H. Hopkins Crew – Assigned 753rd Squadron – May 11, 1944

Back Row: Leo Yashkas – RO, Will Gredicek – BTG, Dewey Belk – E/RWG, Edward Garcia – LWG, Mick Lauro – TG, Pat Kavanaugh – TTG

Front Row: Kent Kane – B, Arthur Willis – N, Charles Hamilton – CP, Herbert Hopkins – P

(Photo: Margaret Garcia Holt)

Interned in Switzerland July 12, 1944 – MACR 6928

RankNameSerial #Crew PositionDateStatusComments
1LtHerbert C Hopkins, Jr0693679Pilot12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
F/OCharles H HamiltonT123554Co-pilot12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
F/OArthur W Willis, JrT125204Navigator12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
2LtKent K Kane0702052Bombardier12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
S/SgtDewey L Belk34601332Flight Engineer12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
S/SgtLeo J Yashkas32802768Radio Operator12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
S/SgtEdward J Garcia19185644Waist Gunner12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
SgtWilliam J Gredicek33491303Ball Turret Gunner12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland
SgtPatrick H Kavanaugh36581442Aerial Gunner25-Sep-44RFSReduced to gr Pvt
S/SgtMichael-Angelo J Lauro12120927Tail Turret Gunner12-Jul-44INTInterned Switzerland

The Hopkins crew was able to get in 15 missions in their two months with the 754th Squadron.  On their 15th, a mission to Munich, their aircraft, B-24H-25-FO 42-95096 named Bombs Away, apparently suffered excessive gas consumption.  Near Metz, France, the crew was forced to feather #3 engine and turn for Switzerland. It was here that they remained until the war in Europe ended in May 1945.

Sgt Patrick H. Kavanaugh was not on the July 12th mission.  The only subsequent entry in the 458th records is his reduction in rank in September.  His place as top turret gunner was taken by T/Sgt Clarence C. Connelly, an original member of the 754th Squadron from Crew 54 (pilot 1Lt Charles W. “Red” Stilson).  Connelly was one of the survivors on Crew 54 when they were shot down near the base by German intruders, which had followed the 2nd Bombardment Division Liberators home on April 22, 1944.  The ME-410s used the cover of darkness to slip in and wreak havoc among the bombers that letting down over Norfolk.  Three of his fellow crew members were killed.


MACR 6928
A/C believed to be #096 called for heading to Switzerland, stating #3 engine was feathered and gas supply was running low.


DateTarget458th MsnPilot MsnSerialRCLSqdnA/C MsnA/C NameComments
28-May-44ZEITZ49142-95096FZ51BOMBS AWAY
29-May-44TUTOW A/F50242-95096FZ52BOMBS AWAY
02-Jun-44STELLA/PLAGE53441-28682IZ531UNKNOWN 003
04-Jun-44BOURGES A/F54542-95096FZ54BOMBS AWAY
10-Jun-44CHATEAUDUN61842-95096FZ57BOMBS AWAY
11-Jun-44BEAUVAIS63942-95096QZ58BOMBS AWAYMSN#2
14-Jun-44DOMLEGER651142-95096FZ510BOMBS AWAY
15-Jun-44GUYANCOURT661242-95096FZ511BOMBS AWAY
24-Jun-44CONCHES A/F771342-95108MZ516ENVY OF 'EM ALL IIMSN #1 MF/DF
25-Jun-44ST. OMER801442-95096UZ519BOMBS AWAY
06-Jul-44KIEL851542-95096UZ523BOMBS AWAY

B-25H-25-FO 42-95096 Z5 U Bombs Away

On a Horsham hardstand

Flying over Switzerland on July 11, and under Swiss guard

On a Swiss airfield.  Note No. 3 prop is feathered.

(Photos: Rob Martyr)

Swiss Hospitality

Above: Taken just after VE Day at a “Victory Party”

Left: Edward J. Garcia (center) and friends relaxing in a Swiss town.

(Photos: Margaret Garcia Holt)