Why is there no B 42 bomber

Crash of a B-17 near Langenwang on July 26, 1944

Insignia of the 301st Bomber Group
A B-17 bomber from the 301st Bomber Group
B-17 bombers of the 352nd Squadron of the 301st Bomber Group on July 24, 1944, two days before the major attack on Austria, after an attack on Turin.

On July 26, 1944, at 11:05 a.m., an American Boeing B-17 bomber crashed in the municipality of Langenwang Fortress of the 301st Bomber Group (419th Squadron) after a dogfight. The aircraft had participated in the major attack on Eastern Austria as part of the 15th US Air Fleet and was shot down by Corporal Heinz Westerdorf of the 5th Squadron of Fighter Wing 300. A little later, the German pilot himself fell victim to an American P-51 escort fighter and fell fatally near Langenwang.

The American bomber still had all the bombs on board. Four crew members were able to save themselves with the parachute, six crew members died in this crash.

Fate of the crew of machine 42-102915

function Surname Rank Whereabouts
Pilot! Pilot!Martin Alonzo L.! Martin Alonzo L. First lieutenant! First lieutenantPOW! POW (Prisoner of War)
Co-pilot! Co-pilot McDonald Harry J.! McDonald Harry J. First lieutenant! First lieutenant POW! POW
Navigator! NavigatorTenenbom Harold N.! Tenenbom Harold N. First lieutenant! First lieutenant POW! POW
Bombardier! BombardierThorson Robert E.! Thorson Robert E. Second lieutenant! Second lieutenantKIA! KIA (Killed in Action)
Flight engineer! Flight engineerBaril Joseph H.! Baril Joseph H. Sergeant! SergeantPOW! POW
Radio operator! Radio operator Hollingsworth Oscar R.! Hollingsworth Oscar R. Technical Sergeant! Technical SergeantKIA! KIA
Gunner! Gunner Fischer Charles H.! Fischer Charles H. Corporal! CorporalKIA! KIA
Gunner! Gunner Thornton Maurice C.! Thortson Maurice C. Staff Sergeant! Staff SergeantKIA! KIA
Gunner! Gunner Barnhart Jack G.! Barnhart Jack G. Staff Sergeant! Staff Sergeant KIA! KIA
Gunner! Gunner Hutton Hiram S.! Hutton Hiram S. Sergeant! Sergeant KIA! KIA

Procedure of the launch

American eyewitness accounts during the war

The Missing Aircrew Report (MACR) 7123[1], which was usually created within 48 hours after a machine was shot down, contains an eyewitness account of the circumstances of the crash:

  • Second Lieutenant Paul E. Gerhart, bombardier from aircraft no.186:

“Airplane number 42-102915 was flying in position 2-1 in the left low-flying squadron. It was hit by several enemy fighters at 11:05 a.m. Engines # 3 and # 4 were both burning, and about three feet of the left wing had shot away. The aileron was about three-quarters away and you could see flames inside the nose. The plane broke out of formation and went down, moving out of view. I didn't see any parachutes coming out of the plane. The exact coordinates were 47 degrees 50 minutes north and 15 degrees 50 minutes east. It was 11:05 a.m. "

  • Sergeant Sidney D. Weiss, bombardier in the ground command post of Airplane No. 185:

“I first saw aircraft number 42-102915 when engine number 4 started to burn after the aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters. A short time later the plane fell out of formation and then I noticed that engine 3 was also burning. The plane rose towards the clouds. I saw the right wing break off the moment it hit the clouds. I think I saw five or six parachutes come off the plane before losing sight of it. Good chances of survival. "

Reports from German sources

The MACR contains a translation of German documents that describe the details of the crash. The time of the crash is given as 11:07 a.m. The plane exploded in midair and parts fell 4 kilometers northeast of Langenwang into the Pretulgraben, but debris was scattered over 5 kilometers. According to this document, four dead crew members were buried on July 27, 1944 in the local cemetery of Langenwang, only one of which, Robert Thorson, could be identified. On July 29, 1944, Jack Barnhart, who had succumbed to his injuries, was buried in the cemetery. One of the officers was hospitalized wounded. There is also information about the capture of the survivors:

  • Pilot Alonso Martin was caught near the impact site at 2 p.m. and transferred to the Dulag Luft prisoner of war camp.
  • Harold Tenenbom was captured wounded.
  • Joseph Baril was captured and transferred to the Stalag Luft IV prisoner of war camp.
  • Harry McDonald was transferred to the Stalag Luft III POW camp after his capture.

American eyewitness accounts after the war

The Missing Aircrew Report (MACR) 7123[1] Also contains statements made by the surviving crew members who uttered them after the war:

  • About Robert Thorson: his comrades suspected that he jumped after the navigator but his parachute did not open. They heard from a woman that she had seen a man without a parachute in the air.
  • about Oscar Hollingsworth: probably crashed several times wounded with the machine

Overview of the losses of the 301st bomber group

On that day a total of eleven B-17 bombers of the 301st bomber group were shot down. 66 crew members were killed, 43 others were taken prisoner. In addition to these casualties, there may be dead and wounded in the 15 remaining aircraft that continued the attack and returned to home base.

The following table shows the most important data about these crashed machines and contains links to the individual detail pages:

event MACR - time of day Crash site Type / serial number MACR unit KIA POW
19440726 / B-17 / 42-31652! 19440726 / B-17 / 42-316521105! 11:05 a.m. Stinatz / Wörth! StinatzB-17 / 42-031652! B-17 / 42-31652 07136!
7136
[2]
301. Bomber Group / 353. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 353. Squadron 03!
3
06!
6
19440726 / B-17 / Alland! 19440726 / B-17 / Alland1118! 11:18 a.m. Alland! AllandB-17 / 42-030385! B-17 / 42-30385 07000!
7000
[3]
301. Bomber Group / 353. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 353. Squadron 09!
9
01!
1
19440726 / B-17 / Alland! 19440726 / B-17 / Alland1118! 11.18 a.m. Alland! Alland B-17 / 42-102929! B-17 / 42-102929 07143!
7143
[4]
301. Bomber Group / 352. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 352. Squadron 08!
8
02!
2
19440726 / B-17 / 42-102915! 19440726 / B-17 / 42-1029151105! 11:05 a.m. Langenwang! LangenwangB-17 / 42-102915! B-17 / 42-102915 07123!
7123
[1]
301. Bomber Group / 419. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 419. Squadron 06!
6
04!
4
19440726 / B-17 / 44-6189! 19440726 / B-17 / 44-61891110! 11.10 a.m. Reichenau an der Rax! Reichenau an der RaxB-17 / 44-006189! B-17 / 44-6189 07141!
7141
[5]
301. Bomber Group / 32. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 32. Squadron 03!
3
06!
6
19440726 / B-17 / 42-31625! 19440726 / B-17 / 42-316251105! 11:05 a.m. Rats! Rats!B-17 / 42-031625! B-17 / 42-31625 07135!
7135
[6]
301. Bomber Group / 419. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 419. Squadron 06!
6
04!
4
19440726 / B-17 / St.Jakob! 19440726 / B-17 / St.Jakob1110! 11.10 a.m. Saint Jacob in the forest, Saint Jacob in the forestB-17 / 42-032107! B-17 / 42-32107 07129!
7129
[7]
301. Bomber Group / 419. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 419. Squadron 03!
3
07!
7
19440726 / B-17 / St.Jakob! 19440726 / B-17 / St.Jakob1110! 11.10 a.m. Saint Jacob in the forest, Saint Jacob in the forest B-17 / 42-003157! B-17 / 42-3157 07138!
7138
[8]
301. Bomber Group / 32. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 32. Squadron 05!
5
05!
5
19440726 / B-17 / 42-31523! 19440726 / B-17 / 42-315231105! 11:05 a.m. St. Kathrein am Hauenstein! St. Kathrein am HauensteinB-17 / 42-031523! B-17 / 42-31523 07127!
7127
[9]
301. Bomber Group / 419. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 419. Squadron 05!
8
05!
2
19440726 / B-17 / Strallegg! 19440726 / B-17 / Strallegg1110! 11.10 a.m. Strallegg! StralleggB-17 / 42-102913! B-17 / 42-102913 07124!
7124
[10]
301. Bomber Group / 032. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 32. Squadron 07!
7
03!
3
19440726 / B-17 / Strallegg! 19440726 / B-17 / Strallegg1105! 11:05 a.m. Strallegg! Strallegg B-17 / 44-006168! B-17 / 44-6168 07142!
7142
[11]
301. Bomber Group / 352. Squadron! 301. Bomber group / 352. Squadron 08!
8
02!
2
Total!Total:66!
66
43!
43

Web links

see also: List of allied aircraft shot down in World War II

Individual evidence

  1. 1,01,11,2Scan from MACR 7123, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed November 14, 2014
  2. ↑ Scan from MACR 7136, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  3. ↑ Scan from MACR 7000, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  4. ↑ Scan from MACR 7143, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  5. ↑ Scan from MACR 7141, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  6. ↑ Scan from MACR 7135, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  7. ↑ Scan from MACR 7129, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  8. ↑ Scan from MACR 7138, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed December 9, 2014
  9. ↑ Scan from MACR 7127, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  10. ↑ Scan from MACR 7124, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014
  11. ↑ Scan from MACR 7142, website http://www.fold3.com/, accessed on November 14, 2014