|Death: ||Oct. 11, 1944|
Benjamin was a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces,337th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group, Heavy
Service # O-819471; he entered the Service from Pennsylvania.
Lt. Bailey died in a midair collision. He was a crewman in B-17G #42-3510.
October 11th 1944 dawned cloudy with intermittent drizzle and as the morning was progressing the weather deteriorated with patchy cloud up to 15,000 ft. The weather was setting the scene for the tragic events that were to unfold later in the morning. In mid-morning a formation of B17 Flying Fortresses took off from their base at Snetterton Heath in Norfolk, part of the 338th BS/96th Bombardier group for a training mission with a mock bombing run above Rugby. Over the village of Farthingstone, before their planned turn at Silverstone to return to base, tragically a formation of 3 aircraft were involved in a horrific mid-air collision at 15,000 ft after encountering severe turbulence and cloud. The accident was triggered when the pilot of B-17G 42-3510 pulled up and hit the nose of B-17G 43-37684 with its tail section. Lt. Benjamin M. Bailey was in this plane... Just as 510 sheared in half the third B17 hit 684 with its rudder and also broke in two. Miraculously, Lt. Jack Core who was piloting 510 parachuted to safety, while his B17 and the other Flying Fortress plummeted to earth at Woodend west of Towcester, in four sections. Core's four crewmen were killed as was pilot Jorgenson and his six man crew. Although badly damaged 43-37684 was able to limp back to Snetterton Heath.
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Plot: Plot D Row 4 Grave 24
Maintained by: Martin Douglas Packer
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56287494