(From Missing Air Crew Report #5982)

8th Air Force, 91st Bomb Group, 324th Bomb Squadron

AAF Station No. 121 to Hamburg, Germany, 20 June 1944

B-17-G, 42-97892


Pilot – Capt. Richard W. Burch, ASN 0-724588
Co-pilot – 2nd Lt. Leo R. Plant, 0-815225
Navigator – Capt. Harold I. Fox, 0-739080
Bombardier – 1st Lt. Julian I. Columbus, 0-689108
Radio Operator – S/Sgt. George B. Schmidt, 16156061
Engineer/Top Turret – Pvt. Robert E. McCarthy, 13025271
Ball Turret – S/Sgt. Charles t. Hickman, 13116917
Tail Gunner – Pvt. Joseph A. Evers, 36801613
Right & Left Waist Gunner – S/Sgt. Jack P. Morgan, 17088720

As witnessed by 1st Lt. Charles T. Ball, 0-805729 91st Bomb Group, 322nd Bomb Squadron –

“Aircraft B-17-G, 42-97892, was last seen at about 0940 hours, or about 2 minutes after bombs away. A 105 MM shell or a larger than ordinary load of flak entered the subject aircraft mid-ship or about the radio room and exploded therein. The explosion tore the ship in two parts, the split being just ahead of the waist windows. The ship buckled, then the tail section went down, forward end first. The forward portion of the aircraft went upward approximately 15 or 20 feet then nosed over and dove straight down and was lost from view. Prior to the target the number 1 and 2 engines of subject aircraft had apparently been hit by flak as thery were smoking very badly. No parachutes were seen to leave subject aircraft.”

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