Standing (L to R): Sidney Stephens (P); Henry Wiltse (B); Lawrence Heberle (N); John J. Schurman (SQ Comms Officer). Kneeling (L to R): Tarbert R. Ahrens (G); John H. Yuhas (RO); Lloyd J. Starr (E); John J. Kishner (AE); Percy J. LeBlanc (G); Dawsey I. Shriner (G)

  • STEPHENS, Sidney A., Pilot
  • SCHINDLER, James N., Co-Pilot
  • LOPRETE, William A., Co-Pilot
  • HEBERLE, Lawrence J., Navigator POW 14 Jul 44, Geisert
  • WILTSE, Henry A., Bombardier
  • STARR, Lloyd J., F/E
  • YUHAS, John H., Nose Turret
  • AHRENS, Trabert R., Tail Gunner
  • MORRISON, George W.,
  • ROBERTS, Richard F.,
  • SHRINER, Dawsey L., Lt Waist
  • LeBLANC, Percy J., Rt Waist

719th Squadron

719logoDavid 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.


Sunshine Sunshine Sunshine Sunshine Sunshine Sunshine Sunshine

An original cadre ship acquired 23 October ’43 and assigned to Stephens’ crew who flew her overseas in December ’43. On 29 March ’44, “Sunshine” was damaged by flak over Bolzano, North Italy. Hemphill’s crew elected to try to make it to Switzerland rather than to bail out. However, having difficulty identifying their exact location from the air, they landed at a German held airfield in Venegono, Italy. The entire crew was taken POW. “Sunshine” was taken over by the Luftwaffe propaganda squadron and, after being equipped with Meddo and Berlin type radios, was put to propaganda uses. 10 POW MACR 3715.

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