September 28, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 201.
The 384th Bomb Group Mission 201 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 652.
The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-37822, Lead Banana. The Brodie crew was aboard 42-31222, Lazy Daisy.
The primary target was the steelworks industry in Magdeburg, Germany.
Buslee Crew List:
- Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
- Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
- Navigator – William Alvin Henson II
- Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns
- Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
- Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
- Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.
- Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen
- Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)
Chester A. Rybarczyk flew this mission with the William J. Blankenmeyer crew. William Alvin Henson II replaced Rybarczyk as Navigator on the Buslee crew. This was Henson’s third flight with the Buslee crew.
James B. Davis flew this mission with the Raymond J. Gabel crew. Robert Sumner Stearns replaced Davis as Bombardier on the Buslee crew. This was Stearns second flight with the Buslee crew.
George Francis McMann, Jr. flew this mission as Ball Turret Gunner on the Buslee crew. This was McMann’s first flight with the Buslee crew. Irving L. Miller, who had replaced Erwin V. Foster as Ball Turret Gunner five times on the Buslee crew, also flew with Davis on the Gabel crew this mission.
Gerald Lee Andersen replaced Eugene D. Lucynski for the third time as Tail Gunner on the Buslee crew.
Brodie Crew List:
- Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
- Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle
- Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.
- Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins
- Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley
- Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton
- Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu
- Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller
- Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger
James Joseph Brodie (Pilot), Lloyd Oliver Vevle (Co-Pilot), George Marshall Hawkins, Jr. (Navigator), Robert Doyle Crumpton (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner), Gordon Eugene Hetu (Ball Turret Gunner), Wilfred Frank Miller (Tail Gunner), and Harry Allen Liniger (Waist Gunner) were all original Brodie crew members aboard the Lazy Daisy. The only non-original crew members were Byron Laverne Atkins (Bombardier/Togglier) and Donald William Dooley (Radio Operator/Gunner).
Original Brodie crew Bombardier, William D. Barnes, Jr., last flew with the Brodie crew on September 13, 1944. Barnes did not fly again until October 17, 1944. He returned to flight as a Navigator, completed his tour after 35 missions, and returned to the US.
Byron Laverne Atkins flew only six missions, three of them as a Ball Turret Gunner, and one as a Flexible Gunner. He served as Togglier for the Brodie crew on two occasions – once on September 21 and again on September 28, 1944.
William Edson Taylor, the original Radio Operator/Gunner for the Brodie crew did not fly on the September 28 mission. On October 5, he flew as Radio Operator/Gunner with the Robert Bruce Birckhead crew. His aircraft was damaged by flak and crashed near Munchen-Gladbach, Germany (MACR 9754). Of the crew, four were killed, and five were taken prisoner of war, including Taylor.
Donald William Dooley’s first mission would be his last. He flew as Radio Operator/Gunner for the Brodie crew on this mission.
Sortie Report Description:
Two Bomb Runs – Primary Target Attacked: The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the 41st CBW “C” Wing on today’s mission. Near the target, another formation of bombers flew below this wing, forcing them to hold their bombs. The wing made a second bomb run and released their bombs on the primary target.
Lazy Daisy Sortie Report Status and Comments:
Failed to Return
MIA; collided with 43-37822 over target; both ships went down on fire and out of control; no chutes observed; crashed near Erxleben, Germany; MACR 9366.
Lead Banana Sortie Report Status and Comments:
Failed to Return
MIA; collided with 42-31222 over target; both ships went down on fire and out of control; no chutes; crashed near Osteringersleben, Germany; MACR 9753.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013