2nd Lt. Wayne H. Nelson
2nd Lt. Wayne H. Nelson - Pilot
2nd Lt. Felix Massaro - Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. Fred L. Staub - Bombardier
S/Sgt. Charles T. Nally - Engineer and Top Turret Gunner
S/Sgt. William Steinecke, Jr. - Radio Operator
Sgt. Claude E. Danner - Waist Gunner
Sgt. Louis J. Larkin - Ball Turret Gunner
Sgt. Morris W. Lunn - Tail Gunner
Sgt. Duncan L. Fringer - Waist Gunner
My uncle, Wayne Nelson was the pilot of his crew.
On April 8, 1944 his crew departed Langley Field, VA for its overseas flight along the southern route to Manduria. The crew departed Morrison Field, Fl. on April 11 and arrived at Manduria on or about April 19.
My uncle's records indicates he flew as co-pilot with another experienced crew/s for about 5 missions while his crew sat. Unfortunately, I do not have dates or places of these missions.
On May 3, 1944, SO 124 reassigned the Nelson Crew to the 8th AAF in England. By May 11, the crew had departed Manduria; its tenure with the 450th BG was very brief.
Additionally, I can definitively place Earle Q. Hagen, navigator on the John Jeff's Crew (720th BS) as replacement navigator for the Wayne H. Nelson Crew.
I have a family record from Hagen which confirms his participation on the April 23 mission to Swechat, Vienna, Austria with the Jeff's Crew. He states the aircraft was badly shot up and crash landed on the Adriatic coast of Italy just south of enemy lines--one crew member killed and others wounded.
He states the crew was disbanded and he joined the Nelson crew and headed for the 8th AAF in England.
Link To Additional Information
Information provided by Brent Nelson, nephew of Wayne Nelson