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374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945

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JMFerenzi
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2010/12/23 19:51:14 (permalink)
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374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945

Hello,
My father served in the CBI during 1944-45 with the 374 Bomb Squadron.  He had told me stories about his days of service during WWII in which he was the Ball Turrett gunner on the following planes:
DING HOW DOTTIE,
INNOCENT INFANT, and
MASSA'S DRAGON.
 
He told me that MASSA'S DRAGON was the oldest plan that the 374th had and it was lost in action flying over the HUMP during a supply run.  He and another gunner did not go on that supply run and are the only two crew members who survived.  I am attaching a photo of his crew at training camp. My father is the one I identifed with the red arrow. His name is George Ferenzi.
 
I also attached a photo of my dad of him by himself at training camp.
 
Updated 12/31/2010  Crew Members Names.
 
Names in the attached photo from Top Lt to Rt: Pilot 1st Lt Demming Ward; CoPilot W/O Sam Landstreit; Bombadier 2nd Lt Orvil Pettel; Navigator 2nd Lt Llloyd (BJ) Bjerk Bottom row: Engineer S/Sgt Blaine Weaver; Radio Operator Sgt Bill Ferguson; Nose Gunner S/Sgt Bill Feuer; Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt George Ferenzi; Top Gunner S/Sgt Tommy Larner; Tail Gunner can not recall his real name but his nick name was "Okie" because he was from Oklahoma. 


1/1/2011 Updated a new photo with Crew names embeded.   Also I stand corrected by father that not all th crew members were lost all the Gunners did not fly the supply mission. Only the Officers were lost in that run. 
 
Lastly, I want to add that the MASSA'S DRAGON he flew in was name spelled differently. It was spelled Myassis Dragon. It was a B-24D not a J as pictured in the sites.
 
7/24/2011 - updated crew members names and ranks including crew photo per recent information recieved in regards to the crew members MIA.
post edited by JMFerenzi - 2011/07/24 14:20:33

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PSMinChina
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2010/12/23 23:21:50 (permalink)
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Hello John, It's fun to find another person interested Ding How Dottie.  My Dad, Paul S Michaels, was the radio operator on the crew that flew the plane to China arriving there July 7, 1944.  His crew flew most of their missions on this plane and named her Ding How Dottie.  Dad painted the image on the plane.  Because he was the lead radio operator for the 373rd Squadron he flew the first mission along with a new crew to make sure the new Radio operator understood his duties.  PSM completed his required 35 missions before the rest of Dotties crew ( He actually flew 40 missions but was told that five of them were 'volunteer'). Dad left China on 15 january, 1945.  As I understand, sometime after he left,  the B-24s of the 308th  that had radar capibility were all reassigned to the 373rd and those that did not have radar were distributed to the other three squadrons,  Dottie went to the 374th.  I am very interested in any scraps of information about the history of the plane in the 374th.  I would also like to learn what eventually happened to it, whether it was lost in battle of scrapped after the war.
Thanks and best regards, Paul
JMFerenzi
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2010/12/24 01:05:18 (permalink)
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Hi Paul,
 
Thanks for clearify my confusion. I assume they rotated these planes or they just took up what was available.  I do not know what happen to Ding How Dottie. I do remember we had a photo of it as well.  I think my brother may have it.  I'll ask my father if he knows what happened to Ding How Dottie.  
 
The one thing I have bugging my father about is that I want his medals and ribbons that were awarded to him after the war.  I want to create a nice shadow box with them and the group photo I posted.   I was told that Army Records building had  fire some years back and a lot of the servicemen records were distroyed.  My father said he never heard back on his inquiry and assumed his records were distroyed.  
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2010/12/24 07:04:54 (permalink)
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Daniel L. Stockton *B-24 Best Web "Over 12000 Images!!"...

http://www.b24bestweb.com/
 
Are you on FACEBOOK? "B-24 Discussion GROUP"...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/b24bestweb/
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2010/12/24 14:35:57 (permalink)
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Hello again John, I was lucky because Dad had saved his discharge papers.  They are a wealth of info including dates of service, training and decorations earned.  When I put together his shadowbox I included his medals, a few photos of him and his crew with the plane.  I also looked close at a portrait of him in uniform and included the proper collar buttons and insignias.  The items I didn't already have were easy to find on EBay.  Just to see what would happen I sent for his records and was told that his were among the ones burned.  If you can locate any additional photos of Dottie I would appreciate you sending along a scan.
Best regards, Paul
 
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2010/12/24 19:16:03 (permalink)
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JMFerenzi

The one thing I have bugging my father about is that I want his medals and ribbons that were awarded to him after the war.  I want to create a nice shadow box with them and the group photo I posted.   I was told that Army Records building had  fire some years back and a lot of the servicemen records were distroyed.  My father said he never heard back on his inquiry and assumed his records were distroyed.

 
Many states asked WW II veterans to register a copy of their discharge forms with the County Clerk/Records office (I presume this would be the county in which they chose to settle after discharge).  Perhaps your dad did so and there may still be a record.
 
TonyS
JMFerenzi
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2010/12/31 22:50:40 (permalink)
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Hi Paul,
I spoke with my father and he said he does not know what happen to Ding How Dottie.
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/01/06 12:37:24 (permalink)
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Hi John,
Would you consider posting any photos of your Dad in China, especially ones showing Ding How Dottie?  Thanks, Paul
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/05/24 01:03:48 (permalink)
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The Aluminum Trail by Chick Marrs Quinn shows the
pilot, 2nd Lt. Demming M. Ward,
copilot F/O Samuel H. Landstreeter,
Nav 2nd Lt. Lloyd D. Bjerk,
Radio op Sgt. William G. Ferguson
passenger B. B. Weaver
were killed on May 8, 1945 in the crash of B-24J  42-73436 between Dergaon, India and Kwanghan, China.  The aircraft was observed to burn and explode in mid-air, with most of the wreckage falling into a river.  Three bodies (Ward, Bjerk, & Ferguson) were recovered.  It is believed there were other passengers aboard.
John Foster, in China Up and Down, notes this aircraft as "Angry Angel" on p. 156 and the incident on p. 193.
 
Jack Gross
son of S/Sgt Herbert Gross, Engineer/gunner, 375BS, Vitamin-P II and other B-24s
James C Shaft
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/07/21 17:09:18 (permalink)
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JMFerenzi

Hello,
My father served in the CBI during 1944-45 with the 374 Bomb Squadron.  He had told me stories about his days of service during WWII in which he was the Ball Turrett gunner on the following planes:
DING HOW DOTTIE,
INNOCENT INFANT, and
MASSA'S DRAGON.
 
He told me that MASSA'S DRAGON was the oldest plan that the 374th had and it was lost in action flying over the HUMP during a supply run.  He and another gunner did not go on that supply run and are the only two crew members who survived.  I am attaching a photo of his crew at training camp. My father is the one I identifed with the red arrow. His name is George Ferenzi.
 
I also attached a photo of my dad of him by himself at training camp.
 
Updated 12/31/2010  Crew Members Names.
 
Names in the attached photo from Top Lt to Rt: Pilot 2nd Lt Demming Ward; CoPilot W/O Sam Landstreit; Bombadier 2nd Lt Orvil Pettel; Navigator 2nd Lt BJ Brenhosyn
Bottom row: Engineer M/Sgt Weaver; Radio Operator T/Sgt Bill Ferguson; Nose Gunner S/Sgt Bill Feuer; Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt George Ferenzi; Top Gunner S/Sgt Tommy Larner; Tail Gunner can not recall his real name but his nick name was "Okie" because he was from Oklahoma. 
Navigator is actually 2nd Lt Lloyd L Bjerk from Minneapolis MN.

1/1/2011 Updated a new photo with Crew names embeded.   Also I stand corrected by father that not all th crew members were lost all the Gunners did not fly the supply mission. Only the Officers were lost in that run. 
 
Lastly, I want to add tha the MASSA'S DRAGON he flew in was name spelled differently. It was spelled Myassis Dragon. It was a B-24D not a J as pictured in the sites.


James C Shaft
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/07/21 17:11:56 (permalink)
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JMFerenzi

Hello,
My father served in the CBI during 1944-45 with the 374 Bomb Squadron.  He had told me stories about his days of service during WWII in which he was the Ball Turrett gunner on the following planes:
DING HOW DOTTIE,
INNOCENT INFANT, and
MASSA'S DRAGON.
 
He told me that MASSA'S DRAGON was the oldest plan that the 374th had and it was lost in action flying over the HUMP during a supply run.  He and another gunner did not go on that supply run and are the only two crew members who survived.  I am attaching a photo of his crew at training camp. My father is the one I identifed with the red arrow. His name is George Ferenzi.
 
I also attached a photo of my dad of him by himself at training camp.
 
Updated 12/31/2010  Crew Members Names.
 
Names in the attached photo from Top Lt to Rt: Pilot 2nd Lt Demming Ward; CoPilot W/O Sam Landstreit; Bombadier 2nd Lt Orvil Pettel; Navigator 2nd Lt BJ Brenhosyn
Bottom row: Engineer M/Sgt Weaver; Radio Operator T/Sgt Bill Ferguson; Nose Gunner S/Sgt Bill Feuer; Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt George Ferenzi; Top Gunner S/Sgt Tommy Larner; Tail Gunner can not recall his real name but his nick name was "Okie" because he was from Oklahoma. 


1/1/2011 Updated a new photo with Crew names embeded.   Also I stand corrected by father that not all th crew members were lost all the Gunners did not fly the supply mission. Only the Officers were lost in that run. 
 
Lastly, I want to add tha the MASSA'S DRAGON he flew in was name spelled differently. It was spelled Myassis Dragon. It was a B-24D not a J as pictured in the sites.


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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/07/21 17:18:14 (permalink)
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Navigator is actually Lloyd L Bjerk.
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/07/22 12:44:22 (permalink)
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Hi James,
I did a search on the plane serial number and found this site http://www.footnote.com/browsemore/hVZf1Up9jvaVpcnEacp59bbpI_37/ that you may be interested in.  You should be able to view these reports for free by clicking on the page and scoll down to the link where your grandfather's name is and click on his name.  I signed up for the free membership and plan on saving these images for myself.   I will correct the spelling of your grandfather's name in my photgraph.
 
 
JMFerenzi
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2011/07/22 15:45:18 (permalink)
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I found the following information on the Officers who were lost over the HUMP at tthe following URL http://www.jenforum.com/wwii/messages/20360.html.
 
According to Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) of the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1941-1948 which are on Footnote.com.
The crew were;
Demming M. Ward - Pilot - 1st Lt -Serial # 0-833949
He was from Durham, N.C.
Samual E.J. Landstreet - Co-Pilot,Flight Officer,Ser # T-65708
He was from Washington, D.C.
Lloyd L. Bjerk -Navigator - 2nd Lt - Ser # 02074907
He was from Minneappolis,Minn
Blaine B. Weaver - Engineer - S/Sgt - Ser # 15114647
He was from Ava, West Virginia
William G. Ferguson - Radio Operator - Sgt- Ser # 33434820
He was from Erie, Pennsylvania
 
Aircraft registration & Type:
B- 24 J aircraft- 42-73436
Aircraft name: UBANGI BAG III  
Nose art can be found at  http://www.b24bestweb.com/ubangibagiii1.htm
Attached to 308th Bomb Group - 374th Bomb Squadron
Info on this unit can be found at
http://www.usaaf-in-cbi.com/308th_web/sqd_374.htm
 
Was on a routine flight from Dargaon, India to Chengtu China, their last radio report placed them over Poashan, China.Took off at 0925 hours last heard from 1050 hour 8, May 1945.
 
Bjerk & Fergusons bodies found near river where aircraft crashed in river and buried at site of wreck at 25 degrees 47 minutes north, 98 degrees 12 minutes east, approx 1/2 mile south of Pawngen, Burma.
 
 
Name: Demming M Ward Death Date: 8 May 1945
Service Info.: 1/LT AAF USA AC WW II
Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: C/O Director Arlington, VA 22211
Buried At: Section 34 Site 4870
Name: Demming M Ward Gender: Male
Race: White religion: Protestant
Cemetery Name: Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia Disposition: Administrative Decision
Service Branch: Army Service Number: 833849
 
 
Name: Samuel E Jr Landstreet
Service Info.: F/O AAF USA WWII
Death Date: 8 May 1946
Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: C/O Director Arlington, VA 22211
Buried At: Section 34 Site 4870
 
Name: Lloyd L Bjerk
Service Info.: WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 13 Jul 1920
Death Date: 8 May 1945
Interment Date: 9 Feb 1950
Cemetery: Ft. Snelling National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 7601 34th Avenue, South Minneapolis, MN 55450
Buried At: Section B-1 Site 497-S
Name: Lloyd L Bjerk Gender: Male
Race: White religion: Protestant
Cemetery Name: Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 34th Avenue, South Minneapolis 9, Minnesota
Disposition: According to next of kin
Service Branch: Army Rank: Second Lieutenant
Service Number: 2074907
 
Name: Blaine B Weaver
Service Info.: S/SGT AAF USA AC WW II
Death Date: 8 May 1945
Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: C/O Director Arlington, VA 22211
Buried At: Section 34 Site 4870
Name: Blaine B Weaver Gender: Male
Race: White religion: No Record
Cemetery Name: Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia Disposition: Administrative Decision
Service Branch: Army Rank: Staff Sergeant
Service Number: 15114647
 
Name: William G Ferguson
Service Info.: SGT AAF USA AC WW II
Death Date: 8 May 1945
Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: C/O Director Arlington, VA 22211
Buried At: Section 34 Site 4870
Name: William G Ferguson Gender: Male
Race: White religion: Catholic
Cemetery Name: Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia Disposition: Administrative Decision
Service Branch: Army Rank: Sergeant
Service Number: 33434820
 
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2013/01/11 23:37:19 (permalink)
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Hello All,
 
 I just recently found this forum and saw my Great Uncles name. He was Radio Operator Sgt Bill Ferguson. Growing up as a kid, not much was known about what happened to Uncle Butch's plane (this was his nickname). From what my Grandmother said, they knew his plane went down but not much else. I've learned alot of great information on this thread that I did not know. Thanks to all who posted here for all the great info.  
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Re:374th Bomb Squadron 1944-1945 2013/01/12 12:45:19 (permalink)
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Bill,
 
Second and third generation relatives of 308th Bomb Group veterans started a Facebook page for the group. There you might find more information -- http://www.facebook.com/groups/308thBG/
 

Tony Strotman, MSgt (ret.), USAF
Son of T/Sgt Francis E. Strotman, Engineer-Gunner,
491st Bm Sq / 341st Bm Gp (M), Yangkai, China
"USAAF in CBI Tribute" http://www.usaaf-in-cbi.com
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