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Personnel

S/Sgt

William T. BEHR

Assigned to the 100th Bombardment Group
Location:
Unit: 418th Bombardment Squadron
Rank:
Position: Ball Turret Gunner

Additional 100th Service Notes

Status: CPT
Comments: WIA 11 MAY 44 LEIGE /CPT 24 JUL 44 ST LO

Comments and Notes

Memo 1:
CREW

Lt Elmer E.Ferbrache P CPT 6/6/44 FALAISE, TOWN
Lt Anthony D.Slatinsky CP CPT 29/7/44 MERSEBURG, OIL REF & HILDESHEIM
Lt Burton S. Hufsey NAV CPT 21/7/44 REGENSBURG & LUDWIGSHAFEN
Lt David N.Hegge BOM CPT 3/8/44 TROYES, RAIL JUNCTION
S/Sgt Harold H.Patterson TTE CPT 24/7/44 ST. LO, GROUND SUPPORT
Sgt John P.Lucarelli, ROG CPT 24/7/44 ST. LO, GROUND SUPPORT
Sgt William T.Behr BTG WIA 11 /5/44 LIEGE,MY, but CPT 25 JUL 1944 ST. LO (see below)
Sgt Clifford H.Leming LWG WIA 6/3/44 BERLIN but CPT 24 JUL 1944 ST. LO
Sgt Benjamin J.Devine RWG WlA 6/3/44 BERLIN but CPT 24 JUL 1944 ST. LO
Sgt Howard O.Williams TG CPT 24/7/44 ST. LO, GROUND SUPPORT

418th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on Feb. 26, 1944.

Letter from William Behr 13/3/84 to Jim Brown -- " . . .Ferbrache finished hls tour early and went home on furlough & then returned to the group as a Major. He, I believe,was assigned to the 349th. I was wounded over Liege,Belgium late in May & by the time I rejoined the crew, was five missions behind. When the crew finished 35 in Sept. I was removed from flight status as some more surgery was due on my arm and I also had ulcers.. The enlisted members of the crew came back to N.Y. together on the Queen Mary late in Sept.1944."..Bill adds that the Officers of his crew were forced to suffer a Liberty ship for their return to the States.

Letter from William T. "Bill" Behr to Paul West --Dec 20th, 1993; Bill Behr is one of the 100th's best known veterans --- has rendered valuable service to more than one 100th Bomb Group Association President , often in difficult roles. He presently (1993) resides in Hackettstown, New Jersey.(See Behr file for complete text of letter)


"….This is a little story of how our plane was named.
For our first three missions we flew a ratty "F" model already labeled "Bastards Bungalow" with an outhouse on the nose. On our third mission, March 6, 1944, we were pretty well shot up, both waist gunners wounded, and though we returned to base the next day we were sent to some depot to pick up a new plane. Wherever this was it was like an auto dealers lot and we were told to go out on the line and pick one. As we walked down the line we came to an unpainted "G" model which caught our eye. My mother was sort of superstitious and she had sent me off to war with a Silver Dollar for luck. As we were discussing if this would be our choice I took my lucky coin out of my wallet and said it shines like my Silver dollar. That was our choice and it was fittingly named "Silver Dollar-In God We Trust". After my mother heard what the name was she sent over nine more lucky coins and to my knowledge the remaining crew members still have them. The name may have had something to do with survival as Pecos Reeves, our crew chief, said it lasted for 103 missions before it was involved in a taxi accident. The story is continued in the booklet about the museum at Thorpe Abbotts. Col. Jeffrey had the two wrecks of the accident reassembled as one plane and he used it as his plane during the food flights after the war.

There is another item I have had in my mind and it has to do with me on D-Day, June 6, 1944. On our 21st mission I was wounded over Liege, Belgium. The next day our crew was to go on Flak Leave (R&R) and instead I was in the hospital while my buddies went to their Red Cross rest home. After I was released from the hospital I was sent on my leave to a rest home in Bournemouth. It was a very nice estate and things were fine until the morning of June 6th. It was quite evident that the invasion was on and the folks running the home were finally able to find out that all leaves had been canceled. For some reason or other we had not been notified, maybe they were afraid we would tell the wrong parties. It took some doing but they eventually got us to the railroad. As you can imagine the amount of traffic in those towns along the channel was much more than the streets were designed for. All was fine now, I thought, as I was on my way back to London for a change of trains. In London I was picked up by the MPs because no service personnel were supposed to be anywhere except on their base. Even the MP Officer of the Day had trouble getting thru to Thorpe Abbotts as telephone usage that day was restricted due to the invasion. Eventually he was able to confirm our problem and we were escorted to the train and headed home. For the life of me I can not recall who the others were that were involved, all I can remember is something like six sorry sacks sitting there and talking about what we were missing.

Another story involves an incident that occurred on the hardstand iust prior to our getting into the plane.On the morning of a mission we were taken to our hardstand and have a normal procedure to prepare for take-off. Our guns were stored in a tent at our parking spot and the first order of business was to clean them of excess oil and install them in our position and check the ammunition that had been put aboard by the armorers. This could all be done in a few minutes which meant we had some time before our pilot would tell us to load up. We normally spent this time in the tent just to get inside. On the morning I am referring to we were in there when we heard a plane approaching. It had gotten to the point that we could guess that it was a twin engine noise and someone remarked that it sounded like a B-25. This tent had some windows, Mica I believe, and that moment we heard two bombs go off and I saw two flashes in the runway area. I iumped for the door and hit the light switch as I landed in the puddle at the door and was crawling out. I hadn't gone far when our tail gunner stepped right on my back and flattened me in the mud. Even to this day he has spoken about this and not in an apologetic way either.

From what I have been able to gather you are looking for-anything at all relating to the 100th for your history. I am not sure if you have seen the layouts of the base at Thorpe Abbotts and I have reproduced a copy for you as it might be the sort of item that should be included. Of course I have assumed you have a scanner that can insert this onto your hard disc That is included with this letter and also a copy of the booklet that is available about the restoration of the tower. This sort of item could be a good one for the final chapter, if there is ever going to be a final one as the Brits have what amounts to a perpetual lease on the property. The story of the taxi accident to our plane is in this booklet
As I said I do not want to wait until this would be considered a volume. For the time being I am going to call it quits and send this first issue off, maybe after a week or so I will get the urge to try and put some more items on paper. Drop me a short line if you will and possibly list some specifics that you are looking for. From our house to yours the Best Wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year!"

See record for Thorpe Abbotts for detailed maps supplied by Bill Behr.

MISSION LOG COURTESY OF WILLIAM T. BEHR
AND MAYNOT BE CORRECT FOR Burton Hufsey

1. Brunswick, Germany 29 Feb 1944
2 Secret, Germany (No Ball) 03 Mar 1944
3 Berlin, Germany 06 Mar 1944 Crew flew Bastard's Bungalow II
4 Brunswick, Germany 15 Mar 1944
5 Augsburg, Germany 16 Mar 1944
6 Munich, Germany 18 Mar 1944
7 Secret, France (No Ball) 19 Mar 1944
8 Berlin, Germany 22 Mar 1944
9 Brunswick, Germany 23 Mar 1944
10. Recall over enemy territory 01 Apr 1944
11 Quackenbruck, Germany 08 Apr 1944
12 Secret, France (No Ball) 10 Apr 1944
13 Rostock, Germany 11 Apr 1944
14 Berlin, Germany 15 Apr 1944
15 Werl, Germany 19 Apr 1944
16 Marquenneville, France 20 Apr 1944
17 Hamm, Germany 22 Apr 1944
18 Friedrickshafen, Germany 24 Apr 1944
19 Sarregvemines 01 May 1944
20 Couvron, France 09 May 1944
21 Liege, Bel (Wounded) 11 May 1944
22 Basdorf (Berlin), Germany 21 Jun 1944 (Pilot Capt Forsythe)
23 Paris, France 22 Jun 1944 (Pilot Capt Forsythe)
24 Bourth, France 08 Jul 1944 (Pilot Capt Forsythe)
25 Auxerre, France 17 Jul 1944 (Pilot Capt Forsythe)
26 Kiel, Germany 18 Jul 1944 (Pilot Capt Forsythe)
27 Schweinfurt, Germany 19 Jul 1944 (Pilot Lt Bethea)
28 Werseburg, Germany 20 Jul 1944 (Pilot Lt Bethea)
29 Ludwigshaven, Germany 21 Jul 1944 (Pilot Lt.Bethea)
30 Battle Line, St Lo France 25 Jul 1944 (Pilot Capt Forsythe)


Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target
3/3/1944 31 122 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 175 BERLIN
3/4/1944 31 123 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 508 BERLIN
3/6/1944 31 124 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 508 BERLIN
3/31/1944 31 139 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 232090 LUDWIGSHAFEN/RECALLED
4/1/1944 31 140 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 232090 LUDWIGSHAFEN
4/7/1944 31 141 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 QUACKENBRUCK (SCRB)
4/8/1944 31 142 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 QUACKENBRUCK
4/9/1944 31 143 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 KRZESINKI (POSEN)
4/10/1944 31 144 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 RHEIMS/ CHAMPAGNE
4/11/1944 31 145 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 332090 POSEN / ROSTOCK T.O.
5/1/1944 31 110 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 107011 SAARGUEMINES/WIZERNES
5/8/1944 31 112 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 BERLIN & LAGLACERIE
5/9/1944 31 114 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 LAON/COUVRON; ANTHIES
5/11/1944 31 115 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 32090 LIEGE
6/2/1944 79 128 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT RWG 32090 BOULOGNE
6/5/1944 31 131 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT RWG 32090 BOULOGNE(CHG)
6/6/1944 31 -132 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT RWG 6010 FALAISE/OUISTREHAM
6/14/1944 86 -139 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT RWG 32090 LE CULOT (AIR FIELD) Pilot-Lt SLATINSKY
6/21/1944 86 -144 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT RWG 97065 BASDORF & RUHLAND Pilot-Capt. Forsythe
6/22/1944 86 -146 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 97065 PARIS (RIVER DOCKS) Pilot-Capt. Forsythe
7/8/1944 86 156 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 106986 CLAMECY-JOLGYN Pilot-Capt. Forsythe
7/17/1944 86 161 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 102649 AUXERRE & MONTGOURNOY-Pilot-Capt Forsythe
7/18/1944 86 162 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 102649 KIEL & HEMMINGSTADT Pilot-Capt. Forsythe
7/21/1944 93 165 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT TG 37935 REGENSBURG- Pilot-Lt Bethea
7/24/1944 86 166 DEVINE B.J. S/SGT LWG 37935 ST LO (GND SUPPORT)- Pilot-Capt. Forsythe

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REPLY TO: ladevineshan@aol.com

SUBMITTER: Shannon Devine

EMAIL: ladevineshan@aol.com

PURPOSE: Ask a question

INTEREST: I am the veteran's relative

MESSAGE: How can I find out about my dad, Ben J. Devine? 418th, Silver Dollar was his plane. He was wounded, I believe in the first bombing run over Berlin. I would like to know why he wasn't given a citation for his actions when he was wounded. He was recommended for a Silver Star but it was not supported by whoever is supposed to corrorborate such things. I think this is something that should be corrected and I'm starting with you people because I don't know where else to start.

Thank you for the very quick response.

The story as I understand it was that my dad and several others of the crew were wounded on the Berlin run. The bombadier was wounded and unable to close the bomb bay doors. My dad's hands and arms were shot up by shrapnel and he had to use his elbows to turn the wheels to manually close the bomb bay doors. In addition to that, they lost oxygen somehow and he was the only one able to carry oxygen bottles from where they were stored in the back of the plane up to the pilots in the cockpit. From my little understanding of the situation, the carrying of the oxygen bottles was difficult not only because his hands and arms were shot up but he had to carry them over/through the bomb door. One they were back at the base, no one was able to duplicate what he did.

It's our family's understanding that the commanding officer wanted to recommend my dad for the Silver Star but the pilot of the plane, Ferbache, refused as in his opinion it was just part of the job.

It seems to me that had my dad not done what he did, the plane would have had problems landing assuming the pilots didn't run out of oxygen or force them to drop out of formation and drop down to lower altitudes.

I've always felt my dad didn't get the recognition he should have. I know there were many heroic things done by so many back then and maybe what he did wasn't so much but it sure seems to me he did something the others couldn't do.

Another story my dad told us is that the 100th was really the first group to bomb Berlin but they didn't get the credit because the flight was cancelled only they were already on their way and they didn't "get the memo" that it had been cancelled so another group got the credit for being the first……SHANNON DEVINE, DAUGHTER

Mike,

I didn't want to put this on the board, but my uncle (Hufsey) and John Lucarelli have both told me that a lot of what Bill B. wrote is not accurate. I know it's been a long time but they both agreed at different times that his memory doensn't agree with theirs.

So, on the crew page, the info posted is his information and I don't always trust it, if you understand.

Even as to how the Silver Dollar got it's name. They both told me the same story and it's not what Bill says.
They said that they were rolling up for takeoff and someone in the tower said something like…"Get that Silver dollar rolling". They liked it and it stuck. The part about Bill's mom sending the silver dollars is true.

Jerry Favretto, Sgt Hufsey's Nephew) jekf1@comcast.net

Crew List

1st Crew List

Use your thumb to scroll through the results box below.

Rank Name Pos Status
LT FERBRACHE, Elmer E. P CPT
LT HUFSEY, Burton S. NAV CPT
LT HEGGE, David N. BOM CPT
S/SGT LUCARELLI, John P. ROG CPT
S/SGT BEHR, William T. BTG CPT
SGT DEVINE, Benjamin J. WG CPT
S/SGT LEMING, Clifford H. WG CPT