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Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:25 am
by rbreak7
I am trying to locate a B-17 that my uncle flew in. I was told that it had crashed in New Guinea. It's name was "Cuddles" I beleive. Also I beleive that this happened in 1945. Any help finding this plane or what squadron it was with would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:02 am
by Andy in West Oz
All the best with your search, rbreak. I'm afraid I can't help immediately but I am intrigued by the date of the crash. By 1945 (and I'm no expert) the Fortress in the Pacific had been largely replaced as a heavy bomber by the Lib. I would have thought any Forts still operating in the region would have been ASR or transport (VIP and otherwise) birds. Do you know any more of your Uncle's service or his relevant service number etc? I know some of the guys on here will definitely be able to give you an answer if they have his service number. You may even find the crash site is already known.

Again, all the best with your search.

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:04 pm
by rbreak7
Thanks. I am not positive on the was either late 1944 or early 1945. His name was Arthur E. Call. I beleive his serial number was 13198463. The plane as I was told was called "Cuddles", but I can not find anything with that name. I keep hitting a brick wall with my searches. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:32 am
by Anthony J. Mireles
The only AC that I could find that was named "Cuddles" during WWII was a B-24H 42-52337, which crashed on 23 July 1944 in Italy. The airplane was part of the 763BS/460BG/15AF.

Not likely that the USAAF was using B-17s in combat in the PTO in 1944 or 1945.


Please provide as much detail as you can. Telling me a plane crashed in New Guinea in 1944 or 1945 covers a lot of ground. Thousands of airplanes crashed in New Guinea during WWII, making it hard to pin down anything with the scant information you have provided. Please provide as much info as possible and maybe we can solve your problem. With no details to start with, you will continue to crash into a brick wall in your search.

What day did your uncle crash?

Who was the pilot?

What unit was your uncle attached to?

Having the date is probably the most important item besides the guy's name.

Good luck with your research.


Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:56 am
by rbreak7
Most of my problem is not having any information. All I have to start with if his army serial number, date of enlistment and my mother's memories. Which are sparse at best. My uncle passed away about 5 years ago and all his pictures and information are somewhere in HAwaii with his ex-wife. And I can not get any informaton from her. Where can I start to find out what squadron's he was with? Maybe if I at least find that out I can piece my way from that point to the crash. Thanks.

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:40 pm
by Steve Birdsall
What was his enlistment date? Date and place of birth might help too. And why do you believe he was in a B-17?

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:46 pm
by rbreak7
I beleive he was in a B-17 for two reasons: 1. My mother has told me stories and 2nd, my uncle gave me his wings about 20 some years ago and told me that he was a tail gunner in a B-17. Thats almost all of my memories on the subject. He passed away about 5 years ago. I am trying to piece together where he served and the squadron's he flew in. Also i am told by my mother that the plane was named "Cuddles" after her. She was born around that time frame. Can I get his squadron's and where he was stationed from the info that I have?

He enlisted in 02-11-44
Born 11-29-25 in Pennsylvania
Serial # 13189463 Army Air Corps

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:48 pm
by Steve Birdsall
A basic search confirms that your uncle enlisted at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland on February 11, 1944. By that time the only B-17s operating in and around New Guinea were assigned to various troop carrier squadrons as armed transports, or serving as utility aircraft or personal transports for AAF and Army generals.

Having Arthur Call's Army serial number and the other details should be enough to trace him through the official records, and someone like Tony Mireles could give you the best up-to-date advice on that process.

If you can establish when he was sent overseas, and where, I'm sure we can fill in many of the gaps.

Re: Help finding a crashed B-17 in New Guinea

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:08 pm
by rbreak7
Thanks for the help. I sent a fax requesting his service info from the archives in St. Louis. We'll see how that pans out. More and more I am thinking my mother was wrong about the B-17 part and maybe it was a B-24 instead. I know the Tailgunner part is definitly correct and I know he was definitly in the pacific around New Guinea for some time. Aside from the B-17 the only other aircraft the I can think of would be a B-24 correct? I remember he spoke of being in a bomb group and being in the tailgun position. Maybe his records from the archive will shed more light on things. Thanks again for all your help.