After training the 100th Bomb Group joined the 8th Air Force in England in May 1943. The unit soon became notorious as the hard-luck bomber outfit of World War II.
It lost it’s first crew to enemy aircraft on a practice mission before it went on operations. In Germany, it lost six crews over Bremen, a whole squadron over Frankfurt. Only three planes arrived at their destination in Africa after the shuttle mission to Regensburg and only one plane came home from Muenster. In March 1944, 15 of its 35 bombers did not return from the bombing of Berlin.
Because of its unusually heavy losses in Europe, the group became known at the Bloody 100th. The group established one of the finest records for aerial bombardment during World War II and its crew are some of the most frequently decorated.
The group’s notoriety and good records are celebrated in such books as Twelve O’Clock High and Flying Fortresses.
Excerpted from a text about the 100th Bomb Group by Harry Crosby.
About the author
Charlotte Krepismann taught high school English and retired early to pursue a writing career. Her stories and articles have been published in 40 magazines and newspapers. For the past four years, she has been Supervisor of Student-Teachers at Stanford University.
The author’s husband, Lt. Col. Julius Krepismann died shortly after she wrote this article, as have several of his buddies. She suggests that “perhaps there really is a place where old fliers meet when they have flown their last flight.”
Originally appeared in The Retired Officer.
Comment on an earlier article
Lee Bergfeld, Steeleville, Illinois, editor of the Corcaroli Courier, asked to reprint an article (“A wife’s view of World War II reunions,” spring 1998, V8N3) as a tribute to their “wives … for their patient understanding of our emotions …” He said the article author, Charlotte Krepismann, “compassionately describes feelings of wives accompanying ex-military husbands to reunions with mates during those most important years of their lives.”
When enemies are friends
More than 56 years ago Lou Lovesky was on a bomb run over Berlin when his B-24, “Terry and the Pirates,” was fatally damaged by flak. Then he collided with another B-24 and both aircraft crashed over Berlin with 13 crew members KIA. Seven were taken prisoner and liberated by General Patton on April 2, 1945, over a year later.
Harry Schuster who was a 16 year-old in a Berlin Anti-Aircraft battery on March 22, 1944 allegedly shot down Lovesky’s B-24. Schuster said the “Terry” came down so close to the Flak Battery, they all had to duck. He then left his post to take pictures of the nearby wreckage.
On a vacation in Florida, Schuster made inquiries about survivors of the “Terry.” A friend of a friend contacted “Barky” Hovespian, former President of the 466th Bomb Group Association, of which Lovesky was a member. The two “enemies” met in June, 2000.
from the Ex-POW Bulletin