From Richard *Bad Munder* Simonson, Cousin of Edwin Russell Teid, Pilot, KIA
Dear Colonel Stephen *Seatime* Scott,
This is "Bad Munder".
I took that name when trying to join 91st Bomb Group because it is the name of the town where my Cousin Russell (Rusty) Reid) was first buried after he was shot down in 1944. Below I have the information on him, a photo of his crew and details of their last mission.
The reason I am writing to you is because I don't believe I would be interested in being a "pilot" or anything like that like you have in your group. I was looking for a group of veterans and their family, survivors who kept up on the history, and stories of the 91st Bomb Group. Sort of like the Ships associations and Regimental associations that abound with annual reunions and such.
I do admire your groups work to keep the difficulties and dedication it took to be a B-17 crew alive and interesting, but it does not fit info my limited schedule of spare time right now.
Thank you very much.
Richard (Rick) Simonson, Cousin of Edwin Russell Reid, Pilot KIA
Richard, aka 'Bad Munder'
Good Men like you are exactly the reason that we exist here at the 91st. A place where we try to help others remember the heroic efforts that took place in the sky's over Europe during the War years.
We have many members who are Veterans, or Relatives of those who helped to preserve our Freedom in that terrible time of strife and sacrifice.
I am very thankful that you have taken the time to share this history about your Cousin, Edwin Russell Reid.
If I may, I would like to post this information in our Forum so that other members may have the chance to learn.
Thank you for sharing this with our Group.
Of course you can
post that info in your forum. I would be honored to have it used in
anyway that will help veterans, their families, friends and just plain history
buffs, understand what one crew of one B-17 on one mission
experienced. The saddest part for me is first of all the
young brave lives lost. Never to return home. Even the few that did manage to
survive were never truly recognized for their bravery. IMO we need a lot
more true accounts of what these crews experienced in lieu of which Hollywood
star is having marital problems
Harass Dragon B-17 F
Serial 42-31372 OR-P
Back Row - Left to Right:
Sgt. Ernesto Kretchmer, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner; Sgt. Benton Lowery, Radio Operator; Sgt. Arnold Hovey, Right Waist Gunner; John Gustafson, Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt Terrell, Left Waist Gunner.
Front Row - Left to Right:
1st Lt. E. R. (Rusty) Reid, Pilot; 1st Lt. Richard (Dick) G. Morgan, Co-Pilot; 1st Lt. John (Jack) B. Haus, Navigator; 1st Lt. George (Shorty) Marghita, Bombardier.
**Note 1: S/Sgt Terrell, Left Waist Gunner who came down with appendicitis the first time they left Grand Island, Nebraska. They diverted to Des Moines, Iowa where Sgt. Terrell went to the hospital for the operation. They returned to Grand Island, and Melvin P Stoddard replaced Sgt. Terrell.
**Note 2: This picture was made at Dyersburg, Tenn. The B-17 pictured was not A/C 42-31372
**Note 3: After this picture was taken, S/Sgt. Anthony W. Czamecki was added to the crew in the Tail Gunner position.
**Note 4: The name of B-17 42-31372 was never officially recorded as "Harass Dragon" / "Malayan Lady." I didn't take part in the discussion about the name.
Harass Dragon Factoid - Edwin R. Reid was the pilot of the crew of Harass Dragon/Malayan Lady. There is a question as to which name the crew used for this B-17 42-31372, OR-P, 323rd Bomb Squadron. This B-17 was assigned to Reid's crew and had a very short combat career being lost on its fifth mission. It was lost on the Oschersleben mission of January 11, 1944, to bomb the Focke Wulf 190 plant at that location. Harass Dragon was one of five B-17s lost that day by the 91st Bomb Group. The 91st was a part of the 1st Division of the mighty Eighth Air Force and was the lead Group that day. The entire 1st division was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for this mission. The following quote is taken from that citation. "The 1st Bombardment Division (H), is cited for extraordinary heroism, determination, and esprit de corps in action against the enemy on 11 January 1944."
On this raid, the Luftwaffe mounted the most intense attacks on the Eighth Air Force since the costly Schweinfurt mission. The attacks started as the bomber stream crossed the Dutch/German border. Most of these attacks were frontal attacks with four to ten FW 190s and ME 109s abreast flying right through our formations. Edwin Reid and his crew were crewing the first B-17 to be lost. As the Group approached the target, Harass Dragon's #3 engine was knocked out and would not feather so Edwin Read was forced to drop behind the formation. The Luftwaffe then attacked this single bomber. In the attacks, the main oxygen system caught fire and a hole was blown in the left side of the fuselage. The right stabilizer was shot off. The bailout order was given just as the B-17 went into a hard right spin. Only three of the ten man crew survived and became POWs.
Following is a list of the crew members: (Killed: buried in the Evangelical Church Cemetery at Bad Munder/Deister. Re-interred in Ardennes; initial plot numbers listed.)
Harass Dragon/Malayan Lady 42-31372 MIA 11 January 1944
(P) 1st Lt. Edwin R Reid (Kia) 0-797181 Ardennes D-29-14
(CP) 2nd Lt. Richard G Morgan (Kia) 0-684028 San Bruno, Ca.
(N) 2nd Lt. John B Haus (Pow) 0-682327
(B) 2nd Lt. George Marghita (Kia) 0-673857 Michigan
(1T) T/Sgt Ernest G Kretchmer (Pow) 37268743
(RO) T/Sgt Benton E Lowry (Kia) 15331444 Ardennes D-21-2
(BT) S/Sgt John A Gustafson, Jr (Kia) 14051783 Beaufort, S.C.
(WG) Sgt Melvin P Stoddard (Kia) 32460353 Ardennes D-11-39
(WG) S/Sgt Arnold L Hovey (Pow) 36370430
(TG) S/Sgt Anthony M Czamecki (Kia) 32466895 Ardennes A-43-18
The navigator, John B. Haus, was alive and listed in the 91st BGMA directory
2000, which is our latest directory. His address at that time was: Houston, Texas.