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Alvin Berthelsen crew, 566th Bomb Sqd, 389th Bomb Grp, posing in front of another crew's aircraft the day before being shot down over Germany on 28 Jan 1945 in a borrowed B-24J, "Miss America" (S/N: 42-50558). Their normally assigned aircraft, "Lonie Mac" (S/N: 42-50498), was undergoing maintenance and an eleventh crewmember, SSgt Philip G. DeFalco, Radar Counter Measures (not pictured), was added for this their final mission. Five crewmembers were reported killed in action while the other six, including DeFalco, parachuted out successfully, only to be captured and interned by the Germans. Back row, L to R: TSgt, Keith M. Holdredge - Radio Operator (POW); SSgt, Louis V. Winter - Tail Gunner (POW); SSgt, Donald G. Johnson - Waist Gunner (KIA); SSgt, Willie G. Pounds - Waist Gunner (KIA); TSgt, Charles H. Spivey - Engineer (KIA); SSgt, Willard L. Crum - Nose Gunner (POW). Front row, L to R: 1st Lt, William T. Faircloth - Bombardier (KIA); 1st Lt, Thomas R. Riggles - Co-pilot (POW); 1st Lt, Harvey R. Muskrat - Navigator (KIA); 1st Lt, Alvin L. Berthelsen - Pilot (POW).



  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 566th Bomb Squadron

    566th Bomb Squadron

    Constituted 566th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Dec. 1942. Activated on 24 Dec. 1942. Inactivated on 13 Sept. 1945. Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air...


  • Thomas Riggles

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot

  • Thomas Riggles

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Prisoner of War (POW) crashed at Schwerte on 28 Jan 45 in B-24 'Miss America' #4250558



  • Hethel

    Military site : airfield
    Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...


Date Contributor Update
09 December 2019 06:23:22 TRigglesJr Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Original photograph with names of subjects annotated, obtained from my father, Thomas Riggles, who was one of the pictured crew members. MACR 11988.