World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
19 March 1945
A/C #42-51907, piloted by Lt. Podojil - Crash site
In the year 2003, the brother of Lt. Podojil made contacts with several German people who were familiar with the loss of the airplane and the airmen that parachuted.
Max Veitch, radio operator on this crew recently has been in contact with one of the German observers. Max was told that this man's mother had seen Max landing, saw his parachute, and took it in order to make clothings with it. They also retained a portion of the remnants, and now has offered to send a portion of it as a souvenir and would like his children and grandchildren to have a piece, also.
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Max Veitch, gunner, one of the two living survivors. Max had a lot of information to contribute.
More information written by Jack Butler
Manfred Goldenbaum, Reibek, Germany. November 6, 2000. Grandfather of my German great grand daughters. Manfred did all the work involved in obtaining and translating the information concerning the burial of Norbert Schmitz in the cemetery in Goppingen, Germany.
Now comes the small world category. Almost unbelievable, but true.
Karl Rentschler, a German E-mail friend, has been very helpful for the past three years. Last month when Roy Podojil told me about all the new information we had, I passed on the information to Karl Rentschler and he passed on the information to another friend who has a hobby of searching for lost airplanes.
Roland Watzl had the necessary equipment, including a metal detector. So Roland and Karl R., using Roy Podojils' information headed for the site. The site is less than ten miles from Karl and Roland's homes.
Yes, they found the site and salvaged many artifact. It turned out that Roland's grandfather had been the mayor of the little village near where the crash occurred and was instrumental in making sure the downed fliers were treated safely. Also Roland's mother who is still alive remembers the incident well and still has one of the parachutes our crews used that day so long ago.
The crash site is in an almost inaccessible part of the Black Forest. The German troops were searching for any survivors and were able to locate the site because of the huge fire caused by the crash. The Germans buried the dead near the crash site and salvaged and removed all useful parts. Nothing more was heard about this until two years after the war an American burial team again located the site and the bodies and prepared them for burial. This was 1947, the burned part of the forest regrew and nothing more was heard of this incident until Karl Rentschler, Roland Watzl and their sons rediscovered the crash site in November 2003.