Military | Flight Officer | B-17 "Big Stuff" Bombadier - Navigator
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Kearney 8/8/44; Grenier 15/8/44; Assigned 20BS/2BG Amendola 22/8/44; Missing in Action Ruhland 23/3/45 with Arthur Ferkin, Co-pilot: Andy Girolamo, Navigator: Paul Kisak, Bombardier: Bob Phillippe, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Carleton...
23 March 1945
Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description ...
|06 September 2015 14:10:09||MBCARROLL5150||Created entry with person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations|
MISSING AIR CREW REPORT: A/C #44-6452 B-17G "BIG STUFF” - 20TH SQUADRON
F/O Arthur L. Ferkin, T-4221, P.
F/O Andrew J. Girelamo, T-5192, CP.
F/O Paul F. Kisak, T-133040, N.
S/Sgt. Robert W. Phillippe, 16130219, TOG
T/Sgt. Carlton J. Sprague, 32865124, U/T
T.S/Sgt. Raymond L. Isaac, 18915370, L/T.
S/Sgt. Curtis R. Hollister, 14090769, R/W.
S/Sgt. Russell H. Johnson, 36783233, L/W.
S/Sgt. Wilson (NMI) Woodburn, 39569164, T/G.
T/Sgt. William A. Harrison, 19151991, R/O.
Ruhland, GERMANY - MISSION NO. 384 - MARCH 23, 1945
Twenty-seven aircraft dropped 253, 500-lb. RDX bombs on the Oil Refineries at Ruhland. Smoke obscured the target but bombs fell in the smoke area. Flak was heavy, intense, and accurate resulting in serious injuries to 1st Lt. C. Wickersham, P, 20th Squadron, and light injuries to Sgt. Ronald T. Sebold, TOG, 20th Squadron. S/Sgt. W. S. Grooms, LWG, 49th Squadron, suffered from anoxia.
B-17 #44-6452 from the 20th Squadron was missing.
Statement from T/Sgt. William A. Harrison after return to Allied control: “We were over Ruhland, Germany when we left the formation. I did not bail out nor did any others in the crew. We crash landed near Kety, Poland. All ten of the crew were safe. We were then taken from one Russian prison camp to another. We were under Russian guard for about two months.“There were about 85 Americans and two British RAF men in the prison in Kiev, Russia. Americans were from the 8th and 15th Air Force. All were sent back to Italy and arrived at Naples on the 7th of May 1945."
Statement of F/O Arthur L. Ferkin, Pilot, after return to Allied control: “Over the target we were hit by flak and Me-262s. Two engines were knocked out immediately and we headed for Russian lines. We landed near Kety, Poland and for about 60 days we were with the Russians who were helping us to return to our base in Italy. This crash landing was a wheels-up job with nobody hurt except the pilot who suffered a bruised left knee.
“After the landing we wandered around Russia for 60 days going from Krakow to Lwow to Kiev and finally to Odessa where we all boarded a British boat and returned to Italy, including Russell H. Johnson. In Italy I was the first of the crew to return to the U.S.”