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S/SGT  Francis R. CHASE

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: TG

Pvt Francis Chase Stateside, Fill in TG on Lt Rojohn Crew on December 31, 1944. KIA during Piggyback incident. 

SERIAL #: 31326812 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 11550 CR: 11550

Comments1: 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (SEE ROJOHN MEMO)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT EDWARD H. HANSEN               P CPT   4 MAR 45 ULM, MY (S.T.)
2ND LT LEW E. WALLACE                  CP POW 11 SEP 44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
2ND LT LEE M. RADEN                  NAV CPT   14 MAR 45 SEELZE & HANOVER 
2ND LT MARVIN D. LASKEY             BOM CPT   25 FEB 45 MUNICH
SGT LEROY J. EDWARDS                 TTE CPT   4 MAR 45 ULM, MY (S.T.)
CPL FRANCIS R. CHASE                     TG KIA    31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (SEE ROJOHN BELOW)
CPL CALVIN E. MILLER                    BTG NOC
CPL JAMES R. MUGRIDGE                ROG CPT   4 MAR 45 ULM, MY (S.T.)
CPL ANDREW C. PAULO                   WG CPT   4 MAR 45 ULM, MY (S.T.) (TAPS 1988?)
CPL CLAYTON J. SMITH                   WG CPT   31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (WIA)

350TH SQDN..CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH 29 JUL 1944 

LEW WALLACE WAS WITH J.H. RAINES AT RUHLAND ON 11 SEP 44.
FRANCIS CHASE WAS WITH G.H. ROJOHN AT HAMBURG ON 31 DEC 44.
CLAYTON SMITH WAS WITH R.H. WHITCOMB AT HAMBURG IN 31 DEC 44.

Lt John Shelly, having recovered from flak wound on D-Day while flying with his own crew, flies six missions as first pilot on Lt Hansen's Crew.  On Sept 11, 1944, he is shot down flying as Copilot on Lt Giles Crew. Lt Roy Lynch (from Lt Grigg Crew) flew as Navigator on the Six missions and Lt Lee Raden took Lt Lynch position as Navigator on Lt Griggs crew on trhe missions listed below.  Lt Lynch would be hit by an exploding 20mm and KIA Sept 11, 1944 while flying with Lt Holladay Crew. 

MISSIONS LT LEE RADEN FLEW WITH LT GRIGG CREW: 

DATE        TARGET             A/C # A/C NAME             COMMENT
8/26/1944 BREST               97924 PARTY TONIGHT   
9/1/1944   MAINZ               6089 LEADING LADY        (RECALL)
9/8/1944   MAINZ               6089 LEADING LADY    
9/9/1944   DUSSELDORF      6089 LEADING LADY
9/10/1944 NURNBURG         6089 LEADING LADY
9/18/1944 WARSAW           6089 LEADING LADY       2ND RUSSIAN SHUTTLE  MISSION
9/19/1944 SZOLNOK           37994 MY BLUE HEAVEN FROM RUSSIA
9/25/1944 LUDWIGSHAVEN 37994 MY BLUE HEAVEN
9/26/1944 BREMEN             37994 MY BLUE HEAVEN
9/27/1944 MAINZ               8284   BACHELOR’S HEAVEN
9/30/1944 BIELEFELD          38531 SAD FLAK
After this Mission, Lt Raden returned to his original Crew (Lt Hansen) where he completed his tour. 

COMBAT MISSIONS OF LEROY J. EDWARDS WITH THE 100TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)
AUGUST 25, 1944 -- MARCH 4, 1945 

Nbr Date      Target                      A/C      A/C NAME

01 8/24/44  RUHLAND                  297     SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD  LT JOHN SHELLY-PILOT, LT HANSEN-CP, LT ROY LYNCH-NAV(GRIGG CREW)
02 8/25/44  POLITZ                     043      LN-T                          LT JOHN SHELLY-PILOT, LT HANSEN-CP, LT ROY LYNCH-NAV(GRIGG CREW)
03 9/5/44    STUTTGART              695     LN-F                           LT JOHN SHELLY-PILOT, LT HANSEN-CP, LT ROY LYNCH-NAV(GRIGG CREW)
04 9/9/44    DUSSELDORF             076     ACES AND EIGHTS       LT JOHN SHELLY-PILOT, LT HANSEN-CP, LT ROY LYNCH-NAV(GRIGG CREW)
05 9/10/44   NURNBERG               695      LN-F                          LT JOHN SHELLY-PILOT, LT HANSEN-CP, LT ROY LYNCH-NAV(GRIGG CREW)
06 10/2/44    KASSEL                   994     MY BLUE HEAVEN        LT HANSEN AS FIRST PILOT, LT RADEN BACK AS NAVIGATOR
07 10/3/44    NURNBURG              882     HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
08 10/5/44    WESTERN GERMANY 408      FAITHFUL FOREVER
09 10/6/44    BERLIN                    408      FAITHFUL FOREVER
10 10/7/44    BOHLEN                  408      FAITHFUL FOREVER
11 10/18/44   KASSEL                  408      FAITHFUL FOREVER
12 10/22/44   MUNSTER               408      FAITHFUL FOREVER
13 10/30/44   MERSEBURG  (RECALL) 408  FAITHFUL FOREVER 
14 11/21/44   MERSEBURG            408     FAITHFUL FOREVER
15  11/26/44  HAMM                    408     FAITHFUL FOREVER 
16 11/30/44   MERSEBURG            408     FAITHFUL FOREVER 
17 1/6/45      ANNWEILER             512     LN-V
18 12/17/45  COLOGNE                 512     LN-V 
19 1/10/45    DUIDBURG                512     LN-V 
20 1/17/45    HAMBURG                503     BABY BUNTY
21 1/20/45    HEILBORNN              503     BABY BUNTY 
22 1/29/45    KASSEL                   840     LIL REBEL
23 2/3/45     BERLIN                    613      LN-T  SEE STORY BELOW
24 2/6/45     CHEMNITZ               437      LN-S  SEE STORY BELOW  Crashed on Hillside, Rochester, England, NAVIGATOR INJURED (Sgt
                                                                                                    Edwards says in story below that Lt Kretzschmar flew as nav and a Sgt
                                                                                                     Bill Shirley few as Tog )
25 2/14/45   CHEMNITZ                297    SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD
26 2/15/45   COTTBUS                 680     HURRI-KANE
27 2/21/45   NURNBURG                297    SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD
28 2/22/45   NURNBURG                297 SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD 
29 2/21/45   DONAUESCHINGEN-HUFINGE 297     SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD
30 2/24/45   BREMEN                   297     SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD 
31 2/25/45   MUNICH                   297     SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD 
32 2/26/45   BERLIN                    297     SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD
33 2/28/45   KASSEL                   297     SPIRIT OF PITTWOOD
34 3/4/45     ULM                        505     CHIN UP GIRL


Replacements on this crew:

Lt FRITZ KRETZSCHMAR     BOM CPT 20 APR 45 ORANIENBURG, MY (from Lt Raifords original crew, joined Lt Hansen Crew in Jan 45)
Sgt HEINZ A. WOLF           WG  FEH (from Lt Raifords original Crew, joined Lt Hansen Crew in Jan 45


                                                                        Feb 3, 1945
                                                                         Berlin Raid
                                                                              by
                                                Leroy J. Edwards   350th Sqdn. 100th Bomb Group (H)

 England, Feb 3, 1945:  We had our usual early breakfast about 4:00 A.M. After breakfast, we proceeded to the Operations Room. After settling down, the curtain was drawn showing the route to the target and back. The ribbon showed that Berlin, Germany was the target again. Grunts and groans came from everywhere. Everything was planned. Weather information given. Clear sky, they said. Armament officers informed us that we would carry ten 500 lb bombs. Out targets were given. Our fighters would be composed of five groups of P-51s, all the way over and back. Except that fighters would not stay around when flak was present. The officers told us that the flak would be thick. We were told that there would be around 1700 to 2500 88mm guns trying to get a bead on us. But this would be a maximum effort by the 8th Air Force, so just maybe you would not get shot at. They informed us we had eight hours of  flying time--we had all the information we needed.

We mounted the trucks and headed for the planes. This time our plane was #613 and this would be the only time we would fly it. Getting all the 50 cal. guns out and assembled was the crew's job. The guns were assembled and the plane was checked. An OK from the ground crew chief and we climbed aboard to check our turrets and positions. We climbed into our flying suits, which were electrically heated by the planes electrical system. Now we were ready to start the engines. Our pilot, 1st Lt Edward C. Hansen and our co-pilot, along with T/Sgt Leroy J. Edwards, ran over the checklist and proceeded to start the engines. Radio Operator, Sgt. James R. Mugridge was busy getting the call letters and code words of the day. Ball Turret operator, Sgt. Andrew C. Paulo, was checking out the turret. Waist gunner, Heinz A. Wolf was seeing to his work. Tail gunner, Richard J. Mullaney was also getting ready. Up front, navigator, 1st Lt Kretschmar and Togglier, Sgt. Bill Shirley, were checking charts, guns and toggle switches.

 Then we started the engines and proceeded out on the taxi strip to get in line for take off. After about 10 minutes, we got the green light from the control tower. We were probably in the middle of the group for take off. Down the runway we went. Airspeed climbed up to 100-120 mph. The pilot pulled back on the stick. The wheels came off the runway. We raised the wheels and were on our way. After we climbed and circled over Splasher Six, we picked up on our leader and formed up. We got the squadron together and formed up with the group. The navigator gave the lead pilots the heading and we were on our way to Big "B". Slowly,while we were circling Splasher Six, we were climbing for altitude. The engines use less gas at altitude. As we crossed the North Sea, headed for Germany, we climbed to an altitude of 26,000 ft.

 I didn't know it then, but our bomb run would be from west to east. A bomb run is when the bomb sight flies the airplane with the use of the auto-pilot. The run has to be about 5 min. long, to let the bombardier line up the sights with the targets. The bombardier picks up the target and guides the plane to the target.
 As we approach the target, we were downwind in the jet stream. At that time I didn't know what the jet stream was, but now I know that the jet stream is a river of air that flows around the world in a west to east direction. Thus, we would have a 150 mile tailwind. When our airspeed and ground speed were computed, our airspeed was 150 mph, plus the jet stream acting as tail wind, gave us a ground speed of about 300 mph. I am sure that was what saved us that Feb 3rd in 1945.

 The bomb run being 5 min. long, meant the plane would be flying in a straight line and that would give the anti-aircraft gunners time to train and fire their 88mm anti-aircraft guns on us. I was in the upper turret from the time we got near the German coast. I was looking back and could see aircraft all over the sky. We were all approaching the target on about six or seven different angles. Each group was expected over the target just minutes apart, so we had to be on time. So there I was, astonished to see so many planes, and by now on our 23rd mission. Should I have learned to get a little scared? Hell yes, a lot scared!

 Looking back, I could see the black puff of flak behind us. Maybe it was 300 to 500 yards, but 5 minutes is enough time for the gunners to make corrections and hit us. They could see by using optical instruments. We were the lead element of the squadron of the group, so that meant we were flying in the middle of a diamond shape formation of 12 planes, with 12 more a little higher and to the right, 12 lower to the left, and 12 more behind us and higher.  That made us the group, the 350th in the lead, the 349th lower left, the 351st high right, and the 418th higher and behind us. Steadily, they were making corrections and catching up with us. I informed the pilot that they were catching up. By the time we dropped the bombs, they had caught us.

 We were in the low element of the lead squadron. So, with the flak at our altitude, we were about to get our tails shot off. Four planes were in the lead and four were in the high element. The flak cut thru the right side of us. One plane was hit in the right wing tank and was burning. It slid across just below us. The plane behind and below us had the paint scorched on it. The flames were that close, barely missing us. We had just gotten rid of the bombs when they hit us. One more plane exploded, nothing was left of it. We saw the lead plane catch fire and guys were bailing out. That was Rosenthal’s. "Rosie Riveters" was the crew's name. Things were so hectic that it was hard to see all that was happening.

Our pilot put the plane into position, like a wing standing on end. We dropped 2,000 feet real quick, and got the hell out of there.In all we lost eight planes out of the twelve in that group. We were the fourth plane flying in the low element. We lead what was left of the 350th back that day. I have told how important the tail wind was going into Germany. When we were coming our of Germany, we had a ground speed of 50 mph flying into that wind.I checked the bomb bay, and found we had one bomb left. So when we were out over the North Sea, I went back in the bomb bay, with the bomb bay open, and released the bomb into the sea. I had to unhook my oxygen and heated suit to get to the bomb bay, so I hurried so that I would not pass out from lack of oxygen.

 Once on the ground, we broke our guns down and cleaned them. Then we were transported to the debriefing tent. There we gave them all the details that we could remember about all we saw, such as, planes we shot down, how good was the fighter cover, how many chutes we saw, what the weather was over and around the target area, and if there were any enemy planes, what they were and how many.
We were given two shots of whiskey, hot coffee, and doughnuts from the Red Cross truck. With breakfast at 4 a.m. and just a pack of gum and a candy bar to eat, we were pretty hungry. With two shots of whisky on an empty stomach, we were all pretty jazzed up by the time we got to supper about 6 p.m. After supper we all went to the barracks to listen to the radio, shower, clean up, and hit the sack.

 We hope that tomorrow, just maybe, we will get an easy mission, maybe a milk run, that's one with no flak, no fighters. Tonight we can dream of home, girl friends, people we know, and what we will be doing when this damn war is over. I’m sure we party every night. You never know when it will be your time to sacrifice. They told us when we came into this, that there were times when the life of a gunner was about 10 min. in combat, so you have to keep your wits about you and have the P's with you at all times, a pray and a parachute. You needed the good Lord to keep watch.

                                                                            OUR LONGEST MISSION

This is another mission that stands out in my mind. After an early morning breakfast, we were briefed on what was to be my longest mission in time and distance. We sat in the briefing room and looked at the big map. We were headed for Bohlen, deep in the heart of Germany. But, due to stormy conditions we hit the target of last resort at Chemitz, Germany. We had a full load of gas and bombs. They were 10 500# bombs. We had good fighter cover. They were mostly P-51's and P-47's. We bombed at an altitude of 24000 ft. We tried to climb over the storm. At the first target we went to 31,000 ft. it was 68 degrees below zero. Boy was it cold, Brr! Then we went on to the target of last resort at Chemitz, Germany. Of course, we then let down to 24000 ft. It was considerably warmer since we were also out of the storm area. It was a good thing we didn't run into any fighters as I didn't have a very big hole to sight through. The reason was due to frost from my breath inside the upper turret. The turret was operating Okay, but frost was so thick I could not see out very good.

The storm was good for that day, as we didn't see an enemy plane all day. However, we did see some flak and some ground rockets. By flying to the target of last resort and that if we had climbed an extra 7000 ft to 31000 ft. it would make one of the longest flights we went on. Our plane,ole 437,was using a little extra gas. As we were coming back we could see that we were going to be short on gas. So we received permission to pull out of formation and head back across the channel so we could find a base we could set down and pick up gas, then go on home. Well, that was the plan. But as plans go wrong sometimes, this one was going to go wrong. Only we didn't know it, yet. With letting down and throttling back the engines, we thought we would save enough gas to get in alright. When we arrived over the English shore there seemed to be a slight fog with about 1/2 mi. visibility. So that made finding an airport to set down, at best difficult, unless you can hit the airbase right on the head. With that low visibility, naturally we missed our points of reference as we were down south and east of London in territory that was unfamiliar even to our navigator. After about 10 min. of low flying our gas was getting lower by the minute. We  were beginning to fear we were running out of gas. I pumped the gas back from the tanks with the most gas to the tanks with the least. I was trying to keep them all balanced. Now we were flying at about 300 to 500 ft. and in hills that were almost that high. A couple of times we had to pull up as we went over the hills.

 We finally did find and came right over the field we were -trying to find. It was an airfield at a factory where they made Short Serlings, a British 2-engine bomber. Just as we were coming over the field, one engine ran out of gas and on the other side of the field was the town of Rochester, England. A town with a population of about 30,000. I told the pilot, Ed Hanson, I didn't want to be scattered in the town and to get it out to the country. Of course, I was sure we were going to crash. I don't know about the rest of them but I was scared. So with one engine out and prop feathered, we were still flying, not very good, but flying. We continued on around on, the traffic pattern. We were getting ready to turn on the final leg when we lost another engine. With two left, there nowhere to go but down. There was a big, long ridge and hillside on a valley below the top of the hill. With the hillside coming up fast an losing airspeed we were coming down and at the last minute the pilot lifted the wing up. And with the crew in crash positions, we 
hit the muddy hillside. This field was planted i;a wheat  this was Feb. 6, 1944  The winters are warmer in  the  west so the field was soft, and we had the wheels up.  I don't suppose we slid any more than a city block, but we sure tore up a wheat field. Being a farmer, I didn't think he has a very good stand, so I expect the U.S.  Paid more than the wheat would bring.  

After sliding to a stop with the plane mainly intact, we all started getting out in a hurry as an empty tank is just as dangerous as a full one. An empty one has fumes and a spark would explode it very easily. Being frightened, everyone was clear in about 5 seconds. I was about the last one out. I knew the navigator was behind me when I got out of the hatch in the radio room. I waited on top of the plane for him. When he didn’t show up I jumped back down into the radio room (By that time I knew the plane was not going to explode.) I was going backs to see what had happened to the navigator.  I got back to the cockpit and dropped down to go into the navigators and bombardiers compartment. There was the navigator. He was lying on the floor with a large cut on his head. It was a good thing he kept his sheepskin flying helmet on. He had hit his head on something sharp. It had cut the flying helmet also. We had the job of getting him out of the plane.  

By this time, the people at the factory and nearby town began to appear at the crash site. They saw us in trouble when we went over the town. They brought an ambulance and a small fire truck to the scene. The hill was so steep, they drove down, but had to go about a 1/2 mi. down the valley to get out.  The only way or the easy way to get the navigator out was straight out of the plexi glass nose. At least that's the way we had it figured. I went up and started to kick out the nose glass. It was pretty hard, but we succeeded and we took him out that way. Well, we made it down all right. We either had a lot of luck or someone up there was looking after us. An hour afterwards we were eating and drinking coffee up at the factory. We were all shook up quite a bit, just thinking what might have happened.

We began to get things together. We had to find a place to sleep and stay until they came after us. We began by seeing just how much money we had as we  didn't have our regular clothes, just our flying suits, winter underwear and no  shoes in most cases And as for money, digging through ail pockets, we finally  came up with about $19 (American). I forget what that was in English money. It wasn’t much when you figure there were 8 of us to live on that with the navigator in the hospital near by. We found a hotel in town to stay in. The room came with breakfast and was very reasonable. I think we stayed two nights and three days there. I have never seen a town more friendly. During the day we would go out to the bars. When we came in  our old dirty flying suits, we couldn't buy a drink, every one was buying They  invited us to a dance one of the nights. Of course, it was no admission for us. Boy, did we have a lot of fun; still dressed in our scroungy flying clothes.

On the third day, the truck finally showed up to take us home. After riding for about 10 or 12 hours, we finally arrived back at the lOOtn base, four days after we took off for Germany. We were very tired when we arrived. When we got to the barracks, we sure were surprised as we didn't have a single piece of clothing on our clothes rack. We realized what had happened. We had a deal made up with the rest of the barracks if we went down over there. If you could get to the clothing that was your size before the quarter master got to it, it was yours to wear. So all that they knew was that we were down, so they cleaned us out,  but all our personal stuff was there. As soon as they found out we were back the clothes started to appear. One guy would bring back a shirt or pants. Next, one would bring back a blouse or shoes. Yet, when all was over, I couldn't find a single thing I was missing. Then we understood why, when we were new to the base, the guys were always asking you what your shirt, pants and shoe size was. So, we half expected we wouldn’t have any clothes left when we got back.
 So, that's how I remember the longest mission in time and distance. By the way, just maybe if we had stayed with the group, it might not have happened. In checking what time the group landed we found out that we crashed some 20 minutes after the group had landed but we wouldn't have had this adventure if we hadn't made a mistake by leaving the group.

                                 
                                              3 DAY PASS TO LONDON
  
A composite of Weekends and 3-Day Passes to London;
These events that I am about to describe may not be in  
chronological order because memories after 40 years begin to get a  
little mixed up. But this is all about 3-day passes to London,  
England.

 This is one such incident we had while we were down in London. A  
couple of guys decided we would have a little party when we got back to  
our beds, so they went out and proceeded to get a bottle of Scotch  
whiskey. After finding a guy to get a bottle from, they paid about $25  
to $30 U.S. currency. You could get about anything in the black market.  
So a fool and his money are soon parted-- they paid for the fifth of  
Scotch.

 So back to the Red Cross billet we went. Once back there, we  
decided to have a little drink. Upon tasting the stuff we found that  
it was not whiskey. It was nothing more than vanilla flavored colored  
water. Angry, mad as hell, call it what you may, we were just that.
So the rest of that leave we spent the time looking for the  
seller as we had been taken. We spent a couple of 3-day passes looking  
for but not finding the man. He would have been one beat up English  
man if we had found him.

 Another incident was the time we were again down in Londontown.  
We already had the bottle of gin, a fifth I think. After a day of "pub  
hopping" at English taverns, we decided to get back to the Red Cross  
billet. Well, needless to say two of the guys had gone back early and  
proceeded to party. By the time we got back they had almost finished  
the bottle. Boy, were they snockered, about ready to pass out. So we  
tried to put them to bed.

 We didn't have much trouble with one, but the other one, oh  
boy! What a job. He was real limber, so three of us tried to lift him  
up to the top bunk, about 5ft. off the floor. As we would roll him  
off our arms into the bed, he rolled right across the bed and out the  
other side, plop on the floor. Being drunk was what saved him. We  
must have tried to put him in that bunk at least 4 or 5 times. What  
didn't help was that we weren't in too good of shape after an  
afternoon of pub hopping.

 Next morning, he kept wondering why he was so sore all over. So  
we told him. We all had a good laugh. After all we were all buddies.
About this time, I ran into a Sgt. that was about to go home.  
He had a girlfriend he wanted me to meet. So we went out to a big  
dance hall in a suburb of London called Hammersmith. The place was  
called Palais de Dance. It was an old ice skating rink. I think they  
used to play hockey there before the war.

 Well, there we met with a girl, "Kathy". It seemed to me that he  
was meeting her when in London. She knew that he was going home and I was  
to take his place when he left for home. So the next time in town I got a  
hold of her at the dance. Well, it seemed she had another Sgt. on the  
line also. If he was not in town, I had a date with her.

 On this one occasion he was in town, but she said she had a  
girlfriend I could go with. Boy, was she a looker-- blonde and a good  
dancer. So, I proceeded to buy the drinks and dances. When the dance was  
over, she left with a Lt. That made me a little mad because I had other  
plans. Ha! Ha! I need not explain. So the next time I was in town I got a  
hold of Kathy. She told me that it was a good thing that I didn't go any  
farther. The girl in question had a social disease. The Lt. had caught  
what she had and had turned her in. The authorities came and picked her  
up. So, I almost made a mistake with that one. How glad I was that I  
didn't go with her.

 About this time, I met Sgt. Arthur Witten from Ill. He was going  
home. He had a girlfriend and wanted someone to look after her when he  
left to go home. Her name was "Joy". She was blonde and was about 5ft.  
6in. tall. All I had to do to contact her was to send her a cablegram and  
she would meet me at the dance hall, Palais de Dance in Hammersmith. We  
would stop at a bar across the street. In those days I drank gin and lime.  
Then we would go dancing, yes we had more drinks until about 11:00pm Then  
we would part. We usually had a little time for some smooching in the air  
raid shelters before she caught her bus. Then I caught the underground  
back to the Red Cross billet.

 Christmas of 44" I spent a day and night with an English family and  
had Christmas dinner on the 25th. They celebrate Boxing Day. That's when  
they pass out the presents. The dinner consisted of a little meat, cheese,  
potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. The family was a mant his wife and  
daughter. The brother was in the British Armed Forces. The daughter's name  
was Beryl. I remember her name because it was strange to me.
We talked a lot over those two days. She was a nurse at a hospital  
there in London. I can't say what we talked about. But, we probably  
filled each other in on our countries and what was going on in our lives.  
I never saw the family again.

 The last time I was in London, I had an unusual experience that I  
should tell you about. After I arrived in London, I sent a wire  
(cablegram) to my girlfriend Joy. There was this girl (an American) from  
Buffalo, N.Y. She was a good looking brunette and worked as a cook, I  
think, at the Red Cross where we stayed. We could always get a good meal  
at the Red Cross. Well, everyone, the guys that is, tried all the time to date her.  
Me too. So this time was no exception. I told her I was going out to  
Hammersmith to the "Palais de Dance". I asked her if she had been there.  
She said no. I asked her if she would like to go and she said yes. She  
said it was her night off and she would like to go. So there I was, I  
also h>d tho date T made earlier, now I am stuck with two dates.  

 Don't know why I didn't get a guy to go with me, but I 
didn't. I picked her up about 7:00 pm. We rode the train out to 
Hammersmith. All the way out I was nervous and excited. I tried not to 
show it. So, I am trying to plan my strategy. I had made this date at 
suppertime, so time was short.

 By the time we reached the dance hall my plan was completed. Now 
this was a big place, so I figured I could place this one on one end of 
the of the dance floor. I got her seated and a drink and excused myself. 
So off I went to meet Joy, the girlfriend I had called earlier. I knew 
where she was as we usually sat in the same place. I greeted her and sat 
down, had a drink and we danced a number. I kept her on this end of the 
floor.

 As I told you, this was a big place, so this was possible. The band 
played for 115 hours. Then another band played the next 11 hours and 
closed the hall at 11:00 So there I was with a girl on each end of the dance floor and only 
one of me. Well, I'll tell you I was really quite busy buying drinks, 
dancing with one, buying drinks and dancing with the other one. I had a 
good time, I don't know about the girls. And to the best of my knowledge 
neither one knew about the other.
Of course, there were many other ways to pass the time. One of the 
things we could do was to pick up the Picadilly Commandos. That was our 
name for street walkers, prostitutes, or what ever you wanted to call 
them. They had a price for every rank of the soldiers.

 And there was "Picadilly Circus" in downtown London, what Times Square 
is to New York. That was where all the women would hang out. Most of them 
had a day job and a night job alsoif you get my drift.
I didn't really do this, but my dad wrote me and asked about the 
English girls. So I told him that I picked one up in the blackout, took 
her inside, took one look at her and took her back outside, because she 
looked better in the dark than she did in the daylight.

 Of course, there was movie theaters, pubs (taverns), and restaurants 
to go to. We all had to go sight seeing. There was St. Paul's Cathedral, 
Buckingham Palace and the changing of the GuarA London Tower, Tower Bridge, 
Westminster Abbey, Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, White Hall, English 
Parliment, No#10 Downing, Scotland Yard, and many other places to see.
There were many buildings that were bombed out during the blitz. And 
every once in a while there would be a loud whoosh and a bang! Then the air 
raid sirens were sounded. The V-2 rockets were shot from German soil and 
would hit London when they came down. The V-2's could almost destroy a city 
block of buildings and it could hit without a warning. Then there were the 
Buzz bombs. They were 1000 lb bombs with wings and a ram-jet engine with a 
limited amount of fuel. It was the fuel that determined how far and where 
the bomb would come down. They were all pointed in the direction of London, 
but you could hear them coming and going. We would hear them at night when 
we were laying in our bunks and hopinq they had enouqh fuel to get by us.
 London suffered with them too.

 Oh yes, there were several things that one should take with him  
when we were on pass. Like cigarettes, candy bars, silk stockings, bars  
of soap. There was a need for about anything over there, so anything we  
coulc pass along, we did.I remember I scrounged around the base and came up with a small  
yellow parachute (one used for supply drops). I took it with me to London  
and gave it to the girl I used to meet at the dance hall. I know she sure  
appreciated it. She told me after looking at it that there was enough  
there to make her a new dress and a couple of blouses. I never got to see  
her in anything that she had made out of it. I probably got a little  
extra smooching in the air raid shelter while waiting for her bus. At  
least I suppose I did. Anything we could bring them like that seemed to  
help our love life.

 London, England was a nice city to spend some time in. I enjoyed  
it very much, even though a lot was bombed out. There were still a lot  
of places to go and to see.

T/sgt Leroy J Edwards
100th Bomb Group
350th Bomb Squadron

                                           R&R IN ETO
                                                 By
                                        Leroy J. Edwards

Do you know what we did for rest & relaxation in the European Theater  
of Operations during World War II? On back, there was the N.C.O. Club, the  
base theater, and church. Of course, there were poker games and dice games  
for gambling, if you liked. A nearby town, named Diss, had a couple of pubs  
(English taverns). And we saw movies at the base theater.
Of course, I didn't really drink that much, so I played poker a  
lot. So much, as a fact, that I made about $200 a month. I made enough  
so that I sent home about $200 a monthto my folks.
Here is an incident that went on at our mission hut. We had a crew  
named "Party Tonight", so, that was more or less what we did. Now don't  
get me wrong, we didn't throw any drunken parties, but we had a lot of  
fun.
We had a couple of cooks, turned flyers. They knew where everything  
was in the mess hall. They knew of a window that was not locked, so about  
six of us rode our bicycles (our main source of transportation on base)  
over. They handed out the gallon cans of peaches, pears, pineapple, and  
apples. We got lard for frying. Potatoes we got by the 100#. One time we  
discovered we had 100# of turnips instead. A 100# sack on the bicycle  
handlebars makes it kinda tricky. Of course, we also had large cans of  
spam. At that time, it seemed to taste better than what we could get at  
the mess hall.   One time we wanted something different. My waist gunner, Francis Chase,  
was the barracks scavenger. It seemed that he could come up with almost  
anything you wanted. He came up with some shot shell for our .45 cal. auto guns  
that they issued us. I have no idea how he came up with the shot shell, as they  
were issued to pilots who flew over jungles, for survival. We took the shells  
and put them in our .45's.
Our barracks backed on about three acres of woods where there were the  
King's pheasants (I say this because all wild animals belong to the King in  
England). The pheasants roost in trees over there. On a bright moonlit night,  
we slipped out and shot a couple of the birds. On hearing the shots, the MP's  
were on their way in as we went out the other side of the woods.
Retreating to the barracks, we hid the birds. As soon as the MP's were  
out of the area, we cleaned and proceeded to cook the birds and the party was  
complete.
That should give you a good idea of how we enjoyed ourselves when we  
weren't on duty. We tried to live everyday to the fullest. If we didn't fly, we  
didn't have much to do. If we wanted fresh eggs, pancakes, and sausage, we had  
to go eat with the ones that were scheduled to fly and then go back to bed  
until noon. Otherwise, it was powdered eggs and spam.
Our bicycles were our main source of transportation. I bought a fancy  
racing bike when I first got over there. had had it a couple of months, 
when we had a 200th mission party. It seems that  when the party was over, 
my bike was among the missing. Not wanting to be  
without and tired of walking, I went down to the MP compound and bought the  
junkiest one that worked really good. I never had any trouble keeping that one.  
I could leave it anywhere, and it would be right where I left it. I often rode  
it out to our plane when I was needed. I also rode over to the farmhouse where  
I had my clothes washed and ironed. We were about 3/4 mi. from all the base  
facilities, so, you see that a bike was almost a necessity.

Note this work is presented with computer format marks eincluded...pw

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

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 Eindhaven.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.

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

Edward Hansen
May 28, 1921 - September 23, 2010

Biography
HANSEN, Edward H. longtime resident of Glen Cove, LI for 52 years on September 23, 2010. Beloved husband of Virginia H. for 64 years. Loving father of Marjorie Elise. Cherished grandfather of Meredith Sigrid. Dear brother of the late Edith H. Yewell and Sigrid N. Hansen. Proud WWII Veteran. Edward was a pilot on a B17 Bomber in the 8th Army Air Force, 350 Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group and flew missions out of England over Germany. He graduated from Brooklyn Poly Tech as a mechanical engineer. Edward was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a longtime Elder and Treasurer at the First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove. Visiting held at the Funeral Home of Dodge-Thomas, Glen Cove. Service at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove. Interment Hillsdale Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Church World Service: 28606 Phillipe St. PO Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 or North Shore Interfaith Nutrition Network: PO Box 168, Glen Cove, NY 11542.
*************************************************************************************************************
CREW

2nd Lt Glenn H.Rojohn               P     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt William G.Leek             CP     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt  Robert Washington      NAV      POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG (from the Spear crew)
   Cpl Edward G.Neuhaus        ROG     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG  A/C #42 31987 "The Little Skipper" 
   Cpl Orville E.Elkin               TTE     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG  MACR #11550,Microfiche #4246
   Cpl Joseph L.Russo              BTG     KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG    
   Cpl Roy H.Little                  WG     KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Cpl Robert W.Baker            WG     NOC    
   Cpl Herman G.Horenkamp       TG    CPT   


350th Sqdn. This crew,as above (no Nav or Bom) joined the 100th Group on 15/9/44.
Crew formed in Salt Lake City UT on 5 May 44.   Left USA 16 Aug 44, arrived in Valley Wales, 19 Aug 44
Assigned to 95th Bomb Group 6 Sept 44, Left 95th Bomb Group on 14 Sept 44 and joined 100th Bomb Group (because of 
loss of 12 aircraft on September 11, 1944 mission to Ruhland) 

See S.O.C. p.88/89 and "CONTRAILS" p.91/92 for story of the mid air "Piggy Back" crash of this A/C and that of W.G.MacNab.

On 31/12/44, Lt Robert Washington,from the crew of A.S.Spear,was flying as navigator and 
became a POW. A Sgt James R.Shirley was flying as NG and was a POW. S/Sgt Francis R.Chase from Lt Hansen Crew, 
was aboard as TG and was KIA.

Both Roy Little and Francis Chase are commemorated on the Wall Of The Missing at the 
Netherlands cemetary.
 
Spear Crew (Robert Washington's original crew)
2ND LT ALBERT S. SPEAR  P KIA 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG
2ND LT DEWEY H. NELSON  CP CPT 25 DEC 44 KAISERLAUTERN, MY
2ND LT JOHN P. SPILLANE  NAV KIA 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG
2ND LT ROBERT WASHINGTON BOM POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
CPL ARTHUR A. MARSHALL ROG KIA 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG
CPL RAYMOND A. PIECZYNSKI TTE KIA 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG
CPL REMI G. EBERNENZ  BTG CPT 03 JAN 45 FULDA
CPL ARTHUR V. GENS  WG KIA 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG
CPL ROBBIE L. GILL   WG CPT 24 OCT 44 UNKNOWN
CPL ROBERT D. BASS  TG KIA 28 JUL 44 MERSEBURG

350TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 17 JUL 1944
 MACR # 8174, Microfiche # 3002  A/C #42-32009

This ship collided with that of Lt W.G. Stansbury over the North Sea.  .

Lt Robert Washington was flying with the Glenn Rojohn crew on 31 Dec 44 (Hamburg) and became a POW. 
On the Rojohn MACR he is listed as the Navigator. Sgt Eberenz finished his tour with the Charlie O. Daniels crew.


MEMO                     LT GLENN ROJOHN

LT GLENN ROJOHN; PIGGY BACK LANDING AFTER THE 31 DEC 1944 HAMBURG MISSION.  COLLISION WITH LT MacNAB WHILE BOTH WERE ATTEMPTING TO FILL THE SLOT IN THE FORMATION CAUSED BY THE LOSS OF LT WEBSTER. ACCOUNT GIVEN IN "CENTURY BOMBER" FOLLOWS:
AT 1244 HOURS AND AFTER LEAVING THE ENEMY COAST, NAVIGATOR DANNY SHAFFER, WHO FLEW  WITH THOMAS HUGHES, NOTED IN HIS LOG: "TWO 17'S HOOKED TOGETHER, 43-31987, PILOTED BY GLENN ROJOHN, HAVING CLOSED UP INTO THE SPACE LEFT BY THE LOSS OF LT WEBSTER. UNFORTUNATELY  B-17 43-38457, PILOTED BY WILLIAM MacNAB, HAD RISEN SLOWLY FROM BELOW TO FILL THE SAME POSITION.."
        ANOTHER PILOT, ETHAN PORTER, WHO IS LISTED AS HAVING NO KNOWN ADDRESS BY THE VA(1992), IMMEDIATELY SHOUTED A WARNING VIA RADIO, THE TWO FORTRESSES COLLIDED AND LOCKED TOGETHER, CONTINUED FLYING PIGGY-BACK OVER THE SEA.'
        FINDING THE ELEVATORS AND AILERONS STILL WORKING, ROJOHN AND HIS CO-PILOT WILLIAM LEEK, 'CUT THIER ENGINES, AND BY USING THE ENGINES OF THE LOWER AIRCRAFT, THREE OF WHICH WERE STILL RUNNING, SLOWLY TURNED THE TWO AIRCRAFT TOWARD LAND.  FOUR OF THE CREW BAILED OUT ON ORDERS AND ROJOHN DECENDED TO RECROSS THE ENEMY COAST AT 10,000 FEET. ON LANDING NEAR WILHELMSHAVEN THE TOP SHIP (43-31987) SLID OFF MacNAB'S 43-38457 WHICH EXPLODED. BARELY HURT ROJOHN AND LEEK WALKED AWAY FROM THE WRECKAGE OF 43-31987 AND INTO CAPTIVITY.
        AS FOR THE MEN WHO BAILED OUT, THE ROG EDWARD NEUHAUS CAME DOWN ON AN ISLAND; TTE ORVILLE ELKIN CAME DOWN IN THE WATER TEN MILES OFF SHORE AND WAS DRAGGED TO THE SHORE BY HIS CHUTE.  REPLACEMENTS NAVIGATOR ROBERT WASHINGTON AND GUNNER JAMES SHRILEY LANDED ON THE COAST.  ALL SURVIVORS WERE TAKEN PRISONER.  NOTHING WAS FOUND OF BTG JOSEPH RUSSO AND WG FRANCIS CHASE.
        AS FOR LT MacNAB--HE WAS KILLED ALONG WITH THE CO-PILOT NELSON VAUGHN (BOTH HAD SUSTAINED WOUNDS PRIOR TO THE COLLISION), ROG HENRY ETHRIDGE, WG DUANE RENCH AND TG FRANCIS SEYFRIED. SGT'S RENCH AND SEYFRIED ARE BOTH BELIEVED TO HAVE BAILED OUT SUCCESSFULLY ONLY TO PERISH IN THE SEA.
        THE REST ESCAPED THE AIRCRAFT AND BECAME POWS: NAVIGATOR JACK BERKOWITZ AND BOMBARDIER RAYMOND COMER, FROM THE HONG KONG WILSON CREW, TTE JOSEPH CHADWICK AND BTG EDWARD WOODALL.  SGTS WOODALL AND CHADWICK ALSO LANDED IN THE SEA BUT REACHED SHORE.
        JIM BROWN NOTES THAT PREVIOUS TO THIS WHEN THE CREW COMPONENT WAS REDUCED TO NINE, WG LENO DELMOLINO WAS ASSIGNED TO INTELLEGENCE IN THE 351ST.

MEMO 2:

Dear Sir/madam,
My name is Daisy Claessens. I live in Eijsden, the Netherlands, next to the American cemetery.
I 'adopted' the grave of 100th bomb group member Francis R Chase.
The adoption means that I will visit him a few times a year and that I bring flowers with special occasions like memorial day, Christmas and (the dutch) Liberation Day.
I thought you might like to know this.
In september it is 44 years ago that my hometown (Eijsden) is liberated. I will visit Mr. Chase and bringt flowers to the wall of missing. I can send you a picture if you want.

Daisy
daisyclaessens@hotmail.com

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Hamburg DATE: 1944-12-31  
AIRCRAFT: "The Little Skipper" (42-31987 CAUSE: Collided with 43-38457  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: Wall/Misng CEMETERY: Netherlands Cemetery/Margraten  

PHOTOS:

Francis R. Chase   350th   TG   California   KIA   31 Dec 44   Hamburg   Edward H. Hansen Crew   (100th Photo Archives)

Edward H. Hansen Crew - 350th. They flew "FAITHFUL FOREVER". Standing from left: Francis R. Chase - WG, James R. Mugridge - ROG, Edward H. Hansen - Pilot & Unknown: Kneeling from left: G. Shirley - TOGG, Lew E. Wallace - CP, Andrew C. Paulo - WG, & Leroy J. Edwards - TTE.   Detailed Information   (Clayton J. Smith Collection) 

Edward H. Hansen Crew - 350th. Standing from left: Lee M. Raden, Edward H. Hansen, Marvin D. Laskey. Kneeling from left: Calvin E. Miller, Clayton J. Smith, James R. Mugridge, Francis R. Chase, Andrew C. Paulo and Joseph Vassallo.  Detailed Information   (Clayton J. Smith Collection) 

On this Memorial Day in the Netherlands, the Piggyback Flight families would like to remember and honor their family members Francis Chase (top right), Bill Macnab, Nelson Vaughn, Joseph Russo, Roy Little, Henry Ethridge, Duane Rench and Francis Seyfried who are memorialized at Margarten.

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 849