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Above: Crew 317 on flight in Cologne, Germany. In December 1944, the Qualified Quail (42-97851; B-17G-35-VE; 401st Squadron) was hit in No. 4 engine and was heating up. Prop would not feather. Pilot 1st Lt. Pete Seller put ship into a dive and upon going into a stall, No. 4 prop detached, hitting No. 3 prop and dislodged it leaving us with onlty two engines. Losing 600 ft. per minute. We were ordered to bail out. This photo was taken in flight. Pilot Seller and Co-pilot Ridge crash landed safely. Remainder of crew were successful in bailing out.

Above: The Damage. The Death of the Qualified Quail, which crash landed approximately 1944 December 14 near the French/Belgium border, near the start of the Battle of the Bulge. Photos show S/Sgt. Daniel Terzo above engine No. 4, S/Sgt. B.J. O'Brien atop engine No. 3, and on ground (left to right) standing is 1st Lt. Pete Seller (pilot) with hand on shoulder of radio man T/Sgt. Alexander Szczepanek, tail gunner Sgt. Sune Engelbrektson, (kneeling) S/Sgt. Roy F. Person, (standing) 2nd Lt. Erwin Ridge (co-pilot), T/Sgt. James McCoy, and 2nd Lt. Rinaldo Carmazzi. Dog unidentifiable.

Above: Crew gathers day after bail out and crash landing. From left to right: (on ground kneeling) T/Sgt. Alexander Szczepanek, (sitting) S/Sgt. Daniel Terzo, S/Sgt. Roy F. Person, T/Sgt. James McCoy, S/Sgt. B.J. O'Brien, (standing) 2nd Lt. Rinaldo Carmazzi, 1st Lt. Pete Seller, Sgt. Sune Engelbrektson, and 2nd Lt. Erwin Ridge.

Above: Final resting place of the "Qualified Quail" somewhere near the French-Belgium border where pilot Pete Seller and co-pilot Erwin Ridge crash landed. People in picture are children of the village.

Above: crash landing of "Qualified Quail" with villagers viewing the wreckage.

Factoid for S/Sgt. Daniel Terzo and Qualified Quail 42-97851 LL-K, B-17G-35-VE, silver, 401st Bomb Squadron, arrived in Bassingbourn, England 1944 June 3.

S/Sgt. Terzo was assigned to 1st Lt. William Guldner's crew (pilot). Flew 24 missions 1944 June 5 - July 31. Flew three consecutive missions to Munich, Germany. On his next crew, he was assigned to Gregory Gurd's crew (pilot). Flew 7 missions. For his next crew, he was assigned to Lt. John Askins' crew (pilot), where he flew 7 more missions. Terzo was radio operator on Askins' crew. He was on Qualified Quail when it was shot up badley over Cologne 1945 October 15. The B-17 limped back to Bassingbourn. Both the tail gunner and co-pilot were wounded. Over 250 holes in the plane. Two new engines and a new wing spar and then back to combat. For his next crew, he was assigned to 1st Lt. Wilbur Seller's crew, where he flew 16 missions. On 1945 January 14, the plane was hit by heavy flak over Cologne. Pilot Seller skillfully brought the plane to a safe area allowing the crew to bail out. Crash landed at A-83, an advanced American airfield, at Denain Prouvy in liberated France. The battle damage and crash landing finished the plane for good on its 72nd mission and it was salvaged.

Photos and information above was contributed by Daniel Terzo, Jr.

From his father's records (in the words of S/Sgt. Daniel F. Terzo)

Patrick Milward (www.qualified-quail.com) re-wrote and provided some corrections to the above paragraph (2014).

Qualifed Quail was assigned to Lt. William Guldner's crew in early June 1944. This crew took her up on 24 missions between 5 June 1944 and 12 August 1944, amongst which were three consecutive missions to Munich. Qualified Quail was then assigned to Lieutenant Gregory Good's crew and they flew seven missions together. On one of those missions, Qualified Quail was badly shot up with two engines out and unexploded shells in her tanks. Lieutenant Good and his crew limped back to base. Her next official crew was Lieutenant Askin's. They flew eight missions together. On one of those missions (14 October 1944) she was badly damaged again. The co-pilot, radio operator, and tail gunner were slightly wounded but the waist gunner had a piece of shrapnel go clearly across his thigh. Once again she miraculously limped back to base with over 250 holes, only two engines running, and a wing spar almost cut off. Her next crew was Lieutenant Seller's where Daniel Terzo was a waist gunner. They flew seventeen missions together. The last mission, on 14 January 1945 was to Cologne. Over the target they got hit by flack. No one was wounded but the plane was badly damaged. They tried getting back to base but couldn't make it and Lieutenant Seller decided to land on the continent near a forward air base in the North of France (A-83 Denain Prouvy near the town of Valenciennes) - most of France had been liberated by then. Battle damage was too extensive to save the plane and she was declared salvage on 28 January 1945. Her crew safely returned to Bassingbourn on 17 January 1945. Her carrier had ended after 75 missions with the Eighth Air Force and 91st Bomb Group. Daniel Terzo finished his tour at the end of March 1945, his first mission had been on Qualified Quail on 16 November 1944.

Group
Squadron
Crew
Missions
91st
401st
Lt. Gulder
24
91st
401st
Lt. Good
7
91st
401st
Lt. Askins
9
91st
401st
Lt. Seller
17
91st
401st
Various crews
14
91st
322nd
Lt. Hamilton
1
91st
323rd
Various crews
2
91st
324th
Lt. Maplesden
1
   
Total
75

* Information collected from the Dailies of the 401st Bomb Squadron

 

 

 

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