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303rd BG(H) Aircraft that Ditched
Returning to England from Combat Missions

[Copyright ©1997 Harry D. Gobrecht]

How to Ditch the B-17   How to Bail Out of the B-17

B-17 Serial (SQ)
B-17 Name
Ditching Location
23 Nov 42 1Lt Reddig, A.E.
Capt Miller, C.G.
St. Nazaire, FR
[MACR ?]
41-24568 (359BS)
Lady Fairweather
Bay of Biscay
(10 KIA)
20 Dec 421Lt Witt, O.S.
2Lt McMurtry, F.M.,Jr
Romilly, FR
[MACR 15708]
41-24566 (359BS)
English Channel
(10 KIA)
03 Jan 43 1Lt Saunders, F.A.
2Lt Kirk, L.W.
St.Nazaire, FR
[MACR ?]
41-24608 (359BS)
- ? -
(8 KIA, 2 POW)
03 Jan 431Lt Clark, J.E.
2Lt Bouton, P., Jr.
St. Nazaire, FR
[MACR 7651]
41-25526 (358BS)
Leapin Liz
Bay of Biscay
(10 KIA)
23 Jan 43 1Lt O'Connor, O.T.
1Lt Ruppe, E.T.
Lorient, FR
[MACR 15473]
[E&E 21 & 22]
41-24580 (358BS)
Hell Cat
Bay of Biscay
(8 POW, 2 E&E)
23 Jan 43 1Lt Reber, E.H.
2Lt Mitchell, H.D.
Lorient, FR
[MACR ?]
41-24607 (427BS)
Jerry Jinx
Bay of Biscay
(10 KIA)
16 Feb 43 Capt Breed, W.H.
1Lt Sample, H.T.
St. Nazaire, FR
[MACR 15116]
42-2967 (360BS)
Shak Hak
off Brest Peninsula
(10 KIA)
16 Feb 43 Capt Dunnica, L.G.
2Lt Pacey, O.E.
St. Nazaire, FR
[MACR 15476]
41-24541 (358BS)
English Channel
(6 KIA, 4 POW)
06 Mar 43 1Lt Plocher, M.E.
2Lt Tyler, C.A.
Lorient, FR
[MACR 15536]
42-5262 (360BS)
(no name)
Bay of Biscay
(2 KIA, 8 POW)
14 May 43 Capt Bales, R.C.
1Lt Dooley, W.E.
Kiel, GR
[MACR 15593]
42-5243 (359BS)
FDR's Potato Peeler Kids
North Sea
(10 KIA)
15 May 431Lt Jaques, C.D.
2Lt Holder, A.D.
Helgoland Islands
[MACR 15515]
42-29481 (427BS)
(no name)
North Sea
(10 KIA)
25 June 43 Capt Stallings, G.V.
1Lt Bradbury, J.E.
Hamburg, GR
[MACR ?]
42-5468 (360BS)
Qui-Nine-The Bitter Dose
1 mi from shore
(1 KIA, 8 B/O over UK, 1 B/O 1 mi from shore) (B-17 CR in sea)
14 July 43 1Lt Swaffer, C.A.
1Lt Johnston,J.R.
Paris, FR
42-29791 (358BS)
Memphis Blues
30 mi fm Shorham
(9 rescued)
30 July 43 1Lt Cogswell, R.W.
2Lt Tippet, P.S.
Kassel, GR
42-29738 (360BS)
Upstairs Maid
22 mi from Felixstowe
(10 rescued)
19 Aug 43 2Lt Quillen, L.H.
2Lt Homan. J.R.
Gilkze-Rijen, Neth
[MACR 285]
42-5392 (427BS)
North Sea
(6 KIA, 4 POW)
06 Sep 43 1Lt Hullar, R.J.
2Lt Klint, W.
Stuttgart, GR
42-3002 (427BS)
The Old Squaw
6 mi SW Beachy Hd. (10 rescued)
02 Oct 43 1Lt Tippet, P.S.
2Lt Nemitz, L.H.
Emden, GR
[MACR 738]
42-5260 (360BS)
Yardbird II
North Sea
(11 KIA)
01 Dec 43 1Lt Eckhart, A.E.
2Lt Jenkins, E.L.
Solingen, GR
42-31243 (427BS)
(no name)
at Pealie Bay
(10 rescued)
20 Dec 43Capt Hungerford, M.R.
2Lt Henderson, J.F.
Bremen, GR
42-29664 (358BS)
Jersey Bounce, Jr
off English Coast
(10 rescued)
03 Feb 44 Capt White, G.A.
2Lt Newsom, W.W.
Wilhelmsvaven, GR
[MACR 2238]
42-37927 (358BS)
(no name)
North Sea
(10 KIA)
22 Feb 44 1Lt Underwood. G.E.
2Lt Massimiliano, J.
Aschersleben, GR
[MACR 2564]
42-29931 (360BS)
Devil's Workshop
English Channel
(10 KIA)
24 May 44 1Lt Worthley, J.R.
2Lt Clumpner, A.P.
Berlin, GR
[MACR 5173]
41-97787 (358BS)
(no name)
North Sea
(9 KIA, 1 POW)
22 June 44 1Lt Erickson, R.W.
Capt Lynch, R.J.
Wizernes, FR
[MACR 7131]
42-97405 (360BS)
Mary Cary
English Channel
(5 KIA, 5 rescued)
23 July 44 1Lt Morgan, W.D.
2Lt Parker, J.W.
Creil, FR
42-102960 (359BS)
(no name)
English Channel
(9 rescued)


The Goldfish Club was founded in 1942 by Mr. C.A. Robertson, Chief Draughtsman of Mssrs. P.B Cow & Co. Ltd, one of the world's largest Air Sea Rescue equipment manufactures. The Club was formed as an exclusive club for Airmen who had survived a wartime aircraft ditching and who owed their lives to the successful use of the Mae West inflatable life preserver, a rubber dinghy, other type life raft. etc. The Goldfish Club Badge shows a white-winged goldfish flying over two symbolic blue waves. The name Goldfish was selected with gold for the value of life and fish for the sea. Each new known member of the Goldfish Club was presented with a heat-sealed waterproof membership card and an embroidered badge with the financial backing of P.B. Cow. Due to wartime regulations, production of wire badges was prohibited and all cloth was severely rationed. These problems were overcome with silk embroidery substituted for wire upon black cloth cut from old evening dress suits that were sent by readers of the London Daily Express after an appeal by columnist William Hickey. Uniform dress regulations prohibited the wearing of the Gold Fish Club Badge on British and American uniforms. The badge was generally worn by Naval aircrews upon their Mae Wests. Many RAF & USAAF Aircrewmen placed their badge under the flap of their left hand uniform pocket.

[Information from "A Drop in the Ocean" by Jim Burtt-Smith & John French]
[Goldfish Club card and patch courtesy of Eddie Deerfield]

303rd BG(H) Goldfish Club Members

Mission #9 - 03 Jan 1943
#41-24608 "Yahoodi" 359BS
Ditched Bay of Biscay
1Lt Frank A. Saunders (P) POW
2Lt Oscar F. Forester, Jr. (B) POW
S/Sgt Leif H. Hoklin (BT) POW
[7 crewmen KIA]

Mission #11 - 23 Jan 1943
#41-24580 "Hell Cat" 358BS
Ditched in Bay of Biscay. All Survived.
1Lt Oran T. O'Connor (P) POW
2Lt Eldon T. Ruppe (CP) Evd
2Lt Bruce W. Gordon (N) Evd
2Lt Earle J. DuMont, Jr. (B) POW
T/Sgt Merle S. Mullendore (E) POW
Sgt Norman Hughes (R) POW
Sgt Clifton R. Fincher (BT) POW
Sgt Jack J. Lucas (LWG) POW
Sgt Lester M. Robuck (RWG) POW
S/Sgt Frank L. Batterson (TG) POW

Mission #16 - 16 Feb 1943
#41-24541 "Spook" 358BS
Ditched in English Channel NE of Brest.
2Lt Orson E. Pacey (CP) POW
1Lt Robert O. Scheible (B) POW
T/Sgt Harry W. Tucker (E) POW
S/Sgt Philip T. Cascio (BT) POW
[2 Crewmen KIA]

Mission #20 - 06 Mar 1943
#42-5261 (no name) 360BS
Ditched in Bay of Biscay 40 miles off Lorient.
1Lt Martin E. Plocher (P) POW
2Lt Ellera J. Corwin (N) POW
1Lt William F. Kahlden (B) POW
T/Sgt Henry R. Legge (E) POW
T/Sgt Everett E. Friese (R) POW
S/Sgt Louis W. Rheaume (BT) POW
S/Sgt Edwin L. Matheson (RWG) POW
S/Sgt August E. Tornow (TG) POW
[2 Crewmen KIA]

Mission #44 - 25 June 1943
#42-5468 "Qui-Nine The Bitter Dose" 360BS
Bailed out over water one mile from shore using his Mae West Life Preserver.
1Lt George V. Stallings (P)
[1 crewman KIA, 8 B/O over England]

Mission #50 - 14 July 1943
#42-29791 "Memphis Blues" 358BS
Ditched 30 miles off Shorham. All Rescued.
1Lt Calvin A. Swaffer (P)
1Lt John R. Johnston (CP)
2Lt William H. Karraker (N)
2Lt William F. Sweet (B)
T/Sgt Rudolph S. Lopez (E)
T/Sgt James O. Matthews (R)
S/Sgt Edward W. Griffin (BT)
Sgt Edward T. Cobb (LWG)
S/Sgt James F. Mills (RWG)
S/Sgt John F. Moody (TG)

Mission #56 - 30 July 1943
#42-29738 "Upstairs Maid" 360BS
Ditched in English Channel 22 miles from Felixstowe. All Rescued by Air Sea Rescue launch.
1Lt Robert W. Cogswell (P)
2Lt Paul S. Tippet (CP)**
2Lt Edward L. Cobb (N)
2Lt John D. Kennedy (B)
T/Sgt Gilbert E. Bengston (E)
T/Sgt Eddie Deerfield (R)
S/Sgt Paul J. Davis (BT)
S/Sgt Alvin Etheredge (RWG)
S/Sgt Elmer L. Peterson (LWG)
S/Sgt Harold R. Timm (TG)
** Tippet was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot 26 Sept 43. KIA on Mission #73 02 Oct 43 in B-17 #42-5260 "Yardbird" 360BS when he ditched his B-17 in the North Sea. All 11 Crewmen were KIA.

Mission #61 - 19 Aug 1943
#43-5392 "Stric Nine" 427BS
Ditched in the North Sea.
S/Sgt Elbert O. Price (BT) POW
S/Sgt Joseph H. Brown (LWG) POW
S/Sgt Paul W. Abernathy (RGW) POW
S/Sgt A.K. Sauer (TG) POW
[6 crewmen KIA]

Mission #67 - 06 Sep 1943
#42-5392 "The Old Squaw" 427BS
Ditched 6 miles SW of Beachy Head. All rescued by RAF ASR vessel HSL #183-28th Marine Craft Unit.
Lt R.H. Hullar (P)
Lt Wilbur "Bud" Klint (CP)
Lt Elmer L. Brown (N)
Lt James E. McCormick (B)
T/Sgt Dave W. Rice (E)
T/Sgt George F. Hoyt (R
S/Sgt Norman A. Sampson (BT)
S/Sgt Charles H. Marson (RWG)
S/Sgt Charles Fullem (LWG)
S/Sgt Merlin D. Miller (TG)

Mission #85 - 01 Dec 1943
#42-31243 (no name) 427BS
Ditched in English Channel at Pealie Bay. All rescued by ASR Launch.
Lt Alan Eckhart (P)
Lt Elton L. Jenkins (CP)
Lt George L. Arvanties (N)
Lt Robert W. Meagher (B)
T/Sgt Francis X. Neuner (E)
T/Sgt Fred T. Kuehl (R)
S/Sgt Angelo J. Tambe (BT)
Sgt Michael Musashe (RWG)
S/Sgt Edward P. Madek (LWG)
Sgt Nyle F. Smith (TG)

Mission #90 - 20 Dec 1943
#42-29664 "Jersey Bounce, Jr." 358BS
Ditched in English Channel off English Coast. All rescued by ASR launch.
2Lt John F. Henderson (P)
Capt Merle R. Hungerford (CP)
2Lt Warren S. Wiggins (N)
2Lt Woodrow M. Monkres (B)
S/Sgt William H. Simpkins (E)
S/Sgt Forrest L. Vosler (R)
Sgt Edward Ruppel (BT)
Sgt Stanley E. Moody (RWG)
Sgt Ralph F. Burkart (LWG)
Sgt George W. Buske (TG)
Note: S/Sgt Vosler Medal of Honor mission

Mission #159 - 24 May 1944
#41-97787 (no name) 358BS
Ditched in North Sea.
Sgt Elmer E. Simpson (TG) POW
[9 crewmen KIA]

Mission #188 - 22 June 1944
#42-97405 "Mary Cary" 360BS
Bailed out over English Channel. Rescued by nearby Corvette and two Destroyers
Capt Robert L. Lynch (P)
T/Sgt Thomas M. Roszell (E)
T/Sgt Frank M. Schuler (R)
S/Sgt Josef R. Chudej (BT)
S/Sgt Kenneth R. Kroug (TG)
[5 crewmen KIA]

Mission #210 - 23 July 1944
#42-102960 (no name) 359BS
Ditched in English Channel. All rescued by ASR launch.
1Lt William D. Morgan (P)
2Lt John W. Parker (CP)
2Lt Abraham Wodinsky (N)
2Lt Frank S. Destito (B)
T/Sgt Theron H. Hayes (E)
T/Sgt Edward C. Stemmie (R)
S/Sgt Stanley W. Lloyd (BT)
S/Sgt James E. Caperton (WG)
S/Sgt James J. Gross (TG)

Key to Abbreviations:
[MACR] Missing Aircrew Report number
[MACR ?] Missing Aircrew Report number unknown
[ASR UK] Rescued by British Air Crew Rescue vessel
[E&E] Escape & Evasion report number
B/O - Bailout from stricken B-17
Evd or E&E - Evaded capture after Ditching. Returned to England.
KIA - Killed in Action before or during ditching
POW - Prisoner of War after ditching
Repr - Repatriated while a POW