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|Pilot Captain Duane H. Skiles (WIA in left eye, survived)
Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Robert L. Perry (WIA, survived)
Navigator 2nd Lt. Alfred H. Heyman (survived)
Crew Sgt Collen W. Long, 35000944 (KIA, BR)
Crew Pfc Harold S. Depeel (WIA, survived)
Crew Pvt Kenneth L. House (WIA, survived)
Crashed March 14, 1942
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2107. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17D Flying Fortress serial number 40-3079. Assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group, 14th Bombardment Squadron. Ferried via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the Philippines.
On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War, this B-17 was at Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao.
On December 9, 1941 attempted to take off from Del Monte Airfield piloted by Lt. Welden H. Smith on a flight bound for Clark Field to stage for a bombing mission, but developed a hydraulic leak and was repaired, flying separately afterwards. Later that day, these bomber were transfered to San Marcelino Airfield.
On December 10, 1941 took off San Marcelino Airfield at 6:00am piloted by Donald M. Keiser armed with 200 pound demolition bombs as one of six B-17s on a mission to bomb Japanese shipping off Vigan. Afterwards, the formation returned to Clark Field at 7:30am with three of the bombers able to land while the other three remained airborne, fearing a Japanese air raid might catch them all on the ground.
On December 19, 1941 at 10:00pm took off Del Monte Airfield piloted by Lt. Smith evacuating the last remaining bombers and personnel to Darwin.
On December 25, 1941 at 4:30am attempted to take off from Del Monte Airfield piloted by Lt. Welden H. Smith armed with seven 300 pound bombs on a spontaneous mission to attack Davao. During take off, this bomber blew one of the main tires and the crew attempted to repair the B-17 to participate in the mission. One of the crew was sent to the end of the runway and instructed to fire three shots if a Japanese air raid was inbound. Only one jack was available for the repair, to so the crew dug a hole under the flat tire to replace it. Meanwhile, the crew member at the end of the runway heard approaching aircraft and fired one shot, then his pistol jammed. Hearing the warning, the crew took cover while a lone Zero made a strafing run on B-17, hitting the bomb bay fuel tank. Afterwards, the crew repaired the damage and pushed the bomber out of the hole dug so it could take off at 10:30am and proceeded alone to the target. Over Davao Gulf, this B-17 bombed four ships then outran enemy fighters and landed at Batchelor Field at Darwin.
On January 1, 1942 this B-17 was flown to Java to participate in the Java Campaign.
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. Welden H. Smith on a bombing mission against Japanese ships in Davao Gulf. Inbound to the target, the formation experienced a violent storm and this B-17 experienced engine problems and aborted the mission.
On January 23, 1942 this B-17 was flown by Smith to Laverton Field for overhaul at Laverton Repair Yard.
By March 1, 1942 this B-17 was evacuated from Java to Australia. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group and nicknamed "The Gazelle".
Darrell Landau adds:
Recovery of Remains
Bob Alford adds July 10, 2009:
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