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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-2404  
USAAF
SOPAC
11th BG
431st BS

Click For Enlargement
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AP March 7, 1942

Pilot  Lt James Van Haur (rescued)
Crew  Cpl James H. Hosegood, 16003291 (MIA / KIA) IL

Crew  Cpl Lucien D'Amour, 6149937 (MIA / KIA) MA
Ditched  September 12, 1942
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2215. Assigned to the US Army. No known nose art or nickname. Officially, this bomber was condemned June 15, 1944.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 431st Bombardment Squadron. Possibly nicknamed "The Spider". During early 1942, this B-17 operated from Hickam Field on Oahu.

During late May 1942 flown from Hickam Field to Midway Airfield in anticipation of the Battle of Midway to search for Japanese Naval forces.

On June 4, 1942 one of nine B-17s that took off from Midway Airfield at 4:05am flying in three plane elements to search for the Japanese aircraft carriers at the start of the Battle of Midway. This B-17, piloted by Captain Clarence P. Tokarz with gunner Sgt Handrow was leading the second element with B-17E "Yankee Doodle" 41-2463 and B-17E piloted by Captain Sullivan.

Captain Payne spotted enemy aircraft carriers, notified Captain Tokarz and bombed the nearest carrier. During the bomb run, the formation met intense anti-aircraft fire and this bomber was hit in the No. 4 engine, and ordered the element to circle around for another bomb run while attempting to restart the no. 4 engine.

After the bomb run, the formation was jumped by Zeros, avoiding this B-17. Gunner Sgt Handrow reported: "Zero fighters attacked us on the way home but wouldn't come in close enough so we could get a good shot them."

During August 1942 operated from Espiritu Santo flying missions over the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal.

Mission History
On September 12, 1942 took off piloted by Lt James Van Haur on a mission and ditched out of fuel into the sea. Afterwards, two of the crew died of exposure: Hosegoo and D’Amour.

Rescue
On September 19, 1942 the rest of the crew were rescued, seven days after the crash.

Memorials
Hosegood and D’Amour were officially declared dead on September 12, 1942. Both are memorailized at the courts of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

References
Grey Geese Calling page ?
Fortress Against The Sun pages 180, 182, 187, 384 (notes nickname "The Spider")
Steve Birdsall adds: "I would not be willing to guarantee that it was named 'The Spider'."
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17
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