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S/SGT  John K. WILLIAMS

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: 36182662 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 00685 CR: 00685

Comments1: 3 SEP 43 BEAUMONT Le ROGER

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW  
                            1ST LT ALVIN L. BARKER
                            ORGINAL 100TH PILOT

CREW #25  A/C #42-30059  "BARKER'S BURDENS"      MACR #685

1ST LT  ALVIN L. BARKER                    P;  KIA    8 OCT 43 BREMEN (WITH CREW 22, CAPT MURPHY CREW)
2ND LT  CHARLES W. FLOYD, JR         CP;  KIA    3 SEP 43 PARIS
2ND LT  ROBERT  M. ROSENBERG     NAV;  POW  3 SEP 43 PARIS     
2ND LT  FRANK C. COON                  BOM; POW  3 SEP 43 PARIS
T/SGT   WILLIAM H. STROUD            TTE; RFS    TRANSFERRED TO 447TH BG
S/SGT   EDWIN I. MORGAN                WG; POW  24 MAY 44 BERLIN  (With crew of E.J.Siewert)
T/SGT   THEODORE W. PRICE           ROG; KIA    3 SEP 43 PARIS
S/SGT   ROBYN P. FULTON                BTG; POW  6 MAR 44 BERLIN    (with G.W.Brannan)
S/SGT   JOHN K. WILLIAMS                WG; KIA    3 SEP 43 PARIS
S/SGT   JOHN M. NEAL                       TG; KIA    3 SEP 43 PARIS

351st Sqdn. An Original crew with the 100th.  
Barker was made Operations officer of the 351st and Floyd became pilot of the crew. On 3/9/43,Lt Jack C.Boyd,who had flown overseas with the group as a spare, was the CP. Also,on 3/9/43,S/Sgt EARL GRIGGS & Dale Huffer were flying in place of Willis Stroud & Robyn Fulton and both were KIA as was Lt Boyd. Lt.Peter Theodore,Asst. Station Gunnery Officer,flew in place of Sgt. E.I.Morgan and was KIA. Sgt.Fulton had received a Purple Heart in Aug.1943. 

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.

CHARLES FLOYD HAD MOVED UP TO PILOT WHEN ALVIN BARKER BECAME SQUADRON OPERATIONS OFFICER, FLOYD'S CO-PILOT SEAT WAS TAKEN BY LT JACK C BOYD, WHO HAD FLOWN OVERSEAS WITH THE GROUP.  BOTH PILOTS WERE KIA. THE NAVIGATOR, LT  ROBERT ROSENBURG AND THE BOMBARDIER, LT FRANK COON, WERE PROABLY BLOWN OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT, BOTH BECAME POWS. S/SGT EARL GRIGGS AND SGT DALE HUFFERS WERE FLYING IN PLACE OF REGULAR CREWMEN, WILLIS STROUD AND ROBYN FULTON; BOTH WERE KIA.  LT PETER THEODORE, STATION ASSISTANT GUNNERY OFFICER, WAS ALSO ON BOARD AND WAS KIA. ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT REQUIRED TO FLY MISSIONS THIS WAS HIS FOURTH. LT THEODORE WAS HELD IN HIGH ESTEEEM BY THE GUNNERS OF THE 100TH.

T/SGT   WILLIAM H. STROUD  TTE; RFS after 7 missions due to illness, TRANSFERRED TO 447TH BG

Robert Rosenberg changed name to Robert M.Rowen. Address:121 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd,PA 19004.

MISSIONS OF CAPT. ALVIN BARKER (from Paul Andrews appendix in Luck of the Draw by Frank Murphy…mpf)


#        DATE                         TARGET                               A/C #                 A/C NAME                       COMMENTS:

1.      26/06/43                    LeMANS                          230184                     MUGGS 
2.      28/06/43                    ST NAZAIRE                    230086                     BLACK JACK
3.      10/07/43                    Le BOURGET                   230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS
NC     14/07/43                    Le BOURGET                   230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS       #3 ENGINE, RUNNING ROUGH
4.      17/07/43                    HAMBURG                       230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS  
                       CAPT. BARKER IS MADE 351ST OPERATIONS OFFICER
5.      26/07/43                    HANOVER                       230089                     SUNNY       (Low Squadron Lead with Glenn Dye Crew) 
6.      08/10/43                    BREMEN                           25864                     PICCADILLY LILY (shot down with Capt. Murphy Crew)  
**************************************************************************************************************
MISSIONS FLOWN WITH BOTH CAPT. BARKER AND LT FLOYD:

#        DATE                         TARGET                               A/C #                 A/C NAME                       COMMENTS:

1.      26/06/43                    LeMANS                          230184                     MUGGS 
2.      28/06/43                    ST NAZAIRE                    230086                     BLACK JACK
3.      10/07/43                    Le BOURGET                   230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS
NC     14/07/43                    Le BOURGET                   230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS       #3 ENGINE, RUNNING ROUGH
4.      17/07/43                    HAMBURG                       230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS  
                       CAPT. BARKER IS MADE 351ST OPERATIONS OFFICER, LT FLOYD BECOMES 1ST PILOT
NC    25/07/43                     KIEL                               230059                     BARKER'S BURDENS       BLEW TIRE ON TAKE OFF
5.     28/07/43                     OSCHERSLEBEN               230059                      BARKER'S BURDENS       RECALL
NC    29/07/43                     WARNEMUNDE                230059                      BARKER'S BURDENS       RETURNED EARLY, OXYGEN LEAK
6.     30/07/43                     KASSEL                          230057                      RAUNCHY
7.     12/08/43                     WESSELING                    230059                      BARKER'S BURDEN
NC    17/08/34                     REGENSBURG                  230059                      BARKER'S BURDEN        RETURNED EARLY, ENGINE FAILURE
8.     19/08/43                     WOENSDRECHT              230035                      TORCHY
9.     24/08/43                     EVREUX-FAUVILLE           230059                      BARKER'S BURDEN
10.   03/09/43                     PARIS                            230059                      BARKER'S BURDEN        MID AIR COLLISION        
          

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 (see above for Floyd's original crew)
 Jack C.Boyd             2nd Lt CP    KIA
 Robert M.Rosenberg 2nd Lt N    POW
 Frank C.Coon           2nd Lt B    POW
 Theodore W.Price    T/Sgt R    KIA
 John M.Neal             S/Sgt E    KIA
 Earl Griggs               S/Sgt BT   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

FROM CASUALTY REPORT FOR RICHARD KING: Crash Information:
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.

Lt.Theodore,Assistant Station Gunnery officer and and a very early member of th 100th,was under no duty or obligation to fly combat missions but he firmly be-leived that only by knowing at first hand the problems encountered by combat crew gunners could he be of help to them and gain their trust and respect. This was the fourth mission he had flown and he had demonstrated great coolness and courage in action.



Of interest in this regard is the following statement given by Robert Rosenberg many months after the event:

"The target, the Renault Works at Paris, was hidden by cloud when our group reached the target area.  Flak was relatively heavy and fairly accurate.  Our Group commander was knocked out of the formation and during the ensuing period in which the deputy commander moved into the group lead our plane was hit in the number three engine.  Through skillful flying, Lts. Floyd and Boyd were able to keep control and maintain our position, No. 3, low squadron, low group.  As we proceeded away from the target area to the secondary target at Evreux, German fighters joined the attack.  We reached Paris at 0845 but did not leave until almost 0900.  The fighters succeeded in sending many bullets through the plane without causing any injury to any crew members or any material damage to the plane.

"At about 0920 I began re loading the nose guns from the ammunition case on which I was sitting while the bombardier kept a sharp lookout.  I had finished loading two of the guns when the pilot began to say something over the intercom.  Before he could finish speaking, he, the co pilot and bombardier apparently saw German fighters re forming to renew the attack.  I began firing the right nose gun at an incoming fighter and while so engaged felt the plane jump violently.  Observers whom I met later tell me that a plane salvoed its bombs from the high squadron just before it blew up.  One of the bombs hit our already damaged and feathered #3 engine and caused our plane to maneuver into the plane of the flight leader (m is was Lt. V. Fienup  Crew #21), from which plane, already on fire, the crew members were bailing out.  Our plane was now out of formation with the left wing tip and right mid wing section ablaze.  The pilot and copilot were still fighting and managing to retain a modicum of control.  German fighters were closing in on us and everybody was concentrating on returning the fire of these oncoming ships. Word came across the intercom to abandon ship but before I could make a move, the ship seemingly exploded.  I recovered consciousness four days later.  We were not permitted any freedom while in the hospital at Paris but from what little I could learn, the bombardier, Frank C. Coon, and I were the only survivors. All the while we were imprisoned; we fruitlessly sought to learn of some small word of the fate of the rest of the crew."

Frank Cocn was also blown from the ship but recovered in time to pull the ripcord.

John M. Neal is commemorated on The Wall of the Missing at the Brittany American Cementary.

Dale Huffer is commemorated on The Wall of the Missing at The Lorraine American Cementary, Saint Avold, France.

LT CHARLES W. FLOYD BURIED: AMERICAN MILITARY CEMETERY AT OMAHA BEACH GRAVE D-7-40

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE: 1943-09-03  
AIRCRAFT: "Skyway Chariot" (43-37521) CAUSE: Collided with 42-30089  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Alvin L. Barker Crew (left to right)
Standing: Alvin Barker (P), S. Hayne (CP), John Neal (TG), Edwin Morgan (WG), John K Williams (WG)
Kneeling: Robyn Fulton (BTG), Theodore Price (ROG), Frank Coon (BOM), Willis Stroud (TTE)

Picture taken at Walla Walla, WA about February, 1943
 (Courtesy of Thorpe Abbotts Tower Museum Archives - January, 2006)

Notes: S. Hayne (CP) did not fly to England with the 100th BG. Willis Stroud (TTE) RFS (illness) after 7 missions and transferred to the 447th BG.

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 5556