39th Bomb Group (VH)

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2nd Replacement Crew 6
B-29 # unknown

L to R Standing:
F/O Gerald L. Morey Flight Engineer
S/Sgt John N. LaBosky (now LaBoske) Radio Operator
Sgt James H. Boyd CFC Gunner
Cpl John D. Armstrong Left Gunner
Sgt Elvin C. Hansen Gunner
Cpl Jesse Molina Tail Gunner
L to R Kneeling:
2nd Lt Andrew P. Ftacek Bombardier
2nd Lt Francis K. Race Pilot
1st Lt William N. Tapp, Jr. Airplane Commander
1st Lt Richard J. Stettler Navigator
1st Lt Richard C. Donovan Radar Observer

Tapp Crew
Honor Roll 
1st Lt William N. Tapp, Jr
Airplane Commander
October 1951
S/Sgt John N. LaBosky (LaBoske)
Radio Operator
25 June 1996
2nd Lt Francis Kenneth Race
14 June 2005
Cpl Jesse Molina
Tail Gunner
6 May 2013
2nd Lt Richard J. Stettler
15 October 2013
2nd Lt Andrew P. Ftacek
25 February 2017

SO-136 par 5 lists this crew as having reported to 39th HQ in compliance with par 5 SO 148 HQ 314th BW dated 30 June 1945, listing the names above and assigning them to 60th Squadron.

Currently 5 members have been found: Andrew Ftacek, Richard Donovan, Francis Race, Jesse Molina and Richard Stettler

The information for Tapp Crew are taken from excerpts of "World War II, A View from the Cockpit" by F. Ken Race, Pilot of the crew. These are his recollections he put together for his children and grandchildren - Thank you for sharing your memories with us

“From our base in Texas we practiced the tactics that we would be using when we got to the Pacific Theater of Operations. Each training flight was from six to eight hours long. We would fly to California and back, practicing long-range navigation and drop dummy bombs on a bombing range in New Mexico. We would fly along the Guadalupe Mountains in western Texas shooting at gunnery targets. Flying formation, we would have the gunners firing at attacking fighter planes, using gun cameras rather than live ammunition. We took pictures of everything we did so we could review the results in debriefings after the flight”.

Replacement Crew 6 went to Guam by way of Hawaii, Kwajalien as the other crews of the 39th did. Col. George Mundy, Grp CO met the crew Ken Race relates, “I don’t know if he was glad to see us, a needed replacement crew or the spanking new airplane. He immediately claimed the plane as his and assigned an older war weary plane to us.”

Anyone with information or contacts for this crew please email:

60th Sqduadron Index
Source: SO-136 par 5 1 July 1945