(left to right): Russell Bashline, Lyle Corbit, Edward Murphy
When we agreed to fly "001" it already had a reputation as a "jinx" airplane, with over 400 hours on the engines, and was the only ship available. Being anxious to get started, we actually flew it on SEVEN missions, but the airplane broke down before we reached the I.P., so we only got credit for FOUR out of the seven. Though, returning on three engines from long periods alone over Germany, (literally at the mercy of any fighter), and truly sitting ducks, we fortunately nursed it home. At that point our reputation in the squadron was at a nadir.
Major Newman somehow secured a new airplane for us, #337891, belatedly named "Old Man's Folly", and from then on, we became element and later deputy leaders, with good marks.
New Years eve, 1944 was cold and rainy when we heard noise outside our Nissen hut. Some person or persons had been stealing our heating oil from a drum, which was attached to and positioned horizontally on the side of the hut. We had to beg crew chiefs for old engine oil which we carried laboriously from the flight line in small containers to fill the drum. As this time we were going to catch whoever it was, we darkened the interior of the hut, (blackout conditions, remember?) and rushed out both doors with flashlights to confront the thief.
I shall never forget that GOLD OAK LEAF on Major Newman's hat! And, apologetically, we asked him, "Sir, can we be of any assistance???" (So much for catching a thief!)
The mission to Hof was the 33rd mssion for me of the J.N. Miller crew (835th), and I remember it well. It was briefed as a "No Flak" target, and we went in by squadrons, (instead of "by group".)
The only trouble was the Germans got word of our coming, and ran in a six gun flak train that shot the crap out of us. We were leading the fourth element down in a 12 airplane squadron, but coming off the bomb run, the surviving aircraft reformed on us as SQUADRON LEADER. Fortunately, we had our autopilot ready (as usual) so we clicked it on to make it easy for others to hold a tight formation as we rejoined the group.
Starrett (835th) had his rudder cables shot out. His gunners using wires from their electric suits were able to piece the cables back together to maintain control , and they landed without incident.
- James C. Simon
|Name||Rank||Position||First Mission||Last MIssion||Status|
|Joseph N. Miller||Pilot||Finished tour.|
|James C. Simon||Copilot||Finished with 35 missions.|
|Freeman Hill||Navigator||Finished tour.|
|Russell Bashline||Flight Engineer/Top||Finished tour.|
|Edward J. Murphy||Radio Operator/Waist||Finished tour.|
|William Reeder||Waist||Finished tour.|
|James Chadd||Nose/Togglier||Finished tour.|
|William G. McIlvane||Ball||Finished tour.|
|Lyle Corbit||Tail||Finished tour.|
|105||11/10/44||Oh! Miss Agnes||NB||43-38001||B17G|
|106||11/16/44||Oh! Miss Agnes||NB||43-38001||B17G|
|108||11/25/44||Oh! Miss Agnes||NB||43-38001||B17G|
|109||11/27/44||Oh! Miss Agnes||NB||43-38001||B17G|
|110||11/30/44||Oh! Miss Agnes||NB||43-38001||B17G|
|120||12/28/44||The Worry Bird||DN||43-37973||B17G|
|123||12/31/44||The Fertile Turtle||PG||43-37943||B17G|
|127||01/05/45||Vermont Maid (Cupcake)||ND||43-38246||B17G|
|128||01/07/45||Miss B. Havin||NN||43-38859||B17G|
|135||01/20/45||Vermont Maid (Cupcake)||ND||43-38246||B17G|
|168||03/18/45||Old Man's Folly||NJ||43-37891||B17G|
|Created 09/26/99||Modified 12/23/16|
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