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T/SGT  William W. CRABB

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: 16008676 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00682 CR: 00682

Comments1: 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG, Original 100th, Crew #5

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
                     1ST LT GLEN S. VAN NOY
                     ORGINAL 100TH PILOT, 349th BS  flew 42-30002 "DAMIFINO"
  
349TH CREW #5, A/C #42-30042 (OH NAUSEA)    MACR #682
        
DITCHED 60 MILES OFF SICILY ON THE 17 AUG 43 MISSION TO REGENSBURG/ NORTH AFRICA. VAN NOY MADE A PERFECT WATER LANDING, PROMPTING A CREW MEMBER TO REMARK, "VAN NOY NEVER COULD LAND A PLANE EXCEPT WHEN IT REALLY COUNTED." THIS WAS PROMPTED BY HIS RETURN FROM ST. NAZAIRE WITH AN ENGINE OUT ON 28 JUN 43.  "OH NAUSEA" FLOATED FOR 90 MINUTES BEFORE SINKING AND THE ENTIRE CREW WERE PICKED UP BY THE GERMANS.

1ST LT  GLEN S. VAN NOY                     P: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG 
2ND LT  JAMES B. EVANS                     CP: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
1ST LT   KENNETH G. ALLEN              NAV: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
1ST LT  WILLIAM H. COUCH               BOM: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
T/SGT   WILLIAM R. STEWART           TTE: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
COL     WILLIAM L. KENNEDY            RWG: POW  17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG (SEE NOTE)
S/SGT   GEORGE P. GINEIKIS            RWG: EVA     5 NOV  1943 GELSENKIRCHEN
T/SGT   WILLIAM W. CRABB             LWG: POW  17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   JAMES D. GIBSON                ROG: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   JOE F. HRUSKOCY                BTG: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
S/SGT   SAMUEL J. CUSMANO             TG: POW 17 AUG. 1943 REGENSBURG
     
NOTE: COL WM. KENNEDY REPLACED WG GEORGE GINEIKIS ABOUT ONE HOUR BEFORE TAKEOFF. COL KENNEDY WAS A ARMORER AND GUNNERY EXPERT WHO WAS SOON TO RETURN TO THE U.S. AND, BEFORE RETURNING WANTED TO GET SOME FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE AS TO WHAT PROBLEMS GUNNERS FACED IN COMBAT.  THE COL BECAME A POW WITH THE REST OF THE CREW.

Col.Kennedy was an armor and gunnery export flying as an observer prior to his return to the U.S. He flew in place of George P Gineikis, the regular Right waist gunner. An eyewitness(either Owen D. Roane or John R Justice) gave following report "B-17 #042 was seen to be in trouble a few minutes before target  No 4 engine was flaming, but it continued in formation, dropped its bombs on the target and did not pull away until it reached the Alps near Munich  At this place #2 engine was feathered and A/C pulled away and disappeared around the side of a mountain. It was flying at about 10,000 feet when last seen and was being pursued by a JU 88  No chutes were seen."

According to Bill Crabb they lost one engine (fighter attach) just after crossing enemy Coast early in mission  and a second at the target Realized they probably could not reach Africa but at no tine did they consider Switzerland   Ran out of Ammo although he had 1100 rounds for
one gun and 900 for the other (flew ball turret because he fit better than Hruskocy, the regular BTG man).

Bill Couch had size 13 shoes or bigger. Was in stocking feet when picked up and Germans said they had no shoes in Italy big enough for him

Of Col Kennedy Crabb Says," He was due to return stateside to help train aerial gunners And was along for 1st hand experience " "He kept squeezing off one round at a time and I remember thinking, My God! A short burst is one thing but this is ridiculous."

Had one bomb hang up over target and tried to release it over a small Airfield near Brenner pass but it wouldn't go Later released it manually
over Mediterranean. Dropped to 500 ft and threw out everything not nailed down "even my GI shoes"

Just north of Naples turned for Sicily because at briefing had been told Sicily would fall that day   It did.  About 90 miles from Sicily lost a third engine  Van Noy shut down remaining engine and made the most beautiful landing he ever made. "He never could land an Airplane except when it really counted." Ship floated about an hour and a half. Picked up next morning by Germans in a flying boat


  CUSMANO

Got out 2 five man dinghies and a smaller one  -lots of rations, radio, ete. Raised radio mast with balloon and sent S O S Only mission on which 42-30042 reached target was this one  It had had 7/8 Abortions . Original ship (42-30002) was naned "Damifino" (also The WAAC Hunter…mpf) and was having P.F F~ installed (on Aug 17, 1943, Lt Shotland Crew flew "The WAAC Hunter" and was shot down…mpf).  Was in POW Camp 17B Krems, Austria with many other 100th Gp men.

George P Gineikis went down on 5 Nov.1943 - mission to Gelsenkirchen and it is believed he was an evadee. Cusmane later visited him in Vets Hosp. in Battle Creek  Later heard he had been discharged with a disability pension.

MISSIONS OF LT GLEN VAN NOY CREW: (from Paul Andrews appendix in Luck of the Draw..mpf)

DATE:                  TARGET                         A/C #                    A/C NAME

1.   25/06/43        BREMEN                         230259                  DAMIFINO II
2.   26/06/43        LeMANS                         230259                  DAMIFINO II
3.   28/06/43       ST. NAZAIRE                   230259                  DAMIFINO II   (lost one engine)
      04/07/43       La PALLICE                      230259                  DAMIFINO II  (returned early, spare a/c)
      10/07/43       Le BOURGET                   230259                  DAMIFINO II   (returned early, hatch came off ball turret)
4.   14/07/43       HAMBURG                         25867                  ALICE FROM DALLAS
5.   24/07/43       TRONDHEIM, NORWAY     230259                  DAMIFINO II
6.   25/07/43       KIEL                               230088                  SQUAWKIN HAWK
7.   12/08/43       WESSELING                     230259                  DAMIFINO II
      15/08/43       MERVILLE & LILLE            230259                  DAMIFINO II (retruned early, spare a/c)
8.   17/08/43       REGENSBURG                  230042                  OH NAUSEA (shot down, ditched in the Med.)


In an email to Ron Leigh, Glen Van Noy sent the following answer (Oct. 2000 mpf)

From: Glen Van Noy 
To: Ron Leigh 
Sent: 29 10 2000 05:24
Subject: WAAC HUNTER 230002

Ron:
230002 was the number of the B-17 I flew to England in June of 1943, landing at Thorpe Abbotts. I was one of the first pilots in the 349th Squadron. I didn't have a name on the airplane. I flew seven  missions ( the first seven the 100th  made) and on my eigth, 002 was out of commission, so I flew another.

We had three engines shot out over Regansburg on August 17, 1943, lost a lot of fuel, and ran out of gas about 70 miles  north of Sicily trying to make it to Africa. The Mediteranian is a not recommended for landing B-17s. They sink. So sombody else inherited 002 and gave it the WAAC HUNTER name. I have no idea who. Since all the other origional 349th pilots except one named Sammy Barr and the squadron commander went down before the Regansburg mission, I hardly knew the new replacement crews .I appreciate your interest in things of that era .

Sincerely,
Glen S. Van Noy
Glen Van Noy 

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Regensburg DATE: 1943-08-17  
AIRCRAFT: "Oh Nausea: (42-30042) CAUSE: EAC-Crashed at Sea  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 1054