Accident and Missing Air Crew Reports




Sources: AAIR, USAAFDATA, MACR, WWII AAF Casualty List, NARA (see resources page).

Squadron Crew Year Month Role Name Rank Serial Status
5725721134412NBerens, John R.1/Lt.O1575734KIA
SOURCE: MACR 15984, 44-67881. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Assigned to 572BS, 391BG, 9AF USAAF. Transferred to 1st Pathfinder Squadron (Prov), 9AF USAAF. Shot down by fighters leading 397BG to Ahrweiler, Germany in B-26 44-67881. Killed in Action (KIA). 23-Dec-44 MACR 15984. (source: AAM - No records for Lantz and Berens were found on the original website, so it's possible they were assigned to the 1st PFS from other groups.
572572108432NBrooks, William C., Jr.1/Lt.O669002POW
SOURCE: MACR 07852, 42-107673. 8 Aug 1944
NOTES: target: Anizy RR Bridge, France. Witness statements imply that Erickson was flying Box 2, lead flight, No.6. His aircraft was hit by FLAK between the right engine nacelle and the fuselage and the right engine began smoking furiously. A large hole with jagged pieces of wing sticking up was also seen. The aircraft lost speed and altitude and all crew members bailed out and survived. The report seems to show that only Brooks, and Cochran were captured.
572572116449NBrown, Kenneth T.1/Lt.O718071
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34427. 24 Feb 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73. On 24th February 1945, 1st Lieutenant Bonde returned to base in a B-26G10 aircraft, AF No. 43-34427, after completing a combat bombing mission. Return to the field was made after dark. Lieutenant Bonde, after attempting a landing on which he bounced and went around, made a second approach to the field and made what appeared to be a normal landing. After his ship had rolled about half-way down the runway, the nose gear collapsed and his ship fell forward on its nose. The plane then skidded approximately 75 yards down the runway, went off the left edge of the runway and continued its path for approximately another 150 yards before coming to a stop. Aircraft and both engines are major repair as result of this accident. Upon being questioned, Lieutenant Bonde stated that after wheels were lowered the Selsyn indicator showed the nose gear not locked. The engineer was instructed to check the down-lock visually and, upon his report that the nose gear was down fully, Lieutenant Bonde brought his ship in for a landing. Crew was ordered by pilot to crash-landing positions prior to landing. Mechanical system provided in this type aircraft for activating down-lock was not used. Cause: 100% pilot error. The board finds the pilot in error in not using the mechanical means provided to ensure that his nose gear was properly locked. His ordering the crew to crash-landing positions, although itself a commendable commendable precaution, gives evidence of his uncertainty as to the condition of his ship's nose gear. Recommendations none.
572572102432NCrowder, Allon E.1/Lt.O669010
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95816. 23 Mar 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at Matching/Sta 166. The pilot was approaching, power off, for what appeared to be a normal approach. In flaring out for the landing the pilot changed the altitude of the ship too sharply causing an overload stall and failed to break the stall with power. The ship hit the ground over 100 yards short of the runway with such terrific force that the tail section sheared off between the bomb bay and both landing gears were greatly overstressed, particularly the left in which shear pins in the machined fitting between axel elbow and main strut were sheared off. In rolling to a stop the plane went off the runway even though proper use of brakes might have avoided it and rolled through a pitbed cistern which sheared of the nose wheel with heavy resulting damage to the forward section of the ship, including propellers. Although the cistern was not specifically marked, the yellow diagonal, clearly displayed on the signal panel by flying control, indicated the field was still under construction and that only the hard surface areas were to be used. The committee feels the accident was due 100% to pilot error, about 40% judgement and 60% technique. Recommendations, none.
57257210143NJohnson, Elmer E.2/Lt.O732853
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-24757. 11 May 1943
NOTES: Landing accident due to mechanical fail at MacDill Field, FL.
The pilot made a normal approach to runway 22. He dropped his wheels and flaps and from his testimony, he was satisfied the gear was down and locked in position. The airplane made a normal landing with no excessive strain on the gear. The airplane was on its final roll down runway 22 when suddenly the pilot sensed his right gear folding back into the nacelle or back towards the direction of the nacelle. The excessive strain and weight on the left main gear caused it to also fold back towards the nacelle.
Both main gear folding back let the airplane skid to a stop on its belly.
Statements of the pilots and crew members indicate the gear indicator showed it be down and locked, however, when the right gear mechanism was checked, it was found to be functioning normally and the hydraulic pressure gauge indicated the hydraulic system was functioning normally. Also, when the airplane was lifted to be carried from the runway, the gear mechanism properly locked the gears into place when the weight was taken off. It is possible the gear did fail but in view of the results of the investigation, it is my opinion the gear was not completely down and locked.
The pilot and his crew all stated the gear indicator said down and locked, therefore it is difficult to determine just where to place the responsibility.
It is recommended some warning signal be installed on the B-26C to prevent future accidents of this type.
572572119449NLasser, Joseph R.2/Lt.O718110
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-107808. 8 Mar 1945
NOTES: Take off accident at Roye/A-73. On 8th March 1945, 1st Lieutenant John L. Chatellier was scheduled to take off on a combat bombing mission in a B-26C45 aircraft, AF No. 42-107808. He was to fly lead position in the low flight of the first box. Lieutenant Chatellier began his take off on the left side of the runway, in proper order in formation and at normal interval behind the preceding aircraft. After his ship had rolled approximately half the length of the runway, his left main gear tire was seen to blow out. The ship remained on the runway momentarily and then ran off the runway's left edge. Upon striking the rough terrain adjacent to the runway, the left main gear collapsed and the plane turned about 45 degrees to its left, continuing to slide forward and collapsing its right main and nose gear. Aircraft is complete wreck as result of this accident. Lieutenant Chatellier states that, immediately upon his tire blowing out, he attempted to lift his plane from the runway but that his air speed was not great enough to make this possible. Cause: 100% material failure. The board feels that the pilot's choice of a course of action was a good one, in that blow-out occurred almost exactly at the critical value of take-off speed. The board also does not believe that any other decision on the part of this pilot would have materially affected the final outcome of the accident. Recommendations: none.
573573146458NHanna, Robert C.1/Lt.O732466
SOURCE: MACR 14863, 44-35303. 17 Aug 1945
NOTES: At 06:09, Major Richmond and crew left Marignane, France in A-26C Invader 44-35303 on route to Marrakech. The crew and aircraft were on a ferry mission and returning to the US. At 06:39 after reaching 8,000 feet and levelling off on course the aircraft was seen, by the 2 other aircraft accompanying (#4176 - Massoni and #9560 - MacFarren), to go into vertical dive. Wreckage was later seen floating in the sea south of Marseilles. It was reported that one body was seen floating in the water, and a life raft was dropped. However, when the life raft was later recovered, no survivors were found.