The heavily damaged B-17 “Whodat” / “The Dingbat”, serial: 42-37754, of the 534th BS, 381st BG, 8th AF
On the mission of 28 March 1944 to bomb an airfield at Reims/Champagne, France, the B-17 took a direct flak hit just behind the waist gun positions. The hit killed both waist gunners and the tail gunner instantly and wounded another man.
Despite not having any tail controls, both pilots (1st Lt. Daniel C. Henry, and 2nd Lt. Robert W. Crisler) were able to limp the plane back to England. Once the bomber was over their base, 1st Lt. Henry ordered the enlisted men to bail out. He then turned the plane towards the channel and set the autopilot before the officers bailed out. The surviving crew only returned to duty after their stay in the hospital and leave on a FLAK farm.
April 24, 2013, 5:00pm / 167