447th Bomb Group Association
|- 11/43||Harvard AAB, Nebraska|
|11/43||In transit by ship|
|11/43||709th Squadron, Rattlesden
|Assigned A/C:||42-37864 Marty|
The crew at Rattlesden,
after February 1944 when original
pilot Lt. William McKay left the crew.
Dean Flemming became 1st pilot, and
Lt. Lloyd Ittel joined the crew as co-pilot.
Lt. Joseph T. Elliot, B
Lt. Carl F. McQuen, N
Lt. Dean S. Flemming, P
Lt. Lloyd D. Ittel, CP
Sgt. WIlliam Shaw, ENG
Sgt. Sidney Stein, ROG
Sgt. Andrew Leydens, BTG
Sgt. William Plascocello, WG
Sgt. Leslie Orr, TG
(not shown: Sgt. Anthony Durante, WG)
|William McKay as pilot:|
|1/21/1944||NOBALL NO. 107||42-37864 "Marty"|
|Dean Flemming as Pilot:|
|2/28/1944||NOBALL NO. 74||42-31777|
|2/29/1944||BRUNSWICK||42-31092 "Butch II"|
|3/9/1944||BERLIN||42-39886 (see story below)|
|3/13/1944||NOBALL NO. 74||42-37864 "Marty"|
|3/27/1944||MARIGNAC CHARTRES||42-37864 "Marty"|
|4/27/1944||NOBALL NO. 78||42-39874|
From the Public Relations Office at Rattlesden:
Second Lieutenant Dean S.
Flemming, 23, of Skowhegan, Me., has done what very few Eighth Air Force
Flying Fortress pilots have ever done. He brought his ship, "Hi Mack," in
to a landing with a dead stick. To an airman, a "dead stick landing" is
one made with no power from the engines of the ship.
Berlin is a long way from this Flying Fortress base in England and Lt. Flemming, after he had dropped his bombs on the target, wondered if he would have enough gas to make it back to England. The steady headwind encountered over Germany added to his anxiety. Over the English Channel it became apparent that there would not be enough gas to make it back to his home base, perhaps not enough to make it across the channel that lies cold and grey below.
Lt. Flemming and his co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Edward J. Stull, 25, of Waterloo and Chester Streets, Devon, Pa., decided to cut two of the four engines in an effort to cross the channel. Continuing on two engines they crossed the English coastline and headed for the first airport they saw. The gas indicator when they were over the airfield registered zero but the two engines were still running. The control tower told the anxious members of Hi Mack's crew that it would be impossible to land immediately since a ship was taking off a that moment. While receiving this disheartening news, the two remaining engines quit. At this time Hi Mack was very low over the runway. He banked his ship in an effort to turn and come back on another runway but he was too low. The only alternative was to land in the freshly plowed field. With wheels down Hi Mack, under the skillful hand of Lt. Flemming, settled into the soft earth, skidded across typical English hedgerow ditches, and jolted to a stop.
Lt. Flemming had been under great mental and physical strain while landing the big ship. He collapsed under the strain and was given first aid treatment by the waiting ambulance attendants. As the tail gunner, Staff Sergeant Leslie E. Orr, 24, of 1828 G Street, Bedford, Ind. said, "Lt. Flemming's skill really saved our lives. We hadn't had time to get into crash positions."
Hi Mack had come through with hardly any damage whatsoever. The tail guns were sprung a little and that was about all.