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Coley W Richardson

Military

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 # 42-100415. The B-24 ran into mechanical trouble on return in the afternoon from the 8 August 1944 mission to bomb the airfield at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. On order from the pilot, Richardson bailed out of the airplane, broke his left leg in landing and was immediately contacted by the French underground. Seeing his condition, they decided there was no other solution than surrendering to the Germans who arrived quickly on the scene. Hospitalized in Châlons-sur-Marne by the Germans, he is reported as having escaped and being liberated by advancing US troops. He was back in England in early September 1944. After his return to the United States, he stayed in hospital, his discharge papers being sent to a hospital in Omaha.

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...

  • Charles Lain

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    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...

  • 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. He trained as an aerial navigator on B-24s at Ellington Field, Texas, in San Marcos, Texas, Harlingen, Texas and Pueblo, Colorado. Sent overseas,...

  • 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 21 May 1920
Enlisted Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina, United States 23 July 1942
Prisoner/Evaded (EVD) Marne, France 8 August 1944 – 27 August 1944

Bailed out of the airplane, broke his left leg in landing and was immediately contacted by the French underground. Seeing his condition, they decided there was no other solution than surrendering to the Germans who arrived quickly on the scene. Hospitalized in Châlons-sur-Marne by the Germans he is reported as having escaped and being liberated by advancing US troops. He was back in England in early September 1944.

Died Corte Tortosa, Temecula, California, United States 8 September 1985
Lived in Conway, South Carolina, United States
Buried Peach Tree Memorial Park, Norcross, Georgia, United States

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2015 14:16:21 ED-BB Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment Records
NARA WWII POW records

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:06:36 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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