Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder
Squadron Code: FW-B
Crew Chief: T/Sgt. Stephen Haberski
Asst. Crew Chief: Cpl. Ralph B. Robinson *
Gravel Gertie was originally assigned to the 386th Bombardment Group and was transferred to the 387th when the 386th converted to the newer and faster Douglas A-26 Invader.
On April 18, 1945 the group
made two attacks on the Donau oil storage depot. Gravel Gertie,
piloted by 2nd Lt. Edward L. Walker, was assigned to the first of these,
a morning mission. During the bomb run the formation was attacked by the
revolutionary new German jet fighter, the ME-262. Gravel Gertie
was shot down, and no parachutes were reported seen before it crashed.
The crew was:
G. L. Swift
John J. Scalzo
Gerald G. Kalas
Frank M. Papile
Lt. Walker and his crew were the last KIA listed for the 387th Bombardment
Group, which completed its last hostile mission the following day
(all subsequently scheduled missions were either cancelled or recalled).
The ME-262 also damaged Nobby, a 559th squadron Marauder (A/C No.
42-107590/TQ-S), which crash-landed on its return to base.