B-17G    42-31557    613th

28 May 1944   Mission # 77   Target: Dessau

                  28 May 1944 , 10:00 engines are on.
                  21 aircraft were airborne by 11:06 , mission #77 , Primary target: Oil Refinery .

                  This was the roughest mission of the 401st Bombardment Group's tour in the ETO.
                  They were attack by approximately 200 enemy fighters. The attacks lasted for 40 minutes.
                  As many as 60 enemy aircraft attacked in formation, using saturation tactics.
                  All of the High Squadron but the Lead Aircraft were shot down. A total of six Group aircraft were lost in the target area.
                  The Group's bombs fell in an excellent pattern, and dense smoke was observed over the target.

Missing Air Crew Report : 5308

1.    Organization : AAF Sta 128.                  

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

2.    Place of depature : AAF Station 128.
       Course :East.
       Target : Dessau.
       Type of mission: Operational Bombing.

3.    Weather conditions when last sighted : Clear.

4.    Last know date : 28 May 1944
       time : 14:25
       location : Between Magdeburg and Dessau, Germany.

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

6.    Aircraft type : B-17G
       serial no. : 42-31557

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 Walter Burton Keith Jr. 1st Lt 0-802411 POW
Copilot John James Maloney 2nd Lt 0-706218 KIA
Navigator Jack Barret Priest 1st Lt O-736652 KIA
Bombardier Norman Weiss 2nd Lt 0-744958 POW
Radio Operator Arthur Peter Mahler Cpl 32565679 POW
Engr / Top Turret James Elwood Wells S/Sgt 15382357 POW
Ball Turret Gunner Peter Beckowitz Jr. Sgt 33398614 KIA
Tail Gunner Victor D'Agostino Sgt 32809046 POW
Left Waist Gunner Leo Carl Cass Sgt 12127848 KIA
Right Waist Gunner Merle Edward Barnes Sgt 36151700 POW
13.  Person believed to have last knowledge of missing aircraft :

Irwin, James R.        2nd Lt.        O-753892

Mission to Dessau, Germany, Crashed at Belzig, Germany.

Will be continued soon

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