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S/SGT  Richard A. TANGRADI

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: TG

 T/Sgt. Richard Tangardi (100th Photo Archives) 

SERIAL #: 13125061 STATUS: POW
MACR: 02564 CR: 02564

Comments1: 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT (FLAK - CRASHED AT SEA)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW:

1st Lt Albert F.Amiero                  P KIA    6 MAR 44   BERLIN         (this with a pick up crew, see note below)
1st Lt Kenneth I.Menzie            CP XFR   7 OCT 43  ALCONBURY  (transferred to 482nd BG, Pathfinders, see note below)
                                                                                                    (on Aug 17, 1943 Capt. Norman Scott Crew, see note below)
2ND Lt Lloyd A. Hammarlund   BOM INT   17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG (flying with Lt Oakes Crew in High Life, see note below)
2nd Lt W.C. Abbey                    NAV CPT             ?      (Transferred to 418th BS)
T/Sgt Russell G.Gilbert              TTE KIA    6 MAR 44  BERLIN         (Flew with Lt Amiero "pick up" Crew,  see note below)
S/Sgt Earl Griggs                       BTG KIA    3 SEPT43  PARIS          (Flew as BTG with Lt Floyd Crew, see note below)
S/Sgt  Joe Raff                          LWG CPT  30 JAN 44  BRUNSWICK  (Flew with Capt Moede Crew, see note below)
S/SGT James W. Gregg           RWG POW  3 MAR 44  BERLIN         (Flew with Lt Gossage pick up Crew, see note below)
S/SGT Richard A. Tangradi      TG POW  4 FEB  44  FRANKFURT  (Flew with Lt John Brown Crew, see note below)
                                               TG on Henington Crew Aug 17, 1943  Received the Air Medal for shooting down the Fighter. 
SGT    Jerry Korman                 ROG XFR    7 OCT 43  ALCONBURY  (transferred to 482nd BG, Pathfinders, see note below)

349th BS. Joined the 100th BG in July 1943. 

Our crew was assembled in Casper Wyoming Jan. 1943, from there we went to Lowrey Field in March 1943, on to Boise Idaho in May 1943 for advanced bombing and gunnery incidently we met the actor Jimmy Stewart who also was in training.  From Boise we went to Kearney Neb. To pick up our big bird, what a beautiful plane!  I say this because when we got to ta (Thorpe Abbotts) we were shocked to see what we had to fly in, a once proud lady was now a dirty smelly hulk! From Kearney we flew to Bangor Maine, we laid over in Bangor for a few days then we flew to Iceland.  We knew then were we were going,  we then flew to Prestwick Scotland, very pretty girls.

Now it gets interesting after we got to ta and settled in,  the enlisted men of our crew were sent to a place on the English coast. It was a camp for advanced air to air gunnery; it was run by a tiger by the name of Capt Cohen.  I'll never forget it when we went for our first briefing Capt Cohen walked in and said "good mourning gentlemen forget all they taught you about gunnery in the United States" gulp! We were there for about a week and he was right "shoot em and kill em". I also found out you can get hurt in this war  we went back to ta and found out the crew had been busted up. After awhile thru the grape vine and other resources we found why.

Lt. Amiero had a medical problem that took him off flying status for a while.  We never saw the four officers again! Lt. Amiero was probably stuck in some office job, one was sent to the 351st Sqdn (Lt Hammarlund) one was sent to the 418th Sqdn (Lt Abbey)  Lt Menzie was transferred to a pathfinder outfit (482nd BG) I believe he was the copilot… S/Sgt Richard Tangradi, TG Dec 8, 2005

Sgt J. Raff flying with Capt.Moede crew completed his 25th mission 30-1-44.  From what heard Joe transferred to a B-26 Marauder outfit and did 25 more, the danm nuttttt….rich
____________________________________________________________________________________
LT AMIERO and S/SGT GILBERT NOTE:

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 the 100th on 26/2/44 as an individual. Baer was from the original crew of Lt V.Reed. Kovacs was a "spare" on original 100th Air echelon. Stockton was from the crew of J.W.Brown. Hobart Spires (flying his 24th mission) was from the original crew of Sam L. Barr. S/Sgt Virgil Summers was from the original Crew of Lt Ford. 2nd Lt A.P.Rule on original crew of Leon R.Morgan.
____________________________________________________________________________________
1st Lt KENNETH I. MENZIE AND SGT JERRY KORMAN NOTE:

Note on Menzie: was with 350th at the time of transfer. On 7/10/43 Special Orders #21 (Hdq. 3rd Bomber Division) the following crew was transferred from the 100th Bomb. Gp to the 482nd Bomb.Gp for Pathfinder training. Crew departed Thorpe Abbotts on 10/10/43 for Alconbury to join the 482 Bomb Group (Pathfinders)

1st Lt Kenneth I.Menzie   P (on Aug 17, 1943, copilot on Capt. Norman Scott Crew, manned gun in the nose)
* 2nd Lt Kenneth O. Blair  CP
2nd Lt Vanden J.Willey NAV
* Capt Norris G.Norman  BOM
Sgt Jerry (nmi)Korman ROG
* T/Sgt James E.Parks  TTE
* Sgt Blazier Paddy       TG
* Sgt Lewis D.Miller      BTG
Sgt Gordon D.Griffith  WG
* Sgt Britton I.Smith    WG

Those with Asterisks are members of the original crew of Norman H.Scott. According to Norris Norman,these men all CPT with the Pathfinders.  Scott and Strout were transferred to Bovingdon, to indoctrinate replacement crews.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2ND LT LLOYD A. HAMMARLUND NOTE:

CREW
1ST LT DONALD K. OAKES
ORGINAL 100TH PILOT, 351st BS

CREW #19  A/C #42-30080  "HIGH LIFE"

1ST LT  DONALD K. OAKES                   P: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
F/O     JOSEPH C. HARPER                   CP: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
2ND LT  HIRAM E. HARRIS, JR.           NAV: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
2ND LT  HOWARD G. BALL                BOM: POW  3 MAR 44 BERLIN
T/SGT   GEORGE W. ELDER               TTE: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   NOLAN D. STEVENS              WG: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
T/SGT   JAMES P. SCOTT                 ROG: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   LESLIE D. NADEAU               BTG: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   LEONARD P. GOYER              WG: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
CPL     VINCENT E. McGRATH              TG: INT  17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG

HOWARD BALL'S PLACE ON CREW #19 WAS TAKEN BY 2ND LT LLOYD A. HAMMARLUND (from Lt Amiero original crew) WHO WAS INTERNED WITH THE OTHERS.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
S/SGT EARL GRIGGS NOTE:

CREW #23
351st  BS
Mission: Paris (Beaumont AF)
M.A.C.R.#685
Date: 3 Sept.1943
Aircraft #42-30059 "BARKER'S BURDENS"
Time: 0920
A/C last seen: Over Beaumont Airdrome at Evreux,France

CREW ABOARD:
Charles W.Floyd,Jr.    2nd Lt P KIA
Jack C.Boyd             2nd Lt    CP KIA
Robert M.Rosenberg 2nd Lt NAV POW
Frank C.Coon           2nd Lt BOM POW
Theodore W.Price     T/Sgt ROG  KIA
John M.Neal              S/Sgt TTE KIA
Earl Griggs                 S/Sgt BTG KIA    (Replacement)
Dale P.Huffer            Sgt RWG  KIA     (Replacement)
Peter J.Theodore      1st Lt LWG KIA   (Gunnery Officer)
John K.Williams          S/Sgt TG KIA


The following is from a conversation between Cowboy Roane and Paul West in 1991…Cowboy's remarks are from notes:

"I was with them at Paris and saw King's plane hit amidships by flak. It pitched up in and extreme nose high attitude and struck the tail section of Alvin's (Barker) plane. It seemed like slow motion, or maybe that is just my memory but they seemed to hang there for a time and then Richard (King) went straight down and Alvin (Barker) just exploded then and there. It was and still is a sad day for me, I had been Richard's (King) co-pilot in the states, the entire crew were my close friends. I also knew Alvin (Barker) from back in the states where we were squadron mates as well." 

Crash Information: FROM LT KING CASUALTY REPORT
The third aircraft to be involved in a massive mid-air collision in the Paris, France area. A salvoed bomb (from the high group) hit the No# 3 engine of aircraft 42-30059 piloted by 1/Lt Charles Floyd, which collided with aircraft 42-5865 piloted by Lt Victor Fienup, resulting in loss of control. The aircraft piloted by Lt. Richard King received a diredt falk burst amidships and sudden moved upward striking aircraft piloted by Lt Charles Floyd, this aircraft exploded.

When Al Barker, regular pilot of this crew, was made Squadron Operations officer, Charles Floyd moved from the co-pilots to the pilots seat and Jack Boyd, who had flown overseas with the 100th unassigned to a crew, became the new co-pilot.

Earl Griggs and Dale Huffer were flying in place of regular crewmen, Willis Stroud and Robyn Fulton, while Lt. Peter Theodore flew this mission in place of Edwin Morgan.
____________________________________________________________________________________
S/SGT JOE RAFF NOTE:

Bruce E.Alshouse of the J.G.Gossage crew writes (1986) that after the Gossage crew loss on 24/9/43, He, Theodore Don, and Mike Gillen (Bom & ROG) were assigned to the crew Of Capt. Donald H. Moede. Also on the Moede crew:

Capt. Donald H. Moede     P
2nd Lt Theodore Don    BOM (originally with the JG Gossage Crew)
M/Sgt. Art Gibbon          NAV
T/Sgt. Mike Gillen           ROG (originally with the JG Gossage Crew)
Sgt  Joe Raff                  WG (originally with Lt Amiero Crew, CPT on 30 JAN 44 Brunswick)
Sgt  Don Sackrider          WG (he was wlth J.G.Gossage on 3/3/44 and became a POW)
Sgt Richard Pearson       BTG
Sgt Bruce E. Alshouse      TG (originally with the JG Gossage Crew)

The CP was usually a replacement; Moede flew "The Laden Maiden" after Owen "Cowboy" Roane had flow her for 13 missions..jb

Sgt Joe Raff - FLEW 3 SEPT 43 PARIS MISSION WITH LT HENRY HENINGTON.
____________________________________________________________________________________
S/SGT JAMES W. GREGG NOTE:

CREW

1ST LT JOHN G. GOSSAGE               P  POW     3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
2ND LT BERTRAND D. McNEILL       CP POW     3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
F/O EDWARD A. WARNER              NAV POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
1ST LT HOWARD G. BALL             BOM POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
T/SGT MICHAEL G. POLANICK      ROG POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
T/SGT ARTHUR A. COOPER           TTE POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
S/SGT THOMAS R. WOODERSON  BTG POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
S/SGT JAMES W. GREGG              RWG POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
S/SGT DONALD B. SACKRIDER     LWG POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)
S/SGT ARTHUR V.R. CONGROVE    TG POW 3 MAR 44 BERLIN (LNDED IN DENMARK)

MACR #3025,
Microfiche #1023
A/C #42-38017
349th Sqdn..
Lt Howard Ball was from the "Original” crew of Lt Donald Oakes and was wounded on 10 Jul 1943 Le Bourget mission. He had been hospitalized for a considerable period. On 3 Mar 44 this crew was flying in the #2 position of the lead element to the lead squadron. There was a tremendous cloud build up and as the lead element entered the cloud some following ships believed they saw an explosion as if a collision had occurred. Later VHF was heard from Gossage saying he intended to try for Sweden. Actually, he landed the plane on a Schlewig airfield (Denmark) thinking he was in Sweden. This probably gave the Germans their first intact B-17 which they later operated.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI NOTE:

Rich Tangradi 
349th, TAILGUNNER 
HORNY 1&2 & LADEN MAIDEN

mr faley have many pics and stories of 349th came to thorpes abbotts july 43 as crewmember of lt al amiera (lt amiero) check spelling its along story why crew was dismantled. I  became spare gunner flew many missions lt henington,  flew 25thmission to paris with the '' cowboy''  his 25th I mean trying to get all this stuff together ill close now keep in touch    rich tangradi (message board 100th bg)

Mr. faley got your message thanks  as best I can I will start from the beginning all dates are aprox. Our crew was assembled in casper wyoming jan. 1943,  from there we went to lowrey field in march on to boise idaho in may for advanced bombing and gunnery  incidently we met the actor jimmy stewert who also was in training, from boise we went to kearney neb. To pick up our big bird what a beautifull plane I say this because when we got to ta (thorpe abbotts)  we were shocked to see what we had to fly in, a once proud lady was now a dirty smelly hulk! From kearney we flew to bangor maine which was at the time the vd capitol of the states keep this statement in mind  we laid over in bangor for a few days we flew to iceland we knew then were we were going we then flew to prestwick scotland  very pretty girls.

Now it gets interesting after we got to ta and settled in the enlisted men of our crew were sent to a place on the english coast. It was a camp for advanced air to air gunnery, it was run by a tiger by the name of capt cohen ill never forget it when we went for our first briefing  capt cohen walked in and said "good mourning gentleman forget all they taught you about gunnery in the united states" gulp! We were there for about a week and he was right "shoot em and kill em".  I also found out you can get hurt in this war  we went back to ta and found out the crew had been busted  after awhile thru the grape vine and other resourses we found why.  Mr. faley it was hard to believe what we heard,  im having a hard time with this after all these years  my wife tells me if you can convince her why you need this information she will agree with me  convince her mr faley ill wait for your answer… Rich Tangradi, TG on first Amiero Crew dec 7, 2005

We never saw the four officers again  Lt. Amiero was probably stuck in some office job , one was sent to the 351 sqdn one was sent to the 418 sqdn  lt menzie was transferred to a pathfinder outfit I believe he was the navigator (CP..mpf)  true all true  mike    I have shots of these men in uniform  if you have a copy of contrails my war record  I can give you there names and page number there on,  how can I get these pictures to you the same with the enlisted men there all in contrails .
I have there names and sqdns there in.  When we get this squared away mike ill tell you about other crews and missions I was on    before I sign off I must tell you that my son and his wife bought me this pc this past june for my 81st birthday  im learning but its tough tough tough  bye…Richard Tangradi, TG  dec 8, 2005

Mike, here is a list of the crew.
 
Pilot - Lt. Al Amiero -  Page 172, Row 2, No. 7
Co-Pilot - Lt. Menzie - No photo
Bom. ? - Lt. L. Hammerlund - Page 206, Row 6, No. 4
Nav. ? - Lt. W. Abbey - Page 218, Row 1, No. 1  (not sure)
TTE/G - T/Sgt. R. Gilbert - Page 175, Row 4, No. 3
RO/G - S/Sgt. E. Griggs - Page 206, Row 4, No. 8
W/G - S/Sgt. J. Raff - Page 180, Row  3, No. 1
W/G - Sgt. J. Gregg  - Page 175, Row 6, No. 7
BT/G - T/Sgt. G. Holton - [Not sure - either with this crew or Hennington, either BT/G or TTE/G) -  Page 176,  Row 4, No. 8
T/G - S/Sgt. R. Tangradi - Page 181, Row 7, No. 7
 
The crew members photos are 2x3 and other photos are 4 x 5…….Rich Tangradi….TG on Amiero Crew (Dec 10, 2005

Mike a little confused here on last report you sent me sgt j. raff flying with capt.moede crew was shot down and captured  going thru pictures to send to you soon came across shot of joe being congratulated on completion of his 25th mission  bottom of shot are letters  gpr-98-2-100-30-1-44 -j.l.raff -25 missions.  From what heard joe transferred to B-26 maurder outfit and did 25 more  the damn nuttttt  am I right mike….   Rich tangradi TG on original Amiero Crew

mike,
 on my last message to you I meant to say I  would get back to you after xmass day have a little more to do on my missions and stories I came across something very interesting about our missing bt/g . On 12/11/05 you listed lt.menzie crew  I stopped at sgt. Jerry korman's name a bell went off  I know this guy I flew with him in the states im not sure mike but if I flew with korman it means he was a menber of lt. amiero's crew! He's not listed as a ro/g on menzies crew. Lets go back to same date s/sgt.earl griggs on org. crew of lt.amiero griggs flew bt/g on lt. floyd's crew kia as bt/g  lets go back to our training in the states. All gunners where classified like t/g was bombers armorer w/g was asst. armorer I think this was j.raff  tte/g took care turrets and sigths bt/g asst.engineer same job ro/g could be korman! w/g j.gregg asst. ro/g   mike I can't recall any turret gunner taking over ro/g position  don't forget theywere trained as radio/operaters  I don't think were looking for a bt/g mike!!!!!  One thougt I'll leave you with if I was lt. menzie and was told to get a crew together woud'nt you pick a guy from your original crew !!!??- I HOPE THIS MAKES SENSE TO YOU MIKE     A POOPED OUT  RICH TANGRADI

mike
came across something last nite had to write yo today! On your page 12/12/05 you ask for stories about sqdn. c/o maj. Veal. This one ties in with sept. 3rd. Mission were henningtons crew ditched.i found my old war diary that I had forgotenb out didn’t even know it existed .i did write about some of my trips.came upon entry of sept.3rd.i had already written a story a bout this mission from memory I'm going to trash that one and give you the true one.  
 
This is the last paragraph of the story as written in my diary.we landed at an air sea rescue base and the people there sure treated us like kings.we stayed here for half a day until MAJOR VEAL came down in another fort and flew us back to our base.i was sure glad to be back.we were the talk of the camp because we were the first crew to ditch in the channel. Isnt this a great story mike! Think of it in only a few hours we were plucked out of the English channel personally flown back to the 349th by none other than the sqdn.co. (Maj Veal) who by the way became a GENARAL!!!! Take care  mike................rich tangradi 1/6/06
 
`Remember when you called me a couple months ago and we started to get into it hot and heavy? I mentioned that episode about the oxygen mask.Let me be a little more elaborate now. It was on a high altitude mission back in the States, you know,twenty five thousand up and forty degrees below  Im back at my position when I started to feel a little funny in the head a little dizzy and things started  to get blurry! I don't know why Mike,but some one told me to get up front real fast! I peeled out of the tail and staggered  up to the waist position.Joe Raff knew exactly what was happening.He grabbed a portable oxygen tank and mask and put it on me!!! I came arround and I was in good shape.So before I went back to the tail Joe Raff, James Gregg and myself agreed that this incident would go no further and  it didn't.  
 
P.S  About that mask freezing Mike we were told over and over a hundred times when your at high altitude don’t forget to squeeze your hose and your mask!!!!!! I goofed up BIG TIME!!!!!!!   Take care  RICH   2/2/2006

HI MIKE  Since were going to get 8 to 12 inches of snow tonight this will be a good time to give you some good stuff.I was turning some pages in my CONTRAILS,when I came across these facts you mite be interested in. On page 88 theres agood shot of my ole crew mate S/SGT. J. KORMAN.You wanted to know if I drank in the HALF MOON pub?No but we did frequent the KINGS HEAD PUB.I see the GOOD PULL INN over on the left,now tell me MIKE how did we ever miss that place!!!!!! Came across shot of COWBOY and crew with MOE, and I know Mike your going think this guy has lost his marbles!!!! This is the GODS honest truth.Im not sure but I think JOE RAFF traded a sheet or blanket with an ARAB for a COM/FHOOT like in boot. Which is a PORCUPINE OR hedgehog! I know,it sounds goofy MIKE but we did bring that animal back to the base. Tell me Im not nuts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Take care Rich Tangradi, 2/11/2006

MIKE Glad you liked that story.Im sure MRS. Veal liked that bit about her husband picking us up.You saay your going to get in touch with Hennington about that hedgehog,I hope He remembers.I want to test His memory again.The time we ditched, everthing whent along great.Everybody got out and rafts where deployed.Five men to each raft.About this time the airsea rescue amphibs. Were coming in.As you know pro to col was, first the injured and Officers go first then the noncoms.Now Im going to test His brains!!!!! Gilbert had a busted up  leg, He boarded first,I called out Sir,Idont feel too good,He says whats wrong, and I say Im sea sick!!!!!  Well I could hear the chuckels behind me.Anyway the Lt. says I can see you don’t look too good, go a head climb in.Mike Ill tell you for a long time those guys gave me a ribbing!!But it’s the truth I swollowed a lot of sea water and it made me deathly sick!!! Well that’s the story Mike I hope Hennington recalls it.
                                         Take care   Rich Tangradi, 2/12/2006

Last mission of Cowboy Roane
HI MIKE  Since were going to get 8 to 12 inches of snow tonight this will be a good time to give you some good stuff.I was turning some pages in my CONTRAILS,when I came across these facts you mite be interested in. On page 88 theres agood shot of my ole crew mate S/SGT. J. KORMAN.You wanted to know if I drank in the HALF MOON pub?No but we did frequent the KINGS HEAD PUB.I see the GOOD PULL INN over on the left,now tell me MIKE how did we ever miss that place!!!!!! Came across shot of COWBOY and crew with MOE, and I know Mike your going think this guy has lost his marbles!!!! This is the GODS honest truth.Im not sure but I think JOE RAFF traded a sheet or blanket with an ARAB for a COM/FHOOT like in boot. Which is a PORCUPINE OR hedgehog! I know,it sounds goofy MIKE but we did bring that animal back to the base. Tell me Im not nuts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Take care Rich tangradi 2/11/2006


Regensburg recollections with Lt Henington Crew
MIKE
        Sent those cards you wanted. Heres a little story you mite like.A couple days ago A&E T.V had program on about fighter planes and pilots starting in WW1 up to WW2, Korea and Viet Nam. In one segament they showed how the pilots developed tactics and manuevers.They told how the German pilots developed what they called  " THE SISTER SCISSOR ACT".Right then a bell rang !!! Lets go back to the Regensburg mission,the Jerry,s tried that on Me.Heres how it works,two fighters out about 1000 or so yards,at 6 oclock level team up about 100 yrds or so apart they start there attach.While coming in they start criss crossing from right to left,left to right. After doing this a few times when there out about 4 or 5 hundred yrds. One peels off and main guy bores in! Can you picture it MIKE, in an instant you got to pick out who,s coming in!!! Guess what,I did and shot his ASS down!!!! Then I think about all those other guys who didn't guess right. Take care Rich Tangradi, TG on Henington Crew Aug 17, 1943  Received the Air Medal for shooting down the Fighter. 

MIKE you When you called the other day, we talked about that fighter I shot down. I would like to go into more detail about that episode. While watching my tracers bounce off that 190`s nose , he started smoking real bad I mean heavy black smoke .By this time he’s pretty close, I mean a few hundred feet out! Suddenly he bails out and the plane dives right under my tail. Mike he was so close I could see his goggles and white scarf!!! I don’t know why but I put my sight on, him and could have cut him in half. Off course I didn’t.
 
Now here Is the second part of this story, the good part. Back at the Base word was going around that the Jerry pilots were shooting our boys while they were in there chutes!!! I thought what the hell if that’s what the bastards want, let’s do the same to there guys. I thought no that ain’t right either. A little while back I’m playing around with my P.C. looking for the ABBEYVILLE KIDS; don’t ask me how MIKE but I got them on! I’m amazed at what I read about these pilots, they flew 50, 60, 80,100,200 and more missions, they had KILLS of the same, 50 70 one guy had over 225 KILLS!!!! Mike this is what really put a torch to my fanny, when I read that almost all of these ACES where shot down 6,7,and some 8 times good GOD no wonder in a day or two, they where up flying again, shooting our boys down. CHRIST no wonder they where all ACES!!!!!!!!!!!!                                  
Now knowing all this MIKE at that time, should I have pulled the triggers? Maybe just maybe the guy I had my sights on was shot down 3 4 maybe 5 times and he went up flying in a day or two and shot my ASS down!!!!!! By the way, all the crews in the BLOODY HUNDREDTH knew about the ABBEYVILLE KIDS and GOERINGS FLYING CIRCUS, we also heard about ADOLF GALLAND!!

Sept 3, 1943 Mission memories: Ditching with Lt Henington
That account of mission on 9/3/43 by Lt. Henington below was accurate.I do recall chutes being shot up by flak, in fact they 
belonged to the Bomb.and Nav.according to the Lt.all the crew agreed,ditching was the right thing to do.I still stand  by my story about Maj. Veal!! That list on Sea Squatters Club was written down as soon as I got card, all crew was there , it has to be right. I recall TTE/Russel Gilbert breaking his leg when we ditched.He was first to board Walrus,and of course I being sea sick ,got on next-!!!

MIKE Glad you liked that story.Im sure MRS. Veal liked that bit about her husband picking us up.You saay your going to get in touch with Hennington about that hedgehog,I hope He remembers.I want to test His memory again.The time we ditched, everthing whent along great.Everybody got out and rafts where deployed.Five men to each raft.About this time the airsea rescue amphibs. Were coming in.As you know protocol was, first the injured and Officers go first then the noncoms.Now Im going to test His brains!!!!! Gilbert had a busted up  leg, He boarded first,I called out Sir,I don't feel too good,He says whats wrong, and I say Im sea sick!!!!!  Well I could hear the chuckels behind me.Anyway the Lt. says I can see you don’t look too good, go a head climb in.Mike Ill tell you for a long time those guys gave me a ribbing!!But it’s the truth I swollowed a lot of sea water and it made me deathly sick!!! Well that’s the story Mike I hope Hennington recalls it.
                                         Take care   Rich Tangradi

Remembrance of Justice Crew:
Mike 
       Thanks for the help.It brought back a lot of memories I had forgotten.I was looking at Lt. Justice,s crew and 
       saw s/sgt. Sportelli,s name.Let me tell you a little story about Sport.one day at base he came over to me 
       and say,s hey Tan, I got a pass and im a little short can you lend a few pounds.Of course I gave it to him,
       we were pretty good friends.Well you know he was killed on that Munster mission.He was a nice guy Mike.
       About that mission,wasn’t that the first time the me 110,s and 210,s laid back out of range of our 50,s and 
      lobbed in there long range rockets, and wiped out the group!? Boy how did I miss that one!!!! And wasn’t
      this one the beginning of Rosies legend?
      
     Mike I got to tell you this is a great new website .Got to go now. Take care  Rich Tangradi, TG Amiero/Henington crews
     PS if you thought Steve McQueen had a Great Escape, wait till you read mine!!!!!

                 From Rich Tangradi Diary:
Left the States on July 3, 1943, Spent 4th in Scottland over a quart of Scotch.  Woman were very friendly, in fact very, very, friendly!!!!!!
We had to leave our airplane here. Hated to do it but orders are orders.  We were sent to the 100 Bomb Group known to the Jerries as the Century Bombers, the hottest group in the E.T.O.

My first mission was over Kiel (July 25, 1943) 

Missiions of S/Sgt Rich Tangradi

1.   25 JUL  1943    KIEL
2.   17 AUG 1943    REGENSBURG  (WITH LT HENINGTON CREW) credited with shooting down fighter and received Air Medal.
3.   31 AUG 1943    MEULAN Les MERUEAUX (WITH LT HENINGTON CREW)
4.    3 SEPT 1943   PARIS  (WITH LT HENINGTON CREW) HIT BY FLAK AFTER BOMB RELEASE, #3 ENGINE ON FIRE, ANOTHER LOST TURBO AND ANOTHER PROP RAN AWAY, MADE A DIVING SPIRAL TO FOOL FIGHTERS. It WORKED, AT CRITIQUE SEVERAL CREWS REPORTED "THEY SPUN DOWN IN FLAMES".  WE WOULD HAVE BAILED OUT, BUT FLAK HIT AND UNPACKED TWO CHUTES.  WE CARRIED A SPARE BUT THAT LEFT US ONE SHORT.  I GAVE THE CREW THE OK TO BAIL OUT AND THAT I WAS GOING TO DITCH IF IT DIDN'T BLOW UP.  STILL ON FIRE, LEVELED AT 4000 FEET, STARTED A SLOW DECENT CROSSING THE COAST NEAR DEPPE AT 500 FEET, AND DITCHED EIGHT MILES OFF SHORE.  NO INJURIES, THE AIRCRAFT FLOATED THREE HOURS.  SIX CREW MEMBERS WERE PICKED UP BY TWO RAF WALRUS SEAPLANES.  THE FOUR REMAINING TO GO IN THE THRID WALRUS, BUT COULD NOT GET AIRBORNE.  THE LEFT PONTOON HAD TAKEN WATER AND WE COULD ONLY CIRCLE.  WE WERE TAKEN ABOARD A ROYAL NAVY PT BOAT THAT TOOK THE WALRUS IN TOW FOR A SLOW CHANNEL CROSSING.  FROM 10 MINUTES AFTER OUR DITCHING TILL THE PT BOAT WAS HALFWAY TO PORT, WE HAD CONSTANT COVER OF 3-5 SPITFIRES.  DUE TO HEAVY MISSION COMMUNICATIONS, WE COULD NOT CONTACT OUR BASE.  NEXT MORNING, THE RAF FLEW US HOME (SGT TANGRADI SAYS MAJ VEAL CAME TO TAKE THEM BACK TO BASE)TO LEARN WE WERE MIA (SHOT DOWN OVER FRANCE).  (CREW EARNED ENTRY INTO GOLDFISH CLUB AND SEA SQATTERS CLUB)

CREW ON SEP 3, 1943 MISSION TO PARIS  A/C 42-30611 "HORNY"

2nd LT. HENRY M. HENINGTON        P CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS
2nd LT. HOMER A. TRIPP                 CP CPT 31 DEC 1943 PARIS
2nd LT. J. WARD  DALTON JR.       NAV KIA 24 SEP 1943 EAC/Practice Mission   
2nd LT. A. FAHLSTEDT                 BOM SWA   3 SEP 1943 PARIS
S/SGT WALLACE J. MEYER             TTE POW 22 APL 1944 HAMM  (RICH TANGRADI SAYS T/SGT GILBERT WAS ON THIS 
                                                                                                                 MISSION AND  BROKE HIS LEG.)
T/SGT JOSEPH W. RODRICK           ROG NOC     
S/SGT NATHAN F. HOLTON            BTG CPT 22 DEC 1943 MUNSTER
S/SGT HAROLD J. JANDERUP          WG POW  4 FEB 1944 FRANKFURT(Flew with Lt John Brown Crew, see note below)
S/SGT JOE RAFF                               WG CPT   30 JAN 1944 BRUNSWICK (FROM Lt AMiERO AND LT DON MOEDE  CREW)
S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI          TG POW    4 FEB 1944 FRANKFURT(Flew with Lt John Brown Crew, see note below)  

5.  03 NOV 43       WILHEMSHAVEN
6.  05 NOV 43       GILSENKIRCHEN
7.  07 NOV 43       DUREN
     11 NOV 43       MUNSTER-RECALL (LEAD CREW WITH COL CHICK HARDING AS COMMAND PILOT) 
     16 NOV 43       RJUKAN, NORWAY (HEAVY WATER) LEAD CREW WITH COL JOHN BENNETT AS COMMAND PILOT (BUMPED FROM CREW,
                           CP FLEW AS FORMATION OFFICER ON THIS MISSION)
8.   26 NOV 43      PARIS (COWBOY'S LAST MISSION)

STARTING 3 NOV 43 2ND LT OWEN D. "COWBOY" ROANE IS A LEAD PILOT. HIS CREW CONSISTS OF:

2ND LT OWEN D. (COWBOY) ROANE     P
F/0  REGINALD A. "SMITTY" SMITH       CP/FORMATION OFFICER (TRANSFERRED FROM RAF) POW 20/2/44  POSEN & SETTIN
CAPT. JOSEPH H. "BUBBLES" PAYNE    NAV  (FROM CAPT. EVE BLAKELY CREW)
CAPT. ROBERT K. PEEL                      BOM  (CAME OVER WITH ORIGINAL CADRE, LEAD BOMBARDIER)
T/SGT CLARENCE R. TOMB               ROG  (ORIGINAL COWBOY CREW MEMBER)
T/SGT ROBERT A. STUART               TTE  (ORGINAL COWBOY CREW MEMBER)
T/SGT   RICHARD DETWEILER          LWG  (CAME FROM LT VICTOR REED CREW)
           ?                                         BTG
           ?                                        RWG
S/SGT RICHARD TANGRADI               TG  (FROM LT AMIERO CREW)

CREW ON 16/11/43 RJUKAN MISSION-  GROUP LEAD: 
 
COMMAND PILOT:                  MAJ. JOHN M. BENNETT 
LEAD PILOT:                          LT OWEN "COWBOY" ROANE 
CP/FORMATION OFFICER:      F/O REGINALD A. "SMITTY" SMITH  (FLEW IN TAIL)
LEAD NAVIGATOR:                 CAPTAIN JOSEPH "BUBBLES" PAYNE
LEAD BOMBARDIER:               CAPTAIN ROBERT PEEL
TOP TURRET ENGINEER:        T/SGT ROBERT A. STUART     
RADIO OPERATOR GUNNER:   T/SGT CLARENCE R. TOMB  
BALL TURRET GUNNER:             ?      
LEFT WAIST GUNNER:            T/SGT RICHARD DETWEILER             
RIGHT WAIST GUNNER:             ?                                         
TAIL GUNNER:                       S/SGT RICHARD TANGRADI ((BUMPED FROM CREW, CP FLEW AS FORMATION OFFICER ON THIS MISSION)
*********************************************************************************************************************************************
LAST MISSION OF S/SGT RICH TANGRADI: 4 FEB 1944 FRANKFURT

CREW
2ND LT JOHN W.BROWN                    P EVADEE 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
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. AMBRUST            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
    SGT GORDON F. KEON                BTG POW     4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
   SGT  OWEN D. STOCKTON            WG POW     6 MAR 44 BERLIN

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)
 S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA       TTE POW  (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW)
 S/SGT WILLIAM F. KEMP        WG KIA    (FIRST MISSION)
 S/SGT HAROLD F. JANDERUP  WG POW  (FROM LT HENINGTON CREW)    
 S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI  TG POW (FROM original LT AMIERO CREW)  Wounded on mission, received Purple Heart)

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 meager understanding 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.

Here is the real story about what happened to Lt Brown Crew by S/Sgt Tangradi:

Mike as you read the story of my last mission .2/4/44.we had no flak damage,I repeat no flak damage,period!!!! We
aborted way before we got to Frankford.S/SGT. Kemp was not wounded by flak.He didn’t have a scratch on him.I am 
sending you proof of above statement.Hang on to your chute Boss.it aint over yet, didn’t somebody once say that???
Mike will send you real story of shoot down 2/4/44.soon.  Richard Tangradi, TG

Mike ,
        In respect to the Officers who flew this mission,this is the first time I have told this story in its entirety.As you read on you will know why.We aborted the mission to Frankford 2/4/44,we were mostly hit by flak! We were above the  overcast about 10,000 ft.  Everything was OK until I spotted a small speck come out of the overcast maybe a thousand feet or more.  It was going in and out of the overcast as he was coming in.  I could see it was a fighter.  As it got closer, it was a 190.  I hit the intercom to alert the crew.  Guess what?  It was dead.  I wanted to run up to the waist to tell the guys, but then I thought I couldn't leave my position with this fighter on my tail.  I picked him up at about 600 feet out and squeezed the triggers.  Guess what again?  No music.  I believe the guns were frozen.  I grabbed both charging handles and pulled like hell.  They wouldn't budge.  I hit the intercom again.  It was still dead.  Jerry must have known something was wrong because I wasn't firing at him.  Boy, then he came right in, I mean 200 feet, and opened up.  All hell broke loose.  I could hear and feel his shells hitting all over the plane.  This seemed like it was going on for hours but it was only a couple of minutes.  Then everything was quiet.  I looked out and he was gone.
 
I figured I had better get up front to see what was going on.  I reached for my chute with both arms but only my right arm came up.  My left arm would not move.  I had no feeling in it.  Later on, a German Red Cross doctor told me that shrapnel had fractured my arm between the elbow and shoulder.  I was also hit in my right forearm but not too seriously.
 
I grabbed my chute and went up to the waist position.  The waist gunners didn't realize the shape we were in. The plane was vibrating and shaking something terrible and I could see smoke coming out of the two starboard engines.  The ball turret gunner was getting out of his ball and, my God, it looked like a 20 took his whole elbow out.  The radio gunner came out of his room and his face was full of blood,  He was holding his arms out in front of him.  All ten of his fingers looked white candles; they were frostbitten.  I grabbed Kemp and asked him to put my chute on.  He kind of stared at me as if asking, "how come?"  Blood started rolling down my wrist.  I showed him  and he shook his head like, "OK, now I understand".    He snapped it on and I told him to help the other two me.  Sgt.  Florida was coming out of the bomb bay.  I asked Janderup to go up front and find out what was going on.  Seconds later, he came running back shouting, "Hey Tan, hey Tan, there ain't nobody up front in the cockpit".  I hollered out, "What are you talking about, Pappy?"  He said, "The officers bailed out".
 
Now, I want to jump ahead and explain my opening statement to this story.  When I got back to England and was briefed on how we were shot down, I never told of how Pappy came back from the cockpit and what he said.  I don't believe the pilot abandoned his crew.  I firmly believe he hit the bail out button but the plane's systems were so badly shot up that the bail out button didn't work.  Janderup popped the waist door.  He looked me in the eyes, said, "See you, Tan" and jumped.  I looked at the other guys, kind of stared, and I went out.  The slip stream sucked the breath right out of me.  I 'm turning, twisting and tumbling.  You don't know where up or down is.  I pulled the rip cord when I got into the overcast.  There was a big bang and a jolt and I came to a sudden stop.   All at once, it was real quiet and still.  I am floating down and snow is coming up and hitting me in the face.  You know, it's not coming down on your head, it's coming up in your face, a real odd feeling.  Now I am thinking how and where I'm going to land.  I hope it's not in the water; I went through that before.  I got one arm, it's snowing in February, if I come down in the cold sea, forget it, I'm a goner.  I'm looking down and things below start to get darker.  I'm hoping it isn't water.  It turns out I'm coming down over a forest.  I can make out trees as far as I can see.  Now , I'm moving a little faster, in fact, those trees are coming up real fast.  No time to think.  I can't maneuver the chute with one arm.  As things turned out, I'm drifting backwards and I hit this big pine and slowly slid down like on an elevator landing on my butt in about 10 or 12 inches of snow.  I couldn't have done it better if I had two good arms and knew what I was doing, which I didn't.  OK, what's the first thing you do in a situation like this?  You light up a Lucky, that's what.  There I am, a 19 year old kid all busted up, God know where, sitting in the snow and smoking an American Lucky Strike cigarette.  After a couple more cigs, I got to do something.  I got to get out of these woods before it gets dark.  By the way, it was about 10:00 A.M.  I pulled out my escape kit, got the compass, checked it out and figured I had to go west.  I got out of my chute and harness and started walking.
 
Mike, if you don't believe in miracles, I'm going to make a believer out of you now.  I didn't walk more than 20, 25 feet when something on my right caught my eye.  So help me, it was two young boys walking on a road which I couldn't see.  I didn't know if I should cough or give the old, "hey, kid".  Anyway, they stopped, kind of startled, looking into the woods trying to see me.   I walked out to the road and tried to tell them I was an American.  They didn't understand.  I pointed to my left arm which by now was completely covered in blood.  I'm trying to tell them I need a doctor.  They recognized that word and I think they got the message.  I gave them a pack of smokes.  They lit up and motioned to me to follow them.  We came to an open field and I could see an old farm house.  One of the kids ran into the house and an old guy came out and motioned me to come in.  There was an old woman inside who told me to sit down at the table and brought me a cup of coffee and a slice of bread.  They treated me pretty nice.
 
About this farm house, it must have been 100 years old, bare floors, no ceiling, no furniture except the table and some chairs.  It had a loft where they slept.  By the way, the barn was connected to the house and it smelled like it.  Finish up that last story.remember I was in this old farmhouse .Mabey half hour  later this big guy bust in ,you know black leather jacket,black boots ,the whole bit! He told me sit down,in perfect english of course.He ask me if I was on that bomber that just crashed? I denied it .He told me come follow me outside.Idont recall how or when we were in this town ,in an old building. I met Janderup here and He was on crutches,He tells me he landed on a roof, and broke His leg!!! Isnt that great, after what we just went thru, He breaks a leg on a roof! Then He tells me kind of hush hush, Kemp was in the bomber when it crashed.I later found out another crew member identified Him. Thats it for the shoot down MIKE now the POW story begins.WHEN I get it all together,Ill get back to you. Those little maggots,UGHHHH!!    Rich Tangradi

Mike
       Ill pick it up where I left "pappy" (Janderup) with his broken leg. Iwas then taken to a place that looked like a beautifull ski
       resort in the mountains.I learned that the German Red Cross turned it iinto a hospital, for the good guys and 
       the bad! Im in this room with a German doctor and a male nurse.They cleaned me up and the doc. Tells me 
       I have to set that broken bone we have no pain killers or any kind of medicines.I told him I understood.to go on
       and do it.It must of hurt,but I don’t remember that part.My arm was then taped to a wire frame which held my 
       arm up and straight out from my shoulder.my arm hanging down at elbow.By turning my head to the left,I 
       could look right at the three small wounds in my arm.Here comes the good part,Mike!! There was a container
       on the table,and with a pair of tweezers,he picked out a MAGGOTT and put one in each wound!!!!!! I thought
       my God hes going to kill me.The doc.looked at me and said, its allright this procedure was done by doctors
       in Spain for a hundred years.He told me that maggotts ate the decaying flesh as the wounds healed This 
       prevented gangrene and blood poisning.He told me he had done this many,many times. He then bandaged
       my arm to this wire frame from the shoulder to the elbow.He then put a cast over this.He then says in two or
       so weeks this is going to smell something awfull and its going to itch so bad it will drive you crazy!!!! The smell
       was terrable, like rotten garbage or something dead! ,boy was he ever right.The itch was terrable you couldn’t
       scratch it because of the cast.I stayed here at the hospital for about a week. From here I was taken to the 
        interragation center in Frankfurt.where I was kept in this small room 6x6x8 ft.This guy would come in everyday
       about the same time and hand me a form to fill out.As you know Mike the Geneva Convention says we only have
        to give them name,rank,and serial no.witch I did.Then he would give me the bull.look if you want to see all your
        friends, just fill out form and well get you on a train and take you to the camp to see your friends.This game went
         on for four or five days.They then took a gang of us to the railroad station in Frankfurt.This is great our guys had
         just bombed the hell out of this city and there parading us thru the station!!!!!The civilians knew who we were
         they were cursing and spitting at us boy they were mad.This one old man was waving this big black umbrella
        at me ,I thought oh boy hes going to wack me on my arm,thank God he didn’t Ill tell you this our guards were 
         just as scared as we were!!!! We got on the train and were told by a guard that we were going to the camp.
         
          Rich Tangradi

Mike  you made my day, I didn’t think you were going to believe this .one, thanks.your right about the decaying flesh,
that’s what smelled.the itching was caused by bits and pieces coming from the wounds and mixing with my sweat under  the cast.I want to tell you two story,s related to this incident.when we were brought from the hospital to the camp,  and  I got settled in, I checked in with the camp doctor he looked at my arm,and told me everthing was ok , he knew about those little maggotts.he also assured me that it would stink and itch to high heaven!!!! He also told me why. After I got discharged and im home in Philly 1945 I got a letter from the V.A. who had a small clinic in town., told  me I was being awarded a 10% disabilaty for my war wounds.they wanted me to come in for an exam and to fill out some forms. I told the doc the story of what happened and he to knew what I was talking about, he knew  about those little meat eaters!!!!!   take care    Rich 
           
         by the way Mike that 10% was worth 20 bucks a month! 1945 a lot of money, rite?

MEMO 2:

CREW MEMO - PART II

       When I left off before we were put on a train in Frankfurt and sent to a town about a mile outside the pow 
        camp.There we were met by some goons called German Marines.these guys were really bad and cruel
         with fixed bayonets they ordered us out and to start trotting.You have to rember all the men were car-
         rying stuff ,personal belongings RedCross packages if they got them.Then they started yelling, faster,
         faster. Of course we started to drop things off you know to make things lighter! That was why they made
         us run.All the civilians and some soldiers were picking all thjs stuff up..III tell you no body had too much 
         left when we got camp.Those civilians in that town must have loved us pow,s.The gates were opened and 
         all the boys greeted us with the all the catcalls, like did you bring me anything from the States, did you get 
         enough exercise,your going to love the food here, the restaurants are great the movies are good!!!!
         Good old American fun, Mike, right?
                         
         I cant recall to much about camp life ,like eating that great food, sleeping on those hard slats Iknow I 
        -went to Sunday service,I don’t recall playing any sports which I love.The Red Cross gave base ball 
         equiptment,footballs, etc.I do recall roll calls in the morn. And night,if there was one man late or 
         absent you stayed in formation until he showed up! And many a day a guy was missing.Im sure you
         heard this one Mike about the British pows who bribed the guards for radio parts. Its true, everyweek
         they would assemble the parts and get the war news from London!!!! They would then pass it on to us
         We knew more about our troops and our front lines then our guards did!
         
          As you know the Geneva Convention says all pows must be moved when the front lines are fifty  
         miles away.  That's why we went on that infamous forced march in early February.  We were taken to a port 
         on the Baltic Sea.  I remember climbing down a long iron ladder to the bottom of a dirty, rusty, stinking hull.
         There were hundreds of us down there - unbelievable.  We were on this death trip for two, three days.  Did the 
         Germans forget that the Russians had bombers too?  How about submarines?   I don't know where we got off
          the ship but that's where we started to march.  We marched on roads through fields, woods and towns.  At
          night, we would sleep on the roads or out on the open fields.  Once in a while, they would put us up in these
          huge barns.  It wasn't too bad, straw on the floor and we were out of the wind and the cold.  We learned that 
          the owners of these buildings were rich farmers who were called "Burgermeister", sort of like our town mayor.
 
          I'm going to stop now, Mike, and will finish this story tonight.  Take care.
 
          Rich Tangradi TG 

Mike 
        This was the routine for the next 60 or so days,one night I tells sam ,I cant take this any more Ive got to get 
        out of here,Im going to make a break for it .sam tells me ok tan ill go with you.I told him about all these 
        bends and curves in this road and if we time it right we might get into the woods.by the way most the guards
        were a bunch of old guys.  They were about 100 feet apart.  I told Sam that we go at the next curve.  The curve 
        came up, I grabbed Sam and said, "Let's go".  We were in the woods running like hell.  There were no shots
        fired so I figured so far, so good.  After a while, we stopped for a rest.  Then we started walking into the sun.
        I knew the sun sets in the west and that is the way we had to go.  So we just moving through the woods until it 
        got dark and then we camped out for the night.  By the way, all we had to eat were potatoes which we ate raw.
 
        The second day was the same as the first, walking and resting.  The third morning was a little more exciting.
         We could hear the sound of artillery and the ground was vibrating a little.  We were walking until about noon 
          when we went over this hill and there looking down we saw our guys.  It was the British troops.  What can I
          Say?  Sam and I started running down that hill.  We ran out on the road and this jeep pulled up and this Brit\
          got out and said  "POWs" and we shouted back, "Americans, Americans".  I remember he gave us a bottle
          of wine and some K-rations which tasted damn good.  He told us to get in and he would take us back to the
          town where they were set up for POWs.  
 
          When we got to the town, they told us we would be put on trucks and taken to an airfield where we would be
          flown back to England.  That's what happened.  When we got to the airfield, they put us on British Lancaster
          bombers and we were flown back to England.
 
          Mike, I'll finish up tonight or tomorrow.    Take care.    Rich Tangradi TG, Amiero, Henington, Brown Crews

***************************************************************************************************
Mike I’ll open by saying like the others, these stories are true. When Sam and I took off from the column. About the 2nd day in the woods, we walked out into this opening there were four or five German soldiers, kinda young and in Uniform!-I says to sam, oh boy were in trouble, they were just as surprised as we were mike. I didn’t see any weapons
I kinda mumble out, were Americans where are the front lines. This one guy says, in perfect English. About one day that way, pointing I thought was west. I’m thinking when we turn around these guys are going jump us. I'm thing these guys are deserters and are just waiting for our boys to pick them up. We moved on .next morn, we started walking and we started to hear it, that rumbling of gun fire!!!! Now that’s a beautiful sound. So we kept on walking. I guess it was about noontime were going up this little hill ,we could hear all kinda stuff, like halftracks, tanks, trucks, all kind of beautiful stuff!!!! When Sam and I got up on that hill there they were, our guys they were limeys but they were our beautiful guys. I got to stop here mike.

I think Sam and I broke the 100 yrd. Dash to get down to that road!!!! A jeep pulled up to us and this little burly guy jumps out and shouts POWS, Sam and I yell, yea AMERICANS. This great ENGLISHMAN who was a 1st. Sgt. Gave us a hug mike I think the three of us did a little crying .he gave us a bottle of wine and some k-rations which
we took care off real fast. Let me make this point clear mike all there equipment had on it the white star so when  Sam and I ran down to the road, we thought they were AMERICANS. They were BRITS sgt. Yells out jump in I’ll take you back to town where there set up for you pows. I’ll take a break now mike

*****************************************************************************************************************

as I finished with that first part,sam and I got in the jeep ,and started back to town.now were
on the outskirts we pull up alongside a bunch of, guess what,german POWS!!!!i holler out
hey srg.pull up for a minute.you know mike I wanted to look at these guys close up.i wanted
to look right in there faces and tell them I had mine now your going get yours,you bastards!
Yea sam and I were kinda pissed.this one jerry looking at me with that arrogant look they 
all have.i bellied up to him and says what the hell are you staring at.srg comes over and I
tell him everythings ok you know srg.i want that medal this guys wearing ror a souvernier
he says take it.i reached out and this jerry jumps back and starts shouting nein, nein,he 
puts his arms across his chest.nein with that real belligerent look.the srg pushes me aside
and pulls out his 45 automatic,and yells give him the f---ing medaL!!!!!!! Give him the f---ing
medal.so help me God mike he would have shot him right there.i yells at the srg. I don’t 
want to kill this guy for that medal ill get something else off him about this time he sits down
and pulls up his pants and hes pointing at a nasty looking wound.in his leg,I looks at the 
brit that must be a purple heart, like we get,shaped more like an iron cross.ill tell you that 
englishman was one mad cat,the only thing I could see taking off this guy was his belt and
buckle.by this time hes a real pussy cat,when he handed it to me im looking at the buckle
what do think was printed on that thing, GOTT MITT UNS!!!! Mike that says GOD BE WITH
US!!!!!!i  I looked at that guy and said you SOB all the killing and misery you people caused
in this world you have the gaul to wear this thing with that saying on it God forgive me, but 
I almost told that srg shoot the sunofabitch,after a few minutes of terrible tension srg says
ok boys I gotta get back to my troops .ive never forgot him,or that jerry ,he was only taking
 orders right mike.                             Take care rich

***************************************************************************************************************

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Frankfurt DATE: 1944-02-04  
AIRCRAFT: "Dobie" (42-39799) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 Richard A. Tangradi, TG on the Albert F. Amiero crew. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Richard A. Tangradi 

 

From left: Robert K. Peel, "Smithy" Smith, Cowboy Roane, Joseph "Bubbles" Payne at that time the 100th's Lead Navigator, and Rich Tangradi.   (100th Photo Archives)

 From left: Robert K. Peel, "Smithy" Smith, Cowboy Roane, Joseph "Bubbles" Payne at that time the 100th's Lead Navigator, and Rich Tangradi. (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

Crew 3

ID: 5105