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John H Baxter

Military

Baxter was dismissed from the USAAF for disobeying a command from Lt Karl Franek to report for flying duty and partake in the mission on 8 October 1943.

Baxter initially served as a bombing instructor, before being sent to the UK and assigned to a B-17 crew. He flew an air-sea-rescue sortie over Norway. On 4 October 1943 he took part in the bombing mission over Frankfurt, where he claimed he 'froze' on his guns and was a detriment to his crew. Baxter was quoted saying: 'In the States it was OK, but over here it is a different story with someone else depending on you.'

After the mission on 4 October, Baxter told Franek that he wanted to quit, and not fly any more. Major Hendrick permitted him to miss a few missions, but did not ground Baxter. On 8 October, the Bombardier scheduled to fly the mission was taken ill, meaning Baxter would have to take his place. Despite orders to fly from Franek, Baxter refused, even when warned he could face court-martial for his actions.

Baxter later stated that the reason his crew aborted the 4 October mission was because he was unable to carry out his role as Bombardier.

Original Bombardier, Crozier, G. crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF.

Service

People

  • Gordon Crozier

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. ...

  • Clyde Dideum

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War at Stalag XVIIIA - Wolfsburg Corinthia. ...

  • Cliff Easley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Karl Franek

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group

  • Gordon Giddens

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War at Stalag XVIIB. ...

  • William Green

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Original Waist Gunner, Crozier, G. Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF.

  • George Hannon

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, German on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. ...

  • Landon Hendricks

    Military | Major | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Hendricks/ Withers crew. Squadron Commander. 381st BG, 533rd BS. Shot down 9 October 1943 in B-17 #42-30012. Mission #37 to the Focke-Wulf plant at Anklam, Germany. MACR 887. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Hubert McHailey

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Original Radio Operator, Crozier, G. crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF.

  • Walter Purnell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Tail gunner, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War at Stalag XVIIB. ...

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Units served with

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 533rd Bomb Squadron

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 108

    4 October 1943
    This mission is composed of five elements. The first element is a combined force of 104 B-17s from: 306BG (16); 92BG (17); 395BG (17); 303BG (19); 379BG (18) and 384BG (17) despatched to bomb the industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. 77 aircraft are...

Associated Place

  • Brampton Grange

    Military site : non-airfield
    The First Air Division HQ was established at the Grange Hotel, Brampton and very quickly became operational on 15th June 1942 under the command of Colonel Claude E Duncan; on 19th August, Brampton was officially activated as the First Bomb Wing...

  • Ridgewell

    Military site : airfield
    Built during 1941-42 as an RAF bomber station, Ridgewell operated as a satellite to RAF Stradishall until May 1943. It had three concrete runways, initially 36 pan hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Taken over by the Eighth Air Force in June...

Events

Event Location Date
Born
Based 18 September 1943
Dismissed Brampton Grange 30 November 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2019 15:49:22 Emily Changes to biography, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

ETO Board of Review, Volume 4 via Library of Congress.

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2018 22:02:39 ARowe95 Changes to person associations
Sources

ARowe95

Date Contributor Update
26 January 2018 22:01:55 ARowe95 Changes to highest rank, biography, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations
Sources

ARowe95

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:05 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / www.381st.org/UnitHistory/Data/Roster.aspx

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