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LT  Archie S. DEPEW

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: NAV

Lt Archie S. Depew, Nav on Lt Hummel Crew. 
My brothers and I grew up hearing that the name of his aircraft was the "Maybe". My father was Archie S. DEPEW, navigator on Thomas Hummel's B-17, #230311. Story goes that the crew each put a name in a hat and my father's submission was picked. He chose the name thinking that "maybe they'd come back, and maybe they wouldn't "
(Photo courtesy of Son Mark Depew) 

SERIAL #: O-673501 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00681 CR: 00681

Comments1: 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG (EAC - EXP)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
                                                MACR #68l #Microfiche #225

2nd Lt Thomas D. Hummel            P   POW   17/8/43  Regensburg 
2nd Lt Michael C.Doroski               CP  POW   17/8/43  Regensburg  
2nd Lt Archie S.Depew               NAV POW   17/8/43  Regensburg 
2nd Lt Norman Brewster            BOM  POW   17/8/43  Regensburg 
S/Sgt John E.Devich                  TTE  Injured in accident on base
S/Sgt Richard E. Bowler             TTE KIA       17/8/43  Regensburg 
S/Sgt Nelson O.Gunnar              WG  POW    17/8/43   Regensburg 
S/Sgt Lorenzo D.Bishoff             BTG  Grounded Illiness
S/Sgt Francis T. Stafford            BTG POW   17/8/43  Regensburg
S/Sgt Donald J. Meeker             ROG  POW   17/8/43  Regensburg  
S/Sgt Kenneth T.O'Connor         WG  KIA     17/8/43  Regensburg 
S/Sgt Gordon A.Williams              TG  POW   17/8/43  Regensburg 

 350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group 14/7/43.  The first replacement Crew in the 350th BS.  A/C 42-30311 LN-T "Maybe"

On the Regensburg mission. this crew was flying as left wing to Roy Claytor who was leading the second element of the low squadrin. Truly "tail end Charlie" to not only the 100th Group but the entire Regensburg force. Attacked by e/a about 10 minutes before reaching Nurenburg,Hummel's plane was seen to"blow up" but some chutes were seen. On this final flight of 17/8/43 Devich & Bishoff were replaced by S/Sgt Richard E.Bowler & S/Sgt Francis T.J.Stafford.  Bowler was KIA  and Stafford became a POW. J.E.Devich had sustained a broken wrist and other injuries when one dark night he ran his bicycle into a ditch near the base. "THEY NEVER HAD IT SO G0OD" p.75 notes that ". . . . a last man,Bishoff, was later removed from the crew for hospitalization and his place taken by a spare gunner." See also TNHISG p.81 re Dick Bowler.

First mission for this crew was 26/7/43 Trondheim,;Norway.Then Rostock,Ger.28/7/43,Keil,Ger. 2/8/43, Warnemunde,Ger. 5/8/43 and Lille,France 15/8/43    See letter 6/4/87 from T.D.Hummel 

Eyewitness report:  "Saw Hummel blow up about 10 minutes before reaching
                     Nurenburg at Bad  Mergerheim."
                                                   Lt.J.K.Justice

"Hummel's A/C blew up 20 minutes before target. three chutes seen".
                                                   Lt.B.A.DeMarco

Sgt. Bowler was badly wounded by ME lO9 and probably died during descent in chute or upon landing. Sgt.O'Connor,it is  believed by crew members did not jump although able to do so. Lt. Doroski said that O'connor had remarked to him that he was "afraid to ever jump from the plane". This was the fifth mission for O'Connor and the second for Bowler,

Mission List of 2nd Lt Thomas D. Hummel Crew (from 2nd Lt Michael Doroski 2002)

 DATE  TARGET   A/C NUMBER & NAME   COMMENT

1. 24/7/43 TRONDHEIM,  NORWAY
    25/7/43 WARNEMUNDE, GERMANY      230047 SWEATER GIRL  ABORT-BOLT STUD MISSING
   26/7/43 HANOVER, GERMANY                 25878  BADGER BEAUTY  ABORT-ENGINEER GOT SICK,VOMITED IN OXYGEN  MASK
 28/7/43 OSCHERSLEBEN,GERMANY        25878  BADGER BEAUTY  ABORT-BLOWN SUPERCHARGER
2. 29/7/43 WARNEMUNDE, GERMANY       23233  OUR BABY
3. 30/7/43 KASSEL,     GERMANY               23233  OUR BABY
4. 12/8/43 WESSELING,  GERMANY          25878  BADGER BEAUTY
5 15/8/43 MERVILLE & LILLE, FR             230311  MAYBE
6. 17/8/43 REGENSBURG, GERMANY      230311 MAYBE

MEMO 2:

It came as great surprise when I got on your website, and saw my father's plane was listed as having no name. My brothers and I grew up hearing that the name of his aircraft was the "Maybe". My father was Archie S. DEPEW, navigator on Thomas Hummel's B-17, #230311. Story goes that the crew each put a name in a hat and my father's submission was picked. He chose the name thinking that "maybe they'd come back, and maybe they wouldn't ."  I guess this would also be good time to let you know that my father passed away on December 19th,1997 at the age of 76. I just wish that we had had access to your website before he passed. The photo of the Maybe crash site is amazing to us boys. I'm not sure how my father would have reacted. It would be great to see the name updated. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Mark Depew.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Regensburg DATE: 1943-08-17  
AIRCRAFT: (42-30311) CAUSE: EAC-EXP  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

350th B-17F #42-30311 Flown by the crew of Thomas D. Hummel on the August 17, 1943 Regensburg mission. They were shot down by enemy aircraft near Scornsheim. There were two KIAs, Richard E. Bowler and Kenneth T. O'Connor - the remaining eight POWs.  This is one of the 100th's most famous photographs in that is shows a Luftwaffe S-2 Officer determining the identification of the aircraft... jb   (100th Photo Archives)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 1260