|Pilot Major William R. Humrichouse
Radio Sgt Elvin Thomas "Spec" Hart (Broken Arrow, OK)
Crashed September 6, 1942
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the US Army on June 29, 1942, and assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, 30th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Miss Carriage" on the right side of the nose.
One of nine B-17s that
off from Mareeba Airfield on a mission against shipping in Simpson Harbor near Rabaul, and experienced bad weather during the flight to the target. Returned to Mareeba Airfield and suffered a landing gear collapse on landing, and ran into trees on the side of the runway. After the crash landing this bomber was written off.
Diary of Lt Col John Rouse (via Elvin Thomas Hart, Jr.)
Page 47-48 (Note: PM is Port Moresby, New Guinea)
9-5 [September 5]
Mission to Rabaul. Departed here at 245 with 9 ships. Arrived PM at 740 with only 8 ships. Holdridge had to go back and land. We hit coast 135 m. N .of PM. Bad weather all the way. 6 ships took off at 910 for Rabaul (ships in harbour). Quick repair job on my left elevator.
Hit bad weather right away and had it all the way to within 100 miles of Rabaul. First one ship and then another became seperated and returned for one reason or another. Terrible weather, snow, rain, and icing.
Finally returned to PM after getting within 100 miles of Rabaul. Turret frozen, supercharger acting up, and all alone. Arrived back at 1333. Took off with Giddings on my wing to locate and bomb enemy cruiser and destroyers near Milne Bay at 1600. Found them at mouth of Milne Bay just at dusk at 700 feet. Almost ran over them. Opened up on us with everything they had including a broadside. Came pretty close. Tried to bomb them at 3300 ft but couldn't find them because of darkness and clouds.
Returned to Mareeba at 2145. Very tired. Almost cracked up on landing. Found on landing that Humrichouse had a landing gear collapse on landing and ran into woods. No one hurt but a near thing plane washed out (a new F).
9-6 [September 6]
Slept most of day.
Elvin Thomas Hart, Jr. (son of Sgt Elvin Thomas "Spec" Hart)
"Note: This one line is the only record available from the USAF records for this plane. It only lasted Two months in combat. Contrary to this report, Sgt Hart was thrown violently into his radio control panel, losing four teeth and receiving a back injury that would bother him the rest of his life. Sgt Hart took his 'last flight' 11 Aug 88, just as I was starting to piece together his war history. It wasn't until I found the photo from your website, credited to the Lee N. Clark collection, that all the pieces started falling together."
Pride of Seattle page 8
Thanks to Elvin Thomas Hart, Jr. for additional information
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February 4, 2018