ARTHUR L. GOSS CREW - 358th BS
(crew assigned 358BS: 25 July 1944 - photo: July 1944)
2Lt Malcolm M. Fouts (B-POW),
2Lt Lester E. Reuss (N-KIA)(1),
2Lt Harry J. Cook, Jr. (CP-POW),
2Lt Arthur L. Goss (P-POW)(2)
Sgt Roy M. Stevens (WG-POW),
Sgt James A. Earon (BT-POW)(3),
Sgt Patsy Rocco (R-POW/KIA)(4),
Sgt Floyd Sprague (E-POW),
Sgt Norman A. Bunney (TG-POW)(6),
Cpl Luther M. Mettauer (WG)(5)
Eight credited combat missions flown by 2Lt Arthur L. Goss that were flown in eight
Mission 219 Graveline, Fr - 04 Aug 1944 - 44-6291 (No name) (358BS) VK-E
Mission 220 Pas De Calais, Fr area - 05 Aug 1944 - 42-39875 Buzz Blonde (427BS) GN-F
Mission 221 Genshagen, Ger - 06 Aug 1944 - 42-39885 Sweet Rose O'Grady (427BS) GN-R
Mission 222 Chartes, Fr - 07 Aug 1944 - 42-97298 The Floose (358BS) VK-H
Mission 225 Brest, Fr- 11 Aug 1944 - 44-6086 My Blonde Baby (358BS) VK-L
Mission 226 Metz, Fr - 12 Aug 1944 - 42-102569 Miss Lace (427BS) GN-X
Mission 228 Stuttgart, Ger - 14 Aug 1944 - 42-97972 (No name) (358BS) VK-N
Mission 229 Wiesbaden, Ger - 15 Aug 1944 - 42-31183 Bad Penny (359BS) BN-J
All crewmen flew on all of the above combat missions with the following exceptions:
- 2Lt Harry J. Cook (CP) - Stood down on missions 219 and 220. Experienced combat
orientation CoPilots used on these missions: 2Lt John R. Helms (219) and 2Lt Costa
- 2Lt Malcolm M. Fouts (B) - Stood down on mission 226. A substitute Bombardier,
1Lt Lowell L. Rickey was used.
On 15 August 1944 Mission #229 to Wiesbaden, Germany in B-17G
#42-31183 Bad Penny
(359BS) BN-J. Coming off the target Bad Penny
was the first of nine 303rd BG(H) B-17s to be downed by 25-30 ME-109s and FW-190 German fighters. Bad Penny
exploded in mid air. One burning wing crashed into Seinsfeld and set some farmhouses and barns on fire.
- Reuss (N) - Landed near Preist, Germany. He was caught in a tree by his chute and tried to unbuckle himself. Two unarmed German soldiers tried to help him. A local Nazi party man arrived and shot Lt Reuss. Two other German civilians then beat him to death with a club and hammer. These three men were found guilty of murder at a 29 June 1945 war crimes trial and were hanged. A "Landwacht" (Home Guard) man who watched the murder was also sentenced to death but his sentence was changed to life at hard labor.
- Goss (P) - Upon landing was surrounded by hostile civilians who were shouting and brandishing all manner of farm implements. A small girl, 8 or 9 years old, approached and Lt Goss gave her his flying boots. He was then taken to a constable's office where his wife gave him a slice of bread and a beer. She grabbed the beer from him when a very agitated woman came rushing into the room screaming. He was then placed in the hands of the nearby armed German soldiers..
- Earon (BT) - Was badly bruised and bloodied from a vicious beating after he landed. He died in 1951 as a direct result of the beating he received at the hands of his captures.
- Rocco (R) Was captured and jailed at the Indenheim police post. The next day, while being transported to Bitburg, the escorting policeman shot and killed Sgt Rocco for an unknown reason. Witnesses claimed he was trying to escape. A war crimes trial in August 1945 resulted in the policeman being sentenced to life imprisonment, which was later reduced to two years.
Read the War Crimes Trial Transcript here.
- Mettauer (WG) - Was not on the 15 August 1944 mission. He had been removed from the crew when the crew size was reduced from 10 to 9 men.
- Bunney (TG) - Norman Bunney was a tail gunner on a replacement crew of the 303rd Bomb Group that flew B-17s out of England. On August 15, 1944, his crew was flying the "Bad Penny" on
a mission to Wiesbaden, Germany. The pilot was Arthur L. Goss. Their plane was
the first of nine B-17s to be downed by German fighters. It was Norman's sixth
mission. After the plane was hit, he crawled backwards out of the tail of the
airplane and parachuted through the open waist door. During his descent, he saw
a crew member about 1/4 mile away, so when he landed in an open grain field, he
ran to the woods in that direction. By the time he got there, the other crew
member was already captured, so he headed back to the woods and hid there for a
couple of days. He had an escape kit which contained a sort of chocolate bar;
it was enough food for three or four days. The kit also had morphine and sulfa
to treat injuries, maps, compass and $500 escape money in case he could get to
the underground. Norman hid during the day because there were German children
in the area collecting underbrush to make brooms. He knew that with his
electrically heated blue suit, he'd "stick out like a sore thumb." He could
hear a train and tried getting out the first night, but it was so dark that he
stumbled into a barnyard, making the dogs bark. He was able to get on the train
a couple of times, but when it wound around hills, it was difficult to determine
which direction the train was headed and he got off. The third night, a girl
saw him get on the train, so the train was stopped, he was taken off and
searched. He spent a couple of days with four other prisoners in a shed at a
village near Frankfurt, then was interrogated at Frankfurt and sent by train to
Stalag Luft IV. He spent about six months as a POW before the Germans closed
the camp and forced the 8,000 POWs to march in a meandering trip through
northern Poland and much of Germany without adequate food or medical assistance
in what has become known as the Death March. They were freed by Allied troops in
April, 1945 and Norman returned home. (From a recording of Norman Bunney's recollections in Casper, WY by Jim Eamon in February 2000)
[photo courtesy of Arthur L. Goss]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]