41-28920, Big Marge

The following was sent to me in an email:

Dear 376th BG historian!

I have some detail about the 376th BG loss over Hungary in 1944 summer. Please excuse me ahead for the grammatical mistakes. (Editor's note: I've tried to correct some of the obvious mistakes, hopefully without changing the content.)

In 1944, July 14th the 376th Bomber Group lost its plane the 41-28920 Serial number B-24-H-15-DT Liberator bomber called "Big Marge". On the attached photograph the 15AF B-24 group numeral identifiers show clearly. The 47th Bomb Wing (triangle) and the 376th BG number black 2, and also show the 376th BG horizontal stripes on the surface of the lower tail. Additional markings visible on the plane's nose the painted black 33 number.

Editor's note: See below for additional comments about this photo.


The Big Marge crew list:

1Lt. James H. White (O-683622, POW) - (Lake City, Arkansas) - (1st Pilot)
1Lt. Walter Chenovet  (O-755641, Atwater, California) POW (2nd  Pilot)
1Lt. Herman Krenman  (O-692478, Savanna, Georgia) POW (Navigator)

(Note: Herman wrote about his experiences in his book A Measure of Life.)

T/Sgt. Jack Lendl  (17154810, Minneapolis, Minnesota) + (On board engineer)
T/Sgt. Charles Fletl  (36444128, Springfield, Illinois) + (Radio controller)
S/Sgt. Raymond Schneider  (15109277, Prinston, Indiana) POW (Gunner)
S/Sgt. Daniel Kunningham  (20922139, Anderson, California) POW (Gunner)
S/Sgt. Kermit Juda  (13033249, Edinburgh, Virginia) POW (Gunner)
S/Sgt. Louis Sedilos (19179119, Los Angeles, California) POW (Gunner)
S/Sgt. Emil Kornet  (35435457, Kentucky) POW (Photographer)

One of the crew member S/Sgt. Joseph O'Hara (32609530, Patterson, New Jersey) +(Gunner) hoped out, but something wrong with his parachute (maybe burned). Local civilians found them, later buried according to his religion.

The survivors was delivered to Bánhida (now it is a part of Tatabánya where I live) to the gendarme's building, then they got into German captivity.

I hope so the staff's survived members got home after the end of war.

The Big Marge was (shot) down by a German fighter plane (Bf-109 G6 - Messerschmitt). The bomber got flamed, seven of the crew members (jump)ed out. This action saw by the nearest plane: S/N: 44-40884 black 29 of the 512th BG.
2Lt. Phil Hoskins and Sgt. Angelo Monolo. the Big Marge was rolling down to filed and exploded 1km NE from Környe Hungary (see the attachment) - about 60 km W from Budapest. MARC No: 6958

The story of this plane exciting. Started from the USA flight to South America then North Africa. Shortly after the 15AF went to South-Italy. This was the first American plane which (flew) to Krim peninsula with American delegation. The attached photo taken is Sevastopol with the first meet of Soviet and US pilots.

Best Regards
--
József Katona
(Magyar Roncskutató Egyesület tagja - Hungarian Wreck Researcher Association's member)

Below is a blow-up of the crash site from the above image.


More comments about the photo of Big Marge.  For the record, Big Marge was reported "lost" on June 11, 1944.  In fact, she had diverted to the Crimea and landed behind Russian lines.  She returned to the 376, with her crew, on June 23.  She was then shot down on July 14.

Dear Edward!

One of my Hungarian friend, who living in Canada sent the picture and the majority of the data for me. His name Gábor Horváth. He collect Russian airplane loss datas, but several American substances were found already to it.


I found an exciting web site for you, where you can find information from the Big Marge: (site not operational) the information wrote in White Russia (Belorussia), so I could not understand the whole story, but they wrote some extra information:
For the national commission established for the protection of the cultural heritage, Crimean Peninsula's driving research fellow, JV Black (И.В.Черныш)  under this period he collected the Krím peninsula's regional studies what Vadim Konstantimnovich found in a Garagulya's museum dump.
The photograph with the inscription: 1944 - Sebastopol Mikhail Avdeev and American pilots. The picture prepared by Evgenis Chaldean photo war correspondent.Liberator was wounded in a battle, according to the author of the article visible the trace of the fast correction the entrance edge of the wing and between the tribe, and maybe the bomb space doors.
The article take the emergency landing onto the end of 1944 Mays, or the beginning of June, when the injured bomber landed to the Poltava airfield. The machine gets into Szevasztopol following the damages correction, the photograph was taken at this time.


Best Regards

József


Mikhail Avdeev, one of the Russians in the photo, became a Hero of the Soviet Union.  You can Google him to find out more about him,