Beginnings

Maynard Leroy Jones, son of Kenneth and Zita Shutts Jones, graduated from East High School in January 1940.  Maynard and five other boys who were in the top 3% of their high school class academically formed the Dummie Club, mostly a loose social gathering of classmates.  As a reflection of the time, all served during World War II, and all but one served overseas.

  • Stanley Marvin Arnold (1921-2008),  Army, Field Artillery
    Robert Warren Barquist (1921-1967), Army, Anti-tank Company, Infantry
    Robert Blake Frisk (1922-1999), Army Air Force
    Arthur Donald Haas (1922-2008), Army Air Force, Fighter Pilot
    Everett Gustav Schultz (1921-1994), Army, Signal Company

For the next year and one-half he worked a night shift at Rollins Hosiery Mills in Des Moines where his mother worked.  In September 1942 Maynard started college at Drake University, Des Moines, Polk Co., Iowa, taking pre-medical courses. With World War II ongoing, Maynard interrupted his studies to enter the Aviation Cadet Training Program in February 1943.  Several months were spent at Southern Illinois Normal University (now Southern Illinois University) in Carbondale, Illinois.

Maynard L. Jones, Aviation Cadet Date and location unknown Townsend Studio, Des Moines, Iowa

Maynard L. Jones, Aviation Cadet
Date and location unknown
Townsend Studio, Des Moines, Iowa

Because of his academic achievement, he was able to begin Basic Navigation School at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, followed by Advanced Navigation School in San Marcos, Texas.  He graduated from the program and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps in February 1944.

See Appendix 1 for a poem Maynard wrote about being a navigator.

2nd Lt. Maynard L. Jones, probable graduation photo Army Air Force Navigation School, Class Forty Four-Three February 26, 1944

2nd Lt. Maynard L. Jones, probable graduation photo
Army Air Force Navigation School, Class Forty Four-Three
February 26, 1944

A few months later, Maynard was teamed up with the rest of his future crew in Tucson, Arizona, and began training in a B-24 bomber.  The move to Tucson occurred either in late February or early March 1944.  In his letter to his parents dated March 26, 1944, Maynard mentioned the crew by last name only and position.

  • Tail gunner: Maupin
  • Waist gunner: Navy (later Orvel Howe)
  • Waist gunner: Waldren (Waldron)
  • Ball turret gunner: Tarbrew (Tarbert)
  • Radio/telephone: Stiddem (possibly Stidman) (later Harold Giesler)
  • Pilot: Hautman
  • Co-pilot: Snidow
  • Navigator: Jones

Maynard wrote of a picture of this particular crew, but I have not been able to locate a copy.  He specifically mentioned the flight engineer Land as not being present.  The flight engineer also operated the B-24’s top turret.

Later, Navy would be replaced by Orvel Howe and Stidman by Harold Giesler. Maynard does not mention these personnel changes in any of his letters home.  The only individuals he later identified by first name were Ed Hautman, Carroll Snidow, and ‘Johnny’ Friese who was not included in the above listing.  All of these three were officers; Maynard Jones made the fourth officer of the crew.

The following background information concerns the aircrew (besides Maynard) as it existed on September 27, 1944.

1st Lt. Edward F. Hautman:

Edward was born on February 10, 1919 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio.  His parents were John W.  Hautman and Anna D. Adam.  He was the youngest of eight children in the family.  In the 1940 US Federal Census, Edward’s occupation is listed as a clerk typist in his first year of college, probably Xavier University.  At the time of his enlistment in June 1942 he was working for Fairbanks-Morse Co.

2nd Lt. Carroll Givens Snidow:

His parents were Lloyd Reeder Snidow and Mattie Givens.  He was born on July 30, 1922 in Christianburg, Montgomery Co., Virginia.  He had at least two siblings.  The 1940 US Federal Census noted him as being in his 4th year of high school.  Of some interest, I suppose, is that he was Jewish as documented by later war records.  

S/Sgt. Dale Corwin Maupin:

Dale was born on April 8 1924 in Morland Grah, Kansas to parents Carles C. Maupin and Essie Lidia White.  He was the second oldest of eight children.   By the 1940 US census, he had completed one year of high school.  He is recorded to have enlisted in August 21, 1943.  Dale had the distinction of being the youngest member of the crew.

T/Sgt. Thomas Vernon Land:

He was the son of Jesse B and Velma Singer Land and was born on November 6, 1920 in Richmond, Madison Co., Kentucky.  He had at least one other brother.  By the 1940 census, he had completed three years of high school.  He was married to Lounata Newby on December 24, 1940.  

T/Sgt.Harold William Giesler:

Harold was the son of George and Maggie Warren and was one of at least eight children.  He was born on August 1, 1921 in Walnut Grove, Redwood Co., Minnesota.  In the 1940 US Federal Census, Harold is listed as having an eighth grade education.  He enlisted on September 4, 1942.

T/Sgt. Orvel George Howe:

His parents were Auda Howe and Mary Riece.  He was born on May 9, 1919 in Gotebo, Kiowa Co., Oklahoma.  There were at least three other children in the family.  He enlisted on May 29, 1937 making him the crewmember with the longest military service prior to joining the rest of the crew.  Orvel married Jewel Margaret Phillips on November 10, 1941, in Jackson, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  

S/Sgt. John A. Tarbert:

John was born in 1921 in Pennsylvania to John Coulson Tarbert and Mary Belle Stewart.  He had at lest three siblings and appears to have finished high school.  It is not known when he enlisted, but in the 1940 census he was listed as being a private and stationed at Balboa, Panama Canal. Before November 1943, he had married Jenevieve Carolyn Judd, who later bore him a son after John had left the United States.

S/Sgt. Gordon F. Waldron:

Gordon was the son of Arthur R. Waldron and Hazel D. Cooper.  He was born on September 20, 1920 in Grand Ledge, Eaton Co., Michigan.  He had at least four other siblings.   By the time of the 1940 census, he appears to have been working in the Civilian Conservation Corps, having completed one year of high school.  He enlisted on March 30, 1943.

2nd Lt. John Albert Friese:

His parents were Emil Albert Friese and Laura Ovidia Odegaard.  He was the oldest member of the crew, having been born on September 8, 1916 in Fargo, Cass Co., North Dakota.  He and three of his four siblings were in the service at the same time.  He was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, North Dakota Agricultural College, Fargo, North Dakota and was to be a 2nd Lt. in th 69th Infantry Regiment upon graduation.  However, it appears in the 1940 census that he had completed four years of college (Civil Engineering) and his address at the time was ‘US Naval Air Station Cadet Quarters’.  He had received an appointment for the Navy, but later left the service to work for Babcock & Wilcox Co.  He then enlisted in the Army Air Corps on August 29, 1942.  He became a navigator was certified as a bombardier (2nd Lt.) on January 15, 1944 at the bombardier school at Midland, Texas.

Howe, Land, Waldron, and Tarbert were married at the time, and I believe Tarbert and Land each had a child, though Tarbert’s child was born after Tarbert had left for England and he never saw his son.  Land’s daughter was almost three-years-old at the downing of the Mairzy Doats.

A brief mention of known nicknames:

  • Maynard Jones:      Jonesy
  • John Friese:        Runt, as ‘Cisco’ by his friends as ‘Pappy’ by siblings
  • Gordon Waldron:    Skippy
  • John Tarbert:        Doc

I do not have any further information on the two other individuals originally listed by Maynard Jones on the crew list:  Navy and Stiddem (Stidman).

While at Tucson, Hautman’s crew flew many training missions in a B-24.  Some of the flights were at night, though most probably occurred during the daytime since Americans were bombing Germany during daylight hours.

Toward the end of May 1944, the crew began to prepare for the transfer to their future combat air base.  They left for England about June 1, 1944 and were in Iceland for several weeks while in transit.  The group was in England by June 17, 1944 but not at a combat air base.  There was a detour to Northern Ireland by June 25, 1944 and they were finally at their destination of Tibenham Air Field by July 9, 1944.  At least part of the delay in arriving at Tibenham was for additional training, including various classes, ranging from English country life and weather, venereal disease prevention, to what an aviator could expect while flying a mission, including how to conduct oneself if shot down.*

It is unlikely that the Hautman crew flew a B-24 that they would later use in combat prior to their arrival at Tibenham.  It is much more likely that they attached themselves to a combat aircraft after arriving at Tibenham.

The following photos were courtesy of Carroll Snidow and were taken before deployment overseas.  The location was likely Tucson, Arizona.

Hautman Crew Back row, L-R:  Edward Hautman; Gordon Waldron; Dale Maupin; John Tarbert; Orvel Howe; Thomas Land; Maynard Jones Front row, L-R:  John Friese, Carroll Snidow

Hautman Crew
Back row, L-R:  Edward Hautman; Gordon Waldron; Dale Maupin; John Tarbert; Orvel Howe; Thomas Land; Maynard Jones
Front row, L-R:  John Friese, Carroll Snidow

Officers of Hautman Crew L-R:  Maynard Jones; Carroll Snidow; John Friese; Edward Hautman

Officers of Hautman Crew
L-R:  Maynard Jones; Carroll Snidow; John Friese; Edward Hautman

Harold W. Giesler Date and location unknown

Harold W. Giesler
Date and location unknown

The rest of the story

In a letter from Henrietta Hautman (Ed’s sister) to Mrs. Maggie Giesler (Harold’s mother), February 24, 1945 Henrietta wrote, “Edward flew over our home four times last May 23 when he was on his way to the East Coast before going overseas.”

Three days later Maynard Jones wrote to his parents, “A lot of things have happened since we left that I can’t write about, but I can tell you that Ed, my pilot, is in the hospital and may have to have an operation because of something wrong with his nose.

“We may get a new pilot and continue on where we left off.  It’s hard to explain just what has happened when I have to be so careful of what I say.  I will say this Ed did something he shouldn’t have done and they ordered us back to our starting point but he got sick so we are being delayed.  Don’t worry about what I just said because what happened the rest of the crew had nothing to do with it.  I don’t think they can do anything to us.  I imagine Ed will have his crew taken away from him.  That’s why I say we’ll probably get a new pilot.”

Several months later on August 20, 1944 Maynard wrote, “You asked me about our trouble on the way over.  I see no reason why I shouldn’t tell you now.  We went off our course and went to Ed’s home and buzzed.  We were about two hours late and landed at a civilian field because he said he was tired.  The headquarters called this field and told us to go back where we started from.  We landed at the place Edward was in the hospital at.  Ed had a fever and they put him in the hospital.  That is what saved him because we were on the way back to have him court martialed.  One of the officers at that field talked headquarters out of the court martial.  Finally, we went on to our P. O. E. where Ed demanded to have his nose operated on.  He was and we got another pilot and came on without us, but we waited for him over here.  That is about all there is to it.”

* Sally Friese Hoffman wrote in an email, “I remember he told us that if a plane went down, crew hoped they would be captured by older Germans because the hot-headed young ones would kill immediately.  Decades after he told us that, I read about the fate of some of his crew members and knew then why he said that.”

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