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John Harley Combs Jr.

Military

Shot down 25 April 1944 in B-24 #42-52335 'Admirable Little Character'. Prisoner of War (POW). Ended his military career as a Colonel in the US Air Force.

Service

People

  • Robert Behrens

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator / Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Shot down 25 April 1944 in B-24 #42-52335 'Admirable Little Character'. Evaded with the help of French citizens and members of the Résistance. After landing near Ponthion, he was sheltered, fed, clothed, transported at and to different places. After...

  • Charles Bieber

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 458th Bomb Group
    Charles Bieber was Bombardier on board B-24 # 42-52335 "Admirable Little Character", shot down by fighters on 25 April 1944. He bailed out at about 6000ft, but his parachute didn't open and his remains were found in the debris of the Liberator near...

  • Eugene Hoag

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group
    Eugene Hoag was Navigator on B-24 #42-52335 "Admirable Little Character", shot down 25 April 1944 over France. After landing near the crash site near Ponthion (Marne Department), France, he was sheltered, fed, clothed, transported at and to different...

  • Jacob Maze

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group
    The 458th website mentions that Jacob Maze was Pilot John H. Combs Jr's regular Navigator, but was replaced on the 25 April 1944 mission by Eugene M. Hoag. John Combs flew B-24 #42-52335 "Admirable Little Character" on that mission and was shot down...

  • Richard McCarthy

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Richard McCarthy was Tail Gunner on board B-24 # 42-52335 "Admirable Little Character", hit by German fighters on 25 April 1944. After bailing out, his chute got entangled in either a wing or the tail of the Liberator and Richard went down with the...

  • Anthony McKeon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Anthony McKeon was Top Turret gunner on B-24 # 42-52335 "Admirable Little Character", shot down by fighters over France on 25 April 1944. After landing in parachute near Ponthion (Marne Department), France, he was sheltered, fed, clothed, transported...

  • Clayton Miller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Clayton Miller served as a Ball Turret gunner with the 458th Bomb Group. He was shot down on 25 April 1944 in B-24 # 42-52335 "Admirable Little Character". Killed In Action (KIA). An obituary published in his home town records that he was 'the first...

  • Charles Roof

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 458th Bomb Group
    Shot down 25 April 1944 in B-24 #42-52335 'Admirable Little Character'. Evaded with the help of French citizens and members of the Résistance. After landing near Ponthion, he was sheltered, fed, clothed, transported at and to different places. He...

  • Harold Tamboer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Harold (“Harry”) Tamboer was born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey. After attending School 5 on Valley Road and Clifton High School, he worked in North Bergen before entering the service in September 1942. He had his training at Seymour Johnson Field,...

  • Joseph Wagner

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Joseph (Joe) Wagner was Right Waist gunner on B-24 # 42-52335 "Admirable Little Character". Shot down 25 April 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

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Units served with

  • 458th Bomb Group

    458th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 458th Bomb Group (H) entered combat with the 8th Air Force in February 1944. Based at Horsham St. Faith in England, the combat crews participated in the decisive Campaigns 'Big Week', 'Big B', D-Day and the assault on Germany's oil industry waged...

  • 754th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-52335 Admirable Little Character

    B-24 Liberator
    Hit by FW190 fighters, crashed near Ponthion, ±15km NE of Vitry-le-François, Marne Department, France. Pilot John H. Combs Jr (POW); Co-Pilot Charles W. Roof (EVD); Navigator Eugene M. Hoag (EVD); Bombardier Charles G. Bieber (KIA); Radio Operator...

Missions

  • 317A

    25 April 1944

Associated Place

  • Horsham St Faith

    Military site : airfield
    Horsham St Faith was an RAF Bomber Command Station opened in June 1940. It was home to Bristol Blenheim medium-bombers, and was for a time occupied by fighters, including those of No. 19 Squadron and No. 264 Squadron. From September 1942 the airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born 22 December 1921

St Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, United States

Lived in 1942

Homewood, Jefferson County, Alabama

Enlisted 29 May 1942

Birmingham, Alabama

Bailed out of 25 April 1944

from B-24 # 42-52335 "Admirable Little Character"; landed near Ponthion (Marne), France

Prisoner Of War (POW) 25 April 1944 – 1945

Interned at Stalag Luft 3, Sagan/Zagan, Poland. Force-marched from there to Stalag 7A Moosburg, Germany and liberated there by US troops on 29 April 1945. NARA WWII POW database: "Returned to military control 16 May 1945."

Buried 1998

John Combs rests at Culley's Meadow Wood Memorial Park in Tallahassee, Florida

Died 13 August 1998

Tallahassee, Florida

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 April 2020 13:15:00 ED-BB Changes to service number, highest rank, biography and events
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
WWII Draft Card
Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File

Date Contributor Update
14 April 2020 13:39:54 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 4342

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:06 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 4342 / MACR 4342 & Page 274 of the book LIBERAORS OVER NORWICH by Mackay, Bailry & Scorza, 2010, D790G4582010 &

href="http://www.458bg.com/crew44combs.htmhttp:/www.458bg.com/crew44combs.htm">http://www.458bg.com/crew44combs.htmhttp://www.458bg.com/crew44combs.htm> / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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