B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31824

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31824


MACR: 12531


History of
B-17 42-31824

Delivered Denver 24/12/43; Barksdale 9/1/44; Savannah 10/1/44; Lakeland 11/1/44; Morrison 14/2/44; Assigned 772BS/463BG Celone 16/2/44; Missing in Action Ploesti 19/8/44 with Lucas Gomolak, Co-pilot: Howard Brunn, Navigator: Bob Oppenheimer, Bombardier: Horace Ball, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Frank Baumeister, Radio Operator: Tom Cooper, Ball turret gunner: Orlyn Schette, Waist gunner: Ben Wheaton,Tail gunner: Harry Laws (9INT); mech fault, force landed Turkey; Missing Air Crew Report 12531.

Last updated: 6. November 2020


B-17 42-31824 Details

2Lt. Valarian C. Mackewick, Co-Pilot, Ship Number 42-31809, Flight D, Number 3 Position.

Shortly before reaching the I.P., I first noticed plane number 824 begin to lag behind. At the time I was flying Co-Pilot in number 3 Position. Apparently number 824 was unable to develop sufficient power to keep up with the formation. After the above mentioned plane lagged behind my view of vision, I lost all track of it. I am unable to say whether number 824 was forced to lag behind due to engine trouble.

2Lt. Valarian C. Mackewick

S/Sgt. Alex G. Vlad, Tail Gunner, Ship number 381, Flight D, Number 1 position.

Ever since we reached altitude the engine of 824 were coughing smoke and later on the ship could not keep with us. When the ship turned off from the rest of the formation one engine was feathered. I watched the ship go out of sight and it was apparently still under control. The ship was headed in the direction of Turkey.

S/Sgt. Alex G. Vlad

S/Sgt. John W. Fogarty, Tail Gunner, Ship #907, Flight D, #5 position.

Ship #824 dropped out of numbr 2 position in Dog. We in Ship 907 Moved up to take their place, from my position in the tail I was able to watch 824 until it was completely out of sight. The engines were coughing black smoke and the ship seemed unable to develop enough power to maintain altitude. The ship continued to trail the formation for about four or five minutes then it turned off to the left and I lost sight of it in the haze.

S/Sgt. John W. Fogarty

1Lt. George V. Miller, Bombardier, ship 381, Flight D, #1 position.

824 could not maintain its position in formation altho making several unseccsessful attempts, finally the ship dropped back and consequently out of sight of the Group.

1Lt. George V. Miller

2Lt. Charles R. Hewitt, Navigator, ship #336, Flight D, #4 position.

Ship 824 was apparently having engine trouble from take off but continued to hang with the formation. Finally he started dropping back until sight of the ship was lost. 824 was with the squadron from take-off tim (0718) until 1012 at which time its position was 44°40’N, 23°46’E. When it was last seen it was flying on a heading of approximately 110° to 120°.

2Lt. Charles R. Hewitt

Source: MACR 12531


B-17 42-31824 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Lucas J. Gomolak INT
CP 2LT Howard W. Brunn INT
BOMB 2LT Horace N. Ball INT
ENG/TT T/SGT Orlyn L. Schuette INT
RO T/SGT Thomas F. Cooper INT
BT S/SGT Harry C. Laws INT
WG S/SGT Benjamin H. Wheaton INT
TG S/SGT Frank Baumeister INT

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