340st Bomb Group 489th Bomb Squadron based in Alesani, Corsica

340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-35984 - 9B LEGAL EAGLE
PILOT L.E. BULKELEY
CREW T/SGT. JOHN H CAMERON
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9B Legal Eagle entered a German aircraft naming competition along with three other entries and won. The winning name? SUPERDURCHSCHNITTSGESCHWIDIGKEITER (meaning "Speedy"in German).

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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27653 - 9C RUTHIE
PILOT J.J. Franks
CREW CHIEF M/SGT. EZRA BAER
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* Additions and corrections provided by Jeff Wolford
With 108 missions completed, this aircraft was one of the survivors in the 489th BS, 340th BG. Losses during the battles over the Po River Valley were high during the interdiction campaign these units conducted. The 489th BS lost 75 aircraft (three times its assigned strength) while was flying out of Alasani, Corsica, either because they didn’t return from missions or couldn’t be repaired after limping back. Hundred-mission planes were rare. But “Ruthie,” in the care of crew chief M/Sgt. Ezra Baer, finished more than that number and only aborted once due to engine trouble. To understand the rough nature of the missions, check the tactical combat reports carried on the 489th pages of Don Kaiser’s tactical website and mission list.

From rare color photos, it appears that “Ruthie” was one of the B-25Js painted with RAF Dark Green camouflage paint when supplies of standard USAAF olive drab are said to have been low when some aircraft arrived.

340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27638 - 9D BREIFING TIME
AIRPLANE COMMANDER BUS TAYLOR
CREW CHIEF JOE MOORE
BOMBADIER KEN CLAUSEN
NAVIGATOR BOB FRENCH
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This aircraft. BRIEFING TIME, flew 126 missions, including some of the most difficult in the MTO and returned with battle damage several times. But it completed all its missions without having to come home once because of mechanical problems. Under the circumstances, with limited parts availability and tight turnaround times, it was a huge achievement. According to Steve Pace, who wrote “Mitchell Units of the MTO,” it was because of the sure hands and skills of T/Sgt. Joe Moore, it’s crew chief. It was said that after the aircraft’s last mission at the end of the war, Moore offered to paint a new name on the nose: QUITTING TIME.

Fin flash has been removed and skin has been updated (March 5, 2005) to reflect comments by Dominique Taddei.


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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-4062 - 9G BUBBIES
AIRPLANE COMMANDER LT.B.C. MCKINLEY
CREW CHIEF T/SGT. J.L.CAFFERY
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Documentation in progress.

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340th BG 489th BS - SN UNKNOWN - 9Q SOLID JACKSON
PILOT UNKNOWN
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
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Art work documentation provided by Dominique Taddei and Don Kaiser.

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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-4080 - 9S KNOCKOUT
PILOT LT. M C. LUCAS
CREW CHIEF FRED BAUER
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American artist Gil Elvgren painted the original pinup used for noseart on this aircraft. The plane flew 126 missions, all of them out of Alesani in Corsica. Based on the serial number, it’s unlikely that it was there at the time of the Luftwaffe raid on May 13 which took out most the the 489th aircraft. The actual aircraft flew without the gun pods which mechanics removed to reduce weight. With high altitude bombing missions, there was little value fixed machine guns designed for ground attacks.

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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27485 - 9T MISSION COMPLETED
PILOT LT. F. R. VOSS
CREW CHIEF T/SGT J. L. COOK
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"Mission Completed," 9T, SN 43-27485, flew 131 missions, many of them under the command of Lt. Fred Voss. Tech Sgt. Joe Cook was crew chief for the aircraft. Like many of the planes in the 340th, it was camouflaged with RAF Dark Green over bare metal. The aircraft completed its tour and made the long flight back to the U.S. without incident.

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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27694 - 9U C-RATION
PILOT UNKNOWN
CREW CHIEF JOE DOMSIC
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Artwork documentation provided by Dominique Taddei and Don Kaiser.
10-17-2006 - Inclusion of crew cheif submitted by Donald Baier son-in-law of Joe Domsic


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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27717 - 9V THAT’S ALL BROTHER
AIRPLANE COMMANDER J.L. MITCHELL
CREW CHIEF T/SGT. TOM SULLIVAN
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This B-25J, "That’s All Brother," flew 38 missions with the 489th BS, 345th BG through heavy flak and fighters. But it ended it’s tour with a crash landing after a routine training mission. The plane’s camouflage paint was RAF Dark Green. After a disastrous night attack by the Luftwaffe on May 13, 1944, during which metal planes stood out in the flares and moonlight, the ground crews began painting all planes with OD camouflage over bare metal. But paint supplies were said to be short, so RAF green was used on many of the planes, including this one. The lower surfaces were also painted neutral gray, although many of the planes in this group were simply OD over bare metal. This aircraft was maintained by T/Sgt. Tom Sullivan, one of the early members of the group on Corsica.

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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27717 - 9V MISS REBEL
AIRPLANE COMMANDER 2ND LT. EDWARD B. HEILIG
CREW CHIEF T/SGT. QUENTIN C. KAISER
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”This is the crew of B-25J 9V ‘Miss Rebel’ probably taken just after the mission to bomb the railroad viaduct at Borovnica, Yugoslavia on December 28, 1944. Standing from left to right are top-turret gunner, S/Sgt. William A. Devine; tail gunner, S/Sgt. Lyle D. Ives; copilot, 2nd Lt. W.E. Steele; bombardier, Theodore G. Constantine; and pilot, 2nd Lt. Edward B. Heilig. Kneeling is my father, radio-gunner, T/Sgt. Quentin C. Kaiser. 12 planes from the 489th Bomb Squadron and 12 planes from the 486th squadron teamed up to make 340th Bomb Group Mission #665. There was no fighter escort on this mission. The twenty-four planes dropped a total of ninety-five 1000-pound bombs on the eastern edge of the Borovnica railroad viaduct.“(Don Kaiser)


This skin represents “Miss Rebel” as she looked on the day of this mission. The single black mark through “Rebel” was painted S/Sgt. Tom Sullivan, 9V’s crew chief, to change the bad luck she had of attracting flak. Don Kaiser writes that the plane had the nickname of “Old Magnet Pants” because of its reputation to return with heavy flak damage. Sullivan took over the aircraft from S/Sgt Robert Lee when Lee returned to the U.S. after his tour. Under Lee, “Miss Rebel” was numbered 9J. Sullivan called the ship “Miss,” after he crossed out “Rebel.” He didn’t want her to rebel any more. It was number “9V” after Sullivan’s first ship, “That’s All Brother” crashed on a training mission.


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340th BG 489th BS - SN 43-27544 9Y LADY-LUCK
PILOT UNKNOWN
CREW CHIEF UNKNOWN
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Documentation in progress.

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