458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Crew 36 - Assigned 753rd Squadron - October 29, 1943

Standing: Andrew Kovich - P, Frank Rizzo - CP, Harold David - N, Robert Maloney - B
Kneeling: Peter Martinkus - TTG, Robert Mudget - E, Raymond Lytle - NTG, John Morgan - RO
Sitting: Gus Musulas - BTG, Nicholas Peterson - TG

(Photo: AFHRA)

Crew 36 - Completed Tour

 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Andrew D Kovich 0745908 Pilot 03-Jun-44 RFS Removed, Flying Status - Casual Pool 
1Lt Franklin P Rizzo 0811142 Co-pilot Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
1Lt Harold L David 0694862 Navigator 25-Jun-44 CT Air Crew Leave
1Lt Robert T Maloney 0752379 Bombardier Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
T/Sgt John W Morgan 11130043 Radio Operator Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
T/Sgt Robert L Mudget 16013535 Flight Engineer Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Raymond Lytle 13038880 Aerial Gunner/2E Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Gus A Musulas 19011975 Aerial Gunner/2E  Sep-44 CT Original Crew member completed tour
S/Sgt Nicholas A Peterson  20254413 Armorer-Gunner Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Peter J Martinkus 36376281 Armorer-Gunner Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross

The Kovich Crew was a part of the 753rd Squadron and trained in Tonopah with the rest of the group.  They made their way to England via the Souther Ferry Route in January 1944.

For seven of their nine missions with pilot Andrew Kovich, the crew flew B-24H 41-29733 Rhapsody In Junk. They took off in this aircraft on the February 25th diversionary mission to the Dutch Coast and followed that up on March 5, 1944, with their first combat mission to Bordeaux, France.  Their second combat mission was the next day, March 6th, the first successful American daylight raid on Berlin. The crew had several mechanical and equipment difficulties that forced them to turn back shortly after crossing the coast of Holland.  Flying a different B-24 this day, ship #276, they lost #2 and #4 superchargers and could not keep up with the formation. Number four prop also ran away.  In addition to the interphone system in the nose not working, two of the crew’s rheostats for their heated suits also malfunctioned.  Even though they turned back early, the crew was credited with a sortie (mission).

On March 8th they were on their way to Berlin once again, for their third mission. This time they dropped their bombs on the southeast side of the town of Erkner with the rest of the group. Four more missions, including one abort, flown in Rhapsody In Junk followed to finish out the month of March.  On the April 8, 1944 mission to Brunswick, once again flying Rhapsody In Junk, according to group reports, Andrew Kovich, “experienced sinus trouble and became unconscious at altitude.”  The crew once again turned back early, landing about three hours ahead of the rest of the group.

This was to be Andrew Kovich’s last mission.  Aftre a period of evaluation,  a medical board removed him from flying status and he was shipped home in June.  Taking over as first pilot was another “Andrew”, 2Lt Lloyd Andrew, pilot of Crew 35.  On the March 6th Berlin raid, Capt Jack Bogusch, the 753rd Squadron Operations Officer, had taken Andrew's crew over Berlin while their pilot remained on the ground due to illness.  They were one of five 458th Liberators that failed to return.  Lloyd Andrew was left without a crew and flew only one combat mission during March.  On April 9th, with Kovich grounded, he flew his second combat mission, and his first as the new pilot of Crew 36

The crew flew missions to Hamm, Leipheim, Berlin, and three to Brunswick all in Germany; and a number of missions to targets in France in an effort by the Eighth Air Force to soften up the coastal areas for the impending invasion of the Continent.  Rhapsody In Junk still seemed to be the crew’s “favorite” as they flew this aircraft eleven more times between April 9th and May 19th.  On June 8th and 14th the crew took part in two AZON missions that the 753rd Squadron was flying, only one of which counted as a sortie.  The exact date is unknown, but most of the crew, having flown eight or nine missions with Kovich in March, must have completed their 30-mission tour at some point in mid-July 1944 leaving Lloyd Andrew to fly with various crews until completing his tour in early August.

S/Sgt Raymond Lytle, listed as the crew’s nose turret gunner, was credited with an enemy aircraft destroyed on the May 8, 1944 raid on Brunswick.

Missions - 1Lt Andrew Kovich, pilot

Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
25-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D2 -- 41-28733 -- J4 D2 RHAPSODY IN JUNK Diversion Mission 
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC 3 1 41-28733 P J4 1 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
08-Mar-44 BERLIN/ERKNER 5 3 41-28705 H J4 5 YE OLDE HELLGATE  
16-Mar-44 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 8 4 41-28733 P J4 3 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
23-Mar-44 OSNABRUCK 12 5 41-28733 P J4 5 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
24-Mar-44 ST. DIZIER 13 6 41-28733 P J4 6 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
08-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM  17 7 41-28733 P J4 10 RHAPSODY IN JUNK

Crew 36 at Horsham St Faith

Back Row: Frank Rizzo - CP, Harold David - N, Robert Maloney - B, Lloyd Andrew - P
Middle Row: Peter Martinkus - TTG, Raymond Lytle - NTG, John Morgan - RO, Gus Musulas - BTG
Front Row: Nicholas Peterson - TG, Robert Mudgett - E

(Photo: Harold Armstrong)

Missions - 1Lt Lloyd Andrew, pilot

Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn  A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
25-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D2 -- 41-28729 -- J4 D2 UNKNOWN 046 Diversion Mission
26-Mar-44 BONNIERES 14 1 41-28671 K J4 10 UNKNOWN 001  
09-Apr-44 TUTOW A/F 18 2 41-28733 P J4 11 RHAPSODY IN JUNK KOVICH CREW 36
10-Apr-44 BOURGES A/F 19 3 41-28733 P J4 12 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y 25 4 41-28733 P J4 17 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
24-Apr-44 LEIPHEIM A/F 26 5 41-28733 P J4 18 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
25-Apr-44 MANNHEIM A/F 27 6 41-28733 P J4 19 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
27-Apr-44 BONNIERES 29 7 41-28733 P J4 21 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
27-Apr-44 BLAINVILLE-SUR-L'EAU 30 8 41-28733 P J4 22 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
29-Apr-44 BERLIN 31 9 41-28733 P J4 23 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
01-May-44 MARQUISE/MIMOYECQUES  32 10 41-28705 H J4 22 YE OLDE HELLGATE  
01-May-44 LIEGE M/Y 33 11 41-28735 S J4 18 UNKNOWN 005  
04-May-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 34 12 41-28733 P J4 24 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
05-May-44 SOTTEVAST 35 ABT 41-28733 P J4 -- RHAPSODY IN JUNK #4 ENG FIRE
08-May-44 BRUNSWICK 37 13 42-50320 J J4 8 UNKNOWN 018  
11-May-44 EPINAL 39 14 42-50320 O J4 10 UNKNOWN 018  
12-May-44 BOHLEN 40 15 41-28733 P J4 26 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
13-May-44 TUTOW A/F 41 16 41-28733 A J4 27 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
19-May-44 BRUNSWICK 42 17 42-100408 D J4 16 LADY LUCK / THE BEAST  
23-May-44  BOURGES 45 18 42-95120 M J3 6 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
14-Jun-44 5 TARGETS AZ06 19 42-100408 D J4 17 LADY LUCK / THE BEAST  
13-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN 90 20 41-29305 N Z5 28 I'LL BE BACK/HYPOCHONDRIAC  
17-Jul-44 3 NO BALLS 92 21 42-110163 M J4 9 TIME'S A WASTIN  
20-Jul-44 EISENACH 95 22 42-100408 D J4 20 LADY LUCK / THE BEAST  
21-Jul-44 MUNICH 96 23 44-40275 L J4 4 SHACK TIME  
24-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA 97 24 44-40201 N J4 4 SILVER CHIEF  
01-Aug-44 T.O.s FRANCE 100 25 42-110141 U J4 7 BREEZY LADY / MARIE / SUPERMAN   
02-Aug-44 3 NO BALLS 101 26 44-40285 H J4 19 TABLE STUFF  
04-Aug-44 ACHIET A/F 104 27 42-100431 B J4 32 BOMB-AH-DEAR  
05-Aug-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 105 28 42-100431 B J4 33 BOMB-AH-DEAR  
08-Aug-44 CLASTRES 108 29 42-100408 D J4 24 LADY LUCK / THE BEAST  
09-Aug-44 SAARBRUCKEN 109 30 42-100408 D J4 25 LADY LUCK / THE BEAST

Crew 36 Pilot & Co-pilot

Lloyd Andrew (left) and Frank Rizzo in front of the 753rd Squadron area

(Photos: Anne Zimmer)

Andrew Crew prepare for mission April 27, 1944

A 458BG crew arrive at Rhapsody In Junk for their second mission of the day on 28 April.  [actually 27 April]

More hours of daylight enabled the 8AF to do this on a number of occasions during the following weeks. 

Tanks are being topped off - a B-24 took 2814 US gallons.

Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger Freeman, Pg.229

B-24J-100-CO 42-100408  J4  Lady Luck / The Beast

Lloyd Andrew and Frank Rizzo
Robert Maloney and Capt Leland Griffith, 753BS Ops Officer
(Photos: William Rizzo & Scott Fifer)

Outside Control Tower

Standing (L-R): Frank Rizzo, Robert Mudgett, Robert Maloney, Harold David, Unidentified
Kneeling: Unidentified

 Frank Rizzo, Robert Maloney, Harold David

Photos: Anne Zimmer

Ready for a mission

Lloyd Andrew (left) and Stephen Davidson, pilot Crew 37 in front of Wabbit Twacks, March 1944

Photo: Anne Zimmer

B-24H-10-DT 41-28733  J4  P  Rhapsody In Junk

Pictured here in mid-April 1944, Rhapsody In Junk would be lost on June 18, 1944, with Lt Henry Northrop and crew,a victim of flak. 
The lone swastika belongs to S/Sgt Raymond Lytle, credited with an enemy aircraft destroyed on May 8, 1944.

S/Sgt Gus Musulas' Ball Turret position

Photos: George Reynolds