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James P. McCarty (Mac), Major USAF, Retired
391st Bomb Group, 572nd Bomb Squadron

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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 fuselage.
 
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

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