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42-102451

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/44; Gr Island 22/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Slated 385BG, Assigned 338BS/96BG [BX-T] Snetterton 7/4/44. Missing in Action Berlin 8 May 1944 with Pilot George T. Sterler, Tail gunner: Edward A. Muszynski (2 Prisoners of War). Co-pilot: Melvin E. Baumgartel, Navigator: Abner M. Fisch, Bombardier: John E. Bedell, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: William J. Reagin, Radio Operator: Thomas A. Montgomery, Ball turret gunner: Charles H. Goettling, Left Waist gunner: Evert D. McMonigle, Waist gunner: Ronald J. Pearce (8 Killed in Action). Attacked by fighters and collision with Me109, causing fire in wing tanks. Exploded on way down, crashed Sehlem, 12 miles S of Hildesheim, Germany, with debris strewn over a wide area. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 4574.

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

  • 338th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Melvin Baumgartel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. 5 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 4574 ...

  • John Bedell

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew on B-17 42-5953 'Skin & Bones', would have completed his 25 mission tour with this crew, but was hospitalised due to his sinuses, tour length being extended to 28 whilst he was laid up. Failed to Return (FTR)...

  • Abner Fisch

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 4574. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Charles Goettling

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 4574. His wife Margie gave birth to twin sons Ray and Roy shortly...

  • Evert McMonigle

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 4574. Awards: AM (4OLC), PH.

  • Robert Merryman

    Military | 452nd Bomb Group

  • Thomas Montgomery

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. KIA. MACR 4574. Awards: AM (2OLC), PH.

  • Edward Muszynski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 4574 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Ronald Pearce

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 4574. Awards: DFC AM (4OLC), PH.

  • William Reagin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF. 1st combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) from Berlin in B-17 42-102541 8-May-44; A/C rammed by Me109, exploding due to wing tank fire. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 4574 Awards: PH.

Show more

Missions

  • 344

    8 May 1944

Places

  • Snetterton Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Intended to be an RAF bomber base, construction of Snetterton Heath started in Autumn 1942 but continued until mid-1943, because it was extended after allocation as an Eighth Air Force bomber base. It had eventually three concrete runways, 50...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Long Beach, CA 1944

Built at Boeing.

Delivered Cheyenne AAF, WY 4 March 1944

Delivered Cheyenne AAF 4-Mar-44.

Assigned Snetterton Heath, UK 7 April 1944

Assigned to 338BS, 96BG, 8AF USAAF.

Crashed Sehlem, 12 miles Sth of Hildesheim, Germany 8 May 1944 – 8 May 1944

Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin 8 May1944. Rammed by Me109, causing fire in wing tanks, exploded on way down, crashed Sehlem, 12 miles S of Hildesheim, Germany.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2020 07:05:57 kstrykerAK Changes to markings
Sources

Snetterton Falcons II: The 96th Bomb Group in World War II by Robert E Doherty & Geoffrey Ward, Second Edition with Errata & Supplemental Information, Taylor Publishing, 1996. pages 137, 293

Date Contributor Update
20 May 2020 08:50:43 ED-BB Changes to description, events and mission associations
Sources

MACR 4574
KU-1756 at https://catalog.archives.gov/id/147874844
Corrected typos in some crew names and place of crash

Date Contributor Update
10 May 2019 10:16:35 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, markings, description, events and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/29031437

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:09 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 4574 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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