Geschichte der
B-17 #42-102913

Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Hunter 29/4/44; Grenier 15/5/44; Assigned 32BS/301BG Lucera 25/5/44; Missing in Action Wiener Neudorf 26/7/44 with John Sullivan, Bombardier: Kennedy, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Nicoll, Radio Operator: Hanifin, Ball turret gunner: Childers, Waist gunner: Wimberly, Waist gunner: Birch,Tail gunner: Kurtz (8 Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Ingersoll, Navigator: Sharkey (2 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, crashed Wiener Neustadt; Missing Air Crew Report 7124.

Crew 42-102913

PositionRang/RankNameStatusBemerkung/Note
P2LTJohn L. SullivanPOW
CP2LTGordon L. IngersollPOW
BOMB2LTThomas J. Kennedy, Jr.KIA
ENG/TTT/SGTFrederick W. NicollKIA
ROT/SGTEugene C. HanifinKIA
BTS/SGTJames H. ChildersKIA
WGCPLJohn B. WimberlyKIA
WGT/SGTSanford KurtzKIA
TGS/SGTEdward J. BirchKIA

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  1. von Jane Cranford am 05. Mai 2019 18:29 Uhr

    My father, Julian E. Cranford, trained & flew his earliest missions with the John L. Sullivan crew, until the mission noted above when their B-17 was shot down. He hadn’t flown with them that fateful day. And I am alive because he didn’t. Inbelieve Kurtz may have been flying in his place. On two occasions my dad was scheduled to fly missions, but didn’t, & on both missions the planes were shot down. Once he didn’t fly due to being pulled off to teach photography; the other time was due to having a head cold. He couldn’t remember which had kept him from flying that day, as it had been so long ago at the time he talked with me about it. He rarely spoke of his war days but I’d forced some info from him when he was older, after we had toured a restored B-17 together. What he recalled if the crash was of going to the airfield to watch their plane return, waiting & waiting until realizing they weren’t coming back. How quiet it was was that night, alone, in their quarters, just him & his thoughts. His emotions when packing the mens’ belongings to be sent home to their families – “The hardest thing I ever did in my whole life”, he said. Three men -Sullivan, Ingersoll, Sharkey – survived but were captured & POWs until the war ended. Most of the crew killed that day are now interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St.Louis, MO. Their bodies had initially been buried beside a church in Austria but theirs remains were returned to the US in 1950. Kennedy is buried at the American Cemetery in St. Avold, France. My dad said the crew were close, like brothers. He spoke highly of them all & especially of the pilot, John L. Sullivan as to both his flying skills and his good character. My dad went on to fly a total of 51 combat missions with the Fifteenth Air Force, 301st BG, 32nd BS. He visited families of some of the deceased crew members after his return to the US. My dad passed away in 2011 at age 88.

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