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359th Davis Crew
Jack T. Davis, Pilot
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(Photo: USA Crew - taken during training in USA, date unknown)

(Back L-R) Sgt Everett G. Harris (WG)(POW), Sgt Richard A. Martin (BT)(POW),
T/Sgt Rex E. Lewnfield (R)(POW), Sgt Marvin W. Brown (TG)(POW),
Sgt Anthony B. (Tony) Martin (TG)(KIA), S/Sgt David Bloom (E)(POW)

(Front L-R) 1Lt Jack T. Davis (P)(Evd)(POW), 2Lt Donald L. Kohlstedt (CP)(POW),
F/O Nino L. Guiciardi (B)(POW), 2Lt Swanson (N)

Note: Sgt Anthony B. Martin (TG) and 2Lt Swanson (N) were not assigned to the Jack T. Davis crew at Molesworth.

[photo courtesy of Ernie Martin, brother of Tony Martin]

(crew assigned 359BS: 23 Sep 1944 - photo: Oct 1944)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Donald L. Kohlstedt (CP)(POW),
1Lt Vernon Hellesvig (N)(POW), 1Lt Jack T. Davis (P)(Evd)(POW),
F/O Nino L. Guiciardi (B)(POW)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt David Bloom (E)(POW),
Sgt Marvin W. Brown (TG)(POW), Sgt Richard A. Martin (BT)(POW),
Sgt Everett G. Harris (WG)(POW), T/Sgt Rex E. Lewnfield (R)(POW)

[photo courtesy of Nino Guiciardi]

Nine credited combat Missions flown by 1Lt Jack T. Davis:
253 (7 October 1944), 254, 255, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 266 (2 November 1944). For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.

Six B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Jack T. Davis on his nine credited missions:

  • 42-97944 Daddy's Delight (359BS) BN-I - Mission 253
  • 43-38258 Forget Me Not Olly (358BS) VK-H - Missions 254, 255
  • 44-6309 Duchess' Granddaughter (359BS) BN-T - Mission 260
  • 42-97781 The '8' Ball Mk III (359BS) BN-O - Missions 261, 263, 266
  • 43-38609 (No name) (359BS) BN-F - Mission 261
  • 43-38878 (No Name) (359BS) BN-D - Mission 265
    See the Nose Art Photos
Crew Notes - Crewmen on the last mission (266) of the 1Lt Davis Crew:
  • 1Lt Jack T. Davis (P)(Evd/POW) - First mission flown with experienced combat orientation Pilot, 1Lt Harry F. Jenkins, flying as CoPilot. Other missions flown as First Pilot.
  • 2Lt Donald L. Kohlstedt (CP)(POW) - Stood down on mission 253. One mission flown as CoPilot with the 2Lt Arthur A. Bergeron crew. Seven missions as CoPilot flown with 1Lt Jack Davis (254, 255, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 166).
  • 1Lt Vernon Hellesvig (N)(POW) - Flew on eight missions with 1Lt Davis (253, 255, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 266) and three missions with other Pilots: 2Lt Edmund W. Gaines(251); 1Lt Walter J. Carney (252); 2Lt Henry C. Embrey (254).
  • F/O Nino L. Guiciardi (B)(POW) - Flew on six missions with 1Lt Davis (253, 255, 260, 262, 263, 266) and two missions with other Pilots: 1Lt Robert V. Akers (254); 1Lt Patrick H. Brabant (265).
  • Sgt David L. Bloom (E)(POW), T/Sgt Rex E. Lewnfield (R)(POW), Sgt Richard A. Martin (BTG) (POW), Sgt Everett G. Harris (WG)(POW), Sgt Marvin W. Brown (TG)(POW) - Flew on all nine of the 1Lt Davis missions and no missions with other Pilots.
  • T/Sgt Alvin G. Bader (Voice Interpreter) (KIA) - Monitored German radio transmissions and was assigned to a special 303rd BG(H) Headquarters unit. Mission 266, with 1Lt Davis, was the only mission that he flew with the 303rd BG(H). Was killed on mission 266 when his parachute failed to open. He came down between Peters' Farm at Den Broekweg Holland and a shed. The body was brought to the Peters' Farm. His boots were taken off and given to Peters. A ring, watch, pistol and some papers were also taken from the body. In the late afternoon or early evening, the body was wrapped in the partly opened parachute and put upon a horse-drawn cart and then transported to Brummen. On 03 November 1944, T/Sgt Bader was buried in the Brummen Roman Catholic Cemetery in grave number 17. At a later date his body was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, Netherlands.
Crew Note - Additional crewman in Photo #1:
  • Sgt Anthony B. "Tony" Martin (TG)(POW)(KIA) - Flew no combat missions with the 1Lt Davis Crew. Flew on thirteen missions with 2Lt McDavid (251, 252, 253, 261, 263, 264, 265, 266, 269, 270, 271, 271, 274) and three missions with other Pilots: 1Lt Robert L. Akers (255, 260); 1Lt Arthur M. Chance (275). Was shot down on mission 275, 21 November 1944, to Merseburg, Germany in B-17G Heller's Angel (359BS) BN-K. Made a successful parachute jump and was captured and later murdered with another crewman by three Nazi Officials. The Nazi Officials were hanged following WWII after a war crimes trial. See the Arthur F. Chance Crew web page for details.
  • 2Lt Swanson (N) - Deleted from crew before arrival at Molesworth
Crew Notes - Substitute and additional crewmen utilized by the 1Lt Davis crew:
  • Mission 253 - 1Lt Harry F. Jenkins (CP) - Sub for 2Lt Kohlstedt (CP)
  • Mission 254 - F/O Roy M. Malone ( N) - Sub for 1Lt Hellesvig (N).
  • Missions 264, 261- Sgt A.B. McKinley (Tog) - Sub for F/O Guiciardi (B)
  • Mission 263 - S/Sgt Raul H. Hassler (Voice Interpreter) - Additional Crewman
  • Mission 265 - 2Lt Richard B. Barlow (B) - Sub for F/O Guiciardi (B)
Mission Note:
Mission 266, 02 November 1944, to Sterkrade, Germany in B-17G 42-97781 The '8' Ball Mk III (359BS) BN-O: The 1Lt Davis Crew, flying as the 359th High Squadron Deputy Lead Crew, was lost over the target. The #3 engine was hit by flak just after bombs were released. The engine and lading gear were badly damaged and the prop could not be feathered. After a few anxious moments, the engine shaft broke and the prop acted like a flywheel out of balance. Another engine was hit just after leaving the target and the B-17 fell out of the formation. 1Lt Davis put the B-17 into a glide just enough to maintain flying speed and to go as far as possible to try and reach friendly army territory. Finally while crossing the IJssel River between Arnhem and Zutphen, after the crew jettisoned everything they could, 1Lt Davis gave the bail-out order to his crew. The B-17 kept losing altitude and the crew had to get out fast before the B-17 was too low to bail out safely.

1Lt Davis was the last man out and jumped at about 500 feet altitude. He landed in a wood area between Brummen and Erebeck. With the help of a resistance group, he was able to evade capture until November 18th when he was captured and made a POW as he was attempting to cross the Rhine river.

T/Sgt Bader died when his parachute failed to open. All others made successful parachute jumps without injuries and became POWs.

Crash Site of '8' Ball Mk III

The B-17, then on auto-pilot, continued its flight at about 5000 feet. Its course led straight to the village of Erebeck and was reported as heading straight to the house of Mrs. Rick Brouwer-Boezewinkle. It then crashed into a meadow of the Jans Wensink farm near the Voorstondense straat, just short of the Apeldoorn canal in the Netherlands. Many dutch citizens visited the crash location and stripped off pieces of The '8' Ball Mk III. A scrap metal firm took away the proud B-17 remains after WWII.

A monument honoring T/Sgt Bader, at the exact location where T/Sgt Bader fell to his death, was erected by the citizens of Brummen on 15 September 1995. The unveiling was attended by Nino L. Guiciardi (B).

For additional information on Mission #266 see:
Bail out over Brummen by Ivo M. de Jong and the Hell's Angels Newsletter, February 1996, "303rd Airman Returns to WWII Crash Scene"

[Portions of the crash story are from crewmen Marvin W. Brown and Nino Guiciardi,
and Ivo de Jong and Hans Reusink of The Netherlands]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]