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B17's Downed

Discussion in 'Allied Bomber Planes' started by Jim, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim Active Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    Its bomb load still intact, B-17F-35¬DL 42-3190 of the 331st BS/94th BG is guarded by a lone German soldier in a French wheat field. The Fortress had been skilfully force-landed by Capt Kee Harrison after it had been shot up on the Paris-Le Bourget mission of 14 July 1943. Harrison was assisted by the French Resistance, and later crossed the Pyrenees into Spain barefoot. Gunners Richard H Lewis and Eino 'Ossie' Asiala, who were also aided by the Resistance, managed to evade capture until October, when they were betrayed and sent to a POW camp after Gestapo interrogation. At stalag Luft VII they were reunited with Jim Curtis and Earl Porath. The men latel heard that co-pilot Lt David H Turner, radio operator Jeff D Polk and Charlie McNemar had made it back to England with help from the Resistance.


    B-17F-25-DL 42-3082 Double Trouble of the 333rd BS/94th BG landed safely in England with a full bomb load after pilot Lt Bill Winnesheik aborted the mission to Bremen on 25 June 1943 when fighters knocked out two of the bomber's engines. The Fortress suffered a similar fate on 4 October that same year when it was attacked by German fighters whilst heading for St Nazaire. This time its No 3 engine was disabled, and the propeller refused to feather. The bomber was so badly damaged during the subsequent crash-landing at Margate, on the Kent coast, that it was salvaged. Assistant engineer/waist gunner Vance Van Hooser was hit in the head by 20 mm shell fragments during the attack by the enemy fighters, and the 23-mission veteran never flew operationally again.


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