458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Archived Guest Book 2015

Pascal Geensen

10:39 AM on January 7, 2015  by [email protected]

My wife and i were very pleased to find a picture on this site from our adopted soldier. In the Nederlands is a very big militair ww2 cemetery, that lies in Margraten (more than 8500 fallen soldiers). My late grandmother adopted the grave in 1946. Then it was my father’s turn and now it’s our turn.


andrew height

9:40 AM on January 19, 2015  by [email protected]

your site has told me more about the 2nd AD than any book could. keeping the history alive and moving forward to the future is very easy with what you have put on here. Well done.


Steve Ceskowski

11:55 PM on January 23, 2015  by [email protected]

Sgt. Vernon Hanes of Waukegan Illinois was the tail gunner on "Jolly Roger" over Cologne Germany on Oct. 12, 1944. Shot down by flak, Vernon was a POW in Stalag Luft 2. I met Vernon Hanes for the first time in 1974 when he taught me how to fly one of the early Hang-gliders. Vernon loved aviation and went on to earn a Private Pilot's License, as did I. Vern told me he was an Air Force Vet but I had no idea of his service until I found this site about the 458th. Bomb Group. It was amazing to read of the fate of the Klusmeyer crew and their mission, and to see photos of the crew and group. I last saw Vernon Hanes in 1987 in Waukegan when he visited from Washington State. I am writing to salute Vernon and to all who served our country so valiantly. I also thank those whose tremendous effort assembled this internet tribute to their memory. Well done!


Ryan Laughlin

1:17 AM on February 10, 2015  by [email protected]

I still get such a thrill exploring your site. Thanks again!


Ryan Laughlin

1:30 AM on February 10, 2015  by [email protected]

Also, in response to Steve Ceskowski... thanks for sharing that! My grandpa was Fred Wright. He was the Co-pilot on Vernon's crew. It's cool to get more insight from someone who got the chance to meet him. This site taught me more about my own grandpa's service than what I could find from family, even. My grandpa died in 1999 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. I did get the chance to know him while he was still of sound mind (I was born in 1982), but he began losing his faculties before I REALLY became interested in World War II. It's always been a fleeting interest, but upon his declining health, I became more and more interested in the war and his service. I never had the opportunity to discuss the war with him. That's not to say he'd even talk about it, but if the opportunity was there, I'm saddened to have missed it. That aside... my grandpa was a great man and I find it extremely lucky to not only have found this site, but to have input from people who know (or knew) members of his crew (or any crew mentioned here, really). Thanks again!

Steve Ceskowski says...
Sgt. Vernon Hanes of Waukegan Illinois was the tail gunner on "Jolly Roger" over Cologne Germany on Oct. 12, 1944. Shot down by flak, Vernon was a POW in Stalag Luft 2. I met Vernon Hanes for the first time in 1974 when he taught me how to fly one of the early Hang-gliders. Vernon loved aviation and went on to earn a Private Pilot's License, as did I. Vern told me he was an Air Force Vet but I had no idea of his service until I found this site about the 458th. Bomb Group. It was amazing to read of the fate of the Klusmeyer crew and their mission, and to see photos of the crew and group. I last saw Vernon Hanes in 1987 in Waukegan when he visited from Washington State. I am writing to salute Vernon and to all who served our country so valiantly. I also thank those whose tremendous effort assembled this internet tribute to their memory. Well done!


Arie-Jan van Hees

5:13 AM on February 26, 2015  by [email protected]

Dear Sir,  On behalf of the project ?Faces of Margraten? (see our website http://www.thefacesofmargraten.com/index.php/en-US/home ) I am collecting photographs of the USAAF Bomb Group and Fighter Group personnel who are commemorated at the Netherlands American Cemetery & Memorial.  Of the 458 Bombardment Group 7 men are buried at Margraten Cemetery and 9 are commemorated on the Walls of the Missing.  We have 15 photographs and thus 1 is missing! Can you provide us with a photograph of BUTSCH, James A. He was a S/Sgt and TTG in the 2Lt Lincoln A. Larson crew, KIA 7 July 1944. I would very much appreciate your reply.
Best regards,
Arie-Jan van Hees


Ferrin G. Harland

12:26 AM on March 24, 2015  by [email protected]

Capt. Richard D. Harland of the 753rd sqd. was my father who passed several years ago. He and I did not always get along but I always respected his service and envied him for what he did. It prompted me to serve in the U.S. Army as aviation flight crew in helicoptors through the cold war. His uncle was a first world war aviator, so that makes me third generation aviation. I'm retired now but still miss the smell of the clean air, fuel and an airframe. Thank you.


Nathan A Kunkle

3:11 PM on March 26, 2015  by [email protected]

I have information on Ferry Crew 50, Ford's Follies. My grandfather S/Sgt Klare E. Kunkle, is pictured in the front row, 2nd from the right. The Pilot William G. Everett, is standing 1st on left, and I believe S/Sgt James E. Needham is in the second row, 3rd from left. I have another picture these gentleman, with their signatures pictured with the following airmen.
S/Sgt Gilbert F. Bake Jr
S/Sgt Francis P. Birmingham
S/Sgt John W. Bradley
T/Sgt John F. O'Malley
2Lt Thomas E. Walsh
2Lt Gordon L. Shupp
If anyone is interested in the photo please let me know, I can scan it and email a copy.


John M Clayborn

9:20 PM on April 1, 2015  by [email protected]

Darin, I 1st contacted you in Feb 2004 and submitted info on my Dad's crew and a letter about their crash. I have looked up the site a number of times since then but have not contacted you. Several years ago I flew on a B-24 bomber restored by the Collings Foundation. You can find them at www.cfdn.org. They have an annual Wings Of Freedom Tour that covers most of the country. I you haven't tried it, please do. I am totally impressed with your efforts - this place is wonderful!!!


Ted Glatt

2:09 PM on April 8, 2015  by [email protected]

My father, Aaron Glatt, was in the 755th squadron, 458th...Gerald (Gerry) O. Allen's Crew. My father is still alive.. almost 91 years old. He was a Tech Sargent, Flight Engineer (Gunner)....B-24 Liberator. Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Central Europe, Rhineland and Ardennes. He received credit for 30 missions. His combat time was July 1944 - April 1945. He was discharged in October 1945. He received a Certificate of Valor for courage and devotion to duty...signed by Brig. General Walter Peck, Commanding 96th Combat Bomb Wing, Heavy and Allen F. Herzberg, Colonel - Air Corps, Commanding 458th Bombardment Group, Heavy.


Randy Dabb

1:45 PM on April 15, 2015  by [email protected]

My father Wayne C.Dabb recieved the Purple Heart, Silver Star and other medals. He was seriously wounded by flak but managed to make it back ok, he never complained about his shoulder which was almost severed by the flak.


Joe Lamers

10:33 AM on April 24, 2015  by [email protected]

Daurice Bessire Ring says...
Raymond Maurice Bessire "Tex" was a B-24 ball turret gunner with the pilot Gordon W. Lamers Any information would be appreciated. Dad had a diary that my mother loaned to a fellow crew member's family that has never been returned. I would love a copy of his diary or the original if someone has information I would love to share. I have so many questions, and may find some answers thru this website, thank-you it is so great to remember these wonderful young men who served our country

My dad was your father's pilot and I have my dad's diary. He passed away in 2007.



11:47 PM on April 28, 2015  by [email protected]

Hello - I just found a letter my dad received in the mail during the war that was addressed to him at 458th bomb group so I "googled" and found this page - I love this, I can't wait to find out more about it. My dad never talked about the war or what he did, I have recently tried to find out more about him with only his DD214 to go by. It's been almost impossible however I am hopeful now that I have found the letter and a site dedicated to the group that I might find out more. My dad's name was John M Brady and he was a Corporal.


Vance Kinkel

4:01 PM on May 1, 2015  by [email protected]

This a great site as it gives a picture of the men!!! I wish there were pictures of the Tonopah Air Base!!! My father Dale Kinkel was in 8th Airforce,458bg, crew 11. He was a Ball Turret Gunner!! He was a S/Sgt and received The Flying Cross!!! He passed on March 19th 2015!!! He was 92!!!


Col Al Matheson

2:13 PM on May 2, 2015  by [email protected]

I just recently located the crash site for the B-24H flown by Crew 41 of the 458th..., and validated the site through remains and aerial photography. I am looking for any information on the pilot, (Valin R. Woodward) or the deceased tail gunner and other members of the crew who survived 38 combat missions. The crash site was in Southern Utah, near Cedar City. I have photos and a lecture series, should anyone have an interest in this fascinating history.


Col. Al Matheson

2:28 PM on May 2, 2015  by [email protected]

The deceased NTGunner was SSgt Weisberg... for Crew 41, With Valin R Woodward as pilot.
Note: Photos and history of Tonopah AAF are available through USAF Combat Air Command, Civil engineering, Nellis AFB, NV


Vance Kinkel

12:43 AM on May 4, 2015  by [email protected]

[Col. Al Matheson]
Did not see any information about Tonopah, it was all about Las Vegas and there were no photos!!!
Sincerely,  Vance Kinkel


Cathy Josephson

6:51 AM on May 5, 2015  by [email protected]

Wonderful to see this about my father and "his" crew!! He wrote them Christmas LETTERS every year - each one of them - and there were sometimes phone calls and visits to catch up on all sorts of news. Even I know all the names - and knew personally Ward Walhay and his wife. One thing new, and that Dad wasn't sure about, is the names of the two aircraft they flew. Another: skeet champions! Cool!


Deb Pickens

10:07 AM on May 5, 2015  by [email protected]

My uncle (Franklin L. Barry) just passed away 5/1/15 at the age of 92. After looking through some old photos of him during the war preparing a slideshow for his memorial service, we did some searching for more information on his WWII service, and found his name in your personnel. We are so proud of his service and of the wonderful, kind man he was.


Gayle Lawson Engstli

2:23 AM on May 6, 2015  by [email protected]

How wonderful to see the Skeet tournament picture! I am Lloyd V. Lawson's daughter. He is next to Les Arnberger in the Skeet photo. For so many years Dad corresponded over the holidays with so many of the crew. We children had the honor to meet many of them.
Thank you for a fine site.


Trevor Hewitt

11:22 AM on May 9, 2015  by [email protected]

May 8th 2015 is the 70th anniversary of Victory In Europe and also the 71st anniversary of the crash on May 8th 1944 of the 754th Sq aircraft Belle Of Boston 458th Bomb Group, taking the lives of 6 and injuring 4 of the Lt Kingsley crew. They will be remembered.


Philip Confalone

12:07 PM on May 9, 2015  by [email protected]

I was thrilled to see pictures of my uncle Sgt John Confalone with his crew and Capt Beano he never talked about the war so it was nice to see them he died march 2014 at the age of 95 he was one of eight kids and he never married I printed them out to show my kids and grandkids who will be very surprised to see them thank you 458th.


Bert Farnell

12:41 AM on May 19, 2015  by [email protected]

Just a simple thank-you to all the men that flew these planes. We are indebted to them and proud of their courage. Grace & Peace, Bert & Mary (niece of Ivy Byrd Griffin).


Janet Baltas

4:39 PM on May 19, 2015  by [email protected]

Just found this website. My father-in-law was Ted Baltas who is in two of the photos. The summary on the Home page mentions that it is not known how many missions this crew flew with the 453rd. I have researched his missions at the National Archives in Maryland and have all the 31 missions my father-in-law flew and his crew flew on as well as dates and targets ~ even photos! Just about all of these missions were done with 90% of the crewmen who are in the photos. Is it possible for web master to contact me so I can get that information so it can be posted for future reference? Looking forward to your response......


Stephan Richardson

6:36 PM on May 21, 2015  by [email protected]

I had the extreme honor and pleasure meeting Capt. Dyer. Honor Flight Conyers is next week. He will be on it as well I.


Joan Hart

9:06 PM on May 23, 2015  by [email protected]

Thank you so much for putting all this info online! I am the niece of Addison Hart. I'm so thrilled to see this website and be able to share it with my family.



6:00 PM on May 25, 2015  by [email protected]

Thank you for your service. My dad Nick served in the 458th during WW2 as a waist gunner on a B-24.
I am happy to say I saw him today his 96 years old and doing fine.
Dave Bahnick, son  USAF 1975-1978


Pascal Geensen

4:53 PM on May 27, 2015  by [email protected]

Hello . Where can i find the picture of crew 35 so that i can print it.


Margaret E Jones

4:06 PM on August 18, 2015  by [email protected]

Thank you for all your dedication and hard work in setting up and maintaining this website. I purchased the magnificent book on the 458th when it was published in 2010. My father was pilot of a B24 Liberator and POW at Stalag Lift I at Barth after his plane went down over the Belgian coast on the flight back to England. He died 1781in 2009 at age 90. We owe these men so much, they had such courage. They soon will be gone, that Greatest Generation.



1:48 AM on September 11, 2015  by [email protected]

Woot! Go 2nd Lt Dario de Julio. Get that thang.
Best Regards,


Paula Till Lincoln

10:25 PM on September 30, 2015  by [email protected]

My father was a Staff Sargeant with the 458bg during WW2.He was ground crew, Durward A.Till. He passed away when he was 72 years old. I miss him. He was an electronic technician.


Mike Simpson

12:30 PM on October 26, 2015  by [email protected]

Extremely well presented web site. Would like to talk with you about the data you have on the 458th and how it might be included in a new research tool at the 2nd Air Division / 8th Air Force level. The initial presentation of this research tool was made at the 8th Air Force Historical Society reunion in Omaha, NE on Oct 16th and was extremely well received by the researchers present, including representatives if the American Air Museum in Duxford, England.


David Melton

10:39 PM on October 26, 2015  by [email protected]

Joseph Matson says...
It was extremely awesome seeing my late grandfathers face (Glen R. Matson) and his friends and crew. Love the site.


David Melton

10:41 PM on October 26, 2015  by [email protected]

David Melton says...
Enjoyed very much reading your Grandfather's stories concerning Paddlefoot, as my Dad was Charles Melton, the pilot. I remember him mentioning Glen, I know he was in contact with him, but my dad passed away in Feb 2002.

David Ebbing

3:52 PM on November 13, 2015  by [email protected]

This is great reading. My Father T/Sgt Alfred J. Ebbing #16074864, Lt Robert Burman Crew. Served in the Mighty 8th,458th Bombardment Group (H) 752nd Sq. Just to read what he and all Vets had to endure for my FREEDOM. My 95 yr old father is now living at Soldiers and Sailors Home, Quincy, Illinois. In all his years, he seldom would talk about the War. He always said he just did his job.


Yvette Townshend

7:13 AM on November 21, 2015  by [email protected]

I visit this website from time to time when researching the history of the 458th BG
At the City of Norwich Aviation Museum where I work, we have a very good display of 8th USAAF exhibits.
Best Wishes


Trevor Hewitt

2:11 PM on November 28, 2015  by [email protected]

The 8th Air Force displays at the City Of Norwich Aviation Museum are excellent, really well worth a visit, I do as much as I can and Yvette serves excellent tea and cakes as well for refreshment!!


Laura Barillaro

2:05 AM on December 9, 2015  by [email protected]

My dad was John R. Barillaro (T/Sgt) who was in Unit 752, Leonard Abramowitz's crew (DA18); they were shot down near the end of the war, I believe, and my dad was a POW for a short time. We have his purple heart which he was very proud of. He passed away at 82 in early 2008, having been a self-made businessman all his life after the war. If anyone has any WW2 photos with my dad included (or any other info) I'd surely appreciate you sharing them at my email address provided in sign-in.


Cees Steijger

7:34 AM on December 25, 2015  by [email protected]

I am writing a book on the crash of B-17GSH 42-30280 'Crazy Horse'. It went down in lake IJsselmeer, in an area that later was reclaimed. I live approx. 1,5 km from the place it game down and where it was salvaged in 1971. All crew bailed out, unfortunately the pilot - Ralph W. Holcombe - landed in the water and drowned. He is buried in Margraten, the Netherlands. While I have a lot of information about the crew members, I have nothing on Ralph. No data, no photographs, nog background. Nothing. He served as 1LT. with 482BG/812BS and was washed ashore on 3 May 1944 in Bunschoten. He was buried first at the cementry in Amersfoort, and re-buried on 11 March 1946 at Margraten. Who can help me with more info and background on Ralph? Many thanks for your help! Cees Steijger, [email protected]


Kenneth Jarvis

1:29 PM on December 28, 2015  by [email protected]

My name is Ken Jarvis and my grandfathers name was Joseph Galterio. You have amazing pics of him and I was wondering if you have anymore?


Trevor Hewitt

8:53 AM on December 30, 2015  by [email protected]

For attention of Kenneth Jarvis, try the website www.hookemcow.com or the link to that site on here. There is also a memorial to this crew in the village where the Hookem cow crashed, your Grandfather was not flying with his crew that day.