LT Andrews' crew
The crew of "Andy's Angel." Standing (L to R): Louis "Andy" Andrews (P), John Bruce (CP), Lou Tomsa (B), John Oppitz (N), John D. Ayres (R/O), Samuel Hartley (FE), Gene. Gregory (Top), Cletus Link (TG), B. Faris (BG), SGT Walter Missel (NG). (reprinted from the O&W N/L Summer '90)
On July 4, 1944 "Andy's Angel" was seriously damaged by flak while on the mission to Beaumont, FR. The nose turret and aft fuselage were hit. The gas line to engine #1 was cut, #2 was leaking oil. Engine #3 and right wing suffered hits and the left tire was punctured and went flat on landing. "Angel" returned with a full bomb bay because of damage to the lead plane's GEE-H BTO Radar. While in flight the crew was busy putting the safeties on the 52 100 pounders. The aircraft ran off the runway and "cracked up" in the mud. The return to base had been close. By the time the "Angel" touched down the tanks went dry.
"Andy's Angel" would be repaired, but would not see action again with the 833rd. The squadron transitioned to B17s before "Angel" could be returned to duty. However, Louis Andrews was transferred to the Ferry Command at Romulus, Michigan and would run into #732 again. Andrews received permission to take #732 on one last flight and was able to fly over his hometown of Lansing, MI. "Andy's Angel" would complete 20 missions with the 833rd.
|Name||Rank||Position||First Mission||Last Mission||Status|
|Louis H. Andrews, Jr.||LT||Pilot||05/08/44||08/26/44||Completed tour|
|John W. Bruce||LT||Co-pilot||05/08/44|
|John A. Oppitz||LT||Navigator||05/08/44|
|Louis R. Tomsa||LT||Bombardier||05/08/44|
|Samuel L. Hartley||Flight Engineer||05/08/44|
|John D. Ayres||TSGT||Radio Operator||05/08/44||Completed tour|
|Cletus A. Link||Tail||05/08/44|
|Gene C. Gregory||Top||05/08/44|
|John E. Schmutzler||Crew Chief|
|044||07/14/44||Swingtime in the Rockies||NJ||42-52607||B24J|
Completed 31 Missions
|Created 05/14/99||Modified 12/23/16|
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