856th BS
Heran Crew

The crew are pictured above at Topeka,KS before overseas departure.

Donald F.  Heran        - Pilot        ASN 0829208
Donald A.  Fischer      - Bombardier   ASN 0785264
William T. Wright       - Copilot      ASN 0830769
Clayton S. Berger       - Navigator    ASN 02068516

J.C.       McBrayer     - Gunner       ASN 38347242 *
Donald J.  McHale       - R.O.         ASN 36162699
Calvin D.  Johnson      - Gunner       ASN 36761446
Archie W.  Vernon       - Gunner       ASN 37708929
Alfred W.  Nowaczyk     - Engineer     ASN 33789037
Edward L.  Schmitten    - Gunner       ASN 39723726

* McBrayer's ASN is invalid at NARA

ASNs so-colored for EMs link to their NARA Enlistment Records.

Of course they're smiling, they're going home!!! Donald and Donna Heran have identified the following in the picture, taken early July 1945 at Harrington:

Back Row,L-R:
Calvin D. Johnson                 - Tailgunner     ASN 36761446 
J.C.      McBrayer                - Dispatcher     ASN 38347242

Middle Row,L-R:
Horace D. Smith                   - Crew Chief     ASN 14049214
Archie W.  Vernon                     - Gunner           ASN 37708929             
Two unidentified - barracks caps
Two unidentified - fatigue caps

Front Row,L-R:
Edward L.  Schmitten                  - Gunner           ASN 39723726
William T. Wright                     - Copilot          ASN 0830769
Donald A.  Fischer                    - Bombardier       ASN 0785264
Donald F.  Heran                      - Pilot            ASN 0829208
Donald J.  McHale                     - R.O.             ASN 36162699

Not in the Picture/Unidentified:
Clayton S. Berger                     - Navigator        ASN 02068516
Alfred W.  Nowaszyk                   - Engineer         ASN 33789037

The following passenger names were listed on "Operations Order # 7, Par 13, Hqs, 856th BS (H), AAF 179, APO 557, 28 June 1945," and are likely to be among the unidentified passengers in the photo:

Sgt.   Augustin B.   Babcock     Passenger     ASN 17020739
Sgt.   John C.       Carter,Jr.  Passenger     ASN 34162512
Sgt.   Eugene E.     Hankinson   Passenger     ASN 15019624
Cpl.   Henry         Kaplan      Passenger     ASN 33252167
Sgt.   Ivan J.       Kent        Passenger     ASN 32421574
Sgt.   Frederick C.  Lauer       Passenger     ASN 33072745
S/Sgt. Walter C.     McCollum    Passenger     ASN 14027016
Sgt.   Thomas G.     Morrow,Jr.  Passenger     ASN 13047361
Sgt.   Otto M.       Schurman    Passenger     ASN 16155968

ASNs so-colored for EMs link to their NARA Enlistment Records.

Status: Late arrivals, probably in January of 1945, they flew the most dangerous of missions; to Denmark and Norway in miserable winter weather. The above picture is an "RZI" (Return to the Zone of the Interior) photo shot on the day of departure from Harrington - 9 July 1945, and includes ground crew and passengers. There is a third picture, without names: Heran 8-man crew.

Picture Location: Harrington,July 1945

Photo and Name Credits: Donna Heran

Preferred Aircraft: B24D 42-40992 "The Red Ball Express"

Ops Log Occurances: 20/21Feb45-09Jul45 Nineteen entries (3 scrubs)

Additional Crew Data Sources:

Heran Crew Personnel Files

Group-Related Downloads:
"Carpetbaggers" by Parnell
"They Flew by Night" editor Robert Fish
Serial Number Index of B24s
Station 179 Operations Log
(handwritten Apr44-Jul45)
Station 179 Operations Log (transcribed Sep44-Jul45)

Available on Request:
Group Mission Reports Jan-Sep44 (On disk $12ea - $10ea via Paypal)
"Chronology of SOE Operations with the Resistance In France During WWII" by Foot & Boxhall
"Spies,Supplies & Moonlit Skies Vols 1&2" by Ensminger
(On disk $12ea - $10ea via Paypal)

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