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S/SGT  Virgil F. SUMMERS

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BTG
SERIAL #: 13083889 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 03019 CR: 03019

Comments1: 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (EXP)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

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 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. Summers on original crew
of Lt George Ford.


CREW
2ND LT GEORGE W. FORD                 P POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN (with Lt Ear Williams Crew, see note below)
2ND LT AMERICUS V. COMBS             CP XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
2ND LT GLENN M. LASHBROOK        NAV XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
2ND LT NATHAN COOPER             BOM XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
S/SGT GEORGE N, OFEISH             ROG POW 4 MAR 44 BERLIN (with Lt Seaton Crew, see below)
S/SGT JOHN J. MURPHY                 TTE XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
   SGT KENNTH C. STROUGH          BTG XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
   SGT VIRGIL F. SUMMERS             WG KIA   6 MAR 44 BERLIN (with Lt A.F. AMIERO CREW)
   SGT JACK KOSSIN                    WG XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43
   SGT JOHN P. WILLIAMS               TG XFER 482ND (PFF) 26 NOV 43

349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, arrived 349th sqdn. 12 Sep 1943 according to Glenn Lashbrook. He also states that a day or two after arriving, Lt George Ford was demoted to a copilot and replaced as first pilot on the Crew by Lt Charles A. Brooks from the Crew of Lt Victor Reed (see below). Lt Ford was shot down with the Crew of Lt Earl Williams (see note below)  

1ST LT  VICTOR REED                           P:               TRANSFERRED FROM 100TH
F/O CHARLES A. BROOKS     CP:  CPT,  16/12/43  BREMEN
2ND LT  HOWARD D. BASSETT          NAV:  CPT,  14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN
2ND LT  JOSEPH P. ARMANINI          BOM:  CPT,  DATE & MISSION UNKNOWN
T/SGT   GLENN N. ALBRIGHT               TTE:  CPT,  14 JAN 44 FORET D' HESDIN
S/SGT   RICHARD O. DETWEILER        WG:  CPT, 13 FEB 44 LIVOSSART
T/SGT   JAMES S. DOUGHERTY         ROG:  CPT,  DATE & MISSION UNKNOWN
S/SGT   RICHARD M. PRICE                BTG:  NOC
S/SGT   THOMAS D. BAER            WG:  KIA,  6 MAR 44 BERLIN WITH LT ALBERT AMIERO CREW
S/SGT   CLIFFORD T. MINER                  TG:  NOC

349th Sqdn.  This is an "Original" crew that flew over with the group. 
Charlie Brooks became 1st pilot on the Lt George W. Ford Crew and 
completed the tour.

MISSIONS OF 1ST LT. CHARLES A. BROOKS WITH CREW #37 (Copilot Lt Combs)


 DATE  MISSION  A/C # & NAME


12. 23/09/43 VANNES  25861 LADEN MAIDEN
13. 26/09/43 PARIS   25861 LADEN MAIDEN
14. 27/09/43 EMDEN  25861 LADEN MAIDEN
15. 02/10/43 EMDEN  230088 SQUAWKIN HAWK
16. 04/10/43 SAARLUIS, HANAU 230088 SQUAWKIN HAWK
17. 20/10/43 DUREN
18. 03/11/43 WILHELMSHAVEN 
19. 05/11/43 GELSENKIRCHEN
20. 07/11/43 DUREN
21. 13/11/43 BREMEN
22. 16/11/43 RJUKAN, NORWAY 

 

WARTIME DIARY OF GLENN  M. LASHBROOK (NAV. ON LT FORD CREW)

June 19, 1943
 Graduated Mather Field, Calif. -- Class of 43-9 and given 10 day delay and 3 days travel time before reporting to first duty station.

July 2, 1943
 Reported to 330th Bombardment Group, Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas - - Group did not need any navigators.

July 4, 1943 
 Re-assigned and reported to 333rd Bomb Gp, Dalhart Air Force Base, Dalhart, Texas.

July 5, 1943
 Assigned to 466th Bomb Gp Squadron, Savoie Provisional Group as Navigator on Lt George Ford's crew, flying B-17s. Crew was then near end of second phase of it's training.


August 17, 1943
 Left Dalhart for Scott Field, Illinois after having 8 day leave, which was spent in Santa Ana, Calif. With Barbara. (Wife of Glenn Lashbrook)

August 22, 1943
 Left Scott Field for Dow Field, Bangor, Maine after completion of staging. Day before leaving, Mom, Dad, Irene, Richard, Isabel and Allan came down and we drove to St. Louis..Flying time to Dow Field: 6½ hours.

August 25, 1943
 Left Dow Field for Goose Bay, Laborador. Uneventful flight of 4½ hours. Pilot did let-down on Goose Bay radio because of heavy undercast and the country looked very green and beautiful when we broke through. Goose Bay is a combination American - Canadian field, many different uniforms were in evidence. The BOQ was very good.
August 26, 1943
 Left Goose Bay for Bluie West One on Greenland. Shot one sun line, the only celestial work on the whole trip, the rest DR from a flight plan with use of radio beams for course corrections. Arrived at Bluie West One, a small field at the end  of a fjord, and all the enlisted men crowded into the nose for a good look. We received orders to proceed to Meeks Field, Iceland. Arrived Meeks Field after 10 hours in the air and it was dark so the lights were a welcome sight.

August 27, 1943
 Flew from Meeks Field to Prestwick, Scotland by way of Stonoway, an uneventful 4 hour flight. Used Air Transport Command's book on the trip across and it provided great circle courses, distances, and variation so that it was only necessary to apply metro data to figure a flight plan.

August 28, 1943
 Reported to Combat Crew Replacement Center No. #11 Bovingdon, near London after an all night trip from Scotland on the train.

September 12, 1943
 Reported to the 100th Bombardment Group at Thorpe Abbotts near Diss. Norfolk. Assigned to the 349th Bombardment Squadron. Commanding Officer, Major Veal. Crew given a new first pilot, F/O Charles Brooks.

September 23, 1943
 Flew as spare on raid to Vannes, France. Couldn't find group and returned to base from Portland Bill. Given credit for a combat mission through a clerical error.

September 24, 1943
 On blind -- bombing practice mission over the North Sea. Were led too close to the Frisian Islands and ME-109s and FW-190s attacked the formation catching it completely off guard. 100th lost one ship (Gossage) and half the crew drowned when jumping into water. British E-Boat happened to be passing to raid the Dutch Coast and took five survivors with them.

September 26, 1943
 Mission to Paris. Unable to bomb due to heavy undercast and jettisoned bombs in English Channel. Saw first flak from Amiens and Abbeville.

September 27, 1943
 Mission to Emden. Flew on left wing of Col. Harding who was in a Pathfinder ship -- we were second ship over target. P-47 support very effective and saw no enemy fighters, although some ships in succeeding combat wings were lost. Bombing results were not too good, but mission was a great success for first long range support of fighters.

October 2, 1943
 Emden again. Not in such good position and encountered fighter opposition. Didn't get to bombing altitude until reaching I.P.

October 4, 1943
 Started to Frankfurt but never found it and bombed Saarlautern by mistake. Lead Navigator brought us back by way of Paris but weren't fired at. Reached England in a very lost condition.

October 9, 1943
 Mission to Marienberg in East Prussia. Flew with Magee Fuller as first pilot and were in the air 11 hours, but never over 13,000 feet. Focke-Wolf assembly plant almost completely destroyed - considered a most outstanding job of precision bombing. When the 100th reached the target huge columns of smoke were rising, but groups incendiaries missed target anyhow.

October 20, 1943
 Mission to Duren, Germany. Flew as high as 30,000 feet to rise above 10/10 cloud cumulo-Nimbus clouds above the Continent. Was very miserable from bends. Flak holes in ship.

November 3, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Wilhelmshaven. Good results.

November 5, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Gelsenkirchen in Ruhr Valley. Missed target completely. Encountered heavy flak and got small holes in wings.  

November 7, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Duren

November 13, 1943
 Pathfinder mission to Bremen. Equipment in lead ship went out and finally crossed unto Denmark near Island of Sylt. Turned back and encountered considerable fighter opposition. Jettisoned bombs in North Sea. Came back single ship with new crew on our right wing. Terrific headwinds so did considerable sweating before English Coast was sighted. Did a lousy job of navigating and was glad to get a QDM from the base.

November 16, 1943
 Raid on power station at Rjukan, Norway, a ten hour mission. Led second element in lead squadron. Capt Barr led group (The 100th was led by Owen "Cowboy" Roane on this mission)    Capt Payne "Bubbles" and Capt Peel were lead Navigator and Bombardier and both did excellent jobs and the mission was a success. Forced to climb to 18,000 feet just off English Coast to go above a front upon returning.

November 26, 1943
 Day after Thanksgiving. Moved from the 100th to the 482nd Bomb Gp at Alconbury, Huntingdonshire. Assigned to the 812th Squadron to learn "Mickey" system (H2X)  of Pathfinder navigation. Lt Flesh became first pilot of the old 100th crew.    

Note

CREW

2ND LT GEORGE W. FORD  P POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT JEAN B. PITNER  CP EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN (see lettter below)
2ND LT ARNO E. PILISCHKE  NAV EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT ARTHUR G. BODEI  BOM POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
T/SGT MAX S. NEWMAN  ROG KIA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
T/SGT ANDREW F. HATHAWAY TTE EVA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT GEORGE E. JONES  BTG KIA 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT LEO J. BIANCHI  WG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT CARL G. GLASMEIER  WG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN
S/SGT DENTON L., KING  TG POW 26 NOV 43 BREMEN

349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, apparently joined the 100th Group in Nov 1943 as this is believed to be their first mission. Crews Original pilot was Lt Earl Williams.   MACR # 1394, Microfiche # 464, A/C # 42-31215

EYEWITNESS: A/C # 215 was hit in # 2 engine when two FW 190s attacked the low squadron at 1045 hrs. Fell out of formation and dived for cloud cover.  E/A followed but P-47s came to the rescue.  A/C was seen from time to time flying below the formation.  At 1048 hrs one chute was seen and at 1103 hrs nine more chutes were seen. At 1105 hrs it hit the ground and exploded, near 49 32N and 02 00E.  During the last few minutes of flight fire spread over the entire left wing.

That Pitner % Plischke were successful evadees is evidenced by signing a report to the Adjutent General's office dated 5 Feb 44.  This same report indicates Andrew Hathaway also returned to duty also evading. The record for Denton King is not clear; he may have been an evadee rather than a POW.
*************************************************************************************************************

This is remains some difficulty in determining G.W Ford's role with this crew.  (Letter to Jim Brown from Jean Pitner regarding this matter follows..

                                            

Dear Jim: ( 26 November 1990)

Forty seven years ago today, I was shot down.  Twenty seven days before that I signed in at the 100th. First, let me answer your specific question regarding Earl Williams and George Ford.  Earl was first pilot on my crew. I met him, as well as my navigator and bombardiar, at Walla Walla, Washington.  Earl was an "old timer".  He had been an enlisted radio operator in Hawaii before the peacetime draft and during the attack of December 7, 1941.  When I met him he was a 1st Lt., married and no children.  The rest of us had just graduated from flying schools; in my case "travel time" from Blackland AAB, Waco, Texas, to Moses Lake, Washington, then on to Walla Walla.

Earl and I flew a couple of local flights after we arrived at the 100th.  He, as well as all of the crew (except me), flew combat missions shortly after we arrived at the 100th. Each of them flew with different crews at different times as substitutes on various crews

Our crew was scheduled to fly together for the first time on 26 November 1943.  I was not included.  An experienced multi missioned pilot would "check out the crew and sign off Earl as combat ready.  I do not know what happened during the night to change the plans, but I was awakened early in the morning and told that I would fly and Earl would not.  Earl was as surprised as I.

I met George Ford at briefing.  He was a captain, said very little, mentioned that he had flown fourteen (I think) missions. He also told me that this was a good starting mission for me (my first) and that it would be a "piece of cake" and a "milk run". The last time I saw George was as we were bailing out. I never believed, nor was I told, that George was a "new crew member" who would continue to fly with us.  I thought he was sort of a "check ride" for a new crew.  So much for George now back to Earl. The last time I saw Earl was when he came to London to make a personal identification of me for Army Intelligence. I recall that Earl had changed.  I thought he was "flak happy", and for a little while I thought he either did not know me, or would not make the identification.  He did, but the intelligence officers weren't satisfied.  Intelligence demanded two other officers from the 100th to come and make the identification. To shorten this phase, Intelligence had to accept Earl's ID because there were no officers in the 100th who knew me!
************************************************************************************************************

Mike
Thanks for your prompt response.  I didn't necessarily want to mention
it first, but I have considered the "innuendo" you refer to and am
looking down that alley - so to speak.  As an Air Force pilot for 30
years and also as a group commander, I thought about the word furlough
and a female's name.  I suspect that Furlough Myrtle may have been a
character ion some kind of anti-VD campaign and/or training program -
posters, hand-outs, etc.  Kind of like the warning about meeting Myrtle
on furlough and catching the gift that keeps on giving.  That would
explain the same picture along with the name on four different aircraft
in four different groups over about a three year period.  The innuendo
come in when Furlough Myrtle is going to give the Germans a "dose" of
bombs.  I've got a contact at Walter Reed who is looking back into some
of their old "contagious disease" material to see if Myrtle might be
there.

As far as Virgil is concerned, I'd truly appreciate as much information
as may be available.  I got a great deal of info from the Air Power
Research Center at Maxwell when I was there TDY on numerous trips, but
there's always more to learn.  I actually gave a brief presentation on
some of that info and how to get to it at the 100th Bomb Group reunion
here in St Louis in 1991 when I was the operations group commander here
at Scott AFB.  I also got to fly from St Louis over to Scott with Dave
aboard his Memphis Belle and got to fly her down the Mississippi and
over to turning final at Scott.  A great thrill!  When I retired, the
flight records put 45 minutes of flying time in a B-17 into my official
USAF flight records.

The MACR for that aircraft indicated that Owen Stockton was captured.
He had gone back to man the tail gun after the tail gunner was mortally
wounded.  I talked with his widow and she recalled the circumstance of
the aircraft blowing up, the tail section becoming detached, and Mr.
Stockton spending all but a couple of the remaining months of the war in
a hospital for a broken back.  I can relate that to you in detail if you
wish.

Thanks again for your prompt and courteous response and also thanks in
advance for any/all additional information you may be able to provide.

Sincerely

Craig  


CRAIG L. KOONTZ
Contractor Support to USTC-PA
(618) 229-4746 (DSN 779)


-----Original Message-----
From: MPFaley@aol.com [mailto:MPFaley@aol.com] 
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:46 PM
To: Koontz, Craig CTR USTRANSCOM PA
Cc: charlie@100thbg.com; cindy@100thbg.com
Subject: Re: 100th BG WEB CONTACT

Dear Craig,
Ok, maybe I can shed some light on this and maybe you can help us too.
Virgil had 10 missions flying with his original Crew (1st Pilot was Lt
Charles Brooks since Lt Ford was taken off the crew for a while but
returned to flying status).  After those missions, most of the crew was
moved to 482nd Bomb Group for Pathfinder training.  Virgil at that point
ended up in the Spare gunners pool and would have flown missions as a
"fill in" when someone was sick or KIA on a crew.  I am in the process
of finishing a book on March 6, 1944 mission to Berlin and very little
is know about the circumstances around their demise other than the MACR
and Casualty Reports.  As for Furlough Myrtle", the aircraft they are in
front of is a stateside training B-17 and was not assigned to this crew
overseas.  As for the Character, I do not see any particular radio
character or cartoon character this is based on but I see more innuendo
involved here than anything.  As a 349th BS crew, they could have flown
a variety of planes assigned to that squadron during that time.  Hard to
determine Unless you have any kind of Log that Virgil may have kept?
Would like to get a list of missions he flew and any other info.  

Michael Faley
100th Bomb Group Historian 


In a message dated 2/15/2008 1:56:05 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
Craig.Koontz.ctr@ustranscom.mil writes:

    
    Hello
    I'm researching a 100th bomb group member who was a family
member, SSgt Virgil Summers (BTG on the pick-up Amerio crew) , KIA 6 Mar
44.  His original crew was the Ford crew and their aircraft was named
"Furlough Myrtle." (picture attached)  I've been able to locate four
different aircraft (3 B-17s and 1 B-24) in various bomb groups in the
ETO with that name and the exact same nose art picture.  That leads me
to believe that "Furlough Myrtle" was some kind of character that was
known by the troops.  
    
    My question:  Who (or what) was Furlough Myrtle?
    
    Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide
on Furlough Myrtle.
    
    Cheers
    Craig
    
    CRAIG L. KOONTZ
    Colonel, USAF (Ret)
 **************************************************************************************************************

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

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

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: C ROW: 6  
GRAVE: 13 CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  
ID: 5056