Geschichte der
B-17 #42-107009 / Lady Jane

Delivered Cheyenne 25/1/44; Kearney 16/2/44; Grenier 10/3/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-F] Deenethorpe; Missing in action Hamburg 06/11/1944; w/Hillestad; flak, crashed Enschede, Hol; 9POW; MACR 10349. LADY JANE

Details 42-107009 / Lady Jane

Missing in Action Hamburg 6 November 1944 with Pilot Raymond H. Hillestad; Co-Pilot John H. Emch; Navigator Frederick L. Campbell; Bombardier Chris A. Montoya; Top Turret Gunner James B. Dryden Jr; Radio Operator Raymond E. Kriz; Ball Turret Gunner Robert M. Andren; Waist Gunner Patsy C. Di Cicco; Tail Gunner Harold Fishbein (9 Prisoner of War); flak, crashed near Medemblik, The Netherlands. Missing Air Crew Report – MACR 10349.

Here’s a summary of Fred Campbell’s own account, written 28-30 November 1995:
After B-17 #42-107009 “Lady Jane” had dropped its bombs over Hamburg, a Flak burst hit the No. 2 engine which started to run away with no way to stop it and feather it. The “Lady Jane” gradually dropped behind the rest of the formation. By the time it had flown westward, homeward across the base of the Denmark peninsula, it had dropped to 21,000 feet, off Cuxhaven.

In order to stay out of the coastal flak range, it flew out over the North Sea, skirting the German antiaircraft guns that could easily bring it down as it was now flying lower and slower. Off to the north was the German island of Helgoland, out of range to hit the Fortress. Heading westward, hoping to reach Belgium, recently freed by Allied forces, the plane descended to about 10,000 feet and the crew no longer had to be on oxygen.

After a while, staying clear of the Frisian Islands, engine No. 1 conked out. Now with just engines No. 3 and No. 4, and with the drag of No. 2 prop’s windmilling, the B-17 was even faster losing altitude. It soon became clear they definitely could not make it to England across the cold North Sea. Attempting to ditch in the sea would certainly be fatal for all.

Flying down the Zuider Zee, turning south, the low-flying ship caught small arms fire as it crossed the Frisian Islands. When it was down to less than 7,000 feet, engine No. 3 gave up too. Pilot Raymond Hillestad and co-Pilot John Emch turned to the right toward land and found a plowed field, managing to bring the Lady Jane down, in an as smooth as possible wheels-up landing on the grounds of a family farm in a place called Middenmeer, a few kilomers Northwest of Medemblik.

All nine crewmen got out of the plane with no one even suffering a scratch, though the plane, according to Dutch witnesses, was riddled with bullet holes and flak damage. John Emch took the flare gun and shot a round up between the wing and flaps of the right wing, hoping to set fuel tanks of the Lady Jane afire. It didn’t work as the fire burned through the flap and fell to the ground.

About that time, a Dutchman from a nearby farmhouse showed up and counted the Americans and said there were too many of them to hide, that they had crashed just a half-kilometer away from a German radar station and that German soldiers would be there quickly. A 15-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl who lived on the farm showed up also.

The girl, Tineke Iwema, asked the crew members for their parachutes to use in making her wedding dress. Before she could get them, a truck drove up on the nearby road, German soldiers got out, set up a machine gun and called “Hands up!” to the airmen, who complied.

They were loaded in the back of a truck and were taken to the German naval station. The Germans detonated the plane and also took prisoner the owner of the farm, Raang Iwema, as they thought he was hiding a crewmember since the normal B-17 crew was 10 men. The Germans did not know that B-17 crews were reduced to nine by that point in the war because the German resistance had grown weaker.

The nine men of “Lady Jane” prisoners of war of the Third Reich.

Quelle: http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/2407

Mehr Informationen

Crew 42-107009 / Lady Jane

PositionRang/RankNameStatusBemerkung/Note
P2LTRaymon H. HillestadPOW
CP2LTJohn H. EmchPOW
BOMB2LTChris A. MontoyaPOW
ENG/TTS/SGTJames B. Dryden Jr.POW
ROS/SGTRaymond E. KrizPOW
BTS/SGTRobert M. AndrenPOW
WGS/SGTPat C. DiCiccoPOW
TGS/SGTHarold FishbeinPOW

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