458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Eisert Crew - Assigned 755th Squadron - September 11, 1944

Standing: James Heitz - WG, Albert Weitz - E, Lawrence Harrington - G, Robert Gellock - G, Thomas Trowbridge - TG, Gunther Hepprich - RO
Kneeling: Fred Eisert - P, Walter Schuch - CP, Boyd Lawson - B, Peter Fedunak - N

(Photo: Pam Beckett & Scott Clark)

Completed Tour

EisertCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
Capt Frederick J Eisert 0433086 Pilot 02-May-45 CT Assigned HQ Det 458th Air Insp 
1Lt Walter A Schuch 0828547 Co-pilot 30-Mar-45 CT 35th Mission
1Lt Peter Fedunak 02058445 Navigator 09-Apr-45 CT Air Crew Leave
1Lt Boyd L Lawson 0773407 Bombardier May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
T/Sgt Gunther O Hepprich 12190029 Radio Operator May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
T/Sgt Albert E Weitz 36817748 Flight Engineer May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt James Heitz 17075590 Aerial Gunner May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Lawrence Harrington 34572856 Aerial Gunner May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Robert P Gellock, Jr 33829623 Armorer-Gunner  May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Thomas J Trowbridge  37682297 Aerial Gunner May-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI

1Lt Fred J. Eisert and his crew arrived at Horsham St. Faith on September 11, 1944, just as the group was coming off of combat operations for a month in order to ferry gasoline to Patton’s army in France.  The crew flew their first mission on October 5, 1944 to Paderborn, Germany, and their last on April 25, 1945 to Bad Reichenhall, the last Eighth Air Force mission of the war.  The crew’s entire combat tour consisted of targets in Germany, including one trip to Berlin, and five missions to Magdeburg, four of which were flown consecutively.  Eisert flew five missions as squadron lead and one (April 25, 1945) as deputy group lead.  The crew received a commendation for their efforts on the March 19, 1945 mission to Leipheim.  They led the second squadron over the target, and bombardier 1Lt Edouard Jacques achieved “Excellent” bombing results with his drop.  Most of the crew were transferred to the 70th Replacement Depot in May 1945 and then rotated back to the States.


The crew was originally assigned to the 755th Squadron, but was transferred to the 752nd Squadron on October 23, 1944.  It was at this time that the group had decided the 755th Squadron was going to be filled with lead crews, so many of the crews in all squadrons were shuffled around.  Eisert flew 13 missions with the 752nd during October and November.  At the end of November the crew was evidently chosen for lead training and their missions ceased for one month.  They were all transferred back into the 755th Squadron on December 20th with the exception of co-pilot Walter Schuch, whose seat would be occupied by a command pilot.


A new addition to the crew included 2Lt Edouard J. Jacques, bombardier, who had been assigned as part of 2Lt Merlin E. Tebbs' crew in early August.  2Lt Boyd Lawson assumed the duties of pilotage navigator and in January 2Lt Harold P. Cahn, an individual replacement, was brought onto the crew as its Mickey (radar) Navigator.  2Lt Peter Fedunak maintained his position as Dead Reckoning (DR) Navigator.  While the crew was qualified to lead, it appears that they were called upon to fly in this capacity only six times during their remaining 19 missions.


Walter Schuch’s flight records and diary (below) show that he flew as co-pilot and Instructor Pilot on his remaining missions.  The 458th only listed the first pilot on its formation charts, and it appears that Schuch flew five missions in this capacity, but which crew or crews he flew with is not known.  After the war he remained in service, serving in the ATC (Air Transport Command) and ferrying different types of aircraft (many B-24's) to and from various locations in the States.  He eventually attained the rank of captain.

Fred Eisert Missions Flown as 1st Pilot

EisertMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
19-Sep-44 HORSHAM to CLASTRES  TR03 -- 42-52293 G J3 T2 JUDY'S BUGGY CARGO
22-Sep-44 HORSHAM to CLASTRES TR06 -- 42-7642 N 44BG T3 M'DARLING TRUCKIN' MISSION
23-Sep-44 HORSHAM to ST DIZIER TR07 -- 41-28785 B 44BG T4 NOT 458TH SHIP ON LOAN FOR TRUCKIN'
25-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR08-1 -- 42-94996 G+ 389BG T2 LIBERTY BELLE 1ST FLIGHT
25-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR08-2 -- 42-94996 G+ 389BG T3 LIBERTY BELLE 2ND FLIGHT
27-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR10 -- 42-64473 R+ 453BG T3 YUVADIT 1ST FLIGHT
27-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR10 -- 42-64473 R+ 453BG T4 YUVADIT 2ND FLIGHT
28-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR11 -- 41-29276 G 754 T10 URGIN VIRGIN/The ROTTEN SOCK  TRUCKIN' MISSION
29-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR12 -- 42-64473 R+ 453BG T5 YUVADIT TRUCKIN' MISSION
30-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR13 -- 42-64473 R+ 453BG T6 YUVADIT TRUCKIN' MISSION
05-Oct-44 PADERBORN 128 1 42-51215 T 7V 1 UNKNOWN 024  
06-Oct-44 WENZENDORF 129 ABT 42-95120 M J3 -- HOOKEM COW / BETTY #4 ENG; #1 SUPER CHG 
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 2 42-51206 S 7V 3 THE PIED PIPER  
15-Oct-44 MONHEIM 134 3 42-51215 T 7V 5 UNKNOWN 024  
17-Oct-44 COLOGNE 135 4 42-51206 S 7V 8 THE PIED PIPER  
22-Oct-44 HAMM 137 5 42-51206 S 7V 10 THE PIED PIPER  
02-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 140 6 42-51215 B 7V 9 UNKNOWN 024  
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 7 42-95316 H 7V 52 PRINCESS PAT  
05-Nov-44 KARLSRUHE 142 8 42-51206 S 7V 15 THE PIED PIPER  
10-Nov-44 HANAU A/F 146 9 42-95165 L 7V 44 COOKIE  
16-Nov-44 ESCHWEILER 147 10 42-100425 O 7V 36 THE BIRD  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 11 42-52457 Q 7V 68 FINAL APPROACH  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 150 12 42-95165 L 7V 47 COOKIE 2BD
25-Dec-44 PRONSFELD 158 13 44-10602 P J3 21 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
01-Jan-45 KOBLENZ 163 14 44-10602 P J3 22 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
08-Jan-45 STADTKYLL 167 15 44-10602 P J3 25 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
16-Jan-45 MAGDEBURG 171 16 44-10602 A J3 26 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
03-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 177 17 44-48837 L J3 5 UNKNOWN 041 COMPOSITE SQDN w/466
06-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 178 18 44-10618 T J3 1 UNKNOWN 038  
09-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 179 19 42-50499 U J3 32 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
17-Feb-45 ASCHAFFENBURG M/Y REC -- 44-10602 E J4 -- TEN GUN DOTTIE RECALL - WEATHER
23-Feb-45 GERA-REICHENBACH 187 ABT 42-50516 V J3 -- STARDUST #1, 2 TURBOS
24-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 188 20 42-51939 G J3 17 UNKNOWN 028 REPLACED 557
26-Feb-45 BERLIN 190 21 42-50740 Q J3 25 OUR BURMA  
27-Feb-45 HALLE 191 22 42-51939 G J3 20 UNKNOWN 028 LEAD 2nd SEC
01-Mar-45 INGOLSTADT 193 23 42-51939 G J3 21 UNKNOWN 028 LEAD 3rd SEC
05-Mar-45 HARBURG 197 24 42-50740 Q J3 27 OUR BURMA  
09-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK 200 25 42-50504 S J3 29 UNKNOWN 019  
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE 203 26 42-51939 G J3 24 UNKNOWN 028  
17-Mar-45 HANNOVER 205 27 42-51743 F J3 22 UNKNOWN 006 LEAD 2nd SEC
19-Mar-45 LEIPHEIM 207 28 42-51743 F J3 24 UNKNOWN 006 LEAD 2nd SEC
05-Apr-45 PLAUEN 218 29 42-51743 F J3 32 UNKNOWN 006  
25-Apr-45 BAD REICHENHALL 230 30 44-50693 P J3 5 UNKNOWN 054 DEP LEAD GROUP


Studying the route to the target...

Back Row: James Heitz, Fred Eisert, Robert Gellock
Middle Row: Albert Weitz, Lawrence Harrington, Thomas Trowbridge, Gunther Hepprich, Ed Jacques, Unknown Officer(possibly Harold Cahn)
Kneeling:Peter Fedunak


Standing: James Heitz, Albert Weitz, Fred Eisert, Lawrence Harrington, Thomas Trowbridge, Peter Fedunak
Sitting: Robert Gellock, Ed Jacques, Gunther Hepprich
(Photos: Pam Beckett)

March 19, 1945 - Leipheim, Germany

From the 458th Combat Diary:

"On the 19th we were again favoured with a visual run and proved that the eyes of the bombardiers had not lost their old keenness after such a prolonged run of instrument bombing.  Our hapless victim for the day was the A/F at Leipheim, the first A/B we have attacked in quite some time.  This was the 3rd largest producer of the jet ME-262’s therefore warranted some good bombing results.  Major La Valle, Captains Simes and Polliard led 28 A/C over the target dropping 96x500 GP’s and 178 M17’s by visual methods with excellent results.  Crews reported good to excellent results and SAV’s show incendiaries hitting in the target area with a large part of [the] pattern around [the] MPI.  GP’s also around MPI. and severing part of the runway.  And how’s this for getting them within the 2000’ circle?  Lead squadron: 100%, 2nd squadron: 80%, and the 3rd squadron: 97%.  Boy that is bombing accuracy any way one wants to look at it.  Now give us a few more visual runs and let us show what we can accomplish.”


Click for larger image

(Certificate courtesy: Scott Clark)


1Lt Walter A. Schuch's Missions Flown as 1st Pilot

SchuchMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 1 41-29340 N 7V 73 YANKEE BUZZ BOMB  
23-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK 211 2 44-10487 R 7V 46 Girl on surfboard (no name)   
24-Mar-45 KIRKOFF 213 3 42-50575 O J3 26 UNKNOWN 020  
25-Mar-45 HITZACKER 214 4 42-52457 Q 7V 108 FINAL APPROACH DROPPED 12mi OFF TARGET 
30-Mar-45 WILHELMSHAVEN  215 5 44-10487 R 7V 49 Girl on surfboard (no name)


Mission Diary of Lt Walter A. Schuch

GAS HAULS   [See "Truckin' Missions" page]

9/19/44 - “JUDY’S BUGGY” 642N    St. Quentin (Clastres)


9/20/44 -       “         “           -- Return To Base

NOSE WHEEL COLLAPSED AT HORSHAM


9/23/44 – 785B-Baker    St. Dizier

WASHED OUT LEFT GEAR – RUNWAY CAVED IN


9/24/44 –  473R-Roger  - “YUVADIT” (Two)    LILLE & RETURN


9/27/44 – “YUVADIT” – LILLE – BASE – LILLE


9/28/44 – “YUVADIT” – BASE  FROM LILLE


9/29/44 –“ YUVADIT” – LILLE


9/30/44 – “YUVADIT” – RETURN TO BASE & TO LILLE


10/1/44 – “YUVADIT” – LILLE TO BASE

B-24H-10-CF 42-64473 H6 R+  YUVADIT    735BS 453BG
(Courtesy: Alan Griffith via B24BestWeb.com)
10/3/44 – “LAST CARD LOUIE”  441I-Item   LILLE & RETURN

10/6/44 – “HOOKEM COW”  120M    WENZENDORF A.F.
LOST #1 TURBO ON TAKE-OFF – BLEW CYL. ON #4 AT ASSEMBLY.  BAD GAS & OIL LEAK IN #4 HAD TO FEATHER & ABORT FORMATION.  LOAD- 6000 lbs INCENDIARY

10/7/44 – “PIED PIEPER”[sic]    MAGDABURG [sic]
ENGINES NO GOOD – NO TAKEOFF

10/7/44 – “SKERBY” 245J    LILLE & RETURN

10/15/44 – “STINKY”  215T- Tare    MANNHEIM  (P)
TIME - 6:00, LOAD – 16 250# G.P,  40 M17 INCD  
VISUAL – LIGHT & HEAVY FLAK

10/17/44 – “PIED PIEPER”  206S    (LEVERKUSEN) COLOGNE  (P)
TIME – 6:15, LOAD – 16X250 GP, 4 – M17 500# P.F.F.
FLAK GALORE – SHIP IN FRONT BLEW UP DIRECT HIT

10/22/44 – “PIED PIEPER” 206S    HAMM  (P)
TIME – 6:30, LOAD 8X1000 G.P.   P.F.F.
SEEN IT COMING BUT GOD WAS WITH US. HIT IN WAIST, TAIL & 31 ENGINE

11/2/44 – “ STINKY” 215T    BIELEFELD   (P)
TIME – 6:30, LOAD 16X250 G.P. 4XM17 500#  P.F.F.
VERY LIGHT FLAK – THANK GOD FOR THAT

11/4/44 – “PRINCESS PAT”  316H     HANOVER (MISBURG)  (P)
TIME – 7:00  LOAD 12X500GP  PFF-H2X
INTENSE FLAK  DON’T KNOW HOW THEY MISSED

11/5/44 – “PIED PIEPER”  206S     KARLSRHUE  (CP)
TIME 7:30  LOAD 4X2000  PFF-H2X
COULD NOT BOMB PILL BOXES. 10/10’s OVER LINES BELOW METZ. VERY HEAVY FLAK. FIELD SOCKED IN ON RETURN. WHAT A TRIP, WHEW!

11/8/44 – “TOP O’ THE MARK”   110M    RHEINE
TIME – 6:00  LOAD 12X500 GP   VISUAL
THIS ONE WAS THE KIND YOU READ ABOUT. TRYING TO FIND THE GROUP IN SOLID SOUP AT 25000’. MET THE 20TH CW OVER HOLLAND & JOINED THEM FOR THE BOMB RUN.  FOR SOME REASON THEY DID NOT BOMB ALL GENERATORS & BATT, WENT DEAD WITH FULL BOOST ON.  GAS LOW SO DROPPED OUT OF FORMATION TO GET RID OF BOMBS. THEY WOULD NOT SALVO SO CHOPPED THEM OUT OVER HOLLAND. JUST MADE FIELD WITH GAS & CHEATED THE NORTH SEA.  AMEN TO THAT ONE.  AWARDED AIR MEDAL.

11/15/44 –   165L-Love    HANAU (AIR FIELD)
TIME – 7:00  LOAD 40X100 GP  VISUAL
VERY LIGHT FLAK – NO BALL

11/16/44 – “FINAL APPROACH”   425O-Oboe    AACHEN   LINES ON FRONT (ESCHWEILER)
TIME – 6:00  LOAD 20X260 FRAGS
LIGHT FLAK. BASE WEATHERED IN ON RETURN – LANDED AT BLYTON. 5322N – 0041W, 90 MI NW OF BASE.  RETURNED TO BASE TWO DAYS LATER.

11/21/44 – “FINAL APPROACH”    425-Q    HAMBURG OIL REFINERY (HARBURG)   (CP)
TIME – 7:00  LOAD 12X500 GP  VIS
VERY INTENSE FLAK.  IT DID NOT SEEM POSSIBLE TO GO IN WITHOUT BEING SHOT DOWN, I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND HOW THEY MISSED US.

11/26/44 – “YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU”   165-L-Love     BIELEFELD BRIDGE (P)
TIME – 6:00  LOAD 8X1000 G.P.  VISUAL
FLAK IN & OUT BUT VERY LITTLE OVER TARGET – SALVO BOMBS THROUGH LEFT DOORS

12/6/44 –  21 B-Baker    BIELEFELD  M.Y.  McGOUGH  (CP)
TIME – 6:00  LOAD  8X1000 GP  PFF
LIGHT FLAK OVER TARGET

12/10/44 – “WOLF’S LAIR”  352-K    BINGEN  M.Y.   (FRANKFURT)  (IP)
TIME – 6:15  LOAD 42X100 G.P  2XM17 500#  VIS
NO BALL  -  INSTRUCTOR PILOT

12/11/44 – “PIED PIEPER”   206-S    HANAU  M.Y.  (P)
TIME – 7:15  LOAD 6X1000  GH
IN SOUP MOST OF TIME.  LONG HAUL OVER FRANCE.
12/24/44 – “PIED PIEPER” [sic]   206-S    PRONSFELD  (SCHONECKEN)
TIME – 6:15  LOAD 24X250 GP  VIS
VERY ACCURATE FLAK FIRE – LOST TOO MANY SHIPS – WING MAN SHOT DOWN. BLEW TAIL OFF HIS SHIP. ONE CHUTE SEEN TO LEAVE PLANE. SUPPORT OF GROUND TROOPS

12/28/44 – “YANKEE BUZZ BOMB”   340N-Nan    ST. WENDEL  (IP)
TIME – 5:25  LOAD 2X500 M1, 10X500 GP   PFF
LOST ALL GENERATORS OVER CHANNEL. NO INSTRUMENTS OR HEAT ON TRIP. VERY COLD.  COMMENDED BY COL. FOR GOING OVER TARGET

12/30/44 – “PIED PIEPER” [sic]  206-S    NEUWID
TIME – 5:30  LOAD 6X1000 GP
LIGHT FLAK – TRACKING

1/7/45 – “FINAL APPROACH”   425O-Oboe   RASTATT
TIME – 7:45   LOAD 6X1000 G.P.   VIS
MODERATE FLAK BUT VERY ACCURATE.  FEW HOLES IN SHIP

1/14/45 – “BIG CHIEF, LIL BEAVER”  515B[sic]   BRUNSWICK (HALLENDORF)
TIME – 7:50   LOAD 10X500 GP, 2X500M1   VIS
INTENSE FLAK OVER TARGET – FLAK ALL THE WAY IN & OUT. MADE PASSES AT HALF A DOZEN LARGE CITIES TO THROW JERRIE OFF. VERY LUCKY, AS WE ONLY WERE HIT WITH ONE BURST AT THE NOSE, NO ONE HURT ON CREW.

1/21/45 – “BIG CHIEF…”  514B   MANNHEIM (HEILBRONN)
TIME – 7:30   LOAD 12X500 GP
WEATHER WAS SOCKED IN UP TO 22000’.  DID NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH GROUP SO BOMBED WITH B-17’s.  ALT. 26600.  TEMP, 65 deg BELOW ZERO.  IAS 140MPH.  NO FLAPS.  INTENSE FLAK 155mm COMMENDED FOR GETTING BOMBS OVER TARGET UNDER ADVERSE CONDITIONS.  GROUP HAD A NO BALL. DAMMIT.

1/28/45 – “BIG CHIEF, LIL BEAVER”  514B   DORTMUND OIL PLANT
TIME – 6:30  LOAD 12X500 G.P.   VIS
THIS WAS THE PAY OFF.  ONLY TWO SQDNS GOT OFF ON ACCOUNT OF SNOWSTORM.  TOOK OFF IN SNOW STORM ON INST.  FLAK WAS INTENSE AT TARGET  270 GUNS.  SAW TWO 24s & ONE FIGHTER GO DOWN.  ONE 24 IN FLAMES FELL A THOUSAND FEET & EXPLODED.  GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR GETTING THROUGH THAT ONE.
B-24J-5-FO 42-51514 7V B  BIG CHIEF lil' Beaver and Lt Schuch's A2 jacket
(Courtesy: Steve Colleti)
1/31/45 – “BIG CHIEF…”  514B   BRUNSWICK
TIME – 7:50   LOAD 8X500 – 4 M17s
BRIEFED FOR BERLIN BUT WEATHER WAS BAD.  10/10 ALL THE WAY.  DIVERTED TO R.A.F. BASE IN NORTH ENGLAND.  LANDED AT BASE NEXT DAY. RECALL

2/3/45 – “BIG CHIEF…”  514B    MAGDEBURG
TIME – 7:00   LOAD 8X500  4 M17s   VIS
HEAVY FLAK.  HAD ELECTRICAL FIRE IN COCKPIT RIGHT AFTER TAKE-OFF.  PUT FIRE OUT & LANDED.  LATE GETTING OFF AGAIN & HAD TO CATCH FORMATION OVER HOLLAND

2/6/45 – “BIG CHIEF…”  514B    MAGDEBURG
TIME – 7:30  LOAD 10X500 GP  4 M17s
WHAT A TRIP.  MADE A COOK’S TOUR OF THE RHUR VALLEY. FLAK ALL HE WAY OUT.  LOST TWO SHIPS OVER MUNSTER.  FLAK KNOCKED GLASS TOP OUT OF COCKPIT.  LUCKY ON THAT ONE.

2/15/45 – “BIG CHIEF, LIL BEAVER”  514B    MAGDEBURG
TIME – 7:30  LOAD 12X500 GP
HEAVY FLAK.  GOOD MISSION OTHERWISE

3/1/45 – “WOLF’S[sic] LAIR”  352K   INGOLSTADT
TIME – 8:15  LOAD 10X500 GP
ONE LONG HOP – SEEN THE SWISS ALPS, GOOD VIEW.  WITHDRAWAL ROUTE LED EAST OF MUNICH.  LIGHT FLAK OVER TARGET

3/7/45 – ABORT – NO MISSION CREDIT
LOST #3 ENGINE OVER NORTH SEA.  IMPELLER BLEW UP & BLEW HOLE IN INDUCTION SYSTEM.  FIRE STARTED & TRIED TO FEATHER PROP, BUT ENGINE FROZE FIRST.  SALVOED BOMBS & CAME HOME.  SEA LOOKED COLD, BUT CLOSE ON THAT ONE.

3/8/45 – “PIED PIEPER”  206S   DILLENBURG M.Y.  GH
NO FLAK
BOMB LOAD  24X250  TIME -  7:00

3/14/45 – “BIG CHIEF…”  514B   DORTMUND M.Y.  (HOLZWICKEDE)
TIME – 7:45   LOAD 44X100 GPs, 2X500 M17s
LIGHT FLAK – FIGHTERS.  3 SHIPS BLEW UP ON GROUND BEFORE T.O. WHEN GUNNER SHOT TRACERS INTO BOMB LOAD OF ANOTHER SHIP.  7 SHIPS IN ALL DAMAGED OR BURNED.  #2 SURGED OVER 20 INCHES & #3 PROP GOVERNOR WAS…[missing text]

3/18/45 – “BIG CHIEF…”  514B   BERLIN  ARM. FACTORY
TIME – 8:00  LOAD 52 M47s INCD.   VISUAL
INTENSE FLAK FOR 5 MIN BEFORE & 10 MIN AFTER BOMBS AWAY.  I NEVER DREAMED SO MUCH FLAK COULD BE PUT UP.  SEEN 4 SHIPS BLOW UP & TWO GO DOWN OUT OF CONTROL.  NUMBER 4 ENGINE GOT A DIRECT HIT & HAD TO FEATHER OVER TARGET.  CAME BACK ON THREE.  NUMBER TWO WAS READY TO QUIT OVER NORTH SEA.  SUB DEPOT HAS TO CHANGE THREE ENGINES ON SHIP.  I WANT NO MORE LIKE THAT.  THE CREW WAS READY TO BAIL OUT ON A MOMENTS NOTICE. DON’T BLAME THEM. ILLEGIBLE …IS ALL THAT BROUGHT US BACK.

3/20/45 – 487R   HEMMINGSTADT
TIME – 5:45  LOAD 12X500 G.P.s   VISUAL
NICE MISSION ONLY FLAK WAS OVER HELOGOLAND

3/22/45 – 340N   KITZINGEN A.F.
TIME –  8:35  LOAD 52X100   GAS 2700
LONG HAUL.  LIGHT FLAK OVER RHINE COMING OUT.  ALT 14700

3/23/45 – 487R   OSNABRUCK M.Y.
TIME –  5:20  LOAD 14X500 GPs   VISUAL
INTENSE FLAK OVER TARGET.  HIT IN BOMB BAY. ROUGH.

3/24/45 – 575O  RORSHAIN A.F  (KIRTORF)
TIME – 6:40  LOAD 52X100 G.P.s
NO BALL. GOOD MISSION – JERRY GOT IT IN THE PANTS TODAY.  EVERYTHING WAS UP TODAY.

3/25/45 – 457Q  HITZACKER OIL DUMP
TIME – 6:00  LOAD 20X300 GPs
VERY LITTLE FLAK OVER LINES, BUT CAME SO NEAR TO GETTING IT FROM A ME262.  IT CAME IN OVER THE TAIL & WENT OUT OVER THE COCKPIT, JUST ABOUT 10FT OVER US.  51s SHOT IT DOWN OFF OUR WING A FEW SECONDS LATER.  CLOSE

3/30/45 – 487R  WILHELMSHAVEN  C. COLOGNE & DOCKS
TIME – 6:00  LOAD 8X1000 G.P.   VISUAL
THEY THREW UP EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK.  WHAT A TARGET FOR THE LAST ONE.  BACK OKAY THOUGH & ALL THROUGH.  THANK THE LORD FOR THAT.

NOW FOR HOME
Special Thanks to Mr. Steve Colleti for sharing all of Walter Schuch's documents and photos, and helping to preserve his history!

Distinguished Flying Cross

Maj Valin Woodward (755BS CO) presents Lt Lawson with the DFC - May 1945


AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE LIBERATOR STATION, ENGLAND -- 1st Lt. Boyd L. Lawson (right) of Billings, Mont. is decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross by Major Valin R. Woodward, squadron commander, of Arlington, Tex.  The DFC was awarded Lt. Lawson for extraordinary achievement as a lead crew bombardier-navigator with a squadron of the 458th Bombardment Group.  He has flown on 30 combat bombing missions in a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber over European targets, and has been overseas since Aug. 12, 1944.  A few prominent missions included Berlin, Bielefeld, Paderborn, Hanau, Magdeburg, Leipzig, Osnabruck, Hanover, Harburg, Leipheim and Dortmund.


Lt. Lawson, whose wife, Mrs. Valdia M. Lawson, lives at 312 South 34th St., Billings, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Boyd A.  Lawson, 122 Avenue B, Billings, Mont.  In civilian life, he was a chemist for Yale Oil Corp. Of Billings, Mont.  He graduated from Billings High School in 1940, attended Billings Polytechnic School for two years, was commissioned Second Lieutenant April 1, 1944 and promoted to First Lieutenant Dec. 16, 1944.


The 458th Bombardment Group, which is a part of Brig. Gen. Walter Peck’s Second Air Division, has completed 240 combat missions over European targets.


(Courtesy: Scott Clark)