LT Cross's Crew
Standing (L to R): Don Conyers (armorer/waist), Unknown Gunner, Cyril R. Suing (ball), George Bevins (R/O), and Russel Long (FE/Top). Front (L to R): Roy Bronson (B), Bob Cross (P), James Grissom (CP), and George Taylor (N). (Don Conyers via his daugher SaVanne Kilgore)
Bob Cross and his crew arrived in theater in a B17G named "Snow White." They lost the plane while on a pass to London after 5 missions. Another crew had borrowed "Snow White" and went down over the target. Bob Cross and his crew then flew several other planes during their tour. The aircraft they flew most often was "The Short Arm" (#616), but they also flew several missions in #615.
On a mission to Lutzkendorf on November 30, 1944, the 486th took a horrific pounding from FLAK. Several aircraft would be lost or forced down. Like the others, Bob Cross' crew was taking a beating. Roy D. Bronson was struck by shrapnel and plexiglass. His wounds bled profusely and he was knocked to the floor, away from his bomb sight. Morty Ronson came to his aid and helped Roy back to his post. As a lead crew the remainder of the formation would drop on his cue. Roy would be hit by a shrapnel from a second burst of flak, but his vest would save him. In pain, almost blind from plexiglass and blood, Roy stayed at his post and salvoed the bombs. For his steadfastness and dedication to duty, Roy would be awarded the Silver Star.
On that same mission, George Bevins (Radio) was also wounded when sharpnel penetrated the radio compartment. His injuries, although painful, were not life threatening. Bob Cross brought the plane home safely and without further incident. Both men would be hospitalized and return to duty a few days later.
It was a common practice for pilots of replacement crews to take a check-out ride in the right seat with a veteran pilot. Bob took his with LT Wahlenbrach while his crewed enjoyed a day off. When Bob finished his tour with 30 missions, his crewmen had 29 (some had fewer having missed missions due to wounds.) His crew would not be required to "make up" the additional missions and the crew went home together.
|Name||Rank||Position||First Mission||Last Mission||Status|
|Robert Cross||2nd LT||Pilot||09/??/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|James Grissom||LT||Co-pilot||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|Morton Ronson||LT||Navigator||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|Roy D. Bronson||LT||Bombardier||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour. Awarded Silver Star. WIA.|
|George Taylor||LT||Navigator||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|George Bevins||T/SGT||Radio||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour. WIA.|
|Cyril R. Suing||SGT||Ball||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|Milton D. Kelm||Gunner||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|Russell L. Long||FE/Top||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|Don D. Conyers||Armorer/Waist||09/25/44||03/17/45||Finished tour.|
|084||09/28/44||Blue Grass Girl||TV||43-38031||B17G|
|107||11/21/44||Old Man's Folly||NJ||43-37891||B17G|
|109||11/27/44||Old Man's Folly||NJ||43-37891||B17G|
|110||11/30/44||Old Man's Folly||NJ||43-37891||B17G|
|119||12/26/44||Old Man's Folly||NJ||43-37891||B17G|
|125||01/02/45||The Short Arm||NA||44-6616||B17G|
|126||01/03/45||The Short Arm||NA||44-6616||B17G|
|137||01/28/45||The Short Arm||NA||44-6616||B17G|
|143 (abort)||02/14/45||The Short Arm||NA||44-6616||B17G|
|151 (abort)||02/24/45||The Short Arm||NA||44-8616||B17G|
|155 (abort)||02/28/45||Rack and Ruin||NT||43-37899||B17G|
|166||03/16/45||California's Golden Bare||TD||43-39091||B17G|
Completed 30 missions.
|Created 04/08/99||Modified 12/23/16|
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