Hathorn Crew - Assigned 753rd Squadron - August 25, 1944
|Capt||Scott Hathorn, Jr||0767542||Pilot||18-May-45||CT||Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross|
|1Lt||Glenn W Wilson||0771193||Co-pilot||04-May-45||CT||Air Crew Leave|
|1Lt||Robert D Lackamp||0723381||Navigator||18-May-45||CT||Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross|
|1Lt||Lawrence W Everett||0773323||Bombardier||May-45||CT||Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross|
|T/Sgt||Vernon A Savage||18198592||Radio Operator||17-May-45||CT||Transferred to 753rd Sqdn|
|T/Sgt||Carl L Winters||3131157||Flight Engineer||17-May-45||CT||Transferred to 753rd Sqdn|
|S/Sgt||Harold P Baynes||34593360||Armorer-Gunner||17-May-45||CT||Transferred to 753rd Sqdn|
|S/Sgt||Robert H Gunderson||37577665||Aerial Gunner||17-May-45||CT||Transferred to 753rd Sqdn|
|S/Sgt||Robert D Hudnall||35224376||Aerial Gunner||17-May-45||CT||Transferred to 753rd Sqdn|
|Sgt||Carl T Stoddard||11122711||Radar Observer (RCM)||10-Apr-45||UNK||Reclassified from MOS 611-866|
2Lt Scott Hathorn and crew arrived at Horsham St. Faith in late August 1944 and were assigned to the 753rd Squadron. Hathorn flew his first mission (a "check ride") on September 11, 1944 without his crew. After this date, the 458th was involved in "Truckin' missions", (ferrying gasoline to Patton's 3rd Army in France) flying no operational missions until October. They did not fly their first combat mission as a crew until October 5, 1944. The were transferred to the 755th Squadron (lead squadron) on October 23, 1944, but it appears that they did not start flying group or squadron lead missions until December.
2Lt Glenn Wilson, the crew’s co-pilot, would normally have been displaced by a command pilot and assigned to another crew. It appears, however, that he flew several, if not all, of his missions with Hathorn’s crew. Many co-pilots of lead crews were utilized as “Formation Control Officers”, flying as a gunner and reporting the condition of the formation to the command pilot. A gunner’s position on this crew opened up shortly after their arrival that may have helped Wilson to remain with the crew.
On September 7th, Sgt Carl T. Stoddard was sent to AAF113 Cheddington (Marsworth) to attend Radar Counter Measures (RCM) School. Unfortunately, during that time, he must have run into a little trouble as he was reduced to the grade of private. By mid-December he had been reinstated as a sergeant and had also been reclassified as an RCM Operator (MOS 866). Stoddard’s apparent proclivity for mischief would come back to haunt him, when on January 19, 1945 his stripes were again taken away and he was once more reduced to private and reclassified back to his old MOS 611 (gunner). The last mention of Stoddard in the 458th records show that he had regained his sergeant stripes by mid-April 1945. While Stoddard did manage to get in at least five missions before January (squadron records show he was awarded the Air Medal in December) it is not known how many combat missions he eventually flew or with which crew he was assigned after his return to Horsham after RCM training.
A lead crew normally required three navigators. The first was a Dead Reckoning (DR) navigator. The DR navigator would keep the aircraft’s position on his charts using the plane’s various instruments and his E6B computer. On Hathorn’s crew, Lt Robert Lackamp was the DR navigator. He joined the crew in the States, and had been with them throughout training. The second navigator was the pilotage navigator who usually was positioned in the nose turret with a set of maps. He was used for visual navigation (when there was visibility) to help the DR navigator pinpoint their position. Lt John E. Gallagher was Hathorn’s pilotage navigator. He had been assigned to the crew of 2Lt Howard T. Warrell who had joined the group and been assigned to the 753rd Squadron on the same day as Hathorn. On November 23rd, Gallagher was transferred to the 755th and onto Hathorn’s crew. The third navigator was the Radar, or Mickey Navigator who utilized the H2X radar equipment. He was either positioned on the flight deck near the radio operator or further back in the bomb bay depending on where the equipment was installed. Mickey duties fell to Lt Robert E. Savage who came to the 458th on January 17, 1945 as an individual replacement crew member.
Records show that on April 2, 1945 Robert Lackamp was transferred to the 753rd Squadron and became their squadron navigator. He flew at least one more mission with his old crew on April 14, 1945, as is evidenced by his name on the Lead Crew Commendation they received on this date.
Hathorn’s crew flew a full combat tour, although some crew members may have been one or two missions shy of the 30 required for a lead crew. Wing crews (non-lead) were required to fly 35 missions. They were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in May 1945. Prior to movement back to the States, the crew was transferred to the 753rd Squadron.
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Cmd Pilot||Ld||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|26-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR09||--||41-28714||G||389BG||T3||CYCLONE/UTTERLY DEVASTATING||DID NOT UNLOAD|
|28-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR11||--||41-28705||X||753||T7||YE OLDE HELLGATE||TRUCKIN' MISSION|
|30-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR13||--||42-28739||D||T8||NOT 458TH SHIP - HETHEL||TRUCKIN' MISSION|
|09-Oct-44||KOBLENZ||131||3||42-50864||B||J3||7||JOLLY ROGER (II?)|
|04-Nov-44||MISBURG||141||7||44-10487||B||J3||16||Girl on surfboard (no name)|
|13-Jan-45||KAISERLAUTERN||169||ABT||DL||42-50575||O||J3||--||UNKNOWN 020||LEAKING GAS|
|08-Feb-45||RHEINE M/Y, OSNABRUCK||REC||--||WILLIAMS||42-95557||H||J3||--||LADY PEACE||RECALL - WEATHER|
|15-Feb-45||MAGDEBURG||182||18||QUINN||L3||42-51939||G||J3||16||UNKNOWN 028||REPLACED 557|
|17-Feb-45||ASCHAFFENBURG M/Y||REC||--||SIMES||44-49743||F||J3||--||EASTERN BEAST||RECALL - WEATHER|
|14-Mar-45||HOLZWICKEDE||203||REC||L3||44-49261||A||J3||--||UNKNOWN 042||RECALLED - GRND ACC|
|15-Mar-45||ZOSSEN||204||26||BETZOLD||L1||42-51936||I||J3||20||UNKNOWN 027||LOST #2 ENG - SORTIE|
|14-Apr-45||POINTE DE GRAVE||225||31||HOGG||L1||44-50892||N||J3||2||UNKNOWN 055||NEW SHIP|
In Flight Gear
(Photos: Lawrence Everett)
1Lt Lawrence W. Everett - Bombardier
|1||05-Oct-44||Paderborn A/F||Good vis|
|7||16-Nov-44||Eschweiler||Dep Sec||Vis Good|
|12||25-Dec-44||Pelm||Lead 2nd||Vis Good|
|14||03-Jan-45||Zweibrucken||Abt Lead 2nd||PFF (On smoke)|
|18||22-Feb-45||Peine M/Y||Dep Group||Vis|
|20||25-Feb-45||Schwabisch Hall A/F||Dep Group||Vis Good|
|21||01-Mar-45||Ingolstadt M/Y||Dep Group||PFF|
|24||15-Mar-45||Diepholz||Abt Group Lead||Vis Good|
|25||21-Mar-45||Hesepe A/F||3rd Sec||Vis Good|
|26||24-Mar-45||Kirtorf A/F||2nd Sec||Vis Good|
|28||09-Apr-45||Lechfeld||Lead Group||Vis Good|
|29||14-Apr-45||Pt de Grave||Lead Wing||Vis Good|
February 17, 1945
(L-R) Bob Savage, Bob Lackamp, Scott Hathorn, Glenn Wilson, Carl Winters, Vern Savage
(Photo: Eva Collins)
April 14, 1945 - Pointe De Grave
A mission of a different sort fell our lot on the 14th. The extremely important target of POINTE DE GRAVE at the mouth of the Gironde Estuary in France which had been occupied by the Nazis and by-passed by the Allies, was to be attacked by the entire Eighth Air Force in coordination with the French ground forces who would move in as soon as this area had been bombed.
In order to illustrate the importance of eliminating this
pocket, we quote from 2AD Intelligence Annex #1 to Field Order 657: “It is
estimated that there are 122,000 Nazis in the area under attack by the 2AD and
3AD tomorrow. The region is very well
defended. The ground defenses are heavy,
including anti-tank ditches, barb wire, trenches, pill boxes and other
emplacements. The Nazi soldiers in these
isolated places have spent most of their time in such construction. There are many heavy gun positions, well
manned and well supplied with ammunition, as is evidenced by the number of
Allied A/C damaged when flying over the area.
These garrisons have been supplied by submarines, coastal craft, and air
transport. In many months these methods
have not functioned so well. As a
result, the Nazis have made frequent raids on nearby civilian areas, driving
off cattle and other animals.”
LT COL HOGG was the Command Pilot leading the Group on this mission, placing 26 A/C over the targets, dropping 86x2000 GP’s with the following results: 26 A/C attacked targets No. 17 & 38, Pointe De Grave visually. SAV shows first and third squadron results excellent, second squadron fair, and fourth squadron fair to poor.
We quote a letter from General Jacob L. Devers, Commanding General of the Sixth Army Group, which was forwarded to General Doolittle and in return, down to the Groups participating in this mission. Quote “General De Larminat, commanding the Army Detachment of the Atlantic, wishes me to express his sincere gratitude for the cooperation you and the members of your command exhibited in the planning and execution of OPERATION VENERABLE. The weight and accuracy of the bombing effort on the heavily fortified areas of Royan and Point De Grave achieved excellent results and made it possible to open the Gironde Estuary with the minimum of casualties to our ground forces. Your forces showed a high sense of combat efficiency and camaraderie in the accomplishment of a job well done.” Unquote
Receiving such a splendid commendation made every man in the organization feel proud to be a unit of the greatest Air Force in the world.
SAV (Strike Attack Vertical) images show the results of the 458th's efforts on this date