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303rd BG Original Crew
359th Reddig Crew
Arthur E. Reddig, Pilot
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B-17F Lady Fairweather #41-24568 (BN-U)
(original crew assigned 359BS: 27 July 1942 - photo: 10 Oct 1942)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Arthur E. Reddig (P-KIA); 2Lt Francis McMurtry (CP)(1);
2Lt John Ercegovich (N-KIA); 2Lt Grady Ward (B)(2)

(Front L-R) Sgt Robert W. Van Fleet (E-KIA); Sgt Ferrell A. Mann (LWG-KIA),
Sgt Gerald S. Sturgis (BT-KIA), Sgt Devon B. Nolen (R-KIA)

303rd BG(H) Combat missions on which 1Lt Arthur E. Reddig was dispatched:
#2 - 18 Nov 1942 - To Saint Nazaire, FR. submarine pens
#3 - 22 Nov 1942 - To Lorient, FR submarine pens (Non-credited aborted mission)
#4 - 23 Nov 1942 - To Saint Nazaire, FR submarine pens
All missions in B-17F #41-24568 "Lady Fairweather," 359th BS (BN-V), which the original Reddig crew named and flew from the USA to Molesworth in October 1942

23 Nov 1942 combat mission - First 303rd BG(H) Combat Crew lost in combat:
Thirty or more German FW-190 fighters made vicious attacks in rounds of two or three fighters immediately after the bombers left the intense flak (anti-aircraft fire) over the target. "Lady Fairweather," on her second credited combat mission, was seen to hit the water in flames in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Bay of Biscay, near Belle Isle. Four parachutes were believed to have been seen descending at the time of the encounter. The entire crew was killed in action and no bodies were recovered. The names of the ten KIA crewmen can be found on the Wall of the Missing at the Cambridge, England American National Cemetery.

Original Crewmen in crew photo:

  • 1Lt Arthur E. Reddig (P-KIA) - Commissioned as Pilot on 6 February 1942. Assigned 303rd Bomb Group (H) on 15 April 1942
  • 2Lt Francis McMurtry (CP)(KIA) - Commissioned as Pilot on 3 July 1942. Assigned 359th BS 25 Sept 1942. Dispatched on three combat missions: With Reddig Crew 11/18 and 11/22/42; Did not fly with the Reddig crew on their 23 Nov 1042 mission. With the 1Lt Orville S. Witt Crew on 303rd mission #7, 20 Dec 1942 to Romilly, FR, in B-17F #41-24566 Zombie (359BS) BN-W. Shot down by enemy fighters and ditched in the English Channel. All ten crewmen were KIA.
  • 2Lt Grady Ward (B)(POW) - Dispatched on nine combat missions: Two with 1Lt Reddig - 18 & 22 Nov 1942; Seven with the 1Lt Ellis J. Sanderson Crew - 6, 12, 20 & 30 Dec 1942 & 3, 13 & 23 Jan 1943. On 303rd mission #11, 23 Jan 1943 to Lorient, FR in B-17F #41-24603 Green Hornet (359BS) BN-V, was shot down by enemy fighters, partly caused when the 303rd formation was broken up over the target when another Bomb Group was bombing over the 303rd B-17s. 2Lt Ward became a POW
  • 2Lt John Ercegovich (N-KIA), Sgt Robert W. Van Fleet (E-KIA), Sgt Devon B. Nolen (R-KIA), Sgt Gerald A. Sturgis (BT-KIA) and Sgt Ferrell A. Mann (LWG-KIA) - Dispatched on each of the 1Lt Reddig crew combat missions.
Original Reddig Crewmen - Not in Crew Photo:
  • Pvt Alexander S. Grieb (RWG)(KIA) - Assigned to 303rd BG(H) at Biggs Field, TX on 15 Sept 1942. Did not fly with crew on their October 1942 flight from the USA to England. Transported as part of the Ground Echelon on the RMS Queen Mary, at Ft. Dix, NY 28 Aug to 4 Sept 1942; Departed NY City Harbor 5 Sept 1942; Arrived Greencock, Scotland 11 Sept 1942; To Molesworth, via train, on 12 Sept 1942. Promoted to Sgt and became the Reddig Crew Tail Gunner on each of the three Reddig Crew combat missions.
  • Sgt George T. Senior (TG)(KIA) - Flew with Reddig Crew on their October 1942 flight from the USA to England. Reassigned as Right Waist Gunner. Flew on each of the three Reddig Crew combat missions.
Original Reddig Crewmen - Not in photo - Deleted from crew before the crew departed the USA.
(Part of Flight Echelon 22 Aug 1942, Shipment #6252, 359th BS Crew #9, Biggs Field, TX):
  • Sgt Edmund Q. Borysiewicz (WG) - Reassignment unknown. No known 303rd Combat missions.
  • S/Sgt Melvin M. Tanzer (Gunner) Transferred to 427th BS in an unknown administrative position on 25 Oct 1942.
Passenger on the October 1942 Reddig Crew Flight from USA to Molesworth:
  • Capt Abraham Black (303rd BG(H) Flight Surgeon) - Flew on no combat missions
Crewmen who flew with the Reddig Crew as substitutes on 21 Nov 1942 mission:
  • Capt Charles G. Miller (CP)(KIA) - This was his only 303rd Combat mission on his orientation combat mission as CoPIlot.
  • 2Lt John W. Plummer (B)(KIA) - Member of the 1Lt Ellis J. Sanderson Crew. Flew on two additional combat missions with the Sanderson Crew:: #1 - 17 Nov 42 & #2 - 18 Nov 42.
[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]