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LT  Herbert A. ALF

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P/CP

Lt Herbert A. Alf. Photo courtesy of Stepson Jason Osborne Newman. 

Lt Herbert A. Alf in pilot training. Photo courtesy of Stepson Jason Osborne Newman. 

SERIAL #: O-746267 STATUS: POW
MACR: 04234 CR: 04234

Comments1: 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (CHERBOURG, PA)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW


2nd Lt Herbert A.Alf                  P   POW           28/4/44 SOTTEVAST          (With Crew of W.G.Lakin) see Lakin Crew below
1st Lt Kenneth L.Rasmussen      CP   RFS            Medical Reasons (see Gordon letter below)
2nd Lt Raymond B.Phaneuf      NAV   NOC
2nd Lt Albert A.Marchiondo      BOM   INTERNEE   20/2/44 POSEN & SETTIN    (With crew of A.J.Harrls)
   Sgt Jimison T.Pyles               TTE   NOC
   Sgt Carmine V.Roberto         ROG    KIA            29/7/44 MERSEBURG            (With crew of W.T.Fitzroy)
   Sgt Francis J.Flemm, Jr          BTG   NOC
   Sgt Jerome H.Gordon            WG   RFS            Medical reasons 
   Sgt Herschel P.Lowe             WG  CPT             17/7/44 AUXERRE & MONTGOURNOY (With crew of D.C.Rice)
   Sgt Joseph C.Krusienskl           TG  KIA             6/3/44    BERLIN (With crew of D.Radtke)

418th Sqdn. Crew,as above, joined the 100th Group on 1/12/43

It would appear that this crew was "broken up" soon after it came to the 100th.  Lt Alf became the CP on Capt David Miner Crew. 
S/SGT CARMINE ROBERTO REPLACED ED WALKER ON LT JOHN GIBBONS CREW AND WAS KIA WITH THE W.T. FITZROY CREW 
ON 29 JUL 44.   

Letter from Gordon 26/1/91 says Rasmussen .RFS soon after arrival in Eng. 
because of ulcers & returned to ZI. Crew then broken up and members flew 
as replacements with other crews. Gordon flew 5 missions in three months 
then was grounded because of (anoxia?) despite his official protest.

Subj: 100thBG Question Submission 
Date: 10/1/2001 8:42:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: wgordon949@msn.com (William Gordon)
To: mpfaley@aol.comCC: janr@cei.net
comments = 
My dad (Jerome Gordon)was in the 100th. He originally was in a crew headed by Herbert Alf but soon after his arrival was transferred to a crew headed by Lt. Dean Radtke. The co-pilot, Robert Digby, was killed in a mission over Ludwigshafen and Radtke was wouned but got the plane back home.I am trying to find any documentation on this crew, the aircraft and mission.There is a small paragraph in the book Century Bombers about the mission and crew but not much info.Any ideas where I might inquire?Thanks.

Mike,

The best that I can piece together from notes I have (but I'm not 100% sure of the accuracy):

The Alf crew arrived at Thorpe Abbotts on 12/1/43.  There apparently was considerable friction between Lt Alf (pilot-2nd Lt) and Lt Rasmussen (co-pilot-1st Lt).  Alf was very rigid and strict; Rasmussen was very relaxed and easy going.   Alf commanded during flights and Rasmussen would over-rule him on the ground.  Rasmussen got his commission before the war and was older than Alf.  The crew revolted and demanded that Alf be replaced.  This was rejected by the colonel in charge.  Rasmussen was shortly shipped back to US for treatment of stomach ulcers.  The crew was then broken up and all were used as replacements in other crews.  From what I can piece together, it does not appear that this crew actually flew any missions together.  I also believe this crew was a B-24 crew originally.  My dad's missions were all on B-17s.

 Missions of S/Sgt Gordon

December 30, 1943-  Ludwigshaven, Germany (w/Radtke Crew)

January 1944-  St. Omer, France

February 1944-  ?

March 19,1944- Marquise Mimo-Yeques, France

April 24, 1944- Freiderickshaven, Germany

April 29, 1944- Berlin, Germany

 My dad was on the mission with Lt Dean Radtke when Radtke was wounded and managed to get the crew back.  Lt Digby (co-pilot) was decapitated.  I believe that was the Dec 1943 mission. He told me this story when I was a youngster. Years later, after he had died, I read of that mission in the book "Century Bombers".  I have more details on that mission if you are interested.  One thing of interest was that when plane landed, the tank was completely empty of fuel (not in the book).

Throughout his mission history, he had been getting very light headed & nauseated as well his coordination was becoming more effected.  After his 5th mission, he was ordered to the medic to see if they could provide some medication he could take prior to missions.  That's when it was determined that the his system was reacting badly to breathing pure oxygen at high altitudes.  At that point he was grounded due to medical considerations.  He officially protested the grounding to the Attorney Generals Office but was denied as of the unpredictability of the disorder.  He was then assigned to a ground crew.  He did fly 2 more low level non-combat missions:

May 1945- Holland (food mission)

May 1945- Berlin (recon)  (This was most likely the "Continental Express" Where the group flew Ground personal over the damaged industrial sites and cities to show how their work helped the flying crews succeed. 


Bill Gordon
2375 Sapphire Circle
West Palm Beach, FL 33411
(561)784-3680 (Home)
(561)676-2393 (Mobile)
wgordon949@msn.com
**************************************************************************************************************

CREW

CAPT DAVID L. MINER                P KIA        06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
LT HERBERT A. ALF                  CP POW      28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NOBALL)
LT EARL L. RICHARDSON        BOM POW      06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP (BOMB FROM THE JACK FLANIGAN CREW)
LT GEORGE R. JONES            NAV KIA         06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
SGT WILLIAM C. LIBBERT       ROG POW      06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
SGT ALBERT ZIKORUS            TTE POW      06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
SGT VARDEN I. BUTLER          BTG KIA        06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
SGT SAM PRY                     RWG POW/WIA 06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
SGT LEONARD D. MALCUIT     LWG POW/WIA 06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP
SGT JUNE E. ROBERSON           TG POW       06 MAR 44 BERLIN, ELECTRICAL EQUIP

418th Sqdn.  Letter from Bertholf 8/Sep/88 : Crew joined the 100th in Sept.1943….jb 
Flying a/c 42-38059 LD-A.  This A/C was leading the high squadron when attacked by fighters.The nose was shot away and other damage 
occurred. It was Richardson's belief that as the ship wildly manuevered, Jones slipped or was thrown from the 
nose without his chute. Malcuit & Pry both suffered burns about the face and eyes."

Lt Alf was replaced for this mission of 6/3/44 by Lt George E.Kinsella from the T.J.Reilly crew. 
Kinsella was KIA.  Lt.Alf was flying with Col.Kelly and Capt.Lakin when he became a POW
Alf had arrived at the 100th Group as pilot with his own crew on 1/12/43.

Letter from E.L.Rlchardson dated 8/4/86 says that "Miner's crew was on its 25 misslon. And that he was"flying 
as replacement for D.Berthlof,Bom. Who was ill with a sinus infection"

Missions of Capt. David Miner (from Bill Thompson's MACR Reports, missing 4 missions from this crew…mpf 2002)

1.  2/10/43  EMDEN
2.  4/10/43  HANAU
3.  8/10/43  BREMEN
4.  9/10/43  MARIENBURG
5.  5/11/43  GELSENKIRCHEN
6. 11/11/43 MUNSTER
7. 26/11/43 PARIS
8. 30/11/43 SOLINGEN
9.   5/12/43 BORDEAUX
10. 11/12/43 EMDEN
11. 13/12/43 KIEL
12. 16/12/43 BREMEN
13. 20/12/43 BREMEN
14. 22/12/43 MUNSTER
15.   1/01/44 PARIS
16. 30/01/44 BRUNSWICK
17. 10/02/44 BRUNSWICK
18. 24/02/44 ROSTOCK
19. 25/02/44 REGENSBURG
20.    3/04/44   BERLIN
21.  6/03/44 BERLIN

David L. Miner temp promotion to Captain on Feb 11, 1944   0-797577

CREW(28 Apr 44)

COL  ROBERT H. KELLY                     COM KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
CAPT WILLIAM G. LAKIN                        P KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
LT HERBERT ALF                               CP POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL) flew as formation officer in tail 
CAPT  JOSEPH  H. "BUBBLES" PAYNE      NAV KIA    28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
LT MAURICE H. CAIN                         BOM POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
T/SGT LEO  R. CANNON                     ROG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL
T/SGT JAMES C. BROWN                    TTE KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
S/SGT ALBERTM. FREITAS                  BTG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
S/SGT JOHN N. SPIKER                       WG KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL)
S/SGT JOSEPH  A. RICHARD                WG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL
S/.SGT DELBERT E. BARNHART               TG KIA   28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST (NO BALL) flew in radio room, manned 50 cal. 

350th BS

COL KELLY COMMANDED THE 100TH FOR ONE WEEK AND TWO DAYS.  HE WAS LOST ON HIS FIRST MISSION TO SOTTEVAST. AT TAKE-OFF TIME THE NEW COMMANDER ELECTED TO BUMP THE 100TH'S BEST FLIGHT LEADER (CAPT JACK SWARTOUT) AND LEAD HIMSELF. THE RESULTS WERE A DISASTER, TWO SHIPS WERE LOST WHEN THE COL ELECTED TO MAKE A SECOND RUN OVER THE TARGET AT THE SAME ALTITUDE AND ON THE SAME HEADING. AMOUNG THE KIA'S WAS THE 100TH BELOVED LEAD NAVIGATOR JOSEPH "BUBBLES" PAYNE; SAID BY JIM BROWN AND HARRY CROSBY TO HAVE BEEN THE BEST.

This was what can best be called a "pick-up" crew of veteran airmen, with the exception of Col. Kelly fresh from the States
and had became the 100th's Commanding Officer only nine days prior to the mission. Joe "Bubbles" Payne was 
a member of the original air echelon of the Group as were T/Sgt James C. Brown and S/Sgt Albert M. Freitas.
With the exception of Magee Fuller, they were the last of the "Original 100th" to become casualties. T/Sgt Leo R. Cannon joined the Group in August 1943, his orginal crew (F.H. Meadows) was shot down at Bremen 08 Oct 1943. Capt William G. Lakin had been with the Group prior to October 1943.  Lt Maurice H. Cain was from Lt John P. Gibbons Crew.  

The following from MACRs:  "....On 02 May 1944, at 0730 hours an American Airman was captured by two German soldiers on the street of Rochville, Sottevast, France. The Germans record the following data: Name: Cain, Maurice # 0-681859. According to his statement he rescued himself from the burning aircraft on 28 April 1944. Sent to Airbase Command, Paris, France..Date 3 May 1944 @ 1320 hours."  The Originating German Officer is not identified..pw


UNAME = Michael A. Cannon
CONNECTION = I am a relative of a 100th veteran
TAPS_PERSON = Leo R. Cannon
TAPS_DATE = October 24, 1997
TAPS_UNIT = 350th
TAPS_POSITION = Radio Operator
TAPS_RELATION = Child
QUESTION = Question: 
FEEDBACK = Feedback:Leo R. Cannon joined his second crew after his 1st was shot down. He was in the hospital with the flue when his 1st crew was shot down. 
 
 
Mr. Faley
Yes, I do have a copy of my Dad's first crew. He was assigned to this crew when they were first organized in the states. I know that he told me that his second crew was a pick up crew, but I do not know if he had flown with them since his first crew was shot down. His first crew was shot down on their 8th mission. My Dad was shot down on his 14th mission. Therefore he flew 7 mission after his first crew was shot down.  I will send individual pictures of the first crew later. A fact that you may not know. Delbert Barnhart was not the Tail Gunner on the last crew. He was an extra crew member. He was in the Radio Room with my Dad using the gun in that compartment. When the plane was first hit, they both were not hit. They were attempting to get out when the plane was hit a second time. At this time my father was hit. He fell on the floor & Barnhart fell on top of him. When he awoke some time later Barnhart was gone and so was the rest of the plane about six feet from his head. He some how got out of the plane, pulled his rip cord,  made one oscillation & hit the ground. And was later captured by two German officers. Thanks Mike Cannon

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Sottevast DATE: 1944-04-28  
AIRCRAFT: (42-107024) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

(Back Row) 2ND LT HERBERT A. ALF,  1ST LT KENNETH L. RASMUSSEN,  2ND LT ALBERT A. MARCHIONDO,  2ND LT RAYMOND B. PHANEUF
(Front Row) SGT JOSEPH C. KRUSIENSKI,  SGT JIMISON T. PYLES, SGT JEROME H. GORDON, SGT CARMINE V. ROBERTO, SGT FRANCIS J. FLEMM, JR, SGT HERSCHEL P. LOWE

Lt Herb Alf Crew Stateside. Photo courtesy of Stepson Jason Osborne Newman, 

 Herbert A. Alf, Pilot on the Herbert A. Alf crew. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of friend and author of "Untold Valor", Rob Morris. 

Gravestone of Herber A. Alf in Arlington Cemetery.  Photo courtesy of Scott Adam Alf. 

Lt Herbert A. Alf. Photo courtesy of Stepson Jason Osborne Newman. 

USAAF Cadet Herb Alf. Photo courtesy of Stepson Jason Osborne Newman. 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

Crew 3

ID: 48