S/Sgt John E Breen 305BG being awarded the silver star.
Brigadier-General Anderson meets a bomber crew of the 305th Bomb Group with a B-17 Flying Fortress (WF-F) after a raid on Heliogland. Passed for publication 26 Jul 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'One Air Ship, One Trip: Two DSC's, 8 Silver Stars And Seven Purple Hearts. Members of the crew of the Flying Fortress "Old Bill" have scored highest total of decorations to be awarded for one action. They reached their target and brought the plane back to base although the Navigator was killed and many others wounded. They continued to fight and fly until they landed on its home field without brakes, without flaps, with one engine shot out, the nose blown off, the hydraulic system shot out, the oxygen system gone and the top turret smashed. The crew was decorated with 2 DSC's, 8 Silver Stars and Seven Purple Hearts. Keystone Photo Shows:- Brig. Gen. Anderson shaking... William D Whitson and the crew. U.S. Pool/F. Keystone/SG.' Censor no: 276317. On reverse: US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].
Pilot Capt William D Whitson, Co-pilot: 2Lt Harold Holt, Bombardier 2Lt Bob Barrall (wia), Navigator 2Lt Doug Venable (Killed in Action), Radio Operator T/Sgt Fred Bewak(wia), Flight engineer T/Sgt Albert Haymon (wia), Ball turret gunner: Sgt Edgar Nichols, Waist gunner: Sgt Homer Ramsey, Waist gunner: Sgt John Breen, Tail gunner: Sgt Ken Meyer, photo-Sgt George Friend.
Bruce Bairnsfather, war correspondent and famous cartoonist, congratulates crew members of Boeing B-17 'Old Bill' who have been presented awards during a ceremony at Chelveston, England On 25 July 1943.
L-R: Capt William D Whitson, 1st. Lt Harry L Holt, 1st. Lt Robert Barrall, S/Sgt John D Breen, T/Sgt Albert W Haymon, T/Sgt Fred J Bewack.
Assigned to 422BS, 305BG, 8AF USAAF. 15-May-43 20 mm shells from FW190 came through window, shot away plexiglass nose of B-17 42-29673 'Old Bill'. Later had mid air collision with RAF Beaufighter on training mission in B17 42-5376 'Eager Eagle' 31-Aug-43. One of only 2 survivors on the plane. 30-Jan-44 returned to US after being grounded by the Medical Board.
Awards: SS, WWII Victory, EAME.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Charles F Awrajcewicz served between June 1942 and the fatal training flight on 31 August 1943 - mid-air collision with Beaufighter Serial V8715 of RAF 75 Squadron. He had flown in over 25 missions, both daylight and night bombing ones. He originally...
Units served with
Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945.
The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Denver 31/1/43; Gt Falls 8/2/43; Morrison 5/3/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-S] Chelveston 6/4/43; then 422BS [JJ-S]; severe battle damaged Wangerooge 15/5/43 with Capt Bill Whitson, Co-pilot: Harry Holt, Bombardier: Bob Barrall (wia), Flight...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Tulsa 25/11/42; Salina 4/1/43; Morrison 6/2/43; Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-X] Chelveston 1/3/43; collision with Beaufighter (V8715) 31/8/43, with Floyd Truesdell, Co-pilot: Allan McDaniel, Navigator: Bill Cullity, Bombardier: Bob Barrall,...
Military site : airfield
Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...