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Frank G Whitney Jr

Military

He flew on Paul Martin crew. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. AM 5OLC,
Frank flew with a squadron unofficially called the Clay Pigeons because they were so easily shot down before long range fighter planes were developed. He was a radio operator but had the additional duty of switching on the Tokyo or reserve fuel tanks when needed because the toggle was at his feet. He also had to check in with the pilots every hour. He would listen so as not to interrupt and then give his report. One mission all four engines lost thrust at the same time and the plane fell from 27,000 feet to 9,000 feet. He said the pilot was so good, he did not realize they were in trouble and gaily waved to an airman in the next plane. All but one engine was restarted and the mission continued.

Towards the end of the mission Frank would check in and kept hearing discussion about ditching in the channel...or landing in Norway, how little gas was left. He finally spoke up and asked if it was time for him to switch to the Tokyo Tank of the non working engine. There was silence in the cockpit for a minute and then, “Hooray! We can make it to England!” It was Christmas Eve and they landed at a dark deserted Canadian Air Base. Once landed, the plane settled back on the tail wheel causing the fuel to shift to the rear of the plane. The plane stopped mid runway, completely out of gas.

Service

People

  • George Bachmann

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    35 Missions completed, longest mission 10 hrs, 45 min. HE reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. He flew on Paul Martin crew. Departed the ETO on 24 Mar 1945. Discharged USAAF on 26 Aug 1945. AM w/ 5 Oak Leaf Cluster/ 5 Battle Stars

  • John Hall

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Paul Martin crew. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. AM 4OLC,

  • Freelin Haney

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Killed in action on 25 August 1944.

  • Paul Martin

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. Completed 35 missions from 24 Jul 1944 to 15 Dec 1944. ...

  • Bernard Munnerlyn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

  • Henry Nunnery

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Normandy, Northern Eur, Rhineland, AOE. He flew on Paul Martin crew. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. EAME w/ 4 battle stars/ AM w/ 3 OLC/ PH

  • Burns Roper

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot ; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Flew 35 combat missions from 24 July to 26 October 1944. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. He flew on Paul Martin crew. DFC/ AM w/ 5 OLC

  • Robert Snow

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Paul Martin crew. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. Completed approx. 35 missions. AM 5OLC,

  • Andrew Stefano

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Paul Martin crew. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. Completed approx. 35 missions. AM 4OLC, DFC,

  • Arthur Trimble

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    7 missions. Last mission to Peenamunde (German rocket research) and was wounded. He stayed on base through the time the rest of his crew finished their full tour. He flew on Paul Martin crew. Reported to the ETO on 17 Jul 1944. AM/ PH

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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    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,...

  • 367th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-102578

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/3/44; Hunter 8/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 30/4/44; transferred 367BS/306BG [GY-D] Thurleigh 18/5/44; 532BS/381BG Ridgewell 5/45; 100+m, Returned to the USA Bradley 10/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains,...

  • 42-102975

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/4/44; Kearney 3/5/44; Grenier 21/5/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-F] Thurleigh 6/6/44; Missing in Action Dresden 14/2/45 with Jack Henley, Co-pilot: Roy Stewart, Navigator: Warren Becker, Bombardier: Herb Whitaker, Flight engineer...

  • 42-107063

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Dow Fd 28/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 1/5/44; no ops, transferred 367BS/306BG [GY-A] Thurleigh 18/5/44; battle damaged Merseburg 3/12/44 with ?; crash landed Salvaged.

  • 42-38129

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 21/12/43; Kearney 12/1/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-L] Thurleigh 25/2/44; 100+ missions then transferred to 29 TAC 14/5/45; then 398BG Nuthampstead 24/5/45; no ops then to RAF Valley, Wales, to Returned to the USA Bradley 2/6/45; 4168...

  • 43-38683

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/9/44; Hunter 16/9/44; Grenier 25/9/44; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY-Q] Thurleigh 3/10/44; transferred 381BG Ridgewell 5/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 9/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance...

Missions

  • 591

    30 August 1944
    End of Operation Overlord.

  • 704

    6 November 1944

  • 715

    16 November 1944

  • 725

    26 November 1944

  • 741

    6 December 1944

  • 743

    9 December 1944

  • 746

    11 December 1944

  • 748

    12 December 1944

  • 8th Air Force 760

    24 December 1944
    1. Decision. ...

  • 824

    9 February 1945

Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    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...

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2018 22:40:44 Chris G Changes to mission associations
Sources

Dad's first mission was Aug 1944 so the May 1944 one would have been too early for him.

Date Contributor Update
10 August 2018 21:36:51 Chris G Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

From the 306th Bomb Group Historical Association

Date Contributor Update
10 August 2018 18:42:27 Chris G Changes to person associations
Sources

I have met these men at crew reunions.

Date Contributor Update
10 August 2018 18:27:15 Chris G Changes to person associations
Sources

I have met him at the crew reunions.

Date Contributor Update
10 August 2018 12:30:53 Chris G Changes to nickname
Sources

His family called him by his middle name, Grant, to distinguish him from his father with the same name. Military officials used his first name, Frank, so that is what his fellow airman called him.

Date Contributor Update
09 August 2018 13:31:36 Emily Changes to mission associations
Sources

Information provided by Christine Guzowski, daughter

Whitney's Mission reports at 306bg.us

Date Contributor Update
08 August 2018 14:50:04 Chris G Changes to media associations
Sources

Photos in his daughter's possession

Date Contributor Update
08 August 2018 14:19:50 Chris G Changes to biography and place associations
Sources

This story was told to me, Frank's daughter, many times. When the crew got together for reunions later in life, this story was told.

Date Contributor Update
08 August 2018 13:58:54 Chris G Changes to highest rank and awards
Sources

Rank of T/Sgt is listed on his Separation Qualification Record

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition, 306th BGA Collection, Russell Strong Index Cards, / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / http://www.306bg.org/crewphotos/Crew%20Pictures%20Adam-Rector/Crew%20Pic...

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