458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Chimples Crew - Assigned 755th Squadron - September 15, 1944

Kneeling, left: George Chimples - P, Lawrence Tilbury - CP

If anyone can ID any of the crew, please contact me.

Photo courtesy Terence Jones

Completed Tour

 Serial #
Crew Pos
George Chimples
Award - Distinguished Flying Cross
William Patak
Award - Air Medal (Silver OLC)
Alden L Armstrong
Ferry Crew - (Ferriell) B-24 44-5-766
Glenn S Griffith
Award - Distinguished Flying Cross
Thomas T Berry
Radio Operator
 April 45
Trsf to 70th RD - Tour Complete
Harold W Jones
Flight Engineer
2AD Roster - 755th Bomb Sq (H)
Frank H Adams
Aerial Gunner
2AD Roster - 755th Bomb Sq (H)
Joe N Armstrong
Aerial Gunner
Trsf to 754th Bomb Sqdn
Wilford F Hermance
Aerial Gunner
2AD Roster - 755th Bomb Sq (H)
Donald E Elrick
Aerial Gunner
Award - Air Medal (OLC)
2Lt George Chimples and crew were assigned to the 755th Squadron on September 15, 1944.  Their first operational mission occurred a few days later when they flew from Horsham St Faith to St Dizier France with a load of gasoline for Patton’s Army.  Over the next week, members of Chimples’ crew would fly eight additional Truckin’ Missions.  The crew’s first combat sortie took place on October 5, 1944 when the 458th hit an airfield near Paderborn, Germany.  The crew flew B-24J-1-FO 42-50555 named Baby Shoes.  Coincidentally, this was the first mission for this aircraft as well – an odd occurrence, as new crews were usually not given new aircraft to fly!

A month later the crew had completed 10 additional missions.  They had been transferred from the 755th Squadron to the 754th on October 23rd when all lead crews went to the 755th, and wing (non-lead) crews were transferred out of the 755th and spread amongst the other three squadrons.  On November 8th, on what should have been the crew’s 11th mission, they were forced to abort (their first and only abort) due to a “malfunctioning gyro horizon” (attitude indicator).

By mid-December 1944, the crew had completed 14 combat missions, almost half way done.  On December 20th all of the crew except co-pilot, 2Lt William Patak, were transferred back into the 755th Squadron to act as a lead crew.  Patak became a first pilot, his crew made up of airmen from several different crews who, for one reason or another, had not completed their combat tours with the crews they were assigned with.  Patak flew a total of 25 combat missions as an aircraft commander, completing his operational tour in early April 1945. 2Lt Lawrence E. Tilbury, and individual replacement arriving at Horsham on October 7th, flew several missions with the Chimples crew as co-pilot.

F/O Alden L. Armstrong appears to have been removed from the crew at some point during this transition and placed as navigator with the lead crew of Captain John Moran.  He was on the January 16, 1945 Magdeburg mission when Moran’s crew was forced to bail out near Auxerre, France due to battle damage.  Two of the crew’s gunners were killed when their parachutes failed to open, but the other nine members of the crew made their way back to Horsham by January 21st.

Chimples’ new navigator, F/O Walter W. Godsin, had been recently assigned with Lt Dean G. Williams crew in the 754th.  2Lt Lawrence E. Tilbury had come to the group on October 7th, presumably an individual replacement pilot.  He was assigned to fly with the crew as co-pilot when a command pilot was not on board, and as a gunner when the crew carried a command pilot.  The crew also carried an extra navigator at times, but the individuals who flew in this capacity are largely unknown, save for 1Lt Arthur B. Guest.  Guest, originally on the crew of Captain Allen Blum in the 755th Squadron, was on his second combat tour and flew several missions with Chimples.  After the war, Guest changed his name to Arthur J. Boucot, and obtained geology degrees (BS, MS, and PhD) from Harvard University.  He became a celebrated paleontologist with several books and awards to his credit.

The enlisted men on the crew remained intact except for gunner Sgt Joe N. Armstrong, whose name disappears from records after the October 23, 1944 squadron transfer.

Chimples flew a total of 12 lead missions, all in 1945.  On March 19th, with Captain James F. Simes as command pilot, the crew led the group to bomb an airfield near Leipheim, Germany.  Their bombing results were deemed “Excellent” and the crew was awarded a Lead Crew Commendation.  They flew two additional missions after this date, both in mid-April to complete their combat tour.

Missions - Chimples

Date Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Ld Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
23-Sep-44 HSF to ST DIZIER TR07 --   42-50320 H J3 T1 NO NAME/UNK CARGO
25-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR08-1 --   42-95028 -L 389BG T1 THE DADDY RABBIT 1ST FLIGHT
25-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR08-2 --   42-50290 M 389BG T2 MARTHA R. 2ND FLIGHT
26-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR09 --   42-50320 W 755 T4 NO NAME/UNK TRUCKIN' MSN
27-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR10 --   42-50320 H 755 T5 NO NAME/UNK TRUCKIN' MSN
28-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR11 --   42-50320 H 755 T6 NO NAME/UNK TRUCKIN' MSN
29-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR12 --   42-52441 I 755 T11 LAST CARD LOUIE TRUCKIN' MSN
30-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR13 --   42-50290 M 389BG T6 MARTHA R. 1ST FLIGHT
30-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR13 --   42-50290 M 389BG T7 MARTHA R. 2ND FLIGHT
05-Oct-44 PADERBORN 128 1   42-50555 G J4 1 BABY SHOES  
06-Oct-44 WENZENDORF 129 2   42-100407 R J3 50 LITTLE LAMBSY DIVEY  
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 3   42-51179 P J3 39 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
12-Oct-44 OSNABRUCK 132 4   42-95165 L 7V 38 COOKIE  
15-Oct-44 MONHEIM 134 5   42-95120 M J3 48 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
17-Oct-44 COLOGNE 135 6   42-51179 P J3 42 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
26-Oct-44 MINDEN 138 7   44-40298 E Z5 6 THE SHACK  
30-Oct-44 HARBURG 139 8   42-51196 Q J3 7 THE GYPSY QUEEN  
02-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 140 9   42-95018 J Z5 53 OLD DOC'S YACHT  
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 10   42-95108 B Z5 43 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
08-Nov-44 RHEINE 144 ABT   42-95018 J Z5 54 OLD DOC'S YACHT ABORT - GYRO OUT
09-Nov-44 METZ AREA 145 11   41-29596 R Z5 67 HELL'S ANGEL'S POSSIBLE ANA
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 12   42-50640 O Z5 13 BUGS BUNNY  
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 13   -- -- -- --    
12-Dec-44 HANAU 156 14   44-10487 R J3 22 Girl on surfboard (no name)  
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 15   42-50740 Q J3 12 OUR BURMA  
01-Jan-45 KOBLENZ 163 16   42-50740 Q J3 13 OUR BURMA  
16-Jan-45 MAGDEBURG 171 17   42-50740 Q J3 16 OUR BURMA  
06-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 178 18 L2 42-95557 H J3 20 LADY PEACE  
14-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 181 19 L3 42-50684 B J3 12 A&G FISH SHOPPE BRECKENRIDGE (Cmd)
20-Feb-45 NUREMBURG REC --   42-51939 G J3 -- UNKNOWN 028 RECALL - WEATHER
21-Feb-45 NUREMBERG 185 20 L3 44-49743 F J3 16 EASTERN BEAST PHILIP (Cmd)
22-Feb-45 PEINE-HILDESHEIM 186 21   42-95628 K J3 11 UNKNOWN 038  
24-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 188 MSHL   -- -- -- --   MARSHALING CHIEF
25-Feb-45 SCHWABISCH-HALL 189 22 L3 42-51939 G J3 18 UNKNOWN 028 GOODFRIEND (Cmd)
27-Feb-45 HALLE 191 23 D1 44-48837 L J3 11 UNKNOWN 041  
01-Mar-45 INGOLSTADT 193 24 L2 44-49743 F J3 19 EASTERN BEAST K20 & SCOPE
05-Mar-45 HARBURG 197 MSHL   -- -- -- --   MARSHALING CHIEF
08-Mar-45 DILLENBURG 199 25 D1 42-95557 H J3 31 LADY PEACE GOODFRIEND (Cmd)
10-Mar-45 ARNSBURG 201 26 D1 42-95557 H J3 33 LADY PEACE BRECKENRIDGE (Cmd)
15-Mar-45 ZOSSEN 204 27 L3 42-95557 H J3 35 LADY PEACE REPLACED 743
19-Mar-45 LEIPHEIM 207 28 L1 44-49902 M J3 3 UNKNOWN 043 SIMES (Cmd)
07-Apr-45 KRUMMEL 220 29 L1 44-49910 D J3 6 UNKNOWN 044 HENSLER Cmd)
16-Apr-45 LANDSHUT 227 30 L1 44-50892 N J3 4 UNKNOWN 055 BREEDING (Cmd)

Missions - Patak

Date Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 1 42-95108 B Z5 48 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
25-Dec-44 PRONSFELD 158 2 42-51179 P Z5 53 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
27-Dec-44 NEUNKIRCHEN 159 3 42-50578 F Z5 24 SKY ROOM  
01-Jan-45 KOBLENZ 163 4 42-50456 D Z5 25 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
02-Jan-45 REMAGEN 164 5 42-95108 B Z5 52 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  
07-Jan-45 RASTATT 166 6 41-29596 R Z5 79 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
10-Jan-45 SCHONBERG 168 8 42-51179 P Z5 59 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
29-Jan-45 MUNSTER 175 9 42-50456 D Z5 28 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
15-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 182 10 41-29596 R Z5 84 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
21-Feb-45 NUREMBERG 185 11 41-29596 R Z5 85 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
22-Feb-45 PEINE-HILDESHEIM 186 12 41-29596 R Z5 86 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
24-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 188 13 42-95316 H 7V 82 PRINCESS PAT  
26-Feb-45 BERLIN 190 14 42-51196 Q J3 37 THE GYPSY QUEEN GRP 200TH MISSION
27-Feb-45 HALLE 191 15 42-50578 F Z5 35 SKY ROOM COMP SQDN w/466
04-Mar-45 STUTTGART 196 16 42-50640 O Z5 28 BUGS BUNNY  
05-Mar-45 HARBURG 197 17 42-50640 O Z5 29 BUGS BUNNY  
17-Mar-45 HANNOVER 205 18 42-50640 O Z5 33 BUGS BUNNY  
18-Mar-45 BERLIN 206 19 42-50640 O Z5 34 BUGS BUNNY  
25-Mar-45 HITZACKER 214 20 42-51199 A Z5 42 UNKNOWN 023  
31-Mar-45 BRUNSWICK 216 21 42-50640 O Z5 37 BUGS BUNNY  
04-Apr-45 PERLEBERG 217 22 42-50640 O Z5 38 BUGS BUNNY  
05-Apr-45 PLAUEN 218 23 42-95018 J Z5 98 OLD DOC'S YACHT  
06-Apr-45 HALLE 219 24 42-50640 O Z5 40 BUGS BUNNY  
08-Apr-45 UNTERSCHLAUERSBACH 221 25 42-50640 O Z5 42 BUGS BUNNY

The "Jerry Vultee Crew"

Lt George Chimples speaking at the Consolidated/Vultee Plant
Several years ago, I received an email from a gentleman named Dave Trojan, stating the following:

A B-24 named "Jerry Vultee"
I am looking for the serial number or any info about a B-24 named Jerry Vultee. This is all I know. I have a letter dated 22 Dec 1944 from the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation to Pete Vultee (Famous Aircraft Designer Jerry Vultee's son who was about 7 at the time) stating that a "B-24 Liberator bomber carried the name Jerry Vultee into the thick of battle."  The B-24 pilot’s name was Lt. Chimples. The pilot also sent his training wings "From a base, somewhere in England" as a Christmas gift to Pete Vultee. The letter goes on to say "These brave fliers are doing what your daddy would have liked to do in this war. They're doing it in a plane that your daddy helped to develop and build." Pete Vultee was also given a model B-24 Liberator with the name Jerry Vultee on it as a gift when he toured the Consolidated factory.  I'm in contact with Pete Vultee, now 73 years old. We would like to solve this mystery of which B-24 it is.

I have photos of Pete Vultee at the Consolidated factory, and receiving the model plane with the name Jerry Vultee on it and the letter.  I’m glad to know that Lt. Chimples survived the war and completed all his missions. I also noted that he flew a couple of B-24s whose name is unknown, so maybe there is still a chance that one of those carried the name Jerry Vultee. The model was painted OD and looks like a J model.  Overall, it was a very nice gesture from Lt. Chimples and the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation to Pete Vultee. His parents, Jerry and Slyvia Vultee were killed in an aircraft accident in 1938, but his company name carried on to form Consolidated/Vultee. The model plane has been lost to time, but still I think an interesting footnote to the Vultee story.

(All photos courtesy Dave Trojan. If anyone can shed any light on this, please contact me.)

March 19, 1945

From the 458th Combat Diary:

"On the 19th we were again favoured with a visual run and proved that the eyes of the bombardiers had not lost their old keenness after such a prolonged run of instrument bombing.  Our hapless victim for the day was the A/F at Leipheim, the first A/B we have attacked in quite some time.  This was the 3rd largest producer of the jet ME-262’s therefore warranted some good bombing results.  Major La Valle, Captains Simes and Polliard led 28 A/C over the target dropping 96x500 GP’s and 178 M17’s by visual methods with excellent results.  Crews reported good to excellent results and SAV’s show incendiaries hitting in the target area with a large part of [the] pattern around [the] MPI.  GP’s also around MPI. and severing part of the runway.  And how’s this for getting them within the 2000’ circle?  Lead squadron: 100%, 2nd squadron: 80%, and the 3rd squadron: 97%.  Boy that is bombing accuracy any way one wants to look at it.  Now give us a few more visual runs and let us show what we can accomplish.”

Courtesy John Chimples
Click for larger image

F/O Alden L. Armstrong

Aviation Cadets: Alden L. Armstrong (left)

Moran Crew: Alden Armstrong (front, left)

F/O Armstrong was transferred to the crew of Captain John Moran in late 1944. In the picture above, Captain Moran is standing in the center.  Maurice Watson, a gunner on the crew is kneeling next to Armstrong.  A few weeks after joining this crew, he earned his membership in the Caterpillar Club.

Photos courtesy Eric Armstrong

Lead Crew

The crew flew this aircraft on three occasions, December 24, 1944, January 1st and 16th 1945.  Date of picture unknown.

(L-R) Standing: George Chimples - P, Walter Godsin - N
Kneeling: Glenn Griffith - B, Lawrence Tilbury - CP, Harold Jones - E, Thomas Berry - RO, Frank Adams - G, Wilford Hermance - G

Photo courtesy Brendan Woods

Distinguished Flying Cross

May 1, 1945: Captain Chimples is awarded the DFC, presented by the 755th Squadron Commander Major Valin R. Woodward.

Certificate of Valor

Courtesy John Chimples

Photo Gallery