B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 44-6183

B-17 #44-6183zoom_in



MACR: 7125


History of
B-17 44-6183

Delivered Tulsa 24/5/44; Hunter 13/6/44; Dow Fd 24/6/44; Assigned 342BS/97BG Amendola 4/7/44; Failed to Return (FTR) Linz tank works 25/7/44 with Jack Murphy, Clark, Liton, Mitty, Lockery, Johnson, Halford, Jones, Randall, crew ejected by explosion 4 x RTD, 6 x KIA. MACR 7125.

Last updated: 7. October 2020


B-17 44-6183 Details

Original image caption

Hit by anti-aircraft fire, while on bombing run over the Herman Goering Tank Works at Linz, Austria, 25 July 1944, a Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” went down to destruction. In the top picture the “Fortress” was upside with the right inboard engine afire. The second photo shows the wing when it began to fall away and in the third photo the wing has broken loose. The fourth picture shows pieces of aircraft scattered about the sky by a terrific explosion. The last picture shows the smoke as the “Fortress” crashed into the ground. Several crews reported seeing five parachutes opening. 15th Air Force.

Statement of Eyewitnesses from MACR 7125

Just before bombs away the pilot of our aircraft called out B-17 hit by flak at one o’clock. It was the lead ship of our formation of the 97th Bomb Group (H), AAF. I turned my turret to watch it fall, and at this time the aircraft was going straight down. It was heading to the rear of our formation at the same time. It almost straightened out when I saw five (5) chutes come out and thay all opened and then the aircraft blew up. That is the last of the aircraft in trouble I saw.

Sgt. Walter P. Gambill
Ball Turret Gunner

I the undersigned was flying as ball turret gunner on aircraft #080 of the 341st Bom Squadron (H), AAF, on July, 25, 1944. I didn’t see aircraft #183 until after it had left the formation with a fire in the bomb-bay. Shortly after that it blew up, and I saw a total of seven (7) chutes leave the aircraft, and they all opened. The aircraft then went down in pieces. That was the last I saw of the aircraft as it disapeared into the clouds.

Sgt. James W. Loveless


After a dive, the plane’s gas tanks exploded. We were blown out of the plane, after my chute opened, I could see three (3) other chutes under me. Our pilot Capt. Murphy said he saw seven (7) chutes. A report my Mother received from 15th Air Force Hqd. said five (5) chutes were reported.

After I landed, which was in “woods” there was a great deal of “rifle fire” very close around. If this may help you, I was shot at when I was about 150-200 feet from the ground. The reason I say that I was shot at, was this “a bullet broke one (1) of my “Shroud lines”, there were a great deal of “S.S. Men” around there.

After, I was taken “Prisoner” by the Germans and taken to a small out-post our plane was very close by, the horizontal stabilizer was in the out-post’s yard and I sad down on it. The plane had most of it tail section missing, the engines were gone and so was most of the wings, the remains of the plane was on its belly and it was split open on its sides.

The place where we landed, was righ [sic] beside a small dam, and upon a hill was a large house, a very large house, and there was a single railroad track going by, close by was a big farm house, close by that was a cross roads and a rather larger stream of water with a rail bridge over it (it was not a river) then up father [sic] was a railroad crossing and a station house, about 600 yards was this German out-post and across the road in an open field was where the bomber’s remains were. Thats about all I can tell you, I don’t know the directions, but it was a couple or three miles from Linz itself and on this side of the Danube River. I mean by that it was on the nearest side to Italy, we hadn’t crossed the River, although we were nearly right over it.

I hope this will be helpfull and when your investigation is complete, I would like to know your results.

Very truly yours,

Garnel C. Lockemy


B-17 44-6183 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Jack W. Murphy POW
CP 2LT Robert L. Clark KIA
BOMB 2LT Irwin D. Witty POW
ENG/TT T/SGT John A. Johnston KIA
RO T/SGT Garnel C. Lockemy POW
BT T/SGT Edgar P. Leonhard KIA
WG S/SGT Richard O. Jones KIA
WG S/SGT Thomas E. Hammond KIA
TG S/SGT Allen R. Rendall POW

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