USAAF bomber loss in Austria Nov 19th, 1944

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Airman 1st Class
Aug 14, 2006
From a crashplace in Lower Austria I got the following parts you see attached. The letters are "RH IGNITION DISCONNECT BOX" and the "R" of "RH" seems to be scratched by hand into the material. Maybe by a mechanic? Can anyone identify the plane by these? Should be a B17 or B24. Got to speak with two eyewitness who saw 7-9 parachutes before the plane crashed. One had the exact date and time out of the local townhall's diary: Sunday, November 19th, 1944 about 1:30 p.m. I'm just starting my research about this plane and it's crew now. So any information is apprechiated. Thank you for your help.


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That's pretty cool. I hope you find what you are looking for. It was too bad about the crew. Talking to one of the local elders who saw the crash must have been pretty interesting.
My reasonably indepth search turned up some missions from the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology, November 1944...


Ninth AF

450-plus A-20's, A-26's, and B-26's bomb storage depots, bridge, junction, ordnance depots, and defended positions in or near 10 German towns and cities. Ftrs escort 9th Bomb Div, carry out patrols, and fly armed rcn hitting rail facilities and other tgts over W German areas including Euskirchen, Trier, Saarbrucken, Julich, and Cologne. IX, XIX, and XXIX TACs spt US VII, XII, XIX, and XX Corps areas E of Aachen and near Hurtgen, between Metz and Saarlautern and near Sarreguemines.


Twelfth AF

Fog and low clouds force cancellation of missions against W Po Valley tgts and limit FBs to a midday attack on rail lines, guns, troop concentrations, motor transport, and other military tgts in and near battle area S of Bologna. During 18/19 Nov A-20's on armed rcn bomb Ghedi A/F and tgts in Bologna, Ferrara, Mantua, Cremona, and Parma areas.


Fifteenth AF

More than 500 B-24's and B-17's bomb Schwechat and Vosendorf oil refineries, Winterhafen oil depot and Lobau oil plant, WienerNeudorf aircraft factory, Linz benzol plant, Horsching A/F, Gyor, and Maribor M/Ys, plus several scattered T/Os. 19 P-38's dive-bomb troop concentrations at Prijepolje and Novi Pazar, while 126 P-51's strafe roads and railroads between Esztergom and Veszprem and Vienna, and also attack Veszprem and Tapolcza A/Fs. Other ftrs cover HB and rcn missions.


Tenth AF

15 P-47's spt ground forces attacking Bhamo and fighting in the Pinwe area. 36 P-47's pound enemy concentrations at Man Mao, Sekang, and Manlu. Transports fly 290 sorties to forward areas.


Fourteenth AF

3 B-24's bomb Samah Bay docks. 10 B-25's damage 2 buildings N of Chefang and score hits on bridges at Tingka and Wan Lai-Kam. 8 P-40's and P-38's hit T/Os S of Tingka and Chefang. 19 P-40's blast troops and river, rail, and road traflic in Hankow area. 27 P-40's, P-51's, and P-38's hit numerous T/Os in Mangshih area.



B-24's bomb Alicante and Palompon while P-47's hit Valencia and Ormoc areas. On Mindanao B-24's hit Libby A/F. Others bomb A/Fs at Sasa, Sidate, Mapanget, and Borebore. B-25's and A-20's hit A/Fs and shipping in Ceram-Am- boina-Boeroe. B-25's and A-20's hit Asia Is tgts.


Seventh AF

5 B-24's from Guam, on armed rcn over Iwo Jima and the Bonins, bomb A/Fs on Iwo Jima while 15 hit shipping at Chichi Jima and Haha Jima. 1 B-24 from Angaur in the Palaus bombs Legaspi A/F.
That Ignition disconnect box possibly had something to do with an aircraft magnetos as there are usually two, right and left....

The chain could possibly be part of a trim system, maybe elevator...

The piece on the bottom is a hand made sheet metal job - the rivets are actually too close together and one of them (lower left) was even "double flattened" on the upset head side, something that happens if the bucking bar isn't square on the upset head or if the bucking bar slips during driving. In all cases It's almost impossible to tell what aircraft they come from. Let us know if you find part numbers.
Guten Tag gents !

A B24 from the 15th AF, now shot down by Flak or fighters ? eye witness(s) saw what exactly ? it crash or an air battle or the sky full of black smudgy ugly puffs of shrapnel ?

by November 1, 44 III./JG 53 was based at Neuhausen Obeck. IV./JG 53 was based at Donaueschingen, II./JG 53 much farther to the north at Malmsheim close to NJG 6 first gruppe. Both III./IV./JG 53 fairly close to the Austrian border, equipped with Bf 109G-14/AS. 8)
Hi guys, thanks a lot for your interests!

I found some information at 461st Bombardment Group. According this site it was an B24 of 461st Group and the lost plane was flown by 2nd Lt. Arthur E. Farham Jr.
The crashplace is at Lower Austria north west of the town St.Pölten.

During cleaning of the part with the big rivets I found some red letters on it. They read: "24S-T ? ? CLAD" The places where I put "?" are unreadable. The "C" of "CLAD" is not sure. To read the red letters you have to put my last posted picture up side down.

On an other part I found the stamping: "TECH NI-CRAFT INSP 51" and the letters (look like written by a hand marker) "6K32F-7833-L" and a hard to read round marking with something like "111" inside a circle. Maybe there is an "H" on top of the "111" too. Will try to make I picture of these details.

Regarding the german air defence I read that some parts of JG27 were based during summer and maybe longer at Fels am Wagram, Lower Austria. This location would be pretty close.

The eyewitness didn't tell much details. We will talk to them again. No one mentioned a german interceptor, trailing smoke out of the plane or puffs of shrapnel.

Will keep you involved! Thanks again for your help!

Regards, Kurtl
Kurt, JG 27 although in the Reichsverteidigung in November of 44 they were in the area south of Berlin at Canitz, Leutwitz, Pommsen and Leutewitz. none of would of been in action with the 461st bg that far to the south of the Reich interior on the November 44 date you posted. I gave you JG 53 and that is whom would of put up a defense if it was by fighters
Morning guys!

Got the pictures made. 1 and 2 show the new details on the large part with the hugh rivets. 1: 24S-T, 2: CLAD Any idea what that could mean? The "D" of "CLAD" was only visible when I removed the little part on the right hand side seen in picture 4.

Foto 3 shows the stamping on an other part: "TECH NI-CRAFT INSP 51"

4 and 5 give an overview of the large part with the rivets. Part farl right in 4 is moveable. Behind it there was a red "D", the last letter of "CLAD".

@Erich: I have a list a home which states german dayfighters based in Austria by the end of May 1944. It states I./JG27 at Fels am Wagram and III./JG 27 (without 7. Squadron) at Götzendorf. Could it be that they did not have all the JG27 at Berlin at November same year? Sure, they changed their locations pretty often, but which fighter unit was based at Fels am Wagram in November 1944 and which on at Götzendorf?

Thanks again for your help!



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