Four members of the Center crew. Standing (L to R): 1st LT Walter G. Center, Jr., (P), 2nd LT Douglas F. Spath (CP). Front (L to R): SSGT Robert J. Frauenholtz, (RO ), and SSGT Giovanni "John" A. Cirelli, (FE/Top). LT Spath and SSGT Frauenholtz were reported KIA on 7 April, '45. (John Cirellie via Brian Lindner)
The Center crew was flying "Happy Warrior" (#9163 H8:S) on the raid to bomb the Me 262 A/F at Parchim on 7 April 1945. The bombing altitude was 15,000'. When the lead aircraft, #846, dropped its bombs, one of the incendiary clusters reportedly broke apart and struck #9163. The aircraft burst into flames immediately. Six men were observed to jump, and 5 chutes were confirmed. (MACR 13889).
On this particular mission, Major Bain Ecarius Fulton was flying as an observer and waist gunner. MAJ Fulton was a 50 year old Airport manager in Akron when the war broke out and he enlisted. Rejected at first, he was eventually commissioned and performed a tour of duty in Aden on the Indian Ocean, before winding up at Sudbury. This was his 5th mission when he found himself bailing out of the belly of the stricken bomber, with his A-3 bag full of cameras. After falling 10,000' feet he pulled the ripcord only to find he was still wearing his flak vest. He managed to divest himself of the vest and the chute deployed. Along with the vest, he also lost his A-3 bag, but managed to land safely and was taken prisoner.
|Name||Rank||Position||First Mission||Last Mission||Status|
|Walter G. Center, Jr.||1st LT||Pilot||/ /||04/07/45||POW|
|Douglas F. Spath||2nd LT||Co-pilot||/ /||04/07/45||KIA|
|George Lyford||2nd LT||Navigator||/ /||04/07/45||MIA|
|Bain E. Fulton||MAJ||Observer||/ /||04/07/45||POW|
|Robert J. Frauenholtz||SSGT||Radioman||/ /||04/07/45||KIA|
|Giovanni A. Cirelli||SSGT||Engineer/Top||/ /||04/07/45||POW|
|Albert Harris||SGT||Ball Gunner||/ /||04/07/45||POW|
|Sam J. Powell, Jr.||SGT||Tail Gunner||/ /||04/07/45||POW|
|Frank W. Pikula||SSGT||Nose Gunner||/ /||04/07/45||KIA|
|Wyatt M. Kerr||SGT||Waist Gunner||/ /||04/07/45||POW|
|Created 08/03/99||Modified 12/23/16|
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