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Personnel

Capt

Omar GONZALES

Hometown During Time of Service: San Antonio, TX
Army Serial Number: O-725967
Assigned to the 100th Bombardment Group
Location:
Unit: 418th Bombardment Squadron
Rank:
Position: Navigator
Beginning Date of 100th Service: Unknown
Time of Service at Thorpe Abbotts: Unknown - Unknown

Additional 100th Service Notes

Status: POW
Comments: 5 NOV 43 GELSENKIRCHEN (Original 100th, Crew #A1 , Group Navigator))

Biography

Born April 22, 1916
Birthplace: Laredo, Texas

Comments and Notes

Memo 1:
CREW

OMAR "The Tent Maker" GONZALES WAS THE GROUP NAVIGATOR (REPLACED LATER BY HARRY CROSBY), GOING DOWN ON THE 5 NOV 43 GELSENKIRCHEN MISSION WITH LT. FLESH. WHO ORDERED THE CREW TO BAIL OUT AND WAS ABLE TO BRING THE PLANE BACK TO THORPE ABBOTTS.. BELOW IS THE ROANE CREW OF WHICH GONZALES FLEW SEVERAL MISSIONS .

VETERAN: Omar Gonzales
VETERAN'S DATE OF DEATH: 27 July, 2005

CREW

2ND LT OWEN D. (COWBOY) ROANE P CPT 26 NOV 43 PARIS (flew one additional mission on Feb 29, 1944-Brunswick)
2ND LT ARTHUR C. "BUD" STIPE CP CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
2ND LT DANIEL L. SCHMUCKER NAV CPT 29 NOV 43 BREMEN
2ND LT CURTIS K. CAMPBELL BOM CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
T/SGT CLARENCE R. TOMB ROG CPT 16 NOV 43 RJUKAN, NORWAY
T/SGT ROBERT A. STUART TTE CPT 16 NOV 43 RJUKAN, NORWAY
S/SGT ROGER O. STROBLE BTG CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
S/SGT JAMES JARVIE RWG CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
S/SGT ARTHUR HAUGE LWG NOC X-FERRED TO BASE MP'S. Replaced by T/SGT RICHARD DETWEILER
S/SGT PATRICK J. HEALY TG CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN

349th Sqdn.. Crew joined 100th in June 26, 1943 as one of the first replacement crews along with Lt Henry Henington, Lt John Justice and Lt "Big Chief" Walter Moreno.

Repacments on Lt Roane Crew:

LT STIPE IS REPLACED ON THE CREW ON BY F/O REGINALD A. SMITH (TRANSFERRED FROM RAF) STARTING WITH 3 NOV 43 MISISON TO WILHEMSHAVEN. HE WOULD LATER TRANSFER TO THE 418TH BS AS A 2ND LT AND COMMAND HIS OWN CREW. LT REGINALD "SMITTY" SMITH WOULD BECOME A POW 20/2/44 ON THE MISSION TO POSEN & SETTIN

2ND LT DANIEL L. SCHMUCKER (NAV) MOVED TO 13TH CBW TO START TEACHING ABOUT RADAR NAVIGATION AND BOMBING. HE WAS REPLACED ON THE CREW BY 1ST LT OMAR "THE TENT MAKER" GONZALES (FORMER GROUP NAVGATOR) STARTING WITH 8 OCT 43 MISSION TO BREMEN.

1ST LT GONZALES IS REPLACED BY LT HOWARD BASSETT (FROM LT VICTOR REED CREW) FOR MISSONS OCTOBER 18-19, 1943, BOTH TO DUREN.

08 OCT 43 BREMEN*
14 OCT 43 SCHWEINFURT* (BLACK THURSDAY)


*CREW THAT FLEW WITH COWBOY ON BREMEN AND SCHWEINFURT MISSIONS

2ND LT OWEN D. (COWBOY) ROANE P CPT 26 NOV 43 PARIS
2ND LT ARTHUR C. STIPE CP CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
1ST LT OMAR GONZALES NAV POW 5 NOV 43 GELSENKIRCHEN
2ND LT CURTIS K. CAMPBELL BOM CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
T/SGT CLARENCE R. TOMB ROG CPT 16 NOV 43 RJUKAN, NORWAY
T/SGT ROBERT A. STUART TTE CPT 16 NOV 43 RJUKAN, NORWAY
S/SGT ROGER O. STROBLE BTG CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
S/SGT JAMES JARVIE RWG CPT 20 OCT 43 DUREN
T/SGT RICHARD DETWEILER LWG CPT 13 FEB 44 NO-BALL
S/SGT PATRICK J. HEALY TG CPT 20 OCT43 DUREN


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CREW

Mission: Gelsenkirchen
Date: 5 Nov 1943 349th Sqdn..

William R. Flesh P CPT
John G.Gossage CP POW Mar 44 Berlin
Omar Gonzales NAV POW
James J. Lux BOM POW
Conner D. Brewster ROG KIA (From S. Reeder crew)
Harold L. Pope TTE EVADEE (From S. Reeder crew)
Francis G. Dolsen BTG POW (From S. Reeder crew)
George P. Gineikis WG EVADEE (From G. Van Noy crew)
Leon E. McDonald WG EVADEE
James Marasco TG POW (From S. Reeder crew)

---> SUBMITTER INFORMATION
SUBMITTER: Michael Moores LeBlanc
EMAIL: mmleblanc@sympatico.ca
PURPOSE: Submit general feedback
INTEREST: I am researching WW2 history
MESSAGE
Message: I was checking details about the Wm R. Flesh crew 349 BS, FTR 5 Nov '43 and note an error in your information.

S/Sgt Leon E. 'Al' McDonald(MacDonald?), 32287971 was not a Pow. He is listed as E&E 256 and was the 208th evader helped by the famous Comete line, crossing into Spain on 27 Nov 43, together with fellow crew man George Gineikis.

Regards,
Michael Moores LeBlanc


Operations Report says: "Plane was hit in #! engine after bombs away. All crew members
except Pilot and Co-pilot bailed out, on orders, over the target area."
Flesh and Gossage managed to fly the ship back to England.

NOVEMBER 1943. MISSION GILSENKIRCHEN."SQUAWKIN HAWK" PILOTED BY WILLIAM FLESH AND CO-PILOTED BY JOHN GOSSAGE, LOST IT'S CREW, INCLUDING OMAR "THE TENT MAKER" GONZALES, 'ONCE GROUP NAVIGATOR' WHEN AFTER SUSTAINING HEAVY BATTLE DAMAGE, THEY WERE ORDERED TI BAIL OUT AND EVERYBODY EXCEPT THE PILOTS JUMPED. ON RECOVERING CONTROL, LIEUTENATN FLESH AND GOSSAGE BROUGHT THE SHATTERED PLANE BACK, TO LAND AT TANGMERE IN KENT.UNFORTUNATELY, THE RADIO OPERATOR, CONNOR BRESTER WAS KILLED WHEN HIS PARACHUTE FAILED TO OPEN. THE ENGINEER HAROLD POPE AVOIDED CAPTURE AND AIDED BY THE UNDERGROUND MANAGED TO GET BACK TO ENGLAND. WAIST GUNNER GEORGE GINEIKIS, ALSO BECAME AN EVADEE. THE REST WERE TAKEN PRISONER OF WAR.THIS FORTRESS WAS REPAIRED AND RETURNED TO COMBAT STATUS.
THE BADLY DAMAGED "SQUAWKIN HAWK" WAS REPAIRED AND RESTORED TO OPERATIONS. SHE BECAME THE FIRST 100TH AIRCRAFT TO COMPLETE 50 MISSIONS. WITH HER SKIN AUTOGRAPHED BY THE MEN OF THE 100TH, SHE WAS FLOWN BACK TO THE STATES FOR A WAR BOND TOUR.


The following form contents were entered on 12th May 3
Date = 12 May 3 16:30:32
subject = 100thBG Feedback Form
messages = 1019
TYPE = Ask a question regarding history
RESPONSIBLE = 100TH BG HISTORIAN
EMAIL = rmckay@flatsurv.com
UNAME = James Reese McKay
CONNECTION = I am a relative of a 100th veteran
COMMENTS = My father, Dan Boies McKay, will turn 80 this June. He was the bombardier in Curtis R. "Pete" Biddick's crew. Their B-17 was shot down over Regensburg on August 17, 1943. The pilot, Lt. Biddick, and most of the crew were killed in action on this mission. My father and the radio operator survived and were POWs for the remainder of the war. I did not see anything in the missions history section about the Regensberg mission. Is that being worked on? My father could probably submit his account of this, although I have not talked to him about it in many years and I don't know how much detail he remembers after all these years.

My father did remember that someone named Gonzales replaced Paul Warner as navigator for the original Biddick crew. He couldn't remember his first name. He said that Gonzales had flown about 3 missions with them he thought. Most of the original Biddick crew had been shot up (all had survived their wounds as far as my father could remember) and were likely shipped back to the states by the time of the Regensberg raid. My father does not have a photo of the Biddick crew or any other crew. As far as he knows no one ever had such a photo. I will mail you one or two photos of my father though…

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT Information:

Target:
Gelsenkirchen
Aircraft:
"Squawkin Hawk" (42-30088)
Date:
1943-11-05
Cause:
 Battle Damage, Crew was ordered to Bail Out

Photos

Omar Gonzales

Omar Gonzales pre-war magazine article (courtesy of Laura Shivers)

Crew List

1st Crew List

Use your thumb to scroll through the results box below.

Rank Name Pos Status
Lt FLESH, William R. P XFR
Lt GOSSAGE, John G. P POW
Capt GONZALES, Omar NAV POW
Lt LUX, James J. BOM POW
T/Sgt POPE, Harold L. TTE EVA
T/Sgt BREWSTER, Connor D. ROG KIA
S/SGT DOLSEN, Francis G. BTG POW
S/SGT GINEIKIS, George P. WG EVA
Sgt MACDONALD, Leon E. WG EVA
S/Sgt PING, Charles J. TG RFS