Major Frank Gash - Raidiorman Clifford Smith

2nd Row - Lt. General, Major Gash, Lt. Faulstich, Lt. Haberen
1st Row - Sgt. Simmons, S/Sgt. Abramchik, T/Sgt. Smith, Sgt. Wreath, T/Sgt.. Gannaway


April 1, 2007


In the back row, the first person has the last name of General and the rank Lieutenant. Confused me for a long time. I couldn't figure out why a Lt. Gen. would be a navigator. Below are the full names of the crew, including the missing name for the front row, although I don't know who is who there.

Pilot - Major Frank T. Gash
Co-Pilot - Lt. Urban A. Faulstich
Navigator - Lt. Harry S. General
Bombardier - Lt. Michael Haberern
Radio Operator - T/Sgt. Clifford F. Smith
Engineer - T/Sgt. John L. Gannaway
Gunner - S/Sgt. Ben P. Colecchi
Asst. Radio Operator / Gunner - S/Sgt. Leon Abramchik
Radar Observer - Sgt. William A. Wreath
Mechanic / Gunner - Sgt. Homer R. Simmons
Aerial Photographer - T/Sgt. Walter S. Feuer (not pictured)

The eyewitness accounts in the accident report from the ship being shot down told that tail-gunner, Colecchi, continued firing at attacking Japanese planes after the bomber crashed while it sank in the ocean. Amazing courage.

All the best,

Jeffery A. Earl


March 6, 2007

Mr. Eubank,

I have been doing research on my great-uncle, Clifford Smith, who served with the 404th in the Aleutians. He was a radioman on a b-24 and was killed in action over Paramushiru on 9/11/43. I was looking at the photo of the bomber command staff on your 404th staff page and thought I recognized a face. The caption says "? - mid foreground killed in action over Paramushiru Sept 1943". I believe it is Maj. Frank Gash who piloted my uncles plane. I have attached a photo of the entire crew taken from a squadron "year book". Major Gash is second from the left in the second row.

If you have any photos of their b-24 s/n 41-23890 (tail #'s would be 123890 or 90) I would greatly appreciate a copy. Or if you have any other information besides what is on the website regarding T/Sgt. Clifford Smith or the crew of Frank Gash, that would be much appreciated as well. Thank you very much for your help and I hope that you find the attached information helpful.

All the Best,

Jeffery A. Earl
JD/MALS Candidate
Valparaiso University School of Law


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