Crew # 555

Crew # 555
Crew # 555 - planes flown: DAMIFINO , DIXIE, LET ER RIP, TIMES A WASTIN

1st. LT. J. William Smith

1st. LT. J. William Smith

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fate of B-24H "Jamaica" #B24-H-41-28746 Missing Air Crew Report #9575

Pictured below is Private 1st. Class Alexander Boris. He was stationed at Attlebridge England during the same time frame as my Dad, 2nd. LT. J. Wm. Smith. They were in the same unit and Alexander Boris' son Ron is trying to unravel some of his Dads' service history. Ron has sent me the photos in this post. They were all taken by his father. Ron's dad never spoke much about his service years so there is some missing information.

This newspaper clipping speaks of Alexander Boris' service with the 8th Air Force in Attlebridge.

This photo is interesting due to some of the names shown on the huts walls. The names of aircraft "Jamaica" and "Times - A - Wastin" are on the right. One of the planes my Dad flew on was "Times-A-Wastin." The names "Bailey", "Richards", "Boris", and "Jackson", are on the door. On one mission which my Dad was a part of , a raid on Onsabruech Germany, Oct, 12th, 1944, he witnessed the aircraft "Off Limits Again" take an anti-aircraft hit and go down with all on board killed. With the help of the Aviation Archaelogical Investigation & Research (AAIR)Organization, I obtained the Official Missing Air Crew Report # 9486 for that particular crew. The Pilots name was "Quinton E. Bailey" from Galveston Texas. No way to know if it is the same "Bailey" that was on the wall. The little "bubble" windows on the hut are actually B-24 navigators Plexiglas side windows, probably salvaged.
Ron Boris identified his Dad, Alexander as the one on the far right wearing the sailors hat. The other mens identities are unknown.
photo below. Behind and to the right of the snow covered B-24 is a hut exactly like the one photographed above. I can't tell if it is the same hut. This hut was likely a maintenance building / shelter for the ground crews.
Alexander Boris on the left (below) in flight jacket. Ron believed his Dad was on board the aircraft "Jamaica" when it was lost on a fuel hauling mission on Sept. 25th, 1944. Through the AAIR, I was able to obtain the Official Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) #9575 for the "Jamaica". The plane was last seen leaving Attlebridge flying to France with a load of fuel. The aircraft was piloted by 2nd. Lt. Joseph F. E. Diamni, of Donora, Pennsylvania. The crash of the aircraft was not witnessed by any U.S. personnel. The MACR lists all 6 crewman aboard as killed in action. The names, ranks and next of kin is shown in the MACR documents. Pvt. 1st. Class Alexander Boris was not among them. There was no listing of aircrew personal items recovered or burial by the German Authorities. The loss of the "Jamaica" and its' fate is somewhat of a mystery other than the crew were all listed as Killed in Action.
One thing I've found is that all flying crew members who were enlisted men (not officers) were automatically promoted to the rank of Sargent. This way they were given better treatment if captured by the Germans. Whether Ground Crew members were allowed to fly on any missions is not known to me. I know for a fact that my Dad snuck his older Brother, Claude, on a training mission over Scotland at one time. His Brother was an Army Artillery Sargent and was visiting him in England.

A photo of Alexander Boris & "Jamaica" with her full nose art. The names on the aircraft were probably the original crew who flew into Attlebridge. My Dad told me that they would fly many different aircraft , depending on ships under repair or maintenance. No one crew flew just one particular aircraft on every mission.