Database Search

You are in the database section of the website.

Select a record category from RECORDS above. When you have selected a category, you will see search options for that category above the record list. 

Most fields require at least three characters. When you submit your query, the search engine will return all records that contain your search term.

Note that when searching for an aircraft serial number, you must enter the full serial number without the leading "4" and without a dash in the Aircraft SN search field. For example, you would enter 42-37772 as 237772.

The Personnel name field searches both last and first names, so if you enter the search term, "Russ", the search engine will return both Russell Abel and James Russell.

You narrow the search by entering more characters into the search field. For example, "Russ" returns many hits. "Russell" returns fewer hits. The same principle applies to all queries.

The POW and KIA categories are list only and are not searchable.

Crew PILOT: James F.  MUSSER

 James F. Musser crew with Daylite Delivery. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of the Thorpe Abbotts Tower Museum Archives 

Original Lt Musser Crew April 1943.  Photo courtesy of Eric Parlee 

On May 2, 1943 the following Crew was sent Presque AAF/Presque Island Maine by way of North Atlantic route to Prestwick Scotland and ditched in the Atlantic. 

B-17F 42-5840

2nd Lt James F. Musser  Pilot-             O-376844 (survived)
2nd Lt  David R. Wollen Co-Pilot          O-735484   (Survived ditching and reassigned)
2nd Lt Joseph F. Green Navigator         O-796525  Drowned during ditching and Body never recovered)
2nd Lt Charles W. Parlee Bombardier   O-734381 (survived) 
T/Sgt Donald T. Atkinson TTE               15087821 (survived)
T/Sgt Elmo A. Humphreys  ROG          36257831  Survived Ditching and reassigned
S/Sgt Robert L. Shearer   WG              33237603 Survivied 
S/Sgt Frederick R. Unangst  TG          33187337 (Drowned and Body never recovered)
S/Sgt William N. Clough  BTG              32360066 (Survived  
S/Sgt Kermit Q. Ward  WG                  34355615 (Survived) 

Id for Lt Musser Crew in front of Daylite Delivery at Thorpe Abbotts.  Photo courtesy of Eric Parlee 

Crew Members:

Crew 1

NBR Person Position Status
1 LT James F. MUSSER P CPT
2 LT Leo R. MCINTYRE CP CPT
3 LT Gordon H. PETERSON NAV CPT
4 LT Charles W. PARLEE BOM CPT
5 T/SGT Don T. ATKINSON TTE CPT
6 T/SGT Marlin JOSEPH ROG CPT
7 S/SGT William N. CLOUGH BTG CPT
8 S/SGT Robert L. SHEARER WG CPT
9 S/SGT Kermit Q. WARD WG CPT
10 S/SGT George E. KLINE TG CPT

PHOTOS:

Lt James Musser Crew in Foggia after transferring to 97th Bomb Group on Feb 4, 1944.  Photo courtesy of Jack O'Leary.  T/Sgt Don Atkinson is front row third from the Left and  Waist gunner in the crew shot, Harry Merle Lerch Jr is front row, second from the right with sun glasses on.  

Lt James Musser Crew after being assigned to 97th Bomb Group in Foggia, Italy.  We believe in Budapest.  Note Russian  soldier .  Waist gunner in the crew shot, Harry Merle Lerch Jr , need better ID on this photo,    

Lt Charlie Parlee confirmed list of Missions. 17 Missions with the 100th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force and 14 with the 97th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force. Courtesy of Eric Parlee.  

Lt James Musser confirmed mission list.  17 missions with the 100th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force and 14 with the 97th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force. If you were transferred from the 8th to the 15th during your tour of duty, your missions with the 8th counted as DOUBLE towards your combined amount of missions needed to complete a tour in the 15th Air Force (50 missions).  So his missions with the 100th counted as 34 missions and his 14 missions with the 15th AF counted as 16, thus giving Lt Musser and his Crew "50 Missions".  Photo courtesy of Eric Parlee.   

Information about the ditching of the Musser Crew on their first attempt to deploy to England and the 8th Air Force.  The B-17 was named Big Moose. B-17F 42-5840. 4 members of the Original Crew were killed.  

On May 2, 1943 the following Crew was sent Presque AAF/Presque Island Maine by way of North Atlantic route to Prestwick Scotland. 

B-17F 42-5840

2nd Lt James F. Musser  Pilot-             O-376844 (survived)
2nd Lt  David R. Wollen Co-Pilot          O-735484   (Survived ditching and reassigned)
2nd Lt Joseph F. Green Navigator         O-796525  Drowned during ditching and Body never recovered)
2nd Lt Charles W. Parlee Bombardier   O-734381 (survived) 
T/Sgt Donald T. Atkinson TTE               15087821 (survived)
T/Sgt Elmo A. Humphreys  ROG          36257831  Survived Ditching and reassigned
S/Sgt Robert L. Shearer   WG              33237603 Survivied 
S/Sgt Frederick R. Unangst  TG          33187337 (Drowned and Body never recovered)
S/Sgt William N. Clough  BTG              32360066 (Survived  
S/Sgt Kermit Q. Ward  WG                  34355615 (Survived) 

On May 2, 1943 the following Crew was sent Presque AAF/Presque Island Maine by way of North Atlantic route to Prestwick Scotland. 

B-17F 42-5840

2nd Lt James F. Musser  Pilot-             O-376844 (survived)
2nd Lt  David R. Wollen Co-Pilot          O-735484   (Survived ditching and reassigned)
2nd Lt Joseph F. Green Navigator         O-796525  Drowned during ditching and Body never recovered)
2nd Lt Charles W. Parlee Bombardier   O-734381 (survived) 
T/Sgt Donald T. Atkinson TTE               15087821 (survived)
T/Sgt Elmo A. Humphreys  ROG          36257831  Survived Ditching and reassigned
S/Sgt Robert L. Shearer   WG              33237603 Survivied 
S/Sgt Frederick R. Unangst  TG          33187337 (Drowned and Body never recovered)
S/Sgt William N. Clough  BTG              32360066 (Survived  
S/Sgt Kermit Q. Ward  WG                  34355615 (Survived) 

Transfer orders from 15th AF HQ to the 97th Bomb Group . Courtesy of Eric Parlee. 

Part 1 of Lt James Musser newpaper article about the ditching in the Atlantic in May 1943.  Courtesy of Eric Parlee 

Part II of Lt James Musser newpaper article about the ditching in the Atlantic in May 1943.  Courtesy of Eric Parlee