398th Web Site Searches

It has been estimated that there were over 5000 men that served with the 398th. To date a comphrehensive list is not available, but our group historian is building a data base of who was in the 398th and at this time, the list of names is in the 2500 range and growing.

You may be able to find information about some veterans on our 398th Web Site. More information is added regularly, so it's a good idea to check every few months or so. Below are three suggestions for searching our site.

Key Word Search

While the 398th web site does not have it's own search engine, it is possible to use search engines such as Google and Yahoo and others to search just the 398th site. To do this you need to paste the following text into your search engine:

  • keyword site:398th.org

where the keyword is the word you wish to search for the 398th site.

For example, if you wanted to find all occurences of Wally Blackwell, our president on our site, you would copy the following and paste it into your search engine search field:

  • Blackwell site:398th.org

After searching, your search engine will display all 398th web pages with Blackwell on that page. Of course you could also put in Wally Blackwell, but usually just the last name is sufficient.

If you wanted to find every page we had listed the word Navigator, you would search on:

  • Navigator site:398th.org

Key Data Tables

In looking for a particular veteran, there are four key tables you might want to view on the 398th Web Site.

These are:

  1. Original Crews from Rapid City (March 1944) There were 72 original crews with 10 men in each crew. It should be noted that on the journey from the USA to England, one man was bumped from each combat crew on the flyover and various men, not assigned to the actual crews (e.g. ground crews, operations officers, etc) were substituted. So although named, Original Crews, it's close but not exactly the original combat crews.
  2. 398th Killed in Action This table lists the 294 men that gave their full measure of devotion to their country.
  3. 398th POWs Our 398th Prisoners of War Listing includes 288 398th POWs.
  4. 398th Missing Air Crew Reports There are 66 known Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) for the 398th. Only the pilots are listed in these reports at this time.

Other Places to Look

While the above tables provide an easy way to find a particular individual if listed, there are a number of other search possibilities, but it will take some patience, perserverance and a bit of luck.

  1. Identified Crew Pictures and Unidentified Crew Pictures While someday it is hoped to upload all crew photos, only about 1/3 are currently uploaded.
  2. Flak News Articles and Veteran WWII Personal Histories A few veterans have written of their experiences. While your veteran of interest may not have written a story, they might be mentioned in another story. It helps of course to know your veteran's squadron and pilot, as most combat veteran's are referred by their pilot's crew.
  3. 398th Combat Diaries So far there are only a handful of 398th diaries. However, these diaries tend to mention other crew members and sometimes observations about other aircraft in trouble. If your veteran of interest was Killed in Action or a POW, many times there may be a mention in one of the diaries. The mention may be on the day of the event or mentioned a day or two later. Sometimes, such mentions are for days when the diary author did not fly, so it pays to read some of their non-mission entries. If there is a mention, it may only be a few words, but those few words may help others know what happened that day.
  4. 398th Missions by Crews/Individuals So far this listing is quite small and it may stay that way for a while given the hugeness of the task. However, there are some selected missions listed.
  5. 398th Missions and Descriptions The 398th Flew 195 Combat Missions. As diaries, articles, and stories about combat missions become available links are made from each of the mission dates to the articles about that mission. If you know when your veteran of interest flew, this is a great way to find out more about what happened that day. Recognize, of course, that if 3 squadrons sent up 12 planes each, that day that the chances are slim there will be information about what exactly happened on the plane you want to know about. If you get lucky, though, there might be something about your veteran that day. And even though his name might not be mentioned, you'll get a pretty good idea about what went on that day from long ago.
  6. What's New Adds to the 398th Web Pages are noted in our What's New section.