1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 4, 2020 1:23 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records of 414th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group & plane

    James Turnbull Newbie

      My great uncle, Sgt. Edwin L. Metcalf, B-17G went down due to mechanical failure on a bombing mission to Salzburg, Austria on 11 November 1944.  He served in the 414th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group that was part of the 15th AAF. His plane's tail number was 44-6338 and he was the ball turret gunner.  I have Missing Air Crew Report No. 9862 and the listing of his crew mates and one known photo (he's the skinny guy on top right of course!).  I am looking for details on the plane's nickname in particular or other flight/mission information I may be able to find. I provided the rest of the crew below for any cross referencing.

       

      Bradie Bills - MILITARY | SERGEANT | TAIL GUNNER | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

      Donat Blazevich - MILITARY | SERGEANT | WAIST GUNNER | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

      Dale Dolton - MILITARY | TECHNICAL SERGEANT | BOMBARDIER | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM (2OLC), PH.

      Robert Ericson - MILITARY | TECHNICAL SERGEANT | RADIO OPERATOR | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862.Awards: AM, PH.

      William Faith - MILITARY | SECOND LIEUTENANT | BOMBER PILOT | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

      George Fryer - MILITARY | SECOND LIEUTENANT | CO-PILOT | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

      James Housley - MILITARY | SERGEANT | WAIST GUNNER | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862 Awards: PH.

      Edwin Metcalf - MILITARY | SERGEANT | BALL TURRET GUNNER | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

      Norman Rosenfield - MILITARY | SECOND LIEUTENANT | NAVIGATOR | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

      Emilio Villarreal - MILITARY | SERGEANT | TOP TURRET | Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

        • Re: Seeking records of 414th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group & plane
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Mr. Turnbull,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled World War II Combat Operations Reports, 1941 - 1946 in the Records of the Army Air Forces ( Record Group 18) that includes 29 files for the 97th Bomb Group. For more information about these records please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          RDT2 has custody of microfilm copies of operational records relating to U.S. Army Air Force units. We searched the Air Force History index to the microfilm and located 31 files that pertain to the 414th Bombardment Squadron and 55 records that pertain to the 97th Bombardment Group. Please read the brief Abstract to determine which records you are interested in and click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. If the reel number begins with A, B or C, please contact email RDT2 for access to them.

           

          There may be additional photographs relating to the squadron or the group in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). Please contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov to request a search.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          In regards to aircraft nicknames, because these were assigned on an informal basis, they are rarely recorded in official records.  However, we located records of the 97th Bombardment Group Reunion Association that includes information about aircraft nicknames, as well as tail markings, crew rosters, photographs, and other materials that may be of interest. Please contact the Air Force Historical Research Agency for access to these records.

           

          The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution has custody of a microfilm copy of Army Air Force aircraft history record cards.  The cards list a plane's serial number, place of manufacture, and manufacturer's contract number, and may include information for each month that the plane was in service, the place of assignment, cumulative flying hours, and any repairs or accidents.  They cover information from the date the plane was put into service to the date it was destroyed or withdrawn from service.  For access to the microfilm, please contact the National Air and Space Museum Archives, 14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151 or email NASMRefDesk@si.edu. The Museum also has copies of unofficial publications which compile information on aircraft nicknames and/or nose art. These publications are not comprehensive, but may be useful.

           

          For information regarding U.S. servicemen missing during WWII, we suggest you contact the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), Public Affairs Office, 2300 Defense Pentagon, ATTN: External Affairs, Washington DC 20301-2300. The web site is https://www.dpaa.mil/.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!