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B17 bombers

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:44 pm
by jim_arrington
Does anyone have any info on the flight of B17's that arrived at Hawaii during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack? Did they survive, what happened to them and their crews?

Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:43 am
by GordyB
Hi Jim

Some 6 of the 38th RS /7thBG B-17Es arriving Hickham on 07/12/41 within this listing along with a few other B-17Ds

I have a list of all somewhere ex David Atkinson of Hawaii
Have to go and dig; Maybe watch this space

Interesting one still survives,....... :) Fred Eaton's 41-2417

Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:48 am
by GordyB
Oops error,....41-2446 was Eaton's which wasn't in the list that survives,..."Monkey Buziness" was 41-2417

Sorry,..will have to see if I can find the files


Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:26 am
by GordyB
Yeap, trust me to get it almost wrong

B-17s Arriving During the Attack
88th Reconnaissance Squadron

Number Pilot Where Landed Status as of
1845, 8 Dec 1941
B-17E/41-2429 Capt Richard H. Carmichael Haleiwa Aux Fld In Commission
B-17E/41-2430 1st Lt Harold N. Chaffin Haleiwa Aux Fld In Commission
B-17E/41-2416 1st Lt Frank P. Bostrom Kahuku Golf Crs Repairable
B-17E/41-2432 1st Lt Robert E. Thacker Hickam Field+ In Commission
B-17E/41-2433 1st Lt Harry N. Brandon Hickam Field In Commission
B-17E/41-2434 1st Lt David G. Rawls Hickam Field In Commission

88th Reconnaissance Squadron (H) Crew Members

Crew No. 1: Capt Richard H. Carmichael, Capt James W. Twaddell, 2d Lt Donald O. Tower, 2d Lt Kermit E. Meyers, Avn Cdt Theodore I. Pascoe, TSgt Wallace A. Carter, SSgt Jack R. Tribble, SSgt Sam Tower, SSgt Harold D. Boyer.

Crew No. 2: 1st Lt Harold N. Chaffin, 2d Lt Mabry Simmons, 2d Lt Walter H. Johnson, Avn Cdt Hubert S. Mobley, TSgt Russell E. Mackey, SSgt Lucuis W. Weeks, Sgt Irving W. McMichael, PFC Robert K. Barnard.

Crew No. 3: 1st Lt Richard F. Ezzard, 1st Lt E. A. Luke, 2d Lt Vincent J. Roddy, 2d Lt John S. Minahan, Avn Cdt Raymond S. Rollings, TSgt Gola D. McCallister, Sgt Delbert G. Walmer, Pvt Ralph W. Chorn.
Crew No. 4: 1st Lt Frank W. Potter, 2d Lt Henry F. Smith, 2d Lt Harold W. Edmonds, Avn Cdt Joseph A. Creed, Jr., SSgt Harry B. Shields, SSgt Wayne T. Doyle, Sgt James A. Garson, PFC William M. Edwards.

Crew No. 5: 1st Lt Robert E. Thacker, 2d Lt Donald C. Surles, 2d Lt Roderick M. Stewart, Avn Cdt Albert J. Hobday, SSgt Cal Russell, Sgt Howard K. Beck, Sgt Cyril LaLancet, PFC Edwin Rhodes.

Crew No. 6: 1st Lt Frank P. Bostrom, 2d Lt Wilson L. Cook, 2d Lt Earl Sheggrud, Avn Cdt Rob R. Carruthers, TSgt Herbert B. Collins, SSgt Leslie O. Hansen, PFC Herbert Wheatley Jr., PFC Elwood B. Shouldis, PFC Clyde L. Horn.

Crew No. 7: 1st Lt Harry N. Brandon, 2d Lt Rober L. Ramsey, Avn Cdt Harold E. Snider, TSgt James G. Helton, SSgt David P. Barnard, SSgt Ralph E. Mouser, Sgt Wayne E. Johnson, Pvt Billy B Sutton.

Crew No. 8: 1st Lt David G. Rawls, 2d Lt John T. Compton, Avn Cdt Robert T. Jones, SSgt Robert J. Dunn, Jr., SSgt Wilson D. Palmer, Sgt Robert K. Palmer, Sgt Sheldon D. Beaton, PFC Aby A. Francisco.

Crew No. 3 aborted in flight and returned to Hamilton Field; Crew No. 4 aborted before takeoff. Six aircraft from the 88th reached Hawaii during the 7 December attack.

38th Reconnaissance Squadron

Number Pilot Where Landed Status as of
1845, 8 Dec 1941
B-17E/41-2413 Maj Truman H. Landon Hickam Field In Commission
B-17E/41-2408 1st Lt Karl T. Barthelmess Hickam Field In Commission
B-17C/40-2074 Capt Raymond T. Swenson Hickam Field Destroyed
B-17C/40-2049 1st Lt Robert H. Richards Bellows Field Repairable
(Later used for spare parts and not repaired)
B-17C/40-2054 1st Lt Earl J. Cooper Hickam Field In Commission
B-17C/40-2063 1st Lt Bruce G. Allen Hickam Field In Commission

38th Reconnaissance Squadron (H) Crew Members

Crew No. 1: Maj Truman H. Landon, 1st Lt William B. M. Ellis, 2d Lt George L. Newton, 2d Lt Chester H. Budz, Avn Cdt Erwin F. Cihak, MSgt John B. Meeks, TSgt Jesse L. Schneider, SSgt Albert E. Brawley, and Sgt Benjamin L. Hale.

Crew No. 2: 1st Lt Karl T. Barthelmess, 2d Lt Larry J. Sheehan, 2d Lt Charles E. Bergdoll, Avn Cdt John C. Adams, TSgt Roy H. Coulter, SSgt Nicholas H. Kahlefent, SSgt Lee R. Embree, Sgt Vance H. Spears, and Cpl Raymond R. Joslin.

Crew No. 3: Capt Raymond T. Swenson, 1st Lt William R. Schick (flight surgeon assigned to the squadron just before its departure), 2d Lt Ernest L. Reid, 2d Lt Homer R. Taylor, Avn Cdt G. C. Beale, MSgt Leroy B. Pouncey, Sgt Earl T. Williams, Cpl Mac L. Lucas, and Pvt Bert Lee, Jr.

Crew No. 4: 1st Lt Bruce G. Allen, 2d Lt Charles N. McArthur, Jr., Avn Cdt Leo M. Eminger, Avn Cdt Walter B. Decker, MSgt Horace K. Hunsberger, Sgt Floyd A. Wright, Jr., PFC Raymond E. Fetty, Pvt Richard E. Morris, and Pvt J. W. Childers.

Crew No. 5: 1st Lt Earl J. Cooper, 2d Lt Richard J. Eberenz, 2d Lt John A. Crockett, Avn Cdt Jim R. Buchanan, TSgt Jesse R. Broyles, Sgt Joseph J. Bruce, Sgt Lee W. Best, Cpl Elmer G. Lippold, and Pvt Don C. McCord, Jr.

Crew No. 6: 1st Lt Harold T. Hastings, 2d Lt Charles E. Norton, Avn Cdt George M. Staples, Avn Cdt James F. Doyle, Sgt Stanley F. Terlep, Cpl Marlin Woodward, Cpl Calvin J. Hammack, PFC Vernon R. Schnuelle, and Pvt William Superak.

Crew No. 7: 1st Lt Robert H. Richards, 2d Lt Leonard S. Humiston, Avn Cdt William F. B. Morris, Avn Cdt George E. Gammans, SSgt Joseph S. Angelini, SSgt Erwin B. Casebolt, SSgt Melvin D. Zajic, SSgt Lawrence B. Velarde, and Pvt Vernon D. Tomlinson.

Crew No. 8: 1st Lt Boris M. Zubko, 2d Lt Alfred H. Oberg, Jr., Avn Cdt Cedric P. Drake, Avn Cdt Milan A. Chiba, TSgt Lew M. Evans, SSgt Robert J. Zimmerman, Sgt Melvin D. Loyd, Cpl Gilbert W. Hewitt, and Pvt Martin M. Newcomer.

Crews 6 and 8 were delayed by engine trouble and did not take off with the original group. Six aircraft from the 38th reached Hawaii during the 7 December attack.

So 41-2417 wasn't there,...... yet

While we're at it

maybe we should list those on the ground as well; types and serials

5th Bomb Group (Heavy)
92 40-3082 In Commission
52 40-3089 In Commission
1 40-3085 Two oil tanks damaged, one engine bad, two tires destroyed, bullet holes Repairable
41 40-3092 No engines, no left wheel, no oil tanks Repairable
90 40-3071 Left and rear tires gone, control wires gone, badly shot up Destroyed
20 40-3080 Burned up Destroyed
80 37-1 Hole in left wing and rudder In commission
81 37-2 In Commission
31 36-339 Located at Hilo, Hawaii, TH In Commission
62 36-342 In Commission
63 36-329 In Commission
64 36-433 Left wing, vertical fin, and rudder assembly damaged, rudder cables damaged In Commission
92 ? Not the #92 in 11 Bomb Gp In Commission
2 36-333 Right wing and elevator damaged Repairable
83 36-310 Right engine shot, many bullet holes Repairable
33 36-438 Left wing, ailerons, and elevator bullet holes, left tire bad Repairable
35 36-337 Right engine prop bad Repairable
36 36-334 Vertical fin and right tire badly shot up Repairable
3 37-4 Destroyed
82 37-3 Burned up Destroyed
32 37-11 Destroyed
37 37-19 Tail wheel, tail surface, right tire and engine badly shot up Destroyed


* Information extracted from Hickam Field maintenance records as recorded by retired Air Force Lt Col Charles P. Eckhert (deceased), from 1300 hours 7 December 1941 to 1845 hours 8 December 1941.


Number Serial
Number Discrepancies
as of 1300
7 Dec 1941 Status as of
8 Dec 1941


5 40-125 In Commission
7 40-127 In Commission
8 40-128 In Commission
9 40-130 In Commission
11 40-133 In Commission
12 40-134 In Commission
13 40-135 In Commission
14 40-136 In Commission
16 40-150 In Commission
10 40-131 Repairable
15 40-137 Destroyed
17 40-151 Destroyed

11th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

41 40-3084 Replace #2, #3, and main gas tanks, no tunnel, no nose gun In Commission
40 40-3060 Change four props In Commission
60 40-3090 Left wheel fin and stabilizer damaged, fuselage torn above radio compartment Repairable
61 Destroyed
80 40-3077 Destroyed
81 40-3083 Destroyed
50 36-327 In Commission
52 36-336 In Commission
53 37-20 Need airline patching materiel In Commission
94 37-5 In Commission
54 36-328 Complete empennage metal work, replace all wheels Repairable
77 36-436 Need vertical stabilizer, rudder, left wheel, and right aileron Repairable
78 36-437 Major work required Repairable
79 37-15 Patching for fin, right wheel, right elevator, oil leak right engine Repairable
76 36-288 At HAD for complete repair Repairable
93 37-6 Originally thought to be a complete loss Repairable


Number Serial
Number Discrepancies
as of 1300
7 Dec 1941 Status as of
8 Dec 1941


4 37-7 Major metal work, right landing gear Repairable
51 36-335 Burned in HAD Destroyed
92 36-270 Total loss Destroyed
95 37-12 Parts being used for #64 Destroyed
Hawaiian Air Force
1 ? Completely demolished Destroyed
19th Transport Squadron
1 ? Heavily strafed Repairable
2 ? Elevator damaged Repairable
18th Bombardment Wing Heavy
1 ? Completely demolished Destroyed
58th Bombardment Squadron (Light)
47 33-100 In Commission
49 33-186 Repairable
34 33-227 In Commission
19 33-231 Repairable


Number Serial
Number Discrepancies
as of 1300
7 Dec 1941 Status as of
8 Dec 1941


Transient Aircraft

71 40-2371 Burned Destroyed

NOTE: The B-24A was part of the 44th Bomb Group, assigned to the 1st Photo Group, attached to Ferry Command and had flown to Hawaii from Russia through the Middle East, Singapore, Australia, New Guinea, and Wake Island. It arrived at Hickam Field on 5 December to have guns installed prior to continuing on to the Philippines. Problems were encountered installing the weapons and it was still at Hickam the morning of the attack. The aircraft was assigned to the Philippines to fly reconnaissance missions over Japanese installations in the Marshalls and Carolines.


"Make it right, with interest"

Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:49 pm
by jim_arrington
Thanks for the info, Gordy:-)

Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:15 am
by PADutchman
You should be able to look up most of the serial number on this site.

I have a few more files if you PM with your email address I will send them to you.

Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Wed May 04, 2011 9:24 am
by PADutchman
There is a famous Christian Woman Author who has written a great number of war stories of her family who served in the Eighth AAC.

One of her relatives, I believe an Uncle was on one of these bombers and I have a copy of their orders with him listed.

I sent it to her Web Site and she was so excited because the family never had a copy of his orders.

It has always been said they did not carry machine guns with them. They had machine guns but their were still packing grease and crates.

The Commander of the flight argued they needed to have their machine guns and finally they got permission to take them along but they could not set them up until they arrived in the Philippines.

When they came into the middle of the Attack their guns were still in their packing materials and could not be used.

As I said if you PM me with an email address I will send you scans of their orders. I don't see how they can be posted here they are too much or large I believe for the site.

Re: B17 bombers

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:19 pm
by Zombeej85
Just found out that my Great Uncle, Edwin Rhodes, was a crew member on one of the B-17s. Like most Vets, he doesnt like to talk about his wartime experiences so it has been very hard to find out any information on him or his mission/orders. Any info or documents you've found would be greatly apprecaited! My e-mail is

Thanks so much,