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B17 42-3347 "Charlene"

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Chappers1963, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Chappers1963

    Chappers1963 recruit

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    Looking for info on this Aircraft 42-3347, I've got a bit of info so far which is very interesting and intriguing . Interested in the aircrafts roll on the Second Schwienfurt Raid 14/10/1943 ....Pilot Emery R Chesmore.



    Regards

    Steve
     
  2. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Any chance you could let us know what you have so far? - it will stop us all telling you stuff you already know and save us some searching time. :)
     
  3. Chappers1963

    Chappers1963 recruit

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    Ok Here goes :

    A B17 Aircraft that crashed in Lapworth, Warwickshire,England with no crew on board that was probably on the Schweinfurt Raid crashed 14/10/1943 crew bailed out approx 140 miles from resting place aircraft from eye witness's suggest a surface crash and the aircraft apart from a damage wing was in one piece,so possibly salvageable!!!.. Roger Freeman Book states 42-3347 Salvaged 14/10/43
    Aircraft Log reads :
    On 14 October 1943, 42-3347, Charlene, went on a mission to bomb Schweinfurt. When it was so badly damaged that the crew thought it could not land safely, the crew apparently bailed out and Charlene crashed, as you related. The full crew was:
    Pilot-Emery R. Chesmore, 2nd Lt.
    Co-Pilot-John Chesnut, Jr., 2nd Lt.
    Navigator-Arthur J. Leady, 2nd Lt.
    Bombrdier-John V. Matthews, 2nd Lt.
    Top Turret Gunner/Engineer-Vincenzo Viealvi, T/Sgt.
    Radio Operator-Cerney Lett, S/Sgt.
    Batt Turret Gunner-James F. Simpson, S/Sgt.
    Tail Gunner-Earl C. Fahl, S/Sgt.
    Waist Gunner,Left-James E. F. Collins, S/Sgt.
    Waist Gunner, Right-Nicholas Popadya, S/Sgt.
    I have a 20 page narrative of the mission, but it tells nothing of the crash of Charlene, only that this crew was with the 96th Bomb Group, but led the 385th on this mission. The 385th record states that 42-3347 was loaned to the 96 Bomb Group for this mission. I believe this is the reason: The new H2X radar, called "Mickey" had just been developed for bombing through cloudes. Only a few B-17's were so equipped at this time. (Later many were.) Only a few Bomb Groups had Bombardiers and crew trained in its use. Probably the only 385th BG B-17 equipped with Mickey was 42-3347, but on this mission needed a trained crew. Later, when I flew my missions, the 385th used its own crews that had been trained in Mickey use.
    The combat record of 42-3347, attached, shows that it flew missions AFTER 14 Oct 43 !! It is not clear how this happened. Perhaps it wasn't so badly damaged that it could not be repaired. Such things did happen. Or perhaps, the pilot, alone, stayed on board to try for a crash-landing in an attempt to save the aircraft. (And he may have!)
    If you find anything more, please let me know.
    -Bill Varnedoe

    This is a list of missions flown by "Charlene" Interesting the 2 months after the 14th October without a mission!!!!

    Name Pos M Date Target Crew B-17 Name
    Bates, Earl R. B 8 12-Aug-43 Bonn Hutchison 42-3347 Charlene
    Curtis, Charles G. CP 8 12-Aug-43 Bonn Huchison 42-3347 Charlene
    Epps, John E. N 8 12-Aug-43 Bonn Hutchison 42-3347 Charlene
    Hutchison, John N. P 8 12-Aug-43 Bonn Hutchison 42-3347 Charlene
    Lucey, John R. RO 8 12-Aug-43 Bonn Hutchison 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 9 15-Aug-43 Vitryen-Artois Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 9 15-Aug-43 Vitryen-Artois Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Hoagland, William H. CP 9 15-Aug-43 Vitryen-Artois Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Albert, Frederick D. N 10 17-Aug-43 Regensberg Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Betow, Thomas H. B 10 17-Aug-43 Regensberg Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Day, Stewart H. G 10 17-Aug-43 Regensberg Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Kleuser, Theodore J. CP 10 17-Aug-43 Regensberg Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Levine, Arnold O 10 17-Aug-43 Regensberg Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Albert, Frederick D. N 13 24-Aug-43 Bordeaux (return) Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Betow, Thomas H. B 13 24-Aug-43 Bordeaux (return) Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    DeGraw, Leo N. G 13 24-Aug-43 Bordeaux (return) Weikert 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 15 06-Sep-43 Dieppe Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 15 06-Sep-43 Dieppe Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 18 15-Sep-43 Paris Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 18 15-Sep-43 Paris Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 19 16-Sep-43 Cagnac Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 19 16-Sep-43 Cagnac Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 20 23-Sep-43 Kerlin Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Bobulski, Peter, Jr. G 21 26-Sep-43 Rheime Champage Cerrone 42-3347 Charlene
    Corgnatti, M Filip G 21 26-Sep-43 Rheime Champage Cerrone 42-3347 Charlene
    Edgins, Harry R. G 21 26-Sep-43 Rheime Champage Cerrone 42-3347 Charlene
    Flagler, William F. CP 21 26-Sep-43 Rheime Champage Cerrone 42-3347 Charlene
    Kelley, John H.. RO 21 26-Sep-43 Rheime Champage Cerrone 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 23 02-Oct-43 Emden Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 24 04-Oct-43 St. Pizier Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 25 08-Oct-43 Bremen Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 25 08-Oct-43 Bremen Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 26 09-Oct-43 Marienberg Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 26 09-Oct-43 Marienberg Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Allder, Melvin I. G 27 10-Oct-43 Munster Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    Amato, Albert J. B 27 10-Oct-43 Munster Robinson 42-3347 Charlene
    96 BG crew All 28 14-Oct-43 Scheinfurt Chesmore 42-3347 Charlene
    Kaplan, Bernard N 42 13-Dec-43 Kiel Palmer 42-3347 Charlene
    Love, Stewart M. WGR 42 13-Dec-43 Kiel Palmer 42-3347 Charlene
    Loveland, Elmore S. TG 42 13-Dec-43 Kiel Palmer 42-3347 Charlene
    Allez, Fred W. RO 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Bailey, E. D. P 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Bresher, M. W. WGL 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Coble, D. F. WGR 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Corbin, Wayne D. CP 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Gillis, Melvin D. BTG 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Hess, Malcolm TG 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene
    Lyteck, C. TTG 51 07-Jan-44 Ludigshofen Bailey 42-3347 Charlene


    This is another email received from Geoff Ward 96th BG historian


    he 96th Bomb Group lead the 3rd BD on the 14-10-43 Schweinfurt mission. It was required to dispatch a double strength Group, which totalled 41 aircraft. This I believe was the only group to do so for that mission. It was in September 43 that the group had doubled its compliment of aircraft.

    It is stated that to enable the Group to dispatch 41 aircraft it had to borrow spares from other Groups in the 3rd BD.
    There were 2 from the 385thBG, 4 from the 94thBG. (347 was from the 385th)

    Lt Emery Chesmore and his crew were from the 338th Squadron, 96th BG and the were eventually MIA on Dec 13th 1943 - all POW.

    All the borrowed aircraft flew in the low Squadron the the 96th B Group with one 96th aircraft, 42-30180, leading.

    The group were attacked by enemy fighters over France on their return and it appears that
    347 suffered extensive battle damage in these attacks. Chesmore decided that rather than risk trying to land the badly damaged aircraft, the crew would bale out and abandon it.
    I do not know exactly where the crew bailed out, but presumably it was somewhere near to Snetterton in Norfolk and it is amazing that 347 flew so far before crashing in Warwickshire.

    It was not a good mission for the 96th, they lost 7 aircraft, which was almost half the total 15 lost by the whole of the 3rd BD. Aslo 5 aircraft landed back at other bases in England with battle damage and 2 men were brought back dead and 5 badly wounded.

    I trust this information may help to answer some of the questions you have on this crash.

    Sincerely
    Geoff Ward
     
  4. JAY HODSHON

    JAY HODSHON recruit

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    MY BROTHER IN-LAW LEO E. DEGRAW AND OTHERS FROM THE MARY PAT WERE ON THE CHARLENE 24AUG43 BETOW. FREDERICK, DEGRAW THE PILOT WAS WEIKERT. THEY WERE ON THE FIGHTIN COCK 5DEC43 WHEN THEY WERE HIT AND DITCHED IN THE BAY OF BISCAY FRANCE. 7 KIA/MIA 3 POWs 910-270-0785 E-MAIL HODSHON1@AOL.COM
     

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