487th Bomb Group (H)
Station 137 - Lavenham, Suffolk, UK
22-Sep-43 to 7-Nov-45

Max Hauenstein - Pilot - 836th Squadron


Max Hauenstein was a pilot of the B17-G "Forever Amber". The following are from his personal notes of these 22 missions.

Missions of "Forever Amber" Squadron 836, 487th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Date Target Load Carried Mission Length Pilots Notes
24-Feb-1945 Bremen (Sub) 12 500 GP 6:35 Flak MoA
25-Feb-1945 Neuberg (Oil) 6 1000 GP 8:15 Flak MeA
26-Feb-1945 Berlin (RR) 6 Inc. M17, 6 500 GP 8:30 Flak MoA
28-Feb-1945 Kassel (RR) 7 Inc. M17, 7 500 GP 7:10 Flak Mo/N
01-Mar-1945 Ulm (RR) 4 Inc. M17, 9 500 GP 7:35 Flak None, Feathered #1 over target
02-Mar-1945 - Abort -      
07-Mar-1945 Siegen (RR) 14 500 GP 6:50 Flak Mo/N
08-Mar-1945 Frankfurt Chaff 7:40 Flak Me/N
09-Mar-1945 Frankfurt 42 100 GP, 2 M17 Inc. 6:30 Flak Mo/N
14-Mar-1945 Hanover (RR) 10 500 GP, 4 M17 Inc. 7:00 Flak HA, Flak hole #2 nacelle, nick in #1 prop
18-Mar-1945 Berlin (RR) 18 100 GP, 8 M17 Inc. 7:45 Flak MoA, 2 Flak holes thru R Wing
19-Mar-1945 Zwickau (RR) 12 500 GP 8:45 Flak MeA
21-Mar-1945 Ardorf (Air Fld) 38 100 GP 5:40 Flak Me/N, 4 Bombs fell on doors
22-Mar-1945 Kupferdreh (Ruhr) Bks area, 5 miles S.E. of Essen 6 500 GP, 6 M17 Inc. 5:30 Flak MoA, 2 holes in R Wing
23-Mar-1945 Solde (Ruhr RR) 6 1000 GP 6:16 Flak MoA
24-Mar-1945 Varrelbusch A.F. (Near Cloppenburg) 14 500 RDX 5:45 Flak None
31-Mar-1945 Brandenburg (RR) 12 500 GP 8:00 Flak MeA, 1 ME-262
03-Apr-1945 Keel (Dock Areas) 6 1000 GP 7:00 Flak Mo/N A
05-Apr-1945 Nurnberg (Ordnance plant) 10 500 GP, 2 M17 7:35 Flak HA, 1 Flak hole # Eng Cowl
07-Apr-1945 Parchim A.F. 38 100 GP 8:20 Flak None, ME-109 Downed
08-Apr-1945 Plauen (RR) 34 100 GP, 2 M17 Not noted Flak MoA, Milner Downed, 1 Flak Hole under radio room
09-Apr-1945 Neuberg (Oil) 12 500 GP 7:30 Flak 1 Burst
10-Apr-1945 Briest A.F. Not noted Not noted Flak MeA, Shot down by fighters, Crew bailed out, Enemy fire hit #3 Mn Tank, Wing burned Ship Exploded

From the last mission on 10-Apr-1945 noted above, I'd like to share an extraordinary photograph.

On that mission with the bomb drop made, the group had turned back towards England. They were attacked by Luftwaffe aircraft, and specifically "Forever Amber" was attacked from 6 or 7 o'clock low by an ME-262. For those unfamiliar with that aircraft it was the worlds first operational jet, which could speed through a formation of the slower bombers with deadly results.

The result of the attack was the fatal wounding of "Forever Amber". The tail gunner, Ed DeLachica was killed in this attack but the remainder of the crew bailed out. Another plane in the formation snapped this picture and a few others of the dying plane.

Max discovered a copy of this and other photos while looking through declassified photos at the end of the war. Evidently base personnel were invited to look through the photos before they were scrapped. What a find!

The B-17G "Forever Amber" within minutes of the end of it's life!

Crew of "Forever Amber"
10-Apr-1945
Crew Position Name
Pilot Max Hauenstein
Co-Pilot Joe Jolet
Bombardier Ernest Lewis
Navigator Wm. Fitzsimmons
Flight Engineer Oliver Poindexter
Radio Guy Marinello
Ball Turret Doug Walker
Waist Gunner Merle Goss
Tail Gunner Ed DeLachica (KIA)



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