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868th Bomb Sqr. "snoopers" 13th AF KIA HEART


scottplen
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would love to see tail insignia!

 

 

Scott:

I will have to do some digging on my other computer. I will do so tonight and post it. I hope you saw the pic of the plane in the boneyard. It is the only picture I have ever seen with the tail insignia. Oh heck here is the link to that picture. ArmyAirForce

 

 

I will start digging shortly.

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Scott:

I will have to do some digging on my other computer. I will do so tonight and post it. I hope you saw the pic of the plane in the boneyard. It is the only picture I have ever seen with the tail insignia. Oh heck here is the link to that picture. ArmyAirForce

I will start digging shortly.

 

 

Wow! Very cool picture!! Thanks!! hells Belle in the pic i found seems to be Silver ? were all snoopers Black painted???

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Wow! Very cool picture!! Thanks!! hells Belle in the pic i found seems to be Silver ? were all snoopers Black painted???

 

 

Well, in all the pictures I have seen they are black. Low Altitude Night Bombing of one or two planes wouldn't be too cool in silver. They wanted to hide.

 

I believe Hell's Bell plane number is 44????? (can't remember) anyway, it could have been reassigned to 868th and painted over. That is all conjucture on my part as I don't really know. I have been told that tail numbers were changed to make it appear there were more planes. Read through the short 868th area on ArmyAirForces. You will find where I was told that. Never heard it before but . . .

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Scott:

 

I mistakenly told you the the tail insignia was a "white" S. It was not. It was Yellow as pictured. Sorry for the misdirection.

 

 

 

Check out picture of Wonder Gal's tail that I found last night.

 

Also check out a better picture of 780 in the boneyard that I also found last night.

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  • 3 years later...

I know this is probably a dead thread, but, I am just now stumbling upon it. I am the grandson of the sole survivor SSgt.Richard H. Rutledge. I his documentation from the WWII. Along with some various pics of some of the Snoopers stationed at Pitoe\Pitu. My grandfather and James B. Tolleson, or Bruce as my grandfather called him, were in fact a part of a diffrent flight crew. The pilot of his regular crew was Royal A. Putnam. I know that the MACR states that my granfather was thrown clear of the plane and found unconsious by the natives, but that was not the case. It also states that his leg injury was "Minor", which also proved to be false. I will try to add what photos I have if anyone is interested.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am in the process of digitizing all pictures and documentation. It will take me some time, so please bear with me. My grandfather and I were very close. I spent my childhood with him looking through his "war trunk" and recalling his memories of that time. I have heard the tale of this flight many times. My grandfather was always burdened with the fact that he survived while good men perished. He said that after he was thrown clear from the plane, & regained consciousness, he thought that he was tangled in the wiring of the plane. He soon realized he was tangled in the vines of the jungle. With his leg damaged, he tried to crawl into the plane and rescue anyone that he could. By this time the plane was on fire and ammunition was exploding and he had to crawl away. He said he wasn't so afraid of the burning plane, but the possibility that it may draw enemy forces. I just can’t imagine that feeling of helplessness and solitude. I will post more as soon as I have the photos and documents available.

 

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  • 6 months later...

Hello. New member here. I work for the EAA in Oshkosh, WI. I work with our B-17 program and help get WWII vets their final ride on a B-17 as well as help get closure for family members. Sgt. Frederick L. Schreckenberg (gunner). He neve met his grandfather and due to a break up in the family any photos and his medals were lost. Would you have any interest in either talking with him are scanning any photos that exist of him and the crew. Thanks in advance.

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I am sorry for he delay. I am still working on this. We have had some family medical issues,and a change of employment. I promise I am scanning these. I will post as soon as I can.

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  • 5 months later...

Very nice - any other recognizable names?

Yes, but none of the other crewmembers. The other three signers all survived the war. There are no signatures on the face.

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  • 5 years later...
GrampyJW

Sorry for the 5 year delay. But on with the story of Richard H Rutledge. Scared that the exploding plane was going to draw in the enemy, my grandfather crawled along a ravine making his way toward the ocean. He stayed hidden but was discovered by island natives. When they found out he was an American, they became very excited because they were issuing rewards for returning rescued military personnel. The natives took my grandfather to their village, cleaned him up, doctored his leg, kept him fed and safe. They even carved him a walking cane and some other trinkets. After a few days, the natives put together a canoe convoy to transport him back to base. They placed him in the center canoe, covered him with palm fronds, and made their way towards the base. The way the story was told to me, a commanding officer at the base asked the chief of the tribe what he wanted in return for bringing back my grandfather. Allegedly the chief wanted some dairy cows. And allegedly he got them. I cannot confirm this last bit because that part of the story was told to me after my grandfather passed. But this is the way he told me the story. I spent so many nights with him looking through his “war” trunk. These last photos I found on another forum in regards to the crash. 

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