Standing (L to R): William Stanley (B); Norman Blomgren (P); Harry Bursten (CP); Robert Simmons (N).
Lower Row (L to R): William Blankenship (AEG); Cecil Yeats (AEG); Joseph Fox (RO); Joseph Windham (G); Charles Debord (G); James Reed (AEG)

  • BLOMGREN, Norman, Pilot
  • BURSTEN, Harry N., Co-Pilot
  • SIMMONS, Robert M, Navigator
  • STANLEY, William G., Bombardier
  • FOX, Joseph F, R/OP
  • BLANKENSHIP, William, F/E
  • YEATES, Cecil R, Nose Gunner
  • WINDHAM, Joseph W, Ball Gunner
  • DEBORD, Charles A, Gunner
  • REED, James, AEG

719th Squadron

719logoDavid Councill was the original C.O. from July ‘43 to 8 December ’43 when he and his crew were lost during the movement overseas. Most of the 719th officer and NCO staff were among the 14 men lost aboard Councill’s aircraft. This placed the 719th in dire straits in January ’44. Arthur B. Swan took over as C.O. and began sorting things out in January ’44. He served as the C. O. until he received a serious combat wound on 23 April ‘44. Charles E. Harton from the 717th Squadron was selected to be the acting commander until Art Swan could reassume the position. When Swan was promoted to higher echelon, Harton continued as the acting C.O. until July ‘44. Harold R. Loughran, a lead crew pilot from the 717th became the 719th C.O. in July ‘44 and remained through September ’44. In September ‘44, William Allen became the C.O. and remained so until May ‘45.


A replacement ship that Blomgren’s crew picked up at Hamilton Field, CA, and flew overseas arriving at Grottaglie on 3 April ’44. “Worrybird” suffered severe combat damage, requiring three engine changes. The repair work took two days and two nights of steady work to complete. After the repairs were completed and she was being readied for a test flight, she was taxied into a deep mud hole, damaging the right gear strut and tearing a large hole in the wing. 11 Aug 44 taxi accident.

Pictures of Worrybird


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