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MACR PILOT: 1Lt  Rollie C.  King  - O-777188

MACR: 13143 FICHE : 04787

ORGANIZATION

LOCATION: AAF Station #139 COMMAND: VIII AF GROUP: 100th Bomb Gp (H) AAF
SQUADRON: 351st BS DETACHMENT:  
     

DETAIL

DEPARTURE:AAF Station #139 INITIAL COURSE: E  
INTENDED DESTINATION: Berlin    
MISSION TYPE:Operational    

WEATHER & VISIBILITY AT TIME OF LAST REPORT

CONDITION: 8 - 9/10 Cloud cover    

GIVE

DATE: 1945-03-18 TIME: 11:09 LOCATION: 5240 - 1200E

SPECIFY:

Last Sighted

CONFIRMED OR BELIEVED REASON FOR LOSS

LOSS DUE TO : Enemy aircraft

OTHER REASON FOR LOSS:

AIRCRAFT: 43-37621

TYPE: B-17 SERIES: G  
     
     

ENGINES:

MODEL: R-1820-97    
A: SW-015817
B: SW-924149
C: SW-024649
D: 030959
   

INSTALLED WEAPONS:

A: 1300365
B: 1259929
C: 1200112
D: 1300195
E: 1300358
F: 1300059
G: 1300222
H: 1300263
I: 1299957
J: 1300121
K: 1321052
L: 1320834

PERSONS BELOW ARE LISTED AS:

CASUALTY TYPE: Battle casualty  
NUMBER OF PERSONS ON BOARD:    
CREW: 9 PASS: 0 TOTAL: 9

PERSONNEL:

POSITION NAME RANK SERIAL
P1
P2 Rollie C.  King 1Lt O-777188
CP Jack S. Williams F/O T-63375
NAV (N) John W. Spencer F/O T-134395
BOM (B) Francis S. Gordon SSgt 39036247
RAD Archie Mathosian SSgt 32901317
ENG Ray E. Wilding SSgt 13172022
BAL robert G. Mitchell Sgt 36095368
WG (W) Meyer Gitlin Sgt 36368075
WG (W)
TG (T) James M. Baker Sgt 33702650

PERSONS WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE LAST KNOWLEDGE OF AIRCRAFT

Alfonso, C. Guardino 1Lt O-739943
   

PERSONNEL WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE SURVIVED

REASON: Unknown OTHER:  

EYEWITNESS DESCRIPTIONS OF CRASH

First Witness: Alfonso C. Guardino  
Report:
A/C 43-37521 was attacked by an ME 262 at 1100 hours. The left stabilizer broke off. A/c was last seen going down under conrtol with E/A making further attacks. (A. C. Guardino)
   
   
Second Witness: Rollie C. King  
Third Witness: John W. Spencer  
Report:

DESCRIPTION OF SEARCH EFFORT

DETAIL:No search made.

PREPARING OFFICER

PREPARED BY:

DATE PREPARED: 1945-03-24

TRANSCRIBER NOTES


REPORT:

These statements are in regard to determing the fate of S/Sgt Robert C. Mitchell

Statement made 19 Sep 1945 in California: "I was the pilot of a B-17 type aircraft in which S/Sgt Mitchelll was ball-turret gunner, and that on 17 March 1945 proceeded on a regularly assigned bombardment mission over Berlin. That on said date S/Sgt Mitchell was acting as ball-turret gunner. After bombs away on the target, we received  numerous fighter passes. The first fighter knocked our vertical stabilizer and the tail turret, killing the tail gunner. On the next pass we received a great deal of damage to the plane and practically all the controls knocked out. S/Sgt Gitlin, the waist gunner, checked the ball turret gunner and he had previously checked the in the tail for the tail gunner. I saw S/Sgt Gitlin going out by himself and inasmuch as S/Sgt Mitchell was a very close friend of his, I do not believe S/Sgt Gitlin would have bailed out if he could have helped S/Sgt Mitchell in any way. I have never seen S/Sgt Gitlin since that time,  nor have I heard what happened to him, and I not know whether his chute opened. I have never heard regarding S/Sgt Mitchell, and I do not know whether or not his chute opened, or even if he bailed out prior to S/Sgt Gitlin. As soon as I bailed out the ship exploded,  (Rollie C. King, 1st Lt., Air Corps)

These statements are in regard to determine the fate of S/Sgt Robert C. Mitchell

Statement made in 1945 at Spencer's home in Elizabeth Town, Kentucky: "Am writing in response to a letter received today concerning S/Sgt Robert G. Mitchell. The last time I actually saw S/Sgt Mitchell was on the ground before take-off 18 Mar 45 - he was on the mission. Everything went well until just after we turned on the I.P. A couple of minutes after we were hit by an ME 262 that got practically all the left horizontal stabilizer. A second attack was fought off half way down the bomb run with no damage done. Since being hit we were gradually trailing the formation, so by the time we were over the target area the rest of the formation was about half a mile away. We salvoed our bombs over the built up area at 1215 and about 15 to 30 seconds later there was a terrific blast that seemed to come from the rear of the plane. From where I was in the nose I could see smoke boiling up from under the pilot's seat. The conditions of the plane then was that the controls had been shot out, and there was no interphone system and the right wing was on fire. Up until we received this last attack everyone in the ship reported they were alright. As soon as we were hit - since there was no communication - I looked through the astrodome into the cockpit and my first pilot nodded for me to get out. I handed the Toggalier his chute and put on my own, but still wasn't sure to bail out so I looked through the astrodome again and both pilots were preparing to bail out. I bailed out, floated to the ground and was picked up immediately. The rest of my information comes from talking to the other crew members when I saw them two or three day later. As to Mitchell his fate is unknown to me. The crew member who was to assist him out of the ball turret is case of emergency is also missing - waist gunner Meyer Gitlin. Although the waist gunner is known to have bailed out he was not seen. The radio operator, Archie Mathosian, says that Gitlin bailed out ahead of him through a hole in the fuselage. From the best of my knowledge he had never been seen or heard from. It is my suspicion that , if his chute opened he may have been killed by the Germans for he was a Jew, had it on his dog tags, and didn't care who knew. That may not be what happened, nonetheless he has not been seen since. If he were alive today he could probably tell what happened to Mitch. (John Spencer)