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MACR PILOT: 2Lt John G. Gossage O-798486

MACR #: 00778

Fiche #: 00257


Location: AAF Station #139

Group: 100th Bomb Gp (H) AAF

Squadron: 349th BS

Command: VIII AF



Departure/Base: AAF Station #139

Initial Course: 230

Intended Destination: Practice Mission

Mission Type: Practice


Weather: Overcast


Date: September 24, 1943

Time: 16:30

Location: 5325 - 6500E

Specify: Forced down

Confirmed or believed reason for loss

Loss due to: Enemy aircraft

Other reason for loss:


Serial: 42-30259

Type: B-17

Series: F


Model: R-1820-97

A: 43-60133

B: 43-60382 (?)

C: 43-60??8

D: 43-57395


A: 144513

B: 384286

C: 494884

D: 212758

E: 494502

F: 435250

G: 364086

H: 304467

I: 323627

J: 142866

L: 365?02?

Persons are listed as

Casualty Type: Battle casualty

Number of persons on board

Crew: 10

Pass: 0

Total: 10


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P2John G. Gossage2LtO-798486
CPWilliam Spencer Grier2LtO-681395
NAV (N)J. Ward Dalton2LtO-673491
BOM (B)Theodore J. Don2LtO-676883
RADMitchell W. GillenTSgt32391944
ENGWilliam S. HumphreyTSgt16043348
BALFrancis J. DeCoomanSSgt36264332
WG (W)Ralph ShulteSSgt35339324
WG (W)Clyde O LovellSSgt34137223
TG (T)Bruce E. AlshouseSSgt17051757

Persons who are believed to have last knowledge of aircraft

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Jack R. SwartoutLast sightedCaptO-728936
William G. LakinLast sighted1LtO-740930
Maruice R. BeattyLast sighted2LtO-797954

Personnel who are believed to have survived

Reason: Any other reason

Other: Survivors picked up. Seriously wounded died in hospital.

Eyewitness description of crash

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Last NameFirst nameReport
A/C #259 went down with #3 engine on fire at 1620 hours. This aircraft was heading west when last seen. No chutes were seen (Capt. Jack Swartout) One B-17 of the lead squadron with #3 engine on fire peeled to the right at 10,000 feet and started down under the 6,000 feet cloud color. (Lt. Larken)
No DataThere are two (2) MACRs regarding John Gossage: On 24/9/43 a rather sudden practice mission was scheduled and it was discovered that this crew's regularly assigned A/C was still loaded with bombs from a mission scrubbed earlier that day. Another A/C was assigned the crew and in the rush to take off at the proper time, it was not immediately discovered that the ten machine guns were stored in the nose compartment. While over the North Sea on the practice mission, about 10/15 enemy fighters jumped the formation and left Gossage's ship badly shot up and #3 engine and part of the right wing burning fiercely. Gossage ordered the crew to bail out but he rode the ship to a crash landing in the sea. After about an hour in the water, Gossage, Don, Humphrey, Gillen and Alshouse were picked up by Air-Sea Rescue. Bodies of Schulte & DeCooman were never recovered and their names are inscribed on the Wall Of The Missing at Cambridge, Eng. Bill Grier is buried in the Cambridge Cemetery. On 3/3/44, Gossage flying with a new crew was shot down on a mission to Berlin and became a POW. Sgt. Humphrey, with the crew of R. D. Vollmer, went down on that same mission and became a POW

Description of search effort

Detail: No search made.

Preparing Officer

Prepared by: Claude L. Hosford 1st Lt., AC Personnel Officer

Date prepared: September 25, 1943