Mechanical problems caused B-24J #42-100122 'Twin Tails' to run out of gas and ditch in the channel E of Great Yarmouth on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).
2Lt Geroe C. Allen was the co-pilot aboard a B-24J Liberator based out of Seething, Norfolk, England. The aircraft – 42-100122 – "Twin Tails" - of the 8th AF, 448th Bomb group, 715th Squadron, was returning from a bombing mission to Erkmer, Germany – the southeastern edge of Berlin, when it ran out of gas and was forced to ditch in the English Channel. The airplane was 25 miles east of Great Yarmouth when it broke apart hitting the water. Two men survived and were rescued, while another was found dead floating in the water about 15 minutes later by an RAF air-sea rescue squad. The rest of the aircrew went down with the airplane and their remains were never recovered.
On the mission to the target, at 22,000 ft altitude, the windshield of the airplane had been covered by oil that froze from the signaling smoke bombs dropped by the leading PFF airplane that was above and in front of them. (Pathfinder Force airplane had a special radar navigational system that allowed for targeting. They flew in the lead and signaled others to drop their payload when this plane did.) One of the survivors (the radio operator) stated that the co-pilot (Allen) managed to scrape enough off of his side of the windshield to see. After dropping the bombs, the plane dropped out of formation over Holland and flew to the extreme left until the enemy coast was reached. The number 2 supercharger was reported to be a problem during the whole mission, gasoline was low, and they dropped altitude to save what was left. The crew also threw out everything possible to lighten the airplane. The fuel ran out, the plane hit the water and broke apart. The pilot and co-pilot were last seen alive, bleeding from head wounds, but went down with the airplane in the very rough sea.
Extracted from “Missing Air Crew Reports, WWII”, 1944, 42-100122 accessed through Fold3 database. CH 6/9/2019
Units served with
The 448th Bombardment Group was organized on 6 April 1943 and activated on 1 May 1943 at Gowen Field, near Boise, Idaho. The initial training of the air crews took place in Florida. The entire group was assembled Wendover Field, Utah. Both air and...
Mechanical problems caused B-24J #42-100122 'Twin Tails' to run out of gas and ditch in the Channel, east of Great Yarmouth, on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944. Eight of the crew died, two survived.
||Deland, Florida, USA
|Killed in Action (KIA)
||8 March 1944
||8 March 1944