458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Crew 32 - Assigned 753rd Squadron - October 25, 1943

Standing: Edward Sievers -P, Billy Driver - CP, Erwin Reynolds - E, John Slaughter - N, Ray Pfautz - B
Kneeling: Daniel Donahue - LWG, Calvin Sewell - RWG, James Boyland - RO, Harold Stalnaker - TG, James Stoneburner - BTG
 
(Photo: AFHRA)

Shot down April 8, 1944 (MACR #3786)

SieversCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Edward A Sievers 0745957 Pilot 08-Apr-44 POW Unknown POW camp
2Lt Billy J Driver 0693649 Co-pilot 08-Apr-44 POW Stalag Luft I
2Lt John B Slaughter 0694618 Navigator 08-Apr-44 POW Stalag Luft I
2Lt Ray F Pfautz 01020284 Bombardier 05-May-44 TRSF Transferred to 466BG
T/Sgt Howard B Levin 36042380 Radio Operator 08-Apr-44 POW Stalag 17B
T/Sgt Erwin G Reynolds 16132889 Flight Engineer 08-Apr-44 POW Stalag Luft 4
S/Sgt James O Stoneburner 35628764 Ball Turret Gunner 08-Apr-44 POW Unknown POW camp
S/Sgt Calvin J Sewell 18181874 Waist Gunner 08-Apr-44 POW Stalag 17B
S/Sgt Daniel F X Donahue, Jr  32709643 Waist Gunner 08-Apr-44 POW Stalag 17B
S/Sgt Harold L Stalnaker 34503453 Tail Turret Gunner  08-Apr-44 POW Unknown POW camp 

Crew 32 was originally assigned with 2Lt Clayton E. Stambaugh as first pilot.  For unknown reasons he was replaced by 2Lt Edward A. Sievers.  Likewise Sgt. James Boyland, radio operator was replaced by T/Sgt Howard B. Levin, who joined the squadron at some point shortly after training.  Prior to his assignment to the 458th, he was a crewman in B-25's in the 75th Bombardment Squadron (42nd Bomb Group).


For unknown reasons, 2Lt Ray Pfautz, the crew's bombardier, did not fly on April 8th. 2Lt William R. Dayson, navigator on Crew 34, was assigned to fly as the bombardier on Sievers crew. Lt Pfautz was transferred to the 466th Bombardment Group a little over a month after Sievers was lost.


MACR #3786

Just before target was reached, Lt. Siever's aircraft was seen to salvo its bombs, peel off to the right, and drop down from 20,000 feet to about 16,000 feet.  He then crossed to the left of the formation, losing more altitude.  Ship was under control although #3 engine was smoking.  Three (3) parachutes were observed and there are some reports that enemy fighters were attacking when the plane was last seen.


Crew Missions

SieversMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
24-Feb-44  DUTCH COAST D1 -- 41-28721 -- J4 D1 DOWNWIND LEG Diversion Mission 
03-Mar-44 BERLIN 2 1 42-52392 -- J4 1 WABBIT TWACKS   
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC 3 2 41-29300 M J4 2 LORELEI  
18-Mar-44 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 9 3 42-52392 O J4 4 WABBIT TWACKS  
21-Mar-44 WATTEN, near ST. OMER  10 4 42-52392 O J4 5 WABBIT TWACKS  
22-Mar-44 BERLIN 11 5 42-52392 O J4 6 WABBIT TWACKS  
26-Mar-44 BONNIERES 14 6 42-52392 O J4 9 WABBIT TWACKS  
27-Mar-44 BIARRITZ 15 7 42-52392   J4 10 WABBIT TWACKS  
05-Apr-44 ST. POL-SIRACOURT 16 8 42-52392 O J4 11 WABBIT TWACKS  
08-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 17 9 42-52392 O J4 12 WABBIT TWACKS FTR - FIGHTERS


B-24H-15-FO  42-52392 J4  O Wabbit Twacks

Translated German Telegram from MACR 3786

According to additional documents in the Missing Air Crew Report,T/Sgt Erwin G. Reynolds was the man in the "Air Force Hospital in Braunschweig".  The details of his injuries are unknown.   S/Sgt James O. Stoneburner evidently evaded capture for a few days but was eventually caught.

"Easter Parade in the E.T.O."


An Eighth AAF Liberator Station, England.

All dressed up in the latest style electric-heated flying suits, armored vests and helmets, six members of the crew of their Liberator “Wabbit Twacks” sit on a nest of 500-pound “Easter Eggs” as they plan another visit to wish Hitler an unhappy Holiday. Their initial visit to the Reich was an attack on Berlin. Left to right at top are 2nd Lt. Billy J. Driver, Co-pilot, 5319 Richard St., Dallas, Texas; 2nd Lt. John S. Slaughter, Navigator, 972 Jason Ave., Akron, Ohio; 2nd Lt. Edward A. Sievers, Pilot, 5428 Fairview Ave., Downers Grove, Ill.; and S/Sgt. Howard B. Levin,Radio Operator, 3414 Elaine Place, Chicago, Ill. Working on a machine gun are Waist Gunners (L. to R.) S/Sgt. Daniel F. Donahue, 9418 – 46th Ave., Elmhurst, L.I., N.Y., andT/Sgt. Erwin G. Reynolds, Omro, Wisconsin.


This was an Eighth Air Force Public Relations photo shoot.  While no dates are attached to this set of pictures, given the caption, it is most likely to have been run just prior to Easter Sunday.  Sievers and crew were shot down on Saturday, April 8, 1944 - the day before Easter.


Photos: Chuck Booth and Mike Bailey