MACR # B-17 42-5125
I am trying to locate the MACR for B-17 41-5125.I am trying to send some information to one of the crew members family.(Tail Gunner Robert G Cgragen). The plane went down on 06/13/43 from the 365th squadron on a mission to Bremen. The pilot was Grant B Higgs.Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
B17F-35-BO 42-5125 XK-Q 305BG 365BS
1lt Grant B Higgs P MIA
2lt Harvey L Olmstead CP POW
2lt Bernard A Goldfine N MIA
1lt Stanley M Van Dyke B MIA
s/sgt Guyford D Leith E MIA
s/sgt Victor L Fort RO MIA
s/sgt William T Nolan BTG MIA
s/sgt Raymond Haesen LWG MIA
s/sgt Frank J Granese RWG MIA
s/sgt Robert G Cgragen TG POW
believed down to flak in to the north sea
all 8 KIA are commemorated o n the wall of the missing at Cambridge Cemetery
THe AMBC Register gives the dates of death as 21 june for s/sgt leith and lt Goldfine
and 30 june for 1943 for s/sgt Fort, s/sgt Nolan and Haesen
MARC is for free avilible at Lynn.Gamma@MAXWELL.AF.MIL
My name is Lewis Christensen. I recently joined this forum in hopes of finding any info on Grant B. Higgs, my wifes Great Uncle. I saw that you were trying to research info on gunner Cgragen for his family. Is there any info or help you could give me on any one that may know anything about Grant?
Lewis and Myca Christensen
The Serial # 42 - 25125 XK - Q MACR # 16205
post edited by shooshoobaby -
Hi Lewis & Myca,
Sorry for the delay in responding, Computer problems. I do not have any info regarding Grant Higgs. I was attempting to get the MACR to pass onto the Cgragen family.
What I would do is request a copy of the Missing Air Crew Report. Contact Lynn.Gamma@ MAXWELL.AF.MIL and give her the report number 16205. It is Free and takes a few weeks.
I would also send for your uncle's military records. Check this sites research area and get a form SF 180 to obtain military records.
I checked the 305th Bomb group roster and I know Robert Cgragen has passed away and Harvey L Olmstead is not listed. I would attempt to do a white pages search for Harvey Olmstead www.whitepages.com
. I would also search at www.pownews.com
for any info regarding him. Check roster, and attempt to contact the group they may have an address.
The last thing that I would do would be to make up a flyer and send it to the next 305th bomb group reunion. It will be at Tucson Sheraton Hotel Oct 25th -Oct29 2006. I made up one for the last reunion and was able to track down some of my uncles crewmen.(Thanks Tracey) I intend to go to the reunion and would be happy to bring a flyer and distribute them. You can contact me via private messages on this site. I am also in contact to several men who would have flown at the time of your uncle. I will make some inquiries and see if anyone remembers him. Good Luck.
I have no information listed in the Stalag XVII-B roster for Olmstead. I can put something in the September newsletter if you would like.
Tracey L. Jackson
Daughter of Harold E. Jackson
305 BG 365 BS, POW Stalag XVII B
I too have been searching for the MACR for the 42-5125 however records show no report was ever done - quite why is a mystery to me.
Maxwell AFB have no record.
However the Deceased Personnel file on my cousin who was one of the crew ( William T. Nolan ) does answer some questions. I would be happy to share this info though perhaps some is not appropriate to a public forum ( perhaps someone could advise on the etiquette of posting details that could upset relatives ? )
I am intrigued by the reference in the crew list to Sergeant Nolan as Ball Turret Gunner , both records and family stories all point to him being a waist gunner / engineer , furthermore records give his height as almost 5 feet 10 inches which does sound very tall for someone in that crew position.
Having said all that my research combined with family stories and official records point to the crew of 42-5125 being very much of an 'Ad Hoc ' nature and I think it very possible ( indeed likely ) that some crew were in positions not usual to them.
If ron R is reading I would love to know what information he has on the crew positions.
Just to be clear - MACR 16205 does NOT relate to 42-5125 / Boomtown Junior , it relates to an aircraft also from 365th of the 305th lost on June 22nd.
Records in my possession actually state no MACR was completed for 42-5125.
post edited by Delancey -
It is possible there is a report but burried in the blank sections of the microfilm - found numerous missing MACR's that way just a lot of work looking.
Nothing in the Nertherlands verliesregistrer for American aircaft lost over Nertherlands for this date.
A possible hit in the German kills database(s) - 5 kills registered:
Hptm. Eduard Tratt - Kdo. I./JG 1 (N. Baltrum Island) @ 10.17 hrs
Oblt. Hintzen - 6./JG 11 - (45 Km. N.N.W. Nordeney] @ 11.02 hrs
Uffz. Rudolf Hübl - 1./JG 1 - (120 miles. W. Texel]) @ 11.35 hrs - 800 m.
Uffz. Bernhard Kunze - 1./JG 1 - (100 miles W. Texel) @ 11.40 hrs - 800 m.
Oblt. Strohal - I./JG 1 - ([N.W. Texel) @ 11.40 hrs - 800 m.
The first kill is most likely 42-29737 which crashed on Amrum Island
The last three are the running battle the 94th BG had over the North Sea (42-29708, 42-29822)
That leaves Oblt. Hintzen - 6./JG 11 - (45 Km. N.N.W. Nordeney) @ 11.02 hrs unaccounted for.
The B 17 that I am pretty sure was 42-5125 was noted in the water at the following co-ordinates :
54 degrees 15 mins. North , 05 degrees 45 mins. East - 2 dinghies were also observed.
Does this help identify who shot it down ? The plane had suffered flak damage and was on 2 engines when attacked by fighters after passing over the coast of Holland.
Well that is kinda helpful
Full listing for Oblt Hintzen is:
Oblt. Hintzen - 6./JG 11 (II Gruppe) (TO95 / 05 Ost N (45 sm. N.N.W. Nordeney) - 1102hrs)
If I run this number (TO95) thru my handi-dandy Luma I get:
54°15'0"N 5°45'0"E (TM88 / 05 Ost N)
I think we have a winner..
BTW: 6./JG11 was stationed at Marx A/D and was flying Bf109G's
Thank you for that great piece of information - with regard to the 4 aircraft lost on the Bremen raid 2 were seen to go down over the target while 2 were believed down at sea.
The co-ordinates for the other aircraft lost at sea were as follows :
53 degrees 10 min. North , 01 degrees 47 min. East - does this location tally with 42-29737 ?
BTW these co-ordinates come from the post-bombing Intelligence Summary dated June 14th 1943.
Is there any info. on Oblt Hintzen , for example it is known if he survived the war ?
post edited by Delancey -
There was more then 4 aircraft lost on this mission.... however
53°9'59"N 1°46'59"E comes out from LUMA as DD29 / 05 Ost S
These are all around the running gun battle for the 94th BG
Uffz. Rudolf Hübl - 1./JG 1 DG55 / 05 Ost S [120 sm. W. Texel] (53°7'30"N / 1°45'0"E)
Uffz. Bernhard Kunze - 1./JG 1 - EG15 / 05 Ost S [100 sm. W. Texel] (52°57'30"N / 3°5'0"E)
Oblt. Strohal - I./JG 1 - CJ85 / 05 Ost S - [N.W. Texel] (53°17'29"N / 4°15'0"E)
Something strange happens when we map them - neither LUMA coordinates is even close to the distance mentioned (120 miles & 100 miles respectfully). However, you coordinates are 120 miles from Texel....
42-29737 crashed on the beach at Amrum island - the black square upper right...
Wonder if the coordinates you have are for 42-5814 with ditched and crew was rescued after 8 hours in dinghies??
The intelligence summary says just 4 aircraft lost on Bremen raid , Kiel raid shows staggering losses of 22 out of 76 ?
All reports on the Bremen raid mention intense but mainly inaccurate AAA fire and limited fighter opposition with one report describing it as '' negligible ''.
The co-ordinates for the second B 17 are for an aircraft seen to go into the sea with no reports of parachutes or dinghies so that makes me question if that refers to 42-5814.
I do agree that Oblt. Hintzen probably did down 42-5125 , the reason I believe that this is the case is that I now know that both dinghies deployed and the 7 survivors climbed aboard , the aircraft was about an hour after passing the Dutch coast and on 2 engines when attacked - the first set of co-ordinates refer to 2 dinghies seen plus by my dead reckoning the position is approximate to where they would have got on 2 engines - does that make sense ?
It has been disappointing that no MACR was done for 42-5125 as I had hoped to find evidence of rescue or search efforts , fact is they drifted for days on end ( much of their survival equipment was destroyed in the crash ) dying one by one - a harrowing story.
The 2 survivors were taken prisoner in an area they described as the '' Dutch Islands ''.
The Intelligence summary I hold is in 2 parts - one for Kiel and one for Bremen - the part for Bremen just gives details of 2 aircraft down at sea . The Kiel report has details of many more down at sea and gives the co-ordinates of them - I can forward these details if you wish ?
The Kiel report mentions 42-5814 and I will quote what it says : '' Members of ship no. 814 ?08 squadron 351st Group were reported safe . Previously reported as down at sea , they were picked up at 2150 hrs 13th June 1943 by a Walrus after being adrift 9 hours and 20 minutes. two other members of the crew T/Sgt Harry C. Roebuck and S/Sgt Joseph H. Hayes were separated from the dinghy and last seen drifting in their Mae Wests at a point approximately 20 miles from Cromer ''
Although co-ordinates are not given is the reference to Cromer of significance ?
post edited by Delancey -
20 miles from Cromer would be right in the middle of your coordinates (53°9'59"N 1°46'59"E)
Back to square one then insofar as we cannot be sure if the first of co-ordinates relates to 42-5215 or 42-5814 , I had always belived they related to my cousins plane.
Thanks for your efforts in this.
Big difference between the two coordinates your gave - plus my rule of thumb is is there is B-17 wreckage (or a report of a shoot down) then you have a luftwaffe kill. Unlike popular misconseptions most B-17's B-24 do not limp hope full of holes - they go down hard...
Still think 42-5125 was lost at 54 115 / 05 45 by Oblt Hintzen (the coordinates for his kill and 42-5125 loss is within 2 miles)
And the coordinates for 42-5814 are spot on.
Have learnt from Mycalew ( Lewis Christiansen ) that 42-5125 flew to Wilhelmshaven on June 11th 1943 with many ( but not all ) of the crew that went down on the 13th. Records of that mission show my cousin , Staff Sergenat Nolan was Left Waist Gunner , I'm going to stick my neck out a bit here and say that I believe the History of the 305 is incorrect when it says he was Ball Turret Gunner when he died .
The Deceased Personnel File lists him as waist gunner , family history says that was his position and his height at almost 5 feet 10 inches seems to make him an unlikely Ball Turret Gunner.
I would love to hear from anyone who has any knowledge of Segenat Nolan's previous aircraft or missions.
I forgot to ask if you have ever contacted the Air Force Historical Research Agency. I meant to give you their contact info. While I was there this summer I found out that their computer database is pretty useful. I would imagine with a little luck, and a diligent staff member, you could give them Sgt Nolans name and dates and they may be able to give you a listing of all the missions he flew. With that data, it would be easy to find on microfilm the history of each mission. The biggest challenge is getting the initial bit of information out of the data base, once you break the ice, the rest comes relatively easy. Here is their info.
Air Force Historical Research Agency
600 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6424
Fax (334) 953-7428 www.maxwell.af.mil/au/afhra
Lewis and Myca Christensen
I meant to update this thread for a while now.
Having carefully reviewed the mission records of the 13th June 1943 ( gratefully received from Lewis Christiansen ) I found a log of intercepted German radio traffic for that raid.
The very last log entry has been intriguing : Hintzen reported his ' kill ' as having occured at 1102 hrs , the log shows that at 1057 hours the German Fighter Controller ordered Jasta Helgoland ( Hintzens squadron which was also known as '' The Boeing Pinchers '' ) to return to base . There followed something of a breakdown in discipline which saw the German pilots refusing to comply , their reason was they had a report of a damaged and straggling B 17 coming into their patrol area and they wanted to remain out and find it , this arguement continued until 1110 hrs when they relented and agreed to return as ordered.
The log contains no mention of a shoot down but given the time this happened at in conjunction with the fact that 42-5125 was known to be damaged and on 2 engines makes me suspect very strongly that the aircraft referred to was indeed that flown by Lt. Higgs.
I have made efforts to learn a little more about Hintzen , although one website gives his total kills as 26 with 14 of those heavy bombers I have been unable to corroborate this assertion. One record suggests that his kill on June 13th was only his second but I find it hard to accept that an Oberleutnant with just 1 kill was a squadron commander in June 1943.
He appears to have survived the war but his fate thereafter is unknown.
The attached photograph is of Hintzen and was apparently taken in June 1943. Taken from Luftwaffe Experten Message Board
post edited by Delancey -
on 13th June 1943 Hintzen was no longer with Jagdstaffel Helgoland but was with the 6. /JG 11, so the radio interception commentary has no relevence to Hintzen.
You will find some further biographical details of Hintzen in my book "Die Jäger der Graf Zeppelin" published by myself in 2002. This is in German as you might guess. I even photographed his grave in Herne, but failed to find details of his post-war career, although he might well have continued his pre-war trade of Confectioner.