This Day in History 1944: the 584th Squadron of the 394th Bomb Group

An American “Martin Marauder” in the 584th Squadron of the 394th Bomb Group — the “Bridge Busters” — was shot down over France on this day in 1944 during mission #148.

Captain Harper and his crew were flying in the lead position of the second box of the formation bombing Neuweid, Germany when their B26 received a direct hit from anti aircraft fire, burst into flames and crashed. No parachutes were observed by other crews, but Sgt Howard Mote was later reported as a POW, the rest of the crew were killed.

    Captain Lawrence P. Harper – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
    1/Lt William Andrews – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
    1/Lt Paul Stephens – Arlington National Cemetery
    1/Lt James Harrison – American Cemetery in the Netherlands
    2/Lt Kenneth Wolf – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
    T/Sgt James Kelly,Jr. – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
    S/Sgt Stuart Ottenheimer (second from right above – born August 7, 1922) – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery (Section E Plot 169-170)
    Sgt Ralph Pagano – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery

394th Bomb Group Insignia

Some interesting B-26 footage can be seen in this collection of propaganda films called Martin Marauder in Action

The B-26 had a very high rate of accidents in takeoff and landing until crews were trained better and (perhaps more importantly) an aspect ratio design was modified on its wings/rudder.

The following United States War Office Official Training Film 1-3301 How to Fly the B-26 Airplane was for pilots who had to fly what unofficially became known as the “Widowmaker”. Note that the lead character says

Life Begins With a Checklist…and it May End if You Don’t Use It

7 thoughts on “This Day in History 1944: the 584th Squadron of the 394th Bomb Group”

  1. Do you have any more photos of Ottenheimer’s crew? My Uncle Paul Stephens was shot down on the same aircraft with Stuart Ottenheimer. Please respond if you can.

  2. I have lots of pictures of Stu Ottenheimer and the crew. My Dad was T/Sgt James Kelley that was killed that day on Nov 21 1944. Stu and my parents traveled from Barksdale together to Kellogg field before Boreham England. In touch with Harper, Harrison and Pegenos family. Would love to hear from anyone.

  3. My Mother was married to 1st Lt. Paul Stephens, Navigator with your father that fateful day. I would love to see any pictures of the crew or whatever you have. My email address is ddlischer at gmail. Thank you Kathleen Kelley Adams.

  4. Dear Kathleen,
    My grandfather was Joseph L Hart, gunner/engineer with the 394th/584th. He would never talked or wrote memoirs about his experience before passing. I’m currently trying to research his career and wondered if you may have any photos that identify him. We would love to have copies.

  5. My grandfather was in this group. In 1944 on April 21st his plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner. It is believed that his other crew members died but never verified.

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