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

 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Herbert C Hopkins, Jr 0693679 Pilot 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
F/O Charles H Hamilton T123554 Co-pilot 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
F/O Arthur W Willis, Jr T125204 Navigator 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
2Lt Kent K Kane 0702052 Bombardier 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
S/Sgt Dewey L Belk 34601332 Flight Engineer 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland 
S/Sgt Leo J Yashkas 32802768 Radio Operator 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
S/Sgt Edward J Garcia 19185644 Waist Gunner 12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
Sgt William J Gredicek 33491303 Ball Turret Gunner  12-Jul-44 INT Interned Switzerland
Sgt Patrick H Kavanaugh 36581442 Aerial Gunner 25-Sep-44 RFS Reduced to gr Pvt
S/Sgt Michael-Angelo J Lauro  12120927 Tail Turret Gunner 12-Jul-44 INT Interned 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.


Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
28-May-44 ZEITZ 49 1 42-95096 F Z5 1 BOMBS AWAY  
29-May-44 TUTOW A/F 50 2 42-95096 F Z5 2 BOMBS AWAY  
30-May-44 ZWISCHENAHN 51 3 42-95096 F Z5 3 BOMBS AWAY  
02-Jun-44 STELLA/PLAGE 53 4 41-28682 I Z5 31 UNKNOWN 003  
04-Jun-44 BOURGES A/F 54 5 42-95096 F Z5 4 BOMBS AWAY  
06-Jun-44 COASTAL AREAS 56 6 42-95096 F Z5 5 BOMBS AWAY  
06-Jun-44 PONTAUBAULT 58 ABT 42-95096 F Z5 -- BOMBS AWAY MSN #3 - WEATHER
08-Jun-44 PONTAUBAULT 60 7 42-95096 F Z5 6 BOMBS AWAY  
10-Jun-44 CHATEAUDUN 61 8 42-95096 F Z5 7 BOMBS AWAY  
11-Jun-44 BEAUVAIS 63 9 42-95096 Q Z5 8 BOMBS AWAY MSN#2
12-Jun-44 EVREUX/FAUVILLE  64 10 42-95096 F Z5 9 BOMBS AWAY  
14-Jun-44 DOMLEGER 65 11 42-95096 F Z5 10 BOMBS AWAY  
15-Jun-44 GUYANCOURT 66 12 42-95096 F Z5 11 BOMBS AWAY  
24-Jun-44 CONCHES A/F 77 13 42-95108 M Z5 16 ENVY OF 'EM ALL II  MSN #1 MF/DF
25-Jun-44 ST. OMER 80 14 42-95096 U Z5 19 BOMBS AWAY  
06-Jul-44 KIEL 85 15 42-95096 U Z5 23 BOMBS AWAY  
12-Jul-44 MUNICH 89 16 42-95096 U Z5 25 BOMBS AWAY LAND SWITZERLAND 

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)