B-17G " Salvo Sadie "   42-31496    612th

21 Jun 1944   Mission # 96   Target: Berlin, Germany

                  21 Jun 1944 , 04:10 engines are on.
                  43 aircraft were airborne by 05:21 , mission #96 , target today is a aircraft plant and other facililies.

                  This was a massive attack on Berlin by 1,234 bombers and an equal number of fighters of the 8th Air Force.
                  Strike photos showed excellent results, many explosions, fire and smoke were reported in the entire Berlin area.
                  Flak was accurate and moderate to intense, and the Luftwaffe was active in the area.
                  One of the aircraft shot down was the 401st's B-17 No. 42-31496, piloted by Lt. J. Atherton
                  Shot down by fighters but succeeded in making a force-landing.
                  Sergeants Burg, Gray, Smith, and Cox bailed out and landed safely.
                  The other crew members stayed with the aircraft.

Missing Air Crew Report : 6000

1.    Organization : AAF Sta 128.                  

       Command : 8th Air Force.
       Group : 401st.
       Squadron : 612th.

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

3.    Weather conditions when last sighted : Very heavy contrails over scattered clouds.

4.    Last know date : 21 jun 1944
       time : 10:10
       location : 5234 N - 1350 E.

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

6.    Aircraft type : B-17G
       serial no. : 42-31496

7.    Nickname of aircraft : Salvo Sadie

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 Jack Atherton 2nd Lt. 0-813458 POW
Copilot Donald E. Awalt 2nd Lt 0-820878 POW
Navigator Richard W. Fitzmaurice 2nd Lt 0-1306576 POW
Bombardier John F. Whelan 2nd Lt 0-741427 POW
Radio Operator James E. Burg T/Sgt 36735696 POW
Engr / Top Turret Robert T. Sonnhalter T/Sgt 39545082 POW
Ball Turret Gunner Daniel E. Grunstad S/Sgt 37547787 POW
Tail Gunner William H. Gray S/Sgt 33526096 POW
Left Waist Gunner Jeral B. Smith S/Sgt 34409503 POW
Right Waist Gunner Ronald D. Cox S/Sgt 37654398 POW
13.  Person believed to have last knowledge of missing aircraft :

Charles C. Davis Jr.            2nd Lt.          0-761803       612 th

-    Seemed to go over to join another formation.
      To the left of this A/C and in a S.W. direction on heading of approximately 210 degrees.

Will be continued soon

If you have questions, remarks or information , please feel free to Email me
or leave a message in my guestbook