B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31478

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31478


MACR: 2633


History of
B-17 42-31478

Delivered Cheyenne 9/11/43; Gt Falls 27/11/43; Assigned 32BS/301BG Cerignola 10/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; Missing in Action {18m} Steyr, Aus. 24/2/44 with Cecil Robertson, Co-pilot: Barnes, Navigator: Cobrin, Bombardier: Doll, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Fortier, Radio Operator: Nugent, Ball turret gunner: Brennan, Waist gunner: Giles,Tail gunner: Janek, (9 Returned to Duty); enemy aircraft, ditched Adriatic Sea but crew rescued. Missing Air Crew Report 2633.


B-17 42-31478 Details

2nd Lt. Edward E. Pearson to lose of aircraft #42-31478:
At approximately 1600 hours, heading to the field just past Lake Lesina, I last saw 478 making a left turn to avoid a low cloud formation. I then, was momentarily in clouds and once in the clear did not again sight the aircraft or make radio contact. His altitude when last sighted should have been approximately 600 – 700 ft.

Edward E. Pearson
2nd Lt, Air Corps
Pilot Aircraft #42-38076

Witnessing statement from MACR 2633:
On 25 February 1944, I was requested to identify the bodies of the crew of aircraft No. 42-31478, which had crashed on the montains just west of Lake Lesina on 24 February 1944. The aircraft itself was 100% wreckage, with various parts of the plane strewn around on area of 300 yards. The one body was decapitated, and two very badly burned, all were identifiable, since all dog-tags were found on their person. The bodies were removed from the montains on 26 February 1944 in my presence.

Captain, Air Corps


B-17 42-31478 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT Cecil R. Robertson UNK
CP 2LT George M. Barnes UNK
BOMB 2LT William G. Doll UNK
ENG/TT T/SGT William F. Fortier UNK
RO T/SGT Patrick B. Nugent UNK
BT S/SGT Paul T. Brennan UNK
WG S/SGT Grady A. Giles UNK
TG S/SGT John Janek UNK

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