e-Newsletter for June, 2002

Last Flights:

John McElroy, LTCOL, USAF (ret): passed away on 04/28/02. He was survived by his wife, Christine, and two sons, Pat and Mike.

On-going research projects supported by the 486th


Individual requests for information about family who served with the 486th.


Breast - French researchers have located the wreckage of a B17. Among the items found is a Browning .50 caliber machine gun with a serial number matching that of a machine gun registered on the MACR. This gun came from "Nobody Getzit," (#949) flown by LT Eachen. LT Eachen's aircraft collided with LT Crawford's aircraft during a mission to the Brest area. An archeological dig is underway to recover the remains of the aircraft.

Villacoublay - Local area governments are celebrating the history of the area, and commemorating those who fought to liberate France from German occupation. Requests for information and photos has been made and honored.

We are also still trying to identify this B17.


Wolfel Bear - Research into several B17s forced down over Belgium, including Wolfel Bear. We're still trying to figure out the source of the name.


Marx Airfield - Researchers compiling history of the Marx Airfield.

Downed Allied aircraft - Among those being investigated is the Wiley crew who made a forced landing near Altstadt during a mission to Southern Germany.

Requests for information about Howard R. Johnson, 473rd. Howard was assigned to the Sub Depot, but somehow he managed to get himself on a mission dropping pamplets on the German population in May of 1945. The aircraft apparently crashed, and all aboard were safe. We're still researching the details of this mission, and trying to determine how Howard came to find himself in Germany.


Assisting an illustrator from Osprey Publishers for a future publication featuring the B17's of the 3rd AD. Two 486th aircraft will be feature. "Rack and Ruin," (H8:899:T) and "American Beauty," (2S:008:G).

Exchange of information with Roland Andrews

Requests for information about Nathan Spungin, 835th.

SUPERSTITIOUS ALOYSIUS and SCRAPPY -- Tom Brittan is doing research into aircraft that served with the 492nd, which later became a special Night Bomber Unit (Heavy). Several of the 486th B24s were reassigned there and received a snazzy coat of gloss black paint. Tom is trying to determine if SUPERSTITIOUS ALOYSIUS and SCRAPPY are one and the same plane. We are not sure of ALOYSIUS' tail number, but we're fairly sure it was #749. In spite of the black coat of paint (camoflague), the new owners preserved the nose art. This nose art was featured in Harley Stroven's film. The 486th nose art appears on the port side of the ship, but the name SCRAPPY appears on the starboard side. If we can confrm the tail number, we may be able to associate the two nose arts with the same aircraft.


Brux/Most - Radovan Helt operates a museum in the Brux/Most area near the German border. Radovan has conducted research into the fate of the Allbright crew, and is now focusing his energies on the fate of the Bartl crew. He is currently busy trying to erect a memorial to the Bartl crew.

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