Gentry Crew – Assigned 755th Squadron – April 12, 1944

Standing: Thomas Dahlen – CP, Les Gentry – P, Bob Jones – B, Herb Keene – N

Kneeling: Roscoe Heins – BTG, John Glowski – TTG, Mike Grady – TG, Forrest Church – E, Leonard Krul – NTG, Elliott Belland – RO

(Photo: Travis Schroeder)

Transferred to Fifteenth Air Force

RankNameSerial #Crew PositionDateStatusComments
1LtLeslie J GentryPilotJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
2LtThomas R DahlenCo-pilotJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
2LtHerbert J KeenNavigatorJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
1LtRobert E JonesBombardierOct-44CTRepl Depot for return to ZI
T/SgtElliott E BellandRadio OperatorJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
T/SgtForrest G ChurchFlight EngineerJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
S/SgtRoscoe V HeinsBall Turret GunnerJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
S/SgtMichael G GradyTail Turret GunnerJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
S/SgtJohn R GlowskiTop Turret GunnerJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG
S/SgtLeonard KrulNose Turret GunnerJun-44TRSFTrsf to 15th AF 459BG

The Gentry Crew was one of the first replacement crews to come to the 755th Squadron.  The 755th had lost six crews in the 40-plus days that the group had been flying on operations. They arrived shortly after the April 9th mission to Tutow, where four crews (two from the 755th) were lost.  After a few days to get indoctrinated, the crew flew their first mission on April 24th and three more before the end of April.  The crew took off on 12 missions in May, aborting two of them, both due to mechanical difficulties.  In the last week of May they had completed 14 missions, well on their way to  the required 30.

In early June, however, all of the crew except for bombardier Robert E. Jones were transferred to the 15th Air Force, eventually ending up with the 759th Squadron 459th Bombardment Group based at Giulia Field, Cerignola, Italy.  It is believed that the crew completed a combat tour with this unit, as 459th records show that Les Gentry and several of the crew received the Distinguished Flying Cross on September 23, 1944.

755th Squadron records show that Jones completed his tour with the 458th and was sent to the States in October 1944.

Click here for Gentry’s crew page on the 459th Bombardment Group website.

Missions with 458th

DateTarget458th MsnPilot MsnSerialRCLSqdnA/C MsnA/C NameComments
24-Apr-44LEIPHEIM A/F26141-29342SJ39ROUGH RIDERS
25-Apr-44MANNHEIM A/F27241-29342SJ310ROUGH RIDERS
26-Apr-44PADERBORN A/F28341-29342SJ311ROUGH RIDERS
29-Apr-44BERLIN31441-29342SJ314ROUGH RIDERS
12-May-44BOHLEN40841-29288LJ317BIG-TIME OPERATOR
13-May-44TUTOW A/F41941-29288LJ318BIG-TIME OPERATOR
20-May-44RHEIMS A/D431141-29288LJ320BIG-TIME OPERATOR
23-May-44BOURGES451241-29470OJ32UNKNOWN 013
24-May-44VILLEROCHE, near MELUN461342-51097TJ37UNKNOWN 022
25-May-44MULHOUSE M/Y471442-51097TJ38UNKNOWN 022

Photos of 459th Bomb Group

(Courtesy: Thomas Dahlen via Travis Schroeder)