The Arrowhead Club

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Update

A new search on Ancestry.com has provided me with some new and updated/corrected information regarding my father’s (George Edwin Farrar’s) WWII crewmate Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, radio operator of the John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces in WWII. He was on board Buslee’s B-17 on the 28 September 1944 mission to Magdeburg. Corrected information is bolded.

To view my original post and other information about Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, please see the links at the end of this post.

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Radio Operator/Gunner for the Buslee Crew

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso was the radio operator on the John Oliver “Jay” Buslee crew. Sebastiano, known as Yano (or Yono) to family, was born on July 7 or 8, 1924. His parents were Giuseppe (Joseph) Peluso and Antonetta Fiore Peluso, Italian immigrants to the United States. Sebastiano had two older sisters, Sara and Gina. All three children were born in New York. During WWII, the Peluso’s lived in Brooklyn, New York.

To update the information I know about Sebastiano Peluso, I searched back through Peluso family records in Ancestry.com. Unfortunately, I did not uncover much new information about Sebastiano himself, but I did learn a lot more about his family.

Sebastiano’s father, Giuseppe (changed to Joseph in the U.S.) Peluso was born on September 1 or 7, 1887 in Augusta, Italy. Augusta is in the Province of Syracuse and is on the east coast of the island of Sicily. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy.

Sebastiano’s mother, Antonetta Fiore Peluso, was born on December 1, 1894 or 1895 in Marigliano, Italy, a metropolitan city of Naples, also noted in some records as in the Italian province of Caserta.

Both of Sebastiano’s parents would emigrate from their native Italy, and, of course, this means Sebastiano’s parents were first generation Americans, arriving in the United States in the early 1900’s.

On September 5, 1908, Antonetta Fiore boarded the Sannio in Naples, Italy with her family. Antonetta was fourteen years old. Prior to coming to America, the Fiore family resided in Marigliano, Caserta, Italy. For everyone in the Fiore family, it was their first time in the United States except for Antonetta’s father. The Fiore family arrived in the US on September 30, 1908, at the port of New York, New York, but their final destination was indicated to be New Jersey. The arrival records indicate Antonetta’s father had previously been in the U.S. from 1904 to 1908, so he possibly returned to Italy to accompany the rest of his family to America.

Early the next year, on April 23, 1909, Giuseppe (Jospeh) Peluso boarded the Liguria in Napoli (Naples), Italy. Giuseppe was twenty-one years old and single. Prior to coming to America, Giuseppe last resided in Augusta, Siracusa (Syracuse Province), Italy. Giuseppe arrived in the United States on May 7, 1909, at the port of New York, New York, with twelve dollars in his pocket. His final destination was New York and noted a person he knew in the U.S. was Eugenio De Filippo. He had left his father, named Sebastiano, behind in Augusta.

Seven months later, on December 4, 1909, Giuseppe’s older brother Salvatore Peluso, age twenty-four, departed Augusta via Napoli on the Oceania. He arrived in America on December 16 or 17, 1909, with eleven dollars in his pocket.  His arrival port was, like his brother, New York, New York and that was his final destination.

Settling into life in America, both Antonetta and Giuseppe (and also Salvatore) show up on the 1910 Federal Census.

In 1910, Antonetta Fiore (age 15) and her family lived in Manhattan Ward 12 in New York. The family included her father, Giacinto (age 50 and a varnisher in a piano factory), her mother, Rochele (age 37), sister Maria (age 18), sister Elvira (age 16), sister Cirio (age 13), sister Maddalena (age 9), brother Francesco (age 6), and brother Peitro (age 1 1/2 and the only Fiore child born in the United States). The census record indicates Giacinto immigrated prior to the rest of the family, in 1900 (differing from arrival records).

In 1910, Giuseppe (now known as Joseph) Peluso (age 23) was single and was employed as a tailor. He and his brother Salvatore (age 26) were living in the home of their cousin Giovanni Daniele (known in the U.S. as John Daniels) and John’s mother Vincenza Daniels, both of whom had immigrated to the U.S. in 1906, on First Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan. John Daniels owned a cigar store.

At some point, Joseph’s brother Salvatore (now 28 years old) must have returned to Italy because records indicate he again left Italy, departing Napoli on January 14, 1914 and arriving in New York on January 28, 1914 on the Taormina. On this arrival, Salvatore was carrying twenty-five dollars.

On January 13, 1916, Giuseppe (Joseph) Peluso married Antonetta Fiore in Manhattan. Their first daughter, Sara, was born on November 17, 1916 in Manhattan.

On June 5, 1917, Joseph Peluso, under the name Giuseppe Peluso, registered for the World War I draft. He noted on his registration form that he was married, was age 29, was a “Declarant” concerning citizenship, and was born September 1, 1887 in Augusta, Siracusa, Italy. Joseph was employed as a presser and his mother, father, and brothers were dependent upon him for support. He had no previous military service, no disabilities, and he signed his form as Giuseppe (after scratching through the name “Joseph”) Peluso. At the time, he resided in Manhattan on E. 113th Street.

On May 22, 1918, Joseph and Antonetta Peluso’s second daughter, Gina, was born in Manhattan.

The 1920 Federal Census shows the Peluso family lived at 1920 East 119th Street in Manhattan Assembly District 20 in New York. The family was reported as Joseph Peluso (age 31, occupation Presser on Suits, head of household, and naturalization status Alien), wife Antonette (age 24), daughter Sara (listed as Sala, age 3), and daughter Gina (listed as Jennie, age 1 9/12).

On June 17, 1924, Joseph Peluso petitioned for Naturalization. His documents listed his age as 36, born September 7, 1887 in Augusta, Italy, and arrived May 7, 1909 on the vessel Liguria in New York, New York from Naples. His spouse was Antonietta and their residence was 2869 W 17th St. Coney Island, NY. His occupation was Presser. Joseph noted these facts in his declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen:

  • I declared my intention to become a citizen of the US on November 12, 1917 in New York, NY.
  • My wife’s name is Antonietta. She was born on December 1, 1895 in Marigliano, Italy.
  • Have two children. Sara, born November 17, 1916 and Gina, born May 22, 1918. Both born at New York, NY and reside at same res.

The next month after Joseph Peluso petitioned for U.S. citizenship, on July 7 (or 8), 1924, his and Antonetta’s son Sebastiano was born.

On September 18, 1924, Giuseppe Peluso took the oath of allegiance to the United States and by the Order of Court Admitting Petitioner, Joseph Peluso became a citizen of the United States. I don’t know how hard a life the Peluso family had in New York as Italian immigrants in the 1920’s, but 1924 seemed a fortunate year for Joseph Peluso. He became the proud father of a son, whom he named Sebastiano after his own father, and he became an American.

As life seemed good for the Peluso family in America in the 1920’s, things were going differently in Europe. On July 29, 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader of National Socialist (Nazi) Party. On October 28, 1922, Benito Mussolini, the first of 20th-century Europe’s fascist dictators, became head of the Italian government.

The year before Joseph Peluso welcomed his son into the world and became an American citizen, on November 8, 1923, Adolf Hitler and other Nazis attempted a government takeover, known as Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, in Munich, Germany. Approximately two thousand Nazis marched on the Feldherrnhalle in the Munich city center, but were confronted by a police line, which resulted in the deaths of sixteen Nazi Party members and four police officers.

Hitler was wounded during the clash and temporarily escaped arrest. Two days later, Hitler was arrested and charged with treason. Hitler generated front-page headlines in newspapers around the world, especially garnering attention in Germany. His twenty-four day trial was the perfect platform for him to express his nationalist sentiments to the German nation. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in prison, but on December 20, 1924, he was released after serving only nine months, free to develop his Nazi propaganda.

Little did Joseph Peluso know during those happy moments of 1924 that twenty years later he would lose his son to the American war effort to fight Hitler’s Nazism in World War II, the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom, because of history in the making halfway around the world in Germany.

In 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed leading to the Great Depression. I do not know how the Peluso family fared early on during this terrible time. I do not find a 1930 Federal Census record for the family, but the 1933 New York City Directory for Brooklyn does list Joe and Antoinette Peluso and indicates that they lived in Brooklyn and that Joseph Peluso was a garment worker.

In the 1940 Federal Census record, the Peluso family lived at 6802 Thirteenth Avenue in New York, Kings County, New York, and all three children were still living at home. Joseph Peluso (head of household, age 52, was a naturalized citizen, occupation Presser, Industry Dresses, rented the home, and noted his highest grade completed was elementary school 2nd grade).

Antoinette (Antonetta) Peluso (wife, age 44), Sarah (Sara) Peluso (daughter, age 24, Occupation Examiner, Industry Dresses), Jean (Gina) Peluso (daughter, age 22, Occupation Secretary, Industry Fur Industry), and Yano Peluso (son, age 15) were all listed in the census record. “Yano” was short for Sebastiano and Yano or Yono was also the name his mother referred to him by in letters to my grandmother in 1945.

On January 5, 1942, Sara Peluso married Joseph Cambria in New York, Manhattan, New York. At the time, her occupation was airbrush artist.

On April 26, 1942, Joseph Peluso registered for the World War II “old man’s” draft. At the time he was 54 years old and resided at 6802 13 Ave., Bklyn, Kings, NY. This document notes his birthdate as September 1, 1887.

On November 4, 1942, at the age of 18, Sebastiano J. Peluso enlisted in the Army Air Corps in New York City. He resided in Kings County, New York City, New York. Although I don’t see this information in his enlistment record online for NARA, his enlistment record in Ancestry.com states he was 69 inches (5 ft 9 inches) tall and weighed 134 pounds. The Ancestry record also noted that he had completed one year of college.

On April 6, 1944, Antonetta Peluso, age 48, and residing at 6802 – 13th Av. Bklyn, Kgs. NY, became a naturalized United States citizen.

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso was assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) of the 384th Bombardment Group based in Grafton Underwood, England, per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #144 dated 22 July 1944.

Sebastiano Peluso’s 384th Bomb Group Sortie Record indicates he had the rank of Sgt. (Sergeant), his duty was Radio Operator, and his pay was $140.40 per month. He listed his Home Address as Mrs. Antonetta Peluso, 2963 West 24th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.

On his second combat mission on 5 AUGUST 1944, Sebastiano narrowly escaped serious injury or possibly death during a flak attack on the Buslee crew’s B-17. A newspaper report notes that,

Probably the fact that the radio operator, Sgt. Sebastino Peluso, 20, 2963 West 24th   Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., was bending over attending to a chore, saved him from becoming a casualty when the flak pierced the sides of the big bomber and so thoroughly smashed up his radio compartment.  More than a dozen flak holes ringed his section of the ship.

On 9 SEPTEMBER 1944, Sebastiano Peluso was promoted to Staff Sergeant on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #180.

On his fifteenth and final mission with the 384th Bomb Group on 28 SEPTEMBER 1944, Mission 201 to Magdeburg, Germany (Target was Industry, Steelworks), Sebastiano Peluso, flying with the John Oliver Buslee crew, went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action). He was subsequently declared KIA (Killed in Action).

On September 28, 1944, just two months past his twentieth birthday, he was aboard B-17 43-37822 with the Buslee crew and was killed in the mid-air collision with B-17 42‑31222 Lazy Daisy.

Sebastiano was the last man of the crew to be identified, and most likely was buried in the Ost Ingersleben cemetery near Magdeburg with his crew mates, and later re-interred at the Netherlands American Military Cemetery at Margraten.

Sebastiano’s mother and father corresponded with my dad’s mother in 1945, attempting to learn more about their son’s fate. You can read their letters to my grandmother here.

In 1924, Joseph Peluso had become an American citizen and welcomed his son Sebastiano into the world. In 1944, Antonetta Peluso became an American citizen and they lost him.

On June 21, 1947, Gina Peluso married Carmelo Mesite in Meriden, Connecticut.

On December 31, 1948, the U.S. Army transport Barney Kirschbaum returned the body of Sebastiano Peluso to his parents, one of 4,384 war dead returned on the ship. Sebastiano Joseph Peluso was buried on January 19, 1949 in his final resting place in the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York in Plot J, Site 15423.

On July 3, 1953, according to a List of Outward-Bound Passengers, Joseph and Antonetta Peluso departed New York, New York on the S.S. Homeland. They were bound for Genoa Italy. They indicated they intended to remain abroad for three months, with their country of Destination listed as Italy.

On September 28, 1953 (the ninth anniversary of the day of the mid-air collision), Joseph and Antonetta Peluso departed Naples, Italy on the S.S. Homeland, heading back to America. According to the List of In-Bound Passengers, they arrived back in New York on October 12, 1953.

On March 25, 1987, Antonetta Fiore Peluso died in Meriden, New Haven, CT. Her death record indicates she was a homemaker, was widowed from Joseph, and was 92 years old. She is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut. I have been unable to find a death record for Joseph Peluso.

In 1994, Jospeh’s and Antonetta’s daughter Gina lived in Brooklyn and Sara lived in Meriden, Connecticut.

On April 2, 1999, Gina Peluso Mesite died as the widow of Carmelo D. Mesite (b. 1920 – d. 1990) in Meriden, New Haven, Connecticut at 80 years old. Her occupation was Cafeteria worker for the Meriden School System. Gina is also buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut, the same cemetery as her mother.

On June 21, 2007, Sara Peluso Cambria died at age of 90, as the widow of Joseph Cambria, in Meriden, New Haven, Connecticut. Sara is buried at South Main St., Middletown. Sara and Joseph Cambria had two children, Lisa Cambria and Gina Dunlap.

If any family or friends of Sebastiano Joseph Peluso has information about him or photos of him to share, please contact me. I would very much like to connect with descendants of Giuseppe (Joseph) and Antonetta Peluso.

Left to right: George Edwin Farrar, Lenard Leroy Bryant, Erwin V. Foster, and Sebastiano Joseph Peluso.

Notes/Links

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

Donald William Dooley, Update

A new search on Ancestry.com has provided me with some new and updated/corrected information regarding Donald William Dooley, radio operator on the 28 September 1944 mission of the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces in WWII. Corrected information is bolded.

To view my original post and other information about Donald William Dooley, please see the links at the end of this post.

Donald William Dooley
Indiana University 1940

Donald William Dooley was born 26 July 1919 in Wheatfield, Jasper County, Indiana. Donald’s parents were Guy Tobias Dooley (born 22 September 1893 in Marshall, Parke County, Indiana, died 16 August 1992 in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana) and Medora LaVerne McWilliams Dooley (born 15 June 1893, died 28 August 1988 in Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan). Donald had an older sister, Dorothy Elizabeth Dooley, (born 27 August 1916 in Wheatfield, Jasper County, Indiana, died 8 January 2007 in Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan).

Donald’s sister, Dorothy, married LeRoy Dugan, Jr., in 1938. Dorothy and LeRoy had three children, Ronald Lee Dugan (1943 – 2012), Maureen Kay Dugan (1948 – 2018), and one child who is still living (and therefore unidentified in Ancestry family trees).

The 1920 Federal census indicates that the Dooley family lived in Walker, Jasper County Indiana and Mrs. Dooley was known as Dora.

The 1930 Federal census indicates that the Dooley family lived in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana and Mrs. Dooley was known as LaVerne.

I cannot find a 1940 Federal census record for the family, but Donald’s WWII draft card, which he filled out on 16 October 1940, indicates he lived in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana where he attended Indiana University at that time, and his father lived in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana.

Donald’s WWII draft card also notes he was 21 years old when he registered for the draft, and worked for Sears, Roebuck & Company at Alabama & Vermont Streets, Indianapolis, Indiana. He was 5’11” tall, weighed 135 pounds, had blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion. He listed his father as the person who would always know his address.

On September 10, 1941, Donald enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. He resided in Marion County, Indiana (Indianapolis area) at the time of enlistment.

Donald’s 384th Bomb Group Sortie record notes that his rank was T/Sgt. (Technical Sergeant), his duty was Radio Operator, and his pay was $205.20 per month.

His sortie record also notes his home address as Mrs. LaVerne Wysong, Roosevelt Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana. This indicates that in 1944 his mother and father were no longer married to each other, his mother had remarried, and that Donald considered his mother’s residence – rather than his father’s – as his home address. Other records at Ancestry.com note that Donald’s mother was also known as Laverne Tenbrook at some point in her life, indicating an additional marriage.

Although his Sortie record indicates his mother’s residence as his home address in 1944, Donald’s next of kin listed in the Missing Air Crew Report for the Brodie crew on 28 September 1944 was, however, his father with a Bloomington, Indiana address.

Page 2 of Donald’s sortie record lists only one mission, Date 9-28-44, Target Magdeburg, Wounds M/A (missing in action).

Morning Reports of the 384th Bombardment Group indicate the following for Donald William Dooley:

  • On 25 JULY 1944, Donald William Dooley was assigned to the 384th Bombardment Group Headquarters Detachment, per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #147 dated 25 July 1944 as a radar mechanic/bombardment.
  • On 8 SEPTEMBER 1944, Tech Sergeant Donald Dooley was reclassified from MOS 867 (radar mechanic/bombardment) to MOS 757 (radio operator/gunner) and transferred from Headquarters Detachment 384th BG to 545th BS on SO #179, AAF Station 106, SPO 557, dated 8 September 1944.
  • On 28 SEPTEMBER 1944, on Mission 201 to Magdeburg, Germany (Target was Industry, Steelworks), Donald William Dooley, flying with the James Joseph Brodie crew, went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action). He was subsequently declared KIA (Killed in Action).

Donald lost his life at the young age of twenty-five. He is buried at the Valhalla Memory Gardens in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana.

Notes/Links

  • Previous post, Donald William Dooley
  • Previous post, Timeline for Brodie Crewmembers and Substitutes, 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Donald William Dooley’s Personnel Record courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group
  • Missing Air Crew Report 9366 for the Brodie crew on 28 September 1944 courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group
  • Missing Air Crew Report 9753 provides more information about the 28 September 1944 mid-air collision in which Donald was killed, courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group
  • Donald William Dooley was with the 482nd Bombardment Group Pathfinders before being transferred to the 384th Bomb Group. For information on the 482nd Bombardment Group, please see http://www.482nd.org/.
  • Donald William Dooley on Find a Grave
  • MOS means Military Occupational Specialty

If any family or friends of Donald William Dooley has information about him or photos of him to share, please contact me. I would like to learn more about his family life before the war and his service in the 482nd Bombardment Group (Pathfinders).

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

WWII Combat Chronology – 16 August 1944

I am continuing my series of articles based on the entries from Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces. Both combat chronologies are excellent sources of information regarding combat missions in World War II and I thank the authors for sharing them online.

These articles are concentrated on the operations of the 8th Army Air Forces on the missions on which the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group participated. The statistics of other dates and missions and of other branches of the American Air Forces and theaters of operation of World War II are available through the links provided in this article to these two sources for those interested.

Today’s installment is the 16 August 1944 mission in which the Brodie crew participated.


WWII Combat Chronology – Wednesday, 16 August 1944

384th BG Mission 181/8th AF Mission 556 to Delitzsch, Germany.

Target: German Air Force (Luftwaffe), the Delitzsch Air Field and Air Equipment Depot.

The James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission. The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron did not participate.

Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:

Over 950 HBs attack 11 oil refineries, aircraft plants and several T/Os in C Germany. 16 ftr gps fly over 600 spt sorties. 24 HBs are lost. Ftrs claim 32 air victories.

Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown:

  1. Mission 556, visual attacks on oil refineries and aircraft plants in Germany. The Brodie crew participated in this mission.
  2. Mission 557, a leaflet drop in France during the night.

Mission 556: 1,090 bombers and 692 fighters are dispatched to make visual attacks on oil refineries and aircraft plants in C Germany; 23 bombers and 3 fighters are lost (number in parenthesis indicate number of bombers attacking):

  1. 425 B-17s are dispatched to hit Delitzsch air depot (102), the aviation industry at Schkeuditz (92) and Halle (60) and the oil industry at Bohlen (88); other targets are Naumburg (15), Halberstadt Airfield (13) and targets of opportunity (9); they claim 6-4-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 234 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 9 WIA and 93 MIA. Escort is provided by 246 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 15-1-3 aircraft in the air and 0-0-3 on the ground; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is WIA.

  2. 234 B-17s are dispatched to hit the oil industry at Rositz (105) and Zeitz (101); 3 others hit targets of opportunity; 6 B-17s are lost and 88 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 56 MIA. Escort is provided by 166 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 5-0-1 aircraft; 2 P-47s are lost (pilots are MIA).

  3. 65 B-24s are dispatched to Halberstadt Airfield (51); 10 others hit Quedlinburg Airfield and 1 hits a targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 8 damaged. Escort is provided by 42 of 46 P-38s without loss.

  4. 366 B-24s are dispatched to hit the aviation industry at Dessau (99), Kothen (71) and Magdeburg/Neustadt (67) and the oil industry at Magdeburg/Rothensee; 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-24s are lost and 173 damaged; 5 airmen are WIA and 66 MIA. Escort is provided by 156 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 12-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot is MIA).

Links/Sources

Except for entries from Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and McKillop’s Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

William Edson Taylor, Update

A new search on Ancestry.com has provided me with some new and updated/corrected information regarding William Edson Taylor, radio operator of the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces in WWII. Corrected information is bolded.

William Edson Taylor was born in Ishpeming, Michigan on on April 21, 1923 to Carroll Cushing (1895 to 1993) and Ruth Edna Parmelee (1895 to 1985) Taylor. William’s sister, Carol Jane, was born December 2, 1924.

According to the 1930 Federal census, William’s father, Carroll Taylor, was born in Massachusetts. Carroll’s father was born in Massachusetts and his mother in Kansas. William’s mother, Edna Parmelee Taylor, was born in Michigan. Her father was born in Michigan and her mother in Wisconsin. The Taylor family lived in Ironwood, Michigan in 1930. According to the 1940 Federal census, the Taylor family still lived in Ironwood, Michigan and Edna’s parents lived with them.

William Edson Taylor graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood, Michigan in 1941.

William E Taylor in the 1941 Yearbook of Luther L Wright High School in Ironwood, Michigan

William’s high school yearbook notes that he participated in many sports including football, volleyball, basketball, and track, and was a member of the I Club and Hi-Y. He was also an ROTC officer and member of the National Honor Society.

William’s younger sister, Carol Jane, was a Junior at the same high school in the 1940 – 1941 academic year, and the next year was Treasurer of the Senior Class of 1942.

On June 30, 1942, William registered for the WWII draft. He listed his address as 165 E. Ridge Street in Ironwood, Michigan. He was nineteen years old and his listed employer was Republic Steel Corporation in Bessemer, Michigan. He was 5’11” tall, weighed 170 pounds, had gray eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion.

On August 27, 1942, at the age of nineteen, William enlisted in the Army Air Corps in Ironwood, Michigan. (Alternate enlistment date was February 8, 1943 with discharge date of October 24, 1945 from Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS death file. The date discrepancy may have been due to a deferment).

On May 23, 1944, shortly before William shipped off to England to join the 384th Bomb Group, Carol Jane married Donald Martyn McDonald (b. 1921 – d. 2013) in Ironwood, Michigan. Donald was also from Ironwood and graduated from the same high school, but a few years earlier, in 1939.

Prior to his marriage to Carol, Donald enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1942 and served in the Asia Pacific area on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, where he was wounded in action against the enemy. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and was honorably discharged in November 1945.

On July 26, 1944, William Taylor was assigned as radio operator to the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bombardment Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces, per AAF Station 106 (Grafton Underwood, England) Special Orders #148. The 384th was a B-17 heavy bombardment group. According to his Sortie record, his combat pay was $172.80 per month.

These wartime photos include William Edson Taylor and other enlisted men of the James Joseph Brodie crew. These photos were provided by Harry Liniger, Jr., son of 384th Bomb Group waist gunner Harry Allen Liniger, of the Brodie crew. Identifications were provided by Harry Liniger, Jr., and Patrick Miller, son of 384th Tail Gunner Wilfred Miller.

 

Enlisted men of the James Joseph Brodie crew
Left to right: Harry Allen Liniger (Waist/Flexible Gunner), Robert Doyle Crumpton (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner), Wilfred Frank Miller (Tail Gunner), William Edson Taylor (Radio Operator), Unidentified.
Photo contributed by Harry Allen Liniger, Jr. ID’s provided by Harry Liniger, Jr. and Patrick Miller.

 

Enlisted men of the James Joseph Brodie crew
Left to right: Harry Allen Liniger (Waist/Flexible Gunner), Robert Doyle Crumpton (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner), Wilfred Frank Miller (Tail Gunner), Unidentified, William Edson Taylor (Radio Operator).
Photo contributed by Harry Allen Liniger, Jr. ID’s provided by Harry Liniger, Jr. and Patrick Miller.

 

Enlisted men of the James Joseph Brodie crew
Left to right: Harry Allen Liniger (Waist/Flexible Gunner), Unidentified, Robert Doyle Crumpton (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner), William Edson Taylor (Radio Operator).
Photo contributed by Harry Allen Liniger, Jr. ID’s provided by Harry Liniger, Jr. and Patrick Miller.

On August 14, 1944, William Taylor was promoted to Staff Sergeant per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #163.

On October 5, 1944, William Taylor went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action) over Cologne, Germany. Subsequently, he was declared POW (Prisoner of War). On that date, Taylor flew a mission over Germany with the Robert Birckhead crew of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces on a mission to Cologne aboard unnamed flying fortress 43-38579. The Birckhead crew’s fort was damaged by flak and left the formation under control prior to the target.

The damage was too great to make it back to their airbase at Grafton Underwood, England and the fort crashed near Munchen-Gladbach, according to the MACR (missing air crew report). Four of the crew were killed, including pilot Robert Birckhead. Five became POWs, including radio operator William Edson Taylor.

However, the site of the crash is in dispute as discovered by Stewart Lanham, a WWII military aircraft researcher. The crash site likely was east of Dorsten, Germany, near where members of the crew bailed out near Gelsenkirchen.

William Edson Taylor survived POW life at Stalag Luft IV and he survived the eighty-six day, five hundred mile forced march out of the prison camp westward across Germany. I am unsure of the date of his liberation, but according to his NARA POW record, his last Report Date was June 26, 1945.

After the war, William’s sister Carol and brother-in-law Donald McDonald moved to the Boston area where he attended Harvard University. After graduation in 1948, he joined the First National Bank of Boston, becoming vice president. Carol and Donald had three children: Donald, of Chicago, Illinois, Roderick, who died in 2001, and Janice McDonald Rogers (married to Brian Rogers) of Winchester, Massachusetts.

On September 14, 1946, William Edson Taylor married Frances Joyce “Franny” Killeen (b. 13 JAN 1927, Ironwood, Gogebic, Michigan – d. 24 JAN 2016, Largo, Pinellas, Florida). William and Franny had a son, Bradley Thomas Taylor (b. 10 OCT 1954, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota – d. 6 OCT 2002, New Brighton, Ramsey, Minnesota), and a grandson, Nathan Thomas Taylor (the son of Bradley Thomas Taylor and Marlene Dunsmore), born around 1988. William Taylor married a second time in 1967 to Barbara Elizabeth Magill (1925 – 2010).

William Edson Taylor died on January 29, 2002 in New Hope, Bucks, Pennsylvania, USA and was cremated.

If any family or friends of William Edson Taylor has information about him or photos of him to share, please contact me. I would particularly like to positively identify him in the above wartime photos and am still looking for a full crew photo of the James Joseph Brodie crew.

Notes/Links

Previous post, William Edson Taylor

Previous post, Timeline for Brodie Crewmembers and Substitutes, 545th Bomb Squadron

Donald Martyn McDonald on Find a Grave.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

John DeFrancesco in the News

WWII 384th Bomb Group Pilot John DeFrancesco
Photo by Doug Engle, Ocala StarBanner

Well, he’s done it again. My friend and fellow Ocala resident, John DeFrancesco, has made the local paper – again. And, not only is John the subject of a great article in the Ocala StarBanner by Andy Fillmore, with photos by Doug Engle, John made the front page of said newspaper.

Ocala StarBanner Newspaper Front Page
Saturday, July 10, 2021

John was a B-17 pilot during WWII and served with the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces, the same group in which my dad, George Edwin Farrar, served, although at a different time.

The entire article can be read online on the paper’s website.

John’s reaction to making the front page of his local newspaper. “Wow!”

I have to agree. Wow! Thank you, Andy, for the awesome article, and thank you, Doug, for the excellent photos.

A follow-up to John’s article…

After John’s article appeared in our Ocala newspaper, I had a phone call from a 90-year-old woman named Myrna. Myrna lives in Ocala, and after reading the article in the paper, was interested in talking to John (yes, I have passed the message along to him).

From 1953 to 1954, Myrna and her late husband lived in Moosburg, the German town where John’s WWII POW camp was located (Stalag VII-A was actually located just north of the town of Moosburg).

Myrna’s husband was stationed in Moosburg for the US military. They resided in military housing, an apartment in a building divided into two apartments. Myrna said that during WWII, the building had been a Nazi headquarters.

She said in the basement of that building, there was a barricaded area that they were told was off limits to them. They learned that past the barricaded area, there was an escape tunnel that led to the river. They followed instructions and never explored the barricaded area or tunnel. Her husband is no longer living, but now, at 90, Myrna wishes she had investigated that tunnel!

For more information about John DeFrancesco, see previous post, John DeFrancesco, Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, which contains links to even more posts about John.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

WWII Combat Chronology – 12 August 1944

I am continuing my series of articles based on the entries from Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces. Both combat chronologies are excellent sources of information regarding combat missions in World War II and I thank the authors for sharing them online.

These articles are concentrated on the operations of the 8th Army Air Forces on the missions on which the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group participated. The statistics of other dates and missions and of other branches of the American Air Forces and theaters of operation of World War II are available through the links provided in this article to these two sources for those interested.

Today’s installment is the 12 August 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew participated.


WWII Combat Chronology – Saturday, 12 August 1944

384th BG Mission 178/8th AF Mission 545 to La Perthe, France.

Target: German Air Force (Luftwaffe) “Landing Ground.”

The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission.

Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:

Shuttle-bombing mission UK-USSR-Italy-UK is completed. Of 72 B-17’s taking off from Fifteenth AF bases in Italy, 3 have various problems. The others bomb Toulouse/Francazal A/F and then proceed to UK. 62 P-51’s (part of the shuttle-mission force) and 43 from UK provide escort. No aircraft are lost. 70 HBs and 58 P-51’s land in UK. 5 HBs and 6 P-51’s, either left in Italy or returning there during mission, subsequently return to UK. Over 500 other HBs attack 7 A/Fs and M/Ys in the Paris area. 6 ftr gps provide escort, 1 escorts Ninth AF MBs. 2 of the gps afterwards strafe transportation tgts. In 2 operations nearly 900 FBs attack transportation tgts in NE France, a large number of which are bombed with good results by over 700, at a loss of 13 ftrs.

Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown.

  1. Mission 545, visual attacks on the Metz marshalling yard and airfield in C and E France.
  2. Mission 546, leaflet drop in France during the night.

Also,

  • 220 P-47s and P-51s attack transportation targets in NE France; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 3 are damaged beyond repair.
  • 1 fighter group escorts Ninth Air Force B-26s.
  • The 850th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 490th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Harrington to Eye, England with B-24s.

The shuttle-bombing mission UK-USSR-Italy-UK is completed; of the 72 B-17s taking off from Fifteenth AF bases in Italy, 3 have various problems; the others bomb Toulouse/Francazal Airfield, France and then proceed to the UK; 62 P-51s (part of the shuttle-mission force) and 43 from the UK provide escort; no aircraft are lost; 70 B-17s and 58 P-51s land in the UK; 5 B-17s and 6 P-51s, either left in Italy or returning there during this mission, subsequently return to the UK.

Mission 545: 577 bombers and 436 fighters are dispatched to make visual attacks on the Metz marshalling yard and airfield in C and E France; 3 bombers and 3 fighters are lost (number in parenthesis are the number of bombers attacking the target):

  1. 276 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Mourmelon (75), Laon/Athies (63), Laon/Couvron (61) and Juvincourt (52); 3 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 46 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 32 MIA.
  2. 301 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields at Chaumont (72), Buc (67), La Perthe (58) and Etampes/Mondesir (12); 69 hit the Metz marshalling yard; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 28 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA and 1 WIA. The 2 groups above are escorted by 386 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).

Links/Sources

Except for entries from Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and McKillop’s Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

Airmen of the Buslee and Brodie Crews of the 384th Bomb Group

I have been writing about the men of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces in WWII for many years, particularly those airmen who served on the John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron. The 384th was a B-17 heavy bomber group based in Grafton Underwood, England during the war.

My connection with these two crews is my father, George Edwin Farrar, who was a waist gunner on the Buslee crew.

Both the Buslee and Brodie crew departed the states from their final combat crew training in Ardmore, Oklahoma at the same time. Both crews were assigned to the 384th Bomb Group within days of each other.

On 28 September 1944, the Buslee and Brodie crews participated in the 384th’s Mission 201 (which was the 8th Air Force’s numbered Mission 652).

On the mission, coming off the bomb run on the target, the B-17 42-31222, Lazy Daisy, piloted by James Joseph Brodie, collided with the unnamed B-17 43-37822 piloted by John Oliver Buslee with my father manning the machine guns in the waist.

All aboard Buslee’s aircraft were killed in the collision, ensuing explosion, and crash except for my father, the sole survivor of his fortress. Eight of my father’s bomber brothers perished on this one B-17 on this one day.

Three men survived aboard Brodie’s aircraft, and the remaining six perished, a total of fourteen killed in the collision of the two aircraft.

I have been researching the lives of these airmen for many years and am about to embark on another search for new information on each, so I thought it was time to recap what I have already learned and share links of what I have previously written about them.

Keep in mind, there are more than eighteen men (the number of airmen that made up the two crews on 28 September 1944) involved in this story. Each crew was originally made up of ten men, although neither crew ever flew missions with all ten aboard. All of their missions were flown with a crew of nine containing only one waist gunner instead of two, a change from earlier in the war.

And neither crew flew as all original members on every mission. Substitutes were more common on missions for the Buslee crew, but both crews flew with substitute airmen on the fatal mission of 28 September 1944. My histories of the men of the Buslee and Brodie crews include both original members and those who were substituting for them on that final mission.

Including original crew members and substitute crew members on 28 September 1944 for both crews, plus two key witnesses to the collision, the number of airmen whose family history I research is twenty-nine, thirty including Lloyd Vevle’s twin brother, Floyd.

In the list below, I’m listing all of the airmen by position in the B-17 and noting who were original crew members, who were crew substitutions, and who were key witnesses to the mid-air collision. I’m also including very brief biographical information (birth, death, and burial data), links to each airman’s personnel record on the 384th Bomb Group’s website, and links to histories I’ve previously written about them.

This post will also be available as a permanent page which will be updated with additional links to posts of any new findings from my research.


The Pilots

John Oliver Buslee, pilot of the 544th Bomb Squadron

James Joseph Brodie, pilot of the 545th Bomb Squadron

  • Born 14 November 1917
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 26
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands, Plot J, Row 13, Grave 4
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • James Joseph Brodie

The Co-pilots

David Franklin Albrecht, assigned Buslee crew co-pilot

  • Born 1 March 1922
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 22
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands, Plot C, Row 2, Grave 11
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • David Franklin Albrecht

Lloyd Oliver Vevle, assigned Brodie crew co-pilot

  • Born 9 December 1922
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 21
  • Buried Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, Neuville-en-Condroz, Arrondissement de Liège, Liège, Belgium, Plot C, Row 37, Grave 20
  • Lloyd’s twin brother Floyd Martin Vevle (Born 9 December 1922 – Died 14 January 1945, age 22) of the 390th Bomb Group is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at  the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • Lloyd Oliver Vevle
  • Floyd Martin Vevle
  • The Vevle Twins

The Navigators

Chester Anthony Rybarczyk, assigned Buslee crew navigator

William Alvin Henson II, Sammons crew navigator, but navigator of the Buslee crew on 28 September 1944

George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., assigned Brodie crew navigator

The Bombardiers

Marvin Fryden, assigned Buslee crew bombardier

James Buford Davis, Jung crew bombardier & Buslee crew replacement bombardier after Fryden’s death

Robert Sumner Stearns, Durdin crew bombardier, but bombardier of the Buslee crew on 28 September 1944

  • Born 25 August 1923
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 21
  • Buried Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA, Section B, Site 302
  • Memorial marker at Family/Home Cemetery at Juniper Haven Cemetery, Prineville, Crook County, Oregon, USA
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • Robert Sumner Stearns

William Douglas Barnes, Jr., assigned Brodie crew bombardier

Byron Leverne Atkins, Chadwick crew flexible (waist) gunner, but togglier of the Brodie crew on 28 September 1944

The Radio Operators/Gunners

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, assigned Buslee crew radio operator

William Edson Taylor, assigned Brodie crew radio operator

Donald William Dooley, Headquarters, but radio operator of the Brodie crew on 28 September 1944

The Engineers/Top Turret Gunners

Clarence Burdell Seeley, assigned Buslee crew engineer

Robert Doyle Crumpton, assigned Brodie crew engineer

  • Born 27 July 1920
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 24
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands, Plot E, Row 19, Grave 22
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • Robert Doyle Crumpton

The Ball Turret Gunners

Erwin Vernon Foster, assigned Buslee crew ball turret gunner

George Francis McMann, Jr., Gilbert crew ball turret gunner, but ball turret gunner of the Buslee crew on 28 September 1944

  • Born 26 September 1924
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 20, two days past his 20th birthday
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands, Plot N, Row 22, Grave 4
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • George Francis McMann, Jr.

Gordon Eugene Hetu, assigned Brodie crew ball turret gunner

  • Born 26 September 1925
  • Died 28 September 1944, age 19, two days past his 19th birthday
  • Buried Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Novi, Oakland County, Michigan, USA
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • Gordon Eugene Hetu

The Tail Gunners

Eugene Daniel Lucynski, assigned Buslee crew tail gunner

  • Born 22 December 1919
  • Died 14 April 1981, age 61
  • Burial information unknown, but parents (Gustave and Dominica Lucynski) are buried All Saints Church Cemetery, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
  • Also known as Eugene D. or Dan Lucyn
  • 384th BG Personnel Record
  • Eugene D. Lucynski

Gerald Lee Andersen, Carnes crew tail gunner, but tail gunner of the Buslee crew on 28 September 1944

Wilfred Frank Miller, assigned Brodie crew tail gunner

The Flexible (Waist) Gunners

Lenard Leroy Bryant, assigned Buslee crew waist gunner, reassigned to top turret gunner after 5 August 1944 mission

George Edwin Farrar, assigned Buslee crew waist gunner

Leonard Wood Opie, assigned Brodie crew waist gunner

Harry Allen Liniger, assigned Brodie crew waist gunner

Witnesses to the 28 September 1944 Mid-air Collision

Wallace Arnold Storey, Gross crew co-pilot

Robert McKinley Mitchell, Jr., Allred crew ball turret gunner

Thank you to Fred Preller, webmaster of 384thBombGroup.com, and his volunteer researchers for providing and sharing information of the Group.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

Buslee and Brodie Crew Burial Locations

I’m continuing my look at the options given to Next-of-kin of WWII service members killed in action during the war. After learning about those choices, I decided to take a closer look at the original members of the John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron, and included those airmen who were substituting for original crew members on the 28 September 1944 mission when the two crews were involved in a mid-air collision of their B-17’s leaving the target at Magdeburg, Germany.

For those service members killed in action during the war, if they were killed aboard their bomber, but their bomber made it back to England, they were likely initially buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery. Unless their Next-of-kin repatriated them back to the U.S., they most likely remain at Cambridge.

For those service members who were killed over enemy territory, and whose bodies did not make it back to England, they were likely initially buried in a foreign cemetery near where they died. For example, the men of the Buslee and Brodie crews who were killed in the mid-air collision over Magdeburg were initially buried in the cemetery at Ost Ingersleben, Germany near the crash sites of their B-17’s.

None of the original Buslee or Brodie crew members are still living. Following my list of the burial locations of those killed in action during WWII, I will list the burial locations of those who made it home and have died since. For those buried in American Military Cemeteries, both here and overseas, I am including Plot, Row, and Grave number.

Killed in Action, Buried in Europe

Buried in an American Military Cemetery Overseas

Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Cambridgeshire, England

Marvin Fryden, Buslee crew

  • Born 8 January 1921 – Died 5 August 1944
  • Buried Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England
  • Plot E, Row 2, Grave 4

* * *

Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, Liège, Belgium

Lloyd Oliver Vevle, Brodie crew

  • Born 9 December 1922 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, Neuville-en-Condroz, Arrondissement de Liège, Liège, Belgium
  • Plot C, Row 37, Grave 20
  • Lloyd’s twin brother Floyd Martin Vevle (Born 9 December 1922 – Died 14 January 1945) of the 390th Bomb Group is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at  the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.

* * *

Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial at Margraten

David Franklin Albrecht, Buslee crew

  • Born 1 March 1922 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
  • Plot C, Row 2, Grave 11

Lenard Leroy Bryant, Buslee crew

  • Born 7 March 1919 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
  • Plot G, Row 7, Grave 22

George Francis McMann, Jr., Gilbert crew member, but part of Buslee crew on September 28, 1944

  • Born 26 September 1924 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
  • Plot N, Row 22, Grave 4

James Joseph Brodie

  • Born 14 November 1917 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
  • Plot J, Row 13, Grave 4

Robert Doyle Crumpton, Brodie crew

  • Born 26 July 1920 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Margraten, Eijsden-Margraten Municipality, Limburg, Netherlands
  • Plot E, Row 19, Grave 22

* * *

Killed in Action, Repatriated

Buried in a National Cemetery in the U.S.

Gerald Lee Andersen, Carnes crew member, but part of Buslee crew on September 28, 1944

  • Born 20 June 1923 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Lincoln County, Nebraska, USA
  • Section F, Site 1229

Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Buslee crew

  • Born 8 July 1924 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York, USA
  • Plot J, 15423

Robert Sumner Stearns, Durdin crew member, but part of Buslee crew on September 28, 1944

  • Born 25 August 1923 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, USA
  • Section B, Site 302
  • Memorial marker at Family/Home Cemetery at Juniper Haven Cemetery, Prineville, Crook County, Oregon, USA

* * *

Buried in a Family/Home Cemetery in the U.S.

John Oliver Buslee

  • Born 24 June 1923 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Saint Joseph Cemetery, River Grove, Cook County, Illinois, USA

William Alvin Henson II, Sammons crew member, but part of Buslee crew on September 28, 1944

  • Born 8 June 1923 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Eastview Cemetery, Conyers, Rockdale County, Georgia, USA

Byron Leverne Atkins, Chadwick crew member, but part of Brodie crew on September 28, 1944

  • Born 10 November 1924 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana, USA

Donald William Dooley, Headquarters, but part of Brodie crew on September 28, 1944

  • Born 26 July 1919 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Valhalla Memory Gardens, Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana, USA

Gordon Eugene Hetu, Brodie crew

  • Born 26 September 1925 – Died 28 September 1944
  • Buried Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Novi, Oakland County, Michigan, USA

For those crew members who survived the war and are buried here at home, I am listing them by date of death, earliest first.

Harry Allen Liniger, Brodie crew

  • Born 9 August 1924 – Died 8 October 1947
  • Buried Powells Point Christian Church Cemetery, Harbinger, Currituck County, North Carolina, USA

Chester Anthony Rybarczyk, Buslee crew

  • Born 18 January 1923 – Died 2 September 1967
  • Buried Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA

Leonard Wood Opie, Brodie crew

  • Born 14 September 1921 – Died 20 May 1974
  • Buried Lakeview Memorial Gardens, Longview, Gregg County, Texas, USA

Clarence Burdell Seeley, Buslee crew

  • Born 12 December 1921 – Died 18 March 1980
  • Buried Kilfoil Cemetery, Merna, Custer County, Nebraska, USA

Eugene Daniel Lucynski, Buslee crew

  • Born 22 December 1919 – Died 14 April 1981
  • Burial information unknown, but parents (Gustave and Dominica Lucynski) are buried All Saints Church Cemetery, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
  • Also known as Eugene D. or Dan Lucyn

Erwin Vernon Foster, Buslee crew

  • Born 12 February 1920 – Died 30 June 1981
  • Buried Maple Grove Cemetery, Horseheads, Chemung County, New York, USA

George Edwin Farrar, Buslee crew

  • Born 3 September 1921 – Died 5 November 1982
  • Buried Floral Hills Memory Gardens, Tucker, DeKalb County, Georgia, USA

William Douglas Barnes, Jr., Brodie crew

  • Born 20 May 1919 – Died 6 December 1990
  • Buried Riverside Cemetery, Hastings, Barry County, Michigan, USA

Wilfred Frank Miller, Brodie crew

  • Born 15 February 1925 – Died 29 June 1991
  • Buried Saint Isidore Catholic Cemetery, Meeme, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, USA

George Marshall Hawkins, Jr., Brodie crew

  • Born 26 November 1918 – Died 4 January 1998
  • Buried Florida Memorial Gardens, Rockledge, Brevard County, Florida, USA

William Edson Taylor, Brodie crew

  • Born 21 April 1923 – Died 29 January 2002
  • Cremated

James Buford Davis, Jung crew & Buslee crew Bombardier replacement

  • Born 5 October 1921 – Died 20 December 2009
  • Cremated, Greater South Side Crematory, Greenwood, Johnson County, Indiana, USA

May they all rest in peace.

Links

Website: American Battle Monuments Commission

Booklet: Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead

Previous Posts in this Series

American Cemetery Grave Adopters

American Military Overseas Burials

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

WWII Combat Chronology – 11 August 1944

I am continuing my series of articles based on the entries from Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces. Both combat chronologies are excellent sources of information regarding combat missions in World War II and I thank the authors for sharing them online.

These articles are concentrated on the operations of the 8th Army Air Forces on the missions on which the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group participated. The statistics of other dates and missions and of other branches of the American Air Forces and theaters of operation of World War II are available through the links provided in this article to these two sources for those interested.

Today’s installment is the 11 August 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and Brodie crew participated.


WWII Combat Chronology – Friday, 11 August 1944

384th BG Mission 177/8th AF Mission 541 to Brest, France.

Target: Military and Tactical, Coastal Artillery Emplacements.

The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission.

Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:

More than 850 HBs attack 13 M/Ys, fuel dumps, A/Fs, and T/Os, in NE France and Paris area, and 23 arsenal areas, barracks, concrete emplacements and heavy arty posts in and around Brest, escorted by 8 ftr gps and a sq. 5 gps later strafe ground tgts.

Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 4 missions are flown:

  1. Mission 541, to attack marshalling yards, fuel dumps, airfields, and targets of opportunity in northeast France and the Paris area. The Buslee and Brodie crews participated in this mission.
  2. Mission 542, to attack arsenal areas, barracks, concrete emplacements and heavy artillery posts in and around Brest, France.
  3. Mission 543, a Micro H test against Le Chenaie rail bridge.
  4. Mission 544, to drop leaflets in France during the night.

Also, 28 of 31 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France.

Mission 541: 660 bombers and 300+ fighters are dispatched to attack 13 marshalling yards, fuel dumps, airfields, and targets of opportunity, in NE France and the Paris area; 4 bombers are lost (numbers in parenthesis indicate number of bombers attacking the target):

  1. 157 B-17s are dispatched to attack Belfort (76) and Mulhouse (76) marshalling yards and 1 B-17 hit a target of opportunity; 16 B-17s are damaged.
  2. Of 141 B-24s, 47 hit Coulommiers Airfield, 36 hit Pacy-sur-Armancon and 34 hit St Florentin; 5 B-24s are damaged.
  3. 76 of 77 B-17s hit Villacoublay aircraft depot; 1 B-17 is lost and 17 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 9 MIA.
  4. 45 of 65 B-24s dispatched hit Toussus le Noble Airfield; 9 others hit Orleans/Saran Airfield; 1 B-24 is damaged.
  5. Of 220 B-24s, 66 hit Strasbourg fuel dump; marshalling yards at Strasbourg (65) and Saarbrucken (60); Nivelles Airfield (10) and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 3 B-24s are lost and 112 damaged; 7 airman are KIA, 7 WIA and 19 MIA.

Missions 541 and 542 are escorted by 356 P-38s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is WIA and 1 MIA.

Links/Sources

Except for entries from Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and McKillop’s Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

American Military Overseas Burials

Last week I introduced you to Teresa (Terry) Hirsch, WWII Genealogist. During her immersion into World War II history, Terry has taken two Battle of the Bulge tours (both in December to get a real feel for the December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945 campaign) and two D-Day (June 6, 1944) anniversary (the 60th and 65th) tours. I haven’t asked her, but I imagine Terry sometimes feels like a time traveler, as do I, transporting mentally and emotionally back and forth between the WWII 1940’s and current day on a regular basis.

In my research of the war and of those killed in action (or non-combat causes) while serving their country, I was aware that many of our service members remain to this day buried on foreign soil, but I was not knowledgeable as to why. Terry, who does some public speaking, created a “Why are They Buried There?” presentation to share her knowledge, obtained through six years of research and interviews, to answer this question and cover the American military cemeteries in Europe. The answer is not as simple as it seems, and certainly not because relatives could not afford to or care enough to bring them home.

As Terry informed me, the bottom line is that every soldier is buried just where the Next-of-kin asked for him to be buried, either directly or indirectly.

The Next-of-kin of the deceased service member was given four choices for their final resting place. Between the “Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead” booklet published by the War Department in 1946 and provided to a service member’s family, along with Terry’s help in understanding these choices, here are the four options given to Next-of-kin. The options fall into two main groupings, with two options in each group.

U.S. Choices – Repatriated to the U.S.

  • A National Cemetery in the U.S. The remains be returned to the United States for final interment in a national cemetery. The U.S. government was responsible for all planning and bore all expenses. The only thing the family had to do was attend the funeral, and that was optional. Teresa notes that although the service member would be buried in America and at no cost whatsoever to the family, the cemetery, which was chosen by the government, might not be convenient to the family for visiting the gravesite, and the timing of everything was all up to the government, which did not ask for input or rearrange timing due to a family scheduling conflict. [The booklet notes that the national cemetery would be selected by the Next-of-kin, however, if the selected cemetery was no longer open for burials at the time the request was received back at the War Department, another selection would be required].
  • A Family/Home Cemetery in the U.S. The remains be returned to the United States, or any possession or territory there-of, for interment by next of kin in a private cemetery. Like the choice of a national cemetery in the U.S., the U.S. government was responsible for all planning and bore all expenses up to and including transportation of the casket/remains to the railroad station closest to where the funeral was to be held. At that point the family took over planning and could have it as minimalist or with as much pomp as they want. The government provided a flat stipend to offset costs. If more than the stipend, the family paid that amount out of their pocket. Teresa notes the example: the grave marker is provided by the U.S. government, the standard plaque, which is never included in determining the stipend. If the family wants bible passages, personal inscriptions (brother, dad, son), or to have his name engraved on the family obelisk, and the cost is over the stipend, the family paid.

Overseas Choices – Buried in Europe

  • American Military Cemetery Overseas. The remains be interred in a permanent American military cemetery overseas. There were two basic reasons for the overseas burials, by design or by default.
    • By Design, because the family requested it, and there were several reasons for the request.
      • The service member requested it. Teresa notes as an example, the service member told his brother, dad, wife, etc., that if he doesn’t make it home, to bury him with his buddies, men, or country he fought in. Thus they are honoring his final request.
      • For the sake of the family. Teresa notes the difficulty for the service member’s children, younger siblings, and elderly parents not being able to go through or restart the mourning process. In Europe, American service members were dying as early as 1942. The earliest the U.S. government was able to return remains home for burial was late 1946 and continued until late 1950. Many families had already had memorial services as soon as they learned of the son’s death. Teresa has had children of soldiers tell her this.
      • Unfounded rumors. Teresa notes that families heard rumors that rocks, German soldiers, or a different U.S. serviceman was in the casket sent home. They believed the Graves Registration team didn’t care or were bad at their job. Teresa adds, know that the Graves Registration team did their job as well as all the other airmen, soldiers, and sailors did theirs and this belief was not deserved. Teresa also notes that one source tells that the team had to be one hundred percent sure it was the family’s service member or else that service member was not identified.  Not ninety or ninety-five percent, one hundred percent sure. Once a Next-of-kin believed this type of rumor, it was next to impossible to dislodge. [Note: the booklet does include an extended discussion regarding the identity of the deceased.]
    • By Default, because the Next-of-kin never replied despite many attempts to reach them. Teresa mentions the War Department tried many times to directly contact the Next-of-kin, and they also used the ‘social media’ of the day. There were articles placed in newspapers around the country that asked about the service member in question. They provided his name, his Next-of-kin and the last address they had. They then asked readers for their help in contacting the family.
  • Family Country. The remains be shipped within, or returned to a foreign country, the homeland of the deceased or next of kin, for interment by next of kin in a private cemetery. If the service member or one of his parents were native to a country in Europe, the family could request he be buried there, either in one of the large American military cemeteries or the family could plan a burial in their family village. Teresa notes that six families requested their service member be buried in Poland, but  Poland’s new government never gave their approval nor their disapproval, thus the six were buried at one of the two American cemeteries in Belgium.

Aside from the above four options, the War Department provided for an,

Alternate Choice. The Next-of-kin was also given the option of an Alternate Choice, which meant that if none of the above options provided for their wish, they could submit their specific desire to the Office of the Quartermaster General for final decision by the War Department.

Thanks to Teresa Hirsch, I have a much better understanding of the Next-of-kin’s choices and reasons why WWII deceased service members were buried where they were.

This leads me to my next task of reviewing where the airmen serving with the Buslee and Brodie crews of the 384th Bomb Group are buried. Stay tuned for a look at that information in a couple of weeks.

Sources

Teresa Hirsch, WWII Genealogist

Pamphlet: Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead

Website: American Battle Monuments Commission

Previous post in this series

American Cemetery Grave Adopters

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021

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