B-24 Model Type

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Scharfshutzek98, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am looking through my information that I have found regarding my grandfathers brother who was killed during ww2. The crash report stated that it was B-24J-15-CF serial number 42-99746. Since the first number has B-24J in it would that mean that the model B-24 he was in was a "J" model? It seems pretty obvious that is what it would be, but I don't want to assume.

    Thanks in advance,
    Brian
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    It was a model B-24J. Production blocks usually started with -1 and then usually went every 5. so from -1, it went to -5, -10, and then the -15 block. Blocks were a production block built under a single contract and could be from several hundred to over 1,000 planes. They USUALLY went every 5, but not always. Sometimes an odd production block was thrown in when something was "different."

    So, this one was a B-24J block -15. The B-24J was built by all five major B-24 contractors. Each of the B-24 factories was identified with a production code: Consolidated/San Diego, CO; Consolidated/Fort Worth, CF; Ford/Willow Run, FO; North American, NT; and Douglas/Tulsa, DT.

    Cheers.
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Hello Brian, welcome to the site. This info is from this site 1942 USAAF Serial Numbers (42-91974 to 42-110188) I don't know where the missing serial number is but as you can see, this lot went to the British.

    Capture.JPG

    Do you have any more information about the aircraft, such as squadron or where it was shot down? Someone might be able to provide more insight.

    Geo
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #4 GregP, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
    Interesting that 99746 is missing from the crashed list and from those SOC, or struck off charge for one reason or another.
     
  5. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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  6. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    Now I am confused he was with the 456th Bomber Group 746th squadron and the plane crashed in 1944
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It's possible, as happened often, that the aircraft was transferred between Groups. This could very well be the case as the 456th were one of the later Groups to join 15th AF in Italy, and may have received some aircraft from other Groups in theatre.
     
  8. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the same thing Terry but I wonder why the serial is missing from the list in post3.

    Geo
     
  9. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    Thanks for trying to help me with this guys! I just tried to go through some of the information I have regarding this without any luck. I will double check my research at home and see if I have some of the wrong numbers. From what I found out before their B24 crashed on a night bombing mission. My relatives name is 2nd Lt. Walter B. Rau and he was the Bombardier.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Joe B's site, although very good, does has some holes in it.
     
  11. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks FBJ, I've noticed that during a few searches. Would be nice to find the number and final details, update that site and help Scharfshutzek98.

    Geo
     
  12. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #12 GregP, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
    Joe B. updates them quite often considering the mumber of tables he must peruse every once in awhile.
     
  13. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    Ok, I looked through my notes and found that 2nd Lt. Walter B. Rau and crew were referred to as crew #47 in A/C #487. However, the site that I found that information on stated that the crash took place on Mission #100 which according to the loading sheets is incorrect. I believe that the incident was Mission #92 according to the loading sheet (which I have a copy of from the Air Force Historical Research Agency). The target was beach #264B in Southern France. This mission (92) coincides with the date of death (August 15th 1944) verses the date of mission 100 (August 26 1944). I am hoping that maybe this information will shed some light on things for me. Thoughts?
     
  14. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere on my laptop I have a link to missions and the aircraft that participated in them. Unfortunately I don't get out of camp until Wednesday morning so if no one has found any info up until then, I'll start looking.

    Geo
     
  15. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    #15 Scharfshutzek98, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    Anybody have any ideas?
     
  16. mcoffee

    mcoffee New Member

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    Was the pilot's name on the 15 August load list Winn? The 456th BG website lists an aircraft lost piloted by Winn (no s/n listed) in a takeoff accident on 15 August. That day was the OPERATION DRAGOON Southern France "D Day". Most 15th AF groups began takeoffs around 2:30am and several takeoff accidents occured. The early takeoff times were to allow all bombing to be completed by 0730 prior to allied forces landing on the beaches.

    What is the nature of the document in which you found the s/n? 42-99746 is not listed in the MACR database or any accident report data base. Neither of those omissions would be unusual for a takeoff crash at base. Do you have the entire misson folder for 15 August or just the load list?

    As for the s/n showing up on the 376th website, as others have said, transfers between groups were not uncommon. Some were direct transfers, and more often, aircraft that were sent to the Gioia Depot for major repair were often reassigned to whatever group had the most pressing need.
     
  17. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    Yes,

    He was the bombardier for Lt. Winn's aircraft. I believe that the initial 42-99746 serial that was spoken about may have been a typo from an email i received from Mark Styling. I went through my notes again and think I may be on the right track, I am just looking for second opinions. I took pictures of my findings from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

    Here is the mission list of the 456th Bomb Group for the month of August 1944
    [​IMG]

    Here is the front page of the mission report for what I believe to be the correct mission (92)
    [​IMG]

    Here is the rear page of the mission report (92)
    [​IMG]

    I found a declassified narrative for 456th Bomb Group for the month of August 1944. In it it states "CREW #37 IN AIRCRAFT #487 OF THE 746TH BOMB SQUADRON HAD JUST LIFTED OFF THE RUNWAYAND HEADED NORTH WHEN IT CRASHED, EXPLODED AND BURNED. CAUSE UNKNOWN". My great uncle is listed among the dead for the crash.

    Here is the Narrative I speak of:
    [​IMG]

    So at this point It appears that he was killed in a crash shortly after take off on August 15th 1944. He was a member of crew #37 in aircraft #487. Is there any way to get any more information on this aircraft (serial number, model of B-24, maker, how it would have appeared as far as paint and numbering scheme)?

    Thank you in advance,
    Brian Rau
     
  18. mcoffee

    mcoffee New Member

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    The monthly narrative gives the last three digits of the aircraft’s serial number, however, I think the writer made a mistake. There were 10 B-24’s with 487 as the last three digits of the serial number. Seven of those can be ruled out as they are documented to be lost/damaged in other places at other times. Included in those 7 was 44-40487, lost 10 August 44 over Yugoslavia, belonging to 456th/746th, MACR 7466. That’s why I think the narrative is in error. The chances of one squadron having two aircraft at the same time with the same ‘last three’ is small, and if it were the case, normal practice would have been to use ‘last four’ or full s/n to differentiate between the two aircraft. I believe it more likely that the narrative writer accidentally used the a/c from the 10 August loss when writing about the 15 August loss.
    Your relative certainly died in the 15 August takeoff accident. The problem now is identifying the a/c. There is no aircraft accident report filed for the 456th for 15 August, so that avenue is out. Do you have the full monthly narrative for August? If so, is the aircraft identified in it for the 10 August loss? Perhaps the writer swapped the two.
    Do you have the formation plan for 15 August? Some bomb groups used ‘last threes’ to ID a/c on the plan, some used two digit “combat numbers” unrelated to serial numbers.
    Is there a “Form 34” in the mission folders? (see attachment) It generally gave full serial numbers for lost/crashed aircraft.
    Do you have the aircraft load lists for the mission? If so, how are the aircraft IDed on the lists?
    There were two folders for each mission in the 449th BG records. Do you have the full mission folders for 15 August? If not, I would suggest contacting AFHRA and requesting the full folders. For a fatal aircraft accident, there should be something in the folders to ID the aircraft.
    Ironically, one of the B-24s with 487 as the last three was 42-51487 which had a takeoff accident on 15 August 44, but in Boise, ID.
    15augForm34-2.jpg 15augForm34-1.jpg
     
  19. mcoffee

    mcoffee New Member

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    42-52487 B-24H-15-CO 464th BG; Fighter damage 16 Jul 44, landed Foggia, consigned CL-26
    41-29487 B-24H-15-CF Crash landed Sep 44/ salvaged May 45
    42-73487 B-24J-50-CO Pacific, 90th BG
    44-40487 B-24J-J-165-CO (456th BG, 746th BS, 'Second Hand Rose') lost Aug 10, 1944, Yugoslavia. MACR 7466
    42-95487 B-24H-30-FO No record
    42-51487 B-24J-5-FO Acc Rpt 8/15/44, Boise, ID
    42-50487 B-24J-401-CF 450th BG “HEAVENS ABOVE”, disposition unknown
    42-78487 B-24J-1-NT 460th BG lost 13 Sept 44, MACR 8762
    44-10487 B-24J-55-CF photo with 458th BG Ferry crew, disposition unknown
    44-44487 B-24J-105-CF To RAF
     
  20. Scharfshutzek98

    Scharfshutzek98 New Member

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    Looks like I have my work cut out for me. I will get you the info as soon as I can find it. Thank you very much for helping me with this!
     
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