Lovan's Crew

LT Lovan's crew: Standing (L to R): Gus Lovan (P), Velton Cason (B), Louis Lawler (N), Carlos Bombach (CP), William Steinberg (AG). Kneeling (L to R): James Porter (G), Eugene Barron (R/O), Ralph Hutte (FE), Melvin Strom (G). (Photograph by Sidney Rominger (G)).

The Lovan crew was transferred to the ETO from Grenier Field on 5 July 1944 flying #44-6292. CPL Strom was transferred to the MTO early in his tour. Louis Lawler was transferred to Group Mission Plans.

One one mission an engine caught fire on take off. LT Lovan requested permission to return to the field, but was denied due to his bomb load. With only 3 engines LT Lovan was unable to gain altitude. The flight deck crew was desperate to find a solution, when LT Lovan and S/SGT Hute check the maintenance logs and discovered that the booster pump had been replaced in the ailing engine. The fire source was located at or near the booster pump, so LT Lovan decided to restart the engine without the booster pump. The fire was eliminated and LT Lovan elected to continue with the mission. His crew jokingly berated him for being such an eager beaver. Upon their return, the 3 good engines had to be replaced, because they were over-stressed on take-off.

On the mission of 30 November to Lutzkendorf, LT Lovan was forced to put his ship down in Belgium. Two engines had been shot out, and a third was reduced to half power. LT was able to stay with the formation for protection until safely over friendly territory. A landing was made at a recently captured airfield, but when the time came to apply the brakes it was discovered that they too were shot out. LT Lovan managed to stop his ship by turning the aircraft sharply, risking a ground loop. The aircraft came to a stop with only minor injuries to the crew.

The Lovan crew was able to complete 35 missions in 4 months and 8 days.

Name Rank Position Status
Angus "Gus" E. Lovan 2nd LT Pilot Completed tour with 38 missions.
Carlos D. Bombach 2nd LT Copilot Completed tour.
Louis F. Lawler 2nd LT Navigator Completed tour.
Velton W. Cason 2nd LT Bombardier Completed tour.
Ralph A. Hutte S/SGT Flight Engineer Completed tour.
Eugene E. Barron SGT Radio Operator Completed tour.
William Steinberg SGT Gunner Transferred to public relations. 25 missions
James E. Porter SGT Gunner Completed tour.
Melvin R. Strom CPL Gunner Transferred to the MTO.
Sidney A. Rominger SGT Gunner Completed tour.
Created 09/26/99 Modified 12/23/16

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