458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Anderson Crew - Assigned 752nd Squadron - August 13, 1944

Standing: Duane Smith - G/RO, Unknown, Unknown, Wilson Swofford - E, Unknown, Unknown
Kneeling: Roy Anderson - P, David Minsker - CP, Unknown, Unknown

If you can identify anyone in this photo, please contact me.

(Photo: Gerry Cabot)


Flying at the End of Hostilities

AndersonCrew
Rank  Name Serial # MOS Crew Pos / Job Title Date Status Comments
1Lt Roy C Anderson 0692995 1024 Pilot 29-Apr-45 FEH Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
1Lt David H Minsker 0770723 1024 Co-pilot 17-May-45 CT Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
1Lt Joseph Cohen 0722820 1034 Navigator 17-May-45 CT Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
1Lt Joseph O Thomas, Jr  0716779 1035 Bombardier 1-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 752nd Bomb Sqdn 
Sgt Herbert B Smilowitz 32785596 757 Radio Operator 9-Sep-44 UNK SO210 revoked
T/Sgt Wilson M Swafford 18066126 748 Flight Engineer 17-May-45 FEH Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
S/Sgt Gerald F Capatch 32925277 611 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
T/Sgt Duane C Smith 35744046 611 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
S/Sgt Edgar B Phillips, Jr 13011042 611 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Trsf to 752nd Sqdn
S/Sgt John H Sweeney 35878058 611 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Trsf to 752nd Sqdn

The Anderson Crew was assigned to the 752nd Squadron in mid-August 1944.  They flew their first two missions at the beginning of September.  On September 9th, the orders assigning Sgt. Herbert B. Smilowitz, the crew’s radio operator, were “revoked”.  No further explanation was given, and gunner Sgt. Duane C. Smith took over as radio operator.  He was eventually reclassified in March 1945!

 

It was soon after this that the 96CBW came off of combat operations in order to ferry gasoline to Patton’s Army in France.  Anderson is shown flying on five of these Truckin’ Missions.  On these short hops (160 miles) the crew would normally consist of the two pilots, navigator, radio operator, flight engineer and at least one gunner.

 

It was back to combat flying at the beginning of October, and the crew had logged four missions by the 19th.  On October 23rd, the 458th designated the 755BS as the “Lead Squadron”, so there was a bit of shuffling of lead crews and wing (non-lead) crews between the four squadrons.  Anderson and crew were designated as a lead crew and transferred to the 755th.  They flew their first lead on November 9th to hit “enemy fortifications” six miles SE of Metz, France.  Only two additional missions were flown by the crew in November, one of them as lead.

 

December 1944 was a terrible month for flying, weather wise, and the 458th only flew over the continent on 12 days, one of which was a recall before the formation reached the Dutch coast.  Anderson flew on four of these, the last, on New Year’s Eve, to hit the Lutzel Bridge near Koblenz.  The crew were extremely lucky to make it back from this one, as a German 88mm flak shell passed through the port wing of their Liberator without exploding. (See below)

 

On January 15, 1945, the crew went on Rest Home leave.  Anderson is shown flying only three more missions as pilot of this crew in January and February 1945.  Records show his next four missions were from April 11 – 20 as Command Pilot for four different crews.  It is possible that he was bumped up to the Operations Office in the 755th Squadron.  Co-pilot David H. Minsker took over as pilot of the crew, flying 11 missions through March and April, including several deputy lead and lead missions, finishing his tour on April 18th.

 

Most of the crew appear to have been a bit short on completing a full combat tour of 30 missions for a lead crew.  Only Minsker and navigator Joseph Cohen were awarded the DFC for, “many bombardment missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe…” At least two crew members, bombardier Joseph O. Thomas, Jr, and gunner Gerald F. Capatch (who changed his surname to Cabot after the war) note flying a total of 27 missions.

 

On May 17, 1945 the entire crew was transferred to the 752nd Squadron.  It is possible that they were assigned to ferry a Liberator back to the States.


Anderson Missions

AndersonCrew
Date Target Pilot 458th Msn Pilot Msn Cmd Pilot Ld Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
01-Sep-44 PFAFFENHOFFEN ANDERSON ABN --     42-52455 O 7V -- PLUTOCRAT ABANDONED
05-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE ANDERSON 122 1     42-95050 J 7V 43 GAS HOUSE MOUSE  
11-Sep-44 MAGDEBURG ANDERSON 126 2     44-40118 R 7V 8 WE'LL GET BY  
22-Sep-44 HSF to CLASTRES ANDERSON TR06 --     42-95219 W 7V T3 PATCHIE CARGO
25-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE ANDERSON TR08-1 --     42-95219 W 7V T5 PATCHIE CARGO
27-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE ANDERSON TR10 --     42-7562 C 445BG T3 BETTY CARGO
29-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE ANDERSON TR12 --     42-52455 O 753 T10 PLUTOCRAT CARGO
30-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE ANDERSON TR13 --     42-52455 O 753 T11 PLUTOCRAT CARGO
09-Oct-44 KOBLENZ ANDERSON 131 3     42-50502 A 7V 9 LARRUPIN' LINDA  
14-Oct-44 COLOGNE ANDERSON 133 4     42-50499 F 7V 14 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
15-Oct-44 MONHEIM ANDERSON 134 5     42-50502 A 7V 11 LARRUPIN' LINDA  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ ANDERSON 136 6     42-50499 F 7V 15 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
09-Nov-44 METZ AREA ANDERSON 145 7 QUINN L 42-50499 K J3 18 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
16-Nov-44 ESCHWEILER ANDERSON 147 8 CLAGGETT L 42-50499 U J3 19 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD ANDERSON 150 9     42-50575 O J3 12 UNKNOWN 020  
11-Dec-44 HANAU ANDERSON 155 10     44-49743 F J3 1 EASTERN BEAST  
18-Dec-44 KOBLENZ ANDERSON REC -- BETZOLD D1 42-50684 B J3 -- A&G FISH SHOPPE RECALL
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN ANDERSON 157 11 WAGNER L 42-50684 B J3 8 A&G FISH SHOPPE  
31-Dec-44 KOBLENZ ANDERSON 162 12 BOOTH L3 44-48837 L J3 1 UNKNOWN 041 FLAK DAMAGE
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN ANDERSON 165 MSHL     -- -- -- --   MARSHAL CHF
10-Jan-45 SCHONBERG ANDERSON 168 MSHL     -- -- -- --   MARSHALCHF
29-Jan-45 MUNSTER ANDERSON 175 13   L3 42-95628 K J3 8 UNKNOWN 038  
06-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG ANDERSON 178 14   L3 44-49743 F J3 11 EASTERN BEAST  
11-Feb-45 DULMEN ANDERSON 180 15     42-51939 G J3 15 UNKNOWN 028  
11-Apr-45 REGENSBURG LANQUIST 224 16 ANDERSON L2 44-49261 A J3 18 UNKNOWN 042  
14-Apr-45 POINTE DE GRAVE HEALY 225 17 ANDERSON L3 44-49902 M J3 6 UNKNOWN 043  
19-Apr-45 ZWIESEL WILLIAMS, DK SCR -- ANDERSON D1 44-50892 N J3 -- UNKNOWN 055 SCRUBBED
20-Apr-45 ZWIESEL JOHNSON 229 18 ANDERSON D1 44-49902 M J3 8 UNKNOWN 043
 

Minsker Missions

MinskerMissions
Date Target Pilot 458th Msn Pilot Msn Cmd Pilot Ld Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
07-Mar-45 SOEST MINSKER 198 1     42-50499 U J3 35 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
08-Mar-45 DILLENBURG MINSKER 199 2     42-50499 U J3 36 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
12-Mar-45 FRIEDBURG MINSKER 202 3     42-51939 G J3 23 UNKNOWN 028  
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE MINSKER 203 MSHL     -- -- -- --   MARSHAL CHF
21-Mar-45 HESEPE MINSKER 209 4 GARDNER D1 44-48837 L J3 18 UNKNOWN 041  
23-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK MINSKER 211 5 LaVALLE L3 42-95557 H J3 40 LADY PEACE  
25-Mar-45 HITZACKER MINSKER 214 6 HENSLER D1 42-51936 I J3 25 UNKNOWN 027  
02-Apr-45 TIRSTROP MINSKER ABN --   D1 42-51936 I J3 -- UNKNOWN 027 ABANDONED
04-Apr-45 PERLEBERG MINSKER 217 7 RUE D1 42-51936 I J3 28 UNKNOWN 027  
09-Apr-45 LECHFELD MINSKER 222 8     42-51939 G J3 33 UNKNOWN 028  
11-Apr-45 REGENSBURG MINSKER 224 9 BRECKENRIDGE L3 44-49743 F J3 37 EASTERN BEAST  
15-Apr-45 ROYAN AREA MINSKER 226 10 HERZBERG L1 44-50892 N J3 3 UNKNOWN 055 NEW SHIP
18-Apr-45 PASSAU MINSKER 228 11 BRECKENRIDGE L3 42-51936 I J3 34 UNKNOWN 027

December 31, 1944 - Battle Damage

 
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE LIBERATOR STATION, ENGLAND -- THESE FOUR AIRMEN OF THE 458TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP CRAWL OUT ON THE WING OF THEIR B-24 LIBERATOR BOMBER TO EXAMINE A HOLE THAT WAS PIERCED BY AN 88 MM. ANTI-AIRCRAFT SHELL WITHOUT EXPLODING OVER KOBLENZ, GERMANY.  LEFT TO RIGHT: MAJOR CHARLES H. BOOTH, JR., COMMAND PILOT, OF 450 FIFTH AVE., NEW KENNSINGTON, PA.; 1ST LT. ROY C. ANDERSON, PILOT, OF 25 LINDEN AVE., VERONA, N.J.; STAFF SGT. DUANE C. SMITH (REAR), RADIO OPERATOR, 3643 ELMWOOD AVE., BERWYN, ILL.; AND STAFF SGT. WILSON M. SWOFFORD, ENGINEER, CHILDRESS, TEXAS. THE 458TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP IS A PART OF THE SECOND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION COMMANDED BY MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM E. KEPNER.

458th Public Relations Article