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Wilson Duane A.

Duane A. Wilson
Second Lieutenant
Serial Number:
511th Bomber Squadron, 351st Bomber Group, Heavy
Date of Death:
Maple Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas
block 2

Duane Wilson was born in 1916 and was from Kansas City, Kansas.
He served as the Co-Pilot on B-17 (42-31192) of the 511th Bomber Squadron, 351st Bomber Group, 8th US Air Force.
On October 7, 1944, B-17 (42-31192) was flying on a bombing mission (Mission # 216) to the Politz, (Police), Poland synthetic oil plants as part of the 511th Bomber Squadron, 351st Bomber Group, 8th Air Force from Station 110, Notrhamptonshire. The B-17 was piloted by 1LT Einer Peterson, who was new to this crew, but flying his 25th mission. Enroute to the target the plane lost one engine; over the target it was hit by flak and lost two more. Peterson decided to attempt to cross the Baltic and make an emergency landing in Sweden. Upon reaching Sweden the land was obscured by clouds and as the plane approached an open field, they noticed farm workers picking potatoes in the path of the aircraft. With no fuel remaining, Peterson tried to gain altitude, but stalled the plane and it crashed against a big rock. The local populace attempted to rescue, but seven of the crew were killed, five instantly and two died two days later in hospital in Karlshamn, Sweden. Two survived the crash and after three months after internment in Sweden they were returned to England (through Project Sonnie). (Reference Missing Aircraft Report {MACR} 9566 and the 351st Bomber Group Association website.) See this website site Alingsås, Flygmonumentet (Project Sonnie) for more on Project Sonnie.
The dead were buried in the Östra Kyrkogården (Eastern Cemetery) in Malmö, Sweden and after the war repatriated.
40 planes were lost during this mission, and eight attempted to make it to Sweden.
The crew of B-17 (42-31192) included:

Lt. Einer Peterson Pilot,
2nd Lt Duane A. Wilson Co-Pilot,
2nd Lt Benjamin F. Christensen Navigator,
F/O William F. Rooney Bombardier,
Sgt. Louis R. Candelaria Top Turret,
Sgt. Lawrence E. Jensen Radio Operator (survived),
Sgt. Robert W. Crawford Right Waist,
Sgt. J. K. Blake Jnr. Ball Turret,
Sgt. Lloyd G. Best Tail Gunner (survived)