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Thanks to Ed Pendergast, Tail Gunner; Jason Bishop, grandson of Julian Pencovic (Crew Chief); Ross Noble, grandson of Cpt James Ezell (Aircraft Commander).

The Airplane

“Here’s Lucky” peels off to the right.  Pirates Log, p. 53

The first crew of Cpt Ezell named the plane “Here’s Lucky” and painted a pair of dice on the plane.  The name has an unusual history.  Cpt Ezell had a brother Bonner Ezell who flew missions over Germany.  Bonner was shot down and ended up in a POW camp.  He always ended his letters to James with “Here’s Lucky”.  Perhaps Ezell was able to pass on his unused luck to his brother because the crew was the first to fly 35 missions and to rotate home.

The name was removed when the Pirate was painted on the plane and was not immediately replaced.  So the first crew flew their last missions in a plane without a name (see picture above).  However, the name was eventually repainted on the plane by the second crew.

A later crew repainted the name on the aircraft.
Photo provided by John Potenza, all rights reserved.

The Air Crews

The first crew assigned to the airplane was Crew #3904.  They flew 35 missions.

Second Crew

By the end of the war, “Here’s Lucky” had flown 39 missions and was credited with 2 kills.
Picture provided by Jason Bishop, all rights reserved

This is presumably the second crew of “Here’s Lucky” and some of the ground crew. Since everyone is wearing a mae west, they may all be going on this mission. The notation on the back of the picture says “Sept 2, 1945 Flt to China _?_ PW _?_”. The names below were faintly printed on the back of the picture, so I may have a few of them wrong:

Maj. Jack D. Koser (A/C)
1/Lt Harry P. Johnson (Pilot)
1/Lt John J. Cooglin (Navigator)
Sgt Stanley D. Peve (Engineer)
S/Sgt Julian E. Pencovic (Ground Crew)
S/Sgt Robert S. Ziegler (Tail Gunner)
S/Sgt Alfred B. Daniels (Crew Chief)

The Ground Crew

The crew chiefs for this airplane were Sgt Julian E. Pencovic and S/Sgt Alfred B. Daniels.  The ground crew included S/Sgt George S. Rawson.


Last updated 08/29/2010