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  B-17E Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-9126  
11th AF
28th BG
36th BS

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11th AF c1942
Pilot  Major Jack S. Marks, O-022808 (MIA / KIA) CA
Co-Pilot  Lt Harold E. Mitts, O-421902 (MIA / KIA) WA
Crew  Lt John R. Giddens, O-430985 (MIA / KIA) AL
Crew  SSgt John F. Cane, 6549415 (MIA / KIA) CA
Crew  Cpl Edward P. Dwelis, 16034160 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew   Sgt Bill V. Diehl, 6936161 (MIA / KIA) NB
Crew  Cpl Hubert D. Smith, 16026820 (MIA / KIA) IA
Crew  Pvt Theodore A. Alleckson, 37161263 (MIA / KIA) ND
Crew  Pvt Robert G. Brown, 36169228 (MIA / KIA) MI
Crew  Pvt Consetto J. Castagna, 12036493 (MIA / KIA) NY
Crashed  July 17, 1942
MACR  15929

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 2598. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-17E Flying Fortress serial number 41-9126. On April 21, 1942 assigned to the 303rd Bombardment Group (303rd BG) at Boise. On May 29, 1942 flown to Geiger Field.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 11th Air Force (11th AF), 28th Bombardment Group (28th BG), 36th Bombardment Squadron (36th BS) at Kodiak Airfield. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History
On July 17, 1942 took off from Amchitka Airfield piloted by Major Jack S. Marks leading two other B-17E Flying Fortresses from the 36th Bombardment Squadron along with seven B-24Ds from the 30th Bombardment Squadron on a photographic and bombing mission over Kiska Island.

During their bomb run, bombers were intercepted by A6M2-N Rufe floatplanes at at 15,000' over Kiska Harbor. After breaking up the formation, the fighters concentrated on this bomber, the leading B-17 set the right engine on fire and caused it to crash into Kiska Harbor.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. All are memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) at the Court of the Missing on court 7.

Mitts also has a memorial marker at Capron Cemetery at Capron, OK at block 4, lot 13.

Giddens earrned the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Emmaus Cemetery in Luverne, AL at section 2.

Cane also has a memorial marker at Riverside Cemetery in Stoughton, WI at section 13 block 92 lot 19 grave 1.

Diehl also has a memorial marker at Kenesaw Cemetery in Kenesaw, NB at plot 3-123.

Smith also has a memorial marker at Davenport Memorial Park, Davenport, Iowa.

Brown also has a memorial marker at Shady Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Statesville, NC.

Rod Gronka (nephew of Mitts)
"Lt Harold Mitts was my great uncle. He was lost over Kiska Harbor in a B-17."

Other sources list the date of loss as July 15, 1942 incorrectly. Other sources list the loss location as Rat Island in the western Aleutian Islands.
Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9126 lists this B-17 as condemned July 18, 1942, possibly the loss of B-17E 41-9126 and B-17E 41-9146 have been confused or switched accidentally due to the similarity of their serial numbers.
USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9126
"9126 delivered Boise 303rd BG Apr 21, 1942, Geiger May 29, 1942, assigned to 28th BG, 36th BS at Lodiak Jul 11, 1942. (36th BS) lost Aug 28, 1942 [sic]"
Missing Air Crew Report 15929 (MACR 15929) created retroactively circa 1945-1946
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Jack S. Marks
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Harold E. Mitts
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - John R. Giddens
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - John F. Cane
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Edward P. Dwelis
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Bill V. Diehl
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Hubert D. Smith
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Theodore A. Alleckson
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Robert G. Brown
American Battle Monuments Commission (AMBC) - Consetto J. Castagna
FindAGrave - Maj Jack Southmayd Marks (photos, courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Harold E Mitts (photos, courts of the missing)
FindAGrave - Lieut Harold E Mitts (photos, courts of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1LT Harold E. Mitts (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 2Lt John Reddoch Giddens (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - John Reddoch Giddens (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - SSgt John Eugene Cane (photo, courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT John Eugene Cane (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Edward P Dwelis (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - SSGT Bill V. Diehl (obituary, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Corp Hubert Dale Smith (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - CPL Hubert Dale Smith (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt Theodore A Alleckson (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt Robert G Brown (courts of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - Robert H Brown (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Pvt Consetto J Castagna (courts of the missing photo)
36th Bomb Squadron History page 12
The Marks Report - Captain Jack S. Marks
The Thousand-Mile War (1995) pages 144-145, footnote referencing Steve Birdsall research
Aleutian Campaign, Part III: June 1942-August 1943. Draft Chronology Compiled by John Haile Cloe page 121-122 (via ArmyAirForces Forum)
"16 (sic 17) Jul 1942 KIA: A Japanese "Rufe" float fighter pilot shot down the B-17E, 41-9126, flown by Maj Jack L. Marks from the 36th Bombardment Squadron over Kiska Harbor. He and his crew had been part of a mission of three B-17Es from the 36th Bombardment Squadron and seven B-24Ds from the provisional squadrons, 30th Bombardment Group sent out from Cape Field to bomb and take photographs of Japanese installations on Kiska Island. The Japanese attacked the flight of three B-17s at 15,000 feet over the harbor during the bomb run. The bomber crews broke formation and the Japanese concentrated on the lead B-17 flown by Major Marks. The B-17, its right engine on fire, crashed into the harbor waters below and sank to the bottom. Those killed besides Major Marks were: Lt Harold E. Mitts, Lt John R. Giddens, SSgt John E. Cane, Cpl Edward P. Dwelis, Sgt Bill Von Diehl, Cpl Hubert D. Smith, Pvt Theodore A. Alleckson, Pvt Robert G. Brown, and Pvt Consetto J. Castagna. (Hist, 36BS, p. 12; Wheeler Diary.)"

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Last Updated
October 10, 2021


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