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2nd Bombardment Group

2nd Bombardment Group InsigniaIn the spring of 1943 the 5th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force grew with the addition of more B-17 groups. The 2nd Bombardment Group began to arrive in North Africa in April of 1943. The Rigor Mortis was assigned to the 2nd Bombardment Group, November 14, 1943 flew 17 missions with the 96th Bomb Squadron. There was 1 Early Return (ERT) and 1 mission with the 429th.

96th Bomb Squadron

Crews and Missions:

Ralph B Anderson
Anthony A Aratari
William Arm
Everett J Bauman
Stanley W Beerli
Richard M Blomquist
Louis M Boehm
Andrew A Bonnell, Jr.
Julius F Bridges
Robert A Brienza
Donald M Byrd
Albert D Byrne
John W Carney
Robert R Cary
Richard H Chapman
Eugene H Chekemain
Robert C J Ciampa
Robert F Cleesattel
Carl D Coleman
Thurman W Comer
William J Cook
Kenneth C Cook
Phillip L Cooper
Cleo E Corley
Samuel W Covert
Michael A Croccia
Earl L Danahey
Thomas R Degan
Charles T Dickson
John D Egan
Furman W Elgin
Gordon Fann
Franklin W Fitzgerald
Gerald W Flynn
Thomas W Forbes
Carl R Foster
Joseph W Fricke
Ascension Gonzales
Anthony S Gruchawka
Eugene A Guay
Edward W Haley
Stephen J Hannon
Marshall E Hanson
Woodrow W Hartsock
Merle L Hegg
Fred S Huskins
Arthur L Hyatt
Leon J Hyde

Joseph M Jaffe
Charles A Jones
Stanley H Katz
Harry Kornitsky
Harold J Kronenberg
Arthur A Krueger
Herman S Lavine
Virgil W Lazar
Woodrow M Lundquist
Henry Macias
William E McNichol
Robert A Menke
Allyn C Moore
Thomas M Moriarity
Joseph P O'Connor
Warren D Oates
Fred W Penn
Kenneth R Peters
Russell W Phillips
Turner W Pickrel
Benjamin H Putchkoff
Kendrick U Reeves
Charles J Rheinheimer
Oscar Rome
Edward C Ross, Jr.
John Rudowski
Benjamin F Scheckels, Jr
Edward E Schneider
George J Seamans
Adolph Sevruk
Bennie P Shoemaker
Anthony J Sikole
Clarence W Southern
Edward R Spriggs
Robert B Stamps
George W Stasik
John D Stepp, Jr.
Freeman D Storm
Robert F Sykes
Talmadge W Trevethan
Harold A Troutman
William L Tucker
Mallory E Walker
Milan G Walter
Nemor Warr
James E Warren
James L Weaver
Dale E Wilkinson
Robert Willis

429th Bomb Squadron

The following alphabetized list of servicemen are listed in crew and squadron records as having flown on Rigor Mortis a mission on January 31, 1944 to Udine, Italy. They also had an early return on mission 137, January 30, 1944 that was to target Lavariano, Italy.

Junior L Anderson
Celestine J Antonio
Fred W Counts
Leslie P Gallagher
Shelbourne W Gholson
John J Kilgalen
Fredrick G Lavigne
John L Magyar
Marshall McKew
Terrence M Sullivan

Crew lists provided for by research at the national archives by Dick Drain.

Crew photo of pilot, Marshall McKew. B-17 training photo

This photo provided by Terry Sullivan, 10/15/2004. Photo taken in Texas before overseas deployment, Plane Unknown.

L.to R. Back Row: Shelbourne W. Gholson, Fred W. Counts, Fred J. Lavigne, Junior L. Anderson, Howard L. Rees, John L Magyar.
Front Row: Marchall McKew, Leslie Gallagher, Celestine J. Antonie, Terrence Michael Sullivan.


Some of the men listed did not survive the war. We honor their memory. Others returned to the states. I would like to get in contact with any survivors, spouses, descendants or other family members. Thank You.

The book contains 291 photos of pictures, artifacts, strike photos and newspaper clippings presented in this oversized 8x10 inch format. Read details of missions and the stories of courage and teamwork.

Order Softcover $29.95
Softcover, 2020. ISBN: 9781714727803 8x10 in. 382 pages. 291 Black & White pictures of documents, photos and artifacts.


Order Hardcover $49.95
Hardcover, 2020. ISBN: 9781714711666 8x10 in. 382 pages. 125 Color and 166 Black & White pictures of documents, photos and artifacts.

15th AF, 2nd BG, 96th BS patches

Copyright, Robert Coalter
All Rights Reserved

Order Softcover $29.95
Softcover, 2020. ISBN: 9781714727803 8x10 in. 382 pages. 291 Black & White pictures of documents, photos and artifacts.

Order Hardcover $49.95
Hardcover, 2020. ISBN: 9781714711666 8x10 in. 382 pages. 125 Color and 166 Black & White pictures of documents, photos and artifacts.