Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
12 Apr 1921 2
Victoria Kansas 2
Death:
08 Mar 2003 2
Colorado 2
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Pictures & Records (17)

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1942
1942
The Atlanta Journal June 16, 1943
The Atlanta Journal June 16, 1943
Story of the Bombing mission in which whole crew was awarded the Silver Star and Dad was injured and was awarded his first Purple Heart
98th Bomb Group  343rd Squadron Sortie report 4/25/43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report 4/25/43
First known Bomb Action by Dads plane (Arkansas Traverler0 changed to Dopey (#1) to Messina Ferry Terminal from Lete Lybia.
98th Bomb Group, 343rd Squadron Sortie report 06/09/43
98th Bomb Group, 343rd Squadron Sortie report 06/09/43
Best image I could get. this is last known flight for Dad. Whole crew awarded Silver stat and Dad Purple Heart for Injuries. Pilot Lt Lawrence Gooden. Dad said they counted over 200 holes in the plane after landing Malta. Thank you Pilot
 The Bombardier june 14, 1943
The Bombardier june 14, 1943
Another article on the June 1943 flight of the Dopey crew
98th Bomb Group 343 Bomb Squadron Sortie Report 1 Aug 43
98th Bomb Group 343 Bomb Squadron Sortie Report 1 Aug 43
Sortie report of the Ploesti Raid and results for Dads former crew matea
 b-24 Dopey News Article
b-24 Dopey News Article
New artice from Unknow newspaper for the June 9, 1943 action.
B 24 Dopey and Crew
B 24 Dopey and Crew
I believe this is the first Dopey which was also know as Arkansas Traveler along with the original crew. My Dad is standing in back row center.
Article from Denver Post June 16, 1943
Article from Denver Post June 16, 1943
Another newspaper article from the local newspaper during WW II
98th Bomb Group 343 rd Squadron Sortie report May 1 43
98th Bomb Group 343 rd Squadron Sortie report May 1 43
Target Reggio did not drop because of loss of formation.
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sorite report May 6 43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sorite report May 6 43
Mission to Reggio Dropped bombs Saw hits on Mainland 1 ME 109 came in and flew away and another came in. No hits
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 9 43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 9 43
Mission Messina report hard to read
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 11 43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 11 43
Mission to Catina did not drop because of collision course potential with another aircraft. did have run in with MI 110 and it was hit
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 13 1943
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 13 1943
Target Auguste Bombs dropped on target Numerous ships in harbor
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 21 43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 21 43
San Ciovanni Mission Bombs dropped and observed hits Looks like very successful mission
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 26 43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 26 43
Foggia Mission Bombs dropped and hits observed no pursuit
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 30 43
98th Bomb Group 343rd Squadron Sortie report May 30 43
Foggia Bombs dropped no issues Lots of boats in harbor ME 109 on tail but pulled off.

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Personal Details

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Person:
Daniel J Kreutzer 1
Also known as: Duchy 2
Level of Education: 3 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
12 Apr 1921 2
Victoria Kansas 2
Male 2
Birth:
1921 1
Kansas 1
Death:
08 Mar 2003 2
Colorado 2
Residence:
Place: Adams County, Colorado 1
Edit
Birth:
Mother: Margaret Knoll 2
Father: John Kreutzer 2
Marriage:
Helen Louise Younger 2
16 Oct 1945 2
Derby Colorado 2
Edit

World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
24 Jun 1942 1
Army Branch:
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 1
Army Serial Number:
Dischage Papers 3
Army Serial Number:
17086803 1
Basic Traing:
Sheppard AFB Texas 3
Enlistment Place:
Denver Colorado 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Gunnery School:
Las Vegas Nv 3
Purple Heart woak leaf cluster:
GO 12 9th AF 1943 3
Radio School:
Tucson AZ 3
Silver Star:
Awarded Silver Star GO 62 9th AF 1943 3
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Staff Sargent:
Verfied from Discharge papers 3
Station:
Leece, Italy 2
Stations:
Lete, Lybia 2
Edit
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0249 1
Film Reel Number: 2.106 1
US Army Service:
Awards and Medals: Silver Star, 2 Purple Hearts, Air Medal (2), Pres. Unit Citation (2), and several service medals 4
Catinia Sicily: Last Bomb Mission 5
First Bombing Mission: 25 Apr 1943 6
Lybia: 09 Jun 1943 5
Lybia: Messina Sicily 6
Lybia: 15 Apr 1943 7
Missing in Action: After loading ship in Lybia, it caught fire and Dad ended up in water. 4

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Sources

  1. World War II Army Enlistment Records
  2. Contributed by kreutzd
  3. Verifed from Discharge Papers — Contributed by kreutzd
  4. Verified from Honorable Discharge Papers with actual order for Silver star — Contributed by kreutzd
  5. Sortie report from 98th Bomb Group record — Contributed by kreutzd
  6. Flew to Bomb the Messina Ferry Terminal as note in Sortie Report from 98 Bomb recored — Contributed by kreutzd
  7. Discharge Papers indicate he left the US on April 4, 1943 to go to North Africa. He joined the crew of the Arkansas Traveler B24D with the plane crew including Lt Clarence W. Gooden, Pilot, Lt. Donald G Johnosn, Co-pilot, Navigator, — Contributed by kreutzd
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Stories

Silver Star Award

Messina Sicily

From the General Order 62 9th AF 1943 

Daniel J Kreutzer Staff Sergeant , 343rd Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group.  For gallantry in action while participating in aerial combat on June 9, 1943.  On this date Sergeant Kreutzer was waist gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft.  After successfully completing the mission against a vitally important enemy target, his aircraft was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire disabling one of the engines, causing the airplane to fall out of formation.  Simultaneously, the plane was attacked by enemy fighter craft.  Sergeant Kreutzer, although seriously wounded by enemy fire, remained at his guns and so skillfully directed his fire in coordination with the other gunners that they successfully repelled twenty enemy aircraft.  

The entire crew was awarded the Silver Star which included   Pilot Lt. Clarence W. Gooden, Co-pilot Lt Donald G Johnson, Navigator Lt Ralph F Perkins Jr.  Bombadier, Lt William H, McNeil, AE T/SGT Oscar W Hauser, Radio T/Sgt Theodore C. Beaudry, Gunner S/S Roland B. Cox, Gunner S/Sgt Alexander M Cochrane  Gunner S/Sgt Daniel J Kreutzer and Photographer Sterling T Hendricks. 

IN MEMORY OF THE CREW OF DOPEY B-24

LYBIA, NORTH AFRICA

Dad joined the Crew of Dopey (originally Arkansas Traveler)  sometime in early 1943 at (I believe) Barksdale AFB Louisiana 

The Crew was Pilot Lt. Clarence W. Gooden, Co-pilot Lt Donald G Johnson, Navigator Lt Ralph F Perkins Jr.  Bombardier, Lt Willaim H, McNeil, AE T/SGT Oscar W Hauser, Radio T/Sgt Theodore C. Beaudry, Gunner S/S Roland B. Cox, Gunner S/Sgt Alexander M Cochrane and my dad Waist Gunner S/Sgt Daniel J Kreutzer.   They left the US per his discharge papers 4 Apil 43 flying the southern route to North Africa which I believe Dad said was to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ascension Island, Cairo Egypt and finally Lybia arriving 15 April 43.   Did go to Bethleham and Jereslum, and stationed shortly in Tunisa and Sicily

Their first Action was 25 April 43 but did not drop Bombs as Bomb Bay door didn't open.   Dad had 14 flights in action with  most of the same crew, bombing mainly locations in Sicily (Bari Aerodrome, Reggio, Messina, Catania, Auguste, Foggia etc).  They were quite successful with the full crew returning intact each time including their toughest mission of  9 June 43, (see above Silver Star award and news articles (images) downloaded)  until Dad was injured on that date.  He ended up with shrapnel next to his spine (carried the shrapnel in his back until he died) and was grounded.  On 1 August 43,  6 members of the original B-24 Dopey, flew a new plane (Margie A Virgin) and were involved in the infamous Ploesti raid.  The B-24 was shot up pretty bad, and upon landing somewhere in Europe, caught fire with 6 members of the former DOPEY CREW:   Gooden, , Perkins, McNeil, Beaudry, Cox, and Cochrane,  losing their lives.   

Dad  would not talk much about the War but especially about the crew and his friends from the Dopey.  When I obtained all of the Sortie records and learned about what happened, I finally realized the hell he must have gone through on this day and the rest of his life.  So, in memory of MY DAD, the CREW of DOPEY and their families I WILL NEVER FORGET !!!!

Family

Derby Colorado

Dad met Mom before the war started and dated some.  When he left the US he stopped writing to Mom until sometime after he was grounded and decided that he was going to survive the war.   When he returned to the states in April 1945, they started dating again and got married Oct 16, 1945.  They were married for 58 years and had 16 children.  This resulted in over 200 grandchildren and great grandchildren and still counting. 

Dad worked all his life at various jobs and finally retired around 1981.  Mom worked all her life raising 16 kids and is still active in her family.   Dad and Mom were very active in their Catholic Church including Dad doing a lot of work around the church grounds, working on the annual fund raising church fairs and Mom being involved not only the same fairs but also teaching religious classes for kids at the church.  I can’t tell you how much time they spent there but it was a good upbringing for us kids.  

The results are seen in various ways including 4 of us graduating from college, many attending various community colleges with degrees,  2 served in military service during the Vietnam era, and we all helped out with numerous church activities.     

 I could tell a lot of stories about us but MOM AND DAD did a great job for us kids and I don’t know how we could ever thank them enough for what they did for us and continue doing to guide us through our individual lives,  Through this all they never asked for recognition but if any one deserved it, it was them.

THANK YOU MOM AND DAD

Billy McNeil was my great uncle, my grandmother's only brother. I have just started trying to find out information about him on the internet. My grandmother is still alive but has Alzheimer's. I really wish now that I had paid more attention to my greatgrandmother's stories about Billy. I enjoyed reading about your Dad. Thanks for sharing the story with us.

Survival in the water

Libyia

Another story about Dad after he was permanently grounded from flying. Brother Dan sent this email to me, describing what happened. I think you will like to read it also. Dad told me about the time he was missing in action. It happened sometime between Sept and Dec of 1943. Because he was wounded he could not fly with the squadron. Apparently 4 other members of the squadron were with him on the ship getting ready to transfer. Dan's story: He was getting ready to ship out from Libya to Italy and was on the waterside of the ship. The torpedo hit the ship and a fire started. His first thought was to get away from the fire and he jumped overboard. It was dark but did have his life preserver on and thought everything was going to be all right. When he came up to the surface, he was in a patch of oil which was on fire. He got burned somewhat and went back down to swim away from the fire. When we got away from the oil, he started drifting away from the ship. He yelled for help but was not heard. He drifted all night and started to see what he had on him and all he had was a knife, which he promptly lost. The next day, a British mine sweeper saw him and picked him up. The minesweeper was under total silence and could not notify anyone that they had Dad. He was on the ship for three days enjoyed the rest and food but his company clerk, put him on the missing in action report. When he finally arrived in port in Sicily, he was able to locate his company and was sent to Italy. When he arrived there, he was still in the uniform he was wearing from the day he jumped off the ship, plus he had not shaved etc. He was a mess. When he was picked up by a driver, he was told to immediately report to the company commander. Upon reporting the first thing the Company commandeer said to him was "SGT Kreutzer, don't ever report to me in the condition" Get yourself cleaned up and presentable. But Dad smiled inside because he saw the twinkle in the Commander's eye, that he had one of his men back in good condition.

What a wonderful story. My uncle (I never met....he died before I was born) was a 1st lt 498th AAF bomb squad. I also saw some information regarding the 343th bomber group, schofield barracts army post. When my uncle died, his father (my grandfather) buried all pictures and information about his son....he was so distraught. Some was found. Where can I find information regarding my uncle..if you know.

WWII Stories from Dad

Lybia

Dad indicated that the guys were all scared on thier missions but did thier jobs as necessary.  He said that they would see Dad use his rosary during his flights and they asked him to pray for them as they didn't know what to say and of course he would. 

He said that the June 9th Mission had some tough things that happened.  They were going though hell after the bombing mission as one engine was hit and they couldn't keep up with the rest of the group. They were attacked by 20 enemy fighters and the group shot down at least 4 with Dad getting one.   At one point one of his team was injured and was real scared.  Dad who also was injured in the back and leg) kept yelling at him to get up and fight as he was going back and forth between the two waist guns firing away.  Finally the guy went back to man his gun.

During the same mission, one of the gunners was wounded real bad with injuries in several areas including the neck.  The enemy fighters finally pulled away and it was time to see what damage happened.  They guys found out they had lost two engines and the pilot was having a tough time continuing to fly the plane when the Pilot said they needed to lighten the plane.  The guys threw everything they could out inlcuding weapons, bullets, anything to lighten the load.  Dad went over to the injured guy and tried to stop the bleeding in his neck.  He just grabbed the vein and tried to put a bandage on and gave him a shot of morphine to help with the pain.  Some of the guys thought he was going to die and they wanted to thow him overboard.  But Dad stood over him and told the rest that he wouldn't allow it.  They tried and tried and dad said finally with a pistol in his hand that he would not allow his teammate to be abandoned.  They of course landed barely in Malta .  Some years later, Dad attended a 98th Bomb group reunion in Pueblo Colorado, and this gentleman came over to Dad's table and said here is the guy that saved my life.   Can you imagine the feelings Dad had at that time. 

After he was gounded from his injuries, he wanted to stay in the war and was assigned to manage the group motorpool.  One time he had to take a group of pilots to some R&R in Rome Italy.  They had a great time and the officers wanted to stay longer but dad had to get back to the base.  The officers said that wanted to stay and Dad asked if that was an order or not.  They said it was an order and so he stayed and did not get into trouble although the officers may have. 

 

  

 

Michele that commented below is my cousin. Strange that we both found this. Truly profound stories about your dad! I wish I could learn more about my great uncle William McNeil. If you have any other information I would be more than happy to hear it and share it. Thank you!

Thank you for posting this information. My uncle was Ralph F. Perkins. He was in the Dopey crew. My family never talked about him. I am fortunate to find information about him.

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