Author

Lew Funk's WWII Pictures

34th Bombardment Group 391st Squadron

Authors Note:

This site represents years of research and scanning old negatives and other artifacts. As you might imagine, it is not done, I don't think it ever will be. Instead it is a work in progress and that continues to evolve as I discover new material and new ways to present everything I have gathered and learned. Please check back from time to time to see what's new.

If you are interested in finding specific information about the 34th Bomb Group's missions visit the "Valor to Victory 34th Bomb Group" site at: http://valortovictory.tripod.com/. It has detailed mission for the 34th Bomb Group. Additionally if you are looking for information on B-24's visit the "B24 Best Web" site at: http://b24bestweb.com/

~ John Funk ~


Army Infantry - March 17, 1937 to February 1940

During his time in the Infantry Lew's unit spent the summer's in Wyoming, and the winters in Colorado at Fort Logan

Private Lew Funk Army Infantry c. 1937 Army Infantry Team at Ft. Locan, Colorado c. 1937 Buck Sergant Starbuck Infantry Supplies

Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado - February 1940 to May 5, 1943

For more informaiton on Lowry Air Force Base see the Wikipedia Article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowry_Air_Force_Base

Before getting accepted into photo school at Lowry he had a short assignment as an MP at Lowry Airforce Base. Then he compleated everything needed to become an instructor.

Air Corps Tech School 1941 Air Corps Tech School 1941 Bomb Demonstration at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado

34th Bomb Group, Blythe California - May 5,1943 to July 1943

For more information about Blythe Army Airfield see the articles at:

On May 11, 1943 orders were issue by the base commander at Lowry colonel Harms for Lew to transfer to Blythe California by rail. The order included a meal allowance "Not to exceed $1 per meal in the dining car".

Photos from Blythe Army Airfield

Please Note: To see a larger version of the picture as well as detailed description and community comments "click" on any picture

Individual Pictures of Blythe Army Air Field

Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Blythe Army Air Field Lew Funk Relaxing Near Blyth Army Air Field

Blythe Army Air Field October 3, 1943

B-24 mishap on 3 October 1943 Blythe California B-24 mishap on 3 October 1943 Blythe California

B-24s Landing November 1943

B-24 Landing in Blythe November 1943

Close up of B-24 Landing in Blythe November 1943 B-24 Landing B-24 41-1185 Blythes Old Maid Landing at Blythe in November 1943 Close up of B-24 41-1185 Blythes Old Maid Landing at Blythe November 1943 B-24s in flight over the mountain of Blythe  November 1943 B-24 Tail Number 299958 Landing in Blythe November 1943 B-24 Tail Number 299958 Landing in Blythe November 1943 B-24 Landing in Blythe November 1943 B-24 Landing in Blythe November 1943 B-24 Landing in Blythe November 1943 B-24 In Flight at Blythe November 1943

Missions From Blythe Army Air Field:

May 16, 1943 Trip to L.A.

Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943 Trip To LA May 16, 1943

October 20, 1943 Trip to San Diego

Trip To San Diego October 20, 1943 Trip To San Diego October 20, 1943 Trip To San Diego October 20, 1943 Trip To San Diego October 20, 1943

December 15, 1943 Blythe Area

Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943 Blythe Area December 15, 1943

January 13, 1944 Blythe Area

Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943 Blythe Area January 13, 1943

Crash of B-24 S/N 42-7009 - July 24, 1943

Combat training at Blythe was not a walk in the park. As with any combat training accidents are inevitable. On July 24, 1943 B-24 S/N 42-7009 Crashed half a mile south of Blythe Army Air Base due to engine failure. Looking back on the event many years later, Lew told the story that this is the incident that caused his hearing loss. He said he was out in his Jeep driving on base with his camera gear when the crash occurred so he was one of the first ones at the scene. When he arrived, the scene was chaos. A few other men who arrived at the scene first had pulled some of the crew from the wreckage and loaded them into Lew's Jeep. As they loaded the injured men onto his jeep when one of the bombs the plane was caring blew up, knocking Lew off his feet which "rang his bell". He said he was able to regain his composure and rush the men to the hospital. However the men were in bad shape and did not survive.

Pilot Stanley Joseph Obarski survived and continued to fight in WWI until he was captured and held as a POW. He faught in Vietnam and later became the Commander of McCoy Air Base, Orlando FL (which is now known as Orlando International Airport).

The following Crew members all died in this crash:

B-24 Landing B-24 Landing B-24 Landing

This crash was also witnessed by D.B. (Dex) Jordan who wrote about it in a letter home to his mother on the day of the crash. In this letter he wrote "I have just watched on of our planes crash with one of my palls on it. Don't know how many of them got out yet. There was a crew of 12 on it. It shure does make you feel bad to stand and watch that black smoke go up. "

Dex Jordan Letter

B-24 42-7119 Crash Scene near Weed, CA. - July 10, 1943

On the morning of July 10th Lew was called to a crash site near Weed, CA to take pictures of the wreckage of B-24E SN 42-7119 from the 7th Bomb Squadron based at Salinas Army Air Field in California. CoPilot George F. Churchwell, Jr was the last one in control of B-24E #42-7119 on a nighttime training mission when it crashed over Weed, CA, due to mechanical failure, being careful to try to ensure others had time to bail out. He did not survive the crash. The crew members were:

B-24 Landing

This crash site was more recently visited and documented by aviation archaeologist and wreckfinder G Pat Macha from www.aircraftwrecks.com.


Suffolk, RAF Mendlesham, USAAF Station 156, England - 1943 to Dec 5, 1957

For more informaiton on RAF Mendlesham see the Wikipedia Article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Mendlesham

Lew arrived via ship to Mendlesham Army Airfield.

Group Photo TinTypes S/Sgt. Shepard G. Litsey

Intruder Story:

One day mid-way throug the war, when Lew said Mendlesham started to feel like home, Lew and his friend George Milliken were outside the Mendlesham photography shack when an German ME109 Intruder flew so low overhead Lew said "If I had my tommy gun with me I could have shot it down myself." The intruder had followed a group of ships home from their mission. Lew remembered that in this particualr raid one or two ships were shot down just as they thought they were safe. When I asked more about intruders, Lew said that intruders only occasionally struck Mendlesham, saying it only happened a few times durring his time there. However they did hit the American base just to the north of Mendlesham more frequently, because the group at that base had done something to get the German's attention.

Messerschmitt 109 SFC Lew Funk with Twin 50s

Lew was Anti-Aircraft certified on jeep mounted twin 50s and the armory garage where all the armored jeeps were parked was right across the street from the Photography shack. However he said when an intruders came calling at Mendlesham, everything all happened so fast that you would have to be in just the right place at just the right time to get a shot off.

Lew Funk's Mission Journal:

Mission 1:

5-23-44 Etampes Mondesir France Airfield, 24 Aircrafts, 72 Tons Dropped Results Fair to Good, Light Flak No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA, Pilot Culver time 7:00

Mission #2

5-31-44 Jemallo Belgium Marshaling Yard 1 Aircraft, 3 Tons Dropped, Results Unobserved Recalled, Time 4:40

Mission #3

6-12-44 Beauvais-Tille France, Airfield 37Aircrafts 92.3 Tons Dropped, Results Fair to Good No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA Time 5:30

Mission #4

6-21-44 Blanchemont and Haute Cote France Target No Ball, 42 Aircrafts, 109.3 Tons Dropped, Results Poor to Fair No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA, Time 4:20

Mission #5

7-6-44 Lisle / Adam Bois de Cassan France Rocket Launching Platforms 12 Aircrafts 36 Tons Dropped, Results Very Good No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA Pilot Kiley Ship #4762 Time 4:35

Mission #6

7-14-44 Montdidier France, Air Field Wandered all over Belgium and Holland coming out 21 Aircrafts, 51 Tons Dropped, Results GH Unobserved No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA Pilot Kiley, Ship #4762, Time 6:00

Mission #7

7-19-44 Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards, 20 Aircrafts, 87 Tons dropped Results Fair to Very Good, Aircrafts List 3, MIA 24 Heavy Flak, Lost Lt Blevins in ship behind us Pilot Kiley, Ship #4762, Time 6:15

Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards 07-14-1944 Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards 07-14-1944 Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards 07-14-1944 Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards 07-14-1944 Bad Penny II on Mission to Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards 07-14-1944 Rough House Kate on Misison to Saarbrucken, Konz, Karthaus Germany Marshalling Yards 07-14-1944

On this mission two aircrafts "Hell's Belle" sn/n 42-94893 and "Anne" s/n 42-51190 from the 34th Bomb Group collided mid air after "Hell's Belle" took direct flak hit and strayed from formation and colliding with "Anne".

This mid-air collision is well documented in several places including the following: Col. Bob Simpson's memorial web site at: http://colbobsimpson.com/history/history_last_flight.html and articles in Mendlesham Memories:

I've corresponded with John Stamper who is the great nephew of the John Stark the tail gunner on "Anne" at the time of the collision. A memorial to John Stark can be found at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=80907461

Mission #8

7-24-44 St. Lo Area France,Saturation Bombing 36 AC, 89 Tons AP Dropped, Results Fair No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA, Ground Troup Support Flew at 7000ft, about 1500 Aircrafts hitting area, Some Flak Pilot Kiley Ship #4762 Time 5:15

Mission #9

7-29-44 Wissant France, Super Secret Target Gun Emplacement on French Coast, Recalled Weather 10/10, Pilot Kiley, Ship #4762, Time 5:15

Mission #10

8-2-44 Bertrevile, St Saens, St Ouen, St Jean France, Rocket Launching Platform 16 Aircrafts, 29 Tons Dropped, Results Poor, No Flak No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA Made our run but did no drop Pilot Marks, Ship #4778, Time 4:30

B-24 42-94869 "Male Call" on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944 Close-Up of B-24 42-94869 "Male Call" on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944 Pilot Halbert and Co-Pilot Ragland of B-24 42-94869 "Male Call" on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944 B-24s on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944 B-24s on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944 B-24s on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944 B-24s on Mission to Rocket Launching Platforms in France 2 Aug 1944

Mission #11

8-3-44 Brussels Belgium, Oil & Gas Depot 36 Aircrafts, 83 Tons Dropped, Results Fair No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA, Considerable Flak Caught one piece, no big thing. Pilot Stewart, Ship #4748, Time 5:00

B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 Close-up of 42-94775 "War Eagle" on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 Close-up of B-24 42-52752 on August 3, 1944 mission to Brussels Belgium Bombs Dropping on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 Bombs Exploding on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24 42-2752 on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B-24s Over Jaywick In Essex England B24's on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B24 42-94775 "War Eagle" on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 Close-up of B24 42-94775 "War Eagle" on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944

Mission #12

8-4-44 Hulsam [Hulsum/Husum] Germany, Oil Stores & A/F A/F Secondary Target 26 Aircrafts, 74.5 Tons Dropped, Results Fair to Good No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA Started one good fire Pilot Marks, Ship #851, Time 6:00

B-24s on Mission to Husum Germany 4 Aug 1944 B-24s on Mission to Husum Germany 4 Aug 1944 B-24 42-94787 "Set 'em Up"  on Mission to Husum Germany 4 Aug 1944 Bombs Exploding on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944 B-24 42-51209 "The Wrangler" on Mission to Husum Germany 4 Aug 1944 B-24 42-51209 "The Wrangler" on Mission to Husum Germany 4 Aug 1944

The Valor to Victory web site lists the mission target as the Hulsum airfield. 26 planes were dispatched. Planes and crew on the misssion included the following:(not all pictured here)

Mission #13

8-11-44 Toussus-le-Noble Orleans France Target A/F, 32 Aircrafts 117.5 Tons Dropped, Fair to Very Good No Aircrafts Lost, No KIA, No WIA Air Field Near Parris No Flak No Nothing Pilot, Marks, Ship #4775, Time 5:30

Mission #14

9-26-44 Bremen Germany - Flak till hell wouldn't have it. Litsey got hit in Knee Pilot Kiley, Ship #8300, Time 7:30

Mission #15

10-6-44 Berlin Germany, Ordinance Depot Moderate Flak, Fighters hit group behind us. Started terrible fires, Blue-black smoke Pilot Kiley, Ship #8300, Time 7:30

Mission #16

11-5-44 Ludwigshafen Germany, Marshalling Yards Terrific Accurate Flak Litsey's ship had its tail shot off no chutes Pilot Hammersley, Ship #271, Time 7:00

B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 B17s on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 Close up of B-17 43-38422 on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944 Close up of B-17 43-38382 "Queenie" on Mission to Ludwigshafen Germany 5 Nov 1944

B-17 43-37883 "Blue Streak" Goes Down

B-17 43-37883 "Blue Streak" Goes Down

M/Sgt Lew Funk identified this picture as B-17G 43-38363 Flying Fortress, the "Powerful Poodle" which was his friend T/Sgt. Shephard G. Litsey's aircraft. He remembered this as the picture he took of Litsey's ship getting blown out of the sky in right in front of him on November 5, 1944.

However other experts have identified this as B-17G 43-37883 "Blue Streak" of the 834th Bomb Squadron, 486th BG.

On further research I believe this is indeed the "Blue Streak" and that somewhere over the years my Dad mixed up this picture with the one he took of Litsey's crash. My oldest brother remembers Dad showing him the print of a different picture that Dad said was Litsey's crash. Dad could never really look at this picture after I scanned the negative because it represented such an emotional event for him. I suspect that when I showed it to him, he quickly related it to Litsey's crash and never really examined the details.

Other web sites referring to the crash of Litsey's ship:

Mission #17

11-29-44 Hamm Germany, Marshalling Yard Very Little Flak, Milk Run Pilot Finch, Ship #263, Time 6:00

Mission #18

12-12-44 Darmstadt Germany, Marshalling Yards Started Large fires in My No Flak. One fighter made a pass, but ... (Need original) Pilot Hamersley Ship #309 Time 7:15

Mission #19

1-3-45, Aschaffenburg Germany, Marshalling Yard 10/10 No Flak Pilot Hammersley, Ship #???, Time 8:45 (need original)

B-17s on Mission to Aschaffenburg 3 Jan 1945 Bomb Drop on Mission to Aschaffenburg 3 Jan 1945 B-17s on Mission to Aschaffenburg 3 Jan 1945 B-17s on Mission to Aschaffenburg 3 Jan 1945 B-17s on Mission to Aschaffenburg 3 Jan 1945

Mission #20

1-14-45 Stendal Germany, Oil Near Berlin Only a few Flak guns but very accurate. Thought Dale lost. Pilot Smith, Ship #378, Time 7:50

The ship Dad flew on for this mission is a B17G 43-38378 "Little King" information about the ship can be found at Valor to Victory site.

B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 Mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17s on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17 43-38382 "Queenie" on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B17 44-8629 "Purty Chili" on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17 43-38257 "Tyson's Tramp" on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17G 43-38402  on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945 B-17 44-8629 "Purty Chili" on mission to Stendal Germany 14 Jan 1945

Mission #21

1-20-45, Rheine Germany, Marshalling Yard Dropped by PFF on 10/10/, Considerable flak but not too accurate. No. 1 Engine blew up on Rivetts ship, He bailed out in North Sea Pilot Hammersley, Ship #402, Time 6:00

Mission #22

1-23-45 Neuss Germany, Marshalling Yard Visual, Considerable Flak, not very accurate Pilot Hammersley, Ship # Time 5:15 (Need original)

Mission #23

1-28-45 Daisberg Germany, Marshalling Yard Lots of accurate Flak, bust popped right (Need original)

Mission #24

1-2945 0 Koblenz Germany, Rail Station Very Light Flak, (Need original) Pilot Hammersley, Ship #271, Time 7:15

Mission #25

2-3-45 Berlin Germany, Out to squash the town 300lb Bombs at 50 ft. Intervals, 1500 Aircrafts, Did a damn good job. Pilot Hammersley, Ship #378, Time 6:35

Mission #26

2-9-45 Dulmen Germany, PFF Meager Flak Pilot Smith, Ship #378, time 6:35

Mission #27

2-17-45 Frankfurt Germany We were lead Aircrafts on target, PFF, Missed the flak, but Group behind us cauht it all Pilot Hammersley, Ship #380, Time 6:50

Mission #28

2-21-45 Nurnberg Germany, Marshalling Yard PFF, Lots of Flak, Saw red colored flak near battle lines, one bust punctured the ship right beside me. Pilot Hammersley, Ship #271, Time 8:25

Nurnberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 Nurnberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 Nurnberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 Nurnberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 Nurnberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 Nurnberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 Close up of B-17 44-6939 "Mizpah" on Mission to Nuremberg Germany on 21 February 1945 Close up of B-17 43-38410 "The Sex Maniacs" on Mission to Nuremberg Germany on 21 February 1945 B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 34th Bomb Group on Mission to Nuremberg Germany on 21 February 1945 B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 34th Bomb Group on Mission to Nuremberg Germany on 21 February 1945 Nuremberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 B-17 43-38415 "Smoky Joe" on Mission to Nuremberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 B-17 43-38415 "Smoky Joe" on Mission to Nuremberg Germany 21 Feb 1945 B-17 43-38415 "Smoky Joe" on Mission to Nuremberg Germany 21 Feb 1945

Mission #29

2-22-45 Neustadt Germany, Marshalling Yard PFF, T/O, Original target was bombed from 12,00ft. Flow formation blind. The solid clouds for 3 hrs. Rough Pilot Hammersley, Ship #217, Time 9:40

Mission #30

2-24-45 Bremer Germany, Bridge PF F, Same old flak and lots of it. Ship was hit a few times, but no one hurt Pilot Hammersley, Ship #271, Time 8:30

Friends From Mendlesham

Another Great source for names of people from the Mendlesham Photo team is Kevin Wick's collection of pictures from his father's old photo album. It can be found at: https://picasaweb.google.com/105076431359765766324/DonWickWW2TanPhotoAlbum#

Mendlesham Photo Lab Personnel

Source: Mendlesham Memories, Volume XVII Number 2,June 1993


NameRank Sqdn. Picture(s)
Funk, Lew D.M/Sgt. HQ
Milliken, George (Peewee)T/Sgt. 4th
Stanton, B.W.S/Sgt. 4th  
Ganger, Dale V.Sgt. 4th
Wick, Don E.Cpl. 4th
Haggerty, T.J.Pvt. 4th  
Papaleo, Cosimo D.T/Sgt. 7th
Stone, F.P.S/Sgt. 7th  
Carlson, M.Sgt. 7th  
Rosen, I.Sgt. 7th  
Nelson, R.E.T/Sgt. 18th  
Thompson, Gerry A.Sgt. 18th
Kolton, J.Sgt. 18th
Baughman, O.R.Cpl. 18th  
Meadows, W.N.Pfc. 18th  
Hurley, John .W.S/Sgt. 391st
Pevoroff, E.S/Sgt. 391st  
Litsey, Shephard G.T/Sgt. 391st
Lebraun, Reno A.Pfc. 7th  
Foree, RobertSgt 7th  
Cross, William J.Cpl. 7th  

Pictures of Aircrafts

B-24 Liberators

Serial NumberName Information (mostly from Doug Sheley) Images
41-28880 "Winnie the Pooh" "Winnie the Pooh"
Douglas-Tulsa B-24H-15-DT Liberator
s/n 41-28880
Photo was most likely taken sometime from July to August 1944 while assigned to 18th BS, 34th BG. The artwork of a baby bear and part of the name was removed while plane was assigned to 486th BG. That is when the shark mouth was added. This was the plane's second assignment to the 34th BG. She ended her 8th Air Force career with the 406th Night Leaflet Squadron where she was painted gloss black and renamed "Umbriago".
41-29113 un-named

B-24 s/n 41-29113 Tail Number 129113 flying from Blythe Army Airbase

Consolidated B-24E-25-CF Liberator
s/n 41-29113
a state-side training unit.

41-29500 "Ramblin' Reck"

Center Aircraft is "Ramblin' Reck" B-24H-15-CF Liberator

Originally assigned to the 34th BG, later reassigned to 445th BG and lost when the crew was forced to abandon her over Belgium on February 26,1945.

41-29542 "Rough House Kate" This plane ended up being transfered to the 702nd BS, 445th BG, 8th AF. It was shot down by fighters on the September 27,1944 mission to Kassel,Germany. Two of the crew were killed during the fighter attacks. The Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, T/Sgt. Andrew H. Fratta, was hit in the head by a 20mm cannon shell and killed instantly. The Tail Gunner, S/Sgt. Raymond J. Paulus had his turret controls smashed during the attack, covering him in hydraulic fluid which was ignited by an incendiary cannon shell, burning him to death. The rest of the crew bailed out safely but the Co-Pilot was caught by German civilians and beaten so severly that he died in a Luftwaffe hospital. The others ended up in POW camps.
41-1185 "Blythes Old Maid"

Tail Number:241185
S/N 42-1185
"Blythes Old Maid"
Stationed at of Blythe California

42-7009 un-named

Crash of B-24 42-7009 at Blythe Army Air Base, CA on 24 July 1943

Pilot Stanley Joseph Obarski survived this crash to continue fight in WWII and Vietnam. John H. Connor, Howard G. Ely, joseph C. Hinebaugh, Tyra Thornell, Richard J Wolf all died in the crash.

Lew Funk says this is the crash that led to his hearing loss. As a kid growing up he always told us kids that a plane exploded just the other side of jeep from him and it really "rung his bell". Talking about this photo he said that he was driving his jeep on base when the plane crashed and that he was among the first at the scene. A few of the men who were first at the scene had pulled some of the crew from the wreckage and they loaded them into the jeep although they were in pretty bad shape. As they loaded the men, the plane exploded knocking Lew off his feet and really "ringing his bell". They hurried the men to the hospital, but later learned none of those he brought to the hospital survived.

According to an with Jana Churchwell on Sept 10, 2011
Pilot Stanley Joseph Obarski survived to continue fight in WWII where he was captured as a POW. He faught in Vietnam and later became the Commander of McCoy Air Base, Orlando FL (which is now known as Orlando International Airport!).
John H. Connor, Howard G. Ely, joseph C. Hinebaugh, Tyra Thornell, Richard J. Wolf all died in the crash.

Information about Col Stanley Joseph Obarski can be found at: www.findagrave.com

Information added by Greg Asher through an online posting on October 8, 2011 identifies this aircraft as
B-24E serial 42-7099 of the 391st Bomb Squadron, 34th BG, 1/2 mile south of Blythe Army Air Base, CA. According to Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research; this was an engine failure-related, fatal crash.

42-7106  

B-24 Liberator Tail Number 27106 flying over LA on 5/16/1943

Ford-built B-24E-10-FO Liberator (s/n 42-7106), one of 801 E-models that Ford built. The E-model was identical to the D-model, with the exception of having the latest version of engines.

42-7119 un-named

B-24 42-7119 Crash Scene near Weed, CA.

From a personal interview with Jana Church on Sept. 10 2011 and details from Find a Grave Memorial web site www.findagrave.com CoPilot George F. Churchwell, Jr was the last one in control of B-24E #42-7119 on a nighttime training mission when it crashed over Weed, CA, due to mechanical failure, being careful to try to ensure others had time to bail out. He did not survive the crash.

The crew members were:

  • 2nd LT Alfred J Demeusy, ASN O-794542, Pilot, from Oakdale NY, Bailed Out
  • FO George F Churchwell, Jr, ASN T-60915, CoPilot, from Leakesville MS, DNB
  • 1st LT Douglas J Thornburg, ASN O-439091, Instructor Pilot, from Casa Grande AZ, Bailed Out
  • 2nd LT George H Clarke, ASN O-798071, Navigator, from Cooperstown NY, DNB
  • 2nd LT Charles L Wiest, ASN O-736742, Bombardier, from Baltimore MD, Bailed Out
  • SSGT Willet F Draker, ASN 35329411, Engineer, from Ft Wayne IN, DNB
  • SSGT William W Powell, Jr, ASN 18117310, Engineer, from Houston TX, DNB
  • SSGT Alvin Dschaak, ASN 39610191, Radio Operator, from Beulah ND, Bailed Out
  • SSGT Alonzia E Johnston, Jr, ASN 15323452, Gunner, from Canton OH, DNB
  • SSGT John F Kennedy, ASN 15333120, Gunner, from Peru IN, DNB

The crash site was more recently visited and documented by aviation archaeologist and wreckfinder G Pat Macha http://www.aircraftwrecks.com/.

The notes at the bottom of the picture says 9 June 43. The plane took off in the late evening of the 9th, and crashed at around 230am on the morning of the 10th. Thus the DOD for all of the six who died in the crash is 10 June.

42-41154 "Black Cat"

B-24 Liberator 42-41154 "Black Cat" Tail Number 241154 Stationed in Blythe California December 15, 1943

Consolidated TB-24D-140-CO Liberator (s/n 42-41154)

42-51209 "The Wrangler" "The Wrangler"
Douglas-Tulsa B-24H-30-DT Liberator
s/n 42-51209
4th BS, 34th BG, 8th AF (also spent time with the 7th BS)
42-52752  

Ship Number:42-52752 L/E 391BS
Pilot: Douglas E Culver

Crew - Acording to ValorToVictory
Culver (P)
Ettlebrick (CP)
Gombert (N)
Hunter (B)
Nelson (R) (a write-in)
Daniels (E)
Crawford (NG)
Morellino (TG)
Neverman (G)

42-94757 "Dugan Wagon" "The Dugan Wagon"
B-24J-165-CO Liberator
s/n 44-40482
Survived the war and returned to ZOI to be scrapped.
Originally assigned to 493rd BG.
Transfered to 18th BS, 34th BG on May 31,1944 and flew its last mission with the 34th on August 24,1944. While at 2nd Base Air Depot it was transfered on December 5,1944 to the Med. Theatre of Operations and assigned to 719th BS, 449th BG, 15th AF.
42-94766 "Crow's Nest" later renamed to "Iron Pants" "Crow's Nest" or "Iron Pants"
Ford B-24H-15-FO Liberator
s/n 42-94766
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Later transfered to the 453rd Bomb Group and re-named "Iron Pants".
42-94775 "War Eagle"

B24 42-94775 "War Eagle" on Mission to Brussels Belgium 3 Aug 1944

"War Eagle"
Ford B-24H-15-FO Liberator
s/n 42-94775
4th BS, 34th BG, 8th AF (also flew with the 7th and 391st Squadrons)
This plane flew its last mission (at least with the 34th BG) on the August 18,1944 mission to bomb the German airfield North of Paris. It recieved 'heavy damage' on the mission and I haven't been able to find out what happened to it after that.

42-94787 "Set 'em Up"  
42-94811 "Tommy Thumper II"

42-94811 Tommy Thumper II
B-24H-20-FO

42-94812 "Little Warrior" B-24 42-94812 "Little Warrior" hit on mission to Fallersleben,Germany on June 29,1944
42-94869 "Male Call"  
42-94880 "Misschief" "Misschief"
Ford B-24H-20-FO Liberator
s/n 42-94880
330th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.
A shark mouth was added to the artwork sometime later. This plane survived the war and was one of the first planes to fly back to the U.S. with a ferry crew.
44-40208 "The Dutchess (#2)" Closed Aircraft in upper left is tail number 40208 S/N:44-40208 "The Dutchess (#2)"
44-40267 "Bad Penny II" Aircraft 44-40267 "Bad Penny II" that was piloted by Hartley
44-40284 "Tondelayo"

"Tondelayo"
Consolidated B-24J-155-CO Liberator
s/n 44-40284
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF

Originally 8 493 860 (F), transferred later in June 1944 to 8 34 391 (J). Lost 19 Jul 44. Hit by flak about one minute after bombs away. All controls were shot away but the pilot managed to maintain some control. The plane wandered over Dieppe and encountered more flak. Three crew members bailed out over Dieppe. The plane managed to get back to the English coast and four crewmen bailed out 15 miles inland. The pilot then headed the plane back out toward the English Channel and he and the co-pilot bailed out. The plane flew all the way back across the Strait of Dover and crashed near Wingene, Belgium.
Info from www.b24bestweb.com

44-40328 "This Above All" "This Above All"
Consolidated B-24J-155-CO Liberator
s/n 44-40328
1st - 863rd BS, 493rd BG, 8th AF
2nd - 391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
3rd - 786th BS, 466th BG, 8th AF
44-40486 "Cokey Flo" "Cokey Flo"
Consolidated B-24J-165-CO Liberator
s/n 44-40486
This plane was originally flown to England as one of the first planes assigned to the 493rd Bomb Group. Was later transfered to the 34th Bomb Group and then to the 491st Bomb Group.
It was damaged beyond repair in a crash-landing at 2nd BAD on March 4,1945.
27110   I don't have any information on this Aircraft
108   Don't have full tail number. Pictured with "Blythes Old Maid"
       

B-17 Flying Fortress

Serial NumberName Information (mostly from Doug Sheley or G. Asher) Images
42-102963   B-17G serial 42-102963, went to the 452nd BG on 23 May 1944; she was destroyed on the ground by Luftwaffe bombers at Poltava following the first 8th AF shuttle raid, the night of 21 June. The 452nd had sixteen Fortresses destroyed in the attack, and another four damaged.
43-37864 "Penny Jive" Boeing B-17G-70-BO Flying Fortress
s/n 43-37864
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
43-38365 "Sugar" Boeing B-17G-85-BO
s/n 43-38365
391st Squadron, 34th BG, 8th AF - Mendlesham
43-38416 "No Gum Chum" Boeing B-17G-85-BO
s/n 43-38416
7th BS, 34th BG, 8th AF.
43-38257 "Tyson's Tramp" "Tyson's Tramp"
Boeing B-17G-80-BO Flying Fortress
s/n 43-38257
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Being flown by the Feldman crew on this mission.
43-3829 "Otta Dis World" "Outta Dis World"
Boeing B-17G-85-BO Flying Fortress
s/n 43-38299
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Later was re-named "Joy Rider".
Being flown by the Anderson crew (Combat Crew #9) on this mission.
43-38343 "The Big Gear" "The Big Gear"
Boeing B-17G-85-BO Flying Fortress
s/n 43-38343
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Being flown by the Werth crew (Combat Crew #87) on this mission.
43-38378 "Little King"

Lew flew in "Little King" taking pictures on several missions. I have only included my favorite picture of the wing of "Little King" because there are so many and just a shot of a wing don't add much value. If you are interested in seeing a collection of shots taken from "Little King" please let me know WWII@johnfunk.com

 

43-38386 unnamed  
43-38402   un-named aircraft
Boeing B-17G-85-BO Flying Fortress
s/n 43-38402
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Flown by the 1at Lt. Rubin Bass crew (Combat Crew #96) on this mission.
This aircraft was lost in a mid-air collision with another B-17 from the 452nd Bomb Group, killing both crews.
43-38410 "The Sex Maniacs" 43-38410 "The Sex Maniacs"
B-17G-85-BO
valortovictory.tripod.com/b17s/43-38410.htm
43-38415 "Smoky Joe" From the 391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Flew over 50 missions.
It spent the last month of the war with the 18th Bomb Squadron flying a few missions but mostly as 'squadron hack' aircraft.
43-38422  

B-17G-85-BO (s/n 43-38422) from the 391st Bomb Squadron, 34th Bomb Group. It was being flown by a Charles H. Ettlebrick on this mission and this plane was his crew's regular aircraft.
The plane was badly damaged on December 24,1944 when it collided with another B-17 while landing from the mission to Darmstadt. She was salvaged.

43-38789 "Fast Company" "Fast Company"
Boeing B-17G-95-BO Flying Fortress
s/n 43-38789
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Flew 58 missions with the 34th.
44-6939 "Mizpah"

I highly recommend zooming in to appreciate the detail of this image. The nose art is clearly visible

Nose art read "Mizpah"
44-6939 "Mizpah" B-17G-70-DL

44-8457 "Rapid City Spook"

"Rapid City Spook"
Later re-named "False Courage"
Lockheed/Vega B-17G-65-VE
s/n 44-8457
This was a PFF ship (radar pathfinder) equipped with H2X radar. Note that its radar dome is in the down position where the ball turret normally is.

More background on the Pathfinder ships and the H2X radar can be found at:

44-8235 "Mikkey" B-17G 44-8235 (X) "Mikkey" (a Pathfinder ship, equipped with the H2X radar in place of the ball turret)

More background on the Pathfinder ships and the H2X radar can be found at:

44-8271 "Butch"

Lockheed/Vega B-17G-55-VE Flying Fortress s/n 44-8271 391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF Flew 80 missions.

The crew is:
Standing L-R: Schroeder (TG), unknown, Inman (CP), Adams (E), Hammersley (P), McGovern (B).
Kneeling L-R: Stivender (R), Funk (Photographer), Small (BG) and Thurner (WG).

These are the only pictures I have of Lew with the crew and the aircraft. He flew 10 missions with piot Hammersley.

44-8629 "Purty Chilli"

"Purty Chili"
Lockheed/Vega B-17G-75-VE Flying Fortress
s/n 44-8629
391st BS, 34th BG, 8th AF
Being flown by the 1st Lt. Benjamin D. Moore crew on this mission.

Here is a story about the name of the aircraft from Val J. McCellan published in the June 1992 issue of "Mendlesham Memories"

We were given a new B-17G on January 10, 1945 and briefed to bomb Cologne with six 1000 pound AP's at a temperature of 53 degrees below zero cent igrade. This plane had the new plexiglass waist windows , which certainly reduced the cold in that area. The Bombadier , Lee Sacherman, would give the regular oxygen checks and the response from Harold Griffin, the tail gunner, was always " It's purty chilly". The temperature was later reported at 67 degrees below centigrade. We had heard that phrase, "It's purty chilly" all day so, when we landed, decided to name the plane that. I'm not sure the actress named Chilly Williams was ever mentioned. In fact, I'm not sure I had ever heard of her then.

 

44-84441    
       

In-Memorial: Lewis D. Funk Jan 30, 1921 - December 8, 2012

Lewis D. Funk

Lew Funk, age 91 and 9/10th, passed away at his home in Englewood on Dec 8th 2012. He was interned at Ft. Logan National Cemetery where he served when it was an active military base in 1937.

Lew was born in Wattenberg, Colorado, on Jan 30, 1921, to John and Alta Funk. An Eagle Scout who served in the National Guard at Fort Logan, he attended photo school for the Army at Lowry Air Force base. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant as the Photographic Chief with the 8th Air Force 34th Bomb Group, where he flew 30 combat missions in Europe during WWII. Lew meticulously preserved many of his photos from the war which are presented here along with some of the stories that accompany them.

After the war Lew built radar installations in Greenland to guard America from the immerging global threats posed by the Soviet Union.

Back in Colorado he became a construction superintendent and built several buildings that make up downtown Denver's skyline including the "Ghost Building" which was built around Holy Ghost Church. Lew served as the President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Millwrights Local 55, before retiring from the industry in 1982.

Lew was quite an adventurous soul who was always building something. He built two of family houses one in Littleton and one in Englewood. He enjoyed boating in boats he built, flying as a private pilot, and in the 70’s he flew a Hang Glider he built from scratch. Lew also enjoyed teaching. He taught his kids how to build almost anything, passing on his skills in carpentry, welding, and even electronics. He was an excellent marksman and outdoorsman, skills he also passed along to his kids. He loved nature and the outdoors which he taught to others through his work with the Boy Scouts and as a volunteer naturalist at Rockborough Park.

Above everything else Lew was proud of his large extended family and their Colorado heritage. He is survived by two daughters, three sons, three nephews, one niece, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and several great-nieces and great-nephews.


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