Seattle Sue Bassingborne

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by LoofyBoy, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. LoofyBoy

    LoofyBoy New Member

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    Hi - I'm new to the forum. Trying to find any info on B17G Seattle Sue and our uncle BTG Robert J. Dobson (Jersey City). We know Seattle Sue collided with The Thumper (Seattle Sue crew all KIA) over Pilsen on 25th April 194?. Any photos anywhere? Many thanks.
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Lofty: Welcome to the Forum. I did find this:

    B-17G #43-38178 (FR-P) "Seattle Sue" was assigned to the 379th Bomb Group, 525th Bomb Squadron. The aircraft was damaged in a mid-air collision over Pilsen on 4/25/45 with B-17G #43-38272 (FR-D) "The Thumper". Pilot of "Seattle Sue" was Clair W. Evans, all 9 were KIA. "The Thumper" was piloted by James M. Blain and his aircraft managed to crash land in Allied territory, no casualties reported in one source, another reports the tail gunner was killed.

    Crew for "Seattle Sue" - no missing air crew report filed. Apparently with being so late in the war and Allied lines so far forward, the crash site was probably within Allied Territory. Suggest you pursue a 293 file from the Dept of the Army, details in our research section. Crew of Seattle Sue:

    P 2Lt Clair W. Evans Grand Rapids, MI
    CP 2Lt Dennis F. Lang Stockton, CA
    N FO Abraham (NMI) Teller Bronx, NY
    B FO Leland A. Slane Columbus, OH
    TT Sgt Norman B. Cooler Kingstree, SC
    RO Sgt William B. Fanning Forest Hills, NY
    BT Sgt Robert J. Cobson Jersey City, NJ
    TG Sgt Victor L. Stewart Waterford, OH

    Suggest you contact the 379th Bomb Group association for further details, info here:
    heavybombers.com: The Leading Military Aircraft Site on the Net

    Charles
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You might get ahold of the 379th BG Association. They often have info that goes beyond the official records. The 379th Association is here:

    : News
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The title of this thread looked like the city of Seattle was suing Bassingbourne.
     
  5. LoofyBoy

    LoofyBoy New Member

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    Many thanks to all your welcome response. I'm now hot on the trail. Best wishes Pam
     
  6. karlcooler

    karlcooler New Member

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    My Dad, Norman B. Cooler, was the top turret gunner on the Seattle Sue for the last mission over Pilsner. He and navigator, Abraham Teller, were apparently the only crew members who were able to get out of the plane after the collision with the The Thumper. My Dad's report indicates that the pilot, Clair Evans did not have time to sound the bailout bell before the plane went into a spin. He also indicated that pilot Evans and co-pilot Donnie Lang were trying to maintain control of the plane long enough for the crew to be able to escape. The plane was apparently hit in the left engine area and another report indicates that it was hit in the waist section. My Dad had a letter from another crew member who was flying above him that day that indicated the Seattle Sue was hit and lost most of the tail just prior to the formation making a turn and that without control, they ran into The Thumper as it was turning. Dad says that he saw Leland Slane in the floor of the plane with him just before he bailed out and that Slane left the ship just after him. He does not believe that ball turret gunner, Robert Dodson and tail gunner, Victor Stewart had any chance of getting out of the plane. He beleives that radio operator, William Fanning, co-pilot, Dennis Lang and pilot, Clair Evans were not able to get out of the plane. He believe that he an navigator Teller were the only ones out of the plane through the front hatch just seconds before it crashed into the Thumper. He says he watched the pane as long as he could see it to see if any others bailed out. He indicates that the Germans guards captured him as soon as he landed and marched him back by the burning plan. He saw Stewart's Dobson's bodies in the grass beside the wreckage of the plane and was able to verify it was them from their dog tags.

    He was marched for days to a camp high in the Alps where, after a couple of weeks of captivity, he and other prisoners awoke one morning and the guards were gone. Not knowing what to expect and fearing a trap, they broke into small groups and traveled at night only for nearly a month to get back to Allied controlled territory in France only to discover that the war had been over for nearly a month. Apparently, the guards had left the camp when they heard of the war's end and did not inform the prisoners.

    Dad never talked too much about the crash to me until his later years. I was able to take Dad to the 8th Air Force Museum shortly after it opened and then was able to sit down with him a few years later and get his story for the first and only time. I think, in his mind, he always felt guilty for surviving the crash without the rest of his crew.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great info, thanks Karl!
     
  8. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Wonderful story. Another bit of history captured from that selfless generation.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Fantastic that you are able to recount such a personal, and painful, account. Thank you very much for sharing.
     
  10. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Many thanks for the interesting story Karl :)
     
  11. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both for the information. Good find on the info to all site members.

    And..........Welcome to the forum.
     
  12. D.James

    D.James Member

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    found this at a Czech site...

    memorial?

    The translation is poor at best, pertinent info in second article..
    [​IMG]
    "Description: Křimice-American Memorial letcům
    Handsome and smart památníček U.S. letcům of crew and aircraft por.Ewanse Křimice por.Maugera stands in the square in castle wall Lobkowiczs. Below are walled fragments from the aircraft in the form of duralových sheets. After the sides mentioned the names of 10 fallen pilots, modern gilding is already poorly legible. From crew por.Ewanse are listed in addition to its very Sgt.Dobson, Sgt.Fanning, ppor.Slane, Sgt.Stewart, the crew npor.Maugera (survived) are listed here Sgt.Kelley, por.Moss and Sgt.Walling. It is here Sgt.Meikle rear gunner Flying Fortress No.43-38178 of 525.perutě, damaged airplane came on the back of the tower shooting at Pilsen and the rest to airmen left the parachutes for Franfurtu nM, body unhappy bishop has never been found, remained still "missing in action ".... here is a mystery name DLFay that the author did not assign to any osádce, but missing por.Lang, 2 pilot crew por.Ewanse."
     
  13. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Great information Karl. Thank you for sharing.:salute:
     
  14. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Found this. Not much on Seattle Sue itself except for one little area, but some very good reading none the less.
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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  16. LoofyBoy

    LoofyBoy New Member

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    Thank you all, especially Karl and Mr. D. James, for all your valuable, enlightening information. To know exactly what happened in the last minutes of Seattle Sue and to learn about the Memorial in Prague has made a big difference to Sgt. Robert J. Dobson's family. We shall be visiting Prague to see the Memorial. Many thanks again.
     
  17. LoofyBoy

    LoofyBoy New Member

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    And now I finally have a photo of Seattle Sue but can't figure out how to post it!
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    To post your pic, first, ensure that it is a suitable size, around 800 x 600 is OK. Given that you have the pic re-sized and 'on file', probably in 'My Pictures', go to the 'Go Advanced' button at the bottom of the reply panel - click on this. The screen will change, showing your (text) post on a 'brown' background, with the original text still within the reply panel.
    Click on 'Attachements' - a new drop-down screen will appear, with up to 5 boxes marked 'Browse'.
    Click on the first box, and then select the file you want, containing the picture. Select and click on the required picture, then click 'Open'.
    When you have finished selecting the picture(s) required, click on 'Upload'.
    The box will display a message, something like 'Uploading, please wait'.
    When this has completed uploading, it will show the picture reference number below the main 'Browse' boxes. Close the display, and, when satisfied with your text reply, click on 'Post quick reply' as normal.
    The reply message should now have posted, with the picture.
    Look forward to seeing it!
    Cheers,
    Terry.
     
  19. corsair4FU

    corsair4FU New Member

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    I have a photograph of B-17G Seattle Sue, 379th Bomb Group, 8th AF, with seven crew members standing in front of her. Nice clear photo of crew in their flight gear. If your still seeking a photo contact me.
    Bill
     
  20. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    #20 Snautzer01, Aug 13, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
    (with data from ccheese in previous post)

    B-17G #43-38178 (FR-P) "Seattle Sue" was assigned to the 379th Bomb Group, 525th Bomb Squadron. The aircraft was damaged in a mid-air collision over Pilsen on 4/25/45 with B-17G #43-38272 (FR-D) "The Thumper". Pilot of "Seattle Sue" was Clair W. Evans, all 9 were KIA. "The Thumper" was piloted by James M. Blain and his aircraft managed to crash land in Allied territory, no casualties reported in one source, another reports the tail gunner was killed.

    Crew for "Seattle Sue" - no missing air crew report filed. Apparently with being so late in the war and Allied lines so far forward, the crash site was probably within Allied Territory. Suggest you pursue a 293 file from the Dept of the Army, details in our research section. Crew of Seattle Sue:

    P 2Lt Clair W. Evans Grand Rapids, MI
    CP 2Lt Dennis F. Lang Stockton, CA
    N FO Abraham (NMI) Teller Bronx, NY
    B FO Leland A. Slane Columbus, OH
    TT Sgt Norman B. Cooler Kingstree, SC
    RO Sgt William B. Fanning Forest Hills, NY
    BT Sgt Robert J. Cobson Jersey City, NJ
    TG Sgt Victor L. Stewart Waterford, OH
     

    Attached Files:

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