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Ball Turret Operator

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moorox
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2008/04/03 18:20:07 (permalink)
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Ball Turret Operator

Looking for information on a Kenneth T. Tucker -12067092. He was with the 366th 4/43 to ?.  He went over with  Lt. Robert Roddy's crew.             thanks   Bill
Ian White
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/04 06:02:46 (permalink)
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Hi Bill...
Following may not exactly help you, but here goes...
 
I have checked records for 305th association here, and from the 1976 period to current there does not appear to be a Kenneth Tucker 366th amongst membership, either past or current. On first appearance it looks as if he has never joined our association post war. I had a look at the list for deceased after leaving Cheveston 1945, deceased personnel in recent years, again there is no Kenneth Tucker listed. I did a further check within the KIA list for those lost between 1942-45, which does have some errors and ommisions sadly, and again there is no listing for Kenneth Tucker.
 
There is a Terrell H. Tucker, KIA 29th March 1944. Flying as Waist Gunner aboard the William Wayenberg crew - mission to Brunswick Germany. Aircraft 42-38106 KY-B 366th Sqn. This B-17 crashed at Huxahl, Germany, cause unknown. I dont have the MACR number. Of the crew, only one survived.  Names on crew were
 
Edward S. Church Copilot
Thomas N. Stanford Nav
William A. Bracken Bomb
Gerald H. Cannon Eng TT
Arthur P. Carroll Rad Op
William H. Minton Ball T
Terrell H. Tucker Right W
Jerome J Helmer Left W - pow
John P. Sheppard Tail Gnr
 
I also found one other 'Tucker' - Emmett Tucker, killed 2nd March 1944. The info available does not confirm either his squadron or the circumstance. I did a cross check and cant place him on a any crew and aircraft on that day, known to have been lost in action, however, it may be that he was killed but the crew returned; in otherwords his was the only fatality. The date is quite a distance away from what you have posted, April of 1943, so with the wrong christen name and this, it may be a red herring.
 
Better news on Robert S. Roddy - Pilot.
 
Roddy was killed in action whilst flying as Co-pilot on the James Perry crew. Mission to St. Nazaire 29th May 1943. Aircraft 42-29792 KY-G 366th Sqn.
 
The fact that he is listed as Co-pilot may indicate that Roddy was sitting in on the Perry crew, gaining experience on his first mission? Or, Perry himself was part of Roddy's crew, watching over them and sharing his experience to what was in effect a new crew?? This did happen later in the war, but I am not too convinced his practce was happening at this early period; after all most crews were inexperienced and the group as a whole had only flown a minimal number of combat mssions. Crews were at a premium and for the most part were thrown directly into combat without this luxury afforded to later new crews arriving later in WW2.
 
All but one of this crew survived - Allaby the Tail Gunner became POW.
 
Whether any of the names on this crew mean anything in regards Kenneth Tucker remains to be seen. Crew were;
 
James Perry Pilot
Robert S. Roddy Co-pilot
Herbert N. Korenko Nav
Russell B. Rose Bomb
Charles L. Frutch Eng TT - pow
Harold R Perry Jr Rad Op
John R. Gemmel Ball T
Ralph A Vitello Right W
Michael Macinsky Left W
Raymond H. Allaby - pow
Ralph Ewin - Combat Photographer/extra.
 
All I can add is that even though there are no immediate records of Ken Tucker with the 305th, this may be because the records are not complete, and in a few cases there are errors which have not bee corrected and so have remained set in stone. If he survived WW2, he may never have known, or not have been traced, for our association. A great many veterans of the 305th remain AWOL in this respect.
 
If you could explain a little more your connection to Tucker, whether you are related family? Or other reasons for this search, plus any information you may already have about him, then I will try and help further if humanly possible.
 
Regards Ian White
 
 

Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

shooshoobaby
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/04 12:44:18 (permalink)
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Bill - Ian,
8th AF Roll of Honor / Bits and Pieces has Following:
T/Sgt. Stanley NMI Tucker - POW
RO - 305th BG , 422d Sq.
Shot Down - 4/4/43
Crashed Les Andelys , FR.
B - 17 # 42 - 5146 JJ S
Pilot - Lt. Herschel Ellis
2 KIA  8 POW  MACR # 15543
Mike
post edited by shooshoobaby - 2008/04/04 12:49:44
Ian White
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/04 13:25:49 (permalink)
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Hi Mike
Tks for th details on Herschell Ellis crew. Without thinking  had already pulled up the full crew lit as a posting on another subject today! 72 Hr Blitz - Paris and Antwerp Missions 65 years on... Ellis and his men were indeed shot down on the Paris Billancourt raid of 4th April 43. I dont know if Stanley Tucker may be connected to Bill's earlier questions?
 
Ian W

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moorox
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/04 15:46:54 (permalink)
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Thanks  Ian,  I have my father's crew list he went over with and Kenneth t. Tucker was the Ball Turret Gunner. I found all crew members but him. Could he have been put in another bomb group?                                  Bill
Ian White
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/05 03:37:54 (permalink)
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Hi Bill
This is a puzzle. If you have the remaining names to the crew, assuming from your earlier posts that this will be the Robert S. Roddy crew? Then he should have certainly arrived at the 305th with them. There is a possibility that he might have been moved to another group, but I find that unusual at this period in the war. Certainly from mid 1944, crews were being reduced from ten to nine men at the 305th as well as many other groups. But this was April 1943, and the air war was only just getting started. Crews were flying as a complete ten man complement as a minimum.
 
Because There appears to be no refrence to Kenneth Tucker in what records we have available, there can be a couple of options. As I said before, he either has never been traced post war, and so has not become a member of the veterans association. Or some how, he never had a connection with the group? Which contradicts what seems to be the case based on him being a member of the Robert Roddy crew. Regretably what documents I have to hand here will not be sufficient and detailed enough to cross check the Roddy crew and Kenneth Tucker.
 
You didnt say if you have any supprting documents from your Father? Any clues might help, especiall any photographs with notes or remarks written on reverse. Names especially will open up the investigation. Official servce records would be ideal, showing induction into the service, training locations etc. But I guess you have already travelled down ths route??
 
You have my email, if you wish to take this further.
 
Best of luck!
Regards Ian

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moorox
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/05 19:30:12 (permalink)
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Hello Ian,  Tucker  was part of the following crew:
                    Replacement Crew 35A sent to Station 105
                        P-Robert S. Roddy   KIA
                      F/O- Raymond E. Halliday POW
                        N- John H. Card     KIA
                        B- Leroy Whittaker  25 mission
                       T/T -Thomas C. Shaver  Evaded
                        R- Earl Sell    KIA
                      B/T - Kenneth T. Tucker   ????
                       L/W -Micheal Macinsky   KIA
                       R/W -Anthony D. Marandola  Evaded
                        Tail - Duanne J. Lawhead  Evaded  
                                                                      Thanks for the help ,Bill
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/05 20:15:51 (permalink)
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Bill-
F/O Raymond E. Holliday( Spelling?) Crew
Shot down 9/6/43.
Shaver , Marandola , Lawhead on this Crew - Evaded.
Have you requested his Personnel records?
Mike
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/06 00:41:35 (permalink)
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Hello Ian & Bill,
 
I've been going through my records and find a  K T Tucker flew with Bill Whitson in 41-24529 JJ-L on Diversion One 17/11/1942 although I can only find Stanley Tucker flying across the Atlantic in 41-24525. There appears to be some confusion between the two Tuckers as I've also found an ambiguous reference to a S/Sgt Tucker posted to 366BS from CCR centre #11 on 4/05/1943.Also all my records never show either Tucker in the ball turret position.
 
Cheers, Graham
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/06 06:53:41 (permalink)
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Hello Bill, thanks for your crew list.
From making another search, I can with no doubt state that sadly the 305th records are not at all complete! But, the following info may be of worth to your searches, and may be new to you?
 
Co-Pilot on Roddy's crew did receive promotion to 1st Pilot, taking over his own crew. This must have occured not long after he and Roddy arrived at Chelveston? Correct spelling on his surname is 'HALLIDAY, Raymond E.' Halliday flew mission to Strasbourg 6th Sept 1943. Crew suffered both flak and fighters, aircraft came down near french coast Dieppe. Aircraft flown that mission ws 41-24591 RIGOR MORTIS Fuselage code KY-B. One of the first riginal complement of B-17's with the goup in October 1942. Amongst the crew on Halliday's plane that day were Duane Lawhead as Tail Gunner, Thomas C. Shaver as Engineer Top Turret Gunner and Anthony Marandola as Right Waist Gunner. As you have said, Halliday became PoW, Lawhead, Shaver and Marandola all evaded.
 
I have no records-info on Shaver or Marandola; indeed Shaver and Marandola have not been listed post war in the membership, so their whereabouts-status is unknown.
 
Lawhead however was known to the group postwar. Indeed I had priviledge in meeting Duane several times before his death. I recall he evaded with French Underground, until finally being taken at night to rendezvous with a British Royal Navy MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat) on the beach. The practice at that time was to land partisans, spies, and supplies for the underground from UK by MTB, and if possible pick up passengers for return. A tricky operation right under the noses of the Germans! Although  have no firm evidence to support this, but I guess that Marandola and Shaver would have been with Lawhead, and so made the same escape route out of France, either that same night of very soon after. Date of Lawhead's escape by MTB is said to be 2nd December 1943.
 
Of Halliday's crew - 1 KIA, 3 Evaded and 6 PoW's.
 
Missing Air Crew number for this is 396.
 
One other name from Roddy's crew I can help with is;
 
Earl L. Sells. Sells was flying with the William C. Wetzel crew on 4th July 1943, Independence Day, when their plane was hit. Target was Nantes France. Aircraft flown was 42-5053 'BLOODY TANGIER SHOW' fuselage code KY-L 366th Squadron. This particular B-17F was used in the movie '1000 plane raid'.
 
Missing Air Crew Report is said to be (?) 14439
 
By coincidence, the story of Wetzel and is mission, and more directly the story of Wetzel's Navigator Ralph D. McKee was recently printed in our group newsletter. A memorial at the crash site in France has also recently been dedicated. McKee evaded on foot through the border with and into Spain. Again I have mett several times over the years with Ralph, but sadly have not heard me mention anything concerning Earl Sells.
 
My guess is that the Roddy crew were seperated and placed on a number of crews, dictated by the needs of the time. Losses were mounting on those early raids, and replacement crews available were very limited.
 
Leroy Whittaker along with John H. Card are not recorded in the paperwork available here, which isnt helping the investigations! Once again, regrettably it seems the past record keeping and archive research from the 1970's and 1980's have fallen short in being 100%. Status on Whittaker is unknown, and John Card somehow is not listed as KIA in the lists prepared in 1980.
 
As can be seen from Graham's posting there is also a grey area concerning Kenneth Tucker.
 
No sure what else I can help on? Please do ask, and if I can I will.
 
Regards Ian

Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

moorox
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/06 08:16:39 (permalink)
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Thanks All ,
        John H. Card  was  KIA  6-30-44  and  buried  in the American Cemetery in North Africa.                How he ended up there?, Still searching.
        Leroy Whittaker {my father} completed 25 missions  and retired as a Major after 39 yrs.           
            
                   All of crew went over April 1943
 
                                     Thanks again.
       
              
          
                 
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/08 05:37:51 (permalink)
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Hi Bill. Thanks for further information. Interesting to see that John Card was killed in action June of 1944. That gives a lengthy period of service in the combat theatre?
 
Further suggestions, if you have not already thought of them or previously explored:-
 
Route on which Roddy and his original crew would have flown from ZI to commence combat duty. I am not sure, but I think the delivery of aircraft was, due to poor weather on the North Atlantic northern route and it being therefore closed, would have been via the southern route coming into North Africa. From there the planes and crews would stage out to southern England, making land fall usually at the coast of Cornwall or south wales. This may give a clue as to why John Card was in North Africa. He may have either been reassigned upon arrival at that point in their journey from the states, or he might have volunteered for some reason???? 
 
Alternatively, If he did actually complete the transit flight with Roddy and landed in UK, he may have become involved in something else. I have read somewhere that the 92nd BG at Podington (But at that time located at Alconbury), the next nearest base to the 305thBG, were deploying allegedly three B-17's plus crews, flying as navigational 'mother' ships; The purpose was to guide flights of P-38 Lightnings from the UK to North Africa. Now, again its a long shot but Card may have either been reassigned to the 92nd BG, perhaps just temporary at the start, to fly on those flights to North Africa. Either that or again he volunteered?? Once in North Africa, he may have found himself there 'for the duration' and had no choice to return to Roddy??
 
I also had thoughts on the 301st and 97th BG's shipping out from UK, again to North Africa, but cant see that the time frame fits with Roddy's crew and John Card being in UK. They, 301st and 97th,  left for the 12thAF seveal months before they arrived. However, it may be worth a check into the 301st and 97th BG's operations from North Africa, to see if or how John Card may figure with either o them may be?
 
Having suggested all this, I assume because you know his date of death, that you have his group-squadron at that time??
 
Above is just a suggestion! Cant think of anything else which may help you, but if something does come to mind I'll let you know. Again, best of luck in your searches.....
 
Ian W

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moorox
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RE: Ball Turret Operator 2008/04/08 12:22:58 (permalink)
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 HI Ian,  Crew Traveled the northern route .I have paperwork on that. As for Card , He may have pulled a second tour[?] Don't know.      
                                       I will search on,


                                Many Thanks , Bill
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Re: RE: Ball Turret Operator 2010/01/04 11:55:35 (permalink)
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Hi all.

Ian White....

I have recently found my dad after 28 years. And trying to find out a bit more regarding my grandfather. Robert Keith Allaby. I know he was a tail gunner, and was at some point a POW. Other than that a have no clue, as him and my dad grew apart.

I noticed you have an Allaby (Raymond) in some info dated 4/4/08 i just wondered if this was definatly correct.

As the only thing i have really found is this..... http://www.absa39-45.asso.fr/Pertes%20Bretagne/Loire%20Atlantique/pertes_usaaf_loire_atlantique.html (please look at link and see if you think that could be wrong. Ive just started and have really not much to go by.

If you or anybody do have any info on a ROBERT KEITH ALLABY (canadian) would really really appreciate anything you can find.

Thanks loads
Luke
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