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1st Lt. Milton A. Courtright

.Click any image to enlarge.1st Lt. Milton Courtright Colorized

                1st Lt. Milton A. Courtright 344th BG 495th BS

Milton Arthur World War II B-26 Marauder Pilot was a lifetime Elmira, NY area resident. Lt. Courtright was one of the lead pilots of the D-Day invasion in 1944.In the formation diagram below, find Courtright in position 1-1-6 in plane Y5-R.

D-Day Mission 1 Formation

Mandeville-Courtright D-Day 1 LL 2090 p691

The crew list of Ma’s Blasted Event that day; Courtright, Roberts, True, Mandeville, Collins, Bollman.

Courtright Mandeville Debrief D-Day 1 B0290 p762

In this mission debrief, Courtright attests to dropping 16 x 250 lb bombs on target. Thes smaller bombs produced foxholes on the beach for the landing troops.

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He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and completed 65 missions in combat over France and Germany.

“1st Lieutenant Milton Courtright completed 72 missions including the first attack at Normandy on D-Day, V-2 sites, rail yards and a rail bridge at Oiessel (7/27/1944) for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for bringing his wounded crew and wounded plane (lost one engine) back. He was stationed at Stansted Air Field with the 344th Bomb Group, 495 Squadron during 1944. His plane was MA’s Blasted Event with the nose art of a stork with a sling and bomb. He has given an oral history and his leather flight jacket to the Univ. of Akron.”

-Anson Courtright

1st Lt. Milton A. Courtright was a pilot on M.A.’S Blasted Event. This plane was named for his initials M.A. for Milton Arthur. Its nose art depicted a stork carrying a bomb on it. Milton flew two bombing runs on D-Day on Omaha Beach and Amiens, France.

"Our plane, Ma's Blasted Event. My crew chief and I kept the plane in good flying condition."


1st Lt. Robert FitzSimmonds also flew this plane (M.A.’S Blasted Event.). FitzSimmonds son states that the plane was named after his father’s mother. We are a bit confused by this.
Also we found a picture on this Facebook page that shows three men standing in front of a plane with a women painted on the co-pilot side and under the picture it states that it is MA’s Blasted Event.

Iverson-and-crew-344th-BG-copyUncle Milton never mentioned a painting of a woman on his plane so we are also a bit confused about this also.”

.Courtright crew

This is Milton’s crew. From left to right:
Milton A Courtright pilot, Austin A Roberts copilot, Rodney E Lewman bombardier/navigator , Kohn F Collins engineer, Earnest J Mandeville radio/gunner, and Lou Bollman tail gunner.

Official record of Ma’s Blasted Event 42-107698 Y5-R;

Delivered from the Martin Omaha plant. Next listed at Omaha, Nebraska (ATC) on 17/2/44, and, Scott Field, Illinois (ATC) on 20/2/44. Then went to the 3rd AF staging area at Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia (from 21/2/44), and then to Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, Florida (from 1/3/44), from where the aircraft was flown overseas to the UK via the Southern Ferry Route (Listed as Caribbean Wing), departing the USA on 2/3/44 destined for the 9th AF. The record card then lists, SOXO A (Europe) on 2/3/44, and, SOXO R (Europe) on 18/3/44. Served with the 344th BG / 495th BS. Nose art depicts a Stork carrying a sling & bomb. Shot down by flak over the target on the 24/2/45 mission to Viersen, Germany. The aircraft flown by 1st Lt. Humphrey Marshall Mallory took a direct hit, severing the right wing, flipping the aircraft over on its back, and spinning down to the ground. All the crew were killed. The final entry on the aircraft record card lists, GLUE 9AF CON MIA on 24/2/45. MACR 12612

Thank you also for the message from Anson Courtright, the nephew of Milton. He says that his uncle got the Distinguished Flying Cross for bringing his wounded crew and plane back. My father told me of one mission when their plane was so badly damaged that they couldn’t make it back to their base in Stansted and had to land somewhere near Land’s End instead. Perhaps this is the mission that Anson is referring to. Milton was wounded, he was awarded a Purple Heart.

Purple Heart

Mary Bellinger Courtright

Below is the formation diagram and crew load list from a mission on May 30, 1944. They were assigned to blow up a bridge in Rouen, France in preparation for Operation Overlord to take place just a week later. Courtright is in position 2-1-6May-30-1944-Formation-Courtright

Mandeville-May-30-1944-LL Courtright

          Their plane that day was Ma’s Blasted Event Y5-R.

.1st Lt. Courtright was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on Oct. 12, 1944 for heroism during a mission on June 29, 1944. Below is the commendation for that award.

DFC Composite Courtright Curley Embey

A quote from the above:

“…occupied France on 29 June 1944. An intense barrage of anti-aircraft fire which was encountered over the target disabled the hydraulic system and the right engine, and in addition inflicted several painful wounds on the members of the crew. Lt Courtright’s difficulties were further increased when heavy thunderstorms scattered the formation and forced him to continue flying by instruments. Although there was no navigator in the crew, Lt. Courtright, realizing the extreme importance of obtaining medical treatment for his wounded crew, exercised gallant resolution and superior technical skill in piloting his crippled aircraft, back safely to the home base in the face of severely hazardous circumstances.”

WWII-US-Army-Air-Force-Distinguished-Flying-Cross

The formation, crew load list, and debrief from that day:

B0291 p966 June 29, 1944 Form Courtright

        Courtright is in position 1-1-2 (note the 1st and 2nd box were reversed)B0291 p970 June 29, 1944 LL Courtright

Again Courtright flew Ma’s Blasted Event with the usual crew.B0291 p998 June 29, 1944 Debrief Courtright

 

In the above debrief form, Courtright describes some of the tribulations. The form is barely legible.

In the earliest version of this 344th webpage, Courtright sent a message saying, “Hello to my crew. Hearing from some other B-26ers would be nice. I would like to add my thanks to the people of Baltimore for constructing a great plane and to all the ground crews and people that helped to keep me flying.”

Corporal Santo Endrizzi was one of those men who kept the engines running on Courtright’s plane. He is pictured below.

After the war, Mr. Courtright worked for many years at Schweizer Aircraft Company and he was married for 47 years to his wife Helen, who is now deceased. Lt. Courtright died Friday, September 15, 2000 at his home in Horseheads, NY at the age of 79

“Uncle Milt passed away peacefully and painlessly in his sleep 15 Sept. 2000 at his home in Horseheads, N. Y.”

-Douglas Courtright (nephew)