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358th Kruse Crew
Richard L. Kruse, Pilot
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B-17F War Bride #42-5360 (358BS) VK-Q
(Richard L. Kruse assigned 358th BS: 6 December 1942 - Photo: 20 July 1943)
(Kruse was CoPilot to Robert L. Nolan, Upgraded to Pilot 4 July 1944)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Calder L. Wise (CP), 2Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. (P),
1Lt Richard L. Kruse (Instructor Pilot), 1Lt Bernard T. McNamara (N),
2Lt Richard E. Webster (B)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt John Arasin (WG), S/Sgt John J. Doherty (WG/TG),
T/Sgt James J. Brown (R), S/Sgt Olwin C. Humphries (BT),
S/Sgt Howard L. Abney (TG), T/Sgt Loran C. Biddle (E)

(Ranks and grades at time of mission #54, 26 July 1943)

Thirty One Dispatched (26 Credited) Missions flown by 1Lt Richard L. Kruse:
As CoPilot: 20 credited - 1 (17 Nov 42), 3, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13(A), 14(A), 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22(A), 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 33, 37, 38(A), 39, 40 29 May 1943)
As Pilot: 6 credited - 49 (10 July 1943), 50, 51(A), 52, 53, 54 (26 July 1943)

Crew Notes:

  • 1Lt Richard L. Kruse (IP) - An original 358th BS crewman. Flew as CoPilot with the Capt Robert L. Nolan crew on 20 credited missions. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 4 July 1943 and flew six credited missions as an Instructor Pilot with 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. as CoPilot. Combat tour completed on 26 July 1943.
  • 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. (P) - Took over the 1Lt Kruse crew as Pilot following mission #54. Became a POW on mission #79, 20 October 1943.
  • 2Lt Calder L. Wise (CP) - Flew 15 missions as the 1Lt Hendry crew CoPilot - 1st mission #56 on 30 July 1943, last mission #74 on 4 October 1943. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 8 October 1943 and flew 10 missions as First Pilot. Twenty-five mission combat tour completed on 6 March 1944.
  • S/Sgt Olwin C. Humphries (BTG) - KIA on mission #56, 30 July 1943. Shot through the right lung and side. Body brought back to Molesworth.
  • S/Sgt Howard L. Abney (TG) - Wounded on his 13th mission, #61 on 19 August 1943 by 20mm shell fragments in his right hip and arm. Was taken to the 12th Evacuation Hospital and removed from combat flying.
  • 1Lt John W. Hendry (CP)(POW), 2Lt Bernard T. McNamara (N)(POW), 2Lt Richard L. Webster (B)(POW), T/Sgt Loran C. Biddle (E)(POW), T/Sgt James J. Brown (R)(KIA), S/Sgt John J. Doherty (LWG)(POW) - Mission 79, 20 October 1943 to Duren, Germany. B-17 downed by cannon shells from a German ME-109.
  • S/Sgt John Arasin (RWG) - Twenty-five mission combat tour completed on 5 Nov 1943. Flew on both Schweinfurt missions.

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]