458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Hendrickson Crew - Assigned 752nd Squadron - March 24, 1945

Back Row: Arthur Kidd - N, Unknown, Carl Statler - CP, Unknown
Front Row, far right: Edward Bell - G

If you can identify the rest of the crew please contact me.

(Photo: Kathy Kidd Rivers)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

HendricksonCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
2Lt Glen E Hendrickson 0741901 Pilot 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
2Lt Carl W Statler 0700343 Co-pilot 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
2Lt Arthur W Kidd 02073147 Navigator 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
2Lt David E Hibbett 0703386 Bombardier 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
Sgt Leonard A Swarc 13171779 Radio Operator 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
Sgt Wallace F Dolwick 35233804 Flight Engineer 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
Sgt Constantine P Alexander  36865524 Armorer-Gunner  17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn 
Sgt Edward E Bell 18118431 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
Sgt Marlin E Frick 36297076 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn
Sgt Edward Mitchell 42130841 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755th Sqdn

Hendrickson and crew arrived at Horsham in late March 1945, 31 days prior to the end of the Eighth Air Force’s operations in Europe.  Their first mission on April 7th to an explosives plant at Krummel, Germany was flown in B-24H-15-CF 41-29567 7V G My Bunnie.  This aircraft had originally been named Bambi and had come over from the 34BG in late August 1944 after flying a total of 63 missions with that group.  On this particular date, Hendrickson and crew were taking off on the ship’s 26th mission with the 458th.  This old aircraft served them well, as the mission was uneventful and all aircraft and crews made it back to base.

Three more missions to Germany followed in the next week, and then one to France which saw the first use of napalm by the 458th on the German garrison in Royan. 


On April 18th, part of the crew was chosen to take up My Bunnie in order to slow time an engine.  After more than 90 landings in all of this aircraft’s missions, a vital piece of equipment would fail, but the four-man crew would escape injury.  Two days later they flew their last mission.


Many of the crews who had not yet completed a combat tour were detailed to fly the group’s B-24’s back to the U.S.  On May 17, 1945 the crew was transferred to the 755th Squadron and they were assigned a fairly new Liberator, B-24LHO-15-FO 44-49910 D, to ferry across the Atlantic.  This aircraft had flown its only mission with the 458th on March 9, 1945 to Osnabruck, Germany.  The ten-man crew along with five ground men left Horsham in June 1945.


Missions

HendricksonMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
07-Apr-45 KRUMMEL 220 1 41-29567 G 7V 24 MY BUNNIE / BAMBI  
08-Apr-45 UNTERSCHLAUERSBACH  221 2 44-50766 J 7V 5 YOU'VE HAD IT  
10-Apr-45 RECHLIN/LARZ 223 3 44-50766 J 7V 6 YOU'VE HAD IT  
11-Apr-45  REGENSBURG 224 4 44-50766 J 7V 7 YOU'VE HAD IT  
15-Apr-45 ROYAN AREA 226 5 42-50504 L 7V 37 UNKNOWN 019  
16-Apr-45 LANDSHUT 227 6 44-50766 J 7V 10 YOU'VE HAD IT  
18-Apr-45 PASSAU 228 ACC 41-29567 G 7V -- MY BUNNIE / BAMBI LANDING ACCIDENT 
19-Apr-45 ZWIESEL SCR -- 44-50766 J 7V -- YOU'VE HAD IT SCRUBBED
20-Apr-45 ZWIESEL 229 7 42-50504 L 7V 38 UNKNOWN 019


April 18, 1945 - Slow timing an engine...

B-24H -156-CF 41-29567 G My Bunnie


Accident Report 45-4-18-525


DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT

The pilot made a normal nose up landing, and when the nose touched the runway the plane has a tendency to turn to the left.  The pilot used heavy right brake in attempting to keep the aircraft on the runway, but the airplane went off the runway and collapsed the nose wheel assembly, blew the right tire, and damaged the skin at stations 1.0 and 2.0.  The flight engineer checked the nose wheel in its down position and reported nose gear down and locked.  The shimmy dampner [sic] was performing its function in keeping nose wheel strut straight forward, but the nose wheel was in a leaning position due to the cracked nose wheel strut collar, thereby rendering the castoring qualities of the nose wheel strut ineffective causing the aircraft to continue turning to the left regardless of amount of rudder used or brake applied to straighten airplane on its course.  Apparently the nose wheel strut collar was weakened sufficiently by previous landings to crack on this landing.


Immediate Cause – Airplane veered off runway and nose wheel assembly collapsed.


Underlying Cause – Collar of nose wheel strut cracked holding the nose wheel in a turned position to the left.


Responsibility – 100% Material Failure


Recommendations – None


18 APRIL 1945
FLYING CONTROL


ACCIDENT STATEMENT

At approximately 15:25 hours this date, B-24 567 G, pilot Lt. Hendrickson, 752nd Sqdn, landed and had nose wheel trouble which forced the aircraft off the left side of the runway.  The right main tire blew after hitting the cement base for an angle of approach indicator, the nose wheel collapsed.  None of the crew were injured and other damage to aircraft is estimated as slight.  Runway in use at the time of accident was R/W 35 into the NNW.  Weather: NNW at 6 M.P.H; viz: 10 miles.



22 April 1945


PILOT’S STATEMENT

Made normal landing.  Airspeed 120 to 125.  Cut all power on flare out.  Tail low, main wheels made contact with runway at 100 mph or less.  Had wheel [control column] all the way back and let nose wheel make contact with runway on its own accord.  Relaxed on wheel and started very gently to put brakes on.  Ship started very slowly to the left side, relaxed left brake, kept right brake on, no response; put more pressure on right brake, still kept going to the left.  Applied full power on right brake.  Ship kept going left.  Called to Co-Pilot for right brake.  He applied right brake.  Still going left.  End of runway approaching, side of runway very close.  Applied power to #1 Engine, left wheel going off, cut power.  Ship swinging rapidly to the left, coming to stop.  Co-Pilot cut switches as nose started down.



ENGINEERS STATEMENT

After the gear went down, I went to the waist and checked for gear down and it was okay, then went to the nose and checked nose wheel down, the latch was in place.  Came back and told Pilot both were locked.  I had just turned the generators off and was starting the putt-putt.  Could feel the ship swerve after it hit the ground.  The brakes were being applied because I could hear the tires skidding; kept pulling towards side of runway.  Nose wheel had to be down if not the nose wheel would have bounced back into ship.


June 1945

Hendrickson Crew and ground men prepare to leave for the States in B-24LHO-15 FO 44-49910 D
Click for larger image

Back Row: Unknown, Arthur Kidd, Carl Statler, Unknown
Middle Row, 4th from left: Edward Bell

If anyone can identify the rest of the crew please contact me.
(Photo: NARA, ID's: Kathy Kidd Rivers)