J. Miller's Crew

(left to right): Russell Bashline, Lyle Corbit, Edward Murphy
James Chadd, James Simon, "Pappy" West, Freeman Hill, William G. McIlvaine

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.
103 11/06/44 The Chariot DV 43-38034 B17G
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
112 12/06/44   NH 43-38648 B17G
113 12/10/44   NH 43-38648 B17G
116 12/16/44   NH 43-38648 B17G
117 12/23/44   NH 43-38648 B17G
120 12/28/44 The Worry Bird DN 43-37973 B17G
122 12/30/44 Goin' Jesse NK 43-37954 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
129 01/08/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
135 01/20/45 Vermont Maid (Cupcake) ND 43-38246 B17G
137 01/28/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
138 01/29/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
139 02/01/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
141 02/06/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
142 02/09/45   DK 43-37945 B17G
143 02/14/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
144 02/15/45 Flak Sack DL 44-8528 B17G
145 02/16/45 Flak Sack DL 44-8528 B17G
146 02/17/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
149 02/22/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
151 02/24/45   NH 43-38648 B17G
152 02/25/45   TN 43-38194 B17G
155 02/28/45 Red Raider NK 43-38787 B17G
167 03/17/45   PC 43-37867 B17G
168 03/18/45 Old Man's Folly NJ 43-37891 B17G
170 03/21/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
171 03/22/45 Happy Warrior NS 43-39163 B17G
173 03/24/45 Goin' Jesse NC 43-37954 B17G
174 03/28/45 Goin' Jesse NC 43-37954 B17G
175 03/30/45 Goin' Jesse NC 43-37954 B17G
178 04/04/45   PA 44-8002 B17G
181 04/08/45 Mary Lou NG 44-8615 B17G

Created 09/26/99 Modified 12/23/16

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