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358th Baker Crew
John H. Baker, Pilot
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JOHN H. BAKER CREW - 358th BS
B-17G #42-97298The Floose 358BS (VK-H)
(crew assigned 358BS: 25 Apr 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Ronald Claeys (N), 2Lt Charles W. Matthews (CP),
1Lt John H. Baker (P), 1Lt Frank G. Belles (B)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Archie D. Peters (TG), Sgt Stanton A. Parker (WG),
S/Sgt Fred P. Reichmann (Top Turret/WG), S/Sgt Joseph S. Bertasso (BTG),
T/Sgt Fred H. Judd (R), T/Sgt Warren L. Kishbaugh (E/WG)

(Ranks and grades at time of last 303rd BG(H) combat mission)


Combat missions of 1Lt John H. Baker (33 dispatched 31 Credited):
Seven dispatched Missions as CoPilot with Lt R.A Knight as Mission Orientation Pilot: 151(11 May 1944), 154(S), 155, 157, 158, 159 and 163.
Twenty six dispatched missions as First Pilot: 161 (27 May 1944),165, 169, 170, 171, 172, 176, 177, 178, 179, 184, 185, 186(AS), 190, 194, 198(A) ,200, 201, 203, 205, 208, 214, 216, 217, 218, 220 (5 August 1944) (S) Spare B-17-Returned-No credit, (A) Aborted - No credit, (AS) Credited abortive sortie
See Missions List for mission dates and target locations.

Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt John H. Baker (P) - Dispatched on seven missions as CoPilot with a Mission Orientation Pilot. Other missions flown as the crew's First Pilot. Combat tour completed on 5 August 1944.

  • 2Lt Charles W. Matthews (CP) - Flew no 303rd BG(H) combat missions. Transferred to 15th Air Force, 301st Bomb Group / 352nd Bomb Squadron in Italy in May of 1944 where he flew 10 missions as a B-17 copilot. He then trained as a P-38 pilot and flew 6 missions with the 95th Fighter Squadron.
    Seven substitute CoPilots used by Lt Baker Crew:
    • 2Lt Ernest A. Whittall (CP) - 7 dispatched missions (165, 169, 179, 194, 198(A), 200, 201, 203) - From 358th BS Lt Joseph H. Cook Crew
    • 2Lt Hendric S. Hudson (CP) - 8 missions (161, 170, 171, 172, 176, 177, 178, 184) - From 358th BS Joseph A. Moreau Crew
    • 2Lt Costa Markos (CP) - 4 missions (214, 216, 217, 218) - From 358th BS Homer P. Bailie and Costa Markos crews
    • 2Lt James H. Byrnes (CP) - 2 missions (185, 190) - From 358th BS Bernard E. Vermeer crew
    • 2Lt Leland H. Satre (CP) - 1 mission (186) - From 358th BS Roman P. Charnick and James F. McNamara crews
    • 2Lt Earl B. Douglass (CP) - 1 mission (205) - Original member of the 358th BS Roman P. Charnick crew - not in crew photo
    • 2Lt Harry J. Cook , Jr. (CP) - 1 mission (220) - From 358th BS Arthur L Goss crew


  • 1Lt Roland Claeys (N) - Flew on 26 credited missions with 1Lt Baker and six missions with four other Pilots. Combat tour completed on 5 August 1944

  • 1Lt Frank G. Belles (B) - Flew on 18 credited missions with Lt Baker, 1 mission with another Pilot (167) and 8 missions as a Lead Crew Bombardier with other Pilots (202, 203, 208, 215, 221, 222, 223, 243). Combat tour completed on 17 September 1944.

  • T/Sgt Warren L. Kishbaugh (E) - Flew on 21 credited missions with Lt Baker and 5 as a Lead Crew Engineer with other Pilots (235, 237, 241, 245, 253). Most of his Lt Baker missions flown as Waist Gunner. Combat tour completed on 7 October 1944.

  • T/Sgt Fred H. Judd (R) - Flew on 7 credited missions with Lt Baker (151, 155, 157, 158, 159, 161, 163). Was shot through the hip by flak, was given first aid and hospitalized after landing. Flew no other 303rd BG(H) Missions.
    Three substitute Radio Operators used by Lt Baker Crew:
    • T/Sgt Archie R. Jennings (R) - Five missions (165, 169, 170, 171, 172). See Lt John H. Cook crew photo. Flew on 23 additional credited missions - 17 as a Lead Crew Radio Operator. Combat tour completed on 7 April 1945.
    • T/Sgt Thomas B. Cottrell (R) - Assigned 358th BS 28 May 1944 - 18 missions with Lt Baker (Missions 177 through 220). Flew 5 credited missions with two other Pilots (165(A), 167, 171, 172, 175, 176). Last mission on 5 August 1944. Cannot locate photo of T/Sgt Cottrell.
    • S/Sgt Mark S. Kustic (R) - One mission (176). See Lt James F. McNamara Crew photo


  • S/Sgt Joseph S. Bertasso (BTG) - Flew on all of the Lt Baker missions. Completed combat tour on 5 August 1944.

  • Sgt Stanton A. Parker (WG) - Flew on 20 missions with the Lt Baker Crew (151 through 179 and 185,194, 201 & 205). Last mission on 17 July 1944. The Lt Baker crew flew with one waist Gunner after mission 179 on 13 June 1944.

  • S/Sgt Fred P. Reichmann (WG) - Flew on 28 missions with Lt Baker. No other missions flown. Last mission on 5 August 1944. Missions prior to 13 June 1944 flown Top Turret Gunner. One mission as Tail Gunner (205). Other missions as Waist Gunner (186, 190, 200, 203, 208, 214, 216, 217, 218, 220). Last mission on 5 August 1944.

  • S/Sgt Archie D. Peters (TG). Flew on all of the Lt Baker missions except for 205. Flew one mission with another Pilot (223). Combat tour completed on 8 August 1944.
[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]