The B-17, SNAFUPERMAN

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by FAC, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. FAC

    FAC New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hello,

    I'm wondering if anyone has a source for info on particular B-17s.

    This B-17 flew in the 15th AF, 2nd Bomb Grp., 20th Sqdn, the first half of 1944 and was lost in August/September, 44-(I think) when the 20th was wiped out on a mission. There is a painting of it done by a Pilot in that Group named C. Beecham, he did the painting from a photograph taken at bombsway. I have a copy of it that my Dad had and on the bottom, Mr. Beecham states the date and location of the mission. According to my dad's personal log book, and old correspondence with his surviving crew members, he was the pilot of this plane at the time the picture was taken. Just after the picture was taken they recieved flak damage to #1-on fire and #2 had a bad oil leak, a piece of flak the diameter of your thumb came in a side window, through the collar of my dad's jacket and shirt, bounced off the panel and fell to the floor..I have it. He feathered #2, hit the CO2 on #1 but it continued to burn for quite awhile. He left the formation and they started dumping everything out of the plane. The ball turret gunner stayed at his position to monitor the fire (dangerous thing to do) and when it went out, he got out. They tried to jetison the turret, flak damage prevented it. A waist gunner took a fire axe and cut it loose, the reduced weight enabled them to clear the mountains and they managed a good landing-had to manually crank down the flaps. This was Dad's 49th mission, he got the DFC for it and left for home a few days later after his 50th. It was a couple weeks later that his entire squadron was wiped out.

    Dad and Beecham knew each other and I have correspondence between them. I'm basically looking for info on this plane like when it was made, exactly when it was lost and what crew was flying it. I have not found the S/N yet but I have a ton of papers to go through that dad kept..I also have some interesting pictures I'll scan

    Thanks

    FAC
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
  3. Dukeair

    Dukeair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Found these on other sites.

    42-107118 Snafuperman 2nd BG...20 BS
    MIA Moravska Ostrova 29 Aug 44 on is 62nd mission
    attacked by fighters,crashed at Fritschendorf. Willim Garland crew,Zupan,Novak,Hayett,Katz,Griffin,
    Barker,Dewitt,Payne,Hoadley...Katz,Payne KIA,rest POW. (MACR 7987)

    Posts: 1851
    Joined: 1/3/2002
    From: USA
    Status: offline Click here for Unit History.

    Association Contacts:

    **** Radtke (president)
    60 Villa Height Ct.
    Algoma, WI 54201-1463
    Phone:920-487-3343
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Reunion News: No info.

    Web sites:

    Second Bomb Group , complete web site with unit history, reunion details, and much more.

    < Message edited by Scott Burris -- 10/1/2004 12:43:19 PM >
    Post #: 1

    RE: 2nd Association, Web site, Reunion details - 3/14/2005 10:25:51 PM


    tadtuf1




    Posts: 1
    Joined: 3/14/2005
    Status: offline I'm about 3 1/2 years too late, but I have some info for the lady who posted the inquiry at:

    Hello, <br> A few months ago my u...

    The original pilot of B-17G #42-107118, "Snafuperman", from March 44 (when the original crew flew it to Europe from the factory stateside) until 24 Aug 44 was Charles N. Beecham. Chuck was undoubtedly her uncle's skipper. He retired from active duty in 1969, and is alive and well, now living in Oregon (and close friends with Leo Zupan, the co-pilot when the plane was shot down 29 Aug 44). He and his wife moved from Oklahoma in Jan 04 to be closer to their daughter and her family. Chuck is a DFC recipient, flew 220+ Berlin Airlift missions, an artist, former actor and a true hero. He and I became close friends in the last few years...we even bought their house when they moved. If anyone wants more info on him, please feel free to contact me. I joined today to post this message about Col. Beecham. Thank you, Chris Stanley, Oklahoma
     
  4. FAC

    FAC New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for the info, I looked over his log some more. Seems he flew Snafuperman 4 times, he sometimes listed the name and other times just the #118. I love some of the comments in his log, " few fighters, flak moderate, (only) eighteen holes in ship"..no trouble, just eighteen holes...

    I'm working with an old scanner so I'll give the picture posting a try...

    [​IMG]

    The pic on the top left may be another view of this plane, I've seen some pictures of the left side of a 17 with similar damage. Top right, he went over as a B-24 Co-pilot but switched to B-17's. He didn't like the B-24 all that much, harder to fly and more prone to fire according to him. Bottom left is my mom's favorite, she always called it his "50 mission grin", I believe he was having a few belts of mission brandy after his last mission and they talked him into a cockpit for this pic. He always smiled like this when he had a "few"..

    FAC
     
  5. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Great pics.

    Thanks for shring them.
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Great pics and wonderful pieces of history you have there. Here is the info I was able to locate on that aircraft:

    42-107118 (2nd BG, 20th BS) lost Aug 29, 1944. MACR 7987

    B-17G-35-DL Fortress Manufactured by Douglas aircraft in Long Beach California- Construction number 22032

    The MACR (Missing Aircrew Report) might have more detail.
     
  7. tadtuf1

    tadtuf1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    El Reno, OK
    Hi FAC,

    Really enjoyed your posts and the great pics, thank you.

    If you wish to telephone Col. Beecham, please advise (I'll not post his number here out of respect for his privacy). He's a great guy, sharp as a razor, and I'm sure he'll be glad to hear from you.

    My wife and I have attended the last two 2nd Bomb Group reunions (a few weeks ago in Dayton and last year in St. Louis) as guests of the Beechams. Many of the widows, sons and daughters are now involved in the reunions and associated activities, by the way. We've been extremely blessed to have been included and have really enjoyed becoming friends with such an esteemed group of heros.

    Again, please contact me if I can help.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Stanley
    El Reno, OK
    email at: [email protected][/FONT]
     
  8. fwlipper3

    fwlipper3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I'm looking for specific information on this plane for a painting. Need to know color, markings, nose art (if any) and specifics about turret models, etc. Can anyone help with that or are there photos out there?

    Fred Lipper
    Portland, OR
     
  9. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,940
    Likes Received:
    624
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cracow
    Great story!
     
  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    FAC, DUKEAIR and TADTUFF1,

    on Aug. 29th 1944 there was an Air battle over White Carphatian. Whole 20th Sqdn was erased from the sky, 41 men lost their lives and 28 them were buried in Slavicin, town, where I was born and where I lived till 2001.
    In 1994 Leo Zupan, Bill Garland from Snafuperman crew, and Loy Dickinson, Bill Tune and Franciss Flynn from Tail End Charlie, #159, visited Slavicin for a first time. In 2004 Loy Dickinson, today former president of 2nd BG vets assn., visited us again. Through him I got in touch with a lot of crew members or their relatives, that had something to do with Mission 263.
    One of them, Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner form #159, visited me here in 2005 and we visited him last year in New Jersey. He´s going to visit u this year in August again.
    We also have visited one of German pilots that shot down one B-17 on that day and he visited us here as well. Go to http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/album/showphoto.php?photo=14110&cat=602
    If everything´s gonna be O.K., he should meet Joe Owsianik here this year.
    I also have some pictures from 2nd BG reunions where there´s Loy Dickinson, Joe Owsianik and Ch. Beecham in first row.
    Somewhere I also have a picture of monument in Palkovice near to crash site of Snafuperman with the Rusell Payne´s name on it.

    Greetings from Zlin
    Czech Republic8)
    [email protected]
     
  11. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    Fred,

    one of my friends is finishing his book about U.S. aircrafts crashes in Moravia (East part of Czech Republic) and there will be colered profiles of these machines included. I should get this book soon so let you know then.

    Roman
     
  12. fwlipper3

    fwlipper3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Roman,

    Thank you. I'll be looking forward to seeing some photos.

    Fred
     
  13. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    Sorry to say but I got the word from a friend of mine today that a former pilot of Snafuperman, Bill Garland passed away this week. I´ll try to find more details and the exact date yet...
    Bill got shot down on Aug. 29, 1944 some 50 miles away from my born town, was captured by Germans and spent the rest of the war in the POW camp.
    Had visited my born town in 1994. I got his signature in my book forever!
     
  14. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,715
    Likes Received:
    424
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    Manufacture Tech
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    :salute:
     
  15. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    Passed away on Sunday 25th. Broken hip 2 months ago and then pneumonia...:salute:

    Here are few words from Loy Dickinson, former president of the 2ndBG vets assn.:
    ''He would have been 92 in June. Leo Zupan and I are the only remaining members of the Garland crew which flew a shiny
    B-17 from Savanna to Foggia in the first week of July 1944. After delivering it, of course, we never saw it again...
    Private services will take place next Sunday, June 1st in Sedona.
    He is one we can well memorialize...''


    Bill Garland is 1st from the right, Leo Zupan 1st from the left, Loy Dickinson in the middle. Pic taken in 2006 during the reunion in Dayton,OH.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    Here is a picture of few fragments from Snafuperman we have in our museum. When I´ll be there for a next time I´ll take a better pic of this show case...
     

    Attached Files:

  17. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    So here´s a pic I toke yesterday...
     

    Attached Files:

  18. chobi

    chobi New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello,

    Are there any photos, profiles etc of ''Snafuperman'' after all?
    I'm interested in building a scale model of it.
     
  19. seesul

    seesul Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,519
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Zlin, Czech Republic
    Home Page:
    I´m sorry bzt the book had not been finished yet. The problem is a friend of mine haven´t found any publisher so he decided to publish the book by himself which will take some time yet.
    Hope next year this book will see the lite of this world.
    Anyway, we dug out one photo of 'Snafuperman' in flight few weeks ago. If you want it send me a PM with your e-mail address.
     
  20. flypaper

    flypaper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Lt. Col. Charlie Beecham, the pilot who brought Snafuperman over to Foggia, Italy, and completed 50 missions with her, asked me to post a pic of the patch he had on his flight jacket commemorating those successful missions.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Lucky13
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    866
  2. Clave
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    1,851
  3. carman1877
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    1,717
  4. Bf109_g
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    1,673
  5. pikeman7000
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    2,283

Share This Page