Thanks for doing this. I went through there and I thought 2ND LT VICTOR A. KOEHLER might be who Dick was talking about but I wasn't sure. Also I didn't know how to figure out if he was likely to be in Dick's barracks. Maybe I can just put in the footnotes Vic is possibly Vernon R. Henriksen.
Cpl Victor P. Distolrath TTE CPT 28-Feb-45 Kassel
I'm just trying to put as many full names in the footnotes as I can so if someone is reading this and wants to know who these people are they will have their full name or at least a good guess as to who they are. If I know what happend to them I am putting that in there too.
I know what you mean about the varations in spellings and information on that web site. I have this from Dick's journal:
Wed. Oct. 25, 1944 I was awakened at 5:00 to go on a mission. I was to fly waist gunner on Spurgeons Crew No. 29. I went to Confession and Holy Communion and then went to chow. After chow I went to briefing and we were going to bomb Helgoland which is a flak battery off the Danish coast! We took off at 10:00 and before we got to the Channel we were called back.
I went on the web site to look up the mission and see if I could find out who Dick flew with that day. They have Spurgeon and Crew #29 but Dick's name isn't listed there. I sent an email to inquire but haven't heard back yet. I don't know if Spurgeon would have had more than one crew #29 or not. I don't know what that number means. It's listed here: http://www.100thbg.com/mainpages/crews/crews5/spurgeon.htmhttp://www.100thbg.com/mainpages/crews/crews5/spurgeon.htm
Also they have "350th Sqdn. Crew appears as above on Roster of 25/8/44 as Crew #29." Dick says October 25th. They said in the note it was probably a pick-up crew. Dick never mentions the names of the planes he flew in and rarely mentions the names of any crew members on a mission with him. I suspect that after he was bounced from his original crew he was in a pool acting as a "floater" and he was assigned to whatever crew was short a gunner. Does this make any sense?
I strongly suspect that some of the questions I ask make me appear not to bright! But I am not familiar with a lot of the terms that are used and while I was a Navy wife for a couple years I am not that familiar with life under combat conditions during the 1940s. Sometimes I feel like I am bothering people with stupid self-evident questions. But if I don't understand what these things mean I figure other people who read these journals won't know what they mean either if they aren't familiar with the military and it's terms and the way it operated back then.
You have been a tremendous help and I never would have figured some of this out if it hadn't been for you. It helps to have someone to back up what you suspect is the right answer also.