Hauser Crew – Assigned 755th Squadron – June 3, 1944

Standing: Charles Hauser – P, John Ewing – CP, Curt Clump – N, Len Wainick – B, Jack Harris – E
Kneeling: Morris Spiegler – BTG, Ed Chinchar – RO, Ralph Hitch – TG, George Rhinehart – WG, Robert Appler – WG
(Photo: Curt Clump)

Completed Tour

RankFull NameSerial #Crew PositionDateStatusComments
2LtCharles J Hauser01995895PilotOct-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
2LtJohn R Ewing01996106Co-Pilot23-Oct-44CTTransferred to 752BS
1LtCurtis W Clump0713127NavigatorOct-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
2LtLeonard H Wainick0697789BombardierSep-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
S/SgtEdward W Chinchar12147651Radio OperatorOct-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
T/SgtJack W Harris39274824Flight EngineerOct-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
S/SgtRobert H Appler33563697Flight EngineerSep-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
S/SgtGeorge C Rhinehart34604667Flight EngineerSep-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
S/SgtMorris Spiegler6981216Aerial GunnerOct-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI
S/SgtRalph E Hitch39203916Flight EngineerSep-44CTTour Complete - Return to ZOI

Charles Hauser and crew arrived in theater at the end of May 1944. They came to Horsham St Faith on June 3rd, and were assigned to the 755BS.  Two of the crew members, navigator Curtis Clump and gunner Ralph Hitch, both flew on D-Day, only a few days after their arrival.  Clump flew with Sam Gibson’s crew and Hitch flew with the crew of Dudley McAardle, who had flown their first mission only the day before.

The Hauser Crew’s first mission was on June 12, 1944 to an airfield near Evreux/Fauville, France. Formation plans have them flying an original 755BS ship, Last Card Louie on its 30th trip over the Continent, and according to bombardier Len Wainick’s notes, they carried 24 x 250lb bombs. The crew flew a total of nine missions in June, including one to Berlin on the 21st.

During July, the crew flew a total of 12 missions, flying three days in a row between the 6th and 8th, and later in the month they had another busy week with four missions in a row between July 16-18. During July, and for most of their missions in August and September, the crew flew B-24H-25-DT 42-51179 J3 P named Dusty’s Double Trouble. Out of their 31 missions, the crew flew this aircraft on 16 of them.

The crew were forced to abort only once during their combat tour.  On the August 12 mission to the airfield near Mourmelon, France, they experienced engine trouble and turned back.  The “Aircraft Not Attacking Report” notes, “42-51179  Not pathfinder, No sortie. Returned bomb. Pilot reported #3 engine out, #3 mixture stuck, requested check of amps on #3. Inspection revealed two rubber couplings blown out. Intercooler was broken and buckled. Both mags operate intermittently. The engine requires new mags and new intercooler”.

A combat crew was usually given a break about half-way through their combat tour. Officers and enlisted men would be given a week’s leave at a rest home, or “Flak House”. Hauser’s crew appears to not have been afforded this particular amenity, as their mission list shows, the only break the crew had longer than 7 days between missions came at the end of their tour, between August 25 and September 6.

Most of the crew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in mid-September and a couple of weeks later they were sent to a replacement depot for return to the States.  It appears that co-pilot John Ewing remained with the group after his crew completed their tour.  He was awarded the DFC (for completed combat tour) on October 15, 1944.  He was transferred to the 752BS a few days later and went on Rest Home Leave on November 6, 1944.  It is unknown if he flew further combat missions after his first tour was complete.


DateTarget458th MsnPilot MsnSerialRCLSqdnA/C MsnA/C NameComments
17-Jun-44TOURS68242-52441IJ333LAST CARD LOUIE
18-Jun-44WATTEN70342-51097TJ321UNKNOWN 022MSN#2
19-Jun-44REGNAUVILLE71442-7516KJ316GATORMSN #1
20-Jun-44OSTERMOOR73542-95008RJ315UNKNOWN 035MSN #1 D-CHNL
21-Jun-44BERLIN75642-51110P7V15TOP O' THE MARK
24-Jun-44ST OMER79841-28735VJ328UNKNOWN 005MSN #3
06-Jul-44KIEL851042-52441IJ336LAST CARD LOUIE
08-Jul-44ANIZY, FRANCE871242-95120MJ320HOOKEM COW / BETTY
11-Jul-44MUNICH881342-52441IJ339LAST CARD LOUIE
17-Jul-443 NO BALLS921542-51179PJ317DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE
25-Jul-44ST. LO AREA "B"982042-51179PJ323DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE
01-Aug-44T.O.s FRANCE1002242-51179PJ325DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE
03-Aug-442 NO BALLS1022342-51179PJ327DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE
11-Sep-44MAGDEBURG1263142-95183UJ342BRINEY MARLIN

2Lt Len Wainick – Bombardier

2Lt Leonard H. Wainick related these stories about his crew

On our last practice mission [before leaving the States] – we were doing a night camera bombing job over L.A. from our base in Tucson I got a tap on my shoulder. There was our hero, Sgt Jack Harris, with his parachute on. I asked him where he was going and he said: “I live right down there and I am going home. Good-bye!” I almost believed him. That was the type of HEP guy he was.


The morning of our 24th mission, Sgt Rhinehart, a waist gunner, came over to each member of the crew as we were waiting to climb into our plane. The mission of that day was Brunswick, Germany, a relativity tough target. Rhinehart was from North Carolina and a bit of a preacher type. He shook our hands and said, “Goodbye” – or words to that effect. When asked why he said that, he replied, “I had a dream. We are going to go down today over the target”. Needless to say that there werre 10 very scared kids riding in that airplane. As it was, it did not happen. Must have been the moonshine he made that gave him the vision.


When we went on our 48 hour pass, Jack was a Hollywood smart guy. Sgts run the army and he took care of his Lt. He always insisted that we get a room on the 4th floor of the Strand Palace Hotel…this he got from other Sgts. Had to be in our rooms by 11 PM. The British MP’s would raid the hotel as having a woman other than your wife in a room was a breech of their moral code – war or no war.

You would get a rap on the door and a Brit MP would insist you open up. They would check your room carefully – even under the bed – and leave satisfied you weren’t stashing a gal somewhere. If a female got caught, she had to show them some I.D. to prove why they were in civilian clothes. Many females registered as prostitutes to avoid army service.

Jack would go out in the stairwell. Females were scampering down the steps to avoid the MPs. He would gather quite a few of them, steer them to our room by telling them they were safe as we had been checked by the MPs. After he had his group of females in our room, he had a nose to sniff out the most willing and cheapest. He made our deal and we had a great balance of the evening. We did this 5X as we had 5/48 hour passes in our time in the UK. Only a Los Angeles wolf-type could accomplish this. We always got a good pricing because they were happy not to have been caught. C’est la Guerre.


On August 18th, 1944 we flew a morning mission to bomb an aircraft factory in Metz, which was on the German/French border. It was a squadron effort of 12 planes. It was a beautiful, clear day and we had no problem in locating the target. Right after “Bombs Away” there were four bursts of flak. One took out our left inboard engine and another took out our right inboard engine.

We dropped out of the formation and attempted to return to base alone. The engineer said we were losing too much fuel and could not make it across the channel. We were getting ready to abandon the aircraft when my Navigator, Curt Clump, said we could make one of the fighter strips in Normandy and land.

We found one, I believe it was A-7, and prepared to land. We made a successful landing and taxied to the end of the runway. Instead of military personnel coming out to us, we were met by a very famous group of musicians who were touring France at that time. They were none other than — Spike Jones and His City Slickers. The airbase was one used by a P-47 group.

The engines had to be replaced. Both the P-47 and the B-24 used the same type of aircraft engines. To save the B-24, the engineer and a crew supplied by the P-47 crew chiefs put their engines on our plane. I think they were Pratt-Whitney’s. They had an extra supply plus they had a few planes they used to cannibalize to keep others flying. The engines fit perfectly into the nacelles, and that’s what they did. It took eight days to transfer two P-47 engines to our plane. While repairs were being made we went along with the band who played at various air bases and some support bases and we had a great time with them. My special contact was with Del Courtney, who made famous the song about Hitler’s moustache. After repairs were made, we returned to base and I found that all the cigarettes I had saved in my footlocker were gone. A very close pal from college days was in the 467th. When he heard we did not return he came to get those cigarettes. After the war he married my cousin–but I always made him pay for his theft every time we met for years after. Not every war story was tragic.

A further addendum to our eight day “vacation” in France. We toured around the area one day and found a French farmhouse. It was owned by a French woman. Her name was Mme. Odette Pagney. I still remember her to this day. She gave us some DAY OLD Calvados that put my co-pilot on the ground. She was a member of the French Underground and was about 40 years old. She turned her back to us, took off her blouse, and showed us her back. It was unbelievably scarred. The Gestapo wanted her to reveal names of her associates, and she denied being involved. They whipped her back and rubbed salt water into the wounds to make her talk–and she never did. I can never forget this brave woman with those brutal welts.

The 458th Bomb Group’s assigned primary target for August 18, 1944 was actually an “Aero Works Factory” near Woippy, France. According to the 2nd Bombardment Division Tactical Bombing Report for this date, “One Squadron of the 458th Group attacked an A/F south of Metz as a target of opportunity when the lead and deputy lead collided on the bomb run into the primary. As a result of the collision the formation was scattered and was headed away from the target. It was not possible to make a second run so the A/F south of Metz was attacked.

Len Wainick’s Mission List

Msn#DateTargetTypeBomb Load
112-Jun-44Evereux Fr.Air Field24 x 250
217-Jun-44Tours, Fr.Air Field10 x 500
318-Jun-44Watten, Fr,No Ball4 x 2000
419-Jun-44Regenville, Fr,No Ball52 x 100
520-Jun-44Ostermoor, GerOil Refinery12 x 500
621-Jun-44Berlin, GerRR Station10 x 500
723-Jun-44Coubrohue, FrNo Ball20 x 250
824-Jun-44Paris,FrAir Field12 x 500
924-Jun-44St. Omer, FrNo Ball20 x 250--2nd mission of day
1028-Jun-44Saarbrucken, GerMarshalling Yds20 x 250
1106-Jul-44Kiel, GerAdmin Bldg12 x 500
1207-Jul-44Liepsig, GerOil Refinery10 x 500
1311-Jul-44Munich, GerMarshalling Yds40 x 100
1416-Jul-44Saarbrucken, GerMarshalling Yds12 x 500
1517-Jul-44Remaismil, FrNo Ball24 x 250
1618-Jul-44Caen, FrFront Lines40 x 100 frags
Msn#DateTargetTypeBomb Load
1719-Jul-44Kempten, GerME 109 Factory10 x 500
1821-Jul-44Munich, GerAirplane Factory10 x 500
1924-Jul-44St Lo, FrFront LinesWeather-no drop
2025-Jul-44St Lo, FrFront Lines52 x 100
2131-Jul-44Mannheim, GerChemical Plant24 x 250
2201-Aug-44Rouen, FrRR Junction12 x 250 (my 22nd birthday)
2303-Aug-44Pas de Calais, FrNo Ball24 x 250
2405-Aug-44Brunswick, GerME 109 Factory12 x 500
2508-Aug-44St Quentin, FrAir Field52 x 100
2611-Aug-44Strasbourg, FrMarshalling Yds12 x 500
2718-Aug-44Metz, FrAirplane Factory10 x 500
2826-Aug-44Dulmen, GerOil Depot48 x 100
2905-Sep-44Karlsruhe, GerMarshalling Yds10 x 500
3008-Sep-44Karlsruhe, GerAbort-Salvo Bombs6 x 1000
3111-Sep-44Magdeburg, GerOil Refinery50 x 100

1Lt Curtis W. Clump – Navigator

We joined the group, having come from Ireland, about June 3, 1944. Even though we were too newly arrived to be assigned a mssion for D-Day, I flew the first mission of the day and one of our gunners flew the third.

All of us finished 30-33 missions by the end of October.The pilots and I flew our first missions with another crew. I completed 31. I recall sitting around somewhere near Liverpool awaiting a ship home, and arriving in time for an early Thanksgiving. It was a short but high anxiety period.

There were two missions that I recall as being out of the ordinary. Both involved engine problems after the bomb run. We fell behind the formation and had to go home alone – once from Mourmelon and later from Metz. On the Metz flight we were flying with three engines functioning, running low on fuel, and were unable to make it back across the Channel so we landed at a fighter strip near St. Lo. We were there for about six days while Jack Harris, our engineer, and mechanics from the fighter group replaced our unworking engine with one from another B-24 that had been abandoned earlier. We arrived back in Horsham just in time to stop our being reported as missing. While in France for this short period, Spike Jones and his group were stationed at the base for a USO tour group. He and his men were intrigued with a bomber crew and took us around with him as he entertained at near by bases.

The other occassion was also a lone trip back towards England because of engine failure and low fuel. This time we made it back to an RAF bomber base in SE England where we were given tea while repairs were made. During this two hour or so period, every thing that was not bolted down in the plane was neatly “removed” by the Brits. We returned “home” at dusk.

We flew two planes more than any other – Last Card Louie and Briney Marlin.

Hauser’s crew was part of the gas hauling venture during the late summer of 1944 as I recall. We would take off in the morning, fly to Lille, empty the tanks and return to base for a fresh load. This load was delivered to France early evening and we stayed over night, sleeping in the plane. This pattern was repeated for a week or so. The planes used were not first line and our squadron leader and crew whose plane lost power crashed on take off. These were low altitude flights and we were warned to be certain that our French coast crossing was at a point of liberated territory

because well aimed rifle fire could be fatal with the load of gasoline we were carrying.

[While some of the crew may have flown on a couple of Truckin’ Flights, records do not indicate Hauser flying as pilot in charge of the crew.]

755th Squadron Aircraft

B-24H-15-FO 42-52441 J3-I  Last Card Louie, an original 755BS ship, and 755BS CO Major Don Jamision.

B-24H-25-DT 42-51179 J3-P  Dusty’s Double Trouble, flown by Hauser on 16 of 31 missions

2Lt John R. Ewing – DFC

LtCol Walter Williamson (left) presents 2Lt John Ewing with the Distinguished Flying Cross for the successful completion of a combat tour.