Piskin Crew - Assigned 753rd Squadron - 26 May 1944
|1Lt||Arnold A Piskin||T1228||Pilot||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|1Lt||Giordano Zanella||T2126||Co-pilot||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|F/O||Joseph M Feldman||T124708||Navigator||14-Mar-45||CT||From AAF 365 - DS to AAF 146|
|1Lt||Henry R Sonnenfeld||0693636||Bombardier||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|T/Sgt||William W Bothwell||34024894||Radio Operator||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|T/Sgt||Donald R Shannon||17083683||Flight Engineer||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|S/Sgt||Roy W Thomas||38419897||Armorer-Gunner||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|S/Sgt||Joseph B Schroeder||3672716?||Aerial Gunner||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
|S/Sgt||Norman L Hull||15332431||Aerial Gunner||10-Dec-44||CT||Rest Home Leave|
|S/Sgt||Verle C Erickson||1702241||Aerial Gunner||Jan-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD - Completed Tour|
Arnold Piskin 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 Tec4 Bernard H Kurs, an Electronics Technician assigned to keep the AZON equipment in good working order. The four gunners, not on board 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.
This crew was together throughout their entire tour and finished the required number of combat missions at approximately the same time in December 1944. All of the crew were sent to the Casual Pool 70th Replacement Depot for return to the States in January 1945 except for F/O Joseph M. Feldman, navigator. He was transferred to the 389th Bomb Group at Hethel on December 30, 1944.
Members of Arnold Piskin's family have created an incredible website at www.howlingbanshee.com. Don Shannon, the crew's engineer and top turret gunner kept a very detailed diary during the war and it can be seen in its entirety at the Howling Banshee site. It has been invaluable in certain areas of my research on crews and aircraft in the 458th. A tour of that amazing website is highly recommended.
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|14-Jun-44||5 TARGETS||AZ06||1||44-40273||T||J4||1||HOWLING BANSHEE|
|15-Jun-44||3 RAILWAY BRIDGES||AZ07||2||44-40273||T||J4||2||HOWLING BANSHEE|
|20-Jun-44||NOBALL FRANCE||REC||NTO||42-95008||R||J3||--||UNKNOWN 035||MSN #3 RECALL|
|11-Jul-44||MUNICH||88||ABT||42-100431||B||J4||--||BOMB-AH-DEAR||#4 ENG CYL BLOWN|
|25-Jul-44||ST. LO AREA "B"||98||7||44-40273||T||J4||6||HOWLING BANSHEE|
|28-Jul-44||LEIPHEIM & CREEL A/F||SCR||--||44-40273||T||J4||--||HOWLING BANSHEE||BRIEFED AND SCRUBBED|
|17-Aug-44||LE FOULONS BRIDGE||AZ11||16||44-40273||T||J4||17||HOWLING BANSHEE||10/10 CLOUD - NO DROP|
|24-Aug-44||HANNOVER||117||18||44-40273||T||J4||19||HOWLING BANSHEE||ABORT - SORTIE|
|25-Aug-44||MOERDIJK, NETH||AZ12||19||44-40273||T||J4||20||HOWLING BANSHEE|
|26-Aug-44||MOERDIJK, NETH||AZ13||20||44-40273||T||J4||21||HOWLING BANSHEE||NO DROP - SORTIE CREDIT|
|01-Sep-44||RAVENSTEIN, HOL||AZ14||21||44-40201||N||J4||16||SILVER CHIEF|
|08-Sep-44||KARLSRUHE||123||ASSY||41-28697||Z||Z5||A14||SPOTTED APE||ASSEMBLY CREW|
|18-Sep-44||HORSHAM to CLASTRES||TR02||--||42-52616||Q||44BG||T1||GLORY BEE||PFF|
|19-Sep-44||HORSHAM to CLASTRES||TR03||--||41-28735||S||J4||T2||V|
|09-Nov-44||METZ AREA||145||29||44-40273||T||J4||33||HOWLING BANSHEE|
|26-Nov-44||BIELEFELD||150||31||44-40283||I||J4||22||LASSIE COME HOME||8AF/K-21|
|28-Dec-44||ST. WENDEL||160||36||44-40277||P||J4||28||MISS USED|
Horsham St Faith - 1944
B-24JAZ-155-CO 44-40273 J4 T Howling Banshee
On November 12, 1944, the Howling Banshee (40273-T) met with misfortune when her squadron mate Table Stuff (40285-H) ran into her during a maintenance accident and chewed up the entire tail section with its props. Although both aircraft were damaged to such an extent that they were initially considered write-offs, the Howling Banshee was spared after the tail section of another damaged aircraft, Shack Time (40275-L), was attached to her forward half. All three of these aircraft were original AZON ships.
Lt. Dick Ayers of the 3rd Strategic Air Depot at RAF Watton decided that the two aircraft sections could successfully be joined together. The task was carried out at the aircraft's home base of Horsham St. Faith as the two sections were too large to be transported to Watton. It took a team of twelve men just 29 days to complete the work, successfully joining the two halves together at the center of the bomb bay doors.
Aircraft inspectors found that less than one quarter of the variations allowed at the factory had been used in completing the procedure. Following completion of the work, the Howling Banshee was flight tested by Capt. Henry Miller, and not only did it fly perfectly, it cruised at 10 mph faster than the average B-24, thus making it, "one of the fastest B-24J's in the ETO."
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT
Approximately 0920, 12 November 1944, B-24J A/C 44-0285 [sic] was sitting 10 yards from east door, Hangar #4, AAF 123. Plane was facing west on wet, oily concrete, particularly under left main gear. Hangar door was open. There were no wheel chocks under tires. Master Sergeant Cloud and Sergeant Symonds, crew chiefs, had parking brakes locked and were busy adjusting No. 1 supercharger (electronic) and did not notice that A/C was pivoting on right gear. By the time A/C could be stopped it had slid into the tail of A/C (B-24J 273) which was parked just inside hangar and seriously damaged both A/Cs. The prop of A/C 285 chewed elevator and tail turret of A/C 273, wrecking both parts. The left wing of A/C 285 hit left rudder of A/C 273 resulting in large hole of former and left rudder damage to A/C 285.
No one was injured.
a) That wheel chocks be used at all possible times, especially in run-ups near obstructions.
b) That no run-ups be allowed near hangars or other A/C.