Larned Crew - Assigned 753rd Squadron - May 26, 1944
Transferred to 388th Bomb Group
|1Lt||John I B Larned||0693287||Pilot||01-Jul-44||TRSF||Transferred to 560BS 388BG|
|2Lt||Hugh W Cramer||0760792||Co-pilot||02-Jul-44||TRSF||Transferred to 560BS 388BG|
|2Lt||George D Legh-Page||0702058||Bombardier||03-Jul-44||TRSF||Transferred to 560BS 388BG|
|2Lt||Lester F Patterson||0701276||Navigator||04-Jul-44||TRSF||Transferred to 560BS 388BG|
|S/Sgt||Richard F Elberfeld||16080249||Radio/Radar Crewman||06-May-45||CT||Rest Home Leave AAF 524|
|S/Sgt||George Makar, Jr||32806535||Flight Engineer||04-Jul-44||TRSF||Transferred to 560BS 388BG|
|S/Sgt||Charles E Moss||36814474||Armorer-Gunner||Jan-45||CT||Transferred to 70RD|
|S/Sgt||Edward N Valenzuela||39282764||Aerial Gunner||01-Aug-44||UNK||Promoted to S/Sgt|
|S/Sgt||Samuel J Simpson, Jr||34736450||Aerial Gunner||01-Aug-44||UNK||Promoted to S/Sgt|
|S/Sgt||Max F Johnson||36455975||Aerial Gunner||Jan-45||CT||Transferred to 70RD|
John Larned and crew were one of ten specially trained AZON crews who were assigned to the 458th in the spring of 1944. Originally intended for duty in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater, their orders were changed en route and they flew to England instead.
The four officers, flight engineer and radio operator that had trained together arrived in England in May 1944, along with Corporal Elmer M. Roundtree, an Electronics Technician assigned to keep the AZON equipment in good working order. The four gunners, not onboard the AZON aircraft en route to the combat zone, continued on to the CBI, being replaced by four different gunners once the crew arrived in England.
Their tenure in the 458th was short. Two AZON
crews along with members of a third, were transferred to the 388th
Bombardment Group (H) at Knettishall in July 1944. While they may have participated in the Aphrodite Project, the combat records
and status of the crew with this group is unknown. Three gunners of
Larned's crew, Sgt's Valenzuela, Simpson, and Johnson, remained with the
753rd Squadron. S/Sgt Max Johnson successfully completed his combat tour in
December 1944 and was rotated back to the States in January 1945. No records exist to show that Sgt's Valenzuela and Simpson completed their tours, but it is most likely that they also flew a full complement of combat missions.
The status of S/Sgt Richard F. Eberfeld, radio operator is unknown, although it is most likely that he completed a combat tour. His MOS changed to that of a Radar Crewman and he is last shown in the records as being sent on Rest Home Leave in May 1945.
Going to the 388th along with the officers and flight engineer of Larned's crew were four gunners from Captain Maurice E. Speer's AZON crew: Sgt Daniel A. Depasquale, Sgt Oliver F. Kirkendall, Sgt Bernard Maleski, and Sgt Cataldo Scatmacchia.
Larned's crew was credited with five combat sorties while with the 458th, all AZON missions, and all flown in the B-24 named A Dog's Life which the crew flew over from the States.
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|31-May-44||5 BRIDGES||AZ01||1||44-40281||Q||J4||1||A DOG'S LIFE|
|04-Jun-44||2 TACTICAL TARGETS||AZ03||2||44-40281||Q||J4||2||A DOG'S LIFE||BOMB RACK MALFUNCTION|
|08-Jun-44||UNSPECIFIED TARGETS||AZ04||--||44-40281||Q||J4||--||A DOG'S LIFE||ABANDONED - WEATHER|
|14-Jun-44||5 TARGETS||AZ06||3||44-40281||Q||J4||3||A DOG'S LIFE|
|15-Jun-44||3 RAILWAY BRIDGES||AZ07||4||44-40281||Q||J4||4||A DOG'S LIFE|
|22-Jun-44||Saumer/Tours - Bridges||AZ09||5||44-40281||Q||J4||5||A DOG'S LIFE|
B-24JAZ-155-CO 44-40277 J4 P Miss Used
B-24JAZ-155-CO 44-40281 J4 Q A Dog's Life
(Photos & A/C Profile: Mike Bailey)
Larned Crew Officers
Capt. Jack Larned - 388BG
Unidentified, Hugh Cramer, George Legh-Page
(Photo: George Legh-Page)