B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 44-6078 / Hard Hearted Mama

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 44-6078 / Hard Hearted Mama


  • RCL: RQ-G

MACR: 12011 / KSU/ME/KU: 3613


History of
B-17 44-6078 / Hard Hearted Mama

Delivered Tulsa 24/4/44; Kearney 2/5/44; Grenier 15/5/45; Assigned 509BS/351BG [RQ-G] Polebrook 27/5/44; 55m Missing in Action Sterkrade 22/1/45 with Dick Goldsborough, Chas Balik, John Romanishin, Carl Miller, Tom Kennedy, John Kalapp, Ramsey Fendall, Jack Rushing (8 Prisoner of War); George Shirts (Killed in Action); straggling after target and crashed Boxmeer, Hol.; Missing Air Crew Report 12011. HARD HEARTED MAMA.

Last updated: 10. July 2021


B-17 44-6078 / Hard Hearted Mama Details

Crashed east of the Veerstraat north of Boxmeer on the bank of the Maas in a meadow (E772416 )

Eyewitness Account

I, Reinhold W. Vergen, was flying as pilot of Aircraft No. 42-107124 on a mission to Sterkrade, Germany on 22 January 1945.

Just after the target, Lt Goldsborough, who was flying on my left, suddenly veered to the left, flew level for a few minutes, and then went into a steep climb. Then he leveled out and went off on a west heading which should have brought him to Belgium. His plane was under control after he leveled off from the climb. I saw no parachutes and heard nothing over VHF. It is impossible to say what the reason for his leaving the formation was, since there were no visible signs of damage to his ship. Flak was heavy in the area, however, and damage may have been done internally somewhere.

2Lt. Reinhold W. Vergen

Source: MACR 12011


B-17 44-6078 / Hard Hearted Mama Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Richard H.Goldsborough POW
CP 2LT Charles F. Balik POW
ENG/TT T/SGT Carl F. Miller POW
RO T/SGT Thomas F. Kennedy, Jr. POW
BT S/SGT John M. Kalapp POW
WG S/SGT Ramsey P. Fendall POW
TG SGT Jack T. Rushing POW
--- SGT George F. Shirts KIA

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