The following notes offer brief explanations of various aspects of the crews.
Naming Convention Crews were known by their pilotís name. In some cases different crews are known by the same name. In order to uniquely identify the crews in these cases, more than just the pilot's last name is required. This database uses the following naming conventions for the crews.
Same name - Pilots having the same last name resulted in different crews having that name. In many cases these crews did not serve at the same time or in the same squadron so there was no need to differentiate. To differentiate these crews, the crew name has the pilotís first initial appended to the end (e.g. MillerR). In some cases the middle initial is also appended.
Multiple tours - Some pilots returned for a second tour and generally got a different crew. These crews are differentiated by appending the pilotís tour number. For example Ong1 and Ong2 represent Don Ongís two crews.
Pilot Loss - In some cases a crew lost itís pilot due to death, injury, illness or completed tour. In those cases the crew members either stayed together and got another pilot (and thus another crew name) or they were split up and were reassigned to different crews.
Assignment - Crews were formed in the States and trained together at various locations before being shipped overseas. The original crews were formed and trained as a 388th squadron stateside. They ferried separately across the Atlantic to Knettishall. Later crews were not assigned to the 388th until they arrived in England.
Replacements For some missions, a crew member was not available due to injury, sickness or other causes. A temporary replacement was usually picked from the same squadron to fill in. Sometimes crewmen were permanently replaced due to a variety of causes - injury, death, a completed tour, inability to perform (air sickness, nerves, incompetence), incompatibility, etc.
Combat Tour Each crew member was required to complete a tour of combat duty. A tour consisted of 25 combat missions in July 1943 when the 388th started flying combat missions. Later the number was increased to 30 missions and by the end of the war (May 1945) it became 35 missions. In some cases, men had 28 out of 30 missions completed when word came down that the tour count was to be increased to 35.
When a combat tour ended, several options were available. The crew member could return to the States for a non combat assignment. The crew member could sign up for another combat tour which began after a 30 day R&R (rest and relaxation) in the States. Certain valued individuals were offered a non combat position (e.g. training instructor, staff position) at Knettishall.