William F. Shelley was a gunner on the Paul Long crew. He flew 5 missions with Long before the crew transitioned to B-24s.
In a letter in 1992, he described his service as follows:
I was part of the 7th Bomb Gp that came up from India in July of 1942. We were based at Lydda, along with HALPRO, and flew missions against Tobruk, after staging out of Fayid, Egypt. At the time we had some very tired B-17E's with high oil consumption engines.
While in the Middle East, we were on detached service from the 7th and were released for return there about the time Operation Torch began. Some of us stayed and eventually became a part of the 513th Squadron. 376th Gp. My good friend Wilbur Mayhew is one of those. He had been an aerial photographer and gunner, as I was.
Quite likely I'd have stayed in the Middle East had it not been they took me off combat to set up a photo section in the restrooms of fhe Administration building of the Lydda Airport. That was a full time job but I wasn't too happy to be Umited to ground duty. Quite a story of how we staffed that section with Aussies, Americans, S. Africans, and RAF English blokes! Also used the Brits equipment and film.
After we returned to India in the Fall of 1942, I asked my CO to let me continue flying - even if I was the Lab Chief! He oked it and I eventually flew 40 missions and came home in the Fall of 1943, went through cadets and ended the war a 8-29 Combat Crew Instructor at Biggs Field, EI Paso, TX