B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-97214 / Carolina Queen

B-17 #42-97214 / Carolina Queenzoom_in

Source:
fold3.com

Manufacturer:
Boeing

  • RCL: GD-B

MACR: 5181

Missions: 2

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History of
B-17 42-97214 / Carolina Queen

Delivered Cheyenne 8/2/44; Kearney 27/2/44; Grenier 8/3/44; Assigned 534BS/381BG [GD-B] Ridgewell 25/3/44; Missing in Action 2m Berlin 24/5/44 with John Wardencki, Co-pilot: Chas Dayton, Navigator: Willard Blackfield, Bombardier: Bill Morrison, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Warren Backelin, Radio Operator: Bob Miller, Ball turret gunner: Chas Anderson, Waist gunner: George Elliott,Tail gunner: Harry Telzerow (9 Killed in Action); mid air coll, crashed Gratze, 17 miles NE of Berlin, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 5181. CAROLINA QUEEN.

Published: 12. June 2018 / Last updated: 3. June 2021

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B-17 42-97214 / Carolina Queen Details

Original image caption:
Better Late Than Never – Five hours after the other ships in the group had returned from a bombing mission over Oldenburg, Germany. April 8, 1944, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Carolina Queen” piloted by Lt. Leslie A. Bond (Note by admin, probably Leslie E. Bond), came sliding home in a flawless belly landing. Unable to lower the ship’s wheels to normal landing position, Lt. Bond was compelled to circle about until what is believed to be the first successful tool-passing job in the ETO was accomplished. Lt. Col. Conway S. Hall, deputy group commander, piloted the Fortress from which special tools used to jettison “Carolina Queen’s” ball turret, were passed by cable to a crewman standing in the radio hatch of the latter ship. Patterned after successful aerial refueling stunts of old endurance fliers the wartime version enacted. With tools so unusually provided, “Carolina Queen” ball turret was able to loosened and finally dropped over the English Channel. Lt. Bond returned to base and brought his hip in for a perfect tobaggan landing, made easier on both pilot and plane by absence of obstructing fuselage straining under turret. Only damage was bent propeller and skinned undercarriage and it will be in the air very shortly.

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About the loss of B-17 #42-97214 / Carolina Queen

Probably mid-air-collision with B-17 #42-31291 during an attack of German fighter planes.

Statements of Eyewitnesses from MACR 5181

I certify that I, 2nd Lt John A. Martynick, 534th Bombardment Squadron (H), 381st Bombardment Group (H), was serving as Pilot on B-17G, 42-97238 during the afternoon of the 24 May 1944 and can report the following statement concerning aircraft B-17G, 42-97214.

On the 23rd of May 1944 during a raid on Berlin I was flying #2 position in the low squadron of the hight group. As the wing approached the target a number of fighters could be observed some distance ahead preparing for an attack. From my position in the formation the following was seen. Three to four lines of four fighters each made their way through a wing ahead continueing on through our lead squadron. While engaging this formation, ship 42-31291 was seen to explode and a second or so later, ship 42-97214 met the same fate.

My personal opinion of what happened is that both planes exploded due to enemy fire.

2Lt. John A. Martynick


I certify that I, 1st Lt Charles E. Ackerman, 534th Bombardment Squadron (H), 381st Bombardment Group (H), was serving as Pilot on B-17G, 42-32049 during the afternoon of the 24 May 1944 and can report the following statement concerning aircraft B-17G, 42-97214.

On the 24 May 1944 I was flying lead in the low squadron of the high group. Eight enemy aircraft made a pass at the high group just after bombs away. The number three aircraft in the lead squadron of the hight group was crippled by a 20 mm shell. As it settled back through the formation it lowered on the number three aircraft in the second element of the same squadron causing an explosion and total destruction of both aircraft and crew.

This observation was [unreadable word in MACR] at the time but further accounts from other witnesses thoroughly substantiate this view.

1Lt. Charles E. Ackerman


I certify that I, 1st Lt John W. Williams, 534th Bombardment Squadron (H), 381st Bombardment Group (H), was serving as Pilot on B-17G, 42-97174 during the afternoon of the 24 May 1944 and can report the following statement concerning aircraft B-17G, 42-97214.

On the above mentioned date I was Pilot of aircraft B-17G 42-97174 flying in the Deputy Group Lead position when I saw another aircraft run into 1st Lt. John A. Wardencki, in aircraft B-17G 42-97217 and both ships blew up. As far as I know no one got out of Lt. Wardencki’s hip.

This happened just after we were turning off the target and enemy fighters had attacked us. However both ships seemed to be under control until the time they ran together.

1Lt John W. Williams

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