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Kuntz Crew 616
 Kuntz Crew 616
Arrival in North Pickenham, England - April 24, 1944
Back row, left to right...
Jerry Kuntz, pilot
Gene Kollinger, bombardier
Eugene "Pop" Osborn, crew chief
Kent Dickson, co-pilot
Andy Gall, navigator
Front row, left to right...
Marion Thomas Kelley, Sr, nose gunner
Don Wehagen, ball turret gunner
John Kristynik, engineer
Clyde Dorsey, radio operator
Arthur Suter, waist gunner
Sgt John H Simpson, gunner, is not in the photo.
Kuntz Crew 616 Summary
The Kuntz Crew began training together as crew 100 at the CCTS (Crew Combat Training School) based in Casper, Wyoming. They were transferred to the 492nd on 28 Jan 44 at Alamogordo, New Mexico. They were untouched by the Alamogordo Shuffle and remained intact as a unit. They were assigned to the 856th BS, designated as Crew 616.
2nd Lt James Kuntz signed out for a B-24J, 44-40142 which they nicknamed SKNAPPY. The name was inspired by combining Kuntz's girlfriend's lastname, Knappenburger, and a snapping turtle. The noseart had a flying turtle jumping over the name SKNAPPY.
In April 1944, they flew their assigned aircraft to North Pickenham, England, via the southern route. Their ground crew chief S/Sgt Osborne flew with them, thus bumping Sgt Simpson onto the Queen Elizabeth.
By our count Lt Kuntz flew as the aircraft commander for Crew 616 for a total of 4 missions. We can't be positive if there were any other personnel changes on some of their missions. It's always possible that the bombardier could have missed some of the pathfinder-led missions.
On 24 May 44, Kuntz fell off the wing while he was inspecting his ship for post-mission damage. Although his injury wasn't serious, it did ground him from duty until after the group was disbanded. In August he was transferred to the 801st/492nd BG, 859th BS. During the following month he was reassigned back to the 856th BS.
Lt Elvern Seitzinger, the co-pilot on Val Preda Crew 601, was promoted back to pilot and replaced Kuntz as aircraft commander for Crew 616. He led the Crew on 9 more missions plus an aborted one, bringing the Crew's total to 13. To follow the Crew's history, see the Seitzinger Crew link on the right.
The links to the right for the In Das Hornissen Nest story and Mission 34 to Politz are there to reflect the war experience of most of the Kuntz Crew 616 who continued on with the Seitzinger Crew 616. The link to the 801st/492nd website is there to reflect the war experience of Lt Elvern Seitzinger.
More Info
plus another photo
Kuntz CCT 100
Seitzinger Crew 616
the 20 Jun 44
Mission to Politz
Links to missions
flown by the
Kuntz Crew 616
are below in their
Mission Record
BG website
Original Roster for
Kuntz Crew 616
Position / MOS Name Rank Serial # Notes
MOS 1024
Kuntz, James E 2nd Lt O-808563 Promoted 1st Lt
24 May; injury accident
Crew taken over by Seitzinger
Transferred to 801/492 BG
MOS 1024
Dickson, Willis K 2nd Lt O-693014 Promoted 1st Lt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 1034
Gall, Andrew S 2nd Lt O-691982 Promoted 1st Lt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 1035
Kollinger, Eugene V 2nd Lt O-684172 Promoted 1st Lt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 757
Kristynik, John J S/Sgt 18190174 Promoted T/Sgt
Interned in Sweden 20, Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 757
Dorsey, Clyde S/Sgt 18118791 Promoted T/Sgt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 612
Suter, Arthur R Sgt 12162656 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 748
Wehagen, Donald R Sgt 15329043 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 748
Kelley, Marion T Sgt 36415028 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
MOS 612
Simpson, John H Sgt 18051755 Arrived to the UK via the Queen Elizabeth
Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7077
  Others Who Flew with Kuntz Crew 616
Crew Chief
MOS 750
Osborn, Eugene N S/Sgt R-689341 Flew to England with the crew
Promoted T/Sgt
7 Jun; MOS changed to 752
Promoted M/Sgt
30 Jul, MOS changed back to 750
Kuntz Crew 616
492nd BG Mission Record
856th Bomb Squadron
Primary Target Mission Notes
 Link to Mission 01 page 01
11 May 44 44-40227 Mulhouse, France Target: Marshalling yard
 Link to Mission 03 page 03
13 May 44   Tutow, Germany Target: Airfield
 Link to Mission 06 page 06
21 May 44   Siracourt, France Target: Crossbow (V-1 rockets)
 Link to Mission 08 page 08
24 May 44 42-95272 Melun, France Target: Airfield
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Page last modified Tuesday, October 4, 2011.