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T/SGT  John J. KOVACS

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: ROG

 T/Sgt John J. Kovacs of the Albert F. Amiero crew. KIA 6 Mar 44. A.F.Amiero crew information (Photo courtesy of Pat Valdata, niece of John Kovacs) 

SERIAL #: 32260641 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 03019 CR: 03019

Comments1: 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (ORGINAL 100TH) (EX)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

On 25 May 1943, Army Air Base Headquarters, Kearney, Nebraska issued Special Order #103 directing movement of the Flight Echelon of the 100th Bombardment Group (H) to Bangor, Maine and thence to England. After seven months of organization, combat training (to use the term somewhat loosely) and some just plain rusting away, we finally were going to war.

Crew # A2 Aircraft #425861"Stud Duck"

Major	William W. Veal	Pilot	--	--	Transferred to Wing Autumn 1943
Capt	Albert C. Persons	Pilot	                 CPT	
M/Sgt	Ralph Richards	Line Chief	
M/Sgt	Elwood E. Park	Flight Chief	
T/Sgt	Que E. Booth	        Armament	
T/Sgt	Elmer Most	       Bomb Sight Maint.	
1st Lt	Alfred A. Fahlstedt	Bombardier	CPT	
M/Sgt	Marvin Williams	Group S3	
Cpl	        John J. Kovacs	 Radio	         KIA	6 March 1944	Berlin
--	--	ATC Navigator	--	--	--

T/Sgt Kovacs was never assigned to a permanent Crew that we are aware of although he did fly missions with Lt Henry Henington Crew.    He flew as a spare ROG when someone was sick.  On March 6, 1944 he was flying with a pick up crew and was KIA. 

1st Lt Albert F.Amiero         P   KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
F/O Howard L.Kilmer         CP  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
2nd Lt Albert P.Rule       NAV  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN (from Lt. Leon Morgan Crew)
S/Sgt Thomas S.Elliott   TOG  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN
T/Sgt John J.Kovacs      ROG  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN (original 100th air echelon)
T/Sgt Russell G.Gilbert    TTE  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN (from original Lt Amiero Crew)
S/Sgt Virgil F.Summers      BTG  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN (from Lt Ford Crew)
S/Sgt Hobart H.Spires      WG  KIA   6/3/44  BERLIN (from original Sammy Barr Crew)
S/Sgt Owen D.Stockton  WG  POW  6/3/44  BERLIN (from Lt J.W. Brown Crew)
S/Sgt Thomas D.Baer         TG  KIA    6/3/44  BERLIN (from Lt Victor Reed Crew)

349th Sqdn.   See MACR #3019 (Micro fiche #1021).  Flying A/C #42 31731 on 6/3/44

This appears to be a "pick up" crew. Kilmer joined the 100th on 26/2/44 as an individual. Baer was from the original crew of Lt V.Reed. Kovacs was a "spare" on original 100th Air echelon. Stockton was from the crew of J.W.Brown. Hobart Spires (flying his 24th mission) was from the original crew of Sam L. Barr. S/Sgt Virgil Summers was from the original Crew of Lt Ford.  2nd Lt A.P.Rule on original crew of Leon R.Morgan.


CREW

ORIGINAL CREW STATESIDE/FIRST REPLACEMENT CREW (from Henry Henington 10/14/2000 mpf)

2nd LT. HENRY M. HENINGTON  P CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS  SN# 0-734086
2nd LT. HOMER A. TRIPP CP CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS  SN# 0-799103
2nd LT. WARD J DALTON        NAV KIA 24 SEP 1943 EAC/Practice Mission   SN# 0-673491
2nd LT. WILLIAM J. MOORE    BOM POW 10 OCT 1943 MUNSTER*  SN# 0-738783
S/SGT WALLACE J. MEYER TTE POW 22 APL 1944 HAMM*  SN# 12030773
T/SGT JOSEPH W. RODRICK ROG NOC     SN# 14044111
S/SGT NATHAN F. HOLTON BTG CPT 22 DEC 1943 MUNSTER SN# 16072304
S/SGT HAROLD J. JANDERUP  WG POW  2 FEB 1944 FRANKFURT* SN# 32555990
   CPL JAY S. ORTH   WG NOC Taken off Crew at Bovingdon SN# 13072260**
S/SGT CHARLES A. HANTUSCH TG NOC     SN# 12124607

A/C # 42-30611 "HORNY" XR-D, 349TH SQUADRON, ASSIGNED TO 100TH LATE JUNE 1943.  Crew also flew 230023 XR-M "Forever Yours".  This plane was named after a famous candy bar during that time and this was painted on the side of the Aircraft in Red lettering in the same fashion as the lettering for the candy bar .  This aircraft, contrary to popular belief was never called Horny.  (info from Henry Henington to mpf 5/2002)

2nd LT HENINGTON RECEIVED THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS THREE TIMES DURING HIS TOUR OF DUTY (AUGUST 17, 1943, NOV 13,19, 26 1943 COMBINED  & UPON COMPLETION OF 25 MISSIONS).  TG S/SGT CHARLES A HANTUSCH WOULD ALWAYS SAY "MY GOD, I'M HUNGARY" AFTER BOMBS AWAY.  

**S/SGT WILLIAM S. BLEVINS (WG) FLEW ON THIS CREW FOR THE FIRST FIVE MISSIONS AND THEN WAS RFS.  ORIGINAL WG (CPL ORTH) TAKEN OFF CREW AT BOVINGDON  (NEW CREWS ORIENTATION CENTER)
*LT MOORE WAS FLYING WITH LT JOHN F. STEPHENS (KIESSLING CREW).  HE IS REPLACED ON THE HENINGTON CREW BY 1st LT HOWARD J. KELLY FROM THE ORIGINAL SAMMY BARR CREW.
*S/SGT MEYER WAS FLYING WITH LT. FRANK HARTE CREW, HE WAS A TOGG ON THIS MISSION
*S/SGT JANDERUP WAS FLYING WITH THE LT. JOHN BROWN CREW
T/SGT JOHN J. KOVACS ROG WAS ALSO KNOWN TO FLY WITH THIS CREW. ACCORDING TO HENINGTON, HE REMEMBERS KOVACS FLYING MANY MISSIONS WITH HIS CREW. (mpf )
 
349TH SQDN.. (following from Jim Brown)    "THIS CREW JOINED THE 100TH IN EARLY JULY 1943 AND WAS ONE OF THE FIRST FOUR REPLACEMENT CREWS (ROANE, JUSTICE, MORENO AND HENINGTON) TO JOIN THE GROUP.  I HAVE FOUND NO RECORD OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THIS CREW, BUT DALTON WAS KIA FLYING WITH J.C. GOSSAGE. SEE S.O.C. p. 18/19 and 38. ALSO "BOWMAN'S DIARY (p. 27) NOTES THIS CREW DITCHED ON 3 SEP 1943 (PARIS,BEAUMONT le ROGER, AF (S.T.)) BUT WERE RESCUED AND RETURNED TO THORPE ABBOTTS.  THE AIRCRAFT THEY USUALLY FLEW WAS #42-30611, "HORNY".  I HAVE DETERMINED THAT LT A. FAHLSTEDT WAS FLYING AS BOMBARDIER WHEN THE DITCHING OCCURRED AND SUFFERED A SEVERE BACK INJURY.." jb

 MISSIONS OF 2nd LT HENRY HENINGTON (mpf 10/14/2000 and 1/13/2001)

1  4/7/43  La PALLICE SUB PENS, 10:30hrs, 1 A/C LOST, FLAK & FIGHTERS, My Co-Pilot Homer Tripp
     commented "S--t you could get hurt doing this"
2. 17/7/43  HAMBURG AF, 5HRS DID NOT BOMB   
3. 24/7/43  TRONDHEIM SUB PENS, 11hrs, LONGEST B-17 MISSION.  ATTACKED BY ME 109'S AND LOST 
     #3 ENGINE 200 MILES PRIOR TO TARGET, RETURNED HOME ALONE
4. 26/7/43  HANOVER 5:30hrs, DID NOT BOMB, FORMATION MIXUP DUE TO WEATHER
5. 28/7/43  OSCHERSLEBEN  5:30hrs, DID NOT BOMB, BAD WEATHER
6. 12/8/43  BONN  5:30hrs, HIT TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY-WESSELING
7. 15/8/43  MERVILLE 4hrs, GROUP HIT BOTH AIRFIELDS
8. 17/8/43  REGENSBURG 11:10hrs, LOST 9 a/c AND LANDED IN ALGIERS WITH ONE ENGINE OUT
      ON AUG 19, FLEW FROM ALGERIA (MY FIRST 3 ENGINE TAKE OFF) TO MARRAKECH MORACCO FOR ENGINE CHANGE.  AUG 25 RETURNED TO THORPE ABBOTTS (10HRS)  PRESENTED DFC FOR REGENSBURG RAID BY COL LEMAY, COMMANDER 3RD AD. 
9. 31/8/43  MEULAN LES MERUEAUX  6hrs, DID NOT BOMB TARGET, AREA OVERCAST
10.  3/9/43  PARIS  5hrs, HIT BY FLAK AFTER BOMB RELEASE, #3 ENGINE ON FIRE, ANOTHER LOST 
TURBO AND ANOTHER PROP RAN AWAY, MADE A DIVING SPIRAL TO FOOL FIGHTERS. iT WORKED, AT CRITIQUE SEVERAL CREWS REPORTED "THEY SPUN DOWN IN FLAMES".  WE WOULD HAVE BAILED OUT, BUT FLAK HIT AND UNPACKED TWO CHUTES.  WE CARRIED A SPARE BUT THAT LEFT US ONE SHORT.  I GAVE THE CREW THE OK TO BAIL OUT AND THAT I WAS GOING TO DITCH IF IT DIDN'T BLOW UP.  STILL ON FIRE, LEVELED AT 4000 FEET, STARTED A SLOW DECENT CROSSING THE COAST NEAR DEPPE AT 500 FEET, AND DITCHED EIGHT MILES OFF SHORE.  NO INJURIES, THE AIRCRAFT FLOATED THREE HOURS.  SIX CREW MEMBERS WERE PICKED UP BY TWO RAF WALRUS SEAPLANES.  THE FOUR REMAINING TO GO IN THE THRID WALRUS, BUT COULD NOT GET AIRBORNE.  THE LEFT PONTOON HAD TAKEN WATER AND WE COULD ONLY CIRCLE.  WE WERE TAKEN ABOARD A ROYAL NAVY PT BOAT THAT TOOK THE WALRUS IN TOW FOR A SLOW CHANNEL CROSSING.  FROM 10 MINUTES AFTER OUR DITCHING TILL THE PT BOAT WAS HALFWAY TO PORT, WE HAD CONSTANT COVER OF 3-5 SPITFIRES.  DUE TO HEAVY MISSION COMMUNICATIONS, WE COULD NOT CONTACT OUR BASE.  NEXT MORNING, THE RAF FLEW US HOME TO LEARN WE WERE MIA (SHOT DOWN OVER FRANCE).

CREW ON SEP 3, 1943 MISSION TO PARIS  A/C 42-30611 "HORNY"

2nd LT. HENRY M. HENINGTON        P CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS
2nd LT. HOMER A. TRIPP                 CP CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS
2nd LT. J. WARD  DALTON JR.       NAV KIA 24 SEP 1943 EAC/Practice Mission   
2nd LT. A. FAHLSTEDT                     BOM SWA   3 SEP 1943 PARIS
S/SGT WALLACE J. MEYER             TTE POW 22 APL 1944 HAMM  (RICH TANGRADI SAYS T/SGT GILBERT WAS ON THIS MISSION AND BROKE HIS LEG.)
T/SGT JOSEPH W. RODRICK           ROG NOC     
S/SGT NATHAN F. HOLTON            BTG CPT 22 DEC 1943 MUNSTER
S/SGT HAROLD J. JANDERUP      WG POW  4 FEB 1944 FRANKFURT(Flew with Lt John Brown Crew, see note below)
S/SGT JOE RAFF                            WG CPT   30 JAN 1944 BRUNSWICK (FROM Lt AMiERO AND LT DON MOEDE  CREW)
S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI      TG POW    4 FEB 1944 FRANKFURT(Flew with Lt John Brown Crew, see note below) 

SEPT 9, PROMOTED TO 1ST LT.

WENT ON FLAK LEAVE FOR 7 DAYS

11. 2/10/43  EMDEN   6:15 hrs MY 1ST PFF MISSION
12. 8/10/43  BREMEN 6hrs, 7a/c LOST, 2 ENGINES OUT DUE TO FLAK, HIT BY 109'S AND 190'S.  700 FEET OFF GROUND ON FINAL APPROACH,3rd ENGINE OUT.  LANDED WITH ONE ENGINE. HAD TO LIGHTEN A/C BY THROWING OUT GUNS, AMMO, EVERYTHING. THE ENGINES DIED ON LANDING ROLL, HAD TO BE TOWED TO HARD STAND

 Below list the crew as of October 8, 1943 BREMEN from AAF press release (mpf) flew a/c 25957 "HORNY II"

1st LT. HENRY M. HENINGTON   P CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS
2nd LT. HOMER A. TRIPP CP CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS
1st LT. DANIEL L. SCHMUCKER NAV CPT 29 NOV 1943  BREMEN 
1st LT. HOWARD J. KELLY BOMB CPT 20 JAN  1944 BRUNSWICK (FROM ORIGINAL SAMMY BARR CREW)
T/SGT RUSSELL G. GILBERT TTE KIA 06 MAR 1944 BERLIN
T/SGT JOSEPH W. RODRICK ROG NOC
SGT. ANTHONY E. RUDA LWG POW 06 MAR 1944 BERLIN
S/SGT GEORGE P. GINEIKIS RWG EVA 05 NOV 1943 GEISENKIRCHEN 
S/SGT NATHAN F. HOLTON BTG CPT 22 DEC 1943 MUNSTER
S/SGT CHARLES R. HANTUSCH  TG NOC

13. 20/10/43 DUREN  7:30hrs, PFF MISSION, LT KELLY IS BOMBARDIER
14.  5/11/43  GELSENKIRCHEN 5:30hrs, 1 A/C LOST AND ONE RETURNED WITH ONLY PILOT AND DEAD CO-PILOT CREW HAD BAILED OUT OVER ENEMY TERRITORY.
15.  7/11/43  DUREN  6hrs, ANOTHER PFF
16. 13/11/43 BREMEN 7:30hrs, PFF MISSION, LOST ONE ENGINE, LT KELLY  (BOMB)  WOUNDED BY FLAK THE ONLY CREWMEMBER EVER WOUNDED.  
17. 19/11/43 GELSENKIRCHEN 5:45hrs, PFF MISSION LEAD BY MAJ OLLIE TURNER.  ENDED UP LEADING THIS MISSION AFTER PFF ABORTED.  ONLY ONE AIRCRAFT IN EACH GROUP WAS PFF EQUIPPED.  BIG FLAP AT DIVISION DEBRIEF, MY NAVIGATOR SAID WE (13TH COMBAT WING) HAD NOT BOMBED THE TARGET.  THE LT COL. WING LEADER HAD ALREADY BRIEFED THAT THEY HAD.  HE BLURTED OUT "THAT’S A LIE!" GENERAL LEMAY SAT HIM DOWN.  DIVISION ALREADY HAD UNDERGROUND PHOTOS AND THEY WERE NOT OF THE TARGET.  LEMAY CONGRATULATED OUR CREW NOTING THE OFFICERS WERE ALL LIEUTENANTS.
18. 26/11/43 PARIS  6hrs, LOST 1 A/C, FLAK DAMAGE, AWARDED 2nd  DFC FOR LAST 3 MISSIONS.
     CITATION NOTED MISSIONS FLOWN 13TH, 19TH, 26TH NOV.
19. 29/11/43 BREMEN 6:15hrs, PFF
20. 11/12/43 EMDEN  5:20hrs LOST 1 A/C, FLAK & FIGHTERS
21. 13/12/43 KIEL  7:15hrs, PFF, FLAK & FIGHTERS
22. 22/12/43 MUNSTER 6hrs, PFF, FLAK & FIGHTERS, 1st B-17G ASSIGNED TO 100TH BG
23. 24/12/43 ST JOSEPH NO-BALL-V-1 ROCKET SITES BOMBED FROM 12,000 FEET, SMOKED CIGARETTE ON
     BOMB RUN. LIGHT INACCURATE FLAK.  ONLY P-51'S AND P-47'S IN AIR
24. 30/12/43 LUDWIGSHAVEN  8hrs, LOST 2 A/C,  ONE ENGINE OUT, AND TURBO ON ANOTHER RUNNING ROUGH
25. 31/12/43 PARIS  5:30hrs, FLAK & FIGHTERS, COMPLETED TOUR. FOR COMPLETING 25 MISSIONS, RECEIVED SECOND CLUSTER TO DFC AND THE AIR MEDAL WITH 3 CLUSTERS. I WAS REQUIRED TO STAY THREE MONTHS AND WORK IN GROUP OPREATIONS

In April 1944 I returned to Katherine(my wife) and Drew Field Florida and assigned as section Commander training B-17 crews till the Wars end.

MEMO 2:

POW/KIA notes: Original 100th, Crew #A2.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-03-06  
AIRCRAFT: (42-31731) CAUSE: EAC & Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: B ROW: 30  
GRAVE: 52 CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  

PHOTOS:

John J. Kovacs   349th   ROG   New Jersey   KIA   6 Mar 44   Berlin   Albert F. Amiero Crew   (100th Photo Archives)

 T/Sgt John J. Kovacs of the Albert F. Amiero crew. KIA 6 Mar 44. A.F.Amiero crew information (Photo courtesy of Pat Valdata, niece of John Kovacs) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 2

ID: 2899