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Archive Report: US Forces
1941 - 1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via Helpdesk
27.08.1943 303 B/GP 360 Bomber Squadron B-17F Flying Fortress 42-29754 PU-B 2nd Lt. George W. Crockett

Operation: Special V-weapons Installation Site, Watten, France

Date:  27th August 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No. 360th Bomb Squadron 303rd Bomb Group

Type: B17F Flying Fortress 

Serial: 42-29754 "Shangrila Lil"

Code: PU-B

Base: USAAF Molesworth, Cambridgeshire

Location: Morbecque, outside Hazebrouck France

Pilot: 2nd Lt. George W. Crockett Jr O-737369 USAAF  PoW Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Co pilot: 2nd Lt. Meran A. Barsam Jr O-742829  USAAF Age ? Killed

Fl/Eng: T/Sgt Morris Tepper 32415990 USAAF Age ? Killed

Nav: 2nd Lt. Israel (Ira) Millner O 674236 USAAF Age 25. PoW Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Radio/TTG: T/Sgt Allan D. Jaynes 36513389 USAAF PoW Age 22. Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

Air/Bmr: 2nd Lt. William J. Cramsie 0-670020 USAAF Age 25. Killed

BTG: S/Sgt Benjamin Clarke, Jr 36508282 USAAF  PoW Stalag 17B Gniexendorf

LWG: S/Sgt Eugene F. Williams 32469422 USAAF PoW Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria

RWG: Sgt Eddie Douglas (Tex) Homer 38049809 USAAF PoW Stalag Moosburg-Lear

TG: S/Sgt James C. Burke 13125289 USAAF PoW Stalag 17B Gniexendorf


Intense flak encountered as the formation approached the target at 16,000 feet.

Details crew picture: (Back L-R) 2nd Lt William J. Cramsie, 2nd Lt George W. Crockett Jr., 2nd Lt Israel, Millner, 2nd Lt Meran A. Barsam Jr. (Front L-R) S/Sgt Benjamin Clarke Jr., S/Sgt Eugene F. Williams, S/Sgt James C. Burke, T/Sgt Allen D. Jaynes, Sgt Eddie Douglas Homer, T/Sgt Morris Tepper. This picture was taken on 12th August 1943, only days before it was shot down over France on the 27th of the same month.

Approximately three miles north of St. Omer, B-17F 42-29754 Shangrila Lil, flown by 2Lt.George W. Crockett, Jr., was hit in the vicinity of its bomb bay - practically disintegrating the aircraft in midair. It was flying on the left wing of Maj. Calhoun's lead ship. Four to six parachutes were seen to open.

2nd Lt. William J. Cramsie and his dog tags.

Burial details: 

The three KIA crewmen were initially buried in the British plot of the Merville, France Community Cemetery.

2Lt Meran A. Barsam, Jr. Re-interred in the Normandy American Cemetery near Coleville-sur-Mer, France. 

2Lt William J. Cramsie. Re-interred in the Normandy American Cemetery near Coleville-sur-Mer, France. 

T/Sgt Morris Tepper. Later returned by their families for burial in the United States. 

With thanks to Michel Beckers who researched this loss. Thanks to Gary Moncur for crew photo and grave photo of 2nd Lt. Meran A. Barsam Jr.

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Acknowledgments: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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