COMMENTS & NOTES
2ND LT PAUL L. CARROLL P POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
2ND LT HARRY B. WINGER CP POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
2ND LT GEORGE R. KLARE NAV POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
SGT CLIFFORD M. AVERETT TOG POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
SGT LEEROY W. WESTMAN ROG POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
SGT IRVIN W. OLSEN TTE POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
SGT LAWRENCE E. ISOLA BTG POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
SGT OTIS J. ROSS WG POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
SGT FRED K. BRACKEN TG POW 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG
418th Sqdn. Crew as appeared on MACR #11365, Micro-fiche #4183. This was the crew's fourth (4th) mission.
EYEWITNESS: "A/C #42-31895 was seen to dive straight down at 5342N and 0843E at 1225 hours.
The pilot recovered at 13,000 feet and when last seen at 5345N and 0840E was headed in westerly
direction wih all engines running."
"THE Bloody Hundredth"
THE 1OOTH BOMB GROUP
by Harry Winger - QB # 15081 - Portland, ME Hanger.
The 100th Bomb Group was on operations for 22 months at Station 139, Thorpe Abbotts, a tiny hamlet twenty miles south of Norwich, in Norfolk (East Anglia), England.
Origin: June 1, 1942, Orlando Army Air Base, Florida. On October 27, in Boise, Idaho, "by Special Order 399, two hundred thirty (230) enlisted men and twenty-four (24) officers were transferred to the 100th." In December, during their second phase training the total strength of the Group was thirty-six (36) crews, with ten men on each crew. Their ages tended to range between twenty (20) and twenty-four (24).
On November 14th, the Group acquired its first commanding officer, Colonel Darr H. Alkire, who was in charge during stateside training. He eventually became C.O. of the 449th Bomb Group, a B-24 outfit, which flew out of Grottaglie, Italy. On his eleventh mission he was shot down and ended up the ranking officer (Senior POW Officer) of Stalag Luft III, where he was once again surrounded by his old comrades, the flyers of the 100th Bomb Group.
The new commander was Colonel Howard Turner, a former assistant to General Hap Arnold. Thirty-eight (38) crews flew to England on May 25, 1943. On May 27, the Ground Echelon, some fifteen hundred (1500) strong, shipped aboard the Queen Elizabeth. At their new station, # 139, at Thorpe Abbotts, some twenty (20) miles south of Norwich, Norfolk, in East Anglia. It at once became apparent that Col. Turner was slated for a higher position. He was re-assigned to B-24's and quickly picked up two stars as commanding officer of the Second Air Division. He was replaced by Harold Q. Huglin who, in a few months, went to the one star position as commanding officer of the 13th Combat Wing.
The next and permanent commanding officer was Neil B. Harding, a veteran B-17 man who had flown on one of the pioneering Fortress missions, to South America. He also participated in placing fuel dumps in North Africa.
The 100th did not stand alone at Thorpe Abbotts. Throughout their stay they were assisted by support units: 1776 Ordnance Company, 18th Weather Detachment, 896th Chemical Company. 216th Finance Section, 592nd Postal Unit, 1285th Military Police, 2110 Fire Fighting Platoon, 1141st Quartermaster Company, 83rd Service Group, 456th Sub-Depot, 412th Air Service Group, 838th Air Engineering Squadron, 662nd Air Material Squadron and the American Red Cross. No matter what was happening in the air, the Ground Echelon of the 100th was cited frequently for its excellent maintenance and preparation activity.
The 100th flew its first combat mission on June 25, 1943 and its last on April 20, 1945. During those twenty-two (22) months, some seven thousand (7000) men and a few women were stationed at Thorpe Abbotts. They flew three hundred six (306) including six food drops to the Netherlands in May, 1945. They were credited with 8640 sorties: they dropped 19,257.1 tons of bombs plus 435.1 tons of food on mercy missions.
The 100th gunners claimed 261 enemy aircraft shot down and 1010 probably destroyed, and 139 possibly destroyed. They were some of the first gunners who. late in the war, destroyed the German jets. (ME - 262)
Commanding officers of the 100th besides Alkire, Turner, Huglin and Harding were Robert Kelly (who was shot down on his first mission), John Bennett, Thomas Sutterlin, Harry Cruver and Jack Wallace.
In 1943, the average life of an 8th Air Force B-17 crew was eleven missions. In 1943 - 1945, the 100th lost 177 aircraft missing in action plus 52 lost due to operational accidents, making a total of 229. The 100th was not the Group with the highest losses in the 8th, but its losses often came many at a time, it soon acquired the reputation of a hard-luck outfit and the name, "The Bloody Hundredth." It lost nine (9) crews on the August 17, 1943, Regensburg-to-Africa shuttle. It lost seven (7) over Bremen on October 8, 1943, with its lead plane being shot out of formation over the target and then returning alone on the deck before crash-landing on the shore of East Anglia. It lost twelve (12) over Munster on October 10, 1943, with one plane, Royal Flush with the legendary Robert Rosenthal as its pilot being the only one to return. It lost 15 over Berlin on March 6, 1944, and nine at Berlin in May 24. It lost 14 over Ruhland on September 11, 1944, and 12 over Hamburg on December 31, 1944.
With all its bad luck, the 100th still earned an enviable record during its time in England. The 100th led the attack on Trondheim, Norway, (Rjukan) which delayed the German atomic bomb, stiffened Norwegian underground resistance, and earned the Group citations by the Norway Government in Exile as well as the British. It participated in all three (3) 8th Air Force shuttle mission, twice to Russia and once to North Africa. For its part in the liberation of France and for mercy missions dropping food and arms to the French Resistance , the 100th was awarded the French Croix de Guerre twice. For dropping food the Warsaw garrison the Group earned a special award from the Polish Government.
In Memory of
Harry Birdell Winger
August 21, 1924 - October 11, 2012
Harry B. Winger, 88
Yarmouth – Harry B. Winger, 88, a resident of Bay Square in Yarmouth, died at Maine Medical Center on Thursday, October 11, 2012, with his family by his side.
Harry was born in Mercer County, in Western Pennsylvania, on August 21, 1924 to Lawrence and Effie Mae Winger. He grew up on a family farm, attended church every Sunday with his family, and entered the U.S. Army Air Corp at the age of 17 in 1942. He trained as a bomber pilot. In 1944 he got his B-17 crew and plane and "buzzed" his mother in West Middlesex, PA on his way to England. He flew B-17 bombers over Germany during World War II. In June, 1944, at the age of nineteen and during his seventeenth bombing mission, his B-17 plane was shot down over Germany by the then-new and very fast German ME-262 fighter jet. His B-17 caught fire and ultimately exploded in the air, but all ten members of the crew bailed out and survived. Harry was knocked unconscious by the explosion, but he regained consciousness while in free-fall, opened his parachute, and landed in a German farm field. Harry was captured and spent the last eleven months of the war in a German prison camp located in Northern Germany. His prison camp was liberated in 1945 by the Russian Red Army. He returned to the United States and stayed in the Army Air Corp.
Harry then served as a pilot at Air Force bases in Oklahoma and Ohio. While in Oklahoma he was involved in a terrible plane accident and suffered serious injuries, but he refused to accept a Purple Heart medal for this event. While based in Ohio he took "routine navigational flights" to Boston to visit a young woman he knew named Arlene Ferver.
On December 19, 1948, in Boston, he married Mabel Arlene Ferver, whom he had known since he was a child. In 1949 he was transferred to Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany and flew 200 missions in the Berlin Airlift. Many, many years later Harry was awarded the Friendship Medal from the country of Germany for this service. Arlene joined Harry in Germany in 1949, but then in 1950 Harry was transferred to McCord AFB in Tacoma, Washington, and assigned to fly through the Aleutians to Japan to Korea for the Korean War. Arlene traveled to Tacoma, and in 1950 Harry's first son, Lawrence, was born there. Harry was over the Pacific Ocean flying back to the U.S. when learned of his son's birth from another pilot who radioed the news to him.
After the Korean War, Harry was assigned to Westover AFB in Massachusetts, and his second son, Douglas, was born there in 1952. He was then assigned to West Palm Beach, FL, where his daughter, Janet was born in 1956. Harry's next tour of duty was in Japan 1957-1960, with his family. Harry flew around the world many times and, as Arlene often said, took many pictures of airports and his airplanes.
In 1960 Harry came to Maine to serve as the Air Force liaison officer to the Maine Civil Air Patrol. In 1962 Harry was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and forever after he was known as "The Colonel." He served as the CAP officer, with offices on Veranda Street in Portland, until his retirement in 1965. Harry then worked for seventeen years as a pilot and later Director of Flight Operations for Maine Aviation Corporation at the Portland Airport. He finished his flying career as the pilot for many years of a Cessna Conquest for Victoria Creations, a jewelry company in Rhode Island. He really enjoyed flying that Cessna Conquest very much.
Harry always had a positive, can-do attitude. He was talkative and friendly and never hesitated to strike up conversations with strangers. In his last year at Bay Square he was always a very lively member of that community and very caring for Arlene.
Harry was always attentive to his duties to his God, his country, and his family. Harry and Arlene were active participants in their churches throughout their lives, and they were regulars at Woodfords Church in Portland from 1963 – 2012.
Harry was at various times a member of the Masons, the Shriners, the 100Th Bomb Group Foundation, the Mercedes Benz Owners of America, and many other organizations, but in his later years his favorite and most active membership was in the The Quiet Birdmen.
Harry is survived by his loving wife, Arlene, a resident at Bay Square in Yarmouth, and his three children and their families: Lawrence Winger and his wife Holly of Falmouth and their children Charlie and Tommy, Douglas Winger and his wife Kathleen of Windermere, FL and their children Meghan, Carly, Brett, and Molly, and Janet Gauvin and her husband Russell of Portland and Janet's children Sarah Arbo and Greg Arbo.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at Woodfords Church, 202 Woodfords Street, Portland, with Rev. Carolyn Lambert officiating. After the service a gathering at the church of Harry's family and friends will share their memories and stories of Harry.
Memorial donations may be made to Woodfords Church, 202 Woodfords Street, Portland, ME 04103.
POW/KIA notes: Crew's 4th Mission.