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15th AF 24 Tail markings

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Moxie1
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2006/09/13 21:36:32 (permalink)
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15th AF 24 Tail markings

Hi All,

Quick question I'm trying to help a guy who has found a B-24 Crash Site in Croatia. The problem is the date of the shot down doesn't jive with any 15AF 24 Mission and what the Eye Witness statement seems off to the statements say the aircraft was silver and had a Blue tail.

As far as I can tell no 15AF 24 carried blue tail colors can anyone help me out with this.

Here is some information on the crash it was East of Krvavici Pula Istra, Croatia time period is late 44 either Nov. or Dec. but I can't find any 15 AF 24 Mission for the are in question for this time period. The photos that have been ssent show that the aircraft is a B-24 the inner Bombay doors have been ID along with a few other 24 parts.

Thanks

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    Ken a B24 Fan
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/13 23:47:25 (permalink)
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    Moxie:

    Official B-24 Liberator tail markings in the 15th were: black, yellow, red or a combination of black & yellow or black & red.

    Ken

    Ken Alexander
    Proud son of 1st Lt. Clair B. Alexander Jr.
    Pilot, B-24s: 10/12/1944 - 04/24/1945
    15th AF, 49th Wing, 461st BG, 764th BS
    Torretta Airfield, Cerignola, Italy
    mcoffee
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/14 07:19:49 (permalink)
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    Ken,
     
    Those tail markings were implemented in August '44.  Although I'm not aware of a group using a blue tail, the 47th Wing did use blue markings for Wing and Group identification prior to August.
    shooshoobaby
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/14 19:42:42 (permalink)
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    Moxie -  the 859th Sq. of the 492d BG ( Carpet baggers ) 8th AF was transferred to the MTO December , 44.
    The tails of their B - 24s were Light Blue. They joined with the 885th Sq. ( carpet baggers) attached to the
    2641st Special Group , Italy. Supplied Partisans , leaflet Ops. etc.
    Mike
    Moxie1
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/15 19:15:16 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: shooshoobaby

    Moxie -  the 859th Sq. of the 492d BG ( Carpet baggers ) 8th AF was transferred to the MTO December , 44.
    The tails of their B - 24s were Light Blue. They joined with the 885th Sq. ( carpet baggers) attached to the
    2641st Special Group , Italy. Supplied Partisans , leaflet Ops. etc.
    Mike


    Mike,

    Do you know if they lost any aircraft all the reports I can find show them not lossing any aircraft.

    Thanks
    Moxie
    shooshoobaby
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/15 19:39:02 (permalink)
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    Moxie-  These were the only Blue tailed B - 24s I could find. The only other use of Blue I could find was
    the middle of the Stabilizer on 304th CW  A/C was painted blue. The only other Use of blue was on P - 38
    Photo recon A/C.
    Could this crash be an accident? 2641st contact  hugh.turner@starpower.net
    Mike
     
    Luka
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/19 16:51:55 (permalink)
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    Hi everybody!
    I am Luka from Croatia who found the crashsite. I managed to register to your forum. Thanks Moxie for trying to help.
    But, I never said tail was blue. I rather think blue color was on fusselage from national colors!
    Here is what I know right now:
    A silver B24 crashed in end of '44 near village Krvavici, (near Marcana by Pula), region Istria, country Croatia. (used to be party of Italy and Yugoslavia).
    Allegedly, by stories of eyewittnes, plane was coming from north, Italy, got hit by flak near Pula, turned back north to mainland and crashed. Some or all of the crew bailed out, some were captured by germans other saved by partisans.
    Paul Krumrei had put my pictures on the net so you can check them out for yourself.
    www.warbird-central.com/croatia/
    If anbody can comment on them, or give me a hint, please do!
    Thanks,
    Luka
    rovinj1@yahoo.com
    http://www.warbird-central.com/croatia/


    Moxie1
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/21 00:57:31 (permalink)
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    Hi Luka,

    Paul and I have been working on this off line could you do me a favor have you found any items that might have  serial # on them.

    Also could you please take a look at the bombday doors see if you can find any stampings if so please post the #s I might be able to cross referance them with some of my information.

    Also how is the Roman site dig going would love to hear about that also.

    Cheers
    Moxie
    Schenck
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/21 07:23:39 (permalink)
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    It might be the aircraft of 760th BS/460th BG that was flying on mission to Udine on 18/11/1944. On return hit by flak over Pula, turned inland where crew bailed out. Six returned with help of partisans, 4 taken POW.
    The plane was mentioned as 'Blue J'.
    Field report mentions Lt Reynolds, D – S/Sgt Alder, H – Sgt Norbuc, J – Sturty, B -  Briganti, M  as those being safe with partisans. I don't know the serial of the plane, if you find out, please post it here.

    Pozdrav. 
    buckeyeuk
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/21 08:09:58 (permalink)
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    Hi Poz...........for the record, the 760th used blue letters , their squadron colour.                 Nick
    Paul E.
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/21 09:06:55 (permalink)
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    Luka,  Nicely organized and photographed.  You may be interested in interpreting the headstamps on the cartridge cases you recovered.  LC for example is for Lake City Arsenal in  Missouri.  The number 43 is the last two digits of the year of manufacture.  This link will give you a good description of the US headstamps.  http://www.totse.com/en/bad_ideas/guns_and_weapons/headstmp.html

    This is just a small piece of the puzzle.  It won't be of much help in the larger questions about the aircraft and crew.
     
    Paul
    Luka
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/21 13:59:37 (permalink)
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    Hi guys!
    Thank's for your answers. I need to address each one of you in this post.

    Moxie, here: http://www.warbird-central.com/croatia/
    you will find many parts serial no's and stampings I have read from the parts found. Just click to magnify the pictures. Bombay doors have only a CLAD (ALCLAD24) writing. I'll check again for stampings. We were out there in this remote location doing archaeology works on a route for a major new pipeline. We discovered a roman villa, and later the crashsite. Pipeline is already built by now, but we shall continue to excavate roman villa and a crashsite next spring.

    Schenck, I have already contacted Duane Sparky and Betty Bohnstedt historians of 460th group and Lee Lamar, copilot, about b24 crash on same location, on same day, same BG. But they say MACR lists olive drab "Bottoms Up" plane and not silver "Blue J" plane you mention. As you can see from the pictures on the above link, I think we have a silver B24?! Could you please state the source of your information about "Blue J" crashing on that day on that location. This is crucial for this case! It is not possible that both planes crashed on top of each other the same day. If it's really "Blue J" crashing then and there we made a step forward.
    http://www.b24bestweb.com/Pics-B-BLU-BLUM.htm

    Paul, I am aware of the codes on cartridges. I didn't know about the link you sent, but I had another one :
    http://harringtonmuseum.org.uk/USACartHeadstamps.htm
    I know it will not resolve everything, but most of the cartridges are made in '44 and that is a fact that we considered from the first day of excavation. Small things make a greater picture...



    Sparky
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/25 13:56:25 (permalink)
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    Hi Moxie:
     
    The aircraft you are asking about was from the 760th squadron, 460th Bomb Group (H).   It crashed about mid day on 18 November 1944, returning from a mission to bomb the Campoformido Airdrome near Udine,  Italy.  We have been working with Luka Bekic to determine if the crash site  between Vodnjan and Marcana, northeast of Pula, was that of the aircraft mentioned above.   There were at least two other planes which crashed in the Pula area, so are not sure that the aircraft we are concerned with was Blue  "J.:  
     
    The aircraft in question was a B-24 J-15, serial number 42-51926.  It carried the call letter Blue "J."   ("J' ferfers to the "call letter",  "Blue"" indicates the 760th squadron color.)  It's "nickname" was Bottoms Up..  On November 18 1944, this plane was flown by the Randall B. Darden crew, with Lee lamar as co-pilot.  After bailing out, four members of the crew were taken prisoners by the Germans, six were aided by Partisans and they were returned to our base near Spinazzola, Italy.     The 460th aircraft was nicknamed  Bottoms Up
     
    The aircraft which crashed at the  site mentioned above, is supposed to have been "silver"  (NMF) in color,  Bottoms Up was painted live drab.   We still have some work to do.
     
    In addition to 42-51926, we also lost 42-51512,  Hangar Queen II  on the same day.  It crashed near Laibach, Yugoslavia.
     
    The 460th Bomb Group tail marking were not blue, they were olive drab and yellow.  Often the olive drab is described as black, but this is incorrect. 
     
    We hope this is of help.   If you have further questions please feel free to get back to us.
     
     Sparky and Betty Bohnstedt
    460th Bomb Group Historians.
    Moxie1
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/09/26 09:10:29 (permalink)
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    Hi Sparky,

    Thank you for the information, I have ask Luka to try to see if he can find anything that might be a Fuslage part to get the paint off of it. Also I've ask him to look at the Bombbay doors again to see if he can find the contrustion stamp if that is still there then I can use it to cross match my B-24 list.

    Thanks for the help so far.

    Moxie
    Sparky
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/10/02 15:37:33 (permalink)
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    Hi Luka:
     
    I have not forgotten you, but have not had anything new to tell you.  I have looked at the photos of the "bits and pieces" you found at the crash site and can only really identify 001 through 007.  This would be an oxygen tank.  It was made of stainless steel and painted yellow.   We have one from one of our planes that crashed in Hungary.  It was made into a bucket by a Hungarian farmer, and used by him until about ten years ago when we got it.   I did notice 50 caliber amunition and clips that held them together, but most of the pieces are not identifiable to me.
     
    We are still trying to determine the identity of at least two other planes that crashed in the area around Pula, but so far no luck.  THe only positive identity is Bottoms Up.
     
    Will get back later.
     
    Sparky Bohnstedt
    460th Bomb Group Historian
    jpeters140
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2006/10/02 18:20:59 (permalink)
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    This URL has the tail colors of all the B-24s....the 15th is close to the bottom.
     
    http://web.archive.org/web/20030715084230/armyairforces.com/tails-24.asp
     
    I hope this helps.
     
    Jim  :-)

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    Luka
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2007/03/21 18:50:15 (permalink)
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    Dear friends, I have some great news! I will try to write this short as possible... I have spent this week in Pula trying to find some more clues about case of B-24 crash Krvavici/Istria/Croatia. My intention was to clear out all other B-24 crashes in south of Istra so I could eliminate them. I have contacted many experts on the matter from Croatia and abroad. Now I have a list of 15 US and UK bombers that crashed in whole Istra. A few of them crashed in south IstraI searched local archives - newspapers from '44 and '45. No much help there either. But accidentaly, I ran accros a new book about history of Marcana area. There was a article about 2.W.W. In this article  was a mention of a this crash and some others too. I managed to find a man (Herman Bursic) who wrote this article and speak to him for 2 hours or so. He was a partisan working at headquarters of a istrian partisan brigade then. He has positively identified a B-24 crash near Krvavici as a 18/11/1944 date!!!! He knows, because partisans went into action of rescuing plane crew. He was not personally involved in this, but he knows them. He and the other partisans will never forget about this date and village of Krvavici, so he says, because they had a great loss that day. Commander Ivan Radosevic, a secretary of partisan comitee for Pula got caught that day from same german search party that caught copilot Lee Lamar! He was there in the woods, in partisan uniform, armed, with others trying to save your crew before Germans. But Germans eventualy ran into him and taken him prisoner to Pula. From there he was taken to concentration camp in Germany. No one heard about him after, so they list him as killed. You have to know that german and italian fascist troops did not recognize partisan troops as an regular army, then rather as a terorrists, so captured partisans were ussualy tortured and killed with no trial. I am very happy, because I am now 99% sure we have found 42-51926  plane. There is almost no chance that two B-24 crashed on that same day near Krvavici! My research about this case will continue anyway, to find out more historical data about what happened when the plane crashed. But, 18/11/1944  B-24J-15  42-51926  760th/460th  „Blue J - Bottoms up" has crashed near village Krvavici, Pula, Croatia. Best regards, Luka Bekic P.S. Feel free to ask me about anything of your interest, I would be glad to help.
    Ken a B24 Fan
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2007/03/22 22:27:38 (permalink)
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    Hi Luka:

    That is pretty cool! Thanks for sharing.

    Best of luck & keep us up to date.

    Two things to keep in mind:
    The bomb bay doors were often replaced on B-24s. There were many instances of OD painted planes with natural metal replacement door or two, and the reverse. A natural metal aircraft with a gray/olive drab painted bomb bay door.

    Some olive drab painted planes were stripped of their paint but still listed as OD in the records. Case in point was "Cherokee" in my father's squadron. It was transfered from 766th squadron to the 764th. Repainted with new squadron numbers. Repainted again. Then stripped off the olive drab and gray to natural metal. Keeping, of course, the Indian maiden painted on the side of the plane. The aircraft was still officially listed as being olive drab even though the paint had been removed.

    This did not happen often in Europe. I think the aircraft had been painted so many times they decided to strip it back to the metal.

    Oh, which person are you in the photograph? And I am envious at your oportunity to excavate a Roman ruin. Lots of hard tedious work, but so rewarding.

    Ken

    Ken Alexander
    Proud son of 1st Lt. Clair B. Alexander Jr.
    Pilot, B-24s: 10/12/1944 - 04/24/1945
    15th AF, 49th Wing, 461st BG, 764th BS
    Torretta Airfield, Cerignola, Italy
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2008/03/20 15:22:44 (permalink)
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    My uncle, Donald Porter, was the bombardier on the "Bottoms Up" for a time.  The photo I have of the crew posing under the nose art and if mycount is correct, 56 missions had been completed at the time of the photo.  I have no idea when the photo was taken, but Uncle Don was at Spinazzola at the time.  I will try to forward the picture with this post.  I also have a photo of him in his quarters in Spinazzola, "Bottoms Down".

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    WillowRun
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    RE: 15th AF 24 Tail markings 2008/03/21 17:19:25 (permalink)
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    Robert,    http://www.b24bestweb.com/b24bestweb-Tail.htm        This Link from the B-24 Best Web (BBW) might be a good reference to "book mark."  There are a lot of links and places to go on the WWW, but I like "quick references."  Best Regards!  Steven 

     
    Best Regards!
    Steven P. Puhl
    Ford Willow Run B-24 Bomber Plant (FO) Historian
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