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359th Towne Crew
Harvey E. Towne, Pilot
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HARVEY E. TOWNE CREW - 359th BS
B-17G #43-37590 Neva - The Silver Lady 358BS (VK-Q)
(crew assigned 359BS: 30 Jan 1945 - photo: Jan 1945)

(Back L-R) S/Sgt Arthur Dritz (E), 1Lt Harvey E. Towne (P),
2Lt Warren K. Ligaard (CP), 2Lt Alonzo M. West III (N)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Wallace K. Taylor (WG/TOG), Sgt Lewis W. McCurdy (TG),
Sgt Allen B. Syler (BTG), S/Sgt Thomas Fiore (R)

Not in photo: 2Lt Joseph A. Miller (B)

Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission


Thirty-one credited combat missions flown by 1Lt Harvey E. Towne:
314 (14 Feb 1945), 319, 320, 321, 322, 325, 326, 327, 328, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 339, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345, 348, 349, 350, 352, 353, 354, 356, 357, 360, 361, 362 (17 April 1945)
For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.

Ten B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Harvey E. Towne on his 31 credited combat missions:

  • 43-38619 (No name) (359BS) BN-A - Mission 314
  • 43-39127 (No name) (359BS) BN-K - Missions 319, 320
  • 43-38609 (No name) (359BS) BN-F - Mission 325
  • 43-38891 Blues in the Night (359BS) BN-H - Mission 321
  • 42-107206 Old Black Magic (359BS) - Missions 322, 335, 340, 341
  • 43-38608 (P) Lucille (359BS) BN-E - 18 missions (326, 329, 330, 333, 336, 337, 339, 343, 344, 345, 348, 350, 352, 353, 354, 357, 360, 361)
  • 43-38289 (P) Sweet La Rhonda (359BS) BN-J - Mission 327
  • 44-6309 (P) Duchess' Granddaughter (359BS) BN-T - Mission 349
  • 43-37597 (P) Earthquake McGoon (427BS) GN-G - Mission 356
  • 44-8256 (P) Yankee Girl (PFF B-17G) (359BS) BN-Y - Mission 362
    (P) See Nose Art Photos
Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt Harvey E. Towne (P) - 31 credited missions flown. First mission flown with Combat Orientation CoPilot 2Lt Galt L. McClurg. All missions flown as First Pilot. Last mission on 17 April 1945 (Mission 362).

  • 2Lt Warren K. Ligaard (CP) - 30 credited missions flown: Stood down on mission 314. All other missions flown with 1Lt Towne. Last mission on 17 April 1945 (Mission 362).

  • 2Lt Alonzo M. West III (N) - 33 credited missions flown: 31 with 1Lt Towne (All Towne missions); 2 with other Pilots (323, 328). Last mission on 17 April 1945 (Mission 362).

  • 2Lt Joseph A. Miller (B) - 13 credited missions flown: 5 with 1Lt Towne (314, 319, 310, 321, 322), With other Pilots - 8 missions (336, 340, 344, as Deputy Lead Crew Bombardier (350, 354, 358, 362), As Lead Crew Bombardier (360). Last mission on 17 April 1945 (Mission 362). 1Lt Towne used crewman S/Sgt Wallace K Taylor as Togglier on 20 missions and other substitute Toggliers on 5 missions (325, 326, 327, 333, 337) and a substitute Bombardier on one mission (362).

  • S/Sgt Arthur Dritz (E) - 23 credited missions flown: 23 with 1Lt Towne (314, 319, 320, 321, 322, 325, 326, 327, 329, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 339, 340, 341, 344, 345, 348, 352, 353, 354); With other Pilots - None. Last mission on 7 April 1945 (Mission 354). 1Lt Towne used substitute Engineers on 8 missions (343, 349, 350, 356, 357, 360, 361, 362).

  • S/Sgt Thomas Fiore (R) - 31 credited missions flown: 31 with 1Lt Towne (All Towne missions); With other Pilots - none. Last mission flown on 17 April 1945 (Mission 362).

  • Sgt Allen B. Syler (BTG) - 30 credited missions flown: 30 with 1Lt Towne (All town missions except 362 where S/Sgt Syler stood down); With other Pilots - none. Last mission flown on 15 April 1945 (Mission 361); Mission 362 was flown in a PFF B-17G without a Ball Turret and Ball Turret Gunner.

  • S/Sgt Wallace K. Taylor (WG/TOG) - 30 credited missions flown: 28 with 1Lt Towne - As Waist Gunner (326, 337, 362), As Togglier (329, 330, 335, 336, 339, 340, 341, 343, 344, 345, 348, 349, 350, 352, 353, 354, 356, 357, 360, 361). With other Pilots - 2 missions -As Tail Gunner (325), As Togglier (331). Last mission flown on 17 April 1945 (Mission 362). 1Lt Towne used a substitute Waist Gunner on 4 missions (329, 336, 343, 344) and with an 8 man regular crew, without a Waist Gunner on 19 missions (325, 327, 330, 333, 335, 339, 340, 341, 345, 348, 349, 350, 352, 353, 354, 356, 357, 360, 361)

  • Sgt Lewis W. McGurdy (TG) - 29 credited missions flown: 28 with 1Lt Towne (All Towne missions except for three (314, 319, 320) where substitute Tail Gunners were used); With another Pilot - 1 mission (355). Last missions flown in 17 April 1945 (Mission 363).

  • Radio Control Measure Operators (RCM's) - Used on 16 missions: S/Sgt Lewis E. Carl (322, 339, 340, 350, 354); Sgt James W. Haley (325, 329, 336, 354, 360); Sgt Enrique M. Reider (330); Sgt Kenneth A. Palm (333, 341, 352, 353); Sgt Herbert P. Madey (361).
Mission Note:
First mission of the 1Lt Towne crew, mission 314, on 14 February 1945 to Dresden, Germany --
Made an emergency landing on the European Continent with no causalities. The B-17G 43-38619 (No name) (359BS) BN-A was on its 22nd dispatched combat mission and was salvaged on 13 March 1945 and left at the European landing airfield.

[photo courtesy of Allen B. Syler]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus