Johnson Crew – Assigned 753rd Squadron – December 19, 1944

Standing: Joseph VanBibber – B, Charles Bosshardt – N, Leo Hecht – CP, Cecil Johnson – P
Kneeling: James Scott – E, George MacArthur – TG, Charles Walker – RO, Leslie Karl – WG, William Gann – WG, Ernest DeVries – NTG


(Photo: Glenn Bosshardt)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

RankNameSerial #Crew PositionsDateStatusComments
1LtCecil G Johnson0829488Pilot25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
2LtLeo W Hecht, Jr0832140Co-Pilot14-Jan-45KIACrash/Battle Damage - DIEHL Crew
1LtCharles J Bosshardt02068577Navigator25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
1LtJoseph M VanBibber0785443Bombardier25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
T/SgtCharles M Walker39416040Radio Operator25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
T/SgtJames H Scott39452486Flight Engineer25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
S/SgtLeslie E Karl32084376Radar Crewman25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
S/SgtErnest G DeVries39927473Armorer-Gunner25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
S/SgtWilliam M Gann36779041Aerial Gunner25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List
S/SgtGeorge J McArthur39927385Armorer-Gunner25-Apr-45FEHMission Load List

Cecil Johnson and crew arrived at Horsham at the end of December 1944 and were assigned to the 753rd Squadron.  They flew their first mission on January 14, 1945.  The crew’s co-pilot, 2Lt Leo Hecht flew with the Diehl Crew on this date and was killed when their aircraft crashed (due to battle damage) in Norwich on the return flight.

The Johnson Crew was transferred to the 755th Squadron in early March 1945 and flew a number of lead missions, most notably the raid of April 7th to the Krummel Munitions Factory, for which they were awarded a “Lead Crew Commendation” for their part in the mission.  An available load list shows that the crew also flew on the Eighth Air Force’s last combat operation of the war to Bad Reichenhall on April 25, 1945.


On May 17, in preparation for return to the United States, the entire crew was transferred back into the 753rd Squadron.  In June, the crew were assigned to fly Howling Banshee back to the U.S.


DateTarget458th MsnPilot MsnSerialRCLSqdnA/C MsnA/C NameComments
03-Feb-45MAGDEBURG177244-40134RJ447UNKNOWN 039
09-Feb-45MAGDEBURG179342-50912DJ49THE TRAVLIN' BAG
14-Feb-45MAGDEBURG181442-50555AJ417BABY SHOES
15-Feb-45MAGDEBURG182542-50912DJ411THE TRAVLIN' BAG
22-Feb-45PEINE-HILDESHEIM186644-40118SJ438WE'LL GET BY
28-Feb-45BIELEFELD192944-40277PJ446MISS USED
10-Mar-45ARNSBURG2011044-10618TJ38UNKNOWN 038
17-Mar-45HANNOVER2051142-50499UJ339COOKIE/OPEN POST
21-Mar-45HESEPE2091344-49743FJ326EASTERN BEAST
24-Mar-45KIRKOFF2131444-48837LJ319UNKNOWN 041
31-Mar-45BRUNSWICK2161544-49743FJ330EASTERN BEAST
04-Apr-45PERLEBERG2171644-48837LJ323UNKNOWN 041L3 - BRECKENRIDGE
06-Apr-45HALLE2191744-48837LJ325UNKNOWN 041
07-Apr-45KRUMMEL2201842-95628KJ327UNKNOWN 038LEAD CREW COMM
19-Apr-45ZWIESELSCR--42-51936IJ3--UNKNOWN 027L2 - SCRUBBED
20-Apr-45ZWIESEL2292044-49902MJ38UNKNOWN 043D1 - ANDERSON
25-Apr-45BAD REICHENHALL2302144-49544EJ310OH MONA!

April 7, 1945 – Lead Crew Commendation

Courtesy: Glenn Bosshardt

Short Snorter

Short Snorter issued on the occasion of the group’s 200th mission on February 26, 1945

Courtesy: Glenn Bosshardt

June 1945

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

Standing: Cecil Johnson, Charles Bosshardt, Ben Drenth, Joseph VanBibber
Kneeling, 2nd from left: William Abrams, 4th from left: William Gann

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

Operations Order Number 21

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 assigned.  TDN 212/50425  FSA 1942-45  60-136  P-431-02.

Shipment No. 10060-UZ  T-M-S: B-24J  A/C Serial No. 44-40273  Crew No. 2 of 18

NameGradeArm/SvcASNCrew Spec/JobMOSHome (v)
Johnson, Cecil G1LtAC0829488Pilot, B-241092Mobile, AL
Drenth, Ben E1LtAC0553533Pilot, B-241092Cedar Falls, IA
Bosshardt, Charles J1LtAC02068577Navigator1034Atlanta, GA
VanBibber, Joseph M1LtAC0785443Bombardier1035Tucson, AZ
Scott, James HT/SgtAC39452486Engineer748Reubens, ID
Walker, Charles MT/SgtAC39416040Radio Operator757San Carlos, CA
Karl, Leslie S/SgtAC32084376Gunner514Bronx, NY
Gann, William NS/SgtAC36779041Gunner612Granite City, IL
McArthur, George JS/SgtAC39927385Gunner612Anthony, ID
DeVries, Ernest GS/SgtAC39927473Gunner612Roberts, MT
Yost, Edward CM/SgtAC13031021Crew Chief750Mauch Chunk, PA
Honneycutt, Robbie BSgtAC18216049Airplane Instrument Mech686Waco, TX
Bardell, Harold JS/SgtAC32466584Radio Mechanic AAF754Tenack, NJ
Metzler, William GM/SgtAC37094319Crew Chief750Alsen, ND
Abrams, Jr, William FT/SgtAC20416048Intelligence NCO631York, AL
Dzambo, Edward JCplAC13171201Clerk-Typist405Mt Pleasant, PA
Lautenschlager, Henry ES/SgtAC36248373Power Turret & Gunsight Mech678Oshkosh, WI
Geary, Timothy JCplAC31271196Cryptographic Technician805Boston, MA
Koval, John GCplAC32857010Special Vehicle Operator932Stillwater, NY
Sparkman, Leo WPfcAC18097775Airplane Armorer911Gilmer, TX