458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Sharp Crew - Assigned 754th Squadron - February 13, 1945

Standing: Leonard Cahill - BTG, William Naughton - TTG, Alfred Shadle - TG, William Jackson - RO, Willard Walker - NTG, Alfonso Rizzi - E
Kneeling: Joseph Kahn - B, Richard Sharp - P, John Hahn - CP, Henry Green - N

(Photo: Tom Jackson)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

SharpCrew
Rank Name Serial # Crew Pos Date Status Comments
1Lt Richard M Sharp 02059619 Pilot 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel
2Lt John Hahn, Jr T130951 Co-pilot 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel
2Lt Andrew D Bowles 01113592 Navigator 25-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Bad Reichenhall
S/Sgt William N Jackson, Jr  15333949 Radio Operator 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel
S/Sgt Alfonso G Rizzi 12205621 Flight Engineer 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel 
Sgt Leonard E Cahill 17133958 Armorer-Gunner 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel
Sgt Wilbert J Naughton 36681718 Aerial Gunner 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel
S/Sgt Alfred E Shadle, Jr 38629695 Aerial Gunner 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel
Sgt Willard E Walker 37490724 Aerial Gunner 20-Apr-45 FEH Last Mission flown: Zwiesel

The Sharp Crew was one of six crews assigned to the 458BG on February 13, 1945.  They were placed in the 754BS.

The crew’s bombardier, 2Lt Joseph Kahn was not assigned to Horsham St Faith with the crew.  It is possible, as it was for many bombardiers at this point in the European air war, that he was pulled from the crew prior to leaving the States and sent for navigational training.  Additionally, the navigator pictured (above), F/O Henry L. Green, was not the navigator that was assigned with the crew. Special Orders (SO37) list 2Lt Andrew D. Bowles as the crew’s navigator on February 13, 1945.  What became of F/O Green is unknown.

The crew’s first mission was on March 3, 1945 to hit a railroad bridge near Nienberg, Germany.  Group records indicate that the crew landed “off location”.  Tom Jackson, the son of the crew’s radio operator, S/Sgt William N. Jackson, related that his father, “told us of their plane being damaged in a raid over Germany and the pilots putting in down in a Belgium field. They were uncertain if there were Germans in the area, but were soon greeted by some British soldiers who took pretty good care of them.”  Over the next three weeks, the crew completed six more missions, bringing their total for March to seven.

On March 17th they had been transferred to the 755BS to be a lead crew.  It was standard procedure to give these crews several weeks of the additional training required to perform lead crew duties, but it does not appear that this was the case with Sharp.  They were flying with five days of their transfer, although not as a lead aircraft.

During April 1945, the crew flew four missions, the last on April 20th.  On the formation plan for this last mission, they are shown leading the “B” Group of the second squadron. After flying some “well-seasoned” group aircraft on their first ten missions, Sharp and crew were privileged to take a brand new B-24M on it’s first (and only) combat mission over the Continent.

On this same date, April 20th, navigator Lt Andrew Bowles, was transferred to the 754BS. He is shown flying with 2Lt William G. Everett and crew on the last Eighth Air Force mission of the war on April 25, 1945.

The crew were transferred back to the 754BS on May 17th.  Since they had not completed a combat tour, it is likely that the crew was tasked to ferry one of the group’s Liberators back to the States in June 1945.

Missions

SharpMissions
Date Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
03-Mar-45 NIENBURG 195 1 42-100366 H Z5 65 MIZPAH OFF LOCATION
07-Mar-45 SOEST 198 2 44-40126 L Z5 65 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP   
09-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK 200 3 42-51179 P Z5 74 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
12-Mar-45 FRIEDBURG 202 4 42-51179 P Z5 76 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
15-Mar-45 ZOSSEN 204 5 44-40126 L Z5 67 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP  
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 6 42-50499 U J3 40 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
25-Mar-45 HITZACKER 214 7 42-50740 Q J3 30 OUR BURMA  
02-Apr-45 TIRSTROP ABN -- 44-10618 T J3 -- UNKNOWN 038 ABANDONED
04-Apr-45 PERLEBERG 217 8 44-10618 T J3 13 UNKNOWN 038  
06-Apr-45 HALLE 219 9 44-10618 T J3 14 UNKNOWN 038  
07-Apr-45 KRUMMEL 220 10 42-50740 Q J3 32 OUR BURMA  
20-Apr-45 ZWIESEL 229 11 44-50673 Q J3 1 UNKNOWN 054 LEAD 3RD SQDN


Formation plan - April 20, 1945


Sharp flew their last mission in the lead position fro the "B" Group of the 2nd Squadron.

Click image for a closer view

1Lt Richard M. Sharp