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Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG

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Konig
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2010/12/14 09:53:48 (permalink)
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Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG

Hi all,
 
I'm looking for information and pictures regarding Capt Weldon Smith 93rd Bomb Squadron. I am also looking for pictures/production information regarding the B-17E (#41-9014) which I believe was Capt Weldon smiths aircraft according to the book Fortress against the sun (page 217). I have been unable to find any pictures of this aircraft or pictures of Capt Smith and was wondering if anyone had any biographical information/pictures.
 
Thank you.
 
 

8 Replies Related Threads

    varsity07840
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2010/12/15 08:41:43 (permalink)
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    There is some bio info on Smith and a photo taken in 1946 in "The Swoose, Odyssey of a B-17" by Herbert S. Brownstein.
     
    Duane
    Konig
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2010/12/16 20:12:47 (permalink)
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    Hi there,
     
    Thanks for the information, I will have a look for this book.
    DEricksen
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2011/02/01 06:36:25 (permalink)
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    I believe I have a first hand account of the crash of Red "A" Baby #41-9014 from Capt. Weldon Smith. It is a letter from Weldon (no last name) typed on victory paper, dated 9, July 1942. I am just starting to research the letter. I would love to share info to see if this is the same plane.
    gorb01
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2011/03/31 13:04:26 (permalink)
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    DEricksen,
    My Uncle, Jim Burke, was the radio operator/gunner on Weldon Smith's crew.  For the past few years I have been researching his service.  I have pieced together much of Weldon Smith's missions from December 17, 1941 until June 30, 1942, when #41-9014 crashed and my uncle was killed in the crash.  There is a nice webpage at:
             http://www.ozatwar.com/ozcrashes/nt125.htm
    that tells about this last mission.   There are also several magazine articles that were written at the time about this mission and this crew.  I would be glad to share these with you if you are interested.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Robert Thornburg
     
    PS     On a personal note, I would very much like to have a pdf copy of your letter so that I can read about my Uncle's death from the plane's pilot.   RWT 
     
    PS     Also, on the Ozatwar website (above) there is an email from Steve ?? posted on Oct 28, 2000.  Steve is the nephew of Everett Davis, the officer who pulled my uncle from the burning crashed airplane.  The email link is broken so I've been unable to contact him.  If you ever hear from Steve, I would very much like to be put in touch with him.     RWT
    Konig
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2011/07/25 14:49:03 (permalink)
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    Hi there,
     
    Thank you for supplying the name of the aircraft. I have been looking for a picture of this aircraft and have had no success thus far. 
     
    Would it be possible to post the letter/magazine articles on-line? I would be very interested to read it.
     
    Thank you
    Terveurn
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2011/11/30 02:03:37 (permalink)
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    41-9014 (c/n: 2486). Accepted: Boeing Aircraft Co, Seattle, Washington
                Delivered: 11 March 1942 - Northwest Airlines / Modification Center - (Minneapolis Airport)
                Assigned: 3 February 1942 - 5th AF / 19th BG - (Singosari Field, Garbutt Field, RAAF Longreach, Mareeba Field / 7 Mile Drome Staging Field)
                            Crashed: Wednesday, 30 June 1942 (Combat damage / engine failure) - Bachelor Field, Northern Territory - Australia
                                        (Pilot: Capt Weldon Smith) - 3 KIA - SOC.
                                                    5th AF mission / 19th BG mission (Dili and Koepang on Timor and Kendari)
    alacobob
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2013/01/30 18:19:23 (permalink)
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    I'm researching my namesake (my dad's best friend) SGT Robert Alvin French.  He died in the plane flown by Capt. Weldon Smith.  His body was buried in the Adelaide River Cemetery in Australia, and after the war was transferred to Longwood (FL) Cemetery.  I would love to get a scan or copy of your letter.  Thanks for your willingness to share with this forum.
    Son of FEAF
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    Re:Capt. Weldon Smith 93rd BS, 19th BG 2015/02/05 07:25:07 (permalink)
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    Below is a transcription of a 1944 interview with Pvt. Russell C. Thompson, a gunner on B-17E #41-9014  Red "A" Baby, when it crashed near Hughes Airfield, NT on 30 June 1943.
     
    Has anyone seen Maj. Weldon Smith's account of this crash?

    Edward

    Interview with Pvt. Russell C. Thompson by T/Sgt T.A. McCulloch at Hollandia - 13 October 1944 (Walter Edmonds archives)
     
    Story of Unlucky Bombing Mission from Australia to Celebes, Which Ended in Crack-Up of Plane, and Deaths of Three Crew Members

        “That was an unlucky flight, from start to finish.  We flew from Longreach to Batchelor Field, and took off from there 30 June 1942 on a bombing raid over Kendari.  It was the long distance flight record for the Southwest Pacific for a time, until Maj. Felix Hardison, C.O. of the squadron, a short time afterward made an approach flight on Rabaul from the north, besting us by 200 or 300 miles.

         Our flight of B-17E's went on up to Kendari (Celebes).  We made our run all right, but we got a call on the interphone that one plane hadn’t dropped its bombs, so we dropped back to protect it while it made a second pass.

         We were coming over the top on 2nd one when in come the Zeros.  The other guy beat it into a cloud, and there we were, sitting out in the bright sun.

         There were eight or nine Zeros, all over the place.  Maj. Smith, trying to maneuver, discovered our right aileron had been shot off.  (NB citation says two engines were put out of commission by ack-ack).

         We limped back 800 miles over the open sea to Batchelor Field.  Maj. Smith called to the field to tun on the landing lights.  But the Aussie and the Americans both had a different I-F-F (Identification-Friend-or-Foe) code numbers at the time, and they wouldn’t turn on the lights.

         We were down close to the tree tops, and running out of gas.  Smith called us that he was going to have to make a crash landing.  The tail gunner never did know we were going down.  It had been a 11-hour flight, and he and I were asleep.  They woke me up and told me.

         Three of us got into the radio compartment.  Frenchie and I stood face to face, hanging on to the bars overhead.  

         We were approaching a fighter strip for a belly landing, when our left aileron broke.  We dropped down and hit the tree tops, and the plane broke in half, right in the radio compartment, where we were.  Frenchie was killed [mortally wounded], West and Burke were killed (Cpl. Robert A. French, Cpl Bryson _. West and Sgt. Glover J. Burke).

         I didn’t know what happened.  I was pinned down under, heard a crash and went ‘out’.  I came to and realized that the plane was afire above me.  Boy did I holler bloody murder.

         Major Smith came back and dragged me out, altho he was hurt so badly that one arm was useless, gashed from shoulder to elbow - - and cut badly on the top of the head.  I don’t remember any more until I woke up in the hospital.

         Burke was killed instantly, and they never found anything of West but ashes.  Frenchie and I were given a 50-50 chance at the hospital.  My face was badly cut, I had [a] concussion, crushed ribs and a punctured lung.  I was in the hospital five and a half months.
     
         Every man on the crew was hurt. (NB - Sgt. John M. Diehl also listed as receiving Purple Heart)

         Later we learned that both Major Smith and I had been promoted the same day – he to Lt. Col. and I to Corporal.  I was in no shape to be told until a couple days later.”
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