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Old 21st December 2014, 00:39
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Danny152 Danny152 is offline
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B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Hiya,

I am trying to carry out the research of a B17 crew that normally flew in Belle of the Blue, crew lost on 29 nov 1943, flying aboard 42-37874 "Who Dat Ding Bat", mission to Bremen, ran out of fuel, try to ditch in the vicinity of Texel Island, Netherlands 10 MIA

Crew lost : Capt William L Swope (pilot) was born on dec 13th, 1915 1Lt Norman L Weider 2Lt Douglas H Baker (bombardier) 2Lt Robert C H Prolow T/Sgt Stanley Robinson S/Sgt Elmer F Congdon S/Sgt James H Harbison S/Sgt Francis J Magner S/Sgt Earl R Robinson S/Sgt Richard E Street

I am after any extra information on the crew or their families, I know Prolow and Congdon were washed up at Whistable but Congdon I cannot locate his grave? Anything extra to add would be great for my research. Does anyone know of the crash site on the island of Texel. And the mission they were on that fateful night?

Thanks

Danny
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Old 21st December 2014, 00:55
Larry Larry is offline
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Danny, wasn't it a daylight mission? And BTW you did not mention the unit if you know it.
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Old 21st December 2014, 01:24
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Elmer F Congdon is buried in New Haven CT, Beaverdale Cemetery.

This is his grave. The date shown is when he was reburied in the US.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...&GRid=17298727

The mission was to Bremen and they went down on the return at 14:36. They had radioed when they left the formation over the Zeider Zee that they had about 30 minutes of fuel left and would try to make it to England. I think the plane went into the sea off Texel. Since Congdon and Prolow were found dead, drifted ashore in England on 15 December with a 5 man life raft , it would appear that they crash landed in sea rather than bailed out individually. The life raft would have been on the plane. Congdon's body was in the raft and Prolow's body was about 200 yards away.
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Last edited by RSwank; 21st December 2014 at 02:00.
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Old 21st December 2014, 02:45
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Hello,
Took off in the early afternoon.
MACR 1532- 42-37874 - 385 BG/548BS. said to be running out of fuel elected to return to England, but seen to be going down over
Would not think that the aircraft crashed across the channel as one man was found near to a dinghy , the second was in it.

Baker, Magner and Street are remembered on the Tablets of the Missing at Margraten, Netherlands.

The other six are all remembered on the Tablets of the Missing or at rest in Cambridge American Cemetery, England.

Except Congdon, perhaps he was returned to the states and is in a private cemetery ?

I see from the above post that Congdon was indeed returned to the USA, however in the Findagrave.com link given it shows the date of death as August 4th 1948, this should be corrected as I think it to be the year of return.

Well done Roland, your faster on the keyboard than me

Alex
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Old 21st December 2014, 12:23
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Gents,

Great help and with the confusion of Elmer and his burial site location. The timings and mission details helped!

Regards,

Danny
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Old 21st December 2014, 12:26
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Did she take damage then to lose that much fuel? AA or fighter fire? It was ashame as they were on there 22nd mission.
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Old 21st December 2014, 16:26
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Danny, there are some inconsistencies in this. There is a great website you can use to get an overall picture of events that day: here is a link to the starting page:
http://www.8thafhs.com/
Click on the Missions circle and enter the date 11/29/1943. That gets you to the official mission report page, but you need to dig through the other links, in particular Mission Reports and Mission Statistics. It takes a little time to follow all the resulting links. (If you have access to fold3.com you can also follow up on the actual MACRs.)


It looks like some of the planes took off around 10 to 10:30 in the morning. The weather was terrible and I notice is that at least 200 planes did not complete the mission. Bremen is actually bombed according to some the info there around 14:40, which is about the time given for the Swope crash. That leads to the question of did they actually go to Bremen or had they aborted earlier or is the time (or the location) when they made the radio call in the Swope MACR incorrect?
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Old 21st December 2014, 17:52
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

That's a very useful website, thanks. It is amazing to see how many aircraft aborted or had non combat incidents!

Thanks

Danny
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Old 22nd December 2014, 18:15
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Re: B17 Belle of the Blue info needed....

Use the controls on the left to zoom in, etc..

http://www.fold3.com/image/161216253/
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