McCoy Crew - Assigned 753rd Squadron - December 21, 1944
Flying at the End of Hostilities
|1Lt||William R McCoy, Jr||0778526||Pilot||17-Apr-45||FEH||Rest Home Leave|
|2Lt||John G Rea||0833409||Co-pilot||17-Apr-45||FEH||Rest Home Leave|
|F/O||Robert E Evans||T131820||Navigator||17-Apr-45||FEH||Rest Home Leave|
|Lt||Michael Lopez||Bombardier||Dec-1944||TRSF||Not assigned with crew|
|T/Sgt||Beulas P Hebert||38498218||Radio Operator||17-Apr-45||FEH||Rest Home Leave|
|T/Sgt||Eugene J Healy, Jr||33107261||Flight Engineer||17-Apr-45||FEH||Rest Home Leave|
|S/Sgt||Deverett E Brunley||38305475||Armorer-Gunner||14-May-45||FEH||Reclassified MOS 612|
|S/Sgt||Clarence F Fitzgerald, Jr||36742050||Armorer-Gunner||17-Apr-45||FEH||Rest Home Leave|
|S/Sgt||Franklin A Foutch||36884406||Armorer-Gunner||14-May-45||FEH||Reclassified MOS 612|
|S/Sgt||John Grencer||33836507||Armorer-Gunner||14-May-45||FEH||Reclassified MOS 612|
Taking off on their eighth mission on the morning of March 2, 1945, the crew were flying a Liberator they had flow on two previous occasions, B-24J-145-CO 44-40134 J4 R, a nameless ship that had more than 50 missions on her scoreboard. It was soon discovered that Lt Evans' heated suit was not working properly. The crew decided to return to base, and in the words of the pilot, "...pick up an electrical suit for the Navigator and return on the mission as soon as possible." The aircraft came in with a full load of bombs and fuel, this extra weight possibly not being taken into account as to when to apply the brakes to bring the ship to a safe stop. The aircraft rolled through the end of the runway where the nose wheel buckled and the ship came to a rest on her nose.
Undaunted, they were off on a mission the very next day, flying to Nienburg, Germany. A total of nine mission were flown in March and eight in April (making 23 for McCoy), the last on the 16th just prior to the crew's being sent on rest home leave. The next day the officers were off to AAF 495, Knightshayes Court, Tiverton, Devonshire; while the enlisted men embarked for AAF 566 at Keythorpe Hall, Tugby, Leicestershire for 10 days of leave before continuing their combat flying.
As it turned out, by the time McCoy and crew returned to Horsham, the Eighth Air Force's shooting war was over. The last mission had been flown on April 25, 1945 to the marshalling yards at Bad Reichenhall. Most of the crews who had not completed a full combat tour were assigned to ferry home the Liberators of the 458th, and a few from some neighboring groups. McCoy was assigned one of the "newer" Liberators in the group, B-24J-65-CF 44-10602 J3 A Ten Gun Dottie to fly back to the States. They had flown this aircraft on three occasions during their tour on missions over Germany. Most of the "ferry crews" left Horsham by early June 1945, headed back to the States to start the transition into B-29's for assignment in the South Pacific.
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|28-Jan-45||DORTMUND||174||1||42-50912||D||J4||4||THE TRAVLIN' BAG|
|31-Jan-45||BRUNSWICK||176||2||42-50449||W||J4||37||HEAVENLY HIDEAWAY||RECALL - SORTIE CREDIT|
|08-Feb-45||RHEINE M/Y, OSNABRUCK||REC||--||44-40277||P||J4||--||MISS USED||RECALL - WEATHER|
|14-Feb-45||MAGDEBURG||181||4||42-50912||D||J4||10||THE TRAVLIN' BAG|
|16-Feb-45||OSNABRUCK||183||ABT||42-110163||M||J4||--||TIME'S A WASTIN||#3 ENG LOSS OF POWER|
|17-Feb-45||ASCHAFFENBURG M/Y||REC||--||44-40134||R||J4||--||UNKNOWN 039||RECALL - WEATHER|
|26-Feb-45||BERLIN||190||6||44-40285||H||J4||66||TABLE STUFF||LAND ON CONTINENT|
|01-Mar-45||INGOLSTADT||193||WTHR||41-28743||Z||--||--||EASTERN BEAST||WEATHER SHIP|
|02-Mar-45||MAGDEBURG||194||ABT||44-40134||R||J4||--||UNKNOWN 039||LANDING ACCIDENT|
|10-Mar-45||ARNSBURG||201||11||42-100408||I||J4||50||LADY LUCK / THE BEAST|
|21-Mar-45||HESEPE||209||13||42-50768||Y||J4||40||ARISE MY LOVE AND COME WITH ME|
|25-Mar-45||HITZACKER||214||15||44-10602||E||J4||39||TEN GUN DOTTIE|
|05-Apr-45||PLAUEN||218||17||44-10602||E||J4||43||TEN GUN DOTTIE|
|07-Apr-45||KRUMMEL||220||18||44-10602||E||J4||45||TEN GUN DOTTIE|
|08-Apr-45||UNTERSCHLAUERSBACH||221||WTHR||44-50539||B||J4||--||UNKNOWN 045||WEATHER SHIP|
|11-Apr-45||REGENSBURG||224||21||44-10602||E||J4||47||TEN GUN DOTTIE|
|15-Apr-45||ROYAN AREA||226||22||42-50555||A||J4||43||BABY SHOES|
|16-Apr-45||LANDSHUT||227||23||42-110141||U||J4||59||BREEZY LADY / MARIE / SUPERMAN|
(Photos: David Rea)
February 26, 1945
(Courtesy: David Rea)
March 2, 1945
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
About 0922 on 2 March 1945, B24 J, 44-40134 piloted by Lt MC COY ran off the end of R/W 23 when landing causing nose wheel to collapse. Ship landed with 6000 pounds of bombs and about 2300 gallons of gasoline, having aborted on operational mission two hours after take-off due to failure of an electric suit.
The caravan operator states that the ship came over the end of the R/W at 75 to 100 feet and touched down 1000 to 1500 feet from end of R/W. Pilot states that he was not aware of landing long but soon realized he was going to have trouble stopping.
The plane came to rest about 100 feet past the end of the R/W with the nose wheel collapsed. Nose section was damaged to such an extent that repair of A/C is impractical. Assessment of responsibility: 100% pilot error.
That in all cases where the pilot is in doubt about landing with a bomb load he should jettison bombs before attempting to land. Pilots should be continually cautioned to use all available R/W when landing.
ROLLAND H. RUE,
Major, Air Corps,
WILLIAM R. MC COY JR, 2d Lt, 0-778526, 753d Bombardment Squadron, 458th Bombardment Group (H), AAF 123, APO 558.
Returned to field with bomb load and full load of gas. Reason was to pick up electric suit for Navigator and return on Mission as soon as possible. Navigator’s suit became inoperative in flight. Made approach higher than necessary but made normal landing in the first third of the runway. Possibly didn’t use brakes soon enough to stop and ran off end of runway. The nose wheel buckled due to the rather high ridge at the end of the runway. The weight and load of the ship was not anticipated after landing and speed was not killed soon and fast enough.
WILLIAM R. MC COY, JR
2d Lt, Air Corps, Pilot.