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358th Stark Crew
Donald D. Stark, Pilot
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DONALD D. STARK CREW - 358th BS
B-17G Mary Cary #42-97405 360BS PU-H
(crew assigned 360BS: 02 June 1944, transferred to 358BS 12 June 1944)

(Back L-R) 2Lt John G. Auerhamer (N), 1Lt George L. Conley (CP),
1Lt Donald D. Stark (P), 2Lt Richard G. Nelson (B)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt James H. Eggink (LWG), S/Sgt James C. Morrow (TG),
S/Sgt Delmer G. Batten (E), S/Sgt Harold E. Nelsen (RWG),
S/Sgt Max Richkind (BT), S/Sgt Joseph R. Steinhagen (R)

Thirty-four combat missions flown by 1Lt Donald D. Stark:
With 360BS Crew - 174 (6 June 1944), With 358BS Stark Crewmen), 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 202, 203(AS), 204, 205(AS), 206, 207, 208, 209, 216, 217, 218, 220, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 230, 231, 232 (25 Aug 44).
(AS) Abortive Sortie. For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.

Crew Notes:

  • 1Lt Donald D. Stark (P) - First three missions with combat orientation Pilots: 234 (1Lt Nelson B. O'Beirne - 360th BS); 182, 183 (2Lt Campbell Miller). All other missions as First Pilot. Completed combat Tour (34 missions) 25 Aug 1944 (#232).

  • 2Lt George L. Conley (CP) - Stood down on 1Lt Stark's's first three missions (174, 182, 183). Three Missions flown as CoPilot with other Pilots: With 2Lt Werner G. Goering Crew whose regular CoPilot, 2Lt Jack P. Rencher, flew as CoPilot with the 1Lt Stark Crew (231); With 2Lt Glenn H. Gillespie (234); With 2Lt Leroy E. Glass (236). Mission 235 flown as First Pilot. Other 30 missions flown as CoPilot with the 1Lt Stark Crew. Completed Combat Tour (34 missions) on 5 September 1944 (Mission 236).

  • 2Lt John G. Auerhamer (N) - Flew on two missions with the 1Lt Stark Crew (182, 184) and was grounded. Transferred to 10th Replacement Depot on 14 October 1944. The Stark Crew utilized substitute Navigators on its other combat missions: 2Lt Willard A. Hamm, from 358th BS Lt Phillip O. Benham Crew (10 missions 183, 187, 189, 192, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 202); 2Lt Richard G. Nelson Crew Bombardier (14 missions - 208 through 232); Four other Navigators on 9 missions (174, 182, 184, 185, 186, 203, 205, 206, 207).

  • 2Lt Richard G. Nelson (B/N) - Flew on 30 missions with the Lt Stark Crew: As Bombardier (15 missions -182, 184, 185, 186, 189, 193, 194, 195, 196, 198, 199, 202, 203, 206, 207); As Navigator (15 missions - 204, 208, 209, 216, 217, 218, 220, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 230, 231, 232); With other Pilots (2 missions - 180, 181). Completed 32 combat missions on 25 August 1944 (232).

  • S/Sgt Delmer G. Batten (E), S/Sgt Joseph R. Steinhagen (R), Sgt James H. Eggink & Sgt James C. Morrow (TG). Flew on all of the thirty three 1Lt Stark Crew missions (those from 182 through 232). Sgt Eggink flew as Togglier on mission 187. Completed 33 missions on 25 August 1944 (Mission 232).

  • Sgt Max Richland (BTG). Flew on all thirty-three 1Lt Stark missions (those from 182 through 232) plus a 34th missions with another Pilot (235). Completed combat tour 34 missions on 3 September 1944 (Mission 255).

  • Sgt Harold E. Nelson (WG) - Flew on 7 missions with the 1Lt Stark Crew: As Waist Gunner (6 missions - 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187); As Togglier (Mission 204). Removed from crew and transferred to unknown position and location on 18 July 1944 when the second waist Gunner was deleted from 303rd BG(H) Combat crews.
Mission Notes:
  • ----- (11 June 1944) - Portions of 303rd BG(H) on a practice formation flight. Lt Stark (P), in #42-107097 Sweet Melody (360BS) PU-W, landed 50 feet short of the end of runway #20. The wheels sank in the soft ground, the left wheel tore off when hitting the runway end, right wheel collapsed and the B-17 slid about 300 feet. There were no injuries and the badly damaged B-17 was salvaged.
  • 203 (13 July 2004) - Abortive Sortie - Jettisoned bombs over Germany. Personnel error.
  • 205 (17 July 2004 - Abortive Sortie - Bombs failed to release - Mechanical error.
  • 206 (18 July 2004) - Failed to find the 303rd BG(H) formation and bombed with the 384th BG(H). Four other Pilots also bombed with other Bomb Groups.
  • 220 (5 Aug 2004) - Landed B-17G #42-6006 (no name) (427BS) GN-E at Ford, England with two engines out.

[photo courtesy of Ben Batten, grandson of Delmer Batten]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]