Date: 1944 Dec 06/06 A/C Type: B-17G  Fortress SN: 43-37927 Code: A/C Nickname: The Last Roundup
 File: 631 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 486 BG - 833 BS Mission/Raid: Merseburg near Leipzig
1 Pilot 2Lt. Bruce C. Alexander      MIA (WOM) 9 RWG not carried
2 Co-pilot 2Lt. Charles B. Bryson 10 TG S/Sgt. Chester Zolynski     MIA (WOM)
3 Nav. F/O Roy J. Sykora             MIA (WOM) 11    
4 B 1Lt. Walt C. Hummel 12    
5 E Cpl. Robert C. Cook 13    
6 RO Cpl. Roy L. Henry 14    
7 BTG Cpl. Isadore Wolstein         MIA (WOM) 15    
8 LWG Cpl. Dwight K. Shurtleff      MIA (WOM)  16                    

Over target two engines were shot out by Flak. The crippled bomber was accompanied back to the UK by fighters, but flew into the Flak defences on the Dutch coast at harbor IJmuiden. There the remaining engines were hit and a wing broke-off. The aircraft dived into the North Sea in front of the IJmuiden harbor entrance and exploded upon impact. Three parachutes were seen about 1/4 miles off shore.

The accompanying fighters tried to make make radio contact with 'The Last Roundup', but this was unsuccessful. The bomber should have passed the Dutch coast at 'The Flak Gap' just north of IJmuiden, but instead flew right into the IJmuiden harbor Flak defences. IJmuiden ('Ymuiden'). was also an Atlantic Wall 'Festung' and heavily defended by the Germans. The low flying B-17 didn't make a chance.

The aircraft came down in burning sections and exploded on impact in the sea, just outside the IJmuiden harbor entrance. This is a terrible down-wind spot with usually high waves, ice cold dark-brown water and a very strong downforcing current (sea here is 90ft deep). All nine crew perished. The bodies of four men were possibly recovered or washed ashore and were initially buried here or more downstream the coastline. These men were co-pilot 2Lt. Charles B. Bryson, 1Lt. Walt C. Hummel, Cpl. Robert C. Cook and Cpl. Roy L. Henry. The other five men are MIA.  

Read more:

2Lt. Bruce C. Alexander:

F/O Roy J. Sykora:

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