JOHN M. TWOMEY CREW - 358th BS
B-17G #43-37590 Neva - The Silver Lady 358BS (VK-Q)
(crew assigned 358BS: 29 Aug 1944 - photo: 07 Oct 1944)
1Lt John M. Twomey (P),
2Lt James V. Ross (CP),
2Lt Maurie S. McDade, Jr. (B)(POW),
1Lt Heber Dean Hansen (N)
S/Sgt Jack E Martin (WG),
T/Sgt Paul J. Bzik (R),
Not in photo: Sgt Robert H. Brown
S/Sgt Marvin T. Johnson (BT),
T/Sgt Vergil A. Shaw, Jr. (E),
S/Sgt Walter E. Hammond (TG)
Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission
(WG)(POW) - Was an original member of the Twomey
Crew. Removed from crew when crew size was changed from ten to nine men
and the second Waist Gunner position was deleted. Flew on five combat
missions with other crews: 2Lt Charles E. Thomas (#249, 250, 251) who
was the 1Lt E.C. Price Crew CoPilot flying on his 3 missions as 1st
Pilot and was shot down on 11 Oct 1944 with his 1Lt Price Crew;
2Lt Truman R. Lord (#253, 255. Sgt Brown Became a POW on the 11 Oct
1944 mission #255 to Wesseling, Germany with the 2Lt Lord Crew after his
B-17 received a direct flak hit between the #1 & #2 engines. It pulled off to the
left, went down in steep dive, and exploded at about 15,000 feet. B-17
crashed near Wesseling, Germany (6 KIA and 3 POW)
Thirty credited combat Missions of 1Lt John M. Twomey (P):
240 (11 Sept 1944), 243(AS), 244, 246(AS), 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252*, 254*(AS), 250*,
259(FTO), 260*, 261, 262, 263*, 264*, 265*, 266*, 267*, 268*, 269*, 272*, 273*, 274*, 275*, 276*,
277*, 281, 283* (6 Dec 1944). (AS) Credited aborted sortie. (*) 18 missions flown as Deputy Lead Crew Pilot
(FTO) Failed to take off - Sgt Marvin T. Johnson developed acute appendicitis and sent to
the 303rd Station Hospital. For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions
Abortive Sorties: #243 - Bombardier failed to put his select lever in the operating position. Bombs returned to Molesworth; #246 - Bomb Bay door frozen shut; #254 - Bomb Bay doors malfunction. Could not release bombs.
Passengers on Missions (Unknown Group assignment):
- 1Lt John M. Twomey (P) - Flew on two missions as Co Pilot with Mission Orientation
Pilots: #240 with 1Lt John McConnell (P) and his crew; #243 With 2Lt William E.
Bowman (P), with other members of the Twomey Crew. Appointed Deputy Lead Crew
Pilot on flew on 18 missions in this formation position. Thirty mission combat tour
completed on 6 Dec 1944.
- 2Lt James V. Ross (CP) - Did not fly on the following eight 1Lt Twomey missions where
substitute CoPilot were utilized - #251, 252, 267, 274, 275, 277, 281, 283. Flew on eight
missions as a Group Lead Crew Tail Gunner/Observer - #277, 279, 280, 281, 283, 284, 285.
Completed 30 mission combat tour on 11 Dec 1944.
- 1Lt Heber Dean Hansen (N)(POW) - Flew on fourteen missions with 1Lt Twomey -
243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 251, 254, 258, 261, 262, 264. Substitute Navigators were
used on other Lt Twomey missions. Flew on 11 missions as a Lead Crew Navigator with
other Lead Crew Pilots - 260, 273, 275, 283, 289, 298, 308, 315, 323, 334, 348. Was shot
down on became a POW on mission #348, 30 March 1945 to Bremen, Germany with
Capt Hugh B. Johnson (P) - Made a crash landing in a wheat field on the east bank of the Rhine River. All ten Lead Crewmen were uninjured and became POWs.
Was awarded the Soldier Medal for his actions on mission #315, 15 Feb 1945, Lt Werner G. Goering (P) had a take-off accident and 1Lt Hansen assisted in the rescue of 2Lt J.C. Buckner,(M-Nav), from the crashed B-17.
- 2Lt Maurie S. McDade, Jr. (B)(POW) - Flew on 19 missions with Lt. Twomey -
243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 258, 260, 262, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 272, 274, 275
. Substitute Bombardiers used by the Twomey Crew on other missions. 2Lt McDade flew on
two missions with other Pilots - 273 & 274. Became a POW on mission #274, 26 Nov
1944 to Altenbecken, Germany with 2Lt Chet H. Jameson, Jr. (P). All nine crewmen became POWs. B-17 crashed near Bielefeld, Germany.
- T/Sgt Vergil A. Shaw, Jr. (E) - Flew on all of the Lt Twomey missions except for #240.
Flew on mission # 286 with 2Lt Jack P. Rencher (P) on 12 Dec 1944 when he completed 30 mission combat tour.
- T/Sgt Paul J. Bzik (R) - Flew on all of the Lt Twomey missions except for #240 & 254.
Flew on missions #286 & 287 with 2Lt Jack P. Rencher (P). 30 mission combat tour completed on 18 Dec 1944.
- S/Sgt Martin T. Johnson (BTG) - Flew on all of the Lt Twomey mission except for
missions #240, 252, 260, 261, 262, 263 when he was in the 303rd Station
Hospital with acute appendicitis and 266 & 268 Eight additional missions flown with
other Pilots: #286, 287, 289, 290 with 2Lt Jack P. Rencher (P); #293 with 2Lt William S. McLeod (P); #294 & 296 with 2Lt Harley D. Snider (P); #295 with 1Lt Maurice M. Holm (P). 30 mission combat tour completed on 3 Jan 1945.
- S/Sgt Jack E. Martin (WG), Did not fly with Lt Twomey on missions #240. Flew as Tail
Gunner on missions #254 & 263. Flew mission #286 with Lt Jack P. Rencher (P) on 12 Dec 1944 when he completed his 30 mission combat tour.
- S/Sgt Walter E. Hammond (TG) - Flew on all of the Lt. Twomey missions except for #240.
254 & 264. Missions #286 & 287 flown with 2Lt Jack P. Rencher (P). 30 mission Combat tour completed on 18 Dec 1944.
#260 & 266 - Sgt Carl R. Hurlbutt
, #267 S/Sgt William C. Yates
, #277 Sgt Karl K. Kremmer
[photo courtesy of George T. Mackin]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, Historian Emeritus, 303rd Bomb Group Association]