HOWARD S. DAHLEEN CREW - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 26 November 1943 - Photo: 20 December 1943)
1Lt Howard S. Dahleen (P)(1),
1Lt Russell S. Klingensmith (N)(3),
2Lt Raymond E. Gauthier (B)(4),
2Lt John T. Austin (CP)(2)
T/Sgt Clifford E. Swanson (R)(6),
Pvt Harding W. Smith (RWG)(8),
S/Sgt Edward M. Hirn (BTG)(7),
S/Sgt William E. Titsworth (LWG)(9),
S/Sgt Charles G. Covington (TG)(10),
T/Sgt Orrick M. Malcolm (E)(5)
Crew's favorite B-17:
Bad Penny #42-31183, 359th BS (BN-J).
Lt Dahleen was the original Pilot of Bad Penny and flew 21 of his 26
credited missions in his favorite B-17. Bad Penny was dispatched on 69 combat missions and was lost on mission #229, 15 August 1944 to Wiesbaden, Germany, Lt Arthur L. Goss, 358th BS Pilot.
Crew Incident (As related by Russel S. Klingensmith):
We were aboard Scorchy #42-31314 359BS (BN-M), on her 13th combat mission
heading for Frankfurt, Germany on the 303rd BG(H) mission #108 on February
11, 1944. Before we reached the target, flak knocked out two engines and a wing fuel
tank. We dropped out of formation and turned for home. We decided to do
something worthwhile with our bomb load. Our Pilot, Howard Dahleen, took us over a
rail line and Ray Gauthier, the Bombardier, laid down a string of 500 pound
bombs making a real mess of about a quarter-mile of track. Our airspeed was
only about 90 knots when two German fighters came up, looked us over, and for
whatever reason went back down. Our fuel was so low that we made preparations to
ditch in the English Channel. Once we reached the Belgium coast, Howard
decided to make it to England and an RAF Spitfire base at Shoreham. We landed,
but our hydraulics were gone and our brakes failed. Scorchy crashed into a
guard room building and an antiaircraft gun emplacement and broke in half at the
radio compartment, with the tail section ending up behind the left wing. Cliff
Swanson, our Radio Operator, went tumbling onto the ground, shaken up but not
seriously hurt. Three Crewmen were injured: T/Sgt Orrick Malcolm, Engineer,
suffered a separated shoulder. S/Sgt Edward Hirn, Ball Turret Gunner, wounded
his right cheek and S/Sgt William Titsworth, Left Waist Gunner, lacerated his
upper lip and suffered a concussion. Other crew members had minor cuts and
bruises. Minor, that is, when you figure it was a crash none of us might have
walked away from.
Crew Missions (Lt Dahleen Pilot):
#88 (13 December 1943), 91, 94,96,98,
100, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112 (Non-credited Aborted mission), 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 121, 122,124,125 & 126 (23 March 1944).
All missions except #88, 91, 94, 96,106 & 108 were flown in Bad Penny.
T/Sgt Orrick M. Malcolm (E) -- S/Sgt Edward M. Hirn (BTG)
photo labeled as: Kolling, Titsworth, "Geechie", McGill, Hirn
- 1Lt Howard S. Dahleen (P) - 26 credited missions. Last mission #126 on
23 March 1944
- 2Lt John T. Austin (CP) - 10 credited missions. Last 303rd mission #106 6
February 1944 A new CoPilot, 2Lt Charles M. Rice, flew 11 credited missions with
the Dahleen Crew. He also flew on 16 missions with other Pilots. Last mission #141 25
April 1944. Lt Dahleen also had four other CoPilots on five missions.
- 1Lt Russell S. Klingensmith (N), flew 20 credited missions with Lt
Dahleen and 7 additional missions with three other Pilots - five with Lt Billy
M. Goolsby, Pilot. Completed his combat tour on mission #132, 9 April 1944.
- 2Lt Raymond E. Gauthier (B) - Flew all but one mission (#97) with the
Dahleen Crew. Twenty-sixth and last mission on mission #125, 22 March 1944
- T/Sgt Orrick M. Malcolm (E) - Flew 12 missions with the Dahleen Crew and
303rd BG(H). Last mission #108, 11 February 1944, when he was injured and removed
from combat duty. Dahleen Crew utilized substitute Engineers on the
remaining Dahleen missions. S/Sgt John F. Newman was the crew Engineer on nine missions and flew on 13 additional missions with other Pilots as a Waist Gunner and Tail
- T/Sgt Clifford E. Swanson (R) - Flew 21 missions with the Dahleen Crew
and 9 missions with four other Pilots. Last mission #167 on 2 June 1944. Crew had
substitute Radio Operators on five missions.
- S/Sgt Edward M. Hirn (BTG) - Flew 21 missions with the Dahleen Crew and 9
missions with two other Pilots. Last mission #180 on 14 June 1944.
- Pvt Harding W. Smith (RWG) - Flew all of his missions with Lt. Dahleen.
Last mission #126 on 23 February 1944. No record of why his enlisted
grade was reduced from Sgt to Private.
- S/Sgt William E. Titsworth (LWG) - Flew 15 missions with Lt. Dahleen and
16 missions with three other Pilots - 14 missions with 1Lt Russell M.
Meier (P). Completed his combat tour, mission #174, on 13 June 1944.
- S/Sgt Charles G. Covington (TG) - Flew 24 missions with Lt Dahleen and 6
missions with three other Pilots three missions with Lt Edwin H.
Assenheimer Crew (#141, 142 & 144). Completed his combat tour, mission #151, on 11 May 1944.
[photos courtesy of Russell S. Klingensmith and Robert Moore]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]