Ward - #53-2
Standing L-R: Reaney, George 'Pops' (BG); McVicars, Andrew (B); Ward, Lee P. Jr. (P); Wilson, George J. (N)
Kneeling L-R: Moore, Melvin J. (TG); Yates, Thomas L. (E/TT); Dumdei, Mervin A. (WG/Photo); Glover, William E. (NG); Centanni, Anthony J. (RO/WG)
Major Rider, Squadron leader, led a large formation against a far distant and heavily defended target, the synthetic oil refinery at Brux, CZ. The formation flew from Torretta, Italy between two decks of clouds over the Adriatic, but experienced fairly good weather over the Alps. Over the target the tops of the solid undercast were up to 20,000 feet. Taking advantage of the high solid undercast, Major Rider was able to almost completely avoid the intense flack. The Boise Belle, flown by 1st Lt. Lee P. Ward, Jr., with most of the crew from ship #48 (2nd Lt. Thomas Merkouris, F/O Kenneth Merry, 2nd Lt. Charles E. Mundy, Cpl. Thomas MacDonald, Cpl. Paul Haggerty, Cpl. Thomas Byers, Cpl. Melvin Ten Haken, T/Sgt. Jesse Palmer, Cpl. R. C. Wakefield, T/Sgt. Harry Dunham) was shot down after clearing the Alps near Trieste, Italy. Lt. Ward was lost.