Untitled Tribute to My Grandfather - Frederic N. Hernandez

From The Collection Of

2nd Lt. (Later Capt.) James J. Lichtenfels, ASN 15086638
Pilot, 14th Air Force / 308th Bombardment Group / 374th Bombardment Squadron

(All photos courtesy of James C. Lichtenfels)

As part of the original Overseas Deployment Air Cadre of the 308th Bomb Group
per OPS Order #57, Shipment 0528A, Feb 15 1943, the following named officers and enlisted men
were ordered to proceed in aircraft as indicated from Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, Florida to a
location provided to the Commander enroute. Of course, those aircraft were B-24Ds and that location ended up being China with assignment to the 14th Air Force.

Assigned to the 374th Bombardment Squadron -

41-24184 (The Jinx)
Irwin Basen, Capt, Pilot
Arthur M. Prunty, 2Lt, Copilot
Maurice C, Lair, 1Lt, Bombardier
Otha Draper, 2Lt, Navigator
Roland E. Hamel, TSgt, Engineer
Edward J. McCon, Sgt, Radio
John T. Thompson, SSgt, Asst Engineer
Jettie R. Darby, SSgt, Asst Radio
Wallace D. Culps, SSgt, Gunner
James J. Lichtenfels, 2Lt, Passenger

From Lt. Lichtenfels' son, James C. Lichtenfels - Don't really have a lot of details on the individual photos. They were just in a shoebox with nothing written on them. After my Dad died I went through his paperwork and got some info about his service in China as he had told us very little about it. He was a B-24 pilot, flew several supply missions over the Hump and several combat missions. He was among the first crews over there in 1943 I believe. He flew planes called the 'Snowball From Hell' and the 'Ubangi Bag'. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross for action on August 21, 1943 in a raid that became known as the disaster at Hankow which is covered in the book 'Chennault's Forgotten Warriors'. There is also a book called 'Flight to Everywhere' by Ivan Dmitri that has a photo of my Dad and a couple of stories from him and his crew. He stayed in the Air Force until 1962 and flew reconnaissance missions in the 50's and 60's. I was born at Fairford Air Base in England in 1954."

Mr. Lichtenfels graciously shared the many photos found in his father's shoebox. I am honored to be able to share them here.

Please Click On Photos To See Full Size


"80 DAYS" - B-24J 42-73257 14TH AF/308TH BG/374TH BS

"JOHNNY DOUGH BOY" - B-24D 42-42842 14TH AF/308TH BG/374TH BS

"FLOOGIE!" - B-24J 42-73444 14TH AF/308TH BG/374TH BS

"LAKANOOKI" - B-24J 42-73244 14TH AF/308TH BG/374TH BS

"RELUCTANT DRAGON" - B-24J 42-73316 14TH AF/308TH BG/374TH BS