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T/SGT  Trafford L. CURRY


 Trafford C. Curry - 351st - TTE. Evaded and returned to England. Richard C. King Crew Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

T/Sgt Trafford Curry 

SERIAL #: 18019460 STATUS: EVA
MACR: 00684 CR: 00684

Comments1: 3 SEP 43 BEAUMONT Le ROGER (FLAK - EXP- COL WITH 42-30089)




                                   1ST LT RICHARD C. KING
                              ORGINAL 100TH PILOT, 351st Squadron

CREW #26   A/C #42-3234        "LITTLE MIKE"        MACR #684

1ST LT  RICHARD C. KING             P;   KIA   3 SEP 43 PARIS
T/SGT   DERRELL C. PIEL         ROG;  KIA   8 OCT 43 BREMEN (WITH CREW 22, Capt. Thomas E. Murphy Crew)
S/SGT   DONALD E. WISE          TG;   KIA   3 SEP 43 PARIS

1.   25 JUN 43    BREMEN                A/C# 230086 Black Jack
     26 JUN 43    Le MANS               A/C# 230087  Shack Rat(Group did not get credit for mission   
2.   28 JUN 43    ST NAZAIRE            A/C# 23234  Little Mike 
3.   29 JUN 43    Le MANS                A/C# 230051 Nevada Wildcat
4.     4 JUL 43    La PALLICE              A/C# 23234  Little Mik e
5.   10 JUL 43    Le BOURGET            A/C# 23234  Little Mike 
6.   14 JUL 43    Le BOURGET            A/C# 23234  Little Mike 
7.   24 JUL 43    TRONDHEIM             A/C# 23234  Little Mike
8.   25 JUL 43    KIEL                        A/C# 23307  Skipper
9. . 28 JUL 43    OSCHERSLEBEN          A/C#23234  Little Mike 
10. 29 JUL 43    WARNEMUNDE           A/C# 23234  Little Mike  
11. 30 JUL 43    KASSEL                     A/C# 23234  Little Mike 
12. 12 AUG 43  WESSELING & BONN    A/C# 23234  Little Mike 
13. 15 AUG 43   MERVILLE & LILLE        A/C# 23234 Little Mike 
14. 19 AUG 43   WOENSDRECHT          A/C# 25865 Janie
15. 24 AUG 43   BORDEAUX                 A/C#23234  Little Mike  (injured by flak)
16.  8 OCT  43   BREMEN  (KIA)           A/C #25864 Piccadilly Lily (with Capt. Thomas E. Murphy Crew)

Subj: Re: Derrell Piel  
Date: 5/24/2003 6:32:05 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
I have several copies of letters of award in regard to Derrell . I also have a copy of his Selective Service Records along with a letter he typed to his folks. His given name is Derrell Clifford Piel. His date of birth is October 11, 1943. His address when he entered the service was Dunning, Blaine Co., Nebraska. The letter from the Department of the Army stating where he was interred states his name as Derrell C. Piel. I feel 100% sure of this. I see that on the web-site you don't have his grave. He is interred in Plot P, Row 9, Grave 14. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Some more questions for you….Sandy Moroney family member


Mission: Paris                    M.A.C.R. #684
Date: 3 Sept.1943          Aircraft #42-30089 "SUNNY"
Time: 0920
A/C last seen: Over Beaumont AF

 Richard C.King  1st Lt           P    KIA
 George D.Brykalski F/O         CP    KIA
 Ernest Anderson 2nd Lt     NAV   POW
 Edward H.Hovde 2nd Lt    BOM   POW
 Robert L.McKnight T/Sgt   ROG   KIA (Crew #27)
 Trafford L.Curry T/Sgt       TTE  EVADEE
 Rudolph H.Harms S/Sgt     BTG   KIA
 Heber Hogge,Jr. S/Sgt     RWG   POW
 James M.Sides Sgt           LWG  POW 
 Donald E.Wise S/Sgt          TG  KIA

Barney Sutton, regular waist gunner on this crew, had flown six or seven missions when he received an appointment as an Aviation cadet. He returned to the U.S. and was replaced on the Crew by James Sides. Sutton became a navigator and, in the fall of 1944, returned to England for duty with the 398th Bomb Group. In a letter to this writer in 1979 Sutton had this to say, "The Esprit de Corp of the 398th was nothing to match the 100TH. However, at that time the 100TH had been shot down twice, and I feel sure the 398TH had suffered also." At the time of the 3 Sept.43 Paris mission, Derrell Piel was on sick leave and was replaced by Robert McKnight, the regular radio operator of crew #27. On 8 Oct. 1943, flying with crew #22, Piel was KIA. It is rather ironic to note that McKnight's regular crew successfully completed their tour of 25 missions

Statement of Trafford Curry taken at Thorpe Abbotts in January 1944:

"I was in the top turret at the time we were hit amidships by flak from the Paris area. Our A/C left the formation in a steep dive and when it leveled off several thousand feet below I came out of my turret to see what was taking place. I quickly observed that the A/C was burning both in the bomb bay and the navigator's compartment. The A/C was very badly damaged and the fires were too far advanced to be extinguished. I put on my chute and when given the bail out order I tried to go out the navigator's hatch, but changed my mind when I saw the fire and smoke in that part of the A/C. I then went to the bomb bay and jumped through the flames that practically covered that area of the A/C. Just before I jumped I looked back and saw Lt.King and his co-pilot adjusting their chutes. After my chute opened I saw several other chutes come from my A/C, but never knew who they were. The A/C disappeared still in level flight and I learned later that it crashed in a field several miles away, still in level flight, but exploded soon after. I was not able to obtain any information about any of my crew members."

Antonio Bouvet -I'm an active member of ''Souvenir Français'' and at the present time I'm inquiring about Bloody Hundredth of September 3rd 1943. That day the B-17 serial 42-30089 ''Sunny'' EP-K was hit near Villecresnes (94) and T/Sgt Trafford L. Curry bailed out and escaped near Combs-la-Ville (77). Looking at E&E 325, I see that  T/Sgt Trafford L. Curry  evaded via no further details. In fact he was saved by some inhabitants of Combs-la-Ville and particularly by Mr. Antonio Bouvet of resistance network ''Vengeance'' . His daughter, Mrs Iban was twelve old at this time and recently she told me this story: Her father gave civilian clothes to the T/Sgt Curry and guided him throughout the Senart forest between Combs-la-Ville and Villeneuve-Saint-Georges. Mr. Bouvet road his bicycle in reconnaissance ahead the T/Sgt Curry Trafford who was following with the little girl sitting on the bicycle bar. Along the road Trafford was whistling little songs and the girl was fallen under the crooner's spell. She was falling in love! ...Jean-Louis Robbin 

Plane was on bomb run when hit by flak and apparently lurched up and its right wing struck the tail section of A/C # 42-30059 flown by crew #23. Eyewitness accounts have some conflict but some said that bombs from #059 fell onto #089.

Heber Hogge is authority for information that Edward Hovde was wounded in left leg and had it amputated at hip. See M.A.C.R. #685 and #686 for more data on this crew.

Missions of Lt.Richard C. King Crew (from Paul Andrews appendices in Luck of the Draw by Frank Murphy)

June 25,1943 Bremen,     a/c 230086 "Black Jack"
June 26,1943 LeMans,     a/c 230087 "Shack Rat" (Group did not get credit for this mission)
June 28,1943 St Nazaire  a/c 23234  "Little Mike"
June 29,1943 LeMans      a/c 230051 "Nevada Wildcat"
July  4,1943 LaPallice   a/c 23234  "Little Mike"
July 10,1943 LeBourget   a/c 23234  "Little Mike"
July 14,1943 LeBourget   a/c 23234  "Little Mike"      

*Note, the following came from Jim Sides personal Log recorded during World War 2.  Some of the dates were changed from the original log to correspond with the correct mission Jim is describing. Mike Faley April 1, 2000

Missions flown by S/Sgt James Sides Jr. as given on April 1, 2000
Crew 26, 351st Sqdrn,  AC #42-3234 'Little Mike"
Left Waist Gunner and Assistant Radio Operator

1.  July 24, 1943-Trondheim, Norway, Target-Submarine Pens.  Longest air raid made by  8th Air Force
bombers to date.  Twelve Hours and fifteeen minutes.  Intercepted by 6 German ME 109's and Heavy Flak.
Received hit by 88mm shell in vertical stabilizer.  Bombing altitude 19,000 feet.

2.  July 25, 1943-Rostock, Germany.  Target was covered by smoke,  Bombed Submarine Pens at Kiel, Germany,
Heavy Flak, intercepted by 8 German fighters. Mission time: eight Hours.

3.  July 28, 1943-Hanover, Germany, (Oschersleben) Target was FW 190 Assembly Plant.  Attacked by German Fighters and five 
of 100th Bombers were destroyed.  bombing altitude 18,000 feet. (** Side note here, according to 100th records,
No aircraft were lost that day-Mike Faley)

4.  July 30, 1943-Kassel Germany, Target was F.W. 190 Assembly Plant.  Crossed over Belgium, met great deal of 
Flak.  Intercepted by 25 German fighter planes which followed us to the target.  Fighter attack lasted for one hour and 
fifteen minutes.  Bombed Target from 24,000 feet. Flak heavy over target.  Before leaving Germany we were met by 25 
American P-47 that flew above us.  Attacked by 3 FW 190 German Fighter Planes.  One fighter was destroyed by 
myself and ball turret gunner.  Sides was given the credit of destroying one enemy aircraft.  We were on oxygen for four 
hours and fifteen minutes.  Mission lasted 8 hours.

5.  August 12, 1943-Bonn, Germany-Primary Target was Gasoline and Oil Storage Tanks.  Secondary target was City 
of Bonn.  Heavy Flak.  Bombing altitude ws 26,000 feet.  8th lost 25 bombers this raid.

6.  August 14, 1943-Southern France-Duck Diversion Mission (*note: Duck was a symbol for decoy-MF)-Altitude
20,000 feet.  Escorted by American P-47's.  Purpose was to flush up enemy aircraft to intercept and destroy.

7.  August 15, 1943-Lille France, Target was Airport.  Secondary target at Merville, France.  Bombing altitude was
20,000 feet.  Met very heavy flak at Merville. Was intercepted by 20 German fighters.  Mission was successful.

8.  August 19, 1943-Holland-First and secondary targets were overcast.  Failed to drop bombs.  Returned to base.
Mission unsuccessful.

9. August 24, 1943-France, Air Fields in France near Paris.  Bombing altitude 24,000 feet.  Very Heavy flak and 
enemy fighters.  Our radio operator , Derrell Piel was wounded by Flak.  Was Attended by Sides.

10. September 3, 1943- Paris, France-Target was Renault Works in Paris, Secondary target was Air Field at 
Evruex, France.

Note: LITTLE MIKE, crew 26 was flying in borrowed aircraft from another crew.  LITTLE MIKE had been damaged so 
badly on a previous mission that is was unable to fly.  Bombing altitude was 23, 000 feet.  On target run we had a direct hit by 
88mm in our number 2 engine which caught fire.  We were knocked out of formation.  Our plane was still under control.  King 
attempted to get back into formation.  We were then either hit or we hit another plane.  See Crew 23 statements.  We then received direct hits by anti-aircraft fire in our bomb bay section and in the radio compartment, each hit causing fire.  All communications were knocked out in our plane.  Our ball turret gunner came out of the turret and started to put on his chute, saw the fire in the radio hatch and grabbed a fire ext. and started fighting the fire in the radio room.  Hogge and I were firing at enemy fighters coming in on us.  At this time smoke was so thick that we could hardly see anything, I knew it was time to get out of the aircraft, I disconnected my oxygen and motioned for Hogge to bail out.  Hogge and I both were wearing backtype parachutes.  At that time
I apparently blacked out from the lack of oxygen.  I heard a very loud explosion.   When I came to, I realized that I was falling, I was then able to grab my ripcord and pulled.  I then determined that I was about 5000 feet above the ground.  That I had fallen about 15,000 feet while I was unconscious.  There was a German fighter circling around me all the way to the ground.  Probably 
radioing my position to my captors.  I was captured immediately then transported to Bastille Prison where I was kept during the night.  Both of my ears had been ruptured along with some flak wounds in my back.  The next day I was transported to Frankfurt, then to Dulag Luft Prison.  Two weeks later I was transported to Munich to Stalag 7A.  Thirty days later I was transported by cattle car to Stalag 17B at Krems Austria.  Was interned there until March 26, 1945.  On that Day 4200 American POW's were forced to march across Austria in the foothills of the Carpathain mountains to Insbrook Austria.  Appox. 280 miles.  On May 3. 1945 we were liberated by Pattons 13th Armored Division.  Then transported to Camp Luckie Strike in France.
Met Edward Hovde and Ernest Anderson at the 100th Reunion in Tampa Florida in 1990.  We did not know about Curry until later years .Hogge said that he bailed out and did not know about Curry before the airplane blew up.  Therefore, it appears that I was the only survivor that survived the explosion.  Also, I am the only remaining survivor of my crew.  God has really blessed me.
                                                              JIM SIDES-APRIL 1, 2000



TARGET: Paris DATE: 1943-09-03  
AIRCRAFT: "Little Mike" (42-3234) CAUSE: FLAK  




 Complete Richard C. King Crew photographed in 1943 before overseas assignment. Standing from left: Heber Hogge, Jr., Donald E. Wise, Trafford L. Curry, Barney Sutton (Assigned to an Aviation Cadet Class after six missions), Rudolph H. Harms: Kneeling from left: Ernest Anderson, Edward H. Hovde, Richard C. King, and the legendary Owen "Cowboy" Roane, who received his own crew prior to overseas assignment. It fell to Roane to witness his old crew going down at Paris September 3, 1943 - resulting in the death of five, King, Brykalski (who replaced Roane on the crew), McKnight, Harms, and Wise. In 1993 on the 50th anniversary of the mission, Roane told Paul West and Charles M. Beck it was then and remains one of the saddest days of his life. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 



Crew 1

ID: 1128