Center's Crew


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)

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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.


CREW INFO
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
 
MISSION INFO
Mission Date Name ID S/N Type
143 02/14/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
143 02/14/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
145 02/16/45 King-Kong TC 44-39178 B17G
146 02/17/45   NT 43-37899 B17G
151 02/24/45   NF 43-37952 B17G
152 02/25/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
154 02/27/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
155 02/28/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
156 03/02/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
158 03/04/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
161 03/09/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
163 03/11/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
164 03/12/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
165 03/14/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
167 03/17/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
168 03/18/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
173 03/24/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
174 03/28/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
175 03/30/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
177 04/03/45   NF 43-37952 B17G
178 04/04/45   NF 43-37952 B17G
179 04/05/45   NG 43-37954 B17G
180 04/07/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G

 
Created 08/03/99 Modified 12/23/16

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