USAAF 41-18058 Martin B-26B-4-MA Marauder

41-18058 Martin B-26B-4-MA Marauder

1941018058, 41-18058 Martin B-26B-4-MA Marauder fate: shot down group-squadron: 322BG450BS Remarks: 322BG450BS Nye's Annihilators Code:ER-S Forced south of intended point of entry after being fired on by flak from German coastal convoy and flew over heavily defended Rozenburg island. Continued to target and subsequent fate. As the first flight flew over the sand dunes a hail of 20mm flak hit the lead B26 piloted by Lt. Col. Robert W Stillman, killing Lt. Resweber, the copilot. The plane snap rolled and crashed. Three severely injured crewmen were dragged from the wreckage by the Germans. A mile or two to the south the following flight also encountered heavy flak on landfall in. Lt. Garrambone, leading the second element, could not maintain control after being hit and crashed into the Maas river, he and three of his crew survived. The surviving B26’s headed between Delft and Rotterdam with Capt. Converse leading the first flight. Near Bdegraven, while carrying out violent evasive action, Converse collided with Lt. Wolfe who was leading the second element. Both B26’s crashed in flames with only two survivors. Lt. Wurst’s aircraft, severely damaged by debris from the two colliding aircraft, bellylanded his unmanageable B26 into a field at Meije. All escaped although Sgt. Heski Lost a foot. Now only the third element of the leading flight remained. Lt. F. H. Matthew, leading Lt. E. R. Norton and apparently lost, turned to join Lt. Col. Purinton’s flight, but Purinton too had no idea where he was. Forty five miles into Holland he decided to turn for home and his navigator, Lt. Jefferis, gave him a course of 2700. Almost simultaneously Jefferis reported that he had sighted the target. BomBS were dropped on what they thought the the Haarlem works, but it was in fact a gas holder in the suburBS of Amsterdam. Having climbed to bombing altitude several Marauders failed to reduce height as they headed for the coast. Unknown to the crews they were heading directly towards Ijmuiden and its murderous flak barrage. Purinton’s bomber was hit, but he managed to ditch offshore near a fishing boat, manned by Germans. Jefferis was killed in the crash, but the rest of the crew were rescued to become prisoners of war. The Ijmuiden flak also claimed the bombers of Lt. Jones and Lt. Norton. One, with an engine on fire, turned back and crashed into the sea near Castricum, the other went into the sea a few miles west of Ijmuiden. Tail gunner Longworth was the only survivor from Norton’s B26 and Lt. Alaimo from Jones. Lt. Matthews and Capt. Crane had survived the Ijmuiden flak, and several miles apart headed for England. At 12. 18hrs Capt. Crane was shot down into the sea by Feldwebel Niederreichholz of II/JG1 and at 12. 30hrs Lt. Matthews was shot down into the sea by Ober-Feldwebel Winkler of 4/JG1. The only survivors of these two actions were S/Sgt. George W Williams and S/Sgt. Jesse H Lewis from Capt. Crane’s B26. They were picked up from their rubber dinghy on 22 May 1943 by a Royal Navy vessel. This plane was the sole survivor of the second mission to Ijmuiden. Due to engine problems they aborted the mission and returned to England. The flight had been flying at very low level to avoid radar detection. This plane increased altitude after turning back which some suggest may have pre-alerted to the possibility of a raid. Disposal-Date:

This webpage was updated 9th July 2018