Personnel Aircraft Nose Art B-17 Thunderbird Ground Support Uniforms Journals More Info
Mission Reports Combat Crews Individual Photos Photos POW KIA MACR Overseas Graves TAPS
ROBERT J. LYNCH CREW - 360th BS
(crew assigned 360BS: 15 February 1944)
(Back L-R) Capt Robert J. Lynch (P)(B/O)(1), Lt Jules R. Cohl (CP)(2),
1Lt Emilio M. Sbrolla (N)(KIA)(3), 1Lt Dick W. Merz (B)(KIA)(3)
T/Sgt Frank H. Schuler (RAD)(B/O)(4),
S/Sgt Joseph R. Chudej (BTG)(B/O(4),
(KIA-B/O) 22 June 1944 Mission #188 to Wizernes, France in B-17 #42-97405 Mary Cary (360th BS) PU-H. Capt. Lynch took a small group of 14 B-17s to attack a "No-Ball" Rocket Launching target in the Pas de Calais area. Mary Cary received direct flak hits on the #1 and #2 engines over the target. The #2 engine was windmilling and could not be feathered. The Deputy Leader took over the formation. Upon reaching the enemy coast on the way home the B-17 began to vibrate badly. They headed for Beachy Head the nearest point on the English coast. As they were nearing the English coast the #2 engine exploded and the crew was ordered to bail out over the English Channel. The B-17 exploded shortly before it hit the water. Partly due to the clear weather with unlimited visibility, crewmen were in the water for only 45 minutes before being spotted and rescued. Capt Lynch was rescued by a nearby corvette and four others by two destroyers. The Navigator's body was recovered by one of the destroyers. The other four crewmen drowned.
Two crewmen in the B-17 were not regular members of the Lynch crew: 1Lt R.W. Erickson (P)(KIA) and 1Lt L.D. Ross (N)(KIA). Capt Lynch was flying as CoPilot with his Lead Crew. Regular CoPilot Lt Jules R. Cohl was not on the flight.
[Crew identification from 360BS Microfilm roll AO-587 page 1741]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]