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

Monday, June 28, 2010

466th. Bomb Group Crews Training...The Calm before the Storm

A fishing expedition , June 7th. 1943 at San Isabel Louisiana I believe.

This photo just surfaced among Dads' photo collections. Dad & Mom are both 2ND. from the left seated & standing. From left to right:
George Shriver, J.W. (Bill) Smith, Wesley Rhodes Vawter (Dads' Co-Pilot), Burrel Weaver, Paul Bridgman (Dads' Pilot), Wayne Wolfe.
I will do further research to find out the later crew attachment of Shriver, Weaver, and Wolfe. I know that Dad kept in close touch with Vawter & Weaver until their passing.
Bottom row, Left to Right:
"June", "Bea" (my Mother), "Fannie", "Max", and "Laurel".

Mom told me of a story where the "guys" weren't having a lot of luck fishing so upon coming across a fish hatchery they decided to increase their odds , jump a fence and fish at the hatchery....apparently the fishing expedition went unopposed and they caught a few....

The description on back of above photo

Photo below taken in Montgomery Alabama, at the Capital, during Cadets Flight Training.
Dad (right) is photographed with fellow Cadet, Hal Orndorf.
Another recently found Photo of Crew #555 Co-Pilot Wesley Rhodes Vawter. Dads' close buddy who passed away in May of 2009.
B-24 Aircraft # 44 - 50548 2U J+ " Let' er Rip" Assigned 446th BG Transferred to 466th BG......another plane flown by crew #555 , 466th. Bomb Group


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the read Alexandre...BTW great artwork!!!!

  2. Great Pic- That was my grandfathers plane. Co-Pilot was Thomas and Pilot was Jerry Rippier. Nice Pick, i have the original. I enjoy finding these on the web.

  3. Wesley Rhodes Vawter is my dad's brother! I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the pictures. Great tribute to these wonderful men and women. My dad Jack L. Vawter was a Flight Test Instrumentation Aeronautical Engineer for 43 years in Fort Worth. Scott

  4. Dad and Wes were life long friends. Mom and Dad went down to visit them a couple of times. I visited with Wes on the phone a couple of times. He sent over his "missions list" for me. Him and Dad flew most all missions together. We were all sad at his passing.
    His name was painted on the right side of "Damifino".

  5. Jerry Rippier was my dad's cousin, we called him Rip. He flew over 50 missions in WWII. The Rippier's were from Long Island, NY. Rip's mom was Ellen Cleary, my Grandpa's sister and Rip's sister was Kay Baker. Rip married a great lady named Bonnie and they lived in San Diego with their 3 daughters. Bonnie is still alive and now has 15 Great Grandchildren.