Robert F. Amos, Past President
Pictured on the left is
Mojmir Baca, of the Czech Republic, on the right is Bob
Amos the former President of the Second Bombardment
The President's corner of the January 1999 Newsletter
Bob Amos has written his account of a visit made to Austria
and the Czech Republic in August and September of 1998.
This is MUST reading for any member of the 2nd Bomb
Group and any other United States Citizen who should ever
have access to it. The account of the missions listed in this
statement in our Second Bomb Group Book
"Defenders of Liberty" and the treatment of our downed
airmen by the Germans is almost unbelievable.
On behalf of all veteran friends, we want to commemorate
Bob Amos and his group of historians for the wonderful job
they did in putting this book together. Thanks! for a job well
. (Bob Amos was accompanied
on the trip by Karl Affenzeller, a member of the association,
and his wife Maria, and by Fritz Fellner, the local historian of Friestadt, Austria.
(Mojmir Baca's family were Hosts to the visitors to the Czech Republic
"Lady Be Good" POWs
November 2, 1943 Mission #92 to the Weiner
Neustadt, Austria Aircraft Factories. The
15th Air Force sent 131 B-17's and 38 B-24's on this mission. The 2nd Bomb Group crews
estimated their attackers between 60 and 80 fighters. Five B-17's and Five B-24's destroyed.
Two crews from the 429th Squadron of the 2nd Bomb Group were lost, "Lady Be Good"
and "Raggety Ann". The story of one of these crews is told under the picture below. As a
result of this mission the 15th Air Force considered this to be the "Outstanding Event of
its First Four Months of Operations"
Lt. Meredith D. Fink is located on the left side of the
picture the three on the right are unidentified.
"Lady Be Good" pilot, 2nd Lt. Lester R.
Gillan had four survivors-2nd Lt. Meredith D. Fink,
B; 2nd Lt. Peter H. Diglio, N; S/Sgt Anthony J. Delatte, LWG and S/Sgt. Howard L. Reese,
On July 29th, 1999, I received an Email from John Fink in Jefferson, ML asking about
information on "Lady Be Good" a plane on which his father had flown as bombardier. I
checked in "Defenders of Liberty" and there was account of the whole mission. I sent this
information to John Fink and received a letter back stating he would send a picture of his
father taken in the POW camp in Stalag Lufti Barth, Germany. His father had been
interned there from the time of the mission in November, 1943 until April 25,1945. The
other men in the picture were, he thought, might be the other members of his crew.
Lt. Fink is pictured on the left in the picture.
Darrell L. Jones
Darrell L. Jones, aerial engineer with the 429th Bomb
Squadron completed 50 missions in October 1943 and
returned to the U.S.
He was married in December 1943 and was appointed to
combat crew training at Avon Park, Florida. He did not like
training and much to the dismay of his wife, he volunteered
to fly another combat tour. He was allowed to select the crew
of his choice. He picked 1st Lt. Victor Mack and in September
1944 joined the 370th Squadron of the 452 Bomb Group in
England. Jones flew 26 missions with this group until he was
injured in dislodging a live bomb hung up in the bomb bay.
He was awarded the DFC on March 11, 1945 for dislodging
this bomb on a trip back from a mission to Germany, thus
saving the entire crew.
Captain Jerry Hofmann receiving DFC Award from General Born, Operations Officer of the 15th AF in Bari, under Gen. Twining.
THE LAST CASUALTY (From "Defenders of Liberty" page
307) Captain John G."Jerry" Hofmann, bombardier, 429th
Squadron, was on the original crew of Captain Charles E.
Crafton when they left to join the 2nd Bomb Group in Foggia,
Italy in April 1944. Jerry flew in excess of the required 50
missions, had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
with one oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal
with three oak leaf clusters. He had served his nation with
great distinction. Jerry could have gone home at this time but
he choose to join in an exchange program with the Army.
Officers from the Air Force and the Army would exchange
officers as a means of improving understanding and cooperation
between the two branches of service. It was a volunteer
program. In Captain William Morton's letter to Jerry's father
he stated that Jerry was fatally wounded by point-blank fire
of a German tank while he was a member of an advance
(Anyone can reach Robert Hofmann, Jerry's Nephew
by Email at email@example.com
Flight Officer Heim was an enlisted aerial gunner/observer in B/18's in Hawaii
on December 7, 1941. He flew 16 antisubmarine and shipping-patrol before
.rotating to the U. S. with an aviation cadet appointment. He completed his
pilot training in class 42-K and was among the first to receive Flight Officer
appointment. Heim had only a high school education which didn't qualify for
a commission. He joined the Group as a copilot in August, 1943. Because of
rotation and combat losses Heim became one of the most experienced survivors
in the 20th Squadron. He was promoted to Flight Commander February 1, 1944
and was assigned to mission leads positions in the Squadron and later as deputy
Group Lead and Group lead. On April 1, 1944 he was commissioned as a
2nd Lieutenant. In late April, upon completion of 50 missions combat tour.
Heim was placed on detached service to the U.S. for thirty days rest and
rehabilitation due to " prolonged combat fatigue." He returned to the Group at
the end of that period, and resumed flying combat missions. Heim was
quickly promoted to 1st Lieutenant and within months was promoted to Captain.
While flying deputy Group lead on September 22, 1944 on a mission to
to Munich, Germany, Captain Heim's aircraft received severe flak damage
but did return safely. It was on that mission that he and his crew saw their
German jet fighter. It was on that day that he told 20th Squadron First Sergeant
Clyde "Tiny" Atkerson to "put in his papers. "Tiny", who had been begging
him to quite flying combat, was only too glad to comply. Heim flew his last, and
seventieth mission against Komarom, Hungary marshalling yards on October
14, 1944. He was awarded the DFC by the Fifteenth Air Force Headquarters
dated September 29th 1944. Later he became a B-29 air crew commander
and flew fifty one missions in the Korean War.
Major Henry A Heim after completing his first 50 Missions with
the 20th Squadron 2nd Bomb Group. Later he flew 20 more missions
with the 20th and then 50 missions over Korea in B29's.
(Picture courtesy "Defenders of Liberty" 2nd Bomb Group)
(Picture on the right is First Sergeant "Tiny" Atkerson.)
Heim in being awarded the DFC by Brig. General Charles W. Lawrence Sept 29, 1944
(Right- Heim in pilot seat B17 in 1997)
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