WILLIAM P. LAY CREW - 358th BS
(Assigned 358BS: 17 August 1944)
Sgt Ray A. Miller (E)(POW)(3),
2Lt David A. Grenier (CP)(KIA)(2),
2Lt William P. Lay (P)(KIA)(1),
Sgt Vernon E. Gant (WG)
Sgt Donald T. Hasper (WG)(KIA)(3),
Sgt Henry F. Gillespie (TG)(KIA)(3),
S/Sgt Edward P. Kedzierski (BTG)(6),
Not in photo:
2Lt John T. Goslin, Jr. (B),
2Lt Robert M. Lasker (N)(KIA)(3),
Sgt Freddie E. Kane (R)(KIA)(5),
2Lt Jackson R. Bohannon (B)(KIA)(4)
Lay Crew eight combat missions:
233 (27 Aug 44), 234 (AS), 236, 237, 238, 241, 244, 248 (28 September 44)
(AS) Credited Abortive Sortie - Bombs not dropped
Mission #241, 12 September 1944. B17G #44-6316 (no name) (358th BS) VK-C. Limped back
to England on three engines. The right landing gear collapsed when the B-17 touched the
Molesworth runway. A fire was quickly extinguished by the crash crew. There were no injuries. See the Crash Photo.
Final Mission (All crewman except Sgt Kedzierski)
#248, 28 Sept 1943, to Magdeburg, Germany in B-17G #43-38206 Silver Fox (358BS) VK-F.
Was burning from the waist when last seen to be in trouble. About 20 seconds later it burst into
flames all over, turned on its back and fell straight down. No parachutes were seen.
Sgt Ray E. Miller (E) was the only survivor. He noticed that CoPilot 2Lt David A. Grenier
was severely wounded on his left shoulder. Lt Grenier motioned for Sgt Miller to bailout, but
instead Sgt Miller fastened Lt Grenier's parachute and threw him overboard. Sgt Miller then
heard a terrific explosion and did not remember anything until just before he hit the ground.
Sgt Richard J. Chaltraw (BTG)(KIA), from the 2Lt Glenn H. Gillespie crew, was a substitute for Sgt Edward P. Kedzierski (BTG)
- 2Lt William P. Lay (P)(KIA) - Mission #233 flown as Co Pilot with orientation Pilot
- 2Lt David A. Grenier (CP)(KIA) - Did not fly on missions 233, 234 & 236 where substitute
CoPilots were used.
- 2Lt Robert M. Lasker (N)(KIA), Sgt Ray A. Miller (E)(POW), Sgt Donald T. Hasper (WG)(KIA) and Sgt Henry F. Gillespie (TG)(KIA) - Flew on all of the 8 Lay Crew missions
- 2Lt Jackson R. Bohannon (B)(KIA) - Did not fly on missions #238 & 241 where a
substitute Togglier was used. Flew on 11 other missions with other Pilots
- Sgt Fred E. Kane (R)(KIA) - A substitute Radio Operator was used on mission #236.
- S/Sgt Edward P. Kedzierski (BTG) - Did not fly on mission #248. He was then dispatched
on 27 additional missions as BTG and Togglier with other Pilots. Completed his combat tour
on mission #303, 17 January 1945.
[photo courtesy of John T. Goslin, Jr.]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]