Dottie Jane

One of the original Harvard Planes, 42-31227 was ferried across the Atlantic by the Morley crew in November, 1943.  The airplane was named in Harvard for Robert Morley's wife, Dorothy Jane.

On board for the ferry flight were:

2Lt Robert E.           Morley
2Lt Wayne W. Dallas
2Lt Morris G. Bourret
2Lt Robert E. Owens


S/Sgt Israel J. Simon
S/Sgt David H. Musbach
S/Sgt Ralph R. Rechlicz
S/Sgt James E. Boyer
S/Sgt Joe E. Taylor
Sgt Louis J. Torretta

Combat Missions:

No. Date Target Pilot
3 12/31/43 COGNAC Morely
11 01/29/44 FRANKFURT Morley

In Combat Diary- S/Sgt Louis J. Torretta, the tail gunner describes the January 29 mission:

Today I really have something to write about. We were awakened at 0200 o’clock everything went along smooth until just after we crossed the French coast #3 engine started to act funny. I noticed smoke coming back by the tail and I was just going to call Dal and ask about it when Simon noticed it too and called. By this time we were almost to the German border and we started to abort. I heard the Copilot call the Pilot and say #3 won’t feather. So the Pilot said shut it off. A little later he called back and said, I cut #3 off and the instruments show 3400 R.P.Ms . We couldn’t figure what was wrong. Then the whole ship began to vibrate and it shook so bad I thought it was going to fall apart. Then the Pilot gave the order prepare to abandon ship. At first I was really scared but as I waited for the order to jump I calmed down quite a bit. For a while it looked as though we wouldn’t have to jump. Then the Pilot told the Bombardier and Navigator to get out of the nose. Later the engine started to act up again. Again the order came over the interphone, prepare to jump. This time it really looked bad. The Pilot got ready to jump and he gave the signal and was just ready to give the order to jump when the propeller came off and the ship smoothed out again. But Owens and Bourrett had seen the signal and jumped. Then the order came prepare to ditch. We threw everything we could out and made ready for a crash landing on water. But our prayers were answered and we made it back to the field safe. Upon inspecting the ship we found 19 holes in the front portion of the ship. All these were from flying debris of the engine. The oxygen line was cut in the nose and a few pieces just missed the Co-Pilot. During our flight back, Dave our radioman did a swell job in bringing us back to the field. Also he got a good fix on the two who bailed out. As yet we haven’t heard whether or not they have been picked up. From the time they bailed out the Pilot and another Navigator figured they must have landed near the German coast. There is a very good chance that they are safe. Morley and Dallas are really down in the dumps although they are not to blame. They both did a swell job and we all owe our lives to their good judgment and skill in bringing us back.


20 02/20/44 TUTOW Morley
21 02/21/44 DIEPHOLZ Morley
22 02/24/44 ROSTOCK Rozmus
24 02/28/44 NOBALL NO. 74 BOIS DE LA JUSTICE Morley
26 03/03/44 BERLIN - RECALL Hughes
26 03/06/44 BERLIN Socolofsky


On March 6, after the final turn toward Berlin, Dottie Jane was struck by an 88mm flak shell, which passed through the central fuselage. Radio operator Alton Moore was lost, and two other crewmen were wounded. Lt. Socolofsky was able to fly the crippled aircraft back to Rattlesden, but the damage was too extensive to be repaired. Dottie Jane was designated for salvage on March 7, 1944.