Hodges, J. M.

The John M. Hodges crew: 711th Squadron

Harvard AAB, October 1944

(As assigned Nov 8, 1943)

Lt. James M. Hodges 
Lt. Harry R. Pettit, Jr.
Lt. Arthur A. Durante
Lt. Jesse T. Smith, Jr. 
Sgt. Donald M. Nevills 
Sgt. Karl F. Joerger
Sgt. William T. Baker
Sgt. Raymond H. Rutledge, Jr. 
Gunner Sgt. George E. Klaput
Sgt. Joseph H. Klaput 



8/43 Moses Lake, WA
08/43 – 11/43 Harvard, NE
11/43 In Transit (Hodges flew with command staff, rest by sea)
12/43 – 04/44 711th Squadron, Rattlesden, UK
Missions flown: varies by crew member


Undated photo, unidentified aircraft

Left to right: Hodges, Pettit, Durante, Smith, Nevills and Joerger

not pictured: Baker, Ruttledge and the Klaput brothers.



George and Joe Klaput were the only twins ever to serve together on the same crew, not to mention in the same unit. Somehow they convinced the Army Air Force to set aside its policy forbidding brothers to serve together.


Combat Missions

Due to losses, the Hodges crew flew only a few missions together. Following the loss of four members on February 28, the rest of the crew often filled in as replacements for other crews. Six were captured or interned. Only two completed their tour.

No. Date Target Aircraft 
(Hodges as 1st Pilot)
3 12/30/43 LUDWIGSHAFEN   Flying with command pilot 
4 01/04/44 KIEL 42-32108  
7 01/11/44 BRUNSWICK 42-32206  
8 01/14/44 NOBALL NO. 107 GRAND PARC 42-32206  
11 01/29/44 FRANKFURT 42-32204  
12 01/30/44 BRUNSWICK 42-32161  
13 02/03/44 WILHELMSHAVEN 42-32204  
15 02/05/44 ROMILLY 42-32144   
16 02/06/44 EVREUX-FAUVILLE 42-97497 “Tuxedo Tommy”  
19 02/13/44 NOBALL NO.S 110, 78 42-32155  
20 02/20/44 TUTOW 42-32204  
24 02/28/44 NOBALL NO. 74 BOIS DE LA JUSTICE   Hodges didn’t fly this day. Pettit and Joerger killed, flying with Lt. Fouts. Baker and Rutledge in another plane, bailed out and were captured.
25 02/29/44 BRUNSWICK 42-97501 “Gum Chum”  
26 03/03/44 BERLIN – RECALL 42-39882  
27 03/09/44 BERLIN     
28 03/15/44 BRUNSWICK    
29 03/16/44 AUGSBURG    
30 03/15/44 BRUNSWICK    
31 03/16/44 AUGSBURG   Durante down with Huckins, captured

Although not listed as first pilot on the mission summaries currently available, Lt. Hodges continued to fly until April 13, when he and Smith were on board an aircraft that made a forced landing in Switzerland.


The Crew:

Pilot Lt. James M. Hodges Interned 4/13/44 in Switzerland 
Co-Pilot Lt. Harry R. Pettit, Jr. KIA 02/28/44 flying with Lt. Fouts
Navigator Lt. Arthur A. Durante POW 03/16/44 flying with Lt. Huckins
Bombardier Lt. Jesse T. Smith, Jr. Interned 4/13/44 in Switzerland 
Engineer Sgt. Donald M. Nevills Reassigned to Leigh crew
Radio Operator  Sgt. Karl F. Joerger KIA 02/28/44 flying with Lt. Fouts
Waist Gunner Sgt. William T. Baker POW  02/28/44
Waist Gunner Sgt. Raymond H. Rutledge, Jr. POW  02/28/44
Ball Turret Gunner  Sgt. George E. Klaput Completed tour 
Tail Gunner Sgt. Joseph H. Klaput POW 05/12/44 flying with Lt. Pettus



See also: Combat Diary of Joseph Klaput and the Durante Collection

Details of the crew’s experiences are included in Stub Warfle’s One Lucky Bastard





Some photos/information provided by:
Mr. Art Durante, Jr.
Mr. Jack Keller
Mr. Dante Pettit
One Lucky Bastard; by Elwyn J. (Stub) Warfle