B-17G    42-31374    613th

13 March 1944   Mission # 36   Target: Gorenflos, France

                  13 March 1944 , 0815 engines are on
                  23 aircraft were airborne by 0845 , mission #36 , target today is " Crossbow " (Nazi rocket sites) Gorenfloss , France.

                  Of the 271 aircraft dispatched by the 8th Air Force, only 7 succeeded in finding targets of opportunity because of
                  bad weather. Like most other groups, the 401st brought its bombs back to base.
                  No enemy aircraft were encountered, but moderate flak brought down one of the Group's aircraft, that flown by
                  Lt. G. J. Hellmuth and his crew (No. 42-31374).

Missing Air Crew Report : 3185

1.    Organization : AAF Sta 128.                  

       Command : 8th Air Force.
       Group : 401st.
       Squadron : 613th.

2.    Place of depature : AAF Station 128.
       Course :North - East.
       Target : Gorenflos, France.
       Type of mission: Operational Bombing.

3.    Weather conditions when last sighted : 10/10 overcast - clear above.

4.    Last know date : 13 March 1944
       time : 11:34
       location : About 4 miles north of Abbeville.

5.    Aircraft believed to have been lost as a result of : Enemy anti aircraft

6.    Aircraft type : B-17G
       serial no. : 42-31374

7.    Nickname of aircraft : --

8.    Engines : R-1820-97.

10.  Persons listed below listed as : Battle Casualties.

11.  Persons on board : Crew : 10.

12.  List crew position , name , rank , serial no. and current status :
Pilot George Joseph Hellmuth 2nd Lt. 0-748546 KIA
Copilot James Joseph Hannon 2nd Lt 0-755556 KIA
Navigator James Alfred Coventry 1st Lt 0-678616 POW
Bombardier Raymond Edward Gipson 1st Lt 0-676254 POW
Radio Operator Robert Frank Wagner T/Sgt 34209104 KIA
Engr / Top Turret James Melvin Bailey T/Sgt 17016617 POW
Ball Turret Gunner Gordon Francis Brandt T/Sgt 16095987 KIA
Tail Gunner Michael Francis De Vito S/Sgt 12155471 POW
Left Waist Gunner Royce Woodson Moore S/Sgt 18051910 POW
Right Waist Gunner Francis Goodwin Allen Sgt 37129864 KIA
13.  Person believed to have last knowledge of missing aircraft :

Roger F. Schlieper          2nd Lt.        0-689664        613 th
Sandy Lew                       2nd Lt.        0-746361        613 th
Arlis E. Hibbs                  S/Sgt.          16088190       613 th

-     Accurate bursts of flak hit under ship and on no. 3 engine.
      A/C dropped back out of formation , jettisoning bombs.
      Three chutes were immediately observed.
      A/C then stalled and three more chutes were seen as ship went into dive.
      At least two men made long delay jumps , disappearing into the clouds.
      One observer reports eight chutes in addition to the two men who did not pull cord before disappearing into
      the clouds. Ship was afire and exploded before hitting undercast.

- Report : Plenty of time ( approximately five minutes before explosion of A/C ) for all crew members to bail out.

Mission to Gorenflos, France, operation " Crossbow " (Nazi rocket sites), flak hit ship and on no. 3 engine and exploded.
Chrashed near St Quen, France.

Will be continued soon

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