458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Crew 25 - Assigned 753rd Squadron - October 7, 1943

Standing: Harold Armstrong - TT/E, Richard Alvestad - P, John Sullivan - N, John Luft - CP, Otto Hammersmith - B
Kneeling: Austin Bealer - BTG, Willis Foster - WG, Elmo Fikes - RO, Charles Bevins - TG, Leo Lieber - NTG

(Photo: John Luft)

Completed Tour

AlvestadCrew3
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Richard O Alvestad 07377514 Pilot 01-Dec-44 CT Transferred to 70th Repl Depot
1Lt John L Luft 0811411 Co-pilot Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross 
1Lt John F Sullivan 0812000 Navigator Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
2Lt Otto B Hammersmith  0688669 Bombardier 11-Jul-44 KIA DeKalb County, IL
T/Sgt Elmo R Fikes 14130145 Radio Operator Sep-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
T/Sgt Harold Armstrong 35686462  Flight Engineer Sep-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
T/Sgt  Willis A Foster 36275501 Aerial Gunner, 2/E Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Leo Lieber 32183499 Nose Turret Gunner  31-Mar-44 UNK Awards - Air Medal 8AF GO #233
S/Sgt Charles L Bevins 37231285 Ball Turret Gunner Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Austin H Bealer 13125069 Tail Turret Gunner 31-Mar-44 UNK Awards - Air Medal 8AF GO #233

Co-pilot, Lt. John Luft flew his last operational mission on August 14, 1944.  He wrote the following in his diary:  Aug. 31 - "Orders to go to 12th RCD came out.  Same rescinded on Sept. 1st."  Sept. 2nd - went to Hardwick by truck then went to Wharton by plane to join 27th ATG [Air Transport Group] for 30 days D.S. [Detached Service]."  Sept. 3 - Flew our own plane (pilot Manker) from Wharton to Lyneham where we are going to be stationed here until job is done.  We are to be hauling 100 octane gas to Dreux, France for troops.  They are moving so fast the supply can't keep up with them."


The last mention of S/Sgt's Lieber and Bealer in group records is in March 1944 when they were both awarded the Air Medal.  Notes from other crew members indicate that both of these men completed their combat tour about the same time as the others.


On July 11, 1944, 2Lt Otto B. Hammersmith was KIA flying with 1Lt John J. Jones' crew (AZON 02) on B-24J Satan's Mate (MACR #6929).


1Lt Richard Alvestad Missions as Pilot

AlvestadMissions
DATE TARGET 458th Msn Pilot Msn Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Notes
25-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D2 -- 41-28706 -- J4 D2 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS Diversion Mission
02-Mar-44 FRANKFURT 1 1 41-28706 H J4 1 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC 3 2 41-29286 R J4 2 UNKNOWN 011  
15-Mar-44 BRUNSWICK 7 3 41-29273 Q J4 5 FLAK MAGNET  
16-Mar-44 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 8 4 41-28671 K J4 6 UNKNOWN 001 LEAD - Cmd Plt GRIFFITH
21-Mar-44 WATTEN, near ST. OMER 10 5 41-28706 F J4 2 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
22-Mar-44 BERLIN 11 6 41-28706 F J4 3 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
24-Mar-44 ST. DIZIER 13 7 42-52392 O J4 8 WABBIT TWACKS PILOT FOR CREW 35
05-Apr-44 ST. POL-SIRACOURT 16 8 41-28706 F J4 4 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
08-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 17 9 41-28706 F J4 5 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
09-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 18 ABT 41-28706 F J4 -- DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS ABORT - LOST FORMATION
18-Apr-44 BRANDENBURG 22 10 41-28706 F J4 8 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
19-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F 23 11 41-28706 F J4 9 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y 25 12 41-28706 F J4 10 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
24-Apr-44 LEIPHEIM A/F 26 13 41-28706 F J4 11 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
23-May-44 BOURGES 45 14 41-28709 I 7V 16 LUCKY STRIKE  
24-May-44 VILLEROCHE, near MELUN 46 15 41-29489 T 7V 6 UNKNOWN 014  
20-Jul-44 EISENACH 95 16 44-40264 K J4 4 KISS ME BABY  
21-Jul-44 MUNICH 96 17 44-40134 R J4 4 UNKNOWN 039  
24-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA 97 18 44-40273 T J4 5 HOWLING BANSHEE  
31-Jul-44 LUDWIGSHAFEN 99 19 44-40134 R J4 8 UNKNOWN 039  
01-Aug-44 T.O.s FRANCE 100 20 44-40134 R J4 9 UNKNOWN 039  
03-Aug-44 2 NO BALLS 102 ABT 44-40134 R J4 -- UNKNOWN 039 ABORT - #1 ENG OIL LEAK
04-Aug-44 ACHIET A/F 104 21 44-40134 R J4 11 UNKNOWN 039  
06-Aug-44 HAMBURG 106 22 44-40134 R J4 13 UNKNOWN 039  
08-Aug-44 CLASTRES 108 23 42-100431 B J4 35 BOMB-AH-DEAR  
09-Aug-44 SAARBRUCKEN 109 ABT 41-28705 W Z5 -- YE OLDE HELLGATE ABORT - A/C SLUGGISH
14-Aug-44 DOLE/TAVAUX 113 24 44-40134 R J4 14 UNKNOWN 039  
15-Aug-44 VECHTA 114 25 44-40134 R J4 15 UNKNOWN 039  
17-Aug-44 LE FOULONS RR BRIDGE AZ11 26 44-40134 R J4 17 UNKNOWN 039 10/10 CLOUD CVR - NO DROP
18-Aug-44 WOIPPY 116 27 44-40134 R J4 18 UNKNOWN 039  
25-Aug-44 MOERDIJK, NETHERLANDS AZ12 28 44-40134 R J4 19 UNKNOWN 039 HEATH, LF 1Lt (Obs)
26-Aug-44 MOERDIJK, NETHERLANDS AZ13 29 44-40134 R J4 20 UNKNOWN 039 FLAK DMG
01-Sep-44 RAVENSTEIN, HOLLAND AZ14 30 44-40134 R J4 21 UNKNOWN 039  
11-Sep-44 MAGDEBURG 126 31 44-40285 H J4 35 TABLE STUFF  
21-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR05 -- 44-40475 D J3 T3 JOLLY ROGER LEAD - Pilot HALE
27-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR10 -- 41-28714 G 489BG T1 NOT 458TH SHIP ON LOAN FOR TRUCKIN'
28-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR11 -- 42-28739 D   T5 NOT 458TH SHIP - HETHEL TRUCKIN' MISSION
30-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR13 -- 41-28714 G 389BG T6 CYCLONE/UTTERLY DEVASTATING  TRUCKIN' MISSION
22-Oct-44 HAMM 137 32 42-95133 K J4 6 LADY JANE  
26-Oct-44 MINDEN 138 33 42-95133 K J4 7 LADY JANE  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG 139 34 42-95133 K J4 8 LADY JANE  
11-Dec-44 HANAU 155 MSHL -- -- 753 --   MARSHALLING CHIEF
12-Dec-44 HANAU 156 MSHL -- -- 753 --   MARSHALLING CHIEF

1Lt John Luft Missions as Pilot

LuftMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
18-Jul-44 TROARN 93 1 42-100311 A 7V 36 YOKUM BOY  
24-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA 97 2 44-40134 R J4 5 UNKNOWN 039  
31-Jul-44 LUDWIGSHAFEN 99 3 44-40201 N J4 5 SILVER CHIEF


B-24H 41-28706  F  J4 Dream Boat / Spare Parts

(Photos: Harold Armstrong)