458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Sievertson Crew - Assigned 755th Squadron - August 8, 1944

Standing: Tom Ridner - E, Dave Jordan - RO, Thomas Hill - G, James Callahan - G, Perry Henegar - G, George Willie - G
Kneeling: Stanley Sievertson - P, Anthony Hurtenbach - CP, M.C. Miller - N, Al Roettele - B

(Photo: Jim Miller)

Sievertson Crew - Completed Tour

SievertsonCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Stanley A Sievertson 0699330 Pilot 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
1Lt Anthony W Hurtenbach  0823593 Co-pilot 03-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
2Lt Millard C Miller, Jr 0723141 Navigator 14-Oct-44 POW Wounded - Camp unknown 
2Lt Edward L Roettele, Jr 0771973 Bombardier 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
T/Sgt David S Jordan 16122598 Radio Operator 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
T/Sgt Thomas A Ridner 35797692 Flight Engineer 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
S/Sgt James J Callahan 13200618 Aerial Gunner 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
Pvt Thomas D Hill 39208167 Armorer-Gunner  18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
S/Sgt Perry M Henegar 34885508 Aerial Gunner 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave
S/Sgt George G Willie 37009933 Aerial Gunner 18-Feb-45 CT Rest Home Leave

Originally assigned to the 755th Squadron, the crew was transferred to the 752nd on October 23, 1944.  This was the date when all of the lead crews from the 752nd, 753rd, and 754th squadrons were consolidated into the 755th Squadron - the designated lead squadron for the group. The last entry in the records for most of the crew is in February 1945, when they were sent on Rest Home Leave.  The 755th and 752nd Squadron records indicate Sievertson had flown 35 missions by March 31, 1945.  It is probable that most of the crew completed the required tour of 35 combat missions around this same time.


The two exceptions are navigator 2Lt M.C. Miller and gunner Pvt. Thomas D. Hill.  Miller was chosen to be pilotage navigator on the deputy lead ship on the October 14, 1944 mission to Cologne, Germany.  Flying with 2Lt William Klusmeyer and crew, they were hit by flak over the target and had to abandon their aircraft.  All eleven men became POW's.  Miller was seriously wounded in the eye and spent several weeks undergoing treatment in a German hospital. 


Thomas Hill attained the rank of S/Sgt in December 1944.  When the crew were given time off at an Eighth Air Force rest home in February 1945, Hill must have had too good a time as he was reduced in rank to private.


Co-pilot, 2Lt Anthony Hurtenbach flew with the crew of 1Lt Louis D. Vehslage on the mission to Dortmund, Germany on January 28, 1945.  Damaged in the nose by flak, and the pilot wounded, the crew was forced to land on the Continent.  Hurtenbach was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions on this particular mission.  He also flew two missions, presumably towards the end of his tour, as first pilot.


Sievertson Crew Missions

SievertsonMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
24-Aug-44 HANNOVER 117 1 42-100407 R J3 40 LITTLE LAMBSY DIVEY  
27-Aug-44 FINOW 121 2 42-7516 K J3 29 GATOR MISSION CREDIT IN NOV
01-Sep-44 PFAFFENHOFFEN ABN -- 42-95120 M J3 -- HOOKEM COW / BETTY ABANDONED
08-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 123 3 41-29303 H Z5 39 LIBERTY LIB  
18-Sep-44 HORSHAM to CLASTRES TR02 -- 42-7642 N 44BG T1 M'DARLING LOAD No. 1
21-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR05 -- 41-29288 L J3 T4 BIG-TIME OPERATOR CARGO
23-Sep-44 HORSHAM to ST DIZIER TR07 -- 42-100404 S+ 445BG T1 THE GRIM REAPER ALSO PILOT GIESEN
25-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR08-1 -- 41-28719 Q J3 T5 PADDLEFOOT 1ST FLIGHT - NOT ON OPS LIST
26-Sep-44 HORSHAM to CLASTRES    TR09 -- 41-29352 K 752 T5 WOLVES LAIR  
27-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR10 -- 42-7642 N 44BG T8 M'DARLING TRUCKIN' MISSION
28-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR11 -- 42-7642 N 44BG T9 M'DARLING TRUCKIN' MISSION
30-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR13 -- 42-50320 H 755 T8 NO NAME TRUCKIN' MISSION
05-Oct-44 PADERBORN 128 4 42-95120 M J3 45 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
12-Oct-44 OSNABRUCK 132 5 42-51199 U Z5 4 UNKNOWN 023  
14-Oct-44 COLOGNE 133 6 42-51179 P J3 40 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE      
17-Oct-44 COLOGNE 135 7 42-95120 M J3 49 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ 136 8 42-95120 M J3 50 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG 139 9 42-100407 R 7V 52 LITTLE LAMBSY DIVEY  
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 10 42-100407 R 7V 54 LITTLE LAMBSY DIVEY  
06-Nov-44 MINDEN 143 11 42-100425 O 7V 35 THE BIRD  
10-Dec-44 BINGEN 154 12 44-40475 D 7V 15 JOLLY ROGER  
11-Dec-44 HANAU 155 13 42-100407 R 7V 59 LITTLE LAMBSY DIVEY  
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 14 44-40475 D 7V 18 JOLLY ROGER  
25-Dec-44 PRONSFELD 158 15 42-50608 W J3 14 FILTHY McNAUGTY  
01-Jan-45 KOBLENZ 163 16 42-95316 H 7V 63 PRINCESS PAT  
02-Jan-45 REMAGEN 164 17 42-95179 X 7V 69 HERE I GO AGAIN  
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 MSHL -- -- -- --   MARSHALLING CHIEF
07-Jan-45 RASTATT 166 18 42-100425 O 7V 43 THE BIRD  
14-Jan-45 HALLENDORF 170 19 42-51514 B 7V 2 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
21-Jan-45 HEILBRONN 173 20 42-51514 B 7V 4 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER BOMBED WITH B-17 GROUP
28-Jan-45 DORTMUND 174 21 42-51514 B 7V 5 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
31-Jan-45 BRUNSWICK 176 22 42-51514 B 7V 7 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER RECALL - SORTIE CREDIT
03-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 177 23 42-50578 Y J3 24 SKY ROOM SMOKE IN COCKPIT - ABORT SORTIE 
06-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 178 24 42-51514 B 7V 9 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
15-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 182 25 42-51514 B 7V 11 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
17-Feb-45 ASCHAFFENBURG M/Y REC -- 42-51514 B 7V -- BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER RECALL - WEATHER
01-Mar-45 INGOLSTADT 193 26 41-29352 K 7V 76 WOLVE'S LAIR  
03-Mar-45 NIENBURG 195 ASSY 41-28697 Z Z5 A68 SPOTTED APE ASSEMBLY CREW
07-Mar-45 SOEST 198 ABT 42-51514 B 7V -- BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER #3 ENG UNABLE TO FEATHER
08-Mar-45 DILLENBURG 199 27 42-51206 S 7V 49 THE PIED PIPER  
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE 203 28 42-51514 B 7V 23 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
18-Mar-45 BERLIN 206 29 42-51514 B 7V 26 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
20-Mar-45 HEMINGSTEDT 208 30 44-10487 R 7V 43 Girl on surfboard (no name)  
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 31 42-51514 B 7V 27 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
23-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK 211 32 42-51514 B 7V 28 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
24-Mar-45 KIRKOFF 213 33 42-51514 B 7V 29 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
30-Mar-45 WILHELMSHAVEN 215 34 42-51514 B 7V 30 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
31-Mar-45 BRUNSWICK 216 35 42-51514 B 7V 31 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER


Lt Anthony Hurtenbach Missions as 1st Pilot

HurtenbachMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
09-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK 200 1 42-51110 M 7V 86 TOP O' THE MARK   
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE  203 2 UNK ? 7V --   LAST 3 & RCL ILLEGIBLE 


Lt Stanley Sievertson - Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal

General Orders No. 63, Hq 2AD

16 February 1945

 

STANLEY A. SIEVERTSON, 0-699330, Second Lieutenant, Army Air Forces, United States Army.

For meritorious achievement, while serving as Pilot of a B-24 aircraft on a bombing mission to Germany, 21 January 1945.  Lieutenant Sievertson was delayed by mechanical difficulties in taking off for this mission.  Upon successfully becoming airborne, Lieutenant Sievertson attempted to intercept his Group and continue on to the target.  Adverse weather conditions had necessitated a change in the assembly rendezvous of which Lieutenant Sievertson was unaware.  However, he aggressively continued on and joined a formation of B-17’s with whom he successfully bombed an assigned target.  The devotion to duty, initiative and flying skill displayed by Lieutenant Sievertson on this occasion reflect high credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.  Entered military service from Minnesota.


MIA Telegram

Miller's father, a telegraph operator, received and typed this message about his son.

(Jim MIller)


Newspaper clippings


Lt. Miller Is Missing

Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Miller Sr., of Tellico Plains, have been informed by the War Department taht their son, Lt. Millard Clarence Miller, Jr., 20, has been missing in action over Germany since Oct. 14.

Lieutenant Miller, a navigator on a B-24, has been in service two years and overseas since July.

He is a member of Tellico Plains Baptist Church and a graduate of Tellico Plains High School.  He attended Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, before entering the Air Corps.


Click for larger image

Wires Give Good News To Operator

Telegraph keys cheerfully chattered out a message of Christmas joy on Saturday for Millard C. Miller, Tellico PLains telegrapher station agent - a message that his son, Ly. M. C. Miller Jr., reported missing in action Oct. 14, is alive and a prisoner of Germany.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller had heard nothing of their son since he was listed as missing.

A pre-medical student at Carson-Newman College, Miller volunteered in 1942 and after training at Miami, Clemson College and Casper, Wyo., went overseas as navigator on a B-24 Liberator bomber and was a navigator when reported missing.

Click for larger image



Parents Learn Missing Son Is in German Camp


Special To The News-Sentinal

TELLICO PLAINS - Better news followed bad news for Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Miller.  First they were told that their son, Lt. M. C. Miller Jr., navigator on a bomber, was reported missing in action over Germany Oct. 14. Later they were notified he was a prisoner of war of the Germans.  They have received a card from Lt. Miller, dated Nov. 8, in which he said, "The doctors have done a swell job in fixing my scratches, so don't worry.  I am practically as good as new already.  The Red Cross parcels are swell."

Click for larger image


(Courtesy: Jim Miller)

Miller's note to parents

Prisoner of War Camp   8 November 1944


Dear Folks,

Hope you are all well and happy while I am enjoying my little visit in Germany.  The doctors have done a swell job of fixing my scratches, so don't worry.  I'm practically good as new already.  The Red Cross parcels are coveted.  Tell Ronnie hello.  I'll write when I can.  Love...


(Courtesy: Jim Miller)


Ernie Sands (left) and M.C., Miller - 1998

On October 14, 1944, the 458th was assigned Cologne, Germany as its intended target.  The deputy lead aircraft of the last section was piloted by 2Lt William Klusmeyer.  M.C. Miller was chosen to be the pilotage navigator for this mission and his assigned station was in the nose turret.  His regular crew was flying ahead in the first section.


Flak over the target was intense, and just as the bombs were released, Klusmeyer’s aircraft was hit by three flak bursts, the first hit number three engine, setting it on fire.  The second burst hit the nose turret, and the third hit the ball turret with such force that the turret was shoved back up into the plane.  The bail out order was given and the men moved to exit the aircraft.  The bomb bay doors were stuck closed at this point, so after extricating Miller from the nose turret – he was hit badly in the face and one eye was hanging on his cheek – Ernie Sands, Klusmeyer’s bombardier, moved Miller back through the ship to the camera hatch.  He gave him two shots of morphine, attached a 50 foot line to his parachute rip cord, and pushed him out.  Sands went back to the nose and destroyed the Norden bombsight.  He and Robert Ferrell, the DR navigator, then exited from the nose wheel well.


Miller landed in a vineyard near a river where he was picked up by a German non-commissioned officer and a few soldiers.  They got him to a hospital where he received very good care.  He was in the hospital for five to six weeks where his left eye was to be removed due to the extent of the damage, but a surgeon with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel examined him and thought he could save his eye if he could experiment with different treatments.  His optic nerve was stimulated with radio waves and after the first treatment he could see light.  [Miller remembered the doctor was from Hess and his last name was the Germanized form of Miller.  He said he and the doctor could have been distant cousins because Miller’s family was from Hess, a state outside Munich.]


Sands landed on the other side of the river from the rest of the crew and managed to evade capture for seven days, making his way under cover of darkness almost 90 miles south.  He was finally stopped by a river that he could not cross and was captured attempting to steal a boat.  A police officer from a nearby small town arrived after he was caught, knelt on Sands’ chest pointed his gun at Sands’ forehead, and said, “For you, the war is over.”  Before he could fire, another officer stopped him and they then took him to the nearby town.  When they arrived at the main street, the officers told him to run to the other end of the town.  Instead, Sands walked the four-block-long street while being pelted with potatoes and apples thrown by the women and old men and rocks thrown by the boys.  He made it to the end of the street and the officers took him to the local jail.  He was sent to Dulag Luft, the interrogation camp near Frankfurt and then on to Stalag Luft III.


Sands and Miller did not see each other again for 20 years, each believing the other did not make it through that last mission.  Miller saw Sands’ name in an ex-POW bulletin and called him.  They have visited each other and have been good friends ever since.


The above photo and text was compiled from and article in The Daily Post-Athenian (October 23-25, 1998) and a taped interview with Ernie Sands.