Mystery 12 Sep44 -367BS/306BG

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Jun 28, 2006
Scurry, Texas
I'm trying to help a lady whose uncle went down to mysterious causes on 12 September, 1944. He was 1Lt John Ellison, 354FS/355FG, a fighter pilot trying to chase two fw190s away from a crippled Fort (367BS/306BG).

My letter to Dana Osborn, neice gives the details of the questions.

"Your uncle was buried in a Field Grave with four B-17 crewmembers from at least two and maybe three separate B-17's - serial numbers 42-102969 and 42-97278 367 Bomb Squadron/306 Bomb Group. The Grave was at Eberswalde - NE Berlin

All were next interred at US Cemetary Neuville Belgium 1946. Group burial BB-10-226.

In 1949 the remains were transferred to US National Cemetary Zachary Taylor, Louisville KY on 14 October. The bomber crew names were Bauer, Eden, Gardiner and Rogers.

I give low probability to a mid air collision in which the five were KIA and the remaining crew members bailed out. However MACR 8833 and 8836 state that the "Umbriago" and Methuselah 989 Years" (the two named serial numbers above) went down at Uedersee (close to Eberswalde) and Brodowin (not sure how close to Eberswalde).

The Mighty Eighth Combat Chronology says that the B-17's were 2KIA/7POW and 1KIA/8POW respectively which suggests that the 4th B-17 crew member came from yet another B-17. Four ships from the 367 BS went down that day. Of the other two - each lost one KIA/9POW."

My questions -
1. which ships were Bauer, Gardiner, Eden and Rodgers on?
2. how did those ships go down (any POW returning statements?)

I have never found LW claim for Mustang in that area NE Berlin so Ellison's fate could range from MAC to FF to ??

Thanks in advance - this info could be huge for a family that has been in grief for 60 plus years - not knowing where he was buried, much less how he lost his life.

Regards and Thanks,

Bill Marshall
I would really have to dig up on whome the Sturmgruppen attacked = which US bomber formation(s) but all 3 SturmFw units were in the air

IV.Sturm/JG 3 claimed 7 B-17 for 7 losses
II.Sturm/JG 300 claimed 7 B-17's and had 5 losses
II.Sturm/JG 4 claimed 8 B-17's and had 8 losses, it is even a wonder that this Sturm unit could put any craft and any pilots up on this their second mission as the day before 9-11-44 they lost 23 heavy Fw 190's - they nearly were decimated

what I do show Bill from German sources is the P-51 claims came from Bf 109G gruppen:

III./JG claimed 2
I./JG 2 claimed 1, not sure what this unit flew; 109's or Fw's
III./JG 4 claimed 2
I./JG 11 claimed 6 and were also flying Fw 190A-8's
III./JG 53 claimed 1
I./JG 77 claimed 1

Bill just looked and 2 of the heavy A-8/R2's of 13 and 14.Sturm/JG 3 were shot down over Eberswalde, 1 pilot bailed out wounded, the other bailed out unhurt and both Fw's shot down by Mustangs..........
Bill instead of me continuing to edit the above post of mine .......

I checked out my Sturmjägern bible (ha, ha), an din that 6 inch thick monster I can confirm that the 8 306th bg losses were due to Sturm Fw attacks by IV./JG 3.

Was doing heavy reserach back in the 1990's on this mission it apepars and also that :

the 351st bg was hit hard by SturmFw's of II./JG 300

the 493rd was hit by II./JG 4 SturmFw's and Bf 109G-6's of III./JG 4, the 493rd losing 9 forts.

I sent some time ago all reports to the bomb group reps to update their files. And I bet 10 to 1 I sent them my originals as I cannot seem to place them anywhere in the mighty office of darkness ~ :)
Wow - the IV./JG3 Sturm info really got my attention as Ellison last seen chasing two through the 306th at Eberswalde.

E - Tony doesn't have any Mustang claims ~1200 NE Berlin.. do your records reflect JG3 109's getting claims in that area?

The 355 engaged initially inbound east of Muritz Lake which is where 357 claimed two Fw190s and only one a/c was possibly lost to German fighters (Ellison's) a little further inbound and N Berlin. If the IV./JG3 190s were shot down around Eberswalde only Ellison/354FS engaged there and Ellison of course did not return - so no claims by 355th.

I'm pretty sure only the 355th and 359th scored on 190's in the "N Berlin" area but Eberswalde is NE of Berlin but not enough that N doesn't make sense for a claim.

BTW the MACR's show only 306BG lost to German Fighters but 8 in all including Flak. Were the LW scores claims or awards?

358FS potted a 109 attacking a stray B-24 near Hannover on the way home and 357 shot up a bunch of a/c at Schwartz a/d. Lost a couple to flak there.

Intially their was a Gefechtsverband (flying formation) made up of SturmFw's of JG 3 and JG 300 escorted by III./JG 300 Bf 109G-6's and G-6's from III./JG 53. as the B 17 bomb groups appeared in front of the units the Luftwaffe traveled about 1000 ft higher towards the US bombers and then circled back dropped elevation and came in for a rear attack, the two SturmFw gruppen broke up and attacked different US bomb groups as I pointed out.

the 109's that mixed it up with the 355th fg may have been from I. and or III./JG 300. The III. gruppe put up 30 Bf 109g's on this mission.

I./JG 3 was also involved too and lst two Bf 109G-14/AS, yellow 3 and yellow 9 of 3./JG 3 both pilots bailed out wounded. crashed by Kreyla/Wittemberge and the other over Lichtenow by Straussberg.
The I. gruppe of JG 3 claimed 2 B-17's shot out of formation ..........
Erich -interesting. Muritz is way N and Ruhland and Brux are way south of Berlin. The 355th had Penetration and Target Support for the Task Force hitting Brux, CZ which I think is east of Ruhland.

If so the track was East to Muritz and SSE over Eberswalde (NNE Berlin) and S toward Brux (and Ruhland). 1st BD probably didn't separate until south of Berlin.

So, all this activity with 355 was from Muritz Lake right at R/V point ()~1120)with fight continuing through Eberswalde (~1150) , then one last engagement near Straussberg and Furstenwalde/Frankfurt (~1200) area before IP and run into the target (1214). The 355th had no more activity through Brux and all the way over to Plauen where B/E point was reached and the 357/358 FS dropped to strafe.

Three Fw190's plus a damaged were claimed E Muritz Lake to Eberswalde - additionally the 358th and 364th FG's engaged both Fw190's and 109s in same area. This sounds like the center of gravity for the Sturms of both JG3 and JG300 plus the escorts from JG3 and possibly JG53.

The Straussberg - Frankfurt area 355 claims are 1 Fw190 damaged and 1 Me 109 destroyed (possibly the JG3 match up) but Wittenberg would be 50 mi sw to account for the other one and it looks like the 359 had a scrap there with 109's -

I'm getting some feedback from AAF web site so the pieces are starting to come together. The key questions are why KIA from three a/c are all buried together at Eberswalde and how did they come to be together.

You have really helped me with the battle track Erich - it will go into the update. Have I sent you the 355 Encounter Log I have built up from MACR's and Encounter Reports and Tony Woods data (plus yours and the so many guys at 12OCH like Goyat)

Thanks again E

no Bill actually I have not seen the 355th fg Encounter log.

the 109's still may have been from III./JG 300 but I need to look further. Cannot give you info on JG 53 as I do not have the volumes.......wish I did.

you know it is interesting as during the JG 301 massacre on 26 Nov. 44, many of the young German pilots remains were taken out of the hills surrounding the many wheat fields west and south of Misburg and brought together and taken to Wundsdorf cemetary miles from where they crashed. Can only assume at least during 1944 that this was a primary military cemetary location
By the time you read this you should have the encounter log in hand.

The purpose is to get it as accurate as Encounter Reports and MARCs can trace time and locations - I will publish this in my revision along with details on every claim for every pilot that resulted in an award.

The latter tables are already in a day by day format to replace the one in my old book (which was all the Claims) It is referenced and cross referenced with USAAF 8AFVCB (ground awards only) and USAF 85 (air awards only).

If I have an award from VCB during the war that did not show up after the war when the tables were computerized, then I go with the wartime VCB - figuring easier to make a transcribing error when looking at thousands all at once.

I'm still researching 357FS F/O James Hartzog's claim of a 262 in which Griswold, Hartzog and Reiff were all shooting at on 7 April and the pilot bailed out. The 1/3 was reduced for Griswold and Reiff and Hartzog got the full score - but it didn't show up either in 8th AFVCB Post war or USAF 85 so I'm suspicious it was lost in translation at war end. This is the only air to air vic that will go in (with footnote) that isn't in USAF 85. (I need to check with Olynyk on this one).

Thanks E
thanks Bill I have encounter reports now, just need some quiet time to read them.

For April 7, 45 I see 1 Me 262 from KG(J) 54 lost and 3 more from JG 7, most likely in combat with 8th AF Mustangs, the 355th included. JG 7 research for losses and even victories has some serious gaps

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