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Memorial Day

 

There are many ways to memorialize the men of the 384th Bomb Group of WWII, but my dad – George Edwin Farrar – chose to remember his crew mates on a cap that I believe from its condition he wore on the Black March of Stalag Luft IV prisoners of war in early 1945. I discovered the cap over twenty years after my father died when my sister and I were cleaning out the family home for sale after the death of my mother.

On the bill of the cap, he wrote the names of the men that were members of the original Buslee crew, and the name of the replacement bombardier after the death of the original bombardier on August 5, 1944.

DSCN0285

Sebastiano Peluso was the radioman, Erwin Foster the belly gunner, George Farrar and Lenard Bryant the waist gunners, Clarence Seeley the top turret gunner/engineer, Eugene Lucynski the tail gunner, John Buslee the pilot, David Albrecht the co-pilot, Marvin Fryden the bombardier, and Chester Rybarczyk the navigator. James Davis replaced Marvin Fryden as bombardier after the August 5, 1944 mission.

Half of the crew – Peluso, Bryant, Buslee, Albrecht, and Fryden – perished in WWII.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2016

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Filling in the Blanks

I have a number of photos that I found with my dad’s WWII letters that have no identifications. I have come up with a theory and have made some guesses about who appears in the photos. I would love to get some feedback and opinions as to whether I am on the right track or not.  Here goes…

The information I’m basing my theory on is this:  August 4, 1944 was the Buslee crew’s first mission.  Arthur Shwery was training John Buslee that day, which put Arthur Shwery as the pilot with the crew and John Oliver Buslee as the co-pilot. As a result, David Franklin Albrecht, the Buslee crew’s assigned co-pilot, flew with the Paul Norton crew that day. This setup was repeated the next day, August 5. As a result, David Albrecht got to know some of the men of the Norton crew.

I believe Number 6 in this photo is David Albrecht. I believe Number 2 in this photo is either Carl Bennett Guinn, the engineer/top turret gunner or Thomas Bruce Everitt, the flexible/waist gunner, on the Norton crew.

NUMBERED Unknown 3

 

Here’s why:

I see a resemblance to Number 6 in the above photo to David Franklin Albrecht in the Buslee crew photo:

NUMBERED Albrecht in crew photo

Buslee Crew - Number 6 is David Albrecht

Buslee Crew – Number 6 is David Albrecht

Opinions? Do you see any resemblance?

I also think Number 2 in the above photo is either Carl Bennett Guinn or Thomas Everitt.

Guinn and Everitt both flew with the Norton crew and David Albrecht on August 4 and 5, 1944.  The sortie report shows the entire crew:

8-4-1944 Norton Crew Sortie Report

And in this photo from the 384th Bomb Group’s September 30, 1944 mission, the only two men not identified are Carl Guinn and Thomas Everitt. I have numbered them 2 and 3 in the photo. Comparing the men in the photo to the sortie report, the unidentified men must be Guinn and Everitt.

NUMBERED CREW

Back L-R: Bruno Melchionni (N), Nicholas Leschek (FG), Albert Sherriff (RO), unidentified 2, unidentified 3
Middle: George Jacobson (N)
Front L-R: Joe Sarto (VN), Maj. George Koehne (CA/CP), Ralph Wiley (B), Capt. William Johnson (P), Richard Rafeld (OBS/TG)
To Be Identified: Carl Guinn (TT) and Thomas Everitt (FG)

September 30 1944 Sortie Report

I believe Number 2 in the September 30 photo is the same man standing next to Number 6 (possibly David Albrecht) in the first photo.  Opinions?

Ok, next photo in question:

NUMBERED Unknown 1

Number 2 looks like the same man in the previous photos – either Guinn or Everitt. Note: he is continuously designated as Number 2 in each photo.

Number 1 looks somewhat like Richard Rafeld to me (see Number 1 on the September 30 photo above), but note that Rafeld did not fly with the Norton crew on August 4 and 5, so I may have this identification incorrect. Number 1 may be another of the Norton crew, but I cannot find any more photos for comparison.

Number 3 is probably Lester J. Noble, the Norton crew’s ball turret gunner. Note the name printed on the front of his jacket, “Les,” apparently short for “Lester.”

Number 4 is probably Clarence C. Bigley, the Norton crew’s togglier. Note the number of bombs painted on the back of the jacket he is holding. There are twenty. August 4, 1944 was Clarence Bigley’s twentieth mission. I can also compare this photo to his senior class high school photo in the Phillipsburg, New Jersery 1938 yearbook. His nickname was “Hutch” and his yearbook quote was “A big man with a big name.”

Clarence C. Bigley

Clarence C. Bigley 1938 senior class photo

Next photo:

NUMBERED Unknown 2

Again, Number 2 is the same Number 2 in the other photos – either Carl Guinn or Thomas Everitt.

I am almost certain Number 5 is Lenard Leroy Bryant of the Buslee crew. Lenard started out on the August 4 mission as the flexible gunner/waist gunner on the Buslee crew, but by the August 9 mission had become the Buslee crew’s engineer/top turret gunner.

Number 5 is Lenard Bryant. Pictured with his brother, Buck.

Number 5 is Lenard Bryant. Pictured with his brother, Buck.

And the final photo:

NUMBERED Unknown 4

Number 1 may be Richard Rafeld or one of the Norton crew.

Number 2 must be either Carl Guinn or Thomas Everitt.

I have sent messages to relatives of both Guinn and Everitt on Ancestry.com. I hope the relatives can provide photos and perhaps clear up the identifications of both of these men. If anyone else can provide any information, please contact me.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2015

The Albrecht Family

The next letter to arrive at the Farrar household was from the father of the Lead Banana’s co-pilot, David Franklin Albrecht.  Louis M. Albrecht was pastor of the Congregational Church in Scribner, Nebraska.

June 5, 1945
Congregational Church
Scribner, Nebr.
Louis M. Albrecht, Pastor

Mrs. R. M. Farrar
Atlanta, Georgia

Our Dear Mrs. Farrar:

We have been wondering whether you have heard anything more about your boy. If you have we want to know. We do hope that he wasn’t killed and that he will come back to you. Our boy David was finally declared killed. We had a memorial service in his memory March 25. Our other son is still in Germany. He was wounded last winter but is back with his company. He was in the last two month’s of fighting. Our daughter-in-law was with us two months this past winter. We surely enjoyed the baby. She is the sweetest little thing we have ever seen.

The people around here are keeping up their spirits very cheerfully. They have all been so kind to us. There are many others who have tragedies to bear.

We like this town and our work. We have two girls. One has just graduated from High School and the other is eleven years old. There are many things to keep us busy.

If you have time will you please let us know what you have heard. Our prayers are with you and for your boy’s safety.

Truly yours,
Louis M. Albrecht

What is war?  Not why is a war waged, but what is war, what does war really mean?  I ask myself this over and over, especially as I read these letters from the families of the boys lost in WWII.  The most overwhelming answer I come back to again and again is that war is the destruction of family.

Take the family of David Franklin Albrecht.  A mother and father lost their son.  Two young girls lost their brother.  A young wife lost her husband.  And an infant daughter lost the father she never had the chance to know.  David Franklin Albrecht died before she was even born.  Back in 1944, he didn’t know if he was going to be a father to a daughter or a son.  That kind of technology didn’t exist.

Is there any tragedy in life worse than the destruction of family?  Two planes collide in the heat of battle over Magdeburg, Germany.  Of the eighteen men on the two planes, only four survive to continue their lives and continue their families.  The families of fourteen men are destroyed at the instant of ten minutes past noon on September 28, 1944.

So now that we know what war is and understand what war does to families, now we can ask “Why is war?”  David Franklin Albrecht’s daughter and I would like to know why the ultimate conflict resolution must be war and family destruction.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Not a Happy New Year for Everyone

After receiving the New Year’s Eve telegram from the War Department telling her that her son was alive and a prisoner of war, Raleigh Mae Farrar sent a telegram to the Buslee family the next morning, New Year’s Day 1945, to share her good news.  Mr. Buslee quickly wrote a letter in response to Mrs. Farrar.

January 1, 1945
411 Wisner Ave.
Park Ridge, Ill.

Dear Mrs. Farrar,

Your letter of the 27th and news clipping were received on Saturday and it was so nice of you to keep us informed.  The news in this item was naturally that which we would have liked to receive about Lt. Henson and to think that a daughter was born to his wife recently makes for increased worries for her and I trust that the sad news is not too great a strain on her.

The copilot as you may know is also a Daddy to a girl born about a month ago.  We met he and his wife at Ardmore in June and like all of the boys in the crew we have been awaiting such word.  Mrs. Albrecht is at the home of her parents at Chico, California.  She reports that both she and the baby are doing well.

The telegram that we received from you this morning was indeed a piece of good news for the New Year.  To learn of your son’s safety is indeed wonderful and I hope means such good news may come regarding all of the other boys and more that this terrible struggle will soon end and that all may return and lets hope that the peoples of the World will realize that there is but one way to get along and that is in a peaceful harmonious manner forgetting all greed and selfishness and faith in the Lord.

My wife and my daughter and myself are overjoyed in learning that your son has been reported.  You can imagine our feelings since Saturday after hearing about Lt. Henson.  Then too there is cause for worry as our son in law is due to leave California any day.  He is also a pilot but in the Navy and is scheduled for the South Pacific.

To learn that your younger son is now scheduled to go to school after the harrowing experiences in the Navy on a carrier was more good news so I trust that the favorable word that has come to you of late is a fore runner to the still greater news that the war is over.

Thanks again Mrs. Farrar for your thoughtfullness in keeping us so closely advised and we will in turn write to you when we get word.  My wife and daughter join me in this appreciation,

Sincerely yours,
John Buslee

Notes:

  • I don’t know what information my grandmother’s letter of December 27 or news clipping contained.
  • Lt. Henson was William Alvin Henson II, the navigator on Lead Banana when it collided with Lazy Daisy on September 28, 1944.
  • The co-pilot was David Franklin Albrecht.
  • Mrs. Farrar’s son mentioned in the letter is George Edwin Farrar’s younger brother, Robert Burnham (Bob) Farrar, who was injured in a kamikaze attack on the USS Intrepid on November 25, 1944.
  • Mr. Buslee’s daughter and son-in-law were Janice and Gene Kielhofer.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Next of Kin List Released

The day after Christmas 1944, at ninety days missing in action, the US Army Air Forces wrote to the Buslee crew’s next of kin and enclosed a list of the names of the crew members on the Lead Banana on September 28 and also included the names and addresses of next of kin in case the families wanted to communicate with each other.

December 26, 1944
Headquarters, Army Air Forces
Washington

Attention:  AFPPA-8
(9753) Farrar, George E.
14119873

Mrs. Raleigh Mae Farrar,
79 EastLake Terrace Northeast,
Atlanta, Georgia.

Dear Mrs. Farrar:

For reasons of military security it has been necessary to withhold the names of the air crew members who were serving with your son at the time he was reported missing.

Since it is now permissible to release this information, we are inclosing a complete list of names of the crew members.

The names and addresses of the next of kin of the men are also given in the belief that you may desire to correspond with them.

Sincerely,

Clyde V. Finter
Colonel, Air Corps
Chief, Personal Affairs Division
Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Personnel

1 Incl
List of crew members & names
& addresses of next of kin
5-2032, AF

1st. Lt. John O. Buslee
Mr. John Buslee, (Father)
411 North Wisner Avenue,
Park Ridge, Illinois.

1st. Lt. William A. Henson, II
Mrs. Harriet W. Henson, (Wife)
Summerville, Georgia.

1st. Lt. Robert S. Stearns
Mr. Carey S. Stearns, (Father)
Post Office Box 113,
Lapine, Oregon.

2nd. Lt. David F. Albrecht
Reverand Louis M. Albrecht, (Father)
Scribner, Nebraska.

S/Sgt. Sebastiano J. Peluso
Mrs. Antonetta Peluso, (Mother)
2963 West 24th Street,
Brooklyn, New York.

S/Sgt. Lenard L. Bryant
Mrs. Ruby M. Bryant, (Wife)
Route Number Two,
Littlefield, Texas.

S/Sgt. Gerald L. Andersen
Mrs. Esther E. Coolen Andersen, (Wife)
Box Number 282,
Stromburg, Nebraska.

S/Sgt. George E. Farrar
Mrs. Raleigh Mae Farrar, (Mother)
79 East Lake Terrace Northeast,
Atlanta, Georgia.

Sgt. George F. McMann
Mr. George F. McMann, (Father)
354 West Avenue,
Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The above list is also a part of MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) 9753.  For a diagram and list of each man’s position on the Lead Banana on September 28, 1944, click here.

The Brodie crew’s next of kin must have gotten the same letter and a list of those on the Lazy Daisy.  The following list is attached to MACR9366.  For a diagram and list of each man’s position on the Lazy Daisy on September 28, 1944, click here.

1st Lt. James J. Brodie
Mrs. Mary E. Brodie, (Wife)
4436 North Kostner Avenue
Chicago, Illinois.

2nd Lt. Lloyd O. Vevle
Mr. Oliver E. Vevle, (Father)
240 Sixth Avenue, North
Fort Dodge, Iowa.

2nd Lt. George M. Hawkins, Jr.
Mr. George M. Hawkins, Sr., (Father)
52 Marchard Street
Fords, New Jersey

T/Sgt. Donald W. Dooley
Mr. Guy T. Dooley, (Father)
711 South Rogers Street
Bloomington, Indiana.

S/Sgt. Byron L. Atkins
Mr. Verne Atkins, (Father)
Route Number Two
Lebanon, Indiana.

Sgt. Robert D. Crumpton
Mrs. Stella M. Parks, (Mother)
Route Number One
Ennis, Texas

Sgt. Gordon E. Hetu
Mr. Raymond J. Hetu, (Father)
3821 Webb Street
Detroit, Michigan.

S/Sgt. Wilfred F. Miller
Mrs. Mary Miller, (Mother)
Rural Free Delivery Number One
Newton, Wisconsin.

S/Sgt. Harry A. Liniger
Mrs. Estelle P. Liniger, (Mother)
Box Number 251
Gatesville, North Carolina

If the US Army Air Forces had told the families of the two crews what actually happened to their sons’ aircraft and provided the lists of both crews to the families, the families of the two pilots, Buslee and Brodie, would have discovered that they lived only seven and a half miles apart in Chicago, Illinois.  These families would most likely have been very interested in communicating if they had been made aware of each other.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

October 21, 1944 Telegram Form

Twenty-three days after the mid-air collision between the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana, a Telegram Form dated October 21, 1944 reported the fate of one more of the crew from the two planes, and provided the identification of four of the previously unidentified.   It reported “one more dead has been found:  Byron L. Atkins.”  The newly identified men were identified as:

  • John Buslee (identified on the form as Jon Busslee)
  • David F. Albrecht
  • Lloyd Vevle (identified on the form as LLoyd Ovevle)
  • Lenard Bryant (identified on the form as Lenhard J. Eyret)

Atkins and Vevle were from the Brodie crew aboard Lazy Daisy.  Buslee, Albrecht, and Bryant were from the Buslee crew aboard Lead Banana.  Atkins was probably located away from both crash sites as he was carried away with the nose of the Lazy Daisy during the initial impact of the collision.

In determination of the fate of the two crews, eighteen total men, this report updates the count to fourteen (14) recovered dead, with twelve (12) identified, and four (4) P.O.W.s.

MACR9753 does not include any more Telegram Forms or Reports of Captured Aircraft and does not provide any information on the identifications of Sebastiano Joseph Peluso aboard Lead Banana or James Joseph Brodie aboard Lazy Daisy.

Buslee Crew List:

  • Pilot – John Oliver Buslee    Reported dead on October 21, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Co-Pilot – David Franklin Albrecht    Reported dead on October 21, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Navigator – William Alvin Henson II    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Bombardier – Robert Sumner Stearns    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Sebastiano Joseph Peluso
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Lenard Leroy Bryant    Reported dead on October 21, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Ball Turret Gunner – George Francis McMann, Jr.    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)    Reported P.O.W. on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form

Brodie Crew List:

  • Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
  • Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle     Reported dead on October 21, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.    Reported P.O.W. on October 6, 1944 Report on Captured Aircraft
  • Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins     Reported dead on October 21, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley    Reported dead on October 1, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu    Reported dead on September 30, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form
  • Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger    Reported P.O.W. on October 4, 1944 Telegram Form

The October 21 Telegram Form notes also:

  • Time:  0925
  • From:  L L E N
  • Remarks:  SSD L B K M 157     19 Oct.44   -1740-

This information can be found on pages 18 of MACR9753.  MACR stands for Missing Air Crew Report.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

Buslee Crew in Position on September 28, 1944

Buslee Crew in Position on September 28, 1944

Buslee Crew in Position on September 28, 1944

The diagram shows the combat position of each Buslee crewmember on Mission 201 on September 28, 1944.  Only one crewmember manned both waist gunner positions on this mission.  If they were all still in position after coming off the target at Magdeburg, the diagram shows where each man would have been at the time of the mid-air collision with the Lazy Daisy.

Buslee 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 (my dad)

The only survivor of the mid-air collision this day with the Lazy Daisy was the waist gunner, George Edwin Farrar.

Thank you to the 91st Bomb Group for granting me permission to use and modify their B-17 diagram for use on The Arrowhead Club site.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

Map of September 28, 1944 Collision and Crash Sites

Maps of the area show the location of the mid-air collision and subsequent crash sites of the Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy on September 28, 1944.  Two maps are included below.

The first map shows the collision site and crash sites of the Lazy Daisy and Lead Banana.  The mid-air collision occurred after coming off the target at Magdeburg, at 12:11 pm on September 28, 1944 at 52°06’N 11°39’E (X on the first map, just past the second “g” in “Magdeburg”). Both planes crashed approximately 20 miles northwest of the mid-air collision.  Lazy Daisy crashed near Erxleben (E on the first map) and Lead Banana crashed approximately one and one-quarter miles north of Ostingersleben (O on the first map).

X = Collision Site, 52°06'N 11°39'E O = Ostingersleben E = Erxleben

X = Collision Site, 52°06’N 11°39’E
O = Ostingersleben
E = Erxleben

The second map is a map of Germany with the area of detail outlined.

Germany Map

Royalty free map of Germany obtained from http://www.tourvideos.com/maps-Germany.html.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

September 28, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 201

Lazy Daisy, Aircraft 42-31222

Lazy Daisy, Aircraft 42-31222

Lead Banana, 43-37822

Lead Banana, Aircraft 43-37822

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, Lead Banana.  The Brodie crew was aboard 42-31222, Lazy Daisy.

The primary target was the steelworks industry in Magdeburg, Germany.

Buslee 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 (my dad)

Chester A. Rybarczyk flew this mission with the William J. Blankenmeyer crew.  William Alvin Henson II replaced Rybarczyk as Navigator on the Buslee crew.  This was Henson’s third flight with the Buslee crew.

James B. Davis flew this mission with the Raymond J. Gabel crew.  Robert Sumner Stearns replaced Davis as Bombardier on the Buslee crew.  This was Stearns second flight with the Buslee crew.

George Francis McMann, Jr. flew this mission as Ball Turret Gunner on the Buslee crew.  This was McMann’s first flight with the Buslee crew.  Irving L. Miller, who had replaced Erwin V. Foster as Ball Turret Gunner five times on the Buslee crew, also flew with Davis on the Gabel crew this mission.

Gerald Lee Andersen replaced Eugene D. Lucynski for the third time as Tail Gunner on the Buslee crew.

Brodie Crew List:

  • Pilot – James Joseph Brodie
  • Co-Pilot – Lloyd Oliver Vevle
  • Navigator – George Marshall Hawkins, Jr.
  • Togglier – Byron Laverne Atkins
  • Radio Operator/Gunner – Donald William Dooley
  • Engineer/Top Turret Gunner – Robert Doyle Crumpton
  • Ball Turret Gunner – Gordon Eugene Hetu
  • Tail Gunner – Wilfred Frank Miller
  • Waist Gunner – Harry Allen Liniger

James Joseph Brodie (Pilot), Lloyd Oliver Vevle (Co-Pilot), George Marshall Hawkins, Jr. (Navigator), Robert Doyle Crumpton (Engineer/Top Turret Gunner), Gordon Eugene Hetu (Ball Turret Gunner), Wilfred Frank Miller (Tail Gunner), and Harry Allen Liniger (Waist Gunner) were all original Brodie crew members aboard the Lazy Daisy.  The only non-original crew members were Byron Laverne Atkins (Bombardier/Togglier) and Donald William Dooley (Radio Operator/Gunner).

Original Brodie crew Bombardier, William D. Barnes, Jr., last flew with the Brodie crew on September 13, 1944.  Barnes did not fly again until October 17, 1944.  He returned to flight as a Navigator, completed his tour after 35 missions, and returned to the US.

Byron Laverne Atkins flew only six missions, three of them as a Ball Turret Gunner, and one as a Flexible Gunner.  He served as Togglier for the Brodie crew on two occasions – once on September 21 and again on September 28, 1944.

William Edson Taylor, the original Radio Operator/Gunner for the Brodie crew did not fly on the September 28 mission.  On October 5, he flew as Radio Operator/Gunner with the Robert Bruce Birckhead crew.  His aircraft was damaged by flak and crashed near Munchen-Gladbach, Germany (MACR 9754).  Of the crew, four were killed, and five were taken prisoner of war, including Taylor.

Donald William Dooley’s first mission would be his last.  He flew as Radio Operator/Gunner for the Brodie crew on this mission.

Sortie Report Description:

Two Bomb Runs – Primary Target Attacked: The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the 41st CBW “C” Wing on today’s mission. Near the target, another formation of bombers flew below this wing, forcing them to hold their bombs. The wing made a second bomb run and released their bombs on the primary target.

Lazy Daisy Sortie Report Status and Comments:

Failed to Return
MIA; collided with 43-37822 over target; both ships went down on fire and out of control; no chutes observed; crashed near Erxleben, Germany; MACR 9366.

Lead Banana Sortie Report Status and Comments:

Failed to Return
MIA; collided with 42-31222 over target; both ships went down on fire and out of control; no chutes; crashed near Osteringersleben, Germany; MACR 9753.

Source:  Sortie Report – Buslee Crew, Sortie Report – Brodie Crew

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013

September 27, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 200

Hale's Angels, Aircraft 42-102449

Hale’s Angels, Aircraft 42-102449

September 27, 1944 – 384th BG Mission 200.

The 384th Bomb Group Mission 200 was also known as Eighth Air Force Mission 650.

The Buslee crew flew this mission aboard aircraft 42-102449, Hale’s Angels.

The primary target was the railroad marshaling yards in Cologne, Germany.

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 – Robert M. Mitchell
  • Tail Gunner – Gerald Lee Andersen
  • Waist Gunner – George Edwin Farrar (my dad)

On this mission, the Buslee crew was the High Group Deputy and Hot Camera Ship.

Chester A. Rybarczyk did not fly this mission.  William Alvin Henson II replaced him as Navigator on this flight.

James B. Davis also did not fly this mission.  Robert Sumner Stearns replaced him as Bombardier.

Henson had flown with the Buslee crew once before, on September 3, 1944.  This was the first flight with the Buslee crew for Stearns.

Robert M. Mitchell replaced Erwin V. Foster as Ball Turret Gunner on this mission.  This was the first time Mitchell flew with the Buslee crew, although he had flown with Farrar on September 19 as part of the William M. Reed crew.

Gerald Lee Andersen replaced Eugene D. Lucynski for the second time as Tail Gunner.

Source:  Sortie Report, Aircraft Photo

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013