43-27709 Schnapps Yo-Yo

Object Number - UPL 55080 - B-25J-1-NC #43-27709 "Schnapps Yo Yo" Code: 6M 340th BG - 486th BS - 12th AF

Connections

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Units served with

  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Ninth Air Force Twelfth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 340th Bomb Group 486th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-693839
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 340th Bomb Group 486th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36445071
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

Disappeared/Crashed

Tyrrhenian Sea 5 November 1944 The flight crews reported to the 340th briefing tent and listened intently as Group Commander Willis F. Chapman announced the target for the day. Twelve B-25s of the 486th and six of the 489th were to bomb a rail bridge south of Padua, Italy. Luftwaffe fighters were scarce in the Po Valley, but flak might be encountered over the target. Not exactly a milk run. When the briefing was over the crews were dropped off at each aircraft and crew members checked their respective equipment. Escape and evasion was distributed and a final personal relief call made for those who felt the urge. Lt Brandle ran up the engines, tested the controls and taxied to the end of the runway to await his turn for take-off. At signal from the tower, each B-25 rolled down the gravel runway straining under the full load to become airborne. Shortly after take-off each plane gained altitude and began to assemble in boxes of six planes each, Lt Brandle flying the number four position of the last box. Approximately 15 minutes after take-off from the airfield, the last box was at an altitude of 4500’, with an airspeed of 160 to 170 mph and on a compass heading of thirty-four degrees. At 1020 hours the Island of Elba was to the rear of the right wing of the formation. Dead ahead a large cloud bank was so dense it was difficult for the crews to see their own wingtips. Thirty to forty seconds later, the flight, now scattered, cleared the clouds. Schnapps Yo-Yo was missing and was never seen again. It was assumed by other crews that it had developed trouble and had returned to base. There were no indications that it was in trouble or had gone down. On the return form the mission, almost four hours later, the grim fact was evident that it had disappeared without a trace. Searches of the area of the disappearance were made but revealed no tell-tale signs of debris or oil slick usually noticeable in ditching’s and crashes on the water. As the days passed, the searches were called off and hope for the survival of the crew faded. Lt Brandle may have lost power, lost control, or possibly both. There had been some turbulence in the clouds, but other aircraft did not report icing conditions. Scott Rohwer, of the 486th, in his book “Palouse Pilot”, by Nona Hengen, relates some of the possibilities that may have occurred in those last crucial moments.

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