Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Green Farm Crash, Redlingfield, November 19, 1943

This quiet, leafy grove of trees behind the replacment farm house at Redlingfield, Suffolk, contains many relics of Rongstad's crashed B-17 Flying Fortress. (Rob Morris Photo)

The same grove on the fateful day. (Army photo)

The farmhouse burns down. The Army Air Force paid the farmers to erect a new one, and it is still there. (Army photo)

The thatched farmhouse roof goes up in flames. (Army Photo)

The replacement farmhouse, June 2008. (Rob Morris photo)
Old shed across the lane from Green Farm, survived intact. (Rob Morris photo)

Wreckage from the Green Farm crash, possibly the ball turret. (Army photo)

This blogger site has gotten increasingly hard to use lately. First, I can't figure out how to move the photos around. Second, I can't copy-and-paste from other sites of my writing, so this is going to be short and sweet.

Twisted, charred wreckage of the Rongstad B-17. (Army Photo)

On November 19, 1943 a B-17 of the 95th Bomb Group piloted by Montanan Kenneth Rongstad took off from its base at Horham. Rongstad, an experienced pilot, banked too close to the ground, stalled, and crashed into a farm in nearby Redlingfield. All members of the crew were killed either in the initial crash or in the detonations of the 500-pound bombs on board.

I just got word that the English in the area are considering erecting a monument to the crash victims, so I thought I'd post some photos to help out the cause.

I visited the crash site in June 2008 and took the color photos above. The black and white photos are from the official Army Air Force reports, 95th archives.


Richard Havers said...

Great post Rob!

r morris said...

Richard, you have a fifty caliber bullet from that crash.

LJTillman said...

Rob: Shouldn't the date of the crash show as November 19, 1943 (not the 13th)-- see the accident report? I noticed this because today I was researching this crash at the National Archives where I volunteer. James Mutton has asked me to try and find pictures of the crew for the memorial effort next May-- so far I haven't had any luck. Have you run across any crew pics for these fellows in your research? (95th BG legacy member - my father Ross Garletts was a B-17 navigator with the 95th)

r morris said...

Yes, indeed, LJ. I have fixed it. Thank you.

Robert Czarnecki said...

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cosby was my Wife's Uncle. I will send pictures of his crew and plane "PEGASUS", also his Squadron as soon as I find how to send pi ctures.