Willis S. Cole
A Non-Profit Corporation, Washington U.S.A.
Congressional Medal Of Honor
Lady Jeannette, B-17G-35VE, SN: 42-97904
Delivered to the Army Air Force on 1 April, 1944
Arrived in England, on "D Day," 6 June, 1944
Crashed on 9 November, 1944, in France
Four crewmen were killed in the crash, five survived by bailing out.
1st Lt. Donald J. Gott, Pilot, K.I.A.,
Congressional Medal Of Honor,
G.O. 38, 16 May, 1945
2nd Lt. William E. Metzger, Jr., Co-Pilot, K.I.A., Congressional Medal Of Honor
G.O. 38, 16 May, 1945
2nd Lt. Joseph F. Harms, Bombardier, K.I.A..
2nd Lt. John A. Harland, Navigator, K.I.A..
T/Sgt. Russell W. Gustafson, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, K.I.A..
T/Sgt. Robert A. Dunlap, Radio Operator, K.I.A.
Sgt. James O. Fross, Ball Turret Gunner, K.I.A..
Sgt. William R. Robbins, Right Waist Gunner, K.I.A..
Sgt. Herman B. Krimminger, Tail Gunner, K.I.A.
729th Bombardment Squadron (H)
452nd Bombardment Group (H)
45th Combat Wing
3rd Air Division
8th United States Army Air Force
Deopham Green, England
Other Squadrons of the Group, 728th, 730th & 731st.
Mission Number: 162
Primary target of the mission of the day, 9 November, 1944,
Metz - Thionville, France
In support of a planned attack by General Patton
452nd Bombardment Group (H) diverted to secondary target:
Four minutes before
bomb drop, with its bomb bay door open, the
Lady Jeannette was struck by two FLAK bursts. The first tore
off the number four engine (outside engine, Co-Pilot's side) clear
back to the edge of the wing. The engine was forced downward
when it was torn off and its fuel line was bent down, the flowing
fuel, which could not be shut off, caught on fire with flame blowing
back past the bomber's tail. Seconds later, the second shell burst
below the numbers one and two engines on the Pilot's side. The
number one engine stopped with its propeller un-feathered, the
number two engine was broken and it lost some power output,
while smoke from it flowed along the flight path. A piece of the shell
tore through the Flight Engineer's leg, taking out a piece of bone about
an inch long. Another piece, cut the Radio Operator's leg and cut
through his right arm, just above the wrist, leaving the hand dangling
by a small strip of flesh. Other pieces, cut many controls and several
entered the Ball Turret, whizzing around and around, with some
small pieces entering the Ball Turret Gunner's head.
For their heroic efforts in getting the bomber back beyond Allied
lines in an attempt to provide fast medical care for the wounded, the
Pilot and Co-Pilot were awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor.
The museum is preparing certified relics
recovered from that bomber's crash site
The village where the bomber crashed
gave the museum permission
to install a memorial to the bomber and its crew at the south end of the
Installation was completed on 9 November, 2000, with the ceremony
attended by Jean Metzger Scholfield, the sister of the Co-pilot, and
and several member of the 109th Evac. Hospital.
Your donations will all be used to help meet this goal, to update previous
memorials installed, in France, by the museum, such as a new memorial
to 1st Lt. Richard F. Noble, U.S.A.A.F., and P.O. Henri E. DUBE, R.C.A.F.
These two Allied were executed at the village of Olizy, France, on 8 August,
1944, by the Germans, when captured for second time in their attempt to
reach on-coming Allied troops. This memorial, was dedicated on the
9th of November, 2000, and two other memorials were dedicated on the
10th of November, 2000. All four made possible by your donations.
Memorial Park - In development at
this time, is a Memorial Park
at the crash site of the Lady Jeannette in the Boise de Hattonville. The
crash site has been basically cleared, there is a 150 meter perimeter
fence installed around the crash site and the each of the original impact
craters in the park, created when the bomber broke into four large parts
have been preserved and surrounded by low chain fences.
In the future, the Memorial Park will be reached via the road
that is next to the Memorial at the south end of Hattonville. Currently
visitors must be escorted to the Memorial Park, and prior arrangements
must be made, by contacting the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a Tax-Deductible Donation,
to be accompanied with a certified
relic premium, please send your request to: email@example.com
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This page last updated: Saturday, June 10, 2006 09:43:42 PM