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Brague Crew 718
 Brague Crew 718
Individual crewmen in photo have yet to be identified
Brague Crew 718 Summary
The Brague Crew 718 was one of the original crews that trained with the group in Alamogordo, New Mexico. They transferred into the 492nd on 26 Jan 44 as crew 110 from the 331st CCTS (Combat Crew Training School) in Casper, Wyoming. While in New Mexico they had two personnel changes in their roster. They were assigned to the 857th BS, designated as Crew 718.
Lt Roger Brague signed out for a new B-24J, 44-40088. They nicknamed it KATIE JEAN after the wives of the pilot and co-pilot, Katie and Jean. In April of '44 they flew their assigned ship to England via the southern route. They took their Crew Chief with them, thus bumping Sgt Dorow onto the Queen Elizabeth.
By our count, Lt Brague flew as aircraft commander of Crew 718 on 3 missions. We think the entire crew flew on all three, without any substitutions or extra passengers.
On 19 May 44, they flew with the Group on a bombing mission to attack a marshalling yard in Brunswick, Germany. Their position in the Group's formation was on the far right. Always a dangerous position as the Luftwaffe often likes starting at one end, chewing their way across. As they were approaching their target, the 492nd got caught without fighter protection by about 40 German fighters. The wave of enemy FW-190s came in quickly from about one to two o'clock high. Lt Brague and S/Sgt Gaul were immediately killed in the initial strike and Sgt Klasztorowski was severely wounded. It's thought that others were trying to help him when the plane blew up. The plane turned itself and began heading west when it exploded.
Just before the plane fireballed, Lt Wymond, Sgt Dorow and Sgt Kline were able to get out. The blast threw two more men, Lt DeRose and Lt Warakomski, from the plane and they survived and parachuted safely to the ground. A total of five men were killed.
Lt Wymond said was in such a hurry that he put his chest pack on upside down, thus having a hard time finding the ripcord. By the time he did find it, the land below was coming at him fast. He landed near Mandelsloh and was held with two men from the Lewis Crew 813. See the story link "War Rains Down On Mandelsloh" in the More Info column to the right will give more details of what happened to him.
The rest of the crew as well as pieces of the plane fell on or near the town of Lutter. Initial reports said Sgt Kline was beaten to death by German citizens. The truth is he was murdered by one man well after he was caught. The story link "War Rains Down On Lutter" in the More Info column to the right will give many accurate details of what happened to Sgt Kline and the rest of the crew.
Casualty count: 6 KIA, 4 POW, MACR 5246.
All six of the dead were initially buried in the Lutter Cemetery. After the war their bodies were recovered and buried in US cemeteries.
Side note: At Stalag Luft III, Lt Wymond bunked in the same room with Lts Arnett, Stewart and Gavitt, all from the Arnett Crew 717 who were also shot down that day. The Brague Crew flew on Arnett's right wing, who had all seen their plane get hit and explode.
More Info
War Rains Down On
Lutter & Mandelsloh
A B-24 and several
airmen drop onto two
German villages
by Phillip Wymond
Brague CCT 110
Links to missions
flown by the
Brague Crew 718
are below in their
Mission Record
Original Roster for
Brague Crew 718
Position / MOS Name Rank Serial # Notes
MOS 1024
Brague, Roger J 2nd Lt O-807813 KIA, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
Buried, Ardennes A-11-7
MOS 1022
DeRose, William J 2nd Lt O-813380 POW, 19 May 44, MACR 5246, Stalag Luft III
NARA AAD POW file has his ASN O-813480
MOS 1034
Wymond, Philip C 2nd Lt O-691848 POW, 19 May 44, MACR 5246, Stalag Luft III
MOS 1035
Warakomski, Chester H 2nd Lt O-755064 POW, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
MOS 748
Fabisiak, Theodore F S/Sgt 32586872 KIA, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
Buried, Ardennes B-31-47
MOS 757
Gaul, Clyde E S/Sgt 15130667 KIA, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
MOS 612
Klasztorowski, Arthur B Sgt 36501096 KIA, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
MOS 611
McKee, Philip Sgt 36647268 KIA, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
Buried, Ardennes C-9-17
MOS 757
Kline, Vincent M Cpl 17087187 Promoted Sgt
KIA, 19 May 44, MACR 5246
Killed by a German civilian
MOS 612
Dorow, Harold E Sgt 16088932 Arrived to the UK via the Queen Elizabeth
POW: 19 May 44, MACR 5246, Stalag Luft IV
Seen name as Dorrow
  Others Who Flew with Brague Crew 718
Crew Chief
MOS 750
Bartlett, A C S/Sgt 37101035 Flew to England with the crew
Brague Crew 718
492nd BG Mission Record
857th Bomb Squadron
Primary Target Mission Notes
 Link to Mission 01 page 01
11 May 44 44-40088 Mulhouse, France Target: Marshalling yard
 Link to Mission 03 page 03
13 May 44   Tutow, Germany Target: Airfield
 Link to Mission 05 page 05
19 May 44 44-40088 Brunswick, Germany Target: Marshalling yard
Lost: 6 KIA, 4 POW, MACR 5246
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Page last modified Sunday, June 4, 2023.