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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
MAJ
A/C
John E. Parr
0-423955
2LT
P
Guy W. Shine
0-778591
1LT
N
Edward A. Charlson
0-741651
1LT
B
John H. Schafer
0-739224
2LT
Rad Ob
Kermit C. Wheeler
0-265864
1LT
FE
Harold E. Cowley
0-866291
SSGT
RO
Norman N. Perren
38441141
TSGT
CFC
Carl G. Norman
16115842
SGT
RG
Harry W. Hardy
34817360
SSGT
LG
Frank J. Jalas
33697876
SGT
TG
Norman J. Fosler Jr.
33904572
Ground Crewmen
SSGT
Cr/Chief
George D. Thornton
18077665
CPL
Ground
Willie D. Flynn
38511402
SGT
Ground
Russell D. White
15338849
SGT
Ground
Clarence F. Pfeifer
17124067
SSGT
Ground
Hale I. Clow
18131698
CPL
Ground
Robert J. Schumacher
16107884

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).

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
MAJ
A/C
William C. Wilson
0-429208
2LT
P
William B. Hauke
0-823250
1LT
N
Bertram B. Wakeley
0-791029
1LT
B
Henry F. Wittneben
0-1306924
1LT
Rad Ob
Harber H. Hall
0-754839
1LT
FE
Garrett G. Stephenson
0-864502
SSGT
RO
William Robertson, III
42020841
SSGT
CFC
Luther C. Hollandsworth
15362856
SGT
RG
Hal B. Rhodes
34827420
SGT
LG
John E. Harnage
34796009
SGT
TG
Orville A. Rogers
36775326
Ground Crewmen
TSGT
Cr/Chief
Bobby J. Hudson
14151019

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
MAJ
A/C
Charles E. Tibbs
0-434184
1LT
P
George H. Hayes
0-824851
1LT
N
Harry A. Fish
0-673132
1LT
B
Wade G. Wood
0-671159
2LT
Rad Ob
James B. Lyons
0-2068105
1LT
FE
Ervin Spindel
0-867142
SGT
RO
Donald E. LaFauci
11136173
SGT
CFC
Benjamin S. Hoar
19132880
SGT
RG
Lorenz V. Wefel, Jr.
16107867
SGT
LG
David H. Webster
18202888
SGT
TG
Joseph T. Whittenauer
36785855
Ground Crewmen
MSGT
Cr/Chief
John D. Goldhan Jr.
39604318
SSGT
Cr/Chief
Turney W. Cornwell
39169810
CPL
Ground
Thomas D. Vanderstock
36323433
CPL
Ground
Robert J. Smith
17074142

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!

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
MAJ
A/C
Lawrence T. Keohane
0-433195
2LT
P
Frederick E. West
0-813522
1LT
N
Maurice Tange
0-670187
1LT
B
Harold R. Mitchell
0-752344
1LT
Rad Ob
Julian E. Chugerman
0-2065724
1LT
FE
Richard M. Marsh
0-862177
SSGT
RO
Sam Vinci
36754518
TSGT
CFC
Douglas E. Chiappetta
35558649
SSGT
RG
Edward A. Bulcavage
33832855
SSGT
LG
John J. Lawrence
42012001
SGT
TG
Garvin S. Butler, Jr.
38510094
Ground Crewmen
MSGT
Cr/Chief
James M. Horst
13092518
SSGT
Ground
Wilbur L. Birkholtz
36304906
CPL
Ground
Arthur E. Millard
36342574
SGT
Ground
William Treffinger
32562647

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
A/C
1LT
James F. Lawrence
0-1287370
P
2LT
Clyde L. Wood
0-775226
N
1LT
Edward R. Hyde
0-2063426
B
2LT
Arthur B. Pearson
0-1586831
Rad Ob
FO
Robert F. Schnieder
T-131562
FE
MSGT
Orval L. Haugen
37177499
RO
SSGT
Lewis E. Wilhelm
33632991
CFC
TSGT
Donald A. Bush
352226091
RG
SGT
Michael C. Balogh
32394101
LG
CPL
Leo H. Richards
36772472
TG
SGT
Clinton V. Krausz
36785735
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
MSGT
Maurice T. Trowbridge
36267882
Ground
SSGT
Alan D. South
16127820
Ground
SSGT
William O. Gibson Jr.
38415342
Ground
SGT
Lewis J. DiRisio
32937473
Ground
SGT
James J. Moore
42090451
Ground
SGT
Morton D. Silverstein
37494159

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
1LT
A/C
Richard P. Cox
0-680004
2LT
P
Robert T. Gerlach
0-780569
2LT
N
Joseph R. Harris
0-2065062
1LT
B
Thomas L. Ashbridge III
0-676907
1LT
Rad Ob
Henry J. Adams
0-739529
MSGT
FE
Joseph Plaziak
11043907
SSGT
RO
Woodrow W. Whipple
18014904
TSGT
CFC
John H. Burckes
31297505
SSGT
RG
Mark E. Wilson
33854983
SSGT
LG
Leo V. Keitz
36560501
SGT
TG
Robert C. Fenn
31349792
Ground Crewmen
CPL
Ground
Oscar C. Mock Jr.
39175883
CPL
Ground
Kenneth L. Henry
13048828
SSGT
Ground
Richard K. Peters
33500938

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)

Position
Rank
First
Last
SN
A/C
CAP
Robert E Strong
0-737891
P
2LT
Alden R. Stradling
0-778605
N
2LT
Charles B. Gilbert
0-2068847
B
1LT
Donald K. Nurnberg
0-752349
Rad Ob
2LT
David P. Gross
0-2070017
FE
MSGT
Donald J. Person
16026350
RO
SGT
George D. Stevenson
13126312
CFC
SSGT
Kenneth L. Struble
35227393
RG
SGT
Robert A. Rupprecht
33793645
LG
SGT
Edward C. Byrne, Jr.
11119489
TG
SGT
Clifford C. Ray Jr.
38400695
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
SSGT
Leonard A. Olsen
16048649
Ground
CPL
Edward Siedzik
36893244
Ground
CPL
John R. Sodowsky
38274469

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.

Position
Rank
First
Last
SN
Comments
A/C
2LT
Francis P. Heid
0-813698
Awarded Silver Star
P
2LT
William A. Hager
0-780583
 
N
2LT
Norris Rogers
0-2068759
 
B
1LT
David J. McCarty
0-752296
 
Rad Ob
1LT
Donald C. Hesse
0-688700
 
FE
MSGT
Eldon M. Elliott
37741347
 
RO
SSGT
Hugh A. Morrison
16169554
 
CFC
TSGT
Lawrence Wick
35895303
 
RG
SSGT
William E. Clevenger
32956013
 
LG
SGT
Chester O. Brunson
39723221
 
TG
SSGT
Gordon L. Wood
37496315
 
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
MSGT
William H. Tiemeyer
35117376
 
Ground
SGT
Tommy Finch
38493411
 
Ground
SGT
Cecil H. Drake
39208165
 
Ground
SGT
Harry A. Guthrie
38507368
 

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?

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
1LT
A/C
Donald J. Schiltz
0-442569
FO
P
Kenneth W. Rich
T-4732
2LT
P
Richard W. Foster
0-836753
2LT
N
Anthony A. Picciano
0-2079090
FO
B
Leonard W. Holm
T-9444
2LT
Rad Ob
Robert G. Scott
0-2076055
SSGT
FE
George C. Reed
15081542
CPL
RO
David W. Grunigen
19215657
SGT
CFC
Francis A. Boulay
31362187
PFC
RG
Byron K. Chatam
12036505
SGT
LG
Woodrow W. Collins
16066953
CPL
TG
James H. Davidson
32989232

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)

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
2LT
A/C
Earl C. Wheelock
0-674088
2LT
P
Richard W. Foster
0-836753
2LT
N
Leroy Jorgensen
0-2064264
2LT
B
Thomas R. Spencer
0-752365
2LT
B
Lealan R. Harlow
0-787392
2LT
Rad Ob
Robert Keyes
0-2068680
TSGT
FE
Sanford A. Timen
35867059
SSGT
RO
Edward J. Miller
31007408
SSGT
CFC
John E. Celentano
12239631
SSGT
RG
Herman C. Riedel
18119532
SSGT
LG
Robert B. Cupp
42083355
SGT
TG
Loras R. Winter
17181856
Ground Crewmen
SSGT
Cr/Chief
Francis X. Dalrymple
18013626
SGT
Engine
John D. Botti
32319040
CPL
Engine
Morton Haynes
12188861
SSGT
Elec Mech
Leroy Sauter
32601860

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)

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
CAP
A/C
Laurence E. Scruggs Jr.
0-737867
 
2LT
P
Robert J. Kimball
0-777704
 
2LT
N
James D. Stanton
0-2068789
 
2LT
B
Stanley O. Schoel
0-785429
 
1LT
Rad Ob
Samuel L. Fluornoy Jr.
0-2068643
 
MSGT
FE
Joel J. Boersema
6913095
 
SSGT
RO
William T. Pope
17133529
 
SGT
CFC
Nathaniel W. Hill
14199105
 
SGT
RG
Alex Q. Verble
36891058
 
SGT
LG
Andrew Turausky
36773421
 
SGT
TG
James G. Toon
34819084
 
Ground Crewmen
SSGT
Cr/Chief
Alfred D. Williams
39535873
 
SSGT
Cr/Chief
Floyd L. Pulley
6956676
 

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).

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comments
AM
DFC
A/C
2LT
Robert C. Bowerman
0-807671
DFC for missions to Kobe on 5 June and
2
1
P
2LT
Frederick W. Gang
0-826453
 
2
1
N
1LT
John E. Martin
0-515461
 
2
1
B
1LT
Hager E. Erb
0-785488
 
2
1
Rad Ob
FO
Julien C. Renswick
T-128469
 
2
1
FE
MSGT
Don J. Saunders
7013742
 
2
1
RO
SSGT
William B. McKnight
14155864
 
2
1
CFC
SSGT
Frank E. Burke
33533095
 
2
1
RG
SGT
Herbert T. Freeman
15332027
 
2
1
LG
SGT
John Fox
33834275
 
2
1
TG
SGT
Martin F. Frank
33431417
 
2
1
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
MSGT
Vernon Sullivan
17100207
     
Ground
SGT
Marnice D. Heard, Jr.
38505096
     
Ground
SSGT
Roy C. Franz
11073090
     
Ground
SGT
Kenneth D. Minsch
36732343
     

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.

Position
Rank
First
Last
SN
A/C
1LT
Karl W. Stalnaker
0-725546
P
1LT
John G. Paff
0-827040
N
2LT
Robert P. Hall
0-2062615
B
1LT
Paul A. Rietz
0-743891
Rad Ob
FO
Cecil M. Hulsey
T-126474
FE
TSGT
Thomas J. Lehoczky
20228288
RO
SSGT
Edmund J. Thorpe
11096769
CFC
SGT
Eugene E. Chalette
16152816
LG
CPL
Chris J. Tisserat
18141021
RG
CPL
Ferdinand O. Barrette
31023975
TG
SGT
Frank D. Brittain
37532753
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
MSGT
Roy G. Withrow
6277705

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).

Position
Rank
First
Last
SN
A/C
1LT
John Stoddard
0-664078
P
2LT
Travis L. Budlong
0-806399
P
1LT
John P. Fisher Jr.
0-818136
N
2LT
Charles A. Graves
0-2064245
B
2LT
Edward W. Noyes Jr.
0-929974
Rad Ob
2LT
Gerald G. Closen
0-2068610
FE
FO
John H. Bennett, Jr.
T-225141
RO
SGT
Louis J. Mayer
17114060
CFC
SSGT
John V. Boberg
35533210
RG
SGT
Leonard L. Glaviano
12032349
LG
CPL
Bernard Yudin
42052572
TG
CPL
Wyatt G. Turner
35870244
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
SSGT
Leo F. Fliess
36220732

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
1LT
A/C
Herbert R. Williams
0-740997
2LT
P
Daniel R. Myers
0-830891
2LT
*N
George R. Farmer
0-2068638
2LT
B
David H. Skillin
0-685860
2LT
*Rad Ob
Ronald F. Heemann
0-2070031
TSGT
FE
Lawrence C. Seery
34136700
PFC
*RO
Eldon A. Peterson
35141318
SGT
CFC
Robert R. Underwood
1407396
CPL
RG
Edward B. Neary
36868769
CPL
LG
Edwin S. Caw
39717980
CPL
TG
Casimir J. Cwiakala
12100933
Ground Crewmen
MSGT
Cr/Chief
Robert W Kling
16003061
SSGT
Ground
Richard L. Bowers
35608093
MSGT
Ground
Herbert L. Carter
1446842

*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.

Position
Rank
First
Last
SN
A/C
MAJ
Talmon R. Mager
0-416319
P
CAP
Albert K. Brown
0-319897
N
MAJ
William F. Curry
0-431659
B
1LT
Harold Leibowitz
0-685127
Rad Ob
1LT
Thomas J. Tibbets
0-2072989
FE
MSGT
Clarence E. Dalton
15010412
RO
SSGT
William S. Reed
36454384
CFC
TSGT
Robert P. Acker
35928676
RG
SSGT
Virgil E. Baggett
34349894
LG
SSGT
William S. Dodson
13082434
TG
SGT
Kenneth E. Brown
34918316
Ground Crewmen
Cr/Chief
MSGT
Robert W. Kling
16003061

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.

 

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
1LT
A/C
Mortimer E. Stevenson Jr.
0-750716
 
2LT
P
Edwin E. Rousseau Jr.
0-832239
 
FO
N
George L. Andrews
T-131778
 
2LT
B
Daniel B.

Schwimmer

0-660405
 
1LT
B
George J. Lemmon
0-698893
Replaced Schwimmer as B after 6th Mission
2LT
Rad Ob
Kermit C. Wheeler
0-2065864
 
TSGT
FE
Richard Stroo
18000468
 
CPL
RO
Joseph A. Yedlinski
16138018
 
SSGT
CFC
William W. Victor Jr.
37530698
 
SGT
RG
Frank J. Quintero
34537748
 
SSGT
LG
Howard W. Quigg Jr.
34539031
 
SGT
TG
Paul E. Boyer
16032233
 
Ground Crewmen
TSGT
Cr/Chief
Howard H Keoppen
6981925
 
SGT
Ground
Arthur F. Cowan, Jr.
19129877
 
CPL
Ground
John M Rosati
32768647
 

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
1LT
A/C
Ralph W. Johnson
0-740209
 
FO
P
Robert W. Knuth
T-5220
 
1LT
N
James H. Turnock, Jr.
0-1053402
 
1LT
B
Jack M. Blythe
0-752308
 
2LT
Rad Ob
Elmer J. Kokenge, Jr.
0-2070031
 
TSGT
FE
Carroll E. Watts
34344971
 
SSGT
RO
Alfred Vincent
12128921
 
SSGT
CFC
Daniel E. Smyder
33801109
 
SSGT
RG
Ernest J. Sparks
36884238
 
TSGT
LG
Charles E. Helton
34899759
 
SGT
TG
Bill E. Sparling
35770006
 
Ground Crewmen
SGT
Cr/Chief
Harold R. Smith 39273372

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.)

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
2LT
A/C
Travis L. Budlong
0-806399
 
1LT
P
James H. McGuire
0-829247
 
2LT
N
Edward R. Hyde
0-813698
 
1LT
B
Thomas R. Spencer
0-752365
 
MSGT
Rad Ob
Orval L. Haugan
37177499
 
1LT
FE
Garrett C. Stephenson
0-864502
 
SSGT
RO
Lewis E. Wilhelm
33632991
 
TSGT
CFC
Donald A. Bush
35226091
 
SSGT
RG
Nick Munas
35222501
 
SGT
LG
Robert L. Flick
42094417
 
SSGT
TG
James L. Parrish
35884540
 
Ground Crewmen
SGT
Cr/Chief
Harold R. Smith 39273372

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
1LT
A/C
Robert E May
0-729038
 
1LT
P
Charles R. Lunney
0-829047
 
1LT
N
Howard J. Dember
0-2060254
 
1LT
Radar Weather Officer
John S. McIntosh
0-871251
 
TSGT
FE
Louis A. Boschen Jr.
33125720
 
SSGT
RO
Michael S. Timar
33265400
 
TSGT
CFC
Kenneth E. Bender
17039207
 
SGT
RG
Leonard W. Mabry
14148634
 
SGT
LG
Karl M. Harsh
35233185
 
SGT
TG
Billy J. McGary
35814230
 


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.
Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
1LT
A/C
Jerry O. Duty
0687564
 
1LT
P
Thomas B. Massopust
0824155
 
2LT
N
Allen L. Lindow
0718361
 
1LT
B
Richard M. Nowicki
0787413
 
1LT
Rad Ob
Raymond M. Strass
02072906
 
FO
FE
George F. Alieksaites
17057177
 
SSGT
RO
Wallace C. Hanks
37528417
 
SGT
CFC
Jack Goucher
13191002
 
SGT
RG
Frank A. Kaloweski
33874076
 
 
LG
Frank Smith    
SSGT
TG
Robert J. Hoover
39218083
 

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.

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
1LT
A/C
Owen J. Flanagan, Jr.
0-811359
 
FO
P
Theron C. Perkins
T-64826
 
2LT
N
Edward J. Sharkey, Jr.
0-2079123
 
FO
B
Robert Kohout
T-9251
 
2LT
Rad Ob
Clyde L. Zamkow
0-2077544
 
TSGT
FE
Robert E. Murray
18045939
 
SGT
RO
Lewis S. Hassel
33712177
 
TSGT
CFC
Reba B. Earhart
34885675
 
SGT
RG
Arthur V. Lee, Jr.
34842847
 
SGT
LG
James O. McCormick, Jr.
34547542
 
SGT
TG
Melvin E. Freeze
34900520
 
Ground Crewmen
SGT
Cr/Chief
James D. Leake
33273899
 
CPL
Ground
Charles V. Neyland
18209641
 

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).

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
CAP
A/C
Robert W. Gunther
0-452463
 
2LT
P
Ernest F. Perkins, Jr.
0-837354
 
2LT
N
Robert P. Starr
0-2079518
 
1LT
B
Lawrence P. Phillips
0-690863
Replaced after several missions due to illness.
FO
Rad Ob
Hugh B. Hix
T-133525
 
SSGT
FE
Wallace Livingstone
11069177
 
CPL
RO
James M. Madden Jr.
16107234
 
SGT
CFC
Earl R. Becker
13159018
 
SGT
RG
Aram F. Normadin
11136667
 
SSGT
LG
Karl W. Dietz
35055614
 
CPL
TG
John P. Werbaneth
13188384
 

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)

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
1LT
A/C
Gerald E. Gibson
0-733879
 
1LT
P
James H. McGuire
0-829247
 
1LT
N
Kenneth L. Johnson
0-2064265
 
1LT
B
Thomas Lumsden
0-688538
 
1LT
Rad Ob
Gordon O. Spicer
0-206880
 
MSGT
FE
Walter H. Colby
11039534
 
SSGT
RO
Eugene M. Christman
31624239
 
SGT
CFC
Norman W. Smyth
39205297
 
SSGT
RG
Stanley F. Pinkowicz
32285523
 
SSGT
LG
William T. Checkley
42006579
 
SGT
TG
David M. Phillips
35221751
 

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).

Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
2LT
A/C
Wesley E. Smith Sr.
0-817291
 
2LT
P
Leland E. Ashby, Jr.
0-931702
 
2LT
N
Eugene J. Junk
0-2079008
 
1LT
B
Cletus F. Voiles
0-787367
 
1LT
Rad Ob
William F. Tell
0-2065652
 
FO
FE
Norwood H. Prillaman
33125996
 
SSGT
RO
Harvey Landsman
42071050
 
TSGT
CFC
G. Richard Kurtz
11133167
 
SSGT
RG
Roy W. Yocum
13187949
 
SSGT
LG
Henry J. Poh
42072003
 
SGT
TG
John D. Mordasky
11108425
 

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.
Rank
Position
First
Last
SN
Comment
LTCOL
A/C
Robert W. Ryder
0-21595
 
MAJ
A/C
William C. Wilson
0-429208
 
MAJ
P-A/C
Herman L. Smith
0-437309
 
1LT
P
William B. Hauke
0-823250
 
2LT
N
Charles L. Hammer
0-2064572
 
1LT
N
Bertram E. Wakeley
0-791029
 
1LT
Rad Ob
Harber H. Hall
0-754839
 
MSGT
FE
Vern J. Ruegsegger
19030326
 
MSGT
FE
George J. Boutross
17030235
 
SGT
RO
Elvin E. Eudy
34772865
 
SGT
RO
William Robertson III
42020841
 

457th

This site was last updated 01/19/2014