Perry Crew – Assigned 755th Squadron – September 21, 1944

Back Row: Harry Humes – G, James Landrum – Crew Chief, Paul Risley – TG, Philip Sagi – WG
Middle Row: Robert Clark – RO, Eugene Robinson – NTG, Charles Allison – Asst Crew Chief
Front Row: Jack Hibbs – B, Richard Pulse – CP, Harry Perry – P, Robert Hair – E
Not pictured: Lt Thomas R. Dawes, Navigator
(Photo: Dick Pulse)

Completed Tour

Rank Name Serial # MOS Crew Pos / Job Title Date Status Comments
1Lt Harry H Perry, Jr 0820817 1024 Pilot 27-Mar-45 CT TD to 492d Bomb Grp 9 weeks
1Lt Richard I Pulse, Jr 0824874 1024 Co-pilot 27-Mar-45 CT TD to 492d Bomb Grp 9 weeks
1Lt Thomas R Dawes 0716378 1034 Navigator 5-Jan-45 CT Transferred to 755th Sqdn
T/Sgt Robert H Clark 11040202 757 Radio Operator-Gunner 27-Mar-45 CT TD to 492d Bomb Grp 9 weeks
T/Sgt Robert L Hair, Jr 34649803 748 Flight Engineer 13-Mar-45 CT Citation: Air Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster)
S/Sgt Paul A Risley 20315434 611 Aerial Gunner 2-Apr-45 CT Citation: Air Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster)
Pvt Eugene E Robinson 13039130 612 Armorer-Gunner 12-May-45 UNK Reduced to gr Pvt - Misconduct
S/Sgt Harry C Humes 32617034 611 Aerial Gunner/Crew Chief 8-Nov-44 RECL Reclassified MOS 750 Crew Chief
S/Sgt Philip C Sagi 32784134 611 Aerial Gunner 25-Apr-45 UNK Last 8AF Combat Mission (Pilot Spratt)

The Perry Crew was assigned to the 755th Bombardment Squadron on September 21, 1944.  They came at a time when the group had been removed from combat operations in order to ferry gasoline to Patton’s Army advancing across France.  The crew underwent a period of in-theater indoctrination and did not fly any of the Truckin’ Flights.

Their first mission was on October 6, 1944 to Wenzendorf, Germany.  They flew two additional missions in the 755th before a change was made in the group’s crew structure.

On October 23rd the 458th moved all lead crews into the 755th Squadron and the Perry Crew was transferred into the 752nd Squadron.  They would fly the remainder of their combat tour in this squadron.  In late November, navigator 2Lt Thomas R. Dawes was sent to the 466BG for training on H2X (radar) equipment to become a radar navigator.  Upon his return to the group in late December or early January, he was transferred to the 755BS.

Since the crew had been assigned to the group without a bombardier, and their navigator had been sent for H2X training, 2Lt Jack R. Hibbs, bombardier on the Frederick Crew, was assigned to Perry as a navigator.  The Frederick Crew had been lost on a night training flight on September 9, 1944 when their aircraft either flew through a downdraft or the prop wash of another aircraft.  Hibbs and navigator, 2Lt Glen C. Allen were the only two that managed to bail out.  The aircraft crashed near Peterborough killing seven members of the crew.

The Perry Crew had flown seven complete missions before suffering their first abort.  On November 8, 1944 the group was to bomb the marshaling yards at Rheine, Germany.  The crew experienced several difficulties on this flight, as detailed in the Group’s Aircraft Not Attacking Report:

“Pilot reported the only time he saw the 458th Group was while climbing to altitude.  When route was changed to Buncher 24 he flew by radio compass and it proved to be incorrect in the clouds.  Navigator’s jack-box was out so they had no communication.  Pitot-tube froze up and had to lose altitude to thaw it out.  By this time it was too late to overtake the Group, so A/C returned to base.  No sortie. Returned bombs.”

Out of the crew’s 35 credited missions, they were forced to about two more times – both due to mechanical problems: one due to a faulty gas cap, and the other when they lost two superchargers.

The crew flew an older B-24J-100-CO 42-100425 named The Bird on 21 of their 35 missions.  This aircraft had been with the group from its very beginning, flying its first mission on March 3, 1944.  The Bird amassed 81 completed missions over the Continent by early April 1945.  On April 14th, taking off in dense fog, the crew of 2Lt Rex M. Gibson crashed shortly after gaining flight, killing six of the seven man crew.

On March 21st Perry flew his last mission, and it is believed that most of the crew finished up around this time as well.  On March 27th, Perry, co-pilot 1Lt Richard I. Pulse, Jr and radio operator T/Sgt Robert H. Clark, along with a bombardier and flight engineer from other crews, were transferred to the 492nd Bombardment Group for a period of nine weeks.  They were ordered to “carry full flying equipment”, but the details for their transfer are unknown.

Several of the crew were still on the 2AD Roster of Personnel that was compiled on May 1, 1945.  While the reason for the delay in their departure back to the U.S. is unknown, and the method taken is also unknown, the son of navigator Thomas Dawes confirmed that his father returned to the U.S. by ship.


Date Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
27-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR10 -- 42-7629 A 755 T7 NOT 458TH SHIP TRUCKIN' MISSION
28-Sep-44 HORSHAM to LILLE TR11 -- 42-7629 A 755 T8 NOT 458TH SHIP TRUCKIN' MISSION
06-Oct-44 WENZENDORF 129 1 42-95183 U J3 44 BRINEY MARLIN  
07-Oct-44 MAGDEBURG 130 2 42-51196 Q J3 3 THE GYPSY QUEEN  
14-Oct-44 COLOGNE 133 3 42-95183 U J3 47 BRINEY MARLIN  
26-Oct-44 MINDEN 138 4 42-51206 S 7V 11 THE PIED PIPER  
02-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 140 5 42-100425 O 7V 33 THE BIRD  
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 6 42-95165 L 7V 41 COOKIE  
05-Nov-44 KARLSRUHE 142 7 42-95179 X 7V 56 HERE I GO AGAIN  
08-Nov-44 RHEINE 144 ABT 42-100425 O 7V -- THE BIRD ABORT - MYRIAD PROBS
10-Nov-44 HANAU A/F 146 8 42-51206 S 7V 19 THE PIED PIPER  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 9 42-51110 M 7V 52 TOP O' THE MARK  
26-Nov-44 BIELEFELD 150 NTO 42-100425 O 7V -- THE BIRD NO TAKE OFF
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 10 -- -- -- --   No FC - Sqdn Rec's
06-Dec-44 BIELEFELD 153 11 42-51110 M 7V 56 TOP O' THE MARK  
10-Dec-44 BINGEN 154 12 42-100425 O 7V 37 THE BIRD  
11-Dec-44 HANAU 155 ABT 42-100425 O 7V -- THE BIRD ABORT - GAS LEAK
12-Dec-44 HANAU 156 13 42-100425 O 7V 38 THE BIRD  
24-Dec-44 SCHONECKEN 157 14 42-100425 O 7V 39 THE BIRD  
01-Jan-45 KOBLENZ 163 15 42-100425 O 7V 40 THE BIRD  
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 16 42-100425 O 7V 42 THE BIRD  
08-Jan-45 STADTKYLL 167 17 42-100425 O 7V 44 THE BIRD  
16-Jan-45 MAGDEBURG 171 18 42-100425 O 7V 45 THE BIRD  
21-Jan-45 HEILBRONN 173 19 42-100425 O 7V 46 THE BIRD  
29-Jan-45 MUNSTER 175 20 42-100425 O 7V 48 THE BIRD  
06-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 178 ABT 42-100425 O 7V -- THE BIRD ABORT - 2 SUPCHG OUT
09-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 179 21 42-100425 O 7V 51 THE BIRD  
15-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 182 22 42-100425 O 7V 53 THE BIRD  
19-Feb-45 MESCHADE 184 23 42-51270 A 7V 11 MY BUNNIE II  
21-Feb-45 NUREMBERG 185 24 42-100425 O 7V 55 THE BIRD  
25-Feb-45 SCHWABISCH-HALL 189 25 42-100425 O 7V 59 THE BIRD [A/C ON STRIKE PHOTO]
27-Feb-45 HALLE 191 ABT 42-100425 O 7V -- THE BIRD ABORT - #2, 3 ENG ROUGH
01-Mar-45 INGOLSTADT 193 26 42-52457 Q 7V 94 FINAL APPROACH  
02-Mar-45 MAGDEBURG 194 27 42-95316 H 7V 86 PRINCESS PAT  
03-Mar-45 NIENBURG 195 MSHL -- -- -- --   MARSHALING CHIEF
04-Mar-45 STUTTGART 196 28 42-51514 B 7V 20 BIG CHIEF LIL' BEAVER  
07-Mar-45 SOEST 198 29 42-100425 O 7V 61 THE BIRD  
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE 203 30 42-100425 O 7V 65 THE BIRD  
17-Mar-45 HANNOVER 205 31 42-100425 O 7V 67 THE BIRD  
20-Mar-45 HEMINGSTEDT 208 32 42-100425 O 7V 69 THE BIRD  
21-Mar-45 HESEPE 209 33 42-100425 O 7V 70 THE BIRD

B-24J-100-CO 42-100425 7V O  The Bird

The Bird in flight

Great view of the artwork on The Bird while refueling.

April 14, 1945: Wreckage of The Bird after crashing on takeoff at Horsham St Faith.

February 25, 1945

Mission Narrative:  At last on 25 February we were favored with some fine weather and were able to bomb visually and see the results of our efforts.  The A/F, SWABISCH-HALL engaged in major training and refitting as well as assembly of JET A/C was to be our victim of the day.  MAJOR RUE, CAPTS WILLIAMS and GOODFRIEND led our 27 A/C over and all 27 bombed the target visually dropping 258×500 IB’s with very good results.  On the bomb run a GH run was started.  The middle third of the bomb run was covered with clouds.  However, the target area was picked up visually when 14 miles out and the GH Operator turned the A/C over to the Bombardier.  The MPI was sighted from about 8 miles away.  All three squadrons had good runs.  A good job done and something to be proud of.

Strike photos – Schwabisch Hall

Strike Photo: The Perry crew in The Bird (upper left) were caught in a strike camera photo above the target.

2Lt Thomas R. Dawes – Navigator

Thomas Dawes is standing on the left.  All others are unidentified.

(Photo: Thomas Dawes)

If you recognize anyone in the photo, please contact me.