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42-94812

B-24 Liberator

Assigned to 850BS, 490BG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Fallersleben; flak hit holed fuel tanks/lines causing conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Crew Lt's J.H. Hansen, S.A Benson, J. Levy, M.M. Stich, T/Sgt's V.J. Polzin, B.B. Gomillion, S/Sgt's C. Aidala, W.A. Boykowski, S.G. Haskell Jr, J.E. Sanders. 1 x POW/KIA, 9 x KIA. MACR 6721

"Aircraft No. 812 flying in the Number 3 position in A group received a direct flak hit near #3 Engine at 09:39 hours in the target area just after bombs away. It was enveloped in flames from the nose to the rear of the bomb bays. It fell out of formation and disintegrated at about 10,000 feet."

"Eight of the crew were found dead on the ground by German authorities that morning, a ninth body was found later**. The tenth crew member's body was discovered in a field, badly burned on 11-Jul-44, and buried with the rest of the crew of 'LITTLE WARRIOR'."

**Co-pilot Benson was ejected by explosion with his chute, having landed unharmed he surrendered to a flak gun crew and was placed in the charge of a Hitler youth leader Helmut Lippman who riding a bike, shepherded him, to be handed over to local authorities. En-route Lippman shot Benson in the back 3 times with a small calibre handgun. Upon arrival in the local town Lippman left 2Lt Benson with Air raid wardens whilst he went off to phone the local police, whereupon 2Lt Benson was beaten to death by the wardens. Post war Lippman and the wardens were brought to trial for the murder of a POW. Lippman was sentenced to death by hanging, commuted to life imprisonment.

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. ...

  • 490th Bomb Group

    490th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 490th Bomb Group, like the 486th and 487th Bomb Groups transitioned from flying B-24 Liberators to B-17 Flying Fortresses, which were used in combat missions from late August 1944. Based at Eye, Suffolk, the Group were focused in the early months...

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 493rd Bomb Group were the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel...

  • 850th Bomb Squadron
  • 861st Bomb Squadron

People

  • Cyrus Aidala

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 Awards: PH.

  • Sidney Benson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Baled out and was murdered. Upon landing, he surrendered to a German gun...

  • Walter Boykowski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 Awards: PH.

  • Billy Gomillion

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 Awards: PH.

  • John Hansen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 Awards: AM, PH.

  • Sylvanus Haskell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 Awards: PH.

  • Jerome Levy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 ...

  • John Oling

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
    Flew B-24H #4294812 'Little Warrior' and chose the Indian nose art for the Liberator

  • John Oling

    Military | Pilot | 490th Bomb Group
    Member of Oling crew

  • Vernon Polzin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 Awards: AM, PH.

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Missions

  • 447

    29 June 1944

Places

  • Cheddington

    Military site : airfield
    The main runway at Cheddington fell short of the required 2,000 yards for a class A airfield and it was originally used as a satellite for groups at Bovingdon nearby. Between October 1942 and the end of war in Europe it was used as a Combat Crew...

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Ypsilanti, MI 1943

Built at Consolidated.

Ferried 1943

Lt John J. Oling crew flew 'Little Warrior' across to ETO.

Assigned Cheddington, UK 1944

Assigned to 850BS, 490BG, 8AF USAAF.

Assigned Debach, UK 1944

Transferred to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF.

Crashed Fallersleben, Germany 29 June 1944

Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Fallersleben; flak hit holed fuel tanks/lines causing conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. 10 x KIA MACR 6721

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2019 21:17:46 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/29099870
http://www.b24bestweb.com/littlewarrior1.htm
http://www.b24bestweb.com/littlewarrior2.htm
http://www.b24bestweb.com/littlewarrior3.htm
Helton's Hellcats: A Pictorial History of the 493rd Bomb Group By Martin W. Bowman

Date Contributor Update
16 March 2016 01:34:19 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames, markings, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:07 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 6721 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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