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Adam Charles "GUS" Schwindle, KIA 14 Mar.'44
14 March, 1944 | Italy
Lt Adam C Schwindle, B-25 Mitchell Pilot in the 321st BG, 448thBS, Flew Missions out of Lybia, on a Detached Service called "GambIt-Gambut" Sea-Sweeps on the Mediterranean Sea.. He had about 10 to 15 missions before being transferred to the 310thBG, 381st BG.
The SHIPPING ORDER above reflects the "HOP" across the Atlantic... Arriving at Souk El Arba, arriving 9 July, '43.... "11 July, 1943, SET UP Own Squadron of "G's" in a nearby field." Tent #10.
5 August,'43 FIRST MISSION "Sea Sweep"
321st Bomb Group "Headlines", the "ROSTER" part and Adam is listed as an Officer/Pilot in the 448th Bomb Squadron; http://www.warwingsart.com/12thAirForce/321st%20Bombardment%20Group%20Roster%20from%20John%20Fitzgerald.pdf
321stBG; Transferred FROM the 321st Bomb Group to the 310th BG on 5 nov. 1943, Pilot # 0-794585
(Lt Gordon Prior Document) Officers an EM's transfered from the 321stBG,448thBS, "Detatched Service" out of Lybia. "Gambit Gambut" a "G" Model (Theatre made) B-25's designed for Sea-Sweeps agaisnt AXIS Transport Ships in the Mediterranean Sea. They went to the 310th Bomb Group, also on the front line. ***************************************************************************************************
Schwindle, Adam C. "Gus", 2Lt, pilot (0-794585- B-25G crew), 448th BS
(#41-29774) Lt Adam Schwindle was shot-down 14 March, 1944
12 Feb 43 - 448th BS War Diary: Air Echelon: At 12:55 February 12, 1943, the Air Echelon departed DeRidder Army Air Base via air for Morrison Field, Florida, arriving without mishap at 19:15, February 12, 1943. Weather clear. Morale excellent. Preparations completed for Over-Seas flight to North Africa. At 09:00 February 15, 1943, the Flight Echelon departed Morrison Field, Florida. 1st Lieutenant Hess remained due to mechanical malfunction of plane # 41-29774. 2nd Lieutenant Davies, Ford, McKinney, Plumlee, and Stultz appointed 1st Lieutenants, February 5, 1943.
A/C No. 41-29774 P Hess, Robert G., 1Lt CP Buchenau, Harry T, 2Lt N Cheetham, McClain, 2Lt B N/A E Rodgers, Herbert E., S/Sgt R Cookman, Harold F., S/Sgt G Hines, Ralph V., S/Sgt F Iatesta, James G., Cpl (PAX)
15 Feb 43 - 448th BS War Diary: Air Echelon: Preparations completed for Over-Seas flight to North Africa. At 09:00 February 15, 1943, the Flight Echelon departed Morrison Field, Florida. 1st Lieutenant Hess remained due to mechanical malfunction of plane # 41-29774.
Hess, Robert G., 1Lt, pilot
1st combat mission on 25 Mar 43:
25 Mar 43 - 448th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 9/mission 8) Group Mission # 8: Mission 6 (8): At 09:35 15 planes off to bomb L/G at Djebel North. Dropped frags at 1115 from 8000 feet, all planes returned at 12:30. Intense heavy, inaccurate flak, target well covered by pattern of bombs. F/L: Knapp and Heinlen.
Heinlen, Clayton H., Capt, pilot, Commander; Knapp, Robert D., Col, pilot, 321st BG CO
A/C No. 41-29774 P Hess, Robert G., 1Lt CP Buchenau, Harry T., 2Lt N Piasecki, Walter C., 2Lt B Navigator filling both B & N positions E Rodgers, Herbert E., S/Sgt R Cookman, Harold F., S/Sgt G Hines, Ralph V., S/Sgt F None
_____ Combat Missions in the 448th BS for Lt Schwindle.
321stBG; Transferred FROM the 321st Bomb Group to the 310th BG on 5 nov. 1943, Pilot # 0-794585 (Lt Gordon Prior Document above) Officers an EM's transfered from the 321stBG,448thBS, "Detatched Service" out of Lybia. "Gambit Gambut" a "G" Model (Theatre made) B-25's designed for Sea-Sweeps agaisnt AXIS Transport Ships in the Mediterranean Sea. They went to the 310th Bomb Group, also on the front line.
Adam C. Schwindle First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces Service # O-794585 381st Bomber Squadron, 310th Bomber Group, Medium Entered the Service from: New York
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery
Florence, Italy Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
Lt Adam "Gus" Schwindle was then an assigned Pilot in the 310thBomb Group, the 381st Bomb Squadron and a friend of George Underwood's (Top-Turet Gunner) George was on that Mission that day to Piambino Harbor, #3 in formation, 36 Ships Mision, 20 Spits as escort, Bombed from 9,5000 Ft. "Roughest one yet, Lots of intense accurate heavy Flak, Lost 2 ships Art Ulahon MIA.
2nd Mission, 82 holes in our Ship, we crash landed. Alerons and Rudders out. (Sky-Pilot sure with us that time) COMPLETE STORY BELOW
Gus Schwindle Crew lost... Gus, Sam Clement, Dick Heller, W.J. "POP" Parmalee, Art Ulahon.
Lt Branums Crew with Lt Reicher, P.W.Ochs, H.O.Wright, K.W. Phipps.
Adam C. Schwindle was never found.
Department Of Defense~DPMO
Defense Prisoner Of War/Missing Personnel Office
Service Personnel Not Recovered Following World War II
2,074 U.S. Army Air Forces personnel with Last Name beginning with S
Entries marked with an asterisk "*" designate cases where the Date of Loss is being reviewed.
SCHWINDLE, ADAM C O794585 AAF 1 LT 03/14/1944
More to come, Barbi Ennis Connolly, 57th BW Researcher PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com
321stBG,448thBS, Lt "Gus" Adam Schwindle
1943 | N.Africa
321st Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Squad War-Diary; 14 Oct. 1943 Mission;
448th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 138/mission 137) Group Mission # 139: Mission # 104 (139): At 07:40 36 planes off to bomb Athens, Argos A/D, dropped 2594 frags at 09:57 from 8500 feet and returned at 11:50. Field well covered with best pattern in center, one string through 4 E/A on edge of runway and on S and NW dispersal areas, fires seen in buildings on SW side, one flak battery hit. Flak intense, heavy and accurate, flak more than on mission of October 4. Weather: 4/10th at 5000 feet. F/L: Sinclair.
A/C No. 41-30005 "Duck"
P) Schwindle, Adam C. "Gus", 2Lt ; CP) Heller, Leonard C., 2Lt; B) StAubin, Francis (NMI), S/Sgt; E) Clement, Sam (NMI), Sgt R) McNulty, Joseph P., S/Sgt; G) Parmelee, Walter J., Sgt *************************
Sunday, 24 October 1943; 321st BG "G" Squadron on Detached Service to Gambut Libya: Came Oct 24th, and no supplies. Capt. Bell waited until noon and then dispatched a plane to Deversoir, an Air Corps Supply Depot, to get some definite action done on our own hook. Lts. Gilluly, Schwindle and crews went out on this special mission. They should be back tomorrow ....
Wednesday, 27 October 1943; 321st BG "G" Squadron Mission Summary: (Ops Order 14/Mission 14): Mission Report # 14, 27 October 1943 (redesignated mission # 365 on 4 Jun 44)
st Bombardment Group, B-25G’s, DS, Gambut.
2. At 0720 4 B-25G’s took off to bomb Antimachia A/D in Kos Island. None returned early. 2 dropped 7 x 300 lb. bombs, 1 dropped 4 x 250 lb. bombs. 4 fired 10 x 75mm and 1000 50 caliber shells all beginning at 0915. Bombs dropped from 100 feet. 4 A/C diverted to Matruh L/G because of sandstorm at Gambut No. 3, landed there at 105. Took off from Matruh at 1740; landed at Gambut No. 3 at 1840 *****
446th BS B-25G A/C No. 42-64587 "Red Nosed Beckie" (Schwindle, Heller, Clemment, McNulty, Horton and Parmalee)
Barbara Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com
Barbara Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com
Lt Schwindle, Piombino Harbor
14 March, 1944 | Italy
When I originally wrote about this Piombino mission, my second time to this target, I thought that I had it right. I have found, however, that I apparently confused the ending of this mission with another and only after my story about “Belly Landings” was published in our 57th Bomb Wing Journal did I find this out. This then is the corrected story.
It was my 16th mission and we unloaded our bombs from 9,500 feet on a clear, beautiful, blue-sky day and it was very cold at that altitude. Our target was Piombino Harbor. The group was comprised of 36 aircraft each of which carried a bomb load of six 500-pound bombs. We had the famous English made Spitfires flown by free French pilots as fighter escort. The date was March 14, 1944.
We were flying a B-25G model, which had a solid nose with a 75mm cannon, used for minimum altitude sea sweeps against German shipping along the Italian coastline. We carried no bombardier with us in this carefully patched and prepared olive drab aircraft. Crew Chief Tillman McQuirk had given us a “thumbs up” as we left the hardstand. As usual the enemy flak was intense and very accurate.
Every mission was the same. Checking out our flight gear, climbing on the truck, riding to the flight line, checking the aircraft with the other crewmembers and awaiting our pilots to finish their mission briefing. It was all part of the daily scenario that we undertook before each mission takeoff. Pulling the props, starting the engines, warming them up, and then taxiing off the hardstand, getting in line and waiting for the green light from the tower, taking off and circling to form up.
For a change we were upped to the lead element rather than being “tail end Charlie” where we were usually positioned. As the formation gained altitude for this medium altitude bombing mission, we kept circling and holding because Corsica and the mainland of Italy are not too far apart, close enough to reach our seacoast target in minutes. Lead Bombardier/Navigator was Lt. Les Lewis and we followed his lead. When he opened his bomb bay doors Lt. Heller opened ours. When he dropped his bombs we dropped ours.
When we reached the target our squadron immediately lost 3 ships. Our plane barely made it back to Corsica, and no wonder, it was riddled with over 200 flak holes. On this day our mission approach to Piombino Harbor was from the south and as we made our IP (initial point) and turned for the bomb run, the flak started. It was very accurate, flash-bang, no ranging, no brackets; the dirty, red centered black flak smoke with its lethal shrapnel just followed us. Hit after hit blasted our ship and down we went in a mad dive with that German 88mm flak following us as we flew past the B-25 redline to 300 MPH diving almost straight down from 9,500 to the sea.
Fortunately, no one aboard our ship was wounded from that constant storm of anti aircraft fire. Other 381st crewmembers in our formation were not so lucky. The toll of dead and wounded was high. Our squadron lost 3 aircraft that day; while two of the three made it safely back to Corsica, we lost another when it crashed into the sea killing Art Vlahon, a member of our original flight crew and the entire crew aboard. He was our Bombardier/Navigator and was transferred to this new crew upon our joining the 310th Bomb Group in North Africa in 1943.
The aircraft from our Squadron formation lost over the target that day included Lt. Branum who was fling #2 on the right wing of the flight leader Lt. McLaughlin turned right and down they went. Lt. Schwindle was #4 behind and below the leader and his aircraft just nosed over and down. We were #3 on the left wing of the leader, banked sharply left and went down.
A hit just underneath our aircraft caused a piece of flak to hit the seat parachute of Lt. Heller that saved him from a bad wound. It was the day I got bumped by a piece of flak, which just nicked my shin and didn’t even break the skin nor tear my flight suit. It did rip a good size hole in the skin of the aircraft however. The other two planes, from our box of six, were badly battered by the flak but made it back to the field.
Looking back I recall our ailerons had been shot out over the target by the heavy flak as well as some of the electrical systems. There were three gunners’ positions behind the bomb bay, of this model B-25, the tail gunner, Herb Campbell, Jim Heaney, waist/radio gunner and me, the top turret gunner. When I crawled over the bomb bay to see what was going on up front I really startled the pilots. You cannot see from front to back of this aircraft unless you climb over the bomb bay. Lt. Vosburgh, co-pilot, had punched the bail out bell, a very loud bell indicating to the crew that it was time to exit the aircraft but it had been shot out. Both the pilot and co-pilot had thought that the crew had bailed out over the target. Now it was too late and we were too low to bail out so Lt. Heller put us to work.
I relayed his message to the guys in the back that because the aircraft was tail heavy from flak damage; we should throw out as much equipment as possible to lighten the load. Out went radios, ammunition, ammunition boxes, guns; anything that wasn’t bolted down and we could get loose was tossed into the ocean from the open waist windows. We did retain a short belt of .50 caliber ammunition ‘just in case”, but with a Spitfire on our right wing flying cover for us, we didn’t have to worry about German aircraft surprising us. German Luftwaffe pilots were always on the prowl to get those easy targets, “wounded bombers”.
As we approached the downwind end of our field we lowered the landing gear and found that the right tire was in shreds from flak and was flopping in the breeze. The Free French Spitfire waggled his wings and turned north heading for his field in Bastia. Now, our ship was coming in on a “wing and a prayer” and we lined up on that pierced steel landing field landing “hot” as Lt. Heller described it at 125 IAS (indicated air speed) with some flaps. He flew it right to the ground and ‘greased it in’ on the left wheel managing to keep the right wing and wheel high until we slowed down. Any landing you walk away from is “a good one” and I won’t argue with that. We were all alive and ready for the next mission. Our aircraft was not and we got a new silver “J” model to replace it.
Written by S/Sgt George B Underwood, B-25 Top Turret Aerial Gunner......