The 'No Name' Bomber
B-24J, SN: 42-51266
(Due to the number of quality photographs on this page, the pictures will load slow.)
This photograph is of the replacement B-24 for SN: 42-51226. The serial number
is the only alteration on this picture, it has been changed to match 42-51226.
The RCM. (ECM.) antennas and markings are the same as the bomber that crashed
at Tincourt-Boucly, France.
Photograph from the collection of Stephen Hutton, Photograph by: Sam Sox
Computer modification by: Willis S. Cole, Jr.
A B-24-J, SN: 42-51226
heavy bomber of the 36th Bombardment
Squadron RCM of the 8th United States Army Air Force, which was
attached to the 100th Group R.A.F. The bomber's cargo was all the
equipment, and batteries to power it, that was needed to fulfill it's
mission of RCM, or Radar Counter Measures, now referred to as
ECM., Electronic Counter Measures.
The following description of the 100th Group's duties was supplied
to the museum by: Mr. Stephen Hutton, the contact person for the
36th Bombardment Group.
"The function of the R.A.F. 100th Group as a whole was bomber
support. The Group, at this time, was charged to deceive the enemy
by jamming Radar and SPOOF deceptions to draw the enemy fighters
away from Bomber Command's true targets."
36th B.S. Patch
Photograph: Stephen Hutton
Designed By: S/Sgt. Stanley L. Walsh, SN: 39250856
The 36th Bomb. Squadron RCM was a specialized, secret,
Squadron equipped with RCM. equipment. You can see the
RCM. antennas under the wing.
In November, the
bomber which arrived in the Squadron on
22 June, 1944, was modified to hold additional electronic equipment,
including IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), 4 Dina Sets and
2 Mandrel III units. Ditching equipment was also installed.
They also carried what was call Window, or Chaff, which was
aluminum strips cut to specific lengths to cause radar returns of the
enemy radar. Large areas could be blocked out so the screened bombers
could enter enemy territory without being detected or the enemy radar
gun laying equipment would miss-function, preventing accurate aiming.
Computer Image: Willis S. Cole, Jr. Part From: Gerard Leguillier
Hydraulic Swivel Joint, A.A.C. 56009 Mounted Swivel Joint.
This one is probably from the Pilot's side landing gear system.
Computer Image: Willis S. Cole, Jr. Part From: Gerard Leguillier
Rudder Bell Crank, each B-24 had two of these in the tail
assembly. They transferred the cable movement into a
back and forth rudder movement.
The two aircraft parts, given to the museum
on Memorial Day
1998, by the farm field owner where the bomber crashed, proved on
17 July, 1998, to have come from a B-24 and not a B-17 as all the
French testified crashed at Tincourt-Boucly in November, 1944.
Early on the morning of 10 November, 1944, the
on a screening mission with the 100th Group to eastern Belgium.
The screening position was between 5017N-0500E & 4902N-0500E
at 20,000 feet. Time of jamming between 0200 - 0340 hours.
R.A.F. Main Attack: Small number of Mosquitoes on Misc. targets
Results: The enemy reacted in
considerable strength to the spoof
Window force which was put up along with the screen.
No A/C. missing.
Special commendations were received from General
Doolittle and Air Vice Marshall Addison for the actives
this night, a this was one of the most successful missions
of the 100th Group R.A.F. and 36th Bomb. SQ. RCM.
The bomber's number 4 engine was struck by
flak soon after
the screening run was reached. The Pilot, 1st Lt. Joseph Hornsby,
turned the bomber to head for England. Enroute, the number 3
engine began to loose power, while the number 4 was on fire and
the interior electricity, provided by a generator on the number 3
engine failed. The back-up power that was supposed to furnished
by a generator on the number 2 engine failed to come on, so the
pilots had to use a flashlight and all interior lighting equipment
depending on electricity failed to operate until the crash.
At 8,000 feet, fearing they were nearing the
Channel and realizing
the damaged bomber would not make it across the Channel and not
wanting his crew to bail out over water, Lt. Hornsby gave the order
to bail out. Lt Hornsby stayed with the bomber for some time and
when he believed everyone had bailed out, he left the bomber.
As the Radio Operator, T/Sgt. Joseph P.
Danahy, was leaving
the bomber, the Waist Gunner, Sgt. Raymond G. Mears, told
T/Sgt. Danahy that he was going to the nose to see why his friend,
Sgt. Frank A. Bartho, the Nose Gunner, had not come back to bail out.
When the bomber crashed at 02:30 hours at the
north end of
Tincourt-Boucly, France, three men were still in the nose of the
bomber. Sgt. Mears, Sgt. Bartho and 2nd Lt. Frederick Grey, the
Navigator. Both 2nd Lt. Grey and Sgt. Mears knew for certain of
the order to bail out, yet they stayed with the bomber, as did Sgt. Bartho.
The crash site in daylight, 10 Nov., 1944 The original picture given to the museum, in
B-24J-226 1994, with information it was the crash site
Photograph from: Stephen Hutton Collection of a B-17.
Photographer: Sam Sax Photograph from: Bernard Leguillier
The is no doubt now, with the identified
parts and the set of
pictures, that the identity of the bomber that crashed at Tincourt-Boucly
can no longer be questioned. Nor can the actions of the French in
helping pick up the remains of the three crewmen killed in the crash.
one continue to question the Priest's statement saying the
remains in the hidden grave consisted of the remains from one or several
American Aviators killed in the crash at Tincourt-Boucly.
It is my belief, that Sgt. Bartho had become trapped when the electrical
power went out with the damaged engines. The front turret's hydraulic
system was driven by a small electrical motor and it appears the turret
was turned at the moment the electrical system died and Sgt. Bartho
could not get it turned back to the straight position to allow him to
open the door into the bomber.
It is my belief, that both Lt. Grey and Sgt. Mears died while they
were attempting to help get Sgt. Bartho free to bail out. Since, there
were no living witnesses, this heroic action worthy of the Congressional
Medal Of Honor went unrewarded.
Photographs From: Stephen Hutton Collection Photographed by: Sam Sax
A broken and burnt landing gear assembly. The debris field thrown from the bomber as
A relic of the crash, showing the force with it disintegrated, after rolling over and diving
which the bomber disintegrated. You can straight down, exploding once in the air and
imagine what happened to the three men's again when it stuck the earth.
The bomber had no explosives
aboard, however it had 8,000
pounds of heavy forklift batteries and "Secret RCM electronic
equipment" in the bomb bay, that acted like explosives when they
hit the earth so hard.
Just two months later, on 22 January, 1945, the B-26, "Where's
It At?," crashed 150 feet inside the woods shown just to the right
of center of the picture on the right. Just to the right of the high
point of the woods. Two men were killed, and two Soldiers Medals
were awarded to the Pilot and Co-pilot. Please visit the B-26's
web page, going through the 4 Bombers Page below.
I received the following emails in answer to a request for information
on the B-24J's nose turret posted on the "WWII Ring Web" on our
The Consolidated nose turret was hydraulically
operated and if the
electrical power quit the operator was stuck in the turret. He had a
manual crank located on the floor, but it was hard to reach and hard
to use. Also, the turret had two doors, a turret door which had to be
opened by the gunner and an inner door which had to be opened by
another crewman in the bomber.
It is quite possible for the nose turret gunner to be stuck as you stated.
Thanks for your follow-up. I was a nose
gunner for the 449th Bomb
Group, 719th Sq., 15th Air Force based in Grottaglie, Italy. My combat
experience ran from 4/5/44 to 3/15/44 and our entire crew got in 50
missions without serious wound or death.
We flew a B-24J overseas which was loaned to another crew for its
first mission and shot down. We were then were assigned an experienced
B-34H which had an Emerson nose turret. Also we occasionally flew
J models when our regular ship was being repaired. I was over 6 feet
tall and didn't fit well in most turrets, but the Consolidated was the
tightest fit and could barely reach or operate the emergency crank.
The Emerson was all electric, much roomier and offered excellent
The Emerson also had only one door which I operated, whereas the
Consolidated had the two doors and the gunner couldn't escape unless
someone opened the inner door for him. Many nose gunners were
lost because in an emergency they were trapped when nobody was
there to open his door. I was pinned in the turret one time by the
g forces when we went into a steep dive, and believe me it was no fun
Hope this adds a few facts that will help in your study and your
conclusion is very logical and probable.
B-24J SN: 42-51226 - The crew was planning on naming the bomber
"I Walk Alone"
Crew: 1st Lt. Joseph R. Hornsby, Pilot
2nd Lt. Robert H. Casper, Co-pilot
2nd Lt. Frederick G. Grey, Navigator, K.I.A.
RCM and Flight Controlling Officer
Sgt. Frank A. Bartho, Nose Turret Gunner, K.I.A.
Sgt. Jackson K. Chestnut, Flight Engineer, Top Turret Gunner
Sgt. Joe P. Danahy, Radio Operator/RCM Operator
Sgt. Raymond G. Mears, Waist Gunner, K.I.A.
Sgt. Pete Yslava, Belly Turret Gunner
Sgt. Pete Jimenez, Tail Gunner
Photograph from: Steve Hutton Photographer: Sam Sax
Lt. Hornsby's crew with its training bomber, "Lady Jane."
Standing, Left to Right
Sgt. Pete B. Yslava, 2nd Lt. Robert H. Casper,
1st Lt. Joseph R. Hornsby, 2nd Lt. Fred G. Grey, K.I.A.,
and Sgt. Charles R. Root.
Kneeling, Left to Right
Sgt. Frank A. Bartho, K.I.A., Sgt. Jack K. Chestnut,
Sgt. Raymond G. Mears, K.I.A., Sgt. Joseph P Danahy
(During last flight, Sgt. Root, was not a member of the crew.
and Sgt. Pete Jimenez flew with the crew.)
Hidden Grave Of The Three K.I.A. Crewmen
2d Lt. Fredrick G. Gray, K.I.A.
S/Sgt. Raymond G. Mears, K.I.A.
S/Sgt. Frank A. Bartho, K.I.A.
Skip Link ---- http://www.ww1.org/gravespage7.htm
Squadron Of Deception
The 36th Bomb Squadron in World War II
Author: Stephen Hutton
the 36th Bomb Squadron (RCM) Website at
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