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359th Harding Crew
Lawrence T. Harding, Pilot
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LAWRENCE T. HARDING CREW - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 22 Nov 1944 - photo: 19 Jan 1945)

(Back L-R) 2Lt Lawrence T. Harding (P)(1),
2Lt James G. Force (CP)(2), 2Lt Richard J. Garvey (N)(3)

(Front L-R) Sgt Russell B. Cornelius (R)(1), Sgt Roger G. Lammers (BT)(5),
Sgt Kenneth Otto, Jr. (TOG)(4), Sgt Robert R. Holden (7),
Sgt William J. O'Brien (E)(1), Sgt Robert O. Johnson (TG) (6)

CREW INCIDENTS:

  • Experienced a mid-air collision with minor damage on third mission #285, 11 Dec 44, flying in B-17G #42-38050 Thunderbird 359th BS (BN-U). #1 prop chewed up the right wing tip of B-17G #43-38767 (No name) 359th BS (BN-L) Lt Owen Knutzen, Pilot. Both aircraft limped home alone. Both crews were thankful to have survived.
  • Aborted mission #297, 5 Jan 45. The #2 prop governor and #1 engine failed and was feathered. Unable to keep up with formation about half-way across the English channel and returned to Molesworth. Was a non-credit mission.
CREW NOTES:
All crewmen completed their 35 combat mission tours. None sustained any injuries.
  1. Lt Lawrence T. Harding (P), Sgt William J. O'Brien (E), Sgt Russell B. Cornelius (R): All combat missions were flown together. Flew on the following 303rd BG(H) missions: 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293 294, 296, 297, 298, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 309, 310, 311, 312, 314, 316 318, 319, 320, 325, 326, 328, 329, 331, 332, 333, 335, 339 (18 Mar 1945). Mission #283 was flown with an orientation CoPilot 2Lt Laurie H. Campbell on his 33rd combat mission (See Eugene C. Frazier Crew). Mission #286 was flown with a substitute CoPilot, Lt Merwin G. Hall, on his first combat mission (See Lt Jack W. Bailey Crew). 2Lt Harding was promoted to 1Lt prior to mission # 318 on 20 Feb 45. Sgt's O'Brien and Cornelius were promoted to S/Sgt prior to mission #318 on 20 Feb 45 and to T/Sgt prior to last mission on 18 Mar 45. All crewmen flew most of their missions with Lt Harding with the following exceptions:
  2. 2Lt James G. Force (CP) - #283, 286 & 341 as CoPilot with other Pilots. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot. Flew three missions as a crew Pilot - #331,332 & 340.
  3. 2Lt Richard J. Garvey (N) - #195, 315, 317 & 317 with other Pilots
  4. Sgt Kenneth J. Otto (Tog) - #315 & 324 with other Pilots. Promoted to S/Sgt prior to mission #318. Promoted to T/Sgt prior to last mission on 10 Mar 45.
  5. Sgt Roger G. Lammers (BTG) - #287 & 324 with other Pilots. Promoted to S/Sgt prior to last mission on 12 Mar 45.
  6. Sgt Robert O. Johnson (TG) - #315 & 324 with other Pilots. Promoted to S/Sgt prior to last mission on 14 Mar 45.
  7. Sgt Robert R. Holden (WG) - #287(WG), 315(WG), 320(WG), 328(BTG), 329(WG), 330(BTG), 331(WG), 332(WG), 333(WG), 335(WG) & 348(TG) with other Pilots. Was promoted to S/Sgt prior to last mission #348 on 30 March 1945.
The Lt Harding Crew flew with substitute crewmen on the following missions:
  • Substitute CoPilots : Four missions - #283, 286, 331 & 332
  • Substitute Navigators - Four missions - #332, 333, 335 & 339
  • Substitute Toggliers - Two missions - #335 & 339
  • Substitute Ball Turret Gunners - Two missions - #298 & 339
  • Substitute Waist Gunners - Two missions - #302, 303. Flew with no Waist Gunner on seven missions - #320,328,329,331,332,333 & 339.
  • Substitute Tail Gunners - Two Missions #318 & 339.

Aircraft flown on combat missions by Lt Harding and Crew: Flew missions in 11 different B-17s out of 18 assigned to 359th BS on 01 Mar 1945.

  • Thunderbird #42-38050 (BN-U) - 4 missions (#283,284,285,291)
  • Daddy's Delight #42-97944 (BN-I) - 19 missions (#288, 289, 292, 293, 294, 296, 298, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 309, 311, 314, 316, 325, 332 & 333)
  • Shoo Shoo Baby #42-97311 (GN-O) 360th BS - 1 mission (#290)
  • Duchess Granddaughter #44-6309 (BN-T) - 1 mission (#297)
  • Lucille #43-38608 (BN-E) - 1 mission #310)
  • Old Black Magic #42-107206 (BN-R)- 1 mission (#318)
  • Blues in the Night #43-38891 (BN-H) -2 missions (#319 & 320)
  • Lady Beth #43-38883 (BN-A) - 1 mission (#326)
  • Hell's Cargo #44-8734 (BN-C) - 3 missions (#329, 335 & 339)
  • Sweet La Rhonda #43-38289 (BN-J) - 1 mission (#331)
  • (No name) #43-38645 (BN-B) - 1 mission (#286)
  • (No name) #43-38767 (BN-L) - 1 mission (#312)
Missions List     Nose Art

[photo courtesy of F.X. O'Brien
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]