Crew of B-17

The Bomber and It's Crew After 25 Missions

Standing, l-r: Robert A. Pherson, right waist gunner; Floyd Crow, top turret gunner and flight engineer; Howell T. MacFarland, left waist gunner; Richard Hammond, tail gunner; Merle Crawfoot, radio operator; John Zdunek, Ball Turret gunner. Kneeling, front row (left to right): Don Wise, Bombardier; Arnold Watrous, Pilot; Clarence Bose, co-Pilot; Paul Moore, Navigator.

After completion of training in the United States, the crew flew their brand-new B-17G plane, serial number 431836, first to South America to Belem, and Fortaleza, Brazil, across the South Atlantic to Dakar, Senegal, in Africa. From Dakar, they flew north to Marrakesh, Morocco. The crew and their new plane then flew to El Aouina, Tunisia, near Tunis, the capital.

The crew dubbed their plane "Pig Chaser", an apt term for anyone familiar with raising pigs on a ranch or farm, and also suitably descriptive of chasing Nazis.

Upon arrival at Celone Field (a field that had been formerly used by the Italian Facist regime of Benito Mussolini, and later used by the German Air Force), the crew became part of the 463rd Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force. They were assigned to the 772nd Squadron. Celone air field was located approximately 8 miles north of Foggia off the road to San Severo.

Celone Air Field was a mess when the 463rd Bomb Group arrived to begin operations. The remains of German planes, German bombs, and other debris were strewn around the area. Living quarters consisted of tents. Four officers were assigned to one tent, while six enlisted men were assigned to others.

Pig Chaser carried Don Wise through 50 missions. The crew was rotated back to the States. Don learned later that about one month after he left Italy, Pig Chaser, carrying a new crew, took a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire and exploded over the target. Pig Chaser never returned home.

C O N T E N T S:

Distinguished Flying Cross

"Pig Chaser" & Its Crew

The "Best Seat in the House"

List of 50 Missions

The Ploesti Campaign

Medals and Citations

From the Newspaper

About Don Wise

Links to Other Sites

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This Website Designed, Created and Maintained by John K. Wise, Youngest Son of Donald Wise
This site has been restored by Jimmy in memory of John Keith Wise (guestbook)