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44-8329 Lost 2 March 1945 during Disney bomb test.

Discussion in '92nd BG - Podington' started by RSwank, May 20, 2016.

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  1. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Here is some (somewhat confusing) information from the FortLog for plane 44-8329, "Fort Sack".

    Delivered Hunter 12/8/44; Grenier 3/9/44; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-C] Podington 13/9/44; took part in a Disney Bomb Test mission with Capt Oscar D. Whitten on 2/3/45; fire broke out in #3, crew bailed and landed near Hardinghen, Fr, except John Large who was killed due to ‘chute malfunction; one record gives ship exploded with three large fireballs seen, while another source gives Salvaged 9AF Germany 14/6/46. FORT SACK.

    John William Large grave:
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=47231425

    (I may have "a line" on Oscar Dwain Whitten, I'll know in a few days.)

    Hardinghen France is quite close to St Inglevert, France.

    On 2 March, 1945 a young women was killed in St Inglevert, France when a B-17 exploded over her village. I am trying to help a French researcher identify the plane that exploded.

    Does anyone have information on 44-8329 and what happened on 2 March 1945? Where did the plane actually come down and at what time of day? There is no MACR or accident report that I can find for this incident.

    A little background on the Disney Bomb, designed by Edward Terrell.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_bomb

    The Disney Bomb was a rocket bomb designed to penetrate massive concrete bunkers. The Air Force tested the bomb against the (then liberated) Watten V2 complex in France. Perhaps this March 2nd flight was to be another such test.

    Here is a short clip on the Disney Bomb also called the Disney Swish.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
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  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    This next bit is from the facebook page for the 92nd BG.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/290301027652024/permalink/1289123544436429/

    2 March 1945
    “A "Disney" mission to the test area in France was scheduled for today. Captain Oscar D. Whitten, A/C 44-8329 “Fort Sack” (407th), had taken off and was en route when #4 caught fire. The CO extinguishers could not control the blaze and the bail-out signal given. Sergeant Large, the first man out, had a chute fail and was killed. The rest of the crew bailed without injury landing near Hardinghen, receiving medical care from the close-by Canadian hospital staff. The aircraft exploded about 30 seconds after being evacuated and crashed. The remains were salvaged by 9th Air Force.”

    I have also made contact with Whitten's son, Michael. Michael has a "short snorter", a one pound note, dated 2 March 1945. Written on it "Souvenir of hitting the silk over 21 Canadian General Hospital (Annex) 2-3-45". Several names seem to be possible hospital staff.
     
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  3. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

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  4. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Jaap.
    Very interesting 92BG video included in your link, under wing Disney Rockets (18:55 to 20:46 minutes)
     

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