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1681st Ordnance S & M Company (AVN)
(photo taken 2 October 1943)

Information on Aerial Bombs -- Pilot's Information File - March 1945

ORDNANCE AT MOLESWORTH
by Humphrey O'Leary


Capt Humphrey O'Leary
The term Ordnance refers to a class of military supplies and also defines a type of military unit. The 1681 Ordnance Company S&M, attached to the 303 Bomb Group at Station 107, was a service organization and its only function was to provide supply and maintenance services on ordnance type supplies to the combat group and other assigned station units. The Ordnance Company and the four Ordnance sections of the Bomb squadrons performed these services coordinated by the Station Ordnance Officer, who usually was also the commanding officer of the Ordnance Company.

The supply functions involve issue of weapons from hand held pistols and carbines up to ground and aircraft machine guns, issue of ammunition from small arms ammo up to aircraft bombs and issue of automotives from a motorcycle or bicycle up to a 2 1/2 ton cargo truck or 6 ton prime mover.

The maintenance functions involved all weapons repair and third echelon repair of automotives, which is the next higher repair level from that performed by the using organization.

To perform these above tasks, the 80 man Ordnance Company S&M and the four squadron's Ordnance sections were utilized. Much of the time Squadron Ordnance and Armament sections were integrated in their operation. Bomb handling and automotive repair constituted the two main Ordnance activities at station 107 and the bulk of the personnel were assigned to these duties.


Ordnance Bomb Storage Area #1 - 10 March 1943

After staging for overseas movement at Fort Myers, Florida in July and August 1942, the 751 st Ordnance Company arrived at Molesworth on Oct 9, 1942 under the command of 1st Lt Humphrey P. O'Leary, the Atlantic crossing having been made in convoy on a Dutch passenger liner Van Sint Aldegonde. The Ordnance Company, as well as the 303rd Bomb Group, were planned as backup for the North West African invasion in November 1942, but were not needed. In January 1943 the Ordnance Company was redesignated the 1062 Ordnance Company and in July 1943, half of the 1062nd was combined with the 1681st Quartermaster MM Company, also located at Molesworth, to form the 1681st Ordnance Company S & M. The other half of the 1062nd Ordnance Company was transferred to Station 105 Chelveston (305 BG). In January 1944 Captain O'Leary transferred from Molesworth to the Service Command of the 9th Air Force. Captain John K. Kass of the 358th Bomb Squadron became the Commanding Officer.


Four barracks "Home" of 1681 Ordnance Company
(located midway between 360th BS and 427th BS sites on north side of the airfield)

[photo courtesy of James Holaday]


Bomb Dump Pass
The Ordnance Company was a very useful and versatile organization during its time in England, October 1942 until May 1945. In the ammunition-armament section of the company, under the direction of M/Sgt Seymour Tyler and T/Sgt Herbert Brown, 25,000 tons of bombs and appropriate fuzes were delivered to the Bomb Squadrons for redistribution over Germany. Also delivered was 5,000,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammo which helped put holes in over 600 German fighters. Ordnance Company personnel handled this bomb tonnage both incoming from the depot or direct from port-side to our bomb dumps and issued the items at another time on demand. All this activity, many times on short notice and always in nighttime darkness, handling heavy unwieldy bombs with fuzes in confined spaces required a high degree of respect for the sensitivity and awesome power of the TNT or amatol filled aircraft bomb. This brings to mind an event at the 2nd Division Station 336 at Metfield when on July 15, 1944 their entire bomb dump, 300 tons, was detonated due to mishandling of aircraft bombs. This resulted in the loss of eighteen people killed and totaled a number of nearby brand new B-24s! All the result of a moment of carelessness and poor judgment.

In the automotive section, under the direction of M/Sgt Robert Morton and T/Sgt Athel Fowler, the 2,000 station vehicles were repaired and countless bicycles mended. The boys in the 10 bay shop became popular with the rest of the bomb group as a result of their skill with tools and rarely refused a request for help in building a lighter or picture frame or putting a gadget on a jeep.

Ordnance Officer personnel at station 107 and their assignment as of Jan 1,1944: Capt Humphrey O'Leary 1681 Commanding Officer and Station Ordnance Officer, Lt Joseph Rose 1681 Armament Officer, Lt Richard Myers 1681 Administration Officer, Lt Robert Brown 1681 Automotive Officer, Lt Cyrus Galley 1681 Ammunition Officer, Lt Delbert Pugh 427th Squadron and Group Ordnance Officer, Lt John Kass 358th Squadron Ordnance Officer, Lt Archie McGuire 359th Squadron Ordnance Officer, Lt Dean Piper 360th Squadron Ordnance Officer and Lt Allen Hamilton assignment pending.

In the waning days of WW II in Europe, actually on April 1, 1945, the concept of ground support was drastically changed in the 8th Air Force. The Army style units of departments such as Ordnance, Signal, Quartermaster, Medical and Chemical were incorporated into an Air Service Group established at Molesworth and on that same date the 1681 Ordnance Co was inactivated. The war ended before there was much of a chance to see how well the new organization would actually work.


1Lt Cyrus Galley in front of 1681st Ordnance Trucks. Note the "1681" on the
bumper and the name "S/Sgt Kabrich" in the window.

[photo courtesy of Cy Galley]



1Lt Joseph Rose - Capt Humphrey O'Leary

1Lt Robert Brown



(L-R) T/4 Athel Fowler and M/Sgt Robert Morton displaying a crane that they designed and
fabricated. It was later copied by many other outfits. T/4 Walter Odenbaugh is in the Jeep




Capt William G. Holadia at the auto maintenance shop. Capt Holadia was the commander of the automotive Medium Maintenance Compnay prior to the organization of the S&M Company. He was then transferred to the 8th AF Ordnance and Chemical Section. He also organized, managed and played various instruments, including bass fiddle, in the Rhythm Pilots Band.
[photo courtesy of James Holaday]



1681 ORDNANCE CO., S & M (Avn)
AAF Sta.107, APO 634 USArmy


DUTY ROSTER 3 July 1943
Capt O'Leary, Humphrey - C.O., Sta. Ord. Off.
1/Lieut Brown, Robert - Automotive Off.
1/Lieut Galley, Cyrus - Ammunition Off.
1/Lieut Rose, Joseph - Armament Off.
1/Lieut Myers, Richard - Administrative Off.

ADMINISTRATION, AUTOMOTIVE
M/Sgt Morton, Robert H.
1/Sgt Kaitz, Einer
S/Sgt Burton, Wallace E.
S/Sgt Weaver, Thomas E.
T/3 Fowler, Athel E.
T/3 Schow, Clifton P.
Sgt Badway, John J.
Sgt Whitley, Homer L.
T/4 Cote, Robert H.
T/4 DiBenedetto, Gaetano
T/4 Flood, Leo V.
T/4 Fowler, John R.
T/4 Kovaleski, Anthony J.
T/4 Nelson, David A.
T/4 Odenbaugh, Walter
T/4 Schmidt, George A.
T/4 Stephenson, Carl E.
T/4 Ward, James H.
Cpl Schilling, Herbert J.
T/5 Ali, George N.
T/5 Beaulieu, Phillip E.
T/5 Liqhthall, Herman J.
T/5 Minor, Garland H.
T/5 Swanberg, Arthur M.
T/5 Tharp, Shelby O.
T/5 Walker, William U.
Pfc Anderson, Gerald M.
Pfc Atkins, Aubrey H.
Pfc Bunyard, Ralph T.
Pfc Butler, John W.
Pfc Chandler, Jack A.
Pfc Elliott, Kenneth A.
Pfc Flynn, John L.
Pfc Lake, Charles W. Jr.
Pvt Arroyo, Abraham J.
Pvt Bailey, Joe B.
Pvt Booton, Ralph W.
Pvt Delgado, Armando C.
Pvt Hathiway, Albert G.
Pvt Kelly, Clarence H.
Pvt Lopez, Frank Steve M.
Pvt Mrocykowski, Steve M.
Pvt Olejniczak, Sigmund J.
AMMUNITION, ARMAMENT
M/Sgt Tyler, Seymour K.
T/Sgt Brown, Herbert R.
S/Sgt Kabrich, Walter R.
Sgt Keating, Francis J.
T/4 Chulosky, Peter.
T/4 Gainer, Woodrow, W.
T/4 Garber, Henry C.
T/4 Keusch, Kenneth M.
T/4 Nemetch, Joseph F.
Cpl Paine, Ralph F.
T/5 Adams. Willard V.
T/5 Dahl, Robert E.
T/5 Godfrey. John D.
T/5 Micholas, Peter
T/5 Shotton, Arthur D.
T/5 Sternberg, Moses A.
Pfc Adair, Jessie P.
Pfc Collier. Thomas D.
Pfc Gartland, Raymond O.
Pfc Tiley, Kenneth E.
Pvt Baxter, J. D.
Pvt Bethel, William J.
Pvt Brownfield, Carlyle M.
Pvt Cioffi, Felix
Pvt Hancock, Arthur E.
Pvt Jacobs, Karl E.
Pvt Zdzieblo, Joseph J.

In conjuction with the Ordnance reorganization that produced the 1681 Ordnance Company S&M on July 3, 1943, a section of the 1062 Ordnance Company (AB) was permanently transfered to the 1632 Ordnance Company S&M at Station 105 Chelveston. The men in this section listed below were in the original Ordnance Company from Ft. Myers, FL. In September 1942 they were moved to Molesworth, where they spent 10 months performing in an exemplary fashion:

T/Sgt Lesniak, Stanley
T/Sgt Gunter, Lorenzo L.
T/4 O'Riley, Henry F.
T/4 Ernst, Charles J.
T/4 Vesey, Leonard T.
T/4 Haynes, Ernest Jr.
T/4 Griswold, Edward L.
T/4 Wichmann, Ernst A.
T/4 Skotsky, Louis A. Jr.
T/5 Roush, Elmer A.
T/5 Daly, Charles M.
T/5 Robertson, George E.
T/5 Forgione, Charles A.
T/5 Olson, Marshall S.
T/5 Daughterty, Lon
Pfc McKay, Donald J.
Pfc Spencer Earl
Pfc Coffman, Glen F.
Pfc Laskos, Frank J.
Pfc Tripp, John J.
Pfc Blalock, Thompson M.
Pvt Thorburn, Donald M.
Pvt Holt, Dewey V.
Pvt Guercia, James J.
Pvt Davidson, J. W.
Pvt Haack, Leonard J.
Pvt Smith, Herbert M.


Homeward Bound - Mid Atlantic - August 1945

[photos and Duty Rosters courtesy of Humphrey O'Leary.]