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42-30282

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Denver 9/5/43; Gore 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 17/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43;

Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-N] Chelveston 10/6/43;

Missing in Action Hanover 26/7/43 with Pilot Otto Kuhlmann, Co-pilot: Sam Swain, Navigator: Bill McCaffrey, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Fred Fryer, Radio Operator: Leo Kelly, Ball turret gunner: Leon Miller, Waist gunner: Milford Roehrborn,Tail gunner: Harry Britton (8 Prisoners of War – picked up by minesweeper 342 and taken to Borkum Island); Bombardier: Jim Jennings, Waist gunner: Sam (Barron?) Brown (2 Killed in Action); enemy aircraft, ditched North Sea, near Borkum Island, Germany. Missing Air Crew Report 95.

Events as written up by John Kuhlmann, whose father was a cousin of Otto Kuhlmann
"Pilot 1LT Otto W. Kuhlmann, O-661500, after ditching, he escaped out via the pilot’s cockpit window and into a life raft."

"Co-pilot: 2Lt. Samuel Swain, O-677314, injured, he left via the observation hatch. The German navy hospital at Borkum Island reported that he had serious wounds in both lower legs and a shell wound with a fracture on the right thigh and was captured within sea grid 9593."

"Navigator: 2Lt. William McCaffrey, O-798844 was directly behind Jennings as they were leaving their duty stations in the nose of the B-17 via the hatch between the pilot and co-pilot into the cockpit when Jennings was hit and killed."

"Bombardier: 2Lt. James K. Jennings, O-738556, as he was going from his ditching position when he was wounded by machine gun fire in the right arm also hit by a 20mm shell in the chest also as he was coming through the hatchway from the navigator’s compartment to the pilot’s compartment, between the pilot and co-pilot. The navigator was directly behind Jennings at the time of his (Jennings) death. Jennings died in the nose of the plane."

Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner: T/Sgt Fred Fryer, 37185979
Radio Operator: T/Sgt Leo Kelly, 31126320
Ball Turret Gunner: S/Sgt Leonard R. Miller, 15333361
Right Waist Gunner: S/Sgt Milford A. Roehrborn, 36253614
Tail Gunner: S/Sgt Harold W. Britton, 18077445 was seriously injured in the upper left arm and cheek as reported by the German naval hospital at Borkum.

"Left Waist Gunner: S/Sgt Sam A. Barron, 3819832, He was wounded early in the mission in the leg and side. He had been hit a number of times but still stayed at his position. He said that: “I am wounded and don’t forget to help me out.” Barron was in his ditching position in the radio room when he was hit again by machine gun fire. The plane was strafed by a German fighter from above and hit Barron down the middle starting from his head on down. He was dead when they hit the water. He was killed in the radio room of the plane and dead when they finally hit the water and was last seen floating in the water at the rear of the plane as the surviving members of the crew abandoned the sinking plane..."

"And the survivors went into the life rafts, the dead went down with the ship, the injured were in fair shape."

Service

Units

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 366th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Sam Barron

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Sam Barron worked as a carpenter before the war and enlisted in August 1942. He served as a gunner with the 305th Bomb Group. ...

  • Harold Britton

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 42-30282. Plane crashed into North Sea. Injuries: slight bullet-injury in the left upper arm and slight penetration wound of the cheek, escaped via the radio hatch. Prisoner of War

  • Fred Fryer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 42-30282. Plane crashed into North Sea. Escaped via the radio hatch. Prisoner of War.

  • James Jennings

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30282. Plane crashed into North Sea. He was wounded in the right arm (the report also said that he had been hit in the chest) and he was injured prior to this by machine gun fire, he was hit and killed by a 20 mm...

  • Leo Kelly

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 42-30282. Plane crashed into North Sea. he escaped via the radio hatch. Prisoner of War.

  • Otto Kuhlmann

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    First Lieutenant Otto W Kuhlmann served as a pilot with the 305th Bomb Group from Chelveston. His first mission was a raid to Heroya, Norway on 24 July 1943. ...

  • William McCaffrey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #4230282. Plane crashed into North Sea. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Leonard Miller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #4230282. Plane crashed into North Sea. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Milford Rothborn

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #4230282. Plane crashed into North Sea. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Samuel Swain

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 42-30282. Plane crashed into North Sea. Suffered serious shell wounds on both lower legs and shell wound with fracture on the right thigh and (Listed in the report as R. T. Swain.) escaped via the radio hatch. Prisoner of...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 75

    24 July 1943
    Three targets in Norway are the primary targets for this first mission flown by 8th AIr Force to Norway. They are the nitrate works at Heroya and the port areas at Trondheim and Bergen. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (22)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 77

    26 July 1943
    The German rubber industry at Hannover, Germany and the U-Boat shipyards at Hamburg, Germany are the primary focus of this mission. In addition, a German ship convoy and targets of opportunity at Wilhelmshaven and Wesermunde are bombed. The first...

Places

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

  • Borkum Island

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Assigned Chelveston, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN9, UK 10 June 1943

305th Bomb Group

Failed to Return (FTR) Hanover, Germany 26 July 1943
Ditched into the North Sea Borkum, Germany 26 July 1943

Ditched North Sea, near Borkum Island, Germany at Grid 9593 between 1200-1400 (noon to 2pm).

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 May 2015 09:59:06 Lucy May Changes to description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Family history written up by John Kuhlmann, whose father was a cousin of Otto W Kuhlmann, and sent through to the American Air Museum.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:28 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 95 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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