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Filling in the Blanks

I have a number of photos that I found with my dad’s WWII letters that have no identifications. I have come up with a theory and have made some guesses about who appears in the photos. I would love to get some feedback and opinions as to whether I am on the right track or not.  Here goes…

The information I’m basing my theory on is this:  August 4, 1944 was the Buslee crew’s first mission.  Arthur Shwery was training John Buslee that day, which put Arthur Shwery as the pilot with the crew and John Oliver Buslee as the co-pilot. As a result, David Franklin Albrecht, the Buslee crew’s assigned co-pilot, flew with the Paul Norton crew that day. This setup was repeated the next day, August 5. As a result, David Albrecht got to know some of the men of the Norton crew.

I believe Number 6 in this photo is David Albrecht. I believe Number 2 in this photo is either Carl Bennett Guinn, the engineer/top turret gunner or Thomas Bruce Everitt, the flexible/waist gunner, on the Norton crew.

NUMBERED Unknown 3

 

Here’s why:

I see a resemblance to Number 6 in the above photo to David Franklin Albrecht in the Buslee crew photo:

NUMBERED Albrecht in crew photo

Buslee Crew - Number 6 is David Albrecht

Buslee Crew – Number 6 is David Albrecht

Opinions? Do you see any resemblance?

I also think Number 2 in the above photo is either Carl Bennett Guinn or Thomas Everitt.

Guinn and Everitt both flew with the Norton crew and David Albrecht on August 4 and 5, 1944.  The sortie report shows the entire crew:

8-4-1944 Norton Crew Sortie Report

And in this photo from the 384th Bomb Group’s September 30, 1944 mission, the only two men not identified are Carl Guinn and Thomas Everitt. I have numbered them 2 and 3 in the photo. Comparing the men in the photo to the sortie report, the unidentified men must be Guinn and Everitt.

NUMBERED CREW

Back L-R: Bruno Melchionni (N), Nicholas Leschek (FG), Albert Sherriff (RO), unidentified 2, unidentified 3
Middle: George Jacobson (N)
Front L-R: Joe Sarto (VN), Maj. George Koehne (CA/CP), Ralph Wiley (B), Capt. William Johnson (P), Richard Rafeld (OBS/TG)
To Be Identified: Carl Guinn (TT) and Thomas Everitt (FG)

September 30 1944 Sortie Report

I believe Number 2 in the September 30 photo is the same man standing next to Number 6 (possibly David Albrecht) in the first photo.  Opinions?

Ok, next photo in question:

NUMBERED Unknown 1

Number 2 looks like the same man in the previous photos – either Guinn or Everitt. Note: he is continuously designated as Number 2 in each photo.

Number 1 looks somewhat like Richard Rafeld to me (see Number 1 on the September 30 photo above), but note that Rafeld did not fly with the Norton crew on August 4 and 5, so I may have this identification incorrect. Number 1 may be another of the Norton crew, but I cannot find any more photos for comparison.

Number 3 is probably Lester J. Noble, the Norton crew’s ball turret gunner. Note the name printed on the front of his jacket, “Les,” apparently short for “Lester.”

Number 4 is probably Clarence C. Bigley, the Norton crew’s togglier. Note the number of bombs painted on the back of the jacket he is holding. There are twenty. August 4, 1944 was Clarence Bigley’s twentieth mission. I can also compare this photo to his senior class high school photo in the Phillipsburg, New Jersery 1938 yearbook. His nickname was “Hutch” and his yearbook quote was “A big man with a big name.”

Clarence C. Bigley

Clarence C. Bigley 1938 senior class photo

Next photo:

NUMBERED Unknown 2

Again, Number 2 is the same Number 2 in the other photos – either Carl Guinn or Thomas Everitt.

I am almost certain Number 5 is Lenard Leroy Bryant of the Buslee crew. Lenard started out on the August 4 mission as the flexible gunner/waist gunner on the Buslee crew, but by the August 9 mission had become the Buslee crew’s engineer/top turret gunner.

Number 5 is Lenard Bryant. Pictured with his brother, Buck.

Number 5 is Lenard Bryant. Pictured with his brother, Buck.

And the final photo:

NUMBERED Unknown 4

Number 1 may be Richard Rafeld or one of the Norton crew.

Number 2 must be either Carl Guinn or Thomas Everitt.

I have sent messages to relatives of both Guinn and Everitt on Ancestry.com. I hope the relatives can provide photos and perhaps clear up the identifications of both of these men. If anyone else can provide any information, please contact me.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015

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