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Credits

Thanks to Frank Barrella, son of S/Sgt Frank L. Barrella, mechanic on the “Irish Lullaby” and to Ron Fundell, son-in-law of M/Sgt Frank N. “Nick” Mount (Engineer, “Miss America ’62” 24th Squadron).

The Airplane

“Miss America ’62” may be the only surviving 6BG aircraft.


Miss America ’62 takes off on an early training mission.
Photo courtesy of Frank Barrella, all rights reserved.


Photo courtesy of Frank Barrella, all rights reserved

At the time this picture was taken, the plane had 13 missions and had shot down two enemy aircraft.  The aircraft was named in honor of the daughter of Cpt Bruce Alger.  She was born in 1944 and the crew decided that, by 1962, she would be Miss America.

The following history of her post-war service if from the Pacific Wrecks website:

Postwar Service

In October 1945 it returned to America and was assigned to the 4196th Base Unit (Air Technical Services Command) at Victorville Field, CA. Then, onto other bases including Robins Field, GA, Smokey Hill, KS, Kindley Airbase in Nashville, then was modified for weather reconnaissance and served on Bermuda. Finally, she served as a target tug, Randolph AFB in Texas when its service ended. And the aircraft was sent to NAS China Lake for use as a target.

Restoration & Display

Stored at NAS China Lake, California from 1960 – 1985. In 1984 plans for her restoration were made, and in 1986, the disassembled “Miss America 62” aircraft was delivered to Travis Air Force Base Museum.

In 1994, after ten years and 120,000 volunteer restoration hours, the bomber was put on public display as “Miss America 62”. Alger’s wife, Linda Jill Alger spoke at the dedication of the aircraft on June 18, 1984.


“Miss America ’62” on display at Travis AFB, SFO

The Air Crew

This aircraft was first assigned to Crew #2409, including:

Cpt Bruce R. Alger (Aircraft Commander)
1/Lt William F. Higgison (Pilot)
1/Lt Harold A. Griesmer (Navigator)
1/Lt Jacob Kagan (Bombardier)
M/Sgt Frank N. “Nick” Mount (Engineer)
S/Sgt Albert E. Horvath (Radio)
S/Sgt John F. Gabriszeski, Jr. (Radarman)
T/Sgt Harold V. Jones (CFC)
S/Sgt Darius C. Blatt (R Gunner)
S/Sgt Richard G. Bush (L Gunner)
S/Sgt George W. Helland (T Gunner)

The aircraft was next assigned to Crew #2423, including:

Maj James F. Sapp (A/C)
2/Lt Peter D. Summer (Pilot)
2/Lt Charles M. V Crowley (Navigator)
2/Lt William B. Lever (Bombardier)
T/Sgt Francis W. Boren (Engineer)
Sgt Frank D. Mittelstaedt (Radio)
2/Lt Eugene B. Myers (Radarman)
Sgt Robert E. Irvin (CFC)
Cpl Theodore J. Janiuk (R Gunner)
Sgt Virgil W. Phillips (L Gunner)
Cpl John M. Koleno (T Gunner)

The A/C for the last mission was Lt. Jack A. Henshaw.

The Ground Crew

The Crew Chief for this aircraft was M/Sgt Wilbur R. Patterson, Jr.

 

Last updated 09/06/2014