The Bolick crew 577th Sq 392th Bomb Group all KIA Nov 26, 1943

The Bolick crew- The Bolick was de eerste crew waar 2LT Gilbert Malrait was toegewezen. Tijdens mijn research ondervond ik dat er ook van deze crew zeer weinig bekend is. Na contact met de families vond ik dat ik een wederdienst schuldig was en besloot ook aan deze crew een kort eerbetoon te wijden.

- The Bolick crew was the first crew where 2LT Malrait was assigned to. During my search I had the feeling not much was knowing on this crew so I decided to dedicate a page to this crew and started to build this little tribute.

26 November 1943, Mission #11, Target Bremen, Germany

According to VIII Bomber Command’s Narrative of Operations for this day, “Nine Combat Wings of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bombardment Divisions participated in a heavy daylight attack on the city of Bremen.  Five Combat Wings of the 1st BD attacked first, closely followed by two Combat Wings from 3rd Division and two from 2nd Division, in that order.  Pathfinder a/c were used to locate and mark the target which was largely obscured by cloud and a smoke screen.  The majority of strike photographs were also obscured by cloud and smoke, but bombs could definitely be seen falling in the south and southeast sections of Bremen....  Enemy opposition varied from nil for some groups to strong for others.  P-47s and P-38s afforded penetration, target and withdrawal support.” 

All planes were loaded with eight 500-pound General Purpose and 16 M-47 incendiary bombs.  Fuel load for H-model B-24s was 2,700 gallons.

Per the 14th Combat Wing teletype, the 392nd was to lead the Wing with 2 twelve-ship sections, the second section to be stepped up and to the right, at 23,000 feet.  The 44th BG was directed to follow low and to the right with 2 twelve -ship sections at 22,500 feet.  Crews “will be especially checked for complete winter flying equipment in addition to electric suits.  Particular attention is invited to checking guns, racks, turrets, bomb bay doors, etc., to insure best possible operation at extreme low temperatures expected.” 

The 392nd BG dispatched 25 a/c, with take-offs generally between 0821 and 0840 hours.  Two aborted:  Egan in #496 due to two runaway propellers and Bingham due to a gas leak in #1 Pete in his B-24engine.
Lead bombardier 2/Lt Walter F. Joachim reported that “Many difficulties were found in the group due to too high an operating altitude.”  With temperatures recorded as low as minus 47 degrees Fahrenheit, there were many mechanical failures, including frozen turrets and bomb bay doors. He also reported 10/10 cloud coverage over the target.  However, as his plane went on over target, crossing Autobahn, he could look back at the city.  He “assured” the 392nd’s commanders “that our bombs hit the city and that our bombing was good.”

About a dozen enemy aircraft were sighted but there were no real attacks against the 392nd.  ME-109s were predominant with scattered FW-190s and ME=210s.  Flak was generally moderate to strong intensity, fairly accurate, and requiring violent evasive action. 

Planes landed between 1412 and 1545 hours, with six having Category A damage.  One plane, #42-7493 with pilot 2/Lt Henry P. Bolick, was missing, cause unknown.


CREW POSITIONS AND STATUS:Crew positions on last mission.

P l/LT Bolick, Henry P Jr KIA
CP 2/LT Smith, Heber J. KIA
N 2/LT Maupin, Jesse C. KIA
B 2/LT Yarbrough, William L. Jr KIA
B/NG 2/LT Kelley, Joseph J. KIA
WG S/S Klinchok, John J. KIA
WG S/S Krogh, Svend A. KIA
R/O S/S Campbell, George L. KIA
EnG T/S Love, William E. KIA
BT S/S Harris, Dalton W. KIA
TG S/S Craig, James D. KIA

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: 1/Lt Breckenridge, pilot of a/c #479, stated that “Bolick left formation before they hit the enemy coast.”  Other pilots reported that “A/C #493 was last seen having difficulty staying in formation as the formation crossed the enemy coast going in.  No other circumstances surrounding the missing status of the a/c are available.”  The German reports on this aircraft’s loss were contained in Luftwaffe D (Luft) 2705/07 at NEUMUNSTER, dated 1 December 1943, which noted the downing of this crew and ship on 26 November at 1217 hours, 200 meters west of Friedrichskoog-Spitze. 

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES:  Kelley was flying as an extra bombardier/gunner since the ship was Deputy Lead for the Group. 

BURIAL RECORDS: Eight deceased crew members were initially buried on the afternoon of 1 December 1943 in the German cemetery at Kronprinzenkoog:  Sgt. Krogh (Section H, Row 5, Grave 7); Sgt Klinchok (Section H, Row 5, Grave 8); Lt. Maupin (Section H, Row 5, Grave 9); Lt. Smith (Section H, Row 5, Grave 10), and Sgt. Love (Section H, Row 5, Grave 11).  Two unidentified bodies were buried in Section H, Row 5, Grave 5 and an unidentified body, completely burned, was buried in Grave 6.  Sgt. Craig’s body washed ashore near Friedrichskoog on 15 Dec 1943; he was interred in this cemetery, Section H, Row 5, Grave 4.  The remains of 2/Lt Bolick and S/Sgt Campbell were never found.

Clifford Young Jr., a roommate of 2/Lt Smith’s while they were in college, went to the crash site after the war.  In a letter dated 28 Oct 1945, he wrote, “It appears that the plane crashed in the moors at the mouth of the Elbe.  A German sergeant came and supervised the burial of the men and took all their identification with him.  The people who live near the graves have nothing to identify the individual graves so they have erected a cross stating:  “Hier ruben 19 unbekannte Englische Flieger” [“Here lie 19 unknown English flyers.]”  Actually I think most of them are Americans...  I saw [the graves] and they are well tended although not decorated at all.  From what I could gather everybody in the plane was killed when it crashed.  However, the people know very little for sure about it.”

cemeteryOn 29 Oct 1945, he wrote that German records show six crewmen were identified and two men were unidentified, and “Three bodies apparently were never found.  [Craig’s body had not yet washed up.]  All of them are buried in a little cemetery at Kronprinzenkoog which is at the mouth of the Elbe on the Holstein side about 3 miles in from the North Sea...  But, about all they know is that the 19 men buried there came from planes either shot down near there or were bodies washed ashore from planes which crashed in the North Sea.  Since the [German burial] cards stated that all these eight bodies from the one ship died on November 26th—the day of the raid—and were buried on December 1st, I think their plane must have crashed killing them all instantly.  The people remembered one plane that crashed there.  It was scattered over a wide area, parts burned, and the nose was in a drainage canal.  In such a case it is easy to see how some of the bodies might not be found and some were not identified.  The country is low flat meadows, with hundreds of drainage canals and ditches cutting the land into small plots.”
Sgt Kermit Maupin, brother of 2/Lt Jesse Maupin, was in the Military Police.  He also visited the crash site and took these photos of the cemetery where the men were buried:

After the war, the following men were re-interred in the Ardennes American Cemetery:  Yarbrough (Grave B-42-57); Klinchok (Grave D-14-47); Krogh (Grave B-18-20); and Harris (Grave C-8-35), all awarded one Air Medal and the Purple Heart. On the WALL OF THE MISSING at the NETHERLANDS American Cemetery are the names of Bolick and Campbell, both awarded an Air Medal and Purple Heart. 2/Lt Maupin is buried in the cemetery of Blue Springs Baptist Church in Cleveland, Tennessee; he was also awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. 2/Lt Smith is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah, and 2/Lt Kelley is buried in Ivy Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia.  There are no available burial records on Love and Craig. 

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: Kelley was flying as an extra bombardier/gunner since the ship was Deputy Lead for the Group.

NEXT OF KIN DATA IN WWII: Records which do exist are very limited, as follows: Bolick (South Carolina); Yarbrough (Louisiana); Campbell (New York); Klinkchok (Kentucky); Krough (Iowa); and Hams (New York). Yarbrough, Klinkchok, Krough and Harris were all awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Source of this text and Annette Tison.

Photos of the crew and their B-24 "Gregory the Great" named after Yarbrough's son.

2LT Yarbrough and 2LT Maupin 1LT Bolick and 2LT Smith Gregory the Great in flight

Smith, Heber J. escape photo.Harris, Dalton W escape photo
Her the escape photos for Heber J. Smith and Dalton W. Harris. Escape photos were taken in civilian clothes; the airman would take the photos with him on a mission with the hope that if he were shot down and evaded capture they could be used to make fake identity cards.
Special thanks to Annette Tisson, researcher of the 392th Bomb Grp for sharing this photos.

The names of 1LT Henry Bolick and TSGT George Campbell are on the tablets of missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery Margraten, Netherland. 

1LT Henry Bolick TSGT George Campbell KIA Nov 26 1943 Henry Bolick's personal memorial

From L to R and below, the graves of SSGT John Klinchok, SSGT Svend Krogh, SSGT Dalton Harris, 2LT William Yarbrough, all buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. 2LT Jesse Maupin is buried in Tennessee and 2LT Heber Smith in Utah.

SSGT John Klinchok SSGT Svend Krogh. SSGT Dalton Harris.

2LT William Yarbrough 2ndLT Jesse Maupin. 2ndLT Heber Smith.

TSGT William E. Love is buried in Indiana.

TSGT William Love

Special thanks to Judy Sparks, Suzanne Orndorff, Ola Jean Kelly, Annette Hill, Susan Holston and Annette Tison for all the photos and documents they provide in Memory of all the men of this crew. Any information on each man of this crew is welcome, contact me at