Hello To All
72 years ago today the 384th Bomb Group took off from Grafton Underwood UK
Station 106 on a mission to the Ball Bearing Factories at Schweinfurt
Germany. On this mission between the time 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 fighters aircraft. My Uncle, TSgt Joseph Rachunas was a Tail
gunner on one of the B17's, the "Mrs Geezil" and was blown out when the plane
exploded in mid air and they were knock unconscious. They came to and
activated their parachutes and landed in a field in the German town of
Schlierbach where they were captured and became POW's and interned at
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 call on a regular basis.
The lone B17 from the 545th Bomb Squadron that survived that attack and
went on to complete their mission was piloted by Lt Dewayne "Ben" Bennett.
This is Ben's story!! An Aviation Masterpiece & The Story Behind It
I was very fortunate to become friends with Dewayne "Ben" Bennett. The
pilot of the only B17 from the 545th to make it back to base that day. Ben
had 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
have become a member and, now enter combat crews from the original loading
list to the database. While speaking with Ben about this day he told me that
he wanted the memory of the men who lost their lives that day to be
remembered. I told him I would do that for him. Ben sent me this list he had
made up, shortly after getting this list. He passed away in March of 2011. I
am Keeping my promise to him. I miss ya Ben!!!!! This is the list of the men
that died that day!
For those that don't know. This is the history of the 384th Bomb Group.
384th Bomb Group History
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!
Remember that they gave their all to protect our freedom.
Always Remember, Never Forget!