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Conley E. Culpepper   

Conely Culpepper being honored by his Grandson, C. Conley Culpepper III . (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Conley Culpepper official USAAF photo

SERIAL #: 38508301 STATUS: CPT

Comments1: 25 FEB 45 MUNICH "CHIP"




2nd Lt James C. Adair             P        CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY             sn# O-765896
2nd Lt Elmer G. Wesala          CP       CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY             sn# O-771179
2nd Lt Benjamin J. Goddard   NAV      CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY             sn# O-2060501  
2nd Lt Milton J. Brucker        BOM      CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY              sn# O-777429
Cpl Conley E. Culpepper       TTE        CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 38508301
Cpl Dewitt P.Meley               ROG       CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 13106958
Cpl James E. Hendrix            BTG       CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 39297502
Cpl James H. Horny              WG        CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY               sn# 38461218
Cpl Glenn J. Babcock            WG        NOC    Taken off to reduce crew to 9  sn# 17118150
Cpl David M. Dalgarn             TG         CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 17006218

349th Sqdn. This crew joined the 100th Gp on 23/9/44.  Flew overseas B-17G 43-38480   This Aircraft was assigned to the 493rd Bomb Group at Debach and was lost on Sept 30, 1944.  Lt Adair flew 20 of their missions in "532" which was nicknamed "Little Sweetheart" and  was later called "Kleen Sweep" by Hal Switzer's Crew. 

“Goddard was pretty quiet, but fun to be around ... a good officer. When you think about it, he died fairly young after we got home [1958]. But while we were over there he was pretty much a grown-up to me. He was married and had a little girl already – and she [Paula] – was the reason we called the plane that we flew most of our missions on the ‘Little Sweetheart.’” – Conley E. Culpepper interview

Missions of 1st  Lt James Adair

#     DATE      TARGET                      A/C                                      COMMENTs

1.   12/10/44  Bremen                      681   Grumblin Gremlin III         FW 190 parts Factory          
2.   15/10/44  Cologne                     011   The Reluctant Dragon      Marshalling Yards
3.   19/10/44  Ludwigshaven             987   The Little Skipper            RR Yds, Bomb Bay doors stuck open, #3 eng. Burned out
4.   22/10/44  Munster                     215    The Grumblin Gremlin      RR Yds
      25/10/44  Heligoland                  211    no name                       Recalled after assembly
5.   26/10/44  Hanover                     535    no name                       Tank and Gun factory                 
6.   02/11/44  Merseburg                  987    The Little Skipper           Oil 
7.   05/11/44  Ludwigshaven             986    Once In A While             Chem. Plant, Chaff Ship, Landed at ? Because of strong winds
8.   06/11/44  Neumunster               295     White Cargo                  Marshalling Yards 
9.   16/11/44  Langerwehe (Aachen) 313     Lil Butch                        Landed with 120 Gal of gas
10. 21/11/44  Osnabruck                  535     no name                       RR Yds
11. 26/11/44  Hamm                        073    That's All Brother            RR Yds
12. 02/12/44  Koblenz                      681    Grumblin Gremlin III         Recalled after passing sortie line
13. 04/12/44  Friedburg                    987    The Little Skipper           RR Yds
14. 05/12/44  Berlin                         987    The Little Skipper           Tank & Gun factory, Hendrix and Horny passed out from anoxia.       
15. 12/12/44  Darmstadt                  532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, 2nd Element Lead
16. 18/12/44  Mainz                         532     Little Sweetheart           Brought Bombs Back
17. 24/12/44  Biblis                          532     Little Sweetheart           Airfield Plastered
18. 25/12/44  Kaiserlautern               532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
19. 28/12/44  Koblenz                      532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
20. 29/12/44  Frankfurt                    532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds No 3 in Low Element
21. 30/12/44  Kassel                        230     no name                       Aborted-No1 Eng burned out                   
22. 03/01/45  Fulda                         532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
23. 05/01/45  Frankfurt                    532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Low Element Lead
24. 07/01/45  Cologne                     532     Little Sweetheart           Drove over primary, hit Limburg                                  
25. 20/01/45  Heilbronn                   532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Deputy Lead
26. 21/01/45  Mannheim                  532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Low Lead
27. 29/01/45  Kassel                        532     Little Sweetheart          2nd Element Lead
28. 09/02/45  Weimar                      532     Little Sweetheart          Arm Plant, 2nd Element Lead
29. 14/02/45  Chemnitz                    532    Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Low Element Lead
30. 15/02/45  Cottbus                      532    Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
31. 20/02/45  Nurnburg                    532    Little Sweetheart           no comment
32. 21/02/45  Nurnburg                    532    Little Sweetheart           no comment
33. 23/02/45  Trenchtlingen              532    Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
34. 24/02/45  Bremen                       532   Little Sweetheart           RR Bridge
35. 25/02/45  Munich                        532   Little Sweetheart           RR Yds. FINIS

Lt Adair's Medals: Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Cluster
ETO Ribbon with one Battle Star

NOTES from Lt Jim Adair's Pilot Log Book:

Assignment and Training of the Crew were in Sioux City Iowa from 6/44 to 9/44.  Crew members were previously trained for their positions at various bases. Milton Brucker came from a Bombardier training base in Texas.  In September 1944, the crew was sent to Lincoln, Nebraska to pick up a new B-17G.  From Lincoln the Crew flew to Syracuse, N.Y. to fuel, then onward to Grenier field, New Hampshire.  From there, departed for Presque Newfoundland.  Had to return to Grenier Field after detecting a faulty fuel Pump.  Waited 8 Days for a replacement to come in.  Finally left September 12th for Goose Bay, Newfoundland (5 hour, 40 minute flight).  Stayed overnight, left September 14th, flying to Meeks Field in Iceland (8 hr Flight).  Stayed at Meeks Field overnight (nothing but C rations for Food).  Left Iceland September 16th, heading for Wales (5 hours 40 minutes).

The takeoff from Iceland was extremely hazardous due to the strong cross winds and boulders along side of the runway, Very Scary!!!  Had to take off at 70mph substantially less that usual take off speed because of strong cross winds and boulders alongside the runway.  Pilot told the control tower of the dangers in that particular runway hoping there might be a better choice for future takeoffs.  Arrived in Wales 5 1/2 hours later, left the new plane in Wales and boarded a train for Thorpe Abbotts Air Base.  Beginning October 5, 1944, Practice missions 30 minutes to 3 1/2hrs in length were scheduled.

First Bombing Mission was 10/12/44 to Bremen, Germany, Flying time 6 hrs 20 minutes.  Bombing raids usually had 27-36 Planes from the 100th flying in formation plus other Groups from England making 1200 planes total on a mission.  Target in Bremen was FW 190 parts factory.  Battle of Bulge had 3000 plus planes from the Eighth Air Force flying that Mission.  The only encounter our crew had with a German fighter plane (ME 262) WAS WHEN A German fighter pilot flew through our formation undetected due to heavy contrails.  He flew close enough to our plane for us to see his face.  Our gunners shot at him but he was probably flying 120 miles an hour faster and vanished in an instant.

The Pilots log went through censors and some of the data was deleted.  Censoring was done before V-E Day and at a time when our 35 Missions were already completed.

My Worst Three Missions were:

No1.   Bremen: WE discovered there was real flak out there and realized we could get killed!!!!
No 6   Merseburg: A refinery was heavily protected by flak guns brought in by rail. I witnessed one of our planes go down in flames
No 35 Munich: This was our last mission. Heavy Flak trailed us just 200 feet to one side during a long bomb run.  A plane just above us caught fire on #2 engine.  The bombardier jumped out immediately--afraid of an explosion.  The pilot of his plane made it back to base.  The Bombardier ended up a POW (it was actually to have been his last scheduled mission).  
My Crew felt very fortunate to complete 35 Missions without a casualty.  However, in the future age and illness took their toll.


Transcription of the flight notations of T/Sgt Conley E. Culpepper
349th Bombardment Squadron 
100th Bomb Group (Heavy)
Combat Missions: 12 Oct 1944 – 25 Feb 1945


	Wed	Oct 12th
	Bearing factory

	Sun	Oct 15th

	Thurs	Oct 19th
	Oil dump
	feathered engine

	Sun	Oct 22nd

	Thurs	Oct 26th
	Halftrack factory

	Wed 	Nov 2nd
	Oil dump

	Sun	5th Nov
	Chemical plant
	Chaff ship

	Mon	6th Nov

	Thur	Nov 16th
	Siegfried line

	Thursday Nov 23rd
	last resort target from Merseburg Railyards

	Sun	Nov 26th

	Sat Dec 2nd

	Mon Dec 4th

	Tuesday Dec 5th
	Halftrack, Ammunition dump, tank factory

	Tues Dec 12th
	Low on gas

	Dec 18th	Mon
	Failed to drop bombs

	Sun	Dec 24th

	Dec 25th Mon
	Railyards over lines

	Thurs Dec 28th

	Fri 	Dec 29th

	Abortion 	Sat 	Dec 30th

	Tues Jan 3rd

	Fri	Jan 5th
	Railyards. Just made the coast landed Woodridge

	Sun	Jan 7th 
	Last resort from cologne. Co pilot forgot harness.

	Sat	Jan 20th

	Sun 	Jan 21st
	Railbridge across Rine River between ludwigshafen and mannheim

	Mon	 Jan 29th
	Railyards vs Kassel tank factory assembly

	Fri 	Feb 9th
	Armor Factory

	Wed	Feb 14th
	Russian offensive

	Thurs  Feb 15th

Nurenberg Feb 20
	tank factory

Nurenburg	Feb 21st
	Communications	Wed

	Feb 23rd
	Marshelling yds	Fri

	Feb 24th Sat
	Railbridge across the Waser

Munich	Feb 25th Sun
	Marshelling yds
	That’s All






courtesy of Chip Culpepper, son

Conley Culpepper wearing his A-2 Jacket (Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Conley Culpepper Lucky Bastard Certificate

Conley Culpepper grave marker

Bedtime in England
December 29, 1944
Dearest Dell:
And now I'm happy – received your picture today. ... I was about to think it wasn't coming. ...
We are up next for a leave to a ‘flak home,’ a heaven over in the E.T.O. That’s where you sleep lots, fish, hunt or even wear civilian clothes. That doesn’t mean I want to be without mail, and I’ll leave it up to you to supply it, eh?
Time to hit the hay, so Bye now 
Love Conley
P.S. Happy New Year ...

December 16, 1944
Dear Dell, I’m sending you a necklace made by one of the fellows on our ground crew. – Though I doubt you'll see it by exmas time.
[PHOTO: The Christmas gift mentioned in the letter of Sgt Conley E. Culpepper to his sweetheart Delphia Ashley is this aircraft-Plexiglas heart inset with brass aviator wings attached to a length of nickel-plated chain linked by three British coins]

Wedding portrait of my parents, Delphia ("Del") & T/Sgt Conley E. Culpepper (349th BS/100th BG), Aug 25, 1945. 

Unusual fact: Dad was 1 of 2 qualified flight-engineer/gunners aboard the same aircraft, the other being S/Sgt James H. Horny who trained with Lt. Jim Adair's crew. My father was added as a spare gunner for the transatlantic flight to England after his original pilot was grounded and that crew disbanded. Adair's crew voted to keep him in lieu of a man they'd trained with (Glen Babcock). Dad always felt guilty for being the reason another man got removed from a "lucky crew" that made it home alive....chip culpepper

A never-before-seen photo of my late father as a 19-year-old aerial gunnery student inside a 1944 Army Air Forces yearbook! (Kingman  Army Air Field in Ariz.).   Pvt. Conley E. Culpepper, Class 44-17, Flexible Gunner School, Kingman Army Air Field, Ariz. (1944 yearbook, pg 107) - later Top-Turret Gunner/Engineer with the James C. Crew, 349th BS, 100th BG (H).

Technical Sergeant, Flight Engineer and Gunner Conley E. Culpepper.  100th BG - 349th BS
A 'paying it forward' restoration and colorization to polish a hero! 

Chip Culpper Family Collection - All rights reserved!
Work by Nathan Howland  - @HowdiColour

Conley Culpepper Promotion Record

James C. Adair Crew (left to right)
Ben Goddard (NAV), Conley Culpepper (TTE), Mike Dalgarn (TG), Barney Meley (ROG), Jim Hendrix (BTG), Jim Horny (WG), Elmer Wesala (CP), James Adair (P), Milton Brucker (BOM) Standing in front of Little Sweetheart 48532

Little Rock Reunion with Conley Culpepper, James Adair and Milton Brucker. (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

How the press rarely agreed with the men who had to fight the war.  (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of T/Sgt "Chip" Culpepper TTE on Lt Adair Crew. (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

[Adair's Crew - Version 7] (identification)
Standing (L-R, as viewed): Sgt David M. Dalgarn (TG), Sgt Conley E. Culpepper (TTE), Sgt James E. Hendrix (BTG), Lt James C. Adair (P), Lt Elmer G. Wesala (CP), Sgt DeWitt P. Meley (ROG). Kneeling (L-R): Lt Benjamin J. Goddard (NAV), Sgt James H. Horny (WG), Lt Milton J. Brucker (BOM) ( photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Lt James Adair Crew: (identification)
Dalgarn, Goddard, Culpepper, Hendrix, Horny, Meley, (Wesala, bending in background), Brucker (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

10-man2): This is the full crew that came over with Adair shortly after landing in the UK and before reducing to 9 men for combat assignment -- my father was added shortly before they shuttled the new plane over (B-17G 43-38480). 

BACK ROW (L-R): Wesala, Goddard, Brucker, Adair, Horny. 
FRONT ROW: Glenn Babcock (WG), Hendrix, Meley, Dalgarn, Culpepper. (Dad was retained by Adair's crew. Glenn Babcock was put into a replacement pool). (Photo and info courtesy of Chip Culpepper) 

This is the full crew that came over with Adair shortly after landing in the UK and before reducing to 9 men for combat assignment -- my father was added shortly before they shuttled the new plane over (B-17G 43-38480). 

Seems photo likely taken by Adair, as he's absent.
BACK: Wesala, Goddard, Brucker, Hendrix, Horny, Dalgarn
FRONT: Babcock, Meley, Culpepper

Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Conley "Chip"Culpepper Mission Diary

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper) 

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Conley Culpepper TTE and Dewitt Meley ROG on Lt Adair Crew (Courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Lt James Adair Crew Stateside. Photo Courtesy of Chip Culpepper. 

Transfer paperwork to be ssnt home from 3rd Air Division

The Lt. Adair crew pictured in front of B-17G 'The Little Sweetheart' serial 44-48532 of 349th BS - 100th BG, Thorpe Abbots, England. 

The crew (L-R standing)  Mike Dalgarn (TG), Conley Culpepper (TTE), Jim Hendrix (BTG), James Adair (P), Elmer Wesala (CP), and Barney Meley (ROG); (kneeling L-R): Goddard (Nav), Jim Horny, and Milton Brucker (Bom).

Credit: The Culpepper Family Archive - All rights reserved.

Image repair, restoration and colourisation - Nathan Howland  @HowdiColour.



Crew 1

ID: 1110