Charles Paul Majeske

Military

Object Number - UPL 24263 - Charles Majeske "To Mother from her loving son Charles" 1943

Charles Majeske enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 25 July 1942 in Saginaw, Michigan at the age of 22. He was a 2nd Lieutenant when assigned to the 384th Bomb Group stationed at Grafton Underwood in England and flew his first mission as copilot with Ned Sweeney on July 28, 1944.

The Radio Operator of Bomb Squadron 547, Earl C Majeske, was the brother of Charles Paul Majeske. It is said that Earl Majeske and Charles Majeske were the only two brothers to serve their entire combat time together on the same U.S. Air Force flight crew in the World War II European Theater.

Majeske’s crew completed 35 missions , and he flew the B-17 Flying Fortress. It is interesting to note that Charles Paul Majeske’s first and last missions as pilot for the 384th bomb group were flown on a plane called Hell’s Messenger, a plane he only flew for 3 missions. In November of 1944, he flew 5 missions on a plane called Stardust, which was the largest number of missions he flew on a given plane. Other planes he flew included Lazy Daisy, Marion, Skylar, The Challenger, Dark Angel, Alex, Lilly Belle, Nevada Avenger, Danny, Stardust, Sleepy Lagoon, Busy Buzzard, and Little Cinder, and several without known names.

Pilot: Charles P Majeske, 2nd Lt.
Copilot: Henry Andrew Volpini, Flt. Ofcr.
Navigator: John G Keeney, 2nd Lt.
Bombardier: Stanley Harris Young, 2nd Lt.
Radio Operator: Earl C Majeske, S/SGT.
Engineer/Top Turret: Clovis R Meche, S/SGT.
Ball Turret: Emmett E Shuck, SGT.
Tail Gunner: Euclid M Warfield, SGT.
Flexible Gunner: Gail B Cox, SGT.
Flexible Gunner: Everett E Steele Jr, SGT.

Charles had a couple of missions where he was not able to return to his base and landed at other places either due to fuel shortage, bad weather, or other issues. Many of the missions he flew as part of reported problems with Gee-H and PFF navigation equipment. Gee-H was a navigational system which used an air born transmitter and two ground beacons in England to locate bombing targets through overcast conditions, but was susceptible to jamming by the Germans . PFFs were specially equipped B-17s called Pathfinder Force which replaced the ball turret of the B-17 with a radar navigation system used for targeting during cloud cover. Due to problems with targeting , many primary targets were not able to be attacked. Instead of returning with the bombs, they attacked secondary targets, factories, or even cities in Germany. Below are a couple of accounts of the missions Charles was part of.
August 1, 1944
Target: Railroad Bridge Chartres, France
Number of Aircraft on Mission: 36. 1 Scrubbed, 2 flying spare, 2 unused on the ground, 1 crashed
Charles P Majeske flying Lazy Daisy, B-17G as part of the High group.

TACTICAL SUPPORT MISSION: The 384th Bombardment Group (H) provided all three groups of the 41st "A" Combat Bombardment Wing on today's mission. The target was an important link in the enemy supply line into the invasion area. The weather cooperated with sufficient visibility to bomb visually, although an air traffic conflict forced the high group to pull out and make a 360° turn before starting their bomb run.

The plane that crashed was piloted by Harris Robert in the High Group flying spare. Five minutes after takeoff the plane caught fire then crashed to the ground. “Plane was in trouble and pilot was attempting to get to Station 128 for landing. Plane evidently was on fire as all reports mention from streak of flame to large explosion in the air. It is believed that some sort of explosion took place in the air throwing the plane into an uncontrollable bank and dive.” None of the crew survived the crash. The bombs exploded about 10-15 minutes after the crash and these explosions destroyed nearly all of the plane and were heard 1 ½ to 2 miles away.

Aug 4, 1944
Target: NOBALL (V-1 launch site), Crepieul, France
Number of aircraft on Mission: 9
Charles P Majeske flying the Marion, B-17G as High Section Lead.

WEATHER STYMIES STRIKE: The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew a second mission in the afternoon today. This mission was intended to strike another NOBALL target in France, but weather at the target area - a towering thunderstorm - prevented sighting of the assigned target. All bombs were returned to base, except for two aircraft carrying long-delay fuse bombs, which were jettisoned in the channel.
The planes carrying the long-delay fuse bombs that dropped their bombs in the channel were piloted by William V Henderson and Edward Alfred Sienkiewicz.
Only one of Charles Majeske’s crew was reported as wounded during a mission. Stanley Harris Young, Bombardier, was injured during the mission flown on September 11, 1944 . Stanley Harris Young’s status is listed as wounded, and he is not listed with the crew again until a month later on October 11, 1944.
September 11, 1944
Target: Oil Industry, Lutzkendorf, Germany
Number of Aircraft on the mission: 17, 3 aborted, 3 spare aircraft unused
Charles P Majeske flying a B-17G, serial number 44-6135

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF: The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the high section of the 41st "A" Combat Bombardment Wing on this mission. The primary target, oil installations near Lützkendorf, Germany, were obscured by a solid undercast, as was the secondary and an airfield near Giessen. Finally, a successful visual attack was accomplished on an unidentified factory in the Friedberg, Germany, area. This group saw several Me-163 'Komet' rocket-powered aircraft in the vicinity of Leipzig, and one near the Belgian coast, but they were not attacked.
November 2, 1944
Target: Ruhr-Chemie A.G. Synthetic Oil Plant, Sterkrade(Holten), Germany
Number of Aircraft on the mission: 42. 2 aborted, 3 scrubbed, 1 flying spare
Charles P Majeske flying a B-17G named Danny. He was flying one of the planes that aborted.

TWO TARGETS ATTACKED: The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the 41st CBW "C" Group for today's mission. The lead and low squadrons attacked the primary target using Gee-H aiming, the low squadron having to make a second run due to bomb release problems on the first fun. The high squadron Gee-H equipment failed prior to the IP, so the decision was made to follow the low squadron and release when they did. However, the low squadron did not drop on the first run and it was not clear what their intention was, so the high squadron proceeded to attack the briefed last resort target by visual means.

Charles Majeske did two tours of foreign duty before he was released from military service on 22 November 1945. He reenlisted on 30 January 1948 and was released again on 11 August 1948 . Charles reenlisted and he thought he would retain the rank he had when he left the service. He was expecting to be given the rank of Captain, but they only granted him 1st Lieutenant privileges. Since the B-17 was moth balled, this time Charles was training on transport planes. Charles got out of the service after his reenlistment due to hardship.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37496732
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12176421 / O-719090
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16057925
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dark angel
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Lazy Daisy
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Hell's messenger
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Nevada avenger
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 546th Bomb Squadron 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Lilly Belle

Missions

  • Date: 1 August 1944
  • Date: 12 August 1944

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Michigan, USA 1922-11-28

Enlisted

Saginaw, MI, USA 1942-07-25

Died

Revisions

Date26 Aug 2020 22:23:16
Contributordecwriter
Sources

NARA file verified AM w/5 oak leaf clusters.

Date12 Nov 2016 09:12:44
Contributorthalerk
Sources

Pictures given to relatives

Date12 Nov 2016 08:50:10
Contributorthalerk
Sources

Sortie Report Dated 1944-09-11; 384th Mission #192A http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=62…
Sortie Report Dated 1944-08-01; 384th Mission #169 http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=53…
Sortie Report Dated 1944-08-01; 384th Mission #172 http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=54…

Date12 Nov 2016 08:01:15
Contributorthalerk
Sources

Charles Majeske Enlistment Record https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=929&mtch=1&cat=all&tf…
384th Bomb Group (H) Individual Personnel Data for Majeske, Charles P http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/person.php?PersonKey=7763
Obituary of Earl Majeske https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2221&dat=20060921&id=wag8AAAAIBA…
Sortie Report Dated 1944-07-28; 384th Mission #166 http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=52…
Sortie Report Dated 1944-07-29; 384th Mission #167 http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=52…
Navigation FAQ about Army Air Force Terms in WWII http://www.398th.org/Research/398th_FAQ.html
Sortie Report Dated 1944-08-01; 384th Mission #169 http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=53…
Report of Aircraft Accident , 1 August 1944, AFF Sta 106, AP) 557, England http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/ACCIREP/AR44-08-01-512.pdf
Sortie Report Dated 1944-08-01; 384th Mission #172 http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=54…
Sortie Report Dated 1944-09-11; 384th Mission #192A http://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/SortieReport.php?SortieKey=62…

Date27 Sep 2014 18:05:52
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Charles Paul Majeske: Gallery (4 items)