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360th Brumbeloe Crew
Finis A. Brumbeloe, Pilot
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B-17F #42-2973 Iza Vailable 360BS (PU-G)
(crew assigned 360BS: 27 Oct 1943 - photo: 20 Nov 1943)

Original Brumbeloe Crew MIA 29 Nov 43
(Back L-R) 2Lt Charles D. Garneau (B)(KIA), 2Lt James R. Groves (N)(WIA/POW),
2Lt Donnell H. Marsh (CP)(POW), 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe (P)(WIA/POW)

(Front L-R) Sgt Howard S. Payton (RWG)(KIA), Sgt William R. Perryman (TG)(POW),
S/Sgt Irwan A. Johnson (R)(POW), Sgt William C. Steele (BTG)(KIA),
S/Sgt Harry V. Hosso (LWG)(POW), S/Sgt Peter J. Kiebish (E)(POW)

(Ranks and Grades at end of last combat mission)

(crew assigned 360BS: 27 Oct 1943 - photo: Rapid City, SD 19 Aug 1943)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe (P)(WIA/POW), 2Lt Donnell H. Marsh (CP)(POW),
2Lt James R. Groves (N)(WIA/POW), 2Lt Charles D. Garneau (B)(KIA), S/Sgt Peter J. Kiebish (E)(POW)

(Front L-R) Sgt Howard S. Payton (RWG)(KIA), Sgt William C. Steele (BTG)(KIA),
S/Sgt Harry V. Hosso (LWG)(POW), Sgt William R. Perryman (TG)(POW)

(Not in photo: S/Sgt Irwan A. Johnson (R)(POW) - Ranks and Grades at end of last combat mission)
[photo courtesy of Valerie Garneau, grand-niece of Charles Garneau]

Three credited combat missions flown by all members of the 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe Crew:
82 (16 Nov 1943 to Knaben, Norway), 83 (26 Nov 1943 to Bremen, Germany), 84 (29 Nov 1943 to Bremen, Germany). Exception: S/Sgt Harry V. Hosso did not fly on mission 84.

Two B-17Gs flown by the 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe on their 3 credited combat missions:

  • 42-37757 (No name) (360BS) PU-N - Missions 82, 83
  • 42-5483 Red Ass (360BS) PU-F - Mission 84
Crew Notes:
All crewmen flew on all three of the 1Lt Brumbeloe Crew missions with one exception - S/Sgt Harry V. Hosso, who was ill, stood down on mission 84. A substitute crewman was used.
  • 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe (P)(WIA), 2Lt Donnell H. Marsh (CP), 2Lt James R. Groves (N)(WIA), S/Sgt Peter J. Kiebish (E), S/Sgt Irwan A. Johnson (R) and Sgt William R. Perryman (TG) made successful parachute jumps on mission 84, were captured and became POWs.

  • Regular crewmen 2Lt Charles D. Garneau (B), Sgt William C. Steele (BTG), Sgt Howard S. Payton (RWG) and substitute crewman Sgt David H. Hoffman (LWG) were killed on mission 84. Sgts Payton and Hoffman are buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery near Liege, Belgium.

  • S/Sgt Harry V. Hosso (LWG)(POW) - 14 dispatched (13 credited) combat missions flown: 2 credited missions with 1Lt Brumbeloe (82, 83); 1 credited mission with Lt John C. Lawlor as RWG (91); 7 with Lt Hershel R. Dewall as RWG (106, 107, 109, 112, 113, 114, 115); 4 dispatched (3 credited) missions with 2Lt Leo B. McGrath - As LWG (116, 117 - Non-Credited aborted mission), As RWG (118, 119). Became a POW on 8 March 1944 (Mission 119) to Erkner, Germany in B-17G 42-314721 Doolittle's Destroyer (360BS) PU-E, 1Lt Leo B. McGrath (Pilot). B-17 was lost in the vicinity of Brandenburg, Germany. Aircraft was last seen descending very rapidly under control to about 10,00 feet. Flak had damaged the No. 4 engine and the B-17 lagged behind the 303rd BG(H) Formation.. Trouble was experienced in feathering the #4 engine and it caught on fire. After being hit by three German ME-109s, the bail-out order was given. The B-17 crashed 20 km southwest of Magdeburg. All crewmen parachuted and became POWs. (Missing Aircrew Report 2908).
Substitute crewman on 29 November 1943 (Mission 84):
  • Sgt David H. Hoffman (LWG)(KIA) - Mission 84 was his only combat mission
Mission Note - 2Lt Brumbeloe crews last combat mission:
29 November 1943 (Mission 84) to Bremen, Germany in B-17G 42-5483 Red Ass (360BS) PU-F. Red Ass had engine and supercharger problems over Bremen. A ME-210 German fighter fired 20 mm shells into the cockpit and nose area. Bombardier, 2Lt Charles D. Garneau was killed. Navigator, 2Lt James R. Groves was wounded. Pilot 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe's heel was shot off and he used a cedar post as a prosthesis while he was a POW. Six crewmen bailed out at 29,00 feet and were immediately captured and made POWs. Four crewmen were killed. The B-17 crashed at Renslage, Germany. (Missing Aircrew Report 1656).
Letter from the sister of Harry V. Hosso to the parents of James R. Groves, after the 360th BS 2Lt Finis A. Brumbeloe Crew was shot down. (Courtesy of Charles Wells, friend of James Groves' sister.)

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