|78th Fighter Group, Duxford England
Missing Air Crew Reports
If I am missing a name or information is incorrect please email and let me
know. The information gathered on each page is from the Duxford Diary,
the National Archives, from the web and some very generous friends.
You may copy anything that I have not noted as being courtesy of others.
Please do not copy their photos without their permission. I would
appreciate a link to this page from you website if you have one.
Last Updated September 21 2013
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Received email from a relative of Pier Dijkstra (Dutch Resistance) in reference to Lt Mark Wilson of the
84th. Lt. Wilson was kept at the farm of Pier on his route back to England. Lt. Charles Oldfield
(Wilson's wingman) was also at the farm at the same time.
11-10-09 Check out the spectacular picture board of the 84th
I have added a Book Section at the bottom of this page which lists books about the men of the 78th
either by themselves or a family member.
Updated Col. Peterson's MACR page to include several newspaper articles concerning him.
Updated Lt. Turley's MACR page to include several newspaper articles concerning him and also
book about him.
New Photos of Lt. Levi Smith (82nd photo page) from his daughter.
2nd Lt. Watson R. Gabriel (83rd) passed away.
New pictures added for each group's photo page and a Memorial Day tribute for Lt Ernest Boehner at
his MACR page.
Added new pictures to the 82nd photo page. Added additional information to 82nd MACR Lt Boehner.
The Duxford Diary page is now completed and can be viewed.
Pictures on Photo Page have reorganized so as to find easier. Additional photos have also been
Added Photo Page - All kind of photos, planes, pilots, personnel from all the groups at Duxford
Interesting Christmas POW story about Lt Stark of the 82nd.
Interview with Burton Newmark (84th)about his last mission and stay at a POW Camp.
More information about Lts Wilson and Oldfield has been recieved from Keith James at the WW2
Escape Lines Memorial Society (www.escapelines.com) via his Dutch contact Alexander Tuinhout.
Until April 2009 the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation has an exhibition in the Resistance Museum
(Verzetsmuseum) in Leeuwarden, where we pay some attention to the crash-landing of Wilson and
Oldfield. We also put some information about their crash online on our new website
Wilson and Oldfield had flown a mission over Germany that rainy Sunday morning, but they stayed
too long in the combat-area near Heidelberg. The P-51's ran out of petrol and the men decided to
make a crash-landing close to the village of Siegerswoude, in the province of Friesland. Both pilots
fled into the woods and the Germans started searching for them. They shot at every moving object
between the trees. The airmen escaped and first found a shelter in the house of T. Nijboer in Hemrik.
From there they were moved to the small house of Jan Minkes in Hoornsterzwaag, where they were
hidden in the cupboard-beds. Minkes spoke no English, but the men had a great time with him.
Together they sang popular songs as "lili marlene". In this period they were also hidden in the house
of Pier Dijkstra, who had a farm in Hoornsterzwaag (housenr. 11).
As it was expected that the Liberation would come soon, Wilson and Oldfield stayed in Friesland until
the arrival of the Canadian Army. This part of the Netherlands was liberated mid-April 1945.
Thanks to a tip from Terry Jensen about yearbooks I was able to locate two of them from 1941, one
from Hamilton Field and the other from March Airfield. These books contain photos of the men of the
14th Pursuit Group, many of which went on to form the 78th Fighter Group. Click Here
Check out the new link above for a restored P-51 painted to match the 83rd Lt. Spengler's Buzzin
Sad news to report, Ken Fish the owner of the original 78th Fighter Group website has suffered a
brain aneurysm and is in severe condition. Please keep Ken in your thoughts and prayers.
A lot of new gun camera photos have been added from a variety of pilots. Click Here
Added Photos and information on the 66th FW commander Gen. Murray Woodbury (to which the 78th
was assigned) had an old B-17F at Duxford presumably as an "office" when on his tours. It was
known as the "Waldorf Astoria" and was parked near the tower; outer wing panels and most of
vertical tail removed. Click Here
Updated the crash photos with new information supplied by Danny Morris, author of "The Real Aces
and Wingmen. Click Here
Many "Thanks" go out to those who still remember those of the 78th lost in Europe. Read below
about one family whose daughter has adopted the grave site of Lt. Grant Turley.
We are Dennis and Gerda from the Netherlands.
We, Dennis and Gerda have adopted 11 soldiers who have lost their lives in fighting for our freedom
during WWII. We have made a tribute for these heroes, see: www.theyfoughtforfreedom.nl
But we also wanted that our daughter would adopt one of these fallen heroes and today we received
the certificate of adoption for her, and now she is the proud adopter of 1Lt Grant M Turley.
We hope that somebody can help us in finding information and maybe the family, so we can let
them know that somebody is taking care of 1Lt Grant M Turley.
We hope to hear from you.
Sincerely, Dennis, Gerda and Denise
Since this message was posted on Geneolgy.com, Dennis has made contact with the Turley Family.
Please visit his webpage and leave a message for him.
Updated MACR for Col Armand Peterson, new information on a
Army (yes Army) ship named for him. Click Here
Updated MACRs with follow up information for:
Lt. Grant Turley Click Here
Lt. Jack LaGrange Click Here
Added new books - 78th in Books, Magazines and News Link. Click Here
New Pictures 82nd FS Click Here 83rd FS Click Here 84th FS Click Here
Added photos to 82nd, 83rd and 84th Photo pages. Also added photos to the "crashes" page
Thank You to Rick Pihl! Rick's father was S/Sgt. Henry Pihl with the 84th. Rick as provided pictures from his father's
service in Oregon, Washington, Goxhill and Duxford.
84th Photo Page Goxhill Photos Portland Air Base Paine Field, Washington
Added a new page for the 82nd Fighter Squadron which has information taken from the San Diego
Naval Air Station War Diary. North Island
I have created a new section covering the Medical section of the 78th. Based out of Thriplow House, the medical staff
used the house as the base hospital. Medic Cecil Whitehead's collection of photos and Thriplow's local historian,
Shirley Wittering have given this section a great start.
Added some new photos to the 84th Picture Pages
I have moved the Links from the homepage and they now have a home for themselves.
I have started adding pages to all three Squadrons for pilots where no MACR exists or where they were involved in an
accident not covered by MACRs. 22 have been added so far.
And now the rest of the story...
September 1, 1944, 09:15, S.W. of Malines, Belgium.
P-47’s of the 83rd Fighter Squadron spot a train and go down to strafe it. Flight leader 1st Lt. George Boteler leads
the way setting fire to a couple of the cars. Number four man in the flight, 2nd Lt. Kenneth Dunaway is hit by flying
debris after an explosion rocks the train. He pulls off the target with smoke pouring from his engine. Boteler radios
Dunaway to get all the altitude he can. After climbing for about 3 or 4 minutes Dunaway announces his engine was
quitting and he was going to bail out. Boteler watched Dunaway bail out and land in a tree on the side of a road. As
he circled he observed two civilians help him down and lead him away. Lt. Dunaway was sheltered at Burst Belgium
until Liberated. Lt. Boteler finished his tour of duty shortly after and was sent home to the U.S. in September 1944.
March 16, 2011 66 years later……………….
Lt. Boteler’s daughter, Cynthia contacted me after finding my website and inquired about her father. I was able to
give her Lt. Dunaway’s Missing Air Crew Report (MACR 8546) so she could read her father’s witness statement.
As I always do when contacted I checked to see if I could locate any other information about the MACR. I found a
posting on the warbird information exchange from someone who had been looking for Lt. Dunaway and someone had
replied with contact information. I forwarded this information to Cynthia in hopes she might be able to make contact.
Here is her reply:
I thought you would be interested to know that Kenneth Dunaway is alive at 93 and living in Kansas City. I spoke to
him on the phone for about an hour last Thursday. He was pleased to receive the call and was happy to know who the
pilot was who told him to go up and gain altitude. My father was the last person he heard from before he bailed. In
any event, Lt. Dunaway is excited as his daughter reported, “He has told us the story so many times, and always
ended with the fact he never knew who told him to get altitude.”
Ceremony Honoring Colonel Arman Petersen
Information and photos are courtesy of Dennis Notenboom
information panel on the spot where Arman landed and died. The ceremony was on 1 July 2011, exactly 68 years
after the terrible accident. The time of the unveiling of the information panel was almost on the exact time when
Arman died. For this ceremony four family members came over: Jonathan Hales, nephew of Arman; Martha Hales-
Ball, niece of Arman; Bryan Ellsworth. nephew of Arman and his wife Rosie.
13:00 Gathering at the Town Hall of Goedereede Council, arrival of the guests, coffee
Address: Tramlijnweg 2, 3252BR, Goedereede.
13:30 Official welcome by Dennis Notenboom, chairman of the foundation WO2GO
13:35 Welcome on behalf of the municipality of Goedereede by Mayor Mrs. G.J. van de Velde-de Wilde
13:40 The youth of Arman Peterson by Martha Ball
13:50 Arman Peterson in the US Army Air Corps and Forces by Dennis Notenboom
14:00 Short speech on behalf of Leader+ and ISGO by Mrs Anne Marijke Elema who subsidized the
twelve information panels on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee
14:05 Explanation of the continuation of the program by WO2GO
14:07 Walk to the Goedereede Cemetery for the unveiling of the monument
14:15 Arrival at the Goedereede cemetery
14:20 Welcome by WO2GO to all visitors at the location of the monument
14:25 Welcome to the local people by Mayor Mrs. G.J. van de Velde-de Wilde
14:30 Brahms: Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2 and Chopin: Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 by Jan-Pieter Rooij on piano
14:40 Poem ‘High Flight’ by Brian Ellsworth
14:45 Unveiling monument
14:50 Last Post (by Mr Pim Schrijvers)
14:52 One minute silence, followed by the Act of Remembrance
14:53 National anthems (The Netherlands, United States of America)
14:55 Wreath and flowers at the Memorial
Relatives of Arman Peterson
Capt. Dan Davis on behalf of the USAF
Municipality Goedereede and foundation WO2GO, Mrs G.J. van de Velde and Mr. Kees Stoutjesdijk
Warrant Officer Peter Snikkers on behalf of the Dutch Royal Airforce
Sanne and Brent Notenboom on behalf of the Notenboom family
- Capt. Dan Davis (USAF)
- Jon Hales
15:15 ‘Air’ from J.S. Bach by Jan-Pieter Rooij on piano and Henk Braber on trumpet
15:20 Flypass by two AT-6 airplanes, flown by the ‘Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historische Vlucht’
15:30 Departure for the unveiling of the information panel
15:50 Arrival at the crossroad Hofdijkseweg-Klaverseweg
16:00 Unveiling of the information panel by the relatives
16:15 Return to the town hall
17:30 End of the ceremony
Click on these pictures to enlarge
In the Netherlands a small young group of WWII buffs started in July 2008 the foundation WO2GO (Dutch
abbreviation for World War 2 on Goeree-Overflakkee). The formal goal of this foundation is to collect, restore and
display local historical object from the war years 1940-1945 and record and call to mind the sufferings of the people
during these dark days. Goeree-Overflakkee is an island in the southwest part of the Netherlands, about 35 miles
from Rotterdam. The island was well-known to the airmen that fought over the skies of the occupied Netherlans
because of it’s characteristic shape. One of the subjects that needed a lot of research is the airwar over this island,
about 35 aircraft crashed on the island and in the surrounding waters there are a estimated number of 40 crashes.
Many Thanks go to Dennis Notenboom for pulling this all together. Honoring Colonel Petersen has been his own
personal mission for the last couple of years.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge. Video on Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEH9R2ewsoE
Check out the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of “Warbird Digest,” with Buzzin’ Cuzzin on the cover!
(Includes spectacular photos by Scott Slocum and a fascinating interview with Col. Bill Spengler.)
Also featured on the 2012 calendar
Shawn Hamilton is looking for information on his father, F/O. Ralph Hamilton with the 83rd. Flying Debra
Dell HL-J, shot down near Crailsheim and a POW at Dulag Luft West and Stalag 7A Moosburg. Contact
Shawn at: email@example.com
Joni Jackson is looking for information on her grandfather, Lt. Dixie Jackson with the 82nd. Flying Mud
Creeker MX-J. He was KIA July 14, 1943. Contact Joni at firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland Watzl email@example.com has discovered the crash site of Lt. William Townsend and is seeking more
information about Lt. Townsend. Check out Townsend's MACR for a couple of the pictures.
Danny Morris sent in a nice picture of a P-38 named Wet Dream which was taken at Goxhill. Check it out HERE
Pictures of the P-47 restoration and representation of Captain Julius Maxwell's Snafu/War Eagle are now on line to
We start out the new year with some sad news. Lt. William Spengler of Buzzin Cuzzin fame, passed away on
December 28, 2011. Check out the May 2010 entry below for more about him.
Received word from the son of Lt. Joseph A Scheibler of the 82nd that his father passed on March 20, 2012. James
was kind enough to send along some photos which have been posted in the 82nd photos section.
It's been a long summer and being away I was not able to update anything until now. I started by adding six new photos
of Captain Rex Boeckman of the 82nd.
Also a four page write on the 78 fighter group from a May 1964 issue of Air-Britain Digest has been added to the 78th
Added a page for Lt. Donald Bath of the 84th who was killed in a flying accident over England. Bath accident report
|For previous years scroll down
Added a new section to act as a temporary holding place for new photos being added to the site. You
can view them in one place before they are moved to their respective pages. Click Here
First to be placed come from George Peirce, a Corporal in the 82nd serving as an armourer.
Started adding accident reports to the site. Click Here
A new book is published! Aces of the 78th Fighter Group by Thomas Cleaver, Osprey Publishing.
On July 19th, 1944, A visiting B-17, carrying a Pilot, Co-Pilot and two crewmen plus two pilots and and
eight enlisted men from Duxford, buzzed the control tower,and pulled up over the hanger hitting the
neon blinker light atop. Shearing off most of the left wing and the left horizontal stabilizer, it rolled
over, barely missing wrecking the officers barracks and tore up the main barracks of the 83rd Fighter
Squadron and part of the main 82nd Barracks. All those in the bomber and one man in the 83rd
barracks were killed in the crash and resulting explosion of fire. Two others were injured.
Read the official accident report here