Mount 'N Ride 42-31585 OR-B Nose Art (323rd Bomb Squadron)
This aircraft was one of several 91st BG planes that flew into Switzerland to be interred until the end of the war.
Photo contributed by Paul Chryst
Information about the Crew of Mount ‘N Ride 42-31585 OR B
The crew of Mount ‘N Ride was assembled in Alexandria, Louisiana in the summer of 1943. They shipped out for England along with 47 other air crews on October 30, 1943 aboard the Queen Mary.
They were assigned to the 91st Bomb Group (H), 323rd Bomber Squadron which was commanded at the time by Lt. Col. Bishop.
Their first airplane a B-17F had been named Gay Caballero by its first crew. On the crews second mission during climb out in the clouds they hit what they thought was a radio tower. They completed the mission and upon landing at Bassingbourn Air Field, the right wing dropped. They had impacted another aircraft (the one which had taken off immediately behind them) and the main spar had been broken. As long as the wing was loaded the aircraft flew fine but as the wing loading dissipated the wing fell off. Gay Caballero was retired.
They were assigned a new B-17G. On their first mission in this plane, to Hanover, they were hit by both 20mm cannon and 30 cal. fire. The top of the flight deck was blown off and they sustained heavy damage to rudder and trailing edge of the left wing. They also lost use of their left flap and had to land hot without flaps. This was the only mission for them in this aircraft.
They were then assigned to a new B-17G which had just arrived from the States. The enlisted men of the crew named her Mount ‘N Ride and Tony Starcer painted her nose art. The crew would fly the rest of their missions in Mount ‘N Ride.
On their 6th mission, originally scheduled to Hamburg but diverted to Dusseldorf because of weather, they took a direct hit to their #3 engine. They were unable to feather the prop and had a runaway. They lost the formation and made it over the North Sea at altitudes under 100 feet and speeds of 115 to 120 mph. They made landfall and landed at a RAF Base. The RAF covered their nose art because it was too suggestive.
In late February on a mission to Leipzig the 323rd supplied 9 aircraft. By the time they reached the target they had lost 8 of the nine aircraft. With no one to form up on they adlibbed the rest of the mission. They avoid attackers by going high and then low to keep the formation between them and the attackers.
Their last mission was on the 16th of March 1944. The target was Augsburg. As they approached the target they were hit and lost their #3 engine. They began to loose the group and another FW190 took out their #2 engine. With the help of 2 P38s they were able to make it to c cloud deck. Knowing they could not make it back to England they plotted a course to Dubendorf, Switzerland. They were able to navigate in the clouds to Dubendorf where they landed and were interned in Adelboden, Switzerland.
The crews 13 missions were:
They had 6 confirmed fighter kills.
This information came from the War Time Memories of Doyle E. Bradford, the pilot of Mount ‘N Ride.
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