ORIAN T WYNN-1 Informative Memorial Page
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IN THIS SECTION - WYNN-1 Wynn-1 Orian & Crew Wynn-2 Background, Relevant Info Wynn-3 Preserved Documents o 3a Orian o 3b Others Wynn-4 Comments Wynn-5 Resources - Links List ORIAN WYNN Acknowledgements Summary Military Information o Unit, Number ID, Plane, MACR, MOS o Schooling - Military o Death - Date, Location, Burial Site Burial Site Still Alive After Crash or MIA? List of Names linked to Orian - see right o A B C D -E F GHI JKL o M N O P Q R S T U V-Z POW, MIA, Killed sources Contacts with some information in our records Sources, Resources o Letters see Wynn-3 Preserved Documents o Articles Links List now on Wynn-5 Contacts with useful information Zuidema, Albert Dutch Coppedge, Jess Pilot Silberman, Morris or Maurice Originally listed MIA or killed o Ferguson, Jack L tailgun o Petschauer, John Paul engineer, tt gun ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ORIAN THOMAS WYNN START HERE Check these resources first https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 https://www.bundesheer.at/download_archiv/pdfs/missing_in_action.pdf https://www.fieldsofhonor-database.com/index.php/en/american-war-cemetery-lorraine-w/82471-wynn-orian-t-lor-b-13- 62 He and several others from his crew went missing in action early on the day their plane was attacked by Germans and went down, with their true whereabouts and status left hanging and uncertain. Several of his fellow crew members did survive and became POWs in German camps.Currently, I am not sure anyone in our family ever heard Orian’s body might have been found and buried at Lorraine Cemetery in France. I know my grandmother felt he was MIA in action her entire life. Orian’s story deserves to be told, along with many other Army Air Forces persons who fought the Nazis or one of their collaborators and were killed or made MIA* by them. *caused to be put in a long-term or permanent missing in action (“MIA”) status ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, the credit must be given to my great grandmother Anallene Vogel-Johnson-Wynn, grandmother Thelma Lucille Wynn-Carson, and mother Sherald Kay Carson-Butler for not only keeping the records in such good condition over many years, but just simply holding onto them. God bless them for that. I would also like to thank Budesheer for the online Commemorative Memorial and critical research on this subject as it relates to Orian’s time fighting Nazis over Austria, as well as his disappearance and likely death there. Much of this info came from the website Airforce Together We Werved; on Sept 15, 2022 I became a member and began adding our own family document information to Orian’s page there. The Death Location-Großraming, Austria was first brought to my attention at the website Fields of Honor database An indiviudal or individuals from the 419th Bomb Group project were unqestioningly responsive and helpful, giving some good advice and offering critical insights. (https://449th.com/) *birth-Vogel-mother Mary Elizabeth Vogel, father George Vogel, brother Clarence, of Gallup at time; John Allen and Allene Johnson-adopted her as 3 year old toddler,she lost contact with birth parents when adopted); Wynn-husband Ray Wynn. Patches clips from (or awareness raised about them at): https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 Above: patches for 419th Bomb Squadron and 301st Bomb Group and 15th air Force (thanks to Faces Beyond the Graves dot com) MILITARY INFORMATION Unit, Number ID, Plane, MACR, MOS, DOB 15th Air Force (patch on top right of this page - obvious with “15”) 301st Bomber Group, Heavy (patch seen on top right of this page - second from left-only bird there) 419th Bomber Squadron-Service (patch top of page - shield) Plane: B-17G # 42-31639, not named, mentioned in Stuart/Stewart testimony; Flying Fortress Heavy=four engines assigned to the 419th Bomb Squadron. MACR: 3707 Plane Data MOS: AAF MOS 1035-Bombardier Number assignment was O-677000, Air Corps or Air Forces DOB: Sept 20, 1916 Wynn enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a private on April 14, 1942 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to his NARA enlistment form. (Another source indicates he entered military service from Colorado.) Schooling - Military Training Graduated 43-6 Big Springs Texas April 22, 1943 Also went to Washington and Kansas. See photo right. Circled photo is in his graduated class book see more in Wynn-3 Comments/Preserved Docs Letter showing approval for Bombardier School: August 25, 1942, from Headquartes, Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Center, Randolph Field, TX, Orian was currently an Aviation Cadet at the time of this letter, signed by H.R. Harmon, Major General, US Army, Commanding School locations Kansas Ellington Field, Texas; so far see letters showing seems to be October 1942 to January 1943, still working on it Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas seems to be August-September 1942 Big Springs, Texas 1943 Flight D, Class 43-6 Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington State 399th Bomb Squadron, Swah Prov. Group Stop-Overs or Temporary Hill Field, Utah Herrington, Kansas Death Location, Burial Site Orian T Wynn is buried at Plot B Row 13 Grave 62, Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location. https://www.abmc.gov/decedent-search/wynn%3Dorian https://www.abmc.gov/print/certificate/504292 Death Location-Großraming, Austria (from Fields of Honor database, Bundesheer.at)) Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart (from Fields of Honor database) *Großraming, Austria is about 40 minutes away from the city of Steyr in modern transportation/road terms. Death site also listed elsewhere as Steyr, Steyr Stadt, Upper Austria (Oberösterreich), Austria. Nazis had referred to an upper and lower Danube in other contexts. Platform After this his training in the US, he was assigned to a bomber unit located in Italy. According to at least one source, he flew at least 25 missions. The information below from Faces beyond the Graves corresponds with the letters from Orian to his family. He is known to have targeted Regensburg and Steyr via information in a letter from Morris Silberman whom he called “Mo” in his letters. One telegram from his mother to Orian shows Algiers in Africa. Faces beyond the graves - North Africa and Italy 301st Bomb Group [left is patch] Assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in November 1943, moved to Italy in December, and afterward directed most of its attacks against European Theatre of World War II strategic targets such as oil centers, communications, and industrial areas. Received another DUC for a mission to Germany on February 25, 1944 when, in spite of vicious encounters with enemy fighters, the group bombed aircraft production centers at Regensburg. http://www.facesbeyondthegraves.com/301st%20bomber%20group.html#:~:text=The%20301st%20Bombardment%2 0Group%20was%20a%20highly%20decorated,of%20the%208th%20AF%2C%20Bomber%20Command%2C%20in%20E ngland. [extracted from Internet on Sept 15, 2022, but site has been visited several times before that] Input on What Happened to Orian Wynn Air Force dot together We Served dot com https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 Excerpt On April 2, 1944, he flew as part of a crew assigned to bomb facilities located at Steyr, Austria. As the aircraft turned from the IP, it was attacked by several enemy fighters. Observer statements vary. One observer says a BF-109's 20 mm shells hit engine #1, disabling it. The aircraft rolled over, lost the wing, and plunged toward the ground. One of the crew made the statement that a rocket blew the wing off, and several of the crew were wounded. As the aircraft rolled, the crewmen that were able to do so bailed out. Seven were captured; three were killed. Lt Wynn was killed and buried somewhere in Austria. After the war, he was recovered and moved to the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France where he lies in Plot B, Row 13, Grave 62. https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 [found and extracted from Internet on Sept 7 2022] Crew The following is from: https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 Missing Air Crew Report 3707 was issued, but is not available in 301st Bomb Group records. Another source, plus witness statements, was found. Mission loading lists show the crew as: 1 Lt Albert S. Zuidema p 2 Lt Walter E. Luft c-p 2 Lt Edward O. Bailey, Jr. nav 2 Lt Orian T. Wynn bomb TSgt John P. Petschauer eng/tt gun SSgt Albert N. Blackman r/o SSgt Bernard R. Masonheimer btg Sgt Walter A. Miller wg Sgt Jack L. Ferguson tail gun Sgt William Jones photo https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 [found and extracted from Internet on Sept 7, 2022] SUMMARY Orian was my great-uncle whose B-17 Army Air Force aircraft was hit by Germans in World War 2 during critical targeting raids. They encountered a lot of German planes. He was listed missing in action (MIA) on April 2, 1944. He had entered Italy in January 1944. Conflicting sources have suggested the nose, cockpit or right wing was hit. His plane and squadron were targeting German ball bearing and aircraft production sites in Austria and Germany from Italy including Steyr and Regensburg. He was listed as having been missing in action in southern Austria, but upon closer inspection, Steyr is in the more northern tier of Austria. Later material suggests another location in Austria. Personal Information Birth 20 Sept 1916; age 27 or 28 upon time of aircraft crash; likely was living and working with Ute youth in Ignacio, Colorado at time of joining military, but was associated more with Farmington, New Mexico where he was born and graduated from high school. He apparently had been a principal of a (likely tiny rural) school in Flora Vista., New Mexico before that. There are a few letters and telegrams in family possession from that time period. They include those from Orian to his mother and sister Louise; letters as comments from returning soldiers both from the aircraft and from his squadron; letters from his girlfriend Normal Campbell; from other family members, friends, and family of the downed, POW and MIA soldiers. Telegrams from the government over Orian to his mother. Photos Right: Orian uncertain age; Orian in center, Thelma his sister on right, uncertain female on left, likely taken near bluffs in Farmington, New Mexico. A male’s shadow can be seen taking the photo of the three. STILL ALIVE AFTER CRASH OR MIA? Update: See https://www.bundesheer.at/download_archiv/pdfs/missing_in_action.pdf For years, Orian’s situation in reference to the attacked aircraft and subsequent crash has been a mystery; however, on August 24, 2022 an article was found on a almost centurion veteran who was on Orian’s plane that suggests everyone survived except the flight engineer. It is important to question whether the information was misquoted, whether it was due to a faulty memory as senility or some other issue, or if something was found out later and not reported to the Air Force, or did not get updated in their files. Most sources say he was missing in action; an earlier letter from Zuidema indicated he felt Orian was dead along with two others. However, this was article with its deviation from earlier information (on August 24, 2022)- see red bold below: Washington Post 2017/08/01 Albert Zuidema, wartime pilot who survived POW camp, dies at 98. By Bart Barnes https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/albert-zuidema-wartime-pilot- who-survived-pow-camp-dies-at-98/2017/08/01/e6cff282-7638-11e7-8839- ec48ec4cae25_story.html Excerpt: Mr. Zuidema was the pilot of a B-17 Army Air Forces aircraft that had its right wing shot off by a German fighter plane over Steyr, Austria, in April 1944. With the exception of the flight engineer, all of the crew members survived the crash. Mr. Zuidema lost consciousness and was either pulled from the wreckage of the plane by civilians or thrown clear of the plane before it crashed. He was relieved when German soldiers arrived to take him prisoner, his son said, because the area had been heavily bombed and there had been reports of farmers bayoneting Allied airmen with pitchforks. He was taken to a German hospital, which was subsequently bombed, causing an infection of his already-injured left leg, his son said. Without anesthesia, the leg was amputated above the knee, and he was sent to a prisoner of war camp, where he remained until Germany surrendered in May 1945. Back in the United States, he underwent further leg surgery and was fitted with a prosthetic leg. In 1946 he accepted a job with what then was the Veterans Administration. He served in Springfield, Mass., Boston and Columbus, Ohio, before being posted to the Washington area in 1965. Albert Sidney Zuidema was born in Sutton, Mass., on Sept. 18, 1918, and was the son of immigrant dairy farmers from the Netherlands. As an Army Air Forces pilot during World War II he was stationed in North Africa and then in Italy. He was on his 38th mission when he was shot down. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/albert-zuidema-wartime-pilot-who-survived-pow-camp-dies-at- 98/2017/08/01/e6cff282-7638-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html [extracted from Internet on Aug. 24, 2022] POW List Sources American Air Museum https://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/5754 In discussing [Orian’s downed plane] Excerpt: 42-31639B-17 FLYING FORTRESS Delivered Denver 30/11/43; Paine 2/12/43; Gt Falls 5/12/43; Kearney 23/12/43; Atlanta 30/12/43; Morrison 6/1/44; Assigned 419BS/301BG Cerignola 16/1/44; Lucera 1/2/44; Missing in Action {21m} Steyr, Aus. 2/4/44 with Albert Zuidema, Ed Bailey, Walter Luft, Albt Backman, Bill Jones, Bernie Masonheimer, Walt Miller (7 Prisoner of War); Orlan Wynn, John Petschauer, Jack Ferguson (3 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, crashed Grossening, Aus; Missing Air Crew Report 3707. https://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/5754 [extracted 2022/08/26 from Internet] NAMES ALPHA ORDER Names in red are from Orian’s crashed plane or were significant in some way *A* Van Atta, Laurence S/Sgt also listed under V’s Correspondent: Clare Van Atta, address R.I., Billings, Montana Her son returned by plane in June after his missions in poor health from asthma and heart condition, disqualified for flying, went on to Santa Monica then San Antonio for clerical school. Early on, had her son gather up contact names of boys sent in his crew, later in writing, mentions: Coppedge, Jess: knows he is a POW in Romania and was released, doesn't know if he returned to States yet Sharpe, Bill - letter from Mrs. Sharpe that Bill was injured, back in states, will be OK in short time Kachmarsky - in Sates-Nashville, TN Downes - Laredo, TX 1944/10/19 *B* Backman, Albert POW Correspondence -see right o Backman, Edith (Mrs.) (by Mail); Address: 823 G St.. Centralia, WA o Date(s): 1944/08/29 1944/10/25. sent to Anallene Wynn. Letter itself shows 1944/10/23: Mentions a postcard directly from Albert postmarked April 17. 1944 which said he is "a prisoner of war in Germany and is safe and well." Also, someone from "here" - her area - said "he had been in the same prison camps with our boy [Albert] and had last seen him in August. Was able to send a parcel and letter to Albert, having received official instructions from the War Department. Bailey Jr, Ed (Navigator) Stalag-Luft 3 POW Correspondence o Bailey, Peggy (Mrs. E. O. Bailey, Jr. ) 1669 Peach Ave, Memphis, TN o Dates: 1944/10/17 Correspondent material: son moved to Stalag-Luft 3, only 85 miles from Berlin. 1944/10/17 the camp where her son was held also had the fliers of the R.A.F as captives, as well. Peggy had two younger sons she felt would probably fight in the Pacific, "a mighty bad lot." Second hand information that an eyewitness in another plane saw Orian's plane going down; before that 7 parachutes open [later Zuidema said only 3 bailed using parachutes] Bilderbert Correspondence Date: 1944/05/10 Condolences, assurance *C* Calloway, WR Tacoma Colorado 1944/07/03 Seems to be a friend of the family writing condolences after Orian's disappearance; sounds like her own son Billy was also a POW of Germans (likely in another part of the military). Campbell, Norma a girlfriend of Orian's met I believe in Washington during training; Norma sent several letters to this mother and called her "Mom Wynn" after Orian's disappearance; referred to herself as a "Jersey girl" from Jersey City with several siblings. She was an Army nurse with a Lt. designation on her return addresses. One address for her was: 103rd Evac. Hosp. APO 436 % P.M. NY Correspondence Dates: Various Coppedge, Jess Lt. (J.W.) See letter direectly right Pilot on another plane than Orian’s, downed a few days later Wife Velma Lucera-Foggia Italy Orian was his best man and/or witness, possible quickie paper-certificate marriage (check) POW - he wrote notes during his experience His plane was shot down over Romania (or Rumania) a few days after Orian's o he had none of the old crew (that might have flown with Orian on the other downed plane) with him o indicated Orian was flying squadron lead that day he went down Correspondence and Telegrams o Dates 1944/10/18 letter Oct 18 correspondence: typewritten suggests hope over Orian, discusses how things about MIA people can get confused, mentions Velma (wife) Correspondent: Velma Coppedge, address: 2118 E. 6th, Spokane, WA 1944/10/9 letter Oct 9 correspondence: address Box 391 Ortin, WA 1944/07/06 letter from Velma Correspondence Material: 1944/07/06 Orian was our best man when Jess and I got married so he seems a little special to me. 1944/05/11 telegram She received a telegram May 11th thru the International Red Cross saying Jess was a Rumanian prisoner. *D-E* *F* Ferguson, Jack L. (Sgt) MIA Was on bomber with Orian, MIA was one of several listed missing in action Correspondent: Florence I (sp?) Ferguson, Custer City, OKla R#2, Bx 41; had heard word from (likely Mrs.) Petschauer. https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=101102 Flynt, Allen T/Sgt Army This was a close friend of Orian's family who was like a second son who was also in the Army, most of his letters came from England when he wrote to Anallene. He doesn't seem to have insights into Orian's situation other than from what he hears from the other family members, but might provide insights into some of the family ties and situation, his position in the Army and such. *J* Jones, William (Bill) Jorgun (sp?), Mora Correspondence Date: 1944/05/09 to Anallene Wynn *L* Luft, Walter copilot Walter E Luft Born: 1 April 1917 Died: 4 February 1976 Military Service Branch: ARMY Rank: FIRST LIEUTENANT Conflict: WORLD WAR II Transcription: 1st LT Army Air Forces World War II https://billiongraves.com/grave/Walter-E-Luft/32129093 *M* Masonheimer Bernard R Staff Sgt (Bernie, B.R., or “Buddy”) Position on plane/mission: btg POW Stalag 17 (18 months) fall turret gunner, gunnery training in Mission, TX died 14 Jan 2009 (aged 92) Correspondence: 1944/09/20-mother, Address 711-27 Ave, Brandenton, FL- https://www.ancientfaces.com/person/bernard-r-masonheimer-birth-1916-death-2009/42685440 https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63281061/bernard-rider-masonheimer https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ROHSBV&type=Person&ID=209490 Miller, Walter A. (Sgt) POW was on same bomber with Orian, POW by Germans perhaps released May 25 Correspondent: Mrs. Emma Miller, 2834 Chicago Ave South, Apt 202, Minneapolis, Minnesota, (Formerly 3300 Clinton Ave S.) Another Walter A miller, perhaps as found: Edit entry Walter A Miller copilot Killed in Action (KIA) near Zwickau in B-17 'Smokey Liz II' #4337542 perhaps Mar 19 1945 *P* Petschauer, John Paul Technical Sergeant Service number assignment was 6731215. MIA Engineer MIA Correspondent: Mrs. Philip [one l in Philip] Petschauer, 340 N. Central Ave, Chicago, IL Listed as having lived in Cook County, Illinois Service Number: 6731215 https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=324378 https://www.abmc.gov/decedent-search/petschauer%3Djohn https://www.bundesheer.at/download_archiv/pdfs/missing_in_action.pdf https://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/missing-in-action/petschauer-john-mia-13771.cfm https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56374809/john-p-petschauer Honor States lists Petschauer as MIA, Declared Dead while missing Army Air Corps Museum lists Petschauer as: “highly recoverable” *S* Silberman, Morris or Maurice (Lt.) Correspondence Dates: 1944/06/24 Correspondence Material: 1944/06/24 to Velma Coppedge Jones Silberman, Morris Lt. this one has more specific information; he left Italy June 21, 1944; when he returned to USA and wrote to Anallene, he was in Oklahoma instructing navigations Correspondence date: 1944/08/30 no stamp free officers mail\ Correspondence: 1944/08/30 Correspondence material: encourages not losing hope on Orian; said Orian had participated in 3 of the worst missions of our squadron's history before going on his last. While he was on these raids I an my pilot Jess Coppedge were at Capri (maybe in Italy) for a rest (also refers to it as a rest camp). The raids: Regensburg, Steyr, Regensburg; thinks Steyr was one of the first raids for Orian after his rest at Capri. After those raids, crew was still intact at that point though others had gone missing Orian and Douglas Whitaker then took break for a week. Comments Silberman has about the rest periods: "Sweating it out for other team members" and "We all shared each other's glory and sorrow, jokes and miseries." "All of us dreaded going over the Alps into southern Austria, but that was our job. Orian was riding with a boy by the name of Albert S. Zuidema who was a very good pilot and our new operations officer. Silberman was lead in one squadron and Orion was lead in another squadron with Dutch (p. 3 of letter). "We encountered no trouble from the enemy until we hit the target area where we ran into a large number of fighters. It was one of the first attacks by the enemy that Orian's ship was hit and apparently seen to go down out of control." Orian was shot down over souhern Austria on the other side of the Alps, in German territory. " Other comments: had talked with Orian previously about a pack trip to the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico Did not want to lose faith in Orian showing up; he felt Orian was organized in the ship, would have bailed at slightest ship provocation; that Orian would have been good at hill and mountain country, and would have found a way to friendly territory, like the Yugoslavia underground. He had thought originally the pilot Zuidema was killed, but when he learned Zuidema was a POW, he assumed the pilot must have used a parachute. However, later we learn that Zuidema actually miraculously was still alive inside the plane after it crashed to the ground. Silberman links might or might not be connected to this partuclar SIlberman https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/hackensack-nj/morris-silberman-10356134 Stuart or Stewart, John E. S/Sgt John E. Stuart: Excerpt: I was flying tail gunner of the plane in 1-2 position of the High Flight Squadron. I saw the reserve plane of the second element A/C # 42-31639 move into the 2-1 position. Shortly thereafter the plane was attacked by an M E 109, which came in from about ten o'clock. It was hit near #1 engine in left wing and as it slid away, the B-17 turned on its back. 1 saw no chutes come from the plane, then lost sight of it. https://www.fieldsofhonor-database.com/index.php/en/american-war-cemetery-lorraine-w/82471-wynn- orian-t-lor-b-13-62 [extracted from Internet on Aug. 25, 2022] *T* Turner, Harold Correspondence Date: 1944/05/03 Correspondence Material: Mostly Condolences, support, reassurance Seems like friend or acquaintance of Anallene, the mother. His letter Sent from Navy arena. *V* Van Atta, Laurence S/Sgt also listed under A’s *W* Whitaker, Douglas “Doug” Mentioned in Morris Silberman's Aug. 30. 1944 letter and in several of Orian’s letters to family Wollbrinck, George A. Note the letter is showing two spellings for Wollbrink in the discussion: Wollbrinck with a ck and Wollbrink with no c. She is responding as if Kevin asked for George A. Wollbrink without a c. A woman was found with the last name of Mrs. Margaret Wollbrinck at 1959 University in 1944 but not after 1944. No George Wollbrinck, either. Not sure at this point why someone was looking into this individual, but it looks like maybe Marine or Louise Wynn had maybe a son named Kevin Wynn Thompson I think it was Marine who was looking into him because of some link to Orian from 1944. A letter in response to Kevin's inquiry came frm Mrs. Dorothy Glasser head of the Texas and Local History Department in Houston at 500 McKinney Ave, Houston, TX 77002. Wynn, Orian Correspondence Date: 1944/April 1 - the day before he went missing; he sent much of his circle of family gifts. War Department, The Adjutant General's Office, Washington, DC Correspondence Dates: 1944/06/17; 11944/04/21 Correspondence material: 1944/06/17-mentions Coppedge as POW; says Douglas O. Whitaker and Carleton J. Downes and Silberman, Maruice (aka Morris) not reported as casualties *Z* Zuidema, Albert (“Dutch”) (Pilot on Orian's plane) Article Right: (Click to enlarge) Letter of Albert Zuidema’s o Farmington Times Hustler circa 1945. Farmington, New Mexico earlier newspaper. o Printed via Orian’s mother’s adoption-based father, “Grandpa” Johnson o Explained what happened to Orian, the crew and himself. o Letter gives these names: Luft-Co-Pilot L: Zuidema wrote he had seen that he survived crash, sitting on ground near wreck with head between his hands Bailey: Navigator, apparently fallen from plane without a chute, had fractured vertebrae o Zuidema survived miraculously still inside plane that was bombed by Germans, it turned upside down and was swirling, lost control of gauges, crashed to snowy ground in southern Austria.[other sources indicate more northern Austria] Correspondence o Address: 53 Union St. Athol, Massachusettes o Marion (wife) wrote at first; then Dutch o Dates: 1945/03/28 see letters directly rightsee more in 3b Dutch said there were not 7 chutes bailing from Orian's plane - knows of three who bailed out maybe one more in doubt. About Orian's uniform: in general in this crash scenario, uniforms were confiscated by the Germans when Americans captured. "They gave it to an American pilot being trasnferred from the hospital in Wela (or Wila), Austria to a prison camp." Orian had printed his name inside the shirt and trousers (greens). "It was in no way damaged, no shell holes or burned places!" Pilot came to long enough to see and feel plane break up. Parts of nose broke ff and ammunition belts fell out. Navigator confirmed this. Pilot's notes are confusing here (on page 2 of letter): Both Orian and Bailey (Navigator) were in the nose. "I am certain he went out also." [italics added] I'm afraid he wasn't as lucky as Bailey because he landed on snow on his back - fractured verterbrae - but will be OK. [Note there is a jumbling of the two individuals in the sentence but it appears Bailey is the one with the injured back and verterbrae, not Orian; Zuidema might mean that Orian fell out of the plane] 1944/10/16 1944/08/20 Wife correspondence on 1944/08/20-had learned her pilot husband Dutch and the navigator Bailey were POWs, both wounded, she mentions hearing from someone who saw what happened. SCHOOLING LIST and letter dates, and pre-assignment locations and dates For now, it’s based on addresses he handwrites, and secondly letterheads when addresses are not readily available, but he could have been using old letterheads from a previous school location at times, so this will have to be sorted out later Here are the school locations: Ellington Field, Texas; so far see letters showing seems to be October 1942 to January 1943, still working on it Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas seems to be August-September 1942 Big Springs, Texas 1943 Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington state Stop-Overs Hill Field Utah Oct 10 1943 A stop-over/hold location before overseas assignment being shipped overseas: Herrington, Kansas 11/1/1943 postmark date on envelope, probably next stop is Virginia before being sent by boat to North Africa. Looks like heis crew left from Virginia to North Africa Here are some dates on letters 1943 Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington State he didn’t always put dates for Walla Walla Sqdn X, 88th Bomb Grp Thursday no other date orig letterhead “United States Army” on top with e pluribus unum insignia bird on top 399th Bomb Squadron, Swah Prov. Group Thursday no date gold embossed letterhead wings with “Walla Walla Army Air Base Washington” at top Swah Prov Group 9-8-1943 72nd Airdrome Squadron Big Springs, Texas 2-1-1943 2-12-1943 2-28-1943 3-15-1943 4-11-1943 4-16-1943 postmark date December 1943 Post-Schooling 12-1-1943 Back on Dry Land - Likely North Africa. APO 12516 PM NY NY 6 cents Air Mail stamp, V Mail, passed by army examiner stamp on front envelope 1942 Kelly Field letterhead Oct 2 1942 sept 23 1942 Sept 17 1942 Ellington Field, Texas 1-12-1942 copy Aviation Cadets AArmy Air Forces [Advanced Flying School portion crossed out] copy - older - unkjnown copier presumable Thelma Carson Squadron 13, Flight C, AAFPS, ASN 18120007 Oct 15 1942 Army Air Forces Pre-FlightSchool letterhead 12-11-1942 1943 Herrington, Kansas Nov 1, 1943 “Sunday evening” Swah Prov Grp got there a week previously, per letter To Grandpa, in this letter, he came thru Denver from Walla Walla and is awaiting orders on where his overseas assignment will be.he talks about colored enlisted people doing his bed and such, which shows signs of the era’s discriminatory practices. He refers to himself as an officer in that context. His envelope address says Lieutenant, ASN 0-6777000. The letter is sent to Mr. J. ALlen Johnson, Broomfield, Colorado, and free postage. UPDATES: 2022/09/14 301st Bomb Grp assignment area in Nov-Dec 1943 added; ; 2022/09/07; 2022/08/31; 2022/08/27-started adding scanned documents and photos; 2022/08/26; 2022/08/25;2022/08/24--PAGE STARTED-Orian T. Wynn
CREW List of Names Same attacked/crashed plane POW’s o Zuidema, Albert aka “Dutch” Died Jul 3 2017 in Falls Church, VA at age 98 Pilot Input Albert’s letters o 1 in newspaper Wife’s letter(s) Article/obituary o Miller, Walter A. (Walt) wg o Backman, Albert o Luft, Walter E. copilot mentioned in Zuidema Note: Lt Walter E. Luft copilot last name is same as Nazi Luft Prison System -don’t confuse the two, but double-check last name of copilot o Bailey, Ed Navigator moved to POW camp Stalag-Luft 3 (85 miles from Berlin) o Masonheimer, Bernard R btg, fall turret gunner died Jan 14 2009 at age 92 o Jones, Bill Known POW Camps o Stalag-Luft 3 (Bailey) o (Masonheimer) Stalag 17 double check this Luft 3 Prison no 106 2b-2 p. 2 of Vera Masonheimer letter Sept 20, 1944)
In squadron, plane or day Input on Orian or situation o Coppedge, Jess (input) o Silberman, Morris or Maurice (input) Others likely in squadron Sharpe, Bill Kachmarsky Downes Van Atta, Laurence S/Sgt Other Stuart, John E. o High Flight Squadron o Fellow targeter in other squadron that day - witness o Fields of Honor database - Orian In Zuidema’s letter: mentions hospital in Wels, Austria