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358th Poole Crew
Lawrence E. Poole, Pilot
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LAWRENCE E. POOLE CREW - 358th BS
(crew assigned 358BS: 25 Nov 1944 - photo: 09 Dec 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Lawrence E. "Larry" Poole (P)(C/L),
2Lt Harley E. Cannon (CP)(B/O), F/O Harold S. Smith (N)(B/O-KIA),
Sgt Beryl E. Kindred (TG)(B/O)

(Front L-R) Sgt Harry D. Kinsland (WG)(B/O),
S/Sgt Donald P. Smith (To)(KIA), T/Sgt Rayford E. Pullen (E)(C/L),
T/Sgt Marvin L. Hoke (R)(B/O), S/Sgt Charles K. Morrill (BT)

(Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission.)

Thirty-six dispatched (25 credited) missions flown by 1Lt Lawrence E. Poole:
285 (11 Dec 1944), 288, 290, 291, 294, 295, 298B, 299, 300, 303, 304, 305, 307, 310, 311, 313, 314 (A), 315, 323, 324, 325, 327, 329, 330, 331, 338, 339, 340, 342, 343, 344, 346, 349, 350, 351, 352 (5 April 1945)
(A) Non-credited aborted mission - Mechanical problems with B-17. For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.

Fifteen B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Lawrence E. Poole on his 36 dispatched combat missions:

  • 42-97861 Iza Vailable III (360BS) PU-C - Mission 290
  • 44-8427 Henn's Revenge (358BS) VK-E - Missions 285, 299
  • 43-39160 Teddy's Rough Riders (358BS) VK-I - Missions 323, 324, 325
  • 43-38554 Bouncing Betty III (358BS) VK-B - Missions 327, 343
  • 43-39906 Sky Demon [PFF) (358BS) VK-M - Mission 330
  • 43-38999 Emma (358BS) VK-F - Missions 340, 346, 349
  • 43-38258 Forget Me Not Olly (358BS) VK-H - Missions 344
  • 43-38191 Shasta (358BS) VK-A - Mission 352
  • 42-107206 Old Black Magic (359BS) BN-R - Mission 351
  • 43-38065 Princess Pat 2 (358BS) VK-J - Mission 315
  • 42-97949 (No name) (358BS) VK-O - Missions 288, 294, 295, 310, 338, 339
  • 44-6316 (No name) (358BS) VK-C - Missions 291, 305
  • 43-38238 (No name) (358BS) VK-L - Missions 298B, 300, 303, 304, 307, 311, 313, 314 (A), 319, 331
  • 43-38645 (No name) (359BS) BN-B - Mission 342
  • 43-97860 (No name) (360BS) PU-L - Mission 350
Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt Lawrence E. Poole (P) - All except three missions flown as left cockpit seat First Pilot. Three missions (343, 344, 350) flown in the right cockpit seat with regular CoPilot 2Lt Harley E. Cannon flying in the left cockpit seat Last mission (352) flew as Pilot with members of the 2Lt Clarence M. Fountain crew with 2Lt Fountain as CoPilot. Substitute CoPilots used on four missions (285, 346, 351, 352) Completed 35 mission combat tour on 5 April 1945 (Mission 352).
  • 2Lt Harley E. Cannon (CP) - Flew on 31 credited missions with 1Lt Poole (All 1Lt Poole missions except 285, 346 and 351 where substitute CoPilot were used). Flew on three missions as CoPilot with other Pilots (283, 285, 286). Flew on three missions with 1Lt Poole in the left cockpit seat (343, 344, 350). Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 15 March 1945. Completed combat tour on 3 April 1945 (Mission 350).
  • F/O Harold S. Smith (N)(KIA) - Flew on sixteen credited missions with 1Lt Poole (285, 288, 290, 315, 327, 329, 330, 331, 338, 339, 340, 342, 343, 349, 350, 351) and thirteen missions with other Pilots (319, 320, 321, 334, 335, 336, 337, 347, 348, 354, 355, 356, 357). Completed 29 credited missions. Was Killed in Action on 15 March 1945 (Mission 357) to Oranienburg, Germany in B-17G Henn's Revenge (358BS) VK-E, 2Lt Robert I. Murray (P) [8 KIA and 1 POW - Missing Aircrew Report 13875]. Henn's Revenge was hit by attacking ME-262 Jet fighters coming in on the tail. The B-17 burst into flames between the No 3 and 4 engines, held course for very few seconds, then peeled slightly up and slid over and down right through the formation, apparently out of control. The B-17 crashed at Oranienburg, Germany.
  • S/Sgt Donald P. Smith (Tog) - Flew on twenty-five credited missions with 1Lt Poole (All 1Lt Poole missions except 298B, 299, 300, 311, 315, 323, 327, 330, 343, 352) and three missions with other Pilots (311, 312, 315). Completed 28 credited missions on 4 April 1945 (Mission 351).
  • T/Sgt Rayford E. Pullen (E) and T/Sgt Marvin L. Hoke - Flew on all of the 1Lt Poole missions except for mission 352. Completed their combat tours on 4 April 1945 (Mission 351). T/Sgt Hoke added to his 303rd combat service flying on sixteen B-29 missions in Korea. In 1951 he was assigned and served on the Joint Military Mission to Thailand and later served with the Airway and Communication Service, Strategic Air Services, USAF Security Service and Headquarters Frequency Management Group until his 1971 retirement as a Chief Master Sgt.
  • S/Sgt Charles K. Morrill (BTG) - Flew on nine missions with 1Lt Poole (285, 288, 290, 291, 294, 295, 298B, 310, 311) and twenty credited missions with other Pilots as a German speaking interpreter (Spot Jammer & Voice Interpreter ) (298A, 317, 318, 321, 323, 332(A), 335, 336, 338, 343, 344, 347, 348, 350, 351, 355, 356, 358, 359, 360, 364) Completed 29 credited missions on 25 April 1945 (Mission 364).
  • Sgt Harry D. Kinsland (WG) - Flew on fifteen credited missions with 1Lt Poole (285, 288, 290, 291, 294, 295, 298B, 299, 300, 304, 305, 307, 311, 314 (A), 315, 349) and five missions with other Pilots (287, 323, 343, 344, 363). Completed twenty credited missions on 20 April 1945 (Mission 363).
  • Sgt Beryl E. Kindred (TG) - Flew on all of the 1Lt Poole missions except for mission 304. Completed combat tour on 5 April 1945 (Mission 352)
Mission Note:
Mission 315, 15 February 1945 to Dresden, Germany in B-17G 43-38065 Princess Pat II (358BS) VK-J. Upon returning from the mission the weather at Molesworth was similar to take-off conditions - near zero visibility - landings were made under very difficult conditions. 1Lt Poole was having engine problems on the return trip. Two engines had been feathered and gasoline was almost exhausted. 1Lt Poole ordered eight of his crewmen to bail out. 1Lt Poole (P) and T/Sgt Rayford Pullen (E) remained in the B-17 and attempted to make a normal landing at Lakenheath, Suffolk, an RAF airfield. After reaching the RAF airfield they found that it was under construction. They collapsed the landing gear to avoid hitting some workman, saving, according the RAF report, an almost certain loss of life among the civilian workmen. The landing was made without injury and all bailouts were successful. The following crewmen became members of the "Caterpillar Club" after their parachute landings: Regular crew members 2Lt H.E. Cannon (CP), F/O H.S. Smith (N), T/Sgt M.L. Hoke (R), Sgt H.D. Kinsland (WG), Sgt B.E. Kindred (TG); Substitute Crewmen - 2Lt C.A. Mott (B), Sgt N.R. Sexton (BTG), Sgt H.A. Zimmerman (Y-Operator)

Crew Mascot - Airman Homer - Canine Aviator:

Airman Homer, Serial No. 1102586(A) was on duty with the Lt Poole Crew. While picking up a new B-17 at Atlanta, GA Air Depot Base it became obvious that the crew had been increased by one. A small black and white terrier had attached himself to the crew. He seemed to have two obsessions: One - a love for all airmen and two, a passion for flying. The dog was named "Homer" and during the next few days he became inseparable: eating and sleeping with the crew and tailing the crew everywhere. He was dognapped twice by envious crews but was rescued by his loyal buddies.

Upon landing in Wales on 19 November 1944 the crew was met by a consortium of U.S. MP's, the town Constable and Animal Warden. The crew was charged with violating the UK's quarantine laws. In spite of crew please Homer went to the Slammer. On the next day the crew elected an assault team. The dog pound was located and Homer was busted out. Loyalty knew no bounds.

"Reliable sources" tell us that upon arriving at Molesworth the crew decided to place Homer on combat status. Through the cooperation of the parachute riggers, an oxygen mask, and parachute pack was designed produced and fitted to Homer. Homer was awarded the Air Medal for participating in five 1945 Combat missions: 1 January to Kassel, 6 January to Cologne, 7 January to Kalle, 1 February to Mannheim and 3 February to Berlin.

When the crew completed their combat missions and were returning to the USA Homer was offered a home and was left with a pub owner and family in Molesworth.

[photo courtesy of Beryl Kindred & George T. Mackin]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht] [Airman Homer story from the August 1984 HANL]