458th Bombardment Group (H)

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

Clutter Crew - Assigned 752nd Squadron - February 13, 1945

Kneeling, left: Frank Furrelle - N

If you can identify anyone in this crew, please contact me.

(Photo: Lynn Kafalas)

Clutter Crew - Flying at the End of Hostilities

Rank Name Serial # Crew Pos Date Status Comments
2Lt Leland W Clutter 02058107 Pilot 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
2Lt Horace J Reisner 02058086 Co-pilot 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
F/O Frank K Furrelle T134904 Navigator 12-Apr-45 FEH DS to 482BG - H2X Trng 
S/Sgt Calvin L Hebenstreit 36652534 Radio Operator 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
S/Sgt John G Kafalas 42003143 Flight Engineer 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
Sgt Paul J Desmond 11110326 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
Sgt Lawson L Glisson, Jr 34826773 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
Sgt Clifford C Reed, Jr 17132252 Aerial Gunner 17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS
Sgt Gerard E Roberts 31445850 Armorer-Gunner  17-May-45 FEH Transferred to 755BS

The crew of 2Lt. Leland W. Clutter arrived at Horsham St. Faith on February 13, 1945, 72 days prior to the end of the air war over Europe.  They were assigned to the 752nd Squadron and would remain there until the end of the war.  The crew flew their first mission on March 9, 1945 to the marshaling yards at Osnabruck, Germany.  The reason for the long delay in the start of their combat tour is unknown.  Most crews, after arriving and going through a week or so of indoctrination and training flights, would be in combat fairly quickly.

Their second mission, on March 14th, was to the marshaling yards at Holzwickede, Germany, just east of Dortmund.  They were flying an older B-24H-30-DT 42-51206 7V S named The Pied Piper that had been taken over the Continent by a number of other crews 52 times during the preceding months.  According to 458BG mission reports, they lost their #3 engine near the Initial Point and were forced to turn for home.  The S2 (Intelligence) report states, “Four A/C are NYR (Not Yet Returned). A/C 206-S left formation vicinity 5100-0800 after losing No. 3 engine. Last seen under control heading for France.”  They made it safely to airfield B-53 near Merville, France, about 250 miles west of the target area. They were back at Horsham by March 18th, just in time to take part on the 458th’s last mission to Berlin.

On the March 21st mission to an airfield near Hesepe, Germany, the crew experienced mechanical difficulties and were forced to abort, returning to base after jettisoning their bombs in the Channel.  They completed the month of March with six combat missions to their credit, thus earning their first Air Medal.

The crew would fly an additional eight missions in April, including the raid on the airfield at Lechfeld, Germany on April 9th.  It was over the target that the 458th would suffer its 47th and final combat loss when the crew of 2Lt. Leonard Abramowitz (753BS) was shot down by flak.  Flying in the lead squadron, Clutter was positioned directly behind them, and must have had a horrifying view of the flaming aircraft dropping out of formation.  Of the nine men on Abramowitz’ crew, eight made it out safely, while nose turret gunner Sgt. Allen C. Rupp was killed in action.

The crew’s last mission was on April 15, 1945.  This was the first use of Napalm by the Eighth Air Force and was directed at the German pockets of resistance in and around the coastal area of Royan in southern France.  The crew had completed 14 missions granting them a second Air Medal which was awarded on April 21, 1945.

On May 17, 1945 the entire crew, except for navigator, F/O Frank K. Furrelle, was transferred to the 755th Squadron.  On April 12th, Furrelle had been sent on DS (Detached Service) to the 482BG at AAF102 Alconbury to receive training as an H2X (radar) navigator.  It is unknown if he completed this training or returned to Horsham when the war ended less than a month later.

Since they had not completed a full combat tour, it is very likely that the crew was held over during May and part of June in order to ferry one of the group’s Liberators back to the U.S.


Date Target 458th Msn Pilot Msn Serial RCL Sqdn A/C Msn A/C Name Comments
09-Mar-45 OSNABRUCK 200 1 42-50502 E 7V 44 LARRUPIN' LINDA  
18-Mar-45 BERLIN 206 3 42-100425 O 7V 68 THE BIRD  
19-Mar-45 LEIPHEIM 207 4 42-95316 H 7V 94 PRINCESS PAT  
21-Mar-45 HESEPE 209 ABT 42-50504 L 7V -- UNKNOWN 019 ABORT - #4 TURBO OUT
22-Mar-45 KITZINGEN 210 5 44-10487 R 7V 47 Girl on surfboard (no name)  
30-Mar-45 WILHELMSHAVEN 215 6 44-40424 F 7V 4 MONYA  
02-Apr-45 TIRSTROP ABN -- 44-40424 F 7V -- MONYA ABANDONED
04-Apr-45 PERLEBERG 217 7 44-40424 F 7V 6 MONYA  
05-Apr-45 PLAUEN 218 8 42-52457 Q 7V 110 FINAL APPROACH  
06-Apr-45 HALLE 219 9 42-95316 H 7V 100 PRINCESS PAT  
07-Apr-45 KRUMMEL 220 10 42-50504 L 7V 33 UNKNOWN 019 FLYING w/466TH "C" GRP
09-Apr-45 LECHFELD 222 11 41-29340 N 7V 78 YANKEE BUZZ BOMB  
10-Apr-45 RECHLIN/LARZ 223 12 42-50502 E 7V 63 LARRUPIN' LINDA  
11-Apr-45 REGENSBURG 224 13 42-51270 A 7V 40 MY BUNNIE II  
15-Apr-45 ROYAN AREA 226 14 41-29352 K 7V 93 WOLVE'S LAIR

March 21, 1944 - Mechanical Trouble

Abortion Report for Clutter Crew.  The aircraft they were flying on this date was actually 42-50504 which was unnamed.  The report erroneously shows 42-50502 Larrupin' Linda, which the crew flew on their first and twelfth missions.

April 9, 1945

Formation Chart showing the positions of Clutter and Abramowitz in the lead squadron over the target when Final Approach was hit.
Clutter crew (flying B-24H-15-CF 41-29340 7V N Yankee Buzz Bomb); Abramowitz crew (flying B-24H-15-FO 42-52457 7V Q Final Approach)