Crew # 555

Crew # 555
Crew # 555 - planes flown: DAMIFINO , DIXIE, LET ER RIP, TIMES A WASTIN

1st. LT. J. William Smith

1st. LT. J. William Smith

Saturday, February 13, 2010

466th. BG Crew #555 Fate of Planes Flown


My research finds that this aircraft was lost after raid on marshalling yard at Celje, Yugoslavia on Feb. 14th. 1945....
have never seen records of missions there so might be some mis-information floating around?

My father with "DIXIE"......AIRCRAFT SERIAL #44-10499

Dixie's location was last noted at Walnut Ridge Arkansas in Jan. 1946 where she was likely scrapped.

Appears the Damifino's life also ended at Walnut Ridge Arkansas in Jan. 1946

Pictured #555 crew members: seated on left, Allen D. Miller Engineer,

I have all the other crewmens names below but cannot quite tell who is who comparing my photographs......

Full crew Photo:

Standing Left to Right : Bridgeman, Paul W. "AKA Paul" (P) ; Porter, Elijah "AKA Porter" (R/O) ; Norton, Corodon "AKA Stud"(WG),

Gilbert, William E. "AKA Bill" (NG) ; Vawter, Wesley Rhodes, "AKA Wes" (CP) ; Smith, John W. "AKA Smitty" (N)

Kneeling Left to Right : Weckerly, Raymond E. "AKA Weck" (TG) ; Hallet, Tom D. "AKA Tom" (B) ;

Miller, Allen D. "AKA Al" (E/TT) ; Atterholt, James R. "AKA Att" (BTG/WG)

LET" ER RIP" .... AIRCRAFT SERIAL # 44-50548

NO PHOTOS YET FOUND......Following military serial number records also shows "Let Er Rip" ending up at Walnut Ridge January 17th, 1946.....likely had the same fate in the scrapyard

Dads last flight plan (Mel Westbrook , Pilot) from Goose Bay Labrador shows "B-24M AIRCRAFT # 0884" Have not yet been able to identify that aircraft.....


  1. Hi, Thanks for putting this blog together. My Uncle was Paul W Bridgeman (who I am named after). He was the pilot in one of the photos you posted here. He passed away in 1959 in a boating accident before I was born, so I never had the privelege of actually meeting/knowing him. I have heard stories from family members through the years, but it was very interesting to see the recounts of some of the events by someone who was actually there with him. I had never heard the story of him returning with the bombs onboard. I have a couple of articles from the 1950's citing his accomplishments as a pilot if you would be interested in seeing them.

  2. My Dad considered Pilot Paul Bridgman as one of the best...Landed a damaged B-24 with 2 engines out on a British fighter airfield. Dad remembered the "too short, steel matt runway". Bridgman put the plane down on the money and used every inch of runway to get her stopped. Any lesser pilot would not have pulled it off.....Pilot Bridgman never once "ditched" bombs in the Channel if they returned with them after "no target". Dad told me that Paul refused to dump unused bombs and always returned with them, so they could be hauled back to another target on another day....