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Mission: Night training flight.

Date: 24th October 1944

Unit: 322nd Bomb Squadron - 91st Bomb Group

Type: Boeing Flying Fortress B-17G

Serial: 43-38398

Coded: LG - Tail code: 1st Bombardment Wing (“Triangle A”).

Base: Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England.

Location: Cow Roast, near Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, England.

Pilot:    1/Lt. Don DeLisle, (0-755529) Bucoda, Washington. – Killed.

Co-pilot: F/O. Francis X. Quinn, (T-62018) – Baled-out safe.

Navigator: 1/Lt. John A. Wallace, (0-717541) – Baled-out safe.

Radio/Op: T/Sgt. Roy M. Tanner, (38414908) – Baled out safe.

Engineer: T/Sgt. John D. Carlisle, (18137961) – Baled out and slightly injured.

Lieut. Don DeLisle, front row, second left (Carlson)


In conditions of poor visibility, with GEE box and radio compass not functioning, the radio operator obtained QDM's while DeLisle attempted to find the field. Letting down to 500 ft. the A/C struck a hill damaging the right wing.The pilot and co-pilot were able to bring the A/C back to 2000 ft. and the other four members of the crew bailed out on orders of Lt. DeLisle.  The A/C crashed a few minutes later and Lt. Delisle’s body was found several hundred feet astern of the wreckage with his parachute unopened.  T/Sgt John D. Carlisle, engineer, suffered a fractured leg.

On 24th October 1944, 1/Lt. Don DeLisle was scheduled for a night flying exercise in Flying Fortress No.38398. Lieut. DeLisle had been qualified as a pilot for a year and had flown around 250 hours on B-17s, but he had not done any night flying for at least six months. The flight plan was to make practise take-off and landings at Bovingdon before flying to "Occult 10", (near Henlow), then Henlow to Oakington airfield and return to Bovingdon. DeLisle's crew for the flight was; F/O. Francis X. Quinn, co-pilot; 1/Lt. John A. Wallace, navigator; T/Sgt. Roy M. Tanner, radio operator and T/Sgt. John D. Carlisle, engineer.

As this was a simple cross-country exercise over friendly territory no air gunners were aboard, although presumably the guns would have had ammunition as insurance against a chance German night-fighter intruder. Pre-flight checks were satisfactory and T/Sgt. Tanner checked the radio equipment and found it O.K. The flight commenced at 1850hrs with a "hit and go landing", (circuit and bump), then a circuit and a full landing with cloud beginning to obscure the airfield lights.They taxied to runway 07 and took off again at 1918 to repeat the exercise, but after Delisle circled a few times, first at 1,00ft, then dropping to below 500ft, he called the tower at 1930 to say that he could no longer see the field and would continue on the first leg of his cross-country flight.

DeLisle called the navigator for a heading to Henlow, but Lieut.Wallace reported that both the Gee-Box and radio compass were unserviceable and he in turn asked the radio operator to get a directional bearing, (or Q.D.M.), from Bovingdon to return. While searching for the landing field, Delisle had lowered the undercarriage. Bovingdon gave them a bearing of 075o and  Dlisle turned onto that heading for a time before descending to 500ft for a visual, but seeing nothing and losing radio contact with Bovingdon, he returned to 1,000ft and requested more bearings. At this point the co-pilot was aware that another aircraft was due to enter the circuit, but as Lieut. DeLisle again descended in a gentle turn to find the runway, they saw nothing until breaking through the cloud at between 600 and 500ft. As they levelled out the horrified co-pilot saw a light flash past, level with the starboard wing tip. He realised it was a house or street light and called on DeLisle to climb. As they started to pull up the aircraft "grated on something", (the navigator recorded that he heard something scrape while the radio operator was getting another Q.D.M. Station 121 Flying Control Log says they were given three Q.D.M.s; 0750 at 19.30hrs, 0650 at 19.35hrs and 0500 at 19.38hrs, this last Q.D.M. was not acknowledged).

Then things happened fast, the pilots retracted the wheels and applied full throttle and turbo to the engines, getting an indicated air speed of 135 to 140 and a climb rate of almost 350 feet per minute, but the machine was pulling hard to the right.  They warned the crew to adjust their parachutes ready to bale out and tried for more height, but control of the aircraft was becoming harder. At about 2,000 feet the B17 was pulling hard to starboard despite the application of maximum opposite trim on rudder and ailerons and full opposing controls by both pilots, and the climb rate had dropped right off to 50 feet per minute.

The pilots could barely hold the bomber straight and level and told the other crew members to bail out, which they did safely, (although the engineer was injured when he landed.) By then the controls had "set up an almost unmanageable chatter." F/O Quinn had put on a chest parachute pack, while Lieut. DeLisle was wearing a back pack. Knowing what would happen with only one man at the controls and thinking he would have a better chance of reaching the nose hatch with his chest pack, Quinn offered to let his pilot go first, but DeLisle refused. He told Quinn to go first saying he'd be right behind him.

As Quinn reached the nose hatch the B17 rolled to starboard, but he managed to clear the aircraft open his 'chute safely. He was still above the overcast when, about a minute after pulling his rip-cord, Quinn heard the B17's engines wind before he saw a red glow and heard the explosion. He said he could see the burning wreckage about two miles to his right when he left the clouds. Having said his descent took two minutes, Quinn simply concludes, "Contacted Bassingbourne immediately." (Station 121 Flying Control Log stated that Quinn had called AAF Station 112 from "Camp Neys".) The navigator noticed "a large red glow about a mile away", as he was reaching the ground. He walked towards a light over a couple of fields until he found a road, which he followed. After about five minutes he saw a car and flagged it down. It was an American vehicle, (from Cheddington), with a Military Police Officer and some enlisted men sent to the crash. Wallace went with them to inspect the wreckage, which was still burning, and stayed with them when they returned to Cheddington. They made a report to Bassingbourne, then Wallace was taken to the dispensary, where he was joined by the radio operator and engineer. The three men stayed the night there and returned to Bovingdon the following afternoon. Sgt. Tanner landed safely in a field and, gathering up his 'chute, he walked towards a road. By calling out he found the engineer, who was injured, and left their parachutes with him while going for help. Tanner reached a farmhouse, which had no phone, but the farmer sent his son on a bicycle for help. Shortly afterwards an Army ambulance collected the two aircrew and took them to Cheddington, where they were reunited with the navigator and given a medical examination at the dispensary. A Royal Observer Corps post later reported to Flying Control at Station 121 that the B-17 had passed directly over Bovingdon with all its lights on shortly before the crash.Delisle's body was found about 400 yards behind the bomber's wreckage indicating that he only left the aircraft a moment or two before impact.

The accident report signed by Air Corps Major Immanuel J. Klette, concluded that, "The responsibility of the accident lies 100% with the pilot. A let down to low altitude (1,000 feet or less) should not be made unless the position of the aircraft is known." (Given the circumstances I can only think this means that Delisle was supposed to have flown around above 1,000 feet until either the weather cleared or he ran out of fuel!)

Hemel Today (Gazette) Heritage page.

John Cyster of Westfield Road, Berkhamsted, writes: “It crashed immediately behind the Cow Roast lock having planed across the field for a considerable distance. “In Berkhamsted my brother and I heard it and cycled to Cow Roast to view it. We were overwhelmed by its size, the fuselage facing towards Northchurch and the right hand wing broken off and spanning across a hedge. “We were able to wander around the wreckage and scattered over a wide area were hundreds of live rounds of ammunition. “We crammed our bicycle saddlebags, trouser and coat pockets and cycled home to Castle Street over the moon with our loot. We turned it all out on the kitchen table and we had around 500 rounds and called mum to come and have a look at it” He said his mum feared an explosion and made the boys throw it all into the canal at the Castle Street bridge by the Railway tavern - where it probably still lies. The site of the crash was the long field between the lock house and iron bridge, just missing the railway. Peter says the plane flew over their heads on fire before nose diving into the field lighting up the sky for miles around. The crew bailed out landing in the Hamberlins farm area. Peter says that to this day fragments of the wreckage are still found in the field.

Crash site location to left of this footpath where site for memorial is planned. (David King)

(3) David King proudly displays some small cockpit ---
David King proudly displays some small cockpit related items from another local B-17 crash.  Behind him stands the propeller blade and wing section showing part of American star insignia found at Cow Roast during the 1970’s. (David King)

A young Melvin with one of the B-17s Propellers recovered during one of our early visits to the crash site (Melvin R Brownles

Missions flown by Don DeLisle: Munich (Augsburg) 16 July 44 Ship No.

126   Lt. Hanst
333   Lt. Hammer
8027 Lt. Strong
673   Lt. Walby
610   Lt. DeLisle
996   Lt. Russell
095   Lt. Longaker
634   F/O Golubic
030   Lt. Smith

REMARKS:  The assigned target for PFF bombing was the center of the city of Munich.  Due to difficulty with Pathfinder equipment in the lead ship just before the I.P. the deputy leader  took over, and it is believed that Augsburg was bombed although the observations were unknown due to 10/10 undercast.  Lt. Walby turned back over North Sea and landed at Grafton Underwood due to insufficient fuel to complete mission.  Lt.DeLisle’s waist gunner, Sgt. Horace W. Kingsley, was wounded in the knee by a flak burst which also damaged bomb bay mechanism.  Further difficulties which culminated in a successful ditching and rescue are described in the following news account: NEWS ACCOUNT OF A/C 610 “LIBERTY BELLE” By Sgt. John H. Smelser

AN EIGHTH AF BOMBER STATION, ENGLAND - With a third of her crew suffering from lack of oxygen, one seriously wounded man aboard, two engines out, leaking gasoline tanks, damaged bomb bay doors, and a fuselage riddled by flak, the flying fortress “Liberty Belle”limped back from Munich, Germany, across the skies of Nazi Europe only to meet her end in the North Sea within sight of England. “A flak burst smacked us pretty hard as we were nearing the target,” says Sgt. John S. Smelser, tail gunner, son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Smelser, McLouth, Kansas, “ the force of the explosion knocked the waist gunner about 12 feet, slamming him into the top of the ball turret.  The radio gunner, Sgt. Roy M. Tanner,Ruston, La., went to help him.  He found the gunner with a badly torn kneecap.  Sgt. Tanner gave him a shot of morphine, sprinkled sulfa powder on the gaping wound, and then bandaged him up.  Then I noticed that the left wing had been hit, too, and gasoline was streaming from the punctured tanks.” In addition the bomb bay doors and bomb release mechanisms had been damaged.  The bombardier, 2nd Lt. Robert S. Bell, Union City, Tenn., managed to get the doors and salvoed the bombs over the target, but he was not able to get the doors closed.  The open doors constituted a drag on the aircraft, and along with the loss of gasoline from the wing tanks, would result in the ship running short of fuel before it could get back. The pilot, 2nd Lt. Don DeLisle, Bucoda, Wash.,ordered the engineer, Sgt. John D. Carlisle, Houston,Texas, to try and close the door manually.  A few minutes later, Lt. DeLisle tried to contact Sgt.Carlisle on the intercom.  Receiving no reply, he told the co-pilot, 2nd Lt. Norman Kimmel, St. Louis, Mo.,to see what the trouble was. “Lt. Kimmel,” continues Sgt. Smelser, “found Sgt.Carlisle hanging halfway out of the open bomb bay,unconscious.  Sgt. Carlisle’s oxygen mask had fallen off while he was working, and he’d been too busy to put it back on.  Lt. Kimmel dragged the engineer back in.  Then, ripping off his own mask, he put it on the sergeant.  Lt. Kimmel came to, and refusing further aid, he went back to work trying to get the doors closed.  Lt. Kimmel crawled back to his seat, but before he could make it, he, too, collapsed, sprawling across the throttles and controls.  The “Belle” plunged from her spot in the formation and went careening through the sky, barely missing other planes. With one hand Lt. DeLisle lifted the unconscious co-pilot off the controls, and with his other fought to gain control of the floundering Fortress. “I don’t know how Lt. DeLisle did it,” explains Sgt.Smelser, “A Fort that’s out of control is tough enough to handle with two hands, let alone one hand. He shoved the throttles forward and we regained our air speed.  At the same time he pulled the ship back on an even keel.  I’m certain he saved our lives.”With the big ship under control again, Lt. DeLisle continued to fly the airplane with one hand.  Then he grabbed the oxygen tube and shoved it into the co-pilot’s mouth. Lt. Kimmel was getting blue from lack of oxygen, but the pilot’s quick work saved Kimmel’s life. In the meantime, Sgt. Gene A. Capuis, Chicago, Ill.,the ball turret gunner, was losing consciousness when his oxygen supply gave out due to flak damage.  He managed to worm his way out of the ball turret before completely fainting away.  He collapsed on the floor of the fortress.  Sgt. Smelser, who had been helping the wounded waist gunner, rushed to the aid of the collapsed ball turret gunner.  Grabbing an extra oxygen bottle, he attached it to Sgt. Capuis’ mask, reviving the gunner.

One engine was out now, and another was weakening.The “Belle” began dropping back and down. “Our little friends, the fighter escort, wouldn’t leave us,” recalls Sgt. Smelser.  “They looked plenty good to us, too, for we were easy meat for Jerry fighters in our disabled condition.” As they neared the French coast, another engine quit. Lt. DeLisle, noting that the gas was almost gone ordered the crew to prepare to ditch.  We began jettisoning all loose and heavy equipment.“The ship was losing air speed rapidly,” continues Sgt. Smelser, but the English coast was in sight, and we thought we might be able to make it. Then the two remaining engines quit.  We were out of gas.  We went to our ditching positions.  I expected a heavy jar when we hit the water, but Lt. DeLisle set the ship down nice and easy.  A Fort doesn’t stay afloat very long, and with the bomb bay doors open, we expected her to sink immediately.  We got the wounded man out and into a dinghy.  Then the rest of us clambered out. We sat in our dinghies for about half an hour, when we were picked up by a friendly vessel.  We were given brandy, hot food and dry clothing.  Just as we were pulling away in the rescue craft, the “Belle” put her nose into the water, lifted her tail proudly, and plunged straight down, out of sight.   I don’t understand why she stayed afloat as long as she did .I like to think that she knew she was finished the moment she was hit, but fought her way along until she knew we would be able to get help.  The she didn’t leave us until she was certain that we were all OK. Nobody will ever tell me an airplanedoesn’t have a soul.

(4) (Liberty Belle) This aircraft was flown on its last ---
(Liberty Belle) This aircraft was flown on its last flight by Lt. Delisle 16.07.44  (Aircraft pictured with a previous unknown crew)

Augsburg 16.07.1944

“B” Sens  “C” Bourron-Marlotte  7 August 1944

333        Lt. Benton
296        Lt. Brown
083        Lt. DeLisle
000        Lt. Walton

REMARKS:  This Squadron put up 4 crews of the Lead Group of the 1st “C” CBW (24 A/C).  The low group of this CBW was furnished by 381st Bomb Group.  The primary target was an oil storage depot on the east bank of the Yonne River just north of the town of Sens.  Bombs from this group fell short of the target area.  Lt. DeLisle flying A/C #8083 as a spare filled in the 1st “B” CBW.

(5) Augsburg target photo 16.07.1944
Augsburg target photo 16.07.1944.

S.E. of BrettevilleSur-Laze  8 August 1944

333 Lt. Benton
298 Lt. Brown
367 Lt. Thompson
126 Capt. Griffin
000 Lt. Burne
673 Lt. Ellis, F. D.
033 Lt. McCarty
027 Lt. Rollinson
083 Lt. DeLisle
308 F/O Golubic
093 Lt. Longaker
996 Lt. Ellis, M. C.

REMARKS:  The mission for this date was a ground support operation in preparation for a break-through by the Canadian 1st Army.  The assigned bombing area which lay 1000 yards in front of the allied troops was marked with red target indicators and the forward line of friendly troops was indicated by yellow smoke shells laid down by artillery.  Major Everett flying with Capt. Griffin led the "C" CBW with the 322nd Squadron furnishing the lead group. The lead and high groups did an excellent job of bombing and the low group brought its bombs back because of inability to positively identify target area.  Moderate to intense flak was encountered from enemy ground positions for about 15-20 minutes (bombing altitude -14,000 feet).  Lt. Thompson's A/C #367 received a direct hit by flak and fell to the ground in two pieces. One chute seen.

Kiel 30 Aug. 1944.

6 42-57562
Lt. DeLisle pilot of lead ship 562 for all 91BG Wing, 322,323,324 and 401 Bomb Squadrons. PFF Aircraft with Capt. Suther. Aircraft 42-97562 "EVENING FOLKS! HOW Y' ALL

562 PFF Capt. Suther
095 Lt. Longaker
333 Lt. Starks
632 PFF Lt. Golubic
306 Lt. Ellis, M.C.
083 Lt. Burne
298 Lt. Brown
027 Lt. Hamilton
234 Lt. Walton
707 Lt. Gordon
088 Lt. Schuck

REMARKS: The Krupp shipbuilding works at Kiel were bombed by instruments with unobserved results. Failure of pathfinder equipment at the I.P. in the lead ship of the group made it necessary for this wing to bomb on the smoke markers of the preceding Combat Wing. Capt. Suther flying with Lt. Delisle led the combat wing. This squadron furnished 11 crews of the lead group. Three A/C of this Squadron received battle damage from flak at the target. One major and two minor. Evening Folks! How y’ All 42-97562
Ludwigshaven 5 Sept. 44

212        Capt. Newquist
088        Lt. Schuck
333        Lt. Starks
027        Lt. DeLisle
202        Lt. Hare
308        Lt. Ernst
095        Lt. Schroeder
298        Lt. Ellis, F. D.
306        Lt. Ellis, M. C.
234        Lt. Walton
707        Lt. Gordon
033        Lt. Kelley
348        Lt. Golubic

REMARKS:  This squadron furnished 13 A/C of the High Group for the 1st “A” CBW which attacked the Farbenindustrie chemical plant at Ludwigshaven with the aid of PFF with unobserved results.  Capt. Newquist, Squadron Operations Officer, led the high group in A/C 8212.  Lt. Ernest R. Kelley, flying A/C7033 experienced difficulty in climbing above altitude 19,000 feet due to mechanical failure of one engine. When trouble developed with two or more engines, Lt.Kelley took his ship out of formation down to 12,000 feet and gave the order to bail out.  All of his crew except S/Sgt Richard E. Doyle who was injured and crashed with the A/C fell in France behind the German lines.  Lt. Kelly was back at this station on 23 Sept 1944 and from information available at the end of the month it is believed that Sgt. Ira L. Kames, ASN33624676 is a prisoner of war.  S/Sgt Doyle was killed, and all the other members of the crew returned to England.

Ludwigshaven 8 Sept. 44

562        Lt. Malone
306        Lt. Ellis
202        Lt. Hare
348        Lt. McCarty
095        Lt. Schroeder
088        Lt. Schuck
333        Lt. Starks
308        Lt. Ernst
579        Lt. Reichert
234        Lt. DeLisle
298        Lt. Brown
083        Lt. Burne

REMARKS:  The I. G. Fabens plant at Ludwigshaven was again the target for this group flying as the 1st “B”CBW, with the 322nd Squadron furnishing the low group, led by Lt. Malone.  Intense accurate flak with 6-8/10 cloud cover made visual bombing impossible and obscured results. Lt. McCarty flying A/C 348 was observed to have received a direct hit in the target area in his right wing.  The wing caught fire and then exploded.  The plane was last seen going down in a tight spin.  One chute seen. Gaggenau/ Sindelfingen, Germany 10 Sept. 44

212        Lt. DeLisle
333        Lt. Burne
202        Lt. Brant
707        Lt. Starks
088        Lt. Schroeder
306        Lt. Ellis, M. C.

REMARKS:  This group flew the high group of the 41st CBW whose target was a Daimler Benz motor vehicle factory at Sindelfingen 10 miles S.W. of Stuttgart and the high group of the 1st “A” CBW whose target was another Daimler Benz truck and diesel factory  at Gaggenau about 12 miles south of Karlsruhe.  This squadron furnished eight A/C  and six crews for the latter formation, attacking their primary target with results described as very good . No damage was experienced.

Lutzkendorf, Germany 13 Sept. 44

(1st five A/C numbers missing)

           Lt. Hammer
           Lt. Ellis, F. D.
           Lt. Brown
           Lt. DeLisle
306     Lt. Ellis, M. C.
308     Lt. Brant
707     Lt. Gordon
887     Lt. Starks
220     Lt. Longaker
012     Lt. Hamil
398     Lt. Hare
083     Lt. Burne

REMARKS:  This synthetic oil plant was again attacked by this group flying as 1st “A” CBW, the 322nd Squadron furnishing 13 A/C  for the high group.  A visual run was made by the lead group with good results.  The low group bombed on the lead with fair results, and high group, led by Lt. Hammer in a PFF A/C bombed with poor results due to the failure of Mickey equipment 20 miles before the I.P.  Lt. Longaker was forced to turn back early because of a leak in the oxygen system.

Hamm, Germany 19 September 44

202        Lt. Reichert
083        Lt. Hare
212        Lt. Malone
088        Lt. Schuck
012        Lt. Longaker
333        Lt. Trent
027        Lt. Golubic
298        Lt. Brown
308        Lt. Schroeder
707        Lt. Gordon
298        Lt. DeLisle
234        Lt. Walton

REMARKS:  Lt. Malone led the low group furnished by this Squadron in the 1st “B” CBW attacked the M/Yds at Hamm by PFF methods.  Both the lead and the low groups made 360 degree turns for a second bombing run with fair results, bombs striking in the southern end of the yards.

Mainz, Germany 21 September 44

REMARKS:  The marshaling yards at Mainz were attacked with good results by this group flying as 1st “A” CBW. This Squadron did not fly on this mission.

Frankfurt, Germany 25 September 44

135        Capt. Suther
308        Lt. Ernst
360        Lt  Brant
630        Lt. Longaker
027        Lt. Schroeder
234        Lt. Reichert
306        Lt. Ellis, M. C.
088        Lt. Schuck
398        Lt. DeLisle (Note; flying aircraft that crashed Cow Roast)
202        Capt. Thompson
333        Lt. Trent
298        Lt. Brown

REMARKS:  Flying the 1st “A” CBW this group bombed the Marshalling yards at Frankfurt by PFF methods with unobserved results.  Capt. Suther flew as CBW commander and this Squadron furnished the entire lead group.  S/Sgt Dennis J. Moore, tail gunner on Lt. Trent’s crew, received a minor wound from flak in his left eye necessitating three stitches but without impairing his sight.

Cologne, Germany 27 September 44

012        Lt. Hammer
083        Lt. Burne
360        Lt. Ellis, F. D.
306        Lt. Ellis, M. C.
202        Lt. Towner
095        Lt. Schuck
707        Lt. Starks
308        Lt. Reichert
333        Lt. Mitchell
027        Lt. Hamilton
298        Lt. Brant
398        Lt. DeLisle (Cow Roast A/c)

(398) Crew:
 !st Lt Don Deslisle Pilot
2nd Lt D.R. Freer Co-Pilot
2nd Lt John A Wallace Nav.
TSgt William J. Carlson B(Toggelier)
TSgt John D. Carlisle Eng-TT
S Sgt K. ChapuisBT
TSgt Roy N. Tanner RO
SSgt Robert E Tyndall WG
SSgt John N. SmelzerTG

REMARKS;  The PFF target, the M/Yds at Cologne, was attacked by the 1st “C” Group with unobserved results. Lt. Hammer led the low Squadron which was furnished by the 322nd Squadron.  (Note:  Customary terminology for combat formations has been changed so that the following terms are now official:  12 A/C now called “Squadron” 36 or 24 A/C formation called “Group”  And two or more “Groups” called CBW.  Two or more CBW’s are an “Air Division” and any number of CBW’s assigned to the same garget are now designated a “TaskForce.”

Kassel and Fritzlar 2 Oct. 1944

A/C No.
212        Lt. Hammer
398        Lt. DeLisle
083        Lt. Hare
707        Lt. Gordon
308        Lt. Schroeder
144        Lt. Reichert
035        Lt. Hamilton
360        Lt. Schuck
234        Lt. Sparkman
095        Lt. Longaker
306        Lt. Brant
333        Lt. Mitchell
298        Lt. Brown, R. H.

REMARKS:  A tank and vehicle factory at Kassel was the target for this mission, on which the 322nd Squadron furnished the High Squadron with Capt. Walter W. Thompson flying with Lt. Hammer in the lead A/C.   The lead and low squadrons bombed the primary target by PFF methods and the high squadron bombed Fritzlar A/C, a target of opportunity about 12 miles S.W. of Kassel, visually, with good results, incendiaries falling in the buildings around.

Frieburg 7 October 1944

562        Capt. Newquist
333        Lt. Brant
088        Lt. Schroeder
027        Lt. Hamilton
360        Lt. Ellis, F. D.
234        Lt. Reichert
095        Lt. Longaker
306        Lt. Hare
202        Lt. Towner
707        Lt. Sparks
398        Lt. DeLisle
308        Lt. Ernst

REMARKS:  This Squadron led the 1st “C” group, Capt. Newquist,  Squadron Operations officer acted as air commander flying with Lt. Walton in the lead A/C.  The “Buckeye” scouting force reported that the primary target, the oil plant at Brux, would be open, but the division later advised that it was not, and the lead and low squadrons went on to bomb the town of Frieburg, target of opportunity, with very good results.

Nürnberg 3 October 1944

Lt. DeLisle pilot of lead ship with 322BS 630, with Thompson as Captain, 3-10-44. Aircraft 42-97630

630 Capt. Thompson
398 Lt. Sparkman
088 Lt. Schuck
306 Lt. Longaker
333 Lt. Mitchell
083 Lt. Hare
625 Lt. Sparks
202 Lt. Reichert
308 Lt. Schroeder
298 Lt. Hamilton
095 Lt. Burn e
360 Lt. Ellis, F.D.

REMARKS: The tank and diesel engine factory at Nurnberg was attacked by PFF methods with what are believed to be good results. This Squadron furnished the low squadron, with Capt. Walter W. Thompson flying with Lt. DeLisle in the lead A/C.

Cologne Oct. 14, 1944

145        Capt. Malone
333        Lt. Mitchell
083        Lt. Hare
088        Lt. Ernst
212        Lt. Longaker
360        Lt. Brant
398        Lt. DeLisle
306        Lt. Ellis, M. C.
234        Lt. Sparkman
202        Lt. Towner
095        Lt. Starks
707        Lt. Burne
880        Lt. Reichert

REMARKS:  Capt. Malone in a 323rd aircraft with Lt.Harper led the high Squadron.  The railroad choke plant just east of the Rhine was attacked by PFF methods, with unobserved results, but believed to be good as the Mickey navigator in the lead ship was able to pinpoint himself  both before and after target.

208        Capt. Thompson, W. W.
360        Lt. Reichert
625        Lt. Schroeder
027        Lt. Gordon
398        Lt. DeLisle
083        Lt. Hare
333        Lt. Trent
095        Lt. Longaker
234        Lt. Sparkman
088        Lt. Ellis, M. C.
298        Lt. Brant
202        Lt. Burne

REMARKS:  Major Thompson, air commander, flying with Capt. Suther, led the group on this mission for which the 322nd put up the 12 aircraft of the lead squadron. The Mickey equipment in the lead ship went out during the bomb run on Ludwigshaven (oil storage depot), the bombardier electing not to drop his bombs and try for another run.  Following an accidental release by Lt. Ernst’s A/C flying the #2 position, the rest of the Squadron dropped their bombs on Karlsruhe, as did the low squadron.  Strike photographs show hits on the building area of the A/C at Karlsruhe.  High Squadron dropped on the town of Bad Krueznach with unobserved results.

Cologne 17 October 1944

REMARKS:  This squadron furnished 7 A/C but no crews for this mission which was led by Major Taylor. PFF bombing un-observed results.

Karlsruhe 19 October 1944

632        Lt. Walton
308        Lt. Ernst
012        Lt. Ellis, M. C.
398        Lt. DeLisle
095        Lt. Baker
360        Lt. Brant
027        Lt. Hamilton
202        Lt. Mitchell
333        Lt. Schroeder
707        Lt. Gordon
088        Lt. Schuck
234        Lt. Sparkman

REMARKS:  Capt. Walter W. Thompson led the low Squadron furnished by the 322nd, to attack railroad targets in Cologne for the second day in succession. Although bombing was done by instruments, strike photographs show hits in the S.E.

Brunswick 22 October 1944

562        Capt. Thompson, W. W.
083        Lt. DeLisle
202        Lt. Towner
707        Lt. Hamilton
360        Lt. Reichert
234        Lt. Mitchell
088        Lt. Schuck
212        Lt. Gordon
308        Lt. Ernst
333        Lt. Trent
027        Lt. Burne
095        Lt. Baker
306        Lt. Schroeder

REMARKS:  Capt. Walter W. Thompson led the High Squadron furnished by the 322nd.  The group flew as 1st “A,” leading the “A” Task Force of 1st Division, which preceded the 2nd and 3rd Divisions.  Before the I.P. the Mickey equipment of the lead and low squadrons went out of order and the high group took over, bombing with unobserved results.
Pastor Debra Carlson writes;

My great uncle Lt. Don Delisle was a pilot with the 91st bomb group. I have read a report about his ditching of the Liberty Belle in the North Sea in 1944. I would like any other information that anyone can give me about him. I know that he died on a night training mission 24th Oct 1944.

The Seattle Daily Times November 20
th 1944 reported;


Lieut. Donald DeLisle, husband of Mrs. Margaret DeLisle, 3428 14
th Ave S., pilot of a Flying Fortress and holder of the Air Medal and five Oak Leaf Clusters, died on October 24th in a hospital in England, relatives said today.

Lieutenant DeLisle wrote to his wife that he expected to be home soon, and had only seven more missions to complete. The letter arrived the same day as the notice of death. On two occasions the flyer brought his crippled plane out of German territory, once landing in the English Channel when the last motor failed.

A native of Littell, Lewis County, he was graduated from Chehalis High School, where he was an outstanding football player. He was intramural lightweight boxing champion at the University of Washington for one year. He arrived in Europe just before D-Day, and had not seen his family for nearly two years.

Besides his widow, he is survived by his father, Joseph DeLisle of Bucoda, Thurston County: his mother Mrs. Delia Sands, Sumner, three brothers, Felix DeLisle of Bucoda; Capt. Chester DeLisle, stationed with the Army in Seattle, and Lester DeLisle, 2101 N. 57
th St.; two sisters, Mrs. Lillian Stroupe, Seattle. And Mrs. Leo Bowdish, Portland, Or.
Report from Mr. Timothy Claridge 2013.

I know this crash site well, my family owned / owns the land where the plane hit. My Father Mr Gordon Claridge employed a gardener Mr William Puddyphat who lived at Cow Roast Cottages. As a school boy I was captivated by all and many things. Mr Puddyphat took me one time to his cottage and on his mantle piece was a highly polished 0.5 Cannon Shell. Well he told me the story of the night that the crash occurred....... I spent many days when off from school walking up and down in the furrows after this field and adjacent fields were ploughed. I found many many pieces of wreckage, a cooling tube for one of the machine guns, a large part of the engine, containing rocker gear and valve, this I refurbished into operating condition, also many many rounds of 0.5 still intact. Whilst away one time at boarding school my mother disposed of my treasured artefacts I never saw them again, where or who had them I do not know but to this day I am mad at her for this. She is no longer alive. Mr Puddyphat lent me his cannon shell from his mantle piece and I took it away to boarding school. When school term finished I remember taking the shell back to Mr Puddypjat in the garden potting shed.....he told me that I could keep it, WOW was I happy!!!

I still have that shell and a complete engine valve that I had found on my many hours of patrolling the furrows. Both items are now on display in my cabinet. I was told by Mr Puddy as we called him that a Mr Delderfield who lived at Dudswell had on the night of the crash picked up an escape hatchet as a souvenir. I went to his house on my bicycle to see it, but at that time he was out.... The land is still owned by my family however when my Father died the estate was broken up. The house Norcott Hall sold to a property developer. My sister I believe still retains ownership of the field where the plane crashed. It is right next to the Railway Main line Euston to Birmingham about 2 minutes walk from where Mr Puddyphat lived. Place is called Cow Roast. Now I can add the details of the plane to my artifacts in memory to those brave souls who gave everything. God bless them all.

0.50 Calibre round and engine valve (Claridge)

Crash site visit 23.02.2013.

In Febuary this year David King, Melvin Brownless and Alex King revisited the crash site to try and assertain, the most relivant positioning for the proposed memorial. Permission was given by landowner Peta Claridge, and a metal detector search was made of the whole area using conventional metal detectors and deep seekers, to see if any items remained from previous digs on the site, that would warrent any further recovery proposal at the location. As no large readings were found no further investigation will take place. Small fragments however still remain littered around the surface of the ploughed field, so with this knolage of their general area, along with details of previous visits during the late 1970s, the location for the memorial is proposed at the base of a footbridge on the public footpath, that crosses the field in which the aircraft crashed.

Alex King searches the area with the deep seeking detector. (David King)

Photo taken from crash site with proposed memorial location at footbridge in view. (David King)

Don pictured with his wife Margaret DeLisle (Carlson)

This page is constructed in the memory of 1/Lt. Don DeLisle. 
Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless, David & Alex King with special thanks to Ms Peta Claridge and Mr Timothy Claridge. Not forgetting Pastor Debra Carlson who has kindly promised to send us a photo of Don, that will be added soon. June 2013. Any donations towards the proposed memorial to Don would be most welcome however great or small, anyone wishing to contribute please visit our donation page.
The British Library is preserving this site for the future in the UK Web Archive at All Aircrew Remembered on our Remembrance pages, are therefor not just remembered here, but also subsequently remembered and recorded as part of our nation’s history
and heritage at The British Library.