458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Grice Crew - Assigned 752nd Squadron - August 15, 1944

Standing: Thomas Willingham - E, George Kemp - G, Robert Frazier - G, Unknown, Unknown

Kneeling: Albert Grice - P, Cliff Peters - CP, Harold Skeel - G, Unknown


(Photo: Robert Frazier & Tina Williams)


Completed Tour

GriceCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Albert H Grice 0705213 Pilot Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
2Lt Clifford G Peters 0772478 Co-pilot Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
2Lt James H Turner, Jr 0715419 Navigator Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
2Lt Roy C Grasby 0769031 Bombardier 25-Feb-45 CT Mission Load List - Ferriell Navigator 
T/Sgt Robert C Frazier 32755726 Radio Operator Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
T/Sgt Thomas V Willingham  17039485 Flight Engineer Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
S/Sgt George Kemp, Jr 33611035 Aerial Gunner 22-Feb-45 CT Mission Load List
S/Sgt Charles M Killinger 35236539 Aerial Gunner 22-Feb-45 CT Mission Load List
Sgt Edward J Mire 38495396 Armorer-Gunner  07-Oct-44 KIA Parachute failed to open
S/Sgt Harold V Skeel 35708091 Aerial Gunner 22-Feb-45 CT Mission Load List

The Grice crew was assigned to the 458th in mid-August 1944.  After a short indoctrination into the theater, the crew began combat flying at the beginning of September.  Their first mission on September 1st ended up being for no credit as the group was forced to abandon its efforts due to weather over the continent. The crew’s first credited mission was on September 5th to the marshaling yards at Karlsrhue, and was followed over the next week by three more missions to Germany.

In mid-September the 458th came off of combat operations and were tasked with delivering gasoline to Patton’s Army in France.  Grice and select crew members participated in ten of these “Truckin’ Missions”, until the end of the month.  

On the crew’s fifth combat mission, October 7, 1944 to Magdeburg, the crew sustained heavy battle damage in their ship Yankee Buzz Bomb, losing two engines over the Continent.  They made it back to England, but when it was clear that they wouldn’t make Horsham, Lt Grice ordered seven of the crew to bail out.  Grice, co-pilot Cliff Peters and flight engineer Thomas Willingham stayed aboard to attempt a landing.  They found a suitable field near the village of Southrepps, just off the coast near Cromer and about 20 or so miles northeast of the base.  They landed the aircraft in a field without sustaining much more damage.  Six of the crew were shortly rounded up, but gunner Sgt Edward J. Mire was killed when his chute failed to open. The aircraft was eventually repaired and flown back to Horsham. [The aircraft was later flown back to Horsham by personnel from the 3SAD]

Over the next five months, Grice and crew put in their remaining missions, a number of them some of the roughest the group would see during this period: Schoenecken, Harburg, Magdeburg, Peine-Hildesheim, and the group’s 200th mission on February 26, 1945 to Berlin.  Their final combat flight was on March 22, 1945 to Kitzingen.  The majority of these missions (26) were flown in a B-24J named Top O’ The Mark.

At some point in their tour, bombardier Roy C. Grasby, was possibly removed from the crew in order to perform navigation/bombardier (“bombigator”) duties on other crews.  He is not shown on available load lists showing Grice’s crew, but he is shown flying as a navigator on the crew of 2Lt Kendrick E. Ferriell in late February.

At the end of March, the remaining officers of the crew, and the two T/Sgt’s Frazier and Willingham, were transferred to the 32nd Ferry Squadron at Wharton in Lancashire for the purpose of ferrying aircraft.

Missions

GriceMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
01-Sep-44 PFAFFENHOFFEN ABN -- 42-100311 P 7V -- YOKUM BOY ABANDONED
05-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 122 1 42-52455 O 7V 56 PLUTOCRAT  
08-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 123 2 41-29352 K 7V 52 WOLVE'S LAIR  
10-Sep-44 ULM M/Y 125 3 42-52455 O 7V 58 PLUTOCRAT  
11-Sep-44 MAGDEBURG 126 4 42-100311 P 7V 51 YOKUM BOY  
18-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR02 -- 41-29352 K 7V T1 WOLVES LAIR CARGO
19-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR03 -- 42-52698 W 489BG T2 THE BABY DOLL TRUCKIN' MISSION
21-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR05 -- 42-52737 K 489BG T3 THE SHAFT TRUCKIN' MISSION
23-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR07 -- 41-29352 K 7V T3 WOLVES LAIR CARGO
26-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES TR09 -- 42-95219 W 752 T6 PATCHIE CLASTRES
27-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR10 -- 42-95219 W 752 T7 PATCHIE 1ST FLIGHT
27-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR10 -- 42-95219 W 752 T8 PATCHIE 2ND FLIGHT
28-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR11 -- 42-95219 W 752 T9 PATCHIE TRUCKIN' MISSION
29-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR12 -- 42-50335 A+ 389BG T8 NO NAME OR NAME UNKNOWN TRUCKIN' MISSION
30-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR13 -- 41-29303 H 752 T12 LIBERTY LIB TRUCKIN' MISSION
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 5 41-29340 N 7V 54 YANKEE BUZZ BOMB EMERG LNDG - SGT MIRE KIA
09-Oct-44 KOBLENZ 131 6 42-95018 J Z5 48 OLD DOC'S YACHT  
14-Oct-44 COLOGNE 133 7 42-51110 M 7V 44 TOP O' THE MARK  
15-Oct-44 MONHEIM 134 8 42-100366 H Z5 53 MIZPAH  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG 139 9 42-51110 M 7V 46 TOP O' THE MARK  
06-Nov-44 MINDEN 143 10 42-51110 M 7V 48 TOP O' THE MARK  
09-Nov-44 METZ AREA 145 ANA 42-51110 M 7V 49 TOP O' THE MARK A/C NOT ATTACKING
16-Nov-44 ESCHWEILER 147 11 42-51110 M 7V 51 TOP O' THE MARK  
25-Nov-44 BINGEN 149 12 42-51110 M 7V 53 TOP O' THE MARK  
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 13 -- -- -- --   No FC - Sqdn Rec's
04-Dec-44 BEBRA 152 14 42-51110 M 7V 55 TOP O' THE MARK  
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 15 42-51110 M 7V 57 TOP O' THE MARK  
28-Dec-44 ST. WENDEL 160 16 42-51110 M 7V 58 TOP O' THE MARK  
31-Dec-44 KOBLENZ 162 17 42-51110 M 7V 60 TOP O' THE MARK  
02-Jan-45 REMAGEN 164 18 42-95316 H 7V 64 PRINCESS PAT  
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 19 42-51110 M 7V 62 TOP O' THE MARK  
17-Jan-45 HARBURG 172 20 42-50499 U J3 27 COOKIE/OPEN POST BATTLE DAMAGE
21-Jan-45 HEILBRONN 173 ASSY 41-28697 Z Z5 A50 SPOTTED APE ASSEMBLY CREW - 752
29-Jan-45 MUNSTER 175 21 42-51110 M 7V 65 TOP O' THE MARK  
03-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 177 22 42-51110 M 7V 66 TOP O' THE MARK  
14-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 181 23 42-51110 M 7V 69 TOP O' THE MARK BOMBED A/F  LONNINGEN, GER
16-Feb-45 OSNABRUCK 183 24 42-51110 M 7V 71 TOP O' THE MARK  
20-Feb-45 NUREMBURG REC -- 42-100425 O 7V -- THE BIRD RECALL - WEATHER
21-Feb-45 NUREMBERG 185 25 42-51206 S 7V 37 THE PIED PIPER  
22-Feb-45 PEINE-HILDESHEIM 186 26 42-51110 M 7V 74 TOP O' THE MARK  
23-Feb-45 GERA-REICHENBACH  187 27 42-51110 M 7V 75 TOP O' THE MARK  
26-Feb-45 BERLIN 190 28 42-51206 S 7V 42 THE PIED PIPER GROUP 200TH MISSION
28-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 192 29 42-51110 M 7V 79 TOP O' THE MARK  
08-Mar-45 DILLENBURG 199 30 42-51110 M 7V 85 TOP O' THE MARK  
10-Mar-45 ARNSBURG 201 31 42-51110 M 7V 87 TOP O' THE MARK  
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE 203 NTO 42-95316 H 7V -- PRINCESS PAT NO TAKE OFF - FLAT TIRE
15-Mar-45 ZOSSEN 204 32 42-51110 M 7V 88 TOP O' THE MARK  
17-Mar-45 HANNOVER 205 33 42-51110 M 7V 89 TOP O' THE MARK  
19-Mar-45 LEIPHEIM 207 34 42-51110 M 7V 91 TOP O' THE MARK  
21-Mar-45 HESEPE 209 35 42-51110 M 7V 93 TOP O' THE MARK  
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 36 42-51110 M 7V 94 TOP O' THE MARK


B-24H-25-DT 42-51110  Top O' The Mark

Top O' The Mark flew its first mission with the 458th on May 13, 1944.  Almost one year later, on April 25, 1945 - the last day of the air war over Europe - it completed its 108th mission.  The Grice crew flew 26 of their 36 missions in this aircraft.


(Photo Courtesy: Dave Ehnebuske / Painting: Mike Bailey - commissioned for Stephen Adams)

 
Standing: Thomas Willingham (under pilot’s arm), Albert Grice, George Kemp, Robert Frazier, Unknown, Unknown
Kneeling: Cliff Peters, Harold Skeel, Unknown

(Photo: Robert Frazier & Tina Williams)


Horsham St Faith - Enlisted Barracks

George Kemp is on the right


(Photo: Tina Williams)


Sgt Edward J. Mire - Killed in Action - October 7, 1944

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Sunday, December 24, 1945
Page 2

In Loving Memory of Our Darling Son On His 21st Birthday, December 24, 1945.  SGT. EDWARD J. MIRE, JR.  Killed in Action on October 7, 1944, over England.  God bless you on your birthday.  May your soul find eternal rest.  Forget you son, we never will. Sadly missed by, MOM, DAD AND FAMILY

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Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Sunday, July 30, 1948
Page 2

MIRE - In the service of his country in England, on October 7, 1944, SERGEANT EDWARD J. MIRE, beloved son of Judith Flacon and Edward L. Mire: brother of Lloyd and Robert Mire: aged 19 years; a native of Harvey, La.

Remains arrived in New Orleans Thursday, July 29, 1948 at 9:30 o'clock a.m. via I. C. Railroad and will lie in state from 4 p.m. until service time.

Relatives and friends of the family, also officers and members of David Walter Wiedman Post No. 64, American Legion, John McDonogh Post No. 3121, VFW and other veterans organizations, also employees of the Celotex Corp. are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, which will take place Friday, July 30, 1948, at 9:30 o'clock a.m. from the Algiers funeral home of E. J. Mothe, 1300 Vallette street. Religious services at St. Joseph church. Internment in Hook and Ladder cemetery.

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Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Sunday, August 8, 1948
Page 10

"We Wish to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to relatives, friends and neighbors for the kindness and sympathy shown us at the funeral of our beloved son and brother, SGT. EDWARD J. MIRE.  Special thanks to Rev. P. Daigle, assistant pastor of St. Joseph church, also to Mrs. John Romero, Mrs. Merlan / Pertuit and to Mothe funeral home.  Many thanks for the beautiful floral offerings. All have our everlasting gratitude."
-MR. AND MRS. EDWARD L. MIRE AND FAMILY

This entire product and/or portions thereof are copyrighted by NewsBank and/or the American Antiquarian Society. 2004.  Source: GenealogyBank.com
(News articles courtesy: Tony Brooks via Kim and Virginia Vaught)

Mire Tomb, Hook and Ladder Cemetery - Gretna, Louisiana

Click picture on right for larger image


(Courtesy: Robert Mire / Tony Brooks via Kim and Virginia Vaught)

Memorial

Derick Grey holds the sign that will be placed next to a tree, planted to honor Sgt Mire, near the spot where the Liberator landed.