458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Speer Crew - Assigned 753rd Squadron - May 26, 1944

Kneeling: Maurice Speer - P, Weldon Cronkite - CP, Alfred Peterson - N, Jack Halvorson - B

If anyone can identify the other crewmen, please contact me.

(Photo: Michael Cronkite)

Speer Crew - Transferred/Completed Tour

SpeerCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
Maj Maurice E Speer 0355246 Pilot/Cmd Pilot Nov-44 CT 754 Sqdn Operations Officer
1Lt Weldon O Cronkite 0761047 Co-pilot Jan-45 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
1Lt Jack L Halvorson 0699071 Bombardier Jan-45 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour
2Lt Alfred E Peterson 0701383 Navigator 01-Jul-44 TRSF Trsf 388BG with Lansing Crew
T/Sgt Richard O Lohr 17068257 Flight Engineer 01-Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour 
T/Sgt Luther W Anderson 34724854 Radio Operator 30-Dec-44 UNK TD to AAF 114 - Hethel
Sgt Daniel A DePasquale 32732399 Armorer-Gunner  01-Jul-44 TRSF Trsf 388BG with Larned Crew
Sgt Oliver F Kirkendall 15331837 Aerial Gunner 01-Jul-44 TRSF Trsf 388BG with Larned Crew
Sgt Bernard Maleski 35137889 Aerial Gunner 01-Jul-44 TRSF Trsf 388BG with Larned Crew
Sgt Cataldo Scatamacchia  32497074 Aerial Gunner 01-Jul-44 TRSF Trsf 388BG with Larned Crew

Maurice Speer and crew were one of ten specially trained AZON crews who were assigned to the 458th in the spring of 1944.  Originally intended for duty in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater, their orders were changed en route and they flew to England instead.

 

The four officers, flight engineer and radio operator that had trained together arrived in England in May 1944.   The four gunners, not on board the AZON aircraft en route to the combat zone, continued on to the CBI, being replaced by four different gunners once the crew arrived in England.


The specially modified B-24J they flew over from the States was 44-40285 Table Stuff.


This crew was broken up in July 1944.  Two other AZON crews, along with the navigator and all four gunners of Speer's crew were transferred to the 388th Bombardment Group (H) at Knettishall in July 1944.  Lt Peterson, navigator, was transferred with 2Lt John Lansing's crew, and Sgt's Depasquale, Kirkendall, Maleski, and Scatmacchia, gunners, were transferred with 2Lt John Larned's crew.  The combat records and status of these crews with the 388th is unknown.  Half of Speer's crew stayed with the 458th and flew additional missions.


After flying numerous missions as first pilot, and then command pilot, Maurice Speer finished his time in the 458th with the rank of Major and a job in the Group HQ section.


Lt Cronkite, co-pilot, Lt Halvorson, bombardier, and T/Sgt Anderson, radio operator all completed their combat tours with the 458th.  Cronkite and Halvorson were sent back to the States, while Anderson was transferred to AAF 114 at Hethel and the 389th Bombardment Group (H).  His activities there are unknown.


T/Sgt Richard Lohr (or Lehr) was with the 753rd until at least August 1, 1944.  It is there that his name ceases to be found in group or squadron records.


Speer Crew Missions

SpeerMissions
Date  Target  Pilot 458th Msn Speer Msn  Cmd Pilot Ld  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
08-Jun-44 UNSPECIFIED TARGETS  SPEER AZ04 --     44-40285 H J4 -- TABLE STUFF ABANDONED - WEATHER
14-Jun-44 5 TARGETS SPEER AZ06 1     44-40285 H J4 2 TABLE STUFF  
15-Jun-44 3 RAILWAY BRIDGES SPEER AZ07 2     44-40285 H J4 3 TABLE STUFF  
22-Jun-44 Saumer/Tours - Bridges SPEER AZ09 3     44-40285 H J4 4 TABLE STUFF DOWN AT ANOTHER FIELD 
29-Jun-44 ASCHERSLEBEN SPEER 82 4     41-28721 V 7V 35 DOWNWIND LEG  
08-Jul-44 ANIZY, FRANCE SPEER 87 5     44-40285 H J4 6 TABLE STUFF  
13-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN SPEER 90 6     44-40285 H J4 9 TABLE STUFF  
18-Jul-44 TROARN SPEER 93 7     44-40285 H J4 11 TABLE STUFF  
19-Jul-44 KEMPTEN SPEER 94 8     44-40285 H J4 12 TABLE STUFF  
20-Jul-44 EISENACH SPEER 95 9     44-40285 H J4 13 TABLE STUFF  
24-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA SPEER 97 10     44-40285 H J4 15 TABLE STUFF  
04-Aug-44 ACHIET A/F URBANIAK 104 11 SPEER D1 42-109812 D 7V 34 UNKNOWN 016  
09-Aug-44 SAARBRUCKEN HAYZLETT 109 12 SPEER L3 42-50499 F 7V 5 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
15-Aug-44 VECHTA VERMEIREN 114 13 SPEER D1 42-50599 K T9 -- 466BG/784SQ  
26-Aug-44 DULMEN ROBERTS, J 120 14 SPEER L1 42-50502 A 7V 3 LARRUPIN' LINDA  
01-Sep-44 PFAFFENHOFFEN HAYZLETT ABN -- SPEER L3 44-10487 B 7V -- Girl on Surfboard ABANDONED
10-Sep-44 ULM M/Y HANSEN 125 15 SPEER L1 42-50578 F Z5 13 SKY ROOM  
12-Oct-44 OSNABRUCK HANSEN 132 16 SPEER L1 42-50578 F Z5 14 SKY ROOM  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG SIMES 139 17 SPEER D1 42-50954 A+ J3 3 UNKNOWN 021  
10-Nov-44 HANAU A/F HEMRICH 146 18 SPEER L 42-50740 F J3 8 OUR BURMA  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG ROBERTS, J 148 19 SPEER L2 42-50502 T J3 15 LARRUPIN' LINDA  
10-Dec-44 BINGEN HARRISON 154 20 SPEER D1 503 L GH --   NOT 458TH SHIP/PILOT
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN GARRISON 157 21 SPEER D4 717 Y GH --   NOT 458TH SHIP/PILOT
30-Dec-44 NEUWIED JONES 161 22 SPEER D1 109 A GH --   NOT 458TH SHIP/PILOT
07-Jan-45 RASTATT NO__NDIN 166 23 SPEER D1 717 Y GH --   NOT 458TH SHIP/PILOT
14-Jan-45 HALLENDORF BOWERS 170 24 SPEER L3 42-51669 J J3 4 UNKNOWN 026  
29-Jan-45 MUNSTER MORFORD 175 25 SPEER D1 42-51936 I J3 7 UNKNOWN 027  
14-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG HAYZLETT 181 ABT SPEER L1 44-48837 L J3 -- UNKNOWN 041 MICKEY EQUIP OUT
15-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG BOWERS 182 26 SPEER D1 44-49743 F J3 14 EASTERN BEAST


Horsham St Faith - Spring 1944


Standing: Maurice Speer, Weldon Cronkite, Alfred Peterson, Jack Halvorson


B-24JAZ-155-CO 44-40285  J4 H  Table Stuff


Distinguished Flying Cross

Maj Gen William E. Kepner ,2nd Air Division CO, awards Maj Speer the DFC