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42-50725

B-24 Liberator

Vernon Kirk wrote: “The flight to Hanau was routine, though we did see some flak and some
planes we thought were German jets [Me 262s]. They seemed to be just staying out of range and did not attack. When we approached Koblenz, we could see heavy flak ahead so we started to drop the strips of anti-aircraft foil. The flak became thick and close, rocking the plane. I reached over to pick up my flak suit and for an instant I could or did not move from that leaning position. It was then I heard a loud noise and knew flak had hit the plane. Then I felt a burning in my right hip. I told Hank, the other waist gunner to help me and then we found blood. He and another crewman bandaged to stop the bleeding and we made it back to base. At the hospital that night I saw another person, probably George Schofield, and though I felt pain I realized how lucky I was because he appeared to have a head injury. This was only my second mission though one time we became lost in heavy clouds and lost the formation. “Some of the crew came to visit me in the hospital, then I never saw them again. Later I asked about them and was told they were lost over France, but could not get any other information.
Hobbs gave me the piece of flak and a Cuban nickel I had in my wallet. The flak had struck it
and ripped it almost in half and then came out my hip at my waist. This nickel evidently
deflected the flak and saved more serious injury and possibly my life.”

Kirk was transported to Hospital 4210 on 15 Novemberand did not fly combat again. The Hobbs crew went down on 2 December 1944 in 42-50805 . Hobbs, Cooper, Smith, Brown, Cowan, and Kraynik were KIA.

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

  • Harry Brown

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 25 October 1944. Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-24 42-50805. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Warren Cooper

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 25 October 1944. Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-24 42-50805. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Henry Cowan

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 25 October 1944. Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-17 42-50805. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • James Faulkner

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 25 October 1944. Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-24 42-50805. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Hobbs

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    "The fourth B-24 shot down by German fighter planes of IV./JG 3 during the attack on the Bingen marshalling yard on 2 December 1944 was that of pilot John C. Hobbs of 44 BG (68 BS). Already before bombs were thrown the bomb bay was set ablaze. The...

  • Vernon Kirk

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 10/25/44. WIA 11/10/44 (Hanau). Trans/4210 Hospital 11/15/44. Pilot: Hobbs. ...

  • Don Montre

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined squad 25 October 1944. Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-24 42-50805. Prisoner of War.

  • Seymour Richfertig

    Military | Flight Officer | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-24 42-50805.

  • Thomas Smith

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 2 December 1944 in B-24 42-50805. Killed in Action.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 April 2019 22:24:37 Kirkie Changes to markings
Sources

Kirkie

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2019 12:17:15 general ira snapsorter Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, description, unit associations and person associations
Sources

http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=50725&cont...
http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg/lundyroh.pdf

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