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358th Thompson Crew
Frank H. Thompson, Pilot
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FRANK H. THOMPSON CREW - 358th BS
B-17F #42-29635 Augerhead (358BS) VK-M
(crew assigned 358BS: 08 May 1943 - photo: 27 July 1943)

(Back L-R) T/Sgt James R. Welch (E/LWG), S/Sgt Donald R. Wilson (WG),
S/Sgt Ralph Nakaniski (BTG), S/Sgt Charles J. Fulanovich (E/TTG),
T/Sgt Robert J. McGuire (R), S/Sgt Eldred L. Aubrey (TG)

(Front L-R) 2Lt James R. McConnen (N), 2Lt Aubrey L. Emerson (CP),
1Lt Frank H. Thompson (P), 1Lt Arni Sumarlidason (CP)

Not in photo: 1Lt Lawrence E. McCord (B)(WIA)

Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission.

Twenty-nine dispatched (26 credited) combat missions flown by 1Lt Frank H. Thompson
31 (27 April 1943), 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 43A (Recall), 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 54 (A), 55, 56 (A), 57, 60, 61, 64, 65, 67 (A), 68, 69 (9 September 1943).
For mission dates, targets and mission folders see Combat Missions.
   (A) Three non-credited aborted missions
    26 July 1943, mission 54 (3:09 flight time) - No 3 propeller ran away
    31 July 1943, mission 56 (2:22 flight time) - No 2 Supercharger regulator erratic
    06 Sept 1943, mission 67 (2:43 flight time) - No 3 supercharger regular out, #3 engine lagged. Turned back at Hasting.
   (AS) Credited Abortive Sortie 17 Aug 1943, mission 60, (2:25 flight time) - #3 engine knocked out by flak near Antwerp. Crash landed at Sutton-Herth, England
   (Recall) Credited recalled mission. 23 June 1943, Mission 43A - Villacoublay, FR Airdrome. Could not located target due to overcast skies. Limited visibility made formation flying difficult and formation scattered. Turned back at sea. ME-109s and FW-190s attacked from all directions. Flak encountered and bombs were dropped. All nine Bomb Groups on mission were recalled.

Twelve B-17Fs flown by 1Lt Frank H. Thompson on his 29 dispatched missions

  • 41-24635 (P) The 8 Ball MkII (359BS) BN-O - Mission 31
  • 42-29635 (P) Augerhead (358BS) VK-M - Missions 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 43A, 44, 56(A), 60, 64
  • 41-24539 (P) Jersey Bounce (358BS) VK-K - Mission 39
  • 42-29791 ---- Memphis Blues (358BS) VK-K - Missions 45, 48
  • 42-5792 ---- The Mugger (358BS) VK-I - Mission 47
  • 42-29571 (P) Charley Horse (358BS) VK-L - Mission 49
  • 41-24577 (P) Hell's Angels (358BS) VK-D - Mission 50
  • 42-5788 ---- AOG Not in Stock aka Pluto's Revenge (360BS) PU-H - Mission 54 (A)
  • 42-5360 --- Old Faithful aka War Bride (358BS) VK-G - Mission 55
  • 42-29524 (P) Meat Hound (358BS) VK-K - Missions 57, 65, 67 (A)
  • 42-29664 (P) Jersey Bounce, Jr. (358BS) VK-C - Mission 61
  • 42-3064 ---- Star Dust (358BS) VK-I - Missions 68, 69
    (P) See Nose Art Photos
Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt Frank H. Thompson (P) - 29 dispatched (26 credited) missions flown: All missions flown as First Pilot. First mission (31) flown with a Combat Orientation Pilot. 2Lt Robert S. O'Connor. Combat tour completed on 9 Sept 1943 (Mission 69). Died in an airplane crash on May 31, 1953 while on active duty in Japan. He is buried in the Arlington, VA National Cemetery.

  • 1Lt Arni Sumarlidason (CP) - 17 dispatched (26 credited) missions flown: 14 with 1Lt Thompson 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 43, 43A, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50); 2 with 1Lt James M. McDonald (38, 39), 1 with 2Lt Donald F. DeCamp (68). Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 4 Sept 1943. Flew 10 dispatched (9 credited) missions as First Pilot (51, 17 July 43 Aborted - Could not find formation, 52, 53, 57, 59, 60, 69, 70, 73, 74). First Pilot missions flown with five different CoPilots: Four with 1Lt Louis M. Benepe (52, 53, 59, 60); Three with 2Lt Martin L. Clark (69, 73, 74), Two with two other CoPilots (57, 70). See 1Lt Sumarlidason web page. Combat tour completed on 4 October 1943 (Mission 74).

  • 2Lt James R. McConnen (N) - 28 dispatched (27 credited missions flown: 26 credited missions with 1Lt Thompson (All Thompson missions except 56 (A) and 69 - where substitute Navigators were used); 1 credited mission with 1Lt Jack C. Timken (56). Completed combat tour on 7 Sept 1943 (Mission 68).

  • 1Lt Clarence E. McCord (B)(WIA) - 14 credited combat missions flown: 9 with 1Lt Thompson (31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40). Substitute Bombardiers used on other 1Lt Thompson missions: 2Lt William T. Sweet (Missions 42, 43, 43A, 44, 45),2Lt Charles W. Spencer (Missions 55, 56(A), 57, 61, 64, 65, 67(A), 68, 69), 5 other Bombardiers (48, 49, 50, 54(A), 60). 5 missions flown by 1Lt McCord with other Pilots - 1Lt James M. McDonald (41), Capt Kirk R. Mitchell (Lead Crew missions 45, 49, 53, 60). Was seriously wounded on 17 Aug 1943 (Mission 69). Was hit by flak in the middle of the bomb run. Was unable to finish sighting. Bombs were salvoed by Navigator. Was the Bombardier on the return to the USA trip of the 358th BS B-17F Hell's Angels on 20 January 1944.

  • T/Sgt James R. Welch (E) - 29 dispatched (26 credited) missions flown as Left Waist Gunner with 1Lt Thompson (All Thompson missions except 47 where S/Sgt Fulanovich flew as Engineer) Flew as Togglier on mission 47 with 1Lt Thompson. Completed combat tour on 9 Sept 1943 (Mission 69).

  • T/Sgt Robert J. McGuire (R) - 30 dispatched (26 credited) combat missions flown: 15 credited missions with 1Lt Thompson (31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 43A, 44, 45, 47, 48, 50, 54(A), 55, 56 (A)) Substitute Radio Operators used on 12 dispatched 1Lt Thompson missions: T/Sgt Earl Hogue (Missions 33, 34, 35); T/Sgt Jack Baxter (Missions 49, 61, 64, 65, 67(A), 68, 69); T/Sgt Mark E. Tudor (Mission 57); Sgt Robert E. King (Mission 60). T/Sgt McGuire flew on 13 dispatched (11 credited) missions with other Pilots: 1Lt Arni Sumarlidason (69, 73, 74); 2Lt Paul W. Campbell (75, 76, 77, 78(A), 79, 80, 83 (A), 86); 1Lt Donald Gamble (90), Maj Kirk R. Mitchell (Lead crew mission 91). Completed combat tour on 22 Dec 1943 (Mission 91).

  • S/Sgt Ralph Nakaniski (BTG), S/Sgt Donald R. Wilson (RWG) and S/Sgt Eldred L. Aubrey (TG) 29 dispatched (26 credited) missions flown - On all of 1Lt Thompson missions. Completed combat tours on 9 Sept 1943 (Mission 69).

  • SSgt Charles J. Fulanovich (E/WG) - 29 dispatched (27 credited) missions flown: 24 credited missions with 1Lt Thompson - As Top Turret Gunner (All 1Lt Thompson missions except 38, 39, 47 where substitute WG;s were used), Flew as Flight Engineer (Mission 47); 2 credited missions with other Pilots: Major Kirk R. Mitchell Lead crew mission 73); With 2Lt Paul W. Campbell (Mission 77). Completed combat tour on 10 Oct 1943 (Mission 77).
Eleven German aircraft claims by six 1Lt Thompson crewmen
  • 2Lt James R. McConnen (N) - ME 109 destroyed (Mission 61)
  • T/Sgt James R. Welch (LWG) - FW 190 claimed (Mission 33, FW 190 possible (Mission 38), FW 190 destroyed (Mission 61)
  • S/Sgt Ralph Nakaniski (BTG) - FW 190 claimed (mission 33), ME 109 Destroyed (Mission 38, ME 109 destroyed (Mission 61)
  • S/Sgt Charles J. Fulanovich (Top Turret Gunner) - FW 190 destroyed (Mission 61)
  • S/Sgt Donald R. Wilson (RWG) - ME 110 destroyed (Mission 38)
  • S/Sgt Eldred L. Aubrey (TG) - ME 110 destroyed (Mission 38, ME 109 destroyed (Mission 61)

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives - identification by Charles J. Fulanovich]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]