B-17 accidents

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Boba
2nd Lieutenant
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:53 am

B-17 accidents

Post by Boba » Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:51 pm

I am currently re writing Darwin's Air War and am now at the stage of completing a section on B-17 incidents during their period of operations from Batchelor and Daly Waters. There is one incident during May 1942 in which a B-17C or D model was damaged over the Celebes, made it back to Batchelor only to be ordered to Brisbane for repairs - it crashed on take off the following morning killing a crew member who reportedly jumped as it hit a tree stump. I have two photos of the aircraft post crash and first hand recollections of the incident however I have no further information on the crew, serial number, etc. The burial records I do have show no one from the 19th BG killed around that date.

The other serial number I am after is that for the B-17E that crashed near Hughes airfield on 27 June 1942, killing three crew members. The pilot was Lt Weldon Smith who was involved in another accident in 41-9014 on 12 August at Batchelor - was this aircraft written off?

Any assistance appreciated and acknowledged.

With thanks in advance,

Bob Alford
Lampang Thailand

Anthony J. Mireles
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Location: Calumet City, Illlinois
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Re: B-17 accidents

Post by Anthony J. Mireles » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:27 am

Bob

I can't find any record of the May 1942 B-17C/D crash at Batchelor in the Accident Reports, but I do have record of B-17D # 40-3067 (30BS/19BG) crashing on take-off from Batchelor on 28 January 1942. Do you have a crew listing for this one?

TonyM




www.warbirdcrash.com


FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS
IN THE UNITED STATES, 1941-1945

Boba
2nd Lieutenant
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:53 am

Re: B-17 accidents

Post by Boba » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:56 am

Hi Tony,

Many thanks for the details - unfortunately the only things I have going on this one are two photos of the wreckage at Batchelor and the recollections of the 22 HAA Bty gunners that were manning the 3-inch A-A guns at the time - and no crew names. The 22nd HAA Bty blokes suggested it was May but I've never been able to substantiate it other than to try and determine just when the 22nd Bty arrived at Batchelor - and from memory it was post January 1942, but I can't be sure because the 3.7-inch guns that replaced the 3-inch type were well in place in Darwin by mid-1941.

I'll also have another check through those pages I copied from Mitchell's On Wings We Conquer - there may be something in there I've missed. The other B-17 in late June is another mystery that doesn't seem to appear in Mitchell though the 49th Fighter Group Interceptor Control Squadron diaries have details, as does Peter Dunn's Ozatwar site, in the emails from B-17 crews, families, etc.

Hopefully we can clear this one up soon.

Cheers, and thanks again,

Bob Alford
Lampang Thailand

Anthony J. Mireles
Major
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:26 pm
Location: Calumet City, Illlinois
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Re: B-17 accidents

Post by Anthony J. Mireles » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:36 pm

Bob,

I'll keep poking around and if I come across anything I'll let you know.

Do you have any information on the B-17D 40-3067?

TonyM

Boba
2nd Lieutenant
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:53 am

Re: B-17 accidents

Post by Boba » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:47 pm

Hi Tony,

Yep, 40-3067 was to fly the 14 December mission under Lt. Coats to Legaspi but aborted and flew into Batchelor with 40-3062, 3072, 3074, 3064 and 3070 on 17 December 1941. It then flew the 22 December mission to the Gulf of Davao again under Coats.

In going through what I have on the American burials at Adelaide River I came across the following:
McAllister, Francis K. O-421874 2nd Lt. 19th B.G.
Died 28 Jan 1942 airplane accident 14 B.S.
Buried 10.7.42 A/R
Row 4 Grave 114.

McAllister's is the only death recorded on that day. The reason for the seemingly late burial at Adelaide River is that he would have been buried at the Gardens Cemetery in Darwin and when Adelaide River was opened in mid-1942 a lot of burials, either there or at the Berrimah War Cemetery opposite the 119 AGH facility.

DEricksen
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Re: B-17 accidents

Post by DEricksen » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:57 am

Capt. Weldon Smith was the Pilot of Red "A" Baby #41-9014 from the 93rd BS of the 19th BG. It crashed near Hughes Airfield 1, July 1942.
Those killed were:-
Sgt Burke Glover 6936689.
Sgt French Robert 14025963.
Sgt West Bryson 2083500.
The B-17 was damaged by a Zero over Kendari.

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