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359th Embrey Crew
Henry C. Embrey, Pilot
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HENRY C. EMBREY CREW - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 23 Sep 1944 - photo: 08 Oct 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Henry C. Embrey (P), 2Lt Bryant M. Sharp (CP),
2Lt Roy P. Malone (N), 2Lt Robert C. Mitchell (B)

(Front L-R) T/Sgt Donald W. Zellar (R), S/Sgt William E. Gavin (TG),
S/Sgt Arthur Ralph Peters (WG), Sgt Richard D. Duerr (BT), T/Sgt Harry C. Miller (E)

(Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission)

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]


HENRY C. EMBREY CREW - 359th BS
B-17G Sweet La Rhonda #43-38289 (359BS) BN-J

Embrey Crew with Sweet La Rhonda's Ground Crew

[photo courtesy of Kerry Gavin]

Thirty-five credited combat missions flown by 1Lt Henry C. Embrey:
253 (7 Oct 44), 254, 255, 258, 261, 262, 263, 264, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 277, 278, 279, 280, 282, 283, 287, 288, 289, 290, 292, 293, 295, 299, 300, 304, 309, 311 (3 Feb 1945)
For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.

Twelve B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Henry C. Embrey on his 35 credited combat missions:

  • 43-38258 Forget Me Not Olly (358BS) VK-H - mission 253
  • 44-6502 (No name) (359BS) BN-G - Missions 254, 255, 271
  • 43-38289 Sweet LaRhonda (359BS) BN-J - Missions 258, 261, 262, 263, 269, 273, 274, 275, 277, 278, 279, 280, 282, 283, 287, 288, 289, 290, 292, 293, 295
  • 42-38764 (No Name) (359BS) BN-C - Mission 264
  • 43-38608 Lucille (359BS) BN-E - Mission 267
  • 42-97944 Daddy's Delight (359BS) BN-I - Missions 268, 270
  • 43-38763 Old 99 (427BS) GN-W - Mission 272

    PFF B-17Gs - Radar dome in lieu of Ball Turret
  • 44-8238 (No name) (358BS) VK-Y - Mission 299
  • 44-8137 (No name) (359BS) BN-Z - Mission 300
  • 44-8256 Yankee Girl (359BS) BN-Y - Mission 304
  • 44-8545 (No name) (427BS) GN-X - Mission 309
  • 44-8564 (No name) (358BS) VK-Z - Mission 311
Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt Henry C. Embrey (P) - All 30 regular missions flown as First Pilot (253 through 299) First mission (253) flown with a combat orientation CoPilot, 2Lt Arthur A. Bergeron. Flew 5 missions as a Lead Crew Pilot or CoPilot: Deputy Lead Crew Pilot (299, 309); Lead Crew CoPilot (300, 311); Lead Crew Pilot (304). Completed 35 mission combat tour on 3 Feb 1945 (Mission 311).
  • 2Lt Bryant M. Sharp (CP) - Flew 33 missions as the 1Lt Embrey crew: As CoPilot (All 1Lt Embrey missions except 253, 300, 304, 311); As Lead Crew Tail Gunner/Observer (304, 311). Flew two missions with other Pilots: As CoPilot (316); As Lead Crew Tail Gunner/Observer (315). Completed 35 mission combat tour on 16 Feb 1945 (Mission 316),
  • 2Lt Roy P. Malone (N) - Flew on 7 missions with the 1Lt Embrey Crew (282, 283, 287, 288, 292, 295, 309). Flew on 28 missions with other Pilots: 1Lt Charles D. Haynes (17 missions - 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 267, 268, 269, 272, 273, 274, 275, 277, 278, 279, 280, 284); Nine other Pilots (11 missions - 252, 253, 254, 281, 285, 286, 289, 290, 293, 296, 314 -- 293 and 296 as a Deputy Lead Crew Navigator). Completed 35 mission combat tour on 14 Feb 1945 (Mission 314).
  • 2Lt Robert C. Mitchell (B) - Flew on 4 missions with the 1Lt Embrey Crew (253, 254, 255, 300) and on 26 missions with other pilots: Regular Bombardier (7 missions -261, 262, 263, 264, 267, 270, 312); Lead Crew Bombardier (12 missions - 276, 278, 282, 285, 293, 306, 327, 328, 331, 353, 357, 361); As Deputy Lead Crew Bombardier (7 missions - 272, 274, 275, 277, 315, 317, 324). Completed 35 combat mission tour (With five credits for LC and DLC Missions) on 16 April 1945 (Mission 361).
  • T/Sgt Harry C. Miller (E), T/Sgt Donald W. Zellar (R) - Flew on 34 missions with the 1Lt Embrey Crew (All 1Lt Embrey missions except #300). Flew on Lead Crew mission (312) with Major Charles E. Kerwin (P). Completed 35 mission combat tours on 6 Feb 1945 (Mission 312).
  • S/Sgt Arthur R. Peters (WG) - Flew on 33 missions with the 1Lt Embrey Crew (All 1Lt Embrey missions except 300 and 311). Flew on two missions with other Pilots (311 and 312). Completed 35 mission combat tour on 6 Feb 1945 (Mission 312).
  • S/Sgt William E. Gavin (TG/WG) - Flew on 34 missions with the 1Lt Embrey Crew (All 1Lt Embrey missions except 304) Missions 304 and 311 flown as Waist Gunner)- Flew on one mission as Waist Gunner with another Pilot (304). Completed 35 mission combat tour on 2 Feb 1945 (Mission 311).
  • Sgt Richard D. Duerr (BTG) - Flew on 10 missions with the 1Lt Embrey Crew (253, 254, 255, 258, 261, 262, 290, 292, 293, 295) and five missions with other Pilots: 2Lt Darwin D. Knudson (299); 1Lt Cecil J. Gates (191, 294, 296, 300). Became a POW on mission 300, 10 Jan 1945, in B-17G 44-6502 (No name)(359BS) BN-G to Bonn/Brilon, Germany. The B-17 was hit by flak at the target and was losing altitude. The #1 engine was out and feathered, #2 was burning and #3 was windmilling. Interphone communication was inoperable, The only working compass was the Pilot's magnetic compass. 1Lt Gates was almost standing on the left rudder with the control yoke nearly to his chest attempting to maintain control. At the urging of the Navigator 1Lt Gates turned west in an attempt to make it past Allied lines. There was a 100% overcast below, the Battle of the Bulge was raging and battle lines, according to pre-flight briefings, were fluid. It also became apparent that a safe decent could not be made through the overcast with the flight instruments out. The Bombardier was sent back to the waist to bail out the six enlisted men. They were briefed on the direction to walk, to take cover and to try to evade capture. The four officers parachuted from the B-17 somewhere between Neufchateau and Florenville, Belgium. Two of the enlisted men were killed by the Germans. One evaded Capture (Y-Operator, Sgt P.H. Hassler) and three, including Sgt Duerr, became POWs. The four Officers evaded capture (MACR 11573) Sgt Duerr was placed in a German Hospital with a fractured skull. He later entered the POW stream and was liberated by General Patton's 3rd Army troops about four months later.
Mission Note:
First mission (253) on 7 October 1944. to Dresden, Germany. The B-17 was hit by a German 88mm shell over the Dutch coast. The shell went through the left wing without exploding. The B-17 would have been lost if the shell had exploded.

Oral History:
Sgt Richard D. Duerr, 359th BS Henry C. Embrey Crew Ball Turret Gunner
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n9QQHz8kA8&feature=youtu.be

[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]