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Steve_Fossey

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Reply with quote  #1 

Recently, I was reading Robert Goebel’s memoir “Mustang Ace”. Goebel was with the 31st Fighter Group. On pages 113 and 114 he relates how on 14 June 1944, he and his flight split off from the rest of the 308th FS to provide protection to a B-17 straggling back from Budapest, Hungary. The B-17 had two engines feathered and was falling behind the formation and losing altitude. The B-17 eventually crash landed. On a low level pass after the landing Goebel saw the crew waving, the tail number was 770.

The rest of the story comes from MACR 6094. The B-17 was the 463rd’s own “The Skylark” A/C42-31770 brought in for a nice crash landing by pilot Captain Robert Davies and co-pilot 2nd Lt. Malcolm Coulman. The rest of the crew was hunkered down in the radio room. The crew had been given their choice of bailing out or staying with the plane. They all chose to stay with the plane. They were shaken but no one was injured in the landing. The tail gunner, S/Sgt Harold Scott, had been wounded over the target. Goebel did not know what happened to the crew. In the book Goebel writes: “Poor buggers,” I thought, “I hope you haven’t used up all your luck. You’re going to need a lot more.” Their luck did hold out, at least to a certain extent. They were in for almost 11 months of rough sledding as POWs. But, all of them returned to the US after the war. Alan Brown, the top turret gunner for crew 56, even ran into some old friends at Stalag Luft IV, members of crew 57 of the 775th.

Not posting this for any special reason other than I thought it was interesting.


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Steve Fossey
Swindy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Steve,
Great informational post here!!  Thanks.  What would have made it even more interesting and memorable would have been if you had the privilege of knowing Col. Bob Davies or "Col. Bob" as he was known to many of us who met with him each year at 463rd reunions.  A very impressive man with a personality to match.  I was privileged to call him my friend.  He was a very integral part of getting me, the "first 'Kid' " appointed to the Board of Directors of the 463rd as historian.  Col. Bob was a permanent member of the BOD for the 463rd BG Historical Society and was highly respected by all.    Colonel Robert Davies took his 'Last Flight' Dec. 13, 2003.  We miss him very much.

Joel

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Joel
463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron
Joel@463rd.org
Steve_Fossey

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Reply with quote  #3 
Joel,

It would have been a privilege to have known Col. Davies. I attended three reunions back around 1990 and I may have met him then, but I don't recall it. I do recall meeting Gene Parker, George Guderley, and Art Mendelsohn among others. I have some audio tapes my father made at those reunions. I don't remember what is on them. Once I get past some technical difficulties with my laptop I'll burn them onto CDs.

Steve

PS Thanks for the feedback.


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Steve Fossey
Swindy

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Reply with quote  #4 
I can guarantee you that Bob Davies was at the reunions when you attended.  Whether you actually met him or not, I couldn't say.  He intimidated most people until they got to know him and found out he really was a very nice man.  It took me some time to warm up to getting past his 'tough guy' facade but once I became a member of the Board of Directors, it became much easier.

Joel

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Joel
463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron
Joel@463rd.org
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