Martin B-26B-20-MA Marauder
Squadron Code: FW-K
Crew Chief: T/Sgt. James E. Stalnaker
Asst. Crew Chief: Sgt. Seymour Cohen
Itsy Bitsy was one of the
original cadre of B-26s that formed the 556th Bomb. Squadron. Navigator
Art Newett reports that he suggested the name: Pilot Jess Watson's wife
was nicknamed "Bitsy". The crew to which the aircraft was originally assigned
and that flew the aircraft from the United States to England was:
|Jess A. Watson
Thomas W. Deering
Arthur W. Newett, Jr.
Curtiss L. Christley
Carl O. Kihlstrom
James E. Stalnaker
Itsy Bitsy made a
total of 58 sorties. On August 8, 1944 the aircraft was scheduled
to participate in a mission against the Soesterberg Airfield. During formation
assembly, Itsy Bitsy and Double Trouble collided in the clouds.
2nd Lt. Sam Ayers, piloting Itsy Bitsy, was able to safely crash-land
his stricken plane. 1st. Lt. Edward Sargant's crew was not as fortunate;
all were killed in action when Double Trouble plunged to earth and
crashed. Itsy Bitsy was salvaged for parts.