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LT COL  Beirne LAY JR.

UNIT: 8th AF POSITION: OBS

Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr, Flew with 100th BG on Regensburg Misson, Was CO of 487th Bomb Group and was shot down and evaded. Wrote I wanted Wings and  co-wrote Twelve O'Clock High book and Film.  

Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr. 

SERIAL #: O-309771 STATUS: EVA
MACR:

Comments1: 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG (ON PICCADILLY LILY)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

LT COL BEIRNE LAY JR. 
HQ 8TH BOMBER COMMAND
C/0 487TH BOMB GROUP (H) 
EVADEE
WRITER: SELECTED ARTICLES AND BOOKS  
I WANTED WINGS (BOOK AND MOVIE)
I SAW REGENSBURG DESTROYED (SATURDAY EVENING POST)
WHAT IT TAKES TO BOMB GERMANY (HARPERS)
WHAT IT TAKES TO BOMB GERMANY (READERS DIGEST)
"A Comrade's Tribute to Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle:" (WASHINGTON POST)
I'VE HAD IT (BOOK ABOUT HIS EXPLOITS BEING SHOT DOWN AND EVADING)
TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH (BOOK AND MOVIE w/ SY BARTLETT)
STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND (MOVIE)

8th AF 487 BG group commander; shot down in Europe, but evaded capture and made it back to England.
In 1942 Capt. Beirne Lay Jr. (retired as Col.) was one of the officers who helped to form the bombing arm of the USAAF – the 8th Air Force, and in 1944 he eluded capture after his B-24 was shot down in Nazi-occupied France. When he returned to America, Lay captivated audiences with his flair for storytelling and by writing highly successful screenplays that captured the spirit of his time in Europe, and the lifestyle of American pilots, without giving way to any of the “usual Hollywood errors.”

E&E 939. Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr. Pilot. 487 BG/838 BS. FTR 11/05/44. (^) France. Nfd. Evaded with Walt Duer. 
Author of 12 O'Clock High.  I've Had It. I Wanted Wings. Down In Flames Out By The Underground (Post Magazine 1944). 
+ Died 1982. Age 72.



                               Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr. and the 100th Bomb Group Connection
                                        By Michael Faley-100th Bomb Group Historian


Achieving national prominence for his first book “I Wanted Wings” in 1936, Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr. will be best remembered as the co-author of the book and Academy Award winning film “Twelve O’Clock High”.  Premiering Dec 21, 1949, the movie would earn Lay the gratitude of 8th Air Force veterans and legendary status among B-17 aficionados. He earned his wings in 1932 and served with the 20th Bomb Squadron at Langley Field and later would be a staff/bombardment/pursuit pilot with the General Head Quarters, USAAC.  Brigadier General Ira C. Eaker selected, then Captain Lay, to be one of the “original” seven staff officers to accompany him to England on Feb 20, 1942 to set up the Eighth Air Force, later to become more affectionately referred to as “The Mighty Eighth” (courtesy of historian Roger Freeman). Capt. Lay was VIII Bomber Command historian and film unit chief but was tired of his desk job and was granted permission to obtain combat experience. He was sent as an observer to fly missions with the 100th Bomb Group (Stationed at Thorpe Abbotts in East Anglia) in August 1943. By this time he had achieved the rank of Lt Colonel.   

On August 17, 1943, Lt Col Beirne Lay flew his 5th mission with the 100th BG, target-REGENSBURG!  This would go down in the annals of aerial warfare as one of the fiercest air battles ever fought in World War II.   He would write about this mission in the November 6, 1943 issue of the Saturday Evening Post.  The article, entitled “I Saw Regensburg Destroyed” is posted here in its entirety.  Had it not been for the suggestion of a certain squadron commander, Lay may have never written the article much less “Twelve O’Clock High”.   “As sweat poured off his forehead, Lt Col Lay watched wave after wave of enemy fighters swarm through the group.  The first wave wiped out the second element of 3 planes in the low squadron, right where he was originally assigned!”  Prior to the mission, Maj Gale “Buck” Cleven (CO of the 350th Bomb Squadron) moved Lay from the low squadron to a better-protected position in the high squadron.   That small change most likely saved his life.  Lay was assigned to Lt Thomas Murphy’s Crew who flew a B-17 nicknamed “Piccadilly Lily”.  From his vantage point in the “Lily”, Lt Col Lay would witness the loss of nine aircraft from the 100th BG.  

The experience gained from these missions and watching group commanders and fellow “original seven” alumni Brig Gen Frank Armstrong (97th BG and 306th BG) who Gen Frank Savage is modeled after, and Medal of Honor recipient Brig Gen Fred Castle (94th BG) would serve him well in his next assignment.  Lay was transferred from VIII Bomber Command at High Wycombe (code name ‘Pinetree”) stateside to train with a B-24 group (490th BG) and then take command of the 487th Bomb Group.  His tenure as Group CO was short lived once the 487th arrived in England.  On the groups 4th mission, he was shot down and evaded capture with the help of the French Underground.  He eventually made it into Spain, back to England and then was sent Stateside.     His exploits about these events can be found in his book “I’ve Had It”

Beirne Lay Lt. Col  Group Commander "Problem Child" B-24 42-94756 

On May 11, 1944 he flew as Air Leader with the crew of Lt Frank Vratny in B-24H 41-29468 on the 487th Bomb Group's fourth operational mission. This was his second mission leading the Group. The primary target was the railroad marshalling yards at Chaumont, France. The secondary target was Troyes. The 487th Bomb Group formation never reached the target. Navigational error resulted in the formation flying over accurate German flak guns guarding the airfield at Chateaudun, France, and Vratny's ship was shot down. Here is the crew roster on that day:

B-24H 41-29468 – 838th Bomb Squadron
• Vratny, Frank – 1/Lt – O-743141 – Pilot – POW
• Lay Jr, Beirne – Lt Col – O-309771 – Copilot/Air Leader – Evaded
• Wilson, Donald E – Capt – O-789848 – Navigator – POW
• Richter, Alfred H – 1/Lt – O-724355 – Navigator – Evaded
• Hodge Jr, Francis G – Capt – O-660360 – Bombardier – POW
• Watson Jr, John P – S/Sgt – 13057737 – Engineer – POW
• Alich, William M – S/Sgt – 35670952 – Radio Operator – POW
• Heimerman, Lawrence A – S/Sgt – 32288706 – Ball Turret Gunner – POW
• Pelletier, Arthur J – S/Sgt – 31031017 – Waist Gunner – POW
• Peterson, Robert W – S/Sgt – 37295299 – Waist Gunner – Evaded
• Duer, Walter A – 2/Lt – O-691484 – Copilot/Officer Tail Gunner – Evaded

Lt Col Lay and Lt Duer bailed out last and landed near each other about nine kilometers northeast of Nogent-le-Retrou, in the vicinity of Coulonges-les-Sablons, just south of Brettoncelles. Lay and Duer evaded capture with the help of the French, and were hidden with the family of Robert and Georgette Paugoy (Poh-gwah') on Villegager farm, commune of Mazangé, about 15 kilometers northwest of Vendome, France. They were recovered by American troops of the 5th Infantry Division on August 13, 1944. Col Lay wrote about the experience in his book I've Had It, first published in 1945. This book was reissued in 1980 with the title Presumed Dead.

After the War, Beirne Lay Jr. would continue to have many articles published but it would be the continued badgering by one of Gen Spatz’s wartime aids that would prompt Lay to collaborate on “Twelve O’Clock High”.  Sy Bartlett convinced Lay that they had to preserve what they witnessed in the 8th Air Force by writing a fictitious book based on true events.  The correlations between fact and fiction have been well documented by experts like James Farmer, Chuck Dunning, Martin Bowman and Allan Duffin.  We will concentrate only on the events that definitively relate to the 100th Bomb Group from both the movie and book “Twelve O’Clock High”.

1.  The “Hard Luck” Group in the book and movie relates to only ONE group in the entire 8th Air Force, that is the 100th Bomb Group.  The 100th BG did not lose the most aircraft in the 8th AF (that distinction belongs to the 91st BG) but they had the hard luck of losing many aircraft on individual missions 

2.  “Piccadilly Lily” flown by General Savage in the book and movie was a tribute to the crew of Lt Thomas Murphy for the Regensburg mission Aug 17, 1943.  Lt Col Lay flew with the Murphy Crew and on Piccadilly Lily that day. 

3.  In the book and movie, they recall a mission yet the 918th Bomb Group with General Savage goes onto the target.  This is based on the 8th Air Force mission March 4, 1944 to “Big B” Berlin. This was the first daylight raid on Berlin.  On that day, the 95th Bomb Group and elements of the 100th Bomb Group did not respond to the recall order (citing they felt it was a false recall order issued by the Germans) and went onto Berlin.  Sgt Harold Stearns top turret gunner on Lt Granack’s Crew, shot down the first fighter over Berlin.

4.  Chapter 11 in the book is based on many images and events Lay describes in his Saturday Evening Post article “I Saw Regensburg Destroyed” which relate directly to the 100th Bomb Group   

There are probably many other veiled references to the 100th Bomb Group and its personnel characterized in “Twelve O’Clock High” but they cannot be 100% confirmed. Suffice it to say that until someone makes the definitive movie on the 8th Air Force, “Twelve O’Clock High” will remain the benchmark.


CREW
                          1ST LT THOMAS E. MURPHY
                          ORGINAL 100TH PILOT

CREW #22   A/C #42-5864  "PICCADILLY LILY"  PROABLY THE 100TH MOST FAMOUS A/C

1ST LT  THOMAS E. MURPHY                P;  KIA    8 OCT 43 BREMEN    
2ND LT  MARSHALL F. LEE                  CP;  KIA     8 OCT 43 BREMEN       
2ND LT  CHARLES C. SARABUN          NAV;  POW  8 OCT 43 BREMEN
2ND LT  FLOYD C. PETERSON           BOM;  POW  8 OCT 43 BREMEN
T/SGT   JOHN J. EHLEN                    TTE;  POW  8 OCT 43 BREMEN
S/SGT   ALBERT C. DAVIS                 WG;  CPT    4 OCT 43 HANAU
SGT     EMMETT H. EVANS               ROG;  CPT    4 OCT 43 HANAU
S/SGT   CLEVELAND D. JARVIS          BTG;  X-FERRED TO ARMAMENT, JULY 1943
S/SGT   MICHAEL ROTZ                     WG;  POW  28 MAY 44 MADGEBURG
S/SGT   GERALD O. ROBINSON            TG;  POW  8 OCT 43 BREMEN

ALBERT DAVIS AND EMMETT EVANS, HAVING COMPLETED TOURS WERE REPLACED ON THE 8 OCT 43 BREMEN MISSION BY DERRELL PIEL (ROG OF CREW #26) AND ELDER DICKERSON THE REGULAR WG OF CREW #25.  BOTH PIEL AND DICKERSON (ON HIS 25TH MISSION) WERE KILLED BY FLAK. JARVIS'S PLACE IN THE BALL TURRET WAS TAKEN BY S/SGT REED A. HUFFORD WHO BECAME A POW. MICHAIL ROTZ, HAVING BEEN HOSPITALIZED FROM INJURIES SUSTAINED IN A JEEP/TRUCK ACCIDENT WAS REPLACED BY S/SGT AARON A. DAVID, WHO WAS KILLED.  THERE IS CONFUSION AS TO WHETHER DAVID WAS BLOWN OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT WITHOUT A CHUTE OR HIS CHUTE FAILED TO OPEN.

THIS CREW LED THE 100TH ON THE MISSION TO BREMEN AND CAPT  ALVIN L. BARKER. 351ST OPERATIONS OFFICER, FLEW IN THE RIGHT SEAT. MARSHALL LEE THE REGULAR CO-PILOT FLEW AS BTG TO ISSUE REPORTS TO MURPHY AND BARKER. LEE WAS APPARENTLY KILLED AFTER LEAVING THE BALL TURRET IN HOPES OF RENDERING AID TO THE TWO PILOTS, BOTH OF WHOM WERE ALSO KILLED.

SOON AFTER BOMB RELEASE THE PICCADILLY LILY WAS HIT BY FLAK NEAR THE NAVIGATORS STATION CAUSING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO THE FLIGHT DECK AREA AS WELL.  THIS SHELL OR OTHERS STARTED A FIRE IN THE #3 ENGINE AND DESTROYED THE
SHIPS OXYGEN SYSTEM. WITNESSES INDICATE THE LILY ENTERED A NEAR VERTICAL NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE AND EXPLODED WITH ONLY FOUR CHUTES OBSERVED.

ON 15 OCT 43 AT THE POST CEMETERY, WESERMUENDE, GERMANY, THE REMAINS OF MURPHY, BARKER, LEE, PIEL AND DICKERSON WERE INTERRED IN GRAVES #103 THROUGH 3107.

THE PICCADILLY LILY WAS IMMORTALIZED BY SY BARLETT AND BEIRNE LAY'S "TWELVE O' CLOCK HIGH."  WITHOUT A DOUBT SHE IS THE MOST REMEMBERED BOMBER  OF WWII.

ON AUGUST 17, 1943, LT COL BEIRNE LAY JR FLEW AS AN OBSERVER WITH LT MURPHY IN PICCADILLY LILY.  LT COL LAY WROTE ABOUT THIS MISSION IN SATERDAY EVENING POST ARTICLE "I SAW REGENSBURG DESTROYED".  LAY WOULD INCLUDE MANY PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE IN THE BOOK TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH.  

LT COL. BEIRNE LAY JR. FLEW 5 MISSIONS  WITH 100TH BOMB GROUP:

  
1.  12 AUG 1943  WESSELING, SYNTHETIC OIL, BONN (ST)  (FLEW WITH MAJ GALE CLEVEN)
2.  15 AUG 43 MERVILLE-LILLE, AF          (FLEW WITH CAPT. EDGAR WOODWARD JR. CREW)
3.. 17 AUG 1943  REGENSBURG                               (FLEW WITH LT THOMAS MURPHY CREW) 
4.  24 AUG 1943 BORDEAUX-MERIGNAC                 (FLEW WITH LT THOMAS MURPHY CREW ON WAY BACK FROM AFRICA)
We bombed Bordeaux on our way back to England from Africa and as we approached England Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr. called a RAF base asking for permission to land and get gas. The answer came back that they had no gas because they used petrol. They tried to divert us to another base forty miles away but Col. Lay said, "Forty miles, hell! We're coming in". Our batteries were so dry of electrolite that we had to fly on to Thorpe Abbotts with the landing gear down to conserve electrical power"…..from Mission Log of T/Sgt Horace Barnum (mpf 2001)
5. 27 AUG 1943 WATTEN, V-WEAPONS               (FLEW WITH CAPT. CHARLES CRUIKSHANK CREW)


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    On January 20th, 1945, Lt./ Col. Beirne Lay, Jr., a friend and noteworthy combat leader in his own right, wrote an article about General Castle which was published in the Washington Post. It was titled, "A Comrade's Tribute to Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle:" 

     "The heart is torn of late by almost daily reports of heroes killed in action: Bottcher, Preddy and now Castle. They all seem to have been made from a knightly stamp, gallant and chivalrous, men whom the gods themselves will welcome. Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle, killed while leading and Air Division of B-17's over Europe, lived in Washington. He had earned a rare distinction among the younger Air Crop Generals." 

     "Many of these officers have risen quickly to high rank because of their ability as staff officers. Others have won stars as combat leaders. Castle was outstanding both as a staff officer and a combat leader. Although he had been a civilian for eight years when he donned a Captain's uniform in 1942, he promptly shouldered one of the most formidable jobs of the war. He was to go to Europe with General Eaker to help create what is now the Eighth Air Force. Castle, as Air Chief of Staff, was responsible for the planning of an elaborate system of air bases, spare parts and overhaul depots, and supply installations for a huge Air Force not yet in existence. He worked for a year in his key position with brilliant effectiveness. But his urge for flying combat got the upper hand, and he was given command early in 1943 of a heavy bombardment group of B-17's which he often led against the Luftwaffe." 
  

     "The 'Flying Colonel' had a propensity for ducking the easy missions. But when the tough missions came through on the Field Order, Castle was in the lead ship at takeoff time." The crews said: "Whenever Colonel Castle led a mission we knew it would be a rough one. But we also knew he would take care of us." 

     "Castle must have known that the percentages were accumulating against him. But that was secondary in his mind and heart to giving his last full contribution to duty. Castle's enormous capacity for work appalled his colleagues when he was a staff officer. He flogged himself on beyond the point of normal endurance. Arising from the same real devotion to duty was a sense of self consecration that drove him into the cockpit before a scheduled mission whenever the worst fighter opposition and the blackest flak loomed ahead. No man can say how far it is to the top of the sky. But those who have fought the enemy in the blue upper levels where the vapor trails form, and where the mist between life and death is thin, believe that men like Castle fly on at that high altitude from which none return to earth."

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MEMO 2:

Lt COL Beirne Lay, Jr

Birth: 	Sep. 1, 1909
Berkeley Springs
Morgan County
West Virginia, USA
Death: 	May 26, 1982
Westwood
Los Angeles County
California, USA

The following obituary was written by his friend Brinckerhoff W. Kendall, and published in Alumni Horae, the alumni magazine of Saint Paul's School (SPS), Concorde, New Hampshire in Autumn 1982:
----
Beirne Lay, Jr.
A retired Air Force Colonel, died May 26, 1982, in UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, after a long illness at home. He was born on September 1, 1909, in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the eldest son of Beirne Lay (SPS 1879), a master at the School, and Marion Colston (Hunter) Lay. Entering St. Paul's with the first form of 1920, he sang in the choir all his time at School, joined the Cadmean Literary Society, played on the first Old Hundred football and hockey teams in his sixth form year, and graduated in 1927. Beirne took his B.A. degree at Yale in 1931. At New Haven he boxed and rowed and happened to see a movie, "Wings," starring Buddy Rogers, that fixed the course of his life—it ignited in him a fierce desire to become a pilot.
   In June, 1933, at Kelly Field, Texas, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and assigned to the 20th Bombardment Squadron at Langley Field, Virginia, for two years of active duty. More flying than even he could have requested came in the winter of 1934, when the Army was ordered to fly the air mail, with no planning or preparation. He wrote me about his Chicago-Nashville night run: "Airmail pilots fly a day run two or three years as co-pilot before they go out alone, knowing every foot of the ground. They call it legalized murder when we go out at night for the first time alone in ships strange to us and inadequately equipped." In 1937, he dramatically flew a P-6 pursuit plane to Concord for his tenth reunion at St. Paul's, just as his first book I Wanted Wings was being widely displayed in hometown bookstores. In 1938 Beirne married Miss Ludwell Lee of Hampton, Virginia, in a military ceremony. Two months after Pearl Harbor, in February 1942, he flew to England with Maj. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, who had assembled a staff to organize the Eighth Air Force. As a lieutenant colonel, he became commander of the 487th Bombardment Group. He was shot down over France [on May 11, 1944], was concealed by the French Underground, and with their help returned to England after three suspenseful months. His decorations include the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
   In 1946, Beirne retired with the rank of colonel and returned with his family to Hollywood, to resume writing. He was always tuned to the romance and drama that aviation held for earthmen, and he conveyed the excitement of it all very effectively in such articles as "Should I Jump?", "Death Over the Cities," "I Saw Regensburg Destroyed," "Presumed Dead," and "Down in Flames, Out by Underground." These articles appeared in Saturday Evening Post, Harper's, Fortune, Reader's Digest and Esquire. Besides I Wanted Wings, his best-known books were I've Had It, Twelve O'Clock High (with Sy Bartlett), Someone has to Make It Happen, Russia is Winning, and Earthbound Astronauts. Beirne always credited Prof. John Berdan of Yale for his insistent "Identify by specific detail!" He won renown for screenplays for some of the above books plus The Gallant Hours, Jet Pilot, Toward the Unknown, Strategic Air Command, and Above and Beyond—the last two of which won Academy Award nominations. Among his many awards were two he cherished: The Air Force Association arts and letters award of 1956 and a distinguished patriotic service citation from the Department of the Air Force.
   Aside from such public success, his personal expressiveness needs recalling. For example, he wrote me once that he had come across the perfect epitaph, inspired by the asterisk in the sports pages opposite the golfer who shoots an 82 in the Masters – "Withdrew." On another occasion, he wrote: "I could never say, as so many people do about their lives, that 'I wouldn't change a minute of it.' I wouldn't live it all over because I couldn't stand the excitement." He had to undergo a fluoroscopy of a lung shadow because "they want to find out if it is malignant, malicious or even vindictive." And later, "Now I'm taking five weeks of laser radiation, five times a week. If this doesn't work, the cry will be, 'Back it up! I'm ready.'" My favorite: When Roger Drury asked him to review Horace Brock's ('26) book, "Flying the Oceans," for the Alumni Horae, Beirne responded "Dear Roger. Roger. Beirne."
   Beirne Lay was my oldest and my lifelong friend. He did not find it easy to relate to many of the St. Paul's boys, but he lived his dreams and he made it to the stars. I cherish a thousand memories of him. He is survived by his widow, Ludwell, of Los Angeles; two daughters, Philippa and Frances Lay, and two sisters, Mrs. Robert McClanahan and Mrs. W. Brown Morton, Jr. His brother, John H. Lay '29, Lt. Col. (ret.), USAF, died in 1973.
               – Brinckerhoff W. Kendall '27

Sources:
1. 487th Bomb Group Association

2. de Jong, Ivo. The History of the 487th Bomb Group (H). Paducah KY: Turner Publishing, Oct 2004

3. Death Certificate of Beirne Lay Jr (provided by Elizabeth Lay Wilder, his niece)

4. Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1942–1945. Escape and Evasion Report of Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr

5. Lay Jr, Beirne. I’ve Had It: The Survival of a Bomb Group Commander. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945

6. St. Paul's School Alumni Horae. Obituary of Beirne Lay Jr. Concord, New Hampshire, Autumn 1982

7. U.S. Army Air Forces. Flight Record of Lt Col Beirne Lay, O-309771. 15 May 1944 (from the U.S. National Archives; provided by Ivo de Jong)

8. U.S. Army Air Forces. Missing Air Crew Report 4750 (Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr shot down with crew of Lt Frank Vratny, 838th Bomb Squadron, 487th Bomb Group on 11 May 1944)

9. U.S. War Department, Air Corps News Letter 1933 (Vol XVII, No 6, 30 Jun 1933, p 145: Beirne Lay Jr of Charlottesville, Virginia graduated with a rating of Airplane Pilot at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas on June 29, 1933; listed as bombardment pilot)

10. Yale University. Class of 1931 Freshman Yearbook. New Haven Connecticut, 1927-1928

Researcher:
Paul Webber
Secretary, 487th Bomb Group Association
Find A Grave member ID 47577572 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Beirne Lay (1862 - 1954)
  Minnie Colston Hunter Lay (1873 - 1945)
 
 Sibling:
  Beirne Lay (1909 - 1982)
  John Hunter Lay (1911 - 1973)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Body donated to medical science
Specifically: Body donated to the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Westwood, Los Angeles County, California
 
Created by: Paul Webber
Record added: Apr 20, 2017 
Find A Grave Memorial# 178594882

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE: 0000-00-00  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Then Lt Beirne Lay Jr

Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr with 487th BG Lead Crew

Lt Col Beirne Lay Jr at 487th party Stateside

 "PICCADILLY LILY" and the Thomas E. Murphy crew in North Africa after the 17 Aug 43 Regensburg Shuttle mission. Also in photo is Beirne Lay Jr. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Lt Col Beirne Lay/Command Crew
Just after landing in Lavenham on 12-Apr-44. L to R: Lt. Howard R. Price (engineering officer), Capt. Woodrow W. McGill (group navigator), Lt. Mayfield R. Shilling (copilot), Capt. Alfred P. Filippone (group bombardier), Lt. Col. Beirne Lay Jr (pilot and Group commanding officer), T/Sgt John L. Fowler, M/Sgt William H. Marsh (engineer), M/Sgt Charlie R. Newell, T/Sgt William A. McNeill (radio operator), and unknown (probably M/Sgt Seats)
(Photo provide by Mrs. Margaret Shilling, through Ivo deJong

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 13565