History of the
B-17 #42-97444

Delivered Denver 18/11/43; Kearney 27/11/43; Assigned 340BS/97BG Cerignola 14/12/43; Amendola 16/1/44; Missing in Action Anzio 17/2/44 with Joe Csupak, Kirkpatrick, Stats, D’Abbracci, Pearce, Maddin, Robbins, Mazza, Taylor, Shanahan; flak, crashed Anzio; Missing Air Crew Report 2392.

Details 42-97444

B17G #42-97444 took off from Amandola Air Field, Italy on a bombing mission over Anzio, Italy. They were hit by ground anti-aircraft fire. They were given the command to bail out, however only one parachute was seen by other planes in the area before B-17G #42-97444 exploded in mid-air.

Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56311854

The wrackage were found by Philippe Castellano in 27 meters of deep and 3 km north-west of Anzio Habour. The wreck is a complete wing and bomb bay. No nose and tail fuselage, rest is missing.

Philippe Castellano (http://www.aero-relic.org/):

  • The engine #1 and his wing part is breacking and missing by fisher net trailling action.
  • The engine #2 have disapear but his main landing gear with his wheel and his turbosupercharger still present at their original place but depressed by destruction at the bottom of the wing. It seem that the ship was badly hit by Flak shells in his #2 and #3 engines section.
  • The number 3 engine is the only one still in place but collapsed and is lying in horizontal position buried in the deep mud. Impossible of see if his big propeller is still under mug or not ? His turbosupercharger is destroyed and lie on the side. His landing gear is complete with his tire flat and torn with hole by Flak.
  • The engine mount (no engine) of the # 4 engine is in better shappe with his turbosupercharger still in his original position. Only one oxygen cylinder (for the crew) is seeing in the wing.
  • The bomb bay is complete and had lost his two doors. Inside still the attachs system in open position, no bombs’load.

Photos of the wreckage:

Foto: Philippe Castellano

Foto: Philippe Castellano


Crew 42-97444

P2LTJoseph CsupakMIA
CP2LTJack B. KirkpatrickKIA
BOMBF/OArmond E. D'AbbracciKIA
ROS/SGTRobert L. RobbinsKIA
WGSGTJames A. ShanahanMIA
WGS/SGTWayne A. PearceMIA

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  1. von Philippe am 12. October 2019 9:08 Uhr

    Hello my friend

    I have a special request. I would like just know if you have knowledge of another loss by the 97th bomb group on February 14’1944 over the target (Italy, Veronna rail road) other than the “Her Did” of the S/Lt Frank Chaplick (who ditched his ship just off the Calvi’coast, Corsika). I have information that the Gefr. Ressler of the 1 3./JG 77 is credited of an Flying Fortress that day (I think the one of Frank Chaplick and not another). If you can conirm that, it will be very fine. Have a good week-end, your friend Philippe


  2. von b17flyingfortress.de am 12. October 2019 11:15 Uhr

    Hello Philippe,

    I am sorry, I could not found any other losses of the 97th BG on February 14th 1944. Frank Chaplick’s B-17 was the only reported loss that day.


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