B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-97848 / Silver Wings

B-17 #42-97848 / Silver Wingszoom_in



  • RCL: JW-M, UX-M

MACR: 10286


History of
B-17 42-97848 / Silver Wings

Delivered Denver 14/3/44; Kearney 8/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 326BS/92BG [JW-M] Podington 4/5/44; transferred 327BS [UX-M]; Missing in Action Altenburg, Ger 13/9/44 with Jack Peck, Co-pilot: Gil McMahon, Navigator: Edwin Yaksh, Bombardier: Bob Reynolds, Ball turret gunner: Bob Pemberton, Waist gunner: Dick Martin,Tail gunner: Jim Greene (7 Killed in Action); Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Sanderson{Wounded in Action}, Radio Operator: Theo Franklin (2 Returned to Duty); enemy aircraft KO’d two engines, crashed near Schaffen Afd, near Diest, Bel; Missing Air Crew Report 10286. SILVER WINGS.

Last updated: 5. September 2020


B-17 42-97848 / Silver Wings Details

On 13 September 1944 the B-17 42-97848 in which I was radio operator was on a raid on Merseburg, Germany. One engine was knocked out over the target area by flak and we were forced to lag behind our formation. We were then attacked four times by two enemy fighters, an ME 109 and a FW 190. On the first attack the Waist Gunner, Richard E. Martin was seriously wounded and died within five minutes. During the last three attacks the Tail Gunner James A. Greene, was seriously wounded.

We were forced to drop to 10,000 feet after the first attack because our oxygen and interphone systems were shot out. We were then attacked by flak again somewhere in the vicinity of the Ruhr valley. The Pilot obtained two P-51 escorts fighters following that attack and they led us to a landing strip in Belgium about 15 miles inside the allied lines. We attempted to land there in order to obtain medical treatment for the tail gunner. The landing was unsuccessful and we crashed in a wood, and then caught fire and exploded. Only one engine was functioning properly at the time of attempted landing. Only two crew members survived the crash myself, Theodore C. Franklin and the Engineer, William A. Sanderson. I was told by a British medical officer that four bodies were recovered from the wreckage.

T/Sgt Theodore C. Franklin


B-17 42-97848 / Silver Wings Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Jack A. Peck KIA
CP 1LT Gilbert E. McMahon, Jr. KIA
BOMB 1LT Robert E. Reynolds KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT William A. Sanderson RTD
RO T/SGT Theodore C. Franklin RTD
BT SGT Robert G. Pemberton KIA
WG S/SGT Richard E. Martin KIA
TG S/SGT James A. Greene KIA

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