B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-97304 / Priority Gal

B-17 #42-97304 / Priority Galzoom_in



  • RCL: OR-C

MACR: 7806 / KSU/ME/KU: 2603

Missions: 50


History of
B-17 42-97304 / Priority Gal

Delivered Cheyenne 16/2/44; Gr Island 5/3/44; Grenier 20/3/44; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-C] Bassingbourn 1/4/44; Missing in Action {50m} Munich 31/7/44 with Henry Supchak, Co-pilot: John Karlac, Navigator: Telson Fineman, Bombardier: Wilson Leahy, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Tony Skorpik, Radio Operator: Luigi Lentini, Ball turret gunner: Guy La Rocco, Waist gunner: Lewis Wetzel,Tail gunner: Bill Shepheard (9 Prisoner of War); flak hits in #1 & #2, and dropped back and headed for Switzerland but crashed Pinnistal, SW of Innsbruck, Aus.; Missing Air Crew Report 7806. PRIORITY GAL.

Last updated: 4. October 2020


B-17 42-97304 / Priority Gal Details

Eyewitness Statements to the loss of B-17G 42-97304 / Priority Gal

Our aircraft was flying on the right wing of aircraft 42-97304. Over the target (Munich) subject aircraft was apparently hit by flak in the No. 1 engine. His No. 2 engine was smoking. He feathered No. 1 engine but it would not remain in that condition. He lost considerable air speed, holding back a flight of three aircraft. Our aircraft left subject aircraft and caught up with formation.

Subject aircraft had dropped down to about 18000 or 20000 feet at the tops of the clouds.

When last seen A/C 42-97304 had turned in the general direction of South appeared to be under control on three engines. No parachutes were seen to leave subject aircraft.

1Lt. Oscar J. Snow
323rd Bomb Sq.

Directly over the target (Munich) aircraft B-17-G, 42-97304, was hit in the No. 1 engine by flak. It started smoking. We traveled with him on the same heading for about 3 minutes past the target. We made a gradual left turn. We were indicating about 130 MPH and were about 2 miles behind the formation. He gave no indication or leaving our group. We stopped up to catch the formation and being on the watch for enemy fighters, reported to be in the area, we lost sight of A/C 42-97304. He was last seen at about 27000 feet, at a position of approximately 48:40N – 11:35E. When last seen subject aircraft appeared to be under control and losing altitude gradually. No. 1 engine was feathered.

No parachutes were seen to leave subject aircraft.

2Lt. Charles C. Funke, Jr.
323rd Bomb Sq.

Source: MACR 7806


B-17 42-97304 / Priority Gal Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Henry W. Supchak POW
CP 1LT John S. Karlac POW
BOMB 1LT Wilson Leahy POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Anthony J. Skorpik POW
RO T/SGT Luigi L. Lentini POW
BT S/SGT Guy W. La Rocco POW
WG S/SGT Lewis F. Wetzel POW
TG S/SGT Willam C. Shepherd POW

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