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Roman Robert Pajakowski


MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) 9401 reports that on 26-Sep-44, at 16:10 hours, the "Hurry Home" took a direct flak hit in the right wing just after bombs away.
Eyewitness statements in the MACR report as follows: "This aircraft flew #3 in the 2nd lead element squadron of the low group of 4A wing. This group bombed Bremerhaven as a last resort target. Aircraft #818 received a direct flak hit over target just after bombs away. At 1610 hours this aircraft was observed to be on fire with the entire right wing ablaze and part of #4 engine falling away. The aircraft went into a spin and then exploded and disintegrated. It was last seen a few miles north of the spot where it suffered initial damage. 2 to 3 chutes were seen before aircraft exploded."

MACR reports that 3 men were able to escape this aircraft:

1st Lt. Roman Pajakowski navigator
2nd Lt. George J. Dvorak pilot
T/Sgt. Galen E Miller Jr Top Turret

Pajakowski and Dvorak were taken POWs. T/Sgt. Galen E Miller Jr's body was recovered and was buried 3-Oct-44, at Garrison Cemetery Wesermuende-Geestemuende in Section II, Area G, Row 51, Grave #50.

This was part of mission #648 which originated from Rattlesden as part of the Eighth Air Force 447th Bomb Group, 709th bomb squadron operations in the bombing of Bremen.

The bombing of Bremerhaven resulted in damage to U-Boat #3509 which was being constructed at the Schichau Seebeckwerft facility.

The entire crew of the B-17 43-37818 "Hurry Home" was as follows:
1st Lt. Robert C. Calef Jr. Pilot
2nd Lt. George J. Dvorak Pilot
1st Lt. Roman R. Pajakowski Navigator
1st Lt. Donald N. Fenrenbach Bombardier
T Sgt. Paul R. Krubel Radio Operator
T. Sgt. Galen E. Miller Jr Top Turret
S. Sgt. Frank J. Martin Ball Turrett
S. Sgt. Wayne S. Thompson Tail Gunner
S. Sgt. John Karbowsky Waist Gunner

TSgt. Paul R. Krubel and SSgt. Wayne S. Thompson's bodies were recovered near Cuxhaven, Germany, prior to 3-Nov-44. They originally had interment at Brockeswald Cemetery Grave #96D and #97D.

On 26-Jun-49, Mrs Nora K. Hauptman, Paul's mother, applied for a headstone or marker via form 623 for her son TSgt. Paul R. Krubel, who had reinterment at Forest Glade Cemetery in Wakefield, MA. Veterans Section Plot #13.

Memorial to the crew of the Hurry Home:

Roman R. Pajakowski died of cancer 22-May-75.



  • Robert Calef

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    1st Lt. Robert C. Calef Jr serial number O-821216 was killed in action near Bremerhaven, Germany, September 26, 1944. ...

  • George Dvorak

    Military | Major | Co-Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down near Bremerhaven, Germany, on 9/26/44 in B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818, Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Donald Fehrenbach

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down near Bremerhaven in B-17 'Hurry Home' #43-37818, September 26, 1944, Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Ripley Gage

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Ripley Worthington Gage was the first pilot of the B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818. He completed his 35th and final mission with the Hurry Home on the mission prior to it being shot down over Bremerhaven, Germany, September 26, 1944. ...

  • John Karbowsky

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down near Bremerhaven, Germany, in B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818. ...

  • Paul Krubel

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down near Bremerhaven, Germany, in B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818, Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Frank Martin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down near Bremerhaven, Germany, in B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818, Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Galen Miller

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    TSgt. Galen E. Miller Jr was killed in action September 26, 1944. He was a crew member of the B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818. ...

  • Wayne Thompson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down near Bremerhaven, Germany, in B-17 "Hurry Home" #43-37818 during mission 648, the bombing of Bremerhaven, Killed in Action (KIA). ...

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Units served with

  • 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. ...

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 709th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-37818 Hurry Home

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/5/44; Hunter 5/6/44; Dow Fd 17/6/44; Assigned 709BS/447BG [IE-J] Rattlesden 28/6/44; Missing in Action Ludwigshafen (1st mission) 26/9/44 with Pilot 1st Lt. Robert C. Calef, Bombardier: 1st Lt. Donald N. Fehrenbach, Flight...


  • 648

    26 September 1944

Associated Place

  • Rattlesden

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the Eighth Air Force in 1942, Rattlesden had three concrete runways, 50 hardstandings and two dispersed T2 hangars. Intended to be a twin-engine B-26 bomber base, it was originally a satellite for nearby Rougham, and first occupied from...

  • Stalag Luft III

    Other location

  • Dulag Luft 12

    Other location


Event Location Date
Born South Bend, IN, USA 31 May 1921

Son of Stephan W and Helen [Kalamaja] Pajakowski.

Based Rattlesden 1944 – 26 September 1944

Assigned to 709BS, 447BG, 8AF USAAF.

Baled out POW Bremerhaven, Germany 26 September 1944

Failed to Return (FTR) Bremerhaven in B-17 43-37818 "Hurry Home"; baled out POW MACR 9401

Prisoner of War (POW) Zagan, Poland 26 September 1944 – May 1945

Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft III.

Died South Bend, IN, USA 22 May 1975
Buried Saint Joseph Cemetery South Bend, St. Joseph County, IN 25 May 1975

Saint Joseph Cemetery
South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana


Date Contributor Update
01 November 2021 18:45:32 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2020 21:35:47 jmoore43 Changes to service number

Added a "-" to the S/N.

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2020 21:35:04 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
23 October 2016 13:18:25 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
- Unit History Roster as of 01 August 1945;
- MACR 9401

Date Contributor Update
05 December 2015 21:22:33 Paul5 Changes to media associations

MACR 9401

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2015 06:52:45 Paul5 Changes to surname, service number, highest rank, biography, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations

MACR 9401

Hurry Home Crew memorial:

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:24:27 AAM AAM ingest

MACR 9401 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database