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USAAF November 1941
USAAF January 28, 1942
Clinton Bock 2017
|Pilot 1st Lt. Edward C. Teats (survived)
Co-Pilot Lt. T. S. Green (survived)
Navigator Lt. Francis K. McAllister, 19th BG, 40th BS (KIA, BR) West Lafayette, OH
Engineer SSgt Martin M. Schadl, Jr., 06663791 (survived) Los Angeles, CA
Radio Sgt E. R. Christenson [Christianson] (survived)
Crashed January 28, 1942
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2095. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17D Flying Fortress serial number 40-3067. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), Headquarter Squadron. Tail Number (Squadron Number) 67 in black on both sides of the tail. No known nickname or nose art. Ferried overseas to the Philippines.
On November 16, 1941 at 3:00am took off from Clark Field on a flight to Archerfield near Brisbane piloted by Col. Eugene Eubank C. O. 19th BG with co-pilot 2nd Lt. Melvin McKenzie, HQ squadron and also serving as navigator. Aboard as passengers was General Lewis H. Brereton, Col. Caldwell of G-3 and Captain Lewellyn his aid, Captain Harold Eads engineering office and Captain Ind assistant G-2. Arriving at Archerfield on November 20, 1941 this bomber remained for a total of four days. By early December 1941, assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Squadron (93rd BS).
On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War, this B-17 was at Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao. At the end of December 1941, evacuated from the Philippines flying from Del Monte Airfield south to Singosari Airfield (Malang) on Java.
On January 3, 1942 took off from Singosari Airfield (Malang) on Java piloted by Lt. Kurtz as one of seven led by B-17D "Ole Betsy" 40-3097 pilot Major Cecil Combs on a flight to Samarinda Airfield when refueled and loaded with bombs. On January 4, 1942 took from Samarinda Airfield to bomb Japanese shipping in Davao Gulf off Mindanao then return to land at Samarinda Airfield. On January 5, 1942 took off from Singosari Airfield (Malang) and flown back to Singosari Airfield (Malang).
On January 8, 1942 took off from Singosari Airfield (Malang) piloted by Lt. Kurtz as one of nine B-17s led by Major Combs on a flight to Kendari II Airfield to refuel and be armed with bombs. On January 9, 1942 after midnight took off from Kendari II Airfield piloted by Lt. Kurtz on a bombing mission against Japanese ships in Davao Gulf. Inbound to the target, the formation experienced a violent storm and two bombers aborted the mission. Arriving over the target area too early, the seven remaining bombers circled until dawn but entered another storm and two more B-17s including this bomber aborted the mission.
On January 11, 1942 at 5:55am took off from Singosari Airfield (Malang) piloted by Lt. Kurtz as one of six B-17Ds and B-17C 40-2062 on a bombing mission against the Japanese landing force off Tarakan Island. The formation was led by B-17D "Ole Betsy" 40-3067 piloted by Major Cecil Combs (C. O. 19th Bombardment Group). Each bomber was armed with Dutch 600 pound bombs. Flying at 9,500' the formation encountered a tropical storm over the Java Sea and became separated. This aircraft, B-17C 40-2062 pilot Lt. Connally and B-17D 40-3064 piloted by 1st Lt. Bohnaker managed to stay together and climbed to 27,000' until Bohnaker experienced supercharger problems and aborted the mission. Over the target at 11:30am, B-17D "Ole Betsy" 40-3067 bombed from 21,000' and missed then was attacked by three Zeros that slightly damaged the bomber. Aboard, her gunners claimed two before the third broke off the attack. At 11:45am this bomber with B-17C 40-2062 reached Tarakan Island and bombed from 29,000' with "uncertain" results. Returning, this bomber's engine experienced problems causing it to lag behind and loose altitude and landed at Soerabaja Airfield on the north coast of Java and landed safely. The next day he returned to Singosari Airfield.
On January 14, 1942 at 10:00am took off from Singosari Airfield (Malang) on Java piloted by Lt. Schaetzel as one of seven B-17s led by B-17D 40-3061 pilot Major Combs on a flight to Palembang Airfield on Sumatra where they were armed and refueled.
On January 15, 1942 took off from Palembang Airfield (P1) on Sumatra on a bombing mission against Sungei Patani Airfield on the western coast of Malaysia. Inbound to the target, the formation experienced severe weather with temperatures -20° C over the Indian Ocean that caused two of the bombers to abort the mission due to mechanical failures. Over the target at 27,000' the five remaining B-17s bombed. First to bomb was B-17D 40-3061 piloted by Major Combs, B-17D 40-3064 piloted by 1st Lt. Bohnaker and B-17D 40-3074 piloted by Captain Parsel. A minute later, this bomber and B-17D 40-3066 bombed, claiming hits on buildings and a hangar at Sungei Patani Airfield. Departing the target, three enemy fighters attempted to intercept but could not reach their altitude. Returning, the formation landed at Lhoknga Airfield an emergency strip on the northwest tip of Sumatra. The next day, the formation flew back to Malang Airfield arriving by 2;00pm.
During late January 1942, one of four B-17s that were deemed to be war wear from use during the Java campaign and flown from Singosari Airfield (Malang) via Batchelor Field to Laverton Field at the Laverton Repair Depot.
On January 27, 1942 at 9:27am took off from Singosari Airfield (Malang) piloted by 1st Lt. Edward C. Teats with co-pilot Lt. T. S. Green, navigator Lt. Francis K. McAllister and engineer SSgt M. M. Schadl, Jr., radio Sgt E. R. Christenson (Christianson) on a flight bound for Batchelor Field near Darwin. During the flight, Lt. Teats who wrote that the B-17 had no hydraulic system, three engines were running okay aside from slight roughness. The fourth engine had been hit by a 37mm anti-aircraft shell that had also weakened the wing causing it to droop roughly 10°, causing the bomber to crab at low altitude and low speed. Five hours into the flight, two engines died before the bomber landed safely after seven hours at Batchelor Field.
On January 28, 1942 during take off from Batchelor Field piloted by 1st Lt. Edward C. Teats with the same flight crew, the left engines failed causing this bomber to crash near the end of the runway and slid towards 3" anti-aircraft gun battery manned by the Australian Army 22nd Heavy Anti-Aircraft (22nd HAA). Roughly 100 yards from them, the B-17 hit a tree stump that spun the bomber halfway around and flung navigator Lt. Francis K. McAllister out a window outside the bomber and he died on impact.
McAllister was initially buried at Darwin Gardens Cemetery. On July 10, 1942 reburied at Adelaide River War Cemetery. Postwar his remains were transported to the United States for permanent burial at Fairfield Cemetery in West Lafayette, Ohio.
During the crash, this B-17 sustained damage including the left wingtip and all four propellers were bent backwards. Afterwards, written off and the towed to the bone yard area of Batchelor Field and stripped for usable parts including all four engines, both wings were unbolted and portion of the tail removed.
Afterwards, some of the wreckage were salvaged by the Australian Army and pieces of metal were used in their gun pits and command posts as flooring or walls. A seat from the aircraft was placed atop a large rock dubbed "Lookout Rock". Today, some wreckage remains at the site and is protected by the Northern Territory (NT) as a heritage site.
Bob Alford adds:
"B-17D 40-3067 was cleared up and some of the structure used as walls in the nearby A-A command post - the site is still there. A seat from the aircraft was put on top of a large rock outcrop and used as the lookout position by the A-A gunners there."
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Martin M. Schadl, Jr.
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - Francis K. McAllister
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17D Flying Fortress 40-3067
The Coshocton Tribune "Lafayette Youth With Air Corp Killed in Pacific - Francis McAllister is County's First War Victim in Far East Enlisted as Army Flyer in 1940" January 31, 1942
Diary of the 19th Bombardment Group - January 1942
FindAGrave - Lieut Francis Kinner Mcallister (obituary, grave photo)
On Wings We Conquer (1990) appendix A-1, A-4 and A-5
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 96, 99-100, 102-103, 116-117, 382, 404 (footnote 73), 406 (footnote 44), 409 (footnote 20, 21), 407
December 8, 1941 MacArthur's Pearl Harbor (2003) pages 203, 204 (photo) 442
Darwin's Air War (2011) page 77
Oz@War "Crash of a B-17 Flying Fortress at Batchelor Airfield, NT on 28 January 1942
"Boeing B-17D #40-3067. Batchelor incident 28 January 1942" by Bob Alford
Thanks to Collin Block, William Bartsch and Bob Alford for additional information
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