Monday, June 18, 2007

My Father's B26 Marauder WWII Story, Part 3

W.W.II B26 pilot in the 456th Bombardment Squadron, 323rd Bombardment Group, 9th US Army Air Corps

1945 letters home

Re: [MartinB-26MarauderGroup] One year of B26, 1945 letters home. W.W.II B26 pilot in the 456th Bombardment Squadron, 323rd Bombardment Group, 9th US Army Air Corps.
Just about a year ago I received this letter from my dad's first pilot, when he was still co-pilot. The letter is from a man that shared all during a time that the B26 was the link between life and death of the Marauder men. Even after a full life the bond is unbroken.

11/04/2002: From W.B. Guerrant, (W.W.II B26 pilot in the 456th Bombardment Squadron, 323rd Bombardment Group, 9th US Army Air Corps.): Ted was one of the finest men I have ever known. Although we seldom saw each other -even more seldom did we write letters. I always thought of him as one of my closest friends. He was, in every sense of the word a true gentleman.
My recollection is our original crew was as follows: Theodore V. Harwood (CP. copilot) 2nd/1st LT. John W. Kuczwara (Nav. navigator/bombardier) 2nd/1ST LT. William B. Guerrant Jr. (P. pilot) 2nd Lt./1st Lt. Jack A. Reynolds (TG. tail gunner) Cpl./S/Sgt. John H. Knight ( E. engineer ) Cpl./Sgt. Velton J. O’Neal Jr. ( WG. waist gunner ) Sgt. T/Sgt.
None of us had met prior to our assignment at Barksdale Field in Shreveport, LA. Our crew came together at Barksdale Field in Shreveport, LA. Each of us had previously trained at different locations, so we did not know each other. After a number of weeks at Barksdale, we were sent to Savannah, GA. for assignment overseas. We were assigned to a plane, which flew to Europe via Labrador, Greenland & Iceland, N. Ireland and Finally England. As I recall, our first mission was at night over the Cherbourg Peninsula. Our group (9th Air Force) was a tactical group concentrating on bombing targets in support of troops rather than targets of strategic importance - i.e. long range targets (8th Air Force). As I recall, our crew flew approximate 40 to 45 missions together, Ted had his own crew. Johnny Kuzwara was lead navigator-bombardier for our group, and the were substitutions for the men. Due to the Army’s cast system, officer and men were separated. We formed friendships with primarily officers. Our lives depended on both the other officers and enlisted men. Ted & John Kuzwara became my closest friends. In many respects I felt closer to your father than I did to my own brother. I loved both, and even though they are not living, I still think of them almost every day. The war was an island in the sea of our lives in that it had no direct connection with any other part of our lives, but our complete dependence upon each other forged a bond one never forgets. He was a fine person, and even though we seldom corresponded, I always considered him one of my closest friends.

09/23/2002 from Velton J. O’Neal Jr. ( WG. Waist gunner ) Sgt. T/Sgt. (a B26 Martin Marauder waist gunner, in W.W.II, in the 456th Bombardment Squadron, 323rd Bombardment Group, 9th US Army Air Corps): I am glad to hear from the son of a very fine gentleman I used to know, Ted was a good man as anyone would like to know, we ll loved Ted. We flew about 20 missions together, I was credited with 48 missions, the plane we flew most was named "Hades’ Lady".
The 456th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was assigned the new Martin B-26B & B-26C Marauder and activated on August 4, 1942. The squadron was assigned to the 323rd Bombardment Group (nicknamed the “White Tails” because of white ID bar on all 323rd aircraft tails). In early May 1943, the 323rd flew to Earls Colne, England and flew its first combat mission on July 16, 1943, when 14 Marauders attacked the marshalling yard at Abbeville, France.
The 456th compiled a distinguished combat record attacking marshalling yards, airdromes, industrial plants, military installations, and other targets in France, Belgium, and Holland. The squadron participated in numerous attacks on V-weapon sites along the coast. The 456th helped to pave the way for the invasion of Normandy by bombing coastal defenses and enemy airfields in France and on D-Day June 6 struck roads and coastal batteries. After moving to the Continent in August of 1944 the squadron continued to strike enemy strongholds and supply lines in daylight and night raids until the end of the war.
Following the war, the 456th was inactivated in November 1945. The squadron was briefly revived as the 456th Bombardment Squadron (Light) in September 1947 and assigned to reserve duties. The squadron was finally inactivated and dissolved in March 1951.
The dice on the squadron's insignia roll a 4-5-6, representative of the 456th Squadron. The words VINCAMUS SINE TIMORIS-Without Fear We Conquer were added to our version of this insignia in recognition of the 323rd Bombardment Group as this is their official motto. From the (456th Bombardment Squadron web site)

01-02-1945 (France); Dear folks, another year, & boy I hope its the last for Germany. I have to date 22 missions, as you probably saw in the paper, the Germans tried to raid some of our fields, but didn't do so well, they gave us a little show.
I received the package of candy from Pattersons today, thanks for mailing it. Yesterday I received 8 letters, the first in quite a while, they seem to pile up & then come through all at once.
Bill McCurdy wrote that he could not come overseas because of his kidney trouble, & seemed sort of down hearted because of it. But boy he is darn lucky, as it is no picnic over here. Its 8:15 P.M. now & our little visitor is coming, in fact he is darn close. They come over every P.M. and try to give us a little thrill, but usually end up by getting one themselves.
I will send home some more snaps soon. All of the boys in the tent went to the show tonight so I developed some pictures. There are two crew pictures that came out O.K., but nothing much good was on the rest of the film. Have you received those two boxes I sent yet, Air medal and perfume?
I want to thank you folks, all for sending so many swell gifts, they really made Christmas feel like being at home, & the gifts are really hitting the spot over here. Say pop- while I think of if I wish you would send some good old seeds to me; watermelon, muskmelon etc., when it warms up a bit over here I want to plant a little (The rest of the letter is missing).
01/04/1945 (France)
Dear folks, today we had quite a time as it snowed most all day, and we had some good snow ball fights. Forrester caught one in the eye & has a nice shiner. I haven't had such a workout for a long time, but I feel much better tonight, we don't get much exercise here, & are developing into a very lazy lot Cutting wood is about our only work & not to interesting at that.
Tonight we went to the movie & as usual something was wrong with it tonight the sound was out but it was a good picture although there was no sound. Its getting much colder tonight, a clear sky & all of the slush snow is freezing, it will probably be cold as "H" in the morning & boy its hard to crawl out of the old sack to go to an early morning breakfast
Time seems to be going much slower now, & the days seem long as heck when we don't fly. I guess I am running out of things to do. We have the tent fixed up O.K. now & the weather is to bad most of the time to get out & go anywhere on the base, I hope things pick up soon. l guess I will have to find something else to build, I am going to try to get a big circular saw blade & build a saw to cut logs with.
There is a six cylinder gas engine here to use for power, & it would save a lot of time bent over that darn two man saw blade. Not too much news, just thought I would say hello again. Lots of love Ted.

Mission 23, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat mission/ target number #283, was flown on the morning of 01-05-45 and lasted 3:30 hours. 33 Martin B26 Marauders of the 323rd Bombardment Group, 456th Bomb Squadron + 3 window aircraft and one pathfinder, went up at 14,100feet. Group leader; Moench & Kohnert. Harwood's plane, Martin B26 Marauder, 41-31708 WT-B (The
Gremlin II), dropped 2 2,000lbs bombs on the railroad bridge at Ahrweiter, Germany. Crew: Theodore V.
Harwood (CP) 2nd/1st Lt John W. Kuczwara (Nav) 2nd/1ST LtWilliam B. Gerrant Jr. (P) 2nd LV1st Lt Jack
A. Reynolds (TG) Cpl./S/Sgt John H. Knight ( E ) Cpl/Sgt Velton J. O'Neal Jr. ( RG ) Sgt T/Sgt Base of
Operations Laon / Athies, France. Two huge blizzards pelted the group leaving massive now drifts against the canvas Quonset huts and bitter cold inside.

01-06-45 (Sat 8:30 AM)
Just climbed out of the sack & brushed my teeth. It is not a bad morning, although a little cold, most of our last snowfall is still on the ground & makes you realize how cold it really is.
Forester had to go to the hospital with his eye, he was hit by a snow ball day before yesterday, it was swollen to beat heck, but his eye is O.K. which we were all darn glad to hear. A total of 4 boys were hit in the eye with snow balls that day, so you can see what large fights we had. About 20 men to a side & then we chase each other, it looked like a bunch of 10 year old kids rather than everything from Majors to Second Lt.
4 of our boys are finished & are taking off for the States today. Boy they looked happy last night, & all telling about their rough missions & what they were going to do when they first hit the States, they had an average of about 14 months over here so I guess that applies to most of us. & I have been in the Group for 5 mo. now & it about figures out as I have 23 missions & that’s just a little over 1/3 finished.
I hope to be checked out as first pilot soon. There are only 4 co-pilots that had RTO training & I am one, all of the rest came over from advanced, & we are supposed to get training soon, it will be good to have a crew of my own, not that it matters much, but in flying no one does things just like you think they should be & its hard to sit there & not be able to do much about it without getting him "up in arms" about it.
The mail is slow on this end as no mail again. It seems to come in big bursts, none for a week or 10 days & then a big batch of it Thanks for the letters folks and if you have any extra candy around the house that you don't know what to do with, we can sure use it over here.
Tell Faye and Stan hello & thanks for all of those swell Christmas gifts. Love always Ted,
01-06-45 (France)
Dear Folks, not much news, just wanted to send home a money order & a couple of snaps I developed last night The prints aren't so hot as the developer was a little old. I will mix some more soon & send on some better ones.
#1 it is not to clear as you see, left to right looking at the ship: John myself & bill bottom row Jack tail Gunner, John Knight Eng. gunner, Velton O'Neal radio gunner.
Also enclosed, find a money order for $50.00. By the way mom, you will you send the amount I have in the bank now? & the date you find out Thanks a lot everything is fines over here. Weathers a little cold but its warm in the tent Lots of love Ted.
01-08-45 France
Hi folks, tonight I am officer of the day, so all night up. Its snowing like the dickens, & its all piled up against the buildings, the biggest snow we have had so far.
I have been taken from Bill Guerrant’s crew, & will soon have one of my own, old Tom Harves will fly with me, I went all through advanced and Barksdale with him, 1 swell kid. I have been getting transition now for two days, a total of 4 landings so far. Boy it’s like flying in a brand new ship flying from the left seat and it will also mean 1st LT. I hope I can keep up the work as well as I did as a co-pilot
I received three packages day before yesterday. One was from you & the Pattersons & another box of Sees' Candies, & the third good food; cheese, sausage, etc. Thanks a million.
Its 11:30 now & I feel a little sleepy, so I think I will try to catch a little on the desk. Lots of love. Say hello to Faye and Stan. Ted.
1-16-45 France
Dear folks, I am still in the process of checking out as first pilot, so far I have had about 2:40 as first pilot three landings and three take takeoffs. All I need now is a check ride with our operations officer & I will be ready to go. In the last few days I haven't been doing any flying, just spending my time hunting. I found a little ferret in the woods & boy he really chases the rabbits out of their holes, yesterday we shot three & today we got 4.
The weather here is getting colder by the day, this morning it was +4 degrees F, that’s 28 degrees below freezing, & plenty cold. Our water was all frozen in the tent the snow is so cold it cracks under your feet It was clear today and the sun did not even start to melt the dam snow.
This afternoon we cut wood, & after we finished took a shower, the squadron finally got around to building one & it works O.K.
This sitting around gets on your nerves, but I guess its good rest. When we fly a lot that’s sad also, it’s that old story of never being satisfied.
I received a little package from the church, a book, a little Christmas free, a big back of lemon drops, & checker game. Also I received a big box of Ed's # 2 blend pipe tobacco from Mrs. McCurdy. I have a pipe but don't smoke it to often, but its really good tobacco.
We finished dinner about 20 minutes ago, & it was sort of sad. Rice & gravy, peas & beef. So I think in an hour we will cook up a couple of our rabbits, they are cleaned and outside, they froze solid in about 10 min. its so darn cold that they froze while we were bringing them home & we had to thaw them out before we could clean urn.
Everything's O.K. here so no need to worry, thanks for the letters. Say hello to Faye and Stan. Lots of love Ted.
1-17-45 France
Hello folks, not too much news, went to the movie last night & saw a swell show,'' Home in Indiana", in color & for once it ran off O.K., just one break in the film when the power went off, but they hooked up a "put-put” to it & had it going again in no time flat.
We still have about 4" of snow on the ground although it hasn't snowed in 4 days, it was 6 degrees F here this morning, so we still have a job getting up in the morning. Today we lowered our tent about a foot so we wouldn't have so much air to keep warm, also put in a light above the sink to wash by.
Tonight I have been playing checkers with T.P. Forrester, the boy from Santa Barbara, Harves is reading and playing with his little pup now & then. I received a box of caramels from Mrs. Emerson & today a box of 4 cans of Campbell’s soup from Mrs. Havilland & will be cooking some in a little while; we eat a little snack every night before we go to bed. A couple of nights ago we had 2 rabbits T.P. & I killed & they were really good, I boiled them in water with a little butter for an hour then browned them in the pan with cracker crumbs, we then took the water & put a package of noodle soup in it & it made swell eating.
Flying is still slow, I have to ride with the operations officer as yet & he doesn't have much time, they have plenty of crews so there is no rush, so I have plenty of time off to lay in the sack or fool around.
Well, I will say goodnight & play a little bean bingo, lots of love Ted. Hi Faye & Stan, thanks for those Air Views.

1945 letters home
1-18-45 France
Hello folks, still sitting around waiting to get checked out. Slept until 11:30 this morning and after lunch cut wood until 2:30 then after lunch went over to the 454th area to see Ray Emberton, the boy from Fresno, came back at 5:30, and ate dinner, and this evening we have been playing hearts. As usual I lost both games by trying to run, but as there was no cash concerned it didn't make any difference to me & I had a lot of fun doing it.
This morning we had a good rain, but it was so cold our little layer of snow did not melt just became a little slushy. I don't know when it will melt I suppose not until Feb. or March. The mail here is very slack again. No letters in about a week now, I suppose I will receive a stack one day soon.
I suppose it will be old news by the time this receives you, but tonight on the 5 o'clock news we heard Warsaw had fallen to the Russians, that sounds good, that much more ground taken from the Jerrys. I don't know how much longer those guys can take it but I hope not too much longer.
Everything is fine here folks, just a lazy night the food is a little sad, but we manage to have a little snack in the tent every night & it tides us over. Thanks for the letters, lots of love - Ted Hi F& S
1-19-03 France
A dear folk, life here is still going on day by day & not to much new is doing, yesterday I went up in a Cub with Ray Emberton for 4 hours & had a lot of fun flying it finally visibility became so bad that we came back to the tent. Played cards last night & hit the sack about 12:30.
Today arose at 9:30 to go to the P.X. & get our rations for the next week. After lunch I flew some more trans. & did O.K., tomorrow I ride with Bill for a little more. Tonight we went to the show, but they burned out the bulb before it started so that was a dry run. I have been putting my missions down on little cards & today I bought a little book & so tonight I copied them all in the book, this old pen isn't working so hot tonight, I must have something in its' point.
Still no mail, 8 days now & the boys really began to miss it I am going to wash up a little now & play some cards. Goodnight & lots of love, Ted.
1-14or21-45 France
Dear Folks, Sunday evening, and it seems like any other day, in fact I didn't even know it was until I asked T.P. the date. Time passes so darn fast its pitiful. Today we flew a local trans, & that’s about all.
This morning we made some darn good ice cream. We took a can of condensed milk, 1/2 canteen cup of peach jam, put in some of the pecans I received in your last package, along with some of those Sees thin wafers that pop put in & added snow until it was frozen & stirred it until it was creamy, & boy it was really swell. The first ice cream we have had in a darn long white.
I want to thank you for the swell package, that can of smoked salmon was really good, & thanks for the little compass to, also all of the food. The darn lights are out tonight & we have our lamps going again, about one or two nights a week they don't come on. Oh yes, & thanks for that swell fruit cake in the tin, they are really delicious & arrive in first class condition, those tins really arrive in good shape. Well folks. I will say goodnight for now & will write again soon. Lots of love Ted.
1945 letters home
1-25-45 Mission scrubbed. Groups’ leader Meonch sated that on the 25th, with missions on Standby due to indent weather, one Marauder of the 323rd was ordered to buzz for the benefit of MGM Studio cameras. Skimming the ground in front of the cameras, "he tore out the nose of the aircraft and took off the pitot tube. His Engineer-Gunner was badly cut. The crews took off with this- and bad weather on their minds, 19 launched but no one reached the Target.
1-26-45 France
Dear folks, still nothing much new here. Today T.P. Forester & built a sled & have had quite a time pulling each other around. It also helps in getting our wood from the woods to our tent it can haul quite a load & pulls very easily.
Today we made some more ice cream that came out O.K. We took a lot of hard candy and broke it up, melted it into syrup & mixed it with a can of whipped condensed milk & added snow until it was thick, it makes swell ice cream as well as giving us something to do. It is slow in the evenings & anything different is a welcome.
I have just finished 3 hands of Gin Rummy with Ed (T.Ps Bombardier) & finally beat him 2 out of three games, he usually beats be all three hands. I received a swell package from Faye & Stan today; candy bars, dried fish, candy bits & another swell fruitcake' will write her tonight & tank her for them.
I am enclosing a program from the follies; I have had it around since my last time in Paris and thought you might like to look it over. It was really a beautiful production & hope to get in again to see it over.
Everything is fine here. All my love Ted.
1-26-45 France
Hi Faye and Stan, first I want to thank you for your swell package I received today, those dried fish really hit the spot & arrived in first class condition. Those boxes with lots of food are always welcome, I know it’s a lot of trouble but you don't know how they help out all we get to eat comes out of our mess kit
& I hardly ever arise for breakfast unless I have to, it’s to darn cold. It’s below freezing at all times here now & at night it really gets cold.
One of the boys from Santa Barbara & I (T.P Forster) built a sled today & it really works fine & comes in handy for lots of work, all we have to do now is find something to pull it with.
01-28-45 France
Dear folks, I received 2 letters today & your swell package of figs, See's Candy, fruitcake & sausage. Thanks a million; it’s the fruit mail that I have had in well over a week. Tonight it’s snowing again although its not to cold. Today T.P Forester & I were supposed to fly transition but the weather was bad, so we spent the day going about the field & looking over some of the old ships that have had their last flights, I picked up some switches to put in the tent for lights & a few other tent lights & a few other odds & ends we might put to some use.
Our little pup is getting larger every day now & finally is house broken, it was an awful job to keep the (The rest of the letter is missing)
HISTORICAL NOTE (February 1945): The handicaps of changing the base of operations and the usual adverse February weather proved to be surmountable ones. The nineteen missions that were run carried the White Tailed Marauders over enemy strongholds to disrupt transportation, paralyze aircraft production, collapse vital railroad spans and shatter bulging marshalling yards. The enemy in his last gasp for survival took a heavier toll in aircraft lost and damaged and in wounded personnel than in previous months. Eight planes were lost in combat with 33 personnel being carried as missing in action, and 11 others wounded. Since most of the missions for the month were Pathfinder affairs it was impossible to assess the amount of damage done on the various raids.
The 14th of the month was a particularly rough day. Two missions were run and on each heavy damage or casualties were experienced. In the morning 453 x 250 pound bombs were dropped on the troop concentrations at Xanten Germany. Of the 39 planes dispatched over the target eighteen were damaged and two failed to return.
In the afternoon excellent results were achieved by the 39 ships which dropped 140,000 pounds on the approaches to the Remagen Bridge across the Rhine. The enemy flak was once again accurate, and 14 of the 39 planes were damaged.
Shortly after the sunset on the 21st of February, it was evident that Operation "Clarion11 was scheduled to be run the following day. Hours of hectic pre-briebng activity followed to make ready for the biggest and most vital air operation since D Day. "Clarion" was to be a coordinated aerial offensive of all
flyable aircraft in the ETO against hundreds of junctions, bridges, marshalling yards, and stations in the
German rail transport system. The object was three-fold—to paralyze rail transportation, to precipitate a general strike among railroad workers, and to necessitate a reallocation of flak batteries to protect these multiple targets from further attacks.
The targets for the 323rd were all in the area east of Hamm and affected railroads feeding that important marshalling center. One flight hit the marshalling yard and bridge to the southwest of Neubeckum and cut the railroad line with its bombs. The railroad station and bridge in Neubeckum was hit by the superior bombing of another flight Also excellent results were secured by the three flights that bombed the passenger station at Lage and the railroad bridges at Ahlen.
The most spectacular and outstanding bombing of the day, however, was that done by LtMcGowan and Lt Adams of the 455th Squadron and their formation of 12 ships. They were briefed to strafe as well as bomb the railroad choke points at Altenbecken. Superior results were scored and the crews returned with graphic descriptions of the results of their work. Many freight cars in the yards had been blown up or set afire; the railroad was pulverized, and many nearby buildings in the yard were destroyed.
Another raid made with superior results was on the 23rd of February when 58 planes under the leadership of Major Rehr, Lt McGowan and Captain Gist blasted Buir Communications Center and Elsdorf Communications Center.
323rd moved once again to (83) Denain/Prouvy, France, Feb. 1945, soon after the aarival at the
new airdrome fire destroyed the 323rds' hangers. Sabotage was suspected as the cause of the massive
Feb-5-1945 France
Dear folks, it has been some time since I have written to you, as I have been very busy, we have moved again and I went along on the advanced party to this, our new base, and I am happy to say that we are now living in barracks once again. The French and Polish were living here when we came & we had the unpleasant job of cleaning after them, & such filth I have never seen. We have still lots of work to do, but it will be worth it as our area can be fixed up very nice, for once l think we can have an officers mess and the mess hall is big enough to have some good parties in. Beer here is very plentiful& darn good beer, and it is the cheapest in cost for beer that I have seen in a long time 27 franks for 10 quarts, that 2 1/2 gallons for 54 cents, not bad. I received that stack of back (***)
I will be sure to write you on my old schedule once again now & I hope the mail will be a better.
Thanks for everything folks. One thing I won’t decline is the chance to receive some of that swell food you have been sending, so if the post man needs a request here it is. Lots of love mom and dad - Ted. Thanks Faye and Stan for you letters- Ted.
02-09-45 France
Dear folks, well, we are finally getting settled in our new base. T.P. Forester & I have a swell little room all to ourselves & have bunk beds. Last night we had slats and springs & about 1 A.M. his started breaking, and as I was on the bottom deck it caused quite a stir. Today we cut the legs off a broken cot & fixed the top deck up O.K.. You asked in your last letter about T.P.s being a first pilot or not His position is first pilot, he has a crew of his own & Guen-ant has one of his & they are not on the same crew. We have quite a few crews in the outfit, in fact so darn many that it is hard to get on the loading list to fly a mission.
Today we were unpacking our junk in room & our little pooch crawled into my B-4 bag & no one saw him all afternoon, T.P was looking all over for him tonight & as I was coming out the door to come over here to the orderly room (O.D. Tonight) I heard a little whine. So after looking all over the room I finally found him all zipped up & under the bed in my B-4 bag, he was really glad to be out again.
I will soon be flying missions again as I am all checked out now & have a crew of my own. Bill Guerrant has anew copilot now, his crew is 6 missions ahead of mine, or rather me, as I took quite a layoff in the process of checking out but the rest really felt good. The last mission I flew was over a month ago, so I still have 23 missions.
I was glad to receive all of those letters from you folks & Faye & Stan. Thanks for the swell
Christmas cards, they were all very nice, & dad's was very nice.
Well folks, I have lots more letters to write tonight as I have not written in well over a week
& have fallen way behind, so lots of love Ted.
2-14-45 France
A dear folk today was quite a day, as well as yesterday. Yesterday I was supposed to fly my first mission as first pilot Everything was O.K. until my left wheel ran off the taxi strip & I sank into the mud, thatasn't enough but the wheel sank so far the prop tore into some rocks & that was the end of the prop. So no first mission yesterday, but I have one to my credit as first pilot tonight ,& it was a little rough at that Plenty of flack but our ship didn't receive any holes.
I received your letter of the 22nd today & was glad to hear that the 50 buck money order came through O.K. I have about $100.00 on me now that I haven't had a chance to send. As soon as the money order unit comes around again I will send it along.
Last night I received your swell package with the box of Hershey’s, fruit cake, & box of wheat cookies in if thanks a million. The weather here is much warmer now. All of the snow has left and now its mud all over again, but I don't think it will be long before the old summer rolls around again.

1945 letters home
Our camp is really nice now, we have it nearly cleaned up & all of the little things really help. We have a shower that operates once each second night & a swell mess hall, one of the boys plays the piano at chow time & it makes it much nicer to eat We have a truck to take us into town now each night to the movies or the little beer joints so we don't have to spend to much time in the barracks.
Well folks, thanks again for the swell packages & letters. All my love Ted. How's Fatso? Hi Faye & Stan.

Mission 24, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat mission/ target number #303, was flown on the morning of Valentine's day, 02-14-45, and lasted 3:00 hours. 36 Martin B26 Marauders of the 323rd Bombardment Group, 456th Bomb Squadron, + 3 window aircraft, went up at 10,300 feet.
Group leader Rehr & McGowan. Lt Col. Rehr recalls, the window aircraft on this mission were Marauders, called flak suppressors, they used 100 pound bombs to drive the flak gunners into their shelters, still flak bursts surrounded the formation" Rehr's plane was hit but he limped back to base, his nose gunner was among the wounded. Harwood's plane, Martin B26 Marauder, 42-43281 WT-D (Little Mike), dropped 16 250lbs bombs on the road junction in Xanten, Germany. Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt Thomas 0. Harves (CP) 2nd/1st LtDuran (John or Manual J ?), Alan Hammel (Aaron) S/Sgt Richard P. Bailey (?) T/Sgt John H Stewart (TG) Sgt Base of operations; (A-83) Denain/Prouvy, France. According to a post war account by Lt Colonel Ross E. Harian (February, 1990): "On this mission 25 ships had flak category "A" flak damage and three men were wounded." According to Meonch on the 14th the aircrews took a beating. Leading two boxes of 18 aircraft each, Maj. Rehr was preceded by the pathfinders but flak suppression tactics did not work-or there were just too many guns firing. Officially, 18 aircraft on this mission were severely damaged and two failed to return." Due to clouds 3 to 4 passes over the target made this a duck shoot for the 88s below.
2-16-45 France
Hi Fay & Stan, I want to thank you for all of your swell letters, they really mean a lot over here. I guess they do ay both ends. Our little dog is busy tearing up one of Forester's gloves on the floor. He always has something in his mouth, there are so darn many dogs around our area now that its pitiful, & all of them have a flying term for a name, ours' is named Tour & there are others such as "Flack", "Salvo", "Dry Run" and the mother of them all & soon to do her part again is "Gin", a little bitch, one the boys bought in England one night for 2 pounds when he was a little tight.
We put up a volleyball court today back of the barracks & I am so stiff I can hardly sit still. It’s the first real exercise that I have had for a long time, that is beside cutting wood at our last base.
I flew my first mission as first pilot so I think I am over the roughest part of my training, it was one of the roughest missions that I have been on so far so it gave me a good work out I have 24 now, boy they sure add up slow. Our tour is 65 now, 44 more to go. I suppose it will be the duration or at least 6 or 8 months of darn good flying weather.
Thanks again for the swell packages & letters Faye & Stan. If you have any old candy or food lying around I would-be glad to receive it Anything you can think of is welcome. That old mess hall routine really gets tiresome. If you could find some dill pickles or ajar or can. Everything has arrived swell so far.
Give the folks my love & I will write them again soon. All of my love, Ted
2-20-45 France

1945 letters home
A dear folk, flying has been slow for the past few days, that old fog has really been holding us down. So, I have not been doing much, just waiting for it to clear up or for the proposed mission to be scrubbed & be released to do what we want I have been going to the movies in town nearly every evening or to town to see what there is to do. Last night T.P Forrester, Bill and I went to a dance & really had a good time, the only problem is that I missed the truck & started walk, that was about 11:30 P.M. and by the time I found my way home it was 2:00 AM this morning. Boy was I thankful that we didn't have to get (***)
Mission 25, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat mission/ target number # 306 -
"Operation Clarion", was flown on the afternoon of 02-21-45 and lasted 2:50 hours. 41 Martin B26
Marauders of the 323rd Bombardment Group, 456th Bomb Squadron, and 3 window aircraft, went up at
11,500 feet. . Group leader Kohnery, Thayer & Van Ausdale. Harwood's plane, Martin B26 Marauder,
41-31708 WT-B (The Gremlin II), dropped 4 1,000lbs bombs on the road junction in Xanten, Germany.
Crew; Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st. Lt. Thomas 0. Harves (CP) 2nd/1st Lt. Duran (John or Manual J
?), Alan Hammel (Aaron) S/Sgt Richard P. Bailey ( ) T/Sgt John H Stewart (TG) Sgt Base of operations;
Denain/Prouvy, France
According to Meonch, on the 21st a break in the weather arrived and three boxes of Marauders were launched against troop concentrations at Xanten. Flak was heavy, twenty of the 44 aircraft in the formation were damaged and two air crewmen were wounded by Plexiglas fragments (plexiflak). The bombing was classified as excellent No fighter escort on this mission.
2-22-45 France
Dear folks, back at camp once more after quite a little trip. I had an overnight pass and left at 7P.M. last night on a little hitch hike tour of the country. I went up into Belgium & to Brussels where I really had a pleasant surprise, food and lots of it. I had ice cream since the first time since I left the States, in factI spent about $3.00 for it & was so full that I had to sit for a little while to let it settle, also lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Then went to Mons in Belgium also, & it was also a very nice city, the people all seem tospeak English & I had no trouble at all I bought a little hanky to send along with this letter (enclosed).
I have 25 missions now, so 40 more to make my 65, boy they drag along slow. Received the package from Faye and Stan with that can of nuts, 2 red cheese rolls & 6 cans offish, thanks a million, it really hit the spot tonight as I arrived back so late that the mess hall was closed (***)
(Historic note on Mons):Known for its’ massive stone cathedrals. Located close to the French border, it is the centre of the Borinage district, the old coal mining centre of the country. Mons was the site of the first battle fought by the British Army in World War I. The British were forced to retreat and the town was occupied by the Germans, before being liberated by the Canadian Corps during the final days of the war.
NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) was relocated in the village Casteau near Mons, Belgium from Fontainebleau, France after France's withdrawal from the military structure of the alliance in 1967.
Feb 23rd - 45, mission briefed but scrubbed on Sinzig Bridge, weather.
Mission 26, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat mission/ target number #314, was flown on the morning of 02-24-45 and lasted 2:35 hours. 31 Martin B26 Marauders of the 323rd
Bombardment Group, 456th Bomb Squadron, 3 window aircrafts & 1 pathfinder, went up at 12,500 feet.
Group leader Kohnert & Nichols. Harwood's Marauder, 41-34967 WT-R (Hell's Belle), dropped 2 2,000lbsbombs on the road junction in Rheindahten, Germany. Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt. Thomas 0. Harves (CP) 2nd/1st Lt. Duran (John or Manual J ?), Howard D. Shelton (R) Sgt, Richard P. Bailey ( ) T/Sgt John H Stewart (TG) Sgt Base of operations; Denain/Prouvy, France. According to Meonch '' on mission #314 14 aircraft received battle damage. The rudder of one Marauder was completely burned off. Observed bombing results were good."
Mission 27, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat mission/ forget number #316 was flown on the afternoon of 02-25-45 and lasted 2:40 hours. 33 Martin B26 Marauders of the 323rd Bombardment Group, 456th Bomb Squadron, 3 window aircraft and one pathfinder, went up at 14,500 feet. Group leader Meonch & McGowen. Harwood's plane, Martin B26 Marauder, 42-96212 WT-Q (Patty's Pig or Patty’s Pie?) dropped 8 500lbs bombs on the road junction in Horren, Germany. Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st LtThomas 0. Harves (CP) 2nd/1st Lt Manual Duran S/Sgt, Howard D. Shelton (R) Sgt Richard P. Bailey ( ) T/Sgt John H Stewart (TG ) Sgt Base of operations; Denain/Prouvy, France. According toMeonch" on mission #316, Casualties were added to the group on Sunday the 25th in an attack on Horren Road Junction. 1st Lt Holmes was flying one of the window aircraft, was shot down by the guns at Cologne.1st Lt Brown received a direct hit in his left engine and his aircraft was seen to spin into the ground. No parachutes were seen to emerge from either aircraft Two other were wounded.
02-2745 France
Dear folks, not much new news here, have not flown for the last 2 days & have been in the sack quite a bit as I have a cold, but its well on the way to being over. This Army life is about to get me down again, the same darn thing day after day, but that feeling wears off in a little while & I am happy again for a few months. But I sure miss the old US. It makes you wonder how these people survive over here in the filth that they live in & makes you appreciate what you are waiting to go back to.
I went out this afternoon & traded 8 eggs & potatoes for 2 bars of soap & a package of tobacco. So tonight I had fried eggs & potatoes which were darn good. The food in the mess haul is much better now, but I still get hungry about 8 or 9 every evening, so a snack comes in mighty handy.
The cold season has left us now, & we have a great many overcast days. It doesn't rain, just a heavy dark layer of clouds , it is really beautiful when you climb through them & come through them &come into the clear blue sky on top & the whole floor under you is soft & white, but it seems that every time it is clear in Germany & socked in here, those so & sos seem to have all the breaks in the weather.
Did you ever receive the letter asking for some water melon seeds etc? If not will you send some, I think they might grow over here, but not to sure, any way I want to give them a fry, also some musk melon, thanks.
Not much to talk about tonight but I just wanted to say hello. Lots of love Ted. Hi Faye and Stan, thanks for the malt
Mission 28, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat mission/ target number #317, was flown on the afternoon of 02-28-45 and lasted 2:55 hours. 32 Martin B26 Marauders of the 323rd Bombardment Group, 456th Bomb Squadron, 3 window aircrafts and 1 pathfinder, went up at 12,300 feet . Group leader: Rehr & Pulver. Harwood's plane, Martin B26 Marauder, 41-34033 WT-A (Ole 33, Gal, ( Improper name: Dale Rush Death, Dale Rush was Killed in this plane), dropped 2 2,000lbs bombs on the Uluyn junction, the secondary target, in Rheinburg,Germany. Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt. Thomas 0. Harves (CP) 2nd/1st Lt, Manual Duran S/Sgt, Anthony B. Caezza (R) S/ Sgt, Richard P. Bailey ( ) T/Sgt, John H Stewart (TG) Sgt Base ofoperations; Denain/Prouvy, France. According to Meonch , Maj. Rehr and 1st Lt Pulver led an attck on Uluyn Road Junction. Because of extremely bad weather, none of the aircraft succeeded in bombing the primary forget although 13 aircraft did drop bombs on the secondary.
Lt Col. Rehr recalls how this Martin B26 Marauder, 41-34033 WT-A (Ole 33, Gal, Dale Rush Death), flew its’ last mission with a pilot named Searies. "Flak blew off the nose of this plane, but he managed to fly the crippled bomber another 100 miles west of Koblenz before exhausting all of the fuel in his main tank and auxiliary tanks. Every one in his crew bailed out safely" The Marauder lost was one of Rehr's favorites, Ole 33 Gal, "She was one of the older, faster models, the ones manufactured before the made changes to the wing to shorten take off and landing runs. We'd flown a lot of missions together, even had a picture of my crew taken with her. Ole 33 was the Marauder Dale Rush was killed in.
(Recent letter on this topic): Date: 11/4/2002 Time: 8:03:37 PM (B.26.Com)
I am trying to verify some information that was passed to me from my Uncle (deceased). His name is Arthur E. Briggs and was a navigator on B-26's. In recent e-mails with Ted and Ray Harwood, they seem to confirm that Art is indeed the 'navigator' as seen in the 'the crew' pictures and the 'bombardier?' as seen in 'the people 'pictures of your web sight. Do you confirm this too? Also, my uncle gave my dad a picture of 3 b-26's with flak all around them and he told my dad that he was the navigator on the flight and a friend died on that mission. Also, he gave my dad a picture through a bombsight of the port of Dieppe. The flight of 3 B-26's picture is also found on the b26 tail gunner web site, page 3, 9th picture down. The Harwoods told me that it is a 456th plane the "Ole 33" (Is this the whole name, I’ve seen reference to 'Ole 33 and Gal'?), the mission date was June 20, 1944, the mission was over Dieppe, the bombardier was Dale Rush and he died and the tail gunner named S/Sgt Johnnie McClelland also died. DO you have record of the navigator on board the lead plane in the picture? Or who the pilot may be? I have other questions, but am hopeful to hear from you soon on these. Thank you Jeff Briggs
The records for both missions on June 20 1944 are missing so I cannot confirm the full crew make up of 1.Lt Paul E Warf's (pilot) B26. I can confirm that the bombardier Lt Rush was killed and that S/Sgt Johnnie V. McClelland died later of his wounds. The name of the B26 was "Ole 33" and "Gal”. Trevor Allen Historian

HARWOOD'S Mission 37, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad
combat mission/ target number # 364, 364 was flown on the afternoon
of 4-08-45 and lasted 3:45 hours. 52 ships went up at 11,300 feet. Harwood's plane,
Martin B26 Marauder; 41-34967 WT-R ( Hell's Belle), dropped 8 500l b.
bombs on the Nienhagen Oil Refinery at Hanover, Germany. official
323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad target name Nienhagen Oil
Refinery. Visual attack. Mission leaders: Helper, Van Ausdale & Snap.
According to post war accounts by Major General John O. Moench,
because of recent heavy losses the attack on the Nienhagen Oil Refinery at Hanover,
Germany was made in concert with the 387th, 394th and 397th Bomb
Groups and was classified as highly successful: one large storage tank was destroyed, eight buildings destroyed, three smaller storage tanks
left burning and severe damage to three other buildings. Smoke at the target was so dense
that several formations had to make repeated bomb runs to achieve the
desired results. On this date two aircraft were lost and 44 sustained damage,
6 air crewmen were lost from the 323rd and four men were wounded.
According to Moench, the names of the MIA and WIA have not been located in the
historical record but according to post war accounts Harwood and his
crew were on the MIA list until recovered, and the official log of this
mission may be in error. Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt.,
Eugene T. Muszynski (CP) 2nd/1st Lt., Anthony B. Caezza (NB) S/SGT., James N.
Night (?) T/Sgt., George W. Boyd (RG) S/Sgt., Raymond Deboer (TG)
S/Sgt. Base of operations; Denain/Prouvy, France. The following
is a detailed post war account by 1st. LT. Theodore V. Harwood: It
was our 37th mission, April 8th, 1945, in the afternoon. Fifty two B-26
marauders of the 232rd Bomb Group, 456 Bomb Squad, took off toward
our target in Hanover, Germany where we were to drop our bomb load on the Niemhagen
oil refinery. We were still under evasive flight Pattering just about
to the "I.P." when our tail gunner, Anthony B. Caezza S/SGT., called "Flak
at six o'clock". Just then, the thunderous roar of flak, like a hail
storm on a tin roof and the sound of tearing metal. The engineer came up. He was
covered with hydraulic fluid. The flak had severed the hydraulic
height pressure main hose. Flak also penetrated the ammo on the package gun in the
bombardier's compartment where the ammo storage was. The radio man
came up. His chest mount parachutes had been shredded by Flak (pilots had back
mount parachutes). The main fuel cell on the left inner wing was
punctured, spewing fuel all over the exterior panels of the plane and into the
sky. I broke out of formation and turned back toward base. We thought
about bailingout but with one parachute short, we all decided to go down with the
ship. At that point, the flight engineer cranked open the bomb bay
doors by hand.
We had no hydraulic power at all. We manually jettisoned the bombs
and flew on. We came in sight of a secondary field and went in for a
With no hydraulic pressure the main gear would not lock down. We came
into the landing strip, touched down, and violently skidded to a
stop. The
crew got out so fast that I didn't even know they had 'exited the
craft and they exited right over my body! When I realized I was
alone, I quickly got
out. That night we spent sleeping on the ground beneath the wing of
the disabled B-26 that had brought us safely to earth. The crew
camped under the
protective wing of Hell's Belle until they were rescued by ground
MEAONCH RECORDING OF HARWOOD the only other thing I say that may be
of interest on my 37th mission to Hanover, Germany, we were bombing a fuel dump and I was in ship 967, this was on April 8th, 45, we has eight 500 pound bombs and ah going into the initial point to the bomb release point I was hit with flak on my main fuel cell left between the Nacelle and the pilots compartment -we got a big rupture in the
main fuel cell and the ah hydraulic system out, our electrical system was out and
the ah engineer went and automatically cranked open the bomb doors
triggered out the ah bombs -cranked the bomb bay doors shut -started transferring
fuel from the outer wings to the inner tank and we kept the engines
running and Called to Johnny Kuzwara who was the flight leading bombardier/
navigator on that mission and he gave me a heading to the alternate
field which was a Spit-Fire base just behind the bomb line and ah- we proceed there -
crash landed. The wheels went down but they wouldn't lock cause
there was no hydraulic pressure, but our crew managed to get down and we lost no
one -had no injuries on that flight, they picked us up the next day
in a B26 and went back to our base and they ah- loaded me on another mission on
April 10th so they didn't give me time to think about it, but that
was our only other real thrill as far as ah close calls.
Mission 38, official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb Squad combat
mission/ target number #367 was flown on the afternoon of 4-10-45
and lasted 4:40 hours. 40 ships went up at 11,300 feet. Harwood's plane, Martin
B26 Marauder; 41-31708 (The Gremblin II), dropped 4 1000lbs bombs on
the railroad yard ( Triptis Marshalling yards) at Triptis, Germany.
Damage to the latter included 35 wagons, rail tracks cut, factorys
damaged severely, goods depot destroyed as well as the engine shed and train station.
Gen. Moench states that due to heavy smoke at Triptis a second target
at Posnech (communications center) was also hit by the 323rd Marauders. Crew:
Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt., Eugene T. Muszynski (CP) 2nd/1st
Lt., Anthony B. Caezza (NB) S/SGT., James N. Night (?) T/Sgt., George W.
Boyd (RG) S/Sgt., Raymond Deboer (TG) S/Sgt. Base of operations;
Denain/Prouvy, France

4-11-45 France
Hello Faye & Stan, thanks a million for your swell package ,
I received it yesterday, & also for Stan's big sausage he sent, they
arrived in
A-1 condition. The weather here is much warmer now & you work up
quite a sweat flying instead of freezing as we did last winter, we
are flying quite
a bit now but I don't have much luck at getting them in, 3 or 4 I
think I was, days ago I had my left tank shot up & had to land in
Holland & it took me
2 days to get back & I missed a couple & today my left engine cut out
& I had to abort, so I now only have 38 missions, they add up slow
as hell.
The darn flies are starting to hatch out around here & are
buzzing all around the place. I hope we don't have those darn
hornets like we had
when we first came to France, they got the food & a couple of the
boys had their lips stung by not looking at their fork first, more
fat lips.
I have sent home another box of perfume, lipstick, ect. & it
should be there by the time you receive this letter , hope you and
mom can use
the stuff. Also, a big long wooden box with a German riffle in it.
I carved the stock of it quite a bit , so it looks nothing like it
did. Drop a line if the
perfume arrives O.K. Thanks.
Well, I am going into town this afternoon & get a hair cut so
I might as well leave now. Thanks once again for the swell food.
Lots of love,
4-14-45 France

Harwood's B26 Mission # 44,official 323rd Bomb Group, 456th Bomb
Squad combat mission/ target number # 376
was flown on the afternoon of 4-20-45 and lasted 4:20 hours, the
second mission of the day for Harwood’s crew. 35 ships went up at 11,000 feet. Harwood's plane, Martin B26 Marauder; 42-96090 WT-M (Blitz Wagon), dropped 2 2000lbs bombs on the railroad yard at Memmingen,
Germany. Crew: Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt., Eugene T.
Muszynski (CP) 2nd/1st Lt.,
Anthony B. Caezza (NB) S/SGT., James N. Night (?) T/Sgt., George W.
Boyd (RG) S/Sgt.,
Raymond Deboer (TG) S/Sgt. Base of operations; Denain/Prouvy,
France. It was April 20th,
1945, in the afternoon. Thirty-five B-26 Marauders OF THE 323RD flew
out toward Nordlingen, Germany to
drop their bomb load from 10,000 feet in the sky to the railroad yard
below. This was our next to
the last mission of the war and like any mission, it could have been
our last. From the skies below
came a vision of death, the foremost of the German Luftwaffe Jet,
rocket aircraft, the ME-262
armed with a 50 mm cannon. It was only seconds before the ME-262 was
upon us. I could see the
50 mm cannon of the ME-262 cut loose. It was very close. The whole
ordeal was like watching it
happen right in front of you in the fast lane of the freeway. The 50
mm cannon bursts hit the
number two plane, right wing man, and sheered the nacelle door off. I
could see it as clear as day.
We had no fighter escort on most missions and on this mission we were
alone so we had to take
care of the problem ourselves. The entire squadron opened up with
everything we had. Quite
possible it was out turret gunner, but someone found the target and
the ME-262 went down. One
of the first jets ever shot down in combat. That same ME-262 craft is
now on display at the Air
Force museum in Dayton, Ohio. This occurrence was accidentally
misquoted by Major General
John 0. Moench. He had documented the ME-262 attack on 4-25-45, which
would have been the
B-26 bombing raid on the German airfield at Erding. The mission that
had the ME-262 attack was
on 4/20/45 on the B-26 Nordlingen railroad yard bombing raid. This
element is listed in the
official mission folder. The account documented by Major General
Moench is as follows:
"Flying the left wing on the Box I, number four flight
leader, Ist Lt. Theodore V.
Harwood s postwar account of the ME-262 attack included an
observation of fire from the
attackers against the lead flight and the sudden loss of a nacelle
door from Capt. Trostle's right
wingman. "Our top turret was chattering like mad and the air in front
of us was filled with 50
caliber casings." This element of the attack was not noted in the
mission folder." It appears the
date here or in Meonch's book may be off - 4-25-45 ---The 262 may
have hit on both days! he
was on both missions.
MEONCH RECORDING OF HARWOOD: "Ah the second question you have
ah on the
last mission April 25, 1945 to Arding, Germany of the 262s ah I was
in ship 040 in the low flight
ah, as I recall, according to your diagram everything was in the rear
of the flight, however aha as I
recall, I saw the Me262 come up from our right - position itself
below us and shoot at the lead
flight, as I recall, according to your diagram here number 969 which
was on the right of 131 the
lead ship, I don't recall any other ship numbers except our own, ah
however I could see the 37
MM. puffs of ah smoke from his cannon as he fired, and as I recall
the right nacelle door flew off
number 969 in your position ah, that was about all there was to that
mission as I could see. Our
top turret gunner was firing which that was the first mission in my
45 mission that the gunners
ever fired a shot and that was sort of startling because I didn't
know they were going to fire made
considerable rattle, the whole sky in front of me was filled with 50
Caliber empties coming out of
ah, I guess the lead flight there but I don't know how they got back
there because according to
your diagram, this ME 262 was ah unless I got this thing reversed,
but I wasn't in the lead flight,
but this trail you got here shows everything in the rear of the
flight, but defiantly we saw the 262
and I saw it fire and saw the smoke from the, when the cannon went
off you could see a little puff
black smoke every time it fired. Ah, our top turret gunner engineer
was considerably ah -hepped
up he thought he hit the thing (laughs) I don't know there was so
much brass in the air, that was
by big problem worrying about the brass coming though the canopy or
through the ah
bombardier's nose compartment."

Ode to Marauder Men: Dedicated to Major General John O.Meonch On
Vetrans' day; Peyton Magruder got the call - to engineer the greatest
plane of all. Without much
testing the Marauder Men say -it was one a day in Tampa Bay.
Africa and Asia's' skies so eerie blue the B26 Marauder its
deadly missions flew. Terror
ragged in Germany and France until the Marauders did their deadly
dance. When Uncle Sam said
go- MacAurther bought the tickets but the Marauder Men saw the show.
In the frozen Ardennes the Huns came thundering though - not
realizing what the brave
Marauder Men could do. Mindful of the fighting men down there on the
ground - the Marauders
came from heaven and laid them Germans down.
When the horror of the war was nearly set - when into the
skies came the German jet. The
262s placed it- but the Marauder Men won the bet. The bloody war
came to an end - but the
brave B26 Marauders - to home they would not send.
Sheet metal angles drift through the cloud - with Prat & whitney
engines playing so loud- the sad
eyed mother & father cry they are proud -in a sky full of angles
they're now part of the crowd-
. Ray Harwood (Son of a B26 pilot in the 456th)


I have updated my list of research on my father's planes, I still need help. Thank you for the help thus far! Here is the new list of the planes he flew. (456th 323rd BG)1st Lt. T.V. Harwood, pilot.
1. 41-31801 WT-J Black Fury II
2. 42-43281 WT-D Little Mike
3. 41-31708 WT-B The Gremlin II
4. 41-34967 WT-R Hell's Belle
5. 42-96212 WT-Q Patty's Pig
6. 41-34033 WT-A Ole 33 & Gal,
7. 42-107842 WT-W Georgia Miss
8. 42-96090 WT-M Blitz Wagon
9. 41-34969 WT-S Crew 13
10. 41-31861 WT-N Weary Willie,Jr
11. 41-31787 WT-K City of Sherman
12 41-35022 YU-V 455th.BS airplane
13. 41-31964 WT-L Hade’s Lady
14. 41-35040 WT-F Buzzin Huzzy
15. 42-107538 WT-T
16 44-68181 WT-R

Harwood (CP) 2nd/1st Lt.John W. Kuczwara (Nav) 2nd/1ST Lt.William B. Gerrant Jr. (P) 2nd
Lt/1st Lt.Jack A. Reynolds (TG) Cpl./S/Sgt.John H. Knight ( E ) Cpl/SgtVelton J. O’Neal Jr. (
RG ) Sgt T/Sgt..

Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt.Thomas O. Harves (CP) 2nd/1st Lt.Duran (John or Manual
J ?), Alan Hammel (Aaron) S/Sgt, Richard P. Baily ( ) T/Sgt, John H Stewart ( TG ) Sgt

3rd: Crew:
Theodore V. Harwood (P) 2nd/1st Lt., Eugene T. Muszynski (CP) 2nd/1st Lt., Anthony B.
Caezza (NB) S/SGT., James N. Night (?) T/Sgt., George W. Boyd (RG) S/Sgt., Raymond
Deboer (TG) S/Sgt.

Los Angeles National Cemetery
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
Harwood, Theodore V, b. 11/04/1922, d. 11/19/1997, US Army Air Corps, 1ST LT, Res: Van Nuys, CA, Plot: 1A 0 1335, bur. 12/31/1997


horatiorama said...

It's "Pößneck" (or Poessneck, if you you don't have umlauts on your keyboard) not "Posnech". That's the place where I was born. Good to read about it. ;-)

Edward said...

My grandfather was Manuel J Duran. Flew in the BuffaloGal "White Tailed Marauders". Flew 76 missions as a tail gunner for all 76. 10 seconds was the average life span for a tail gunner in combat. Luckiest man I ever met.

Edward said...

The first photo of the of the five men, do you have thier name? I believe the man on the far left squatting down is my grandfather, but I can not tell for sure?