Aircraft damage reports

By: Steve Siviter
On: 08/29/2002
Just a quick question. Does anyone know if any records exist regarding damage sustained by aircraft of the 401st, either during combat or by accidental causes. As part of my research into B-17G ("Ice Cold Katy") serial number 42-107039 of the 612th Bomb Squadron, I have been trying to trace records that pertain to damage recived during her career. I have contacted the USAF Research Center at Maxwell AFB, as well as the NARA Archives, who have both drawn a blank. I am certain that these details are out there somewhere as I am sure that meticulous records of damage and repairs would have been kept. Maybe these details have been lost in time, but if anyone has any leads I would be truly grateful. Many thanks.

Re: Aircraft damage reports

By: win bryson
On: 05/13/2003
Some time ago I was looking for the same type info for "IN-C" 42-31081, lost in the 10-7-44 Politz Mission [with the A. J. Nelson crew - all KIA].

The AFHRA, Maxwell replied that A/C's "Maintenance Records", are kept in the aircraft (so would be lost if the airplane was).  

What isn't clear to me is if damage and maintenance are reported on the same record (form) or not.

Other A/C records (for 42-31081) I have copies of include:
1) An "index card" looking form with the A/C's machine-gun serial numbers [I don't recall the source of this form]; and
2) A "ledger sheet" looking form with the A/C's transerrals since new, including "flying-time hours". This form for 42-31081 list's its MIA as of 10-7-41, so this form wasn't in the airplane.  I received this from AFHRA Maxwell].

From my Uncle's mission diary, he noted one mission's badly shot-up A/C was sent to the "Sub-Depot".  Maybe they may have their own set of records - "damage".

Sorry this doesn't provide the info you (and I) are looking for, but I thought I'd let you what I've learned so-far, and best case, "prompt" someone who does know, to let us know.  

Re: Aircraft damage reports

By: Don Kirkman
On: 09/18/2009
The only damage I recall my brother mentioning was an oxygen problem leading to the death by anoxia of the navigator, 1st Lt M.C. Abraham and the bombardier 1st Lt I.L. Dobrow; this was apparently a mechanical failure and not related to combat.  I don't know the mission during which this happened.

I just discovered this forum, and have been searching for information about 42-107039, since my brother was the radio operator/gunner on the plane for about 30 missions.  Has your book been published; if so please let me know the title; I'd be very interested in getting a copy.

Re: Aircraft damage reports

By: Sam McMurray
On: 11/19/2009
I stumbled on this page and found your response above.My father,J. Richard McMurray,was the co-pilot of that plane,and told me of the deaths of the bombardier and navigator,which occurred during a long flight over Berlin,and was attributed to anoxia,as you said.His story of the events were fascinating,because no one was sure if the plane's oxygen was malfunctioning.In fact,my father resuscitated the waist gunner and discovered the dead officers.A literal fistfight ensued between my father and Capt. McCord,as to whether they should drop below 12,000 ft.When they landed,anoxia was deemed the cause,but my dad always maintained that there was something else amiss,perhaps that they were literally scared to death due to the heaviest flak they ever encountered.There's more to the story,which has to do with the two deceased officers wanting to transfer because they felt they wee being victimized by rampant anti-Semitism (apparently they wee the only two Jewish officers in the BG).Anyway,my dad had some stories to tell.Regards