Group Records 1944

Discussion in '322nd BG' started by dennis_burke, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    I don't suppose anyone would have the group and squadron records for 1944?

    Like mission reports, daily history.

    I have asked about a digital scan from micrfilm from AFHSO but I likely wont be able to justify cost for the small amount of info I seek.

    Cheers
    Dennis
     
  2. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

  3. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Actually if you are only interested in 1944 try this link instead. It will narrow the number of hits down from 656 to 274.

    http://airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=GROUP/0322/BOMBARDMENT&c=u&h=25&F=1/1/1944&L=12/31/1944

    You can also change the search term and search by Squadron number. That would most likely produce different results.

    For what it's worth skim through some of the microfilms I posted on line here and see if they contain the type of info you are seeking.
    https://447bg.smugmug.com/MICROFILM

    But I'm wondering if what you are seeking may be at NARA College Park and not available on microfilm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
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  4. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Dennis,

    Just dawned on me what you were saying here. No longer necessary to have physical film scanned, almost all of this material on the links Scott and I posted above comes as PDF files on a CD. A LOT easier than when we had to deal with actual film. CDs ran $30 each last time I checked. Click on the number next to PDF icon in the left hand column of the index for more info on each item, use the irisref number to order the CD.

    More info here:
    http://airforcehistoryindex.org/obtain.html


    Hal
     
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  5. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    I had correspondence before with the AFHSO and they directed me to the AFHRA, the wording of what the AFHSO sent being:

    "If the gentleman arrived in March my thinking was that they did not begin to fly as regular crew until sometimes in April or perhaps early May. I choose July just to be sure that they would be listed as crew on the missions flown,
    Medium bombers usually flew two mission a day, weather permitting. The microfilm records each mission and contain a list of crew members for each mission. The end result is there is a lot of reels.
    I chose the start of operational mission in May 1944 not knowing exactly when they begin flying to the at the end of the war. The number of microfilm is 10, starting with BO 263 and ending with BO263.
    The microfilm available from the Air Force Historical Research Agency."
     
  6. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    I think I would start way sooner than July. Only comparison I have is my father who left the US by boat on July 14, 1944 and flew his first combat mission on August 24th. That was a B-17 Group in the 8th AF but at that point in the war I doubt that the B-26 guys were just sitting around watching the paint dry so I would start looking in April.

    So far this is the only mention of B263 that I've found so far.
    http://airforcehistoryindex.org/data/000/083/045.xml
     
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  7. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    Thats OK, the person in the AFHSO or where ever simply chose July for her search on my behalf to be sure of finding the men I wanted.

    My message was aimed at anyone who might already have gotten the 322nd files copied. I have also sent a query to them about purchase.
     
  8. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Dennis

    Please post further details of exactly WHO or WHAT it is that you seek information about.

    OR!?

    Get in touch with me by Private Message, or contact me via the B-26 Marauder Historical Society, as I am sure that I can help you somehow, and maybe even better and quicker than you would ever imagine!!

    Mutley, AKA, Brian Gibbons, an Essex Boy, now in the USA, and a Director of the B-26 MHS!
     
  9. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    Hello Brian

    I was mainly hoping to give the relieves of this group of airmen some details of the missions they flew, from the point of view of the Group records

    http://www.ww2irishaviation.com/42-107635.htm

    F/O Oscar T JONES Jr T-185393, Pilot
    2/Lt James H DELOACH O-691088, Pilot
    Sgt Richard W HARBORDT 38364743
    Sgt Billy J KERR 18184074
     
  10. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    The question is a plain and simple, How much do you want to know!?

    I have just looked at your website, having spent some time at the weekend looking out what I can find, independently.

    First off the following were also part of a crew formed with the 336th BG at Lake Charles Army Airfield in about November 1943, which was transferred on 23rd January 1944 to Hunter Field.
    B - Albert E. Grant
    AG - Dale E. Weaver
    before they transferred to the UK and were assigned it seems to the 450th BS, 322nd BG, although I cannot currently prove the specific dates and other possible assignments around this! I can show this from Order Papers collected and databased by the late Nevin Price, who's work I now continue to follow and expand on.

    The 450th BS records fortunately list all of the Air Medal awards received by their personnel, so it is easy to find the following:-
    Jones - AM and 12 OLC
    DeLoach - AM and 4 OLC
    Harbordt - AM and 11 OLC
    Kerr - AM and 12 OLC
    Grant - AM and 12 OLC
    Weaver - AM and 8 OLC

    DeLoach was unfortunately in A/C 42-95949, ER*M(B?), "Rainbow Corner", (but there can be a debate as to whether it also carried a 'II', 'III', or other writing!? as part of the name!!) when it was shot down on the 15th June 1944. That explains why he is only credited with the AM and 4 OLC's, as he became a POW! Five of the crew were POW's, with 2 Evading, so there is probably at least 2 "E and E's", Escape and Evasion Report's out there, somewhere! There is one contradiction with your web information here however, in that he was shot down in the afternoon mission to the Foret D'Ecouvres (Fuel Dump) flying in Box 1, Flight 2, Position 2 (B1,F2,P2); NOT the morning mission, to Jurques (Command Centre (HQ town!)), (when they were flying B1,F3,P4); as you state! (Bracketed information additional for that entry!!) This can be confirmed as the same crew flew BOTH missions, but with the addition of Captain John F. Bell, who is described as a "Passenger". He appears on the interrogation form in the 'Tail Gunners' line and is described elsewhere as something else, but I failed to write that down when I first saw it! The aircraft call sign is also under debate, as it shows as both "B" and "M" on this and other papers in the mission files for these missions, and elsewhere!! "M" is however the more commonly accepted call letter! By coincidence I have just found O.T. Jones flying as CP in 974*R on that same PM mission, Flying B2, F2, P5, just behind DeLoach!!

    I cannot currently confirm why Harbordt and Weaver did not complete the then accepted 65 mission tour (AM and 12 OLC).

    As for their individuals missions!?
    Work is ongoing in compiling the full ACLL's (Air Crew Load Lists) for the 322nd BG and all of the other B-26 Marauder units, but as this can take about 1-2 years per group, it is not expected to be completed soon! and this is in the capable hands of a colleague! I did however find in a quick search that Weaver, Kerr and Harbordt seemed to have flown a number of missions in May with the following:-
    P - Harris
    CP - Holder
    AG - Falls
    with Weaver taking the position of the Bombardier, most likely as what would then have been described as the "Togglier" rather than "Bombardier".

    Get back in touch with me(us!) and we can see what else we can do, ASAP.

    Mutley
     
  11. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    Well that's amazing information in itself, thanks very much. I will correct that morning/afternoon error.

    What am I seeking?? I don't think I have really pinned that down. The B-17 and B-14 groups are that bit easier with only a single mission per day normally, the Medium guys sure earned their pay

    I have Bedell's E&E report downloaded from Archives.gov, and MACR6117
    The RG468 E&E reports are available for free (all or some) on archives.gov, one needs to search within the catalog.

    I cannot seem to ID another evader however, the only indication being that George M Wells date of capture on AAD files is 1st August 1944 and not the June date.

    I am having just on and off contact from the Jones, Kerr and Harbordt families, in the later case he died rather young so they know little about him.

    I wonder if there is available the daily orders that shows the men posted in to the Group and/or Squadron?

    And is there a summary document that shows the awards you listed above?
     
  12. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    You haven't seen the half yet!

    As for Evadee's. I find both Capt. Bell, and S/Sgt Harper as the 'Full' Evadee's. But did not know that Bedell also had one!! I have previously tried a couple of times to find 'E and E reports' online, but it's like a locked door to me currently, and I can't find the right key! With about 1,000 MACR's to process, and that's about 6,000 personnel and their fate(s)!; let alone Form 14's to find FULL copies of, not just the file numbers or more basic details that I currently have! Then you get into squadron, group, Etc., records, I have a lifetime project!

    I 'inherited' the database of over 50,000 personnel, found via about 1400 'Order Papers' collected by the late Nevin Price, and I can already add about 2,000 names from ACLL's and other data that I have so far processed; and a further 200 plus, additional Order Papers that have yet to have ANY details checked or added into that database. There could be over 50,000 Order Papers out there related to the B-26 personnel alone! and that could still be a conservative estimate!

    Until your post I had done NO specific research into these crewmen, or incidents!! I have now done a 'flash' compilation of the 322nd BG MACR's up to MACR 6117, where I obviously found DeLoach! As I guessed that is what had happened, or that he may have been seriously wounded!? and then possibly covered by a Form 14!

    These 6 men are covered to some degree in just 4 Orders (#XXXX) that have currently been processed.
    One shows the 3 officers barrack assignments at MacDill, on 16th October 1943. (#0431)
    Another for barracks for just Deloach at Lake Charles, on 19th November 1943. (#0355)
    A third is as stated above, Lake Charles to Hunter Field, for the 'Full' crew; shown as 'Crew 18'; on the 23rd January 1944. (#0774)
    The last just shows Harbordt and Kerr, 'to participate in regular flights', with 450th BS, on the 1st August 1944. (#0926)

    The 450th Squadron "War Diary" shows the medal's, and covers the personnel in the last 12 of 112 pages! (2 are actually the 'Back' pages and show nothing of importance!) there is however about 50 personnel per page, and having just looked back it does include other medals than just the AM and OLC clusters to these! This then leaves the other 100 pages as the day to day operations, but I do not recall seeing many of the 'New' crews arrival dates in there! Some 'Return to ZI' (Zone of the interior) mentions, but not arrivals. Some other squadron / group records do, but seemingly erratically!

    It will take a while to look more closely at ALL of the paperwork available, but I will see what I can do!

    Mutley
     
  13. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    I'm not so certain about the conclusion that Bell and Harper were evadees.
    Harper wrote his memoirs and he most certainly was a POW, see his site: http://jessharper.com/

    Both he and John F Bell O-389828 are within the NARA POW database as POW's.
    Also, this link here places JOhn F Bell in the Stalag Luft One in 1945 when it was liberated by the Soviets.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/16/a5946816.shtml
    and also here:
    http://www.merkki.com/north2.htm

    As I mention above, if you search by name in the archives.gov catalog, you can access the E&E reports, use this link:
    https://catalog.archives.gov/

    search for Max Bedell for an example, this link may work: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5556022
    Try some other evader names to see if they come up, you can restrict the search engine to only search within RG498
     
  14. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Looking back at anything I could link to with my notes, I can now confirm that the MACR 6117 DOES clearly show Bedell as an Evade, along with his E&E report #1392. The (MY!) error comes in from Losses of the 8th and 9th AF's. which puts him as a POW! Harper and Bell are shown as 'Returned', so it seems that it should read 6 POW 1 Evd, along with some detail changes!!

    John F. Bell is shown as "Photographer, 20th Photo Intelligence Detachment, Ninth Air Force.", which I didn't note and couldn't recall previously.

    The copy of the MACR I have is also only 9 pages, so seems a little short! Do you have a larger paged version!? and possible a copy of the Form 14 for 42-107635 that you can let me have?

    Give me a few weeks and I will see what else I can find out about the crewmen. My MHS colleague may have done some work on them in her research, and I will see what may be missing and try to fill that in also!

    Mutley
     
  15. dennis_burke

    dennis_burke New Member

    Drop me an email via the contact page on my site, and I can send you the MACR and Form 14, pretty certain the MACR is only 9 pages, a transcription largely of the Bedell E&E report.

    Sounds good!!
     
  16. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Will do.

    Mutley
     

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