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427th Strickland Crew
Alexander C. Strickland, Pilot
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Stric-Nine #42-5392 (427BS) GN-X
(crew assigned 427BS: 20 Mar 1943)

(Back L-R) Capt Alexander C. Strickland (P)(1), Lt Curtis M. Olsen (CP)(2),
1Lt Carl L. Hokans (N)(3), 1Lt Edwin G. Lamme (B) (4)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt Ralph R. Strohsack (RWG)(9), T/Sgt Albert E. Martel, Jr. (R)(6),
S/Sgt Edward E. McGill (LWG)(KIS)(8), S/Sgt Raymond R. Peck (BTG)(7),
S/Sgt John Baart (E)(5), S/Sgt Anthony W. Sherg (TG)(10)

Ranks and Grades at end of final 303rd BG(H) combat mission

Alexander C. Strickland as a Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel.
He was promoted to LTC at 23 years of age.

Combat missions of the Capt Alexander J. Strickland Crew:
29 (05 Apr 43), 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41. 42, 43, 43A, 44, 45, 48 (Non Credit abortive), 49, 50, 51 (Abortive Sortie), 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66 (03 Sept 43)

427th BS B-17Fs flown by the Strickland Crew:
42-5081 (GN-V) Luscious Lady (1 mission), 42-5392 (GN-X) Stric Nine (17 missions), 42-29944 (GN-E) Winning Run (3 missions), 42-3158 (GN-Y) Max (1 mission), 42-5341 (GN-Q) Vicious Virgin (6 missions)

Strickland Crew favorite B-17:
42-5392 (GN-X) Stric-nine - Name was a play on words based upon the Pilot's name (Strickland) and the number "9" in the aircraft serial number. Last flown by the Strickland Crew on mission #51, 17 July 1943. Ditched in the North Sea after being hit by enemy fighters on mission #61, 19 August 1943 (6 KIA & 4 POWs), by the Lauren H. Quillen Crew, who were flying on their first combat mission.

Mission incident:
On Capt Strickland's last crew mission, #66, 03 Sept 1943 to Romilly Sur Seine, France severe flak was encountered over Paris and their B-17 took some hits. One of the pieces of flak was wrapped around a supporting bar under Lt Lamme's Bombardier seat. The serial number on the flak, which was threaded and apparently designed to hold a delayed fuse for burst at altitude, was DL341. These were the exact numbers as the last three on the 427th BS B-17F #42-5341 Vicious Virgin (GN-Q) in which the Strickland crew flew 6 combat missions.

Crew Notes:

  1. Capt Alexander C. Strickland (P) - Became a lead crew Pilot with mission #55 29 July 1943. Missions. Flew three additional 303rd BG(H)combat missions: #74 04 Oct 43 as the second Lead Crew Navigator, #138 20 Apr 1944 as a lead crew CoPilot, #162 28 May 1944 as a lead crew pilot. Combat tour completed on 03 Sept 1943. Was promoted to Major with the 41st CBW and became Commanding Officer 545th BS/384th BG(H) on 15 Jan 1945 at Grafton Underwood, England.
  2. Lt Curtis M. Olsen (CP) - Completed 26 combat missions on 27 Aug 1943. Flew as CoPilot with another Pilot on mission #39. Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 13 August 1943. Flew four missions (58, 59, 53 & 64) as a Pilot. Strickland Crew had a substitute CoPilot on seven missions (55, 58, 60, 63, 64, 65 & 66)
  3. 1Lt Carl A. Hokans (Nav) - Completed 25 mission combat tour on 14 Oct 1943. Strickland crew had substitute Navigator on three missions (55, 65 & 66). Flew with other Pilots on three missions (55, 73 & 78). On his last mission #78 (2nd Schweinfurt missions), 14 Oct 1943, was the lead crew navigator and was hospitalized. Was Secretary of the 303rd BGA on 27 Aug 1977 and 2nd Vice President on 25 Aug 1979
  4. 1Lt Edwin G. Lamme (Bomb) - Completed 27 missions on 07 Sept 1943. Strickland crew had a substitute Bombardier on two missions (55 & 65). Flew with other Pilots on two missions (65 & 68).
  5. T/Sgt James C. Baart (Eng) - Completed 27 missions on 31 Aug 1943. Flew on two missions with other Pilots (27 as Tail Gunner & 28 as Left Waist Gunner). First five Strickland missions flown Right Waist Gunner. Other as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  6. T/Sgt Albert E. Martel, Jr. (Rad) - Completed 27 missions on 09 Sept 1943. Flew on two missions (67 & 69) with other pilots. Strickland crew had a substitute radio operator on two missions (53 & 54). On mission #69, 6 Sept 1943 in 427th BS B-17F 42-29944 Winning Run (GN-E), Capt Jacob C. James, Pilot, the B-17 made a crash landing at Deanland, a small RAF fighter airfield, after running out of gas. The B-17 was a total loss and was salvaged. Was the first 303rd BGA Hell's Angels Newsletter Editor (April 1976).
  7. S/Sgt Raymond R. Peck (BTG) - Completed 28 missions on 03 Sept 1943. First mission (#28) with another Pilot. Strickland Crew had a substitute BTG on their last mission (#66)
  8. S/Sgt Edward E. McGill (LWG) - Completed 28 combat missions on 03 Sept 1944. First mission (#28) with another Pilot. All other missions with the Strickland crew. On June 1, 1944 S/Sgt McGill was killed in an airplane crash in Belfast, Ireland. He had just been back a week after a four-month furlough to the States.
  9. S/Sgt Ralph R. Strohsack (RWG) - Completed 28 combat missions on 31 Aug 1943. First two missions (27 as Tail Gunner & 28 as Left Waist Gunner) with other Pilots. First five Strickland missions flown as Top Turret Gunner. Other missions as Right Waist Gunner
  10. S/Sgt Anthony W. Sherg (TG) - Completed 27 combat missions on 03 Sept 1943. Flew two missions (55 & 65) with other Pilots. Strickland Crew had substitute Tail Gunners on two missions (55, 63 & 65).

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]