B-24H # 42-95247 '' Dixie Flyer '' Lt. Theo Emens

Discussion in '445th BG - Tibenham' started by Airwar, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Hal Iam digging in your expertice bomb group, the 445th.
    This weekend we leave with the children to Ameland ( Frisian Islands )
    The bombardier, 2/Lt. Theodore N. Emens was buried at Nes,Ameland
    and I will try to find his first burial reinterment.
    This information I found, but probably there is more ;

    http://b-metro.com/a-tale-of-two-fathers/13137/
    https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/...all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=148725415&df=all&
    http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/209210
    http://www.fieldsofhonor-database.c...ar-cemetery-margraten-a/47901-angelo-julius-t
    http://bpldb.bplonline.org/db/formProc/obituaries?atNum=cmjpokphx&atnum=71130

    Jaap
     
    25Kingman49 and Lucky Partners like this.
  2. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  3. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Jaap,

    Actually I'm more into the 447th. This is very interesting, will see if I can find more about him. Have a good trip to Ameland, hope your search is successful.

    Took the liberty of trying to clean up your MACR pages a little to make them easier to read.

    Hal



    Fold3_Page_2_Missing_Air_Crew_Reports_MACRs_of_the_US_Army_Air_Forces_19421947.jpg Fold3_Page_10_Missing_Air_Crew_Reports_MACRs_of_the_US_Army_Air_Forces_19421947.jpg
     
    Airwar and 25Kingman49 like this.
  4. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Thankzz Hal, I hope I can find the burial site. If so I will made a photo and place it here.

    Jaap
     
    AACS45 likes this.
  5. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  6. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Jaap,
    Hope your Nes, Ameland investigation is successful!

    For those with fold3 access this 28 page MACR 8922 starts here https://www.fold3.com/image/28739079 some pages in poor condition as pointed out with Hal's help earlier with a couple pages. The postwar statement of Lt Wilson (Navigator) is attached. Not much of a mission narrative here, their Liberator was hit by *Flak* over the Nazi held Island of Heligoland, (see Map below) and turned for home but did not make it.

    Found this (I think not in your links above) Netherlands, Death Index https://www.wiewaswie.nl/personen-zoeken/zoeken/document/srcid/50124047

    Pvt. Theodore N Emens, ASN: 14135937 original enlistment NARA record https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=14135937&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=126183

    Here is 2nd Lt Theodore N Emens, ASN: O-706717 Headstone Application 22 November 1949, signed for by his mother. His WW II death roster record is attached.
    2nd Lt Theodore Neltting  Emens, Jr.jpg
    There are at least three variations for the spelling of his middle name: Neltting-fathers marriage record, Natting-family tree record, Nutting-HS year book. Unknown with certainty which is correct, probably better left as "N".

    Here is his 1938 Woodlawn High School, Birmingham Alabama year book page, followed by his cropped photo (compared to the newspaper photo you found), and HS year book caption.
    Theodore Neltting  Emens, Jr_1938_Woodlawn_HS.jpg
    Theodore Neltting  Emens, Jr_1938_Woodlawn_HS - Copy.jpg 2nd Lt Emens - Copy.jpg
    Theodore Neltting  Emens, Jr_1938_Woodlawn_HS - Copy (2).jpg

    Hope this added Lt Emens data helps, good hunting at Nes. Sorry for the Wiki link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nes,_Ameland so others know where you are searching.

    Safe travels,
    Scott

    Overview 42-95247 12Sept44.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Airwar likes this.
  7. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Holy Cow,Scott,thanks for your good research.

    Jaap
     
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  8. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Jaap,
    This is what we do, no thanks needed. Mike Simpson is the historian for the 445BG maybe he can add more about this crew on this mission.

    Be well and take care my large Dutch friend visiting these islands this time of year.
    Scott
     
    Airwar likes this.
  9. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Scott tomorrow afternoon I visit the cemetery of Nes,Ameland with the local researcher, Jouke Wijnberg.
    When I am home I post the photos on the forum,

    Jaap
     
    Lucky Partners likes this.
  10. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Attached are photos Jaap emailed to me from his recent trip to Ameland Island. Unfortunately the ones of Jaap, 5 and 6 are slightly out of focus. The man in photos 3, 4 and 7 is Jaap's good friend Sjouke Wijnberg




    JAAP 1A.jpg JAAP 2A.jpg JAAP 3A.jpg JAAP 3b.jpg JAAP 4A.jpg JAAP 4b.jpg JAAP 5A.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
    25Kingman49 and Airwar like this.
  11. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Thank you so Much HAL for posting.

    Photo 1 : Propellor at the monument
    Photo 2 : Plaque with wrong information ( 4 crewmembers still buried at Nes Cemetery - 2 at Margraten - 2 back to the USA )
    Photo 3 : Sjouke Wijnberg with Jeep
    Photo 4 : Jaap with Jeep
    Photo 5 : Sjouke stands at grave number 23,row 46, first reinterment of 4 crew Dixie Flyer.

    Jaap
     
    Lucky Partners likes this.
  12. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Jaap,
    Thank you for sharing these great photos of you and fellow researcher Sjouke Wijnberg at Ameland. Is the jeep yours or Sjouke's? Remembered you have a Dodge WC51 (52?) Weapons Carrier, just curious about the jeep.

    One more question. The memorial is on the south side of Jelmeraweg Road. Did Dixie Flyer 42-95247 crash in the field south of this road and marker?

    The Dixie Flyer 42-95247 Monument coordinates are 53.437031, 5.669758. The Ameland (Nes) General Cemetery, 53.44825, 5.78166 (for folks who like that info).
    Couple of sites about the memorial:
    http://www.persbureau-ameland.nl/propellermonument-onthuld (Dutch)
    https://translate.google.com/transl...land.nl/propellermonument-onthuld&prev=search (English)
    http://www.626-squadron.co.uk/willem14b.htm Webster Crew & memorial note about a quarter of the way down the page (There appears to be some crew member error in this record)

    The Ameland (Nes) General Cemetery http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery-details.aspx?cid=2062400&name=AMELAND (NES) GENERAL CEMETERY

    Did a little more research about this crew primarily seeking there final resting place. Sadly not all of the survivors interments were found (Or maybe they still live). Here is what was found:
    1st Lt Kenneth E. (Sam) Webster, O-552730 (P) (Ohio) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Ohio) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=147424415 , NARA POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=1&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=O&552730&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=22467

    2nd Lt. Jack Sherman, O-1995901 (CP) (New York) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=O1995901&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=113796

    2nd Lt. Bradford P Wilson, O-713032 (N) (California) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=1&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=O&713032&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=24774

    2nd Lt. Theodore N Emens, O-706717 (B) (Alabama) KIA, Findagrave (Alabama) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=148725415 NARA original enlistment https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=14135937&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=126183 (POW record not found)

    T/Sgt Haskel B Shaver, 34728764 (ETTG) (Tennessee) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA Selectee https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=34728764&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=5112900 POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=34728764&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=113451

    T Sgt Robert F Brennan, 39121395 (RO) (California) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA Selectee https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=39121395&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=7639092 POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...6&tf=F&q=39121395&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=47542

    S/Sgt Thomas H Cleary Jr., 42010197 (WG) (New Jersey) KIA, Findagrave (Margraten) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56297633 NARA Selectee https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...mas+H+Cleary+Jr&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=8234545

    S/Sgt Julius T Angelo, 31341437 (WG) (Connecticut) KIA, Findagrave (Margraten) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55882741 NARA Selectee (record not found)

    S/Sgt Wendell R Knapp, 12030094 (TG) (Missouri) KIA, Findagrave (New York) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=124944032 NARA Enlistment https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=12030094&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=500403

    Google Earth actually has street views all over the island (almost like being there) some attached. Here is the overview crash memorial to cemetery
    Dixie Flyer 42-95247, Ameland Island overview.jpg
    Webster Crew (not all pictured were on this final mission)
    Kenneth Webster Crew.gif
    Standing L-R: Lt. Samuel Smith, Lt Henry Van Abnan, Capt. Kenneth E (Sam) Webster, Lt Jack Sherman
    Kneeling: S/Sgt Wendall Knapp, T/Sgt Robert Brennan, * S/Sgt Edward Kowlaski, T/Sgt Haskel Shaver, S/Sgt Thomas H Cleary, S/Sgt Julius Angelo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
    Airwar likes this.
  13. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Thanks Scott for all your information. I sold all my Military vehicles last year, no time to ride. This is Sjouke's Willys Jeep of 1943.
    The crashsite is more south of your crash marker.

    I found also that the widow of Theo Emens later re-married with his soulmate Norton Eubanks.
    Elzie Benton Eubanks ( Elzie Benton Emens )
    Theo & Elzie had a daughter,Betty who was adopted by Norton as stephfather.
    I found an adress ; 936 Nelson PI,Birmingham AL - 35215.
    Scott or Hal is it possible to confirm if they still living there ??
    http://b-metro.com/a-tale-of-two-fathers/13137/

    Jaap
     

    Attached Files:

  14. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Jaap,
    Elzie Elizabeth Eubanks has passed according to U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims. 18 November 1918 to 29 October 1999, at Birmingham, Alabama. No findagrave memorial found.
    Norton Balser Eubanks, DOB: 6 January 1923 may still be alive, no record of death found, no findagrave page. The address you found might still be valid http://publicwhitepages.com/base.php?t=alabama&id=1650159 or not. The article you posted "A Tale of Two Fathers" was published 1 November 2013, at the bottom is a comment by a friend and once coworker of Norton posted 11 June 2015 where he recalls this story and at the end wishes Norton Godspeed. I do not know what journey Norton was beginning but he too may have folded his wings.

    You might wish to ask Rolland for help, a much better head hunter than me.
     
    Airwar likes this.
  15. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Thanks Scott for your information. I shall send Rolland an PM because like you said he is our Family Hunter.
    Sjouke will invite Betty to Ameland to show her the crashsite of her father and his first burial ground.

    Jaap
     
  16. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Rolland found the right Betty Efird, thanks Rolland for your help,

    Jaap
     
    BMBazooka and 25Kingman49 like this.
  17. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Jaap,

    Per your PM request images have been added to the Lt Emens findagrave page https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=148725415
    should an actual photo of Lt Emens be recovered from Betty or other source please advise to replace the newspaper image used here. Additionally click on this first image for my narrative for Lt Emens including his last mission.

    The totality of miscommunication within this crew did not hit me until reviewing the MACR more thoroughly for this findagrave memorial addition. These men died thinking their plane was about to ditch in the sea, when in fact the rest of the crew had bailed out leaving these four to crash and burn. Narrative reads as follows:

    2nd Lt. Theodore “Theo” N Emens, ASN: O-706717 a native of Birmingham Alabama enlisted in the Army Air Forces, Aviation Cadet program on 26 August 1942. Theo graduating a 2nd Lieutenant in January 1944 as a bombardier from Big Spring Army Air Field, Texas. Combat Crew training would bring Theo to Lincoln Army Air Field, Nebraska where in mid-May 1944 he learned he would deploy to the European Theater of Operations. Assigned to the 702nd Squadron, 445th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force, a B-24 Liberator group operating from RAF Tibenham, USAAF Station 124.

    On 12 September 1944 the mission for the day was the oil refineries at Misburg, Germany about 5 miles northeast of Hanover, Theo’s 17th mission over Nazi Germany. The mission directive set a course for the 445th Bomb Group to approach the target from the northwest. For this mission 2nd Lt Emens was flying with the 1st Lt Kenneth E. (Sam) Webster Crew aboard B-24H-25-FO- 42-95247 nicknamed “Dixie Flyer”. As the group approached the German coast over the North Sea they passed near the Nazi held Island of Heligoland about 36 miles from the coast. Theo’s ship 42-95247 Dixie Flyer was hit hard by anti-aircraft fire **Flak** from the Nazi gunners on Heligoland. The Liberator was reported to have been seen streaming gasoline out of the left wing between the #2 engine and the fuselage (no fire reported) and also the inter-phone communication system was knocked out. The ship turn 180º starting to return to England but the damage was too great.

    The pilot 1st Lt Webster realizing that a return to England was not possible sighted Ameland, Island just off the Dutch north coast with initial plans to ditch the aircraft in shallow water near the island. Sadly because the planes inter-phone communications were shot out a tragedy of miscommunication was in the making. Lt Emens was ordered back to the aft of the ship to prepare for ditching. This ditching position was above the aft bomb bay. Lt Emens likely gathered waist gunners S/Sgt Thomas H Cleary Jr., and S/Sgt Julius T Angelo as well as Tail gunner S/Sgt Wendell R Knapp and stayed with them in this compartment preparing for a water ditching.

    Then 1st Lt Webster’s plan changed from ditching to bailing out over the island. Radio operator T/Sgt Robert F Brennan was sent back to inform the gunners and Lt Emens of the change in plan. T/Sgt Brennan found the gunner compartment empty with escape hatches open and assumed everyone there had already bailed out. Sadly this was not the case they were in a different compartment waiting to ditch. Then 1st Lt Webster and 4 other crew members bailed out to become Nazi POW’s for the remainder of the war. Dixie Flyer crashing and burned on Ameland Island between the villages of Hollum and Ballum with Lt. Emens and three gunners still aboard. The charred remains of these crew members were initially interred by the Germans in the cemetery at the village of Nes. From German records Lt Emens occupied grave 23 Row 46.

    Findagrave memorial KIA connections
    <a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=148725415">2nd Lt. Theodore N Emens (B)</a> (Alabama) KIA
    <a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56297633">S/Sgt Thomas H Cleary Jr.(WG)</a> (New Jersey) KIA
    <a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55882741">S/Sgt Julius T Angelo (WG)</a> (Connecticut) KIA
    <a href="http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=124944032">S/Sgt Wendell R Knapp (TG)</a> (Missouri) KIA

    Postwar the remains of 2nd Lt. Theodore N Emens were disinterred and returned to the United States and permanently interred at Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama.

    2nd Lt Emens’ air crew members that day of days 12 September 1944 were as follows as listed on Missing Air Crew Report 8922 available on fold3.com starting here https://www.fold3.com/image/28739079 :

    1st Lt Kenneth E. (Sam) Webster, O-552730 (P) (Ohio) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Ohio) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=147424415 , NARA POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=1&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=O&552730&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=22467

    2nd Lt. Jack Sherman, O-1995901 (CP) (New York) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=O1995901&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=113796

    2nd Lt. Bradford P Wilson, O-713032 (N) (California) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=1&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=O&713032&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=24774

    2nd Lt. Theodore N Emens, O-706717 (B) (Alabama) KIA, Findagrave (Alabama) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=148725415 NARA original enlistment https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=14135937&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=126183 (POW record not found)

    T/Sgt Haskel B Shaver, 34728764 (ETTG) (Tennessee) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA Selectee https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=34728764&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=5112900 POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=34728764&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=113451

    T Sgt Robert F Brennan, 39121395 (RO) (California) POW/RTD, Findagrave (Not found) NARA Selectee https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=39121395&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=7639092 POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...6&tf=F&q=39121395&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=47542

    S/Sgt Thomas H Cleary Jr., 42010197 (WG) (New Jersey) KIA, Findagrave (Margraten) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56297633 NARA Selectee https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...mas+H+Cleary+Jr&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=8234545

    S/Sgt Julius T Angelo, 31341437 (WG) (Connecticut) KIA, Findagrave (Margraten) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55882741 NARA Selectee (record not found)

    S/Sgt Wendell R Knapp, 12030094 (TG) (Missouri) KIA, Findagrave (New York) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=124944032 NARA Enlistment https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=12030094&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=500403

    Rather a sad outcome in reality, these four men should have survived to become POW's with their crew mates. Fog of war during combat situations such as this sometimes results in these types of tragedies. Not placing blame however had the Radio Operator T/Sgt Brennan investigated just a little further he would have found these men in the ditching compartment. All would have bailed out becoming guests of the Luft Stalag's, probably surviving the war.

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
    Airwar and Lucky Partners like this.
  18. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Good work Scott, that's quite a story. Appreciate your efforts.
     
    Airwar and 25Kingman49 like this.
  19. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Airwar and RSwank like this.
  20. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    THANKS SCOTT for all your contribution and work. Even the photo of Norton Eubanks you found,GREAT JOB,

    What sice of shoe you have,then I bought some wooden shoes for you and a package of Tulips,

    Jaap
     

Share This Page