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43-38012

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17G 43-38012 was delivered Cheyenne 15-Jun-44; Kearney 27-Jun-44; Dow Fd 9-Jul-44; Assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-L] Bassingbourn 23-Jul-44. Attacked on 16-Aug-44 by German fighters while on a mission to bomb the aircraft factories at Halle, Germany. Attack destroyed #2 engine and the right wing causing the aircraft to crash near Witzenhausen, Germany. 1KIA 8POW MACR 8180.

P 2Lt Vincent A. Fonke (POW); CP 2Lt Fred W. Van Sant (POW)
N 2Lt Robert W. Simcock, Jr. (POW) B 2Lt Herbert Carlson (POW)
E/TTG SSgt Raymond V. Prange (POW) RO SSgt Wemdell O. Meenac (POW)
BTG Sgt Charles S Brudo (POW-WIA); WG Sgt William J Weaver (POW-WiA)
TG Sgt Willard M. Holden (KIA)

NOTE: The MACR does not designate a Radio Operator, but at this point in the war heavy bombers were normally flown into battle with a 9-man crew, which for all intents and purposes meant that one less Waist Gunner would be carried. The MACR designates both a LWG and a RWG. In this particular case SSgt Meenach was most probably the RO and doubled into the position Right Waist Gunner.

Service

Units

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 324th Bomb Squadron

    324th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Home of the Memphis Belle

People

  • Charles Brudo

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Ball Turret Gunner. Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) POW

  • Herbert Carlson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Bombardier. Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. ...

  • Vincent Fonke

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Pilot. Aircraft shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) POW

  • Willard Holden

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Tail Gunner. Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Killed in Action (KIA)

  • Wendell Meenach

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator/Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Radio Operator Waist Gunner.Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) POW

  • Raymond Prange

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) POW

  • Robert Simcock

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17D 43-38012 while serving as Navigator. Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Fred Van Sant

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down on 16-Aug-44 in B-17G #43-38012 while serving as Co-Pilot, Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhausen, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 8180

  • William Weaver

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 16-Aug-44 in B-17G 43-38012 while serving as Waist Gunner. Aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed at Witzenhause, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW) POW

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 556

    16 August 1944
    Aircraft factories and oil refineries are the primary targets for this mission. A total of 1090 heavy bombers are despatched. See Mission Details for particulars. ...

Places

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Witzenhausen, Germany 16 August 1944

Attacked by German fighters destroying #2 engine and the right wing. Aircraft exploded and then crashed near Witzenhausen, Germany.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 December 2014 22:39:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Dec-2014. Added Markings, added nickname, loss details ro FTR event and description per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; made connections to Place and Mission wihtin existing website data; Added crew position, rank, full proper name and dispositions per MACR 8180.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:41:25 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 8180 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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