458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Crew 12 - Assigned 752nd Squadron - October 21, 1943

Standing: Donald Buck - TTG, George Goudreault - CP, Beverly Beckley - P, Robert Popper - B, Angelo Calitri - E
Kneeling: David Oliver - RO, Ed Worrell - BTG, Charles Burton - NTG

(Photo: AFRHA / IDs: James Rhew)

Crew disbanded late in training

Rank First Name MI  Last Name  Serial #  Pos Date Status  Notes
2Lt Beverly C Beckley 0745856 Pilot 29-Dec-43 TRSF Asgd to 470BG Mt Home, Id
1Lt George L Gouderault 0810130 Co-pilot Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
2Lt William C Lane 0811062 Navigator 29-Apr-44 INT Sweden w/ D. Morris Crew
1Lt Robert R Popper 0729498 Bombardier 31-Jul-44 POW Trsf & shot down w/453rd BG
Pvt David B Oliver 16063925 Radio Operator 16-Jan-45 UNK Reclassified 757 to 756
T/Sgt Angelo   Calitri 11114173 Flight Engineer Aug-44 CT Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross
S/Sgt Charles B Burton 14065831 Nose Turret Gunner 30-Apr-44 UNK Awards - Air Medal (GO294)
S/Sgt Donald J. Buck 37541479 Top Turret Gunner 27-May-44 INT Switzerland w/ Nedrow Crew
Sgt Edward R Worrell 33580430 Ball Turret Gunner 01-Apr-44 UNK Placed on Flight Status
S/Sgt James I. Rhew 34665723 Tail Gunner 27-May-44 INT Switzerland w/ Nedrow Crew

Pilot Lt Beverly Beckley was transferred to the 470BG from Tonopah, NV in December 1943.  James Rhew stated that he came down with pneumonia and was removed from the crew.   Records are sketchy, but it appears that without a pilot, the members of Crew 12 were split up and sent to other crews.

Lt Robert Popper, bombardier, appears to have been transferred to the lead crew of Capt Robert Lamb in the 753BS.  He went to the 389BG with them in April 1944 and was subsequently shot down flying lead for the 453BG in July 1944.

Two other crew members, Sgt David B. Oliver, radio operator; and Sgt Edward R. Worrell are also on the November 1943 combat crew roster, but their names only appear one additional time on SO 84 AAF 123 dated April 1, 1944.  These Special Orders contain the names of all enlisted combat crewmen in the 458th, and these two are listed with the other EM's on their crew. No further mention of them can be found.

One crewman, S/Sgt Charles B. Burton, Jr., listed as nose turret gunner for this crew, was awarded the Air Medal in April 1944, but his name is not recorded further in the records.  He is shown in a mid-March 1944 photo with Lt Grant's crew (16), but it is not known if he completed a tour of missions.

2Lt George L. Goudreault, co-pilot; and T/Sgt Angelo Calitri, flight engineer apparently completed a tour of 30 combat missions as they were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in August 1944.  Goudreault is listed as flying co-pilot with Crew #1, pilot 1Lt Odis Taylor on several missions where load lists are available.

Three members of Crew 12 were interned; one in Sweden and two in Switzerland, although on different dates and while flying with different crews.  2Lt William C. Lane, navigator, flew with the newly arrived 2Lt Dale R. Morris crew on their second mission. A victim of FW190 attacks near Berlin, witnesses stated that one engine was knocked out and the aircraft went into an "easy spin."  They saw four chutes emerge before the aircraft disappeared into the clouds.  1Lt Edwin A. Grant (pilot, Crew 16), listed on MACR 4451 as Instructor Pilot for this crew, stated that, "No crew member bailed out... aircraft landed in neutral Sweden with all crew members aboard."

S/Sgt Donald J Buck and Sgt James I. Rhew, listed on Crew 12 as top turret gunner and tail gunner respectively, were most likely assigned to Crew 18, pilot 2Lt James E. Nedrow.  They are on Nedrow's loading list for the April 22, 1944 Hamm, Germany mission.  On May 27, 1944, on the mission to Neunkirchen, Germany, Nedrow's B-24 landed in Switzerland with the number 4 engine feathered.  (See Crew 18)

1Lt George Goudreault - Co-pilot

(Courtesy: David Morse)

S/Sgt Charles B. Burton