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Old 27th January 2016, 21:28
Tom8160 Tom8160 is offline
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The Guy who shot my father down

My father, Lt. Thomas A. Parks, Jr. was first pilot on B-17 42-3546. He flew with the 96th BG, 339 Sq out of Snetterton Heath, England.

On November 29, 1943, on his 9th mission, he and his crew were shot down over Bremen, Germany sometime shortly after "Bombs Away". Bombs away was at 14:41 and I have come across information that at 14:52 Oberleutnant Walter Lardy (4./ZG 26) claims to have shot down a B-17 in the vicinity of Eystrup, Germany (SE of Bremen) This is the same area my father and his entire crew were captured after bailing out.

From all the information I have been able to gather, I am pretty sure Oblt Lardy is the guy but I am writing a book and I would to have as many details regarding Lardy as I can lay my hands on. It seems he was a Staffelkapitan and may have been awarded Iron Crosses (one first class and one second).

It also seems he flew with 3./JG 103 and it also seems that in his entire career during the war... Oblt. Lardy only shot down one plane... My father's. Dad would have seen the humor in that. He was that kind of guy.

Specifically, I would like to know, if it can be known, what airfield Walter Lardy flew out of that day.

Also I'd like to know what type of aircraft Lardy was flying that day. My father reported that after bombs away they were attacked from 12 O'clock level by an echelon of 10 ME110s or JG87s. His B-17 had been critically damaged by AAA just moments before the attack so I have always given him a break on not being able to provide an exact ID on the fighters. At that moment he was a really, really busy 21-year-old.

Other than that... Any and ALL tidbits are welcome.

Thanks for your help.

Tom
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Old 28th January 2016, 00:23
Delmenhorst Delmenhorst is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

You could start with http://www.ww2.dk/lwoffz.html

Henry L. deZeng IV and Douglas G. Stankey have been collecting a lot of information about Luftwaffe officers:

LARDY, Walter.
07.09.42 Oblt., appt Staka 16./KG 6 (to no later than 01.11.42).
29.11.43 Oblt., 4./ZG 26.
16.11.44 Oblt., appt Staka 3./JG 103 (to 27.02.45).
Credited with one victory.

Good luck with your book
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  #3  
Old 28th January 2016, 00:57
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

Hello Tom -

4./ZG 26 belonged to II./ZG 26 along with 5. and 6./ZG 26. These three Staffeln (Squadrons) and the Gruppenstab (the staff personnel of II. Gruppe) were all based at Hesepe airfield, an operational airfield (Einsatzhafen) in Lower Saxony 22.4 km NW of Osnabrück, 5.6 km NW of Bramsche and 1.6 km NNW of the village of Hesepe. On 29 Novenber 1943, II. Gruppe was equipped with the Me 410 A-1 twin-engine heavy fighter. At the beginning of November they had 39 of them on strength and lost 4 in action during the month and 2 more in accidents.

The details of the air action from the German side can be found in the books by Dr. Jochen Prien, particularly the volumes covering JG 1 and JG 11, and if not there then in some of his other unit histories.

L.
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Old 28th January 2016, 01:22
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

II./ZG 26

Disbanded 4.42, and was absorbed by ZG1 and ZG2.

Reformed 11.10.43 in Hildesheim from III./ZG1 with:
Stab II./ZG26 from Stab III./ZG1
4./ZG26 from 7./ZG1
5./ZG26 from 8./ZG1
6./ZG26 from 9./ZG1
http://www.ww2.dk/air/zerstorer/zg26.htm

Larry, the link says > 10.43 - 2.44 Hildesheim Me 410

Your stupendous work http://www.ww2.dk/Airfields%20-%20Ge...Borders%5D.pdf does not list ZG26 as being based at Hesepe.
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  #5  
Old 28th January 2016, 09:42
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

TOM,

Please contact me at: baumgartner_asv@yahoo.com.br
I am unable to send you a private message or e-mail through the Fórum..do not know why...

Yours,
Adriano
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  #6  
Old 28th January 2016, 13:07
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

Hi Thom,

If this is the source of your info:

http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_1.html

Then I advise caution. Whereas it is the info that I myself currently have in my database, I have on occasion found the Joe Baugher website to contain information that I have come to disagree on after doing research of my own.

Nick
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Old 28th January 2016, 14:44
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

Hi Kutscha -

As you can see below, Gölucke, a Luftwaffe document in T-321 roll 10, and the Caldwell/Muller book all have it at Hesepe. Why the conflict with the Michael Holm website? Because it may have been using both Hildesheim and Hesepe at that time. But its operational missions were clearly launched from Hesepe. The only source that advocates Hildesheim through at least 1 Jan 44 is Dierich in a book he wrote 50+ years ago.

II./ZG 26 (2nd Formation)

Formation. (Oct 43)
Formed 13 October 1943 at Hildesheim near Hannover (ex-III./ZG 1) with Me 410s. An Me 410 A-1 crash landing at Hesepe (25% with 2 injured) reported in the Loss Reports for 26 August 1943 suggests that an advance party of former III./ZG 1 pilots was already receiving conversion training from the Me 210 to the Me 410 and that the formation of II./ZG 26 was planned, although the official date of re-designation was not until 13 October.

Germany - Air Defense of the Reich
14 Oct 43: intercepted 8th AAF attack on ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt by some 230 4-engine bombers losing 2 Me 410s shot down by return fire in the target area and 3 aircrew KIA.
30 Oct 43: II. Gruppe based at Hesepe.
13 Nov 43: intercepted 8th AAF attack on the port of Bremen with 115 bombers and 47 P-38 fighter escorts losing 4 Me 410 A-1s shot down and another damaged in the Diepholz-Lohne area/SSW of Bremen plus 3 aircrew KIA and 5 WIA.
6 Dec 43: II. Gruppe still based at Hesepe.
20 Dec 43: intercepted another attack on Bremen by 8th AAF, this time with 470+ bombers and an escort force of some 80 P-51s and P-38s - II. Gruppe lost 1 Me 410 A-1 shot down and a Bf 110 G-2 damaged (80%) with 2 aircrew KIA.
31 Dec 43: II./ZG 26 based at Hesepe.
Jan 44: II. Gruppe based at Hildesheim.
11 Jan 44: intercepted 8th AAF attack on aircraft factories in Central Germany claiming 3 B-17 Fortresses while losing 2 Me 410 A-1s.



…………………………..etc.

Footnotes
Dierich – Verbände der Luftwaffe; Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
BA-MA Loss Reports; Carter/Mueller – Combat Chronology: USAAF in World War II.
Golücke, Friedhelm, Schweinfurt und der strategische Luftkrieg 1943 (Paderborn, 1980).
BA-MA Loss Reports; Carter/Mueller – op cit.
NARA WashDC: RG 242 Microcopy T-321 roll 10.
BA-MA Loss Reports; Carter/Mueller – op cit.
Caldwell/Muller – The Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich (London: Greenhill, 2007), p.317.
Dierich – op cit.
Prien/Rodeike - Jagdgeschwader 1 und 11: Einsatz in der Reichverteidigung von 1939 bis 1945, p.677.

L.
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Old 28th January 2016, 15:20
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

Thank you for the clarification Larry.
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Old 29th January 2016, 09:45
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

TOM,

Please do post your e-mail here, so I can contact you.
Thanks
Adriano
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Old 29th January 2016, 16:39
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: The Guy who shot my father down

... although MUCH less reliable than the guys on here Wiki does have this info for ZG.26
The II. Gruppe was re-equipped with the Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse. In October 1943, Hauptmann Eduard Tratt was appointed Gruppenkommandeur II./ZG 26. On 29 November, he shot down a USAAF B-17 as his 30th victory. ZG 26 meanwhile was soon in action against the bombers of the USAAF Eighth Air Force. ZG 26 claimed some 19 bombers downed on 8 October, while intercepting a raid against Münster on 10 October, II. and III. Gruppen suffered moderate losses but claimed 18 bombers in return. Four days later, ZG 26 took part in inflicting heavy losses on American bombers during the raid on Schweinfurt, claiming 10 victories.
ZG 26's conflict against the USAAF day bombers was infrequent, although on 29 November 1943 6 bombers of the 95th Bomb Group were downed over Bremen by a frontal Werfer-Granate 21 rocket attack by six Me 410's (9 were claimed) and on 16 March 1944 18 bombers were downed over Augsburg.

III./ZG 26 under Major Johann Kogler, was based in Wunstorf during early 1944, with Bf 110's armed with two 30mm and four 20mm cannon ( two in a ventral fuselage gun pod), and four underwing-mount Werfer-Granate 21 210mm rocket launchers, designed to break up the massed bomber formations from long range. ZG 26's Me 410s also gradually took on added weight with extra cannon and rockets, culminating in the fitting of a bomb-bay mount 50 mm Bordkanone BK 5 cannon ( with 21 rounds) on the Me 410A-1/U4 aircraft on duty.

Obviously there immediately seems to be an error as the unit is identified as 95th BG whereas you state your father was 96th BG so I don't claim this is what happened, but the information in Wiki has to come from"somewhere".

Does your father recall there being these rockets which brought him down, or cannon fire? OK, it was a busy time, but in Stalag and later the crew must have exchanged their recollections of what happened?

EDIT: I assume you know this?
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/6617
Edit entry 42-3546B-17 FLYING FORTRESS
Delivered Denver 28/7/43; Grand Island 10/8/43; Assigned 339BS/96BG [QJ-A] Snetterton 29/8/43 RAMBLIN' WRECK; Missing in Action Bremen 29/11/43 with Tom Parks, Co-pilot: Earl Bason, Navigator: John Sweeney, Bombardier: Joe Leblanc, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Glen Richardson, Radio Operator: Blakley Seward, Ball turret gunner: George Gera, Waist gunner: Wesley Wright, Waist gunner: Frank Waizeneger,Tail gunner: Gordon Rodemark (10 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, crashed Eystrup, 28 miles SE of Bremen, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 1393.
Was the aircraft name changed from Ramblin' Wreck to Wildfire?

There's also this: http://www.8thafhs.com/get_mia_aircr...ate=1943-11-29
#42-30359 - B-17F Group Squadron Sq Code A/C Code 96BG 339BS MIA 1943-11-29 - MACR #: 1392
Notes 42-30359 Delivered: Cheyenne 21/5/43; Gore 1/6/43; Smoky Hill 2/6/43; Gr Isle 3/6/43; Dow Fd 25/6/43; Assigned: 339BS/96BG [QJ-D] Snetterton 27/6/43; MIA Bremen 29/11/43 Pilot: Linwood Langley, Co-Pilot: Berline Cipresso, Bombardier: Don Curtis, Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Walt Reed, Radio Operator: Sam Amatulli, Ball Turret Gunner: Wilbert Provost, Waist Gunner: Anderson King, Waist Gunner: Edmund Swedo (8KIA); Navigator: Jesse Orrison, Tail Gunner: Gene Moran{still in tail wreckage} (2 POW); Enemy aircraft, crashed near Syke, 12 miles S of Bremen, Germany. MACR 1392.
Source B-17 Master Log - Dave Osbourne

#42-3546 - B-17F Group Squadron Sq Code A/C Code 96BG 339BS Name WILDFIRE MIA 1943-11-29 - MACR #: 1393
Notes 42-3546 Delivered: Denver 28/7/43; Grand Island 10/8/43; Assigned: 339BS/96BG [QJ-A] Snetterton 29/8/43 RAMBLIN' WRECK; MIA Bremen 29/11/43 Pilot: Tom Parks, Co-Pilot: Earl Bason, Navigator: John Sweeney, Bombardier: Joe Leblanc, Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Glen Richardson, Radio Operator: Blakley Seward, Ball Turret Gunner: George Germany. , Waist Gunner: Wesley Wright, Waist Gunner: Frank Waizeneger, Tail Gunner: Gordon Rodemark (10 POW); Enemy aircraft, crashed Eystrup, 28 miles SE of Bremen, Ger; MACR 1393. WILDFIRE.
Source B-17 Master Log - Dave Osbourne

#42-37802 - B-17G Group Squadron Sq Code A/C Code 96BG MIA 1943-11-29 - MACR #: 1320
Notes 42-37802 Delivered: Denver 2/9/43; Gr Island 20/9/43; ass 338BS/96BG [BX- '] Snetterton 30/9/43; MIA Bremen 29/11/43 Pilot: Gordon Hendrickson, Co-Pilot: Stan Wells, Navigator: Joe Taylor, Bombardier: Jim Rose, Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Bill Vargo, Radio Operator: Edwin Bowersox, Ball Turret Gunner: Lew DeVoe, Waist Gunner: Ferdy Monier, Waist Gunner: Jack Clackley, Tail Gunner: Garnet Wood (10 KIA); ditched North Sea, no trace of crew or aircraft; MACR 1320.
Source B-17 Master Log - Dave Osbourne

#42-37811 - B-17G Group Squadron Sq Code A/C Code 96BG MIA 1943-11-29 - MACR #: 1391
Notes 42-37811 Delivered: Long Beach 7/9/43; Gr Island 3/10/43; ass 338BS/96BG [BX- ] Snetterton 8/10/43; MIA Hamm 29/11/43 Pilot: Herb Meuli, Co-Pilot: Harlan Shoellhorn, Navigator: Jim Pavlik, Bombardier: Stan Gladstone, Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Bill Norton, Radio Operator: Jim Bean, Ball Turret Gunner: Larry Rice, Waist Gunner: Ollie Simpson, Waist Gunner: Jesse Councilman, Tail Gunner: Tom Devine (10 KIA); no trace of ship or crew; MACR 1391.
Source B-17 Master Log - Dave Osbourne
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