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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via Helpdesk
8th Air Force
21.06.1944 506th Bombardment Squadron (H) B-24J 42-100411, 2nd Lt. Norman E. Howe

Operation: Genshagen/Berlin (Mission #428), Germany

Date: 21st June 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit No: 506th Bombardment Squadron (H), 44th Bombardment Group (H), 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force

Type: B-24J

Serial No: 42-100411

Code: NB:E-

Location: 3¾ km (2¼ mls) north of Feldberg, Mecklenburg, Germany

Base: Shipdham (Station #115), Norfolk, England

Pilot: 2nd Lt. Norman Edgar Howe O-1101878 AAF Age 24. PoW *

Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Gordon Wayne Henderson O-817211 AAF Age 23. Murdered (1)

Navigator: 2nd Lt. David Milton Harris O-709365 AAF Age 22. PoW *

Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Franklin Wallace Binkley O-700097 AAF Age 27. PoW *

Radio/Op: S/Sgt. Henry Douglas Faller 39854563 AAF Age 23. PoW **

Engineer: S/Sgt. Robert E. Smith 34623289 AAF Age? PoW **

Left Waist Gnr: S/Sgt. William Leroy McConnaughhay 17020809 AAF Age 25. PoW ***

Right Waist Gnr: S/Sgt. Frank Stoltz 37558907 AAF Age? PoW ****

Tail Turret: S/Sgt. Francis Elwood Termin 13084734 AAF Age 20. PoW **

The B-24 had 10 crew positions. Crew complements evolved during the war and 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, Waist gunner, Tail gunner.

Ball Turrets were being removed in the spring of 1944 due to the increased long-range fighter escort being available and to save weight.

* Stalag 7a Moosburg, Bavaria (Work Camp 3324-46 Krumbachstrasse and Work Camp 3368 Munich).

** 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).

*** Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang, today situated in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

**** Unknown Camp.

Above B-24J 42-100411 (Credit: World War Photographs)

REASON FOR LOSS:

On the 21st June 1944 the 44th BG was detailed on a the mission to bomb the Daimler-Benz Motor Works at Genshagen, a suburb just 32 km (20 mls) south of the centre of Berlin.

B-24J 42-100411 was believed to have been hit by flak between the Initial Point (IP) and target. With all engines running and under control it began to straggle and lose altitude but continued on to the target. Just before bombs away flak hit #1 engine and the aircraft quickly lost altitude but after the bombs were released the aircraft began to maintain altitude.

The aircraft was last seen at 10:27 hrs on a heading of 10 degrees and was last heard from over VHF at 10:45 hrs calling for fighter support. No parachutes were sighted.

There was an enemy aircraft attack on the Low Sqn, however, the German Bf109s were driven off by the USAAF fighter support, but not before some damage was caused. The 506th Sqn took the brunt of the enemy attacks and it was initially reported that three bombers were lost but only 42-100411 officially. It was then severely damaged by fighters and the crew bailed out.

The aircraft crashed at Schlicht, about 3¾ km (2¼ mls) north of Feldberg, Mecklenburg, Germany at 11:15 hrs and was 95% destroyed.

All the crew landed safely but civilians began shooting at them on the ground. Most of the crew were captured in the fields around Cantnitz, about 4km (2½ mls) NW of Schlicht at 11:35 hrs.

Note: as the target at Genshagen was a further 110 kms (68½ mls) to the south from the crash site and as the majority of the crew were captured to the north of where it crashed the aircraft could not have reached the target.

(1) A few hours after being captured 2nd Lt. Howe was told by his guard, a member of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), that one of his crew had been shot and killed in some woods. From the description provided of the victim and what he was wearing he surmised that this could have been either 2nd Lt. Henderson or S/Sgt. Termin. As S/Sgt. Termin survived as a PoW the victim could only have been 2nd Lt. Henderson.

However, his name is not recorded in any German documents and his remains were never located and recovered. The person or persons responsible for his death are unknown and it is not known what or if any investigation was carried out by the German authorities or the Allies after the hostilities ceased.

Burial details:

Above: Wall of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery (Courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC))

2nd Lt. Gordon Wayne Henderson. Air Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster). Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing Netherlands American Cemetery. Born on the 9th September 1920 in Ramey, Pennsylvania. Son of Ira Theodore and Mamie Henderson of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, USA.

Researched by Ralph Snape and Traugott Vitz for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with additional thanks to Traugott for his work on the VitzArchive.

Other sources listed below:

RS & TV 24.10.2022 - Initial upload

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Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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