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Tracey Crew 715
Tracey Crew 715 Summary
For reasons unknown, Lt Gaines (the pilot for Crew 715) and Lt Tracey (the co-pilot for Bridges Crew 702) switched jobs. So, the Gaines Crew 715 became the Tracey Crew 715. There were other personnel changes in the roster, but we are still researching as to what exactly what took place.
One confirmed change was Webb for Eagan. Webb, originally with the Heber Crew 705, was wounded in action on 18 Jun 44. While recovering from his leg wounds, Eagan filled in for him on the 20 June mission to Politz and the Heber Crew ended up interned in Sweden. When Crew 715 was reorganized under Tracey, the healthy Webb took Eagan's old spot.
Webb was certainly a good man for any crew to have. Before the war he was a skilled aviator flying for a commercial airline. The Army brought him in to fly but was later busted for displaying one acrobatic stunt too many during his cadet training. During his combat tour, Webb often spelled his pilots whenever they needed to take a break.
An interesting note on Webb is that he was also a certified aircraft mechanic and technician. After the war, he returned to flying commercial airplanes, became a commericial pilot instructor and later accepted an important position with the FAA. When he retired in 1987, he had over 17,000 hours piloting.
Gaines had already taken this crew on 14 missions, plus 3 aborted ones. Tracey led the crew on 3 more for a total of 16 credited missions flown. Therefore, the mission record below begins with the Crew's 14th mission. The earlier ones can be seen on the Gaines Crew 715 page (see link on the right).
The Crew's final mission was on 11 Jul 44 when they were flying in the TEQUILA DAISY to a target in Munich. After the ship took some heavy flak damage, Tracey determined that they couldn't make it back to England. However, they were able to limp their way over to Dubendorf, Switzerland where they were interned. MACR 6934.
While interned in Switzerland, Webb proved invaluable again because he spoke fluent German. He was made Sergeant of Arms at the Regina Hotel where they stayed and bridged the communication gap between the Americans and the Swiss locals.
It was in Switzerland where Frank Webb met his future bride. Patricia, an American who spoke several languages, worked for the New York Times as a translator at their regional office in Bern. They dated in Switzerland and were married the following year in Iowa.
More Info
Gaines Crew 715
Bridges Crew 702
Heber Crew 705
Orthman Crew 806
Links to missions
flown by the
Tracey Crew 715
are below in their
Mission Record
Original Roster for
Tracey Crew 715
Position / MOS Name Rank Serial # Notes
MOS 1024
Tracey, John C Jr 2nd Lt O-692977 Promoted to 1st Lt
Obtained from Bridges Crew 702
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 1022
Leggett, Thomas A 2nd Lt O-702208 Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 1034
Wutkiewicz, Walter E 2nd Lt O-703841 Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 1035
Heist, Charles M 2nd Lt O-698886 Promoted to 1st Lt
Orphaned, reassigned to Orthman Crew 701
Transferred to 44th BG, 67th BS, on 10 Aug 44
MOS 748
Hatley, Clyde S S/Sgt 34590966 Promoted T/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 757
MacIntyre, Archie A S/Sgt 16151743 Promoted T/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 612
Freeman, Joyce K Sgt 13117587 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 748
Eagan, Charles G Sgt 19090968 Promoted S/Sgt
Reassigned to Heber Crew 705
Interned in Sweden, 20 Jun 44, MACR 7072
MOS 748
Atchison, Robert G Sgt 32713096 Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 748
Thurston, Hulon Sgt 15335338 Promoted S/Sgt
Reassigned to Kuecker Crew R-07
  Others Who Flew with Tracey Crew 715
Gunner McKeever, Jack F Sgt 33432211 Obtainment unknown
Assigned to Tracey Crew 715
Promoted S/Sgt
Interned in Switzerland, 11 Jul 44, MACR 6934
MOS 611
Webb, Frank W S/Sgt 17055225 Obtained from Heber Crew 705
11 Jul 44, Interned in Switzerland,
MACR 6934
POW file has ASN as 17055224
Tracey Crew 715
492nd BG Mission Record
857th Bomb Squadron
Primary Target Mission Notes
 Link to Mission 45 page 45
6 Jul 44 44-40173 Kiel, Germany Target: Shipyard
 Link to Mission 46 page 46
7 Jul 44 44-40168 Bernburg, Germany Target: Aircraft manufacturing
 Link to Mission 48 page 48
11 Jul 44 44-40168 Munich, Germany Target: Railroad station
Lost: 9 interned in Switzerland, MACR 6934
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Page last modified Thursday, August 16, 2007.