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Group History

2nd Lt. Robert B. Landino

 

 

Account of 18 March 45 by Robert Landino from MACR #13144 


 
2nd Lt Edward P. Gwin P KIA 18/3/45 - Berlin
2nd Lt Donald H. Reichel CP POW 18/3/45 - Berlin
2nd Lt Robert B. Landino NAV POW 18/3/45 - Berlin
2nd Lt Stewart P. Laidlaw BOM Became Group Bombardier --
T/Sgt William C. Danielson, Jr ROG KIA 18/3/45 - Berlin
T/Sgt Herbert Hamann TTE POW 18/3/45 - Berlin
S/Sgt Joseph M. Griego TG POW 18/3/45 - Berlin
S/Sgt Earl S. Hamilton BTG Grounded --
S/Sgt Charles T. Maedel WG NOC 18/3/45 - Berlin
S/Sgt Norman D. Heilbuth WG POW 18/3/45 - Berlin

351st Sqdn. Crew, as above, joined 100th Group on 5/10/44.

Letter from Joe Griego in 1983 states that Lt. Laidlaw was made Group Bombardier after about 10 missions with crew. ". On 18/3/45 Sgt Raymond Y. Uhler and Sgt John W. Disher were flying in place of Hamilton & Maedel and both were KIA. Sgt. David Ackerman was aboard as NG and became a POW. R. K. Uhler was from the crew of J. L. Wofford. John Disher was from the crew of H. S. Bucklew.

S/Sgt N. D. Heilburth was aboard as a waist gunner and became a POW.

MACR #13144: A//C#43 38861 was attacked by an ME 262 at 1114 hours, 5247;N & 1145E. Our A/C had two engines on fire and dived away from the formation.. A/C then nosed up with tail falling off and fell down spinling. One chute was seen."

Joe Griego was in the severed section of the tail and had a difficult time getting out so that he could open his chute. See S.O.C. p.86/87 &103/105

The following are excerpts from statements of Lt. Robert B. Landino taken from MACR No# 13144

As to Lt. Gwin, ". . . from enlisted men who were working near where we were shot down; they claim one man bailed out below the clouds, then they heard shooting, his chute collapsed and he fell to the ground presumably dead."

As to Sgt Disher, " . . . S/Sgt Heilbuth saw him just before he bailed out. He was crawling out of the radio room with blood all over himself, but he (Heilbuth) did not have time to help him as the aircraft was below the clouds which were not more than 500 feet, so he had to jump. Disher probably never go to the door to jump as the plane must have hit only a few seconds later."

As to Sgt. Uhler, ". . . I believe he was trapped in the ball turret by enemy shell fire. His body was seen on the ground along side of the plane.

As to T/Sgt Danielson, ". . .He must have been killed by the fire from the two ME - 262s that shot us down. They sprayed the back part of our plane as it was shot in half just in front of the tail wheel.