The aircraft in question here appears not to be 44-6005 but B-17G 44-8639 of the 351st BG based at Polebrook, Northamptonshire. The aircraft was trying to get in at RAF Valley but was told to go around again for finals. Valley transmitted a course but the pilot took a reciprocal course in error which took him back inland over the hills towards Dolgellau. Having realised his mistake he turned starboard back to regain his heading out over the sea. The aircraft struck Craig Cwm Llwyd and travelled approximately 300 yards before breaking up and exploding around 200 feet below the summit. All 20 onboard were killed. They were:
Howard R. Hibbard 1st Lieutenant Pilot Killed
Joseph C. Robinson Captain Co-pilot Killed
Joseph A. Glover Captain Navigator Killed
John Q. Montgomery Master Sergeant Engineer / Crew Chief Killed
Max Marksheid Technical Sergeant Radio Operator Killed
Santo A. Caruso Staff Sergeant Gunner Killed
Kenneth W. Craumer Technical Sergeant Gunner Killed
David I. Rapoport Sergeant Gunner Killed
Lester A.F. Rhein Technical Sergeant Gunner Killed
Robert E. Smith Staff Sergeant Gunner Killed
Richard E. Higley 1st Lieutenant Passenger Killed
Teed O. Smith Staff Sergeant Passenger Killed
Morris Lemewski Technical Sergeant Passenger Killed
Paul Lucyk DFC Technical Sergeant Passenger Killed
Edwin R. Birtwell Sergeant Passenger Killed
Sheldon R. Coons Sergeant Passenger Killed
Camille F. Devaney Sergeant Passenger Killed
Boyd P. Dobbs Sergeant Passenger Killed
John D. Leasure Sergeant Passenger Killed
Calvert G. Pool Corporal Passenger Killed
That's the bones of the story of these fragments of wreckage. Concerning the 'shackle' I now believe this is actually a snap hook for a static parachute line. What was it doing on the aircraft? I don't know, possibly for crew bail out purposes? Or more likely, to tie down securely the crew and passengers kit? Afterall, 20 guys going home are going to have a lot of luggage and that needs securing; if it slipped the CofG of the aircraft could be compromised I suppose.
Below are some examples of static line snap hooks, a couple are very similar, in fact, one's a ringer in my book, the last one is actually Fallschirmjager, but I've included it as a general example. I'll wait to see what others think.
The weird thing is how this came to me, don't laugh, but I dreamt it last night,... I dreamed I was on the 'plane!!