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MACR PILOT: 1Lt  Robert C.  Pearson  - O-1699547

MACR: 00272 FICHE : 00090

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: S SW  
INTENDED DESTINATION: La Pallice    
MISSION TYPE:Bombing    

WEATHER & VISIBILITY AT TIME OF LAST REPORT

CONDITION: CAVU    

GIVE

DATE: 1943-07-04 TIME: 11:40 LOCATION: 3 mi. west of La Pallice

SPECIFY:

Information not available

CONFIRMED OR BELIEVED REASON FOR LOSS

LOSS DUE TO : Other circumstances

OTHER REASON FOR LOSS:

Information not available

AIRCRAFT: 42-30051

TYPE: B-17 SERIES: F  
     
     

ENGINES:

MODEL: R-1820-97    
A: 45-58619
B: 43-58633
C: 43-58744
D: 43-58667
   

INSTALLED WEAPONS:

A: 320098
B: 329861
C: 329942
D: 322973
E: 329938
F: 327141
G: 324673
H: 321146
I: 327071
J: 325137
K: 321221
L: 495124

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 Robert C.  Pearson 1Lt O-1699547
CP Melville G. Boyd 2Lt O-797960
NAV (N) Bruce T. Rinker 1Lt O-660906
BOM (B) John L. Dunbar 2Lt O-730774
RAD Randall G. Villa TSgt 38185414
ENG Jack M. Goss TSgt 13049923
BAL Everett J. Moore SSgt 31161034
WG (W) Lonnie B. Rutledge SSgt 15082089
WG (W) John T. Westwood SSgt 13083517
TG (T) Albert N. Purcell SSgt 18004281

PERSONS WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE LAST KNOWLEDGE OF AIRCRAFT

V. E. Fienup 1Lt O-729837
Last sighted
E. V. Mulholland 2Lt O-798016
Last sighted    
T. E. Murphy 1Lt O-441010
Last sighted

PERSONNEL WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE SURVIVED

REASON: OTHER:  

EYEWITNESS DESCRIPTIONS OF CRASH

Report:
V. E. Fienup, E. V. Mulholland and T. E. Murphy reported last sighting of A/C. One of these gave following report: "#1 (Pearson) of 2nd Element approximately a mile from target and slightly behind other formation. Formation turned slightly to left. Pearson turned slightly to, the right and down. No 2 & 3 A/C of this Element followed throttled back and over ran Pearson. Pearson motioned for 2 & 3 A/C to go ahead. This left #2 & #3 in rear of formation These A/C proceeded to catch up. All during this time Pearson had bomb bays open. Pearson descended turning and heading west over water. All engines were turning. No props feathered or engine smoking. He descended very rapidly. Fienup saw 051 release bombs short of target, do a 180 turn and lose altitude. Reason unknown. "
   
   
Second Witness: No Data  
Report:
Report date and preparing officer not legible.

DESCRIPTION OF SEARCH EFFORT

DETAIL:No search made.

PREPARING OFFICER

PREPARED BY:

DATE PREPARED:

TRANSCRIBER NOTES


REPORT:

Melville Boyd later stated that all crewmembers bailed cut safely and landed on IL D Oleron. He last saw all crewmembers safe in U. S. In May 1979 Al Purcell returned a Crew roster of Crew #20 noting that all members except Dunbar were POWs. Dunbar an evadee. Enlisted men in Stalag 17-B. Al Purcell letter dated 9 Feb. 1980 . . . . "As we started our bomb run both inboard engines went out at the same time, which accounted for our loss of altitude so fast. Jack Goss(our engineer) told me later that the 2 engines lost power at the same time for no apparent reason, as if sugar or something had been put into the fuel. We dropped our bombs over the water and as I understood we were trying to make it to Spain. At this point ME 109s attacked us from the rear and knocked out another engine -- with, only one left we were ordered to bail lut. We did shoot down 2 MEs. After the tail gunner I was the 3 or 4 man out. As I floated down I watched the plane crash and burn on the small island. Pearson landed in the water, Boyd broke an arm landing, Dunbar was lucky, the French hid him and he escaped capture. I had just enough time to roll up my chute before being picked up. The rest of the crew were picked up along with me. As for the engine failure -- Jack Goss gave me details at the time -- and said Pearson was questioned by the Germans as to why he was leading 2nd element instead of A flight. This made us think there was sabotage of some kind since the Group commander or some high ranking officer was to fly with us but changed his mind the night before the mission.