James Bestervelt's Crew with Major Bruce Daily as Command. Back row: (L-R) Capt. A.M. Adams-Formation Observer, Lt. W.J. Beatovich-Navigator, Major Bruce Daily-Command Pilot, Lt. Charles Anderson-Bombardier, Lt. William Campbell-Co-pilot. Front row: (L-R) T/Sgt. Henry A. Brooks-Radio Operator, Capt. James Bestervelt-Pilot, Lt. T.C. Bowles-Radar Operator, S/Sgt. Leonard B. Wolfe-Waist Gunner, S/Sgt. Thomas Tartarian-Waist Gunner, T/Sgt. W.L. Brubaker-Engineer. Photo taken on 4th August 1944.
Two airmen of the 398th Bomb Group examine the damaged tail of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Damaged received while on the April 8,1945 mission to Derben, Germany. Just after bombs-away a direct hit by flak completely tore the tail gunner position away and disabled the rudder controls. The tail gunner, S/Sgt. Wallace E. Kasch, was carried away without his chute, his remains were never found. It took the skill of the two pilots, Lt. Col. Edwin B. Daily and 1st Lt. John L. Hahn, to get the aircraft back to base using the engines for directional control. MACR 13869
Group commander 9 Feb 1945 for Altenbeken mission. Group commander on 27 Feb, 1945 Leipzig, Germany mission and 4 March, 1945 on Ulm, Germany mission. Group Commander on 14 March 1945 on Vlotho, and Osnabruk, Germany mission and 21 March 1945 on Rheine A/F, Germany mission and 28 March, 1945 on Berlin mission.
Group commander 5 April 1945 to Grafonwehr, Germany, 10 April 1945 to Oranienburg, Germany, and 15 April 1945 to Fort Royan, France.
Daily had earned an Air Medal for his flying on 6 June 1944.
Special award: 27 June 1944: Major, Air Corps, for extraordinary achievement while serving as Air Commander of a Combat Bombardment Wing of B-17s on a bombing mission over Germany on 20 June 1944. On this date he assembled elements of the Wing formation and proceeded on course for the objective. Anti-aircraft fire affected some of his most important instruments so he was forced to relinquish command due to mechanical difficulties. The operation was carried out with a high degree of success. 'The exemplary actions of Major Daily contributed in large measure to the excellent results achieved. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by Major Daily reflected the highest credit upon himself. '
Military | First Lieutenant | Co pilot | 398th Bomb Group
Assigned to 600BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. Derben mission 8-Apr-45 in B-17 44-8811 hit in tail by direct flak hit, skills of both pilots required to return the A/C to base for crash landing, directional control was by control of engines only.
Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
Assigned to 600BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Derben Germany. A/C B-17G 44-8811 hit by flak over target, carrying most of the tail and the tail gunner (minus chute) away. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 13869.
Units served with
The 398th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire on strategic bombing raids over Germany. The Group switched focus in the days before D-Day, when they targeted enemy positions on the Cherbourg peninsula. When the Allied...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 3/1/45; Hunter 16/1/45; Grenier 28/1/45; Assigned 600BS/398BG H2X [N8-C] Nuthampstead 30/3/45; battle damaged Halberstadt 8/4/45, tail shot away with tail gunner S/Sgt Wallace E Kasch, with Lts Dailey & Hahn and crash landed back at...
Military site : airfield
Built during 1942-43, Nuthampstead was the nearest Eighth Air Force heavy bomber base to London. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. It was first occupied from September 1943 to April 1944 by the 55th...
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