Delivered Dallas 5/7/44; Langley 28/7/44; Grenier 12/9/44; Assigned 429BS/2BG PFF Amendola 15/9/44; Missing in Action Ruhland 22/3/45 with Pilot Andrew F. Crane; Co-pilot: Paul M. Honke (2POW both strafed on way down); Navigator: George W. Betchley; Bombardier: James S. Barnett; Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Donald A. Dorman; Radio Operator: Daniel P. Dunkerley, m/op Donald F. Maine; Right Waist gunner: Robert A. Keuchel; Left Waist gunner: Rae G. DeMatteis; Tail gunner: Stephen J. Fatur (8 Killed in Action); flak, two engines out, crashed Linz; Missing Air Crew Report 13248.
After liberation from a POW camp in Germany Capt. Andrew F. Crane stated : “We left the formation just after dropping bombs on the target. We flew eight miles to 10 miles N. of Breslau then bailed out. I personally saw five chutes, and other crew members bailed out five minutes previously. Dorman, Betchley, Barnett, Honke, and myself bailed out after other crew members had bailed out a few minutes before. No members were in the plane when it crashed as far as I know. Saw bombardier, navigator, co-pilot and engineer jump. Others were informed to jump three minutes before we jumped. Germans couldn’t find any in the aircraft and asked me if I knew their whereabouts.
I saw none of the crew on the ground or anywhere except five descending chutes. My co-pilot and I found each other at German Headquarters. Both he and I were strafed in our chutes by Me-109s. I heard gunfire continually and assume other crew members were killed by strafing or in attempting to make the Russian lines.
At German Headquarters I saw a picture of Betchley (escape picture which we all carried) and dog tags of Dorman and Dunkerley. I saw Dorman and Betchley bail out. As I see it, they were definite victims of strafing. The co-pilot was strafed four times. He oscillated his chute and managed to only sustain a grazing from a machine gun bullet. I was strafed twice."
Served on antisubmarine duty for several months after the U.S. entered World War II. In October 1942 was re-designated as 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and earmarked for combat. The group was transferred on paper to Geiger Field, Washington, where it...
||Love Field, Dalas, Texas
||5 July 1944
||Amendola Airfield, Italy
||15 September 1944
||22 March 1945