This B-17 Flying Fortress, 42-30398, “Patches,” and crew were assigned
to the 429th Squadron of the 2nd Bomb Group. On October 29, 1943 the aircraft was hit with flak with
seven crewmembers killed and three crewmembers taken prisoner. On February 15, 1950 one crewmember was buried in Section E
Site 294 at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
1/Lt George R.
Howell, Pilot (KIA)
2/Lt Edward E. Gray, Copilot (KIA)
2/Lt John W. Cashore, Navigator (POW)
2/Lt Berbard J. Lewis,
T/Sgt Paul B. Cassingham Gunner (KIA) Florence American
S/Sgt Francis X. Hughes Gunner (POW)
S/Sgt Leland L. Dishong, Gunner
(KIA) Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
S/Sgt Byron R. Drury, Gunner
S/Sgt Robert L. Thompson, Tailgunner (POW)
T/Sgt Robert H. Bryson, Radio Operator (KIA) Florence American Cemetery
- Mission No. 90 October 29,1943.
The primary target for this date was the Ball Bearing Works at Turin, Italy. Due
to a cloud cover over the target, the Marshalling Yards at Genoa were bombed by 28 aircraft that dropped 345, 500 lb GP bombs.
Some hits were observed through cloud cover around the target hindering bombing and observation of results. Flak over the
target was very heavy, good altitude, poor deflection.
B-17 42-30398, piloted by 1st Lt George R. Howell, was hit
by flak just after dropping its bombs. The plane caught fire and disintegrated in midair.
Statement of S/Sgt Francis
H. Hughes, after liberation. "About 30 seconds after dropping our bombs, our plane was hit by two bursts of flak. One burst
hit in the radio room and the other hit at the tail wheel. As soon as our plane was hit, the pilot told us to bail out. I
was flying in the ball turret position. I was watching the bombs go to the target when we were hit. After getting out of the
turret and getting on my chute, I saw the front of the plane was broken off at the radio room, and I bailed out through this
"I did a delayed jump of about eight or ten thousand feet...at that time, I also saw that the plane had
broken off at the tail wheel, leaving only the waist of the plane floating".
"I landed in the water of Genoa Harbor
and was shot in the shoulder while in the water, was given first aid and then taken to a hospital. After around 10 days, in
a private room, I was moved out and met Sgt Thompson who told me Lt Cashore had just left for prison camp." During this time,
I did not see, nor hear, of any of the rest of those not mentioned above.
There is a SECOND book, called
“Defenders of Liberty”, on the 2nd Bomb Group which has a repeat of the narrative in the book “The
Second Was First.” It has a slightly different description of the loss of 42-30398.
Plane number 42-30398 "Patches",
piloted by Lt George R. Howell, of the 429th Squadron, took a devastating flak strike through the fuel tank for number 3 engine
seconds after bombs away. Now in flames, the plane nosed up, rolled completely over, went into a spin, and soon started to
disintegrate. Observers reported four and five parachutes.
The narrative related by S/Sgt Francis H. Hughes is repeated
word for word as in the first book, with the added sentence "These three crewmen, Hughes, Thompson, and Cashore were the only
"One of those who perished on Lt Howell's crew, was the radio operator, T/Sgt
Robert H. Bryson. He had written the poem, which is recorded in the 429th Squadron History." This is the Poem referred to
Lightnings in The Sky
Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal
And Madeline Carrol is too,
find if you query a different theory,
Among any bomber crew;
For the loveliest thing of which one could sing,
side of The Heavenly Gates),
Is no blonde or brunette of the Hollywood set,
But an escort of P-38's.
in the days that were passed, when the tables were massed,
With Glasses of Scotch or Champagne,
It's quite true that
the sight was a thing to delight,
Us ,no longer the same nowadays in this game,
When we head North from Messina Straits;
Take the sparkling wine, make mine every time,
An escort of P-38's.
Byron, Shelley and Keats, ran at least
a dozen dead heats,
Describing the view from the hills,
Or the valleys in May, when the winds gently sway,
army of daffodils;
Take the daffodils, Byron, the wild flowers Shelley,
Yours to the myrtle, friend Keats,
reserve me, those cuties, those American beauties,
An escort of P-38's.
Sure, we're braver than hell,
ground all is swell,
In the air it's a different story;
We sweat out our track, through the fighters and flak;
we're willing to split up the glory,
Well, they wouldn't reject us, so heaven protect us,
And, before all this shooting
Give us courage to fight 'em, and
One other small item,
an escort of P-38's.
T/Sgt Robert H. Bryson
Thanks to Jim Peters for referencing these books called “The Second Was First" and “Defenders Of Liberty”
which are available from the 2nd Bomb Group Association.
I was stationed at Tortorella, which was approx 8 1/2 miles east of the little town of Foggia on the south
side of a road to Manfrdonia,...a small fishing village on the Adriatic coast.
Amendola was approx 2 1/2 miiles further east on the north side of the same road
to Manfredonia. The two AAFs were so close, that when the 2nd and 97th took off, they flew right over our tents in my squadron
area, at an altitude of some 100 ft or so, on the first circle, and then on each succeeding circle (to form the Group) they
were some 200 or so feet higher.
James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt
B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions
99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing,
Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy
My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45
M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
This B-26 Marauder, 43-34393,
and crew were assigned to the 37th Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group. On October 12, 1944 the aircraft
crashed for unknown reasons in enemy territory near Bologna, Italy. The target was troop concentrations near Firenzuola, Italy. On January 20, 1950 two members of the crew were buried in Section E Site 223 at the
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.
Eugene E Jr Zachary Taylor
S/Sgt Harder, Irwin W Zachary
Taylor National Cemetery
Thomas E. Hughes, Pilot
Florence American Cemetery
John A. Ingram S/Sgt William C. Gibson
This B-26, 42-96021, crashed on July 20, 1944. They were assigned to the 34th
Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group. Two crewmembers were buried on December 9, 1949 in Section E Plot 225 at the Zachary
Taylor National Cemetery.
1/Lt J M Baker, pilot
Zachary Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Capt H L Carlson, copilot Zachary
Taylor Nat’l Cemetery
Capt T B Elliott, bombardier Buried
Florence American Cemetery, Italy
1/Lt J G Lynd, navigator Buried Florence American Cemetery, Italy
S/Sgt W B O'Donovan Survived
S/Sgt W Russell Survived - POW
S/Sgt R D Wilcox Buried Florence
American Cemetery, Italy
Col Donald E Gilbert, Group Commander flying as formation commander
Unknown burial location.
1st Lt. James M. Baker,
34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Group, was KIA 20 July 1944 aboard B-26 Ser #42-96021. While on their bombing run against
the Ostiglia Road Bridge near Corniglio, Italy, Baker's aircraft was hit by accurate anti-aircraft fire, knocking out one
of the plane's two engines and jamming the bomb bay doors open. Numerous eyewitnesses reported seeing the plane lose altitude,
even as the crew began to jettison all loose equipment. The aircraft eventually struck a mountain overlooking the town of
Bosco di Corniglia, exploding on impact.
On July 20th 1944 the 17th Bomb Group attacked Ostiglia bridge, Italy. The trip was 915 miles long and, due to lack
of fuel, the ships were expected to land on Corsica to refuel and return to their base the next day. All ships returned except
the lead B26 which was reported crashed near the Adriatic coast. The lead crew, flying in B26 42-96021 #22 had gone onto single
engine after leaving the target and had crashed into a ridge line while losing altitude. S/Sgt W B O'Donovan and S/Sgt W Russell
survived the crash and were taken prisoner, while the rest of the crew were killed.
Services were held for these crews on March 8, 1949 at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Section E 29.
|44-69881, 52nd Squadron, 29th Bomb Group, 314th Wing
Standing L to R:
- 1st Lt Waldo C. Everdon, Airplane Commander; # 5 2nd Lt John J. O'Conner, Bombardier
|Other members of the crew
yet to be identified in the photo: |
F/O Tim Arhutick - Pilot
Sgt Ernest D. Bergeron - CFC Gunner
F/O Monroe M. Cohen - Radar Observer
Cpl Herbert A. Kellogg - Radio Operator
Sgt John Puciloski - Right Gunner
Cpl William B. Stockburger, Jr.
- Flight Enginner
Cpl John W. Cameron - Left Gunner
Cpl Arthur J. Morretta - Tail Gunner
2nd Lt Edwin A. Rodeheffer, Jr.
2nd Lt Newton Earle Towle, Jr. -
Pilot (acting as Aerial Observer)
Subject: crew member of 29th B.G ,collision
in case you dont know tne man standing with his crew under the B-29 picture, in this site is, Monroe Cohen of the 29 bomb
group 52 BS crew. He was the radar operator. He is the last man standing from left to right.Monroe was born in Brooklyn N.Y.
He metioned to my Grandmother that some of the other guys in the crew were also from N.Y. Keith Meyers email:
Click here for the 39th Bomb Group Association!
|42-65373, 62nd Squadron, 39th Bomb Group, 314th Wing
|L to R Front Row:|
||Maurice E. Long
||William G. Joyce
||Donald Q. Hopkins
||Airplane Commander |
||Kenneth E. Durham
||Maurice J. Powsner
|L to R Back Row:|
||Thomas G. Ulrich
||CFC Gunner |
||Right Gunner |
||Gerhard J. Kuehler
||Flight Engineer |
||Justin J. Patsey
||Left Gunner |
|Unknown position in photo:|
||Edward J. Mose
||Radio Operator |
||Raymond E. Barczak
||Tail Gunner |
On the night of 19 June 1945, 123
Guam based B-29's Bombed the City of Shizouka. More than 2000 Japanese were killed and 60 percent of the city was destroyed.
Two of the aircraft did not return
with the others. One was Crew 42 of the 39th Bomb Group and one from the 29th Bomb Group. They collided and crashed near the
Abe River, about 150 miles south of Tokyo. A Japanese citizen Mr. Ito found two surviving crewmen and tried to help them.
These two men died of their injuries so Mr. Ito buried the two flyers at a Shinto Shrine at the base of Mt. Sengen and gave
them a Shinto burial. This act took great courage because it was the violating the military law; all enemies, dead or alive
were to be turned over to the authorities. For this act, Mr. Ito was labeled a traitor and forced to live in disgrace until
the war's end. Following the war, Ito built a monument to the Japanese citizens killed in that raid and wanted to erect one
for the airmen who lost their lives. He needed to inscribe their names, and according to his religion, the matter had to be
resolved within thirty (30) years. The efforts to get the names began a warm and strong relationship between the Japanese
and the Americans that still continues today.
Mr. Ito became a Buddhist monk and
continued a ceremony at the monument annually with the help of Dr. Sugano. When Ito died, Dr. Sugano was entrusted with the
"Blackened Canteen" recovered from the crash site and used in the ceremony for over twenty years. From this canteen whisky
was poured on the headstone of the monument.
In January 1995, Harry Mitchell,
President of the 29th Bomb Group Association was contacted to by Dr. Sugano to aid in locating family members of the two crews.
John B. Colli, brother of Kenneth Colli, Crew 42, and Mrs. Margaret Delago, wife of John Pauciloski of the 29th Bomb Group
were located by Mr. Mitchell and his wife. These four were invited to Japan as the guests of Dr. Sugano to attend the 1995
Joint Memorial Service in Shizuoki City 17 June. Col. Michael G. King, Vice Commander 374 th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base,
Japan. Many other U.S. dignitaries attended.