1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 31, 2019 10:57 AM by Sylvia Naylor

    Seeking Air Transport Command records


      Where can I find Air Transport Command records for Topeka, KS or Watton, Norfolk, UK from jan-Feb 1944? I am pursuing a search for the tail number of the B-24 that was flown from the US to England by the Edward G. Leininger crew in Feb 1944. My father was his navigator and chalked the original nose art on their plane for the crew photo. The ground crew painted the final design on the plane before "Oh My Sufferin' Head" left for FL to England along the southern route. I would like to find out about the service record of this plane.


      Lt. Leininger signed for the new B-24H at the Topeka, KS, B-24 Replacement Crew Center (Herington Field, KS?) in Jan '44. Upon arrival in England, he again signed for it's delivery to the 8th AAF depot at Watton (3rd Strategic Air Depot, sta. 376), Norfolk, in Feb '44.


      The crew flew combat in other A/C during Apr-May of 1944 with the 389th BG(H), but dad always wondered what happened to "...Sufferin' Head".  Leininger's signature is the definitive connection to the correct plane. Recently, erroneous records of it flying with the 44th BG have surfaced. Also, the nose art was attributed to the 458th BG with no details. These are demonstratively false. Air Transport Command records will solve this.


      Thanks for your interest.

        • Re: Seeking Air Transport Command records
          Sylvia Naylor Scout

          Dear Mr. Griffith,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog for records relating to your inquiry.  Unfortunately, we were not able to locate any textual records relevant to your research. 


          Many of the historical and operational records of the Air Transport Command in the North Atlantic have been microfilmed by the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA). The National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) has a copy of the microfilm. For access to the microfilm, please use the index to the Air Force History microfilm available at http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org/


          To use the index, please enter “AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND, NORTH ATLANTIC” in the search window and narrow your search by including 1/1/1944 in the Start Date and 12/31/1945 in the End Date before clicking the Search button. The results should be 63 records. Read the brief Abstract to determine which records you are interested in and click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. If the reel number begins with A, B or C, please contact RDT2 via email at archives2reference@nara.gov for access to them.


          If the reel number begins with D - Z, the microfilm is still security classified and RDT2 will not be able to make the reel available to you. The original paper copy from which the film was created is still in the custody of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) and has been declassified. For access to these records, please contact AFHRA, 600 Chennault Circle, Building 1405, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL  36112-6424. The web site is https://www.afhra.af.mil/.


          Also, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution has custody of a microfilm copy of the Air Force and Army Air Force aircraft history record cards.  The cards list a plane's serial number, place of manufacture, and manufacturer's contract number, and may include information for each month that the plane was in service, the place of assignment, cumulative flying hours, and any repairs or accidents.  They cover information from the date the plane was put into service to the date it was destroyed or withdrawn from service. For access to the microfilm, please contact the National Air and Space Museum Archives, 14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151 or email NASMRefDesk@si.edu.


          We hope this information is helpful.  Best of luck with your research!

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