Quick Search
360th Bilek Crew
Andrew F. Bilek, Pilot
 Home About Us Contact Us Donate Newsletters 8th AFHS Links FAQ Facebook Search
 Personnel Aircraft Nose Art B-17 Thunderbird Ground Support Uniforms Journals More Info
 Mission Reports Combat Crews Individual Photos Photos POW KIA MACR Overseas Graves TAPS

ANDREW F. BILEK CREW - 360th BS (Partial Crew)
(Assigned 360BS: 30 January 1943 - On loan from 92nd BG(H)
(Photo taken by Robert D. Elliott as the 92nd BG Charles J. Kelly Crew
in early 1943 at the 92nd BG, Alconbury England)

(L-R) Sgt C.B. Freeman, Sgt Charles E. Slayton (LWG)(KIA)(3)(A),
T/Sgt Lyle G. Sage (E)(A), Lt H. D. Broyles, Lt Alex Arganian,
Lt Charles J. 'Class A' Kelly (CP)(5)(A), Lt J. M. McGraw, Sgt Joseph J. Savickas (RWG)(A),
Sgt Thomas D. Glaspell (BTG)(KIA)(3)(A), Sgt Harry P. Brannan (TG)(KIA)(3)(A)

Not in photo: Lt Andrew F. Bilek (P)(KIA)(A)(1), Lt James Ford Kelley (N)(WIA)(2),
Lt Raymond F. White (B)(A) S/Sgt John J. Fogarty (R)(POW)(4)(A)

303rd BG(H) nine dispatched Missions by the Lt Bilek Crew:
15(A)(14 Feb 1943), 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 27(A), 28, 29 (05 April 1943)
Lt W.R. Bowers (A) was the Bilek crew Navigator on missions #17 & 19. Substitute Left Waist Gunner used on missions #23 & 24. Substitute CoPilot used on missions #17, 27 & 28.

Crew Incident:
First mission #15, 14 February 1944, Lt Bilek ran off the Molesworth taxi strip into the mud during his taxi around a curve preparing for takeoff. He was forced to abort the mission.

Crew Notes:

  1. One of four Pilots and crews loaned to the 303rd BG(H) from the 92nd BG(H) at Alconbury, England. The Lt Bilek Crew returned to the 92nd BG(H) following mission #29.
  2. Lt Andrew F. Bilek (KIA) - KIA on 92nd BG(H) mission to Huls, Germany on 22 June 1943.
  3. Lt James Ford Kelley (N)(303BG) - Flew with the following Pilots:
    • 359th BS - Lt Jack Roller (15, 16) and Lt Sanford T. Smith (17, 18, 19, 20, 21);
    • 360th BS - Lt Andrew F. Bilek - as a crew fill in Navigator (23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29); Capt George V. Stallings, Jr. (30, 31, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 43A, 44, 51, 52, 53, 58). Was wounded on mission #44, 25 June 1944, and was awarded the Silver Star Medal. Completed his 303rd BG(H) 25 mission combat tour on 15 August 1943
  4. S/Sgt Thomas Glaspell (R), S/Sgt Harry T. Brannan (BTG) and S/Sgt Charles E. Slayton (TG) Killed in Action on a recalled 30 November 1943 92nd BG(H) mission to Solingen, Germany. B-17 blew up during formation assembly.
  5. T/Sgt John J. Fogarty (R) became a POW on a 28 July 1943 92nd BG(H) mission to Kassel, Germany
  6. Lt C.J. Kelly (CP) - did not fly with his Bilek crew on missions #17, 27, 28. Substitute CoPilots were used.

[photo courtesy of Clinton Slayton]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]