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Martin Anthony Semonick

Military

17-Feb-42 Assigned as Tail Gunner on B-17 41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper" at Gowen Field, Boise Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper"

On 23 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24579 'Thumper' while serving as Tail Gunner on mission to Lorient, France, the aircraft returned to southwest England with only one engine operating. Pilot Castle ordered a bail out. Unfortunately Waist Gunner SSgt Billie L. Staner's parachute failed to open and he was killed. Pilots Castle and Fitzsimmons landed the aircraft wheels up near Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol. SSGT Semonick was injured but Returned to Duty (RTD)

On 29 May 1943 in B-17F 41-24602 'Yardbird II' while serving as Waist Gunner the aircraft was damaged by flak over the target of St. Nazaire, France and finished off by fighter attacks. He managed to bail out and was captured as a Prisoner of War (POW).

Awards: AM (2OLC), POW, GC, WWII Victory, EAME (1 battle star),

Service

People

  • John Castle

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as pilot of "Thumper". ...

  • John Farrar

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 360BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Pilot of 42-5260 "Yardbird II" on 4-Apr-43. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

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Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24559 Ooold Soljer

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24559 'Ooold Soljer' was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-C] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24579 Thumper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] 17-Feb-42 Gowen Field, Idaho; Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France on 23-Jan-43. 11 man crew. Belly-landed at...

  • 41-24602 Yardbird II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24602 was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-A] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; On the 29-May-43 mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France the aircraft was damaged by flak over the target and then attacked and shot down by fighters...

  • 42-29570 Big Time Operator II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 5-Jan-43; Gt Falls 31-Jan-43; Denver 2-Feb-43; Salina 11-Feb-43; to Marrakesh, via ATC 14-Mar-43; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-D] Molesworth 21-Mar-43; transferred BAD 1 Burtonwood 22-May-43; 532BS/381BG [VE-D] Ridgewell 7-Sep-43; 6+m...

  • 42-5434 "BOB’S BOUDOIR", Lady Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/12/42; Morrison 6/2/43; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-J] Molesworth 6/3/43; crash landed Alresford, Hants., UK, 26/9/43 with Bob Cogswell [injured in crash], Co-pilot: Dallas Kendall, Navigator: Ed Cobb, Bombardier: Frank Kulesa, Flight...

  • 42-5483 'THE DEVIL HIMSELF' aka 'RED ASS'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/12/42; Salina 10/1/43; Homestead 17/2/43; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] Molesworth 7/3/43 RED ASS; transferred 427BS; 5m* Missing in Action Bremen 29/11/43 with Finis Brumbeloe, Co-pilot: Donnell Marsh, Navigator: Jim Groves, Flight...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 38

    27 February 1943
    With weather and cloud cover continuing to frustrate bombing efforts against targets in Northern Germany, VIII Bomber Command decides to mount a raid against the harbour facilities at Brest, France. A total of 60 B-17s are destached: 91BG (18); 303BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 39

    4 March 1943
    After several weather-caused aborted attempts in attacking the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, the 8th Air Force is finally successful in attacking this target. A total of 71 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (18); 305BG (12) amd 306BG (21)....

  • VIII Bomber Command 42

    12 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rouen/Sotteville, France is the primary target for 72 B-17s. 91BG (18); 303BG (18) ; 305BG (17) and 306BG (19). Of this formation, 63 are effective on the target. There are no aircraft losses or claims on enemy...

  • VIII Bomber Command 43

    13 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Amiens/Longeau, France are the primary target for this mission but the rail line at Romescamps, the German airfield at Abbevile/Drucat and two other targets of opportunity are also bombed. 80 B-17s are despatched: 91BG...

  • VIII Bomber Command 46

    22 March 1943
    The U-Boat pens and harbour facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. 76 B-17's are despatched: 91BG (21); 303BG (18); 305BG (18); and 306BG (19). These are joined by 26 B-24's: 44BG (12) and 93BG (14). Of this force...

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Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

  • Stalag XVII-B

    Other location

  • Dulag Luft 12

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Cherokee, KS 5 January 1922

Son of Martin and Kathryn Semonick.

Enlisted Jefferson Barracks, MO 4 January 1942

Jefferson Barracks, Missouri

Assigned to Aircraft Boise, ID, USA 17 February 1942

Assigned as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 16 October 1942

Arrived at Molesworth, UK as the Tail Gunner aboard B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS.

Mission #1, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24579 - Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie.

Mission #2, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24579 Saint-Nazaire, France 23 November 1942

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #3, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24579 - Aborted Lille, France 6 December 1942

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the carriage and wagon works at Lille, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie.

Mission #4, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24579 Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. RTB OK.

Returned to Duty (RTD) Bristol, City of Bristol, UK 23 January 1943

Baled out of B-17 41-24579 over Bristol, England when the battle damaged aircraft returned from a mission to Lorient, France.

Mission #5, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS -BO/RTD Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Aircraft sustained battle damage but returned to England where the pilot ordered him to bale out. He had some minor injuries from the jump but Returned to Duty.

Mission #6, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS Brest, France 27 February 1943

Served as Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the port area an U-Bpat pens at Brest, France. RTB OK.

Mission #7, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS Rotterdam, Netherlands 4 March 1943

Served as Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rotterdam, Holland. RTB OK.

Mission #8, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS Rouen, France 12 March 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marsahlling yards at Rouen, France. RTB OK.

Mission #9, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS Amiens, France 13 March 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marsahlling yards at Amiens, France. RTB OK.

Mission #10, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 42-5483, 303BG/360BS Wilhelmshaven, Germany 22 March 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 42-5483, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the naval facilities and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. RTB OK.

Mission #11, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 42-5434, 303BG/360BS Rouen, France 28 March 1943

Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 42-5434, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen, France. RTB OK.

Mission #12, SSGT Martin A. Semonick, w/B-17F 42-29570, 303BG/360BS Rotterdam, Netherlands 31 March 1943

Served as Alternate Radio Operator (most likely on the nose gun) on B-17F 42-5434, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the shipyards at Rotterdam, Holland. RTB OK.

Prisoner of War (POW) Krems an der Donau, Austria 29 May 1944 – 15 April 1945

Held at Stalag 17B, Braunau-Genikendorf (near Krems), Austria. Officially Returned to Military Control 15-Apr-45

Last Report Date (Discharged) 21 July 1945

Last report date - Discharged in the US.

Died Columbus, KS 6 November 2010
Buried Hosey Hill Cemetery, Weir, Cherokee County, KS 9 November 2010

Hosey Hill Cemetery
Weir, Cherokee County, Kansas

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2020 14:21:33 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, events and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28686201
https://www.fold3.com/image/636654494
https://www.fold3.com/record/84577079-martin-a-semonick
https://www.fold3.com/record/283543385-martin-a-semonick
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/61238861/martin-a.-semonick

Date Contributor Update
03 November 2020 23:10:55 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

NARA file verified AM w/2 OLCs. He earned at least one bronze star on the EAME Campaign Medal.

Date Contributor Update
16 March 2020 19:50:06 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
30 October 2019 21:16:49 jmoore43 Changes to biography and person associations
Sources

Added a connection to John A. Castle, the pilot of A/C 41-24579. Also corrected typos in the "Summary biography".

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2018 20:07:34 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations
Sources

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2016 00:08:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #12 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 31-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/027.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2016 00:06:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #11 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 28-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/026.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2016 00:03:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #10 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/025.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2016 00:01:02 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #9 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/023.pdf

Date Contributor Update
06 March 2016 23:58:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #8 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 12-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/022.pdf

Date Contributor Update
06 March 2016 23:55:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Made connections to AIrcraft 42-3583, 42-5434 and 42-29570, ,and Missions of 12-Mar-43, 13-Mar-43, 22-Mar-43, 28-Mar-43 and 31-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 20:25:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Feb-2016. Added Last Report event per NARA WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 20:22:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 26-Feb-2016. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/019.pdf

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 20:17:35 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 26-Feb-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 27-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/018.pdf

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 20:12:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Feb-2016. Made connections to Missions of 27-Feb-43 and 4-Mar-43 per 303BG records: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:18:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:14:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:12:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:09:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/004.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:07:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cuningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 17-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/001.pdf

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:03:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Arrival in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2016 00:02:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2016. Added Assigend to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
06 February 2016 23:59:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2016. Added initial assignment and airrival in Uk event to Summary Biography Made connections to Place, Aircraft through 23-Jan-43) and Missions (through 23-Jan-43) per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2015 22:40:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, role, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-May-2015. Added SN and POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; Added RTD event and edited Biography based on "losses of the 8th 7 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE, made connections to Place, 2 Aircraft and 2 Mission within existing website data.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:19:42 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. 1 by BIshop and Hey p. 66

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