458th Bombardment Group (H)

  Honoring those who served with the 458th BG during World War II

Crew 62 - Assigned 755th Squadron - October 7, 1943

Standing: Ralph Clizer - G, Edward Badsky - E, Wilton Kirton - B, George Clark - N, Frank Curtis - CP, Lewis Burtis - P
Kneeling: William House - G, Anthony Prystauk - TG, Ralph Oberste - RO, Mark Johnson - NTG

(Photo: AFHRA)

Completed Tour

BurtisCrew
 Rank  Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Comments
1Lt Lewis P Burtis 0747204 Pilot Jul-44 CT Trsf to 12RD AAF 591
1Lt Frank W Curtis 0807700 Co-pilot Jul-44 CT Trsf to 2nd CCRC Group AAF 228
1Lt George H Clark 0808184 Navigator Aug-44 CT Left for 8th AFRD & CPRD at AAF 591
1Lt Wilford W Kirton 0752867 Bombardier Jul-44 CT Trsf to 12RD AAF 591
T/Sgt Ralph Oberste 37057061 Radio Operator Jul-44 CT Trsf to 2nd CCRC Group AAF 228
T/Sgt Mark H Johnson 37232956 Flight Engineer Jul-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Edward T Badsky 13128004 Aerial Gunner/2E  21-Jan-44  UNK Mvmnt Ord HQ Sta #11 - Shpmnt 1458PZ 
S/Sgt William M House 15373991 Aerial Gunner/2E Jul-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Anthony J Prystauk  32766758  Armorer-Gunner Jul-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Ralph B Clizer 19012268 Armorer-Gunner Jul-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross

Crew 62 trained in Tonopah, Nevada during fall/winter 1943.  They flew the Southern Route to England in January 1944.  Around this time, S/Sgt Edward T. Badsky, the crew's engineer, was transferred to the 90th Bomb Group "Jolly Rogers" 5th Air Force in the Pacific Theater.  The reason for this transfer is unknown.  Records indicate that he was replaced as engineer by Sgt Scott Fogg.


The crew flew the February 25th diversion mission in support of the Eighth Air Force's "Big Week".  They aborted this mission with mechanical difficulties. Their first combat mission was also the group's first combat mission on March 2, 1944.  On this day the group's target was the marshalling yards in Frankfurt, Germany.


On March 16th, the 458th's assigned target was the Dornier aircraft factory in Friedrichshafen.  Burtis, flying their B-24, Big-Time Operator caught a load of flak which knocked out two engines on one side of the aircraft.  The engineer managed to shift gasoline to the two good engines in time and they made it back to England, landing at West Malling.  Big-Time Operator would not fly again for more than a month.


At some point towards the end of April, co-pilot Frank Curtis took over Crew 61 from pilot Maurice Bittler who was removed from flying status after flying nine missions.  Curtis is on the records as flying 24 missions between April 27th and June 15th, as first pilot, most likely all with Crew 61.  He is pictured with Burtis' crew on what is assumed to be their last mission on July 2nd, so it is possible that he came back over to this crew as a co-pilot, or he filled in on this mission.  The man who took his place as co-pilot on Burtis' crew is not known.


All of the crewmen are shown as being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in July 1944, and going on rest home leave the same month.  The officers went to Roke Manor and the enlisted men to Pangborne House.


Missions - 1st Lt Lewis Burtis - Pilot

BurtisMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
02-Mar-44 FRANKFURT 1 1 42-52441 I J3 1 LAST CARD LOUIE
05-Mar-44 BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC 3 2 41-29288 L J3 2 BIG-TIME OPERATOR Capt CHAMBERLAIN - Lead
09-Mar-44 BRANDENBURG 6 3 42-52441 I J3 4 LAST CARD LOUIE  
16-Mar-44 FRIEDRICHSHAFEN 8 4 41-29288 L J3 5 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
22-Mar-44 BERLIN 11 ABT 42-100425 D J3 -- THE BIRD #2 ENG #1 CYL PLUGS DEAD
24-Mar-44 ST. DIZIER 13 5 41-29359 J J3 6 TAIL WIND  
26-Mar-44 BONNIERES 14 6 42-52441 I J3 11 LAST CARD LOUIE  
08-Apr-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 17 7 41-29305 N Z5 6 I'LL BE BACK/HYPOCHONDRIAC   
09-Apr-44 TUTOW A/F 18 NTO 41-28719 Q J3 -- PADDLEFOOT #3 START MOTOR OUT 
10-Apr-44 BOURGES A/F 19 8 41-28719 Q J3 10 PADDLEFOOT  
11-Apr-44 OSCHERSLEBEN 20 9 41-28719 Q J3 11 PADDLEFOOT  
13-Apr-44 LECHFELD A/F 21 10 42-100425 D J3 7 THE BIRD  
18-Apr-44 BRANDENBURG 22 11 41-29359 J J3 14 TAIL WIND  
19-Apr-44 PADERBORN A/F 23 12 42-52441 I J3 16 LAST CARD LOUIE  
20-Apr-44 SIRACOURT 24 13 42-52441 I J3 17 LAST CARD LOUIE  
22-Apr-44 HAMM M/Y 25 ABT 41-29359 J J3 -- TAIL WIND #1 OIL PRES DROP
27-Apr-44 BONNIERES 29 14 41-29288 L J3 9 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
27-Apr-44 BLAINVILLE-SUR-L'EAU 30 ABT 41-29288 L J3 -- BIG-TIME OPERATOR #4 PROP GOV STUCK
29-Apr-44 BERLIN 31 15 41-29288 L J3 10 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
01-May-44 MARQUISE/MIMOYECQUES  32 16 41-29288 D J3 12 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
04-May-44 BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM 34 17 41-29288 L J3 13 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
05-May-44 SOTTEVAST 35 18 41-29288 L J3 14 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
07-May-44 OSNABRUCK 36 19 41-29288 L J3 15 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
08-May-44 BRUNSWICK 37 20 41-29288 L J3 16 BIG-TIME OPERATOR  
10-May-44 DIEPHOLZ REC -- 41-29288 L J3 -- BIG-TIME OPERATOR RECALL BEFORE EC
11-May-44 EPINAL 39 21 42-51097 T J3 1 UNKNOWN 022  
12-May-44 BOHLEN 40 22 42-51097 T J3 2 UNKNOWN 022  
13-May-44 TUTOW A/F 41 23 42-51097 T J3 3 UNKNOWN 022  
20-May-44 RHEIMS A/D 43 24 42-51097 T J3 5 UNKNOWN 022  
21-May-44 SIRACOURT 44 25 42-51097 T J3 6 UNKNOWN 022  
29-May-44 TUTOW A/F 50 26 42-51097 T J3 11 UNKNOWN 022  
31-May-44  BERTRIX 52 27 42-51097 T J3 13 UNKNOWN 022  
02-Jun-44 STELLA/PLAGE 53 28 42-51097 T J3 14 UNKNOWN 022  
04-Jun-44 BOURGES A/F 54 29 42-51097 T J3 15 UNKNOWN 022  
06-Jun-44 COASTAL AREAS 56 30 41-28719 Q J3 31 PADDLEFOOT MSN #1
08-Jun-44 PONTAUBAULT 60 31 42-51097 T J3 17 UNKNOWN 022  
11-Jun-44 BEAUVAIS 63 ABT 42-95183 U J3 -- BRINEY MARLIN FIRE IN ELEC SYST
12-Jun-44 EVREUX/FAUVILLE 64 32 42-51179 P J3 9 DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE  
14-Jun-44 DOMLEGER 65 33 42-51097 T J3 19 UNKNOWN 022  
02-Jul-44 COUBRONNE 83 34 42-95316 N J3 24 PRINCESS PAT


Missions - 1st Lt Frank Curtis - Pilot

CurtisMissions
Date  Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn  Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn  A/C Name  Comments
27-Apr-44 BONNIERES 29 ABT 42-52274 H J3 -- UNKNOWN 029 #2,4 SUPER CHARGER'S
27-Apr-44 BLAINVILLE-SUR-L'EAU  30 1 42-7516 K J3 1 GATOR  
29-Apr-44 BERLIN 31 2 41-28719 Q J3 19 PADDLEFOOT  
01-May-44 LIEGE M/Y 33 3 41-29288 L J3 11 BIG-TIME OPERATOR   
05-May-44 SOTTEVAST 35 4 42-110059 E J3 10 UNKNOWN 056  
07-May-44 OSNABRUCK 36 5 42-52441 I J3 26 LAST CARD LOUIE  
08-May-44 BRUNSWICK 37 ABT 42-52274 H J3 -- UNKNOWN 029 LOCK WOULDN'T HOLD GEAR UP 
10-May-44 DIEPHOLZ REC -- 42-95008 R J3 -- UNKNOWN 035 RECALL BEFORE EC
11-May-44 EPINAL 39 6 42-52441 I J3 28 LAST CARD LOUIE  
12-May-44 BOHLEN 40 7 42-95018 J Z5 9 OLD DOC'S YACHT FLAK HIT KNOCK OUT OXY
13-May-44 TUTOW A/F 41 8 41-28719 Q J3 24 PADDLEFOOT  
19-May-44 BRUNSWICK 42 9 42-51097 T J3 4 UNKNOWN 022  
20-May-44 RHEIMS A/D 43 10 42-95316 N J3 1 PRINCESS PAT  
25-May-44 MULHOUSE M/Y 47 11 42-95316 N J3 4 PRINCESS PAT  
27-May-44 NEUNKIRCHEN 48 12 42-95316 N J3 5 PRINCESS PAT  
28-May-44 ZEITZ 49 13 42-95316 N J3 6 PRINCESS PAT  
30-May-44 ZWISCHENAHN A/F 51 14 42-95316 N J3 8 PRINCESS PAT  
31-May-44  BERTRIX 52 15 42-95316 N J3 9 PRINCESS PAT  
06-Jun-44 COASTAL AREAS 56 16 42-95316 N J3 13 PRINCESS PAT MSN #1
07-Jun-44 LISIEUX 59 17 42-95316 N J3 15 PRINCESS PAT  
08-Jun-44 PONTAUBAULT 60 18 42-95316 N J3 16 PRINCESS PAT  
10-Jun-44 CHATEAUDUN 61 19 41-29342 S J3 21 ROUGH RIDERS  
14-Jun-44 DOMLEGER 65 20 42-95316 N J3 18 PRINCESS PAT  
15-Jun-44 GUYANCOURT 66 21 42-95316 N J3 19 PRINCESS PAT


Crew 62 - Final Mission - July 2, 1944

Standing: Ralph Clizer, Wilton Kirton, George Clark, Frank Curtis, Lewis Burtis
Kneeling: Scott Fogg (?), Anthony Prystauk, William House, Ralph Oberste, Mark Johnson

(Photo: Dee George)

Escape Photos

Frank Curtis, George Clark, Wilton Kirton


(Photos: Jim Olney)


B-24H-10-CF 41-29288 L J3  Big-Time Operator

755th Squadron Commander Major Donald Jamison with Big-Time Operator


(Photo: Rick Rokciki)