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My father (deceased) was in the 456 BG stationed in North Africa. Shot down 3/25/45 Pragu

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2011/07/05 08:59:57 (permalink)

My father (deceased) was in the 456 BG stationed in North Africa. Shot down 3/25/45 Pragu

I am looking for more information on the 745th SQ stationed in North Africa.  My dad was originally in Italy and they moved his squadron to North Africa.  His plane was damaged by flak while bombing Prague and was forced to land at a German airfield.  Can anyone give me info on the Squadrons stationed in North Africa?  Also, he was shot down on March 25, 1945.  POW first at Stalag Luft 13D then Stalag Luft III then to Stalag VIIA near Moosburg.  He was the Nose Gunner/Navigator in a B-24. His name: Richard Earl Day from Oklahoma, his Serial # 18193283.
Your help is appreciated.
Larry Day

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Re:My father (deceased) was in the 456 BG stationed in North Africa. 2011/07/05 15:19:16 (permalink)
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.

The crew:
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:
Good luck in your search,
Joe Shuster
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Re:My father (deceased) was in the 456 BG stationed in North Africa. 2011/08/05 23:52:01 (permalink)
Dear Joe
Seems as if you have a pretty good grasp of the 456th.  You will see my earlier email to shooshoo, although it is out of date by about 4-5 years.
I have both the flyding colt (pg 130-132) and the other book (page 16 I think) regarding my uncle James A. Krispinsky.  We have tried to research his records but believe them to be lost in the big fire in St. Louis.  I am still trying to establish how he may have joined into the 456th to see where his training and stations may have taken him.  Are there any other records of how the group personnel were formed into the 456th?  As I recall from the reunion several years back here in Orlando, he was a founding member of the group, having flown his painted 42-52187 aircraft to ????FLorida, or Texas, Brazil, Africa and on into Stonora.  Might there be other group records besides his personal records (lost) that we could re-trace his ascencion to the B-24.
By the way, my name change was by my father John, Jimmy's brother, who shortened his name in order to be more readily accepted into the workforce after the war up in Western New York (as oppopsed to the original Youngstown area).  His second last generational sibling (Helen Krispinsky Kraja) passed away a year or so ago in Poland, Ohio.  The family's youngest is out in California, having left Ohio to get married back in the mid-late fifties.
I hope to enjoy many nights of review and research on the aircraft, serial numbers, names, etc.  I believe that Jimmy's plane was virtually unnamed as he was among the first casualties of the unit, and perhaps never had the opportunity to have a nick name.  I would have thought St. Chris(topher) to be a great name for safe travel.  Anyway, you know the rest of the story.
Best regards, time for some sleep.
James Andrew (Jim) Kriss(pinsky), Orlando, FL
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Re:My father (deceased) was in the 456 BG stationed in North Africa. 2011/10/13 07:16:03 (permalink)
Edmondsons crew landed at Piestany Airfield, Slovakia. Crew Captured. Plane became used by KG 200...ended in Austria with German marking...
If youLarry please contact me. I will share all I know about this story, and would be interested in to get some info on your father.
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