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MACR PILOT: Capt John P Ernst O-753979

MACR #: 12046

Fiche #: 04417


Location: AAF Station #139

Group: 100th Bomb Gp (H) AAF

Squadron: 351st BS

Command: VIII AF



Departure/Base: AAF Station #139

Initial Course: E

Intended Destination: Berlin

Mission Type: Operational


Weather: CAVU


Date: February 3, 1945

Time: 11:28

Location: 5231N-1323E

Specify: Last Sighted

Confirmed or believed reason for loss

Loss due to: Enemy anti-aircraft

Other reason for loss: Ground to air rocket


Serial: 44-8379

Type: B-17

Series: G


Model: R-1820-97

A: Sw-037063

B: SW-037012

C: SW-024319

D: SW-024846


A: 1312267

B: 1312272

C: 1312338

D: 1311862

E: 1318667

F: 1318404

G: 1311699

H: 1312106




Persons are listed as

Casualty Type: Battle casualty

Number of persons on board

Crew: 11

Pass: 0

Total: 11


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P1Robert RosenthalMajO-792349
P2John P ErnstCaptO-753979
CPArthur L. Jacobson1LtO-76856pp2
NAV (N)Louis C. Chappel1LtO-2064216
BOM (B)Eugene E. Lockhart1LtO-766816
RADCharles H. WebberTSgt17063224
ENGDugger C. WestTSgt39295642
WG (W)Warren WintersSSgt39140510
WG (W)
TG (T)George A. WindischSSgt37722999
Radar NavigatorRobert H. Stropp1LtO-388339
Command NavigatorStewart J. Gillison1LtO-708811

Persons who are believed to have last knowledge of aircraft

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Edward H. HansenLast sighted1LtO-818139

Personnel who are believed to have survived

Reason: Parachutes were used


Eyewitness description of crash

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Last NameFirst nameReport
GEORGE D. ALLEN Capt., Air Corps Assistant Adjutant Summary of eye-witness reports: Aircraft 44-8379 was hit by flak, reported to have been a ground rocket a few seconds before bombs away. Aircraftcontinued on bomb run and dropped bombs. Fire producing a dense white smoke was seen to break out in the fuselage, bomb bay, and coclpit. Pilot opened side window and informed the deputy lead to take over on VHF. Aircraft headed NE for a few moments flying level while six of the crew bailed out. Three came from the waist or tail and the others through the bomb bay. A/C headed down burning and starting to spin as it entered the undercast.
Taps 1993: John Ernst last month in California, as S. J. Passen put, "Made his final flight to the Great Airfield in the sky." John was from the 351st and with Robert Rosenthal as command pilot, led the entire 8th Air Force on the 3 Feb 45 maximum effort to Berlin. Shot down over Berlin with what may have been a ground to air rocket seven of the crew became POWs, with one lynched by German civilians. Three were picked up by Russian front line units. As John left the plane his leg struck the jagged edge of the bomb bay doors cutting it severely. It was later amputated by the Germans and soon there after he was returned to Allied control. "Rosie" said of John Ernst, "I regard him as one of the most skillful, courageous and dedicated men I ever servered with." This is no small praise, coming as it did, from the 100th beloved Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal, a man who flew 52 missions in the 100th starting in

Description of search effort

Detail: No search made.

Preparing Officer

Prepared by: GEORGE D. ALLEN Capt., Air Corps Assistant Adjutant

Date prepared: February 8, 1945