A bomber crew of the 306th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress. Passed for publication 2 Feb 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'American Airmen Who Made First Daylight Raid On Germany. Big bombers of the United States Army Air Force made their first daylight raid on Germany recently when they dropped tons of high explosives on the Nazi naval base at Wilhelmshaven. The bombers, unescorted, met considerable fighter opposition and knocked down 22 for the loss of three bombers. Associated Press Photo Shows:- The crew of the First Flying Fortress to reach the target, with their ground staff.
Left to right, top row:
Col. Frank Armstrong of Nashville, Tenn., Group Commander;
Lt. R.J. Salitrink of Alhambra, Calif., Navigator;
Lt. Frank Taussi of Glendale, Calif., Bombardier;
Sgt. Joseph E. Collette of N. Chelmsford, Mass., Engineer;
Staff Sgt. Charles D. Hill of Baltimore, Maryland, Waist Gunner;
Staff Sgt. Donald Tunstall of Darlington, S. Carolina, Tail Gunner;
Staff Sgt. Raymond H. Erikson of Chicago, Ill., Ball Turret Gunner;
Tech. Sgt. Robert A. Siavage of Eynon, Penn., Radio Operator;
Major Claude E. Putnam of Jacksboro, Tex., Co-Pilot.
TET 254769. 1-2-43-F.'
On reverse: Associated Press, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].
Two Intelligence Officers - Major John B. Wright, Group Intelligence Officer of New York and Major Ralph Oliver, Operations Officer of Palo Alto, California, both on the left - of the 306th Bomb Group interrogate a bomber crew, sat atop bombs, after a mission. The five bomb crew from left to right are Lieutenant Frank Yaussi of Glendale, California; Lieutenant R.J. Salitrink of Alhambra, California; Staff Sergeant Donald Tunstall of Darlington, South Carolina; Staff Sergeant Raymond R. Erikson of Chicago; and Staff Sergeant Charles D. Hill of Baltimore.
Image stamped on reverse: ' Associated Pres.' [stamp], 'Reveiwed and Passed as censored '2 Feb 1943.' [stamp] and '246550.' [Censor no.] Printed caption on reverse: 'AMERICAN AIRMEN WHO MADE FIRST DAYLIGHT RAID ON GERMANY. Associated Press Photo shows:- Intelligence officers questioning members of a Fortress crew, the first to bomb Wilhelmshaven. Left to right: Major John B. Wright, Group Intelligence Officer of New York; Major Ralph Oliver, Operations Officer of Palo Alto Calif., Talking to Lt. Frank Yaussi of Glendale, Calif; Lt. R.J. Salitrink of Alhambra, Calif.; S/Sgt Donald Tunstall of Darlington, S. Carolina,; S/Sgt Raymond R. Erikson of Chicago; and S/Sgt Charles D. Hill of Baltimore. TET 254773. I243.' Censors have amended each occurence of 'Intellegence Officer' to read 'Officer.'
Col. Frank Armstrong Bomber crew and Ground crew of the 306th Bomb Group, 367th Squadron with their B-17 Flying Fortress, serial number 42-5378.
Flight crew includes:
Robert Salitrnik, N;
Frank Yaussi B;
Joseph Collette E;
Charles Hill WG;
Raymond Erickson BTG;
Donald Tunstall TG;
Robert Siavage RO;
Claude Putman CP.
Ground Crew includes:
John R. Stone,
Jackson Van Diver,
and William Feeser - Assistant Ground Crew Chief.
Passed for publication 2 Feb 1943.
Printed caption on reverse: 'American Airmen Who Made First Daylight Raid On Germany. Associated Press Photo Shows: The crew and ground crew of the Fortress which was lead plane on the first raid over German soil in daylight flight 27 Jan. '43 . $Censor: We have names and hometowns of all.$ TET 254778. I 243.' On reverse: Associated Press, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps]. Flight crew includes: Robert Salitrnik, N; Frank Yaussi B, Joseph Collette E, Charles Hill WG, Raymond Erickson BTG, Donald Tunstall TG, Robert Siavage RO, Claude Putman CP. Ground Crew includes: Thomas Kazberovich, Roy Ploeger, John R. Stone, Jackson Van Diver, William Pangle, William Gilbertson, Joseph Broussard, Jesse Ellis, and William Feeser - Assistant Ground Crew Chief. Plane tail number 25378 with radio call letters GY.
He flew on Earl Tunnell crew. He flew the first raid to Germany on 27 Jan 1943 with Col. Frank A. Armstrong.
Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17F 42-5378, 306BG/367BS while serving as Tail Gunner. The aircraft had developed an oil leak in no. 3 engine over the channel, but oil pressure stayed steady so pilots continued mission toward the submarine pens at Lorient, France. According to Strong, Fighters attacked as this plane was was dropping back due to the earlier oil leak and the fact this group was in the low squadron. When engine 4 quit, bailout was ordered. Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag 17. His B-17 was named 'Skylark'. He flew on Earl Tunnell crew.
POW, AM 1OLC, DFC,
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,...
B-17 Flying Fortress
B-17F-50-BO 42-5378 was delivered at Tulsa 26-Nov-42; New Castle 11-Dec-42; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY- ] Thurleigh 1-Jan-43; Missing in Action on 6-Mar-43 on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. The aircraft came under heavy fighter...
6 March 1943
German U-boats continue to attack convoys headed fro Great Britain in the North Atlantic with good success. Many of the U-boat packs operate from St. Nazaire, Lorient and Brest, France, so destroying harbour facilities at these locations remain a...
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...
||28 September 1922
|Prisoner of War (POW)
||Krems an der Donau, Austria
||6 March 1943 – 30 June 1945
Held at Stalag 17B, Braunau-Genikendorf (near Krems), Austria. Officially Returned to Military Control 30-Jun-45.