16 October 2001 | horn-5
"Where do such men come from?" Meet the crew of The Memphis Belle.
The pilot was 24-year-old Captain Robert K. Morgan from Asheville, North Carolina who was an industrial engineer before joining the Army in 1941; the co-pilot, whom Captain Morgan insisted was "the other pilot', was 25-year-old Captain James A. Verinis from New Haven, Connecticut, who was a business administration student at the University of Connecticut before entering the service in July of 1941; Captain Vincent B. Evans, the 23-year-old bombadier was one of the two married members of the crew, and was a fleet-truck operator in his home town of Fort Worth, Texas before enlisting in January of 1942; Captain Charles B. Leighton, from East Lansing,Michigan and a chemistry student at Ohio Wesleyan before entering the service, was the navigator. The engineer and top turret gunner was Technical Sergeant Harold P.Loch, a 23-year-old stevedore from Green Bay, Wisconsin who joined the service in November of 1941; Technical Sergeant Robert J.Hanson, a construction worker from Washington state and the other married crew member, was the radio operator. The 19-year-old "baby" of the Memphis Belle crew was waist-gunner Staff Sergeant Casimer A. Nastal who was a washing machine repairman from Detroit, Michigan with two confirmed fighter kills to his credit who thought he had more "but never had time to watch whether they went down"; Staff Sergeant Cecil H. Scott, a pressman for a rubber company in Rahway, New Jersey was the ball turret gunner and, at 27, the oldest member of the crew. One of the three cameraman was First Lieutenant Harold J. Tannenbaum, from Binghamton,New York, a World War I veteran who remained in the Navy until 1927. He re-entered the service in July,1942 when he received his commission in the Army Air Force. He was killed in action,age 46,in April of 1944 and received a posthumous Purple Heart.