459th Bombardment Squadron
This Squadron, led by its CO LTCOL Robert Ryder.
was the first of the Group into the fight and has never been bashful about its combat record which includes flying the most combat hours (6,684), most sorties (781), and having the highest percentage of its aircraft airborne each mission, and dropping more bomb tonnage on Japan (2,585 Tons) than any Squadron of the Group. Behind these records, behind the crews and men piling them up, was the hustling admin organization of TSGT R. H. Reynard and SGTMAJ Harry Olson, plus their supply man, SSGT John Shanahan and Mess Chief TSGT Bernhardt Wehring, not to forget everybody's friend, the mailman, CPL Daniel Hartigan, Sr.
AIRCrews - Aircraft - GROUNDCrews - personnel roster
Crew 904 of K-51 (42-69741) "City of Columbus" aka "Ten Under Parr"They are, left to right bottom row. SGT Norman Perren (RO), SGT Norman Fosler (TG) SGT Carl Norman (CFC) SGT Frank Halas (LG) Standing left to right. SGT Harry Hardy (RG) 1LT Harold Cowley (FE) 1LT Kermit Wheeler (Rad Ob) 1LT Edward Charlson (N) 1LT John Schafer (B) 1LT Guy Shine (P) CAP John Parr (A/C). Flew 26 Missions. 3 Air Medals.
Another shot of Crew 904 and K-51. (Thanks to Carl Shine (Guy's Son) for these and other photos!)
Front Row, L to R: Perren (RO), Frank Halas (LG), Harry Hardy (RG), SGT George Thornton (Crew Chief) and Norman Fosler (TG). Back Row: John Shafer (B), Edward Charlson (N), John Parr (A/C), Harold Cowley (FE), Guy Shine (P), Carl Norman (CFC) Kermit Wheeler (Rad Ob) and COL Doulglas Polhamus (Deputy BG CO)
Crew 901, flew K-52 (42-93964 and 44-61618) for 20 missions. "City of Rock Island" aka "Babies Buggy". This crew was awarded multiple Air Medals and DFC's. The FE, Garrett was replaced by FO George Boutross at the end of May 1945. Here they are in July 1945. Front Row, L to R: George Boutross (FE), SGT Orville Rogers (TG), 1LT Henry Wittneben (B), 2LT William Hauke (P), SSGT William Robertson, III (RO). Back Row: 1LT Bertram Wakeley (N), SSGT Luther Hollandsworth (CFC), SGT John Harnage (LG), SSGT Hal Rhodes (RG), 1LT Harber Hall (Rad Ob), MAJ William Wilson (A/C), and TSGT Bobby Hudson (Crew Chief).
Crew 902 of K-53 (42-69786), "City of Reno" aka "Here to Stay", Here they are receiving one of several Air Medals. Left to Right: MAJ Charles Tibbs (A/C), 1LT George Hayes (P), 1LT Ervin Spindel (FE), 2LT James Lyons (Rad Ob), SGT Donald LaFauci (RO), SGT Benjamin S. Hoar (CFC), SGT David Webster (LG), SGT Lorenz Wefel, Jr.(RG), SGT Joseph Whittenauer (TG), 1LT Harry Fish (N), 1LT Wade Wood (B). In all they flew 21 missions and were awarded a DFC and multiple Air Medals.
Crew 903 of K-54 (44-69774) "City of Patterson, nj" aka "Keohane's Kulprits". CAP Paul Kriehn replaced 1LT Maurice Tange as (N) later in the campaign. They are, Bottom Row, L to R: SSGT John Lawrence (LG), SSGT Edward Bulcavage (RG), TSGT Douglas Chiappetta (CFC), SSGT Sam Vinci (RO) Standing: SGT Garvin Butler, Jr. (TG), 1LT Richard Marsh (FE), 1LT Julian Chugerman (Rad Ob) , CAP Paul Kriehn (N), 1LT Harold Mitchell (B), 2LT Frederick West (P), MAJ Lawrence Keohane (A/C). Completed 22 missions over the empire and received multiple Air Medals.
Thanks to the Crew Chief's son Paul Horst for the photo!
Crew 906 of K-55 (42-65370) They are Left to right: 2LT Arthur Pearson (B), *2LT Clyde Wood (P), *1LT James Lawrence (A/C), Edward Hyde (N), *FO Robert Schnieder (Rad Ob), bottom row: CPL Lewis Wilhelm (RO), MSGT Orval Haugen (FE), SGT Donald Bush (CFC), Michael Balogh (RG), *CPL Leo Richards (LG), CPL Clinton Krausz (TG) *MIA 12 April 1945
.This crew was assigned to K-55 but took K-59 (SN 44-69857) on their first mission. They ran out of fuel and were forced to ditch in rough seas. Four of the eleven crewmen were killed in the initial ditching. The remaining were picked up by US Forces.
Crew 908 were the original crew of K-59 (44-69897), which was lost along with members of the Lawrence (Crew 906). They took over K-55 (42-65370) and re-named their new ship after their first aircraft "Ole Smoker" to "Ole Smoker II" and "City of Miami Beach". Here is the crew,kneeling in front L to R: SSGT Mark Wilson (RG), SSGT Woodrow Whipple (RO), SSGT Leo Keitz (LG), TSGT John Burckes (CFC), SGT Robert Fenn (TG), MSGT Joseph Plaziak (FE). Back Row: 1LT Thomas Ashbridge III (B), 2LT Robert Gerlach (P), 1LT Richard Cox (A/C), 2LT Joseph Harris (N), 1LT Henry Adams (Rad Ob). I have a photo of K-55 sitting on the ramp at Iwo Jima and can correlate it to an incident on an 11 May mission to Kawanishi in which K-55 shadowed a damaged K-11 back to Iwo.
Crew 912 of K-56 (42-65363), "City of Akron" aka "Lady Jane". They are, standing left to right: SGT Clifford Ray, Jr. (TG), SSGT Kenneth Struble (CFC), MSGT Donald Person (FE), SGT Robert Rupprecht (RG), SGT George Stevenson (RO), SGT Edward Byrne, Jr. (LG) Kneeling left to right: 2LT Alden Stradling (P), 1LT Donald Nurnberg (B), CAP Robert Strong (A/C), 2LT Charles Gilbert (N), 2LT David Gross (Rad Ob). Multiple Air Medals. Crew flew an astounding 30 missions.
That is the Crew Chief on the far right, Lenoard A. Olsen (with the bandage on his chest). Kudos to Olsen. That was quite an amazing feat by him and his fellow groundcrew to keep this puppy up for 30 missions! (thanks to his daughter, Janey, for the photo)
Here is another shot of the Crew of K-56. This one was taken at Walker AAF on January 15, 1945. Front Row, L to R: Robert Rupprecht (RG), Edward Byrne, Jr.(LG), Kenneth Struble (CFC), Clifford Ray Jr. (TG), George Stevenson (RO). Back Row: Robert Strong (A/C), Alden Stradling (P), Charles Gilbert (N) Donald K. Nurnberg (B), David Gross (Rad Ob), Donald Person (FE)
Crew 915 of K-57 (42-69766) "City of Burbank" aka "Old Soldier's Home". The A/C Heid, received a Siver Star. On a mission over Tokyo on 14 May 1945, the aircraft lost one engine. As if that was not dangerous enough, they then assisted a downed B-29 crew by circling and dropping supplies. They were barely able to limp the aircraft back to Guam. After Schlitz's crew was lost in the first K-57, Heid & crew were sent to Muroc for Lead Crew Training. On 31 July 45 they began their journey back to Guam. At Kwajalen, on the August 4th, the first Atomic Bomb was dropped and they never saw combat again. They instead flew several Show of Force Missions over Tokyo. Here they are on Guam, Front Row, L to R: SSGT Gordon Wood (TG), TSGT Lawrence Wick (CFC), MSGT Eldon Elliott (FE), SGT Chester Brunson (LG). Back Row: SSGT William Clevenger (RG), SSGT Hugh Morrison (RO), 2LT Norris Rogers (N), 1LT Donald Hesse (Rad Ob), 1LT David McCarty (B), 2LT William Hager (P), 2LT Francis Heid (A/C). The crew received several Air Medals and flew a total of 12 missions.
Crew 381, of K-57 (42-69766) , "City of Burbank" aka "Old Soldier's Home" was shot down over Kobe Japan on 5 June 1945. The incident as witnessed by 2LT W. A. Cameron who was the Bombardier on K-9. According to Cameron, There was an enemy fighter near the formation and it attacked K-57. At that time K-57 dropped out of formation and seemed out of control (Perhaps the cockpit had taken a hit). Two chutes were seen at that time at about 14,000 feet. At times the airplane seemed to be partially under control. During this time an additional three enemy fighters strafed K-57. Six additional chutes were seen to open at 5,000 feet. The aircraft then leveled out at 1,500 feet or so and then nose dived in to a dry riverbed and exploded. Please note that the Navigator, Reed and A/C, Schiltz did survive the initial ordeal. Reed was executed after he parachuted and Schiltz was executed on the 15th of August at the Sandayama Military Cemetery in Osaka. AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER!MACR #14602
Here are most of the crew in happier times on April 9, 1945 at Pyote, TX. Front Row, L to R: FO Leonard Holm (B), 1LT Donald Schiltz (A/C), 1LT Anthony Picciano (N), 2LT Robert Scott (Rad Ob), 2LT Richard Foster (P) replaced by Ken Rich, PVT "PUTT PUTT" (Dog Mascot). Back Row: SSGT George Reed (FE), CPL David Grunigen (RO), SGT Francis Boulay (CFC), James Dill (RG) replaced by PFC Byron Chatum, SGT Woodrow Collins (LG), CPL James Davidson (TG).
Thanks so much for this photo and info from CPL David Grunigen's Sister in Law, Mary Lou Grunigen!
There is a marker below, that appears in the Skinkoji Temple in Kobe that clearly depicts the names of Grunigen, Chatam, Boulay, Rich and Collins,
That is "Hap" Halloran (an ex B-29 POW) in the middle, at a ceremony to honor the airmen several years ago. Thanks to "Hap" for the photo and additional info!
Most of the enemy still respected these brave airmen. Soldiers were soldiers till the end. Honor out-weighed all.
Here is the crew in Kansas, just prior to shipping out for Guam.They are, L to R front row: SGT Woodrow Collins (LG), SSGT George Reed (FE), CPL David Grunigen (RO), SGT Francis Boulay (CFC), SGT James Dill (RG) (replaced by PFC Byron Chatum) and CPL James Davidson (TG). Back Row: 1LT Donald Schiltz (A/C), 2LT Richard Foster (P) (replaced by Ken Rich just prior to their last mission). 1LT Anthony Picciano (N),FO Leonard Holm (B), 2LT Robert Scott (Rad Ob)
Anyone have any idea what the "whiskers" are for on this bird?
But the most amazing part of this story is the fact that the Co-Pilot, Richard Foster was "swapped" out with Kenneth Rich just prior to the last mission. Apparently, Rich did not get along with his A/C, Earl Wheelock on K-58, or Wheelock did not get along with Rich. Either way, it was decided by the powers that be to "swap" the two Co-Pilots. On that next mission K-57 was shot down with the loss of all on board. Richard Foster says that "Call it what you want, but I'm of the opinion that I was just lucky and my number was not up. Fate is Strange!" Yes Mr. Foster, it sure is. (Thanks go out to Mr. Foster and his wife for their contribution of this great crew photo).
Crew 917 of K-58 (44-69801), "City of Medford" aka "Lightning Lady". Completed 28 (including "Show of Force")successful missions against the Empire and received several Air Medals. The Bombardier, Spencer, was replaced by 2LT Lealan Harlow in July 1945. Here is the crew (minus Spencer) in late July 1945, Front Row, L to R: SSGT Edward Miller (RO), SGT Loras Winter (TG), SSGT Robert Cupp (LG) SSGT John Celentano (CFC), Back Row: SSGT Herman Riedel (RG) , 2LT Lealan Harlow (B), 2LT Leroy Jorgensen (N), 2LT Robert Keyes (Rad Ob), TSGT Sanford Timen (FE), 2LT Richard Foster (P), 2LT Earl Wheelock (A/C)
Crew 911 of K-59 (44-69911),"City of Richmond" aka "VIVACIOUS LADY", was the second crew to fly K-59. The first crew, Lawrence, went down with K-55. Crew 911 did not let that bother them in the least and went on to completed 24 missions and received multiple Air Medals. Here they are standing beside their beloved ship. Front Row, L to R: SSGT William Pope (RO), SGT Andrew Turausky (LG), SGT Alex Verble (RG), SGT James Toon (TG). Back Row: SGT Nathaniel Hill (CFC), MSGT Joel Boersema (FE), 1LT Samuel Fluornoy Jr. (Rad Ob), 2LT Stanley Schoel (B), 2LT James Stanton (N), 2LT Robert Kimball (P), CAP Laurence Scruggs Jr. (A/C)
The grandson of the Crew Chief, Williams, had some information on the naming of the plane. Appareently the A/C wanted the name of the plane to start with the letter "V", after his wife. When he found out that Williams could draw he asked him to paint the nose of the plane. The next morning the A/C came out and Williams had painted "Vicious Bitch" on the nose. Needless to say the pilot was not happy and immediately had Williams repaint it to say "Vivacious Lady". Which one was right, we may never know? :-)
This is Crew Chief SSGT Alfred Williams (R) and 1LT George Lemmon (B) of K-64. These two went to the same High School together in Long Beach, Ca., Woodrow Wilson. (Thanks to Williams' grandson Michael for the photo)
Crew 907 of K-60 (42-93961), "City of Aberdeen". This crew flew an amazing 30 missions. A Bomb Wing Record! What a feat! What a crew! Some of this credit should go to the Ground Crews as well. WOW!!!!. Sullivan, you were doing something right! Crew received multiple Air Medals and the CFC, Burke is credited with 5 kills! (An Ace!) This photo credit goes to Mrs. Bertie Herb (the Bombardiers wife). Thanks Bertie! Thanks a million! Here is the proud crew posing after their 30th mission with the brass! Back Row, L to R: FO Julien Renswick (Rad Ob), 2LT Frederick Gang (P), 1LT John Martin (N), COL Robert Ryder (Squad CO), 2LT Robert Bowerman (A/C), COL Elbert Reynolds (Group CO), SSGT William McKnight (RO), SSGT Frank Burke (CFC). Front Row: SGT Martin Frank (TG), SGT John Fox (LG), 1LT Hager Erb (B), MSGT Don Saunders (FE) and SGT Herbert Freeman (RG).
Here is a good shot of the 'City of' logo and also the checkerboard pattern the 459th had developed for their nose wheel doors. The crew is, Back Row, L to R: 1LT John Martin (N), FO Julien Renswick (Rad Ob), SSGT Frank Burke (CFC), 2LT Frederick Gang (P), MSGT Don Saunders (FE), SSGT William McKnight (RO) and 2LT Robert Bowerman (A/C). Front Row; SGT Martin Frank (TG), SGT John Fox (LG), 1LT Hager Erb (B), and SGT Herbert Freeman (RG).
Crew 905 of K-61 (42-94059), "City of Farmington" aka "Lonesome Polecat". Flew 28 missions over the empire and was awarded a great deal of Air Medals. Not sure yet the extent of why so many, but I will find out. Here they are just prior to shipping out to Guam. Front Row, L to R: SGT Frank Brittain (TG), CPL Ferdinand Barrette (RG), CPL Chris Tisserat (LG), TSGT Thomas Lehoczky (FE), SGT Eugene Chalette (CFC), SSGT Edmund Thorpe (RO). Back Row: 1LT Karl Stalnaker (A/C), 2LT Robert Hall (N), FO Cecil Hulsey (Rad Ob), 1LT Paul Rietz (B), 1LT John Paff (P). The (TG) Brittain, was replaced by Clinton Krausz towards the end of the war.
Standing L to R: SSGT Chris Tisserat (LG), SSGT Edmund Thorpe (RO), SSGT Ferdinand Barrette (RG) Seated L to R: FO Cecil Hulsey (Rad Ob), CAP Karl Stalnaker (A/C), 1LT Robert Hall (N), 1LT John Paff (P). Soaking up some shade between missions.
Standing L-R: CPL Chris Tisserat (LG), FO Cecil Hulsey (Rad Ob), TSGT Tom Lehoczky (FE), CPL Pete Barrette (RG) Kneeling: SSGT Edmund Thorpe (RO), SGT Eugene Chalette (CFC). Taken by 1LT Paul Rietz (B), July 1945.
Crew 910 of K-62 (42-93912), "City of Glendale" aka "MOTLEY CREW". This crew also completed an enormous amount of missions, 28. Crew Chief SSGT Leo Fliess was partly to blame for this! On a daylight strike on 5 June to Kobe, this aircraft received a direct hit by flak which tore away a large piece of the leading edge of the wing and damaged the #1 engine. Despite this, the crew continued on their assigned bomb run and then returned safely to Guam. The Rad Ob, Closen was wounded on this same mission, and replaced by 2LT Grant Brommal, who also served with the 458th. Here they are in happier times. Photo taken at Walker prior to departure for Guam. Front Row, L to R: CPL Wyatt Turner (TG), SGT Leonard Glaviano (RG), FO John Bennett, Jr. (FE), SGT Louis Mayer (RO). Back Row : SSGT John Boberg (CFC), 1LT John Stoddard (A/C), 2LT Travis Budlong (P), 2LT Edward Noyes Jr. (B), 2LT Charles Graves (N), CPL Bernard Yudin (LG) Missing from Photo is 2LT Gerald Closen (Rad Ob).
Crew 913 of K-63 (44-69897), "City of Laramie".This crew normally flew K-64, but that aircraft's Radar was not working, so they flew this aircraft on what would be their 1st and last mission. The K-63 aircraft was forced to ditch after completeing this mission. The aircraft received damage to her #1 engine over the target. She subsequently fell out of formation and was jumped by fighters who quickly shot out the #2 engine. Neither prop could be feathered so the order to bailout was given. The three survivor's in the rear did just that. The remaining crew stayed with the aircraft which then ditched just off the coast of Japan. A buddy aircraft witnessed the ditching maneuver and spotted several liferafts. The fate of the remaining crew is unclear to this day. They either perished at sea, or were killed by enemy navy vessels after being picked up. The three who parachuted became POW's and were isolated from each other for ten days. They were then placed in a POW camp near Nagoya and spent the remaining five months of the war as guests of the empire. (This info was provided to me by Robert Willman A/C K-1 who passed it along from a personal account given him by the Nav, Farmer of K-64 in 1986)
Front Row, L to R: TSGT Lawrence Seery (FE), CPL Edward Neary (RG), SGT Robert Underwood (CFC), CPL Edwin Caw (LG), CPL Casimir Cwiakala (TG), PFC Eldon Peterson (Radio). Back Row: 2LT Ronald Heemann (Radar), 1LT Herbert Williams (A/C), 2LT Daniel Myers (P), 2LT David Skillin (B), 2LT George Farmer (N).
Thanks to David Skillin, Nephew of 2LT David H. Skillin (B) for the photo! Click here to see the letter Skillin's wife received from the 459th's CO. A letter every family member stateside feared more than anything.
*survived the war as POWs. MACR #14311
Crew??? of K-63 (42-94047), 2ND Crew, "City of Jamestown" aka "Throbbing Monster". Here they are next to their "Monster". Front Row, L to R: TSGT Robert Acker (CFC), SSGT Virgil Baggett (RG), SSGT William Reed (RO). Back Row: SSGT William Dodson (LG), SGT Kenneth Brown (TG), MSGT Clarence Dalton (FE), 1LT Thomas Tibbets (Rad Ob), 1LT Harold Leibowitz (B) CAP Albert Brown (P), MAJ William Curry (N), MAJ Talmon Mager (A/C). This crew flew 26 missions against the Empire and received a DFC for the 25 May mission to Tokyo. Crew received multiple Air Medals as well.
Crew 914 of K-64 (42-94040), "City of Rochester, MN" aka "Feather Merchants". This was the 2nd crew to bear K-64 as an aircraft, but that did not seem to have a bearing on their performance. They completed 29 missions and received multiple Air Medals. The B, Jones, was replaced by 1LT James Lemmon in late July 1945.
Crew ??? of K-65 (42-94071), "The City of Evanston". Flew 15 missions. The (B), Blythe was hospitalized and replaced by 1LT Daniel Schwimmer early on. Front Row, L to R: TSGT Charles Helton (LG), SGT Bill Sparling (TG), 1LT Daniel Schwimmer (B). Back Row: TSGT Carroll Watts (FE), 1LT James Turnock, Jr. (N), SSGT Daniel Smyder (CFC), 1LT Ralph Johnson (A/C), SSGT Alfred Vincent (RO), SSGT Ernest Sparks (RG), FO Robert Knuth (P), 2LT Elmer Kokenge, Jr. (Rad Ob). The FE, Watts received an Air Medal on 14 August 1945 (G.O. 32). This crew photo was taken prior to the Kofu Mission on 7 July 1945. On 6 Aug 1945 this crew was sent to Lead Crew Training at Muroc and never returned to Guam before the war was over.
Crew ??? of K-65 (42-94071), "City of Gainsville". Were the 2nd crew to bear K-65. They proudly stand beside her, Front Row, L to R: TSGT Donald Bush (CFC), SSGT Lewis Wilhelm (RO), SSGT Nick Munas (RG), SGT Robert Flick (LG). Back Row: SSGT James Parrish (TG), MSGT Orval Haugen (Rad Ob), 1LT Garrett Stephenson (FE), 2LT Edward Hyde (N), 1LT Thomas Spencer (B), 1LT James McGuire (P), 2LT Travis Budlong (A/C). They completed 23 missions and the (FE) Stephenson was awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster for his Air Medal on 13 Sep 1945 (G.O. 62.)
Crew ??? of K-66 (42-24917), "City of Alhambra". Front Row, L to R: SGT Karl "Max" Harsh (LG), SGT Billy McGary (TG), SGT Leonard Mabry (RG), TSGT Kenneth Bender (CFC). Back Row: SSGT Michael Timar (RO), 1LT Howard Dember (N), 1LT John McIntosh (Rad Weather Ob), TSGT Louis Boschen (FE), 1LT Charles Lunney (P), 1LT Robert May (A/C).
They completed 22 Weather and Photo Reconnaissance missions.
Crew ??? of K-66 (42-24917), "City of Milwaukee". Flew 16 missions. The Bombardier, Nowicki, was wounded in the arms and legs by enemy fighters on the 11 June mission to Tokyo.
Crew ??? of K-67 (42-63539), "City of Spangler, PA" aka "Infant of Prague". This photo taken at Walker shows, Front Row, L to R: 1LT Owen Flanagan, Jr. (A/C), FO Theron (Cy) Perkins (P), 2LT Edward Sharkey, Jr. (N), FO Robert Kohout (B), 2LT Clyde Zamkow (Rad Ob). Back Row: TSGT Robert Murray (FE), SGT Lewis Hassel (RO), TSGT Reba Earhart (CFC), SSGT Arthur Lee, Jr. (RG), SGT James McCormick, Jr. (LG), SGT Melvin Freeze (TG) . They flew 19 missions and received multiple Air Medals. The Nav, Sharkey, Jr. was transferred to K-66 and replaced by Louis Anderson.
Crew 592 of K-68 (44-61664), "City of Lynn", flew 7 missions in several aircraft. Also flew several missions in K-52. They are, front row L to R: 1LT Lawrence Phillips (B), 2LT Ernest Perkins, Jr. (P), CAP Robert Gunther (A/C), 2LT Robert Starr (N), FO Hugh Hix (Rad Ob). Back Row: SSGT Wallace Livingstone (FE), CPL James Madden, Jr.(RO), SGT Earl Becker (CFC), SGT Aram Normadin (RG), SSGT Karl Dietz (LG), CPL John Werbaneth (TG).
Crew 806 of K-69 (42-93954), A crew that flew no missions- This crew was formed at Walker AAF in Kansas with 1LT Gerard Gibson (A/C) in command. They were delayed several weeks in Hawaii with minor mechanical troubles and finally made it to Guam. They flew one practice mission over Rota and Gibson began to show his fear of what lay ahead. They took off on what was to have been their first mission and he promptly found a reason to abort. In preparing for their next mission, According to Gene Christman (RO) Just prior to 3rd Mission Attempt, "the engines had been run up earlier and were still warm so when we pulled the blades through there was enough fuel in the carburetor of #3 that it kicked over and caught Lumsden's shoulder and threw him against the side of the plane. When he came back down another blade caught him in the leg and did enough damage to end his flying career. He was in and out of hospitals for knee an ankle injuries for years". With a replacement bombardier, they tried one more time to fly a mission but as they were getting ready to goe Gibson broke down completely. He threatened 1LT Ken Johnson (N) with his 45 and when the MP's arrived he was in tears. 1LT Gibson became very ill and was hospitalized on Guam. The crew was disbanded and the men were used to fill vacancies on other crews. This remaining crew was transferred to K-41 and A/C'd by Vick. The Aircraft became K-34.Here they are in Kansas prior to departure for the Marianas. Front Row, L to R: SSGT Eugene Christman (RO), SSGT William Checkley (LG), 1LT Gordon Spicer (Rad Ob), MSGT Walter Colby (FE), SGT David Phillips (TG) Back Row: SGT Norman Smyth (CFC), 1LT Gerald Gibson (A/C), 1LT James McGuire (P), Unknown, 1LT Thomas Lumsden (B), SSGT Stanley Pinkowicz (RG)
Crew ??? of many K's, 2LT Wesley E. Smith would have named his aircraft "City of Coriapolis", after his home town, but they were never assigned their own aircraft. Another replacement crew for the 459th, this crew was brought in as a replacement for the Lawrence Crew. This crew flew 21 missions mainly in K-51, K-59 and K-60. Awarded multiple Air Medals and a DFC. This is also the crew that made the FAMOUS TWO ENGINE ON ONE SIDE LANDING ON IWO JIMA. Among other feats! Here they are, thanks to Harvey Landis (RO), Standing L to R: 1LT Cletus (Chuck) Voiles (B), 2LT Leland (Lee) Ashby, Jr. (P), 2LT Wesley (Wes) Smith Sr. (A/C), 2LT Eugene (Gene) Junk (N), 1LT William (Bill) Tell (Rad Ob). Front Row: SGT John Mordasky (TG), SSGT Harvey Landsman (RO), FO Norwood (Woody) Prillaman (FE), TSGT Richard (Dick) Kurtz (CFC), SSGT Henry (Hank) Poh (LG), SSGT Roy (Abner) Yocum (RG).
Here is 2LT Wesley Smith in front of the 459th's bulletin board. He probably is looking for the next days orders.
Crew ??? of K-??,This crew flew no combat missions as a crew per se. They were assembled in mid-August 1945 to fly surrender photos to Washington! They each had Air Medals under their belts.
This site was last updated 01/19/2014