12th Air Force WWII
414th SQUADRON B-17 “OLD IRONSIDES” and her last Crew
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Site Edited and Maintained by Doug Cook
Last Update September 26, 2017
Contacts from 97th BG and 414th Squadron Welcome!
12th AF 97th BG 414th BS
Dear Mr. Cook,
My name is Lorenzo Fresi, I write you from Italy. I'm a good friend of Jim Upton, nephew of James W. Sandiford, who was in the 414th Bomb Squadron (K.I.A. in Italy 11/27/43). I know You and Jim were in contact some years ago when we were locating the crash site of his uncle's plane. Me and Jim have often collaborated with historical associations and with AF/Army Veterans of the WW2 Italian Campaign providing them information, returning ID Tags, putting people in contact and so on. Recently a museum of Frascati ( Italy ) asked our help to find some pictures of a B-17 of the 414th Bomb Squadron named OLD IRONSIDES which was shot down over Frascati on September 8, 1943. Unfortunately we didn't find the pictures they needed, but during our search we have collected many information from several sources , so we patiently assembled all to reconstruct the story of the last mission of OLD IRONSIDES. We think it's a pity that this story go missing again, so we want to share with you our work, hoping that it could be interesting for your great website.
Lorenzo Fresi and James Upton
Pilot: 1st. Lt. Charles D. Gueriniere
Co-pilot: 2nd. Lt. Floyd H. Lyon Jr.
Navigator: 2nd. Lt. Lawrence H. Owens
Bombardier: 2nd. Lt. Irving Linder
Flight engineer/top turret gunner: SSgt. George J. Smith
Radio Operator: SSgt. John W. Mullins,
Left Waist gunner: Tech/Sgt. Andrew H. Camarota Jr.
Ball turret gunner: SSgt. Fred W. Yuvan
Right Waist gunner: SSgt. Harry J. Carroll
Tail gunner: Ssgt. Edward L. Gadouas
In those days, Frascati, a
small city near
For this reason the area was well protected by the German anti-aircraft artillery and covered by both the German and Italian Air forces.
When reached Frascati (12.00 p.m.), the plane encountered heavy AAA fire and it was also attacked by fighters. After an hard battle the plane lost a wing, started to drop rotating on itself then a part of it exploded in mid-air throwing pieces in a large area. Lastly, the fuselage with a wing still attached crashed near the town. Some source also mentions that the ball turret drop separately with the gunner inside.
The USAF reports considered the crash as due to AAA, but according to the Italian Air Force was Giovanni Chiale, a pilot of the 53th Stormo, who claimed to have shot down the Flying Fortress with his Me Bf-109.
A singular fact: just the same day, a few of hours later, at 6.15 P.M., General Dwight Eisenhower announced from Radio Algeri the entry into force of the Italian armistice, which stopped any hostility between the Italian Army and the Allied forces.
The crash caused 6 victims. 4 members of the crew survived and were taken prisoners.
1st. Lt. Charles D. Gueriniere
2nd. Lt. Floyd H. Lyon Jr.
2nd. Lt.Irving Linder
Tech/Sgt. Andrew H. Camarota Jr.
SSgt. Fred W. Yuvan
SSgt. John W. Mullins
SSgt. George J. Smith
SSgt. Harry J. Carroll
Ssgt. Edward L. Gadouas
Due to the particular dynamics of the crash, the survivors as well as the the victims landed in different areas around Frascati. The location and identification of the victims took a long period of time
Two of the survivors (one of whom was Harry J. Carroll) were captured immediately in the nearby of Frascati, another was captured farther the same day, and the last one, John W. Mullins, was captured the following day.
Once captured, the four prisoners were sent to the
prison camp named Stalag 17B located near
All the four crewmen survived and were repatriated to
Once returned in
The remains of four members of the crew (Camarota, Gueriniere, Lyon and
Owens) were returned in
Fred W. Yuvan is buried at the
There are no information about Irving Linder.
Andrew H. Camarota declared KIA
Sgt. Andrew .H. Camarota
Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew H. Camarota of 818 Inwood St., listed as missing in action a year ago, has now
been reported killed in action. He was a waist gunner on a Flying Fortress
which failed to return from a raid on
Linder Missing After Flight Over
Second Lt. Irving Linder of
The 25 -year-old bombardier's twin ---the following part is unreadable---
Floyd H. Lyon Jr. is Declared M.I.A.
The war department today named three Kansans and four
Missourians as among
Funeral of Floyd H. Lyon Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Omar Lyon of
01: Original photo of an engine of Old Ironsides thrown clear away by the explosion
02: The grave of Camarota, Gueriniere, Lyon and Owens
03: The Grave of Fred Yuvan