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david leigh-smith
283 articles

On This Day…March 9th

March 9, 2019 · in Photo Collections · · 4 ≡

‘Silver Dollar’ was lost in action on 9th March, 1944 on a raid on the Heinkel Aircraft Factory. She was hit by the bombs from a B-17 above, went into a violent tailspin, and hit the ground. The Missing Air Crew Report is below...

Sortie report

Mission data:

DATE 384th BG Mission # 8th AF Mission # 384th PRIMARY TARGET:
1944‑03‑09 74 253 heinkel aircraft plant
Type: aircraft industry
Location: oranienburg, germany

Secondary target attacked with pff: the 384th bombardment group (h) flew as the low group of the 41st combat bombardment wing on today's mission. The primary target was hidden by dense clouds, so the secondary was attacked using pff (radar) aiming.

Sortie data:
Combat credit status target attacked (mode)
Yes failed to return
Comments: lost after bombs away when bombs from high group (379bg) hit this aircraft, knocking tail completely off in front of stabilizer; aircraft dived straight down into a spin with all four engines going; no chutes observed. Macr 3005 secondary (pff)
Target: city center
Type: non-military
Location: berlin, germany

  • sortie aircraft data:
    Type serial number sq code name ground crew chief
    B-17g 42-37781 bk*u silver dollar mckinney, lauren l

  • sortie crew data:
    Position crewmember unit status
    Pilot reed, merlin h 546 mia
    Co-pilot rininsland, bruce martin 546 kia
    Navigator gudyka, peter (nmi). 546 mia
    Bombardier heiss, john l 546 kia
    Radio operator wellman, robert f 546 kia
    Engineer/top tur. Johnson, robert o 546 mia
    Ball turret. Osepchook, arthur john 546 pow
    Tail gunner hardy, emmet f 546 kia
    Waist (flexible) gunner plotz, john james 546 pow
    Waist (flexible) gunner. Jacobson, joseph (nmi) 546 kia

  • sortie-related documents:
    Type identification
    Macr missing air crew report number 3005

Finnish 76-mm field gun camouflaged in snowy terrain toward the end of the ‘Winter War’ - Viipuri, Finland, 9th March, 1940.

P-43 ‘Lancer’ fighter over Esler Field, Louisiana, United States, 9th March, 1942. You can see the DNA of the Thunderbolt, especially looking at the wing specs and dihedral in the drawings below. The Lancer was essentially obsolete by the time she was delivered, with the leaps in innovation and technology inspired by the war.

Anyone fancy a diorama with a difference?

U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reservists servicing a PBJ-1 (U.S. Navy designation of the B-25 Mitchell bomber). March 9th, 1945.

British Sherman in Burma - March 9th, 1945.

1945, March 9th. In the single deadliest air raid of World War II, American strategy shifted, influenced by tactics used in the ETO. 330 B-29s dropped innumerable incendiary bombs on Tokyo, starting a huge firestorm that razed a quarter of the city to the ground.

Sherman tanks of the 4th Armoured Division ready to advance near Sonsbeck, Germany, March 9th,1945. The division participated in the later stages of the Battle of Normandy at the Falaise Pocket, the advance from Normandy and spent almost two months engaged at the Breskens Pocket. It wintered in the Netherlands before taking part in the final advance across northern Germany.

What a souvenir. Sergeant George A. Kaufman of the 9th US Army replaces the street sign ‘Adolf-Hitler-Straße’ with a hand-made ‘Roosevelt Boulevard’ sign in Krefeld, Germany, March 9th 1945.

Aeembly ship, sometimes referred to as a ‘Judas Goat’ - crashed on 9th March 1945 when she landed heavy and the right landing gear collapsed at RAF station Horsham St Faith, England.

Other ‘Judas Goats’, in case the urge takes you to get those unused primary colour pots out from under a sea of greys and browns...

Two days late, but couldn’t not include this...

Lt. Richard Ira Bong, 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group in a his P-38G 'Lightning' in Papua New Guinnea on 6th March, 1943.

More ‘diorama bait’ E14Y ‘Glen’ Floatplane on it’s submarine in Palisser Bay, New Zealand. This plane was spotted flying over Wellington, NZ, on March 9th, 1942.

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

2 additional images. Click to enlarge.

4 responses

  1. What a perfect way to start a weekend... Fabulous posting Sir !

    Those assembly ships, the PBJ, some Sherman's in the mix, a Jake catapult shot and a hot shot P-38 driver to boot !

    The MACR 's are a treasure trove of information. I was able to locate a copy for a B-25J-10 that was shot down over Italy on 03 Oct. '44. One of our family was on board, a Top turret gunner named SSG Thomas Bricen.

    He was KIA along with the entire crew. The plane he was flying in named "Evora", took a direct hit from a German 88 MM Flak gun on the Port side engine. It immediately caught fire and dropped from the formation over the target, which was the Galliate Bridge in Northern Italy.

    The plane continued to burn and lost a wing causing it to violently tumble the rest of the way down. There was one parachute seen, but it was on fire and failed shortly after opening. The entire crew was buried at what is now called the American War Graves Cemetery in Florence Italy.

    Thanks for taking the time to post these articles...

    Lest we forget.

  2. Thanks, Louis. So, so many stories like ‘Evora’. The numbers of men lost in those raids were just astronomical. Every single man had his own stories going back generations; stopped just like that.

    Yes, lest we forget.

  3. Another fine set, David.

  4. Cheers, Robert. Means a lot that you drop by and leave messages so much. Deeply appreciated.

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