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359th Newell Crew
Noel N. Newell, Pilot
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NOEL N. NEWELL CREW - 359th BS
(Assigned 359BS: 16 Nov 1943 - photo: 25 Nov 1943)

1Lt Noel N. Newell (P), 2Lt Douglas C. Donalson (CP),
2Lt Lester A. Rhodes (N), Capt William L. Hoover (B)

T/Sgt Earl C. Freinwald (E), T/Sgt Robert F. Weepie (R),
S/Sgt Edgar B. Hart, Jr. (BTG), S/Sgt Richard McGee (LWG),
S/Sgt Myron R. Mendel (RWG), S/Sgt William E. Atkinson (TG)

(Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission.)
(Crewmen are not in order.)

Thirty four dispatched (thirty credited) missions flown by 1Lt Noel N. Newell:
88 (10 Dec 1943), 90, 92(AS), 95, 97, 98(A), 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 109, 111, 114, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122(A), 124, 125, 126(Spare), 130, 131, 136, 137, 139, 140(A), 141, 143, 148, 151, 152 (12 May 1944) -- (A) mission aborted - no credit (Spare) Spare B-17 returned - no credit (AS) Abortive sortie - no bombs dropped - credited mission. For mission dates and targets see the missions list.

Crew Notes:

  • 1Lt Noel N. Newell (P) - Dispatched on all thirty-four on all missions as 1st Pilot
  • 2Lt Douglas C. Donalson (CP) - Dispatched on first 28 missions and mission 148 with the 1Lt Noel crew. Flew on five missions with other Pilots (85, 117, 133, 134 & 148(AS))
  • 2Lt Lester A. Rhodes (N) - Dispatched on nine missions with the 1Lt Newell crew (88, 90, 92, 95, 97, 98(A), 101, 102, 104). Was then removed from combat status. Thirteen different substitute Navigators used on other missions.
  • Capt William L. Hoover (B) - Flew on fifteen missions with the 1Lt Newell crew (88, 90, 92, 95, 97, 98(A), 101, 102, 104, 106, 107, 109, 111, 114 & 118). Flew on 29 additional missions with sixteen different Pilots. Completed his combat tour on 23 June 1944 and signed up for a second tour. Last dispatched mission on 4 November 1944. Total 44 missions - many as a Lead Crew Navigator for which he had been promoted to Captain. 1Lt Newell used five different substitute Navigators on the 19 missions after 2Lt Hoover was reassigned. 2Lt Fred B. Yelsky was used on thirteen mission (102, 119, 121, 124, 125, 126(Spare), 131, 136, 137, 139, 140(A), 141 & 143).
  • T/Sgt Earl C. Freinwald (E) and T/Sgt Robert F. Weepie (R) - Dispatched on all of the 34 1Lt Newell missions. Thirty mission combat tours completed on 12 May 1944.
  • S/Sgt Edgar B. Hart, Jr. (BTG) - Dispatched on all but four of the 1Lt Newell missions (118, 119, 120, 124). two different substitute BTGs used. S/Sgt Hart flew on five additional missions with four different Pilots (110, 146, 153, 154, 155). Thirty mission combat tour completed on 19 May 1944.
  • S/Sgt Richard McGee (LWG) - Dispatched on 31 missions with 1Lt Newell. Substitute WGs used on three missions (101, 118, 119). S/Sgt McGee flew on three additional missions with two other Pilots (153, 155, 157). Thirty mission combat tour completed on 22 May 1944
  • S/Sgt Myron R. Mendel (RWG) - Dispatched on all thirty-four of the 1Lt Newell crew missions. Mission #121 flown as Tail Gunner and substitute WG used. Thirty mission combat tour completed on 12 May 1944.
  • S/Sgt William E. Atkinson (TG) - Flew on all but mission #121 with the 1Lt Newell crew where S/Sgt Mendel flew as Tail Gunner. S/Sgt Atkinson also flew on mission 153 with another Pilot. Thirty mission combat tour completed on 13 May 1944.

1Lt Newell practice flight incident:
05 April 1944 - 1Lt L. E. Daub (P) and 1Lt Noel N. Newell (CP) with four other crewmen were on a local practice flight in B-17G 42-38168 Dear Mom (359BS) BN-M. A normal landing was made. After rolling down the runway for 500 yards, the wheels collapsed and the B-17 slid on its belly. CoPilot, 1Lt Newell, had accidentally hit the wheel retraction switch. Dear Mom was sent to the 303rd BG(H) bone yard and was salvaged. It had only been dispatched on 12 missions.

[photo courtesy of the Irue Ferguson Family]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]