COMMENTS & NOTES
2ND LT JOHN W.BROWN P EVADEE 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT see note below
2ND LT ALBERT F. FITZPATRICK CP POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
2ND LT THEODORE H. KLEINMAN NAV EVADEE 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
2ND LT LAWSON W. CLEMENTS BOM POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
S/SGT CHARLES R. ARMBRUST WG NOC
S/SGT RICHARD F. BRADY ROG NOC
S/SGT LAWRENCE M. PRATT TTE NOC
SGT MILTON GRABEL TG KIA 25 MAY 44 BERLIN (see Roeder crew below)
SGT GORDON F. KEON BTG POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
SGT OWEN D. STOCKTON WG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN ( see Amiero crew below)
349th Sqdn. Crew joined the 100th Gp on 28 Nov 1943.. Sgt Gordon Keon was the only enlisted man of this crew
to particiapte in the Frankfurt mission of 4 FEB 44. Other aboard for this mission and their fate is a follows:
S/SGT GEORGE E. TOOMEY ROG POW (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW) see below
S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA TTE POW (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW) see below
S/SGT WILLIAM F. KEMP WG KIA (FIRST MISSION)
S/SGT HAROLD F. JANDERUP WG POW (FROM H.M. HENINGTON CREW) ( TAPS 25 SEP 69)
S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI TG POW
Ship suffered severe flak damage and had three engines out over the German-Belgian border. The crew with the exception of William Kemp, who was apparently badly wounded, bailed out safely. Gordon Keon had a flak wound in one arm.
A statement by Theodore Kleinman after his return say the bail-out occurred about 10 miles SSE of Turnhout, Belgium and continues: "After contacting an underground unit I was placed in a house in Turnhout. Several days later I was told something in French concerning the rest of the crew. With my meagre understaning of French, Kemp was unable to leave th ship due to severe wounds and he went down with the plane. A man was found by the Germans in the rear half of the ship with his head badly battered, but alive. I later received a report the man with the
battered head died."
German records in the MACR file confirm a badly wounded man found in the ship died in the hospital the following day.
Excerpts from a letter to Paul West 22 Feb 1994 from Sherman Gillespie, a cadet class mate of John W. Brown.
.. John Brown and I were in a group of twenty sent to Blythe, CA. Our orders read "Twin engine fighters" for assignment to light bombardment!!! We expected A-20s!!! We all ended up in B-17s for the duration….Brown and I were in "B" Flight Squadron 65 in flight training at Santa Ana, CA in 1942…He never told me much about his evasion, eventual capture and escape, this would make a real adventure yarn….only that the Germans kept him in solitary for a month trying to crack him -- wouldn't even give him salt to brush his teeth with…The Brown family may have pictures of him and a Belgian family taken before the Gestapo caught him…Sherm Gillespie 1994.
Mr Sherman Gillespie completed a tour as a pilot in the 413th Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group based at Snetterton Heath. 100th veterans will remember flying with the 96th by the "Square C" on the tail of their planes. The 96th was in the 45th Combat Wing of the 3rd Air Division and made many of the missions with the 100th of the 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Air Division.
Subj: FW: John W. Brown
Date: 4/8/2004 2:10:53 PM Pacific Daylight Time
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, MPFaley@aol.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)
Is there agreement that John's Taps data can now be finished and perhaps this information added to his crew page. I will attempt to contact Sherman Gillespie of the 96th with this information in case he does not already have it. John was from all account and outstanding individual amount a group of outstanding individuals. If there is any way possible we should try and contact his family - it could lead to a gold mine of history. This man once escapted from the Gestapo!!
From: Kleinman Steve M LtCol JPRA/PRA-DI [mailto:Steve.Kleinman@fairchild.af.mil]
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 3:16 PM
To: Paul West
Subject: RE: John Brown
I recently came across additional information regarding John "Bud" Brown in some notes found among my father's effects. In a note written in 1988, my father wrote:
" Bud was recalled for the Korean conflict, checked out in the C-46, and crashed into Mt. Fujiyama, in Japan, while in heavy weather in 1950. I was recalled [to active duty] in January 1951 and we were aware of his death some time prior to that."
He also wrote:
"For what it's worth, Bud played left halfback for Alonzo Stagg at the College (now University) of the Pacific and played in the 1939 Rose Bowl game."
Hope this is of some value.
Steven M. Kleinman, Lt Col, USAF
Director of Intelligence
Personnel Recovery Academy, JPRA
DSN 657-9778/Comm (509) 247-9778
From: Paul West [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 4:00 PM
To: Jbittle@Swfla. Rr. Com; Robert Wolff; Ralph Bradley; Grant Fuller;
Kleinman Steve Lt Col JPRA/PRA-DI
Cc: Joel Russell; Cindy Goodman; Ceh100bg@aol. Com; Betray1@Hotmail.
Com; Jan Riddling; Harry Nelson; Charles M. Cole; Mike Faley
Subject: John Brown
Colonel Kleinman, do you or your father have any information as to what
happened to John Brown after the war? The story of John's evading, capture,
escape, recapture and second escape is something the 100th desperately needs
for the History Section. If at all possible we desire to contact John Brown
via phone, e-mail, or a member of the historical staff would be happy to
A cadet Class-mate of John's (Sherman Gillespie), who last saw him after the
war, at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco in December 1945 has been trying to
locate John Brown for over fifty years. Mr. Gillespie completed a tour with
the 96th BG, in the 45th Combat Wing.
Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
2ND LT COY I. MONTGOMERY P KIA 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT ROBERT F. CONNAWAY CP POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT FRANK C LAVER NAV POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT JAMES D. FULTON BOM POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
T/SGT GEORGE W. BURTON TTE POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (SEE NOTE BELOW)
S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA TTE POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT (with Lt John Brown Crew)
S/SGT GEORGE D. TOOMEY, JR. ROG POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT (with Lt John Brown Crew)
SGT JOHN A. MILLER WG CPT 17 JUL 44 MONTGOURNEY (NO-BALL)
SGT EARL W. RITTER TG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
SGT JUNIOR L. BUCHER WG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 6 Jan 44 (Crew #40)
For 6 Mar 44 mission see MACR #3014, Microfiche #1019. They were flying A/C #42-30170 which had flown under three names: Torchy 2nd, HOT SPIT, and MISS CARRIAGE.
On 6 Mar 44, Lt Frank C. Laver was the Navigator and a POW; Sgt Wilbur Trembley, (from Lt Stout Crew) was the ROG and a POW; T/Sgt George W. Burton was the TTE and a POW; S/Sgt Anthony Ruda was the RWG and a POW, and S/Sgt Louis P. Savell was the BTG and a POW
"At 1215 hours just north of Hanover an A/c believed to be #170 was atttacked by enemy fighters & was shot down. Four or five chutes were seen. I.D. of this aircraft is not positive, it may have been #051."……..Lt. Chadwick
The Germans buried Lt Montgomery (Coy I.) on 10 Mar 1944, noting the cause of death as crash/ burns…
Roeder Crew (Milton Grabel)
2ND LT ROBERT G. ROEDER P KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
F/O PAUL V. LAMMERS CP KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
2ND LT CLAUDE E. ROBINSON, JR NAV KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
2ND LT JAMES H. MADDOX BOM NOC MACR 5172, Mcrofiche 1855
S/SGT WADE D. EASON TTE KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN A/C 42-102648
SGT FRANK GOLDSTEIN ROG KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT NATHAN E. McELROY BTG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT WILLIAM A. POKLEMBA LWG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT FRED E. CEBALO RWG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT ANTHONY P. LOMBARDI TG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
349TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 12 APR 1944
ON THE BERLIN MISSION OF 24 MAY 44, T/SGT MILTON GRABEL WAS FLYING AS TOGGALIER AND WAS KIA…pw
This crew,except for T/Sgt Grabel,joined the 100th Group on 12/4/44. At that time,
Lt James H..Maddox was the Bombardier. This was about the 10 mission for the crew.
Statement in MACR by Fred Cebalo -made in 1945 - follows:
"Circumstances of loss of aircraft: On a raid to Berlin we were hit by fighters,
ME 109s. They shot the left wing off. I was thrown back and trapped in the
waist,fracturing my right leg. As I was trying to get out,the ship broke at the
Ball Turret and tail section, I crawled to the door and jumped. I saw four other
chutes as I was going down. I was caught immediately by civilians with a couple of
soldiers upon landing.
I was taken first to a barn,and then by a civilian to a doctor's house.There I saw
the pilot and the tail gunner. We were joined about twenty minutes later by the left
waist gunner and the ball turret gunner. The pilot's right foot was shot off,and
they were amputating the shreds. He was also shot in the arm. We gave him our own
morphine,for the Germans had none. The tail gunner was limping,possibly from a
sprained ankle. Both the left waist gunner and I had broken legs. The ball turret
gunner complained of his back. They had the pilot in a separats room,and the rest
of us in the next room. The pilot who shot us down came in to question us,and
thought me rude when I refused to answer his questions. He visited the pilot and
left..About four hours later,the five of us surviving were taken into a truck along
with other airmen who had just been shot down,about a mile down the road toward camp.
An ambulance met us and took the pilot and another man off. I did not see him again.
My mother received a letter from the pilot's folks,with a clipping from his home
town paper saying that he had died of wounds.
Statement by Anthony P.Lombardi:
"We were going to Berlin. Made land fall between Kiel & Hamburg. McElroy (BT) was
ordered into turret. I saw something whlz by my tail -asked what it was. Soon McElroy
called on intercom to say the door fell off ball & he escaped falling out sans chute.
He was ordered to radio room to complete mission.. I called out fighters at six o'clock
as the navigstor called an attack at twelve o'clock. We were also attacked at nine
O'clock and the ship broke in half at the radio room. Tho radlo operator (Goldstein)
fell out without his chute. The ball turret gunner (McElroy) grabbed his chute and
managed to put it on and save himself. Both waist gunners (Cebalo & Poklemba) bailed
out and reached ground 0K.
The ship broke again at the tail wheel well. That left me and the tail floating thru
space.After riding the tail part way down,I bailed. When we got together later we came
to the conclusion on how the other boys made out. The Navigator(Robison),Toggalier
(Grabel) and Engineer(Eason) were killed by the fighters. The pilot(Roeder) and the
Co-pilot (Lammers) were blown out of the cockpit.The pilot had a seat type chute but
was shot up badly & later died. The co-pilot had no chute on.
The four survivors spent a year at Stalag Luft #4 and finally made it home again."
Amiero Crew (Owen D. Stockton)
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
S/Sgt Thomas S.Elliott BOM KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
T/Sgt John J.Kovacs ROG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
T/Sgt Russell G.Gilbert TTE KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Virgil F.Summers BTG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Hobart H.Spires WG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Owen D.Stockton WG POW 6/3/44 BERLIN (ORIGNALLY WITH J.W.BROWN CREW) see below
S/Sgt Thomas D.Baer TG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
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 tne 100th on 26/2/44 as
an indlvidual. Baer was from the original crew of V.Reed. Kovacs was a
"spare" on original 100th Air echelon. Stockton was from the crew of
J.W.Brown. Hobart Spires was from the original crew of Sam L. Barr.
A.P.Rule on original crew of Leon R.Morgan.
Let me tell you a bit more of the story. This is how Owen Stockton's
widow related the story to me.
As you know from the MACR, Owen Stockton was the left waist gunner on
Capt Amerio's pick up crew. (Amerio must have just pinned on Captain as
the records before that show him as a 1Lt.) On the first encounter with
German fighters, the tail gunner, "Teddy" Baer was mortally wounded.
Someone from the crew dragged him out of the tail and up on to the floor
of the radio compartment. Apparently he was shot up pretty badly as the
crew didn't think that they could help him other than to give him a
morphine injection to ease his pain. Somehow it was determined that
someone else would go back and man the tail gun. (I don't know if that
was a pre-mission decision, or who made that call. Maybe it was some
sort of "pecking order" thing among the waist gunners. Maybe it was
whoever was the smallest in stature. In any case, she didn't know if
the aircraft blew apart, or spiraled down, but the stress on the
fuselage, in any case, caused the tail section to break off. (I
understand this was not necessarily an unusual occurrence) Owen
Stockton stayed with the tail section. He told his wife that he
couldn't get out. (I suspect the G-forces of the tumbling tail section
may have precluded his getting to and hooking up his parachute - I
understand that the chute was kept behind the tail gunner's back rest)
Apparently the tail section landed in some trees and Owen Stockton's
back was broken (in two places). I suspect there was some initial
confusion on the part of the Germans because there must have been some
distance between where the tail "fluttered" down and where the rest of
the aircraft crashed. Besides, as I'm certain your book will recount,
there were a number of aircraft falling out of the sky at that point.
Mr. Stockton was immobile from his injuries and, once captured by the
Germans, was taken to a hospital along with other POWs. Mrs. Stockton
told me that he spent the better part of a year in the hospital before
being transferred to a Lueftstalag (she didn't know which one) for the
remainder of the war. She indicated that he had chronic back problems
for the rest of his life. She also told me that he had significant
psychological issues because he was the only one form his crew to have
survived. (I'm a bit confused about that as it was a pick-up crew.
They didn't have much time to have bonded) Regardless, she told me that
he lived with those demons for all his remaining life and that he rarely
talked about the mission on March 6th. He was, however, a member of the
100th Bomb Group Foundation. That's about all I know about what
happened inside that aircraft on that mission.
I have read a bit about that mission and things certainly didn't go
well. In one account I read, it said, "After the mission, there was
talk of lynching the lead navigator." The break in the bomber stream
certainly proved fatal to the 100th. I've also been to the area where
the target (Bosch magneto works) was located in Berlin. That was a bit
spicy as it was East Berlin when I was there. Unfortunately, at that
time, we weren't allowed to take photos.
I would love to have the opportunity to buy your book. My wife is the
director of the Scott AFB Base Library and they have an outstanding WWII
collection. I know that she'll buy one for the library also. See -
you've got two sold already. If there's anything I can do to help you -
manuscript proof reading, etc. - I'd be glad to help.
When you get a chance, I'd appreciate any additional info about Virgil
Summers - like mission log, etc.
CRAIG L. KOONTZ
Contractor Support to USTC-PA
(618) 229-4746 (DSN 779)