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Harlyn Glen Turner


19 year-old gunner Harlyn Turner crossed the Atlantic on the 'Queen Mary' while the rest of his crew made the journey by air. They were re-united at a staging area in England and immediately sent on for combat briefings by experienced aircrew in Northern Ireland; 'quite hairy, nothing like the Hollywood version'. Assigned to the 707th Sqdn 446th BG they were greeted on arrival by an air-raid, German fighters attacking the bombers as they landed back at base.

After the customary two training flights his crew were scheduled to fly their very own B-24 'Piccadilly Commando' on 9th May 1944. They were still in the parking area preparing for take-off when an incendiary exploded in the bomb bay and set the plane on fire. The crew were lucky to escape without injury but the plane was a write-off and the cause of the accident never established. They were then given 'Little Rollo' and took part in the D-Day operation, a day Harlyn would never forget, ever thankful that he was in the air and not on the ground.

July 12th was another day he would always remember, the day of their 30th - and final- mission and also the day his daughter was born. Over Munich they lost an engine forcing the plane out of formation. Fortunately just as the German fighters were closing in a flock of
p-38's and P-51's came to the rescue and 'Little Rollo' was able to limp back to England and safety. Instead of returning home at the end of the tour he was selected to carry on as gunnery instructor for three months 'the new crews viewed us as heroes' much the same as had he training in Ireland just a few months earlier. During this period, on a pass to London, a V-1 landed on the hotel where he was staying and he took the hint and quickly returned to base.

After the war - his brother serving in the Pacific has also survived - Harlyn stayed on in the Air Force on B-29's for 26 years before retiring as a Master Sergeant. Settling afterwards in Dubuque Iowa he took a job as foreman in the Dubuque Packing Plant, enjoying being with his family, 'fishing and hunting, playing cards and a good cold beer from time to time'.

Post war: Aboard B-29 44-62076 "Hogan's Goat" 343BS, 98BG, 92BW, 15AF.

""While searching for the downed B-29 crew of Kenneth Jones from the 23rd Reconnaissance Squadron, our B-29 aircraft "Hogan's Goat" started to develop electrical problems. First we had problems with the radar and then the navigation equipment went haywire. Our radioman couldn't contact anyone. We soon realized we were lost somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and almost out of fuel because we had been flying for well over 20 hours. We needed to prepare for ditching at sea. While we were preparing for ditching, the navigator called on the intercom and reported he saw a small atoll (Fais Island) up ahead. This was a miracle since we hadn't seen any land since leaving Guam. That day in November 1948, God was definitely our co-pilot.""



  • Howard Roeller

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 446th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 707BS, 446BG, 8AF USAAF. 31 x combat missions. ETD ...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 446th Bomb Group

    446th Bomb Group

    The 446th Bomb Group, who came to be known as "the Bungay Buckaroos" after the name of their Suffolk base, flew B-24 Liberators on strategic, support and interdictory missions over Europe. The Group led the Eighth Air Force and 2nd Bomb Division on the...

  • 707th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-29155 'Piccadilly Commando'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 707BS, 446BG, 8AF USAAF. As the Howard Andrew Roeller crew were preparing for a mission, the incendaries caught fire 8-May-44, destroyed by resulting inferno, crew escaped unharmed. Salvaged 9-May-44.

  • 42-95289 'Little Rollo'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 707BS, 446BG, 8AF USAAF. 123 missions. Returned Zone of Interior (ZI)

Associated Place

  • Bungay

    Military site : airfield
    From late November 1943, the three bases of Bungay, Seething and Hardwick were the stations of the 20th Combat Wing of the Eighth Air Force. The base had previously housed individual squadrons of the 310th Bomb Group (Twelfth Air Force) and of the 93rd...


Event Location Date
Born Potosi, WI 7 August 1924
Enlisted Camp Dodge, Herrold, IA 28 November 1942

Camp Dodge Herrold Iowa

Lived in Dubuque, IA, USA

Son of Coleen Turner.


Date Contributor Update
18 October 2019 12:08:13 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, service number, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2019 14:02:26 general ira snapsorter Changes to highest rank, biography, unit associations and aircraft associations

Information compiled by historian Helen Millgate, sourced from The Beachbell Echo, newsletter of the 446th Bomb Group Association.

Date Contributor Update
18 May 2018 14:30:03 general ira snapsorter Changes to role and events

"Iowans of the Mighty Eighth", Chapter 22 "Biographies", by Charles D Taylor.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:11:52 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /