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41-24278

B-24 Liberator

16 August 1943 - 44th Bomb Group - Roll of Honor and Casualties : Zimmerman, Wesley L. ASN 34312350 Ela, Deforest L. ASN 31157299 Shafer, Raymond C. ASN 35354093 Hughes G.R. Assigned 32468888. Zoller, Harper F. Jr. ASN 36529756 Radio Operator. T/Sgt. POW, escapee, returned Asst. Rad. KIA Asst. Eng. KIA Gunner , S/Sgt. S/Sgt. S/Sgt. KIA, buried Sicily/Rome (J-13-57) Gunner S/Sgt. Winston Salem, North Carolina, Quincy, Massachusetts Anderson, Indiana Bogeta, New Jersey Detroit, Michigan 2nd Lt. R. Curelli and crew were newly arrived replacements, and like several others lost on this mission, were on only their second mission. The MACR states that this plane was hit by flak over the target. While in a spin, it was attacked by enemy aircraft. Three to five chutes were seen to open. Later Glenn C. Hickerson [the tail gunner on the Austin crew, who was for a time a POW at Bari, Italy until he escaped] stated that all of the crew were killed except Zimmerman, who eventually returned to the 44th BG on 4 November 1943. Sgt. Zimmerman, radio operator on this crew, sent this description, “Contrary to the MACR report, I do not recall our ship being hit by flak. After passing over the target and dropping our bombs, one of the engines went out due to an extreme oil leak. When this #3 engine failed and we fell out of formation, that is when we were hit by enemy fighters. After several direct hits from the fighters, we tried to get out of the plane, but could not. The main hydraulic system would not operate, and we could not get the bomb bay doors open in order to jump. “At that point, Sgt. Grinde, engineer, went out the sliding door to the bomb bay without a parachute on, to try to open the bomb bay doors manually. This was the time that the ship went into a dive or spin and the sliding door came down and we could not get out. Since I was on the flight deck I don’t know if any of the crew in the rear got out before the plane exploded. But when it did explode – which I think was caused by the fire in that burning engine reaching the gas tanks – I was somehow blown clear, and opened my chute and came down safely. I had several small cuts on my head and arms, and was black and blue over most of my body for two or three weeks. “I was taken prisoner by the Italians and was in several camps before escaping and returning to Africa – and later back to England; and then the States. “Also, contrary to the reports, I saw only one other chute and that landed several hundred yards from where I did. I went to it, and it was Lt. Curelli. He was badly torn up and was dead.” Two men in the town of Ruoti, Italy, stated that the plane seemed to partly explode in mid air. Several crew members were seen to parachute from the plane. When these two men arrived at the scene of the crash and landing parachutists, they saw several civilians taking many articles, such as watches, rings and even identifications papers from the bodies. Only five of the nine bodies could be identified due to these thefts. They were: Lts. Curelli and Papadopulos; Sgts. Hughes, Grinde, and Shafer. 67th Squadron : The B-24D, 41-24278, named, Miss Delores, was assigned to the 67th Bomb Squadron, in the 44th Bomb Group (The Flying Eight Balls), in the 8th Air Force, USAAF. It failed to Return (FTR) after being hit by flak over Kiel, Germany, which destroyed all four of it's engines. It crashed into the Baltic Sea south of Ærø, Denmark. 3 KIA. 7 POW. 14 May 43. MACR 16558

Service

Units

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 67th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Robert Bishop

    Military | Major | B-24 - Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in the B-24D, 41-24278, Miss Delores. Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned at Stalag Luft III and moved to Stalag 17 at Munich 48-11. His usual plane was the Suzy Q, but it was being repaired that day. He flew over 20 missions. He...

  • Robert Brown

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 #4124278 'Miss Delores. ' Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned initially at Mooseburg 7A and moved to several workcamps ending at Munich 48-11 .

  • Richard Cate

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 #4124278 'Miss Delores. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Halden Haywood

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 41-24278 'Miss Delores. ' Prisoner of War - imprisoned at Stalag Luft 3. Note: NARA spells first name as HAlden. POW

  • Roy Klingler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 #4124278 'Miss Delores. ' Killed in Action (KIA). DFC, AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster, PH

  • George Millhousen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 #4124278 'Miss Delores. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Susan

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 #4124278 'Miss Delores. ' His account is featured on p. 66 in Lundy. Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag 17. . POW

  • August Ullrich

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner, Ball Turret Gunner; Assistant Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 #4124278 'Miss Delores. ' Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned at Stalag 17B. POW

  • Gilbert Wandtke

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 41-24278 'Miss Delores. ' Wandtke was wounded with shrapnel in his knee by a flak burst. Communication in the plane was cut off, but the wounded Wandtke fought his way to the back of the a/c to warn tail gunners to bail...

  • Hartley Westbrook

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-24 41-24278 'Miss Delores. ' Prisoner of War (POW) imprisoned at Stalag Luft 3. ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 56

    14 May 1943
    Today's operations will be the most extensive yet mounted by VIII Bomber Command. The operations call for a "maximum effort". Whereas in the past a single target or those close together have been chosen, today's effort is against widley separated...

Places

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured San Diego, TX 78384, USA 1943

Built at Consolidated.

Delivered Texas, USA 1943

Delivered to USAAF.

Assigned Shipdham, UK 1943

Assigned to 67BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF.

Crashed Ærø, Denmark. 14 May 1943

The B-24D, 41-24278, Miss Delores, was hit by flak over Kiel, Germany, damaging all four engines. It crashed into the Baltic Sea south of Ærø, Denmark. Failed To Return (FTR). 14 May 43.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 May 2022 11:20:41 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/38632502

Date Contributor Update
02 April 2022 01:13:00 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

MACR 16558

Date Contributor Update
02 April 2022 00:51:33 Kickapoo Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description and events
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-24278 - Miss Delores

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2021 11:11:55 Snautzer Changes to description
Sources

http://cgibin.rcn.com/jeremy.k/cgi-bin/gzUsafSearch.pl?target=41-24278&c...

Date Contributor Update
07 August 2016 20:48:02 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, description, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/38632502

Date Contributor Update
19 April 2016 20:11:09 Alex-5872-dk Changes to nicknames, markings, events and mission associations
Sources

www.airmen.dk & www.b24bestweb.com

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:02 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 16558 / MACR 16599 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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