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Old 31st March 2016, 20:24
Oliver1966 Oliver1966 is offline
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Losses 474th FG at 13th March 1945

Dear all,

during aerial combat with Fw 190 fighters near Remagen at 13th March 1945 474th FG suffered some losses.
Concerning the loss of 1st Lieutenant Harold R. Ogger and Lieutenant L. B. Wheeler from 430th FS who crashed together while diving on a Fw 190 I`m in search for some more information.
Above the mission report from 474th FG I`m looking for more information about the involved P-38s (serial numbers), the crash sites of the planes and the places where the pilots came down to earth after they bailed out of their damaged aircrafts.

The same information I need for 2nd Lieutenant Ralph E. Byers from 429th FS, who went down at the same day some miles away from Sinzig.


Who can help?


Best regards and thanks in advance
Oliver1966
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Old 31st March 2016, 21:20
KM1957 KM1957 is offline
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Re: Losses 474th FG at 13th March 1945

Both Ogger and Wheeler came down inside Allied lines, I have no aircraft details for them at the moment. Byers was in 7Y-J 42-68092. Richard V. Riggs was also lost this date and was in 7Y-C 42-104418. Byers and Riggs were both KIA.

Kent
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Old 1st April 2016, 00:38
KM1957 KM1957 is offline
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Re: Losses 474th FG at 13th March 1945

Here is a bit more information. Byers is on MACR 13100 and it states he was missing north of Sinzig, F-6617. He collided with another P-38 and that pilot returned on one engine. Riggs is on MACR 13012 and was last seen south of Kript, F-6618, while chasing a FW 190.

Kent
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Old 2nd April 2016, 18:54
Oliver1966 Oliver1966 is offline
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Re: Losses 474th FG at 13th March 1945

Dear Kent,

thanks for your information. Concerning the loss of Riggs I can add the information that he went down approx. 1:00 p.m. at the little village of Eichen, near Flammersfeld, near Altenkirchen, some miles north-east of Remagen.

Best regards
Oliver1966
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Old 16th May 2017, 03:17
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Eagle0025 Eagle0025 is offline
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Re: Losses 474th FG at 13th March 1945

Hello Oliver,
As historian of the 474th FG Association, the Remagen operation is one I have researched as much as possible. In particular, I have attempted to gather as much information on the 13 March 1945 crash sites of Lts. Wheeler, Ogger, Byers, and Riggs. Lt. Richard V. Riggs was last seen chasing an Fw-190 east into Germany. Riggs was later confirmed killed in action. His crash site (P-38J-15-LO, s/n 42-104418, coded 7Y-C) was located just north of the village of Eichen, Germany where civilians witnessed his shoot down by German fighters. They recovered his body and buried him in the local cemetery. Two 429th FS Blue Flight P-38s, flown by Lts. James Irby and Ralph Byers, flew into each other as they were spreading out to attack. Irby’s P-38 (coded 7Y-V) sustained significant damage but Jim was able to limp his crippled ship back to home base at Florennes, Belgium. Byer’s P-38 (P-38J-10-LO, s/n 42-68092 coded 7Y-J) tumbled wildly out of control after having its entire horizontal stabilizer shorn off, but it was still hoped that Ralph was able to bail out. This was not to be as he would be found dead with his crashed P-38 near Roniger-Hof, Germany, just east of Remagen.
As for 430th FS pilots Wheeler and Ogger, I am still looking for more details on their particular mid-air.
Luckily, both pilots managed to bail out successfully. Dick Ogger landed unhurt on the west bank of the Rhine and radioed from a nearby tank that he was OK. Roy Wheeler had a tougher time as he got banged up and bruised when his parachute snagged on the canopy. He was able to free himself and drifted down, almost landing on top of the IX TAC Commander, Major General Pete Quesada, who had been observing the ongoing dogfight. The General graciously offered to give him accommodations for the night, but Roy respectfully declined the offer in favor of being with someone slightly closer in rank to his own. Both Wheeler and Ogger would return to Florennes the next day none the worse for their experiences. Identifying their P-38s has been difficult at best since both pilots bailed out OK and landed within friendly lines, so no MACRs were ever written. During my research, I believe one of the P-38s involved may have been P-38J-25-LO, s/n 44-23582 but I am still researching to confirm this. The same goes for their crash sites. From what little information I have, it is likely that both of these P-38s came down in the vicinity of Sinzig. Again, I am exploiting all possible sources to see if I can't get a more specific location for each one. Hope this helps.
Cheers, Gary Koch

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