458th Bombardment Squadron
The 458th, hurt early in the conflict by the loss in action of its commanding officer LTCOL Doyne Turner, recovered and kept pace with its neighbors under its new leader, MAJ Elmer E. Ambrose. Among the familiar faces of key administrative non-coms there were always those of MSGT William Conway, and his SGT Major, SSGT Raymond McLaughlin, of SSGT Wilfred Hogle in supply and of SSGT Kenneth Dillow, master of the mess hall. Over the target too, there were always a few familiar 458th faces; this Squadron is quick and proud to point out that its Lead Crews were the reason all units of the Group had high accuracy in their combat bombing.
AIRCrews - Aircraft - GROUNDCrews - personnel roster
Crew 801 mainly flew K-26 (SN: 42-93970)" City of Palm Beach". This "Lead Crew" flew a commanding 27 missions and received multiple Air Medals and the DFC. Here are most of the crew in Cuba. (They alsways smile in the Cuba photos. Must be the RUM!). They are L to R: 1LT Keith Morehouse (B), 1LT Lawrence Hutchison (FE), 1LT Douglas Penton (N), 2LT Grant Bromall (Rad Ob), 1LT Howard Wilson, Jr. (P) and MAJ Harley Stowell, Jr. (A/C). This was a Lead Crew and part of the original 458th that came from Walker AAB, Kansas.
Thanks to Leon Thorpe, Elton's son, for the priceless crew photo above. Thanks!
Crew 807 mainly flew K-27 (SN: 44-69790). "City of Birmingham" and "Ole Boomberang" is what they called her. Seated L to R: SSGT William Checkley (CFC), SGT Anthony Chillemi (RG), SSG Russell Wolverton (TG), SSG Robert Connick (LG) Standing: SSGT Leon Sarkesian (RO), 1LT John Stewart (Rad Ob), MSGT Victor Driscoll (FE), 1LT Chester Patterson (N), 1LT Thomas Gwyn (B), 1LT Percy Entziminger (P), MAJ John Wells (A/C) The crew completed 21 missions before the war was over and were awarded multiple Air Medals in the process. These men were part of the original 458th also.
Crew 817 of K-28 "City of Omaha" aka "Yonkee Doll-ah". This crew, headed by McClellan, flew a whopping 30 missions over the Empire. They received multiple Air Medals and multiple DFC's as well. Way to go GUYS! Part of the original 458th from Kansas as well. Standing L to R: MAJ Howard McClellan. Back row - 1LT Tony Ruggeri, SSGT Gene Christman, 1LT William "Bill"Caldwell, 1LT Robert Hickerson, 1LT Glen Jensen Front row - SSGT Gilrero (Did not continue on to Guam), SSGT Calvin Boehm, SSGT Charles "Chuck" Wassum, TSGT Ernest Brock, MSGT Lyle Thomas.
Here is the Pilot of K-28, 1LT Glen Jensen (Left)and the FE, MSGT Lyle Thomas discussing how to make this the best mission ever.
To read about the time a Live Radio Broadcast was beemed from this aircraft to Guam then back to the U.S.Click Here!
Crew 813 mainly flew "City of San Francisco" (K-29 SN: 44-69800). This was my fathers crew. Front Row, L to R: SGT Marion Kinsell (TG), SGT Edward Kindl (LG), unknown, SGT Bart Klinger (RG), SSGT Roy McLeod (RO), TSGT William Nickels (CFC), Back Row: MSGT Harold Turvey (FE), 1LT Knut Flo (N), CAP Alfonso Escalante (B), CAP Richard Flanagan (Rad Ob), 2LT Robert Woolson (P), CAP Raymond Smisek (A/C). Crew successfully flew 21 Missions. Part of the original 458th to come over and another "Lead Crew".
K-29's RO, SSGT Roy McLeod seen here after a mission to Gifu, July 1945.
Crew 808 flew both K-30 and K-34 (SN: 42-93954), "City of Portsmouth" aka "Beats Me". This crew went to Muroc for Lead Crew training and upon returning were assigned K-34. They quickly changed the name to their trademark, but added "Beats Me TOO". In total the crew flew 24 missions and were all awarded the Air Medal. Here is the ENTIRE Air Crew and Ground Crew.Back Row, L to R: SSGT Harold Barton (RG), MSGT Edward Ciereck (Crw Chf), PFC Richard Hazen (Mech), PFC Harry Vrandenburg (Armor), SGT William Clackner, Jr. (Armor), Middle Row: SSGT Lee Bonesteele Jr. (TG), SSGT William Bolton (Armor), SSGT Clyde Lytele, Jr. (Mech), SGT Donald Becker (CFC), SGT John Berguson (Armorer), CAP Jerome Blanchard (A/C),SGT Charles Lucas (CFC Spec), CPL John Paine (Elec Spec), Front Row: 1LT Jules Thompson (N), 1LT Peter Giglietta (Rad Ob), 1LT Roderick Clayton (P), TSGT Wilford Ogle (LG), 1LT Hubert Sullivan Jr. (B), PVT Thomas Gullo (Mech), 1LT Donald D. Ross (FE), SSGT Daniel Mah (RO)
Photo courtesy of Mr. John (Jack) Paine. Thanks!
Crew 815 took over K-30 after Blanchard's crew left for Muroc for Lead Crew Training. They renamed her "City of Springfield" aka "JANIE" and completed just 9 missions before the war was over. This was the 458th's first replacement crew. Here they are, Back Row L to R: SSGT Andrew Comek (FE) Elmer Bullerdick (RO), SGT John Hilding (CFC), SGT Paul Zilla (LG), SGT Gardy Weber (RG), SGT Vincent Sammaritano (TG) Front Row: 2LT Paul Brock(B), 1LT Robert Yoemans (P), CAP Robert McDonald (A/C), CAP Earl Calk Jr. (N), Pete Peterson (Rad Ob)
Crew 814 of K-31 (42-93908) "City of Cedar Rapids, IO " aka "IDA LOU" aka "Battlin Bulldozer". This crew flew 25 missions over the Empire. The photo below was taken August 1945. Front Row, L to R: SSGT Eldred Folwell (TG), SSGT Arthur Mecker (RO), SSGT Robert Billings (LG), SSGT Leon Rondeau (RG) Back: MSGT Clarence Skrutvold (FE), TSGT Joseph Malley (CFC), 1LT Raymond Reasoner (B), 2LT Thomas Southerington (Rad Ob), FO Leslie Fels (N), 1LT Raymond Beason (P), CAP Duwayne Baker (A/C)
Special thanks to Mr. Jim Fels for the photo Crew 814 received the DFC and multiple Air Medals. LG Bob Billings has half a fighter kill along with the TG Eldred Folwell..., neither one claims which half. Mr. Billings is now the Treasurer of the 330th BG Association. Also, one of the original 458th's Here they are receiving one of several Air Medals, L to R: CAP Duwayne Baker (A/C), 1LT Raymond Beason (P), 1LT Raymond Reasoner (B), FO Leslie Fels (N), FO Frank Rose (Rad Ob), MSGT Clarence Skrutvold (FE), TSGT Joseph Malley (CFC), SSGT Arthur Mecker (RO), SSGT Leon Rondeau (RG), SSGT Robert Billings (LG), SSGT Eldred Folwell (TG)
Crew 809 of "Colleen" (K-32 SN: 42-93955). According to Don Murray, the photo was taken at Walker Army Air Field in Kansas in late February, '45. Just prior to Crwe 809's departure for Guam. "I was just out of the hospital and no longer on the crew, but they wanted me in the photo anyway. A touching gesture of friendship". Little did Don Murray know that this would be one of the last times he would ever see his crew again. This crew sadly was lost on 22 Jun 1945. Front Row, L to R: CPL Richard Morel (LG), CPL Donald Olson (TG), CPL Elmer Kalman (RG), TSGT Luther Justice (FE), CPL Donald Murray (RG) (part of original crew but replaced because of surgery prior to departure for Guam) SGT Henry Mathis (CFC) PFC Ralph Dugan (RO) Back: 2LT Leslie Evans, Jr. (Rad Ob) 2LT Gordon Kimball (N), 1LT Carl Bauer (A/C), 2LT Thomas Gwyn (B) and 2LT James Gilbert (P).
They were on what was to be their 13th Mission (Lucky Thirteen). They took off at 0210 Guam time. Their target was to be Tamashima. Minutes into flight the No. 1 engine overheated. Shortly after that the decision was made to feather and abort the mission. All bombs were salvoed in the ocean. The A/C, Carl R. Bauer asked for landing instructions at about 0315 and began to let down. The tower called for landing on the South Runway, but K-32 lined up on North Runway instead. Simultaneously, a heavy squall hit the island. About halfway down on their final approach and perhaps 100 feet above the field, the aircraft made a sudden turn left, evidently to try a go around. The aircraft never completed the full turn and stalled out above the cliff's edge near the radar antennas and went over. She crashed and burned 500 feet below. The only survivor was Lt. Wallace Howard, the 458th Squadron Gunnery Officer who replaced SGT Henry Mathis (CFC) on that one mission. Howard was riding in the TG position and was able to crawl out before the aircraft was engulfed in flames. In hind sight, the crash investigation committee recommended that in the future, any B-29 aircraft capable of remaining aloft on less than four engines should remain aloft until daylight and under no circumstances attempt a night landing. MACR # 14915. Plane was found in 1997 and the wreck was historically documented in 2002.
Thought you would like to know that final IDs of all members of K-32's crew who died on 6/22/45 crash have been completed and they were interned at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, May 20th, 2003.
Crew 815 were the second crew to have K-32 on their aircraft. The SN (44-69887) and the name changed, "City of Niagra Falls" aka "Knipp's vs. Nips" but the spirit was still there. This crew completed 25 missions and were awarded multiple DFC's, one for the Kobe mission and multiple Air Medals. Also part of the original 458th to come over. Here they are in all their glory. Front Row Kneeling L to R: SSGT James Hawkins (RG), 1LT Jack Rodin (N), CAP Richard Knipp (A/C), 1LT Jack Schade (P), Back Row: SSGT James Baskins (LG), SGT Francis Cichocki (TG), TSGT Harold Sams (CFC), 2LT Irwin Blocker (Rad Ob), MAJ Elmer Ambrose (Squad Commander), MSGT George Leslie (FE), CAP Nathaniel Frank (?). Not pictured: 1LT William Dolan (B), SSGT Joselph Rogocki (RO)
Here they are being debriefed by CAP Nathaniel Frank (458th Intelligence) and MAJ Elmer Ambrose (458th CO) regarding fighter attacks.
[Special thanks to Mr. Jack Rodin (N) for the photo and invaluable support and information]
Here is the same crew prior to departure for Guam. Taken in Jan 1945 at Walker, KS. Thanks to Jack Rodin (N) for the photo!
Crew 802 of K-33 (SN 44-69814), "City of Indianapolis" aka "Mary Kathleen". This group originally flew 12 missions on K-28, but then were assigned their own aircraft. They then flew an additional 14 missions for a total of 26. Front row, L to R: SSGT Donald Masterson (RO), TSGT William Tracy Jr. (CFC), SSGT Floyd Jones (LG), SSGT Roger Jobin (RG), SGT Frederick Janik (TG), Back Row: CAP Frederic Rice Jr. (A/C), 1LT Robert Adams (FE), 1LT Joseph Leo (N), 1LT Donald Wilkinson (P), 2LT Bernard McKean (B), FO Stanley Cach (Rad Ob). 2LT Milton Lewis (B) was replaced by McKeane later in the campaign. On their last mission this aircraft ended up making a 2 engine landing on Iwo Jima. Nice way to end the war. Part of the original 458th! For a great story on this crew click here!
A/C Rice (far left) is holding up his daughter's baby shoes that are talked about in the above article.
Crew 811 of K-35 (44-69997). Part of the original 458th to come over as well. "City of Spanish Fork" aka "Heavenly Body". This crew was A/C'd by Foster Huff and they completed 20 missions and awarded multiple Air Medals. Here they are, looks like on leave somewhere? (That is not Guam, and it is not Wallker). Back Row L to R: MSGT Robert Pounds (FE), 2LT Leon Hogg (N), 1LT Willard Twyman (Rad Ob), 1LT James Howell (B), 1LT Richard Buck, 1LT Foster Huff (A/C) (P) Front Row: SSGT Norman Brown (RG), SSG Robert Meyers (RO), SSGT James Box (LG), SGT James Burke (TG), TSGT Kahl Monahan (CFC)
Crew 805, mainly flew, K-36 (SN: 42-94052) "City of Terre Haute" aka "Star Dust" . Crew flew 31 Missions. Also part of the original 458th.
Photo courtesy of Roy Hild (P) on K-36
Photo of Charles R. Fox (B) on K-36
Crew ??? "City of Osceola, Ak" aka "Behren's Brood" (K-37 SN: 42-93995) This crew experienced and extraordinary mission on 1 June 1945 over Osaka. The A/C CAP Arthur Behren's was killed instantly by a direct flak hit to the port side of the aircraft. The co-pilot 1LT Robert Woliver nursed the aircraft back to Iwo Jima where the remaining crew was able to bail out safely. Please see this link for an angle of the story as told by the P-61 Blackwidow side. Left to right: Top row: SGT Jack Engel (RO), SGT James Cipolla (TG), MSGT Charles Whitehead (FE), SGT John Berguson (LG), SGT Joseph Celardo(RG), SGT Herbert Corbly (CFC) Bottom row: FO Wallace Mussallem (Rad Ob), 2LT Robert Fast (N), CAP Arthur Behrens (A/C), 1LT John Logerot (B), 1LT Merrill Addison (P )(he was replaced by Robert Woliver after photo was taken)
SGT John Berguson (LG) and SGT Herbert Corbly (CFC) standing in front of their Quonset Hut. Looks like Berguson just got back from a nice cool shower.
Picture taken in 1987. L to R Back row, SGT Jack Engle (RO), SGT James Cipolla (TG), MSGT Charles Whitehead (FE), SGT John Berguson (LG), SGT Joe Cleardo (LG), STG Herb Corbly (CFC). Front Row: FO Wallace Mussallem (Rad Ob), 1LT Robert Fast (N), 1LT John Logerot (B), 1LT Robert Woliver (P),
Crew ??? - K-37 (42-93996). "Rebel's Roost" This is the 2nd crew for this aircraft K#. This one was headed by 1LT Crimmins and commanded his crew through 18 missions and multiple Air Medals. Here they are on Gaum, Front Row, L to R: TSGT Eugene Clark Jr. (CFC), SSGT John Kennedy (RG), SGT Charles Brown (TG), SSGT Robert Hughes (LG), SSGT Bart Pearce (RO), TSGT Orus Duncan (FE) Back Row: 2LT Neil McTaggart (B), 2LT Alexander Veech Jr.(P), 1LT Adrian Crimmins (A/C), FO Warren Stecker (N), 2LT Donald Olson (Rad Ob).
Back Row L to R; SSGT John Kennedy (RG), TSGT Eugene Clark, Jr. (CFC), FO Warren Stecker (N ), 2LT Donald Olson (Rad Ob) Front L to R; SGT Charles Brown (TG), TSGT Orus Duncan (FE), SSGT Bart Pearce (RO).
Crew 810 - K-38 (44-69995) "City of Knoxville" aka "Ernie Pyle" completed 21 missions and multiple Air Medals. Here is the crew in Kansas. Front Row (L to R): FO Clinton Bailey Jr.(B), 1LT Robert Grady (Rad Ob), 2LT David Wohlgamuth (N), 2LT Donald Dubbins (P), 1LT James Walker (A/C) Back Row: SSGT Robert Reynolds (RO), TSGT Lauren McKenzie (CFC), SSGT William Millar (LG), SGT John Bauer (TG), MSGT Roy Jordan (FE), SSGT Carl Apostol (RG).
As promised here is the first of many photos sent by Virginia Jordan! This is 2LT Donald Dubbins (P) at his post.
Here is one of her husband MSGT Roy Jordan (FE) at his post as well. He looks about 14, but I imagine he was all of 19.
Here is Crew 810 being awarded the first of several Air Medals. Jordan stated on the back of this photo that a "a rough looking bunch, we had just received our Air Medal and it had been raining, we are wet to the skin" They are:Front Row (L to R): 1LT James Walker (A/C), 2LT Donald Dubbins (P), 2LT David Wohlgamuth (N), FO Clinton Bailey Jr.(B), 1LT Robert Grady (Rad Ob), MSGT Roy Jordan (FE), TSGT Lauren McKenzie (CFC), SSGT Robert Reynolds (RO), SSGT Carl Apostol (RG), SSGT William Millar (LG), SGT John Bauer (TG),
|Life at Walker|| |
Here are 1LT Robert Grady (Rad Ob),L, and MSGT Roy Jordan (FE) in front of their brand new B-29.
Here is part of Crew 810 prior to shipping out to Guam. Back Row: Biar, MSGT Roy Jordan (FE), 1LT Robert Grady (Rad Ob) Front Row: "Pop", SSGT Carl Apostol (RG), SSGT William Millar (LG), SSGT Robert Reynolds (RO)
Crew 816 - of K-39 (42-94037) "City of Hershey" aka "The Willful Witch". This crew completed 24 missions over the empire with only the LG being wounded on the May 25th mission to Tokyo. He recovered. All awarded multiple Air Medals. Here they are on a Bond Selling Tour in Harrisburg, PA on 1 November 1945. Front Row, L to R: SSGT Donald Martineau (RO), SSGT Norman R. Cassey (RG), SSGT Albert Urquhart (LG), standing: MSGT Johny Ford (FE), 1LT Robert Anderson (N), 2LT Richard Rice (Rad Ob), Clifford Readout (K-7) 1LT Richard Brown (A/C). Not pictured are: 1LT Bennet Burks Jr. (P), 1LT Thomas Stout (B), TSG Morris Fishman (CFC), SGT John Buggy (TG)
Crew ??? of K-40 (44-70016) "City of Quaker City" aka "Sentimental Journey". This crew was headed by 1LT Lester E. Gilbert and completed 22 missions. They were awarded multiple Air Medals and the TG received the DFC on 14 September 1945. Front Row, L to R: SGT Robert Washam (TG), SSGT Norman Whipple (RG), SSGT Wencel Bohr (LG), MSGT William Prim (FE), SSGT Joseph Le Bon (RO), MSGT Theodore Lewis Jr. (CFC) Back Row: 2LT Kenneth Hurley (N), 2LT Orley Van Dyke (B), 1LT Lester Gilbert (A/C), 2LT Jonas Carpenter (Rad Ob), FO Lawrence Bennet (P)
You can visit this aircraft in person at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
Crew ???. Mainly flew K-41 (44-70010), "City of Pacific Palisades, CA". Standing (L-R): FO Robert Roast (P), CAP Charles Morris (N), MAJ John Vick (A/C), 1LT Donald Martin (B), 1LT Allen M. Cohen (Rad Ob) Kneeling (L-R): CPL Floyd Griffith (RO), CPL Harvey Delles (TG), CPL Walter Pride (CFC), SGT Peter Orsini (FE), CPL Dene Miller (RG), SSGT William R. Shaver (LG) Not pictured: 1LT Frank Rose (Rad Nav) (replaced 1LT Cohen), CPL David Phillips (TG) (replaced CPL Delles). The crew flew 19 missions and were awarded numerous Air Medals.
This B-29 had a runaway prop on 16 May mission to Nagoya. Here is the recount by the A/C, Vick: "We had a runaway prop on the #2 engine. Couldn't feather it. The vibration got so bad I lost control of the aircraft several times. Then we had an engine fire. I gave the order to bailout. All crewmembers in the rear bailed out. All chutes were seen to open. All crewmembers survived and were picked up by Navy ships except for 2LT Cohen. In an attempt to circle back to bailout those in the front of the aircraft, the reduction gears froze and the vibration stopped. The prop free rotated. We limped into Iwo Jima with an engine fire. The aircraft should have been named 'City of Iwo Jima' as we had to stop there 4 more times. Thank God for the Marines."
Vick's crew, being a "Lead Crew", flew most of those missions (15+) as "Pathfinder" missions. His crew was responsible for leading the missions to Japan and dropping the first bombs to highlight for the others. Doing this he caught the Japanese by surprise. However following their bomb run his crew was required to fly a wide 360 degree turn and follow the last plane in and take photos of the strike. By this time the Japanese were really hot and no longer a surprised. He jokingly commented that they didn't get credit for this "second" mission.
Crew 804. Mainly flew K-41 (44-70010), "City of Glen Falls, NJ" aka "Ol' Cue Ball". This crew apparently shared K-41 with Vicks crew. She was named after the Bombardier's, Talbot, home town in New Jersey. They completed 20 missions, half of them in K-41 and were awarded multiple Air Medals.
This photo graciously provided by the A/C Clyde Higginson. That is him, 2nd from the right in the front row.
According to a written account from Clyde Higginson "This plane was assigned to our crew as soon as it arrived at Guam. We flew it on about 10 of our 20 missions I flew it back to Mather Field after the war with about 25 passengers in Nov. 1945. As I recall, Vick and I shared her. It was a good Seattle built plane."
Crew 820 of K-42 (42-61537) "City of BelAir, CA" aka "Round Robin". This crew flew 20 successful missions against the empire as well as being awarded several Air Medals and DFC's. Here they are;Front Row, L to R: TSGT Carlis McLeod (CFC), SGT Kenneth Vesely (TG), SSGT William W. Sellers Jr. (RG), SSGT Roy Selbee (LG), MSGT Glenn Keister (FE), SSGT Mitchell Schulich (RO), Back Row: FO John Leaf (B), FO Allison Scribner Jr.(N), 1LT Walter Ormand (A/C), 2LT Aubrey Hodge (Rad Ob), FO Herbert Wamboldt (P).
This photo of K-42 that was provided to me by SSGT John Ferdinand's grandson, Steve Sofranek. I am in the process of cleaning up several more and will post them shortly.
Ferdinand's MOS indicates he was a Turbocharger Specialist
Crew 804 Flew K-43 (44-69799) and were shot down on their 2nd mission on 13 April 1945. The mission was to Tokyo and they were hit by flak over the target. On this mission, riding as an observer, was LTCOL Doyne L. Turner, the CO of the 458th BS. Of the twelve men riding on this plane, *10 were killed in the Tokyo Prison Fire of May 23, 1945. This is the incident where the 330th, along with several bomb groups, were on a fire mission to Tokyo and the prison was destroyed in the ensuing fire. The Japanese Prison Guards would not let the Americans out of their burning cells and the men of K-43, along with countless others, were left to perish in the flames. The guards were later convicted at the War Crimes Tribunal and executed.
MACR # 14240
Crew 586 replaced Bauer's crew that was killed on K-32. This crew arrived the afternoon after the incident. They were not assigned a particular aircraft, but instead flew 9 missions in different aircraft. Here they are pictuerd in front of K-58 "City of Medford" and "Lightning Lady". This aircraft was usually piloted by 1LT Earl Wheelock and his Crew 917. The Groves crew is front row L to R: FO Milton Heimer (Rad Ob), SGT Howard Olver (TG), SSGT John Barnes (CFC), SGT Madison Caldwell (RG), Back Row L to R: SSGT Edward Cosens (LG), TSGT Harold Cullen (FE), SGT Ernest Butterfield (RO), 2LT Charles Danek (B). FO Charles Whippy (N), FO Ralph Leftwich (P), and 1LT Paul Groves (A/C).
[Many thanks to Ralph Leftwich (P )for the photo and info]
The other aircraft were: K-35, K-39, K-40, K-58, K-41 and K-10. "We moved into the crew quarters before their personal effects had been cleared." As the Pilot, Leftwich recalls. " don't recall any conversation with the other crew members using the same quarters upon their return from the mission. We lived together until the war ended without much conversation and I do not remember any of their names. We were not a part of their many months of training in the States and could not share experiences of training, etc. We each did what we were called to do and contributed a small part in the victory. " That was an understatement to say the least!
Crew ??? of K-26 & K-38. This crew arrived on Guam in June of 1945 as a replacement crew. They flew 8 missions, mainly in these two aircraft. On 6 Aug 1945 this crew was sent to Lead Crew Training at Muroc and never returned to Guam before the war was over.
Here is some of the crewmen pulling through the props. What a fun way to get excersize? Just eleven more turns, boys!
Here are the Gunners working on the rear bottom turret.
Here is the proud A/C, MAJ Edward Kreimer, standing in front of K-38.
"Our generation is slowly passing as new ones emerge to carry on the spirit of the American people. It would be a pity to allow the memories of these boys of these planes to slip into oblivion. Please do what ever you can to honor their lives". COL Robert "Bob" Morgan "The Memphis Belle" & "Dauntless Dotty"
This site was last updated 07/10/2013