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  B-17F-25-BO Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-24550  
USAAF
5th AF
43rd BG
403rd BS

Click For Enlargement
July 13, 1944

Pilot  1st Lt. Ealon S. Hocutt
Co-Pilot
 2nd Lt. Henry W. Evans
Crew  2nd Lt. Oscar D. Olson
Crew  2nd Lt. Gordon F. Wilcox
Engineer  S/Sgt William H. Schiffer
Radio  S/Sgt Donald Pinenger
Ball Turret  S/Sgt George L. White (WIA)
Gunner  Raymond Quillen

Ditched  December 14, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 3235. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 43rd Bombardment Group, 403rd Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
Took off from 7-Mile Drome at Port Moresby to fly a reconassance mission over Milne Bay. After take off, two engines cut out, and it sucessfully ditched in Bootless Bay. White was wounded when the aircraft hit the water and was thrown into the bomb bay, his foot almost severed at the ankle. The crew used thier rafts to reach shore sucessfully.

White was taken by ambulance to the 10th Evacuation Hospital at Port Moresby and then by hospital ship to Brisbane and six months at 105th Hospital. He was discharged in September 1945 and worked in life insurance in New York after the war.

This loss was attributed to sabotage, due to clogged intakes to the engine with rags.  Reportedly, one Black American GI was hanged in conjunction with this incident.

Wreckage
The wing and center section of this aircraft is still visible in the Bay.

Reference
Wrecks & Reefs pages 134-135
Pride of Seattle page 14, 17

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Last Updated
January 1, 2014

 

Tech Info
B-17
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