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MACR PILOT: 1Lt  Paul E.  DeWeerdt  - O-735367

MACR: 13142 FICHE : 04787

ORGANIZATION

LOCATION: AAF Station #139 COMMAND: VIII AF GROUP: 100th Bomb Gp (H) AAF
SQUADRON: 418th BS DETACHMENT:  
     

DETAIL

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

WEATHER & VISIBILITY AT TIME OF LAST REPORT

CONDITION: 4 - 9/10 Cloud cover    

GIVE

DATE: 1945-03-18 TIME: 11:20 LOCATION: 5252 - 1223E

SPECIFY:

Seen to crash

CONFIRMED OR BELIEVED REASON FOR LOSS

LOSS DUE TO : Enemy aircraft

OTHER REASON FOR LOSS:

AIRCRAFT: 44-8717

TYPE: B-17 SERIES: G  
     
     

ENGINES:

MODEL: R-1820-97    
A: SW-031328
B: SW-031702
C: SW-031105
D: SW-031719
   

INSTALLED WEAPONS:

A: 1327933
B: 1327826
C: 1327942
D: 1327546
E: 1321949
F: 1138670
G: 1327148
H: 1327589
I:
J:
K:
L:

PERSONS BELOW ARE LISTED AS:

CASUALTY TYPE: Battle casualty  
NUMBER OF PERSONS ON BOARD:    
CREW: 10 PASS: 0 TOTAL: 10

PERSONNEL:

POSITION NAME RANK SERIAL
P1 Roger L. Swain Capt O-399681
P2 Paul E.  DeWeerdt 1Lt O-735367
CP Bill E. Thompson 1Lt O-2097197
NAV (N) James M. Carden F/O T-132255
BOM (B) Bernard F. Kozik 2Lt O-735???
RAD Robert A. Hausam TSgt 17169091
ENG Morris O. Kolling TSgt 17036368
BAL
WG (W) Pete J. Fischer SSgt 37479800
WG (W) Howard Whittaker Cpl 35912670
TG (T)
Navigator-RAD Sumner H. Woodrow F/O T-129907

PERSONS WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE LAST KNOWLEDGE OF AIRCRAFT

William E. Howard 1Lt O-775362
Last sighted
Ernest T. Gilbert 1Lt O-776270
   

PERSONNEL WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE SURVIVED

REASON: OTHER:  

EYEWITNESS DESCRIPTIONS OF CRASH

Report:
Gilbert and Howard report: "At 1120 hours, 5252 - 1228E, lead aircraft of 100 "C" was attacked by an ME 262 and had it's tail assembly shot away. It was seen to go over on it's back and go down at this time. Two chutes were seen coming from the waist.
   
   
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: 1945-03-24

TRANSCRIBER NOTES


REPORT:

LT BILL E. THOMPSON

EXCERPTS FROM A LETTER TO P.WEST 27 JAN 1993. When we were designated to lead the low box, I (Lt Thompson) went to the TG. Maj Roger L. Swain was command pilot.1st Lt Paul E. DeWeerdt was pilot, F/O James M. Carden was Nav, 2nd Lt Bernard F. Kozik was Bom, F/O Sumner H. Woodrow was "Mickey" or radar opr, T\Sgt Morris O. Kolling was E, Cpl Howard R. Whittaker WG, Cpl Pete J. Fischer was WG and Cpl Robert A. Sam was RO. Our regular crew Ball Turret Opr was Cpl Norbert J. Dougherty. On this mission (18 Mar 45) he flew in another plane named "Ginger". On the mission he saw us being shot down and noted the chutes as people bailed out. He finished his tour with a pilot named Michael P. Mashyna. Dougherty does not remember where he was in the formation. He is the person that wrote my wife from England saying that he thought I was OK. Hausam (Radio Opr) followed Woodrow (Mickey Opr) out of the aircraft and at that time the ship was still stable but fire at the # 2 engine. Today I just called Paul (DeWeerdt, pilot) and he said that after the first hit, he made a 180-degree turn and was heading home and dropped from about 30,000 to 20,000. He had flown about 50 miles when he was hit again or just exploded. He did not see any aircraft and only remembers being outside with his chute open and hearing kids yelling and dogs barking on the ground. He escaped and walked 20 to 30 miles before being caught. He had an infected foot and that explains the cast I saw on him in Hamburg. He really doesn't know about Kolling (Engineer), but Hausam told me that Kolling once said he would never bail out of an aircraft. I forgot to ask Paul (Weerdt) what happened to Swain. It seems like he told me that Swain bailed out while he and Kolling were fighting with the controls, in an attempt to stay stable. F/O Woodrow was on board as the ball "radar" operator in place of Dougherty (regular BTG) and since I was in Fischer's place (TG), Fischer acted as WG with Whittaker. This was the crew make-up on a brand new unnamed B-17G (44- 8717) on 18 Mar 45. It was still in natural aluminum.

Col Thompson relates an interesting and amusing look at the old adage, being in the right place at the right time in a note to this writer (pw) in August 1993.

"I just noticed a sort of injustice in promotions. A J.P. Gibbons joined the 100th 24 Feb 44 as a 2nd Lt and checked out on the 24 Dec 44 as a Major.10 months. I checked in as a 2nd Lt in the summer of 1944 and it was sometime in 1958 that I made Major. That's about fourteen years. I'm not saying I was dumb, just a fact of life."