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Second Lieutenant G. Varnet (navigator) and First Lieutenant Lutz L. Smehyl (bombardier) of the 554th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group with their B-26 Marauder (RU-Q, serial number 41-34971) nicknamed "Pay Off".

Passed as censored 30 Sep 1943.

Printed caption on reverse: 'AMERICA'S "RED DEVIL" [a censor has omitted 'Red Devil']FLYERS. USP/2247-9. 2nd Lt. G. Varnet, Rochester, New York, navigator, and 1st Lt. Lutz L. Smehyl, Tampa, Florida, bombardier, while away time at the side of their ship, "Pay Off", during a period when "ops" are off. Both men and officers of flying crews often spend their spare time at their ship, sometimes just "batting the breeze" but more often checking over various of the numerous and intricate mechanisms that go to make up a Marauder. During their first few weeks in Britain, combat crews went through a period of oreintation which included intensive traiing in British communications, vital to the joint operations of the R.A.F. and the U.S.A.A.F. as well as extensive flying over English terrain to acquaint crews with the island's topography and land marks.' Censor no: 285961.

On reverse: Keystone Press Agency, Ministry of Information, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].

By 22 August 1943, "Pay Off" would be lost with it's temporary crew over France. (Crew of Wilma Caldwell's "Shadrack" flew "Pay Off" that evening as they had a bad supercharger on "Shadrack.") Crew later was 2 KIA, two EE, and two POW.

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

Second Lieutenant G. Varnet (navigator) and First Lieutenant Lutz L. Smehyl (bombardier) of the 554th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group with their B-26 Marauder (RU-Q, serial number 41-34971) nicknamed "Pay Off" .

Passed as censored 30 Sep 1943.

Printed caption on reverse: 'AMERICA'S "RED DEVIL" [a censor has omitted 'Red Devil']FLYERS. USP/2247-9. 2nd Lt. G. Varnet, Rochester, New York, navigator, and 1st Lt. Lutz L. Smehyl, Tampa, Florida, bombardier, while away time at the side of their ship, "Pay Off", during a period when "ops" are off. Both men and officers of flying crews often spend their spare time at their ship, sometimes just "batting the breeze" but more often checking over various of the numerous and intricate mechanisms that go to make up a Marauder. During their first few weeks in Britain, combat crews went through a period of oreintation which included intensive traiing in British communications, vital to the joint operations of the R.A.F. and the U.S.A.A.F. as well as extensive flying over English terrain to acquaint crews with the island's topography and land marks.' Censor no: 285961.

On reverse: Keystone Press Agency, Ministry of Information, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].

Connections

Units

  • 386th Bomb Group

    386th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 386th Bomb Group flew B-26 Marauders for the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. Whilst with the Eighth, the Group developed the formation release procedure for the B-26 on missions that targeted aerodromes, marshalling yards and V-weapon sites along the...

  • 554th Bomb Squadron

People

Aircraft

  • 41-34971 Pay Off

    B-26 Marauder
    B-26C-15-MA 41-34971 "Pay Off" was assigned to 386BG/554BS at Boxted, UK. The aircraft was attacked by an enemy fighter as well as flak on 22-Aug-43 while on a mission to bomb the German airfield of Beaumont Le Roger, France. The fighter attack set the...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 October 2018 19:26:43 Edgy01 Changes to caption
Sources

As learned from Chester Klier.

Date Contributor Update
02 February 2015 10:00:11 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

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