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  B-17F-20-BO "Omar Khayyam / The Plastered Bastard" Serial Number 41-24534  
USAAF
13th AF
11th BG
98th BS

Former Assignment
5th BG
43rd BG
403rd BS

Pilot  Captain Willis E. Jacobs, O-417147 (MIA / KIA) IL
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt Stanley H. Sommers, O-726839 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew  2nd Lt Clarence R. Johnson, O-726027 (MIA / KIA) CO
Crew  2nd Lt William S. Jackimczky, O-790138 (MIA / KIA) MA
Crew  SSgt Eino S. Hamalainen, 7071265 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew  Sgt Delos J. Tuffey, 6974406 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew  Cpl Clair W. Glover, 39307060 (MIA / KIA) OR
Crew  Cpl Ray Lindamood, 15070408 (MIA / KIA) OH
Crew  Pfc Arthur L. Lemar, 32222652 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crew  Cpl Joseph E. Hartman (survived)

Crashed  December 1, 1942
MACR  16444

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army on July 29, 1942. Assigned to Lt Edwin C. McAnelly and nicknamed "Omar Khayyam".

Wartime History
On September 5, 1942 departed from Hamilton Field on a ferry flight via Hickam Field bound for Australia. While in New Caledonia, this B-17 was assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group. Disobeying orders, McAnelly instead flew to Brisbane, and the next day to Torrens Creek Airfield. Instead, this B-17 was assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 403rd Bombardment Squadron.

Officials caught up with the B-17 and it was removed from the squadron and again assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 98th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "The Plastered Bastard".

On October 4, 1942 this B-17 flew its first combat mission in the Solomons.

Mission History
On December 1, 1942 took off from Henderson Field at 05:30 on a photo reconnaissance and search mission over Bougainville, over sector 3V40 the southern end of Bougainville. Weather was reported as fair.

Returning from the mission, while flying at 17,000', intercepted by six A6M Zeros at approximately 1:00pm local time over Cape Friendship. The crew claimed two shot down, and that the others departed. Another seven Zeros intercepted over the northern end of Choiseul. Six circled and maneuvered out of range of the bomber's guns.

Over New Georgia, a seventh unseen Zero dove at the nose and dropped four aerial bombs that were ineffective. The same Zero continued to dive and collided with the the B-17's behind the radio compartment and broke the bomber into two pieces. The front half caught fire and all aboard perished.

Fates of the Crew
The rear half descended in almost perfect equilibrium, knocking Cpl Joseph E. Hartman unconscious briefly. When he awoke, he opened the escape hatch and bailed out around 2,000' and again blacked out. Awakening again, he slipped out of his parachute a few feet above the sea, landing 150 yards off an island. Two hours later, he met friendly locals. 67 days later, he was returned to his unit.

Memorials
The rest of the crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. They are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

References
Missing Air Crew Report 16444 (MACR 16444)
Pride of Seattle page 13
Fortress Against The Sun page 302, 392

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17
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