Fayette County

1st Lt. Glenn C. Truesdell



The Leading Lady was one of 97 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation to bombard the port facilities and urban areas of Nagoya, Japan on January 3, 1945. Flak from anti-aircraft artillery was meager, and enemy fighter aircraft attacks were described as moderate, with 346 passes reported. About 10 minutes after bombs away, the aircraft exchanged gunnery fire with an attacking Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien "Tony" fighter plane. The Leading Lady was struck by the "Tony" between the nose fuselage and the #3 engine. All but one crew member was killed when the disabled aircraft crashed and burned about 30 kilometers southeast of Nagoya, in Sodame forest near the village of Matsudaira.

Picture of the crew above (from left to right)
1. Sgt. Harold T. Hedges, Tail Gunner (POW) the only survivor on the Jan 3, 1945 flight.
2. Sgt. Frank J. Yanik, Gunner
3. Sgt. Edwin D.(Levin) Lawson, CFC Gunner, not on the flight of Jan 3, 1945. He is now known as Edwin D. Lawson. Sgt. Lawson is the only living person in this photograph as of March 5, 2005. He became a professor of psychology. Awarded the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with oak leaf clusters.
4. Sgt.Paul E.Dreyer, Radar operator
5. Sgt.Joseph P.Nighan, Radio operator
6. Sgt. Karl Hunt, Gunner
7. 1st Lt. Glenn C.Truesdell, Flight Engineer, awarded the Purple Heart and the Air Medal
8. 1st Lt. Glendon M.Aitken, Bombardier
9. 2nd Lt. Kenneth F Fine, Navigator, not on the flight of Jan 3,1945. Lt.Kenneth F Fine survived the war, completed 35 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 4 oak clusters.
10. 1st Lt. Felix P Omilian, Co-Pilot
11. Maj. Wilbur E.Hurlbutt, Pilot

Not shown in this picture are;
*.1st Lt. Edward H. Stoehr, Navigator, who flew with the crew of the Leading Lady for the first time on Jan. 3, 1945. He replaced 2Lt. Fine.
*. Cpl. Richard P. Steinberg, Gunner, who also flew with this crew for the first time on Jan. 3, 1945. He replaced Sgt. Levin ( Lawson) who had been wounded in an air raid on Jan. 2, 1945
*.Lt. Col. Marcus A. Mullen, Group Operations Officer who was onboard the aircraft as an observer on Jan. 3, 1945.

Truesdell Graduates From O.C.S at Yale

Lieut. Glenn C. Truesdell, Drew Field, Tampa, Fla., who has graduated from officers training school at Yale University, is spending his furlough here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S.F. Truesdell. He is an engineer. The Truesdells have another son in service, Lieut. Wayne P. Truesdell, who is in training as a navigator at Hollywood, Fla.

Source: Oelwein Daily Register, August 11, 1943; pg 8, col. 3

Air Medal Awarded Posthumously to Arlington Man

Mrs. Jean E. Truesdell, Arlington, has received the air medal which has been posthumously awarded to First Lieutenant Glenn C. Truesdell, Air Corps. The medal was awarded by direction of the president. Lieutenant Truesdell received the Purple Heart posthumously March 9.

Lieutenant Truesdell, 29, served in the Air Corps for two years as a flight engineer on a B-29. The citation read:
"For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights as combat crew member in successful combat missions against the Japanese Empire from December 3 to 28, 1944. All missions were flown under rapidly changing and oftentimes adverse weather conditions. The flights were subject to enemy anti-air-craft fire and fighter opposition. There were constantly present difficult navigational problems, danger of engine failure and consequent ditching many miles at sea. Under prolonged periods of physical and mental strain, and undaunted by the many hazards faced regularly and continuously, each crew member displayed such courage and skill in the performance of his duty as to reflect great credit on himself and the Army Air Forces."

Lieutenant Wayne Truesdell, a brother of Lieutenant Glenn Truesdell, is still serving as a navy navigator. Lieutenant Truesdell's wife and his son, Glenn, reside in Arlington.

Source: Oelwein Daily Register, April 12, 1946; pg. 4, col. 4