- MELLOR, Ernest P., Pilot
- FAUST, Ray R, JR, CoPilot
- LENT, Richard W, Navigator EVD 10/13/44 Mealey
- PETERS, Albert E, Bombardier
- BAXTER, Vivian , F/E
- PERZ, Arthur L, Rt Waist
- FRANK, Lewis H, JR, Nose Gunner
- FOGLEY, Phylix M, Tail Gunner
- WOODARD, William R, JR, Ball Gunner
- POWELL, Ervin E, Lt Waist
My late father, Richard Lent (10/25/1921 – 4/22/2015), served in the 15thAF, 449th Bomb Group from June 1944 – October 13, 1944. He was a navigator, and was serving in that capacity on the Nancy Jane #2 (Mealey), which went down over Yugoslavia following a mission to Vienna. He parachuted out, broke both legs on landing, and was eventually carried out by Tito’s partisans to Vis, where he was evacuated back to Bari and the hospital there. He spent over a year recovering from his injuries at home in New Paltz, NY, where he became a local lawyer and raised a family. His experiences in WWII were always part of our family’s narrative while growing up, and remained a central part of his life experience for the rest of his long life.
I believe his aircraft carried Flight Surgeon Major Leslie Caplan on that mission.
I have unearthed a lot of memorabilia from his time in the service — images, paperwork, letters, clippings, and more, plus a detailed narrative of his last mission and rescue from German-held territory. I hope others might fill in some details of his narrative, and that his information might help others.
David 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.