458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Crew 74 - Assigned 755th Squadron - October 21, 1943

Standing: Sam Scorza - N, Curt Vogel - P, A.J. Testa - B, Al Hilborn - CP
Kneeling: Joe Brown - TT/E, Ray Potts - BTG, Bernie Doyle - RO, Donald Murphy - WG, Chester Carlstrum - TG, Al Walczak - WG

Completed Tour

 Rank Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Curt M Vogel 0745982 Pilot 01-Jul-44 CT Trsf to 12RD AAF 591 - Tour complete
1Lt Allen C Hilborn 0693778 Co-pilot 01-Jul-44 CT Transferred to 482nd BG
1Lt Samuel D Scorza 0694736 Navigator 03-Jul-44 CT Trsf to 12RD AAF 591 - Tour complete
1Lt Alex J Testa 01106529 Bombardier Jul-44 CT Trsf to 12RD AAF 591 - Tour complete 
T/Sgt Joseph R Brown 12192583 Flight Engineer Aug-44 CT Left for 8th AFRD at AAF 594
T/Sgt Bernard J Doyle 12208796 Radio Operator Aug-44 CT Left for 8th AFRD at AAF 594
S/Sgt Ray J Potts 39325760 Ball Turret Gunner Aug-44 CT Left for 8th AFRD at AAF 594
Pvt Donald P Murphy 12174043 Airplane & Engine Mech  15-Apr-45 RFS Trsf 814th Air Engineering Sqdn
S/Sgt Albert W Walczak 13088554 Waist Gunner 08-Jun-44 CT Reld from 60SC
S/Sgt Chester R Carlstrum  19186336 Tail Turret Gunner 27-May-44 KIA Bailed out of Lt Martin's plane

Lt Curt Vogel's Crew 74 was one of the last crews to be assigned to the 458th in Tonopah.  They left the States for ETO on January 13, 1944.  Their ship, #342 Rough Riders, developed a fuel leak that at Waller Field, Trinidad.  A few days later in Natal, the leak was serious enough that it held them up for 7 days in order to get it repaired.  They finally arrived at Horsham St Faith on February 9, 1944.

S/Sgt Donald Murphy was replaced shortly after arriving in England with S/Sgt Harry Goldstein.  The crew flew their first mission on March 5, 1944.  Not slated to fly the next day on the USAAF first daylight raid on Berlin, Sgt Goldstein volunteered to fly with a crew in the 754th Squadron and was killed in action when their plane was shot down over Berlin.  Taking his place on the crew was S/Sgt Lovell T. West, who remained with the crew for the remainder of their combat tour.

S/Sgt Chester Carlstrum, the crew's tail gunner, was also rated as a flight engineer, a position that he desperately wanted.  On May 27, 1944, he got his wish, when along with five veteran gunners from other 755th Crews, he volunteered to fly with Lt Lester Martin on a mission to Neunkirchen, Germany. This was Martin's first mission.  During assembly, another 755th crew on their second mission, collided with Lt Martin's plane, mangling their right wing, which momentarily sent their plane into a spin.  Martin gave the bail out order and Carlstrum, standing behind the pilots, jettisoned the bomb load from the release handle on the pilot's pedestal, and followed the bombs out through the bomb bay.  Possibly due to the loss of the 6,000 pound bomb load, Lt Martin regained control and was able to land the plane back at Horsham.  One other crew member, S/Sgt Wilbert Abshire, bailed out from the tail section.  Neither man was ever found, as they were about 10 miles off the coast of England over the North Sea when the collision took place.  The other aircraft was lost with all of the ten-man crew. (See Stories-May 27, 1944 for more on this incident.)

Most of the crew completed their combat tour on June 5, 1944.  S/Sgt Lovell West flew two missions with Lt Nelson Stewart and crew on D-day, and Lt Samuel Scorza flew with pilot Larry Riesen and a new crew on the second mission of D-Day, completing his combat tour on June 7, 1944.  After a 7-day leave, most crew members received orders for return to the States. Co-pilot Allen Hilborn was assigned to the 482BG at Alconbury, flying B-17's to train Radar crews.

Lt Sam Scorza's mission diary is featured on this website under A Navigator's Diary
Lt Curt Vogel's memoir is also featured on this website under the Stories page - 1Lt Curt M. Vogel

Tonopah - 1943

Curt Vogel (standing), Sam Scorza, Al Hilborn, A.J. Testa
Al Hilborn asleep in the co-pilot's seat

En-route to the ETO

Standing: Curt Vogel, Al Walczak, Bernie Doyle, Don Murphy, Chester Carlstrum
Kneeling: Ray Potts, Al Hilborn, Joe Brown, A.J. Testa

Standing: Don Murphy, Curt Vogel, Al Hilborn, Ray Potts
Kneeling: Joe Brown, Sam Scorza, Bernie Doyle, A.J. Testa, Local resident

(Photos: Curt Vogel)


Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
25-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D2 -- 41-29298 G J3 D2 OLE SATAN Diversion Mission
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC 3 1 41-29342 S J3 1 ROUGH RIDERS  
08-Mar-44 BERLIN/ERKNER 5 2 41-29342 S J3 2 ROUGH RIDERS  
15-Mar-44 BRUNSWICK 7 3 41-29342 S J3 3 ROUGH RIDERS  
21-Mar-44 WATTEN 10 4 42-52441 I J3 7 LAST CARD LOUIE  
23-Mar-44 OSNABRUCK 12 5 42-52441 I J3 9 LAST CARD LOUIE  
24-Mar-44 ST. DIZIER 13 6 41-28671 K J4 9 UNKNOWN 001  
26-Mar-44 BONNIERES 14 7 41-28733 P J4 7 RHAPSODY IN JUNK  
05-Apr-44 ST. POL-SIRACOURT 16 8 42-52432 P J3 14 BACHELOR'S PARADISE  
08-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 17 9 42-100357 D Z5 7 VALE OREGAN  
10-Apr-44 BOURGES A/F 19 10 42-52335 R Z5 16 ADMIRABLE LITTLE CHARACTER   
11-Apr-44 OSCHERSLEBEN 20 11 41-28706 F J4 7 DREAM BOAT/SPARE PARTS  
13-Apr-44 LECHFELD A/F 21 12 41-29303 H Z5 15 LIBERTY LIB BOMBS ON ST - AUTOBAHN
19-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F 23 13 41-29342 S J3 6 ROUGH RIDERS  
20-Apr-44 SIRACOURT 24 14 41-29342 S J3 7 ROUGH RIDERS  
22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y 25 15 41-29342 S J3 8 ROUGH RIDERS  
04-May-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM  34 16 41-29342 S J3 16 ROUGH RIDERS  
07-May-44 OSNABRUCK 36 17 41-29342 S J3 17 ROUGH RIDERS  
08-May-44 BRUNSWICK 37 18 41-29342 S J3 18 ROUGH RIDERS  
09-May-44 ST. TROND 38 19 41-29342 S J3 19 ROUGH RIDERS  
12-May-44 BOHLEN 40 20 41-29342 S J3 20 ROUGH RIDERS ABORT - SORTIE CREDIT
13-May-44 TUTOW A/F 41 21 42-95159 B J3 1 ROUGH RIDERS II  
19-May-44 BRUNSWICK 42 22 42-95159 P J3 2 ROUGH RIDERS II  
21-May-44 SIRACOURT 44 23 42-95159 P J3 4 ROUGH RIDERS II  
23-May-44 BOURGES 45 24 42-95159 P J3 5 ROUGH RIDERS II  
24-May-44 VILLEROCHE 46 25 42-95159 P J3 6 ROUGH RIDERS II  
29-May-44 TUTOW A/F 50 26 42-50320 W J3 17 UNKNOWN 018  
31-May-44 BERTRIX 52 27 42-50320 W J3 19 UNKNOWN 018  
02-Jun-44 STELLA/PLAGE 53 28 42-50320 W J3 20 UNKNOWN 018  
04-Jun-44 BOURGES A/F 54 29 42-50320 W J3 21 UNKNOWN 018 Land Accdnt Nose wheel up 
05-Jun-44 STELLA/PLAGE 55 30 42-95316 N J3 12 PRINCESS PAT

B-24H-15-CF 41-29342  J3 S  Rough Riders

With four missions - around mid-March 1944
(Photo: Greg Birnie)

755th Ground Crew.  Crew Chief Sgt. Linwood Yarbrough (2nd from right in both pictures)

May 12, 1944 - Abort and landed at Manston with 2 engines out and a third losing power
(Painting: Mike Bailey)

June 5, 1944 - Most of the crew completes their combat tour

Standing: Sam Scorza, Curt Vogel, Al Hilborn, A.J. Testa
Kneeling: Al Walczak, Bernie Doyle, Joe Brown, Ray Potts, Lovell West

S/Sgt Chester R. Carlstrum - KIA May 27, 1944

Distinguished Flying Cross

Sgt Ray Potts, Brig Gen Walter Peck, Sgt Vincent Wilde (Lt Wells Crew)
Sgt Bernie Doyle (2nd from left) and gunners from other 755th crews receive the DFC from Brig Gen Peck