Last Known Activity
Therman Felix Conaway was born, supposedly, in Mansfield, Arkansas, on January 8, 1926. His parents were Paul F. and Lizzie Ann Conaway. The US Census 1930 shows the family residing in Lewis, Arkansas, although Therman is referred to as "Thurman."
Conaway was inducted into the military on February 18, 1944. He evidently received training as an aerial gunner, as he was sent to England in late 1944 and assigned to the combat crew of Lt. McCullough.
Conaway flew 2 missions with this crew, the first on January 10, 1945. On January 13, 1945, the target area was the railroad bridge at Mannheim, Germany. On the bomb run, the aircraft was hit by flak in the tail section. The horizontal stabilizer was blown off, and the tail assembly shredded. The aircraft began a steep dive, then disintegrated in the air. No parachutes were seen.
German records state their troops recovered 7 bodies from the crash site. One did not belong to the McCullough crew; however, later records have 3 names written in above the listing.
The bodies were recovered after the war. Some were returned to the U.S., like that of Sgt Conaway who was returned for private burial. Today, he lies in the Coop Prairie Cemetery in Mansfield, Arkansas.
US Census 1930
Sgt THerman Conaway was the assigned tail gunner on B-17G # 43-38689, unnamed, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report was issued and details this incident. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
2 Lt Oliver T. Eisenhart p
2 Lt Henry W. McCullough c-p
2 Lt Maurice R. Herrick nav
F/O Herring Joyce, Jr. bomb
Sgt Samuel M. Hindman eng/tt gun
SSgt Bernard S. Kaufman r/o
Sgt William V. Kimber btg
Sgt Jack Thompson, Jr wg
Sgt Therman F. Conaway tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Mission narrative refers to Joyce as "Lt." All other sources state "F/O."