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351st Bomb Sq. planer, 'Fever Beaver'

engineering

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351st Bomb Sq. planer, 'Fever Beaver'

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349th Bomb Sq. plane, 'Shilaylee'

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350th Bomb Sq. plane, 'Lady Geraldine'

 

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418th Bomb Sq. plane, 'Royal Flush'

    On operation for 22 months at Station 139, Thorpe Abbotts, a tiny hamlet twenty miles south of Norwich, in Norfolk (East Anglia), England.

    Origin: June 1, 1942, Orlando Army Air Base, Florida. On October 27, in Boise, Idaho, “by Special Order 300, 230 enlisted men and 24 officers were transferred to the 100th. “ In December, during their second phase training, the total strength of the Group was 36 crews, with ten on each crew. Their ages tended to range between 20 and 24.

    On November 14th, the Group acquired its first commanding officer, Colonel Darr H. Alkire, who was in charge during Stateside training. He eventually became C.O. of the 449th Bomb Group, a B-24 outfit, which flew out of Grottaglie, Italy. On his eleventh mission he was shot down and ended up as the ranking officer of Stalag Luft III, where he was once again surrounded by his old associates, the flyers of the 100th Bomb Group.

    The new commander was Colonel Howard Turner, a former assistant to General Hap Arnold. Thirty-eight crews flew to England on May 25, 1943. On May 27, the Ground Echelon, some 1,500 strong, shipped aboard the Queen Elizabeth. At their new station, #139, at Thorpe Abbotts, some 20 miles south of Norwich, Norfolk, in East Anglia it at once became apparent that Col. Turner was slated for a higher position. He was re-assigned to B-24’s and quickly picked up two stars as commanding officer of the Second Air Division. He was replaced by Harold Q. Huglin who, in a few months, went to the one-star position as commanding officer of the 13th Wing.

    The next and permanent commanding officer was Neil B. Harding, a veteran B-1 7 man who had flown on one of the pioneering Fortress missions, to South America. He also participated in placing fuel dumps in North Africa.

    The 100th did not stand alone at Thorpe Abbotts. Throughout their stay they were assisted by support units: 1776 Ordnance Company, 18th Weather Detachment, 869th Chemical Company, 216th Finance Section, 592nd Postal Unit, 1285th Military Police, 2110 Fire Fighting Platoon, ll4lst Quartermaster Company, 83rd Service Group, 456th Sub-Depot, 412th Air Service Group, 838th Air Engineering Squadron, 662nd Air Material Squadron, American Red Cross, and Royal Air Force Detachment. Throughout its stay at Thorpe Abbotts, no matter what was happening in the air, the Ground Echelon of the 100th was cited frequently for its excellent maintenance and preparation activity.

    The 100th flew its first combat mission on June 25, 1943, and its last on April 20, 1945. During those 22 months, some 7,000 men and a few women were stationed at Thorpe Abbotts. They flew 306 missions including six food drops to the Netherlands in May, 1945. They were credited with 8630 sorties; they dropped 19,257.1 tons of bombs plus 435.1 tons of food on mercy missions.

    The 100th’s gunners claimed 261 enemy aircraft shot down, 1,010 probably destroyed, and 139 possibly destroyed. They were some of the first gunners who, late in the war, destroyed the German Jet, the ME-262.

    Commanding officers of the 100th besides Alkire, Turner, Huglin and Harding were Robert Kelly (who was shot down on his first mission), John Bennett, Thomas Jeffrey, Frederick Sutterlin, Harry Cruver, and Jack Wallace.

    In 1943. the average life of an 8th Air Force B-17 crew was eleven missions. In 1943-1945, the 100th lost 177 aircraft missing in action plus 52 lost due to operational accidents, making a total of 229. The 100th was not the Group with the highest losses in the 8th, but since its losses often came many at a time, it soon acquired the reputation of a hard-luck outfit and the name “The Bloody Hundredth.” It lost 9 crews on the August 17, 1943, Regensburg-to-Africa shuttle. It lost seven over Bremen on October 8, 1943, with its lead plane being shot out of formation over the target and then returning alone on the deck before crash-landing on the shore of East Anglia. It lost 12 over Munster on October 10, 1943, with one plane, Royal Flush with the legendary Robert Rosenthal as its pilot being the only one to return. It lost 15 over Berlin on March 6, 1944, and nine there on May 24. It lost 14 over Ruhland on September 11, 1944, and 12 over Hamburg on December 31, 1944.

    With all its bad luck, the 100th still earned an enviable record during its time in England. It lead the bombing of Trondheim, Norway, which delayed the manufacture of heavy water for the German atomic bomb, stiffened Norwegian underground resistance, and earned the Group citations by the Norway government-in-exile, and the British. It participated in all three BAF shuttle missions, twice to Russia and once to Africa. For its part in the liberation of France and for mercy missions dropping food to the French Resistance, the 100th was awarded the French Croix de Guerre twice. For dropping food to Warsaw the Group earned a special medal from the Polish Government in exile. It received two Presidential Citations. In spite of its losses, the 100th never once went off operations. As Jimmy Doolittle once said, “The 100th was always ready.”

Harry H. Crosby, Editor
Splasher Six of the 100th Bomb Group

Air Force Assigned to: 

8th AF (May '43 - end WWII)

 

Stations flown from: 

Thorpe Abbotts, England

 

Campaigns: 

Air Offensive, Europe

Normandy

Northern France

Rhineland

Arnennes-Alsace

Central Europe

 

Decorations: 

Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany, 17 Aug. '43

Distinguished Unit Citation: Berlin, Germany, 4,6,8 Mar '44

French Croix de Guerre with Palm, 25 June to 31 Dec. '44

 

 349th B.S. 

 350th B.S. 

 351st B.S. 

 418th B.S. 

Squadron Codes -

XR

LN

EP

LD

(squadron insignia courtesy of official 100th BG wepage)

 
 

'Hard Luck' Crew, 350th Sqdrn LN V 23413 (For more info on this photo and a book on Crew 13, click on the image).

100th B.G. Photo

Lt. Robert Rosenthal (bottom row, 2nd from left) with his original aircraft 'Rosie's Riveters' and crew

100th B.G. Photo

'Big Frank Valesh' and Crew of 'Hang The Expense' 351st Sqdrn, EP-E 231035. (For more info on this photo, click the image)

100th B.G. Photo

Little Dinah.JPG (27223 bytes)

Little Dinah #314: US Army model B17-43-BO
AF serial no. 43-38314
Clipperton's plane-LNS           

photo sent by John Marikos Jr.

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Crew 8740:
Clipperton Crew SCAAB Oct. 1944
350th sqd. 100th bg Jan. 1945           

photo sent by John Marikos Jr.

On the Bomb Run over Bremen October 8, 1943       
        230818 - Salvo Sal - LN-S
        230358 - Phartzac - LN-S
        230840 - Un-named - LN-O

100th B.G. Photo



'Badgers Beauty V' LN-T 230604 This plane was shot down on October 4, 1943 over France.

Capt Harold Helstrom was the Pilot on that mission.

100th B.G. Photo

'Piccadilly Lily' Crew photo taken on September 21, 1943. (for more info on this photo, click on the image)

100th B.G. Photo

Major John 'Bucky' Egan, 418th Sqdrn CO (kneeling second from Right). (for more info on this photo, click on the image)

100th B.G. Photo

We need help with this photo, The Plane is 'Mason and Dixon' 351st Sqdrn, EP-G 231412. One of the most famous planes in the 100th, this plane survived the War only to be salvaged in Dec 1945 in Kingman AZ. If anyone knows who the crew is please contact us.

100th B.G. Photo

23474-'King Bee' 351st Sqdrn, EP-B

USAF Museum Photo

The most spectacular accident on the base Amazingly, there was no fire or loss of life!

USAF Museum Photo

Taxi accident during shuttle mission to Russia!

USAF Museum Photo

No description

USAF Museum Photo

Plane in the Mud is 'Hang The Expense III' flown by Big Frank Valesh, 351st Sqdn EP-Z 239867. On January 24, 1944 this plane landed with tail severely damaged by Flak. Roy Urick TG, was blown out of the aircraft but survived.

USAF Museum Photo

Olive drab B-17 is 'Quittin Time' 351st Sqdn. EP-X 231530.

Michael S. Hudak Photo

 

Michael S. Hudak Photo

Plane is 'Old Dad' 231970 XR-? 349th Sqdn. Great shot of contrails from other aircraft.

Michael S. Hudak Photo

 

Michael S. Hudak Photo

Lt. Michael G. Hudak

Lt. Hudak's Combat Log - Page #1 Page #2 Page #3 Page #4 Page #5 Page #6 Page #7

Michael S. Hudak Photo

'Big Ben' in London, cira 1944

Michael S. Hudak Photo

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A Fiesler Storch

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This plane was piloted by Lt Walter Grenier. This aircraft went down on Sept. 6, 1943 AC #230335 LN-U was a 350th Squadron plane and this was Grenier's first and last mission. He had recently been assigned to the 100th and legend has it that his crew came to the base just before a mission, they were alerted and went on the mission because of lack of crews and did not have time to unpack their things. They were shot down on this mission and thus Lt Grenier became 'The Man Who Came to Dinner'.                     

Photos courtesy of Jim Marsteller.

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100th B.G. Photo

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100th B.G. Photo

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100th B.G. Photo

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Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

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Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

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Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

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Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

sterling-05.jpg (51683 bytes)

Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

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Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

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Original photo from an album purchased from a antique store   

Jim Sterling photo

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