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LT  Bennie EPSTEIN

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM
SERIAL #: STATUS: IIC
MACR:

Comments1: 4 DEC 43 (TASHJIAN CRASH)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt.Martin Tashjian             P       IIC    4/12/43      KIA  15/3/44    BRUNSWICK (WITH DEVORE CREW)
2nd Lt. John Dutka                 CP      IIC   4/12/43
2nd Lt. Floyd E.Hartman         NAV    IIC   4/12/43      POW 29/7/44  MERSEBURG (with Lt Buzz Fitzroy Crew)  (TAPS:10 APR 1990) 
2nd Lt. Bennie Epstein          BOM     IIC   4/12/43
 T/Sgt. Floyd O.Douglas         TTE     IIC   4/12/43     KIA   29/7/44   MERSEBURG (with Lt Buzz Fitzroy Crew)
 T/Sgt. Robert D.Longworth   ROG    IIC   4/12/43     KIA   15/3/44   BRUNSWICK(With Devore Crew)
   Sgt. Wilbur W. Palmer          WG   NOC
   Sgt. John H.White               WG                           POW  6/3/44   BERLIN  (with J.Lautenschlager)
   Sgt. James S.Morrow           BTG                           KIA  24/5/44   BERLIN  (with D.S.Pearson Crew)
   Sgt. Lucien E.Neveu              TG                           CPT 21/7/44   REGENSBURG (with Lt Julian.P. Rogers Crew)

 Crew,as above,joined the 100th BG (351st Sqdn.) on 1/12/43.  IIC = Injured in a crash of a 100th aircraft.

"On the afternoon of December 4, 1943, B-17 42-39791 (Fletcher's Castoria) was wrecked in a crash near the tower.  It had taken off with Lt Fletcher aboard who, with his radio Operator George Reid and engineer James Whitton, were to give Martin Tashjian and his crew "a local navigation and procedure check".  On their return at 14:55 in clear weather and unlimited visibility the aircraft was approaching runway 10 for a straight in landing but from a higher altitude than normal.  The touch down was simultaneous on the right main gear, tail wheel and right wingtip, bending the wing two or three feet upwards.  The aircraft took off again and climbed straight ahead to an altitude of 50 to 100 feet before dropping down again striking the left wing.  The aircraft was destroyed.  Lt Tashjian was "seriously wounded", the Navigator Floyd Hartmann received moderate injuries and seven other crew members received minor injuries."  (from Century Bombers)

CREW (see graphic)

1st Lt Wiliam H. Fletcher       P   POW      21/2/44   Burnswick
2nd Lt Richard M.Roper       CP   POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
2nd Lt George A.Browning   NAV  POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
2nd Lt Howard D.Venzie      BOM  POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 T/Sgt James H.Whitton       TTE  Injured in crash after about 7 missions (landing accident 4 Dec 43 with Lt Tashjian)
 T/Sgt George A.Reid        ROG POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt Pietro J.Giaquinto      BTG POW      21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt John J.Seman         RWG POW     21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt Alexander Sosik         LWG POW     21/2/44   Brunswick
 S/Sgt David V.Robb,Jr.          TG POW     21/2/44   Brunswick

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined 100th Group in early Oct.1943

On 4/12/43 Fletcher was flying with the crew of Martin Tashjian newly arrived) to check them 
out on local landmarks and procedure. Sgt.Whitton & Sgt Reid were also on the flight. There was a 
landing crash on the field and Fletcher,Whitton & Reid received injuries. However,it is 
believed that Whitton did not fly further combat duty.

The flight was in Fletcher's A/C 42 39791,Fletcher's Castoria,which was totally destroyed.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Local Orientation Flight DATE: 1943-12-04  
AIRCRAFT: 42-39791 (Fletcher's Castoria) CAUSE: Pilot Error  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 1516