THADDEUS M. DOMZALSKI|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
23 June 2002
Confidential Not for Publication
Thaddeus M. Domzalski
Serial Number: 6-899-699
Elmer (Bud) H. Hammer, Jr. Pilot*
Roger E. Cuddeback - Bombardier
Thaddeus (Ted) M. Domzalski - Radio Operator
Francis A. Ferris - Tail Gunner
Morgan Goodpasture - Copilot - Killed in Action on 24 Feb 1944 while flying with another crew in the 448th BG
Richard M. Hager - Radar Navigator
Arthur R. Krueger - Waist Gunner
Melvin P. Rosencranz - Waist Gunner
Fred G. Rowe - Nose Turret Gunner
Morris A. Thomson - Navigator
Edwin T. Wingfield - Flight Engineer
*In July, 1944, Captain Hammer was promoted to Major and became the Assistant Group Operations Officer. The new pilot was Larry Hawkins.
This crew arrived at Seething on 1 December 1943 and a B-24 named the "Lady from Bristol," serial number 42-52100. This plane was named after Captain Hammer's mother who was from Bristol, Virginia. They only flew a few missions in it. It was shot down early in 1944 with another crew on board. There is no known photograph of this aircraft. If Ms. Everson has one. she will be the hero of Crew 57!
My Dad and his crew served in two squadrons, as follows:
1 December 1943 to 22 April 1944
448th Bombardment Group, 714~ Squadron - Seething
22 April 1944 to 4 January 1945
44th Bombardment Group, 66th Squadron - Shipdham
When they were transferred to the 44th Bombardment Group, they became a lead crew and flew Pathfinder missions.
Here is a list of the missions that my Dad flew:
448th GB, 714th BS:
31 Dec. 1943 Cognac, Prance
29 Jan 1944 Frankfurt, Germany
6 Feb 1944 St. Pol., France
11 Feb 1944 St. Pol., France
21 Feb 1944 Munster/Osnabruck, Germany
24 Feb 1944 Gotha, Germany
3 Mar 1944 Berlin, Germany - recalled
6 Mar 1944 Berlin, Germany
23 Mar 1944 Munster, Germany
24 Mar 1944 Nancy, France
Plus two other missions with the 448th that I do not have a record of.
44th BG, 66th BS *(lead Pathfinder crew):
13 May 1944 Tutow, Germany
19 May 1944 Brunswick, Germany
3 June 1944 LeTreport/Berck, France
6 June 1944 Colleville/St. Laurent - Utah Beach - D-Day
6 June 1944 Caen/Vire, France - D-Day
8 June 1944 Angiers, France
18 June 1944 Lundorf/Bremerhaven, Germany
20 June 1944 Stettin/Politz, Germany
11 July1944 Munich, Germany
12 July 1944 Munich, Germany
16 July 1944 Saarbrucken, Germany - returned due to engine trouble
21 July 1944 Munich/Oberffaffenhofen, Germany
29 July 1944 Bremen/Oslebshausen, Germany
5 Aug. 1944 Brunswick, Germany
24 Aug 1944 Hanover/Langenhagen, Germany
25 Nov 1944 Binger, Germany
26 Nov 1944 Bellfield, Germany
27 Nov 1944 Offenberg, Germany
After the 24 August mission to Hanover, this crew was notified that they did not have to complete their tour of 30 missions and that they could go home as a crew. This was in appreciation of their having served as a lead crew and in recognition of the very difficult missions that they participated in. After three weeks, however, this decision was reversed and they were notified that they had to complete their 30 missions. By this time some of the crew had other assignments or had already completed their 30 missions. On my Dad's last three flights (25, 26 and 27 November), he flew in the ball turret with three different crews. This was the most dangerous position of all, as you know.
So much for the facts. If you need any other data, just ask. If I have it, I'll forward it immediately. Here are some insights and recollections about my Dad from his crew about those days way back then.
From Arthur Krueger, my Dad's best buddy during the War. Mr. Krueger and I are in close communication:
"He was the best radio operator in the group. He had his own keyboard. All of the keyboards worked up and down, your Dad's keyboard worked from side to side. He could send messages twice as fast that way.
"Hammer had a lot of respect for Ted."
"I came from a small town in eastern Montana, Carlyle. The only thing I knew about the world was in books. Your Dad could not believe anyone could be so dumb and innocent. He took me under his wing like a mother chicken. For the next year, it was like a whole new world to me. He made sure I kept out of trouble."
And from Morris Thomson, Navigator:
"Your father was a wonderful young man. He was A-One in all respects. He was very personable and had a smile all the time. He was the most personable of all the crew. And he was a good soldier as well as a first-class radio operator. Likewise he was a real hero of W.W.II. His life was in great danger on every one of the 30 missions that he flew. He survived through many German fighter attacks and many anti-aircraft bombardments."
And from Melvin Rosencranz, Waist Gunner:
"I recall his smiling face, especially when we went out to the local pub and drank a few to relax and reflect about our part in the war. I cannot remember specific times or places as it all seems to blur together in my mind. However, I do remember that Ted was a good friend and we did share some interesting times in those years."
David, I would appreciate if you would keep these recollections and remembrances from the crew for your use in planning this trip. Please do not publish them or make them public in any way. I'm so proud of my Dad and his service during the War. I can't wait to visit the airfields where he served.