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B 17G-BO 43-37629 crashed at Sædden near Esbjerg 27/8-1944
The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force,303 Bomb Group, 360 Bomb Squadron
and was coded PU-A..
T/O Molesworth. OP: Berlin.
Due to bad weather over Berlin, Esbjerg airfield was selected as target of
opportunity and was attacked in three waves at 15:03, 15:06 and 15:15 hours.
43-37629 was flying in # 1 position in low squadron, low group 41st “A” combat
Wing when it at approximately 15:15 hours received a direct flak hit in the
fuselage just back of the wings. The aircraft immediately broke in half and feel
away in two pieces. The tail including the body of tail gunner S/Sgt Melvin
Birenbach was found in a field in Gjesing belonging to Viggo Lønne. The front
end continued towards west under constant fire and received several hits
resulting in the loss of a wing which fell near the waterworks in Gjesing. The
aircraft finally crashed in the German controlled area east of Hjertingvej road
in Sædden while an engine with the propeller still attached was found near the
lighthouse keeper house on Strandvejen road.
One dead crew member was found in a gooseberry bush near the public school in
Femhøje while another was found in a chicken coup on a farm between Gjesing and
Tarp belonging to Jens Peter Christensen.
Rear: Yarnall, Bertich, Sanford, Bitter
Front: Fidares, Baker, Taxon, Di Salvo, McGovern, Birenbach.
Crewmen are not in order.
Apart from Birenback, the crew consisted of Pilot 1.Lt Winfield L.Yarnall, Co
pilot 2.Lt Louis A. Bertich, Navigator 2.Lt Isaac N. Sanford, Bombardier 2.Lt
Harry B. Britter, Engineer T/Sgt Anthony Fidares, Radio Operator T/Sgt Albert
W.Baker, Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Rubin Taxon and Waist gunner S/Sgt Dominick Di
On 31/8 Baker, Britter, Sanford, Birenback, Fidares and four unknown flyers were
laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg. This is according to the cemetery
protocol of Fovrfelt cemetery.
Their remains were disinterred on 30/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American
cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.
Today Yarnall, Bertich, Sanford, Fidares and Taxon have no known graves and
their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery,
Britter and Baker rest in Ardennes American Cemetery Neupre, Belgium while
DiSalvo and Birenbach is believed to rest in USA.
(Mrs Aphrodite Fidares-Malman via Finn Buch)
Engineer T/Sgt Anthony Fidares on the right with his brother
Sources: BE, MACR, LBUK, Torben Thorsen, Rudolf Clausen.
P 51D 44-13936 crashed at Bov Mark near Frøslev
B 17G-BO 43-37629 crashed at Sædden near Esbjerg
B 17G-BO 42-37841 hit over Esbjerg 27/8-1944
P 51C-10-MT 43-25049 crashed in Grådybet 27/8-1944
P 51D-5-NA 44-13733 crashed in Grådyb 27/8-1944
P 51D-5-NA 44-13951 crashed in Grådyb 27/8-1944
P 51D-5-NA 44-13991 crashed in the North Sea 20
miles WSW of Blåvand 27/8-1944
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