Click on Pictures Below for Much Larger
Capt. Jack R. Cody
Capt. Jack R. Cody, 15Air Force, 49th Bomber Wing, 461st
Bombing Group, 765th BS
Shot down Sunday, December 17, 1944
B-24J-5-FO, 42-50953, "Flying Finger"
2Lt. Phillip J.
|2 Lt. Philip J. Crossman's crew
with Jack Cody not in Photo.
|Capt. Jack R. Cody
was the 461/765 Gunnery Officer and he was manning the upper turret
on Phil Crossman's B-24 on 17 Dec 1944. This is Crossman's crew,
Jack Cody not in photo.
Young Officer, Jack Cody, Commands Air Base Unit
Lieutenant Cody, 22, Directs Squadron at Pocatello Center
Tribune Intermountain Wire,
Pocatello, Idaho -- At 22 years of age, First Lieutenant Jack R. Cody is
already an "Old Man"
Jack Cody Reported Prisoner of Germans
First Lieut. Jack R. Cody, husband of Mrs. Mary Lou Cody, 2913 North Edith, who
was reported missing in action on Dec. 17, 1944, has been reported a prisoner of
war of the Germans, according to a telegram received by his wife from the War
Department. He was gunnery officer in a B-24 Liberator group of the
Fifteenth Air Force in Italy. Before entering the service, Lieut. Cody was
an employee of the Continental Oil Co. here. He has been in service three
years and over seas one year.
Lieut. Cody Liberated
First Lieut. Jack R. Cody, whose wife, Mrs. Mary Lou Cody, lives at 2913 North
Edith, has been liberated from a German prison camp and is on his way home,
according to word received by Mrs. Cody. He had been a prisoner since
December. He was gunnery officer of a B-24 of the 15th AAF based in Italy.
WASHINGTON, The war department announced the temporary promotion of Jack Riley
Cody, 3005 Mesa Verde Dr., Albuquerque, and Davis Matthias Santa Rita,
N.M. from first Lieutenant to Captain in the air corps. Lt. Col. Clarence
Frederick Vogel, Albuquerque, was ordered to active duty in the Army of the
Cody is Retired from Army Duty
Capt. Jack R. Cody, 604 W. Iron, after four years service with the U.S. Army Air
Forces, has been retired from Active duty. He served as a gunnery officer
in a heavy bombardment group of the 15th Air Force based in Italy. He was
shot down on a mission over Vienna and was liberated from a German prisoner of
war camp near Munich, last April by Patton's Third Army. He has been
decorated with Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal with clusters, Purple Heart
and Presidential Unit Citation with clusters.
Close-up View of Odertal Germany
Mission Objective, Odertal Germany
Jack Cody's Mission #151 Odertal, Germany
In answer to your recent request, enclosed is a write up of the December 17,
1944 Odertal Mission. This is only one man's recollection of events
that happened 42 years ago, so I'd like to hear from other people, who also
lived through that awful day.
You may want to clean up the language in a couple of spots for publication
in the "Liberaider", but I'm telling it like it happened.
Write if you get the opportunity, and in the meantime I'm looking forward to
seeing you in New York next Fall. Hugh Hanley.
Mission #151 ODERTAL, GERMANY, MY 10th MISSION
by Hugh Hanley -- 765th Squadron.
Having checked the flight board on the evening of Dec. 16th, and finding
our crew scheduled for tomorrow's mission, we all went to bed early.
We were awakened at 4 AM with the terse notification, "briefing in an hour"
After coffee and a light breakfast (we didn't have a big appetite on those
days we were flying), we went to the briefing room. As we entered, and
saw that grin black line due almost direct northeast into Eastern Germany,
someone muttered, Oh ----, Blechanner again!". Bill
McClain, our Navigator replied, "No, it's East of that area".
S-2 began the briefing by telling us that the target today was Odertal, a
small oil refinery near the Polish border. There would be little if
any flack. Ball turrets would not be lowered until we came to the IP,
Zuckmantel. Loading was 6,500 lb GP's and 2700 gallons of fuel.
Altitude would be 26000 ft. (What else?) Almost as an
afterthought, he mentioned that we would likely catch fighter opposition.
In retrospect, this would have to qualify as the understatement of the year,
if not the century.
We set at the flight line, our crew consisted of following: Phil Crossman
- Pilot; Whitey Kreps - Co-pilot; Bill McClain - Navigator; yours truly -
Bombardier; Larry Eidsmore - Nose gunner: Lenny Geier - Engineer; Val
Barnson - Radio Operator; Bill White - Ball Turret; Johnny Sainio - Waist
Gunner; and Bernie Freeman - Tail gunner. In addition to our regular
crew, 1st Lt. Jack Cody, Squadron Gunnery Officer, would fly with us, and
man the Top Turret. This necessitated moving Barnson to one of the
The green flare arched into the sky and the mission was underway. A
typical Italian winter day, weather overcast and somewhat chilly.
Takeoff was uneventful and we began our climb t altitude to formation.
Over the spur of the "boot", and out over the Adriatic, - climbing all the
way. Strictly routine, as in the previous nine. Oxygen checks -
crew banter. All of a sudden, somebody is in TROUBLE.
"Horizontal" Moore is aborting - engine trouble. Lucky so and so.
Through the alley between Vienna and Bratislava. Always NNE.
Check arming, five minutes to IP. Routine up to here.
Christmas 1944: Jack was a
POW. Jack befriended a German citizen Fred Seegardel, who in
turn forced a German officer to allow Jack out of the POW compound
for a night in warm room in Nurenberg.
Stamberg Germany Obb.
Starmberg, Germany Dec. 3rd 1949.
My dear friend, my good Jack:
It is a long time since I received the last letter from you.
But still longer that you received one from me too. This is
easy to explain. In spring of this year I wrote to you and
mentioned that I had been sick with my right hand and could not
write so well. Short time after I received your kind answer to
this letter. I thought to do something special for your - and
what you think I done??? ----- I bought train ticket from here
to Moosburg in order to visit hat place my behooved and true friend
Jack had been a prisoner while I could not do a thing for him.
When I left the train at Mossburg I felt like going to a Cemetery to
look for a grave o one of the dearest of mine.
Soon I stood at the entrance of the that former camp. I felt
terrible beliefs no dear Jack. Nobody there. I walked in
and through the whole place - from street to street from building to
building and found not stop my tears from running down. I
lifted up my face and my voice to God whom I been asking so long to
bring me back to the States the only country I could be happy again.
I stepped into many of those buildings, thought here was the room
(maybe) where Jack Lived, then into another one possibly be used as
a theater, again I thought here had my friend been walking in and
out. Another place had been a church - here had been Jack for
sure I thought. Even through former toilet's I walked - just
for the reason to step right in your footsteps - into the footsteps
of a true and good friend of mine. Yes dear Jack - I will
never forget this afternoon on June 19th 1949. I simply lived
through everything you had lived through after you and I separated
from each other in February 1945.
You really think, that I -- could ever in this life forget you??
Never, and I say never my dear friend. During my walking from
one and to the other at that former camp for prisoners I took
several pictures - sorry to say with a very poor camera. Two
are with two of the main streets and two others with the former camp
prison building in two different pictures. All the others have
not come out at all.
Dear jack, in case you are special interested in several good
pictures for the book of memorial you told me once you were writing,
I will travel to Mossburg again and take an photographer from town
who must take pictures from places you would like to have
especially. In that case it would be very clever to give me a
blueprint of the camp as true as you could remember it still today
and mark important places you would like to have a picture from.
Anyway today you will get what I have to fare, you may like it.
In the back of each picture I will write what it is and you find out
if you can remember places. I intended to mail then to you in
June, and thought I did so after month I found letter and pictures
some place - un-nailed at my room.
Receive them today as a Christmas present from a friend whom you
know since Christmas 1944 at the hospital at the city of Olmutz in
the country of Czechoslovakia.
Let's remember how we - you and I celebrated Christmas on that
Christmas Eve. Let's not forget dear Jack before God and man
how we came together, the way we became real friends - and then how
we spend the last days on the German trains, the night at Nuermberg
when I forced the German officer to take you out of that cold prison
cell (Room) and finally you and I could sleep together in a warm
room at a different building. Yes and then, when we came to
Frankfurt/Main took the streetcar and drove down to the place we
were separated until now.
Every Christmas Eve I am telling this true story to the people
celebrating with me - and they sure hear it very interested - and
last year when I mentioned it again - one could hear a needle drop.
Now you would like to hear I think how fare I am with my papers back
to the States. Dear Jack, the affidavit you mailed to me was
not accepted at the Consulate, for the season it was not the proper
Affidavit of Support which is needed in my case.
If you care for helping me, please go to a Notary Public or to a
Consular Service office and ask for a full Affidavit of Support.
The one you send me as very good to prove my character person
towards America and American interest.
I leave it to you, as you know how you feel towards me, and God
bless you and your loved ones all the time.
I will place in this letter a Christmas card which I tore off from a
full card you mailed to me Christmas 1947. I have no English
Christmas cards at hand - and may you like it to have yours back
from Christmas two years ago.
Best regards to all of your beloved family. How is Mrs. Cody and my
little girls? Hope very well.
How is your health my dear Jack? Do suffer any after the
operation done in 1944?????.------
Hope to hear from you soon, I am longing for an answer. Yours
very truly Fred S.
|Jack Riley Cody, Wounded in
|Thank you for your help and interest in
regarding the event of Dec. 17, 1944. I remember so little of
it after being hit by cannon fire. Other crew members have
been of great help in telling the story. I am now 84 years
old, like my other crew members and our members are not so good.
Thanks again for your help and interest. Jack R. Cody.
Please excuse my writing, I am blind. Jack R. Cody, Captain
|On December 17,
Jack Riley Cody was wounded in the head by a 20mm shell from
an II JG300 FW-190A-8. Jack has passed on, but this is a short
letter he wrote me when he was 84 and blind. John Bybee
War Memorial with a B-24 Liberator Propeller over
Liberator Aviation Art
B-24 Liberator Models
From the Webmaster: Here's an excerpt from a letter that I
have just sent
to a friend who fought in the Falkland Islands War, named Neil Wilkinson.
Neil shot down two planes in the war and has suffered from PTSD ever
since. One plane that he shot down was the A-4 Skyhawk of Mariano Valasco. Since Neil and I have met, we have been working on a
project that you can see here.
The Falkland Islands war.
Thank you for writing. I thought that one of those guns in the video were yours
but I couldn't recognize you in any of the pictures. On one YouTube video from
Argentina is actually a picture of Mariano talking, saying "It serves you right, greengo" as he dropped the bombs on the
HMS Coventry. It's pretty interesting to
see him talk. Just a couple of days before you shot him down. In
another video I saw an A-4 get hit
then disappear over the hill. Did you hit that plane? It looks just as you
described when you hit Mariano. I finished a long time project last night and after I uploaded it, I
realized that I left the two pages out where the war department sent the parents
letters that their son was missing in action and then the one where there son
was killed in action over Germany. I've been working on these types of exhibits
for twelve years now and I keep wondering why these guys fought and gave their
lives when, today, our country is so filthy and filled with crime and violence, all
driven by Hollywood and the Music. Please excuse me, but what did they die
The biggest terrorist in the world are the Hollywood producers and the music
producers that are pushing bad ideas on our kids. Carl Marx said that he can
take a democratic country and make them pay for the rope to hang themselves.
How do you do it. Get the kids on drugs and sex, teach them useless things and
break up the family. America is the prime example. We keep talking about how
great our country is, and our top celebrities are the filthiest things that have
ever roamed the earth. When I look at all of those helmets laying on the
ground, in one of your pictures, it hurts. When I keep writing about the histories of these pilots,
seeing them with smiles on their faces and happy to be in such an important job
fighting for their countries, then read that they never came back, looking at
pictures of their wife and newborn kid that they never saw, it hurts.
We may have a special reason for our project in the Falklands. I really don't know what it is,
but the recent letter from Marino to you kind of says it when he invited you and your
family to come and stay at their house. It's not people that are enemies
are just doing our jobs. You didn't even know where the Falklands were, yet you
risked your life for your job. We need to see that people are people everywhere
we look. They have families and friends and dream of better times. Somehow I
would like to work on this theme with our Falklands project.
It's hard to do this because after watching all of the videos, and even more
than are on the site, it's hard to overcome the tragedy that these families and
the men went through. But we need to drop our hate and shake hands with
the very people that we are taught to hate because they are people just like you and
me. The real enemy are the people that are producing the hate and the major
hate machine is Hollywood California. I've been there and it's not safe to walk
the streets. It's filled with hate, arrogance and disrespect.
Sorry to talk this way, but I see it over and over again and at the same time,
the TV says that our schools aren't doing enough. But the biggest school is
what is pounded into the brains of our kids by the TV and Music.
Thank you and God Bless,
Here for North Pole Global Warming
Click Here's another Book
Review about a B-24 Pilot in WW2, Jessie Pettey,
One More Mission, A Journey from Childhood to War.
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