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41-23819

B-24 Liberator

B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Buggy" 44BG/66BS, Shipdham was shot down 14-May-43 on a mission to bomb the port facilities at Kiel. Germany. The aircraft crashed at Eckenforde, Germany. 2KIA 8POW MACR 15509.

P 1Lt Malcolm C. Howell (KIA); CP Maj James E. O'Brien (POW)
N 1Lt John D. Bledsoe (POW); B/TOGG MSgt Norius Crisan (POW)
E/TTG SSgt Kenneth C. McCabe (POW); RO TSgt Ralph C. Ernst (POW)
BTG SSgt Harold D. Van Oyen (KIA); LWG SSgt John W. Husselton (POW)
RWG SSgt James A. McCammond (POW); TG SSgt Richard Castillo (POW)

Service

Units

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 68th Bomb Squadron

People

  • John Bledsoe

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 14 October 1942. Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while serving as Navigator. Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned at Stalag Luft 3 and moved to 49-11. POW Me 109 probable 3/22/43

  • Richard Castillo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 3 August 1942. Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while serving as Tail Gunner. Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag 9C. Castillo was knocked out of his turret by the fighter attacks. Upon bailout, he was taken to a German...

  • Norius Crisan

    Military | Master Sergeant | Bombardier, Bombardier; Togglier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while servings as Bombardier/Togglier. Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned at Stalag 17B. DFC/ 2 PH/ 10 AM/ RAF Wings/ POW

  • Ralph Ernst

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23371 while serving as Radio Operator the aircraft made a crash-landing near the crossroads south of Puncheston, Pembrokeshire returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the...

  • Malcolm Howell

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 3 August 1942. Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while serving as Pilot. Losses reports the he died at Suderbrarup, Germany 12 miles north of the crash site. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • John Husselton

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 1 October 1942. Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while serving as Waist Gunner. POW

  • Kenneth McCabe

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 3 August 1942. Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on a mission to Kiel, Germany. Aircraft was attacked by fighters and crashed at Eckernforde, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) ...

  • James McCammond

    Military | Sergeant | Ball TurretGunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3-Aug-42. ETO/Queen Mary 5-Sep-42. On 15-Feb-43 in B-24D 41-23800 'The Captain and the Kids' while serving as Ball Turret Gunner the aircraft was hit by flak at the start of a bomb run putting an engine out of action. FW 109s put out another...

  • James O'Brien

    Military | Major | Co-Pilot, Command Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Completed 20 missions. January 27, 1943, successfully piloted very shot up plane back to England. Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24D 41-23819 'Rugged Bunny' while serving as Co-Pilot. Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag Luft 3. POW

  • Harold Van Oyen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14-May-1943 in B-24D 41-23819 "Rugged Buggy" while serving as a Waist Gunner. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and crashed near Eckernforde, Germany. Killed in Action (KIA). No burial record has yet been located for this airman.

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 56

    14 May 1943
    Today's operations will be the most extensive yet mounted by VIII Bomber Command. The operations call for a "maximum effort". Whereas in the past a single target or those close together have been chosen, today's effort is against widley separated...

Places

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Eckernförde, Germany 14 May 1943

Shot down by fighters and crashed at Eckernforde, Germany.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 May 2015 22:08:42 JasonR Changes to markings
Sources

http://www.b24bestweb.com/ruggedbuggy2.htm

Date Contributor Update
07 May 2015 22:06:13 JasonR Changes to nicknames and description
Sources

Corrected aircraft name from "Rugged Bunny" to "Rugged Buggy" - source: http://www.b24bestweb.com/ruggedbuggy2.htm

Date Contributor Update
17 February 2015 22:19:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Feb-2015. Confirmed TN, FTR event, full proper names and crew positions per MACR 15509; Added nickname and Edited Description based on "Losses of the 9th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A Hey MBE; made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added rank, crew position full proper name and disposition per MACR 15509; formatted crew display.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:01 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 15509 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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