Crossman - #5993
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Front row L-R: Sainio Jr., John (RWG); Freeman, Bernard C.; Geier, Leonard G.; White, William C. (BG); Barnson, Valden A.; Eidsmore, Lawrence M.
Back row L-R: Hanley, Hugh H.; McLain, William L. (N); Kreps, Earl W.; and Crossman, Philip J. (P)
Mary Hanley Hallock has provided the following missions flown by her father, Hugh Hanley:
|October 13, 1944||Vienna North Marshalling Yard, Austria|
|October 17, 1944||Vosendorf Oil Refinery, Vienna, Austria|
|November 16, 1944||West Marshalling Yard, Munich, Germany|
|November 17, 1944||Blechhammer South Synthetic Oil Refinery, Germany|
|November 18, 1944||Villafranca Airdrome, Italy|
|November 20, 1944||Blechhammer South Synthetic Oil Refinery, Germany|
|December 2, 1944||Gyor|
|December 6, 1944||Maribor South Marshalling Yard, Yugoslavia|
|December 15, 1944||Rolling Stock at Linz Main Marshalling Yard, Austria|
|December 17, 1944||Odertal Oil Refinery, Germany|
Attached is a photocopy picture of 461st Bomb Group, 765th Squadron, Crew # 5993, "The Flying Finger" Captain: Philip J. Crossman.
PILOT: 2nd Lt. Phillip J. Crossman, Lima, Ohio, Single
LAST SIGHTED: 1145, Muglitz
8 miles SW of Kutzendorf, CZ (CZ Police)
2 KM south Neutitso-Neutitschsin?Machrisch, Welke
Weisengard, Kutzendorf, CZ. Mahr. Northern border of CZ. 20 minutes from IP 4-bodies in wreckage.
The "Flying Finger" was flying number three position. (Capt. Robert T. Chalmers was flying number two position.) Capt. Jack Riley Cody (gunnery officer, 0560800) was in upper turret when B-24 left formation. According to Chalmers the formation was hit by 50 plus fighters in the Muglitz area. Sgt. Bernard C. Freeman, tail gunner on "Flying Finger" said, "Got him!", but sounded like he himself was hit bad. Freeman shot down an ME-109. Ball turret was up at time of fighter attack. Crew unable to get it into action before order to bail out came. Enemy fighters criss-crossed underneath the bomber almost at will. "Tail shot up bad, controls were very bad. Ship in very bad shape." Navigator said, "I gave him (Crossman) a heading to fly towards the Russian lines, then the interphone went out." Aircraft riddled, went down fast." Crew started to bail out at 22,000 feet, last one out at 1,500 feet. Ball, tail, and both waist gunners went in with bomber. Most of crew rounded up by Germans at 2PM, Crossman wasn't captured until 950AM 12/18/44.
The Czech Republic erected a memorial to the Crossman crew in Palacov, near Hostasovice. Information about the memorial may be found at http://www.dvrbs.com/monuments/brooklawn/BrooklawnWW2-JohnArthurSainioJr.htm.