Recently, I was reading Robert Goebel’s memoir “Mustang Ace”. Goebel was with the 31
st 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 463
rd’s own “The Skylark” A/C42-31770 brought in for a nice crash landing by pilot Captain Robert Davies and co-pilot 2 nd 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 775 th.
Not posting this for any special reason other than I thought it was interesting.