461st plaque

461st Bombardment Group (H)

764th Crews 765th Crews 766th Crews 767th Crews

Ahlberg - #42 Barcus - #123 Barnes - #53 Barnhart - #59 Bauman - #44 Baumann - #46 Bigelow - #54 Bontempo - #1/26 Boyd - #44R Bridges - #5/5 Brothers - #41 Chester - #9/1 Coates - #96- Coleman - #58- Conner - #4/7 Courtney - #50R Curtis - #152 DeSpain - #57-0 Donovan - #45 Dunn - #54-1 Edwards - #40 Ehrlich - #45R Falkner - #8/29 Farnham - #42R Fawcett - #50 Fernsten - #49R Fink - #9/22 Friedersdorf - #8/28 Garner - #50-1 Guyton - #10/8 Hall - #6232 Hatem - #4/16-9 Hesser - #56 Holmes - #47 Hooper - #12/12 Hoskins - #124 Hutchison - #102 Jehli - #42-1 Kassian - #57R1 Kuhlman - 52R LaRock - #1/30 Ledendecker - #4/6 MacDougall - #41 Mahlum - #1/6 Malvin McKee - #154 Merkouris - #49-7 Miller - #10/23 Misius - #56R Moses - #7/25-1 Mowery - #49 Nixon - #42 O'Neal - #10/31 Pearce - #55R Philips - #8/22 Ray - #58-0 Ridenour - #3/3 Roberts - #52R Robertson - #48 Seeman - #43 Settle - #55 Shaw - #43-1 Sidovar - #10/16-1 Simon - #53 Sobieski - #8/22 Sterret - #7/12 Tebbens - #3/12 Thomas - #46R Townsley - #58-2 Trier - #55-1 Vahldieck - #1/30 Vanderhoeven - #50-1 Ward - #53-2 Webb - #6781 Webb - #8/28 Wiemann - #6413 Wilson - #44-1 Wilson - #52 Wood - #51 Wren - #7/23 Wright - #52-1 Yetter - #56R Zive - #59-0

Merkouris - #49-7

 

Merkouris, Thomas M., Pilot

Smith, Robert G., Co-pilot

Mundy, Charles E., Navigator

Merry, Kenneth E., Bombardier

MacDonald, Thomas H., Engineer/Gunner

Ten Haken, Melvin G., Radio Operator/Gunner

Dunham, Harry M., Gunner

Palmer, Jesse H., Gunner

Byers, Thomas F., Gunner

Haggerty, Paul T., Gunner

Wakefield, R. C., Gunner

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.

Merkouris

Courtesy of Richard Smith

Thomas M. Merkouris, Pilot

Smith

Courtesy of Richard Smith

Robert G. Smith, Co-Pilot

Christmas 1944

Courtesy of Richard Smith

Christmas 1944

Lt. Faulker

Courtesy of Richard Smith

Lt. Falkner painting the nose art of #48, Flying Shit House

Lt. Smith

Lt. Robert G. Smith

USA lineFifteenth AAF in Italy - 2nd Lt. Robert G. Smith, 33 Campbell Avenue, Clarion, Pa., co-pilot on a B-24 Liberator bomber in the Fifteenth AAF, has been awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in aerial flight while participating in sustained operational activities against the enemy.

His group, commanded by Col. Brooks A. Lawhon, Tacoma, Wash., has flown more than 160 combat missions and has twice received citations from the War Department for outstanding performance against the enemy.

Smith entered the AAF December 14, 1942, and received his second lieutenant's commission and his pilot's wings at Ellington Field, Texas, May 23, 1944.  Prior to joining the Army, he was a demurrage clerk for the Erie Railroad in Youngstown, Ohio.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred A. Smith, live at the Clarion address.