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MACR

MACR PILOT: 1Lt William T. Fitzroy O-755539

MACR #: 07809

Fiche #: 02856

Organization

Location: AAF Station #139

Group: 100th Bomb Gp (H) AAF

Squadron: 350th BS

Command: VIII AF

Detachment:

Detail

Departure/Base: AAF Station #139

Initial Course: E

Intended Destination: Merseburg

Mission Type: Operational

Weather

Weather: 6 - 8/10 Cloud Cover

Give

Date: July 29, 1944

Time: 10:21

Location: 5107N 1142E

Specify: Last Sighted

Confirmed or believed reason for loss

Loss due to: Enemy aircraft

Other reason for loss:

Aircraft

Serial: 42-31537

Type: B-17

Series: G

Engines

Model: R-1820-97

A: 43-61819

B: 41-22366

C: SW-003101

D: 43-57377

Weapons

A: 683113

B: 683248

C: 650665

D: 647357

E: 889056

F: 589746

G: 889056

H: 337764

I: 650753

J: 647677

L: 888140

Persons are listed as

Casualty Type: Battle casualty

Number of persons on board

Crew: 9

Pass: 0

Total: 9

Personnel

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PositionNameRankSerial
P1
P2William T. Fitzroy1LtO-755539
CPRobert Dykeman1LtO-755534
NAV (N)Floyd F. Hartman2LtO-808050
BOM (B)Floyd O. DouglasTSgt32383566
RADCarmine V. RobertoTSgt15322527
ENGIra L. ArnoldTSgt38338409
BALBernard L. SpraggSSgt33301833
WG (W)Frank W. BuschmeierSgt35683437
WG (W)
TG (T)Joseph P. O'DonnelklSgt12085108

Persons who are believed to have last knowledge of aircraft

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NameKnowledgeRankSerial
Leslie E. KassebaumLast sighted2LtO-75691
George S. AllenLast sighted2LtO-753839

Personnel who are believed to have survived

Reason: Any other reason

Other: None

Eyewitness description of crash

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Last NameFirst nameReport
"No specific information concerning the loss of this A/C is available. The leader of this squadron suffered flak damage before the target and jettisoned his bombs. The formation broke up and all A/C became stragglers and were all lost, presumably to enemy fighters after passing over the target of opportunity (TOA)" ..pw
No DataLt Dykeman, T/Sgt Arnold, Buschmeier and Spragg were from Lt John P. Gibbons crew. O'Donnell from Lt J. M. Shelly crew and of course Fitzroy was the original co-pilot of the Randell T. Chadwick crew when it joined the 100th on 24 Feb 1944. On July 29, 1944, for the second day in a row, B-17's set out for the oil plant at Merseburg. The formation was led by 1st Lt Herbert Howard and Austin Dunlap on a faulty course which went over Leipzig. The 100th "A" Group followed the 390th BG. The formation flew on a southerly course towards Merseburg and was hit in a barrage of extremely heavy flak. In the next few minutes, the low squadron of the 100th Lead was hard hit, losing 5 of 6 B-17's. Crewmembers believe FW 190's and ME 109's were radioing the formation’s altitude while flying in their own flak. The "A" Group dropped wide; "B" Group hit the target. The entire low squadron of the 100th "A" Group failed to return. There was a 6 8/10th's cloud cover at the target. The lead A/C was hit by flak before the target causing a formation breakup and many stragglers. All were presumable lost to enemy fighters after passing over targets of opportunity. Witnesses: Lt Kasselbaum and Lt George Allen reported Lt Fitzroy's A/C blowing up after being hit. German records indicate that 5 bodies were recovered. EYEWITNESS: "No specific information concerning the loss of this A/C is available. The formation leader for this squadron suffered flak damage prior to the target and was forced to jettison his bombs. This may have led to the breaking up of the formation for all became more of less stragglers. All were lost, presumably to E/A after passing over the target of opportunity. " Floyd F. Hartman Hartman's statement also indicates S/Sgt Carmine V. Roberto was killed before the crew bailed out over Leipzig at approx. 1045 hours. Lt Fitzroy stated that he had seen 12 Americans Hanged and shot by Germans on the 29th of July, 1944. Lt Dykeman, T/Sgt Douglas and T/Sgt Ira Arnold were among them

Description of search effort

Detail: No search made.

Preparing Officer

Prepared by: WALTER G. BURKE 1st Lt. Air Corps Assistant Adjutant

Date prepared: August 1, 1944