2nd Row - Lt. General, Major Gash, Lt. Faulstich, Lt.
1st Row - Sgt. Simmons, S/Sgt. Abramchik, T/Sgt. Smith, Sgt. Wreath,
April 1, 2007
the back row, the first person has the last name of General and the
rank Lieutenant. Confused me for a long time. I couldn't figure out
why a Lt. Gen. would be a navigator. Below are the full names of the
crew, including the missing name for the front row, although I don't
know who is who there.
Pilot - Major Frank T. Gash
Co-Pilot - Lt. Urban A. Faulstich
Navigator - Lt. Harry S. General
Bombardier - Lt. Michael Haberern
Radio Operator - T/Sgt. Clifford F. Smith
Engineer - T/Sgt. John L. Gannaway
Gunner - S/Sgt. Ben P. Colecchi
Asst. Radio Operator / Gunner - S/Sgt. Leon Abramchik
Radar Observer - Sgt. William A. Wreath
Mechanic / Gunner - Sgt. Homer R. Simmons
Aerial Photographer - T/Sgt. Walter S. Feuer (not pictured)
The eyewitness accounts in the accident report from the ship being
shot down told that tail-gunner, Colecchi, continued firing at attacking
Japanese planes after the bomber crashed while it sank in the ocean.
All the best,
Jeffery A. Earl
March 6, 2007
I have been doing research on my great-uncle, Clifford Smith, who served
with the 404th in the Aleutians. He was a radioman on a b-24 and was
killed in action over Paramushiru on 9/11/43. I was looking at the photo
of the bomber command staff on your 404th
staff page and thought I recognized a face. The caption says "?
- mid foreground killed in action over Paramushiru Sept 1943".
I believe it is Maj. Frank Gash who piloted my uncles plane. I have
attached a photo of the entire crew taken from a squadron "year
book". Major Gash is second from the left in the second row.
If you have any photos of their b-24 s/n 41-23890 (tail #'s would be
123890 or 90) I would greatly appreciate a copy. Or if you have any
other information besides what is on the website regarding T/Sgt. Clifford
Smith or the crew of Frank Gash, that would be much appreciated as well.
Thank you very much for your help and I hope that you find the attached
All the Best,
Jeffery A. Earl
Valparaiso University School of Law