B-17 Flying Fortress B-17 44-8437

B-17 Bomber Flying Fortress – The Queen Of The Skies 44-8437


MACR: 12414

Missions: 18


History of
B-17 44-8437

Delivered Lincoln 18/9/44; Grenier 15/10/44; Assigned: 563BS/388BG Knettishall 12/10/44; MIA Nurnberg 17/2/45 Pilot: Capt Bob Gladstone, Bob Murphy, John Gardner, Paul Ballard, Clayton Hamilton, Chas Goldstein, John Grady, Joe Prokop, Ken Hansladen {rcm} (9KIA); Bill Pitts {tg} (POW); flak, crashed Hanau, Germany. MACR 12414.

Last updated: 7. February 2020


B-17 44-8437 Details

From MACR 12414

Details of Mission 17 February 1945, we were flying at 23.000 ft. over Frankfurt (M) Germany. The plane flying No. 2 position got a direct hit from a flakgun. The plane blew up and I didn’t see but one (1) chute leave the plane.

They got us about two (2) minutes after bombs away. I could feel the “Flak” coming through the plane. I believe the controls were shot out,we started into a steep dive, the plane rolled over on her back and started spinning down. I made for the escape hatch and bailed out. I didn’t see any one leave the plane after I got clear of the plane. I landed in a small town. The Germans captured me and the taken me to a P.W. Camp about eight (8) miles east of Frankfurt and from their to a Hospital. I was in P.W. Camp near Westlow, Germany, Luft #3 and liberated at Stalag #7A. I do not know what happend to Sgt. Goldstein and my other crew members.

S/Sgt. William A. Pitts
Point Peter, Ga.


B-17 44-8437 Crew

Position Rank Name Status Note
P CPT Robert Gladstone KIA
CP 1LT Robert Edward Murphy KIA
BOMB 1LT Paul Gocht Ballard KIA
ENG/TT T/SGT Clayton E. Hamilton KIA
RO T/SGT Charles Bernard Goldstein KIA
BT S/SGT John Edward Grady KIA
WG S/SGT Joseph Eugene Prokop KIA
TG S/SGT William Alvin Pitts POW
RCM SGT Kenneth Lewellyn Hausladen KIA

Write comment