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, POWBombardier, 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
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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