All the information below is from my copy of the 356th
BG history book.
Your father was indeed in the 456th
Bombardment Group in Italy. Interestingly, the Group’s membership roster shows two Days: a Richard E. Day in the 747th
Sqdn. and an Earl Day in the 745th
. Further the mission report lists him as Richard Day.
He was shot down on Group Mission # 226 to Liban Iron Works in Liban Czechoslovakia. Liban is about 50 miles NE of Prague.
The Mission Report shows:
25 MARCH 1945, Group mission No. 226, again the forces were divided into a red and a blue group bombing the same target, the target, Liben engine works, Czechoslovakia. Both groups encountered heavy, moderate and intense flak. The red group, lost one bomber to the flak. Neither group saw any enemy fighters.
The bomber lost was a 747th Squadron plane, A/C #44-41108 piloted by Lt Edmondson flying, Baker 5 position. The A/C was reported missing on MACR #13263. The A/C
was reported last seen in the target area at 1200 hours. The A/C
had one engine feathered and was heading for Russian held territory. Later a message was received from this crew stating that they were over Russian held territory and were looking for a landing field.
1st Lt Allen Edmondson Jr Pilot POW *
Sgt Leonard C. Borysewicz Gunner POW
T/Sgt Jerome Cohn Engineer POW
Sgt Richard Day Gunner POW
2d Lt Robert L. Gleason Bombardier MIA
Sgt Donald McLean Tail Turret POW
T/Sgt Robert L. Perry Radio operator POW*
Cpl John L. Rheuark Ball Turret POW
1st Lt W. Travis Williamson Co-pilot POW#
* Current members. # Since deceased.
The red group, eighteen planes dropped 46.5 ton of GP bombs and the blue group of sixteen planes dropped 41.5 ton of GP bombs, each group bombed by PFF and the results were obscured by cloud cover.
Ed Cruz, upper turret gunner, flying Able 4 position on Lt Craig's crew related. "Just after bombs away I noticed flames between number 3 and number 4 engine on A/C #717. A/C #717 was piloted by Lt James Thomas flying in Able 7 position. The ship spun to the left, losing between 500 and 1000 feet of altitude. I saw four 'chutes open. The A/C appeared to be still under control when last seen."
This report was written in 1945 but you can probably find later info by writing for the Missing Aircraft Report cited (MACR #132630). Since you are next of kin they will send you the whole file.
I don’t know where you learned that he flew out of Africa, but I believe that to be incorrect.
First, the mission report shows the mission was flown from our base in Italy. Second, the 745th
Squadron history shows:
ASSIGNMENTS: To 456th Bombardment Group (H), 1 Jun 1943 - 17 Oct 1945
. To 456th Bombardment Group (VH), 12 Jul1947 - 27 Jun 1949. To 456th Troop Carrier Group 1 Dec 1943; 456th Troop Carrier Wing, 1 Mar 1955 - 9 Ju11956.
STATIONS: Wendover Field, Utah, 1 Jun 1943; Gowen Field, Idaho, 14 Jul 1943; Bruning AAF Field, Nebraska, 2 Aug 1943; Kearns, Utah, 9 Sep 1943; Muroc AAB, California, 2 Oct - 4 Dec 1943; Stornara Italy, 25 Jan 1944 - 19 Jul 1945
; Sioux Falls AAF Field South Dakota, 1 Aug 1945; Smokey Hill AAF Field, Kansas, 17 Aug - 17 Oct 1945; McChord Field Washington 12Jul1947 - 27 Jun 1949. Miami International Airport Florida, 1 Dec 1952; Charleston AFB, South Carolina, 15 Aug 1953; Shiroi Japan, 19 Noy 1955; Ardmore AFB Oklahoma, 6 Jun - 9 Ju11956.
I was in the 456th
from April to November (747 and 744 Sqdns) but didn’t know your Dad. I hope this information is useful and if you have any questions you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck in your search,