A bomber crew of the 452nd Bomb Group on their return from the Romilly mission to France. Image via Walt Chochrek. A veteran has handwritten on the reverse: 'On just returning from Romilly, France, their first mission and the Group's second for a repeat performance. Original members of the "Punched Fowl". crew # 48, lead crew 730th Sqdn, 452nd Bomb Gro. Front row from left are Flight Officer Leon B Slobodzian, Bombardier; and S/Sgts George W Haggerty, Right Waist Gunner; Everett L Wales, Radio Operator, and Walter- S- Chochrek, Engineers and Top Turret Gunner. Back row from left- 1st Lt Chester L Story, Navigator; 2nd Lt Frank L Houston, Co-pilot, 1st Lt Jimme H "The Skipper" Vallee, Pilot; Sgt James J Doherty, tail gunner; S/Sgt Ivan C Dixon, Lower ball gunner and Sgt Raymond Schumacher, left waist gunner.'
Frank L Houston was a co-pilot with the lead crew of the 730th Bomb Squadron, 452nd bomb Group. He flew 30 missions then went into the Aphrodite project and was one of the pilots who actually bailed out and made it back home. He later became a senior air line pilot for Northwest Airlines.
His awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous others.
Units served with
The 452nd Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deopham Green, Norfolk, from January 1944. The air crews hit strategic sites in Germany but also supported the movement of ground forces across Europe after D-Day. On 6 June 1944 itself, the Group...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 1/7/43; Dow Fd 29/7/43; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-S] Alconbury 23/8/43; transferred with Azon/Aphrodite duties, Knettishall 17/6/44; with Lt Frank L Houston & T/Sgt Willard D Smith of 452BG l/Wizernes 4/8/44.
Military site : airfield
Deopham Green was another air base constructed after America's entry into the war to Class A standards for use by the B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber. When the 452nd Bomb Group arrived in January 1943 they found a main runway of 2,000 yards, two...