1st PHOTOGRAPHIC RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON (VH)



Lost Flight "C" of the 1st PRS (VH)

Sources:  Mr. Glenn Carman & Mr. Shane Anderson



HQ Flight "C"
1st Photo Recon Sq (VH)
History


Statistical Summary of Operations
1st Photo Recon Sq (VH)
13 Dec 44 - 8 Apr 45


Crews and Aircraft

42-93854 "Brooklyn Bessie IV" - (Plane went down over China 2 Feb 1945)

Sources:  Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, February, Exhibit 2; "The Humby Story"; and hand-written notes of John B. Leonard; Special Order #47, DS Photo Recon Det APO 210 dated 19 Feb 1945.

Humby, Arthur J.CaptainPilot0-433373 #
Double, Arthur L.1st LtCo-Pilot0-371840 *#
Etling, Douglas C.1st LtNavigator0-667147 *#
Lovell, Harold K.2nd LtNavigator0-694886 *#
Morrison, Jim B.2nd LtFlight Engineer0-867946 #
Kimmel, William P.2nd LtFlight Engineer0-861590 *
Carnicelli, Enrico M.T/SgtPhoto6981260 *#
Oosterhouse, James H.SgtGunner36154174 *#
Kelsey, Ralph I.SgtCFC17129063 *#
Tobey, Robert E.CplRadio19005483 *#
Fall, T.J.CplRight Gunner160064708 #
Kamiak, AlexCplGunner16169709 *#
Odom Jr., Emory A.S/SgtGunner13014104 *

* Crew members appearing on XX Bomber Command Orders dated 2 February 1945 detaching Humby?s crew to Flight ?C? of the 1st PRS. While Humby himself was not on that list, he was later detached under authority of Special Order #47, DS Photo Recon Det APO 210 dated 19 Feb 1945.

# Crew members on board 42-93854 on 2 February 1945 when the crew bailed out over China.

Notes:  Humby's crew was a little different than the day he flew. There were replacements. Specifically, T.J. Fall replaced Emory A Odom Jr.; Fall was originally a gunner on Simpson's crew, 42-93865, so after Humby aircraft was lost Emory A. Odom Jr. flew with Simpson's crew.

Also, Jim B. Morrison replaced William P. Kimmel as Flight Engineer on Humby's crew on 2 February 1945; Jim B Morrison was originally on 42-93855 (Lazzaro's crew), so after Humby's aircraft was lost, William P. Kimmel flew as Engineer on 42-93855.

The replacement crew for Captain Humby's crew was Captain Albert Coe's crew (arrived from the rear area to augment the existing flying personnel). They had no plane assigned.

See "The Arthur Humby Story - Bail Out Over China And The Long Walk Home"



Coe's crew (on Detached Service from 462nd Bomb Group)

Source:  Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, February, Exhibit 2.

Coe, Alvin R.CaptPilot0-420369
Marr, Verne L.2nd LtCo-Pilot0-829261
Sheets, Frederick1st LtNavigator0-797412
Crawford, G. D.T./SgtFlight Engineer13038172
Perry, H. B.CplRadio31257350
Fortner, T. E.CplCFC18116276
Flick, R. R.CplGunner19151928
Hathcock, S. J.CplGunner14154559
Gustafson, D. V.CplGunner42026046
Dragoni, J. R.CplGunner31369354
Petty, J. T.SgtPhotographer32694042



42-93864 "Shutter Bug"

Source:  Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, February, Exhibit 3.

Alfke, George B.CaptPilot0-884154
Boydston, Jack J.2nd Lt.Co-Pilot0-771277
Flynn, William F.CaptNavigator0-728191
McMillen, Franklin E.2nd Lt.Flight Engineer0-864992
Aisner, Jr., Julius2nd Lt.Bomb0-691673
Skvarna, Edward M.SgtGunner33439710
Ladd, Wilfred A.SgtRadio3664354
Hendrich, Howard C.CplGunner35900293
Apgar, George N.CplTail Gunner12133618
Evans, Robert A.CplPhoto14027309
Lawrence, Robert L.PFCV33005004
Tallas, Bennie C.CplCFC18104943
Stephens, James A.T/SgtCrew Chief17020572



42-93865 "Snoopin Kid"

Source:  Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, February, Exhibit 3.

Simpson, Thomas I.1st Lt.Pilot0-734146
Leonard, John B.2nd Lt.Co-Pilot0-771453
Bonnelli, John P.1st Lt.Navigator0-1057964
Yates, Jr., Paul C.2nd Lt.Photo Navigator0-723494
Hirschman, AaronCplRadio32918665
Albright, RobertCplGunner37358730
Meyer, Raymond H.CplCFC19205088
Odom, Jr., Emery A.S/SgtGunner13014104
Blinn, William H.CplV11081709
Jones Robert K.CplGunner39272879
Harpster, Jr., Charles R.S/SgtPhoto16011585
Perry, Richard E.T/SgtFlight Engineer20813826
Thompson, Lawrence H.T/SgtCrew Chief6912143

Note:  T. J. Fall was the original Right Gunner, but replaced Odom on Humby's flight; threafter Odom flew with Simpson's crew.

Back row (l to r): Aaron Hirschman (radio operator); Raymond M. Meyer (CFC); Robert "Pop" Albright (tail gunner and oldest crew member - age 35 yrs); Charles R. Harpster, Jr. (Photographer); Emory A. Odom (Right Gunner); Richard E. Perry (Flight Engineer)

Front row: Jack Bonelli (Navigator); James Jones (Left gunner); John B. Leonard (Co-Pilot); 1Lt Thomas Ingram Simpson (Pilot); Paul C. Yates, Jr. (Photo Navigator)



42-24567

Source:  Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, February, Exhibit 2.

Gremmler, Paul E.CaptPilot0-404756
Economos, Jack W.2nd Lt.Co-Pilot0777629
Riddle, Paul E.1st Lt.Navigator0-734603
Fyffe, Pat C.1st Lt.Navigator0-667149
Herman, Robert W.2nd Lt.Flight Engineer0-572007
Elkins, Gerald A.S/SgtRadio32347220
Laurie, Walter L.CplGunner11051996
Beiler, William H.CplGunner3251865
Caswell, Peter J.CplCFC36566657
Durilla, MichaelCplGunner13094167
McGlohon, John A.T/SgtPhoto14049555
Schreck, John P.S/SgtCrew Chief32409940

After moving to Guam, Capt. Gremmler returned to US and Lt. Aubry Grice joined crew as Co-Pilot and Jack Economos took over as Pilot.



42-93855 "Double Exposure"

Source: Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, February, Exhibit 3.

Lazzaro, Nunzio1st Lt.Pilot0-660579
Schardt, Fredrick W.2nd Lt.Co-Pilot0-766960
Bachman, Joel Z.F/ONavigatorT-126222
Kimmel, William P.2nd Lt.Flight Engineer0-861590
Mead, Donald M.2nd Lt.Navigator0-722927
Hansford, Joseph W.S/SgtGunner20416074
Gillespie, Robert P.CplGunner36449047
Badgley, Charles W.CplRadio36441571
Harr, Orel D.SgtCFC39300996
Anglin, Franklin H.CplGunner34269679
Christian, Hubert H.CplPhoto37370100
Dougherty, Donald A.PvtCrew Chief33276473



42-93871

Swick, John P.1st Lt.Pilot0734277 (KIA)
Haines, Henry W.2nd Lt.Co-Pilot0823572 (KIA)
Cohn, Benjamin J.2nd Lt.Navigator02056351 (KIA)
Williams, William A.2nd Lt.Photo Navigator0-723546 (KIA)
Becker, Jr., Albert J.S/SgtFlight Engineer18056889 (KIA)
Jackunas, Stanley R.CplRadio16080916 (KIA)
Lowe, Eugene L.CplCFC35299764 (KIA)
Macchia, Robert W.CplRight Gunner32721537 (KIA)
Lashbrook, Howard W.CplLeft Gunner36477048 (KIA)
Scott, Samuel B.CplTail Gunner35298659 (KIA)
Anzalone, Edmond F.CplPhotographer33318592 (KIA)
Diedrich, John J.T/SgtCrew Chief 

Source:  Sherman Wilkins in correspondence to B-29 Superfortress List.

Notes:  On 16 December 16 1944 F-13 42-93871 and crew arrived at Dhudkundi, India and was assigned to the 678th BS, 444th BG for training. Captain Sherman Wilkins was their instructor pilot. He flew a couple of missions with them. Wilkins recalls that "On the longest mission with them in their F-13 we discovered the remnants of the Japanese Fleet after the great battle of Midway. They were hiding in Cape St. Jacques on the southwestern tip of Vietnam. After they were discovered other air and Navy units were sent after them to be sure they never returned to battle. And sadly, on their next mission they (this crew) crashed on takeoff from Dudhkundi and were killed."

Source:  Accident Report dated 23 February 1945.

The accident report clarifies that the plane and crew were bound from APO 215 near Dhudkundi to APO 493 (A1). The accident report states in pertinent part:

"Aircraft number 42-93871 was cleared from this station to participate in a photographic mission en route to an advance base in China. The airplane completed what appeared to be a normal takeoff. Minutes after the aircraft became airborn it crashed in a rice paddy area free from trees and brush.

Trees on the edge of the clearing bear evidence that the aircraft struck the tops of them before crashing into the paddy area. The aircraft was immediately enveloped in flame and completely destroyed. All crew members perished in the crash."

The board found the cause of the accident to be undetermined; however, they did state that the most probable cause was that the flaps were raised before sufficient airspeed and altitude had been gained.


Swick Accident Report



42-93849 "Under Exposed"

Source:  Headquarters, Flight "C", 1st Photo Recon SQ (VH), APO 210 Histories, March, Exhibit 2.

Wilkinson, Thomas D.1st Lt.Pilot0-737685
Heichel, John R.2nd Lt.Co-Pilot0-774647
Callahan, John J.2nd Lt.Navigator0-674142
Donnelly, Donald2nd Lt.Navigator0-2060256
Schimpke, Burton J.2nd Lt.Flight Engineer0-869377
La Pointe, Donald L.CplGunner31375466
Pare, Lawrence G.SgtF12171315
Evans, George R.CplRadio12214763
Kinter, Kenneth C.CplGunner33921143
Hoover, Harry R.CplCFC37224364
Krebs, Dale S.CplGunner33873268

Note:  Plane and crew joined the squadron on March 18, 1945. Seems that Wilkinson's aircraft may have been appropriated by a ranking crew. Wilkinson crew was essentially a replacement for 1st Lt. Swick's crew which was lost on Janaury of 1945. Swick's crew perished.


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