Re:B 17 43-39050 03. March 1945
Still, SLOWLY working thru leads-
Probably the greatest discovery was that ball turret gunner Francis MUNGAVIN was NOT KIA, but lived through the war! (sorry MACR 12886). He had a disastrous parachute landing (hypoxic and unconscious?) and broke his back (and was beaten by locals). He was taken to a German hospital in Detmold and remained unconscious for two weeks. He does state that he received good care at the hospital. He was liberated 09 APR 1945. He was sent to a succession of hospitals both in Europe and back in the States. The majority of the crew was captured elsewhere and sent to a POW camp at Moosburg. They were also liberated in April 1945 and, I believe, provided much of the information provided in MACR 12886. They were not reunited with Mungavin at that time. A letter in 1990 to John Ramsey suggests that the plane continued flying "for 30 minutes" and the co-pilot's body was recovered "in Holland". I'm still working on a verification of that last point. I'm trying to see if NARA might have Quartermaster/Graves Registration or IDPF information as to the final resting place for Lt. Thomas and 43-39050 on 03 MAR 1945. 2nd Lt. William Henry THOMAS, Jr. was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on 09 JUN 1949. a couple points- Bombardier Goetschius wrote the wife of navigator McGivern that McGivern had bailed out OK that day. Goetschius was told a few days after capture that McGivern had "landed dead". He doubted that assertion.
also, I have a letter from pilot George Graff to John Ramsey. (it is spelled with a G). I have been blessed with many willing helpers to puzzle out the events of that day- Thank you all. Still looking for "the rest of the story" - Thank you- Ed Powell