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8th Air Force Insignia

WALTER M. "DICK" CULBERT'S
WORLD WAR II EXPERIENCES


Compiled By: James H. Culbert
Last Updated: 22 Apr 2014
351st Bomb Group Insignia
    8th Air Force
351st Bomb Group

Introduction

This website is dedicated in memory of my father's World War II military service.  He served as a B-17 navigator with the 510th Bomb Squadron, 351st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, based out of Polebrook, Northamptonshire, England.

On September 12, 1944, during the 351st Bomb Group's 204th Mission, and my father's 15th, "the briefed primary target was Rhuland, but clouds in this area prevented bombing.  The lead and low boxes bombed an unidentified target near Rhuland, and the high box the outskirts of the city of Plauen.  Flak was light and inaccurate.  The Luftwaffe came up in force northeast of Berlin.  About 35 to 50 fighters were seen, mostly Me 109s and FW 190s, and a few rocket firing Do 217s.  They attacked in pairs or small groups from the tail.  A few also dropped aerial bombs, without noticeable results." 1

"Six planes were shot down in the target area.  They were: Lt. [Charles C.] Schoenian in 43-37986, Lt. [Edward J.] Hennegan in 43-38123, Lt. [Claude T.] Adams in 43-38089, Lt. [James R.] Brown in 43-37850, Lt. [Robert C.] Lopert in 42-97318, and Lt. [William F.] Schmollinger in 44-8100.  Lt. [Donald E.] Hadley in 44-6139 managed to make it back as far as Belgium where he crash landed.  The Group was led by Major [Paul L.] Fishburne [of the 511th], Captain [Eli S.] Fowler [of the 509th], Captain [Carleton] Cleveland [of the 509th], and Lt. [John W.] Heck [of the 509th]." 1

In the Loss Listing section of "A Chronicle of the 351st Bomb Group (H), 1942-1945" is the following mention of my father's crew: "510th [Bomb Squadron], 1st Lt. Edward J. Hennegan (POW), 2nd Lt. George H. Avaritt (POW), 2nd Lt. Walter M. Culbert (POW), 2nd Lt. Eugene C. Saur (POW), Sgt. Karl W. Buschenfeldt (died of wounds in POW camp), S/Sgt. James C. Waters (POW), S/Sgt. John H. Strick (POW), Sgt. Emmett F. Bennett (POW), and S/Sgt. Clair I. Carl (KIA)." 2

As my father described it, his mission that day was to bomb an oil plant at Rhuland, west of Leipzig, and his plane fell behind the formation west of Berlin and was hit by FW 190s.  All engines caught fire, 2 were feathered, and the interphone was out.  At 20,000 feet [corrected by Ed Hennegan] the crew bailed out.  Gene Saur, Ed Hennegan and my father were known to have parachuted safely in the woods, and the others were out of sight.  My father met a unnamed Sergeant and spent 6 days walking and starving with him until they surrendered to the Germans at an airfield north of Berlin.  At the railroad station on 19 September my father met Karl W. Buschenfelt, wounded, on a stretcher.  He also saw Hennegan and Emmett F. Bennett in a transient camp on 21 September.  My father arrived at Stalag Luft I on 27 September with Hennegan, and spent the remainder of the war in this P.O.W. camp, located near Barth, Pommerania, Germany.  They were liberated by the Russians in May, 1945.  My father put together a journal of his P.O.W. experience, which is the main feature of this website.

510th Bomb Squadron Insignia
510th Bomb Squadron

Baby Butch Crew
The crew of the Baby Butch
Photo taken about September, 1944

Rear, left to right
Lt. E.C. (Gene) Saur, bombardier
Lt. Walter (Dick) M. Culbert, navigator
Lt. Ed J. Hennegan, pilot
Lt. George F. Adams, co-pilot
S/Sgt. Charles Waters, engineer

Front, left to right
S/Sgt. Claire Carl, tail gunner
Sgt. Charles Johnson, waist gunner
S/Sgt. John Strick, radio operator
Sgt. Karl Buschenfelt, ball turret gunner
Sgt. Emmett Bennett, waist gunner


DICK CULBERT'S P.O.W. RECORD

  • Front Page 22
  • Back Page 23

  • IMAGES OF STALAG LUFT 1 AND SURROUNDING AREA

      My father obtained a German camera shortly after the Germans evacuated Stalag Luft I in May 1945.  He took several photos of the P.O.W. camp and the surrounding area near Barth, Pommerania, Germany.  You may view those images by clicking Here


    PRISONER OF WAR JOURNAL CONTENTS

    NOTE: Journal pages will be continue to be linked as time permits.  Please check back.  I welcome your comments.

  • Cover
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 3, bottom
  • P.O.W. Calendar
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 4, top
  • Prisoners Together in Barracks 12
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 4, bottom left
  • Baby Butch Memorial
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 4, bottom right
  • Map of Dick Culbert's 15th Mission - 12 Sep 1944
  • Stalag Luft I Compound
  • First Class Transit to Stalag Luft I
  • Room 12 Layout in Block 7
  • Solitary Cell - Dulag Luft
  • Barracks Sketch
  • A Day With Kriegie Joe - parts 1 & 2
  • Labels - Saccharin & 8 Ersatz Seasonings
  • A Day With Kriegie Joe - part 3
  • Labels - Paprika & Canadian Cigarettes
  • Royal & Norwegian Air Force Wings
  • Ode to S-2
  • Russian & Polish Air Force Wings
  • Operational Mission Poem, By Sgt. E.A. Greenlow, Tacoma, WA, part 1
  • Free French, Czech, & Greek Air Force Wings
  • Operational Mission Poem, part 2
  • Kriegie Joe Prune Brew
  • Operational Mission Poem, part 3
  • Kriegie Joe in the Water
  • Operational Mission Poem, part 4
  • Kriegie Joe - Coon Up!
  • Lest We Forget Poem
  • Dear Ma Letter
  • Low Is the Sun - Music by John H. Lashly
  • At the Fence
  • My Dreams Never Die, Poem by John H. Lashly
  • Dick Culbert's Portrait
  • High Flight, Poem by J. McGee, R.A.F., 1940
  • Hell in Texas - part 1
  • Food Labels & Stamps
  • Hell in Texas - part 2
  • Other Labels
  • Inside the Barracks
  • Program for Carol Service, Christmas 1944, Cover
  • Food Acco Prices
  • Program for Carol Service, Christmas 1944, Page 1
  • Dick Culbert's Day Log (7 pages)
  • Program for Carol Service, Christmas 1944, Page 2
  • Photo of Germans
  • Program for Carol Service, Christmas 1944, Page 3
  • Das Reich Weekly Paper
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Oversea Kid (O.K.)- Cover
  • Red Cross Christmas Package
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 1, top
  • Photo of Yosemite Valley, California
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 1, bottom
  • Photo of Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 2, top
  • Distance Chart
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 2, bottom
  • Pass
  • O.K. No. 75 - 8 Oct 1844 - page 3, top
  • MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida, Officer's Guide
  • MacDill Field Map

  • Notes

      1 Ken Harbour and Peter Harris, A Chronicle of the 351st Bomb Group (H), 1942-1945, Fourth Edition, Revised 2001, Southern Heritage Press, St. Petersburg, Florida, p. 54.

      2 Ken Harbour and Peter Harris, A Chronicle of the 351st Bomb Group (H), 1942-1945, Fourth Edition, Revised 2001, Southern Heritage Press, St. Petersburg, Florida, p. 109.

      For more information on American POW journals, see Art and Lee Beltrone, 1995, "A Wartime Log", Howell Press.  This book features the drawings, poems, and other material collected from twenty aviators who made these journals as POWs during World War II.


    Links

    Jim Culbert's Home Page

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