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the 330th Bomb Group©

The 330th BG now has a Blog site where you can post any questions or comments as they relate to this remarkable group of men or their amazing B-29 Superfortress: 330th Blog


While you are navigating through this site, please assist us if you recoginize what some of these gentleman did in the 330th. If you come across a name and can identifythem to a Crew or MOS please email us: the330thbg(@)gmail.com

If a face jumps out at you and jars a memory or two, we would like to hear about that as well.

Finally, let us know of any disprepancies or innacuracies you may come across.

This is your history, our history.

We have discovered fictional accounts stating that the 330th BG's aircraft and men were directly involved with the 509th's BW dropping of atomic weapons over Japan during WWII. Please disregard these as complete fiction as the 330th BG played no direct role in this historic task. Crew 817 of K-28 "City of Omaha" did participate on a photo reconnaissance mission on 6/7 August 1945 but that was the extent of the 330th BG's involvement in this historic event.

This is our final chance to get it down right. We need your help!


Click for the 330th Personnel Roster

and here for our B-29 Aircraft SN'S


Any old orders or photos laying around?

I would love copies! Or to borrow the originals and professionally scan them. Then return them to you promptly. They may be taking up space in your attic or basement but to us, they are PURE GOLD. So before you toss them, or worse, auction them off on the web. Please let the 330th take a look at them. You would be amazed at what information lay hidden in an old G.O. or S.O. So please email me for assistance. The photos hold even more information. With today's scanning technology, we can identify personnel in a crew photo by zooming in and pulling them off of these men's shirts. It is a lot of fun! So anything you have, we would love to look through and add that information to this site. Your Site!

Please keep up the influx of new materials; orders, photos and stories, so we can continue this journey into our past to save it for our future.


As you know, the Association is no more.

This website will live on as long as I have the ability to maintain it.


in the beginning

COL Elbert D. "Fish" Reynolds (below) went to Hays KS and Dalhart, TX in early 1944 and began to hand select "the greatest collection of men ever assembled" As of April of that year, they became known as the 330th Bombardment Group and designated a B-29 (Very Heavy) outfit. From this point on begins your tale.


the 330th dedication
TO THE SHIPS

Born of hope and steel

And Death's Sting...
New Symbol of Might -
Majestic in Flight -
OF THEE WE SING!
 
TO THE GROUP
 
Humbly-We start Your Story -
May it be Lasting - Full of Glory
Each chapter a Link -
In a Victory Chain:
Forging a Mission -
Which will Not be in Vain!
 
TO THE LEADERS
 
Stripes or Bars, Eagles or Stars -
We Know Your're Back 'O' the Men.
Thru Thick and Thin -
Count Us In!
For You'll bring Us back again.

The 330th BG (VH) consisting of the 457th, 458th, 459th Bomb Squadron's plus the 26th Photo Lab was activated in April 1944 at Walker AAF, in Kansas. A mere two months later its cadres split. Part of the group remaining "on line" at Walker and part setting up manning HQ at Dalhart, Texas. After a rapid filling up of both echelons, they were again reunited at Walker in August of 1944. The newly assigned Air Crews joined them in late September and early October. There followed a brief period of intensive flight training coupled with a 24 hour-a-day maintenance schedule outdoors in the bitter winter of early 1945. Then with hard-learned "know how" and well seasoned for arctic operation, the 330th's Ground Echelon departed Kansas on 7 JAN 45 for 10 days at the Fort Lawton Staging Area in Seattle, WA. Then on 17 JAN 45 they mustered at 1805 on the docks for a 30 day cruise on the ATS Howell Lykes in route to Guam.

They arrived in the Port of Guam on 18 FEB 1945 at 1000. The 502nd Engineering Squadron of the 89th Air Service Group (ASG) of the 314th BW had 'pre-carved' an opening in the jungle so our boys would know where to begin building the home of the 330th. While this group was continuing to hack at the dense trees,, uncrating thousands of bombs, trudging through feet of mud, setting up mess halls and shops, the Air Crews continued to commute between Walker and Batista Field in Cuba to finish combat training. They then picked up their new Boeing B-29 Superfortress' and headed west. WAY WEST! First to California, then Hawaii, Kwajalein and finally Guam. The first 330th aircraft set down at North Field, Guam on 25 March 1945. Even before the last squadron arrived, the 330th was already a veteran of combat. The 330th first flew against the Empire on 12 April 1945. Its forty-seventh and final bombing strike was in the air at the hour the Japanese Capitulation was announced on 15 August 1945. The result was a Bomb Group with the lowest overall abort rate on the ground, and the highest over-the-target rate of ANY Bomb Group in the entire 20th Air Force. The 330th BG flew 1,320 combat sorties, 18,978 combat hours and had dropped 7,039 tons of high explosives and incendiary bombs into the heart of the enemy's industry. Not much by today's standards of combat, but at that time these numbers were unmatched.

This is their story


The 330th's Bombardment Squadrons:

 

457th
CO: LTCOL Lindsey H. Vereen
458th
CO: MAJ Elmer E. Ambrose
459th
CO: LTCOL Robert W. Ryder

My Website Dedication

This site is dedicated to my father, LTCOL Raymond B. Smisek . He was the Aircraft Commander (A/C) of the 330th's K-29 (SN 44-69800), "City of San Francisco" He, along with the rest of these brave young men, was an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so that countless others would have the freedom to accomplish theirs.

When I was growing up, he never spoke much of his time during the war. When asked about those times, I could see a sullenness come over his face, then he would most often ask me another question just to change the subject. In those rare exchanges when he would answer, he made it very clear that he desired no recognition for what he had done. He desired no contact with his fellow comrades, felt no honor for the devastation he had helped cause, and amazingly to me, felt no affection whatsoever for the incredible aircraft which had brought he and his crew back safely from so many missions over so many horrible places.

Raymond B. Smisek died in early fall of 1990 from cancer and perhaps, of unhealed internal war scars. Cancers of the soul and spirit, much more damaging than those of the body.

Today we have little appreciation and less perceived need for men such as these. In our past, such men, boys really, have risen. They've arisen from the farmlands, the mountains, the sprawling suburbs and packed cities. From the ghettos and the universities, to step forward and serve. Until that time comes, when such boy warriors will no longer be called upon to protect us from international greed and prejudices, both force of circumstance, and their own conviction and courage, will bring them forward yet again. As, unfortunately, has happened recently.

I think back to men and machine and I am eternally grateful. You all should be as well.

Here's to you Dad!

Raymond B. Smisek (1920-1990)

He always explained to us that he never considered himself a hero, but he certainly served among them. Sadly, the 'real' heroes, never made it home.


"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free." President Ronald Reagan, Omaha Beach, June 6, 1984

330th Bomb Group Heroes


457th Bomb Squadron
KIA
 
MIA
1LT Robert R Ziegele
2LT George R Longsdorf
2LT Willard W Lersch
1LT Charles E Cooper
1LT David R Anderson
MSG Ray M Cline
SSG Arthur W Johnson Jr.
SGT Clifton E Coker
CPL Nicholas G Brando
PFC Victor W Wright

 

 
MAJ Douglas H Neill
2LT Robert D Harklerode
1LT Clarence A Davis
2LT Arthur V Howe
2LT Rowland S Wilson Jr.
MSG Donald O Stoner
SSG Samuel M Mikill
SSG Richard R Berg
SGT James P Finucane
SGT Jacob A Fisher
SGT James N Fisher
LTCOL Frederick L Andrews

458th Bomb Squadron
KIA
 
MIA
CAP Carl R Bauer
1LT James D Gilbert
2LT Gorden E Kimball
1LT Jett W Foster
2LT Leslie A Evans, Jr.
MSGT Luther M Justice
SGT Ralph W Dugan
SGT Richard A Morel
SGT Elmer Kalman
SGT Donald A Olson
 
CAP Arthur Behrens
 
SGT Clyde D Ishmael
 
2LT George J Kruse Jr.
CPL Calvin R Raymond
 
2LT Allan M Cohen

459th Bomb Squadron
KIA
 
MIA
1LT James F Lawrence
2LT Clyde L Wood
FO Robert A Schneider
CPL Leo H Richards
 
1LT Herbert R Williams
2LT Daniel R Myers
2LT David H Skillin
SGT Robert R Underwood
CPL Edward B Neary
CPL Edwin S Caw
CPL Casimir J Cwiakala
 
MSGT Herbert L Carter
 
1LT Donald J Schiltz
FO Kenneth W Rich
SSGT George C Reed
2LT Robert G Scott
2LT Anthony A Picciano
FO Leonard W Holm
CPL David W Grunigen
SGT Francis A Boulay
PFC Byron K Chatam
SGT Woodrow W Collins
CPL James H Davidson
 
SGT Joseph A Goslin

330th POW's
Survived
 
Murdered*
2LT Ronald Heemann
PFC Eldon A Peterson
2LT George R Farmer

 

 
1LT Alpheus G Carle
2LT Andrew J Litz
2LT William F Muhlenburg
2LT John T Price
TSGT Jim W Verhines
SSGT Lawrence T Duffy
CPL Allen I Morsch
CPL Darwin J Muller
PFC Edwin P Lund
LTCOL Doyne L Turner
*Died in the Tokyo prison fire. During the May 23rd fire raid (in which the 330th took part), the prison caught fire. The Japanese guards let the Japanese prisoners escape, shot several American prisoners who tried to escape and refused to unlock the cells in which Carle, Turner and the others from K-43 were held. They subsequently died in the flames. The Japanese guards responsible were later convicted in the War Crimes Trials and put to death.

330th Killed in Training
24 October 1944   30 December 1944
IP CAP Charles E Gibson O-789387
AC CAP Herbert J Keadin O-429426
P 2LT Fred B Swank O-831622
E TSGT Armond P Simmons 14001426
BN 2LT John T Oleksyis O-1057192
NR 2LT James N Rector O-2064320
AE SGT Marce Bartimo 32721434
R CPL Lloyd Sheets 15080610
G CPL Jack W Smith 35627560
G CPL Peter J Smith 13142719
G CPL Andrew L Snyder 33708161
G CPL Donald A Palmer 32734970
 
CAP Loy F Coffee
1LT Rufus G Anderson
2LT Glenn V Welander
FO Thomas H Joyce
2LT Stanley M Franklin
SGT Dale M Thompson
CPL Robert F Rich
CPL Harry Bochichio
CPL William R Fiorini
PFC Kenneth L Bryant

These young men lost their lives prior to ever shipping out for North Field, Guam.
Information courtesy of Donald Murray (LG) K-32

"Do not save your loving speeches
For your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones,
Speak them rather now instead.


330th TAPS

Robert W. Crain N K-8 on 27 MAR 2013

Robert P. Starr N K-68 on 04 APR 2013

Joseph E Sberro Aircraft Electrical Mechanic on 16 APR 2013

Robert F. Arnesen Intelligence on 30 APR 2013

Winford H Claud Crew Chief K-34 on 23 MAY 2013

Fernando F. Herrero Aircraft Engineering Officer on 03 JUNE 2013

Frank P. Reuter B K-16 on 11 JUNE 2013

James B Lyons Rad Ob K-53 on 13 AUG 2013

Richard W. Foster P K-57 on 29 NOV 2013

Livingston V.R. Crowell P K-12 on 04 FEB 2014

Bob Billings LG K-31 on 14 APR 2014


Day is done ... Gone the sun ... From the lakes ... From the hills ... From the sky ... All is well ... Safely rest ... God is nigh ... Fading light ... Dims the sight ... And a star ... Gems the sky ... Gleaming bright ... From afar ... Drawing nigh ... Falls the night ... Thanks and praise ... For our days ... Neath the sun ... Neath the stars,.. Neath the sky ... As we go ... This we know ... God is nigh ..


"We left as boys and came back as men. Lets hope no one has to do it again. We took a plane brand spanking new, started as strangers and came back a crew. We were young and slim, our backs were straight. Our eyes now dim, we know our fate. We had to go, a job to do. Our friends all went, we had to too. Now years have passed and soon we'll rest. The whole world knows we did our best. Above the clouds our spirits will soar. When life is over, its through the next door. We'll join up again on another plane, take off for the heavens, a crew again" anonymous
"Enjoy every sandwich!" W.Z
SILENT SLEEP by Lloyd Klar (dec.) Veteran, 341BG 22BS.

Her great roaring engines are long silent, Her guns are pitted with rust. Shiny Aluminum, now dim and faded, Turrets are covered with dust. She sits and waits for her crewmen, Those young men from another day. Fifty long years have passed and gone, Since they all went away. Where have all those young men gone, Those boys she knew so well? They took her there and brought her back, What stories they can tell. Some are buried in foreign lands, War records tell the place. "Killed In Action" the official words, Or just "KIA" to save space. Others went down in a fiery crash, Just where, no one can tell; Over the Pacific Ocean or Marianas cliffs-- no markers where they fell. Others came home, the war was over, We dissipated like the dew. Then separately we all went our ways, back to lives we once knew. But in every airman's inner thoughts, quiet moments as day ends, We hear again those engines roar and voices of our friends. Now we're aging and almost grey; Again friends are starting to fall. They're going now into that long last sleep That comes one day to us all. So here's to our fellow comrades, Those still here, or passed away, We'll remember you as you once were in a distant place and day. As we stand here now in silence, we'll think of you and smile. Get ready for that final briefing; We'll join you in a while.


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This site was last updated 04/15/2014

Website has been active since June 2002

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