- Crew members from left to right Lt. James P. McCarty, Pilot; Lt. Edward Karzenski,
Co-Pilot; Lt. Elmer B. Taylor, Bombardier/ Navigator; S/Sgt. Angelo Guidice; Flt.
Engineer/ Gunner Sgt. Charles Colvin; Radio/Gunner Sgt. Jay L. McDonald, Tail Gunner.
- I graduated with Class 42-I, (originally 42-H) from Spence Field as
a single engine S/Sgt. Pilot with assignment to Clearwater Florida,
supposedly in P-43's. To the surprise of myself and four S/Sgt. Pilot
classmates there were no aircraft available for flight.
- Each of us having served in the" Pre-Pearl Harbor" Army as
Non-Commissioned Officers were in no mood to sit around on our rear
ends; so we begin "camping on the door step" of Headquarters to find an
organization with flyable aircraft which would accept this strange bunch
of S/Sgt. 's with wings on their chests. On the third day of our
inquisition we were told permission had been obtained for us to transfer
to MacDill Field, Tampa, with assignments to the 344th Bomb Group. The
transfer was on or about November 1, 1942 as my Form 5 shows my first
flight in the B26B was on November 4, 1942 for a duration of 3 hours and
30 minutes with the 496th Bomb Sqdn, 344th Bomb Group and signed by 2nd
Lt. E. Peterman, Operations Officer. As a matter of interest, I just
noticed that 2nd Lt. Peterman was promoted to 1st Lt. some time in
December as he also signed my Form 5 in December, 1942 as 1St Lt. E.
Peterman, Operation Officer.
- I also accompanied the 344th Bomb Group to Drane Field, Lakeland,
Florida with my new bride of I month, (married Xmas day 1942) for a
short time as pilot with a mixed crew. The length of stay or the exact
date I departed for return to MacDill isn't remembered but it is
believed to be February 1943 where I was assigned to the 572nd Bomb Sqdn,
391st Bomb Group with a combat crew in which three members out ranked
me; 2nd Lieutenant Co-Pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Bombardier and a Technical
Sergeant Radio Operator/Waist Gunner. I out ranked my Flight Engineer!
Turret Gunner and Tail Gunner.
- I hasten to add that each individual of my crew approached me and
requested that I ask for them by name at the time of crew "make up". As
I slept in the GI barracks at the time I had a slight advantage in
knowing the character background of the Enlisted Personnel. (I didn't
appreciate the being assigned KID and barrack duties however.) Each crew
member fully understood the Military courtesy/respect and the proper
times for rendering same. We had no problems what so ever.
- The original crew, minus Co-Pilot and Radio Operator, and an
Airplane named "McCarty's Party", completed 68 missions together.
- "McCarty's Party" became the 391st Bomb Group Champion at 159
Official missions, however T/Sgt. William J. Goldstein who was the sole
crew chief from factory pick-up to American destruction at war's end
says the figure was 166 missions. It survived one" dead stick "landing,
two" belly" landings, one single engine landing, 50 flak holes on her
55th mission, 75 flak holes on her 79th mission plus minor damages of 3
cracked windshields and the usual 2-3 flak holes some where in the
- Further, I once landed with both brake systems shot out and we tore
up 1 acre of potato's at the end of the runway and an opposite
malfunction once where the brakes were locked in-flight by accidentally,
and unknowingly, actuating the emergency air brakes and the wheels never
rotated upon touch down, and with returned bombs in the bomb bay.
- In closing, "McCarty's Party" airplane never aborted a mission for a
maintenance malfunction due to the dedication of T/Sgt Goldstein, his
crew, and the design factors of the Martin B-26 Marauder, it's a shame
the B-26 never received it's due recognition.
- Best to you, Major Mac
- James P. McCarty Major USAF Retired