McGrath Crew

Crew includes: John Andrews (TG); Clarence Van Zile (CP); William McGrath (P); Clarence Dragoo (N); Clem Granger (BF); Clarence Hughey(FE); Don Adsit (NG); William Feller (RO); Harolw Swensen (WG)

  • McGRATH, Jr, William E, Pilot – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • VAN ZILE, Clarence, Co-Pilot – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • DRAGOO, Clarence L, Navigator – KIA 28 Feb 25 Hanson
  • MacDONALD, Thomas A, Navigator – KIA 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • HUGHEY, Jr, Clarence E, Engineer – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • FELLER, William, R/Op – KIA 07 Feb 45 McGrath
  • ADSIT, Donald J, Lt Waist Gunner – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • ANDREWS, John M., Tail Gunner (R/Op) – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • GRANGER, Clement R., Ball Gunner – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • SWENSON, Harold, Rt Waist Gunner – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath
  • ROZIC, Stanley W, RN – RTD 31 Mar 45 McGrath

716th Squadron

716logoJohn A. Silverstein (changed his name after the war to John (Jack) Steele) was C.O. from June ‘43 to July ’44. He was followed by Charles E. Harton from July ‘44 to November ’44. Harton had served as the acting C.O. for the 719th squadron while Swan was in the hospital recovering from wounds during May ‘44 to July ‘44. Lloyd M. Bentsen (who became a U.S. Senator from Texas, U. S. Treasurer after the war, and U.S. Vice Presidential Candidate) was the C.O. from November ‘44 until February ’45. Robert Johnson took over from mid-‘45 to V.E. Day in May ’45.

42-51920

A replacement ship acquired by the 449th on 14 April ’44. On the 27 December ’44 mission against Brenner Pass, “Fearless Fosdick” blew up right in front of “Rag-ADas”. All of the leading edges of the main wing and complete tail assembly of “Rag-A-Das” were burned and blackened severely as well as all forward facing plexiglass windows, thus effectively blinding McGrath’s crew. Instrument flying became immediately necessary, through the bomb run, and the return flight. The upper turret was rotated 180 degrees for the final landing approach at Grottaglie with assistance being provided to the pilots by interphone communication. It was found after landing that all aileron surfaces as well as the surfaces of the vertical stabilizers were burned away. “Rag-A-Das” was flown to the Gioia depot on 29 April ’45.

Pictures of Rag-A-Das

RAG-A-DAS2

RAG-A-DAS3

RagADas

42-51553

Arrrived Sept 44. Landed Falconara on 7 Feb 45 returning from Moosbierbaum, Austria with McGrath crew on board. Waist gunner killed by flak. Hit by British Wellington on ground ground and salvaged.

42-51526

Mickey ship, arrival unknown. Crash landed near Pecs, Hungary returning from mission to Linz, Austria on 31 Mar 45 with McGrath crew aboard. 1 KIA 10 RTN. MACR 13486. Aircraft reportedly later flown by Soviets.

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