458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Klein Crew - Assigned 754th Squadron - August 8, 1944

Standing, 2nd from right: Odus Abernathy - G/2E

Kneeling, right: Virgil Fisher - N


If you can identify the men in this photo, please contact me.


(Photo: Ronnie Abernathy & Steve Fisher)


Completed Tour

KleinCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date  Status  Comments
1Lt Edward E Klein 0705708 Pilot 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
1Lt Frank W Willis 0714810 Co-pilot 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
1Lt Virgil L Fisher 0719046 Navigator Apr-45 CT Transferred to 96CBW
2Lt Elliot Kaitlin 01997890  Bombardier 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
T/Sgt Robert L Cosgriff 32170315 Radio Operator 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
S/Sgt  Robert E Shelton 33648017 Flight Engineer 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
Sgt Carmi J Steele 39551712 Aerial Gunner/2E 17-May-45 CT Transferred to 755th Sqdn 
Sgt Odus R Abernathy  34775962 Aerial Gunner/2E  10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
Sgt George Costage 38584855 Aerial Gunner 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave
Sgt James E Pilcher 17151373 Aerial Gunner 10-Dec-44 CT Rest Home Leave

2Lt Edward E. Klein and crew arrived at Horsham St. Faith on August 8, 1944 and were assigned to the 754th Squadron.  After a period of indoctrination into the ETO, the crew flew their first combat mission on August 24th. 

 

The 458th was one of the groups chose to participate in Operation Truckin’, the transportation of gasoline to Gen. Patton’s army in France.  After flying six missions in August and September, Klein and crew flew nine gas hauls to Clastres and Lille, France.  The 458th went back on combat operations in October, and Klein flew five missions to round out the month.

 

While records are not entirely accurate or complete, Klein is shown participating in a total of 37 credited Sorties, their last on March 3, 1945.  At the point that the crew arrived in the ETO, the minimum requirement on missions for each crew member was 35. It is notable that this crew did not have one single abort during their eight months of combat flying.

 

Records show that Lt Virgil Fisher, the crew’s navigator, was assigned to a lead crew of Capt Harold B. Dane at some point during his combat tour.  Fisher went to Attlebridge in January 1945 for G-H Training.   He most probably completed his tour as a lead navigator with Dane.  He was transferred to the 96th Combat Bombardment Wing (HQ at Horsham St Faith) in April.

 

The rest of the crew went on their mid-tour Rest Home leave on December 10, 1944.  The officers were off to Knightshayes Court in Devonshire, while the enlisted men went to The Palace Hotel in Lancashire.  After this period, there is no mention in group or squadron records of any crew members, except for Sgt Carmi J. Steele.  He is shown being transferred to the 755th Squadron on May 17, 1945.  Most of the enlisted men were most likely promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant, at some point after December.

 

It is unknown if members of this crew received the Distinguished Flying Cross for completing their combat tour.


Missions

KleinMissions
Date  Target  458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
24-Aug-44 HANNOVER 117 1 42-95108 M Z5 32 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
25-Aug-44 LUBECK 118 2 42-95108 M Z5 33 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
27-Aug-44 FINOW 121 3 41-29342 S J3 44 ROUGH RIDERS MISSION CREDIT- NOV
01-Sep-44 PFAFFENHOFFEN ABN -- 41-29596 R Z5 -- HELL'S ANGEL'S ABANDONED
05-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 122 4 41-29596 R Z5 50 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
09-Sep-44 MAINZ 124 5 42-51110 P Z5 41 TOP O' THE MARK  
10-Sep-44 ULM M/Y 125 6 41-29305 N Z5 37 I'LL BE BACK/HYPOCHONDRIAC  
12-Sep-44 WELFORD to CLASTRES TR01 -- 41-29276 G Z5 T1 URGIN VIRGIN/The ROTTEN SOCK  CARGO
18-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR02 -- 41-28712 D 44BG T1 TUFFY LOAD No. 1
19-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR03 -- 41-28712 D 44BG T2 TUFFY TRUCKIN' MISSION
21-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR05 -- 41-28712 D 44BG T3 TUFFY TRUCKIN' MISSION
23-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR07 -- 42-7629 A 755 T4 NOT 458TH SHIP TRUCKIN' MISSION
25-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR08-2 -- 42-109805 J 44BG T5 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE 2ND FLIGHT
27-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR10 -- 41-64452 S  389BG T3 NOT 458TH SHIP 1ST FLIGHT
27-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR10 -- 41-64452 S  389BG T4 NOT 458TH SHIP 2ND FLIGHT
29-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR12 -- 41-64452 S 389BG  T5 NOT 458TH SHIP TRUCKIN' MISSION
06-Oct-44 WENZENDORF 129 7 44-40298 E Z5 2 THE SHACK  
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 8 42-100408 D J4 29 LADY LUCK / THE BEAST  
14-Oct-44 COLOGNE 133 9 42-51199 U Z5 5 UNKNOWN 023  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ 136 10 42-110070 K Z5 42 ELMER  
26-Oct-44 MINDEN 138 11 42-50456 D Z5 7 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
06-Nov-44  MINDEN 143 12 42-95183 U Z5 54 BRINEY MARLIN  
09-Nov-44 METZ AREA 145 13 42-50456 D Z5 10 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
10-Nov-44 HANAU A/F 146 14 42-50456 D Z5 11 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
16-Nov-44 ESCHWEILER 147 15 41-29596 R Z5 69 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 16 42-95120 M Z5 55 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 150 17 42-51196 Q Z5 14 THE GYPSY QUEEN RCM/K-20
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 18 -- -- -- --   No FC - Sqdn Rec's
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 19 42-50640 O Z5 19 BUGS BUNNY  
25-Dec-44 PRONSFELD 158 20 42-95183 ?   64 BRINEY MARLIN PARTLY ILLEGIBLE
28-Dec-44 ST. WENDEL 160 21 42-50640 O Z5 22 BUGS BUNNY  
30-Dec-44 NEUWIED 161 22 42-95183 U Z5 67 BRINEY MARLIN  
31-Dec-44 KOBLENZ 162 23 42-95183 U Z5 68 BRINEY MARLIN  
01-Jan-45 KOBLENZ 163 24 42-50640 O Z5 24 BUGS BUNNY  
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 25 42-50640 O Z5 26 BUGS BUNNY  
07-Jan-45 RASTATT 166 26 42-110059 T Z5 56 UNKNOWN 056  
10-Jan-45 SCHONBERG 168 27 42-110070 K Z5 51 ELMER OFF LOCATION
21-Jan-45 HEILBRONN 173 28 44-40298 E Z5 21 THE SHACK OFF LOACATION - WOODBRIDGE 
28-Jan-45 DORTMUND 174 29 42-50456 D Z5 27 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
31-Jan-45 BRUNSWICK 176 30 42-50456 D Z5 29 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL RECALL - SORTIE CREDIT
08-Feb-45 RHEINE M/Y REC -- 44-40298 E Z5 -- THE SHACK RECALL - WEATHER
14-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 181 31 44-40298 E Z5 25 THE SHACK  
19-Feb-45 MESCHADE 184 32 44-40298 E Z5 28 THE SHACK  
20-Feb-45 NUREMBURG TANK FACT  REC -- 44-40287 J J4 -- BACHELOR'S BEDLAM RECALL - WEATHER
21-Feb-45 NUREMBERG 185 MSHL -- -- -- --   MARSHALING CHIEF
24-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 188 33 42-50456 D Z5 33 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
26-Feb-45 BERLIN 190 34 44-40298 E Z5 32 THE SHACK OFF LOCATION
28-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 192 35 44-40298 E Z5 34 THE SHACK  
02-Mar-45 MAGDEBURG 194 36 42-100366 H Z5 64 MIZPAH  
03-Mar-45 NIENBURG 195 37 42-51196 Q J3 42 THE GYPSY QUEEN


Sgt Odus R. Abernathy

In Biloxi, MS during training in 1943, and pictured (right) with an unidentified friend.

S/Sgt Abernathy, Odus, participated in a heavy bombardment sortie at AAF Sta 123 on the following dates.
AbernathyMsnList1
 Date  Target
24-Aug-44 Hannover
25-Aug-44 Lubeck
5-Sep-44 Karlsruhe
9-Sep-44 Mainz
10-Sep-44  Ulm
6-Oct-44 Wenzendorf 
7-Oct-44 Magdeburg
19-Oct-44 Mainz
26-Oct-44 Minden
6-Nov-44 Minden
9-Nov-44 Metz
10-Nov-44 Hanau
21-Nov-44 Harburg
26-Nov-44 Bielefeld
30-Nov-44 Homburg
24-Dec-44 Schonecken
25-Dec-44 Pronsfeld
28-Dec-44 St Wendel

AbernathMsnList2
Date  Target
30-Dec-44 Neuwid
31-Dec-44 Coblenz
1-Jan-45 Coblenz
3-Jan-45 Homburg
7-Jan-45 Rastatt
10-Jan-45 Schonberg
21-Jan-45 Heilbronn
28-Jan-45 Dortmund
31-Jan-45 Brunswick
14-Feb-45 Magdeburg
19-Feb-45  Meschede
24-Feb-45 Bielefeld
26-Feb-45 Berlin
28-Feb-45 Bielefeld
2-Mar-45 Magdeburg 
3-Mar-45 Nienburg
14-Mar-45 Cologne

No comment as to soldier being favorable or unfavorable considered for Good Conduct Medal at time of transfer
Courtesy: Ronnie Abernathy

1Lt Virgil L. Fisher

Bill Edkins - Navigator; Virgil Fisher - Navigator; Charles Pool - Co-Pilot; Harold McMorris - Bombardier; Harold Dane - Pilot.


Virgil Fisher's A-2 flight jacket

Practice bomb - Crew 67

Fisher found this piece of flak lying by his foot in the aircraft - a close call!

(Courtesy: Steve & Gary Fisher)