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44-8436

B-17 Flying Fortress

On May 5th 1945, just three days before the end of World War II, seven young men climbed into a B-17 from 326th Squadron and took off from RAF Podington. 1st Lt Reginald Hammond, 1st Lt Robert Sprout, 2nd Lt William J Dutton, T/Sgt Jacob Buikema, S/Sgt Daniel Minkon, 2nd Lt John Duffy and the radio controller Sgt Len Nitti. The synopsis of their story was that, lost in poor weather and limited visibility (just as today), the B-17 circled twice over the Castle and then headed south. They hit the trees on Sidown Hill, tumbling into flames and wreckage. All on the Estate rushed up the hill to help, but only one man survived -Sgt Len Nitti.

Delivered Lincoln 16/9/44; Grenier 1/10/44; Assigned 326BS/92BG [JW-H] Podington 8/11/44, crash landed Sidow Hill, Wilts, UK with Reg Hammond 5/5/45 (1 survived); Salvaged 6/5/45.

Service

Units

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

  • 326th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Jacob Buikema

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight engineer | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. 5-May-45. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM (4OLC), PH.

  • John Duffy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. 5-May-45. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM (4OLC), PH.

  • William Dutton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. 5-May-45. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: PH.

  • Reginald Hammond

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 35 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. 5-May-45. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: DFC, AM(OLC), PH.

  • Daniel Minkon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. 5-May-45. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: PH.

  • Leonard Nitti

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. Sole survivor from crash. 5-May-45. Returned to Duty (RTD) Awards: AM, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Sprout

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. 33 x missions. Hit trees on Sidown Hill in B-17 44-8436 and crashed. 5-May-45. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM (3OLC), PH.

Places

  • Podington

    Military site : airfield
    Built originally to accommodate two RAF bomber squadrons, the first USAAF unit to occupy the base was the 15th Bomb Squadron in September 1942. Podington was then used as a satellite for nearby Chelveston. Work to lengthen the runways, although this...

  • Siddown Hill

    Crash site

Events

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2021 11:13:11 RayWells Changes to description
Sources

Updated Bio

Date Contributor Update
27 August 2021 01:13:30 zactyson4 Changes to production block number and manufacturer
Sources

close up photo of nose art has manufacturer block info

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2019 18:22:53 RandySprout Changes to media associations
Sources

Randy Sprout

Date Contributor Update
19 December 2018 22:30:00 RayWells Changes to nicknames
Sources

X

Date Contributor Update
08 November 2018 08:22:56 Emily Changes to nicknames, description, unit associations and person associations
Sources

Added information provided by user RandySprout from duplicate aircraft record "Both Patti and Mary Nitti have been in touch with us and I hope may join us in September. We would welcome any of the other airmen’s descendants too. Paul McTaggart from Highclere also found a photograph of the plane – it is in a diner in Fort Worth, Texas."

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:00 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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