The Donald W. “Beano” Bean crew commanded by Maurice A. Booska was the Low Group Lead on September 28, 1944 and was aboard aircraft 43-38542. See Sortie Report.
In MACR9366, Missing Air Crew Report 9366, several members of the Bean crew are listed as witnesses to the mid-air collision between the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana: Maurice A. Booska (Commander), Henry P. Nastick (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner), Delmar R. Casper (Ball Turret Gunner), and Omar L. Gordon, Jr. (Waist Gunner).
In MACR9366, the Bean crew described enemy opposition as “No enemy Aircraft,” and “Moderate and accurate flak at the target.”
Their description to the extent of damage to the Lazy Daisy was “Aircraft broke up near tail assembly and went down in flames.”
In response to “If aircraft was out of control describe appearance,” they wrote, “Aircraft was burning and slowly spiraling down until it disappeared in the clouds.”
And their response to “Number of parachutes seen” was “None.”
- The Bean crew names were not all listed properly on MACR9366. Henry Nastick’s name was listed as Henry Nastrick.
- September 28, 1944 was the first flight for aircraft 43-38542. It was credited with 22 combat missions. It crashed on landing at Grafton Underwood on November 30, 1944 when it “landed with wheels up due to confusion in the cockpit during final approach” as noted on the Sortie Report. After repairs, 43-38542’s next flight was on January 20, 1945 (Sortie Report). On that mission, during the return to base in a heavy snowstorm, engine #4 was lost, and possibly engine #3, due to ice accumulation. It crash landed killing the navigator and togglier, and seriously wounding the remainder of the crew.
- See Aircraft 43-38542 November 30, 1944 Accident Report 44-11-30-510 for more details of the landing accident.
- Aircraft 43-38542 January 20, 1945 Accident Report 45-01-20-527 for more details of the crash.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014