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Paul Bellamy  
#1 Posted : Friday, October 23, 2009 7:24:26 AM(UTC)
Paul Bellamy

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Posts: 964
United Kingdom
Location: Holme, Hunts

I'm involved in a long-term project to identify sites where the AAF disposed of surplus materials in England during WWII, and we excavated part of one such site a couple of weeks ago.

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Here is one of the stencilled panels recovered:

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This is marked as belonging to B-17G-95-BO 43-38733, SC-K "I'll Be Seeing You" of the 612th Bomb Squadron, 401st Bomb Group.
'733 can be seen in the line-up below, second from the front.

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On March 24th 1945, while bombing a Luftwaffe airfield in support of the Operation Varsity Rhine crossings, the 36 B-17s put up by the 401st encountered "deadly accurate" flak over the target.
18 of the 36 were damaged, 16 of receiving major damage.

One of these heavily damaged aircraft was SC-K, being flown by Lt C.J. Campbell and his crew, who were on their 29th mission.
Despite losing two engines over the target and having the elevator controls shot away, making the aircraft nearly uncontrollable, Lt. Campbell managed to nurse his plane back across the Channel to England.
Spotting Halesworth airfield near the coast, Lt. Campbell let down to land, but on final approach a third engine failed, which threw the plane into a spin and resulted in a crash just short of the runway.

Campbell and his Co-pilot Lt. P.W. Foy miraculously survived, but the remaining seven members of the crew perished in the crash:

Navigator:
Lt D.B. Gruhn

Togglier:
S/Sgt Joseph R. Pearlin, #11120564
Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart.
Buried in Plot C, Row 1, Grave 51, Cambridge American Cemetery, England.

Radio Operator:
T/Sgt G.M. Feo

Engineer / Top Turret Gunner:
T/Sgt C.F. Kartes

Ball Turret Gunner:
S/Sgt E. Sullivan

Tail Gunner:
S/Sgt C.K. Dalton

Waist Gunner:
S/Sgt H.M. Murray

Campbell and his crew in front of '733 on February 10th 1945, after returning from a mission to Dulmen, Germany:

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Lest we forget
Paul Bellamy
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donaldbyers  
#2 Posted : Friday, October 23, 2009 12:30:41 PM(UTC)
donaldbyers

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Location: Lubbock Texas

Is that the only thing found in that dig and where was it located at? Could you send me the pic of the aircraft lined up please. 43-38810 Mrs Knobby in the foregound.

Don
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
Paul Bellamy  
#3 Posted : Friday, October 23, 2009 2:58:48 PM(UTC)
Paul Bellamy

Rank: Administration

Groups: Approved, Administrators
Joined: 9/28/2006(UTC)
Posts: 964
United Kingdom
Location: Holme, Hunts

Hi Don,

From the two test pits dug, we recovered over 10 tons of aircraft parts, both discarded damaged components and unused spares.
Aircraft types covered B-17, B-24, P-38, P-47 and P-51.

As for the location, all I'm allowed to say at the moment is it's "somewhere in East Anglia", and more than two-hours drive from Deenethorpe.

E-mail copy of the photo on the way.

All the best,
Paul
Paul Bellamy
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donaldbyers  
#4 Posted : Friday, October 23, 2009 3:59:16 PM(UTC)
donaldbyers

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Location: Lubbock Texas

Thanks for the info Paul,

First four are:

3-38810 SC-V Mrs Knobby
3-38733 SC-K I'll Be Seeing You
3-38541 SC-F Diabolical Angle
3-37790 SC-J Lady Luck

Can't read the remaining.

Don
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
Paul Bellamy  
#5 Posted : Friday, October 23, 2009 6:38:05 PM(UTC)
Paul Bellamy

Rank: Administration

Groups: Approved, Administrators
Joined: 9/28/2006(UTC)
Posts: 964
United Kingdom
Location: Holme, Hunts

Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the info Paul,

First four are:

3-38810 SC-V Mrs Knobby
3-38733 SC-K I'll Be Seeing You
3-38541 SC-F Diabolical Angle
3-37790 SC-J Lady Luck

Can't read the remaining.

Don


Looking at the fin letters, and assuming they are all 612th aircraft, I can expand your list a bit:

43-38810 SC-V Mrs Knobby (formerly IY-N, the IY still faintly visible on the fuselage)
43-38733 SC-K I'll Be Seeing You
43-38541 SC-F Diabolical Angel
43-37790 SC-J Lady Luck
43-38788 SC-T Heavy Date
44-6505 SC-N Satisfaction Guaranteed

The one on the far end of the line is a bit trickier to identify.
It looks to have the letter P on the fin, as it can't be F or T as both of those are already in the photo.
However, SC-P was 42-31891, which was an olive drab B-17G which survived the war and was scrapped at Kingman.
The last Fort in the photo also has a Cheyenne tail turret.

Ah well, if nothing else that's two more on the list. ;)

All the best,
Paul
Paul Bellamy
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ilbcnu2  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:34:40 PM(UTC)
ilbcnu2

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Hi,
I just found this site and was very curious about the "I'll Be Seeing You". This was my grandfather, Lt. Col Joe Cromer's plane. He was the pilot of the I'll be seeing you. In fact, that is my grandmother painted on the panel. After his crew departed from overseas did another crew just pick up where they left off? I would love to have info you can provide. Thank you very much, Holli Boulware
donaldbyers  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, November 10, 2009 10:41:57 PM(UTC)
donaldbyers

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Location: Lubbock Texas

Holli,

That would be correct when a crew returns to the states the aircraft would go to another crew. It would also happen when your grandfather was not flying another crew may fly the plane. I'll be seeing you flew a total of 48 missions until it "Sustained extensive flak damage and crashed while attempting a force-landing at Westhall, Suffolk on 24 Mar 1945 Rheine (236) ."

Contact me through historian@401bg.com and I can provide one contact you may be able to talk with
Don Byers
Group Historian
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
Paul Bellamy  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, July 27, 2010 6:36:51 AM(UTC)
Paul Bellamy

Rank: Administration

Groups: Approved, Administrators
Joined: 9/28/2006(UTC)
Posts: 964
United Kingdom
Location: Holme, Hunts

Stars and Stripes has printed an article on the excavations: LINK

All the best,
PB
Paul Bellamy
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Paul Bellamy  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:51:29 PM(UTC)
Paul Bellamy

Rank: Administration

Groups: Approved, Administrators
Joined: 9/28/2006(UTC)
Posts: 964
United Kingdom
Location: Holme, Hunts

Joint memorial dedication service this afternoon for the crew of "I'll Be Seeing You", one of a pair commemorating two 8AF bomber crashes on the approach to Halesworth airfield.

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Paul Bellamy
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donaldbyers  
#10 Posted : Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:34:29 AM(UTC)
donaldbyers

Rank: Administration

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Joined: 3/5/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,019
Location: Lubbock Texas

Thanks for posting pictures here Paul!!!
Sgt. Donald C. Byers, 613th Bomb Squadron, Togglier, 42-97344 Carrie B II, KIA 08/24/1944.
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