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MACR PILOT: 1Lt  Richard C.  King  - O-661942

MACR: 00684 FICHE : 00226

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: SE  
INTENDED DESTINATION: Paris Reanult Plant    
MISSION TYPE:Operational    

WEATHER & VISIBILITY AT TIME OF LAST REPORT

CONDITION: CAVU    

GIVE

DATE: 1943-09-03 TIME: 09:20 LOCATION: Over Beaumont Airdrome

SPECIFY:

Last Sighted

CONFIRMED OR BELIEVED REASON FOR LOSS

LOSS DUE TO : Other circumstances

OTHER REASON FOR LOSS:

Collision with B-17 #059

AIRCRAFT: 42-30089

TYPE: B-17 SERIES: F  
     
     

ENGINES:

MODEL: R-1820-97    
A: 43-60058
B: 43-57726
C: 43-56882
D: 41-55435
   

INSTALLED WEAPONS:

A: 494508
B: 494783
C: 494796
D: 494840
E: 493884
F: 503870
G: 494522
H: 493939
I: 493881
J: 494667
K: 493928
L: 494814

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
P2 Richard C.  King 1Lt O-661942
CP George D. Brykalski F/O T-60789
NAV (N) Ernest Anderson 2Lt O-730206
BOM (B) Edward H. Hovde 2Lt O-731375
RAD Robert L. McKnight TSgt 18082247
ENG Trafford L. Curry TSgt 18019460
BAL Rudolph H. Harms SSgt 16034540
WG (W) Donald E. Wise SSgt 34332947
WG (W) James M. Sides Sgt 14085229
TG (T) Heber Hogge SSgt 39831072

PERSONS WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE LAST KNOWLEDGE OF AIRCRAFT

Gale W. Cleven Maj O-399782
Last sighted
Harold H. Curtice 2Lt O-731274
Last sighted    
Thomas E. Murphy 1Lt O-441010
Last sighted

PERSONNEL WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE SURVIVED

REASON: Parachutes were used OTHER:  

EYEWITNESS DESCRIPTIONS OF CRASH

Report:
B-17 A/C #089 blew up over secondary target, Beaumont Airdrome.  (Maj. Cleven)

Both the Forts were afire when I saw them first.  The one underneath (#089) lurched up and hit the upper one (#059) as if the pilot were wounded or had lost control.  Then it fell away, and I saw the bombs from the upper plane go down on the lower one.  Then they both vanished into fragments.  (2nd Lt. Curtice)

Ship 089 hit the tail section of 059 with its right wing.  059 dropped serveral bombs then exploded as it dove away.  089 went down in a steep dive and from 3 to 7 chutes were reported.  Flames were flames were pouring from its bomb bay.  It appeared that the oxygen system was burning out.  It did not appear to be out of control however, and it was thought that it may have made a crash landing near Beaumont.  (Compiled from the accounts of serveral witnesses.)
   
   
Second Witness: No Data  
Report:

DESCRIPTION OF SEARCH EFFORT

DETAIL:No search made.

PREPARING OFFICER

PREPARED BY: CLAUDE L. HOSFORD 1st Lt Air Corps Personnel Officer

DATE PREPARED: 1943-09-09

TRANSCRIBER NOTES


REPORT:

Barney Sutton, regular waist gunner on this crew, had flown six or seven missions when he received an appointment as an Aviation cadet. He returned to the U.S. and was replaced on the Crew by James Sides. Sutton became a navigator and, in the fall of 1944, returned to England for duty with the 398th Bomb Group. In a letter to this writer in 1979 Sutton had this to say, "The Esprit de Corp of the 398th was nothing to match the 100TH. However, at that time the 100TH had been shot down twice, and I feel sure the 398TH had suffered also." At the time of the Regensburg mission, Derrell Piel was on sick leave and was replaced by Robert McKnight, the regular radio operator of crew #27. On 8 Oct. 1943, flying with crew #22, Piel was KIA. It is rather ironic to note that McKnight's regular crew successfully completed their tour of 25 missions

Trafford L. Curry statement at Thorpe Abbots in 1945:
I was in the top turret at the time we were hit amidships by flak from the Paris area. Our A/C left the formation in a steep dive and when it leveled off several thousand feet below I came out of my turret to see what was taking place. I quickly observed that the A/C was burning both in the bomb bay and the navigator's compartment. The A/C was very badly damaged and the fires were too far advanced to be extinguished. I put on my chute and when given the bail out order I tried to go out the navigator's hatch, but changed my mind when I saw the fire and smoke in that part of the A/C. I then went to the bomb bay and jumped through the flames that practically covered that area of the A/C. Just before I jumped I looked back and saw Lt. King and his co-pilot adjusting their chutes. After my chute opened I saw several other chutes come from my A/C, but never knew who they were. The A/C disappeared still in level flight and I learned later that it crashed in a field several miles away, still in level flight, but exploded soon after. I was not able to obtain any information about any of my crew members.