|Missing In Action (MIA)||Prisoners Of War (POW)||Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)|
|Chronology||Locations||Aircraft||Ships||Submit Info||How You Can Help||Donate|
On June 4, 1942 one of nine B-17s that took off from Midway Airfield at 4:05am piloted by Captain Payne on a mission to search for the Japanese fleet at the start of the Battle of Midway. The formation was comprised of three plane elements. This bomber was part of the second element led by B-17E 41-2404 piloted by Captain Tokarz with B-17E piloted by Captain Sullivan. During the flight, this B-17 spotted enemy carriers and notified Captain Tokarz, then the element bombed. During the bomb run, the formation experienced intense anti-aircraft fire. Captain Tokarz was hit in the no. 4 engine, and ordered the element to circle around for another bomb run while he attempting to restart their no. 4 engine.
During the afternoon took off again from Midway Airfield piloted by Captain Payne with observer Col. Sweeney three other B-17s on a mission against a Japanese convoy reported southwest of Midway. During the flight, the formation received a message to attack an aircraft carrier 180 miles off Midway. Arriving over the Japanese fleet, they located Hiryu burning and searched the area for another reported undamaged carrier, but failed to find it.
Afterwards, flown back to Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South Pacific.
During the middle of 1943, this B-17 was assigned to the 5th Bomb Group, 394th Bomb Squadron.
On August 2, 1943, piloted by Lt. Roddenberry, this B-17 attempted to take off from Guadalcanal (other sources state Espiritu Santo). Suffered an aborted take off (or mechanical failure) and crashed at the end of the runway. Aboard, two of the crew in the nose were killed in the crash: bombardier Sgt John P. Krueger and navigator Lt. Talbert H. Wollam.
Fellow B-17 pilot Leon Rockwell wrote in his diary on August 2, 1943:
The Individual Aircraft Record Card for this B-17 notes the aircraft was condemned on August 13, 1943, but apparently the B-17 was indeed repaired and flown, probably one of at least three SOPAC B-17Es modified as transports along with B-17E 41-2487 when the 5th Bomb Group transitional entirely to B-24 Liberators.
Finally, during November 1944 (?) this B-17 was destroyed on the ground at Morotai (probably Pitu Airfield) by Japanese bombs. A photograph in the 307th Bombardment Group archives shows the burned-out wreckage of this B-17 on Morotai in November 1944, a victim of a Japanese bombing raid.
Pilot Gene Roddenberry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Air Medal for his wartime service. He became famous as the creator of the Star Trek series and passed away on October 24, 1991. A quarter ounce of the ashes were launched into orbit around the Earth in April 2007. More ashes were launched into deep space during 2009.
|Discussion Forum||Daily Updates||Reviews||Museums||Interviews & Oral Histories|