CHARLES N. AUSTIN CREW - 358th BS
(Crew assigned 358BS: 10 Feb 1943 from 92nd BG)
1Lt Charles N. Austin (P)(POW),
1Lt Norbert B. Fieldman (CP)(KIA),
1Lt Richard G. White, Jr. (N)(POW),
1Lt Robert A. Coltrane (B)(KIA)
S/Sgt Samuel O. Snipes (E)(POW),
S/Sgt Charles B. Davis (R),
Sgt Delbert Mikkelsen (BTG/RWG)(KIA),
Sgt Fred O. Deal (RWG/TG))(KIA),
Sgt Eugene W. Eckard (LWG)(POW),
Sgt Alex LeBlanc (TG/BTG)(KIA)
Eight Credited Crew Missions:
15 (AS)(14 Feb 43), 16, 17 (A), 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24 (18 Mar 43)
(AS) Abortive Sortie - Credited mission (A) Non-Credited abortive mission
18 March 1943, mission #24 to Vegesack, Germany in B-17F #41-24558 (358BS), an original 303rd BG(H) B-17F. Went down over the target on Jadesusen flats area of Wilhelmshaven, Germany after being hit by flak.
Original Crew Changes:
S/Sgt Charles B. Davis (R) was replaced by Sgt Bernard A. Gergash (R)(POW) Pvt Bernard A. Gergash was an original member of the 1Lt Joseph E. Haas Crew and flew six credited missions with the Haas Crew - 1 (A), 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10. 1Lt Haas was shot down and killed on mission #11, 23 Jan 43. Sgt Gergash was promoted to S/Sgt and became a member of the 1Lt Austin crew replacing S/Sgt Charles B. Davis.
S/Sgt Davis only flew on two missions, # 5 & 6. Suffered frostbitten hands on mission # 6, 16 Feb 1943, and was sent to the hospital and grounded.
The Lt Austin crew had been sent to the 303rd BG(H) from the 92nd BG(H) as a temporary replacement crew. Lt Austin flew one of the original 92nd BG(H) B-17Fs across the Atlantic Ocean to England
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]