COMMENTS & NOTES
DATE: 11 August 1944 418th Sqdn. A/C #42-6087 "ROYAL FLUSH"
MISSION: VILLACOUBLAY FRANCE MACR #8074, Micro-fiche 2964
2nd Lt Alf Aske,Jr. P KIA
2nd Lt Charles S.Barber CP POW/ESCAPED (from Hospital in Paris along with Nekvasil with the help of French Resistence)
2nd Lt Gordon E.Davis NAV KIA
2nd Lt James D.Magargee BOM POW
Sgt Charles M.Nekvasil ROG POW/ESCAPED (from Hospital in Paris along with Lt Barber with the help of French Resistence)
Sgt Robert F.Williams TTE KIA
Sgt Norman C.Fernaays BTG EVADEE
Sgt Armando F.Consorto WG POW
Sgt Stuart R.Allison TG KIA
Missions of Lt Aske Crew: taken from Thompsons MACR Reports:
Aug 2, 1944 Tergnier
Aug 3, 1944 Troyes
Aug 4, 1944 Hamburg
Aug 5, 1944 Magdeburg
Aug 8, 1944 St Sylvain,
Aug 11, 1944 Villacoublay (shot down by flak)
They were flying Number 2 in Low Squadron.
For a very gripping and highly interesting story of this crew's final
mission see "THE BLOODY HUNDREDTH" by H.O.Varian p.103. Also see p.324 of
"THE MIGHTY EIGHTY" by Freeman.
This crew was on its fifth mission but the 75th mission for the historic
From MACR: Information given to U.S.A Intelligence Officer by L'Abbe Masquelez,
Cure de St.Francais, De Sales Su Hant, Clamart.
"On 11 Aug.,1944 a B-17 was badly crippled by anti-aircraft fire and shot down
but before it crashed it exploded in the air. The Cure stated that before it
exploded,French civilians counted nine men who parachuted from the plane. All
of these men were shot at by the Germans as they descended and two of them are
known to have been killed. All the others are believed to have been taken prisoners
by the Germans.
When the plane crashed to the ground it is believed that two men still remained
in the craft. The reason for this belief is that the Commanding Officer of a
nearby German Airfield brought four American bodies to the Cure for burial.
Two of these bodies were burned beyond recognition while the other two were not.
All four men had been stripped of all identification by the Germans. The German
officer gave the Cure a slip of paper bearing the name of 2nd Lt.Alf Aske,Jr.
0-764584 and indicated which was his body. No information was given as to the
identity of the other three bodies.
French civilians in the community took up a collection for the burial of the
four Americans and they were placad in the Clamart Cemetary. All four graves are
clearly marked and the one of Alf Aske bears his name.
Before the men were buried their bodies were measured for their height. One body
measured lm68,the other 1m76. The third was too badly burned to be measured.Nor
was the body of Lt.Aske measured.On Lt.Aske's finger there was a ring with the
The Cure also turned over to the investigators from this group, an emergency
package found near the wreckage of the craft a short time after the crash. The
package contained 2,000 francs, a silk map of France, a hack saw blade and a small
compass. It was found by Lyvas Alexine, 3 Rue L'acvetelle Prolongee, Paris No.15.
The Cure stated that the French people in the vicinity believed that all the men
could have parachuted from the plane, as it circled around befote exploding. They
believe that the men who remained in the plane sacrificed their lives in an effort
to bring the plane down in an open area away from the town so that homes or lives
would not be impaired.
The Royal Flush and a French Friend
by Charles M. Nekvasil
Chuck Nekvasil was a member of the crew of the ill-fated "Royal Flush." His account of the B-17’s last mission and the story of how Leon Croulebois’ life became entwined with the lives of the "Flush’s" crew, makes one of the great stories of the 100th, as a token of its appreciation, the Group brought Leon, as its guest, to the Milwaukee Reunion in 1973
Horace L. Varian
On his twelfth birthday, a French boy watched as a B-17 was shot down near his grandparent’s house in a suburb of Paris. It was August 11, 1944, and Leon Cruouebois couldn’t have known that he would play a historic role in the lives and deaths of the crew of that B-17, the 100th Group’s "Royal Flush."
As he came to maturity, Leon could not forget what he had seen that day. Through letters to government officials and countless hours of personal inquiry, he pieced together what had happened after Royal Flush crashed. He learned that four members of the crew were killed and that the others were taken prisoner, but battled their way to freedom. He was determined that those who lost their lives over his city, Clamart, have a distinguished burial. Much time and inquiry was required to even learn their names. In 1969 Leon set work with the city fathers to have a new burial site marked by a monument and dedicated in a impressive ceremony. He worked with a marble-smith on the monument’s design. Photographs of each of the crew members were encased in porcelain and affixed to the stone.
Chuck Nekvasil tells of his original contact with Leon Croulebois:
"The Croulebois saga began in November of 1967 when a registered letter sent to an address we had lived before I went into the service was delivered to our hone in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. It was from Leon Croulebois."
"Somewhat leery of this correspondence, I wrote a non-committal letter to Leon in English. Back came an 18 page letter detaining the shootdown as he remembered it, with a pencil sketch showing the plane spiraling and chutes leaving it. The detail was perfect and as I remembered it. Drew Willingham of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, himself and escapee, had been in Paris visiting his resistance helpers and had been written up in a local paper. Croulebois wrote him at Lt. Drew Willingham, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the letter was delivered. Willingham wrote his congressman, who searched Air Force files and came up with known names and addresses of the crew of the ship which crashed just about a mile and a half from the house where Leon was at the attic window."
"From that point on, letters came thick and fast. Photos of the funeral, taken under the noses of German guards came, letters from the funeral director who handled the funeral, contact with the Commissionaire of Police, now are valued friends, even the death certificates of our comrades, and papers attesting to their burial at Petit Cemetery just twenty-five years after the original burial of members of the crew. No shootdown has had more thorough coverage than Leon was able to unearth,"
Chuck returned to Paris for the ceremony at the Clamart Cemetery just twenty-five years after the crash. Something of the detailed planning, the dignity and affection between the people of the two countries emerges from Chuck’s letter, portions of which follow:
"We arrived at the communal cemetery at Clamart at 9:40 a.m., detouring along the way to pick up Madame Traversac, a Red Cross officer, who was an eyewitness to the crash of the Royal Flush and who had worked in the Resistance with famed Colonel Remy. At 9:45 the two floral pieces we had ordered were delivered and carried ahead to the site of the ceremony. At 10:15 the French Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps arrived, assembled, and marched off to muffled drumbeats.
"Additional busses now pulled up. Here was the Mayor of Clamart, City Council and members of the official party. Colonel William Bailey and his adjutant from the U.S. Embassy arrived with an Air Force photographer. The Paris Post of the American Legion now marched up with its flags. Here was Monsieur Jean Laffray. President des Anciens Pilotes deChasses; Colonel Remy, leader of the entire French Resistance Movement during the war; Monsieur Leopold Morchoisne, president du Soubenir Clamartois, the city’s historical group; LePere de Cavarley, a Catholic Priest who assisted in the funeral arrangements for our lads; and Monsieur and Madamme Braconnier of Meudon, the couple who hid Norman Fernaays after he tumbled off the roof of their home on parachuting from the stricken craft. Promptly at 10:29 the Chief of Protocol took his place at the head of the line, and with the official party leading off the parade to the Carre Militaire, that portion of the cemetery reserved for graves of French Army, Navy, and Air Force members.
"Past the chapel we made our way. The muffled drums picked up the cadence as the entourage entered the Carre Militaire. American flags were flanked by the French Tricolors. A crown of nearly two thousand was gathered respectfully some distance from the Carre. The wall of the cemetery just behind the site of the monument was lined with flowers. I was told there were nearly two hundred offerings. From a distance the French bulge Call to Attention was sounded. The party wheeled smartly to a position in front of the monument. I saw it now clearly for the first time. It was set on a granite base, which is exactly the size of the four graves in which Alf, Bud, Stuart, and Bob were buried.
"Mayor Fontaineau spoke of the four who came in peace, for peace – of men who journey to foreign lands to gain freedom for those oppressed. He spoke especially of Alf Aske, a young man with much responsibility was airplane commander; of Gordon Davis, whose deft mathematics guided the plane safely over the target sparing French lives; of Stuart Allison, whose live ebbed at the side of the road, where his parachute brought him down; of Robert Williams, whose body rode the Royal Flush to earth and was entombed in the bomb-bay. He spoke of lasting Franco-American friendship, of the numerous times when America had come to the aid of a beleaguered France, of young people born in Free France, thanks to men – to boys – like these.
"The drums rolled, the bugles sounded Roll Call. The Mayor called each name and each time the French flag dipped in salute. Following each name the chief of protocol responded, "Mont Pour La Liberte" – Died for Liberty. So, 25 years later, Clamart had honored by name the members of the Royal Flush’s crew who were interred in its soil on August 14, 1944, three as ‘Aviateurs Americians Inconnus,’ Alf was the only one they knew by name at the time of the crash."
Chuck Nekvasil now returns to the events of the day of the crash, August 11, 1944. He and several others bailed out of the Royal Flush as it circled to earth.
"I was captured by SS troopers less than 15 minutes after I hit down on a cobblestone street in Meudon. The ship came down in a field about 2 miles west and south of our target, Villacoublay Aerodrome. Chick Barber, our co-pilot, and I were reunited in a German ambulance which carried me from the converted orphanage serving as a Luftwaffe Hospital to Beaujon Hospital in Clichy, a northern suburb of Paris. The SS Colonel who apparently was in charge of the hospital came around to the prison ward and told us he had bad news for us – "Tonight you move to Germany." RAF Squadron Leader Gerry Philbin and I spoke good French and we told the French help at the hospital what was going to happen. The ambulances and trucks were lined up outside the hospital to take us out, when a gun battle began at 7 p.m. The FFI attacked the hospital. One of our prisoners slashed the throat of Willie, our lone German guard on the seventh floor, got the keys, and we all took off. The Germans had made us dress earlier in anticipation of the move, so we were clothed in what remained of our flying gear. Having lost my flying boots when bailing out (they were snapped off my feet when the chute opened) I had to wear a pair several sizes too small.
When the first of our group came down to the second landing, the Germans in the hospital lobby opened up on them and we had several killed and wounded. Several others took off down corridors and whether they made it safely I don’t know. Our group was saved when one of the braver ones made it back to the rear of the hospital, secured a Tommy gun from the FFI outside and came charging in the front door of the hospital, killing the small group of German soldiers firing at us on the landing. This was the break we needed and we raced out the front door, made a sharp right past a cemetery and headed south. Believe it or not, we did nine miles – more because of zigzagging. Whenever we heard firing, we ducked through yards, over fences, you name it. I do recall passing very near the Arc de Triomphe where four German tanks were racing their motors and creating a devil of a racket.
"How we got over the bridge, none of us knows. But we did wind up on the south side of Paris with a handful of FFI in the lead and two on each flank. We saw German lorries and armored cars racing up and down the streets just before we headed into the narrow little street which serves as the entrance to Pitie Hospital, a complex of 15 building with a high stone wall surrounding it. When we counted noses there were 25 of us left. We hid in the caves of the hospital. The Germans knew we were there because all day and night tanks would lob shells into the complex. We lost no one, although several French nurses and a doctor were killed because they walked past a window at night in their white uniforms.
"When the insurrection broke out on Saturday, August 26, we first became aware that our hospital was indeed an FFI strongpoint. I never saw so many Frenchmen with tricolor arm bands. When fighting approached the hospital they would arm themselves with Molotov cocktails and surge out into the streets. We were given very small handguns and were asked to join the fighting. One incident comes to mind: several Frenchmen, apparently sympathetic to the Germans or Vichy French, shot at us in the courtyard of the hospital. The FFI raced across the street to the roof of the apartment complex from which they were firing. A few minutes later, there was several shots and the FFI came to the parapet holding up dead bodies which they unceremoniously dropped down into the street. When a force of Germans apparently got across the Pont d’Italie near the hospital we were all rounded up to become attackers. We did some sporadic shooting at the running gray figures near us, but I doubt we hit anyone. The FFI apparently held, because at sunset we all came back to the hospital cave and did not venture our again that night.
"On the following Wednesday, we were hit by low-flying German fighters which dropped jelly fire bombs, setting one building afire. There was much gunfire about. Chick (Lt. Charles Barber) and I, with about six other prisoners, including Gerry Philbin, went out through the morgue of the hospital, into a park, and out a main street, past barricades. We ran about six miles, usually coming through an area where there had just been a fire fight. Buses and trucks were burning. Two motorcyclists, wearing the uniform of the French 2nd Armored Division, came tearing down the road. We were taken back to Pitie as the safest place around. The following morning ambulances led by the two cyclists came to get us and took us to a field hospital near Orleans. Three days later, after many scares (a German attack came within two miles of us), we were airlifted form the airport at Orleans by c-47’s to Exeter, England, where we were promptly put in another hospital."
Chuck concludes his account of the burial ceremony in 1969:
"Throughout the years since, the people of Clamart have tended the graves, even after the bodies were exhumed and flown back to the States. Today, the monuments stands over the site of the four graves and every week there are fresh flowers there. On May 30 and on July 4, wreaths are placed there by the city fathers. On August 14, the local fleuriste, who has a standing order for a wreath (our crew maintains a bank account for this purpose) to be placed on the monument at precisely 1220 hours, picks up the wreath, pins her resistance medals on herself and her aides, and a small parade enters the cemetery where she tenderly places the wreath on the monument."
My Dad and the Royal Flush
A Visit back in Time
Lt. Col. Pete Magargee USAF (ret)
This past summer I was able to fulfill a long held desire to visit the site where the Royal Flush went down and meet our family friend who witnessed it all, Leon Croulebois. My wife and I visited Europe for our 30th Anniversary, ending the visit in Paris where Leon took us on a tour of Clamart, France (crash site) and the surrounding area.
On the 11th of August, 1944, just after my father (Lt. Col. James Magargee USAF ret) as the bombardier released it’s payload from the Royal Flush over Villacoublay on the Stuka dive bombers, it took a direct anti-aircraft hit between the number 3 engine and fuselage. The ensuing fire and additional flack hits disabled the damaged aircraft to the degree that it went into a left descending turn out of the formation towards the ground and Clamart. What occurred next is well documented in Ray Bowden’s book, “Planes Names & Bloody Noses” page 210. My father at some point bailed out of the burning aircraft, was captured, and by the 18th of August, was in a German POW camp.
My main interest was to visit with the man who witnessed it all and as an Air Force pilot myself to find out what happened to my dad. Like some of the WWII generation my father was very quiet on the entire subject, holding back on what occurred, feeling that the crew who died that day were of much more importance than his story and himself. My dad took most of the information with him when he passed away in 1989. In 1982 my family and I were about to make a PCS move to Germany, for a tour of duty in the C-130, my mom was eagerly waiting to visit us in Germany. But dad told me before we left he would not visit us there, because he still held very strong feelings about WWII, that day, and the Germans. I had to find out why and my hope was to see what Leon could show and tell us about the story of the crew of the Royal Flush on that fateful day.
We met Leon at our hotel in Paris; he then took us to Clamart on a tour back in history to that day in August of 1944. He made it so real; it was a very emotional event for him and us. I found him to be a warm caring individual who has made it his life long duty to care for the memorial and memory of the crew. He was a young teen (12) when it occurred and it was evident to us that day did have a dramatic impact on his life.
Leon first took us by car to Clamart to see his boyhood home. It is much different there today verse sixty years ago when it was a small village south of Paris. It was from this house he watched all the events that developed that day so many years ago. We then went next to the cemetery in Clamart where four of the crewmembers are buried and the memorial to the crew is located. The first thing that struck me was that the cemetery was pristine and beautifully kept. We then visited the memorial to the crew. It is in my option a beautiful, well-maintained memorial. Any family member of the crew who has not had an opportunity see it can rest assured that it is a very dignified beautiful memorial to the memory of the crew and truly displays the feelings of how the citizens of Clamart felt about the crew of the Royal Flush.
The time we spent there was the most emotional for Leon, that day as he talked about the crew and the ones who died that day. Tears came to our eyes as he asked me to look at the ages of the fallen crewmembers. My dad was one of the older crewmembers having turned twenty-one on the 31st of July; most were in their late teens. We left and there was little doubt that the memorial to the crew has been a labor of love for Leon through out his life. He took great pride in the fact that he took part in making it happen for the crew. It was evident to me that the people of Clamart wanted to honor the crew for taking action in saving lives of the many people on the ground.
We then next went to the Sts. Peter and Paul’s church in Clamart, where the Germans had left the deceased crewmembers along side its exterior wall. Leon related to us how the town took up a collection of money to bury the fallen crewmembers in a dignified manor and in my view they did.
Lastly, Leon took us to the crash site. At that time it was a wheat field near a forest, it is now a very busy street in the suburbs of Paris. Important for me to hear from Leon is what happened to the aircraft and the crew. Leon then told me what occurred as he watched it some sixty years ago. According to him, the aircraft was an outside wingman of a V-formation. It was hit and started a descending wide left turn. The several crewmembers that bailed out in the western part of the circle were able to escape and evade. The Germans captured the crew that bailed out about half way in the turn toward Clamart. The Germans killed the crew that came down near the village. Now I was always under the impression that they died while they were in their chutes in descent. According to Leon, this was the second most emotional part of our visit; the German anti-aircraft gunners turned their guns on their chutes, shredding them with ground impact causing death. I pressed him on this issue a little, he was sure that was what occurred because he was so close to it when it happened and could see it well. We then talked about what occurred to the aircraft in it final seconds. Some accounts indicate the aircraft exploded just prior to ground impact. I wanted to hear what happened from a pilot’s perceptive. Was it in controlled flight and what did the last few seconds look like? While on active duty I was a flight safety officer and mishap investigator and wanted to rely on some of my background and his witness to piece together what occurred. So I did want him to give me some details of its descent and the final seconds. Some recounts indicate that the pilot and navigator were still on board at impact. In Bowden’s work, he indicates that the navigator died when the aircraft took the anti-aircraft hit and Lt Aske bailed out. But according to Leon, Lt. Aske (pilot) survived the initial hit and was flying the aircraft through out the descent. When he described the bodies at the church that they buried, two were severely burned, one was Aske. The description that Leon gave me was of an aircraft in controlled flight all the way to the end. He was persistent and adamant that ground impact caused the final explosion of the aircraft. I had him describe to me what occurred in the final seconds, he stated that it went into the wheat field then exploded. He stated that it was in a nose low left turn, which became somewhat more pronounced just prior to ground impact, all consistent with controlled flight and power reduction for landing. He told me that this is how many of the other residents of Clamart saw it and one of the reasons a memorial was made in the crew’s honor. They feel strongly that Lt. Aske had saved many lives that day on the ground and stayed with the aircraft to the end. In my view, no matter how someone views the final seconds, it was evident that the pilot stayed with the aircraft to the end and it was in controlled flight to the very end, staying away from Clamart, allowing time for the crew to bailout. We then visited the target site, which was an airfield in the south part of Paris.
I did learn many things that day. First, that everyone on board that aircraft was a hero. That the aircraft commander did what any good commander would do, he got his crew out of the aircraft and if Leon’s description is accurate he was trying to crash land the aircraft and keep it away from the village. That the people of Clamart treated the fallen crew with dignity and honor. And they felt so strongly about it that they built a memorial to the crew in their honor. Lastly, what the pilot of the Royal Flush did is what any good commander would do for his crew and well above and beyond, this is what Medal of Honor actions are all about although not pursued by the US Army Air Force in this case that I am aware of.
Now as for my dad, I learned that he was a young man who was very fortunate that day to have survived. I can now see why he may have wanted to keep this one close to his vest, four of his best friends died that day and Lt. Aske’s actions saved his life. He went on and survived hunting hurricanes in the Atlantic in the 50s and a war in Vietnam in the 60s, but that day in August of 1944 defined his adult life and had great influence on the road in life I traveled.
About the Author
Pete Magargee is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel who spent twenty years on active duty as an Command Pilot; instructing in the T-37B and operational in the C-130E/H. His last active duty tour was with the AF Inspector General and Safety Center, where he was a division chief overseeing the AF Flight Safety program for all multi-engine Air Force aircraft. He is also a USC trained Flight Safety Officer and Mishap investigator. In retirement he has started his tenth year as an educator in secondary education in the public school system in Texas.
Subj: Re: 100thBG Feedback Form
Date: 6/18/2003 9:28:53 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Hello, and thankyou for your prompt response. I am writing to you and wrote on behalf of the pilot (Alf Aske)'s sister. It was her brother piloting the "Royal Flush." I spoke to her this am and relayed the info that you have sent. I believe she has the medals and didn't know what they were for. According to the info that I've seen and passed on to her 2nd Lt Aske had a ring with R.A.F. (mentioned with what was found), do you have any idea why he would have had an R.A.F. ring? She appreciates the information and said that she didn't know many of the items that I had found.
She has also said that she has some pictures and will try to find them--I will e-mail them to you when I get them. I think that one of the pictures was of a small group, and she might have a picture of her brother, although she is not sure where it was taken.
She did mention that Sgt Charles M. Nekvasil was on the "Royal Flush" and survived and might still be alive and that a long time ago there might have been some communications between Sgt Nekvasil and the family after the war. I am trying to find a location for the books that you have mentioned. Thankyou again for your help, and any additional assistance that you might be able to give would also be appreciated.
Subj: Re: John F. Callahan RCAF WWII
Date: 6/23/2003 6:25:08 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
I don't have any info regarding Aske. Some RCAF cards are missing so ther's
a slight possibility yet that he served in the RCAF. On the other hand, he
may have enlisted directly into the RAF avoiding RCAF training.
Many aircrew in the RCAF designed/purchased RCAF rings. They weren't issued
by the RCAF. I suspect it was the same in the RAF - a girlfriend could have
purchased one for him etc. Usually they engraved their name inside the ring.
If the lady has Aske's service number, this would determine if he ever
served in the RCAF/RAF. For example, many writers (myself included!!) have
spread the false fact that Don Gentile trained with the RCAF. I scoured RCAF
records - no Don Gentile.
The simple answer would have been to check his service number (112302).
This is an RAF number. RCAF numbers began with an R or C. For example,
Dick Carey's RCAF # C2948. 4 FG ace Pierce Mckennon's was R98281. When
they were commissioned as officers the R changed to a J along with a
Subj: Feedback: from 100thbg.com
Date: 7/30/2005 9:40:46 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
SUBJECT: 100th BG Form Submission -- General Feedback
TO: Mike Faley
PURPOSE: Submit information
COMMENTS: I have submitted previous photos of Lt. Alf Aske from his sister, and I see that they have been included in the history of Lt Alf Aske. His sister said that his name on the birth certificate was "Alf" and not "Alfred". Whether it would ever be possible to correct this I don't know. You have included photos that I have sent you on your website, and thought that you might be interested in a photo of a piece that was recovered from the wreckage of the "Royal Flush" at the site. I can take a picture of the piece that his sister has (to me it looks like part of the valve system of the engine, but am not sure). In the past she has been pleased that I have been able to contact you with this imformation. I had mentioned this piece in previous communication with you. If you are interested, please let me know and I will photograph the piece and send it to you. She mentioned Charles Nekvasil, and I tried to find a way to get in touch with him for her with no luck.
If you have an interest in the information that I mentioed please let me know. Also if you have a way of helping me get in touch with Charles Nekvasil for his sister I am sure that she would be appreciative. Thanks again, you are doing a great job with this site. I think in the past a long long time ago there might have been some contact with Charles Nekvasil. I believe that the piece that I mentioned was presented to her parents on behalf of her brother. I will convey any of your responses to her, thank you again, I am just a friend of Lt Alf Aske's sister. God Bless, Jerry
Alf Aske, Jr. was born in New Jersey on July 7, 1924, a son of Alf, Sr., and Bertha Mossige Aske. The US Census 1930 lists the family as living in Irvington, New Jersey. No other records of Aske's early life have been located, but sources state he was married to a woman named Ruckett, although her first name nor date of marriage is given. Aske enlisted as a private in the Army Air Forces at Roswell AAF, New Mexico on January 24, 1943. His enlistment papers show he had completed 3 years of high school, and was a machinist.
He was selected for flight duty, and assigned to pilot training school. After completing this course, he was commissioned, awarded wings, and sent to crew training. He deployed to England in July, 1944. He flew 5 missions with his crew, the first on August 2, 1944.
On August 11, 1944, the crew was selected as part of a bombing raid on the airfields at Villacoublay, France. Nearing the target, the formation came under intense and accurate fire from flak batteries. Aske's aircraft took several direct hits, wounding him, the co-pilot, and engineer. The aircraft suffered mage damage, so Aske gave the order to bail out. According to eyewitnesses, nine men jumped, but Aske stayed to guide the plane away from populated areas. These witnesses also state that two crewmen were found in the wreckage, burned beyond recognition, while two others were shot by German troops while making the parachute descent. Four bodies were buried in the Clamart cemetery by the townspeople who took up a collection to do so. Four of the crew were captured, but escaped from a German hospital. One other evaded with the help of French personnel.
After the war, Lt Aske's body was retrieved and buried in the Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly, New Jersey, where he lies in Section E, Site 2053. The citizens of Clamart erected a memorial marker to the 4 airmen who died here.
Lt Alf Aske, Jr. was performing duties as First Pilot on B-17G #42-6087, named "Royal Flush," assigned to the 418th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 8074 contains details on the loss. Crew rosters and personnel files show the crew was:
2 Lt Alf Aske, Jr. p
2 Lt Charles B. Barber c-p
2 Lt Gordon E. Davis nav
2 Lt James D. Magargee bomb
Sgt Robert F. Williams eng/tt gun
Sgt Charles M. Nekvasil r/o
Sgt Norman C. Fernaays btg
Sgt Armando F. Consorto wg
Sgt Stuart R. Allison tail gun
Lts Aske and Davis were recovered from the wreckage; Sgts Williams and Allison were shot while parachuting.