The Arrowhead Club

Category Archives: Davis, James B

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September 9, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 190

Lead Banana, 43-37822

Lead Banana, 43-37822

September 9, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 190

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 190 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 614.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-37822, Lead Banana.  This was their second of three missions aboard the Lead Banana.

The primary target was again, but for the last time, the chemical works industry in Ludwigshaven, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – George J. Jacobson
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

The regular Buslee crew without Chester A. Rybarczyk.  George J. Jacobson replaced Rybarczyk as Navigator or this flight.  Rybarczyk did not fly this mission.

Erwin V. Foster was back as Ball Turret Gunner.  Foster had not flown since the August 24 mission.

Source:  Sortie Report

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

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September 8, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 189

September 8, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 189

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 189 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 611.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-97320, name unknown.

The primary target was again the chemical works industry in Ludwigshaven, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Irving L. Miller
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

The regular Buslee crew without Erwin Foster.  Irving L. Miller again replaced Foster as Ball Turret Gunner on this flight.

Source:  Sortie Report

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

September 5, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 188

Lead Banana, 43-37822

Lead Banana, 43-37822

September 5, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 188

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 188 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 605.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-37822, Lead Banana.

The primary target was again the chemical works industry in Ludwigshaven, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Irving L. Miller
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

The regular Buslee crew without Erwin Foster.  Navigator Chester Rybarczyk was back after being absent from the crew since his last flight with them on August 12.

Irving L. Miller again replaced Foster as Ball Turret Gunner on this flight.

Source:  Sortie Report and Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

September 3, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 187

Pleasure Bent, 43-38062

Pleasure Bent, 43-38062

September 3, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 187

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 187 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 602.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-38062, Pleasure Bent.

The primary target was the chemical works industry in Ludwigshaven, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Irving L. Miller
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

Waist Gunner George Edwin Farrar celebrated his 23rd birthday today, September 3, 1944.

The regular Buslee crew without Chester Rybarczyk and Erwin Foster.

William Alvin Henson II replaced Rybarczyk as Navigator on this flight, his first of three flights with the Buslee crew.

Irving L. Miller replaced Foster as Ball Turret Gunner on this flight, his first of five flights with the Buslee crew.

Source:  Sortie Report and Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

August 24, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 183

Fightin' Hebe, 42-98000

Fightin’ Hebe, 42-98000

August 24, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 183

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 183 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 568.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-98000, Fightin’ Hebe.

The primary target was the oil industry in Merseburg, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Leonard Galloway (NMI)
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

After a twelve-day break, the Buslee crew again flew together with the same crew members with the exception of Navigator Chester Rybarczyk.  Rybarczyk did not fly this mission and was replaced by Leonard Galloway (NMI).  This was Galloway’s 27th and last mission with the 384th.  He completed his tour and returned home.

Source:  Sortie Report and Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

August 12, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 178

Nevada Avenger, 42-38013

Nevada Avenger, 42-38013

August 12, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 178

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 178 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 545.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-38013, Nevada Avenger.

The primary target was German Air Force (Luftwaffe) Airfields in La Perthe, France.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

A repeat of the same Buslee crew members from the prior two missions, and right on the heels of Mission 177 the day before.  Most of the Buslee crew would get a twelve-day break after this mission and not fly together again until August 24.  Co-Pilot David Franklin Albrecht would fill in on the Raymond J. Gabel crew on the August 18 Mission 182 to Vise, Belgium during the break.

Source:  Sortie Report and Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

August 11, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 177

Aircraft 42-37822 with Bomb Bay Doors Open

Aircraft 42-37822 with Bomb Bay Doors Open

August 11, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 177

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 177 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 541.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-37822, name unknown.

The primary target was tactical military in Brest, France.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

A repeat of the same Buslee crew members from the prior mission.

Source:  Sortie Report and Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

August 9, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 176

August 9, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 176

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 176 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 533.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 44-6149, named Hot After It.

The primary target was Erding, Germany.  Most of the aircraft missed the primary target due to poor weather and bombed targets of opportunity.    [Per Ken Decker’s notes that are no longer displayed on www.384thbombgroup.com]

Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk
  • Bombardier – James B. Davis
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster
  • Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

Training over.  Buslee took command as Pilot on this flight, which brought Albrecht back together with his original crewmates as Co-Pilot.

Arthur J. Shwery, the pilot who trained Buslee on his first two missions, returned to fly on this mission, but piloted another aircraft with a different crew.

James B. Davis flew with the Buslee crew for the first time, replacing Bombardier Marvin B. Fryden, who was killed on the Buslee crew’s prior mission.

Lenard Leroy Bryant rejoined the Buslee crew, but not as Waist Gunner.  Starting with this mission, Bryant flew the rest of his missions as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, replacing Clarence B. Seeley, who was seriously wounded on the Buslee crew’s prior mission.

Source:  Sortie Report

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

Buslee Crew on September 28, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 201

Buslee Crew on September 28, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 201

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 201 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 652.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 43-37822, named “The Lead Banana.”

The primary target was the Steelworks Industry in Magdeburg, Germany.

Coming off the target, aircraft 42-31222, “Lazy Daisy,” collided with “The Lead Banana.”

Lead Banana Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II
  • Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant
  • Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar

Buslee, Albrecht, Peluso, Bryant, and Farrar were the only original Buslee crew members on the aircraft.

William Alvin Henson II replaced Chester Rybarczyk three times on the Buslee crew.  It was Rybarczyk’s lucky day to be flying with the William J. Blankenmeyer crew on aircraft 42-39888, “Hotnuts” on this mission.  Comments were entered on the “Hotnuts” Sortie Report that the ship “Left formation after target for unknown reasons, but returned to base.”  Rybarczyk did witness the crash, as he stated in a letter to Farrar’s mother dated October 13, 1944.  The “unknown reason” was most likely a search for parachutes and survivors after the collision.

Original Bombardier Marvin B. Fryden was killed on the crew’s second mission on August 5, 1944.  James B. Davis replaced Fryden on the Buslee crew, but for the second time, Robert Sumner Stearns replaced Davis on this mission.  Davis flew as Bombardier on the Raymond J. Gabel crew on aircraft 43-38062, “Pleasure Bent.”

Original Engineer/Top Turret Gunner Clarence B. Seeley was wounded on the August 5, 1944 mission, and did not fly again until October 2, 1944.  Lenard Leroy Bryant, an original member of the Buslee crew, moved to the Engineer/Top Turret Gunner position from his original waist gunner position.

Original Ball Turret Gunner Erwin V. Foster’s last flight with the Buslee crew was on September 9, 1944.  Foster did not fly again until September 30, 1944.  George Francis McMann served with the Buslee crew as Ball Turret Gunner on the September 28 flight, his one and only flight with this crew.

Source:  Sortie Reports for Lead Banana, Hotnuts, and Pleasure Bent.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew

The Buslee Crew, Eighth Air Force, 384th Bomb Group, 544th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)

Crew photo, back row, left to right:

  • Lt. John Oliver Buslee, Pilot, from Park Ridge, Illinois
  • Lt. David Franklin Albrecht, Co-Pilot, from Chico, California
  • Lt. Chester A. Rybarczyk, Navigator, from Toledo, Ohio
  • Lt. James B. Davis, Bombardier, from New Castle, Indiana

Crew photo, front row, left to right:

  • Sgt. Erwin V. Foster, Ball Turret Gunner, from Elmira, New York
  • Sgt. Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Radio Operator/Gunner, from Brooklyn, New York
  • Sgt. Lenard Leroy Bryant, Waist Gunner, from Lubbock, Texas
  • Sgt. Clarence B. Seeley, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, from Halsey, Nebraska
  • Sgt. Eugene D. Lucynski, Tail Gunner, from Detroit, Michigan
  • Sgt. George Edwin Farrar, Waist Gunner, from Atlanta, Georgia, (my dad)

Notes:

  1. The Buslee crew departed the US on July 1, 1944.  They were stationed with the 544th Bombardment Squadron of the 8th Air Force at the Grafton Underwood airfield.
  2. Original crew members were Pilot – John Oliver Buslee, Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht, Navigator – Chester A. Rybarczyk, Bombardier – Marvin B. Fryden, Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso, Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Clarence B. Seeley, Ball Turret Gunner – Erwin V. Foster, Tail Gunner – Eugene D. Lucynski, Waist Gunner/Flexible Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant, Waist Gunner/Flexible Gunner – George Edwin Farrar.
  3. The original Buslee crew’s bombardier, Lt. Marvin B. Fryden, was killed on the crew’s second mission on August 5, 1944.  The photo must have been taken after Lt. James B. Davis replaced Fryden on the crew.
  4. The crew must have trained together in the US as a crew of ten, but by the time they saw action, the B-17 crews were made up of only nine men.  One Waist Gunner manned both waist gunner stations and was called a Flexible Gunner.  As a result, this crew of ten never all served on the same mission together.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013