B-17G 42-31486 612th
29 January 1944 Mission #17 Target: Frankfurt
29 January 44 , 0710 hours , engines are on.
35 planes are off on mission #17.
Target today is Frankfurt, Germany.
On the return flight the plane was hit by German fighter.
2 men survived and were POW's , 8 men died after plane exploded mid air.
Missing Air Crew Report : 2272
1. Organization : AAF Sta 128.
Command : 8th Air Force.
Group : 401st.
Squadron : 612th.
2. Place of depature : AAF Station 128.
Course : East.
Target : Frankfurt , Germany.
Type of mission: Operational Bombing.
3. Weather conditions when last sighted : 10/10 undercast.
4. Last know date : 29 Jan 1944
time : 11:05
location : 50° 30'N - 07° 40'E.
5. Aircraft believed to have been lost as a result of : Enemy aircrafts.
6. Aircraft type : B-17G
serial no. : 42-31486
7. Engines : R-1820-97.
9. Persons listed below listed as : Battle Casualties.
10. Persons on board : Crew : 10.
11. List crew position , name , rank , serial no. and current status :
13. Person believed to have last knowledge of missing aircraft :
Suprise, Walter L. S/Sgt. 17129684
- Aircraft last seen with #1 and #2 engines on fire after attack by enemy aircraft.
It was still partly under control as lost altitude and went into clouds.
Mission to Frankfurt, germany, Aircraft last seen with #1 and #2 engines on fire after attack by enemy aircraft.
This is the report a crewmember writes after he was back in England
- Your name : WILLIAM CLARENCE FRYE Jr.
- Rank : 2nd Lt.
- Serial number : 0-682102.
- Mission : Frankfurt on Main.
- Target : Warehouses and Rail road yards.
- Target time : 12:10 PM.
- Altitude : 24.000 Ft ?.
- Where were you when you left formation : On return trip very near target area.
- Did you bail out : I was in bail out position when plane exploded blowing me clear.
- Did other members bail out : All members of crew bailed out.
- Tell more about others : Brennan was blown clear in explosion landed in parachute some 50 yards from me.
We were captured at the same time.
- Where did plane strike the ground ? : Approx. 20 Km from Kaiserslautern and Bad Kreuznach.
- When did you last see any members :
I was informed by German civilian Doctor who visited me in the local jail the day following the crash,
that there had been 4 bodies in the ship and that 4 had been thrown clear, all 8 were dead.
The Navigator was uninjured the last contact I had with him
The surviving waist gunner, Sgt. Brennan, informed me that left waist gunner, Sgt. Martin, had been hit
and was " downed " the last thing he could remember before the explosion
Over the target we had 2 engines out ( one was on fire ).
Under heavy fighter attack previous to explosion.
I " believe " the pilots may have been hit for I heard shells exploding in the cockpit.
Ship went into a steep dive.
I started for cockpit to try to lend assistance, A/C started to spin, I pulled emergency escape hatch and
was blown out by ship exploding.
As I attempted to get to the cockpit I could see the Top turret gunner, or at least the lower half of him.
As far as I could tell he was uninjured at the time of the explosion.
I assume the pilots were injured due to the way the plane acted, immediately after I heard shells
exploding in the cockpit.
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