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41-23771

B-24 Liberator

B-24D 41-23771 assigned to 44th BG/66th BS, Thurleigh. Crashed 3-Jan-43 near Puncheston, UK, out of fuel, on return from a mission to St. Nazaire, France. The Co-Pilot, 2Lt Dale K. Canfield died on 8-Jan-43 from injuries received in the crash. Aircraft was too badly damaged to repair (DBR) and was salvaged. No MACR issued.

P 1Lt Ray L. Hilliard (RTD); CP 2Lt Dale K. Canfield (KOM)
N 2Lt William R. Auston (RTD); B 2Lt Louis A. Fries (RTD)
E/TTG TSgt Ralph Schweyer (RTD); RO TSgt Ralph C. Ernst (RTD)
AE Sgt Phillip H. Tritschler (RTD); ARO SSgt John A. Romero (RTD)
G Sgt Hugh J. Malone (RTD); TG Sgt James R. Young (RTD)

NOTE: Stan Bishop "The Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" has this loss as documented on MACR 3301, which is an error, as that MACR is associated with B-24D 41-23711.

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...

  • 66th Bomb Squadron

People

  • William Auston

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23771 while serving as Navigator the aircraft made a crash-landing near Puncheston, Pembrokeshire when it ran out of fuel upon return from a mission to St. Nazaire, France. He was uninjured and Returned to Duty (RTD) ...

  • Dale Canfield

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On January 3, 1943 B-24D 41-23371 crashed near crossroads south of Puncheston returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the crash. Copilot Canfield was killed and the only crew fatality although several...

  • 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...

  • Louis Fries

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

  • Ray Hilliard

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On January 3, 1943 B-24D 41-23371 while serving as Pilot, the aircraft crashed near crossroads south of Puncheston returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the crash. Pilot Hilliard was injured and...

  • Hugh Malone

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner; Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23771 while serving as Waist Gunner the aircraft made a crash-landing at Puncheston, Pembrokeshire when it ran out of fuel upon return from a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. He was not injured and...

  • John Romeo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Assistant Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24 41-23371 while serving as Assistant Radio Operator the aircraft crashed near the crossroads south of Puncheston, Pembrokeshire upon returning from a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused...

  • Ralph Schweyer

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

  • Phillip Tritschler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner; Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23371 while serving as Ball Turret Gunner that 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...

  • James Young

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3-Jan-43 in B-24D 41-23771 while serving as Tail Gunner the aircraft made a crash-landing near Puncheston, Pembrokeshire when it ran out of fuel upon return from a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. He was not injured and...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

Places

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...

Events

Event Location Date
Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) Puncheston, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA62, UK 3 January 1943

Aircraft crashed 3-Jan-43 near Pincheston, UK out of fuel on return from mission to St. Nazaire. CP 2Lt Dale K. Canfield died of injuries received in the crash on 8-Jan-43. Aircraft was too damaged to repair and was salvaged.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2015 19:31:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Jan-2015. Added crew list per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2015 19:24:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Jan-2015. Added AIrcraft ID letter "E" per Stephen Adams author of a book on the history of the 44th Bomb Group by contact through Facebook.

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2015 22:55:42 Lee8thbuff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Jan-2015. All information in entry based on "The Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; Markings based on "The Mighty Eighth Warpaint & Heraldry" Roger A. Freeman.

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