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Search No.  1100 - Spratt-O-Liner

From: James Martin-Spratt []
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 10:56 AM
Subject: B-17 Triangle K "Spratt-o-Liner" Info

I am enclosing pictures of my father's plane and crew - The "Spratt-o-Liner", piloted by 2nd Lt James A. Spratt. Would appreciate information on crew members and missions. My father is living in Folsom, California - I live in Seattle, WA (and work for the Boeing Company)
James V. Martin-Spratt


Lt James A. Spratt, Pilot, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew missions with the 525th Bomb squadron from 7/09/44 to 10/19/44. The following is the crew and their position on aircraft 43-37932-H "Spratt-O-Liner" to Montreul, France on 7/24/44:

Spratt, James A, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Abernathy, Andrew J, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Reger, Marquis B, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Klippert, Clarence A, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Slater, Sidney S, S/Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Serotta, Harry L, S/Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Stewart, James C, Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Minter, Charles O, Sgt, Waist Gunner
Sacco, George P, Sgt, Tail Gunner

It is possible that Lt. Spratt and crew flew more missions, but our records show that Lt. James A Spratt flew the following 34 missions: 162, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 186, 188, 190, 191, 196, 198, 199, 202, 203, 206, 208, 209, 210, 212, 214, 215, 218, 220, 223, 224.

Responding4 11/30/02

Search No.  1099 - Identification Request

From:  Gregory PONS []
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 3:23 PM
Subject: Re: Identification Request

Thanks for the information's I received concerning a B-17 named Swamp Fire. I would also need your help for the 3 attached photos: considering the date of the photos and number of the crew, I would need the name of the plane and serial number for Lt Stewart's crew (and if possible name of crewmembers), for the others nay data would be welcome (serial number, end of career of the plane, serial number, squadron markings... any data worth knowing.

I would be glad to help you if you need
I look forward to hearing from you
Best regards



Lt. Carlson Stewart Jr. and his crew were in the 524th Bomb Squadron and flew most of their 25 mission on aircraft 42-5830 WA-T "Al-Jo-Son" "Hag of Hardewyk", War Weary 7/26/44 Returned Ontario, CA 5/7/45. The following are Lt. Stewart's crew and their positions. The picture of Lt Stewart's crew was taken 8/31/43. The B-17 could have been any stationed at Kimbolton. It appears that the B-17 was not their aircraft because the letters on the fuselage were FR for the 525th SQ.

Stewart Jr., Carson R, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Ralston, Richard G, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Hudson, Irving T, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Beeman, George E, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Terrell, Robert H, Tech Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Brunette, Harry D, T/Sgt, Top Turret Gunner
Dawson, Ray W, S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Jones Jr., Thomas H, T/Sgt, Right Waist Gunner
Rite our, Roger C, S/Sgt, Left Waist Gunner
Needing, Clyde F, S/Sgt, Tail Gunner

The aircraft 42-29897 WA-A "Censored", "Forequetoo" was in the 524th Bomb Squadron. Transferred from the 92 BG to the 379th BG 9/4/43 Declared War Weary 5/8/44 Walnut Ridge, AR 1/14/46.

The aircraft 42-30237 WA-V "Stump Jumper" and crew 7/16/43 the mission to Hanover, Germany was recalled.

Theiss, Joseph E, Lt, Pilot
Krafft, Julius W, Lt, Co-Pilot
Edwards, James G, Lt, Navigator
Peifer, Thomas D, Lt, Bombardier
McKeegan, Hugh (NMI), Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Nolan, Morrison T, S/Sgt, Top Turret Gunner
Frydryk, Frank P, S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Armstrong, Donald B, T/ Sgt, Right Waist Gunner
Klump, Delbert W, T/Sgt, Left Waist Gunner
Hill, George R, Sgt, Tail Gunner

Responding4 11/29/02

Search No.  1098 - Clifford Wayne Shaw

From:  Kevin Shaw []
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 2:53 PM

Greeetings to all, I would desperatley love to hear from any USAAF crew (flight and ground) that met and interacted with my uncle,Clifford Wayne Shaw (527th- KIA 20Feb45- B-17G tail gunner, Sgt. ). I would greatly appreciate any info and stories about the times spent with my uncle. I am currently living in Hamburg, Germany (ironic isn't it), and am very much enjoying seeing the places that the 379th left their calling card. I will be visiting the cemetery wher my uncle and crew are resting (St.Avold ,France) and would like to take some memories with me.

Thanks and God Bless You All !!!
Kevin Shaw

Search No.   1097 - Royce Donald Taylor

From: Taylor Scott Capt []
Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 10:34 AM
Subject: 2LT Royce Donald Taylor

To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Scott Taylor. I am an F-15 instrucotr pilot currently serving at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. My grandfather, 2LT Royce Donald Taylor, was in the 379th during WWII. He was killed 20 Dec 43 on a mission to Bremen. I already have a copy of that mission report, but I was interested to know what other missions in which he participated. I believe he was killed on his third mission, but I am not sure which two missions he was on before his third. Would you be able to find that information? Also, I wanted to know if there were any photos taken on those missions that I might be able to obtain. I would also like to be placed on the list to receive updates. I am not sure if I will be able to attend all of the reunions or meetings, but I would like to try. I did fill out the
membership application, so I will send that in with my check. Thanks, and if there is anything that I might be able to do to help, let me know.

Best Regards,

Lt Royce Donald Taylor, Bombardier, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and flew 3 missions with the 527th Bomb Squadron form 12/11/43 to 12/20/43. The 379th BG missions 48,49 & 50. The following are the crew and their positions on their 1st mission to Emdem, Germany12/11/43 on aircraft 42-37888.

Haston, Robert W, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Clingman, Foy R, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Sheaffer, Harold N, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Taylor, Royce D, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Fisher, Gordon D, Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Rauck, Kenneth E, Sgt, Top Turret Gunner
Spisak, Robert (NMI), Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Bittenback, James W, Sgt, Right Waist Gunner
Grange, Thomas (NMI), Sgt, Left Waist Gunner
Adrianson, Lester B, Sgt, Tail Gunner

This appears to be Lt Royce Taylor's original crew. The first two missions were flown with this crew on 12/11/43 Emden and Bremen, Germany on 12/13/43.

The following are the crew and their positions on their last mission to Bremen, Germany 12/20/43 on aircraft 42-37851.

Reichold Walter H. -2nd Lt, P, 0-799071, Winsted, CT, Netherlands B 20 4
Levitan Henry T. -2nd Lt, CP, 0-677536, Steelton, PA, Netherlands B 20 6
Litz Harry T. -2nd Lt, N, 0-749441, Philadelphia, PA, KIA
Taylor Royce D. -2nd Lt, B, 0-685882, Chicago, IL, Netherlands D 21 6
Hennessey Joseph T. -T/SGT, RO, 32470051, Oswego, IL, POW
Colburn Finis W. -T/SGT, TT, 38139967, Logansport, LA, Netherlands L 15 2
Brady Glenn (NMI) -S/SGT, BT, 39835681,Fairview, UT, Netherlands M 3 6
Mantor Ralph A. -S/SGT, RW, 6561665, Napa, CA, POW
Poweske Bejamin E. -SGT, LW, 12044536, Dunkirk, NY, POW
Campbell Charles B. -S/SGT, TG, 32427536, Jenkintown, PA, Netherlands L 15 20

Unfortunately we don't show any of the crew members on the current Association roster. However, Bejamin E. Poweske was on the 1988 Association roster.

Responding4 11/15/02

Search No.  1096 - Membership Information

From: Christopher Stevens []
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 8:13 PM
Subject: Membership Information

To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Christopher Stevens. My great uncle, Thomas A. Ports flew with the 379th out of Kimbolton, U.K. from 7/31/44 to 11/29/44. He was the co-pilot of the "Miss Liberty" aircraft 43-38388. I am interested in becoming a member of the 379th Association. Please send me the appropriate membership information and forms to apply.
Thank you very much.
Christopher Stevens

I have attached a membership form for your convenience. The membership form is also available on the 379thBGA website; follow the instructions filling out the form, print and mail with your membership dues payment.

Responding4 11/12/02

Search No.  1095 - Calvin Weir

From:  Richardson []
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 2:00 PM

Honorable Sirs:
My name is Scott Richardson and my step-dad is Calvin Weir. Cal was born March 11, 1918, in Miinneapolis, Minnesota, and early in the War served as a civil servant in England. He was inducted into active service 27 March 1944 at Fort Sam Houston Texas and trained in Texas, Colorado and Arizona. He arrived in England March 30, 1945 Discharge papers indicate Cal was a Sgt. "Airplane Armorer-Gunner" and "Operated machine-gun in combat". Cal is alive and well but his memory has dimmed. I would like to remind him of any misson(s) he flew on behalf of his country, crew mates, planes, etc. His Serial No. is 38 672 571.

God Bless You For Our Freedom,

Sgt Calvin Weir, Nose Gunner/Togglier, was in the 379th Bombardment Group and are records indicate that he flew 3 missions (numbers 327,328 & 329) with the 527th Bomb Squadron from 4/17/45 to 4/20/45. The following are the crew members and their positions on 4/17/45 to Dresden, Germany in aircraft 42-102627 "Queenie.

Woodruff, HubertW, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Pontello, Norman A, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Sites Jr., Noah W, F/O, Navigator
Weir, Calvin, Sgt, Nose Gunner/Togglier
Fitzsimmons, John A, Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Cook, Robert L, Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Desmarais, Lucian R, Cpl, Ball Turret Gunner
Standish Jr., Ray M, Cpl, Tail Gunner

Responding4 11/11/02

Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: 1095 CALVIN WEIR

Dear Mike,

Words cannot express my appreciation for your quick response. I showed Cal your e-mail last night at dinner and he was very moved. I have downloaded forms for Cal's membership in your association, PX items and mission reports. Yesterday may be Cal's last Veterans Day on this Earth but if God smiles upon us has a reunion city been selected for next year?

Cal, who can't remember well, recognized every crewman and even some personal information about them. Do you know if he flew his other two missions with the same crew and on the same aircraft? Additionally, are you aware of anyone he crewed with who is alive and a member of the association?
God bless you in this life and the next I remain,
Yours truly Scot

The reunion for next year is at Salt Lake City, UT September 17 - 21. Additional information will be available either through the Contrails or by special mailing to our membership when all the details have been finalized.

The aircraft and some crewmembers were different. As a member you can order your step Dad's missions (See the mission sales pricing information and order form on the website). Our current Association roster shows Noah W Sites Jr., and Hubert W Woodruff, they both attended our 2002 reunion in St.Louis, MO.

Responding4 11/12/02

Search No.  1094 - 100 Mission "SWAMPFIRE"

From: Gregory PONS []
Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2002 12:53 PM
Subject: Re: Identification Request

I'm french and I'm 30. I have been collecting original USAAF photos for many years. Here are some photos from my personnal collection. I know the plane wearing the name of "Swamp Fire" made part the 379th BombGroup but I would be grateful if you could send me more infos about it: serial number, squadron markings, name of the crew members, missions, end of career of the plane...

Thanks for your help, I look forward to hearing from you
Best regards


Aircraft 42-32024 524th Bomb Sq.(WA-L) Swamp Fire. The following is the crew and their positions on Swamp Fire's 1st mission to Halberstadt, Germany 2/22/44. This was the 379th Bomb Groups 71st mission.

Duvall, Kenneth J, 1st Lt, Pilot
Leonardy, Fernando R, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Dumas, William B, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Moses, Eugene F, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Cunningham, Thomas F, T/Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Fliegel, William (NMI), T/Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
McMinn, Robert M, S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Marston, Harold E, Sgt, Right Waist Gunner, WIA - Injured by flak in left leg
Zulaski, Raymond R, S/Sgt, Left Waist Gunner
Pierce, Eugene R, S/Sgt, Tail Gunner

The following is the crew and their positions on Swamp Fire's 25th mission to Berlin, Germany 5/7/44. This was the 379th Bomb Groups 111th mission.

Korstjens, Joseph L, 1st Lt, Pilot
Clark, Byron B, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Scianameo, Matthew J, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Harris, Harvey (NMI), 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Przybyla, Edward J, T/Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Benjian, Berj G, T/Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Stroman Jr., Andrew M, S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Avery Jr., Roy E, S/Sgt, Waist Gunner
Lewis, Elijah W, S/Sgt, Tail Gunner

The following is the crew and their positions on Swamp Fire's 50th mission to Marquise/Mimoyecques, France 6/24/44. This was the 379th Bomb Groups 150th mission.

Day, Donald L, 2nd Lt, Pilot
Vickery, Ralph L, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
Humphrey, Hugh F, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Edwards, Hoyt (NMI), 2nd Lt, Bombardier
McIntyre, Blaine E, T/Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Yates, Paul A, T/Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
McCabe, Stephen J, S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Lesage, Donald R, S/Sgt, Waist Gunner
Whitehead, Allen M, S/Sgt, Tail Gunner

The following is the crew and their positions on Swamp Fire's 100th mission to Gelsenkirchen, Germany 11/01/44. This was the 379th Bomb groups 229th mission.

Mills Jr., Bruce E, 1st Lt, Pilot
Shedlock, Carl A, 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot
McCray, John E, 2nd Lt, Navigator
Whitney, James E, 2nd Lt, Bombardier
Cooper, Joseph T, T/Sgt, Radio Operator/Gunner
Menger, Delmer E, T/Sgt, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
Boston, James , S/Sgt, Ball Turret Gunner
Conner, Lucas S, S/Sgt, Waist Gunner
Beddard Jr, William A, S/Sgt, Tail Gunner

"Swampfire" the first B-17 of the 8th Air force to complete 100 missions without one ABORT! The date was November 1, 1944 - Target was Gelsenkirchen, to bomb the synthetics plant. (Taken from the Contrails, a letter received by former Lt. and Bombardier-navigator, Optometrist, Dr. James E. Whitney.)

Declared War Weary 12/11/44. Transferred to Alconbury 6/1/45, and returned to US 7/12/45. Allot of the credit goes to the ground crew (not all listed) who kept Swamp Fire in the air.

DeSalvo, Dominick, Crew Chief
Abbott, James, A&E Mechanic

Responding4 11/9/02

From: John E. Price []
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2002 9:48 AM
Subject: Swamp Fire's 100th mission

Concerning the report of the Swamp Fire's 100th mission, the bombardier, Lt. James E. Whitney, was a fellow optometrist and my friend for many years. Unfortunately he developed Alzheimer's a few years ago and died earlier this year.

John E. Price, OD, Navigator on Lt. Charles E. "Red" Walker's crew, 527th Sq.
1st Lt. USAF (Ret.)

Search No.  1093 - Sylvester V Howell

From: Kenneth McPherson []
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 9:30 PM
Subject: RE: 1085 379th BG (H)

Hello Mike, Thank you so much for your recent e-mails. Would you have any data (crew list would be great) on: B-l7 #43-388l8, Piloted by Lt. Howell, of the 534th Sqdn. Cr at Hopsten, Ger., 24/3/45. Eight KIAs. And data which you could provide me would be appreciated, Regards, Ken McPherson 8th AFHS, 493rd BGMA. 

524th Sq. Hopsten, Germany March 24, 1945 Mission # 309 Aircraft 43-38818 (WA-L). A/C Hit By Flak, Burst Into Flames And Exploded, No Chutes Reported.

Howell Sylvester V. -2nd Lt, P,0-835204, West Orange, NJ,, Ardennes A 31 12
Noble Kenneth R. -2nd Lt, CP, 0-777780, Lakeside, OR, KIA
Weaver Melvin E. -2nd Lt, B, 0-2069738, Vancouver, WA, KIA
Barnett Bert W.Jr. -SGT, NG, 12138585, Rochester, NY, Ardennes, B 22 19
Villasenor Pablo -T/SGT, RO, 39577219, San Bernardino,CA, KIA
Fairbanks Thomas F. -S/SGT, TT, 37227150, Topeka, KS, Ardennes D 14 44
Kenan Milton S. -SGT, BT, 14109569, Clinton, NC, Ardennes D 38 19
Reynolds Mark R. -SGT, TG, 39713847, Shellsburg, IA, KIA

Responding4 11/05/02

Search No.  1092 - Thurman P. Smotherman

From:  Mike Testerman []
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2002 7:51 PM
Subject: 379 BG/527SQ plane Identification

Gentlemen: I would first like to say that I found your website through an internet search and was very pleased with the information provided on the pages. I also found a family members name on the Last Mission pages so I knew that I was on the right track. What I am seeking to find is the name of the B-17 that my grandfathers younger brother was on when the plane was shot down. I am search of information of the plane and crew who was with Thurman Preston Smotherman. He was a right waist gunner on a B-17 which was shot down around February 1944. Thurman was taken prisoner and held until approximatly until Maay 1945. Thurman passed away in July 1995 and we have some of his personal recollections and oral history such as Stalg that he was held in and moved to, but nothing as to what happened to his crew and if the plane had a name or not. I thought I would seek the infomation because a fellow co-worker whose father was in the 91st BG also was taken POW and after their personal search they found a name and pictures of the crew and plane. I was hoping to find similar information.I would also be willing to join your orginization as a honor to all veterans past and present. Sincerely,
Mike Testerman

S/Sgt Thurman P. Smotherman, Right Waist/Gunner, was in the 379th Bombardment Group (H) and flew 3 missions with the 527th Bomb Squadron from 2/04/44 to 2/08/44. The following are the crew and their positions on their mission to Frankfort, Germany on February 8, 1944 on aircraft 42-39782 (FO-M) "Pistol Packin' Mama".

Rossberg Herbert D.-2nd Lt, P, 0-804509, Camillus, NY, Ardennes B 16 21
Bauer Mattew J. -2nd Lt, CP, 0-688731, Canmden, NJ, POW
Kupsick John A. -2nd Lt, N, 0-685654, Sand Coulee, MT, Returned
Dougherty James B. -2nd Lt, B, 0-681986, Carlstadt, NJ, Ardennes B 41 30
Bennett George F. -S/SGT, RO, 15339963, Wheeling,WV, Returned
Atkinson Charles E. -S/SGT, TT, 15084516, Indianapolis, IN, Returned
Dugan Edward P. -S/SGT, BT, 13145816, Indiana, PA, RTMC
Smotherman Thurman P. -SGT, RW, 37417414, Teresita, MO, POW
Paplaskas Albert F. -S/SGT, LW, 11087519, Methuen, MA, Ardennes B 12 4
Brown Frederick H. Jr. -S/SGT, TG, 31084894, West Warren, MA, POW

John A. Kupsick is listed on the current Association membership roster.

Responding4 11/05/02

Search No. 1091 - Clarence Ashcraft (Shack)

From: Nancy Ashcraft McMurdy []
Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2002 10:19 PM
Subject: Help find Dad's story

HI: My name is Nancy Ashcraft my father, Master Sgt. Clarence Ashcraft (Shack) served in the 379th as crew chief on the "Carol Dawn". The pilot of this flying fortress Charles Brown, wrote a story about my father back in the early 90's entitled A Tribute to Shack. This was published in Contrails with pictures of Dad, his crew, and their plane. This article was a treasured memento of mine which became even more priceless after Dad's death in 1996. Due to a very unfortunate family circumstance which has happened this year I no longer have my copy of this article. Is there a way I can replace this? I would deeply appreciate any help you could give me in this matter.
Nancy Ashcraft McMurdy

As a member of the Association you can order back issues of the Contrails. On the back of each Contrails there is a PX order form which lists the back issues that can be ordered. The article entitled "A Tribute to Shack" was in the August 89 Contrails. Also the home page on the website has an PX order form.

Responding4 11/31/02

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