Leach, C. T.

The Clifford T. Leach crew: 711th Squadron

Back Row:
Clifford Leach  Pilot
Robert I. Harwood  Co-Pilot
Charles W. Hancock  Navigator
William Rogers  Bombadier
Front Row:
Wayne Jones  Top Turret Gunner
James O. Burke Jr.  Right Waist Gunner
Harry Young  Left Waist Gunner
Ira J Weisblum  Radio Operator
Fred G. Thompson  Tail Gunner
Irvin E. Swain  Ball Turret Gunner


Flights with Clifford T. Leach listed as Pilot

These lists are NOT limited to officially credited Combat missions, and may include Aborts, returns and non-takeoff occurrences as well.

447th Mission (Date) Target Plane Number Notes
#2 (30-Dec-43) Ludwigshafen, Germany 42-37871  
#6 (07-Jan-44) Ludwigshafen, Germany 42-37871  
#8 (14-Jan-44) Grand Parc, France 42-31225  
#10 (24-Jan-44) Frankfurt, Germany 42-31156  
#11 (29-Jan-44) Frankfurt, Germany 42-97497 ABORT #3 engine out
#18 (10-Feb-44) Brunswick, Germany 42-37842  
#22 (24-Feb-44) Rostock, Germany 42-97497  
#23 (25-Feb-44) Regensburg, Germany 42-37842  
#24 (28-Feb-44) Bois de la Justice, France 42-97497  
#25 (29-Feb-44) Brunswick, Germany 42-97497  
#26 (03-Mar-44) Berlin, Germany 42-31191 Not Attack, 2 sick
#27 (04-Mar-44) Berlin, Germany 42-39882  
#28 (06-Mar-44) Berlin, Germany 42-97497  
#29 (08-Mar-44) Berlin, Germany 42-97497  
#32 (13-Mar-44) Bois de la Justice, France 42-97497  
#36 (20-Mar-44) Frankfurt, Germany 42-37854  
#38 (23-Mar-44) Brunswick, Germany 42-97497  
#41 (28-Mar-44) Chartres, France 42-97497  
#52 (24-Apr-44) Friedrichshafen, Germany 42-102441  
#55 (27-Apr-44) Le Culot, France 42-107060  
#60 (08-May-44) Berlin, Germany 42-102441  
#63 (12-May-44) Zwickau, Germany 42-102441  
#64 (13-May-44) Osnabruck, Germany 42-107220  
#75 (31-May-44) Hamm, Germany 42-97148  
#76 (02-Jun-44) Wimereux, France 42-107060  
#82 (06-Jun-44) Caen, France 42-102441  
#84 (06-Jun-44) Argentan, France 42-102441  
#87 (11-Jun-44) Le Touquet – Merlimont Plage, France 42-102441 ABORT #1 Eng rough
#90 (15-Jun-44) Misburg, Germany 42-97804  
#148 (25-Sep-44) Ludwigshafen, Germany 42-107060  
#149 (26-Sep-44) Bremen, Germany 42-37871  
#150 (27-Sep-44) Ludwigshafen, Germany 43-37774  
#151 (28-Sep-44) Merseburg, Germany 44-6016  
#152 (02-Oct-44) Kassel, Germany 43-38245 CRASHED; KIA


During assembly for Kassel 2/10/44) 43-38245 with Clifford Leach crew aboard, had a mid-air collision with 44-6460 with the William M. Wilder crew aboard; crashed Hitcham, UK; 17 men killed. Salvaged.

Clifford Leach crew aboard 43-38245

Capt Clifford Leach Pilot KIA
Dave Bowen Co-Pilot KIA
Don Rubin Navigator KIA
William Rogers Bombardier KIA
Earl Riggs Top Turret Gunner KIA
Clyde Klee Radio Operator KIA
Bill Haines Ball Turret Gunner KIA
John Henry Waist Gunner KIA
Carl Reitzel Jr. Tail Gunner KIA

William M. Wilder crew aboard 44-6460

Lt. W. Wilder Pilot KIA
Lt. N. Manock Co-Pilot KIA
Lt. E. Mishler Navigator  
Lt. C. McGuire Bombardier KIA
T/Sgt W. Easkins Top Turret Gunner KIA
T/Sgt C. Genova Radio Operator KIA
S/Sgt E. Suarez Ball Turret Gunner KIA
S/Sgt T. Wiltse Waist Gunner KIA
S/Sgt H. Lee Tail Gunner KIA


Clifford Leach; Pilot


James O. Burke Jr.


Tuxedo Tommie named after tail gunner Fred Thompson


Ira J Weisblum; Radio Operator


James O. Burke Jr. leather bomber jacket



Clyde R. Klee; Radio Operator aboard 43-38245 in the collision, KIA


Maddingley Cemetery, United Kingdom, Clyde R Klee, 447th BG, (B-17 Radio-Operator/Waist Gunner was killed in a mid-air collision between two aircraft while departing Rattlesden Airfield on a combat mission over Germany. He was twenty-two years old and had flown over 20 combat missions.


Clifford Leach went back to England in 8/44 and was killed.

Robert Harwood returned to England as a pilot and was shot down and killed.

William Rogers returned to England and was killed.

Irvin Swain now lives in Buffalo N.Y. and is a retired police chief.

Wayne Jones now lives in Picket S.C. with his wife Essie and they have two boys and a girl.

James O. Burke Jr. named his first son Clifford Rogers Burke after Clifford Leach (pilot) and William Rogers (bombardier)



Some photos/information provided by:

  • Mr. James O. Burke IV
  • Hal Kiena

Some information and/or images sourced from the American Air Museum database