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427th Brown Crew
Tracy D. Brown, Pilot
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TRACY D. BROWN CREW - 427th BS
(crew assigned 427BS: 27 June 1944)

1Lt Tracy D. Brown (P)(*), 2Lt Robert G. Van Antwerp (CP)(*),
1Lt Donald M. Rusk (N)(*), 1Lt Elmer E. Prusha (B)(*)

T/Sgt Francis T. Duffek (E)(*), T/Sgt Howard R. Bridge (R),
S/Sgt Robert S. Born (BTG)(*), S/Sgt Clelland F. Fisher (WG)(*),
Sgt William A. O'Connor (WG)(*), S/Sgt Raymond C. Blim (TG)(*)

(Ranks and grades of crewmen at time of last combat mission)

(*) Member of the original Lt Brown crew assigned to 427th BS on 27 June 1944

Thirty-five Combat Missions flown by 1Lt Tracy D. Brown, Jr.:
196 (5 July 1944), 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 213, 214, 215, 218, 221, 222, 224, 225, 226, 228, 229, 230, 235, 236, 240, 244, 249, 251, 254, 255 & 258 (17 Oct 1944). For mission dates and targets see the missions list.

Crew Notes:

1Lt Tracy D. Brown, Jr. (P) - First two missions flown as CoPilot with combat orientation Pilot 1Lt C. Eugene Flick and his crew (196, 197). Third mission (198) as CoPilot with combat orientation Pilot 2Lt Donald W. Keating and the Lt Brown enlisted crewmen. Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 17 October 1944.

2Lt Robert G. Van Antwerp
2Lt Robert G. Van Antwerp (CP) - Flew on 30 missions with the Lt Brown (All except 196, 197, 198, 254, 255). Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 6 October 1944. Dispatched on 5 missions as First Pilot (253(A), 254, 255, 258, 260). Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 19 October 1944.

1Lt Donald M. Rusk (N) - Flew on 28 missions with Lt Brown (All except 196, 197, 249, 254, 255, 258). Flew on 7 missions with other Pilots (197, 239, 249, 250, 252, 254, 255).

1Lt Elmer E. Prusha (B) - Flew on 14 missions with Lt Brown (198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 226, 228). Flew 2 missions with another combat crew (222, 223). Became a lead crew Bombardier and flew 14 Lead Crew missions (230, 238, 244, 248, 258, 269, 271, 283, 286, 290, 295, 296, 302, 303). Completed his combat tour of 30 missions on 17 January 1945. The Lt Brown crew utilized fifteen different substitute Bombardiers on their other 21 missions.

T/Sgt Francis T. Duffek (E) - Flew on 30 missions with Lt Brown (All except 196, 197, 221, 222, 223). Flew on 5 missions with other Pilots (265, 266, 274, 275, 277). Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 26 November 1944.

T/Sgt Howard R. Bridge (R) - Flew on 27 missions with Lt Brown (All except 196, 197, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 240). Four missions with othger pilots (220, 223, 240, 262). Combat tour completed on 22 October 1944. Was not a member of the original Lt Brown crew assigned to the 427th BS on 27 June 1944.

T/Sgt Joseph O. Islava (R) - Flew on 6 missions with Lt Brown (199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 240). Dispatched on 28 additional missions with fourteen different Pilots. Never part of a regularly assigned crew. Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 10 April 1945.

S/Sgt Robert S. Born (BTG) - Flew on 33 mission with Lt Brown (All except 196, 197). Flew on 2 missions with other Pilots (250, 252). Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 17 October 1944.

S/Sgt Clelland F. Fisher (WG) - Flew on 31 missions with Lt Brown (All except 196, 197, 198, 236). Flew on Four missions with other Pilots (252, 261, 262, 263) - mission 263 as Tail Gunner. Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 22 October 1944.

Sgt William A. O'Connor (WG) - Flew on 1 mission with Lt Brown as tail Gunner (198). The second Waist Gunner position was deleted from the Lt Brown crew and Sgt O'Connor flew no additional missions with the 303rd BG(H).

S/Sgt Raymond C. Blim (TG) - Flew on 33 missions with Lt Brown (All except 196, 197). Mission 198 flown as Waist Gunner and all others as Tail Gunner. Flew on 2 missions with other Pilots (260, 261). Thirty-five mission combat tour completed on 22 October 1944.


[2Lt Van Antwerp photo courtesy of the Van Antwerp family]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]