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Captain Jack Cody, B-24 Liberator Mission 151 Story to Odertal Germany

2 Lt. Philip J. Crossman's crew with Jack Cody Pictures and Story of Captain Jack Cody, B-24 Mission 151 to Odertal Germany.  WW2 B-24 Pilot Phillip J. Crossman  Exhibit Research by John Bybee.

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   Capt. Jack R. Cody  

Captain Jack R. Cody, B-24 Pilot

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. Crossman crew.


2 Lt. Philip J. Crossman's crew with Jack Cody


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.


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Young Officer, Jack Cody,  Commands Air Base Unit


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.


Promote Officers

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 United States.


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.

B-24 Mission Odertal Germany Close-up

Close-up View of Odertal Germany

B-24 Mission Odertal Germany 1944

Mission Objective, Odertal Germany

Jack Cody's Mission #151 Odertal, Germany

Jack Cody's Mission #151 Odertal, Germany

Dear Frank
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.

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 waist guns.

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.


Letter from a German Citizen, friend of Jack Cody.
Jack Cody, Christmas 1944


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. 
Fred Beegardel
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 Battle 1944


Jack Riley Cody, Wounded in Battle 1944
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 USA, Retired.
On December 17, 1944, Capt. 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


Jack Cody's Grave with a B-24 Liberator Propeller over it.

War Memorial with a B-24 Liberator Propeller over it.

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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.  

Dear Neil,

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 for? 

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 because we 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,
Jeff Dyrek


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The Might Eithth Air Force in Action in World War II

The Mighty Eighth Air Force World War II

The latest book by Warren Benjamin Kidder.

This book starts out with action then talks about Charles Sorenson's building of the B-24 Liberator Factory at Willow Run.  Next it goes into America's entry into World War II and shows the daring raids of Jimmy Doolittle and quickly moves into the intense action of the B-24 Liberators raiding the oil refineries in Ploesti Romania. 

The last part of this book is a complete listing of almost one thousand raids of the 8th Air Force in WW2.

This is a color edition, hardcover edition, hand signed by the author, Warren Benjamin Kidder.

This book is action packed from beginning to end and is a non fiction account of what it really took to win the war both here in the United States and on the battle ground.  You need to read this book.

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