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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
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 Bombardment Group 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.
On January 8, 1942 one of nine B-17s led by Major Combs that were flown to Kendari II Airfield to stage for a mission and were refueled and armed. On January 9, 1942 after midnight took off 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 two other B-17s including this bomber aborted the mission.
On January 11, 1942 one of seven B-17s that took off from Malang Airfield on eastern Java at 5:55am piloted by Lt. Kurtz 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 piloted by 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 one of seven B-17s that took off from Singosari Airfield on the northern coast of eastern Java at 10:00am piloted by Lt. Schaetzel. The formation was led by B-17D 40-3061 piloted by Major Combs bound for Palembang Airfield (P1) on Sumatra where they were armed.
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, war weary from the Java Campaign , this bomber was one of four B-17s selected to be flown to Australia for overhaul in Laverton Repair Depot at Laverton Field.
On January 28, 1942 during take off from Batchelor Field piloted by 1st Lt. Edward C. Teats with the same crew, the left engines failed causing it to crash near the runway and slid towards a four 3" anti-aircraft gun position manned by the Australian Army 22nd Heavy Anti-Aircraft (22nd HAA) battery. Roughly 100 yards from the gun position, the bomber hit a tree stump that spun the bomber halfway around and ejected navigator Lt. Francis K. McAllister through the window and killed him on impact.
Some of the wreckage were salvaged by the Australian Army and used pieces of metal in their gun pits and command posts. A seat from the aircraft was placed atop a large rock dubbed "Lookout Rock". Today, some wreckage remains at the site and is protected as a heritage site.
Bob Alford adds:
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