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B-17F 41-24569
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Original 303rd BG B-17F Memphis Tot, 41-24569 427th BS (GN-V) ditched in the Waddenzee
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04 February 1943 Mission #14 to Osnabruck, Germany
B-17F #41-24569 Memphis Tot (427BS) GN-V

P Cole, Lloyd R., Capt WIA/POW/DOW
CP McCune, Robert N., 2Lt KIA
NAV Driggs, Robert P., 2Lt POW
BOM Bryant, Edward N., 2Lt POW
ENG Purinton, Bliss D., S/Sgt POW
RO Miller, Gordon D., T/Sgt POW
TG Callery, Philip J., S/Sgt POW
BT Witte, Arch, Jr., S/Sgt POW
LWG Pennington, James L., S/Sgt KIA
RWG Van Etten, James R., Sgt KIA

Captain Lloyd R. Cole and his crew in Memphis Tot were shot down at 1136 hours by Hptm Dietrich Wickop of 4/JG 1. She was ditched in the Waddenzee (Wadden Sea), a shallow inlet of the North Sea between the West Frisian Islands and the northern Netherlands mainland.

Memphis Tot, 427BS (GN-V), was last seen turning out of formation somewhere near Leeuwarden. The crew later reported that most of their guns froze while over the Netherlands en route to the target. The aircraft left the formation to return to base and was soon attacked by ME-109s and FW-190s. Badly damaged, the B-17 ditched in the Zuider Zee off the coast of the Netherlands. It broke in two parts upon contact with the water. The co-pilot, 2Lt McCune, was shot and killed before the crash. The pilot, Capt. Cole, caught a 20mm shell in his left hip. He later lost his leg and died in a POW camp from injury complications. He is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery near Liege, Belgium. Two other crewmen, S/Sgt. Pennington and Sgt. Van Etten, were lost in the ditching. S/Sgt Pennington is buried in Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, Netherlands. Sgt. Van Etten and Lt. McCune are listed on the Wall of missing at Margraten. The surviving members of the crew were picked up by a Dutch fishing boat, transferred to a German Marine boat, and turned over to German authorities and made POWs.

[photo courtesy of Chris Goss]