1. The AAF forum will close permanently on December 1, 2017. I no longer have the time to manage a project like this, obviously, or give it the attention that it deserves. I still think fondly of the early days in 1998 when this all got started. A small, but eager group of tech savvy 1st and 2nd generation descendants made great friends with the last of the WWII veterans thru the newfangled internet. They're all gone now. It's time for me to turn the page. Thanks for being along for part of the ride. I'm sorry it got so bumpy in the end.
    Dismiss Notice

B-24J # 42-78213, 1/Lt.Robert V. Batz

Discussion in '454th BG - San Giovanni' started by Airwar, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    This B-24 of the 454th BG who crashed in France, piloted by 1/Lt. Robert V. Batz was involved in an
    mid-air-collision with a B24 of the 464th BG # 42-52454
    Francecrashes said Nickname was '' Ophelia Bumps ''.
    http://www.b24bestweb.com/opheliabumps1.htm but this was the 41-28660 of the 454th BG ?
    Or were there two aircraft with the same name ?
    Probably Randy knows more.


    Eugene J. Vodopia of Bridgewater NJ,


    Attached Files:

    461st Fan likes this.
  2. Randy Morgan

    Randy Morgan Active Member

    Here is the updated plane / crew list of the 738th BS Jaap. I have made the corrections. Still looking for Dom or Ronald F. Moser's crew of
    Buzz Job B-24H 42-52252 and the AAIR if it's out there.

    Attached Files:

    Airwar likes this.
  3. 461st Fan

    461st Fan Member

    Randy, do you have lists of the aircraft/crews of the other 454th squadrons? Someone just contacted me for help researching the 454th and this is perfect.

    Thanks very much,

    Randy Morgan likes this.
  4. Randy Morgan

    Randy Morgan Active Member

    Hi Chuck, give me a little time, I'll see what I can dig up. The 738th has taken over a year with help from a lot good folks here. Let me see.
  5. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    According to our old friend Wallace Forman there were 3 aircraft named Ophelia Bumps in the 454th Bomb Group, 736th Squadron. They were 41-28660, 42.51413, and 42-78213. guess somebody really liked that name.
    Airwar and Randy Morgan like this.
  6. Randy Morgan

    Randy Morgan Active Member

    #42-78213 B-24G - "Ophelia Bumps" Crew:

    2nd Lt. Robert V. Batz - Pilot (KIA)
    2nd Lt. George E. Erlewine - Co-Pilot (KIA)
    2nd Lt. Robert T. Bragg - Navigator (KIA)
    2nd Lt. James R. Logan - Bombardier (RTD)
    T/Sgt. Ward O. Bowman - Eng./Top Turret Gunner (KIA)
    T/Sgt. Eugene J. Vodopia - R.O./Right Waist Gunner (RTD)
    S/Sgt. Robert F. Boiyer - Eng./Nose Gunner (KIA)
    S/Sgt. William J. Ramsey - Eng./Ball Turret Gunner (KIA)
    S/Sgt. Albert G. Little - Arm./Left Waist Gunner (RTD)
    S/Sgt. Clyde L. Peters - Arm./Tail Gunner (RTD)

    B-24G #42-78213 was hit with a direct 88mm flak burst directly in the nose gear area and instrument panel killing the pilot, co-pilot, navigator, top turret gunner,
    nose gunner (Chute failure after jumping), and ball turret gunner. The bombardier, left waist gunner, R.O./right waist gunner and tail gunner survived and were capture and became POW's Dulag Luft. The MACR is combined #5412 & 5413 due to the collision.

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  7. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

    Hello All

    I am one of the scuba diver'man of the little team who discovered the remains of B-24 "G" (not "J" model) 42-78213 in the bay of Agay, French Rivera, by 42 meters of deep late in August 1984.

    I was (and am) in contact with 3 families and relatives of the crew : Sgt Gene Vodopia (radio, Pow) who was - incredible - in vacation at Paris, France, the precisely at same time his plane was discovered...), S/lt Robert Bragg, (MIA then status change in KIA one year later) and S/lt George Erlewine still reported MIA today. The nose art name of the plane was effectivly : "Miss I Hope" and not "Ophelia Bumps" who is a mixt or mistake, a wrong nose art name in fact giving "one day " (?) by I don't know what historian.
    I work still today on this wreck and story with the DPAA, to research next year the possibility of found humans remains of the 4 men missing to DNA researches and identification.

    Hope these informations will be an help

    Philippe castellano


    Airwar and 25Kingman49 like this.
  8. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

  9. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

    I forget. I don't think (and never have hear) that 42-78213 had collision the day she was shot donw ? This information seem to be wrong. Please can you give us more info about ?

    Thank you

    25Kingman49 likes this.
  10. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    In looking over the fold3 MACR 5412 which is for 42-52454 ( a plane that was lost on 2 May 44) it appears that pages for plane 42-78213 a plane lost on 27 May 44 have been misfiled in that MACR. A complete MACR for 42-78213 does not exist on fold3, it may exist elsewhere. There was a collision involving 42-52454 and another plane on 2 May 44, but 42-78213 was shot down on 27 May and not involved in a collision. The two losses occurred in different places on different dates. The (missing) MACR for 42-78213 is apparently 5413. It may well be that the "screw-up" occurred when these were paper pages in adjacent folders and someone stuck the pages in the wrong folder.

    For those with fold3 access the "incorrect" MACR, 5412 starts here:
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    Airwar and 25Kingman49 like this.
  11. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Rolland, it is interesting / odd that when searching fold3 for 42-78213 it leads to MACR 5412 for 42-52454.

    B-24G-10-NT-42-78213: (454th BG, 736th BS, "Dallas Lady") crashed into Bay of Agay, French Riviera May 27, 1944 after being hit by AAA. 2 KIA, 4 POW, 4 MIA. MACR 5413. Remains of plane discovered in 1984 by divers. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_4.html

    B-24H-15-FO-42-52454: (464th BG, 779th BS *Southern Gal*) lost May 2, 1944, Parma, Italy after midair collision with 41-29453. MACR 5412 41-29453 was able to fly to Corsica. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_3.html
  12. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Also see Philippe Castellano and Company wreck site investigate page with photos for B-24G-10-NT-42-78213


    Memorial to crew established Saturday 5 October 1997, Agay's bay, Agay Departement du Var Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France


    B-24G, 42-78213 Agay Bay wreck site area
    B-24G, 42-78213 Agay Bay wreck site area.jpg

    Memorial B-24G, 42-78213 'Ophelia Bumps; 43.43222 6.86917
    Memorial B-24G, 42-78213 'Ophelia Bumps; 43.43222 6.86917.jpg
    Crew Memorial B-24G, 42-78213 'Ophelia Bumps
    Memorial B-24G, 42-78213 'Ophelia Bumps.jpg
    Source http://www.aerosteles.net/steleen-agay-liberator (more close-up images)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    Airwar likes this.
  13. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

    Woaw.... what incredible mixed histories without relations.

    May 2'1944. Missing mission for the second target of the 464 th Bomber Group over Parma, M/Y; Italy.
    The B-24 "42-52543" collided with "Big Fat Mama" 42-52454. These planes where from the same group, same squadron. The 464th BG'group commander , Col Hand D. Sylvan aboard "543", and bailled out safety with 3 other men. They were POW's, the 6 other KIA.

    "Big Fat Mama" can reach and did a perfect landing at Borgo-Poretta airfield (south of Bastia), Corsica, with the left tail fin rudder of "543" still "engraved" in his nose turret.

    Dallas Lady was an B-24 "G" of the 885th Squadron Special. His serial number was 42-78243. The ship crashed during night secret mission in the frenches Alpes killing all the 11 men aboard against the mount "Corne de Bouc" close to the French-Italian border, at 2000 meters altitude.

    I confirm that never "Miss I Hope", # 42-78213 collided when she was lost or before.

    Hope these informations are a good help,

  14. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Philippe.

    No idea how Joe Baugher attached the name "Dallas Lady" to 42-78213. Clearly as you explain this was 42-78243 named in MACR 9579, 4 pages https://www.fold3.com/image/38218365 for those with access. Dallas Lady on BBW http://www.b24bestweb.com/Pics-D-DAL-DAQ.htm Searching; no other Liberators found with this name.

    For those interested, see this page, search for Miss I Hope


    Perhaps a plane name change is needed here also to correct this error.


    42-78213 may have carried both names maybe at different times, or possibly on port and starboard sides, see this page search Miss I Hope


    Seems this was another popular name with more than one ship named "Miss I Hope".

    Perhaps some one can etch the "new" additional name onto the existing memorial below Ophelia Bumps
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  15. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

  16. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

    Thank you Scott for the good exchange about "213"

    I had write a special book (edited in 1994) about the loss of seven 15th USAAF'bombers loss in the French Riviera during WWII.
    Here, I work on an futur article to our national Scuba Dive magazine concerning "Miss I Hope".

    I profite of this message to request an "Help"... If other relatives that the 3 involved over of this proud crew can to be know... that will be fine...

    The main wreckage of "213" was discovered 33 years ago. Seeing the youtube movie above, is incredible as the wreck have suffered the attack of the time pass under water...

    25Kingman49 likes this.
  17. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    This is a rather (Cold Case) as you describe, discovered 33 years ago. You and your colleagues are already in contact with three (3) families of this crew. Is it still worthwhile to hunt for other family members of this crew?

    Here is some additional material about the crew. Please note some crew data "corrections" highlighted in red. Randy Morgan, please take note; you may wish to adjust some of your 454BG records, if you find this "new" data accurate.

    2nd Lt. Robert V. Batz, O-680155 (P), (NOK Etta K Batz; mother; Lancaster, California) KIA/MIA. Original enlistment 6 Dec 1941 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=19063624&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=1711606 findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=55881781

    *2nd Lt. George E. Erlewine, O-691390 (CP) (Michigan) KIA/MIA. Original enlistment 3 Aug 1942 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=16060270&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=1233069 findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56510668

    *2nd Lt. Robert T. Bragg, O-747971 (N) (Iowa) MIA/KIA. Original enlistment 13 Oct 1941 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=19061825&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=1709816 findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=147525944

    2nd Lt. James H. Logan, Jr., O-689476 (B) (Texas) POW/RTD/EUS. NARA POW record https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=1&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=O&689476&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=88039 findagrave (not found)

    T/Sgt. Ward O. Bowman, 35034928 (ETTG) (NOK Oliver W Bowman, father; Chillicothe, Ohio) KIA. Inducted 11 July 1941 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=35034928&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=5401749 findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56510485

    *T/Sgt. Eugene J. Vodopia, 20284029 (RWG) (New Jersey) POW/RTD/EUS. Enlisted 27 Jan 1941 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=20284029&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=1909990 POW, Luft 4 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...6&tf=F&q=20284029&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=20629 findagrave (not found)

    S/Sgt. Robert F. Roiyer, 32734233 (NG) (NOK Claude A Roiyer, father; Bath, New York) KIA. Inducted 2 Feb 1943 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=32734233&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=3280419 findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37165803

    S/Sgt. William J. Ramsey, 32710427 (BTG) (NOK Mrs. Nora Ramsey, wife: New York, New York) KIA. NARA induction record (Not found). Findagrave (Not Found)

    S/Sgt. Albert G. Little, 12200348 (LWG) (NOK Mrs. Laura Little, mother; Buffalo, NY) POW/RTD/EUS. Enlisted 30 Oct 1942 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=12200348&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=611450 POW, Luft 3 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...6&tf=F&q=12200348&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=87748 findagrave (Not found)

    S/Sgt. Clyde K. Peters, 39692528 (TG) (NOK Mrs. Minnie M Peters, mother; Santa Paula, CA) POW/RTD/EUS. Inducted 20 Jan 1943 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=39692528&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=8061454 POW, Luft 4 https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=39692528&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=102858 findagrave https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1074237

    * Equals previous family contact by Philippe & Company.

    Additionally as Rolland point out in post #10 MACR 5412 for 42-52454 is found here on fold3 https://www.fold3.com/image/28653508 . However pages 18 thru 41 are actually devoted to MACR 5413 for 42-78213. Attached here are a couple of pages including the 42-78213 2nd Lt. Robert V. Batz Crew NOK list (filled with errors or miss-identification it seems). Also attached is the statement of 2nd Lt James C Brooks regarding the loss of 42-78213 on 27 May 1944 where he uses the term "accident" for the flak loss of 42-78213. I'll not characterize Lt Brooks in this statement other than a poor choice of words. Maybe he was "new" and didn't know the difference between [hurt] "falling from a tree" and [wounded] by enemy in combat, i.e. accident vs blasted from the sky by Nazi 88mm AAA fire.

    With this much time having passed is it really worthwhile pursuing these other crew family members?

    Scott M

    Attached Files:

  18. Cépé

    Cépé New Member

    Hello Scott

    Thank you for the important infos you gave us in your post. Yes, our team is still worthwhile to hunt family and relatives of "Miss I Hope" crew.
    The story is rarelly really "close", despite all these "longs years" after the discovery of the wreck. I work slowly on an long article about this story today.
    As I explained over, in 1994 I edited an book about this story. Since, many more informations came to me, that need now of to be updated and it will be, for next year.

    By all these exchange, I decided of scuba dive again on this spot (it was more that 15 years ago that I don't visit the site). I did 2 weeks ago, and again we discover some little parts of "213".

    Still movind of have "aluminium or iron" part of the ship in hands.

    Well, we continue our searches for soul, and are proud of did this type of investigations.

    Thank you again Scott and Army Air Forces'forum for all these exchanges.

    For the "Beaufighter" of the 417th NFS, I will in Corsica at the end of October and will meet my friend to have more and precises infos about the localisation of the relics.

    More later !

    From France, French Riviera, under sunny day and very sweet weather,


Share This Page