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359th Langford Crew
Allen W. Langford, Pilot
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ALLEN W. LANGFORD CREW - 359th BS
B-17G Special Delivery #42-102496 (359BS) BN-N
(crew assigned 359BS: 07 Jun 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Allen W. Langford (P)(WIA), F/O Paul E. Zimmerman (CP),
1Lt James R. Donovan (N), 1Lt Donald W. Torley (B)

(Front L-R) Sgt John E. Mulstein (TG), S/Sgt Daniel R. O'Leary (E),
S/Sgt Raymond Tartaglia (LWG/TOG)(POW) S/Sgt William W. Gray, Jr. (BTG),
S/Sgt Chester C. Whisman (R), S/Sgt Edwin C. Munn (RWG/E)

(Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission)


Crew Pilots:
 1Lt Allen W. Langford was wounded on 20 July 1944 (Mission 208) and was replaced by
 2Lt Maurice V. Altman, Copilot 1Lt Russell W. Meier Crew, who had been upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot

Combat Missions flown by Original 1Lt Altman Crewmen with Lt's Langford and Altman

  • With 1Lt Allen W. Langford - 19 missions - 180 (14 June 1944), 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 189, 190, 191, 196 (A), 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 206, 207, 208 (20 July 1944)
  • With 2Lt Maurice V. Altman - 11 missions - 209 (21 July 1944), 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 218, 221, 230, 231 (24 Aug 1944).
    (A) Non-credited aborted mission - (3:06 flight time) Slight oil leak
    For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions
Ten B-17Gs flown on missions by Pilots 1Lt Langford and 2Lt Altman with original Langford Crew:
  • 42-31405 --- Wallaroo MkII (359BS) BN-X: With Langford -181, 182, 183, 186, 189, 190, 191, 196(A), 197, 199, 201, 206, 208; With Altman - 109, 211, 212, 213, 218
  • 42-97272 (P) Duchess' Daughter (359BS) BN-T: With Langford - 180
  • 44-6309 (P) Duchess' Granddaughter (359BS) BN-T - With Altman - 230
  • 32-21224 --- Hell in the Heavens (358BS) VK-G: With Langford - 202; With Altman - 214
  • 44-6076 (P) Liberty Run (359BS) BN-Y): With Langford - 184
  • 42-102960 --- (No name) (359BS) BN-H: With Langford - 198
  • 42-31055 (P) Aloha (360BS) PU-J: With Langford - 203
  • 42-107206 --- Old Black Magic (359BS) BN-R: With Langford; 207, With Altman - 210
  • 42-102484 (P) Heller's Angel (359BS) BN-K: With Altman - 215
  • 42-97781 (P) The '8' Ball MkIII (359BS) BN-O: With Altman - 221, 231
    (P) See Nose Art photos
Crew Notes:
  • The Langford Crew flew B-17F 42-102659 overseas from Kearny NE. It was named Hard Seventeen and assigned to the 614th BS / 401st BG.

  • 1Lt Allen W. Langford (P) - First mission (180) flown with members of the 1Lt Clinton A. Moser crew on a combat orientation mission - Other 18 dispatched (17 credited) missions flown as First Pilot. Wounded by flak on his left arm on 20 July 1944 (Mission 208), hospitalized and removed from combat duty. Replaced by 2Lt Maurice V. Altman.

  • 2Lt Maurice V. Altman (P) Original CoPilot on the 1Lt Russell W. Meier Crew. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 18 June 1944. and flew 11 missions as First Pilot with members of the 1Lt Allen W. Langford crew. Completed 36 combat missions on 24 August 1944 Mission 231).

  • F/O Paul E. Zimmerman (CP) - Flew on all of the 1Lt Langford missions (Except mission 180), all of the 2Lt Altman First Pilot missions and 4 missions with other Pilots (185, 187, 236, 244). Completed 33 dispatched (32 credited) missions on 19 Sept 1944 (Mission 244).

  • 1Lt James R. Donovan (N) - Flew on 14 credited missions with 1Lt Langford (181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 196(A), 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 206, 207, 208, 11 missions with 2Lt Altman (All of his First Pilot missions) and 10 missions with other Pilots (185, 233, 237, 246, 247, 249, 250, 253, 254, 255). Completed 34 credited missions on 11 Oct 1944 (Mission 255).

  • 1Lt Donald W. Torley (B) Flew on 13 credited missions with 1Lt Langford (181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 206, 207, 208), 11 missions with 2Lt Altman (All of his First Pilot missions) and 13 credited missions with other Pilots: With 2Lt Andy R. Virag - 235, 237, 238, 245, 246, 248, 250, 252, 254; Other Pilots - 185, 236, 251, 253. Completed 35 credited missions on 9 Oct 1944 (Mission 254).

  • S/Sgt Daniel R. O'Leary (E/WG) - Flew on 17 credited missions with 1Lt Langford: As Engineer - 181, 189, 190, 203, 206, 207, 208; As Waist Gunner - 182, 183, 184, 186, 191, 196(A), 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 11 Missions with 2Lt Altman (All of his First Pilot missions) and one mission with another Pilot - 185. Completed 29 credited missions on 24 August 1944 (Mission 231).

  • S/Sgt Chester C. Whisman (R), S/Sgt William W. Gray (BTG) and Sgt John E. Mulstein (TG) Flew on 17 credited missions with 1Lt Langford (All Langford missions except #180), 11 missions with 2Lt Altman (All of his First Pilot missions) and two missions with other Pilots - 185 and 187. Completed 30 credited missions on 24 August 1944 (Mission 231).

  • S/Sgt Edwin C. Munn (WG/E) - Flew on 17 credited missions with 1Lt Langford (All Langford except #180): As Waist Gunner - 181, 189, 190, 203, 206, 207, 208; As Engineer - 182, 183, 184, 186, 191, 196(A), 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 11 missions with 2Lt Altman (All of his First Pilot missions) and two missions with other Pilots - 185, 187. Completed 30 credited missions on 24 Aug 1944 (Mission 231).

  • S/Sgt Raymond Tartaglia (WG/TOG)(POW)- Flew on 6 missions with 1Lt Langford: As Left Waist Gunner - 181, 182, 183; As Togglier - 191, 196, 197. Deleted from the Langford crew when crew size was changed from 10 to 9 men with deletion of the 2nd Waist Gunner. Flew on 12 missions as Togglier with other Pilots: 2Lt Walter J. Carey - 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 204; Other Pilots - 235, 246, 248, 250, 256, 257. Became a POW on his 18th credited mission (257) on 15 October 1944 to Cologne, Germany in B-17G 43-38604 (359BS) BN-H, Pilot - 2Lt Edmund W. Gaines. The B-17 crashed near Koln, Germany after being hit by flak over the target. The B-17 received a direct hit between the Nos 1 and 2 engines. It caught fire, with flames enveloping the entire wing and blew up at about 10,000 going down in a steep dive. S/Sgt Tartaglia was blown out of the nose during the explosion. By some miracle the parachute that he wearing was open when he regained consciousness - He has no memory of pulling the rip cord and was the only one of the nine crewmen to survive the explosion. He was captured after his parachute landing and became a POW.
[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]