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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:15 am 
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Thread drift ahoy!

Getting back on topic, when further information comes to light this thread is in line for a bit of housekeeping, unless anyone has any objections.
General banter of this sort really ought to take place out on the Hardstands, which is where the previous few posts will probably end up.

Let's keep the formation tight and tidy gentlemen. ;)

PB

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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Lloyd,

I should first apologize for dredging up such an old post. Anyway, I too have an interest in this particular crash. The pilot of 43-39078 that day was my Uncle. He and 5 of his crew were killed; 3 survived. If you're still interested, I can provide the rest of the story.

Rick


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File comment: Memorial plaque at Little Walden
B-17Plaque.jpg
B-17Plaque.jpg [ 254.63 KiB | Viewed 1840 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Rick G thank you for the response..would love to know more as no one seems to know anything locally about the crash.

Regards

Lloyd

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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:18 am 
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Hi Lloyd, sorry for the delay.

43-39078 is mentioned in a few of the Martin Bowman books as one of 3 aircraft lost by the 493rd on 30 March 45. The most complete account is in Helton's Hellcats. They were returning from mission 141, bombing the submarine pens at Hamburg. This was the crew's first mission. The aircraft sustained flak damage over the target and was returning with the #4 engine out, and nearly out of fuel. Concerned about the fuel state, Russ waited until the last moment to lower the flaps. Immediately the right wing dropped. The crew thought that the #3 engine had stopped as well, but in reality the flaps had deployed asymmetrically due to the right flap cable having been severed by the flak hit. Unable to compensate, the right wing struck the ground, and the aircraft broke in half at the trailing edge. The front of the plane came to rest upside down, with 5 crew members being killed instantly. Russ died some six hours later.

My father was serving in Germany at the time (...spotting artillery from an L4), and recalled being met by his CO upon landing, and getting the news about his brother. He was always reluctant to discuss this in any great detail, but did mention that several of the crew survived. I only learned the actual cause of the crash after seeing the book. I'm guessing that the crash was on the approach to either runway 28 or 22, since the account suggests that the aircraft came to rest in 'a farmer's field'. and both of those runways appear to begin at the edge of the airfield.

If anyone has any more info they could share, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've been trying on and off for years to piece together the details. This has gotten somewhat easier as more and more content has be posted to various sites over the last few years.

Rick


Last edited by RickG on Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:07 am 
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...and a crew photo. Not sure if this is actually 43-39078, or what the aircraft name, just visible at the top, might be. Lt. Goodspeed is in sunglasses in the front row. The co-pilot, Lt. Roger Laib, is next to him, second from left. He survived, and is credited in the book, so I imagine that he provided the details of the crash and perhaps the photo in the book (a scan of the one below). I can't identify any of the others in the photo specifically, but the whole crew was:

Lt. Russell A. Goodspeed – Pilot
Lt. Roger D. Laib – Co-pilot (survived)
Lt. Harold G. Teter(s)– Navigator (survived)
Sgt. Harry N. Davis – Engineer (survived)
Sgt. Clinton E. Halverson – Tail Gunner
Sgt. Robert M. Brewer Jr. – Ball Turret Gunner
Sgt. George P. Constandakis - Bombardier
Sgt. Haskell E. Newman – Waist Gunner
Sgt. Frank J. Lee – Radio Operator


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File comment: Crew of 43-39078 from http://www.493bgdebach.co.uk/gallerycrews.php
Lt Goodspeed Crew.jpg
Lt Goodspeed Crew.jpg [ 61.09 KiB | Viewed 1720 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Brilliant stuff.....now the next question is..(Paul B ?) does anyone have a crash location...?

Rick G thankyou for the photos as i am trying piece together more info regarding this

Regards

Lloyd

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 Post subject: Re: 493rd BG B-17 crash Jan-Feb 1945 at Linton Cambs
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:03 pm 
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I'm assuming here that due to the 'low and slow' nature of the crash, and that the entire aircraft and all crew were recovered, that we're not overly concerned with divulging the exact location. There's likely nothing to be found here. I've been looking at this map: http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=52.068559 ... 15&l=0&m=b

The locals may have a better sense of this, but my guess is that the 2 areas in red below are the most likely. As I mentioned, the published account of the crash described the aircraft as "coming to rest in a farmer's field". This sounds like it was off the airfield itself, but maybe quite near the runway threshhold. Runway 16-34 terminates well inside the airfield boundary, as do 10 and 04. I'm not sure how accurate this diagram is, since there appears to have been another loop dispersal just to the West of area 2, and outside the marked area. Pure speculation on my part, but it's a theory. I'd be interested to hear if you are able to find out for sure.

Rick


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File comment: Map of Little Walden and surrounding area from: http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=52.0685593&lon=0.270195&z=15&l=0&m=b
LittleWalden.png
LittleWalden.png [ 977.85 KiB | Viewed 1598 times ]
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