Buthe Crew

Photos and details courtesy of Ms. Amy Baker

Standing, L-R: John M. Flynn, ENG; Anthony R. Demarco, 
Charles R. Agnatovich, ROG; Douglas Aldrich, WG; BTG; John W. Lafferty, Jr. WG; Ralph B. Corning, TG
Kneeling, L-R: Charles O. Norris, CP; Raymond H. Buthe, P; Marvin L. Brawer, N; Curtis G. Chapman, B 

The Buthe crew was shot down on its third combat mission.

176 11/21/44 KOBLENZ unknown Orientation mission, first pilot(s) unknown  
178 11/26/44 HAMM 42-97400 Fuddy Duddy  
180 11/30/44 LUTZKENDORF 43-38725 See MACR 11149 extract below

Excerpt from MACR 11149:

     Aircraft 43-38725 was hit by flak at instant of bombs away.  A large hole was observed between #3 and #4 engine.  Entire right wing burst into flames and aircraft peeled off to right and lost altitude rapidly.  Aircraft was not out of control and some crews report 1-2 chutes, though the majority saw no chutes.  Incident was at 27,800 feet at 1318 hours over the target.  Hevy contrails prevented further observation of this aircraft or its crew.

The following information was shared by John Flynn, engineer.  Interviews were conducted from October to December, 2002 by Amy Baker.

     John remembers that his plane was hit right before bombs away. He was in the top turret and saw flak hit the tail and explode.  He thinks it tore the tail off.  John was knocked out of the top turret and landed below the pilot and co-pilot.  The plane turned almost completely upside down and started to spin downward.  He looked up and saw the pilot and co-pilot struggling to get out of their seats, but since the plane was in a spin, the force made it almost impossible to move.  John was able to clip his chute on and throw himself out the open bomb bay doors.  He looked up and saw the plane explode.  After a while he looked up and noticed two chutes and knew only two of his crew probably survived.

     On the ground, John was picked up by Germans and reunited with John Lafferty and Curtis Chapman.  John Lafferty, the waist gunner, was able to jump out the waist window before the plane exploded.  Curtis Chapman, bombardier, was still in the nose of the plane and was blown out in the explosion.  He was knocked unconscious but came to in time to pull his ripcord and float to earth.


The Crew:
Pilot     Lt. Raymond H. Buthe     KIA 11/30/44
Co-Pilot  Lt. Charles O. Norris  KIA 11/30/44
Navigator  Lt. Marvin L. Brawer  KIA 11/30/44
Bombardier     Lt. Curtis G. Chapman     POW: Stalag Luft I 
Engineer     Sgt. John M. Flynn     POW: Stalag Luft IV
Radio Operator      Sgt. Anthony R. Demarco     KIA 11/30/44
Waist Gunner     Sgt. Douglas Aldrich     Reassigned to another crew
Waist Gunner     Sgt. John W. Lafferty, Jr.     POW: Stalag Luft III
Ball Turret Gunner      Sgt. Charles R. Agnatovich     KIA 11/30/44 
Tail Gunner     Sgt. Ralph B. Corning     KIA 11/30/44