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B-26 Marauder

31 Jul 43-Mar 44, Flew 65 Sorties, 26 Mar 44: Crash landed due to flak damage (2 KIA)


On March 26, 1944 Squadron Commander Capt. Glenn F. Grau and his lead crew flew the aircraft in an attack on the heavily defended E-boat pens at Ijmuiden. While over the pens Top Sarge was riddled by German flak gunners, severely damaging the aircraft and killing 2nd Lt. Earl J. Dillionaire, a pilot acting as formation observer, and S/Sgt. Peter Ogilvie, tail gunner. It took all of the crew's experience to bring the bomber back to the safety of England. The rest of the crew escaped with minor injuries.

556th Squadron, Mission Report.

...the ship ws severely hit by flak at the target killing 2nd Lt. Earl J. Dillionaire, formation observer, and S/Sgt. Peter (NMI) Ogilvie, tail gunner. The plane was severely damaged, etc., etc. Only by the most skillful pilotage and heroic crew teamwork was the ship brought back over the long water course to England where it was crashed landed on an airfield just off the coast.

Devon Francis, Flak Bait.

...a flak blast killed the right engine of the Marauder, "Top Sarge," knocked out the electrical control system, shot out the aileron and rudder controls, blew off the right engine nacelle, and tore five feet off the right wing, including the right wing flap. Two members of the nine man crew were killed. The plane shuddered, then resumed on an even keel. Captain Glenn Grau (Major within a few days) of Brookville, Ohio, the pilot, managed to get it headed home with the meager controls he had left at his command. Over the North Sea, 2nd Lt. Richard Abrams of Bellingham, Washington, the copilot, walked to the rear of the plane to see whether the rudder controls could be patched. Pounding twisted metal with his bare hands, he managed to effect a splice at the rudder control break.

Another Marauder drew alongside the crippled ship. "Top Sarge" had no radio to talk with, so the bombardier of the other aircraft penciled a warning on the side of his Plexiglas nose: "Don't lower your landing gear or flaps." Captain Grau made a perfect crash landing at the RAF base in Leiston, Suffolk, England.----"



  • 387th Bomb Group

    387th Bomb Group

    The 387th Bomb Group flew just under thirty missions with the Eighth Air Force before being transferred to the Ninth Air Force in October 1943. The Group remained at Chipping Ongar, Essex after being reassigned and continued to hit targets in France....

  • 556th Bomb Squadron


  • William Boggis

    Military | Captain | Bombadier/Navigator | 387th Bomb Group


Date Contributor Update
06 May 2017 23:12:26 JoCarter Created entry with serial number, aircraft type, production block number, manufacturer, nicknames, description, unit associations and person associations