Date: 1943 Mar04/04 A/C Type: B-17F  Fortress SN: 41-24512 Code: A/C Nickname: Rose O'Day
 File: 273 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 91 BG - 322 BS Mission/Raid: Train yards Hamm, a/t Emden, Germany.
1 Pilot 1Lt. Ralph A. Felton Jr.              MIA 9 Gunner S/Sgt. Walter L. Bliven  KIA, buried Texel
2 CP Lt. Harold E. Kious    POW (rescued by the ferry boat) 10 Gunner S/Sgt. Andrew H. Burnett  KIA, bur. Texel
3 Nav Lt. William D. Toole                   MIA 11    
4 B Lt. William H. Hylton                 MIA 12    
5 BTG S/Sgt. Robert J. Larson              MIA 13    
6 RO S/Sgt. Robert M. Paul      POW 14    
7 Gunner S/Sgt. Braden C. Griffin   POW 15    
8 Gunner T/Sgt. Elio Traverso                  MIA 16                    

On the return from Hamm, this aircraft was damaged by fighters and was on fire. Came down east of Texel Island in the Wadden Sea, 2,5km east of Oudeschild-harbor. 5 men are still MIA, 3 POW and 2 drowned men were brought in dead at Oudeschild, buried in De Koog village, Texel. A few years ago, 2 engines and 4 propellers were found by divers/fishermen on the crash location.

Co-Pilot 1Lt. Harold E. Kious experienced firsthand what hundreds of American airmen became fatal: the Mae-West life jacket had not enough upwards buoyancy to keep the thick ETO-clothing and the head of the airman on the surface. He parachuted in the ice cold and at this point very rough Wadden Sea, went under and lost consciousness after a short while. He was very lucky. In 1943, the port of arrival of the Den Helder-Texel ferryboat was located much more east on Texel island, not at 't Horntje as today, but at Oudeschild. The ferry boat 'Dr. Wagemaker' was very near the crash location and the captain launched a lifeboat to rescue Kious. This despite the fact that the Germans on board told him not to do iso. This brave act of the captain and crew saved Kious' life. He regained consciousness in German custody and learned many years later who saved him. Kious called 4 March 1943 his 2nd birthday. He died age 91 in 2008 and was cremated in the United States. His ashes was spread in the Wadden Sea on the spot where he was rescued in 1943.

A plaque on the old ferry-arrival station in Oudenschild remembers the event: 

The ferry boat in 1943: 

Read more:



The five men MIA probably washed with the current eastwards. It is possible their remains stayed at sea or washed ashore on a Frisian beach, in the German Bight or Danish West Coast up to southern Norway. Exhumed and identified after the war as American, not by name and reburied in US centralization war cemetery "Ardennes" (Neuville-en-Condroz), today Neupr√©, Belgium. This was the standard route that was followed for American non-ID's. "Ardennes" is in fact largely an 'US WW2-Northwest ETO airwar centralization cemetery'.

- File Texel Island War Graves:

- File US Cemetery 'Ardennes':

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)