Do you have any images or other media memorabilia you would also like to have posted on our website?
I am one of the sons of George E Bender. Thank you for building this site, my dad almost never spoke of the War, so I know very little about his life at that time. This helps!
Looking at my dads (Lewis Fletcher, 449th-718) photos and English/Italian dictionary might be something you could use. I gave some stuff to the B-24 museum in Pueblo CO, too bad they don’t have a plane….
Keep up the great work, didn’t know you existed until today.
Tom, born right after he came happily home at the end of the war
What a great website. I learned so much about my uncle Cecil Kirkland who died July 2nd, 1944. He was reinterred
and is buried in his home town of Waco, Texas.
Prairie Village, Kansas
Hello, my father Howard Bourdon was the navigator on the Suzan Jane. He was very proud of his time serving in the 717th squadron. He flew 35 missions including the famous 4/4 /44 raid on the Bucharest marshaling yard. Thank you for keeping alive the memory of all those brave men of the 449th
Tarpon Springs , Fl
After seeing WWII footage of the B-24 on the TV I decided to dig out my grandpa’s old stuff and that led me to this site. Thank you brave men!
my father’s cousin, sgt. paul biggart, of ww2 was in the 449th bomb group. he was shot down and killed feb, 25, 1944 near regensberg, germany. i read on your website that there was a crew reunion in 1983 in Austria with the other plane’s pilot that shot them down. are there any photos or written accounts of this? my father is no longer living. i assume everyone from the crew are deceased? i am interested in delving further into this part of my family history. any information would be greatly appreciated. thank you.
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B-24 Liberator 449th Bomb Group My Achin Back S/Sgt Rudy Moreno- tail gunner
My uncle passed away on a mission. Thank you for keeping this available.
My name is Zachariah Zdinak, and I am the Interlibrary Loan/Public Services Assistant, here at the St. John Paul II Library at Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio).
I wanted to say I think you all are doing a wonderful job with this sight.
My great-uncle was Nicholas Zdinak (Right Waist-Tail Gunner) on the Johnson Crew. He died on September 16, 1995 of complications from open-heart surgery at the age of 75. I’m very proud of the work he and the other Horseman did, to keep us safe and free from tyranny.
You will find him at the St. Nicholas Cemetery in Weirton, West Virginia. Just across the Ohio River from where he grew up on the Ohio side. He is buried next to his wife Margaret of 42 years.
My uncle, Corporal Merle Franklin of the 716th squadron, was a ball turret gunner on the Princess Helen which was lost on 11/16/1944. The crew or aircraft were never found. I only know of my uncle from stories passed on from my dad. My dad tried for years until his death in 1990 to discover what happened to the crew but was unsuccessful. I am proud of all who served and those that supported them.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Glad I found your website. I’ve been looking for anything on my uncle 2nd Lt. JOHN L. CRICKENBERGER who was in the Wehling crew. I’ve been wondering if his plane may have had any nose art? Would anyone on your site know that? I do have a couple of photos of him in uniform and sort of a small journal he kept during his missions.
Would Like any information reference plane name/number for the Prelaz Crew. My late Father-in-law Edmund F. Szypulski was a 2nd Lt. serving as a Navigator with the Prelaz Crew.
Donna Brunson. Researching Paul Lhevinne, Lost on April 2, 1944. Starr Crew 449th, 117th. He was the son of my husband’s grandfather. Our family never knew what happened to him. Thank you for this site and for all of the history you have made available to the public! We now know what happened to Paul and where he was buried.
Clarkdale, AZ USA
I am the son of Anderson, Ralph M; 14119900; 719 Squadron. Ralph was part of the Rosander, Toivo J.G. crew. Ralph departed for Grotagilie Italy on January 19, 1945 and departed from Italy on May 25, 1945. I would like to be in contact with anyone who may known or who served with my Dad during his time in the Army Air Corp. Ralph was from Savannah, GA, married to Opal Lee Moore in November 1942. I believe he was an Airplane Armorer Gunner 612. He enlisted June 5, 1942 and was mustered out October 16, 1945 at the rank of Sgt.
Thanks from a grateful son,
Columbia, MO USA
My father Joseph Druzak was a proud member of the 449th Bomb Group during WW2 where he served as a Pilot of a B-24. He sadly passed away last fall and I am sure he would have wanted to let fellow 449’ers know of his passing and how proud he was to be a fellow member.
My late Uncle George F. Ditzhazy had a great scrap book on his time with the 718th. passed January, 2017.
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