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J Harris Crew 707
 J Harris Crew 707
Back row, left to right...
Harold Burkhalter, co-pilot
Joe Harris, pilot
James Sconyers, navigator
Not in the photo...
Edward Monteforte, bombardier
Front row, left to right...
Joseph Morgan, right waist gunner
Bernard Hoehn, gunner
Gilbert Green, ball turret gunner
Donald Paulson, radio operator
Willis Beasley, tail gunner
Ray Earl, engineer
J Harris Crew 707 Summary
The Joe Harris Crew was one of the original crews for the 492nd BG that trained in Alamogordo, New Mexico. They transferred in as crew 1640 from the CCTS (Combat Crew Training School) in Biggs, Texas, on 3 Mar 44. There is another pilot named Roscoe Harris in the 492nd with a crew in the 856th squadron. They aren't related, but tracking them through the records can sometimes get confusing. The Joe Harris Crew was assigned to the 857th BS and designated as crew 707.
Lt Joe Harris signed out for a B-24J, 44-40140. Their ship was nicknamed, ALICE. In April 1944, they flew their assigned aircraft to North Pickenham, England, via the southern route. Their ground Crew Chief, S/Sgt Monti, flew with them, thus bumping S/Sgt Morgan onto the Queen Elizabeth.
By our count, Lt J Harris flew as the aircraft commander for Crew 707 for a total of 16 missions. We aren't positive of all of the personnel changes on some of their missions. We have read things that show different people flying with the crew, as well as some of this crew having flown with other crews. And it's always possible that their regular bombardier could have missed some of the earlier Pathfinder missions.
For example, on the day they were interned in Sweden, they were flying as the Group's lead ship with 12 men on board. In all, 5 of the 12 men on board that day were not original members of this crew.
The Crew's 8th mission, on 29 May 44, was almost their last one. The 492nd had fought a hard battle with the Luftwaffe and was pounded by flak. During the bombing run on the Politz refineries, Monteforte, Green and Hoehn were wounded. While Sgt Green spent the next six weeks in the hospital, the Crew was interned in Sweden. Upon his release, he was assigned to the Koltun Crew R-10. We're still researching the fates of the other two wounded men.
Their last misson was on 20 Jun 44. Once again they were attacking the heavily defended oil refineries at Politz. They, along with the rest of the group, were severely punished by rockets fired from Me-410s as well as a full strength attack of JU-88s. It didn't look like they could make it to Sweden and they began preparing to bail. In fact, the navigator did jump and became a POW. The pilot and co-pilot discovered that they could control the ship if they both stood up and put their entire weight on the rudder controls. They did just that all the way to Sweden. MACR 7076.
The Harris Crew 707 was replaced by the Sheffield Crew R-22.
More Info
J Harris CCT 1640
Vacaville, CA
newspaper article
Links to missions
flown by the
J Harris Crew 707
are below in their
Mission Record
Original Roster for
J Harris Crew 707
Position / MOS Name Rank Serial # Notes
MOS 1024
Harris, Joe L 1st Lt O-724613 Interned, 20 Jun 44, Sweden, MACR 7076
MOS 1022
Burkhalter, Harold B 2nd Lt O-702229 Interned, 20 Jun 44, Sweden, MACR 7076
MOS 1034
Sconyers, James H 2nd Lt O-704066 POW, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7076, Stalag Luft III
POW file has his ASN as O-704068
MOS 1035
Monteforte, Edward L F/O T-122999 WIA, 29 May 44
MOS 748
Earl, Ray H S/Sgt 15054812 Promoted to T/Sgt
Interned, 20 Jun 44, Sweden, MACR 7076
MOS 757
Paulson, Donald L S/Sgt 17047960 Promoted to T/Sgt
Interned, 20 Jun 44, Sweden, MACR 7076
Ball Turret
MOS 612
Green, Gilbert F Sgt 15078440 WIA, 29 May 44
Promoted to S/Sgt
Reassigned to the Koltun Crew R-10
Transferred 10 Aug 44, to 445th BG
Tail Gunner
MOS 611
Beasley, Willis H Sgt 17088463 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned, 20 Jun 44, Sweden, MACR 7076
MOS 748
Hoehn, Bernard A S/Sgt 12174226 WIA, 29 May 44
RW Gunner
MOS 748
Morgan, Joseph A S/Sgt 18168628 Arrived to the UK via the Queen Elizabeth
Interned, 20 Jun 44, Sweden, MACR 7076
  Others Who Flew with J Harris Crew 707
Crew Chief
MOS 750
Monti, Lewis F S/Sgt 32474101 Flew to England with the crew
Promoted to T/Sgt
Seen name as Louis
MOS 1024
Heaton, Donald H Maj O-023705 857th Squadron Commander
MOS 1024
Losee, John F Maj O-386510 856th Squadron Commander
Interned w/crew, 20 Jun 44, Sweden
MACR 7076
MOS 1034
Robinson, Berl
Capt O-426336 857th Squadron Navigator
Interned w/crew, 20 Jun 44, Sweden
MACR 7076
MOS 1034
Briggs, Jesse B
1st Lt O-669182 857th Squadron Bombardier
Interned w/crew, 20 Jun 44, Sweden
MACR 7076
LW Gunner
MOS 611
Bristlin, Willard C S/Sgt 39304751 From Brantley Crew 905
Interned w/crew, 20 Jun 44, Sweden
MACR 7076
MOS 611
Bugaj, Ernest C Sgt 38421185 Interned w/crew, 20 Jun 44, Sweden
MACR 7076
J Harris Crew 707
492nd BG Mission Record
857th Bomb Squadron
Primary Target Mission Notes
 Link to Mission 02 page 02
12 May 44 44-40140 Zeitz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
 Link to Mission 03 page 03
13 May 44   Tutow, Germany Target: Airfield
 Link to Mission 06 page 06
21 May 44 44-40140 Siracourt, France Target: Crossbow (V-1 rockets)
 Link to Mission 07 page 07
23 May 44   Avord, France Target: Airfield
 Link to Mission 09 page 09
25 May 44 44-40140 Belfort, France Target: Marshalling yard
 Link to Mission 10 page 10
27 May 44 44-40140 Saarbrucken, Germany Target: Marshalling yard
 Link to Mission 11 page 11
28 May 44 44-40140 Zeitz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
Bombed Saalfeld
 Link to Mission 12 page 12
29 May 44 44-40140 Politz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
 Link to Mission 14 page 14
31 May 44 44-40128 Brussels, Belgium Target: Marshalling yard
A/C borrowed from 856th BS
 Link to Mission 16 page 16
4 Jun 44 44-40158 Avord, France Target: Airfield
Deputy lead B Section
 Link to Mission 18 page 18
6 Jun 44 44-40106 Caen, France Target: D-Day invasion coast
 Link to Mission 25 page 25
12 Jun 44 44-40168 Dreux, France Target: Airfield
Led B Section w/Heaton
 Link to Mission 26 page 26
14 Jun 44 44-40168 Emmerich, Germany Target: Oil refinery
Lead Ship
 Link to Mission 28 page 28
15 Jun 44 44-40168 La Frilliere, France Target: Railroad bridge
Lead Ship
 Link to Mission 31 page 31
18 Jun 44 44-40136 Luneburg, Germany Target: Airfield
Bombed Wesermunde
 Link to Mission 34 page 34
20 Jun 44 44-40136 Politz, Germany Target: Oil refinery
Lead Ship w/Losee
Lost after target
1 POW, 11 interned in Sweden,
MACR 7076
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Page last modified Tuesday, October 4, 2011.