WILLIAM W. FROST CREW - 358th BS
B-17F One O'Clock Jump #41-24582 (VK-G)
(original crew assigned 358BS: 15 Aug 1942 - photo: 13 Oct 1942)
Capt William N. Frost (P)(POW),
2Lt Robert L. Mays (CP)(Evd),
2Lt Joe R. Phillips (N)(POW),
2Lt Leon W. Brownlee (B)(POW),
Capt Kirk R. Mitchell (358th Ops Off/pass)
T/Sgt Kenneth G. Hildebrand (E)(Evd),
Sgt Floyd J. Shaw (BT)(KIA),
Missions flown by Capt William N. Frost and all of his crewmen:
Sgt William S. Devine (LWG)(POW),
Sgt Joseph E. Powers (R)(Evd/POW),
Sgt James R. "Sandy" Toney Jr. (TG)(Evd)
- 4 - 23 Nov 1942 to St. Nazaire, France
- 6 - 12 Dec 1942 to Rouen, France
Both missions flown in B-17F 41-24582 One O'Clock Jump
(358BS) VK-G that the crew flew
from the USA to Molesworth. Arrived Molesworth on 25 October 1942.
Crew Photo Notes:
- Sgt Billie K. Davis (RWG-KIA) Original Capt Frost crewman - Not in crew photo
- Capt Kirk R. Mitchell (358th BS Operations Officer) - Passenger on the overseas flight from the
England. Flew no combat missions with the Capt Frost Crew.
- Sgt Joseph E. Powers (R) - Also flew on mission #1, 17 Nov 1942, 2Lt Carl L. Morales (P) in B-17F 41-24562 Sky Wolf (358BS) (VK-A)
- Sgt Edward L. Demuth (RWG) - Flew with the Capt Frost crew on mission 4
- Sgt Billie K. Davis (RWG)(KIA) - Flew with the Capt Frost crew on mission 6
On 12 December 1942 mission #6 to Rouen, France in B-17F #41-24582 One O'Clock Jump 358th BS (VK-G)
. Was shot down about 25 miles east of Paris. Went into a flat spin, not burning, about 48 minutes from the French Coast before reaching the target. Nine parachutes were seen to open. A FW-190 stayed with the B-17 going down. Three crewmen, Lt Mays
and Sgts Hildebrand
, evaded capture via Spain and returned to Molesworth.
Mission story by Capt William N. Frost (P) - Mission #6 12 December 1942:
"We were the second flight of the 358th on our second mission when we were
shot from the air by Focke Wolfs at about noon on the 12th of December 1942.
Thus the name of our plane One O'Clock Jump was an hour off! Two men, a new
crew member Sgt Billie K. Davis (RWG) and Sgt Floyd J. Shaw (BTG) were killed
on the plane. Sgt James R. Toney, Jr. went down with the plane and managed
to evade capture. The remaining crewmen parachuted. 2Lt Robert L. Mays
(CP) and T/Sgt Kenneth G. Hildebrand evaded capture. Lt Mays was back in England
before Christmas 1942 and was credited as being the first 8th AF crewmen to
make a return to England. Sgt Joseph E. Powers (Radio) evaded capture for a
short time but was captured and made a POW. The other four crewmen, Capt.
William N. Frost (Pilot) 1Lt Joe R. Phillips (Nav), 1Lt John W. Brownlee
(Bomb) and Sgt William S. Devine (LWG) were captured after landing and
remained POW's until May 1945."
Note: Correction to Lt Frost's report:
Escape and Evadee records indicate that the Lt Frost Crew Evadees returned to
the United Kingdom and were debriefed in London on the following dates:
- 2Lt Robert L. Mays (CP) - 27 January 1943 (E&E #6)
- T/Sgt Kenneth G. Hildebrand (Eng) - 15 March 1943 (E&E #18)
- Sgt James R. "Sandy" Toney, Jr. (TG) - 15 March 1943 (E&E #19)
Lt Mays and Sgt Toney were originally reported as deceased.
[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]