Ray G. Barrett - 352nd Squadron
Just spoke with George D. Grace, Jr. who was the Pilot of my father in law's crew (Ray G. Barrett) and got a lot more info about aircraft and crew. I have also been able to put together more info on Ray's service record and training.
Here's what I know:
Crew was formed at Plant Park, Tampa and then picked up their 1st aircraft at Savannah, GA and named it "Misbehavin' Lady". Tail number was 44-83340, B-17G. They flew the northern route but got caught in bad snow storm at night and crash landed into anther aircraft at Meeks Field Iceland on 3/3/45. Took ATC rest of way to Scotland, England, Paris then Bari, Italy.
Crew Consisted of the following:
George D. Grace, Jr. - Pilot
Thomas J. Kerrissey - Co-Pilot
Leonard P. Spagnolo - Navigator
John P. Snyder - Bombardier
Lawrence T. Ducas - Flight Engineer
Raymond Gene Barrett - Waist Gunner & Togglier
William J. Radigan - Waist Gunner
Arthur G. Buchholz - Ball Turret Gunner
Anthony T. Corbi - Tail Gunner
Albert R. Masserini - Radio Operator
They arrived at Lucera 16 March 1945 and flew 21 missions. Bombardier was pulled from crew for Radar training - and my father-in-law stood in as Togglier.
The planes they flew from Italy were:
"Ain't Misbehavin" - a B-17G
and "Snoozin' Susan" - an older B-17F with camoflage and retrofitted chin turret.
Crew's dog was "Malfunction".
Per George Grace, pilot had to fly three missions as co-pilot in ITaly before receiving they're command. 1st missions was supposedly over Graz, Austria. The plane was hit with a lot of flak and made holes size of kitchen sink down to a dime (310 holes!) Hydraulic system was damaged. Pilot went berzirk and the Flight Engineer held him down with a full nelson the whole way back. Mr. Grace successfully landed back at base and was not required to fly as co-pilot anymore.
A sketch of Ray G. Barrrett's service record:
Active Service: 2Jul1943
Basic Training for Aviation Cadets: July/Aug 1943, Jefferson Barracks, MO.
College Training Detachment (5mos.) at 2600 AAFBU, CTD Aircrew (S.W. Missouri Teacher's College, Springfield, MO).
Primary Flight Training: Feb/March 1944 306th AAFFTD, Bruce Field, Ballinger, TX
Armorer Technical School: Spring 1944, AAFTS Lowry Field, CO
Flexible Gunnery School: Aug/Sep 1944, 327 AAF Base Unit, Kingman Field, AZ
Combat Crew Training: Oct44-Jan45, 3rd AF PD, Drew Field, Tampa also Replacement Depot, Plant Park, Tampa.
Depart US: 18Feb45 from 1379 Base Unit, Dow Field, Bangor, ME
Crash at Meeks field Iceland 3/3/1945.
Arrive Lucera Field, Foggia, Italy 16Mar45 serving with 301st Bomb Group - 352nd Bomb Squadron, Pilot George D. Grace's crew.
Depart Italy: 14Jun45
Arrive US: 18Jun45
Separation: 24Nov1945, 211th AAF Base Unit, Sioux Falls, SD
Andrew Barrett-Bettcher 100 Surrey Trail South Apple Valley MN 55124-7350 USA 952-994-0901 firstname.lastname@example.org
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