B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 42-98004

B-17 #42-98004zoom_in



  • RCL: YB-H

MACR: 9360

Missions: 25


History of
B-17 42-98004

Delivered Dallas 28/4/44; Hunter 9/6/44; Dow Fd 24/6/44; Assigned 508BS/351BG [YB-H] Polebrook 17/4/44; {25m} sustained battle damaged Cologne 27/9/44 with Capt Jerome Geiger, Co-pilot: Winfield Muffett, Navigator: Chas Hubbell, Bombardier: Frank Reising, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Leroy Chaplow{Wounded in Action}, Radio Operator: Walt Goodman{Wounded in Action}, Waist gunner: Jim Pierce,Tail gunner: Walt Ignison (8 Returned to Duty); Ball turret gunner: Ken Divil (Killed in Action); John Kurtz[511BS, a voice interceptor both blown out of ship (Prisoner of War). An 88m shell hit fuselage near radio room, blasting the ball turret and killing Sgt Divil; a German speaking radio operator Sgt Hurtz fell from aircraft and taken POW; Salvaged 2 SAD 27/9/44.

Last updated: 22. November 2020


B-17 42-98004 Details

Plane, though hit by flak in waist which caused death of Ball Turret Gunner and loss (MIA) of Y Operator, retured safely to England.

42-98004 after landing

Statements to the incident

Eyewitness account from Jerome H. Geiger: “I, Jerome H. Geiger, O-731854, was flying as pilot of Aircraft No. 42-98004 which was flying in Lead Position of the Low Squadron on a mission to Cologne, Germany on 27 September 1944. About a second after bombs away 150 mm. Flak hit my plane, knocking out the Ball Turret, denting the tail and destroying the superchargers and radios. The Ball Turret gunner was killed instantly, his body literally “blown to bits”, and the Y-Operator fell out without his parachute. The rest of the crew and the plane returned to England without further incident.”

Capt. Jerome H. Geiger

1Lt. John C. Talbott, Navigator on A/C 42-97843, saw a man fall from Capt. Geiger’s plane with his hand on his chest as though he might have been preparing to pull a rip cord. This officer states, however, that he cannot be sure man was wearing a chute; what appeared to be a chut pack may have been part of flak suit. Observation was made from approximately 1500 yards.


B-17 42-98004 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P CPT Jerome H. Geiger RTD
CP 1LT Winfield F. Muffett RTD
BOMB 2LT Frank H. Reising RTD
ENG/TT S/SGT Leroy H. Chaplow RTD
RO S/SGT Walter F. Goodman RTD
BT SGT Kenneth D. Divil KIA
WG S/SGT James M. Pierce RTD
TG SGT Walter C. Ingison RTD
--- S/SGT John J. Kurtz POW Y Operator

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