Skip to main content
Edit entry 

43-38568

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 18/8/44; Hunter 27/8/44; Grenier 8/9/44; Assigned 860BS/493BG Debach 11/9/44;

Crashed on take off for Nuremburg 20/2/45 with Fred Stindt (8KIA 2 Returned to Duty), crashed River Deben at Ramsholt, Skf., UK;

Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Jewel Haynes was rescued by fisherman Arthur Hunt and Arthur Reeve, when the unconscious Haynes was floating by and taken to village pub. First aid assistance was provided in the "Arms" by local David Ransby, where both survivors revived, before RTD. Salvaged.

Research by Jeff Coleman: (Corrected by 493rd BG Museum archives, Debach.)
B-17 43-38568 took off from the 493rd Bomb Group’s Base at Debach near Woodbridge at 9.14am heading for Nuremburg Germany; immediately after take-off No 3 engine caught fire.

The pilot 1st Lieutenant Frederick E Stindt feathered the prop and extinguished the fire, but according to the pilot the engine fire quickly resumed and the right wing also began to burn. His course took him over Woodbridge so he had no opportunity to dump his bomb load.

His only hope was to ditch the plane in the River Deben, in shallow water. He managed to follow the River Deben searching for a suitable spot, which turned out to be a point almost opposite the quay at Ramsholt.

Sadly the waters were deeper than he thought and the plane immediately sank in eighteen feet of water, completely submerged only the tail fin remaining visible.

The aircraft was carrying a bomb load of 12 x 250lb General purpose bombs and 2 x 500lb incendiaries, and 2,700 gallons of fuel. Only the pilot and engineer Top Sergeant Jewel K Haynes survived.

Investigations into the crash showed that the engine caught fire because of mechanical failure. The bodies of the other crewmen, with the exception of the co-pilot and the radio operator, were recovered from the plane by divers. The co-pilots body was later recovered downstream, and the radio operator was found entangled by his parachute harness to the horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft.

Service

Units

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert...

  • 861st Bomb Squadron
  • 863rd Bomb Squadron

People

  • Anthony Baraniak

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Anthony Baraniak served as a ball turret gunner with the 860th Bomb Squadron of the 493rd Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Debach, England. On 20 February 1945, he was Killed in Action (KIA) when B-17 43-38568 crashed in the River Deben at...

  • Carroll Bracy

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    They were the first known crew to fly this aircraft after its arrival at Debach Aug 1944 and Lt Carroll Bracy, with the crew' permission and encouragement, named her “Little Davey II” after his first born son, having named his previous command, a B-24...

  • Leonard Deniston

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    S/Sgt Leonard Deniston born 1924 from Illinois served as a tail gunner with the 860th Bomb Squadron of the 493rd Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Debach, England. On 20 February 1945, he was Killed in Action (KIA) when B-17 43-38568 crashed...

  • Walter Deutsch

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 493rd Bomb Group
    S/Sgt Walter Deutsch born c1923 from Minnesota served as a radio operator with the 860th Bomb Squadron of the 493rd Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Debach, England. On 20 February 1945, he was Killed in Action (KIA) when B-17 43-38568...

  • Francis Godfrey

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Sgt Francis Godfrey was Killed in Action on the 20th February 1945 when B-17 43-38568 crashed in the River Deben at Ramsholt, Suffolk. ...

  • Paul Hatalsky

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    S/Sgt Paul Hatalsky born 1917 Pennsylvania, enlisted 1941 Detroit Michigan and served as a waist gunner with the 860th Bomb Squadron of the 493rd Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Debach, England. On 20 February 1945, he was Killed in Action ...

  • Jewel Haynes

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    T/Sgt Ken Haynes first hand account. ...

  • Arthur Hunt

    Civilian
    Arthur Hunt was a fisherman. He witnessed the fatal ditching of B-17 43-38568 into the River Deben at Woodbridge on 20 February 1945. He and Arthur Reeve were able to save the lives of two of the airmen. ...

  • Axel Johnson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA)/ engine caught fire over England , the fire was in the #3 engine. They got the fire out but it flared up again. The bombs were jettionsed and the aircraft ditched. The B-17 hit the water immediately and sunk. Lt. Johnson's body...

  • Kalil Mansour

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Kalil Mansour served as a flight engineer/top turret gunner with the 860th Bomb Squadron of the 493rd Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Debach, England.

Show more

Places

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...

Events

Event Location Date
Crashed River Deben, United Kingdom 20 February 1945

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2019 13:00:36 Darren Jelley Changes to description
Sources

493rd BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
14 December 2019 18:48:19 Darren Jelley Changes to markings
Sources

from personal documentation of members of the 493rd BG
held by the 493rd BG Museum, Debach.
www.493bgdebach.co,uk

Date Contributor Update
14 December 2019 18:45:43 Darren Jelley Changes to production block number, markings, description and unit associations
Sources

From original documentation of the incident
493rd BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
20 November 2019 20:14:57 Darren Jelley Changes to description
Sources

corrections made to bomb load and details of failure.
details taken from original mission documents

493rd BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
20 November 2019 20:12:40 Darren Jelley Changes to description
Sources

corrections made to bomb load and details of failure.
details taken from original mission documents

493rd BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
20 November 2018 12:55:41 Darren Jelley Changes to description
Sources

removed association to name Little Davey II to the incident on the River Deben. The name was removed from the aircraft two months prior to this incident

493rd BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
11 April 2018 18:12:02 helen@faxbase.co.uk Changes to media associations
Sources

493rd BG Archives Debach Airfield Museum

Date Contributor Update
10 April 2018 16:26:04 helen@faxbase.co.uk Changes to media associations
Sources

493rd BG Archives Debach Airfield Museum

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2017 15:28:49 Jeff Coleman Changes to media associations
Sources

Jeff Coleman

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2017 15:27:45 Jeff Coleman Changes to media associations
Sources

Jeff Coleman

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2016 19:46:54 Jeff Coleman Changes to media associations
Sources

Jeff Coleman

Date Contributor Update
21 November 2016 10:43:09 Jeff Coleman Changes to description
Sources

Jeff Coleman

Date Contributor Update
21 November 2016 10:31:23 Jeff Coleman Changes to description
Sources

Jeff Coleman

Date Contributor Update
24 August 2016 14:07:43 Lucy May Changes to nicknames, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

Research carried out by Jeff Coleman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:30 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

Share