Consolidated B-24D-5-CO Serial 41-32777
Serial Type / Name Squadron Code Date Reason Mission / Crash Location pilot / crew 41-23777 B-24D-5-CO "Maisie" 44 BG 66 BS H February 26, 1943 Me 109 Heinz Knoke Bremen
Crash Location 15 kms North of Bad Zwischenahn
Capt. Howard Adams, pilot KIA,
2nd Lt. Stanley McLeod, co-pilot KIA,
2nd Lt. Wayne Gotke, navigator POW,
2nd Lt. William Hannan, bombardier KIA,
T/Sgt. Robert Vogt, engineer KIA,
S/Sgt. Linwood Jones, radio operator KIA,
S/Sgt. Donald Bowie, gunner KIA,
S/Sgt. James Mifflin, asst. radio operator POW,
S/Sgt. Scott Brewer, gunner KIA,
Sgt. William Welsh, gunner KIA, Robert Post, journalist KIA MACR 16067
The mission of the USAAF
COMBAT CHRONOLOGY OF THE US ARMY AIR FORCES
FRIDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force)
VIII Bomber Command Mission 37: 76 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 17 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against Bremen, Germany.
The primary target is overcast so 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s attack the docks and surrounding areas of Wilhelmshaven, Germany dropping 164.25 tons of bombs between 11.23 and 11.25 hours local. We claim 21 Luftwaffe fighters destroyed, 9 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 5 B-17s and 2 B-24s
plus 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 14 WIA and 73 MIA. The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA.
Description of this victory by Heinz Knoke and collected information :
To facilitate the reading, lines of Heinz Knoke's flightbook, appearing above, were modified with small computing assembly.
If the disposal is not in accordance with the original, the main thing of the information, namely the mission 165 of Februar 26, has no change.
Heinz Knoke Informations
Flightbook, page 10, mission 165
Lüftkampf mit 120
Boeing f ünd Liberators
über Friesland, abschuß
Liberator (USA) bei
I flew for the f... page 85
February 26, 1943
Type of claimed plane
Place of the interception
15 km North of Bad Zwischenahn (250 yards from airfield)
Square CR - 4 / 7
Presumed Mission USAAF
Presumed route USAAF
Heading Wilhelmshaven > Square AQ - 8 (Spiekeroog Island) > on a South road at 8000m height .
KNOKE's takeoff at 10.55 from Jever
Victory at 11.18
Sky clear and cloudless blue.
Description of the fight
12 Me 109. In 8000m head-on attack. He comes for a second frontal attack. The salvo register this time. Flames are spredding along the bottom of the fuselage of the Liberator. It sheers away from the formation in a wide sweep to the right.
Twice more he comes in to attack, this time diving from above the tail.
The fire spreads along the right wing. The inside engine stops. Suddenly the wing breaks off altogether.
The body plunges vertically, spinning.
At 3,000 feet there is a tremendous explosion, which cause the fuselage to desintegrate.
A sure victory.
Knoke was impressed. "Some three hundred heavy bombers are group together"
In fact they were less than one hundred !
"...Most of them are Liberators..."
Only 17 B-24 for 76 B-17...
"One of the crew attempts to bail out. But his parachute is in flames..."
After KNOKE's land on Bad Zwischenahn runway near the crash location he said "One hundred yards away I find the captain's seat and the nosewheel. A little doll, evidently a mascot, sits undamaged between the shattered windows of the cabin."
This little doll is very important to identify B-24 "Maisie".
KNOKE said that Dieter GERHARD shot down a bomber (the second heavy bomber and his seventh opponent)
KNOKE said that RADDATZ shot down a Fortress
KNOKE said that WENNECKERS shot down a Fortress
KNOKE said that DOBRICK shot down a Fortress
It's KNOKE's 164th operationnal mission, and 1,004th flight. In fact 165th.
KNOKE said that his plane is equiped with two cannon and 13-millimetre guns.