The Arrowhead Club

The John Buslee crew’s original bombardier was Marvin Fryden. Fryden was killed on his second mission on August 5, 1944 by a burst of flak aboard Tremblin’ Gremlin. James Davis replaced Fryden as the Buslee crew’s bombardier. In the original Buslee crew photo that I have, the man standing on the far right is identified as James Davis. I have always questioned the accuracy of that identification. I have always believed that the bombardier in the photo is Fryden.

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew

On my visit to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis last October, I found a picture of James Buford Davis in uniform.

James Buford Davis, second bombardier of the John Buslee crew

James Buford Davis, second bombardier of the John Buslee crew

I feel more certain now that the photo of the Buslee crew actually includes Marvin Fryden rather than Davis.

James Davis on the left.  Davis or Marvin Fryden on the right?

James Davis on the left. Davis or Marvin Fryden on the right?

Agree or disagree? I would love some feedback.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2017


  1. says:

    Cindy, Lenard Bryant is wearing Sergeant stripes in the crew photo.  He was promoted to Sergeant on 6 August 1944. This was the day after Marvin Fryden was KIA.  Even though it is possible that he would wear the Sergeant Stripes before the official promotion date, I think it is very unlikely. Keith


    • Yes, I know you have mentioned that and a lot of other convincing arguments before. The thing that bothers me, though, is that Seeley was seriously wounded on that August 5 mission and didn’t fly again until October 2, so would he have been able to be in the photo? The purple heart document that you sent me says he was hospitalized for 30 days. John Buslee’s father said in a letter to my grandmother that he received a copy of the photo in early September. He said, “The boys all looked fine and seemed to be in the same high spirit that they enjoyed when we met them in Ardmore. No mention of a change in bombardier.”


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