COMMENTS & NOTES
CREW #13 see graphic
2ND LT JOHN F. MASSOL P CPT 07 JUN 44 NANTES, BRIDGES
2ND LT HAROLD D. "RANGER" GRANGER CP CPT 04 JUN 44 BOULOGNE, SHORE DEFENSES
2ND LT EDWARD C. KING, JR NAV CPT WENT TO GROUP/LEAD NAV; RETIRED 1970 AS A COLONEL
2ND LT EDWIN A. STERN, JR BOM POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN (WITH CAPT J.R. GEARY CREW) see below
SGT ASA A. SPENGLER ROG CPT 05 JUN 44 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE
SGT WILLIAM T. WESTLEY TTE CPT SEE MASSOL LETTER BELOW (TAPS)
SGT WINFRED C. WILLIAMS BTG CPT 17 OCT 44 COLOGNE, MY
SGT OLIVER N. McCARTNEY LWG CPT 05 JUN 44 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE
SGT JAMES M. ROBERTS RWG CPT 04 AUG 44 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY
SGT NEWMAN E. GARMON TG CPT 05 JUN 44 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE TAPS: 1986
351ST SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 01 DEC 1943
Excerpts from John Massol's November 1993 letter to Paul West:
King (Edward C. King, Jr.) was taken off our crew about 15th (March 15th, 1944) and sent to advanced navigation school. He went to Group and I think finished a tour. He stayed in the Air Force and retired in the 1970s as a Colonel. Stern (Edwin A. Stern, Jr.) off crew March 15th, 1944 and also sent to special school. As noted he was shot down with Geary (J. R. Geary) on 24 May 1944 mission to Berlin…Became a POW. Westley (William T. Westley) was grounded with back trouble but I think he completed a tour. Roberts (James M.Roberts) left the crew in March 1944 and completed his tour with another crew as a BTG. He was replaced on the crew by S/Sgt Reneau from Lt Lacy's Crew. Williams (Winnefred C. Williams) missed a mission, completed with another crew and I do not know why."
From Lt Ray Miller (Navigator)
As I recall Harry Crosby made Ed King the group navigator when Harry had his R&R back to the states. Ed was a big man (like Big Pete) and a good lead navigator. He handled briefings for the navigators and supervised mission planning with the group bombardier.I am sure that the nav logs were for WW-II only. Harry could give you a lot more on Ed.
John Massol supplied this informaion on Edwin A. Stern..
Ed Sterns started in pilot school and was washed out for carrying a spin too low. Sent to Bombardier school only to have the pilot get lost on his first training flight, bailed everyone out and tried to land out of gas, crashed and killed him self. After graduating from Bombardier's school Stern was sent to Navigation school as a student officer. Graduated and wound up with us as our Bombardier. Before our crew became operational he was grabbed one morning for a mission. Rough one, two men seriously injured and he gave first aid to them. Flew eleven (11) or twelve (12) missions with us before the disaster with Geary. (refers to the 24 May 1944 Berlin mission on which the Command Pilot with the Geary crew was Major Maurice J. Fitzgerald). Bad time in POW camp. After the invasion (D - Day) the Germans marched them from one place to another constantly. During one of these marches Stern and a Canadian POW escaped. Found themselves in the middle of a night artillery attack, the Canadian was killed. Stern managed to hook up with the USA ground forces and got a uniform, bath and food. After weeks of delay caught a flight on a B-24 back to England. Turned out the B-24 landed at a base near Thorpe Abbotts where a jeep returned Sterns to the 100th.
Orders home, turned out to be aboard a landing craft ! Very rough trip of two or three weeks. Arrived at a Virginia port to be demobilized. Told it would be weeks before they could get to him. When asked it he would go to Texas to get seperated, Stern replied, "I will go anyplace to get out of this outfit." ( this quote has likely been edited by Massol..pw)
John Massol considered Stern's tour one the roughest for one not putting holes in the skin..
Williams (Winnefred C. Williams) missed a mission, completed with another crew and I do not know why."
LIST OF MISSIONS FOR CREW 13,
PILOT JOHN MASSOL PLANE..FEVER BEAVER WAS IN HARDSTAND 13 AND FLEW 125 MISSIONS BEFORE RETURNING TO THE USA.
ALL MISSIONS FLOWN IN 1944
In addition. We were briefed for 17 missions but did not get in air, scrubbed.
9 Times after we were in air and recalled, no credit.
During our missions, the group lost 13 bombers.Also during our missions the
Group was credited with shooting down 18 fighters.
# DATE TARGET COMMENT
1 Jan 11,44 OSNABRUCK
2 Jan 29,44 FRANKFURT
3 Feb 13,1944 LIVOSSART & BOISMPRE NO BALL
4 Feb 21,1944 BRUNSWICK, ALHORN, & VORDEN AF
5 Feb 24,1944 ROSTOCK
6 Feb 25,1944 REGENSBURG
7 MAR 2, 1944 CHARTRES
8 MAR 4, 1944 BERLIN
MAR 6, 1944 BERLIN abort, oxygen malfunction
9 MAR 8,1944 BERLIN
10 MAR 18,1944 MUNICH
11 MAR 19,1944 MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES NO BALL
12 MAR 22,1944 BERLIN
13 MAR 23,1944 BRUNSWICK
14 MAR 28,1944 CHATEAUDUN AF
15 APR 1,1944 LUDWIGSHAVEN RECALL
16 APR 8,1944 QUACKENBRUCK AF
17 APR 10,1944 RHEIMS RECALL
18 APR 11,1944 ROSTOCK
19 APR 13,1944 AUGSBURG, AC FACTORY
20 APR 20,1944 HAGUE
21 APR 22,1944 HAMM
22 APR 24,1944 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, AC,
23 APR 25,1944 DIJON
24 MAY 1,1944 SAARGUEMINES, MY
25 MAY 19,1944 BERLIN
26 MAY 20,1944 BRUSSELS, MY
27 MAY 27,1944 STRASSBOURG, AERO ENGINES
28 JUN 4, 1944 BOULOGNE, SHORE DEFENSES
29 JUN 5, 1944 ABBEVILLE & BOULOGNE
30 JUN 7, 1944 NANTES
Capt James R.Geary P POW 24/5/44 BERLIN
Major Maurice J.Fitzgerald COMP POW 24/5/44 BERLIN
1st Lt Arthur J.Harris CP POW 24/5/44 BERLIN (Flying as Formation Officer in the Tail))
1st Lt A.Edwin Stern,Jr. BOM POW 24/5/44 BERLIN (From the John Massol crew)
2nd Lt Dort B.Payne NAV POW 24/5/44 BERLIN
T/Sgt Louis Paltrineri ROG POW(WIA) 24/5/44 BERLIN (From the E.McKay crew)
T/Sgt Francis Acker BTG POW 24/5/44 BERLIN (From the E.McKay crew)
S/Sgt Carl F.Schuster TTE POW 24/5/44 BERLIN (From the E.McKay crew)
S/Sgt John E.Trout RWG POW(WIA) 24/5/44 BERLIN (From the E.McKay crew)
S/Sgt Jack W.Domenig LWG POW(WIA) 24/5/44 BERLIN (From the E.McKay crew)
350th Sqdn. On 24/5/44 this was the lead ship of the Group formation. Major Fitzgerald was C.O. of the
350th and Capt Geary was a pilot who had completed a tour of operations with the 390th Bomb Group and
then been assigned to the 100th. Lt.A. J. Harris, as pilot of his own crew had been interned in Sweden on
20/2/44 with his crew but apparently had gotten back to Thorpe Abbotts by some means. It seems most
unusual that he would have been allowed to fly over Europe again because, for security reasons, Evadees &
Internees were invariably sent back to the U.S.A.
This crew bailed out over Ludwigslust,Germany and all were captured.
The 100th lost nine aircraft this day. MIGHTY EIGHTH WAR DIARY (p.249) says "Opposed by some 200
E/A,100BG became separated from bomber stream by weather and contrails and were subjected to heavy
" Fever Beaver fought her way through weather, fighters and flak on
125 recorded missions. Through the skill of her dedicated air and
ground crews, she reamined airworthy, and died quietly at home in the
summer of 1945. John F. Massol, her first pilot, died peacefully at
home on August 28, 1998. John was a notably proficient pilot, and a
quiet, respected crew commander, who instilled confidence, and garnered
respect through example. He led with understated strength and enviable
On his 25th mission to Big B, fighters and flak destroyed two
engines on the same side, set the radio room on fire, took a big chunk
out of the vertical stabilizer, tore out his oxygen system, and set the
plane afire. While John artfully kept "The Beaver" airborne, copilot
Hal Granger, who shared same attributes of skill and mettle, fought the
fire to a standstill.
After an almost impossible return to base, Fever Beaver was refitted
with two new engines, new gas tanks, a new wing, a rebuilt radio room,
new armor under the cockpit, 13 new machine guns, a new bombsight, all
new electronics equipment, and extensive reparis to the oxygen system
and vertical stabilizer. The busy ground crew patched 540 holes.
As the first bombardier on the "Massol Crew," it wasmy good fortune
to be present when John's leadership, strength and courage were brought
into play. I was there when his cool head and demeanor ket an
anxious, frightened crew from panic. I was there when his mastery
brought crippled and sputtering planes to safe landings. I was there to
share his quiet humor and moments of controlled frustration. When all
hands were shaking from the horror of the day, his confidence steadied
us. He was a cheerful companion, and a welcome mentor." --Ed Stern.
I used most of this in John's TAPS in Splasher. Hope you enjoy