Standing (L to R): F. Sterner (CP); A. Kanze (N); H. Mel Carter (P); R. Suk (B); R. Leonard (WG). Lower Row (L to R): J. Durbin (TG); G. Greene (NG); A. Commers (BG); M. Manske (FE); P. Rotundi (RO)

  • CARTER, H. Mel, Pilot
  • STERNER, Frank E., Co-Pilot – KIA 5/26/44 – Warner
  • KANZE, Albert J, Navigator
  • SUK, Richard L., Bombardier
  • MANSKE, Maynard C., Ft./Eng
  • COMMERS, Adolph M., Ball Gunner
  • DIETZ , Donald, Tail Gunner
  • GREENE, Glen W., Tail Gunner
  • LEONARD, Robert W., Lt Waist Gunner
  • DURBIN, John L., xfrd to 8th AF 12 Apr 44 with Grace crew
  • ROTONDI, Anthony J, Rt Waist, R/Op

718th Squadron

718logoWilliam Nosker was the original C.O. from July ‘43 until April ‘44 when he was transferred to the 47th Wing Headquarters as Assistant Operations Officer. Nosker was killed when the 376th Bomb Group B-24 that he was aboard crashed on takeoff on 15 August ‘44. Rexford Tompkins, the original Operations Officer for the 718th, became the C.O. in April ‘44 and remained so until September ’44. Charles Jordan finished out the war as the 718th C. O. from September ‘44 through May ’45.

Daisy Mae

An original cadre ship acquired 15 October ’43 and assigned to H. Mel Carter crew who flew her overseas in December ’43. Crew chief was Sgt. Jim Wells. Carter’s crew had just arrived at Grottaglie and were using the ship for temporary sleeping quarters on 8 January ’44 when a RAF twin-engine Beaufighter crashed into the ship on a night landing damaging the right wing tip and the top turret. The ship had been readied for the next day’s mission. She was repaired and returned to the 449th in the Spring of 44 and renumbered #28. The ship was damaged again on the ground on 1 August ’44 and salvaged. The crew called the shipt DAISY MAE but it’s unclear if it actually had nose art.

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