384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in World War II

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Home / 384th During WWII / Aircraft / B-17G Aircraft / B-17G 42-37762 JD*A, "CHAPLAIN'S OFFICE" 3

2Lt. Charles A. Zitnik's ship Chaplain's Office suffered heavy damage near Zwischenahn and fell out of the 545th Bomb Squadron formation. During the heavy fighting, ball turret gunner S/Sgt. Robert H. Rimmer, Jr., sustained severe injuries. 2Lt. Zitnik (a check out pilot on this mission) and bombardier Frank A. W. Pelley spotted a German airfield and flew the gravely wounded B-17 in several circuits over the field as the crew bailed out. When Rimmer jumped, his parachute shrouds snagged on the open bomb bay doors. 2Lt. Pelley tried vainly to pull Rimmer inside the aircraft. As 2Lt. Zitnik skimmed over the buildings below, Rimmer finally fell free. Unfortunately, he died after colliding with a hangar, his parachute partially deployed. Zitnik and Pelley brought Chaplain's Office in for a belly landing on the German airfield at Zwischenahn. The surviving nine crewmen became prisoners of war. The Bremen mission was the Teevan's crew first mission. Original copilot 2Lt. Robert L. Barad completed his tour in May 1944. Barad was not on-board 26 Nov 43.