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S/SGT  Clifford R. STARKEY

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: 36189601 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00678 CR: 00678

Comments1: 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG (EAC - FLAK)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
                           1ST LT ROY F. CLAYTOR

CREW #11  A/C #42-5862  "DURATION + 6"    MACR #678  CREW WAS FLYING#42-5867 "ALICE FROM DALLAS" ON AUG 17, 1943

1ST LT  ROY F. CLAYTOR                    P: EVADEE 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
2ND LT  RAYMOND J. NUTTING, JR       CP: EVADEE 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
2ND LT  OSCAR C. AMISON, JR.            NAV: POW    17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
2ND LT  KENNETH R. LORCH                BOM: POW    17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
T/SGT   JOHN W. BURGIN                TTE: EVADEE 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   CHARLES K. BAILEY                  WG: EVADEE 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG
T/SGT   STEVEN S. KOPCZEWSKI        ROG: KIA        25 JUL 43 KIEL (CREW #17)
S/SGT   ROBERT H., WUSSOW            BTG: KIA        08 OCT 43 BREMEN
S/SGT   JOSEPH E. KEHOE                   WG: NOC
S/SGT   EDWARD A. MUSANTE              TG: KIA     17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG

        ON THE REGENSBURG MISSION THIS CREW WAS THE LEAD CREW OF THE SECOND ELEMENT, LOW SQUADRON. AT 1020 FIGHTERS ATTACKED THE LOW SQUADRON OVER EASTERN BELGIUM AND SEVERELY DAMAGED THE AIRCRAFT CAUSING CLAYTOR TO SOUND THE BAIL-OUT ALARM. EIGHT OF THE MEN ABOARD GOT OUT SAFELY, BUT MUSANTE'S CHUTE CAUGHT ON THE HORIZONTAL STABLIZER AND WAS KILLED WHEN THE PLANE EXPLODED IN MID-AIR OR WHEN IT CRASHED. WILLIAM M. HINTON, WHO WAS FLYING IN PLACE OF ROBERT WUSSO, APPARENTLY DID NOT BAIL OUT- HE MAY HAVE STAYED TOO LONG TO ASSIST MUSANTE- AND WAS KILLED. BOTH HINTON AND MUSANTE WERE GIVEN A MILITARY FUNERAL AND WERE BURIED 20 AUG 43 ON THE AIRDROME AT ST. TROND. HINTON'S GRAVE NUMBER IS #287 AND MUSANTE'S #268  

On the Regensburg mission this crew was the lead crew of the second element of 
the low squadron.  Wingmen were Ronald Braley and Thomas Hummel, both of 
whom also went down.

At 1020 a swarm of fighters attacked the low squadron over eastern Belgium and so 
severely damaged the aircraft that Claytor sounded the bail out alarm.  Eight of the 
men aboard got out safely but .Musante's chute caught on the horizontal stabilizer 
and, when the plane exploded in mid air, or when it crashedl he was killed.  A 
William M. Hinton, who was flying in place of Robert H. Wussow, apparently did not 
bail out   he may have stayed too long to assist Musante   and was killed. Both 
Hinton and Musante were given a military funeral and were buried 20 August 1943 
"on the Airdrame St. Trond."  Hinton in grave #287 and Musante in grave #268.

Two other replacements flying on the crew that day were, William M. Quinn as radio 
operator and Clifford R. Starkey as waist gunner.  Starkey became a POW but Quinn 
evaded capture and made it back to England.

Claytor, Nutting, Burgin and Bailey also were successful in evading capture and, 
after months with the underground, got back to England. Kenny Lorch was finally 
made a POW after hiding out nearly eight months

It was the 10th mission for most of the crew but only number two for Hinton.

When questioned, after the war, as to Musante, Claytor had this to say: "He was a 
strange boy and was frequently given to air sickness.  I think he was actually afraid 
of the air.  However, I mentioned having him removed from the crew several times 
but he always persuaded me to keep him.  He seemed to be brave and courageous 
except I believe he had an inherent fear of the air.  I admired him very much and 
have never seen him fail in anything but I do believe he was afraid to bail out. 
 
Crew #11   Continued


Charles Bailey's statement as regards Musante was as follows: "Musante was the TG
and I was the WG.  I always took a personal interest in him because I was older then 
he, and he seemed to depend on me to a great extent.  He always had trouble 
hearing over the intercam and I always made it a point to be sure that he always 
understood the cammands given over the intercom so when the pilot gave the 
command to bail out I checked with Musante and he started making preparations 
to bail out.  We both went to the escape hatch and I pulled the emergency release, 
and Musante stepped up to jumpl but for same reason he changed his mind, and 
motioned for me to jump first. Because two engines were on fire, and the plane 
seemed to be going down fast, I couldn't see any reason to waste ,more time, so I 
jumped. After my chute opened, I tried to keep my eye on the plane to see how 
many chutes opened but all I could ever see was eight chutes.

The underground organization that helped me told me that one of the crew 
members was killed when the plane went dcwn because his chute hung on the 
plane and fram their description I knew it was Musante.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Regensburg DATE: 1943-08-17  
AIRCRAFT: "Alice From Dallas" (42-5867) CAUSE: FLAK-Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 4947