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360th Eisele Crew
Roy Eisele, Pilot
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ROY EISELE CREW - 360th BS
(crew assigned 360BS: 25 Feb 1944)

(Back) 1Lt Roy Eisele (P)(KIA)*, 2Lt Louis F. Girard (CP)(KIA)*,
2Lt Murray Schenker (N)(KIA)*, 2Lt Melvin Gladstone (B)(KIA)*,

(Front) T/Sgt Louis M. Cowley (E)(KIA), Sgt Efrain Longoria (BTG)(KIA),
S/Sgt Richard L. Bell (RWG)(KIA)*, T/Sgt Joseph A. Czerwonka (LWG),
S/Sgt Edward J. Vallee (TG)(POW), S/Sgt Ralph Millard (R)(KIA)*(far right)

Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission
(*) KIA crewmen buried in the Normandy American Cemetery near Coleville-sur-Mer, France


37 dispatched (30 credited) combat missions flown by 1Lt Roy Eisele:
119 (8 March 1944), 121, 124, 125 (A), 126, 127, 128, 129 (Spare), 131, 132 (A), 133 (Spare), 134, 135, 136, 137A (ASR), 138, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144 (A), 145, 148, 150, 151, 161, 163 (A), 164, 165, 167, 170, 171, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178 (MIA)(12 June 1944).
For mission dates, targets and mission folders see Combat Missions.
   (MIA) - Missing in action
   (Spare) - Two Non-credited missions (129, 133). Spare B-17 flown - not required returned to Molesworth
   (ASR) - Non-Credited mission (137A). Small group of five B-17s on 4 hour, twenty minute Air-Sea Rescue flight at 300 ft altitude. No missing airmen found.
   (A) - Four non-credited aborted missions -
    22 Mar 44 (Mission 125) - (4:21 flight time) Fuel shortage claimed. Ground check revealed sufficient fuel supply for mission
    09 Apr 44 (Mission 132) - (2:21 flight time) #2 engine problem, prop governor out and excessive oil leak
    29 Apr 44 (Mission 144) - (2:27 flight time) #3 engine trowing oil. Oil pressure low.
    28 May 44 (Mission 163 - (2:04 flight time) Leak in oxygen system for CoPilot and Bombardier

Eleven B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Roy Eisele on his 37 dispatched missions

  • 42-38204 (No name) (360BS PU-H - Missions 119, 128, 129 (Spare)
  • 42-107048 (No name) (360BS) PU-M - 21 missions (131, 132(A), 133(Spare), 134, 135, 136, 140, 141, 142, 148, 151, 161, 163 (A), 164, 167, 170, 171, 174, 175, 176, 178 (MIA))
  • 42-31432 (P) Old Glory (360BS) PU-N - Mission 121
  • 42-97552 ---- The Road Back (360BS) PU-O - Missions 124, 126, 127
  • 42-31177 ---- Lonesome Polecat (360BS) PU-L - Mission 125 (A)
  • 42-31386 (P) Sky Duster aka Woof (359BS) BN-W - Mission 138
  • 42-31421 (P) Spirit of Wanette (427BS) GN-U - Missions 137A (ASR)
  • 42-37841 (P) Banshee (360BS) PU-P - Missions 143, 165, 177
  • 42-37875 (P) Empress of "D" Street aka Flying Bison (427BS) GN-A - Mission 144 (A)
  • 42-97284 (P) Ain't Misbehavin (359BS) BN-S - Mission 145
  • 42-31340 (P) Miss Liberty (360BS) PU-D - Mission 150
    (P) See Nose Art Photos
Crew Notes - Original crewmen
  • 1Lt Roy Eisele (P)(KIA) - 30 credited missions flown. First mission (119) as CoPilot with 1Lt John C. Lawlor, Jr. as Combat Orientation Pilot. All other missions flown as First Pilot. KIA on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178)

  • 2Lt Louis F. Girard (CP)(KIA) - 30 credited missions flown: With 1Lt Eisele (All Eisele missions except 119 and 161) Substitute Co Pilot, 2Lt Leonard M. Brown on mission 161; 2 missions with other Pilots - 1Lt John C. Lawlor, Jr. (120), 2Lt Paul H. Long (161). Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 16 June 1944 four days after he was killed on mission 178. Flew no missions as First Pilot. KIA on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178).

  • 2Lt Murray Schenker (N)(KIA) - 30 credited missions flown all with 1Lt Eisele. KIA on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178).

  • 2Lt Melvin Gladstone (B)(KIA) - 28 credited missions flown: 27 with 1Lt Eisele (All Eisele missions except 136, 137A (ASR),140 and 141 where substitute Bombardiers used); With another Pilot - 1Lt Donald M. Johnston (173). KIA on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178).

  • T/Sgt Louis M. Crowley (E)(KIA), S/Sgt Ralph Millard (R)(KIA),Sgt Efrain Longoria (BTG)(KIA), 29 credited missions flown (All of 1Lt Eisele missions except 119 where substitute crewmen were used). KIA on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178).

  • S/Sgt Edward J. Vallee (TG)(POW) - 29 credited missions flown (All of 1Lt Eisele missions except 119 where a substitute crewman was used). POW on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178) - only crewman to parachute from the stricken B-17.

  • S/Sgt Richard L. Bell (WG)(KIA) - 23 credited missions flown: 22 with 1Lt Eisele (All Eisele missions except 119 where a substitute crewmen was used and seven credited missions (161, 163 (A), 164, 165, 167, 170, 171, 174 where only one Waist Gunner was used); With 1Lt Earl W. Thomas (172).

  • T/Sgt Joseph A. Czerwonka (WG) - 59 credited missions flown: 2 with 1Lt Eisele as Waist Gunner (121, 124); Was then Transferred from 360th BS to 427th BS and flew 57 credited missions with other 427BS Pilots as Waist Gunner (WG) - 6 missions , as Ball Turret Gunner (BTG) - 50 missions and Tail Gunner (TG) - 1 mission. 3 with 1Lt Steve Lingo as RWG (166, 168, 170), 3 with 2Lt Chester E. Flick as LWG (172, 174, 175), 8 with 2Lt Donald W. Keating as BTG (202, 203, 208, 209, 211, 214, 215), 4 with 2Lt Richard R. Johnson as BTG (218, 220, 222, 223), 23 with Lt James W. O'Leary as BTG (235, 236, 237, 239, 243, 244, 246, 247, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 262, 263, 265, 266, 271, 273, 275, 277, 283), 11 with 1Lt William H. Petersen (313, 314, 315, 316, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 333) and 5 missions with 5 other Pilots - As BTG (164, 212, 221, 227), As TG (165). Completed first combat tour on 27 September 1944 (32 missions). Volunteered for a second combat tour and completed 27 additional missions on 10 March 1945 (Mission 333).
Crew Notes - Substitute Waist Gunners
  • S/Sgt Raymond K. Butler (WG/TG/BTG) - Completed 31 dispatched (27 credited) missions: 7 dispatched(4 credited) missions with 1Lt Eisele as Waist Gunner (127, 128, 129(A), 131, 132(A), 133 (Spare), 134); 24 dispatched (23 credited) missions with other Pilots - 23 dispatched (22 credited) missions with 1Lt John C. Lawlor, Jr. as Tail Gunner (83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 91, 93, 95, 98(A), 99, 100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 109, 110, 111, 113, 114, 120, 121, 122), 1 credited missions with 2Lt Joseph E. Stevens as Ball Turret Gunner (125. Completed combat tour (27 credited missions) on 11 April 1944 (Mission 134).

  • S/Sgt Szymon A. Friedman (WG)(KIA)* - Completed 37 dispatched (27 credited) missions: 27 dispatched (23 credited) missions with 1Lt Eisele (125, 126, 135, 136, 137A (ASR), 138, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144 (A), 145, 148, 150, 151, 161, 163 (A), 164, 165, 167, 170, 171, 174, 171, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178 (KIA); 10 dispatched (7 credited) missions with other Pilots (91, 92(A), 106, 107, 109 (A), 112, 115, 116, 117(A), 172). KIA on 12 June 1944 (Mission 178) with 1Lt Eisele crew. Buried in the Normandy American Cemetery near Coleville-sur-Mer, France.
Mission Note:

12 June 1944 (Mission 178) to Cambrai/Epinoy, France in B-17G 42-107048 (No name) (360BS) PU-M. Was flying as a wingman in the #2 position, high element, high group. Was hit by flak between the #2 engine and fuselage approximately one minute before "bombs away." Another flak burst hit directly in the bomb bay. The entire B-17 burst into flames, nosed down sharply, broken in half near the open bomb bay doors, and lost the left wing. Other crews spotted it until approximately 1,000 ft altitude. The B-17 crashed near Cambrai, France. Missing Aircrew Report 5226. The Tail Gunner, S/Sgt Edward J. Vallee managed to parachute from the B-17 and became a POW. The other nine crewmen were killed in Action.



Eisele Crew Memorial
by Jocelyn LECLERCQ

The memorial was built by my non-profit making association, named Antiq'Air Flandre-Artois, with the strong support of the municipal council of Eswars (M. Francis Regnault, Mayor, and M. Dupriez) and of a few individuals, including for example M. Alain Delzant and patriotic association "Le Souvenir français".

It was dedicated on Sunday 12th June 2005, exactly 60 years after the loss of EISELE crew. One relative attended, Harry Sanders, a great-nephew of air gunner Szymon Friedmann. His branch of the family had settled in Canada, and he came from Calgary with his wife and two children.

The ceremony started on a small bridge, which is actually a pontoon from Arromanches artificial port, from the Normandy landings. It was used as a temporary bridge since the late 1940s, but was actually still there 50 years on ! But it had been decided to replace it due to heavy corrosion. As this artefact was an historical piece, it was decided to move it to a military museum. As the B-17 crashed at the same time the artificial port was created, it was logical to celebrate both events at the same time.

I had prepared an historical display about the crew members, the mission, the Flying Fortress, in the village display hall, opened free to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

Eswars is a very small village and we were surprised by the crowd gathering on Sunday morning. Actually, moving all this unexpected crowd was quite difficult !

Military vehicles were assembled and there were a few speeches as well on the bridge, its history and its future. Then light airplanes from Cambrai aéro-club made a flypast over the canal and the bridge. The "convoy" then proceeded towards the spot of the B-17 crew memorial, towards the village center. After other speeches, the memorial was unveiled. Also a memorial bench paid for by the relatives of Szymon Friedman.

The crowd then walked to the display hall for the last speeches and the "vin d'honneur". A meal was then served for the guests.

[crew photo courtesy of Col. Walter K. Shayler]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]