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450th Bomb Group - POW Medal Grouping

Article about: A recent acquisition; a medal grouping named to 1st Lt Wallace P. Breckenfeld. Lt Breckenfeld was a co-pilot (B-24's) with the 723 Bomb Squadron, 450th Bomb Group (15th AAF). On March 12th,

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    Default 450th Bomb Group - POW Medal Grouping

    A recent acquisition; a medal grouping named to 1st Lt Wallace P. Breckenfeld.

    Lt Breckenfeld was a co-pilot (B-24's) with the 723 Bomb Squadron, 450th Bomb Group (15th AAF).

    On March 12th, 1945, the 450th's target was the Florisdorf oil refinery in Vienna, Austria. The aircraft Breckenfeld was on sustained damage from flak to both engines. The aircraft headed for Russian territory. The crew had to bail out, and Breckenfeld was the last to bail, at 7500ft. His parachute malfunctioned, and once it did deploy, he was below the rest of the crew who bailed.

    On the ground, Breckenfeld and others in the crew were captured by Hungarian soldiers. The Hungarians brutally beat Breckenfeld and another crew member that evening. The following day, Breckenfeld would be turned over to the German's, and placed into a prison (unknown). Details beyound that are unknown, however obviously a little less than two months later was VE Day, so I imagine he was released around that time.

    Below are the basic details on Breckenfeld's service and capture from the archives (Enlistment/POW), snippets from MACR, including Breckenfeld's account of what occurred, and lastly, the official narrative of the mission courtesy of www.450thbg.com. Click on the images to see a larger version.

    Enlistment

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    POW Status

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    MACR - Roster and Map showing whereabouts of aircraft

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    MACR - Breckenfeld's account

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    Mission Narrative

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    The medals

    First is Breckenfeld's government engraved, slot-brooch Purple Heart (1940's small machine engraved) with title case

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ID:	949579

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ID:	949580

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    Wrap-brooch Air Medal with title case

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ID:	949582

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ID:	949583

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    Crimp Brooch POW Medal - The medal was not created until November 8th, 1985. They were issued retroactively to any serviceman who was a POW after April 5th, 1917

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    Ribbon bar - Air Medal w/OLC (subsequent award of the Air Medal), Purple Heart and EAME w/4 Campaign Stars

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    3" Balfour Pilot Wings

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    Early NOK EM Dog Tags

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ID:	949592

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    Last, but not least, a ring Breckenfeld fabricated out of a nazi spoon or fork. I assume he created this while he was a POW.

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ID:	949593

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ID:	949594

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ID:	949595

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