1943 — Africa/Italy
S/Sgt Harold Cookman was lost in the Ship's 10th Mission, out of Africa, Target ... Sea Sweep. 31 March, 1943
Sumner Hudson was Harold's 'forever-friend' from their hometown of Clear Lake, IOWA, it is Sumner that has "filled in the blanks" for us, naming the picture, and telling stories such as how "Trouble" was named after Harold's older sister ! Sumner is living with his wife in TX . 20 Oct. 2009 (Barbi Ennis Connolly)
Cookman, Harold F., S/Sgt., Radio-Gunner, Enlistment Service # : 17043268
KILLED IN ACTION on 31 March 1943~448th Bombardment Squadron War Diary:
On March 31, 1943, on a low element sea sweep over the Mediterranean Sea, Off of Northeastern Tunisia, the first battle casualties of the squadron occurred. 2 Crews, (13 Men), and 2 Planes were Lost, 1st Lts. Hess, McKinney; 2nd Lts: Campbell, Welton; S/Sgts: Cookman, Hines, Kirol, McGinnis, McMurray, Ratajczyk, Rodgers, Headings and Lottes were shot down into the Mediterranean Sea by enemy fighters. The mission however did succeed in sinking two enemy ships.
At 12:45 15 planes off to bomb on sea sweep, over the Mediterranean Sea. 14 (planes) dropped 84 x 500 bombs. 12 planes back at 17:05. One landed at Bone. Met convoy, lower element (48) claims M/V (Military Vessel) broken in two, one M/V (Military Vessel) left sinking, one left burning. 4 E/A (Enemy Aircraft) destroyed. About 50 E/A (Enemy Aircraft) attacked 2 B-25’s (Lts: Hess and McKinney) shot down. Intense, heavy accurate flak, balloon barrage. Bombing was at 100-200 feet. Weather: Clear.
Own Aircraft Losses: Two. B-25C 41-13209 and B-25C 41-13205. One by flak and 1455 hours - 37°35’N, 10°47’E; the other by fighters at 1512 hours - 37°48’N, 10°27E.
A/C No. 41-13209 “Trouble” (MACR-14579 “Lost at Sea. Aircraft was lost to enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft”)
P: Hess, Robert G., 1Lt
CP: Welton, Mert J., 2Lt
B: McMurray, Walter J., S/Sgt
E: Rodgers, Herbert E., S/Sgt
R: Cookman, Harold F., S/Sgt
G: Hines, Ralph V., S/Sgt
Barbi Ennis Connolly, Historian for the 321st Bomb Group. PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com Additions/Corrections ?