Date: 1945 Apr 03/03 A/C Type: B-17G   Fortress SN: 43-38992 Code: EP-S A/C Nickname:
 File: 337 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 100 BG - 351 BS Mission/Raid: Kiel
1 Pilot 2Lt. William E. Baldwin   recovered 1946 9 Rad S/Sgt. Harold O. Weber    POW
2 Co-pilot 2Lt. Francis G. Beedle     recovered 1946 10 TG Sgt. Ogden W. Barron     bail out, fell dead
3 Nav. F/O John H. Buckley    bail out, fell dead 11    
4 B Sgt. Leslie O. Davies    bail out, fell dead 12    
5 E Sgt. Kenneth E. Wright  recovered 1946 13    
6 RO (G) Sgt. Kermit E. Jones    POW 14    
7 BTG Sgt. Randolph A. Goodwin bail out, fell dead 15    
8 WG Sgt. Alfred Mantopoli    recovered 1946 16                    

Because of a malfunction bombs could not be released over Kiel. On return, the bombs could be dropped on Helgoland Island. At Texel Island the bomber flew low from north to south over the Island and was hit by several Flak positions that opened fire on her. Two engines out and fire. Seven men bailed out too low, one stuck on tail (KIA), four fell dead (KIA). Two POW. Others KIA in crash, found in ground 1946.

Last B-17 on this website. Begin April 1945, the Allied armies entered Germany. The British Army crossed the Rhine at Wesel and advanced into Northwest Germany on Munster, Bremen and Emden. The Americans fought their way in the centre. From Koblenz, Cologne and Frankfurt towards Nürnberg, Leipzig and Berlin. Russian Army was at the Oder river, just east of Berlin. However, Germany was still largely intact and the strategic bombing went on as in the year before. 3rd April 1945, the harbor of Kiel was target of the 8th Air Force. Target were U-boat wharfs where the most modern type of U-boats were build the war had seen so far. 

Over Kiel, Lt. Baldwin's 43-38992 could not bomb because of a technical problem. On the return the bombs were dropped on fortications on Helgoland Island. Later the B-17 left formation and flew alone turning south, possibly the technical problems had become worse (low on gas). The plan was to land in liberated parts of Holland or Belgium. Over Texel Island on an altitude of 5000 ft, German Flak gunners shot out two engines and the aircraft went down in flames, exploded on impact.     

Monument for 43-38992 crew Baldwin, Texel, bottom on this page:

Map below. Texel Island. Four men parachuted out.
Radio and radar operators Sgt. Harold O. Weber and Sgt. Kermit E. Jones jumped first, the wind blew them eastwards and they landed in the water, area Marsdiep. Weber was rescued by a fisherman. Jones landed close to shore and could walk towards the dike. Both became POW for the remaining month of the war. Two more men jumped, one was too low and fell dead (Sgt. Goodwin). The other men got his parachute entangled on the tail and he was dragged into the crash and explosion.

Burial 10 April 1945. Allied war graves plot, cemetery Den Burg ('Burg' on above map).
During WW2 almost 180 Allied casualties were already buried in this war graves plot, most washed ashore airmen. In February 1945 burials started on row 8, which is the front row, nearest to the path (see below). In the centre of this front row (now empty positions on below image), three coffins were interred of the crew of 43-38992. In grave no. 176 Sgt. Randolph Goodwin. Grave 177 Sgt. Ogden W. Barron. In the coffin in grave 178 were two pairs of hands and further burned remains of two men, F/O John H. Buckley and Sgt. Leslie O. Davies. They were not the last Allied buried. From 17 April until July 8 1945 another 8 British RAF airmen and one Italian soldier (exhumed) were buried on the right side of the front row.

Recovery 1946 of the 43-38992.
The Germans had not recovered parts of the aircraft that were forced deeper in the ground. Post war, a Texel civilian allerted the authorities and 16 August 1946, four remains were found. These were pilot 2Lt. William E. Baldwin, co-pilot 2Lt. Francis G. Beedle, Sgt. Alfred Mantopoli and Sgt. Kenneth E. Wright. Their remains were transported to St. Avold in France and were buried after identification in US war cemetery "Lorraine" in northeast France. Also John Buckley and Kenneth Wright were reburied in Lorraine. Pilot Lt. Baldwin was in 1950 reburied in San Diego.       

On website 100 Bomb Group Baldwin:

On Co-pilot Lt. Francis Beedle:

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