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42-30246

B-17 Flying Fortress

Delivered Cheyenne 3/5/43; Gore 22/5/43; Spokane 24/5/43; Geiger 26/5/43; Smoky Hill 2/7/43; Dow Fd 13/7/43; Assigned 570BS/390BG [DI-H] Framlingham 14/7/43; crash landed 21/9/43 with Keith E. Harris, repaired and back on duty; Missing in Action Rostock 20/2/44 with Bill Gaillard, Co-pilot: Gerald Steuck, Navigator: Tom Gannon, Bombardier: Francis Brodzik, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: John Doherty, Radio Operator: Ray Quinn, Ball turret gunner: Pete Whitney, Waist gunner: Jack Williams, Waist gunner: Joe Sala,Tail gunner: Lou Skrzyniecki (10 Prisoner of War); no gas, crashed Tierstrup, Den. Missing Air Crew Report 2436. SPOT REMOVER.

At 14.20 hours on 20 February 1944, on mission to Rostock the pilot, 1st Lt William M. Gaillard, called on the radio and reported that he could not get fuel from the “Tokyo-tanks”. The reserve tanks had been hit by flak over the target, and from another plane fuel had been seen pouring out. Shortly after Spot Remover left the formation, and the pilot said that he would try to get to Sweden.

At 15.35 hours the pilots made a perfect wheels up-landing at Tirstrup, and all of the crew could leave the plane unharmed. The Americans were very disappointed when they learned from Danes crowding in that they had landed in Denmark. The crew removed a machine gun and a sack of oranges from the plane and set it on fire.

Shortly afterwards the Germans arrived, but they could not prevent the plane from burning down completely. The 10 Americans went on towards the coast, but they left a clear track of orange peels. As no oranges were sold in either Denmark or Germany the Germans just had to follow the track, and at 19.30 hrs. 6 Americans were captured at Hyllested, about 10 km from the site of the forced landing. At some time between 20 February and 26 February the remaining 4 airmen including top turret gunner, S/Sgt John W. Doherty slept in two holiday cottages on the beach south of Grenaa. 8 days after the forced landing the 10 airmen had all been captured. They had also had the bad luck of having to walk about in an area crowded with Germans and their Danish helpers

Service

Units

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 570th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Francis Brodzik

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 390th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Rostock, GR on 20 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-30246 'Spot Remover' was unable to transfer fuel from the Tokyo tanks and headed towards Sweden. Crew was forced to bale out over Denmark and the a/c crashed near Tierstrup. Prisoner...

  • Raymond Derycke

    Military | Radio Operator | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 47

  • John Doherty

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Rostock, GR on 20 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-30246 'Spot Remover' was unable to transfer fuel from the Tokyo tanks and headed towards Sweden. Crew was forced to bale out over Denmark and the a/c crashed near Tierstrup. Prisoner...

  • William Gaillard

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 390th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Rostock, GR on 20 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-30246 'Spot Remover' was unable to transfer fuel from the Tokyo tanks and headed towards Sweden. Crew was forced to bale out over Denmark and the a/c crashed near Tierstrup. Prisoner...

  • Edward Gallagher

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 32. Assigned to 570BS, 390BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x missions ( 13 x aboard 42-30246 "Spot Remover" ). Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Thomas Gannon

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 390th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Rostock, GR on 20 Feb 1944, B-17F #42-30246 'Spot Remover' was unable to transfer fuel from the Tokyo tanks and headed towards Sweden. Crew was forced to bale out over Denmark and the a/c crashed near Tierstrup. Prisoner...

  • Crockett Harmon

    Military | Waist Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 32

  • Keith Harris

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 390th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 570BS, 390BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x missions ( 13 x aboard 42-30246 "Spot Remover" ). On 21-Sep-43, belly landed his B-17 42-30246 "Spot Remover". Awards: DFC, AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Elwood Jones

    Military | Tail Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 30

  • Arthur McMillan

    Military | Ball Turret | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 42

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Places

  • Framlingham

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force from 1942 to 43, Framlingham was home first to the 95th Bomb Group, before that unit moved to RAF Alconbury. From 1943 to 1945, it was operated by the 390th Bomb Group. The airfield was handed back to the RAF in 1945, and...

  • Tirstrup

    Crash site

Events

Event Location Date
Crashed Parham Airfield Museum, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 9AF, UK 21 September 1943

Belly landing on return from scrubbed mission

Crashed Tirstrup, Denmark 20 February 1944 – 20 February 1944

3Km from Tirstrup

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2015 05:17:33 patrick.harris Changes to markings, events and person associations
Sources

Great-Grandfather piloted a/c for most of his 25 missions. Also from 390th Bomb Group iteractive library.

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2015 11:52:40 Emily Changes to place associations
Sources

Knud Thygesen, Son of the farm owner where Spot Remover Crashed. (Earlier revision wrongly stated he was the Grandson)

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2015 11:36:13 Emily Changes to nicknames, description and events
Sources

Knud Thygesen, Grandson of the owner of the farm where Spot Remover Crashed.

Airmen.dk

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:28 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 2436 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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