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Author Topic: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944  (Read 78677 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 01:33:19 PM »

'Boeing helicopter flotation device' but I am sure it is probably just a coincidence as all the numbers are not visible/in shot.

The Chinook wreck seems to have been relatively intact in 2005.  I imagine Mario and the gang are looking at a different wreck site.  Both of them are in deep water (93 and 100+ m).
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 08:57:50 AM »

From Mario:

The B-24 was lost in Northern Italy on 12 October 1944 during the night . But our B -17  was shot down on June 1944 on a sunny and hot day, 4 months before. We have a lot  of eyewitnesses. So that' s another story!

The author of the article that I sent you (he was one of the Sub [divers?] of  1960 expedition) wrote and described that they were definitely in a wreck of an American B-17 Flying Fortress.

MARCO PATUCCHI and HARRY SHINDLER wrote a book,  La mia guerra non è finita in which you'll find the exact and real story of B-24 (Dalai Editore 2011, 131-145). 

We know exactly how to proceed if we locate the remains of the crew ... if someone has not done it before (1960?).
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Bill Roe

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 09:43:21 AM »

From Mario:

We know exactly how to proceed if we locate the remains of the crew ... if someone has not done it before (1960?).


Thank you soooo much, Mario.    And thank you, Marty for this follow-up. 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 09:08:06 AM »

From Mario:

"This is a photo of Massimiliano (Archaeological Diver and Vice-President of the Diving School of Bolsena) and me returning from shooting video this morning. I'm on the right side. Starting operations at 05.30 am. These days high temperature."

Mario has also sent me a picture that he will publish at a later time.  If I understand him correctly, it is definitive proof that they have found the B-17, not the B-24.  I'm not good enough with aircraft ID to confirm this.  I'm sure the group will publish all their findings in due course.

In the second e-mail, Mario said: "Today we talked on the phone with the widow of  one of the divers of the 1960 expedition. She told us that the mission was just to find the Crew, but we understood she knows other things as well."
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 10:21:17 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 09:45:57 AM »

Thanks for the info Marty. Shame it wasn't a B-24, there were only 2 of them MIA in that area :( as opposed to a myriad of B-17's MIA.
A B-17 search will take longer but Woody has volunteered his services as well and we are compiling a (growing) list of missing B-17's in/from that area and time span. Thanks Woody :)
This must be the place
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2012, 10:33:55 AM »

Thanks for the info Marty. Shame it wasn't a B-24, there were only 2 of them MIA in that area :( as opposed to a myriad of B-17's MIA.
A B-17 search will take longer but Woody has volunteered his services as well and we are compiling a (growing) list of missing B-17's in/from that area and time span. Thanks Woody :)

Thanks to both of you--I don't have any extra time or energy to push this foward.   :-[
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2012, 10:54:56 AM »

Thanks for the info Marty. Shame it wasn't a B-24, there were only 2 of them MIA in that area :( as opposed to a myriad of B-17's MIA.
A B-17 search will take longer but Woody has volunteered his services as well and we are compiling a (growing) list of missing B-17's in/from that area and time span. Thanks Woody :)

Thanks to both of you--I don't have any extra time or energy to push this foward.   :-[

No problem Marty. Just pass on any info Mario comes up with. We are working on a list of 10 MIA so far. A simple ID of the tail would give the bomb group thus reducing the list to 2 or 3.
This must be the place
 
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2012, 05:27:13 AM »

Here is a link to the JPAC Central Identification Laboratory which is, apparently, now responsible for recovering and identifying the remains of our missing service personnel.
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2012, 02:14:58 PM »

Hi All, have you guys tried these guys yet? You may have to mention the FOIA, but they won't give you the run-around.
Best of luck...Dave

Airforce Historical Research Agency
600 Chennault Cr.
Maxwell,AFB Al.  36112-6424

(334) 953-2395
Mon-Fri, 8:30AM-4:00PM, CDT

www.afhra.af.mil
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2012, 04:46:21 PM »

One of the two agencies might be able to answer one of Mario's questions, which is: Did the 1960 American expedition recovery any remains?

My assumption is that someone might have a list of remains recovered from Bolsena Lake (if any).
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2012, 10:33:11 AM »

Sold Date: 04/05/2008
Channel: Online Auction
Source: eBay
Category: Militaria & Weapons
My Father-in-Law was captured in Italy after parachuting from his disabled B-17 (now on the bottom of Lake Bolsena) in January, 1944. He was shot during his descent. He ended up in an Officer's prison camp in Barth , Germany for 15 months, which housed both British and American captured officers, and was liberated by the Russians in 1945.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/p-o-w-jacket-from-stalag-luft-i-officers-camp 

Will try to follow this lead but, suspect the date is wrong. List of B-17's missing in vicinity of Lake Bolsena coming along. Going through ALL B-17 losses over Italy to ensure none escape and, to confirm list.



This must be the place
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2012, 10:42:25 AM »

Will try to follow this lead but, suspect the date is wrong.

You might try the Wayback Machine to see if you can get at the original e-bay id or e-mail mentioned in the text.

I don't know whether the Wayback archives e-bay ...

Quote
List of B-17's missing in vicinity of Lake Bolsena coming along. Going through ALL B-17 losses over Italy to ensure none escape and, to confirm list.

Very much appreciated!
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2012, 10:45:50 AM »

Latest update from Mario:

Buonasera Marty. During our research, a fisherman gave us some oxygen cylinders that his father had recovered in 1944 after the crash of the plane and used as floats for fishing nets. We are continuing our work and hope for more results in the next two weeks. Thanks a lot!

Mario
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2012, 01:36:20 PM »

Thanks for the O2 tanks information Marty. They are in remarkable condition considering their age and continuous use since as fishing net floats, well built they were for sure.
These oxygen tanks were common to and inter-changeable with B-17's and B-24's. They were designed with this in mind. The 15th airforce for example which had some bomb groups that flew B-17's and others B-24's, having gear that was compatible with both types made servicing, maintenance and turnaround easier and quicker.
Which makes identification of aircraft in lake still 'pending' unfortunately.
This must be the place
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2012, 10:43:44 AM »

Buonasera Marty,

While waiting to make our next dive, I found a 1960 newspaper with an article on the American mission in Bolsena. I translated the most important parts.

     “After sixteen years, the ending of a tragedy in Bolsena."

"Three World Champions to recover from the lake the bodies of the pilots of a downed plane."

They are Cesare Olgiai, Alberto Novelli and Ennio Falco who last summer beat the world record of dive reaching 131 meters. The research was led by Mister Scheaffer of the Grave Registration Commission (GRC). The wreck of the "Flying Fortress" is at 93 meters depth.

The three divers arrived from Naples to assist the GRC, a research office attached to the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), to recover the bodies of the allied pilots on board the Flying Fortress when it crashed in the Lake sixteen years ago.

The mission is headed by Mr. Scheaffer, a US Army Officer on the GRC staff based in Frankfurt. With him is Sergeant Stufflebeam and Mr. Licio Polidori from Livorno, an interpreter who works in the Italian counterpart of the GRC, and head of the Italian team.

The Flying Fortress was part of a large formation of planes that in the summer of 1944 were sent to bomb an important city in North Italy. Over Bolsena the big plane was intercepted and shot down by two Stukas and an Italian Fighter ...”

Marty, it would be interesting to know the final report of the mission. What can we do ?

LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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