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LT  Martin TASHJIAN

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P/CP

2nd Lt. Martin Tashjian
100th BG Photo Archives

SERIAL #: O-745763 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 03235 CR: 03235

Comments1: 15 MAR 44 BRUNSWICK (EAC)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt.Martin Tashjian             P       IIC   4/12/43      KIA  15/3/44    BRUNSWICK (WITH DEVORE CREW)
2nd Lt. John Dutka              CP      IIC   4/12/43
2nd Lt. Floyd E.Hartman       NAV    IIC   4/12/43      POW 29/7/44  MERSEBURG (with Lt Buzz Fitzroy Crew)  (TAPS:10 APR 1990) 
2nd Lt. Bennie Epstein          BOM     IIC   4/12/43
 T/Sgt. Floyd O.Douglas         TTE     IIC   4/12/43     KIA   29/7/44   MERSEBURG (with Lt Buzz Fitzroy Crew)
 T/Sgt. Robert D.Longworth   ROG    IIC   4/12/43     KIA   15/3/44   BRUNSWICK(With Devore Crew)
   Sgt. Wilbur W. Palmer        WG   NOC
   Sgt. John H.White               WG                           POW  6/3/44   BERLIN  (with J.Lautenschlager)
   Sgt. James S.Morrow             BTG                           KIA  24/5/44   BERLIN  (with D.S.Pearson Crew)
   Sgt. Lucien E.Neveu              TG                           CPT 21/7/44   REGENSBURG (with Lt Julian.P. Rogers Crew)

 Crew,as above,joined the 100th BG (351st Sqdn.) on 1/12/43.  IIC = Injured in a crash of a 100th aircraft.

"On the afternoon of December 4, 1943, B-17 42-39791 (Fletcher's Castoria) was wrecked in a crash near the tower.  It had taken off with Lt Fletcher aboard who, with his radio Operator George Reid and engineer James Whitton, were to give Martin Tashjian and his crew "a local navigation and procedure check".  On their return at 14:55 in clear weather and unlimited visibility the aircraft was approaching runway 10 for a straight in landing but from a higher altitude than normal.  The touch down was simultaneous on the right main gear, tail wheel and right wingtip, bending the wing two or three feet upwards.  The aircraft took off again and climbed straight ahead to an altitude of 50 to 100 feet before dropping down again striking the left wing.  The aircraft was destroyed.  Lt Tashjian was "seriously wounded", the Navigator Floyd Hartmann received moderate injuries and seven other crew members received minor injuries."  (from Century Bombers)

CREW (see graphic)

1st Lt Wiliam H. Fletcher       P   POW      21/2/44   Burnswick
2nd Lt Richard M.Roper       CP   POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
2nd Lt George A.Browning   NAV  POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
2nd Lt Howard D.Venzie      BOM  POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 T/Sgt James H.Whitton       TTE  Injured in crash after about 7 missions (landing accident 4 Dec 43 with Lt Tashjian)
 T/Sgt George A.Reid        ROG POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt Pietro J.Giaquinto      BTG POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt John J.Seman         RWG POW     21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt Alexander Sosik         LWG POW     21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt David V.Robb,Jr.          TG POW     21/2/44   Brunswick

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined 100th Group in early Oct.1943

On 4/12/43 Fletcher was flying with the crew of Martin Tashjian newly arrived) to check them 
out on local landmarks and procedure. Sgt.Whitton & Sgt Reid were also on the flight. There was a 
landing crash on the field and Fletcher,Whitton & Reid received injuries. However,it is 
believed that Whitton did not fly further combat duty.

The flight was in Fletcher's A/C 42 39791,Fletcher's Castoria,which was totally destroyed.
****************************************************************************************************************

Lt Martin Tashjian went on to fly with the crew of Lt. Mark Cope (350th Sqdrn) in "Superstitious Aloysious"

CREW

LT MARK COPE                      P CPT    WENT ON TO BECOME  350TH SQDN OPS OFFICER
LT THOMAS CRYAN                CP KIA    18 MAR 44 MUNICH (WITH LT PAUL MARTIN CREW, SEE BELOW)
LT FESTUS E.  BRYANT         NAV CPT  19 MAR 44 MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES (NOBALL)
LT HERBERT G. PRYOR         BOM CPT    4 MAR 44 BERLIN
SGT JOHN VERBOVSKI          TTE CPT  19 MAR 44 MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES (NOBALL)
SGT JOHN C. ELING            ROG CPT  19 MAR 44 MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES (NOBALL)
SGT  RICHARD E. DONNELLY   BTG CPT   19 MAR 44 MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES (NOBALL)
SGT JAMES E. MORRISON     LWG CPT  19 MAR 44 MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES (NOBALL)
SGT DONALD E. WALKER     RWG WIA   6 MAR 44 BERLIN (received Silver Star for actions March 6, 1944)
SGT RAYMOND A. BRYAN       TG WIA   6 MAR 44 BERLIN (received Purple Heart)

350th Sqdn.. Crew, as above, joined the 100th in late July or August 1943. Lt. Martin Tashjian flew a few missions with this crew as CP in place of Thomas Cryan.  Crew flew in "Superstitious Aloysious". Elwood "Bud" Frum worked on this plane.
Mark Cope went on to become the 350th Operations  Officer…

MISSIONS OF CAPT. MARK COPE CREW COURTESY OF JOHN ELING: (MAY 2007)

1.         3/11/43        WILHELMSHAVEN
2.       13/11/43        BREMEN
3.       16/11/43        RJUKAN(NORWAY) HYDROELECTRIC POWER
4.       19/11/43        GELSENKIRCHEN & ZUTPHEN, HOLLAND
5.       30/11/43        SOLINGEN
6.       11/12/43        EMDEN
7.       16/12/43        BREMEN
8.       20/12/43        BREMEN
9.       22/12/43        MUNSTER
10.     24/12/43        ST.JOSEPH au BOIS (NOBALL)
11.     31/12/43        PARIS
12.       4/01/44        KEIL
13.     11/01/44        BRUNSWICK AND OSNABRUCK, CITIES
14.     14/01/44        FORET D'HESDIN (NOBALL)
15.     21/01/44        BOIS D'ESQUERDES (NOBALL)
16.     30/01/44        BRUNSWICK
17.       3/02/44        WILHELMSHAVEN
18.       6/02/44        ROMILLY sur SEINE, CONCHES,EVREUX
19.     10/02/44        BRUNSWICK
20.     13/02/44        LIVOSSART & BOIS REMPRE (NOBALL)
21.     29/02/44        BRUNSWICK
22.       2/03/44        CHARTRES, AF
23.       4/03/44        BERLIN
24.       6/03/44        BERLIN
25.      18/03/44       AUGSBURG
26.      19/03/44       MARQUISE, MIMOYEQUES (NOBALL)


Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target

3/4/1944 18 123 MORRISON J.E. S/SGT LWG 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 COPE M. CAPT P 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 TASHJIAN M LT CP 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 BRYANT F.E. LT NAV 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 PRYOR H G LT BOM 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 ELING J.C. T/SGT ROG 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 VERBOVSKI J. T/SGT TTE 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 DONNELLY R.E. S/SGT BTG 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 WALKER D E S/SGT RWG 231968 BERLIN
3/4/1944 18 123 BRYAN R A S/SGT TG 231968 BERLIN

3/6/1944 18 124 BRYAN R A S/SGT TG 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 WALKER D E S/SGT RWG 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 DONNELLY R.E. S/SGT BTG 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 VERBOVSKI J. T/SGT TTE 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 ELING J.C. T/SGT ROG 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 COX A E LT BOM 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 BRYANT F.E. LT NAV 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 TASHJIAN M LT CP 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 COPE M. CAPT P 237807 BERLIN
3/6/1944 18 124 MORRISON J.E. S/SGT LWG 237807 BERLIN



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

REFLECTIONS OF MARCH 6, 1944 BERLIN MISSION BY JOHN ELING, MAY 2007

On the night of March 5, 1944 one of our guy goes over to the 350th BS Orderly room to see if there is a mission on for tomorrow.  They post a yes or now on the board and then we know whether we sweat the night out or not.  We're alerted!  In the morning, the charge of Quarters comes comes in, shines his flashlight and says our crew is flying today. We get dressed, head for chow, real eggs, were in for a rough one!  Then we file over to the briefing room. Enlisted men and Officers had separate briefings.  Ours was conducted by gunnery officer Maj. R. Cohen. He had a brown and white cocker spaniel dog.  He pulled back the curtain, BERLIN Again!  We listened to the intellegence reports about flak areas and fighters.  We went and picked up our flight gear and got out orange and Mars Candy bar from the Red Cross Girls.  

We had been hit by fighers and had an engine on fire and our oxygen system knocked out. We had to leave formation and get below 10,000 feet fast.   All I could see were parachutes of all colors blowing back towards Germany.   Cope asked the Navigator (Lt Bryant)  the distance to Sweden or Switzerland but we were in no condition to make either.  We were going to head back to England alone.    My most vivid memory is S/Sgt Walker.  An Me109 hit us with 20mm in the waist and Walker got hit with a piece just under the left eye, his face was just a mass of blood.  The other Waist gunner, Morrison and to go pull our tail gunner Bryan out of the tail due to injuries.  He had been hit twice in the legs by attacking enemy aircraft.  He stayed back there as long as he could take it .  Morrison propped him up by the tail wheel and administered first aid (morphine), then moved into the tail gunner postion.  Wouldn't you know it, we go over Hanover at 7000 feet and they throw up a flak barrage and Bryan get wounded again in the leg! The flak sounded like small pebbles being tossed against the skin of the plane.  The flak was so accurate, I was thinking to myself, " I know were going to blow up, lets get it over with"!   This was a fight for our lives, and T/Sgt Verbovski nails 3 fighters, including the one that got walker in the face.   
 
After the mission, Capt Cope acquired a bottle of liquor for the Crew which we enjoyed, to the very last drop!  A little later in the month,Chief of Staff, 3rd Air Divison,  Gen A.W. Kessner awarded the Siver Star and Purple Heart to S/Sgt Walker.


Last mission: the Chaplain flew with us and got his mae west caught in the bomb bay and it inflated.  When we came over the  base, Cope buzzed the field and those props could not have been more that two feet from the ground! We had just completed our tour and I was going to get killed like this.  A Lt Gough, flying as our CP,  finished his mssions and with us on our last mission

Lt Tashijan was taken off the Crew because on take off one time we had a runaway prop and he did not feather it, which was his job on takeoff

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

Devore Crew
    Lt Herbert G.Devore        P         KIA    15/3/44        
    Lt Jerry Felsenstein         CP        CPT     6/3/44
    Lt Burton M.Joseph        NAV       POW  15/3/44  (Severely burned)
    Lt Louis R.Jaebker          BOM      CPT     6/3/44
 T/Sgt Harry S.Lenk            ROG      CPT
 T/Sgt Harrison L.Longhi      TTE      POW   15/3/44
 S/Sgt Nicholas Delcimmuto  BTG     KIA      15/3/44
 S/Sgt John J.Barry             RWG     KIA      15/3/44    
 S/Sgt Darrell R.Dickenson    LWG    KIA      15/3/4    A/C #42 39934  "MY ACHING BACK"
 S/Sgt Knute Knudson         TG      CPT

350th Sqdn. Crew.. On 15/3/44, Lt.Martin Tashjian was flying as TG and was KIA. Capt.Robert Peel,who had flown overseas with the 100th Group as a bombardier without a crew, was flying as BOM and became a POW. Capt. Roland T.Knight,a pilot who had flown over with the Group unassigned to a crew, was this day flying as Command pilot. He was KIA.
 This was the 25th mission for most of the crew.

A T/Sgt Robert D.Longworth was flying as ROG in the place of Harry Lenk and was KIA  Longworth was from the original crew of Martin Tashjian which had been involved in a crash at Thorpo Abbotts on 4/12/43. Both he & Lt Tashjian had been injured in that crash and the crew "split up".

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Brunswick DATE: 1944-03-15  
AIRCRAFT: "My Achin' Back" (42-39934) CAUSE: EAC & Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: A ROW: 35  
GRAVE: 34 CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  

PHOTOS:

Martin Tashjian   350th   P   New York   KIA   15 Mar 44   Brunswick   Martin Tashjian Crew   Photo courtesy of Paul Patist

Award of Air Medal to Widow of Lt Tashjian. (Courtesy of Matt Mabe)

Unidentified member of the Mark Cope Crew. (Could possible be Martin Tashjain) (100th Photo Archives)

 Part of the Mark Cope crew: (Left to Right) Herbert G. Pryor, BOM; Thomas Cryan; Original CP; Mark Cope, P, Festus Bryant, NAV and Martin Tashjian, replacement CP. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Mike Cope 

Capt Mark Cope Original Crew Dr. Eling had labeled all the people for me: Front row, left to right: navigator Festus "Shorty" Bryant, pilot Mark Cope, copilot Martin Tashijan, bombardier Herbert G. Pryor. 

Back row, left to right: right waist gunner Donald Walker, tail gunner Ray Bryan, radio operator Jack Eling, ball turret gunner Richard Donnelly, top turret gunner (engineer) John Verbovski, left waist gunner James Morrison

 Crash photo from A/C239791 LN-W. (Photo courtesy of Ernie Havecker and his family: Eileen Rosenthal and Jodi Womack.) 

Crash site of the original "FLETCHER'S CASTORIA" (239791) at Thorpe Abbotts.  (100th Photo Archives)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

Crew 3

ID: 5111