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The Air Crew

The members of crew #4002 were:

Maj Irvin H. Parsons (A/C)
1/Lt Donald A. Lassus (Pilot)
1/Lt Hubert B. Connell (Navigator)
1/Lt Carl J. Manone (Bombardier)
S/Sgt Thomas J. Banks (Engineer)
S/Sgt Lester F. Stowers (Radio)
S/Sgt Valentine Chepeleff (Radarman)
T/Sgt Charles P. “Pat” Foster (CFC)
M/Sgt Houston R. Beatty (R Gunner)
S/Sgt Edgar L. McCart (L Gunner)
Sgt Kenneth A. Davis (T Gunner)

DFC Citation – Mission 47. Kobe Urban Area (June 5)

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 5 June 1945. These individuals were combat members of a B-29 aircraft leading a formation on a daylight incendiary raid against important industrial and shipping facilities in the city of Kobe Japan. Flying their plane on the long and difficult seven-hour flight, these men, by the exercise of great skill and precision, assembled their flights and led them over the briefed target. During the course of the raid, they were attacked fourteen times by aggressive enemy fighters, and encountered heavy, intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from the vicinity of the target. Despite this determined opposition, this crew maintained and led an exceptional formation, releasing their bombs over the briefed target with great accuracy. The overall success of this mission is attested by the fact that over four square miles of the built up portion of Kobe was destroyed, thereby seriously crippling the enemy’s ability to produce and transport war materials. By their high degree of individual skill in the performance of their assigned duties and their coolness and courage in the face of grave danger, these men, veterans of more than twenty-five combat missions, distinguished themselves highly, thereby reflecting great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

Major IRVIN M. PARSONS as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant HUBERT B. CONNELL as Navigator
First Lieutenant CARL J. MANONE as Bombardier
Staff Sergeant VALENTINE CHEPELEFF as Radar Gunner

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

A separate DFC Citation was written for the following members of Crew #4002:

First Lieutenant DONALD A. LASSUS as Pilot
Master Sergeant THOMAS J. BANKS as Flight Engineer
Technical Sergeant CHARLES P. FOSTER (then Staff Sergeant) as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant LESTER F. STOWERS as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant EDGAR L. McCART as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant HOUSTON R. BEATY (then Sergeant) as Right Blister Gunner
Sergeant KENNETH A. DAVIS as Tail Gunner

The Airplanes

This crew generally flew “Earthquake McGoon“.