458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Hemrich Crew - Assigned 755th Squadron - May 9, 1944

Standing: Robert Leahy - RO, Charles Gaine - DR/N, Raymond Hemrich - P, Edward McLean - CP, Maurice Saliman - N
Kneeling: Vernon Freeman - G, Bernard Gehring - G, James Charlton - E, Gene Young - BTG, Eusebio Montano - G

(Photo: NARA - Fold3)

Hemrich Crew - Completed Tour

 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
Capt Raymond F Hemrich  0750385 Pilot 01-Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
1Lt Edward D McLean 0764408 Co-pilot 06-Dec-44 CT TD to AAF 519 for Project "A"
1Lt Maurice P Saliman 0696151 Navigator Jan-45 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete
2Lt Claude J Watson 0704252 Bombardier Sep-44 RFS Removed, Flight Status Trsf ZI - Medical 
T/Sgt Richard E Leahy 20244830 Radio Operator  Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete
T/Sgt James M Charlton 35408918 Flight Engineer Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete
S/Sgt Vernon W Freeman 34800351 Aerial Gunner Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete
S/Sgt Bernard F Gehring 33560552 Aerial Gunner Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete
S/Sgt Eusebio Montano 18220762 Aerial Gunner Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete
S/Sgt Eugene W Young 18053892  Aerial Gunner Dec-44 CT Trsf to 70CP for return to ZI - Tour complete

2Lt Raymond Hemrich’s crew arrived at Horsham in May 1944 and was assigned to the 755th Squadron.  Their first mission was on May 25th to the marshaling yards at Mulhouse, Germany.  Two days later, the crew was witness to an ever-present danger in the process of assembling large groups of aircraft, when they saw two Liberators of their squadron collide over Cromer.  Ray Hemrich was called upon to make a statement for the official report.  I was flying on the right wing of the lower left element.  We were starting to turn to the right and we swung in toward the center of the formation.  I seen two ships hit but only got a glance as I was busy.  It seemed the wing of one ship hit the other on the tail section or that he drug his tail across the wing.  I seen the tail section start to bend to one side and come completely off.  The ship started a slow spiral dive to the left and passed close over the top of our ship.  My men watched the damaged ship until it disappeared thru the clouds and reported seeing no one bail out.”


The crew flew two missions on D-Day and one mission as deputy lead for the group on June 12th. In mid-July Hemrich was selected to be a lead crew.  As lead, they needed an extra navigator, and 2Lt Charles F. Gaine was assigned to the crew.  He had come to the 458th with 2Lt Charles W. Quirk in May.  Lt Quirk and the rest of the crew had been shot down July 12th on their 12th mission.  Four of the crew were able to evade capture and return to England, while the others were made POW. The crew’s bombardier, 2Lt David C. Jelinek and Gaine were not on board for this mission, and they both went to other crews.


Hemrich's crew had a lengthy break from combat flying from the end of August to the beginning of October, flying only one operational mission – a Truckin’ flight on September 22nd to Lille, France.  After this they resumed their tour.  On October 21st the entire crew was sent on Rest Home Leave, which normally would have taken place around their 15th mission, not the 27th.  After their return, they flew an additional four missions in November to round out their combat tour.  Most crew members were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and returned to the States (Zone of the Interior) in December. Ed McLean, sent on Temporary Duty to Grove in Berkshire (AAF 519), was awarded the DFC in January, and Fred Gaine was awarded two DFCs, one in January and one in March 1945.


Raymond Hemrich was promoted to Captain in January 1945, and appointed as “Instructor Pilot” on the Proficiency Board. He is listed as flying the group’s assembly ship Spotted Ape on five occasions in January and February.  After a stint at the 32nd Ferry Squadron, with Charles Gaine, both men were returned to the US in March.


Tragically, Charles “Fred” Gaine died in July 1946 at the age of 22 from polio.


Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Cmd Pilot Ld  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
25-May-44 MULHOUSE M/Y 47 1     41-29470 O J3 3 UNKNOWN 013  
27-May-44 NEUNKIRCHEN 48 2     41-29300 M J4 27 LORELEI ABORT - SORTIE #1, 4 ENGS
28-May-44 ZEITZ 49 3     41-28719 Q J3 28 PADDLEFOOT  
29-May-44 TUTOW A/F 50 4     42-52441 I J3 29 LAST CARD LOUIE FLEW w/ANOTHER GRP
31-May-44 BERTRIX 52 5     42-95163 K Z5 11 DIXIE BELLE  
05-Jun-44 STELLA/PLAGE 55 6     42-51097 T J3 16 UNKNOWN 022  
06-Jun-44 COASTAL AREAS 56 7     41-29305 N Z5 18 I'LL BE BACK/HYPOCHONDRIAC   
06-Jun-44 PONTAUBAULT 58 8     41-29359 J J3 37 TAIL WIND MSN #3
10-Jun-44 CHATEAUDUN 61 9     42-100425 D J3 10 THE BIRD  
12-Jun-44 EVREUX/FAUVILLE 64 10 WILLIAMSON  D1 42-100425 D J3 11 THE BIRD  
18-Jun-44 WATTEN 70 11     42-100433 B J3 29 BIG DICK HARD TO HIT MSN #2
20-Jun-44 OSTERMOOR 73 12     42-110184 F J3 6 GWEN MSN #1
23-Jun-44 3 NO BALLS 76 13     42-100425 D J3 12 THE BIRD TGT #8 BLANE-PIGNOT-FERNE 
29-Jun-44 ASCHERSLEBEN 82 14     42-100425 O J3 15 THE BIRD  
08-Jul-44 ANIZY, FRANCE 87 ASSY     -- -- -- --   ASSEMBLY - NO A/C LISTED
16-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN 91 15     42-100425 D J3 18 THE BIRD X'd OUT
19-Jul-44 KEMPTEN 94 16 WRIGHT D1 42-110059 E J3 28 UNKNOWN 056  
24-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA 97 17 GRIFFITH D1 42-100425 D J3 20 THE BIRD  
31-Jul-44 LUDWIGSHAFEN 99 18 SCHWARTZ L3 42-100425 D J3 21 THE BIRD  
07-Aug-44 GHENT 107 20 LaROCHE L1 42-50907 D J3 1 LILY MARLENE  
13-Aug-44 LIEUREY 112 21     42-50907 D J3 3 LILY MARLENE  
18-Aug-44 WOIPPY 116 22 WILLIAMSON L1 42-50907 D J3 4 LILY MARLENE  
25-Aug-44 TERTRE 119 23   L2 42-50907 D J3 5 LILY MARLENE  
26-Aug-44 DULMEN 120 24 GORRELL L2 42-50907 D J3 6 LILY MARLENE  
22-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR06 --     42-100425 O J3 T5 THE BIRD CARGO
09-Oct-44 KOBLENZ 131 25 MARTIN, C L2 42-50575 E J3 1 UNKNOWN 020  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ 136 26 BETZOLD L3 42-50575 E J3 4 UNKNOWN 020  
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 27 BETZOLD L3 42-50575 E J3 7 UNKNOWN 020  
10-Nov-44 HANAU A/F 146 28 SPEER L 42-50740 F J3 8 OUR BURMA  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 29 QUINN L3 42-50575 O J3 10 UNKNOWN 020  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 150 30 Booth L4 42-50608 W J3 9 FILTHY MCNAUGHTY ABORT - K-22 - SORTIE
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 31 Booth L 42-50575 O J3 -- UNKNOWN 020 Sqdn Rec's, Maj Booth Recs
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 ASSY     41-28697 Z Z5 A45 SPOTTED APE ASSY & WTHR SHIP (755TH)
03-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 177 ASSY     41-28697 Z Z5 A54 SPOTTED APE ASSEMBLY CREW - 755
11-Feb-45 DULMEN 180 ASSY     41-28697 Z Z5 A56 SPOTTED APE ASSEMBLY CREW

Stateside 1944

Lt's Hemrich and Larson crew officers in training.  Larson and his crew were lost on July 7, 1944

Standing: Lincoln Larson - P, Raymond Hemrich - P, Claude Watson - B, Ralph McGuire - CP, Ed McLean - CP
Sitting: Maurice Saliman - N, EG Walker - B, Charles Wall - N

Horsham St Faith - Flight Line

Standing: Raymond Hemrich, Charles Gaine, Claude Watson

Kneeling: James Charlton, Richard Leahy, Bernard Gehring

Maurice Saliman, Claude Watson


Standing: Bernard Gehring, James Charlton, Ed McLean, Gene Young, Maurice Saliman

Kneeling: Ray Hemrich, Eusebio Montano, Richard Leahy, Vernon Freeman


Bernard Gehring, Charles Gaine, Maurice Saliman, Eusebio Montano, James Charlton, Vernon Freeman

Albuquerque - October 1995

Vernon (Shorty) Freeman, Ed McLean, Eddie Montano, Ray Hemrich, JM Charlton, Eugene Young

Additional photos

All photos on this page supplied by: Brian Leahy & Mark Wilson