Geschichte der
B-17 #42-31082 / Hick’s Hack

Delivered Cheyenne 20/9/43; Harvard 4/10/43; Assigned 710BS/447BG Rattlesden 25/11/43; Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44; enemy aircraft, crash landed near Wagenfeld, ten miles SE of Diepholz, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 2512.

Details 42-31082 / Hick’s Hack

The Hickey crew was attacked from astern by three Bf110s, who managed to cripple two of the B17’s engines with rockets. The Hick’s Hack, as the crew had named their B17, dropped from formation and was no match for the attacking fighters. All of a sudden, the three Bf110s came in for an attack with their guns blazing. This made them an ideal target for the tail gunner, S/Sgt Johnny Deerr.

S/SGt. Deerr shot down the first two Bf110s in rapid succession. Both were seen to crash by the crew. In the meantime, waist gunner S/Sgt John L. Roth was fatally hit by either the guns and cannons of the attacking fighters or by flak. The crew tend to think that S/Sgt Roth was hit during one of the first strafing passes made by the attacking Bf110s.

The third Bf110 veered away and continued his attack on the straggling bomber. It launched its last rockets at the Hick’s Hack, crippling a third engine. Flying with one engine was impossible and Lt. Claude Hickey decided to crash-land the plane. The navigator, Lt Morse, and bombardier, Lt Devitt, used their parachutes. They landed safely and were taken POW by a hostile crowd of German civilians.

When the Hick’s Hack crash-landed just south of the town of Wagenfeld, the plane broke in two. Besides S/Sgt John L. Roth, ball turret gunner S/Sgt Robert E. Schooling was also killed on this mission. All other crew members were wounded.


Crew 42-31082 / Hick’s Hack

P2LTClaude L. HickeyPOW
CP2LTJustin W. KegleyPOW
BOMB2LTVernon D. DevittPOW
ROSGTWade E. HamptonUNK
BTS/SGTRobert E. SchoolingKIAfound dead still in the turret
WGSGTIrving GitlitzPOW
TGS/SGTJohnnie Deerr JrUNK

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