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.

LT  Francis S. HARPER

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM

 Francis S. "Fran" Harper, BOM on the Bernard A. DeMarco crew. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Albert M. Freitas 

SERIAL #: O-731373 STATUS: POW #2964
MACR: 00950 CR: 00950

Comments1: 8 OCT 43 BREMEN (ORG 100TH) (EAC)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

1ST LT BERNARD A. DeMARCO       P POW 08 OCT 43 BREMAN
F/O JAMES P. THAYER                 CP POW 08 OCT 43 BREMEN
1ST LT JOHN W.DOWNS            NAV POW 08 OCT 43 BREMEN
2ND LT FRANCIS S. HARPER        BOM POW 08 OCT 43 BREMEN
CPL THORNTON STRINGFELLOW  ROG POW 08 OCT 43 BREMEN
T/SGT BENJAMIN J. BARR           TTE POW 08 OCT 43 BREMEN
S/SGT ALBERT M. FREITAS         BTG POW 28 APR 44 SOTTEVAST
CPL LEO T. CALLAHAN               WG POW 21 FEB 44 BRUNSWICK
S/SGT HARRY C. CALHOUN         WG POW 08 OCT 43 BREMEN
S/SGT LEON A. CASTRO              TG APPOINTED AVIATION CADET.

350TH SQDN.  THIS IS AN "ORIGINAL" 100TH CREW.

LEON CASTRO HAD BEEN SHIPPED BACK TO THE STATES FOR CADET TRAINING PRIOR TO 8 OCT 43; HE WAS REPLACED BY JEROME FERROGGIARO FROM THE N.H. SCOTT CREW.  ALBERT FREITAS AND LEO CALLAHAN WERE RECOVERING FROM WOUNDS RECIEVED ON THE 6 SEP 43 (STUTTGART) MISSION AND WERE REPLACED BY WILLIAM J. WILLIAMS OF CAPT MARK CARNELL'S CREW AND WILLIAM R. WOODBURY, A REPLACEMENT GUNNER.

GALE W. (BUCKY) CLEVEN, 350TH CO, FLEW AS COMMAND PILOT.
 
Note from..jb

Flak and Fighters over target. This ship leading the 350th.  Hit by flak & fighters and forced to leave formation. three men
injured, all eleven (11) bailed out and landed near Essen, Germany.  Taken to Frankfurt for interrogartion. Downs (Lt John W. Downs)
says bailed out near Oldenburg. Cleven (Maj. Gale W. Cleven) says bail out near Osnabruck.

CREW
            
350TH CREW #10  A/C #42-30047 "SWEATER GIRL"

CAPT    MARK E. CARNELL                      P: CPT   ORGINAL 100TH PILOT
2ND LT  EDWARD K. MOFFLY                CP: CPT
1ST LT  ANTHONY P. GOSPODAR        NAV: CPT   11 DEC 43 EMDEN
1ST LT  JAMES P. FITTON                   BOM: CPT
T/SGT   VERN M. BEST                         TTE: CPT
S/SGT   WILLIAM J. WILLIAMS   WG: POW  8 OCT 43 BREMEN (CREW #15 LT BERNIE DeMARCO)
SGT     EDMUND A. OLIVER                ROG: POW   10 JUL 43 PARIS (CREW #12 LT CHARLES DUNCAN)
S/SGT   STEVE BOSSER                     BTG: CPT
S/SGT   PAUL A. VRABEC, JR              WG: CPT   24 DEC 43 ST JOSEPH(NOBALL)
S/SGT   FLOYD P. BULLARD                  TG: CPT       24 DEC 43 ST JOSEPH(NOBALL)

NOTE: PAUL VRABEC NOT ONLY COMPLETED 25, BUT VOLUNTEERED AND FLEW FIVE ADDITIONAL MISSIONS.

On 10 July 1943, radio operator Ed Oliver flew with Crew #12 which was lost that day and Oliver became a POW.  He was soon replaced on the crew by George Rudden from Crew #17 which went down over Kiel on 25 July.  On 8 October 1943, William Williams flew with Crew #15 and went down over Bremen.

Accordinq to a letter from Vern Best in 1980, Mark Carnell suffered a broken arm in a bicycle accident on the field and was unable to fly for a considerable length of time.  He was replaced by Bill Desanders whose crew (#17) had been lost on 25 July.  Best also says that Paul Vrabec not only completed  25 missions but volunteered for five additional and finished those.

MEMO 2:

I found some great information on Francis Harper, and I have to admit that his background is fascinating. As you'll see from his story, Harper is the type that probably could have survived in the forest for months had he been able to evade capture after the crew was shot down over Germany. I did not find any additional photos, but the one on our website is a really good profile photo. We incorrectly had his middle initial listed as "C", but is noted correctly below as "S".  -- Matt

Francis Samuel Harper (born July 15, 1918) - Harper was the son of Louise and Samuel W. Harper, and the family was Native American; part of the Koyukuk Tribe in Alaska. The family resided in a very rural area outside of Fairbanks (in Rampart). Harper was one of 10 children, though sadly his father passed away in 1931 of unknown causes. The older children worked to help generate income for their family after their father's death. (note: I found an article from the 1970s that said Louise successfully raised all 10 kids and "put all of them through school"). Harper briefly attended college before enlisting.

- Harper joined the USAAF in January 1942, and he enlisted in Santa Ana, California. During his training as an aviation cadet in Victorville, California, a local paper ran an article that said Harper "was born in the wilds of Alaska where he hunted game with a rifle as a boy," and it said he hoped to join the fight as a bombardier against the Japanese. I also found a separate article that noted Harper was a skier and hockey player growing up in Alaska. 

- Post-War: Harper finished college at the University of Washington, and spent three years working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Harper went on to work for the next 20 years as an accountant for Boeing. He married his wife Nancy in 1947, and they did not have any children. Sadly, Harper died at the age of 53 while on vacation in South Dakota. 
...Matt Mabe

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Bremen DATE: 1943-10-08  
AIRCRAFT: "Our Baby" (42-3233) CAUSE: EAC  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Francis S. Harper  - 350th BOM on the Bernard A.  DeMarco crew.    (100th Photo Archives)   

Lt Francis Harper (courtesy of the Harper family)

Article on Francis S. Harper

Francis S. Harper (courtesy of the Harper family)

Letter written to the parents of Bernard DeMarco by Francis Harper while in Stalag Luft III (courtesy of the DeMarco family)

Francis Harper and Bernard DeMarco with three students from Mallinckrodt High School where Lt. Harper gave a presentation on Native Alaskan Culture. (Photo courtesy of the DeMarco family)

Newspaper article showing Bernard DeMarco and Francis Harper (photo courtesy of the DeMarco family)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 2191