B17 Hoomalimali

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ironrange
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B17 Hoomalimali

Post by ironrange » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:09 am

B 17 Flying Fortress
43rd Bombardment Group
63rd Bombardment Squadron
Plane named “Hoomalimali”
Serial No 41-24391
Date of Crash – 14th September 1942
Location of crash – Mareeba Airfield, Mareeba Queensland Australia

Does anybody have a crash report? Photos? Any relatives? Anything at all please advise.
Yes I am also aware of what ozatwar.com has already

Cheers

Anthony J. Mireles
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by Anthony J. Mireles » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:30 pm

There is no accident report for this aircraft on the microfilm for that date.

I got my info from one of S.Birdsall's books.

TM.

Anthony J. Mireles
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by Anthony J. Mireles » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:32 pm

I have a crew list from one of Steve Birdsall's books, do you need the names?

TM.

Steve Birdsall
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by Steve Birdsall » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:32 pm

I'm not sure what you're hoping to find, but the only eyewitness account of the aftermath of the crash that I've seen came from Chaplain William Taggart. He told the harrowing story in his 1943 book, My Fighting Congregation. He wrote . . .

During the night I was thrown from my cot by an explosion. I scrambled to my feet and looked out of the tent. The sky was illumined as if by fireworks. I saw lights in the
buildings and knew it wasn’t an air raid. As I was dressing an explosion more violent than the first shook the tent.

"Chaplain! Chaplain!" someone in a near-by tent shouted as he ran toward me. "There’s been a crack-up.”

I went quickly to the valley where the plane had crashed. Some of the men who thought we had been attacked by the Japs were coming out of the slit trenches. We stood at
a distance watching the flames and waiting for all the bombs to explode.

Privates Harold Davitt and Ben Mitek brought me some sheets. A gloomy, gray early-morning mist hung over the valley as we searched for the remains. Dismembered bodies
and the wreckage of the Flying Fortress were strewn all over the field.

We found an arm and placed it in one of the sheets. I knew whose it was from the inscription on the crash bracelet. Another I recognized by the jacket he wore. Some could
be identified only by their "dog tags." Near a tree we came upon one dressed in a woolen flying suit. Most of his clothes were burned. He was lying face down. I knelt beside him and turned him over. I expected to see a face I knew, but there was no face. The force of the crash and the explosions had ripped the flesh away. His skull was cracked, the insides clearly visible. A soldier came to help. We were walking along the bomb-pitted field looking for bodies. He stumbled and fell.

"Chaplain, look! Look!"

He had tripped over a leg that had been torn from one of the bodies. He got to his feet, but his knees seemed to buckle. I put my arm around his waist.

"Steady, now.”

"It’s terrible, Chaplain”, he said weakly.

"It’s even more terrible if they weren’t ready to die."

With the help of Andy Smith, the funeral director from Mareeba, we worked for hours trying to identify all the bodies. It was a gruesome, sickening task. Some of the men
became ill and had to leave. By midafternoon we had checked the remains against the list of those who had been in the plane. Captain Hershell Henson of Upland, California, and his crew of eight were now ready for burial. Before the end of the day two more from another flight and one who had dropped dead in the sick tent were added to the row of nine caskets.

Edward
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by Edward » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:10 pm

Steve,
Thanks for the posting this. I had no idea that Taggart's memoir covered his time in Australia following his evacuation from Java.

Michael,
Information used for Peter Dunn's page was published in Damain Waters' book Beaus, Butchers & Boomerangs: Mareeba -The History of a WWII Airfield (2003) on pages 63-64 but you are probably aware of this.

Edward

ironrange
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by ironrange » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:12 am

Steve - thankyou for posting this - Could you please send me an email - I am trying to make contact with you. Thanks
ironrange@bigpond.com

ironrange
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by ironrange » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:38 pm

Steve

I tried to reply to your private message but when attempting to reply it would not let me send. Could you send me an email please

ironrange@bigpond.com

Cheers

Mick

Hello22
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Re: B17 Hoomalimali

Post by Hello22 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:07 am

Does anybody know the exact route of the B-17 on it's reconnaissance flight on Sept 13th 1942?

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