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CBI Bomb Group ID Needed

Discussion in '308th BG' started by Gerry Kersey, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Gerry Kersey

    Gerry Kersey New Member

    I am attempting to ascertain which B-24 Bomb Group & Squadron that Caymon Hamel served with in the CBI. He definitely served with a B-24 outfit. It appears there were only 2 B-24 Groups that served in the CBI - the 7th BG in India & the 308th in China. I am doing this search for Elizabeth Hamel, the daughter of Caymon Hamel. All she has on her father is a newspaper clipping from 1994 & a blood chit. It appears that it was 14th AF so the 308th BG would seem to be the one. The pilot for the B-24 which Hamel served on as an engineer was William B. Owens. Any help would certainly be appreciated.

    Gerry Kersey
     

    Attached Files:

    tonystro likes this.
  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    This does not give the BG but there was an accident on 24 Oct 44 with Owens as Pilot. Here:

    (44-7-24)*OWENS, WILLIAM B.; FRAZER, JAMES E.; SMITH, HERMAN J.; HAMEL, CAYMON M.; SCHMIDT, WILBUR M. (DAVIS MONTHAN AZ)

    http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbahb.asp?hb=field&offset=12325

    440724 B-24J 42-73339 CCTS 233BU Davis-Monthan Field, Tucson, AZ 2 TACMF 3 Owens, William B USA AZ North Ramp, Davis-Monthan Field, AZ

    Accident Code TACMF = Taxiing ACcident due to Mechanical Fail

    Also of interest is that the names Owens, Frazer and Schmidt (along with Hamel) appear in the photo you posted.

    Grave of Wilbur Martin Schmidt:
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=50312376


    Here is the Obit Of Wilbur Martin Schmidt: Note he served in the 373rd "Division" of the 14th AF.
    If that was really the 373rd Squadron, 308th BG, 14th AF, then you may have your answer.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  3. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    obituary of his wife.Probably you locate the family
     

    Attached Files:

  4. tonystro

    tonystro Member

    From the incomplete 308th Bomb Group Personnel Roster, creeated by several Forum members -- I have added the men in the photo who were not previously listed in the roster.


    William B. Owens self-identified as being assigned to 425th Bm Sq (308th Bm Gp) when a member of post-war “Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association”; per association member roster. May have also served 373rd and transferred to 425th.

    Herman Smith self-identified as being assigned to 373rd Bm Sq (308th Bm Gp) when a member of “Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association”; per association member roster.

    Joseph G. Reed self-identified as being assigned to 373rdBm Sq (308th Bm Gp) when a member of “Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association”; per association member roster.

    Dwight I. Fry was identified as member of 373rd Bm Sq, source unknown but possibly 373rd Personnel Roster when it transferred to 394th Bomb Group, 20th Air Force in May 45.

    William H. Seiple self-identified as being assigned to 375th and 425th Bm Sqs (308th Bm Gp) when a member of “Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association”; per association member roster.

    Wilber M. Schmidt self-identified as being assigned to 373rd Bm Sq (308th Bm Gp) when a member of “Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association”; per association member roster.
     
  5. VitaminP

    VitaminP New Member

    There was an item in the April/May 1996 Jing Bao Journal that listed the Owens' crew:
    pilot William Owens
    copilot James E. Frazer
    navigator Ellsworth D. Speed
    bombardier Herman J. Smith
    radio op Wilber M. Schmidt
    nose gunner Joe G. Reed
    tail gunner Dwight I. Fry
    waist gunner William H. Seiple

    to which we can now add:

    engineer Caymon Hamel
    waist gunner Tom Kelly
    radar operator Edmund V. Donagan

    373BS Mission Report #135-L (mining the Yangtze River) lists 44-50289 (no known nose art) piloted by a Lt. Owens.
    Fry noted that he arrived in China in November 1944, initially with the 425BS. In January 1945, the crew was transferred to the 373BS.

    Bud Sholl's book does not list this 373BS crew, or any of these crewmen as having been transferred to Okinawa with the 494BG 7AF in July 1945. There was a pilot, Lt. Fraser ("s" - not "z"), that flew 373BS Mission 135-L in 44-50305 (no known nose art), and did transfer from the 308BG to the 7AF 494BG on Okinawa.

    Jack Gross, son of
    S/Sgt. Herbert Gross, 375BS, flight engineer on 42-73243 VITAMIN-P II and other B-24s in China, 1943-1944
     
    tonystro likes this.
  6. Gerry Kersey

    Gerry Kersey New Member

    Thank you very much for your information. Unfortunately Elizabeth Hamel, being his youngest daughter, did not get any of the other military records for Caymon Hamel as her elder siblings fought over who would get it.
     

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