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Big Time Operator

Discussion in '446th BG - Bungay' started by Steve Tyson, May 28, 2017.

  1. Steve Tyson

    Steve Tyson New Member

    Looking for Information on the B-24 BTO or Big Time Operator shot down in Sep or Aug 1944. My father was the tail gunner on that plane. Spent 9 months as a POW in Luff 4
     
  2. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    This appears to be the subject of this query, and aircraft is not recorded as BTO, or Big Time Operator.

    S/Sgt Charles F Tyson, 35543993 (WG), 706BS, 446BG B-24H-20-DT-42-51086, lost 25 August 1944 mission to Rostock, Germany http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/7689
    42 page MACR 8473 https://www.fold3.com/image/28667912 begins here for those with fold3 access.
    NARA enlistment record https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...tf=F&q=35543993&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=5810225 POW https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record...&tf=F&q=35543993&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=122894

    1st Lt John W Simon, O-805995 (P) (New York) [Still MIA, crashed with the plane] https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56303896
    2nd Lt John B Dzanaj, O-817642 (CP) (Pennsylvania) POW/KIA-Murdered https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=49176837
    2nd Lt Colin F Barkell, O-708388 (N) (Kansas) POW/KIA-Murdered https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56652458
    SSgt Garnett E Saint, Jr., 38453184 (TG) (Texas) POW/KIA-Murdered; Findagrave (w/photos) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56660368

    BBW photo 42-51086 http://www.b24bestweb.com/086.htm
    086.jpg
    MACR 8473 page 2
    MACR_8473_Page_2_42-51086.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  3. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Steve, if 25Kingman49 has identified the correct airplane, I did an extensive study of this loss, working with German researchers in Rostock. We had a very long thread on the old forum about it (unfortunately no-longer available). I have a lot of the information on a Google Drive and I can give you access.

    I attended a memorial service for the crew in Germany in August 2013. I tried to contact all the crew families at that time and I was in contact with Chuck Tyson. Basically the plane lost two engines (#1 and #2) during a mission to bomb the Heinkel factory at Rostock. On a B-24 those two engines drove the vacuum pumps that operated the gyroscopes. Thus the auto-pilot was not operating. Simon and Dzanaj flew the plane until all the crew had bailed. After Dzanaj bailed, the plane crashed at Brusow with Simon still in the plane. Barkell and Saint were murdered after capture. The bodies were first buried in a sand pit. Later a local minister recovered the bodies and had them buried in a church cemetery in Steffenshagen. Dzanaj was murdered after capture by a policeman. He was buried in Kroepelin. Simon is still missing.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  4. BMBazooka

    BMBazooka Well-Known Member

    Rolland, which Dachau Trial was it?
     
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  5. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Susanne, none of the people involved were ever brought to trial. The American investigator, whose notes are in the IDPF files, had the names of the people involved and he recommended prosecution but nothing happened. The area was in East Germany, controlled by Russia. It is believed some of those involved died in Soviet captivity, but none were tried to my knowledge.
     
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  6. BMBazooka

    BMBazooka Well-Known Member

    Jesus, another one...
    Could you send me some names of the perpetrators especially if there is any hint to Nazo organizations, police, Gestapo and so on?
     
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  7. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Susanne, I can give you access to the Google Drive about this crash if you PM me your email address. That way you can see what was collected and I can then try to answer any questions you have.
     
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  8. Steve Tyson

    Steve Tyson New Member

     
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  9. Steve Tyson

    Steve Tyson New Member

    RSwank-yes, that is the plane and thank you for the research you did on this plane. If you have the thread on a google drive I would much appreciate it. By the way, I have been in contact with Lutz, the German schoolteacher that helped with the research. He is helping me locate some German POW's that were held in my hometown New Bern NC.

    Many thanks,
    Steve
     
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  10. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Steve, if you click on my name on one of the posting on this thread you have the option of "starting a conversation" with me (which is what this forum calls a PM). PM me your email address and I can give you access to the Drive. I was going to suggest you contact Lutz but you are a step ahead of me.
     
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  11. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you Rolland for your earlier research.
    There is a further account of this loss on the Fields of Honor page for Lt Simon (with photo) but with little detail of the murders.
    http://www.fieldsofhonor-database.c...n-war-cemetery-margraten-s/51085-simon-john-w

    SSgt Garnett E Saint, Jr., 38453184 (TG) (Texas) KIA; Findagrave (w/photos) https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56660368

    R-03-Simon-00.jpg
    Back row, L-R: John Simon, pilot; John Dzanaj, co-pilot; Colin Barkell, navigator; Thomas Rice, bombardier
    Front row, L-R: John Whitmore, engineer; Elmer Colt, radio operator; Garnett Saint, nose gunner; Norman Wintermeyer, armorer; Charles Tyson, tail gunner; Joe Corley, waist gunner
    Source http://www.492ndbombgroup.com/cgi-b...Page&crewPage=R-03-Simon&crewTitle=Simon+R-03
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  12. Steve Tyson

    Steve Tyson New Member

     
  13. Steve Tyson

    Steve Tyson New Member

    Let me know if you need my email for the Google Drive.
    Many Thanks,
    Steve Tyson
     
  14. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Scott, the photo you posted in #11 is the original Simon crew, not all of them were on the final flight. In particular Thomas Rice, who was the father of the novelist Luanne Rice, had been moved to a different crew just before the flight. She wrote about it here:

    http://www.luannerice.net/luanne-blog-news/memorial-day-2013
     
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  15. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Rolland, was there a memorial established in Rostock, Germany. If so are there photos and perhaps a link to the memorial?

    Edit: with Rolland's added corrections
    Rostock area, Simon Crew overview
    Simon crew overview 25 Aug 1944, 42-51086.jpg
    Rostock area
    Rostock area close-up.jpg
    As noted in Rolland's post#5 this area postwar fell into the Soviet (Russian) sector
    1945regions-map.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  16. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    There is a memorial at the Church in Steffenshagen. I will try and post some pictures. The names of the four men killed are on the 4 sides of the column. There is also an iron Atonement Cross for the two men first buried at the church as unknowns. You may need to be signed into Google for the link to work.

    The church is located here: 54.105263, 11.822270

    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en&pb=!1s0x47adac7b51d0fd0b:0xe5598cc45e2c13d9!2m19!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i20!16m13!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e5!2m2!1m1!1e4!3m1!7e115!4shttps://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=105356468499490260353&id=6394119134971552498&target=PHOTO!5ssteffenshagen+germany+church+-+Google+Search&imagekey=!1e3!2s-qZAoLHnnNAA/WLx5ecuB4vI/AAAAAAAAEaE/mbcxuxNk_1sUgYLQYrZiNmi7k6TioKgYgCLIB&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwie0oWSs5XUAhUX02MKHfubDdwQoioIaDAO
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  17. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Scott on your map in post 15, Saint and Barkell were interred as unknowns at Steffenshagen. The MACR is wrong about Barkell being at Wernemunde.
    Dzanaj was first interred at Kroepelin. Simon is still missing.
     
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  18. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Rolland (maps edited). I pulled the original interment locations from the Luanne Rice account you provided http://www.luannerice.net/luanne-blog-news/?tag=Thomas+F-+Rice+Jr-+Hartford+CT (your further research must have added more clarity)

    I think the black obelisk memorial to honor these men is very nice in design and most appropriate. Was the actual crash site ever found?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  19. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Scott it wasn't until we got the IDPF files that we learned the locations for the burials. We got the final IDPF files a few days before the ceremony was held at Steffenshagen. What is interesting is that those files contained the investigator's notes and they were looking at the MACR and were as confused as we were about where Barkell was buried. I think after Barkell and Saint were shot near Steffenshagen the German police took their dogtags and any other identification. Police records may have confused Barkell's id with someone buried or washed ashore at Warnemunde.

    The crash site was at Brusow, here: 54.066793,11.831153

    It is a large open field.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  20. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Rolland. (not finding Bursow, Germany)
    Edit corrected maps east of Bursow, Germany
    Crash site 42-51086; 54.066793,11.831153.jpg
    Crash site 42-51086 [2]; 54.066793,11.831153.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017

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