397bgon

Discussion in '397th BG' started by Stan McLeod, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Jim. I will, as promised, send you further details of Vito's service as soon as I have the time to sort them out properly, but there is several missions where the correct details are VERY hard to confirm without a considerable amount of proper cross referencing!
    For other people's interest however, Vito Portanova and Ernest 'Ernie' Lutz only flew 3 missions together in aircraft 42-96171, 6B*W, named "Bar Fly". These were Missions #62, on the 6th July; M102 on the 17th August; and M120 on the 2nd October 1944. They had however flown together not only in training, but on many other missions, and in at least 20 different aircraft between them!

    With regards to the German newspaper(!?) story of 42-107597, mentioned at entry #18 above, as posted by Airwar.
    The loss of this aircraft is covered by MACR #11669, and it is supposed to be coded 4L*P, and carried the name of "Old Sarge". I have seen a picture of that name and artwork, but do not have it, or a reference to it, to hand. I cannot independently also be absolutely sure IF those details are correct, as there is a lot of errors that have been circulating for many years about B-26 Marauder aircraft details. The MACR does show this name, but there is at least three MACR's that have incorrect names to the aircraft that they refer too! Some of those errors have also come about by some people making subjective assumptions about things, rather than basing information on objective and heavily researched and cross checked facts. This includes obtaining not only written articles, but cross referencing pictures, sometimes with only small details proving or disproving previous information!!
    The aircraft serial number, as shown with that article, is therefore NOT named "Little Pink Panties", as may be assumed by the inclusion of the picture with that article. This can be confirmed by a crash picture of it, which can be found at the 8th Air Force Museum, in Pooler, Georgia. The proper ASN of this aircraft is 42-107841, and it was coded T6*A. At least by the information that I have so far been able to gather and correlate! The crash date was 23rd March 1945, and the Cumulative Loss Listings for the 8th and 9th Air Forces, confirm that serial number as being "Sal BD", (Salvaged Battle Damaged), on the 25th March 1945.

    Back to research work!
     
    Airwar likes this.
  2. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    some articles
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Capt. Jim Albert

    Capt. Jim Albert New Member

    Thanks so much for the research and taking the time to respond to my inquiry regarding my uncle, SSGT Vito Portanova. Today, I received a "wonderful" care package of information from Lt. Erv Cook who knew my uncle. It provided me with a lot of information I did not know about the 397th BG and the part my uncle played in it. From what I've been told, Vito was shot down in a B26 named "Miss Furie" #42-96182 which coincides with the archives I've been able to find. However, some do not name the plane but do use the same serial number. I know he flew "Bar Fly" with Lt. Lutz which was confirmed after speaking with him. So far, the only photo I can find of him in publication is in the 397th Bomb Group "Bridge Busters."
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Capt. Jim Albert

    Capt. Jim Albert New Member

    Do you have any references where I can find this account of the deaths?
     
  5. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  6. Capt. Jim Albert

    Capt. Jim Albert New Member

  7. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    There was at one time a War Crimes Trial File at NARA - College Park, Maryland., that was supposed to have contained in the region of 120 pages, including several pictures. This was told to me by the late Nevin Price, who had been a Radio-Gunner with the 599th BS, and had trained and / or flown, with some of the crewmen lost. I can and do believe what he told me, as he became the Personnel Records Officer for the B-26 Marauder Historical Society, as one of those lost in 42-96182, was his original Pilot, Bernard Senart.
    When I visited and requested the file, it only had about 30-40 pages and NO pictures! This fact was immediately reported to the staff, and I unfortunately could no longer view the file and it's contents, whilst they investigated the loss of the materials involved! I never did manage to find out what happened, if anything! or see the contents of the file. So have to conclude that there is still that file, or whatever remains of it? at NARA!
     
    Capt. Jim Albert likes this.
  8. Capt. Jim Albert

    Capt. Jim Albert New Member

    Thank you! I will see what I can come up with.
     
  9. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Good luck in your hunting!
     

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