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Crew PILOT: James A.  LANTZ

 James A. Lantz crew. Front Row L to R: John DiMari, Paul Sotter, Bert Hodges, Harvey "Shorty" Becker, Donald Newlin. Back Row L to R: Frances "Lad" Meserve, James Lantz, John Greenlee, Otto "Pop" Bueren, LaMarr Bennett Link to Lantz Crew Page. Photo courtesy Crystal Hausman 

Crew Members:

Crew 1

NBR Person Position Status
1 LT James A. LANTZ P FEH
2 LT John W. GREENLEE CP FEH
3 LT Otto P. BUEREN NAV FEH
4 S/SGT Bert R. HODGES TOG/NG FEH
5 T/SGT Francis W. MESERVE TTE FEH
6 T/SGT John A. DIMARI ROG FEH
7 S/SGT Harvey L. BECKER BTG FEH
8 S/SGT Paul SOTTLER WG FEH
9 S/SGT Donald M. NEWLIN TG FEH

PHOTOS:

Wednesday May 16th, 1945: Flew a POW mission today and it was one of the most interesting we had. Got off at 4:50 P.M. and flew at 1000 feet over France, Germany and Czechoslovakia where we landed at Horsching. Along the way we could see the remains of quite a few B-17s that had been shot down. The German airfield where we landed was quite good with smooth runways and huge hangers. Drottar in landing just before us collapsed a landing gear so we had to go around a couple of times. As we landed a rough looking German woman cut directly in front of out ship and we missed hitting her by inches. We parked the ship and got out and there were thirty French POWs waiting for us. I asked if anyone spoke English and one fellow in civilian clothes came forward and saluted and said he could talk it and understand if I spoke slowly. I asked him how long they had been POWs and he said five (5) years. They were all deeply suntanned but looked fairly healthily and they certainly had enough de-lousing powder on them. Their clothes were everything from civilian to French and German Army issue. We loaded them into the plane and I put the English speaking fellow up with me. We took off and all the way back I kept pointing out places to the POWS. We passed over Nurnburg and I could see now with my own eyes what a really devastating effect allied bombing had on Germany. The rail yards which had once been out target was a mass of twisted track and cars. I tuned in a French station and let them listen. When we came upon the Ziegfield line I pointed it out and told them they were now in France. My destination was Chartres but we went a little out of our way to fly over Paris and let them get a glimpse of the Eiffle tower. We landed at Chartres and they were hurried out into waiting trucks and home. The English speaking fellows home was Bordeaux and I told him we had bombed around there. These men were all joyous coming home but it wasn't a wild shouting kind of joy. Rather it was the kind of joy that comes after five years of living hell, five years of frustration, five years of learning patience. No, they didn't shout but you couldn't hide the grin on their faces and you knew there was a bigger smile in their hearts. They were home.                                    
       from my dads diary James Lantz