447th BS War Diary: Special Accounts: On January 8, 1944 seven planes of this squadron participated in a raid on the railroad junction and yards at Metkovic, Yugoslavia. A successful bombing run was made with little opposition from flak. Several bursts were seen but they were not close enough to do any damage.
Thirteen minutes after the bombing run the formation was attacked by nine German fighters. Just prior to the attack the left engine of the plane piloted by Lt. Trevor had been feathered, presumably because of some mechanical failure, and this ship lost altitude and straggled from the formation. When the fighters came in to attack they singled out the straggler and made a concentrated attack upon it. The plane continued to lose altitude and was finally seen to hit the water. The crew of the ship which was shot down was as follows: 1st Lt. Graham J. Trevor, pilot; 1st Lt. John E. Briskey, Jr., co-pilot; 1st Lt. Andrew L. Kingsley, bombardier; Cpl. James H. Jeffrey, engineer; S/Sgt. Jack C. Mays, radio-gunner; S/Sgt. James M. Reilly, turret gunner.
Briskey, John F., Jr., 1Lt, pilot Jeffrey, James H., Cpl, engineer-gunner
Kingsley, Andrew L., 1Lt, bombardier Mays, Jack C., S/Sgt, radio-gunner
Reilly, James M., S/Sgt, turret gunnerTrevor, Graham J., 1Lt, pilot
The fighters were very aggressive in their attack upon the formation. In twos and fours they made pass after pass at various elements of the formation from the front, sides and rear and the attacks continued until the formation reached the coast of Italy. Three of
the fighters were shot down, two by 448th gunners and one by Sgt. Robert Boyd of this squadron. Lt. Trevor’s plane was the only B-25 lost. The plane piloted by Lt. Knodle received a hit in the right engine but the engine continued to function until he was taxiing off the runway after landing. Lts. Nowakowski, Anderson and Vincent all reported observing Lt. Trevor’s plane as it was attacked. When Lt. Nowakowski saw the plane it was flying straight and level at about 1500 feet. The formation at that time was at about
4000 feet or 2500 feet above Lt. Trevor’s plane. Four German fighters were diving on the straggling plane and firing at it when Lt. Nowakowski lost sight of it. Lt. Anderson saw three fighters attacking Lt. Trevor’s plane from the rear. The fighters were flying along parallel to the formation and the waist gunner on Lt. Anderson’s plane, Sgt. Robert Boyd, got a good shot at one of the fighters. He shot about a hundred rounds into it, most of them into the enemy aircraft’s tail section. The tail of the fighter fell apart and it went down into the sea. The other two fighters continued to press their attack on Lt. Trevor’s plane. All during the running fight with the fighters the formation was diving down to
Saturday, 8 January 1944 (continued)
get on the deck. Lt. Vincent reported seeing Lt. Trevor’s plane hit the water and at that time the altitude of the formation was about 400 feet. He was looking back and saw a tremendous spray of water as the plane hit. He did not see the plane after that. According to his estimate Lt. Trevor’s plane went in about twenty miles from the Italian coast.
Anderson, Lloyd G., 2Lt, pilot Boyd, Robert J., M/Sgt, gunner
Knodle, Robert A., 2Lt, pilot Nowakowski, Joseph J., 2Lt, bombardier
Trevor, Graham J., 1Lt, pilot Vincent, Frederick W., 2Lt, pilot
Capt. Beeson took a plane out to the area shortly afterwards and searched thoroughly for some trace of the plane which went down but could find nothing.
Beeson, Ellwood H., Capt, pilot, operations
447th BS: War Diary of: Stephenson, Henry W. "Steve", 1Lt, pilot (mission 52)
TARGET: Metkovic M/Y 1:50 500 lb bombs
Plane 498: Lt. Stephenson, Lt. Langston, Lt. Deane, S/Sgt Czabaj, S/Sgt, Ennis, S/Sgt Crowell
Crowell, James M., Jr., S/Sgt, gunnerCzabaj, Matthew W., S/Sgt, gunner
Deane, George J., 2Lt, bombardier Ennis, Edward C., S/Sgt, radio-gunner
Langston, Everette D., 1Lt, pilot Stephenson, Henry W. "Steve", 1Lt, pilot
“Lt. Trevor and crew which included Lt. Trevor Lt. Briskey, Lt. Kingsley, Pfc. Jeffery, S/Sgt Mays and Sgt. Reilly in plane 450 were attacked by several fighters and shot down in the Adriatic Sea. Sgt. Crowell shot down one E/A. ¾ of M/Y although smoke obscured visions of targets. At least three fires and several fires observed after explosions caused by direct hits on fuel tanks.”
Briskey, John F., Jr., 1Lt, pilot Crowell, James M., Jr., S/Sgt, gunner
Jeffrey, James H., Cpl, engineer-gunner Kingsley, Andrew L., 1Lt, bombardier
Mays, Jack C., S/Sgt, radio-gunner Reilly, James M., S/Sgt, turret gunner
Trevor, Graham J., 1Lt, pilot
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian in the 57th Bomb Wing PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com