Hiner Crew – Assigned 752nd Squadron – December 24, 1944

Standing: James Hiner – P, Steve Greco – WG, Paul Moore – TG, Herman Rotz – CP, Joe Kennedy – E, John Gebhardt – N

Kneeling: John Marlos – RO, Bob McAnulty – WG, Mel McGhee – NG

(Photo: Kirk Hiner & Nicholas Moore)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

RankNameSerial #Crew PositionDateStatusComments
1LtJames S Hiner0718639PilotMay-45FEHPromoted to 1st Lieutenant
2LtHerman H Rotz02062052Co-Pilot24-Dec-44UNKAssigned from 467th BG
2LtJohn C Gebhardt02068993Navigator24-Dec-44UNKAssigned from 467th BG
T/SgtJohn T Marlos35610584Radio OperatorMay-45FEHPromoted to T/Sgt
T/SgtJoseph T Kennedy32979816Flight EngineerMay-45FEHPromoted to T/Sgt
S/SgtSteve B Greco16031358Aerial GunnerMay-45FEHPromoted to S/Sgt
S/SgtRobert M McAnulty7021097Armorer-GunnerMay-45FEHPromoted to S/Sgt
S/SgtMelbern C McGhee39291774Aerial GunnerMay-45FEHPromoted to S/Sgt
S/SgtPaul D Moore36898052Armorer-Gunner23-Apr-45FEHReclassified 611 to 612

James Hiner and most of his crew were assigned to the 458th on December 24, 1944.  Records indicate that flight engineer Joseph T. Kennedy did not arrive at Horsham St. Faith until January 3, 1945.  The crew flew their first combat mission on January 17th to an oil refinery near Harburg, Germany.  According to the formation plans and corroborated by notes kept by gunner Paul Moore (see map below), the crew landed at Woodbridge “without hydraulics.”

On their sixth mission, February 21, 1945, the crew were forced to land at Merville, France, south of Lille for “repairs and refueling”.  It is not known what caused the need for these repairs.

The crew flew a variety of aircraft on their missions, the two most predominant being Princess Pat and The Pied Piper.  This latter aircraft was flown by the crew on seven of their missions.  On this aircraft’s 38th mission on February 22, 1945, the crew of 2Lt Merlin Tebbs had a close call in The Pied Piper.  Flying at the low altitude of 10,000 feet, the group formation came under heavy German anti-aircraft fire.  One of the flak bursts hit the ship of 2Lt Joseph Szarko.  The hit completely blew apart their aircraft in mid-air, one of the wings taking off half of Tebbs’ left rudder and most of the left horizontal stabilizer.  Tebbs made it back to base safely, and enough cannot be said about the hard-working ground crews.  They had this aircraft ready for the next day’s mission.

Towards the end of March and early April in 1945, Hiner and crew flew Princess Pat on six credited missions in a row. On April 9th, they were assigned a different ship and the crew of 1Lt Robert W. Burman drew Princess Pat.  Not pleased with this switch, Hiner sought out a superior officer and pleaded his case.  Evidently Burman was just as adamant about the subject, and the officer told them, “I’m not going to screw up the entire Eighth Air Force just because you two don’t want to switch planes!”  Later that day, Burman (in Princess Pat) was forced to make an emergency landing on the Continent due to a flak hit in the waist area that killed two gunners.

Hiner and crew were able to get in 25 missions prior to war’s end, the last of these to Zweisel on April 20, 1945.  The crew would fly home in a B-24 named The Pied Piper in June 1945.


DateTarget458th MsnPilot MsnSerialRCLSqdnA/C MsnA/C NameComments
14-Feb-45MAGDEBURG181442-100425O7V52THE BIRD
16-Feb-45OSNABRUCK183542-51206S7V35THE PIED PIPER
24-Feb-45BIELEFELD188742-51206S7V40THE PIED PIPER
27-Feb-45HALLE191842-95316H7V83PRINCESS PAT
03-Mar-45NIENBURG195942-95316H7V87PRINCESS PAT
07-Mar-45SOEST1981042-51206S7V48THE PIED PIPER
10-Mar-45ARNSBURG2011142-95316H7V91PRINCESS PAT
14-Mar-45HOLZWICKEDE2031241-29567G7V16MY BUNNIE / BAMBI
23-Mar-45OSNABRUCK2111342-95316H7V95PRINCESS PAT
24-Mar-45KIRKOFF2131442-95316H7V96PRINCESS PAT
04-Apr-45PERLEBERG2171742-95316H7V99PRINCESS PAT
09-Apr-45LECHFELD2221942-50504L7V35UNKNOWN 019
15-Apr-45ROYAN AREA2262242-51206S7V57THE PIED PIPER
16-Apr-45LANDSHUT2272342-51206S7V58THE PIED PIPER
18-Apr-45PASSAU2282442-51206S7V59THE PIED PIPER
20-Apr-45ZWIESEL2292542-51206S7V60THE PIED PIPER

1Lt James S. Hiner – Pilot

Left: Pilot training.  Right: September 2013 interview with local news.

Courtesy: Kirk Hiner & Damian Kussian

S/Sgt Paul D. Moore – Tail Turret Gunner

Paul Moore marked the location of each of his missions on the map above.

Click the map to see details.

Courtesy: Nicholas Moore

B-24H-30-DT 42-51206  7V S  The Pied Piper

The aircraft is shown (late fall 1944?) at left with new artwork and a shiny non-metallic finish. At right (spring 1945?), after numerous trips over the Continent, the pilot’s anti-glare panel has seen better days and most of the artwork has been painted over with the ship’s last three. Hiner and crew flew this aircraft back to the States when the war ended.

June 1945

Members of the Hiner Crew and ground men gather for a photo prior to departing Horsham St Faith for the U.S.A.

Back Row:
James Hiner, John Gebhardt, Herman Rotz
Middle Row (from Left): (#2) John Marlos, (#3) Mel McGhee, (#5) Paul Moore, (#7) Joe Kennedy
Front Row (from Left): (#2) Steve Greco, (#3) Gene Hunt – Camera Technician, (#4) Bob McAnulty

If you can identify any of the others in this photo, please contact me.

Operations Order Number 3

7 June 1945

Under authority contained in Letter ETOUSA, Subject: “Movement Orders, Shipment 10060”, File No. AG 370.5, OPGC, Dated 27 May 1945, the following A/C and personnel assigned thereto will proceed via Valley A/D by best available air route to Bradley Field, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, thence to Camp Miles Standish, Boston, POE.  Personnel will report to the AAF Base Commander at Bradley Field.  AAF personnel are being returned for the purpose of authorized TD for rest and recuperation and for further assignment.  Personnel listed on this order are on Detached Service and are being accounted for on Morning Report of the Air Echelon of the Squadron to which they are asgd.  TDN 212/50425  FSA 1942-45  60-136  P-431-02.

Shipment No. 10060-TZ  T-M-S: B-24H  A/C Serial No. 42-51206  Crew No. 2 of 18

NameGradeArm/SvcASNCrew Spec/JobMOSHome
Hiner, James S1LtAC718639Pilot1092Grand Meadow, MN
Rotz, Herman H2LtAC2062052Co-pilot1092Racine, WI
Gebhardt, John C2LtAC02068993 Navigator1034Brooklyn NY
Hastings, Jim MSgtAC18086575Gunner612Broken Bow, OK
Kennedy, Joseph TT/SgtAC32979816Engineer748Bronx, NY
Marlos, John TT/SgtAC35610584Radio Operator757Campbell, OH
McGhee, Melbern CS/SgtAC39291774Gunner612Wilmington, CA
McAnulty, Robert MS/SgtAC7021097Gunner612Homer City, PA
Greco, Steve B S/SgtAC16031258Gunner612Coloma, MI
Moore, Paul DS/SgtAC36898052Gunner612Flint, MI
Broda, PaulM/SgtAC32432723Crew Chief750Woodside Long Is, NY
Colvard, William RSgtAC34598772Airplane/Engine Mech747Crumpler, NC
Lichtblau, DavidCplAC32625540Radio Operator, AAF756Bronx, NY
Hooper, Robert WSgtAC38182111Radar Mech, Bombdmnt867Thomas, OK
Hunt, Gene WSgtAC36594034Camera Technician941Pontiac, MI
Smith, Charles F, JrM/SgtAC14045595Crew Chief750Columbus, GA
Lubnick, AndrewPfcAC35609673Clerk, General 55Canton, OH
King, Evans LSgtAC33210015Pwr Turret, Gunsight Mech678Christiansburg, VA
Ballard, Hugh PSgtAC32385857Airplane Instrument Mech686Elizabeth NJ
Roush, Charles ASgtAC15324740Airplane/Engine Mech747Marietta, OH