Air crew posing on Jeep in front of B-17F 'Our Gang' of 324th BS, 91st BG, US 8th Air Force, Bassingbourn, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jun 1943; note cowling art in addition to nose art

Caption   Air crew posing on Jeep in front of B-17F 'Our Gang' of 324th BS, 91st BG, US 8th Air Force, Bassingbourn, England, United Kingdom, 15 Jun 1943; note cowling art in addition to nose art ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Army via Michael Smith
Identification Code   ETO HQ 43 4327/342-FH-3A-11985-80042AC
More on...   
B-17 Flying Fortress   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Jeep   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 15 Jun 1943
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 3 Jan 2012

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Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
3 Jan 2012 06:24:52 PM

This photo was taken 15 June 43 after "Our Gang" (42-5069) aborted a mission to Le Mans, France and turned back due to failure of the #2 supercharger. The rest of the planes later aborted and returned also.
Crewmembers are (L to R):

1. S/Sgt. Marion J. Spagnola, Ball Turret Gunner of Cincinnati, Ohio.
2. T/Sgt. Jack "Roy" Carlson, Waist Gunner of Rockford, Ill.
2a. Canine Mascot "Windy"
3. S/Sgt. Jacob "Jack" Levine, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of East Nassau, N.Y.
4. 2nd Lt. Fred N. Dibble, Co-Pilot of Bronxville, N.Y.
4a. Canine Mascot "Skippy"
5. 1st Lt. Robert F. Brubaker, Bombardier of Clearwater, Fla.
6. 1st Lt. James M. Smith, Pilot of Austin, Texas
7. Sgt. Bernard Bedrock, Waist Gunner of New York City, N.Y.
8. 1st Lt. W.S. Scovell, Navigator of Portland, Conn.
9. S/Sgt. Edward L. Lawler, Tail Gunner of Camden, Ark.
10. T/Sgt. Arthur L. Smith, Radio Operator of Norwich, Conn.

"Our Gang" was shot down on the first raid to Schweinfurt, Germany 17 Aug 1943. All 10 crewmen survived and were taken prisoner.
2. Jack says:
11 Jun 2013 11:28:47 PM

My uncle was bombardier on "Wheel and Deal", also 91st bomb group, in the 322nd squadron.
Lt. John Temple.

He arrived 23 October near the end of the suspension of deep raids after the Schweinfurt-Regensburg carnage.

Starting in November he flew 5 missions.
1st mission: Recalled due to weather.
2nd mission: Wing could not assemble. Recalled.
3rd mission: Turned back because their plane could not find formation.
4th mission: Oxygen system failure. Turned back. Uncle John got his hands frostbit.
5th mission: Over Germany, on their way to bomb chemical works, with fighter cover late, fighters hit the #3 engine and shot out the batteries. Just before started the IP to the bomb run flak knocked the rest of the electrical system and set the #2 fuel tank on fire. Another flak round went up the the plane behind the cockpit and out the top... without exploding. Forced out of formation they fell prey to radar controlled guns even in clouds and, according to my Uncle John, more fighters. He tried to jettison the bombs but the bomb bay doors weren’t all the way open and they got stuck. He and the top turret gunner Sgt Baker whose hand was smashed crawled down into the bomb bay and literally kicked them out of the airplane. They we're doomed. Set to autopilot "Wheel and Deal" was abandoned. All but Tail Gunner Sgt Roller got out landed safely and we're promptly captured. Roller hand been shot and couldn't get out. "Wheel and Deal" sailed along finally crashing in the Rhine River. It was hauled ashore by the Germans. Later POW debriefing indicated a crew member was told by a German soldier Roller was found in the plane and buried next to the Rhine.
As it turned out, my Uncle John never dropped a bomb in anger.

My father, a carrier pilot,isn't the only one to repeat the old saying, "Flying is endless hours of routine and boredom followed by moments of sheer terror."
3. James P. Smith says:
24 Jul 2015 02:28:33 PM

The pilot is my father. He is sitting in the driver's seat holding his cocker spaniel named "Skipper". This dog flew on all 25 of my dad's missions, only to be run over by a bu, two weeks after they returned home. The
"Lady Frances", seen below the pilot's window, refers to my mother.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
15 Jun 2018 11:04:14 AM

B-17 42-5069 'Our Gang' (Lt William H Wheeler) 401st Squadron, 91st Bomb Group based at Bassingbourn was shot down by a fighter attack, and crashed near St Goar, 25 km south of Koblenz. The crew were on their 21st mission.

Martin Middlebrook: The Schweinfurt-Ragensburg Mission (Pen and Sword Aviation, 2012)

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