Plecko Crew

Standing (L to R): John Plecko (P), Bill Wilkins (CP), Arnold Ross (N), Bernard Bannigan (B) Lower Row (L to R): Plavion (F/E), Ohlin (R/O), Ora F. Bond (BG), Gavason (G), Stuart (G) and Waltos (G) [Ora Bond KIA 27 Dec ’44]

  • PLECKO, John P, Pilot
  • WILKINS, William J, Co-Pilot
  • ROSS, Arnold, Navigator
  • BANNIGAN, Bernard W., bombardier
  • GAVASON, John, Nose Gunner
  • WALTOS, Stanley J, Tail Gunner
  • BOND, Ora E., Ball Turret – KIA 27 Dec 44 Dalrymple
  • STUART, James L, Rt Waist
  • OHLIN, Richard, Lt Waist
  • BECKNER, Roy M., NoseGunner – KIA 27 Dec 44 Dalrymple

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.


Arrived 26 July 44 and flown to the Gioia depot on 29 Apr 45at the end of combat. Struck trees on takeoff on 18 August 44, John P Plecko, pilot. Landed safely with nose turret damage.

Pictures of 44-41049


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