449th Header

Guest Book

Fill out my online form.

Do you have any images or other media memorabilia you would also like to have posted on our website?

1st Lt. Cecil L. Kirkland

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.
Thank you,

Gary Seesing
Prairie Village, Kansas

2 Lt. Howard I. Bourdon

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

Glenn Bourdon
Tarpon Springs , Fl

S/Sgt Elmer N Lawless

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!

Tyler Crew

Jeff Lawless
Marshall, AR

S/Sgt Paul Biggart

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.

Odessa Lasalle

[no return email was provided – please contact 449historian@gmail.com]

S/Sgt Rudolph Moreno

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.

Dan Moreno
Sonora, CA

S/Sgt Nicholas Zdinak

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.

Zachariah Zdinak
Stratton, OH

Cpl. Merle E. Franklin

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.

Daniel Franklin
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

2Lt. John L. Crickenberger

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.

Bob Crickenberger

2nd Lt. Edmund F. Szypulski

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.


S/Sgt Walter E. Gray

I’m the daughter of Walter E. Gray,tail gunner. I’m looking for his airplane Miss Deflack of the 449thBomb Group. Could you tell me if it is in a museum. He was so proud to serve his country with all the great men on his team.

Miss DeFlak
Zink Crew

Kathleen (Gray) Ramsey
Hanna City, IL,,U,S,A

449th Air Expeditionary Group

MSgt Michael George. First Sergeant for the 449th Air Expeditionary Group; Djibouti, Africa. Proud to be carrying on the heritage of the Flying Horseman here on the Horn of Africa!

Michael George
South Plainfield, NJ

2Lt. Paul Lhevinne

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.

[Starr Crew]
[MACR 2636]

Donna Brunson
Clarkdale, AZ USA

Sgt. Ralph M. Anderson

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,

Ronald Anderson
Columbia, MO USA

2Lt Joseph Druzak

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.

Bob Druzak


2Lt George Ditzhazy

My late Uncle George F. Ditzhazy had a great scrap book on his time with the 718th. passed January, 2017.

[Bills Crew]

Russell Barber
Westland, Michigan

2Lt John J. Rhoades

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.

[Grimmer Crew]
[MACR 4205]

Steve Rhoades
San Diego , CA

Lt. Harry C. Snyder

Lt. Harry C. Snyder

My father in law, 1LT Harry C. Snyder, was a B24 pilot with the 449th Bomb Group. Harry is now living near us in Maine. He is doing well and wanted me to say hello to all of you on his behalf.

Ronda Snyder
Sidney, Maine USA

Edward L. Van Allen

Edward L. Van Allen

Edward Van Allen was acting 717th Commander for a while and later became Deputy Group Commander. He was my father-in-law. He was lost ferrying a Cessna 182 from Southern California to Hawaii in 1974.

Rob Norris

Glenn E. Rogers

What a truly awesome web site and my congratulations to those who have designed it and maintain it. My father, Glenn E. Rogers, was a member of the 449th and I have wealth of his military pictures and files on hand.

Mike Rogers
Blue Ridge, GA

Forbes Crew Photo History

Forbes crew

Front Row L-R
Sgt. Richard Bohrer (Ball-Gunner); Sgt. Clemeth Enyeart (Tail-Gunner); Sgt. Ernest Nahigian (Left Waist-Gunner); Sgt. James Malone (Asst. Engineer); Sgt. Steve Szacun (Radioman); Sgt. William imlach (Engineer)
Back Row L-R
Lt. John Forbes (Pilot); Lt. John Parshall (Co-Pilot); Lt. Paul Hyatt (Bombardier); Lt. Joseph Putrius (Navigator)

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.

Günther Wagner

Eugene Ward

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.

Cindy Keen-Ward
Granite City, IL

Louis G Wagman

I am looking for any info on my father’s experiences during his time with the Brzychcy crew of the 449th 717th squadron.

Gary Wagman
Papillion, NE

Long Live The Flying Horsemen

I hope you all have a GREAT time in New Orleans in September! Long live The Flying Horsemen.

Dave Blake
Bonner Springs, Kansas


Sgt. Oliver Clyde Roye

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

Edward A. Fetting

Edward A. Fetting

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.

Lori Drury
Statesville, NC

Carl S Kocis


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

Major James W. Rierson

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.

Rob Rierson
Sarasota, FL, United States

LANG, William E, Bombardier

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.

Scott Loeschner
San Marcos, CA, USA

Denise Riegel

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!!!

Denise Riegel
Cahul, Maldova

Lt. Howard Hanson

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.

Marshall Wake
Green Valley, AZ

OT Dawson and Ed Westlake

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.

Damon Johns
Hot Springs, AR

Robert Hughes

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.

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
Maplewood, MO USA

Frederick T. Movey

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!

Susan Movey
San Jacinto, CA U.S.

Warren Nolan

My Father Warren Nolan was a Flying Horseman. I enjoyed your web site very much, thank you.

Tim Nolan
Danbury CT, U.S.A

Aircrews Lost – Northern Bulgaria

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
Rousse, Bulgaria
US Phone#: 707-678-4573

Pin It on Pinterest