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B 17F 42-29939 crashed in the Baltic Sea 11/4 1944.
The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 96 Bomb Group, 338 Bomb Squadron
and was coded BX-X.
T/O Snetterton. OP: Poznan.
42-29939 was attacked by German fighters and crashed into the Baltic Sea not far
from the island of Bornholm. Four crew members managed to bail out of the
aircraft before the crash. Left waist gunner Sgt Wilfred A. Dennis landed in the
sea and was picked up by a German patrol boat. He was taken to the captain and
requested that the captain searched for survivors. He denied that, saying that
he had to report back to port immediately. It is not known to which prisoner of
war camp he was sent.
Also Right waist gunner S/Sgt Raymond F. Ritz, Tail gunner Sgt Burdette L.
Borradaile and Ball turret gunner Sgt Owen L. Cantrell managed to get out but
did not survive. They have no known graves and their names are found on Tablets
of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.
When the B 17 crashed seven men is believed to have been inside it. They were
Pilot 2nd Lt William J. Young, Co-pilot 2nd Lt Thomas B. Hilton, Navigator 2nd
Lt John A. Ashmead Jr., Bombardier 2nd Lt Orville L. Hayes, Engineer Sgt Ernest
Weekes Jr., Radio operator S/Sgt Albertus T. Onsgard and Photographer S/Sgt
Eugene H. Ryan.
On 7/8 the body of Thomas Hilton was washed ashore near Warnemünde and was laid
to rest in Rostock-Warnemünde New cemetery on 8/8 1944. His remains were
disinterred after the war and were evacuated to the American cemetery at
Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military
On 8/8 1844 the body of an unknown flyer was laid to rest in Korsør cemetery on
the island of Sjælland. After the war it was identified as being John Ashmead.
His remains were disinterred on 29/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American
cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.
Here can also be found the grave of William Young while the rest have no known
graves and their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American
Cemetery, Cambridge, England.
The location of the crash is given in the MACR. Based on the locations where
Ashmead and Hilton were found the author of this home page will however expect
it to be somewhere between the island of Lolland and Fehmarn / Warnemünde which
is quite a bit more westerly.
Sources: MACR, ABMC, FAF
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