Back Row (viewer's left to right):

  1. 1st Lt. Lawrence DeLancey, Pilot
  2. 2nd Lt. Grady Cumby, Co-Pilot
  3. Overlaid Oval: S/Sgt. George E. Abbott, Waist Gunner (but was cross-trained as togglier and was killed in that position on 15 October 1944 when a German anti-aircraft shell creased the chin turret and filleted the nose and cockpit)
  4. 2nd Lt. Michael Patrick Ryan, Bombardier
  5. 1st Lt. Raymond J. Ledoux, Navigator

Front Row (viewer's left to right):

  1. T/Sgt. Benjamin H. Ruckel, Engineer
  2. probably S/Sgt. Albert Albro, Ball Turret
  3. T/Sgt. Wendell Reed, Radio
  4. probably S/Sgt. Herbert D. Guild, Tail Gunner

Over the years we went from not knowing who the men in the front row were to highly probable for each. Helping this process was using the sergeant patches to identify the T/Sgt's as Front Row No. 1 and No. 3 from left (confirmed by Bill Brandt, nephew of Benjamin H. Ruckel) and the S/Sgt's as Front Row No. 2 and No. 4. Although we believe the Front Row is identified correctly, we are not completely sure. If you can provide further information, please contact our Crew Photos Coordinator.

Missing from Photo:

  1. 1st Lt. Phillip H. Stahlman, Co-Pilot who flew as co-pilot on 15 October 1944 but was not a part of the DeLancey crew.


  1. The above photo was taken exactly a month after the mishap in which their colleague S/Sgt. George E. Abbott was killed in action.
  2. That mission was 398th Mission No. 97, Cologne, Germany, 15 October 1944
  3. On this mission the Delancey crew flew in the Lead/High/Low Group
  4. Aircraft flown on 15 October 1944 : 43-38172 3O-P Lovely Julie. It was salvaged at Nuthampstead 15th October 1944 and is not the aircraft in the photo.
  5. Aircraft in photo: Unknown
  6. Photo Date: 15 November 1944
  7. Photo Location: Nuthampstead
  8. Other Photo Reference No. A9179
  9. Information compiled by UK Friends of the 398th, with thanks to Phil Stahlman, Elaine Jurs and a big effort by Jon Bernard, especially in his efforts to narrow down who was who in the front row and to Fred Boyne for his identification of Wendell Reed and Bill Brandt for identifying his uncle Benjamin H. Ruckel.
  10. If you would like to add information about this photograph, please contact our Crew Photos Coordinator. Please mention the title and photograph date.


  1. S/Sgt. George E. Abbott was killed in action on 15 October 1944. His photo was overlaid on the 15 November 1944 DeLancey crew photo to honor him. See the Remembrances Section article: It Was a Fortress Coming Home by Allen Ostrom.
  2. The togglier position was in the nose acting as a bombardier the whole mission. His role was not only to toggle the bombs (as a bombardier) but also to fire the chin turret guns. The navigator had his own (cheek) guns. Therefore, on this particular mission, it is thought that S/Sgt. George E. Abbott was in the nose the whole time of the mission and not in one of the waist gun positions.