Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Andrew William Tolmachoff

Military

Andrew Tolmachoff was the youngest of eleven children born to Russian immigrant parents. After graduating from high school he had aspirations to be a major league baseball pitcher but the bombing of Pearl Harbor ended that dream. After enlisting in the Army Air Corp he trained in Fresno, CA; Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; Harlinger, TX and Pyote, TX. He earned a diploma from the Aircraft Armorers (Bombardment) Technical School and was trained as a gunner on a B-17 aircraft. He arrived in England on 20 February 1944 and was assigned to the 306th Bomb Group, 369th Bomb Squadron. He flew 19 missions as a tail gunner and waist gunner. On a bombing mission to Erkner on 3 March 1944 the heaters in his shoes failed causing frostbitten toes. He was wounded by shrapnel during the 29 March 1944 mission over Brunswick. On the 8 July 1944 mission to Amiens his plane was heavily damaged by flak. The bells to bail out were ringing but Andy could not fit back through the tail opening with his bulky clothing. It ends up nobody parachuted out of “Fickle Finger” and miraculously Lt. Walter Gribovicz flew it back to base. After these missions he was reassigned as a gunnery instructor for new crew arrivals.
After returning from the war, Andy married Ruth Ednoff, his wife for 58 years until his death. He raised three children and owned a wood shutter company.
“In all I put in 19 rough missions. I was told a lot of airmen were dead after three missions. I was pretty close to dying. I am proud to be an American and I am glad I survived the war.” Andrew Tolmachoff

Reported to the European Theater of Operations on 20 Feb 1944. Completed 19 missions. Received Air Medal, two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart.

Service

People

  • Kurt Ahlstrom

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 11 April 1944 in B-17 #4238019. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Ethan Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to the ETO on 15 May 1944. Completed 34 missions. Departed the ETO on 07 Sept 1944. DFC/Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Clusters

  • Boyd Bennett

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Reported to the ETO on 20 Feb 1944. AM OLC, DFC,

  • Raymond Bloker

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Andrew Kata crew. Reported to the ETO on 27 Apr 1944. Completed 30 missions from 4 May 1944 to 8 August 1944. Plane shot down -- Caen, France area 8 August 1944. 5 crew members captured after bail out/ pilot, copilot, navigator DFC/ AM/ PH

  • Glen Bryant

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to the ETO on 20 Feb 1944. He completed 35 missions. USAFR retired as Lieutenant Colonel on 25 Mar 1978. AM OLC, DFC, Unit Citation,

  • Richard Buttorff

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Reported to group on 12 Apr 1944. He flew 35 missions from 20 April to 24 July 1944. He became C flight Commander from 28 Jul 1944 to 30 Aug 1944. DFC,

  • Paul Clay

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Ricahrd Buttorff crew. Reported to group on 12 Apr 1944. DFC,

  • Stanley Endrusick

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down by flak and crashed near Caen on 8/8/44 in B-17 #42102669. This was his 35th mission. He was picked up by German '88 artillery crew and spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft IV. "Damn Yankee" name of plane. Flew on Andrew Kata crew. POW

  • Dwain Esper

    Military | Bombadier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Wounded by flak on 25 June 1944.

  • Walter Gribovicz

    Military | Major | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

Show more

Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-102557

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 14/3/44; Gr Island 30/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-Y] Thurleigh 25/4/44; battle damaged Ueskirchen, Ger 10/1/45 with ?; crash landed Hombeck, Bel; Salvaged 28/1/45. ICE COLD KATIE.

  • 42-102669

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/3/44; Kearney 15/4/44; Grenier 29/4/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-G] Thurleigh 24/5/44; Missing in Action Cauvincourt, Fr 8/8/44 with Andy Kata, Co-pilot: George Simons, Navigator: Ray Bleker, togg-Phil Mundell, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-107086

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 16/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-L] Nuthampstead 24/4/44; no ops, transferred 369BS/306BG [WW-Q] Thurleigh 13/5/44; Gr/crew Sgt Bob Holthaus (ettg) was installing guns when fire broke out followed by...

  • 42-31558

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 21/11/43; Kearney 14/12/43; Chicago 18/12/43; Syracuse 19/12/43; Presque Is 21/12/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-M] Thurleigh 21/1/44; Missing in Action Erding 24/4/44 with Gil VandermarliereWounded in Action, Co-pilot: Bill James,...

  • 42-31969

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/1/44; Billings 14/1/44; Savannah 24/1/44; Assigned 381BG Ridgewell 6/2/44; transferred 369BS/306BG [WW-F] Thurleigh 22/2/44; Bombardier: F/O Dominic Giosso (KIA-pilot was Bill Tarr) 26/3/44; Missing in Action Berlin 8/5/44 with...

  • 42-37953

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 26/10/43; Gr Island 9/11/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-L] Thurleigh 4/1/44; Missing in Action Brunswick 29/3/44 with Alvin Schuering, Co-pilot: Harvey Nielsen, Navigator: Jack Hamilton, Bombardier: Rob Flood, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-38198

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12/1/44; Kearney 25/1/44; Assigned 369BS; 306BG [WW-D] Thurleigh 6/4/44; transferred 92BG Podington; sal 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 9/5/45.

  • 42-39965

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 20/10/43; Gr Island 31/11/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-W] Thurleigh 19/12/43; Missing in Action Brunswick 29/3/44 with Gerald Haywood, Co-pilot: Rubin Robertson, Navigator: Jack Bailiff, Bombardier: Bill Daniels, Flight engineer...

  • 42-97181 'Steady Hedy'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/2/44; Hunter 22/2/44; Morrison 5/3/44; Dow Fd 8/4/44; Assigned 327BS/92BG [UX-X] Podington 9/4/44; transferred 369BS/306BG [WW-B] Thurleigh 25/4/44; 327BS/92BG [UX-X] Podington 9/5/45 to; 139m, Salvaged 31/10/45. STEADY HEDY. ...

  • 42-97365

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/2/44; Rapid City 8/3/44; Dow Fd 21/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25/4/44; no ops, transferred 369BS/306BG [WW-Z] Thurleigh 2/6/44; Missing in Action Halle 16/8/44 with Young Newsom, Co-pilot: Irving Dudley, Navigator: Harry...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 238

    28 February 1944
    A combined force of 258 B-17s are despatched from 1st and 3rd Air Divisions to bomb V-Weapon sites around the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. Mission Summary follows> ...

  • 8th Air Force 244

    2 March 1944
    The primary targets for this mission are: the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany; and the German air depot ar Chartres, France. The mission is composed of two entierly separate forces. 327 B-17s from 1st Air Division joined by 154 B-24s...

  • 8th Air Force 246

    3 March 1944
    A combined force of 748 heavy bombers are despatched to bomb the primary targets of Berlin, Erkner and Oranienburg, Germany, but weather and dense contrails forced most of the formations to turn back or seek Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 1st Combat...

  • 8th Air Force 252

    8 March 1944
    The VKF ballbearing factory at Berlin/Erkner is the primary target for 623 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. Fighter opposition and anti-aircraft fire are intense. There aer so many formation attacking that some divert to other...

  • 8th Air Force 269

    20 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Frankfurt and the railroad marshalling yards there are the targets for this mission. All three Air Disivisions despatch aircraft but high clouds frustrated bombing attempts and many formations abandoned the mission even after...

  • 8th Air Force 283

    28 March 1944
    A force of 450 heavy bombers from all three Air Divisions is despatched to bomb the German E-Boat pens at Ijmuiden, Holland and German airfields in France. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 284

    29 March 1944
    This mission is composed of two separate elements. The first element is a combined force of 238 B-17s of 1st Air Division: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG and 457BG are despatched to bomb the industrial areas of...

  • 317A

    25 April 1944

  • 373

    27 May 1944

  • 405

    11 June 1944
    Flew a sortie flight to the French Coast at 24,000 feet. 8th Combat Flight. No flak.

Show more

Associated Place

  • Snettisham

    Military site : non-airfield
    Sometime after late summer in 1943 an RAF Gunnery Range was taken over to provide gunnery training for B-17 crews close to where they would be deployed at East Anglian airfields. ...

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Glendale, Arizona, USA 10 December 1923
Enlisted 10 March 1943
Died San Luis Obispo, California, USA 23 January 2004
Buried Commerce, California, USA 28 January 2004

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 20:24:23 wchoff Changes to place associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
15 April 2015 23:02:28 wchoff Changes to biography
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
07 April 2015 20:01:29 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
07 April 2015 19:59:07 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:39:07 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:36:36 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:33:13 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:30:46 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:28:44 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:26:52 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:23:10 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:20:13 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
04 April 2015 18:17:53 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
03 April 2015 00:16:56 wchoff Changes to person associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
18 March 2015 22:07:26 wchoff Changes to media associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 18:23:04 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 18:21:40 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 18:19:33 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 18:16:34 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 23:01:26 wchoff Changes to media associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 22:59:44 wchoff Changes to media associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 17:53:45 wchoff Changes to person associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 17:36:49 wchoff Changes to person associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
12 March 2015 17:23:58 wchoff Changes to person associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 18:42:01 wchoff Changes to place associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 18:41:17 wchoff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 18:38:02 wchoff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 17:53:54 wchoff Changes to media associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 17:33:44 wchoff Changes to person associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 17:28:58 wchoff Changes to events
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 17:23:25 wchoff Changes to events
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 17:19:23 wchoff Changes to person associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff, son
from 306th B.G. archives

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2015 03:08:39 wchoff Changes to middlename, nickname and awards
Sources

Submitted by Wayne Tolmachoff, son
from copy of AFRS4 Fm#35-24 (Rev 12 Apr 45)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:03:44 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition, 306th BGA Collection, Russell Strong Index Cards, / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / http://www.306bg.org/crewphotos/Crew%20Pictures%20Adam-Rector/Crew%20Pic...

Share