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42-40354

B-24 Liberator

B-14D #42-40354, also had the serial number # 40-2354, "Snafu" from the 8th Air force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 66th Bomb Squadron. It was one of the early B-24Ds funded with FY40 after the cancellation of the US purchase of several B-24A models, one of a batch of 20 B-24Ds with serials #40-2349/2368. - 'SNAFU' is shown, Sep 1, 1942, in England. The reason for the early serials, which are part of the B-24A serial run, is that 20 B-24As were exchanged with the British (which assigned serials AM910/AM929 to the ex-B-24As) and the AAF took 20 later B-24D and E planes.

Aircraft was lost on Feb 16,1943 - FRA - MACR 5095 - Pilot Lt. Fred M. Billings collided with the B-24 'BELA' #41-23818 over the English Channel - MAC. Aircraft caught fire, exploded and fell through a formation of B-17s into the English Channel off Selsey Bill, Sussex. was dispatched on Feb 16, 1943, to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Shortly after leaving the English coast the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D #41-23818 "Texan II" from the 44thBomb Group and the 67th Bomb Squadron off Selsey Bill, Sussex. Aircraft exploded and crashed into the sea. 10KIA MACR 5095.

Pilot 1st Lt. Fred M. Billings, Jr. (KIA); CoPilot 2nd Lt. Merwin K. McCloud (KIA)
Navigator 1st Lt. Amos M. Hutchinson, Jr. (KIA); Bombardier MSgt Henry Charletta (KIA)
Engineer/Top Turret Gunner SSgt John L. McArtor (KIA); Radio Operator TSgt Harold L. Aswell (KIA)
Bottom Turret Gunner Sgt. Andrew Maiko (KIA); Waist Gunner SSgt. Floyd H. Zimmer (KIA)
Waist Gunner Sgt Harold E. Jefson (KIA); Tail Gunner SSgt Carl S. Goldman (KIA)

Service

Aircraft

  • 41-23818 'Texan II' - 'Bela'

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24F SN #41-23818, named, 'Texan II' and once named 'Bela' was assigned to the 8th Air Force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 67th Bomb Squadron. The aircraft was dispatched to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Shortly after leaving the...

  • 42-40354 'SNAFU'

    B-24 Liberator
    B-14D #42-40354, also had the serial number # 40-2354, "Snafu" from the 8th Air force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 66th Bomb Squadron. It was one of the early B-24Ds funded with FY40 after the cancellation of the US purchase of several B-24A models,...

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Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 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...

  • 66th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Harold Aswell

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Radio Operator the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 'Texan II' 44thBG/67BS off the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire,...

  • Fred Billings

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16 February 1943, Pilot Lt. Fred M. Billings in the B-24D #42-40354 (#40-2354) 'SNAFU' sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D #41-23818 'Texan II' just off the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex. Both aircraft exploded crashed into the...

  • Henry Charletta

    Military | Master Sergeant | Bombardier/Togglier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Bombardier/Togglier the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 'Texan II' 44BG/67BS just of the coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to St. Nazaire, France. Both...

  • Carl Goldman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    When with 68th Squadron, he flew with Bellingham. Joined Squadron prior to November 1944. ...

  • Amos Hutchison

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Navigator the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 'Texan II' 44BG/67BS just off the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire,...

  • Harold Jefson

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    In 16-February-1943 in B-24 #42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Right Wiast Gunner the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 "Texan II" of the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire, France....

  • Andrew Maiko

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Ball Turret Gunner the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-14D 41-23818 44BG/67BS off the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex. Both aircraft exploded and crashed into the...

  • John McArtor

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D #42-40354 'Snafu' while serving and Radio Operator the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24F 41-23818 'Texan II' just off the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire, France....

  • Merwin McCloud

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Co-Pilot the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 'Texan II' 44BG/67BS just of the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire France....

  • Floyd Zimmer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D #42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Left Waist Gunner the aircraft sustained a mid air collision with B-24D #41-23818 'Texan II' off the coast of England near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire, France...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 36

    16 February 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are designated as the primary target of this mission of 71 B-17s and 18 B-24s. B-17s are from 91BG (18); 303BG (15); 305BG (18); 306BG (20) of these 59 are effective on the target and 6 are lost....

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
Failed to Return (FTR) Over Water (OW) English Channel 16 February 1943

Sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 "Texan II" shortly after leaving the English coast off of Selsey Bill, Sussex. Aircraft exploded and crashed into the sea.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2021 11:13:59 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

B-24 - Best Web - #42-40354 / #40-2354 - 'Snafu'

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2021 11:08:39 Kickapoo Changes to aircraft associations and unit associations
Sources

B-24 - Best Web - # 42-40354 - 'SNAFU'

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2021 11:05:22 Kickapoo Changes to markings and description
Sources

B-24 - Best Web - #42-40354 also had the serial number # 40-2354 - 'SNAFU'

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2021 01:57:24 Kickapoo Changes to nicknames, description, aircraft associations and media associations
Sources

www.b24bestweb.com/snafu-v2-1.htm

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2021 01:13:39 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

www.b24bestweb.com/snafu-v3-2.htm

Date Contributor Update
30 January 2015 20:09:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Jan-2015. Added crew display, see previous Source citation.

Date Contributor Update
30 January 2015 20:03:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Jan-2015. Added nickname, markings, FTR description and crafted Description per "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added crew position, rank, full proper name and disposition per MACR 5095; formatted crew display.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:52 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 5095 & 3202 B / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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