Geiger Crew - 752nd Squadron - Assigned March 28, 1945
Flying at the End of Hostilities
|2Lt||Clement G Geiger||01051141||Pilot||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|2Lt||Louzon Z Tinsley||02059179||Co-pilot||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|F/O||Fred E Renkewitz||T134986||Navigator||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|Sgt||Seymour A Reisman||16169097||Radio Operator||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|Sgt||Paul G Berkeley||35058626||Flight Engineer||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|Sgt||David E Adkins||11120429||Armorer-Gunner||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|Sgt||Nicholas Bahnick||33837294||Aerial Gunner||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|Sgt||Kenton E McElhatten||13088635||Aerial Gunner||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
|Sgt||Charles L Richard||18171856||Aerial Gunner||25-Apr-45||FEH||Load List - Bad Reichenhall|
On March 28, 1945 no one was aware that there were only 28 days left until the 8th AF would cease all combat operations over Europe. It was on this date that Geiger's crew was assigned to the 752nd Squadron. After two weeks of in theater indoctrination, Geiger and crew flew their first mission to Regensburg on April 11, 1945. They participated in every operational mission the 458th flew after that until the air war ended on April 25th.
The April 14th mission to Pointe De Grave did not begin well for the 458th. Two aircraft piloted by 2Lt Rex Gibson of the 752nd Squadron and 2Lt David Totten of the 754th, crashed shortly after takeoff. Both of these crews had been assigned to the group on the same day as the Geiger crew. Flying their second mission, the Geiger crew was assigned an older, olive drab B-24H named My Bunnie with what had once been a rather well endowed female on the nose being ogled by a Bugs Bunny character. Most of the artwork had by this time been painted over with a large, more practical tail number and call letter of the aircraft "567-G". They flew in the far right element of the lead squadron.
Mission records state: “SAV (Strike Attack Vertical) [photos] shows first and third squadron [bombing] results excellent, second squadron fair, and fourth squadron fair to poor. We quote [a] letter from General Jacob L. Devers, commanding general of the Sixth Army Group, which was forwarded to General Doolittle and in return down to the groups participating in this mission. Quote ‘General De Larminat, commanding the army detachment of the Atlantic, wishes me to express his sincere gratitude for the cooperation you and the members of your command exhibited in the planning and execution of Operation Venerable. The weight and accuracy of the bombing effort on the heavily fortified areas of Royan and Pointe De Grave achieved excellent results and made it possible to open the Gironde estuary with a minimum of casualties to our ground forces. Your forces showed a high sense of combat efficiency and camaraderie in the accomplishment of a job well done.’ Unquote Receiving such a splendid commendation made every man in the organization feel proud of the greatest Air Force in the world.”
The next day 458th crews headed for the Royan area (near Pointe De Grave). Ordnance consisted of a new type of "jellied gasoline bomb" called Napalm. Most planes carried several 75 and 85 gallon tanks that were prone to leaking. Several other planes in the group carried M47 incendiaries. Twenty-seven of the group's aircraft, including Geiger and crew flying My Bunnie again, made it to the target area dropping 45 napalm tanks and 156 M47's for good results.
The next four missions were to Germany, the last on the 25th to a railroad target at Bad Reichenhall.
Geiger Crew Missions
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|11-Apr-45||REGENSBURG||224||1||44-10487||R||7V||57||Girl on surfboard (no name)|
|14-Apr-45||POINTE DE GRAVE||225||2||41-29567||G||7V||26||MY BUNNIE / BAMBI|
|15-Apr-45||ROYAN AREA||226||3||41-29567||G||7V||27||MY BUNNIE / BAMBI|
|16-Apr-45||LANDSHUT||227||4||44-10487||R||7V||58||Girl on surfboard (no name)|
|18-Apr-45||PASSAU||228||5||42-51270||A||7V||42||MY BUNNIE II|
|19-Apr-45||ZWIESEL||SCR||--||42-51270||A||7V||--||MY BUNNIE II||SCRUBBED|
|25-Apr-45||BAD REICHENHALL||230||7||42-50502||E||7V||70||LARRUPIN' LINDA|
2Lt C. Gregg Geiger
(Photo: Julie Shannon)
Aviation Cadet Louzon M. Tinsley
(Photo: Steve Tinsley)