39th Bomb Group (VH)



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Cpl Henry T. Matthaus
Tail Gunner

Cpl Henry Matthaus

Matthaus was killed during an incendiary raid against Tokyo, May 26, 1945, when a 105mm anti-aircraft shell scored a direct hit on his tail compartment. Reportedly, this was the first fatality, in battle, of the 39th Bomb Group.

The funeral service and internment took place at the Military Cemetery on Guam, May 27, 1945. The ten survivors of his crew along with a friend from Crew 43 - Tom Mayfield, were among those in attending the service. The 39th Group Chaplain, Chester Pelt, was the Officiating Minister.

Matthaus received the Air Medal and was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

The whereabouts of his parents who resided in Miami is unknown. His wife, Marge, since remarried and a daughter are survivors.

Lloyd Volkmar recalls that Matt and Marge were married in Salina during training days. They were expecting before Matt left for Guam. The exact date of Karen's birth date is not known. She, along with her husband and one-year-old son, were in attendance at Crew 44's first reunion at Lake Texoma and Fort Worth, Texas, July 6-11, 1965. At that time, Karen was a sophomore in college in or near Springfield, Missouri.
Crew 44 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source:Lloyd B. Volkmar, Crew 44 Historian for the book
"History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird (crew 5) and David C. Smith crew 31)