458th Bombardment Group (H)

  Honoring those who served with the 458th BG during World War II

B-24H-15-CF 41-29342 J3 S  Rough Riders

(Photo: Greg Birnie)

Missions

RoughRidersMissions
Date Target Pilot 458th Msn Pilot Msn RCL Sqdn A/C Msn Comments
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC VOGEL 3 1 S J3 1  
06-Mar-44 BERLIN/GENSHAGEN VOGEL 4 NTO S J3 -- NO TAKE OFF - REASON UNK
08-Mar-44 BERLIN/ERKNER VOGEL 5 2 S J3 2  
15-Mar-44 BRUNSWICK VOGEL 7 3 S J3 3  
16-Mar-44 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN STROUP 8 4 S J3 4  
18-Apr-44 BRANDENBURG STEWART 22 11 S J3 5  
19-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F VOGEL 23 13 S J3 6  
20-Apr-44 SIRACOURT VOGEL 24 14 S J3 7  
22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y VOGEL 25 15 S J3 8  
24-Apr-44 LEIPHEIM A/F GENTRY 26 1 S J3 9  
25-Apr-44 MANNHEIM A/F GENTRY 27 2 S J3 10  
26-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F GENTRY 28 3 S J3 11  
27-Apr-44 BONNIERES BRUDOS 29 16 S J3 12  
27-Apr-44 BLAINVILLE-SUR-L'EAU M/Y BRUDOS 30 17 S J3 13  
29-Apr-44 BERLIN GENTRY 31 4 S J3 14  
01-May-44 MARQUISE/MIMOYECQUES GENTRY 32 5 S J3 15  
04-May-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM VOGEL 34 16 S J3 16  
05-May-44 SOTTEVAST VOGEL 35 NTO S J3 -- NO TAKE OFF - REASON UNK
07-May-44 OSNABRUCK VOGEL 36 17 S J3 17  
08-May-44 BRUNSWICK VOGEL 37 18 S J3 18  
09-May-44 ST. TROND VOGEL 38 19 S J3 19  
10-May-44 DIEPHOLZ VOGEL REC -- S J3 -- RECALL BEFORE EC
12-May-44 BOHLEN VOGEL 40 20 S J3 20 ABORT - SORTIE LAND MANSTON
10-Jun-44 CHATEAUDUN CURTIS 61 19 S J3 21  
11-Jun-44 BEAUVAIS HANCOCK 63 9 S J3 22  
12-Jun-44 EVREUX/FAUVILLE QUIRK 64 1 S J3 23  
14-Jun-44 DOMLEGER WAGNER 65 2 S J3 24  
21-Jun-44 BERLIN RIGLEY 75 1 S J3 25 ABORT - SORTIE CREDIT
28-Jun-44 SAARBRUCKEN QUIRK 81 8 S J3 26  
29-Jun-44 ASCHERSLEBEN KENYON 82 3 S J3 27 DEPUTY LEAD
08-Jul-44 ANIZY, FRANCE QUIRK 87 11 S J3 28  
11-Jul-44 MUNICH QUIRK 88 ABT S J3 -- GAS LEAK TOKYO TANK
13-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN McCARTHY 90 8 S J3 29  
13-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN McCARTHY 90 ABT S J3 -- PILOT RPT GAS LEAK #4 ENG
16-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN BLUM 91 2 S J3 30  
17-Jul-44 3 NO BALLS RUARK 92 14 S J3 31  
18-Jul-44 TROARN BLUM 93 3 S J3 32  
20-Jul-44 EISENACH BLUM 95 4 S J3 33  
25-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA "B" BLUM 98 6 S J3 34  
03-Aug-44 2 NO BALLS FRENCH 102 15 S J3 35  
04-Aug-44 ACHIET A/F FRENCH 104 16 S J3 36  
06-Aug-44 HAMBURG WAGNER 106 16 S J3 37  
07-Aug-44 GHENT DWYRE 107 6 S J3 38 PHOTO - Harold Armstrong
09-Aug-44 SAARBRUCKEN KENYON 109 13 S J3 39  
11-Aug-44 STRASBOURG McARDLE 110 22 S J3 40  
12-Aug-44 MOURMELON KENYON 111 15 S J3 41  
25-Aug-44 LUBECK FREDERICK 118 5 S J3 42  
26-Aug-44 DULMEN GLAGOLA 120 23 S J3 43  
27-Aug-44 FINOW KLEIN 121 3 S J3 44 MISSION CREDIT IN NOV
01-Sep-44 PFAFFENHOFFEN GLAGOLA ABN -- S J3 -- ABANDONED
05-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE KLUSMEYER 122 3 S J3 45  
08-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE STONEBURNER 123 ABT S J3 -- ABORT - RADIO COMPASS INOP
09-Sep-44 MAINZ STONEBURNER 124 FTR S J3 46 ENGINE TROUBLE GERMANY


"Our ship"

2Lt Curt M. Vogel and crew (#74) trained in Tonopah with the original 458th Bombardment Group (H) in the fall of 1943. The group flew to England in their brand new B-24’s in January 1944. Most of these aircraft were picked up at Hamilton Field, California, fresh off the assembly line. Vogel’s crew picked up their plane, B-24H-15-CF 41-29342, on Christmas morning 1943 (above).
Crew 74 departed the United States taking the Southern Ferry Route on January 20, 1944. Due to a faulty fuel cell in one of the wings, the crew was able to enjoy the comforts of Natal, Brazil for nine days while this was repaired. The pilot, a devout Methodist, was not going to allow the depiction of any scantily clad young ladies on the aircraft, so the rest of the crew came up with the name Rough Riders. During the trip and the stay in Natal, the flight engineer, S/Sgt Joseph R. Brown, and the bombardier, 2Lt Alex J.(AJ) Testa, painted all of the artwork on the aircraft.

They finally arrived at Horsham St. Faith and the home of the 458th on February 9, 1944.

After a number of training flights the 458th flew two diversionary missions to the Dutch coast on February 24th and 25th in support of “Big Week”. The first combat mission for the group occurred on March 2, 1944 with a mission to Frankfurt. Vogel and crew flew their first mission on March 5th to Bordeaux, France.

Crew 74 flew a total of eleven missions in #342 S, the last one occurring on May 12, 1944. The mission was to bomb a synthetic oil refinery near Bohlen, Germany. At 20,000 feet and about five minutes from the target, the number three engine on Rough Riders suddenly lost power. The engine was feathered and since the situation was not that dire, it was decided to continue with the formation, albeit with considerable unease. After a very short time, the oil pressure dropped on number two engine and it also had to be feathered. As things were getting a bit more hectic, the pilot asked the navigator, “Which is closest, England or Switzerland.” After a moment the reply came over the intercom, “England.” [Co-pilot, Al Hilborn recalled that the crew accused Sam Scorza of having a date that night and that’s why he said England. Curt Vogel, many years later, looked at a map and determined that England was indeed closer than Switzerland at the point of their turning back. He said that Sam did in fact have a date, and was able to keep it.]
After taking up a new course for home, the bombs were jettisoned into an open field and all excess material was tossed out in an attempt to nurse the aircraft as far as possible. When the plane, which had been steadily losing altitude since turning around, dropped below 9,000 feet, the number three engine began wind-milling and “with some efforts” it started to fire very unevenly, but at the same time the number four engine began to run very rough and had to be feathered.  The crew was able to make the emergency airfield at Manston and landed with the two inboard engines feathered, one engine running at 50%, and one engine running at full power. After rolling to a stop the navigator exited the plane and deposited his breakfast underneath the tail – everyone’s nerves were on edge. The ship was looked over and the only engine that could be restarted was the number three engine, the one that had quit first. It is not known what the problem was, but the repairs took almost a month. This is the last time that Crew 74 flew Rough Riders.
The aircraft did eventually come back to the 458th and went on to complete an additional 30 missions. On July 20, 1944 2Lt Allen Blum and crew returned from Eisenach with an extremely large hole in the number four engine which had allowed all of the fuel to drain out. They dropped out of formation, but they did make it back to Horsham St Faith. According to Blum, “We were running very low on gas. I called Air-Sea Rescue and kept them informed as to our position in case we should be forced to ditch. Six miles from base and 6,000 feet above it, our remaining three engines quit. I dove down through the clouds to maintain flying speed and broke out just short of the field. I was on the wrong heading to hit the end of the runway, so we landed diagonally in the grass.

On September 9, 1944, on Rough Riders’ 46th and last mission, the aircraft was abandoned near Trier, Germany due to mechanical failure of at least two engines, the prop on number two failed to feather and ran away, threatening to come off.

Flown on this date by the crew of 2Lt Paul Stoneburner, seven of the crew evaded capture and were returned to duty while two of gunners were made prisoner of war.



Disposition

B-24H-15 CF 41-29342               S          J3 (755) ROUGH RIDERS / THE MAN FROM DOWN UNDER / SKIPPER

             OD                                                                

Original aircraft. One of 30 B-24s listed on Movement Orders dated 30 Dec 43.

The name THE MAN FROM DOWN UNDER appears above the ball turret and is accompanied by pictures of a boy and girl saying, respectively, “YooHoo Potts” and “Awww go away”.

The name SKIPPER with the picture of a girl saying “Ohhh” is on the other side of the waist of this aircraft.

Landed on the 16 Mar 44 mission at Friston where it was repaired 17 Mar - 11 Apr 44 - # 1 engine, main landing gear tyre.

Emergency landing on 12 May 44 at Manston, Kent, where it was repaired 15 May - 7 Jun 44 - # 3 engine.

Lost 9 Sep 44 – shot down near Koblenz. (Mainz)  (MACR 8610)

Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC)


(Courtesy: Tom Brittan)