458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

McCartney Crew - Assigned 752nd Squadron - December 21, 1944

Standing: Sam Weakley - N, Juvenal Guerro - RO, DeWayne Davis - AG, Zenas Varney - N*, John Kowalczuk - B*, Fred Popper - CP, Robert McCartney - P
Kneeling: Robert Minor - AG, William Nicholson - E, Arthur Boyer - AG, John Fossa - G
*Not original crew members

(Photo: John Kowalczuk)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

McCartneyCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Robert W McCartney 0777739 Pilot May-45 FEH Promoted to 1st Lieutenant
2Lt Fred Popper 0833404 Co-pilot 07-Apr-45 FEH Suspended fr flying AAF Reg 35-16 
2Lt Samuel D Weakley, Jr  02068808 Navigator 28-Feb-45 FEH Trsf to 755th
T/Sgt Juvenal Guerrero 39134932 Radio Operator 02-May-45 FEH Promoted to T/Sgt
T/Sgt  William J Nicholson 36654845  Flight Engineer 02-May-45 FEH Promoted to T/Sgt
S/Sgt DeWayne R Davis 36691843 Armorer-Gunner  14-May-45 FEH Reclassified MOS 612
Sgt John P Fossa 11108573 Aerial Gunner 28-Feb-45 FEH Trsf to 755th
S/Sgt Robert H Minor 17072218 Armorer-Gunner 02-May-45 FEH Promoted to S/Sgt
S/Sgt Arthur J Boyer 31350655 Armorer-Gunner 14-May-45 FEH Reclassified MOS 612

2Lt Robert McCartney and crew arrived at Horsham St Faith a few days before Christmas 1944, at a time when the group was struggling with the weather in order to get in combat missions.  Their first mission was on January 14, 1945.  On what was to be their second mission a full two weeks later, the crew were forced to abort due to engine difficulties.  The crew would complete seven missions in February before being transferred to the 755th Squadron as a lead crew.

After their move into the 755th, they would complete nine more missions before the war was over, two of these as lead and one as deputy lead.  As a lead crew, they carried an extra navigator and a bombardier (instead of a togglier).  2Lt Zenas A. Varney, originally assigned (on the same date as McCartney's crew) under pilot 2Lt Maurice C. Laird, was the DR (Dead Reckoning) navigator; and 2Lt John Kowalczuk, assigned with 2Lt Ralph Dooley in September 1944, flew at least one, and probably more missions as bombardier with McCartney.  He was also the 755th Squadron bombardier for a period in March 1945.

Kowalczuk's crew had been on a practice mission in November when, due to heavy, low cloud cover, they clipped a spire on a cathedral in Norwich.  The aircraft crashed with the loss of all those on board.  Kowalczuk, was undergoing training to become a lead bombardier and was not flying that day.

Having completed 17 missions by war's end (less that the 30 required for lead crews), McCartney and crew were assigned the task to ferry a Liberator back to the States.  Along with several ground men, they departed Horsham in June 1945.


Missions

McCartneyMissions
Date  Target  458th Msn  Pilot Msn  Serial  RCL  Sqdn  A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
14-Jan-45 HALLENDORF 170 1 41-28963 T 7V 16 UNKNOWN 007  
28-Jan-45 DORTMUND 174 ABT 42-100425 O 7V 47 THE BIRD #4 ENG LOSS OF PWR
31-Jan-45 BRUNSWICK 176 2 42-100425 O 7V 49 THE BIRD RECALL - SORTIE CREDIT
09-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 179 3 44-40134 R J4 48 UNKNOWN 039  
14-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 181 4 42-95316 H 7V 75 PRINCESS PAT  
15-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 182 MSHL -- -- -- --   MARSHALING CHIEF
16-Feb-45 OSNABRUCK 183 5 42-51215 T 7V 21 UNKNOWN 024  
20-Feb-45 NUREMBURG TANK FACT  REC -- 42-51206 S 7V -- THE PIED PIPER RECALL - WEATHER
22-Feb-45 PEINE-HILDESHEIM 186 6 42-52457 Q 7V 90 FINAL APPROACH   
24-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 188 7 42-100425 O 7V 58 THE BIRD  
28-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 192 8 42-95316 H 7V 84 PRINCESS PAT  
15-Mar-45 ZOSSEN 204 9 42-50516 V J3 27 STARDUST  
18-Mar-45 BERLIN 206 10 42-50575 O J3 25 UNKNOWN 020  
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 11 42-50740 Q J3 28 OUR BURMA  
30-Mar-45 WILHELMSHAVEN 215 12 42-51743 F J3 29 UNKNOWN 006  
02-Apr-45 TIRSTROP ABN -- 42-51743 F J3 -- UNKNOWN 006 ABANDONED
04-Apr-45 PERLEBERG 217 13 42-51743 F J3 31 UNKNOWN 006  
06-Apr-45 HALLE 219 14 42-51743 F J3 33 UNKNOWN 006 LEAD 3rd SEC - GOODFRIEND Cmd-P
10-Apr-45 RECHLIN/LARZ 223 15 42-51743 F J3 36 UNKNOWN 006  
14-Apr-45 POINTE DE GRAVE 225 16 42-51936 I J3 32 UNKNOWN 027 LEAD 2nd SECTION
18-Apr-45 PASSAU 228 17 44-49261 A J3 21 UNKNOWN 042 DEP LEAD 3rd SEC - GARDNER Cmd-P 


Stateside

Robert McCartney


(Photo: Scott McCartney)

 
F/O Frielander - B (not assigned with crew),  Sam Weakly (holding Popper's son David), Fred Popper, Robert McCartney

(Photo: David Popper)

Horsham St Faith

Juvenal Guerrero, Sam Weakley, Robert McCartney,  Robert Minor,  Bill Nickelson - Crew Chief
 
Sam Weakley on the flight line (left), Zenas Varney outside the barracks

(Photos: David Popper & Mike Kowalczuk)

June 1945

Assigned to fly B-24LHO-15-FO 44-49926 Z5 S Sweet Sue at war's end

Standing:
Unknown, Fred Popper, Sam Weakley, Robert McCartney, Unknown, Unknown
Kneeling: John Fossa, Juvenal Guerrero, Arthur Boyer, Unknown, Unknown
Sitting: Unknown, William Nicholson, Robert Minor, DeWayne Davis

(Identifications courtesy: Mike McCartney)