Crew 64 – Assigned 755th Squadron – October 7, 1943

Standing: Harold “Dixie” Howell – CP, Henry Piasecki – B, William Thorp – N, Frank Herzik – P

Kneeling: Harold Craddock – E, Anthony Konarski – G/2E, Roy Downer – G/E, George Kulikowski – TG, Jack Donahue – G, Deral Hartle – RO

(Photo: AFHRA; Identities: Jack Herzik, Eleonora Donahue & LeAnn Wilcox Plutnicki)

Missing In Action March 3, 1944 – MACR 3347

RankNameSerial #Crew PositionDateStatysComments
1LtFrank W Herzik0663519Pilot03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
2LtHarold H Howell0747418Co-pilot03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
2LtWilliam L Thorpe0812008Navigator03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
2LtHenry J Piasecki0751840Bombardier03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
SgtJack F Donahue37499710Radio Operator03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
SgtAnthony L Konarski32012519Top Turret Gunner03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
SgtRoy H Downer18098007Ball Turret Gunner03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
S/SgtHarold C Craddock15338346Aerial Gunner, 2/E03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
S/SgtDeral D Hartle37405503Waist Gunner03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel
S/SgtGeorge T Kulikowski36719296Tail Turret Gunner03-Mar-44DEDPresume lost in English Channel

The Herzik Crew was the first of the 458th to be lost on a combat mission.  The March 3, 1944 mission to Berlin was recalled due to extremely poor weather conditions.  Flying B-24H 41-29298 Ole Satan, this crew simply did not return.  Their loss was the group’s first combat loss and is recorded in Missing Air Crew Report 3347.

Harold McDonald, navigator on Crew 63 (Brudos) related the following: “We were over the middle of the English Channel heading towards the enemy coast when Herzik, maintaining radio silence, signaled that he had trouble and was returning to base.  We waved to them as they left formation and continued on.  When we returned to base we were shocked that Herzik was not back yet.  They must have gone down in the Channel.” 

The entire crew was declared deceased (DED) in 1946.  Their names are on the Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.


MACR 3347
No statement given

Lost on group’s first combat mission

DateTarget458th MsnPilot MsnSerialRCLSqdnA/C MsnA/C NameComments

1Lt Frank W. Herzik

Photos: Jack Herzik

B-24H-10-FO 42-52160 J3  Ski-Nose

Flown to England by Herzik, this aircraft was later transferred to the 392nd BG, flew 27 combat missions and was lost on July 7, 1944.

2Lt James H. Birnie’s (Bombardier) Diary entry for March 3, 1944

“No. 1 – Fri Mar. 3   Started for Berlin via Northern route at 22,000 – temp -65° and contrails terrible – awfully tough forming, three wings aborted over North Sea.  We were off course and caught heavy, accurate flak at Cuxhaven where Bruno [Major Bruno Fieling, Group Ops Officer] had us do a 180° in the stuff and return.  Wasn’t a bit scared – just looked like fireworks and instead of dropping eggs, we brought 52-M47A1 bombs back.  Beeze [Capt Royce B. Glenn, Crew 73 pilot] flew dep. lead to [illegible]Herzik in “Old Satan” [sic] lost – probably ditched and froze as radio got no call from him and he had no flimsy – seas too high for A-S Rescue.”


Courtesy: Greg Birnie

B-24H-10-CF 41-29298 J3 G  Ole Satan

Herzik’s Crew flew this aircraft on March 3, 1944

Photo & Painting: Wendell Cook – original artist for this aircraft

2Lt John Woodworth

“I remember Frank Herzik very well.  He was a ‘class’ guy.  Well educated, well spoken, interesting to talk to for a 19 year old (a few weeks before my 20th birthday).  That day [March 3rd] was the coldest we ever saw.  It was the nastiest weather.  The North Sea looked like a cauldron from 20,000 feet above it.  They had a breakdown of some sort and went into the sea.  They didn’t have a chance of surviving.  We also aborted, but I realized much later that it was Mattson looking for a way to avoid going on.  My log is confusing because I was confused at the time.”


– 2Lt John Woodworth, navigator Crew 75