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427th Ley Crew
Roman M. Ley, Pilot
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(Crew assigned 427th BS 27 March 1945)

Original Roman M. Ley Crew
2Lt Roman M. Ley (P)(KIA), 2Lt Eugene H. Farland (CP),
F/O George S. Thomas (N)(KIA), 2Lt Howard G. Weinberg (B)(KIA)

Cpl Roaul R. Prieto (E)(KIA), Cpl William M. Toler (R)(KIA),
Sgt Don M. Beebe (BTG)(KIA), Cpl Earl M. Dugan (WG),
Cpl Jessee M. Moore (TG)(KIA)

Crew Notes:

  • 2Lt Ley Crew (KIA) Crewmen. Were flying their first combat mission - #353 on 6 April 1945. 2Lt Melvin Alderman was flying as a combat orientation Pilot with 2Lt Roman M. Ley flying as CoPilot. Regular CoPilot, 2Lt Eugene H. Farland, and Cpl Earl M. Dugan (WG) were not on mission #353.

  • 2Lt Melvin Alderman (P)(KIA) - Was on his 35th combat mission. Most of his missions were flown as CoPilot with the 1Lt Grafton N. Smith crew

  • 2Lt Eugene H. Farland (CP) - Flew on five combat missions: 2Lt William A. Denison (P) - 356, 357, 363; 2Lt Lloyd J. Flanigan (P) - 362; 359th BS 2Lt William J. Lowry (P) - 364

  • Sgt Earl M. Dugan (WG)(POW) - Flew on three combat missions as Tail Gunner: 1Lt George E. Sabine (P) - 356 & 357; 1Lt Warren Mauger (P) (359th BS) - 364. On his last mission (#364) Sgt Dugan became a POW after his B-17G 44-83477 (No name) (427BS) GN-B was shot down by anti-aircraft fire immediately after "bombs away."
First and only Mission of the 2Lt Roman M. Ley Crew
Mission #353, 6 April 1945, to Leipzig, Germany. Crew was flying in B-17G #43-38958 Green Hill Belle (427BS) GN- H. Was involved in a mid-air collision, shortly before reaching the target at Leipzig , with B-17G #44-8647 (no name) (360th BS) PU-M piloted by 360th BS 2Lt Howard C. Lacker. Dense contrails appeared to have directly contributed to the collision. Green Hill Belle exploded in the air after the collision and broke up into small parts - some were on fire. Both B-17s crashed at Loessnitz, Germany approximately 50 km south of Leipzig. All crewmen in both B-17s were killed in action. See the Greene Belle crash site photos.

[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]