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359th Pentz Crew
Arthur H. Pentz, Pilot
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ARTHUR H. PENTZ - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 08 Apr 1943 - photo: 20 July 1943)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Norman N. Jacobsen (N), 1Lt Arthur H. Pentz (P)(POW),
F/O Harold S. Bolsover (CP), 2Lt Russell O. Philpit (B)(POW/Repr)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Hurd L. Edwards (BTG)(POW), T/Sgt Robert L. Murray (R)(POW),
S/Sgt Robert J. Horvath (WG)(POW), S/Sgt George E. Howard (WG)(POW),
S/Sgt Elmer T. Knudsen (TG), T/Sgt John A. "Jack" Dougherty (E)(POW)



Crashsite of Ol' Ironsides. Photo was furnished by Christoph Heinen of Moenchengladbach, Germany. The original photo is in the office of the town historian.
(KIA/POW) Mission #57 to Gelsenkirchen, Germany in B-17F #42-29640 on 12 August 1943. Ol' Ironsides 359th BS (BN-X). Was last seen at a point ten miles south of Hokum, Germany after dropping its bombs. It fell behind the formation after a German fighter attack and was almost completely on fire. It crashed in a vegetable field near the former Moenchengladbach German airbase that was the temporary home of several German fighter and night fighter squadrons. The B-17 was nearly undamaged with the exception of the props and underside. Navigator, 1Lt Benjamin B. Street was KIA. Other crewmen were captured and became POWs. 2Lt Russell O. Philpit, who had been wounded, was later repatriated. Ol' Ironsides was dispatched on 14 missions with 3 missions aborted. Lt. Pentz flew on 9 missions in Ol' Ironsides with 2 aborted.

Substitute Crewmen on the 12 August Mission:
2Lt Thomas E. Mulligan (CP)(POW), 1Lt Benjamin B. Street (N)(KIA), S/Sgt Elmer T. Knudsen (TG)(POW).

Crew Notes:
Lt Pentz was dispatched on the following nineteen combat missions: 31 (17 Apr 43), 32, 33, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 43A (R), 44, 47 (A), 48, 49, 51 (A), 52, 54 (A), 55, 56 and 57 (12 Aug 43) (R) One Mission recalled - non credited (A) Three missions aborted - non credited

  • 1Lt Arthur H. Pentz (P) - Flew as Copilot. Pilot 1Lt Guy H. McClung. Missions 31, 36, 43A & 44.

  • 2Lt Robert B. Wallace was the original CoPilot on the Pentz Crew. He flew on two missions with the Pentz Crew (#32, 1 May 1943 and #33, 4 May 1943) and flew no other 303rd BG(H) missions. His status with the 303rd after 4 May 1943 is unknown. The Pentz Crew flew with substitute CoPilots on their remaining missions F/O Harold S. Bolsover is the CoPilot in the 20 July 1943 Pentz Crew photo as identified by his daughter. F/O Bolsover flew one mission with the Pentz Crew (#52 on 24 July 1943) as an Aerial Observer on an eleven man crew. He never flew with the Pentz crew as the CoPilot. After flying on fifteen credited missions with several different Pilots as a CoPilot, Bombardier and Observer, he was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 16 October 1943 and was promoted from F/O to 2Lt in mid November 1943. 2Lt Bolsover completed his 25 mission combat tour on 7 January 1944 after flying on seven missions as a First Pilot and three missions as a Lead Crew CoPilot.

  • Lt Norman N. Jacobsen (N) - Flew on 11 missions with the Pentz Crew (33, 40, 41, 42, 43, 43A, 47, 48, 49, 51 & 52) Substitute Navigators used by the Pentz Crew on other missions. Lt Jacobsen flew on 33 missions with other crews. Became a lead Navigator and was promoted to Captain. Last mission #323, on 25 Feb 45, on his 2nd combat tour. Dispatched on a total of 44 missions

  • Lt Russell O. Philpit (B) - Flew with other crews on missions 30, 38 & 39 Did not fly with the Pentz Crew on missions 31 & 33 - substitute Bombardier used. Dispatched on 20 missions.

  • T/Sgt John A. Dougherty (E) - Did not fly with the Pentz Crew on missions 31, 36, 43A, 44 & 52. Substitute Engineers used. Flew with other crews on missions 31, 43A & 44. Dispatched on 16 missions.

  • T/Sgt Robert L. Murray (R) - Did not fly with the Pentz Crew on missions 31, 36 & 44. Substitute Radio Operators used. Flew with other crews on missions 30, 31 & 44. Dispatched on 19 missions.

  • S/Sgt George E. Howard (RWG) and S/Sgt Robert J. Horvath (LWG) - Did not fly with the Pentz Crew on missions 31, 36, 43A & 44. Substitute Waist Gunners used. S/Sgt Howard flew on missions 31, 36, 37 & 38 with other crews. S/Sgt Horvath flew on missions 30 & 38 with other crews. Both dispatched on 19 missions.

  • S/Sgt William H. Bruns, Jr. (TG)(not in photo) flew two missions with the Pentz Crew as BTG (#32, 1 May 43 and #33, 4 May 1943). He flew four additional credited missions with four different Pilots as TG (#31), RWG (#36) and BTG (#38 & 39) and was then removed from combat status.

  • S/Sgt Hurd L. Edwards (BTG)(POW). Did not fly with the Pentz Crew on missions 31, 32, 33, 36 & 48 where substitute BTGs were used. Was dispatched on 14 missions with the Pentz crew.

  • S/Sgt Elmer T. Knudsen (TG) (POW) - Did not fly with the Pentz Crew on missions 31, 32, 36, 43A and 44 where substitute TGs were used. Was dispatched on 14 missions with the Pentz crew.

Crew Incident:
At the beginning of February 1943 the Pentz crewmen were in Pierre, South Dakota. The crew was notified that a new B-17 was awaiting them at the Salina, Kansas Army Air Force Base and were given three days "in transit" to arrive in Salina. Three crewmen, S/Sgt William Bruns, Jr. (TG), S/Sgt Robert Horvath (LWG) and T/Sgt Robert Murray (Radio) decided that it was a good time to propose to their girls back home and marry if the girls would have them. That's exactly what they did. All three were married "in transit" and arrived in Salina a day late. They reported to the Salina Commanding Officer who promptly busted the three Sergeants to Privates. They regained their Sgt grades after arriving at Molesworth.

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]