1ST LT JAMES NORWOOD TAYLOR
1st Lt USAAF WWII KIA
482nd BG, 814th B Sq
He entered the service from KS. His mother, Lillian B. Taylor, was living in El Dorado AR at the time of his death.
B-24H #42-7645 took off from Alconbury, UK, Army Air Base #102, on 01 [sic] March 1944 at approximately 0100 hours. They were headed to Seething AAB, UK, for the purpose of leading the group that was stationed there on a Pathfinder mission the following morning. The Pathfinders of the 482nd Bomb Group played a key role in the implementation of the ‘Mickey' radar system that allowed improved navigation and bombing raids to be conducted during night missions and inclement weather or low-visibility conditions. The intended target of this particular mission was factories in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany. There were a total of 12 crew members on board. The crew received no briefing on weather conditions nor did they receive pertinent radio flimsies*, and no occult or pundit** flimsies. They did not receive the information reportedly because their plane had been late taking off. The GEE*** information was changed that night and was not given. Upon approach to Seething AAB, UK, the plane encountered violent weather conditions and up-drafts. In attempts to go around the storm, the crew ended up off-course over Holland. The crew believed they were still over the UK when they descended below the clouds and out of the weather formations. An attempt had previously been made to contact Seething AAB without success, and no assistance was received from any ground crews. Upon their descent, the aircraft was hit in multiple locations by heavy burning flak near Bergen, Holland on 2 March 1944 at approximately 0700 hours. Several of the crew members were unable to bail out due to being hit with burning flak. Sgt Blackwelder, the top turret gunner, was hit by flak and upon trying to crawl out of the top hatch, he got caught by his gear. Lieutenant Sternberger, the Navigator, attempted to free Sgt Blackwelder by tugging on his legs and trying to pull him out, but his chest pack was stuck, and it was impossible to free him. The Pilot, Lieutenant Taylor, had tried to put the aircraft on auto-pilot and adjust his chute. The CoPilot, Lieutenant Grohman, was attempting to help the Pilot, open the bomb bay doors, and put his chute on all at the same time, but the plane was engulfed in flames. Lieutenant Sternberger quoted Pilot Taylor saying. ‘Go ahead, Grohman'. He stated that Lieutenant Grohman could have saved himself if he had not tried to help the Pilot so much. He also stated that Sergeant Lloyd had helped him a great deal with the radio codes. Six airmen were killed and six bailed out successfully approximately ½ mile from Altmar, near Bergen, Holland, however, the six survivors were taken as POWs to Stalag Luft 3.
*Flimsies were thin paper reports designed to literally be eaten in case of capture.
**Pundits were light beacons used to identify airfields; they were mobile and were not set up in the same place each night. They may not have always been turned on, so one would need to call in on the radio with a code to get it turned on, and all of this information was likely on the radio flimsy.
***GEE navigation stands for generalized estimating equation, a blind radio navigation system designed by the British that was designed to improve aircraft navigation accuracy during nighttime and inclement weather missions. GEE was a precursor to the LORAN, or LOng RAnge Navigation system.
The crew members were~
1st Lt James N. Taylor, Pilot, ASN O-530106, entered the service from KS (his hometown was El Dorado AR), KIA
2nd Lt Thomas M Grohman, CoPilot, ASN O-742711, entered the service from WI (his hometown was Saginaw MI), KIA
2nd Lt Nathan L. Sternberger, Navigator, ASN O-2044888, from Clark Co OH, entered the service from Brooklyn NY, POW Stalag Luft 3
1st Lt Ellsworth K. Jacobson, Bombardier, ASN O-668956, from Marshall MN, KIA
Sgt David E. Blackwelder, Top Turret Gunner, ASN 14030321, from Concord NC, KIA
SSgt Arthur L. Lloyd, Nose Turret Gunner, ASN 33072981, entered the service from PA (his hometown was Cambridge MD), KIA
SSgt Joseph D. Kennedy, Right Waist Gunner, ASN 17050901, from Pipestone MN, POW Stalag Luft 4
SSgt Thomas A. Byrnes, Left Waist Gunner, ASN 37282507, from St Paul MN, POW Stalag 17B
SSgt Robert A. Schroeder, Tail Gunner, ASN 12165862, from Jersey City NJ, POW Stalag Luft 4
TSgt Paul F. Vankavelaar, Radio Operator & Gunner, ASN 6139313, from New London CT, POW Stalag Luft 4
Sgt R. W. Hill, Aerial Mechanic, ASN 38112272, from Geneva TX, KIA
Cpl Jerome V. Just, Aerial Mechanic, ASN 35498035, from Louisville KY, POW Stalag Luft 4
The crew is listed here in the virtual cemetery for B-24H #42-7645
1ST LT JAMES NORWOOD TAYLOR
- Maintained by: SHARON GALLATIN PHILLIPS
- Originally Created by: B24CoPilotNiece
- Added: 29 Jun 2011
- Find a Grave Memorial 72232447
- Sponsored by SHARON GALLATIN PHILLIPS
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/72232447/james-norwood-taylor : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT James Norwood Taylor (20 Apr 1920–2 Mar 1944), Find a Grave Memorial ID 72232447, citing Roselawn Cemetery, Junction City, Union County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by SHARON GALLATIN PHILLIPS (contributor 46931262) .