An original cadre ship acquired 20 October ’43 and assigned to Thieme’s crew who flew her overseas in December ’43. Initially this aircraft was named “The Battlin’ Betty Ann.” Named for Mrs. Betty Ann Thieme, the pilot’s wife. “Betty Ann” never reached Grottaglie. She was one of the three original 719th aircraft lost during the Group’s movement overseas in December ‘43. She was being flown over by Thieme’s crew with the Squadron Operations Officer Captain Hays as a passenger. The fourteen men aboard were forced to bail out over the North African mountains under severe icing conditions on 15 Dec 43. All landed safely except Captain Hays, whose chute failed to open.

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