458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Lockridge Crew - Assigned 754th Squadron - May 1944

Standing: John Gorman - B, Charles Lockridge - P, William Swartz - CP
Sitting: William Cook - E, Carlos Flores - G, Leon Ottney - AG, Raymond Stamm - G, Ted Zubik - RO, Anthony Lombardozzi - TG

(Photo: Chuck Lockridge III)

Completed Tour

 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
Capt Charles L Lockridge 0803401 Pilot Mar-45 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
1Lt William W Swartz 0701972 Co-pilot Oct-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
1Lt Adolph B Clachko 0712137 Navigator Oct-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
1Lt John H Gorman 0698006 Bombardier Oct-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross 
T/Sgt Thaddeus A Zubik 13130891 Radio Operator 01-Mar-45 CT TD to 32nd Ferry Sqdn (aircraft)
T/Sgt William F Cook 34645258 Flight Engineer Mar-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Leonard C Ottney 32732762 Armorer-Gunner Mar-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Carlos R Flores 38417096 Aerial Gunner, 2/E  Mar-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Anthony J Lombardozzi  31301121 Aerial Gunner, 2/E Mar-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Raymond A Stamm 17160287 Aerial Gunner, 2/E Mar-45 CT Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI

The Lockridge crew was assigned to the 754th Squadron in May 1944.  The crew flew their first mission on June 5, 1944 and the next two on D-Day.  By mid-July 1944, the crew was regularly flying in the group and squadron lead positions.  In late July, Swartz was given his own crew of which navigator Adolph Clatchko, and bombardier John Gorman were a part.  Several other crewmen in the 754th whose crews had either completed a tour or had been lost made up the rest of this crew.  Swartz, Clatchko and Gorman completed their respective tours of missions in October 1944.

Also in October the 755th Squadron became the designated lead squadron in the 458th and on the 23rd of that month all lead crews from the 752nd, 753rd, and 754th squadrons were transferred to the 755th.  All of the wing crews in the 755th were transferred to the other three squadrons.  What remained of the Lockridge crew went to the 755th on this date.  2Lt Gaston R. Feller is on the October 23rd set of orders transferring Lockridge and crew to the 755th.  Feller was assigned as part of the crew of 2Lt George T. Dwyre (754th Squadron) on July 20, 1944 as that crew's bombardier.  Two additional navigators were added to the crew and the co-pilot's seat would be occupied by a command pilot on each mission.

Being a lead crew had its advantages and disadvantages.  It meant that one did not fly combat as often (as is evidenced by the mission list below), but there were many more training flights.  Since their missions were spread out, it meant an extended stay in England in order to complete a 30 mission tour.  Wing crews were, by this date, having to complete 35 missions in order to go home.  The hard training paid off and the Lockridge crew was awarded two "Lead Crew Commendation" certificates for meritorious achievement on a combat mission.

The crew completed their tour of mission on February 24, 1945.  This last mission was a tough one for the crew.  They were leading the entire 2nd Air Division in a strike on Bielefeld, Germany.  Leon Ottney relates in his flight log, "PFF, visual assist, lost #4 engine at bombs away, #2 & #3 losing oil.  Really sweated it out."  Even with these difficulties the crew received their second "Lead Crew Commendation" certificate for this mission.

Combat Crew Training - Casper, Wyoming

Standing: William Cook - E, Ray Stamm - G, Leon Ottney - AG, Ted Zubik - RO, Carlos Flores - G, Anthony Lombardozzi - TG
Kneeling: William Swartz - CP, Charles Lockridge - P, John Gorman - B

(Photo: Dave Ottney)

Capt Charles Lockridge Missions as 1st Pilot

Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Cmd Pilot Ld  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
05-Jun-44 STELLA/PLAGE 55 1     42-95116 V Z5 3 JUNIOR  
06-Jun-44 COASTAL AREAS 56 2     42-95116 J   4 JUNIOR  
06-Jun-44 COASTAL AREAS 58 3     42-95116 V Z5 5 JUNIOR MSN #3
08-Jun-44 PONTAUBAULT 60 4     42-95116 V Z5 6 JUNIOR  
10-Jun-44 CHATEAUDUN 61 5     42-95116 V Z5 7 JUNIOR  
11-Jun-44 BEAUVAIS 63 6     42-95116 V Z5 8 JUNIOR  
12-Jun-44 EVREUX/FAUVILLE 64 7     42-95116 V Z5 9 JUNIOR  
18-Jun-44 WATTEN 70 NTO     41-28705 H J4 -- YE OLDE HELLGATE NO TAKE OFF - MSN #2
20-Jun-44 NOBALL FRANCE REC --     42-100362 A Z5 -- SWEET LORRAINE MSN #3 RECALL
02-Jul-44 COUBRONNE 83 8     42-110070 E Z5 16 ELMER / LADY LUCK  
13-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN 90 9 HINCKLEY L2 42-50578 F Z5 1 SKY ROOM  
18-Jul-44 TROARN 93 10     42-50578 F Z5 3 SKY ROOM  
02-Aug-44 3 NO BALLS 101 11 HINCKLEY L2 42-50768 A Z5 3 ARISE MY LOVE AND COME WITH ME  
12-Aug-44 MOURMELON 111 13 O'NEILL L1 42-50768 A Z5 6 ARISE MY LOVE AND COME WITH ME  
15-Aug-44 VECHTA 114 14 GORRELL L2 42-50768 A Z5 8 ARISE MY LOVE AND COME WITH ME   
28-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR11 --     42-110059 T 754 T5 NO NAME or NAME UNKNOWN TRUCKIN' MISSION
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 17 BETZOLD L2 42-50608 W Z5 2 FILTHY McNAUGHTY  
15-Oct-44 MONHEIM 134 18   L2 42-50608 W Z5 3 FILTHY McNAUGHTY  
17-Oct-44 COLOGNE 135 19   L3 42-50608 W Z5 4 FILTHY McNAUGHTY  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ 136 20 BREVAKIS L2 42-50608 W Z5 5 FILTHY McNAUGHTY  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG 139 21 BREVAKIS L3 42-50578 H J3 15 SKY ROOM  
25-Nov-44 BINGEN 149 22 CLAGGETT L2 42-51939 A+ J3 7 UNKNOWN 028  
10-Dec-44 BINGEN 154 23 JAMISON L1 42-50684 B J3 7 A&G FISH SHOPPE  
27-Dec-44 NEUNKIRCHEN 159 24 WILLIAMSON  L1 42-50684 B J3 9 A&G FISH SHOPPE  
30-Dec-44 NEUWIED 161 25 JAMISON L1 42-50684 B J3 10 A&G FISH SHOPPE  
07-Jan-45 RASTATT 166 26 JAMISON L1 42-51936 I J3 4 UNKNOWN 027  
17-Jan-45 HARBURG 172 27 RUE L1 42-95557 H J3 19 LADY PEACE  
03-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 177 28 BETZOLD L1 42-51669 J J3 6 UNKNOWN 026  
11-Feb-45 DULMEN 180 ABT BLACK L1 42-95628 K J3 -- UNKNOWN 038 #3 ENGINE OIL
21-Feb-45 NUREMBERG 185 29 O'NEILL L1 42-51936 I J3 12 UNKNOWN 027  
24-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 188 30 HOGG L1 42-51936 I J3 15 UNKNOWN 027

January 17, 1945 Harburg, Germany

Click for larger images

Lead Crew 1945

Standing: William Cook, Ted Zubik, Charles Lockridge, Leon Ottney, Unknown
Kneeling: Anothony Lombardozzi, Carlos Flores, Ray Stamm

(Photo: Mike Bailey)

February 24, 1945 - Bielefeld, Germany

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S/Sgt Leonard C. Ottney - Mission List

Mission# Date Duration  Target plane #  Position  Load  Comments
1 06/05/44 4:00 Le Touriquet 116 RW 12x500 missed target, pin broke in salvo bar, salvoed from pilot's compart, bombs in channel
2 06/06/44 6:30 Troary-D-Day 116 RW 12x500 solid undercast, unable to see target or landing
3 06/06/44 6:20 Villersbocage 116 NT 12x500 tired as hell, 2 mission in one day, ears bother me
4 06/08/44 6:30 Dontaubault-rr bridge 116 NT 6x1000 overcast to 24K, farily clear over target,guns froze up
5 06/10/44 5:00 Chateaudun airfield 116 NT 24x250 saw 1st flak, didin't bother me as I expected, bursts of 4-5, reostat for suit out, not too cold
6 06/11/44 4:20 airfield n of Paris 116 NT 24x250 saw target for 1st time, all bombs hit airstrip, no flak
7 06/12/44 6:30 Airfield W of Paris 116 NT 40x100 frag good visibility, hit target dead center, lots of flak
NC 06/20/44 4:00 pilotless plane launch 362 NT (consolidated 4x2000 NT no damned good, could not see target, salvoed bombs into N Sea-hydraulic leak, NO Credit
8 07/02/44 4:00 pp strip s of Stonier 70 RW (chaff) 40x250 heavy overcast, bombed by GHG, saw flak & rockets not accurate
9 07/13/44 7:00 Saarbruken rr yard 578 RW 3x2000 took shots at balloon, nearly hit another ship
10 02/18/44 4:30 Caen / Troarn 578 RW 48x100 most accurate flak yet, hole in RW plexiglass, bombed at 14K
NC 07/19/44 4:00 Munich 768 RW 8x500 incend Aborted-vacuum instruments out couldn't fly lead
11 08/02/44 5:30   768 NT 24x250 little flak, not accurate, scared as hell
12 08/05/44 7:00 Brunswick 163 ass plant 762 NT 12x500 plenty of flak over target, nerves ok, saw B24 go down no chutes
13 08/12/44 6:45 Mourelon airfield 768 NT 12x500 clear, no flak until we left coast
14 08/15/44 5:00 Vechta airfield 768 NT 4x1000,4x500 saw 6 B24 & 1 fighter go down in Zider Sea, 12-15 ME109's encountered
15 08/27/44 5:15 airfield NE of Berlin 516 NT 16x300 got as far as Denamark, recalled, nav did poor job missed ETA by 40 min
16 09/11/44 7:00 Magdeburg syn oil plant  768 NT 50x100 plenty of flak at Osnabruck & target, saw 1 crew bail out, missed target, 1 ME109
NC 09/23/44 4:30 gas run St Dizier       no souveniers Germans took everything
NC 09/28/44 7:00 gas run Lille       hell of a time, stayed 2 nights went to town once
17 10/07/44 7:00 Magdeburg syn oil plant 608 RW (chaff) 6x1000 hydraulics shot out, 8 flak holes, ears bothering me
18 10/15/44 5:30 Monheim syn oil plant 608 NT 24x250 didn't drop on target, dropped on & missed samll town on Rhine
19 10/17/44 6:15 Cologne chem plant 608 NT 6x500,6x500 incind not much flak, not accurate, -39*
20 10/19/44 6:00 Mainz rr yard 608 NT 12x250,6 inc clusters PFF, good pattern, -43* at 25K
21 10/30/44 6:00 Harburg syn oil 578 NT 24x250 lost contact with PFF, flew through clouds bombed by guess, -43*@25K
22 11/25/44 6:20 Bengen rr yard 939 NT 6x500, 2xSB cold turret, frosted up, saw fire in flak bursts on way out
23 12/10/44 5:45 Bengen rr yard 684 TT 10x100,2xSB swell mission, only 8 bursts of flak, -41*@21K
24 12/27/44 5:50 Neunkirchen 684 NT 6x250,2xSB hit target from 22K visual, 5 flak holes-one came through nose by bomb site and broke my oxygen line, -30*
25 12/30/44 6:00 Neuwied 684 NT 4x500,2xSB GH 21K,little flak, swell misson, -31*
26 01/07/45 7:00 Rastatt rr yard 936 TT 4x1000,2xSB GH 21K,little flak, light frost on dome, -30*
27 01/17/45 6:30 Harburg syn oil plant 557 NT 5x500,2xSB Visual at 22.5K good results, plenty of flak at target, tracking flak at coast going home, fire in bursts, could not keep warm -37* 
28 02/03/45 7:00 Magdeburg syn oil plant 669 TT 6x500,2xSB PFF couldn't find target, bombed Wesermund, -37*@22K
NC 02/11/45 1:50 Wesel 628 RW 4x1000,2xSB aborted-#3 lost oil pressure feathered prop, dropped bombs in sea
29 02/21/45 7:55 Nuremburg 936 TT 6x500,2xSB PFF,no flak at target, good mission, coould not keep warm, -34*@22K
30 02/24/45 5:55 Bielefeld rr yard 936 TT 6x500,2xSB PFF, visual assist, lost #4 engine at bombs away, #2 & #3 losing oil really sweated it out

1Lt William Swartz Missions as 1st Pilot

Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
24-Aug-44 HANNOVER 117 1 41-29596 R Z5 46 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
27-Aug-44 FINOW 121 2 42-51110 P Z5 39 TOP O' THE MARK MISSION CREDIT IN NOV
05-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 122 3 42-95108 M Z5 36 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
08-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 123 4 42-95108 M Z5 37 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
20-Sep-44 HORSHAM to CLASTRES  TR04 -- 41-28682 I Z5 T2 NO NAME or NAME UNKNOWN  WW
22-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR06 -- 41-28682 I Z5 T3 NO NAME or NAME UNKNOWN WW
23-Sep-44 HORSHAM to CLASTRES TR07 -- 44-40475 D J3 T5 JOLLY ROGER LEAD
25-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR08-1 -- 41-28712 D 44BG T5 TUFFY 1ST FLIGHT
26-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR09 -- 41-28712 O 44BG T6 TUFFY TRUCKIN' MISSION
27-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR10 -- 41-28712 D 44BG T7 TUFFY TRUCKIN' MISSION
30-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR13 ACC 41-64452 S 389BG T6 NOT 458TH SHIP Landing Acc Watton 
06-Oct-44 WENZENDORF 129 5 42-50608 W Z5 1 FILTHY McNAUGHTY  
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 6 42-110070 K Z5 39 ELMER / LADY LUCK  
17-Oct-44 COLOGNE 135 7 42-50456 D Z5 5 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ 136 8 42-95050 J 7V 48 GAS HOUSE MOUSE  
22-Oct-44 HAMM 137 9 44-40126 L Z5 27 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG 139 10 42-50456 D Z5 7 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
25-Nov-44 BINGEN 149 11 42-95183 U Z5 58 BRINEY MARLIN  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 150 12 42-51179 P Z5 50 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE

Crash landing at Watton


At 1836 hours 30 September 1944 B-24H 41-29452, piloted by Lieutenant SWARTZ of AAF Station 123 crash landed at AAF Station 376.  The right landing gear was broken at support elbow, possibly caused from the extremely rough perimeter tracks and R/W at Lille, France, from whence it had just returned from a trucking mission.  Upon impact on R/W 29, AAF Station 376 the right main gear collapsed causing damage to under fuselage and No.4 prop.


The Pilot and Co-pilot were unhurt.  The other four (4) crew members had successfully bailed out prior to landing.


It is the opinion of the pilot that the damage to the strut must have been caused during take-off at Lille, France as gear sounded as if it were binding and the gear was inspected and found normal before takeoff.


On September 30, 1944 we took off from this station in B-24 aircraft H series #452-S and flew to Station 146, Vendeville airport just outside Lille, France.  We landed there and made an inspection of the landing gear as requested by the ground crew chief and found everything in good working order.  At takeoff we discovered that the safety solenoid on the gear handle was inoperative, making it necessary to trip the solenoid manually.


While taxiing to takeoff from Vendeville it was noted that the gear sounded as though it were binding and that the oleo action was slow.  On arrival at this station the gear was put down in a normal manner and the engineer went back to the waist to check the gear down and locked.  He discovered that the drag strut on the right main gear had broken off at the elbow.  Probable cause of this breakage was taxiing over rough terrain at Vendeville airport and takeoff from a rough runway.


The commanding officer of this station ordered the crew to bail out at Watton, Station 376.  Pilot and Co-pilot then effected a successful landing, the right landing gear collapsing as expected.