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42-30149

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/43; Smoky Hill 24/4/43; Walla Walla 30/4/43; Smoky Hill 10/5/43; Dow Fd 25/5/43; Assigned 333BS/94BG [
Earls Colne 27/5/43; Rougham 12/6/43;
XM-A2] later RCL F.
Missing in Action Schweinfurt 14/10/43 with Jim Mullinax, Co-pilot: Frank Peyton, Navigator: Maurice Fridrich, Bombardier: Jay Coberly, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Emil McCormick, Radio Operator: George Anderson, Ball turret gunner: Don Wilson, Waist gunner: Ellis Baxendall, Waist gunner: Harley Almon,Tail gunner: Curtis Brown (10 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, crashed Bamberg, near Wurzburg, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 790. SPARE PARTS.

Words of Navigator 2Lt Maurice E Fridrich -

"Almost immediately after bombs-away, the group made a turn and a decrease in altitude in order to confuse the flak gunners. Enemy fighter action increased heavily after bombs-away. This was the heaviest fighting we experienced on this mission. There were FW 190's, ME 109's and twin engine fighter-bombers. The twin engine fighters carried air-to air missiles. They attacked the rear of our formation by sending their missiles at us. I saw one of these missiles sail over the top of the left wing of "Spare Parts". It flew out in front of us where it exploded. 'Spare Parts' flew right through that ball. A piece of shrapnel, about the size of a walnut, went through the Plexiglas nose. I was reading the magnetic compass located on the floor of the aircraft nose when I felt something strike my steel helmet. This piece had come in through the nose glass, had gone over the top of the Bombardiers left shoulder, striking my helmet. It glanced off the helmet, glanced off the wall of the aircraft, struck my helmet again and fell on top if the glass of the compass I was trying to read. I noted that the Bombardier had turned and was giving me a quizzical look; I felt he was wondering if I had been struck by that shrapnel. I picked up the piece to show it to him. I had to drop it because it was still hot enough to cause pain through the gloves I was wearing. Shortly after that there was an explosion at the left side of the cockpit area. There were other explosions in different parts of the aircraft. Word came over the intercom system that the outboard engine was on fire. That part of the oxygen system in the waist and rear was out. Learned that Lt Mullinax had been wounded by a twenty millimetre that had exploded on the left side of the aircraft, but that he was still able to, and was, flying the aircraft. Lt Coberly asked the pilot if he needed help. Mullinax said yes. Lt Coberly started for the cockpit. I noticed that he disconnected from the oxygen system and did not connect to a portable bottle, on his way to the cockpit.
About this time Lt Mullinax gave an order to bailout. I proceeded to destroy sensitive equipment. This was done by removing a cover and pushing a red button underneath it. I had hooked my chest pack parachute to the harness I always wore, and started for the passage way between the nose and the cockpit. The escape hatch was located in this tunnel. This was the only escape route for me.
I saw two bodies in the tunnel. It appeared that both were unconscious. I recognised Lt Coberly and knew immediately what was wrong. He passed out from lack of oxygen. I assumed that the other was Lt. Peyton and that the two of them had become wedged in the tunnel on the way to the escape hatch. My only means of escape was blocked. I grabbed Lt Coberly's oxygen mask hose and plugged it into the oxygen system. I then, perhaps frantically, hunted for an alternate escape route. The astrodome would not do. Too small. I may have tried to kick out the Plexiglas nose panels.
Forty five years later, Lt Coberly told me his story of this situation:
-He had glanced into the nose and seen me acting strangely. He decided that I was out of it and beyond help, and proceeded to bail out. He said Lt Peyton bailed out as soon as the order was given by the pilot. That he had dragged the pilot to the escape hatch, pushed him out and pulled his ripcord at the same time. Then went out himself. When he told me this I realised that Lt Coberly did not know that he had passed out from lack of oxygen. Also, when he jumped I was the only crew member left in the aircraft. This explains reports by returning crews that only nine parachutes were sighted leaving our aircraft.
In short order I realised that the two bodies were gone. I went into the tunnel. On reaching the hatch,I made the mistake of looking out the hatch instead of dropping out, as instructed in training. I saw the bomb-bay doors; they were still open. I saw two gun barrels of the ball turret, and the ball turret. All seemed to be in the way, ready to impale me as I slipped back into the slip-stream. I let myself out feet first and held on to the hatch frame. I lined up my body in the slip-steam so that I would miss all the things back there that I was likely to hit. I let go. I saw these things, and sensed them as I went by. I did not hit any of them."

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942. Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 332nd Bomb Squadron

    332nd Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Part of 94th Bomb Group.

People

  • Harley Almon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • George Anderson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Willis Baxandall

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 'Spare Parts'. MACR 790. Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag Luft III, Stalag VII-A, Moosburg. Liberated 1945 by General Patton's soldiers. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Curtis Brown

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Jay Coberly

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: DFC, AM, Bronze Star, PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Maurice Fridrich

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: AM(OLC), POW, WWII Victory, EAME (Battle star).

  • Emil McCormick

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Mullinax

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bomber pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    8 x combat missions. Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 790. Awards: AM(2OLC), PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME. Post war: Authored 'Foes by Fate...Friends by Choice'

  • Frank Peyton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Donald Wilson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30149 'Spare Parts'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 790. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 115

    14 October 1943
    This was the 2nd mission flown against the ball bearing industry at Schweinfurt, Germany and was as equally disastrous as that flown on 17-Aug-43. It came to be known as "Black Thursday". While fighter escort was dispatched, bad weather and lack of...

Places

  • Bury St Edmunds

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was purpose-built for American bomb groups and as such had a 2,000 yard main runway that lain in concrete with a tarred and wood-chipped surface. The scale of bases such as this meant that very often the technical, administrative and...

  • Earls Colne

    Military site : airfield
    Earls Colne was built in 1941 as an airfield for No.3 Group, RAF Bomber Command, although never used as such. Assigned to the US Eighth Air Force (as Station 358) in 1942, its 36 hardstands were increased to 50, bringing the airfield up to Air Ministry...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Seattle, WA, USA 1943

Built at Boeing.

Delivered 722, 6207 Missile Dr, Cheyenne, WY 82005, USA 17 April 1943

Delivered United Airlines Modification Center, Cheyenne
Accepted: AAF c. 17-Apr-43.

Assigned Earls Colne, Colchester CO6, UK 27 May 1943

Assigned 333BS, 94BG, 8AF 27-May-43.

Based Rougham, Bury Saint Edmunds IP30, UK 12 June 1943

Based Rougham 12-Jun-43.

Crashed Bamberg, Germany 14 October 1943

Failed to Return (FTR) Schweinfurt raid. Hit by enemy aircraft, crashed Bamberg, near Wurzburg, Germany; 10 x POW MACR 790.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 January 2020 00:01:14 phil marchese Changes to description and events
Sources

AAM associated image displays fin markings.

Second acceptance per procedures in AAF STUDY 62.

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2020 23:54:09 phil marchese Changes to markings
Sources

AAM associated image show markings.

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2017 14:15:39 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbmsn.asp?SN=42-30149&Submit6=Go
https://www.fold3.com/image/28606622
http://www.fridrichdesign.com/maurice/my2nd.html
https://b17flyingfortress.de/en/b17/42-30149-spare-parts/

Date Contributor Update
17 October 2017 01:21:24 ram957 Changes to media associations
Sources

Facebook

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 790 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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