DEDICATED TO 340th BG 487th BS B-25 PILOT
1st LT. HOWARD L. OWEN
Based upon submissions from his son Donald L. Owen
Site edited and maintained by Doug Cook
Dad's crew, its one of the few that are clear enough to scan.
On the back in hand writing it says left to right,
Kenny(Hill), myself, Angelo(Triunfo), Quinlin(?), Olly(Oliver Buendel), Ray(Heckman)
My father flew in that unit [487th] from April 1944 thru December of 1944 and was the pilot of the Sky Demon serial 43-4039 7Y. He was 1st Lt. Howard L. Owen and we did not know much about his wartime experiences as he didn't talk about it much. After his death I acquired his military papers and some very faded pictures and then the other day found your site which brought together a lot of unanswered questions. In some of the papers I found notes he had made in reference to different planes he flew in besides the Sky Demon, 7Q, 7V, 7W, 7Z to name a few. There are many other notes about different mission but very hard to read as they are written in pencil in a very small note pad (11/2 X 11/2 inches sq.) A couple of names found on your site match some dad had in his papers and that made it that much more clear to us that we could just put together a better history of Dad during that period of time.
Dad's first mission was on 12 May 1944, his
small diary says quote "flew first mission this day. Had raid on field
below us [Alesan,
13 May- "Germans raided, fighters above us about 22:30, lot of AA. Stood on hill and watched. About 05:00 this morn they raided us. Put all but 18 ships out of work, killed about 20 men, wounded 80 more. Men down by planes caught hell !! After bomb they strafed us. Could see planes above clearly. Dug Fox Hole today, it might come in handy ! ". On the 14th he wrote they "were afraid that another raid would come that night as the 321st below them, threw little AA in evening".
I would like to tell you how I ended up
with Dad’s diary, a year or so after dad passed away I was going thru his
papers with my brother, in the box mixed up with everything was a leather
"Pilots Navigational Kit" very deteriorated and as we took
papers, pictures and some of the navigational pieces out I discovered a small
pocket, in that pocket was this little ruled booklet (one and a half inches
square), very brittle and in it was a record of dads missions(70) while
stationed on Corsica. We have since been trying to decipher it as some places
are barely legible. When Dad came home(December 1944) he was stationed at
Douglas Arizona teaching others how to fly B-25's and a friend from there
told us that he knew Dad in the war and that Dad had volunteered for every
"damn" mission that he could. That man 1st Lt. Paul Parker was either
in 487th or one of the other Bomb Squadrons on
340th BG 487th BS - SN 43-4039 - 7Y SKY DEMON
Sky Demon had been shot up badly on 9-18-44, Pilot 1st Lt. Howard L. Owen’s diary submitted by his son Donald Owen:
"#54 mission. Frags [at]
Oil reservoir shot out., also elevator trim tab cable. Main landing gear support half shot away.
E. Landing back at base, no one hurt".
Note Owen’s name painted on as airplane commander.
Photos above and below from Capt. Chas. Cook’s collection
7Y Sky Demon Bombs Away- Photo courtesy of Bob Knox, custodian of 486th BS Radioman-Waist Gunnner John Pulos’ photo collection.