See the listing below for placement.
HALPRO DETACHMENT - FAYID EGYPT
Seven plane formation of USAAF B-24 Bombers - flew 2nd mission on 15 June 1942 to attack Italian Fleet operating in the Mediterranean Sea and received Silver Star Medals.
Plane/Crew Listing below from Liberandos book by James W. Walker pages 17-20. Crew numbers 1-7 are simply a way for me to rack and stack them.
Crew 1: Aircraft No. 1 “A” FLIGHT “Old Faithful” Serial No. 41-11595
Alfred F. Kalberer, Major Pilot
Harry A. Halverson, Colonel CO of HALPRO / 1st Provisional Bomb Gp
Richard L. Rhoades, 1st Lt Co-Pilot
Francis B. Rang, Captain Navigator/Bombardier
Lacey A. Whitley, SSgt Engineer
Anderson T. Patrick, Sgt Radio Operator
Robert J. Coutre, Corporal Armorer
James R. Peterson, Corporal Gunner
Crew 2: Aircraft No. 4 “A” FLIGHT “Ole Rock” Serial No. 41-11618
George A. Uhrich, 1st Lt Pilot
Ferdinand R. Schmidt, 1st Lt Co-Pilot
Allen V. Hopkins, 1st Lt Navigator/Bombardier
Louie L. Walters, SSgt Engineer
Douglas H. Williams, SSgt Radio Operator
David A. Tunno, SSgt Gunner
John M. Thompson Jr., Corporal Passenger on overseas trip / maybe Armorer on raid?
Crew 3: Aircraft No. 7 “A” FLIGHT “Eager Beaver” Serial No. 41-11600
Charles O. Brown, Jr., 1st Lt Pilot
John R. Taylor, 1st Lt Co-Pilot
Malcom R. Anderson, 1st Lt Navigator/Bombardier
Morris A. Cannon, SSgt Engineer
Irving NMI Cutler, SSgt Radio Operator
Harold L. Osgood, Corporal Armorer
Donald J. Perry Jr., Corporal Gunner / replaced Robert E. Thompson (original crew)?
Crew 4: Aircraft No. 3 “B” FLIGHT “Yank” Serial No. 41-11625
Paul F. Davis, Major Pilot
Edward A. Crouchley, 1st Lt Co-Pilot
William R. Joyner, 1st Lt Navigator/Bombardier
Joe C. Saia, Sgt Engineer
Joseph P. Komurke, TSgt Radio Operator / replaced Raul R. Venegas (original crew)?
Ralph NMI Alexander, SSgt Armorer
Edward F. Weingart, Sgt Gunner
Crew 5: Aircraft No. 9 “B” FLIGHT “Queen B” Serial No. 41-11591
James W. Sibert, Major Pilot
Richard G. Miller, 1st Lt Co-Pilot
Harry W. Ebert Jr., 1st Lt Navigator/Bombardier
Claudie F. Anglin, SSgt Engineer
Noel W. Meek, SSgt Radio Operator
James R. Milliren, SSgt Armorer
Anthony NMI Filippi, Corporal Gunner
Crew 6: Aircraft No. 21 “B” FLIGHT “Babe the Big Blue Ox” Serial No. 41-11602
John W. Wilkinson, Captain Pilot
John R. Wilcox, 1st Lt Co-Pilot
Walter L. Shea, 1st Lt Navigator/Bombardier
Albert S. Fisher, SSgt Engineer
Roy R. Taylor, SSgt Radio Operator
Charles E. Salmon Jr., Sgt Armorer
Joseph NMI Troyanowski, Corporal Gunner
Crew 7: Aircraft No. 18 “C” FLIGHT “Black Mariah II” Serial No. 41-11593
John H. Payne, Major Pilot
Cecil E. Patterson Jr., 1st Lt Co-Pilot
Olen C. Bryant, 1st Lt Navigator/Bombardier
Gus D. Portl, TSgt Engineer
Robert NMI Kessler, Sgt Radio Operator
James H. Leaman, SSgt Armorer
John J. Beatty Jr., Corporal Gunner
Two – RAF LB-30s from the Royal Air Force
Planes by Group No. according to the 376th Bomb Group Mission History (Third Edition) by Ed Clendenin, Jr. are below, BUT seven planes conducted the raid with two RAF LB-30s to make up a total of nine planes, noted on page 46 of Liberandos. So, two aircraft by name aren’t accounted for in Clendenin’s book, but crews for Eager Beaver and Ole Rock received SSMs. It can be assumed they flew their dedicated aircraft, but not 100% sure!
Clendenin’s book page 14 - Mission 2
Group 1 - A. F. Kalberer
41-11595 Ole Faithful
Group 9 – J. W. Sibert Group 3 - P. F. Davis
41-11591 Queen B/ Lorraine 41-11625 Yank
Group 18 – J. H. Payne
* 41-11593 Black Mariah II
Group 21 – J. W. Wilkinson
41-11602 Babe the Blue Ox
*Also referred to as Black Maria II in Ed Clendenin’s book, but Liberandos by James Walker refers to aircraft as Black Mariah II.
“A” FLIGHT wingmen Lt. Ulrich and Lt. C.O. Brown, Jr. are noted in a newspaper article dated 17 Jun 1942 and is what was quoted by Maj Kalberer. He also stated Maj Davis led “B” FLIGHT and Maj Payne led “C” FLIGHT.
So, there’s my answer to the crew listing and the 50 men on the SSM list.
Now, back to the HALPRO member who started it all for me!
The official MIA telegram for Lt Anderson was sent to the family on July 17, 1942. The KIA telegram was sent on October 6, 1942.
In looking for where the other crew members were buried, I found that Lt Taylor, SSgt Cutler and SSgt Perry’s remains were memorialized at the North African American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia. Lt Brown is buried in his home state in Nebraska, and Corp Osgood is buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in CA.
In March of 2017, the file arrived from Ed Biegel after I returned from a deployment and I was able to find out the details about Lt Anderson. In the paperwork sent, there was a translation of photostatic copy of death certificate and it begins “Copy of death certificate, issued by the Minister of War for Second Lieutenant Malcolm Anderson, 0739088, Pilot, as registered by the Command Piazza De Bengasi, on Page 2, No. 2
Second Lieutenant Malcom Anderson, Pilot, U.S.A. 0739088, died on July 13, 1942, in the locality of Suami el Tica. The said Malcom Anderson drowned by falling in the ocean with his damaged (plane?) and was buried at Bengasi, Christian Cemetery, Tomb 16. /s/ Lt. Col Filibero Zucca
So, here’s another ASN to deal with!
On the report of death by the War Department (Copy For Army effects Bureau), his ASN is correctly identified as 0-388723, but the paperwork that flows from the Middle Eastern Theater on a form dated 16 September 1943, states “A.S.N. of 1st. Lt. Malcolm R. Anderson, deceased, previously recorded a this office as 0-789038, has been re-checked with 376th Bomb Group. Correct number is found to be 0-789088.
The attempt to correctly identify Lt. Anderson by his true ASN remains on paperwork through 1944 and is on some correspondence from the War Department as late as 1947.
This became an issue when the family reached out looking for Lt. Anderson’s effects after his death in 1942 that ran its course until January1945. In those letters to and from the War Department, the ping-pong game was due to the multiple ASNs used in the correspondence by all parties.
Then in a letter to the War Department from his sister, she states “Lt Anderson’s serial number was 0-789088, and just before his death was changed to 0-388723, which was his old R.O.T.C. number.” At last, we have a “why” with the ASN change!
His sister did most, if not all, of the corresponding with the War Department, although his mother was listed as the beneficiary and nearest relative, with his father as an alternate beneficiary.
That’s the ASN story and here’s the lengthy burial trail. He was first buried “near Benghazi” according to a German report. In a Burial Information Reported By The Enemy Form through the International Committee Red Cross, Geneva, Switzerland, his KIA date and ASN are correct, but in the Remarks section it states “Previously reported as English in English Dead List No. 89/108.”
The next document, from May of 1943, shows First burial was at Benghazi mil Cemetery at Plot 1, Row D, Grave 16. On 22 Apr 43 body was re-interred to Plot number 3, Row A, Grave 7, Plot 3 is the American Plot at Benghazi Cemetery.
On August 19, 1943 he is dis-interred from British Military Cemetery, Benghazi, Plot 3, Row A, Grave 7, although the previous document stated it was an American Cemetery, and re-interred to the American Military Cemetery, Benghazi. He is placed in Grave 11, Row G, marked with a Cross, and Harold L. Osgood is buried on his right in Grave 12 and Charles O. Brown Jr., is buried on his left in Grave 10.
On September 9, 1946, he is dis-interred from the Benghazi Cemetery after that cemetery is closed and re-interred at the U.S. Military Cemetery, Heliopolis, Egypt. He is buried in a coffin and his marker is a Flush slab w/Cross and he is placed at Row P, Grave No. 2.
His final movement overseas is when he is dis-interred from the U.S. Military Cemetery, Heliopolis, Egypt and re-interred on 27 March 1947 at the U.S. Military Section, El-Alia Cemetery, Algiers, Algeria. He is placed in Plot 12B, Row No. 3, Grave No. 29.
On 10 March 1947, the government sent a letter to the family and told them where Lt Anderson was interred. The letter assured the family he is identified and interred with dignity and solemnity, and under the constant care and supervision of United States military personnel.
On 12 September 1947, the government sent a letter to the family explaining several options to them as to the remains and a final burial of the heroic dead of World War II regarding Lt Anderson. The letter states to select an option as to whether the family wants him brought home or left in place. They also wanted a reply within 30 days to avoid unnecessary delays after their decision. Mrs. Anderson signed the paperwork on October 3, 1947.
At the direction of his next of kin (his mother; his father had died in 1944), his remains were dis-interred from Algiers. The U.S. Disinterment Directive is dated November 15, 1947 and Lt Anderson is disinterred from El Alia Cemetery on 14 January 1948. His remains were brought to Port Storage that same day and remained there until being accepted to begin the long trek home aboard the USAT Barney Kirschbaum, a ‘Victory’ class cargo ship reconfigured for use as a mortuary vessel.
The ship arrived at the New York Port of Embarkation, Brooklyn, NY on May 14, 1948 and from there the remains were sent by train to the Long Island National Cemetery in final preparation for his last burial. His military escort was 1st Lieutenant Richard O. Ransbottom, AO-42231, USAF, and his final resting place is the Long Island National Cemetery is Section H, Grave No. 9731 with a burial date of 1 June 1948. He’s where his family wanted him and where we can honor him.
Here’s what really interesting in the papers I received from the researcher. The next to the last page of Lt Anderson’s file is an Index Sheet Synopsis dated 23 Jun 1947. Here it is verbatim below.
TO Mr. Morris A. Cannon, Clairton, Pa.
RE: Investigation is being conducted by this office to determine the identity of an Unk American Airman, believed to be one of the deceased crew members of the aircraft shot down in the Benghazi area, 13 Jul 42, with a crew of seven………