Crash of 41-34709, 11th September 1943

Discussion in '323rd BG' started by Mutley, May 18, 2017.

  1. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    I am looking for information and pictures of the crew of the B-26 serial number 41-34709, VT*K, "Battle Axe", when it crashed on the 11th September 1943.

    I am currently compiling the Air Crew Load Lists of the early 323rd BG missions and found that 3 of the 5 man crew were killed in the crash, a 4th Died of Wounds, with the 5th man, Kenneth A. Class, being severely wounded, with him later having both of his legs amputated!

    The crew were:-
    Pilot - 1st Lt. Arnold Stern (Possibly from Flushing, NY!?)
    CP - (None - Pilot only aircraft!)
    NB - 2nd Lt. Joel F. Grubb. Jr. (Alsip, Illinois)
    RG - S/Sgt David Nattis (Elmont, NY)
    EG - S/Sgt William F. Archer (From?, Alabama. DOW 12Sep43 - ABMC, Cambridge, England)
    AG - S/Sgt Kenneth A. Class
    I show the towns /states, or other place of their burials, but would be interested to find out more about Kenneth and his fate back in the USA.

    I cannot currently confirm if this may have been their 'Normal' aircraft, so even finding a picture that shows a Name / Artwork that could be this aircraft, doesn't prove anything, it rarely does anyway!!

    So I am seeking PROOF pictures for the crewmen and aircraft, separately, or together in any way!!

    Hope you can help

    Airwar likes this.
  2. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Yes you are correct. The group had just returned from an attack on the Beaumont-le-Roger A/F and had trouble getting into their normal base at Earls Colne. Great Barton lies just North of the Rougham (Bury St Edmunds) airfield, which had previously been the first base of the 322nd BG, so I am hoping that anything I find can go on display at the Rougham Air Museum, as I do not believe that they have anything, but I also need to check them out!!

    Currently writing another couple of posts, and have just contacted the 323rd BG historian already, and awaiting any reply from him!

    I aim to contact the Akron and PIMA, B-26 archives, and check other sources that I have, but finding definitive personnel pictures is hard, aircraft pictures can be easier, but a lot of that again comes down to GOOD, personal contacts! is a great way to reach out and get excellent slightly differing angles covered quickly!!

    Do me, or should I more correctly say, THEM! proud guys!

    Mutley. Proudly and happily remembering those that gave for freedom!
  3. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    It is hoped that one day ALL of the B-26 Marauder records held by either the Akron or PIMA archives will be made available to be searched online. We currently estimate that this is going to take about $1,000,000. Yes that is 1 MILLION dollars.
    With around 25-30,000 pictures, and many thousands of pages of documents that is no small task! To scan, catalogue, database, edit, Etc., Etc.
    If I could just win a nice prize on a lottery!!!

  4. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Mutley what happens with the Alf Egil Johannessen collection ??

    Lucky Partners likes this.
  5. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Hal, I know that Alf was an member of the Norwegian Dakota Assn. I shall send them a quistion if they knew more about Alf's archive.
  6. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    I (We!) would like to know what happened to Alf's collection. I had just started to get to know him and be able to work with him, when he sadly passed away.
    He was like so many other people that I had just started to get to know however, as I spent about 2 years touring the USA and visiting as many B-26 veterans, usually in their own homes; and other historian's, Museum's, Etc., gathering whatever I could, whilst I could!!
    The MHS at the time was going through it's "Trouble's", with the end result that some of the B-26 MHS archive stayed at the Akron University, and some going to the 'New' B-26 MHS archives, at the PIMA Air Museum. The MHS, as an organization, is still struggling to pull itself back together and attain it's original aims, which were much hindered by the mud flinging, disruption's and expenses, caused by just a few people!!
    I hope that most IS now behind us! But as they say, "Mud(!) Sticks", however hard you try to clean things; and some people find it hard to see the truth from the FLyes!!
    I hope that wherever Alf's collection has gone, it will be put to good use, and not be misused by those people that only have their own self interest or personal ego's to build; and / or their own bank balances!!
    Doing what I done, between late 2005 and 2008, very nearly bankrupted me when the recession then kicked in, so YES, my bank balance can only really go up! But I have no wish to 'Profiteer' from what I had done then and am still doing now!
    I will protect MY research and data compilations, BUT, I will not sell it outside of creating any published works as I had agreed to do with people previously. Nor will I be ripped off, or taken advantage in any way, by some of those that have done so in the past!!

    Back to work!

  7. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Lucky Partners.
    I am interested, but failed to find the PM message setting!! Aaagh!!
    You are welcome to PM me, or contact me(us!) via the MHS. One of our director's is the son of a 95BS, 17BG man, and he has been working on some 17th BG research. I am trying to stay more focused on the 9th AF B-26's currently, but have to be a 'deviant' sometimes!!
    I did take a quick look at your 'Donahoe(!?)' album at the weekend, but I am buried under about 5' 6'' of paperwork currently! I just hope it doesn't get to 6', before I can reduce it to a more manageable level!!! I'm only 54 going on 55, and to young to die just yet! But I have about 50K personnel to research properly, without to many BIG mess-ups hopefully!

  8. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    I was so crazy busy before we had the MHS reunion in the Washington DC area, 31st May - 3rd June, that I didn't send Andrew Boehly, the MHS archivist at PIMA, a question until Thursday 25th May!
    I'll post some of what he sent me later, as I now have Kenneth A. Class's own diary to transcribe, pictures of the crash site, and a write-up from one of his friends. Along with the records that I previously had from the official records!
    There is lots out there, it's just finding it, and compiling it properly!


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