The B-17F JOHNNY REB JR. or II (41-24443) crew on the October 21, 1942 97th BG Mission #16.
Back row, from left to right :
1st Lt. Milton Marion “Milt” Stenstrom (Pilot), 1st Lt. Robert L. "Rob" Carlberg (Copilot), 1st Lt. Ewart Theodore "Sconnie" Sconiers (Bombardier), 1st Lt. Harold "Harry" "Shorty" Spire (Navigator).
Bottom Row, from left to right:
Sgt. James C. "Jim" Simmons (Tail Gunner), Sgt. Thomas C. "Tom" Calhoun (Waist Gunner), Staff Sgt. William A. "Bill" Adams (Radio Operator), Sgt. William E. "Bill" Schimke (Ball Turret Gunner), Sgt. John M. Hughes (Waist Gunner), Staff Sgt. Roy T. Nalley (Engineer / Top Turret Gunner).
(Photo courtesy of Fredrick Richard "Rick" Flack)
1st Lt Milton Stenstrom in a photograph with his crew on 21 October 1942 (courtesy of Rick Flack)
Robert L. Carlberg in a photograph with the Milton Stenstrom crew on 21 October 1942. Back row, from left to right :
Pilot Milton Stenstrom, Co-Pilot Robert Carlberg, Bombardier Ewart Sconiers, Navigator Harold Spire
(Photo courtesy of Rick Flack)
Milton Stenstrom (photo courtesy of the Stenstrom family)
Lt Milton Stenstrom (Photo via the Stenstrom family)
Assigned 326BS/92BG Bangor 1-August-1942; transferred to 414BS/97BG Polebrook 24-August-1942; Missing in Action 21-October-1942 on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient/Keroman, France. The Navigator, 1Lt Harold Spire provided the following details of the loss in his Escape & Evasion account (EE #2846). "Over the Brest peninsula just under the 13,000 foot ceiling, FW-190's and flak wounded Lt. Spire and shot away one engine, the ball turret, the top turret, the intercom system and the elevator controls. The bombardier, Lt Ewart Sconiers salvoed his bombs and bailed out over land. At 13:00 the plane landed 10 miles from shore in the Bay of Biscay and remained afloat for 30 seconds, giving the crew time to ditch. No swimmer, Lt. Spire inflated his Mae West and paddled to the half-inflated large dingy which supported all of the crew except the engineer who sat in his own small dingy." All were picked up by a French fishing boat and turned over to the Germans at Quimper, France. 8 POW, 1 DIC, & 1 EVD. No Missing Air Crew Report (MACR).
Pilot 1Lt Milton Stenstrom (POW); Co-Pilot 1Lt Robert L. Carlberg (POW);
Navigator 1Lt Harold Spire (POW-ESC); Bombardier Ewart T. Sconiers (POW-DIC 21-Jan-44)
Engineer/Top Turret Gunner SSgt Roy T. Nalley (POW); Radio Operator SSgt William A. Adams (POW); Ball Turret Gunner Sgt William E. Schimke (POW); Left Waist Gunner Sgt Thomas C. Calhoun (POW); Right Waist Gunner Sgt John M. Hughes (POW); Tail Gunner Sgt. James C. Simmons (POW).
The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 97th Bomb Group
Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Radio Operator, Prisoner of War (POW).
Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Left Waist Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW).
Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 97th Bomb Group
Robert Carlberg was assigned to the 97th Bomb Group/414th Bomb Squadron, and was sent to England. Shot down on 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Co-Pilot on a mission to bomb U-Boat pens at Lorient/Keroman, France. The Fortress was hit...
Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Right Waist Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW).
Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
Note : the 1930 US Census has his family's name wrongly spelled as Nally... This was corrected in the 1940 one > Nalley...
A Top Turret Gunner, Roy Nalley was shot down on 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443, Prisoner of War (POW).
Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Ball Turret Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW).
Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 97th Bomb Group
Lt Ewart Sconiers was Bombardier on B-17 #41-9089 'Johnny Reb', one of the 12 B-17s participating in the first heavy bomber raid of the 8th Air Force on 17 August 1942. The target were the shipyards of Rouen/Sotteville, France.
Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17 #41-24443 while serving as Tail Gunner, Prisoner of War (POW). After being held at Stalag Luft 1 (Barth, Germany), he was transferred to Stalag XIII (Hammelburg, Germany), where he was head of the escape committee.
Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 97th Bomb Group
Note : In both the 1930 and 1940 Censuses, Harold and his parents are listed as Spires. All later documents, including his Enlistment records, his Escape & Evasion Report have him as Harold Spire...
Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 97th Bomb Group
Milton Stenstrom enlisted in April 1941 and followed pilot training. Assigned to the 97th Bomb Group/414th Bomb Squadron, he was sent to England.
21 October 1942
German U-Boat pens are Lorient, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission along with the German airfield at Cherbourg, France. 93BG despatches 24-B-24s to Lorient, but cloud cover prevents them from bombing. The main attack force to Lorient...
Military site : airfield
Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...
|Failed to Return
||56100 Lorient, France
||21 October 1942