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  B-17D Flying Fortress Serial Number 40-3067 Tail Number 67
USAAF
5th AF
19th BG
93rd BS

Former Assignment
19th BG
HQ Squadron

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USAAF November 1941

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USAAF January 28, 1942

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Clinton Bock 2017

Pilot  1st Lt. Edward C. Teats (survived)
Co-Pilot  Lt. T. S. Green (survived)
Navigator  Lt. Francis K. McAllister, 19th BG, 40th BS (KIA, BR) West Lafayette, OH

Engineer  SSgt Martin M. Schadl, Jr., 06663791 (survived) Los Angeles, CA
Radio  Sgt E. R. Christenson [Christianson]
(survived)
Crashed  January 28, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2095. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, Headquarter Squadron. Tail Number (Squadron Number) 67 in black on both sides of the tail. No known nickname or nose art. Ferried overseas to the Philippines.

On November 16, 1941 at 3:00am took off from Clark Field on a flight to Archerfield near Brisbane piloted by Col. Eugene Eubank C. O. 19th Bombardment Group with co-pilot 2nd Lt. Melvin McKenzie, HQ squadron and also serving as navigator. Aboard as passengers was General Lewis H. Brereton, Col. Caldwell of G-3 and Captain Lewellyn his aid, Captain Harold Eads engineering office and Captain Ind assistant G-2. Arriving at Archerfield on November 20, 1941 this bomber remained for a total of four days.

Wartime History
By early December 1941, assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 93rd Bombardment Squadron. On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War, this B-17 was at Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao.

On January 8, 1942 one of nine B-17s led by Major Combs that were flown to Kendari II Airfield to stage for a mission and were refueled and armed. On January 9, 1942 after midnight took off piloted by Lt. Kurtz on a bombing mission against Japanese ships in Davao Gulf. Inbound to the target, the formation experienced a violent storm and two bombers aborted the mission. Arriving over the target area too early, the seven remaining bombers circled until dawn but entered another storm two other B-17s including this bomber aborted the mission.

On January 11, 1942 one of seven B-17s that took off from Malang Airfield on eastern Java at 5:55am piloted by Lt. Kurtz on a bombing mission against the Japanese landing force off Tarakan Island. The formation was led by B-17D "Ole Betsy" 40-3067 piloted by Major Cecil Combs (C. O. 19th Bombardment Group). Each bomber was armed with Dutch 600 pound bombs.

Flying at 9,500' the formation encountered a tropical storm over the Java Sea and became separated. This aircraft, B-17C 40-2062 piloted by Lt. Connally and B-17D 40-3064 piloted by 1st Lt. Bohnaker managed to stay together and climbed to 27,000' until Bohnaker experienced supercharger problems and aborted the mission.

Over the target at 11:30am, B-17D "Ole Betsy" 40-3067 bombed from 21,000' and missed then was attacked by three Zeros that slightly damaged the bomber. Aboard, her gunners claimed two before the third broke off the attack. At 11:45am this bomber with B-17C 40-2062 reached Tarakan Island and bombed from 29,000' with "uncertain" results. Returning, this bomber's engine experienced problems causing it to lag behind and loose altitude and landed at Soerabaja Airfield on the north coast of Java and landed safely. The next day he returned to Singosari Airfield.

On January 14, 1942 one of seven B-17s that took off from Singosari Airfield on the northern coast of eastern Java at 10:00am piloted by Lt. Schaetzel. The formation was led by B-17D 40-3061 piloted by Major Combs bound for Palembang Airfield (P1) on Sumatra where they were armed.

On January 15, 1942 took off from Palembang Airfield (P1) on Sumatra on a bombing mission against Sungei Patani Airfield on the western coast of Malaysia. Inbound to the target, the formation experienced severe weather with temperatures -20° C over the Indian Ocean that caused two of the bombers to abort the mission due to mechanical failures. Over the target at 27,000' the five remaining B-17s bombed. First to bomb was B-17D 40-3061 piloted by Major Combs, B-17D 40-3064 piloted by 1st Lt. Bohnaker and B-17D 40-3074 piloted by Captain Parsel. A minute later, this bomber and B-17D 40-3066 bombed, claiming hits on buildings and a hanger at Sungei Patani Airfield. Departing the target, three enemy fighters attempted to intercept but could not reach their altitude. Returning, the formation landed at Lhoknga Airfield an emergency strip on the northwest tip of Sumatra. The next day, the formation flew back to Malang Airfield arriving by 2;00pm.

During late January 1942, war weary from the Java Campaign , this bomber was one of four B-17s selected to be flown to Australia for overhaul in Laverton Repair Depot at Laverton Field.

Mission History
On January 27, 1942 took off from Malang Airfield on Java at 9:27am piloted by 1st Lt. Edward C. Teats with co-pilot Lt. T. S. Green, navigator Lt. Francis K. McAllister and engineer SSgt M. M. Schadl, Jr., radio Sgt E. R. Christenson (Christianson) on a flight bound for Batchelor Field near Darwin. During the flight, Lt. Teats who wrote that the B-17 had no hydraulic system, three engines were running okay aside from slight roughness. The fourth engine had been hit by a 37mm anti-aircraft shell that had also weakened the wing causing it to droop roughly 10°, causing the bomber to crab at low altitude and low speed. Five hours into the flight, two engines died before the bomber landed safely after seven hours at Batchelor Field.

On January 28, 1942 during take off from Batchelor Field piloted by 1st Lt. Edward C. Teats with the same crew, the left engines failed causing it to crash near the runway and slid towards a four 3" anti-aircraft gun position manned by the Australian Army 22nd Heavy Anti-Aircraft (22nd HAA) battery. Roughly 100 yards from the gun position, the bomber hit a tree stump that spun the bomber halfway around and ejected navigator Lt. Francis K. McAllister through the window and killed him on impact.

Memorials
McAllister was initially buried at Darwin Gardens Cemetery then reburied at Adelaide River War Cemetery on July 10, 1942. Postwar his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial at Fairfield Cemetery in West Lafayette, Ohio.

Wreckage
During the crash, the left wingtip was damaged and the B-17 was written off. Afterwards, the largely intact wreckage was towed to the bone yard at Batchelor Field. The engines were removed and both wings were unbolted from the fuselage and the tail removed.

Some of the wreckage were salvaged by the Australian Army and used pieces of metal in their gun pits and command posts. A seat from the aircraft was placed atop a large rock dubbed "Lookout Rock". Today, some wreckage remains at the site and is protected as a heritage site.

Bob Alford adds:
"B-17D 40-3067 was cleared up and some of the structure used as walls in the nearby A-A command post - the site is still there. A seat from the aircraft was put on top of a large rock outcrop and used as the lookout position by the A-A gunners there."

References
Diary of the 19th Bombardment Group
USAF Serial Number Search Results B-17D 40-3067
The Coshocton Tribune "Lafayette Youth With Air Corp Killed in Pacific - Francis McAllister is County's First War Victim in Far East Enlisted as Army Flyer in 1940" January 31, 1942
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Martin M. Schadl, Jr.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Francis K. McAllister

FindAGrave - Lieut Francis Kinner Mcallister (obituary, grave photo)
Fortress Against The Sun pages 96, 99-100, 102-103, 116-117, 382, 404 (footnote 73), 406 (footnote 44), 409 (footnote 20, 21), 407
On Wings We Conquer appendix A-1, A-4 and A-5
December 8, 1941 MacArthur's Pearl Harbor pages 203, 204 (photo) 442
Oz@War "Crash of a B-17 Flying Fortress at Batchelor Airfield, NT on 28 January 1942
Darwin's Air War page 77 by Bob Alford
"Boeing B-17D #40-3067. Batchelor incident 28 January 1942" by Bob Alford
Thanks to Collin Block and Bob Alford for additional information

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Last Updated
April 23, 2017

 

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