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Personnel

Lt

William Griswold SMITH

Assigned to the 100th Bombardment Group
Location:
Unit: 349th Bombardment Squadron
Rank:
Position: Pilot
Beginning Date of 100th Service: Unknown
Time of Service at Thorpe Abbotts: Unknown - Unknown

Additional 100th Service Notes

Status: FEH
Comments: GREENSBORO, NC "GRIS"

Media Articles

Use your thumb to scroll through the results box below.

Media ItemTypePageVolume/IssueBroadcast SourceTimeDescriptionFile
Robert Carlton, Griswold Smith air medalsPrintThe News and Observer June 7 194512:00 am

Comments and Notes

Memo 1:
CREW

1ST LT WILLIAM GRISWOLD SMITH P FEH CREW FLYING AT END OF HOSTILITIES
2ND LT ROBERT W. SMITH, JR CP FEH
2ND LT WILSON P. TURNIPSEED, JR. NAV FEH
2ND LT PAUL A. WILKERSON BOM FEH (became 349th BS Bombardier after 6 missions)
CPL DELOME CUMBAA, JR ROG FEH
CPL STANLEY A. SZALWINSKI, JR TTE FEH TAPS: 19 SEP 1982
CPL ANTHONY R. RUSSO BTG FEH
CPL JOHN J. O'LEARY WG FEH TAPS; 1985
CPL EARL J. BAUGH TG FEH

349TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 14 MAR 1945
4 crews transferred from the 70th Reinforcement Depot SO 69 MARCH 10,1945 arrived at Thorpe Abbotts on MARCH 14,1945…1st Lt. W. Griswold Smith Crew 22,APO 19047,and 2nd Lt. Dorman Crew 30, 2nd Lt. Norbert C. Etzel, Crew 33, and 2nd Lt. George H. Lenke Jr.,Crew 46

MISSION LOG OF THE W. G. SMITH CREW

Mis No# Date Target A/C No#

#290 3/30/45 HAMBURG 43-38602 XR-P “Grumblin Gremlin II”

#291 3/31/45 ZEITZ 44-8334 XR-B

#293 4/4/45 KEIL 43-38602 XR-P….”Grumblin Gremlin II”

#294 4/5/45 NURNBURG 43-38313 XR-S “Lil Butch”

#296 4/7/45 BUCHEN 43-38602 XR-P “Grumblin Gremlin II”

#297 4/8/45 EGER,Czech. 44-8532 XR-G “Kleen Sweep”

#298 4/9/45 MUNICH 44-8532 XR-G “Kleen Sweep”

#299 4/10/45 BURG-BEI-MADGEBURG 44-8532 XR-G “Kleen Sweep”

#300 4/11/45 LANDSHUT 43-38383 LN-F

#305 4/18/45 STRAUBING 43-38865 XR-0 “Goin My Way”

4/19/45 Combat Mission Scrubbed/ 43-38865 XR-O “Goin My Way”
Crew flew Practice Mission

All Dutch Food Drop Missions Some flights to Europe Post-Hostilities

5/3/45 CHOWHOUND 44-8532 XR-G “Kleen Sweep”

5/5/45 CHOWHOUND(HILVERSUM) 44-8532 XR-G “Kleen Sweep”

5/7/45 CHOWHOUND(SCHIPHOL) 43-38865 XR-O “Goin My Way”

5/19/45 DP Ferry from Germany to Paris 43-39424 EP-B

6/3/45 DP Ferry from Austria to Paris 44-8552 XR-D

6/7/45 Food run to Dutch

6/9/45 357th FG Ferry to Munich

6/10/45 Food run to Dutch

6/12/45 Fighter Ferry to Casablanca 44-8810 XR-L “Target for Tonight”

6/13/45 Returned to Thorpe Abbotts

from Port Lyautey

7/15/45 Ferry to Nice, France………………. 44-8810…XR-L…”Target for Tonight”



My Dad was based at Thorpe Abbotts from 3/14/45 to 12/8/45 – 100th BG (349thSqdn)

Gris Smith’s crew until he left U.K. on Queen Mary to USA on 12/8/45,arriving USA 12/13/45

The misson data is courtesy of Mr J.J. O'Leary, Jr.


Disposition of some100th Aircraft flown by J.J. O'Leary

#48532 349 XR G Clean Sweep(Kleen Sweep)
11 10 44 AI 23 10 44 AOS 00 00 44 G
20 05 45 482 BG 28 11 45 Kingman, Arizona
Indicates the aircraft built 11/10/44 and entered Air Force inventory 23/10/44
Overseas unknown month and date in 1944 and was a "G" model. She was tranferred to the
482nd Bomb Group 20/05/45 and was returned to the ZI (Kingman, Arizona 28/1145
# 48810 48810 349 XR L Target for Tonight
04/0145 AI 04/unk/45 AOS 00 00 45 "G"
10/10/45 Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

XR_crew@yahoo.comuname = Jack O'Learycomments
= RE: Gris Smith Crew photo on page 13,349th Sqdn page…
I would like to see a bit more DETAILED information regarding this crew photo..So use whatever you feel is useful and have space for….this photo was taken at DREW FIELD,FLORIDA (NOW TAMPA INTERNATIONAL)where the crew was first put together..their individual flying records indicate; assigned from late October,1944 until January 24,1945 to 3rd Air Force,Bomber Command,89th Wing,Group CCTS HB,Squardron T,Flight Secion 1, CREW # 11-47…Flying from Nov 1,1944 until Jan 7,1945…52 landings in 31 days of flying..181.50 TOTAL flying HRS…Usual training pattern of many takeoff and landings first three flights,13(in 5.40 hrs),3,and 6,and then 1 per day average 6.00 hrs per…with 2 flights toward end of cycle at 9.05 hrs and 10.40 hrs each…Flying over Gulf of Mexico which could be tricky when flying over water…crew members used phrase to me "one a day in Tampa Bay"…not sure if this AAF base had any MORE crashe!s than usual at a Training base for aircrews!!! Crew cycled out to Savannah Ga (HUNTER Field,AAF)in late January,1945 then traveled to NYC for their Feb,1945 crossing of the Atlantic,via Queen Elizabeth to Scotland,then to Thorpe Abbotts,arriving March 14,1945;flying four practice flights,3/20,3/25,3/27,3/29 before jumping into the fray on their first combat mission,March 30th,HAMBURG…Interesting from Jan 8th,1945 until March 20th…NO FLYING TIME for the crew after such intense training in the States…Jack O'Leary,son of WG John J.O'Leary on the Gris Smith crew


In a message dated 4/18/2003 8:27:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time, john_oleary07@yahoo.com writes:


Subj:One ship down,two chutes opened many years ago,March 30,1945
Date:4/18/2003 8:27:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:john_oleary07@yahoo.com
To:cumbaade@bellsouth.net, phyllisbaugh8457@aol.com
CC:janr@cei.net, fortress@nortexinfo.net, MPFaley@aol.com
Sent from the Internet

Hi De and Earl

RE: Your first combat mission,March 30th,1945

Where it's Good Friday today and I TRY to keep from
talking much on this solumn of days I decided to do a
little research on your first combat mission to
HAMBURG,March 30,1945

specificly to follow up Gris Smith's mission log with
his,and your (crews) comments on the mission regarding
the accuracy of the comments.."I was flying the run
and therefore couldn't see much,but out of the corner
of my eye,saw the Squardron on our right in a pretty
thick concentration of flak.Further to the right was a
Yellow Tail outfit.The flak around us was thick,but
that Yellow Tail group was really taking a
beating.Right waist gunner (Sgt.John O'Leary,THE waist
Gunner,9 man crew)reported that one ship went down
with two chutes opened."

Well De they were right on with their observations.

After researching the mission for the day,I found
three B-17G's lost on the mission to Hamburg..only
one from a "Yellow Tailed Group…the 486th BG…

The Lt Fredrick Veal crew on their 9th mission…they
arrived at the 486th four days (March 10th)before your
crew did ..

See the 486th BG website for a photo of the crew and a
listing of what happened…

www.486th.org CLICK on 832th Sqdn artwork…select
VEAL…they were flying in the low low Sqdn #5 when
hit by flak..a wing broke off and a/c went into
dive,shortly after the a/c exploded…two crew were
able to get out…Sgt Robert Herman,was the Tail Gunner that got out and
became a POW with Lt. Don Johns,the Nav.
The other seven are buried at the American Cemetery in
Cambridge..(wish I knew this when I visited in
Sept-Oct 2002,would have looked them up and said a
prayer)

The Veal crew were flying RODNEY THE ROCKS #43-38142
MACR 13550 that crashed in Pinneburg,Germany that
day,an a/c transferred from another Sqdn prviously
named LIL BUTCH…the same nickname as one a/c your
crew flew in the 100th BG…

With all that was going on around them,Gris and Dad
were right on the money in their observations.Just
like they were trained to be by the USAAF..

Best as ever,

Have a good EASTER!

Jack

Jan and Mike…I had one more piece of info on the
W.Griswold SMITH crew…changes in crew assignment
positions,etc…

Where Paul Wilkinson the original BOMB on the
W.G.Smith became the 349th Sqdn Bombardier after 6 or
7 missions…I'm STILL not sure exactly when my dad (john o'leary)
was changed to permanent TOG,(though Gris Smith did
tell me he flew "some missions" as Toggilier)… I do
know he was riding in the nose as TOG on some of the
CHOWHOUND food drops in May,1945..Not sure HOW the
bombbay release worked,since plywood was put in over
the bomb bay area,with some type of hinges…if
release was in bomb bay….

Jack O'Leary


RE: 349th Sqdn Airmen

2nd Lt. William Groover CP 349th Sqdn FEH

S/Sgt. Russell O. Beyne WG 349th Sqdn FEH

Sgt Henry (NMI) Leffew WG (spare) grounded FEH

A couple of things on these airmen;

I did a search on the 100th BG database
website…Nothing on LEFFEW,had no position for
BEYNE..

My information is incomplete but I have some info for
you.. When my dad was moved to permanent TOGGLIER
position,from WG sometime after hostilities …Beyne
replaced my dad in that position…right up until the
end of flying in October 1945…Russell also bunked
with the Gris Smith NCO's crew in Hut #33…Henry
Leffew was a SPARE gunner…in the summer and up to
the end of 1945 the flying CREW assignments were 10
men…9 actually flying,with a 10th person as a
spare,sub.etc…All I know about Henry Leffew was he
was grounded,don't know if he actually flew anytime
with the SMITH crew…Finally William T. Groover was
the CP that replaced Robert Smith Jr. on the SMITH
crew in early June and stayed on the crew up to the
end of flying in Oct. 1945…


Subj: W.G SMITH,A.KIRSLING crews,connections,misc
Date: 3/11/2004 6:29:49 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: xr_crew@yahoo.com
To: MPFaley@aol.com
CC: hnelson@pwhome.com, charlie.cole@charter.net, pw@100thbg.com, janr@cei.net
Sent from the Internet (Details)




Hi Mike At some point I'm going to send you an email draft of connections between the SMITH and KIRSLING crews…What's interesting (to me) is why and how some things happened with crew assignments…Case in point,Paul Wilkenson…Paul was an EXPERT bombardier…He spent 18 months at Midland ,TX training bombardiers..(One of the reasons he wanted to go overseas was he felt he might be killed teaching bombing,and his family wouldn't even get a purple heart)…Paul had showed up at Drew Field,FL and COMPLETED training with another crew only to be kept at Drew Field while the remainder of his crew was sent to the ETO without their Bombardier (9 man crew switch to TOG'S because of air crew shortages in the ETO)… In Oct,1944 when Gris Smith (and Wilson Turnipseed) went to the assigning crew Sgt. At Drew (Gris was also a 1st Lt,and knew the Adg. At Drew) looking for the best of what was available in the pool…Gris gave the Sgt a bottle of booze and he got Paul assigned to his crew…Gris and "Turnip" were from old, well off, Southern families used to getting what they wanted…Case in point,the two of them (were college frat brothers at Chapel Hill) and when they got to Drew Field,took one look at the officers quarters and Gris proceeded to get a suite at a Tampa Hotel where they stayed during their months at Drew Field…Nice if you get it,right!...Paul said he was very disappointed he couldn't have gone over with the original crew because the men got so tight when they trained together,learned the strengths of each other,as well as some of the flaws…but knew because of the training,they could count on each man doing his job well especially in combat when the pressure was on,and the training paid off when they were scared as they all were but did their jobs regardless…Someone at Thorpe Abbotts recognized they had a very talented Bombardier in short order…Paul flew his last mission with Gris and crew on April 8th,1945 after 6 combat missions …Gris and Paul tried to get the Sqdn C.O. to let Paul flew another mission,but couldn't…This is where the connection comes in to the Kirsling crew…Paul was reassigned to the Al Kirsling crew to train as a LEAD CREW…Now John Accinelli (N) flew with Kirsling until at least April 17th,when he flew with COBLE…I have some conflicting information from Ralph Dew,the ROG on the Kirsling crew,so the Kirsling Lead crew missions are still to be sorted out…(some time starting around April 9th,1945 at the earliest)…Paul in a letter to me "I flew 3 Food Drops with the Al Kirsling crew,who I trained with as a Lead Crew)…So there is much to sort out yet Mike about any possible combat missions for the Kirsling crew as a lead crew….For now, I'm giving you the much later,after hostilities offical Combat Crew Assignment for the Kirsling Crew,maybe when I finish the final draft which will include the Smith crew assigment,and changes to personnel we can tie it in with comments ,after hostilities or something ..to what's on the pages for BOTH crews since possible family members,interested parties might be looking for people hard to find info on because of their late arrival,etc….Anyway,here's(KIRSLING CREW ROSTER) the 1 Sept,1945 349th Bombardment Squadron,Combat Crew Assignment from the Office of the Operations Officer….CREW # 2, SHIP # 752-0 P-1st Lt. Kirsling,Albert (NMI) CP-2nd Lt. Lavoie,George P, N-2nd Lt. Turnipseed,Wilson P. Jr., VN-1st Lt. Carpenter,Kenneth W.,B-1st Lt. O'Laughlin,Arthur J.,R-Sgt Dew,Ralph S.,E-S/Sgt Miller,Edmund P.,BT-Sgt Czarnowski,Stanley E.,TG-Sgt Hilber,Joseph J.,CIS-Sgt Merrill,Clyde R (spare)………….That's all Mike, Note,t Paul Wilkenson had Turnip assigned to his crew…I can't say for sure,but where Paul really liked flying with crew he trained with,I do believe he must have requested Turnip when they started their LEAD CREW training in April,1945…. I'll send you a final draft upon completion,just though you would like my comments for the interim…Later, Jack O'Leary
***************************************************************************************************************

Hi Cindy, Here's the obituary link for Paul A. Wilkerson,who passed away 30 Dec,2007 at 92. Always very sad to see one of my dads crew pass away but Paul's passing was a blessing. He had been in poor health for sometime in an assisted care hospital facility and his memory was affected as well. Personnally I will miss Paul. I will remember meeting him with three other members of my dads crew at the Cincinnati 100th BG reunion and the stories he (and they told) me were priceless. Paul was a Bombardiers Instructor at Midland,Texas for 18 months before volunteering for combat duty in the ETO..and trained with a crew at Drew Field,Florida before being pulled off when they completed their crew training. Paul was assigned to the Gris Smith crew and went through crew training with them again for the entire two month cycle. Gris Smith told me a story of how he got Paul assigned to his crew and years later Paul confirmed the story to me in person and later in a letter that I requested. Gris asked the crew assignments sgt. Who was the best bombardier and the sgt. Told him Paul was.(The Sgt. Was correct Paul later became 349th BS Bombardier) Gris (and his Nav Wilson Turnipseed) asked the sgt if there was anyway Paul could be assigned to his crew and the sgt. Did assign Paul to the W.Griswold Smith crew( some bottles of booze also changed hands in the process)….. Jack
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Paul Wilkerson became 349th Bomb Squadron bombardier and flew the first mission on 1 May to the Hague. Paul said they dropped long and some 10 in 1 cartons went out late and landed on buildings. He said a letter arrived at the base from a professor who wrote their tail number down after one of the cartons landed in his kitchen after going through the roof. He explained they were thankful for the food and not seeking damages to the roof.
I have it on an audio tape he recorded with three others on the crew.

Crew List

1st Crew List

Use your thumb to scroll through the results box below.

Rank Name Pos Status
Lt SMITH, William P FEH
Lt SMITH, Robert W. CP FEH
LT TURNIPSEED, Wilson P. NAV FEH
LT WILKERSON, Paul A. BOM FEH
S/SGT SZALWINSKI, Stanley A. TTE FEH
S/SGT CUMBAA, DeLome ROG FEH
SGT RUSSO, Anthony R. BTG FEH
SGT O'LEARY, John J. WG FEH
SGT BAUGH, Earl J. TG FEH