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MAJ  Everett E. BLAKELY

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

Official USAAF Photo of then Lt Everett "Ev" Blakely

Capt Ev Blakely in the cockpit. Photo courtesy of Anne Cowing

SERIAL #: O-442339 STATUS: CPT
MACR: CR: 99904

Comments1: 418th CO

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

1st Lt Everett E.Blakely                      P     CPT      418th C.O. Nov 1943
 2nd Lt Charles A.Via,Jr.                     CP    SWA   8/10/43  Bremen
1st Lt Joseph H." Bubbles" Payne Jr.  NAV    KIA   28/4/44 Sottevast  (With crew of W,G.Lakin - mission lead by Col. R.H. Kelly)
 2nd Lt James R.Douglass               BOM    CPT 
T/Sgt Howard J.Brock                      TTE    POW   17/8/43 (With the W.R.Flesh crew)      Regensburg
T/Sgt Monroe B.Thornton                 WG     CPT 
T/Sgt Edmund G.Forkner                  ROG    CPT 
S/Sgt John L.Olson                           BTG   Transferred 
S/Sgt Lyle E.Nord                             TG      KIA   29/5/44 (with crew of B.L.Williams) Leipzig, Aircraft repair depot..
S/Sgt Lester W.Saunders                 WG    KIA  8/10/43  Bremen (DSC and Purple Heart for this mission) see below

418th Sqdn.  An ''Original" crew.  CREW #35  A/C #42-30061     "JUST-A-SNAPPIN"

NOTE: JOHN OLSON, AFTER FLYING SEVERAL MISSIONS WITH THIS CREW MAY HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER GROUP.
LT PAYNE WAS REPLACED ON THE CREW BY HARRY CROSBY FROM THE CREW OF LT JOHN BRADY.  SGT OLSON WAS REPLACED ON THE CREW BY SGT WILLIAM MC CLELLAND/  T/SGT THORNTON BECAME THE ENGINEER AFTER AUGUST 17, 1943 AND HIS POSTION AT WG WAS FILLED BY SGT ED YEVICH.     

JUST-A-SNAPPIN IS ONE OF THE BETTER KNOWN PLANES IN 100TH LORE, SHE IS REMEMBERED FOR BRINGING THIS CREW BACK FROM BREMEN ON 8 OCT 43.  BADLY DAMAGED EV BLAKELY AND JOHN KIDD, GROUP OPS OFFICER WHO LED THE MISSION FROM THE CO-PILOT'S SEAT, LANDED "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" IN A FIELD AT LUDHAM.  DAMAGE TO THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM RENDERED THE BRAKES IN-OPERATIVE AND "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" COLLIDED WITH A LARGE TREE.  IMPACT WAS BETWEEN THE #1 AND #2 ENGINE.  THERE ARE SEVERAL PROMINENT  PHOTOGRAPHS OF HER AND THE TREE.

Much has been written about this crew. See p.49 of THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH by H.Varian and p.184/195 of FLYING PORTRESS by E.Jablomski for details of the mission of 8/10/43.

On 8/10/43, S/Sgt Edward S.Yevich LWG & S/Sgt William F.McClelland, BTG were aboard in the place of H.J.Brock & J.L.Olson. Both of these men were wounded.

See photo of this crew on p.228 of "CONTRAILS"

Lyle Nord was flying as TG on the crew of B.L.Williams on 29/5/44 and was hit in the back by a 20mm. He had flown a total of 27 missions,the last 8 of them with the Williams crew.

CREW ON OCTOBER 8, 1943 MISSION TO BREMEN:

MAJ. JOHN B. KIDD                       COM PILOT
1st Lt Everett E.Blakely                       P     CPT
 2nd Lt Charles A.Via,Jr.                    CP   SWA   8/10/43  BREMEN (formation officer in the tail)
1st Lt Harry Crosby                           NAV CPT     GROUP NAVIGATOR
 2nd Lt James R.Douglass                BOM CPT     GROUP BOMBARDIER
T/Sgt Monroe B.Thornton                   TTE CPT 
T/Sgt Edmund G.Forkner                  ROG CPT 
S/Sgt William F. McClelland               BTG WIA 8/10/43 BREMEN  SN#17164959
S/Sgt Edward S. Yevich                     WG WIA 8/10/43 BREMEN
S/Sgt Lyle E.Nord                               TG KIA  29/5/44 LEIPZIG (with crew of B.L.Williams), Aircraft repair depot..
S/Sgt Lester W.Saunders                   WG KIA    8/10/43 BREMEN  

S/Sgt Lyle Nord took the 50cal positon in the radio Room on this mission

Copilot Charley Via went to Walter Reed Hospital after injury on the Bremen mission where he met a Sioux City high school friend of my mothers and married her.  The crew of Just a Snappin broke up and Charley Via was not replaced. Everett Blakely flew 3 missions with navigator “Bubbles” Payne then 14 Missions with navigator Harry Crosby.  Just a Snappin was destroyed Oct 8, 1943 on the Bremen mission. Two days later the CO for the 418th John “Buck” Egan was shot down at Munster.  Everett was promoted to CO of the 418th to replace “Buck” Egan.  He flew as a command pilot with others including pilot Thomas J. Reilly on Reilly's “Racehorse”.  I don’t know the details of subsequent missions.  If you find out let me know.  Upon completing his 25 missions “Contrails” had him working in Station Training.  Then to 3rd Division Headquarters at Elveden Hall.....Courtesy of Son Jim Blakely. 

MISSIONS OF MAJ. HARRY CROSBY with MAJ EV BLAKELY: 

1. JUN. 28, 1943 ST. NAZAIRE "FLAK CITY" (with Lt Brady Crew)
2. JUL. 4, 1943 La PALLICE (with Lt Brady Crew)
3. JUL. 24, 1943 TRONDHEIM (Col Harding Command P with Ev Blakely Crew)
4. JUL. 25, 1943 WARNEMUNDE, KIEL (Maj Egan-Command Pilot with Ev Blakely Crew)
5. AUG. 12, 1943 WESSELING / BONN (ST) (Group Lead with Col Harding-Command Pilot with Ev Blakely Crew
6. AUG. 17, 1943 REGENSBURG (Group Lead with Maj Jack Kidd-Command Pilot with Ev Blakely Crew)
7. AUG. 24, 1943 BORDEAUX-MERIGNAC (Maj Jack Kidd with Ev Blakely Crew, on return from Africa)
8. AUG. 31, 1943 MEULAN LES MERUEAUX (Wing Lead with Ev Blakely Crew)
9. SEPT. 6, 1943 STUTTGART/CONCHES (with Ev Blakely Crew)
10. SEPT. 9, 1943 BEAUVAIS-TILLE (with Ev Blakely Crew)
11. SEPT. 15, 1943 PARIS (with Ev Blakely Crew)
12. SEPT. 16, 1943 La PALLICE (Wing Lead with Col Harding as Command Pilot-Ev Blakely Crew)
13. SEPT. 23, 1943 VANNES (Maj Flesher, Group Air Exec flew as Command Pilot with Ev Blakely Crew)
14. SEPT. 27, 1943 EMDEN (with Ev Blakely Crew)
15. OCT. 2, 1943 EMDEN (with Ev Blakely Crew)
16. OCT. 8, 1943 BREMEN (Group Lead Maj. Jack Kidd-Command Pilot, this is the last mission with Capt. Ev Blakely Crew.)


*SAUNDERS, LESTER W. (KIA)
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Lester W. Saunders (36600511), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Gunner on a B-17 Heavy Bomber in the 418th Bombardment Squadron, 100th Bombardment Group (H), EIGHTH Air Force, while participating in a bombing mission on 8 October 1943, against enemy targets in the European Theater of Operations. The personal courage and devotion to duty displayed by Staff Sergeant Saunders on this occasion have upheld the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 8th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.
Headquarters: European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, General Orders No. 97 (1943)
Home Town: Cook County, Illinois

MEMO 2:

STATION TRAINING, FORMATION INSTRUCTOR

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Bremen DATE: 1943-10-08  
AIRCRAFT: "Just-A-Snappin" (42-3393) CAUSE: EAC-Crashed in England)  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

The Everett E. Blakely crew. Standing from left, William McClelland, Harry H. Crosby, Charles A. Via, Jr., Everett E. Blakely, James R. Douglas, Kneeling, Lester W. Saunders, Monroe R. Thornton, Edward S. Yevich, Lyle E. Nord, and Edmund G. Forkner. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

Ev Blakley's "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" at Ludham after the 8 Oct 43 Bremen Mission. "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" is one of the better known planes in 100TH lore, she is remembered for bringing this crew back from Bremen on 8 OCT 43. With the A/C basle damaged, Ev Blakely and John Kidd, Group Ops Officer, who led the mission from the Co-Pilots seat, landed "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" in a field at Ludham. Damage to the hydraulic system rendered the brakes inoperative and "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" collided with a large tree. Impact was between the #1 and #2 engine.    (100th Photo Archives)

Everett E. Blakely crew. Standing from left; Lyle Nord, Charles Via, Everett Blakely, Joseph " Bubbles" Payne,Howard Broch Kneeling; Lester Saunders, Edward Yevich and Edmund Forkner. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives)

The Everett E. Blakely crew. Standing from left, William McClelland, Harry H. Crosby, Charles A. Via, Jr., Everett E. Blakely, James R. Douglas, Kneeling, Lester W. Saunders, Monroe R. Thornton, Edward S. Yevich, Lyle E. Nord, and Edmund G. Forkner. Detailed Information (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Ev Blakely Crew in North Africa after Aug 17, 1943 Regensburg Mission with Just-a-Snappin. 
Courtesy of Jim Blakely, Forkner Photo collection and Matt Mabe .

Some of Ev Blakely Crew in North Africa Aug 17, 1943.  Sitting in front of Lt Robert Wolff’s aircraft "Wolff Pack" which was previously Capt Blakely's A/C  
Courtesy of Jim Blakely, Forkner Photo collection and Matt Mabe .

Back Row: Payne, Via, Douglass, Blakely; Front Row: Saunders, Niedermeyer, Nord, Forkner (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

 Everett E. "Ev" Blakely, 418th commanding officer Detailed information (from the collection of Russell Heckman)

Maj. Everett Blakely, 418th BS Commanding Officer.

 Ev Blakely cheering on the enlisted men in a tug of war. 

Everett Blakely (from the photo collection of John Luckadoo). 

General Curtis LeMay, Commander of the 3rd Air Division, presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to members of the 100th Bomb Group for their part in the Regensburg shuttle mission to North Africa on August 17, 1943. Left to Right: Colonel Bill Veal, Colonel Jack Kidd, Major Everett Blakely, Captain John Brady, Lieutenant John Justice, Captain Thomas Murphy, Captain Henry Henington, Captain James Douglass, and Captain Harry Crosby. 

Ev Blakely Wedding 
Back row:  Bubbles Payne, Jim Douglass head down, Edward S. Yevich, Monroe Thornton 
Front:  Les Saunders Ev Blakely, Margaret Ann, Lyle Nord

Everett Blakely (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Everett Blakely sitting on ammo box in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Harry Crosby and Everett Blakely (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Just-A-Snappin After Bremen; Ev Blakely standing in front

Everett Blakely, departing to London on a pass (from the collection of Russell Heckman)

Everett Blakely and James Douglass in the barracks area (from the collection of Russell Heckman)

Everett Blakely, G.W. Dauncey, William Utley, and George Erb (from the collection of Herb Leaverton)

100th Officers photographed at Thorpe Abbotts in 1944. Standing third from left is Harry H. Crosby, Joseph "Big Joe" Armanini, Everett Blakeley. Seated from left: Sammy Barr, John Bennett and Rosie. (Robert Rosenthal) (100th Photo Archives)

 Lead Squadron flying over the Alps on 17 Aug 43. Command Pilot Jack Kidd (Group Operations Officer) & Ev Blakely in Just-a-Snappin A/C 23393 LD-Y, John D. Brady & John L. Hoerr in Stymie A/C 23237 LD-R, Command Pilot John Egan (418th Squadron Command Officer) and Charles Cruikshank in Mugwump A/C 230066 LD-U, and Bob Wolff & Charles Stuart in Wolff Pack A/C 230061 LD-Q. (Photo courtesy of Big Joe Armanini)  

 Photo of A/C 230061 Wolff Pack and A/C 23393 Just-a-Snappin taken from the nose of A/C 230170 Torchy 2. (Photo courtesy of Big Joe Armanini) Wolff crew information | Barr crew information | Blakely crew information | Regensburg mission information 

 A/C 230061 Wolff Pack with damaged stabilizer, A/C 23393 Just-a-Snappin in lead, and A/C 230066 Mugwump at the bottom on the 17 Aug 43 Regensburg mission. (Photo courtesy of Big Joe Armanini) Wolff crew information | Blakely crew information | Cruikshank crew information | Regensburg mission information 

 Lead Squadron Regensberg 17 Aug 1943. The damaged B-17 in the center was flown by Robert Wolff. In September 1943 the Germans were to fish Bob and his crew out of the English Channel. Wolff's water landing was one of the most successful of the war. There were no injuries, either in the landing or egress. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) Bob Wolff's damaged B-17 over Italy 17 Aug 1943. Detailed information (100th Photo Archives) 

23393 Just-a-Snappin LD-Y  departing the target area at Regensberg - 17 Aug 1943. The river below this aircraft is most probably the Danube. (100th Photo Archives) 

Thomas J. Reilly crew after the 25th mission for most of the crew to Brunswick on 29 Feburary 1944. Kneeling from left to right; George E. Kinsella, Thomas J. Reilly - squadron commander, Everett Blakely ( Sqdn CO) Curtis V. Martin, Edward J. Higham and Earl Richardson 

Standing; Charles H. Lottes, William H. Ickes, William R. Wilson, M. Rubinfeld, J. T. Pyles (replacement for original E. Good), Thomas L. Gribble and the crew chief, Wally Jack. Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Dwight Patrick (son of Tommy Gribble) Identification courtesy of William R. Wilson, Jr. (son of W. R. Wilson)  


 Ev Blakely Crew #35 in North Africa after Regensburg mission on Aug 17, 1943. Maj. Jack Kidd is also in the photo. 

 "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" and the Everett E. Blakely crew in North Africa. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" - Leading the 100th to Regenburg 17 Aug 1943 (100th Photo Archives) 

"JUST-A-SNAPPIN" home from Bremen, 8 Oct 1943. The crash landing was at Ludham, England  (from the collection of Edmund Forkner) 

 "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" home from Bremen, 8 Oct 1943. The crash landing was at Ludham, England.  Jack Kidd Collection 

"JUST-A-SNAPPIN" home from Bremen, 8 Oct 1943. The crash landing was at Ludham, England.  Jack Kidd Collection

 "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" There were over 800 holes in the aircraft. Home from Bremen, 8 Oct 1943. The crash landing was at Ludham, England
Kidd Collection 

 Maintenance personnel inspect "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" home from Bremen, 8 Oct 1943. The crash landing was at Ludham, England
Kidd Collection

 "JUST-A-SNAPPIN" (100th Photo Archives) 

 Crash landing of Maj. John B. "Jack" Kidd after the Bremen mission 8 October 1943 

 Crash landing of Maj. John B. "Jack" Kidd after the Bremen mission 8 October 1943 

 Crash landing of Maj. John B. "Jack" Kidd after the Bremen mission (8 October 1943) 

From left: Gerry Hamilton, Margaret Ann Blakely and Jean Crosby. 

Never before seen Photos from Regensburg Mission. Courtesy of Jim Blakely, Forkner Photo collection and Matt Mabe . Yeah, that is Just a Snappin (Blakely Crew), Stymie (Brady Crew), and Black Jack (Fienup Crew)  heading into Africa August 17, 1943.

 Standing is S/Sgt. John C. Spence who worked at Headquarters. Seated far right is Maj. Ev Blakely. 

 John Schwartz, Photo Lab Commanding Officer, Unknown, Unknown, and Everett Blakley, Original 100th pilot. (100th Photo Archives) 

Col. Tom Jeffrey and Capt. Everett Blakely and Capt Douglas (group bombardier)(100th Photo Archives) 

In the Front Row you have Lt Woodward Crew, Frank Murphy, Charles Cruikshank Major John Egan (CO 418thth BS)  Alvin Barker (351st operations officer) , Eve Blakely, James Douglas, 

Everett Blakely, James Douglass, and Alfred Iannaconne (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Harry Crosby, Charlie Via, Ev Blakely, Jack Kidd, Jim Douglass, Lester Saunders, Monroe Thornton, and William McClelland in North Africa (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Back Row: Bubbles Payne, Ev Blakely, Charles Via, James Douglass, ; Front Row: Saunders, Niedermeyer, Forkner, Nord,   (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 392