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303rd BG Original Crew
358th Clark Crew
James B. Clark, Pilot
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B-17F Leapin' Liz #41-24526 (VK-J)
(original crew assigned 358BS: 15 Sep 1942 - photo: 13 Oct 1942)

(Back L-R) 1Lt James B. Clark (P), 2Lt Paul Bouton, Jr. (CP),
2Lt Charles E. Hoffman (N), 2Lt Don W. Lusk, Jr. (B)

(Front L-R) T/Sgt Thomas J. Reino (E), Sgt George F. Hall, Jr. (WG),
Sgt LeRoy W. Wilder (R), Sgt Merlyn Dale Rukes (TG),
Sgt John W. Kennedy (BT), T/Sgt Glen H. Oberman (Passenger-358BS Crew Chief)

Not in photo - Sgt Jonathan S. Land (WG)(KIA) - Assigned to the 358th BS at Boise, Idaho on 3 March 1942. Did not fly with the 1Lt Clark Crew from the USA to Molesworth. PFC Land was transported to Molesworth with the Ground Echelon and later assigned to the 1Lt Clark Crew as a Sergeant and the crew's second Waist Gunner.

Entire crew Killed in Action on Mission #9, 03 Jan 1943 in B-17F #41-24562 Leapin' Liz 358BS (VK-J). B-17 was hit by enemy fighters and ditched in the Bay of Biscay. Sgt Arthur Brunnet (BT-KIA) was a substitute for Sgt Kennedy. T/Sgt Oberman, who flew from the USA with the crew, was not on that mission.

Four dispatched (3 credited) missions of 1Lt James B. Clark:
#4 (23 Nov 1942) to St. Nazaire, Fr, #6 (12 Dec 1942) to Rouen, Fr - Non-credited aborted mission, #7 (20 Dec 1942) to Wilhelmshaven, Ger, #9 (3 Jan 1943) to St. Nazaire, Fr. All four missions flown in crew photo B-17F 31-24562 Leapin Liz (358BS) VK-J that the crew flew from the USA to Molesworth in October 1942.

All crewmen flew all of their combat missions with 1Lt Clark with the following exceptions:

  • Sgt John W. Kennedy (BTG) - Stood down on missions 7 and 9. With 1Lt Clark on two missions (4 and 6), With other Pilots on two missions (#3 with 1Lt Robert J. Nolan, #5 with 2Lt Carl H. Morales).
  • Sgt Jonathan S. Land (WG)(KIA) - Stood down on mission 4. With 1Lt Clark on three missions (6, 7, 9). With Pilot 1Lt Robert J. Nolan (3).

[crew photo from the 303rdBGA Archives - newspaper clipping courtesy of Al Pishioneri]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]