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
573573120432RGAnnette, Edward J.T/Sgt.32304424KIA
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.
573573116444RGRaymond, Warren D.T/Sgt.16146455KIA
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.
57357311443RGRollings, William S.T/Sgt.33499791KIA
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.
57357311744RGWeaver, Joseph P.S/Sgt.18079799KIA
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.
573573000444w.wgRaymond, Warren D.T/Sgt.16146455
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - lead flight, no.3.
SOURCE: MACR 09831, 42-95842. 28 Jul 1944
57457400043w.wgForster, William J.T/Sgt.33370371
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - In Metelsky aircraft. Stalnaker leading Box 1. We were in last flight of Box 2. 5 chutes.
SOURCE: MACR 06649, 42-95821. 8 Jul 1944
57557511644RGAmbrose, Bryan B.S/Sgt.34240010KIA
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.
575575136RGAnglim, John E.S/Sgt.33310508
SOURCE: Accident Report, 43-34326 7 Feb 1945
NOTES: Landing accident at A-58. Pilot made normal landing. Tire blew out on left main gear, causing aircraft to swerve to the left and off of runway. Pilot used left throttle and right brake in an attempt to keep the aircraft on runway. There was a 20 degree cross-wind at 15 MPH aggravating the aircraft's tendency to swerve to the left. Pilot was landing on the left-hand side of runway in his correction for drift. NOTE: This Accident Report was filed by the 410th Bomb Group, 647th Bomb Squadron. It is assumed that this aircraft and this crew (except for Curtis, and formerly of the 574 and 575 squadrons respectively) were transferred to this squadron at some point. The 410BG were originally equipped with A-20 Havoc aircraft. This report has been included for completeness.
57557511043RGBridgewater, Billy B.T/Sgt.14188175POW
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.
5755751294412RGBroffman, PaulSgt.32342444KIA
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.
575575130449RGDellipizzi, Howard P.S/Sgt.33598234
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.

57557510943RGGrazier, Guy W.T/SGT.35596133
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.
57557512744RGHumble, Harold R.S/Sgt.38468334KIA
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.
57557511243RGLawson, Thomas T.T/SGT.13034170
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.
57557512543RGMcGettigan, John F.Cpl.33791127KIA
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.
575575102432RGNewton, James A.T/Sgt.32328795
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.
575575104435RGRibeiro, RaymondT/Sgt.11069851
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.
NOTE: The aircraft was completely wrecked.
57557511444RGRoberge, Joseph F.T/Sgt.31265792KIA
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.
57557505644RGRoberge, Joseph F.T/Sgt.31265792
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.
57557511143RGSaylor, Sterl E.Cpl.12098426KIA
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.
575575117432RGSmith, Richard B.T/Sgt.20314269EVA
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.
575575123449RGTerrian, Warren E.Cpl.16089427KIA
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.
575575124449RGVon Castelberg, Edward H.T/Sgt.32867810POW
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.
57557511543RGWeis, Jerry E.T/Sgt.19080569
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.

57557511343RGWeis, Jerry E.T/Sgt.19080569
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.
57557510843RGWeis, Jerry E.T/SGT.19080569
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.
57557510543RGWeis, Jerry E.T/Sgt.19080569
SOURCE: Accident Report, 41-35078 (previously 41-34078). 25 Jul 1943
NOTES: Ditched Into Atlantic Ocean 200 yards off Myrtle Beach, SC. Reel B0427 page 981 states that all occupants escaped to the aircraft's life raft and were later picked up by a crash boat. Kramer (Assistant Crew Chief) suffered sprained ankle, sprained left wrist, and minor contusions. All other crew suffered minor abrasions.
Pilot's statement: "I was the pilot of B-26C21, 41-35078. I took off at 0835 on runway 35 behind an A-20. Just after leaving the ground we had a violent yaw to the left which I thought was prop wash, but which might have been a partial failure of the left engine. I continued my climb to 900 feet and had turned to the left when airplane 41-35066 called and told me that my left engine was smoking badly. I checked it and oil smoke was coming from under the cowling. I called the tower while at 1000 feet and told them I was coming in for an emergency landing on runway 35.
I was on the downwind leg at about 160 miles per hour when the oil pressure fluctuated and dropped to 0, and the temperature started dropping rapidly. I feathered the engine and notified the tower. The co-pilot went off to salvo the bombs from the nose, while we were at 150 MPH and 900 feet. The airspeed dropped to 140 MPH as he salvoed, and in order to hold that, I had to lower the nose and dived to 600 feet. I was carrying about 2500 RPM and 49 inches Hg on the right engine. When the doors came shut we were unable to pick up speed and lost down to 135 MPH and once at 130 MPH. I had intended to make a right turn away from the field and come into runway 35 but my speed and gradual loss of altitude did not warrant it. I then attempted a left turn into the dead engine with reduced power on the right engine but the speed dropped to 120 so I gave power and called to tower while at 500 feet, that I was going to land in the water, which was straight ahead.
I made my descent at 150 MPH and made a flat landing in the water about 200 yards off shore. The only roughness on the landing was when the nose finally settled causing a sudden stop. All crew members got out all right and the plane floated for about 30 seconds while we got the raft out. All emergency procedures went excellently except the co-pilot and I each thought the other had cut the right switch and it was not cut. The crash boat came and picked us up."
The aircraft was salvaged and the Accident Committee concluded that the engine failure was caused by the failure of the Thermostatic Relief Valve fitted to the oil cooler. Two recent additional cases of the same type of failure were considered by the committee.
The committee commended the pilot for good judgement, and good technique.
575575126448RGWeissker, William L.S/Sgt.14070304KIA
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.
575575103432RGWells, George M.T/Sgt.38151419
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.
57557500043w.wgGallo, Larry F.T/Sgt.33429374
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - Box 1, flight 2, No.3.
SOURCE: MACR 06360, 42-107811. 5 Jul 1944
57557500043w.wgGallo, Larry F.T/Sgt.33429374
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - Box 2, lead flight, no.5.
SOURCE: MACR 07648, 42-95800. 13 Aug 1944
57557500043w.wgGallo, Larry F.T/Sgt.33429374
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - Box 2, lead flight, no.5.
SOURCE: MACR 07649, 42-95834. 13 Aug 1944
575575000431w.unkMatis, WilliamT/Sgt.19040245
57557500043w.unkShreves, Forest E.T/Sgt.37506082
SOURCE: MACR 03457, 42-95854. 25 Mar 1944
575575000431w.wgMatis, WilliamT/Sgt.19040245
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - Box 2, lead flight, No.4.
SOURCE: MACR 06360, 42-107811. 5 Jul 1944
575575000449w.rgRatliff, Robert E.T/Sgt.17127866
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Radio Gunner - no.3. FLAK hit left engine, which caught fire. Aircraft veered right and went down in spiral dive. Left wing broke off.1 chute.
SOURCE: MACR 12611, 42-107576. 24 Feb 1945
57557500043w.wgShreves, Forest E.T/Sgt.37506082
WITNESS DETAILS & STATEMENT: Waist Gunner - low flight, no.3.
SOURCE: MACR 05689, 42-95848. 7 Jun 1944