Molesworth Ground Personnel Casualties
- Killed in Ground Accidents -
Cpl Charles R. Smith (360BS) 16 Jan 1943
Killed in a Jeep accident. Cpl Smith was an original member of the 360th BS at Boise, Idaho on 1
T/Sgt Victor J. Cozza (Radio Repairman 359BS) 25 Nov 1943
B-17F #41-24605 (BN-R) Knockout Dropper
Tripped over a homelite generator and fell headfirst into the #2 revolving
propeller of Knockout Dropper and was killed instantly. T/Sgt Cozza was the
Flight Engineer on the original 1Lt Frank A. Saunders crew. He flew on combat missions #3 (aborted), 4, & 6 (aborted) with Lt Saunders and on mission #5 with
Capt William R. Calhoun, Jr. He was medically grounded after mission #6, on 12 December 1942, and became a 359th BS Radio Repairman.
Pvt Edward W. Flannery (358BS) 17 Mar 1944
Killed in a Cletrac accident.
USA Personnel Casualties
Sgt Thomas S. Plemmons (3rd Station Complement Squadron) 01 Dec 1944
B-17G #43-38878 (No name) (359BS) BN-D
Aircraft was being towed tail first from the No. 1 hangar by a cletrac
driven by 359th BS Sgt Champ C. Walter along the perimeter of the east-west
runway at 2045 hours with its running and formation lights on and with the cletrac
headlights turned on. A 6 x 6 truck driven, by Sgt. Plemmons, passed the cletrac and crashed into the
B-17 through the left horizontal stabilizer and into the left wing killing
Sgt. Plemmons. The driver of the cletrac had observed the approaching truck and
blinked the headlights of the cletrac several times. Sgt Plemmons ignored the
blinking lights of the cletrac and blinked the lights on his truck in return
and continued on without reducing his speed (35 - 40 MPH). The trailing edge
of the left wing passed through the drivers compartment carrying Sgt Plemmons
with it and killing him.
- Killed in Accidents while Training in the USA -
B-17E #41-9053 (358BS) 03 Apr 1942
The pilot was 2Lt James R. Walker. The others killed were:
2Lt Albert J. Rich,
2Lt Maurice V. Bradley,
Sgt Hugh P. Jennings,
Pvt Kenneth S. Biddinger,
Sgt Henry O. Williams, Jr.,
Pfc Charles J. Gneiding,
and Pvt Joseph W. Koury. The B-17 crashed in southern Idaho on a return flight from Ogden, Utah to Gowen Field, Bosie, Idaho.
In 2002 a Memorial (left) to the lost crew was erected at the crash site by Don Gneiding, a cousin of Charles J. Gneiding. Photos, newspaper articles and location details are available here.
B-17B #38-270 (303BG) 27 May 1942
Lt Hall (stationed at Boise, Idaho) was dragged over a cliff and killed after bailing out. The pilot hit bail-out bell in error. Two additional enlisted men bailed out and returned. The pilot landed the B-17B in Salt Lake City, Utah. Names of Pilot and other crewmen are not known.
PFC Clarence B. Willet (Hdq) 26 Jun 1942
Pfc Willet, stationed at Alamogordo, New Mexico, was drowned swimming at Lake Lucero, approximately 10 miles from Alamogordo.
B-17E #41-9091 (427BS) 23 Aug 1942
Stationed at El Paso, Texas, the B-17E was hit by lightning and exploded in mid-air near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Two crewmen bailed out, the others died in the crash. The crewmen were:
- 2Lt James E. Hudson (P) - Killed in Service
- 2Lt James Van George (P) - Killed in Service
- 2Lt Eugene E. Rochester (P) - Killed in Service
- 2Lt Leon H. Shane (N) - Killed in Service
- 2Lt Frank B. Johnson (N) - Killed in Service
- 2Lt William R. Simno (B) - Killed in Service
- Sgt Cato H. Myers (E) - Killed in Service
- S/Sgt Walter E. Knox (R) - bailed out and returned to duty
- 2Lt Quentin W. Hargrove (Pass) - bailed out and returned to duty