Unger's Crew

The Unger crew and "5 Grand" at Kearney, Nebraska. Standing (L to R): 1st LT Edward C. Unger (P), 2nd LT Richard L. Jacobson (CP), LT John H. Belay (N), LT George W. Y. Moller, Jr. (B). Front row (L to R): SGT Walter W. Giffith (FE), SGT Jack K. Boyce (RO), CPL Anthony T. Guercia (BG), CPL Louis Sendek, Jr (WG), CPL Robert A. Bohyer (TG), SGT John B. McBride (WG). (submitted by Guercia)

Unger's crew arrived in theater in style. Seeing the B17, "5 Grand," parked on the tarmac at Kearney, Nebraska, the pilots inquired about the aircraft and got the job of ferrying it across "the pond." This fortress was the 5,000th plane to roll off the assembly line at the Boeing plant in Washington. It was decorated with the signatures and well wishes of Boeing workers. Some of these included proposals of marriage and phone numbers. The weight of the paint used caused a 5 mph reduction in the cruise speed of the bomber.

During ceremonies on July 4th the crew was presented with the "5 Grand." Shortly thereafter the crew set out to transfer to the ETO and the 8th AF. Arriving at Gander, Newfoundland via Bangor, Maine, the crew rested for several days prior to the big hop. Eventually, they arrived at Nuts Corner, Ireland. Unfortunately, another bomb group needed B17s more badly than did the 486th, and the aircraft was transferred to the 96th BG. The crew continued their trip to England in a ship and arrived at Sudbury on the 28th of July.

Bohyer and Sendak never saw combat with the 486th. They were transferred on arrival to the 15th AF. SGT Guercia became a spare gunner and finished with 28 missions. LT Unger left the 486th after completing 28 missions to fly P51s. His first fighter sortie was Feb. 20, 1945.

[MacBride war diary | NEXT]

Name Rank Position First Mission Last Mission Status
Ed Unger CAPT Pilot 08/07/44 01/21/45 Completed tour; 28 missions.
Dick Jacobsen LT Co-pilot 08/07/44 01/21/45 Completed tour; 28 missions
John Belay LT Navigator 08/07/44 01/23/45 Completed tour; 28 missions
George Moller LT Bombardier 08/07/44 01/21/45 Completed tour; 30 missions.
Dan Dennis 1st LT Pin Pt. Nav. 08/13/44 01/13/45 Completed tour; 30 missions.
Reinhardt Zirbel 1st LT Mickey Nav. 11/04/44 01/21/45 Completed tour.
Walter Griffith   FE/Top 08/07/44 01/21/45 Completed tour.
Jack Boyce   Radio 08/07/44 01/02/45 Completed tour.
John MacBride   Waist 08/08/44 01/21/45 Completed tour; 30 missions.
Robert Bohyer   Tail 08/17/44 09/13/45 Flew 10 missions, then transferred to the 483rd in the MTO.  Flew and additional 25 missions.
Tony Guercia   Ball 08/08/44 12/29/45 25 missions.
Louis Sendak   Waist 08/17/44 09/13/45 Flew 10 missions, then transferred to the 483rd in the MTO.  Flew and additional 25 missions.
Mission Date Name ID S/N Type
056 08/07/44   PB 43-37835 B17G
057 08/08/44 Hock Shop DA 43-37996 B17G
061 08/14/44       B17G
063 08/16/44   NE 42-97998 B17G
066 08/25/44   DL 43-37985 B17G
071 09/03/44 Flak Plow Dk 43-37959 B17G
077 09/13/44 Ula Lume NJ 43-37972 B17G
078 09/17/44   DS 42-98001 B17G
082 09/26/44   DS 42-98001 B17G
086 10/03/44   DS 42-98001 B17G
090 10/09/44 Homesick Angel DC 44-6312 B17G
096 10/22/44   PJ 44-8074 B17G
100 11/02/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
101 11/04/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
103 11/06/44   PJ 44-8074 B17G
104 11/09/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
109 11/27/44   PN 44-8132 B17G
112 12/06/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
113 12/10/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
117 12/23/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
118 12/24/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
119 12/26/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
123 12/31/44   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
124 01/01/45   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
125 01/02/45   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
131 01/13/45 Baby Shoe III/Downbeat PV 44-8218 B17G
134 01/18/45   PF 4x-xx073 B17G
136 01/21/45   PA 44-8002 B17G

Completed 30 Missions

Created 05/20/99 Modified 08/15/17

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