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359th Richeson Crew
Marvin G. Richeson Jr., Pilot
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MARVIN G. RICHESON JR. CREW - 359th BS
(crew assigned 359BS: 27 Dec 1944 - photo: 19 Jan 1945)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Marvin G. Richeson, Jr. (P), 1Lt Emerson E. Heller (CP),
1Lt Robert H. Herrmann (N)

(Front L-R) Sgt Jesus F. Ortega (BT), S/Sgt Charles R. Hoxie (TG),
T/Sgt Alexander W. "Sandy" Gray (FE), T/Sgt Charlie W. Benge (TOG),
S/Sgt Dyle K. Davidson (WG/BT), T/Sgt Dennis J. Mahoney (R)


Thirty-two credited combat missions flown by 1Lt Marvin G. Richeson, Jr.:
303 (17 Jan 45), 309, 310 (1 Feb 45), 311, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318 (AS), 322, 323, 324, 326, 327 (1 Mar 45), 330, 331, 332 (LC), 337, 339 (DLC), 341, 343, 344, 345 (DLC), 348 (DLC), 352 (5 Apr 45), 353, 354, 355, 356, 358, 360, 363 (360BS) (20 Apr 45).
For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.
(AS) Credited abortive Sortie - No bombs dropped. Returned early due to mechanical problems
(LC) Flown as a Lead Crew CoPilot -- (DLC) Flown as a Deputy Lead Crew Pilot
(360BS) Flew with 360th BS formation. Crew names with 360th BS loading list

Eleven B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Marvin G. Richeson, Jr. on his 32 credited combat missions:

  • 43-38289 (P) Sweet LaRhonda (359BS) BN-J - Mission 311
  • 42-97944 (P) Daddy's Delight (359BS) BN-I - Mission 315
  • 44-6309 Duchess' Granddaughter (359BS) BN-T - Missions 317, 318, 322, 323, 324
  • 43-6309 Queen of Hearts (359BS) (PFF) (359BS) BN-Q - Missions 332, 345
  • 43-38843 Lady Beth (359BS) BN-A - Mission 352
  • 44-8256 Yankee Girl (PFF) (359BS) BN-Y - Mission 354
  • 43-38608 (P) Lucille (359BS) BN-E - Mission 358
  • 43-38645 (No name) (359BS) BN-B - Missions 303, 314, 360, 363
  • 43-38764 (No name) (359BS) BN-C - Mission 309
  • 43-39127 (No name) (359BS) BN-K - Missions 310, 326, 327, 330, 331, 337, 339, 341, 343, 344, 348, 353, 355, 356
  • 43-38619 (No name) (359BS) BN-A - Mission 313
    (P) See Nose Art photos . (PFF) - Special equipped B-17G with navigation radar equipment
Crew Notes:
  • 1Lt Marvin G. Richeson, Jr. (P) - First mission (303) flown as CoPilot with Combat Orientation Pilot, 2Lt Harold L. Fravel. Lead Crew mission (345) flown as CoPilot with Lead Crew Pilot Capt William E. Eisenhart. Lead Crew mission 332 was flown as a Tail Gunner/Observer with Lead Crew Pilot Capt George R. Sirany. His other 29 missions flown as First Pilot. Completed 32 credited combat missions on 20 April 1945 (Mission 363).

  • 1Lt Emerson E. Heller (CP) - Missions flown: Twenty-one with 1Lt Richeson (All Richeson missions except ten - 303, 324, 332, 345, 352, 353, 354, 356, 358, 360, 363; With other Pilots - Six missions: As CoPilot (332); As Lead Crew Tail Gunner/Observer (324); As Deputy Lead Crew CoPilot (345, 352); As Lead Crew CoPilot (362, 363). Completed 31 credited combat missions on 20 Apr 45 (Mission 363).


    Brothers Major William C. Heller and 1Lt Emerson E. Heller.
    Photo was taken at their home after World War II ended.
    1Lt Heller was the brother of Major William C. Heller who was the 359th BS Operations Officer and soon thereafter the 360th BS Commanding Officer. Major William Heller obtained the assignment of 2Lt Emerson E. Heller to the 359th BS, as CoPilot with the 1Lt Richeson crew, with the assistance of B/Gen Travis, 41st Combat Wing Commanding General at Molesworth, who had a brother, Col William L. Travis in the 41st CBW. Emerson E. Heller remained in the Air Force following WWII and flew combat missions in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Lt Col Emerson E. Heller was Killed in Action on 25 April 1969 on a Thailand take-off accident, shortly before his planned USAF retirement in the USA. He is buried in the Arlington, VA National Cemetery and his name is listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. For information on his fatal accident See: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/eeheller.htm

  • 1Lt Robert H. Herrmann (N) - Missions flown: Seventeen with 1Lt Richeson (303, 309, 310, 311, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 322, 323, 324, 317, 331, 339, 354, 363; Nine with other Pilots - As Navigator (316, 326), As Deputy Lead Crew Navigator (341, 343, 345, 350, 358, 362), As Lead Crew Navigator (329). Completed 26 credited combat missions on 20 Apr 1945 (Mission 363).

  • S/Sgt Charlie W. Benge (Tog) - Missions flown: Twenty-five with 1Lt Richeson (All Richeson missions except seven - 332, 337, 339, 344, 345, 348, 354; Four with other Pilots (337, 340, 348, 354). Completed 29 credited combat missions on 20 April 1945 (Mission 363).

  • T/Sgt Alexander W. Gray (E) - Missions flown: Twenty-nine with 1Lt Richeson (All Richeson missions except three - 332, 345, 360; Two with other Pilots (328, 346). Completed 31 credited combat missions on 20 April 19045 (Mission 363).

  • T/Sgt Dennis J. Mahoney (R) - Missions flown: Twenty-seven with 1Lt Richeson (All Richeson missions except five - 332, 345, 353, 360, 363 ; Four with other Pilots: As Radio Operator (346, 357), As Lead Crew Radio Operator (363, 364). Completed 31 credited combat missions on 25 April 1945 (Mission 364).

  • Sgt Jesus F. Ortega (BTG)(WIA) - Missions flown: Five with 1Lt Richeson (303, 309, 310, 311, 313). Was seriously wounded on mission 313, 9 February 1945. His injury caused paralysis in his left leg, requiring him to wear a brace.

  • Sgt Dyle K. Davidson (WG/BTG) - Missions flown: Twenty-Six with 1Lt Richeson (All Richeson except six - When substitute waist gunners were used (309, 332). When no Waist Gunner was used (322, 326, 345, 360. Flew as Ball Turret Gunner on one mission (326); Seven with other Pilots (307, 316, 332, 336, 340, 342, 346). Completed 33 credited combat missions on 20 April 1945 Mission 363).

  • S/Sgt Charles R. Hoxie (TG) - Missions flown: Twenty-nine with 1Lt Richeson (All Richeson missions except three (332, 345, 360); Two with other Pilots (316, 340). Completed 31 credited combat missions on 20 April 1945 (Mission 363).

[photo courtesy of Dyle K. Davidson]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]