11/i/44 – Scrambled to look for USAF Fortresses in trouble

11th January 14:10
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
Lousy weather & no target, so quick check at 1000ft. R/T very poor.

Under Trimley GCI control to look for Fortresses of the US 8th Airforce, in trouble in bad weather after a day raid. Found one in the act of crash landing OK on one wheel. The other had managed to land in the meantime. R/T now completely U/S

A search on the 8th US Air Force Historical Society website http://www.8thafhs.com shows that the likely candidate for the crash landing was aircraft 42-31187 “Buckeye Boomerang” of the 91st Bombing Group, piloted by Lt John R Davis. The photo undated below is from the 91st Bomb Group website http://www.91stbombgroup.com and shows this aircraft after a crash landing.

An annotation on a less clear photo of this aircraft that can be seen  here states:

B-17G 42-31187 “Buckeye Boomerang” (coded LL-F) of the 401st Bomb Sq, 91st BG. Beaten up on the 11 January 1944 raid to Oschersleben, the “Boomerang” limped back to a slippery landing on the slush-covered runway at Deopham Green. She slid off and sustained more damage; repairs would take until early March. Returning to Bassingbourn in rapidly deteriorating weather on 4 March, CAPT Donald Garrett ended up crash-landing just inside the airfield’s boundary; although the crew walked away, she was done for good. (Source – Annotation by user “gmasher“)

So although it is unlikely but not impossible that this photo from the day in question, it is most probably the aircraft Broody witnessed crash landing.


Photo source – 91st Bomb Group website ©B. Pulliam


One response to “11/i/44 – Scrambled to look for USAF Fortresses in trouble

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