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359th Reeder Crew
D.M. Reeder, Pilot
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D.M. REEDER CREW - 359th BS
B-17F #41-24561 The Duchess (359BS) BN-T
(crew assigned 359BS: 01 July 1943 - photo: 17 July 1943)

B-17F #41-24561 The Duchess (359BS) BN-T was one of the original 359th BS B-17Fs. Flew 59 missions. Was the oldest operational B-17F in the 8th Air Force. Jack Mathis was awarded the Medal of Honor in this B-17 for his heroic 18 March 1943 actions.

Original Reeder Crewmen:
1Lt D.M. Reeder (P), 1Lt Ralph C. McClean (CP),
1Lt Harvey M. Salk (N), 1Lt Earl E. Vermillion (B)

T/Sgt Henry W. Herod (E), T/Sgt Ellis D. Mowery (R),
S/Sgt Samuel S. Wright (BT)(front, far right), S/Sgt John J. Hayes (LWG),
S/Sgt Kenneth W. Hull (RWG), S/Sgt Henry Swan (TG)

crewmen are not in order
Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission.


Twenty-eight dispatched (26 credited) combat missions flown by 1Lt D.M. Reeder
48 (4 July 1943), 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 54, 57, 58, 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73(A), 74, 75, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87 (11 Dec 1943). For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.
(A) Two non-credited aborted missions:
   #51, 17 July 1943, - (2:36 flight time) Gunners sick from vaccination and shots at Altitude Turned back 20 miles from French coast.
   #73, 2 Oct 1943 - (0:28 Flight time) #2 engine failed and was feathered

Five B-17Fs flown by 1Lt D.M. Reeder on his 28 dispatched combat missions:

  • 41-24561 (P) The Duchess aka Sure Stuff (359BS) BN-T - 22 dispatched missions (48, 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 54, 58, 59, 61, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73(A), 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 87).
  • 41-24605 (P) Knockout Dropper (359BS) BN-R - 2 missions (84, 85)
  • 42-3002 (P) The Old Squaw (359BS) BN-Z - Mission 57
  • 41-24565 (P) Idaho Potato Peeler aka Rambling Wreck (359BS) BN-P - Mission 74
  • 42-5117 (P) Fast Worker Mk II (359BS) BN-U - Mission 79
Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt D.M. Reeder (P) - First mission (48) flown as CoPilot with the members of the 1Lt Arthur P. Pentz Crew on a combat orientation mission. All other missions flown as first Pilot. Completed his 25 mission combat tour on 11 Dec 1943 (Mission 87).

  • 1Lt Ralph C. McClean (CP) - All missions flown as CoPilot. Flew on all of 1Lt Pentz missions (except for five missions 48, 82, 84, 85, 87) and with 1Lt LeRoy E. Daub (P) on six dispatched (4 credited) missions - 93(A), 94, 96(A), 101, 102, 103. Completed 25 mission combat tour on 3 Feb 1944 (Mission 103).

  • 1Lt Harvey M. Salk (N) and T/Sgt Ellis D. Mowery (R) Flew on all of the 1Lt Reeder missions (except mission 48) and one with Capt George T. Mackin (P) - Mission 88. Completed 25 mission combat tour on 13 Dec 1843 (Mission 88).

  • 1Lt Earl E. Vermillion (B) and T/Sgt Henry W. Herod (E) - Flew on all of the 1Lt Reeder missions (except mission 48) and one mission with Capt George T. Mackin (P) -Mission 90. Completed 25 mission combat tour on 20 Dec 1943 (Mission 90).

  • S/Sgt Samuel S. Wright (BTG) - Flew on all of the 1Lt Reeder missions (except mission 48) and one with 2Lt Charles F. Hanselmann (P) as Left Waist Gunner - Mission 88. Received credit for a German FW-190 destroyed (Mission 54) and a ME-110 damaged and probably destroyed (Mission 60). Completed 25 mission combat tour on 13 Dec 1943 (Mission 88).

  • S/Sgt John J. Hayes (LWG) - Flew on 21 dispatched (20 credited) missions with 1Lt Reeder (All Reeder missions except seven - 48, 49, 64, 65, 66, 68, 73(A) ), Mission 72 flown as Tail Gunner. Seven missions flown with other Pilots: Lt Harold S. Bolsover - Missions 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97; 1Lt Charles F. Hanselmann - Mission 99. Received credit for destroying two German JU-88 fighters (Mission 60). Completed 25 mission combat tour on 14 Jan 1944 (Mission 99).

  • S/Sgt Kenneth W. Hull (RWG) - Flew on 26 dispatched (24 credited) missions with 1Lt Reeder (All Reeder missions except two - 48, 64) and four missions with three other Pilots (88, 90, 91, 92). Completed 25 mission combat tour on 24 Dec 1943 (Mission 92).

  • S/Sgt Henry Swan (TG) - Completed 26 dispatched (24 credited missions with 1Lt Reeder (All Reeder missions except two - 48, 72) and two missions with Capt George T. Mackin (P) - missions 88, 90. Received credit for destroying a German FW-190 and a JU-88 fighter on mission 60. Completed 25 mission combat tour on 20 Dec 1943 (Mission 90)
Mission Note:
Mission #60 - 17 August 1943 - First 303rd BG(H) Schweinfurt, Germany mission

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