320th Bomb Group 1942-45

Discussion in 'Reunion Annoucements' started by Nick Cressy, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Nick Cressy

    Nick Cressy New Member

    Eager to know fellow forum members who are familiar with the 320th Bomb Group WWII. My uncle served from June 44 to Jan 45. I wrote a book about him and his time serving.

    Nick Cressy
    COL, MS USA ret.
  2. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the AAF forum Nick.

    Congratulation on your book honoring the AAF service of your uncle S/Sgt Nicolas Bentas, 36554340 (Engineer/Gunner) https://www.amazon.com/Back-44-Sacrifice-Courage-Heroism/dp/1503514218
    No reason to not post your web page here also https://www.backfrom44.com/

    As well as your FB page https://www.facebook.com/backfrom44/

    Book release TV news coverage a few years old

    Findagrave S/Sgt Nicolas Bentas https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=182189860 I took the liberty to add his headstone marker with caption of crew loss (click on the photo)
    Source http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2013.htm search page Nick Cressy
    Also added a close-up of the 43-34605 "My Gal II" crash site Crew Memorial Marker at Fontain, France.

    Headstone Application attached, was enlisted 2 January 1943; not found in NARA enlistment records https://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-list.jsp?cat=WR26

    Marauder B-26G-11-MA-43-34605 441st BS, 320th BG, 12th AF) crashed 8 mi SE of Besancan, France Jan 19, 1945 due to engine failure. All six crewman killed. Aircraft was destroyed.
    Source Joe Baugher http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1943_2.html

    No MACR issued. Accident Report http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/AARmonthly/Jan1945O.htm

    450119 B-26G 43-34605 441BS 320BG Y 9 9 KCR 4 McCurdy, Arthur L FRA Besancan/ 8mi SE

    Mission 454 report for 19 January 1945 related to this loss attached.
    Source http://320thbg.org/mission_pdfs/mission_454.pdf

    Crew as follows:
    2nd Lt Arthur L McCurdy, O-1683414 (Pilot) KIA, findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56374095
    1st Lt Elmer L Cudworth, Jr., -819760 (Co-Pilot) KIA, findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56371850
    S/Sgt John C Hill, 18071305 (Bombardier) KIA, findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56373001
    S/Sgt Nicolas Bentas, 36554340 (Engineer/Gunner) KIA
    S/Sgt Lloyd A Rahl, 36570208 (Radio/Gunner) KIA, findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=59182244
    S/Sgt Henry P. Tothammer, Jr., 39838514 (Tail Gunner) KIA findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=87599669 perhaps a little name confusion in the 320th mission report for this crew member, here is S/Sgt Tothammer enlistment record by ASN https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=39838514&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=8143940

    Edit: More here on this site https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC235FT_b-26-marauder?guid=5096032c-5444-42de-9bab-55341d80762d in french, run it thru Google Chrome translate, includes a crew photo only identifying 1st Lt Elmer Cudworth

    Image of 1st Lt Elmer Cudworth, at Sardinia 1944
    1st Lt Elmer Cudworth.jpg

    43-34605 "My Gal II" crash site Crew Memorial at Fontain, France, see http://320thbg.org/320th_memorials.html
    43-34605 Crew Memorial, France.jpg
    Close-up of memorial

    In Memorial
    Nicolas Bentas 1940 prior to military enlistment, photo courtesy of his nephew Nick Cressy, COL, MS USA ret.
    Nicolas Bentas 1940 - cropped.jpg

    S/Sgt Bentas on leave at Detroit Zoo, 43-44, photo courtesy of his nephew Nick Cressy, COL, MS USA ret.
    SSgt Bentas on leave at Detroit Zoo, 43-44 - cropped.jpg
    Photo source/credit citing https://www.facebook.com/pg/backfrom44/photos/?ref=page_internal

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
    Airwar likes this.
  3. Nick Cressy

    Nick Cressy New Member

    THanks for all, I have the same info as I researched my book. I have also visited the memorial site in France in 2010. Pictures are mine from the book and other social media. I have a Twitter account promoting my book at @backfrom44. Last April I visited a crewmembers grave in Michigan, SSgt Rahl and meet his sister in law. I will be going to Pima Museum in March 2018 to research more of the 320th Bomb Group they hold the archive photos for the B-26 bomb groups. What I lack is a photo or photos of my uncle in theater. Pictures and belongings kept at my aunt's home were thrown out from flood damage. I only have the ones taken stateside. I was able to meet his ops officer Capt O'Mahony and his best friend Gene Fulk both are gone now but Jerry Raschke is still alive in IL and FL.

    I wonder if all B-26 fans know they can join the B-26 Marauder Historical Society? Next reunion is Colorado Springs CO Aug/Sep dates TBD.


    Attached Files:

    Airwar likes this.
  4. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Nick.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017

Share This Page