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Old 16th June 2006, 10:32
Dennis Peschier Dennis Peschier is offline
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Dunkirk, April 12 1944 MACR 3745

Gentleman

I’m researching the loss of B-26 42-107581. On 12 April 1944 it was leading the 558BS to a missile site near Dunkirk. Just after the release of the bombs it was hit by flak which took of one wing. Of the nine crewman, one was thrown clear and landed by parachute.
The plane itself crashed just outside Dunkirk Harbour (less than 1km). Three crewmen have no known grave, one is buried in Belgium, one survived and four were probably buried in the US.

I have the MACR but I was wondering if there is any information available from Dunkirk? I think that the wreck was recovered from the sea at the time and that bodies of 4 crewman were found, and initially buried near Dunkirk. I have however no way of checking this.
Do any of the members of this board have contacts in or near Dunkirk?

Any information will be appreciated,

Dennis.

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Old 2nd November 2008, 08:45
Cherlyn Caldwell Cherlyn Caldwell is offline
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Re: Dunkirk, April 12 1944 MACR 3745

Denis,

The pilot of the B-26 you are inquiring about was my second cousin: Col. Jack Edward Caldwell. Please let me know what you find out. Jack died seven months prior to my birth. My family has discussed him so often. Please. Thank you, Cherlyn Caldwell (858)488-5462

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Originally Posted by Dennis Peschier View Post
Gentleman

I’m researching the loss of B-26 42-107581. On 12 April 1944 it was leading the 558BS to a missile site near Dunkirk. Just after the release of the bombs it was hit by flak which took of one wing. Of the nine crewman, one was thrown clear and landed by parachute.
The plane itself crashed just outside Dunkirk Harbour (less than 1km). Three crewmen have no known grave, one is buried in Belgium, one survived and four were probably buried in the US.

I have the MACR but I was wondering if there is any information available from Dunkirk? I think that the wreck was recovered from the sea at the time and that bodies of 4 crewman were found, and initially buried near Dunkirk. I have however no way of checking this.
Do any of the members of this board have contacts in or near Dunkirk?

Any information will be appreciated,

Dennis.

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  #3  
Old 2nd November 2008, 11:30
Ex Shack Ex Shack is offline
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Re: Dunkirk, April 12 1944 MACR 3745

Hi Dennis
May I question the crew numbers? As far as I know the B26 Marauder had a crew of only 6 and whilst it is not impossible for extras to be on board it seems unlikely that there would have been 3. Dunkirk remained in German hands until the end of the war when it surrendered on May 8th 1945 following the German Unconditional Surrender. It is possible that the local population were never involved in any burials and the German records may not have survived
Regards
Dick
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Old 2nd November 2008, 23:56
Dennis Peschier Dennis Peschier is offline
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Re: Dunkirk, April 12 1944 MACR 3745

DICK,
This B-26 was unusual in that it did have a crew of 9. It was the lead plane with the commanding officer. Their tasks were describes as:
Bombardier
Navigator
Nav-bomber
Pilot
Co-pilot
Engineer gunner
Radio gunner
Formation control observer
Tail gunner
If anyone can tell met what a “nav-bomber” does feel free to respond.
CHERLYN; you have a PM

Dennis
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Old 3rd November 2008, 11:19
Ex Shack Ex Shack is offline
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Re: Dunkirk, April 12 1944 MACR 3745

Hi Dennis
I suspect that the Nav-bomber was a bomb aimer but was qualified as a Navigator and could have flown as such on other missions. Because your a/c was the lead plane it seems reasonable that he was a Senior Nav on the Unit and the mission was conducted, like so many USAAC missions, with the whole formation releasing bombs on the signal of the lead Bomb Aimer, hence a senior,experienced, man in the lead plane who could have taken over from the Bombardier if he thought it necessary to achieve the right accuracy and concentration
Regards
Dick
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