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Earl V Benham

Military

Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. Flew on B-17 "Hard Luck" and 'Hard Luck II', 28 x combat missions.
Earl later wrote up his wartime experience in the book 'With Crew 13'

Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

In Memoriam

''T/Sgt. Earl V Benham was Radio Operator on crew 13 100th Bomb Group, 350 Bomb Squadron, Thorpe Abbotts who flew B-17 F "Hard Luck" and "Hard Luck 2". October 13, 1943 to May 1944-28 missions. The original Hard Luck was lost in August 1944 after Transfer to other crews.'
Remembered By Col. James R Skalicky, Tuscon, AZ

Service

People

  • Harold Becker

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 23 x combat missions. Killed instantaneously by flak on Berlin mission in B-17 42-38053 'Hard Luck II' Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM (3OLC), PH.

  • Edward Butchino

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph Clouthier

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew, replaced S/Sgt Yarnall (WIA) after Posen mission. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Goodman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME..

  • Archie Holladay

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (1 battle star).

  • Jack Ogg

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Sternis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Walter Schneider

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Sternis crew. 28 x combat missions. ETD Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Lester Torbett

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Steenis crew. 23 x combat missions. Wounded by flak on Berlin mission in B-17 42-38053 'Hard Luck II' 7-May-44; Wounded in Action (WIA) Subsequently grounded due to wounds. Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), PH.

  • Loren Van Steenis

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. 28 x combat missions. Flew B-17 "Hard Luck" and 'Hard Luck II'. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (4OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Yarnall

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF. Van Stenis crew. 17 x combat missions. Wounded in hand and shoulder on Poznan mission in B-17 'Hard Luck II', grounded thereafter, taking up instructional role till wars end. Awards: AM, PH.

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Units served with

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 350th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-31903 Hard Luck II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 3/1/44; Kearney 30/1/44; Grenier 18/2/44; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-T] Thorpe Abbotts 23/2/44; Missing in Action Merseburg 29/7/44 with Eden Jones, Co-pilot: Bob Ries, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Jim Eadie, Radio Operator: Leo...

  • 42-3413 'Hard Luck !'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 10/6/43; Dow Fd 18/8/43; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-V] Thorpe Abbotts 20/8/43; on mission to Berlin 7/5/44 with Loren Van Steenis, Navigator: Harry Becker (Killed in Action), Bombardier: Lester Torbett Wounded in Action, (8 Returned to...

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Montevideo, MN 27 July 1915

Son of Don Gibson and Ida Louise [Lee] Benham.

Lived in Milan, MN 1922
Aviation employment San Diego, CA 1941

Consolidated aircraft - PBY riveter.

Enlisted 1942
Training Harlingen, TX 1943

Gunnery - Harlingen, Texas

Training Scott Field, IL 1943

Radio - Scott Field, Illinois

Training Moses Lake, WA 1943

Operational - Moses Lake, Washington

Based Thorpe Abbotts November 1943 – July 1944

Assigned to 350BS, 100BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Sierra Vista, AZ 19 November 2007
Enlisted

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 June 2021 20:11:37 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, awards, events, unit associations and aircraft associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/record/62213479/earl-v-benham-social-security-deat...
http://withcrew13.com/html/the_author_earl_benham.html

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2020 11:22:32 Helen Changes to biography
Sources

Century Bulletin

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2014 15:17:00 Emily Changes to biography and memoriam
Sources

James R Skalicky, via American Air Museum Memory Book correspondence.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:00 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

100th Bomb Group Foundation Directory, 2000 - 2001 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

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