View Full Version : Dodging a Vultee Vengeance in India

12th September 2010, 15:37
The following was in RCAF Press Release 3677 dated 27 July 1944. Unhappily, the exact Vengeance unit is not identified and the date is only vaguely defined as "recently". It is another long shot, but I post this in the hope that someone can provide pertinent details:

WITH THE RCAF IN INDIA - Playing tag with a pilotless, bomb-loaded Veneance dive bomber was the experience recently of F/O Eb Ettinger, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 23-year pilot with an Indian Air Force squadron.

Taking off with a live bomb load, his aircraft burst a tire before it got into the air. The burst crumpled the undercarriage, and the hydraulic system for the flaps were rendered unserviceable. Unable to crash-land with live bombs aboard, and unable to jettison them because his jettisoning mechanism was also damaged, F/O Ettinger climbed to 4,000 feet, headed the Vengeance seawards and ordered Flight Sergeant Mike Steel, Stoke-on-Trent, England, the gunner, to jump. He himself baled out from 3,000 feet.

As he floated down, Ettinger saw the bomber, as if a ghost pilot was aboard, turn neatly, lose height and head straight for him. It missed him narrowly, made another circuit, and came at him again. This was also a near miss. Then the bomber made one more circuit and dived earthwards. At 400 yards from the ground the Vengeance shot up in a straight climb, then turned over and crashed in the jungle. When maintenance men reached the spot next day to salvage what they could they found they were too late. A herd of elephants were playing pitch and toss with the aircraft's remains.

"I was glad to see the end of that aeroplane", said Ettinger back at base later.

12th September 2010, 17:20
Hi Hugh,

I have a tentative id of AN837 for this, serving with 8 IAF when it was abandoned after u/c jammed on 2nd April 1944.


12th September 2010, 17:25
Brown-trouser job nomatter who's Air Force you were flying in!
Peter Davies

12th September 2010, 17:31
Can the Canadian pilot be identified as F/L Everett Embert Ettinger? He's is mentioned on the CWGC website. Killed on 3 April 1945 in Burma, Singapore Memorial, serving with 273 Squadron.

I gathered that 7 and 8 Squadron IAF used the Vengeance.



12th September 2010, 18:25

Must be related!. Scroll down to 28. where an accident is described as in your search...

See http://www.theckethil.com/tjt6.htm

IAF 8 Squadron. Unfortunately no names nor dates.



12th September 2010, 18:48
I am now almost certain that "Eb Ettinger" is F/L Everett Embert Ettinger. Hopefully I shall be consulting his file on Tuesday although details of his Vengeance may not be so detailed as the site given me by Leendert. It will be interesting to see how his Vengeance posting came to become one on Spitfires. I promise to post new findings on this thread.

12th September 2010, 19:10

it would be worthwhile contacting Jagan. His site has a description of the incident, without date or name:


"The third was an aircraft accident that occurred when the whole squadron was watching it with a silent prayer for the safety of the crew. We had just begun to relax when we saw at a distance one of our own aircraft returning from the mission for which it had left. Vultee Vengeance aircraft had a bomb bay and unless the bay doors were opened, the bombs could not be dropped. After take off the pilot noticed that his hydraulics had failed. So he could not lower his undercarriage for a landing; he could not open the bomb doors to jettison the 500 lbs bombs he was carrying; with live bombs in his belly he could not do a belly landing. The fuel tanks were near full too. He reported his predicament by radio. He began circling round the airfield. All eyes were upon him. Ground radio gave him instructions to climb to a safe height, bank the aircraft and allow the air gunner in the rear seat to bale out. We were anxious and at the same time excited to see a baling out. The operation was successful. In the bright sun the golden parachute opened magnificently and the officer was descending well. The pilot was then asked to head straight to the sea, set the aircraft's course to the sea and himself to bale out over land. This also was watched with interest and when his chute also opened, everyone heaved a sigh of relief. But, to our horror, we saw the aircraft suddenly going in a circle around the pilot descending with his parachute. The aircraft circled three or four times and then suddenly stalled and crashed ! The pilot was safe and still descending ! We waited to hear the explosions of the bomb but nothing happened. (They had to be fused before dropping). Within minutes the Military Police reached the camp with "two Parachutists who had landed in our territory" and the unit CO was only too pleased to identify and receive them as "our crew." "

But Jagan may have the ORB for 8 Sqdn. Interestingly, 7 Squadron also lost Veng when it hit an embankment on take off on the same day.


12th September 2010, 19:19
Bloody Shambles Vol 3 has him down as E"ff"inger


14th September 2010, 21:42
Ettinger's file is quite interesting. It does confirm his presence with No.8 (IAF) Squadron, although there is no mention of the "runaway Vengeance" inciident. The following, with little editing, constitutes the notes I took:

J21148 Everett Embert Ettinger. Born 30 August 1920 in Harris, Saskatchewan. YMCA PT instructor. Enlisted in Saskatoon, 7 August 1940 as Disciplinarian and posted to No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto. To No.2 MD, Brandon, 12 September 1940. To No.3 AOS, Regina, 21 October 1940. To No.5 AOS, Winnipeg, 29 December 1940. To No.2 MD, Brandon, 10 July 1941. Promoted Sergeant as of 1 August 1941. To “Y” Depot, Halifax, 6 August 1941. To No.1 PTU, Halifax, 20 January 1942. Remusters to aircrew, 28 February 1942. To No.3 ITS, Victoriaville, 1 March 1943. To No.4 EFTS, Windsor Mills, NS, and to No.2 SFTS, Uplands, 2 August 1942. Graduated and commissioned 20 November 1942. Disembarks UK, 24 December 1942. To 5 (P) AFU, 20 April 1943. To 56 OTU, 1 June 1943. To India, 25 October 1943. To No.132 OTU, 6 December 1943. To No,8 Squadron, IAF, 29 December 1943. To No.110 Squadron, 9 December 1944. To No.8 Squadron IAF, 11 January 1945. To No.273 Squadron, 20 February 1945. Killed 4 April 1945. F/O 20 May 1943. F/L 20 November 1944.

Lost on Spitfire JG322. “For security reasons I am unable to give the full details of what happened. I can tell you though your brother was out on an offensive reconnaissance of Japanese lines of communication in Burma. After a straffing run his aircraft was seen to roll over and crash into the trees.

“We suspect that he was hit by small arms fire from the ground. The crash could not be located from the air owing to the thickness of the jungle, but as the plane was traveling at high speed I cannot hold out much hope of Everett’s survival.” (S/L Ian N. Bayles to sister in Saskatoon).

“The above named officer was briefed at 1435 hours on 3rd April 1945 for a ground straffe of the Taungop-Prome road.

“He was airborne from Kyaukpys airfield at 1455 hours on 3rd April 1945 as the pilot of Spitfire Mark VIII JG322, with one other aircraft. At a position 18 degrees 37 minutes north, 94 degrees 53 minutes east, whilst F/L Ettinger was straffing a collection of oil drums on the side of the road, his aircraft was seen to flick over on to its back and plunge into trees 200 yards off south side of the road and disappear into the jungle. The aircraft was not seen to strike the ground, it did not catch fire and the pilot was not seen to bale out. It is possible that the aircraft was hit by a mine. (!)

“Conditions of weather were - visibility 46 miles with 6/10 to 9/10 CU at 200/1,500 feet rising to 3,000 feet.” (Report of aircraft loss.)

14th September 2010, 23:36
Ah arrived too late but let me try and make myself a bit useful!

the ORB excerpt relevant to the thread

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/lh/photo/JVCz8EStlWx7rQDkD8Kkq9QehjKxSK68zxsF4FTq18g?feat=d irectlink

Date is as Ross mentioned 2nd April 1944

Additionally, if it is of any interest - the Nominal Roll of Officers and Aircrew for 8 Sqn RIAF is here

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Database/Units/WW2/8%20Squadron (Beta site still under construction - "From" dates are mostly accurate - "To" Dates are not.. )

As you will see there are quite a bunch of RCAF and other commonwealth personnel in the Unit, making up a whole flight.

4th December 2010, 17:47
I discovered a newsreport from the "Indian Express" refering to this incident.

(The Indian Express, dated 10 July 1944)