Airplane collision over the Dippoldiswalder Heide - Flugzeugkollision über der Dippoldiswalder Heide

Airplane collision over the Dippoldiswalder Heide
Accident summary
Accident type Collision with another aircraft
place Dippoldiswald Heath
date 17. April 1945
1. Aircraft
Aircraft type Boeing B-17G-105-BO
operator United States Army Air Forces
Mark 43-39110
Name Naughty Nancy
Departure airport RAF Podington
Destination airport Dresden-Friedrichstadt marshalling yard
crew 8
Survivors 2
2. Aircraft
Aircraft type Boeing B-17G-90-VE
operator United States Army Air Forces
Mark 44-8903
Departure airport RAF Podington
Destination airport Dresden-Friedrichstadt marshalling yard
crew 8
Survivors 2
Lists of aviation accidents

On April 17, 1945, two Boeing B-17 bombers of the USAAF 92nd Bombardment Group collided over the Dippoldiswalder Heide in Saxony .

Both aircraft crashed as a result, 12 of the 16 crew members were killed. The other aircraft bombed the group from 14:13 the city a few kilometers away Dresden . [1]

Chronology of the collision

At 0:05 a.m. the 92nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) stationed at the British military airfield RAF Podington received the order to bomb the Dresden-Friedrichstadt marshalling yard as part of the air raids on Dresden . 32 B-17 bombers, three reserve planes and four scout planes were to take off. Each plane received fourteen 250 kg high explosive bombs . The 92nd Bombardment Group met at the collection point south of Olbernhau with other bomber groups and then flew towards Dresden. The two aircraft of the accident were in the middle of a group of 600 aircraft when the 92nd Bombardment Group received orders to fly a 360-degree right circle. The crew of the lead machine could not see the target because of clouds and therefore could not drop the bombs. The group was supposed to sink 2000 meters below the cloud cover from a height of 6000 meters and turn. At the beginning of the turn the aircraft approached (USAAF serial number 43-39110, Naughty Nancy ) [2]with the commander John W. Paul jr, actually flying on the left, the airplane 44-8903 controlled by Arthur H. Huether from below and collided with it. As a result, the Huether plane broke under the pilot's seat. The rear of the aircraft was cut off.

From the Paul plane's point of view, the Huether plane actually flying on the right drifted over the Paul plane. The propellers "ate up" the other aircraft. [1]

Victims and survivors

The commander Art Huether and the 22-year-old copilot Frank K. Jones were able to parachute themselves from the 44-903. Six soldiers from that plane died. [3]

From the 43-39110, the commander John Paul, the co-pilot Nathaniel Norman Shane and the rear gunner Pete Taylor survived. The others did not survive the crash. [4] Lieutenant Shane landed with a parachute near the village of Reinhardtsgrimma , where he was captured by locals and surrendered as a prisoner of war. An auxiliary policeman ordered bystanders to be murdered, but they refused. An SS man who had arrived and who has remained unknown to this day finally shot Lieutenant Shane. [5]

The other dead were buried in the heather, exhumed in 1947 and buried in the USA.

Search and defuse the bombs

In 2013, three bomb craters were visible on the two-kilometer-long aisle that the Huether aircraft left in the forest. The remaining eleven bombs on this aircraft were found and defused on November 13, 2013 . [6] It could not be clarified whether the bombs on the other aircraft were cleared after the war. That is why they were searched for in 2014. [7] In March [8] June [9] July [10] and October [11] 2014 eleven bombs were found, eight of which were defused. Three bombs had to be blown up on site, one of them located under State Road 193(Antonsweg) found. The search continues in the affected area of ​​the Dippoldiswalder Heide, as it cannot be ruled out that further bombs are hidden there.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Matthias Schildbach: Der Bombersucher , Die Seite Drei, Sächsische Zeitung , November 19, 2013.
  2. ↑ The whereabouts of the 92nd BG aircraft (PDF; 178 kB)
  3. American Air Museum
  4. American Air Museum
  5. ^ Schildbach, Matthias: Mid Air Collision. Self-published, Kreischa, 2018.
  6. Eleven bombs defused in the forest of Rabenau ( memento from October 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) , MDR Saxony, November 13, 2013, accessed on November 21, 2013.
  7. ^ Stephan Lohse / Franziska Viebach: Largest aerial bomb find from the Second World War successfully defused near Rabenau; LVZ-Online, November 12, 2013, 5:18 pm
  8. ^ Jörg Stock: Sächsische Zeitung, March 20, 2014; Page 6, "... and it went bang"
  9. ^ Bombs defused in Dippoldiswalder Heide ( memento from December 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), MDR Saxony, June 6, 2014
  10. Fabian Schröder, Jörg Stock (fsc / jös): World War Bomb successfully blown up Sächsische Zeitung, Sä, July 31, 2014, accessed November 23, 2018.
  11. (SZ / fh): Bomb rips crater in the Dippser Heide Sächsische Zeitung, SZ Online, October 30, 2014, accessed September 2, 2016.