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 Miss Quachita

323rd Squadron

sound5.gif (1201 bytes) Serenade in Blue

Serial # 42-3040

Back Row - Left to Right

M/Sgt. Red Cunningham, Line Chief; Cpl. Newman; Unknown; Unknown; M/Sgt. Lyle Cook, Crew Chief

Front Row - Left to Right

Sgt. A.R. "Tony" Ryan; Sgt. Alois J. "Al" Szymanowski, Electrical Specialist; Sgt. C. Galian; M/Sgt. Rurel Wood, Crew Chief

Photo contributed by Ray Wood (son of Rurel)

Miss Quachita Factoid - The following crew flew their first mission on Miss Quachita on 3 November 1943 to Willenhaven, Germany. 1st Lt. Charles Samuelson, Pilot and Group Leader for the 323rd Squadron; 2nd Lt. Nenad Kovachevich, Co-pilot; 2nd Lt. Arthur Lunson, Navigator; 2nd Lt. Edward Kaisersk, Bombardier; T/Sgt. Edwin Walsh, Engineer & Top Turret Gunner; T/Sgt. Roy Ford, Radio Operator; S/Sgt. Vincent Garofalo, Waist Gunner; S/Sgt. Milton Franchuk, Waist Gunner; S/Sgt. Francis Lasker, Ball Turret Gunner; S/Sgt. James Dumouchel, Tail Gunner.

During this first mission, after dropping their bombs and on their way back to England, they were attacked by ME109s at 12 o'clock. It was during this attack that the navigator, Arthur Lunson, was shot in the right arm. The bombardier, Edward Kaisersy, administered first aid to Lunson. Kaisersk called for first aid kits, but only three of the mandatory ten first aid kits could be found aboard Miss Quachita.

After returning to base, they reported to the interrogation officer that only three first aid kits had been found aboard the aircraft, Miss Quachita.

On the following day, 4 November 1943, there was an inspection of each and every aircraft on the base to guarantee that each aircraft had ten first aid kits aboard. This inspection revealed that ground crew personnel had been using the first aid kits on the aircraft, rather than going to their own first aid station when a minor injury occurred. Thereafter, as a result of this incident, all the first aid kits in each aircraft were affixed with lead seals to prevent them from being opened unnecessarily.

Lt. Lunson went to the hospital to have his arm treated, and was then sent back to the United States.

The first mission was the only mission this crew flew on Miss Quachita. Six of our missions were flown on Chennault's Pappy. They also flew several missions on The Wicked Witch, as well as a variety of other aircraft.

Captain Samuelson and S/Sgt. Dumouchel flew their last mission on 4 June 1944, just 2 days before D-Day. Three weeks later, Samuelson and Dumouchel returned home to the United States to complete their military service.

Thanks to James E. Dumouchel for this information.