Clifford Alexander “Alec” Stodghill
Martin B-26 Marauder Pilot
556th Bomb Squadron, 387th Bomb Group
1/Lt Clifford A Stodghill Serial No: 0-860537
No date in the records as to when he joined the 556th Bomb Squadron, his first mission as a pilot in command was on January 16th 1945 although he is likely to have flown one or two missions as a co-pilot as an introduction to combat. Sadly the 387th Bomb Group records only list the first pilot on each mission and do not include full crew manifests. Therefore it is probable that he joined the Group in late December 1944 or early January 1945.
Known Mission List (all 1945):
Date Aircraft Flown Target
16th Jan 41-31912 FW-Q ‘Damd-fino’ Erkelenz Comm Cen
22nd Jan 42-107719 FW-A ‘S.S.F.F.’ Dasburg Hwy Br
2nd Feb 41-31811 FW-X ‘Sweatin 5’ Rosbach RR Br
6th Feb 42-107719 FW-A ‘S.S.F.F.’ Berg Gladbach M/T Depot
Pathfinder lost the formation so Group attacked Wittlich
9th Feb (am) 43-34119 FW-T ‘Off Limits’ Viersen Comm Cen
14th Feb (pm) 43-34119 FW-T ‘Off Limits’ Engers RR Br (deputy formation lead aircraft)
Lead aircraft hit by Flak on the bomb run, shattering the nose and injuring the Bombardier, aircraft went in to partial spin and lost 2700 feet. The rest of the Flight dropped on the secondary target, a road junction at position L470570
19th Feb 43-34186 FW-P ‘Los Lobos Grandes III’ Niederscheld RR Br
22nd Feb 42-107719 FW-A ‘S.S.F.F.’ Wehrstapel RR Br
25th Feb 42-95857 FW-K ‘Shootin In’ Gottingen RR Br (dep lead, lead flight. 1st Box)
26th Feb 42-95857 FW-K ‘Shootin In’ Zieperich Overpass (dep lead, lead flight, 2nd
27th Feb 44-67872 TQ-N Lechenich Comm Cen (“Window” aircraft)
2nd Mar (pm) 42-107719 FW-A ‘S.S.F.F.’ Giessen Comm Cen (“Window” aircraft)
5th Mar (pm) 44-67886 FW-H Unna Ord Depot (dep lead, lead flight, 2nd
9th Mar (pm) 44-67886 FW-H Arnsberg M/Y (dep lead, lead flight, 2nd Box)
11th Mar 44-67886 FW-H Breitscheid L/G (dep lead, lead flight, 1st Box)
Bombed secondary tgt at Hachenberg after the Pathfinder aircraft had an equipment failure.
13th Mar (pm) 44-67886 FW-H Westerburg M/Y (dep lead, high flight, 2nd Box)
14th Mar 42-96107 FW-N ‘Boogy Buggy’ Gross Osthein A/F (dep lead, lead flight, 1st Box)
17th Mar (pm) 42-96310 FW-O ‘Satchel Lass’ Frankenberg M/Y (dep lead, high flight, 1st Box)
18th Mar (pm) 44-67906 FW-M Kreutzal M/Y (dep lead, high flight, 2nd Box)
20th Mar 43-34334 FW-R ‘Vulgar Vulture’ Sythen Expl Fact (dep lead, high flight, 2nd Box)
4th Apr 43-34334 FW-R ‘Vulgar Vulture’ Erbach Oil Dep (flight lead, low flight, 1st Box)
9th Apr (am) 44-68087 FW-X Amberg Kummersbruck Ord Dep (flight lead,
Low flight, 2nd Box)
11th Apr (pm) 44-68071 FW-V Aschersleben M/Y (dep lead, high flight)
16th Apr (am) 44-67904 FW-Y ‘Dragonnas’ Gunzenhausen M/Y (flight lead, low flight, 1st
Box) Excellent results achieved on 2nd bomb run after the Pathfinder aircraft had equipment failure.
18th Apr (am) 44-67904 FW-Y ‘Dragonnas’ Donau Oil Depot (flight lead, low flight, 1st Box)
2 Me-262 approached the formation just after bombs away when the flights were still in trail. The escorting P-51s were drawn away in combat with Me-109s. On the second pass one of the Me-262 aircraft attacked the low flight of the 1st Box, damaging the number 5 aircraft in the flight, several gunners fired at the Me-262 but no claims made. Me-262 last seen being chased by the P-51s.
19th Apr (pm) 44-67844 TQ-T Gunzburg RR Sidings (flight lead, low flight, 2nd
26th Apr 44-68087 FW-X Schroben-Hausen Oil Depot (flight lead, high
flight, 2nd Box). Formation recalled shortly after formation left base as ground forces had overtaken target.
Total = 26 missions plus 1 recall.
Air Medal awarded 24th Feb 1945 as per General Order No 27, 9th Bomb Div
Oak leaf Cluster to AM awarded 19th March 1945 as per G.O. No 40, 9th Bomb Div
2nd OLC date not recorded
3rd OLC awarded 28th Apr 1945 as per G O No 63, 9th Bomb Div
4th OLC awarded 3rd May 1945 as per G O No 68, 9th Bomb Div
Each Air Medal and subsequent Oak Leaf Cluster was awarded for each five completed missions.
As can be seen there does not seem to be one regular aircraft that the crew flew, but as a point of interest the B-26 on display at the Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio is painted up to represent 42-95757 FW-K ‘Shootin In.’ This aircraft actually flew with the Free French Air Force during World War Two.
SSFF nose art
Shootin In PR shot
Off Limits Colour (2)
FW-X 468087 approaches Rhine 8 Apr 45
FW-M 467906 at disp
Damdfino with prop specialists