Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 20

The Z Square 7 Crew
Z Square 7 Crew Families
Z Square 7 Crew Cemeteries.
Missing Air Crew Report
Z Square 7 Crew Military Funeral
Memorial Lt Eugene M. Thomas Jr (Marion, Al)
Memorial Lt Francis X. Glacken (Cambridge, MA)
Memorial Lt Norman B. Bassett (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Marcia Bassett McGrattan
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Peter & Lillian Demers/Charlotte (Demers) Fiasconaro
Memorial Sgt Louis A. Dorio (Clarksville, VA)
POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Sgt James B. Rice, Radio Operator, C47, 42-108884
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 3
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 4
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 5
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 6
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 7
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 8
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 9
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 10
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 11
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 12
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 13
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 14
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 15
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 16
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 17
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 18
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 19
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 20
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 21
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 22
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 23
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 24
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Memorial Page #1
Memorial Page #2
Memorial Page #3
Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Graveyard at the Bottom of the Sea"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "I Saw Liberty Crying"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Old Memories"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "I Saw An Old Veteran"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Flying Backwards"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "All Is Quiet On Iwo Jima"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Bones In The Sand"
C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page


 The USS Achilles took part in the Leyte landings in October and November 1944. On November 12, 1944 a Japanese air attack swept in upon the invading American fleet. Intense antiaircraft fire downed two enemy planes almost instantly, two more crashed into repair ships - Egeria (ARL-8) and Achilles (ARL-41). On November 12, 1949, 11 sailors from the USS Achilles were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Section E199-202.

Beauchamp, John David SF3
Burton, Norman Tucker SM3
Dickes, Ralph Joseph MOMM1C
Henderson, Porter GM3
Henry, Edwin Ernest S1C
Inda, George Thomas COX
Joudas, Jim S1C
Keller, Charles William FIC
Kendall, Karl Bruce SC3C
Martenson, Edward Allen Y3
Zinn, Francis James MOMM3C


USS Achilles (ARL-41)

USS Achilles (ARL-41) was one of 39 Achelous-class landing craft repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named after the Greek hero Achilles, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. She was laid down as the unnamed LST-455 on 3 August 1942 at Vancouver, Washington by Kaiser Company; launched on 17 October 1942; and commissioned on 30 January 1943 with Lieutenant Clarence Cisin in command.

World War II

Amphibious assaults on Japanese-held islands in the South and Southwest Pacific Theater had involved virtually hundreds of landing craft of all types and sizes, ranging from small craft to infantry landing craft and tank landing craft (LCIs and LCTs, respectively). Since these specialized assault craft, of comparatively light construction, could not be repaired with the few facilities and men available to them alone, orders went out that several tank landing ships would be converted to special landing craft repair ships (later classified as ARL). However, modifying existing LSTs in stateside yards required time (a critical commodity in the fairly steady pace of the amphibious island-hopping campaigns) that the forces fighting at the front did not have. At this point, LST-455, then in Australian waters, came under the gaze of these amphibious planners. Experienced personnel, trained in ship repair work, were assigned to the ship and almost doubled the size of her complement. Ready for service by the latter part of May 1943, the former tank landing ship departed Australian waters, bound for New Guinea, and arrived at Milne Bay on 2 June 1943. She immediately commenced the work for which she had been converted, repairing LCIs under the guidance of the repair officer of Rigel.


On 4 September 1943, Vice Admiral Daniel E. Barbey's 7th Fleet Amphibious Forces put Australian troops ashore on the Huon Peninsula, near Lae, New Guinea. LST-455 moved up to support these operations from Morobe Bay and lay anchored there among the Allied ships, presenting a tempting target by virtue of the nest of LCIs alongside. Nine Japanese dive bombers, escorted by nine "Zero" fighters, attacked the shipping in Morobe Bay and singled out LST-455 for attention, scoring a direct hit aft. A large bomb hit the stern, passed through the galley, and exploded in the crew's quarters, aft, starting fires and trapping men in the after steering room. Determined sailors battled the blaze and cut through bulkheads to rescue the trapped men. The damage control measures were directed by the ship's commanding officer, Lieutenant E. A. Peterson, USNR (who had relieved Lieutenant Cisin in August) and won him a Navy Cross for personal heroism. Although she had been heavily hit, LST-455 shot down two of the attackers. By nightfall, her men had extinguished the blaze and commenced initial repairs. She had suffered the loss of 18 men killed; 11 were wounded; and six men were missing. Sonoma then towed LST-455 to Milne Bay where the repair ship was berthed alongside Rigel. However, the need for LST-455's services was so urgent that she was soon back to work repairing LCI's even though her own severe damage had not yet been fully corrected. On 21 August 1944, the ship was named Achilles and reclassified officially as a landing craft repair ship, ARL-41. Soon thereafter, she proceeded north to participate in the reconquest of the Philippine Islands. As the invasion proceeded, all Service Force ships were shifted to anchorages off Samar, in San Pedro Bay. There Achilles saw daily evidence of a new weapon unveiled by the Japanese in their relentless attempt to disrupt the American offensive: the kamikaze ("Divine Wind"), planes flown by Japanese pilots on one-way missions of destruction.


During the first four days of November, the weather provided a respite from the kamikaze, although it came in the form of a typhoon which buffeted the ship. When the clouds finally cleared, the kamikaze returned. Lookouts soon pinpointed three "Zekes" (Mitsubishi A6M5 "Zero" fighters) heading on a course that would take them across Achilles` bow. As the landing craft repair ship's forward guns commenced firing, one plane passed ahead; the second, however, turned tightly and commenced a dive straight at Achilles as she and the four LCIs moored to her lay immobile. The repair ship's gunners scored hits on the diving aircraft, but could not stop it. The aircraft crashed into the ship forward, its motor tearing through the main deck. The aircraft itself hit the forward deckhouse in the carpenter shop, where number one repair party had gathered at its battle station. After the deafening explosion that wiped out the repair party, orange-red flames (caused by gasoline from the burning aircraft) swept across the weather deck, while parts of the "Zeke" tumbled through the air, some landing 250 yards (230 m) astern. Fires immediately spread, their progress unchecked due to the disruption of the forward fire mains upon impact of the aircraft. The kamikaze crash had killed 19 men and wounded an additional 28; 14 men were unaccounted for.


In the latter half of February 1945 and early March, Achilles returned via Biak to Leyte, but quickly proceeded to Subic Bay and Mindoro, spending a week in each place, tending LSMs and carrying out her vital support work. During the latter part of April, Achilles moved down to Morotai, in the Netherlands East Indies, for further tender duty, readying landing craft for the impending invasion of Borneo. Participating in the initial landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo, Achilles again came under air attack, when a "Dinah" loosed two bombs that landed 50 yards (46 m) off her starboard beam. This attack, on 10 June 1945, caused no damage to the ship, although shrapnel wounded two men in Achilles` crew. The repair ship remained at Borneo until she returned to the Philippine Islands late in July to join the forces marshalling there for the projected invasion of the Japanese homeland. However, the capitulation of Japan in mid-August obviated "Operation Olympic" (the assault against the home islands of Japan) but did not end operations for Achilles. She repaired landing craft into the fall of 1945, relieved on station by Proserpine. Proceeding to Hawaii, Achilles, in company with Remus, reached Pearl Harbor on the last day of October. Decommissioned on 19 July 1946, Achilles was struck from the Navy List on 28 August 1946.


The ship received three battle stars for her World War II service: one as LST-455 and two as Achilles.




This B25. 44-31207, and crew were assigned to the 500th Squadron of the 345th Bomb Group. On July 30, 1945, on a mission to destroy a Japanese naval radar tower, the plane was hit by flak and crashed into a mountain near Saiki City, Oita Prefecture. There were no survivors. The five crew members were buried in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery on Site E12 on January 20, 1949. 


2/Lt Green, Robert Lee                    Pilot

2/Lt Hendricks, Wayne                    Navigator

S/Sgt Kingsbury, Walter E,               Radio Operator

2/Lt Middleton, Curtiss O                 Copilot

Sgt Shaker, Sammy M                     Engineer




The 500th Bomb Squadron ("Rough Raiders") -- one of four squadrons of the 345th Bomb Group (M) -- was activated at Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina on 11 November, 1942.  After training in the United States and Australia, combat operations of the 500th Bomb Squadron began in New Guinea in June 1943.  Shortly after flying a few combat missions against the Japanese at medium altitudes, the squadron's B-25 "Mitchell" bombers were converted to strafers and, for the remainder of its existence, the squadron flew low-level strafer-bombing missions.  From New Guinea, the squadron continued its combat operations "island hopping" northward, winding up against the Japanese homeland itself in early August 1945.




42-95171 Gengler Crew

Kneeling left to right - James N. Green, S/Sgt., Right Waist Gunner; Fred A. Doninger, T/Sgt., Radio Operator; Thomas F. Murray III, S/Sgt., Left Waist Gunner; Vernon C. DeLeon, S/Sgt., Nose Gunner; Albert J. Whitus, S/Sgt., Tail Gunner.

Standing left to right - Matthew J. K. House, Lt., Bombardier; Frank T. Gengler, Lt., Pilot; John P. Cowger, Lt., Co-Pilot; John E. McKenzie, Jr., Lt., Navigator; James F. McKee, T/Sgt., Engineer/Top Turret Gunner.

This B24 Liberator, 42-95171, “Diana-Mite,” and crew were assigned to the 734th Squadron of the 453rd Bomb Group. The plane was lost on July 21, 1944 in a mid-air collision with another B24, 41-29259, “Our Baby” over the target in Munich and crashed near Damsheim, Germany about 12 miles SW of Stuttgart (MACR 7253). They had passed through heavy flak and one of the planes may have been hit. The B24, 41-29259, was assigned to the same squadron and bomb group. Six crew members were killed and three others were captured. On August 23, 1949, Lt House and Lt McKenzie were buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Site E127.



Lt Frank T. Gengler                  Pilot

2/Lt Mathew J.K. House          Bombardier    Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

2/Lt John P. Cowger                 Copilot                 POW

2/Lt John E. McKenzie          Navigator          Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery

T/Sgt James F. McKee          Engineer/Gunner   Lorraine American Cemetery

S/Sgt James N. Green          Gunner

T/Sgt Fred A. Doninger          Radio Operator   Lorraine American Cemetery

S/Sgt Thomas F. Murray III          Gunner

S/Sgt Vernon C. DeLeon          Gunner

S/Sgt Albert J. Whitus          Gunner



Lt Wayne Cowgill  Pilot  captured near Darmsheim
Lt James R. Martin captured near Darmsheim
Sgt Dale Holker captured near Aidlingen
James W. Wheeler KIA*  Lorraine American Cemetery
Ernest G. Stathes KIA* Lorraine American Cemetery
Ellis Pfeiffer KIA*
Thomas J O'Kane KIA*
Dean R. Smith KIA**
Donald W. Sang KIA** Lorraine American Cemetery

*Buried at Darmsheim Cemetery, Boblingen District on 22 July 44
**Buried at Doffingen Cemetery, Boblingen District on 22 July 44


Three 453rd Pilots witnessed the collision that broke up both planes. No chutes were seen. The copilot of Diana-Mite, 2/Lt. John P. Cowger, said the planes exploded when they collided at 23,000 feet and he was blown out of the plane. He credits his survival to the fact that he never wore his seatbelt while flying! He was severely injured, but was taken as a POW. He was released in a prisoner exchange in early 1945.


42-95171 "Diana-Mite"