Cross' Crew

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.
081 09/25/44 Snow White NE 43-38136 B17G
082 09/26/44 Snow White NE 43-38136 B17G
084 09/28/44 Blue Grass Girl TV 43-38031 B17G
085 10/02/44 Snow White NE 43-38136 B17G
086 10/03/44 Snow White NE 43-38136 B17G
087 10/05/44 Snow White NE 43-38136 B17G
090 10/09/44 Honeychile NB 43-38029 B17G
095 10/19/44 Goin' Jesse NC 43-37954 B17G
097 10/25/44 The Chariot DV 43-38034 B17G
099 10/30/44   NG 43-37966 B17G
101 11/04/44   NG 43-37966 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
122 12/30/44   NS 43-37800 B17G
125 01/02/45 The Short Arm NA 44-6616 B17G
126 01/03/45 The Short Arm NA 44-6616 B17G
127 01/05/45   NS 43-37800 B17G
128 01/07/45   NS 43-37800 B17G
130 01/10/45   NS 43-37800 B17G
137 01/28/45 The Short Arm NA 44-6616 B17G
142 02/09/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
143 (abort) 02/14/45 The Short Arm NA 44-6616 B17G
145 02/16/45   PR 44-6599 B17G
146 02/17/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
151 (abort) 02/24/45 The Short Arm NA 44-8616 B17G
153 02/26/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
155 (abort) 02/28/45 Rack and Ruin NT 43-37899 B17G
158 03/04/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
161 03/09/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
162 03/10/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
165 03/14/45   NG 44-8615 B17G
166 03/16/45 California's Golden Bare TD 43-39091 B17G
167 03/17/45   DS 42-98001 B17G

Completed 30 missions.

Created 04/08/99 Modified 12/23/16

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