B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-2985 / Nut Cracker

B-17 #42-2985 / Nut Crackerzoom_in



MACR: 355


History of
B-17 42-2985 / Nut Cracker

Delivered W Palm Beach 8/1/43; Assigned 414BS/97BG Biskra 28/1/43; Chateau-du-Rhumel 8/2/43; Missing in Action Naples 1/8/43 with Bob Rast, Alvarado, Ponemone, Bigelow, Dibble, Shea, Anderson, Nichols, Smith, Mathews; flak hit knocked off wing, crashed target area. Missing Air Crew Report 355.

Last updated: 5. February 2020


B-17 42-2985 / Nut Cracker Details

Witness reports from MACR 355:

After dropping bombs over target, right wing was ripped off, throwing ship into violent spin. Crew was ordered to abdone ship, but it is believed that the five gunners in the rear were unable to leave the ship. I last saw the wreckage of the airplane, burninng violently on the ground from a distance of about 100 yards.

Lt. Alexander Alvarado
Co-pilot #42-2985

After the ship was hit, it did a snap roll and then went into a tight spin. The members of the crew who bailed out had some difficulty reaching the forward escape hatch due to centrifical force. I therefore believe the other crew members were pinned in the ship because of the same forces. I did not see any further damage to the ship except for the hit on the right wing in the quick glance I obtained of the plane immediately after bailing out, nor does any further damage show on the picture of the plane taken by another plane.

1Lt. Seymour J. Ponemone
Navigator #42-2985


B-17 42-2985 / Nut Cracker Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Robert N. Rast, Jr. POW
CP 2LT Alexander Alvarado POW
BOMB 2LT Frank M. Bigelow POW
ENG/TT T/SGT William J. Shea POW
RO S/SGT William D. Dibble KIA
BT SGT George B. Smith KIA
WG SGT Robert Nichols KIA
WG S/SGT John L. Anderson KIA
TG SGT James R. Mathews KIA

Write comment