B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 44-6653

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 44-6653


MACR: 12110


History of
B-17 44-6653

Delivered Lincoln 6/10/44; Grenier 16/10/44; Assigned 419BS/301BG Lucera 3/11/44; Missing in Action Regensburg 13/2/45 with Zenas Pilcher, Glesener, Lauffer, Terry, McCreary, Liacos, Ziegler (7 Prisoner of War); Thomas, Lee, Woltje (3 Killed in Action); flak, crashed Vienna; Missing Air Crew Report 12110.

Last updated: 1. March 2018


B-17 44-6653 Details

I saw plane #6653, which was flying 1-3 position of the lead squadron, begin smoking on left side. I could not determine whether the smoke was caused by one or both engines afire. The plan continued in formation for about two (2) minutes, and then flames shot back along the left side of the plane. Immediately after this the plane started a shallow diving turn to the right, and I saw one (1) chute open at this time. The altitude was 27,000 feet. I looked back at my own formation for a few seconds and when I looked back the plane was in a vertical spin, and parts of the plane were falling away. The plane was then lost to my vision.

1st Lt. Benjamin L. Partlow, Pilot, A/C 6360

While we were over the city of Vienna I noticed that A/C #44-6653 hat a wing afire. It flew along in formation for several minutes and then dropped of to the left side. The tail gunner bailed out and his chute opened, and then the plane started to spiral down. The I saw three (3) or four (4) other chutes, which must have been delayed jumps. The plan then disappeared into the clouds, which were to the south of the target.

T/Sgt. Charles L. McGorry, Tail Gunner, Plane, 6259

I believed that plan #6653 received a hit by flak in #2 engine immediately after turning on the Initial Point. First I noticed smoke coming from the engine and then I saw fire along the trailing edge of the left wing. I saw one (1) man jump from the waist door before the plan fell away to the left from the formation. When I last saw the plane it apperead to be still under control.

1st Lt. Luther C. Heffron, Navigator, Plane, 7640.

Source: MACR 12110


B-17 44-6653 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P 1LT Zenas H Pilcher, Jr. POW
CP 1LT Cletus E. Glesener POW
ENG/TT SGT Stanley I. Terry POW
RO SGT John A. Thomas KIA
BT SGT Brooks Lee KIA
WG SGT Walter Ziegler POW
WG S/SGT Athas D. Liacos POW
TG SGT Charles Woltje KIA
TOG T/SGT James H. McCreary, Jr . POW

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