Geschichte der
B-17 #43-37612 / Old Iron Gut

Delivered Cheyenne 4/5/44; Hunter 17/5/44; Grenier 31/5/44; Assigned 533BS/381BG [VP- ] Ridgewell 18/6/44; Missing in Action {1+m} Hamburg 20/6/44 with Mark Dunkel, Co-pilot: Ken Roehr, Navigator: Frank Kelly, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Aaron Kochel, Radio Operator: Bill Stoll, Ball turret gunner: John Pillotti (6 Killed in Action); Bombardier: Cliff Evans, Waist gunner: Theo Schmidt,Tail gunner: Roger Beaman (3 Prisoner of War); flak, crashed Eastern streets of Hamburg; Missing Air Crew Report 5991. OLD IRON GUT.

Details 43-37612 / Old Iron Gut

The B-17 took three direct bursts of flak, causing instantaneous explosion, blowing the plane apart into bits, from the ball turret forward. I, the bombardier, was blown into mid-air with only my parachute remaining on my back, the explosion having ripped off the flak suit, goggles, helmet and oxygen mask. There was no time to prepare for an emergency. I was the only member of the crew who wore a back type P3B parachute and that is the sole reason for my being alive today. The other members of the crew had refused to wear this type of chuts because they thought it was too ackward and too heavy. The other two members saved, the tail gunner Sgt Rober Beaman and waist gunner Sgt Theodore Schmidt, were in that part of the plane which was not blown completely apart and had time to fasten at least one hook of their chest packs, before leaving the falling part of the airplane. While descending in my chute, large portions of the wing, a complete landing strut and wheel, thousands of fragments, a fully inflated dingy and debris and an opened parachute with none in it passed me up. Further evidence of the terrific explosion which completely demolished the plane in mid-air might be offered in the fact that the bomb load had not as yet been released. The Germans later told me they had found the fragments of bodies of the following men, identified by crash bracelets and dogtags; Pilot Lt. Mark R. Dunkel, Lt Frank L. Kelly, Sgt William Stoll and Sgt John L. Pillotti. They did not mention, nor did I ever see any of the possessions of Lt Kenneth Roehr and Sgt Aaron Kochel.

Quelle: https://www.fieldsofhonor-database.com

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