Date: 1943 Aug19/19 A/C Type: B-17F SN: 42-5392 Code: GN-X A/C Nickname: Stric Nine
 File: 268 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 303 BG - 427 BS Mission/Raid: Gilzen Rijen Airfield (near Breda, NL)
1 Pilot 2Lt. Lauren H. Quillen    washed ashore Zandvoort* 9 Gunner S/Sgt. Paul W. Abernathy       POW
2 Co-Pilot 2Lt. John R. Homan               MIA 10 TG Arthur K. Sauer                       POW
3 Nav 2Lt. Bevan W. Colby       washed ashore Den Helder 11    
4 B 2 Lt. William N. Irish       washed ashore The Hague 12    
5 E T/Sgt. Eldon F. Richter   washed ashore Heemskerk 13    
6 RO T/Sgt. Salvador J. DiCosmo  MIA 14    
7 Gunner S/Sgt. Elbert O. Price                   POW 15    
8 Gunner S/Sgt. Joe H. Brown                     POW 16                    

Was damaged by Flak on route back to England. Four men parachuted out and landed on shore at Hook of Holland (POW). The aircraft flew on and ditched in the North Sea off the Dutch coast south of The Hague. 6 KIA of which 4 washed ashore 10 days later. 2 MIA.
* Washing ashore at Zandvoort meant burial in Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery. Quillen was buried there with name and nr.

Below map shows B-17F 42-5392 'Stric Nine' crash position and wash ashore position of 4 of the crew 10 days later.

The 2 men MIA (2Lt. John R. Homan and Sgt. Salvador J. DiCosmo) can be in the wreck or lost at sea, but we believe they also washed ashore on the same coastline as the other crew, or a bit further north on the Frisian Isles or Frisian coast. In total 20 cemetery where Allied airmen were buried were located north of the crash position. Identification was not possible and they were buried locally as unknown Allied airmen. After the war all unknown military were exhumed. Based on uniform they were recognized as American airmen and transferred to the US Identification Centre in Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium. When ID failed they were reburied there as 'Known but to God' with washing ashore date on the cross (and rank when found). The washing ashore date of Homan and DiCosmo must lay between August 20 1943 and May 31 1944. The cemetery in Neuville-en-Condroz is today named "American (war) Cemetery "Ardennes" in Neupr√©.  


Burial card of pilot 2Lt. Lauren H. Quillen, Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery 1st Sept. 1943. Buried as 'English militair'.

Sources/Read more:


- 2012 research of the original WW2 Amsterdam Cemetery burial files.

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)