TSGT Harold E Cooper


TSGT Harold E Cooper

Death 1 Oct 1943
Burial Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA
Plot SECTION 2, SITE 1632
Memorial ID 520783 View Source
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Engineer T/Sgt. Harold E. Cooper KIA
Hometown: Denver Colorado
Squadron: 67th BS 44th Bomb Group
Service # 38139230
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
Pilot Capt. Charles P. Henderson Jr. DFC KIA

Target Wiener-Neustadt, Austria
Missing Air Crew Report Details
Date Lost: 1-Oct-43
Serial Number: 42-72853
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: Q
Aircraft Name: COUNT BRUGA
Location: Wiener-Neustadt, Austria
Cause: Fighters crew of 10 7KIA 3POW

As 1st/Lt. Henderson flew B24 41-23779 and was a recipient of the Distinguished flying cross for his valor in the Ploesti raid "Operation Tidal Wave" August 1st 1943. One of the most daring raids of WW2. Coming in at tree top level the Flying Eightballs destroy Romanian oil fields. Lt. later Captain Henderson was shot down again and was KIA on the mission to Austria.

The last of the 67th aircraft lost this day was Lt. Charlie Henderson’s. The MACR for this crew is rather short and incomplete, saying only that “A/C #853 was flying in the second element of the low, left section and on the bomb run was seen by his #2 wingman to drop down and slide over to the right, under attack by enemy aircraft. When last sighted in the target area, was on fire in bomb bay section.”
Albert Greyhosky, co-pilot, stated that, “As we turned into the bomb run, our flight was forced out of formation by a too-great a bank by the leading squadron. We were low flight in the low formation. Just as we slid out of formation, the fighters hit us head on. Our #3 and #4 engines were knocked out at the same time. Our plane immediately fell into a steep spiral. Capt. Henderson immediately gave the bailout signal and tried to hold the ship from spinning to give the crew a chance to get out. His action resulted in four of us being able to bail out. From the time we fell into the spiral to the time the plane went into an uncontrollable spin must have been very brief because Ramsey, top turret gunner, jumped almost Immediately, followed by Dayberry (radio)– I was to have followed but the plane was already in a spin and I was knocked unconscious inside the plane. I recovered when I was already on the ground! But just before I was knocked out, I saw Henderson still holding the controls trying his best to counteract the spin and regain some control.”
William P. Newbold, navigator, adds, “We approached the IP, about 50 miles east of Vienna, at 17,000 feet. The time was about noon. As we were making our left turn at the IP, the German fighters struck. It was a nose attack and the fighters came out of the sun in formation. I can’t be sure, but I would say there were five or six of them attacking almost simultaneously. Zwicker and I got in a few bursts before they disappeared over the top of our ship.

There was only one attack. The nose was not hit but, from the feel of it, I would say we were raked from the flight deck on back. Immediately after the attack, our ship veered sharply to the right and down. I observed the right wing and #4 engine to be on fire. Although attempted, there was no interphone communication. Zwicker and I snapped on our chest packs, and I opened the nose wheel door. During these few seconds, we had fallen 5,000 feet and the ship was entering atight spiral to the right. “At this point I shook hands with Zwicker and dove out. He was in good shape apparently, and was ready to follow, since the nose had not been hit. When the opportunity to observe came, after a delayed chute opening, I couldn’t tell from which ship I had jumped, as there were several B-24s and fighters going down. I doubt if our bomb load had been salvoed. I saw four or five other chutes at various altitudes and distances from me, but I had no way of telling if they were from my ship or not. From there to the ground I was busy observing the German aircraft which were flying rather close to the chutes. I did not see the fighters fire at any chute, though. “Upon reaching the ground, I was almost immediately rounded up by civilians with dogs. The civilians were hostile, but the German soldiers who took me from them were not. I might add here that none of our crew carried side arms. Later, somewhere along the chain of interrogation, solitary confinement, hospital, then prison camp, I saw Greyhosky and Dayberry, who apparently knew no more than I concerning the fate of the remaining crew members. Greyhosky’s mind apparently went completely blank as he remembers nothing except waking up on the ground and being taken prisoner. “It is my opinion that Capt. Henderson, if he was not hit, remained at his position in an attempt to bring the ship under control until it was too late to escape. I saw no midair explosion.

Crew of 41-72853
Capt. Charles P. Henderson Pilot KIA
2nd/Lt. Albert Greyhosky Co Pilot POW
1st/Lt. William P. Newbold Navigator POW
1L Henry Richard Zwicker Bombardier KIA
T/Sgt. Harold E. Cooper Engineer KIA
T/Sgt. John J. Dayberry Gunner POW
S/Sgt. James M. Porter Gunner KIA
S/Sgt.Ivan W. Ramsay Gunner KIA
S/Sgt.Ivan W. Ramsay Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Charlie H. Confer Gunner KIA
S/Sgt.Isley B. Warvick Gunner KIA
S/Sgt.Isley B. Warvick Gunner KIA




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