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41-23806

B-24 Liberator

B-24D 41-23806 "Bat out of Hell" was assigned to 44BG/68BS at Shipdham, UK. The aircraft was despatched 3-Jan-43 on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Aircraft returned to England but ran out of fuel and crashed south-west of Haverfordwest, UK. The Pilot 1Lt Roy B. Erwin, Jr. died 5-Jan-43 of injuries received in the crash; the Co-Pilot, 2Lt Clark E. Swanson was killed in the crash and the Navigator, 2Lt Thomas G. Davenport died 8-Jan-43 of injuries received in the crash. 3KOM 7RTD. No MACR issued. Aircraft was declared at Category E loss (damaged beyond repair [DBR]) and salvaged.

P 1Lt Roy B. Erwin, Jr. (KOM); CP 2Lt Clark E. Swanson (KOM)
N 2Lt Thomas G. Davenport (KOM); B 2Lt John J Gavin (RTD)
E/TTG SSgt Hylan V. Simmons (RTD); RO SSgt Thomas A. Laskowski (RTD)
AE Sgt Delbert O. Perry (RTD); ARO Sgt Lanville O. McCarty (RTD)
HG Sgt George L. Kelsey (RTD); TG Sgt Robert J. Reasoner (RTD)

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

  • Thomas Deavenport

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 8-Mar42. ETO/Flight Echelon 10-Feb-42. Killed in Action (KIA) 3-Jan-43 (St. Nazaire). Pilot: Erwin. January 3, 1943 B-24D 41-23806 'Bat Out of Hell' crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St....

  • Roy Erwin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3/20/42. ETO/Flight Echelon 10/2/42. Killed in Action (KIA)1/3/43 (St Nazaire)on January 3, 1943 B-24 #4123806 'Bat Out of Hell' crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel...

  • John Gavin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 Jan 1943 in B-24D 41-23806 "Bat out of Hell" while serving as Bombardier the aircraft made a crash-landing near Heverfordwest when it ran out of fuel upon return from a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Sr. Nazaire, France. He was hospitalized...

  • George Kelsey

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3-Jan-43 in B-24D 41-23806 "Bat out of Hell" while serving as Waist Gunner her was injured when the aircraft crash-landed near Haverfordwest when it ran out of fuel returning from a mission the St. Nazaire, France ...

  • Thomas Laskowski

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Squadron 21-Sep-42. ETO/Flight Echelon 2-Oct-42. Injured 3-Jan-43 in B-24D 41-23806 'Bat Out of Hell' when aircraft crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the...

  • Lanville McCarty

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 3-Aug-42. WIA 25-Nov-43 (St Nazaire). On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23806 'Bat Out of Hell' while serving as Waist Gunner the aircraft crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France....

  • Delbert Perry

    Military | Sergeant | Assistant Engineer; Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23806 'Bat Out of Hell' while serving as Ball Turret Gunner the aircraft crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the crash. Hospitalized...

  • Hylan Simmons

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 3 January 1943 in B-24D 41-23806 'Bat Out of Hell' while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner the aircraft crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the crash....

  • Clarke Swanson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    January 3, 1943 B-24D 41-23806 'Bat Out of Hell' crashed south-west of Haverfordwest returning from target U/B yards (submarine) at St. Nazaire, France. Fuel shortage caused the crash. Swanson was killed.

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

  • 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
Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) Haverfordwest, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, UK 3 January 1943

Aircraft crashed south-west of Haverfordwest due to fuel shortage on return from bombing mission to St. Nazaire, France. Aircraft was too damaged to repair.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2015 19:57:12 Lee8thbuff Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Jan-2015. New entry created and all information per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

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