Arlo and Jim - you both received a copy of this article.|
Arlo - Note from Will: "8 April 1944. Use this to add to Jack Winn crew loss."
JACK M. WINN
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
I just discovered that we do not have sortie reports for the group lead and the deputy lead. They were PFF ships from 389th, and the 44th had Col. Gibson in the lead one and Capt. Bob Lehnhausen was in the deputy lead. Bob said that their top turret gunner got one ME109 coming in from the nose, with it barely missing them and it hit the plane directly behind them.
8 April 1944
The fifth and last aircraft lost by the 506th Squadron on the 8th of April was that piloted by 2nd Lt. Jack M. Winn.
The MACR states in part that there was a collision with an enemy aircraft at 1346 hours. This enemy aircraft first hit the deputy lead ship in the formation and then continued on to crash into this aircraft. Both planes exploded. No one believed to have survived this collision, BUT all of them did! This was the pilot's second mission, while the remainder of his crew were on their first flight against the enemy.
Lt. Jack Winn, pilot, gave this information, "Actually, my crew and I did not spend enough time with the 506th Squadron to even get acquainted. We flew a new ship to England during the middle of March 1944, but upon arrival, we were told that the 506th needed replacements badly. I flew a mission as a copilot on April 1st, and on the very next mission, April 8, my crew and I had an unfortunate encounter with an FW190.
"With luck, all of the crew made it to the ground in reasonably good shape, considering the circumstances. We spent the next 13 months as POW. I understand that the 44th took a terrible loss that day."
Lt. Max Finesmith, navigator, added, "We were knocked down on our very first mission over Germany on the way to Brunswick. Our position in the formation was behind the deputy lead. An FW190 hit our port engines, our plane caught fire, and all of our crew bailed out safely. We were supposed to get fighter support at rendezvous point, but never saw them.
"The altitude, when I bailed out was about 5,000 feet. I injured my back and ankle on landing, and was captured soon after. I was a POW for 13 months at Stalag Luft No. 1, until liberated by the Russians in May 1945."
NOTE: Not to be confused, a 2nd Lt. Jack Wind, pilot, also flew his first mission this day - also from the 506th Squadron - also was badly shot up and was forced to crash-land at the base. He and his crew went on to successfully complete 31 missions, many of which were in SOUTHERN COMFORT II.
506th Squadron - (move into alpha sequence before pilot's name, page 202)
Finally, one other 506th Squadron aircraft returned to base with a copilot killed in action. Although there is no official information in either the 506th Squadron or the 44th BG, the pilot of that plane, 1st Lt. John M. McCaslin, Jr., sent his recollections of this tragedy.
506th Squadron A/C #42-7509V Galavantin' Gal Returned
McCaslin, John M. Jr. Pilot 1st Lt. Cincinnati
ASN 0-440434 Uninjured Ohio
Bartol, Stockton R. Copilot 1st Lt. Wynewood
ASN 0-680595 KIA, buried Cambridge C-2-15 Pennsylvania
Williams, Allen N. Jr. Navigator 1st Lt. Hometown Tenn?
ASN 0-683887 Uninjured
Gutknecht, Robert E. Bombardier 1st Lt. Maplewood,
ASN 0-738635 Uninjured Missouri