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  #1  
Old 8th January 2018, 19:17
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knusel knusel is offline
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Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Good evening Gentlemen,

can anybody tell me who the pilot of B-17 gunner ace Michael Arooth was ?

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 8th January 2018, 21:37
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Aircraft 42-29896 379th BG, 527th SQ. (FO-V) "Tondelayo" ditched on the Stuttgart (ball bearings) missions, September 6, 1943 but all 10 men returned.

Fawkes Bohn E. Jr, 2nd Lt, P
Mauldin, Charles A, 2nd Lt, CP
Bendiner, Elmer S, 2nd Lt, N
Hejny, Robert L, 2nd Lt, B
Reinhard, Frederick J, T/SGT, RO
Reedman, Lawrence H, T/SGT, TT
Gray, Walter J, T/SGT, BT
Edwards, Harry L, S/SGT, RW
Leary, John A, S/SGT, LW
Arooth, Michael (NMI), T/SGT, TG

A little on Arooth here:
https://lflank.wordpress.com/2015/03...forgotten-ace/

Note: this link gives a little different crew list (perhaps the original Brink's crew):


https://airforce.togetherweserved.co...rson&ID=140452



2 Lt Carl W, Brink, Jr p
2 Lt Bohn E. Fawkes. Jr c-p
2 Lt Elmer S. Bendiner nav
2 Lt Robert L. Hejuy bomb
TSgt Lawrence H. Redmann eng/tt gun
Sgt Herbert J. ??
Sgt Frederic W. ??
Sgt John A. Leary
SSgt Elvin E. Doll
SSgt Michael L. Arooth tail gun

Brink was flying as co-pilot on 42-5810 on 29 July 43. The plane was shot down and Brink became a POW. Brink notes in the MACR that he was just checking out the pilot's (Richard F Johnson's) formation flying and this was not his regular crew. I think Fawkes then "inherited" the Brink's crew.


This photo of the crew: https://www.fold3.com/image/48252845

Has this crew list:

This is Fawkes' crew : 2Lt Bohn E Fawkes Jr (pilot) 2Lt Charles A Mauldin (co-pilot) born on sept 2nd, 1919 - passed away on feb 17th, 2007 2Lt Elmer S Bendiner (navigator) 2Lt Robert L Hejny (bombardier) born on jan 5th, 1920 - passed away on aug 5th, 1985 T/Sgt Frederick J Reinhard (radio operator) T/Sgt Lawrence H Reedman (engineer) T/Sgt Walter J Gray (ball turret gunner) S/Sgt Harry L Edwards (right waist gunner) S/Sgt John A Leary (left waist gunner) T/Sgt Michael Arooth (tail gunner)

Last edited by RSwank; 10th January 2018 at 13:34.
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Old 9th January 2018, 09:45
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Good morning RSwank,

thanks for your answer.
I cannot open the crew photo. Does the nose art on the plane reveal how many planes its crewmen shot down ?

Michael
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Old 9th January 2018, 18:47
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

The fold3 photos are free to view, but you may have to register.

The photo shows two bomb markings and no planes shot down (correction 1 plane shot down see posts 6 & 7), so it was taken soon after they started to fly missions. That makes me think that Brink may be in the photo also. Hmmm.... Something else to look into.

Last edited by RSwank; 10th January 2018 at 14:15.
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Old 9th January 2018, 23:20
Col Bruggy Col Bruggy is offline
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Hello,

And Elmer Bendiner's character assessment (assassination?) of Michael Arooth:

"Our tail gunner was a saw-toothed, swarthy little man, a street-wise Ulysses, cunning and winning. Mike could have been a trader in a Moroccan bazaar or a taxi driver with a detailed guide to the whims of every passenger's flickering heart and mind. He was a superb gunner, but if he had not been he would have made me think he was."

Bendiner also has a few "pen-portraits" of the other members of his crew/commanders.

See:
The Fall Of Fortresses A Personal Account of one of the Most Daring - and Deadly - Air Battles of the Second World War.
Bendiner,Elmer
London:Souvenir Press,1981.
pp.43-53

Col.

Last edited by Col Bruggy; 10th January 2018 at 10:11.
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Old 10th January 2018, 09:37
Wayne400 Wayne400 is offline
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Just looking at the photo, and there is a swastika painted below the two bomb markings, so at that time one aircraft shot down.
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Old 10th January 2018, 13:38
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Wayne, you are correct on the swastika. I missed it. The 379th BG started flying missions on 29 May 1943. The next four missions were 11 June, 13 June, 22 June and 25 June. So that gives a rough time frame for the photo. The man standing 2nd from the right (back row) may be Carl W Brink, Jr. I found an obit for Carl which included a photo of him as an old man and there are some similarities.

The plane in the background may be 42-29796. The numbers are fuzzy and hard to make out so this is just a guess. However, 42-29796 was also in the 537th BS and was lost 28 July 1943.
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Old 10th January 2018, 16:32
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

Good afternoon Gentlemen,

is it possible to estimate who was the pilot for the majority of Arooth's kills ?

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 14th January 2018, 14:26
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Re: Michael Arooth, B-17 gunner ace

...or is it known which B-17 was the one whose gunner scored the most aerial kills ?

Michael
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