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William D Hand

Military

Flew 7 missions--
7-14-43 Villa Coublay, France;
7-17-43 Northwest Germany;
7-25-43 Heroya, Norway;
7-24-43 Helgoland, Germany;
#6 mission I believe was diversionary raid;
8-12-43 Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Last mission (Gelsenkirchen), on 12 August 1943 in B-17 #4229898 'Scarlett O'Hara,':
"We dropped our bombs, turned for home, and came under heavy fighter attack. Plane lost engine and couldn't feather engine. The pilot was killed. Flak, fighter, and fire in radio section finished us off."

"Myself, CP and B were able to parachute out. 6 crew members killed. The Germans told me the plane blew up before crew had chance to exit. My parachute came down in a stone quarry, approximately 30km from Bonn, Germany, near the village of Euskirchen, Germany."

"Back and legs injured, mouth and nose smashed--large piece of shrapnel in left wrist. Captured immediately. Bombardier and CP captured also. All of us sent via rail cars to Stalag III (Sagans, Poland)."

"Stayed there until 1-27-45 when again we walked and rode rail cars to Mooseberg, Germany (Stalag VIII) where we were liberated 4-29-45 by 3rd Army tank column."

Plane #42-29898, name was Scarlett O'Hara. Crew members were: (P) Lt. Ralph H. Osborne-Killed in Action (KIA), (CP) Lt. Leslie E. Jones-Prisoner of War (POW), (N) Lt. William D. Hand-Prisoner of War (POW), (B) Lt. Thomas C. Wictham-Prisoner of War (POW), (TS) Patrick J. Keenan-Killed in Action (KIA), (TS) Mildred O. Fambough-Killed in Action (KIA), (S/S Charles B. Irwin-Killed in Action (KIA), (S/S) Warren T. Dayton-Killed in Action (KIA), (S/S) Lawrence E. Truman-Killed in Action (KIA), (S/S) Howard R. Scruggs-Killed in Action (KIA)

PH/ AM/ POW

Service

Units served with

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 524th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29898 Scarlett O'Hara

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/43; Sioux City 19/3/43; Kearney 8/4/43; Bangor 13/4/43; Assigned 524BS/379BG [WA-K/I] Kimbolton 22/4/43; Missing in Action Bochum 12/8/43 with Ralph Osborne, Radio Operator: Mildred Fambrough, Ball turret gunner: Larry Truman,...

Associated Place

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

  • Stalag Luft III

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Enigma, Georgia, USA
Prisoner of War (POW) Germany 12 August 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:51 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1762 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / self, MACR 1762; 379th Bombardment Group Anthology, pg 272

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