The Arrowhead Club

Category Archives: Foster, Erwin V

August 5, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 173

August 5, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 173

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 173 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 519.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-37982, named The Tremblin Gremlin.

The primary target was a military airfield in Langenhagen, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – Arthur J. Shwery
  • Co-Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • 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 – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

Again, Buslee flew as co-pilot with experienced pilot Arthur J. Shwery piloting the plane.  Another training opportunity for Buslee.

With Buslee in the co-pilot position, David Franklin Albrecht did not fly with the Buslee crew.  Again, Albrecht flew as co-pilot with the Paul E. Norton crew on aircraft 42-102459, Little Kenny.

Lenard Leroy Bryant, one of the two waist gunners assigned to the Buslee crew, sat this one out and waist gunner George Edwin Farrar, flew with the crew this mission.  Bryant and Farrar were both waist gunners on the original Buslee crew.  Bryant had flown with the crew on their first mission, and Farrar had his first actual combat experience on this one.

Bombardier Marvin B. Fryden was mortally wounded on this mission.  He died later in an Army hospital.

Pilot, Arthur J. Shwery was wounded, but was able to fly again by Mission 176 on August 9.

Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, Clarence B. Seeley was more seriously wounded and was not able to fly again until Mission 203 on October 2, 1944.  His long recovery kept him from flying with the Buslee crew on September 28, and being involved in the mid-air collision between the Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy.  Seeley completed 34 missions, the last being Mission 285 on March 10, 1945.  He completed his tour and returned home.

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

August 4, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 171

August 4, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 171

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 171 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 514.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-102620, named “De Rumble Izer.”

The primary target was Rocket R&D, Crossbow (V-Weapons), Peenemunde, Germany.

Crew List:

  • Pilot – Arthur J. Shwery
  • Co-Pilot – John Oliver Buslee
  • 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 – Lenard Leroy Bryant

Buslee flew his first mission as co-pilot with experienced pilot Arthur J. Shwery piloting the plane.  A training opportunity for Buslee, no doubt.

With Buslee in the co-pilot position, David Franklin Albrecht did not fly with the Buslee crew.  Albrecht flew as co-pilot with the Paul E. Norton crew on aircraft 42-102959, name unknown.

The tenth member of the crew, George Edwin Farrar, did not fly this mission.  Bryant and Farrar were both waist gunners on the original Buslee crew, and Bryant was selected for the waist gunner position on this first mission for the Buslee crew.  Farrar did not fly with another crew.

Source:  Sortie Report

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

Buslee Crew When Assigned to the 384th Bomb Group

  • 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

Source

© 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