B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-107083

B-17 #42-107083zoom_in



  • RCL: SO-B, BK-B

MACR: 11248 / KSU/ME/KU: 3520


History of
B-17 42-107083

Delivered Tulsa 15/2/44; Grenier 11/3/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-B] Grafton Underwood 6/4/44; 546BS [BK-B]; Missing in Action Koblenz 27/12/44 with Elmer Nelson, Bill Horan, Marton Dobrow, Derald Melton, Edmund Zaleski, Tom Raught, Ken Rohr (7 Killed in Action); Tony Occhino, John Manicki (2 Prisoner of War); flak, crashed Prum, Ger ; Missing Air Crew Report 11248.

Last updated: 9. August 2021


B-17 42-107083 Details

S/Sgt. John R. Manicki, was interrogated by the under signed officer in reference to the status of T/Sgt. Edmund C. Zaleski, top turret gunner of an aircraft, B-17, which disappeared 27 December 1944 over Germany. Sgt. Manicki stated:

I was tail gunner on the above mentioned mission. Myself as well as T/Sgt. Zaleski were assigned to 384th Bomb Group, 547th Bomb Squadron. Our target was a railroad bridge, fifty miles N.E. of Coblenz, Germany. About ten minutes after bombs away we were hit with flak in the waist section of the ship, resulting in the outer wing panels dropping off. The pilot, 2Lt. Elmer Nelson did not give the order to abandon ship. A few minutes later, from the result of flak, the plane split in half. As I was tail gunner of the plane, I was throw clear from the impact, and managed to pull my rip cord and parachute safely to earth, (I did not see T/Sgt. Zaleski during the mission except when we boarded the plane and took off. T/Sgt. Zaleski’s position was that of top turret gunner and he was in the other half of the plane when it broke into.) While parachuting to earth I noticed that the nose section of the plane was in a dive and travelling at tremendous rate of speed. It is my conclusive opinion that Sgt. Zaleski crashed to earth and met his death. However, I did not witness the crash, nor did I see his body. Upon reaching the ground, I was immediately placed under arrest by the German Luftwaffe and fifteen minutes later I met T/Sgt. Anthony Occhino, Radio Operator. T/Sgt. Occhino told me that he had no idea what happened to the rest of the crew, but it was his opinion that the men who were in the nose of the place undoubtedly met their death, as they had no chance of getting out. I recommend that T/Sgt. Occhino be interrogated for further information. I do not know his home address, however, I know that he resides in Buffalo, N.Y.”

Source: MACR 11248


B-17 42-107083 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT Elmer Nelson KIA
CP 2LT William Paul Horan KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT Edmund Casmir Zaleski KIA
RO T/SGT Anthony A. Occhino POW
BT S/SGT Thomas Earl Raught KIA
WG S/SGT Kenneth Orville Rohr KIA
TG S/SGT John Robert Manicki POW
TOG S/SGT Derald William Melton KIA

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