Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army 1
1922 1
New York 1

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Personal Details

Francis L Noble 1
Level of Education: 2 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
1922 1
New York 1
Place: Westchester County, New York 1

World War II 1

Army 1
Enlistment Date:
02 Mar 1942 1
Army Branch:
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 1
Army Serial Number:
12059530 1
Enlistment Place:
New York City New York 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Unskilled garage laborers and car washers and greasers 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0084 1
Film Reel Number: 1.77 1

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S/Sgt Francis L Noble, 321st BG, 447th BS, B-25 MTO

Notrh Africa

B-25 TRIGGER S/Sgt Noble flew over the Atlantic in her, also shot-down in her.
5 images

    During WWII, Groups and squdrons were formed as fast as was possible, while pilots were being trained, other men were at Technical Training Schools learning everything they needed to survive and become a team.  Francis was assigned to the 321st Bomb Group, the 447th Bomb Squadron at Columbia AAB SC to 'join-up' and become a working team.  He was assigned to Lt Albert Duke and they flew training Missions for bombing, gunnery and other activities.

     The last stage of training was at DeRidder AAB, Louisianna and soon Lt Duke flew in with a brand-NEW B-25 (Painted "desert-pink", but referred to as Pink Elephants ;)  as they would be going to North Africa.  Lt Duke named his new B-25 TRIGGER after his wife (her nick name) and in fact, Lt Duke's CREW also attended his wedding before they left forthe WAR.

   Sgt Francis Noble was in the [now famous] General Bob Knapp's Flight over the Atlantic, a Combat Unit of B-25's to fly over the Atlantic, the Southern Route, en mass with out loss.   Leaving Morrison Field, Florida.  He flew in the TRIGGER #41-13171 with Lt Al Duke (pilot), ....  Lt Dan. McDuff (Pilot in CP position),  .... Lt Doug Orr (Nav.), ....  S/Sgt Harold Govini (Eng), .... S/Sgt Edward Ennis (RADAR/Radio/Gunner), ....  S/Sgt Francis L NOBLE (Gunner),  and .... Officer Lt. Robt. Manley (HQ) as passenger. 


Saturday, 20 March 1943


447th BS War Diary:  Our squadron participated in two missions today.  The first was a sea sweep.  A convoy was sighted and attacked.  During the attack two of our planes were seriously crippled by flak, the one flown by Lt. Albert Duke and the one flown by Lt. J.P. Burns.  Then fighters attacked and Lt. Duke was shot down at sea.  With him were his CP, Lt. Ackley; Bombardier, Lt. Douglas Orr; and gunners, S/Sgts. Govoni, Noble and Drogosch.  Five enemy fighters attacked Lt. Burns’ ship.  He was alone and his turret gunner, S/Sgt Woody had been killed.  Shortly afterwards his tail gun was shot out leaving only his two waist guns to fight off the attackers.  S/Sgt Woody had managed to shoot down one of the fighters before they got him.  The other gunners chased the rest of the fighters away.  Lt. Burns made a crash landing at Bone.  There were over two hundred bullet holes in his plane but he called in tonight and reported that all the crew were safe except S/Sgt. Woody.  With Lt. Burns were his CP, Lt. Cohagen; Bombardier, Lt. Lingrel; and gunners, S/Sgts Woody, Perpich and Byerly.  No word was received from Lt. Duke’s crew today and they are assumed lost.  Thus the squadron suffered its first casualties of the war today.

A/C No.  41-13171 (?)  “Trigger” shot down Duke, Albert, 2Lt Ackley, James H., 2Lt None Orr, Douglas C., 2Lt Govoni, Harold F., S/Sgt Drogosch, Robert C., S/Sgt  Noble, Francis L., S/Sgt

Lt. R. Richardson arrived at Ain M’Lila today.  He was left behind at Borinquen Field Feb 16 for an engine change.  S/Sgts. Perpich, Noble, Drogosch credited with one E/A each shot down during sea sweep. 

Drogosch, Robert C., S/Sgt, radio-gunner            Noble, Francis L., S/Sgt, gunner 

Perpich, Joseph G, S/Sgt, engineer-gunner          Richardson, Robert W. "Rich", 2Lt, pilot

BEFORE being shot-down, Sgt Noble credited with one enemy aircraft shot-down/killed.

 FAMOUS Knapp Flight Over ATLANTIC;  B-25 Crew and Ship Roster for the 321st Bomb Group, ALL Squads... (KNAPP CREWS, 12 Feb. 1943)

Francis was transferred to 321st BG HQ 22 Oct. 1943 and stayed in war-service until 1945..

Lt Duke and his CREW were shot-down 20 March, 1943 ... in a British Hospital 25 March, 1943 and returned to us 27 March, 1943.


Barbi Ennis Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian  Official 57th Bomb Wing web--site........

Franics Noble's Friends and Crew Stories


Walter Cantrell went with Lt. R. Richardson in the HARP, #41-31007 Carl Hannaman went by boat, but having all 50 missions in the HARP, #41-31007 Dan O'Connell went with Lt. R. Richardson in the HARP #41-31007 Edward Ennis went with Lt. A. Duke in the TRIGGER, #41-13171 "Brownie" Charles O.Brown went with Lt. C. Grantham in the HUCKELBERRY DUCK #41-12925   Walter was the most likable guy, and seems to have made friends with so very many. In Georgia, he hung out with Jim Stanton, and Lawrence Rider, turret gunner/KIA. Rider was from Chicago and always said "When he got home, he was gonna' put a turret on top of his ole' Buick and become a Gangster !" He remembered Clyde Morganti whose ship was lost in NC...he still had the rip-cord ring in his hand when he got back to base ! Besides Ennis and CO-Brownie and "The Bike" .......he talks about how funny Vaughn Jones (Johnsey) was, and Lieberman...and Tate, and ...... Waldrip, Garret, the Navigator from Tucson... Oscar Daume from St. Louis, Francis Noble from NY... Bernie Quilty, Bombardier ! The dogs, and puppies ! In fact, Walter and the original crew attended Lt. Albert Duke's wedding ! Walter called everyone friend. Athough most of his pictures and mementos got "lost in the move" somewhere....OH, the STORIES !   Walter spoke with Francis in 2007 (Or about)  I found Walter living "NINE miles" away from me, went right over and there was "Walter, Brownie and Ed on that famous BIKE!"  I was never able to locate Francis, Walter had lost track of the paper he wrote his phone number on :(    From Barbi Ennis Connolly;   Just for fun, Holloway wrote the 447th Diary, until Feb'44 and then (the Trigger passenger) Robt. Manley picked it up and wrote it. I found nothing else about either one. The small photo I made of Noble in from the 2nd Deathwind photo. and in fact you are very observant..........Ed and the Deathwind is on the right (co-pilot )side....and the Bugbee photo is on the left/pilot side. I found that while the Huckelberry Duck had "ducks" painted on one had "bombs" on the other ! Also, for the Bugbee story.....he flew co-pilot with Spikes, and when the new ship "Dumbo" came in....................Bugbee lost the "Deathwind" to Spikes over a COIN TOSS ! AMAZING.....

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