CREW 2366
            Ten Men At War     

Their Thirty-five Battles Against Nazi Germany in a B-24 Bomber from May to September 1944 with the 445TH Bomb Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force Based at Tibenham, England.
As presented by, 2nd Lt. Freddie Becchetti, Bombardier and Navigator and Tech Sergeant Garl McHenry, Radio Operator and Gunner, of B-24 Crew No. 2366.



Photos and Bios of Crew Members.

Crew's Training in U.S. and Departure for Combat.

Atlantic Crossing and Arrival in England.

The Eighth Air Force and England.

35 Air Battles and Life Between Battles.

A Typical Bombing Mission.

What The Crew Wore in Combat.

The B-24 Bomber: History and Specifications.

Individual Training of McHenry and Becchetti.

McHenry and Becchetti's Air Corps Service After Combat.

McHenry's Life after the War.

Becchetti's Life after the War.

Bomb Crew 2366 Medals and Awards.

Writings Based on the War Experience.

Author, Co-Author and Recently Found Crew Members.

Return to Garlswar Home Page


                       CREW 2366: TEN MEN AT WAR

War took them from family, friends and their future and tossed them among strangers from all over the United States. Soldiers trained them to kill in special ways and put them in a flying machine filled with tons of death and destruction.

War took them up five miles into the cold air over the fields and cities of Europe, and men shot fiery steel at them to kill or maim them.

They did this more than thirty times in the summer of 1944, raining death and destruction down on the enemy and made it back over thirty times, to come back to family and friends, but to a different future.

Since the beginning of time, it seems, a story of war always becomes a glorious story of heroes. This is a story of war, but it is not about glory and it is not about heroes. It is simply about ten of the twelve million ordinary young men in our country who were called to war from 1940 to 1945 to halt the attempt by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to conquer the world and impose their way of life, their way of thinking on that world.

The U.S. Army Air Corps called these ten men "B-24 Crew No. 2366." The crew became part of an army that fought its battles five miles in the air in primitive thin-skinned, rattle-trap airplanes loaded down with high-octane gasoline and carrying tons of explosives in their bellies.

This is a story of how the men of Crew 2366 fought their battles over Europe. It also tells about where they came from, how the Army prepared them to be on Crew 2366, how they stayed sane through the battles and finally what happened to them after it was all over.

Here are the young men of Crew 2366, the oldest, 31, and the youngest, 19, just out of high school:

(Standing, Left to Right)
ROBERT SHERICK, Tail gunner, from Lancaster, Pennsylvnia.
LEROY DeROUEN, Engineer/ Top Turret Gunner,New Iberia,Louisiana
GREGORY McGOVERN, Armorer /Waist Gunner, from Chicago, Illinois
LAWRENCE SLADOVNIK, Waist Gunner, from San Antonio, Texas.
GARL McHENRY, Radio Operator and Gunner, from Markle, Indiana.
JOHN M. SMITH, Ball Turret Gunner, from Bay Harbor, Florida.

(Seated, Left to Right)
CLIFF BOLTON, Co-pilot, from Lincoln Park, Michigan.
KEITH PALMER, Pilot, from Waco, Texas.
FRED BECCHETTI, Bombardier, from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
VINCENT P. HAMILTON, Navigator, from NewYork City