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Frederick D Baldwin

Military

Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17G 42-31673 'Lassie Come Home' while serving as Ball Turret Gunner. Aircraft was attacked by German fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed at Deiderode, Germany. Killed in Action (KIA) Fighters from IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 attacked the 324th BS from the rear and Baldwin was killed on the first pass. Other crew members in thhe Squadron saw Baldwin's flopping in the wind after the attack. When Lassie Come Home exploded about 12,000 feet above Diederode, the ball broke loose and Baldwin and the ball turret anding in a farm field that was planted in corn. It was three days before the Germans discovered his body because the ball turret had partially buried itself in the soil and because of the growing corn hid him and the ball.

Service

Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    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...

  • 324th Bomb Squadron

    324th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Home of the Memphis Belle

Aircraft

  • 42-31673 Lassie Come Home

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17G 42-31673 'Lassie Come Home' was delivered Cheyenne 6-Dec-43; Kearney 17-Dec-43; Harrisburg 8-Jan-44; New Castle 9-Jan-43; Presque Is 11-Jan-44; Prestwick 16-Jan-44; Assigned 96BG Snetterton 16-Jan-44; transferred 322BS/91BG [LG-B] Bassingbourn 27...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 556

    16 August 1944
    Aircraft factories and oil refineries are the primary targets for this mission. A total of 1090 heavy bombers are despatched. See Mission Details for particulars. ...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Flushing, Queens, NY, USA
Killed in Action (KIA) Deiderode, 37133 Friedland, Germany 16 August 1944

Killed when aircraft was attacked by German fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed at Deiderode, Germany.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 March 2018 16:44:03 bassingbourn91 Changes to biography
Sources

Several 324th BS gunners saw Baldwin's body flopping in the wind while they were under attack by IV.(Sturm)/JG 3. IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 , escorted by fighters from JG 300, flew down the port side of the 324th BS formation in the opposite direction, before the attack, then dissappeared into cloud. A few minutes later the gunners in the 324th saw fighters approaching from the rear. The inexperienced gunners thought they were overdue American fighter escosts with which the 91st was to rendevous, but they were FW 190 A-8s that were specially equipped with extra armour plate and cannons designed to take down Allied bombers - Sturmgruppen. Info on Baldwin being found three days later in the corn field was given to me by Elfriede Arnold, a 12-year old girl at the time who had been working in the farm field in which the main fuseage section of Lassie crashed. She and her grandfather were having lunch about 10 am in a small rock quarry in the field they were farming, While having lunch they heard a loud explosion above them, looked up and saw Lassie coming apart at about 5,000 meters and saw bits of Lassie falling down towards them. They both ran to a nearby tree line while the main fuselage secion of Lassie crashed not far from the rock quarry where they had been having lunch. The horses they had been using in the field rared up on their hind legs, eyes wide and wild, while the Lassie parts fell to earth around them. Elfriede and her grandfather stayed in the treeline for several minutes after the debris hit the field as they did know if the plane carried a bomb load. ( It didn't - Lassie was carrying leaflets that day and Elfriede gave me two she had kept all of these years. She said they didn't read them but were happy the Americans were dropping them as they used them for toilet paper which was in very short supply for the Germans during the war.) After a few minutes, Elfriede's grandfather went out in the field and settled the horses down, then asked Elfriede to walk them back into Diederode, and she did. Half the town and several police came running up the hill to the crash site and met her. She said when she got into the village, a large wheel, probably one of the main landing tires, had rolled down into the village.
Elfreide Arnold
Brunnenbreite 14
37133 Deiderode
Germany

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2014 18:24:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to unit associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Dec-2014. Corrected BS association.

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2014 18:16:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to unit associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Dec-2014. Corrected BS association per MACR 8183.

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2014 17:34:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Dec-2014. Added SN event per MACR 8183; added Burial event and decoration per American Battle Monumnets Commission (ABMC) record; made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data; edited biography adding crew position, loss details and for consistency. COMBINED data from TWO duplicate enries based on original ingest of data from Paul Andrews "Project Bits and Pieces", USAF Honor Roll, and the records of National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah (Pooler), Gerogia.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:25 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8183

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