McCarthy Crew – Assigned 753rd Squadron – May 6, 1944
|Rank||Name||Serial #||Crew Position||Date||Status||Comments|
|1Lt||William P McCarthy||0795459||Pilot||01-Dec-44||CT||Trsf 70RD Return to ZI - Tour Complete|
|1Lt||George P Koerner||0544758||Co-Pilot||01-Jan-45||CT||Trsf 70RD Return to ZI - Tour Complete|
|1Lt||William J Mercer||0754848||Navigator||01-Jan-45||CT||Trsf 70RD Return to ZI - Tour Complete|
|T/Sgt||Garland G Nixon||39836613||Radio Operator||10-Nov-44||CT||Awarded DFC - Bombardment Missions|
|T/Sgt||Leonard Polakoff||12135033||Flight Engineer||11-Nov-44||CT||Awarded DFC - Bombardment Missions|
|S/Sgt||Gust D Sinigos||36237837||Armorer/Aerial Gunner||11-Nov-44||CT||Awarded DFC - Bombardment Missions|
|S/Sgt||Lowell P Kurtz||12185860||Armorer/Aerial Gunner||11-Nov-44||CT||Awarded DFC - Bombardment Missions|
|S/Sgt||John K McCain||15103974||Armorer/Aerial Gunner||30-Oct-44||POW||Shot down with Curland Crew|
|S/Sgt||George C Appleby||20439393||Aerial Gunner||01-Dec-44||CT||Trsf 70RD Return to ZI - Tour Complete|
William McCarthy and crew were assigned to the 753BS on May 6, 1944. There are no orders in the group records, but squadron records list McCarthy as joining on this date. Records indicate that their navigator (if assigned with them) did not fly with them. One load list shows Lt William Mercer as bombardier, but most available load lists show him as navigator, with the bombardier position being filled by a member of another crew, or blank. At this time in the air war over Europe, it was not uncommon for men who had initially trained as bombardiers to receive rudimentary training in navigation as the need for navigators was greater than that of bombardiers.
The crew began their combat tour on May 20th with a mission to Rheims, France to bomb an airfield. Two more missions followed on the 21st and 23rd when they flew an aircraft named Rhapsody In Junk to targets at Siracourt and Bourges.
On May 30, 1944, McCarthy and most of the crew were making a practice flight on Royal Flush, an AZON aircraft. Replacing several members of the crew on this flight were, Robert W. Morford, George T. Strand, and John R. Butler. Morford was another one of the AZON-trained pilots (Royal Flush was his aircraft) and Strand and Butler were his navigator and bombardier. The rest of the crew belonged to McCarthy. As the aircraft was on the takeoff run, two of the props ran away and McCarthy aborted the takeoff. With only about a third of the runway left to stop, they were unsuccessful and skidded off the end where the aircraft came to rest on its belly. No crew were injured, but the aircraft was a write-off.
Their very next mission was on D-Day, June 6, 1944. They flew the second mission of the day to Villers Bocage, but cloud cover was 10/10 so they came back with all of their bombs. Although not one of the original AZON crews, McCarthy flew two AZON missions in June, three in August and one in September. On all but one of these missions, the crew returned with their bombs. The debriefing form for the August 25th raid on a bridge near Moerdijk, Netherlands shows results of their bombs were “One hit, other three to right [of target].” This was the crew’s 23rd mission.
In mid-September, the 458BG came off combat operations and were assigned cargo duties. The group, along with the 466BG and the 467BG ferried thousands of gallons of gasoline to France to help Patton’s Third Army with their supply issues. McCarthy flew six of what were known as “Truckin’ Missions” between September 18th and 26th. These did not count as credited sorties.
In October, it was back to bombing, and McCarthy flew to Paderborn Koblenz, Monheim and Hamm – all in Germany. The crew completed their 30-mission tour on November 6th with a mission to Minden Canal. At this time most of the crew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for completing 30 combat missions. The one exception being gunner S/Sgt John K. McCain. Whether he volunteered or was assigned to fly with Lt William Curland on October 30, 1944 is unknown.
James Chism, a gunner on Curland’s crew, remembered: “We were going up, flying around 27,000 feet, a bomb run was 30,000 feet, and we were going up that high. We got hit on the No. 2 engine. It blew up and it caught on fire. We were going to leave our formation and about that time, we got a direct hit. That blew us up and we nosed around. The front broke off; the tail broke off.”
Curland and crew were shot down by flak near Hamburg. Four of the crew were killed in action, the remaining crew members were made POWs. McCain, along with two of the other gunners went to Stalag Luft IV where they remained until war’s end.
Records indicate that McCarthy flew the assembly ship on December 4th and 18th 1944.
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|20-May-44||RHEIMS A/D||43||1||42-95272||K||J4||--||UNKNOWN 047||*LDF - THOMPSON on FP|
|21-May-44||SIRACOURT||44||2||41-28733||P||J4||28||RHAPSODY IN JUNK|
|23-May-44||BOURGES||45||3||41-28733||P||J4||29||RHAPSODY IN JUNK|
|30-May-44||Practice Mission||48||ACC||44-40291||O||J4||--||Royal Flush||Takeoff Accident Sta 123|
|06-Jun-44||VILLERS BOCAGE||57||4||44-40066||V||J4||1||S.O.L.||D-DAY - MSN #2|
|08-Jun-44||UNSPECIFIED TARGETS||AZ04||--||44-40277||P||J4||--||MISS USED||ABANDONED - WEATHER|
|15-Jun-44||3 RAILWAY BRIDGES||AZ07||6||42-100431||B||J4||24||BOMB-AH-DEAR|
|24-Jun-44||ST OMER||78||ABT||41-28705||H||J4||--||YE OLDE HELLGATE||ABORT - MSN #2 - GAS LEAK|
|29-Jun-44||ASCHERSLEBEN||82||ABT||41-29300||Y||J3||--||LORELEI||ABORT - GEAR WOULD NOT LOCK|
|13-Jul-44||SAARBRUCKEN||90||ABT||41-29342||S||J3||--||ROUGH RIDERS||ABORT - GAS LEAK #4 ENG|
|17-Jul-44||3 NO BALLS||92||9||41-29288||L||J3||38||BIG-TIME OPERATOR|
|19-Jul-44||KEMPTEN||94||10||42-110163||M||J4||10||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|20-Jul-44||EISENACH||95||11||42-110163||M||J4||11||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|25-Jul-44||ST. LO AREA "B"||98||12||42-110163||M||J4||14||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|28-Jul-44||LEIPHEIM & CREEL A/Fs||SCR||--||42-110163||M||J4||--||TIME'S A WASTIN||BRIEFED AND SCRUBBED|
|31-Jul-44||LUDWIGSHAFEN||99||13||42-110163||M||J4||15||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|01-Aug-44||T.O.s FRANCE||100||14||42-110163||M||J4||16||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|03-Aug-44||2 NO BALLS||102||15||42-110163||M||J4||18||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|04-Aug-44||ACHIET A/F||104||16||44-40264||K||J4||8||KISS ME BABY|
|15-Aug-44||VECHTA||114||18||42-110163||M||J4||19||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|16-Aug-44||MAGDEBURG||115||19||42-110163||M||J4||20||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|17-Aug-44||LE FOULONS RR BRIDGE||AZ11||20||42-110163||M||J4||21||TIME'S A WASTIN||1NO DROP - SORTIE CREDIT|
|18-Aug-44||WOIPPY||116||ABT||42-110163||M||J4||--||TIME'S A WASTIN||ABORT - GAS LEAK - FUEL CAP WARPED|
|24-Aug-44||HANNOVER||117||21||42-110163||M||J4||22||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|25-Aug-44||MOERDIJK, NETHERLANDS||AZ12||22||42-110163||M||J4||23||TIME'S A WASTIN||BYESS, WF 1Lt (Pltg Nav)|
|26-Aug-44||MOERDIJK, NETHERLANDS||AZ13||23||42-110163||M||J4||24||TIME'S A WASTIN||NO DROP - SORTIE CREDIT|
|01-Sep-44||RAVENSTEIN, HOLLAND||AZ14||24||42-100408||D||J4||28||LADY LUCK / THE BEAST|
|23-Sep-44||HORSHAM to ST DIZIER||TR07||--||41-28721||G||J4||T4||DOWNWIND-LEG||WW|
|25-Sep-44||HORSHAM to LILLE||TR08-1||--||42-100311||P||7V||T6||YOKUM BOY||1ST FLIGHT - CARGO|
|25-Sep-44||HORSHAM to LILLE||TR08-2||--||41-28721||G||753||T6||DOWNWIND-LEG||2ND FLIGHT - WW|
|26-Sep-44||HORSHAM to LILLE||TR09||--||41-28719||Q||755||T6||PADDLEFOOT|
|05-Oct-44||PADERBORN||128||25||42-110163||M||J4||25||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|15-Oct-44||MONHEIM||134||27||42-110163||M||J4||29||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|22-Oct-44||HAMM||137||28||42-110163||M||J4||32||TIME'S A WASTIN|
|02-Nov-44||BIELEFELD||140||29||44-40281||Q||J4||14||A DOG'S LIFE|
|04-Dec-44||BEBRA||152||ASSY||41-28697||Z||Z5||A33||SPOTTED APE||ASSEMBLY CREW - 753|
|18-Dec-44||KOBLENZ||REC||ASSY||41-28697||Z||Z5||A37||SPOTTED APE||RECALL DUTCH ISLE|
May 30, 1944
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
LT MCCARTHY in A/C B-24 44-0291 [sic] on 30 May 44 while starting to take off for a practice mission had the propellors on #1 and #2 engines run away.
On the pre-take off run-up the engines checked normal also the props check through normal. The A/C was then taxied onto the R/W and the power was applied for takeoff. When the A/C had gained about 70 MPH #1 prop started running away. Shortly after this #2 prop began to run away. Lt MCCARTHY tried to control toggle switch which had no effect on controlling props. No attempt was made to use the prop feathering mechanism to help stabilize the props. At this time, the A/C was in the air with an airspeed of 120 MPH. Lt MCCARTHY decided to cut the power and land the A/C and try to stop it on the remainder of the R/W. However, having only 1300 feet of R/W left he was unable to bring A/C to a stop on the R/W and ran off the end onto rough ground which tore the landing gear off and completely wrecked the A/C.
The recommendations are that the prop governors of all new A/C be tested for correct settings on the acceptance checks. Also, that the pilots try using feathering mechanism to help control a runaway prop.
JOHN A. HENSLER
1st Lieutenant WILLIAM P. MCCARTHY, AC, 0-795459, 753d Bomb Sq, 458th Bomb Gp (H), AAF Station 123, APO558.
“On Tuesday, 30 May 44, I took off on a training flight. I flew in the right-hand seat of A/C 44-0291 [sic], B-24J, so as to better fly formation in #3 position. A pre-takeoff check showed everything to be normal.
On takeoff, which occurred at about 1210, it started normally until we had achieved about 70 MPH. At this time #1 prop started to run away. I watched for a second to make sure it was not due to run and then applied corrective action on the toggle switch. The prop continued to increase in RPM. At this time, when #1 had run away I checked M.P. and # 1 and #2 were okay. The maximum reading on #1 was about 3350. When prop did not come back I checked to see if I had the right switch.
Then #2 prop started to run away and at the same time when I cut the throttles read about 2900, and my engineer said that #2 M.P. was 53 inches. I was applying decrease RPM on both #1 and #2, when I cut throttles. We were about 10feet in air at 120 and had about 1300 feet of runway and a clear space off the end of the runway.
Just as we left the ground, the roar of the engines from n=being unsynchronized was terrific. I cut the throttles and braked ship going off the end of the runway at about 50. The gear collapsed and the ship went along on its belly a little. I told crew to get out and six of us went out top hatch and 4 through waist windows. An attempt was made to put engine in idle cut-off. Handles wouldn’t work so cut switches and got out myself.”
WILLIAM P. MCCARTHY
1st Lt., AC.
[STATEMENT of ROBERT MORFORD]
On run up all engines and instruments checked OK. Lt McCarthy the pilot was riding right side as we were to fly the #3 position and he would be able to fly the wing better from the right.
I made the take off and as we were going down the runway on the early part of the run, I checked the Manifold Pressure and RPMs and everything looked OK. When we were making 75 MPH I pulled the nose off and about that time I heard a prop out of synchronization. Lt McCarthy and the Engineer were taking care of the instruments and settings. Things seemed OK and I presumed the RPM on one engine might be set a little high and continued the run. At 110 MPH both props began to run wild. We were off the ground at 120 and at that time Lt McCarthy decided to cut the power. We immediately settled on the ground and applied the brakes. We went off the end of the runway at about 50 MPH. The left gear gave way, the nose wheel collapsed and we came to an immediate stop. During this time Lt McCarthy cut the switches and attempted to put the mixture controls in idle cut off. The crew was warned to stand by for a crash. All the crew escaped injury. Four men went out the waist and 6 men out the top hatch. Lt McCarthy came out the top hatch last. The accident occurred at approximately 12:15.
Robert W. Morford
1st Lt., AC,
Click for full documents
B-24JAZ-140-CO 42-110163 J4 M Time’s A Wastin’
McCarthy flew this aircraft on 17 of his 30 combat missions