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Zombie II and Zombie III

Discussion in 'Light & Medium Bombers' started by Alan Skiffins, May 27, 2017.

  1. Alan Skiffins

    Alan Skiffins New Member

    Hi all, have 2 photos from Roger Freeman Collection text details them as 41-31777 'Zombie III' 450/322/9AF clearly from mission list on fuselage side, as well as the nose art they are differing airframes. Any suggestions to their identities please ?

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  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    A few clues. The 2nd picture has a little more info written on the back, according to this link:
    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205361247

    In particular, the photo may have been taken in Aug, 1944 and Zombie III has flown at least 107 missions.
    Supposedly the serial number is 41-31777.

    Fold3 has another photo of Zombie II here (also attached below):
    https://www.fold3.com/image/161225850
    (Nice photo of the crew, unfortunately the crew members are not identified)

    On the back: https://www.fold3.com/image/161225894
    it indicates the photo was taken Oct 4, 1943. Now we don't see the mission markings on the photo but the man in the front row seems to show about 4 mission markings on the front of his jacket.

    So Zombie II possibly started flying around Sept 1943. It flew at least 8 missions, so at least into October 43. Now for Zombie III to have flown at least 107 missions by Aug 44, what would be the approximate date it started to fly missions? I would think it would have had to have been flying by March? or Apr 44? maybe earlier? What do the B-26 experts here say?

    At any rate, I would guess Zombie II started flying in the 322nd BG, 450th BS about September, 1943 and was lost or written off early in 1944. That might help restrict the possible serial numbers.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  3. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    I tried looking at MACRs for 322nd BG, 450th BS losses between Oct 43 and May 44.
    I could find only 3 planes (which makes me wonder if these are all).

    41-31849 "Single Engine Operator", lost 20 March 43 , pilot Rowland G Thornton.
    41-31968 "Hearse for 6" , lost 13 April 44, pilot Allen K McDonald.
    41-31954 ER-Z (supposedly no name) lost 9 May 44, pilot Lyle G McGlocklin.

    I also tried looking for overseas accidents for the 322nd, 450th without success.

    So, a possibility is that Zombie II was just written off at some point?
     
  4. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    There were possibly FOUR aircraft named "Zombie" with the 322nd BG. The only one that seems to have an accepted number is 41-31777, ER*C, which is believed to have flown over 180 missions, before it crashed! This is therefore most likely "Zombie III".

    The 394th BG are also said to have flown an aircraft named "Zombie", but there is the high possibility that this aircrafts name and artwork is mixed up with the "Zombie" ("-'s") of the 322nd BG, from the research and compilations that I have so far undertaken. Another MHS director is currently working on the 322nd BG aircrew and aircraft listings, but they as yet have not tried to compile the full details of names, artworks, codes and serial numbers, for the group's aircraft!!

    Any pictures that DO show conclusively any detail connections with ANY B-26 Marauders, are most welcome.

    The cousin of MHS director mentioned above was lost in the crash of 42-96225, ER*X, on the 16th April 1945, hence their interest in that specific group. This loss is covered by MACR 14463. In their research a nice picture of 42-96225 in flight has been uncovered, which still shows the diagonal tail stripe from it's previous use with the 394th BG, where it had flown as H9*T, with the 586th BS. Although the stripe looks a little darker than what the 394th BG's White tail stripe should be! The interesting thing is that in the background is ER*M. Although the aircraft serial number is unreadable, an artwork is visible. The artwork is what is left of the former "Baby Butch"; aircraft serial 42-96123, 9F*O of the 597th BS, 397th BG; but it can be proved from other pictures that the written name was painted over, leaving just the artwork. The artwork is believed to have originated from an article, which I have titled as "Military Secrets", and was a gatefold from the February 1944 Esquire magazine. I believe it is a Alberto Vargas artwork, but have yet to confirm this, and the title that it originally went under!

    Care should be taken with trying to put potentially incorrect details together, by relying on some people's unsubstantiated 'evidence', and/or lack of real research! This is what has happened with "War Eagle" on a previous post. Where two pictures of completely different aircraft have somehow become linked to one person in a 'Findagrave' memorial page!!

    Just for interest, there is at least 65 MACR's that can be linked to losses of the 322nd BG, along with many more 'Form 14' incident reports. The list above does not show MACR's 15173 for the loss of 41-18052, on the 17th May 1943: MACR 15197 for the crash of 41-31875 on the 28th February 1944: and, MACR 16165 for the loss of 41-18099 also on the 17th May 1943. These are just those of the 450th BS for the dates mentioned above!

    A good number of late war incidents of crashes of B-26 Marauders, were caused by undercarriage failures, which it seems were commonly attributed to stress fractures in the landing gear. Lots more research and compilation needed here to confirm exactly which aircraft were lost in this manner, and which reports actually mention those stress fractures!!

    Must get back to research work, and also try to find a copy of the Form 14 for Don Korkowski's B-26 crash as mentioned in another post, but incorrectly posted under 'Heavy and Very Heavy Bombers'!!

    Mutley
     
  5. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    Forgot to look up the men mentioned on the back of the picture as shown on the American Air Museum at the IWM Duxford link.

    All three appear on the database of B-26 personnel, with very little details, except that they were in the 450th BS, 322nd BG.

    There is one correction however. The first name should be Dorsey, NOT Drosey!, for Dorsey S. Richards.

    Back to work, again!

    Mutley
     
  6. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Zombie III articles
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    A couple of interesting newspaper articles, which at least give some kind of timeline to be able to confirm what the mission records will reveal, when compiled!!
    As I am currently working on another Group's records I have no idea when the full compilation of the 322nd BG's records will be done!

    Mutley
     

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