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Home » 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) » Timeline for Buslee Crewmembers and Substitutes, 544th Bomb Squadron

Timeline for Buslee Crewmembers and Substitutes, 544th Bomb Squadron

In continuing my research into the original airmen assigned to the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group, and of the airmen who were aboard these two pilots’ respective fortresses in the mid-air collision of September 28, 1944, I searched through morning reports, special orders, individual sortie records, and personnel records on the 384th Bomb Group’s website. I was looking for any other information about them outside of their bombing missions.

I discovered several entries in those documents regarding the men who were either original members of the Buslee and Brodie crews or were substitutes on missions when the original members did not participate. Today I present the information for the Buslee crew in timeline format. Next week I will present the timeline for the James Joseph Brodie crew.

Note that this information should not be considered complete due to sometimes illegible, incomplete, and missing records, but what I have found is included here. I have also included the Buslee crew’s bombing missions in the timeline.

Timeline of information from Morning Reports, Special Orders, Individual Sortie Records, and 384th Bomb Group website Personnel Records for John Oliver Buslee original crew members and mission substitutes:

6 MAY 1944

William Alvin Henson II was assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #85 dated 6 May 1944 as Bombardier of the Gerald Sammons crew.

15 JUNE 1944

Robert Sumner Stearns was assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #113 dated 15 June 1944 as Bombardier of the Larkin Durdin crew.

21 JULY 1944

William Henson overslept and received punishment of having to fly one extra sortie (mission) to complete his tour.

22 JULY 1944

The John Oliver Buslee crew was assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #144 dated 22 July 1944. Crew members were:

  • David Franklin Albrecht, Co-pilot
  • Lenard Leroy Bryant, Waist Gunner
  • John Oliver Buslee, Pilot
  • George Edwin Farrar, Waist Gunner
  • Erwin Vernon Foster, Ball Turret Gunner
  • Marvin Fryden, Bombardier
  • Eugene Daniel Lucynski, Tail Gunner
  • Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Radio Operator
  • Chester Anthony Rybarczyk, Navigator
  • Clarence Burdell Seeley, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner

26 JULY 1944

The following men were assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #148 dated 26 July 1944:

  • Gerald Lee Andersen, Tail Gunner of the Joe Carnes crew
  • James Buford Davis, Bombardier of the Howard Jung crew

3 AUGUST 1944

James Davis’s crewmates Howard Jung (pilot), Thomas C. Bates (navigator), and Harold T. Perry (engineer/top turret), and non-crewmate William T. Sellars (radio operator) were killed in a flying/training accident. Jung’s co-pilot James Vrana, also on board, was seriously injured and placed on sick leave. Having never flown a mission, on 8 AUGUST 1944, James A. Vrana was released from assignment and transferred to Detachment of Patients, 4204 U.S. Army Hospital Plant.

4 AUGUST 1944

Mission 171 to Peenemünde, Germany. Target was a CROSSBOW (V-Weapons) Rocket Research & Development Complex.

5 AUGUST 1944

Mission 173 to Langenhagen, Germany. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), a Luftwaffe Controlling Station.

Marvin Fryden was (KIA) killed by flak on the 5 AUGUST 1944 mission.

Clarence Seeley was (WIA) wounded in action on the 5 AUGUST 1944 mission.

6 AUGUST 1944

The following enlisted men were promoted to Sergeant on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #158:

  • Lenard Bryant
  • Erwin Foster

Clarence Seeley was placed on sick leave.

9 AUGUST 1944

Mission 176 to Erding, Germany. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), the Erding Airdrome & Airfield.

James Davis joined the Buslee crew on his first mission as Bombardier, replacing Marvin Fryden.

George Francis McMann, Jr., Ball Turret Gunner of the Stanley Gilbert crew was assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #159.

11 AUGUST 1944

Mission 177 to Brest, France. Target was Military and Tactical, Coastal Artillery Emplacements.

12 AUGUST 1944

Mission 178 to La Perthe, France. Target was the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) “Landing Ground.”

13 AUGUST 1944

Clarence Seeley was moved from absent sick (LD) 65th Gen Hosp to absent sick (LD) 4209 U.S. Army Hospital Plant, APO 587.

24 AUGUST 1944

Mission 183 to Merseburg, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, a Synthetic Oil & Chemical Plant.

25 AUGUST 1944

George McMann was promoted to Sergeant per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #171.

28 AUGUST 1944

William Henson was appointed 1st LT.

1 SEPTEMBER 1944

Gerald Andersen was promoted to Staff Sergeant on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #175.

3 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 187 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.

5 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 188 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.

6 SEPTEMBER 1944

Gerald Andersen went from sick quarters (LD) to absent sick (LD) 303rd Station Hospital Thrapston.

8 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 189 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.

9 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 190 to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Target was Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.

The following enlisted men were promoted to Staff Sergeant on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #180:

  • Lenard Bryant
  • George Farrar
  • Erwin Foster
  • Sebastiano Peluso
  • Clarence Seeley

10 SEPTEMBER 1944 

Mission 191 to Sindelfingen, Germany. Target was Industry, the BMW Motor Component Parts Plant.

Erwin Foster went from duty to absent sick (LD) 303rd Station Hospital Thrapston.

11 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 192 to Lützkendorf & Merseburg, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, an Oil Refinery.

John Buslee was appointed 1st LT.

Clarence Seeley went from absent sick (LD) 65th General Hospital to duty.

Gerald Andersen went from absent sick (LD) 303rd Station Hospital Thrapston to duty.

13 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 194 to Merseburg, Germany. Target was the Oil Industry, the Leuna Synthetic Oil Refinery.

14 SEPTEMBER 1944

Robert Stearns was appointed 1st LT.

16 SEPTMBER 1944

Gerald Andersen went from duty to sick quarters (LD).

19 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 196 to Hamm, Germany. Target was Transportation, the Railroad Marshalling Yards.

Eugene Lucynski, flying as Tail Gunner with the Joe Carnes crew, went (MIA) Missing in Action when he was forced to bail out over Allied Territory. Seven of the crew returned to duty. The ball turret gunner was injured by flak and transferred to the Detachment of Patients, 4178 U.S. Army Hospital Plant. Lucynski was injured by flak and hospitalized from 19 September 1944 until 10 November 1944. Lucynski had replaced the Carnes crew Tail Gunner Gerald Andersen, who was on sick quarters.

20 SEPTEMBER 1944

Gerald Andersen went from sick quarters (LD) to duty.

25 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 198 to Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Target was Transportation, the Railroad Marshalling Yards.

26 SEPTEMBER 1944

Erwin Foster went from absent sick (LD) 303rd Station Hospital, Thrapston, to duty.

William Henson was ordered per Item #9 of Special Orders #190, AAF Station No. 106, APO 557, dated 26 September 1944 from duty to Moulsford Manor, AAF Station 511, to arrive prior to 1800 hours on 28 September 1944, TD to carry out instructions of CG, period not to exceed seven (7) days. Will leave Rest Home on 5 October 1944 to return to proper Station.

27 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 200 to Cologne / Köln, Germany. Target was Transportation, the Railroad Marshalling Yards (PFF Aiming Points).

28 SEPTEMBER 1944

Mission 201 to Magdeburg, Germany. Target was Industry, Steelworks.

The following airmen flying with the John Oliver Buslee crew on the 28 September 1944 mission went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action).

  • David Franklin Albrecht
  • Gerald Lee Andersen
  • Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • John Oliver Buslee
  • George Edwin Farrar
  • William Alvin Henson, II
  • George Francis McMann, Jr.
  • Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Robert Sumner Stearns

Subsequently, all were declared KIA (Killed in Action) except for George Edwin Farrar who was declared POW (Prisoner of War).

22 OCTOBER 1944 

Clarence Seeley was promoted to Tech Sergeant on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #209.

26 NOVEMBER 1944

The following officers were appointed 1st LT:

  • James Davis
  • Chester Rybarczyk

6 DECEMBER 1944 

James Davis was released from assigned & transferred to Casual Pool 79th Replacement Depot AAF Station 591, departed per 3 SO 341 HQ 1st Bomb Division (Completed Tour).

18 DECEMBER 1944 

Erwin Foster went from duty to TD Ebrington Manor AAF Station 498 (TD 7 days).

20 DECEMBER 1944 

Chester Rybarczyk was released from assigned & transferred to Casual Pool 70th Replacement Depot AAF Station 591, departed per 6 SO 355 HQ 1st Bomb Division (Completed tour).

25 DECEMBER 1944

Erwin Foster went from TD Ebrington Manor AAF Station 498 to duty (TD 7 days).

5 JANUARY 1945

Erwin Foster was reduced to Private for misconduct per 1 SO 4 HQ AAF Station 106.

Erwin Foster was appointed Sergeant per 2 SO 4 HQ AAF Station 106.

16 JANUARY 1945 

Clarence Seeley went from duty to furlough (7 days).

1 FEBRUARY 1945

Erwin Foster was reclassified to the Military Occupation Specialty (612).

5 FEBRUARY 1945

Clarence Seeley went from duty to TD Palace Hotel Southport AAF Station 524 (TD 7 days).

12 FEBRUARY 1945

Clarence Seeley went from TD Palace Hotel Southport AAF Station 524 to duty (TD 7 days).

28 FEBRUARY 1945

Erwin Foster completed his tour of 35 missions.

10 MARCH 1945

Clarence Seeley completed his tour of 34 missions.

4 JUNE 1945

Eugene Lucynski was recommended for the DFC (Distinguished Flying Crosss) for Ex. Achiev.

12 JUNE 1945

Eugene Lucynski was placed on DS for an indefinite period at Y-17, Marseilles/Istres, France, effective o/a (on or about) 13 June 45 and will report to COL SAULT upon arrival at Y-17.

22 JUNE 1945 

Eugene Lucynski went from DS, Y-17 Marseilles/Istres, France to duty, effective 22 June 1945.

Sources

Thank you to the 384th’s Fred Preller and Keith Ellefson for obtaining and sharing WWII reports from the National Archives for the 384th Bomb Group.

Brodie crew timeline next week…

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021


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