|Charles A. Haupt|
|On February 21, 1944, Charles A. Haupt (USAAF) was a navigator/radar operator on board the ill-fated B-17 bomber nicknamed "Crazy Horse". His plane B-17G PFF 42 30280, a member of the 482nd Pathfinder Bomb Group, took off from Alconbury and assumed position at 21,000 ft with the other bombers and fighter aircraft in the bombing raid to Diepholz, Hannover, Germany. Soon after assuming position, engine #1 failed and the plane lost altitude. Out of formation it still it had some protection from fighter aircraft. It released it's bomb load and engine #3 began to go bad. By this time, the German Luftwaffe were closing in and began firing on the B-17.
While still over the Netherlands, the entire crew decided to bail out while they still had some altitude. All successfully parachuted to the ground except for the pilot who landed in Lake IJsselmeer. The pilot who was the last to leave died from the cold lake water.
Four of the men were captured immediately by Nazi forces. Haupt along with three others were helped to safety by Marthe Janssen-Leyder, from the nearby town of Harderwijk, who was a member of the Belgian Resistance Movement.
All in all, 16 bombers were lost and 5 fighters during this bombing raid.
While draining a portion of Lake IJsselmeer in 1970, the B-17 was discovered.
I am hopeful that Charles Haupt survived the remainder of the war, especially after surviving this mission. Any further information on him would be most appreciated.