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43-38864 lost 2 March 1945 - W. O. Coleman Crew

Discussion in '398th BG - Nuthampstead' started by RSwank, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    On 2 March 1945 plane 43-38864 from the 398th BG and flown by Winsor O Coleman was hit by fighters over the target (Bohlen). They made it all the way back to friendly territory where the crew bailed out. There is no MACR for this loss. On 2 March, 1945 a young women was killed in St Inglevert, France when a B-17 exploded over her village.

    The link below has the investigation so far on this incident.


    My question is, can we find where B-17 43-38864 actually came down? I know that planes on autopilot often flew for some distance after the crew bailed out, so knowing were the crew came down may not directly help but it even that would be interesting to know.
  2. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Just one interesting note. Apparently this a/c was involved in a take off accident on January 15, 1945. It was assigned to the 34th BG at that time. Is it reasonable that it was repaired and assigned to a different BG in that 6 week time frame?

  3. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Hmm, more questions. Osborne's Fort Log says this ship was MIA with Coleman on May 2, 1945 and salvaged on May 3, 1945. Aside from the date difference, if she exploded in mid-air I can't imagine anything left to salvage.

    43-38864 Del Hunter 30/9/44; Grenier 16/10/44; Ass 600BS/398BG [N8-F] Nuthampstead 23/11/44; rep MIA 2/5/45 w/Coleman (? details); Sal 3/5/45.
  4. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Hal, take a look at the 398th record on the ship here:

    or here:

    Both show the ship as lost on 2 March 1945.

    I think there are some errors in Osborne and Baugher regarding the exact dates for this ship.

    Also, for example on this page:
    http://www.398th.org/PDF/History/Records/Reports/Statistical/8. 398th Statistical Report_1 December to 31 December 1944.PDF

    the plane flew 68 hours for the 398th BG in December 1944 and had a total of 143:10 hours.

    If you do a site search on "8864" .... enter on Google: site:www.398th.org 8864
    you can get all the formation charts on which the plane appears. Its first mission was 30 November, 1944. It does not appear after March 2, 1945.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  5. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  6. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Might also be something on this site which I have used in the past but which seems to be down at the moment.

  7. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  8. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  9. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    I have made contact with sons of both the pilot Coleman and the co-pilot Swan. It would appear the Coleman and Swan actually put the badly damaged ship down at an airfield in Belgium. So this was not the B-17 involved in the incident on 2 March, 1945 at St Inglevert, France. I have also been able to eliminate all of the 398th planes that did not return to England that day.
  10. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

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