Joe Jurnecka's ditching

Submitted by thail on Sun, 11/08/2009 - 13:55.

I was talking to Joe about his B-17 ditching in WWII.  He said it was because they had run out of gas, the plane they were flying wasn't their normal one and turned out to be a gas hog.  By the time they reached Holland, they were throwing guns and equipment out to lighten it up, but they ditched about 20 miles off the Dutch coast.  Their mayday got the rescue folks looking for them and a Hudson bomber dropped a boat to them.  But they spent more than 24 hours in that boat before they got picked up.  

The ditching was on one engine, the others had run out of gas.  The crew got into the ditching positions and all made it out when everything stopped.  Joe's exit was to be through his window which surprised him since he was so bulky in his flight gear.  Both rubber rafts got into the water for the 10 man crew.  They used a hand crank radio and flares to attract the rescue crews.  The rescue was delayed because at the time a raid was being executed on the Dutch coast and they couldn't risk giving it away with picking them up.  

I wanted to write this down before I forgot... :-)  Corrections and comments welcome.