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358th Goering Crew
Werner G. Goering, Pilot
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WERNER G. GOERING CREW - 358th BS
B-17G #43-37838 Fearless Fosdick (358BS) VK-A
(crew assigned 358BS: 07 Aug 1944 - photo: 10 Aug 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt William D. Sachau (B), 1Lt Jack P. Rencher (CP),
2Lt Rex H. Markt (N), Capt Werner G. Goering (P)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Paul A. Bishop (WG), T/Sgt Chester "Chad" Brodzinski (R)(*),
T/Sgt William J. LaPerch, (R), T/Sgt Orall R. "Gus" Gustafson (E)(*),
S/Sgt Clarence W. Houseman (BT)(*), S/Sgt Weldon T. "Tex" Mahan (TG)(*)

(Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission)

(*) Assigned to 1Lt Jack P. Rencher Crew when 1Lt Rencher was upgraded to Pilot and flew some combat missions with Pilot 1Lt Rencher.

Forty-nine dispatched (48 credited) combat missions flown by Capt Werner G. Goering:

  • 1Lt Werner G. Goering - First Combat Tour - 34 credited missions
    230 (18 Aug 1944), 231, 232, 233, 235, 238, 239, 244, 245, 246, 249, 250, 252, 255, 259, 260, 262, 263, 265, 267, 269, 272, 273, 274, 275, 277, 279, 283, 284, 285, 289 (LC), 297(DLC), 298A (DLC), 299 (DLC) (8 Jan 1945). (LC) Lead Crew Pilot (DLC) Deputy Lead Crew Pilot
  • Capt Werner G. Goering -Second Combat Tour - 14 credited missions as a Lead Crew Pilot
    308 (18 Jan 1945), 310, 314, 315 (A), 320, 323, 327, 330, 332, 335, 340, 343, 350, 355, 363 (20 April 1945). (A) Non-credited aborted mission - take off crash. See "Flight Incidents" below. For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.
Eighteen B-17Gs flown by Capt Werner G. Goering on his 48 dispatched combat missions:
  • First combat tour - 11 different B-17Gs
    • 42-97298 The Floose (358BS) VK-H - Missions 230, 233, 235, 238, 246
    • 43-37590 Neva - The Silver Lady (358BS) VK-Q - Missions 244, 245
    • 43-38462 Teddy's Rough Riders (358BS) VK-I - Missions 249, 250, 255, 273, 275, 279, 284, 285, 299
    • 42-107099 Old 99 (427BS) GN-W - Mission 259
    • 42-102945 Sweet Pea (358BS) VK-M - Missions 260, 263, 269, 274, 298A
    • 43-38191 Shasta (358BS) VK-A - Missions 272, 277
    • 43-38065 Princess Pat 2 (358BS) VK-J - Mission 283
    • 43-38999 Emma (358BS) VK-F) Mission 297
    • 43-38238 (No name) (358BS) VK-L - Missions 230, 233, 235, 238, 246
    • 44-6316 (No name) (358BS) VK-C - Mission 239
    • 44-8238 (No name) (PFF B-17G) (358BS) (VK-Y) - Mission 289
  • Second Combat Tour - 8 different PFF B-17G's
    • 44-8125 Sparky (360BS) PU-Y - Missions 310, 332, 363
    • 44-8710 Idle Wheel (427BS) GN-Y - Mission 327
    • 44-8238 (No name) (358BS) VK-Y - Missions 323, 335, 340, 343, 350
    • 44-8351 (No name) (358BS) VK-Z - Missions 308, 320
    • 44-8439 (No name) (360BS) PU-Z - Mission 335
    • 44-8484 (No name) (358BS) VK-W- Mission 330
    • 44-8590 (No name) (358BS) VK-Y - Missions 324, 315 (A)
Crew Notes:
  • Capt Werner G. Goering (P) - Was the nephew of Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering Commander in Chief of the Nazi German Luftwaffe. Capt Goering completed 48 credited combat missions on 28 Jan 1945 (Mission 308) and was promoted to Captain while a Lead Crew Pilot
  • 1Lt Jack P. Rencher (P) - Was an experienced B-17 Pilot before being assigned to the 1Lt Goering Crew. Had over 1,000 B-17 Pilot hours flying at the Yuma AFB, Az. Gunnery school. While at Yuma AFB, AZ was selected for a volunteer assignment as the Werner G. Goering crew Co-Pilot after an extensive USAAF investigation to find a Pilot uniquely qualified to fly as an armed 1Lt Goering CoPilot over Nazi Germany and to make sure that he wouldn't land in German territory while on a combat mission. Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 22 November 1944 and completed five missions (277, 286, 287, 289, 290) as a First Pilot. Flew on 25 missions as the 1Lt Goering Crew CoPilot (Goering missions 232 through 275 and 279 and 281) and five credited missions with other Pilots (231, 251, 254, 258, 288 - when 1Lt Goering stood down). Completed his 35 mission combat tour on 24 Dec 1944 (Mission 290).
  • 2Lt Rex H. Markt (N) - Flew on 26 credited combat missions with 1Lt Goering (Goering missions 230 through 235 and 239 through 279) and 9 missions with other Pilots 243 and 254 and as a Deputy Lead Crew Navigator missions 281, 283, 284, 285, 288, 289 and 290). Completed his 35 mission combat tour on 24 Dec 1944 (Mission 290).
  • 1Lt William T. Sachau (B) - Flew on 14 missions with 1Lt Goering (230, 231, 232, 233, 235, 238 [238 as Navigator], 244, 245, 246, 249, 250, 289, 308 and 310 and on 15 missions with other Pilots (247 and 254, With a Deputy Lead Crew 255 and 263, With a Lead Crew - 265, 267, 269, 273, 275, 281, 283, 284, 289, 293, 298A and 300). Completed 29 missions on 1 Feb 1945 (Mission 310).
  • T/Sgt Orall R. "Gus" Gustafson (E) Flew on 29 missions with 1Lt Goering ( 230, Goering missions 232 through 246 and 250 through 285 and 299) and five missions with other Pilots: With 1Lt Jack P. Rencher (P) (287, 289, 290); Other Pilots (294, 303), Completed combat tour on 17 Jan 1945 (Mission 303).
  • T/Sgt Chester "Chad" Brodzinski (R) - Flew on 31 missions with 1Lt Goering (All Goering 1st combat tour missions except 252, 297, 298A, 299) and 3 missions with other Pilots: With 1Lt Jack P. Rencher (290), Others (251 and 197 (#197 as Lead Crew Radio Operator). Completed combat tour on 8 Jan 1945 (Mission 299).
  • T/Sgt William J. LaPerch (BTG/RO) - Flew on 13 missions with 1Lt Goering (As BTG - 230, 231, 232, 233, 235, 238, 239, 244, 245, 249, 250, 259, As Radio Operator - 252) and 22 missions with other Pilots as Radio Operator: With 1Lt Clarence J. Goodberlet (301, 303, 305, 306, 309, 310, 317, 319, 321, 326); With 1Lt Jack P. Rencher (289), With other Pilots (236, 246, 253, 254, 255, 274, 277, 283, 286, 287, 314). Completed combat tour on 28 Feb 1945 (Mission 326).
  • S/Sgt Clarence W. Houseman (WG) - Flew on 20 missions with 1Lt Goering (Goering 1st combat tour missions 230 through 285) and 4 missions with other Pilots: With 1Lt Jack W. Rencher (289, 290); With 1Lt Harry D. Gobrecht (297); With 1Lt William S. McLeod (298A) Completed combat tour on 6 Jan 1945 (Mission 298A).
  • S/Sgt Weldon T. "Tex" Mahan (TG) - Flew on 30 missions with 1Lt Goering (Goering 1st combat tour missions 230 through 238, 244 through 285, and 299) and 4 missions with other Pilots: With 1Lt Jack P. Rencher (289, 290); With 2Lt Harley D. Snider (286, 293). Completed combat tour on 8 Jan 1945 (Mission 299).
  • S/Sgt Paul A. Bishop (WG) - Deleted from crew before the crew's 1st combat mission when the crew was changed from 10 to 9 men. Flew no combat missions with the 303rd BG(H). Subsequent assignment unknown.
Incidents - Werner G. Goering as Pilot:


Hole in the ground from 15 February 1945 explosion of #44-8590.
[photo courtesy of Elmer Prusha, 427th BS]
15 February 1945 mission #315 to Dresden, Germany in PFF B-17G #44-8590 (no name) (358BS) VK-Y. 358th High Squadron lead crew take-off accident, visibility 70 yards, obscured sky requiring instrument take-off. After beginning the take-off roll, the B-17 swerved to the left of the runway, about one-quarter of the way down the runway. Lt Goering asked his CoPilot to apply flaps and full military power. The B-17 became airborne at 95 MPH, wheels were raised, and flaps bled up at 100 mph. The aircraft then began to mush and struck the ground 300 yards west of the east/west runway. Bombardier, Lt Bill F. Condor, suffered a broken arm and three other crewmen had minor injuries. At 0745 hours, ten minutes after the crash, the B-17 exploded and was completely destroyed. All crewmen and other personnel were clear of the B-17 when it exploded. Waist Gunner, S/Sgt J.A. Blinebury, was awarded the Soldiers' Medal for the rescue of Lt. Buckner.

07 December 1944 returning from a routine PFF training flight in PFF B-17G #42-97557 Mercy's Madhouse (358th BS) VK-X. The right landing gear collapsed while making a turn after completing the landing roll. Caused by a broken landing gear reduction screw. There was extensive damage to the #4 propeller and engine and the outboard wing.

22 March 1945 mission #343 to Buer, Germany in PFF B-17G #44-8238 (358BS) VK-Y flying as the 358th High Squadron lead crew. Severe flak knocked out the pilot's oxygen system, #1 engine and interphone. The C-1 autopilot became inoperative and an electrical fire in the cockpit fuse box filled the cockpit with smoke. The bomb run was completed manually.

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]