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“Champ” Champion Crew

2nd Lt. James A. Plough

2nd Lt. James A. Plough (CP) on the right and S/Sgt Howard E. Lodl (TTE) on the left.

History of CAPT Ivan W.”Champ” Champion’s B-17 Crew. Assembled during June/July 1994 from a file of personal orders and a 201 Flight file used to match flights of > 5 hrs with dates and targets listed in Contrails by the then 1ST LT James A. Plough (CP).
 2nd Lt Ivan W.Champion P FEH (Flying at end of hostilties)
 2nd Lt James A.Plough CP FEH
 2nd Lt Robert J.Andris NAV FEH
Cpl Herbert A.Krumwiede ROG FEH
Cpl Howard E.Lodl TTE FEH
Cpl Barent B.Boicourt BTG FEH
Cpl George F.Holser WG CPT 9/4/45  MUNICH/REIM, AF
Cpl Francis J.Finn NG FEH
Cpl Ernest R.Spencer BTG FEH
350th Sqdn   Crew, as above, Joined 100th Group on 28/10/44, according to George F. Holser, 220 Coronado Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 (1983).  Were flying as a lead crew in early 1945. The following  is a lead to Seelze/ Hanover  14 March 1945
Command Pilot Capt. C.E. Robbs
Pilot Lt. I. Champion
Co-Pilot Lt. J.A. Plough
Navigator Lt. R. Andris
Radar Navigator Lt. N.T. Gault
Bombardier Lt. W.J. Wellings
Radio Operator S/Sgt H.A. Krumwiede
Engineer S/Sgt H.E. Lodl
Waist Gunner S/Sgt F.J. Finn
Waist Gunner Sgt   A.R. Spencer
Crew History courtesy of Mr. James A. Plough; furnished to Paul West – August 1994…
History of CAPT Ivan W.”Champ” Champion’s B-17 Crew. Assembled during June/July 1994 from a file of personal orders and a 201 Flight file used to match flights of > 5 hrs with dates and targets listed in Contrails by the then 1ST LT James A. Plough (CP). Copies of orders are extracted from those in my file.
1. Hdqtrs Lincoln Army Air Base
A. Special Orders No. 104 Dated 9 July 1944: Following named Off and EM are reld fr dty 2AF C-RP, and trfd in grade to orgns indicated, AAB, Rapid City, South Dakota, WP thereto o/a 10 July reporting to CO for dty. (PCS) (TT)
CREW #7136
2D LT (1091) IVAN W CHAMPION 0772286 (P)
2D LT (1051) JAMES A PLOUGH 0778551 (CP)
2D LT (1035) PAUL J DECKER 0780151 (B)
PVT (612) FRANCIS J FINN 36754815
By order of Colonel WRIGHT
For some reason, which I do not remember, Howard E Lodl (Cpl?) 36822052 was not included in the above list. He may have been assigned to us at Rapid City. He certainly flew as our Flt engineer while there.
I believe that 2D LT (1034) ROBERT J ANDRIS 02065669 (N) was assigned to the crew at Rapid City.
(Special Orders No. 257 Hdqtrs Rapid City, South Dakota, Dated 14 Sep 1944 provided 12 days Lv of absence for Champion, Plough & Decker. Andris must have been on other orders. I do not believe that Decker flew overseas with the crew)
By order of Colonel BAEZ
B. Movement Orders 370.5-1024(242-50) Hdqtrs Lincoln, Nebr. Heavy Bombardment Crew, Shipment No. FY-350-AA, to overseas destination,  9 October 1944.
CREW #FY-350-A-57 Aircraft #B17 43-38847
P 2D LT (1091) Ivan W. Champion (Serial numbers above)
CP 2D LT (1051) James A. Plough
N 2D LT (1034)  (1034) Robert J. Andris
APMG Cpl (748) Howard E. Lodl
ROMG Cpl (757) Herbert A. Krumwiede
AG Cpl (612) Francis J. Finn
CG Cpl (611) Ernest R. Spencer
CG Cpl (611) George F. Holser
CG Cpl (611) Barent B. Boicourt
By order of Lieutenant Colonel YOUNG
History Continued
2. Hdqrtrs, Grenier Field, 1377 AAF Base Unit (NAD, ATC) Manchester, New Hampshire.
Operations Orders No. 65, Dated 11 Oct 1944. The following named crews WP by air in the aircraft as indicated below at the proper time from Grenier Field, New Hampshire, via North Atlantic Route to the European Theater of Operations, London, England, reporting upon arrival thereat to the Commander, 8th Air Force Service Command,Air Transport Command Terminals of Arrival, British Isles, for further assignment and duty with the 8th Air Force.
Shipment No.FY- -AA-57 Project No.92858-R APO No.16637-AA-57
B-17G Crew No.FY- -57 #43-38847
(Crew as listed above)
By order of Colonel MOORE
Note: Enroute to BI we landed at Gander Newfoundland as a planned stop. Champ had a problem clearing his ears during descent. He was in severe pain and reported to Flight Surgeon upon landing. He was hospitalized for several days. We continued o/a 21 Oct 44.
3. Hdqrtrs 70th Replacement Depot (AAF STA 594)
Special Orders No. 299, Dated 25 Oct 1944. Following O and EM are released fr asgmt this Hq, and asgd as indicated. O concerned are reld fr atchst 156th Replacement Co., 130th Replacement Bn (AAF), this sta and EM concerned are reld fr atchmt orgns indicated, this sta. WPR a/o GMT o/a 26 Oct 1944, rpt on arrival to CO thereat. A perm chg of sta.
FY 350 AA
(EM reld 154th Replacement Co, 129th Replacement Bn (AAF)) Cr 57 (APO 16637 AA 57)
Cpl Barent B Boicourt (TG)
Cpl Francis J Finn (TNG)
Cpl George F Holser (WG)
Cpl Herbert A Krumwiede (ROG)
Cpl Howard E Lodl (TTE)
Cpl Ernest R Spencer (BTG)
By order of Colonel RADER
4. Missions Flown by ” Champ’s ” Crew
1. 21 Nov Osnabruck MY (LR) (Briefed for Merseburg, no way to start a tour)
2. 29 Nov Hamm MY
3. 02 Dec Koblenz MY (Recall due to weather)
4. 11 Dec Koblenz MY (ST)
5. 13 Dec (No mission credit) Osnabruck Recall- Landed in Cornwall due to dense fog at Base. Returned in AM.
5. 24 Dec * Biblis AF
Kaiserlautern  MY
6. 27 Dec Fulda MY
7. 05 Jan Frankfurt MY
8. 06 Jan Annweiler Town (TO)
9. 07 Jan * Cologne Auto Bridge
Limburg Town (TO)
10. 10 Jan Cologne RR Bridge
11. 14 Jan Derben Oil Storage
12. 17 Jan Hamburg Oil Refinery
On one of these missions Toggelier Finn was wounded when a piece of flak hit and exploded a round Of ammo. A piece of brass casing pierced his arm which the Surgeons had a difficult time extracting. Finn was awarded the Purple Heart.
A telecon with Geo. Holser (5 July 1994) confirmed that he flew only the first two missions with Champ. He as an accredited Navigator was removed from the crew. This is also mentioned on p.130 of Contrails.
Went into Lead Crew Training for about a month. 2D LT Nathaniel T. Gault, 0717776 (Mickey Operator), and 2D LT William Wellings, 0762846 (Bombardier) were assigned to our crew. I think we lost Boicourt.
13. 24 Feb Bremen RR Bridge
14. 26 Feb Berlin City
15. 09 Mar Frankfurt AC Factory
16. 11 Mar Hamburg Oil Refinery
17. 14 Mar * Seelze MY
Hanover RR Workshops
18. 15 Mar Oranienberg MY
19. 21 Mar Plauen Machine Works
20. 22 Mar Alhorn AF
21. 24 Mar Steenwijk/ AF
22. 28 Mar Hanover Aborted on bomb run due to severe damage to trailing edge
** 31 Mar Zeitz Oil Refinery
I believe that Krumwiede and I flew this mission assigned Reason unknown.
23. 05 Apr Nurnburg MY
24. 06 Apr Leipzig MY
25. 09 Apr Munich/Reim AF
26. 10 Apr Burg-bei- AF
27.  15 Apr Royan Grnd Defenses
?? May * Holland Food Drop (Operation Chowhound)* Not sure which target ** Additional Mission flown w/o Champ — Did not count as a mission ?? Not sure of date- could have been 06 May 45.
Our Crew “Lucky Bastard” Certificate indicates 28 Missions. I have not been able to correlate one mission we flew together. There was one mission where we took off, assembled with the Squadron/Group and departed to the target. Sometime after crossing the Channel to the Continent and heading for Germany, we had to abort having lost one engine. We landed at an American field in France near a small town part way up a mountain called Laon-Couvron. This may have been on 21 Jan 45, target Mannheim. We flew on that day but flying time did not meet my correlation time of <5hrs. for a mission. This would make No. 13 and the total missions 28 and 29 respectively.
As a result of flying one more mission than Champ, Krumwiede and I, with the resulting additional “points”, were assigned to another crew for “earlier” return to the ZI. The following is the story of our return.
July 9 ,1994
1ST Air Division
APO 557
Special Orders No. 263, Dated 21 September 1945. Para 3. Under para 1, Section III. WD Circular 372. 13 Sep 44, Eighth Air Force Memo 35-1,22 Sep 44, fol Off and EM are reld fr dy and asgmt with orgn indicated; are reasgd and/or trfd in grd to CP AAF/ET Reinf Depot, Sta 591 for purpose of flying B-17 Aircraft to ZI. Personnel will report on 22 Sep 1945. Personnel will have clo and equip as listed in Cir 99, Hq USFET, 17 July 45, and para 31c, ETO POM LED SOP 61 in their possession prior to departure fm pres sta. Complaince w/prov of USSTAF Reg 80-10, 21 Apr 45 is directed. S/R and allied papers will accompany ea EM on chg of Sta. Sta Comdr will insure that ea OFF and EM has at least two copies of these orders immediately avail on arr at new Sta. Baggage will accompany pers upon chg of sta……………………………..
TWA TCNT TDN 60-136 P431-02 A 212/60425 PCS. EDCMR – 22 Sep 45. (Auth: VIII Ftr Comd YWX D-67838, 19 Sep 45 and USAFE msg UAX 76192, 18 Aug 45)
100th Bomb Group¶
Crew No .4
1ST LT ANDREW K. BENTLEY, 0799314 (1091) VJ 91-Q
1ST LT JAMES A. PLOUGH, 0778551 (1091) VE -57-Q
1ST LT DANIEL F. MCGRATH, 0738863 (1034) VE 75-Q
T/Sgt Herbert A. Krumwiede, 37563064 (757) VE -66-Q
T/Sgt Gunard F. Kling, Jr., 37522612 (748) VE 83-Q
APO 652 AAF STA 594
SUBJECT: Orders No. 370.5 PRI/L 10-254, Dated 12 Oct 1945
 TO- Officers and Enlisted Men Concerned.
1. Fol AC O and AC EM AAF/ET Reinforcement Depot (Prov) are reld fr atchd 158th Reinforcement Co 130th Reinforcement Bn (AAF) this sta asgmt Casual Pool AAF/ET Reinforcement Depot (Prov) and WP 94th Bomb Gp AAF Sta 468 o/a 13 Oct 45 reporting on arrival CO purpose ferrying aircraft to ZI. Upon arrival ZI pers concerned will report to Airport Debarkation O at destination in ZI for instructions and further movement. O and EM concerned are being returned under the provisions of Sec III WD Cir 372, 44 and are traveling under the “White Project”, EDCMR 26 )ct 45.
(Crew members as named above)
2. Auth: Sec III WD Cir 372, Ltr WD AG 370.5 (10 Aug 44) OB-S_SPMOT-M
 Subj: “Procedure for Ret of Individuals” 16 Aug 44 as amended by Supp No.1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Ltr Hq ASC US Air Forces in Europe Subj: “Ret of Combat Crs for assignment within the US”,10 Jul 44 WAR Cable 77102.
3. Crews will be asgd to specific aeft by CO 94th Bomb Gp AAF Sta 468.
4. Travel info ………………………..
5. Per diem info ……………………….
6. Those concerned to get flying equip……..
7. Baggage limitations……………………
8. Records info………………………….
9. Customs clearance info………………….
10. Crew control enroute to ZI by ATC……….
11. Do not “discuss personal activities of mil nature” w/o prior clearance of WD BPR or Army Pub Rel Off……
12. Notify next of kin not to write until notified of new address.
13. PCS. TCNT. TDN. FSA 60-136, 500 P 431-02-03 A 212/60425.
By order of Colonel Rader
The flight of THE BEWILDERING ” BOUT-HAD-IT ” (see note)
10/17/1945: 700 mi. Bury St. Edmond’s, Suffolk, Eng. To Marignane Fld., Marseille, via Paris, Crossed Eng. Channel, (1) England, (2) France.
10/19/1945: 1200 mi. Marseille To Casablanca, Morocco, N. Africa via Balearic Islands (Sp) (inc Majorca) in Mediterranean Sea; Oran, Algeria, Atlas Mts. (3) Spain, (4) Algeria, (5) Morroco.
10/20/1945: 1600 mi. Casablanca To Mallard Fld., Dakar, Senagal, F.W.A. (6?)(Sidi?)Ifni (7) Rio De Oro, (8) Mauritania, F.W.A. (9)Senegal.
10/21/1945: 1900 mi. Dakar To Parnamirim Fld., Natal, Brazil, So. Am. Entire Flt over Atlantic Ocean. Crossed Equator at 1300 GCT at 30 Deg 00 Min W. Long. (10) Brazil.
10/22/1945 Natal To Waller Fld., Trinidad, B.W.I. Crossed Eq. at 2100 mi 46 Deg W. Long. Crossed mouth of Amazon River. (11) Fr. Guiana, (12) Surinam (Dutch Guiana),(13) British Guiana, (14) Venezuela,
10/23/1945: 800 mi. Trinidad To Borinquen Fld., Puerto Rico, across Caribbean Sea. (16) Puerto Rico.
10/24/1945: 1000 mi.  Puerto Rico To Morrison Fld., West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.!! Flew across Bahama Islands, incl. Caicos, Mayaguana, Acklins, Long Exuma Cat, New Providence (Nassau) Andros,and Great Isaac Islands.(17) Bahamas, (18) HisPaniola. (19) U.S.A.
9300 mi (19) Countries
Notes: This Log of the last trip of The Bewildering “Bout-Had-It” was kept by our Navigator Dan McGrath and given to me when we reached West Palm Beach o/a 24 Oct 45. Some of the printing is hard to read on this carbon copy. I have checked my Atlas and found that names have been changed or may not now exist.
When we started from England the airplane, while having seen action, was in pretty good shape and performed well. As time went on small things began to show signs of wear. The second or third day out one of the landing gears had to be cranked up and as we continued on, the the other also, and by the time we landed at ZI both gears had to be hand-cranked up and down. When the tail wheel would not retract we left it down.
I don’t know if the name was on the airplane or one provided by one or more of the crew. It seemed appropriate at the time. We met Champ and the rest of the crew o/a 24 Oct 45 at West Palm Beach for a farewell prior to being processed.
The orders indicated above have been extracted from copies in my personal file.
James A. Plough