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359th Mainwaring Crew
Charles O. Mainwaring, Pilot
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CHARLES O. MAINWARING CREW - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 15 July 1944 - photo: 17 August 1944)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Charles O. Mainwaring (P), 2Lt Harold J. Bach (CP),
1Lt Raymond D. Hammond (N), 1Lt Leonard Stone (B)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Bert Cottrell, Jr. (BT), S/Sgt James P. Angeloff (WG),
T/Sgt Leon C. Gauthier (E), S/Sgt Robert J. Dittman (TG), T/Sgt Paul A. Tognetti (R)

(Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission)

Thirty credited combat missions flown by 1Lt Charles O. Mainwaring (P)
As First Pilot (13) - 213 (28 July 1944), 214, 215, 216, 217, 220, 221, 222, 224, 227, 228, 229 & 234(AS) 30 August 1944)
As Lead Crew Pilot (17) - 235 (3 Sept 1944), 236, 239, 240, 244, 246, 250, 256, 259, 262, 265, 266, 267, 270, 271, 274 & 276 (23 Nov 1944)
See the missions list for mission dates and targets

Crew Notes: Lt Mainwaring's first 13 missions (28 July through 30 August 1944)
All Crewmen flew together on these initial 13 combat missions. Exception - 2Lt Bach stood down on mission #213 when Lt Mainwaring flew as CoPilot with 1Lt Harry J. Crozier as his combat mission orientation Pilot

Additional missions flown by the Lt Mainwaring crewmen after mission 234:

  • 2Lt Harold J. Bach (15) - All as CoPilot with other Pilots 235, 236, 260, 262, 263, 265, 266, 268, 271, 272(LC),275, 276, 277(LC), 289(LC), 284(LC) Last mission on 9 Dec 1944

  • 1Lt Raymond D. Hammond - All as a Lead Crew Navigator
    With Lt Mainwaring (6) : 240, 246, 262, 265, 274, 276
    With other Pilots (11): 252, 255, 256, 258, 264, 268, 278, 280, 282, 284, 285
    30 mission combat tour completed on 11 Dec 1944

  • 1Lt Leonard Stone - All as a Bombardier - As Lead Crewman as noted(LC)
    With Lt Mainwaring (4): 250(LC), 256(LC), 271(LC), 274(LC)
    With other Pilots (13): 237, 240, 241, 245, 251(LC), 263(LC), 264(LC), 268(LC), 275(LC), 277(LC), 280(LC), 281(LC), 283(LC)
    30 mission combat tour completed on 11 Dec 1944

  • T/Sgt Leon C. Gauthier - All as a Lead Crew Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner With Lt Mainwaring (13): 240, 246, 250, 256, 259, 262, 265, 266, 267, 270, 271, 274, 276
    With other Pilots (4): 245, 255, 277, 278
    30 mission combat tour completed on 26 Nov 1944.

  • T/Sgt Paul A. Tognetti - All as a Lead Crew Radio Operator/Gunner
    With Lt Mainwaring (12): 240, 246, 250, 256, 259, 262, 265, 266, 270, 271, 274, 276
    With other Pilots (5): 218(*) ,245, 253, 268, 277
    (*) Not as a lead crewman on 4 Aug 1944. 30 mission combat tour completed on 26 Nov 1944

  • S/Sgt Bert Cottrell, Jr. (BTG/Togglier)(POW)
    With Lt Mainwaring (3): As BTG -246, 250, 256
    With other Pilots (12): As BTG -258, 268, 270, 272; As Togglier - 263, 269, 275, 259, 262, 266, 265, 274, 275
    Became a POW on 21 Nov 1944, following mission #275 to Mersburg, Germany in B-17G #44-6600 (No name) 359BS (BN-B), 1Lt Andy R. Virag (P) after being hit by flak, ME-109s and a bomb dropped from another 359th BS B-17. Entire crew bailed out and became POWs.

  • S/Sgt James P. Angeloff - All as Waist Gunner except as noted
    With Lt Mainwaring (11): 240, 246, 250, 256, 259, 262, 265, 266, 270, 271, 274
    With other Pilots (6): 245, 263 (As TG), 268, 269, 277, 278)
    30 mission combat tour completed on 27 November 1945

  • S/Sgt Robert J. Dittman - All as a Togglier - With Lt Mainwaring - none
    With other Pilots (21) - 250, 258, 263, 265, 266, 267, 268, 270, 272, 279, 281, 284, 285, 286, 289, 290, 292, 293, 294, 301, 303
    Was wounded on his knee by flak shrapnel on mission #301, 13 Jan 1945. 35 mission credited Combat tour completed on 17 January 1945
Photographer that flew with the Lt Mainwaring crew:
Missions 236 & 244 - Sgt Donald E. Skinner

Emergency landing by Lt Mainwaring Crew:
Mission #259, 18 October 1944, to Cologne, Germany. Lt Mainwaring was leading the formation. He noticed that they were running short of fuel. The Tokyo tanks at the end of the wings contained 1,300 gallons of fuel. The valve that operated them was in the radio compartment. After the main tanks ran down the Tokyo tank valve was opened. If the main tanks were allowed to run down first, they would overflow. When an attempt was made to open the Tokyo valve, it had frozen. The crew was over Germany with 1,300 gallons of fuel that could not be used. Lt Mainwaring turned over the lead to the Deputy Group Leader left the formation and landed B-17G 44-8137 (No name) 359BS (BN-V) at Brussels, Belgium. The Tokyo valve thawed allowing the main tanks to fill. The crew flew later flew back to Molesworth.

[photo courtesy of Paul Tognetti]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, Historian Emeritus, 303rd Bomb Group Association]