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Thanks to William M. Litzenberg.

The Air Crew

The original crew #4014 included the following:

1/Lt Paul E. Reed (A/C)
1/Lt Joseph Kubicek (Pilot)
1/Lt Harold R. Wakefield (Navigator)
1/Lt Irvin D. Morrison (Bombardier)
M/Sgt Lloyd G. Crawley (Engineer)
S/Sgt Robert E. Reed (Radio)
T/Sgt James D. Dowd (CFC)
S/Sgt George W. Leavesley (Radarman)
Sgt Leo A. Bessette (R Gunner)
Sgt Toby Chazen (L Gunner)
S/Sgt William M. Litzenberg (T Gunner)

1/Lt Joseph Kubicek was promoted to A/C and 2/Lt James C. Porter (from Crew #4018) took his position as Pilot.  1/Lt Joseph Kubicek (A/C), T/Sgt James D. Dowd (CFC) and Sgt Leo A. Bessette (R Gunner) were transferred to Crew #4018.  The replacement A/C is not known.  T/Sgt James D. Dowd (CFC) was replaced by Sgt Ober L. “Leland” Wertz, III (CFC/RG) and then S/Sgt Paul E. “Red” Roberts (CFC).  (Leland Wertz may have served first as a CFC and then as a RG when “Red” Roberts arrived to serve as a CFC.)  Sgt Leo A. Bessette (R Gunner) was replaced by S/Sgt Theodore Killen (L Gunner).

Original Crew #4014 in front of “Bad Penny“.
Photo provided by 6BG, all rights reserved.

1/Lt Joseph Kubicek (Pilot) wrote on the back of his copy of the above picture:

This was our old ship.  It is now some thousands or hundreds of feet below the sea.  It was a good one tho.
I have Dowd and Leo now on my own crew.  As soon as we have another picture taken I’ll send you one.
This picture was taken on our last mission together, just before we got in to take off.

The “Bad Penny” was lost on a night mining mission on March 27, while flown by Crew #4008.


The following “Record of Combat Duty” of 1/Lt Joseph Kubicek (A/C) may list the missions that he flew with Crew #4014.

Document provided by Chris Lancaster, grandson of 1/Lt Joseph Kubicek (A/C).

DFC Citation – Mission 46. Osaka Urban Area (June 1)

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 1 June 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were members of the combat crew of a B-29 aircraft on a daylight, high-altitude, incendiary strike against important industrial facilities in the city of Osaka. This second largest city in Japan was one of the principal centers of heavy industry and it was known that its destruction would hamper considerably the enemy’s ability to wage effective warfare. The importance of this objective rendered this mission particularly hazardous, since the area was well defended by fighters and anti-aircraft batteries. During the course of the raid, their formation received thirteen attacks from enemy fighters and encountered heavy flak. Despite formidable opposition, they maintained close formation and pressed the attack home, cascading their bombs precisely on the briefed aiming point and inflicted severe damage. As a result of this raid more than three square miles of the city was destroyed and eleven crucial industrial targets were damaged, including Osaka harbor facilities, which were eighty-five percent destroyed. By their high degree of aeronautical skill, their devotion, superior performance, and their calm efficiency in the face of extreme danger, these veterans of repeated missions over Japan reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant PAUL N. REED as Airplane Commander
First Lieutenant HAROLD R. WAKEFIELD as Navigator
First Lieutenant IRVIN D. MORRISON as Bombardier
Master Sergeant LOYD G. CRAWLEY as Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant ROBERT E. REED as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant GEORGE N. LEAVESLEY as Radar Gunner
Staff Sergeant WILLIAM M. LITZENBERG as Tail Gunner

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

The Airplanes

The first airplane assigned to this crew was an airplane which they named “Bad Penny“.   The crew named the airplane partly after Penny, the wife of 1/Lt Paul E. Reed.  The reason for inserting “bad” is that, according to the common saying “A bad penny always comes back”.  However, the airplane did not live up to its name and was lost on March 27 while being flown on a night mining mission by the crew of Lt. Paul A. Steel.

The crew then flew a replacement airplane which they named “Bad Penny II”.  However, on May 16, that airplane went off the end of the runway during an unsuccessful aborted take-off and was destroyed.

The crew then flew different aircraft, including “White Mistress“.