458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Geiger Crew - 752nd Squadron - Assigned March 28, 1945

Standing, 2nd from Left: Paul Berkeley - E, Far Right: Nicholas Bahnick - G
Kneeling: Fred Renkewitz - N, C. Gregg Geiger - P, Louzon Tinsley - CP

If you can identify anyone on this crew, please contact me.
(Photo: Steve Tinsley)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

GeigerCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial # Pos Date Status  Comments
2Lt Clement G Geiger 01051141 Pilot 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
2Lt Louzon Z Tinsley 02059179 Co-pilot 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
F/O Fred E Renkewitz T134986 Navigator 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
Sgt Seymour A Reisman 16169097 Radio Operator 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
Sgt Paul G Berkeley 35058626 Flight Engineer 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall 
Sgt David E Adkins 11120429 Armorer-Gunner  25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
Sgt Nicholas Bahnick 33837294 Aerial Gunner 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
Sgt Kenton E McElhatten  13088635 Aerial Gunner 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall
Sgt Charles L Richard 18171856 Aerial Gunner 25-Apr-45 FEH Load List - Bad Reichenhall

On March 28, 1945 no one was aware that there were only 28 days left until the 8th AF would cease all combat operations over Europe.  It was on this date that Geiger's crew was assigned to the 752nd Squadron.  After two weeks of in theater indoctrination, Geiger and crew flew their first mission to Regensburg on April 11, 1945.  They participated in every operational mission the 458th flew after that until the air war ended on April 25th.


The April 14th mission to Pointe De Grave did not begin well for the 458th.  Two aircraft piloted by 2Lt Rex Gibson of the 752nd Squadron and 2Lt David Totten of the 754th, crashed shortly after takeoff.  Both of these crews had been assigned to the group on the same day as the Geiger crew.  Flying their second mission, the Geiger crew was assigned an older, olive drab B-24H named My Bunnie with what had once been a rather well endowed female on the nose being ogled by a Bugs Bunny character.  Most of the artwork had by this time been painted over with a large, more practical tail number and call letter of the aircraft "567-G".  They flew in the far right element of the lead squadron.


Mission records state: “SAV (Strike Attack Vertical) [photos] shows first and third squadron [bombing] results excellent, second squadron fair, and fourth squadron fair to poor.  We quote [a] letter from General Jacob L. Devers, commanding general of the Sixth Army Group, which was forwarded to General Doolittle and in return down to the groups participating in this mission. Quote ‘General De Larminat, commanding the army detachment of the Atlantic, wishes me to express his sincere gratitude for the cooperation you and the members of your command exhibited in the planning and execution of Operation Venerable.  The weight and accuracy of the bombing effort on the heavily fortified areas of Royan and Pointe De Grave achieved excellent results and made it possible to open the Gironde estuary with a minimum of casualties to our ground forces.  Your forces showed a high sense of combat efficiency and camaraderie in the accomplishment of a job well done.’ Unquote Receiving such a splendid commendation made every man in the organization feel proud of the greatest Air Force in the world.”


The next day 458th crews headed for the Royan area (near Pointe De Grave).  Ordnance consisted of a new type of "jellied gasoline bomb" called Napalm.  Most planes carried several 75 and 85 gallon tanks that were prone to leaking.  Several other planes in the group carried M47 incendiaries.  Twenty-seven of the group's aircraft, including Geiger and crew flying My Bunnie again, made it to the target area dropping 45 napalm tanks and 156 M47's for good results.


The next four missions were to Germany, the last on the 25th to a railroad target at Bad Reichenhall.


Geiger Crew Missions

GeigerMissions
Date  Target  458th Msn   Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
11-Apr-45 REGENSBURG 224 1 44-10487 R 7V 57 Girl on surfboard (no name)  
14-Apr-45 POINTE DE GRAVE 225 2 41-29567 G 7V 26 MY BUNNIE / BAMBI  
15-Apr-45 ROYAN AREA 226 3 41-29567 G 7V 27 MY BUNNIE / BAMBI  
16-Apr-45 LANDSHUT 227 4 44-10487 R 7V 58 Girl on surfboard (no name)   
18-Apr-45  PASSAU 228 5 42-51270 A 7V 42 MY BUNNIE II  
19-Apr-45 ZWIESEL SCR -- 42-51270 A 7V -- MY BUNNIE II SCRUBBED 
20-Apr-45 ZWIESEL 229 6 44-40475 D 7V 38 JOLLY ROGER  
25-Apr-45 BAD REICHENHALL  230 7 42-50502 E 7V 70 LARRUPIN' LINDA


2Lt C. Gregg Geiger

Pictured in North Africa in August 1943; and at Horsham St Faith in 1945

(Photo: Julie Shannon)

Aviation Cadet Louzon M. Tinsley

Louzon Tinsley( left) during his flight training

(Photo: Steve Tinsley)

April 14, 1945

Briefing Room & Map - Pointe De Grave, France
 
Geiger and crew flew B-24H-15-CF 41-29567 7V G named My Bunnie on this mission


June 1945

B-24J-5-FO 42-50791 Judy Sue from the 466BG 787BS
Standing: (2nd from left, sunglasses) Fred Renkewitz , (4th & 5th from left) Louzon Tinsley & C. Gregg Geiger
Middle row (7 men): 5th from left, Paul Berkeley

Geiger and crew would ferry this Liberator back to the States in June 1945

(Photo: FOLD3)

Layover in Iceland

(Photo: Julie Shannon)