B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-97738

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 42-97738


MACR: 9863 / KSU/ME/KU: 2410


History of
B-17 42-97738

Delivered Denver 11/2/44; 1SAG Langley 11/4/44; Morrison 26/4/44; Assigned (PFF) 49BS/2BG Amendola 7/5/44; 352BS/301BG Lucera 15/5/44; Missing in Action Blechhammer (night mission) 13/11/44 with Wayne Wendt, Hug, John Campbell, Zellner, Jim Campbell, Simonson (6 Killed in Action); Snyder, Workman, Sumner, Patrick (4 Prisoner of War); bad weather, crashed Krauthenn; Missing Air Crew Report 9863.

Last updated: 15. July 2021


B-17 42-97738 Details

The following is a signed statement concerning missing aircraft No. 42-97738 and crew on date of 12-13 November, 1944.

“In regard to the mission of night of 12-13 November, 1944 it is my belief that the weather caused the most difficulty. We encountered thunderstorm activity over the Adriatic both on the trip out and the trip back. Although we did not reach the target it is my belief that Plane No. 97738 was lost due to bad weather. Over the Adriatic on the return trip we encountered extreme cumulonimbus activity. We had a great amount of trouble dodging these thunderstorms.

As for enemy aircraft we encountered none. Nor was there any sign of any. We did encounter flak at one position. It was both slight and inaccurate. The weather, except for haze, from northern part of Yugoslavia to as far north as we went was CAVU.

2Lt. Luthern C. Hefron

We departed from Lake Lesina at 2316, 12 November, 1944, on course for Novi Sad, the first turning point. At this time the crew called in a B-17 with navigation lights on, off to our left. In the vicinity of Vis, we came to A thunder storm and altered to the right to go around. The crew reported they still saw this plane off to our left up till me got to the thunder storm and after we left the storm no plane was seen near us until over Yugoslavia at which time we saw two planes off to our right with navigation lights on. These two planes were seen only for a short time. No more planes were seen until after we arrived at Novi Sad. On the second leg of the flight at Budapest the crew called in another plane off to our right. All they could see was a reddish light. This plane followed us to the target and was last seen as we rallied left off the target. At that time it appeared to be near the target. No plane was seen on the return trip from the target. Flak at the target was slight. We saw a few burst at the target. No flak was encountered enroute to or from the target. Search lights were seen under the clouds at Gliowitz. Weather enroute was broken to scattered A-C over Adriatic. A line of thunderstorm activity along the east side of the Adriatic. Broken clouds below us until we got over the mountains in Yugoslavia. From this point to within 75 miles of target the weather was clear to hazy below and clear above. In the target area there was a broken undercast and a clear sky above. Whatever happened to Plane No. 97738, I believe was due to weather.”

1Lt. Ethan O. Evans

Source: MACR 9863


B-17 42-97738 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Wayne A. Wendt KIA
CP 1LT William A. Hug KIA
BOMB 1LT David K. Workman POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Wallace M. Zellner KIA
RO T/SGT James M. Campbell KIA
WG S/SGT Robert C. Simonson KIA
WG SGT Robert W. Summer POW
TG S/SGT Robert H. Patrick POW
RCM 1LT John W. Campbell KIA

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