The Bruland Crew

701st squadron

445th bomb group

Back row, L to R: S/Sgt. Stephen Gray, Eng. POW; 2nd Lt. Palmer M. Bruland, Pilot, POW; Unknown; Unknown, POW. Front row: 2nd Lt. Norman J. Cuddy, Nav., POW, believed to be on left. Others on crew but not pictured include S/Sgt. Lee Huffman, waist gunner, and S/Sgt. Ferdinand Flach,  nose gunner,  both of whom were murdered after they parachuted down safely and were captured; T/Sgt. James H. Boman, radio operator, POW; S/Sgt. Hugh J. Sullivan, waist gunner, POW; S/Sgt. Charles M. Dove, tail gunner, POW. Also not pictured is copilot Peter Belitsos. 

Palmer Bruland flew with this crew for the first time on September 27, 1944. After the war, he and his copilot, 1Lt. Peter Belitsos, who had also had never flown with this crew, stayed in touch. Belitsos and Bruland had never flown together before, either. Bruland stands second from left, above.


Slot Element


B-24H  #41-28922(Hardstand 34)  "Texas Rose"  Call Letter Q+ (Queen)

Crashed in Germany               MACR 9386

Pieces of the Texas Rose harvested by German Horst Jeckel.


RANK       NAME                        POSITION                            OUTCOME

2nd Lt.      Bruland, Palmer M         Pilot                                           Stalag Luft I

2nd Lt.      Belitsos, Peter S            Co-Pilot                                      Stalag Luft I

2nd Lt.      Cuddy, Norman J          Navigator                                   Stalag Luft IV

T/Sgt         Boman, James H          Radio Operator                          POW 39557815

Sgt            Flach, Ferdinand E        Nose Turret Gunner                  KIA

S/Sgt         Huffman, Lee R             Waist Gunner                             KIA

S/Sgt         Sullivan, Hugh J            Waist Gunner                             POW 39115320

S/Sgt         Gray, Stephen J            Engineer/Top Turret Gunner    Stalag Luft IV

S/Sgt         Dove, Charles M           Tail Gunner                                Stalag Luft IV


crew accounts and gallery

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It is testified in the war crimes trial transcript below that S/Sgts. Flach and Huffman were held prisoner and taken outside one at a time and shot. It has been said that the man who shot them had just lost his son in a bombing raid. The murderer had an accomplice, who committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial. Some believe that the one who stood trial and was summarily executed for the crime is the accomplice and that the one who committed suicide is the primary perpetrator. A very interesting document within the war crimes transcript below, called, "What is a War Crime," indicates that this case may have been a ground breaker.