S/Sgt Robert E. Hayes (William Quaintance crew)
The William C. Quaintance crew. Top row, from left to right :
T/Sgt. Joseph F. Strukel, Flight Engineer, S/Sgt Alexander F. Markowski, Left Waist Gunner, T/Sgt Francis X. Driscoll, Radio Operator, S/Sgt Richard C. Donohue, Tail Gunner, S/Sgt Maxwell W. Williams, Right Waist Gunner, S/Sgt Robert E. Hayes, Ball Turret Gunner (not on the 22 February 1944 mission).
Front, from left to right :
1st Lt. Arnold W. Ostrow, Navigator, 2nd Lt. Henry I. Levy, Bombardier, 1st Lt Rudolph L. Jenson, Co-Pilot, 1st Lt. William C. Quaintance, Pilot. (Most of the crew was lost on the 22 February 1944 mission - on board B-17 # 42-31695).
Robert E. Hayes (courtesy of Robert E. Hayes, via Jerry Zak)
Robert Hayes was studying at Westport High School in Kansas City, Missouri, when he left school to enlist in the Air Corps, having just turned 18. Joining the William Quaintance crew in the 306th Bomb Group / 369th Bomb Squadron as a Ball Turret Gunner, he was sent to England, where they arrived in October 1943. Robert Hayes was credited with an Me110 destroyed on the 11 January 1944 mission to Halberstadt. On sick bay on 22 February 1944, he was not on board B-17 # 42-31695 and was replaced by Robert Might at the Ball Turret position. The Quaintance crew and the substitute gunner were lost when 31695 was shot down over Germany that day, the sole survivor, Engineer Alexander Markowski being made a Prisoner of War. Robert Hayes completed 14 missions and although he wanted to fly on other missions, he was ordered back to the States in the frame of the Sullivan Act, as his brother Claude M. Hayes Jr, a member of the 70th Tank Battalion, had been killed in France on 27 August 1944, a tragic fact Robert only learned from his parents when he got back home.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
A student at Baltimore’s Saint Paul’s, Richard Donohue proved to be an outstanding athlete, excelling as a quarterback in the school’s Crusaders football team. Dick enlisted in the Air Corps in January 1943 and started training at the USAAC Technical...
Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Francis Driscoll had a twin brother, William, an elder brother Gerald, 2 younger brothers, Arthur and Edwin, and a sister Constance. Francis attended 4 years of Mechanic Arts High School in Boston, Massachusetts and later held a job as a motion picture...
Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Rudolph Jenson graduated from the Walsh County School and attended Park River High School before entering the North Dakota State University, Class of 1940-41. After his enlistment in the Air Corps in April 1942, he took his basic training near Garden...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Henry Levy was a graduate of Penn State College and of the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Leaving school to enlist in the Air Corps in April 1942, Henry finished training as a Bombardier at Albuquerque, New Mexico in March 1943 where he was...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Assistant Engineer, Left Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Alexander Markowski enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1942 and followed training in aerial gunnery and engineering. He graduated as a Sgt from the Wendover Aerial Gunnery and Fire Control School in 1943. He met fellow engineer Sgt Joseph Strukel at...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Robert Might graduated from Fostoria High School and while there was an outstanding athlete, one of the few players chosen to captain both the football and basketball teams in his senior year. He attended Bowling Green State University for one year and...
Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Born and raised in Paterson, Pennsylvania, Arnold Ostrow attended School No. 13 there, then the Eastside High School and had three years of college at Paterson State Teacher’s College. Employed in a Government office in Washington, he enlisted in the...
Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Bill Quaintance attended the Boulder High School where he was captain of the basketball and football teams. He studied at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana and the University of Washington. He enlisted in the Air Corps in May 1942 and in...
Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Born in Minnesota, Joseph Strukel moved with his family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he was five. He attended Boys Technical High School in Milwaukee where he took Machine Shop as his technical choice. Before his enlistment in the Air Corps in June...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
Maxwell Williams attended Hopeful High School in Hopeful, Decatur County, Georgia for 3 years before working as a bookkeeper at the Hand Trading Cy in nearby Pelham. Shortly after an automobile accident that killed his sweetheart, Maxwell enlisted in...
Units served with
Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...
11 January 1944
Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...
Military site : airfield
Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...
||Missouri, United States
the son of Claude M. and Nellie M. Hayes
||Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, United States
||7 November 1942
as a Private in the Air Corps
||Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States