Discussion in '445th BG - Tibenham' started by Jurgen Verstaen, Jan 8, 2017.
K for King roadside crash site memorial , Spiere, Belgium.
Susanne I found an article were Berger is mentioned,
Indeed, this is the actual crew that left out of the US to Europe. I have found a picture from Topeca AAF, where they were mentioned on the crew board as "120-18". When arriving in Europe they had one mission prior to the fatal one. They first did a run to France. When they went on their second mission, called "311" to Koblenz/Hamm, they changed some of the crew. Lemon and McHugh were replaced by Sneed and Cockriel. The reason of the change, Lemon became sick and eventually his time in Europe was over. McHugh is unknown. The change brought also problems in the crew. Sneed was not really accepted and after the ordeal, he gave some interviews that was not in favor of the group spirit. When talking to some of the crew, they all said he wasn't the pilot, Riddle was. I found a debriefing report stating that Sneed was the Mission Officer (worked for HQ Missions) and Riddle was the pilot. Thank you for the info anyway, always helpfull in understanding how life was.
The memorial in Spiere came there because of my colleague Pascal Carrette and myself, in close cooperation with the village of Spiere-Helkijn. I still want to know what happened with the aircraft. It was for 70% totalled and presumably put on a train.
If somebody knows what happened with the crew when back in the USA, they can mail me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I miss some of the personal details, better pictures and if possible current family.
I see a mistake in the article via the link you sent me on Crew No. 55: James R. Cockrin should be James R. Cockriel! The ID 17174573 is the confirmation.
Good eye Jürgen! I did not even notice that James R. Cockriel (misspelled) was part of the 2nd Lt. Robert C. Antensen crew, the second replacement crew. Sadly Sgt Cockriel was also new to the theater when shot down with the Riddle Crew.../ Sneed Crew.
The problem with 1st Lt Francis C. Sneed, replacing 2nd Lt Bob Lemon (CP) on this mission was that Sneed outranked 2nd Lt Riddle (P) which by default put Sneed in command. Very understandable that the rest of the crew still viewed Riddle as in command. The original article referenced by Rolland in post #2 http://www.heritageleague.org/files/2007ii-Summer.pdf only offers that Snead had been stationed at Tibenham for sometime and was pulled from Group Headquarters, Operations for this mission to replace Lemon. It does not detail Snead's combat experience (if any) but with Snead's rank privileges Riddle may well have become (CP) for this (last) mission.
Jürgen, may I also ask what role John Dewasme, played in placement of this memorial maker at Spiere-Helkijn; possibly Secretary, public relation Espierres? Asking only for citing purposes of those involved in this project, overall.
Here is a renewed findagrave page for S/Sgt John F. Mahoney http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56359555 I have done my best to create an accurate bio for S/Sgt Mahoney pre-war thru to his untimely sacrifice thru execution on 6 September 1944 by Nazis along with his fellow Belgium resistance comrades. John remains interned at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Liège, Belgium. Perhaps a better resting place than returning to the United States.
By the calendar form the date they were shot down on 22 April 1944 John and Sgt Cockriel were protected by the Belgium resistance for 4 months and 15 days until John was killed with his friends and fellow warrior comrades in the resistance. Just my opinion but after four and a half months of being protected by and working with the resistance perhaps Belgium is his preferred resting place.
S/Sgt John F. Mahoney and more of this story here:
Jaap. what a great find! I did not know about the misstress.
Separate names with a comma.