Thanks for replies guys , yeah I made an error in the serial number it was indeed 42-5125 , the official history of the 305 states Nolan as Ball Turret Gunner but that contradicts the Deceased Personnel File , family history , the mssion records of June 11th and 13th where he is listed as waist gunner and to top it all off Nolan's records state his height at just short of five feet 10 inches which I'm sure you'll agree is pretty tall for a Ball Turret Gunner - I'll stick my neck out here and say I think the history is wrong on this one.
All my research points to the crew of June 13th being ' Ad Hoc ' in nature and they don't appear to have regularly flown together , indeed on June 13th Billy Nolan was expected in Ireland for a vacation to visit his relatives - he had done his 25 missions and was due to return to the US after his vacation - my father recalls the preparations made for his arrival in Ireland.
Despite all records suggesting that MACR 16205 deals with the loss on June 13th I assure you it does not - rather it refers to 42-24533 lost on June 22 1943 ( have it here in front of me ). Deceased personnel File actually states '' no MACR was done for this aircraft ( 42-5125 ) ''.
I wonder was '' Butch '' Sgt Nolan's ' regular ' aircraft and crew ?
Grant Higgs was indeed pilot of 42-5125 and was killed before the plane went into the water , Bombardier Lt. Stanley Van Dyke drowned trying to reach a dinghy , Right Waist Gunner Sgt. Granese was also badly wounded / killed before the plane crashed . 7 men made it into 2 dinghies but ultimately only 2 survived - the Deceased file makes for a harrowing read.
Just wondering if anyone knows anything about '' Butch '' and crew ?
post edited by Delancey - 2012/01/31 22:16:44