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42-94812

B-24 Liberator

The B-24H, 42-94812, named, LITTLE WARRIOR, was assigned to the 850th Bomb Squadron, the 490th Bomb Group, and the 8th Air Force USAAF. It was transferred to the 862nd Bomb Squadron, the 493rd Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force USAAF in Britain. It failed to Return (FTR) on a mission to bomb an aircraft manufacturing plant near Fallersleben in Wolfsberg, Germany. A flak hit holed the airplane's fuel tanks and fuel lines causing an explosion of flames from just behind the cockpit to rear of bomb bay. All of the crew were KIA, killed in action. June 29, 1944.

Crew :

2 Lt. John W. Hansen, 0-693976, Pilot, New York, N.Y.
2 Lt. Jerome Levy, 0-703639, Navigator, Camden, N.J.
2 Lt. Sidney A. Benson, 0-818558, CoPilot, Marblehead, MA.
2 Lt. Malcolm M. Stich, 0-697746, Bombardier, Brooklyn, N.Y.
T/Sgt. Vernon J. Polzin, 38367667, Flight Engineer, Taylor, TX.

S/Sgt. Cyrus R. Aidala, 32707915, Ball Turret Gunner, Brooklyn, N.Y.
S/Sgt. John E. "Sandy" Sanders, 18191467, “Top Turret Gunner”, Goose Creek, TX.
S/Sgt. Walter A. Boykowski, 13171280, Tail Gunner, Pittock, Pa.
Sgt. Ramos, Radio Operator - Not in crew during mission of June 29)
S/Sgt. Sylvanus G. Haksell, 39297646, Nose Gunner, El Centro, CA.
S/Sgt. Billy B. Gomillion, 38424702, Radio Operator, Wichita Falls, Tx.
1 x POW/KIA - 9 x KIA.
Missing Air Crew Report :
"Aircraft No. 812 flying in the Number 3 position in A group received a direct Flak hit near #3 Engine at 09:39 hours in the target area just after bombs away. It was enveloped in flames from the nose to the rear of the bomb bays. It fell out of formation and disintegrated at about 10,000 feet."
"Eight of the crew were found dead on the ground by German authorities that morning, a ninth body was found later**. The tenth crew member's body was discovered in a field, badly burned on 11 July 1944, and buried with the rest of the crew of LITTLE WARRIOR."

**Copilot Benson was ejected from the aircraft with his chute by the fuel explosion. Having landed unharmed, he surrendered to a flak gun crew and was placed in the charge of Hitler youth leader Helmut Lippman, who, riding a bike, shepherded him to be handed over to local authorities. Enroute, Lippman shot Benson in the back 3 times with a small caliber handgun. Upon arrival in the local town, Lippman left 2Lt. Benson with air raid wardens while he went off to phone the local police, whereupon 2Lt Benson was beaten to death by the wardens. Post war, Lippman and the wardens were brought to trial for the murder of a POW. Lippman was sentenced to death by hanging, commuted to life imprisonment. - MACR 6721

Service

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. ...

  • 490th Bomb Group

    490th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 490th Bomb Group, like the 486th and 487th Bomb Groups transitioned from flying B-24 Liberators to B-17 Flying Fortresses, which were used in combat missions from late August 1944. Based at Eye, Suffolk, the Group were focused in the early months...

  • 493rd Bomb Group

    493rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert...

  • 850th Bomb Squadron
  • 861st Bomb Squadron

People

  • Cyrus Aidala

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Sidney Benson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; Flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Baled out, and, upon landing, he surrendered to a German gun crew. They...

  • Walter Boykowski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; Flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Billy Gomillion

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; Flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • John Hansen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Sylvanus Haskell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Nose Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA), MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

  • Jerome Levy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721 ...

  • John Oling

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Command Pilot | 490th Bomb Group
    Lt. John Jay Oling was LITTLE WARRIOR's original pilot in the U.S. before he and his crew named it, LITTLE WARRIOR. He flew 42-94812 to Britain from the U.S. and chose the name, LITTLE WARRIOR and the Indian nose art for the Liberator bomber.

  • Vernon Polzin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: AM, PH.

  • John Sanders

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 493rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) in B-24 42-94812 'Little Warrior' 29-Jun-44; flak hit caused conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 6721. Awards: PH.

Show more

Missions

  • 447

    29 June 1944

Places

  • Cheddington

    Military site : airfield
    The main runway at Cheddington fell short of the required 2,000 yards for a class A airfield and it was originally used as a satellite for groups at Bovingdon nearby. Between October 1942 and the end of war in Europe it was used as a Combat Crew...

  • Debach

    Military site : airfield
    Debach was one of the last Eighth Air Force heavy bomber bases to be completed. It was built by the 820th Engineer Battalion (Aviation) between late '43 and early '44. Pronounced locally as 'Deb-idge', the base was built to a class A standard with...

Events

Event Location Date
Manufactured Ypsilanti, MI 1943

Built at Consolidated.

Ferried 1943

Lt John J. Oling crew flew 'Little Warrior' across to ETO.

Assigned Cheddington, UK 1944

Assigned to 850BS, 490BG, 8AF USAAF.

Assigned Debach, UK 1944

Transferred to 862BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF.

Crashed Fallersleben, Germany 29 June 1944

Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Fallersleben; flak hit holed fuel tanks/lines causing conflagration, flames from cockpit to rear of bomb bay. 10 x KIA MACR 6721

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 August 2021 08:17:29 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

Wording - spelling - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
01 August 2021 08:16:09 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

Additional wording for clarity - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
01 August 2021 07:56:38 Kickapoo Changes to markings
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - LITTLE WARRIOR

Date Contributor Update
31 July 2021 11:56:01 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

B-24 Liberator - LITTLE WARRIOR - History At Random - June 29, 1944

Date Contributor Update
31 July 2021 11:54:53 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

B-24 Liberator - LITTLE WARRIOR - History At Random - June 29, 1944

Date Contributor Update
31 July 2021 11:53:01 Kickapoo Changes to description
Sources

B-24 Liberator LITTLE WARRIOR - History At Random 6 29 44

Date Contributor Update
31 July 2021 11:33:55 Kickapoo Changes to nicknames, markings and description
Sources

B-24 Liberator - LITTLE WARRIOR - History At Random - June 29, 1944

Date Contributor Update
03 June 2021 13:25:23 ED-BB Changes to description
Sources

MACR 6721

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2019 21:17:46 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, description, events, unit associations, person associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/29099870
http://www.b24bestweb.com/littlewarrior1.htm
http://www.b24bestweb.com/littlewarrior2.htm
http://www.b24bestweb.com/littlewarrior3.htm
Helton's Hellcats: A Pictorial History of the 493rd Bomb Group By Martin W. Bowman

Date Contributor Update
16 March 2016 01:34:19 466thHistorian Changes to nicknames, markings, unit associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:07 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 6721 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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