Crew 40 – Assigned 754th Squadron – October 1943

Back Row: Don “Brick” Breckenridge – B, Ernest “Tom” Herndon – CP, Harry Pierce – P, Charles Noblitt – N
Front Row: Tommy Horne – BTG, Joe Jewett – E, Ray Juskiewicz – RO, Verdon “Dutch” Price – TG, Richard “Casey” Owens – G

(Photo: Marilyn Boyd)

Most of crew transferred to 466th BG

 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
Capt Harry F Pierce 0738023 Pilot Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
1Lt Ernest T Herndon 0681415 Co-pilot 06-Mar-44 POW Stalag Luft III
2Lt Charles G Noblitt 0811874 Navigator 23-May-44 KIA Mid air collision - Barton Crew
2Lt Donald J Breckenridge 0735256 Bombardier Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
T/Sgt Raymond R Juskiewicz  16168441 Radio Operator Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
T/Sgt  Joseph F Jewett 1917664 Flight Engineer Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
S/Sgt Richard Owens 33355508 Aerial Gunner/2E  Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
S/Sgt Raphael Anthony 13131934 Aerial Gunner/2E Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
S/Sgt Thomas W Horne 13128565 Armorer-Gunner Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew
S/Sgt Verdun S Price 13124837 Armorer-Gunner Apr-44 TRSF Trsf to 466BG - Lead Crew

Lt Harry F. Pierce and crew were a part of the original group formed in the States in 1943.  There are a few unknown circumstances involving Crew #40.  The photo of the crew was taken at Tonopah in late fall of 1943 while the 458th Bomb Group was undergoing their final phase training prior to being sent overseas.  At some point during this training, co-pilot 2Lt Ernest T. Herndon was replaced by 2Lt Thomas H. McKiernan and 2Lt Charles C. Noblitt was replaced by 2Lt Eugene M. Hoag.  Herndon and Noblitt both appear on an early combat crew roster for the 754th Squadron as part of Crew 45, pilot 2Lt Kenneth C. Barton. 

Crew 40 was assigned as a lead crew early on, flying four of their six missions as lead or deputy lead. In mid-April the entire crew was transferred to the 93rd Bomb Group for lead crew training.  They lead the 458th twice as a lead crew with a 458th Command Pilot.  In August they were transferred to the 466th Bomb Group where they completed their combat tour.

Ray Juskiewicz’s flight records lend a little insight into the crew’s assignments, as related by his daughter Marilyn Boyd: “His records state from September thru November 1943 they where at Wendover Field, Utah. On this document it lists he’s assigned to the 2nd Air Force, 15th Wing, 458th Group, 754th Squadron. December 1943 they shipped out to Europe. January, February, March and up until April 10th, I’m assuming he’s with the same assignment as the documents do not have “assigned to” or “base” filled in. And I assume that he was at Horsham as my dad indicated to me. The documents change after this. It picks up mid-April with APO#104 (Hardwick) and lists his assignment as 93rd Bomb Grp (H) 329 Bomb squadron. May, June and July also list the 329th squadron. August [records] list APO#120 (Attlebrige) 466th group 784th squadron.”

Ernest “Tom” Herndon flew as co-pilot on Crew 48 with pilot 2Lt Thayer Hopkins on the March 6, 1944 raid on Berlin.  This crew was shot down over Holland. Herndon was wounded and made a POW.

On May 23, 1944, while assembling for a mission to the airfield near Bourges, France, the aircraft that 1Lt. Kenneth Barton was flying collided with a B-17 of the 351st Bomb Group (Pilot 1Lt Peter E. Crowe) whose formation passed through that of the 458th at a 90° angle.  Charles Noblitt was the navigator.  He and the rest of Crew 45 were killed.

2Lt Eugene M. Hoag, the navigator replacing Charles Noblitt on Crew 40, was shot down on April 25, 1944 while flying with Crew 44, piloted by 2Lt John H. Combs. Why Hoag had not been transferred with the rest of his crew earlier in the month is unknown. Hoag apparently filled in for Comb’s regular navigator, 2Lt Jacob E. Maze, who was possibly transferred to the 93BG to fly with Pierce after the loss of his crew.

Sgt Raphael E. Anthony is also listed on the early combat crew roster as being assigned to Crew 40 as a gunner.  He is not pictured above, but was transferred with the crew in April.

Missions with the 458th

Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Cmd Pilot Ld  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
25-Feb-44 DUTCH COAST D2 -- WRIGHT L3 42-52353 -- Z5 D2 UNKNOWN 049 Diversion Mission
03-Mar-44 BERLIN 2 1     42-52353 -- Z5 2 UNKNOWN 049  
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC  3 2     42-52353 J Z5 3 UNKNOWN 049  
06-Mar-44 BERLIN/GENSHAGEN 4 3     42-52353 J Z5 4 UNKNOWN 049  
18-Mar-44 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 9 ABT     41-28682 I Z5 -- UNKNOWN 003 #3 SUPER CHARGER
23-Mar-44  OSNABRUCK 12 ABT LaROCHE L2 42-100357 D Z5 -- VALE OREGAN #3 ENG GAS LEAK
24-Mar-44 ST. DIZIER 13 6 JAMISON L1 42-100425 D J3 5 THE BIRD  
19-Jun-44 REGNAUVILLE 72 -- BOOTH L2 -- -- RE -- 93BG/329SQ PIERCE 93BG LEAD MSN #2 
02-Jul-44 COUBRONNE 83 -- HENSLER L 42-110188 V RE -- 93BG/329SQ PIERCE 93BG LEAD

466th Bombardment Group

The crew’s final mission to Gelsenkirchen on October 25, 1944 marks the end of their tour.

Standing: Jacob Maze, Richard (Casey) Owens, Ray Juskiewicz, Harry Pierce, Unknown, Tom McKiernan
Kneeling: Tom Horn, (Dutch) Verdun Price, Raphael Anthony, Joe Jewett

S/Sgt Ray Juskiewicz Mission List

 No.   Target  Date
1 Berlin March 3
2 Berlin March 6
3 Berlin March 8
4 Brunswick March 15
5 Friedrichshaven  March 18 
6 St. Nazaire March 24
7 Bonnieres March 26
8 Pas de Calais April 5
9 Waggum April 8
10 Wizerrnes May 3
11 Pas de Calais May 15
12 Pas de Calais May 22
13 Alencon June 7
14 Beaumont June 11
15 St. Andre June 12

 No.   Target  Date
16 Vannes June 13
17 Guyancourt June 17
18 Pas de Calais June 19
19 Pas de Calais June 19
20 Politz June 20
21 Pas de Calais June 23
22 Courborne July 2
23 Evreux July 4
24 Evreux July 10
25 Leculot July 15
26 Juvincourt July 23
27 Villers L Hosipal  August 30
28 Gaggenau October 3
29 Cologne October 18
30 Gelsenkirchen October 25 

Capt Harry F. Pierce

October 25, 1944 – Tour complete

(Photos and mission list: Marilyn Boyd)