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Charles H Lain

Military

On his 6th mission, Charles Lain was Bombardier of B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. Cut over his left eye by his parachute while exiting the plane, he landed near Vauchamps (Marne), France. Soon joined by Navigator Edgar Michaels, Left Waist Gunner Walter Bohenko and Tail Gunner Stanley Hulewicz, Lain and his comrades were helped in their evasion of capture by French patriots and underground fighters. Liberated by US troops, Lain, Michaels, Bohenko and Hulewicz were together at US 3rd Army HQ in Reims with their Pilot Bernard Komasinski, Co-Pilot Winfield Gippert, Top Turret Gunner Nelson Brott. All left Laval, France, by air in a C-47, landing in Grove, England on 31 august 1944. Escape & Evasion Report E&E 1298.

Service

People

  • Walter Bohenko

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner/Armorer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Walter Bohenko was a graduate of McKeesport High School, Class of 1940 and worked as an electrical apprentice before enlisting in the Air Corps in August 1942. Sent overseas after training as an aerial gunner, he was ssigned to the 44th Bomb Group...

  • Nelson Brott

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On his 6th mission, Nelson Brott was Top Turret Gunner on B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. He and seven other crew members...

  • Winfield Gippert

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On his 6th mission, Winfield Gippert was Co-Pilot of B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. He and seven other crew members...

  • Stanley Hulewicz

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    A machinist when he enlisted in the Air Corps in August 1943, Stanley Hulewicz was sent overseas in 1944 and was assigned to the 44th Bomb Group/506th Bomb Squadron in Shipdham, England. On his 4th mission, he was Tail Gunner on B-24 # 42-100415 when...

  • Bernard Komasinski

    Civilian | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Bernard Komasinski was on his 6th mission, piloting B-24 # 42-100415 when it ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. He and seven other crew members...

  • John McKee

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Born and raised in Illinois, John McKee moved to Michigan City in 1941 and worked in the refrigeration service industry. He enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1942. After training, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 44th Bomb Group/506th Bomb...

  • Edgar Michaels

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Edgar Michaels enlisted in the Air Corps in September 1942 at age 19. He trained as an aerial navigator on B-24s at Ellington Field, Texas, in San Marcos, Texas, Harlingen, Texas and Pueblo, Colorado. Sent...

  • Coley Richardson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Coley Richardson wasn’t a regular member of the Bernard Komasinski crew. As the usual Ball Turret Gunner of the crew, Sgt Frank LaFazia, had been assigned guard duty that day, 8 August 1944, Richardson volunteered to take his position on board B-24 #...

  • Frank Schaeffer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    S/Sgt Frank N. Schaeffer was Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-24 "My Peach", Serial 42-100415. On a mission to bomb the La Perthe airfield in France on 8 August 1944, he bailed out of the burning plane and landed near Orbais-L'Abbaye (Marne Department),...

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Units served with

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 506th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-100415 My Peach

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24 "My Peach" Serial 42-100415 encountered little to no Flak up to the point of the target area [Primary target for the Squadron: the airfield at La Perthe, NE of the other target for the Group, the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine.] ...

Missions

  • 530

    8 August 1944

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Born North Judson, Indiana, United States 25 July 1920
Lived in North Judson, Indiana, United States 1942
Enlisted La Fayette, Indiana, United States 24 August 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Evaded Marne, France 8 August 1944 – 27 August 1944

Landing near Vauchamps (Marne) France. Helped by French patriots and underground fighters of the FFI (Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur), he was liberated on 27 August 1944 by advancing US troops. He was back in England on 31 August. Escape & Evasion Report E&E 1298.

Died O’Fallon, Missouri, United States 3 January 1997
Buried Round Lake Cemetery, Knox, Indiana, United States

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2015 12:34:43 ED-BB Changes to service number, biography, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment Records
US 1940 Census
Escape & Evasion Reports

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:05:42 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8080 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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