458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Lamers Crew - Assigned 754th Squadron - May 1944

Standing: Gordon Lamers - P, Gus Pflegar - N, James Coode - CP, Norbert Bueter - B
Kneeling: Maurice Bessire - G/2E, Boyce Carrigan - G/2E, Stanislaus Awers - E, Fred Fahnestock - AG, Joe Napolitano - G, Al Cifelli - RO

(Photo: Brian Scott / IDs Jim Fahnestock)

 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
Capt Gordon W Lamers 0724778 Pilot 07-Mar-45 CT DS to 355th Ftr Grp 30 days
1Lt James B Coode, Jr 0701901 Co-pilot 14-Mar-45 DS From AAF 365 to AAF 146 
1Lt Gustav W Pfleger, Jr 0712661 Navigator Apr-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI
1Lt Norbert E Bueter 0697984 Bombardier 09-Feb-45 CT Air Crew Leave
T/Sgt Stanislaus J Awers 16134260 Flight Engineer Mar-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI
T/Sgt Albert Cifelli 32609083 Radio Operator Mar-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Frederick H Fahnestock  19110632 Armorer-Gunner Mar-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Boyce C Carrigan 14166367 Aerial Gunner, 2/E  Mar-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Maurice R Bessire 38432659 Aerial Gunner, 2/E Mar-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI
S/Sgt Joseph A Napolitano 32911969 Armorer-Gunner Mar-45 CT Trsf 70RD for return to ZI

Gordon Lamers and crew arrived at Horsham in May 1944 and were assigned to the 754th Squadron.  Gordon Lamers and James Coode each flew what is thought to be their first mission as co-pilot on the mission to the Zeitz Oil Refinery on May 28, 1944 - Lamers with Charles Stilson's crew and Coode with Crew 51, James Simes as pilot.  The crew's first mission together the next day turned into an abortive attempt when they could not find the formation due to heavy cloud cover.

On D-Day, Lamers flew on the second mission, with 9 other aircraft.  While all crews did receive sortie credit, no bombs were dropped due to heavy undercast.  It was shortly after this that Lamers crew was chosen to be a lead crew.  From this point on a Command Pilot would occupy the co-pilot's position on the crew.  Exactly where James Coode was assigned is unknown, but it is probable that he filled in on other crews when needed.  He evidently did well, as he was moved to First Pilot in November and flew ten missions as such, presumably completing his tour at the end of December 1944.  Available Load Lists indicate that he was the pilot of the Doyle Crew after their pilot was removed from combat flying.  In October, the 755th Squadron became the Group's Lead Squadron, and all lead crews were transferred into the 755th, while those non-lead, or "Wing" crews were moved to the other three squadrons.

As a lead crew, their missions were spread out a bit more, and after August they only flew two or three missions a month, making for a longer tour. Lamers flew his last on March 2, 1945 and as records indicate the crew being reassigned to the Zone of Interior (ZI) in March, they apparently finished up around this same time.  Lamers was then sent on Detached Service (DS) to the 355th Fighter Group for one month, although the purpose for this assignment is unknown.  Lamers and his navigator Gustav Pfleger were both awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses while with the Group.


Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Cmd/Inst Pilot Ld  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
28-May-44 ZEITZ 49 1 STILSON 42-95165 S Z5 9 COOKIE LAMERS C0-PILOT
29-May-44 TUTOW A/F 50 ABT     42-95018 J Z5 -- OLD DOC'S YACHT CNF FORM
31-May-44 BERTRIX 52 2     41-28705 W Z5 31 YE OLDE HELLGATE  
06-Jun-44 VILLERS BOCAGE 57 3     42-110163 M J4 1 TIME'S A WASTIN MSN #2
07-Jun-44 LISIEUX 59 4     42-51095 Q Z5 9 SHOO SHOO BABY  
11-Jun-44 BLOIS 62 5     42-95018 J Z5 14 OLD DOC'S YACHT  
14-Jun-44 DOMLEGER 65 6 CHAMBERLAIN  D1 42-110070 E Z5 9 ELMER / LADY LUCK  
21-Jun-44 BERLIN 75 8     44-40126 D Z5 7 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP  
24-Jun-44 CONCHES A/F 77 9 FREEMAN D1 42-110070 E Z5 13 ELMER / LADY LUCK MSN #1
29-Jun-44 ASCHERSLEBEN 82 10 WEBER L 44-40126 ? Z5 10 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP  
16-Jul-44 SAARBRUCKEN 91 11 GLENN L2 44-40126 D Z5 12 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP  
18-Jul-44 TROARN 93 12 FREEMAN L2 42-50768 A Z5 1 ARISE MY LOVE AND COME WITH ME   
20-Jul-44 EISENACH 95 13 HENSON L 42-50578 F Z5 5 SKY ROOM  
25-Jul-44 ST. LO AREA "B" 98 14 BROOKS L2 44-40126 D Z5 15 SPITTEN KITTEN / SKY TRAMP  
01-Aug-44 T.O.s FRANCE 100 15 BOOTH L3 42-50516 B Z5 1 STARDUST  
08-Aug-44 CLASTRES 108 16 JAMISON L1 42-50516 B Z5 2 STARDUST  
13-Aug-44 LIEUREY 112 17 HINCKLEY L3 44-10602 A J3 1 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
14-Aug-44 DOLE/TAVAUX 113 18     42-50578 F Z5 10 SKY ROOM  
25-Aug-44 LUBECK 118 19 CLAGGETT D1 42-50516 B Z5 4 STARDUST  
08-Sep-44 KARLSRUHE 123 20 BOOTH L1 42-50516 B Z5 6 STARDUST  
26-Oct-44 MINDEN 138 21 QUINN L2 42-51939 G+ J3 4 UNKNOWN 028  
06-Nov-44 MINDEN 143 22 DARELIUS D1 42-50684 B J3 5 A&G FISH SHOPPE  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 23 JAMISON L1 42-95557 H+ J3 12 LADY PEACE  
11-Dec-44 HANAU 155 24 HINCKLEY L1 42-95610 D J3 6 UNKNOWN 037  
25-Dec-44 PRONSFELD 158 25 HERZBERG L1 42-95610 D J3 8 UNKNOWN 037  
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 26 not listed L1 42-95557 H J3 18 LADY PEACE  
10-Jan-45 SCHONBERG 168 27 LaROCHE L1 42-51669 J J3 2 UNKNOWN 026  
06-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 178 29 WILLIAMSON L1 42-51669 J J3 7 UNKNOWN 026  
25-Feb-45 SCHWABISCH-HALL  189 MSHL     -- -- -- --  MARSHALLING CHIEF
28-Feb-45 BIELEFELD 192 ASSY     41-28697 Z Z5 A65 SPOTTED APE ASSY CREW
02-Mar-45 MAGDEBURG 194 30 O'NEILL L1 42-51936 I J3 16 UNKNOWN 027

James Coode's Missions as 1st Pilot

Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 1 41-29596 R Z5 65 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
05-Nov-44 KARLSRUHE 142 2 42-110059 T Z5 44 UNKNOWN 056  
06-Nov-44 MINDEN 143 3 42-110070 K Z5 45 ELMER / LADY LUCK  
09-Nov-44 METZ AREA 145 4 42-95120 M Z5 53 HOOKEM COW / BETTY  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 150 5 42-50640 O   14 BUGS BUNNY RCM / K-21
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 6 -- -- -- --   Source - Sqdn Rec's
04-Dec-44 BEBRA 152 7 42-110059 T Z5 49 UNKNOWN 056  
11-Dec-44 HANAU 155 8 41-29305 N Z5 40 I'LL BE BACK/HYPOCHONDRIAC   
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 9 41-29596 R Z5 73 HELL'S ANGEL'S  
27-Dec-44 NEUNKIRCHEN  159 MSHL -- -- -- --   MARSHALLING CHIEF 
28-Dec-44 ST. WENDEL 160 10 42-50456 D Z5 21 DOROTHY KAY SPECIAL  
31-Dec-44 KOBLENZ 162 MSHL -- -- -- --   MARSHALLING CHIEF

S/Sgt Boyce C. Carrigan

(Photos Courtesy: Cina Carrigan)

May 28, 1944

2Lt Gordon Lamers
Was gotten up and reported for briefing. This is it all right. I was to fly co-pilot for Lt. Stilson. Took off at 1030 and got underway for my first mission. Was excited as a kid with a new toy. Hit our target, oil refinery at Zeitz, Germany. Saw plenty of flak but no fighters. Darn near out of gas on way home but made it OK. Flying time 7 hrs. 30 min. Ate and showered. During my absence my officers had been moved into the club. Hot dog! Looks like a good setup. Retired at 2300 after a couple vain attempts to write letters.

Click image for full load list

May 28, 1944.
On this one I went out as a co-pilot for Lt. Stilson and his crew and Jim as the co-pilot for another experienced crew. Every new pilot and co-pilot were required to do this for the sake of experience. We took off at 1030 and as we arrived in the assembly area I was taken back at the number of ships up in the blue. Watched closely to see how this was all done so I could do it the next time with my own crew. Got under way OK and began on course. Entered the enemy coast about 25 miles north of Amsterdam, Holland and about 18,000 feet. Kept climbing on course and was alerted for enemy fighters over Dummer Lake. None hit us or any ships around that I could see. Got up to 24,0000 feet our bombing altitude and was the target for a couple flak batteries on the way into the target, the oil refinery at Zeitz, Germany. On the bomb run a squadron flew directly over us with bomb doors open and we had to sweat them out. They finally pulled out and made a 360 turn. Bombs went away OK and no opposition by flak. Sure clobbered the target. On the way back nothing of importance happened except a few flak bursts here and there. Over the North Sea our gas wouldn't transfer so Stilson broke formation and hurried for home alone. We made it OK and chalked up number one.

(Courtesy: Joseph Lamers)