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358th Nester Crew
Harry E. Nester, Pilot
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(crew assigned 358BS: 04 Feb 1945 - photo: February 1945)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Fred Craig, Jr. (CP), 2Lt John L. Rainey (N),
2Lt Edward F. Kuester (B), 2Lt Harry E. Nester (P)

(Front L-R) Sgt Kermit P. Kappardaki (E), Sgt James P. Jones (TOG),
Sgt Jacob J. Strouse (R), Sgt Charles D. Bovey (BT), Sgt Robert W. Edleman (TG)

Crew Incident:
On 08 March 1945 mission #332 to Essen, Germany in B-17G #43-38238 (No name) (358th BS) VK-L. Aborted the mission and returned early. The #2 engine turbo failed. Bombs were jettisoned over the channel. The oil line in the #4 engine broke and the prop was feathered. Over the English Channel the #2 engine caught fire. The fire was extinguished and propeller was feathered. Arriving over England the crew sighted the 448th BG(H), 2nd AD, Seathing Airfield. Two landing approaches were made. The runway could not be reached on the second approach. A wheels-up landing was then made in a clearing short and to the left of the runway between two patches of woods badly damaging the B-17. The Pilot and two other crewmen sustained minor injuries.

Mission 347, 28 March 1945, to Berlin Germany in B-17G 43-37590 Neva the Silver Lady (358BS) VK-Q:
Sgt Charles D. Bovey (BTG) bailed out of his B-17 over the North Sea at 3,700 feet while returning from the Berlin, Germany mission and drowned. Reason for bail out is not known. Dinghies were thrown out of the aircraft and Air Sea Rescue was notified. His body was not recovered. His cousin, Earl L. McCabe of Seattle, WA, had heard that Sgt Bovey was getting out of his Ball Turret as they were nearing the English coast. Just as he pulled himself out of the Ball Turret the B-17 abruptly nosed down and the violent maneuver threw him through the air and out of one of the waist windows. This story in the May 1988 Hell's Angels Newsletter, page 12 Forum, has not been substantiated. Sgt Bovey's name is on the Wall of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery

[photo courtesy of Ed Kuester]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]