461st plaque

461st Bombardment Group (H)

765th Nose Art

764th Nose Art 765th Nose Art 766th Nose Art 767th Nose Art

Rhode Island Red 

Rhode Island Red

Ship No. - 20

B-24H -10-DT

Serial No. - 41-28737

I've been told that Rhode Island Red was destroyed in an explosion on the ground at Torretta Field on 8 May 1944.  It was badly damaged, but was repaired and put back in service.


Our Hobby

Our Hobby

Our Hobby 

Submitted by Chris Aiken

Jack Aiken.

Our Hobby

Ship No. - 22 1/2

B-24H -20-CF

Serial No. - 42-50303

This is a widely recognized 461st ship.


Leading Lady

Leading Lady

Ship No. -24

B-24H-10-DT

Serial No. - 41-28685

Crashed due to flak damage on Korcula Island 5/31/44.  See Losses.


Invictus

Tom Moss Photo

Invictus

Ship No. -27

B-24H-10-DT

Serial No. - 41-28725

One of the original batch of 461st BG aircraft, this H model was piloted by Lt. Tom Moss.  The art was painted before leaving the States, but the circle around it was added in Italy.  This aircraft was named by Margie Moss, wife of pilot, Tom Moss.


Big Stinky

Big Stinky

Ship No. -30

B-24H -10-DT

Serial No. - 41-28717

Although the mission summary for Mission #14 on 24 April 1944 doesn't indicate the loss of "Big Stinky", the 765th History for April 1944 lists "Big Stinky" as lost with Lt. Forrest Nixon in command.


Piecemaker

Piecemaker

Courtesy of Gerry Kersey

Piecemaker

Ship No. - 34

B-24H -15-FO

Serial No. - 42-52368

Crashed due to fighter attack 25 July 1944 near Stranzberg with Glenial Fulks in command.  See Losses.


Rhode Island Red II

Courtesy of Bob Migatz

Enhanced by Gerry Kersey

Rhode Island Red II

Ship No. - 23

B-24L/M-15-FO

Serial No. - 44-49896

This, from Alex Azary: I was the radio operator of the crew of Lt. Wm. O. Cunningham.  After the war ended, we flew back (home) aboard B-24L 44-49896 (according to my radio logs which I still have).  We departed Gioia, Italy on 6/2/45 for Marrakesh, Dakar, Natal, British Guiana, Puerto Rico, and landed in Savannah, GA. in 'Rhode Island Red II'.


All American

"ALL AMERICAN"

Ship No. -24

B-24G-16-NT

Serial No. - 42-78444

On the disastrous 25 July 1944 mission to Linz, the crew of this aircraft set a record of 14 enemy aircraft shot down on a single mission - a record that still stands.  Lost to flak damage 10/4/44.  Crashed near Tolmin with Lt. Robert R. Chalmers in command.  See Losses.


Tulsamerican leaving Tulsa

Courtesy of Tulsa Air And Space Museum

Tulsamerican leaving Tulsa

Tulsamerican

Courtesy of Tulsa Air And Space Museum

Tulsamerican in flight

TA nose art

Courtesy of Tulsa Air And Space Museum

Enhanced by Gerry Kersey

Tulsamerican nose art

Tulsamerican

Tulsamerican

Ship No. -24

B-24J -10-DT

Serial No. - 42-51430

The LAST B-24 built at Douglas in Tulsa, OK.  Look for an extensive segment on this aircraft coming soon.  See Losses.


Gene's Harepower

Gene's Harepower

Ship No. - 24

B-24J-20-FO

Serial No. - 44-48993

Lost to flak and crash landed 21 February 1945.  Members of the Aircraft MIA Project in Poland have uncovered evidence that this aircraft was recovered and returned to service by the Soviet Union through the late '40s.  See Losses.


Arsenic and Lace

Arsenic and Lace

Ship No. - 26

B-24J-15-FO

Serial No. - 42-52025

Piloted by Lt. Gerry Smith, this J model was lost to fighter attack 17 December 1944 on the Odertal Refineries mission.  The art was either Factory or Depot applied.  See Losses.


Betty Jean

Betty Jean 

Betty Jean

Ship No. - 27

B-24J-1-NT

Serial No. - 42-78606

Burnie Presho has supplied us with a picture of "Betty Jean" as he flew it - as number "27".  In one picture the numeral "7" is absent.  It appear the 7 has not yet been applied.


You Bet

You Bet

Courtesy of Bryan Slater

YOU BET!

Ship No. -27

B-24J-65-CF

Serial No. - 44-10557

A veteran of some of the toughest targets in Europe (Linz, Graz, Wiener-Neustadt, Lienz), and the POW resupply missions, this aircraft was flown back to the States by Vahl Vladyka.


Liberty Belle

Photo Courtesy Lloyd Burkholder
Thanks also to Dick Olson for the MACR

Liberty Belle

Ship No. - 33

B-24H-20-DT

Serial No. - 41-28970

This plane was ferried in to Torretta by John P. Kelly of the 484th Bomb Group, then it was transferred to the 461st.  Crashed on 3 August 1944 due to mechanical failure with Lt. Robert E. Schweisberger in command.  See Losses.


What's Next

Courtesy Len Cole

What's Next 

from Stan Staples

What's Next!

Ship No. - 35

B-24J -10-FO

Serial No. - 42-51783

Yes, I remember what happened to "What's Next!".  I was the flight engineer on the crew of Edward C. Demmond and we were assigned to "What's Next!" on 25 April 1945 for a run from Torretta, Italy to Linz, Austria.  We had something of a reputation as a hard luck crew, and I remember we joked about the name and what's next for us.

Over Linz, we were hit by flack.  The first thing I did was to check the tanks to determine if we were losing fuel.  We were not, and there appeared to be no other problems for our return trip.

As we approached Torretta the landing gear was lowered and the tower immediately radioed to tell us the left wheel and tire had fallen off, the result of the hit we had taken.  The tower then gave us instructions to fly out over the sea, bail out, and ditch the aircraft.  Pilot Demmond declined.  He flew along the edge of the airfield as seven of the crew jumped.  I remained on board with the pilot and co-pilot.  We raised the gear and came around to land.

As we bellied in the aircraft went left and then shot right, off the runway and onto the grass.  The three of us climbed out without injury.  I looked back, as we drove away in the pickup jeep, and that is the last time I saw "What's Next!".

Frank J. Procopio / 11070706 / 748


Upstairs Maid

Upstairs Maid

Courtesy of Christopher Roy

Upstairs Maid 

Contributed by Pat Roy, son of L.A. Roy pictured in the right photo.

Upstairs Maid

Courtesy of Christopher Roy

Upstairs Maid

Ship No. - 37

B-24H-15-FO

Serial No. - 42-52371


Stumpy Joe

Wayne W. Boyce Photo

Stumpy Joe

Dave Blake photo

Robert Blake

Stumpy Joe

Ship No. - 38

B-24J-200-CO

Serial No. - 44-41162

Crashed, out of fuel, near Garensica on 11/20/44 with Lt. Arthur Hughes in command.  See Losses.


Plastered Bastard

Plastered Bastard

Ship No. - 28

B-24H-10-CF

Serial No. - 41-29284

For more information about the Plastered Bastard, see the Blake crew.

This aircraft was delivered to the Group at Hammer Field on 6 January 1944 by a WASP crew.  It was assigned to Crew #28 of the 765th Bomb Squadron, 2nd Lt. Vernon Garrison (pilot).  It left the U.S. from Morrison Field, Florida, 12 February 1944, to Waller Field, Trinidad.  It then flew to Belem, Brazil, 13 February; Fortaleza, Brazil, 14 February.  A fuel cell ruptured the morning it was to fly to Africa and aircraft was flown to Natal, Brazil for repair on 17 February.  From Natal to Dakar, Senegal, French West Africa, on 22 February.  It left on 23 February for Marrakech, Morrocco, but was diverted to Tindouf, Algeria, due to weather in the Atlas Mountains.  It then flew back to Marrakech on 25 February.  It was weathered in at Marrakech and finally arrived at Djedeida Field, Tunisia, on 2 March.  It was flown to Torretta, Italy on 8 March 1944.  It was the last aircraft in the 461st BG air movement to arrive at Torretta.

It was flown regularly in combat.  The aircraft had two engines shot out over Weiner Neustadt, Austria, on 10 May 1944, and a forced landing was made on a South African front line air strip at Sinnela, Italy.  The South Africans did not have the proper aircraft moving equipment and damaged the landing gear in moving it out of the mud.  It continued in combat at Torretta throughout the summer and was damaged beyond repair when the landing gear collapsed during a landing at Torretta after a test hop on 4 August 1944, the same day that its assigned crew, Crew #28, was leaving for return to the United States.


Hare Power

from David White son of Howard White

Hare Power

Ship No. - 27

B-24H-10-CF

Serial No. 41-29325

Hare Power belonged to crew #29

Historical Flight Record T/Sgt. Howard C. White 18166945 Eng. Gunner

Date No. Total   Remarks
4/3/44 1 5:50   Drnis, Yugo.
4/5/44 2 11:50   Nis, Yugo.
4/6/44 3 18:05   Zagreb, Yugo.
4/12/44 4 24:05   Zagreb, Yugo.
4/13/44 5-6 31:35   Budapest, Hungary
4/20/44 7 38:05   Ferrara, Italy
4/30/44 8 45:25   Alessandria, Italy
5/5/44 9-10 53:25   Ploesti, Rumania
5/7/44 11-12 61:55   Bucharest, Rumania
5/12/44 13 68:40   Viareggio, Italy
5/14/44 14 74:40   Padova, Italy
5/18/44 15 80:55   Belgrade, Yugo.
5/22/44 16 87:40   Piombino, Italy
5/24/44 17-18 95:40   Wollersdorf, Austria
5/25/44 19 102:10   Carnoulis, France
5/29/44 20-21 109:55   Weiner Neustadt, Austria
5/31/44 22-23 118:40   Ploesti, Rumania
6/4/44 24 126:10   Orelle, France
6/5/44 25 133:40   Fornovo, Italy
6/11/44 26-27 141:40   Giurgio, Rumania
6/14/44 28-29 148:40   Komarno, Hungary
6/22/44 30 154:25   Trieste, Italy
6/23/44 31-32 162:40   Giurgio, Rumania
6/28/44 33-34 171:00   Bucharest, Rumania
7/2/44 35-36 178:30   Budapest, Hungary
7/5/44 37 187:00   Beziers, France
7/7/44 38-39 195:15   Blechhammer, Germany

Irish Angel II

Courtesy of Gerry Kersey

She Wolf 

from Stan Staples

Irish Angel II/She Wolf

Ship No. - 26

B-24J-195-CO

Serial No. 44-41112

This aircraft appears to have had two names.  If anyone can tell me more about it, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Each of the pictures of this aircraft is a link - you can click on the picture to see a larger image.  Close that image to return here.


#34 

from Stan Staples

#34

Ship No. - 34

B-24J-15-FO

Serial No. 42-51967


#34

from Stan Staples

#34

Courtesy of Robert 'Stan' Staples

Model of #34 built by Stan Staples

#34

Ship No. - 34

B-24J-5-FO

Serial No. 42-51599


#39

from Stan Staples

44-50616

Courtesy of b24bestweb

#39

Ship No. - 39

B-24L/M-15-FO

Serial No. 44-50616

This was the last replacement received by the 765th Squadron.


Billie K

from Stan Staples

Billie K

Courtesy of Robert 'Stan' Staples

Model of the Billie K built by Stan Staples

Billie K

Ship No. 30

B-24L-1-FO

Serial No. 44-49038

This is the aircraft Stan Staples flew home.


Judy R

from John Bybee

Judy R

from John Bybee

Judy R

Ship No. 23

B-24J-190-CO

Serial No. 44-41020


Flying Finger 

From Dave Blake

The Flying Finger

Ship No. 39

B-24J-5-FO

Serial No. 42-50953


The Bat

Courtesy of Troy Martin

The Bat

Ship No. 36

B-24H-10-DT

Serial No. 41-28740

This aircraft was flown to Italy by the Childrey crew #36, but was transferred to the 451st upon arrival.


Mary L

Courtesy of Troy Martin

Mary L

Courtesy of Troy Martin

Mary L

Courtesy of Dan Matthews

The Mary L being pushed out of the way at Lyons, France on 10 September, 1944.

Ship No. 36

B-24H-15-DT

Serial No. 41-28940

This is the aircraft the Childrey crew #36 ended up flying.


Hard Guys

Schear & Hard Guys

Courtesy of Debbie Miller

Hard Guy

Ship No. 23

B-24H-15-CF

Serial No. 41-29529

Rollen Phillips crew #38-0 next to this aircraft.  This aircraft was later transferred from the 484th BG.  The second photo shows Robert Schear (CP) on the left.


Sleepy Time Gal

Courtesy of Ray Sipple

Sleepy Time Gal

Ship No. 21

B-24H-15-FO

Serial No. 41-28867


20

20

#20

Ship No. 20

B-24J-NT

Serial No. 42-78627



22

#22

Ship No. 22

B-24H-DT

Serial No. 41-28927



Billie K

Billie K

Ship No. 25

B-24H-DT

Serial No. 41-28891


Irish Angel

Courtesy of Chuck Parsonson

Irish Angel

Ship No. 26

B-24H-FO

Serial No. 42-52486