HAROLD D. STANHOPE (Curley)|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
July 1, 1996
I was assigned to and flew overseas with the 492nd bomb group arriving in No. Pickenham on 26 April 1944. The crew consisted of the following: Pilot Harold D. Stanhope, Copilot Donald Craven, Navigator William Whitsett, Bombardier Archie Lee, Engineer Thomas Muldoon, Radio Louis Muldoon (brothers), Gunner Edward Petelle, Gunner Hugh White, Gunner William Veazey.
This crew flew six missions with the 492nd, then was transferred intact to the 66th squadron, 44th bomb group arriving on 11 June 1944. At this point Lt. Frank Indorf, radar navigator, was added to the crew. We flew five training missions and on 28 June resumed combat, leading various groups. I'm enclosing a list of missions flown by me. This list would not be consistent for the total crew much beyond this point as a few crew changes were made. All members of the original crew completed their tour and returned to the states.
It may be noted here that on 11 July, while leading our old group, the 492nd on a flight to Munich, my crew saw the B-24 we flew from the states hit over the target. B-24 No. 44-40168, the Tequila Daisy was severely damaged and landed in Switzerland all hands safe.
Lt. Whitsett was replaced by Lt. Albert Stone and Lt. Craven was also replaced. I'm not sure who came in as copilot, but somewhere Lt. Rasmussen entered the picture and took over command of the crew when I became operations officer of the 66th squadron.
The above information was developed in collaboration with Ed Petelle and neither of us have any recollection of Lt. Rice, Malvin Blotcher or Capt. Davido. The name Lofdahl rings a bell but I can't go beyond that.
I remained with the 44th after my tour because orders were issued by 2nd Air Division around the first of 1945 that Field Grade officers would remain in place till the war end, no R&R. I flew a B24 home in late May.
I hope this fills in some of the blanks and if I can be of further help, please advise.