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LT  Charles A. VIA

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: CP

Lt. Charles A. Via (from the photo collection of John Luckadoo. The caption noted that Via and Luckadoo were both classmates together during training at Moody Field, Georgia). 

SERIAL #: O-798055 STATUS: SWA
MACR:

Comments1: 8 OCT 43 BREMEN (CRASHED AT LUDHAM) DSC

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

1st Lt Everett E.Blakely                   P     CPT
 2nd Lt Charles A.Via,Jr.                 CP   SWA  8/10/43  Bremen
1st Lt Joseph H." Bubbles" Payne      NAV  KIA   28/4/44 Sottevast  (With crew of W,G.Lakin - mission lead by Col. R.H. Kelly)
 2nd Lt James R.Douglas                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                           WG KIA   29/5/44 (with crew of B.L.Williams) Leipzig, Aircraft repair depot..
S/Sgt Lester W.Saunders                  TG KIA  8/10/43  Bremen

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 BREMEM 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
1st Lt Harry Crosby   NAV CPT     GROUP NAVIGATOR
 2nd Lt James R.Douglas  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           WG   KIA    29/5/44 LEIPZIG (with crew of B.L.Williams), Aircraft repair depot..
S/Sgt Lester W.Saunders       TG   KIA      8/10/43 BREMEN

VIA, CHARLES ASHLAND, JR.  DSC
Synopsis:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Charles Ashland Via, Jr., First Lieutenant (Air Corps), U.S. Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Co-Pilot of a B-17 Heavy Bomber in the 418th Bombardment Squadron, 100th Bombardment Group (H), 8th Air Force, while participating in a bombing mission on 8 October 1943, against enemy targets near Bremen, Germany in the European Theater of Operations. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by First Lieutenant Via 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. 96 (1943)
Home Town: Clifton Forge, Virginia

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Birth: 	Dec. 25, 1917
Death: 	May 7, 1965

 
Burial:
Holly Memorial Gardens 
Hollymead
Albemarle County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Good Shepherd

Charles Via in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charles Via in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charles Via in North Africa (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charlie Via in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charles Via in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charles Via in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charles Via, Lester Saunders, and Edmund Forkner in Algeria (from the collection of Edmund Forkner)

Charles Via and Harry Crosby (from the collection of Jim Potts)

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)

Back row (left): Charles Via; Front row (middle): Howard Hamilton; Front row (right): Paul Englert (photo courtesy of the family of Edmund Forkner and Jim Blakely). 

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

Forkner, Via, and Thornton in North Africa (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)

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)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 5323