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Old 5th May 2019, 22:35
Kurtl12 Kurtl12 is offline
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2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

B-24G-16-NT S/N 42-78471 "Fertile Myrtle" flown by 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHE was shot down by German Focke Wulf 190 on August 23rd, 1944. What exactly happened to it's crew? Is there anyone still alive and known by any member of this forum?

Any info is highly welcome!

Regards, K.
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Old 6th May 2019, 13:36
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

MACR 7966
Battle number 24.
Mission 109 Markersdorf.
Photo of the aircraft as it wheels out of formation and goes down under fighter attack can be seen on page 38 of the Schiffer book, " The 451st Bombing Group in WW2, a pictorial History". by Mike Hill

This TOCH archive page may be helpful to you.
http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/archiv...p?t-21351.html
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Old 6th May 2019, 13:44
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

41 page MACR is here:

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/91044981

The MACR has the story that two men (possibly Hogan and Roettger) were shot after they killed civilians to avoid capture.

Fold3 also has some photos of the plane in the "free" section, including this one taken as it left the formation on its final mission.

https://www.fold3.com/image/29021405?terms=42-78471

Same photo appears here with the story of Hogan and Roettger being shot:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Warplanesnu...ertile_myrtle/


Story of the loss also appears here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=Wu...471%22&f=false

But this write up seems to imply that the four men who died were "all" found in the plane. Three of them, Donoghue, Hogan and Roettger are in this common grave:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...nce-o-roettger

while Ranville is buried in Michigan: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...ond-a-ranville

Note: common graves were often used when men were recovered from a crash and could not be identified, so that may (or may not) be significant. German records show the plane did burn on the ground.

The IDPF files for them, (particularly for Hogan and Roettger) may have information about exactly how they died. The file for Hogan could probably be ordered now. Roettger's file is in the last half of the alphabet (L-Z) that may be available next year.

Last edited by RSwank; 6th May 2019 at 14:29.
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Old 6th May 2019, 14:00
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

Out of interest
The picture in the B24 Best Web of "Fertile Myrtle" which is said to show 42-78471 looks to be an a/c without camouflage ? While that of "24" in the book is of a camouflaged a/c.
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Old 6th May 2019, 15:17
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Buckeye30 Buckeye30 is offline
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Re: 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

Alex.. "FERTILE MYRTLE" 42-78471 was a G-16-NT; starting mid-way through Block G-10-NT they were unpainted with Emerson nose turrets.The B-24 in photo V2 (pic.1) has a Consolidated turret and -CO anti-glare panel so is most likely Consolidated -built; plane in Pic.4 has Emerson turret and Dallas anti-glare ( and serial is clear). Painting seems to have been discontinued at the factory after 42-78200 which was camouflaged ( 42-78202 and 203 were unpainted).
Examples of G-10-NTs are 42-78230 "Silver Shark" and 42-78231 "Satan's Gal".
I think the dark colour in V2 Pic.2 is shadow ( note the sheen on the underside.).
There were varying styles of Olive Drab anti-glare panels in different factories. The Emerson turret was standardised in later production.
Nick

Last edited by Buckeye30; 6th May 2019 at 17:34. Reason: corrected serial.
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Old 8th May 2019, 22:21
Kurtl12 Kurtl12 is offline
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Re: 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

Gentlemen,

thank you very much for your efforts!
Especially the link to the book of Louis Head "Dancing in the Dark - Escape and Evasion during the Second World War" has drawn my attention to it. Some details of the crash only can be found there - not in the MACR!

I ordered the IDPF of the Copilot 2Lt. George HOGAN via http://www.mymilitaryservicerecords....n-a-wwii-idpf/ but did not receice any response so far. If anyone has any IDPF of that case and is willing to share - please let me know.

If you study the MACR 7966 and look carefully at the picture seen at reddit you might find the following details interesting:
2Lt Bitzinger, the ships Navigator reported that all crew members aft of the bomb bay bailed out of the camera hatch (aft escape hatch). He was pounding at the Emerson Nose Turret to warn Sgt. Black inside. Bitzinger helped Black out of his turret and opened the Nose Wheel Hatch while the forward gunner put on his parachute. Sgt. Black remembers that the Bombardier 2Lt. Roettger was already gone - probably towards the flight deck or bomb bay. Bitzinger also remembers that he saw the Bombardier Roettger and the Engineer SSgt. Ranville "crouced on the catwalk over the open bomb bay". This latter information is rather interesting because one eyewitness of the crash told me that one guy just left the plane short before the impact. He was found dead hanging on his chute on a large tree just 50 - 70 meters away of the impact zone...
Please find attached my analysis of the last picture of Fertily Myrtle.
Could it be that this picture was shot by SSgt. Leo Stoutsenberger out of the lead ship flown by 1Lt. Gomer E. Tudor? He also did the famous last pics of Extra Joker that day: http://451st.org/Aircraft/Aircraft.html

I believe that Fertile Myrtle was an aircraft without camouflage.
@ Nick: Thanks a lot for your input! I was not aware that the change over from camouflage to non camouflage can be tracked down that precisely. Is that only known for North American Dallas - built B-24 or also for Consolidated and Ford?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PICTURE ANALYSIS FERTILE MYRTLE.jpg (181.4 KB, 20 views)
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Old 11th May 2019, 16:04
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Re: 2Lt. Cornelius DONOGHUE and the fate of B-24G "FERTILE MYRTLE"

Hi Kurt. I havn't seen any official documents for factories to stop painting their B-24s but I did this some years ago based on photos. Apparently the J-models from FO/DT/NT were all unpainted as were Ls and Ms from CO/FO.
Some later B-24s look to be camouflaged but some were Pathfinders painted overall grey. Most NMF Night Leaflet Squadron B-24s were painted, Non-Specular Black then Gloss Black.
Nick

Nick
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File Type: jpg b24-paint.jpg (96.7 KB, 12 views)
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