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Amos Frank Estrada

Military

Shot down by fighters and crashed at Stolzenburg on 6/21/44 in B-17 #446117. Killed in Action (KIA). The tail gunner, Sgt Estrada, had most possibly been hit in his position and it's reported that he was first to bail out. Crew members and the position of first pilot say that he was the first to jump out.
While jumping, he lost one of his boots, as he exited the escape hatch, in the rear of the aircraft. By the time he hit the ground, and the evidence seems to be that his parachute did open, he was dead. There is a suggestion that he was shot by an enemy fighter while descending! This is unlikely. He was buried in the Spanholtz Cemetery in Ruhlow, Germany. He lies now in the Ardennes Military Cemetery in Belgium. His boot remained in the plane and was recovered in July and August 1989, when 46-117 was explored by underwater divers of the 5th International Divers' Expedition under patronage of ZHP (Polish Scouts' Association).

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...

  • 322nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 44-6117

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 6/5/44; Hunter 16/5/44; Dow Fd 24/6/44; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-Q] Bassingbourn 27/5/44. ...

Missions

  • 428

    21 June 1944
    Ruhland, Germany - The target, south of Berlin, bombed by 114 fortresses with an escort of 70 Mustangs went off as planned but not before the Germans destroyed 43 B-17's and damaged 26. Landed in Russia.

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 California, USA 24 April 1920

Born in Brighton, Colorado, as youngest son of David and Fedelina Estrada. Received high school diploma in 1938. Married Lillian Keller of Kansas on 28 May 1941. They have daughter Melinda Ann Crowe (born in 1942).

Enlisted Colorado, USA 11 August 1941

He stationed in Texas, California, Kingsman, Arizona and Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

Died Ruhlow, Germany 21 June 1944

Probably attacked by enemy fighters during a parachute flight or already wounded inside the aircraft, as a result of the rear horizontal stabilizer damage from enemy aircraft.

Buried 21 June 1944

Burried in Sponholz, Germany. Later burried in Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, Neuville-en-Condroz, Arrondissement de Liège, Liège, Belgium

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2020 07:10:52 PAZK Changes to events
Sources

Registration cards for the US Army, Pawel Ziatek briefcase with preserved documents and photos, 44-6117 crew letters to Amos Estrada's wife (Lillian, nee Keller) and personal memorabilia of his daughter (Melinda), which she donated to the Museum in Colorado.

Contact with currators:
Pawel Ziatek (brodaty pawelziatek.pl)
Brinley Morgan (tigrefinnland gmail.com)
Piotr Wit (pwitpriv sz.onet.pl)

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2020 07:06:00 PAZK Changes to middlename, nickname, biography, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Registration cards for the US Army, Pawel Ziatek briefcase with preserved documents and photos, 44-6117 crew letters to Amos Estrada's wife (Lillian, nee Keller) and personal memorabilia of his daughter (Melinda), which she donated to the Museum in Colorado.

Contact with currators:
Pawel Ziatek (brodaty pawelziatek.pl)
Brinley Morgan (tigrefinnland gmail.com)
Piotr Wit (pwitpriv sz.onet.pl)

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2019 16:05:19 Lord Morgan Changes to biography
Sources

Information supplied by Lord Morgan, researcher of this story. Husband of the niece of the Flight Engineer/top turret gunner S/Sgt Irwin Lewis. Published in a revised book for the Lewis Family (now under a second revision ( to be published in April 2019).
Title; The B-17 At The Bottom Of A Polish Lake - The Flight Engineer’s Story, a Resourceful Pilot and a Remarkable Plane. Brinley Morgan 2018.

Date Contributor Update
16 November 2017 09:55:14 Lucy May Changes to service number, biography and events
Sources

https://abmc.gov/node/545196#.Wg1gcE1LGM8

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:03:39 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 5980 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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