B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31789

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31789

Manufacturer:
Boeing

MACR: 6685 / KU: 1682

Werbung/Advertisement

History of
B-17 42-31789

Delivered Cheyenne 14/12/43; Gt Falls 21/12/43; Oklahoma City 3/1/44; Love Fd 18/1/44; Savannah 20/1/44; Homestead 28/1/44; 20BS/2BG Amendola 31/1/44; Missing in Action Brux 21/7/44 with John MacKenzie, Co-pilot: Rich Dunkelberger, Waist gunner: Frank Rapley, Waist gunner: Don Wicklund,Tail gunner: Clair Lane (5 Killed in Action); Navigator: Loran Rice{Wounded in Action}, Bombardier: Wylie Hartsfield, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Reece Stephenson{Wounded in Action}, Radio Operator: George Suratt, Ball turret gunner: Billy Owen (5 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, tail blown off, crashed mountains near Neukirchen, Austria; Missing Air Crew Report 6685.

Werbung/Advertisement

B-17 42-31789 Details

Statement of S/Sgt Wallace M. Clayton, radio-operator on B-17 No. 473, flying in formation of first wave, fourth squadron, second element, number one position.

When first I noticed B-17 No. 789, it peeled off the formation and two (2) chutes came out of the waist. As soon as the chutes came out, the aircraft went into a straight dive; and my vision was then obstructed, preventing further observation. This was at 1046 hours from an altitude of 21000 feet at 47 deg 57 min N, 13 deg 36 min E.

Wallace M. Clayton
S/Sgt., Air Corps


S/Sgt Morton P. Jones, tail gunner on B-17 No. 275 which was flying in the first wave, fourth squadron, first element, third plane.

A formation of about twenty-eight (28) fighters attacked our sqaudron, coming in at about 50 degrees high, B-17 No. 789 was flying our right wing when a 20mm hit them in the tail, blowing the whole tail wheel of. The right wing was hit and looked as thought it was about to fall off. I saw No. 789 go down and two parachutes leave the plane, it then crashed into the montain side and caught fire.

Morton P. Jones
S/Sgt., Air Corps


Statement of S/Sgt, William D. Brown, right waist gunner on B-17 No. 275 flying in the first wave, fourth squadron, first element, number third position.

I saw B-17 No. 789 last at 1046 hours from an altitude of 22000 feet at 47 deg 50 min N, 13 deg 40 min E. When I saw B-17 No. 789 they had just received a direct hit in their tail and the tail wheel was shot out. This was a result of action by enemy aircraft. The right wing was also hit and had large hole in it and look as thought it was about to fall off. I didn’t see B-17 No. 789 crash because I was too busy with the enemy aircraft at this time.

William D. Brown
S/Sgt., Air Corps


Werbung/Advertisement

Statement of Sgt. Maurice E. Nelson, tail gunner on B-17 No. 473 flying in formation of the first wave, fourth squadron, second element, number one position.

First time I noticed the plane #789 was when it peeled off back of the formation after two or three attacks by fighters. I then noticed the waist door drop off and some other portion of the A/C. Immediately after, I saw two (2) chutes come out, and open. The plane then went into a straight dive and I observed that it had crashed against a mountain-side. I then saw smoke coming from the wreckage. This was at 1046 hours from an altitude of 21000 feet, at 47 deg 57 min N, 13 deg 36 min E.

Maurice E. Nelson
Sgt., Air Corps


Statement of Sgt. Arthur L. Hunt, tail gunner on B-17 No. 8066 flying in formation of the first wave, second squadron, second element, number three position.

B-17 No. 789 came in from behind under our tail and went into a tight circle – a few seconds after they passed us I saw the tail of this B-17 break-off. I didn’t see this aircraft crash.

Arthur L. Hunt
Sgt., Air Corps


Statement of S/Sgt. Charles H. Hill, tail gunner on B-17 No. 590 flying in formation of the first wave, first squadron, first element, number three position.

When I first noticed B-17 No. 789, 15/20 E/A were attacking and I also saw this B-17 just a second or two before the explosion. I saw two (2) chutes come out of the plane and open. Almost at the same time, the plane exploded and I saw what I believed to be another chute; it looked as though this chute was thrown out as a result of the explosion. The B-17 was blown into many pieces and went straight down. I last saw this A/C at 1100 hours from an altitude of 22100 feet at 48 deg 51 min N, 12 deg 58 min E, which was at the time of the explosion.

Charles H. Hill
S/Sgt., Air Corps

Werbung/Advertisement

B-17 42-31789 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 2LT John R. MacKenzie KIA
CP 2LT Richard E. Dunkelberger KIA
BOMB 2LT Wylie V. Hartsfield, Jr. POW
ENG/TT S/SGT Reece Stephenson POW
RO S/SGT George H. Suratt POW
BT SGT Billy B. Owen POW
WG SGT Frank O. Rapley KIA
WG SGT Donald D. Vicklund KIA
TG SGT Clair H. Lane KIA

Write comment