This crew began with B24H (#681) and finished their tour in a B17G (#963). The crew would experience a "double pucker" mission to Mannheim on the 14th of August 1944.
The crew referred unofficially to their aircraft as "J for Jewboy." Derived from their call letter "J" on their plane and as an afront to Hitler for his treatment of Jews. The mission to Mannheim was the crew's 3rd combat sortie in their new 17, and it would nearly be their last. Heavy and accurate FLAK peppered the aircraft. One burst hit below "Late Again" with its bomb bay doors opened and holed them through-and-through. Inspite of the near misses none of the crew were hit by shrapnel. However, the aircraft was in trouble!
The crew fell behind the formation before she could reach the rally point NW of Mannheim. With all of her superchargers gone, and # 4 smoking, she could not maintain speed and altitude. The pilot, copilot and navigator decided the best route was a direct one home, so at 13.5k feet they left the planned course and made straight for the coast. Eventually, #3 would fail and the pilot and co-pilot would have much difficulty keeping the right wing up.
"Late Again" exited enemy territory over France between Calais and Dunkirque with an altitude of only 5k feet. By the time they made land fall over England they were perilously low, only 2k feet. The had broadcast their predicement to the ASR and rescue crews were standing by. Fortunately, the aircraft held steady at 1k to 1.5k feet and the pilot was able to put his aircraft down at Sudbury, beating other returning elements of the 486th.
"Late Again" suffered 1000+ penetrations of its hull of various sizes. Repairs would take 10 days to affect, giving the crew a brief respite.
|Name||Rank||Position||First Mission||Last Mission||Status|
|Cyril H. Fairhead||2nd LT||Pilot||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Billie J. Wetzel||2nd LT||Co-pilot||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Robert T. "Moose" Mattord||2nd LT||Navigator||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Louis R. Waters||2nd LT||Bombardier||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Shefton S. "Yohan" Adams||S/SGT||FE/Top||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Richard A. Wood||S/SGT||Radio||05/07/44||??/??/44||Completed tour.|
|Andrew N. Arrington||SGT||Gunner||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Donald V. Reed||S/SGT||Gunner||05/07/44||??/??/44||?|
|Norman C. Bliss||SGT||Tail|
|John Romancheck||Crew Chief||05/07/44||??/??/45|
|021||06/12/44||Lady from Hell||PH||42-52681||B24|
|024||06/16/44||Twentieth Century Wolf (?)||NM||42-52483||B24|
|026||06/20/44||Lady from Hell||PH||42-52681||B24|
Completed x Missions
|Created 05/15/99||Modified 12/23/16|
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