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427th Lipe Crew
Fort W. Lipe, Pilot
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FORT W. LIPE CREW - 427th BS
(crew assigned 427BS: 24 July 1942)
(Lipe was copilot to D.E. Stockton, upgraded to pilot 12 Apr 1943)

(Back L-R) T/Sgt J.R. Gray (E)(WIA), 2Lt Robert F. Woodley (CP)(DOW),
1Lt Fort W. Lipe (P), 2Lt Abbott M. Smith, Jr. (B), 2Lt Sumner L. Roberts (N)(KIA)

(Front L-R) Sgt Dante G. Barton (WG), S/Sgt Robert K. Sink (BT),
S/Sgt Joseph E. Serpa (TG), T/Sgt Dale F. Brandfas (R),
S/Sgt Durward L. Hinds (WG)

Thirteen dispatched (12 credited) missions of Lt Fort W. Lipe Crew:
32 (1 May 43), 33, 34, 35, 38, 40(A), 41, 43, 43A, 44, 45, 47, 48 (4 July 43)

Crew Notes:

  • 1Lt Fort W. Lipe (P) - Missions flown: Fifteen credited as CoPilot Capt Donald E. Stockton crew. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 12 April 1943. Flew twelve credited missions as 1st Pilot.
  • 2Lt Robert F. Woodley (CP) - Missions flown: Four with Lt Lipe (32, 33, 34, 35). Was hit in the right shoulder by a 20 mm cannon shell. Badly wounded, he later died at Molesworth. Was replaced as CoPilot by Lt Jack G. Rolfson who had previously flown on eleven credited missions with the Lt Ralph S. Hayes crew (15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32) and three missions (23, 34, 36) with other Pilots. Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot after two missions (49, 53) with the Lt William LeFevre crew. Flew two missions (55, 56) as 1st Pilot. First mission: 14 Feb 43. Combat tour completed: 20 July 43.
  • Lt Abbott M. Smith, Jr. (B) - Missions flown: Eight with Lt Lipe (32, 34, 35, 38, 40(A), 41, 45, 48); Nineteen with ten different Pilots. First mission: 6 Mar 43. Combat tour completed: 16 Aug 43. Lt Rude M. Mathis, brother of MOH awardee 1Lt Jack W, Mathis, was substitute Bombardier on one mission (33). S/Sgt Durward L. Hinds flew as Togglier on five missions (43, 43A, 44, 45, 47)
  • T/Sgt J.R. Gray (E) - Missions flown: Four with Lt. Lipe (32, 33, 34, 35); Six with other Pilots (21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29). Wounded with a shell through his right thigh on mission 35 (14 May 43). Was hospitalized and removed from combat duty. Was replaced on seven missions (38, 40(A), 41, 43A, 44, 45, 47) by T/Sgt Jack B. Good, whose first mission was on 23 Jan 43 and combat tour was completed on 27 Aug 43. Substitute Engineers used on two missions (43, 48).
  • T/Sgt Dale F. Brandfas (R) - Missions flown: Twelve with Lt. Lipe (All except mission 48). Other Pilots: Capt Lloyd R. Cole crew - Seven missions (2, 3, 5(A), 6, 7, 10, 11); Capt Glenn E. Hagenbuch crew - five missions (15, 21, 23, 24, 28); Others - Four missions (20, 49, 53, 55) First mission: 18 Nov 42. Combat tour completed: 29 July 43.
  • S/Sgt Robert W. Sink (BTG) - Missions Flown: Twelve with Lt Lipe (All except mission 48). Eight with Lt Burt J. Cardwell crew (58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66); Eleven with seven other Pilots (21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 49, 50, 51, 53, 57). First mission: 8 March 43. Completed combat tour: 3 Sept 43.
  • S/Sgt Durward L. Hinds (WG) - Missions flown: Seven with Lt Lipe (32, 33, 34, 35, 38, 40(A), 41) and five as Togglier (43, 43A, 44, 45, 47); Capt Glenn E. Hagenbuch crew - Eight missions (5, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23); Four Other Pilots - Seven missions (2, 22, 31, 49, 50, 51, 53). First mission: 18 Nov 42. Combat Tour completed: 25 July 43.
  • S/Sgt Dante G. Barron (WG) - Missions flown: Twelve with Lt Lipe (All except mission 48); Fourteen with nine other Pilots (5, 11, 13, 15, 17(A), 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 26, 58, 59, 60). First mission: 6 Dec 42. Combat tour completed: 17 Aug 43.
  • S/Sgt Joseph E. Serpa (TG) - Missions flown: Eight with Lt Lipe as Tail Gunner (32, 33, 34, 40(A), 41, 44, 45, 47) and two as Waist Gunner (43, 43A); Six with Lt John J. McGarry crew (109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114); Twelve with nine other Pilots (27, 28, 29, 49, 50, 53, 55, 56, 63, 118, 121, 122). First mission: 31 Mar 43. Combat tour completed: 18 Mar 44.
  • 2Lt Sumner L. Roberts (N)(KIA) - Dispatched on 9 missions (6 credited) - 20(A) (6 March 43), 21, 22, 23, 25(A), 26, 28, 29(A) & 32 (1 May 43) [(A) - Non credit aborted mission] Assigned to 427th BS on 9 February 1943. Never had a crew assignment. Flew as a substitute Navigator with six different Pilots: Capt Billy B. Southworth - 20(A) & 25 (A); Lt Edward J. Broussard, Jr - 21, 22, 23; Lt Ralph S. Hayes (As Bombardier) - 26; Lt Louis M. Schulstad (360BS) - 28; Capt Harold L. Stouse - 29 (A); Lt Fort W. Lipe - 32. Was hit by flak and killed on mission #32 to St. Nazaire, France in B-17F #42-29520 (no name) (427BS) GN-O. His body was returned to Molesworth.

[photo courtesy of Quentin W. Hargrove]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]