447th Stories 

These documents are a selection of first hand accounts of missions, diaries and various other writings of 447th veterans.  We are always looking for new material to add, so please contact us at 447bombgroup@gmail.com so we can include your records.

1. The Story of Umbriago

This story was written in 1998 by Mr. Alan Cook, 
 co-pilot of the Rohde crew of the 711th Squadron 
 and provided for the collection by Mr. Ernst "Bob" Rohde.


2. A Night to Remember

by John Stockham, navigator on the Rohde Crew

an addendum to "The Story of Umbriago"




3. Harley Tuck's Wartime Diary

Harley Tuck's Wartime Diary stands as one of the most remarkable pieces of writing to come out of the 447th. In its detail is a wealth of information about the early days of the group, and about the man, himself.

The diary was originally transcribed by Mr. Tuck's son, Harley Tuck, Jr., and has appeared from time to time on the Internet.  We are thrilled and honored to provide the diary with a permanent home in our collection here.

Sgt. Harley Tuck was Radio Operator/Gunner on the Gilleran crew, 708th Bomb Squadron, arriving at Rattlesden in November 1943, and flying until shot down and captured on 22 April, 1944.


4. Raid on Berlin

Some rememberances by L. W. "MAC" McFARLAND


5. Local Flyer is Back

Sgt Arthur Cooper was a member of the Robert Jacobs crew, assigned to the 710th Squadron on the 15th of June, 1944.  After each member of the crew had flown at least one combat orientation mission, the crew flew its first mission together on July 11, 1944 to Munich.


6. Lt. Pete Ebersole Diary

Lt Pete Ebersole arrived at Rattlesden on December 22, 1944 as copilot 
 of the Coleman crew (709th).  This is Ebersole's flying log; first a day-by-day 
 account of his time in the service, followed by comments on his hours of flying time.


7. 2nd Lt. Joseph Gentner

2nd Lt. Joseph Gentner arrived at Rattlesden in November 1943, as navigator on the Hitchcock crew.  The diary records his 31 missions with the 447th.


8. Navigator Leonard Hessenauer

After routine orientation upon arriving at Rattlesden, Lt. Lowell Simmons flew his combat orientation mission on June 21, 1944 as co-pilot with Lt. Gerald Carter.  The aircraft, 42-97932, was hit by flak.  Simmons was killed, the rest of the Carter crew captured.  Simmons' original crew flew 35 missions with several first pilots.


9. Joseph Klaput Diary

Twin brothers Joseph and George Klaput served on the James Hodges crew in the 711th Squadron as tail gunner and ball turret gunner.  They are believed to be the only set of twins to serve together during the war.


10. Sgt. Lloyd Hall Diary

Sgt. Lloyd Hall flew as engineer with the Hysong crew in the 708th Squadron between August and December, 1944.


11. Lt. Donald McDermott

Pilot Lt. Donald McDermott arrived at Rattlesden in July, 1944, and flew 35 missions with the 710th.


12. Lt. Herbert "Gene" McNabb

Lt. Herbert "Gene" McNabb served as Bombardier with the Hoffman crew in the 710th Squadron between September and December 1944. 


13. Richard Pitt Jr., Diary

Richard Pitt, Jr. was Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner on the Clarence Aaberg crew, one of the first replacement crews at Rattelsden.  Tragically, Aaberg was killed on his second mission -- as described below.  His place was taken by Lt. George Hoffmeister, co-pilot from the original Keller crew.  After Hoffmeister completed his tour requirement, co-pilot Thomas Moriarty took over the left-hand seat in May '44.


14. Edward E. Beaty Diary

This diary was kept by Edward E. Beaty, pilot, 710th Sqdn, 447th Bomb Group until he completed his bomber missions in May, 1944. These comments were entered in a small black pocket notebook, usually the night after a mission or the next morning.


15. Sgt. Louis J. Torretta

Sgt. Louis J. Torretta was the tail gunner on the Robert Morley crew, and part of the original deployment from Harvard AAB to Rattlesden in November 1943.


16. Into Combat with the 447th Bomb Group

This story was first published by the Old Dominion Squadron of Commemorative Air Force, and later appeared in the Spring 1999 issue of the 447th Bomb Group Newsletter.  It is reprinted here with the permission of Mr. Oscar J. Quintin.


17. Three Views

Diaries from the Polansky Crew 6/44 - 10/44.


18.  "My Gal Sal" B-17G, 239882

A tribute to "Jack" Martin Gruber, pilot of "My Gal", by his daughter and his remembrances of serving with the 447th BG.


19. Walter Hauptman

A tribute to the Co-Pilot on the Putnam Crew.


20. Rautio Diary

A diary from S/Sgt Lauri K. Rautio, Ball Turret Gunner on the Mayhew Crew


21. William Albert “Pete” Davidson Memoirs

An incredible transcript taken from a recorded interview with a 711th Pilot.