B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-102476

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-102476


  • RCL: N7-B

MACR: 7242 / KSU/ME/KU: 2498

Missions: 18


History of
B-17 42-102476

Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-B] Nuthampstead 28/4/44; (18m) Missing in Action Munich 16/7/44 with Ray Gallagher, Co-pilot: Harry Castleman, Navigator: Bill Berry, Bombardier: Wendell Davis, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bob Sudduth, Radio Operator: Arlo Skeem, Waist gunner: Bob Fels (7 Prisoner of War); Ball turret gunner: Bob Warkentin,Tail gunner: Chas McLean (2 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft hit ball turret, set fire, some bailed before crashed Hinter-Heubach, near Schiltach, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 7242.

Last updated: 27. December 2020


B-17 42-102476 Details

Eye Witness Descriptions of Missing Aircraft B17G 42-102476, Pilot, 1Lt Raymond J. Gallagher, 603rd Bomb Squadron, 398th Bomb Group on Combat Mission to Munich, Germany, 16 July 1944.

After fourty munites after bombs away we were flying number three position in the squadron Lt. Gallagher’s ship was number five in. As I saw a fighter make two attacks coming in at six o’clock close on to Lt. Gallagher’s ship. On the second pass the fighter turned up and the pilot bailed out. Then the pursuit went into a spin.

The ball turret gunner on Lt. Gallagher’s ship was then hanging out of the ball, evidently dead, because he never left the ship. Three chutes came from the waist door and two chutes came from the nose escape hatch. His ship then crossed to the left behind us and I lost sight of it. Then I heard our tail gunner say that a total of seven chutes come from the ship, although five was all that I saw.

S/Sgt. Gerald L. Berwick
Right Waist Gunner
B17G 42-107078

Over target the weather was very bad, caused from contrails. After leaving target visibility cleared up. About fourty minutes out from the target and ME-109 came from about twelve o’clock high and swept over the formation. There were quite a few bursts of twenty MM shells bursting. Then from about five o’clock from our tail was three 109’s. The first one came up and fired. That was when I saw Lt. Gallagher’s ship get hit. I noticed a hole in the left wing and a small fire. The ball turret gunner’s door was blown off and he looked to be hanging by his feet from the turret. As they came closer to us the ball gunner looked as if his head was blown off. Then I was busy helping shoot down the other two fighters attacking us for about a minute. Then I saw Lt. Gallagher’s ship again gradually drift to the right of our ship and the men started to bail out. I saw four men bail out at this point. Then his ship drifted over to the left rear of us and I lost sight of him.

T/Sgt. George E. Lynn
Top Turret Gunner
B17G 42-107337 R

I was flying ball turret gunner on Lt. Stoll’s ship. Lt. Gallagher was flying right wing on Lt. Stoll. As our group came out of the clouds the two ships (Lt. Stoll and Lt. Gallagher) were stragging about three to five hundred yards behind the main group. Just after coming out of the clouds, the two ships that were straggling were jumped by three fighters (ME-109’s). The first pass made by the fighters hit the ball turret gunner and portions of the left wing of Lt. Gallagher’s ship with twenty MM cannon fire. The result of this sweep by the enemy fighters was: the ball turret gunner was killed and a small fire broke out in the left wing. Lt. Stoll called Lt. Gallagher and told him of a fire on the underside of his left wing.

Immediately after this I saw four men bail out, the second of which did not open his parachute as far as the cloud level below us. Lt. Gallagher’s ship then dropped below and behind and then I saw four more men bail out. Our tail gunner called over the interphone that the had seen eight men bail out. The ball turret man on Lt. Gallagher’s ship was obviously killed. His turret was blown open and I saw his body without a head hanging out of the turret. The lower part of the body was caught in the turret keeping the body from falling out.

S/Sgt. Emil R. Anderson
Ball Turret Gunner
B17G 42-97337

Source: MACR 7242


B-17 42-102476 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Raymond J. Gallagher POW
CP 1LT Harry L. Castelman, Jr. POW
BOMB 2LT Wendell P. Davis POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Robert C. Sudduth POW
RO T/SGT Arlo J. Skeem POW
BT S/SGT Robert C. Warkentin KIA
WG S/SGT Charles B. McLean KIA
WG S/SGT Robert J. Fels POW

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