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358th Rosser Crew
Samuel E. Rosser, Pilot
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SAMUEL E. ROSSER CREW - 358th BS
(crew assigned 358BS: 30 May 1944 - photo: 1 Dec 1944)



SAMUEL E. ROSSER CREW - 358th BS
(crew assigned 358BS: 30 May 1944)

(Back L-R) Sgt Robert H. Pressentin - (TG-KIA 9/28/44), Capt Samuel E. Rosser (P),
2Lt John R. Helms (CP), 1Lt Earl D. Metko (N)(B/O), 1Lt Warren B. Morris (B)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Norman W. Putney (WG), S/Sgt William (Bill) D. Foster (WG),
T/Sgt Ollice Z. Rowe (R), T/Sgt James M. O'Leary (E)

Missing from photo - T/Sgt Jack O. Severson, Jr. (BTG)(B/O)
Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission.


Captain Samuel E. Rosser

Twenty-seven credited Combat missions flown by Captain Samuel E. Rosser:
Ten credited regular missions: 176(A) (8 June 1944), 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184(S), 185, 186, 187 (21 June 1944); Seventeen credited Lead Crew missions: 201 (11 July 1944), 203, 209, 218, 225, 228, 231, 236, 243, 246, 261, 265, 269, 289, 293, 297, 304 (20 January 1945).
(A) Non-credited aborted mission -- (S) Non-credited Spare aircraft mission - not required - returned to Molesworth. For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions. Does not include missions that may have been flown as a Lead Crew Pilot with other Bomb Groups when Capt Rosser was on temporary assignment with the 305th BG(H).

Crew Notes:

  • Captain Samuel E. Rosser (P) - Missions 176 & 177 flown as CoPilot with combat orientation Pilot 2Lt John P. Watson. Lead Crew Missions 209, 228, 297 flown as CoPilot with Squadron Commanders. All other missions flown as First Pilot. Combat tour (28 303rd missions) completed on 20 January 1945 (mission 304).

  • 2Lt John R. Helms (CP) - Flew on 10 credited missions with the Rosser Crew - 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187. Flew on 20 missions as CoPilot with other Pilots -194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 200, 201, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 214, 215, 219, 226. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 10 Aug 1944. Flew three missions as First Pilot - 225, 227, 230. Completed combat tour (33 303rd missions) on 30 August 1944 (Mission 234).

  • 1Lt Earl D. Metko (N) - Flew on nine regular missions with Pilot other than Capt Rosser: With 2Lt Bernard E. Vermeer (6 missions - 220, 222, 227, 229, 230); with other Pilots (3 missions - 176, 177, 223). Became a Lead Crew Navigator: With Capt Rosser (5 missions - 201, 203, 209, 218, 293); With other Lead Crew Pilots: (17 missions - 231, 235, 241, 247, 249, 253, 264, 268, 276, 284, 297, 316, 322, 324, 330, 348, Bail out mission - Mission 177, 10 June, 1944, 1Lt Sam Oliver Crew in B-17G 42-37893 Bam Bam (358BS) VK-O. B-17 crashed shortly after take-off, just after joining the formation. The B-17 went into a dive, exploded and crashed near Great Gidding, Huntingdonshire, England - Six Killed and 4 bailed out including Lt Metko. Completed combat tour (31 303rd missions) on 22 March 1945 (Mission 343).

  • 1Lt Warren B. Morris (B) - Flew on 7 credited missions with the Rosser Crew (178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 193, 246. Flew on 22 missions with other Pilots: Regular crews (11 missions - 193, 194, 195, 203, 204, 209, 214, 217, 219, 223, 228); As a Lead Crew Bombardier (11 missions - 230, 237, 245, 247, 250, 254, 260, 264, 268, 272, 276). Completed combat tour (29 missions) on 23 November 1944 (Mission 276).

  • T/Sgt James M. O'Leary (E) - Flew on all of Capt Rosser's 28 credited missions except for 177 & 304 . Flew on two missions with other Pilots (250 (Lead Crew) & 303 (As Waist Gunner). Completed combat tour (28 303rd missions) on 17 January 1945 (Mission 303).

  • T/Sgt Ollice Z. Rowe (R) - Flew on 25 credited missions with Capt Rosser (All of Rosser missions except for 176(A), 177, 189, 297). Flew on 5 missions with other Pilots (184, 185, 241, 250, 253). Completed combat tour (29 303rd missions) on 20 January 1945 (Mission 304).

  • S/Sgt Jack O. Severson, Jr. (BTG) - Flew on 9 credited missions with the Rosser Crew (178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184(As Togglier),186, 187). Flew on 25 missions with other Pilots as Togglier (195, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 210, 237, 238, 241, 245, 252, 254, 255, 256, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 271). Bail out mission - Mission 210, 23 July 1944, in B-17G 42-97622 Paper Dollie (358BS) VK-K, F/O Cecil M. Miller (P). Ran low on fuel returning from a combat mission to Creil, France. Crew bailed out while crossing the English Coast. Pilot and Tail Gunner Killed, Other crewmen made successful parachute jumps. B-17 crashed at Bishop's Waltham. Completed combat tour (34 303rd missions) on 10 November 1944 (Mission 271).

  • S/Sgt Norman W. Putney (WG) - Flew on 21 mission with Capt Rosser (Regular missions -178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187. Lead Crew missions - As Waist Gunner - 201, 203, 228, 246, 265, 269, 289, 293, 297 - As BTG -231 & 243). Flew on 9 missions with other Pilots (As WG - 254, 277, 279, 302. As BTG - 250, 260, 272 As TG - 275, 280). Completed combat tour (30 303rd missions) on 15 January 1945 Mission 302).

  • S/Sgt William "Bill" D. Foster (WG) - Flew on 18 missions with Capt Rosser (Regular missions - As WG 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185. As Tog -186. Lead Crew missions - As WG 201, 203, 209, 218, 225, 231, 236, 243, 261. Flew on 11 missions with other Pilots (As WG - 250, 253, 255, 271, 272. As TOG -273, 274, 276, 280, 301. As BTG - 283). Completed combat tour (29 303rd missions) on 13 Jan 1945 (mission 301).

  • Sgt Robert H. Pressentin (TG) - Flew on 12 missions with Capt Rosser (Regular missions 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187. Lead Crew missions - 209, 236. Killed in Action on mission 248, 28 September 1944, 2Lt Glenn H. Gillespie (P) in B-17G 43-38186 (No name) (358BS) VK-I [MACR 9407] on a mission to Magdeburg, Germany. The left wing was on fire between the Nos. 1 & 2 engines. The Ball Turret was demolished. When last seen the B-17 was about 2,000 yards from the formation at 25,000 feet, partially under control. It peeled off to the right and went down in a steep dive. No parachutes were observed. It crashed south of Wolfenbuttel. All crewmen were Killed. Sgt Pressentin and five of his fellow crewmen are buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten

Combat Tours Note:
Mission flown on individual crewmen's combat tours only include missions flown when assigned to the 303rd BG(H). It does not include the unknown number of missions that may have been flown as a Lead Crew with other Bomb Groups when the Capt Rosser Crew was on temporary assignment with the 305th BG(H) at Chelveston during the period when the 305th BG(H) provided Lead Crews for 1st Division Bomb Groups. While the normal combat tour was 35 missions crewmen who flew with Lead Crews were given special mission credit for missions flown as a Lead Crewman.

[photo courtesy of O.Z. Rowe]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]