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CAPT  Frank G. LAURO

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

Capt Frank Lauro official USAAF photo. (100th BG Archives)

SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 8 APR 44 QUACKENBRUCK, AF

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

 Capt Frank G. Lauro                    P  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK TAPS: 1978
 Lt Emanuel E. "Joe" Greasamar   CP  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK
 Lt Emery Horvath                 NAV  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK
 Lt Walter Green                   B0M  CPT  27/4/44 THIONVILLE, LeCULOT
 T/Sgt Nelson King                ROG  RFS  29/11/43  BREMEN (FROSTBITE) (Awarded Silver Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal)
 S/Sgt Harry H.Greenfield       ROG  CPT  8/7/44 CLAMECY-JOLGYN   (REPLACED T/SGT KING)
 T/Sgt Dewey Thompson      TTE  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK
 S/Sgt Murray Schrier            BTG  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK
 S/Sgt William R.Heathman    RWG  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK
 S/Sgg Gerald A.Will             LWG  CPT  8/4/44 QUACKENBRUCK
 S/Sgt Arthur R.Tirrell             TG  CPT  21/6//44 BASDORF (FINISHED AS TG WITH CAPT CHUCK HARRIS CREW)

418th Sqdn. The Crew joined the 100th BG in Sept. 1943    

The regular radio operator on this crew,Nelson King, suffered severe frostbite which led to amputations. See S.O.C. p.30 & 
CONTRAILS p71.  Also see SPLASHER SIX (Winter 1978) for obit. Of Frank Lauro.  
The crew named their A/C NELSON KING in honor of their Radio operator T/Sgt Nelson King who on 29 Nov 43 removed his gloves while in flight to assist the BTG with an iced up oxygen mask.  A few seconds later, King's walk around oxygen bottle froze up and in an effort to save S/Sgt Schrier, his hands were neglected.  He lost several tips of several fingers to frostbite. 

MISSIONS OF CAPT. FRANK LAURO FROM LT GREASAMAR LETTERS HOME AND S/SGT MURRAY SCHRIER  

Date                  Last Name Initial Rank Position   Aircraft Nbr and Name           Target
1.        2/10/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P             230758  ROSIE'S RIVETERS    EMDEN
2.        4/10/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P             23393    JUST-A-SNAPPIN      HANAU
3.       14/10/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                      SCHWEINFURT (BLACK THURSDAY)
4.       20/10/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                      DUREN, RAILWAY & FACTORIES
5.        5/11/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       GELSENKIRCHEN
LT GREASAMAR HAD 5 MISSIONS BY NOV 8TH, 1943
6.       13/11/1943 LAURO    F.C. CAPT P                                                        BREMEN                 
7.       19/11/1943 LAURO    F.C. CAPT P                                                        GELSENKIRCHEN            
LT GREASAMAR HAD 7 MISSIONS BY NOV 22ND 1943
8.       26/11/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                      PARIS
9.       29/11/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P             231306   NELSON KING         BREMEN (T/SGT KING LAST MISSION, FROSTBITE)
10.     30/11/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       SOLINGEN, TOWN                                               
11.     13/12/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       KIEL
12.     30/12/1943 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       LUDWIGSHAVEN
13.      24/1/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       FRANKFURT
14.      29/1/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       FRANKFURT
15.        3/2/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       WILHELMSHAVEN
16.      10/2/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       BRUNSWICK
17.      13/2/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       LIVOSSART & BOIS REMPRE (NOBALL)
18       28/2/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       MARQUENVILLE (NO BALL) TARGET OBSRD
19       29/2/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P                                                       BRUNSWICK
20.        3/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231306  NELSON KING            BERLIN
21.        6/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231306  NELSON KING            BERLIN
           13/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231504  ROSIE'S RIVETERS II NOBALL (SCRUBBED)
22.      18/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231404  NO NAME                 MUNICH
23.      19/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231404  NO NAME                 MARQUIS, MIMMOYEQUES (NO BALL)
24.      22/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231404  NO NAME                 ORANIENBURG (BERLIN)
25         1/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231404  NO NAME                 LUDWIGSHAVEN
            7/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P            231404  NO NAME                 QUACKENBRUCK (SCRB)
26.        8/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P           231404  NO NAME                 QUACKENBRUCK

mission list of S/Sgt Murray Schrier BTG

1 Emden Germany

2 Hanau Germany

3 Schwienfurt [Schweinfurt] Germany

4 Durin [Duren] Germany

5 Gelsenkirchen Germany

6 Bremen Germany

7 Gelsenkirchen Germany

8 Paris France

9 Bremen Germany

10 Solingen Germany

11 Kiel Germany

12 Ludwigshaven [Ludwigshafen] Germany

13 Frankfurt Germany

14 Frankfurt Germany

15 Wilhelmshaven Germany

16 Brunswick Germany

17 No Ball France

18 No Ball France

19 Brunswick Germany

20 Berlin Germany

21 Berlin Germany

22 Munich Germany

23 No Ball France

24 Berlin Germany

25 Ludwigshaven [Ludwigshafen] Germany

26 Osnabruck Germany
***************************************************************************************************************8

T/SGT GREENFIELD MISSIONS AFTER CAPT LAURO CREW FINISHED UP:
           Date       Last Name   Initial Rank   Position Aircraft Nbr                          Target
          5/31/1944 GREENFIELD H.H.  T/SGT ROG 97673 LUCKY LASS                   OSNABRUCK             Flew with Lt Stanley Major Crew
            6/2/1944 GREENFIELD H.H.  T/SGT ROG 30152 MESSIE BESSIE               BOULOGNE              Flew with Lt Stanley Major Crew
            7/7/1944 GREENFIELD H.H.  T/SGT ROG 37636 MALFUNCTION JUNCTION BOHLEN/MERSEBURG Flew with Lt Chuck Harris Crew
            7/8/1944 GREENFIELD H.H.  T/SGT ROG 37636 MALFUNCTION JUNCTION CLAMECY-JOLGYN     Flew with Lt Chuck Harris Crew

S/SGT TIRRELL MISSIONS AFTER CAPT LAURO CREW FINISHED UP: FLEW ALL MISSIONS WITH CAPT. CHARLES "CHUCK"HARRIS CREW

Date       Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr            Target     
3/23/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT LWG 107011 SHINGIN HOUR BRUNSWICK/ WAGGUM 
3/28/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT LWG 107011 SHINING HOUR CHATEAUDUN/ EVREUX 
4/8/1944   TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG 31404                          QUACKENBRUCK (CAPT LAURO CREW LAST MISSION)
4/24/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG                                    FRIEDRICHSHAFEN,
4/26/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG                                    BRUNSWICK  
4/27/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG                                    FLOTTEMANVILLE (1ST MISSION OF THE DAY)
4/27/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG                                    THIONVILLE         (2ND MISSION OF THE DAY)
4/29/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG                                    BERLIN 
5/1/1944   TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  SAARGUEMINES/WIZERNES
5/8/1944   TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  BERLIN & LAGLACERIE
5/28/1944 TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  MAGDEBURG
6/2/1944   TIRRELL A.R. S/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  BOULOGNE
6/6/1944   TIRRELL A.R. T/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  FALAISE/OUISTREHAM
6/7/1944   TIRRELL A.R. T/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  NANTES (BRIDGES)
6/20/1944 TIRRELL A.R. T/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  FALLERSLEBEN
6/21/1944 TIRRELL A.R. T/SGT TG 106986 SACK ARTIST  BASDORF


Nelson R. King, 17064928, Technical Sergeant, Army Air Forces, United States Army. For Gallantry in action while serving as Radio Operator and Gunner of a B-17 airplane on a bombing mission over Germany 29 November 1943. While manning his gun, fighting off fierce attacks by enemy planes, Sergeant King noticed that the ball turret gunner had collapsed from lack of oxygen.  As soon as there was a lull in the fighting, he rushed to the turret, removed his stricken comrade to the radio compartment and placed his own oxygen mask on his face.  When the gunner regained consciousness he was hysterical and immediately tore off the oxygen mask and began to hit Sergeant King.  Still without a supply of oxygen for himself, Sergeant King tied the mask on his hysterical comrade and held him down until he had become quiet.  A short time later the copilot found Sergeant King unconscious from lack of oxygen and his hands badly frost-bitten as he had removed his gloves in order to tie the mask on the ball turret gunner.  The gallantry, complete disregard for his own safety and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant King undoubtedly saved the life of his comrade.  His actions on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.  Entered Military service from Kansas.
*********************************************************************************************************

To whom it may concern,
 
 I would be very interested in obtaining a print of the picture if one is still available. I have a distant cousin….Nelson King for whom the B-17 was named after. I have information on him and the mission he was on that he had his hands frostbite from a mission over Breman Germany.  Nelson was a very remarkable person and was in Life magazine of the accourance. I also would be interested in any other information that might be about the squadron TSgt Nelson King was in….Thankyou
 
 Phillip Bigham   bigham@gci.net

Hello Michael
 
Thankyou so much for the information, The issue you can find Nelson in is March 20, 1944….it is a story on frostbite and it features some of Nelson's story and photos of some of his time in the hospital. He spent a total of 22 months in the hospital before he returned home. The little bit of information I have was on their ninth bomb run over Bremen, Germany, the ball turrents mask failed. Nelson got a new one from the pilot but the man was weak from a lack of oxygen, making it impossible for Nelson to get it on him without removing his own mask and gloves. He gave the man his oxygen for the valves on the extra tank were frozen. Without oxygen Nelson became unconscious, his fellow crewmen quickly restored his oxygen supply but it was to late for his hands. At 29,000 feet in thin atmosphere the tiny blood vessels in his fingers contracted, closing off the blood supply and freezing came quickly. On the flight back to England Nelson beat his hands against the walls of the plane to bring feeling back to the numbness. Pieces of icy flesh broke awy from his fingers……Nelson died September 06, 1990…he never married, formed a church and it was found only after his death he gave regularly to Christian colleges and churches, mission, orphanges…He was at home on his pasture checking on his cattle when he got almost a mile when he lunged forward and died from a heart attack.
Thankyou for your information….if you know where I can look for pictures, stories, movies from that time and of the 100th I would greatly appreciate it.
 
 
Thanks a bunch again!!!!
 
Phillip Bigham  
*****************************************************************************************************************

Michael:

   Jerry (WILL) passed away in January 2000.  He loved the 100th dearly and had visions of being the last man standing, but alas that did not come to pass.  I will have to see what I can find that he left behind.  I know I gave a couple of photo's to the 100th BG Restaurant in Cleveland, along with a picture we had made for Jerry.   The picture was of the print "Just a Snappin" and we put a history of the "Nelson King" on it with a list of all the crew at their respective stations.  A couple of years before Jerry passed he met with one of his crew and they were interviewed by the local paper.  I think they spoke of some of the missions, and perhaps a Berlin raid.  I remember his saying that on one mission they were one of only 2 or 3 planes to make it back with the aircraft all shot up and limping badly.  I know the only crewman they lost was Nelson King to frostbite; he didn't die though.  He spoke of being one of the first, if not the first crew to complete 25 missions.  They began their tour in September 1943, and completed their last mission in April 1944.  He spoke of Captain Lauro asking the crew to go one more mission and they completed their tour with 26.  The "Nelson King" would press on for eleven more missions before  being shot down over Berlin in May 1944 with 3 of the crew being KIA.  I will gladly see what I can find and send it to you, especially the newspaper article.  Also, I was mistaken, he was the left waist gunner.  

   I was quite suprised when they announced the painting about the Nelson King.  I remember thinking how proud Jerry would have been of that painting, and would have gladly signed the prints. 

Richard Schuck
rschuck@centurylink.net
**************************************************************************************************************

CREW 

   Lt Charles E.Harris              P       CPT   5/8/44 MAGDEBURG
   Lt Manly W.Hall                 CP      CPT 27/8/44 BERLIN
   Lt Lloyd W.Coartney         NAV    CPT   5/8/44 MAGDEBURG
   Lt John E.Dimel,Jr.           BOM    CPT 5/8/44 MAGDEBURG
T/Sgt Leighton B.Gaard       ROG  XFR   Flew 21 Missions- 4/7/44 then transferred to Air Force communications unit in France)
T/Sgt Norman Howden,Jr    TTE   CPT  5/8/44 MAGDEBURG
S/Sgt Kenneth L.Nowland   BTG   XFR   Completed 14 missions with this crew.
S/Sgt Joseph H.Blume        RWG  CPT   5/8/44 MAGDEBURG  
                                                 WIA 22/3/44 ORANIENBURG/BERLIN (PURPLE HEART)
S/Sgt Peter R.Zyskowski     LWG  WIA 22/3/44 ORANIENBURG/BERLIN  (PURPLE HEART)
                                                 WIA 10/4/44 RHEIMS (PURPLE HEART) recovered & then RFS
S/Sgt Joseph L.Oyler            TG  SWA 10/4/44 RHEIMS (PURPLE HEART ( Returned To USA after recovery)

Crew,as above, joined the 100th in March 1944.First mission on 19/3/44 418th Sqdn.

T/SGT H.H. GREENFIELD TOOK OVER AS ROG AFTER JULY 4, 1944
S/SGT R.L. SCHELLIN TOOK OVER AS BTG ON JUNE 2, 1944
S/SGT W.R.HEATHMAN FLIES AS REPLACEMENT FOR BLUME ON MARCH 23 & 31, 1944
S/SGT JIM MACK (FROM ROSENTHAL CREW) FLIES AS REPLACEMENT FOR BLUME FROM APRIL 1-10, 1944 
S/SGT JOHN RYBAK TAKES OVER LWG POSITION ON APRIL 24, 1944 
S/SGT ART TIRRELL TAKES OVER AS TG ON APRIL 24, 1944

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

 Frank G. Lauro crew Detailed Information Photo courtesy of the Thorpe Abbotts Tower Museum Archives 

Lt Frank Lauro Crew Stateside. (100th BG Archives)

Photo attached was in Life Magazine in March 1944. 

“Nelson R. King, 17064928, Technical Sergeant, Army Air Forces, United States Army. For Gallantry in action while serving as Radio Operator and Gunner of a B-17 airplane on a bombing mission over Germany 29 November 1943. While manning his gun, fighting off fierce attacks by enemy planes, Sergeant King noticed that the ball turret gunner had collapsed from lack of oxygen. As soon as there was a lull in the fighting, he rushed to the turret, removed his stricken comrade to the radio compartment and placed his own oxygen mask on his face. When the gunner regained consciousness, he was hysterical and immediately tore off the oxygen mask and began to hit Sergeant King. Still without a supply of oxygen for himself, Sergeant King tied the mask on his hysterical comrade and held him down until he had become quiet. A short time later, the copilot found Sergeant King unconscious from lack of oxygen and his hands badly frost-bitten as he had removed his gloves in order to tie the mask on the ball turret gunner. The gallantry, complete disregard for his own safety and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant King undoubtedly saved the life of his comrade. His actions on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.” 
Nelson King was on the Frank G. Laura crew, who named their A/C in his honor. Lauro Crew Information

 418th Pilot Frank G. Lauro 

Lt Joe Greasamar's letter home where he talks about Berlin Mission March 6, 1944

Nelson King stabilizer damaged with FW 190 wing went through vertical stabilizer

Nelson King after Berlin Mission on March 6, 1944.  Flown by Frank Lauro Crew with Jack Swartout flying as Command Pilot.  Taken to Honington for repairs. 

 NELSON KING A/C 231306. Photo showing vertical stabilizer and rudder damage received over Berlin, March 6, 1944. (Photo courtesy of Lt. Greasamar's son by way of Keith Buchanan) Lauro Crew information 

 NELSON KING A/C 231306. Photo showing vertical stabilizer damage received over Berlin, March 6, 1944. (Photo courtesy of Lt. Greasamar's son by way of Keith Buchanan) Lauro Crew information 

 NELSON KING A/C 231306 LD-V 

231404 LN-V at Honington (I believe this is wrong code (LN-V) and should be LD-V since Nelson King LD-V was in repairs at Honington, this plane would have replaced it at thorpe Abbotts and gained the ID code of V.  Once Nelson King was returned to Thorpe Abbotts, the code could have changed to T...MPF)  

Capt. Frank Lauro Crew flew this plane on their last missions.
22. 18/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P   231404    MUNICH
23. 19/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P   231404    MARQUIS, MIMMOYEQUES (NO BALL)
24. 22/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P   231404    ORANIENBURG (BERLIN)
25  1/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P    231404    LUDWIGSHAVEN
    7/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P    231404    QUACKENBRUCK (SCRB)
26. 8/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P    231404    QUACKENBRUCK 

231404 LD-V at Honington for repairs 1stSAD. 

Capt. Frank Lauro Crew flew this plane on their last missions.
22. 18/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P   231404    MUNICH
23. 19/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P   231404    MARQUIS, MIMMOYEQUES (NO BALL)
24. 22/3/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P   231404    ORANIENBURG (BERLIN)
25     1/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P    231404    LUDWIGSHAVEN
         7/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P    231404    QUACKENBRUCK (SCRB)
26.   8/4/1944 LAURO     F.C. CAPT P    231404    QUACKENBRUCK 

 Photo courtesy of Robert Hughes/Michael Hughes 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 3010