B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-31997

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-31997


  • RCL: PU-F

MACR: 5985 / KSU/ME/KU: 2272

Missions: 25


History of
B-17 42-31997

Delivered Cheyenne 12/1/44; Lt Rock 23/1/44; Savannah 25/1/44; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] Molesworth 22/2/44; Missing in Action Hamburg (25m) 20/6/44 with John Parker, Co-pilot: John Anderson, Navigator: Norman Lacey, Bombardier: Granville Pence, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Claudia Wall, Radio Operator: Charles Grace, Ball turret gunner: Sam Rhyne, Waist gunner: John Fox,Tail gunner: Joe Szczudlo (9 Prisoner of War); flak KOd two engines, crash landed near Spieka-Neufeld/Nordholz, 13 miles SW of Cuxhaven, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 5985.

Last updated: 21. August 2022


B-17 42-31997 Details

Statement of Sgt. Donald G. Case

0n the mission to Harburg, Germany on 20 June 1944, I was ball turret gunner on aircraft 42-97893 which was flying in No. #4 position in the lead squadron of the high group in the 41st “B” Combat Wing.

The missing aircraft, #42-31997, was flying in #5 position in the same squadron.

The position of the two A/C is shown below. At the time we reached the I.P. the missing aircraft had two propellers feathered, but it managed to stay in formation and drop its bombs on the target. Immediately after bombs away it dropped down to the deck. I was able to follow it to the enemy coast on the way out but did not see it thereafter.

It was still flying under control when last seen. I am not sure of the cause of the trouble, but I believe the missing aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft gunfire.

S/Sgt. Donald G. Case

Source: MACR 5985


B-17 42-31997 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT John T. Parker POW
CP 2LT John G. Anderson POW
BOMB 2LT Granville A. Pence POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Claudia W. Wall POW
RO T/SGT Charles Grace, Jr. POW
BT S/SGT Samuel A. Rhyne, Jr. POW
WG S/SGT John L. Fox, JR. POW
TG S/SGT Joseph W. Szczudlo POW

Write comment