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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 98307
Last updated: 2 August 2020
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Date:10-MAY-1945
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic B17 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
Owner/operator:526th BSqn /379th BGp USAAF
Registration: 44-8198
C/n / msn: 7599
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Woolpack Lane, Braintree, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On the 10th May 1945, a group of B-17G Flying Fortresses from 379th Bomb Group USAAF, took off from their base at Kimbolton in Cambridgeshire. It is believed that this was an observation flight to give ground crews the opportunity to view the damage inflicted upon Germany.

On route the B17’s were flying in close formation at 1,200ft approaching Braintree & Bocking and without warning 44-8198 encountered severe turbulence caused by leading aircraft and a collision occurred with B-17G 44-8813. This aircraft, although damaged, was able to return to its base with no injuries to crew.

The tail of 44-8198 was severed from the main fuselage and was witnessed to “flutter to the ground” with a crew member still inside. It landed in a field at the end of Woolpack Lane, Braintree. The fuselage fell in a spiral dive, and disintegrated on impact. It landed on a market garden near to a Franciscan convent, off Bradford Street, Bocking, half-a-mile from the tail wreckage.

A memorial to the 11 men who died in the crash was unveiled at Rivermead, Bocking, Braintree on 10 May 2015. Some of the wreckage from the crash is now owned by the museum at Ridgewell. Crew of 44-8198 of the 526th Bombardment Squadron were...

1st Lt. Tom G (Pop) Piers (Pilot)
2nd Lt. William F Powell ( Co-Pilot)
2nd Lt. Paul A Massina (Navigator)
Cpl. George H Miller (Passenger)
1st Lt. Irving Nussbaum (Passenger)
M/Sgt. Wagner F Crane (Passenger)
T/Sgt. Jerrome A Grears (Passenger)
S/Sgt. Merrill J Blanck (Passenger)
S/Sgt. Leslie G Lusk (Passenger)
S/Sgt. Robert J Brookman (Passenger)
Tech. Cpl. Walker W Wallace.

All 11 men were killed just 2 days after VE Day 1945. B-17G 44-8813 limped back to Kimbolton.

Sources:

1. http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/db.asp
2. http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/16406
3. https://www.fold3.com/page/643041552-crew-of-44-8198-379th-bg
4. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1944_1.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Oct-2018 22:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
31-Oct-2018 15:01 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
31-Mar-2020 09:36 Reno Raines Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]

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