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AP March 7, 1942
|Pilot Lt James Van Haur (survived)
Crew Cpl James H. Hosegood, 16003291 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew Cpl Lucien D'Amour, 6149937 (MIA / KIA) MA
Ditched September 12, 1942
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2215. Delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-2404. No known nose art or nickname.
Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group, 431st Bombardment Squadron. This bomber was possibly nicknamed "The Spider" or "Jitter-Bug". During early 1942, this B-17 operated from Hickam Field on Oahu.
On May 31, 1942 took off form took off from Hickam Field piloted by Captain Clarence P. Tokarz with an extra bomb bay fuel tank as one of ten B-17s on a flight to Midway Airfield on Eastern Island arriving in the late afternoon in anticipation of the Battle of Midway. The crew included: pilot Captain Clarence P. Tokarz, co-pilot Lt. E. T. Furchner, Lt. Richard Lehr, Lt. L. G. Fisher, Sgt Michel Russel, Sgt Lavern Bechtel, Sgt Gorst Handrow, Mark Roberts and Bill Hanford.
Battle of Midway
On June 3, 1942 took off from Midway Airfield on Eastern Island at 4:30am piloted by Captain Tokarz as a precaution against a possible Japanese air raid and returned by 8:25am and were refueled. Informed the Japanese fleet had been spotted, the B-17 crews were told to wait until the exact location and composition of the force was known.
At 12:30pm took off again piloted by Captain Tokarz armed with four 600 pound bombs and a bomb bay fuel tank on a mission to attack the Japanese fleet. The formation of nine bombers was led by B-17E 41-2409 and divided into three elements of three bombers. This B-17 was part of the second element included Captain Tokarz, Captain Payne and Captain Sullivan. At 4:23pm the formation spotted the Japanese fleet roughly 570 miles west of Midway Atoll. During the bomb run, the second element was flying at an altitude of 10,000' when they bombed. Returning, the formation encountered severe weather roughly 400 miles west of Midway Atoll and the formation broke up with all bombers flying back individually and returned to Midway Airfield after roughly a eight hour mission.
On June 4, 1942 took off from Midway Airfield on Eastern Island at 4:05am piloted by Captain Clarence P. Tokarz with gunner Sgt Handrow armed with bombs and a bomb bay fuel tank on a patrol mission to bomb the Japanese fleet. The formation of fifteen bombers divided into five elements of three bombers. The third element included Captain Tokarz, B-17E "Yankee Doodle" 41-2463 and B-17E piloted by Captain Sullivan. Flying westward towards a group of transports, the formation was instructed by radio to change course to attack the carrier force spotted by a PBY Catalina at 5:45am roughly 145 miles northwest of Midway Atoll. Encountering thick clouds between 1,000' to 18,000', Sweeney ordered the formation to climb to 18,000' above the weather with one B-17 aborting the mission. Arriving over the area where the carriers were spotted by 7:32am, the B-17s circled for nearly forty minutes before the carriers were spotted by B-17E "Yankee Doodle" 41-2463 and notified Col Sweeney by radio as the elements attacked individually. During the bombing run, this element experienced intense anti-aircraft fire. This B-17 was hit in the no. 4 engine, and Tokarz ordered the element to circle around for another bomb run while he attempting to restart his no. 4 engine then observed Kaga and all three bombed claiming three hits on the flight deck and four near misses. Returning, intercepted by A6M2 Zeros then returned to land at Midway Airfield.
By June 10, 1942 this B-17 departed Midway Airfield flying back to Hickam Field. Afterwards, flown across the Pacific to the South Pacific. During August 1942 operated from Espiritu Santo flying missions over the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal.
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