B-24H info needed

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Hofman_MD

Recruit
5
5
Jul 6, 2024
New poster here doing some research.

Serial 42-7470 was the plane my great uncle was flying when they were shot down October 8, 1943 on the 392nd BG's mission to Vegesack. All ten men were KIA. I didn't know it was one of the first few H models off the line at Willow Run. Thanks for providing some dates for the narrative of his life and service.
 
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Exterminator (42-7470) at Wendling, England

 
On October 8, the Eighth Air Force executed a three-pronged attack on German U-boat yards at Bremen and aircraft factories at Vegesack. Heading for Bremen, the 1st Air Division's B-17s flew a direct route over Holland while the 3rd Air Division's Fortresses came in from the North Sea. The third element, targeting Vegesack, also took a North Sea route and consisted of B-24s from the 2nd Air Division

 
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:
P l/LT Clifford, William W. KIA
CP 2/LT Schroeder, Harold R. KIA
N 2/LT McLemore, Paul L. KIA
B 2/LT Whitnah, Joseph C. KIA
R/O T/S Willhite, Max R. KIA
EnG T/S Tynes, David D. Jr KIA
NG T/S Zschiesche, Charles E. KIA
WG S/S Cavell, Dominick F. KIA
WG S/S Stevens, Hirschall M. KIA
TG S/S Tweten, Ernest A. KIA

brief remarks that were associated with this aircrew's loss was that the aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters in the vicinity of coast out, north of the target at Vegesack after the Group attacked this target. No German reports were available on the final situation regarding this crew and the Liberator. It could be concluded only that this aircrew went down just off shore into the North Sea waters, and never recovered.

579th Sqdn pilot 2/Lt William P. Nicholson was flying very near to 1/Lt Clifford's plane. In February 1949, he provided a statement regarding what he witnessed and thought about their fate.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: None are available in the MACR account.

BURIAL RECORDS: No German reports exist. U.S. National Cemetery reports listing these crew members are as noted: At CAMBRIDGE, England on the WALL OF THE MISSING are the names of: Whitnah; Zschiesche; Willhite; Tynes; and Cavell.On the WALL at the NETHERLANDS (Margraten) Cemetery are: Clifford; McLemore; Schroeder; Stevens and Tweten. All members are noted to have been awarded Air Medals and the Purple Heart.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: The listing records these relatives: Clifford (Mother, Mrs. Frank Clifford of Louisville, Kentucky); Schroeder (Mother, Mrs Buelah Schroeder of Westphalia, Missouri); McLemore (Father, Mumford McLemore of Salem, Indiana); Whitnah (Mother, Beatrice Whitnah of Berkeley, California); Willhite (Father, Ralph Willhite of Fredonia, Kansas); Tymes (Father, David Tymes of Bluefield, West Virginia); Cavell (Mother, Frances of Bayside, Long Island, New York); Stevens (Wife, Gwendolyn of Mansfield, Ohio); and Tweten (Mother, Sarah Tweten of Bamburg, North Dakota.

 
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Exterminator (42-7470) was shot up by fighters over Sea.
 

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New poster here doing some research.

Serial 42-7470 was the plane my great uncle was flying when they were shot down October 8, 1943 on the 392nd BG's mission to Vegesack. All ten men were KIA. I didn't know it was one of the first few H models off the line at Willow Run. Thanks for providing some dates for the narrative of his life and service.
Who was your great uncle?
 
B-24H-1-FO 42-7470 accepted 30 June 1943, St Paul modification center 13 July, Romulus Mich. 14 July, St Paul 15 July, Topeka 31 July, Watertown 3 August, 8th Air force 12/16 August, assigned 579th Squadron 392nd Group 30 July 1943, lost 8 October 1943.

8 October 1943, 8th Air Force Vegesack raid 55/43 B-24 with 3 shot down, according to Donald Caldwell II/JG1 claimed 1 B-24, EprKdo 25 claimed 1 B-24 and II/NJG3 claimed 2 B-24, all other claims were for B-17, 33 claims against 27 MIA and 2 Category E.

Nachjagd War Diaries report II/NJG3 claims were Oblt Helmut Niklas SSW Helgoland 2,100 metres 16:35 matched to 389th BG B-24D 42-63958, and Hptm Paul Szameitat Possibly South of Vilsen 6,700 metres 16:17 possibly matched to 392nd BG B-24H 42-7470. There is a place called Vilsen in Germany and also a place called Velsen outside Ijmuiden Netherlands coast.
 
Who was your great uncle?
T/Sgt Charles E. Zschiesche. The archivist for the 392nd Bomb Group said that he most likely was the nose turret gunner (NG) although the official MACR has him listed as AR (assistant radio operator).
UncleCharlesTSgt.jpg


Here's a photo of -7470 Exterminator on an earlier (September) diversionary mission:

42-7470 Exterminator Closeup.jpg


And, just to show I'm not a poser, here is a family photo of Charles with this brothers, in their baseball uniforms back in Texas prior to his being drafted. He's second from the left.

Zschiesche Boys.JPG
 
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B-24H-1-FO 42-7470 accepted 30 June 1943, St Paul modification center 13 July, Romulus Mich. 14 July, St Paul 15 July, Topeka 31 July, Watertown 3 August, 8th Air force 12/16 August, assigned 579th Squadron 392nd Group 30 July 1943, lost 8 October 1943.

8 October 1943, 8th Air Force Vegesack raid 55/43 B-24 with 3 shot down, according to Donald Caldwell II/JG1 claimed 1 B-24, EprKdo 25 claimed 1 B-24 and II/NJG3 claimed 2 B-24, all other claims were for B-17, 33 claims against 27 MIA and 2 Category E.

Nachjagd War Diaries report II/NJG3 claims were Oblt Helmut Niklas SSW Helgoland 2,100 metres 16:35 matched to 389th BG B-24D 42-63958, and Hptm Paul Szameitat Possibly South of Vilsen 6,700 metres 16:17 possibly matched to 392nd BG B-24H 42-7470. There is a place called Vilsen in Germany and also a place called Velsen outside Ijmuiden Netherlands coast.
The 389th aircraft ("Lucky Tiger") was shot down over land, crashing south of Bremen, confirmed by wreckage. Vilsen would be in that area. It's my strong suspicion that -7470 went down in the waters close to Helgoland as no wreckage was ever found. They were on the run out of the target area and a nightfighter Ju-88 is suspected as the plane that downed them from an altitude of around 6,000 feet. The Velsen along the Netherlands coast is too far south of the route in or out. Neither Niklas nor Szameitat survived the war.
 
CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:
P l/LT Clifford, William W. KIA
CP 2/LT Schroeder, Harold R. KIA
N 2/LT McLemore, Paul L. KIA
B 2/LT Whitnah, Joseph C. KIA
R/O T/S Willhite, Max R. KIA
EnG T/S Tynes, David D. Jr KIA
NG T/S Zschiesche, Charles E. KIA
WG S/S Cavell, Dominick F. KIA
WG S/S Stevens, Hirschall M. KIA
TG S/S Tweten, Ernest A. KIA

brief remarks that were associated with this aircrew's loss was that the aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters in the vicinity of coast out, north of the target at Vegesack after the Group attacked this target. No German reports were available on the final situation regarding this crew and the Liberator. It could be concluded only that this aircrew went down just off shore into the North Sea waters, and never recovered.

579th Sqdn pilot 2/Lt William P. Nicholson was flying very near to 1/Lt Clifford's plane. In February 1949, he provided a statement regarding what he witnessed and thought about their fate.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: None are available in the MACR account.

BURIAL RECORDS: No German reports exist. U.S. National Cemetery reports listing these crew members are as noted: At CAMBRIDGE, England on the WALL OF THE MISSING are the names of: Whitnah; Zschiesche; Willhite; Tynes; and Cavell.On the WALL at the NETHERLANDS (Margraten) Cemetery are: Clifford; McLemore; Schroeder; Stevens and Tweten. All members are noted to have been awarded Air Medals and the Purple Heart.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: The listing records these relatives: Clifford (Mother, Mrs. Frank Clifford of Louisville, Kentucky); Schroeder (Mother, Mrs Buelah Schroeder of Westphalia, Missouri); McLemore (Father, Mumford McLemore of Salem, Indiana); Whitnah (Mother, Beatrice Whitnah of Berkeley, California); Willhite (Father, Ralph Willhite of Fredonia, Kansas); Tymes (Father, David Tymes of Bluefield, West Virginia); Cavell (Mother, Frances of Bayside, Long Island, New York); Stevens (Wife, Gwendolyn of Mansfield, Ohio); and Tweten (Mother, Sarah Tweten of Bamburg, North Dakota.

MACR Listing (Original).jpg
 

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