ARNOLD S. LITMAN CREW - 358th BS
(crew assigned on various dates from Aug to Nov 1943 - photo: 06 Feb 1944)
1Lt Albert W. Stravinsky (B)(4),
Capt Arnold S. Litman (P-EVD)(1)(*)(#),
1Lt Quentin J. Gorman (CP)(2),
Capt Lawrence C. Merthan (N)(3)(*)
S/Sgt Tracy W. Lawson (RWG-Internee)(5),
S/Sgt "Buenaventur "Benny" L. Castillo (TG)(#)(10),
S/Sgt Victor H. Miller (LWG)(*)(#)(9),
T/Sgt Francis R. Ebbighausen (R)(*)(#)(7)
T/Sgt George A. Smith (E)(*)(#)(6),
S/Sgt Paul M. Gibbs (BT)(8)(*)(#)
(*) Originally members of the 358th BS Lt Lester A. Lake, Jr. Crew
(#) Completed 25 mission combat tour 18 April 1944. Volunteered for
additional Lead Crew missions during July and August 1944. (Litman, Smith,
Ebbighausen, Gibbs, Miller & Castillo)
Thirty-Five Dispatched (34 credited) combat missions flown by Capt Arnold S. Litman:
- First Combat Tour - 28 missions - 26 Nov 1943 to 18 April 1944
- As CoPilot - 1Lt Lester A. Lake, Jr. (P) - Three missions (83, 84, 86)
- As Crew First Pilot - Eleven missions (88, 91, 94, 95(A), 97, 99, 100, 102, 103, 104, 108).
- As formation element Leader Pilot -Ten missions (105, 109, 110, 112, 120, 122, 125, 132, 133, 136).
- As Squadron Lead Crew CoPilot - Four missions (111, 119, 131, 134)
- Second Combat Tour - 7 missions - 17 July to 15 Aug 1944
- As Squadron Lead Crew CoPilot - Three missions (205, 208, 214)
- As Squadron Lead Crew Pilot - Four missions (211, 216, 221, 229)
(A) Non-credited aborted mission. For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions
- Litman (P) - Upgraded from CoPilot (Lester A. Lake, Jr. Crew) to Pilot on mission #88 12/13/44. Became a Lead Crew Pilot on mission #109 20 Feb 44. Completed combat tour on 18 Apr 44. Volunteered for a second combat tour as a Lead Pilot on 17 July 44. On 10 August 1944 Capt Litman (P) and 2Lt G.L. Conley (CP) were on a local transition flight in #42-97298 The Floose with a six man crew. The co-pilot was practicing landings and made a hard tail-first landing. Capt Litman immediately applied full power and went around for another approach. The tail wheel was inspected and was found to be damaged. Capt Litman then made a wheels first landings, the tail wheel collapsed when it made runway contact and the tail was dragged long enough to clear the runway. Capt Litman was an Evadee on the 15 August 44 mission #229 to Wiesbaden, Germany in B-17 #42-37838 Fearless Fosdick (358BS) VK-A. His B-17 went down in flames after a flak hit in the nose section that mortally wounded the Bombardier (1 KIA & 8 Evd). Returned to Molesworth and transferred to USA on 13 September 1944.
- Gorman (CP) - Upgraded to CoPilot to Pilot on 04 March 44 after four missions as
Copilot with the Lt John R. Johnson Crew and nine missions with the Litman crew.
Last mission on 10 April 1944. Litman crew then utilized substitute CoPilots. [See: 358th Gorman Crew]
- Merthan (N) - Flew thirteen missions with Litman crew. Substitute Navigators were
then utilized by Litman crew. Became a Lead Crew Navigator on 22 February 1944
and flew twelve lead crew missions. Last mission on 03 June 1944.
- Stravinsky (B) - Flew his first ten missions with the Litman crew. Substitute
Bombardiers were utilized for remaining Litman crew missions. POW on 02 March 44 mission #115 to Frankfurt, Germany in B-17 #42-97509 Old Hickory (358BS) VK-A, Lt D.C. Elder Pilot (2 KIA 8 POW). Downed by two ME-109s between IP and Target. [See: 358th Damon C. Elder Crew]
- Lawson (RWG) - Flew nine missions with the Litman crew. Was hospitalized following
mission #108, 11 Feb 1944 with an illness and substitute crewmen were
utilized. Rejoined Litman crew on 9 March 1944 and flew five missions.
with Litman crew (#120, 122, 125, 132 & 133). Flew one mission with
the Ferguson Crew (#123) , Snyder Crew (#136) and six missions with
the Hofmann crew (#124, 127,129,130, 134 & 140). Interned in Switzerland on 24 April 1944 mission to Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany in B-17 #42-31669 Shoo Shoo Baby (358BS) VK-J, Lt R. Hofmann Pilot. Landed at Zurich with two engines inoperative and low on gas.
- Smith (E)(*)(#) - Flew all of his missions with Litman as Pilot.
Reassigned to 358th BS in July 1944 and flew four additional missions
(#208, 211,214 & 221) with Capt Litman as Pilot. TO USA 9 Nov 1944.
- Ebbighausen (R)(*)(#) - Flew all his missions with Litman as Pilot.
Reassigned to 358th BS in July 1944 and flew five additional missions
(#205,208,211, 214 & 221) with Capt Litman as Pilot. To USA 9 Nov
- Gibbs (BT)(*)(#) - Replaced by S/Sgt Leon J. Witherwax for eight
missions 22 Feb to 18 Mar 1944. Flew 13 missions with the Jack Watson Crew
between 11 Feb and 20 Mar 1944. Rejoined Litman crew on 9 Apr 1944 for four
missions. Reassigned to 358th BS in July 1944 and flew 4 additional missions
(#205, 208, 211 & 221) with Capt. Litman as Pilot. To USA 9 Nov 1944.
- Miller (LWG)(*)(#) - Flew all of his missions with Litman as Pilot.
Reassigned to 358th BS in July 1944 and flew one additional mission (#205)
with Capt Litman as Pilot. TO USA 9 Nov 1944.
- Castillo (TG)(#) - Flew all but one of his missions with Litman as Pilot.
Reassigned to 358th BS in July 1944 and flew three additional missions as
Waist Gunner (208, 211 & 221) with Captain Litman as Pilot. To USA 9 Nov
[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives - identification by Tracy W. Lawson]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]