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Two 305th Bomb Group B-17 Flying Fortresses collided in mid-air in heavy fog over Thurleigh airbase after returning from a mission; both were destroyed with all hands lost. Handwritten caption on reverse: '55819.' Printed caption on reverse: '55819 AC - Returning from a daylight bombing assault on important synthetic oil plants and key communications centers just behind von Rundstedt's lines, two B-17 Flying Fortresses collide in mid-air and disintegrate. None of the crews of either plane escaped. The fateful accident occurred only a few hundred feet off the ground as the formation roared through thick blanket of clouds that covered the base and reduced visibility to almost zero. The density of the overcast is indicated by the fact that only a few Fortresses of the formation, which numbered more than a score, are visible in this picture. This photograph is evidence of the weather hazards that U.S. Army 8th Air Force bomber crews are forced to brave almost daily during the winter months to continue without pause their sledge-hammer blows on industrial Germany and to provide tactical bombing cooperation for our ground forces. England. U.S. Air Force Photo.'

IWM catalogue record

This contains information written on the back of the original print and some of it may be inaccurate.

Two 306th Bomb Group B-17 Flying Fortresses collided in mid-air in heavy fog over Thurleigh airbase after returning from a mission; both were destroyed with all hands lost. Handwritten caption on reverse: '55819.' Printed caption on reverse: '55819 AC - Returning from a daylight bombing assault on important synthetic oil plants and key communications centers just behind von Rundstedt's lines, two B-17 Flying Fortresses collide in mid-air and disintegrate. None of the crews of either plane escaped. The fateful accident occurred only a few hundred feet off the ground as the formation roared through thick blanket of clouds that covered the base and reduced visibility to almost zero. The density of the overcast is indicated by the fact that only a few Fortresses of the formation, which numbered more than a score, are visible in this picture. This photograph is evidence of the weather hazards that U.S. Army 8th Air Force bomber crews are forced to brave almost daily during the winter months to continue without pause their sledge-hammer blows on industrial Germany and to provide tactical bombing cooperation for our ground forces. England. U.S. Air Force Photo.'

Connections

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. ...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

Aircraft

  • 43-38030 My Achin' B

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/6/44; Kearney 28/6/44; Dow Fd 13/7/44; Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-E] Chelveston 14/7/44; Missing in Action Hanover 22/10/44 with Phil Lichty, 2Lt Robert Coverstone, 2Lt John L Touchett, 2Lt Michael J Veraa, S/Sgt Albert B...

  • 43-38133

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/6/44; Kearney 13/7/44; Grenier 23/7/44; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-N] Chelveston 25/8/44; Missing in Action Hanover 22/10/44 with 2Lt John Mitchell, 2Lt William C Shoemaker, 2Lt Frank Watkins, Sgt Phillip R Mifsud, Sgt Ashton W...

Locations

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2015 14:06:40 Lucy May Changes to caption
Sources

Changed group to which aircraft belonged in caption from 306th to 305th Bomb Group.
Clifford Deets, 306thBG Historical Association historian: 'This is a picture taken at the 306th and Thurleigh of two 305th Bomb Group planes colliding over Thurleigh on 22 October 1944 killing seventeen men.'

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2015 11:26:48 Tom Changes to caption and aircraft associations
Sources

Associated the colliding planes from the captions on their own pages

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2014 22:54:51 H2X Changes to caption
Sources

Both 305th BG Chelveston machines 43-38030 JJ:E My Achin 'B and 43-38133 WF:N returning from Hanover 22 OCt 44 in poor visibilty over Thurleigh.

Date Contributor Update
08 September 2014 15:45:17 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

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