Do you have any images or other media memorabilia you would also like to have posted on our website?
Fabulous Site here, thanks for all of the hard work compiling all of this info on the 449th, my father would have been proud to have viewed this site, he was 2lt John J Rhoades – B24 copilot shot down over Ploesti oil raid mission, captured and spent time as a POW in Rumania.
San Diego , CA
This is the foto of the unlucky Forbes Crew, that perished some 20 miles after leaving the target, the Messerschmitt aircraft factory at Regensburg on Feb. 25, 1944.
On that day there was the biggest air battle at the Regensburg area of WWII.
The German fighter pilot, who shot down the B-24 belonged to a unit, that had sent its pilots to Regensburg to pick up new ME-109 fighter planes at the factory.
When the 15th Air Force raid started, some of them took off from the airfield, while bombs were exploding.
Obviously the Forbes B-24 had left the formation short time after bombs away, and was fired at by a single ME-109.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to talk to an elderly man, who was a schoolboy and an eyewitness at that day.
The B-24 started to lose height and plunged into a forest near the city of Kelheim. People on the ground did not understand, why no crew member had bailed out.
May be the pilots had been hit, and nobody would give the bail out signal.
The German fighter pilot went on to shoot down a B-17 from the 99th Bomb Group (Kirkpatrick Crew) nearby and finally, when a second raid that day started by the 8th Air force, was himself shot down and killed by Major Braodhead from the 357th Fighter Group.
The wingman of Major Braodhead, Lt. Beemer was shot down by friendly fire from the Flying Fortresses and severely wounded made POW.
This was a day of disaster for many gallant airmen as well as for people on the ground – and the beginning of lasting pain for their families back home.
I did my research for many years to preserve the memory of all these unlucky people – hoping for peace for the future.
My father, Eugene Ward, flew 53 missions over Italy. He tells us about his experiences often. His stories are some of my favorite memories. I would like to know when & where this year’s reunion is.
Granite City, IL
I am looking for any info on my father’s experiences during his time with the Brzychcy crew of the 449th 717th squadron.
I hope you all have a GREAT time in New Orleans in September! Long live The Flying Horsemen.
Bonner Springs, Kansas
Hello, I’m the grandson of Sgt. Oliver Clyde Roye, he was with the 449th. I have hundreds of pictures of bombings, planes and other related material. Upon the recent death of my father, I’ve decided to donate the photos to a museum or the 449th. I feel these photos belong to the world, not just me.
Sincerely, David Roye
Thank you to the 449th Bomb Group for the information I found on my uncle Edward A. Fetting. I found photos of his plane “Miss Behavin” that was involved in a mid-air collision over Steyr, Austria. I now have a full account of what happened and can pass this information on to my grandsons.
It was with much surprise and delight I saw the MURCH group picture, the same one I have on my wall, and my Dad, Carl S Kocis, ball gunner, standing there in his 18yr glory. Nice picture. Thanks for your website and to the heroes of WWII this 4th of July, 2016, 73 years after that picture was taken.
Carl J Kocis II
My father, Major James W. Rierson was assigned to the 449th Bomb Group, 716 Squadron and was shot down with the Weeks crew. When my father passed, I donated his WWII memorabilia and records to a US military museum in Fort Myers, FL. They were so grateful for the items, as they had nothing like them to tell the story of the B-24 crews. I am incredibly proud of the 449th and the brave men who flew. Thank you, gentlemen. We all are forever in your debt.
Sarasota, FL, United States
MT Holly, NJ, USA
I’m the grandson of LANG, William E, Bombardier. He was in the 718th Squadron and listed on your website as part of the Morrison Crew. He flew on 23 combat missions with the 718th and his last mission was with Leighton Ellis’ crew in April of 1945, where their plane was hit and damaged. They managed to navigate to the Swiss border, where they bailed out over Lake Constance. They were taken by the Swiss and interned near Dubendorf, Swizerland for about 5 weeks until the crew’s release. My mother was named after that lake (Connie Lang). William (Bill) Lang passed away in Sept of 1985 at his home in Fullerton, Ca. He was a great man, and I’m glad to have known him. As a lot of servicemen, he rarely, if ever, spoke of his time in the military. I found I few of his records, and then found this website while searching for more information. Thank you for compiling so much information on your website and honoring these brave men.
San Marcos, CA, USA
Very proud of my father, John L. Gougeon, Sr., a member of the 716th and a survivor of the Dalrymple crew. Dad passed away April 12, 2012.
Sterling Heights, MI
OMG – my first visit to the new site and I am so impressed. I miss everything being so far away in Moldova. But this got me right into the swing of it all. Such fond memories. The website has so many good things already. Great job EVERYBODY!!!
I’m a nephew of Lt. Howard Hanson, the pilot of the Hanson Crew. I just received the Spring issue of the Latepass and am looking forward to the results of the DNA investigation now underway. I don’t have any electronic items of memorabilia, but would be happy to mail copies of a couple of items that I have.
Green Valley, AZ
Would like pictures of Capt OT Dawson and Ed Westlake. Will upload photos of Westlake’s flight compass and many things of OT Dawson. Even have his 201 file. He is the nephew of my grandmother.
Hot Springs, AR
Thank you so much for this site. My father, Robert Hughes, was the navigator in Emil Baer’s crew in the 719th Squadron. He rarely talks about his time in service, so it is nice to get some information here. I have a hard time believing what these young men did for all of us. I am attaching a picture of his short snorter, just for those interested in such things. By the way, he celebrated his 90th birthday last July and is still going strong.
Maplewood, MO USA
My husband, son and I loved reading about my father-in-law’s bomb group! He served in the 716th Squadron. Once in a while he will tell us about some of his experiences in Grottaglie. It is always nice to read about his service history and about those he served with! Nice website!
San Jacinto, CA U.S.
My Father Warren Nolan was a Flying Horseman. I enjoyed your web site very much, thank you.
Danbury CT, U.S.A
We are a group of American and Bulgarian historians living in Northern Bulgaria collecting local rememberances and related history of the Air War in the Ploesti, Giurgiu (Romania) and Rousse/Ryce/Ruschuk and Shumen (POW camp) (Bulgaria) areas
We are successfully collecting and recording recollections and photographs of POW’s and KIA’s in this area.
Anyone with requests or contributions regarding aircrews lost in the Northern Bulgaria area, please contact the undersigned.
Hayward S. Melville
US Phone#: 707-678-4573