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MACR PILOT: 1Lt  Wallace G.  Wilson  - O-632581

MACR: 11356 FICHE : 04178

ORGANIZATION

LOCATION: AAF Station #139 COMMAND: VIII AF GROUP: 100th Bomb Gp (H) AAF
SQUADRON: 351st BS DETACHMENT:  
     

DETAIL

DEPARTURE:AAF Station #139 INITIAL COURSE: E  
INTENDED DESTINATION: Hamburg    
MISSION TYPE:Operational    

WEATHER & VISIBILITY AT TIME OF LAST REPORT

CONDITION: CAVU    

GIVE

DATE: 1944-12-31 TIME: 11:56 LOCATION: 5340N - 0920E

SPECIFY:

Last Sighted

CONFIRMED OR BELIEVED REASON FOR LOSS

LOSS DUE TO : Enemy aircraft

OTHER REASON FOR LOSS:

AIRCRAFT: 42-107233

TYPE: B-17 SERIES: G  
     
     

ENGINES:

MODEL: R-1820-97    
A: 41-33290
B: SW-019550
C: SW-019188
D: SW-008463
   

INSTALLED WEAPONS:

A: 1296140
B: 1296193
C: 1191815
D: 1191736
E: 1296196
F: 1296286
G: 1192297
H: 1296308
I: 1296376
J: 1192226
K: 1192251
L: 717200

PERSONS BELOW ARE LISTED AS:

CASUALTY TYPE: Battle casualty  
NUMBER OF PERSONS ON BOARD:    
CREW: 9 PASS: 0 TOTAL: 9

PERSONNEL:

POSITION NAME RANK SERIAL
P1
P2 Wallace G.  Wilson 1Lt O-632581
CP Clarence R. Van Cleave 2Lt O-825389
NAV (N) Kenneth F. Kane 2Lt O-2062674
BOM (B) Herman F. Eckmeyer Sgt 13001510
RAD Perry S. Gaye SSgt 34772383
ENG Douglas H. Nash SSgt 39208645
BAL Austin H. Gibbon Sgt 19215704
WG (W) george P. Monte Sgt 38352946
WG (W)
TG (T) Eugene M. Fellmeth Sgt 35236132

PERSONS WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE LAST KNOWLEDGE OF AIRCRAFT

Donald A. Jones Capt O-764887
Last sighted
   

PERSONNEL WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE SURVIVED

REASON: OTHER:  

EYEWITNESS DESCRIPTIONS OF CRASH

Report:
A/C #42-107233 was not seen and positively identified after bombs away. However, and A/C believed to be #45-107233 was seen trailing smoke after the E/A attack losing altitude and smoking.  (Capt. Donald A. Jones)
   
   
Second Witness: No Data  
Report:

DESCRIPTION OF SEARCH EFFORT

DETAIL:No search made.

PREPARING OFFICER

PREPARED BY: GEORGE D. ALLEN Capt Air Corps Assistant Adjutant

DATE PREPARED: 1945-01-06

TRANSCRIBER NOTES


REPORT:

Letter to Grant Fuller, Executive Vice-President 100th Bomb Group Association, dated June 26, 1991:

We were in the 351st Squadron (by the way, our plane was aptly named Humpty Dumpty) and we went down on December 31, 1944 over Hamburg. To refresh your memory, that was the last big loss for the 100th as we lost, I believe, 14 planes that day. It was also the mission in which the famous crash landing occurred of the two B17's which were stuck together.

On that mission we were without our regular Bombardier, Lee Brewin who had been picked for Lead Crew Training. He was replaced by a Sergeant named Echmfyer, whose first name I unfortunately do not remember. In any event, that particular day we were bombing Hamburg and we did not have any problems at all until we got in the bomb run and we took a direct hit. The direct hit knocked out electricity and our power and it also knocked out number #1 and 4 which started wind-milling and, because we didn't have power, we were unable to feather them, so we really had a problem in that respect. The Pilot, Wally Wilson of Joplin, Missouri had a load of flak in his left calf and it was obvious right from the beginning that we were not going to fly very much longer so we immediately dropped down to 10, 000 feet so that I could put a bandage on Wally's leg and everybody bailed out except Wally and I and our Co-pilot, Roy VanCleave from Memphis, Tennessee. We picked up some ME's and they made two passes at us but on each occasion, Roy VanCleave was able to dump the nose just at the right moment and avoid getting hit by them. It was obvious that the plane wasn't a good place to stay for very long, so I put a chute on Wally and pushed him out and then I went out and then Van trimmed up the plane and went out.

By the way, both Wally and Van are now dead. Wally died about 12 years ago and I understand that he died of bone cancer in his left leg, which is, of course, was the leg that was injured in that particular incident. VanCleave died very young, I think around 42, he had a blood clot and after a minor operation he died.

Anyway, we all bailed out and we all got picked up immediately; they had the old folks watching from the towers. I was locked up in a fire station until I was turned over to the Military later in the day. That night we all were put together at some kind of a Military Facility that was partly hospital, and partly detention center. At that point in time they bandaged up Wally's leg which had been bleeding all day long. Echmyer, our Bombardier, also got injured bailing out, because we had to bail out of the front escape hatch with the bomb run doors open. He had a limp and I assume he might still have it. Everybody else got out and they were; reading from top to bottom.

Doug Nash was our Engineer from Seattle, Washington, Doug died 10 or 12 years ago. Our Radio Operator was Perry Gaye; Perry now lives in Tampa and we have seen him on a few occasions. Our Gunner was George Monte from Omaha and later Albuquerque, I understand George has since died. Our Ball Turret Operator was Austin Gibbon from Oakland and as far as I know Austin is still o. k. Our Tail Gunner was Gene Fellmeth from Masillon, Ohio and I understand that Gene is now a Judge in Masillon. As I said, we all got picked up except, for some reason or other, Perry Gaye got away for a week or so and managed to get frost bite as a result of it because this was December in Germany. By the way, I would like to make a note about Dick Rolle who was in our group who was shot down that day in another plane. Dick bailed out on fire and when he showed up that night at the detention facility, he was blind because the fire came up from below. We really had a hard time getting him to believe that we were who we were because he felt that we might have been German Spies planted to convince him that we were Americans and that he would spill something, of course none of us knew anything anyway. In any event, as I understand it, Dick's sight was restored and I think he's o. k. now.

We then went to a interrogation center in a town called Oberosel, outside of Frankfurt. After the interrogation we went to an "in transit" camp near Wetzlar and from there we went to a permanent camp in Barth which was Stalag Luft I up on the Baltic Sea. This is probably around the 8th or 10th of January by the time we got there and we stayed there until the war was over and we were liberated by the Russians on May 8th, 9th, or 10th, somewhere along there, whenever the war ended.

In respect to our treatment by the Germans, we were never abused or mistreated, we simply were under fed as the whole German nation was under-fed at that time. We were going along on 600 calories a day until about late in April, whenever Holy Week was, because that happens to be the week that the Red Cross parcels started to come in and we all had some food for a change; we also had diarrhea for a change. . . .

Kenneth F. Lane - Navigator. .