The Wild Hare

“The Wild Hare” was based at Great Ashfield, England.  For further information about the airfield, see:

It was shot down 11 November 1943 between the village of Hedikuizen and the town of Heusden west of the city of  ‘s-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch) in the province of Brabant, The Netherlands.

Members of the crew were:

Pilot – John P. McGowan

Co-Pilot – James C. Bufkin

Navigator – Ellis Shorb

Bombardier – Thomas Applewhite

Top Turret Gunner – Nello Malavasi

Radio Operator/Gunner – James C. French

Ball Turret Gunner – Vernon L. Mulvaney

Tail Gunner – Robert D. Johnson

Left Waist Gunner – William J. Bloeser

Right Waist Gunner – Anthony T. Barckett

A photo taken in England of “The Wild Hare” shows the plane, some of the crew, and a group of English cadets:

“The Wild Hare,” Oct. 31, 1943. Front row from l-r: McGowan, Bufkin, Applewhite, cadet scoutmaster, McMahon, Malavasi, and French

6 responses to “The Wild Hare

  1. That’s my Pop on the bottom left, Pilot John P. McGowan.

  2. Andrew Batey

    Hi Robert,
    We have this photo on our wall here in England. And I was looking into any information I could find on it..
    The young cadet in the photo Is Richard Witton, and was my wife’s grandfather. He was 14 years old in 1943, and at the time the photograph was taken.
    So this page was quite an interesting find.
    Do you happen to know if your father was the pilot of a B17F or B17G. I would be interested to know which variant the ‘Wild Hare’ was?

  3. Andrew Batey

    Ah, I see it was an ‘F‘ variant………
    Is there any other photographs in existence?

  4. Tom Applewhite told me that the B-17 they flew on almost all missions was a B-17F. However, on one occasion they were assigned a B-17G.
    Bruce Bolinger

    • Andrew Batey

      Thanks for the reply Bruce, so the photograph is more than lightly a B-17F.
      Be good to get more info on the B-17 n the photo

  5. Heusden is not east from ‘s Hertogenbosch, but west from ‘s Hertogenbosch

    Thank you for bringing the error to my attention. I have corrected it.

    Bruce Bolinger

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