Polliard Crew – Assigned 753rd Squadron – September 9, 1944

Standing: Martin O’Brien – RO, Donald Ephlin – AG, Eunice McGaugh – AG, William Robinson – E, William O’Hara – AG, Ross Gainey – AG
Kneeling: Lloyd Short – N, Thomas Polliard – P, Virgil Hughes – B, Bard Suverkrop – CP
(Photo: Lloyd Short via Bryan Watson)

Flying at the End of Hostilities

Rank  Name  Serial #  Crew Pos Date Status  Comments
Capt Thomas C Polliard 0710506 Pilot 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
1Lt Bard Suverkrop 0768745 Co-pilot 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 753BS
1Lt Lloyd V Short 0723700 Navigator 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
1Lt Virgil H Hughes T125611 Bombardier 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
T/Sgt Martin J O'Brien 32088118 Radio Operator 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
T/Sgt William E Robinson 12167975 Flight Engineer 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
S/Sgt William E O'Hara 31028347 Armorer-Gunner 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
S/Sgt Donald F Ephlin 11140845 Armorer-Gunner 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
S/Sgt Ross W Gainey 35154245 Armorer-Gunner 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS
S/Sgt Eunice U McGaugh 37535723 Armorer-Gunner 01-May-45 FEH 2AD Roster - 755BS

The Polliard Crew came to Horsham in early September 1944 and were assigned to the 753BS.  A few days after their arrival, the 458BG, along with other Liberator groups of the Second Bombardment Division, were relieved of combat operations in order to ferry gasoline to Patton’s Army in France.  Polliard, before flying a combat mission, participated in five of these cargo runs, known by the crews as Truckin’ missions.

The crew’s first combat mission came on October 5, 1944 to hit an airfield near Paderborn, Germany.  They flew a total of four missions in October, and on the 23rd, the entire crew were transferred to the 755BS to become a lead crew.

Their first abort came on their first mission in November, on the mission to Misburg.  Operations records show, “[Aircraft] 42-50516, [was] not pathfinder, no sortie, returned bombs. The waist gunner got the chokes while flying at 14,500 feet.  Had to give him pure oxygen, but still he passed out.  Did not revive until A/C returned to base and he was placed in ambulance.”  It is unknown which crewman was afflicted in this incident, but it is apparent, by records, that all crewmen continued to fly.

By the end of 1944, Polliard had flown nine missions, but only one lead, on December 28th when they flew deputy lead with Major Roland Rue as command pilot in the low left squadron.  On January 6, 1945 after flying one mission in the New Year, the officers, radio operator and flight engineer were sent to AAF 112 Bovingdon on Temporary Duty (TD), ostensibly to receive training as a lead crew.  They were gone for a month, as formation plans show their next combat mission was on February 3rd.

The crew next led a squadron on the February 22, 1945 mission to Peine-Hildesheim, when the bombing altitude was only 10,000 feet instead of the standard 20,000+ feet. Two aircraft, one flying in Polliard’s squadron, were shot down by flak. Over the next two months, Polliard flew 12 missions, including seven squadron leads, and their last recorded mission on April 10th as group lead. Several of the crew went on leave after this last mission, and with the end of the air war in Europe on April 25th, their combat tour came to an end at 26 completed missions.


Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Cmd Pilot Ld  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
22-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR06 --     44-40475 D J3 T4 JOLLY ROGER TRUCKIN'
25-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR08-1 --     41-28714 G 389BG T2 CYCLONE/UTTERLY DEVASTATING 389BG SHIP
26-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR09 --     803 P   T3 NOT 458TH SHIP TRUCKIN'
28-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR11 --     41-29577 E 466BG T10 THE RUTH E-K TRUCKIN'
30-Sep-44 HSF to LILLE TR13 --     803     T7 NOT 458TH SHIP TRUCKIN'
05-Oct-44 PADERBORN 128 1     44-40134 R J4 22 UNKNOWN 039  
12-Oct-44 OSNABRUCK 132 2     44-40118 S J4 10 WE'LL GET BY  
15-Oct-44 MONHEIM 134 3     44-40275 L J4 18 SHACK TIME  
19-Oct-44 MAINZ 136 4     44-10602 A J3 12 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
04-Nov-44 MISBURG 141 ABT     42-50516 I J3 -- STARDUST ABORT
06-Nov-44 MINDEN 143 5     42-50516 I J3 8 STARDUST  
21-Nov-44 HARBURG 148 6     42-50516 V J3 11 STARDUST  
30-Nov-44 HOMBURG 151 7     -- -- -- --    
11-Dec-44 HANAU 155 8     42-50516 V J3 12 STARDUST  
18-Dec-44 KOBLENZ REC --     42-50504 S J3 -- UNKNOWN 019 RECALL
28-Dec-44 ST. WENDEL 160 9 RUE D2 42-50516 V J3 15 STARDUST  
03-Jan-45 NEUNKIRCHEN 165 10     44-10602 P J3 23 TEN GUN DOTTIE  
03-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 177 11     42-50499 U J3 30 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
15-Feb-45 MAGDEBURG 182 12     44-10487 R J3 31 Girl on surfboard (no name)  
19-Feb-45 MESCHADE 184 13     42-50499 U J3 34 COOKIE/OPEN POST  
22-Feb-45 PEINE-HILDESHEIM 186 14   L2 42-95557 H J3 24 LADY PEACE  
27-Feb-45 HALLE 191 15     44-10618 T J3 5 UNKNOWN 038  
05-Mar-45 HARBURG 197 16   L3 42-95628 K J3 15 UNKNOWN 038  
08-Mar-45 DILLENBURG 199 17     42-50516 V J3 26 STARDUST  
10-Mar-45 ARNSBURG 201 18   L3 44-48837 L J3 16 UNKNOWN 041  
14-Mar-45 HOLZWICKEDE 203 19   L4 42-95628 K J3 17 UNKNOWN 038  
19-Mar-45 LEIPHEIM 207 20   L3 42-95628 K J3 19 UNKNOWN 038  
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 21   L2 42-95557 H J3 39 LADY PEACE  
24-Mar-45 NORDHORN 212 22   L2 42-95557 H J3 41 LADY PEACE  
30-Mar-45 WILHELMSHAVEN 215 23 LaVALLE D1 42-95557 H J3 42 LADY PEACE  
05-Apr-45 PLAUEN 218 24   L4 42-51936 I J3 29 UNKNOWN 027  
07-Apr-45 KRUMMEL 220 25 LaVALLE D1 42-95557 H J3 47 LADY PEACE  
10-Apr-45 RECHLIN/LARZ 223 26 HENSLER L1 44-50892 N J3 1 UNKNOWN 055 NEW SHIP

Lead Crew – March 10, 1945

Standing: Bill O’Hara, Tom Polliard, Ross Gainey, Bard Suverkrop, Bert Kemp (Radar Nav), Bill Robinson
Kneeling: Jack Victor (Pilotage Nav), Lloyd Short (only face visible), Eunice McGaugh
Sitting: Virgil Hughes, Don Ephlin, Marty O’Brien
(Photo: 2ADA Journal – Lloyd Short)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

In the 1980’s, the crew’s navigator, Lloyd Short (left), wrote a letter to the editor of the 2nd Air Division Association, and sent the crew photo above, with the names of his crew:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as the crew designated itself, flew 27 missions.  Most of these were as the lead or deputy lead of a squadron, group or wing.  The crew was with the 458th Bomb Group from the summer of 1944 until the end of the war in Europe.


Several years later, Short befriended a gentleman by the name of Bryan Watson, who sent these photos and an explanation of the name of the crew:

“I asked Lloyd about the significance of that name.  He told me they switched planes so often that they never had any nose art.  They just kind of called their crew “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. 

(Photos: Bryan Watson)