31.07.1944 704th Bombardment Squadron (H) B-24H 42-52467 ‘Hula Wahine II’, 1st Lt. Emil Berry Jr.
Operation: Ludwigshafen (Mission #507), Germany
Date: 31st July 1944 (Monday)
Unit No: 704th Bombardment Squadron (H), 446th Bombardment Group (H), 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force
Type: B-24H Hula Wahine II
Serial No: 42-52467
Location: Near Réméréville, 14 km (8½ mls) east of Nancy in France
Base: Bungay airbase (Station #125), Suffolk, England
Pilot: 1st Lt. Emil Berry Jr. O-662430 AAF Age 28. Murdered (1)
Co Pilot: 2nd Lt. John Burns Good O-695053 AAF Age 33. Murdered (1)
Navigator: 2nd Lt. Gilbert H. Rubenstein O-738943 AAF Age 25. PoW *
Bombardier: S/Sgt. Jack W. Woods 38464153 AAF Age 21. PoW **
Radio/Op: T/Sgt. John Monsulick 33167597 AAF Age 26. PoW *
Engineer: T/Sgt. Jack Walton Sanders 38268080 AAF Age 22. PoW *
Ball Turret: S/Sgt. Stanley J. Kudlo 36590847 AAF Age 33. PoW unknown camp
Right Waist Gnr: S/Sgt. Virgil R Huddleston 18210067 AAF Age 19. PoW **
Left Waist Gnr: S/Sgt. John C. Carswell 32502466 AAF Age 26. PoW *
Tail Gnr: S/Sgt. Lewis E. Pulsipher 16119118 AAF Age 23. Murdered (1)
The B-24 had 10 crew positions. Crew complements evolved during the war and generally comprised 9 personnel who were typically, but not always, Pilot, Co-Pilot, Bombardier, Navigator, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, Radio Operator/Waist Gunner, Nose Gunner, Ball Turret Gunner/radar operator, Waist Gunner, Tail Gunner.
* Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia, Germany, now Żagań in Poland. (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser, Bavaria).
** Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow, Pomerania, Prussia now Poland (Moved from Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug. Moved to Wöbbelin near Ludwigslust and then to Usedom near Swinemünde).
REASON FOR LOSS:
The Hula Wahine II took off from Bungay on the morning of the 31st July 1944 to bomb the assigned target of the I.G. Farben chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The crew could not release its bombs over the target and they had to be jettisoned manually. Heading away from the target the aircraft was hit by flak from the German Heavy Flak Battery #631 which knocked out #3 and #4 engines.
The Hula Wahine II started to lose height so 1st Lt. Berry ordered the crew to do everything possible to lighten the aircraft but at 10000 feet the crew were ordered to bail out (Ref 1). The aircraft continued to fly unmanned for nearly 70 km (43½ mls) before crashing at about 14:00 hrs some 900 m (½ ml) north of Réméréville, 14 km (8½ mls) east of Nancy in France.
The crew landed in dispersed locations in the vicinity of Saarbrücken and was taken into custody. All except for 1st Lt. Berry Jr., 2nd Lt. Good and S/Sgt. Pulsipher were confirmed as PoWs.
(1) The fates of 1st Lt. Berry Jr., 2nd Lt. Good and S/Sgt. Pulsipher were unknown until a General Military Government Court was convened at Dachau during the period 30th June to 15th July 1947 where eight German nationals were charged with the first of two charges that they did on or about the 31st July 1944, deliberately and wrongfully encourage, aid, abet and participate in the killing of members of the United States Army, believed to be 1st Lt. Emil Berry, ASN O-662430, 2nd.Lt. John B. Good, ASN O-695053, and S/Sgt. Lewis E. Pulsipher, ASN 16119118, who were then and there surrendered and unarmed PoWs in the custody of the then German Reich.
The second charge concerns the killing of T/Sgt. Charles E. Wyatt Jr., Sgt. Ted Zemonek, Sgt. Willard R. Fetterhoff, and Pvt. Jack A. Maxwell from B-24H 41-29177 ‘Ginger’ from the 706th Bomber Squadron (446th Bombardment Group (H)).
Those charged were Dr. Fritz Maria Josef Dietrich, who was the former Polizeipräsident (Police President) of Saarbrücken, an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lt Col) and the local Wehrmacht commander; Willy Stemmler, who was a former SS-Standartenführer (Col); Karl Hunsicker, who was a former SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lt); Fritz Dintinger, who was former SS-Unterscharführer (Sgt); Albert Daniel Eli, who was a former SS-Rottenführer (Cpl); Dr. Otto Zeitzer who was a former SS-Unterscharführer (Sgt.). All were members of the Allgemeine SS (General unit of the Schutzstaffel) and all, except for Dr. Otto Zeitzer, were also members of the Nazi party.
Also charged were Richard Hermann Wandel who was a former Schutzpolizei (Protection police) Major (Maj) and a district commander, and Johann Klein, who was a former Schutzpolizei Hauptmann (Capt). Both were acquitted of the charge.
Stemmler testified that on or about the 31st July 1944 whilst he was at the air raid command bunker at Saarbrücken he was told by Dietrich that three airman had been captured and held at police stations in Malstatt, Burbach and Neunkirchen. Dietrich ordered Stemmler to have the airmen collected and then shot on the pretext that were attempting to escape.
Dintinger admitted that he had participated, together with Hunsicker and Eli, at the direction of Stemmler in killing three American airmen and that he had personally shot one of the airmen. The court heard that Hunsicker took the leading role in the shooting of the three airmen.
The first airman, believed to be 2nd Lt. Good, was collected from the Malstatt police station and taken to the Sieben Eichen Wald (Seven Oaks woods), in the direction of Riegelsberg, where Hunsicker shot him and left the body where it had fallen.
The second airman, believed to be 1st Lt. Berry Jr., was collected from the Burbach police station and was taken along a forest road named the Schwarzer Weg (Black Way, in the direction of Von Der Heydt, where Dintinger participated in the shooting of the airman, whose body was left where it had fallen.
After the three returned to their regimental headquarters Stemmler again sent them to collect a third airman, believed to be S/Sgt. Pulsipher, from the Neunkirchen police station. On the road back to Saarbrücken they stopped at the Bildstocker Wald near Friedrichsthal, where Hunsicker and Eli shot the airman. This airman was left for dead but was later found alive. Zeitzer was ordered by Stemmler via Hunsicker to “put the airman permanently to sleep”, a euphemism to kill the seriously wounded airmen by injection. Zeitzer reported back that he had administered “two very strong shots” but the airman had not died. The next day Eli was ordered by Hunsicker to kill the airman. The airman was placed in a police vehicle and taken to a rifle range near Saarbrücken where he was shot in the temple and killed whilst he lay on a stretcher. The body was then delivered to the Waldfriedhof cemetery in Burbach-Saarbrücken as were the other two dead airmen.
After the bodies were later disinterred they were tentatively identified as 1st Lt. Emil Berry, 2nd Lt. John B. Good, and S/Sgt. Lewis E. Pulsipher. Their deaths were determined as being caused by gunshot wounds.
Dietrich, Stemmler and Hunsicker, were found guilty of the charge and sentenced to death by hanging. Dietrich was executed at Landsberg on the 22nd October 1948, Stemmler and Hunsicker were executed at Landsberg on the 29th October 1948.
Dintinger, Eli and Zeitzer were found guilty of the charge and sentenced to varying prison terms. Dintinger and Eli were each sentenced to life imprisonment which was reduced to 30 years. Dintinger was paroled in September 1954 and Eli in October 1954.
Zeitzer was found guilty of the charge and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment commencing on the 28th November 1944. However, the Review and Recommendation panel considered that there was no evidence that Zeitzer injected the airman with a fatal dose of a drug or poison. Therefore, the sentence was disapproved by the Review and Recommendation panel.
1st Lt. Emil Berry Jr. Air Medal, Purple Heart. Reinterred at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St Avoid, France, Plot QQ, Row 6, Grave 150. Relocated to Plot D, Row 25, Grave 40. Born on the 29th August 1915. Son of Emil U. and Lelah (née Sonner) Berry of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA.
2nd Lt. John Burns Good. Air Medal, Purple Heart. Reinterred at the Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Belgium, Plot YYY, Row 1, Grave 12. Relocated to Plot B, Row 33, Grave 54. Born on the 22nd January 1921. Son of Claude R. and Edith Romaine (née Herman) Good and husband to Anne E. (née Duffy) Good of Hazelton, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA.
S/Sgt. Lewis E. Pulsipher. Air Medal, Purple Heart. Reinterred at the Lorraine American Cemetery, St Avoid, France, Plot WWW, Row 12, Grave 140. Relocated to Plot C, Row 15, Grave 75. Born in 1921. Son to David J. and Pearl Henrietta (née Schumann) Pulsipher and husband to Betty June (née Huffman) Pulsipher of Battle Creek, Michigan, USA.
Researched by Ralph Snape and Traugott Vitz for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew. Thanks also to Traugott Vitz for his work on the ‘VitzArchive’.
1. News Time, El Dorado, Arkansas, Vol 106, No. 32 - By Shea Wilson