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B-17: Queen of the Skies» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: [Forum Campaign 4] Mission 84 – Schweinfurt rss

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ian morris
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"Love to, dear boy, though I'm afraid Flashie won't be joining us.."


aerogoose wrote:
gamer72 wrote:
aerogoose wrote:
Message from RAF Field at Felixstowe....

USAAF B-17 "Silver Dollar" has successfully landed at our airfield after confirming proper landing passwords. No reports on casualties yet, but afraid your bird is pretty well banged up. Will have the pilot contact you ASAP.....



Another message from Felixstowe :-


"We have another of your birds here, the Tempest - seems to have a British crew aboard ! Ground crew are fixing a fuel leak, then she'll be on her way, minus one badly-injured crewman on his way to Ipswich IC unit."




As long as we're here, how about you pick out a place for a drink to celebrate returning from "First Schweinfurt"? The Silver Dollar boys will buy the first round.
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ian morris
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The Crystal Ship made a bumpy landing at Elveden while firing lots of red flares, having flown Tail-End Charlie for the entire mission. Damage control parties are hosing out the interior right now...





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Australia
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I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
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Capt. Hamish McManlo fingers through the reports from the 151st. He always takes special interest in Capt. Seth Gecko's report as he personally picked him for this assignment. Some of the other brass thought he would be unreliable but Hamish had a good feeling about the loud-mouthed Southerner. While scanning through Seth's 20th report his eyes do a double-take as he sees the bombing reults: 94% On Target!

After last briefing's fiasco, Lt. Col. Chase Pfalzstaff and Hamish had serious considerations about busting the Captain down to Private. But somehow, he keeps bringing his bird home, rarely loses a crewmember, and this time put almost every bomb right on target. "I guess we can put up with him for another 5 missions" thought Hamish, "then it'll be the Lt. Colonel's problem to decide what to do with him! Perhaps we could extend his Tour of Duty as punishment. It'd be a shame to lose him."

Hamish closes the file, lost deep in thought.


The full report of Santanico Pandemonium will be posted shortly.
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Jim P
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Sterling Heights
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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As a jeep from HQ speeds towards one of the far hardstands a buzz starts among the crews while they prepare for the mission...

"damn is that the old man..."

"...can't tell from here but it looks like his ride..."

"...yes, YES, it's got to be the Colonel..."

"...he's in flight gear, is he going up?..."

"…this must be an important mission!"


The Jeep pulls into hardstand 12 where "Tru Bella III" makes home. 1st Lt. Zabalaoui and 2nd Lt. Faircloth both salute then approach the Lt Colonel. “Are we ready” Chase was ready to go, “Yes Sir” replies Lt Faricloth, “I’ll be taking the tail Sir to keep track of the squadron.” “Smashing” was all the Colonel said as he swung himself into the front of the “Bella III.”

Moments later “Tru Bella III” was forming up in the line of B-17s as they made their way to the designated runway for this mission...
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After Action Report (AAR) #84

Pilot: Capt. Seth Gecko
B17: Santanico Pandemonium

Sqdn.: 151st
Mission : 20
Target: Pig’s Ford
Position: Middle

Crew Status:
Pilot: Capt. Seth Gecko (20)
Copilot: 2nd Lt. Kelly Kelly (8)
Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Bing “Bingo” Gomez (2)^
Navigator: 1st Lt. Ted Raimi (21)**
Engineer: FO Razor Charlie(20)##**^ Me-109^1/2 LW
Radio Operator: SSgt. Ian Ambercrombie (21)
Ball Gunner: Sgt. Kay Sloughter (17)##** Me-109^1/2
Port Waist: Sgt. Sam Raimi (5)
Starboard Waist: Sgt. Danny Trejo (4)
Tail Gunner: SSgt. Fred Williamson “Frost” (20)##^

(Mission Number)
* = fighters shot down
^= ½ fighter shot down
# = 5 Fighters shot down (ACE)

Bomb Drop : 94%

Fighters Encountered: 9
Fighters Driven off: 3

Enemy Confirmed Shot down: 1 Me-109
Enemy Probable: 3
Enemy Damaged: none

B-17s damage: Minor – Top Turret damaged (2x), Starboard wing root hit, 4 superficial hits.

Total hits: 7

Peckham Points: 56.

Mission Description:

For such a long trip we didn’t see many fighters. Maybe the ruse to Regensberg worked after all.

Less than halfway to Germany saw our first and only fighter downed for the mission as both Razor and Kay drilled a 109 coming in level from the side.
As we approached the target the flak rocked us pretty heavy with some bursts near our wings. I had a flash of panic as I thought our fuel tank might have been hit, but it was just superficial damage to the wing, it was about this time that I noticed my lucky rabbit’s foot was missing…

Bingo stayed true to his name and nailed the target! He blasted that factory with practically every egg! The guys looking at the footage credited him with 94% on target.

We had a bit of a scare leaving Germany as a Me-110 coming in from 6 o’clock level was hit hard by Frost but still managed to pepper the top turret with a couple shells. The turret was badly damaged, but luckily Razor only had a light wound in his forearm. That’s the 5th time Razor has taken a hit. I just hope his tour of Duty runs out before his luck does!

The rest of the ride home was pretty quiet. Another good mission, just a bit puzzled wondering where that rabbit’s foot went…

Capt. Seth Gecko
Santanico Pandemonium
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Todd R
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Wisconsin
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After Action Report (AAR)
Pilot: 1st Lt. A. Jackson
B-17: Spirit of 1812 (Mission 3)
Squadron: 152nd Bomber Squadron, 281st Bombardment Group
Mission: Mission 84, August 17, 1943
Target: Schweinfurt, V.K.F. Ball Bearings Works #1

Crew Assigned: Position: Rank & Name (mission #) Casualties, Kills, Probable, Damaged


Bombardier: 2nd Lt. J. Lawrence (3) KIA, D: 1-190
Navigator: 2nd Lt. WH Harrison (3) P:1-109,1-190, D: 1 -190
Pilot: 1st Lt. A Jackson (1)
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. S. Decatur (3)
Engineer: Mst. Sgt. OH Perry (3) K: 1-190 D: 1-109
Radio Oper.: T.Sgt. W. Scott (3) LW
Ball Gunner: Sgt. H. Dearborn (3) K: 1-110
Pt Waist G: Sgt. W. Hull (3) LW
Stbd Waist G: Sgt. P. Hanks (3) SW, K: 1-109, P: 1-109, D: 1-190
Tail Gunner: Sgt. J. Elliott (3)

Fighters Encountered: Ace: 2 , Average:15 , Green: 1

Enemy Fighters Hit: (KIA = 3, Prob = 3 , Damg = 4)

Bomb Run: On Target 97%

B-17 Damage: Plane lost at sea

Landing: Fuel loss forced successful emergency landing in Channel, crew rescued.

Special Note: Mst. Sgt. OH Perry recommended for the Bronze Star. See mission description for details.

Mission Description: Filed by 1st Lt. A Jackson

The outbound flight today was uneventful. We only saw German fighters in Zones 3 and 7 and sustained no damage.

Over the target we were jumped by two waves of fighters. One hit punched a hole in the Port Inboard Fuel Tank and she began to leak. Despite the plane being rocked by flak, Lt. Lawrence’s bomb run was on the money and we turned for home.

In Zone 8 the fighters tried to make us pay for Schweinfurt and knocked out the oxygen to the tail. We had no choice but to leave formation and drop to 10,000. So here we were seven zones from home, leaking fuel, and out of formation. After running his numbers on the fuel loss, Harrison just shook his head and pointed to the Channel on his map. The fighters found us over Zones 6, 5, and 4 and we started to take a beating. Lt. Lawrence was killed, Sgt. Hanks was seriously wounded (although will recover), Hull and Scott were lightly wounded. Harrison’s numbers were grimly accurate and as we flew out over the Channel, the fuel gauges bottomed out.

We landed the plane in the Channel. Harrison and Decatur got the rafts inflated and loaded the wounded into them. I was hanging out of the hatch counting heads in the rafts and realized I was two short. I yelled back into the plane: “Perry where the heck are you?” I waded back into the plane to find Sgt. Perry pounding furiously on the ball turret trying to get it open. “Dearborn is trapped, sir” he explained reaching for his crowbar. “Hurry up, she’s sinking fast” I told him climbing back out of the hatch to check on the others. Perry wrenched the turret open. I pulled Perry and Dearborn out of the hatch just as the plane slid beneath the waves. We were picked up by a Royal Navy patrol boat and brought home.

For bravery in the act of rescuing Sgt. Dearborn, I would like to recommend Mst. Sgt. OH Perry for the Bronze Star.
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Andrew Borgelin
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Reports coming in suggest B17F 'Viking Queen' from 151st Bomber Squadron in trouble over target. Initially attacked by five FW190's. Damage sustained. One E/A shot down by 'Viking Queen' others eventually driven off. Target bombed with rest of the group but currently under attack by a flight of five ME109's. Situation not looking good!
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Michael Bowker
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Washington
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After Action Report
A/C name: “Here We Go Again”
Pilot: 2nd Lt. Henry Jefferson
Unit: 153rd Bombardment Squadron, 281st Bombardment Group

Mission #: 84
Primary Target: Schweinfurt, Germany. I/A (V.K.F. Ball Bearings Works #1)
Secondary Target: None

Primary Target Weather: Good 1/10 Cloud (No modifiers)
Secondary Target Weather: N/A
Base Weather: Good 1/10 Cloud Cover (No modifiers)
Position P/S: Middle/ Low Low Squadron

Fighter Statistics : 7 K / 4 P / 1 D

Bomb Drop: Off Target
Bombing Accuracy: 0%
Bomb Load: 16 x 250 lb Incendiary bombs

Crew/Status/Actions:
Pilot: 2nd Lt. Henry Jefferson (0) -KIA
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt Robert Humprhies (8) - LW
Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Steven Bishop (9) - KIA
Aircraft Claimed - 1
Navigator: 2nd Lt Johnson Holland (5) - LW
Aircraft Claimed - 2
Flt Engineer: T Sgt Curt Trotter (11)
Aircraft claimed - 11
R/O: Sgt. Kerry Barrett (11)
Ball Gnr: Sgt. Hogan Sharpe (11)
Aircraft claimed - 4
Port Wst: Sgt. Samuel Jones (6)
Aircraft claimed - 1
Strb Wst: Sgt. Ricardo Gonzalez (10)
Aircraft claimed - 2
Tail Gnr: Sgt. Barry Hester (6)
Aircraft claimed – 4
() – Number of missions completed inclusive
Recommendations:

Enemy Aircraft Claimed:
Strb Wst: Sgt. Ricardo Gonzalez (10) - 1 FW 190 Destroyed
Navigator: 2nd Lt Johnson Holland (5) – 1 ME 109 Destroyed
Ball Gnr: Sgt. Hogan Sharpe (11) – 1 ME 110 Destroyed
Tail Gnr: Sgt. Barry Hester (6) – 1 ME 109 & 1 ME 110 Destroyed & 1 FW 190 Destroyed
Port Wst: Sgt. Samuel Jones (6) – 1 ME 110 Destroyed

B-17 Status:
Superficial Damage, #2 Engine Runaway and Prop Feathered, tail rudder damaged, Autopilot inoperable, PW flap damaged, control cables damaged, starboard wing root damaged, starboard inboard fuel tank leak sealed.

Mission Description:
We were first attacked in zone 3 by 3 109s. Two were probable kills and another damaged. The bomber suffered no damage from this attack. In zone 5 a 190 attacked in a vertical dive but also missed us.

Three 190s attacked us in zone 7. One was destroyed by Sgt. Gonzalez and another just did some superficial damage. A second wave of 2 109s attacked and missed.

As we approached the target 2 109s and a 110 attacked. Lt. Holland destroyed a 109 and Sgt. Shapre the 110. The remaining 109 did some superficial damage and swung around for another pass when Sgt. Hester blasted it out of the sky.

A third wave of fighters was what did the damage to us. Two 190s, a 110 and a 109 came in fast. Sgt Hester got the 110 but the others hurt us bad. The 190 blew part of Lt. Bishops’s head off, wounded Lt. Holland, and as he passed over us blew an arm off of Lt. Jefferson. There wasn’t anything anyone could do to save him.

The same fighter came around for a second pass and wounded Lt. Humphries. Fortunately he was still able to fly, despite being wounded. The enemy also damaged the #2 engine and caused it to runaway. Lt. Humphries was bleeding from his arm but he kept formation and managed to feather the prop before it tore the plane apart.

Lt. Holland managed to pull the body of Bishop off the bomb sight and drop the bombs but I don’t think we hit anything.

As we turned for home two 110s attacked. Sgt. Jones destroyed one. The other knocked out the autopilot, got the tail control cables, and the port wing flap.

Another attack in zone 5 by three 190s got the starboard inboard fuel tank. We were fortunate that it self-sealed though. He came around for another pass and Sgt. Hester claimed his third kill for the mission.

Two more enemy fighters attacked us as we approached the English coast but fighter cover took care of them. Lt. Humphries managed to get the plane down in one piece.

Respectively submitted,
T Sgt. Curt Trotter

Replacements:
To be annoounced
Notes:
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Michael Bowker
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Washington
New Jersey
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After Action Report
A/C name: “Belle of the Ball”
Pilot: Major Broderick Young
Unit: 152rd Bombardment Squadron, 281st Bombardment Group

Mission #: 84
Primary Target: Schweinfurt, Germany. I/A (V.K.F. Ball Bearings Works #1)
Secondary Target: None

Primary Target Weather: Good 1/10 Cloud (No modifiers)
Secondary Target Weather: N/A
Base Weather: Good 1/10 Cloud Cover (No modifiers)
Position P/S: Lead/ Low Squadron

Fighter Statistics : 1K / 2 P / 2 D

Bomb Drop: OnTarget
Bombing Accuracy: 30%
Bomb Load: 16 x 250 lb Incendiary bombs

Crew/Status/Actions:
Pilot: Major Broderick Young (36)
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt John Garvey (1) - SW
Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Harry Wilcox (1) - SW
Aircraft Claimed -
Navigator: 2nd Lt H.W. McBride (1)
Aircraft Claimed -
Flt Engineer: T Sgt Leon Parker (1)
Aircraft claimed - 1
R/O: Sgt. Steven Abrams (1) - LW
Ball Gnr: Sgt. Obadiah Harris (1)
Aircraft claimed -
Port Wst: Sgt. Tom Watson (1)
Aircraft claimed -
Strb Wst: Sgt. Jerry Montgomery (1)
Aircraft claimed -
Tail Gnr: Sgt. Nick Goodheart (1)
Aircraft claimed –
() – Number of missions completed inclusive

Recommendations:

Enemy Aircraft Claimed:
Flt Engineer: T Sgt Leon Parker (1) 1 109 Destroyed

B-17 Status:
Superficial Damage, starboard wing root damaged, ailerons damaged, bomb bay doors inoperable (after drop), tail guns inoperable.

Mission Description:
We weren’t attacked until we got approached the target. We had received reports of others being jumped and some members of the squadron had to abort but we were lucky up to that point.

Four 109s attacked. One damaged the starboard wing root but otherwise we suffered only superficial damage. Lt. Wilcox remained calm and did a fine job dropping the bombs. Unfortunately as we turned for home the flak sliced open his leg badly. Lt. McBride managed to stop the bleeding though.

In zone 7 a 109 attack wounded Sgt. Abrams.

As we continued home a 110 seriously wounded Lt. Garvey, damaged the ailerons, blasted the bomb bay door controls, and knocked out the tail guns.

In zone a 190 drove a piece of metal into my hand. The doctor says it isn’t serious though. The other three fighters that attacked missed us.

We managed to make it home without further incident.

They say that Lt. Wilcox will be out of commission for a couple of weeks, Lt. Garvey for about nine days, and Sgt. Abrams only two or three days.

Respectively submitted,
Major Broderick Young

Replacements:
To be announced
Notes:
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Jamie Yeardley
United Kingdom
High Wycombe
Bucks
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B-17: B-17F-30-VE-42-5858 The Great Karzy; Call sign: Greenhorn Dog
Pilot: 1st Lt. Roger Daley
Squadron: 154th BS
Mission: 84 This bomber (3)
Date: August 17 1943
Target: Schweinfurt Ball Bearing factory
Position: Top

Crew Status:
Pilot 1st Lt. Roger Daley (15)
Co-pilot 2nd Lt. Oliver Reckitt (65)
Bombardier 2nd Lt. Inigo Tinkle (3); Kills (0)
Navigator 2nd Lt. Richard (Dick) Flasher (2); Kills (0) KIA
Engineer Stf. Sgt. Eustice Tewle (13); Kills (17.5)
Radio Operator Sgt. Percy Snoop (3); Kills (0)
Ball Gunner Stf. Sgt. Nicholas Parts (15); Kills (8)
Port Waist Sgt. James Bailey (1) ; Kills (0)
Starboard Waist Sgt. Pete Golightly (1); Kills (0)
Tail Gunner Stf. Sgt. James (Jimmy) Widdle (15); Kills (17.5)
1st brackets (Mission Number)

Bomb Drop:
20%.

Fighters Claimed:
Kills:-
Me 110 x 1
Me 109 x 4
Fw 190 x 1

Probables:-
Me 110 x 0
Me 109 x 2
Fw 190 x 3

Damaged:
Me 110 x 2
Me 109 x 0
Fw 190 x 1

Medal Recommendations:
2nd Lt. Richard (Dick) Flasher Purple Heart (Posthumously)

B-17 Status:


141 Peckham points.

port wing x4 SD, Stbd wing x2SD, Stbd wing Flapdestroyed, Radio room x1SD, radio destroyed, Pilot Comp x1SD, Pilot,Co-pilot & Engineers O2 out, Bomb bay door SD, Navigator KIA.

Number of fighter attacks: 40 from 47 fighters
Number of fighters driven off: 7
Number of fighters downed: 6
Fighter hits 13

Flak:
No hits

Mission Report
We saw our first wave of fighters in zone 3. Things steadily warmed up in each zone thereafter until zone 7 when our navigator was hit by a bullet from an Me109. It went through his lower jaw and took the back of his head off. Well that’s what Sgt. Tewle tells me. I am starting to get worried about his morbid fascination in analysing our injured buddies.

Anyway If the boys needed any incentive to kill German fighters dick’s death was it. We started knocking down planes after that.

I have seen worse flak than we had over the target and managed to avoid being hit. This enabled us to hit the target with some of our bombs at least. The Bombardier thought that maybe three or four were right on target.

As we turned for home four Fw190s and an Me109 crawled all over us. The crew managed to drive off the Fockers but the 109 plastered the cockpit starting a fire in the oxygen system. My co-pilot Ollie quickly put the fire out with an extinguisher but I had to dive out of formation for lower level before he, Sgt Tewle and i passed out through lack of oxygen.

Remarkably we managed to avoid contact with the enemy, through Germany and into the Netherlands, partly through my erratic navigation using familiar landmarks. It couldn’t last and in zone 4 we picked up unfriendly company that stayed with us through to zone 2.

Between our MGs and the 4ths P47s we managed to keep the enemy fighters at bay and didn’t take any further damage.

I guess all in all we fared pretty well out there today, only losing one guy who most of us had hardly got to know.

1st Lt. Roger Daley

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Jim P
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Sterling Heights
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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As 1st Lt. Walter Zabalaoui's and Lt. Col Chase Pfalzstaff watch the last plane from the 151st BG take off they anticipate their signal to roll out on the runway. Sgt Krieger, the ball gunner ace, along with the two waist gunners and Lt. Faircloth, the normal copilot acting tail gunner today, all huddle in the radio room just incase things go wrong during take off. The two lieutenants up front sit with anticipation as the thrill of being upfront during the take off is the highlight of each trip.

When the signal comes for "Tru Bella III" to roll off MSgt Ritter, who was standing between the two pilots, directs his attention to the gages in front of him. Walter looks over to Chase for confirmation to go. With a nod of the head they pushed the throttles forward. Holding the stick steady till their ground speed was sufficient enough the two pilots listened intently to the Master Sergeant call off the air speed. As Ritter announced the speed they anticipated the two pilots pulled back on the control sticks. Fighting the controls against the over laden "Bella" she finally gave up gravity and the sorely grasp of mother earth. They were finally going after a long, long weather delay to obliterate Hitler's war efforts by crippling his ability to exact war against the civilized world.

Walter and Chase went through the post take-off routine of trimming the bird and retracting the landing gear. Lt. Col Pfalzstaff announced that the crew could take up their stations and do any last minute checks of equipment and get ready for combat. Sgt. Krieger placed his chute near by the ball turret and squeezed into the turret that was obviously designed for a ten year old. After checking their guns "Tru Bella III" formed up into their designated position with the 281st BG (H)

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Iain
England
Elegantly Wasted
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Pilot: 2Lt Jeffrey Grainger
B17: Havana Dancer


Sqdn: 154th
Mission: 84 (this bomber 5)
Target: Schweinfurt – V.K.F. Ball Bearings Works
Position: High - Middle


Crew Status:

Pilot: 2Lt Jeffrey Grainger (5) SW IH
Copilot: 2Lt Neville Hope (7)
Bombardier: 2Lt Kenny Ames (4)
Navigator: 2Lt Barry Taylor (7) *
Engineer: Mst Sgt Clive Russell (1)
Radio Operator: Wayne Norris (7)
Ball Gunner: Sgt Albert Moxey (7) **
Port Waist: Sgt Arthur Pringle (6) *
Starboard Waist: Sgt Malcolm Hallwood (3)
Tail Gunner: Sgt Ally Fraser (7)


(Mission Number)
* = fighters claimed
SW Serious Wound
IH Invalided Home due to Injuries



Bomb Drop: 0% Off Target



Fighters Claimed:
KIA's - ME 109 x 1, Probables - 109 x 1, 190 x 1, Possibles 190 x 1


B17 Status:

Engaged with 9 ME 109's, 5 FW 190's & 2 ME 110's


20 hits from fighters, none from flak
3 hits to the starboard wing root, damaged aileron, damaged control cables and extensive superficial damage to many areas of the plane


Peckham Points = 169


Replacements:
Saugus, Joe. 2Lt


Mission Description
We headed off to Germany with the rest of the 154th wondering what this mission would have in store after the relatively uneventful last couple of trips?

We didn't have long to wait before things started to hot up. As we were crossing the sea heading towards Holland we were jumped by a couple of FW 190's who evaded our defensive fire and riddled the plane with shellfire; amazingly, given the number of holes in the plane, nothing vital seemed to have been hit. We carried on after the German pilots got fed up with using us as target practice, or ran out of ammo.

A lone ME 109 appeared from out of the blue as we reached Germany but it disappeared so fast that nobody had a a chance to target it and fire. This also held true for the ME 109 as it's fire came nowhere near us.

As we reached Schweinfurt and prepared for our bomb run we engaged with another four enemy aircraft. Sgt Moxey was ready this time and took the wing off one of the ME 109's, confirmed by other crew members. The Germans fire was mainly inaccurate but one burst hit the pilots compartment and incapacitated the skipper. Sgt Russell took over as pilot making this mission with us more memorable than he would have wished for on his first flight. The flak over the target was fairly rough but none of it came near to us, which was a blessing. The drop itself was disappointing as we only managed to crater a number of fields.

As we turned for home we were engaged by more of the Luftwaffe. Lt Ames forced one enemy plane away with smoke trailing from his engine. The others pressed home their attack but again fortune smiled on us, as the shells made more holes on their way in and out of the plane. Sgt Russell reported problem with the cables but was confident of getting us back home.

We made further contact with the enemy as we flew back over Holland. Five of the blighters attacked us causing more damage to the starboard wing which looked like the moths had had a feast on it. Lt Ames damaged another enemy plane which we saw limping away from the fight. The rest of them carried on the fight for a bit, adding more holes to our collection. Eventually they broke off the attack and we continued our flight home.

Sgt Russell made a very impressive landing given the circumstances and the skipper was treated for his injuries as soon as the plane had come to a stop just off the runway.

I have just been informed that Lt Grainger wounds were so severe that although he will pull through, he will not be fit to fly again. His replacement is a Lt Saugus who will be joining us later tonight.

Respectfully Submitted.
Lt Hope
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Damo
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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(Courtesy of Felisan88's collection)
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ian morris
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Schweinfurt AAR





Mission 84/Bomber 1
Squadron : 151st
Pilot : Squadron Leader Blackadder
B-17 : The Tempest

Crew :-

Pilot Squadron Leader Blackadder (26)
CoPilot Fg Off Tennyson (4)
Navigator Plt Off Charles * (8)
Bombardier Fg Off Gaunt (8)
Engineer Flt Sgt Kipling #** (5)
Radio Operator Sgt Wordsworth
Ball Turret Flt Sgt Parkhurst #####*^ (34)
Waist Gunner Sgt Regan (7)
Waist Gunner Sqn Ldr Flashheart (21)
Tail Turret Sgt Chaucer

() : missions previously completed.
* : fighters previously claimed.
^ : half fighter previously claimed.

Fighters claimed : 1 x Me 109, 1 x Me 110 destroyed, 110, 410 and 190 probables, 110 and 410 damaged.
Bombing results : 0%.
Injuries : Light wounds for Flight Sergeant Kipling and Sergeant Regan, serious wound and frostbite for Squadron Leader Flashheart.

Debrief


"Thankyou sir, it's good to be back with the Group. We were very pleased to be asked to volunteer for such an important, war-shortening mission. Squadron Leader Lord Flashheart was along as an observer, but when Sergeant Redshirt was struck down with a mystery illness, he didn't hesitate to take his place on the starboard waist gun. Yes sir, very noble of him.

We thought that the late take-off would give Jerry chance to throw everything at us, but we saw nothing until we were over Germany, when three 110s had a pop at us. Lord Flashheart blazed away at the one to our rear, and claimed he hit him. They all missed us.

As we neared the target, a 410 climbed up to meet us, but Bob Parkhurst sent him off smoking heavily. However, we missed the 190 flying down our tailpipe, and he strafed us from stem to stern, knocking out my bomb controls, the intercom system, the starboard waist gun, and the tail guns. Rudyard got hit in the top turret too, but fortunately not too badly. As he came back around towards our nose, Charles got a lucky shot on him and he spun out of sight - another probable for us.

The flak barrage was short but intense, and we got blasted by it. That's when Lord Flashheart copped a packet. The rudder and starboard wing root were damaged, Sergeant Regan took a small sliver of metal in the leg, and our port inner fuel tank sprung a leak. With the battering we took, there was no chance for me to drop the bombs on target, but at least they dropped somewhere in Germany. The flak missed us on the way out of the target area, but two 110s and a 109 'Smasher' picked us up instead. Bob took good care to shoot him down first, but the 110s put a few more holes in us, knocking out the landing gear and Lord Flashheart's suit heat. They came back for another go, but Regan drove one off and the other exploded in a ball of flame under Bob's twin guns.

We made his lordship as comfortable as possible, but couldn't prevent frostbite at that altitude. He wouldn't allow us to contemplate dropping out of formation, and Mr. Blackadder knew he couldn't anyway, it was too dangerous so far from home. Passing out of Holland, yet another 410 and 190 combination came for us, but they both missed and Bob claimed the 410 as damaged.

Despite the damaged landing gear, Mr. Blackadder got our kite down very handily, and our wounded are being tended to. His Lordship is in a bad way with a sucking chest wound, and Mr. Blackadder has accompanied him to the emergency room, but the doctor is hopeful that he'll make it. Did the Group destroy the target, sir ? Is the war over ?"

Flying Officer John o' Gaunt


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Raymond Espiritu
United States
Virginia
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Be advised, I do intend to submit my AAR very soon. Just got delayed a bit with the arrival of my second child
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Damo
Australia
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Congratulations!
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Alexandros Boucharelis
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Drama
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raydude_va wrote:
Be advised, I do intend to submit my AAR very soon. Just got delayed a bit with the arrival of my second child

wow! i wish you to watch them grow and prosper
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ian morris
United Kingdom
lichfield
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gamer72 wrote:


Takeoff is delayed by three hours due to adverse weather conditions.


"Tower, this is Blackadder. The engines are overheating and so am I. What's happening up there ?"





The Crystal Ship is waiting its turn to depart, the crew fretting at the delay. As Lieutenant Morrison says to Captain Willard, "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."


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ian morris
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Schweinfurt AAR





Mission 84/Bomber 8
Squadron : 153rd
Pilot : Captain Willard
B-17 : The Crystal Ship

Crew :-

Pilot Cptn Willard (8)
CoPilot Lt Morrison (8)
Navigator Lt Manzarek * (8)
Bombardier Lt Kurtz * (8)
Engineer Mstr Sgt Phillips #**^ (8)
Radio Operator Sgt Krieger ** (8)
Ball Turret Sgt Johnson ##****^ (8)
Waist Gunner Sgt Miller ** (8)
Waist Gunner Sgt Hicks * (8)
Tail Turret Sgt Densmore #*** (8)


() : missions previously completed.
# : 5 fighters previously claimed.
* : fighters previously claimed.
^ : half fighter previously claimed.

Fighters claimed : 6 x Me 109, 1 x Me 110, 5 x FW 190, 2 x Ju 88 KIA. 9 x Me 109, 1 x Me 110, 2 x FW 190 Probable, 2 x Me 109, 2 x FW 190 damaged. Numerous enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter cover.
Bombing results : 50 % on target.
Injuries : Light wounds for Lieutenant Manzarek and Sergeant Johnson, frostbite for Captain Willard and Lieutenant Morrison. Sergeants Krieger, Miller, Hicks and Densmore KIA.


Debrief



"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn". Morrison was sure right about that. The krauts kept playing hit and run with our squadron all the way to Schweinfurt and back - the weather delay had given 'em time to hit the 1st BG, refuel and rearm, and come back for seconds with us. Well, in war, things get confused.

The briefing was a hoot. Somebody had declared this a war-winning mission, and everybody wanted in on the act. Even the Colonel was on flight status, there were new guys and old hands mingling. Some British crew showed up, they'd flown with the 281st on the last tour. Their ball gunner was a Group legend, he'd flown something like three dozen missions.He was one of those guys that had that weird light around him, you just knew he wasn't going to get so much as a scratch here. Gecko was clowning around and almost got himself grounded, but everyone was trying to get in the air. Word on the grapevine had it that the British observer had bought off one of the gunners so that he could shoot down a kraut before the war ended. Some day, this war's gonna end, but not today. Ball bearings : it was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I'd never want another.

We were flying tail for the Group, and that came as a shock to the crew. Those boys were never going to look at me the same way again, but Chief Phillips shaped 'em up and shipped 'em out to the armorers PDQ. We waited on the tarmac nearly three hours, with nothing to think about except the danger on the edge of town. Finally, the REMFs declared good weather, and we took off, straight into a mixed group of Germans, who were as surprised by us as we were by them. Miller damaged a 190, and everyone else got engaged by our fighter escort, leaving us free to fly into another group of krauts. We nailed them pretty good, sending a couple away smoking heavily, and Densmore disintegrated a 109 on our six. We got a shell through the waist that did no damage.

The fighter boys had done us proud, but as they turned for home at the limit of their endurance, the Germans were circling like jackals up ahead. The radio was moaning with the sounds of planes in front getting attacked, then it was our turn. Five butcher birds and a 109 singled us out, obviously hoping to down us and split up the squadron. Two to our front paid with their lives, as Kurtz and Phillips both downed one. Densmore picked one off our tail, but the survivors hammered at us, with shells walking down our fuselage. We lost the pilot compartment heating and the port wing landing gear, and Manzarek, Krieger and Hicks all got flesh wounds. Densmore damaged the 109 on his second pass, and we got out of there quick. Manzarek announced that we were entering Germany, but we saw no Fritzes for the moment. Miller reported that his gun had jammed, and just then we picked up two 88s and a 109. Those 88s were too slow for this kind of work, and Densmore and Johnson shot them down easily, with the Chief claiming to have damaged the 109. Then the second wave of five 190s hit us, and the ship was filled with the noise and chatter of twin fifties. Densmore, Johnson and Phillips all claimed kills, but the 109 shot up Hicks so badly that he bled out in minutes. The Chief got our revenge, blowing the 109 out of the sky on his second pass.

Hicks was our first fatality in nine missions, but he wouldn't be the last. Hermann's boys showed up in force over Schweinfurt, and we were lucky to suffer almost no damage before the bomb run. In return, we killed a bunch o' them, but the bomb release mechanism was totalled. I thought that was it for our bombing results, but that Kurtz is some kind of crazy genius, and he dropped our load manually right down their throats. Despite flying straight and level we avoided their flak barrage, but it made it easy for the next flight of krauts to hit us as we came out of the bomb run, and we got hammered again - Krieger got another wound, and we lost our tailwheel and tail gunner, as Densmore was chopped to pieces by a 190.

The krauts left us alone for a while, spreading the misery elsewhere no doubt, and we took stock of our situation. Morrison and I were suffering from frostbite by now, and we had no-one spare to man the tail turret, so Phillips would have to pick up the slack. We got back to Holland, where Miller announced that he'd fixed his gun, while Krieger jammed his. The Germans reappeared, and a 190 dived right through the squadron and disappeared out of sight. Two more 88s came near, but wouldn't enter our fighter zone. Five 109s had no such trouble, and although Johnson claimed one, the others killed us, wounding Johnson, killing Miller with a single bullet to the head, and giving multiple wounds to Krieger, who went off air and died pretty quickly. Johnson and Phillips killed two more of them on their subsequent attacks.

By this time, our fighters were getting back into action, and peeled off the ubiquitous 109 on our tail. A 110 climbed vertically to us and put a shell into the starboard wing root, but Manzarek took him out on his second pass. The last attack on us came from four 109s as we neared the English coast, but we were able to shred them for the loss of the port waist gun and port elevator. Frostbitten fingers were making the controls difficult, and I bounced the plane onto the tarmac, but we stopped before careering off the edge, and the crash crews were quickly on the scene. Doc says my frostbite will clear quickly, but Morrison lost three fingers and is going Stateside.

Mission accomplished, but at a heavy price - the rear of the plane is a charnel house. The horror, the horror !

Captain Benjamin Willard




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Daniel K. Edwards
United States
El Centro
California
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B-17: HONEY STAR
Pilot: 2nd Lt. John Koltek
Squadron: 154th BS
Mission: 84 This bomber (6)
Date: August 17, 1943
Target:V. F. K. Ball Bearing Works, SCHWEINFORT, Germany
Position: High

Crew Status: All lost
Pilot: 2Lt. John Koltek (7) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt. Fredrick Tonnemann (3) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Bombardier: 2nd Lt. Lloyd Frazier (3) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Navigator: 2nd Lt. Kirby Schneider (1) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Engineer: Mst.Sgt. Vunvent Esterly (3) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Radio Operator: Sgt. James Welch (2) MIA.LAS - presumed KIA
Ball Gunner: T-Sgt. Harold Barbour (6) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
P-Waist: Sgt. David Levy (1) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Sb-Waist: Sgt. James Serrano (2) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA
Tail Gunner: Sgt. Rolando Fallchichi (7) MIA/LAS - presumed KIA


Bomb Drop: DNB

After seeing B-17 HONEY STAR being swarmed by Fw190's over Holland, reports indicate HONEY STAR was observed dropping from group formation streaming fuel from ruptured port inboard fuel tank. No radio contact could be established with HONEY STAR, presumedly due to loss of radio caused by enemy gunfire.

Over the North Sea, escorting P-47's hanging around to assist bombers returning early from mission report seeing a B-17 with tail half blazing as it plunged into the sea. Several German fighters were spotted exiting the area. No radio contact could be made with this B-17; there were no chutes observed, and a couple of flyovers of the site indicated bits of wreckage from a large aircraft, but no member of the crew was spotted nor any life raft seen.





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John Kovacs
United States
Elyria
Ohio
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Mission 084 to Target - Schweinfurt, Germany - Ball Bearing Plant
Date:
17-August-1943

Crew CO: 1st Lt. Bob Feller

Plane: Strike One (B-17F-55-BO 43-12048)

Mission Number: Group 84 (Bomber 3, Crew 3)

Crew:
1st Lt. Bob Feller (Pilot-3)
1st Lt. Bob Lemon (Co-Pilot-3)
2nd Lt. Early Wynn (Bombardier-3)
2nd Lt. Mel Harder (Navigator-2)
MSgt. Addie Joss (Engineer-3)
TSgt. Gene Beardon (Radio Operator-3)
Sgt. Doug Jones (Ball Gunner-3)
Sgt. Sam McDowell (Port Waist Gunner-3)
Sgt. Len Barker (Starboard Waist Gunner-3)
Sgt. Leroy Paige (Tail Gunner-3)

Crew Disposition:
2nd Lt. Early Wynn - SW/IH
Sgt. Len Barker - SW/IH
Sgt. Doug Jones - LW
Sgt. Sam McDowell - LW

Bomb Drop: Off Target

Bombing Accuracy: 0%

E/A Claims:
2nd Lt. Mel Harder: 1 x FW-190 Probable
MSgt. Addie Joss: 2 x FW-190 Probable, 1 x Bf-109 Probable
Sgt. Leroy Paige: 1 x Bf-109 Probable, 1 x FW-190 Damaged
Sgt. Doug Jones: 1 x Bf-109 Damaged

B-17s Disposition:
Ground Crew Chief Mike Hargrove reports that Strike One had both wing roots take a hit (20% damaged each), the rudder was 33% damaged, the port aileron was heavily damaged, the bomb bay doors were mangled, and the tail gunner's oxygen supply line was 50% damaged, plus twelve superficial hits for 116 Peckham Chart damage points.

Mission Description:
152nd BS, 281st BG (V)
17-August-1943 Mission to Ball Bearing Plant at Schweinfurt, Germany
Bomb Load: 16 x 250 lb. Incendiaries
Mission Length: 9 hours 5 minutes
Group Position: Middle Squadron
Squadron Position: Middle
Altitude over Target: 24,750 ft.

A war-winning mission to Schweinfurt, Germany to destroy the ball bearing plant. I understand the reasoning for the mission, but question how we're going about accomplishing it. If anybody flying to the target is a little off in the timing the Luftwaffe will cut us to pieces. All I'm praying to do is bring everybody back alive.

Zones 2-3-4 Outbound:

After a three hour delay due to bad weather, we finally took off. No enemy fighters were reported, but I had a bad feeling about this mission now.

Zone 5 Outbound:

Of course the Luftwaffe showed up after our escort fighters turned for home. Three Bf-109s came at us and Sgt. Paige in the tail managed to chew one up although it still pressed the attack. None of Goering's boys hit us though, and they turned away.

Zone 6 Outbound:

Only one Bf-109 attacked us in this zone, and MSgt. Joss put some big holes in it, but it kept on coming torwards us. The damage must have been enough as the crazy Kraut missed us.

Zone 7 Outbound:

No enemy fighters reported. We could tell by the radio calls that they were waiting for us over the target.

Zone 8 Outbound (Target):

The Luftwaffe was swarming all over the target zone. Two FW-190s and a lone Bf-109 attacked us. MSgt. Joss heavily damaged a FW-190 at 12:00 high and Sgt. Jones nicked the Bf-109 at 9:00 level. One of the FW-190s got walking hits along both wings and damaged the starboard wing root. He came around and hit the starboard wing again but did no further damage.

Just as 2nd Lt. Wynn was lining up Strike One onto the target a flak shell hit the rudder and ruined his aim. Unfortunately, I do not think we hit anything at all near the designated target. We might have torched some secondary building but that is mainly guesswork on my part.

Zone 8 Inbound (Target):

It was time to head for home and the Luftwaffe was really pressing their attacks. Four FW-190s surrounded us and only 2nd Lt. Harder managed to hit one of them. One of the Krauts wrecked the port aileron, damaged Sgt. Paige's oxygen line, and seriously wounded 2nd Lt. Wynn. 2nd Lt. Harder patched Wynn up as best as he could, but it did not look good for our bombardier.

The flak went after us again, but only two shells hit us and they passed harmlessly through both wings.

Zone 7 Inbound:

Another four FW-190s caught up to us, including one in a vertical dive that we couldn't even shoot at. Our gunners missed the rest of the Kraut fighters, and the diving FW-190 wounded both of our waist gunners, Sgt. Barker severely. The Kraut came around again and put a shell into the port wing root. On his third pass Sgt. Paige finally put a few slugs into him and he turned away.

Zones 6-5-4-3-2 Inbound:

The rest of the trip home was quiet - we saw no more enemy fighters. We picked up some escorts in Zone 4 and that sure helped a lot. All I was hoping for was to get back to home base so my wounded could get to the hospital. I guess a few prayers were answered today...

Zone 1 Inbound:

Strike One was shaking a little on final approach but we landed just fine after shooting off a couple of red flares. Wynn and Barker were immediately rushed to the base hospital and Jones and McDowell followed them in a jeep. Both Wynn and Barker had to have emergency surgery for their wounds but both of them will recover, although their flying days are over. They are headed back to the States and their families alive, however, which is more than I can say for some of the other returning bombers. We took a beating today.

MSgt. Hargrove reported to me that Strike One would be repaired in time for the next mission. The ground crews never fail to amaze me with their skills in patching up our shot-up planes.

I have filled out the paperwork for replacement crewmembers. Lt. Col. Pfalzstaff has informed me that 2nd Lt. Charles Nagy and Sgt. Bert Blyleven will be joining my crew tomorrow after the flight surgeon has checked them out.

Respectfully,

1st Lt. Bob Feller
152nd BS, 281st BG (V)
B-17F-55-BO 43-12048 (Strike One)

Game Notes: This mission did not turn out to be as bad as it could have been (at least for my plane and crew). I did roll snake-eyes six times, however, which did not help me much. And the gunnery was off as the crew recorded no kills. But everybody did make it back alive, although not necessarily in one piece.
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Andrew Borgelin
United Kingdom
Bath
Somerset
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'Viking Queen' from 151st Bomber Squadronmade it back safe and sound. Bombardier seriously wounded and will have to be sent home. Unfortunately nothing to add to the party in terms of bomb drop. Navigator did his best but, as the incident wounding the bobardier was over-target we got nothing on target! Couple of confirmed kills. B17 in ok condition! Rest of crew fine. Full report on its way later....
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John McDonald
United States
Port Republic
Virginia
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Quote:
Anna's Touch, out of radio contact since Zone Four put still in the lead of the 153rd is reported by squadron mates to have caught fire off the Suffolk coast after VIII Fighter Command aircraft cleared out a sudden swarm of Messerschmit 109s. One remaining evidently managed to start a fire in the starboard wing's inboard tank. Reports indicate seven parachutes.

Captain Victor Letourneau, USA
Adjutant, 153rd BS
(West Point Class of '39)



Quote:
TO: Directorate of Air-sea Rescue, RAF
FROM: Royal National Lifeboat Institution
CC: Operations officer, 281st Bomb Group (H)

American bomber crew recovered from rafts by RNLB Michael Stephens;

Major Edward Acton
Lieutenant Laurie LaPorte
Lieutenant Melvin Sullivan
Lieutenant Samuel Binder
Sergeant Lionel Riederer
Technician Nelson Husbands (Deceased)

Coxswain Albert Spurgeon
RNLI Lowestoft




Further report to follow.
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John McDonald
United States
Port Republic
Virginia
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After Action Report #C3M84
August 17th 1943

A/C name (number): "Anna's Touch" (B-17F-115 42-30669)
Pilot: Major Edward Acton
Unit: 153rd Bombardment Squadron, 218th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
Callsign: Pushover Dog
Mission #: 84/10/29
Primary Target: V.K.F. Ball Bearings Works #1, Schweinfurt, Germany
Secondary Target: None
Position P/S: Lead/Low-Low


Crew/Status/Actions:
Pilot: Maj. Edward Acton/OK
-Home: Baltimore, MD
-Serial Number: AO-266610 (MDNG)
-Legion of Merit
-Distinguished Service Cross
-Air Medal w/ cluster
-Purple Heart w/ thirteen clusters
-Missions Completed: 29
Co-Pilot: 1Lt. Laurie LaPorte/LW
-Home: Zap, North Dakota
-Serial Number: O-7974083 (DC)
-Purple Heart w/ cluster
-Missions Completed: 14
Bombardier: 1Lt. Melvin Sullivan/OK
-Home: Campton, New Hampshire
-Serial Number: O-2315381 (AC)
-Purple Heart w/ three clusters
-AC Total (mission inclusive): 5
-Missions Completed: 15
Navigator: 2Lt. Samuel Binder/OK
-Home: Nyack, New York
-Serial Number: O-759917 (USAR)
-AC Total (mission inclusive): .5
-Missions Completed: 7
Flt Engineer: T-3 Nelson Husbands/Drowned
-Home: Los Angeles, California
-Serial Number: 39506396 (DRF)
-Distinguished Flying Cross
-Air Medal w/ two clusters
-AC Total (mission inclusive): 32.5
-Missions Completed: 13
R/O: MSgt. Dan 'Sparks' Douglas/LW+SW=KIA, body MIA
-Home: Cootes' Store, VA
-Serial Number: 33306032 (DRF)
-Legion of Merit
-Air Medal
-Purple Heart w/ five clusters
-AC Total (mission inclusive): 5.5
-Missions Completed: 27
Ball Gnr: SSgt. Lionel Riederer/OK
-Serial Number: 20893468 (NMNG)
-Distinguished Flying Cross w/ cluster
-Purple Heart w/ cluster
-Air Medal w/ cluster
-AC Total (mission inclusive): 26.5
-Missions Completed: 10
Port Wst: Sgt. Ted Maxham/MIA
-Home: Duncan, Idaho
-Serial Number: 39901669 (DRF)
-AC Total (mission inclusive):: 1
-Missions Completed: 2
Strb Wst: Sgt. Glen Aikin/SW+MIA
-Home: Berlin, New Hampshire
-Serial Number: 11270085 (RA)
-Purple Heart
-AC Total (mission inclusive):: 1
-Missions Completed: 4
Tail Gnr: Sgt. Rick Nowacki/MIA
-Home: Fort Kent, Maine
-Serial Number: 31793491 (DRF)
-AC Total (mission inclusive): 2
-Missions Completed: 4


Medal/Promotion Recommendations:
1st Lieutenant Laurie LaPorte: Purple Heart, Soldier's Medal (for his attempted rescue of T-3 Nelson Husbands and the rescue of 2nd Lt. Samuel Binder)
Master Sergeant Daniel Douglas: Two Purple Hearts
Technician 3rd Grade Nelson Husbands: Distinguished Service Cross (for his defense of the bomber Anna's Touch on the August 17th mission)
Sergeant Glen Aikin: Purple Heart
Sergeant Lionel Reiderer: Air Medal
Sergeant Lionel Reiderer to Staff Sergeant

Enemy Aircraft Claimed:
1st Lieutenant Melvin Sullivan: 2 x Me-109 probable
Master Sergeant Daniel Douglas: 1 x Fw-190 probable
Technician 3rd Grade Nelson Husbands: 4 x Me-109, 1 x Me-109, 1 x Me-110, 1 x Me-109 probable
Sergeant Lionel Reiderer: 2 x Me-109, 1 x Me-110G-4/R3, 1 x Me-410
Sergeant Ted Maxham: 1 x Me-110

Enemy Aircraft Encountered:
Single Engine: 28
Twin Engine: 4

Bomb Drop: OFF
Bombing Accuracy: 0%
Bomb Load: 16 x 250 lb. Incendiaries
Bombing Altitude: 20,200 ft.

B-17 Status:
Total loss at sea.


Mission Description:

Ten missions is pretty damn good for a Fort, but the Anna's isn't going to make it to eleven. Just when I thought we were through the worst, but I'm getting ahead of myself. We saw a lot of single fighters both ways, and contact was pretty sporadic to be honest. The formation was pretty tight until over Germany when a few diving 109s scattered us back to normal dispersion. Worse thing that happened on the trip to the target was a chance shot taking out our radio. I kept us in formation, hoping that Lieutenant Sullivan was up to the job of squadron bombardier. He seems like a good kid, even if I'd prefer to have Ken over the Norden.

Over the target we encountered three waves of fighters, more of the solo attackers, a mess of Fockers, and one of those "Smashers" as well. We made it out with only light damage thanks to some good shooting from the gun crew. Unfortunately we didn't weather the heavy flak barrage quite as well. A burst took out the navigator's controls and the Norden sight, wounded Lt. LaPorte Sgt. Aiken and MSgt. Douglas, and caused unknown damage to the body of the aircraft. Despite Sullivan's efforts we did drop off target, which I imagine didn't help the scores of what was left of the 153rd's accuracy either.

Initially I had hoped our return would go better, with just a few attacks and some near misses from the guns of our squadron mates. We were well back within the fighter sweep and in fact the coast of Suffolk was just peaking over the horizon Lt. Binder reported when the last group of 109's bounced us from high. But the Jugs were all around as well, driving off all but one fighter dead ahead high and one at six o'clock high. Lt. Sullivan shot wide and all I heard from Sgt. Nowacki was cursing before the rounds tore through the aircraft from tail to nose.

MSgt. Douglas was, no I'm alright Chase, just, well, you know we went through a lot sir. You're right, I didn't force him to come along. Not directly at least. I had to send Prine off on leave to keep him from coming, I should've done the same with Dan. Yes, I'll take a whiskey. Neat please.

As I was saying, MSgt. Douglas was struck in the head by a ricochet and killed instantly. He had taken off his helmet to get a better look at the damage to his radio set. I don't know what else was damaged since T-3 Husbands immediately reported that the starboard wing was on fire. Being all too familiar with the drill, I put the plane into a steep dive while hoping the squadron would be able to radio our position to the Air-sea rescue chaps if we had to bailout. Unlike my previous attempts, I was unable to extinguish the fire and instead leveled the aircraft out to allow the crew the best chance to bail out.

Sgt. Maxham reported that Sgt. Aikin was too tangled for him to move. No, they haven't found his or Nowacki's bodies yet. Something must've happened to Nowacki when he jumped, he never opened his 'chute. Everyone else made it out OK. Apparently T-3 Husbands was unable to swim, a fact of which I was unawares or he would have learned damnit. Lt. LaPorte had shed his parachute and gotten on the raft when we saw Husbands struggling in the water. I was still in the process of removing my parachute pack, but LaPorte stripped his flight suit and dove in without hesitation. He was unable to cut him free from the mess before he was choked by one of the risers. Nearby, Lt. Binder was in a similar situation. When he was unable T-3 Husbands stopped breathing, Lt. LaPorte hurried to Binder's side. The navigator wasn't nearly as tangled, and despite nearly drowning himself he was able to free Binder. By that time Lt. Sullivan was on the raft so I jumped in to help LaPorte bring Binder back to the raft and recover Husbands' body.

It wasn't a half bad day for a spell of yachting now that the weather had cleared and we were able to quickly rendezvous with Sgt. Reiderer in the other raft. He reported that he had been unable to find Douglas', Maxham's, or Nowacki's bodies. We floated closer to the coast on the tide and were soon overflown by an RAF Lysander which stayed overhead until a coast guard, I'm sorry, RNLI lifeboat arrived to pick us up.

Thanks for the drink Chase, but I've got a lot of men to visit in the hospital tonight starting with his Lordship. I heard he was in a bad way. See you later, I'll come by to see the bomb damage assessment. I hope everyone else plastered those damn ball bearings.

Maj. Ed Acton
Anna's Touch
153rd BS, 218th BG(H)

Replacements:
T-4 Greg Litten, flight engineer
Sgt. Sam Gladson, port gunner
Sgt. Clyde Smithers, starboard gunner
Sgt. Lester Pons, tail gunner
B-17: TBA
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Damo
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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Looks like we're going back to Schweinfurt.
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