Delivered RAF [AN522] as part of Lend-Lease; 90 Squadron [WP-J] Polebrook 3-May41; t/o West Raynham, Nfk, flew in to heavy cloud and crashed 10m north of Catterick Bridge, Yorks. UK 22-Jun-41; with F/O John Hawley, Lt Bradley*, J. Humpherson, Sq Ldr David Robson, Horace Black, George Garwood, T. Willis (RCAF) (7 Killed in Action); F/l Steward (Returned to Duty); First B-17 lost in WWII; Struck Off Charge 9-Jul-41. (Survivor Steward, an RAF doctor, reported when ship entered heavy cloud it began to shake violently, pilot lost control as the bomber entered a steep dive, and at about 25,00 ft structural failure became evident. First the port wing detached itself, followed by the gradual break up of the fuselage, the rear section falling slowly, thus Steward was able to make his escape.)
Military site : airfield
Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...
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