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Jerry B Payne

Military

On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Dnmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

2nd Lieutenant Jerry B. Payne was born November 11, 1920. His next of kin were his wife, Catherine Payne, and his daughter, Joyce Payne. He was from Manhattan, Kansas.
On February 20, 1944, he was the Pilot of “Barbara,” B-17 tail #42-39894, of the 388th Bomb Group, 566th Bomb Squadron, when it went down over the island of Fuenen, Denmark.
He is buried with other members of his crew in a group burial at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Service

People

  • Andrea Alcarese

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Denmark on 20 Feb 1944. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Carl Cole

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Dnmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • James Ellis

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Left Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Dnmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • James Kelley

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Dnmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Albert Maxbauer

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    Hit by flak on a mission to Brunswick, GR on 23 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38120 crashed SE of Borken, GR after the crew baled out. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Joseph Pappalardo

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Denmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Joseph Scuglik

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer | 388th Bomb Group
    WIA

  • Clarence Swanson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G 42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Denmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Grant Tucker

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G 42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Denmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John White

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On a mission to Poznan, Poland, B-17G #42-39894 'Barbara' left the formation due to a fuel leak and was shot down by fighters, exploded in mid-air, and crashed near Funen, Dnmark on 20 Feb 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

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Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 561st Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30778 Old 66/Lady Margaret

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Gore 6/8/43; Pendleton 12/8/43; Reno 14/8/43; Pierre 16/8/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; crashed on take off for France 13/8/44 with Leon Sutton, Co-pilot: Harlan Thompson, Navigator: George Healy, Bombardier:...

  • 42-31549 Jeannie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 21/11/43; Gr Island 7/12/43; New Castle 16/12/43; Presque Is 19/12/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 1/1/44; Missing in Action Brux 12/5/44 with Alex Loslo, Co-pilot: Bob Wilson, Navigator: Doug Morrison, Bombardier: Presley...

  • 42-39894 Barbara

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 1/10/43; Gr Island 18/10/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 2/11/43; Missing in Action Rostock 20/2/44 with Jerry Payne, Co-pilot: Carl Cole, Navigator: Jim Kelley, Bombardier: Clarry Swanson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 200

    30 January 1944
    This mission has the aviation industry at Brunswick, Germany as the primary target. The mission is composed of a combined force pf 777 heavy bomber aircraft despatched in three elements: 1st Bomb Division; 2nd Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Division. The...

  • 8th Air Force 221

    13 February 1944
    17 V-Wepons sites in France are the primary targets for this mission. The mission is divided into two separate forces: one force of B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division and one force of B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division. Mission summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 226 BIG WEEK - DAY 1

    20 February 1944
    This mission is the opening salvo of the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive known officially as "Operation Argument" but remembered in 8th Air Force History as "BIG WEEK". The immediate strategic objective of this six-day operation is the degradation of...

Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Holton, Kansas 11 November 1920

2nd Lieutenant Jerry B. Payne was born November 11, 1920. His next of kin were his wife, Catherine Payne, and his daughter, Joyce Payne. He was from Manhattan, Kansas.

Enlisted Fort Riley, Kansas 30 March 1942
388th BG Combat Tour Knettishall Airfield, UK 30 January 1944 – 20 February 1944

Shot down and KIA on his 3rd combat mission

Killed in Action (KIA) Assens, Denmark 20 February 1944

Jerry Byran Payne was born in 1922 in Hutchinson, Kansas. His NARA enlistment record states he enlisted at Fort Riley, Kansas, on March 30, 1942. It also states he had completed 4 years of high school, was married, and had been employed as a semi-skilled builder in the aircraft industry. He was accepted into the aviation cadet flight program, and trained as a pilot.

When he completed this instruction, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and assigned to operational training including combat procedures, formation flying, and navigation problems in the B-17 type aircraft. He was given a crew, and deployed to England in late 1943 for transitional training.

After this he was assigned to the 561st Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group, at that time flying from Knettishall, England. He flew his first combat mission on February 6, 1944 as pilot of B-17 # 42-31549, named "Miss Jeannie." This mission resulted in an abort for legal reasons.

His next mission was on February 13, 1944, and was uneventful. The crew flew the next mission on February 20, 1944, - a bomb strike against Posen, Poland. Flak was light and inaccurate at the target, but on the inbound route, the formation was attacked over the Danish peninsula by a large number of enemy aircraft.

In particularly aggressive attacks, the fighters stayed with the bombers into, over, and away from the target. On the outbound route, Payne radioed that his aircraft had a massive fuel leak and that he was diverting to another path home. The aircraft eventually made an emergency landing near Assen, Denmark.

Accounts vary, some telling that the tail gunner parachuted to safety; others that he was in the crash, but survived. He was, in fact, the only survivor, and it is a matter of record that he was captured and sent to a German military hospital to be treated for serious wounds. All others were killed in the crash.

The crew was recovered and buried on February 24 in the Assen Cemetery. After the war, several sets of remains were returned to the U.S. The remains of Lt Payne, Lt Kelley, and Sgt Zumbolo could not be individually identified, so the remains were buried in one grave at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Kentucky. They lie in Section 1, Site 54.

Buried Louisville, KY 1952

Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA Add to Map
Plot
I, 54

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2020 04:15:49 466thHistorian Changes to service number, events, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/506489621:61843?indiv=...
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3304421/_
http://www.388bg.com/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=388-I-PAY01-0...
https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd...
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=8939&h=112424&t...

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2015 02:22:47 WW2 Researcher Bill Beigel Changes to biography and events
Sources

IDPF and/or crash report researched by Bill Beigel. IDPF donated to American Air Museum by Bill Beigel. For more information about this flyer, you may contact http://ww2research.com.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:15:11 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2432 / MACR 2432, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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