On This Day…January 13th
B17-G Flying Fortress (42-31604) ditched in Loch Quoich, Western Scotland on 13th January 1944. The aircraft was on a transatlantic ferry flight from Goose Bay, Canada to Nutts Corner (Northern Ireland) when, 600 miles off the Scottish coast, it suffered an engine failure, the wireless went u/s and the pilot decided to ditch in Loch Quoich on the western coast of Scotland.
Four crew bailed out into the loch but sadly Sgt Leonard (waist gunner) was drowned.
The wreckage resulting from Avenger JZ121 bouncing over the barriers and hitting the tail of Avenger JZ234 in the forward aircraft park on HMS Shah, January 13th 1945. The pilot, S/Lt Whitehead, was fine.
On 13th January 1942, Heinkel company test pilot Helmut Schenk became the first person to eject from an airborne aircraft when he bailed from a He-280 prototype which he was ‘flying’. The new jet pulse engines didn’t provide enough power for takeoff, so the Heinkel was attached to an He-111 tow plane. The 111 threw up so much snow that when Schenk reached 8,000 feet and the bomber crew dropped the very heavy towline, it remained frozen in place on the He-280. Flying was impossible; Schenk recalls, “I jettisoned the canopy and then pulled the release lever for the seat, and was thrown clear of the aircraft without coming in contact with it.” A blast of compressed air fired him, seat and all, out of the cockpit. His parachute carried him safely to the ground. Lucky for him, as in previous tests, two German pilots were found still in the cockpit of their crashed aircraft, minus their arms, due to malfunctioning ejectors…
The USS Langley (CVL-27) in a typhoon in the South China Sea as part of ‘Task Force 58’ on the morning of 13 Jan 1944. USS Washington is riding the storm much better in the background.
In the same storm and on the same day, this photo from USS Essex shows Fleet Oiler USS Aucilla riding the rough seeas with USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) behind.
B-17 of the 427BS/303Bomber Group shot down over Germersheim after a direct flak hit to the tail – 13th January, 1945. Sadly all crew were listed as KIA.
A Panther Ausf A being transported on January 13th,1945 – belonging to SS Panzer Regiment 3 (Totenkopf – ‘Death’s Head).
Raymond King grew up in North Braddock, Pennsylvania. In 1940, still only at the age of 16, he was living with his father Harry King, a policeman at a steel works, his mother Margaret and his older brother, Harold King. Raymond was Killed in Action on 13 January 1945, aged 20, when his P-51D Mustang (serial number 44-14574), ‘Little Zippie’, suffered mechanical difficulties and crashed into the sea. The D-10 models the 436th were using at the time of King’s last mission were felt by the squadron to be rather ‘war weary’.
King had been shepherding a squadron mate, whose P-51D had been experiencing engine trouble, back to England. While escorting his friend, King’s own Mustang developed engine trouble. King ditched half-a-mile to a mile off the seaside town of Clacton, and took to the water as his aircraft sank. The first life boat reached the pilot boat within ten minutes. However, it was still in the depths of winter, and the water was freezing. The young pilot, some way off his 21st birthday, could not be revived. The wreckage of ‘Little Zippie’ was recovered in 1987 and is on display at the East Essex Aviation Society museum…
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.