Olson's Crew

The last flight for "Honeychile" was the Oct 14th mission to bomb the German Ford Motor plant at Köln (Cologne). As the aircraft neared city and its IP, the aircraft suffered mechanical problems and started to lose engines, starting with #4. The pilot attempted to keep up with the formation, but #3 started to lose power. The loss of a second engine meant they would have to abort the run. LT Olson turned west to friendly territory losing altitude all the way. Finally engine #1 gave out leaving the plane flying on #2 with a little help form #3. Eventually, LT Olson gave the order to abandon ship. The pilot put the aircraft in autopilot and left.

All crewman survived the bail out, but Jack Garbutt injured his back and Vernon Magill injured his ankle. They had come down behind friendly lines and were quickly surrounded by friendly Belgians and picked up by the Army. Meanwhile, the autopilot affected a safe landing near Liege, Belgium. The payload consisted of GP and incendiary bombs and was not jettisoned. On landing one bomb detonated and destroyed the aircraft.

The crew would continue their tour in #6321, except LT James Olson. Olson was later killed in a mid-air collision while flying as an observer on #687.


Photos submitted by David Brown, son of Warren Brown.

Name Rank Position First Mission Last Mission Status
James G. Olson   Pilot //44 04/26/45 KIA (14 missions)
Jack A. Garbutt   Co-pilot //44 //45 Completed tour.
John W. Falls   Bombardier //44 //45 Completed tour.
Abie Goldstein   Navigator //44 //45 Completed tour.
Warren C. Brown   Gunner //44 //45 Completed tour, 34 missions.
Vernon T. MaGill   FE/Top //44 //45 Completed tour.
Joseph P. Campbell   Radio/Gunner //44 //45 Completed tour.
Gene S. Kowalski   Armorer/Gunner //44 //45 Completed tour.
James D. Aten   Ball //44 //45 Completed tour.
William B. Ghant   Tail //44 //45 Completed tour.
Mission Date Name ID S/N Type
052 08/03/44   ND 4x-xx877 B17G
089 10/07/44 Honeychile NB 43-38029 B17G
090 10/09/44   NT 43-37899 B17G
091 10/14/44 Honeychile NB 43-38029 B17G

Created 05/16/99 Modified 12/23/16

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