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T/SGT  M.J. LIRETTE

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: TOG/NG
SERIAL #: STATUS: NOC
MACR:

Comments1: AIRMAN TOG ON MASSOL CREW

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

Crew: 
Frew as Toggler on Lt Massol Crew. 

Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target
3/3/1944 70 122 LIRETTE M.J. T/SGT TOG 38047 BERLIN
3/4/1944 70 123 LIRETTE M.J. T/SGT TOG 38047 BERLIN
4/9/1944 70 143 LIRETTE M.J. T/SGT TOG 38047 KRZESINKI (POSEN)
4/10/1944 70 144 LIRETTE M.J. T/SGT TOG 38047 RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/11/1944 70 145 LIRETTE M.J. T/SGT TOG 38047 POSEN / ROSTOCK T.O.
4/12/1944 70 146 LIRETTE M.J. T/SGT TOG 91 SCHEUDITZ (RECALL)


CREW  #13 see graphic

2ND LT JOHN F. MASSOL                               P CPT  07 JUN 44 NANTES, BRIDGES
2ND LT HAROLD D. "RANGER" GRANGER     CP CPT 04 JUN 44 BOULOGNE, SHORE DEFENSES
2ND LT EDWARD C. KING, JR               .  NAV CPT WENT TO GROUP; RETIRED 1970 AS A COLONEL
2ND LT EDWIN A. STERN, JR                  BOM POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN  (WITH J.R. GEARY CREW) 
SGT ASA A. SPENGLER                           ROG CPT 05 JUN 44 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE
SGT WILLIAM T. WESTLEY                     TTE CPT SEE MASSOL LETTER BELOW  (TAPS)
SGT WINFRED C. WILLIAMS                     BTG CPT 17 OCT 44 COLOGNE, MY
SGT OLIVER N. McCARTNEY                      LWG CPT 05 JUN 44 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE
SGT JAMES M. ROBERTS                         RWG CPT 04 AUG 44 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY
SGT NEWMAN E. GARMON                         TG CPT 05 JUN 44 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE TAPS: 1986

351ST SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 01 DEC 1943

Excerpts from John Massol's November 1993 letter to Paul West..

"King (Edward C. King, Jr.) was taken off our crew about 15th (March 15th, 1944) and sent to advanced 
navigation school. He went to Group and I think finished a tour. He stayed in the Air Force and retired in the 1970s as a Colonel.

From Lt Ray Miller (Navigator) 
As I recall Harry Crosby made Ed King the group navigator when Harry had his R&R back to the states.  Ed was a big man (like Big Pete) and a good lead navigator.  Hr handled briefings for the navigators and supervised mission planning with the group bombardier.I am sure that the nav logs were for WW-II only.  Harry could give you a lot more on Ed.  

Stern (Edwin A. Stern, Jr.) off crew March 15th, 1944 and also sent to special school. As noted he was shot down with Geary (J.R. Geary) on 24 May 1944 mission to Berlin…Became a POW.

Westley (William T. Westley) was grounded with back trouble but I think he completed a tour. Note TAPS.

Roberts (James M. Roberts) left the crew and completed his tour with another crew..
When Sgt Hilburn was RFS after 7 missions, S/Sgt Raymond Mitchell moved to LWG.  By March 1944 S/Sgt Reneau had moved to Lt Massol's Crew as WG and was replaced on the  S/Sgt Joe Folsom had taken over the RWG position.  The BTG position was manned by several different crewman, S/Sgt L. Black, S/Sgt Chester Powell, S/Sgt J.M. Roberts, & S/Sgt C.L. Morrow from the 350th BS. T/Sgt Sidney A. Cary took over the TTE postion on Lt Lacy Crew when T/Sgt Carknard was KIA on 11 Apr 44.  S/Sgt Joseph A Howell served as TG on this crew until 15 Mar 44 Brunswick Mission then is replaced by S/Sgt Michael Rotz from Capt T.E. Murphy Crew.

Williams (Winnefred C. Williams) missed a mission, completed with another crew and I do not know why." 

LIST OF MISSIONS FOR CREW 13, PILOT JOHN MASSOL
PLANE..FEVER BEAVER WAS IN HARDSTAND 13 AND FLEW
125 MISSIONS BEFORE RETURNING TO THE USA.

ALL MISSIONS FLOWN IN 1944
 In addition. We were briefed for 17 missions but did not get in air, scrubbed.
 9 Times after we were in air and recalled, no credit.
 During our missions, the group lost 13 bombers.Also during our missions the 
 Group was credited with shooting down 18 fighters.
# Date    Target 
1.  1/11            Osnabruck   
2 . 1/29            Frankfurt
3 . 2/13            Bougoloe
4 . 2/21            Vechte
5 . 2/24            Rostock
6 . 2/25            Regansburg
7. 3/3              Berlinscheduled, Chartres bombed
8. 3/4              Berlin
    3/6              Berlin (abort, oxygen malfunction)
9 . 3/8              Berlin
10.  3/18           Munich
11 . 3/19           Noball
12 . 3/22           Berlin
13 . 3/23           Brusnwick
14 . 3/28           Chateaudon
15 . 4/1              Ludwigshaven (recall)
16 . 4/8             Quakenbruck
17 . 4/10           Rheims        (recall)
18 . 4/11           Rostock
19 . 4/12           Augsburg
20 . 4/20           Hague
21 . 4/22           Hamm
22.  4/24          Friedrichshafen
23 . 4/25           Digon
24 . 5/1             Saarbrucken
25.  5/19          Berlin
26 . 5/20           Brussels
27 . 5/27           Strausburg
28.  6/4            Boulogne
29.  6/5            Abbeville
30.  6/7            Nantes
. -30-

CREW
Capt James R.Geary                     P   POW   24/5/44  BERLIN
Major  Maurice J.Fitzgerald    COMP   POW  "
1st Lt Arthur J.Harris            CP    POW  "        (Flying as Formation Officer in the Tail))
1st Lt A.Edwin Stern,Jr.      BOM     POW   "        (From the John Massol  crew) 
2nd Lt Dort B.Payne         NAV     POW   "
 T/Sgt Louis Paltrineri        ROG     POW(WIA) "     (From the E.McKay crew)
 T/Sgt Francis Acker          BTG     POW      "     (From the E.McKay crew) 
 S/Sgt Carl F.Schuster         TTE     POW     "     (From the E.McKay crew)
 S/Sgt John E.Trout          RWG     POW(WIA) "     (From the E.McKay crew)
 S/Sgt Jack W.Domenig     LWG     POW(WIA) "      (From the E.McKay crew) 

350th Sqdn.  On 24/5/44 this was the lead ship of the Group formation.  Major Fitzgerald was C.O. of the 
350th and Capt Geary was a pilot who had completed a tour of operations with the 390th Bomb Group and 
then been assigned to the 100th.  Lt.A. J. Harris, as pilot of his own crew had been interned in Sweden on 
20/2/44 with his crew but apparently had gotten back to Thorpe Abbotts by some means.   It seems most 
unusual that he would have been allowed to fly over Europe again because,  for security reasons,  Evadees & 
Internees were invariably sent back to the U.S.A.

This crew bailed out over Ludwigslust,Germany and all were captured.

The 100th lost nine aircraft this day. MIGHTY EIGHTH WAR DIARY (p.249) says "Opposed by some 200 
E/A,100BG became separated from bomber stream by weather and contrails and were subjected to heavy 
attack."

 " Fever Beaver fought her way through weather, fighters and flak on
125 recorded missions.  Through the skill of her dedicated air and
ground crews, she reamined airworthy, and died quietly at home in the
summer of 1945.  John F. Massol, her first pilot, died peacefully at
home on August 28, 1998.   John was a notably proficient pilot, and a
quiet, respected crew commander, who instilled confidence, and garnered
respect through example.  He led with understated strength and enviable
courage.
    On his 25th mission to Big B, fighters and flak destroyed two
engines on the same side, set the radio room on fire, took a big chunk
out of the vertical stabilizer, tore out his oxygen system, and set the
plane afire.  While John artfully kept "The Beaver" airborne, copilot
Hal Granger, who shared same attributes of skill and mettle, fought the
fire to a standstill.
    After an almost impossible return to base, Fever Beaver was refitted
with two new engines, new gas tanks, a new wing, a rebuilt radio room,
new armor under the cockpit, 13 new machine guns, a new bombsight, all
new electronics equipment, and extensive reparis to the oxygen system
and vertical stabilizer.  The busy ground crew patched 540 holes.
    As the first bombardier on the "Massol Crew," it wasmy good fortune
to be present when John's leadership, strength and courage were brought
into play.    I was there when his cool head and demeanor ket an
anxious, frightened crew from panic.  I was there when his mastery
brought crippled and sputtering planes to safe landings.  I was there to
share his quiet humor and moments of controlled frustration.  When all
hands were shaking from the horror of the day, his confidence steadied
us.  He was a cheerful companion, and a welcome mentor."  --Ed Stern.
   I used most of this in John's TAPS in Splasher.  Hope you enjoy

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 3144