The Pearson Crew
700th (lead) squadron
445th bomb group
Front Row L to R: T/Sgt. Robert D. Johnson, S/Sgt. Charles Allen, S/Sgt. Harry Tachovsky, S/Sgt. Dwight F. Galyon, Sgt. R. C. Ferrell, Doye L. O'Keefe, Radio Operator. Back Row: 1st Lt. Ralph L. Pearson, pilot; Nelson L. Dimick, copilot; 2nd Lt. Arthur E. Stearns, navigator; Field Officer Henry J. Henriksen. Not pictured: John L. Loving. Photo courtesy Doye L. O'Keefe
B-24J #44-10497 (Hardstand 2A) Call Letter P+ (Peter)
Crashed in Germany
Low Left Element
RANK NAME POSITION OUTCOME
1st Lt. Pearson, Ralph H Pilot Stalag Luft I
2nd Lt. Dimick, Nelson L Copilot Stalag Luft I
2nd Lt. Stearns, Arthur E Navigator KIA
F/O Henrikson, Henry J Bombardier KIA
T/Sgt. O'Keefe, Doye L Radio Operator Stalag Luft IV
S/Sgt. Tachovsky, Harry F Waist Gunner Stalag Luft IV
S/Sgt. Loving, John M Waist Gunner Stalag Luft IV
T/Sgt. Johnson, Robert D Engineer/Top Turret Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Galyon, Dwight F Tail Gunner Stalag Luft IV
accounts and gallery
When his plane crashed in Germany, a badly injured Ralph Pearson dragged himself two miles to the nearest home. In a dramatic rescue, the family pulled him inside. Read his incredible account.
Copilot Nelson Dimick was planning on celebrating his birthday at a party at 5 p.m. on the day of the Kassel Mission. It was supposed to be a milk run, after all. He was dating a woman in the RAF, but he had to be careful. Officers weren't supposed to date military personnel. In fact, MPs had already warned him more than once. Instead of a party with his English girl and friends, he would be incarcerated on enemy soil for months to come.
Radio Operator Doye L. O'Keefe has left a jewel with all of us. His Military Journal takes us from his childhood through training, service in the 445th Bomb Group and then through being a POW in Poland, who survived the 86 day march during the brutal winter of 1945, and then winding up as one of the POW authorities to whom the Germans turned over their weapons. This is a very moving, beautiful account. Highly recommended.
Mr. Tachovsky is one of the few Kassel Mission survivors still living and has been a great supporter of KMMA/KMHS.
John Loving had a very difficult time after the Kassel Mission, but it appears from this obituary that he was able to pull himself together and do much good for many people during the latter years of his life.