74 years ago today the 384th Bomb Group took of from Grafton Underwood UK station 106 on a mission to the Ball Bearing Factories in Schweinfurt Germany. On this mission between the times of 13.54 and 13:57 6 out of 7 B17's from the 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb squadron were attacked and shot down by German fighter aircraft. My uncle,TSgt Joesph Rachunas was a tail gunner on one of those B17's The "Mrs Geezil"and was blown out when the plane exploded in mid air and they were knocked unconscious. When they came to they opened their parachutes and landed in a field in Schlierback Germany were they were captured and became POW's and interned in Stalag 17B for the rest of the war. This information was provided to me by the left waist gunner of the Mrs Geezil, Phillip Chaperon who is still with us today and I have become good friends with and I call him on a regular basis.
The lone B17 from the 545th Bomb Squadron that survived the attack and went on to complete that mission was piloted by
Lt. Dewayne "Ben" Bennett.
I was very fortunate to become friends with Ben. He helped me with all the information about the day my uncle was shot down. He also pointed me in the direction of the 384th Bomb Group website . Where I became a member and , now enter combat crew from original loading list onto their database.. While speaking with Ben about that day he told me that he wanted the memory of those men who gave their lives that day to be remembered. I told him I would do that for him. Ben sent me this list he had made. Shortly after getting this list Ben passed away in March 2011. I am keeping my Promise! I miss ya Ben. Attached is the list Ben sent me.
I post this story on every website I am a member of to share with those that don't know, That we need to honor the member of the Greatest Generation this nation has seen!
Always Remember, Never Forget!
Edited by tarbridge, 13 April 2018 - 12:26 PM.