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Alex Smart 11th January 2018 04:46

451st BG/726BS - MACR 7211

On the 26th July 1944 a/c of the 451st BG/726BS bombed the Beret Oil Refinery in Albania.
On the homeward flight two aircrew of one a/c bailed out. They became Pow's.

2Lt. Roland E. Cook O-706702 from Oklahoma and Sgt. James J. McLean - 32848524 from New York both survived the war. Sadly Cook has no reference to his military service on his grave marker and McLean has only Sgt, US Army on his.

The two bailed out some 16 miles off the Albanian Coast, it was recorded that the wind direction would possibly blow them towards land. As they both became POW's this must have been the case.

The a/c Pilot was 2Lt. Maurice J. Beaucond - O-700893.
The damaged a/c was flown to an alternate airfield, it's serial number is as yet unknown.

I have looked on the 451BG website and searched through the a/c serial numbers listed for the 726BS. Aircraft assigned prior to and possibly available on the 26July1944 it seems were -
41-29580 42-95509
41-29547 42-78478(Sal 28th)
41-29242 42-78465
41-29229 42-78463
41-28955 42-78102
41-28860 42-52460
41-28760 42-52429
42-52153 42-52111
42-52082 42-52078
42-51300 42-7687
42-7636 42-7475

Is there any chance one of the above listed was the a/c involved and if so which one was it ?

Many thanks

25Kingman49 12th January 2018 20:28

Re: 451st BG/726BS - MACR 7211
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Alex,
For everyone else MACR 7211 starts here on fold3 for those with access:

Nothing concrete here but 2nd Lt Maurice John Beaucond, Jr. was shot down becoming a POW about a month later on 22 Aug 44 flying B-24H-5-FO-42-52111 (MACR 8001), see attached; source of attachment

Edit: direct PDF download here

MACR 8001 appears to not be available on fold3. Baugher offers the same limited data

This MACR 8001 would be helpful to see if it matches the crew in MACR 7211, less of course Lt Cook and Sgt McLean and their unknown replacements. According to the attached 7 of the crew were KIA. This could be backtracked to the crew during MACR 7211 to see who survived the war but still would not prove 42-52111 was the involved plane when Cook and McLean jumped.

Of little value Lt Beaucond MIA newspaper article

If the 451st BG/726 BS had a strict crew to plane assignment policy 42-52111 is a likely candidate.

HGabor 12th January 2018 22:30

Re: 451st BG/726BS - MACR 7211
B-24H-5-FO No.'44', 42-52111, alias "Old Taylor" crashed at Magyargencs, Hungary (pron.: "Madyargench") on August 22, 1944 with the 2Lt. Maurice J. Beaucond Jr. crew.

25Kingman49 12th January 2018 23:01

Re: 451st BG/726BS - MACR 7211
Alex, still nothing concrete but it does appear that this MACR 7211 crew may have stayed together with 5 of this crew KIA 22 Aug 1944 when 42-52111 was shot down. Still not proof that 42-52111 was the plane from which Cook and McLean jumped but this may make it a more likely candidate.

MACR 7211 remaining crew members and fate (?)

2Lt Maurice J Beaucond, Jr., O-700893 (P) Later 22 Aug 1944 POW

2Lt Weldon H Jeffress, O-719850 (CP) Later 22 Aug 1944 KIA

2Lt Sidney S Grapey, O-719850 (N) Later KIA (date of death in error likely should be 22 Aug 1944)

Sgt William T Gibson, 34650016 (ETTG) enlistment Later KIA 22 Aug 1944

Sgt Oliver H Martin, 38512700 (BTG) enlisted No NARA POW record found. This might be our Sgt Martin (7 Sep 1924 to 27 Dec 1960)

Sgt Billy R Bolin, 38515825 (TG) No NARA record found. WW II Memorial, Billy Ray Bolin http:// likely our Sgt Bolin

S/Sgt Willard E Smith, 37657815 (WG) enlistment KIA 22 Aug 1944

S/Sgt Frank A Johnson, 37666953 (WG) enlistment KIA 22 Aug 1944 and

Alex Smart 13th January 2018 01:59

Re: 451st BG/726BS - MACR 7211
Hello Gabor and ScottM,

Many thanks for your combined hard work .
The Schiffer book " The 451st Bomb Group in WW2 a pictorial history" has on page 137 that the a/c had 17 hours on the airframe when received at Fairmont Field, Nebraska and 650 hours when the original crew finished their combat tour.
Can it be discovered who the "original Taylor crew " were and when the "possibly" Beaucond crew took her over ? I.e. when the Taylor crew finished their tour.

As it stands "Old Taylor" looks a strong favourite.
But I do wonder about 42-78478 salvaged a couple of days later ?

Thanks again

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