Autore Topic: 2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)  (Letto 4663 volte)

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Offline Al

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2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« il: 23 Mag 2012, 12:12:53 »
Un amico mi ha girato queste foto scattate presso l'aeroporto di Orsera (HR).
Sono state pescate in mare dal relitto già noto ai sub.
Da quelle parti era caduto questo: 16/2/1945 41-28607  723rd SQ/450th BG  "Sage Lady".

Che ne dite?
« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:25:15 da mazwork »
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Offline Fabio

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Re: 2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #1 il: 23 Mag 2012, 15:22:16 »
A parte la difficile identificazione di un velivolo da parte delle eliche...
Comunque il B-24 Sage Lady pare sia caduto in Germania...

« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:25:27 da mazwork »
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Offline Al

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Re: 2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #2 il: 24 Mag 2012, 09:19:51 »
Dal libro "I segreti dell'Adriatico" Editrice Adamic" (HR) pag. 30 e 31
« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:25:38 da mazwork »
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Offline Freddy

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Re: 2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #3 il: 24 Mag 2012, 15:37:30 »
In effetti si tratta del  Ford B-24H-15-FO S/n 42-52655 (484th BG 824th BS) abbattuto il 13 giugno 1944. 3 KIA 7RTD, Mar Adriatico alle coordinate stimate (MACR) 45°09'N 13°25' E. Coordinate reali 45°09' N 13°31' E.
I sette superstiti erano stati recuperati da una nave ospedale tedesca e, dopo essere stati curati erano stati liberati in attesa dell'idrovolante di soccorso.      MACR 6389.
E' peraltro abbastanza strano e notevolmente raro che il comandante sia riuscito a trasmettere le coordinate quasi esatte dell'ammaraggio, di norma l'approssimazione era tale che i Catalina di soccorso spesso erano stati costretti a rientrare senza aver trovato nessuno.
Comunque sia, almeno per quel che riguarda i miei dati, nessun altro B-24 è ammarato in quel tratto di mare, ce ne sono anche molti altri ma quasi tutti molto più a sud o molto più al centro del golfo o verso le coste Italiane.
Allego, giusto per una curiosità, il rapporto di intervento stilato dall'equipaggio del Catalina del  1st Emergency Rescue Squadron.

It was noon.  They were now over the Adriatic, thirty miles off the Yugoslavian Coast and dropping fast!  Each fractional second counted.  With flaps lowered to 10 degrees the bomber plunged, striking the waters surface at a paralyzing, breath-taking speed – 280 miles per hour.  The radio operator, with death backing his feverish efforts, sent waves of frantic distress call over the air.  There was a horrifying crash: a grinding of metal as the tail ripped away.  A mighty roar of water.  The Armorer gunner struck by the collapsing top turret, dead with a broken skull, before the bombardier, handicapped by a fractured hand? and dazed from a head injury, could reach him.  The Pilot and Co-pilot, by the grace of God, escaped the fray uninjured.  All of the crew with the exception of the waist gunner, Nathan Y Conn, Radio Operator, Vincent Willour and Nose Gunner, Leonard E Long, all of whom succumbed almost instantly, reached the dinghies safely.  The Ball turret gunner, Verlin E Upton, was the most seriously injured: having suffered a possible fracture of the left foot and multiple lacerations about the face.  During the afternoon, two B-24’s from their squadron “buzzed” the rafts.  Lieutenant Menlo, their element leader, was identified as one of the pilots who flew over them.  Two sweeping “Spitfires”, keeping vigil over the dinghies, tended to sustain the morals of the occupants.  An old rug and an escape map served as bandage for the ball gunner’s leg.  At dusk, the stranded men thought they saw land and, those with lesser injuries, paddling vigorously, struck out for shore, it soon however, because so dark that only discouraging darkness could be seen.  It was then they began to ??, all through the sleepless night, punctuated by ???? ???, they tossed on a restless sea

   It was on the day following the catastrophe, they saw a ship which was assumed to be Allied, and began waving excitedly in the ?? direction; shortly to be confronted by the hated “Sweetions” which looked ???ingly on the gunwale above them.  When loss than on hundred feet from the surface craft, then recognized as a German Hospital ship, a life boat was lowered and rowed to the dinghies.  When it drew near, the German in charge told them, in passable English that if they were taken aboard they would ??? etically be made Prisoners of War.  Not desiring this fate, they pleaded for medical supplies.  The German, on?? ,told, nodded in sympathy and invited them into the boat.  They accepted resignedly, or in desperate need of medical attention: had and no other recourse – even though it meant internment, possibly death or worse

End of bad microfilm
The hospital ship of Italian design, but manned by a German crew, was painted white and green.  I, they were informed, was returning from Barcelona, Spain, where prisoners of War had been exchanged, and was now on its way to Venice.  To the astonishment of the Americans, they were greeted not harshly but graciously and were accorded every kindness and courtesy.  The wounded were given immediate and expert care.  All were made comfortable and after refreshments, consisting of orange juice, graham crackers, pumpernickel bread and black coffee; despite its color was exceptionally palatable, they were offered American “Luckies” to smoke.  There was no demonstration of belligerence or antipathy on the part of the Germans, rather a lively exhibition of eagerness to please.  When fed and interrogated, much to the surprise of the fliers they were asked if they chose to return to the rafts.  All promptly replied in the affirmative.  The Ship’s captain aware of their needs and finding they lacked two life vests, willingly supplied them.  They were given food, water and medical supplies and were helped back into the dinghies.  As they drifted away, the Germans waved farewell bidding them adieu with “Aufwiedersehn”, the Americans, appreciative of the unexpected turn of events, responded in kind.

        Three and one half hours later a Catalina, fast becoming a heart warming sight, to men lost at sea, circled over the rafts and landing, taxied up to the exuberant septet; none the worse for its harrowing experience. 

    The survivors by position, rank, name army serial number, age and home address are listed:

Pilot           2nd Lt Badwell, Robert E   0-181096   21      Box 193, Calipatric, California
Co-Pilot        2nd Lt Poston, Dennis W    0-814545   21      11444 Osborne Ave. San Fernando, California
Navigator        2nd Lt Flood, Frank J      0169109   26      Chicago, Illinois
Bombardier     F/O Johnson, H. M.      T-123003   21      St. Joes, Missouri
Engineer        T/Sgt Solis, Harry F.      38376767   25      New Orleans, Louisiana
Tail Gunner     S/Sgt Hahn, John F      15109235   23      Indianapolis, Indiana
Ball Turret G    S/Sgt Upton, Veslin B      32641001   23      Statin Island, New York

Radio Operator           S/Sgt Willour, Vincent            19       Boston, Mass
Armorer Gunner           S/Sgt Conn, Nathan Y.            27       Gulfport, Miss
Nose Gunner              S/Sgt Long, Leonard E.                       23       Chicago, Illinois

Pilot         2nd Lt Milburn, Walter B   0-739828
Co-Pilot      2nd Lt Busby, Murrel      0-750334
Navigator      1st Lt Haynie, Otho J Jr   0-725864
Engineer      Sgt Lasater, Paul A      17122437
Radio Oper   Cpl Bols, Harold A      35625492
Radar Oper   Sgt Hendrix, Louis L      37224826
Surgical Tech   Cpl Giza, Stanley F      36602581
« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:25:48 da mazwork »

Offline Al

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Re: 2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #4 il: 25 Mag 2012, 13:52:58 »
A giudicare dai resti non avrei mai scommesso una cicca che fosse sopravvissuto qualcuno....
« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:26:04 da mazwork »
Cp. Genio Pionieri Aquileia "Tenace, infaticabile, modesta"

Offline 484th_BG_SHIP17

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Re:2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR) B-24 Identified
« Risposta #5 il: 05 Mar 2018, 00:29:55 »

This is the B-24 Liberator nicknamed “The Feather Merchants”. They were the 17th ship in the 484th Bombardment Group (H) of the USAAF whose air base was 12K southwest of Cerignola, Italy, 35K south of Fogga. The air field that she was stationed to was Torretto Air Base. The ship’s serial number is: 42-52655.

I know all of this because my grandfather was T/Sgt. John Hahn, from Indianapolis, Indiana US, was this ship’s tail gunner. I have spent many hours doing my best to research his and the crew’s history. Discovering this page on the internet feels God Sent!

If any of you have any other stories, documentation, pictures or tid-bits that you would share them with me.

Most Sincerely,
Matthew Timothy Hahn

Here are some other links that verify my story’s authenticity:

*Here is a link to the 484th Bombardment’s homepage:

*Dive site link:

*This news clipping from a Colorado paper gives a better overall picture of the events:

In a war rife with reports of cruelty, the story is told by Lt. Aytch M. Johnson, 21, of St. Joseph, MO who is now in the Army Service Forces Convalescent hospital at Camp Carson. The Lieutenant relates how he and six other members of a B-24 crew that crashed in the Adriatic Sea last June 13 were picked up by a German hospital ship, given medical treatment and supplies and set free in their life rafts. The German ship then radioed the flier's position to Allied Forces and in a few hours the nine Americans were rescued. This is the story from the beginning. Their B-24 left their base in Italy for a mission to Munich. Lt. Johnson's ship crossed the Alps and approached Munich when it was attacked by endless waves of enemy fighters, ten fighters in each wave. Their ship was flying tail end in the formation and got plenty of fire. The wings were perforated with bullets. There were holes in the gas tanks and they were losing gas. The crew voted to try to get back to the base even if the ship was in bad condition rather than bail out over enemy territory. Lt. Johnson dropped the bombs on the railroad center of a small town and the men started to lighten the plane by throwing out ammunition. One engine was lost over the Alps and another over the coast. After they lost the third engine they were afraid the last engine would catch on fire because gas was leaking. It was decided to ditch the plane. When they were 900 feet up the last engine gave out and the ship crashed into the Adriatic. The plane broke into three pieces and the nose was completely immersed. "I found myself in the fore part the plane and under water," says Lt. Johnson.

"The upper turret was on top of me. I couldn't possibly move it. The navigator was sitting on my lap. I figured my seconds to live were numbered when suddenly the turret rolled off. I'll never know how it happened because it was much too heavy for me to move or crawl out from under. I swam to the top. "I saw the ball gunner on one of the wings and swam over to get him off because he was seriously injured. Then, the two pilots pulled the rafts out of the plane. But they were upside down and had to be turned over. When we took stock of ourselves we saw that the upper turret gunner and the radio operator had been killed. We got into our rafts and looked the situation over. There were six left besides myself: Lt. Robert E. Bedwell, pilot; Lt. Dennis W. Posten, copilot; Lt. Frank J. Flood, navigator; S/Sgt. Verlin Upton, ball gunner: S/Sgt. John F. Hahn, tail gunner and T/Sgt. Harry F Solis, engineer. "Upton was in very great pain and seriously hurt. The navigator and engineer were injured also and I had an injured head, wrist and hand, but the two pilots were in fairly good condition. "It was about noon and it didn't take us long to find out that none of us had water or food. We had one compress bandage and one morphine tablet. We tried to ease the pain of Upton and gave him the morphine tablet. I bandaged his foot as best I could but one of them was practically cut in two, and his face was a mass of cuts and bruises. 'We had radioed our position before we went down and the fact that we were going to abandon ship. As near as we could figure we were between Pola, Yugoslavia, and Venice, Italy in German held waters. "We started paddling. We paddled the rest of the day and into the night. I'll never forget that night. It was a nightmare; we were sleepy, cold, damp and hungry. Upton was in such pain he was almost out of his head. Although I had hemorrhages from my nose and mouth, I was still able to keep paddling.

"We could see the lights of the towns and were close enough to hear shells firing. We all knew we must get Upton to a hospital, yet we didn't want to get into the hands of the enemy, but it was the only way to get help for him. We shot off our flares but no one saw them. Everyone was so tired and weak that we finally decided to try to sleep for a while. "The next morning we took off our damp clothes and laid them on the edge of the raft. About 11 o' clock we saw a B-26 and tried to attract its attention but to no avail. Then we saw a ship at noon, but it too failed to see us. "But soon afterward we saw another ship. We waved, shouted and blew a whistle". The ship stopped. Everything was deathly quiet. They had seen us and turned around and came towards us. We could see the three Red Crosses on it and knew it was a hospital ship but we couldn't see the flag. The boat was crowded; men were practically hanging over the rails. They lowered a boat to meet us, then we saw the Nazi flag. “Our hearts stopped. We were all quiet waiting because we didn't know what would happen to us. The Nazi officer, who came to meet us, spoke English. We were told we could come aboard as prisoners or stay adrift. "We certainly didn't want to be prisoners, although it would be an easy way out, but we did want to get medical supplies. We asked if we could receive medical supplies and they said yes. They helped us onto the ship. It took a Nazi soldier to hold us up because we were so weak. It had been 38 hours since we had food and water. "They gave us water and coffee. We were asked if we wanted beer, but we were afraid it would make us sick on our empty stomachs. Then they asked us if we wanted some soda pop and we did drink some cold orange crush. "They wanted to take us as prisoners but said we could get off. They took our names and serial numbers. The hospital ship had heard our radio for help and knew we had been to Germany on a mission the day before.
"We talked with them and persuaded them to give medical attention to our wounded. They gave us ten cans of meat, seven loaves of bread and mineral water. We decided to try to make it back to Allied territory. They had cared for the ball gunner, navigator and engineer, and washed my face. They finally decided to let us go and we left the Nazi hospital ship for our small rafts. Since we had figured we had made 30 miles since the ship had crashed and that we were about 20 miles from Allied territory, we thought with good luck that we could make it there in a week or two. "Before we left the Germans, we had asked them to radio our position to our locator and they had agreed. But we were all leery that they would do this because it was a supreme favor. "Not long after the hospital ship was out of sight, towards the middle of the afternoon, we saw six P-38s and a PB-Y fly by but they kept on going. We were in mental agony and our hearts sank another thousand feet. The planes were flying out of sight. We could hear the engines at times but we couldn't see them. "Then the PB-Y came back and flew towards us. He still didn't see us. We had dropped color markers in the water. In fact, I was covered with yellow marker from head to foot. Now the PB-Y was only fifty feet or so above us. But those small rafts are hard to see. We let our last flare go. "The pilot dipped his wings. He had seen us. Then the P-38s all came overhead and buzzed us. Boy that humming and drumming of those planes was the most wonderful music I have ever heard." "Yes." Lt. Johnson replied to a question, "The German hospital ship had radioed our location to our locator."

*Letter to Torretta Flyer from Hank Ronson of the 824th BG:

The crew was shot up over the target and ditched in the Adriatic. One gunner went back inside to rescue another crew member and both were lost. They paddled their rubber boat all night and next morning saw a big white ship with a red cross on it, but when they got up close they saw a German flag flying. They were taken on board, bandaged and given German cigarettes. They were given a choice to remain on board and become POWs or being put back in their raft. The pilot asked if they would radio their position. The crew was advised that the Germans would be notified also. They then got back in the rafts and in about two hours a flying boat picked them up. They were escorted back to base by 22 P-38s.

*Letter to Torretta Flyer from David Bartow, 824th Squadron, Ship #20 “The Guardian Angel” who escorted and stood by “The Feather Merchants” as they crossed and ditched into the Adriatic Ocean.

Dear Bud
Torretta Flyer No# 11 I got my full attention. l was particularly interested in the photo by Lowell K. Davis center left page 31where some of the names were omitted on the bottom row. For the record they are; Arthur Shak, Navigator; Layton McDonald, Co-pilot; Lowell K Davis, Pilot; David M Bartow, Bombardier; and Thomas Woolcott, Co-pilot. Eleven members are shown because Tom Woolcott was the original Co-pilot and subsequently he got his own crew. It is important that this crew be properly identified as these intrepid airmen and their gallant aircraft are a common thread woven throughout Flyer No# ll.
I am enclosing a photo of ship #20 " Guardian Angel". This was Lowell K.
Davis' aircraft. The photo was taken from

Nance's much discussed " Ramp Rooster". While the name "Guardian Angel" may not have aroused as much interest as did some of her peers, it turned out be somewhat prophetic inasmuch as this aircraft escorted Bob Bedwell across the Adriatic and stood by while his crew ditched. This incident is the beginning of the story reported in Hank Ronson's letter on page 12 of Torretta Flyer No#11

David Bartow,824 Sq.
Ship 20 *24 Squadron

As I had said in the beginning of this post-if any of you have any other stories, documentation, pictures or tid-bits that you could share with me I would treasure it!

Most Sincerely,
Matthew T. Hahn

I made some corrections to the crew roster:
    The survivors by position, rank, name army serial number, age and home address are listed:

Pilot           2nd Lt. Bedwell, Robert “Bob” E.   0-181096   21      Box 193, Calipatric, California
Co-Pilot        2nd Lt. Poston, Dennis W    0-814545   21      11444 Osborne Ave. San Fernando, California
Navigator        2nd Lt. Flood, Frank J      0169109   26      Chicago, Illinois
Bombardier     F/O Aytch “Ace” M. Johnson.      T-123003   21      St. Joes, Missouri
Engineer        T/Sgt Solis, Harry F.      38376767   25      New Orleans, Louisiana
Tail Gunner     S/Sgt Hahn, John F.      15109235   23      Indianapolis, Indiana
Ball Turret G    S/Sgt Verlin “Ned” Upton 32641001   23      Statin Island, New York

Radio Operator           S/Sgt Willour, Vincent            19       Boston, Mass
Armorer Gunner         S/Sgt Conn, Nathan Y.            27       Gulfport, Miss
Nose Gunner              S/Sgt Long, Leonard E.             23       Chicago, Illinois
« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:26:16 da mazwork »

Offline 484th_BG_SHIP17

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Re:2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR) B-24 Identified Photos
« Risposta #6 il: 05 Mar 2018, 00:34:39 »
Photograghs of identified B-24 "The Feather Merchants" Serial No. 42-52655
484th Bombardment Group, Ship 17
« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:26:31 da mazwork »

Offline mazwork

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Re:2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #7 il: 05 Mar 2018, 22:22:57 »
Thank you very much for sharing, Matthew.

« Ultima modifica: 05 Mar 2018, 22:26:47 da mazwork »
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Offline Fabio

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Re:2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #8 il: 05 Mar 2018, 23:39:47 »
Dear Matthew, beautiful story...
Thank you and welcome in the forum of Archaeologists of the Air.  salutomilitare
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Offline gian86

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Re:2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #9 il: 09 Mar 2018, 10:29:11 »
Fantastic story!
Thank you

How is deep the relict?

Offline Al

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Re:2 eliche B-24 Orsera (HR)
« Risposta #10 il: 29 Apr 2018, 13:54:26 »
28/30 mt
Cp. Genio Pionieri Aquileia "Tenace, infaticabile, modesta"


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