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  B-17C Flying Fortress Serial Number 40-2074  
USAAF
5th AF
7th BG
14th BS

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USN December 7, 1941
Pilot  Captain Raymond T. Swenson (survived)
Co-Pilot  Ernest L. "Roy" Reid, 11010419 (survived) Hartford County, CT
Bombardier  Aviation Cadet G. C. Beale, 18036583 38th RS (WIA, survived) Potter County, TX
Navigator  2nd Lt. H. R. Taylor (WIA, survived)
Engineer  MSgt L. B. Pouncy (survived)
Asst Engineer  Sgt Earl T. Williams (survived)
Radio  Cpl M. C. Lucas (survived)
Gunner  Pvt. Bert Lee (survived)
Passenger  1st Lt. William R. Schick, O-412256 38th RS (WIA, KIA) Chicago, IL
Destroyed  December 7, 1941
MACR  none

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2075. Delivered to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17C Flying Fortress serial number 40-2074. Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group (7th BG), 14th Bombardment Squadron (14th BS). No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On December 6, 1941 at 9:15pm took off from Hamilton Field piloted by Captain Raymond T. Swenson with crew no. 3 on a ferry flight bound for Hickam Field on Oahu. This B-17 took off second as one of thirteen B-17s in the formation. Also aboard was 1st Lt. William R. Schick, flight surgeon with the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron (38th RS), 11th Bombardment Group (11th BG). Each bomber was carrying machine guns but no ammunition. The formation of thirteen B-17s was led by B-17E 41-2429 pilot Major Richard H. Carmichael. The flight westward was uneventful.

On December 7, 1941 in the morning the first wave of Japanese carrier aircraft were detected on radar but dismissed as the expected flight of B-17s from the west coast. At roughly 8:00am, the B-17s arrived over Oahu in during the first wave surprise attack and witnessed anti-aircraft fire bursting and air combat as they began their landing approach. While on finals to land at Hickam Field attacked from the rear by A6M2 Zero 5289 pilot PO1c Takeshi Hirano but he overshot the bomber and was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crash. Next, attacked from the rear by A6M2 Zero pilot Iwama who hit the B-17 with gunfire that caused a flare box to catch fire and the fuselage filled with smoke and passenger Schick was hit in the leg.

Damaged, this B-17 aborted the landing and attempted to hide in the clouds but due to the smoke in the fuselage landed at Hickam Field. After touching down and rolling roughly 400', the fuselage, weakened by the flare fire inside buckled and broke off, separating from the front half of the bomber that skidded forward until it came to rest.

On the ground, the crew ran from the smoking wreckage while being strafed by Zeros. Taylor was hit by a small piece of shrapnel in the neck. Beale was shot in the leg. Schick who had been wounded in the leg in the air, was hit in the head by a bullet. Evacuated by ambulance, he died in the afternoon from his injuries.

Wreckage
After the attack, the fire was extinguished and the forward fuselage was photographed in front of Hanger No. 5 at Hickam Field. This B-17 was never repaired and was scrapped.

Ernest Reid recalled in Shot Down at Pearl Harbor:
"While walking down the edge of the runway and looking in awe at what was left of our plane after the fire had been put out. The next day, I climbed up into the cockpit of our plane. I discovered four bullet holes in the armor plate behind my seat. I was one of the lucky ones on the Day of Infamy."

Memorials
Schick died of his wounds on December 7, 1941. He was temporarily buried on Oahu. During 1949 buried at Massillon Cemetery in Massillon, IA.

Swenson retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away November 13, 1985 at aged 73. Swenson is buried at Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville, MN.

Reid retired from the U. S. Air Force (USAF) with the rank of Colonel. He passed away on September 18, 2015 at age 95. Reid is buried at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA at section 7D, site 100.

Beale was later assigned to the 380th Bombardment Group (380th BG) and flew combat missions in B-24 Liberator in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and was discharged with the rank of Captain. He passed away on October 12, 1998 at age 84. Beale is buried at Riverside National Cemetery at section 48 site 2869.

Relatives
Joan Reid Ahrens (daughter of Ernest Reid)
"My dad, Col. Ernest L. (Roy) Reid was the co-pilot. Flares caught fire from bullets from the attacking Zeros. Flight Surgeon, Schick, was wounded on board and hit again from strafing as he ran to the hangar and died later that day after refusing medical aid at the hospital steps."

Tammy Ahrens Funkhouser (granddaughter of Ernest L. "Roy" Reid)
"My grandfather, then a 2nd Lt, Roy Reid, was co-pilot of that plane."

References
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Ernest L. Reid
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - G. C. Beale
NARA Application For Headstone or Marker - William R. Schick date of application April 11, 1949
7 December 1941 - The Air Force Story - Appendix D - B-17s Arriving During the Attack page 158 "B-17C 40-2074"
Page 159 "Crew No. 3: Capt Raymond T. Swenson, 1st Lt William R. Schick (flight surgeon assigned to the squadron just before its departure), 2d Lt Ernest L. Reid, 2d Lt Homer R. Taylor, Avn Cdt G. C. Beale, MSgt Leroy B. Pouncey, Sgt Earl T. Williams, Cpl Mac L. Lucas, and Pvt Bert Lee, Jr."
Air Force Magazine "Shot Down at Pearl Harbor" by Ernest L. Reid Vol. 74, No. 12 Dec 1991
FindAGrave - Raymond T Swenson (grave photo)
FindAGrave - Ernest Leroy Reid (grave photo)
FindAGrave - CPT G C Beale (grave photo)
FindAGrave - LT William Rheihard “Bill” Schick (photo, grave photo)
7 December 1941 - The Air Force Story - Appendix F - Hawaiian Air Force Military Casualty List (Beale, Schick)

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Last Updated
June 11, 2020

 

Tech Info
B-17
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