was flying so close to my squadron CO, he accused me of trying to kill him!  

"I completed my first tour, then went stateside for 30 days.  Why would someone sign up for another tour, guess I felt we had a job to complete. When I returned to the Group (along with Chadwick and Glen Rake who had also signed up for another tour of duty), I was not assigned a permenant crew nor did I have a specific job but was flying missions as a deputy leader with the 350th BS. During this time I flew my 36th mission, flying deputy lead on a mission over the Ruhr (Happy Valley as it was nick named) and we had gone over the target twice and still had not dropped our bombs. I asked my bombardier if he saw the target and upon getting the affirmative decided to break radio silence. As a green second Lt, I did not speak up on the Berlin mission, but with 35 missions under my belt, I told the other crews to form up on me and we hit the target"   
          
"I was appointed 350th BS Operations officer by Maj Rosenthal and  I would fly my remaining 14 missions as a Command Pilot.  My final mission was April 7, 1945 to Buchen. After hostilities ceased, I was made CO of the 418th BS."     

7 Apr 1945: Maj. John P. Gibbons, Command pilot, and Capt David Hutchinson with the following crew were leading the formation on the raid to Buchen: 

    Gibbons, J.P.       Command pilot
    Hutchinson, D.E.  Pilot
    Patterson, P.B.    Co-Pilot (Flying the TG positon as Formation Officer wth the Command Pilot aboard in the right seat)
    Graham, N.S.       Navigator
    Zemski, A.R.        Bombardier
    Sapper, A.C.        TTE
    Fagan, T.H.         ROG
    Mast, G.D.           BTG
    Kamper, J.W.       RWG

They were involved in the fracas that .the 100th lost Calder ( LT. ARTHUR R. CALDER) and Howard's (LT WILLIAM E. HOWARD) aircraft. It was also the mission in which two 100th B-17s lost half of their stablizers and still came home to Thorpe Abbotts. One of the A/C was "GOLD BRICK." that collided with debris. Other was 43-38514 that was a victim of a collision with a downed ME 109. There is some question as to "GOLD BRICK." This ship was reported to have it's stablizer knocked off by the severed wing of the ME 109 that crashed into 43-38514 - and was flown by Lt Joe King. Both pilots were awarded DFC's for their fete of bringing both ships home. Griswold (Lt Griswold Smith) reports that the ME 109 that crashed into Calder's aircraft was diverted by intense fire from the formation's gunners.

The crew of J.C. Martin's (Lt Joe Carl Martin) aircraft confirmed that Joe King's aircraft was hit and damaged by the severed wing of the ME 109.

"Miss Irish" and the "MILK RUN REVISITED" March 19, 1944 (No Ball target in France)
 Miss Irish" 42-31968-This mission was supposed to be a "Milk Run"

Do you remember a contest about fifteen years ago to see which safely-landed plane had the most damage? So far, "Miss Irish" has remained unrivaled in this category. With information from the Maxwell Air Force Research Agency, which many of you are now discovering, and after numerous phone calls and recollection sessions in Little Rock, the "Miss Irish" crew has finally reached a consensus and produced a "more comprehensive and factual picture" of what happened to their plane. Having spent their first four missions on daylight bombing strikes over Berlin, the crew hoped their fifth would be a milk run. Flying Tailend Charlie in the high squadron (350th) of the 100th, heading for Dungeness, the crew went through the usual routine: test-fire guns, arm bombs, open bomb-bay doors, prepare to drop. Little black puufs of smoke over the coast of France looked "kind of like the 4th of July." As STERLING BLAKEMAN recalls, "there was a dramatic change in flak . . . All at once we found ourselves surrounded by big black oily smudges with angry red cores, all zeroed in on our plane. The big hit, when it came, created a new directional force on the plane, lifting it straight upward." Sterling hurried to the cockpit where pilot JOHN GIBBONS asked for damage assessment. Sterling and flight engineer IRA ARNOLD discovered that "a direct 88mm hit had torn out the whole floor and right side of the radio room, killing radio operator ED WALKER. Six of our twelve 500-lb. G. P. bombs were hung up in their twisted racks."

FRANK BUSCHMEIER remembers sitting in the back half of the plane "by my waist gun when I heard a burst of flak in front 
of the nose, then another one under the tail. There was a terrific explosion in the radio room, blowing the rear door out and 
sending it to where it ended up between my legs." Ed had "already fallen through the gaping hole that had been the floor." In 
the cockpit, John took the news "with amazing calm for a pilot who was now flying an aircraft divided at its middle almost in 
half." According to Sterling, "aware that the oxygen system had been knocked out, [John] was already nursing the plane down 
from our 21,000-ft. bomb run altitude. He and co-pilot BOB DYKEMAN were having trouble with the controls to the shredded 
right elevator and the rudder." Fortunately, all four engines were operational.

In the ball turret, the side windows were smashed and the front window gone, but the crew got BERNIE SPRAGG safely 
out. Busch spliced the cables of the elevator and rudder controls and then assisted waist gunner TY ETTUS in holding Bernie's 
legs while he leaned out over the hole in the radio room to pull back the shroud lines of Ed Walker's "flak-ridden and billowing 
chute." The trailing lines had snagged a walk-around oxygen bottle and were creating an extra drag factor. In between repairs, 
the "Back Half Crew," joined by tail gunner"BUGS" BUNTING, began lightening the load by throwing out as much as possible. 
Having fallen away from the formation and flying without any P-47 escorts, navigator MAX JOHNSON "set the shortest 
course to England." But over the Channel, only three bombs dropped with the conventional release mechanism. Arnold and 
Sterling stood on the bomb bay catwalk and worked with pliers and screwdrivers,  against time and a heavy draft, to work the 
other three bombs loose. "Thanks mainly to Arnold's talent for solving mechanical problems not covered in service manuals, all 
 three were finally jettisoned, the last one just moments before we reached the English Coast," recalls Sterling.

 In addition to the mid-section slice, "Miss Irish" sustained over 400 flak holes. Her brakes were out, and the crew had no radio 
communication. Over England, no one opted to jump. Flak had rendered several chutes useless, and most of the crew 
remembered when John had landed them safely at Moses Lake, Washington, with collapsed right landing gear. They approached 
a P-47 base at Raydon, near Ipswich, firing red flares. Sterling notes that "since anything but the smoothest of touchdowns 
would break the plane in half, it had to be a perfect landing. It was." The Raydon personnel could not believe their eyes. Their flight surgeon showed up with bottles of Scotch and gin which were "put to good use in bringing sleep to nine weary but emotionally keyed up survivors." Someone commented, "If this is what milk runs are like, I'd rather go back to Big B. again." 

But, as Rosie says, "If you came back, it was a milk run."

Note:  This is Lt William Fitzroy's original crew, which was shot down at Merseburg 29 Jul 44.

Lt. William T. "Buzz" Fitzroy           P   POW was on 35th mission
Lt. Robert Dykeman                   CP   KIA    Killed by German civilians, hanged
Lt. Floyd  F. Hartman               NAV   POW
 T/Sgt Floyd O. Douglas         TOGG   KIA    Killed by German civilians, hanged  
 T/Sgt Carmine V. Roberto       ROG   KIA    Killed by 20mm shell
 T/Sgt Ira L. Arnold                 TTE   KIA    Killed by German civilians, hanged
 S/Sgt Bernard L. Spragg          BTG   POW
   Sgt Frank  W. Buschmeier      WG   POW
   Sgt Joseph P. O' Donnell        TG    POW

This appears to have been a "Pick - Up" crew.  A/C 42-31537 LN-S "Randie Lou"  Plane was named by Lt Randell Chadwick after his Daughter (she was named after Randell and his Wife Louise "Randie Lou")

W.T. FITZROY STATED HE SAW 12 AMERICANS HANGED AND SHOT BY THE GERMANS ON 29 JUL 44; AMONG THEM WERE DYKEMAN, ARNOLD, AND  FLOYD DOUGLAS.
 
Lt Dykeman, T/Sgt Arnold, Buschmeier and Spragg were from Lt John P.Gibbons crew. O'Donnell from Lt J.M.Shelly crew and of course Fitzroy was the original co-pilot of the Randel T. Chadwick crew when it joined the 100th on 24 Feb 1944.  

On July 29, 1944, for the second day in a row, B-17's set out for the oil plant at Merseburg.  The formation was led by 1st Lt Herbert Howard and Austin Dunlap on a faulty course which went over Leipzig.  The 100th "A" Group followed the 390th BG.  The formation flew on a southernly course towards Merseburg and was hit in a barrage of extremely heavy flak.  In the next few minutes, the low squadron of the 100th Lead was hard hit, losing 5 of 6 B-17's. Crew members believe FW 190's and ME 109's wee radioing the formations altitude while flying in their own flak.  The "A" Group dropped wide, "B" Group hit the target.  The entire low squadron of the 100th "A" Group failed to return.  There was a 6 8/10th's cloud cover at the target.  The lead A/C was hit by flak before the target causing a formation breakup and many stragglers.  All were presumable lost to enemy fighters after passing over targets of opportunity. Witnesses: Lt Kasselbaum and Lt George Allen reported Lt Fitzroy's A/C blowing up after being hit.  German records indicate that 5 bodies were recovered.

EYEWITNESS:  "No specific information concerning the loss of this A/C is available. The formation leader for this squadron suffered flak damage prior to the target and was forced to jettison his bombs. This may have led to the beaking up of the formation for all became more of less stragglers. All were lost, presumaby to E/A after passing over the target of opportunity."
    Floyd F. Hartman

Hartman's statement  also indicates S/Sgt Carmine V. Roberto was killed before the crew bailed out over Leipzig at approx. 1045 hours.  Lt Fitzroy stated that he had seen 12 Americans Hanged and shot by Germans on the 29th of July, 1944.  Lt Dykeman, T/Sgt Douglas and T/Sgt Ira Arnold  were among them

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Sottevast DATE: 1944-04-28  
AIRCRAFT: (42-107024) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 693