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The Air Crew

The members of crew #2406 were:

Cpt Gordon P. Jordan (A/C)
1/Lt Wails Hawkins (Pilot)
Lt Milton Garfinkle (Navigator)
1/Lt Clinton L. Wride (Bombardier)
M/Sgt George E. McGraw (Engineer)
M/Sgt Walter W. Wiernick (Radio)
S/Sgt Max A. Adams (Radar)
S/Sgt Norman S. Kruvant (CFC)
S/Sgt Robert J. Burkle (R Gunner)
Sgt Robert A. Grant (L Gunner)
S/Sgt Florio D. Spero (T Gunner)

2/Lt Paul A. Trump (Navigator) replaced Lt Milton Garfinkle. S/Sgt Walter W. Dickerson replaced S/Sgt Norman S. Kruvant.  The crew was shot down on a night mining mission on July 19, 1945.  Several men were captured and held as POWs.  Several did not survive.

The crew and their fate is described in great detail by Greg Hadley in “Field of Spears”.

Original members of Crew #2416.
Photo courtesy of Milton Garin and Greg Hadley

Standing – Left to Right: S/Sgt Florio D. Spero (T Gunner), M/Sgt George E. McGraw (Engineer) [POW], S/Sgt Norman S. Kruvant (CFC) [not on last flight], Sgt Robert A. Grant (L Gunner)S/Sgt Max A. Adams (Radarman)S/Sgt Robert J. Burkle (R Gunner), S/Sgt Walter W. Wiernik (Radio) [POW].
Kneeling – Left to Right: Cpt Gordon P. Jordan (A/C) [POW], 1/Lt Wails Hawkins (Pilot), Lt Milton Garin (Navigator) [not on last flight], 1/Lt Clinton L. Wride (Bombardier).

Crewmembers on last flight who are not shown here: 2/Lt Paul A. Trump (Navigator) [POW], S/Sgt Walter W. Dickerson (Right Gunner) [POW].

DFC Citation – Mission 20. Mitsubishi Aircraft Company (Apr 7)

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 7 April 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members of a B-29 aircraft leading a formation on a daylight precision strike on the Mitsubishi aircraft plant, Nagoya, Japan. On the bomb run, fighter opposition and intense flak were encountered and their airplane sustained battle damage. Despite this, however, these veterans of repeated assaults against the home islands of Japan pressed the attack, causing severe damage to the enemy by aiding materially in destroying seventy-five percent of the target area. This flight was accomplished by flying 3,000 miles non-stop, in the face of difficult navigational problems, and the danger of engine failure with consequent ditching many miles at sea or bail out over enemy territory. The professional skill, teamwork and determination displayed in successfully striking this high priority target reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant WAILS HAWKINS (then Second Lieutenant) as Pilot
First Lieutenant CLINTON L. WRIDE as Bombardier
Master Sergeant GEORGE E. MCGRAW (then Technical Sergeant) as Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant WALTER W. WIERNIK as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant MAX A. ADAMS (then Sergeant) as Radar Operator
Sergeant NORMAN S. KRUVANT as Central Fire Control Gunner
Sergeant ROBERT J. BURKLE as Right Blister Gunner
Sergeant ROBERT A. GRANT as Left Blister Gunner
Sergeant FLORIA D. SPERO as Tail Gunner

[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, “Anonymous IV”)]

A separate DFC Citation was written for Captain GORDON P. JORDAN, Aircraft Commander of Crew #2406.

The Airplanes

This crew primarily flew “Sharon Linn“.