Crew Included: Gerald S Witt (P); William G Kertis (CP); Eugene S Kruszynski (B); Leonard J Viola (FE); Robert S Hagg (NG); Francis D McCoy (TG); Harold Vanderwiere (BG); Wilfred J Nasse (WG); Calvin C Snyder (WG).

  • WITT, Gerald S., Pilot – KIA 17 Oct 44 Witt
  • KERTIS, William G, Co-Pilot – KIA 17 Oct 44 Witt
  • KRUSZYNSKI, Eugene S., Bombardier
  • VIOLA, Leonard J., Flight/Eng
  • HAGG, Robert S, Nose Gunner – Radio/Op – KIA 17 Oct 44 Witt
  • McCOY, Francis D., Tail Gunner 17 Oct 1944 Purple Heart
  • VANDER WIERE, Harold , Ball Turret
  • NASSE, Wilfred J.,
  • SNYDER, Calvin C, Rt. Waist Gunner
  • WALSH, Robert E, Radio/OP (replaced with Hagg)
  • ACKERMAN, Bombardier replaced, unknowned

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.


A replacement ship flown overseas by Charnes crew in September ’44. The nose art never got painted on the ship. The aircraft suffered severe flak damage with Witt crew aboard over Vienna, Austria, on 17 October ’44. The pilot, copilot and flight engineer were killed while attempting an emergency landing on the Isle of Vis after the rest of the crew had been ordered to bail out. The crew members that bailed out were subsequently returned to Grottaglie. 3 KIA 7 RTN. No MACR.

Pin It on Pinterest