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MACR: 08812 CR: 08812

Comments1: 11 SEP 44 RUHLAND (TRENTON, NJ) (EAC)




2nd Lt John M.Shelly               P       POW   11/9/44    RUHLAND (CP WITH J. GILES CREW)  sn# 0-747505
 2nd Lt Albert Skaar              CP        CPT    25/7/44    ST LO, GROUND SUPPORT           sn# 0-695778
2nd Lt Michael W Spiller       NAV       CPT    25/7/44    ST LO, GROUND SUPPORT           sn# 0-694411
2nd Lt Edward A.Fayette     BOM      SWA    17/7/44   AUXERRE                                   sn#0-755078
S/Sgt Edward D.Lowther      TTE      POW   29/7/44   MERSEBURG (Wlth crew of G.H.Steussy)   sn# 35446224       
S/Sgt Gilbert R.Trunkett       ROG      CPT    24/7/44   ST LO, GROUND SUPPORT            sn# 31297553                               
 Sgt Victor H.Harikian            BTG      CPT    25/7/44   ST LO, GROUND SUPPORT            sn# 39554170
Sgt Joseph P.O'Donnell         WG      POW   29/7/44   MERSEBURG  (With crew of W.T.Fitzroy) see memo below sn# 12085105
 Sgt Ralph H.Bates                TG      CPT     17/7/44   AUXERRE                                    sn# 11998543
 Sgt Gordon Winkler             WG      CPT      24/7/44  ST LO, GROUND SUPPORT           sn#  16037800

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 9/3/44   Shelly flying as CP for J.S.Giles,Jr. on 11/9/44.  Lt Sterling "Pete" Lambert (from Lt Giles Crew) took over as 1st pilot on this Crew after June 20, 1944.
Crew flew in BOSS LADY (never painted on plane)  LN-Y 2102657 and NELLIE BLY (named after Lt Shelly's Mother)

2nd Lt John S.Giles,Jr.                   P           POW   11/9/44  RUHLAND   Taps 1980
2nd Lt Sterling P.Lambert              CP         CPT       7/8/44  BEAUTOR
2nd Lt Charles E.Gunter,Jr.            NAV      CPT     25/12/44 KAISERLAUTERN 
2nd Lt Cordy A.Ramer,Jr.              BOM      POW    29/7/44  MERSEBURG  (with crew of E.C.Jones)
 S/Sgt Elzo Bevan                         ROG      POW   11/9/44  RUHLAND
 S/Sgt Andrew G Leuthold             TTE      POW   11/9/44  RUHLAND                                  A/C ,#43 37863 
 S/Sgt Norbert O. DePauw            BTG      POW    11/9/44  RUHLAND                                MACR #8812,Microfiche #3235
   Sgt Albert S. Pela                     WG       POW    11/9/44  RUHLAND
   Sgt Jack E.Conger                     WG       NOC
   Sgt Robert B.Rowley                 TG        POW   11/9/44  RUHLAND

350th Sqdn.  Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 7/4/44. See "CONTRAILLS" p.199 for photo                  
On 11/9/44,Lts J.M.Shelly, K.S.Welty & H.H.Skelton had replaced Lambert, Gunter & Ramer. The three became 
POWs.  On 11/8/44,Jack Conger was flying with the crew of A.D.Elbel

1st Lt John S. Giles, Jr.,   P SN# 0753999
2nd Lt Harris H. Skelton, BOM SN# 0664833
1st Lt Charlie E. Gunter, Jr. NAV SN# 0699160
T Sgt Andrew G. Leuthold TTE SN# 37240307
S Sgt Jack E. Conger  WG SN# 19151118
S Sgt Robert B. Rowley  TG SN# 31140110
S Sgt Norbert O. Depauw BTG SN# 37118775
T Sgt Elzo Bevan  ROG SN# 34700509
S Sgt Albert S. Pela  WG SN# 18067003
T/Sgt Floyd O. Douglas TOGG (listed on this Crew on July 2, 1944) sn#32383566


F/O FRANK C. PETRDIL                   CP P0W " " " " " " " "
2ND LT HOWARD J. LEECH           NAV P0W " " " " " " " "
2ND LT ALLAN J. MacALLISTER     BOM P0W " " " " " " " "
S/SGT ANTHONY NOCCHIERO       ROG P0W " " " " " " " "
SGT JOHN L. GAUNCE                  RWG P0W " " " " " " " "
SGT EDDIE D. DUMAS                  LWG RFS TAPS: 13 OCT 1980

350TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 25 MAY 1944..  See S.O.C. page 82/83


EYEWITNESS:  "A/C #829 was hit by flak over the target. Bombs were dropped; then the aircraft fell back
amoung the stragglers and was not seen again." 

Statement by Lt. Petrdil indicates that all nine members of the crew abandoned the ship about 30 miles west of Merseburg. The only apparent injury was a fractured foot suffered by Lt. MacAllister hitting the ground. They were leading the high squadron on this day. Crew, with the exception of T/Sgt Edward D. Lowther from the J.M. Shelly crew, had joined the 100th on 25 May 1944. (They found the 100th despondent over the loss of 9 crews at Berlin the day before ,24 May 44) Lowther was flying in place of the crew's regular TTE, T/Sgt Carlos E. McCutcheon who went on to complete his tour.

Note:  This is Lt William Fitzroy's original crew, which was shot down at Merseburg 29 Jul 44.

Lt. William T. "Buzz" Fitzroy           P   POW was on 35th mission
Lt. Robert Dykeman                   CP   KIA    Killed by German civilians, hanged
Lt. Floyd  F. Hartman               NAV   POW
 T/Sgt Floyd O. Douglas         TOGG   KIA    Killed by German civilians, hanged  
 T/Sgt Carmine V. Roberto       ROG   KIA    Killed by 20mm shell
 T/Sgt Ira L. Arnold                 TTE   KIA    Killed by German civilians, hanged
 S/Sgt Bernard L. Spragg           TG   POW
   Sgt Frank  W. Buschmeier      WG   POW
   Sgt Joseph P. O' Donnell       BTG  POW

This appears to have been a "Pick - Up" crew.  A/C 42-31537 LN-S "Randie Lou"  Plane was named by Lt Randell Chadwick after his Daughter (she was named after Randell and his Wife Louise "Randie Lou")
Lt Dykeman, T/Sgt Arnold, Buschmeier and Spragg were from Lt John P.Gibbons crew. O'Donnell from Lt J.M.Shelly crew and of course Fitzroy was the original co-pilot of the Randel T. Chadwick crew when it joined the 100th on 24 Feb 1944.  

On July 29, 1944, for the second day in a row, B-17's set out for the oil plant at Merseburg.  The formation was led by 1st Lt Herbert Howard and Austin Dunlap on a faulty course which went over Leipzig.  The 100th "A" Group followed the 390th BG.  The formation flew on a southernly course towards Merseburg and was hit in a barrage of extremely heavy flak.  In the next few minutes, the low squadron of the 100th Lead was hard hit, losing 5 of 6 B-17's. Crew members believe FW 190's and ME 109's wee radioing the formations altitude while flying in their own flak.  The "A" Group dropped wide, "B" Group hit the target.  The entire low squadron of the 100th "A" Group failed to return.  There was a 6 8/10th's cloud cover at the target.  The lead A/C was hit by flak before the target causing a formation breakup and many stragglers.  All were presumable lost to enemy fighters after passing over targets of opportunity. Witnesses: Lt Kasselbaum and Lt George Allen reported Lt Fitzroy's A/C blowing up after being hit.  German records indicate that 5 bodies were recovered.

EYEWITNESS:  "No specific information concerning the loss of this A/C is available. The formation leader for this squadron suffered flak damage prior to the target and was forced to jettison his bombs. This may have led to the beaking up of the formation for all became more of less stragglers. All were lost, presumaby to E/A after passing over the target of opportunity."
          Floyd F. Hartman

Hartman's statement  also indicates S/Sgt Carmine V. Roberto was killed before the crew bailed out over Leipzig at approx. 1045 hours.  Lt Fitzroy stated that he had seen 12 Americans Hanged and shot by Germans on the 29th of July, 1944.  Lt Dykeman, T/Sgt Douglas and T/Sgt Ira Arnold  were among them

Mission list of the Shelly Crew: (povided by Pat Archer, Sgt. Gordon Winkler's Daughter) 

Mission                               Shelly      Lambert      Skaar         Spiller      Fayette      Winkler        O'Donnell        Harikian       Bates
16/03/44 Augsburg                                                                                             1.(shot down ME 109)                         1
22/03/44 Berlin                                                                     1
23/03/44 Brunswick               1                             1               2             1              2                  1                  1               2 
28/03/44 Chateaudun            2                             2               3             2              3                  2                  2               3
01/04/44 Ludwigshaven         3 (Recall)                                   4             3              4                  3                  3               4
10/04/44 Rheims                   4                             3               5             4              5                  4                  4               5
11/04/44 Rostock                  5                             4               6             5              6                  5                  5               6
13/04/44 Augsburg                6                             5               7             6              7                  6                  6               7
18/04/44 Berlin                      7                             6               8             7              8                  7                  7               8
20/04/44 Flottemanville          8  
22/04/44 Hamm                                                   7                              8              9                  8                  8              9
24/04/44 Friedrichshafen        9                             8                              9              10                9                   9              10
25/04/44 Dijon                     10                            9                             10             11                10                10              11
26/04/44 Fallersleben                                           10
27/04/44 NO-BALL                11                           11                            11             12                11                11              12
27/04/44 LeCulot                  12                                                          12             13                12                12              13
28/04/44 Stottevast                                            12
29/04/44 Berlin                                                   13
01/05/44 NO-BALL                13                           14              9            13             14                13                13              14
07/05/44 Berlin                     14                           15             10           14             15                14                14              15
08/05/44 Berlin                     15                           16             11           15             16                15                15              16
09/04/44 Couvron                 16                           17             12           16             17                16                16              17
11/05/44 Liege                     17                           18             13           17             18                17                17              18
12/05/44 Brux                      18                           19             14           18             19                18                18              19
13/05/44 Osnabruck              19                           20             15           19             20                19                19              20
Flack Leave
27/05/44 Strassbourg                                                                                                                                                   21
29/05/44 Leipzig                   20                           21             16           20             21                                    20              22
30/05/44 Troyes                   21                           22             17          21              22                20                21              23
02/06/44 Paris                                                                     18
04/06/44 Boulogne               22                           23             19          22              23                21                22              24
05/06/44 Boulogne               23                           24             20          23              24                22                23              25
06/06/44 Falaise D-Day          24                           25             21          24              25                23                24              26
                                  wounded by flak                                                        Invasion 07:08
06/06/44 Falaise                                                 26
07/06/44 Nantes                                                                 22
11/06/44 Berck sur Mer                                                        23
15/06/44 Wilster                                                                 24
19/06/44 Ecluse                                                                  25
                                              Lt Lambert (New Pilot)
20/06/44 Fallersleben                         23             27                           25              26                24                 25              27
21/06/44 Berlin                                 24             28              26          26              27               25                  26              28
22/06/44 Paris                                  25             29              27          27              28               26                  27              29
07/07/44 Merseburg                          26             30              28          28              29               27                  27              30
11/07/44 Munich                               27             31              29          29              30               28                  29              31
12/07/44 Munich                              28              32              30          30              31               29                  30              32
13/07/44 Munich                              29              33              31          31              32               30                  31              33
                                                                                                                Shot Down 109
14/07/44 Maquis Supply Drop             30              34              32          32              33               31                  32              34
17/07/44 Auxerre                             31             35               33          33              34               32                  33              35
                                                                                                 Wounded                                                              Finished
19/07/44 Schweinfurt                       32
24/07/44 St Lo                                33              36              34                            35               33                  34
25/07/44 St Lo                                34              37              35                                              34                  35
28/07/44 Merseburg                         35
29/07/44 Merseburg                                                                                                             POW
24/08/44 Ruhland             25
25/08/44 Politz                 26
05/09/44 Stuttgart           27
09/09/44 Dusseldorf          28
10/09/44 Nurnburg           29
11/09/44 Ruhland           POW

"Lt Shelly was injured on D-Day in the face around the eyes, hit by flak over the target-didn't think he would be OK, was grounded until August 24, 1944….. Lt Fayette, our Bombardier, was shot in the front of the plane on July 17th Mission to Auxerre.  Bates left his station and put his hands in this chest, Fayette was hit by flak over the target, finished mission and was taken away in an ambulance…..
Sgt Bates went on to fly a second tour of duty in the 12th Air Force in B-25's.  He flew 31 missions in B-25's (out of Italy and Corsica) from January 1945 until the end of the war…." from Sgt Winkler.


Ralph Bates went to Canada and joined the RCAF but before he could complete flight training he was transferred to the USAAF.
Staff Sgt Ralph H. Bates completed 35 missions as a tail gunner in B-17 then signed up for another tour of duty.  On March 6, 1945 he was assigned as a TG on B-25's flying with the 321st Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Squadron, flying out of Corsica with the 12th Air Force.  His B-25 was called Peg O My Heart.  Competed his 31st mission on April 25, 1945.  

Diary entries of S/Sgt Bates.

3-15-44 "It’s a sad barracks today. The crew (Capt Herb Devore Crew) that slept next to us went down. Last seen they were going into a cloud  with one engine gone and oxygen burning.  It was their 25th mission and they would have been done today.  The were pretty good boys too, May God Bless them. 

3-16-44 "Went to Augsburg Germany today, 9 1/2 hour trip mostly on oxygen.  Light flak al the way from French Coast. P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning escort from coast to target. Got in some good shots at Me 109's and 110's.  Saw one flying fortress burn in air, Another crew bailed out over mountains, no holes in our ship 

3-18-44 " We hit Chateaudun, France today. There was plenty of flak oover the target. Saw two ships explode. We got two holes in our ship--one in wing and one in tail. The piece in tail landed in ammo box about four feet from my rear end. Too Close for comfort.

4-24-44  " Intended to bomb Friedrichshafen, Germany today. Flew over target but didn"t bomb.  Flak was hell and accurate. About 50 feet away from us a bomber was hit and the explosion seemed to fill the sky with flames.  The pieces flew by so close I thought I could touch them.  We had about 10 minutes over the flak left. I wondered if I'll ever be able to put into words the feeling one gets when men all around you are getting shot up and you are expecting it any minute.  There is only one person who must be looking over us. 

7-14-44 " It was July 14, 1944 and we were to drop ammunition, guns and food to the free French near Bordeaux France.  The weather was good and we were flying a few hundred feet above the trees in our B-17.  The stuff we were to deliver was packed in our bomb bay. It would be parachuted to the French when we reached the Target Area. We had been flying just over the trees when we came to a great big open field. We dropped our stuff right where we were supposed to. When we circled back over the drop zone, we could see hundreds of people on the ground picking up the stuff.


POW/KIA notes: Replaced Sterling P. Lambert on this mission, flying as co-pilot.  Giles' Crew had completed their Tour in Jul 44.


TARGET: Ruhland DATE: 1944-09-11  
AIRCRAFT: (43-37863) CAUSE: EAC  




 Part of the John M. Shelly crew; From left, Albert Skaar, Michael W. Spiller, John M. Shelly, and Edward A. Fayette. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Six of the John M. Shelly crew after a trip to Berlin on board BOSS LADY. From left, Ralph H. Bates, Gordon Winkler, Victor H. Harikian, Gilbert R. Trunkett, Edward A. Lowther, and Joseph P. O'Donnell. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Left to Right, Ralph H. Bates, Victor H. "Happ" Harikian, Gordon Winkler, and Gilbert R. Trunkett of the John M. Shelly crew. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Victor M. Harikian, Gordon Winkler, and Gilbert R. Trunkett of the John M. Shelly crew. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Part of the John M. Shelly crew: Front (Left to Right), Victor H. Harikian, Gordon Winkler and Gilbert R. Trunkett. Back Row: Joseph P. O'Donnell, Edward D. Lowther and Ralph H. Bates. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Mission list of Gordon Winkler on a Christmas Card. Courtesy of Family. 

Mission list of Gordon Winkler on Christmas Card

Malcolm Clouter and John Shelly leaving the Glen Miller concert (from the collection of Franklin Seibert)



Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 4722