A new search has provided me with a photo and some new and updated information regarding the ball turret gunner, George Francis McMann, Jr., who was onboard my father’s (George Edwin Farrar’s) B-17 the day of the Buslee crew’s mid-air collision with the Brodie crew’s B-17, 28 September 1944.
George McMann was the ball turret gunner of the Stanley Gilbert crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron of the 384th Bomb Group of the 8th Army Air Forces in WWII and filled in for Buslee crew ball turret gunner Erwin Foster on that date.
To view my original post and other information about George Francis McMann, Jr., please see the links at the end of this post.
On 21 DECEMBER 1942, George Francis McMann registered for the WWII draft. He noted his address as 27 Brewster Dr., Hoxsie, Kent County, Rhode Island. (Wikipedia notes that Hoxsie is the largest section in the city of Warwick). He was 18 years old, born on September 26, 1924 in Providence, Rhode Island.
The person who would always know his address was Mrs. Richard McMann of the same address in Hoxsie. He listed his employer as Student, Gorton High School. McMann listed his height as 5’7″, weight as 154 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion. He also listed a birth mark on leg as a physical characteristic that would aid in identification.
With a little more research into George McMann’s family, I found that Richard McMann (from George’s draft registration information) was one of his father’s younger brothers. George Jr’s father was not George Francis McMann, Sr., but named rather George Washington Ambrose McMann. He was one of eleven children of Frank and Elizabeth McMann. of Providence, Rhode Island. This leads me to believe that George Jr got his middle name of Francis from his father’s father, Frank (short for Francis).
George W.A. McMann also registered for the WWII draft and listed his son George (with the Hoxsie address) as the person who would always know his address.
I only find George Jr listed with both parents, George W.A. and Nellie McMann, on one census record, the 1925 Rhode Island state census. They never appear all together again on any record I can find. In fact, I only find Nellie in a few city directories, and only listed by herself. I find George W.A. in the 1930 census as not living with George Jr or Nellie, but listed as married, although with no wife in the listing. I also find him in the 1940 census as widowed. I am uncertain if George Jr’s parents divorced or if Nellie died.
As for his military record with the 384th Bomb Group, on 9 AUGUST 1944, 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. He was assigned to the Stanley Milton Gilbert crew as a Corporal, and as an AG (aerial gunner) with MOS (Military Operational Specialty) of 612 (Airplane Armorer / Gunner). His pay per month was $140.40. He listed his home address as Mr. George F. McMann, 354 West Ave., Bridgeport, Conn.
On 25 AUGUST 1944, George McMann was promoted to Sergeant per AAF Station 106 Special Orders #171.
On 28 SEPTEMBER 1944, George Francis McMann, Jr., flying with the John Oliver Buslee crew on the 28 September 1944 Mission 201 to Magdeburg, Germany went from duty to MIA (Missing in Action). McMann replaced Buslee crew ball turret gunner Erwin Foster on this mission. Including the 28 September mission, McMann participated in ten combat missions with the 384th Bomb Group. He later was determined to have been killed in action on the mission. He had just turned twenty years old two days before his death.
McMann’s next of kin noted on his Headstone Inscription and Interment Record was his father, Mr. George F. McMann, 354 West Ave., Bridgeport, Conn., the same name and address as on his group Sortie Record.
George Francis McMann, Jr. would not be forgotten by his friend and crewmate Noah Hickman, radio operator of the Gilbert crew. Hickman honored McMann by posting a memorial page to him on the online WWII Memorial Registry.
- Previous post, George Francis McMann, Jr.
- Previous post, Timeline for Buslee Crewmembers and Substitutes, 544th Bomb Squadron
- George Francis McMann’s Personnel Record courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group
- George Francis McMann, Jr. on Find a Grave
- Missing Air Crew Report 9753 for the Buslee crew on the 28 September 1944 mid-air collision in which Sebastiano was killed, courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group
- Missing Air Crew Report 9366 for the Brodie crew on 28 September 1944 courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group
- WWII Memorial Registry entry for George McMann provided by crewmate Noah Hickman
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021