Stroff

Missing Air Crew Report 1957

Michael J. Stroff, Jr.
31 December 1943


Note: Those words/passages that were unreadable are marked with elipses (…).
Serial numbers have been omitted.


War Department
Headquarters Army Air Forces
Washington

Important
This report will be compiled in triplicate by each Army Air Forces organization within 48 hours of the time an aircraft is officially reported missing.

1. ORGANIZATION:
Location: AAF ;
Station:  109;
Command or Air Force: 8th Air Force;
Group:  92nd Bomb Group (H);
Squadron:  327;
Detachment:

2. SPECIFY:
Point of Department:  AAF Station 109;
Course:  headed southeast to Bordeaux;
Intended Destination: ;
Type of Mission:  objective bombing

3. WEATHER CONDITIONS AND VISIBILITY AT TIME OF CRASH OR WHEN LAST SITED:

4. GIVE:
(a) date:  31 December 1943 ;
time:  1355
location:  46° 7’N 02° 13’W
of last known whereabouts of missing aircraft.

(b) Specify weather:

(x) last sighted;
( ) last contacted by radio;
( ) forced down;
( ) seen to crash; or
( ) information not available

5. AIRCRAFT WAS LOST, OR IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN LOST, AS A RESULT OF (check only one):

( ) enemy aircraft;
( ) enemy anti-aircraft;
( ) other circumstances follows:

When last sighted aircraft under control

6. AIRCRAFT: Type, model and series:  B-17F 42-30735

7. ENGINES: Type, model and serial number:  [data omitted]

8. INSTALLED WEAPONS (furnish below make, type and serial number):  [data omitted]

9. THE PERSONS LISTED BELOW WERE REPORTED AS:
(a) battle casualtys [sic]:  x
(b) nonbattle casualtys:

10. NUMBER OF PERSONS ABOARD AIRCRAFT: crew:  10;
passengers:  0;
total:  10

(Starting with pilot furnish the following particulars): If more than ten persons were aboard aircraft, list similar particulars on separate sheet and attach original to this form.

Name in Full
Last name First
Rank Serial
No.
1. EUS Pilot Stroff, Michael J., Jr. 2 Lt. RTD
2 EUS Co-pilot Denniston, Alexander C. 2 Lt. RTD
3. EUS Navigator Colter, Frederick L., Jr. 2 Lt. RTD
4. EUS Bombardier Meakin, Robert G. [looks like Herbert] 2 Lt. RTD
5. EUS TTGunner Colamonico, Michael NMI S/Sgt. RTD
6. EUS Ball Turret Gunner Martin, Thomas, W., Jr. Sgt. RTD
7. R. Waist Gnr. Prus, Stanley L. Sgt. RTD
8. RTD L. Waist Gnr. Mills, Anthony L., Jr. Sgt. RTD
9. RTD Tail Gnr. Maher, Harold F. Sgt. RTD
10. K Radio Opr. Struhar, August K. S/Sgt.
[Ditto mark Xd out.]

11. *** IDENTIFY BELOW THOSE PERSONS WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE LAST KNOWLEDGE OF AIRCRAFT, AND CHECK APPROPRIATE COLUMN TO INDICATE BASIS FOR SAME: (over)

[next page]

Check only one column

Name in Full
(last name first)
Rank Serial
Number
By
Radio
Last
Sighted
Saw
Crash
Saw
Forced
Landing
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

12. IF PERSONNEL ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE SURVIVED, ANSWER YES TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:

(a) parachutes were used;
(b) persons were seen walking away from scene of crash;
(c) any other reason (specify)

13. ATTACH AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS, MAPS, CHART OR SKETCH, SHOWING APPROXIMATE LOCATION WHERE AIRCRAFT WAS LAST SEEN.

14. ATTACH EYEWITNESS DESCRIPTION OF CRASH, FORCED LANDING OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES PERTAINING TO MISSING AIRCRAFT.

15. ATTACH A DESCRIPTION OF THE EXTENT OF SEARCH, IF ANY, AND GIVE NAME, RANK AND SERIAL NUMBER OF OFFICER IN CHARGE HERE.

When aircraft last sighted it was under control

date of report:  3 January 1944


next page is map
shows x at Cognac,

arrow shows direction and course
heading back to base


Individual Casualty Questionnaire

Name of Crew Member:   Struhar, August K.
Rank:   S/Sgt.
Serial Number:   
Position crew   

Did he bail out?   No    Where?   
If not, why not?   because we were able to make land

Last contact or conversation just prior to or at time of loss of plane:   

Was he injured?   No
Where was he when last seen?   Him and Lt. Stroff passed us (Maher and myself) after we’d hidden in a ditch othe [sic] side of a road. They were evidently heading for a patch of woods ahead of us.
Any heresay information:   

Sources:   none

Any explanation of his state based in part or fully on supposition:   Maher and myself had been hidden for approximately 15 minutes when we heard some men of double time pass us on the road heading towards or in the same direction (over)

Total # of missions of above crew member:   one
Dates and destinations, if possible:   we crashed some wheres [sic] near the coast and near La Rochelle

[on the back]

Struhar and Stroff had taken. A while later we heard a few shots from towards the woods. We didn’t know what had happened because we remained hidden till after dark.


Casualty Questionnaire

1. Your name:   Anthony Mills, Jr.    Rank:   Sgt.   Serial #:   

2. Organization:   92nd Bomb Group   Group commander:      Rank:      Squadron CO:       Rank:   

3. What year       Month       Day       did you go down?

4. What was the mission,   bomber    , target,   Bordeaux    , target time,      , altitude,   18,500 feet   , route scheduled   over Brest and on coast (approx) , route flown   same .

5. Where were you when you left formation?   over Bay of Biscaye

6. Did you bail out?   no

7. Did other members of crew bail out?   no

8. Tell all you know about when, where, how each person in your aircraft for whom no individual questionnaire is attached bailed out. The crew list is attached. If you don’t know, say “no knowledge.”   They all landed together. Nobody was hurt.

9. Where did your aircraft strike the ground?   Near La Rochelle

10. What members of your crew were in the aircraft when it struck the ground? (Should cross check with 8 above and individual questionnaires).   All of us were in aircraft.

11. Were they in aircraft?   Eight were in radio room. Pilot and co-pilot in their seats.

12. What was their condition?   Just shaken.

13. When, where, and in what condition did you last see any members not already described above?   

14. Please give any similar information on personnel of any other crew of which you have knowledge. Indicate source of information.    We met several while in France, both American and British.

Any additional information may be written on back.

[handwritten, possibly on the reverse]

My places are only approximate because we traveled mainly at nite [sic] by compass. I do know that we were not too far from the ocean because we were wondering whether we’d have to ditch until we saw land through the overcast. When we landed we saw some soldiers running towards us. We scrambled out and an old man with a cane kept shooing us away. We all said “so long” and started to run. That was the last we saw of any of them except for Struhar and Stroff, who passed us, (Maher and I) [in ( ) above us]. We were digging through the brush to hide in the ditch.


Individual Casualty Questionnaire

Name of Crew Member:   August K. Struhar
Rank:   
Serial Number:   
Position crew   

Did he bail out?   no; crashed with other members of the crew    Where?   
If not, why not?   

Last contact or conversation just prior to or at time of loss of plane:   

Was he injured?   not to my knowledge
Where was he when last seen?   I saw him when we were leaving
Any heresay information:   the plane on the trip to the interrogation center, at the interrogation center and again in France at Camp Lucky Strike, awaiting shipment to the U.S. in June 1945.

Sources:   none

Any explanation of his state based in part or fully on supposition:   none

Total # of missions of above crew member:   1
Dates and destinations, if possible:   


Casualty Questionnaire

1. Your name:   Frederick L. Coulter, Jr.    Rank:   1 Lt.   Serial #:   

2. Organization:   92nd Bomb Group   Group commander:   Commander Reid   Rank:   Col.   Squadron CO:   Parker, Frank    Rank:   Major

3. What year   1943    Month   December    Day   31    did you go down?

4. What was the mission,   bombing    , target,   Cognac    , target time,   1400   , altitude,   19,500   , route scheduled   Bovingdon, Bordeaux, Cognac , route flown   Bovingdon, Bordeaux, Cognac .

5. Where were you when you left formation?   20 minutes out on northwest course after hitting target

6. Did you bail out?   no

7. Did other members of crew bail out?   no

8. Tell all you know about when, where, how each person in your aircraft for whom no individual questionnaire is attached bailed out. The crew list is attached. If you don’t know, say “no knowledge.”   all in crash landing

9. Where did your aircraft strike the ground?   on the shore of Bay of Biscaye near … [looks like Rochelle, not La Rochelle]

10. What members of your crew were in the aircraft when it struck the ground? (Should cross check with 8 above and individual questionnaires).   all

11. Were they in aircraft?   radio room except pilot and co-pilot

12. What was their condition?   non-injured

13. When, where, and in what condition did you last see any members not already described above?   Last saw all members when we left the ship after crashing.

14. Please give any similar information on personnel of any other crew of which you have knowledge. Indicate source of information.   

Any additional information may be written on back.


Individual Casualty Questionnaire

Name of Crew Member:   Struhar, August K.
Rank:   S/Sgt.
Serial Number:   
Position crew   

Did he bail out?   no    Where?   
If not, why not?   Because we were over the thick cloud cover and preparing to ditch in Bay of Biscaye

Last contact or conversation just prior to or at time of loss of plane:   

Was he injured?   
Where was he when last seen?   
Any heresay information:   Have seen ^above-mentioned crew member all through capture and internment. Have last seen him in Camp Lucky Strike, France, and after termination of war while being processed and awaiting transportation to United States.

Sources:   

Any explanation of his state based in part or fully on supposition:   

Total # of missions of above crew member:   
Dates and destinations, if possible:   


Casualty Questionnaire

1. Your name:   Michael Colamonico    Rank:   T/Sgt.   Serial #:   

2. Organization:   92nd Bomb Group   Group commander:   Keck   Rank:   Lt. Col.   Squadron CO:   Parker    Rank:    Capt.

3. What year       Month   December    Day   31    did you go down?

4. What was the mission,   Bordeaux    , target,   air field    , target time,   12 noon   , altitude,   19,000   , route scheduled   down to coast up Spain and up , route flown   same .

5. Where were you when you left formation?   dropping behind and losing altitude

6. Did you bail out?   no

7. Did other members of crew bail out?   no

8. Tell all you know about when, where, how each person in your aircraft for whom no individual questionnaire is attached bailed out. The crew list is attached. If you don’t know, say “no knowledge.”   

9. Where did your aircraft strike the ground?   on coast near Nantes, France

10. What members of your crew were in the aircraft when it struck the ground? (Should cross check with 8 above and individual questionnaires).   all members

11. Were they in aircraft?   in safety positions for ditching and emergency crash

12. What was their condition?   good. All escaped alive

13. When, where, and in what condition did you last see any members not already described above?   

14. Please give any similar information on personnel of any other crew of which you have knowledge. Indicate source of information.   

Any additional information may be written on back.

Of the crew eight of us, I know, were captured and interned, but our right waist gunner and tail gunner have never been seen, heard from or about since that moment. … [looks like] there… names are Anthony Miller and Harold Maher, respectively, and they were alive when we were evading the enemy.


Last updated 11-2-05 1950 est (2250 z)