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
57357311443CPParker, George L.1/Lt.O757263EVA
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.
574574113449CPBishop, George M.2/Lt.O715127
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95807. 5 Oct 1944

Take off accident weather at Amy (Roye)/A-73.

On October 5, 1944, Capt Clyde G. Brown took off on a combat mission in a B-26B45, AAF #42-95807. The visibility was poor, being reduced to two hundred (200) to four hundred (400) feet by fog, and he made an instrument take off. A few seconds after becoming airborne he hit a power line, or a communications line, and severely damaged the aircraft. It should be noted that upon taking off from the runway used by Captain Brown, it is necessary to climb two hundred (200) to three hundred (300) feet per minute to maintain safe ground altitude. Captain Brown keep the plane under control and climbed straight ahead through the overcast.

Being unable to continue on his mission the pilot salvoed his bombs, unarmed, into an open field and landed at Airstrip A-59, gear down, with no further damage. There were no injuries.

Cause: Take off in inclement weather, i.e., poor visibility.

Recommendations: None.

574574119449CPBishop, George M.2/Lt.O715127KIA
SOURCE: MACR 11664, 42-95865. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Enemy aircraft attacked from right and No.2 (Detjens 41-35010) received most of the fire and dropped out of formation. No.3 (Donnelly - 42-95841) left formation. No.4 (Brown - 42-95865) moved into No.2 position and was attacked by fighters. The tail of his aircraft was shot off and it span out of control. Brillhart states that Vidler and Courtenay also bailed out.
574574130451CPBlanton, James K., Jr.2/Lt.O667922
SOURCE: Accident Report, 44-67829. 27 Jan 1945
NOTES: Crashed on take off at Roye/A-73. On 27th January 1945, 2nd Lieutenant James E. McLaurin took off on a local training mission in a B-26G15 aircraft, AF number 44-67829. Take-off was on runway 100. Ship was landed with 2 x 2000 lb GP bombs. Lt. McLaurin's take off run was exceptionally long, his ship remaining on the ground almost to the end of the runway. Immediately after becoming airborne and before the wheels were fully retracted, aircraft was seen to bank to the right momentarily, right itself and then crash straight ahead. Observation from the ground, confirmed by the statements of the pilot and co-pilot, seem to indicate either partial or complete loss of power on the right engine. Aircraft is total loss as result of this accident. Upon examination of the aircraft and its engines, subsequent to the accident, the right engine carburettor heat control lever was found in the hot position, the carburettor air scoop was closed and the hot air intake gate was in the open position. Inspection of the spark plugs of the right engine showed them to be be badly burnt and covered with a heavy deposit of carbon. Upon questioning, the pilot stated that the carburettor control levers were in the neutral position before and during takeoff. He admitted, however, that he had not, prior to takeoff, assured cold operation by placing the control lever in the cold position and then returning it to neutral. Lieutenant McLaurin also stated that, at no time between engine-start and take-off, did he idle his engines at such speed as might make possible the the leading-up of the spark plugs because of excessively low RPM. Cause: 100% pilot error. The facts disclosed by examination of the right engine, taken in conjunction with the pilot statements, leave the board to the conclusion that this accident was caused by partial or complete loss of power on the right engine, due to detonation. The board believes that this detonation was directly attributable to the pilot's failure to check properly the position of his carburettor heat controls prior to takeoff. Recommendations: None. NOTE: None of the crew were injured except for McLaurin and Martin who received minor and major injuries respectively.
574574103435CPCallison, William K.2/Lt.O738342
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-17670. 8 Jun 1943
NOTES: Belly landing at Shaw Field, SC.
The Accident Committee report states "This Field was notified about 00:30 that a B-26B at Myrtle Beach could not get his left landing gear down and would proceed to Shaw Field to make a belly landing. Instructions from Myrtle Beach tower were that all crew members were to use parachute except co-pilot, who could either stay with the ship or jump. He decided to stay with the ship. All crew members jumped successfully and the pilot and co-pilot proceeded to land the air plane on the belly with wheels up. It is the consensus of opinion of the Accident Classification Committee that malfunctioning of landing gear was the cause of the accident. This is substantiated by statement of the Sub-Depot after inspection of the landing gear."
574574101435CPCallison, William K.2/Lt.O738342
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31751. 14 May 1943
NOTES: Landing accident at MacDill Field, FL.
The pilot made a normal approach and lowered his landing gear at 1500 feet at an indicated airspeed of 160 MPH. The pilot flew the ship on in and made a normal landing on runway nine. As the ship rolled down the runway and its speed decreased the left gear gave way allowing the left prop to dig into the concrete runway. The increased weight and strain also caused the right gear to fold but the ship had lost its speed and was stopped on the left nacelle doors and belly before the right prop struck the ground.
Investigation brought out the fact the gear mechanisms were functioning normally and hydraulic pressure was normal. The co-pilot dropped the gear and witnesses felt the increased drag as the gear came down. However, the co-pilot and engineer were not certain the gear was down, and locked. They both checked the indicator but were not satisified due to poor visibility. The co-pilot asked the pilot to check the gear indicator but since he was busy landing the ship he didn't check it carefully. The result being the gear was not down and locked which caused the accident. Both the pilot and co-pilot should assume the responsibility of this accident as neither of them made certain the indicator said "wheels down and locked".
Recommendations : That pilot and co-pilot ascertain definitely if gear is down and locked before landing this model of B-26. Also it is my opinion and recommendation some warning signal should be installed on this model to further assist the pilots in ascertaining whether or not the airplane is ready to land.
574574110442CPDavidson, Bernard2/Lt.O667495POW
SOURCE: MACR 05131, 42-95827. 27 May 1944
NOTES: target: Maisons-Lafitte RR Bridge, France. Holdridge was hospitalized with fractured ankles. Crew captured.
574574108442CPDietschler, Elmer A.2/Lt.O692954
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-34799. 14 Dec 1943
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Jacksonville AAF, FL.
On the night of 14 December 1943, at approximately 1845 EWT?, a B-26 piloted by 2nd Lt Peter Metelsky collided with a parked B-25 airplane on the transient hanger [sic] line. Bad weather further south of the terminal and heavy traffic resulted in Jacksonville. Lack of personnel prevented the line crew form [sic] guarding each tip of parked and taxiing planes.
It is evident that the pilot saw the B-25 parked on the line as he states that he did not think he was that close. It is the opinion of the committee that the subject pilot was taxiing too fast and that uncertain as to the exact position of other aircraft should have stopped before taxiing on.
The parked B-25 42-87303 from Hunter Field, GA, sustained damage to left rudder, right rudder, left vertical stabilizer, left elevator, horizontal stabilizer, and the rear turret.
The left wing tip and aileron of 41-34799 were damaged in the collision.
Metelsky states that he was tired after flying thru clouds in formation, and that the lights on the hangar were blinding him. He was in transit from Godman Field, Fort Knox, KY, to Myrtle Beach Bombing Range, SC, for the purpose of obtaining gunnery practice.
574574107432CPDonnelly, William W., Jr.2/LT.O693550
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35219. 8 Nov 1943
NOTES: Gunnery accident at Myrtle Beach Bombing Range, SC.
On November 8, 1943, while the 574th Bomb-Sq was on gunnery practice at Myrtle Beach, S.C, the top turret gunner, S/Sgt C. H. McDowell, 20756301, 575th Bomb Sq, in ship 41-35219, was tracing the tow target after making several bursts. As the stabilizer came into the line of fire the left gun discharged causing damage to the stabilizer and elevator. The cartridge had been discharged by the firing pin but had apparently been "cooked off". The gun stops were in operation. Ship is being repaired in Squadron.

According to the "Flight Report - Operations" document within the Accident Report, Alexander, Donnelly, Smutsky, McDowell, Sgt. H. Sontag (Alexander's regular AG) and Sgt. A. J. Mohler (duty code annotated W) flew this aircraft from 13:25 to 14:25 on the day of the accident, but without Van Scott. Van Scott (duty code annotated W) flew with the Bird crew earlier the same day. This appears to contradict the crew listing given in the Form No. 14 Accident Report which also gives the time of the accident as 14:00 EWT !
57457410943CPElrod, Floyd E.2/Lt.O692865KIA
SOURCE: MACR 07795?, 42-95851. 11 May 1944
NOTES: Elrod appears on the US Army and Air Force Casualty Lists. USAAFDATA records state that date of death was 11 May 1944 and the aircraft serial number 42-95851. As no MACR exists for this aircraft on this date and his name does not appear in any MACR, I assume that only he was killed whilst flying in this aircraft. ADDENDUM: Information from the 391BG records and Paul Clouting show that Elrod was fatally wounded by a piece of propeller blade whilst co-pilot of 42-95835. The aircraft had made an emergency single-engine landing back at base when the nose wheel collapsed. The aircraft had returned from the Criel mission (#55) on 11 May 1944.
574574129449CPFrick, Ralph L.2/Lt.O781276
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95931. 27 Jan 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at Roye/A-73. On 27th of January 1945, 1st Lieutenant Richard B. Spangler was flying a B-26B50 aircraft, AF number 42-95931, on a local training mission for the purpose of formation practice. Aircraft was loaded with 2 x 2000 lb GP bombs. Upon completing his mission, Lieutenant Spangler returned to base and made a normal landing on runway 100, touching down in the first quarter of the runway and slightly right of centre. Approximately 200 yards beyond the touchdown point, the plane ran off the right side of the runway, going through a deep bank of snow at the runway edge. Impact with this snow bank tore off the right main gear and the nose gear. The plane continued sliding for about 50 yards, collapsing the left main gear and turning through almost 180 degrees. Aircraft is total loss as result of this accident. Examination of tire tracks indicates that accident was due to deflated right main wheel tire. Track made by right tire was almost twice as wide as that made by normally inflated tire. tire was found to be deflated immediately after accident, with no apparent break in casing. Subsequent inspection revealed valve stem to be sheared in two within the casing. Calls: 100% material failure. Plane landed with deflated right main wheel tire, causing aircraft to leave runway. Recommendations: None.
574574128451CPJastremski, Edward C.2/Lt.O831711POW
SOURCE: MACR 12203, 44-67914. 25 Jan 1945
NOTES: Target: Euskirchen, Germany. 44-67914 was flying box 2, high flight, No.5. Two bomb runs were made on the target. The aircraft was hit by FLAK and a hole the size of a turret appeared in the top of front bomb bay. Flames were coming out of the hole and the aircraft made a shallow turn to left under No.4. It then began spiralling towards the ground with pieces of aircraft flying off until it hit the ground. Ransom (the Bombardier in the nose) did not respond to bail out order, so he may have been wounded or unconscious. Williams was either killed when aircraft exploded or his parachute may have caught fire.
574574124449CPKaye, Frederick T.2/Lt.O713468KIA
SOURCE: MACR 11674, 41-35010. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 41-35010 was flying in box 2, low flight, No.2. Enemy aircraft attacked from the right and 41-35010 received most of the fire and dropped out of formation. The gunners in the rear of the aircraft state that the aircraft went into a steep dive and seemed to be out of control, suggesting that the pilot and co-pilot may have been seriously injured by the fighter attack. Kowalski was seriously injured in the TT. Only Kowalski and Potocnik managed to bail out, Miller being pinned in the tail by the force of the rapid descent before the aircraft crashed.
574574116449CPKollar, John J.2/Lt.O1995972POW
SOURCE: MACR 11485, 42-95838. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 42-95838 was hit in tail turret and right wing. Fire spread to bomb bay. Stevenson held plane steady while all of the crew bailed out, but was killed when it exploded.
5745741254412CPLetzring, Claude2/Lt.O833355KIA
SOURCE: MACR 11677, 42-95818. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 42-95818 was flying box 1, low flight, No.6. 12 enemy aircraft attacked and 42-95818 was hit in left engine. The engine burst into flames and the aircraft began to lose altitude. The witness Christensen's role is not stated in the report and so is a guess.
574574134449CPMagner, Alan K., Jr.1/Lt.O823403
SOURCE: Accident Report, 44-67920. 3 Mar 1945
NOTES: Take off accident at Roye/A-73. On 3 March 1945, 1st Lieutenant Guy F. Henage was scheduled to take off on a combat bombing mission in a B-26G15 aircraft, AF No. 44-67920, his position in formation was No. 2, high flight, first box. Lieutenant Henage began his take off run on runway 050, in proper order in formation and at normal interval behind the ship preceding him. Take-off run was made on left side of runway, the preceding ship having taken off on the right hand side, wind was 90 degrees cross-wind from the left, velocity about 12 miles per hour. After rolling more than 3/4 the length of the runway, ship became airborne, was observed to swerve towards its left and then to crash, with wheels retracted, off the end of and to the left of the runway. Aircraft is complete wreck as result of this accident. Lieutenant Henage stated that, just at point of becoming airborne, his ship showed the strong and continued tendency to swerve to the left, which rapidly became uncontrollable and thus necessitated his cutting power and crash landing the aircraft. Co-pilot and engineer stated upon questioning, that they observed a drop in RPM and manifold pressure. They both agreed with the pilot that there was a definite and severe loss of power on the left engine. Cause: 100% material failure. The board feels that this accident occurred as a direct result of either partial or complete loss of power on the left engine. Statements of pilot, co-pilot and engineer; the behavior of the ship as observed from the ground; and the impossibility of strong prop-wash having been encountered due to the relative position of ships with respect to surface wind are believed to constitute sufficient weight of evidence to support this conclusion. Recommendations none.
574574105431CPMajka, Fred J.F/OT187552
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35074. 21 Jul 1943
NOTES: Crash due to mechanical failure at Godman Field, Fort Knox, KY.
After completing a formation mission the pilot attempted to lower his landing gear for a landing at Godman Field. Because of a broken hydraulic line, the landing gear had to be lowered by emergency procedure. The pilot was unable to lower the flaps and also there was no pressure for the brake system. After landing and rolling to within 800 feet of the end of the runway, the pilot pulled the emergency air brake bottle causing damage to the fuselage and left nacelle by sudden stoppage.
Also the two main landing gear tires were blown. This was the only damage noted at the time, and it was felt that no Form No. 14 was necessary. The tires were replaced by this ship's squadron that night, and the next day the ship was flown back to the home base at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where upon further inspection, damage as noted in Incl. No. 4 was discovered.
Incl. No. 4 states "Wrinkled bulkhead at rear of left nacelle, buckled rib above left main gear down lock, distorted plate supporting left main gear down lock, wrinkles and stressed rivets on top of left wing near fuselage, wrinkle on bottom of left wing between fuselage and nacelle, and wrinkle on top of right wing near fuselage." The aircraft was turned over to the 97th Service Group for repairs.
574574135452CPMasco, Robert H.2/Lt.O2058234KIA
SOURCE: MACR 13671, 44-67929. 3 Apr 1945
NOTES: Target: Hameln M/Y, Germany. 44-67929 (929-K) was flying box 1, high flight, No.5. Flew for 1 hour with formation. During a steep climb through cloud its left engine was seen to be smoking. It fell back and was was not seen when the formation came out above the cloud,
574574136451CPMcKim, Roy S., Jr.2/Lt.O833943
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95807. 5 Apr 1945
NOTES: Crash landing at Laon/ 5mi N A-69. On 5 April 1945, 1st Lt Clifford F. Hocker was flying a B-26 aircraft, A.F. #42-95807 on a scheduled training mission; instruments and practice navigation. By his own admission, Lt Hocker was buzzing a farmer in a field. In so doing he flew so low that the propeller blades struck the ground. In attempting to regain altitude, he pulled back so abruptly on control column that the tail turret struck the ground. Being unable to regain a safe altitude, he crash landed straight ahead. The aircraft was loaded with four (4) X one thousand (1000) lb. Gp bombs. Three of these were dislodged and thrown through the bombay, when the tail turret struck the ground. The aircraft caught fire and burned, detonating the remaining bomb. All personnel had evacuated the area prior to detonation of bomb. Cause: One-hundred per cent (100%) pilot error. Pilot was acting in direct disobedience of AAF Regulations and local flying orders in indulging in unauthorised low flying. Recommendations: None.
574574102432CPRichardson, Edgar R., Jr.2/Lt.O735664
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31762. 29 May 1943
NOTES: This crew were killed in a crash landing at MacDill Field, FL.
57457411243CPRugg, Earl J.2/Lt.O757291KIA
SOURCE: MACR 07795, 42-95851. 7 Aug 1944
NOTES: Target: Nogent Le Roi Bridge, France. 42-95851 was hit by FLAK in left wing, went into a spin, and crashed near Conde Sur N? (south of Caen), France.
5745741144312CPSalden, Vern E.1/Lt.O757294KIA
SOURCE: MACR 15281, 42-95873. 5 Oct 1944

Killed in take-off crash in 42-95873 at Roye Amy/A-73.

On October 5, 1944, 1st Lt John R. Talton took off in a B-26B50 AAF No. 42-95873, on a combat mission and crashed two miles northeast of AAF Station A-73. When the formation began to take off visibility was one (1) mile but fog was moving in. At the time of 1st Lt Talton's take off visibility had been reduced to 200-400 yards. A reaper, approximately two (2) miles off the end of the runway, was struck by the right propeller of the aircraft, the contact dismounting the right engine. Upon taking off from the runway used by 1st Lt Talton, it is necessary to climb 200-300 feet per minute to maintain safe ground clearance because of the rising terrain and power lines.

Cause: Inclement weather and terrain.

Recommendations: It is felt that terrain north of this field (ie rising ground and high tension lines) makes instrument takeoffs in that direction a special case, extremely hazardous, thus precluding and recommendation for general instrument training.

NOTE: Only Collison survived and he sustained a fractured skull and burns, resulting in facial disfigurement.

574574106432CPSeiller, Allen J.1/Lt.O731683DNB
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35054. 8 Oct 1943
NOTES: All crew except Watkinson and Woessner were killed in aircraft 41-35054 on 8 October 1943 when it crashed 4 mile NE of Mac Dill Field, FL after an engine failure and entering an uncontrollable spin. 574BS History (reel A0644 page 1067) states that Watkinson received a fracture of the left leg and internal injuries. Woessner received a leg fracture, neck injury, and internal injuries. Hardwick died two days later from his injuries. Dailey was from the armament section riding as passenger. In his account of the crash, Watkinson stated that the left engine failed shortly after take off from MacDill, but, after the engine was feathered and the aircraft trimmed accordingly, the aircraft was maintaining 140 MPH and climbing very, very slowly. Intending to land at Peter O'Knight airfield, he made a turn into the dead engine. He misjudged the turn and, after turning back to the right, the aircraft lost airspeed and he was forced to ditch in Tampa Bay. The tail section behind the top turret broke off after it hit the water and the rest of the aircraft flipped onto its back. Only Watkinson and Woessner managed to escape from the submerged aircraft and clambered aboard the aircraft's life-raft. They were picked up by a rescue boat shortly after. Watkinson states that the crew was not braced for a crash landing, and this could account for the casualties. He says that, in future, his crews will know crash landing procedures. When the aircraft was salvaged, the landing gear was found to be down and locked. The accident committee concluded that this was the cause of the accident, but Watkinson and Woessner both state the gear was up before ditching !
574574117448CPSmidl, Ward C.2/Lt.O715820POW
SOURCE: MACR 11651, 43-34309. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Buckley (tail gunner) reported his guns had jammed, and was then killed after being struck in the chest by a 20mm shell. Crew bailed out but Mickelson and Brandon could not open nose wheel door or bomb bay and may have been trying to land aircraft which either crashed or blew up.
574574131451CPSmith, Seymour2/Lt.O834049KIA
SOURCE: MACR 12222, 42-107720. 10 Feb 1945
NOTES: Target: Berg Gladbach, Germany. Aircraft crashed 10km south of Koblenz. Window ships. Each box made 3 runs on target. 42-107720 was flying box 2, second flight. It received a direct FLAK hit in right wing engine nacelle, and the right wing and engine were blown off. The aircraft flipped onto its back, burst into flames, and began to spin downwards.
574574120449CPStark, Albert O.2/Lt.O715368POW
SOURCE: MACR 11669, 42-107597. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Stephenson (tail gunner) was firing at an enemy fighter attacking from the rear. It is assumed that he either killed or injured the enemy pilot as there was a collision. The enemy fighter sliced off the rear turret leaving a gaping hole and killing Stephenson. The fighter lost a wing and went down. All crew bailed out and survived, becoming POW.
57457414544CPStone, Richard C.2/Lt.O753454
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-18081. 5 Apr 1944
NOTES: The pilot overshot, landing about one third the way down the runway. This resulted in his running off the end of runway 04. After leaving the hard surface, the pilot made a 180 degree turn without stopping and in coming back onto the runway the right propeller struck a stone marker.
The committee finds pilot error in landing technique, responsible for the accident.
NOTE: This accident occurred at RAF Toome Bridge, Northern Ireland (a replacement crew training center) before this crew (except Christopher) were assigned to the 574th Bomb Squadron.
574574133451CPSwain, Hugh B.2/Lt.O828637
SOURCE: Accident Report, 44-67890. 3 Mar 1945
NOTES: Take off accident at Roye/A-73. On 3 March 1945, 2nd Lieutenant Jack Mozian was scheduled to fly a B-26G15 aircraft, AF No. 44-67890, on a combat bombing mission. His position in the formation was the No. 2 man of the lead flight in the first box. Lieutenant Mozian began his take-off run on runway to 280, in proper order in formation and at normal interval behind the plane proceeding him. His ship became airborne after rolling about half the length of the runway and then settled back to the runway almost immediately and before the wheels were fully retracted. The plane skidded down the runway for approximately 300 yards and finally went off the runway's left edge. Aircraft is complete wreck as result of this accident. Pilot's statement furnishes no definite evidence of engine failure. Both the pilot and co-pilot admit that the engines checked out normally when run up in the hard stand and that they seemed to put out full power then and on the take-off run before ship became airborne. Examination of engine subsequent to accident revealed no evidence of malfunction. Cause: 100-percent pilot error. The board feels that the lack of definite evidence of engine failure, taken in conjunction with the plane's shorter than usual take-off run, lead to the conclusion that the aircraft was taken off with insufficient speed to remain airborne. Recommendations: None.
574574118449CPVaughn, Harry W.2/Lt.O781718POW
SOURCE: MACR 11660, 44-67826. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Aircraft hit in rear and engines by enemy fighters.
574574127451CPVirostko, Fred2/Lt.O819432
SOURCE: Accident Report, 44-67871. 16 Jan 1945
NOTES: Take off accident at Roye/A-73. On 16th January 1945, Captain William E. Fields taxied a B-26G15 aircraft, AF No. 44-67871 to the east end of runway 28 in preparation for take-off on a combat mission. He was scheduled to fly number No. 2 position in the low flight of the second box. Captain Fields started his take-off run at the proper interval behind the leader of his flight. After he had proceeded down the runway approximately 1000 feet, his ship was observed to strike a snow bank which lay at the left edge of the runway and to continue through this bank, leaving the runway and collapsing the nose wheel. Investigation showed that the nose wheel down-lock had been sheared off probably by the impact of the wheel against the snowbank. Cause: Failure of the pilot to correctly align his aircraft straight down the runway by the use of throttles or brakes, resulted in plane striking snow bank at end of runway, breaking loose the down-lock and collapsing the nose wheel. Tire tracks from the aircraft indicates that the plane did not slip or swerve but continued along a straight line towards the runway edge. Responsibility: 100% pilot error. Recommendations: The board recommends that Captain Fields be given transition flights at every available opportunity and that he be given a check ride by competent personnel to determine whether or not he is capable of continuing his duties as first pilot. This recommendation is made in view of the fact that Captain Fields has flown, as first pilot, only 11 hours since his assignment to this group.
574574104432CPWatkinson, Arlie G.2/Lt.O731708
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31740. 25 Jun 1943
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Pilot was being checked out as first pilot on this type aircraft. This was the first time he was flying ship from left side of cockpit and was taxiing on taxiway during local rain shower prior to take off.
In the opinion of this committee, the accident was caused by the combination of inexperience of the pilot, wet taxiway, and smooth tires.
RECOMMENDATIONS : Recommend that in the future pilots be checked out in aircraft during better weather conditions, and that they be given aircraft which are as mechanically perfect as possible.
NOTE: The aircraft slid into a ditch; damaging the nose, propellors, and requiring major repairs.
574574123449CPWerner, John C.2/Lt.O781478POW
SOURCE: MACR 11673, 42-95798. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. FLAK damage to 42-95798 caused one engine to run rough, but continued with bomb run. Turning off the bomb run, aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters, which caused fire in bomb bay. Haynes stayed at the controls to enable rest of crew to bail out, but aircraft went into vertical dive just as last man was leaving.
574574132451CPWhippy, Richard N.2/Lt.O833857
SOURCE: MACR 12606, 44-67820. 24 Feb 1945
NOTES: Target: Irlich, Germany. 44-67820 (820-U) was flying No.2 in a lead element of 3 ships. It was hit by FLAK and both engines were on fire with one feathered. The bombs were salvoed, after which the aircraft went into a dive and exploded. The 3 gunners bailed out, but the Officers were killed in the explosion. The aircraft crashed near Deukelford, Germany.
574574111444CPWilson, John T.2/Lt.O691201POW
SOURCE: MACR 05135, 41-31716. 27 May 1944
NOTES: target: Maisons-Lafitte RR Bridge, France. Hit by FLAK. Right engine was smoking and the aircraft was going down at 45 degree angle but under control. All 6 crew bailed out. Wade suffered serious injury and was in a plaster cast from waist to foot. Co-Pilot hospitalized too. Polaski and Rider evaded capture and were eventually liberated. Koehler and Wilson were sent to German POW camp. Dauteuil also evaded but was captured November 1944 and became a POW.
57457412144CPWroten, Alton B.2/Lt.O718817KIA
SOURCE: MACR 11671, 42-95841. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Enemy aircraft attacked from right and No.2 (Detjens 41-35010) received most of the fire and dropped out of formation. No.3 (Donnelly - 42-95841) left formation. No.4 (Brown - 42-95865) moved into No.2 position and was attacked by fighters. The tail of his aircraft was shot off and it span out of control.
574574122449CPYoung, William C.2/Lt.O822677POW
SOURCE: MACR 11672, 43-34361. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Matus and Stoeckel (43-34361 - No.6, low flight) saw an enemy aircraft collide with Lesmeister's aircraft (42-107597 - No.5) and shear off the tail turret. The enemy aircraft lost a wing and went down. Matus in 43-34361 was attacked by fighters and the aircraft lost its left engine and elevator control. A witness reported that its tail was missing and that it was rocking back and forth. A fire started and spread to bomb bay. Stoeckel states that Raimonde and Swanson had their chutes on, but failed to bail out before aircraft went into a spin at low altitude.
5755751174311CPSquier, Eugene R.2/Lt.O757317EVA
SOURCE: MACR 06649, 42-95821. 8 Jul 1944
NOTES: Target: Nantes RR Bridge, France. Stalnaker was leading the first box. During the bomb run the formation encountered heavy and accurate FLAK. Stalnaker was hit in both engines and his right engine started smoking. He continued the bomb run even though he was losing altitude. After the formation had dropped its bombs, he broke left and feathered his right engine. Mitchell flying in No.2 position took over the lead and called Stalnaker (who seemed calm) to say he was trying to get him fighter escort. Witnesses in the second box saw Stalnaker's aircraft flying alongside for a while until it stalled and crashed 5 mile NW of Chateaubriant. All crew bailed out and survived. The report seems to show that only Alexander was captured and the rest returned to duty.
575575000444w.cpCarpenter, Earl S.2/Lt.O689206
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Co-Pilot - no.2 on Stalnaker's wing. Stalnaker hit by FLAK. Smoke from right engine about 30 seconds before bombs dropped. He broke left, feathered right engine, and lost altitude. Capt. Mitchell called Stalnaker to say he would take over the lead. About 5 minutes later, he called Stalnaker to say he was trying to get him a fighter escort.
SOURCE: MACR 06649, 42-95821. 8 Jul 1944