458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Crew 37 - Assigned 753rd Squadron - October 29, 1943

Back Row: Gordon Wyman - B, Paul Krueger - P*, Casimer Kolezynski - CP.
Middle Row: Charles Joerger - E/TTG, Jack Vogelsang - RO, Frank Boch - TG
Front Row: Conrad Lunz - BTG, William Price - NTG, Frederick Frenz - WG

Not Pictured: Donald Nielsen- N
*2Lt Paul E. Krueger was replaced prior to movement overseas.

(Photo: AFHRA)

Crew 37 - Completed Tour

DavidsonCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Stephen F Davidson 0675563 Pilot 06-Oct-44 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
2Lt Casimer J Kolezynski  0693687 Co-pilot 06-Mar-44 POW Shot down over Berlin -w/McMains
1Lt Donald Nielsen 0694837 Navigator 06-Oct-44 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
1Lt Gordon E Wyman 0752913 Bombardier 01-Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
T/Sgt Jack P Vogelsang 33276524 Radio Operator 06-Oct-44 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
T/Sgt Charles C Joerger 32439996 Flight Engineer 06-Oct-44 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
S/Sgt William H Price 15382869 Aerial Gunner/2E  14-Aug-44 UNK Disqual from flights
S/Sgt Frederick Frenz, Jr 32433423 Aerial Gunner/2E Sep-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Frank J Boch, Jr 33430696 Armorer-Gunner Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Conrad C Lunz 33502423 Armorer-Gunner 06-Mar-44  POW Shot down over Berlin -w/McMains 

2Lt Paul E. Krueger was originally assigned as the pilot for Crew 37.  At some point during training he was reassigned, reason unknown.  Krueger was replaced by 2Lt Stephen F. Davidson as Crew 37’s first pilot.  Records do not indicate the manner in which this crew moved to England – by ship or plane, but they arrived at Horsham St Faith at some time in January or February 1944.


Crew 37 participated in both of the diversion missions the 458th flew in support of the Eighth Air Force “Big Week” at the end of February 1944.  They also flew on the 458th Bomb Group’s first operational mission to Frankfurt, Germany on March 2nd.


The crew, as a whole, did not fly on the March 6, 1944 raid on Berlin, but 2Lt Casimer J. Kolezynski, co-pilot and S/Sgt Conrad C. Lunz, ball-turret gunner flew with Crew 29 piloted by 2Lt Jesse L. McMains.  They were one of five 458th ships lost that day.  Kolezynski and Lunz bailed out successfully along with five others of the crew, but two gunners and McMains were killed in action.


Crew 37 flew two more missions in March and then, perhaps awaiting replacement crew members, the crew did not fly again until the April 8th raid on Brunswick, Germany.  The crew took off at 10:40 that morning flying B-24H 41-28671 and carrying a new co-pilot, 2Lt Gerald G. Banghart and a new gunner, Sgt Orville R. Terry.


753rd Squadron records

“While on the bomb-run, Lt Davidson’s aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters and later suffered damage from flak with the result that the rudder controls were shot away, fuel lines severed, hydraulic system destroyed, part of the tail assembly shot away, a tire punctured, and a landing strut damaged.  By skillful manipulation of the throttles in lieu of rudder controls, Lt. Davidson was able to remain in formation and bomb the target.  Sgt. Charles C. Joerger, flight engineer, risked his life by straddling [the] open bomb bay to patch the broken fuel lines without informing the crew of the extent of the damage, and enabled the plane to return to its base where Lt. Davidson landed it successfully despite the flat tire, no brakes, no flaps, and a damaged landing strut.  Sgt. O.R. Terry, ball-turret gunner on Lt. Davidson’s crew was hit in the left leg by flak.”


The squadron records also show that in addition to patching up the damage done to the fuel system, Sgt. Joerger had time to shoot down an enemy aircraft.  2Lt Gordon E. Wyman, bombardier, was also credited with an enemy aircraft destroyed from the nose turret.


In the May section of “Awards and Decorations” for the 753rd Squadron, T/Sgt Joerger and 1Lt Davidson were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the April 8, 1944 action.  2Lt Gerald G. Banghart was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, and Sgt Orville R. Terry was awarded the Purple Heart.


The Germans hadn’t heard the last of Sgt’s Joerger and Terry.  On August 15, 1944 the crew was on one of their final missions to hit German held airfields near Vechta, France.  They had been assigned B-24J 44-40273 Silver Chief.  In the vicinity of Meppel, “an estimated nine E/A attacked our formation using all kinds of tactics in their effort to destroy as many as possible.  None of our A/C were lost, but our gunners succeeded in destroying three E/A, thus helping to further deplete the vaunted Luftwaffe”.  Joerger and Terry were each credited with an ME-109 destroyed on this mission and were awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to their Air Medals.


Most of the crew completed their 30 missions in August and September and were rotated back to the States or to other assignments in October and November.  2Lt Wyman went home in December.  S/Sgt William H. Price was “disqualified from aerial flights” on August 14, 1944.  It is not known if he completed a tour.


Crew 37 Missions

DavidsonMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
24-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D1 -- 42-52306 -- J4 D1 UNKNOWN 030 Diversion Mission
25-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D2 -- 42-52306 -- J4 D2 UNKNOWN 030 Diversion Mission
02-Mar-44 FRANKFURT 1 1 42-52306 I J4 1 UNKNOWN 030  
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC 3 2 42-52306 I J4 3 UNKNOWN 030  
09-Mar-44 BRANDENBURG 6 3 41-29300 M J4 5 LORELEI  
15-Mar-44 BRUNSWICK 7 4 42-52392 O J4 2 WABBIT TWACKS  
08-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 17 5 41-28671 K J4 12 UNKNOWN 001 2 FIGHTERS DEST
09-Apr-44 TUTOW A/F 18 ABT 41-29300 M J4 -- LORELEI Bmbdr ILL, PASSED OUT
12-Apr-44 OSCHERSLEBEN REC -- 41-28721 L J4 -- DOWNWIND LEG RECALL
13-Apr-44 LECHFELD A/F 21 6 41-28733 P J4 14 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
18-Apr-44 BRANDENBURG 22 7 41-28735 S J4 11 UNKNOWN 005  
22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y 25 8 41-28735 S J4 13 UNKNOWN 005  
24-Apr-44 LEIPHEIM A/F 26 ABT 41-28721 L J4 -- DOWNWIND LEG PILOT RPT TAIL FLUTTER
25-Apr-44 MANNHEIM A/F 27 9 42-100341 A J4 12 SATAN'S MATE  
26-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F 28 10 41-28733 P J4 20 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
27-Apr-44 BLAINVILLE-SUR-L'EAU 30 11 42-50320 J J4 1 UNKNOWN 018  
29-Apr-44 BERLIN 31 ABT 42-50320 J J4 -- UNKNOWN 018 CP STOMACH, Bmbdr TOOTHACHE 
01-May-44 LIEGE M/Y 32 12 42-50320 J J4 3 UNKNOWN 018  
12-May-44 BOHLEN 40 ABT 42-50320 J J4 -- UNKNOWN 018 Bmbdr SEVERE TOOTHACHE
13-May-44 TUTOW A/F 41 13 42-50320 J J4 11 UNKNOWN 018  
19-May-44 BRUNSWICK 42 ABT 42-50320 J J4 -- UNKNOWN 018 PILOT THOUGHT RECALL
20-May-44 RHEIMS A/D 43 14 42-50320 J J4 12 UNKNOWN 018  
21-May-44 SIRACOURT 44 ABT 42-50320 J J4 -- UNKNOWN 018 LOST ALL ELECTRICAL
23-May-44 BOURGES 45 15 42-50320 J J4 13 UNKNOWN 018  
08-Jun-44 UNSPECIFIED TARGETS AZ04 -- 44-40201 N J4 -- SILVER CHIEF ABANDONED - WEATHER
24-Jun-44 ST OMER 78 16 41-29352 K 7V 31 WOLVE'S LAIR MSN #2
28-Jun-44 SAARBRUCKEN 81 ABT 41-28682 I Z5 -- UNKNOWN 003 TURBOS FROZEN
01-Aug-44 T.O.s FRANCE 100 17 44-40201 N J4 6 SILVER CHIEF  
02-Aug-44 3 NO BALLS 101 18 44-40201 N J4 7 SILVER CHIEF  
04-Aug-44 ROSTOCK 103 19 42-110141 U J4 9 BREEZY LADY / MARIE / SUPERMAN   
07-Aug-44 GHENT 107 20 44-40201 N J4 9 SILVER CHIEF  
08-Aug-44 CLASTRES 108 21 44-40201 N J4 10 SILVER CHIEF  
09-Aug-44 SAARBRUCKEN 109 22 44-40201 N J4 11 SILVER CHIEF  
14-Aug-44 DOLE/TAVAUX 113 23 44-40201 N J4 12 SILVER CHIEF  
15-Aug-44 VECHTA 114 24 44-40201 N J4 13 SILVER CHIEF 2 FIGHTERS DEST
17-Aug-44 LE FOULONS RR BRIDGE  AZ11 25 44-40277 P J4 6 MISS USED 10/10 CLOUD NO DROP
25-Aug-44 MOERDIJK, NETH AZ12 26 44-40201 N J4 14 SILVER CHIEF SELLERS, RC Capt OBS
26-Aug-44 MOERDIJK, NETH AZ13 27 44-40201 N J4 15 SILVER CHIEF NO DROP - SORTIE CREDIT
01-Sep-44 RAVENSTEIN, HOL AZ14 28 44-40273 T J4 22 HOWLING BANSHEE  
11-Sep-44 MAGDEBURG 126 29 44-40287 J J4 15 BACHELOR'S BEDLAM


April 8, 1944 - Battle damage to B-24H-10-DT 41-28671 J4 K

#671 was eventually repaired, but met her end on May 12, 1944 on an ill-fated Test Hop

(Photo: Aaron Oakes)


Lt. Davidson inspects the damage to his aircraft after their return to Horsham St. Faith.

Jack Vogelsang, Frank Boch, Frederick Frenz

(Photos: Anne Zimmer)


T/Sgt Joerger and 1Lt Davidson

Both were awarded DFC's for their actions on April 8th
(P
hoto: Anne Zimmer)

Confirmed Victories - April 8, 1944

T/Sgt Joerger and 2Lt Wyman were each credited with an enemy aircraft destroyed.

August 15, 1944 - Mission to Vechta

B-24J 44-40201 N J4  Silver Chief - Davidson and crew on one of their August missions
(Photo: David Manker)

Click images for larger view

S/Sgt Frederick Frenz, Jr - Mission List

FrenzMissionList
Msn # Date Target
1 2-Mar-44 FRANKFURT
2 9-Mar-44 BRANDENBURG
3 15-Mar-44 BRUNSWICK
4 24-Mar-44 ST. DIZIER
5 8-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM
6 9-Apr-44 TUTOW A/F
7 13-Apr-44 LECHFELD A/F
8 18-Apr-44 BRANDENBURG
9 22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y
10 24-Apr-44 LEIPHEIM A/F
11 25-Apr-44 MANNHEIM A/F
12 26-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F
13 1-May-44 MARQUISE/MIMOYECQUES 
14 13-May-44 TUTOW A/F
15 23-May-44 BOURGES

FrenzMissionList2
Msn # Date Target
16 25-May-44 MULHOUSE M/Y
17 31-May-44 5 BRIDGES
18 1-Aug-44 TGT's of OPP, FRANCE
19 2-Aug-44 3 NO BALLS
20 7-Aug-44 GHENT
21 8-Aug-44 CLASTRES
22 14-Aug-44 DOLE/TAVAUX
23 15-Aug-44 VECHTA
24 17-Aug-44 RR BRIDGE, FRANCE
25 25-Aug-44 MOERDIJK, NETHERLANDS 
26 26-Aug-44 DULMEN
27 1-Sep-44 RAVENSTEIN, HOLLAND
28 5-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE
29 9-Sep-44 MAINZ
30 11-Sep-44 MAGDEBURG

Courtesy Sharon Frenz Ferko

B-24H-20-CF 42-50320 J4 J  Bums Away

"Property of Crew 37 - All others hands off"
Standing:
Frank Boch, Gordon Wyman, Charles Joerger, Stephen Davidson, Don Nielsen
Kneeling: William Price, Jack Vogelsang, Orville Terry
Gordon Wyman beneath the tail.
After new paint job, "Circle-K" and part of serial still visible on rudder.

Crew "sweating out" the mission.

Crew around Horsham

"Dave" Davidson and T/Sgt Al Rohrs, Crew Chief, with Downwind Leg (left) and Jack Vogelsang, Foster, Orville Terry with the same aircraft.

Davidson and crew readying for a mission.  Gerry Banghardt, the crew's co-pilot (right)
(Photos: Anne Zimmer)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Crew before receiving their DFC's

Standing:
Charles Joerger, Donald Mallon, Donald Nielsen, Stephen Davidson, Jack Vogelsang
Kneeling: Frederick Frenz, Frank Boch

Stephen Davidson (Left) and Don Nielsen

Charles Joerger (left) and Frank Boch

Gordon Wyman (left) and Orville Terry

(Photos: FOLD3)