Navigator 2LT Rollin P. Ball, 324th Bomb Sq, 91st BG, survived the ditching of his ship, B-17F 41-24464 "Excalibur" (coded OR-J, borrowed from the 323rd Bomb Sq) returning from the 4 March 1943 mission to Hamm.
Less than three months later he would be declared MIA; returning from the 21 May trip to Wilhelmshaven aboard B-17F 41-24515 "Jersey Bounce" with LT Phillip S. Fischer & crew, they would disappear over the North Sea; no trace was ever found.
These are four of seven survivors of an 8AF Flying Fortress [ B-17F 41-24464 "Excalibur" coded OR-J ] which crashed in the North Sea on its way home from a bombing mission over Germany 4-Mar-43. They are, L to R: 1st Lt Robert F Brubaker, [ Clearwater, Fla ]. Bombardier; T/Sgt. William G G Dickson waist gunner, T/Sgt Edwin L Barber tail gunner, Navigator 2nd Lt Rollin P Ball. They are stood in front of B-17 41-24485 'Memphis Belle'.
NARA Ref 342-FH-3A09113-56500AC.
2LT Rollin P. Ball was Navigator on two differentt B-17s that were lost.
On 4-Mar-43 in B-17F 41-24464 "Exbalibur" 91BG/324BS while serving as Navigator the aircraft sustained damage from fighter attacks and was forced to ditch 40 miles west of Texel Island, Holland. He was rescued by a Royal Navy destroyer after spending seven hours in a life raft and Returned to Duty (RTD) He was incorrectly listed on the report as 'Roland P. Ball'
Killed in Action (KIA) on 21 May 1943 in B-17F 41-24515 'Marie Jane', 91BG/324BS while serving as Navigator. The aircraft sustained damage from AA fire and crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 3458
Air Medal/Purple Heart w/OLC
Units served with
The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...
Home of the Memphis Belle
B-17 Flying Fortress
Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 13-Oct-42; transferred 324BS/91BG [DF-J] Bassingbourn 20-Feb-43; Missing in Action (MIA) 2m Hamm 4-Mar-43. Shot down by Lt Kostler (IV/NJG1) in Me 110, KO’d #1 & #3,oil pouring away before #4 was...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-H] Bangor 2-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 26-Sep-42; Missing in Action (KIA) 24+m Wilhelmshaven, Germany 21-May-43. Aircraft sustained damage from flak & enemy aircraft, crashed into the North Sea, 10KIA Missing Air Crew Report 3458 ...
4 March 1943
After several weather-caused aborted attempts in attacking the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, the 8th Air Force is finally successful in attacking this target. A total of 71 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (18); 305BG (12) amd 306BG (21)....
21 May 1943
The German naval and port facilities at Wilhelmshaven and Emden, Germany are the two primary targets for this mission. Once again, there is a two-fold strategic objective: entice the Luftwaffe to commit its fighter forces; and further degrade the naval...
Military site : airfield
Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...
||Talbot City, Maryland
||3 April 1905
||4 March 1943
Rescued from the North Sea by a Royal Navy destroyer when his aircraft B-17F 41-24464 was forced to ditch because of battle damage from fighter attacks.
|Killed in Action (KIA)
||21 May 1943
Killed when his aircraft B-17F 41-24515 sustained damage from AA fire and crashed into the North Sea.
||Netherlands American Cemetery, AM Begraafplaats 1, 6269 NA Margraten
Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Netherlands American Cemetery.