Standing (L to R): Harry Crisman (B), Nelson Woods (P), Darwin M. Newton (CP), Raymond Meiskothen (N). Kneeling (L to R): William F. Hamill (BG), Norman Bayse (NG), Duane Berner (TG), Harold Brodie (R/O-WG), Harold Copeland (F/E-TTG), Clifford Baldwin (WG).

Standing are: Lt. D. M. Newton; Capt. Nelson Woods; Allen K Taylor, (B).
In front row are Sergeants: Clifford Baldwin; Harold Copeland; Duane Berner; Norman Bayse; Harold Brodie; William Hamill.

  • WOODS, Nelson S, Pilot
  • NEWTON, Darwin M, CoPilot
  • MEISEKOTHEN, Raymond J., Navigator
  • CRISMAN, Harry Bruce, Bombardier
  • COPELAND, Harold M, Flight/Eng.
  • BALDWIN, Clifford E, Lt Waist
  • BERNER, Duane A, Tail Turret
  • BAYSE, Norman H, Nose Turret
  • BRODY, Harold M, Rt Waist
  • HAMILL, JR., William F., Ball Gunner

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.


An original cadre ship acquired 20 October ’43 and assigned to Woods’ crew who flew her overseas in December ’43. Her nose art, initially, revealed a swinging axe beheading Hitler, with the heads of Mussolini and Tojo lying close by! Headquarters requested the falling head be removed from the nose art (too gory) which was later done. The “Chopper” crashed on near base, out of fuel from combat damage, at Grottaglie on 2 July ’44 with Kirkland’s crew aboard. 3 KIA and others survived.

Pictures of Woods Chopper


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