B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-30472

B-17 #42-30472zoom_in

Doug Tracy via Facebook


MACR: 1952

Missions: 51


History of
B-17 42-30472

Delivered Cheyenne 5/6/43; Rapid City 18/6/43; Geiger 22/6/43; Gr Isle 29/6/43; Dow Fd 14/7/43; Assigned 353BS/301BG St Donat 19/7/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola 7/12/43; Missing in Action {51m} Salon de Provence, Fr. 21/1/44 with Howard Ryan, Peters, Goldstein, Krober, Canady, Buschko, Chelminiack, Kelly, McBride (10 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, crashed Mediterranean Sea; Missing Air Crew Report 1952.

Last updated: 20. June 2021


B-17 42-30472 Details

Witness statements to the loss of B-17 #42-30472 and crew

Just before we reached the bomb run, his no. 3 engine started smoking and he started falling back. As we went in on the bomb run they salvoed their bombs and cut left to cut us off. The enemy fighters were hitting him right along as they saw him lag. After we made the bomb run there were some P-38’s escorting him.

Sgt. Felton P. Pullin
Tail Gunner on B-17 #42-30385
Piloted by Lt. Albert M. Baldwin

There were only a couple of fighters at about that time. The fighters must have made a pass from above. As I saw 20mm shells bursting off his tail. He seemed to be lagging a bit, then somebody took his place.

T/Sgt. William A. Betts
Radio Operator on B-17 #42-31703
Piloted by Lt. James E. Ahearn

I had seen him a minute before he salvoed his bombs. He kept losing altitude all the time and dropping back. He was about 800 yards behind when the enemy fighters hit hm. Three P-38’s dived doom after the three Me-109’s. The fortress slid to the right 200 yards during the dogfight.

Sgt. Joseph Dravecky
Ball Turret Gunner on B-17 #42-31703
Piloted by Lt. James E. Ahearn

Additional information:

It has been learned that the plane which was forced down, was landed without mishap in the waters twenty (20) miles off of Toulon, France. The members of the downed crew were seen to have been safely aboard life rafts and headed toward the shore of Marseille, France, at that time.

The aircraft upon being hit by fire from enemy aircraft pulled away from the formation and began going down in circles apparently under control and that was the last aircraft was seen. It is believed that this aircraft made a water landing as it appeared to be under control when it was last seen.

Source: MACR 1952


B-17 42-30472 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT Howard W. Ryan KIA
CP 2LT Paul C. Peters KIA
BOMB 2LT Baldwin J. Krober KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT Kenneth E. Canady KIA
RO T/SGT Joseph J. Buschko KIA
BT SGT Richard L. Cheiminiak KIA
WG S/SGT Harley A. Kelly KIA
TG S/SGT James T. McBride KIA

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