Accident and Missing Air Crew Reports

575th BOMB SQUADRON

ROLE: FLIGHT ENGINEER

INDIVIDUAL & NON-INDIVIDUAL CREW MEMBERS; & WITNESSES

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


Assigned
Squadron Crew Year Month Role Name Rank Serial Status
57357311744FECraddock, Kenneth S.Sgt.39856341KIA
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.
57357311443FECulshaw, John R.S/Sgt.33429297KIA
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.
573573120432FEEvans, Omer L.S/Sgt.39283161
57357312043FEMeyer, Roy H.S/Sgt.18192313KIA
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.
573573116448FEMiller, Henry A.Sgt.39408235KIA
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.
574574000444w.ttBarnett, Ellis B.S/Sgt.35285927
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Top Turret Gunner - Box 2, low flight no.5. Janssen (575BS), low flight, no.2. NB Role assumed to be FE.
SOURCE: MACR 09831, 42-95842. 28 Jul 1944
NOTES:
57557511543FEBates, Calvin L.S/Sgt.19049133
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95832. 4 Jul 1944
NOTES: Crashed on take off engine failure at Matching/3mi S Sta 166.

On 4 July 1944, Donald D. O'Hare, O-735810, 1st Lt A.C., having properly checked his aircraft B-26B50 MA, AF No. 42-95832, took off on a local training mission with a seven man crew and ten (10) one hundred pound bomb load. Just as the aircraft was becoming airborne the left engine failed completely. The right propeller fluctuated considerably. The aircraft never attained enough air speed to insure retaining control and holding altitude. The pilot picked a grain field and made a belly landing. The landing was beautifully executed on a slight upslope. The soft dirt tore off the lower segments of each engine cowling, the wheel nacelle doors, the bombay doors, the keel beam of the bombay and part of the skin of under the fuselage. The aircraft slid straight up the slope for approximately 150-200 yards. At that time it went across a ditch approximately six (6) feet wide and four (4) feet deep. The shock even at slow speed swung the aircraft to the right, tore off the left engine, and set the aircraft afire. In the swing to the right the fuselage rode over the torn off left engine, tearing out the rear bombay and breaking the fuselage in two. The crew evacuated the airplane through the copilot's and navigator's hatch. The pilot's hatch was jammed. One enlisted man was in the tail. He was removed by the copilot and the engineer-gunner. The aircraft had checked out on the preflight but on previous flights had been criticized for lack of power. The crash was caused by 100% material failure, complete left engine failure and probable failure of the right propeller, cause undetermined. There are no recommendations.

NOTE: See Reel A0644 page 1264 for an account of the crash.

O'Hare stated that, after feathering the left engine, full rudder trim was not sufficient and that he made a gentle turn to the left to avoid the radar towers at North Weald airfield. He also stated that the bombardier and radio man suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns; the enlisted bombardier (Schwisow) suffered a broken arm, head injuries and and 1st and 2nd degree burns; the rest of the crew suffered minor 1st degree burns; and that he had minor lacerations of the jaw.

57557510943FEBoston, George A.S/SGT.17160225
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95932*. 20 Mar 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at Matching/Sta 166. The pilot landed out of a fast approach at least two-thirds of the way down the runway. His immediate use of brakes was attested to by the appearance of smoke for a short period after landing, but it disappeared until shortly before his attempted turn at the end of the runway where it appeared again. Inspection of the runway right after the accident showed that the right wheel skidded for about 100 yards. The ship was unable to make the turn and the left wheel, under the added download caused by the turn, sank deep into the soft earth allowing the left prop to hit the ground. The accident was due do at 100-percent to pilot error, about 80% judgement and 20% technique. It is recommended that if I stop appears impossible, the pilot role straight ahead on the soft Earth not using brakes off the runway.
575575107432FEBrockelbank, Edward H.S/Sgt.11032199
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-18087. 11 Aug 1943
NOTES: Taxiing accident at Myrtle Beach, SC.
1. Pilot was taxiing, using right brake, only due to weakness of left brake, to slow airplane, and using right engine to keep airplane straight. The right brake froze, and pulled the aircraft into the ditch at the side of the runway.
Examination of the aircraft after the accident showed the clearance on the left brake to be excessive, and the right brake showed signs of scorching, and burning, but the clearance was normal. The pilot stated that after noting the condition of the brake on Form #1, he taxied out, and noted the weakness of the left brake, and took-off.
2. In the opinion of this committee the pilot was at fault for flying an airplane when he was cognizant with the fact that the left brake was weak, as noted on the Form #1.
3. RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommend that pilots in the future take a greater interest in the condition of their aircraft, and not just climb in and take-off.
575575103432EGBrockelbank, Edward H.S/Sgt.11032199
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31747. 6 Jun 1943
NOTES: Landing accident at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Pilot was landing ship upon completion of night mission about 0003 EWT, June 6, 1940. Upon landing, left main gear buckled, due to not being fully extended and locked.
In the opinion of this committee the pilot was careless in that he did not avail himself of the checks provided to positively assure himself that the landing gear was down and locked. Further, the pilot landed the airplane after being assured that only one main wheels was down, and before being assured the left wheel was also down, other then glancing at the wheel indicator, which after check showed the left main gear not to be fully extended. After further investigation, it was disclosed that the locking pin had not been actuated for the left main gear.
RECOMMENDATIONS: That steps be taken by local authorities to insure the compliance, by pilots, with all procedures outlined for landing, and further, pilots be impressed with the serious results possible by a few moments inattention or carelessness.
57557510243EGCampbell, GordonT/Sgt.6970640
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-18149. 13 May 1943
NOTES: Mid-air collision at Osprey Bmb Rng Nr Osprey, FL. 575BS History (Reel A0644 page 1204) states that after avoiding another aircraft on a low-level bombing run, Olfson scraped through the branches of the only large tree on the bombing range. The plexiglass in the bombardier's compartment was shattered but F/O Murphy was uninjured. The plane also suffered damage to the leading edge of the right wing between the fuselage and nacelle. Tail gunner Armstrong called the pilot over the interphone and said "Hey Ollie, I think we just hit a tree", to which Ollie replied "No Kiddin"! The plane returned to the airfield, though it carried branches and leaves from stem to stern.
575575123449FECrider, Jacob E.S/Sgt.35482133KIA
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95853. 24 Sep 1944
NOTES: 42-95853 crashed near Hatfield Heath, England on return from A-73 due to severely bad weather.
57557511343FEFoster, James M.S/Sgt.34526666
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95805. 23 May 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at Matching/Sta 166. At about 1050 on the morning of 23 May 1944, B-26B50MA, 42-95805 made a normal approach for a landing on runway 03. The plane touched down fast almost on three points and according to testimony of occupants of the plane, almost immediately tended to swerve to the right. About 4 seconds (300 yards) after touching down both main wheels were locked, the left very slightly before the right as evidenced by the tyre marks on the runway. These marks continue to the point where the plane left the runway about 700 yards further along and show by their breadth that the right tire blew out about 100 yards before the left which burst shortly before the plane left the runway. Upon leaving the runway, the plane skidding on the soft shoulder, was shorn of the left main gear which raked the left side of the fuselage and allowed the left the nacelle, propeller, and wing to be damaged. Post-crash examination of both wheels showed no sign of binding or heating within the brakes; both wheels were free to turn. The brake valves were inspected and found satisfactory and the lines were clear except for a minimum of hydraulic fluid in the airlines. The air bottle had not been pulled. The brakes had been adjusted within the squadron only the day before. The evidence shows that after landing the plane had tended to swerve to the right which condition the pilot attempted to compensate first by rudder, then by normal use of the left brake and application of power to the right engine, the wheels changed almost instantaneously from a condition of freewheeling to one of complete lock, and that the brakes were locked at a point unreasonably far from the end of the runway and under conditions that refute any contention that the pilot held the brakes depressed thereby causing the accident. With the evidence presented, this board finds itself unable to fairly affix the responsibility in the case of this accident. There are no recommendations.
575575124449FEGilbert, Glynn T.S/Sgt.38419335POW
SOURCE: MACR 11486, 43-34440. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 43-34440 was hit in tail turret and right wing. Fire spread to bomb bay. Hawkinson was fighting the fire in the bomb bay. Either died in aircraft or parachute burned.
575575101432EGGinder, Arthur R.S/Sgt.17032855
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-18135. 30 Mar 1943
NOTES: Crashed due to engine failure at MacDill Field, FL. 575BS History (Reel A0644 page 1201) states that this was the first aircraft assigned to the 575BS. Capt. Stalnaker was on a transistion flight to the Osprey Bombing Range when he had an engine failure. He had to use the nearest available runway at MacDill and, due to the presence of planes on this runway, almost totally wrecked the aircraft on landing. No crew members were hurt as they had all assumed emergency positions.
Due to an engine failure while on a bombing mission, the pilot decided to return to his base. Upon approaching the MacDill Field, he made contact with the tower and was told to land and since it was an emergency to use runway 31. Traffic was using runway 9. The pilot was approaching the field from the S.E. The tower ordered three B-26's that were on runway 31 to clear the runway immediately. Two of the ships responded and cleared. The third ship kept taxiing on to the intersection of runway 31 and 36. In the meantime, the B-26 in trouble kept coming on in. Because of the third ship on the runway, the pilot decided to fly over this ship and land ahead of him. About that time the airplane on the runway turned off leaving the runway clear. The pilot of the ship in emergency then decided rather than try to climb and go around to land in the last 1/3 of the runway and he put his wheels and flaps down. He landed "hot" and the right gear did not have time to get completely down and locked. The right prop started cutting into the runway and the right gear collapsed due to the fact it was not completely down and locked. The nose wheel strut snapped causing the ship to skid sideways and partially groundloop.
FINDINGS:
1. Pilot was not certain at the time the prop was feathered that he had actually lost an engine.
2. Investigation by Engineering section of Sub-Depot failed to disclose any defect that would cause a malfunctioning engine.
3. Unidentified aircraft on runway did not obey tower's instructions to "clear runway 31 immediately".
4. The nose wheel was down and locked while the right gear was not.
5. In view of the known facts of this accident, this board places partial responsibility on the pilot and partial responsibility on the pilot of the unidentified aircraft that did not clear the runway.
RECOMMENDATIONS:
It is recommended in the future all aircraft be instructed to use taxi strips where possible instead of using runways as taxi strips. This will keep all runways open for use during emergency landings.
57557512744FEHaynes, Delmer L.S/Sgt.20725360POW
SOURCE: MACR 11670, 42-95844. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. Haynes was the only survivor and states that there was a fire in the bomb bay which may have prevented the Officers from bailing out. Humble was injured and was too weak to bail out. Stevens' parachute had been damaged by enemy fire and was also hysterical. Only Haynes managed to bail out of the waist window when the aircraft started spinning and became a POW.
575575104432FEKrepelka, Joseph L.S/Sgt.36338933
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-31764. 30 Jun 1943
NOTES: Landing accident due to mechanical fail at Myrtle Beach, SC.
Left tire blew out after landing while plane was rolling. Flat tire caused tire locking rim to fly off allowing play in the tire on the rim. Force of flat tire caused the plane to leave runway and strike bank on left side of runway . Pilot Wanstreet should be commended for his masterful handling of the plane in averting a more serious accident.
RECOMMENDATIONS : None.
NOTE: The aircraft was completely wrecked.
57557511143FELaycock, John F.Sgt.32143301POW
SOURCE: MACR 04216, 42-95845. 27 Apr 1944
NOTES: Target: Arras M/Y, France. FLAK hit right engine which burst into flames. Aldridge momentarily lost control and the aircraft went into a steep turn to the right. He passed under No.2 in the flight with his wing and right engine on fire. He appeared to have the aircraft under control and continued evasive action until 5000 feet. 4 parachutes seen to leave the aircraft before it did a tight left spiral, crashed, and exploded. Burgess and Hanton evaded for a while until they were captured.
575575130449EGLindsay, John H.T/Sgt.16028379
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-107620. 21 Mar 1945
NOTES: Ground accident at Roye/Amy (A-73).

1. On 21 March 1945, 1st Lt Earl J. Bass was scheduled to fly a B-26C45 aircraft, A.F. #42-107620 on a local training mission. Lt Bass taxied out and pulled up at end of runway two-three, and stopped at angle of forty-five (45) degrees to the taxi strip, while waiting for aircraft ahead to be cleared for take-off. This aircraft, a B-26G15, A.F. #44-67986 was piloted by Lt Norman W. Sherwood, O-813962. Lt Sherwood, prior to take-off, ran his engines up to maximum power on the taxi strip, blowing loose slabs of asphalt from taxi strip into Lt Bass' aircraft, causing pilot's and co-pilot's windshields to be broken, plexiglass of nose broken, damage to left propeller, and minor dents in fuselage and left engine cowling.

2. Cause: One hundred percent (100%) airfield terrain. Taxi strip surfaces at the point of accident occurence are in bad condition. Asphalt surfacing is cracked and loose.

3. Recommendations: None.

57557511644FEMartel, ErnestT/Sgt.31150127KIA
SOURCE: MACR 06360, 42-107811. 5 Jul 1944
NOTES: Target: Senoche F/D. 42-107811 was hit in aft bomb bay by FLAK then broke apart. Petrich stated that Sullivan was shot and killed whilst descending in his parachute.
57557511043FEMartin, Edward L.S/Sgt.18180847POW
SOURCE: MACR 03457, 42-95854. 25 Mar 1944
NOTES: Target: Hirson M/Y, France. 42-95854 was 2nd box, low flight, No.6. It was hit by FLAK, stayed in formation for 2 minutes, went into a spin, and exploded before hitting ground near Laon, France. 3 to 5 parachutes were seen. Reagan was found dead about 50 feet from aircraft wreckage with parachute deployed. His severe injuries suggest that he struck the ground hard, and perhaps his parachute caught on the tail, or it malfunctioned.
57557511243EGMiller, Stanley W.S/SGT.36453560
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95950. 12 May 1944
NOTES: Landing accident at Matching/Sta 166. The B-26B50MA, AF # 42-95950 was making a single engine approach, the right engine having been feathered after loss of oil pressure and decided vibration had set in. After wheels and flaps had been lowered in the normal manner the plane was brought in in a fast glide and set down about a third of the runway down at the rather high landing speed of 130 MPH. Anticipating no trouble, speed was at first dissipated by holding the nose up and then the nose wheel was eased down and brakes applied. The pilot states that absolutely no reaction to the depression of both brake pedals prompted him to cause the emergency air bottle to be pulled; estimated speed at this time was about 30 MPH. Characteristically, both wheels locked. Unfortunately, the plane skidded to the left and when it hit the soft shoulder, the shearing forces was too great for the right landing gear assembly which gave way. All crew were in crash landing positions for the landing, but stood up after the aircraft was on the ground. All crew resumed crash landing positions when the aircraft started to skid, except for the engineer in the waist position who recived a slight cut on his forehead. Cause of the engine failure remains undetermined. Neither pilot nor engineer checked hydraulic pressure after wheels and flaps operated normally. 100% failure of structure; is brake failure. In view of the fact that this is the second total loss not to mention the number of tires destroyed occasioned by ships skidding off the runway after pulling the air bottle, it is recommended that a thorough study study be made of alternative methods of bringing the ship to a stop. One suggestion involves coordinated use of the shut off and bleed valves in the emergency system by which pressure could be at least partially controlled. Another suggestion incorporates landing on the runway to absorb the initial shock, but then as speed is dissipated, rolling deliberately off onto the soft shoulder where the friction coefficient will help to dissipate that last bit of speed that air resistance and a smooth runway affect so little. NOTE: Rapport is listed on the accident report crew listing for 42-95950 on 12 May 1944 as (Duty) "M", (Rating) "F/S", and (Branch) "MC". These are possibly "Medical", "Flight Surgeon", and "Medical Corps" respectively.
57557511743FEMiller, Stanley W.S/Sgt.36453560EVA
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.
575575108435FENovak, StanleyT/SGT.6908665
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35068. 9 Sep 1943
NOTES: Friendly fire [shoot down] in the vicinity of Lebanon, TN. Stalnaker was pilot of a B-26 C21 airplane 41-35068 on the afternoon of September 9, 1943. He was flying the lead ship of a formation on a low altitude maneuver with TA800. While on a bombing run a land mine was exploded directly ahead causing damage to above mention airplane. In no way was the pilot responsible for the damage done to the airplane. Damage sustained to the airplane: left propellor cuff was bent, left wing dented, de-icer boot torn, small holes in fabric on left aileron, dents in left wing and left horizontal stabilizer, trailing edge of left elevator bent and torn, and two holes in left elevator.
575575129449FEPennington, Ernest H.T/Sgt.34728009KIA
SOURCE: MACR 12611, 42-107576. 24 Feb 1945
NOTES: Target: Irlich. 42-107576 was flying box 1, lead flight. Just before release point, burst of FLAK hit the right engine and the main auxiliary fuel tank. The aircraft caught fire, veered right, and then went down in spiral dive. The wing broke off in the dive. No parachutes were observed leaving the aircraft.
57557511444FEPeterson, Kenneth D.S/Sgt.37220369KIA
SOURCE: MACR 05689, 42-95848. 7 Jun 1944
NOTES: Target: Briouze Railway Sidings. 42-95848 was lead flight, No.7. Aircraft was hit by FLAK and crashed NE of Bretteville, France. 4 parachutes seen, but last one did not deploy fully.
57557505644FEPeterson, Kenneth D.S/Sgt.37220369
SOURCE: Accident Report, 42-95840 28 May 1944
NOTES: Someone at the 1996 reunion indicated that the above were regular crew members. On 05/28/44 crash landed (42-95840). Believed to be on test flight. Per the softback history, Lt Sullivan's plane (42-95848) was shot down on 06/07/44, but four chutes appeared and two survived. The hardback history identifies the following as "missing": Lt Sullivan, Lt Hobson, TSgt Roberge, and SSgt Peterson. "Return of the Marauder Men" lists only Sgt Peterson as a casualty (which means that other remains were returned to the US. Dave Garnham found verification on microfilm of Lt. Sullivan's death. ADDENDUM: The mission records show that this was Sullivan's regular crew. This crew were aboard 42-95840 on the Amiens mission of 28 May 1944, when the aircraft was hit by FLAK over the target and was seen to leave formation, gliding down under control. The aircraft is believed to have crash landed near the English coast where it ran into anti-landing traps, and was declared Cat E and salvaged. Sullivan and crew were OK.
575575126448FESanchez, Joe R.S/Sgt.39290993KIA
SOURCE: MACR 11661, 42-107671. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft. 42-107671 was seen with left engine on fire and right engine feathered. Crew abandoned aircraft due to fire in bomb bay. Although 6 parachutes were seen leaving the aircraft, Adair was the only survivor. Adair states that he believes the rest of the crew were killed by S.S. Troops or by civilians.
57557512543FEWyne, Joseph W.T/Sgt.15068360POW
SOURCE: MACR 11551, 42-95932. 23 Dec 1944
NOTES: Target: Ahrweiler, Germany. Formation attacked by 50 to 75 enemy aircraft attacking in waves of 10 to 15 aircraft.
575575000447w.egRausch, Dean H.S/Sgt.36650622
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Engineer Gunner - lead flight, no.6.
SOURCE: MACR 08058, 42-95802. 25 Aug 1944
NOTES:
575575000448w.wgWaggoner, Henry G., Jr.S/Sgt.14161966
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - Box 2, lead flight.
SOURCE: MACR 07648, 42-95800. 13 Aug 1944
NOTES:
575575000448w.wgWaggoner, Henry G., Jr.S/Sgt.14161966
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - Box 2, lead flight.
SOURCE: MACR 07649, 42-95834. 13 Aug 1944
NOTES: