A/C: 44-6652

Date: 12/29/1944

AC 44-6652 exploded from 2 direct flak hits in the ball turret/bomb bay/radio room areas over the IP at 20,000 feet on mission to Castelfranco Veneto Locomotive Depot, Italy on 12/29/1944.

The men were hit shortly after they had made a routine oxygen check. The plane went into a steep dive and spin. Then blew up and threw the men out, unconscious or killed. 3 men perished a fourth MIA, presumed dead and 6 became POW's. One personal statement had him regaining conscious abt 3000 feet and opening his parachute.

The navigator, survived the fall without a parachute opening, suffering broken legs, arms and ribs.

Pilot, Lyle Pearson, 1st Lt, POW

Co-Pilot, Samuel Wheeler, 1st Lt, POW

Bombardier, William Ferguson, 1st Lt, POW

Navigator, Arthur Frechette, 2nd Lt, POW

Eng. Gunner, Farrell Haney, Sgt, KIA

Radar. Opr, Gunner, Robert Halstein, S/Sgt, MIA

Lower Turret, gunner, Charles Williams, S/Sgt, KIA

Waist gunner, Mitchell Vuyanovich, S/Sgt, KIA

Waist gunner, Charles Lyon, Sgt, POW

Tail gunner, Grant Dory, Sgt, POW

Lyle Pearson Pilot
Samuel Wheeler Co-pilot
Arthur Frechette Navigator
William Ferguson Bombardier
Farrell Haney Engineer/Gunner
Robert Halstein Radio Operator
Charles Williams Ball Turret
Mitchell Vuyanovich Waist Gunner
Charles Lyon Waist Gunner
Grant Dory Tail Gunner

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