B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-97552 / The Road Back

B-17 #42-97552 / The Road Backzoom_in



  • RCL: PU-O

MACR: 4009

Missions: 13


History of
B-17 42-97552 / The Road Back

Delivered Denver 19/12/43; Kearney 5/1/44; Assigned 351BG Polebrook 25/2/44; transferred 457BG Glatton 1/3/44; 360BS/303BG [PU-O] Molesworth 11/3/44; Missing in Action Oranienburg (13m) 18/4/44 with Lloyd Holdcroft, Co-pilot: Clyde Bradley, Navigator: Chas Pace, Bombardier: John O’Donnell, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: John DeMarco, Radio Operator: Walt Francis, Ball turret gunner: Lloyd Kern, Waist gunner: Walt Hustus, Waist gunner: Walt Slusser,Tail gunner: Bob Krumholz (10POW-all on their last mission); lost two engines, threw out gear to lighten ship but crash landed three miles SE of Reinsehlen Afd, near Hanover, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 4009. THE ROAD BACK.


B-17 42-97552 / The Road Back Details

Mission Note:

18 April 1944, Mission 136, to Oranienburg Germany in B-17F 42-97552 The Road Back (360BS) PU-O. B-17 was last seen just before making a turn after the target. Two engines were hit by flak and allowed to windmill. It continued on a straight course after the target and left the formation. The crew flew for one and one-half hours before crash landing after throwing out all non-essential items. At one point a German ME-109 flew alongside, recognized that the B-17 could offer little resistance, saluted, and flew away. The B-17 crashed near Soltau, Germany, 65 km north of Hanover (Between Hamburg and Hanover) in a narrow field on a wheels up “Belly” landing. The B-17 was set on fire to prevent the enemy from using the parts. The entire crew survived the crash and divided into three groups to attempt to avoid capture. All became POWs after their unsuccessful evasion attempts. The original crewmen were on the last mission of their 25 mission combat tour (Missing Aircrew Report 4009).

via http://www.303rdbg.com/360holdcroft.html


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