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Pole 12

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Knarweg/Vogelweg, Lelystad

On January 11, 1944, the American Boeing B-17G 42-3486, a four-engine bomber, crashed here in the IJsselmeer. The aircraft was on its return flight from target Halberstadt to home base Alconbury in England. The aircraft belonged to the 482nd Bomb Group and was a 'Pathfinder', equipped with H2X radar, to be able to observe targets under a cloud cover. The crew therefore consisted of eleven men instead of the usual ten. Eight of them were killed in action, three were made prisoners of war.

Crew

  • Pilot: James J. Maginnis, 1st Lieutenant, age 26

  • Co-pilot: Roy H. Peterson, 1st Lieutenant, age 23

  • Navigator: Clarence E. Blevins, 1st Lieutenant, age 22

  • Radar Navigator: John J. O'Brien, Flight Officer, age 26

  • Bombardier: George C. Wylie, 1st Lieutenant, age 21

  • Radio operator: Raymond Rajala, Staff Sergeant, age 25

  • Dorsal turret gunner: William A. Glenn, Technical Sergeant, age 30

  • Belly turret gunner: Enian C. Mills, Staff Sergeant, age 22

  • Left side hatch gunner: Joseph P. Keane, Staff Sergeant, age 20

  • Right side hatch gunner: Angelo J. Riccardi, Staff Sergeant, age 21

  • Tail Gunner: Harry C. Sutton, Sergeant, age 19

Rajala, Glenn and Mills managed to evacuate the B-17 by parachute. After their stay, largely in POW camp Stalag Luft IV near Gross-Tychow, they returned to America. The remains of seven other crew members were fished up or washed up and buried in the months following the accident. It was not until the wreckage was salvaged in 1969 that Peterson's remains were found and he could also be buried. Maginnis, Peterson and Blevins are now buried in America, the other five rest in the American military cemetery in the Ardennes (Belgium).

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