• ORCHARD, Frederick S, Pilot – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • SCHIEVINK, Harold E, Co-Pilot – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • BORESCH, Frank E, Navigator – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • KEPHART, Clyde A, , Rt Waist, RO – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • HOFF, Robert C, , F/E – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • WAY, Edward J, , Ball Gunner – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • JOHNSTONE, James M, Tail Gunner – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • PERRINE, Ray L, Nose Gunner – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • KIKTA, Peter, Lt Waist Gunner – KIA 25 Dec 44 Orchard
  • HOUSEHOLDER, William, Nose Gunner

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.


“Racy Tomato” arrived in the 449th in April ’44 with Isaac’s crew aboard. She was named by Isaac — a former Disney cartoonist — who painted her nose art. Crew chief was Sgt. Francis Weaver. The ship was reported by several pilots as a “gas hog”, with several landings being made “up the leg of the Italian boot” at Allied airfields when returning from across the Alps. “Racy Tomato” was ditched in the Adriatic Sea, out of fuel, by Orchard’s crew on 25 December ’44 returning from the Innsbruck, Austria mission. 9 KIA. MACR 10915.

Pictures of Racy Tomato







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