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358th Smithy Crew
Samuel C. Smithy, Pilot
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B-17G Sweet Pea #42-102945 (VK-M)
(crew assigned 358BS: 15 July 1944 - photo: 21 July 1944)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Samuel C. Smithy (P)(POW), 2Lt E. Paul Boat (CP)(POW),
2Lt Lansing L. Joralemon (N)(POW), 2Lt Robert J. Klein (B)(POW)

(Front L-R) Sgt Juan A. Bazo-Fontaneil (WG)(KIA), Sgt Roman S. Politylo (BTG)(KIA),
S/Sgt Raymond E. Fisher (E)(KIA), Sgt Leonard B. Feldman (WG),
Sgt Archie E. Snoddy (R)(KIA), Sgt Walter J. Bieranoski (TG)(KIA)

Twelve Combat missions flown by members of the 2Lt Samuel C. Smithy Crew:
212 - 7/25/44 St. Lo, Fr - In 42-97298 "The Floose" 358BS (VK-H) (Abortive Sortie)
214 - 7/29/44 Merseburg, Germ - In 44-6006 (No name) 358BS (VK-D)
215 - 7/31/44 Munich, Germ - In 44-6006 (No name) 358BS (VK-D)
216 - 8/01/44 Orleans/Bricy, FR - In 42-31224 "Hell in the Heavens" 358BS (VK-F)
217 - 8/03/44 Fresnoy, FR - In 43-37590 "Neva-The Silver Lady" 358BS (VK-Q)
222 - 8/07/44 Chartres, FR - In 43-42-97944 "Daddy's Delight" 359BS (BN-I)
223 - 8/08/44 Caen, FR - In 42-31183 "Bad Penny" 359BS (BN-J)
224 - 8/09/44 Permassens, Germ - In 42-102680 (No name) 358BS (VK-I)
226 - 8/12/44 Metz, Germ - In 44-6291 (No name) 358BS (VK-E)
228 - 8/14/44 Stuttgart, Germ - In 44-6291 (No name) 358BS (VK-E)
229 - 8/15/44 Wiesbaden, Germ - In "Hell in the Heavens" 358BS (VK-F)
Mission 229 - 8/15/44 to Wiesbaden, Germany - Nine 303rd BG(H) B-17s lost. "Hell in the Heavens" was hit from the rear by German FW-190 fighters. 2Lt Smithy (P) tried to fly evasive action and then gave the bailout order and put his B-17 on automatic pilot. When fire was seen on the left wing, he bailed out. The CoPilot, 2Lt Boat, flew the B-17 for another ten minutes before bailing out himself. The fortress crashed and exploded in the Koblenz, Germany area near Wittlich, Germany. The five enlisted crewmen were killed and the officers became POWs, after successful parachute jumps.

Crew Notes:

  • Seven crewmen flew together on all of the 2Lt Smithy Crew missions: 2Lt Samuel C. Smithy (P)(POW), 2Lt Lansing L. Joralemon (N)(POW), S/Sgt Raymond E. Fisher (E)(KIA), Sgt Archie E. Snoddy (R)(KIA), Sgt Roman S. Politylo (WG)(KIA), Sgt Juan A. Bazo-Fontaneil (WG)(KIA), Sgt Walter J. Bieranoski (TG)(KIA)

    Headstone at Arlington National Cemetery

    Sgt Juan A. Bazo-Fontaneil, Sgt Roman S. Politylo, Sgt Raymond E. Fisher and Sgt Walter J. Bieranoski were buried in a common grave in Adenau Community Cemetery, Adenau, Germany. In 1950 the four were returned to the USA and buried in Section 34 of Arlington National Cemetery, VA. The interment service, with full military honors, took place on Holy Thursday, April 6, 1950.

  • 2Lt E. Paul Boat (CP)(POW) - Stood down on missions 212 and 215 where substitute CoPilots were used. Flew on mission #227 on 13 Aug 44 to Eureaux/Bernay, France with the 2Lt Jack W. Riseden Crew in the 358th BS B-17G 4406086 "My Blonde Baby" (VK-L)

  • 2Lt Robert J. Klein - Stood down on missions 214, 215 & 216 where substitute Toggliers were used.
Substitute Crewmen used:
Mission 212 - 2Lt Ernest A. Whitall (CP) Lt Alfred B. Clumpner & John H. Cook Crews
Mission 214 - T/Sgt Elzie B. Splawn, Jr. (Togglier) - Various crews
Mission 215 - 2Lt Jack W. Riseden (CP) Lt Lawrence J. Stein Crew
Mission 215 - S/Sgt Robert L. Stidham, Jr. (Togglier) - Lt Harlan J. Johnson Crew
Mission 216 - S/Sgt Ralph A. Roseland (Togglier) - Lt William C. Davis Crew
[photo courtesy of Paul Boat & George T. Mackin]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]