Searching Leading Lady wreck
I'm an Italian on holiday on Korcula island (Hr), I've Leading Lady MACR.
The B24 Was shot down by flak 5/31/1944. All crew survived. From the document I can' understand if the B24 was crashed on land or on sea.
I'm on track of an aeronautical wreck underwater & I want to know if can be Leading Lady.
Tank you in advance.....
I looked through the MACR. The crew statements seem to say the plane crashed "on the island". Specifically when the question was asked "where did your aircraft strike the ground" their statements are:
"Isle of Korcula"
"On an Island off coast of Yugo"
"On coast of Island"
The one German document states "Place of Crash" as "Korcula on the Island of Korcula".
As none of these seem to say, "in the sea", "in the water" , or "off the coast of an Island", or words to that effect, I think the information available in the MACR seems to imply the plane crashed on land.
Well, now I must go to drink something in the bar of the town mentionened by the MACR, looking for any old peron able to help me, but I will follow also the sea track.....
RSwank, thank you for your replay, I will inform you with news.
A couple of other clues from reading the MACR. Many of the the crew were captured in the vicinity of Pupnat. They parachuted from a "burning bomber". In a German POW "transfer" document, the Gemans refer to the crew as captured from a "Lancaster" to which apparently the US translator adds the phrase "should be B-24". Norris, the pilot who evaded, was the last to bail out as he flew the ship while the others bailed. If the plane crashed on land, it "may" have been totally burned, so much so that it was unrecognizable. Of course, the other possibility is that the burning wreck did go into the sea and the Germans did not recover anything.
We can try to guess the flight path of the plane, there are no other US witnesses after the plane was hit over/near Ploiesti. Since they were trying to get back to Italy their route more or less due west would have taken then over the island from the east (near the town of Korcula) to the west, passing over Pupnat which lies in the center of the island. If the plane did not circle either before or after bailout, one would think the plane went down on the western end of the island or in the sea just off the western end. I would think your best bet would be the locals in or around Pupnat.
post edited by RSwank -
RSwank, you are right!
A fisherman told me there are no wrecks on the east part of the isle, but there is one in about 60/70 meters of water between the isle of Korkula And Lastovo.
Note: it's not a diving site.
Maybe tomorrow I'll go in Pupnat.....
I am guessing if Norris evaded he was picked up by partisans in a more uninhabited or inaccessible part of the island. I would guess the Germans had troops in the main town of Korcula and probably in some of the main villages and along the main roads, such as at Pupnat which is unfortunately where many of the crew came down. If the plane in the sea between Korkula and Lastovo is Leading Lady, the plane may have turned to the south just before or after Norris bailed out. Norris may have come down closer to the southern coast, which seems to have few roads according to Google maps or more to the west and then the plane (perhaps without a functioning autopilot) then turned south or maybe even back south east and went into the sea. None of the crew actually seem to have seen the wreck, so perhaps all their statements are just speculation as to the location of the crash, or just what they were told by their captors.
Here I am.....
I was in Pupnat were a fiherman show me a nautical chart with the position were may be Leading Lady lies. The position is: 42* 43' N 017* 13' E in 113 meters of water. They told me about pieces of alluminium in the nets, but it seems it too easy. There is someting else.
People remember the dresses made with the paracutes......
If that is the plane it is unfortunately too deep for sport diving. It is also further east than we might have thought ..... but certainly a possibility. Interesting about the parachutes made into dresses. I have heard similar stories before. I have tried to see if there is a MIS-X Escape and Evasion report for Norris but have not found anything yet. Just to complete the information so this thread can get moved to the proper location.
The plane was B-24, 41-28685 from the 461st Bomb Group, 765th Bomb Squadron. The plane was lost on 31 May 44. MACR is 6126
Nose Art is here: http://www.b24bestweb.com/leadinglady-v1.htm http://www.461st.org/Aircraft/Nose%20Art/765th%20Nose%20Art.htm
"Crew" Photo here: (not all the names are the same as on the MACR) http://www.461st.org/Crews/765th%20Crews/Norris.html
Full Crew List per MACR:
Pilot: Samuel N Norris Evaded
CP: Edwin Baumann POW (also shown as Bauman)
Nav: Everett C Kamps POW
Bomb: Edmund F Stefenson POW
TT Gunner: Arthur J Bindrim POW
Nose Gunner: Buford E Culler POW
Ball Turret: Joseph S Curtin POW
Tail Gunner: Harry P Ranieri POW
Left Waist Gunner: Jefferson L Farrell, Jr POW
Right Waist Gunner: Glenn P DeSpain POW