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Ford B-24H-30-FO Liberator, s/n 42-95379 ( " Extra Joker" )

A B-24, named “Extra Joker,” was hit by flak while flying over Austria. Although the fire behind engine number one seems small in this picture - see the left wing - the plane’s strafing damage was actually fatal. It was just moments away from an explosion which killed the whole crew.

NARA provides more details about the doomed plane:

This is a Ford B-24H-30-FO Liberator, s/n [serial number] 42-95379, attached to the 725th Bomb Squadron, 451st Bomb Group, 15th Air Force.

This aircraft is pictured just moments before it burst into flames and went out of control, all ten crew members were KIA [killed in action]. It was attacked by FW-190s over Turnitz, Austria on 23 August 1944. You can see the fire that had just started on the left wing behind the #1 engine.


The lost crew members were:

1st Lt. Kenneth A. Whiting - pilot (KIA) Salt Lake City, Utah

1st Lt. Alvin W. Moore - copilot (KIA) McMinnville, Oregon

2nd Lt. Francis J. Bednarek - navigator (KIA) Ashley, Pennsylvania

2nd Lt. Edward S. Waneski - bombardier (KIA) Brooklyn, New York

Sgt. Peter Breda - top turret gunner (KIA) Lima, Ohio

Sgt. Harry V. Bates - ball turret gunner (KIA) Reinholds, Pennsylvania

Sgt. Joseph Garbacz - right waist gunner (KIA) Detroit, Michigan

S/Sgt. Milton R. Nitsch - left waist gunner (KIA) Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Sgt. Elmer J. Anderson - nose turret gunner (KIA) Los Angeles, California

Sgt. Oscar W. Bateman - tail turret gunner (KIA) Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Tags: 1940-е, usa, usaf, ww2, авиация, память, печальное
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