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Chester Rybarczyk, Original Navigator on the Buslee Crew

Chester Rybarczyk on a Mission over France

Chester Rybarczyk on a Mission over France

On October 7, 1944 Chester Rybarczyk was on his fifteenth mission, 384th Bomber Group Mission Number 207 to a synthetic oil plant at Leipzig, Germany.  At 1100 hours in the vicinity of Bad Iburg, Germany, Chester Rybarczyk’s aircraft was hit by flak and peeled off from formation with the #2 wing tank smoking and leaking.  Rybarczyk was flying as Navigator with the James W. Orr crew on aircraft 43-38615, name unknown.  They were last seen over Osnabruck with wheels down and under control.  No chutes were seen to emerge.  The aircraft landed in allied territory with all crew safe.  A crash landing didn’t stop this crew for long.  A week later Rybarczyk and the Orr crew were back in the air again on Mission 210 to the Marshalling Yards at Saarbrucken, Germany.

Rybarczyk’s flight jacket shows a picture of a bomb for each of his missions except for his 15th mission.  That mission is depicted as a boot, signifying a mission from which the boys had to walk back after a crash landing.  He also had the back of his jacket inscribed “Korky,” his nickname for his sweetheart back home, Bernadette Korlewski.  His last duty was in December 1944, and Chester and Bernadette married on May 21, 1945.

Chester Rybarczky in his Flight Jacket

Chester Rybarczyk in his Flight Jacket

Chester Rybarczyk's Flight Jacket Today

Chester Rybarczyk’s Flight Jacket Today

Information and photos provided by Tony Rybarczyk, Chester Rybarczyk’s son.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

October 6, 1944 Report on Captured Aircraft

Eight days after the mid-air collision between the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana, a Report on Captured Aircraft dated October 6, 1944 reported the fate of one more of the crew from the two planes.  It reported an additional prisoner of war.  The prisoner was identified as George Hawkins.  Hawkins was from the Brodie crew aboard Lazy Daisy.

In determination of the fate of the two crews, eighteen total men, this report updates the count to thirteen (13) recovered dead, with only seven (7) identified, and four (4) P.O.W.s.

Buslee Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)    Reported P.O.W. on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form

Brodie Crew List:

  • Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
  • Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle
  • Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.    Reported P.O.W. on October 6, 1944 Report on Captured Aircraft
  • Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form

This information can be found on page 14 of MACR9753.  MACR stands for Missing Air Crew Report.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

October 5, 1944 File Notice

One week after the mid-air collision between the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana, a File Notice dated October 5, 1944 reported the death of four men.  One of them, Robert D. Crumpton, had previously been reported dead on the September 30, 1944 Telegram Form.  Another, Gerald Andersen, had previously been reported dead on the October 1, 1944 Telegram Form.  The other two were identified by Identification and Ration cards from September 23, 1944, 545 Sqd., 384 Group:

  • Sgt. Robert W. Wagner, 32381177
  • T/Sgt. James E. Flynn, 16126771

The only problem with this identification, though, was that neither Wagner nor Flynn were aboard the Lazy Daisy or Lead Banana on September 28, 1944.  Neither one flew that day at all.  Wagner was an Engineer/Top Turret Gunner with the 545th at the time, but missed that day’s mission.  Flynn was a Radio Operator/Gunner with the 545th, but had completed his tour in May 1944 and returned home.

For a time, it seems that this mis-identification probably added to the confusion of determining the fate of the men on board.

In determination of the fate of the two crews, eighteen total men, this report does not change any information previously reported except to add the names of two men who were not involved in the mid-air collision.  The actual count remains at thirteen (13) recovered dead, with only seven (7) identified, and three (3) P.O.W.s.

Buslee Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)    Reported P.O.W. on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form

Brodie Crew List:

  • Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
  • Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle
  • Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.
  • Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form

This information can be found on pages 17 and 19 of MACR9753.  MACR stands for Missing Air Crew Report.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Kriegsgefangenenpost

On his eighth day of captivity, October 5, 1944, George Edwin Farrar filled out a postcard to be sent to his family advising them that he was a prisoner of war and in good health.  Either he was instructed to lie about his physical condition or he did not want his family to know he was injured.  His family did not receive this card until after the end of the year, sometime in 1945.

1944-10-05-FarrarEd-001

1944-10-05-FarrarEd-002

Dulug Luft was the interrogation center.  Kriegsgefangenenpost means prisoner of war postGebührenfrei means without charge.

At this point, the Farrar family had not been notified that there son was missing.

I do not have any information on what the families of any of the other survivors, or the families of those that did not survive, received other than that information that was conveyed in letters to my grandmother, Raleigh Mae Farrar.  From this point, I can only share information from my dad’s and his family’s perspective, but I assume the families of all 18 boys in both planes received similar information as the Farrar family other than information specific to their son’s fate.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

October 4, 1944 Telegram Form

Six days after the mid-air collision between the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana, a Telegram Form dated October 4, 1944 reported the fate of two more of the crew from the two planes.  It reported two additional prisoners of war.  The two were identified as:

  • Wilfred F. Miller (incorrectly identified on the report as Wilfred Z. Miller)
  • Harry A. Liniger (incorrectly identified on the report as Harry A. Lininger)

Miller and Liniger were both from the Brodie crew aboard Lazy Daisy.

In determination of the fate of the two crews, eighteen total men, this report updates the count to thirteen (13) recovered dead, with only seven (7) identified, and three (3) P.O.W.s.

Buslee Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)    Reported P.O.W. on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form

Brodie Crew List:

  • Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
  • Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle
  • Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.
  • Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form

An October 6, 1944 Captured Aircraft Report conveys the same information.

The October 4 Telegram Form notes also:

  • Time:  1140
  • From:  L S E B
  • Through:  Frank
  • Remarks:  SSD L B K M 18     3 Oct.44   -1815-

This information can be found on pages 14 and 15 of MACR9753.  MACR stands for Missing Air Crew Report.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

October 1, 1944 Telegram Form

Three days after the mid-air collision between the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana, a Telegram Form dated October 1, 1944 reported the fate of six more of the crew from the two planes.  It reported five men dead.  Only three of the five men were identified:

  • Donald Dooley (incorrectly identified on the report as Donald Dodlei)
  • Gerald Andersen (incorrectly identified on the report as Gerald Ladersen)
  • George McMann (incorrectly identified on the report as George Macman)

Dooley was from the Brodie crew aboard Lazy Daisy.  Andersen and McMann were from the Buslee crew aboard Lead Banana.  The other two dead were unidentified because, as the report states, they were “completely burnt.”

George Farrar was listed on the report as a P.O.W.  There is an indication on the report that there were other P.O.W.s from the two planes, but no number is indicated and “The names of the other P.O.W. are still unknown.”

In determination of the fate of the two crews, eighteen total men, this report updates the count to thirteen (13) recovered dead, with only seven (7) identified, and one (1) P.O.W.

Buslee Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)    Reported P.O.W. on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form

Brodie Crew List:

  • Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
  • Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle
  • Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.
  • Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller
  • Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger

An October 6, 1944 Captured Aircraft Report conveys the same information.

The October 1 Telegram Form notes also:

  • Time:  1350
  • From:  L S E B
  • Through:  Paul?
  • Remarks:  SSD L B K M 321     29 Sept.44   -2130-
  • The aircraft was identified as P 231222 D, the Lazy Daisy

This information can be found on pages 14 and 16 of MACR9753.  MACR stands for Missing Air Crew Report.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014