Geschichte der B-17 #44-8811

Delivered Cheyenne 3/1/45; Hunter 16/1/45; Grenier 28/1/45; Assigned 600BS/398BG H2X [N8-C] Nuthampstead 30/3/45; battle damaged Halberstadt 8/4/45, tail shot away with tail gunner S/Sgt Wallace E Kasch, with Lts Dailey & Hahn and crash landed back at base [1 x KIA, 9 x RTD]; MACR 13869, Salvaged 10/4/45.

Details 44-8811

B-17 #44-8811 - Heck weg geschossen

www.americanairmuseum.com // B-17 #44-8811 – Heck weg geschossen

Two airmen of the 398th Bomb Group examine the damaged tail of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Damaged received while on the April 8,1945 mission to Derben, Germany. Just after bombs-away a direct hit by flak completely tore the tail gunner position away and disabled the rudder controls. The tail gunner, S/Sgt. Wallace E. Kasch, was carried away without his chute, his remains were never found. It took the skill of the two pilots, Lt. Col. Edwin B. Daily and 1st Lt. John L. Hahn, to get the aircraft back to base using the engines for directional control.

Von MACR 13869

We just turned off the bomb run and were heading away from the target. The tail gunner reported flak at 6 o’clock and three. He said it was not near enough to worry about, then there was a loud explosion and I felt a strong wind blow up through the waist. One of the windows had broken so I looked for flak damage there first. Then I looked back at the tail. There wasn’t anything there but a large hole. The tail gunner was no longer there as the complete tail section from the escape hatch back had been blown away. I couldn’t see whether he had a chance to use his chute or not. I don’t believe he did.

John McFarlane, 16177076
S/Sgt. 600th Bomb Squadron
Waist Gunner, B-17G 44-8811

I was flying on the left wing over the lead ship and at about five minutes after bombs away I saw a bright flash about the center of the vertical fin on the lead ship, and the rudder and tail gunners compartment fell away from the ship. I did not see the tail gunner fall out, as I was flying about even and the section that fell away was out of my line of vision.

Dawn A. Woodmansee, O-715114
2nd Lt. 600th Bomb Squadron
Pilot, B-17G 44-8699

After turning off the target I took off my flak suit and was preparing a bomb strike message to send into Division. All of a sudden the ship started to lurch and it pushed me about a foot off my seat. I realized there was flak in the area and that we were hit. Thinking that it was under the radio room, I lifted the door to the camera well to see the damage but there wasn’t any to be seen. I sat down again only to find my radio had gone completely dead. Finding the antenna shot away, I tried to use the trailing wire but found that it was stuck. I then went into the waist to roll out the trailing wire manually and then I noticed the tail had been shot away.

Norman Kogen, 11138382
T/Sgt. 600th Bomb Squadron
ROG, B-17G 44-8811

I was flying as radio operator in the deputy lead ship of low squadron, with Lt. Robert Nolan. We were flying on the right of the lead ship, I can’t give a full account of everything that happened for I was busy in the radio room throwing out my chaff. Here is a brief account of what happened. After dropping out chaff, I looked out the right window of the radio room to look at the flak. This was the third pass at the target and flak was heavy and accurate. Ships were getting hit all around us. I saw one ship get a direct hit on the left wing. The ship went into a spin at 4 o’clock and then exploded before it hit the ground. No chutes were seen. This one was “Caput”.

I looked out the other radio room window about that time and saw our lead ship (Col. Daily’s) get a direct hit on his tail. The tail scattered all over the sky. I saw the tail gunner go out of the tail somersaulting head over feet in mid-aid about 150 feet from me. He almost hit the plane flying beneath him. He did not have his chute on. I watched him until he faded out of sight. This was all I saw. I have never seen flak so accurate.

They really had our range this time. However we did not get a single burst of flak until after we had made our third pass at the target.

Harry J. Dover, 14135617
S/Sgt. 600th Bomb Squadron
Radio Operator, B-17G 44-6157

I saw flak bursting all over. One sound I heard and I saw the tail of the lead ship shatter. Almost instantly it started to weave and lose altitude slowly. Another burst of flak very close hit our ship. I turned to see if our tail was hit as bad as the lead ship, it wasn’t, but our tail gunner got hit. At that time I saw a b17 at 5 o’clock get hit between number one and number two engines, blowing the wing off at that point. He rolled to the left and started spinning down on fire. I then called out flak bursts to the pilot so he could use evasive action when it cleared. I left the turret to fire flares. I saw no chutes from either ship.

Ralph F. Will, 16142739
S/Sgt. 600th Bomb Squadron
TTG, B-17G 44-6157

Crew 44-8811

PositionRang/RankNameStatusBemerkung/Note
PLTCEdwin B. DailyRTD
CP1LTJohn L. HahnRTD
BOMB1LTChristian ClementsRTD
ENG/TTT/SGTHarry M. McDanielRTD
ROT/SGTNorman KogenRTD
WGS/SGTJohn McFarlaneRTD
TGS/SGTWallace E. KaschKIA
NAV21LTEdgar H. AgnewRTD

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