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303rd BG Original Crew
427th Cole Crew
Lloyd R. Cole, Pilot
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B-17F #41-24619 S-for-Sugar (427BS) GN-S
(original crew assigned 427BS: 01 May 1942 - photo: 12 Oct 1942)
(Flew from USA to England Oct 1942 in B-17F #41-24569 Memphis Tot (427BS) GN-V)

(Back L-R) Capt Lloyd R. Cole (P-POW/Died)(1); Capt Edgar E. Snyder (Ops Officer)(3);
2Lt Robert N. McCune (CP-KIA)(1); 2Lt Robert P. Driggs (N-POW)(1);
2Lt Edward N. Bryant (B-POW)(1)

(Front - not in order) S/Sgt Bliss D. Purinton (E-POW)(1); S/Sgt Dale F. Brandfas (R)(2);
Sgt Philip J. Callery (TG-POW)(1); S/Sgt Clarence S. Coomes (WG)(2);
Sgt Arch Witte, Jr (BTG-POW)(1)

  1. 04 Feb 43 mission #14 to Osnabruck, Germany in B-17F #41-24569 Memphis Tot (427BS) GN-V. Last seen turning out of formation near Leeuwarden. Guns froze while over the Netherlands en route to the target. The B-17 left the formation to return to Molesworth and was soon attacked by ME-109s and FW-190s. Capt Cole ditched his B-17 in the Zider Zee of the coast of Holland. Capt Cole caught a 20 mm shell in his left hip. He later lost his leg and died in a POW hospital. CoPilot 2Lt McCune was killed before the crash. The seven surviving crewmen were picked up by a Dutch fishing boat, transferred to a German Marine boat, turned over to German authorities and made POWs. Substitute crewmen on the 04 Feb 43 mission (not in photo) were: S/Sgt Gordon D. Miller (R-POW), S/Sgt James L. Pennington (LWG-KIA) and Sgt James R. Van Etten (RWG-KIA)
  2. Completed combat tours of 25 missions: Brandfas 29 July 43, Coomes 25 June 43
  3. Edgar E. Snyder was Operations Officer 427th BS and became CO 427th BS 11 July 1943 (Major) and Deputy CO 303rd BG(H) on 01 Nov 1944 to 11 June 1945 (LtCol)

Original 303rd BG B-17F Memphis Tot, 41-24569 427th BS (GN-V) ditched in the Waddenzee
- click the image for more information and a larger view -

[crew photo from the 303rdBGA Archives - crash photo courtesy of Chris Goss]
[Researched by 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht]