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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 97863
Last updated: 7 May 2019
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Date:20-FEB-1944
Time:18:10
Type:Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress
Owner/operator:303rd BG, 359th BS, USAAF
Registration: 42-97553
C/n / msn: 6918
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 10
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Fintragh Strand, Killybegs, County Donegal -   Ireland
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Kearney AAF, Nebraska, USA
Destination airport:RAF Prestwick Glasgow (EGPF)
Narrative:
This aircraft was force landed in the water just off the strand at Fintragh, Killybegs, County Donegal. All 10 crew slightly injured but were able to be handed over the border on 21 February 1944. They went on to serve with the 303rd Bomb Group. The aircraft was blown up on Feb 24th. Crew of 42-97553:

2/Lt Frederick L. ROWAN O-806346
2/Lt William G. MOYER O-748745
2/Lt Robert L. BATES O-695853
2/Lt Loren F. RAWLINGS O-741283 POW
Sgt Robert W. HANSON 16094882
Sgt Lyman E. ELA Jr 31218566
Sgt Vachel ROUGHLEY 18168359
Sgt Earl D. SALMON 39275995
Sgt John L. ARENDT 16170569
Sgt Theodore ""Ted"" G. MILLER 32796784

According to the records of the 303rd Bomb Group, USAAF (see link #3):

"The Rowan crew crash landed their new B-17G-20-VE after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in appalling weather. While en route, they ran into severe electrical storms and their aircraft was hit by lightning. The radio operator had difficulty getting signals and the winds created navigational problems. Knowing that they might have a problem in reaching land, the pilot ordered the crew to throw out all excess weight. The aircraft was ditched within sight of land and the crew could observe fires that had been built on shore by some Irishmen. The crew had only one life raft and five men climbed aboard and the other five hung on to the sides. Reaching land they were provided hospitality and warmth in a large summer home (Hotel) believed to have been owned by a Doctor O'Bern. Actual ditching was on a sandbar near the beach at Fintragh Strand, Killybegs, Donegal, Ireland at 18:10 hours. After a pleasant recuperation the crew "escaped" from the Irish Republic and reported to the 359th Bomb Ssquadron on 17 March 1944. U.S. Army engineers blew up the B-17 that was left stranded on the sandbar.

Sources:

1. http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/db.asp
2. http://www.ww2irishaviation.com
3. http://www.303rdbg.com/359rowan.html
4. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1942_5.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
08-Oct-2012 05:21 Uli Elch Updated
10-Dec-2017 20:38 Dr. John Smith Updated
23-Oct-2018 20:22 Nepa Updated
04-Jan-2019 07:26 dp_burke Updated

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