5 SEPTEMBER 1942
CRASH OF A B-17 FLYING FORTRESS

AT MAREEBA, QLD

 

b-17e.jpg (9126 bytes)

B-17E Flying Fortress

 

USAAF B-17F #41-24428 "Miss Carriage" of the 19th Bombardment Group, crashed at Mareeba at about 2145 hours on the 5 September 1942.  The pilot was Major Humrichouse.

Frank Hohmann, ex 19th Bomb Group and 43rd Bomb Group, told me that he had flown 3 missions in this aircraft.

 


Photo:- via Tom Hart whose father took the photo

B-17F Flying Fortress #41-24428 of the 19th Bombardment Group, crashed at Mareeba

 


Photo:- via Tom Hart whose father took the photo

Close up showing the name of this B-17 as "Miss Carriage"

 


Photo:- via Tom Hart whose father took the photo

Another photo of B-17F Flying Fortress #41-24428

 

I originally had this crash occurring on 14 September 1942. I have since been able to confirm the correct date of 5 September 1942 from the following diary entry for Lt. Col. John Rouse:-

5 September 1942

Mission to Rabaul. Departed here at 0245 with 9 ships. Arrived PM (Port Moresby) at 0740 with only 8 ships. Holdridge had to go back and land. We hit coast 135 m. N .of PM. Bad weather all the way. 6 ships took off at 0910 for Rabaul (ships in harbour). Quick repair job on my left elevator.

Hit bad weather right away and had it all the way to within 100 miles of Rabaul. First one ship and then another became separated and returned for one reason or another. Terrible weather, snow, rain, and icing.

Finally returned to PM after getting within 100 miles of Rabaul. Turret frozen, supercharger acting up, and all alone. Arrived back at 1333. Took off with Giddings on my wing wing to locate and bomb enemy cruiser and destroyers near Milne Bay at 1600. Found them at mouth of Milne Bay just at dusk at 700 feet. Almost ran over them. Opened up on us with everything they had including a broadside. Came pretty close. Tried to bomb them at 3300 ft but couldn't find them because of darkness and clouds.

Returned to Maruba (sic Mareeba) at 2145. Very tired. Almost cracked up on landing. Found on landing that Humrichouse had a landing gear collapse on landing and ran into woods. No one hurt but a near thing plane washed out (a new F).

6 September 1942

Slept most of day.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I'd like to thank Gordon Birkett, Don Clark and Tom Hart for their assistance with this home page.

 

REFERENCES

"Diary of WWII - North Queensland"
Complied by Peter Nielsen

 

Can anyone help me with more information on this crash?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 7 February 1999

This page last updated 30 August 2015