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
572572000449w.unkMacFarren, Donald J.1/Lt.O714732
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: aircraft left Marignane, France on route to Marrakech on ferry mission. Aircraft was seen to go into vertical dive. Wreckage seen floating in sea south of Marseilles.
SOURCE: MACR 14863, 44-35303. 17 Aug 1945
573573122449PAbraham, Clayton S.2/LT.O751078
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34454. 13 Oct 1944
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Roye-Amy/A-73.
On October 13, 1944, Clayton S. Abraham, 2nd Lt, AC, was taxiing to his hardstand after landing from a non-operational flight in B-26G10, AAF #43-34454. Lt. Abraham allowed his attention to be entirely occupied with avoiding bad spots in the perimeter strip, and in doing so failed to pay proper attention to a parked truck. He struck the truck with about six (6) feet of his right wing, resulting in major damage to the aircraft.
573573126449PAbraham, Clayton S.1/Lt.O751078KIA
SOURCE: MACR 11663, 42-107747. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 42-107747 was hit in rear and crew unable to control aircraft. Bovie states that Murphy may have bailed out as he saw another chute above him when he bailed out. Bovie saw the rest of crew in the aircraft wreckage.
57357310843PAdams, Frank B.Capt.O410126POW
SOURCE: MACR 04482, 42-95829. 8 May 1944
NOTES: Target: Bonnieres, France. Adams received direct FLAK hit in his left engine. Bombs were salvoed. 3 parachutes seen leaving from rear of aircraft, 2 from bomb bay. Aircraft appeared to be under control. All crew survived and returned to duty.
573573137448PBaker, Kenneth L.1/Lt.O705098
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-22603. 21 Apr 1945
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Maastricht/Beek (Y-44).

On 21 April 1945, 1st Lt Kenneth L. Baker, was flying an-A-26C25 aircraft, A.F. #43-22603 on an operational mission. While returning from the mission, adverse weather conditions existed at the home base, Lt. Baker lost the home field, because of low ceilings and very poor visibility. He located Y-44, and made a decision to land there. This field is under construction and has no flying control. After landing, Lt Baker had to turn around at end of runway, to proceed to taxi-strip, as there were no strips at end of runway, onto which he could turn. Another aircraft landing behind him, made him taxi directly off the runway, in order to-avoid a collision of two aircraft. In so doing, the right wheel dropped into a hole, causing right prop to dig into the ground.

All three blades of the right prop were bent. One of two bombs, which had hung up, because of faulty shackles, fell, and slightly damaged the bomb-bay doors.

Immediate cause: Taxied into hole with right wheel damaging right prop blades.
Underlying cause: Pilot had to get off rurway to avoid landing aircraft colliding with his aircraft and no taxi strips were available at end of runway.
Responsibility: Airport terrain, one-hundred percent (100%).
Recommendations: None.

573573128448PBaker, Kenneth L.2/Lt.O705098
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34447. 14 Jan 1945
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Roye/Amy (A-73).
573573118432PBarker, Frederick E.2/Lt.O738331
573573118444X (P)Walker, Hugh H.1/Lt.O670677
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95801. 24 Aug 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at RAF Friston.
On 24 August 1944, at about 1615, Lieutenant Frederick E. Barker filed a clearance for a ferry trip to Friston Air Field. Previously, flying control at AAF Station 166 had called flying control at Friston and they reported the field in good condition and cleared us for a B-26 landing there. On arriving at Friston the pilot contacted flying control and was cleared for an immediate landing. Even though there was intermittent precipitation in the area; it was impossible for the pilot to ascertain the condition of the field from the air, and the slippery, soggy field was not reported to the pilot by flying control. A good landing was reported by the crew, however, there was not enough traction on the grass field to stop the B-26 at the end of the runway. In the opinion of the committee the cause for the accident would be considered entirely on the judgement of flying control. There are no recommendations.

The statement by 2/Lt. John J. Reynolds states:
1. On 24 August 1944 at about 1615, we were circling Friston air field. I, as co-pilot, contacted the tower for landing instructions and received them. We were to touch down on the very end of the field on a short strip of steel matting. We made a normal approach to a landing and the pilot, Lt Barker, decided that we would overshoot: so we went around again ano made another normal approach with wheels down and flaps down at approximately 140 m.p.h. to the runway. We touched the runway first on the steel matting and rolled until we hit the first hill on the runway where we bounced into the air again. We settled back down and everything was normal and under control. The pilot held the nose wheel off the ground to lose speed, but not for long as the runway is not too long. When the pilot put the nose on the ground and tried to apply the brakes, they did not respond to the pressure. At this time, we were about three fourths of the way down the runway and still traveling approxiwately 100 m.p.h. The pilot tried to apply the brakes again and found them to be no good. He then tried to ground loop the airplane, but could not. We saw that a crash was coming and relayed that information to the crew. I did not have time to pull up the wheels, but I cut off the mixture control and master and ignition switches before we hit the dirt embankment at the end of the runway. As we hit the embankment, the nose and main wheels were sheared off and we went over it and into a gravel pit on the other side of the embankment, which pit is about 30 to 40 feet deep and 55 feet wide. The last I can remember clearly is the plane crashing into the pit while I was holding the wheel in the forward position with one hand and opening the hatch with the other.
2. After the crash, I can remember being helped out of the plane by Lt Netherton who was riding in the radio compartment and remember seeing Sgt Schaefer and Puterka trying to get to the pilot and get him out of the airplane. The right engine was on fire but not burning too badly at that time. After. The above Sgts succeeded in getting the pilot out of the aircraft, Sgt Puterka went back and started throwing dirt upon the burning engine, and Sgt Schaefer continued to help Lt Barker up the hill and to the ambulance. Everyone was given immediate medical attention of the highest kind.
3. The weather at the time we arrived at Friston was a moderate rain, with visibility at approximately 1 to 2 miles. It would clear up in places and visibility would increase to 3 miles. On the field itself it was raining and the ground was soggy and slick. The tower cleared us to land at their field and did not report the slippery runway.

Barker, Netherton, Walker, and Bistagne sustained major injuries in the crash; the rest of the crew received minor injuries.

The reason for this flight was to ferry 2 minimal flight crews to Friston in order to fly 2 of the group's aircraft back to Station 166. These aircraft were likely to be 42-107671 (two cylinders out of lost engine) piloted by L/Col. Ljunggren, and 42-95808 (right horizontal stabilizer had 3 ribs broken, left engine mechanical failure) piloted by Capt. Jannsen. Both aircraft made emergency landings at Friston returning from mission #139 on 9 August 1944, and it is likely that repairs to these had been completed.

These personnel were all members of the 572nd Bomb Squadron, but flying a 573rd Bomb Squadron aircraft. Bistagne's role is not annotated on the report and no record of him has currently been found in the group's records.
ADDENDUM: Accident report for 43-22603 on 21 April 1945 shows that Bistagne was Engineering Officer.
573573102432PBarkhurst, George R.2/Lt.O664122
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-17781. 5 Jun 1943
NOTES: On June 5, 1943 at approximately 1545 EWT, B-26B airplane, AF No. 41-17781 pilot 2nd. Lt. George R. Barkhurst, crashed and burned three miles South of Jersey, Georgia, fatally injuring all occupants of the airplane.
The pilot had been flying at a low altitude, estimated by various observers at from 20 to 50 feet, for at least eight miles prior to the point of the crash. Immediately prior to the accident the ship was flying up a slight draw and passed over a house 1/8 of a mile bčhind which was a hill. The tail and both propellers of the plane struck this hill 150 feet from the top, the ship bounced into the air and the left engine stopped. Parts of the airplane were strewn from this point to the point of rest of the airplane. The plane hit the ground again 800 feet from first point of impact and right engine stopped. Ship bounced again and skidded along ground for 770 feet and fuselage broke just forward of upper gun turret, 25 feet before point of rest. Both engines apparently left ship at this point and wing and rest of fuselage then made a 210 feet turn to right and came to rest, on fire. Ship caught fire after first bounce and gasoline exploded when it hit the second time. Fire continued until burned out. Persons arriving at the scene were unable to rescue any of the men trapped in the wreck because of the fire. Statements of all witnesses and prop marks on ground indicate that both engines and airplane were functioning normally at time of accident. An examination of wreckage accounted for all control surfaces in proper place on aircraft or within 150 of point of rest.
There was no evidence that would indicate sabotage. Witnesses state that there was a change in the attitude of the airplane just prior to the accident indicating that the pilot tried to gain altitude suddenly, which, connected with the first marks on the ground when the ship hit, leads to the belief that the ship mushed into the hill.
There is insufficient evidence to place the direct responsibility for this accident. However, it is the opinion of this committee that it was due to the pilot's failing to see the hill in time to change altitude fast enough or to his misjudging the altitude of the hill.
Engel was a Photo Lab Technician.
57357310743PBernzen, Frank, Jr.1/Lt.O738335KIA
SOURCE: MACR 05853, 42-95849. 19 Mar 1944
NOTES: Target: Grismont Military Installation. 42-95849 was flying box 1, first flight, No.2. It was hit by FLAK whilst turning away from the first bomb run and the fabric on left horizontal stabilizer was almost completely shot away. It fell away from formation with a badly smoking left engine. It rejoined the formation for the second bomb run and received a direct hit over the target. The tail was blown off aft of the turret and the aircraft turned over onto its back and fell towards the ground. 3 parachutes were seen, but there were no survivors.
57357314944PBjork, Paul A.2/Lt.O684251
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-17994. 5 Apr 1944
NOTES: Aircraft type B-26-B4, No. 41-17994 crashed on take off, immediately after becoming airborne, due to loss of power in the right engine. With this loss of power, after being airborne, the aircraft lost airspeed and altitude rapidly, forcing crash landing.
The investigating committee is convinced that the pilot used good judgement in making a wheels up landing after loss of airspeed. Also the committee find it impossible to determine any cause other than loss of power in right engine.
A proper and efficient pre-flight check was made. There are no recommendations for action to prevent repetition.
NOTE: This accident occurred at RAF Toome Bridge, Northern Ireland (a replacement crew training center) before this crew (except Greico) were assigned to the 573rd Bomb Squadron.
57357311744PBoyd, Ralph H.2/Lt.O691225EVA
SOURCE: MACR 07649, 42-95834. 13 Aug 1944
NOTES: Target: Cherisy RR Bridge, France. 42-95800 (Low flight, No.4. - Kohler) hit by FLAK, collided with adjacent aircraft 42-95834 (No. 5 - Boyd). Both aircraft broke apart and went into a spin. Coincidentally, low flight passed underneath lead flight at exactly the time of bomb release, which may mean that aircraft was struck by falling bomb from lead flight.
573573150435PBoyette, Norment G.2/Lt.O795349DNB
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35067. 8 Oct 1943
NOTES: All crew were killed in aircraft 41-35067 on 8 October 1943 when it crashed after it got into an uncontrollable spin. Roles are assumed from existing role data and rank. Although Boyette's role was deduced as CP by elimination, he is attributed as Pilot on the accident report. Davis' forename comes from 573BS History (reel A0644 page 905), which also states that Parnell was a crew chief. Davis's ASN from 391BG Medical Journal (Reel B0427 page 1046).
ADDENDUM: Accident Report has since been received and details have been updated accordingly. Abernath's ASN is shown as O-731776. This crew was previously listed as crew #391101.
57357312543PBoylan, Joseph J.Capt.O796289POW
SOURCE: MACR 11662, 42-95825. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 42-95825 was in a 3 ship lead flight and bombing was by flight in trail. Enemy aircraft had already attacked the low and high flights. After the lead flight turned off target, 30 enemy aircraft made single attacks from the rear. Abraham in 42-107747 wavered in formation and then dropped back. Explosive shells were seen striking Boylan in 42-95825. The wings, fuselage, and nacelles were hit. His speed fell to 180 and he nosed aircraft down. All crew survived and became POW. The only remaining aircraft of the lead flight, Dillard in 42-107806, then climbed and joined the lead flight of the box ahead.
57357312444PClapham, Lloyd M.1/Lt.O690051KIA
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34183. 11 Dec 1944
NOTES: Killed in crash 5 miles west of A-73 in 43-34183 due to engine failure.
57357311443PClark, Robert H.1/Lt.O26154
SOURCE: MACR 09831, 42-95842. 28 Jul 1944
NOTES: Target: Grosley sur Risle, France. 42-95842 was hit by FLAK in the waist section near Thury Harcourt, France. The aircraft broke into two pieces which were seen to slowly spin down. Three crew were seen to bail out, one from the tail section and two from the forward section. In a subsequent statement, Parker states that he was wounded in his left leg and foot. Lemmon was trapped in the bombardier's compartment of the spinning aircraft, and Culshaw and Rollings had probably been killed when the 88mm shell exploded in the waist section. After bailing out and landing, Parker saw Sweren in the hands of the Germans. Parker was taken to hospital by the Germans for treatment of his wounds. Clark was seen bailing out by Parker, but it is currently unclear what happened to him.
573573116444PColsch, John W.1/Lt.O445975KIA
SOURCE: MACR 07648, 42-95800. 13 Aug 1944
NOTES: Target: Cherisy RR Bridge, France. 42-95800 (Low flight, No.4. - Kohler) hit by FLAK, collided with adjacent aircraft 42-95834 (No. 5 - Boyd). Both aircraft broke apart and went into a spin. Coincidentally, low flight passed underneath lead flight at exactly the time of bomb release, which may mean that aircraft was struck by falling bomb from lead flight.
573573127449PCox, Wilbur G.Capt.O791676KIA
SOURCE: MACR 14626, 42-95878. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Assigned to 574BS, 391BG, 9AF USAAF. Transferred to 1st Pathfinder Sqn, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to Euskirchen railroad bridge in B-26 42-95878 'Weary Lera' shot down by flak while leading 322BG crashed in flames near Bonn, Germany. (source: AAM -
573573115444PCrim, Herman L.2/LT.O747753
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31978. 8 Aug 1944
NOTES: Taxiing accident at RAF Tangmere.
Second Lieutenant Norman L. Crim, O-747753, A.C., in ship B-26B35, AF. No. 41-31978 landed at Tangmere, Sussex (RAF) due to lack of petrol upon return from a combat mission.
When taxiing out for take-off, Lt. Crim did not take due care and caution and taxied into a building near the perimeter strip. This resulted in damage to the left wing of the airplane.
Accident due 100% to pilot's error (carelessness) in not analising the situation when taxiing.
No recommendations.
NOTE: The mission records show that Crim landed away from base after returning from mission #136 on 7th August 1944. After landing, it is likely that the aircraft needed repairs before it was able to leave Tangmere the following day.
57357313044PDobda, Michael1/Lt.O816071POW
SOURCE: MACR 12244, 42-95822. 13 Feb 1945
NOTES: Target: Euskirchen, Germany. 42-95822 direct flak hit on right engine and navigator compartment. The engine caught fire, the aircraft lost speed, peeled to right under control. 1, then 2 parachutes seen. The aircraft then went into a flat spin and then broke in two at the aft bomb bay. 2 more parachutes were seen to emerge from the front section. The crew later stated that the bombardier had got out of nose but couldn't get his parachute from the radio room due to an intense fire that had spread from the bomb bay.
573573139452PDuncan, Oliver L.Maj.O406830
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-39243. 21 May 1945
NOTES: Landing accident destroyed by fire at Wattisham/Sta 377.
573573136446PDunn, Edmund B.2/Lt.O690065
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-39348. 11 Apr 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73.
573573132451PEdwards, Atwood L.2/Lt.O719590
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35252. 12 Mar 1945
NOTES: Take off accident at Roye/A-73. On 12th March 1945, 2nd Lieutenant Atwood L. Edwards was scheduled to fly a B-26C25 aircraft, AF No. 41-35252, on a combat bombing mission. Edwards started his take-off on runway 10 in the normal procedure. He had reached the speed just under that at which the aircraft becomes airborne, when the tire of the right main gear deflated. He at once cut the throttle and held aircraft straight until right gear collapsed, causing the aircraft to swerve to the right off the runway. After leaving runway the right strut dug into the ground, turning the aircraft 90 degrees and bringing it to a stop. Main gear was wrecked and right wing was buckled. Cause: 100% material failure; aircraft structure. Recommendations: none.
573573129448PEdwards, George A., Jr.1/Lt.O689950KIA
SOURCE: Accident Report, 44-67840. 16 Jan 1945
NOTES: KCRT at A-73. On 16 January 1945, 1st Lieutenant George A. Edwards took off on a combat mission in a B-26G15 aircraft, AF number for 44-67840, and crashed immediately after take-off. He was scheduled to fly No. 4 position in the high flight of the first box, and took off in the proper order in the formation. Ship carried bomb load of 2 x 2,000 lbs. G. P., fused 1/10 nose and non-delay tail. Take-off, as observed by personnel in the control tower and at other vantage points on the ground, appeared to be normal in every respect. Lieutenant Edwards started his take off run approximately 20 seconds behind the No. 3 ship of his flight and seemed to experience no difficulty in leaving the ground, his ship becoming airborne about two-thirds of the way down the runway. He had attained about 50 feet of altitude and had retracted his landing gear, when his left wing was seen to dip and the ship went into a turn to the left, meanwhile losing altitude rapidly. Examination of the marks left on the ground by the aircraft indicates that the left wing first struck the ground just off the upwind end of the take-off runway. After this first contact, the aircraft remained airborne for approximately 100 yards and then crashed into the ground. Both engines were turned off and the plane broke in two at the point just forward of the top turret. The forward part skidded about 100 yards beyond the engines and the tail section, which remained fairly close together. Personnel arriving immediately after the crash found the forward section on fire. The work of removing personnel from the wreck began at once and all crew members except the pilot had been removed when the bombs, still contained in the bomb bay, exploded. This explosion occurred approximately 10 minutes after the aircraft had crashed. Inspection of the two engine assemblies showed that the left and right engine propellers had lost 3 and 2 blades respectively, the complete blade in each case having been torn in its entirety from the propeller hub. Cause: 100% material failure. The board feels that this accident was the result of either complete or partial failure of the left engine immediately after take-off. Recommendations none. ADDENDUM: Edwards and Coe were pinned in the wreckage and died in the explosion. Although Velthouse escaped from the wreckage, he was killed by the concussion from the bombs. Rhoda and Butler received major injuries, with Franques suffering minor injuries. One of the medics, Pfc. George P. Thomas, was also injured by the explosion.
573573143453PFlorine, Orville M.2/Lt.O687190
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-39590. 25 Jun 1945
NOTES: Crashed belly landing at Vitry/B-50.
573573110444PGoodson, Robert G.2/Lt.O542798POW
SOURCE: MACR 05547, 42-95850. 28 May 1944
NOTES: target: Maisons-Lafitte RR Bridge, France. Goodson's right engine hit by FLAK which burst into flames. He dropped out of formation with engine smoking and went into a shallow dive. 2 chutes were seen by witnesses. The right wing was seen to break off and the aircraft exploded. Goodson states that gunners bailed out through waist window and Officers through bomb bay. Markings of T*R found on wreckage. Everett was suffering from burns. All POW except Raona who evaded.
573573144449PHagaman, John W., Jr.2/Lt.O797989
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-22601. 6 Jul 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Rosieres/B-87.
573573113444PHartman, Louis E.1/Lt.O684328KIA
SOURCE: MACR 06359, 42-107834. 5 Jul 1944
NOTES: Target: Senoche F/D. 42-107834 was hit by FLAK and crashed near Foret de Dreux. One witness statement says that Hartman bailed out of top hatch, but was knocked out and failed to open parachute. CP and B suffered burns.
573573141449PJimenez, James A.2/Lt.O689059
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-22667. 20 Jun 1945
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Vitry-en-Artois/B-50.
573573142453PJordan, John D.2/Lt.O836807
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-30411. 24 Jun 1945
NOTES: Take off accident due to engine failure at Vitry/ 7mi NW B-50. ASN and rank from Air Medal Awards, GO 6, Hq, 9th Air Division, 15 May 1945 (Reel B0427 page 1398).
573573133452PLentz, Homer W.2/Lt.O2058081
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95820. 12 Mar 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73. On 12th March 1945, 2nd Lieutenant Homer W. Lentz was scheduled to fly a B-26B45, AF No. 42-95820 on a local night transition mission. He received instructions for landing from the tower and then gave his co-pilot permission to land the plane. Because of ground haze he did not turn on the landing lights until in the round-out of the approach. When the lights came on, he saw that they were not lined up with the landing runway; instead of, they were to the right. Pilot gave co-pilot verbal orders to go around, which the co-pilot did not hear. At the same time the pilot retracted the wheels, and the co-pilot proceeded to land the aircraft with wheels partially retracted. Aircraft was completely wrecked due to this action. Cause: 100% pilot error. Poor judgement, in that incorrect decision was made. Recommendations: none.
573573103434PLjunggren, Ernest N.Maj.O25232
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31754. 11 Jun 1943
NOTES: Dickey and Reidelberger were killed on 11 June 1943. The aircraft crashed due to engine failure and was then destroyed by fire at Bloomfield, KY. 573BS History (reel A0644 page 898 and 952) states that, on a flight from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Godman Field, Kentucky, the pilot gave the order to bail out after developing engine trouble over very mountainous country. When the emergency salvo failed to function, Reidelberger entered the bombardier's compartment and opened the bombay doors. He then assisted his companions to make their exit, and again entered the bombardier's compartment and closed the bombay doors. A critically low altitude being reached, Reidelberger elected to remain and assist the pilot. Hardy was seriously injured on landing, fracturing his spine and suffering broken bones. Dickey died later from his injuries. With the left engine on fire, Ljunggren brought the aircraft down in a field. Reidelberger was trapped in his seat, and, while the plane was burning and with ammunition exploding in the wreckage, Ljunggren's repeated attempts to rescue the co-pilot failed. Ljunggren was seriously burned about the head, arms, and legs. Reidelberger was posthumously awarded the DFC. Reel A0644 page 905 states that Ljunggren was 573BS CO at the time and was briefly replaced by Sullens on 5 Oct 1943, who was subsequently replaced by Dooley on 8 Oct 1943.
573573106432PLowenthal, Samuel S.2/Lt.O796845
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95943. 15 Mar 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at Matching/Sta 166. The pilot was ferrying this ship from AAF station 519 (RAF Grove, Berkshire) after modifications. The pilot apparently made a normal approach but landed a little long (he estimated about 300 yards from the head of the runway). Immediately starting to apply brakes, the pilot claimed the left brake was not holding, which forced him to be easy on the good brake (skid marks by both wheels for the last 75 yards dispute this point and seem to indicate an excessively fast or long landing). At any rate the ship rolled off the end of the runway and the nose wheel collapsed. The fact that the main wheels never got off the end of the runway indicates that at this point the pilot had killed much of his speed, but the continued use of brakes greatly increased the down load on the nose wheel burying it in the soft earth. The extra resistance caused thereby overstressed the nose wheel assembly. It is believed at the accident was due 100% to pilot error, and 70% judgement and 30% technique. Whenever it appears impossible that a stop can be effected before rolling into soft earth, brakes should be released at the last moment to reduce the extra download on the nose wheel with the result that it will continue to roll.
573573112432PMitchell, Kenneth W.Capt.O731630
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95804. 29 May 1944
NOTES: Crashed on take off at Stansted/Sta 169. ADDENDUM: Suffered an engine failure on take off for the Orival mission on 29 May 1944. The aircraft flown by Capt. Kenneth W Mitchell, crashed at Mole Hill Green, about 1.5 miles SW of Stansted, Essex. The aircraft took off from runway 03 at Matching Green with 2 x 2,000lb bombs on board. Take-off was normal, but at about 200 feet altitude the right engine cut out, caught again briefly, then completlely cut out. The pilot sounded the alarm bell for a crash landing. Unable to maintain altitude and airspeed, the pilot flew straight ahead, and the co-pilot, Lt. Schiro cut the mixture control and switches for the left engine before the aircraft hit the tops of some trees. The aircraft hit the ground violently at 1130 hours and began to burn before coming to a stop. All the crew escaped before the aircraft exploded four minutes later.
573573131448PMosher, William V.2/Lt.O705766
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34319. 14 Feb 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73.
573573121449PPeters, Marvin L. W.2/Lt.O2056206POW
SOURCE: MACR 09530, 42-107595. 12 Oct 1944
NOTES: Target: Grevenbroich. Peters was flying high flight, No.4. His aircraft was hit by FLAK whilst on the bomb run. His left engine began smoking and then his right engine failed 10 seconds before bomb release. After the turn away from the target, the formation was subject to heavy, intense, and accurate FLAK. Peters' aircraft lost speed and altitude rapidly, and he called Cassidy (the flight leader) to say that his crew were bailing out.
573573101432PPorter, Harry D.2/Lt.O731656
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31759. 1 Jun 1943
NOTES: Take off accident at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Aircraft hit obstruction light with nose wheel during take off. Upon inspection light was found to be too close to end of runway creating a hazard. Lights have since been moved.
573573109432PPorter, Harry D.1/Lt.O731656POW
SOURCE: MACR 05127, 42-95943. 28 May 1944
NOTES: target: Amiens M/Y, France. Box 2, high flight, No.6? Aircraft was hit by FLAK. The right engine was smoking with oil leaking from the oil cooler shutter. Gasoline was streaming from left engine. Kessler and Carmichael were captured soon after the crash. Harris and Porter evaded but were captured at Petite Sains near Arras, France July 1944. The fate of Cole and Hagan is not clear from the report, but other sources show that they successfully evaded capture.
573573119447PRice, Elma Z.2/LT.O813420
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95797. 25 Aug 1944
NOTES: Target: Brest/Penscorff Coastal Defences. Mid-air collision between stabilizer of lead flight No.4 (42-95802 - Thorn) and left propellor of No.6 (42-95797 - Rice).

The statement by Rice in the accident report states "Returning from a combat sortie on the afternoon of August 25, 1944, number four ship in our lead flight was running low on gas and called up that he was going to leave the formation and land on the Cherbourg Peninsula for gas. I was flying left wing of number four ship, and acknowledged his call. I saw his plane leave the formation to the rear and well below me. I began to pull up on the lead element of the flight. Some time elapsed, when the plane came up from my left and under me. The instant I saw the plane coming up, I immediately try to pull up to avoid a collision but it was impossible.

The plane tore my left wing up a bit, and bent the left propeller, rendering the left engine inoperative. I immediately feathered the prop, and by the time I had the plane under control, I was to the left of course. With the bad wing, I could not hold my altitude. We broke below the overcast at approximately 3000 feet, just off the coast of the German held Island of Jersey, at which time we received intent accurate flak. I immediately tried to turn back to sea, at this time they shot my right engine out. [Peters (bombardier) reported in his statement that the engineer had tried to call Shuler on the interphone, but had not received an answer. Peters also stated that he saw Shuler lying against the skin of the ship, presumably dead or seriously injured.]

We immediately prepared for ditching. We ditched approximately 6 to 8 miles off the southeast coast of Jersey. [Witnesses state that Rice made a beautiful landing on the water. The aircraft floated for 5 to 10 seconds before its nose sank and the its tail rose up, and then it completely sank 5 to 10 seconds later.] After we hit the water, Captain Rutledge circled overhead and dropped a dinghy, and the naval vessel not far away shot a fix on him and got our position. The co-pilot, bombardier, engineer and myself hung on to a one-man dinghy for 1 hour and 20 minutes. We were picked up by a small boat sent out from the US Destroyer escort, and carried back and put on board the escort. My tail gunner bailed out the instant of the collision, and my radio operator was hit by flak at Jersey.

We remained with the escort overnight where we received excellent treatment from the Navy. PT boats picked us up the next morning, August 26, and carried us into Cherbourg, where we were taken to the 298th General Hospital. We were put under their care for a twenty-four hour observation. My bombardier had a dislocated shoulder and it was put back in place by the naval doctor. When we were released by the hospital we went to the Counter Intelligence Corps Headquarters and got orders so we could catch a plane back to England. We arrived in London the afternoon of August 27, and the Intelligence Dept got in touch with our base and transportation was arranged for the trip to our home field."

NOTE: According to his Escape & Evasion report, Hume landed in the sea near the French island of Brehat off the coast of Brittany and was rescued by a French fishing boat. He was then taken to the French mainland, where the FFI took him to a hotel in St. Quay. The FFI later took him to St. Brieuc where he was delivered to Allied Forces. He later returned to England by C-47. The crew loading lists show that Hume never flew with Rice, or any other 391st crew again, so it is likely that he was returned to the US because of his knowledge of some members of the French Resistance forces.

573573146451PRichmond, Manley O.Maj.O401055KIA
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.
5735731234411ACCSeck, Robert W.Sgt.18002000
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34319. 29 Nov 1944
NOTES: Ground accident at Roye/Amy (A-73).

1. During the preflight of Airplane Serial #43-34319 by Sgt. Robert W. Seck (Assistant Crew Chief), ASN 18002000, on the morning of 29 November 1944 at 0630: Sgt Seck had completed the preflight inspection with exception of checking the blowers. While in the process of shifting the blowers, Sgt Seck heard a loud report on the left engine. He immediately stopped both engines and got out of the airplane to investigate.

2. He then discovered that the airplane had moved forward during the preflight, and the left propeller had struck a Weapons Carrier "USA #2182513", that had been parked in front of the Airplane during the preflight. The Propeller tips were bent upward approximately 4", necessitating a Propeller change.

3. S/Sgt William M. Goodrich, ASN 32446868, and Cpl. William L. Moore, ASN 36539231, were in the airplane checking the radio equipment at this time, S/Sgt Goodrich being in the radio compartment and Cpl. Moore in the Co-pilot's seat. Due to darkness the men were unable to see outside of the airplane, and none of them realized that the airplane had moved until the accident occurred. It is believed that during the preflight the wheel chocks were blown from under the wheels and Sgt Seck accidently released the left brake while in the process of changing blowers.

57357310443PSellers, Lamar, Jr.1/Lt.O793181
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35047. 24 Jun 1943
NOTES: Mid air collision in the vicinity Warrington, NC.
Aircraft was returning from Fort Dix, New Jersey and flying at minimum altitude cross country in formation. Upon reaching a clearing, pilot let down lower than the top level and in doing so struck a telephone line. Aircraft was not damaged to the extent that it could not continue and so completed the trip to Myrtle Beach.
NOTE: It is likely that Wos and Carter were ground crew.
573573145449PShoemaker, Kenneth E.1/Lt.O699782KIA
SOURCE: MACR 14885, 43-22598. 6 Aug 1945
NOTES: It is assumed Shoemaker crashed landed at sea whilst on ferry mission.
5735731054312PStimm, Howard M.1/Lt.O664467
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95824. 23 Dec 1943
NOTES: All crew were killed in aircraft 42-95824 on 12 December 1943 when it crashed at Colesburg, KY. Apart from Wiley, other crew member roles are a guess. 573BS History (reel A0644 page 907) states Dalman and Donnelly were both co-pilots, and that Stimm was checking both out on night flying.
573573120432PThorn, David H.Capt.O793198KIA
SOURCE: MACR 08058, 42-95802. 25 Aug 1944
NOTES: Target: Brest/Penscorff Coastal Defences. Mid-air collision between stabilizer of lead flight No.4 (42-95802 - Thorn) and left propellor of No.6 (42-95797 - Rice). Thorn lowered landing gear, one man bailed out, then aircraft went into spin. Calvert, who managed to bail out and was picked up by fishermen, stated that Thorn was low on gas and planned to land in Cherbourg and left the formation, but then decided to rejoin the formation and follow them to Cherbourg.
5735731354412PWalmsley, Robert E.O711050
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-39146. 25 Mar 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Perrone/A-73.
573573134448PWalter, Philip S.1/Lt.O704994
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-107806. 21 Mar 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73. On 21 March 1945, 1st Lieutenant Philip S. Walter was flying a B-26C45 aircraft, AF No. 42-107806, on a local night training mission. Lieutenant Walter made normal traffic pattern dropping his wheels while our base leg. He asserts positively, that gear indicator was in down and locked position before landing. He landed ship on runway to 28 approximately 50 yards from end of runway. After rolling approximately 2,500 feet, nose wheel was let down and brakes applied. As brakes were applied, the right main gear collapsed. The right engine and propeller have major damages, the right wing-tip, aileron, wheel-well doors, engine cowling and fuselage were damaged. In view of the fact that the down-lock was not actuated, it could not have engaged the switch which actuates gear indicator, gear indicator could not have possibly shown down and locked for right gear operation. Cause: 100% pilot error, carelessness. Pilot and co-pilot failed to accurately check the gear indicator prior to landing. Recommendations: None.
573573147448PWalter, Philip S.1/Lt.O704994
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34454. 5 Jan 1945
NOTES: Ground looped at Roye/A-73.

On 5th of January 1945 first Lieutenant Walter was flying a B26G10 aircraft, AF number 43-34454 on a combat mission. The mission was recalled 5 minutes before fighter rendezvous. Lieutenant Walter returned to the field in formation and prepared for a normal formation landing. After a normal approach and landing Lieutenant Walter had a blow out of his left main gear tire approximately 100 yards after touchdown. The pilot endeavored to keep the airplane straight and was successful for a short interval; however, the slippery condition of the runway finally caused him to slide off of the left edge. When the aircraft struck the soft soil it spun around and skidded, tearing off the right main gear, breaking the right wing and buckling the fuselage.

Cause: The accident was caused by 100% material failure, i.e. tire blew out.

Recommendations: None.

NOTE: This was a 573BS crew flying a 574BS aircraft.

573573138448PWalter, Philip S.Capt.O704994
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-22645. 4 May 1945
NOTES: Ground accident at Maastricht-Beek (Y-44).

On May 4 1945, Capt Philip S. Walter, flying A-26C25 type aircraft A.F. #43-22645, landed away from base at Station Y-44. After taking off from Y-44 and returning to base, Capt Walter found that the tips of his ship's left propeller blades had been damaged. Flight characteristics had been normal on return trip and Capt Walter had been unaware of his propeller striking any obstruction.

Upon return to Y-44 to ascertain the cause of damage, Capt Walter found a loose section of Hessian matting in the hardstand in which he had been parked. The matting showed a two-foot cut which was evidently caused by a turning propeller. The ground beneath the matting was soft enough to allow the plane's weight to depress the center of the section, thereby elevating its edge to a height which would allow it to be sucked into a rapidly revolving propeller.

Immediate Cause: Left propeller struck Hessian Matting.
Underlying Cause: Loose section of Hessian Matting was drawn into path of revolving propeller by propeller suction when engines were run up.
Responsibility: 100% Airport Terrain.
Recommendations: None.

573573140449PWilson, Hershel D.2/Lt.O758669
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-30411. 17 Jun 1945
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Vitry-en-Artois/B-50.
573573000449w.pChannell, Charles C.2/Lt.O705903
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Pilot - high flight, no.5. Second bomb run. 30 seconds before bombs away left engine of no.4 smoking. 10 seconds before bombs away, his right engine went out. Losing speed and altitude rapidly.
SOURCE: MACR 09530, 42-107595. 12 Oct 1944
573573000444w.pDillard, Frank P., Jr.1/Lt.O684297
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Pilot - Box 2, lead flight, no.2. Bombing by flight in trail. 30 enemy aircraft attacked high and low flights first. Enemy aircraft attacked singly from the rear.
SOURCE: MACR 11663, 42-107747. 23 Dec 1944
573573000444w.pDillard, Frank P., Jr.1/Lt.O684297
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Pilot - Box 2, lead flight, no.2. Bombing by flights in trail. Enemy aircraft had already attacked our low and high flights. After turning off target, enemy aircraft attacked our 3 ship flight. 30 enemy aircraft making single attacks at our tails. Abraham 42-107747 wavered in formation and then dropped back. Last I saw of it. I could see explosive shells striking Boylan's aircraft 42-95825. Wings, fuselage, nacelles were hit. Speed fell to 180 and he nosed aircraft down. I then climbed and joined the lead flight of the Box ahead of us.
SOURCE: MACR 11662, 42-95825. 23 Dec 1944
573573000432w.pPorter, Harry D.1/Lt.O731656
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Pilot - no.4. Direct FLAK hit in left engine.
SOURCE: MACR 04482, 42-95829. 8 May 1944
57357300044w.pPutnam, Paul M.2/Lt.O700970
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Pilot - high flight, no.6. Aircraft lagging. Left engine smoking. Right engine feathered. Heavy, intense, accurate flak.
SOURCE: MACR 09530, 42-107595. 12 Oct 1944
57357300043w.unkSloss, William1/Lt.O796895
573573000432w.unkThorn, David H.Capt.O793198
SOURCE: MACR 05853, 42-95849. 19 Mar 1944
57357300043w.pSnyder, Richard J.1/Lt.O672240
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Pilot - low flight, no.3. Adams received direct FLAK hit in left engine. Salvoed bombs. 3 chutes from rear, 2 from bomb bay. Aircraft under control.
SOURCE: MACR 04482, 42-95829. 8 May 1944