23rd November 1942

Boeing B-17F-10-BO (s/n 41-24478 code WW-?)

Bay of Piriac-sur-Mer, "Trait de Penbe" (44)
(contributors : Vincent Sevellec, Daniel Dahiot, Evelyne Bedouet)

Boeing b 17f 369th bs 306th bg
Un Boeing Flying Fortress B-17F (s/n 42-29993) du 369th BS - 306th BG
Photo American Air Museum - UPL 26437

Crew (306th BG, 369th BS)
306th bg          369th bombardment squadron emblem
Badge of 306th Bomb Group                                                      Badge of 369th Bomb Squadron

                                     Source unknown                                              Source :  United States Army Institute of Heraldry. (public domain)

- (Pilot) 1st Lt Clay McWhirter ISBELL (service number O-438523), 22 years old, KIA. 
The shackelford county leader albany tex vol 4 no 52 ed 1 thursday january 7 1943 newspaper january 7 1943 albany texas

Newspaper "The Shackelford County Leader" 7th January 1943 issue.
(see full page below in the appendices)
Born 28/10/1920 at Fort George Meade, Anne Arundel County, Maryland (USA).
Son of Jefferson Fletcher (1883 - 1966) and Geneva Clay (McWhirter) ISBELL (1887 - 1947),
husband of Frances R. Isbell Roswell, New Mexico.
Buried in Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas (USA).

- (Co-pilot) 2nd Lt Dyer FULTON (service number O-726220), KIA.
Husband of Betty C. Fulton, Houston, Texas (USA).
Buried in the Saint-James American cemetery (Normandy), zone L, alley 1, grave # 19.

- (Navigator) 1st Lt Peter Jason FRYER (service number O-660480), POW.
Born 18/11/1921. Son of Hasel H. Fryer, Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA)
Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang.

- (Bombardier) 2nd Lt. Abraham Lincoln BURDEN (service number O-726121), POW
Born 15/10/1921. Son of Lee E. Burden, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (USA).
Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia

- (Flight engineer - Top turret gunner) T/Sgt Ervin GRENKE (service number 13038250), KIA.
Pennsylvanie (USA).
Buried in the Saint-James American cemetery (Normandy), zone L, alley 4, grave # 2.

- (Radio operator) Sgt Robert S. KRYAK (service number 32177037), KIA.
Son of Walten J. Krijak, Brooklyn, New-York (USA).

Buried in the Saint-James American cemetery (Normandy), zone K, alley 10, grave # 22.

- (Bowl turret gunner) S/Sgt Edward KOSTECKI (service number 32237976), KIA.
Husband of Helen Kostecki, Clifton, New-Jersey (USA).
Buried in the Saint-James American cemetery (Normandy), zone J, alley 18, grave # 20.

- (Right waist gunner) Sgt David W. LINDSEY (service number 52975448),21 years old, KIA.
Born 15/09/1921. Son of 
Harry Lindsey, Woodward, Oklahoma (USA).
Buried in Oak Park Cemetery, Chandler, Lincoln County, Oklahoma - Lot 70 (USA).

-(Left waist gunner) S/Sgt Ray E. BUCKMINSTER (service number 11015905) 22 years old, KIA.
Ray everett buckminster
Photo "M" - Source site : "Find a grave"
Born 24/05/1920, enlisted in the Army Air Corps on November 4, 1941 in Rutland, Vermont.
Son of Earl E. Buckminster, Concord, Vermont, USA.
Buried in Concord Village Cemetery, Essex County, Vermont (USA).

- (Tail gunner) S/Sgt. George L. HOUX (service number 39022475), KIA.
Son of Leonard E. Houx, Fair Oaks, California (USA).
Buried in the Saint-James American cemetery (Normandy), zone L, alley 5, grave # 2.


The Boeing B-17F-10-BO (s/n 41-24478, code WW-?) took off on November 23, 1942 from RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire (England). She had been assigned to the 369th BS - 306th BG at Westover (Massachusetts) on August 19, 1942. It arrived at Thurleigh on October 13, 1942. The mission of November 23 was the bombardment of the submarine base of Saint-Nazaire (the 4th for the 306th Bomb Group). She was part of a group of eight planes. Four abandoned the mission and one (41-24478) was lost on approach to the target. The 369th Bomb Squadron (BS) had put three planes into the flight that day : one piloted by Captain Johnston (who piloted Lt Crammer's crew) who was one of the four to return (due to machine gun problems), one piloted by Lt Casey and the third by Lt Isbell. Approaching the target, there were Casey and Isbell, as well as two planes from the 367th BS, that of Major Harry Bolt aboard Lt Lewis McKesson's plane, and that of Lt Earl Tunnell. The four planes were then attacked (probably around 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.) by a large number of Focke-Wulf FW 190 type fighters from III./JG 2. Isbell's plane was therefore hit (on engines no. 1 and 2 as well as the wing) before reaching the target : approximately 10 feet (3 meters) of the wing was torn off. Two parachutes were seen by the other B-17s (confirmed by a German report) before the plane exploded and fell 1.5 miles north of Piriac-sur-Mer (44). FRYER and BURDEN (both survivors) were captured and returned to U.S. military control on June 1, 1945. Of the three aircraft remaining, Casey's plane was credited with 7 enemy aircrafts shot down, and the other two B-17s with 1 enemy aircraft shot down each.


Commemorative stele in Piriac-sur-Mer (inaugurated on November 23, 2003).

Boeing b 17 41 24478 piriac sur mer
Photo collection Evelyne Bedouet

Clay isbell graveClay isbell memorial stone
Grave of 1st Lt Clay M. ISBELL at Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas (USA)
Photos Susie Kasper - Source site : "Find a grave"

David w lindsey grave
Grave of Sgt David W. LINDSEY at Oak Park Cemetery, Chandler, Lincoln County, Oklahoma - Lot 70 (USA).

Photo "ancestryhunter2" - Source site : "Find a grave"

Sgt ray e buckminster grave and stone
Sgt ray e buckminster grave
Sgt ray e buckminster stone
Grave of Sgt Ray E. BUCKMINSTER au Concord Village Cemetery, Essex County, Vermont (USA).

Photos "Anne" - Source site : "Find a grave"


♦ Article from "Shackelford County Leader" (Albany, Tex.), Vol. 4, No. 52, Ed. 1 Thursday 7 January, 1943 ; Albany, Texas.

The shackelford county leader 1st lt isbell

♦ Extract from "Missing Air Crew Report" (MACR) #15392

Macr 15392

♦ Extract from "306th Bomb Group War diary - November 1942" (page 2)

306th bonb group war diary november 1942


Sources : 
- "369th Squadron Combat Diary - 1942-1945 - 306th Bomb Group". Written by Wiley W. Glass, Allan B. Richardson, John M. Kavanaugh, Henry L.P. Moore, edited by Russell A. Strong, published by the Historical Association of 306th Bomb Group in 1991, revised in 2004 (page 6).

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