FRED E. MITCHELL - 427th BS
(Assigned 427BS: 21 April 1944 - photo: flight training in Dalhart, TX)
T/Sgt Joseph J. Cavagnol (E),
Sgt Harold A. Omile (TG),
T/Sgt Joe A. Parr (R),
S/Sgt Hyman J. Landa (BTG),
S/Sgt Robert R. Carpenter (WG/TG),
S/Sgt William R. Byers (WG)
1Lt Fred E. Mitchell (P),
2lt Gilbert L. Ferguson (CP),
1Lt John W. Shupe (N),
1Lt Kenneth W. Isaac (B)
Thirty three dispatched (31 credited) missions 1Lt Fred E. Mitchell:
145 (30 Apr 44), 146, 147, 149, 151, 154, 155, 156, 158(Spare), 159, 161, 162, 165, 168, 170, 172, 174, 176, 178, 179(A), 180, 182, 183, 185, 190, 192, 195, 196, 202, 205, 210, 211(AS), 214 (29 July 44)
(A) Non-credited aborted mission -- (AS) Credited Abortive Sorties - no bombs dropped
(Spare) Spare B-17 - not required - returned to Molesworth - no credit)
For mission dates and targets see the missions list.
Favorite B-17 - 42-102411 Miss Lace (427BS) GN-P:
- 1Lt Fred E. Mitchell (P) - Mission 145 & 146 flown as CoPilot with a combat orientation Pilot. Other missions flown as 1st Pilot. Six missions flown as a lead crew Pilot (196, 202, 205, 210, 211, 214). Combat tour completed on 29 July 1944.
- 2Lt Gilbert L. Ferguson (CP) - Twenty-four missions with 1Lt Mitchell. (147 thru 165, 170 thru 192 & 205). Seven missions with other Pilots: As CoPilot (146, 195, 209 & 211);
As Tail Gunner/Observer (168, 177 & 196). Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 29 Jul 1944. Flew last mission (217) as a 1st Pilot . Combat tour completed on 3 August 1944.
- 1Lt John W. Shupe (N) - Seven missions with 1Lt Mitchell (145 thru 155). Flew nineteen missions with other Pilots - all as a lead crew Navigator. Was wounded on mission 231, 14 August 1944 to Mersburg, Germany. Was assisting the Bombardier in locating the target aiming point. when the Bombardier, 1Lt F.E. Umphress, Jr., noticed blood spurting from Lt Shupe's arm spurting across the nose of their B-17. Bombs were dropped and Lt Shupe continued to point out check points despite being in great pain and suffering from loss of blood and shock. He called the Pilot, Captain Robert W. Sheets, giving him the compass heading for home and then lost consciousness. The Bombardier applied first aid and made Lt Shupe as comfortable as possible.
Was replaced with substitute Navigators including Lt Henry E. Rafferty, Jr. who flew on fifteen missions with 1Lt Mitchell (156 thru 170, 174, 176, 178, 182, 183, 185 & 190).
Lt Rafferty flew nine missions with other Pilots (155(A), 164, 169, 175, 177, 184, 192, 193 & 194) and was killed on mission 184, 29 June 1944 with the 2Lt Arnold K. Roy Crew.
- 1Lt Kenneth W. Isaac (B) - Twenty-four missions with 1Lt Mitchell (145 thru 179 & 182 thru 190). Substitute Bombardiers used on other missions. Flew on eight missions
with other pilots: As Bombardier (177, 184, 193, 195, 205); As Navigator (201, 203, 206)
Completed combat tour on 18 July 1944.
- T/Sgt Joseph J. Cavagnol (E) - Thirty missions with 1Lt Mitchell (All except 145, 146 & 161). Four missions with other Pilots (146, 216, 218 & 220). Combat tour completed on 5 August 1944.
- T/Sgt Joe A. Parr (R) - Thirty-one missions with 1Lt Mitchell (All except 211 & 214)
One mission with another Pilot (171). Combat tour completed on 23 July 1944.
- S/Sgt Hyman J. Landa (BTG) - Thirty-one missions with 1Lt Mitchell (All except 145 & 146). Four missions with other Pilots (171, 194, 216 & 218). Combat tour completed on
4 August 1944.
- S/Sgt William R. Byers (WG) - Thirty-two missions with 1Lt Mitchell (All except 145),
One mission with another Pilot (145). Combat tour completed on 29 July 1944.
Crew flew with one Waist Gunner after mission 172, 6 June 1944.
- S/Sgt Robert R. Carpenter (WG/TG) - Thirty-two missions with 1Lt Mitchell (All except 196) - Five missions (145 thru 149) as Waist Gunner. Other missions as Tail Gunner.
One mission with another Pilot (215). Substitute second Waist Gunner used on missions 154 thru 172 & 179). Completed combat tour on 31 July 1944.
- Sgt Harold A. Omile (TG) - Three missions with 1Lt Mitchell (146, 147 & 149).
Substitute Tail Gunners used on three missions (145, 151 & 196). S/Sgt Robert R. Carpenter flew as Tail Gunner on twenty-seven missions.
The 1Lt Mitchell crew was transported from the USA to the United Kingdom by Ship.
Another crew flew B-17G 42-102411 to England when it was a no name aircraft. While the Mitchell Crew flew on many different B-17s during their combat tour 42-102411 always had a special place in the hearts of the crew. The nose art was painted by the crew's Pilot 1Lt Fred E. Mitchell. Although many thought that this B-17 was named for a sexy lady in Milton Caniff's comic strip, it was really named in honor of Crew Chief M/Sgt Rorex N. Lacewell
. Miss Lace
went on to be dispatched on 102 missions until it made an emergency landing in Warsaw, Poland on 18 March 1945 and was salvaged. The 1Lt Mitchell crew flew ten missions in Miss Lace
42-102411 (146, 174, 176, 178, 179, 182, 183, 185, 190 and 192).
[photo courtesy of Richard Cavagnol]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]