USAAF Crash Sites 1942 – 1945

Posted in USAAF Crash Sites 1942 - 1945
25 comments on “USAAF Crash Sites 1942 – 1945
  1. Andy Garner says:

    Hi, do you have any information on any B17’s from the 95th bomb Group, I am a committee member from this group and would like to research any information you have? Thank you Andy

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Andy, sorry for late reply, have just returned from holiday. Will have a look and drop you a line if I find anything.
      Ian

  2. Sandy says:

    Hello, one site after another has led me here. I don’t think this is the correct place because your dates are different, but I’m looking for more information about the crash where my great uncle lost his life, and I really don’t know where else to look. A family member recently received a letter from the Cambridge Cemetery. The pertinent part of the letter is as follows:

    Please see below the information that we have on the crash which involved SSgt Logan.

    His aircraft took off from Glatton at 14:19 hrs on an operational mission. Pilot was flying on instruments in clouds when the aircraft hit violent prop wash, throwing the aircraft into a dive. The pilot tried to recover too fast, causing too much stress on the tail section which broke off at the tail wheel. The aircraft crashed at 14:55 hrs at Park Farm, Hoxne, Suffolk. Seven from this crew were killed on this mission and 3 returned. They were all temporarily buried at the temporary cemetery in Cambridge, and 3 from this crew remain here in the permanent cemetery, 4 including SSgt Logan were repatriated back to the United States.

    The info I have is that Uncle Roy died April 21, 1944. He was a SSGT in the 748 USAAF Bomb Squadron. My assumption is that the crash must have occurred the same day, but that may be wrong. I would most especially love to know the names of the three survivors, though they may be gone now. Any help would be most greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Sandy

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Sandy,

      That part of the country is not the geographical area I usually cover, but I will take a look at the resources and books I have this evening and will get back to you if I find anything. Will also have a think about where else you might be able to find the information you need.

      Kind regards,

      Ian

      • Sandy says:

        Ian,

        Thank you so much. Any further information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. One other thing, in doing a basic computer search for the crash site, Park Farm, Hoxne, Suffolk, I was unable to find it. Do you know…is Park Farm an actual farm, a park, or a village?

        Thank you very much for responding to my inquiry. I love being able to locate the pieces of the puzzle and watch the picture form.

        Eagerly awaiting your response,
        Sandy

        • Ian D B says:

          Hi Sandy,

          I am unsure as to quite what info you have already but the details here were found on the internet. I have very few books detailing losses in that area, particularly US losses, but I knew of a few places to look online!

          The aircraft was a B-17G Flying Fortress serial number 42-97236. It was with the 457th Bomb Group and was on a bombing raid to Merseberg near Leipzig in Germany on 21 April 1944, probably to attack the oil refinery there.

          The bombers had been recalled due to bad weather but 42-97236 “while climbing into formation, encountered a heavy downdraft and the plane went into a dive. The pilot overcorrected in trying to pull out and the plane broke in half near the bomb bay. Parts of the plane fell in the vicinity of the field at Glatton. Four of the crew were able to bail out and survived. The remainder were killed.”

          Note that source, the 457th Bomb Group Association, mentions there being 4 survivors not 3. The extra survivor is listed as your uncle, so we can safely conclude that is incorrect and also that your uncle Roy died in the crash so the date you have is of both the crash and his death. It seems likely the survivors were wearing parachutes and were able to get out of the aircraft and open them.

          The crew listing then is probably;

          Lt Owen B. Coffman, pilot, killed.
          Lt Stewart Barnes, co-pilot, killed
          Lt Joseph J. Peacock, navigator, killed
          Lt Lowell D. Baker, bombardier, killed
          Sgt Leroy L. Logan, engineer / upper turret gunner, killed
          Sgt Joseph T. Paddock, radio operator, killed
          Sgt Morris R. Walker, left waist gunner, survived
          Sgt Donald L. Moore, right waist gunner, killed
          Sgt James C. Hilty, ball turret gunner, survived
          Sgt John P. Medica, tail gunner, survived.

          The American Air Museum in Britain has a different listing. Although it notes that Sergeant Logan was one of the fatalities, it lists the 3 survivors as including a radio operator called Lloyd Larson and yet makes no mention of Lt Peacock. However, Lt Peacock is certainly listed elsewhere as having been killed on 21 April 1944, so it is probable the museum has that detail incorrectly recorded but the detail about your uncle is correct. These sort of discrepancies are not that uncommon.

          The aircraft crashed in farmland near Park Farm which is about one mile east of the village of Hoxne in Suffolk. Note also that the entry from the 457 Bomb Group Assn states that the aircraft broke up with bits falling in the fields near Glatton. This is bound to be a typo, as Hoxne is over 60 miles from Glatton, which was the bomb group’s base. RAF Glatton is about 6 miles south of the town of Peterborough.

          Hoxne and Park Farm on Ordnance Survey mapping

          And Park Farm on Google maps

          Below; photo from the 457 Bomb Group Association showing some of the wreckage. The man is holding up part of the tail section. Looking at the ground rising beyond and the line of trees in the middle ground, the crash site may well be in the big field to the right of the farm, with this photo looking east. Maybe.
          7

          American Air Museum

          457 Bomb Group Association

          Aviation Archeological Research and Investigation On this page search by pressing (as you can on any page or document) Ctrl + F and in the search bar type 42-97236; it will take you to the entry for this aircraft.

          Accident-Report.com Do the same as above. You should be able to purchase a full accident report from this site.

          RAF Glatton with some photos from when 457 BG was based there.

          Incidentally a couple of years ago I happened to be in a WW2 vintage aircraft flying over Cambridgeshire (RAF Glatton is just north of here) and the pilot took us over the American Cemetery. In this short video the pilot refers to it at about one and a half minutes in and we do a fly past. Though you can’t see the cemetery in this view you will get an idea of the country your uncle flew over during the war. I am in the front seat by the way.

          Hope this answers your immediate questions and provides a basis for further research.

          Best regards,

          Ian

          • Sandy says:

            Ian,

            I can’t thank you enough. You’ve provided me with a wealth of information, and I’m eager to go through it more thoroughly. I could have searched for many more years and not found the wonderful sources you did. The footage of you flying was terrific as well. In some small way it’s comforting to see the area where he must have flown many times. I am so grateful that I’m nearly at a loss for words. This information means a great deal to me. It seems that my intuition led me to write the correct person after all.

            Thank you from the US!
            Sandy

          • Ian D B says:

            Hi Sandy,
            No problem, glad it has answered some questions for you. Sometimes the info is out there and it all opens up and its enjoyable to pirce the story together when it does (and there is more to be found I am sure, not least ironing out the discrepancies). Other times – such the as the request about the P-47 above – searches all end up pointing to the same very limited resource.
            Ian

          • Sandy says:

            Ian,

            I did try to look up the three survivors, and I was very surprised to see that James C. Hilty (listed as a survivor) actually died on that day, too. I saw a picture of the headstone of his grave on findagrave.com. It even listed his rank and squadron number (748). That’s why I knew I had the correct person. Even though there is a wealth of information online, it’s always good, like you have mentioned, to note that there are mistakes to wade through as well. I’m eager to keep going.

            Thanks again,
            Sandy

          • Ian D B says:

            Interesting to read that Sandy. If you find out any more you can add it here and then there will at least be a source of info for anyone else looking for it. Best of luck with your researches, hope to hear more. If ever I get down that part of the country I shall try to pin down the exact spot and add a photo of it.

            Best of luck!

            Ian

  3. John H.Collier says:

    Can you gie me any information on the crash of a USAAF P47 Razor back THunderbolt near the Blackbrook Reservoir (Shepshed Leicestershire)Around the end of the second world war) ? Thank you

  4. Roger Bean says:

    Archiving the history of Walcott-on-Sea, North Norfolk, at present researching plane crashes during WW2 I have researched the following B24 Liberator 29/4/44 [one killed the pilot] a Mosquito Bomber 13/9/44 [ all crew survived] and Whitley Bomber4/7/41 [all crew survived] I am sure there are more if any one can assist would be grateful.

  5. Claire L Moore says:

    Hi. My father grew up in Hoxne, Suffolk and I still live in the area. Can I help?

    • Sandy says:

      Claire,

      Thank you for your email earlier in the year. I had starred it so I would be certain to get back to it, but you see how effective that was. I just replied to Mike above, and I would gladly pose those same questions to you. I would really like to see newspaper or local archival accounts. Have you ever seen the wreckage or heard stories about this particular crash? Anything would be most appreciated. Thank you again so much for responding!

  6. Mike banham says:

    Hi there I grew up 1/4 of a mile away from the crash site in Hoxne and still shoot on the land regularly if I can be of any help there are plenty of local story’s about the crash!

    • Sandy says:

      Mike,

      Thanks so much for your email. Ian had posted a picture of some of the wreckage from my great uncle’s plane crash. I’ve heard that some of the planes are still located where they fell. I thought perhaps this crash occurred in an area that is far more populated now, and therefore, it may have been moved? Do you know where it may be currently? And you said there are many local stories about the crash? Would the area newspapers have an account of it? Where might I find that info? Thanks so much for writing. Obviously, I don’t check my email daily, but I’ll try to be better now. Thank you again. I’m eager to hear from you again.

  7. Derrick Palmer says:

    Just came across your website….Park Farm, Hoxne. Myself and a colleague have been metal detecting at Park Farm Hoxne for 15 years, in the early days we unearthed numerous fragments from the crashed aircraft, also included were many complete,bent and broken rounds of admonition. Each time we retrieved these items they were handed to the landowner who was aware of the crash site. Because there was a vast amount of small fragments we decided to cease detecting on that field.

    • Sandy says:

      Derrick, thank you for your reply. Would you happen to know the name of the landholder where you found the pieces of the plane? Do you know what they did with them? Do you know if there was more than one plane that went down there? Also, would you happen to know the name of the local newspaper there, or a source that may have more documentation of the actual crash? Again, thank you so much for replying. Do you live in this area now?

  8. Roger Bean says:

    Have left a previous message which have all been sorted, however need any info re a B17 which crashed off the North Norfolk coast at Walcott-on-Sea, during the WW2

  9. Richard Chapman says:

    Would any one have any info on a B-17 that came down and crashed landed near curry wood Halstead kent.

  10. Hugh Gibbons says:

    Well done for all of this. I thought you might enjoy a different take on a crashlanding site and how it’s flying along now.

    When you have time, look at http://www.thanksgivingfield.org and open up the Uplifting Guide and Mission 115Z PDFs. On Facebook.com/ukthanksgivingfield has some additions.

    Early next month, the family of our B17s tailgunner will be getting their historic cartridge, in a cheery ceremony at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs.

    Happy landings!

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Hugh, yeah that’s lovely. Used to work not that far from you at Heathrow.

      I found a detailed reference to 42-3351 though there are not many! I take it you know of this page? Has crew list and an account of the crash.

  11. steve warland says:

    Hi i would like to know a little more.about the 2 B17 that collided over Braintree Essex UK 1945 10 march

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