856th/406th NLSs
Sampson Crew

The following data has been transcribed from Special Orders #236,dtd 13Dec44.

Ralph B.    Sampson        - Pilot        ASN 0828244
William S.  Bartholomew    - Copilot      ASN 0708165
Richard L.  Greene         - Navigator    ASN T-132922
Theodore S. Shimkus        - Bombardier   ASN T-131624

Donald G.   Bennett        - Gunner       ASN 12239567
Stephen P.  Dunn,Jr.       - Gunner       ASN 33712130
Harry R.    Ford           - Engineer     ASN 35221874
Alfred B.   Lindquist      - Gunner       ASN 12227118
Lester      Schiff         - R.O.         ASN 31358764
Howard L.   Wible          - Gunner       ASN 33691767

Bartholomew came into the crew prior to deployment to the UK. Click here for his original crew. The Sampson crew was formed up prior to Overseas Movement in the fall of 1944 and were moved via the troop ship Louis Pasteur to the UK, arriving at Station 179 by bus. By February of 1945 they were ready for night bombing missions over Germany. On 21 February 1945 they were shot down after a bombing run over Duisberg, but all escaped injury. Collecting most of the crew around Tinlot, Belgium, near where the crash site was, Sampson was missing only Shimkus when they returned to Harrington. Shimkus had beaten them back by two days, delivered by a Brigadier General in an L-5 Spotter aircraft! It was their first combat mission, and being shot down even on the first mission qualified airmen for the Air Medal, but that was somehow overlooked. After some microfilm research in 1997, "Bart" Bartholomew received his Air Medal. Click here for the newpaper account of his medal recovery. No complete picture of the Sampson crew has been found.

Downed Aircraft: B24H 41-29555 "Methusala" and/or "Powerful Katrinka". Originally a 34th BG plane, it had also belonged to the 493rd BG before coming to Harrington. It was brought down by flak and salvaged on the Continent on 4 March 1945 by 5 SAD.

Special Orders #58,dtd 15Mar45 transferred the crew to the 406th NLS with no change to the officers but without EMs Lindquist and Bennett who were replaced by:

Raymond J.  Sinnott        - Gunner       ASN 12089827  (original member of the Orban crew)
Sherwood I. Rose           - Gunner       ASN 15128414  (original member of the Dunphy crew)

ASNs so-colored for EMs link to their NARA Enlistment Record.

In the picture above are the following:

Standing:  Ralph B. Sampson
Front row: Dunn, Schiff, Wible and Bennett.

Pictured below,L-R:

Below left is Bartholomew at ease. Below right is Shimkus.

Below: Three officers of the crew at the Cage Zanzibar in New York city, late 1944.

Above,L-R: Shimkus,Sampson,Bartholomew.

Additional Data Sources:
Sampson Crew Personnel Files

Group-Related Downloads:
AAFRH-21 "AAF Aid to European Resistance"
Allied Leaflets Index
"Carpetbaggers" by Parnell
"They Flew by Night" editor Robert Fish
Serial Number Index of B24s
Station 179 Operations Log 
(handwritten Apr44-Jul45)
Station 179 Operations Log (transcribed Sep44-Jul45)

Redirect to:  Crews   Main