updated 9 Feb 2016


The below crew photos are courtesy of Paula Merrill,
daughter of Major Keith Nelson Merrill

Individual photos and identification of crew members are courtesy of Rolland Swank ,John M Hill, and Dan Jacobson, nephew of Lt Buford Johnson. Without their involvement, only three of these men would have been identified.

Additional assistance provided by Scott Muselin
December 2015

This photo was taken early February 1945 on Saipan.
Lt Guy and Lt Peterson were not on Miss Hap the night of 3-4 July 1945

1st Lt. Buford P. Johnson was with the Keith Whitaker Crew during February 1945
1st Lt. William D.Wilson joined the Merrill Crew in _______ 1945

Also missing in this picture are Lt Col John H Griffith and 1st Lt Joseph V La Moglia
They were flying as observer and Group RCM Officer, respectively, on the Kochi mission


Mission Completion Report
19 Feb 45
Mission # 26

Seven Mission Completion Reports can be viewed in PDF format at the Group Highlights page


Major Keith N. Merrill


Courtesy of Paula Merrill

Born 1 February 1920
Graham County, Arizona

Parents Philamon and Thurza Drew Merrill

Funeral Service Part 1

Funeral Service Part 2

Courtesy of Paula Merrill

TSgt. Edward F. Gawron

Born 1925

Enlisted 4 March 1943
Albany, New York

Four years of high school

1st Lt. Walter H. Fike, Jr

Born 17 October 1923

Wilmington California

Parents Walter H. and Edna Fike

Married Mildred V. Daigh 1943

Enlisted 1 April 1943
Los Angeles, California

Two years of college

TSgt. Kurt J. Hermann II

Born 1918

Enlisted 28 August 1942
New York City

One Year of college

Article from the Seattle Times
6 Aug 45


1st Lt. Buford P. Johnson

Courtesy of
Dan Jacobson

Born 1918

Graduated 1939 from
University of Minnesota

Enlisted 25 September 1941
Fort Snelling, Minnesota
Aviation Cadet


SSgt. Harry R. Hill

Born 10 April 1916

Parents Ezra Packer Hill and
Elsie "Pansy" Hill
2nd of 4 children

US Census 1920 living in Kewanee, Illinois
US Census 1930 living in Neponset, Illinois

Married to Mary Hill
US 1940 Census shows son
Robert, age 1

Memorial Marker
Neponset Cemetery
Neponset, Illinois

1st Lt. William D. Wilson

Born 1921

Enlisted 9 January 1943
Atlanta, Georgia
Air Corps

Two years college

SSgt. James K. Keenan

Born 1922

Enlisted 29 February 1944
Boston, Massachusetts

1st Lt. Patrick B. Quinn

Beeville Bee-Picayune
2 August 1945

Thanks to Cynthia Blatherwick
Public Services Librarian
Joe Barnhart Bee County Library

SSgt. John L. Powell

Andalusia, Covington County, Alabama

Parents C. Bennie and Lilla Powell
Born 23 March 1917
4th of 9 children
1940 census: working as cafe waiter

Sgt. John T. Jenkins

Clairton, Pennsylvania

Parents : Joseph J and
Anne (Anna) Jenkins
Born 12 February 1923

Enlisted 30 June 1942
Domestic service until 28 Feb 45
Foreign service 28 Feb - 3 July 45

Lt. Col. John H Griffith

1st Lt Joseph V
La Moglia

Lt Col. John H. Griffith
Wellsboro (Pennsylvania) Gazette 26 May 1949

Emporia Gazette 1 March 1945

At the time this column was written, Lt. Col. Griffith was Squadron Commander, 875th Bomb Squad.
The nephew mentioned in the first sentence is 1st. Lt. Jack T. Bales, 875th Squadron RCM Officer.
On 26 Feb 1945, Lt. Col. Griffith was assigned to the 497th Bomb Group as Deputy Commander.

Lt. Colonel John H. Griffith biography
February 1945 Narrative History

Sources: 497th Bomb Group Narrative History
498th Bomb Group Narrative History
Owen V. Johnson, PhD
Indiana University

TSgt. Kurt Hermann II

Seattle Times
Monday, 6 Aug 1945

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