Geschichte der
B-17 #42-3157 / Laura

Delivered Cheyenne 2/3/43; Morrison 10/6/43; Assigned 32BS/301BG St Donat 21/5/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; Missing in Action Wiener Nuedorf 26/7/44 with Leo McDonald, Co-pilot: Kai-Kee, Ball turret gunner: Forys (3 Killed in Action); Navigator: Steed, Bombardier: Winsor, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Allen, Radio Operator: Brainard, Waist gunner: Shallcross, Waist gunner: Tate,Tail gunner: Jameson (7 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, crashed Wiener Nuestadt, Missing Air Crew Report 7138. LAURA.

Details 42-3157 / Laura

On July 26, 1944, he (co-pilot Kenneth B. Kai-Kee) was part of a „make-up“ crew on a mission to bomb an aircraft parts plant at Weiner-Nuedorf, Austria. None of the crew had flown together, and with one exception, no one knew any of the other crew members. The aircraft this crew would fly was an older aircraft, which had suffered battle damage in other missions, and had been repaired so much, it was the slowest in the squadron. Therefore, it was assigned the „Tail End Charlie“ or last spot in the formation. The mission took off, flew over the Alps into Europe, and promptly ran into terrible weather. The weather was so bad the 15th Air Force sent a „Recall Message“ aborting the mission. For some reason, the 28 plane element from the 32nd Squadron never received this message.

When the bombers arrived at the target, the weather was totally cloudy. Just as the mission commander decided to return, the squadron was attacked by approximately 50 enemy fighters. Four bombers were immediately shot down, and the others had to enter a cloud bank. An observer that escaped said later that the B-17 in which Lt. Kai-Kee was co-pilot „suddenly pitched straight up, fell into a right spiral, and exploded. Only one chute observed.“

When the aircraft exploded, the nose was blown off, and the bombardier was hurled from the aircraft with no parachute. The front portion of the bomber spiraled to earth with bomb bays intact, the tail was blown off and the tail gunner blown out. This was the parachute that was observed. The radio operator had been firing the radio mount gun, but now saw himself in only the fuselage so he attempted to bail out. His chute hung up on a door panel, but then ripped the panel from the plane and he was out.

Source: togetherweserved.com

Crew 42-3157 / Laura

PositionRang/RankNameStatusBemerkung/Note
P2LTLeo J. McDonaldKIA
CP2LTKenneth B. Kai-KeeKIA
BOMB1LTRichard C. WindsorKIA
ENG/TTS/SGTJohnny E. AllenKIA
ROT/SGTWilliam W. BrainardPOW
BTSGTEdward W. ForysKIA
WGS/SGTMilton E. ShallcrossPOW
WGS/SGTWallace A. TatePOW
TGS/SGTWilliam H. JamesonPOW

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