World War II Flight Training Museum and
63rd AAF Flying Training Detachment

Douglas, Georgia

Roy Harold Pendergist

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Roy Harold Pendergist

Born: Mar. 24, 1924 in McCrory, Ark.

European Theater

S/N: O-805524

Rank: 1st Lieutenant.

MACR (Missing Air Crew Report): #5993.

He was with the 8th AAF, 381st Bomb Group, 534th Bomb Squadron. He was the pilot of a B-17G (S/N: 42-97174) with a crew of 9. They took off from Ridgewell, England with the intended destination of Berlin, Germany on June 21, 1944.

A statement from James Chandler, Navigator on another B-17, was as follows:

"I was flying as Navigator in aircraft B-17G, 43-37657 leading the second element of the low squadron. We had passed the target when I looked up and saw the whole right wing on fire (on the other plane). At that time the ship went into a dive but seemed to be under control. After losing about 5,000 feet it leveled off and five (5) men bailed out. The ship then made a 180° turn and lost altitude until it passed under the clouds, at which time two (2) more men bailed out."

The navigator in another B-17 reported:

"The leading aircraft, B-17G, 42-97174, had the trailing edge of the right wing on fire. He immediately pulled ahead of the formation and made a 180° turn and the crew started to bail out. I counted eight (8) men leaving the ship and the Ball Turret gunner reported the ninth man to jump. The last I saw of the ship it was in a dive, this happened five minutes past the target and was the result of flak."

The plane crashed at Wagnitzer Zotzen, 18km NW of Nauen, 1045 hours on June 21, 1944. It was totally destroyed by the crash and fire. Seven of the crew, including 1st Lt. Roy Harold Pendergist, were captured immediately. All were imprisoned in Dulag Luft. Two of the crew, S/Sgt Harold M. Lehman and S/Sgt Byron E. King, were dead and were buried in the Municipal Cemetery in Friesack Germany.

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