458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

W.L. Jackson Crew - Assigned 752nd Squadron - December 19, 1944

2Lt William L. Jackson, Jr Crew (L-R)

Standing: Crew Chief-Unk, William Jackson - P, Kenneth Kidd - CP, Bob Attenborough - N, James Hudson - G
Kneeling: Joe Schultz - E, Lew Hurtig - RO, Herman Harney - AG, Eugene Pitard - G, "Davey" Reid - G
Not Pictured: Albert Junes - B
(Photo: Cathy Jackson)
Picture taken on March 28, 1945 after crew flew Top O' The Mark on its 100th mission

W.L. Jackson Crew - Flying at the End of Hostilities

Name

 Pos

 Status

 Date

Notes

 1Lt William L. Jackson, Jr

 P

FEH

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 2Lt Kenneth F. Kidd

CP

 FEH 

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 2Lt Robert W. Attenborough

 N 

FEH

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 2Lt Albert W. Junes

B

TRSF

27 Mar 1945

 Transferred to 755th SQ

 T/Sgt Lewis S. Hurtig

RO

FEH

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 T/Sgt Joseph S. Schultz

E

 FEH 

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 S/Sgt Herman I. Harney

BTG

 FEH 

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 Sgt James D. Hudson

RWG 

 FEH 

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 Sgt Eugene M. Pitard

LWG

 FEH 

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

 Sgt David S. Reid

TG

 FEH 

23 Apr 1945

 Rest Home Leave

2Lt William L. Jackson, Jr and crew was assigned to the 752nd Squadron on December 19, 1944.  This was the same day that the crew of 2Lt William E. Jackson, Jr and crew was assigned to the same squadron.  [This has presented numerous issues 60+ years later trying to put together mission information on these two crews!]

Jackson’s first mission was on January 13, 1945 to the marshalling yards in Kaiserlautern, Germany, and their last was on April 16, 1945 when the 458th hit another marshalling yard in Landshut, Germany.  The crew flew a total of 27 missions. The crew was forced to abort on two of their missions, the first of which occurred on February 22, 1945 during assembly.  They lost the #2 supercharger at 8,000 feet and by the time they reached 12,000 feet over Beacon #5 they were only pulling 30” of manifold pressure. They brought their bombs back to base.  The second abort occurred on February 28th, but this time they were almost into enemy territory when a gas leak forced them to turn around.  They were given credit for this mission. [See account below]

At this stage of the war, all of the targets that the crew went to were in Germany.  The sole exception was the mission to Point de Grave on April 14, 1945.  It was on this raid, in an attempt to dislodge the remaining German forces in France that the 8th Air Force experimented with the first use of Napalm.  The crew flew a variety of 752nd Squadron aircraft on their missions, but one – B-24H25-DT 42-51110 7V M named TOP O' THE MARK seemed to be their favorite. They flew a total of 12 missions in this aircraft, including its 100th credited sortie on March 28th.

2Lt Albert Junes, bombardier, was transferred to the 755th (Lead) Squadron on March 27, 1945. He was transferred back to the 752nd on May 7, 1945.

Seven days after their final mission the crew went on Rest Home leave.  Two days later the Eighth Air Force ceased bombing operations over Europe, and on May 7, 1945 the war in the ETO came to an end.  Many of the crews who had not completed a combat tour were assigned to ferry the group’s B-24 Liberators back to the U.S.  Jackson’s crew, along with several ground men, departed Horsham St. Faith in mid-June 1945, flying TOP O' THE MARK and made their way back to the States.


W.L. Jackson Crew Missions

DATE

 TARGET

PILOT

458th Msn #

Pilot Msn#

Serial

RCL

Sqdn

A/C Msn #

 A/C Name

MIA

 Notes

13-Jan-45

 KAISERLAUTERN

JACKSON, WL

169

1

42-50502

E

7V

24

 LARRUPIN' LINDA

 

 

28-Jan-45

 DORTMUND

JACKSON, WL

174

2

42-95179

X

7V

75

 HERE I GO AGAIN

 

 

06-Feb-45

 MAGDEBURG

JACKSON, WL

178

3

42-51206

S

7V

32

 THE PIED PIPER

 

 

15-Feb-45

 MAGDEBURG

JACKSON, WL

182

4

42-51206

S

7V

34

 THE PIED PIPER

 

 

19-Feb-45

 MESCHADE

JACKSON, WL

184

5

42-51110

M

7V

72

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

22-Feb-45

PEINE-HILDESHEIM

JACKSON, WL

186

ABT

41-29340

N

7V

62

 YANKEE BUZZ BOMB

 

 ABORT - NO CREDIT

23-Feb-45

GERA-REICHENBACH

JACKSON, WL

187

6

42-51514

B

7V

15

 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER

 

 

26-Feb-45

 BERLIN

JACKSON, WL

190

7

41-29340

N

7V

64

 YANKEE BUZZ BOMB

 

458BG 200th MISSION

28-Feb-45

 BIELEFELD

JACKSON, WL

192

8

41-29305

N

Z5

52

I'LL BE BACK/HYPOCHONDRIAC

 

ABORT - CREDIT

02-Mar-45

 MAGDEBURG

JACKSON, WL

194

9

42-51110

M

7V

81

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

03-Mar-45

 NIENBURG

JACKSON, WL

195

10

44-40475

D

7V

30

 JOLLY ROGER

 

 

05-Mar-45

 HARBURG

JACKSON, WL

197

11

42-51110

M

7V

84

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

09-Mar-45

 OSNABRUCK

JACKSON, WL

200

12

44-40475

D

7V

33

 JOLLY ROGER

 

 

12-Mar-45

 FRIEDBURG

JACKSON, WL

202

13

42-51270

A

7V

22

 MY BUNNIE II

 

 

14-Mar-45

 HOLZWICKEDE

JACKSON, WL

203

MSHL

--

--

--

--

 

 

 752ND MARSHAL CREW

15-Mar-45

 ZOSSEN

JACKSON, WL

204

14

42-51270

A

7V

24

 MY BUNNIE II

 

 

19-Mar-45

 LEIPHEIM

JACKSON, WL

207

15

41-29567

G

7V

18

 MY BUNNIE / BAMBI

 

 

21-Mar-45

 HESEPE

JACKSON, WL

209

16

44-10487

R

7V

43

Girl on surfboard (no name)

 

 

24-Mar-45

 KIRKOFF

JACKSON, WL

213

17

42-51110

M

7V

96

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

25-Mar-45

 HITZACKER

JACKSON, WL

214

18

42-51110

M

7V

97

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

31-Mar-45

 BRUNSWICK

JACKSON, WL

216

19

42-51110

M

7V

99

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

04-Apr-45

 PERLEBERG

JACKSON, WL

217

20

42-51270

A

7V

33

 MY BUNNIE II

 

 

05-Apr-45

 PLAUEN

JACKSON, WL

218

21

42-51110

M

7V

100

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

06-Apr-45

 HALLE

JACKSON, WL

219

22

42-51110

M

7V

101

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

09-Apr-45

 LECHFELD

JACKSON, WL

222

23

42-100425

O

7V

83

 THE BIRD

 

 

10-Apr-45

 RECHLIN/LARZ

JACKSON, WL

223

24

42-51110

M

7V

102

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

11-Apr-45

 REGENSBURG

JACKSON, WL

224

25

42-51110

M

7V

103

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

14-Apr-45

POINTE DE GRAVE

JACKSON, WL

225

26

42-51110

M

7V

104

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

16-Apr-45

 LANDSHUT

JACKSON, WL

227

27

42-51110

M

7V

105

 TOP O' THE MARK

 

 

                                                           Mission List compiled form 458th BG Records & W.L. Jackson log book


Mission Abort - Sortie Credit

"I'LL BE BACK" with unknown ground crew in July 1944

On February 28th, Jackson and crew were assigned to fly B-24H-10-CF 41-29305 7V N "HYPOCHONDRIAC" to Bielefeld, Germany.  This aircraft was an original 458th Liberator flown to England in January 1944.  At that time it was a brand new ship belonging to the 754th Squadron named "I'LL BE BACK" and was painted olvie drab.  At some point the plane was stripped of its OD paint and renamed.  On this particular mission the aircraft gave the crew a difficult time with leaking fuel tanks forcing them to abort. The crew did recieve credit for this mission.


Original Report

February 22, 1945
SUBJECT: Abortion of A/C 305 N
TO: Group Operations

We had a gas leak to develop soon after we began to transfer fuel to #3 tank.  We immediately changed to #4 tank, but the gas leak continued.  We quit transferring fuel thinking the tanks were too full, and that the leak would stop after using some of the fuel.  The Waist Gunner and Tail Gunner complained about gas fumes and after a while reported that they were getting worse.  We had started climbing by this time, so I thought that maybe this too would keep the gas leaking if the tanks were too full.  The gas leak continued throughout the climb.  I had had the crew chief crack the bomb bay doors about 6 or 8 inches when the gunners reported the fumes.  I called the Lincoln Red Leader and reported the trouble.  He called back and said act at my own discretion.  I called him back and said I would stay with the formation until we leveled off and see if it would stop.

When we leveled off we were almost in enemy territory.  I called my Waist Gunners and asked about the leak to see if it had stopped and he reported it wasn’t doing any better.  About ten minutes later I asked him again and he said the gas was still coming out and the ship still had fumes in the Waist Section.  I called the Lincoln Red Leader and reported this, and asked permission to leave the formation, drop my bombs and return to base.  He called back and said to fly the same heading as the formation and out to the side, drop my bombs and return to base.  We pulled out of formation, to the right side and flew straight ahead for about three minutes.  We saw a town through a hole in the clouds which my Navigator identified as St. Goar.  We tried to drop our bombs on this town.  The left bomb bay doors would not open so we dropped them thru the doors.  We didn’t see the bomb bursts because of the cloud coverage.  I don’t know whether we hit the town or not.  We had no bombsight installed.  According to the Navigator we were approximately 15 miles southeast of Coblenz, flying a heading of about 110 degrees when we dropped our bombs.  After we dropped our bombs we turned to a heading of 270 degrees until we got back across the lines, and then we headed home.  The gas leak continued until we reduced our power settings to start our let down.

//Signed
WILLIAM L. JACKSON, JR.,
2 Lt., A.C. 75nd Sq.
Pilot


TOP O' THE MARK - 100th Mission

B-24H-25-DT 42-51110 7V M "TOP O' THE MARK"

TOP O' THE MARK was assigned to the 458th in May 1944 and flew its first mission on May 13th and by the end of the war had racked up over 100 missions*.  The aircraft had quite an interesting career.  On June 29, 1944 752nd pilot 1Lt Kenneth M. Gorrell took the aircraft on its 20th mission to Aschersleben.  He returned minus two of his crew who had bailed out over Germany [See "Murder Unresolved" on the stories page].  The ship was also used as the backdrop for a crew picture by the 2Lt William A. Duke crew whose tenure with the 754th Squadron came to a tragic ending on February 22, 1945. Starting out in the 752nd, the aircraft carried the 7V squadron code and was assigned the call letter 'P'.  In August 1944 it was transferred to the 754th Squadron (Z5).  In October the aircraft went back to the 752nd and was assigned the call letter 'M'.

*Note on credited sorties:  Working with 65 year old records is sometimes difficult at the best of times.  Typos, errors and omissions, even the quality of these documents present many challenges to get things right.  While the mission list  (compiled from 458th formation plans and operational records) for this aircraft shows the 100th mission occurring on March 31, 1945, this does not appear to be accurate.  Photograph notations and the pilot's log book clearly shows the 100th mission to have taken place on March 28, 1945.  Over its 100+ mission career, the aircraft was forced to abort six times, only one of which was credited as a sortie.  Of the five remaining aborts, three are listed as "No Sortie" and the other two do not state whether mission credit was given or withheld.  This aircraft was also assigned as a "Spare" on seven occasions.  There is nothing in the records to say whether or not it was ever used in place of an aircraft that was scratched from flying due to mechanical difficulties on these dates. I have left the mission list "as is" for now.  If more detailed records are located in the future, this list will be updated.


Sgt Ed Scheller - Crew Chief

(Photo: Justin Scheller)


"Just Back from Germany"

W.L. Jackson Crew in an undated photo (L-R)

Standing: William Jackson, Lew Hurtig, Herman Harney, David Reid, James Hudson, Robert Attenborough
Kneeling: Joe Schultz, Kenneth Kidd, Eugene Pitard
(Photo: Cathy Jackson)

1Lt William L. Jackson, pilot

     

       Airman's mode of transportation                                Squadron jeep

    

        Reading mail before a mission                         At the "flak shack" (rest home)


2Lt's Robert Attenborough (N) and Albert Junes (B)


"On the Skeet Range"

W.L. Jackson Crew 1945 (L-R)

Standing: William Jackson (cut off), David Reid, James Hudson, Eugene Pitard, Kenneth Kidd, Robert Attenborough
Kneeling: Herman Harney, Albert Junes, Lew Hurtig, Joseph Schultz
(Photo: Cathy Jackson)

Escape Photos

(Left to Right)

Top Row: William Jackson, Albert Junes
Middle Row: Bob Attenborough, Herman Harney
Bottom: Kenneth Kidd
(Photo: Cathy Jackson)

"Going Home" June 1945

Members of the W.L. Jackson crew and ground men ready to depart Horsham for the U.S.

(William Jackson, standing 2nd from left,  Sgt Ed Scheller - Crew Chief, kneeling far right)