41-29331 J3 F Blondie's Folly
Ditched in English Channel - March 16, 1944 (MACR 3490)
According to the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR 3490):
"Ship crashed somewhere in English Channel. Survivors - 2d Lt. Gasper (NMI) De Simone, 0-811448, S/Sgt. George Weston Conlogue, 31282912, and Sgt. Richard Grensler Lowry, 35599337, were picked up by British Air Sea Rescue Corps and take to Hospital, Dover. Sgt. Lowry died in hospital and Lt. De Simone and Sgt. Conlogue are seriously injured. Information as to what actually happened is unavailable at this time as men in hospital have been transferred and as yet haven't been able to ascertain whereabouts of transfer."
Movement Orders SO298 Tonopah AAF
Accident Report 44-01-27-502 (B-24J 41-100283)
|Date||Target||Pilot||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||Comments|
|24-Feb-44||DUTCH COAST||PETERS||D1||--||--||J3||D1||Diversion Mission|
|25-Feb-44||DUTCH COAST||BITTLER||D2||--||--||J3||D2||Diversion Mission|
|06-Mar-44||BERLIN/GENSHAGEN||STILSON||4||ABT||F||J3||--||ABORT - R/O OXY LEAK|
|08-Mar-44||BERLIN/ERKNER||BRUDOS||5||--||F||J3||--||SPARE - RETURNED - NO SORTIE|
|16-Mar-44||FRIEDRICHSHAFEN||PETERS||8||FTR||F||J3||4||DITCHED IN CHANNEL|
March 16, 1944
S/Sgt George W. Conlogue (left) wrote the following to a family member of one of his crew mates:
“March 16th we made a raid on Augsburg, Germany. We dropped our bombs and started on the way home. We were 60 miles east of Paris when enemy fighters attacked us, they shot us up pretty badly and the left waist gunner was wounded. We got a few of their planes, but we were greatly outnumbered. Finally our own fighters drove them off. Lt. Peters told the crew that he was going to try to get the ship back to England. Our control cables were shot out and our right wing was down. We could not bring it back up with the controls gone.
“As we crossed the French coast Lt. Peters told us to prepare to ditch the ship. We were going to crash before we could reach the English coast. The ship went out of control at about 4000 feet. It started into a dive so Lt Peters pushed the warning bell to bail out. Lt Hulse, Sgt. Morrone, Sgt. Duffy, Sgt. Marino, and Sgt Lee were in the waist of the ship and were not heard of after the warning bell had been sounded. I believe that they bailed out when the bell was sounded. Lt. Peters regained control of the ship at about 1000 feet altitude then gradually settled the ship onto the water. I had my back to the back of Lt. Peter’s seat so that I would not be thrown forward when the plane hit the water. Lt. Peters and Lt. Wagner were at the controls. Lt. DeSimone and Sgt. Lowry were on the fight deck. The plane hit the water with a terrific crash and I was knocked out by the impact.
“I came to under the water, but God only knows how I got out, to my knowledge Lt. Peters and Lt Wagner never moved after the plane crashed. Lt. DeSimone, Sgt. Lowry and myself got out. Sgt. Lowry did not live. We inquired about the rest of the boys, but [there wasn’t] anyone who could give us any information. The British picked us up in a flying boat. I hope to hear from someone soon who knows the whereabouts of the boys who bailed out. I am sorry if this letter has caused any uneasiness in the family, to the best of my knowledge this is exactly as our disaster occurred. If it had not been for Lt. Peter’s great courage and ability to handle the crippled ship, none of us would have been here to tell about it.”
B-24H-10 CF 41-29331 F J3 (755) BLONDIES' FOLLY
Original aircraft. One of 30 B-24s listed on Movement Orders dated 30 Dec 43.
Lost 16 Mar 44 - ditched in the English Channel. (Friedrichshafen)
(Info Courtesy: Tom Brittan)