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LT  Charles J. GUTEKUNST

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: CP

 Charles J. Gutekunst and Robert A. Wegrzynek Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Charles Gutekunst in the left seat. 

SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 25 AUG 44 POLITZ

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

LT DALE McEWEN BECAME 1S PILOT OF THIS CREW SOMETIME AFTER THEIR 10TH MISSION.  

2ND LT ROBERT A. WEGRZYNEK            P  RFS    ILLNESS
2ND LT CHARLES J. GUTEKUNST          CP  CPT    25 AUG 44 POLITZ  (with Lt Coleman Crew)
2ND LT EDMUND "NED" KAUFFMAN     NAV  POW  28 JUL 44  MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY (WITH F.H.MASON CREW)
2ND LT JACK . EPPENDORF                BOM  KIA    11 SEP 44  RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
S/SGT GEORGE W. WRIGHT               TTE NOC
S/SGT JAY V. EMRICH                       ROG NOC TAPS: 1988
SGT DALE E. STRAUSBAUGH              BTG NOC
SGT EDWIN J. TYRRELL                      WG NOC
SGT LUTHER A. WISE, JR.                  WG NOC
SGT RINALDO J. BUSSINO                   TG CPT 24 JUL 44 ST LO GROUND SUPPORT

350TH SQDN….CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 09 MAR 1944..

"FLEW FIRST MISSION ON APRIL 11, 1944.  AFTER 10 MISSIONS, LT ROBERT WEGRZYNEK WAS GROUNDED BY A SERIOUS ILLNESS THAT REQUIRED A LONG PERIOD OF RECUPERATION IN A STATESIDE MILITARY HOSPITAL.  WHILE SERVING IN COMBAT, HIS B-17 CREW WAS UNITED IN THEIR BELIEF THAT BOB WAS AN OUTSTANDING LEADER AND EXCEPTIONAL PILOT"…..2ND LT CHARLES GUTEKUNST IN LETTER DATED DEC. 2000 mpf

LT DALE R. McEWEN TOOK OVER THIS CREW AS FIRST PILOT.  LT KAUFFMAN WAS REPLCED ON THE CREW BY FLIGHT OFFICER ALEXANDER MARUCHESS BOTH MCEWEN AND MARUCHESS WERE FROM LT JAMES NOBLE CREW.  PROABLY MOST OF THIS CREW COMPLETED TOURS.


Lt Gutekunst flew one mission as a Formation officer before flying missions with his Crew.  The mission was April 10, 1944


Date           Crew Nbr  Mission Nbr Last Name        Initial        Rank        Position    Aircraft Nbr        Target
4/10/1944        10        144        GUTEKUNST        C J        LT                 TG        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        BARNHARD          D E        S/SGT        LWG        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        SPIKER                J N        S/SGT        RWG        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        FREITAS             A M        S/SGT        BTG        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        BROWN               J C        T/SGT        TTE        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        CANNON             L.R.        T/SGT        ROG        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        CAIN                 M.H.             LT        BOM        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        PAYNE               J.H.        CAPT        NAV        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        FULLER              M.C.        CAPT        COM        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/10/1944        10        144        LAKIN               W.G.        CAPT             P        31903        RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE

FLIGHT RECORD 
RINALDO J. BUSSINO 39550304
350TH SQDN.. 100TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)
THORPE ABBOTTS, ENGLAND (STA # 139)

DATE   TARGET               FLT, TIME

5 APR 1944  LOCAL AREA      2:40
9 APR 1944  AIR SEA  RESCUE     4:30
11 APR 1944  POSEN, AC & ROSTOCK, CITY    11:30
12 APR 1944  SCHKEUDITZ, AC FACTORY (RECALL)   3:30
18 APR 1944  GENSHAGEN (BERLIN) AC ENGINES   8:15
19 APR 1944  LIPPSTADT & WERL AF'S    6:45
20 APR 1944  MARQUENVILLE & FLOTTEMANVILLE-HAGUE  5:00
24 APR 1944  FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, AC FACTORY   9:15
28 APR 1944  SOTTEVAST (NOBALL)     5:30
29 APR 1944  BERLIN, CITY      9:30
1 MAY 1944  SAARGUEMINES, MY & WIZERNES (NOBALL  7:15
3 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA      4:30
4 MAY 1944  ABORT       2:00
7 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA      1:00
10 MAY 1944  FALLERSLEBEN, MOTOR TRANSP. (RECALL)  3:30
11 MAY 1944  LIEGE, MY      5:00
17 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA      1:30
19 MAY 1944  BERLIN, CITY (RECALL)     2:10
20 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA      2:30
22 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA      3:20
23 MAY 1944  TROYES, AF      8:00
24 MAY 1944  BERLIN, CITY (SPARE; NO HOLES TO FILL)  3:30
28 MAY 1944  LOCAL AREA      2:30
31 MAY 1944  OSNABRUCK, MY     8:30
2 JUN 1944  BOULOGNE & PARIS, RAILWAY JUNCTION  4:10
3 JUN 1944  LOCAL AREA      3:00
5 JUN 1944  ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE    5:30
6 JUN 1944  OUISTREHAM, TOWN     6:30
6 JUN 1944  FALAISE, TOWN     7:30
7 JUN 1944  NANTES, BRIDGE     7:50
10 JUN 1944  MORLAIX, AF      5:30
15 JUN 1944  LOCAL AREA      1:30
20 JUN 1944  FALLERSLEBEN, MT FACTORY    7:00
7 JUL 1944  MERSEBURG & BOHLEN, OIL REFS   3:20
8 JUL 1944  CLAMECY-JOIGNY, RAILWAY BRIDGE   5:30
10 JUL 1944  LOCAL AREA      5:20
11 JUL 1944  MUNICH, AERO ENGINES    10:20
12 JUL 1944  MUNICH, INDUSTRIAL AREA    9:20
13 JUL 1944  MUNICH, JET ENGINES     8:20
17 JUL 1944  AUXERRE, RAIL BRIDGE     7:45
18 JUL 1944  KIEL, HEMMINGSTADT, OIL (100TH "B")   7:10
19 JUL 1944  SCHWEINFURT & DUREN    7:00
20 JUL 1944  MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY    8:10
21 JUL 1944  REGENSBURG & LUDWIGSHAFEN   7:30
24 JUL 1944  ST. LO, GROUND SUPPORT    6:15
6 AUG 1944  LOCAL AREA      1:00
6 AUG 1944  LOCAL AREA      1:30
7 AUG 1944  LOCAL AREA      2:00


LT DALE R. McEWEN CREW 5/8/44 (APPEARS TO BE A PICK-UP CREW)

LT DALE R. McEWEN  P (FROM LT J.B. NOBLE CREW)
LT CHARLES J. GUTEKUNST CP (FROM LT R.A. WEGRZYNEK CREW)
F/O DAYTON W. CAFFERTY NAV (FROM LT GEORGE P. FORY CREW)
LT OSCAR F.  MILLS  BOM (FROM LT E. F. NEU CREW)
T/SGT JAY V. EMRICH  ROG (FROM LT R. A. WEGRZYNEK CREW)
T/SGT ALEXANDER L. HUBIAK    TTE (FROM LT HARRY HEMPY CREW)
S/SGT DALE STRAUSBAUGH BTG (FROM LT R.A. WEGRZYNEK CREW)
S/SGT EDWIN J. TYRRELL WG (FROM LT R.A. WEGRZYNEK CREW)
S/SGT DONALD W. HARRIS TG (FROM LT H.E. BETHEA CREW)


August 25, 1944 Mission
Got a nice one for the last one. An oil Refinery at Politz, Germany. There was some real good flak and we got some pretty close hits. We got about 16 holes in our Plane.

COLEMAN L.F. LT           P 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
GUTEKUNST C.J. LT      CP 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
RADULOVICH  M. LT     NAV 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
LOWANS W.F LT        TOG 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
HARRIS R.E. T/SGT     ROG 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
SMITH F.C. T/SGT      TTE 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
KAASA R.P. S/SGT     BTG 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
HELMIN P.V. S/SGT    LWG 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
KAMINSKI L.J. S/SGT     TG 8/25/1944 POLITZ (OIL) 78 97230
A/C 297230  LAY OR BUST


Joined: 19 Jun 2005
Posts: 25
Location: Parkdale OR
Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:46 am    Post subject: Col Charles J Gutekunst     

Mike: Today I got in contact with Col Gutekunst. He was on the orders that sent a crew from the 100th 418th to RAF Station Catterick to film a movie. Uncle Leonard Coleman was pilot and Charles was Co pilot. Col Gutekunst was wonderful to talk to. They did spend 18 days on the RAF Base after they completed their missions. Col Gutekunst explained they rode about 3 hrs in a truck to get to RAF Station Catterick. The name of the movie is "THIS SIDE OF THE OCEAN" A British film about Americans taking over British Air Bases. Any ideas where to find this movie, that had 418th crews in it? It is not made for the RAF as we thought before. Thanks Leonard 

                                                                  CONFIDENTIAL
                                      HEADQUARTERS ARMY AIR FORCE STATION NO. 139
                                                                       APO 559
Special Orders   )                                                                                                      26 August 1944
Number   231   )   

                                                                   E X T R A C T   
   
           8. The foll named O's and EM, 418th Bomb Sq,  WP via Rail and/or GMV fr AAF Sta 139 to AAF Sta 155, reporting not later than 1600 26 Aug 44, thence WP via military aircraft to RAF Station Catterick, RUAT to Squadron Leader Norman Lloyd, on TD for a period of app two (2) weeks. CTRS    

26 August 1944 Crew sent to RAF Catterick for two weeks to Film "THIS SIDE OF THE OCEAN" (mpf..2005)
Lt Leonard Coleman-Pilot                           sn#0-761887
Lt Charles. J.  Gutekunst-Copilot                 sn#0-756100                     
Lt Milroy E. Radulovich-Navigator                 sn#0-700064                 
Lt Wallace F. Lowans -Bombardier               sn#0-701446
T/Sgt Forrest G. Smith-Top Turret Engineer sn#33618978
S/Sgt Peter V. Helmin-Right Waist Gunner   sn#37658290
T/Sgt Ralph E. Harris-Radio Operator Gunner sn#15195180
S/Sgt. Leo J. Kaminski -Tail Gunner             sn#36596021            
S/Sgt Raymond P.Kaasa-Ball Turret Gunner  sn#39206394

               Aircraft not to be used for flights by civilians and neither personnel nor aircraft to be subjected to any risks other than those incidental to normal flight. 

              Reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses will be paid in accordance with Cir 63, ETOUSA 44, as amended.  TONT. TDN. 60-136 P 432-02 A 212/50425.  Rail and /or GMV.  (Auth: TWX Hq 3d Bomb Division A-1015-C, 26 Aug 44.)

              By order of Lt. Col JEFFREY

                                                                                                                                     HORACE L. VARIAN, JR.,
                                                                                                                                     Captain, Air Corps,
                                                                                                                                     Adjutant
OFFICIAL:
             DALE Z. HOBBS
             Captain, Air Corps
             Ass't Adjutant.


 
Michael:  Dale McEwen and I, both co-Pilots, lost our Pilots about the same time. I was in the 350th Sq.and Dale was in the 418th. They
transferred me to the 418th and as Dale had started his checkout as Pilot. I flew as Co-Pilot for him. He was about 6 missions ahead of me.
Jack Eppendorf our 350th Sq Bombardier and Ed Kauffman our Navigator, both on the original Wegrzynek crew, did not transfer to the 418th with me. Jack flew with another crew and was killed. Ed Kauffman went to 8th AF HQ, became a Radar Navigator. He returned and was shot down with Noble Crew on his first flight as a Mickey Navigator. He was a POW. 
 
Insofar as I recall, Dale and I were a "Put together on the spot" crew. Spare Navigators and Bombardiers, those that were available at the time were assigned to fly with us, Except for Lt Ivons and  Lt Maruchess who were originally in the 350th, Lt Ivoins was hurt from flack on the mission when Col. Kelly went down. Maruchess was hurt in a B-17 collision and I never saw either one again. I don't recall the names of any other
Bombardiers or Navigators. I flew my last 6 missions with various, new crews. I just don't recall Lt.  Anderson and I'm positive
Bussino, the Tail Gunner who flew all of his 29 missions with me would not recall him. I'm Sorry I can't be more helpful
 
Chuck Gutekunst
 gutecj@comcast.net
948 W, Leatherleaf Dr.
Tucson,  AZ  85755



-------------------------------  
  
REPLY TO: gutecj@comcast.net  
  
SUBMITTER: Charles J. Gutekunst  
  
EMAIL: gutecj@comcast.net  
  
PURPOSE: Contact photo archivist  
  
INTEREST: I am the veteran   
  
MESSAGE: I have some Photoes I took while at the 100th Would you like to see them


When we were coming overseas our Navigator got on the radio and let us know that we had passed the point of no return (which meant we could not turn around and make it back to Gander).  Well something snapped in Bob because he turned the plane 180 degrees and started to head back.  It took the pleading of both myself and the Navigator to get Bob to understand we could not go back.  Finally Bob turned the plane back 180 degrees and we sweated out landfall.  During the trip we lost number one engine and just made it too Ireland. This situation did not resolve itself and after 10 missions, Bob was taken off flying Status…..Col Gutekunst.


From    : Charles Gutekunst[mailto:gutecj@comcast.net]
Sent    : 6/19/2007 10:34:00 AM
To      : aubert@gorge.net
Cc      : ddll@ix.netcom.com
Subject : FW: Stuff

Leonard: I went to the 100th web site as you suggested and found the information about the
Wegrzynek crew. There were two crew members mentioned. One was Jack Eppendorf ,our Bombardier
who was killed on 11 Sept 44. I knew he was shot down after I left the 100th but not the date. He 
was in the plane when it crashed and there never was any indication what happened to his body. 
Probably nothing left after the crash and inevitable explosion and fire. He was a great guy. Honest 
as the day is long. Spent all his spare time writing his wife. He was madly in love with her. She 
followed him from base to base while he was in training and came to see him off to war when we 
stopped at Grand Island to pick up our B-17 to fly to Ireland. His dedication to his wife kept him 
from going to London with us to see the sights. He never left the base.

I went to Los Angeles twice. Once in late 1944 and then again in early in 1945 to visit with his 
mother I had met her while she was at Grand Island. He was her only  son and she was broken hearted. 
He was never listed as anything but missing. That's the way it has been ever since. 

For 20 years after the war I never thought about combat and my crew very much. There was too much 
going on in my life to dwell on the past. My job, which was my career, my family and changing events 
in the world which always found a way to trickle, in part to my own world. It's strange but I was in 
Military Air Transportation and something is going on all the time in that business. And I was in 
the thick of it. It was not until 1965 that I met General Wallace, the last Commander of the 100th. 
I began to find other members of the Wegrzynek crew and learned far more about them than I knew before.
It's been quite an experience learning some things about myself and the others on the crew

The other name I found was Ed Kauffman who was shot down with the Noble crew which went down on 28 
July 44. Ed is 93 years old, was aPOW and is now almost totally blind. His wife died of Alzheimer's 
about 8 years ago and he remarried  6 years ago. I went to his wedding and again visited him in 
Florida 5 years ago. We are in contact frequently. His bailout and capture is an interesting story 
indeed. 


The Wegrzynek (Winners) son's are frequently on my mind.  From time to time I'm tempted to tell them 
what happened on the day of our last abort that turned Bob's life into a nightmare for him
and (I'm certain) weighed heavily on his mind the rest of his life. I saw him 2 weeks before he 
passed away and I saw in him  what I had seen many times before when I went to see him after  the 
war. A guy that was tortured by what happened to him in combat and thus to his beloved crew. He was a 
very proud guy, a great pilot and one that treasured and looked out for his crew his crew.


Leonard many years ago I laid all this down on paper. I want to show it to you when I get there in 
September and see what you think about telling the Winners kids about their dad and what he lived 
with all his life. I want to get the input from Dave on this too. It's been on my mind since we met 
them last January and I'd like to wrap it up by corresponding or talking with them or just forgetting the 
whole thing


Best wishes and thanks for the heads up      Chuck Gutekunst
***************************************************************************************************************
     Mike:  Here's one I sent to John Winners. He will pass it to the others    My entry in my dairy was short and to the point for that mission  on 4-28-44. Quote  "Flew to Cherbourg and had the hell shot out of us.  Boy! They are good. Bombardier got shot through the leg.    Glad to get back"     We didn't know who was in the lead plane at the time. It is still hard to believe at this late date that an inexperienced officer-even a full Colonel would go over the target a second time especially at 18,000 feet  Shit happens and it did on that day      Chuck Gutekunst
 
 John 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Charles Gutekunst 
To: Tim Winners ; John Winners 
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: 


John: Sorry you did not get the full message.I went back to find the 2 missing missions because I was trying to locate the mission that Bob remembered so well.  It was on the 28th of April. The Target was Scottevast* in France close to the sea. I believe it was one of the places where they were massing and shooting the buzz bombs at London. We were in the high Squadron.In the lead ship of the lead Squadron was the new CO of the 100th.He was never on a mission but decided to lead this particular one after being in the Group only 1 week.
On his first pass over the target he told the group to hold their bombs as he was going around for a second bomb run which for, obvious reasons was always a No No. His right wing man was shot down on the first pass. As we made a 20 minute 306 degree turn, you could hear the pilots pissing and moaning because they knew the Germans now had our  precise range  The could stick their shells right in our formation with the radar information they had from our first pass.We were at the very low bombing altitude of 18000 ft.The just couldn’t miss, we knew it !!
Normal bombing alt. was 23-25000 ft. and 88's were deadly there.Somewhere on that big circle to get to the bomb release point again
Bob decided to go forward and out of the high squadron take up the right wing position of  Col Kelly's lead ship and replace his shot down right wing man.  We were there when we got to the dropping point the second time. When we heard "Bomb Away" and saw the smoke bomb come out of the bomb bay of the leader ( Col Kelly), they were hit in or near the bomb bay. The B-17 did not explode it just seemed disintegrate breakup and fall away It was happening just yards away, Bob remembers that the flares, used to signal Bombs Away for the rest of the formation,were ricocheting around in the cockpit. Our navigator and I remember the flames engulfing the cockpit crew as the leader fell away.

Suddenly, a 88 exploded about 20 feet in front of our no. 3 engine. It was about an 8 ft diameter ball of flame and made a thunderous noise
The flack hit our plane in many places. It was flying around behind our instrument panel I got a chunk in my parachute that I was wearing at the time. There were many holes on the right side of the nose. The navigator called an said the Bombardier was hit.. Bob sent me down to take care of him. He was hit in the leg I gave him a shot of Morphine and bandaged the big gash in his leg. Our Bombardier for that mission was TO/
Garlic who was listed as TOG for "toggleer" (They started to use enlisted men to "toggle" the switch that dropped the bombs rather than officers who were trained as Bombadiers). Bob made a turn to the right and the accurate barrage broke up the formation.We were afraid the plane was badly damaged. There were a lot of holes but nothing to keep us from flying.I quote Bob in a message to me about 1999. "Those 3 PM milk runs were murder. I will never forget ours and seeing our new leader fighting off the flares that were bouncing around the cockpit. If my memory is correct we came back alone that day - I remember looking down at the coast of France and wondering if we could make the water" Unquote  several guys got out of the plane as it broke up One was the officer in the tailgun position serving as a Formation control Officer as I did on my first mission
 
    
Buzz bomb targets were called "Noball"   and thiss was a Noball Target
 
Still digging into my letters home watta mess.  Chuck

***************************************************************************************************************
FROM COL GUTEKUNST:

Ed passed away on 28 April about 2 weeks before reaching his 96th birthday. He lived with his wife in Sarasota FL.

He wanted to be called Ned bacause that is what his family called him. He arrived at Thorpe Abbotts with the 

Wegrzynek crew in March 1944 and flew 10 missions until the crew lost it's pilot. He was sent to 8th AF headquartes

for training as a Radar Navigator. On his return to the 100th and on his 1st mission as a Radar Navigator with

Noble as Pilot he was shot down on 28 July 1944,and became a POW until the spring of 1945 when all the American

and thousands of RAF airmen were forced evacuate the prison camp and  march to the southeast to avoid the 

Russian Army coming their way to exterminate the Germans.He was a member of the 8th Air Force Association and, as far

as I know, was never a member  of the 100th. for whatever reason



Note:  Ned joined the Wegrzynek crew when it was formed in Euphrata WA in September 1943.

          He was significantly older and wiser than the rest of the crew having been a graduate of

          Princeton University. The entire crew benefited from his expertise in all matters and his companionship

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 Lt. Leonard F. Coleman and Lt. Charles Gutekunst. 

 Special Orders 231 for Lt. Leonard F. Coleman crew. (100th Photo Archives) 

 This picture documents "The Way to the Stars" which was named "This Side of the Ocean" before release in 1945. Photo courtesy of Leonard Aubert (Lt. Coleman's nephew) 

 This picture documents "The Way to the Stars" which was named "This Side of the Ocean" before release in 1945. Photo courtesy of Leonard Aubert (Lt. Coleman's nephew) 

 This picture documents "The Way to the Stars" which was named "This Side of the Ocean" before release in 1945. Photo courtesy of Leonard Aubert (Lt. Coleman's nephew) 

 This picture documents "The Way to the Stars" which was named "This Side of the Ocean" before release in 1945. Photo courtesy of Leonard Aubert (Lt. Coleman's nephew) 

Chuck Gutekunst and Robert Wegrzynek  Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Rinaldo J. Bussino 

"Fletcher's Castoria"
Sir Charles Gutekunst
Robert A. Wegrzynek

Lt Robert Wegrzynek, Lt Charles Gutekunst, Sgt Luther Wise.  

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 2087