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B 17G 42-31427 ditched in the Baltic Sea 11/4 1944.
The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 305 Bomb Group, 364 Bomb Squadron
and was coded WF-?.
T/O Chelveston. OP: Poznan.
42-31427 was hit by flak over the target and had to feather a propeller. On the
return flight it left the formation and headed for Sweden. 25 miles east south
east of Tejn on the island of Bornholm Pilot 1st Lt Calvin Vanee found necessary
to ditch the B 17. At 15:00 hours he made a perfect landing after which the crew
entered the B 17`s two dinghies. The ditching had been observed from the Danish
fishing boat RØ 40 “Dannebrog” of Tejn and at 15:30 Skipper Gaarde Jensen was
beside the dinghies. The flyers transferred to the fishing boat and the dinghies
were taken in tow. Due to the presence of a German patrol boat guarding the
fishing place it was not possible for Jensen to sail the flyers to Sweden and at
19:00 hours “Dannebrog” arrived at Tejn harbour. After about 1½ hour the flyers
were picked up by a Wehrmacht truck and taken to Rønne.
(Via Niels Christian Pihl)
Before the prisoners were taken away a young Dane managed to get their names and
put them down in writing.
The flyers were 1st Lt Calvin Vanee, 1st Lt John W. Raedeke, 2nd Lt Norman H.
Blum, Lawrence Bernier, Iney Little, S/Sgt Morvin J. Hulsey, S/Sgt Robert
Ostrander, Albert H. Miller, S/Sgt Clive Bishop and S/Sgt Robert Bain.
They were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel for interrogation and after a few days
to different POW camps.
Vance and Blum were sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan and later to Stalag XIIID
Raedeke was sent to Stalag Luft I Barth and on to Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow.
Hulsey, Bishop, Bein and Bernier were sent to Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf
near Krems in Austria.
It is not known where Little, Ostander and Miller were sent.
Sources: FB, Rigspolitiet Report, LBUK, FT, Bornholmske Samlinger 1976.
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