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Author Topic: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944  (Read 64958 times)

C.W. Herndon

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2012, 11:06:01 AM »

Marty, Jeff Hayden and I have what we think is a pretty complete list of the B-17s that were lost over Italy during the month of June, 1944. Unfortunately, the records do not show where the aircraft craft crashed. They usually show where they were last seen. If we knew the day the aircraft in the lake crashed there, we could better determine which one it was and obtain a list of the crew members. 
Woody (former 3316R)
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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 #31 on: September 14, 2012, 11:32:18 AM »

Marty, Jeff Hayden and I have what we think is a pretty complete list of the B-17s that were lost over Italy during the month of June, 1944. Unfortunately, the records do not show where the aircraft craft crashed. They usually show where they were last seen. If we knew the day the aircraft in the lake crashed there, we could better determine which one it was and obtain a list of the crew members.

Would you be able to tackle it from the other end?  Can you contact Grave Registration Commission or their successor?
LTM,

           Marty
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2012, 12:57:40 PM »

Would you be able to tackle it from the other end?  Can you contact Grave Registration Commission or their successor?

I don't know Marty. We'll have to do some checking about that.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2012, 01:08:45 PM »

Would you be able to tackle it from the other end?  Can you contact Grave Registration Commission or their successor?

I don't know Marty. We'll have to do some checking about that.

Using this information we will be able to narrow the search quite considerably Woody...

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 ...”

Knowing the target narrows down the search. A lot of the planes we have listed were targeting outside of italy.

Although the 'shot down by two Stukas' seems odd as the Stuka was predominantly a dive bomber. A possible error in the eyewitness accounts or, maybe there was a Luftwaffe unit that converted Stukas to a fighter role? Which would narrow down the search even further.
This must be the place
 
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Bill Roe

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2012, 02:36:01 PM »

Ja, Rudel was a JU-87 Ace. 

Hayden is correct though - the Stuka was designed to be a dive bomber.  However this is the first reference to any being near the Italian front.  At that time, most had been sent to the Eastern Front to annihilate the Russian Air Force.  And, at that time the Stukas were really obsolete - that's why the Eastern Front.

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Chris Johnson

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2012, 04:01:09 PM »

OK its not good to post without a source but I did see a documentary recently about Stukas and various variants (including a tank buster) so its not inconceivable that there was a variant able to shoot down a bomber.  Alternately the Italian may have done it?
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Bill Roe

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2012, 04:11:35 PM »

OK its not good to post without a source ....................

Um.....

A combat pilot is an ace when he achieves 5 aircraft shot down by his own hand.  Rudel was a German Ace flying a Stuka (JU-87 Dive Bomber).  Therefore he was using his Stuka as a fighter.  I'll leave it up to you to prove me wrong.  BTW - I believe that Rudel may have been the most highly decorated German during WWll.
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Bill Roe

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2012, 04:18:37 PM »

Okay - Here ya go, Chris......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Ulrich_Rudel

Hans-Ulrich Rudel (2 July 1916 – 18 December 1982) was a Stuka dive-bomber pilot during World War II and a member of the Nazi Party. The most highly decorated German serviceman of the war, Rudel was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, and the only person to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit goldenem Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten), Germany's highest military decoration.[Note 1]

Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, a destroyer, two cruisers, one Soviet battleship, 70 landing craft, 4 armored trains, several bridges and nine aircraft which he shot down.[1]

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Monte Chalmers

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2012, 05:28:24 PM »

  Alternately the Italian may have done it?
This is an interesting thread.  There is one point that I keep reading, though, that I believe is in error.  It's this Italian thing.  The Allied forces invaded Italy in
September 1943 - and soon after, Italy surrendered.  So it would seem to me that there wouldn't be an Italian fighter in the summer of 1944.









s
Monte TIGHAR #3597
 
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Bill Roe

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2012, 07:46:08 PM »

OK its not good to post without a source .....

Oops!  Chris - were you referring to your post or mine above re Rudel being an ace?  I think I screwed up.  If so, my apologies.  Rather than remove the posts, I'll leave them as others may find Rudel's stats interesting.  I'm glad I never came up against him - even in his half-way fighter Stuka.  And I wish he had been on our side.  Gotta admire the guy.
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2012, 07:48:17 PM »

So it would seem to me that there wouldn't be an Italian fighter in the summer of 1944.

After the armistice of September 8, 1943, the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR) "was the air force of the Italian Social Republic during World War II, closely linked with the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) in northern Italy." 

The Wikipedia article from which I copied that quote goes on to say that, "Starting from June 1944, ANR started to receive Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6s for its fighter force." A long list of the various aircraft is included, which shows several varieties of the Ju 87 being flown by the ANR.
LTM,

Bruce
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Bill Roe

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2012, 08:01:32 PM »

Bruce -
To the best of my knowledge most Stukas were grounded by end of 1943 or 1944.  I know that the Germans moved most operational Stukas (after grounding) to the Russian front (1944) where they were successful in blowing up a few tanks.  I'm not certain that there were any around to do the shoot-down at that time.  Anyway, I'm tired - gonna hit the sack.  Check my history of the airplane at another time.

The reason I know a little about the airplane - I like the name "Stuka".  It's mean, nasty.  I also have admired Rudel's accomplishments in an obsolete airplane for that time.
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2012, 09:10:32 PM »

According to information on an Internet webpage, on June 1, 1944, 2./NSGr 2 (2nd squadron of Nachtschlachtgruppe 2) was transferred from the Eastern front (Budslaw, north of Minsk) to Northern Italy where it operated out of Turin-Caselle.  By then, all squadrons of the 2nd Night Attack Group had made the transition to the JU 87.

Later in the summer, that squadron became 3./NSGr 9, a group that had been operating Stukas in the area around Bologna (only 100 miles north of Bolsena) since at least April 1944 (according to an excerpt from Ghost Bombers: The Moonlight War of NSG 9: Luftwaffe Night Attack Operations from Anzio to the Alps, by Nick Beale, published in the UK in 2001.

So, there were a few Stukas in Northern Italy at that time. 
LTM,

Bruce
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2012, 09:53:28 AM »

OK its not good to post without a source .....

Oops!  Chris - were you referring to your post or mine above re Rudel being an ace?  I think I screwed up.  If so, my apologies.  Rather than remove the posts, I'll leave them as others may find Rudel's stats interesting.  I'm glad I never came up against him - even in his half-way fighter Stuka.  And I wish he had been on our side.  Gotta admire the guy.

Bill,

no problem, i've got broad shoulders  ;D

So yes the Stuka looks like it has been used as an improvised fighter.
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Monte Chalmers

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Re: Search and recovery: B-17 crashed into Bolsena Lake, June 1944
« Reply #44 on: September 15, 2012, 04:59:32 PM »

After the armistice of September 8, 1943, the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana (ANR) "was the air force of the Italian Social Republic during World War II, closely linked with the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) in northern Italy." 
Thanks for a bit of history I didn’t know.  I never heard of another Italian air force.  The news reports that we got  at the time were that the Italians put up little resistance and quit.  But I was young  - just must have missed it.  I did know about Hans Rudel.  I read his book , Stuka Pilot cover-to-cover  when I was in high school - fascinating reading.  I was wrong about the Italian air force, but I believe correct that Rudel has never been and never will be equaled. 
Monte TIGHAR #3597
 
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