42-3317 The Spirit of 76

Object Number - UPL 28380

Delivered Denver 6 May 1943; Dow Field 30 May 1943; assigned 384th BG Grafton Underwood 10 June 1943; transferred to 412th BS/95th BG [QW-Y/V] Horham 28 June 1943; 23missions. Missing in Action Solingen 30 November 1943 with Pilot Arthur C. Hensler Jr; Co-Pilot Robert C. Gilchrist; Bombardier Paul E. Gregory; Navigator William L. Lohmann; Radio Operator/Gunner Max Gottlieb; Engineer/Top Turret gunner Elmer C. Gilcrease; Ball Turret gunner: Francis J. McDermott; Left Waist gunner/Assistant Engineer: Jack B. Hyatt; Right Waist Gunner/Assistant Radio Operator Paul W. Appleby; Tail Gunner Charles J. Higgins. Hit by Flak in right wing after bombs away; oil pressure loss in 2 engines, dropped back, seen leaving the formation 15 minutes before target. Over Holland, at about 1400m altitude, engine #1 exploded and the bail out order was given. Crashed Sterrebos, near Haelen, 5km NW of Roermond, The Netherlands. Missing Air Crew Report 1559. Navigator Bill Lohmann landed in the River Maas and drowned. His body was not recovered until 21 July 1944 (initially buried in Kessel, Holland. His remains were re-interred after the war at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium). The other 9 crew members survived. Pilot Hensler and gunner Jack Hyatt were almost immediately captured and made POW (Prisoner of War). McDermott, Appleby and Higgins all initially managed to evade for some weeks until their capture in Belgium (all three POW).
Gilchrist and Gregory were helped by Dutch and Belgian patriots in their evasion, reached Spain and Gibraltar and were back in England respectively in January and February 1944. Gottlieb was also helped and stayed hidden in Belgium until Liberation in September 1944. Gilcrease also evaded and was helped to Switzerland where he stayed until his return to England at the end of September 1944. Those seven evaders/POWs, helped by the Belgian COMET evasion network, have a page at www.evasion.comete.be (alphabetical list under the 'Fiches' tab).

Connections

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Units served with

The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13028966
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-743442
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18116004
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16101191
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-735954
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Places

Missions

Events

Event Location Date Description

Crashed

Failed to Return (FTR)

near Haelen, The Netherlands 30 November 1943 - 30 November 1943 Missing in Action Solingen 30/11/43. Dropped back, crashed Sterrebos, near Haelen, Holland.

Revisions

Date16 May 2022 09:15:44
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date13 Apr 2022 10:23:10
ContributorED-BB
Sources

Updated website address of www.evasioncomete.be

Date20 Dec 2016 11:49:40
ContributorED-BB
Sources

MACR 1559
Research for website www.evasioncomete.org on crew members who evaded

Date14 Dec 2015 19:50:34
ContributorAl_Skiff
Date27 Sep 2014 18:40:43
ContributorAAM
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 1559 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

42-3317: Gallery (1 items)